Speaker by Various Artists

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Speaker: Insert Token Here

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  • David Haywood,

    Terrific first post, Emma. And some lovely sparkly sentences in your prose...

    May I clarify one point: I only thought you were a man (with hairy knuckles, as I recall) before I met you in that smoky gay-cyclist-filled bar. I realized my mistake as soon as we were introduced. In person, it would be completely impossible to mistake you for a man -- even allowing for my failing eyesight...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    And the Gender Genie identifies statistical tendencies, that's all.

    If I hear someone is 7 feet tall, I'll lay money that person is a man. But I can walk down Lambton Quay and find plenty of women, with or without heels, who are taller than the average bloke.

    Something that really pisses me off about popular reporting is the way that minor differences between groups get turned into enormous dichotomies between individuals. They always seem to say if you are a man, you will feel A, if you are a woman, B; whereas the truth is that slightly more men are a bit more A.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    own a banjo

    Hey hey hey! Now it's my turn to be an offended minority. Watch your stereotypes, pal. Hillbillies with banjos aren't a purely Cantabrian phenomenon.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You sure ain't the first 'girl who sounds like a dude' to have popped up here. I must have reviewed three books for Steve Braunias before I figured out that he thought I was a guy because of my 'muscular prose style'.

    Dude, I thought you were a dude when you first started sending me those anti-racism campaign emails in 2004. Although I did work it out well before we actually met ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Hillbillies? This liberal Jewbag has a five-string and fingerpicks. Haven't quite got a clawhammer Hava Nagila sorted out yet though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    You sure ain't the first 'girl who sounds like a dude' to have popped up here.

    It goes the other way too - David Farrar thought Che Tibby was female...

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Class (I'm just guessing) and family/partner violence, aren't related to demographics? Not sure I get it.

    Defining 'class' at the time is a tricky one. And the majority of the people copping it in my family were male.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that I find I have more in common with people who've had the same experiences than me than those who share the same tick-boxes. I'm also wary of the way demographic trends lead to over-simplications: that domestic violence is a lower-class problem, or something that happens to women. While by and large it's true, it also makes a bunch of victims invisible. It becomes very easy to forget that there are a bunch of men wandering round who were kicked around as kids.

    But I also have a fundamental obligation not to drag my family's private issues out in public.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    Watch your stereotypes, pal. Hillbillies with banjos aren't a purely Cantabrian phenomenon.

    Nope, there's also the 'Naki. And the remainder of the South Island, of course ;-)

    And this is from one who spent 14 looong years in Christchurch, and some very early years in Essex, so I know a bit about geographic stereotyping myself, innit?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    Hey hey hey! Now it's my turn to be an offended minority. Watch your stereotypes, pal. Hillbillies with banjos aren't a purely Cantabrian phenomenon.

    :-)

    It's part of my strategy to make 'offensive' the PA word of the year for 2008.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 948 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    In person, it would be completely impossible to mistake you for a man -- even allowing for my failing eyesight...

    Dude, way to make me blush.

    The last time I was out on the turps I met this guy who was a friend of the lawyer who kept showing me her nipple piercings. He felt it necessary to constantly reiterate his opinion on the excellence of my breasts. After a while I said to him, listen, I'm starting to feel a bit diminished, it's like you can only see my tits. He thought about it quite seriously for a minute and then said, 'you have a nice stomach too'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Ahem... just to clarify my clarification: I was actually attempting to explain away the limitations of my own stupidity. Breast jokes, if any, were completely unintentional...

    I'll shut up now before I inadvertently say anything worse.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I use my breasts to get attention.

    As at least one of those on the list can attest, I think it's usually true that if a man has dressed in a way that his breasts get attention, it will not have been intentional.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Ahem... just to clarify my clarification: I was actually attempting to explain away the limitations of my own stupidity. Breast jokes, if any, were completely unintentional...

    I'll shut up now before I inadvertently say anything worse.

    Fair do's, I should stop winding you up in public.

    But actually, my initial email encounter was a bit of an eye-opener for me in terms of prejudice I hadn't noticed. Every one of my female on-line friends freaked out that there was some guy I'd never met offering me stuff. The level of paranoia was so high that poor David got branded 'my stalker' for about a year.

    Because he was a man on the net. And they're all creeps and pervs.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Because he was a man on the net. And they're all creeps and pervs.

    Dammit Russell. You bring in a new token woman and she's onto us already. You're getting voted off the island dude.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    Actually, some of it is just... a bit much. Are you familiar with the term 'squick'?

    I believe squicking is the first internet porn concept I came across back when I first got online. alt.tasteless!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    The things that make me different, though, that sometimes make me feel jarringly out of step with the flow of System are nothing to do with demographics. It's more the times I wonder if I'm the only one here who's ever sat in a gang house and listened to guys talk about killing people . . . I may be the only one who doesn't talk about it, or there might be a whole bunch of you here not talking about it as well.
    Bingo, though not talking killing, but sometimes very um... unseemly stuff [grin]
    I can't really figure how that sort of experience would translate easily to places like PA but its ok on the NORML forums where I moderate part time.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    It's a shame that you're dangling the possibility of an actually different perspective in front of people, but don't feel up to providing it. Don't you know that's what real tokens do? Dance, girl, dance!

    She's not dangling, she's teasing. A common ploy in media: keep the reader/listener/viewer interested in what's coming "next time".

    Shame on you, Emma Hart, if that is indeed, your real name.

    Yes, if it wasn't for the Timaru reference (a red herring, surely) I'd be quite confident we once dated.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Finn Higgins,

    I think what I'm trying to say is that I find I have more in common with people who've had the same experiences than me than those who share the same tick-boxes. I'm also wary of the way demographic trends lead to over-simplications
    ...
    But I also have a fundamental obligation not to drag my family's private issues out in public.

    That's a killer post, and it collides with something that's kept me away from many PA discussions and lead me to post in frustration in others: the tendency to talk in symbols, seemingly because real individuals get complicated and confusing real quick. But it amazes me how quickly talking in distinctly non-human abstractions can get really disconnected from reality.

    I definitely lurk this place a lot more than I would otherwise because of that particular quirk of political discourse, because I'm really quite repulsed with the idea that every word one speaks is somehow supposed to be representative of demographics: you're either speaking on behalf of a demographic or your speech is implicitly assigning you to one. Yuck.

    It's a very tiring environment in which to discuss anything, and I certainly lurk this place a lot more and post a lot less (as a white male no less) purely because every post I write here feels like it needs to be considerably more unassailable than if it was written elsewhere, in forums more focused on discussing issues than details of the person making a particular point. That's not a critique of PA, where such things are at least civil, more of how people approach discussion of politics as a whole. It's a real turn off how issues have to be reduced to a level of simplicity approximating a cheap comic book in order to gain momentum. I'm consistently weirded out, for example, by blogs like Maia's (or basically any libertarian blog - pick your own) where absolutist simplicity rules the roost and the idea that real individuals and situations exist as an intersection of a near-infinite number of abstract political points vanishes into the ether.

    I think your Speaker post sidestepped that very keenly, and I reckon that's a real badge of merit. Keep writing!

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 209 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Thanks Emma - great first bloggy thing. See, that's why I like reading women bloggers. I like the personal, and the intimate, and the funny. I think you covered all of that beautifully, and with great dignity. No tokenism here - just very interesting people blogging.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I'm consistently weirded out, for example, by blogs like Maia's (or basically any libertarian blog - pick your own) where absolutist simplicity rules the roost and the idea that real individuals and situations exist as an intersection of a near-infinite number of abstract political points vanishes into the ether.

    Which is where I think you and I have been on the same page quite a bit lately, Finn. There can actually be a kind of callousness about discussing real people solely in terms of what you believe they politically symbolise.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    There can actually be a kind of callousness about discussing real people solely in terms of what you believe they politically symbolise.

    There can, and it would be the fastest way to get yourself a verbal wedgie, if those people felt like calling you out. I suspect they're there not doing that a lot more than people think, especially if you assume every single pseudonym you run across is yet another middle-class straight white male AND you think that means you know what they're thinking and what they've experienced.

    See, that's why I like reading women bloggers. I like the personal, and the intimate, and the funny.

    You mean like David H?

    I have two different lists of 'blogs' in my bookmarks. One includes sites like this, NRT, Jane Espenson, Ms Naughty, Che... The other is personal, light, less political (but never non-political) - Xanga and Livejournal blogs which are a mix of men and women. I'm not saying that there isn't a gender bias, but just that I find the intimate=female thing a bit of an over-simplification. And ironically, I got interrupted there by my sick daughter and lost my train of thought... Anyway, if you like that, try reading some personal male blogs. Or some way of saying that that doesn't sound in the slightest bit snippy or patronising, because I'm really not trying to be.

    That's a killer post, and it collides with something that's kept me away from many PA discussions and lead me to post in frustration in others: the tendency to talk in symbols, seemingly because real individuals get complicated and confusing real quick.

    Yeah... I keep running into this block where I have this huge allergy to generalisations, but when I want to draw things to the specific, I hit privacy issues.

    I've had people say to me, 'oh, but if you'd had traumatic experience X you wouldn't think like that'. And I know it's true, because I HAVE. But I'm hardly going to tell a stranger all about it just to score points in an ironically pointless internet argument.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And I know it's true, because I HAVE

    *headdesk*

    NOT true.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    you think that means you know what they're thinking and what they've experienced.

    I think the more profound problem is thinking it's OK to dismiss and belittle people, or elevate and venerate, based on such ephemeral traits as gender and skin colour. Inverting 19th century notions of racial and gender supremecy is not, I submit, the new hotness.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It's more the times I wonder if I'm the only one here who's ever sat in a gang house and listened to guys talk about killing people. Who's ever been taken captive by an ex-boyfriend, or walked out of home holding the policeman's hand because anywhere else has got to be better. I may be the only one who doesn't talk about it, or there might be a whole bunch of you here not talking about it as well.

    The reason I've found blogs such as Are you gonna liberate us girls from male, white, corporate oppression? by Tze Ming Mok, offensive but understandably ignorant, is my awareness of "Complex post traumatic stress disorder".

    There are unspoken truths that really do take big balls to talk about on a public forums such as this. Sadly I don't have them. However the work of hard core feminist's such as Judith Herman have initiated unspeakable debate during the late eighties early nineties, that's gradually homogenizing to the point where paradoxically, these unspeakable aspects of the feminist movement are in-powering men, that were children.

    I'm always baffled as to way an internet forum would be, or at least be perceived to be male dominated. This is all about writing stuff. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm way out of my depth here. I'm a "he's good at making thing's with his hands, dumb fuck" I am totally vulnerable to written abuse, I'd actually feel hurt by it! That's not happened, so I'm still muddling along here. I'm certainly getting perilously confident. I sometimes forget about PHD battle hardened academic she's and he's that patrol these threads. Now there's the another.

    Emma, I always like reading your not according to Hoyle's rules. It's made the game of PAS blog more enjoyable from cathode ray portal.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Fuck, I always leave words out. And prof read this one twenty times!

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

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