Re: what was that?


Subject: Re: what was that?
From: Rob Stone (rob@smitten.biz)
Date: Thu Aug 18 2005 - 05:44:38 EDT


> I understand that Linda does not believe the naivite going on, for
> this is an emotional issue for her, and emotional concerns do not have
> access to processes of rational thought, or so Proust writes.

Recourse to the poetics of feminine hysteria has been one of the most
celebrated historical means of keeping things just so. Besides, Proust was
in bed when he wrote this. His activites (delightful and insightful as they
were) were institutionally sustained by personal wealth.

A little time ago, when teaching as a casual in a fine art department, a
colleague mentioned an occurrence in a tutorial session she had just come
out from. The studio spaces in the college in question were tiny, and
separated only by partitions. She overheard a male member of staff ask a
young student whether she really had to wear a bra when she attended these
tutorials. My collague spoke to the student afterwards, who said that she
was fine with such a request. Stumped, then.

The character who made the request of the student, was by every measurable
standard a lazy, appalling and unsuccessful artist, who was very senior in
the department, and who had moreover managed to exercise the craven
inadequacies of upper management and was in a proven position to lay off any
member of casual staff who had in the past questioned his right to make such
a request of a student, or indulge in any other kinds of relatedly loutish
behaviour.

Despite the student's acquiescence, this is not OK, we know this. In the end
our predator took an early retirement.

My point is that this institution like any other had regulations regarding
appropriate behaviour, but also would not be arsed to take on a violent and
powerful bully like this one. Certainly it would not follow through a
complaint made by any casual member of staff.

We all know of examples of such behaviour, too many of them, and I don't get
why there is a pretense in this discussion that for those of us attached to
and sustained by art institutions, that there is no gender, race or other
chauvanisms at work in them. Neither do I understand why we should not be
rightly outraged by them, or why that anger should find us undone by being
branded overemotional.

Rob

> I understand that Linda does not believe the naivite going on, for
> this is an emotional issue for her, and emotional concerns do not have
> access to processes of rational thought, or so Proust writes. It
> follows that the issues framed in these contexts cannot be
> 'discussed', as belief systems (articles of faith) cannot be
> 'discussed', as they are (by definition), not open to change and
> modification.

Kevin, you put my thoughts, as always, in a much more articulate manner.

/applaud.

Now, if we could get on with rational discussion instead of emotive
reasoning, perhaps we could get something interesting out of CECdiscuss
(including the guidelines which you are using at Concordia - perhaps a
good point for rebuilding this discussion) instead of incessant
emotionally derived and intentionally persuasive buzzwords - which tire
me, as a woman!

>
>
>

-- 
99% of aliens prefer Earth
--Eminem

www.iriXx.org www.copyleftmedia.org.uk



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