October 25, 2003

See No Eva, Hear No

See No Eva, Hear No Eva, Speak No Eva - I'm a leading theorist in the area of human behavior!

No, really!

Well, according to one local activist, I'm being credited with developing a major theory of how people behave.

I participate on a few political email discussion groups (although to be perfectly honest, the rationale for these groups, and my interest in them, fades daily; they are the opposite of the libertarian blogosphere, riven with hive mentalities and groupthink; life's too short). On one, which discusses Saint Paul issues, there was a discussion of the incident at Lucy's Bar, a lesbian hangout in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood.

Now, in the St. Paul Issues discussion group - which is dominated by people from the left of center - quite a few participants felt that the allegations of conduct against Sgt. Loretz were enough to convict him, in their minds. The original Pioneer Press story relied heavily on quotes from patrons whose involvement in the brouhaha was never really made clear. The paper followed up with a piece about the officer's side of the story, as well as several other related pieces.

I mentioned that there were several reasons to tread lightly on this story - that while the allegations against Sgt. Loretz may well be true, we dont' know - and Lucy's DOES have a reputation, and bar patrons are the LAST people to get the "truth" from after a bar fight, and that some lesbians are by no means averse to violence.

Eva Young is a local pundit without portfolio. She's involved in the Log Cabin Republicans.

She posted this email to several local discussion list-servers - but, I need to stress, not the one that the original discussion took place on! She posted the email, below, to several email addresses, including:

    Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans
  • the Gay Twin Cities discussion group,
  • The USA Queers discussion group
  • the Gays for Bush discussion group
  • Homocons - a gay conservative group
  • Conservative Think Tank discussion group
  • The "Stop The Gay Agenda" discussion group.
She also emailed it to Andrew Sullivan, the KSTP morning show, and another private party unknown to me.

Note that, as I'm not a member of any of those discussion groups, I am unable to reply - however, every member of each of those groups now has my email address.

Here's the posting - subject line, "Blogger Berg Opines with his Lesbians are Violent Theory"

Mitch's blog is at:

This is part of the discussion on the St Paul Issues list (, discussing the recent allegations that Police Chief Finney's son, Loretz roughed up bar patrons at Lucy's Bar (a Lesbian Bar) in St Paul.

I thought I'd give Berg's blog a bit more publicity, and hope that he opines in more detail on this theory in his blog.

The theory goes:

There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem
to be statistically at least as disposed to violence
as any other group, and some would say more so.
This has been my experience. This is not a knock
on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically
aggressive streak among a sizeable minority.

If you wish to send Mr. Berg comments about his theory, write him at: [snip], or add comments to his blog.

I love it - this isn't meant to be a knock against Lesbians. Then what is it meant to be.

Eva Young

Note that Eva in fact did leave a comment - under a utterly unrelated topic, below.

Goodness, where to start with this?

  • Eva misrepresented me pretty completely. She calls the idea that lesbians have a higher propensity toward violence than the general population "my" theory - it's not.
  • She also called on the readers of those SEVEN other mailing lists to post comments on my blog - even though until this post there has been no discussion of the Loretz case on this blog. In other words, she was hoping to get a phalanx of people to bum-rush the comments section with unrelated chatter. That's not much different than spam, and will be dealt with accordingly (although now that I've posted on the topic, it's fair game)
  • I'm a conservative, Christian Republican. I've also been very moderate on most gay-related issues, including civil unions/marriage. Eva, however, tries to make me look like a gay bashing thug. I am quite literally the opposite.
  • She posted my email to a bunch of email discussion groups to which I'm not a subscriber - ergo, I have no ability to respond.
  • She sent my email address, as well as the pointer to this blog, to the entire membership of each list. Note that she did NOT post anything about this to the original mailing list, until I started raising a stink about it!
It'd seem that my gravest sin to Ms. Young was intimating that lesbians might possibly not be perfect, eternal victims; Here, word for word, is the point that seemed to get her so exercised, copied from my original email:
There is dispute on this point, but lesbians seem to be statistically at least as disposed to violence as any other group, and some would say more so. This has been my experience. This is not a knock on lesbians - but there does seem to be a physically aggressive streak among a sizeable minority.
Leave aside that singling out that paragraph - as Eva did, both above and in her comments on my blog - leaves out a lot of conversational context; what's the beef?

That some lesbians are violent? As I said - some of it is personal experience. Some of it is bits and scraps of different theories I've accreted in my consciousness over time. I'm apparently not alone:

  • Gays and lesbians seem to be no less prone to domestic violence
  • >A wide variety of sources echo the notion that lesbians are, at the very least, no less violent than straight males.
  • That violence among lesbians has some different precursors than violence among straights - but then, violence is violence, right?
  • Claire Renzetti's Violence in gay and lesbian domestic partnerships (New York: Harrington Park Press, 1996) claimed to find a higher statistical incidence of violence among lesbian couples than among straights or gay male couples.
Is that the definitive answer to the question? Of course not - and I never claimed that it was. In fact, in my original post, the one that has Ms. Young so exercised, I specifically said "there is some dispute on this point". No, I said merely that those who were calling for Sergeant Loretz' head based on the post-fight statements of other bar patrons, and assuming that the patrons were hapless victims of a big, bad male cop, may have been acting unfairly and prematurely.

We don't know. And by "we", I mean "you, either".

Oh, yeah - and clearly, the theory that lesbians may have violent tendencies isn't "mine".

What Eva Young seems to want is that, when lesbians are concerned, we see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.

OK. Let the further misrepresentation begin!

UPDATE: A day late - and after I registered complaints - she posted to the original Saint Paul discussion group. If you're coming here from there - welcome!

Posted by Mitch at October 25, 2003 06:50 PM