nettime's digestive system on Tue, 10 Oct 2006 10:32:41 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Gender and Us [10x]

     "tobias c. van Veen" <>
           Re: <nettime> gender and (how happy are) you etc digest [x6]
     "porculus" <>
           Re: <nettime> gender and (how happy are) you etc digest [x6]
     Alan Sondheim <>
           Re: <nettime> Gender and You
     Alan Sondheim <>
           Re: <nettime> Gender and You
     Alan Sondheim <>
           re: Re: <nettime> Gender and Us
     Katherine Dodds <>
           Re: <nettime> Gender and Us
     Kali Tal <>
           Re: <nettime> Gender and You
     Danny Butt <>
           Re: <nettime> Gender and You
     Dick Turner <>
           Re: <nettime> Gender and You
     Alan Sondheim <>

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Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2006 11:12:42 -0400
Subject: Re: <nettime> gender and (how happy are) you etc digest [x6]
From: "tobias c. van Veen" <>

> But the  
> imperative to know the master is not reciprocal -- the master does
> not want or need to know us, and in fact wants our "us" to reflect
> only his own needs, desires and perceptions. This is elementary, and
> yet it seems to be beyond the ability of most white heterosexual men
> to grasp.

I thought this came from Hegel ?
Or perhaps he was not one of the "most" ?

Was Hegel bi ?
Or perhaps he cross-dressed as Mm. Marx ..

thanks, tV

( I wonder what it would be like to suck off the master -- but maybe Deleuze
was there first, that masochist.)

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From: "porculus" <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> gender and (how happy are) you etc digest [x6]
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 15:59:49 +0200

> Andres Manniste <> wrote: What the hell is
> male baggage

wait wait years I ask to brit queen for being granted & lordified as
theorist., it's the reverse of the crux you have to bear all you life, the
popular wisdom say the haviest the best, but  as specialit i could add it's
possibly a quictoxic::

one of the stunning zing I heard in my life was once a guy interviewed at tv
sometime after a 'severe injured car crash' as the interviewer said..but the
guy looked quite too nice & too fresh & too vivid.after heavy
circonlocutions about the 'severe' At a moment the guy gave a break saying
'ok why don't you say I was completly gelded in the accident' huge malaise
around & the guy to add 'but now I am quite fine'..'yes, fine' as he stared
the camera i.e. staring us & i would bet specialy me, it was as much weird
cause it seems possible & even true. Yes hombre it's then i realise
metaphysique really exist.

For the rest & specially your derrida triade it's out of my expertise,
anyway i would support danny butt & dick turner for their lordification if
mom didnt say' let everyone support oneself ones baggage 

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Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 11:24:22 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Gender and You

Since you haven't read the works at all, and obviously have no idea of my 
own practices etc. the below is exactly what I would expect. But I'm sure 
Tal agrees with your position.

Fuck you. You haven't looked at the work and you're passing judgement?

On Mon, 9 Oct 2006, Dick Turner wrote:

> I haven't read the particular works mentioned in this exchange, so my comment 
> pertains to 'Alan Sonheim as Alan Sondheim' in the exchange:
> At 1:21 PM -0400 10/8/06, Alan Sondheim wrote:
>> 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.
> Alan clearly seems to believe that the work of representation starts and ends 
> at the intentions of the author, as if acts of representation do not 
> originate from and circulate in an already conflicted social zone where 
> existing relations of power, among other factors, determine ("set limits to, 
> exert pressures on") the meaning and the multiplicity of readings (including 
> Kali's) that can be brought to the text.  His defense proves Kali's critique 
> that his practice is a) un-self-reflexive at the point of encoding, and b) 
> insufficiently problematized at the point of decoding, hence his 
> defensiveness when he's questioned and critiqued.  Both deficiencies are 
> precisely rooted in the privileged position that Alan Sondheim occupies in 
> the real world as Alan Sondheim.
> Dick Turner
> (a.k.a gita hashemi)

blog at - for URLs, DVDs, CDs, books/etc. see - contact, -
general directory of work:
Trace at: - search "Alan Sondheim"

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Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 11:27:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Gender and You

Not that it matters but I've read a great deal of feminist philosophy; I 
taught a course in it at the ULCA art dept. years ago when no one else 
would. And the piece was an article on my experience, not a general 
statement about feminist issues. As far as Tal is concerned, I stand by 
what I wrote.


On Mon, 9 Oct 2006, Danny Butt wrote:

> Let's try this another way.
> Alan, you forwarded a piece called "Gender and You" to an
> overwhelmingly male list. If you're that interested in gender, maybe
> you'd familiarise yourself with a few decades of feminist philosophy
> and criticism (empirically the largest body of work on gender issues)
> and try and make a contribution to that field, or even acknowledge
> that it exists. Instead, you want to have a conversation with a bunch
> of guys about how you identify with "your female characters", and this
> helps you work through your relationship with Heidegger. You don't
> have to be Eve Sedgwick to see that one side of the gender divide
> isn't getting a lot of airtime here.
> Then, when a woman says as much, you refuse to admit there could be
> a problem, proving Kali's point. Then you take the very mention of
> minstrelsy - a completely apt description which is well known in the
> literature on online identity - to suggest that you've been painted to
> be a member of the KKK. It's pathetic.
> You're accusing Kali of essentialism when she can discuss with great
> detail her experience working with African American people, and
> changing the way she behaves in response to critique from people who
> might know something about the issues from their lived experience.
> In other words, she's specifically saying that if you focus on
> real conversation with respect, you can build relationships across
> difference. If you were prepared to do the same, your textual efforts
> might be better placed to make a difference to the gender dynamics of
> the list, which would be a hell of a relief.
> x.d
> --

blog at - for URLs, DVDs, CDs, books/etc. see - contact, -
general directory of work:
Trace at: - search "Alan Sondheim"

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Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 11:51:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <>
Subject: re

Just a few things - First, if you are going to judge either me or my work, 
please have the courtesy to _read it._ This is a project that has been 
going on for 13 years now; the text changes over time, and in fact you'll 
find plenty of evidence for example that I _have_ read feminist philosophy 
- although perhaps the wrong books. Second, the article was not intended 
to be a general statement of my philosophy; it was a reflection of work I 
did around 4-5 years ago. Third, I feel at this point that anything I say 
is simply not being heard - the general response, if there be such, is 
that I'm writing "just like a male." This is where the differend comes in 
- the responses I gave - except for the word "essentialism" - weren't 
considered at all.

But for me the most depressing thing is this attack now going on from 
people who have no idea what I do or think beyond the limited replies 
here. Even in this country US, there's a tradition of evidence. But 
apparently what I actually have written - and there's far too much of it 
for glib assessment, maybe 20,000 pps. - is irrelevant. If you do read it 
and quote it, I only ask you don't pull a statement out of context.

The article was written for Jon Marshall, an anthropologist, who has been 
studying Cybermind, a list Michael Current and I started in 1994. Current 
ran the Deleuze list and he and Malgosia Askanis started the Spoons phil- 
osophy collective years ago. The list quickly became a stable mixed-gender 
community and has remained that way for the past thirteen years as well.

Finally, if you do defend or at least acknowledge my position, please 
write to the list, not back-channel. I'm not heard and apparently not 

I feel I'm spitting in the wind here, but this is getting far too depres- 
sing for me to continue.

- Alan

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From: Katherine Dodds <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Gender and Us
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 09:14:45 -0700

As someone who's mostly been a silent observer on this listserve  
since about 1996, I finally feel compelled to offer a comment,  
spurred on by the recent gender exchange.

I can't claim to have read all the background to this discussion, nor  
am I deeply familiar with Alan's this is all based on a  
quick and impressionistic reading of the recent posts. Though Alan's  
defenses seem to me imbued with a somewhat hysterical tone, one that  
wasn't there in his original post. Thus I  found Dick (AKA Gita's)  
post very apt, and concise. And also appreciated hearing from Danny  
(assuming he is a male which unless there is an elaborate online  
identity re-construction going on) as we truly need male voices  
critiquing unquestioned masculinity.

One possible source of the "man problem" is that the male gender  
continues to spend almost time problematizing masculinity, certainly  
less time than both men and women spend gazing with fascination and  
horror on  femininity, which in some occasions is blanket-critiqued  
with that evil term ESSENTIALISM.  If educated post-structuralist neo- 
everything folks are unanimous in saying essentialism = bad, why  
aren't we asking -- who colonized essentialism? Isn't its critique  
based on the catachresis of essential being?  Why aren't we asking  
why we have feminized the term? It's pejorative, and it's feminine.   
What would male essentialism be? --  I think it used to be called  
patriarchy. That male-coded pejorative term has been tidied out of  
the debates while the "E" word persists. Just an observation.

But when are each of us going to stop taking criticism of our own  
gendered essential being so personally?! Because what I saw in Alan's  
original post was a tentative openness to critique. It's just that  
actual critique proved otherwise...

> In short my experience has taken gender for granted to some extent,  and in
> this sense has been false; I have pushed everywhere (and been pushed) except
> across the divide of problematizing, and in that sense what  I've
> accomplished is most likely useless here. (And as indicated above,  useless
> because of its production, occurrence, at an historical moment,  long since
> past; just as extinguished species do not return, these moments are  gone in
> a fast-forward world which digests and spews out sexualities at increasingly
> frenetic rates.)

The problem is that every frustrated  female dealing with the real  
world  effects of sex/race/class  on their physical beings,  knows  
this is all so old. It's like the (again already) older modernist  
paradigm of the Moulin Rouge only online. Bad girl Suzanne Valadon  
played with the bad boys and made some paintings. Died in poverty of  
course. And Mary Cassatt depicted the confined spaces of femininity  
because she was not degenerate enough to set foot in the brothels of  
the "real" avant-garde. (Oh didn't she just paint mothers and  
babies?) Were Suzanne and Mary "essentialist" or "constructed" --  
good luck defining that ontologically. It's just one small example.  
And while the girls were still trying to make their way in, the boys  
took ether show to more exotic locales-- and created paintings of  
lovely brown girls whose breasts became apples on a plate.  Now it's  
cyber-brothels and dance halls and we are still seeking the  
"essential"  avant-garde. And it is still very very much a white boys  

The problem in my mind is that, in spite of all these years of  
deconstructing binary oppositions,  polarizing the debate also  
remains a knee jerk reaction and doing so  reopens the fleshy  
bleeding gender divide. We need to rethink this kind of debate lest  
we all remain licking (or denying) our wounds instead of  getting on  
the train to elsewhere. And unfortunately I think that elusive  
equality lies in the land of elsewhere. And dare I speak naively -- 
but I'd kind of like to at least take a journey to try to get there.

For that reason I say to this mostly male list of nettimers -- though  
I am very interested in all  genders who might be present-- I'm in  
development on a film called "Fembot 2.0"  (which is being executive  
produced by Mark Achbar who is the co-creator of the recent  
documentary The Corporation, and the older film Manufacturing  
Consent) My hope for this project is to be able to  explore the  
history of feminism, as something that could be popular in a  
mainstream context,  and not end up the ultimate chick flick. It will  
use some of the tropes of sci-fi fiction and films (feminist and  
otherwise), as well as be imbued with at bit of cyborg ontology, to  
ask the questions: what was feminism actually for? Did it work? and,  
does it need to be re-branded?  As I am just beginning a long process  
I'd welcome thoughts from this list as I hone the idea from an essay  
concept to a shooting script.

Kat Dodds

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From: Kali Tal <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Gender and You
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 10:48:37 -0700
To: nettime management system <>

On Oct 9, 2006, at 8:24 AM, Alan Sondheim wrote:

> Fuck you. You haven't looked at the work and you're passing judgement?

I like that.  Fuck-me-I'm-Jennifer has turned into Fuck-you-I'm-Alan.

What writer of any note hasn't been critiqued without being read?  
It's a hazard of the profession and throwing tantrums (I think "fuck  
you" qualifies as a tantrum) isn't necessary.  I didn't write my  
critique with the intent of turning the list into a circus, but at  
this late point I'm all about the burlesque.  Hand me the red clown  
nose and the floopy shoes. There's a hundred or more of us packed  
into this absurdly small car together...

Some of you guys want to publish your stuff (i.e., go public), but at  
the same time you get all hurt and fussy if people criticize it for  
reasons you don't agree with. Then you get really angry when people  
read your complaints and incorporate them into their arguments. You  
want your texts to stand as "Art," often with the presumption of  
universal value, but at the same time you can't give up ownership and  
let people treat them like they're art (i.e., like they matter).  You  
want recognition AND a free pass. I think this is funny. So funny it  
kills me.

Alan's upset because I said that some of his work was sexist and  
Orientalist. I'm not sure why these charges rank as truly awful. I  
mean, I've had more than one guy threaten to MURDER me for what I  
wrote (oh, and to rape me first -- talk about gendered).  I had  
police staking out my house and the FBI searching for some jerk's  
whereabouts for three days, while I toted a shotgun room to room ( it  
would really be embarrassing if he killed me in the kitchen because  
I'd left the shotgun in the living room). Now THAT made me mad.  I've  
been called everything, from "sick, twisted man-hating bitch," to  
"nigger-loving commie dyke." I have a special  folder labeled "Green  
Crayon" for my hate mail.  (Why DO those psychos always write in  
crayon?) People add to it regularly, online and off. I figure it's  
the cost of doing business. I'm not special; these experiences are  
common for other women in my field(s). A critique of my work -- even  
if I think it's vicious -- is a real relief in comparison. My work  
isn't me. I can't be "raped verbally." I can use my 'D' key or  
respond, whichever I choose.

Oh, and creed... puh-LEEZE don't pull that Jew card on me.  Jew  
Schmew.  I'm so sick of it. It gives us Jews a really bad name.  I  
mean, Israel is behaving badly enough -- we don't need more of us  
running around claiming, "I'm oppressed, I'm oppressed" in countries  
where Jewishness might cost us a country club membership, but rarely  
costs us a job or a place to live. I'm a Jew.  And I'm living in  
GERMANY. I fled the oppressive political situation in the U.S. and  
moved to BERLIN.  That's how "bad" it is for Jews in the Western  
world today. Give me a break.  A lot of cultures barely survived  
genocidal campaigns -- so many that it would take me a long time to  
run the atrocity alphabet all the way from Armenians to Zoroastrians.  
The Holocaust was so... yesterday. And I say that with all self- 
consciousness, as a Holocaust scholar. It's not that the Holocaust is  
insignificant; it's just that it doesn't help us to avoid either  
committing or suffering similar persecutions in the future if we  
refuse to put it in a global and historical context.  That was then;  
this is now. And here and now, we're WHITE.  Face it. We have no cool  
Jew nonwhite cachet. It's just that same urge to simultaneously  
occupy the place of privilege AND cry about how we're oppressed. No  
thank you.

Love & kisses,

P.S. Kali is the name on my birth certificate, Bozo. Honk!

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From: Danny Butt <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Gender and You
Date: Tue, 10 Oct 2006 10:23:02 +1300

Alan, you realise this is the equivalent of "I was a Marxist and  
union organiser back in the day when no one else would, but I was  
just talking about my experience of being a manager."

For me, the point of this stuff is not to assess humans and how good  
or bad we are, but to ensure that we build upon the political work of  
others. I'm sure you've done plenty of great work. But if you want to  
"stand by what you wrote", I think you're really missing an  
opportunity to allow the expertise of others to make your  
investigation into gender more substantial.


On 10/10/2006, at 4:27 AM, Alan Sondheim wrote:

> Not that it matters but I've read a great deal of feminist  
> philosophy; I taught a course in it at the ULCA art dept. years ago  
> when no one else would. And the piece was an article on my  
> experience, not a general statement about feminist issues. As far  
> as Tal is concerned, I stand by what I wrote.
> Alan

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Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 20:50:02 -0400
From: Dick Turner <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Gender and You

At 11:24 AM -0400 10/9/06, Alan Sondheim wrote:
>Since you haven't read the works at all, and obviously have no idea 
>of my own practices etc. the below is exactly what I would expect. 
>But I'm sure Tal agrees with your position.

You misread me in your defensive zeal.  (Or maybe you're being too 
modest to assume I don't know your practice?)  I have read a lot of 
your work (nobody on nettime could possibly avoid it even if they 
tried hardly) and I've referenced your textual practices in a few of 
my courses.  Next time I decide to do that, perhaps I'll consider 
including this thread in the reading material so the students can 
better contextualize your work as they use feminist and postcolonial 
tools to critically understand (self)representational practices in 
Cyberia.  This is an excellent example that illustrates the way 
dynamics of talk in Cyberia are fundamentally connected to and 
interdependent on relations of power in real world, a clear crossing 
of boundaries.

But yes, indeed Jennifer and Nikuko are not stars in my nightly sky, 
hence my avoidance to comment on your performance/appearance as these 
particular characters.  Instead, I commented on your performance as 
Alan Sondheim evidenced in your own writing in the present thread. 
As a few people have pointed out already, you have demonstrated your 
lack of understanding of critical debates about gender and race, 
debates which, by the way, have been circulating on the streets and 
in and around academia since the 60s.

>Fuck you. You haven't looked at the work and you're passing judgement?

Congratulations, Alan!  You hit a new landmark in the low-lands in 
this debate.  That aside, there in your question is the clear 
evidence that you believe the truth of the text is in the letter of 
the text alone.  An archaic notion, really.  May I suggest Hall's 
excellent primer, "Encoding, Decoding"?  Or, another excellent 
primer, Foucault's "What's an Author?"

Sincerely yours,

Dick Turner

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Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 22:05:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Alan Sondheim <>
Subject: leaving

I'm leaving nettime, and for most of you, I'm sure it's good riddance to 
me. This isn't a debate; it's been a condemnation. I've been told what I'm 
doing is a "performance" on this list related to neocolonialism; I'm told 
to read Foucault and feminist texts - and when I say I have and have 
taught feminism, I'm told that I'm saying I'm more feminist than anyone 

Theory of this sort is a cudgel. I try and explain myself and am told it's 
a male reaction. If I said I write "as a male" - then I'd be condemned. I 
still find "writing as a woman" essentialist - but there's no discussion, 
just more condemnation.

Neither my work nor my replies on this list, or for that matter, posts to 
this list, have deserved this. My work is NOT sexist and NOT racist and 
NOT neocolonialst. My work is at the blog and webpage, and it's accessible 
to anyone who wants to read it. This has been a project over a decade in 
length; a lot of it has been published and discussed elsewhere. Sometimes 
it's liked, sometimes not. But never treated with this degree of hatred 
and anger.

I'm sure I'd be told I'm playing victim here, or I asked for it, or this 
is a typical male response. I can't help that. I think people can write 
into each other's positionings and psychologies far more than usually 
granted; without that, multiculturalism couldn't exist; one could only 
list to 'authentic' voices of the others without comment. I'm being overly 
simplistic here, but this is a signoff letter.

I hope you read the original post, and that you look at the Internet Text 
and decide for yourself. 90% of it is about entirely different things - 
most recently about computer mappings of human movement and their poten- 
tial reconstruction.

Please don't write me backchannel with suggestions for further reading, 
and/or I'm misreading Tal or Fusco or anyone else. I'm not. I'm not that 

I've increasingly disliked 'theory' for its lack of self-critique or self- 
deconstruction. If you've read my work, you've more than enough evidence I 
do both. But that's not happening here.

Last point - as far as me being privileged: I'm Jewish, not white. I've 
written about that (but that's also lost). Last year I made $3000 and 
we're heavily in debt. I have poor health insurance and my partner has 
none. I have enormous difficulty getting published, and I'm grateful when 
this does happen. I've never gotten a grant for my work; I probably don't 
deserve one, but I think I do. In other words - it's glib to talk about 
'privileged position' - I've heard it ad nauseum - and like everyting else 
it should be up for critique. Instead I get back-channel stuff about how 
privileged I am.

I can't take anymore of this; I'm getting self destructive at this point.


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