Re: Vitriolic Posts
From: Elizabeth Stevenson (
Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 09:42:01 -0600 (MDT)
Sharon, your distance from my emotional email to you is commendable, but
pointless. I know you can write, I know you can win an argument, out of
sheer determination to get the last word, if all else fails.

But you have something else going on, which you are carefully either denying
to yourself or hiding from me. You are perfectly within your rights to have
your privacy, and I have no right to pry-if we were close friends who had
met in person, I might feel differently.

However, you have defended your position beyond all reason, getting into
ever more tight corners in order to have the last word, and to be right.

This latest thing, with a person who went to exactly one meeting and then
didn't join. Honestly, now, do you really think that the whole reason she
didn't join was that she felt unwelcome because she had money? Are most
people who want to join cohousing that easily dissuaded? It's not in any way
a stretch for me to infer that she wasn't really all that interested. I
don't need to do any research, for crying out loud.

Why are we wasting out personal time writing about this? Both of us
certainly care about cohousing, but that is not enough to sustain this level
of investment in the outcome of an argument.

Looking back, maybe "vitriolic" isn't the right word, since you are so
careful not to appear emotional. But I don't buy that you're just trying to
get your point across. You did that ages ago. You simply won't let anyone
else have an opinion, and you seem very intent on proving everyone else
wrong. Failing that, you just demean them by being condescending.

Do spare me the logical reply to this. If I'm completely wrong about you,
tell me so briefly, let it go, and I won't mention it again.


> From: Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>
> Reply-To: cohousing-l [at]
> Date: Sat, 13 Jul 2002 09:41:30 -0400
> To: Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
> Subject: [C-L]_Vitriolic Posts
> I want to apologize if I have contributed to any vitriolic posts on the list
> recently. It was absolutely not my intention to be vitriolic. I was trying
> to (1) focus the discussion on the subject of diversity in cohousing related
> to the exclusion of those who were too committed elsewhere to produce 15
> hours a month of community work and (2) to question the premise that
> community work was either essential to cohousing or to the building of
> community.
> I felt that responses to this subject were skewing my statements and missing
> the point. By missing the point, they were diverting the discussion while
> pretending to be discussing it. In logical argument, there is a name for
> this kind of but I forget what it is -- does anyone know?
> I felt my statements were quoted as evidence in completely different
> arguments. "Argument" in this is sense means presenting different views
> about ONE subject under discussion. Presenting "arguments" is like
> presenting facts or positions. It is not "fighting" or being "belligerent."
> I objected to my quotes being used in posts on entirely different subjects,
> which is why I kept insisting on bringing them back to the context in which
> they were made.
> I was not suggesting that this was the only subject that could be discussed
> on the list and that I was the arbiter of what people could say or couldn't
> say. I was only objecting to having my statements being used to support
> arguments they were completely unrelated to.
> This often upsets people but that was not my intention.
> Sharon
> -- 
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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