Taking Offense

maddie teller-kook meadhbh at io.com
Thu Oct 24 16:25:04 PDT 1996

Thank you for stating this so eloquently.


dennis grace wrote:
> Greetings Cousins,
> Lyonel here.
> Mistress Gunnora recently posted a long explanation on the dnager of taking
> offense for others.  Shortly thereafter, Baron Aodhan, made reference to
> Daniel de Lincoln's sexual preferences.  Mistress Gunnora responded with a
> "shame on you" to Baron Aodhan for "outing" Daniel.
> Baron Aodhan replied:
> >Hogwash. Your just butting in. If I stepped on Daniel's toes, it's his place to
> >thwack me for it.  A "class action" compaint is out of bounds here.
> I've heard such arguments many times in the past, but I don't think the
> situation here is the same as the earlier case in which one gentle took
> offense for another over a nickname he thought *might* offend the individual
> so named.
> Gunnora is dealing with outing someone else, an attack on a member of a
> minority (clearly self-outing would be a different matter).  I can remember,
> several years ago, working in a small space with five other men, one of whom
> (I'll call him Jerry) was African-American.  Another member of our group
> (we'll call him Pat) spent a good deal of his spare time at work making
> jokes, many of them racist jokes of which African-Americans were frequently
> the butt. Pat's two friends (call them Mike and Fred) always laughed; Jerry
> never complained; Jeff (the other worker) and I simply ignored him.  After a
> while, it just got to be too much.  It seemed every other word out of Pat's
> mouth was a reference to African-American supposed inferiority (I refuse to
> repeat any of the stereotypes).  So, one day I cut Pat off mid-sentence and
> said, "Stop.  I just can't stand it anymore.  Can't you find another topic?"
> Pat, of course, replied that Jerry wasn't offended and that it was Jerry's
> place to respond if it bothered him.  Jerry said nothing.  Jeff, however,
> took Pat to task:  "We're not responding for Jerry.  We're offended.  We
> don't want to hear it anymore.  Jerry may not care, but we do."
> Pat and Fred and Mike grumbled, but the jokes stopped.
> Later, Jerry caught Jeff and I in the corridor and thanked us for silencing
> Pat. He said, "It's hard to take on something like that when you feel
> completely outnumbered."  This response embarrassed me.  I could have
> stopped Pat's abuses earlier, but I kept my mouth shut.  What's worse, my
> internal reasoning for keeping quiet had been exactly the reasons Pat gave
> to counter my objections.
> Gunnora's right.  Outing someone--without permission--would be wrong.  Her
> concern was not misplaced in this regard.
> Baron Aodhan further noted, however:
> >And I didn't "out" Daniel.  He publicly posted his orientation months ago on
> >the Rialto (or maybe it was the SCA Heralds maillist).
> Obviously, Mistress Gunnora was unaware that Daniel de Lincoln is out.
> Baron Aodhan's response could have been _far_ more cordial in corecting this
> mistake.
> The baron also said:
> <snip>
> > I don't see what earthly difference it makes who an adult wishes to
> >consentually exchange bodily fluids with, and I don't understand why people get
> >uptight about it.  So someone is gay, or isn't, big deal.  Ranks right up there
> >with their shoe size.
> Well, I think His Excellency is a bit off the mark here.  People don't get
> fired, evicted from their apartments, arrested in Georgia for lewd and
> lascivious conduct, drummed out of the military, accused of child
> molestation, beaten, raped, and generally reviled over their shoe-size.
> We're all happy to hear that the baron has so enlightened an attitude.
> Would that it were only so for much of the rest of our nation.
> Yours in Virtual Service
> Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace
> _________________________
> Dennis G. Grace
> Postmodern Medievalist
> Division of Rhetoric and Composition
> Department of English
> University of Texas at Austin
> amazing at mail.utexas.edu
> ___________________
> Baro, metetz en guatge                    |  Lords, pawn your castles,
> Chastels e vilas e ciutatz                |  your towns and cities.
> Enanz qu'usquecs no'us guerreiatz         |  Before you're beat to the draw,
>                                                     draw your swords.
>                    -- Bertran de Born (a really fun Viscount)

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list