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I just finished reading Richard's message.  Where to begin?  My first
reaction was incredulity.  You're planning to teach a book you've never
read? I'm enjoying the book immensely (two more chapters to go) but I
but being so close the subject, the idea of fandom being used as a
classroom exercise feels like an enormous breach of privacy.
 
Several years ago I was still working at the Houston Public Library.
I was working a Sunday afternoon with a colleague who wasn't a member
of the department.  I knew her superficially, but I certainly didn't
consider her a personal friend.  She was very quiet all afternoon.
Finally, after closing, she turned to me and said something to the
effect of "I had no idea you were such a rebel."  When I looked
confused, she explained that she had jsut returned from an library
conference where she had attended a panel on feminist literature
that had centered on "slash" writing.
 
The presenter used all the usual academic safeguards (initials, etc.)
but she had zines (with names attached), artwork, etc.  After the
discussion, my acquaintance went to the front to look at the display.
The presenter saw Houston Texas on her badge and asked if she knew
me, explaining that I participant.
 
My colleague winked and said something like, "Now the macho Captain is
finally getting a taste of his own medicine."
 
To say that I was outraged is an understatement.  I'm not talking about
fear of losing my job etc. etc. (a vision of Amerika I don't share).
I'm talking about having an aspect of my life I don't even share with
my family bandied about so irresponsibly.  I'm talking about the
vulnerability I felt standing there with a near stranger who now know
much more about me than I ever wanted her to know.  This person was
also an active feminist.  She came out of that panel cheering because
a macho figure was getting fucked over by women.  She didn't care or
understand that she was trashing a character that is very important
to me.
 
So, the idea of having a class of college students picking over my
way of life is particularly attractive.  You can say the presenter
was irresponsible, blah, blah, blah, but I'm not the only person
this has happened to.
 
Oops, I've got to go.  Only having net access at work has it's drawbacks.
Consider this part 1.
 
Lezlie Shell
M
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inner life is not a pleasant one.