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  • Jackie Clark,

    You mean like David H?

    Well, yes, him too. Take it as a compliment, Emma. I like women writers in general. Don't cringe away, ever, from your female perspective. Some of us find it interesting because, well, we are women. And I like the way that women tell stories. Sometimes, it's as simple as that. Don't mind me though, I'm just an old Unifem, and old habits die hard.

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

  • Danielle,

    Inverting 19th century notions of racial and gender supremecy is not, I submit, the new hotness.

    No... but is that actually happening here?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • David Hamilton,

    Something I really like that Robert Louis Stevenson said:

    The most influential books, and the truest in their influence, are works of fiction. They do not pin the reader to a dogma, which he must afterwards discover to be inexact; they do not teach him a lesson, which he must afterwards unlearn. They repeat, they rearrange, they clarify the lessons of life; they disengage us from ourselves, they constrain us to the acquaintance of others; and they show us the web of experience, not as we can see it for ourselves, but with a singular change - that monstrous, consuming EGO of ours being, for the nonce, struck out.

    Which is a long winded way of saying that I completely agree with Jackie saying

    Don't cringe away, ever, from your female perspective.

    but for a different reason. I love reading things from all sorts of perspectives. I think when you read something, whether it is a fiction book or a blog post you are in a sense becoming the intended audience, which is often similar to the author themselves. Sometimes that involves an uncomfortable shift in how you think, or how you perceive certain issues. I think that this can't help but be a good thing. I really enjoy PA for the voices that aren't similar to my own.

    Hamiltron • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    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)

    The funny thing is that since the toxic waste dump that was the last general election, my RSS feeds are now quite heavily skewed towards arts/lit-blogs. I don't know if its true, or another one of those gross-in-ever-sense generalizations, but it sure seems to me that there's not quite the same heavy stench of testosterone. Could mean nothing more than more of the higher profile lit-bloggers are women just because they do better work, were early adaptors for all kinds of reasons etc. (Then again, when I think about it the short-list of my favourite writers isn't exactly estrogen-deficient: Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, Florence King, Muriel Spark, Rebecca West, Elizabeth Smither, P.D. James etc.)

    Any thoughts?

    Anyway, I really love the definition of blog by one of my favourite lit-bloggers, Maud Newton

    blog (bläg) n. [short for Web log] 1. a website that accommodates easy and frequent posting on any topic; 2. an online platform for personal anecdotes, criticism and discussion, often featuring links to other websites; 3. an outlet for obsessive personalities, depressives and alcoholics.

    Can't see anything much to disagree with there. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    3. an outlet for obsessive personalities, depressives and alcoholics.

    and Hypo-manic.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    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 wonder if I'm the only one here who's ever been bundled into a car at midnight and then driven to a gang HQ to listen to guys making me an offer I can't refuse.

    But, as Emma knows (and possibly Tze Ming Mok doesn't)

    The first rule of Fight Club is ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Could mean nothing more than more of the higher profile lit-bloggers are women just because they do better work, were early adaptors for all kinds of reasons etc.

    I honestly don't know. I did at one stage have a whole bunch of writer blogs on my list, but every now and then life demands I make cutbacks, and Jane Espenson stayed because she posts frequently (I don't know where she finds the time), and she's a good read. Every writer group I've belonged to has been about 80% women, it just seems to be an activity that attracts females. I'm not feeling very profound today, though: a side-effect of mopping vomit, I think.

    I wonder if I'm the only one here who's ever been bundled into a car at midnight and then driven to a gang HQ to listen to guys making me an offer I can't refuse.

    I think you're right, I think we may have dated.

    Don't cringe away, ever, from your female perspective

    I'm really not a cringey person. But I'm really honestly not sure how much my 'perspective' would be different with a schlong.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Savidge,

    But I'm really honestly not sure how much my 'perspective' would be different with a schlong.

    You'd be thereafter somewhat cock-eyed?

    Somewhere near Wellington… • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    But I'm really honestly not sure how much my 'perspective' would be different with a schlong.

    Well, without being essentialist, or indulging in the fallacious line of reason that "on average women do x and men do y, therefore this particular woman must do x and that particular man must do y", could I suggest that it's the John Thomas that makes the difference per se, but the different types of roles and work that men and women tend to take on.

    So, with the caveat that lots and lots of men do caring work too, there's something in these comments that you have made on this thread...

    I'm not feeling very profound today, though: a side-effect of mopping vomit, I think.

    and

    And ironically, I got interrupted there by my sick daughter and lost my train of thought...

    ...that makes me nod my head in agreement and think about all the times I have squeezed blogging and study and work and whatever, in around my caring work. Like right now, when I am busy making Diet-be-damned Brownie Icecream for Christmas, but I have snatched a moment to just have a look at what's being said, and perhaps add my own comment. All this while looking after my three girls, of course.

    Not necessarily an activity confined to women only, of course. I guess most people here seize odd moments in which to connect with PAS, and add their thoughts. But somehow, seeing another woman write about sick kids in the midst of a really interesting conversation about something else is something I find, well, affirming.

    Your poor daughter - she must be feeling miserable. I hope she recovers soon!

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    Bugger.

    could I suggest that it's the John Thomas that makes the difference per se, but the different types of roles and work that men and women tend to take on.

    That owuld be, "it's NOT the John Thomas..."

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    That owuld be, "it's NOT the John Thomas..."

    Heh, that's okay, that's what I read. Good old end of year stupor.

    Not necessarily an activity confined to women only, of course.

    Indeed. Part of my perspective comes from the fact that for five years my partner was the main caregiver for our children, given the amount of time I spent too sick to crawl out of bed. He gave up work to do that, and it wasn't easy. It was also eye-opening, and I ended up getting very defensive about people giving him the hairy eyeball for being in the park with his own daughter.

    But yes, with all the caveats about how the experience is more common to women, and therefore it's more likely to be women who hear that caring work voice and recognise it.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    I ended up getting very defensive about people giving him the hairy eyeball for being in the park with his own daughter

    Crikey! Nevermind us possibly dating in the past - are we married? Didn't you give me a cap with "[__Daughter's Name__]'s Dad" embroidered on it for my second Fathers Day - so I could take her to the park on my own without getting stared at?

    FYI to the ladies: nothing makes you feel more dodgy than having to wear a cap that reads "[......]'s Dad" to avoid funny looks in a public place. But my daughter loves it.

    Gosh, look at the time ... must pick up daughter from school ...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Ooo, I do usually remember marrying people. This could give my Civil Union some serious legal issues...

    Oh, and Deborah, my daughter was feeling pretty stink. And then this big box of Christmas presents arrived from friends up north, and she lit up like a kleig.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm really not a cringey person. But I'm really honestly not sure how much my 'perspective' would be different with a schlong.

    I would suggest that your perspective would be very different, Emma. Boys and girls experience life differently to each other. Educationalists and child psychologists acknowledge this. Their brains work differently, their bodies work differently, their emotions work differently. There's a number of reasons for the differences. Most of them are about social constructs, sure. And some are hard wired into the cerebral cortex from conception. Some, like hearing, are physiological - believe it or not, at about three, the inner ear in some boys is behind the rest of his physical development, so that that child is effectively "deaf" for that period of time. That affects speech development hugely. There is huge amounts of research to show that men and women are not different in the most important areas such as cognition, leadership, and personality, and that may be so. But the gender definition of a child starts when they're born, and no matter how much you strive as a parent to right gender inequity there are people all through a child's life who reinforce it. How you are reflected in others' eyes is incredibly important when you are young, hopefully less so when you are older, but it's still there. We live in a society that constructs mechanisms for various reasons. Many of those constructs are around gender. And it's also a cultural thing, obviously. All of this adds up to part of who you are, of who you become. As does the parenting you recieve, the experiences you have in your life. All of it is who we are. As one wise soul once said - we are the sum of all our parts, or was it we are the sum of all our experiences? Not sure, but either way, part of who you are is the lucky dip which is your gender at birth.

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

  • Julie Fairey,

    Hear hear Jackie!

    Puketapapa Mt Roskill, AK… • Since Dec 2007 • 234 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    And I'll direct you all the way back to page 2, where Stephen Judd said:

    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.

    So, yes, that would all be applicable if we were talking, in generalisations, about large groups of people, but we were talking about just me. And broad trends don't actually predict the behaviour of individuals very well, especially if you ignore everything about that individual in favour of looking at their tickboxes.

    And those same brain chemistry and physiology studies appear to indicate that, generally, comparing averages, lesbian and bisexual women fall in between the averages for straight women and the averages for men. So even just looking at the broad strokes, saying that if I'd been born male I'd have completely different view is... well, I'm going to say 'a big call'.

    My daughter actually IS hearing-impaired. It's my opinion having watched her growing up, her struggles, the way she deals with her disability and the way other people react to her, that her deafness is going to be a bigger factor in shaping her experience than her gender, and that she may often find that she has more in common with a Deaf male than a Hearing female.

    part of who you are is the lucky dip which is your gender at birth

    Part, yes. I don't think it's completely unreasonable for me to say, how much differs from person to person.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I can read affectively but slowly. I can compel a paragraph somewhere near representative of my intelligence by constantly using spellcheck and the dictionary. It takes me a long time to write comments here. The one I wrote earlier in this thread took me well over an hour, and I still got it wrong. I cant easily read my own hand writing. I often pretend to write if I'm stuck with pen and pad, my notes are more mnemonic squiggles.

    This blog commenting retardation I poses, I possibly one of my greatest strengths here at PAS. It's my point of difference, it defines me as an individual. I'v never read anyone else here talk about dyslexia. It's understandable considering that this is a social environment that consists almost entirely of words. I don't expect anyone to understand my enthusiasm for writing under the circumstances. What I would ask however is that when, 'people' start talking about social equality with in the blog-sphere, please think about how your talking about it. Your all writing about, I enjoy being a part of that, more that the average ducks will ever know.

    That said dun and dusted, I've said this before and I'l say it again I truly value the civility of this Internet resource. I value it enough to come out and say Thank-you. Incongruent to mainstream NZ cultural expectations to compete individually or as teams, such is our sporting ethos, I have appreciated this nurturing writing environment. I have at times, when I've be a bit hypomanic, typed out some stupid crap, but I'v not been given the cerebral bash over it.

    Cricky, I think I might be a feminist.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I'm not going to argue with you Emma. Suffice to say that I really enjoyed your blog, I hope you write more soon, and I hope your daughter is over her spewy bug!

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

  • Jackie Clark,

    Sorry Emma, I didn't mean that to come off as so patronising. I agree with you, in most part. And you are certainly right when you say that the difference varies from person to person. Let's just say that perhaps your perspective would not be very different, but certainly being a woman makes your perspective somewhat different. Shaping experiences and traits, in my opinion, are many. Gender is just one of them. It may, in some people, not be a very big one, but it's still there. For me, it's more about the nuance and the shading that makes a person.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    This blog commenting retardation I poses, I possibly one of my greatest strengths here at PAS. It's my point of difference, it defines me as an individual. I'v never read anyone else here talk about dyslexia. It's understandable considering that this is a social environment that consists almost entirely of words. I don't expect anyone to understand my enthusiasm for writing under the circumstances.

    I've been aware of the effort you make Steven, and I admire and appreciate it. But I hadn't thought of it as a strength. Interesting point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    When a discussion that argues gender exclusivity is wrong, then go's ahead with another gender exclusive agenda is understandable at the beginning stages of a social revolution. But if it becomes blind to it's initial objectives, it becomes blind to it's holistic social functionality.

    I believe the question: what is contemporary feminism? is valid. Why aren't we discussing it discussing it? where the utopian ideals an illusory. Or was I in-fact brainwashed by hippies when I was a child during the seventies.

    I could be misunderstanding some of what I'v been reading, but there appears to be some misalignments going on. Sorry about the ambiguity there, from my perspective I see other people talking about stuff anyway. Thats called 'disassociation'

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I've been aware of the effort you make Steven

    Thanks Russell, I appreciate the reassurance. I would equally appreciate being challenged should I ever appear to be trying to exploit my said inequality.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Shaping experiences and traits, in my opinion, are many. Gender is just one of them. It may, in some people, not be a very big one, but it's still there. For me, it's more about the nuance and the shading that makes a person.

    That, I think, we can entirely agree on. Which would be a nice place to let it go.

    Steven, one of my best online friends, and one of the most original and amusing writers over at the Web, is dyslexic. I have huge admiration for the way she copes. I don't think letting people know is exploiting it, it just saves everyone some unnecessary aggravation. But yes, the more people you get the chance to listen to, the more you discover new ways to be discriminated against.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I did spell disassociation correctly. It's also, relevant to my circumferential and intentionally ambiguous response's to this thread.
    So for the reader, if google video links seamlessly to public address, here's what Disassociation could mean. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7084489538066105747

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • ali bramwell,

    I know that this thread has already dried on the vine and blown away some days ago, but nevertheless I'm going to commit the gauchery of the latecomer.

    After reading many of the discussions around the politics of representation over the last weeks without comment, taking an example from this thread to illustrate a more general point.

    Jackie Clarke, insisting she wasn't intending to be patronising (interesting word choice), lectured Emma Hart persistently about how she must acknowledge the importance of gender to her experience. Without any irony or self awareness, Clarke said, among other things:

    there are people all through a child's life who reinforce it [gender]. How you are reflected in others' eyes is incredibly important when you are young, hopefully less so when you are older, but it's still there. We live in a society that constructs mechanisms for various reasons.

    An often unacknowledged dynamic at work is the pressure that groups put on each other to conform to a given, essentialisms are not only externally defined 'constructed mechanisms'.

    I was taught, by women I respected, one very basic courtesy. When someone says plainly, "my experience is not the same as yours" to not then immediately insist they must be wrong/ naive/ foolish/ politically suspect or just plain ignorant.

    BTW Stephen Crawford I enjoyed the elegant way you made a parallel point.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2007 • 33 posts Report Reply

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