OT feminisms (was Meredith Ann Pierce)

Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Tue Mar 9 14:14:15 EST 2004

Deborah said...

> On Mon, 8 Mar 2004, Dorian E. Gray wrote:
> |As Deborah and Melissa seem to me to have been saying, the word has
> |these rather negative associations.
> Well, she says, desperately trying to derail an interesting but
> potentionally inflammatory political conversation without derailing the
> non-political components, and falling into her usual technique of, when
> all else fails, becoming too intellectual,

Oh dear.  Yes, it is interesting, and no, I really really wasn't wanting to
be inflammatory.  I was just trying to explain why some people (well, me!)
tend to not much like a particular word.  Not saying the word is bad, just
saying why some people might not like it.  I think I should Stop Now.
> When I point out the multiple connotations of any word, be it
> "feminist", "queer", or "shoes", I don't necessarily feel that a
> multitude of positive or negative connotations results in an ultimately
> positive or negative meaning.  I think a multiplicity of meanings makes
> words more interesting, which makes meaning more interesting, which
> makes life more interesting.  I like multiplicity; it makes me happy.

Oh, true.  "Shoes", to take one of your examples that sort of jumped at me,
has (among others) some somewhat silly connotations in my family, due to a
role-playing game many years ago in which a bunch of gun-runners (using the
code-word "shoes") were sharing a hotel with...a shoe salesmen's convention.
Which could be silly enough on its own, but my brother's character was a
defecting Russian scientist with a nuclear bomb in his suitcase (it was a
silly game, okay?).  And *that* led to his uttering the memorable line:
"Shoes?  I've got something much bigger than shoes!"

So that line is still something of a catchphrase in my family, and
"psssssst - wanna buy some shoes?" has come to be a joking reference to the
acquisition of anything illegal to own.

> Like Awful, you should never ask me to make you tea.  ;)

Heh.  Once I asked a friend if he wanted tea or coffee.  Jokingly, he said,
"yes".  So I made him a hot drink involving a spoonful of instant coffee, a
teabag, hot water, milk and sugar.  (He claimed to like the result, but he
never tried that joke again.)  :-)

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at eircom.net

"The tygers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction."
-William Blake, "Proverbs of Heaven and Hell"

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