maria and martha and me

copyright rebecca winters 2005. rebecca winters retains all rights to this post.

i'm back. i've just finished talking to maria and martha.

here's my transcription.

rebecca: ladies, how are we doing?

martha: cool on my end.

maria: long day. sorry for putting off the call so late but i have to get the kids in bed and down for the night or i would be putting the phone down over and over. i'll probably still have to at some point.

martha: maria, just stop it. we don't have a problem with that. let's talk about what we do have a problem with.

rebecca: which would be a certain woman.

martha: ooh! let's not name her. let's not even give her that. every 1 knows who we're talking about, right?

maria: i think so.

martha: so let's not name her. not to high road it but to make sure she's not given any free promotion.

rebecca: fine by me. so how do we want to start this? i think it starts with maria, right?

maria: well, what are we calling her, the woman?

martha: screech! after the kid on saved by the bell!

maria: okay, screech started it. the back story is that this man wrote something about bob dylan online. another man disagreed with him. and then this whole war went on at that site.
kat wrote about the war. she wrote this thing about how we 'can' have any opinion and like that. it was typical kat.

martha: you got that right! kat writes from the heart.

maria: so after kat writes, the man at the site, distorts kat's words and then provides a link to kat's post which reads like 'hey every 1 beating up on the man who disagreed with me, rush over to here and go after this woman.'

martha: exactly. that's exactly what it looked like.

maria: and i had gone to that site. i had gone to screech's old site.

rebecca: in fact, you were a big fan of screech's.

maria: i had e-mailed web sites trying to get them to link to her, trying to get them to provide a link to things she wrote. i worked that site like crazy. more than i did the common ills because c.i. was in 1 of those 'do not try to get us linked' moods. so i was working screech. 1st at her old site and then at her new site.

rebecca: and you posted at both.

maria: yes, i did. i shouldn't have been an unfamiliar name because i posted a lot at screech's old site and again at her new site. and not a lot of people posted at the new site. at the old site, a lot of women posted. martha posted there too.

martha: i did. i don't think i posted as much as maria though.

maria: so i go to screech's site and make a point of identifying myself as being from the old site. i explain that i do not like what has happened and that at the old site, screech would have already stepped in to get things under control because they were out of control. i explain that i liked kat's writing and that i felt she got slammed. i point out that the quote of her is a distortion.

rebecca: and what didn't you post in your comment?

maria: that the man who wrote the article was demanding a correction from kat. he doesn't have that up there. he doesn't say, 'i'm so mad i'm demanding a correction!' when that's what he's doing and i know about it because of the special round-robin.

rebecca: what happens?

maria: nothing. because my post isn't up there. i check for an hour, refreshing the page over and over. now that's never happened before. not at the old site, not at the new site. and with the language in use, i can't imagine that the previous quotes were 'screened.'

martha: and she e-mailed me about that to ask me if that ever happened to me at screech's old site or the new 1? and i write back, no. because it's never happened.

rebecca: what happens next?

martha: well i want to read what maria wrote. so i go to the site. it's up now. along with a reply from sceech.

rebecca: maria, want to comment on that?

maira: martha copied and pasted it and e-mailed it to me. i didn't see it right away. reading it, my mouth just dropped. she dismissed my opinions, she offers a lame excuse for the comments and she never addresses the issue of the quote being distorted. it was pat the little latina on the head and tell her to move along. it was so patronizing. and she wrote something like 'i would be interested in hearing your comments as a latina woman.'

rebecca: because you said in your post that you didn't feel comfortable sharing your opinions at screech's new site.

maria: and i didn't. at the old site, you had feminists and we could disagree strongly but we could find a way to respect each other. some 1 might really blow up, but she'd come back and she'd say 'i was in a bad mood' or something like that. it was a supportive environment. that's not what was up at screech's new site. and i really took strong offense to her choosing sides especially since she was saying that kat couldn't write as well as the man did. this is feminism?

rebecca: and martha how did you respond?

martha: i was insulted for maria. just reading it, i was insulted on maria's behalf. i was thinking, 'oh no she didn't!' but screech did. so i decide i will write her because i'm thinking screech doesn't know what's going on and i liked screech up to that point. so i write her and i break round-robin rules because the only time i've ever read c.i. mad was that thing where 1 of you guys wrote about something in the round-robin without permission.

rebecca: right. c.i. thinks that's a private conversation and if we're going to write about it, we better have gina and krista's permission and if it's something they put in but didn't do themselves, we better have their permission plus the person we're talking about.

martha: well i broke round-robin. i did tell gina and krista in an e-mail and they were okay with it.

maira: c.i.?

martha: well after i'd written screech, screech wrote back with just her phone number and a requst to call her. but by the time i saw that c.i. had posted 'cut off all contact' and i agreed with that. especially since i'd already broken the round-robin. i wasn't going to make it worse. after that went up, i e-mailed c.i. and said what i'd done and also that i would call later. which i did do?

rebecca: and?

martha: c.i. said if i'd explained it to gina and krista, then it was now with them.

rebecca: right because the point earlier was that c.i. hears from gina about some 1 writing about the round-robin and about something in it and there's no permission from her and krista or from the person, the member, that was written about. c.i. came down hard, and c.i. did come down hard on that, because not only did it happen but after it happened the person made no attempt to contact gina, krista or the member. c.i. felt that point needed to be made and made strongly to protect the round-robin.

martha: well i broke it. i apologized and no 1's mad. every 1's been understanding. and that's because, gina said, i broke it to try to get the truth out regarding kat and to reach out, because i did think screech didn't know what was going on by the way she dismissed maria, so it wasn't a problem.

rebecca: she gave her phone number. did you call her?

martha: not then. not since. i did get asked in an e-mail by jess if i'd been contacted since because he was bothered by an e-mail. i hadn't been. today 2 more e-mails arrived. they were mailed on thursday.

rebecca: woah, this is breaking news. hold it. she e-mailed on thursday. can you pull those up?

martha: yes. the 1st 1 is 21 k. the title's mine 'attention' to her. she didn't change the title in any of her 3 replies.

rebecca: what's the time on this?

martha: 20:42:39.

rebecca: so 8:42. i wish i had ava on the phone. can we take a break and all get back together in 10? there's a point here that may need to be made?

[we take a break.]

rebecca: okay. i wanted to figure out where she was located. i couldn't get ahold of ava. i did get ahold of jess. he states that from her own personal account, which is what she's used to e-mail the common ills since saturday night, right before midnight, she's eastern time. so at 8:42 she wrote you. at that point, the only thing up at the common ills was cut off contact. what she's writing about in her e-mail to you?

martha: the 1st 1 about how all these things are posted. about how 'kat thinks' --

rebecca: cutting you off, just to note kat hadn't posted on this at this point. she wouldn't post on this topic until saturday. the roundtable we all did at the third estate sunday review wasn't up when she posted this. i was up, c.i. was up only with the cut off all contact post.

martha: that is strange because she states 'seeing all that is written' and all that was written that she'd seen was maria's comment, c.i.'s cut off contact and my e-mail. she's not mentioning you in the e-mail so i find it hard to believe she's seen your thing. she would have mentioned it because she's mentioning everything in there including talking about the request that kat make a correction.

rebecca: the 2nd 1?

martha: it shows thursday in my inbox but is 21 seconds after midnight for the time stamp on her end.

rebecca: so right after midnight? i'm pulling up something on my computer. usually when we're talking at the third estate sunday review, dallas hunts down the links and that must be a pain in the ass when we're tossing out a 100 things at once. okay, while the thing was being published, the roundtable, c.i. was logged in to the common ills and posting an alert. the time on c.i.'s entry is 9:10 pm. on the east coast, where we're guessing screech is due to her time stamp, it was 1:10 am friday morning at that point. so if her time stamps correct, wherever she happens to be writing from, the roundtable wasn't up yet. i want that point made. the roundtable wasn't up yet. tell us about the 2nd e-mail.

martha: i've got a problem then because she's talking about cedric and he's in the roundtable.

rebecca: what she's saying?

martha: that he's 'frustrated.'

maria: i think she's talking about cedric's comments in kat's post. where cedric's quoted, from tuesday, on rappers.

rebecca: hold on and let me go there? scrolling down. okay, got it. yeah, i think you're right maria. we'll allow that she may have a problem with her time stamp on her e-mails from her official account because she's stated she's had problems receiving e-mails.

martha: which might explain why they didn't show up on my end until today.

rebecca: so we'll allow that. we can be fair.

martha: the e-mails seem nicer than i expected. they were nicer than the way she responded to maria. but she apparently feels i played the race card, as an african-american woman, because there's a lot of attempts to justify the critique and say that it's not meant to say that rappers have been influenced by dylan. maybe her man needs to say that and not imply it. the structure of the sentence, which she quotes, does imply it. but in the 1st 1 she's going on about how she's under attack. the 8 pm 1.

rebecca: what's interesting is that she chooses to e-mail c.i. saturday night/sunday morning. when we're all pulling together the third estate sunday review. c.i. takes the time to reply to her and thinks she's sincere about wanting peace, c.i. may still think that, i haven't spoken to c.i. now why she e-mailed c.i. is something we can't figure out. as cedric said 'what's a brother got to do to get an e-mail!'

martha: exactly. i mean, hello. if you think cedric's frustrated, why don't you wait cedric? i mean it looks like what touched it off the most was cedric's comments. maybe they're just scared of talking to a man, an african-american man?

rebecca: will cedric has an e-mail address posted and he has commenting at his site.

martha: good point. because i broke the round-rob due to her comment to maria that the man at her site had to post what he did, where he distored kat's words, because kat didn't allow comments. so i thought that she didn't know about the demand for a correction. in her e-mails she knows. don't write that the only way he could offer something was to post that comment when he's able to e-mail kat and demand a correction.

rebecca: well ava and jess handle a lot of the e-mails during the week at the common ills.

martha: right.

rebecca: she's blown up at ava.

martha: she had a hissy fit on maria. considering that they avoid cedric like he's got the plague or something and that she seems to think i'm playing a race card, my guess is that i got the e-mails i did because it was 'uh oh, scary black woman.' now she would disagree with that because she feels the way kat was treated had nothing to do with gender.

maria: oh good god, it had everything to do with gender. i mean the man's whines about how the comments were the focus of kat's thing instead of what he'd written. that's male ego. that's wounded male pride. this was about gender from day 1.

martha: i don't disagree with you, maria. i think the way you were dismissed was even more so.
and i could say more but rebecca said to talk in generalities.

rebecca: that's right. that's per ava's aunt. she said talk about it that way. which reminds me i need to put something at the top of this thing.

martha: what's that?

rebecca: a copyright notice. i'm not sweet like kat. kat was so nice. she pointed out the mistake but she never asked for a correction. i don't want to see them pull something out of this and distort it.

martha: she keeps justifying what happened in both e-mails and the thing that makes me angry despite the fact that she's obviously trying to step lightly is the fact that she keeps justifying.

maria: i just want to say that i had a right to have my feelings noted at the common ills. i was dismissed in a very rude way. she's supposedly a journalist so you'd think in her comment the 1 thing she'd zero in on was that kat's quote was altered. she just blows that off by not commenting. i'm tired of her. and i'm tired of people who can't write about the war. why have a site if you're just going to write about tv and music from the 60s.

martha: well she doesn't really do that. she mainly just says 'oh look what i found.' sort of here's this, here's this. it's really like bad npr in text. really bad npr.

rebecca: i would agree with that. kat had an opinion and didn't speak like she was up in the clouds looking down on the world.

martha: no, kat, keeps it real.

maria: and that comment she wrote to me, i mean, come on. who is she to judge kat's work? kat's written about everything, even her abortion.

rebecca: kat can put it out there without having to couch or hide. she's a strong woman.

maria: she is. and you know where she stands. this woman, screech, seems to think that everything is that clear and screech's writing isn't that clear nor was the man writing. and he really was a prick. i mean forget his e-mails to kat, forget his attempt to sick a mob on kat. just his long winded nonsense of 'i think bright eyes' put in that i'm using a stuffy voice 'i think that bright eyes is' whatever 3 insults he said about 'when a president talks to god.' i mean they can't choose a side at that site. they can't find their ass with both hands. where do they get off slamming bright eyes or kat?

martha: because they're scared. i think. but let's talk about the mob because maria was the 1st 1 to post on the reactions.

maria: yeah, nobody came in. nobody tried to be the adult. until i did. what did screech write? something about how obvious the points were by her man, so stupid kat just can't get it. and she needs to face a hard truth, most of the people posting besides the suck up who also slammed kat, most of them weren't even talking about the man who wrote the article. does that give you an indication of how boring his piece was? you had dylan fans outraged that a comment was posted saying dyaln wasn't all that and these people just swarm in to attack the guy. but the article that was written, no 1 was focusing on that.

martha: they should have kissed the ass of the guy who wrote that 1st comment because he's the only thing any 1 was paying attention to. that happens when you're too chicken to voice an opinion. nobody notices the wallflowers. those 2, screech and her buddy, were just the most annoying with their clucking. cluck-cluck, tut-tut. it was cokie roberts time.

maria: i'll never go back there. i go to feminist sites. i go to sites that are friendly and supportive of women. when they went after kat, the trying to turn the mob on her, the judgment of her writing, the comparison of her to a man - i mean come on. why is a man the measure? why does kat have to live up to some man's standards?

rebecca: she doesn't.

martha: she sure doesn't. and where he does he get off demanding a correction. i could go into screech's e-mail but i won't quote it. i will note that she's defending him and it's so lame. he didn't deman a correction from cedric. he did from kat. don't try to push women around. that's what it was. they can try to put lipstick on this pig all they want but the pig squeals and it says 'women have less rights.'

maria: and i really believe that was the attitude. and that's why i couldn't believe screech thought it was okay to use that man as the yard stick. that man's not fit to wash out kat's bras.

rebecca: that really was the turning point, when she weighed in with that slam on kat's writing.

maria: and kat offered to put up anything that man wanted. but she wouldn't do it and pass it off as her wrods. and he didn't want that. what he wanted was for his words to come out of her mouth. it wasn't enough that he get a hearing, it had to look like it was kat saying this.

martha: and he had a hearing and then some. he posted his dopey dylan opinion. he then posted on kat at his site. so why does he need anything from her site?

maria: ego. pure ego.

martha: and there was nothing at the site that did anything but slam kat. that includes screech's comment she posted. so for her to write me and say no 1 attacked kat, that's just nonsense. she stood in judgement on kat.

maria: and found her lacking when compared to a man.

martha: and that really touched a sore spot, that i brought that up. that's all over her replies. i only wrote her once.

rebecca: so what do you think, martha? we're not pull quoting from the e-mails here but you've read them. what do you think based on all you've seen?

martha: i think she knew she did wrong and didn't want to say so publicly. i think she could have ended it if she'd have written kat in the same manner. kat didn't ask for a correction. kat waited until saturday to post on this at her site. kat was attacked on wednesday and on thursday.

maria: if she wanted to make peace, she should have gone to kat. not c.i. i'm so sick of every 1 whining to c.i.

rebecca: they know c.i.'s a soft touch. they know they'll get more than a hearing. they know c.i. will bend over backwards to be fair. so they go whining to c.i. in this case how awful c.i. was. - c.i. was more than fair in the roundtable and at the common ills.

martha: the oprah moments, gina calls them.

maria: and i like that about c.i. i like that c.i.'s willing to say 'i could be wrong.' or willing to look at something. we've been trying to find an all spanish link to link to, francisco, miguel and i for months. c.i. wants 1 but c.i. wants it to be 1 that we support and it's hard to find 1 that's a general interest. and we tend to quibble over them regardless. so it's been i don't know how long, we started looking in april.

martha: well i think we all respond to it. it's like a friend who tells you what they think but says 'this is just what i think.' but what i'm more concerend with right now is the way it effected every 1. i mean there were serious attempts to find peace with that site.

rebecca: right, we killed things at the third estate sunday review. ruth killed her ruth's morning edition report. maria, did you submit something?

maria: i did the headlines and included a comment in the intorduction that i thought i could slip in because it was in spanish. but c.i. noticed it and e-mailed, 'i think it says this, am i right?' it did say that. and c.i. said, 'it can't go up, she wants peace. can you pull that?' and i wasn't in the mood. i was being stubborn. i apologized for that on monday.

martha: ruth's could have gone up. ruth pulled it, right?

maria: right but i'm not doing an op-ed. that's news. the comment didn't belong there. and i tried to sneak it in sunday afternoon. coming in a news entry and considering the comment, it didn't belong there. i was actually glad it wasn't posted. i still am. even after reading eddie's e-mail today about the latest which really calls into question any genuine effort on their part for peace.

rebecca: the olive branch had thorns on it. that's what jess said. and c.i. may still want to high road it, but we held our tongues because there was a chance that it might be genuine.

martha: does anyone think c.i. will comment on it?

maria: no. c.i. will high road it.

rebecca: agree. there are links, link updates, c.i. needs to do. and when c.i. goes in to add those, the link to screech will just disappear with no comment and you'll never hear screech quoted at the site. if there's a humorous look at screech's site, c.i. may participate in that.

maria: at the third estate sunday review.

rebecca: right. but unless it has to do with the site iteself, there will be no form of comment. c.i. will just cut her off. and this is such a big thing as it is, because it is big and we agreed not to talk about that, that screech will face consequences in other ways. it will be like an edith wharton novel and the door will close here and there and she will wonder, was that because of? c.i. won't be ordering any of that. c.i. will even defend screech if her name comes up. not 'she's great' but 'let her do what she wants.' but behind the scenes women will be standing by c.i. screech will feel the cold and it won't thaw.

martha: and ava?

rebecca: ava will go along with c.i. ava's aunt is another story. but ava will stand with c.i. they might end up excusing themselves from co-writing some pieces at the third estate sunday review but that's it. the attitude will be it's not their battle to fight, defending screech.

maria: well that's up to them how they handle it. i wanted my say.

martha: me too.

rebecca: and that's why we did this. and i want to be sure something's clear, c.i.'s attitude is that life's too short for this nonsense. if you're not worth it to c.i., you just aren't worth it. and screech isn't worth it. c.i. felt protective of her but that's gone. so she'll just be cut off and she'll notice that others treat her differently. what screech did is the reason for that. that's the point ava's aunt makes. it's her fault. she made her bed.

martha: her own dirty bed where she rushed in to attack kat. and patronize maria. and play 'who's better, man or woman? man!' the low, the absolute low, for me is her failure to address the demand for a correction.

maria: that was low because of what it represents. but i think the failure to do anything to try to weigh in on the war, the continued focus on shows, on tv shows, that are nothing but junk. i mean that goes to what a person is. i noticed a huge change when screech moved to the new site. suddenly topics that we got in addition to the tv junk, those were gone. we were just left with junk. and i mean, think about how martha and i 1st bonded.

martha: yeah. maria was posting there and i knew a maria was highlighting it at the common ills.
screech was trashing jane fonda. she was just trashing her.

rebecca: i know about that. i found it shocking that she got away with that. and i'm really not sure that someone's who best known for saying rah-rah to veronica mars is really qualified to evaluate monster-in-law. that film wasn't geared to the zit cream crowd.

martha: and i didn't get it and maria had already posted but i added my 2 cents saying 'anti-woman, it's got 3 women in it, 2 are in conflict and they learn to respect 1 another.'

maria: which may have been screech's problem since there's not a lot of respecting women. there is a lot of cheerleading adult actresses playing teenagers. but i had said something like 'they don't deserve this' and they didn't. and she shoots back, well women are the 1s saying this!

martha: yeah. off our back was saying it.

rebecca: really?

martha: i was joking. my point was, she quotes all these mainstream women and then wants to say 'women are saying it!' she always quotes the mainstream.

maria: and what was the point in tearing down jane fonda or her movie? it made no sense. what does she tell me? something like 'go read the women' and i don't need to. but there again it was time to tear down a woman and screech was there.

martha: well there again, like with a lot of people they tear down, it was not just a woman, it was some 1 speaking out against the war. i mean that's why people i know dismiss screech's new site.

maria: exactly. what's on fox tv? screech can tell you that. she just can't have express an opinion on a war that's nearly 3 years old. it's like, 'put away the barbie dolls and grow up already.' because you're useless.

martha: here, here. she's like access hollywood and that might go over well but if you're wanting democracy now or counterspin, it's like, 'who watches this stuff?'

maria: and it wasn't that bad before she moved to her new site. i mean martha was offended by her new orleans coverage.

martha: yeah. not a word to say about the people. but i'll just be quiet on that except to note that i think that's what the quote kat has in her thing is about. if so, i agree completely.

maria: where there are real issues and real problems she's writing about nonsense. and maybe that works for people who are into nonsense. but after awhile, it just gives you a headache.

martha: and it's not what she covers, it's the way she covers it. you read ava and c.i. taking on tv and you get a real critique.

maria: a feminist critique.

martha: you read her and if she's not assembling quotes, she's got nothing to say. it's like she's the listings in the tv guide.

maria: she's made herself useless. or maybe at the old site, others said 'uh that's enough crap you think you can write about something that matters to women?' i'm an adult, i'm a single mother, i don't have time for her nonsense. and i kept thinking, we both did, okay she's getting used to her new site. well how long does that take?

martha: 3 years? she's not exactly rushing in to give attention to the air war in iraq, is she?

maria: she's useless and she's made herself that. grown women who care about the world do not need her silly focus. and not silly ha-ha. silly as in no meaning.

martha: when your country is at war and you've got nothing to say, what are you? an enterainer? okay, maybe that's what she is. a really bad entertainer cranking out covers of gloria gaynor and donna summer. but i need something that's nutritional. she's just all these empty calories.

maria: i really think that says it all.

rebecca: then we'll close. thank you both for participating. i really appreciate it.