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Discussing the dissing of horse racing (14 July 2009)

zach

photo by Zach_ManchesterUK

Fighting has broken out in Siena's Piazza del Campo. Girly fighting too, by the look of it. From across the piazza all you can see are flailing arms at the point where two crowds of young people have met, a wild flurry of slapping and punching. I can't see the colour of the scarves each group is wearing, but someone says it looks like Tartuca versus Chiocciola, or possibly Aquila against their old enemies Pantera. The enmity is long-standing although actual fights in the public square are not generally done. The kids can't help it though -- it is Palio time again. (Steve Burgess, “At the World’s Wildest Horse Race,” 10 July 2009)

re: "Girly fighting too, by the look of it. From across the piazza all you can see are flailing arms at the point where two crowds of young people have met, a wild flurry of slapping and punching."

Steve, fighting that amounts to a wild flurry of slapping might well seem most aptly summed-up as girly fighting to you, but, please note, such a summation can actually contribute to a mounting societal assessment of WOMEN, of females, as all so in truth, in essence, rather ridiculous, so rather-not-to-taken-seriously, so put-them-back-in-their-proper-place, girlies. Please note, woman have been spending the last two centuries and a half, trying to escavate themselves from a Hunt, from a God-damned, you barely deserve to live let alone be expected to be respected, hunt, and it would be a pity if, hoping, after all their efforts, after all this time, they've made some forward progess, they made the mistake of looking to your assessment of horsies and crowdie' antics, they felt that, no, it's all the same, that things won't change, no how, no time, nowhere--no way.

You're an interesting guy, with a promising future, so I'll resist flagging this post and reporting of your contribution to a belittling, hateful atmosphere toward women, to those who truly are to be counted on to be concerned about such matters, which may, unfortunately, given your position with the Tyee and its professed respect for women's rights and animosity toward any and all that's disrespectul to those who've historically been the brunt of brutal discrimination and shame, prove of a smaller cohort than we've been lead to believe. Of course I could be accused of making too much of such a small thing, but hopefully we've all done enough redemptive work, to know that this might amount to digging a deeper hole.

Mancations; West Edmonton Mall women, shopping--as a, as THE problem; girly vs. manly kinds of fights . . . Changes ahead? I'm indeed wondering where you're headed, Tyee.

- - - - -

I don’t understand the need to trash the writers of the Tyee everytime there is an article that offends hegemonic sensibilities. While it is important to hold our writers accountable, it has to be done with real reason. As for the sexist ramblings in this article, a couple of lines, including the reference to Monica Lewinsky also left me a little puzzled as to what the author’s intentions are. However, the need to question the direction of the Tyee everytime an article does not meet some mysterious standard is becoming absurd.

Vanessa Richmond wrote an article last year comparing and contrasting the media treatment of Spears and Jolie. While it was “shallow” article, it was designed to provoke thought and discussion. However, it brought calls of “Why is the Tyee publishing this sort of National Inquirer crap” by some commentators who did not even bother to read the article.

There is a great variety of writing at the Tyee. If you don’t like this piece, you could spend some time commenting on the “Liberia, a Tricky Path to Justice” or the "Food Inc" piece. I encourage the writers at the Tyee to continue to take risks and provide us with many alternative subjects to consider. (Moat, response to post, “At the World’s Wildest Horse Race”)

Moat, you didn't reference SicPreFix's post, which addressed the entirety of the piece, not "just" a "couple of lines." S/he, you noticed, is one whose (silly?) "hegemonic sensibilities" weren't so highly-strung, they disabled her/him from finishing reading the piece.

I am one that tends to really engage in stuff some find unworthy of even a brief comment. But there are times when I won't do it, and will instead offer some broader critique--from part to whole. And when I'm beginning to sense that the range that you yourself still see, seems to me to be much less marked, and of a nature/direction that genuinely concerns, I talk it.

Pieces just don't "provoke discussion," here. Many times they are not most fairly/accurately summed up/essentialized as of the kind of stuff that opens things up. Many times there are articles here that discourage/disparage certain ways of looking at the world, that work to shut things down, to shut people down. I like it when people go at these articles in an alive way, to challenge what might well be--who knows?--a rather unfortunate narrowing, rather than a wholy commendable opening of things up (something all periodicals/media outlets pretend to: even [or even especially] the likes of FOX news). You may not intend, but you play in a way to taught appreciations of the media and readers, here, to shut certain readers/commenters down and buoy journalists up, which requires some challenge.

Most times, again, I really go at the entirety of the piece, because most articles are alive enough that you may not most fairly go at them (though this doesn't necessarily follow), that you cannot resist not engaging with them, by taking on two lines. If this the case with this piece? I had too many other articles also (reverberating) in mind when I read/addressed this one. But SicPreFix didn't--was focused solely on this one. And looks to be one who feels the whole of it is to be found in the smaller part.

It is no good when people are afraid to say things, however. And it is good when writers operate with a certain, with a considerable, disregard for what others might say--how else to integrity? how else to productivity?, how else to, even, sunshine!, pirates!, sundae sweetness!, and a better world? And it is true that people are very quick to shut people down when they say anything un-pc, as many who contribute to discussions here, have learned from past experience.

Perhaps almost as quick as they are to jump on those who can be set up to seem implusive, flippant, indulgent--"girlie": i.e., those whose obsession over the trivial, makes them sadly inferior to those able to hold to proper account.

- - - - -

Since people seem to feel strongly about this, I'll respond.

"Girly fighting"--It's a joke. Pick your battles, folks. Save the outrage for the real issues. Or can one of you explain to me the underlying lack of respect, the clear disdain for gender equality, represented by an old-fashioned term for slap fighting? Am I failing to acknowledge the very real hopes and aspirations of 21st century women to haul off and break noses with solid pile-driving punches?

SicPreFix wrote: "... the whole story reeks of outmoded, sexist, pro-violence, tribal warfare...."

So you don't object only to my perceived attitude, but to the reported facts as well? Perhaps I should rewrite the story so that an eight-century-old Italian tradition no longer offends your sensibilities?

And why is it that so many Tyee posters take umbrage at any attempt to broaden the scope of this magazine beyond their pet subjects? Down with tyranny, I say. (Steve Burgess, response to post, “At the World’s Wildest Horse Race”)

Maybe stop with the broadening of scope,

and entertain some appreciation, some respect, for this wild ride?

Guess we didn't realize you weren't saying they slapped away at one another like girls, that what you were saying is that they fought in the manner people used to without compunction reference as girly fighting, before feminists, concerned leftists, showed how using these ostensibly "innocent" terms, however innocently, very much contributed to an everyday lived environment which denigrated women while it upraised men.

These same concerned feminists have been trying to show that it's never a little joke obsessed over only by the intrinsically silly, whose sillyness is such that they quite rightly ought to be the subject of quick but forceful dismissal by Hemingway-venturing men, who feel they have a solid claim on being feminist, themselves, but who take suspicious, not-so-feminist pleasure in setting up people as overly-sensitive, easily offended, silly-types, with pet projects and a domestic narrowness of scope--that is, in ways/terms traditionally used to keep women in their place, well out of the affairs, and hair, of men.

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