Commenting and cross-commenting associated with Mike Golby’s posting. Lots of words to get to core of the matter: Mike wants to discuss the issues without someone experiencing personal affront. He says that I am being defensive. I rant and rail and point and link until I slow down (hitting a wall does tend to slow you down) and realize…damn…
Yup. I have become a hedgehog of defensiveness, rolled up into a cute but painful little ball, spikes out, bitty nose buried, gleaming little eyes looking up as if to say, “You can kiss my spiny butt.” Just be glad I’m not licking your shoes and foaming at the mouth.
It is very difficult to discuss issues such as gender bias, stereotypes, and sexism without internalizing the discussion. I have long admired those who can discuss even the most vitriolic topic in calm, measured words. I can’t. I have a tough time just convincing people I’m being passionate, not angry.
The difficulty inherent with some of these discussions is that the comment boxes aren’t big enough to handle all the baggage we bring with us. There’s barely enough room to move. Worse, we can’t look each other in the eyes to know when to press forward, and when to pull back. Quickly.
Adding to the challenge is that the conversation can continue off-weblog, flurry of emails and exchanges becoming increasingly angry passionate.
You, innocent reader, see the tip of the discussion and can’t understand why something so small can be so deadly. You wonder in trustingly, open your mouth, issue a tiny squeek, and WHOMP!
You have just been overreacted.
Poor you. You get up and check yourself for injury, wipe the blood from your eyes, and, shivering from shock, crawl away, trying to move carefully so that your movements don’t attract further attention. A whimper issues from your mouth as you vanish from the weblog page. Not a pretty sight.
Sometimes when we feel very strongly about something, it’s challenging not to get angry passionate. Passion is great to start the fire (“we didn’t start the fire..”) but it’s hell on the participants over time.
Mike has questions to answer and this topic of gender stereotypes and bias, sexism and sex discrimination is worth discussing. Tish wrote an excellent, detailed response to Mike’s question.
(Is it just me and my hedgehog nature, or are Mike’s questions a tad bit loaded?)