Last week I had very unfortunate series of electronic exchanges with a senior citizen who runs some sort of poetry/jazz/improv open mic over in Westchester County, New York.
This man was berating a friend of mine on her Facebook page for her involvement with slam poetry and with her boy friend who is also involved in it. She asked me to look at the posts which she thought were a bit creepy. And wow, he'd said some pretty gross things on her pages. Later - he more or less excused it all, saying enlightened people are never wrong. ( How 'bout that! )
He had taken the position that slam is "evil." He said he knew two women with tragic lives he was trying to "help" who left off consulting or consorting with him and turned to male slam poets instead, and they had come to no good ends. he said. Now, one of those people was someone I knew who'd had a whole constellation of problems not one of which stemmed from slam. The things he said about her were just wrong. Yet he thought he knew better, than anyone else, as a paternalistic "enlightened" male guru just trying to guide a few poor confused women.... (grrr)
Essentially he was saying that because some men involved in slam hurt some women who were involved - we should ban slam. This seems pretty self-serving for someone who runs a series that competes with local slams for venues, funding and community involvement and of course, women poets.... And by this logic we should ban men because sometimes they hurt women. And the opposite could be said as well. It's all pretty silly. And the self-declared "enlightened" seem to be an catastrophically unreliable source for life guidance. More like a fount of bad advice.