Frankly, I gave up on Locke when it turned out he was a nasty schmuck.
I think we find and tend to drift toward what we look for. Look for differences, and that’s where we go and what we find. Looking for likenesses seems more fruitful and rewarding. Which in no way denies fundamental M/F differences. Perhaps the real heart of difference lies in the area of caring and loving, whether for M or F — i.e. we’re either open to and accepting of and offering love and care or we’re not, whichever gender.
Nasty schmucks, male or female, are not what I drift toward either. They seem to exhibit interpretations of “love and care” that are very different from mine. Sometimes the differences are obvious, even though that’s not what you’re looking for.
Many years ago, Albertina Sisulu, wife of ANC stalwart Walter Sisulu, led a march of women defying the pass laws in South Africa. I’ve forgotten the phrase used to symbolize that march but it remains with me as “When you strike a woman, you strike a rock.”
You are a rock, Elaine, an anchor of sanity. We males are dumb beasts, to be sure. But sometimes, in that ‘playfulness’, using the rules of the ‘game’, somebody has to raise questions, cast doubt, ask “Why this?” or make a statement such as “Leave her and others alone already.” It’s a risk, but as a thoughtful correspondent once said to me, there’s a kind of ‘voice throwing’ “that teaches us something about the voice and about the surface it’s being thrown against.”
I need to play the game and learn its rules if I am to criticize it but, yes, as b!X points out, you soon come to realize it’s pretty much a waste of time and, ultimately, self-defeating. Caring sometimes needs another voice.
I hear you caring, and many others too, both male and female. You and they, and those who play these games, are what make blogging so rich and worthwhile. However, without our anchors and the rocks to which we hold, we’d be lost.
On November 2 I celebrated 17 years of abstinence from drugs and alcohol and 16 years of abstinence from cigarettes. I say this to qualify my perspective. I count Chris Locke among my friends and there is a lot about his behavior around relationships that reminds me of how I used to behave around cocaine and vodka and pot and wine and the more infrequent psychedelics in those days when I was liking myself less and less and so was more and more timid to face those awful acid truths. Anyway… I’m inclined to cut the guy some slack, because he’s no different from a hundred other sick fucks that I happen to love and get along with as long as I keep a clean sense of my own boundary behavior.
There’s a core truth that I feel from Locke’s outre behavior. It has something to do with sticks and stones, something to do with acknowledging and demolishing the primitive powers of taboo, and something to do with my own twisted sense of humor. Some of that shit is just totally funny. Today he put a scorpion by the kitty’s paw on the O’Reilly blogging book. Mean? No, just a little Kitty Porn. It lives in a context of what’s been going on at Jeneane’s and George’s blogs.
The relationship obsessive stuff gets a little tiring. I wish I could shake him hard once or twice and clear his mind of it. But that’s not my job, and exposure of that stuff is probably better than letting it fester and break out in some oozing social sore sometime later.
Enough…. I am always happy that I can meet such bright people who come from so many places – both geographic and metaphoric – ain’t blogging grand?
For me, play is utterly personal, and in many ways so much about laughing at myself. I don’t pretend to know why Blog Sisters isn’t much of a playful outlet for the other posters, but I know that I don’t bring much of my play there because I keep my play “at home.” I grew up playing with my parents, being silly, imagining, and acting through games that bordered on ritual (and yes, often wrestling, and rough and tumble, and teasing, too). Play for me is more private, intimate. On Blog Sisters that just happens to not be what I bring to the table, because I have other places for that outlet.
Maybe play is about who has the leisure to play, but I don’t see that in my nuclear family. My dad has spent an equal or larger share dealing with the “survival stuff”– at home, he is often the one who can’t sit still and relax (my mom and I call him the “futzer”). But he plays just as hard, too, and he and I probably have a more playful relationship now than my more intellectualized relationship with my mom.
Why don’t more women play? Maybe they just feel it is their responsibility to “get things done.” Maybe societally, we’re not taught that balance. Maybe because we’ve been trivialized as so childlike in the past, we feel we can’t afford to be silly if we want to be taken seriously. I dunno. I feel like the grand exception to a lot of rules in gender roles.
How do women play? I dunno, but again, I feel that for anyone, playing stems from being able, first, to laugh at yourself, and feeling comfortable enough, second, to laugh with others about whatever it is they laugh at in themselves (or maybe for the brave, laugh at others about what *needs* to be laughed at in themselves). Bleah, that was just a horrible use of the English language there. Time for me to go eat some breakfast. :-/
Yeah. You gotta have a sense of humor to play. And humor sometimes has to do with absurd testing of limits and testing of absurd limits and such.
I think his site is really funny. Thanks for sharing the link.
I guess I don’t really understand what you are trying to say though. Are you implying that great writing should be devoid of all humor? Or that women don’t have a sense of humor?
Oh, wait… is this post a joke? =)
I find the use of the word “play” in this context interesting. I think I tend to be a serious person, although I appreciate some comedy. Certainly I played as a kid, and now I enjoy watching the fun behavior of my pets. As a child I enjoyed such publications as MAD Magazine; today I prefer the humor of Mark Twain. I can rarely find anything funny in comedy programs on television, although I do take guilty pleasure from Adam Sandler movies. Sometimes I am in no mood for drama; lightening up can be charming.
Sense of humor varies not just by gender, but by age and other characteristics, and it even may be so individual that no generalizations can be made. I think there are very few people who have no sense of humor, but whether we share a senses of humor is the question. There is a fine line between upbeat/clever/funny and offensive/tacky/cruel, and it can be very hard to navigate.
Another source of the difficulty is the nature of electronic publication, with its potential for linking and communication. Something about the email, ediscussion and ejournal world seems so serious. When MAD Magazine didn’t seem amusing, I stopped buying it. When Saturday Night Live is tiresome, I turn of the television. When Mark Twain is too heavy, I return the book to the shelf (this last one never happens). Maybe the best lesson here is, don’t bother to click the link.
I don’t know any of the bloggers involved here, but this is an interesting question. (Even if it is giving me Carol Gilligan flashbacks. 😉 When I play, I think, it’s mostly intellectual or imaginative rather than physical, and it’s often an individual rather than a communal activity. It’s seldom based around direct conflict, though, and it’s also unlikely to be the ritualized exchange of insults with which certain of my male family members and friends like to greet one another. But I wonder if we shouldn’t define “play”? What’s “play” to one person is deadly earnest to another, which is where the problems come in.
More about Sexism
There’s more discussion going on about sexism in the “blog world” – as if it’s any different than the real
No, my post wasn’t a joke. I was terribly serious. And Frank, your response is so wonderfully heartfelt and humane. These days I find myself more tolerant of some things and less of others. I sense Chris’ pain and loneliness and am often moved by his struggle to keep it all from defeating him. But I am intolerant of his disregard of the feeling and sensibilities of others.
I wonder how each of us WOULD define “play.” I suspect it IS different for each of us. Maybe it’s easier to define what “playful” means. Not serious? Relaxed and silly? Activity without a conscious goal? Unfettered by rules and expectations?
One day we may learn that dualities don’t follow each other. Play/Work, Play/Responsbility, Play/Fight, Old/Young, Tall/Short, Male/Female etc. etc. etc.
It’s a surprise to find such an egregious piece of genderism here.
Men are taller than women. Only on average and there are women taller than some men, and men who are shorter than some women.
See if you can deal with the group of individuals you describe as just that, and please leave the rest of us out of it? We’d rather be dealt with for who we are, rather than for the genitals we carry.
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