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Nitro


Member

Posted Tue Mar 6th, 2012 7:32pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/whats-the-deal-with-misogynistic-gay-men/

Very brief article on a topic that isn't discussed enough in the LGBT community imho. You might hear it more in the ranks of lesbians and/or feminists, but I've rarely heard gay men be honest about some of this, if any of it.

I am not, of course, attracted to womens bodies at all. But, I do not find them 'revolting' or cringe-worthy. I'd never go seaside if I felt that way what with all the bikini's walking around.

I think some of it comes from a desire on the part of some gay men to get the approval of hetero's and especially hetero men that are around them. In general, this won't ever happen and IF you have to get hetereo approval by putting women down, if that's how you're going to make a straight guy your friend, is that really the kind of straight male friend you want? Someone you can hate women with?

Rush Limbaugh's recent tired and 'slut shaming' on the Georgetown U law student may have been poorly recieved in the group of higher IQ's out there and disapproved of, but he has a massive audience, in the millions and mostly hetereo males who I personally have witnessed laughing at his lopsided view of the world. Never is four marriages or oxycontin addiction brought up by these guys when he's railing against all things minority related. That some of his sponsors have left him in the dust is a good thing, but some are only actually 'suspending' it, not pulling it for good. Sadly. And Rush makes people money so I'd be surprised if he doesn't stick around for another year or so. He's lasted TWENTY years on syndication and said many foul things during that time.

So, what drives some gay men to seek the approval of men who may actually agree with Rush? Who are 'disgusted' by women and their bodies as well, though perhaps for different reasons than some gay men? Is it just a mutual hatred for women in general? Is it homosexual self-loathing? Is it the monumental importance we've always put on the straight man's opinions and plans, above all others?

There's something very odd, and dark, imho about gay men who abuse straight women who often have been our most important allies in society. The ones who softened the blows of high school, who kept secrets, who acted as beards at the prom...and as soon as some of us are 'fine with being gay', wham!! Out come the blades and right into the backs of this group of women, including gay women. And I've never been a real big fan of the term 'fag hag' to refer to women who befriend a gay man. "She's my fag hag." Neither 'fag' nor 'hag' has generally been considered a compliment to anyone. Why not just say she's your friend?

What do you think? Is it more acceptable for gay men to put women down for their age, appearance, behavior etc than it is for straight men to do?

Really? Wow.

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joan


Member

Posted Wed Mar 7th, 2012 7:37am Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

'Course it isn't, but I didn't know this happened. I haven't known many gay men, but those I've encountered have been perfectly OK in their attitudes to women. But no-one would get way with calling ME a 'fag hag'!!


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AC


Member

Posted Wed Mar 7th, 2012 3:56pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

Interesting article. I have never encountered this in any of the gay men I know personally, but I know that it happens. And to answer your question, Nitro, no, it's not any more acceptable for a gay man to disparage women than it is for a straight man to do so. On the rare occasion that I see comments from a gay man about how "disgusting" women's bodies are, as a woman, I do find it insulting and obnoxious. Whatever your orientation, not being attracted to someone is not an excuse for name calling, especially once you get past the age of 12.

I had never heard the term "fag hag" until recently, but I HATE it. There is absolutely no need to put a different label on a friendship just because it's between a woman and a gay man, and I think it demeans both parties involved.

"Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you." -Oscar Wilde

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Nitro


Member

Posted Thu Mar 8th, 2012 4:37am Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

Thanks for your insights and experiences to add to this thread and Joan, I adore your directness about a thing.

Sadly, I HAVE witnessed many gay men let themselves rationalize their own sexism towards women. In fact, I've known a few gay men who simply will not be friends with lesbians. There's some odd social divide there and it has to do with, generally speaking, an intimidation they feel. So they'll be snarky at straight women and lesbians. Add a couple of straight guys to the group, and some gay men will almost trip over themselves, and certainly step over and on the ladies, to join in some 'anti-woman' discussion, all guised in 'humour' ( the old defense of the coward lol ). It's like it's perfectly ok for a gay man to mock how a woman has dressed herself, what shoes she's wearing, etc as in,"Oh honey, you need help from the top down!" and the poor girl stands there horrified. It's just really sad that these women whose nature is to be compassionate and supportive are paid for that with catty barbs and snarky comments.

I concede I may have seen more of this than some other members on the forum just due to the people I know being a pretty even mix between gay and straight. Some of the rude behavior I reference took place at gay bars or parties. Everything is usually fine until the hetero males come into the room. They start making sexist talk and the gay guys, I think to get their approval, start joining in and then you're sitting there in this now polarized group. When it gets to filling like elementary school stuff, I leave. If I stayed I' be too inclined to launch a nuclear verbal assault lol

Really? Wow.

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LadyGirlPerson


Member

Posted Fri Mar 9th, 2012 10:00pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

The first time I was called a "fag hag" ... I was severely offended. I know he meant that we were close, but a hag? My instant thought was, "Hag? I'm only 18!"

That was half a lifetime ago... and we're still friends, however I don't like being called a "fag hag."


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Nitro


Member

Posted Fri Mar 9th, 2012 10:14pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

'hag' is most definitely a term of derision to women. It's sad The nicest I'd heard a friend say once was,"They're my fruit flies.", pointing at the two women across the room he was out and about with.

I still think,"They're my FRIENDS." sounds a lot better lol

Really? Wow.

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citizen_erased


Member

Posted Tue Mar 27th, 2012 9:57am Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

*sorry, something went wrong with coding. Will come back later!


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joan


Member

Posted Fri Aug 3rd, 2012 11:52pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

I've made a new friend at U3A" I think he's gay but he's too religious to admit it - even to himself. He's an old man who has always lived alone. We have got him into our performance group and he has been great.


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Pelle_Hamburg


Member

Posted Fri Sep 14th, 2012 8:43pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

@Nitro: Thanks for the post! I've witnessed the same phenomenon over the years getting more and more grave in my own circle of friends. From my own experience I have to say that it is true, gay men get away with sexism at a rate and a in way a heterosexual man would never be able to. It is interessting however to take a closer look at the women who let themselves get talked to in that way. The vast majority of these women wouldn't mind or actually don't mind being talked to like that in general. Their reaction is just slightly different depending on who said what.
If a heterosexual man sais humiliating things their reaction depends on whether they generally like them or not. Easily these men can become some sort of "machos" and in a way it seems ok then.
If a woman sais humiliating things their reaction depends on whether they are intimidated or for whatever reason want the other woman to like them (to show off with a friendship) or not. A female friend who is constantly humiliating her female friend would be refered to as "honest" and a "true friend" because she "really sais what's on her mind". Believe me - I've seen it!!!

In both situations the women know that it's not right but they make up excuses. For themselves and others.
Now if a homosexual man sais something humiliating I believe that these women again feel that it's not right but the excuses they make up in order for it to feel ok seem exclusivly for themselves. Because other people don't seem to bother. Statements like "isn't he funny" or "he is so entertaining" or "I like how he never seems to take anything seriously" or "he's hilarious!" are made by everyone else, the affected women just having been humiliated, endorse the public view of that in order to protect themselves. Complicated thought, I'm not sure if I really nailed it...damn it, English!

It's like the public is caught up in the misconception that certain things just don't happen or certain things have a particular nature that forbids to think in a certain direction/interpretation/construction.
It's the same when people automatically think of men when they hear the word sexual offender which is absurd because ca.80% of all sexual crimes are never reported and of those 20% reported there are ca.15% committed by women. The estimated number of unknown cases is interesting here because the refusal to report sexual abuse is way higher if the predator is female. Being ashamed is the main reason for boys/men not to report their abuse and of cause the fear of not being believed or getting laughed at or even being humiliated again by getting told to feel fortunate for their early encounters, being wanted by a woman.
In public perception sexual crimes are not committed by women because of the image they have: nursing, caring, loving, motherhood etc. It just doesn't fit.
In public perception sexism against women is not an attitude of homosexual men because of the image they have: jolly, nice, liking men therefor bonding with women over that etc. It just doesn't fit.

I feel I have to point out that I only used the comparison of sexism and sexual abuse to make my point as clear as possible. I do not see a connection between the two other that I just wrote about them in the same post.
I just want to make clear that I think the reason for sexism against women by homosexual men being barely aknowledged by the public eye lies whithin the dull argumentation of that just not fitting the public understanding of homosexual men.

If you think about it homosexual men should't like the fact that they are getting away with sexism against women. Because it means that the public does not see them as men!
A homosexual man being cheered at for saying humiliating things to a woman implies insults on two levels: insult of the woman because of what was said and insult of the homosexual man by what was NOT said...
like "Apologize to that woman!", "Man, you can't say that!" - no, instead it's: "Yeah, it's ok for you to say that, because we don't take you seriously!"

Quoting Nitro:
"So, what drives some gay men to seek the approval of men who may actually agree with Rush? Who are 'disgusted' by women and their bodies as well, though perhaps for different reasons than some gay men? Is it just a mutual hatred for women in general? Is it homosexual self-loathing? Is it the monumental importance we've always put on the straight man's opinions and plans, above all others?"

A heterosexual man can hate women. A heterosexual woman can hate men. A member of a minority can be a racist. A polititian can hate voters. A patriotic TV-Madman (R.Limbaugh) can hate 75% of his own countrys population. A homosexual man can hate women. A homosexual woman can hate men. A prison inmate can hate criminals.
These things are contradictions only on first sight. We need to step back and take a look at the great picture; what all of these people have in common is: they are human and they hate.
I don't think the question is why a homosexual man would hate women. I think the question is why does a person hate.
The reasons for that I think are as plural as there are people and therefor I don't think a general answer can or should be given. It is as impossible as it is unfair.
Relationships are dynamic. So if there is humiliation and hatred, there also has to be a counterpart to these things. Devotion, lowliness, self-hatred or whatever.
Homosexual men are human like everybody else and because of that capable of all human feelings, actions and thoughts - including hating women.

I want to pick up the last example I gave for first-sight-contradictions: prison inmates hating criminals. This is very interesting because it somehow supports Nitros suggestion of the notion of putting someone else down in order to make another party your friend. With insecurity comes vulnurability. The drive for survival includes of course not only staying alive but also managing life getting hurt as little as possible. So the more insecure one feels, the more vulnurability has one to cover, the more awkward social behaviour can get. The premis is not to make everyone else feel comfortable and good about themselves, but to make oneself feel good and secure. The fastest and best way to achieve that is to join the side of power (or what is received as such). In most cases inmates collaborate with wardens in order to achieve the short-time-goal of security. But also some of them do that in order to proof their innocence. "I can't be that bad, because I am helping the 'good side' here" - it's for others to see. I believe that maybe some homosexual men have the same motive: "I'm not that bad, because I think the same thing you do!" - socialising with heterosexual men and getting accepted by them is something especially insecure men would need in order to feel better about themselves.
But again, I don't believe this to be the only answer. It's just one explanation.

I'm interested in what you think about my argumentation because I shared this with a friend some time ago and he didn't think the way I did. In fact, he's homosexual, he always treated his female "friends" like shit and when I very quickly told him to stop behaving like that towards me, he said that he was not a sexist, that my arguments were silly and I should "buckle up" a bit; he would mean everything he said in a fun way. I told him that I wouldn'd accept that et voilà: he broke off all contact. Back then I took that as proof to my point but what do you think? Was I right?

Ok. Oh! You mean now?

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joan


Member

Posted Sat Sep 15th, 2012 2:37am Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

Pelle, you asked "I very quickly told him to stop behaving like that towards me, he said that he was not a sexist, that my arguments were silly and I should "buckle up" a bit; he would mean everything he said in a fun way. I told him that I wouldn't accept that et voilà: he broke off all contact. Back then I took that as proof to my point but what do you think? Was I right?"

Am I right in thinking you are German? Germany, like my home area of Yorkshire, has a very direct culture; people are more likely to say what they think than in many other cultures. If your ex friend was also German he should have been able to take it. I think you hit a nerve there!! You proved he was sexist and he couldn't take it.

Whether gay or straight, sexism and being rude and denigrating your friends is just not on. And coming right out and saying so is the best way of dealing with it. If you lose a friend, it is a friend not worth keeping. Oh, and I agree with you about hatred coming from all directions and not always appearing logical, at face value. Another aspect of hate is when someone has clearly done something appalling to someone, and they feel guilty, which sooner or later morphs into their hatred of that (innocent) person.

PS
As a trained teacher of English as a second language (TESOL), I'd just like to say that if English is your second language, you are great at it. Only two mistakes - it is 'says' not 'sais', and 'proof of' 'not proof to'. Those prepositions are a pain, aren't they? But think of us poor sods who learn German as a foreign language - not only have you to get the right preposition, you have to get the right case too, and the right gender of the noun following. Nightmare! And when I tell mono-linguist friends that there are 16 forms of 'the' in German, they don't believe me!!

Nevertheless, I'd make sure I got the words right to put any sexist 'friends' in their place, whatever the language!!!


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Pelle_Hamburg


Member

Posted Sat Sep 15th, 2012 3:54pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

@joan: thanks for your answer. As a matter of fact, yes, I am german. My ex friend too. I thought about writing that in the first sentence but then I thought you'll notice anyway - so why bother
I'm from Hamburg which I consider to be the most beautiful town in the world. If you havn't been here yet, come and see for yourself! Something only few not-German people know: Germany is devided, still. Not in East and West but in North, South, East and West.
East: everything is shiny and new but there are no jobs for young people so the only people still living there are nuts, old, unemployed, Nazis or all together.
West: every place that got nothing out of the fund to rebuild the former Sovjet zone.
South: Where the crazy things live...for me as a genuine Hamburg-Girl everything south of the river Elbe is Bavaria...
North: the holy land in which there is NO carneval, NO Fasching, NO Oktoberfest, NO Sauerkraut and NO Dirndel! We are calm in crisis, we are comfortable in storm and rain, it's not easy to fascinate us or win us over but once you did that, so we consider you a friend, we'll be most the loyal people ever. Might sound pathetic but actually we are just placid.

Thanks for the corrections, too! Says...damn it, I knew that! And "proof of"...I knew that too. Proof of life it says, right? Putting so much efford in always putting an "s" at the end of every verb in third person singular, present tense that I sometimes overlook other mistakes...
Do you speak german? I can't imagine how hard it must be to learn German as a second language...I had English lessons in school, about 3 hours a week for 9 years. My English-teachers were all german too, had terrible German accents and tried to teach us English with these horrible, bad books where you have to fill in dialogues such as: "Hello, my name is Sam. I'm _______ Dover!"...Thinking of it now - many people came from Dover in my English-workbooks...too many probably.

Just one more thing to make you feel better: it is not just English native speakers staring in disbelieve about the great sensation of 16 forms of "the" in German - it's a majority of Germans, too. They just don't get it! German seems a difficult language for everybody to learn. But it's worth it! So I encourage you to do so and if you already speak German or are already taking lessons: stick with it! I try to constantly improve my English with books, blogs, movies, theatre and youtube. Watching movies in English worked for me. Germans are synchronizing movies so if there's a movie you've already seen and know the story of: watch it in German with English subtitles. Next stage is audio in German, subtitles German too. Next step then: German language, no subtitles. Imagine what you can do with that! Reading all the great authors in original language! J.W. von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Heinrich von Kleist, Heinrich Böll, Heinrich Heine, Theodor W. Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels, Siegmund Freud, Friedrich Nitzsche, G.W.F. Hegel...nearly never ending sources

Ok. Oh! You mean now?

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joan


Member

Posted Sun Sep 16th, 2012 12:01am Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

Yes, I can speak German, Pelle, I used to post on the German thread here, but it has been neglected for quite some time. Mind you. I'm very very rusty, so I try to think in German as often as possible. I was remembering when I was at school decades ago, trying so hard to learn my declensions, I used to write out charts and stick them on the toilet wall (and pray for constipation before an exam )

I was an 'Au pair' girl in Vienna at the age of 20/21, so my accent is Southern. Later, when my children were nearly grown up I went to university part time here in Queensland and finally got my degree in German and French. My bookkeeping job involved a little translating, but I really just wanted the experience of university, and I absolutely loved it. Eventually the firm I worked for closed down, so I finished my degree full time, and did some translation work for a while. I'm retired now - I have had enough of the deadlines that always go with translating: I'm not very fast, and quite frankly, some academic German just takes too long to unravel and translate. I trained as an ESL teacher but could not work away from home as my husband has health problems so I have to look after him.

About German grammar - I did notice when I was in Vienna that many locals got the grammar wrong at times, though foreigners like me made a different set of mistakes. I remember learning some very posh poetic German involving heavy use of the subjunctive, and using the language style in a pub, causing huge laughs from my Viennese friends. I remember hearing English pop songs being sung in English, by Austrian friends who could not speak a word of my language, then realising they were singing rude German words that just sounded a bit like the English words of the song. Do people still do that? The Stones' 'Satisfaction' line "I can't get no satisfaction' came out as 'Einmal geht noch, Satisfaction' for example.

At university we did read some Goethe, but mainly it was the post war lefties, which I enjoyed. The professor was a Brecht fan, for instance.

I do love the German language, especially when I find links to my Yorkshire dialect. And now I find that having more than one language staves off Alzheimers because of the effect different language codes have on the brain.

So be happy - you and I are partly immunised against a rather nasty form of dementia!!


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Pelle_Hamburg


Member

Posted Mon Sep 17th, 2012 3:07pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

(Ok: I don't think this is relevant for the forum "Sexism..." but I wanted to answer. Let's relaunch the German thread, joan!? I tried to send this to you as a private message, joan, but I failed possibly three times and instead made contact with Joan from Seattle...it just doesn't work! So, here it is, to joan, everybody is welcome to read it but again: not relevant for this forum...)

Uh, I love Brecht! "Dreigroschenoper" with Mackie Messer, "Trommeln in der Nacht", "Furcht und Elend des Dritten Reichs" and "Der kaukasische Kreidekreis" are my absolute favourites!

Quite frankly: J.W. von Goethe is absolutly and without a doubt one of the, if not THE, most talented german poet of all times. BUT, and this is a huge appeal against his reputation: as fun, stirring up, poignant as it can be to read his books/poems, it's mostly boring and a pretentious show-off - especially with his later works. Schiller for instance, who lived in the same town as Goethe and was friends with him, has a much more honest and "longing-for-more" writing in my opinion. Goethes reputation is a large, huge, dark shadow that suffocates every dispute about him: yes, he was great and talented and genius and his stories had without a doubt great influence on the German language and even society BUT he wasn't the only one who could write and others had interesting opinions too. Don't forget that he was working in the dukes administration...with politics come muzzles! So what he said and wrote he did in a very poetic and beautiful way. I don't disagree with that. But for me it is more about what he didn't say that make others more interesting.
Heinrich Heine for example or Bertold Brecht or Wolfgang Borchert or Georg Büchner. Goethe was not a man of the people - he was very much a dukes puppet. Having had my own difficulties to understand him myself I can't imagine how hard it must have been for you to understand him...probably like with me and Shakespeare in English...? [:-)]

As you know, I'm sure, Austrians and Germans really don't have much in common. They speak sort of the same language (but honestly, sometimes I don't understand them - pronunciation and certain words...WHAT?)but the cultural differences are just as bis as they are between Germans and English. Picking up what you wrote about getting the grammar wrong: well, that seems something uniting about Germans and Austrians [:-)]
At school I learned the importance of always using the correct tense in English. My English-teacher used to say that otherwise no REAL english person would understand me...not at all! I proofed that to be wrong during my stay in London [:-)]
There are the same rules for the use of tenses in German as there are in English. But it was so hard to learn because in German nobody is doing it right. It was like learning a foreign language using a foreign language...for example simple past and past perfect...there are rules. They also apply in German. But nobody, really NOBODY uses past tense when speaking. Or writing. Sometimes even newspapers and books get it wrong. I don't like that. I do it and I get weird looks sometimes. I don't care...:-)
There is something I'll probably never learn: when do I write "selve" and when is it "self"??? I just don't get it because in German it's "selbst" both times...

I found this on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjr0bIsxLtE
This should be an answer to your question if Germans still re-interpret english songlyrics. [:-)] I don't like the music myself (correct?) but it's really funny and there is more like it!

Soooo, Joan...I'm writing in English to exercise, improve and become better - how about you writing back in German?
I'm glad to be corrected by you (if you like to) and I will do my very best to be at the same service for you - if you want me to. You know, all to prevent suffering from dementia [:-)]

I'm 28 by the way...not married, no kids, loving boyfriend, living alone, studied social work in Hamburg, been working in a children's home/orphanage for 4 years now, was a scout for 15 years, my patriotism only goes as far as the borders of the city of Hamburg, love being a Hamburg-Girl and are glad to be able to work and live here, love the English-language and I have absolutely no idea what a Yorkshire dialect sounds like...uh, I love Arabic food and I don't own a car (which is weird for a German) [:-)]
You shared so much about you, I wanted to give something back [:-)]

Ok. Oh! You mean now?

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marmotte


Member

Posted Mon Sep 17th, 2012 9:32pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

Pelle_Hamburg said:

Quite frankly: J.W. von Goethe is absolutly and without a doubt one of the, if not THE, most talented german poet of all times. BUT, and this is a huge appeal against his reputation: as fun, stirring up, poignant as it can be to read his books/poems, it's mostly boring and a pretentious show-off - especially with his later works.

(okay, now we're really off-topic here... )

Dear Pelle,

as much as I agree with you regarding Heine, Brecht, Borchert and Büchner -- I have a rather different opinion concerning Goethe. Only recently I stumbled over his "Faust" again (in Simon McBurney's staging of Bulgakov's 'Master and Margarita' they also quoted some lines out of Faust) and once again was mesmerized by the full brilliance of this piece. The sheer amount of ideas put into one work... and in my opinion the whole piece is not boring at all, but (apart from the beautiful language) a lot of these ideas are still up to date. And although Goethe probably had a rather healthy ego , I didn't get the impression of a pretentious show-off. In me his figures sometimes provoke strong feelings -- especially with his "Werther" I was so upset about the character's whining and self-pity that I felt the urgent need to shake and punch him (which usually I don't have when reading a book). And if a fictitious figure becomes so "human" that in the reader it provokes such strong reactions -- isn't that a sign that the author got his job damn right?
However, personally I'm not so much into Schiller (although he's not bad either -- but for me it's just the other way round), so I suppose to some extent it's a matter of taste. And I agree with you that although Goethe was a great writer, there are other German writers with great and interesting ideas that are worth reading, too.

Regarding your question with 'self' and 'selves' -- I'm not an English native, but as far as I know is 'self' the singular while 'selves' is plural. So it is 'myself' but 'themselves'.

So, I hope although your post was mainly addressed as an answer to joan, you don't mind me answering at least a part of it!? In any case, I like your writing and would be happy to take part in your discussion, if you two don't mind.

Best,

marmotte


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Pelle_Hamburg


Member

Posted Mon Sep 17th, 2012 9:56pm Post subject: Sexism is NOT justifiable from ANYONE

Au contraire, marmotte, I don't mind you taking a part in the discussion I feel that we are off-topic very much, so I started a new Topic in The Zero Room. Please join us there if you like to discuss German literature and other topics not having anything to do with this "Sexism..."-Topic

It's: GermanEnglish-NiceTalk

Ok. Oh! You mean now?

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