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Reply #13: One thing that bothers me about your posts about Nancy [View All]

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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-21-07 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. One thing that bothers me about your posts about Nancy
- and it's not just this post - is that you tend to use highly gendered language when discussing her. I'm not sure if you are aware of that, or how it reflects on your posts in general. Might be something to watch in yourself.

I remember when you were actively trying to frame her as a "cheerleader" - and multiple posts from you would use that term. In one, which I thought was actually very funny, you, as a man, were telling us that women didn't react well to her "cheerleader" style.

Here she is with a strong staff of women activists, and I've always known her to have that, so it is kinda funny, even you have to admit that, for a man to be telling us we don't like her.

That makes me laugh, but also the whole situation makes me sad, and reminds me of a conversation I heard you having with another activist outside Knollenberg's office once. She was a woman who had left activism during Vietnam specifically because of how women were dismissed and belittled. She was trying to explain to you that you could pull more people into the anti-war movement, pick up the women who were disenfranchised the last time around, if you (and at that initial point she was using a more generic you, you as in the antiwar movement as a whole) were more willing to discuss how war effects women, how gendered discrimination feeds militarism, and so on.

And I watched while you did exactly the same thing that had been done to her 30 some years ago, you told her you weren't interested in some "special interest" issue (that's the exact term you used, never mind that it's half the population), and that you needed to stay "on message" and you basically told her to STFU. She walked away pretty upset. I don't know if you know that, but that's a person who might have just withdrawn (again) from politics, from seeing directly that really nothing has changed. Women are perceived a certain way, dismissed a certain way, spoken about a certain way. She was so angry afterwards that her voice was shaking. I haven't ever seen her again. I think that was the first protest she'd gone to over the Iraq war.

That was about the same time I was reading a book one of my students loaned me, about gendering. One of the points in that book was that women tend to connect different issues. We see how the war affects environmentalism - we use up our resources, we resort to imperialism to get other people's resources. We see how environmentalism relates to oppression of women. Anything organic is "womens stuff" - subsistence farming, breastfeeding, cleaning up people (dealing with diapers, working as nurses). Anything industrial and high tech and resource-intensive is associated with men, and given higher status. Corporate farming, synthetic formula over breastfeeding, disposable everything, medical treatments that are from big pharma companies rather than natural remedies ... it relates to resource use, to militarism, to economic systems, etc.

So anyway, we see how all things are connected more typically (not every person every time, but typically - and lord knows I love the men who get it), and men tend more to see a single issue as a single issue, and a different issue as its own separate issue. Each issue a special interest unto itself.

That pattern, you know, that was exactly what played out in that conversation between you and that woman at knollenberg's office. There was that sense that her style of viewing the issue was not only not your style, but it needed to be summarily dismissed without further consideration because you were "in charge" and you'd decided that only the male gendered way of looking at things would be tolerated in these protests. I suspect you were blissfully unaware of all those dynamics.

Then I log on here, see, and there is post after post of you saying Nancy is acting like a "cheerleader." I don't even know what specific behaviors you are referring to there. How do cheerleaders act? I assume you have some stereotype in mind that you want us to draw on, but I'm at a loss. I've never seen her spelling out words letter by letter using her arms, or showing up someplace with giant pompoms, if she's ever finished a speech with a dramatic jump off the podium landing in a split, I missed it. All I got is that she's female, cheerleaders are female, cheerleaders are looked down on and trivialized ... therefore you'd like us to make that association.

Now we have this morph from "Nancy Skinner is too progressive, we need a more middle of the road candidate" to "well, she ACTS too progressive, in a gendered female way, but she's really not too progressive. Don't vote for her, she is a shrieker."

I'm sorry Bruce, that doesn't carry any content. If Gary is as progressive as Nancy, then you shouldn't have been slamming her for being too progressive. What you wrote here is that you wanted a more centrist person, and now you show up with the new person you are supporting, what are we supposed to conclude? Claiming he's just as progressive as she is makes you sound hypocritical. If your issue is that she sounds too gendered you need to look inside your own self, because if your reason for voting for a person is that they sound more manly, you got your own issues to cope with. We can't fix those for you here. And maybe that's why you actively divert conversations about issues into these personality wars, I don't know. Maybe you can't hack it by discussing the issues, because that's not Gary's strong point.

It's no surprise at this point that there are a whole lot of folks who are turned off by your hypermasculine behavior patterns (controlling, bullying, stalking, putting down women in highly gendered ways, patterns of unilateral thinking, expecting people to do things because you demanded them, acting as though you are aggressively hoping for confrontation if you see posters here in person at events, etc).
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