My Butt...Response to Bear

Jessica Clarke clarkeja
Sat Apr 29 15:12:15 CDT 2000

This is my last post on this issue because I think Hester did a good job
of summing up the complexity involved.  I have nothing more of value to
add--I just want to clarify some of things I said in my last e-mail,
because I feel that Bear misinterpreted pretty much every sentence I

> >  Yes in fact I do joke about penis-comparison.  I have referred to more
> >  than one debate round as a "dick-waving-contest."  I do so when debaters
> >  attempt to win through patterns of behavior I find masculine, such going
> >  for everything in the 2NR, attempting to bury the other team in Clinton
> >  uniquenss cards, or excessive posturing in the CX.  Do I mean to imply
> >  that penis comparison is legitimate?  No--usually I joke about this to
> >  express displeasure that debates have devolved into unnecessarily
> >  ego-oriented displays.  I don't even think female debaters are immune from
> >  this sort of behavior.  Is it bad because I said "penis"?

> So your associate ego-displays with penises?

No--it's a METAPHOR.  "Dick-waiving" is a practice of penis comparison
that attributes a man's worth (ego) to the size of his member.  Do I
endorse this practice?  Not usually.  I joke about it.  I even say that
women do it too.

Masculine does not mean men.  Masculine is a set of social expectations we
have for men (rightly or wrongly).

You can call someone an "ass-master" in an insulting way and everyone is
supposed to understand you mean no homophobic undertones, yet a joke about
a "booty contest" meant to congratulate is sexist?

> As if women don't ever have ego
> battles in rounds.

Did you read the line in my e-mail that said "I don't even think female
debaters are immune from this sort of behavior"?

> I'm truly sorry, Jessica, but your support of the above
> associations are as overtly sexist as anything I heard anyone admit to.

Then I have fulfilled my mission of reverse sexism!  (sarcasm)

> It is
> bad to associate ownership of a penis with all the negative traits you list.

Never said that, never did that.  I said an analogy to excessive egos in
debates is a "dick-waiving contest."  Those with penises who don't choose
to waive them certainly aren't egotistical.  By the way, a little
masculine egotism is fun every once in awhile, especially if it involves
lots of Clinton cards; I only object when it gets out of hand.

> Can you imagine your response if I associated similar negative traits to the
> possession of a vagina? I hesitate to brand you as you would easily label me.

If you had given me an example and I could have told you why it is or is
not analogous.

> >  > I really don't believe you care about my feelings one iota.
> >  I love the way you insist on ending every e-mail with a personal jab!  I
> >  scroll to the bottom immediately each time I get your messages to see what
> >  it is.
> How is this a personal jab against you?

You must know that the final word in every e-mail you send is needlessly
provacative (and usually amusing, but I have a sick sense of humor).

> You've admitted context is key and
> that your knowledge of the people involved assures you that no harm was
> intended. Those were almost your exact words.

I said I don't care about intent as much as overall context--I think
context (i.e. surrounding words) helps us to determine the message
shouldn't have been read as sexist, whether or not you know Repko and

> You keep suggesting that there
> was no harm, and I have pointed out that that shows how willing you are to
> dismiss the harms perceived by others ( see the Stannard and Lowrie posts ).
> And you do that based on your "solidarity."

I feel no solidarity with Stannard or Lowrie's posts, although I
respectfully feel they are entitled to their interpretations.  I feel
solidarity with their commitments to expunge the community of sexism and
racism (although racism is an issue I don't feel qualified to speak on,
because I have not thought through the racist implications of the post as
well as I'd like) but I disagree with their particular strategies.

> There are people that have
> indicated displeasure with male ass-comparisons other than just me on this
> list. Thanks for ignoring all the other far better-written resonses than my
> own.

Sorry--I guess I just don't have unlimited time to answer e-mails.  I
think I'm dedicating a huge portion of my day just to keep up with you.

> It really makes me feel that you enjoy trying to HURT me.

I might want to bait you for amusement, but I'm not trying to hurt you.

Why would someone like me, a fairly busy person, want to provoke you via
e-mail?  My initial post was in response to a post in which you referred
to another member of our debate squad as "weak" and "self-righteous."

> You took what
> you admitted and try to turn it into a personal "jab" against you. No, I was
> simply pointing out, as did Stannard, how easy it is to overlook the little
> evils from our friends.

I never admitted callous disregard for the feelings of others.  I don't
think the joke was evil.

> >  Unfeeling Ice Bitch,
> Does self-labeling solidarity become a self-fulfilling prophecy? I've never
> called you a a bitch.

Never said you did!  I call myself that in a way that is ironic.

> Why do you turn legitimate arguments into pereceptions of personal attack? I
> guess that's the easy way out because everyone knows Bear does nothing but
> hurl insults, right? Or as Breshears assures everyone, I nver do anythin more
> than meaninglessly rant?

You assume you know my intentions when you say I try to hurt you.  That is
personal and it is an insult--but don't worry, I'm not crying.

> Wow. So much understanding. It truly makes me want to cry.

There you go again!

I hate to abandon this discussion.


>From  Sat Apr 29 16:23:06 2000
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Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 16:23:06 EDT
To: Team Topic Debating in America <EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Michael Bear Bryant <MWBRYANT at AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Africa Needs a List
Comments: To: rrs128 at

In a message dated 4/29/00 12:26:50 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
rrs128 at HECKY.ACNS.NWU.EDU writes:

> you are, pardon the french, FUCKING INSANE, if you believe that we could
>  have ANY manageable topic that dealt with more than 50 countries.  I defy
>  anyone on this list to propose a topic wording that provides a clear
>  prediactable limit while including the whole of Africa.

Wow. How do you think those Neanderthal debaters back in 1988-89 managed it?
I guarantee you they weren't running whole rez. And, imagine, they didn't
even have kritiks or Lexis-Nexis. Yet, somehow they managed to debate.
Frightening thought, isn't it? On point case cards for over 50 nations
without LN. Oh, how we've advanced! They must've been chiseling those flows...


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