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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » How far are you willing to go, and will you respect me in the morning? (Page 2)

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Author Topic: How far are you willing to go, and will you respect me in the morning?
JeanneT
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And this pot-shot I took at you was exactly WHAT?

What names have I called YOU? Ever? You've racked up quite a record of the names you've called me. Let's see you just added "intentionally deceptive" (or liar if you were to actually speak plainly) to the list of names you regularly call me. But yeah, sure I provoke the arguments.

Let me add this on my way out the door. I am high-strung. So are most of the posters on the forum. We're writers, and it goes with the territory. This means that our discussions often turn into arguments. There's nothing wrong with that and a few locked threads just mean we're being intense.

But I honestly can't deal with being attacked by this person every single time I post.

Unlike some, I'm not going to appeal for the moderator to handle it for me. It's easier to just leave. Will I ever come back? Maybe. But not any time soon. This has simply become too volatile to be healthy.

So for the third and last time. Good luck and good writing. Have fun and get published. See you around.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 04, 2007).]


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mfreivald
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And, by the way--taken from the very source that JeanneT gave us--in regard to Baker Brown's book discussing his clitoridectomies:

quote:
His book produced criticism from the Lancet and the British Medical Journal and unrestrained hostility in the London Times. Within a year Baker Brown was expelled from the London Obstetric Society after a fierce debate led by his professional rivals. This meeting was notable for being fired by commercial jealousy as much as disapproval of his surgery.

The doctor who was known for the clitoridectomies during that time was completely ostracized and condemned by the professionals of the time. Not exaclty the picture JeanneT wanted us to see, was it?


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JeanneT
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Ya suppose since I GAVE the link I expected exactly that information to be there? Now read further and discover that the operation continued to be done in spite of that both in England and elsewhere. The practice in France was even more horrendous.

Good lord. To think I just said I would allow you to drive me away from this forum. Forget it. You have to put up with me sticking around telling the truth.

Edit: What your axe to grind is on THIS particular subject is a fascinating question. Now exactly what is your interest in trying to say that the Victorians weren't by and large prudish? LOL

And how about if YOU come up with SOME link or authority supporting this interesting contention.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 04, 2007).]


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mfreivald
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quote:
And this pot-shot I took at you was exactly WHAT?

Jeanne, you're going off the deep-end again. I was talking about the pot-shot you took at Victorian England--not at me. Pour yourself some tea and read calmly and carefully.

quote:
Let's see you just added "intentionally deceptive" (or liar if you were to actually speak plainly) to the list of names you regularly call me.

You are routinely deceptive with the way you present my words. That is an unfortunate fact. I gave you the benefit of a doubt for a while, but that has long since past.

quote:
But I honestly can't deal with being attacked by this person every single time I post.

Every time? Three threads in more than a year is "every time?"

I think you just don't like the challenge as much as you pretend to. If you did--you would have been much more civil about it from the beginning.

quote:
Unlike some, I'm not going to appeal for the moderator to handle it for me.

I thought the mature thing to do would be to show deference to the moderator. (I've probably failed dramatically, but I sincerely am trying to be mature here.) I'm certainly not going to be embarrassed about showing deference where it belongs.

quote:
So for the third and last time. Good luck and good writing. Have fun and get published. See you around.

In spite of being at odds with you, I do wish you well.

Cheers,
Mark


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mfreivald
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quote:
Forget it. You have to put up with me sticking around telling the truth.

LOL! You get 'em, killer!


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Igwiz
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This is pretty frustrating, Mark, mfreivald, whatever your name is. This is the second interesting link you have hijacked, flamed through, made personal, and it's pretty uncool.

In my opinion (and it's not humble), JeanneT was giving an opinion on writing ABOUT a certain sexual topic as an example of understanding the vagarities of a certain historical timeframe, and you went off on her.

Thanks. Glad to see that the diversity of our little club here just got MORE open-minded.

And yes, the dripping irony is implied.


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lehollis
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Well, I hate to sound critical, but I don't really have a good feel for the character's motivations. I mean, Jeanne and Mark are believable enough, but I just don't see why they would get caught up in this conversation. Maybe the author should fill out more background or something before they reach this point. At any rate, I think the scene is dragging on longer than it needs to and readers will have lost interest by this point. I recommend some heavy editing.
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JeanneT
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Ok, this is out of hand. I am not leaving but I AM taking a day to cool off.

This was an interesting topic before it degenerated and I'm not handling it well.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 04, 2007).]


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mfreivald
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Igwiz,

I feel for you. I sincerely do, and I probably deserve to be the target of your scorn.

But consider my position. Previously JeanneT has attacked Christianity and my Church specifically with gross inaccuracies. When I corrected those inaccuracies, she became very agitated and did her best to discredit me and my church. I was mostly defensive for that entire discussion. I was not trying to perpetuate any kind of attack on her atheism.

But then it was all deleted. Okay--I'm not allowed to defend my Church on this forum. But does that mean this forum should be a place for JeanneT to get her attacks in unchallenged? When she made such a prejudiced statement about the Victorians, I don't think it was unreasonable to ask for a point of order. Better to deal with it now than when she attacks my Church again.

My hope is to get past this with a good understanding of what is acceptable on this list so that this doesn't happen again.

But I still don't blame you if you burn me in effigy.

Cheers,
Mark


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Zero
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quote:
I personally am happy to leave that up to the moderator. I know I'm making this difficult for Kathleen, but I will respect her every decision--this isn't *my* forum. Kathleen could ban me, delete all my posts, and refuse to give a reason, and I would not hold it against her--that's her prerogative. She shouldn't have to answer to me or anyone else for her decisions, and she absolutely needs to have that level of control to make this forum operate the way it should.

That being said--I am *appealing* to her for some consistency on this matter. I'm not going to join in the pot-shot game, so if I'm not allowed to respond to them and correct them, I would hope they would be discouraged.


Hmm... these comments remind me of a character in a story, Peter, who sucks up to win favor with authority.

In my humble opinion, if you're so put off by the comments the best strategy is to boycott them altogether.


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RMatthewWare
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Begun, the great flame war has.

Come on guys, again?


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ArCHeR
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Wow. What a horribly stupid and pointless conversation. Jeez...

Btw, when I say "Victorian" I'm referring to the era, not just Victorian England. Americans were just as guilty. You only need to read "The Yellow Wallpaper" for evidence of that...

And I never understood people getting mad at fairly accurate generalizations simply because they think the person generalizing is accusing EVERYONE of being guilty of the generalization...


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Zero
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Mark, the comment about the Victorians is not something that can be disproved. I'm not saying it is true, I'm saying it might be true. And there isn't any scientific way to convince me, beyond doubt, that it isn't and never was true. [I'm talking about the mutilation part and acts of behavior on the part of some of the people at the time] It's a supported, or at least widely-enough held suspicion, that this isn't some jaded potshot originated from JeanneT.

I'm not saying her comment wasn't biased, but she delivered a point of view worth considering, thinking about, and at the very least expressing. Practically anything anyone says is somewhat offensive to somebody somewhere.

We can all relax and "roll with it," as I like to say, and accept that we will be offended at times, but we preserve our freedom to speak and write without a ball and chain.

Or we can lash back unnecessarily at things that offend us, calling for other people to be controlled, and collectively we become less free altogether.

My opinion.


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RMatthewWare
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Mark,

Thanks for ruining another discussion. In the future, can you start your own thread if you want to start a fight (since you simply can't avoid the fight in the first place), so the rest of us can ignore you and actually have a discussion about writing? I'd appreciate it.

Cheers,
Matt


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jaycloomis
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Heheh, ooh this makes me so happy.

Actually, I took the time to read all the insults, comebacks and criticism between our two antagonists, and kept asking myself the same thing: what the heck is this about?

I mean, I am a history buff and love all aspects of the field, grow my own opinions, and stand by them. But even I don't flare my hood and get ready to strike at the first sign of some opposing views. JeanT, Mark, are either of you from the Victorian era? If so, tell me where you live so I can shake your hand. If you're defending your church or your beliefs, there's something that can possibly become hostile. But an ERA?

As for the topic (I forgot what it was, had to go back up and look) I think that for the most part, vivid sexual sequences in a novel are very distracting unless, as JFLewis mentioned, it contributes to the developement of your main characters. It can de-rail the reader and distract them from the main object of the book -- if not used correctly.

-Jay

[This message has been edited by jaycloomis (edited December 04, 2007).]


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TaleSpinner
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Dear Mark,

Please quit with the self-righteous attitude and read again the rules Kathleen referred you to last time.

Jeanne, your spirit is much appreciated, don't let Mark--or anyone--drive you away from Hatrack. Milk and two sugars, wasn't it?

Now, can we please get back to the sex? Or do we all have a headache.

Pat


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TaleSpinner
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I'm a virgin at writing sex scenes, but here's my take as a reader.

Heinlein did them well in "Time enough for Love" because they were integral to the story. They told us about the characters and the lives they could lead as a result of being able to control conception and genes.

I think sex scenes should be sexy, just as violent scenes should be violent. Sexy often means being mysterious, not revealing all, being funny or tender or thoughtful.

Horror is all the more horrific when it's not explicit and much is left to the reader's imagination.

Characters are somehow stronger when they're not described in too much physical detail. Our imaginations will make the hero handsome and the heroine beautiful, the more so because it's the reader's imagination.

I think it's the same with sex. Give enough detail so we get the idea, then leave it to our imagination--not least because one person's turn-on is another's "Eeew."

Just 2c,
Pat


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skadder
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Mmmmm.

Why don't we just have a post where people can just fight it out.

We could call it: Real and Imagined Insults: Don't worry--I'LL TAKE OFFENCE ANYWAY!

It is no good trying to adopt the moral high ground while at the same time flinging another round of barbed comments at your opponent. It won't make you feel better.

If you were world leaders we would be in some serious trouble by now!

Perhaps people should make a specific point of avoiding commenting on other peoples posts when their blood is up? If you can't say anything nice...

It's my only comment because the post appears to have been hijacked--and I am certainly not going to point any fingers and blame any individuals.


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ArCHeR
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That goes to the thing I brought up, Tale. It shouldn't even be a discussion but it IS because of... well, let's just say past ultra-conservative prudishness...
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Zero
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I don't think this has been a useless enterprise, conflict is at the heart of all stories, after-all.

And I can't believe I missed this comment by lehollis,

quote:
Well, I hate to sound critical, but I don't really have a good feel for the character's motivations. I mean, Jeanne and Mark are believable enough, but I just don't see why they would get caught up in this conversation. Maybe the author should fill out more background or something before they reach this point. At any rate, I think the scene is dragging on longer than it needs to and readers will have lost interest by this point. I recommend some heavy editing.

That's brilliant. Although I don't agree that readers have lost interest. In fact you might say some of them are so involved in the story they're becoming characters in it.

But seriously, I don't want people leaving Hatrack permanently on account of this.

JeanneT, thanks for staying!

Everyone else: Mark's attack in this thread was totally uncalled for and meaningless. But it seems that Mark has backed off, which I think shows some dignity. And I don't see any further use in people attacking him by name at this point. It would be horrible for him to drive JeanneT from our writers' community, but it would be indecent to beat a dead horse as well. If he's no longer on the offense then let it be. Mark may have hijacked two threads and attacked JeanneT, which I don't excuse, but I've found his comments and insights useful and interesting in many more threads than that. So Mark, don't leave either.

[This message has been edited by Zero (edited December 04, 2007).]


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Pyre Dynasty
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Hey that's pretty cool, a flame war actually flamed out.

I personally haven't found an occasion to write a sex scene. I wonder if I avoid them unconsciously? Certainly my characters have children so they must have done something at some point. This requires further thought.


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TaleSpinner
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"Certainly my characters have children so they must have done something at some point."

Perhaps they're adopted ;-)

Pat


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Vanderbleek
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The closest I've gotten is a female trying to gain extra control over a guy by having sex with him...he turns her down though, so it never had to get past the undergarment stage.

I'm terrible at picking up on sexual innuendo though, so sometimes I totally miss it. Although if it's important it comes out later on, and I have that feeling you get when someone has to explain a joke to you...


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mfreivald
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Well, if it makes any difference to you all, I do regret hijacking the thread. I don't think most of you understand why I did, but that doesn't really matter at this point. (It wasn't my intention for it to go that far at all--I was simply asking for a clarification and a point of order. I am genuinely confused about how things should work here.)

Apologies for all the fuss.

And, Zero, if showing deference where deference is due makes me a suckup, then I guess I'm a suck-up. But at least I'm a genuine suck-up.

Cheers,
Mark


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JeanneT
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Well, I'm calmer. I agree that getting all excited over an era is a bit silly. If I'm prejudiced against the Victorians, so what? (I don't think I am but if someone else wants to think so that's fine) LOL

By the way, if I think the Victorian English were bad, I think the French of the same era were worse. (If you want to know why you can read that link I provided--it's too horrible to discuss) So maybe I'm doubly prejudiced against them.

Thanks to some of you for wanting me to stick around. I can be passionate so--I get a bit heated at times. Speaking of which, we were talking about sex.

I have written some fairly graphic sex scenes but ended up cutting them because I felt they weren't right for the particular work. I really think that my next book is going to be if not out-right erotica then at least more sexually graphic and more about romance and that kind of thing. Why? Just because I've never done that. I've done a lot of war and fighting. Time for something different.

I know some people don't approve but hey... that makes it more interesting.

Edit: Yes, that's milk and two sugars, Talespinner. But be sure it's Assam.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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mfreivald
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Also, Zero, thanks for the kind words, but I probably deserved most of it, and I have thick enough skin I'm not going anywhere right away. I may have been misunderstood, but the approach I took wasn't especially graceful.

Cheers,
Mark


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skadder
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Good...now shake hands or kiss.
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ArCHeR
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Hmm... Perhaps something more is called for...

*hint hint, wink wink*


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Robert Nowall
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When one believes in or is confident or feels passionately about something, one should be willing to defend one's stated position. One should avoid personal attacks, but keep true to one's arguments in favor of that position. I know I've taken some positions here, about writing and other things, that some people have disagreed about---but, having taken them, I have to support them.

Besides---though this is less likely---I could be wrong, or inconsistent with each other. How would I know either without testing them against other ideas? Working through ideas with arguments like this helps strengthen them.

If this is what the Internet crowd calls "flame wars," I can live with that. Besides, if it gets too intense, I can always walk away and move on.


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mfreivald
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Robert Nowall, that was almost exactly the point I intended to make with this whole exercise. (Don't get me wrong--I'm not making excuses. Regardless of my intent, what I in fact did was hijack a thread.)

My making issue with the over-simplified stereo-type regarding Victorianism had nothing to do with Victorianism. It had to do with the fact that these little discussions about non-writing issues with corrections and disagreements are pretty much inevitable. To shut them down would be, in my opinion, too stringent on the open exchange here.

But in the case where I made some corrections about some egregiously wrong things that were said about my church (and Christianity in general), I was viciously attacked for doing so. After being the target of this attack, it was decided to delete the entire conversation--except for the originating false information that started the whole thing. So that now stands unanswered--I was successfully shut down and cut off.

So, basically, we all believe that we should be able to discuss these things--***except when it is something important and personal to Mark***.

Can you see why I am a little confused here?

So, when I saw that the antagonist of the previous discussion was going off topic--simply trying to correct things the way I was trying to earlier--I cried "foul." I see now that it was ill-conceived, and perhaps my ego was on too long of a leash at the time. Whatever the case, I apologize again for trying to make issue of it the way that I did.

If anyone is masochistic enough to want to see what I'm talking about regarding the previous discussion, I printed the posts into a PDF file just before they were all deleted. So I have an unedited record of that discussion.

Cheers,
Mark


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JeanneT
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Why don't you start a thread about this? Would that really be so hard to do?


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mfreivald
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Because that would defeat the intent I had of bringing it to a close.

I'm sorry, Jeanne. I should have just shut up.


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JeanneT
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quote:
The closest I've gotten is a female trying to gain extra control over a guy by having sex with him...

So how would that work, Vanderbleek? Sounds like there is something the men in my life have never told me about? Control, hm?

Edit: By the way what IS it with women being referred to as "females"? I'm not sure if it is as irritating to other women as it is to me--but it really does sound a bit demeaning although I'm sure it's not meant that way.

I'm not yelling at you that you're sexist, Vanderbleek. I am assuming you didn't mean it in any way to be demeaning but this is something I've noticed and been irritated by from several guys in this forum. Is there some language thing going on here that I'm missing?

Is there something wrong with the word woman? I even prefer girl (and I do dislike being called a girl since I earned these gray hairs) to "female."

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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RMatthewWare
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I agree that for centuries there has been a prudish attitude about sex. The origins probably came from the religious (and not just Christian) views that sex should be only between married couples and private. From that I think society decided that if sex shouldn't be had whenever you want, it must be bad. And why is it bad? Because it feels good. Anything that feels good must be bad, right?

But sex isn't bad, and it does feel good and should. There was an episode of Law and Order last night about female circumcision (I think Jeanne referenced the same thing in history). The concept is repulsive because it shows that women shouldn't enjoy sex and should feel bad for doing so. Sex should only be to have children.

But doesn't a sexual relation bring people together? In the right environment, doesn't it help remove the barrier from a husband and wife, helping them communicate?

I agree that sex should be private, but many things we write about involve situations between couples that should be private. Disagreements, for one. When we write, we're inviting others to peek in on our character's lives. Handled correctly, we can learn something about them and about ourselves.

I understand that done poorly, our writing can devolve into voyeurism, but done well, it can open insight about our characters.

OSC mentioned that you should leave a lot of your characters to the imagination. My own opinion is give enough for the reader to imagine them, then let them fill in the details. We'll be able to relate to the character a little better. The same can be handled for sex. You can show intimacies without showing body parts. You can show feelings and emotions and expand a character.

Personally, I'm against sex outside of marriage. But I realize more people do it than don't. If I'm honest with my readers, then I know some people will be sexually active. I don't have to agree with people who act differently than me, but I have to respect their differences.


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skadder
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quote:
When one believes in or is confident or feels passionately about something, one should be willing to defend one's stated position. One should avoid personal attacks, but keep true to one's arguments in favor of that position. I know I've taken some positions here, about writing and other things, that some people have disagreed about---but, having taken them, I have to support them.

I think while your position seems obvious, it is flawed. A persons beliefs should be something that evolves during a lifetime, and is tempered and changed by experience and NEW INFORMATION. You should be mentally agile enough to listen to and be open to changing your opinion, something that it is difficult to do if you batten down the hatches defending your position all the time, because you 'feel' you have to.

Life is not a debate.


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JeanneT
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I have to comment that calling it female circumcision is a bit inaccurate although it is sometimes called that. It makes a comparison to male circumcision that is pretty inaccurate from the accounts that I've read. The intent is apparently to cause it to be impossible for women to derive any enjoyment from sex. Yes, it does still go on even in the US.

I realize that's nit picky to bring up the term, but we're writers. Words are important.

All in all, pretty well put, Matthew.

Edit: Let me say I don't agree with Matthew 100% but it's a well thought out post. I would say there are other reasons for what goes on, especially for female mutilation. That we can agree to disagree about.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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ArCHeR
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The prudishness in America has little, if anything, to do with sex in its origins. Hell, "nunnery" was once a synonym for "brothel" (where do you think Hamlet really wanted Ophelia to go?).

In fact, the Bible says absolutely zilch about premarital sex being a sin (unless, of course, it's with someone other than your betrothed during the engagement period).

No, what this stems from is the desire for men to control their women. Yes, they mutilated female genitalia, but did they mutilate their own male genitalia? No. So what's all this about helping make sex only be about children and not pleasure? If that were true, they'd be pulling out the magazines and a turkey baster.

And that's my point. Prudishness has nothing to do with why we think we're prudish now...


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ArCHeR
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And to what Jeanne just said, yes female circumcision isn't right at all. Because male circumcision doesn't remove the most sensitive place on a male's genitalia...

And even if it did, it wouldn't be as big a loss because the female counterpart is far more sensitive. So the women are losing much more in that scenario...


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mfreivald
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quote:
And why is it bad? Because it feels good. Anything that feels good must be bad, right?

That may be true to some subcultures, but it isn't true of Orthodox Christianity, nor of most of Protestant Christianity. I also doubt it is true of most other religions, but I admittedly lack much of that insight.

It is first important to get rid of this idea that Christianity professes that feeling good is a bad thing. There is no such belief except in certain minority sects of Christianity. I would even go so far to say that the only *good* thing about illicit sex (cheating on a spouse, for example) is the pleasure. The destruction to souls and families far outweigh that fleating pleasure, of course.

Sex is also not bad within marriage according to any Christian sect that I am aware of.

The reasons extra-marital sex is bad relates to natural law as well as religious beliefs. One of those reasons is that sexuality is directly related to the health of the family, which is critical to a healthy civilization, and undermining the sacredness of it undermines the regard for the health of the family.

Another reason is that sexuality without openness to life becomes utilitarian. Instead of cooperating with the natural teleology of body and soul, it takes an approach that uses each other as objects for pleasure. Human beings should not be treated as objects. It leads to a far-reaching disregard for human life with horrible consequences.

Sexual intercourse outside of marriage is in fact destructive to the people engaging in it and to the community around them in many ways that I'm sure could be debated ad nauseum. My objective here isn't to "prove" the Christian point of view--it is to demonstrate that the Christian point of view is not anything close to this notion that "pleasure is bad."

It seems like a very common misunderstanding, which results in criticism where criticism is not due. (It can also be a handy straw man for those who deal in logical fallacies.)

Christians, generally, are not nearly as prudish as you think.

And, by the way, these surgical procedures as being discussed are condemned by the Catholic Church. I suspect there are very few Protestants who wouldn't condemn it, too.

Cheers,
Mark


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mfreivald
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quote:
In fact, the Bible says absolutely zilch about premarital sex being a sin (unless, of course, it's with someone other than your betrothed during the engagement period).

ArCHeR,

The problem with a statement like that is that without an understanding of the Traditional beliefs going into it, the Bible can be interpreted in infinite ways--and all of them would be perfectly reasonable. I think the vast majority of Christian interpretation would disagree with yours--they all have found reasonable ways to interpret it, too. But as an Orthodox Christian, I personally don't worry too much about all the competing interpretations.

From my understanding the Bible was in fact written in the context of a religious people who had a profound respect for sexual purity and did not allow intercourse outside of marriage.

There's plenty to discuss and explore there, but it really isn't all that relevant. The point is, it doesn't make much sense to me when someone says: "The Bible doesn't tell me not to do it, so it must be okay according to the Bible." If that were true, all we would have to do is list all the atrocities that weren't mentioned in the Bible and say: "Okay, man! Let's do it!"

Cheers,
Mark


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JeanneT
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Not everything is about Catholics. No one mentioned the Catholic Church in regard to this practice except you. It has been practiced by Catholics, Protestants and, most widely, by Islamics. I don't know that any church has ever taken a position on it however. (They may have. I'm just not aware of it.)

It has to do with treating women as possession, not with religion. Some religions are more prone to encourage treating women as chattel or possession or have been during one period or another. That's rather a different discussion and belongs in another thread I would say.

As for your beliefs about sex being somehow evil if not blessed by a minister, obviously I don't agree.

Edit: Blech. I will not be drawn into ANY discussion of Catholicism. I'll take that out.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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skadder
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quote:
And even if it did, it wouldn't be as big a loss because the female counterpart is far more sensitive. So the women are losing much more in that scenario...

From what I understand, the clitoris contains the same number of nerve endings as the penis (because in a foetus they grow from same point), it is just a penis is bigger and so the nerve endings are spread out more.

So the equivalent to removing a clitoris is to remove the penis.


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JeanneT
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Well, I hate to put this in but do a some reading and you'll discover that sometimes even more is done than just removing the clitoris. It's honestly to grotesque to discuss in detail though.

You're right that a removing the clitoris is about the equivalent of removing the penis when it comes to sexual sensation, though. I haven't researched if there is any difference in sensitivity.

Edit: Back to the subject and I brought up the entire subject only because I felt it related. I suspect it is now derailing the thread so I'm dropping it.

How do we handle sex in our writing?

Obviously some people think that sex is only for procreation. I would suspect their writing will reflect that. Some people think sex outside marriage is evil. Their writing will probably reflect that. I happen to not believe either. I do sometimes write about my characters having sex just as I sometimes write about it when they fight or do other things. Why wouldn't I? Is it something nasty? I don't think it is.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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mfreivald
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Jeanne,

Here is the complete quote.

quote:
The origins probably came from the religious (and not just Christian) views that sex should be only between married couples and private. From that I think society decided that if sex shouldn't be had whenever you want, it must be bad. And why is it bad? Because it feels good. Anything that feels good must be bad, right?

So, obviously Christianity was in the mix.

The reason I speak of Catholicism more than the general Christian view is that I don't want to get too carried away thinking I'm speaking for all of Christianity when I'm discussing these things--I'm simply much more qualified to speak of Catholicism, which is a *relevant* and illustrative part of Christianity. Also, when I speak of Catholicism I can be a lot more specific.

And I repeat: The Catholic Church condemns the practices under discussion. Saying "Catholics did this" (When? How many? Under what circumstances? And, most importantly, by what Catholic authority?) does not demonstrate a Catholic approval any more than saying "Hatrack River members listened to rap music" demonstrates an Hatrack River approval of rap music.

And I'm perfectly okay with the disagreement, Jeanne. I was simply trying to rectify the misunderstanding about Christian views.

And, by the way, I think you were perfectly reasonable using the word evil. All sin is evil at some level, and the destruction is part of that evil.

Cheers,
Mark


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Igwiz
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Having lived for two years in a country that routinely practices female circumcision, let me provide a little insight to this topic, as we have moved from writing about the sex act to writing about a medical (or where I lived, quasi-medical) procedure.

Male circumcision was first practiced by the Jewish tribes, and was considered a masculine sacrifice to God, as well as a tribal identifier. If push came to shove, it could be proved that a gentile male looked different from a Jewish one. If there was any question about a person's affiliation or allegiance, just raise his tunic.

Currently, male circumcision is practiced widely in most western countries. And, recent research has show that circumcised males who engage in high-risk sex contract HIV at a lower rate than un-circumcised males who engage in similar sexual activities. So, there might be something value-added to the practice. In almost every case, male circumcision does not in any way effect the sexual experience of males who have been circumcised.

Female circumcision is also practiced in many cultures. In many of those cultures, it is used as a sexual control mechanism for women. Unlike male circumcision, female circumcision significantly effects the sexual experience of women, and can cause other more severe complications.

However, in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where I lived, female circumcision is used less as a sexual control mechanism and more as a social and cultural right of passage. The circumcisions I heard described (I never slept with a Sierra Leonean woman who was circumcised) usually (but not always) removed the clitoris, occasionally removed the labia majora (outer vaginal lips), and rarely but sometimes removed the labia minora (inner vaginal lips).

However. Here's the rub. In Sierra Leone, the individuals who actual conduct the circumcision .... are women. Specifically, women of high ranking of the Sande Women's Secrety Society.

This application of female circumcision (which I IN NO WAY CONDONE), is utilized differently in Sierra Leonean tribal culture than in many other countries (specifically Islamic-controlled cultures. Again, this is based on conversations I have had with Peace Corps volunteers who have served in Senegal, Mali, and Mauritania).

Please see this Wikipedia article about the Sierra Leonean Sande Society. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sande_society

Here is my ultimate point. As we have found throughout this conversation, many different practices and applications, be they religion, cultural, or sexual, exist in context. A sex scene out of context is gratuitous. A discussion about religion on a writing forum might be out of context. And, a cultural practice, something which I would never wish on anyone, and which I would go to great lengths to prevent in my own culture, is an accepted form of initiation into womanhood for some cultures.

In the long run, I am hard pressed to tell somebody who is in a different cultural, religious, or literary situation or environment, that they shouldn't be true to their own internalized context.

As hard as that may be....

[This message has been edited by Igwiz (edited December 05, 2007).]


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JeanneT
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Ok. After this post I am not discussing this further only the actual topic.

Mark, people who were Catholics did that. It has nothing to do with the "official" position of the Catholic Church. I can site authoritative sources that shows that people who claimed to be members of that Church did the practice.

I never said or implied there was some kind of official approval. In fact, on the contrary I said I KNEW of no such thing. Please stop turning every comment into some kind of attack on your beloved church.

Damn it I keep trying to drop this subject.

Igwiz said:

quote:
The circumcisions I heard described (I never slept with a Sierra Leonean woman who was circumcised) usually (but not always) removed the clitoris, occasionally removed the labia majora (outer vaginal lips), and rarely but sometimes removed the labia minora (inner vaginal lips).

The problem with your argument is that the removal of what is in fact most (in some cased all) of the female genitalia would mean that a woman would have virtually NO sexual sensitivity and would have a very limited ability to enjoy sex, most likely totally incapable of enjoying sex.

Of COURSE this is done to control women. The argument that it is done by women is part of what makes it so horrendous.

Maiming (foot binding) of Chinese girls was also done by women. Frequently the enforcement of male control on women is done by the older women who have ben co-opted by the male control mechanism. They believe (wrongly of course) that they have a stake in the continuation of the system they consider themselves a part of.

A NORMAL rite of passage does NOT leave the person involved maimed for life and incapable of any sexual enjoyment. What you describe is in fact a fairly extreme example of female genital mutilation.

End of lecture and I am NOT discussing this further I don't care what ANYONE says.

Edit: I would say I was very sorry for having brought the subject up. I did NOT intend to totally derail the conversation. But I must admit that I also think this is a subject that people should know about--so I have mixed feelings.

Please, can we get back to the original subject. I really didn't mean to take us totally off the track. I meant it as a minor side point to the discussion.

message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).][This

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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JFLewis
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Wow! So we ca just argue about whatever we want in this thread? Really? Let's see:

Size matters!

Ridged ST:NG Klingons are better than Original series Klingons!

The journey is more important than the destination!

You are all just figments of my imagination!

You should never argue with a loaded gun!

Don't run with scissors!

Size matters not!

Money makes the world go round!

My Dad can beat up your Dad!

Non-ridged Orignal Series Klingons are totally better than those weird Ridged ST:NG Klingons!

The destination trumps the journey. Thejourney is crap. Who cares about the journey!

I am just a figment of your imagination and I wished you'd imagined me with a better beard!

Always bring a loaded gun to an arguement!

By all means run with scissors!

No, LOVE makes the world go round!

Oh, yeah well, my Dad can beat up your political party!

/pant

/pant

/gasp

What? You mean there is a difference in a reasonable debate and (I hesitate to characterize what was going on here at all, so I'll just say) what has been going on here?

I propose a "Let's-Argue-About-Religion" thread. I also propose that we move it to another board... say somewhere on the IGN forums... because unless we're discussing how to use religion in what we write, I'm really sick of the arguements.

My religious beliefs are probably as different from JeanneT's as they are from mfreivald's. They differ from ArCHeR's too, but what does that have to do with writing about Sex/Love Scenes?

Absolutely nothing.

So... as JeanneT attempted to do in her previous post:

Can we please talk about something safe... like sex?

To recap:

I think we all agree that different people have different comfort levels when discussing sex. I've already expressed my thoughts on the matter, but I'm curious. For those who have read George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice & Fire series, how did you feel about the graphic sex scenes involving Tyrion Lanister?

Did you feel they revealed something about him as a character (ie. demonstrating how much he really wants to love and be loved, to be treated normally instead of as a dwarf or a monter) or did they strike you as pornographic?

Jeremy


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mfreivald
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quote:
Mark, people who were Catholics did that. It has nothing to do with the "official" position of the Catholic Church. I can site authoritative sources that shows that people who claimed to be members of that Church did the practice.

Jeanne. If you aren't trying to tie it into Catholic practice, I don't know what your point is. You make it a point to mention Catholics and others as if it is significant, and now when I try to put that into some kind of reasonable context, you seem to be saying it isn't significant, and I should just shut up about it.

There is no end to the horrible things we can say about people in the way you are doing it. I could just as easily talk about the fact that there are known atheists who were coprophiliacs. Is it true? Undoubtedly. Is it reasonable to make a point about atheists that way? Not in the slightest. It would be unreasonable and uncharitable to keep saying that (especially knowing that there was an atheist on the forum) as if it were significant, when it wasn't. I am *much* to charitable to do that to you.

So--if there is something *significant* about the fact that some tiny set of misguided Catholics somewhere mutilated themselves in the way you are discussing--then make that significant point so that we can scrutinize it properly. If not--please show me the same kind of charity that I am showing you.

quote:
Please stop turning every comment into some kind of attack on your beloved church

Jeanne--why is it that things that are important to you are okay additions to the discussion--but things that are important to me are not? I did not say anyone attacked my church in this case--I simply took the opportunity to set the record straight about misconceptions of Christianity. I'm trying to be peaceful about this, but you are basically saying "Mark, your point of view and opinion doesn't count, just shut up about it."

Is this reasonable?

Cheers,
Mark


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JeanneT
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Whew! A question I can (I hope) safely give my opinion on.

I thought that scene was well written. It's part of why Martin is a great writer. Yes, it was graphic, but I thought it was a perfectly legitamate part of the characterization.

Could he have shown the same thing another way? Sure. But sex is an important part of our lives. Why shouldn't we show it? Well, because some people aren't comfortable with it. But some people aren't comfortable with my graphic depictions of violence. So..


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JeanneT
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I believe me comment was Catholics, Protestants and Islamics did the practice. And I only mentioned that because you had already implied or stated that I was somehow turning this into an attack on Christians. Somehow you have turned this from "Jeanne is picking on the poor innocent Victorian English to Jeanne is picking on the Catholics." I NEVER blamed the practice on the Catholics. But are you telling me that Catholics (as individuals) have never done bad things? Is THAT your position now?

Can you PLEASE give it a rest.

I have NOT said you can't discuss religion. If something matters to you then you are quite free to discuss it. If you want to discuss religion please go make a thread on the subject.

[This message has been edited by JeanneT (edited December 05, 2007).]


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