Wednesday, March 9, 2011

[insert rant]

Gentle readers, I do plan on following up on the fantastic film festival -- for instance, one of the shorts, "God of Love," that was shown in Oxford won the Academy Award for Best Short. Wow! And I didn't even see it, and it didn't even win a prize at the festival! My one chance to actually see a short film prior to the awards!

Anyway, that's not what I'm writing about. So, I've been on a bit of minor kick of trying to be more vocal online. This has been inspired by the recent discovery that mostly men write and edit posts on Wikipedia. I know, big shock, right? There has been a lot of discussion about why that's the case, ranging from dissing men (women are too busy to fool with that kind of brainiac pissing contest) to fundamentals about knowledge and communication (women seek consensus rather than engage in antagonism which a lot of digital information exchanges often turn into). My own foray into stating my opinion digitally was a bit of a dud. See my post here and the response here. [amusing rebuttal that I do not wish to send to the site will grace these pages at some point in the near future].

What I am trying to say, which has taken me two paragraphs already, is that I am on a couple mailing lists related to my research interests. I have become more attuned to the some of the louder voices on these lists who are treating the marketplace of ideas in my inbox like their personal Facebook wall or Twitter account. Please let me address these posters.

I do not need to read your ill-formed, knee jerk reaction that barely addresses (or even inflames) the discussion at hand.

I do not need to hear a personal story or a quasi-related anecdote that the previous poster may have evoked in your ample and Proustian memory.

I do not need to see your name listed dozens of times in the same discussion which eventually appears to me as the equivalent of waving your privates.

Do you people not have something else you need to be doing? Do you wait with bated breath for the beginning of the day when you can be that eager student in class whose hand shoots up before the teacher has even finished the question? Or is it because you want to be the teacher whose pontification suffocates students?

And why, gentle readers, are all these writers, male? Am I on the wrong lists? Are my research interests so hopelessly masculine?

Okay, stupid rant. We all know people like these on our discussion groups and just because the problem children are male should in no way indicate that their voices are the majority nor that the gender is the problem. Men and women post very thoughtful posts all the time, and I would never discount any point of view based on gender. Rather, it's the number of irrelevant posts that lead to the discount. If you post that many times, then the words are going to be cheaper, my friends.

If you are reading this, wondering if I am talking about you, I'm not.


K. A. Laity said...

If you are reading this, wondering if I am talking about you, I'm not.

Phew! HA HA HA! This is why the post limit on the Horror list remains to this day. But yes, 80% of the posts are still male and it is a decidedly female-heavy forum.

Men are taught to be aggressive and rewarded for it; women are punished for it (I can supply a nigh on endless list from my own experiences growing up with brothers and recognizing when it was NOT FAIR!). There are some wonderful studies about how early this is inculcated, even among "enlightened" parents who are proud when their boys play with dolls. But they don't notice how they shut down the girls early on and reward them for consensus-building behaviour.

I stand with you, sister! It's really fucking annoying. The combination of patriarchal culture and capitalism, makes sure that a large portion of the men advantaged by the former are disadvantaged by the latter, so assume themselves to be "not powerful" and resent women's insistence on disparities because "we're all equal now" (cf. the Texas white boys scholarship). It's endlessly frustrating.

But speaking up and being present helps a LOT. Kudos.

K. A. Laity said...

And having read the links now: the old anti-PC saw! God, I am tired of that. By all means, let's bring back the pre-PC good old days of black face and child labor. What a burden it is to consider the thoughts and feelings of others! FFS!

And as Homer would say, in case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. It's the laziest of approaches to sneer at someone and accuse them of being "PC" -- as if that were so terrible. I've got an Italian gesture for YOU, sir!

Wendy said...

I've got an Italian gesture for YOU, sir!

Now, I'm dying here LOL. Wow, Rome was really good to you, no?

Actually, I restrained myself from pouring gasoline on the fire because I really did not want to waste that psychic energy. A few friends talked me off the ledge. However, I will be posting my response in this blog, and it will be very much in the comedy stylings of this post. Stay tuned.

K. A. Laity said...

Exxxxxxxcellent! (why are all my references Simpsonian?!)