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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: August ::
Re: Character (Huff Sommers)
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0677.  Sunday, 14 August 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Christine Gilmore <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Aug 1994 16:39:42 -0700 (PDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0675 Re: Character
 
(2)     From:   Diana Akers Rhoads <
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        Date:   Saturday, 13 Aug 1994 15:36:44 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0671  Re: *Shrew* and the Rule of Thumb
 
(3)     From:   Andrea Austin <
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        Date:   Friday, 12 Aug 94 18:41:47 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0675  Re: Character
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Christine Gilmore <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Aug 1994 16:39:42 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 5.0675 Re: Character
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0675 Re: Character
 
In reference to W. Godshalk's response to my comment on the need to look
closely at one's source:
 
This may well be a case of the pot calling the kettle black.  I certainly don't
think my comment was meanspirited at all.  Certainly Hoff Sommers is welcome to
her conclusions; however, if her conclusions are wrong, well . . . you may
certainly accept them, but I will not.
 
Certainly we would all like to believe that some students are not discriminated
against in classes; however, sometimes reality does not match our beliefs.
Further, I note that you insinuate that my comment is political correctness. If
political correctness means that I want to see the world as it is and not as I
might like it to be, so be it.
 
In any case, I'm not certain why my remark should prompt a comment from you,
but I will take in the spirit of all your responses on SHAKSPER.  Ciao! cg.
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Diana Akers Rhoads <
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Date:           Saturday, 13 Aug 1994 15:36:44 -0400
Subject: 5.0671  Re: *Shrew* and the Rule of Thumb
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0671  Re: *Shrew* and the Rule of Thumb
 
I mentioned Sommers' argument about the rule of thumb because I truly am
curious about the origin of the idea.  If the idea occurred to two Southern
judges, where did they get the idea? The last two sentences of my previous
communication mention parts of Blackstone which suggest that physical
chastisement of wives had been acceptable in law before the seventeenth
century.  I'd be interested in suggestions for following up on the question.
Diana Akers Rhoads (
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(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Andrea Austin <
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Date:           Friday, 12 Aug 94 18:41:47 EDT
Subject: 5.0675  Re: Character
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0675  Re: Character
 
It's interesting to find the subject of Hoff Sommer's _Who Stole Feminism_
cropping up on this list, esp. since a fascinating debate about the work was
recently played out on WMST-L.  Of course, she, like anyone else, has a right
to draw her own conclusions, and if others don't like them, then they certainly
don't have to read, or continue reading, the book. True, she has come under
attack for a political position that is unpopular with many feminists
(actually, I detest the term "political correctness," since it is so often used
these days as a catch-phrase meant to belittle the gains and goals of feminist
movements; note please that I don't accuse Bill Godshalk of using it this way,
I only wish to point out that there are people who do.)
 
As I understand it, though, quite apart from the issue of political viewpoint,
the work contains inaccuracies, and so its scholarship has come under suspicion
(I will leave it to those far more knowledgeable than I to continue to
demonstrate where, and why.) I don't intend this as an impolite and personal
attack on the author, and I hope it is not taken so, but I do think that we
have a responsibility to alert others when there is a possibility that a work
presents certain things as fact that are not. After all, by way of example,
what would the rest of us say if a Victorianist asserted as fact, without
providing us with supporting evidence, that Charlotte Bronte had a torrid love
affair with Thackeray?
                                                   Andrea Austin
                                                   Dept. of English
                                                   Queen's University
                                                   
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