[eDebate] I've had enough

Brian M. Smith Brian.M.Smith
Sun May 14 13:33:04 CDT 2006

It's not very often that I'm ashamed of the debate community.  Usually being a part of this community makes me very proud, and the things I've learned because of it have made me a much smarter and better person.  I really like most of the people that I've met through debate and I wouldn't give up those friendships for anything.  But, frankly I've had enough.  This DCA bio has brought out many of the things that bother me the most about debate.

How many more years do we have to go through with the DCA bios that are obviously totally offensive followed by the apology?  Do we not learn from our mistakes?  After the fact everyone seems so apologetic but it keeps happening.  It's not like we're all new to the DCA bio thing; we've seen it before.  Some people seem to get bio's right.  I thought Suni's bio was very well done.  I was even ok with the video's of me being posted last year.  But the bio that has been written a million times that basically runs like "first Good Debater won a million championships then he came all over this (usually) girl while beating her with his speaker award," it has to stop.  Its not funny, its just mean.  I understand this is all coming at casey/strauss right now because they posted the most recent bio of this kind, but they aren't the first and we shouldnt pretend they are the only ones who have ever done it.  The idea that its not true so its ok is ridiculous.  The bio writers didnt just make up things randomly, there is obviously some basis in reality to form the joke.  Thats why you thought it was funny presumably.  And if none of it is true at all, I'm curious how you did come up with the people to make fun of.  Did you pull names from a hat?  The bios are meant to "roast" the person being celebrated, not include random deragatory material.  How we got to the point where its important to talk about Mandy's sexual history or Lindsey's breasts in a bio about Ryan Burke is beyond me.  Why would you totally unneccesarily hurt people like that?

The man/woman issue is important, but overblown.  No one is saying that men are not ridiculed for their sex lives, only that it happens to women more, and given the minority status of women in the community we should be concerned about it.  If somebody called me a slut on edebate I would be pissed too.  

Brett Wallace, shut up.  Lindsey does not have to tell you the proper medical name of her congenital defect.  She should not have to defend herself about this at all, much less with a detailed medical diagnosis.  The idea that the bio was just stating the "fact" that her breast have been surgically altered is ludicrous and you know it.  Don't hide behind "you could take is as a compliment cuz some people like fake boobs."  Regarding Thiele, no I dont think it was appropriate that his coach called him out for peeing in a public forum like that, but even so, people see sexual issues as so much more important.  Saying someone pees when they are drunk is not nearly as bad as saying someone has an STD or fake tits.  Cormack is not a douche and that wasnt funny either.

Debbie, I'm sorry that you got caught in the crossfire and were offended, but I don't get why you want to ignore it and move on.  If we dont deal with these issues, they will keep happening.  I think you underestimate the effect that these posts have on the way women (and some men) view the activity.  

Strauss says he wishes he could take back his post.  Unfortunately thats not totally possible, but in some ways it is.  The post will never leave the minds of those who read it already, but we can resolve the "employers/campers" issue very easily.  Strauss, if you truly wish to take back your post, then I ask that you email Kerpen and ask him to take down the post and then repost the bio you wish you had written.  It won't fix everything, but it will fix some things.

We are all part of this community.  We need to deal with this.  Are we really all so sexist and mean to our friends that we can't?  Isn't there a "liberal" bias in debate?  Everytime someone who is leaving debate tells me that they dont really feel like the people in it are real friends or they think the relationships they develop are superficial, I begin to wonder, was my experience with debate where I developed meaningful relationships unique?  Its tough for me to imagine myself sticking with debate if I came home from a tournament to find that the only reason someone found me interesting enough to post to edebate about was the kind of sex I was rumored to be having.  If you want to treat someone like this, go get a blowup doll.  Please leave my friends alone.


More information about the Mailman mailing list