Since comments are closed at Radical Wind (on this excellent post and conversation) I have taken the liberty of continuing the conversation here – re: how, where, and why to critique a woman’s work – because I think it is an important issue that should be discussed as openly and publicly as possible.
And since Davina Squirrel’s last comment came in ’under the wire’ and did quote a portion of something I’d said on the subject:
@ D Squirrel –
It is entirely confusing when you say that the “direct criticism” of other women is well done in private or semi-private spaces and at the same time suggest that disagreements are easily googled for the source. That makes no sense when radical feminist work is regularly shut down/erased by men and feminists alike and as any criticism of a woman‘s work by women is seen as an ‘attack‘ on her personally (as I said, lose/lose) whether public or – perhaps even more so – in “private“. Frankly, insinuating that is it wise or less divisive to criticize a woman in private is engendering an atmosphere of distrust in general.
Yet you go on to say, as an alternative, we can comment directly on the blog/site as you say you do frequently. But what if the comment is not approved being seen as troll-ish or rude or off topic or a personal attack by the host? Are we then to not to make very clear in our own public space what our disagreement is so that other women (or ‘newbies”) can see that there is disagreement on an issue especially if, as you say, one of the prime goals as radical feminists is to be an educational service of sorts? Would it not be in the service of education to name and link to the writing in question as WW suggested per ‘academic rigor‘?
And it is all of these observations and questions I pose to you now that caused me to say that a plea to ‘not name’ in public is essentially silencing women. Without honest and public conversations about our disagreements there can be no forward movement/spinning as has been proven time and time again.
Your thoughts on my questions would be appreciated.