Documentation of the Bill Hicks / sexism discussion on the social centre mailing list, September 2007.

by Milla

Added May 22, 2010: Me starting the whole Bill Hicks discussion, or trying to start a sensible discussion on sexism by quoting a sentence like this “people are more likely to call out blatant racism than they are to call out blatant sexismis nothing but pure ignorance and nothing i would write today unless i as a white feminist would like to compete for the power of white men (i know nothing of how racism feels like, apart from what it feels like being in a privileged position and being in complete denial of the harms done by me as a white person re-posting a sentence like that – implying that the harms of racism are more recognized and dealt with than the harms of sexism — posting a sentence like that is to LIE!)

For more connections with the history of white feminism competing with persons of color for power, please read some paragraphs from Aida Hurtado. “Relating to Privilege and Political Mobilization. Toward a Multicultural Feminism”

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Documentation of a discussion on Bill Hicks and sexism on the social centre mailing list September 2007. The translation of finnish into english is done in […] and can’t be guaranteed to be correct.

Bill Hicks - Giving a face to sexism.

Bill Hicks - Giving a face to sexism.

I’m referring to 2 clips with Bill Hicks in the emails. The links in the mails don’t work anymore. These do:

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GodI09at2GI

2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWIpAQSIce0&feature=related

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1. Milla to list, discussion opener: free space? The first email I sent to the list.
2. (helmut)
3. (gustav)
4. Milla
5. (karoline)
6. Milla
7. Milla

8. (karoline)
9. (karoline)
10. Milla
11. (karoline)
12. Milla
13. (harry)
14. (harry)
15. Milla
16. (harry)
17. Milla
18. (stephan)
19. Milla
20. (harry)
21. (harry)
22. Milla
23. Jaarno
24. Jaarno
25. Milla
26. (martin)
27. (hedvig)

ps. no one of the ones speaking for free speech have spoken up in the defense of my right to mine.
pps. there’s a lot of messages missed out. (harry) sent me a bunch of private mails. telling me to grow. etc. i told him on several occasions not to contact me privately. same goes for Jaarno.
ppps. after this string of emails i made my first call out for support. no women answered. less than ten men did. amongst them: (harry) Jaarno (yngve).

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NUMBER 1: Milla

en ole nähnyt näitä itse [i haven’t watched these myself]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k07oEfdhOj4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knoZD0YBWv0&mode=related&search=

but i’m sure i can trust feministallies blogspot on that he’s sexist
“the more I watch of him, the more I see that he definitely had this
weird conservative/misogynist streak when it comes to women, even when
he wasn’t being a jerk in the particular way he is in the above clip.
But more than that, I’m disappointed that the audience not only went
along with his rant, but egged him on. When he starts calling his
heckler a cunt and a a bitch, pretty much the whole audience starts
cheering. And, though this was a while ago, I wonder if things would
be much different today–people are more likely to call out blatant
racism than they are to call out blatant sexism, I think.”
http://feministallies.blogspot.com/2007/05/bill-hicks-and-michael-richards.html

free space?

free from what?
free to do what?

milla

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NUMBER 2: (helmut)

Bill Hicks a misogynist?. Or is he? This is a comedian, and I guess everything he says is more or less a parody. He starts by saying that he can hear the smokers coffing from the back row, and so on, and then lighting a cigarette, and then accusing non-smokers of hypocrasy and all the other political klishes.
He is constantly contradicting himself, first saying that “miracle of birth,
god damit! It is nothing but a chemical reaction, blump, blump, and by these
‘miracles’ there are goddam too many of us” and this is what he says just to
“justify” more and more of the marijuana arguments (when the good ones had
allready been said), but about preasts he says “well, I belive in the god as in
notion of truth in our hearts, but this middle-man thing I could never
understand” and all this is just to make it more and more absurd.
He is jocking about sex with kids aswell, and I think one could accuse him of
bad taste, but he is not a pedofile by these arguments. He has jokes about
driving under the influence of magic mushrooms, and still, he is not really
promoting that. It is a one thing to be a sexist and other to be utterly absurd.
Sure, he has actual political message, but one has to read between the lines.
Well. There are some things where one could see him as possibly sexist, like
where he talks of definition of pornography by the supreme court “something that has no artistic merit what so ever and couses sexuall thought” important is not the point “since when did the sexual thought become a bad thing” or “as in every damn commersial” since they are accurate, but “you know what couses sexual thought – having a penis, you are in a bus, that is bumping in to a bad road, and you have a hard-on, what are you gonna do? ban public transportation?” so, why penis? Surely this could be said in form “having a sexual organ” and that would not have affected the form of the joke.. and subject wouldn’t have been just male. This is sexisism. But is this serious form of it? Maby he was just referring to himself as he was writing this and did’t think it trough? It is allso one thing to be sexist in purpose and willingly or slipping something stupid, alltough that can be very revealing about hidden stereotypes.
Other seens are clearly referring to fictions like “cigarette taken trough Claudia Cliffhearts pussy” wich, as an image is again – absurd, masturbative, and just nonsense, with a closer look. I think the comedian is funny, alltough in rather bad taste.

H.

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NUMBER 3: (gustav)

First off, i am not familiar with Bill Hicks and i certainly wouldn’t
like to watch or tolerate any sexist rants or behavior in our social
center or anywhere else.  However, the line between political
correctness and censorship or freedom of expression and bad taste is
often very thin.

Without wanting to simplify or ridicule i would like to give a few
(rhetoric) examples and a proposal.

– Can we read For Whom the Bell Tolls even if Hemingway was a male-chauvinist?

– Can we watch and enjoy The Dictator although Chaplin was more or less a pedophile?

– Can we appreciate the Ramones regardless of several misogynist lyrics?

I don’t believe any of the several people that have proposed this
screening are particularly tolerant towards sexism or intolerance.
Moreover, events that bring people to the house under the guise of
anything but parties are useful for developing new activities and
attracting and educating more people for this cause.  Therefore, i
propose a critical discussion on Bill Hicks’ comedy after the
screening with the other viewers, partly because of this discussion
but also because it is a good practice in order to develop a critical
attitude towards media and gain more perspectives and subjective
experiences.

All the best,

(gustav)

P.S. Since we are asking questions – Can we accept rental payments and
electricity from the city of Helsinki and stay autonomous?

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NUMBER 4: Milla

puhukaa suomea. ja hicksin ilta oli ja meni jo.
mutta järkätkää keskustelu. mä ainakin tulisin.
[speak in finnish. and the Hicks evening already came and went.

but arrange a discussion.  i would come at least.]
milla

“Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of
society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded,
responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government,
eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy
the male sex.” Valerie Solanas, The SCUM manifesto
http://www.womynkind.org/scum.htm

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NUMBER 5: (karoline)


hi,

just to comment something

let’s face it – our culture has been and is pretty much patriarcal

we can trace our present and past events and see this:

should we start for example from aristoteles who thought that women, slaves
and children are incapable for political life (=good life) because their
part of a soul does not function “naturally”, does not function the way that
is the nature of human being…

we have a long long tradition in the western thinking of considering only
man (male gender) as a human being

why should it surprise us that you can trace in every century events that
testify this fact

what comes to bill hicks i have to say that since i read one book about him
last june: his idea was to vomit our culture, he was truely a man who
committed himself to the contadictions of our culture and especially
american culture and politics

it makes no sense to think if he was a sexist because his mission was to
play out all this shit that is happening – he was in a way very
old-fashioned because he believed in the power of waking up people in the
context of the american entertainment scene and he was very aware that not
always people start to think by themselves but stick to things that already
are present, to the self-evident

it could be that he himself was also confused about women

before he died he realised what a joy it is to share a life with a woman he
loved, the very last moments/months he spend with his love one

was he a sexist? who knows, maybe, he certainly was no saint

at least he was honest and always said that he wants to explore the world
with his audience, that is why he was an artist, a comedian

he thought that since the political life in america is so shitty many people
started to act politically through being comedian because that was the only
place where you do not have to be a moralist

now, being a feminist, i don’t understand what is the point to ban or
criminalize some thoughts, i think the picture is far more complicated

i think that bill hicks would be happy to see this little tiny debate
because that was what he was trying to create with his art

(karoline)

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NUMBER 6: Milla

i guess my idea of putting the clips with Bill Hicks spewing
sexism on a woman in the audience (and absolutely NOBODY caring,
but actually just laughing along…) was not to ban anybody from
doing anything, but more to show how i feel about the same old
boring patterns being repeated.

her sense of humor is definitely worth discussing.
and also our understanding of what sexism is.

cause somehow i wonder if the rantings of this particular clip,
and the general slippery “sexual” jokes are seen as a part of
a sexist culture. and something we should talk about.

or if it’s seen as ok. and nothing special to react on. (?)

i’m wondering this, cause i’ve stayed two weeks at the squat.
where, men have made jokes about rape, and also watched
pornographic film.

and during one house meeting, people who came with very
constructive criticism on how to improve the party atmosphere
in the house, were being ridiculed (accused of not having any sense
of humour, and not seeing the deeper meaning in expressions like
“huora”. [whore] they were constantly being talked over, not having the
opportunity to finish what they were saying. one person was crying
after the meeting)

i will make workshops on the issue in order to try to change things.
but it’s not easy to have this issue be taken seriously or even
bringing it up, when constantly it’s seen as a none-issue, instead of
something that we all should work on

from the first clip, about 3 minutes in:
clip 1:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k07oEfdhOj4
clip 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knoZD0YBWv0&mode=related&search=

—————————————————–
woman’s voice: “you suck”

Bill Hicks: “you suck”, you fucking cunt get the fuck out of here right now.

“you suuck boy, you suuck, i can yell at the comedian cause
i’m a drunk cunt. that gives me cart blanche. i got a cunt and
i’m drunk, i can do anything i want, i don’t have a cock,
i can yell at performers, cause i’m a fucking idiot, cause i got a cunt”

i want you to go find a fucking soul

sorry you had to see that. i dug a real hole on this one didn’t i (laughing)
“gee bill, you know this isn’t the material you’re working on on your next
arsenio squad? gee i haven’t seen a comic running around the room going
“i’m a drunk cunt”, is there a punch line coming Bill?
is there a point of view there?”

i don’t care if you stay just don’t yell at me i don’t like
to be yelled “you suck” at me. i have feelings too

a man’s voice: “you suck”

Bill Hicks: that’s ok cause that’s a nice fellow back there
(audience laughing)

Bill Hicks: eeh, i don’t know where i’m going with this, it sucks it does suck
you’re right lady i do suck..

woman’s voice: “you’re right”

sir stick your cock in her mouth and shut her up

(audience laughing) oh it’s in there

then he goes on about how he kills her and how the world would be
a better place without the “drunk bitch”

and continues with blow jobs, and talks about pushing a woman’s
head down his crotch when she’s wanting to stop.

etc etc etc
—————————————————————–

milla

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NUMBER 7: Milla

hmm. just to be clear. when i speak of “her sense of humour”
i’m talking about bill hicks sense of humour

she
her
herself
– is a genderneutral word for third person singular.
just like the finnish hän.

i’m trying to get rid of the divisions made between the sexes
by changing my everyday language and hopefully through that
change the way i think and feel about people.

that’s all
milla

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NUMBER 8: (karoline)

well, i think it is a different thing to discuss about issues that happen at
the squat than discuss about issues related to a dead comedian

i wasn’t watching the show about bill hicks at the squat

i am not aware of the things that happen at the squat because i have only a
limited time to be there

there are also elements why i do not feel like hanging there all the time

i think these things should be discussed if there is a slogan called
“antisexist space” towards which i have had a very skeptical feeling
anyway…and not only in relation to what you have said, milla

because the issue seems very complex and many things get mixed

i think this is a big fight but i am trying to think ways how we do not
build this into a situation where there is no space for discussion but just
different groupings who cannot communicate with each other or violence which i do not support

what comes to bill hicks comment “i want you to go find a fucking soul” and
so on…he was pissed off about this person during his performance, and if
this person would have been a man, the text coming out of his mouth would
have been some insults that are culturally suitable to insult a man…i
think this is not enough for a feminist critique, this is too mild, i mean,
we have real enemies of women out there…

as a woman i have created also a sense a humor which some people might
consider antifeminist but that has kept me alive and enjoying life

because women need to also value themselves when nobody else does not value them

all our life is not dependent on others or created by our Culture, there are
other cultures also…

(karoline)

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NUMBER 9: (karoline)

miten vaan, puhutaan suomea, en kyllä ole sitä mieltä ettei yhteiskunnassa
ole mitään relevanttia naisille
[oh well, let’s speak finnish then, i’m for sure not of the opinion that there’s nothing relevant to women in society.]
ja erityisen hankalaa niputtaa kaikki naiset tällä tavalla johonkin
totaliteettiin tekemättä eroja
[and it’s especially complicated bunching women together in some absolute way without making distinctions]
vaikka kirjahyllystäni löytyy kyllä scum manifesto…
[even though you can find scum manifesto in my bookshelf…]
(karoline)

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NUMBER 10: Milla

(karoline) i don’t know if you watched the clip, but
i do not see it as mild. i think Hicks expresses clear
hatred towards women, misogyny, in this clip.

in case people are interested in watching the clip,
then it starts about 3 minutes into it, and the whole thing
goes like this (she’s raving mad when she’s doing this,
it’s definitely not at the same level of what she does with
the other hecklers. continue watching and comparing her reaction
to the men putting her down. there’s a clear difference.)
_______________________
woman’s voice: “you suck”

Bill Hicks: [i can’t] smack my mother [making movements with her hand]…
and aahh.. .. “you suck” you fucking cunt get the fuck out of here right now.

get out. fuck you. fuck you, you idiot. you’re everything
that america should be flushed down the toilet you fucking
turd. fuck you! get out! get out you fucking drunk bitch!
take her out! take her fucking out! take her to somewhere
that’s good! Go see fucking Madonna you fucking idiot
piece of shit!

“you suuck boy, you suuck! i can yell at the comedian cause
i’m a drunk cunt! that gives me cart blanche! i got a cunt and
i’m drunk! [ marching across the stage ] i can do anything i want!
I DON’T HAVE A COCK! I CAN YELL AT PERFORMERS, CAUSE I’M
A FUCKING IDIOT, CAUSE I GOT A CUNT!”
_________________________

and if it’s still difficult to understand the sexism in it,
then i recommend watching another clip where a comedian
is coming with racist comments (in the end the audience turns
against her) but there’s a lot of similarities in the way of shouting
out pure hatred. —>
________________________

“Shut up! Fifty years ago we’d have you hanging upside down
with a fucking fork up your ass. You can talk, you can talk,
you can talk! You’re brave now motherfucker! Throw his ass out,
He’s a nigger, He’s a nigger! He’s a nigger!”

the clip can be found from this link that i sent before
http://feministallies.blogspot.com/2007/05/bill-hicks-and-michael-richards.html
the man is theatening with lynching, just as bill hicks threatens with raping
and killing her heckler.

(karoline). you were talking about an enemy. and bill hicks not being it.
i agree.

i see all systems of harmful thinking as the enemy. (sexism, ageism,
racism, and so on. the list is long…)
and i see us all maintaining these ways of thinking.

and i think it’s important that we start talking about what we see.
(and feel)

i also agree that it would be nice to have (or: create) a safe
space for us to give direct feedback (positive and negative) to
each other. so we have the possibility to grow.

that’s what i’m wishing for with this social centre.

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NUMBER 11: (karoline)
one can see the clip in its context or not, there is no _truth_ in it

personally i am not interested in continuing this debate about bill hicks

i refuse to be a supporter of sexism if i see there also other important
issues as well than the supposedly included sexism, with these other
important issues i see hicks’s political attitude towards the american
culture (be loud and be an idiot, yeah, like their fucking president)…

“Go see fucking Madonna you fucking idiot piece of shit!”: well, i love
madonna but i am still not offended by this because i understand that
madonna is being a metaphor for a space that does not require ANYTHING.

greetings, good night, hyvää yötä [good night]

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NUMBER 12: Milla

sexism is a big issue. everybody’s involved. also madonna

Madonna: from feminism to patriarchy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3CBUm7GrNI

i liked the suggestion (gustav) had before about discussing things
from a media/cultural perspective. it would be nice having talks like that.

here’s some brainfood for the ones interested.
feminist bell hooks. cultural criticism

and an old mail sent to some other list some time ago.

**** i grew up with television (i’m now 31, and mostly
watch youtube or other things on the internet).

i guess i not only learnt speaking english.
staring at the Terror Vision
(in Sweden there’s a scary Christmas tradition.
at three o’clock in the afternoon everybody
sits in front of their television sets and watches
excerpts from Disney films…)

i was at a seminar recently. where a woman
was talking of the importance of learning how
to interpret all the messages from media.
(television, commercial signs etc)

a regular Swedish 18-year-old has been watching
10 000 hours of television. which is equivalent to a
9 year school education.

before we used to get our values, and morals through
schools and church. nowadays it’s media.

bell hooks talks about this –>
1:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLMVqnyTo_0
2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ-XVTzBMvQ
3:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0whHz7PLGY
4:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op16o9bjfMU
5:  (madonna) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3CBUm7GrNI
6:  (spike lee) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEQh-Zpb4XU
7:  (KIDS) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CO_xyqGfyGM
8:  (rap music) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xtoanes_L_g

milla (i should change my name to something gender neutral)

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NUMBER 13: (harry)

I think that one has, as (karoline) said, to put a whole load of attention
on the context, and remember that this is a comedian we are talking
about. And as (gustav) said, “However, the line between political
correctness and censorship or freedom of expression and bad taste is
often very thin.”

Really. Where can you draw the line? Which kind of jokes can be
tolerated? Since EVERYONE attending this conversation is sexist one
way or the other, is Bill Hicks (a person who at least tried to be
open to his own mistakes and faults, and learn from admitting them)
truly a person to point a finger on?

I think dark humor is one of the best ways to confront difficult
issues. And I really cannot see how one could take that particular
Bill Hicks joke seriously. Of course the joke is sexist. But is Bill
Hicks sexist there, or could it even be that he is CRITICIZING sexism?

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NUMBER 14: (harry)

Oh, one practical suggestion: Please edit out the quotes that are no
longer relevant your posts. Otherwise the same messages will be
repeated n+1 times, making the conversation a lot more difficult to
read.

I’m confused, why are we still writing in english?

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NUMBER 15: Milla

oh lordie… one thing that i’m *really* tired of as a feminist
is to hear that i should talk about something else. something
“more important”. this comment has come up a couple of times
during this talk.

no.

i want to talk about bill hicks, and what showing her films on
the squat means. i want to hear some serious arguments for
why someone who to me seems like an absolute juntti [uneducated thug], should
be raised to the skies as an artist or even that she in her obvious
sexism is said to *criticize* (?!) sexism… (harry), i would like to hear a
justification for that argument. i need it for my poor dying soul.

so screaming cunt and bitch at someone is not enough to be seen
as sexist behaviour.

maybe this is seen as sexism to someone:
“Hicks is perhaps best remembered for his attitude to smoking
– he revelled in being a chain smoker and baited the “prissy non-smokers”
who urged him to give up. When Hicks asked an audience member
how many he smoked a day, and the audience member replied “a pack
and a half”, Hicks said:

“Why don’t you just put on a dress and swish around….
I go through two lighters a day.”

or having a routine called Goatboy which is about fucking little girls.
or the constant references to pornography. and the general old and stale
pro-porn attitude served in number after number.
and the homophobic comments.

seriously folks. if we can’t talk about Hicks and what she stands for
in a serious way, without me being told that i should take my finger out
of this poor dead guys face and point it in some other direction.

then where can the discussion start? what am i allowed to talk about?

once again. i say no. and i point at Hicks Goatboy routine,
and i point at the pro-porn speech. and i ask how this is perceived.
for anybody who cares to take this discussion (and me as an
intellectual being. woman and feminist) seriously.

i am really curious about why you want (or feel the need) to defend Hicks.

milla

about language:
vanhemmat ovat suomalaisia. [my parents are finnish] they moved to sweden in the sixties.
finns are low status in sweden so that and the fact that i come from
the regular dysfunctional finnish family (father was a drunk and left when
i was four, mother never talked about anything personal) so i never
learnt to speak my mothers tounge. that’s why i speak english.
but i’ve lived here for 4 years now, so i understand finnish fairly well.

so that’s why i was asking for people to speak finnish.

and: the old messages don’t have to be read. they end up at the end
of the mail anyways.. i think. unless it was something else you were
thinking of when you were asking people to delete the old stuff, (harry)?

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NUMBER 16: (harry)

Milla wrote:
> oh lordie… one thing that i’m *really* tired of as a feminist
> is to hear that i should talk about something else. something
> “more important”. this comment has come up a couple of times
> during this talk.
>
> no.
>
> i want to talk about bill hicks, and what showing her films on
> the squat means. i want to hear some serious arguments for
> why someone who to me seems like an absolute juntti, should
> be raised to the skies as an artist or even that she in her obvious
> sexism is said to *criticize* (?!) sexism… Henry, i would like to hear a
> justification for that argument. i need it for my poor dying soul.
>
> so screaming cunt and bitch at someone is not enough to be seen
> as sexist behaviour.
>
> maybe this is seen as sexism to someone:
> “Hicks is perhaps best remembered for his attitude to smoking
> – he revelled in being a chain smoker and baited the “prissy non-smokers”
> who urged him to give up. When Hicks asked an audience member
> how many he smoked a day, and the audience member replied “a pack
> and a half”, Hicks said:
>
> “Why don’t you just put on a dress and swish around….
> I go through two lighters a day.”
>
> or having a routine called Goatboy which is about fucking little girls.
If we consider Bill Hicks to be a pedophile because of this, yeah,
he’s probably a true sexist.

I’m not trying to call for a closure of discussion. I just disagree
with the thought of Bill Hicks being a sexist any more than you are.
No, really. This was a man with errors, but with an aspiration to
grow.

> and: the old messages don’t have to be read. they end up at the end
> of the mail anyways.. i think. unless it was something else you were
> thinking of when you were asking people to delete the old stuff, henry?
Yeah, I delete the old messages, so I just basicly mean the quotes on
each message. At least this gmail system makes ’em a bit difficult to
read.

I still continued in english because you did too. Whatever 🙂

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NUMBER 17: Milla

i think this was meant for the list, and not my private mailbox.
press “reply all” in order to get mails to the list.

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NUMBER 18: (stephan)

En ole kuullutkaan tästä Bill Hicksistä aikaisemmin. Kuka tää tyyppi
on ja mitä hän on tehnyt? Onko kyse kirjoista vai leffoista? Entä
tässä Bill Hicks -illassa?

[I hadn’t heard about this Bill Hicks before. Who is this guy and what has he done? Are we talking books or films? And what was happening at the Bill Hicks-evening?]

Jos kyse on leffoista, ja jollain on näitä digitaalisessa muodossa
voisin olla kiinnostunut kopioimaan niitä itselleni.
[If we’re talking about films, and someone has them in digital form, I would be interested in copying them to myself.]

Terveisin,

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NUMBER 19: Milla

(harry), please develop your thoughts on Bill Hicks and i being
equally sexist. I would like to hear your argumentation for this

(since i’ve been actively working against men’s violence against
women for the last three years. including making several demonstrations
all by myself in the city. once i did a demo in the citytunnels
with a banner saying “viimekin vuonna suomessa kuoli 19 naista
mieskumppaninsa uhrina” [also last year 19 women were killed by their male partners] and a couple of dolls made of jätesäkki [black garbage bags]
and cloths from kierätyskeskus [the recycling centre] with the stories on how they got murdered, collected from media and police. there were several women who were happy to see it. and several men who weren’t. i was told
by one man that: women can be “pottumaisia”, [„potatolike” = annoying] she said standing close to me. i asked if that was reason enough to kill someone, and she said yes.)

i know a fair amount about this subject. and also what it feels like
facing sexism in my everydaylife.
recently i signed on a network for peace, and there was a man
Scholar and Sexist, doing the usual thing of calling women liars.
it is very common thing to hear that we would lie about
experiences that are very well known to us.

you can check her comment from here, about her long experience
of “dealing with the habitual string of untrue and unjust accusations
women make against men”
http://internationalpeaceandconflict.ning.com/profile/feministSister
[  and anybody interested in the peace and conflict resolution is
welcome to sign up 🙂  ]

i don’t think saying that “Hicks is sexist, but everybody is, so why should
we care” is a good argument for not discussing what kind of implications
it has to listen to constant pro-porn propaganda without reacting
emotionally to it. and the same goes for the Goatboy-routine.
would it be just as ok if it were boys she was talking about?
Bill Hicks:
“i dated this young girl. i love women of all ages, but i’ve finally understood
the appeal of young women when i was looking at this girl. it was unbelievable, man. i mean, down between her legs there was *nothing*, a whisp of cotton candy in a paper cut. it was unbelievable. when you turn her over and open her cheeks it’s like a pink quivering little rabbit nostril. “oh how cute, i bet your ass tastes better than most girls pussies, come here! and it did, it really did. there’s something sweet about that little ass”

and:
i would still like to hear why screaming cunt and bitch at someone
at the top of ones lungs (as Hicks did in the clip) is called
criticism of sexism.

just
trying to criticise the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy in
which we all live, and that we all have to relate to,
milla

+ an anti-porn demo that i did 🙂
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7018349659790042167

.

.

NUMBER 20: (harry)

> (harry), please develop your thoughts on Bill Hicks and i being
> equally sexist. I would like to hear your argumentation for this
Well, considering that there is an infinite amount of sexism in all of
us (for starters, there IS the biological difference which no single
person can totally ignore)
, the best we can do is to be aware and
change our behavior according to that. Of course you can make a
statement that you have done more to cut off your own sexism than Bill
Hicks did. I think that it’s impossible to compare, but being somewhat
of a Bill Hicks fan, I do recognize him as a person really wanting to
grow and learn from making mistakes. I think that’s what most
important. I do not enjoy all of Hicks’ jokes, I do not find him any
more perfect than anyone else. I still do have a lot of respect for
him. Do you by the way realize that you’re condemning the whole person
because of a few jokes in a stand-up routine? How about we evaluate
you after videotaping everything you’ve publicly said in the past ten
years and make our conclusions based on some of the stupidest things
you’ve ever said? (I’m not saying that the rants we are discussing
here were Hicks’ worst, but they seem to be the ones you’re putting
the most attention on).

> (about demonstrations milla has put up)
I think the point is not there, and I do agree on your points about
physical violence, no one has the right to that, no matter what the
other person has supposedly done. And I’m not against anti-violence or
anti-female-opression. I’m pro equality for everyone, regardless of
biological or spiritual gender.

> i don’t think saying that “Hicks is sexist, but everybody is, so why should
> we care” is a good argument for not discussing what kind of implications
> it has to listen to constant pro-porn propaganda without reacting
Me neither. Of course there can be discussion about this, but that,
for me, does not include someone declaring the truth before any of the
discussion has taken place. As I’ve said, I’m on the impression that
Hicks hade done a whole lot more of shit-digging inside of him as he
died at 33 than most people ever do during their lives. I think that
the ideas he’s presenting in his shows do a lot more good to people’s
self-awareness (which does include self-criticizism on sexism) than
what could ever be done by just concentrating on the one issue, for
instance, on sexism. One of the main reasons that causes the problems
with sexism is the inability (or at least reluctancy) in human beings
for self-reflection. Yeah, someone might get sexist ideas from a
superficially sexist joke. However, I think Hicks does a lot more good
than bad for the people that dig him.

> emotionally to it. and the same goes for the Goatboy-routine.
> would it be just as ok if it were boys she was talking about?
Yes, I really don’t see how it would be any different in that case?

> i would still like to hear why screaming cunt and bitch at someone
> at the top of ones lungs (as Hicks did in the clip) is called
> criticism of sexism.
Well, basicly, by making himself appear as an idiot with that process.
Of course some people don’t get that. Some people don’t get any kind
of sarcasm or self-irony unless it’s totally and completely explained
to them. If even then.

I agree with your idea that all forms of sexism, even sexism presented
through dark humour, can and should be discussed. Banned? Well, let’s
ban everything then. I want to believe that this is not what you
propose, so on the main point we probably agree. Yes for discussion
and the expansion of our consciousness.

With all the possible respect for you.

.

.

NUMBER 21: (harry)

I accidentally posted this to milla as a private message, so another try here…

> or having a routine called Goatboy which is about fucking little girls.
If we consider Bill Hicks to be a pedophile because of this, yeah,
he’s probably a true sexist.

I’m not trying to call for a closure of discussion. I just disagree
with the thought of Bill Hicks being a sexist any more than you are.
No, really. This was a man with errors, but with an aspiration to
grow.

> and: the old messages don’t have to be read. they end up at the end
> of the mail anyways.. i think. unless it was something else you were
> thinking of when you were asking people to delete the old stuff, (harry)?
Yeah, I delete the old messages, so I just basicly mean the quotes on
each message. At least this gmail system makes ’em a bit difficult to
read.

I still continued in english because you did too. Whatever 🙂

.

.

NUMBER 22: Milla

tired.

(harry) about Hicks screaming cunt and bitch:
Some people don’t get any kind
of sarcasm or self-irony unless it’s totally and completely explained
to them. If even then.

i feel that some people don’t get oppression no matter how
hard i try to explain.

would somebody else take on from here. or am i the only one
expressing this opinion/having this idea. i’m really tired. and i would like
for someone else to go on explaining for a while. if it’s possible.

❤ milla

.

.

NUMBER 23: Jaarno

> oh lordie… one thing that i’m *really* tired of as a feminist
> is to hear that i should talk about something else. something
> “more important”. this comment has come up a couple of times
> during this talk.

Maybe you should talk about something that matters

> no.

As you wish. Don’t come crying to me then

> i want to talk about bill hicks, and what showing her films on
> the squat means. i want to hear some serious arguments for
> why someone who to me seems like an absolute juntti, should
> be raised to the skies as an artist or even that she in her obvious
> sexism is said to *criticize* (?!) sexism… (harry), i would like to hear a
> justification for that argument. i need it for my poor dying soul.

Because world doesn’t go around your opinions. Rest of us just watch
Hicks, laugh at him and his jokes, and go about our dies not worrying that
his starting some new fucking patriarchic totalitarian goverment, but is
in fact, subtle way, against it, because we have seen the bla bla higher
truth and such, as mr. hicks too. We know that he knows that we know that
he wasn’t meant to be taken so serious. If you can’t take it, please use
your internal build in -bug searching functions.

> so screaming cunt and bitch at someone is not enough to be seen
> as sexist behaviour.

No. Because… _It_ _is_ _part_ _of_ _a_ _joke_. If you can’t take it,
well… I think everyone knows what I am thinking. Why is it that you
can’t make jokes about females, even if you say you want to live in equal
society. Or. Why you can’t TAKE jokes about that.

> maybe this is seen as sexism to someone:
> “Hicks is perhaps best remembered for his attitude to smoking
> – he revelled in being a chain smoker and baited the “prissy non-smokers”
> who urged him to give up. When Hicks asked an audience member
> how many he smoked a day, and the audience member replied “a pack
> and a half”, Hicks said:
>
> “Why don’t you just put on a dress and swish around….
> I go through two lighters a day.”

No. It isn’t. It’s _a joke_, so please explain, or be a tool.

> or having a routine called Goatboy which is about fucking little girls.
> or the constant references to pornography. and the general old and stale
> pro-porn attitude served in number after number.
> and the homo

.

.

NUMBER 24: Jaarno
> and the homophobic comments.

They were fucking jokes. They weren’t MEANT to be taken seriously, to
start from the fact that he was a STAND-UP COMEDIAN! But he was, actually,
a little more: he tried to open our eyes and minds to those issues by
pointing them in non-serious ways, so people could laugh at them while
thinking about them. It makes it easier, you know. Taking things not so
serious, YOU KNOW!

Your kind of people is the reason I hate feminists. I don’t hate women or girls, I love them. I just can’t stand hc-feminists like you because you don’t know when to keep mouth shut. You rant about things that don’t matter, about what all the people enjoy and no one takes serious and make it reason why you can’t get laid. That’s my stand. Come and try to change it, or just shut up.

> seriously folks. if we can’t talk about Hicks and what she stands for
> in a serious way, without me being told that i should take my finger out
> of this poor dead guys face and point it in some other direction.

Yes we can, and we have already. Everyone knows hicks and have talked
about him. They just don’t throw the fucking conspiracy-shit like you do.
What’s wrong with you people. One topic is good to make jokes of, but if
he jokes about another, then RUN FOR BARRICADES AND CENSORSHIP HERE NOW!
If you can’t know teasing from actualy sexism, then go back to real world
and see what’s it all about. If you still think bill hicks is one of them,
get some brains and watch his shows again. Maybe you learn, but my hopes
are quite low.

> then where can the discussion start? what am i allowed to talk about

Nothing. Please think first.

> once again. i say no. and i point at Hicks Goatboy routine,
> and i point at the pro-porn speech. and i ask how this is perceived.
> for anybody who cares to take this discussion (and me as an
> intellectual being. woman and feminist) seriously.

No one really wants to take you seriously right now. I wonder why anyone
would. If you don’t understand that bill hicks was always bending the
envelope, and trying to get things that normally wouldn’t be discussed
into public, it’s your problem, because you obviously don’t want. Everyone
else here things wtf are you ranting about, and why don’t you use that
energy to do something that matters. They were jokes, and good ones, ones
that really hit the target, and END OF STORY.

> i am really curious about why you want (or feel the need) to defend Hicks.

He said things that matter, and in funny way. He was the best comedian
ever yet, and that’s it. He was funny, and he understood. Unlike some
other tools, to which he acted and hoped that they would take the hint

.

.

NUMBER 25: Milla

quoting Anag [Jaarno], who didn’t sign with a name…

“If you can’t know teasing from actualy sexism, then go back to real world
and see what’s it all about. If you still think bill hicks is one of them,
get some brains and watch his shows again. Maybe you learn, but my hopes
are quite low.”

i do know teasing from sexism. and i would say that
your encouragement to me to know when to shut my mouth
in order to get laid, is a typical sexist comment.

as i said. i’m tired. but i will continue with this issue.
because i’m hoping that this social centre will also be
a space where women (and people with a different
way of socialising in general) feel welcome .

back to my initial statement. quoting Jeff, speaking about Bill Hicks:
“people are more likely to call out blatant racism
than they are to call out blatant sexism”

in the social centre there are some rules about
no sexism, no racism, no homophobia etc.

i know that it’s not working that well in practice yet,

are the same rules valid for this list?

milla

.

.

NUMBER 26: (martin, male and white)

I think it would be better to continue this discussion offline, in
face-to-face discussions, because online discussions can so easily
become full of misunderstandings and insults and turn into fights.

The discussion deals with stuff that is relevant for us all, for our
common space, but now it looks like it’s about to become not so
fruitful – if just the same arguments get repeated over and over, and
people get pissed off and start insulting each other. So: sould it be
possible to organise a discussion at the social center for this?

And here’s my opinion:

I pretty much agree with what (gustav) already said. It would be a great
idea to have discussions after the screenings. So, let’s do that!

I think the people who organise events at the social center deserve
thanks! Also the ones who organised the Bill Hicks night. It is
awesome that we have free film nights and stuff where people can come
and gather and discuss! Be it Bill Hicks or Bell Hooks or whatever.
Let’s keep our place alive!

I didn’t know anything about Hicks but it seems his jokes have made people think and discuss important topics, so I think that kind of stuff should be presented at our place even more often. We should not simply censor stuff on the basis that the person behind the art is not 100 % perfect or has sometime said something stupid. I think (gustav) put this well.

About the rules of the house: I think we should acknowledge that
there’s not only one clear definition of sexism or homophobia or
racism. What seems like sexism or homophobia to someone simply might not be sexism or homophobia to someone else. For example, the thing about using some particular cursewords. I agree with the ones who think you should have the right to say vittu
[vittu = cunt. the most common swearword in finnish] or kyrpä [kyrpä = dick. a not so common swearword in finnish] or homo [common swearword in finnish] or hetero [not commonly used as a swearword at all], whatever you wish. Let’s not become close-minded and puritanistic. Also, confronting or insulting a female by a male is not sexist in itself, as it is not necessarily racism if a white person confronts or insults a black person.

Anyway, I think there’s lot of stuff to discuss, for example, what
does antiracism and antisexism mean in practice, and what it does NOT
mean. And the best way to deal with this stuff would be face-to-face
discussions where people try their best to respect and listen to each
other. Could it be possible to do that?

One love

.

.

NUMBER 27: (hedvig)

Kiitos, palautti uskoa rakentavan keskustelun mahdollisuuksiin.
[thank you, you returned my faith in the possibility of having a constructive discussion.]
Etenkin tämä:
[especially this:]
“About the rules of the house: I think we should acknowledge that
there’s not only one clear definition of sexism or homophobia or
racism. What seems like sexism or homophobia to someone simply might
not be sexism or homophobia to someone else.”

Meitä seksisminvastustajia on aika moneen lähtöön, ja kenenkään meistä
on useimmiten turha painostamalla yrittää muuttaa toisten itse
harkitsemiaan määritelmiä tai rajoituksia.

[we who fight sexism come from many different starting points, and there’s not any point in pressuring others to change their own thought out and considered concepts and boundaries.]
Rakentava keskustelu on eri asia ja sen lisäämistä tulee tavoitella,
mutta syyllistämällä, loanheitolla ja “miksi te ette tajua ajatella
niinkuin minä” -ruikutuksella ei anna itsestään (eikä valitettavan
usein myöskään antiseksismistä tai feminismistä) kovin
loppuunmietittyä kuvaa.

[a constructive discussion is a different thing, and hopefully there will be more of those, but through blaming, mud throwing and „why don’t you understand that you should think the same way i do”- whining doesn’t give a very thought through image of one self (and unfortunately not of antisexism or feminism either).]
Minusta sosiaalikeskusten kaltaisissa avoimissa tiloissa on voitava
näyttää myös poliittisesti epäkorrektia materiaalia, kunhan siitä on
mahdollisuus keskustella heti sen jälkeen. Mitkä asiat herättivät
negatiivisia mielipiteitä? Miten ko. “väärä” propaganda/ajattelumalli
näkyy päivittäisessä elämässä? Miten siihen voidaan vastata
rakentavilla tavoilla (ulossulkeminen ei minusta kuulu niihin ennen
kuin kaikki muut keinot on käytetty)?

[in my opinion there should be a possibility to show politically uncorrect material in open spaces such as the social centre, as long as there’s a possibility to discuss it directly afterwards. What things awoke negative ideas? What kind of of „wrong” propaganda / ways of thinking can be seen in our everyday lives? How can this be responded in a constructive way (in my mind, shutting it out doesn’t belong to this, untill all other forms have been tried)?]

Kaikkea ei tarvitse ottaa opetusmateriaalina, vaikka joskus parasta
opetusmateriaalia on se, mikä herättää myös kritiikkiä, vaikka kuinka
viihteen keinoin.
[everything doesn’t have to be taken as learning material, even though the best learning material can be the thing that is also awakening criticism, even in the name of entertainment.]
H.,
joka ei jaksa kirjoittaa englanniksi jos kaikki kerta ymmärtävät suomea

[H., who couldn’t care to write in english if everyone understand finnish.]

4 Responses

  1. Sometimes comedians adopt the style of his/her intended stooge to underline their hypocrisy. now, in the words of the great man himself, Shut the F*ck up, you bunch o whinin’ pussies.

  2. Not everything Hicks says is a joke. Just because he is on stage does not mean that it’s part of an ‘act’. This may have been during his drunken/drugged years – and consequently may have deeply regretted this outburst. What he says tells you a lot about this man. Sometimes the power of having a microphone so you can overpower people with volume can be dangerous in some hands, especially when their ego gets out of control. Hicks wanted to inspire people to think, certainly, but only if you agree with what HE thinks.

  3. Get a life. Oh and remove those batteries from that rabbit hidden under the bed. Your mind is getting hazy.

  4. A late response: Not everything is about your gender, but you want to make it sound as if it were.

    Think about Bill Hicks’ reoccurring joke about Madonna: The personal will to settle with mediocre performance and the commercial bagage of “culture” that follows that kind of product. Is he referering to all women who do easy-going pop music, or just bash her as an artist?

    Also, an asshole is an asshole, whether it’s a man or a woman.

    Furthermore, just because you’re female and drunk doesn’t make it legit to behave like a piece of shit, like that idiot woman during Bill Hicks performance on “I’m Sorry Folks”. She certainly deserved being chewed out at, but many times male performers choose to ignore them rather than speaking up for their dignity, and be regarded as petty by the collective norm.

    And what goes for verbal abuse should also apply for physical abuse.

    My stand point can be summarised by Joe Rogans response to Lydia Lunchs provocations. She is a grown human being, but was a complete douche bag, so she definitely had it coming.

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