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Jennifer Armstrong
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Jennifer Armstrong is now following Bill Vallicella
Jul 3, 2013
Jennifer Armstrong added a favorite at Maverick Philosopher
Jul 3, 2013
Sorry, I meant, "so many..."
Very good. I think that teaching German philosophy in historical context would correct a lot of wrongs, and shed light in appropriate places. Philosophical Idealism is, in particular, to be blamed for a lot of problems. As I wrote recently on my site, so much of my problems in life have their origin in worldviews and philosophies that ignore the particular in favour of generalisations about "types".
All the more reason to be grateful for Polyphemus.
The fact that there is any order in society at all means that some authority holds sway. Nowadays there is so much of a smokescreen, an illusion of freedom, mostly manifest in the devolution of humanity towards a state of nature. Yet, as you have said yourself, authority exists, in the US, in the form of the big buck. Have you seen that phoney advice going around the Net about how to live your life with the proper moral attitude, allegedly by Bill Gates? Authority hasn't disappeared, then -- it has just become more "natural", less civilised. One is returning to Freud's primeval father and his authority instead of the band of brothers (who, rather, need to be transcend by a sisterhood). What a return to nature means for feminism is cultural regression.
I didn't mean "authoritarian" only "authoritative".
That is extremely interesting, Hattie. You know, there is something about the spirit of the present age that is wrong, wrong, wrong. Excuse me if I do not articulate myself well, but it is 2.14 am here, and I got up because Mike was snoring. My suspicion is that there is too much indulgence of people's naturalness these days. Secularism has not been the redeeming factor one might have hoped it would be. A return to nature was never a good idea, because it has led to men treating women as if they were all a gargantuan nurturing body -- his "mummy". And women, I was told tonight, are just as often inclined to treat males like a daddy. Where this happens, "civilisation" is a misnomer, because really nobody is truly civilised. Rather, everybody just falls back into a familiar psychological and social pattern in their relationships with other people. "Civilisation", as such, does not (is not permitted to) intervene. When this happens, we are all in a very low state, as I feel we are today. One simply has to have something to compare it to, to know this, however. When I went back to Zimbabwe, I felt I did not have to justify every little thing I said by trying to show that I had shaken it dry of all emotionalism (i.e. any personally discrediting content). At least in the white culture, there is not this form of social censure. People are just people, and their status does not have anything to do, in principle, with the degree to which they can demonstrate a separation between their mind and body. In black culture, where "civilisation" as externally imposed form has not intervened to such a degree (sorry if this sounds racist, but it is true), women are ascribed to be more emotional than men are deemed to be. That is, black culture is more genuinely "natural" in that it recognises men and women in terms of their relationships within the family. It's not good -- not good at all, this global "return to nature". Really, something else has to intervene --some reason, some values imposed from on high, something creditable.
Yeah, I cannot understand the whole of the context concerning Franzen. I'll take your word for where he fits, and his success or failure in doing so. I am only reflecting on the substance I posted in my paragraph above because I get the sense (confirmed somewhat from my recent trip to Zimbabwe) that the culture there still views women as representing "civilisation" and men as representing the wildman, as part of "nature". If I am right that this really is how the majority of colonial whites see it, it also confirms that this is probably how I was brought up to see it, too. If so, this would particularly account for my suspicion about gender roles in Western culture. After all, it would have been an effective switch, for me, to have start to see myself in terms of "nature" (at least at the subconscious level) whilst seeing males as representing the opposite symbolic pole of "civilisation" as such. I think that I needed to make that switch in my thinking in order to adapt successfully, to a very different culture, and that I did not make that switch in terms of my thinking. There is more to say about this. The male strategy of choosing to identify with civilisation rather than with nature seems linked to a movement from frontier cultures (wherein men were supposed to guard the peripheries) towards urban cultures (here, hierarchies, represented by the metaphor of the skyscraper seem more apt). Anyway, I do have trouble trying to see males, per se, as more rational than I. That doesn't work for me, and I can't seem to make the paradigm make sense.
If women are "the social order", are they then "civilisation" or "nature"? I see that "social order" is a broad enough concept to apply to both, whilst allowing for a certain degree of flexibility, for instance, in the mind of the male who sometimes wants to say, "They are 'civilisation', and thus oppressing the wildman within me," and at other times wants to say, "They are 'nature', and thus dragging down civilisation by preventing it from reaching its heights."
The idea of being "prestigious" ought to refer to that which is intellectually substantial, and not merely to that which is dominant, in the sense that patriarchal power is dominant. This is how patriarchal hierarchies drag down even good taste.
The key it so resist interpellation, by recognising it as an act of war. So when a patriarch cries forth, "Hey there, Lady Macbeth!", instead of responding, "Yes, it's me. What do you want?" we need to be ready to say, "I don't understand what you are saying. What do you think you see? Why are you seeing that?" One does this with the background of understanding that one who has to project onto others is a sick person, and the only way they can come to terms with their sickness, and perhaps recover from it, is if they are made to be alone with their projections. Otherwise, they will always try to get rid of certain aspects of themselves that they find uncomfortable, by projecting them into others.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2010 on Great blog post from Feminema at Hattie's Web
You say: "This [not being competitive] is a survival strategy, because women get destroyed for being competitive." I am largely, although not totally, in accord with your view expressed here. Generally, it is true, but not inevitably so. Patriarchy does try to destroy women who are competitive, because that is not the role it has allocated them. During the recent Australian electoral campaign there was an advert for the opposition party that was particularly troubling. I later decoded it as attributing the persona of Lady MacBeth to our now Prime Minister, as punishment for being competitive. Obviously, the opposition was trying to say that she had gone against her feminine nature. Had the opposition's camapaign succeeded better than it had, she would have been publicly "destroyed". But there is another sense of "destroyed", which I find more conciliatory to our cause. That is the sense in which one can allow the idea of having a perfect, little life to be fundamentally destroyed. This is a kind of training for revolutionary uprising. Each time a patriarch attacks me for whatever reason, he or she compels me to revisit the fact that it is impossible to live within a patriarchal society peacefully, that is, without rebelling. Such patriarchs do me a service in causing that part of me that wants to live quietly and harmoniously within an inimical social order to be destroyed. Each time they attack me, I destroy myself and recreate myself anew. I have heard the theory that one develops muscle in the body as a result of inwards tears in the existing fibre. Muscle is caused by inwards destruction and consequent rebuilding. So, I don't think we should be as worried as we generally tend to be, about destruction.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2010 on Great blog post from Feminema at Hattie's Web
Birth control pills will make you sick if you anticipate that this is their effect.
Mon dieu. I like Ugly. Actually not so much, except it doesn't let us off the hook, and therefore is more likely to correlate with intellectual integrity than its alternative (above).
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2010 on Improving my mind again at Hattie's Web
I think it is very good for women to tell more truths about their actual lives, because a lot of women are kept in the dark as to how the world really is, just because other women are always putting their best foot forward, whilst hiding parts of their experience that don't match up to their own or others' expectations. So we inadvertently reinforce patriarchal power, by making it seem as if it were possible for women to do well under its auspices -- when really that is not at all the case.
Exciting -- but haven't been able to see your video yet. Will keep trying.
Toggle Commented May 3, 2010 on Lava flow reaches the sea at Hattie's Web
I can't even listen to that dude, without feeling excruciating physical pain in my ear drums.
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Feb 3, 2010