Saturday, 9 April 2011

The Odds and Ends Drawer

I've started gathering these through Twitter, so feel free to send them that way, or through email or the traditional comments on the post.
Thanks for all the positive feedback about this feature - I'll try to get them up more often, indeed I already have lots of saved links for the next one!

    15 comments:

    weka said...

    I can't comment on Sophie's blog because I don't belong to any of the IDs she has set for comments, so I'll post here.

    Her post misrepresents Lashlie's work. Here's what Lashlie said at the start of her words in that article:

    "If he has come to truly understand the magnitude of what he did, he has the potential to become an extraordinary man," said Lashlie, who recommended in 2005 the NZRL allow him to resume playing as it would help him to rehabilitate. "I think he has the capacity to lead the way out and be an extraordinary role model who has learnt from his mistake."

    Yes, you can selectively quote from that article to make out that Lashlie is excusing the offender's behaviour, but knowing a bit about her work I seriously doubt that that is what Lashlie is meaning. I think what she is saying is that if the man truely acknowledges what he did and is willing to take responsiblity for that, then being a high profile sports player will make him a good role model for other men who are in similar violent prone situations.

    Yes, ultimately the offender is responsibly for his own violence. But it's ridiculous to suggest that context (social, historical etc) doesn't have any effect.

    For those not familar with Lashlie's work please listen to this Kim Hill interview

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/bestof2010

    Lashlie is one of those doing some of the most important anti-violence work in this country. Sophie's post made up of cheap shots from selective quoting is poor feminism and does a disservice to feminist approaches to changing our violent culture.

    weka said...

    Sorry for the double post. There seems to be a long delay between posting and the post appearing (longer than normal).

    stargazer said...

    the delay was because your comments went into spam & i fished them out. i can't understand why it does that to some comments & not others. in any case, you can delete one of the comments or i can do it for you.

    Ally said...

    Thank you for the link lovin'!

    Boganette said...

    "Sophie's post made up of cheap shots from selective quoting is poor feminism and does a disservice to feminist approaches to changing our violent culture."

    I really question your ability to say whether or not someone's blog post is "poor feminism" based on the fact that you're mates with Celia Lashlie. I read exactly what Lashlie said and came to the same conclusion Sophie did. Am I bad feminist? QoT also blogged about Lashlie's victim blaming language. Is she doing a disservice to "feminist" approaches to changing our violent culture?

    Please, that is ridiculous. You can disagree with Sophie's post - but don't start with the poor feminism crap.

    And maybe Lashlie might not be called an abuse apologist and victim blamer if she stopped apologising for abuse and blaming victims. ALL of those quotes were hers. Selective or not they were ALL HER WORDS.

    Also intent is magic. Lashlie could have come out and said that she didn't "mean" what she said (it wouldn't mean much but she could still do it). The fact is she hasn't done that. So what she said still stands. And it's quite stomach churning to me.

    weka said...

    Thanks stargazer. I can't see a way to remove the second post myself, so can you please do it for me?

    weka said...


    I really question your ability to say whether or not someone's blog post is "poor feminism" based on the fact that you're mates with Celia Lashlie.


    I'm not Lashlie's mate, don't know her, have never met her. I have no idea what she is like as a person. I know a little about her work from what I've seen in the media. Please don't attribute things to me that aren't true.

    I read exactly what Lashlie said...

    Really? Because I read what the reporter reported of what Lashlie said.

    It's likely that Lashlie needs to be more careful of how she phrases things to the press, but we don't know how her words came to be there or how much they were edited.

    ... and came to the same conclusion Sophie did. Am I bad feminist?

    I didn't say that Sophie is a 'bad' feminist (whatever that is). Nor did I imply that you or anyone who agrees with her is a bad feminist. I critiqued one piece of Sophie's written work, and found it lacking. Is it not ok to critique the feminist aspect of someone's work? Seriously? I guess I could have critiqued the blogpost style (which I was also doing), but had it not been a feminist context I wouldn't have bothered. It's important, the feminist bit.

    Nor do I think that critiqueing language, esp in the media, is bad feminism. Obviously there are serious issues with how language upholds core societal beliefs about violence esp violence against women. I just had a problem with how the critiquing was done in this case.

    What I was critiquing was the use of selective quoting to misrepresent what another feminist was saying.

    I completely support the opposition to violence against women. All violence against women is wrong and men who commit violence against women need to take full responsiblity for that (not something I see that offender doing in that article btw). The problem is that men don't take responsiblity, and they don't generally listen to feminists speaking out about this. There is something else that needs to happen as well as speaking out, that involves working directly with men who are violent, because they are the ones that are going to change the aspects of male culture that support violence against women.

    You, Sophie, others, see Lashlie as being an aplogist for offenders (or this particular offender). I don't. I see her as bridging the gap between theory/philosophy and reality. I'm familiar enough with her work to not attribute things to her that you are (eg that she thinks that the woman asked to be abused).

    I would have had less of a problem with Sophie's post had it put her own critiques of Lashlie's words in the context of Lashlie's work - eg how come this feminist, anti-violence worker is using this language? Is there another way to understand this? Has the media misrepresented her? Is it possible she is using language badly (or poorly even) and yet is still saying something important?

    As it was, the post came across as a superficial, easy potshot at the words and the woman and casts Lashlie as some ignorant, abuse apologist, which she patently is not (I'm not saying Lashlie is beyond critique either btw).

    ...

    weka said...

    ...

    For instance, where Sophie says:


    “He was way out his depth” - Last time I checked, that wasn’t really an excuse for physically assaulting someone.


    I don't see this as excusing the offender's behaviour. It's an acknowledgement of the man's state at the time. Do you really believe there are no contributing factors to men's violence? That the violent actions arise simply because the man wants to damage someone? There is no contradiction between "men are responsible for their own violence" and "there are factors that make men more violent".

    I'd be interested to know if you are familiar with Lashlie's work, and to what extent. Also what you make of this paragraph:

    ''If he has come to truly understand the magnitude of what he did, he has the potential to become an extraordinary man,'' said Lashlie, who recommended in 2005 the NZRL allow him to resume playing as it would help him to rehabilitate. ''I think he has the capacity to lead the way out and be an extraordinary role model who has learnt from his mistake.


    As an aside to all that, the things that disturb me about the article are that the offender believes that there is nothing he can do about his past action, and the victim and her family are opposed to his moving on (they aren't wrong, just that obviously things haven't been resolved for them. Had he been truly remorseful and made amends they might be more willing to let him have his own life back). Those two things are probably connected.

    It also disturbs me that the article is all about him, and the woman is sidelined. In a sane world, the article would be about to what extent he is allowed his life back relative to her.

    weka said...

    Still can't figure out what is going on with the posts. I've had to split my last post in two, and the second one appeared but the first didn't. I'll leave it awhile and see if they sort themselves out.

    Julie said...

    I think they are both there now Weka? Certainly I just checked the moderation queue and there's nothing in it. Also, there is a word limit on the length of comments on Blogger.

    weka said...

    Thanks Julie, looks good now.

    ideologicallyimpure said...

    As someone who also posted about this, I have to completely disagree with you, weka.

    When Celia Lashlie was asked about Shaun Metcalf she had options. One was to say "he did a bad thing, I hope he's learnt and expressed remorse and hopefully this will be a good move for him" (which would still obnoxiously have made it All About Him)

    ... OR she could buy into a fantastic number of misogynist, abuse-apologist tropes about "being overwhelmed" and "making mistakes" and "she got pregnant" and "oh let's stop focusing on this image of what actually happened because it's too ~emotional~ and makes him look bad" ...

    and that's what she did and that's exactly what Sophia's post called out. No "selective quoting" required.

    Sophia said...

    Hi everyone,
    Julie alerted to me to this discussion last night and I haven't had any time until now to weigh in with some of my thoughts. Although, having read some of the comments, both Boganette and QoT have largely summed up the points I would have made.

    I'm well aware of Lashlie's work and I certainly didn't intentionally set out to paint her as some "ignorant, abuse apologist" at all. QoT is right – Lashlie had a choice – she didn’t have to use the language she did to describe the abuse that Metcalf engaged in, but she did. In many ways, it undermined Lashlie’s original point about the potential for Metcalf to be a role model. For Metcalf to be a role model he would have to own his past actions rather than trying to forget what happened or him to dismiss it as something he did when he was young. Yet – Lashlie then uses his youth as some sort of excuse. Maybe you might not see it that way, but to me it certainly dismisses the severity of his actions.

    My post wasn’t really about Lashlie – it was more about the language that is used when we talk about violence against women and Lashlie was just an example I used. I think it actually shows just how pervasive the discourse around violence is that even people who are generally good on issues like this, can also sometimes get it quite wrong.

    Finally – thanks for the heads up about my comments – I didn’t realise that my settings only enabled people with certain accounts to comment, so I will change that now. Also, just a small pet peeve on mine - my name is Sophia, not Sophie.

    Maia said...

    weka - you say "Sophie's [actually Sophia] post is made up of cheaps shots from selective quoting is poor feminism and does a disservice to feminist approaches to changing our violent culture."

    I know other people have said it already, but I strongly disagree. I think feminism means paying attention to the language people use, and the implications of that language, even when we agree with them. I think that's particularly important in projects like hers, because one of the dangers of focusing on perpetrators you are de-centering those they hurt. So the language you use matters.

    Boganette said...

    Sophia has replied to you Weka so I won't say too much more.

    But you quoting Lashlie and guessing what you think she meant isn't any different to a blogger quoting Lashlie and pointing out that they find her language problematic and damaging.

    Also "Has the media misrepresented her?" and "we don't know how her words came to be there or how much they were edited" - I'm guessing she was interviewed, and then the reporter wrote an article and used her quotes. Are you saying she was misquoted? That's a serious accusation.

    Finally, I am familiar with Lashlie's work. I wouldn't comment on it if I wasn't.