More about speaking uncivilly! and 'self-policing'

just saw this under an article about why there aren't more women in public office

"[commenter 1]
Here's the thing. Women are inherently emotional creatures. Men tend to look at things from the logical stand point, less often being caught up in the emotional charge of a situation. No ones stopping women from being politicians...

[commenter 2 in reply]
here's the thing. shut the fuck up."

Which made me laugh out loud. 

This is what I mean - sometimes speaking uncivilly is the exact right response. 

The first comment is apparently civil, but it's actually patronising and sexist, and reinforces the weight of hundreds of years of patriarchy and misogyny. The second is 'uncivil' but it's spot on. 

(Comes from - which was a widely circulated meme about Photoshopping the men out of photos of political and boardroom meetings. Worth revisiting or checking out if you didn't see it.)

Worth noting that the first comment got 20 likes, the second 358, so obviously a lot of other people liked it too. 

But my issue is, even though I think the response is spot on, I wouldn't normally say something like that. Because I'm an academic who teaches students, because I'm identifiable, I would try to find a 'civil' way to respond, even though I think the way commenter 2 responded is actually the best and most straightforward way to respond. 

So it's like my identity as an academic, in a hierarchical organisation where I could be sanctioned, is controlling my private identity. One obvious way of getting round this is anonymity, but why? Why we should we have to conceal our identity to say what we think, because of corporate power?

On a related though slightly different note, in the current political debate over the Batman by-election, I know some academics (including myself) who support the Greens, because we think they have better policies. But most of us I think would be hesitant to come out as academics and argue that people should vote Green. We might say 'Why I'm voting Green' or do a comparison of parties' policies, but not openly advocate for one party. Yet we may have spent years studying the issues.

Oh well - maybe I should do a 'why I think people should vote greens in Batman' piece. But back to fixing up my thesis now.


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