Monday, June 4, 2007

on conformity

I've been asking some questions about race and WisCon and accessibility. Perhaps that's why when I came across this, it hit so hard for me.

It feels like a form of classicism.

I boldly admit that quite often I have no idea what someone says when they use 3leet/chatspeak/netspeak/whatever.

That said, user aka Ami is thoughtful, bright, insightful and has plenty to say. I couldn't discount her after reading two of her blog entries because what she had to say was something that pinged for me.

It hasn't happened yet, but if I don't understand what she's said, and I can't discern it from other responses to something she's said/written - then I'll ask her.

I don't know if using that short hand to interact online can be considered a dialect of english, or it's own language or what. But I don't think that scolding and demanding are the ways to let someone know that you'd like them to be able to represent themselves more universally. And is it about universality at all, or is it more about presenting themselves along 'party' lines, as uniform and monochrome?

In that particular instance, the comment seem quite clear to me. Ppl was easily discerned as people and I know enough people who occasionally type in accent, be it brogue or a Caribbean accent, etc, so I know what 'dun' can mean.

This isn't the first time someone's picked on this blogger's way of representing herself. Someone else apologized for her, when quoting her in their own blog. From what I've seen, Ami just keeps on truckin'. She is who she is, her blog is what is is and she'll discuss anything she damn well pleases.

Presentation is all very well and good. But don't we need an encouraging and united front as well? And what about age groupings and lifestyle groupings etc. In speaking their language, who might Ami be an ambassador to? What groups might she get to think about things in a way they haven't before?

More over, how much more could be accomplished by simply engaging her and being friends/comrades and role models in clear, concise thinking/arguments/writing and letting her form her own style and voice?

Feminist comic blogdom has been about finding my voice. And so I can't help noticing when someone else seems to be being herded to silence. Yes, it hasn't silenced this blogger, but it could have shocked a shyer persona into never speaking up again. Something like this doesn't make a good impression on me. It doesn't make me inclined to gather at any convention anywhere to meet people who show an inclination to perhaps look down on me for not finishing college; not taking women's studies or being able to recognize Marxism or communist tendencies or socio-political tropes.

Also, on more than one occasion my grammar sucks.

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