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[Xmca-l] Re: The genesis of gender(ed) expectations: demand, production, and reproduction (and reversibility)
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The genesis of gender(ed) expectations: demand, production, and reproduction (and reversibility)
- From: Greg Thompson <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 4 Nov 2016 17:12:22 -0600
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Annalisa et al,
Tell me if you'd rather that I hush-up already but I'll just mention two
things that are very telling from the conversation:
1. There has NOT been much consideration of the placemaking of the
listserve - i.e., what exactly is this place called XMCA - what is the
nature of the place/space that has been created by our collective "talk"?
And how might this context itself be alienating for many women. [and btw,
I'm sure I'm just repeating what other women have said thus far, which may
be bad or good since I seem to recall a report from a group of women who
were trying to figure out how to make women's voices heard in meetings (the
typical thing that men do with women's comments is pay lip service, if
that, and then introduce their own (manly) ideas and move the meeting in
their direction); one strategy that these women came up with was anytime a
woman says something, to have another woman repeat exactly what the
previous woman had said - that serves to reinforce the point and make it so
that men can't so easily disregard it. Seems a useful approach - whether or
not it works with a man seconding the woman's point, I'm not sure (since it
easily could reinscribe a gendered hierarcy - the point is ignored when the
woman says it, but when a man says it...)]
2. Relatedly, Jacob's comment that he always first hesitates to post, then
has a conversation with his partner who says "don't do it!" and then, after
posting, realizes that he shouldn't have posted -- this suggests to me that
there is a "high stakes" nature to the list that some of the old heads on
the list might not appreciate. I'm open to the possibility that the "high
stakes" nature of things might have some value, but I also suspect that,
for engendered reasons, this is also what makes it a place that many women
find unwelcome for their participation (and no, I don't necessarily see
this in essentializing terms - as if the female sex doesn't welcome high
stakes conversations, rather I see it as being the case that in this
particular here and now this seems to be common - and there are certainly
women who seek out such conversations, as well as men who disprefer them).
And once again, I don't know what to do about this.
I'll hush-up now.
On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 3:58 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> It seems that people are having a time with the originating thread
> pertaining to the subject "Analysis of gender in early XMCA discourse,"
> which I find to be a goose chase, since it is difficult to analyze posts
> that were never made (owing to the fact that, as a few members have spoken
> up to say, they were never made to feel safe enough to post because of the
> domination of a kind of discourse that is called gendered – though some
> admit it has to do with time and prior commitments).
> How does one study discourse of non-participants? I'm utterly perplexed by
> If men have been dominating the discourse, then what the subject line
> really means is we should a study of male discourse and how others are kept
> Why do we need to know how others are kept out when we can just explain it
> ourselves to you?
> Or are we not fit enough for our explanations to be taken seriously?
> What I liked about one of Jacob's recent posts is that he revealed to us
> *the discourse* that goes on *off-the-list.* But no one seemed to give that
> any notice. I hope I am giving him appropriate credit for that. I caught
> it, but I wanted to wait to see if anyone else did.
> Respectfully, I think it would be more productive discuss how gender is
> expected and *entrained* (and maybe this is what Maria Cristina means by
> reproduction, not sure). Not about what gender is, because we'll never get
> anywhere with that. If we understand the demands and the production of
> those expectations-fufilled, is it possible we can raise our awareness of
> how those process do not serve those who are harmed by those expectations.
> I would offer that these gendered expectations are harmful to everyone,
> not just those lacking privilege. I say that because of lost opportunities,
> which I've already discussed in a previous email on the original thread.
> If there are allies on this list, and I think that there are, then would
> it not be of help for them to sit back and let those of us who feel harmed
> or threatened, or just uncomfortable, explain it how it is. And how we
> (that is, those of us who feel irrelevant despite having something
> meaningful to offer) believe the problem might be solved, or at least
> ameliorated. Can we explain it ourselves without any help from explainers?
> I would like to encourage trailblazing this new path of comparing how
> non-gendered discourse might compare to gendered discourse. Because that
> comparison might reveal something important to all of us. All of Us.
> Or it may not, but who knows for certain until we try. Or... will this
> suggestion be shot down because it doesn't remain within the status quo? Or
> will it be somehow made to sit outside what is allowable to post on this
> list because it (somehow) doesn't pertain the XMCA's mission statement? Or
> some other law I have broken?
> Of course, it remains the case that some might believe that it is
> impossible to speak about anything without gender, but I'd say that that
> might possibly mean that such a position considers the problem essential (I
> do not), that somehow biologically, or in some other determined way, gender
> is hard-wired like biological sex is hardwired (Note: with the growing
> awareness of the existence of trans-gender populations, I'd like to offer
> that even that position, that biological sex is hardwired, is now suspect).
> I do think that there are some areas where we don't speak about gender,
> and I'm only asking that we might compare those discourses with discourses
> that are heavy on the influence of gender.
> Is that somehow a faulty proposition?
> It felt that there was something of a spark with Maria Cristina's
> contribution combined with Larry's juxtaposed and mine. So I'm hoping there
> might be a continuance from this point. Is that interesting enough?
> So I am adhering to Greg M's suggestion of cordoning off a space for this
> topic. Let's see if these swim lanes actually work. I doubt it, but I will
> exhibit a willingness to cooperate if it will foster more discourse about
> the matter at hand.
> Though, actually, I think I've just been invited to place myself into a
> ghetto. I suppose that is an inflammatory thing to say, but I'm just trying
> to be honest. Or maybe I've been invited to populate the periphery, because
> I don't have a privileged credentials to be in the center.
> It's always something, as Gilda Radner used to say.
> Kind egads,
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602