In the previous post I said:
"I don’t debate with religious traditionalists, aka complementarians on the rightful position of women, because it’s generally a waste of time, energy, and good will. I think the best way to deal with most of them is to ignore them. Not ignore in a rude and dismissive way, but to simply do something else instead of debating whether hierarchicalism is superior to more egalitarian alternatives."
Wouldn't you know it, that after writing that, an online friend told me about an email discussion list specifically for discussions between egalitarian and complementarians/traditionalists. She said the rules were that discussions had to be considerate and no nasty behavior allowed. So I, curious, subscribed, and have been reading and participating since then.
I'm not sure being there is useful, but I think it is. I think there are people on the list who actually want to know what the other side thinks, and why. But, also I think there are those who are more or less closed minded, and may want only to harass or deride what they think of as the opposition, keeping just within the list rules no flaming perimeter.
How important is talk? Here I am on a blog, asking that question. But, it's an important question because it's been popular for decades to "talk it out," and "open the lines of communication," whatever those two phrases actually mean (which nobody ever indicates).
Talk is important for what it's useful for, and worthless for what it's not useful for. Talk is great when it is welcomed and sought, and when it contains real information or pleasure. Blogs are wonderful, I think, because they are the soul of the world in myriad songs of words. I love to blog surf and go down all the alleys and byways where discoveries can open out before me at any turn.
I'd like to be able to talk with the people in Iraq right now, wish I knew of an email discussion list where I could do that. I'd like to tell them what I think about what our country has done and is doing to theirs, and know what it's like for them, the real story from the real people.
I think talk is so important it shouldn't be wasted where action is the best choice.
I don't want my government talking when they should be taking action. I want that prison in Iraq leveled to the ground, not next year, not next month, but next week. Tomorrow would be even better. Just get the prisoners out, let as many go as possible, and raze the place. It has a horrible past, and a shameful present. Build a monument on the spot to all the people who suffered there over the years, or build a mosque, or a university, or something else chosen by the Iraqi people.
I've mentioned my interest in the area of abuse. That's an area where talk is useless. Action and the resultant experience are the only languages most abusers understand. Victims have usually wasted years of talking, reasoning, sharing information, listening to false "insights" from the abuser, etc. It's very difficult for victims to understand that talk is useless in the abuse system. Abusers would like the victim to keep talking, because it keeps them in the game. But the game will never change if talk is all there is.
How does one talk to underwoman, whether she is a comp/trad woman defending her inferior position in marriage and church, or an abused woman desperately wanting to believe her husband/lover will change if she just tries harder, learns more, jumps through the right hoops?
I think you have to be direct, and indirect, gentle and respectful, but pull no punches. Both slow and quick in sharing information.
The main thing to say is, "You have worth, who you are is fine and good, you aren't inferior, not in any way. Be who you are."
I've seen underwomen come out from the cave. It's beautiful. Their faces shine, they stand taller, they move differently. The one word that describes what I always see is, Joy.