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  #31  
Unread 10-12-2019, 11:17 PM
Aaron Novick Aaron Novick is online now
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(nevermind, not a debate worth having)

Last edited by Aaron Novick; 10-13-2019 at 01:11 AM.
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  #32  
Unread 10-13-2019, 06:59 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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Hi Aaron,

I don't want to argue. And I'm really not arguing for the 'gender-critical' position, just acknowledging that it exists and floating the idea that for some women it might be more than simple bigotry and hate. You obviously disagree. I feel that, to you, even the suggestion that some accusations of transphobia might be more complicated is in itself an instance of transphobia, and therefore not worth engaging with. So by claiming the discussion isn't 'worth having', even though you started it, you put me in a Catch 22 and kind of label me as transphobic for even thinking about this. I could be wrong but it feels a bit like that. Maybe it's the word 'hate' that you seem to use so much that grates on me a bit. I don't think it's always helpful, or conducive to change, to dismiss any position you strongly disagree with as 'hate' and then use that as a justification for closing down communication. I get 'don't engage in public debate with fascists'. But that can then become 'don't engage with Christians/conservatives/feminists you disagree with/people who might suggest that any area for discussion exists', or, apparently, a fair percentage of ordinary women.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/politi...ties-1-4940267

We seem to live in a world, which has flowered online, where just the words 'debate' and 'free-speech' are sometimes looked on with suspicion and have even become weirdly synonymous with right-wing politics. This is really baffling to someone like me, who has always had a natural (and no doubt exasperating) tendency to want to share every contradictory thought in their head, without worrying about whether it might be the correct one. I did it in pubs and around tables for 20 years before I got the internet in 2009 aged 37 (I was a late adopter). I don't naturally view the world through a left/right political lens, I just instinctively vote Labour every election and try to be my own version of a decent person. Fwiw I really have no issue with transwomen being classed as 'real' women, whatever that might mean, philosophically or otherwise. But I am honest (or foolish) enough to admit that it does feel somewhat counterintuitive to me that a person with male genitalia who has lived most of their life, however uncomfortably, as a man is in fact a woman in exactly the same way as someone who was born, and whose whole lived experience has been, biologically female. But then I shrug and go about my day. I do know that my thought process as I consider this still-relatively-new idea contains nothing even vaguely resembling 'hate' as I understand it. I'm quite fascinated by what it might mean to feel like one is in the wrong body. I try to understand it, but can't quite grasp it. I understand same-sex attraction because I've experienced that, but 'feeling like a woman' is ungraspable to me, mainly because I have no real sense of what 'feeling like a man' means, beyond the way that other people treat me and the obvious reality of my body and genitalia. But I don't doubt for a second the absolute sincerity and subjective reality of the transgender experience. Still, your definition of 'hate' may be different to mine, and having read (most of) the blog you linked to, I think it is. I feel like my default as I go through life is to be filled with kindness and empathy, as I particularly try to be with the few gender non-conforming students (boys and girls) that I teach. Because adolescence is hard enough, and I can only imagine what extra pressures those students have to deal with. And they all happen to be really nice. But, I can also understand the discomfort felt by some (non trans) feminists and some women more generally. To them, to take a somewhat farcical example, Caitlyn Jenner winning 'Woman of the Year' could have felt like something akin to the ultimate insulting act of cultural appropriation. The link above provides more distressingly mundane examples — women who have been abused by men, stating that they might feel uncomfortable with the presence of 'male bodied' transgender women in women's refuge centres for example. Women who feel this way might very well be 'wrong' to feel like this, in the sense that history will not be on their side. I hope they are wrong, because what a utopia it would be if the future was a place where a person's skin colour, race, religious belief or lack therof, sex, sexual preference and gender orientation were of little significance as the colour of their eyes. But right now the world isn't like this and I don't think it's helpful to dismiss, for example, women who feel like the above as simply filled with, or purveyers of, 'hate'.
I apologise for being able to see more than one point of view. It's an unfashionable fault of mine.

The 'First Things' article is different. It does feel bigoted, it's slimily manipulative and it is filled, literally, with bad faith.

I also understand that the position of the Trump administration and the right in America in general might make this feel different over there. But eventually, hopefully very soon, Trump will be gone. And then we will all have to carry on living with each other. And that has to mean communicating, because ultimately that's what makes us human.

Again. Peace to all. I know you mean well, Aaron and I respect that. Done now.

Edit: I'm only getting involved in this because I can't write at the moment. I can't even crit. It's depressing ha..
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  #33  
Unread 10-13-2019, 08:13 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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This scene is so dramatically accurate/reflective of our current state of affairs (in more ways than the obvious one) that it deserves to be seen. Again. And again. There is a figurative truth to it that blows the mind.
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  #34  
Unread 10-13-2019, 08:35 AM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Yes, Jim, that's a resonant scene. Thanks for posting it. It's also telling that the powers that be have the guy on air knowing he's going insane because they figure it is ratings gold - as the cuts to Faye Dunaway remind us.

Cheers,
John
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  #35  
Unread 10-13-2019, 11:27 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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ďWe can disagree and still love each other unless your disagreement is rooted in my oppression and denial of my humanity and right to exist."
--James Baldwin
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Last edited by Jim Moonan; 10-13-2019 at 06:34 PM.
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  #36  
Unread 10-14-2019, 09:11 AM
Mark McDonnell Mark McDonnell is offline
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I've never seen Network. Is it as good as The King of Comedy?

Btw, I've read the other 'First Things' article now. Yes, it's horrible.
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  #37  
Unread 10-14-2019, 10:22 AM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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Mark: "I've never seen Network. Is it as good as The King of Comedy?"


I think so, though a different brand of satire. Definitely worth checking out. It's uncannily relevant in a number of ways (especially todayís 24/7 news business) as well as this specific conversation.

I almost never see a film twice (though I should) and itís been a while since I saw it but remember it at the time as being essential to understanding the quagmire we were headed towards (and are now mired in). I donít know how well it holds up with time, but that one scene certainly could have been filmed today. Iíve always liked Faye Dunaway, too. (And she has one of the all-time great monikers in entertainment.) Peter Finch too, is a great actor and good in this film.
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  #38  
Unread 10-14-2019, 11:16 AM
Andrew Frisardi Andrew Frisardi is offline
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I myself am happy to have published three poems in First Things over the past several years, with a fourth coming out in the spring. The editors who chose them, Paul Lake for the first two and Mike Juster for the others, are discerning and intelligent editors, as well as accomplished poets. And I know some smart and quite lovely people who are regular readers of the magazine, though I myself am not.

So, despite the proscriptions in this thread, Iíll still submit work to FT if I feel I have something that fits. And Iíll continue to associate with Mike Juster, if the feeling is mutual, who in my experience is a right nice fellow and a generous friend to poets and poetry.
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  #39  
Unread 10-14-2019, 04:59 PM
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Quincy Lehr Quincy Lehr is offline
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This piece... HOO BOY!

Fash, or, at the very least, part of a moral rearmament of the intellectual raw materials of fascism, phalangism, and the like.
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  #40  
Unread 10-14-2019, 05:26 PM
John Isbell John Isbell is offline
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Hmm. Well, it is interesting and somewhat unexpected to see Hernan Cortes the payoff in a line about "what a more decisive man might have accomplished."

Cheers,
John
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