[Reader-list] On recent discussions

Danny Butt db at dannybutt.net
Fri Nov 5 03:14:52 IST 2010

A powerful group relying on silence will go to great lengths to maintain the status quo. A woman speaking out of line not only disrupts the norm with what she says, but, at a more fundamental level, threatens to not reproduce a patriarchal social order.  An age-old historical response is to sexualise her behavior in order to 

a) regain a feeling of control;

b) distract attention from the content of the speech;  

c) disavow responsibility for repressing critical speech by shifting the judgement to moral grounds sanctioned by a higher power;

d) remind the woman that if necessary, male physical power can be applied to her body to bring her into line;

e) remind other women that the price of their speech may be paid with their bodies;

This is what I have seen in many forums over the last couple of weeks, but it has been made most explicit in the discussions here. I appreciate the tireless efforts of Sarai in providing a truly open and democratic forum where we can see the unvarnished expressions of those who would not only remove that right to expression for others, but demonstrate their support for personal violence in the process. For me, the discussion has been sobering and instructive, especially perhaps at its most ragged and infuriating points.




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