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 Forum index » Discussion » Diversity in electro-music
Gender equality in electro
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bbinkovitz



Joined: Jun 12, 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:
all i've been doing is encourging you and bernat to contribute and/or ask questions....


that's not all you've been doing. though i doubt it was intentional or even conscious on your part, you've also been defining what is and is not "contributing" and asserting/implying:
1. that participating in this particular forum does not constitute a valid contribution
2. that my participation in discussions about the 2006 and 2007 events does not constitute a valid contribution
3. that all other posts i have made on this forum/questions i have asked people in person at events/help i have provided to my group (project ruori) and other groups at electro do not constitute valid contributions
4. that if you haven't personally seen it and judged it worthy it's not a valid contribution to electronic music in general

you also seem to think you know an awful lot about me and my musical activities (or supposed lack thereof) both on and off this board.

Quote:

as i think you will find that many of your concerns of how you will be treated are moot.


prior to experiencing the defensiveness and hostility of some of these posts, i had no concerns about the way i would be treated. which is pretty naive considering that last male-dominated group centered around electronics (F.I.R.S.T. robotics) i participated in seemed just as lovely and welcoming as this one, and still somehow many of my fellow (underage at the time, mind you) female teammates were groped while receiving an award, no less.

of course, i wasn't thinking of that event when i came to electro-music 2006 (the first one i attended). but would it be a problem if i were?
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deknow



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
1. that participating in this particular forum does not constitute a valid contribution

your "contribution" on this forum has largely been about how you think you won't be treated well, or will feel uncomfortable on the rest of the forums. i don't think you will be....hopefully you will figure it out one way or another...and come up with ideas to improve things if you feel they fall short. but you have to try first.

Quote:
2. that my participation in discussions about the 2006 and 2007 events does not constitute a valid contribution

of course your participation is valued! but again, most of that has been about the gender issue, and you have not wanted to actually discuss that juli's role as "beer server" is not a subservient role, but one of great responsibility...one that no volunteer would be trusted with. that there were many more women performers and preseneters than last year, that men did not only "manly" things, but picked up the trash, arranged chairs, cooked,and did whatever needed to be done without any thought to gender roles. you don't seem to want to discuss these things.

Quote:
3. that all other posts i have made on this forum/questions i have asked people in person at events/help i have provided to my group (project ruori) and other groups at electro do not constitute valid contributions

sorry, look up your own posts. less than 10 before starting this forum, and many (if not most) of those were in relation to feedback and photos of the events...many focusing on the 'women in em' topic. i never said your contributions wern't valid, but they were not significant enough for you to have an idea of how you would be treated on the forums in general. you want to discuss electronic music, then do so.

Quote:
4. that if you haven't personally seen it and judged it worthy it's not a valid contribution to electronic music in general

i'm not a mind reader....post about some of your activities! post some music, drawings, video....

Quote:
you also seem to think you know an awful lot about me and my musical activities (or supposed lack thereof) both on and off this board.

...i know nothing of your musical activities....but i'd like to know more. unfortunately (from my perspective) you have chosen to focus on why you think such discussions would not be welcome, rather than actually having them and seeing how you are treated.

i'm really not in the position to do anything about underage women being groped at a robotics compettition...and i can't say i understand such behavior (i've never 'groped' a woman in such a way, and i'm always shocked when women seem concerned about such things...not that i don't believe it happens, i know it does, but because it's outside of my experience...i can no more imagine murdering someone). imho, this is an issue that would be better discussed on a robotics team coaching forum, or coaching in general....or in a talk to young women about speaking up when such things happen. i'm not being critical of you bringing it up, but you are making a serious mistake if you think such behavior would be tolerated here.

deknow
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bbinkovitz



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

deknow wrote:

Quote:

2. that my participation in discussions about the 2006 and 2007 events does not constitute a valid contribution

of course your participation is valued! but again, most of that has been
about the gender issue,

i posted after the 2006 event too, thanking everyone and participating in the debate about video at the EM events. and this year i posted a lot of photos i took at EM07.


Quote:
and you have not wanted to actually discuss that juli's role as "beer server" is not a subservient role, but one of great responsibility...one that no volunteer would be trusted with. that there were many more women performers and preseneters than last year, that men did not only "manly" things, but picked up the trash, arranged chairs, cooked,and did whatever needed to be done without any thought to gender roles. you don't seem to want to discuss these things.


i'd love to discuss these things. however, many have expressed frustration with the derailment of the conversations in these threads, so i was making an attempt to bring this all back to the music aspect a bit more (with questionable success in my attempt to keep myself on-topic Wink )

i'm also embarrassed that i came off as saying that juli and genevive don't have talents. i'm sure they do! and i didn't know that genevive played a set at EM06. sad i missed that!

i brought up their role as an example of the type of gender role i was talking about. i definitely didn't mean to accuse electro-musicgoers of forcing them into these roles. i also didn't mean to disrespect their roles or the responsibility they entail. i wholeheartedly appreciate the crucial importance of beer!

Quote:

Quote:
3. that all other posts i have made on this forum/questions i have asked people in person at events/help i have provided to my group (project ruori) and other groups at electro do not constitute valid contributions

sorry, look up your own posts. less than 10 before starting this forum, and many (if not most) of those were in relation to feedback and photos of the events...many focusing on the 'women in em' topic. i never said your contributions wern't valid, but they were not significant enough for you to have an idea of how you would be treated on the forums in general. you want to discuss electronic music, then do so.


i do, often! i discuss it in person with the other members of project ruori, i discuss it in person with people at the electro events, and i read a lot of posts and google a lot of terms without feeling the need to reply to every single post i peruse. perhaps it would be more helpful to the board if i started posting a thanks on particularly helpful ones, though. if that's what you're suggesting, then thanks. i will do it.

Quote:
Quote:
4. that if you haven't personally seen it and judged it worthy it's not a valid contribution to electronic music in general

i'm not a mind reader....post about some of your activities! post some music, drawings, video....


i posted a link to my music myspace a while ago. however, it's hard to "post" "my" "music" when most of my electro-musical/artistic efforts include things like recording, processing, and arranging the samples used for the lightflowers installment we presented and used in our performance this year, helping build the photosensor assembly inside the lightflower instruments themselves, setup and operation of lighting and video equipment, recording, editing and processing of visual samples for the visual mixing, choreography of onstage activity, writing of lyrics, and other efforts that are collaborative and therefore don't result in things like normal CDs that i can just make into a .zip file and post.

but while it's not always possible to post that stuff, it is possible to present it in public forums such as the EM events. which i have done, along with my co-collaborators in project ruori, for the last two years. i saw you there and talked to you about the lighting rig i was helping set up. that's why i'm surprised that you seem to think i'm hiding in a hole or something.

Quote:

...i know nothing of your musical activities....but i'd like to know more. unfortunately (from my perspective) you have chosen to focus on why you think such discussions would not be welcome, rather than actually having them and seeing how you are treated.


as far as i can tell, you haven't asked about my personal musical activities; you've told me to stop talking about diversity issues. if you wanna talk about music with me, then that's wonderful! we can make a thread where i answer questions about my electro-musical inclinations, if you want. i really just didn't want to show off too much. i thought most people would be more interested in discussing large issues that affect everyone than the details of my unremarkable music, and that if someone wanted details about me that they would feel free to ask.

so, feel free to ask!

Quote:

i'm really not in the position to do anything about underage women being groped at a robotics compettition...and i can't say i understand such behavior (i've never 'groped' a woman in such a way, and i'm always shocked when women seem concerned about such things...not that i don't believe it happens, i know it does, but because it's outside of my experience...i can no more imagine murdering someone). imho, this is an issue that would be better discussed on a robotics team coaching forum, or coaching in general....or in a talk to young women about speaking up when such things happen. i'm not being critical of you bringing it up, but you are making a serious mistake if you think such behavior would be tolerated here.


that's just it -- such behavior wasn't tolerated there either. but it happened. no one expected it, least of all the 99.999% of men at the event. i fully DO NOT expect anything similar at any EM event, but a place for women to talk and connect can help in case such an unthinkable incident does somehow actually take place. i'm certainly not accusing you of groping anyone. i'm assuming most, if not all, men here are with me in decrying such behavior. it's just an example of how a bad apple spoils the bunch, which is not just the problem of the bad apple, it is also a problem for the bunch.


to be honest, a lot of what you've said recently has been frustrating to me. but i'm really glad you're articulating your concerns because it's probable that others have at least some of the same ones, whether they feel able to voice them or not. this doesn't seem like petty internet bickering to me; it feels like an important and potentially fruitful debate.

Last edited by bbinkovitz on Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:16 am; edited 2 times in total
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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

As some of you know, I used to be an exec at Bell Labs. We got tons of "diversity" training. I took many courses and hopefully learned something. One of the things they pointed out is that for whatever reason women communicate differently than men. When they have fears, concerns, frustrations and the like they tell other people. Other women listen to this and acknowledge these feelings with empathy. They don't feel the need to offer a solution and generally don't. They understand that what the other person needs is just to be heard and acknowledged.

Men hear these expressions of feelings and feel the need to offer the solution, to be helpful, to be the fixer. Sometimes, males feel the woman's expression of her feelings are a complaint, a threat, or a criticism. Men sometimes see these expressions of feelings as weakness in the other person.

Sometimes, when men respond not by acknowledging the validity of a womans feelings but with a suggestion to behave differently, the woman will feel dissed. Often unsaid is "I wasn't asking you what I need to be better, I was just sharing with you how I felt."

This is diversity. Men can certainly learn a lot from women about being empathetic listeners. It's a great thing for a friend, even male friends. Women can learn that suggested fixes aren't a personal criticism, but a sincere effort to be helpful and an attempt to make them feel better.

These are generalizations and not always appropriate, but something worth considering.

So, thanks to the women for sharing their feelings and helping us men to better understand what it is like for them to become part of our community. To the men, maybe all they want to do is be heard and acknowledged. Think how difficult it must be for them to even raise these issues. Women aren't suppose to be macho, but in this case they are certainly very courageous. I think we are very fortunate that they think our community is worth the effort.

Peace

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dewdrop_world



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
As some of you know, I used to be an exec at Bell Labs. We got tons of "diversity" training. I took many courses and hopefully learned something. One of the things they pointed out is that for whatever reason women communicate differently than men. When they have fears, concerns, frustrations and the like they tell other people. Other women listen to this and acknowledge these feelings with empathy. They don't feel the need to offer a solution and generally don't. They understand that what the other person needs is just to be heard and acknowledged.

Men hear these expressions of feelings and feel the need to offer the solution, to be helpful, to be the fixer. Sometimes, males feel the woman's expression of her feelings are a complaint, a threat, or a criticism. Men sometimes see these expressions of feelings as weakness in the other person.

Sometimes, when men respond not by acknowledging the validity of a womans feelings but with a suggestion to behave differently, the woman will feel dissed. Often unsaid is "I wasn't asking you what I need to be better, I was just sharing with you how I felt."

This is diversity. Men can certainly learn a lot from women about being empathetic listeners. It's a great thing for a friend, even male friends. Women can learn that suggested fixes aren't a personal criticism, but a sincere effort to be helpful and an attempt to make them feel better.


THIS IS VERY TRUE. Pay attention, guys. It's an absolutely critical point.

That kind of echoes what I was saying in my earlier post. When someone says "this is how I feel," there is no need to assume that this is a "problem" that has to be "fixed."

James

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stringtapper



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So you're saying that although she has anxiety because of the "male-dominated" landscape of EM, it's not a problem? It sure seemed to be brought up as if it were a problem. And by "problem" I don't mean the fact that someone has anxiety at all, because as I said earlier we all have it to some degree. When someone uses the words "anxiety" and especially "troubled" it implies that there is something going on that that person views as a problem.

I don't see how someone could not assume that there was a problem that needs to be fixed when the implication of a thread on gender equality in EM is that there is indeed a "problem" with regard to.....well, gender equality in EM!

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dewdrop_world



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

stringtapper wrote:
So you're saying that although she has anxiety because of the "male-dominated" landscape of EM, it's not a problem? It sure seemed to be brought up as if it were a problem. And by "problem" I don't mean the fact that someone has anxiety at all, because as I said earlier we all have it to some degree. When someone uses the words "anxiety" and especially "troubled" it implies that there is something going on that that person views as a problem.


Not necessarily... "it troubles me" could mean exactly that -- "this is something that bothers me, personally."

Pay attention to what is not said in that statement:

- Men are (entirely) at fault.
- You, as a man, are personally at fault.
- It is (solely) men's responsibility to "fix" the environment here so that women will be more welcome.
- I expect men to "save" me from my anxiety.

I think you're unwittingly proving mosc's point. bbinkowitz said "it troubles me because i'm interested in getting into electronic music more, but the vast majority of those i perceive to have 'authority' are male," which, as mosc pointed out, may well be just an observation. She names a number of historical and cultural factors that make this situation what it is, but I read it more as "let's be honest about where we're starting from" than an expectation that somebody else should solve the problem. (And she explicitly said elsewhere that she is not placing blame on anyone here.)

Now, what you're saying is exactly what would be predicted from the male outlook. "I don't see how someone could not assume that there was a problem that needs to be fixed..." Which is exactly the point... you don't see how this is possible! Men have a hard time understanding how to talk about feelings as feelings, not as something to fix.

My reading is, nobody can do anything about bbinkowitz's anxiety other than her -- and not just her; everybody has to be the owner of their own feelings and take responsibility for them -- but what we (as men) can do is make this a place where it's okay to say "I feel uneasy about this" without adding layers of judgment of ideas that might not have been intended in the first place.

James

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Last edited by dewdrop_world on Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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bbinkovitz



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

wow, this is great. howard's post really describes what has been happening here, i think.

not only as people of different genders, but also as artists who by definition see the world uniquely, we struggle with communication in many ways. music and art are also forms of communication.

i can't say it enough: i want the whole electro-music.community to be like a team approaching a logistical conundrum (of how to make sure everyone who would be interested in participating here is not discouraged by silly things like being afraid their friends will call them nerds).

men are certainly called nerds for being into this stuff. women are too. everyone is. but different people are made to feel sub-normal in different ways according to the values they internalize, which is related to those to which they are exposed.

i have a great interest in rooting out the particular society judgements to which females are disproportionately exposed that discourage creativity and intellect. i don't think those are more important or more dire or more sad because they happen more to women; i simply think they are distinct from the analogous discouraging messages men face. we can all bond over our nerdiness here and i love it. to be able to bond with other female nerds over a distinctly female experience of nerdiness would be extra-affirming for the female electro-musician's creative personality, i think.

this women in electro forum has even in this short time made me feel challenged to expand my creative arsenal more aggressively. by asking "what do i want to help other women do?" i end up coming up with ideas of what i think "women" as a group would like, then realizing it is something i personally would like, and then figuring out how to do it.

everyone, and i mean everyone, should have a place that encourages them to ask "what would i be doing now if all that mattered was what i wanted to do?" and to give themselves permission to put their creativity on high priority, not for themselves, but to be part of a community.

i hope this forum can be that place for more people than just me as it progresses and grows.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bbinkovitz wrote:
i end up coming up with ideas of what i think "women" as a group would like, then realizing it is something i personally would like, and then figuring out how to do it.

Yesss!

And do it...
Make your music as a woman or whatever.
Within your possibilities and limitations, within your self.
There's nothing what will stop you.
Even negative criticism can't do that!

Wout
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StephenGiles



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

All this equality nonsense has stiffled so much these days. Can't you just get on with playing music and be done with it.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

StephenGiles wrote:
Can't you just get on with playing music and be done with it.

No, not being done with it, because I like to discuss the female side of making art very much. Some say "You can't discuss taste" and I say the opposite "It's the only thing worth to discuss".

In fact, there are only minorities in art: individuals...
(Although some individuals have a harder time making art then others)

Wout
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bernat



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like mosc's summary of how communication styles might differ between genders. Thanks.
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bbinkovitz



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

StephenGiles wrote:
Can't you just get on with playing music and be done with it.


who plays music just to get it over with?

Razz
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bbinkovitz wrote:
StephenGiles wrote:
Can't you just get on with playing music and be done with it.


who plays music just to get it over with?

Razz


Good answer.

If we were all just playing music we wouldn't be inviting, or at least participating in, discourse. It kind of reminds me of toddlers playing "together". The day care people called it "parallel play".

I'm refraining from a lot of the discussions here because (a) I am listening/reading/taking on what is being said, (b) I haven't got a lot to contribute that I consider constructive given the currents running here, and (c) other people seem to be perfectly capable of using their feet for food, and I like to stand on mine.

I went through a lot of diversity recognition training as well, as an employee of Digital Equipment Corporation back in the 1980s. Digital had a concerted effort to "educate" its engineers (I was a software engineer then) about the world around them. Very enlightened, actually, considering it is 20 years later and the same shit still comes up.

We were taught to value differences. It's very akin to Howard's "Men are from Mars" training, except we also added racial and age parameters (I expect Howard had the same training actually). It all came down to accepting what your co workers said at face value, which is still a minefield, but at least we were given a protocol to follow to remove sexual, race and age discrimination from work. It doesn't mean that some people still didn't have butt-stupid ideas, but we learned to negotiate differently; one tended to talk out a problem with peers more, and peers meant all the co workers, not just the guys at the lunch table. Engineers are not the most socially ept lot in the first place, and engineer musicians tend to be an introverted lot at the best of times. That's actually a documented fact, and I did some scholarly study on it based on Myers-Briggs testing. I should back it all up with some links. But only if there is some interest.

What I find interesting (to me anyway) is how much I actually internalised this stuff, ultimately, which is why I have shut up mostly in this forum and will just listen for a while. I can't figure out how you can "listen" on the internet and not "contribute" at the same time.

You'd think that the "anonymity" of the Internet would be an equaliser. It's so interesting to me how it isn't. If people are honest, then normal societal judgements get made. If people aren't honest, then societal judgements get made anyway.

Ah well.

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StephenGiles



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I am fed up with moaning females and moaning minorities. It's a tough world - just make the best of things and get on with it. Laughing
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bbinkovitz



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

StephenGiles wrote:
I am fed up with moaning females and moaning minorities. It's a tough world - just make the best of things and get on with it. Laughing


i'm fed up with moaning sexists who assume because i want to talk about gender and i'm female that i'm "moaning". Mad
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bernat



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

StephenGiles wrote:
I am fed up with moaning females and moaning minorities. It's a tough world - just make the best of things and get on with it. Laughing


And would you happen to be a woman or an "ethnic" "minority"?
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StephenGiles



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bbinkovitz wrote:
StephenGiles wrote:
I am fed up with moaning females and moaning minorities. It's a tough world - just make the best of things and get on with it. Laughing


i'm fed up with moaning sexists who assume because i want to talk about gender and i'm female that i'm "moaning". Mad


There's only one gender with your lot - neuter!!!
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StephenGiles



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

bernat wrote:
StephenGiles wrote:
I am fed up with moaning females and moaning minorities. It's a tough world - just make the best of things and get on with it. Laughing


And would you happen to be a woman or an "ethnic" "minority"?


Pardon??? Stephen is hardly a lady's name now is it??

Quiero conecer las damas por dentro!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Actually, have these fine ladies ever considered that men do play better than them. However, ladies do make exeedingly good cakes!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

StephenGiles wrote:
Actually, have these fine ladies ever considered that men do play better than them. However, ladies do make exeedingly good cakes!


i guess this is why we need to get on that electro-kitchen idea, bernat.
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stringtapper



Joined: Jan 23, 2007
Posts: 22
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

It's interesting. You will respond to someone who is obviously a troll, but when serious thoughts and inquiries are made that might happen to rub you the wrong way you mostly ignore them. It's much easier to make a troll look like a troll than it is to engage in a challenging dialogue. Very interesting.
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bbinkovitz



Joined: Jun 12, 2006
Posts: 338
Location: central ohio
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

stringtapper wrote:
It's interesting. You will respond to someone who is obviously a troll, but when serious thoughts and inquiries are made that might happen to rub you the wrong way you mostly ignore them. It's much easier to make a troll look like a troll than it is to engage in a challenging dialogue. Very interesting.


i wasn't trying to make the troll look like a troll -- he's doing a fine job of that himself. i was just referring to a funny/semi-serious idea i had earlier for putting pickups inside pots and pans and hitting them as percussion.

although it's true i didn't realize he was a troll until after the first two posts or so. i definitely don't plan on responding to him again.

i'd also really like to respond to all serious thoughts and inquiries, and have tried to do so. if you feel i've missed something important that needs a response from me, point it out and i'd be happy to look at it again.
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stringtapper



Joined: Jan 23, 2007
Posts: 22
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Sure, I'll ask it again.

Is gender equality in EM a problem?

The reason I ask is that many others "came to your rescue" when I responded to your comment about having anxiety about the fact that the field is male-dominated. When the others chimed in it suddenly became a lesson in interpersonal communication rather than about what the topic of the thread is.

So if this issue causes you anxiety doesn't that imply that there is a problem that needs to be solved? Doesn't the very premise of this thread imply that there is a problem that needs to be solved?

There were some other things, but you can go through and read them if you want.

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mosc
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Joined: Jan 31, 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

StephenGiles wrote:
Actually, have these fine ladies ever considered that men do play better than them. However, ladies do make exeedingly good cakes!


These kinds of comments are really disruptive of the mood and spirit of inclusively, sensitivity, and respect we are trying to achieve in this community. Please refrain from this. Thanks.

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