[NetBehaviour] Re: <nettime> Gender and You (fwd), more, as if forever (fwd)
sondheim at panix.com
Sun Oct 8 19:22:21 CEST 2006
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 8 Oct 2006 13:21:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com>
To: Kali Tal <kali at kalital.com>
Cc: nettime management system <nettime-l at bbs.thing.net>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Gender and You
I'm not sure how much longer nettime will let me go on, but I feel again I have
to respond; now I'm an Orientalist as well as sexist. This is one of the
ugliest exchanges I've had - maybe the ugliest - but I can't let it go.
On Sat, 7 Oct 2006, Kali Tal wrote:
> I do find the Nikuko pieces Orientalist. I think Alan waves aside the
> crucial issue of who wields the power in creating and enforcing
> representation in a given culture; from my perspective it's absurd to
> argue that members of groups with different sets of privilege are
> still somehow "equal" on the field of representation. The male
> student who poses as a woman may learn a lesson about "what it's like
> for women", but he's doing this in an environment where real women
> are already largely displaced by men playing women. He will of course
> bring his own stereotypes to the role play, and whether he intends it
> or not he's more likely to reinscribe sexist stereotypes than to
> violate them.
If you did read the Nikuko work you'd know it's not enforcing the repre-
sentation of any given culture; it's working out of the Kojiki. I was waiting
for you to say this - from your viewpoint - and I still feel essentialist - any
representation of the Other is always already damned. I'd like to know where
you find - exactly - the stereotyping in the Nikuko material, since so called
Orientals seem to have liked it.
Second, the male student learns a lesson yes about what it's like for women -
but I never claimed anything more. Judging by the results, the exercise was
useful. And there was no time to "reinscribe sexist stereo- types" although of
course you won't agree - the whole exercise takes about ten minutes. What
you're doing here is disgusting - damning the male (or female) student for
_trying_ - already accusing him of sexual stereotypes - which assumes he learns
nothing about questioning such.
> Straw woman arguments: I'm an essentialist (I'm a constructivist);
I don't see the relationship here, but when you announce that you're writing as
a women - and when other women have seen the material differently - it comes
across as essential - otherwise, why write it?
> I'm enforcing PC (I have no power to do that--I believe that "PC-as-
> an-oppressive-force" is an invention of people who benefit from
> unearned privilege and get annoyed when challenged);
Yes, but it's a hell of a lot more than that, and you're begging the question.
This is glib.
I haven't read
> his work (I have; I just don't see the same things he sees in it); I accuse
> him of cruising (I don't--I accuse him of reinforcing sexist stereotypes);
If you're read the work, why didn't you know that this material was abandoned
I claim to speak for all women (I don't; I speak AS a
> woman, which is a completely different thing); I say I know what he's
> feeling or doing (I don't--I only say I know what he's writing); that
> I don't understand his work is fiction (I do--but nothing says
> fictional representation can't be oppressive);
No it's not fiction - I don't have the original text here, but I wouldn't claim
that it is, so apologies if I left that impression. It's a proble- matic of
writing, a problematic of discourse, and isn't intended to be either fiction or
poetry or any other pigeon-holing.
I accuse him of
> violence (I didn't--I just don't like the way he writes women); I do
> him violence (he disagrees with the comparisons I've made across race
> and gender lines).
Which does violence - bringing up words like 'blackface' is more than a
'comparison.' You're accusing me of violence and stereotyping - this is what
you're doing in fact. You have no quotes for example from my work (although I'm
sure you can find them) - so it's a question of differend - anyone reading this
would be sure there's 'something' there since you say it's so. And that's a
kind of violence. Apply your theory to yourself.
> Alan has posted a tremendous amount of text over the last decades, a
> good deal of which I have appreciated, as I said previously. I think
> it perfectly reasonable to critique one aspect of that text--the
> sexism, which seems to me clearly visible, whether intentional or
> not. I am well aware that not all women will agree with my critique
I think it's reasonable to question absolutely everything - but you weren't
questioning - you were and are condemning. And there's a huge difference. This
isn't a discussion, at least not on my end.
> but then, I'm not an essentialist and so I don't feel that women need
> to speak in a unanimous voice. I just call it like I see it.
As long as the voice is speaking 'as a woman.'
> On Oct 7, 2006, at 1:51 PM, Alan Sondheim wrote:
> I feel once again I have to respond to this. First of all, I don't
> masquerade or cruise for sex; everyone knows (except on the Jennifer
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