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Re: Being excellent to one another

From: John Darrington
Subject: Re: Being excellent to one another
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:07:18 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.23 (2014-03-12)

On Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 10:14:45AM +0100, Alex Sassmannshausen wrote:
     I'm trying to draw this thread to a close as I genuinely believe that
     neither side intends malice:
     - John genuinely does not see how his statements can very easily be
     interpreted as highly disrespectful and even mocking
     - myself and others genuinely do not want to bear down on individuals by
     virtue of simple miscommunication.
     John, I would suggest to you that when at least three independent
     individuals read your paragraph in which you (as you confirmed to me) in
     good faith tried to create an extreme example to confirm that you would
     respect (though fallibly) other people's rights to define their own
     identity, then that paragraph was perhaps unfortunately formulated.
     An apology and clarification would resolve that matter.
     By way of clarification from my side, the paragraph reads like you're
     creating a ("humourous") hyperbolic example that is only tangentially
     related to the real discussion at hand to begrudgingly admit that you
     would be willing to respect other people's identities.
     Perhaps in that light you can see how that statement might have
     trivialised other people's experiences and have come across as
     It simply wasn't necessary to employ that rhetorical device ??? just
     acknowledging that you might slip up at times, would have been
     sufficient.  The rhetorical device turned your genuine sentiment into a
     statement in which you seemed to accede and simultaniously implicitly
     ridiculed those whom you were acceding to.

Alright.  I see you have a point, albeit stretched.  By way of explanation:

You are right that I deliberately contrived an extreme and rediculous
hypothetical scenario to illustrate a point; or as you put it - a hyberbole.
I DID think about this when I wrote it and I made it absurdly rediculous
precisely *because* I thought doing so would avoid anyone thinking that I was
trying to mock transvestites:  Had I said "... a person that looks clearly
like a bloke ..."  then that would have been potentially hurtful to 
someone reading my mail and trying unsuccessfully to look effeminate.  But by 
making the scenario extreme and rediculous I considered that this danger would 
be eliminated - a person trying to look effeminate, would obviously not have
"a big black wiry beard" - she would be taking hormones - or at the very
least - have shaved.  However I realise now that the 6'4" attribute was not
so carefully thought out.  That person would have no control over her height.   
For this reason it is conceivable that a reader might have thought I was 
mocking that hypothetical person.  I should have chosen an attribute which the
person could change.

I apologise for not thinking carefully enough about that email before
sending it.

Regarding your other comments, for the avoidance of doubt:

* I have no interest in the sex/race/body-size etc of any Guix contributor.

* I do not begrudge anyone their right to self-identify with whatever genre 
pleases the individual concerned.

* I know how it hurts when others deny me the right to voice an opinion so 
I will not deny them that same right.

Thank you all for listening.


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