Wednesday, February 6, 2013

On having an adult discussion in the lindy hop community- which I think we are.

This is a followup post to the conversation in Lindy Shopper's original post "Assaulted by Breasts," my post "My breasts don't assault you by just sitting here, actually," other, responses including by Aries, and Lindy Shopper's response to the ensuing blogstorm at "On Having a Reasonable Discussion in the Lindy Hop Community."

I titled this post "On having an adult discussion in the lindy hop community- which I think we are." because the criticism that most stung me personally was that the discussion we are having right now is somehow immature, unreasonable, or childish.  Lindy Shopper has clarified that she did not intend to imply those things about my post.

I think some of the comments across the many platforms have been all of those things.  But on the whole, I think this IS a good, productive, and yes, "adult" discussion of some issues that both me and Lindy Shopper hold pretty dearly, and I'm glad it's happening.  

I messaged Lindy Shopper (LS) last night after her followup post, and we've been having a private conversation. While we have different personal speech and writing styles, I think we ultimately agree nearly entirely on these issues. She has been gracious to engage with me respectfully in response to what was, at times, a viciously sarcastic post.

LS is kind of horrified and more than a little saddened at the messages that we read from her original post, which she says in her followup. And I believe at this point that they were not her intent.  But text can stand alone, and without personal knowledge of someone's character, it is impossible to divine someone's intent, so she understands why the post was read the way it was.

In her response post, she brings up the "slut shaming" phrase, and quotes the definition from the wikipedia article (which I linked).  In response to that she says this:
This kind of phenomenon pervades in our society and it is one of the most terrible atrocities of perception that we live with in our society. As someone who is, first and foremost, a woman who is both educated and liberal, and secondarily, a lawyer who has studied a body of rape case law spanning the past two centuries and who represents women who are victims of domestic violence, I understand, fully, the implications of this phrase, from a social, psychological, and legal standpoint. As a person, [...] I disagree with “slut shaming” and everything that it stands for (and stands against) as to women.
That is a strong and articulate statement, and I wanted to share it here.

I think this discussion was and is valuable, and am glad it occurred. I think it was easy to read those messages in LS original post because I think some of that sentiment certainly floats around in our community, and definitely is prevalent in our society.  I am also glad that LS and I were able to have a conversation and come to understand one another better.

I also agree that re-reading, trying to think about multiple sides, not jumping to conclusions, being respectful, and referencing the post you're responding to are all good things when making a response.  So in a lot of the specifics, in addition to the general sense, I agree with her followup.

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