Why not more women?

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Sun Jul 2 21:40:49 MDT 1995

LESFRANK at aol.com on Fri, 30 Jun 1995,
New to the list, asked

Why no women?

Why do you think Les, because there are many reasons?

I think an important one is that all ideas are ultimately
inseparable from power. And every little boy is brought
up to realise from an early age that he might have to kill
or risk being killed for the sake of ideas. And every
girl learns too that this is a boy's task. "Rationally"
and "sensibly" handling conflict is a male idiom in which
there is an awareness of the ultimate possibility of violence
if it goes wrong.

The abstract ideas on the list may have to be defended
against fascists. Anyone might be put up against a wall
by a fascist.  A man might hope that a fascist would
be afraid to try it on. A woman might hope that a fascist would
consider it outside the gender rules.

Every demonstration, ritualised confrontation though it is,
has the implication that if it were not handled carefully
there might be violence.

We cannot expect to reverse the material weight of gener-
ations of culture easily, but my guess is that the further
we get away from macho posturing and towards more direct ways of
handling conflict on this list, the more effortlessly women may
feel that this is a list for human beings, regardless of gender.

Chris B.

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