Why not more women?

Justin Schwartz jschwart at freenet.columbus.oh.us
Sun Jul 2 19:45:38 MDT 1995

I think Chris' theory is unadulterated hogwash, if not something more
fragrant. Women are no less courgaeous or willing to die for principles
than men. But they are slightly less likey to (a) take refuge in the sort
of theoretiucal discussionw hich characacterizes this list at its best and
(b) to enjoy the somewhat combatative cut-and-thrust of argumentive
polemic that charcterizes it at almost all times. I noticed this,a nd any
teacher or former teacher has, in classes with both grad and undergrad
students. Part of it is that women are taight to be deferential, even to
each otherm to seek consensus rather than to define differences, and not
to play the make game of "I put my foot on your theory." Part of it is
taht because of this training, in part, and other things taht go into
women's exsperience, they are less likely to find this sort of thing
interesting. My wife and comrade is as commited and brave a revolutionary
as I am (or more so), and certainly no less than lots of men I know. But
she does tend to walk out of the room when the men in Solidarity start
chatting about the LTV and such. She'd rathera ddress practical organizing
questions about What Is To Be Done?

--Justin Schwartz

On Sun, 2 Jul 1995, Chris Burford wrote:

> 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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