March 15th, 2008

ozarque figure

Writing nonfiction; It's A Whole 'Nother World; part four...

I sat down this morning with the idea that I was going to post a careful response to each of your comments on the material I posted yesterday as part three of this discussion. But as I re-read your comments I realized that if I did that I was going to keep saying the same things over and over, and wasting everybody's time. Better, I decided, to do a collective response instead.

You have helped me tremendously. The wise things you've said in your comments probably seemed obvious to you, but that's because you had the advantage of being able to perceive the whole forest, while I have been floundering around in the trees. (All of which seemed to have thorns.) I'm very grateful to you for leading me out of the Sylvan Mess I was in.

You're right that what matters most is presenting the basic GAVSD system itself, plus clear instructions for applying that system to an ever-changing language environment, both online and off.

You're right that the various elitisms are going to be present in that language environment in a multitude of forms that fall on a continuum from the most subtle to the most overt, depending on the "demographics" of the speakers and listeners, and that I need to make that clear.

I was surprised to read in your comments that the younger generations would be interested in reading about the images of biological gender that their elders took for granted, and would react with questions like "Why would any woman ever put up with that?"; I will try to keep that firmly in mind as I work. And I found myself wondering whether there was a corresponding "Why would any man ever put up with that?" question. In my Coyote Jones novels, I did everything I could to make it clear that Coyote found the very idea of "subservient/subordinate" women repulsive, was totally unwilling to put up with any such concept or system, and was constantly working against that idea, even when he'd been ordered by The Fish to mind his own business and leave the culture he was investigating alone. And I can't help remembering that in this very year 2008 we still have a large religious population -- the Southern Baptists -- whose creed requires women to "submit" to their husbands, and to do so "graciously."

I'm struggling a bit less this morning. Thank you.