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September 10, 2004



in principle it is a very good idea. what could be better than a public discussion about the content and usefulness of our research. on the other hand it implies that there is already a community based on solidarity out there. i have just heard a friend say that she keeps her research project as secret as possible because one project has already been stolen by competitors some years ago. i think, when you already got the money to do your thing, what's there to steal?
for me the bigger question is that of TIME. there is already so much to write, to discuss, to read... how do we find the time to discuss each other's projects?
on the other hand: if some weblogg existed in the area where i do research, i am sure i would use all the pieces (with a reference) - but would i find the time, or be as generous to use my time to comment on them?
i don't know.
i started reading the first thinking aloud piece because it is in my area but after three pages i thought: my god, i have to get going: my doctoral students, my writings, my day is full....


Thanks for putting your mind to this, Nora. I think your doubt as to whether there is 'a community out there based on solidarity' that I could expect to communicate with me through the weblog is a reasonable doubt. And I don't think I would have risked this weblog experiment if I didn't know there is at least the Women in Black international network, and related women's anti-war groups, many of whom I'm already in contact with.

This doesn't mean that other women (or men) who may have divergent interests or different values won't intervene in this space... but at least there are some women around who would and could engage constructively with both them and me(because I know quite a lot of them already).

On the question of time, in my particular case I belong to an e-mail network (WiB and wider) whose members really suffer and complain if they're subjected to mailings of documents to which they're expected to pay attention. I was hoping that saying 'it's there on the log if you feel like going to look at it' would be a more considerate way of making material available. Then of course they may not feel inclined to look! (Or like you, just not have the time.)

I think we're in a bit of a cleft stick between the wish to be transparent and informative and the fear of overloading people and appearing too demanding of a response.


dear cynthia, dear all,

since i last put my doubts on the screen i have been proved so nicely wrong by the interesting and committed voices of the women connecting with you. great. maybe this question about time is just a stupid constant bad conscience of somebody with a protestant background. maybe our relation to time and information should also change with the new communication devices. you react to things you want and need to. and if there are no reactions or few, that's it. you don't have to feel sad if you don't get enough reactions and you don't have to have a bad conscience if you can't react all the time.

here's thinking of you, nora

Aditi Bhaduri

Dear Cynthia,

Greetings from Kolkata, hope you remember me - we met at The Calcutta Research Group.

Please send me your email ID, I have lost many email IDs and contacts and yours is one of them, and I would like to get in touch with you.

My email ID is : [email protected]

Its a new one, so please use this and discard any old ones you may have,


Wafaa Hasan

Hello Cynthia,
My deepest apologies for missing dinner last night. I heard a winter storm warning and my car had already been acting up...they were calling for 10-20 cm of snow! But it didn't end up starting until about 10pm so I was sad that I missed the evening!
I really truly enjoyed the seminar with you and love your work! Thanks for inspiring me and all of us!


Hi Wafaa, thanks for writing, sorry about the snow! My visit to Canada and the chance to give the Bertrand Russell lectures for 2008 was an inspiration. I have put a link to the text on this page under "Thinking Aloud" hoping I might get some more discussion of the ideas therein. So little time when I was there. Stay in touch. Cynthia.

Cedilla Riverhead

Very interesting, Cynthia. Youy share the same family name as my partner, so perhaps you are related? It would be interesting to know.
Virulent feminism seems to be your argument. In my long experience women are right behind men when it comes to making war, or indeed any conflict. Consider Israel? Mrs Thatcher? Women prefer not to to do the nitty gritty, but they certainly do not lack the mens rea. And in many cases I suspect women push men into war. Your feminist rant does nothing for women.

Cynthia Cockburn

Dear Cedilla, Sorry for the delay in reading your comment and replying. You have misunderstood my argument. Read it again and I think you will see that I am saying: it is neither men nor women, as such, who are the makers of war. It is the gender system itself that predisposes societies to war. It does so by dividing values, expectations, qualities into masculine and feminine, placing one set in dominance over the other, and associating masculinity with violence. Men are probably 'damaged' even more by this historic arrangement than women are - because there are penalties for finding and nourishing the relational side of themselves. Have a look at men's White Ribbon campaign We are all part of the problem, dont we all have to be part of the solution? Thanks for writing, Cynthia

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