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179 responses to “Overflow Thread”

  1. alfred venison

    well, this could be interesting. -a.v.

  2. jungney

    Yep, a.v., riveting in a Zen kind of way: does a view actually exist if there is no-one there to denounce it?

  3. tigtog

    If you’re not specifically referencing a discussion redirected from another thread, then you’re not using #overflow for its intended purpose. Play nice, please.

  4. Jacques de Molay

    *adjusts collar*

    Thoughts on this?

    [content belonging on Open thread snipped ~ mods]

  5. Katz

    [reply to content belonging on Open thread snipped ~ mods]

  6. Terangeree

    [reply to content belonging on Open thread snipped ~ mods]

  7. tigtog

    Jacques, my thoughts on your link is that it belonged in the Open thread. This is not the Open thread.

    You’re not learning, so I’m snipping your comment content. Please use this thread only for off-topic overflow from other threads.

  8. Jacques de Molay

    Excuse me, I’m not learning? Since when have you said something like this to me before and the last time I mentioned anything about a burqa I got my head bitten off by Mindy (‘my comments are crap’) and was told by Helen we’ve had this discussion before so take it to an Overflow thread.

  9. tigtog

    That was a more general “you”. As is made fully clear in the body of each Overflow post, this is a space where side-discussions that are off-topic for other threads are taken. It is not a place to just plonk a new discussion.

    [eta] The last discussion on burqas was prompted by statements made by our very own politicians. Your link is to something that happened somewhere else entirely. If you’d actually contextualised it as a continuation of the earlier burqa discussion on a previous Overflow thread, then my reaction to your post would have been rather different. But you didn’t do that, did you?[/eta]

  10. Linda

    From Val @309 on the previous overflow thread “With all due respect to Mark @ 300, it does appear that feminist comments are disproportionately likely to be misread or misrepresented on LP.”

    I actually think the opposite might be the case, at least when it comes to my feminist comments. I think most people reading know exactly what I’m saying which leads us to a common problem in spaces like this one. Online feminists of all types have long acknowledged the issue of obfuscation by male commenters which forces us into the trap of repeating our ideas, re-explaining things over and over and resorting to 101ing in an effort to be heard without upsetting men, something that many of us instinctively shy away from. This sucks the energy out of us. It could be attributed to our commentary being misread to some extent for sure, but I am convinced that for the most part this is not the case. The things we are saying are too clear, rather than not clear enough, and the “misreading” is an intentional silencing tactic.

  11. Jacques de Molay

    [eta] The last discussion on burqas was prompted by statements made by our very own politicians. Your link is to something that happened somewhere else entirely. If you’d actually contextualised it as a continuation of the earlier burqa discussion on a previous Overflow thread, then my reaction to your post would have been rather different. But you didn’t do that, did you?[/eta]

    I thought my *adjusts collar* was context enough for all concerned but once again I’m in the wrong even though I did exactly what was asked of me. A little bit of consistency to moderation guidelines would be appreciated though.

  12. Jacques de Molay


    The things we are saying are too clear, rather than not clear enough, and the “misreading” is an intentional silencing tactic.

    It’s quite common around here as I’ve recently experienced.

  13. Linda


    The things we are saying are too clear, rather than not clear enough, and the “misreading” is an intentional silencing tactic.

    It’s quite common around here as I’ve recently experienced.

    Jacques, I’m very pro fair moderation but we need to remember that people moderating these spaces are working for free and just lately there seems to be an increase in comments that require intervention. That intervention is often time consuming as it requires back-reading and thoughtful analysis.

    I would also ask you to reconsider your casual appropriation of my considered commentary, and your false equating of practices which maintain a global system of oppression of half the worlds people, with your own immediate individual annoyance at being moderated on a blog.

  14. Val

    Linda @ 10
    I think with my comments it’s more that some men here start reading them, get defensive and then react without actually reading the whole comment properly. I can actually understand that, because what I am suggesting is that exaggerated anti-Gillard rhetoric and support for Kevin Rudd’s sustained undermining on sites like this, has contributed to a situation in which a centre left government, led by the first female Prime Minister we’ve ever had, and which brought in some good reforms as well as doing some wrong or silly things, has now been replaced by right wing patriarchal wingnuts.

    That’s a pretty tough call, so I guess if they didn’t get defensive there would be something wrong. It’s just that it would be nice if they got over the defensiveness and started to think about it.

    At least people seemed to have stopped misrepresenting me and then ridiculing me for things that I didn’t actually say. But, without trying to be unkind to anyone, the latest thing, where I present evidence, get told that people don’t want to talk about it and I shouldn’t try to make them do so, and then get criticised for not presenting evidence, is also pretty hard to take.

  15. Linda

    [email protected]

    “I think with my comments it’s more that some men here start reading them, get defensive and then react without actually reading the whole comment properly. I can actually understand that, because what I am suggesting is that exaggerated anti-Gillard rhetoric and support for Kevin Rudd’s sustained undermining on sites like this, has contributed to a situation in which a centre left government, led by the first female Prime Minister we’ve ever had, and which brought in some good reforms as well as doing some wrong or silly things, has now been replaced by right wing patriarchal wingnuts.

    That’s a pretty tough call, so I guess if they didn’t get defensive there would be something wrong. It’s just that it would be nice if they got over the defensiveness and started to think about it.”

    Hells yeah, pointing out the ways that even leftish progressive men are complicit in our oppression, is really controversial. But we already know this, which is why I keep returning to the point that we have more than enough experience with this now to have learned that talking to men about patriarchy and women’s oppression is not an effective or evidence-based solution.

  16. tigtog

    JdM, “adjusts collar” didn’t give me any context at all. I’m willing to accept that you meant it to convey something, but to me it was empty noise with no context whatsoever.

    I suggest that Overflow is generally not the place to introduce something so obliquely.

  17. PavCat

    Online feminists of all types have long acknowledged the issue of obfuscation by male commenters which forces us into the trap of repeating our ideas, re-explaining things over and over and resorting to 101ing in an effort to be heard without upsetting men, something that many of us instinctively shy away from. This sucks the energy out of us.

    Yes, exactly. I recently had someone here, a man, accuse me of ‘saying the same thing over and over again’, offering this as a reason to dismiss out of hand the point I had been making — although he had not once actually engaged with it, or even acknowledged that the point had been made, which was why I had been saying it over and over again. And by that stage I barely had enough energy left to roll my eyes.

  18. Terangeree

    Well, I for one was intrigued by the expunged link regarding Elham Asghari and how she is facing an apparently impregnable wall of discrimination regarding her long-distance swimming feat.

    I was also rather surprised by its rather abrupt consignment to the outer darkness at LP, never to be seen again… 🙁

  19. tigtog

    Terangeree, how exactly does overtly redirecting discussion of that link to the Salon open thread equate to “the outer darkness”, let alone “never to be seen again”? If JdM is not going to take it there, then you can.

    The comment from another regular currently sitting in moderation, which introduces yet another burqa news story which has not been addressed in any other thread on LP, and which again does not bother to specifically reference any previous Overflow thread conversation for context, should also be taken to the Salon open thread.

    The request for commentors to volunteer to take off-topic side-discussions to Overflow does not mean that Overflow should be treated like an Open thread. The post specifically asks the commentariat to not do that. If you cannot include a permalink to a comment on another thread which has prompted the side-discussion, or a permalink to a comment on a previous Overflow thread from which you are continuing the side-discussion, then your discussion-starter comment does not belong on Overflow.

  20. Terangeree

    Okay, then.

    I’ll just go away.

  21. tigtog

    We’re not asking anyone to go away. The Cat Herding Cabal just wants regulars to understand the purpose of these Overflow threads and use them only as intended rather than seeing Overflow as just a place to clutter up with non sequiturs.

    I’ve added a paragraph to the OP to make it clearer:

    To make it clear to readers where your Overflow discussion-starter is coming from, please include permalink(s) to and a short summary of the relevant comment(s) on whichever other thread has prompted your side-discussion.

  22. desipis


    exaggerated anti-Gillard rhetoric and support for Kevin Rudd’s sustained undermining on sites like this, has contributed to a situation in which a centre left government, led by the first female Prime Minister we’ve ever had, and which brought in some good reforms as well as doing some wrong or silly things, has now been replaced by right wing patriarchal wingnuts.

    OK, so lets think about this claim (while trying to avoid getting sucked into more leadershit).

    exaggerated anti-Gillard rhetoric: How are you determining which posts and comments are “exaggerated rhetoric” and which are legitimate criticism of Gillard?

    support for Kevin Rudd’s sustained undermining: Are you differentiating support for Rudd in general with support for undermining in general or undermining in specific circumstances?

    Are these points a subjective assessment or can you articulate an objective test that most people will agree with? There has been a lot of misinterpretation going on here lately, how can you be sure you aren’t misinterpreting comments?

    on sites like this: This makes it seems like your claim is aimed at the blog in total, although this is not clear. Have you analysed a significant sample of the posts and comments to establish the proportion that are problematic based on an objective test?

    Alternatively, if you’re only intending to discuss a minority of comments then why not make this clear rather than generalising to the whole blog? Criticising a vague and unidentified group is inherently likely to result in someone misinterpreting your comments and feeling they need to defend themselves.

    has contributed to a situation…: This is probably the part of your claim that I have the most issues with. What evidence do you have that problematic posts or comments here had a significant net negative impact on Gillard’s support as leader, or Labor’s support in the election?

    Finally, I’m not sure what you expect as a result from bringing this up. Are you simply making a depressing observation such as that with every breath we increase CO2 in atmosphere and thus we “contribute to” global warming by just being alive? Or are you going as far as suggesting that people ought to be prevented from expressing negative opinions on a Labor leader at left of centre sites? Or something in between?

    Let’s consider the notion of “contributed to” and the important of significance in an alternative claim (I’m not seriously making the claim, rather using it as an illustration). “Continued criticism of the Rudd supporters and the site exacerbates the symptoms of the mental illness, as mentioned on this blog, and contributes to a situation involving suffering and deaths of thousands of people.“. Is this a claim that you would consider worthwhile engaging with? Is it one which you feel like reacting defensively too? How would you feel if the claim was brought up every time you tried to criticise a Rudd or a supporter?

  23. jungney

    Thank you desepsis.

    Here’s evidence (SMH) of why the change back to Rudd was necessary:

    Labor would have been reduced to a parliamentary rump worse than in the Whitlam defeat of 1975 had it not replaced Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd as prime minister, according to leaked internal polling.

    Mr Rudd saved Labor at least 15 seats, including those of enemies Wayne Swan, Warren Snowdon and Gary Gray, who would all have lost their jobs if Labor had persisted with Ms Gillard, according to the polling.

    In the months before the June 26 leadership coup, Labor’s pollster told the party’s national office to expect negative swings as large as 18 per cent, wiping out key electorates across Australia. It suggests Labor seats would have been reduced from 71 to 40, rather than the 55 it is now expected to hold.

    This information requires a slight shift of focus from the ‘unconscious sexism’ apparently manifested by some comments by men here on LP to and their role in Gillard’s downfall, apparently as well worse than the contribution of grubby Pickering or The Parrott [this is a gross mischaracterisation of comments on this blog. Plase provide evidence of where this was ever said ~ Mod]. It may be productive to shift attention towards a broader and more significant issue which is this: it is possible to interpret that polling to mean that the means of Gillard’s ascension to PM is, in the eyes of a substantial segment of the electorate, unacceptable conduct from a woman in politics.

    It ought not to be the case, but it appears to be. I suspect that even had the media not dumped on her, the result may still have been pretty crook had she remained leader; it’s only speculative, and imponderable in the end.

    My initial response to the sacking of Rudd was that it would bite her and the ALP in the arse which is why I never supported her. This period has been interesting, to say the least. My reading of the comments is that many women expected left support for a woman PM; some men weren’t interested in supporting a gendered project because they disliked the politics of the situation. The axing of the MRRT, the timing of the sacking in relation to that and the rolling of a successful first term PM overrode the possibility of supporting a gendered project around our first woman PM.

    Anyway, on reflection. I’ll respond to polite replies, or none, as it rolls.

  24. mindy

    So the leaker is back. I wonder what the reason for the leak was this time?

  25. jungney

    The leaker would more than likely be Rudd or an aide; it’s in his interests, further justification for undermining Gillard etc. The point is that this behaviour was predictable and ought to have been factored in by those who deposed him. It probably won’t ever stop.

  26. mindy

    But what good does it do now? Gillard is gone what does it gain for the leaker? That’s what I can’t understand. Plus I am cranky at the media for treating this as a story.

  27. desipis

    mindy, probably not all that much for Labor overall. It just seems to be a continuance of the civil war in the Labor party over the last few years. Gillard’s “side” (Conroy, Emerson, etc) seems willing to come out all guns blazing in public, the Rudd’s “side” (exactly who remains a mystery) seems to choose subterfuge. Of course it’s also possible things are shifting and this leaking isn’t intended to make Rudd look good:

    Bill Shorten, who was instrumental in the removal of Mr Rudd in 2010 and Ms Gillard in 2013 – and is now running for the leadership himself – said he stood by the removal of Ms Gillard as prime minister.

  28. Katz

    The individual seat polling was conducted by Labor’s pollster UMR while Ms Gillard was still prime minister. The results – for 41 seats of concern across Australia – were made available to a small number within the leadership group.

    Initially, Rudd was out of the loop. But who knows what documents he gained access to upon his return to the Lodge?

  29. Russell

    Jungney: “Here’s evidence ….”

    A newspaper article claiming to be based on leaked internal polling?

  30. Terry

    The leaker of this information is almost certainly Bill Shorten, or David Feeney on behalf of Bill Shorten. Shorten needs those who supported Gillard to vote for him in the leadership ballot, and not suprisingly he has to overcome some wariness towards him in that regard. By contrast, Rudd supporters would move easily to Albanese because he is outside of the dominant Right faction(s) and hence more likely to be a reformer within the party.

    I think the most interesting figure there is that the difference in the vote in Jason Clare’s seat of Blaxland (Paul Keating’s old seat) would have been 18% had Gillard ran rather than Rudd. For those who don’t know that part of Sydney, it has the highest Muslim population of any part of Australia, taking in Canterbury, Bankstown and parts of Auburn (Lidcombe is in the adjoining city of Reid). Was this a constituency that wouldn’t vote for Julia Gillard?

  31. Val

    Desipsis @ 22
    (And anyone else interested) I am going to write about the issue of sexism and how I see I contributing to the LNP, and the question of whether there was a synergy between the LNP’s use of sexism and the destabilising by Rudd and his supporters on my own blog. It might take a while because I will have to do a fair bit of research (although not aiming to write a definitive account).

    As regards “sites like this” I meant that I saw similar patterns on LP, John Quiggin and Left Flank ( I actually wrote a brief piece on my blog touching on this some time ago http://bit.ly/1ezyEtr ).

    In terms of ‘exaggerated rhetoric’ I did provide an example (in this case more unfounded criticism than exaggerated rhetoric) previously of a case some time ago when Mark B, writing on the Drum, made some comments about Gillard that can, with hindsight, be seen as ill- informed. I tried to get Mark to respond to this, but Mark around that time was clearly pretty upset by the discussion going on so I didn’t pursue it once I realised that.

    [snipped ~ Mod]

  32. Val

    In the first sentence of my comment @ 31, it should read “sexism and how I see it contributing to the LNP victory” sorry for careless typing

  33. Val

    Was just reading an article about a controlled study of sexism in science and thought some people here might be interested

    Some of you might be interested in the discussion of unconscious bias and the way women were seen as “less competent” than men

    Or of course some may prefer not to read it

  34. paul burns

    I suppose this is way over the top so far as conspiracy theories go, but isn’t Gillard due to give a speech or series of speeches very soon with Ann Summers? Could the leak just be a paranoid attempt to further discredit her before she does this? I say paranoid because I gather Gillard has made pretty clear she is not going to speak about the leadership/Rudd thing.
    The Shorten thesis is probably more apt.
    Still, the polling does prove there was very good reason for standing her down. Pity it hadn’t taken place far sooner. We might have ended up with a Labor Government.

  35. Brian

    Val @ 33, I recall about 25 years ago attending a professional development seminar where we were addressed by an American speaker on staff selection. He told us that research there showed your best chance of being promoted was if you were 6’2″, white male, blond hair and blue eyes. As it happened he was all of the above.

  36. mindy

    I doubt it PB Rudd was on the nose too. Labor was voted out because it was Labor.

  37. Paul Norton

    Another interesting statistic: according to the leaked polling the seat where the change from Gillard to Rudd make the second biggest difference (16%) was Kingston in SA. According to the ABC election page, “Kingston has the nation’s fourth highest proportion of residents born [like Julia Gillard – PN] in the UK or Ireland (13.6%), the highest in South Australia, and the nation’s second highest proportion of residents [like Julia Gillard – PN] with no religion.”

  38. Val

    Paul Burns @ 34
    Paul you seem to be missing the point – we can’t know what Gillard’s popularity might have been without the effect of sexism and Rudd’s undermining.

    I could just as well say ‘pity that Gillard government was subjected to sexism and undermining by Rudd, otherwise we might still have a Labor government’ .

    Can I remind you also of the broader moral question. If sexism can be utilised in Australia to portray a female leader and her government as incompetent – as it was by Abbott – then what should we do ?

    Would you be prepared to argue that Gillard and her government were ‘objectively’ less competent than the Rudd government or what we have seen of Abbott so far? If not, then how do you deal with the moral question?

  39. Val

    I don’t mean in my comment @ 38 that the Gillard government was exposed to sexism by Rudd although I see it could be read that way. I meant sexism, and also undermining by Rudd.

  40. jungney

    Val @ 33 and 38:

    If sexism can be utilised in Australia to portray a female leader and her government as incompetent – as it was by Abbott – then what should we do ?

    That’s my point. Not intending to antagonise, but to raise the matter of how to deal with deeply entrenched sexism.

    I look forward to reading your article at your blog.

  41. jungney

    re the leak: OTOH, if, as some have suggested, Rudd is in the grip of NPD, then, as anyone with any direct experience of NPD knows, wounding is always a mistake. They require a wooden stake through the heart at full moon in a leap year in order to settle down.

  42. Paul Norton

    Brian @35:

    Val @ 33, I recall about 25 years ago attending a professional development seminar where we were addressed by an American speaker on staff selection. He told us that research there showed your best chance of being promoted was if you were 6’2?, white male, blond hair and blue eyes. As it happened he was all of the above.

    So it’s the green eyes that are holding me back. 🙂

  43. Helen

    some men weren’t interested in supporting a gendered project because they disliked the politics of the situation. The axing of the MRRT, the timing of the sacking in relation to that and the rolling of a successful first term PM overrode the possibility of supporting a gendered project around our first woman PM.

    Gendered project? Mr Abbott’s all-male-except for foreign minister who will be away half the time isn’t gendered? Only women have gender?

  44. Helen

    all-male CABINET I should have said.

  45. Val

    Paul Norton @ 42
    I have the same problem plus being short and female. But as I get older my hair seems to be getting more like its original blonde, so maybe there’s hope for me yet! 🙂

    (I know, it’s really the silver coming through … )

  46. Val

    Jungney @ 40
    Well I hope you don’t mind me saying this, [redacted – please see comments policy ~ Mod]

  47. Katz

    Maybe Abbott has many women in Cabinet but following the stunningly successful precedent of Operation Sovereign Borders, is choosing for reasons of security, not to publicise the fact.

  48. desipis

    Maybe he’s going for a women to the node approach, happy to have them as backbencher MPs but not for the last mile in cabinet where he’ll rely on the old cobber network instead.

  49. paul burns

    Val @ 38,
    I think people are educated enough nowadays to recognise overt sexism when they see it.

    That’s not really the problem. IMO, the main problem is the anti-Labor media, notably the shock-jocks and their followers, and the Murdoch press (Australian, Telegraph etc, etc. who use sexism as a political tool, (which is, IMO, vastly different from your normal male resistance, denial, lack of interest etc.) ( e.g A Daily Telegraph cartoon has been blamed for initiating Labor/Gillard’s downward slide soon after she became leader/PM.)
    I have no idea how one fixes the media thing.

    I’m not entirely blaming the RWDB media, because to some extent they reflect the dominant culture.

  50. tigtog

    “women to the node” “old cobber network”

    That’s mighty fine punwork there, desipis.

  51. jungney

    Helen @ 44: of course Abbott is playing a gendered project; it’s an almighty ‘up you’ to democratic principles, wherein lies his real danger. He’s no democrat. However, I was attempting to unpack what went wrong around Gillard. I don’t think there is real ground for comparison here between the Coalition and the ALP on gender politics.

    PB: I recently went to the local bowlo with the intention of signing self and ors up as members in order to play social bowls. You know, a ‘barefoot bowls’ thing, common enough in Sydney. On inquiry of an executive member of the club it turns out that we were welcome to join and play socially whenever we liked … “except women”… who are restricted to one evening and one afternoon per week. At no other times would they be welcome to bowl.

    Knock me down with a feather! I explained the situation to The Strapper who expostulated “Go Drastic!” for evidence of the town, one again, being a repository of medieval attitudes or worse.

    Just an anecdote but evidence of the depth of the problem especially outside metropolitan centres.

    We aren’t joining; no-one has the energy to reform the local bowling club because it would be a fight to the death.

  52. Helen

    Yes, I love “women to the node”, there’s a t shirt in there somewhere.

  53. paul burns

    Armidale isn’t like that, probably because its a university town. Though many, though not all the locals I’ve come across outside uni, outside uni or left political circles, couldn’t care one way or the other about feminism or politics. Its never a part of their lives, so the topic never comes up.

  54. Val

    Linda @ 10
    Ok Linda I concede, you are right, there is no point in me trying to put a feminist viewpoint here. Fortunately several of the men commenting here know much more about sexism than I do, so it doesn’t really matter.

    Could anyone reading this please note that in making a mildly sarcastic comment here (as is my wont), I am drawing on authority from the following exchange on the previous overflow thread :
    Su @ 256
    ‘[agreeing that people should be considerate and fair in comments] Although, I hope a little mutual sarcasm is still permissible, within limits, infantile I know, but I always enjoy a bit of the banal sarcasms.”
    Mark @ 257
    “Yeah, that never goes astray ”

  55. Val

    Jungney @ 33
    I dont know whether you are aware but your comment now has a request from the moderator included as shown below:

    “This information requires a slight shift of focus from the ‘unconscious sexism’ apparently manifested by some comments by men here on LP to and their role in Gillard’s downfall, apparently as well worse than the contribution of grubby Pickering or The Parrott [this is a gross mischaracterisation of comments on this blog. Plase provide evidence of where this was ever said ~ Mod].”

    I for one would be very interested to see your response to this request.

  56. tigtog

    Val, for someone fairly new to our blog, you seem to be taking it upon yourself to speak for the moderators fairly frequently. The moderator note on Jungney’s post spoke for itself, there was no need for you to highlight it.

    Please lurk some more and make sure you read our Netiquette FAQ as well as the Comments Policy.

  57. jungney

    Oh well. Pass.

  58. Val

    Jungney @ 57
    Which naturally is what you would do in the circumstances. Why bother to be accountable? Ah well stuff it, I’m taking Linda’s advice.

  59. Val

    Linda @ 10
    Can you recommend any sites where people can have meaningful discussions about feminism and Australian politics? Thanks.

  60. tigtog

    jungney #57, your refusal to provide evidence to support your mischaracterisation in #23 (or to apologise for not having any evidence and engaging in hyperbole) is not a good look.

  61. Val

    Not trying to discuss feminism further, but I would just like to make one thing clear for the sake of those who have not been following these debates. I am specifically the person who raised the issue of “unconscious sexism” and undoubtedly therefore the key target of Jungney’s comments.

    I have recently sent through a link about unconscious sexism, to which some men here have sent both interesting and amusing responses. Thanks to all those who have taken part in this discussion in good faith, it’s been good talking to you.

  62. tigtog

    Val, I doubt that Jungney remembered which woman had mentioned “unconscious sexism” earlier in another thread entirely, because his history of differentiating between different women commenting on this blog is not that great. He also has form (using his previous ‘nym) for objecting to the phrase when used by another woman here over a year ago, seeing as your mention of it last week is far from the first time people have used the term on this blog. My own experience of years of reading Jungney’s contributions here inclines me to believe that the phrase itself set him off on his merry hyperbolic way, and would have done so no matter who had happened to use it in the ongoing ALP sexism discussion.

  63. Val

    Tigtog @ 62
    Ok fair enough, but it was actually me who started using the term in this latest debate (starting oh I dunno three or four threads ago) and the fact that Jungney can wildly misrepresent me without apparently even knowing who I am doesn’t really make it any better – bit worse really, I think. Anyway it’s too annoying trying to have a sensible conversation with this kind of misrepresentation going on so frequently, it just derails the whole discussion.

  64. tigtog

    It only derails the conversation when people take his bait, Val. If it gets ignored in favour of engaging with those who only offer substance, then his misrepresentations wither and die.

  65. Val

    Tigtog @ 62
    Fair enough again, I know that’s the advice that’s often given. I find it a bit like having someone shouting in your ear when you are trying to talk. But anyway I know you are busy so thanks for taking the time to discuss.

    I really think it is better for me to not try and have feminist discussions on LP at the moment though. I find it easy enough to take part in the climate discussions on LP without getting upset (and there are some deniers in them, though not as many as in some sites like the Conversation I must admit) so I think for LP it is worth thinking about why the attempts at feminist discussion here might frustrate some women so much that we conclude it’s not worth trying.

  66. drsusancalvin

    Can you recommend any sites where people can have meaningful discussions about feminism and Australian politics? Thanks.

    See you here next time Val. Chin up. Even the thwarted/derailed conversations have merit.

  67. alfred venison

    like having someone shouting in your ear when you are trying to talk

    marshall mcluhan said the content of any new medium is old media so i think of blogs as a recycling of the party line. anyone remember them? -alf.

  68. paul burns

    Very very vaguely from my childhood. I can’t even recall where it was. In the bush somewhere I think. I do recall them quite strongly though as an everyday thing represented in b/w American movies, before I’d actually come across them in real life. Might have been a Batman serial or The Shadow or something.

  69. Val

    AV @ 67
    Yeah I’m old enough and enough of a country girl to remember party lines. But I think it’s more like having a meeting, in which some people have got their own strange agendas, and there’s no one facilitating – by which I’m not trying to say that it’s up to the authors or moderators to control all discussions (clearly an unreasonable request) – but maybe there could somehow be a bit more shepherding of people who derail them?

    drsusan, ok, v bracing! but a break from trying to have ‘serious’ feminist conversations here may also be good for my mental state!

  70. paul burns

    Val @ 69,
    Its teh Internet. The beauty of it is you can’t control it.
    And, and this is not a complaint but a compliment because it stops us from getting into the idiocies of sites like Cattalexy, LP is already one of the most closely moderated sites around in a common sense kind of way, but its done with a very light hand so we can burst or flower forth into wide-ranging and deviant discussions on all topics, feminism included. Now and then we even have full-on flame wars (and I’m not referencing feminism there, but other topics.

  71. Val

    Paul Burns @ 70
    Yeah, you’re also right Paul. I just get fed up when I try to discuss something that I have thought about a lot and really care about and suddenly find myself being misrepresented as saying something completely stupid and being mocked for supposedly having said the stupid thing that in fact I never said! If you can follow that …

    But maybe also as tigtog has intimated somewhere else in the ether, I am taking myself a little too seriously here!

  72. Val

    Though (without getting into a ‘serious’ f word discussion here) I just realised that the thing I just described actually is sexism!

  73. Val

    Oops – Linda and others will be here in a minute saying well duh, Val!

  74. paul burns

    I do follow that, Val. And it happens to most of us here every now and then. I’ve found the best way to deal with flame wars is drop out for a while (if people will let you), until they cool down a bit, and then, if you have the energy, come back in again. That’s what I do if I don’t run away completely which I’m more inclined to do. Places like LP, however serious you get, should be fun for you, not torture chambers, and they can become that if you let people get to you. Stay a while longer and you’ll learn who to ignore and who not to ignore, for you.

  75. Norm

    Paul Burns, I’ve been following your posts for a while and enjoy them very much.

    On a related note, I wonder if you’d mind describing what it is like living in Armidale as my family is thinking of moving there from Sydney.

    [PB if you choose to respond please take this to the Saturday Salon thread. Thanks in advance. ~ Mod]

  76. desipis

    In twentieth-century telephone systems, a party line was an arrangement in which two or more customers were connected directly to the same local loop…
    Originally, in order to distinguish one line subscriber from another, operators developed different ringing cadences for the subscribers, so that if the call was for the first subscriber to the line, the ring would follow one pattern such as two short rings, if the call was for the second subscriber, the ring would sound another way, such as a short ring followed by a long one, and so on. Since all parties utilized the same line, it was possible for subscribers to listen in on other subscribers’ calls. Frequently ringing phones were an annoyance, so selective ringing methods were introduced in the mid-twentieth century.

    Wow, that sounds worse than getting stuck on the cc list of a reply-all email conversation.

  77. paul burns

    Norm @ 75,
    Cf. Saturday Salon thread.

  78. alfred venison

    it was not passive, it was necessarily a very active listening/talking experience.

    half of everyone on the line was talking at the same time.

    after you spoke you had to keep focused, amid a sea of strange men’s women’s voices all on various volumes depending on how far along the line they were, for the sound of the voice of the person you were talking to. it helped if you included their name when you spoke and they yours, as in “you’ll have to get up early, alfred, to get the train” or “so, uncle buck, will you be bringing aunt simone with you?”

    clarification: marshall mcluhan said the first content of any new medium is old media. they eventually find their medium, as it were, but early cinema fed on stage, t.v. fed on cinema. remember when there was a turner classic movies channel? -a.v.

  79. Val

    Paul Burns @ 74
    Paul I have thought about this seriously all the way home (I have a long tram journey) and I’m afraid I can’t agree with you. I haven’t been coming to LP long, but I have been coming long enough to know that the way I am treated when I talk from a feminist perspective about issues like sexism in politics is qualitatively different from the way I’m treated when I talk about issues like climate or regional voting patterns.

    It’s only when I’ve talked about issues like sexism that I’ve encountered the problems of patronage and misrepresentation and ridicule here. That’s not coincidental and it’s not because I don’t know the rules. It’s because there is sexism on this site and it’s not being addressed.

    I think there’s two kinds of sexism here – one is the unconscious ‘just not getting it’ stuff, of people being well-intentioned but not being able to recognise male privilege and how the system maintains it. This leads them to do things like mislabel an analysis of the role of sexism in the downfall of Gillard as a “Rudd-Gillard stoush” or a matter of “likes and dislikes”. The other form is more aggressive and involves misrepresentation and ridiculing, such as I have experienced. There isn’t always a clear line between them, because people can slip from one towards the other when they feel threatened, but I think it’s generally fair to say that most sexism on LP falls into the first kind, but there is some in the second.

    Feminism 101 would say that when an individual woman, like me, complains she has been misrepresented or ridiculed, and a number of other women have also said that it’s difficult to present a feminist perspective on this site and have it treated seriously, that there is a systemic, not an individual, problem. In these circumstances, treating an individual woman like me as being ‘the problem’ because she doesn’t know the rules, is wrong and damaging, no matter how kindly meant.

    I’m not trying to deny that you or others may have been hurt by individual disputes or flaming. But the issue here is the different way that women are treated when we talk from a feminist perspective – it’s a systemic, not individual, issue.

    Recently I have been feeling a bit down, and unfortunately I think the discussions that go on here – both on the threads and the discussions I’ve had with authors and moderators behind the scenes – are contributing to that. It is a great shame, because there is so much here that is terrific. But I really do think that I need to withdraw from here for the sake of my mental health, unless something can be done about the sexism.

  80. paul burns

    I wish you the best, Val.

  81. jungney

    tigtog: I’ve noted your moderators comment @ me above but as I’ve apparently upset Val more than is warranted by a blog discussion I’ll continue to pass. My only intention in contributing to LP is dialogue and I don’t want to contribute to its opposite.

  82. tigtog

    jungney, thank you for replying at least. I note that your “more than is warranted by a blog discussion” judgement is a large part of the problem as I see it. Some of us do not have the luxury of regarding certain sociological phenomena as merely academic/intellectual exercises, because we feel the impact of them directly as part of our lived experiences. Blog and other online discussions are one of the few spaces many people affected by certain biases/prejudices are able to gather to discuss these effects affordably in real time. That’s not merely any old trivial debate.

  83. Linda

    Val @79 “But I really do think that I need to withdraw from here for the sake of my mental health, unless something can be done about the sexism”

    You wouldn’t be the first women to reach this conclusion, Val. This must have been how women first came to consider the idea of separatism. It’s why feminists joke about searching for that elusive new planet.

    I can definitely recommend feminist sites but none that deal with australian politics specifically, hence I come here for my politics fix. I will try to expand on this on your site, but so far I have been unable to get a comment through there.

  84. tigtog

    Val, since Linda and I have some antagonistic history between us, dating back a few years and that needn’t be gone into here, she won’t be recommending my own blog Hoyden About Town to you, but I and my uppity feminist co-bloggers there do discuss Australian politics on a regular basis.

  85. Linda

    Tigtog, I didn’t deliberately ignore Hoyden for personal reasons, I just didn’t think it was what Val appeared to be asking for.

  86. Charlene M

    That wikipedia page, though it starts by giving Australia the starring role, goes on to describe something that is completely outside the Australian experience.
    A party line was simply several phone subscribers using the same line. Principally in rural areas, it was for reasons of economy. Most phone subscribers had to build their own line to the PMG exchange. Thus it was near unaffordable for those living 50 miles from town. However 6 or 8 neighbors banding together could build a line.
    It was simply a standard phone line, of either copper or very high tensile fencing wire. If you received a call the exchange would ring you in morse code, and you very quickly became deaf to any but your own “ring”.
    One of the difficulties was when asked for your phone number by an ingenuous young urbanite who’d never seen party lines. They just plain wouldn’t accept that “Woop-woop 23-D” was an actual phone number (they’d never experienced a letter of the alphabet in a phone number, and thus would refuse to accept what you told them)
    Apart from that, it was little different to any other phone. Neighbors eavesdropping on your calls was, despite mythology, rare to unknown.
    Of course the phone didn’t get the use it does now. One of my neighbors had the phone connected 20 years after moving in to the district, and joined the end of our line. I’ll remember to my dying day the discussion at some social “do” a few months later, when a group of us on the same line agreed that we all wished Jacko hadn’t ever got the phone connected, as it seemed as if “nearly every day” he would receive an incoming call.

    What Alfred Venison is describing, the district-wide cacophony from which you must extract the threads of your own conversation, sounds much more like the “Galah Session” on the Flying Doctor radio.

  87. tigtog

    Fair enough, Linda. And maybe Hoyden won’t be Val’s cup of tea in the end. But it is definitely a blog where we regularly discuss both feminism and Australian politics.

  88. alfred venison

    nope, it was all in my ear: people speaking, people replying, people asking “what?”, three of four conversations at once and somewhere in the middle of it all the voice of my aunt or uncle. i remember when someone asked us all to get off the line as they had an emergency.
    i didn’t much like the wiki article on party lines either it captures little of what i remember. this one – cnr radio (the first national radio network in north america) – is way better, though well before my time 😉 -alf.

  89. Brian

    I grew up in the country where we had a party line with perhaps five or six on it. Charlene M describes it as I remember it. Our call signal was ‘long short long’. Technically it was possible to pick up and listen in to calls that were not intended for you, but on our line I believe people were ethical and didn’t.

    Val, in my experience feminist issues have always produced stoushes at LP and we don’t moderate actively enough to prevent it. I hate stoushes and usually don’t read those threads. This time I got drawn in against my better judgement. Because I haven’t read or participated in most of them I can’t make generalisations about them. I’m truly sorry if you were hurt.

    I can recommend Hoyden, where you’ll find some familiar faces. Other than that my fave is The Hoopla.

  90. Linda

    Val, seeing as you were asking me specifically for suggestions, you should know that I’m banned from Hoyden.

  91. tigtog

    For the record: confirming that Linda has indeed been banned from commenting at Hoyden for several years now. Val, you have my email address if you want to ask me why. While disclosing the existence of old antagonisms from another forum can sometimes be relevant background information, rehashing those same antagonisms in detail is not appropriate here on LP.

  92. don coyote

    Let’s all search very hard to find sites where Val (et al) “can have meaningful discussions about feminism and Australian politics?”
    Please, please.

  93. Lloyd

    A new blog worth checking out.

    Journalist Helen Borger with some insightful and detailed analysis of the coalition’s meritocracy bullsh*t when it comes to women.


  94. Katz

    The blogosphere is infinitely capacious. But sometimes even that capacity proves to be inadequate.

  95. alfred venison

    a small clarification: my family wasn’t on a party line, our relatives at “the lake” were on the party line so we didn’t receive party line calls, we made calls to a party line, and i recall other people’s conversations were already going full on when uncle buck & family picked up. but you couldn’t hear those conversations until you dialed your number and got on the line waiting for them to pick up. they would always identify themselves on pick up so knew you’d gotten through. -a.v.

  96. Linda

    tigtog, I didn’t bring that up for the purposes of re-hashing. It just occurred to me that Val had asked me for suggestions and you directed her to a place where I am banned, without telling her.

  97. tigtog

    Linda, I meant that rehashing guideline for Val, to preempt her asking for more details from either you or me here. The only reason I didn’t mention your banning at Hoyden was that it seemed prejudicial for a moderator here to share such information about a commentor who has not breached the comments policy here at LP, but if total transparency is your preference then I defer to it.

  98. Linda

    I wouldn’t have considered it prejudicial but thank you.

  99. tigtog

    Bless your heart, don coyote #92. I bet all the pesky feminists would look so much nicer if they’d just smile more often too.

  100. don coyote

    Naw Tiggy, I’m used to grumpy women, do wish they’d shave their legs tho.

  101. tigtog

    #100 Right on cue – have to show the feminists your contempt by using a patronising diminutive instead of a full handle, and then trot out a dismissive stereotype. Your signal to noise ratio is pitifully low.

  102. paul burns

    don coyote I occasionally have run ins on this site with women who happen to be feminists, but your remarks are quite uncalled for. I for one felt Val was so distressed I was lost for words. But clearly Tigtog is dealing with you as you should be dealt with.

  103. don coyote

    You started the putdowns, don’t complain when you get one in return.

  104. tigtog

    How interesting that you do not appear to recognise your #92 as a putdown, don coyote.

    A critique is not the same as a complaint, btw.

  105. paul burns

    Jesus, coyote, of course your comment to Val was a put down!! It set me thinking (as did her original comment you objected to when Val first made it), if I had inadvertently upset her in my comment about political sexism in the media, and I hope I didn’t, because it was unintentional, if I did.
    (If I’m going to blast some-one, the recipient male or female isn’t in any doubt what’s happening to them.)
    And tigtog, as a person, a woman, a feminist and a moderator was quite right to take you to task for it.

  106. Disemvoweled: alfred venison

    y’r jrk, dn cyt. -.v.

  107. Disemvoweled: don coyote

    nd y’r pmps ss .v.

  108. tigtog

    Take the personalised attacks down a few notches, please. Direct namecalling is several large steps over the line.

  109. jungney

    See, that there from don coyote @ 100 is exactly the type of comment that I see as clear and unequivocal sexism and as well the type of comment that women complain that men too frequently let go through to the keeper.

    So I’ll object, dc, at your dismal characterisation of feminists as ‘grumpy women’ with ‘hairy legs’. Has it not occurred to you that the women of your experience are grumpy only when dealing with you? That maybe their ill humour is specific to your presence?

    For all of the temptation to do so the women here at LP nobly resist any inclination to refer to the spongy scrotes and sagging beer guts of some of the men in the world. There’s a reason, which is civility. Try it sometime.

  110. Val

    Hmm I hope I’m not posting this twice. Anyway just jumping on because I am still following and I can see there’s been a bit of a blow up. Thanks for the kind thoughts folks and honestly Paul I am fine, I just needed to get out of it all for a while.

    It’s like you say people sometimes need to do that, but in my case there’s an added layer that I don’t think LP is dealing with sexism very effectively. I would say in my case that I have actually been treated more harshly by the mods than some of the male commenters here who have expressed contempt towards feminist comments, eg by misrepresenting and ridiculing them. That’s a serious problem for LP.

    From a bit of distance I can look for example at the comments by don coyote and think, what do you get out of showing overt contempt towards a woman you’ve never met and never even conversed with online (as far as I recall)? Good question to think really.

    Thanks for info about Hoopla and Hoyden, I do know about them and have visited them – think the unique thing about LP though is that you can really get engaged in conversations, but I guess the downside is you can get burned also.

    However I haven’t been silenced, I am working on my research and on my own blog, including starting to put together something on sexism and left wing politics. (Also I’ve made the comments facility on my blog a bit easier – I think, hope it works)

    Last point I guess we have all been grieving a bit over the election and part of the stages of grief I believe can be anger and blaming and lashing out, so I guess that’s got something to do with it all too.

  111. Casey

    Shutup Val, it’s my turn.

    What about me huh? Everybody else has their mental shit, WUT ABOUT ME???

    You don’t mind if I shove some people off the couch, it’s my turn. Get off my couch, everyone, Val MOVE.

    Right, Dr Freud: Do you know what it’s like being a witch in a mortal world?


    I make jokes and no one understands me, they think I am incantating against them.

    I do literary analyses and no one ENGAGES wid me, like wut? Are they scared? I five foot fucken three, so what if I can rewire synapses, that’s no reason to be freaked out.

    I invite people to the NSW Annual Royal Cat Society and Ferret Fanciers’ Association Annual Picnic and no one TAKES ME UP ON MY OFFER, Jungney.

    Five years, Dr Freud; Five years I have been offering to BITE someone and turn them into sex on a stick and nuthin. No response at all, GregM. I am a patient vampire but how long do I wait for you?

    Granted, I am a weird random on the internet that does magic and shit,
    but that’s no reason to be terrified is it?

    Quite frankly, pain, Dr Freud, pain. No one understands wot it’s like to be a superimmortal renaissance witch with a scorpio moon.

    Can I have some valium?

    What do you mean, “no” and “get out”.

    Fucken patriarchal couch, don’t you worry, I’m going.

    But I will be back in your febrile dreams, Dr Freud, I will be back.

  112. Val

    well that’s all very well Casey but when I try to make jokes they’re redacted (they weren’t that bad, mods, honestly they weren’t) [some people could have thought you were serious and started another flamewar. Ain’t no one got time for that ~ Mod]

    I even offered to engage Graham Bell in a game of poker in which we would raise the stakes by saying more and more outrageous things about each other – but nup, disappeared into the ether, never to be seen again. [see above ~ Mod]

    So don’t try to tempt me to come back here and have a laugh

    also I did bloody engage with your literary analysis – well that is to say I stood there and made expressions of awe etc. Isn’t that enough for you? What do you want, blood?

    bye for now, I am off to compose the definitive piece about sexism in left wing politics and why it’s a bad thing

  113. Val

    oh did you want some non-feminist patriarchal types to engage with your literary analysis? sorry I’m a bit slow sometimes

    if wishes were broomsticks we’d all be able to do something or other

  114. Casey

    What do you want, blood?

    Why, yes. I want to bathe in it. But alack, GregM won’t give in.

    Until then, I will just hang around, you know, scaring the locals and shit.

  115. paul burns

    [Eats popcorn]

  116. Moz of Yarramulla


    no one ENGAGES wid me, like wut?

    That’s a bit quick! Last week it’s all like “don’t you go wearing my dress” and “who are you anyway”, now suddenly you want engagement? Sheesh, I didn’t even know we were dating 🙂

  117. Casey

    Yes that’s right, don’t wear my dress, what is with you?

    Speaking of too much estrogen for your own good, congratulations on your impregnation. No, don’t thank ME I had nuthin to do with it, it’s Spring. Speaking of nature gone fecund, Tony Abbott has asked me to convey to you his warmest congratulations. As you know he likes women, being the Minister for the status of Wombs and wishes you all the best in the first of your fifteen thousand more. Good luck to you Moz.

    Yrs, witch, etc, etc.

  118. Val

    I’m trying not to get engaged with Casey too

  119. Val

    And the mods wouldn’t let me engage with graham

  120. drsusancalvin

    Val, Val, Val, Val, Val… you do “leave” in the most comprehensively documented fashion. If you are looking for a “feminist” site look no further. What a glorious bunch of wimmin (I always struggle with that) here, and lots of the blokes are remarkable too. Good advice earlier, lurk a while.

  121. Val

    I am lurking but people (like your very self) keep talking to me (or about me). Ok I will comprehensively ignore you.

  122. Katz

    PB, wouldn’t you be more productively employed writing a blog post on popcorn eating?

  123. drsusancalvin

    And I you.

  124. jungney

    Casey @ 113. That’s easy for you to say.

    I regret missing the Ferret Festival through inattention. And I was otherwise engaged studying the way that flying foxes only secrete urine containing lyssavirus as a communal response to perceived threats. It was profoundly unscientific and it was a relief to re-engage with LP after being pissed on by a colony of annoyed flying foxes. Which raises the question, given your witchiness, of whether or not you are connected in a Bulgakov kind of a way, with the colony?

  125. Val

    Just for the record what I said to DrS wasn’t meant to be rude and I’m sorry if I offended her (you, if you read this DrS).

  126. murph the surf.

    Jungney – that bit about bats/flying foxes and lyssavirus is particularly obscure.
    You don’t live in Hendra do you?

  127. jungney

    Murph: Hendra, Drastic, it’s all the same really. Some death threats come from the air, some are on two legs. It’s the bush. Some have no legs at all.

  128. alfred venison

    don’t know much bulgakov, unfortunately, Jungney, i did mostly zamyatin & only read about bulgakov. read some akhmatova though; i’d pick her stuff up now if i saw it in a second hand bookshop or library sale. but speaking of colonies, my old home alberta (you can take the boy out of alberta but you can’t take alberta out of the boy) used to be referred to as “the colony” by the large number of ukrainians who settled there between 1891 and 1914, “the colony” is an entry in ukrainian encyclopedias. now, bulgakov, that’s ah, a, a ukrainian name, isn’t it? that’s not your colony, is it? that’d be something bulgakov made up, wouldn’t it? tangentially, tolstoy is in the mix, too, as you may know (stop me if you know) he wrote his novel “resurrection” to fund the emigration of dukhabors to alberta & other points in western canada, between 1898 & 1899, because he supported their opposition to conscription; the canadian gov’t granted them exemption from military service in 1899, in part gratitude i suppose for occupying indian land and keeping the americans oout. i remember seeing on t.v. some time in the early 60s what may have been one of their last “singular” protest marches about something the state required of them that offended in some way their core beliefs. it wasn’t a big march, about a city block long, some carried signs i couldn’t read. the men and women were naked. that was the thing about traditional dukhabor protests, they protested their case to the state while naked under god. people! -a.v.

  129. Val

    Katz @ 122
    Hey Katz it sounds as if you might be trying to ridicule me and my blog. Why not come over and have a look at http://www.Fairgreenplanet.Blogspot.com
    I’m researching the work that is being done in local communities, a lot of it by women, to create a fairer and more environmentally sustainable society.

  130. paul burns

    Val @ 122,
    I think, but I don’t know, that Katz thought I was being jejeune or something, because I was preparing to sit back lurking having fun reading various responses. Or something. Hell, I don’t know. I’m not a mind reader.

  131. Val

    Paul even though I am not really here and should be doing the good work of trying to make human society fairer and more sustainable – what does jejeune actually mean? I could look it up, and I probably will, but I’d love to hear your definition.

  132. paul burns

    Something like childish or youthful or immature, I think.

  133. paul burns

    But – having looked it up, it could also mean lacking in nutritive value, which, for popcorn, would be apt.

  134. Katz

    Popcorn is actually quite nutritious and high in dietary fibre.

    However, too much butter and salt can be deleterious.

  135. Helen

    @132 is correct Paul.

    Never eat that stuff they sell in cinemas with the terrifying “butter” substitute through it. It’s some kind of saturated muck which will send your cholesterol levels soaring.

  136. drsusancalvin

    @125 Val perhaps we should use emoticons to show we are in on the joke. 🙂 I usually avoid them, they seem so jejune.

  137. jungney

    alfred @ 128: you are a veritable tome of arcana except that such human colonies are not obscure as they are the very stuff of life. I had no idea of ‘the colony’ of nude pacifist christian dissidents or of Tolstoy’s role in supporting them. It seems from the dates that they were very much a part of global utopian resettlement going on at the time – roughly the same period as William Lane’s ‘New Australia’ settlement in Paraguay. Dame Mary Gilmore was a participant. I mention this only because her portrait hung in the local workers’ club after being donated to its old com leadership by Dobell, who lived out on Lake Macquarie. More arcana. I fear for yoof who have been robbed of these connections to intellectual and dissident traditions. My Hons thesis was a wide ranging exploration of utopianism including in Oz; there was once such in the wilds of Victoria’s Snowy Mountains, actually called Utopia, but it doesn’t show on any modern maps, only very old military survey maps. Nothing left but footings and chimneys.

    Colonies of the like minded are good except when they excrete toxic urine.

    Gogol. Now there’s a man for the times, his and ours.

  138. Graham Bell

    Val @ 112 …. and Casey too.

    Bad luck, I’m still here …. though still in the Other Australia enjoying the wonders of intermittent, 3Kb/day internet.

    Sorry I missed your invitation to play poker.

    Am happy to join in robust discussions whenever time and internet reliability permit …. BUT on these terms:

    (1). Each accepts that other participants probably do have different backgrounds…. culture, ethnicity, social status, religion or belief system, age, sex, mobility, family, type of residence, training or education, life experiences, talents, material wealth, influence, hopes, fears and ambitions.

    (2). Each accepts that other participants may well be travelling by very different paths to the same or similar goals.
    (This was the main reason I burred up …. it wasn’t your insults toward me on feminism – or Casey’s on racism – because I have heard far worse; it was because neither of you would admit to yourselves that anyone could be opposed to sexism and to racism – and I am resolutely opposed both to sexism and to racism – except by following the One True Path).

    (3). Where someone holds a hostile or seemingly hostile point-of-view, that each participant tries to think of more than a single possible reason WHY such a point-of-view might be held.

    Fair enough? 🙂 ((sorry, drsusancalvin, it’s the only emoticon I know))

  139. drsusancalvin

    @138 🙁

  140. Graham Bell

    Alfred Venison @ 128:
    Oh no, not Alberta! And I thought you were a respectable gentleman. L-O-L.

    Minorities, and small colonies of Others, such as the Dukhabors of Canada or the Wendisch (Sorb) people of south-eastern Germany, can do much to enhance a vibrant democracy – not in voting terms, of course, but they can have a beneficial effect on the whole of society out of proportion to their actual numbers. You mentioned a perfectly respectable and culturally appropriate naked protest by the Dukhabor: no doubt that inspired other Canadians to stand up and protest, too, about causes dear to their hearts (whilst keeping their clothes on).

    Here in Australia we are lucky: we have, for instance, our South Sea Islanders, our Maltese, our Seventh Day Adventists, our T.I. people, our Gypsies, our descendants of debt-slaves who escaped from the coolie gangs, our Aborigines, our Hebrews, our Sikhs, our “White” Russians …. and before anyone jumps up and down: the “our” is the inclusive “our” and definitely NOT the possessive “our”. These people have all enriched the whole of Australia.

    There was a good news item on BBC rebroadcast by ABC News Radio very early this morning about a Sami rap-singer – perhaps a younger generation of Norwegians will come to realize that they have a valuable asset in their Sami minority beyond their touristic value.
    Unfortunately, it will probably be a long time before the Europeans (outside of Albania, of course) realize the value of their Gypsies (Tzigani); never mind, it’s their loss until they do wake up to themselves.

  141. Val

    Graham Bell @ 138
    Graham I am still lurking as best I can until I write my piece on sexism and left wing politics, but I wanted to drop in for ethical reasons to let you know that I would like to quote you at some length in the piece.

    Please feel free to contact me (contact details are on my blog http://www.fairgreenplanet) to discuss further. I will probably also quote others from LP but expect those will be very brief quotes that would be hard to track back to an individual, just reflecting general trends, but because your views are more idiosyncratic (and interesting to me as a historian), it’s a bit different.

    Drsusancalvin @ 136
    Snap! 🙂 that’s just what I’d been thinking. But back to my (attempts at) silent lurking now.

  142. Val

    Sorry Graham – it’s http://www.fairgreenplanet.blogspot.com

  143. Graham Bell

    Val @ 141 + 142:
    Go for your life. Shall try to contact you on your blog. Don’t worry, unlike members of Australia’s moribund “elite(??)”, I won’t reach for a defamation action if you say anything I don’t like. Be warned though: there are probably a lot of people whose views are probably far more idiosyncratic than mine.

  144. alfred venison

    Jungny, you talk my language of fond memory. i read william lane at uni btw and about mary gilmore, too, fascinating idealists. too bad about the colony, i mean too bad his failed and elizabeth nietzsche’s for example managed to hang on. i believe he introduced himself to marx on the boat trip over here, iirc. i was a late starter age 32 but they were great days at uni, i had sympathetic lecturers & found a way to study one or another anarchist in every course i did: babeuf to landauer, a real treat. so much happening then as you say – a time of utopian settlements, and also the period when tolstoy and gandhi were pen pals, eh? -a.v.

  145. alfred venison

    yup, alberta let your hair hang low, Graham, dukhs made me an anarchist 😉 though mother helped, too, her skepticism of church & politicians while i was growing up left a lasting impression. speaking of off beat religious sects, are you familiar with the moravian brotherhood? you’re a classical music man, so at the risk of mansplaining, the moravian brotherhood, in 1893, were host to dvorak at their settlement in spillville iowa, where he wrote his cello concerto & the string quartet he subtitled “the american”. this was during the time he was guest conductor of the new york philharmonic, the same gig mahler got 1908. there was talk of producing an independent film about dvorak in spillville, in spillville, but that was three years ago and i haven’t heard anymore about it. -a.v.

  146. jules

    Gogol should stay in his own time along with racist colonialist invasions of South America.

  147. jungney

    Jules, I agree with you about Billy Lane and the debacle of Paraguay. But anti-Gogolism? I take it then that you are a Konstantinovskyite?

  148. alfred venison

    they didn’t invade, not lane, etc., columbus & the conquistadors, yes, but people like lane & others had permission of the host governments to set up their utopian colonies. they didn’t invade south america to do it. unless you’re thinking of the venezuela crisis and british gunboats sent over to secure the debt while the americans looked the other way. -a.v.

  149. jungney

    a.v., you see that’s the trouble with Konstantinovskyite revisionism. Always misrepresenting the facts.

  150. alfred venison

    yeah, Jungney, i like the revisionism that confronts by attending to the facts. and while getting worked up about 19th century utopian colonies being the thin edge of imperialism, let’s not forget imperialist depredations that were the two ashrams gandhi established in british administered south africa. The ones he called “satyagraha” and “tolstoy”. –a.v.

  151. jungney

    Well, av, thanks again for the information about Ghandi and the ashrams. We trod a similar path in tertiary studies it seems, although you more deeply than me. I enrolled at a time when I could do peace studies and conflict resolution; I was able to follow many by ways of personal interest, all a valid exercise in intellectual training. In pol phil this led to a study of actually existing utopian projects. I learned a lot in that period.

  152. alfred venison

    I did history at sydney – what they called cultural history and history of ideas – i discontinued a phd on the subject of music and nationalism after about a year & a half when i was offered a job in the “real world” with regular pay. until then it was full on. so you were at peace studies, eh? studying contemporary utopians. sounds great. -a.v.

  153. jungney

    At Macquarie. With some excellent lecturers several of whom became long term mates. Geopolitics, the sociology of work, politics and everything else that I could cram in! Finally, a study of environmentalism and the renewal of utopianism without which, as EP Thompson points out, there is no realm for the education of desire.

  154. alfred venison

    ah, e.p. thompson, must read that making of the english working class sometime or better still his biography of william morris, that would be down my alley, with michael foot’s byron. i go to opera at the dendy with my old prof. from time to time. he calls up when he’s exasperated, leading with “i have to talk to someone and only you will understand” some insight he’s had or some revulsion at current affairs. its great to keep in touch, he’s more like a friend now than just an old prof. -a.v.

  155. jungney

    His biography on Morris is a beauty with a prologue on utopia. So much cultural capital, so few who give a shit!

  156. alfred venison

    yup, cultural capital, an endangered species. sigh. -a.v.

  157. Linda

    Jungney and alfred, can I ask which thread your conversation is overflowing from? Just for some context.

  158. jungney

    I should have added that I did an entire course at MU on William Morris. What luxury. It started with an account of indigenous English socialism, which Morris exemplified, and moved into his critique of industrialism, which he distinguished from capitalism.

    Anyway. The Opera? It leaves me feeling like a nervous wreck. To me it is weirdly asexual and repressed; all that euro-hysteria. I usually need whiskey and a jazz bar after opera to balance the karma.

  159. jungney

    Linda, why, from the previous overflow thread, of course!

    The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.


  160. tigtog

    But why isn’t your nice wandering discourse happening on the Open thread, where more people can enjoy it? Some readers will be deliberately avoiding the Overflow thread because this is where the perennial points of contention are sent to do their shuffling and moaning.

    I realise that you guys think playing around with the guidelines is fun. Having fun that screws up a system that’s supposed to make finding interesting discussions easier for everybody? Arsehole move, really.

  161. jungney

    Arsehole move, really.

    Fornicate a duck, that’s the second time today I’ve been told that. Alright then 🙂

  162. alfred venison

    its tangential, lLinda, derived from something said earlier on this thread about witches, bulgakov and some colony. i said i didn’t know much about witches and that i’d only read about the great bulgakov while studying akhmatova & zamyatin, but that i knew of a colony settled by persecuted pacifists who, like bulgakov, were from ukraine. its like a sort of a glass bead game of stringing out arcane associations. -a.v.

  163. jungney

    a.v.: Saturday Salon, puleese!

  164. tigtog

    Thanks, jungney (I think).

    It should be simple enough, really: if it’s off-topic on any particular post but it’s a tangential segue of general interest and stoushbait-free, then it most likely belongs on the Salon open thread. If it’s off-topic nitpickety/stoushy stuff, [that many readers will roll their eyes at and scroll past or avoid threads containing it altogether], particularly with respect to arguments that have been thrashed out on LP many times before, then it most likely belongs on the Overflow thread.

  165. Linda

    “Linda, why, from the previous overflow thread, of course!

    The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea.

    Jungney, if you are going to rely on the quotes of privileged, white, male articulators of pedophilial ideation, to explain why you felt the need to mark your territory on a thread that asserted a feminist voice, at least learn how to spell their name.

  166. jungney

    Well, with the indulgence of The Mod, I’ll at least point out that Nabakov wasn’t an offender. He was a victim of child sex abuse perpetrated by his Uncle Ruka. This is not widely appreciated; the following account of Nabakov is gaining credibility:

    For over half a century now, the public has blissfully accepted Lolita’s uncomplicated fictional façade. Yet in reality, it is so much more than a novel. Lolita is Nabokov’s heroic attempt to debunk Sigmund Freud’s Oedipus complex theory of incest. Within his best-selling novel the author advanced a covert, moral agenda that demonstrates how children are subjected to hidden acts of training by incestuous relatives, child pornographers and other kinds of child predators. Nabokov knew about this unhappy reality from personal experience. As a young boy he was badly abused by his paedophilic Uncle Ruka.

    Lolita is a moral tale adamantly opposed to child exploitation.

    But hey, Saturday Salon is where this ought to be!

  167. Linda

    [email protected] Well, with the indulgence of The Mod, I’ll at least point out that Nabakov wasn’t an offender.

    Where did I say he was an offender?

    I said he was an articulator of pedophilial ideation, which he was.
    Funny how so few survivors of child sexual abuse are up for developing a rollicking tale about it.

    But I think my point was that you and another guy kind of took over a thread that had dealt with sexism, by using it as your personal chatroom. I just wondered if that was deliberate or not.

  168. Linda

    …and it’s Nabokov, not Nabakov… nah bor kov.

  169. tigtog

    jungney, child exploitation is inherently a distressing/contentious issue, therefore in the absence of any currently dedicated threads on the issue and given that Linda’s continuation of the topic arises from you bringing up Nabokov out of the blue on this thread, then consequent discussion of child exploitation belongs on this Overflow thread rather than Salon. Again, this shouldn’t be hard to grasp – [eta] it’s all about whether your side-discussion will discourage discussion on other threads or not[/eta].

  170. Ootz

    Actually it is ????????? ????????????? ????????, anglo centric much?

  171. alfred venison

    to be clear, it was not deliberate. -a.v.

  172. faustusnotes

    It’s been a long, long, long time since I read Lolita but I thought it was meant to be critical of the immorality of the lead character? Made him out to be a narcissistic, unfeeling fuckwit?

    Though I did notice a.v. and jungney doing the mutual reach-around extensively in this thread. As if LP didn’t need enough proof already that it’s a safe space for men.

  173. jungney

    Tigtog: look, it just sort of happened because I quoted Nabokov. I didn’t bring CSA up ‘out of the blue’, I just quoted a writer who is widely and incorrectly thought of as a literary offender or, as Linda describes him, “an articulator of pedophilial ideation”.

    Linda, it seems we are free on this overflow thread to discuss Nabokov’s intentions in Lolita as well as his personal history. Perhaps, though, you could first read this piece by Dr Joanne Morgan which briefly canvasses Nabokov’s personal history, his anger with Freud for misidentifying genuine cases of child sex abuse as ‘hysteria’, his ongoing contempt for and disgust with Lewis Carroll as well as Dr Morgan’s personal discovery of other meanings within Lolita than ‘a rollicking tale’ of sex abuse.

    I’m happy to talk about Nabokov and the issue of child sex abuse. I’ve disclosed my own abuse a couple of times here on LP and am happy to do so again where it is relevant because, as every survivor knows who gets the benefit of therapy and help, as a child I didn’t do anything wrong.

    Nabokov found a way to write about the hallucinatory experience of being a victim of intimate abuse; for me, therein lies his genius. For other readers, it is his prose, the equal of Conrad. My point is, though, that writing the inconceivable is a profound challenge but one that Nabokov handled masterfully. There are few other writers of the same stature, that is, who were so successfully able to write about the impossible. Mostly, such writers addressed genocide – Conrad in Belgium Congo, Roger Casement on the Putamayo genocide. But Nabokov did it about CSA, and early in the century, too, so we at least owe him close reading and consideration before dismissing him as a contributor to paedophile culture.

  174. paul burns

    I’m in two minds about Lolita. On the one hand it is a literary masterpiece. OTOH, a book, that by a couple of chapters in fools you into thinking you are reading about an adult sexual relationship, then wakes with a jolt in the closing pages into realising you’ve been reading about a child being sexually abused for 500-700 pages has content that is to say the least is problematic.
    Its been many years since I’ve read Lolita, so I may be wrong, but that is my memory of the book.

  175. tigtog

    jungney, I know it happened because you quoted Nabokov. That’s why I wrote that you brought up Nabokov out of the blue, not that you had brought up CSA out of the blue.

    Someone who’s been around blogs as long as you have ought to know that Nabokov is almost guaranteed stoushbait unless very carefully introduced with oodles of context though. You’re providing the oodles of context now in retrospect, but you shouldn’t be surprised that your dangling context-free bait was taken in the first place.

  176. Linda

    No jungney I will not respond further to your latest diabolical obfuscation project. See my comment further up thread about the male tactic of obfuscation to silence feminist voices. You haven’t actually responded to my assertion. At least Alfred a knowledged it.

  177. jungney

    ok, discuss or not. I don’t mind.

  178. jungney

    Linda @ 167:

    But I think my point was that you and another guy kind of took over a thread that had dealt with sexism, by using it as your personal chatroom. I just wondered if that was deliberate or not.

    Just to clear something up: my conversations with a.v. were not a deliberate attempt to derail any discussions you and ors were engaged in. I think this thread has also had a substantial discussion of the peculiarities of the party line and sundry other topics so that it didn’t appear to me, by about the time that I cited Nabokov, that the discussion was especially focused on anything much at all.

  179. tigtog

    jungney, just because some other commentors (including some who should know better) have been misusing the thread for chitchat while flying under the moderation team’s radar, doesn’t mean that you or any other regular should just join in! It would be far more helpful if the regulars would take the initiative to gently point out whenever a thread has drifted out of Overflow territory and should head back to the Salon. It’s distinctly unhelpful when regulars decide instead to paddle their own canoe further along in the drift.