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But then you wouldn't be you, now would you, Lance...

harry near indy

because a piece of writing is short doesn't mean it's clear.

i read burritoboy's comment, and the first thing i thought was:


the second thing i thought was a comment by molly bloom in ulysses:

o rocks -- say it in plain english.

the comment was written in academese, a bastard offspring of english. compared to it, ebonics is legitimate.

burritoboy, i'd recommend that you read orwell's essay entitled politics and the english language as soon as you can. and after you read it, put it into practice.

please get rid of the jargon.


I completely agreed with burritoboy's analysis while also agreeing with harry near indy ("acadamese, a bastard offspring of english" is my favorite new phrase). Above all, I agree with Jennifer. Your roundaboutedness is part of what's interesting about your writing.


Occasionally reducing unfair gender norms can actually increase the impact of other unfair norms.

Increasing their impact on who? I'm guessing anyone making seventy cents on the dollar the other half earns would be doing rather better. The folks making the dollar would probably end up making some less than that for the same work the other half has been getting seventy cents for.

Perhaps I'm not understanding the discussion?


"the comment was written in academese, a bastard offspring of english. compared to it, ebonics is legitimate."

Jargon can be a perfectly acceptable form of communication. Ebonics is also perfectly legitimate. Are you sure Joyce was actually endorsing Molly Bloom's opinions? Raising up "plain English" is simply a different type of claiming one ownership of the language versus another - who gets to define plain English? The plain English of which group (is Molly's Bloom's English more legitimate because she's somehow inherently more authentic because she's not educated)? Using very common terms of art of contemporary political thinking (norms, patriarchy, capitalism, etc)helps us to cut to the chase.

"I'm guessing anyone making seventy cents on the dollar the other half earns would be doing rather better."

A fairly good example of what criticizing patriarchy without a criticism of capitalism looks like.

a. It betrays a total non-understanding of how power is distributed in capitalism. An inherent point of any capitalist country is that private business, structurally, has far more power within the economic realm than political governance structures do. I.E. the level of regulation you would foresee (at some level the government enforcing equal wage rates across gender throughout the economy) would destroy capitalism. Which is fine, but that won't be easy. You're drastically underestimating the scope of what you're proposing.

b. As we've seen in real life, the assumption that changing gender norms will necessarily result in any greater equality in other areas simply didn't actually happen. Structural roles (such as executive manager, among many) didn't, in fact, change very much when women versus men occupied those roles (capitalism was and is the problem, not patriarchy).

c. On a pure brute level, if "The folks making the dollar would probably end up making some less than that for the same work" - why should men start acting against their own self-interest because of a hypothetical sense of justice? Neither capitalism nor modern democracies are founded on people acting against their own self-interests. Instead, you are appealing to justice or "the good" which both our economy and our politics explicitly reject as a foundational argument. You can't both be for capitalism (i.e. wanting more women acting as capitalists - self-interest maximizers) and against fundamental foundations of capitalism (utility above "the good" or justice).

Again, there may be solutions but they are neither obvious or simple.

David W.

Burritoboy, I recall that men did act against their own self-interest by finally granting suffarage to women, after being convinced it was just. Why did men support that?

harry near indy

sf mike, thanks for the compliment.

burritoboy, i repeat my comment.


Gray, grey my whole world is gray. Maybe because I some kindly white man decided I could vote.


I'm sorry - burritoboy's comments may be written "in jargon" - but, honestly, the words he uses are the most efficient way to convey the concepts he's discussing. They are not simple things, capitalism and government and power, and they carry a lot of freight and thought behind and about them. The language is difficult and complicated because the subject is.

One could get at what he's saying with "simpler" language - i.e. words understandable by someone with only a high school or elementary school education. But that would result either in (a) a very long, wordy passage with lots of digressions to explain the concepts and the connotations and thoughts connected to them, including literally hundreds of years of history and thought, or (b) a gross oversimplification of something hugely complicated. (Or both.)

A really stupid example: to a fashion person "teal" is equivalent to "that color combining blue and green that was named for a duck and became really popular in the 80s". Asking them to use "blue-green" instead may make the immediate meaning clearer, but you lose a lot of depth.

Given that part of burritoboy's point is that this is a very complicated system we're dealing with here (hell, multiple complicated systems, all interacting with each other!) it is not unreasonable to expect that the language we use to deal with it must also bear greater intellectual freight than our "basic" vocabulary can handle.

(It should be noted that I am not someone who has any patience with academese for the sake of academese. I hate badly written crap as much as anyone, and, in the course of getting my degrees, I have read a lot of theory-babble that made my head hurt. This isn't even in the same neighborhood as that.)


Not that there's anything wrong with burritoboy's conciseness, but I read you because of the way you take your readers along for the ride. With you, it's the journey, not the destination. Don't change.


"I recall that men did act against their own self-interest by finally granting suffarage to women, after being convinced it was just. Why did men support that?"

Because voting's not about money, which is the thing we really worship. Our politics is a triviality compared to our money-making.


When I read harry's quote from Ulysses, I immediately thought of this:
Yogibogeybox in Dawson chambers. Isis Unveiled. Their Pali book we tried to pawn. Crosslegged under an umbrel umbershoot he thrones an Aztec logos, functioning on astral levels, their oversoul, mahamahatma. The faithful hermetists await the light, ripe for chelaship, ringroundabout him. Louis H. Victory. T. Caulfield Irwin. Lotus ladies tend them i'the eyes, their pineal glands aglow. Filled with his god he thrones, Buddh under plantain. Gulfer of souls, engulfer. Hesouls, shesouls, shoals of souls. Engulfed with wailing creecries, whirled, whirling, they bewail.

In quintessential triviality
For years in this fleshcase a shesoul dwelt.

David W.

You're dodging the question, burritoboy. Why?

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