Re: Patriarchy: Re: What Matriarchy?

Susan (
19 Aug 1996 16:46:36 GMT

Joel and Lynn Gazis-Sax <> wrote:
>When Susan jumps
>on one person in the debate and declares them unilaterally wrong, she is
>not helping things in the least. In addition, her note might have been
>better received if she had sent it to me by private email. I tend to
>be nice towards people who want to work things out as long as there is
>some attempt to understand where I was coming from. Susan has failed
>so far as a mediator simply because her one response to me made me to
>be the devil.

I'm sorry if what I said was fuzzy enough to be interpreted this way. I
would only point out that you are not the only person I chided this way--
I also made the same comment to Bryant, as I noted in the post, some
several posts earlier. I also see this as a matter of newsgroup style,
not as a personal problem, so I wouldn't have e-malied you directly. As
for where you are coming from, I suspect you and I are closer in
philosophy than you might think. My complaint was not with your ideas,
it was with the tone in which you delivered them. My philosohpy is,
and continues to be that the exchange of ideas rapidly gets lost when
the participants begin hurling insults. But if you and Bryant want to
engage in a flame war, feel free. I just thought it was worth an effort
to try and keep the discussion a discussion, and see if we could not let
our ideas be buried in personal attacks.

>And having said this, I am put into the uncomfortable position of having
>to stand by while others, now encouraged by Susan's marking, will take
>this opportunity to flame me. Thanks for making me into the bad guy here

Again, that was not my intention (or at least not to make you the only
"bad guy"). It was an attempt to stop the escalation. However, I
certainly thought your reply to Bryant in that particular piece of the
thread was pretty hostile, and I would be surprised if there weren't
others who thought the same thing. You'll have to deal with them on your
own. I try very hard to only offer my opinions, and be clear when I
think I am representing other peoples' ideas. But if my intervention
made things worse, then I retract it, and will move on.

>To stand back for a moment (and this is partly in answer to Susan who
>has taken it upon herself to upbraid me while remaining silent on
>the multitudinous nasty posts which get sent the way of Eric Brunner
>and myself -- people who started out trying to be nice until we kept
>running into the same stone walls over and over again), I'd like to point
>out simply that when I saw Eric make this mistake, I immediately replied
>and set the situation straight.

Sorry, I know nothing about chaos theory except what I've read in the
media, so I stayed out of that part of the thread. As for other nasty
posts, I am well aware that there are others. I only responded to your's
because it was in the part of the thread I was involved with. I'm not
trying to mediate the whole newsgroup, just rein in that particular
discussion. If I recall correctly, the post I objected to quoted
Bryant's reply to something I'd written, so that's the context for my
comments. I felt that Bryant and I had returned to a more direct
discussion, and I didn't want it wo get derailed again.

(comment directed at Eric)

>Thanks again for being the one person to
>see me as a human being.

For what it's worth, I see everyone on this group as a human being.
Indeed (and this is NOT directed at you specifically, Joel), I think if
we all kept reminding ourselves of that fact, people would be far less
nasty. I would imagine that Bryant may feel picked on, too, as I suspect
does everyone who's been flamed, regardless of whether or not someone
feels they "deserve" it.

Okay, that's all the moralizing from me!



"Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps."
-- Emo Phillips