Marxist Massey University academic Margaret Trawick is not happy with me.
I recently wrote this post which looked at Mags’s attitude to men and to Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation.
Mags wrote to me privately asking me to take down the post. Here’s Mags’s email with comment from me.
Mags If you believe, as you say you do, in “freedom with responsibility” you will take down your post about me, at http://newzeal.blogspot.com/2009/06/masseys-mad-marxist-mags-mocks-men_04.html
Your post defames Massey University because it suggests that Massey would appoint to a professorship the kind of “mad Mag” you ridicule in your post. Your post also discourages students from enrolling in 146.307, a Massey paper on gender I have taught for several years, because you say “Mags [meaning me] seems not to like men very much . . . unless they are Tiger Terrorists.” Another person is teaching that paper now, by the way. Do you want to unjustly take students away from her too?
Me I hardly defame Massey University by re-publishing the readily accessible writings of one of its staff. Defamation is the deliberate or irresponsible misrepresentation of fact proven to damage a person or organisation’s reputation. If your writings damage Massey’s reputation, I suggest they take it up with you.
Secondly I regard ‘gender studies’ as socialist indoctrination rather than a genuine academic discipline. I don’t know who teaches your old course, but if my writings save only one innocent young lass from attending, I’ll give myself a pat on the back.
Mags In fact, both my brothers and both my children are men, and I like those four men very much. In fact, as the mother of two and sister of the other two, I love them. I have friends who are men, and I like them, too – otherwise they would not be my friends.
Me Touching, but hardly relevant.
Mags If I was a man-hater and taught a university paper on gender, this would be, in my view, quite unethical. I like all my New Zealand students, male and female. They are real human beings to me. It seems to me that you fall a bit short of that status. My post on M-Fem that you quoted out of context does not belie my caring for men. But there are some men (and women), such as you, that I really cannot stand.
Me You wrote;
Women and girls do 2/3 of the world’s work for 5% of the income.
So when women stop everything stops.
…. and everyone starves. Don’t you think women know that? This is why
we cannot go on strike. Be glad we don’t kill every one of you fuckers.
All we need to perpetuate the species is your sperm.
Funny that Marx didn’t think about this.
I quoted your whole post and gave the link to your previous posts-so how can I be quoting you “out of context”?
Any career minded person who would post a statement like that-able to be accessed by any journalist, blogger or future employer, should not expect to be regarded as
A A rational human being.
B A serious academic.
Mags Get the message from that post: (1) that women can get along very well without the likes of you, and (2) that we could get along without men in general, if we did not love them so much. Even when they make us angry enough to use dirty words, we still care for them, and even love some of them.
Me Thanks for that.
Mags And I can’t believe you used that old post from an organization called Global Spy, whose HQ used to be in Florence, Kentucky. If you have ever driven through Florence, KY, as I have on several occasions, you would see how unwittingly comical those “Global Spy” people are. I used to drive through the town of Florence on my way from Cincinnati to Louisville, my home town. Even Kentucky, a red state (that means Republican) and poor as dirt, has freedom of speech. They also have laws, which they enforce, rather like New Zealand. Maybe that is why Global Spy doesn’t have a website anymore. Now they have a shop in Bellevue, KY. Doesn’t say what they sell.
Me If a first year student wrote that paragraph in an assignment in any respectable university, I would expext them to get a “D-“. You’re a professor?
Mags The full story of just two of the more egregious massacres of Tamil civilians in Kokkadichcholai by Sinhala Sri Lankan soldiers, is told in my recent book, Enemy Lines, selling well at Amazon.com and available at the Massey University library. Unfortunately, people like you who most need to be apprised of the facts of what has happened in Sri Lanka, and continue to happen more egregiously now that the LTTE has been defeated, will never read that book, or anything that might appear to be sympathetic to Tamil people. Fortunately, there are a fair number of Western scholars who have devoted their lives to the study of Tamil literature, culture, and people. That is because Tamil culture is rich and inspiring, worth many lifetimes of devoted study.
Me I am sure Tamil culture is as deep and rich as you say it is and the people are generally intelligent and friendly. What is your point?
Mags For the record, I am not a member or supporter of the LTTE, and have never received or given material goods to them. Moreover I have spoken against them to their faces, where there were many people, most of them Tamil. Guess what? They don’t mind at all if an ordinary person like me criticizes them to their face, in public. They listen. In this among other respects, they are quite different from the current President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse. What I have said and written is more ethical and professional than he or you can even imagine. Most New Zealanders get it, though. If you really are a member of the ACT party, they are even worse off than I thought.
MeYou have studied the Tamil Tigers in the field for seven years. You have spoken conferences and public lectures supporting the Tamil cause and have written numerous articles extolling girl soldiers and other aspects of the Tamil revolution.
You support the Tigers’ war and consistently denigrate the Sri Lankan government and army.
Do I regard you as a Tamil Tiger sympathiser? Damn right I do!
Mags The most serious offense of your post is your implication, and apparently your true belief, that Tamils are Tigers, members of the LTTE, by definition. There are seventy million Tamil speakers, which means Tamil people, in this world, and only a tiny number of them are members or even supporters of the LTTE. Many Tamil people intensely dislike the LTTE, although they appear to have more sympathizers now that the Government of Sri Lanka has murdered thousands of unarmed impoverished human beings, all of them Tamil citizens of Sri Lanka, including many young children. This is a fact. Look it up.
Me Huh? Where? “Murdered thousands“? Firstly, casualties of war are not murder. Secondly where does the “thousands” figure come from? The LTTE are like the IRA, Spain’s ETA etc-terrorist thugs who claim to speak for the “people“. Where have I claimed or implied that the Tamil people and the Tigers are synonomous?
You are allowed to mark papers?
Mags Unless you think that what the Government of Sri Lanka has done, just in the past two months, is justifiable. If you add to that what successive governments have done in the past fifty years, the total is genocide.
Me There are few angels in war Mags-I’ll grant you that. However, the Tigers launched a Marxist/ethnic conflict against the Sri Lankan government, which had every right to respond. What were they supposed to do? Stand by while Tiger suicide bombers slaughtered hundreds of innocent people?
Mags I do not say these words lightly, or without the most serious thought, research and experience.
Me Or perhaps just a hint of Marxist bias?
Mags Please take your post about me off your website and do not put it anywhere else. Destroy it. I will keep a copy on my computer, in case I ever need it.
Me Just a hint of a threat there Mags? What would you “need it” for? Can I expect a letter from your lawyer? (PO Box 36 043 Christchurch will get me). A complaint from the Human Rights Commission? A friendly visit from some Tamil “patriots”?
Come on Mags. Be explicit. Don’t beat around the bush woman!
Mags And more importantly, please issue a true apology to all Tamil people, most of all to New Zealand Tamils, to Massey University, and to me.
Me Well there’s no reason to apologise to any Tamils as I’ve never criticised any per se. Massey-well I’ve called into question the validity of one of their courses, but I’ll claim fair comment on that.
You Mags however have posted some pretty inflammatory stuff on the net. You have sent me this semi-coherent email, which you should have known, if you did your homework, I’d promptly post on this blog.
How many people could be reading this tomorrow? Do you think your writings have done your employer credit?
If there are any apologies springing from this exchange, they won’t be coming from me.