OT feminisms (was Meredith Ann Pierce)

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Wed Mar 10 23:59:31 EST 2004


On Tue, 9 Mar 2004, deborah wrote:
|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,

Okay, mistress of subtlety I clearly ain't.  Conversation about whether
or not feminism is either a positive force or a positive word?  Careful,
please.  Ditto for the as yet nascent sexuality discussion.

I was going to ban this discussion outright, but I reread my rules:

  Political discussions are banned completely.  This is in order to keep
  the tone of the list (see point (4) below).  There are very rare
  exceptions, namely stating DWJ's written or spoken opinions on
  politics, or a critic's or reviewer's political analysis of her works.

  Discussions of political or social mores (as opposed to specific
  parties, individuals and laws) are welcome if they're on topic,
  phrased respectfully, and open to the possibility that people on the
  list may disagree.

So I rethought.  Whether or not a word like "feminism" has positive or
negative connotations is very very touchy, and can make some people very
upset.  On the other hand, discussions of the use of language are about
as on topic for Diana Wynne Jones as discussions of any social more
could get.  So rather than shutting this discussion down, I'd like to
ask everyone who's posting in this thread to think very carefully and we
read their messages before they send them.  While it may be on topic to
discuss whether it's society, the dictionary, society's leaders, or
Humpty Dumpty himself who defines language, it's also very hard for some
people to be told that a label they wear with pride is considered ugly
by people they respect, or that political views they hold make others
pin a label on them.

So keep the discussion going, by all means.  But please be careful that
your comments can't be easily misread as "I associate people who call
themselves feminists with the following ugly sentiments, so I think that
the word is a lost cause and we should never use it" or, alternatively
"you believe X, right?  And Y, right?  Then you have no choice to accept
the label I give you."

Conversations about the use of language or gender or sexuality in DWJ in
particular or literature in general, are, as always, very welcome.

-deborah,
who has strong feelings about both issues but won't discuss them on this
list in the hopes of setting a good example for once.


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