[csaa-forum] tone

Sally Scott Sally.Scott at curtin.edu.au
Mon Apr 4 12:25:18 CST 2005

I found the email to Elspeth absolutely appalling and not deserving of a
reply, funny or otherwise. 

It is critical that the humanities, and cultural studies in particular, are
seen and known to be capable of critical and intelligent debate. Personal
attacks are OK - over a keg of beer at the pub with friends and 'lashings'
of humour.

I understand the frustration people feel at the rise of neo-con ideologies
in our public forums, but ad hominum attacks only provide ammunition. With
the humanities under sustained attack because number-crunchers do not
understand how we function, it is imperative that we educate in an
intelligent and restrained way. That's not to say we have to be boring - but
we do have to be politically aware.


-----Original Message-----
From: csaa-forum-bounces at darlin.cdu.edu.au
[mailto:csaa-forum-bounces at darlin.cdu.edu.au] On Behalf Of Elspeth Probyn
Sent: Monday, 4 April 2005 9:44 AM
Cc: CSAA discussion list
Subject: Re: [csaa-forum] tone

Dear all,

I agree with Tony's and Jonathon's remarks about the tone of debate, if only
sinking to the low level of commentators encourages a spitefulness that is
getting out of
hand. For instance, below is an email I've just received. I get a few in
this tone and it
does make me depair. But going after the sex lives - or not - of Bolt etc
only results in
a tit for tat, except they have greater power. The stakes are very high
right now, and we
(and i have no probs with using "we" in this case) had better realise it!
For instance,
after Bolt decimated me I received emails about how great it was that he'd
"rhizomatic" in the Sun Herald. Now I know that the intentions were good,
but the import
of his attack (which tried to discredit my research on the basis of my
sexuality) went far
beyond me. We have to realise that the politics of humiliation is rife at
the moment,
including amongst Ministers (Costello gets one up on Nelson when he can
query ARC funding
with some nutty title). If we can, we have to try to shift debate away from
these terms.
We need to use smarts and humour, but not play into the game of humiliation,
especially on
the grounds of sex.

and if anyone has a smart and funny retort to the writer of the email below,
pls let me


"Firstly I am absolutely amazed and astounded that you are a professor you
sound like such a retarded knuckle dragging misandric feminist Neanderthal,
however in the present fanatical femi-nazi climate of politically correctoid
undemocratic institution's of (supposed) higher learning -- tenured academic
positions are handed out to any Andrea Dworkin nutcase wannabes or
surrendered subservient submissive pro-feminist "mangina's" such as Hugo
Schwyzer and the erroneous insidious vacuous ideologically defunct rabid
feminist infestation continues to spread.

Your self indulgent sporadic moronic feminist ideological driven illogical
rambling's are so typical of feminist-nazi's such as your pathetic self,
that your misandry (hatred of men) become's so very transparent in your
incoherent propaganda devoid of empirical evidence and or an opposing view,
as always, feminism cannot contend with logical debate -- find yourself a
short cut to hell, Satan is waiting for you! Andrea Dworkin, and a myriad of
misandrist's and mangina's will keep your vile self company eternally."

Tony Mitchell wrote:

> While I appreciate Melissa's position on this recent debate about the
> inappropriateness of certain comments of a personal nature about right
> wing commentators, I have to say it isn't the first time - there were
> similar comments made about Andrew Bolt after his infamous piece about
> the ARC. At the time I was on the verge on unsubscribing to the list as
> being associated with this kind of cheap and crude level of debate is
> totally unproductive. The csaa-forum is useful in other ways of course
> (providing information about conferences and seminars) and one can of
> course just delete posts after a quick skim  (which I frequently do)
> but it really seems like some people need to lift their game ...
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Elspeth Probyn
Professor & Chair
Dept of Gender Studies
The University of Sydney  NSW  2006
Tel - 9351 7389; Fax - 9351 5336
Mobile - 0412 548 762



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