Reading Comprehension

There was a period of time in my life when people, my mom in particular, told me that I had a talent for writing.  What no one ever knew back then was that I hated writing (and still do) because my thoughts rarely slow down enough and/or stay linear enough to capture them in any coherent way.  Or that’s the way it seems to me and that’s why I don’t write much or often. 

But I studied writing a lot mostly by way of reading – Toni Morrison was one of my favorites for her economy with words and, of course, her subject matter – brilliant.  In fact I was supposed to graduate from college with a writing degree.  What my professors didn’t know was that I would dash off my *better* pieces the morning before they were due.  The *lesser* of my works were tortured piles of crap that I’d agonized over, going through the motions of *doing it the right way*.   Maybe my mom and all of my writing mentors were right?  Anyway, I still think I’m best at comprehending the written word and the intention of their authors than I am writing those words.  I’m also quite sure that I’m not alone.  

So when I see some women in our little radfem blogworld (I don’t do, or get even, the social media joynts) go off on others, I simply do not understand – it doesn’t compute and I’ve read the links and I’ve understood all of the postions involved.  The conclusion HAS TO BE that there are some really great researchers and writers who cannot, or will not, comprehend others’ words.  Because short of a reading comprehension failure I see no reason (usually) for otherwise smart and committed women to be issuing insults and expletives and accusations at anyone involved in our movement publicly or privately.  I mean, what’s the point?  Are they not entitled to the product of their thoughts?


14 thoughts on “Reading Comprehension

  1. It distresses me. It distresses me deeply that women I admire for their resolve to share thier thoughts can be so unwilling to let other women find their place.

  2. Also: I have *hung out* with a number of the women I am talking about right now – both in “private” spaces and commenting and supporting them on their blogs. I can honestly say that I’ve never said a word against any of them.

    Now, will someone please tack me to my cross? lol 🙂

  3. I can so relate to what you say about your writing processes. I once wrote a poem for a class assignment, dashed off in a few minutes before class to get it done. The instructor went on about how brilliant it was. Huh? It was a fluke. But then, I’d spend hours and hours and end up with something tortuously convoluted that even I didn’t like.

    I can also relate to your distress about women attacking each other. It’s fine to attack ideas, even quite mercilessly. But not the person. I admire so many of the bloggers in the radfem world. Really, really admire them! I can see that there is tremendous pressure in having a blog and expressing ideas that are attacked from MRAs, etc.

    Is there room for agreeing to disagree? But still remaining allies. I know the stakes are high. They could not be higher as the world disintegrates around us.

    I really, really think we need more space to explore ideas, ideas that may be very new for many of the women reading these blogs. Ways to disagree without animosity?

    I’ve wondered if there can be a consciousness raising space without safety. The internet does not feel safe, though it did many years ago, those little text bulletin boards. It’s a difficult space that’s for sure. There is some consciousness-raising, that much is clear. Thanks for this post.

  4. Sorry for your writing problems. One suggestion I might offer is specificity. In other words, when relaying your thoughts about something, be specific about what you are discussing. If you try to address a specific situation but do so nebulously, readers may interpret your post as cryptic passive-aggressive sideswiping.
    Clearly you are stating that certain women who are “really great writers and researchers” are developmentally or learning disabled, yet your lack of specificity prevents the reader from evaluating your claim. This lends your post the feel of an insider shit-stomping of a person known only to you and other insiders.
    This reminds me of a certain situation recently at my blog where I addressed outrageous attacks on butch dykes by so-called feminists which framed us as pseudo-male genderists. These women used the same lesbophobic rhetoric against us that male corrective rapists and trans correctivists use. (Even they didn’t stoop to calling us learning disabled though!) These same feminists proceeded to censor every single reply to their butch-bashing. I never thought of these women as learning disabled tho. I’m interested in hearing more of your theory.

  5. WordWoman –

    Thank you for your thoughts. The stakes are extremely high, aren’t they? This is why I am wanting to talk about what I see as a lack of open-mindedness. I think that it is not absolutely necessary for all of us to agree 100% – after all we are all different ages and life experience *levels*, come from different backgrounds and are scattered all over the world.

    I have more to add but I will address it to Gallus Mag below.

    Also, WW, I appreciate your blog very much. Thank you for stopping by 🙂

  6. Hi Gallus.

    Yes, some might interpret what I have to say as PA “side-swiping”, others might just think that I am speaking in generalities because it is a general issue that has plagued the movement since forever. Also, some might interpret your *sorrow* over my writing problems as PA side-swiping too. 🙂

    Making the observation that it seems that many of us having reading comprhension fails from time to time (and that the fallout from that is very distressing to me) is hardly espousing a “theory” of cognitive disability, or even calling women RETARDED – that would be extremely rude, wouldn’t it? It would be insulting and I never said, nor implied, any such thing if you please.

    I do find it interesting though that you immediately refer to your recent post (and thread) wherein you made it perfectly clear that you were very, very angry at the ideas expressed by a particluar woman. And it seems to me like you are trying to justify your anger to me as if you are taking what I’ve said personally. What is the reason for that?

    Or am I just having one of those comp failures?

  7. Hi Sargasso Sea, you mentioned that you appreciate my blog. But I don’t have one. Does someone else use the name “Wordwoman” who does have one / If that’s the case I need to change my name. Sorry if this is a bit of a derail, but I don’t want to inadvertently claim work by someone else. Thanks, WW.

  8. Oh heavens! I guess I was thinking of a blog which features *short stories* written by women. I can’t think of the title of it now but I thought it was yours for some reason…

    See! A reading comprehension failure by yours truly! lol 🙂

  9. “I do find it interesting though that you immediately refer to your recent post (and thread) wherein you made it perfectly clear that you were very, very angry at the ideas expressed by a particluar woman. And it seems to me like you are trying to justify your anger to me as if you are taking what I’ve said personally. What is the reason for that?

    Or am I just having one of those comp failures?”

    Yes I guess you are. My post addresses an incredibly bigoted lesbophobic butch lesbian bashing article written by an incredibly bigoted author. Unlike your posts, mine did address PARTICULARS and SPECIFICS, in large part because the “feminist” site where the article was hosted proceeded to censor all butch lesbian responses to the piece. Which I (unlike yourself apparently) found incredibly problematic.

    Obviously I believe (unlike yourself) that anger is justified in some circumstances, such as the one I cited. I also disagree with your theory that such justified anger in reaction to disgusting lesbophobia and misogyny is a result of women having impaired learning or reading skills.
    Hope my comment makes more sense to you now!

  10. Oh whoa! Hang on a sec… “Which I (unlike yourself apparently) found incredibly problematic.”

    You’re in the business of reading minds, Gallus? And again, why does it seem like you are taking what I’ve said here so personally?

  11. I inferred your lack of concern from your absence of expressed concern.

    You should call this blog “I devote my leisure time to trolling, tone-policing, and speculating on the learning disabilities of feminists”.


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