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Old 09-22-2002, 11:31 PM   #101
Abasan
Dojo: Aiki Shoshinkan, Aiki Kenkyukai
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'So scouts are misogynists?'

Is this what Lord Baden Powell had in mind when he started the scouts movement? After all, why then did Lady Powell start the Girl Guides after him?

Its easy enough for a female to join the scouts since there legitimately has been boy scouts and girl scouts and the name itself has never been discriminatory. But has there ever been a boy girl guide ever?

My point is... nothing will ever satisfy women. If we started a boys club, the girls would cry foul and want to join in. But then when the girls had the tea party club, no sane boy at that age would have wanted to join in the first place.

Leave him in peace. Its his dream, its his property and his time, effort and money. If you want to start a women's only dojo that has seasonal invites for the husbands to come join in as well, that would be your problem. And no one would be bothered by it.

In malaysia and singapore there is a word to term this behaviour. Its called 'kiasu'. In short it means, having a 'must win' or 'one up' attitude. I don't think having that kind of attitude would contribute much to your spiritual upliftment.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 09-22-2002, 11:39 PM   #102
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Giancarlo DiPierro (G DiPierro) wrote:
The one thing that I find most interesting about this whole thing has not yet been mentioned. The Shoshin dojo is a member of the ASU and hence the ASU and Saotome Sensei obviously must approve of this policy. I find it a little surpising that they do, but then I don't know Saotome Sensei that well. AFAIK, no dojos in the USAF discriminate on the basis of sex (or otherwise). Given what I know about the Federation, I don't think that it would happen there. If anyone can provide a counterexample please do.
That's an interesting point. I notice that in the ASU student handbook it states:

"The Aikido Schools of Ueshiba is an equal opportunity organization, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, ethnic group, religion, age, or sexual orientation."

Japanese people tend, in general, to be less conscious of this kind of thing (with both good and bad effects), but I haven't spoken with Saotome in over ten years, so I really wouldn't want to say one way of the other what his thinking on the subject is.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-23-2002, 02:58 AM   #103
Hanna B
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Would it be better if Mr Linden was forced to accept students he does not want? They would feel it, for sure, and drop out rather quickly. Probably they would not be happy about the experience, but blame this on themselves.

Hm. Some dojos complain they have difficulties in attracting and or/keeping female students. There could be a connection here...?

Hanna
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Old 09-23-2002, 05:25 AM   #104
nic an fhilidh
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Quote:
Hanna Björk (Hanna B) wrote:
Hm. Some dojos complain they have difficulties in attracting and or/keeping female students. There could be a connection here...?
Well, yeah, exactly. Mr. Linden has several times enumerated reasons for excluding women that include things like "crying on the mat" and "whining." These are things I have yet to see in the dojo I train in, and I haven't indulged in them myself, so I have no reason to believe they're widespread in the aikido world. I'm guessing that Mr. Linden simply has difficulty in maintaining discipline when women are around. It's his problem, and he's chosen to deal with it by training only men.

Which is just fine. Let's leave him to it!
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Old 09-23-2002, 06:30 AM   #105
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Ann Northcutt (nic an fhilidh) wrote:
Well, yeah, exactly. Mr. Linden has several times enumerated reasons for excluding women that include things like "crying on the mat" and "whining."
As a side note, Yukiyoshi Sagawa mentions (in "Tomei na Chikara") that M. Ueshiba, after having techniques applied upon him by Sokaku Takeda at their first meeting, ended up crying in the corner .
Quote:
Ann Northcutt (nic an fhilidh) wrote:
These are things I have yet to see in the dojo I train in, and I haven't indulged in them myself, so I have no reason to believe they're widespread in the aikido world. I'm guessing that Mr. Linden simply has difficulty in maintaining discipline when women are around. It's his problem, and he's chosen to deal with it by training only men.

Which is just fine. Let's leave him to it!
I have seen women whine. OTOH, I've seen men whine as well...

I don't teach regularly these days, but my deepest regrets from the days when I did (not only in Aikido) were the people I failed to reach, or people that I realized later I could have done much better with. I didn't think so as much at the time, but looking back I feel more responsibility for what went on now then I did then. Anybody can work with the folks who are easy to teach - talented and motivated, physically fit and focused. To teach the other ones, now that takes some skill, and hard work.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-23-2002, 08:19 AM   #106
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Mr. Linden

I have now read the whole thread and I noticed that it was (heavily) suggested that you also exclude male homosexuals from you dojo. Is that so ? In that case why ?

- Jørgen Jakob Friis

Inspiration - Aspiration - Perspiration
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Old 09-23-2002, 08:31 AM   #107
DGLinden
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It's weird, I can build a computer but for the of me I can't figure out how to make those little colored quote boxes you guys use.

I'd like to answer a few of these comments individually, but it is starting to all get to be a bit much.

As far as ASU goes, Sensei lets us all do what we want. He knows us intimately and trusts that we are doing our best for God and country, ASU and aikido. If Dennis Hooker didn't have a fine dojo a few miles from here I would accept anyone who came through the door. That would certainly be my responsibility. But as Dennis is right accross town and my space and facilities are limited, I am in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose my students from a large willing group.

I certainly did not want this to go where it has. Nor did I want to cause discussion that ranged from the KKK to Hitler to David Duke. Really, I have never been compared to such before and am a little startled by it.

In fact, not one person has ever raised so much as any eyebrow prior to this concerning my dojo policy. No one. Not ever.

As for putting it out there on the line... well, I am a big man and my shoulders are wide. I can take the hits. Normally however, I prefer to tenkan.

Aikido is not an egalitarian social program. Things like equality and fairness have never entered into the truth of it. If that were so, everyone would be a 9th dan. Very damn few of all those white belts ever get to take part in the ceremony when Sensei ties on their coveted black belt. And even fewer are good enough, strong enough, have enough courage, perserverance, stamina, and old fashion will to make it to sandan. And then the real weeding begins. What are the odd of becomeing a shihan? What does it take in terms of personal sacrifice, money, social gratification and loss of freedom? I look around at the Shihans I know and nearly all married late, if at all, are childless, and live quite modestly. The sacrifice to get here is beyond despair, it is total. There is no equality in aikido. Only the unmitigated will to perservere in the face of rediculous odds. I tell my students constantly to quit and go home to their wives. But as long as they stay, so will I.

Chris, I'd love to sit down and toss back a few. Anytime. Anywhere. Sometimes the writen word gets too subtle, too cute, too double entendre and meaning is obfuscated. I've always noticed that beer clears up these problems.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 09-23-2002, 09:08 AM   #108
rgfox5
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This is a very interesting discussion! On the one hand, I completely respect Daniel's right to allow whomever he wants into his dojo, and dissallow whomever he wants. He can allow only PhD's and blond men over 6'5" tall and 220 lbs if he wants. He can put them through an arduous physical exam before admission and require that they be able to tie sailor's knots and shave their heads. It is his right and he is not funded by public money so there is no question of illegality.

On the other hand, the ASU's stated policy is that no discrimination will take place on the basis of sex, which is counter to Daniel's admission policy.

If someone wanted to, I guess they could make a stink about this with Saotome sensei. I for one would not touch this with a ten foot pole, and will continue to train hard in our happily coed dojo and wish that all aikidoka are happily training in a great dojo of their choosing as well.
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Old 09-23-2002, 10:02 AM   #109
opherdonchin
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I really appreiciate Daniel's mentioning that if there weren't another good dojo in town, he might change his policy.

I also appreciate Deb's post on the relationship between subtle, seemingly innocuous, bigotry and more sinister kinds of behavior. It said something that was somewhere in my head for a while, but that I wasn't quite able to describe.

It is my feeling that while a lot of the arguments about bigotry and the potentially dangerous associations associated with Daniel's policy are worth thinking about, I think they have, in general, given very short shrift to the advantages of (specifically) single-sex experiences. I have no idea whether these advantages are scientfically documented (almost certainly not and how would you know whether to trust the science anyway), but they have often been eloquently expressed. I know that I've heard the most and most consistent praise from women who attended single-sex colleges, but there are almost certainly plenty of examples. I wonder whether there isn't room in the post-PC era for a discussion of the appropriate role of single-sex institutions and the appropriate balance with the very real dangers they entail.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 09-23-2002, 10:33 AM   #110
Bruce Baker
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Off the subject?

After reading the entire thread, many of the posts have proved in words that men and women do have opposite polaritys and operate in different ways to come up with conclusions.

Get over it! Men and women do have different polarities for their meridian and pressure points, making it easier for women to train with women and men train with men.

As for Mr. Linden's dojo, and choice of students ... I wish I was fifteen years younger, 34, and could have some fun training with bigger stronger bodies than myself. It does make it more interesting to find their weak points and laugh when technique reigns over strength.

As for this childish discussion of men's clubs or women's club, and the whole subject of moratlity .... maybe it is time to do what I do when my wife gets mad at me, look out the window and say,"... there is no room for a horse out there," and walk away.

Guys, if you don't know the rules let me enlighten you. Women have the right to be wrong, change their mind to be right, and change the rules if it doesn't suit them. I guess it is the combination of sexual agression and the polarity thing with men creating the comforts of modern society to please women.

Hell, men would be just as happy to live out in the woods, coming into town twice a month, so this entire society of comfort and choice is given to then need to protect our women and children, isn't it?

Our need to learn or practice Aikido is indeed the same as making a commitment to see it through, and some teachers do adopt the "Boot Camp" attitude that weeds out the pretenders from the those who commited to see through the learning process.

Daniel, there are many, many blacks who practice in the Philadelphia to Boston corridor, maybe it is just in the USAF? Collins Smith, who trained under Yamada sensei, Stickles sensei, and is a good friend of my teacher, Chet Griffin sensei, has more black students than white, but that could just be Bermuda? On the other hand I could name four other teachers in the immediate area who are black, so that kind of disproves that statement of not seeing blacks on the mat. It must be the people you are hanging with.

As for manly, gun toting, hunting and fishing types, well ... isn't that a stereotype in itself? I have more respect for someone who sacrifices his own needs for the needs of his family. Doesn't mean they can't hunt, fish, and get to the great outdoors, but it does address the commitment of spirit you examine in your students character.

As for pounding back a few drinks, well... those days are done for me ... and for those of you who are drinking and smoking, it will take over a year to get your brain chemistry straight so you can think without the chemical dependency of nicotine or alcohol. It might take even longer for a man's man because the self reflection is hell on wheels when you face the reality of who you really are. (just my slant on the demon alcohol, and the sacred smoke)

So, we come to the crux of the arguement, the acceptence of students based on character assessment from the teacher. Most teachers test the students with their reactions to instructions in practice. Those who understand the sacrifices we make to get the most out of our training with hard work, insight, putting away our emotional agenda are the ones who come back day after day, week after week, year after year.

I have to give Linden sensei credit for standing up to his convictions, not very popular, but I applaud his conviction and integrity.

As for the whining, bitching and moaning, I guess this is as good a forum to do it as any.

So long as you realize that it is YOUR opinion, your right to have that opinion, express that opinion, but in no way is it your right to have others agree with that opinion.

On the mat, the sensei is sensei. Off the mat, the sensei is a human being who happens to be sensei, and can express his or her own opinions based on the polarity of their thoughts, be they man or woman, that are generated in one direction or the other depending upon their polarity of man or woman. ... don't get me started with AC-DC or the Testla generator.

Obviously, big guys are big in the same way that a parent is big around children under ten years old, so indeed there are different considerations. Just like a bigger gun will shoot a bigger shell causing more destruction, so too the larger body must consider the application.

Maybe that is the cause of misunderstanding, being the morality verses the understanding of time we have to train, or learn from an individual? My teacher turned seventy two this year, he is slightly less in muscle mass than when I started with him five years ago, but everyday we train I thank the Great Spirit for our time together and the chance to practice another day. Although I am gentle when moving my 280 pounds to his 140 pounds the practice is still technically sound.

Get off your high horse of morality ladies, it is but a dream of perfect society. Even in perfection there must be imperfection to find the measurement of perfection, thereby nullifying even perfection. The entire creation of society is the experiment of natural selection ... even with the creation of Aikido unions,federations, and restricted dojo's that limit themselves to either men only or women only. If natural selection allows for variations that either flurish or die, then let it happen ... and be amazed at the results.

Or, start your own group to find the perfection you seek. In either case, there must eventually be interaction of men and women if we are to have a balanced Aikido community in our society.

I am starting to believe we are here to spread and feed the insect population ... they are one of the few creatures that continually overcome the forces and nature as their lineage reaches back as far a we can imagine.

Does that put the human race into perspective, or not ... both men and women?
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Old 09-23-2002, 11:01 AM   #111
DanielR
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Hi Bruice,
Quote:
Get off your high horse of morality ladies... The entire creation of society is the experiment of natural selection ... even with the creation of Aikido unions,federations, and restricted dojo's that limit themselves to either men only or women only. If natural selection allows for variations that either flurish or die, then let it happen ... and be amazed at the results.
If you agree with the existence of segregated dojos on the basis of the natural selection, it would only be logical to allow people "on high horse of morality" to execute their right to criticize that existence, on the same basis... The results might be just as amazing

Just a thought.

Daniel
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Old 09-23-2002, 07:00 PM   #112
batemanb
 
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Quote:
ahmad abas (Abasan) wrote:
'Don,

thanks for that, rusty memory, it was Malaysia that he went to, not Indonesia.'

Really? I've been to a lot of dojo's here in Malaysia... being Malaysian and all, and I don't recall any segregation of sexes. There is a university dojo that does this, but thats more an exception than the rule.

Furthermore, they don't cover their faces. They cover their hair, neck. Like nuns...

Keiko with it is not extremely uncomfortable. You may need to get used to it... but hey, ask the kendoist who cover their heads (even without the helmet thingey).

Did your Japanese Sensei which dojo he went to? Or was it during the Asian Aikido Federation meet? Was it when doshu came over?
OK, checked at the weekend. It was Malaysia that he went to, although I didn`t get the dojo location. The class was segregated, i.e. women and men did not train with each other, although they did train in the same "room", the women and men had their own areas and didn`t cross over at all. Apparently, this was for religious reasons, the women did wear the head scarf, although the face was not covered.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-23-2002, 10:12 PM   #113
Deb Fisher
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Just as a side note, there is an interesting little article in the NY Times Sunday Magazine this week about girls only K-12 public and private education.

Deb Fisher
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Old 09-24-2002, 12:48 AM   #114
Kevin Wilbanks
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I can't believe I read the whole thread...

But I did, and the comments I have may seem unfortunately flippant. So be it.

I think the real 'tell' here is in the line that stuck in my mind: something to the effect of a general dismissal of "guys who don't know what their digestive track (sic) is for".

The first thing that caught my attention, of course, was the grammatical error... except not just a grammatical error. A track is not a tract, although the two have conceptual similarities, and hence it seems like almost an ignorant conceptual error. In addition, all of DGL's posts were littered with heinous grammatical errors. I put this together with his stated strong preference/requirement that his students have master's degrees, and if makes me go hmmmmmm...

The other thing that makes me go hmmm, that no one has mentioned, is the strong homoerotic overtones of his whole original nostalgic post about the same-sex institutions of yore... replete with warm snuggly dogs, graphic sensual imagery, and naked boys swimming at the Y. I mean, come on! Anyone who looks deeply into human behavior is bound to recognize that what is commonly dubbed 'homophobia' has a lot to do with people who have trouble dealing with their own homoerotic impulses.

Look at the comment. It wasn't "I don't like gays." It was cleverly constructed slam including imagery about anal sex. Something someone spent some time thinking about, if you know what I mean.

Same sex institutions are famous for both inciting homoerotic energies, while violently repressing their ultimate expression. If the institution is designed and run properly, this whole seething potential homo-fest can be carefully sublimated and marshalled to the group's purposes quite nicely... usually violent ones (e.g., most militaries up until the near-present).

Anyway, the point is that here we have the whole 'men's club' phenomenon, machismo, homophobia, and the negative woman stereotypes all mixed together. Being indignant about how wrong it is isn't very interesting to me - not good grounds for inquiry. What I think would be interesting would be a documentary on the dojo, including extensive, probing interviews with DGL and many of the students (no pun intended). Interesting hell, it would be fabulous!
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Old 09-24-2002, 01:31 AM   #115
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
I can't believe I read the whole thread...

But I did, and the comments I have may seem unfortunately flippant. So be it.
Oh boy, now I guess that it's my turn to say that things are getting out of hand.

Now, I don't agree with seperate sex classes, or the reasoning presented for them, but I think that some of the indirect (and not so indirect) inferences, especially personally directed inferences are getting a little bit strong.

Maybe I was too inflammatory when I brought up David Duke, but my intention was to compare Dan's line of reasoning with David Duke's line of reasoning, not to make a personal attack. Inferences as to sexual habits or attaching labels like "bigot" are, IMO, moving into the realm of personal attacks and away from a discussion of the issue at hand.

I've never met Dan, that I can remember, but he seems like a perfectly decent and reasonable person, albeit with some opinions that I disagree with.

Maybe it would be best to just stick with the issues.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-24-2002, 01:48 AM   #116
Abasan
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'OK, checked at the weekend. It was Malaysia that he went to, although I didn`t get the dojo location. The class was segregated, i.e. women and men did not train with each other, although they did train in the same "room", the women and men had their own areas and didn`t cross over at all. Apparently, this was for religious reasons, the women did wear the head scarf, although the face was not covered.'

Bryan,

It maybe an Islamic University Dojo which has strict rules with regards physical interaction between women and men. Its the only one in the country, and frankly I'm surprised your sensei was there. Btw, what's the sensei's name? I can check with my gf if he was there.

The headscarves are common and quite comfortable to train in actually.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 09-24-2002, 02:26 AM   #117
batemanb
 
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Abasan,

His name is Nakao Shingo, 6th Dan from Kobe.

A difficult problem is easily solved by asking yourself the question, "Just how would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
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Old 09-24-2002, 08:58 AM   #118
Kevin Wilbanks
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Chris,

Sorry, but in my mind you've got it backwards. If a guy comes on a public forum and makes slanderous comments about gays and women, I think he's inviting a little satire and psycho/social analysis... at least.

On the other hand, making an analogy between someone and Nazis, satanists, Al Queda, etc... then recanting when they react -claiming that nothing serious was implied by the analogy - is argumentative dirty pool, a cheap shot. If my post made you significantly more uncomfortable than rhetorically putting other people in league with evil, perhaps you're in line for a little teasing as well...
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:20 AM   #119
nic an fhilidh
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Chris,

Sorry, but in my mind you've got it backwards. If a guy comes on a public forum and makes slanderous comments about gays and women, I think he's inviting a little satire and psycho/social analysis... at least.
Amen!
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:25 AM   #120
DanielR
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Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
...making an analogy between someone and Nazis, satanists, Al Queda, etc... then recanting when they react -claiming that nothing serious was implied by the analogy - is argumentative dirty pool, a cheap shot.
The problem is, for some reason, along this thread, some participants tended to ignore the fact that the analogy was made not between someone and Nazis/racists/other evil things, but between the lines of reasoning, as Chris points out. Then your opponent comes out and cries "Bloody murder!", calls you a self-righteous moralist and even threatens you if you ever mention something like that to his/her face. So now you can either give up because you realize your opponent is incapable of conducting a civilized discussion, or, if you're still interested in hearing what the other side has to say, you try to tone things down...

Last edited by DanielR : 09-24-2002 at 09:27 AM.

Daniel
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:26 AM   #121
opherdonchin
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Yeah, I also thought that Kevin's analysis was interesting and perhaps a tad too challenging but ultimately appropriate. The only reservation I have is that I really try to overlook grammar and spelling mistakes in the forum. They often result from hurried typing rather than from poor knowledge of english, and even if they do result from poor knowledge of english then 'so what?' Daniel did leave himself open to this, just a bit, by making fun of someone elses spelling in an earlier post, but that's neither here nor there.

The only real problem I see with Kevin's post is that it leaves Daniel (his uke?) very few comfortable ways of responding. So, while it was an interesting perspective from my point of view, I'm hoping it won't derail the discussion.

Perhaps Kevin could have written it as more of an abstract discussion on homoeroticism and single sex male institutions, but then it might have lost much of its power.

In any case, it was certainly an interesting exercise in 'verbal aikido,' if nothing else.

Last edited by opherdonchin : 09-24-2002 at 09:28 AM.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:38 AM   #122
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
Daniel Rozenbaum (DanielR) wrote:
The problem is, for some reason, along this thread, some participants tended to ignore the fact that the analogy was made not between someone and Nazis/racists/other evil things, but between the lines of reasoning, as Chris points out. Then your opponent comes out and cries "Bloody murder!", calls you a self-righteous moralist and even threatens you if you ever mention something like that to his/her face. So now you can either give up because you realize your opponent is incapable of conducting a civilized discussion, or, if you're still interested in hearing what the other side has to say, you try to tone things down...
Sorry Daniel, but whether it's to a person or their line of reasoning, Nazi or KKK analogies are still a cheap shot, designed to evoke emotional responses. If you don't want to whip up hysteria, don't liken them or their acts to historically quintessential incarnations of evil. Doing so, then reproaching your opponent for being 'incapable of conducting a civilized discussion' is very lame, very Geraldo Rivera. There must be some other way to make your argument. Think PBS, not FOX daytime.
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Old 09-24-2002, 09:53 AM   #123
Kevin Wilbanks
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Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
The only reservation I have is that I really try to overlook grammar and spelling mistakes in the forum. They often result from hurried typing rather than from poor knowledge of english, and even if they do result from poor knowledge of english then 'so what?' Daniel did leave himself open to this, just a bit, by making fun of someone elses spelling in an earlier post, but that's neither here nor there.
Maybe I should have left that out, but I thought there were enough mistakes, including the one in the crucial offensive phrase, that they seemed to have some significance.

There's just something about saying something inflammatory and derisive with an element of illiteracy that makes it come off differently. In Madison, there used to be grafitti up near campus that said: "If life is sacred, than abortion is a sin." Another example is in the classic comedy Porky's, when the greaser attempts to bait the jewish kid in the locker room by calling him a "kite".

What made it seem worthy of comment was the fact that he also claims to discriminate against people with sub-master's level educations. I see a connection between this irony and the irony of waxing homoerotic prose about the joys of same-sex institutions combined with an anti-gay epithet.
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Old 09-24-2002, 10:05 AM   #124
DanielR
Location: New York
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 157
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Quote:
...Nazi or KKK analogies are still a cheap shot, designed to evoke emotional responses... Doing so, then reproaching your opponent for being 'incapable of conducting a civilized discussion' is very lame...
It depends on the forum. Anything you say can evoke an emotional response from an emotional person.

Q: Do you think your policy is different from racism?

A1: Yes, because A,B,C.

A2: You're calling me a racist?!

What you're saying is "Don't ask the question unless you're prepared to respond to A2"?.. Well, I am, and the response would be "No, I'm asking." Unless your opponent punches you in the face, then the response would be different, too.

Daniel
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Old 09-24-2002, 10:08 AM   #125
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
Location: Baltimore
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 586
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I think the Nazi thing was probably innapropriate to start with and is best left to die, but since it isn't dying:

Daniel Rozenbaum, if people repeatedly have this response to your post, wouldn't it be pragmatic and wise (and aiki) to think about ways that you might more effectively provoke the response you are interested in?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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