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Well I am quite excited to see Shawna McCarthy on livejournal: shawnam. Welcome!

She responds to the discussion this week about the Realms of Fantasy Special Issue here:

...he's now finding out the hard way that what sounds good in your head sounds awful on the internet. I know he's not a sexist pig, and using the terms a) "girl writers only" and b) "ladies" was not intended in any way other than a) as a joke, and b) as a young male person's ignorance of how much we women hate to be referred to as ladies. I also know that this ignorance is a sign that, yes, we still have far to go in the battle against sexist language and the underlying, unaware sexist attitudes,...


Objecting to Doug's choice of language in announcing it is legitimate, but he has apologized and is slowly but clearly learning his lesson is just what you can and cannot say on line. I too apologize to anyone who was offended by his words,but I do not apologize for fact of the issue's very existence.

Elsewhere on the internet last night I found myself being stripped down for being offended, told I had a skin so thin it was translucent and that this poor man was never going to win because I was always going to tear strips off him. These are of course the traditional methods for silencing women, being put back in the box. I've come a long way I think in this last year. I don't think I was wrong to express my own reaction and I don't need this reaction to find approval from a man in order for me to be able to feel it. It was also implied that I could not object to the word "girls" in a professional call for a professional submission because my lj handle is "girliejones". It had me thinking about whether I need to defend or explain the idea of taking back and owning words that have been used derogatorily and how the use of words is all about context. But I'm not teaching Feminism 101 anymore.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
You know, it really shits me when someone expresses an opinion they get the 'thin skin' bullshit thrown in their face. I've seen it so many times when something happens and when someone goes 'hey! that's not cool!', instead of other people (or the person that has caused the reaction in the first place) examining why it could be seen as 'not cool' chuck a sad and try to stop the conversation by accusing the other person of being too sensitive and having 'thin skin'.

Does that make any sense?
Jan. 8th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
It makes perfect sense. I felt quite bad about it last night but then remembered how that's a perfect strategy to shut you up. It's the "ooh you're too sensitive" routine. (And the reply is, no, no I'm not, it was offensive and if you don't get it ... well... that says more about you than me)
Jan. 8th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
Yeah the "oh you don't have a sense of humour."

When actually what it means is that you didn't find something funny. Two VERY different things, depending on which side of the entitlement seesaw you are on.

You are not obliged to find something funny, or to not be offended by something, regardless of what the intent or perceived intent might have been.

And you know, having something dodgy you said pointed out to you is not the worst thing in the world. Sometimes it is a painful realisation, that you might have offended someone or miscommunicated in a bad way, but surely it's better to be TOLD that you have spinach on your teeth than to let people just look the other way in selent embarrassment for you.
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:14 am (UTC)
And you know, having something dodgy you said pointed out to you is not the worst thing in the world. Sometimes it is a painful realisation, that you might have offended someone or miscommunicated in a bad way, but surely it's better to be TOLD that you have spinach on your teeth than to let people just look the other way in selent embarrassment for you.

And yet, and yet and yet.

Jan. 8th, 2010 12:45 am (UTC)
Oh good. :)

I can distincally remember being me or Drhoz being told to shut up by having the 'you've got a thin skin!' crap piled on us when some has questioned my/his/our integrity in public and instead of just putting up with it or ignoring it (because that's what works with bullies... not) we objected and objected loudly.
Jan. 8th, 2010 12:41 am (UTC)
I don't think you NEED to defend or explain it, as any intelligent person can tell the difference between someone using a title themselves and having it used offensively about them...

Sure there are many many people who don't get it, but that's their problem.

Of course if you ever do want to post the story behind your LJ handle you could then have a link to point people to, FAQ style.

It always stuns me, all over again, when people (not necessarily men) get outraged at the possibility that maybe, every now and then, there might be a situation where a man might not have the ability "to win."
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:17 am (UTC)
Heh. An FAQ on my lj handle.
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
Are you saying it wouldn't be worth it? At least you'd have the moral high ground of "have you not read the FAQ? Fool."
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
It just amused me that I needed one. Have added it to the to do list.
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC)
I think we need more FAQs, because pointing them always makes people feel superior and best. : )

I keep meaning to do the Hollywood 101 FAQ for when people ask the same snarky questions about why big budget movies are too sexist/racist/post-colonial/bad. It would save us all a lot of time.
Jan. 8th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
I think calling for submissions in that way reeks of unprofessionalism.

On another note, might this be an example of those words that women can use about other women (in a social not a professional context) that just comes across all wrong when guys/men say it about women, even if it is used in a supposedly humourous manner?

Jan. 8th, 2010 01:44 am (UTC)
I'd say this is a perfect example of that situation.

As Alisa said elsewhere I think , it still can be grating if women use it (especially if not women you know) but it's a whole different game if men use those terms, and even WORSE when they use them in a professional rather than social situation.

Women have been sucking it up and smiling politely at offensive jokes in the workplace for a very long time, and I find it interesting how many people still expect them to do it now, whether in person or over the internet where it is easier to speak up because you're not facing the person who is offending you.
Jan. 8th, 2010 05:22 am (UTC)

Prior to yesyerday, I never would have been offended by the word "ladies", especially when paired with "gents". Ladies and gents. Gents and ladies. Problem? What? Huh?

Luckily, I've found out about it before I could use it myself in reference to all you fine...erm...women.

Learning. It's fun :)

Jan. 8th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
I tolerate it when other women use it, it grates on me but I figure they have a right to own and use the word.
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:15 am (UTC)
I think that's very much the case, here.

Just like other words to describe minority groups might be ok for those in the group to use but has a different connotation when used by those outside it.
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
I got so sick of this situation I made an icon about it :)
Jan. 8th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:22 am (UTC)
That is truly truly awesome.
Jan. 8th, 2010 03:35 am (UTC)
Credit has to go to belledame222 for coming up with that interpretation of the sketch, I just turned it into an icon.
Jan. 8th, 2010 11:07 am (UTC)
>These are of course the traditional methods for silencing women

I can't speak for all men, but I, for one, am eager to learn more forward thinking, contemporary ways to silence women.

Do I get a biscuit now please?
Jan. 8th, 2010 11:10 am (UTC)
You can have a slap up side of your face?
Jan. 8th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
Man, you people *ARE* easily offended!

Not like us men. We are thickskinned and impervious!!

(*turns away to camera closeup of solitary tear*)

Jan. 8th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)

You've just been given a CREATIVE BLOGGER AWARD.

Venture yonder to see why & wherefore!

Jan. 12th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
This post has been added to a linkspam round up.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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