Kali Tal on Sun, 8 Oct 2006 19:04:48 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Gender and You

Alan and I simply disagree on identity politics. I don't think that  
"male baggage" can be left behind ; I think that social/cultural/ 
gender location is crucially important in any analysis; I think it's  
impossible to do good analysis at all if race/gender/class isn't part  
of the critique.

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.

Straw woman arguments: I'm an essentialist (I'm a constructivist);  
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); 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); 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); 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).

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  
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.



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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