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June 22, 2015


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Alex Reinert

Jeff [trying this again because it did not post the first time],

I am trying to understand the motivation for this. You can criticize me for taking it seriously, I guess, but let's start there. Maybe it is meant to be tongue in cheek, silly fun, etc. -- but if it is meant to be humorous, I am not sure what the humor is trading on. Is it making fun of the idea that putting a woman on the $10 is worthwhile? Is it poking fun at these particular categories of women? Something else?

Maybe it is serious, though. Maybe it is a very deep critique of gender dynamics, by meaning to suggest that the whole project is silly given the deep inequality women face in our society. If this is the case, I suppose it is obvious that it has flaws. And I will note that the blog you link to, "Never Yet Melted," does not help matters -- it has a wonderful link to what it calls "Sound Female-Written Blogs" [thereby suggesting that most female-written blogs are unsound and most "sound" blogs are written by men].

I guess I can't help but read it as anti-woman, and I have no reason to think you yourself fall into that category. So I, for one, would appreciate your insight as to the motivation [I am pretty sure someone had a critical comment on your original post, but that comment is no longer there, for some reason -- it did not strike me as an inflammatory comment, so I am not sure why it was deleted].


Jeff Redding

Alex: Those are interesting connections you make. Intriguing to see how the mind works. In any event, please do vote and also take a look at some of my other work!

Jason Mazzone

Like Professor Reinert, I too have trouble understanding this post and the accompanying poll. I would be grateful if some additional explanation could be provided. While I am at it, I have been waiting for the sequel to "Flying While Pakistan," which (in part 2) ended thus: "I felt momentarily relieved, grateful not to have a white American [DHS officer] conducting this questioning. This relief would soon evaporate." Perhaps I missed the follow-up post (part 3?) that filled in the details of the alleged DHS abuses and the basis for the author's initial wholesale skepticism of "white American" DHS officers. If so, perhaps somebody can point me in the right direction. If the answer is either or both posts are wholly in jest then that's fine and I'll put down my confusion to my own lack of a sophisticated sense of humor.

Alex Reinert


Thanks -- I am not really interested in voting, though. I am familiar with your other work -- that is why I posted the question as I did. I do not think your work, however, answers the question I posed, but maybe I am missing something.

I still do not understand the deletion of the critical comments however (there were two others before and now there is just mine). Is there some method to that?


Steven Freedman

@ Jeff

I'm hoping you're well intentioned, but I have to say my first reaction to this "poll" is that it's meant to demean women. It suggests either that there are no viable candidates for the honor and/or that it's a joke to consider a woman. I'm all for a good joke, even an offensive joke. But I don't see the joke, only the offense.

If we're missing something, please fill us in.

Jeff Redding

Jason: Part 3 and Part 4 (and maybe a Part 5) of that is coming. It certainly was not my ideal situation to cut the narrative off in the middle, but there have been other things that I've needed to work on. July, inshallah!

Alex: As anyone who blogs on here or anywhere else knows, there is a group of people out there whose sole intention is to harass, harangue, etc. I used to give reasons for deleting those comments, but that got tiresome, so I just delete the stuff that seems mean-spirited, off-point, etc. I don't get paid for blogging, or the harassment that goes with it, so I've adopted imperfect solutions.

Steven: Those are interesting connections you make. Intriguing to see how the mind works. In any event, please do vote and also take a look at some of my other work!

Alex Reinert


I will admit that I, like ELG, find the deletion policy you are adopting hard to understand in application. I get, of course, deleting off-point and mean-spirited posts that appear to only have the purpose of harassment. But from where I sit (and I admit that I have never blogged before) it is hard to see how the four posts you have deleted fit the bill--they were critical, but they were certainly on point and I am not sure how they were mean-spirited or harassing. Of course, the problem is that no one else can see them now.

The problem is compounded by the fact that you do not actually seem to want to engage with the comments that have survived your deletion policy. Jason, Steven, and I have all (respectfully, I think) asked if there is something we are missing, some kind of explanation etc., and you have referred us generally to your other work. The only comments that you have responded to substantively are comments that are not actually connected to your original post. So it leaves one with the impression that there is not much point to leaving a comment -- either it will be deleted or it will be ignored.


Jeff Redding

Alex, hey, I've been blogging for a couple of years now and I've seen a lot of stuff. There are repeat commentators that are definitely in the realm of cray-cray and they scare me. I think it's a matter of trust, and I'll trust you to trust me that I'm not being all gay and over-reacting here. I have just adopted a policy of non-engagement with that stuff, and I don't feel a need to spell my 'policy' out to them or you. Suffice it to say that if someone scares me or is trying to scare someone else, then I delete the comment. (I'll leave it to another discussion--and my book--to discuss law, emotion, & phobias.) Finally, just a note that blogging is a hobby of mine, not a job and, even if it was a job, a writer does not have to immediately respond to every question and critique of their work. So, I'm not going to put Madonna in the poll and I'm not going to go into my rationale for that decision here.

Next topic, please.

P.S. The comments section here was intended for write-in candidates.

Michelle Meyer

Maybe I'm primed these days to see everything as a social "experiment," but my guess (and it is only that) is that Jeff is somehow interested in people's reactions to his poll (hence, his repeated comments about how commenters' minds work and the interesting connections they make) and how they fit into his scholarship (hence, the repeated references to his work). On this interpretation, it's not that he's not engaging, it's that he's being purposefully vague so as not to bias the results.

For instance, Jeff has written, in one academic paper, that "to the extent that equality is meant to treat identical things identically, it is not a value that is easily applicable to the radical plurality of American family law." Maybe his odd list of women is supposed to highlight that, in seeking equality between men and women by putting "a" woman on a bill, we "occlude," as he says, the differences among women, flatten them somehow.

Jeff, feel free to delete if I've spoiled your purpose (although you did invite us to take a look at your work). (But if I'm even remotely on the right track, I want this post restored after the poll closes and some sort of gold star sticker or a second humanities Ph.D. awarded--those, by the way, are worth roughly the same on the market.)

As for write-in candidates, I suppose I'd go for someone like Harriet Tubman or Rosa Parks, myself.

Jeff Redding

Michelle: I'm starting to think that I should have put you down as one of the options in the Condorcet Poll. You're my write-in candidate! Thanks for not being a creepster!!!

Alex Reinert

Michelle, that's a useful perspective and I can buy it -- hopefully there are no IRB issues (a subject on which I have no expertise).

Patrick S. O'Donnell

I vote for Margaret Fuller.

Patrick S. O'Donnell

Or Ella Baker.


Write-in vote: Marion Jones. Think about it.

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