Cheshyre (cheshyre) wrote,

Reading comprehension test

On December 28, 2003, I received the following warning:
We have received a report, properly formatted under the provisions set forth by United States law, indicating that your entry located at violates the copyright of another. As such, we hereby direct you to remove that entry as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, 03 January 2005, at 12:01 A.M. EST, to avoid further action against your account.
Although I do believe my use of ginmar's words qualify under fair use, I have temporarily edited this post to avoid having my LJ account suspended while I file the appropriate counter-claims.

More details regarding the complaint are available here and here.
(1) Although I will be informing ginmar that this thread exists, I don't want to start a pigpile: here, in her journal, or anywhere else in the blogosphere. I have never advocated anybody post anything to ginmar (as some have accused) nor am I doing so now. Anybody who uses this post as a reason/excuse/justification to write anything nasty about ginmar does so against my express wishes. I am not trying to rally anybody to anybody's side, merely improve communications and foster understanding.

(2) I expect there's going to be a lot of traffic in this thread, so I'm turning off my comment notifications. I may not read everything that gets written and I do not want responsibility for policing the conversation beyond the disclaimer above. Please people, we're all adults here. Let's try to keep it polite.

Some of you may know that I've gotten involved in some pretty long and heated discussions about female sexual dysfunction over in ginmar's journal. She has since locked the original post, saying that people were misreading her, but I've obtained a copy of it from Friday noon, several hours before access was restricted. I will post it in its complete and unedited form below (so there can be no charges of selective editing), behind a cut-tag, so people can judge it for themselves.

My reasons for this post are several:

  1. It's hard to argue over reading comprehension when one doesn't have the source material to review.
  2. In an online chat with somebody else, I did a close reading of the first two paragraphs (which were really all I was initially able to read my first pass before I saw red) and I think I see where one of the misunderstandings may have occurred.
  3. In her own journal, ginmar has just recopied in its entirety a post by xiphias, and given her explanation of what she thinks he means (which IMO she has misinterpreted). I believe it's only equitable that I be able to hold her post to similar public scrutiny.

The post on Friday began as follows:

166 words written by ginmar excised

Now, I saw this as hostile to those who do suffer from FSDs, myself included. Other people (friends who know about our situation and total strangers) had similar reactions. However others (including ginmar herself) have strongly argued that they read nothing of the sort in the post. So I went back this morning and did some close reading.

Here's what I came up with:

In the paragraphs above, I saw exactly one line supportive of women with genuine medical problems:

13 words written by ginmar excised

And I'm including that "1 word written by ginmar excised" in there for a reason. "Yes, but" is often a hedge way of saying "No." I am not saying that's what ginmar intended, but to me it reads as a less than sterling acknowledgement that this medication will solve the legitimate problems of a particular subset of women. Furthermore, scanning through the rest of the post, that's the only line that expresses any such sentiment regarding the physical medical problem this drug was actually designed to address.

In contrast, I thought the following passages undercut that statement of support:

57 words written by ginmar excised

Looking further in the article, I also see lines like:

36 words written by ginmar excised

All that seemed to outweigh the one tepid acknowledgement that some do women need medications like this.

People writing in the comments section went even further in suggesting the medical establishment and drug companies should stay away from matters of women's sexuality, which probably further exacerbated the conflict.

Anyway, after chatting about it this morning, I think I may see where some misunderstanding may have occurred.

ginmar wrote: "4 words written by ginmar excised"

I saw her use of "1 word written by ginmar excised" to mean "all women." The universal. Which thus felt extremely dismissive of women like me who do need drugs.

On the other hand, the woman I was chatting with says she saw this to mean "the majority of women" exclusive of those with genuine medical needs. And, I suppose, if one reads it that way, then my reaction may have seemed like it was coming out of left field.

I'm really curious, however, to find out whether others read these lines as I'm seeing them or as ginmar says she intended.

And just because I may have found one small portion I might have misread does not wholly absolve ginmar from claims that she could've written more clearly. I'm reminded of the old Monkees' song, "It's a little bit me, it's a little bit you." I'm willing to take that half-step towards the center and towards reconciliation. I would really like it if ginmar would be willing to meet me in the middle by taking her share of responsibility, but based upon her comments elsewhere, I don't hold out much hope of that.

ginmar's original post -- not one tag of HTML modified from the original.

1573 words written by ginmar excised, of which 975 words can be found in this post of ginmar's

Okay, that's all I have to say on the issue. Remember: play nice and be polite!

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