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A Muslim Miss USA Is No Cause For Celebration

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As if the world needs more reasons for silly controversies! There comes pole-dancing, skimpy-bikini wearer, sultry Miss USA to make matters worse. So what's the hype all about?

A 'Muslim' 24-year-old has won the title Miss USA for the first time in history. How exactly she is Muslim escapes me though, since she herself stated that they celebrate both Muslim and Christian faiths in her home . And that, of course, is a load of bull to anyone who knows anything about either religion. In her sad attempt for political correctness, she makes nobody happy.

Many Muslim women are offended that their 'representative' in America is a previous contender in a "Stripper 101" pole dancing competition — although she denies that any "stripping actually occurred." Rima says, in her own defense, that this was a contest intended to teach women how to be "sexy." How is that revolutionary to women of any ethnicity? This is simply  modern day sex slavery.

womanslavesexI figure that the 2010 Miss USA fits perfectly the image of one of the male-fantasy figures out of Scheherazade's tales from A Thousand And One Nights. Dark, hot, and wearing next to nothing, she is no female empowerment icon; she is more along the lines of the figure on the right. So cliché!

This young woman apparently is also an aspiring actress who played a detective in a low-budget, commercial, cheesy — and raunchy! — misogynistic movie titled Throbbing Justice. To make matters worse, in her first scene she is called "sugar tits" by her co-star, as he was graciously letting her know that she is only good if they were making babies! So much for being a role model there.

While the above is the case for her being no source of pride for women and feminist movements in the Middle East, it should have been enough reason for the American media to cut her some slack and give her a break. How can she be labeled a "terrorist"? Well, the answer is, of course, she can be only labeled a "terrorist" in the spirit of racist bigotry. Since, in all honesty, other than being of "Muslim origin," she has nothing to do with Islam.

You want someone who is an example for moderate American-Muslim women, try Dalia Mogahed. She's got brains—and a job that does not involve "throbbing" members.

Rima Fakih is not an embodiment of the American dream—unless of course that dream includes a career as a porn star. Rima Fakih is not a "moderate" Muslim; because, for all intents and purposes, there is nothing moderate about making a career out of degrading women and helping to objectify them.

So who should be happy with the current 2010 Miss USA? The answer is simple: guys looking for more varied, ethnic eye candy, and a little help "down there."

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About FEM4Ever

  • Jordan Richardson

    While I agree with your critique on pageants in general (even though it is a little over the top in its aggressive sexism towards male “fantasies), I don’t agree with your dismissal as Rima Fakih in the religious sense. There are countless liberal Muslims (not moderate, but liberal) and many who take their particular faiths as significantly more progressive than our Western understandings would have them be. Saying she has “nothing to do with Islam” is simply inaccurate and offensive to Muslims who share her liberal/progressive beliefs.

    If anything is offensive about her beliefs, I’d argue it’s the notion that she considers herself an “American first.”

    I’m also not sure that this is “the modern day sex slavery,” especially considering that sex slavery still exists in all of its forms and pageants are not “modern” forms of it when one considers the countless abuses laid on women, men and children worldwide that have nothing to do with voluntary pageants and everything to do with REAL sexual slavery.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/fem4ever/ FEM4Eever

    Well, sex slavery in the figurative sense –and putting human trafficking aside, which I agree is undeniably a greater evil– portraying women in Bikinis (which are , by the way, almost identical to Belly-dancing costumes women were forced to wear while they were lining up for men to pick and choose from them back in the Sultan’s time!)is degrading. The fact that these women/girls are willing participants is irrelevant. People ‘participate’ in all sorts of bad things– just because they would like to be objects of male fantasies, that should not automatically turn them in role models.

    Male fantasies are fine, as long as they stay in the bedroom/bathroom– it is NOT OK that the whole culture, strike that actually every culture everywhere, should cater to these fantasies and revolve around these ideals. Women, and girls as young as 8, suffer needlessly trying to measure up to this impossible ideal of perfection.

    But then again, this is really beyond pageants–it’s everywhere!

    As for her ‘beliefs’, the girl never stated that she has any. We shouldn’t really put words in her mouth. She said that ‘her family is Muslim’, and that she ‘comes from a Muslim background.”

    I am saying that she has nothing to do with Islam, because simply, she has NOT stated that she IS a Muslim– Liberal or not. There is a notion, especially among Muslims, that if you are born Muslim you are Muslim.
    I diagree; having parents that are Muslim or Catholic or Jewish does not necessarily transfer down lineages.
    Religion is a personal choice. And to my knowledge, Rima Fakih has not presented us with any Liberal set of beliefs–which of course is her right.
    But we should not look at her as an envoy of Liberal Islam either.
    She is just a girl who wanted to be a beauty queen, and she did! That’s about it!

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Oh come on now. She was in a beauty pageant for goodness sakes! All this hype about her being “Muslim” or “Arab” is such nonsense. She’s from Lebanon. That’s Arab light. So she took part in a pole dancing promotion. All of her clothes remained on her body. The media has made much ado about nothing and we, the forever trusting recipients of media baloney, think that great strides have been made by her win. It’s a beauty contest. It’s a business which generates a profit for Donald Trump. No more. No less. If the new Miss USA can carve out a career from this win – God bless her! She seems to have a bright mind, striking looks and a sense of humor. Ah. That’s the ticket. Where this entire argument falls short is the lack of humor.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    The fact that these women/girls are willing participants is irrelevant. People ‘participate’ in all sorts of bad things– just because they would like to be objects of male fantasies, that should not automatically turn them in role models.

    Male fantasies are fine, as long as they stay in the bedroom/bathroom– it is NOT OK that the whole culture, strike that actually every culture everywhere, should cater to these fantasies and revolve around these ideals. Women, and girls as young as 8, suffer needlessly trying to measure up to this impossible ideal of perfection.

    Excellent point. This culture teaches men from a tender age men to objectify women and use them as sexual objects. It teaches men and women that women are supposed to use their bodies to accommodate male fantasies.

    Therefore, I am not impressed with the suggestion that because something is a male fantasy it should be automatically validated. I think men would do well to examine some of the problems their enculturated fantasy lives cause for the entire planet.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Well, Cindy, playing Devil’s Advocate here how about this? Most heterosexual males are mindless when presented with an “aesthetically pleasing” female body. Perhaps these women who participate in the pageant process are just using their wiles to get what they want.

    I completely agree with you that most men are taught at a tender young age to objectify women. The difference these days is that more women are becoming culturally aware and have enough smarts to turn that objectification around to their own benefit. I don’t think that Trump’s ownership of the pageant has that much to do with accommodating male fantasies as it does with raking in the cash. As long as the consuming public pays, Donald will provide.

    The new Miss USA strikes me as being quite savvy. She also strikes me as a woman who knows what she wants and has charted out a course to reach her objectives. If that includes taking advantage of the innate stupidity of misogynist men, so be it. I hope she rakes in the cash.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I don’t think that ownership of the pageant has that much to do with accommodating male fantasies as it does with raking in the cash.

    Okay, I will respond to your devilry with how I have come to see the problem. (takes a deep breath)

    The pageant displays women who model their bodies after the current male ideal–whatever the market says that is. These male desires–for women as objects–are not natural, (yet it is important that this is presumed, so they can be defended as ‘natural’ and therefore irreproachable, except by a few feminazi, bitches like me*), but created by the culture and often (as this same theme of objectification and entitlement to women’s bodies that runs through the world of pornography, which takes it to new heights and combines it with abuse, domination, racism, and degradation) at the expense of the male’s alienation from the experience of intimate sexuality.**

    The pageant, like all similar displays of women as objects, reinforces for girls, the cultural imperative to look a certain way (or be worthless). It teaches girls that this is something that is desirable and even necessary for women to do–model their bodies after male ideals of female body-image.

    Men are as much victims of indoctrination as women in this dynamic relationship. Because, really, it’s markets that dictate what men should want women to look like as it is the market that sells women to men as objects as they approach sexuality when they are so young and vulnerable–hello ‘dirty sluts’–goodbye innocent budding male intimacy and tenderness toward women. (and unfortunately, it sells men as objects to gay men as well) Queer men and queer women both move along gender lines with heterosexual men and women on this point.

    The women on the stage/runway were influenced as girls by past women, and they are in turn reinforcing what it is to be women to the next upcoming generation who are, now as young girls, watching them and learning. Women answering this injury by joining the domination game and alienating their feminine strengths is not doing the culture any good. I don’t find it encouraging when women decide to willingly become objects and commodities. I would prefer to nurture and support healthy impulses in my ‘fellow’ girls and women and my fellow boys and men. Joining the orgy of objectification by now using sadly indoctrinated men for fun and profit or revenge is not something that strikes me as at all psychologically healthy or worthy of pursuit.

    * ;-)

    ** Hope you got that, that was quite a sentence.

  • Rieka Arrakika

    Miss Universe only for political reasons only

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    …goodbye innocent budding male intimacy and tenderness toward women. (and unfortunately, it sells men as objects to gay men as well) Queer men and queer women both move along gender lines with heterosexual men and women on this point.

    I never quite looked at it that way Cindy but you are SPOT ON. Objectification does run rampant in Queerville and it runs on a parallel dynamic to Straightwood. Now that made me wonder something else. Up until the mid 20th Century, marriage was a pretty respected institution. Have our technological advances coupled with the raising of our social “consciousness” caused us to not recognize the value of a relationship? So maybe the best way to facilitate that brand of mutual respect is to actually put some teeth into those who have entered into a contract of marriage.

    Seems to me if we had a society that would not accept the rapid, pain free methods of divorce as the norm we would not have as serious an objectification problem. Does that make sense?

  • Anthony Drew

    A Muslim Miss USA is a historical news. I never heard of any Muslim who dares to be a world celebrity. Hats Off

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Miss Universe only for political reasons only….

    Gotto agree. The big rich American Jew-boy kissing Arab butt while he rakes in the cash. How typical of the Rahm Emmanuel types in America….

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/fem4ever/ FEM4Eever

    @Cindy eloquently expressed, and elaborated upon. Spot on!
    BTW, your blog is great–I love it. I am glad I had the chance to come across it.

    @Silas I see the demise of the family/marriage system as a direct result of the distorted male-female dynamics of our modern society.

    @Anthony Muslim world celebrities-hmmm,, let’s see. If you are only refering to modern day — since at some point in time (round the 8th-13th centuries) all ‘famous’ people were Muslim…
    we can name a few :
    Prof. Ahmed Zewail
    Muhamed Yunus
    Zeinedine Zidane
    Omar Sharif
    Walid IbnTalal
    Mohamed EL Fayed (just sold Harold’s)
    Marat Safin
    Cat Stevens
    You can find many more on Google. Many Muslims are Nobel Laureates by the way–more histotical than a measly pageant, in my opinion.

  • Mark

    I dunno. The sight of that woman’s shoulders in the picture has me in a complete moral flap.

    Where’s the fatwa?

    (For appropriate swim attire visit Acme Burka, LLC)

    One dawg’s ‘healthy behavior’ is another’s ‘road to perdition’…decisions, decisions.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    I’m sure I don’t quite get what you mean, again.

    But, all choices are equally valid and healthy? It’s all in how you look at it? Then, I suppose capitalism is a fine system. Plenty of people like it. One man’s ‘healthy system’ is another’s ‘road to perdition’…

    Of course, I am being facetious. There are healthy and unhealthy ‘choices’. If they coerced sexuality can be called a ‘choice’. And those choices have an impact on the human culture. There are also gray areas. They need to be discussed, imo, not dismissed as personal preference.

    I’m not really sure what bare shoulders in relation to morality has to do with anything. The moral issue is objectification, which can be examined for it’s counterpart–dehumanization.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    FEM,

    Thanks. :-)

    I have that same photo on facebook that you have on your ‘Girl Vs President’ post. I got it from the news article it was displayed with at the time. That is the first I saw anyone else with it. It’s great!!!

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Silas,

    I have a few things to think about first, but I really want to reply to your last post. If you don’t see a response this morning, just check back.

  • Mark

    Cindy, gotta go exploit myself. I hope to respond before tomorrow.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Have fun…say hi to Bindy. :-)

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    The big rich American Jew-boy kissing Arab butt while he rakes in the cash. How typical of the Rahm Emmanuel types in America….

    Trump is Jewish? I don’t think so.

    FEM4ever sparked a recollection in me with her list of Arab (Muslim) celebrities. I remember a debate in Granny’s house when I was a little boy concerning Funny Girl. Granny and her bridge club were talking about the Streisand movie and one of Granny’s Jewish friends said she would never see that movie because Streisand’s love interest was being played by an “Arab”. I think that was my first real experience in seeing the Jewish/Arab dynamic. And, I remember, that it really bothered me. Why? because a great deal of Granny’s friends were Syrian and Lebanese. I remember asking Granny why so-and-so would hate Arabs? It just didn’t make sense. Granny’s reply? “Oh, she’s just mad because Jewish slaves built the pyramids.” That probably confused me more but I let it go and continued doing whatever it is a little boy does to cause mischief. Moral of the story? Education begins at home.

    P.S. Cindy, looking forward to your skillfully crafted response.

  • Baronius

    What is it about beauty pageant contestants that I find so unattractive? I looked at a picture of this girl, and it reminded me of Carrie Prejean. Big nose, disproportionate mouth, and kind of boring from the neck down. I mean, in an average room of 20 women, she’d probably be the best-looking one, but she isn’t close to my idea of the perfect form, and I don’t think she’s close to the “average” person’s idea of the perfect form.

    I’m not saying that women should starve themselve to achieve the perfect look, or feel bad if they don’t have that look. But it’s mighty peculiar to me that beauty pageants have honed in on a specific look that isn’t that great. The pageant system must reinforce that specific expectation.

    Silas, your comment #8 is practically Bible-thumping. Good for you!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Silas,

    Granny did know that the pyramids were built long before the Jews migrated to Egypt, right?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Trump is Jewish? I don’t think so.

    No, he isn’t.

    Somebody tapped Ruvy’s metaphorical knee and got the usual reaction.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Thank you, Baronius. I’m slowly being convinced that the lack of respect for the marriage contract may very well play a major role in the disintegration of “family values”. Instead of shutting gays out, we should have welcomed them into the fold and forged stronger statutes which solidify marriage contracts. Like it or not, marriage isn’t about love. It’s referred to as a “contract”. Perhaps marriage licenses should only be issued when a couple registers with a prenuptial agreement in hand. The reason why I get so ticked off at the Far Right is because those that scream about family values the loudest usually get caught having affairs or divorcing (Newt Gingrich and Mark Souder come to mind).

    There is only one victim in any divorce with children – the offspring. Husbands and wives go on to other relationships while their spawn gets tugged in multiple directions. In this litigious society I am astounded that children of the divorced haven’t filed lawsuits against their respective parents for malpractice or dereliction of parental duties.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Granny did know that the pyramids were built long before the Jews migrated to Egypt, right?

    Probably not. In those days we were taught at catechism class that the Jews built the pyramids and were slaves to the Pharaoh. That was the whole point of the Exodus according to our dogma teachers.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d rather know where a person is coming from than to be blind sided by a racist who manipulates the system under the guise of “patriotism” or doing “God’s work”.

    Kind of late to be worrying about family values, Silas, while Rome is burning. We’re closer and closer to being at each other’s throat with each passing day, and you worry about the structure of the family.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t find this type of discussion as being terribly relevant given our economic and political climate. We’re facing a moral crisis, Silas, a crisis affecting the entire nation. It’s beyond “family values.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Silas –

    Probably not. In those days we were taught at catechism class that the Jews built the pyramids and were slaves to the Pharaoh. That was the whole point of the Exodus according to our dogma teachers.

    Yeah. AFTER most of the pyramids were built, the Hebrews got tired and took their toys and left the sandbox.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    From Wikipedia on Donald Trump
    Religion: Reformed Church in America.

    Learn sumthin’ new every day. Let’s amend that original statement then.

    The big rich American kissing Arab butt while he rakes in the cash. How typical of the corporate types in America….

  • Mark

    Cindy, while you might find general agreement in most instances on whether a particular behavior is healthy or not, every case will have its dissenters and thus will be a gray area. POVs are like assholes, etc.

    You recommend discussion as some kind of a solution. But do you see any possible discussion changing our esteemed politics editor’s mind on the relative value of capitalism versus socialism? Isn’t that the situation with each gray area? Dialogue with intent to dominate seems to be the built-in rule of debate.

    And consider the example of the guy who followed ancient practices of seeking Nirvana through the inhalation of smoke until his final diagnosis at which point he realized that enlightenment was killing him.

    Let’s discuss pork eating — healthy or perdition?

    I’m not really sure what bare shoulders in relation to morality has to do with anything.

    Merely a commercial for Acme Burka — making fun of seriousness as is my wont.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t find this type of discussion as being terribly relevant given our economic and political climate. We’re facing a moral crisis, Silas, a crisis affecting the entire nation. It’s beyond “family values.”

    Is it really, Roger? Homeland security begins at home. Education and racial attitudes begin at home. You can blame society all you want but society is made up of families (regardless of the dynamics). My Irish Catholic great grandmother went to her grave without speaking to her youngest sister for 55 years because the younger married a divorced Protestant. I always thought that was extreme. In retrospect, I’ve delved into the family dynamics of the period and looked at what was at play. In that search I came to understand why she arrived at that point. It doesn’t make it right.

    What I’m attempting to accomplish here is explain that our casual attitude toward things in the name of “free speech” and “personal liberty” have contributed to the disintegration of the American quality of life. That doesn’t mean I want to adopt rigid standards like the Far Right or take government completely out of our lives as Libertarians. We need to reach a consensus of what we can do to work together to make life better for our children. And, yes, if that means breaking up the Union in its present configuration, so be it.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    I’m going to respond in pieces. As I continue to consider the points, I’ll just post more (like I usually do).

    …while you might find general agreement in most instances on whether a particular behavior is healthy or not, every case will have its dissenters and thus will be a gray area. POVs are like assholes, etc.

    Yes, POVs are, does that make every one as valid as every other? Most of the ones we will hear are the unexamined product of domination culture. here is an extreme example to illustrate: Ted Bundy’s opinion about human needs is irrelevant (unless it addresses what made him a monster).

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    The gray areas are arrived at after initial comprehension of what dominator culture does and what is wrong with it. It is pointless for me to discuss what is healthy with people who do not see any of the damage done. They are necessarily unaware.

    It would be like talking to the anorexic about why she is not fat.

    And clearly I am not going to seek out the anorexic for feedback on what is healthy body image.

  • Mark

    Ted Bundy’s opinion about human needs is irrelevant (unless it addresses what made him a monster).

    Not to Ted or his choices of behavior.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    To your point on discussion. Dialogue with intent to dominate seems to be the built-in rule of debate.

    Yes, I see that too.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Not to Ted or his choices of behavior.

    Okay. And if I want to live in a culture of serial killers I will ask Ted what he thinks. But socially, I don’t think it is a mere matter of opinion, as what is healthy takes into account the needs of all humans at the outset (before they learn to want to cut themselves with razors) So, it takes into account the needs of humans who are social creatures–not just those with a selfish mission (like Ted Bundy).

    Let me ask you a question. Can you see the similarity between a burka and a bikini?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Both a burka and bikini serve to make women objectified and subservient. So the moral of the story? Get naked.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    lol Silas! That sounds like a good idea.

    Continuing with Mark…

    And consider the example of the guy who followed ancient practices of seeking Nirvana through the inhalation of smoke until his final diagnosis at which point he realized that enlightenment was killing him.

    This is outside the question I am dealing with as it is a personal choice based on personal opinion and not a personal choice that warps the humanity of cultural members.

    Let’s discuss pork eating — healthy or perdition?

    Same as above.

    Let’s discuss whether raping one’s daughter is healthy for HER. Is torturing someone healthy for THEM? These are the sorts of questions that impacts my views about what is healthy.

    What is healthy creates insecurity.
    What is healthy is to dominate.
    What is healthy is to mutilate.
    What is healthy is to abuse.
    What is healthy is to rape.
    What is healthy is to violate.
    What is healthy is to denigrate.
    What is healthy is to love.
    What is healthy is to respect.
    What is healthy is to value.
    What is healthy creates confidence.

    Do you doubt the culture of domination produces social sickness?

    For me, I try to apply my ideas of what is healthy to other people and determine what is healthy based on the way those other people feel about themselves. I try to determine which ideas are in vogue that harm people’s ability to feel okay. Do you think Ted Bundy does this when he decides what is healthy? Is his opinion just as valid as mine?

    Does his version of what is healthy actually produce a social culture of non-dominators who value themselves and each other? If not do you agree there are things that do promote this?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    My post sounds obnoxious and aggressive at the outset of rereading it. I hope you don’t think so. But if you do it is completely unintentional.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Cindy you never sound obnoxious. Not even objectified.

  • Mark

    Can you see the similarity between a burka and a bikini?

    They both look nice in a pale indigo?

    I understand your point.

  • Mark

    Do you doubt the culture of domination produces social sickness?

    It’s not about me. Not everyone will go for the domination explanation, and you can hardly make all who disagree walk the plank.

  • Mark

    Do you think Ted Bundy does this when he decides what is healthy? Is his opinion just as valid as mine?

    From whose perspective, Cindy? We’re going to go in circles. You’re inching up on denying Bundy’s humanity, aren’t you?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    It’s an evident question. Do you think Ted Bundy considers what is ‘healthy’ for his victims?

    It’s not circles at all. It’s the insinuation that not all people care about other people. How can you suggest they have a valid opinion about what is healthy for social humans if they don’t even consider them?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You’re inching up on denying Bundy’s humanity, aren’t you?

    And if I am?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Ted Bundy, to me, is only an example of what degradation does to humans. In other words he demonstrates what it is possible for humans to do to each other or to become. He is no longer human in any sense that has meaning to me. He was a monster. Take care to realize I don’t abuse animals or monsters.

    I am interested in understanding the value of having some other viewpoint. I’m not married to this idea. It’s not one I have considered. It’s very different than, say, what I think is ‘healthy’–something I have thought about considerably.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    From whose perspective…?

    From your perspective.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Again same idea. Is ever idea equally valid? If I say we should rape and hack apart women with machetes is that as

    The problem I have with your position is you seem to agree capitalism and domination are wrong in themselves; they cause sicknesses. But then you don’t seem to recognize any of those sicknesses as sick. They all seem to have an equal validity to you.

    ??? Am I wrong?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Reposting the first sentence:

    Again same idea. Is every idea equally valid? If I say we should rape and hack apart women with machetes is that as valid as far as determining what is healthy as say trying to find out what supports life and love?

  • Mark

    Do you think Ted Bundy considers what is ‘healthy’ for his victims?

    I’m not familiar enough with Bundy’s pathology to tell you what part his victims’ imagined health played. But notions of ‘saving’ the victims aren’t that unusual, are they?

    How can you suggest they have a valid opinion about what is healthy for social humans if they don’t even consider them?

    Most folks including Bundy, I’d bet, consider their own opinions to be valid. This consideration, not your views or mine, governs their behavior…

    And if I am?

    Who else is denied? Who else do you judge to has lost his humanity? Slippery slope.

    My perspective is that from Bundy’s perspective, your perspective is wack. And it’s Bundy’s perspective that counts when it comes to serial killing.

    …you don’t seem to recognize any of those sicknesses as sick.

    My recognition of sicknesses doesn’t impact the situation.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I will come back tomorrow. Talking to you is about as good as talking to Dave Nalle. Something you might like to understand has an actual impact on the world.

    Your aim is to reinforce good, I think. (a clumsy expression of the idea). Your actual attitudes serve to support sickness imo.

    I have to go away and reconcile that this is really who you are.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I have come to understand over the last few days that capitalism is converting men into monsters. Doesn’t affect you or yours, it is a new thing and will affect people like my nephew and younger men.

    Guess Ted Bundy’s opinion will rule. May as well if it’s as valid as anyone’s.

  • Mark

    It’s not hard to empathize with the pathological.

  • Mark

    Guess Ted Bundy’s opinion will rule.

    Validity is in the eye of the opinion holder.

    Capitalism, a form of serial killing (hyper bolically speaking, that it) does rule.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    My ideas have been developed based on a deep empathy with other women women who have been abused and used and with an understanding of what it is like to be a woman in this culture of domination.

    Yours is a guess. Good luck. Have fun giving equal time to serial killers.

  • Mark

    Clearly beyond my ability to understand and grok. ciao.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    So, in YOUR PERSONAL assessment of psychological health you ask for a vote and include serial killers POVs?

    You complain that conversations are dominated and then you go out of your way to misunderstand me. So far out of your way that you will make a serial killer valid.

    I feel as if you just have something against me. And that you are going to constantly go to lengths to create misunderstanding out of what could be understanding.

    You couldn’t understand me? You raised your children by voting with serial killers about what was healthy for them? You have no idea what I am talking about?

    WTF is wrong with you that you can’t just converse with me?

  • Mark

    What’s wrong with you that you can’t abide disagreement?

    You complain that conversations are dominated and then you go out of your way to misunderstand me.

    I understand your presentation. I also see the importance of the Other’s subjective experience — including the Dominator’s.

    …and your ‘my way or the highway’ approach begs for opposition.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    That’s my approach? My way or the highway? Because I hope to have some sign that you understand what I am saying?

    Okay. Gotcha.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Because I am hoping that a man I respect and value (or intermittently do of late) understands my POV, that is a reason for him to be oppositional and do everything he can to oppose me and make me feel I am wrong when my point is basically to uphold human dignity.

    And you have no problem with domination, yourself? All the domination in the conversations you mentioned must be due to some other inferior beings, not you.

  • Mark

    Of course I understand what you’re saying. Do you understand what I’m saying?

    You’re too sure of yourself for my tastes, I guess. Probably better for us to stick to trite agreement.

  • Mark

    I’ve had enough of your insults for one night.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Of course I understand what you’re saying.

    I’m supposed to know that how? My impression is that you are arguing with every single thing I am saying as if it is 100% invalid! So, how is your dialogue telling me otherwise?

    Should I become a mind reader? What exactly am I supposed to presume and what am I not supposed to?

    Do you understand what I’m saying?

    I understood what you are saying and moved beyond it. I am trying to express why. But moving beyond the great YOU is likely not valid.

    You’re too sure of yourself for my tastes, I guess. Probably better for us to stick to trite agreement.

    You know what? Some people have told me every time you point a finger you have three more pointing back at you. I wouldn’t repeat such a trite saying except ever since you first said it it reminds me of your. It’s you who are sure of yourself. Like some guru might consider himself.

    And you are too sure of yourself for MY tastes. So there!

    In fact, all your criticisms of me (and some of your criticisms of others) seem very applicable to you, yourself.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I am too sure of myself for your tastes? Do you think the same about men you converse with?

    Is Roger too sure of himself or Les, for your tastes, I mean?

  • Mark

    Do you think the same about men you converse with?

    Of course I do, you silly…..girl.

  • Irene Wagner

    Mark, Cindy, briefly, I need your help:
    When you think “social constructivism” what two names come to mind after Vygotsky?

  • Mark

    But moving beyond the great YOU is likely not valid.

    Do you want to continue conversing?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    lol…you idiot!

    I like you very much. I am very disappointed we cannot get along. But apparently we can’t.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I wrote 65 b4 you posted 64. I am game. I like you. I just am pissed at you a lot.

    Roger and I got past that. And now we have a mutual respect and understanding.

    And he’s not even an anarchist!

    I do hope we can converse. Even if we have to fight it out. I am game if you are.

    xxoo

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Irene,

    I have no idea about it. I only recently noticed myself that reality is socially constructed. I think Mark and/or Roger will have some references.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I arrived at that idea, that reality is socially constructed as a result of taking your POV in a thread with Bob Lloyd. (So, I owe it to you. Seeing that idea. :-)

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Is Roger too sure of himself…?”

    Careful, Mark. That has to be a trick question.

    Sorry for the interruption. Please continue.

  • Irene Wagner

    Cindy– I converted someone to social constructivism before I knew there was such a thing? LOL. As I recall, though, that conversation would’ve been the place for such a thing to have happened. The theory makes a lot of sense in some ways, but, me being me, I give the whole process this mystical Zeit-Gheist Heilig-Gheisty overlay that makes it fit in better with how I have experienced the world.

    It’s so good talking to you Cindy. I’ll shoot the breeze for a couple of minutes in case Roger or Mark shows up with a name or two to save me research time.

  • Irene Wagner

    I’m for sure going to read the article and make a relevant comment.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Irene…lol, I imagined it whilst arguing after you. I imagined it and conceived of how it worked. It made sense to me.

    Whatever man actually invented it, he was not the only one to see it.

  • Clavos

    How does one develop empathy? Are humans born with it, or is it a learned response? And what percentage of the world’s population doesn’t have empathy?

  • Irene Wagner

    Some people bring their kids up letting them run around the house naked. They don’t feel ashamed of their bodies, which is good, but they don’t have a sense that it is…best to avoid displaying them in public, especially in movies with names like Throbbing Justice.

  • Irene Wagner

    That was not in response to your comment, Clavos.

  • Irene Wagner

    Right Cindy, there were like…twenty-five of them who got a piece of the philosophical action. Oh well, I’m going to go with Bruber and … someone else.

    See ya later gal!

  • Mark

    I understood what you are saying and moved beyond it. I am trying to express why.

    But you haven’t convinced me that it’s legitimate to deny others’ humanity. I thought that you introduced Bundy as the extreme of a continuum; I’ve also read you accuse capitalists of being pathological. Can we discount them as inhuman and ignore their subjective experience? Off with their heads.

    My impression is that you are arguing with every single thing I am saying as if it is 100% invalid!

    Yet all that I’ve disagreed with is what I perceive to be your ‘objectification’ of the individual Other. While I’m not as convinced as you (yet, perhaps) that domination and hierarchy are the levers you want to use them as, I certainly consider them to be problematic for society when they are institutionalized beyond (ad hoc) necessity and view movement away from them to be healthy.

    It’s you who are sure of yourself. Like some guru might consider himself.

    And you are too sure of yourself for MY tastes. So there!

    As you pointed out above, I make guesses. In fact, for me it remains all guess work and maybe’s.

    I do hope we can converse. Even if we have to fight it out. I am game if you are.

    I’m trying to give up fighting for lent.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    But you haven’t convinced me that it’s legitimate to deny others’ humanity. I thought that you introduced Bundy as the extreme of a continuum; I’ve also read you accuse capitalists of being pathological. Can we discount them as inhuman and ignore their subjective experience? Off with their heads.

    I am not convinced that we can deny another’s humanity, myself. (Though I said, ‘what if I am’, I didn’t say I am. And I don’ think I am.)

    I wasn’t suggesting we ignore someone’s human experience. I was suggesting that every opinion is not equally valid. Am I not entitled to think that someone else’s opinion is wrong? Does that mean I am denying them their humanity?

    That seems to be the confusion I sense from you. And I wonder why it is there.

    Are you sure you are not reacting to my anger? Is that why you suspect I am denying people their humanity? I am angry at their inhumanity.

    As I actively work on my theory, I expose myself to a lot of horror. I am angry because it hurts to see it and to comprehend it. (And I do believe I comprehend it fairly accurately.)

    While I’m not as convinced as you (yet, perhaps) that domination and hierarchy are the levers you want to use them as, I certainly consider them to be problematic for society when they are institutionalized beyond (ad hoc) necessity and view movement away from them to be healthy.

    Okay. I feel I see how it fits together. And yes, I am convinced. And seeing that hurts. If you could see what I see, you might be angry. You might be horrified, sad, and angry when you looked at it.

    I can help you understand what I see, if you are interested. And I don’t mind challenges to my thinking if they seem appropriate. I may be mistaken, but your approach seemed to be way out of the way of what I was saying.

    How can you think we can begin a conversation by finding a flaw in another person’s position when admittedly we don’t even really understand that position? It felt as if you went out of your way to create a bone of contention rather than really wonder why I think what I do. It’s what it felt like to me. And I don’t really understand why, but it is sometimes what it feels like to me when we talk. As if you are critiquing me.Do you feel good when a person critiques you before they even comprehend you?

    You say things that interest me and make me think. I don’t look for ways to discredit you. I look for ways to understand you. It feels like you don’t respect me. You don’t ask why I think I see something, you seem instead to be looking for a thread to pull to unravel it. Maybe I said something that offended you personally. That is all I can think of for why you might want to pull threads instead of ask questions. And as I said I may be mistaken.

    I make guesses. In fact, for me it remains all guess work and maybe’s.

    I am skeptical about this assertion. There isn’t anything you don’t make guesses about? How then do you speak of being convinced/unconvinced?

    Are you open to the idea that torture might be acceptable? You seemed to be convinced it isn’t.

    (I make guesses as well. We can hardly do more than that, really. When I think about it, it’s all anyone does. I try to leave a door open in case I am wrong. I am convinced, that some of my guesses are correct and some are not.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sorry to have been out, folks to miss this conversation. I do hope not all is lost.

    Cindy, all I’d like to say about Mark’s point: there are limits to a dialogue. That’s where Habermas is wrong, Cindy, in thinking we’re all, at bottom, rational beings and that given best intentions, we can arrive at consensus (and truth). According to Lyotard, that’s a skewed, idealistic picture.

    So it’s not that Mark necessarily disagrees with your POV, Cindy, only that he’s quite realistic in that you can’t beat all people into accepting it. The “domination” argument will resonate with some, not all. Facts of life and we have to live with it.

    Thanks LB for show of support. But while I’m sure of myself most of the times, I’m just as amenable to changing my mind when confronted with a good counterargument. Can you say the same thing for yourself?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    he’s quite realistic in that you can’t beat all people into accepting it. The “domination” argument will resonate with some, not all. Facts of life and we have to live with it.

    Did I suggest that I believed I could convince the world by using my argument? That wasn’t my agenda. In fact I think that goal is entirely unreasonable. I don’t expect to convince the world. People convince themselves. I say what I say because it is what I see.

    If someone happens on it and gets something from it, then fine. If not, then fine.

    I think you are projecting your intent when you comment onto me.

    If I were interested in convincing I would tailor my argument to the individual.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, let’s say he thought you had unreasonable expectations and responded accordingly. I’m surmising.

    Maybe the following pragmatist argument will help: there are no truths, only alternative descriptions. And these descriptions are valued according to human purposes they serve. And you can’t really convince a person that your purpose is more important than their. If anything, other forms of appeal are necessary – stressing the word “appeal.”

    Understand, Cindy, I am only trying to diffuse your disagreement with Mark, nothing else. I’m not trying to project anything.

    Why don’t you tell me then what this disagreement was about, in your honest opinion?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “I was suggesting that every opinion is not equally valid.”

    You’re right about that, Cindy – you know that, I know that, and so does Mark. The question is, where do we go from here?

    As to denying someone’s humanity or saying they should re-think their life experiences, these are but moves in a moral language game, the game of exhortation. That’s all we are reduced to, there are no other resources.

    The point I suppose it, it’s awfully hard to try to argue for there being any “objective” standard, though I’ll be the first the admit that we must try.

  • Mark


    I am not convinced that we can deny another’s humanity, myself. (Though I said, ‘what if I am’, I didn’t say I am. And I don’ think I am.)…That seems to be the confusion I sense from you. And I wonder why it is there.

    #43 – He is no longer human in any sense that has meaning to me. He was a monster.

    My confusion is attributing meaning to words?

    I was suggesting that every opinion is not equally valid.

    I was suggesting that validity is not a straight forward intersubjective criterion.

    How can you think we can begin a conversation by finding a flaw in another person’s position when admittedly we don’t even really understand that position?

    What I said was concerning your comments: One dawg’s ‘healthy behavior’ is another’s ‘road to perdition’…decisions, decisions.

    Somehow you got from this introduction of the Other as a subject that I was saying that all opinions and decisions are equally valid from some universal point of view, constructing a strawman which you have tried to corner and attack repeatedly. You further decide that I don’t understand your position?

    Are you open to the idea that torture might be acceptable?

    I am open to the idea that some people find torture acceptable. Does that mean that I’m claiming even the possibility that you and I who reject torture are wrong and they right?

  • Mark

    Oh, and one other thing. When I say that I’m not sure that domination and hierarchy are the levers that you want to use them as, what does that mean to you? It seems that you think that I’m saying that I don’t see them active in society.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    84 –

    It means to me that you don’t see that they play the role in pathology that I see they do.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Somehow you got from this introduction of the Other as a subject that I was saying that all opinions and decisions are equally valid from some universal point of view, constructing a strawman which you have tried to corner and attack repeatedly. You further decide that I don’t understand your position?

    No, I didn’t get it from that comment. As far as I can see, that seems to be what your entire argument with me would have me do in order to not make the mistake you are suggesting I am making.

    That is all I get from your argument.

    If I say that my opinion is that domination is pathological, why are you arguing that to someone else it isn’t? And what choice does this criticism leave for correction but to take some other person’s opinion as being as valid as mine.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    And further, if that is not correct you will have to tell me what argument you have with me expressing my opinion just the way I expressed it.

  • Mark

    It means to me that you don’t see that they play the role in pathology that I see they do.

    Could it mean that I’m not sure that you will be able to move society by making them your primary focus?

    If I say that my opinion is that domination is pathological, why are you arguing that to someone else it isn’t?

    Because I think you are offering an over simplified description.

    …what argument you have with me expressing my opinion just the way I expressed it.

    None. I’m glad that it satisfies you. Why does the fact that it doesn’t satisfy me make you so mad?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What I say, Mark and Cindy, let’s smoke a peace pipe.

    I’ll provide the ingredients.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What I say, Mark and Cindy, let’s smoke a peace pipe.

    I’ll provide the ingredients.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    79 – Roger,

    Sorry, I see where you got that, now. Mark said to me:

    You recommend discussion as some kind of a solution.

    I wasn’t recommending discussion in a general sense as a solution.

    I meant that some things are clearly damaging, and other things are gray areas. In order to determine whether the gray areas were damaging or not it would take discussion. So, if I am trying to discover whether a particular behavior is destructive, I cannot always just analyze it with the information available to me. I would have to discuss it with other people who it has affected and get input from them to decide if it seemed destructive. So, while it is evident that rape and torture and murder are destructive it is not as evident that objectification is. And it would take discussing it with the people it harms in order to see that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, #89 was posted hours ago, only clicked in this moment, whilst unaware there’s an ongoing discussion.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy, as per recent videos, domination is structural, embedded in the ways of society. And in very subtle ways, don’t you agree?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy,

    There is one way to summarize the nature of your apparent disagreement. Mark may be more reticent to speak on the presumed efficacy of “solutions” to our social problems than you or I may be. I have an inkling he’s coming from a philosophical tradition that perhaps some things are best left unsaid. I, on the other hand, and you too, perhaps, am trying to say “the unsayable.”

    Mark is free of course to offer his own version/understanding as to the nature of your “quarrel.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Just occurred to me. Perhaps the disagreement has more to with style rather than content – if only we could speak more “hypothetically” rather than from a position of assumed/presumed objectivity.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Which isn’t to say that style is separate from, or that it doesn’t dictate, content.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    …if only we could speak more “hypothetically” rather than from a position of assumed/presumed objectivity.

    I don’t think I want to argue about hypothetical and objective. I already went there on the other thread and I can’t see it ending in tears again. I am talking about the practical. I suppose I could have replied like this to Mark:

    I am interested in the creation of society that is based on what I see as real human needs. Love, respect, compassion, self-confidence, things of that nature. That is the society I want. There are other people who want these same things as me. It is these people I am interested in answering to. I am not trying to change Ted Bundy or anyone else. His opinion of what is healthy is not practically relevant to those of us who want to find out which behaviors/attitudes/ideas lead toward the creation of a culture based on the values I listed above.

    So, if I want to find out if hugging a baby or beating it helps it to grow into a loving, compassionate, etc. human. I will not need to ask Ted Bundy what he thinks is healthy. I will need to look at the effect hugging and beating have on babies. It is the babies who I will ask.

    The opinions of people who do not want the things I want, while relevant to them, are not relevant to my goal of examining the social world and trying to determine what fosters and what destroys those qualities I listed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cindy, you do realize that you, Mark, Les and I have pretty much the same objective in mind – about that there should be no doubt.

    I’m only trying to discern the nature of your apparent disagreement with Mark (and vice versa), which is to say, I’m groping.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “The opinions of people who do not want the things I want, while relevant to them, are not relevant to my goal of examining the social world and trying to determine what fosters and what destroys those qualities I listed.”

    Except that they are relevant in the following way: there are people like that and we have to deal with it.

    I understand now that this may not enter as a consideration when discussing possible alternatives to the present society with such as Mark or me, but they do enter in the practical sense.

    Response, please?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “in a practical sense”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps I should rephrase – the object is to change the world, not just to understand it.

    That’s why Ted Bundys and alike cannot be ignored.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Except that they are relevant in the following way: there are people like that and we have to deal with it.

    Well, yes they are relevant to other purposes. Not to my particular purpose. Let me clarify by saying that I am the checkout clerk at the market. While the lack of goods on the shelves ultimately affects me because no goods = no job, I have not chosen to work in the restocking department, my job is checking people out.

    Likewise, I do want to move the world but I prefer to do it by providing information that other people might find useful toward the ultimate goal. I don’t have to do all the jobs, right? I can specialize.

    Tracing social effects is what I do best, and what I find fulfilling.

    I have more posts for Mark, maybe a bit redundant to this one.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I spent about a year studying serial killers at one time, Roger. It was useful.

    I also, as a side issue, looked at the subject of women who loved serial killers and would develop relationships with them. Scared my mother silly when she saw me reading a book about that.

    I agree the Ted Bundy’s cannot be ignored.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anyway, we should talk, OK?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    What’s wrong with you that you can’t abide disagreement?

    When I am angry at you it is always because I feel hurt. I have never been angry at you for any other reason. I could accept disagreement if I felt understood and felt I understood what your disagreement was about. If I am hurt it is usually because I feel I am being discounted, not just disagreed with. Sometimes I misunderstand, sometimes I don’t feel I get enough feedback to understand (83,84, 88 are very helpful) and sometimes I don’t express myself in a way that is understandable, though I think I have. And of course it only matters if I care about you. If I don’t care about someone, then they could criticize me , discount me, etc. ’til the cows come home, because I would never feel hurt.

    “#43 – He is no longer human in any sense that has meaning to me. He was a monster.”

    My confusion is attributing meaning to words?

    No, you are right. I had forgotten that angry outburst. It was reactionary and feeling based (nonrational). Which is why I forgot I said it. It was reacting to the idea which I thought meant I needed to somehow validate his opinion in my work.

    I think you were speaking to a need to consider the other’s opinion about what is healthy for purposes of communication with them or, say, developing a community with them, etc. Then, I would agree.

    But those are not my primary goals. So, I didn’t understand why you would suggest that my failure to consider disparate opinions was a liability. I think I was not being clear that my point required certain assumptions about what is healthy and what is not. The only relevant audience are those members of the community that I already agree with about what is healthy. And my interest is learning the conditions that support and damage that condition as defined.

    I cannot study what would promote healthy conditions if ‘healthy’ had an open definition. Or as I wrongly understood you to be saying, if Ted Bundy’s version of healthy had to be counted in that definition somehow.

    And yes, you are right I did think you were speaking from a universal sense.

    —–

    Because I think you are offering an over simplified description.

    Yes, I agree, I often am. I am also making assertions without explanation or background. Except where necessary like when Silas picked up a discussion with me. Then I would elaborate. This makes what I say maybe mostly understandable only to those who already do understand. Like, say, FEM4Ever. Often I will post a video or something so that the person can watch it and thereby ‘see’ for themselves if they want.

    I guess my way to move the world (in the thread )is more or less limited to provide insights or put out ideas that might get picked up by a mind that finds the information useful for its own purposes. Like I find Chomsky or Foucaults ideas useful, say. And two people did see it this way. So, that is okay.

    Thanks for reading these book-length posts.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good post, Cindy. I’m still waiting.

  • Fatima

    Sorry you “suffered needlessly trying to measure up to this impossible ideal of perfection.” You are right she is ideal of perfection, she is also real. If you are Western (American, British etc.), we kind of have an idea why you ended up in Egypt, could not find a Western man to accommodate you, not even an Afro! No wonder you are consumed with jealousy.
    If, however, you are Egyptian, then I just wasted a precious minute of my time.

  • Mark

    I think you were speaking to a need to consider the other’s opinion about what is healthy for purposes of communication with them or, say, developing a community with them, etc. Then, I would agree.

    If you keep in mind that the Bundy set includes all dominators, then you might see how (from my perspective) your initial argument implies that it’s ok to ignore/discount the subjective experience of ‘everyman’. Then the ‘good guys’ with pre-assigned seats on the lifeboat are simply those whose ideas resonate with yours or with whom you sympathize.

    But those are not my primary goals. So, I didn’t understand why you would suggest that my failure to consider disparate opinions was a liability.

    Dear Marat, one of my primary goals is to avoid a blood bath.

    If it works at all, it works for all.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    …your initial argument implies that it’s ok to ignore/discount the subjective experience of ‘everyman’

    Okay, maybe we disagree, maybe not, could you just confirm what you think my initial argument is..in a few words?

    In order to develop an understanding of what is healthy, I intimately look at the experience of everyman and how his experience effects him. I don’t think that everyman has the insight to comprehend how his experience effects him. I think indoctrination causes blindspots. Roughly: Areas where we don’t see that we have not chosen our ideas willingly.

    So, he knows he feels alienated, he doesn’t know why. He knows something is wrong, he doesn’t know how it got at way. That is what I am looking for…to illuminate the subjective experience of everyman by offering potential insight into why he is in pain.

    My own personal belief is that were he to be able to have chosen for himself (instead of having been manipulated), he would be healthier (not in pain…in the end, with insight, this pain erupts as his admission)

    It seems that built into indoctrination is the belief that we choose to think what we think. The problems we experience are often blamed on something or someone else.

    So, I don’t think I am discounting the experience of the alcoholic so much as recognizing he is not happy because he drinks, but he drinks (poetic oversimplification) for the sake of becoming happy.

    To discount seems to me to just fail to hear or consider. To make irrelevant by not seeing. To see and disagree is not to discount.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “in the end, with insight, this pain erupts as his admission”

    Let me make that clearer. The drug addict, with insight, admits he feels terrible, not great.

    The boy who has been convinced there is something wrong with him (mind and body) and has shaped his body and mind to be what society forces upon him as its version of masculine…eventually, with insight, admits that this hurt him.

    So, I guess I think that my version of what is ‘healthy’ is closer to ‘objective’–whatever that means. I guess I mean that I think that love, respect and value are actual real human needs, not just matter of ‘my’ opinion.

    This is reinforced specifically by the evidence I see that whenever everyman gains the insight and gets insight, he recognizes them himself as valuable. He recognizes his sickness is caused by their absence.

  • http://takeirorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    So Cindy, what say you to Thoreau’s insight that most men lead lives of quiet desperation . . . ?

    How different is that statement from the statements and or arguments you are advancing?

    Would Mark find it objectionable as well?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    If it works at all, it works for all.

    We may disagree here too. I don’t think I see that it is possible. At least for now, I don’t. I think the anarchist idea regarding free association is important just for that reason. I don’t think I would be happy in a community that worked for Ted Bundy. I can’t imagine my community would work for him. Ted Bundy’s world requires coercion and dominator. Mine requires their elimination.

    A world that works for dominators requires some to be dominated through coercion. It strikes me as unreconcilable.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    “requires coercion and dominator,” should be: requires coercion and domination.

  • http://takeirorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Perhaps the idea Mark’s getting at is that we must lead by example. What are you doing to the dominator if you remove yourself from the domination-subjection nexus?

    Ted Bundys will continue along the same path because it works for them. Well, what would be the result if you were to throw a moneky wrench into the works?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    Like I said, I prefer to specialize. Can you see the value of deconstructing–for the parent, or the ‘teacher’, or just the individual–how domination is promoted and what results it produces?

    Can I give the job of leading by example to some other person and just get on with doing what I do? Is there ONLY leading by example that the world needs and that is the only valuable avenue of working along? So that if I just can’t be a good example, I am not valuable at all?

    What if I am too damaged, at the moment, to lead by example? I don’t have the love for people I used to, and I find it very difficult to be my best. I have spent a long time with no support or community to reinforce me. And I think we need that. It’s why we seek out others for counseling. At least I needed that.

    I vacillate between reconnecting and running from people. I still often think life is meaningless. (That is depression.) I can’t be a good example. I can only try to root out what other possible ways we can be in order to prevent misery.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Gotta get ready to go.

  • http://takeirorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I get you, Cindy. But I don’t think you’re alone, and I haven’t meant to set myself up on a pedestal.

    Which perhaps goes to clear up another possible source of misunderstanding: while we’re trying to analyze the state of society and look for solutions, we’re also doing a kind of self-therapy.

    Did Mark that this into account?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Hey Roger,

    I saw something great today. I was amazed. Where we had lunch there were 5 businessmen sitting at the next table. They were passing around a book and the title seemed intriguing so I asked to look at it.

    I asked if this trend was in the zeitgeist among and a couple of them seemed like their business persona melted away momentarily; they grinned happily and one enthusiastically said yes. I could hardly believe it.

    It is a good sign. Who would expect business people, regular average run-of-the-mill, golf-playing, resort-staying business people to concern themselves with bringing the ‘soul’ into business?

    Marvelous… :-)

  • Mark

    …could you just confirm what you think my initial argument is..in a few words?

    Domination is and is the cause of unhealthy social behavior and can be identified and understood through discussion with the dominated.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes, Cindy, sounds encouraging.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    To revisit the issue on the table, perhaps you might try different styles of writing – separating the personal/therapeutic from the “objective,” detached (or analytical).

    A question: Think for example of Bourdieu’s mode of presentation (as per the seven videos). In what sense was it unobjectionable and how did it differ from your usual mode?

  • Mark

    “requires coercion and dominator,” should be: requires coercion and domination.

    This ‘mental slip’ in #112 justifies my concern.

    I will continue my admittedly ‘unrealistic’ search for the omelet made without breaking eggs.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    And BTW, this is his most acclaimed book.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Mark just left you with a good clue, Cindy.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Do you think that I think that dominator and dominated are mutually exclusive conditions?

    Domination is and is the cause of unhealthy social behavior and can be identified and understood through discussion with the dominated.

    Okay, I think I see some problems. I think these conditions would be required for me to be satisfied that that is a more accurate assessment of what I think.

    1) I would like to change the words ‘social behavior’ to ‘social and psychological effects’.

    2) The word ‘discussion with’ would be better replaced with the words ‘focus on the effects as manifested in the dominated’ (whether we can determine this through actuall ‘discussion’ is not the salient point) . (I used ‘discussion’ as Roger often says a shortcut.)

    So what I mean is, if I want to understand how something effects someone, I have to look at that someone, not the someone who is causing the something to occur. So, the attention is paid to the effect on the dominated. Example: If I want to know about the effects of torture on the tortured I will not ask the torturer what those effects are, because it is unlikely to result in accurate information about what the dominated is experiencing. And that is what I am trying to find out–what is the experience/outcome/effect of domination on the dominated. To see what that effect is we need to have an understanding of it from the perspective of the injured party. We can’t rely on the dominator to give an accurate or empathetic account. I don’t expect the torturer to detail the fear and agnony of the tortured. I expect him to marginalize it. (This is not to say that torture is not also affecting the torturer at the same time. But to see that effect we have to change focus to the torturer–see below.

    Simplistic Examples:

    Is warterboarding torture? Torturter: ‘No.’ Or “That depends on what the law says.” Or Etc. Tortured: “Yes, it is.”
    Does circumcision cause pain? Doctor: “No, babies don’t feel pain the same way as adults.” Baby: “Ouch.”

    3) The dominator is always a subset of the dominated. Domination replicates itself. And, the act of individual dominating, is itself, a social effect of having been dominated.

    So, for example, if my question is, “How does domination create serial killers or misogynistic people or torturers?”, I have to put my attention on them as the dominated.

    Granted, Ted Bundy can tell me things about domination, he as (the dominator) just can’t ‘inform’ me of his own victims’ (the dominated) perspectives.

    That said, I just realized I use multiple meanings for the word dominator. Sometimes I use dominator to differentiate a role we see being played out in an instance (and in instances I am a dominator). And sometimes I use dominator as a pjejoritive label for a person who embraces domination (derives pleasure from it or justifies it, intentionally or not).

    I have to think about the implications of doing this–not just for its creation of confusion in communicating. But also, I may be doing it for a reason that may be helpful to my progress to examine.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think he’s making a different point, Cindy, trying to get you away from “personalizing” things.

  • Mark

    Do you think that I think that dominator and dominated are mutually exclusive conditions?

    …..if you think that I think that you think that dominator and dominated are mutually exclusive conditions, then I think that you think that I think you’re _____ (fill in the blank)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Okay, I will be back later.

    I will have to reassess. That miscomprehension only took me 3 hours. Likely I will need another 3 hours to arrive at my next one. :-)

    (and it will have to wait until I return in a couple hours)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Mark,

    I don’t understand 127, but I probably don’t need to. I would have to be R.D. Laing, I think.

    Anyway, I think that probably I won’t get to confirm that understand what we (you and I) disagree about. But at least I understand what Roger thinks we disagree about. And that is likely as close as I will get. And that’s good enough.

  • Mark

    Good enough.

  • VoverTyrants

    All of this chit-chat is meaningless until there is a well-supported Christian church in the capital of every Middle East country. The rest is pure hypocrisy and takiyya.