Thursday, December 08, 2005

The roundtable

Dona: This is a roundtable. The following are participating: The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Jess, Ty, Ava and myself, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review, Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz and Wally of The Daily Jot. I'm moderating. Why me? Because I'm pissed off and because I grew up the only girl in my family so I learned all about pushy boys from my brothers. I was the often the only female on my high school newspaper staff so I learned all about male egos and how men, some men, think they can roll right over you because you're a woman. I learned to stand up to that shit early on. I don't take it. I don't tolerate it. In this roundtable, you will find opinions. If you don't like them, too damn bad. There will be no correction to our opinions. Rebecca has written at length at how some men think they can bully women bloggers. They can't bully me. If you don't like my opinion or anyone else's, do yourself a favor and go somewhere else. I'm passing to Jim who I've designated to do a walk through. Jim.

Jim: Kat, we're going to walk through what happened. This is for the record. For readers, none of us are pleased with the treatment Kat has received. Kat, you posted Tuesday night. Talk us through what you were thinking?

Kat: I was honestly thinking that I would steer some traffic to Pop Politics. I was honestly thinking that noting the flare up in the comments to a post by Bernie would encourage someone to go over. A guy comments that they disagree with Bernie's post. Suddenly it's a dog pile.
I compared it, these were Bob Dylan fans, to the disgraceful booing of Sinead O'Connor at the thirieth concert by what, since they were a tribute for Dylan, should have been Dylan fans.

Jim: And Bernie's opinion?

Kat: I disagreed with it. I made a point not examine it because he was with Pop Politics.

Jim: Because?

Kat: Because we all link to that site because C.I. asked us to. Because C.I.'s very supportive of Christine.

Jim: And what did you think of his opinion?

Kat: Reflexive. He's writing about something in The New Republic on Dylan and he thinks the guy's devoted to Dylan apparently. Overly so. Then he turns around and uses Dylan as a point of reference. He rejects minor points but accepts the larger argument.

Jim: And you told him this?

Kat: Correct.

Jim: How did that happen?

Kat: I got a call from C.I. asking me to check my e-mail. There was an e-mail to me at The Common Ills from Bernie. I go into my e-mail and it's not there. C.I. resends it and I get that one.

Jim: And what did the e-mail say?

Kat: That I needed to re-read his post. Apparently, I'm not smart enough to form an opinion. I must be wrong, he must be right, so I must need to re-read his post.

Jim: He asked you in it to make a correction?

Kat: Right. I need to make a correction. He doesn't say to what. I need to make a correction and, according to him, it should be "obvious." He also seemed bothered that my post focused on the comments as opposed to his post. Which I found ironic all things considered.

Jim: So what happened next?

Kat: I started to reply. Sumner calls and asks me what I'm doing, I tell him. While we're on the phone, he goes to Pop Politics. He asks me if I'm aware that Bernie's already commented on me? No, I wasn't. Sumner tells me, I haven't been to the site, that not only does Bernie comment, but he pulls from a sentence, he prints a partial sentence of mine to try to back up some point he has.

Jim: For the record, the full sentence is: "Bernie can cream in his shorts over who ever he wants. He can even quote the neocon bible The New Republic." He reduces it to "quote the neocon bible The New Republic" implying that Kat's said he quoted it. For Bernie to be that obtuse, we must also assume that he did cream in his shorts. Kat said he has the ability to do that, she didn't say he did it.

Dona: So before someone tells Kat or any other woman that they need to re-read, Bernie needs to learn to read.

Jim: Did you ask for a correction?

Kat: I thought it was the most jerk ass thing I'd seen. But no, I didn't say, "You must do a correction."

Jim: What did you write?

Kat: I explained that I hadn't addressed his opinion because I disagreed with it so I avoided it, due to his being a part of Pop Politics. I noted at the top that I wasn't one to type in smiley faces so he needed to know I was being light hearted except for a lecture. The lecture, a brief one, was that he was too talented to accept the framework from The New Republic.

Jim: Explain the framework because there's confusion on his side apparently.

Kat: He felt, basically, that a TNR writer creamed in his shorts over Dylan. Then he argues agains the guy using Dylan as a point of reference. Buffy St. Marie anyone? Janis Ian? Phil Ochs? Joni Mitchell? Laura Nyro? Pete Seeger? Woody Guthrie? Dylan is not the starting point nor the ending point. Anyone who reads my writing or hears me in a roundtable knows I think he's highly overrated. I think, as I pointed out in my post commenting on the commentators, that I think it's really sad that so few are aware that the songs he's known for from the sixties usually swipe the melody of an old folk song. Don't give him credit for a melody he swiped. Dylan's not a starting point and the Dylan myth month ended.

Jess: I'll jump in to say that you know it has ended and here's how you know, The New Republic's writing about it. We had a joke up here once where Candy Perfume Boy didn't want to read The Weekly Standard editorials because he wanted them to be fresh when they appeared in The New Republic the next week.

Jim: The joke my dad enjoys the most to this day. So you write him back and what, Kat?

Kat: I explained I didn't think I needed to correct anything. I told him he could write something that he wanted up there and I'd post it. I noted that since he'd commented on me, I might have a comment on his as well.

Jim: And then?

Kat: I waited. And waited. And waited some more. I didn't post at my site because I wanted to clear this up before I posted again. I thought I'd do my year-in-review on music. I called Cedric to bounce some ideas off him but he was at church which I'd forgotten because I hadn't realized it was Wednesday. Then I tried to work on a review for an older album because the oldest member in the community, Eli, had asked me to do that and I'd said I would. I did that only once all year. So last week, I e-mailed Eli and asked him to pick something and I'd review it. He did. I have the album and I had some ideas for it. But I was waiting on a reply and I couldn't concentrate on it. So finally I called Rebecca.

Rebecca: (Laughing) I'm either everyone's last choice to call or the last call they must make before turning in.

Jim: Okay, I'm going to switch to Rebecca. Kat explains what's going on and then what?

Rebecca: I told her don't take that shit. She brought up about how C.I. was supportive of Christine and since it was Christine's site and C.I.'s vouched for her, she felt like she needed to try to work this out. She was making excuses for Bernie saying that she's on the west coast, maybe he's on the east coast. I'm on the east coast. That doesn't mean I can't read my e-mail.
And if I had insisted that someone give me a correction, you can be damn sure I'd be checking my e-mail. You don't dump on someone and insist upon a correction and then say, "Hmm, should I go out for ice cream?"

Elaine: I'll toss in the professional opinion that if you write an e-mail like the one Kat got, you are requesting and expecting a reaction and a reply. I find it unlikely that someone wouldn't check to see if they had a reply.

Dona: Our resident psychologist, Elaine. And I'm not joking, she's a trained psychologist. Elaine, I'll be coming back to you in a minute but I want to move to Gina before I forget. We invited Gina and Krista to sit in on this roundtable. Due to the holidays, Gina's in the mall, working, all night. Krista begged off because a) she's working on her own editorial on this for tomorrow's round-robing and b) due to them putting out the extra edition today, they're very short on material. We have Pru's permission to run a commentary she's written here and we hope to do that another time but with Krista scrambling to put together an edition basically from scratch, we didn't want to take any new content that she has. Isaiah's also agreed to do an editorial cartoon to help out, so there will be content in tomorrow's round-robin. Please check it out. Now Gina's point was that she doesn't think Bernie's really bothered by Kat. Her opinion is, and Elaine, you may want to toss on this, that from the e-mail, what's bothered him is what's not addressed.

Elaine: That is a good point. I hadn't even considered that. Good analysis, Gina. So she's thinking that it's Cedric's comments that Kat's quoted that has Bernie upset?

Dona: Yes. And I can see that as a possibility. Passing to Jess. And if you're wondering, we're trying to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak. If Ava and C.I. speak less it's because, as usual, they're transcribing. They will be speaking and, when it's time for that, they'll speak slowly because Jim will be transcribing. Jess.

Jess: Cedric, why don't you talk about your comments that you made. You found it laughable that someone would credit rappers as being in debt to Bob Dylan?

Cedric: Yes, I did. I found it laughable and I found it insulting. Dylan with his "Talking this" and "Talking that" songs owes a debt to the blues. So excuse the hell out of my African-American ass if I'm going to be thrilled that a White guy becomes the inspiration yet again.
Now we had a book discussion not that long ago and I talked in that about how some people found it offensive that Cindy Sheehan was being called the Rosa Parks of the peace movement.
I stated that I found that great. I stated that it was tired and boring that the touchstones were always White. I stated that the comparison and others were the best chance for Rosa Park's legacy to live on. Cindy Sheehan did a great thing. I have no problem with her being compared to Rosa Parks. Ms. Parks was a fighter and a brave woman. I'd love it if anytime someone takes a stand, we make that comparison because it recognizes how important Rosa Parks is. To history and to today. So no, I'm not going to get on the bus that says "Rappers are doing stuff and they owe a debt to Bob Dylan." Gina made that point to me in an e-mail. She said she'd called her friends and none of them knew a song by Bob Dylan. I went around the office talking to African-Americans and asked them to name a song by Bob Dylan. They couldn't. Some didn't even know who he was and that includes a woman in her forties. To imply that Bob Dylan has this reach into the African-American community is inane. The White press loves to get all worked over him and they can. But don't start trying to take from the African-American community to credit another White man.

Jess: I'm bringing in Betty now. The reason for that is that some people of color do know who Dylan is and we're covering that via Betty.

Betty: First off, we should note that Gina is Black and she identifies as that, as do I. I don't take offense to someone using African-American and I know that in this roundtable Ty and Cedric identify that way. I do know who Dylan is. My oldest brother went through a period where he listened to nothing except music from that era and it wasn't "Baby Love," it was protest music and acid rock mainly. So I know that period. Periodically, he'll go through a phase where he moves off to restart his life. When he does that, as he's done this year, he puts me in charge of his vinyl collection. That's been the case since I was ten. I know Blonde on Blonde, I know Freewheelin', I know them all. But Dylan isn't "da man" nor is he considered "street." Marvin [Gaye] and Steview [Wonder] would be two names that trump Dylan in terms of influencing Black people. And like Cedric, I do read that as stripping Black people of their own references and providing them with a generic starting point that doesn't truly exist.

Kat: And Dylan's hits are largely know due to others. The Byrds, Peter, Paul & Mary, go down the list. He's lucky to have spent most of his career at Columbia because he's considered their "presitge" act so they keep his catalogue in print. If his albums had been taken out of print the way other artists who sold the same, or female artists who sold more, if they weren't at every music store and if Columbia didn't promote them each year with displays, they wouldn't have the sales that they do have. Like Joni Mitchell's Blue, they have reached their status over time.
And before someone points out that Biograph went gold, it did so as a multi-disc album which doesn't mean that 500,000 people bought it. Sorry to jump in, Betty.

Betty: No, it's a good point. Stevie Wonder popularized Dylan as well. That's not read as a Dylan song, that's read as a Stevie Wonder performance. But I don't think Aretha [Franklin] ever recorded him. She covered the Stones and Dylan because the Black community could respond to them. To imply that Dylan has the same status in the Black community that they think he does in the White community is really stretching the truth. There are people who know his work, Black people. I am one. But don't act like everyone's down with Dylan and all the rappers are trying hard to give him their props and shout outs. I'll also add that when my brother lived at home, when I was a kid, and he'd play Bob Dylan, my mother would call Dylan a hobo. If you look at rappers, you see that they dress with style. They're not getting that from Dylan either and how you dress can be important to the Black community. I heard less about Whitney's drug use after her interview with Diane Sawyer and more about how could she wear what she wore. To them, that said more about her state of mind then her comments. That's not being superficial, that's because we expect the look to convey meaning. That's why Tina Turner will probably never show up for the public without the wig. It's why Lena Horne must always be glamorous, why James Brown must always have a band, well dressed, behind him. Unlike the White community that seems to expect their men to not have any rhythm and be unable to dance, my friends and I don't think that way. We're not going to see a White guy who can dance and move his hands above the shoulders as "gay." We're not going to see a well dressed man as "gay." They may or may not be gay, but we'll see it as someone living up to the standards of entertainer. Mary Wilson or Diana Ross are expected to be well dressed. It says, "I'm a success."

Jess: Cedric, do you have anything to add to that?

Cedric: No. I think Betty covered it. And Betty, Ty and I don't speak for all African-Americans nor are we trying to. But we are offering what we've observed. I know Ty's going to be speaking in a bit but I want to say that. George Michael could get booked on Soul Train. If they put Bob Dylan on performing a song, many of us would scratch our heads and wonder who the guy with the bad voice was. George Michael came on, or even Justin Timberlake, we'd be checking out their moves and, especially if you're young, trying to imitate them the next time we were dancing. But even with George Michael, Gladys Knight had a problem with him being recognized for "Black Grammys." He made some good soul music and some good dance music.
But we're really not, as I've seen, looking to turn over the credit and the props for our people and our contributions to White men.

Dona: And I'm going to bring Ty in now because he has questions and I can tell also that he wants to make a comment.

Ty: Thanks. Betty and Gina live in the south and grew up there. I grew up in the north , Cedric in the midwest. What's being said isn't making me go, "What the hell?" It's very much things that I'm nodding at and recognizing. I'd add that Kanye West isn't going to show up looking like he just hopped out of a train box car. His look conveys what his music is about.

Cedric: Absolutely.

Ty: And in Kat's post, Cedric's comments were tied into Dangerous Minds, the movie. Written by a White man who wants to make sure White audiences relate so the teacher teaches the "ghetto kids" Bob Dylan. That's not reality. Reality is that the teacher, in real life, used rap music. The White community's touchstone is not the same as the African-American communities. Betty's always surprised here when she brings up a song and C.I. knows it because the truth is, though we're supposed to know all the White music, you say "Silly" by Denise Williams to most White people and they don't have a clue. Stacy Lattisaw, Alexander O'Neal, go down the list. These people did impact the music. Quit operating under the impression that a non-hit that's hailed by White people reaches the same audience out of the White community which is a point that Maria also made in an e-mail today. And now we're going to talk about Maria. Because she attempted to point out that Kat was selectively quoted today and that the implication from the selective quote was not in fact what Kat said. Kat, you haven't been to the site today?

Kat: No. I've been told in e-mails and on the phone what happened.

Ty: I got the e-mail copy and paste of that sent to me by Eddie, Martha and Joan. It's being passed around the community. After Maria's post went up at Pop Politics, Christine responded. In that, she offers her opinion which I don't agree with to put it mildly, but I want to address the point of contention for the community. Christine states that if Kat's blog had the ability for comments to be posted, this wouldn't have even been an issue but since it didn't Bernie had to comment at the site. Christine blows off, my opinion, Maria's comment that shortening Kat's sentence misquotes her. But Kat, is that true that Bernie had no recourse.

Kat: Bernie got an e-mail to me. Bernie was told by me that he could write his comment and I'd post it at my site.

Ty: I'm moving over to Wally who posted on this issue this morning. Wally you got e-mails from members when that comment went up. What did you think of it?

Wally: I thought it was silly. I thought there was what was up at that site and what actually went down. Where's Bernie's post or comment that he's demanded correction from Kat? Where is that? I've supported Pop Politics. I talked about how much I enjoyed it and how I'd learned from Ms. Musing in my very first "jot." C.I. didn't have to sell me on the link. I learned about Ms. Musing and Pop Politics via The Common Ills. And I'm reading that nonsense today and thinking, "Way to shit where you eat." Does Christine know what went down? If she does, her comment gives no indication of that. The readers of Pop Politics are already under one misconception due to Bernie's editing Kat's comment to make it appear she said he did something when she said he "can" meaning, as Mom yelled when she saw that, "ability!" Not that he did it. The sentence preceding that makes the same point. My mom was furious with it.
I wasn't even going to post this morning because I knew Kat wanted to give Bernie a chance to respond. I knew C.I. was biting the tongue and that Rebecca had saved the entry she intended to post the night before. Mom asked me why I hadn't jotted because she always checks my site and shows it to her friends at work. I said because I didn't want to go into how I felt Kat was treated. Mom turned into Rebecca.

Rebecca: Good for her!

Wally: I couldn't believe it. She gets upset when she watches the news but that's about it. Mom was saying, Kat thinks focusing on Dylan today is a waste of time, she's made that point over and over. Let him do something worthy of attention. She was saying this was another case of a man trying to tell a woman what she could say and what she couldn't. I go, "Mom, did you talk to Rebecca." Really, it was like Rebecca's post but with less curse words.

Rebecca: Give her time.

Ty: Okay, I'm going to get Mike's take on it because he didn't know anything about the whole issue.

Mike: I sure as hell didn't. I see there's no post at The Common Ills at the usual time this morning and I call Wally because I want to see if C.I.'s okay and I know Wally e-mails and calls.
I used to do that all the time when I started blogging because I'd have questions that were technical or just about a subject. I'm not the newbie anymore and C.I.'s time is limited. But I knew Wally blogged about Florida the day before and thought C.I. might have called. I also knew that C.I. might be doing what Jim's always saying which is, "Just sleep in. You don't have to have a post up first thing in the morning." So I'm talking to Wally who's explaining to me that I don't knwo what's going on. I hadn't even read Pop Politics. I don't usually click on links. I had no idea. And like Wally's mom, I went straight to what Rebecca's says about the men who can't take a different opinion. I was furious. I was on my way to work and couldn't turn around and go home. If I could have, I would've posted right then. After work, when I got to campus, Tony was pissed off about the quote being changed and we were both griping about it and go into class with my favorite prof and as I'm leaving class, he asks me what is going on. He's heard about it too because he got passed a copy & paste e-mail that had gone all over the community. He said you can't do that, you can't alter someone's quote to make it sound like what you want.
Bernie can disagree with Kat. He can't take part of her sentence to change the meaning of what she said. That's not cool.

Ty: Betty, what did this make you think of?

Betty: Oh, you know what it made me think of. The men who call me a "n" word in their e-mails and tell me that if I don't change this sentence or that sentence they know where I live and they're going to come after me. My heart went out to Kat because she's one of the people I can call because she's two hours behind me and it's not eleven at night when I'm freaking out over an e-mail, it's only nine where she's at. And I can talk to her and she'll always talk me down and tell me, "They don't know where you live, they're not coming after you. It's just some jerk getting his jollies." Elaine told me to stop reading my e-mails and I've done that and my life is a lot less stressful. Then this nonsense comes up with Bernie thinking he can force Kat into doing a correction. And he's not even telling people that he did that. He's acting like all he's done is post his opinion and then Kat posted something "so here's a link and she misunderstands me." Here's a clue for Bernie, if you really think she misunderstood you, you don't fix that by leaving out part of her sentence, the part that demonstrates she didn't say you did it, she said you could. That was dishonest. And I thought about how Kat's always been there for me and felt so bad because this was one time I might have been able to be there for her but I didn't even know about it until I read Wally's post this morning.

Dona: Betty's getting choked up and I think we all know where that's coming from. But we're going to move to Ava and the reason is to give Betty a break. Ava?

Ava: It's crap. I don't read the e-mails we get here on our TV reviews. I used to. I used to read everything. Then some guy e-mails about he's watching C.I. and me, which should be laughable because we don't live in the same area, but he's describing a sweater that I did wear and that was my favorite until that e-mail at which point, I threw it away. He was angry about, I think, our comments about Tom Welling. And he wanted a correction and if we didn't give it to him, he was going to slash our throats or something. I forget where we were getting slashed. There have been a lot of e-mails since that I've heard of and knives seem to be very popular.
But I asked Jim about the e-mails. I asked Jim how many women write us demanding a correction on a TV review and how many men.

Jim: And the answer is that one woman has demanded a correction and more men then I can count.

Ava: Which goes to the point that when certain men know a woman wrote something, because there were never any e-mails screaming for corrections or threatening for corrections when we were all doing the reviews or later when C.I. and I were doing them but the credit wasn't up. The minute it's no men, all the sudden it's open season. The only other thing we've had a complaint about that demanded a correction was an editorial on John Roberts.

Dona: A lobbyist and his friends demanded that. There issue had nothing to do with fact but with our opinion. We don't correct opinions. I don't know anyone that does.

Ava: And the point is that threatening or not, there's some sort of unwritten policy that when it's a woman, you can demand a correction.

Cedric: And I was quoted in Kat's post. I was linked to in Kat's post. I found it strange that Bernie e-mails C.I. to get ahold of Kat when she's quoting me and linking to me and my e-mail address is available and I usually do allow comments to my posts. To quote Kat's post: "Cedric's right. The White world needs to believe that Bob Dylan means something to everyone because they've invested so much in him." Where's my e-mail Bernie? Or about my laughing at the suggestion that rappers owe a debt to Dylan. That was me. But there's no come after the man and ask him to correct something. I read Bernie's entry. If there's commentary on what Bernie wrote, Kat didn't make it, I did. If there's a problem with the interpretation of his commentary, take it up with me. But maybe it's just easier to tell a woman she has to do a correction. Maybe that's why these men keep bothering female bloggers? They're tough enough to make demands to women, but they don't say shit to a guy. Sorry for the language.

Rebecca: It is so true what you just said.

Ava: Kat, today you heard from Bernie. Tell us about that e-mail.

Kat: Well when it starts off with "Cat" and I signed my e-mail "Kat" and I write at "Kat's Korner" I'm not real thrilled to read it. I didn't write "Barney," I wrote Bernie. And it's a long e-mail and I'm reading it thinking, well maybe it's an honest mistake. Find what he wants posted from him and put up at the site to be done with this whole thing. There's nothing there that he says quote. He's got some issues that he's not a Dylan freak. In his mind, he's not. In my mind you don't accept that logic, Dylan as starting point, for rap unless you've got a jones for the Dylan. So I'm reading it and thinking, "Rebecca was right." There's nothing in it to post from him unless he means to post the entire e-mail which I assume he doesn't since he neither says to nor is there any mention by him at Pop Politics that he's telling me to do a correction. So what does he want? It looks like he wants me to write his beliefs as my own. I told him, write what you want and I'll post it. He doesn't do that. I'm not going to back off my opinion because he disagrees with it. That's when I decided I was sick of it. I called Gina and said, "I've got your poll for the week." She didn't have to go in until that afternoon and --

Ava: To work.

Kat: To work. Krista has the week off because she'll be working Christmas since she's not able to go home and everyone wants off. Gina explains that to me and says they're almost done with their latest edition and they can get this out late this morning. I say please do. With Eli helping, they had it out in thirty minutes. They were already doing a sotry on this because Rebecca had shared it with Gina the night before.

Ava: And I honestly feel like C.I. came off looking one way because C.I. gave a quote before that e-mail was known. Before Maria attempted to post the problem at Pop Politics over the issue of quoting. And before Christine responded to Maria.

C.I.: I felt like I was bit in the butt. I'm an idiot. Rebecca warned me not to write the person who'd already called me a liar. She warned me that it would bite me in the butt. And it did. It became make fun of hte person was cancer. It was my own fault for giving Bernie the benefit of the doubt. I shouldn't have. I won't make that mistake again.

Rebecca: Yes, you will because you're too trusting.

C.I. : Not with regard to Bernie. I offered no opinion in the round-robin on what had gone on other than to say I thought it was a misunderstanding and that it would be fixed shortly. I was wrong. I often am. But I was trying to high road it and not get into the details. Then I see Christine post that Kat's wrong and Bernie's right. Forget the e-mails, Bernie's not right. Bernie has an opinion. Kat has an opinion. My attitude was that they would work it out among themselves and it was two opinions. When Christine posted her's, it changed. I can understand her need to stick up for Bernie. I can't understand it in relation to Maria who's one of Christine's biggest readers. Maria attempted to get Christine linked for some post all over the net one day. We linked to her at The Common Ills for that post. But Maria wrote fifteen bloggers, female bloggers, trying to get them to give Christine's post the recogniztion that it deserved. And, for the record, no one did. Those women that were linked to by The Common Ills are no longer linked to. Christine did have a wonderful post. And instead the female bloggers Maria contacted either dismissed the importance of the post in e-mails to her or they ignored Maria's e-mails.
Maria was furious because these same women, whom Christine linked to, were jawing on about what a man did that day or what a man wrote that day. So when I got the e-mail from Maria on this, I was really offended. I don't know if Christine knows that Maria still e-mails other sites trying to get some credit for Christine or not, but she does. And Maria couldn't believe that Christine didn't even address the issue of a quote and then wants to say that, unlike Maria, she agrees with Bernie's post. Way to stick up for women. And way to let Maria know that her comments are welcomed at your site when you dismiss the most serious issue that she raises which is that Kat was misquoted. That's not opinion, that's a quote that's been shortened to imply something that the full statement doesn't. According to Martha, Christine has no idea about an e-mail exchange. Now I didn't tell Rebecca to hold her post. I even told Kat on the phone when she got the forward, the second forward, that she needed to handle it the way she wanted. But I thought, this is between Bernie and this is betwen Kat. They'll work it out. That was my mistake. For the record, Kat is right. If someone's going to weigh in on right and wrong other than Bernie, you better be damn sure that I will too. I'm the one who encouraged Kat to write her reviews in the first place. I love her reviews. Even if I don't agree with one, I love it.
She has her own voice, she has her own writing style. Bernie's playing "on the one hand . . . but on the other hand" and there's nothing there but boring. So if people are --

Mike: Coming off the bench to choose sides!

C.I.: Fine, we'll go with a sports metaphor, for you Mike, if people are coming off the bench, you better believe I'm weighing in. Kat wrote a wonderful piece. There's nothing wrong with what she wrote. Christine wants to choose sides, then I'm waving my hands and saying, "Pick me!"

Wally: Just FYI, your sports metaphor was about three.

C.I.: It was Mike's metaphor, I'm not surprised I screwed it up. But I don't approve of the way Kat was treated. I don't approve of strong arming someone into a correction. I don't approve of asking for a correction on an opinion. I certianly don't approve of the suggestion that Bernie had no way to be heard when he had a standing offer from Kat that he only had to follow up on. Had Bernie just posted that he disagreed, that would be one thing. Had he explained point by point, as Christine states she can, how he disagrees with her, that would be one thing. But he crossed a line when he dropepd off the "can" from her quote to imply that she wrote that he was quoting The New Republic. That is a falsehood. Maria pointed that out. Chrstine states that she's read them both. If, with Maria pointing it out, Christine can't grasp that Bernie's altered the meaning of Kat's words by posting a partial sentence, there's a problem. I realize the situation Christine's in and that she's got to navigate it with many hats. I understand that, I can respect it. I don't respect that while a woman's being told by a man that she betterl correct her opinion, Christine's saying that Bernie is right. I don't respect that at all. I feel Kat was bullied. I feel Kat was used by Bernie. And I don't approve of another woman stepping in and saying, "Bernie is right." Bernie is not right. Bernie's actions were not above board, from the private demand for a correction that's never been noted at the site to altering Kat's words, Bernie was not right. If we're going to choose sides, and apparently we are, I'll stick with Kat. I'll support a woman's right not to have to correct an opinion just because a man disagrees with her take on it. I'll support a woman's right not to have her words altered by someone who's claiming he's misunderstood. Christine is a fair person. I'll trust that Martha's correct and Christine had no idea about the e-mails. But that doesn't change the fact that Kat's words were altered by dropping off the "can" and Bernie stating that Kat said she HAD said he quoted The New Republic. That's the point I can't get around. I tried to high road it and let them work it out while telling Kat to do what she wanted and I would support her. I didn't post my entry on this last night because I truly hoped that Bernie and Kat would work it out. That didn't happen --though from the tone of Bernie's last e-mail, he thinks it did. I'm about to start repeating myself so I'm stopping.

Dona: Ava, I want your thoughts on this and Jim can keep transcribing.

Ava: I'm sorry but I don't see where a woman gets beat up online, which is what I see the altering of Kat's meaning, and a feminist doesn't stick up for her. Not only does she not stick up for her, but she says the man was right. The man who posted on a man that's posted on all the time. My feeling, Bernie needs to widen his perspective. My feeling, if I was running Pop Politics, I'd ask, "Why are you writing about Bob Dylan? The special was a month ago." But then I wouldn't slam Bright Eyes as "trite" for "When A President Talks To God" either. But then I'm against the war. And anyone who reads something I wrote or something anyone in this community wrote knows that. I'm not hedging my bets. I'm not trying to look reasonable as I thumb threw The New Republic. And I read Wally's post. The New Republic shows not just disrespect but violence being encouraged towards Arundhati Roy and I have to wonder where the feminism is in that? I didn't know that the rag had done that and certainly it's done things hideous things before. But that goes so far beyond. If you're a feminist, you don't link to a magazine that supports a bunker bomb being used on Arundhati Roy. It's bullshit. And if you link to that magazine, after all it's done to promote the war, and after that bunker bomb nonsense, I have a problem.

Dona: Because apparently it's okay, Ava and I spoke of this today, it's okay to express violence towards Arundhati Roy. That's not any feminism I know of. When a magazine does that, if you're a feminist, you don't link to it. That crossed the line so badly that the magazine should not be linked to. I don't read the rag. I can't believe people are promoting that rag after this. But a feminist shouldn't tolerate that expression of violence twoards a woman. You can call it principles or you can call it self-respect but if you're a feminist you do not support expressions of violence against a woman. Don't you dare write about battered women or women whose lives are destroyed when their homes become a battlefield if you're also going to support that magazine because the line that was crossed is so severe that unless you're willing to take a stand, you're useless to feminism. When a man expresses that kind of violence towards a woman, you either say, "No" or you continue linking to them and promoting them and helping their popularity. Now maybe the women at the site, including Christine, are unaware of what was said about Arundhati Roy. If that's the case, they need to be made aware. And once they are aware, they need to follow feminist principles which means when a man expresses violence against a woman, you don't link to the magazine that houses him. Wally, read what David Zirn wrote.

Wally: "The New Republic thought they would score points with their puffy beltway buddies by printing a call for someone to 'take a bunker buster to [internationally known anti-war author] Arundhati Roy.' The New Republic also thought they'd get away with it. They were wrong."

Dona: They should have been wrong. But apparently, they weren't. Apparently Pop Politics is fine with giving them links which will increase their traffic. I'm not fine with it. If they're unaware of what was written, they should be aware of it. And they should rethink their promotion of The New Republic. That's not feminism. Either your respect a woman's right to voice her opinion without the threat, "joke" or not, of violence, or you don't. This isn't a moral quandry. This is real clear cut. Arundhati Roy, you stand with her or you present yourself as an exception. You tell yourself, "They'd never write that about me." I don't care if they'd write it about you or not, they wrote it about one woman. It wasn't funny and men need to find a way to deal with women other than demanding and bullying and wishing violence. And in my mind, and we're all responsible for our own statements here, in my mind if you're not taking a stand against it, you're supporting it. Especially if you identify as a feminist. You're saying it's okay. Rebecca and C.I. knew of this attack. They found it disgusting. The rest of us, including Wally, only learned of it today. Possibly Pop Politics isn't aware of it. But if you're a feminist runing the magazine, you either take a stand for women or you don't. If you don't, don't claim to be a feminist. Feminism doesn't need you if your support only comes in spurts. What was said about Arundhati is inexcusable. Before you pick apart Kat, you might want to figure out where you stand on that. Wally noted it today and we'll close with it: "As NOW notes, 'Peace is a feminist issue.'" That says it all.
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