Friday, January 02, 2009

What I Have Learned

Some people will simply not listen. What gets me about certain activists is that they're so consumed with finding example after example of the Evils of Patriarchy/Racism/Oppression/Insert Social Disease that they will mistake allies for enemies. This is the true problem with anyone who chooses to keep such a narrow focus on an all-consuming crusade---in their zealousness to delight in finding and rooting out one more example of "the problem", they completely fail to really listen, build consensus, and find the solution. Imagine what we could accomplish if we came to the table with our minds open and our fangs not bared. Imagine if we sought to really resolve social issues---believing that things could really change and that we were not locked into some vast existential crisis with no resolution point ever.

Same old situation. After a while this sort of never-ending stalemate built from mutual distrust and fruitless paranoia gets tedious. So it is that I almost didn't want to respond to this same thing again because it's the same damn thing, over and over and over and over again. But I will say yet again---if one really listens, there's no telling what good can be accomplished.

10 comments:

Liberality said...

but it's more fun to destroy bridges than build them don't you know, and easier too!

I understand women wanting to analyze their social conditioning to better understand and overcome the negative aspects of it. I have no problem with that. But sometimes it's like people want to pick fights just so they feel like they are doing something. They are doing something but it isn't necessarily positive.

Barry Deutsch said...

Do you think it's possible you're over-reacting?

I think it's possible to recognize that an ally is an ally, and still criticize something they said.

Comrade Kevin said...

The poster completely misunderstood what I was saying, then proceeded to criticize me for it.

That's not me over-reacting---it is her inability to have rational discourse.

test said...

yaw, hey, check the echidne comment thread, I left a really long post which talks about you a bit, comrade. I mean what I said at the end, y'ever want to organize some workers. haha, depends whether you live on the East coast or not. Maybe we can do some congregation organizing, eh? :D -Abuja

Comrade Kevin said...

Some of you don't understand. Some of you never will. And I don't need your glib put downs, either.

I have also learned that it is sad that people supposedly on our side are totally lost.

PENolan said...

Comrade,
I suspect that you are dealing with individuals who have never experienced Silent Meeting and/or who don't understand that pausing to absorb a person's comments before responding to the idea as opposed to the person is essential to listening with respect. A lot of people never listen at all because they are too busy formulating their own reply to a comment they never heard in the first place.

They don't listen. They don't know how and they don't even see a reason why they should learn. Be silent, friend, and know.

Holding you in the light.
Tricia

PENolan said...

ps: I tracked down the feminist discussion where you were attacked and just have to say that back during the first wave, so many "feminists" denegrated my mother, an avid ERA supporter and feminist to the core, because she stayed home with her kids. She single handedly renovated over 15 houses while we lived in them, fully contributing to the family's income by busting out tile with a sledge hammer. She was a Girl Scout Leader. She sponsored the youth group at Church and took in foster kids.
And the Feminists had the nerve to say she wasn't a feminist. I see the feminists are still arguing. It's no wonder that Sarah Palin got where she is today.

Hypnagogia said...

Kevin, I do not see what Suzie wrote as an attack on you. She was critiquing something you said, not who you are. I know you are very sensitive and it can be hard to separate the two, but you do seem to be taking this much more personally than she intended.

I thought her points were completely valid. Some of the comments were (I think intentionally) much more aggressive and "scornful," as you put it, but the original post was written in such a way that it opened up dialog. Your response, however, both in the comments there and in your post here, seem to shut it down. Blogging about the need for a more united front while locking out those who want to examine the way we think and talk about things does nothing for that cause.

I really appreciated what a lot of people were writing Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. They worked together while holding very different views on radicalism and a united, singular fight vs. a broader one. Nothing Suzie said made me think she would be opposed to such an alliance with folks like you.

--Norah

Hypnagogia said...

Oh, I also meant to say something about how Suzie may have used your comment as an example, but it was just a jumping off point for a post about those ideas. The comment sparked a thought-train that was not all directly related to exactly what you said. That's a good thing to bear in mind when it feels as though you are being personally attacked.

Utah Savage said...

I missed all this, so I am in the dark. And in more ways than just not knowing what this disagreement is about.

One of the bipolar bloggers, Liquid Illusion killed herself on Christmas eve. I found out last night. I don't don't even know what day it is now. And life goes on. He site is as she left it. Like a house beautifully appointed, the door open and the life gone.