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The Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad Controversy

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Next weekend millions of viewers will tune into Super Bowl XLIV featuring the New Orleans Saints versus the Indianapolis Colts. The Super Bowl is a huge event featuring our football champions and over the years it has become the place where the most unique, expensive, and much anticipated commercials are launched. TV Super Bowl ads have become such a phenomenon that sales for 30-second commercial slots sell for $2.5 million to $3 million, and each year it reaches an estimate of over 100 million viewers. These Super Bowl commercials have taken on a life their own by becoming themselves a competition, with ratings, winners and losers including the best of 2009 and my favorite, the “Budweiser: Horse in Training Ad.”

However, with popularity comes controversy, and TV Super Bowl ads are no different. Last year, PETA was under fire for their “sexual” commercial promoting vegetarianism, NBC deemed it too explicit for the Super Bowl and it was banned. The reason: the “PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards,” stated Victoria Morgan, NBC advertising spokesperson. Over the years other TV Super Bowl ads that were considered too “racy for the masses” have been banned. This year, women’s groups are riled up over an ad scheduled to air before and during the CBS broadcast of the 44th Super Bowl game, celebrating the story about the 2007 Heisman Trophy-winning American football quarterback for the Florida Gators, Tim Tebow.

So, why are “women’s groups” creating such a fuss over the Tebow ad? Tebow is a talented, successful football player: he’s young and hot “to boot.” But wait, Tebow is a Christian whose mother suffered a life-threatening infection while she was pregnant. Doctors expected a “stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect her life.” But Pam Tebow, despite the odds, chose life for her son. Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian ministry, of which the 30-second spot will feature college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, purchased the ad. They will share a personal story centered on the theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life.”

In spite of the fact that no one has seen the “Tebow Family Ad,” women are crying foul before the game even begins, calling it an anti-abortion promotion. According to Reuters, the Women’s Media Center and over 30 other liberal and women’s advocacy groups sent a letter to CBS urging them to “cancel the ad” and “refuse” Focus on the Family’s or any other advertisement promoting their agenda. Jehmu Greene, the president of the Women’s Media Center, told Reuters, “We are calling on CBS to stick to their policy of not airing controversial advocacy ads… and this is clearly a controversial ad.”

This past week, in an interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, Greene was questioned about her “beef” with the Tebow Family Ad and she responded by claiming the ad was an “attempt to undermine a woman’s right to make decisions about her reproductive decisions” and that the ad would somehow “take away a women’s right to choose.”

Apparently CBS has reversed their stance on airing “advocacy” commercials during the Super Bowl, providing they are “responsibly produced,” and an NFL spokesman weighed in: “CBS standards and practices department approved the content of the ad as appropriate for the audience. We take no issue with CBS’ decision.” Focus on the Family’s Gary Schneeberger has come out stating, “There’s nothing political and controversial about it. […] When the day arrives, and you sit down to watch the game on TV, those who oppose it will be quite surprised at what the ad is all about.”

Still sports enthusiasts and columnists like CBSSports.com’s Gregg Doyel, are uncomfortable with the Tebow Family Ad because it interferes with what Doyel calls “the holiest day of the year.” What is quite interesting is that our society is okay with sexually charged commercials like the Carl’s Jr. Paris Hilton ad. And when commercials include the constant pimping of pharmaceutical drugs like Viagra, we don’t protest. We don’t even cringe at the fact that fast food commercials continually sell us poor health and obesity, of which most Americans turn a blind eye to what PETA does prove: widespread animal cruelty in our food industry (a heartbreaking and angering reality). Although TV Super Bowl ads adhere to a higher standard, they do promote a lot of beer, so it is refreshing that CBS will air a wholesome, positive advertisement and women’s groups can then take their “pom poms” somewhere else.

Early on when Tim Tebow met with reporters last Sunday in Mobile, Alabama before beginning preparations for the Senior Bowl, he made an effort to tackle the controversy by standing up for what he believes. Then with admiration and gratitude he pointed out, “My mom is a very courageous woman…”

By many people’s standards, Pam Tebow is a role model and the Tebow Family Ad just might go all the way to the end zone, scoring a touchdown on February 7, 2009, uplifting hearts and minds, marking it a victory for free speech and dare I say, us pro-lifers –– possibly catapulting it to my new favorite TV Super Bowl ad!

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About Christine Lakatos

  • doug m

    A victory for free speech yet it cost over $3 mil? There seems to be a disconnect there

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Doug, LOL. You are so right, free speech is not “free” at all these days. But I am sure there is a point in there somewhere.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I don’t see anything wrong with the ad. As a matter of fact, I would have gone a step further and said that 45 years ago, Barack Obama’s own mother would have been urged to get an abortion because her baby daddy was Black. And we can all thank God that she made the decision for life.

    I’m deeply disturbed that CBS has denied that gay dating site ad. To me, the ad is hysterical and will thrive in viral video. And what the far right fringe doesn’t realize is I would venture to say there’s a silent majority of LGBT folks who are staunchly pro-life.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Silas, I just heard about the “Man Crunch Ad,” and I actually agree, what the heck? I only saw a clip and it seemed fine, buy I will have to check it out in its entirety later.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Silas, for what’s it worth, if you check out my link to the other TV Super Bowl ads that have been banned, one was due to the fact that a dog bit its owner. There are others…

    Bud Light Good Dog
    Bud Light, Super Bowl XL
    In 2006, the “Good Dog” ad was banned from television when it featured a well-trained dog biting his owner’s neighbor in a move that forces him to drop his beer.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    It’s funny. I mean, come on, American football is the gayest sport ever! It makes total sense to run that ad.

  • http://bob-lostintime.blogspot.com/ Miss Bob Etier

    Pro-choice should not mean, “you can choose to have an abortion.” It should mean, “you can choose to have the baby or to have an abortion.” What’s so tricky about the word “choice”? Are there people that really don’t get that it comprises alternatives? Tim Tebow’s mom made her choice, and it was the right choice for her. Is it wrong to respect that? Or does pro-choice mean “you can recommend a choice as long as it’s OUR choice”? Insightful article, Christine. –Bob

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I’m deferring to Bill Maher on this one, which Christine you touched on:

    New rule: The Super Bowl must stop pretending it doesn’t take advocacy ads. In turning down ads from certain charities like PETA, CBS and the NFL claim they don’t accept advocacy ads, which is ridiculous because every Super Bowl ad is an advocacy ad, and what they mostly advocate is eating fried food and drinking beer until you explode.”

    Fuck it, run political ads. It’ll give us something to talk about the next day rather than which commercial we liked more: the one with the talking koala bear or the talking wallaby.

  • STM

    Silas: “It’s funny. I mean, come on, American football is the gayest sport ever!”

    Lol. I must say, as a rugby aficionado and fan of a real man’s sport, and looking at American football from an overseas perspective, the stretchy lycra pants (some teams even have spangly ones!), the 1960s motorcycle helmets and the big shoulder padding a la Dallas circa 1982 are a real worry.

    I realise they use pads in case they get a bit of a knock, but the other worry is the fact the players don’t play a full game and there are separate teams for attack and defence.

    Come on, get a grip or get a new handbag.

    I’ve also heard that some of the players also sport mullets and high hair.

  • zingzing

    oh, fer fuck’s sake, stm. now it’s “gay?”

  • STM

    I didn’t it zing! Silas did.

    I just worry about some of the gear they get around in. I mean, seriously, spangly lycra pants that come down just below the knee??

    All that stuff went out years ago. They need a new designer. It’s too ’80s.

  • Irene Wagner

    Yes, STM, that look leaves the shins way too vulnerable. I’m thinkin’….maybe this?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Christine,

    I like your style of writing, clear and concise without too many insults and jabs.

    The PETA commercial could not be viewed unless you sign in, maybe you can post it a different way.

    I don’t see the problem with airing this commercial and I think I’m way out there on the left right now.

    Though I do say, “Let all commercials air during the Super-Bowel or any other time because, what the heck, if you have the money then by all means spend it on what ever you want to jam down peoples throats.”

    This is the American capitalist way.

    ;\and there’s not much the viewers can say or do about it anyway. This just my opinion.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    #13) Jeannie: I think you are over 18….but mine goes right through. But you can access that same ad (the extended version that includes the the animal cruelty) on the link I posted at the end about PETA. WARNING, the sexual aspect is nothing compared to the animal cruelty part will give you nightmares.
    PS: Thanks for the compliment. Coming from you it means a lot! :)

    #8) Matt: Love Bill Maher even if he way out there on the left and kind of mean at times. Isn’t he back this month? And you are absolutely correct, they advocate a shit load of alcohol and junk food.

    #7) BOB: Thanks too!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSS! xo

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Christine,

    HA,HA,HA, waaaay over eighteen! :) see? Who says people with different beliefs can’t get along…OK, I’ll look again. thanks!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    J: lol, me too. Gotta run. Have to take my CPR class today for my ACE Fitness. Have a great Saturday all.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Christine,

    Good luck with CPR class, when you come back you might have to revive me!

    I just watched, “Meet Your Meat” which was much more upsetting than a commercial depicting sex with a head of broccoli!

    I must add that because of the fact that these commercials only show women and not men is what makes them unfair for all of us. not out of any puritanical beliefs on my part.

    :} Speaking of exercise, “Why does the treadmill in my bedroom turn into a clothes hanger so fast?” and I better go jump on it again.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    oh, fer fuck’s sake, stm. now it’s “gay?”

    Yep that was me and I maintain my stance. I’ll go out on a limb and say that at minimum 40% of professional football players have the potential of being fence hoppers. And, who cares? I mean, sport is sport. What an athlete does in the privacy of their lives is their business. Unless, of course, you’re an athletic member of Congress — then it becomes OUR business (well, not really, just the hypocrites!).

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

    And in other objections about the PETA commercial. Some women feel that treating women like animals in order to save animals is pointless or worse.

    Lets’ treat women badly so we can sell the idea of not treating animals badly? That does not compute. Using women’s bodies to sell things? A world where they will be considered tits and ass? Is that the world you want for your daughters? How do women accept this?

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

    I still have a problem with Super Bowl advertising as a venue to score political points. If the pro-choice interests aren’t sufficiently funded to present the opposite view, they’re screwed.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    FYI: Just learned in my CPR class that the highest number of choking cases occurs on Super Bowl Sunday. Drunks, eating while yelling at the TV, don’t mix. This is not a joke. So you all be careful next Sunday.

    Cindy, I didn’t see anyone here respond to the PETA commercial. PETA could of done without the “semi-sex with veggies,” part and made a better, more educational ad by sticking to the facts.

  • FitzBoodle

    It would be more interesting if they had an ad that advocated ending football entirely because of the deaths and damages it has caused to players. They could parade out a whole bunch of parapalegics, some of whom were crippled in High School because of football.

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

    That would be an interesting ad, Fitz. I expect that might be run concurrently with the one that says TV destroys your brain.

  • http://hayleysexperience.blogspot.com Hayley Woodgate

    It seems Tebow has created a fair amount of discussion on and off the field. Thanks for the article and it’s great to see so many people getting involved with the comments… PETA or pro-life… always makes for interesting debates :-)

  • Anonymous

    “…women’s groups can then take their “pom poms” somewhere else.”

    Wow, what an egregiously sexist and reductionistic thing to say.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Oh please!

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    And an incisive response to follow. Pardon me, ma’am, but your slip is showing.

    I’m very interested to see the Tebow ad and to engage in a dialogue that responsibly looks at all sides, all facets of this issue. I will venture to say that my position is likely to be more congruent with the sentiments expressed in the Sean James/Al Joyner response ad (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utcxpuHF7jg), but I acknowledge this is a divisive issue with strong opinions on all sides. And for good reason: it comes to core values which for many people are imbedded in deep belief structures.

    Respect and affording all parties the right to make their own personal decisions on the matter without restriction of the opposing viewpoints are the *paramount* considerations here, in my opinion.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Hey A: I never wear slips. lol And I don’t think that a cheerleader metaphor is sexist when discussing a women’s topic in the context of football. I was a cheerleader growing up and an athlete until the age of 33. Both had a positive influence in my life.

    Just a side note: As far as the “female movement” or whatever it is called these days, I am actually in the middle. I don’t think we should stay home “barefoot and pregnant” (no pun intended) nor do I think we should “burn our bras” and take over the world. Besides that would put Victoria Secret out of business.

    As far as the issue at hand (abortion), yes, very complicated and I will have to refrain from my opinion at this time. However, my opinion about the Tebow Family Ad is already displayed in my article. Nice Sean James video “honor sports and family.” Thanks for stopping by.

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    “And I don’t think that a cheerleader metaphor is sexist when discussing a women’s topic in the context of football.”

    Sure, metaphorically sound; your comment is still sexist. I’ve heard many extremely witty “jokes” that feature carefully crafted “metaphors” denigrating Jews, African-Americans, Italians, and other racial/ethnic groups — but an artful turn of phrase doesn’t change the fact that they are RACIST. As a published author, I challenge you to be responsible to the underlying message of your words.

    I take *serious* issue with the sexual objectification of women that is fundamentally inherent in the sport of cheerleading. I was a gymnast for more than a decade, and my back and knees know all-too-well the athleticism involved in cheer. That said, a squad of overwhelmingly female athletes whose express purpose is bobbling along the sidelines in rapt praise of every move on the field/court/pitch/pool/etc under the banner of “team spirit” is suspect from the get-go. Add the fact that selection for cheer squads is heavily predicated by physical attractiveness based on majority-group hetero-male beauty ideals. Add the short skirted uniforms, pom-shaking, split jumps, high kicks and rear-wiggling and it becomes absolutely untenable to deny that there is blatant sexualization and second-class status designation going on. The “hey, it meant a lot to me” response is utterly inconsequential.

    Some African-American slaves willingly continued to serve their masters subsequent to the Emancipation Proclamation, but that fact DOES NOT justify the inherent rightness of human slavery.

    Respectfully,
    Amy

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

    I don’t think Christine realizes the cheerleader comment was sexist. Perhaps she has not questioned even explicitly denigrating stereotypes of women being ‘tits and ass’ as caricatured by the anti-intelectual cheerleader role.

    I am happy my niece played soccer and softball and never went there.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Amy; I will respectfully respond with, “you are making WAY more out of it”: it does not denigrate anyone––I like cheerleaders. And comparing my comment to racists jokes is like comparing apples to dynamite.

    As a retired female athlete, I am perfectly aware that “sexualization” of female athletes exists, however, it is NOT just cheerleading. As the “published author” that you are…I humbly ask then; should we ban all female type of sports metaphors? Or do you have a special “female sports metaphor banned list” that I can refer to?

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    I’m sorry I was unclear when I referring published authorship; I was referring to you, not myself – vague pronoun reference error on my part. I meant I challenge you, as a published author, to be responsible to the underlying message of your words.

    We clearly disagree regarding our views of feminism. I am not saying or implying that you aren’t aware of sexualization; I’m saying that I find it startling you don’t connect your own comments to that same phenomenon.

    And I never said it was “just cheerleading.” You chose that particular metaphor.

    Peace.

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

    It seems Christine hasn’t considered how views of women and female roles are imprinted in society. Amy actually isn’t making ‘way more’ out of it than it is. She’s challenging a culturally indoctrinated view of women. This is how we come to willingly view ourselves as objects. That it is insidious and seems ‘normal’ is all the more reason to question it.

    The Christine of another century would be saying, “Corsets? Oh you are making way to much out of corsets.”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    By the way, cheerleaders are not the only ones that use “pom poms” when cheering at a football game; fans do it!

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

    Fans wear football jerseys too. ??? Do you think the problem resides within the pom poms themselves???

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Cindy, I guess it is how you view “pom poms.” I don’t see them as any kind of conduit toward denigrating women; thus that is why I don’t deem my comment as “sexist.” Maybe it offends the “feminists,” of which I am NOT one. So, from that perspective I will take responsibility and say, sorry, yet, in the same breath, oh well.

    Cindy, by the way, I forgot your other name (tried looking for a while) so that I can read your articles here on BC?

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

    Christine, Just for the record, I think the pom poms are not the culprit here. ;-)

    Tolstoys Cat (It’s the name I use on my blog, which is at the url associated with my name, in case you forget.)

    I will be very interested in what you make of my articles.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    OK, thanks and will check it out this evening when I have more time.

    I must say, this has been a very thought-provoking discussion Amy and Cindy. I guess a lot of it lies in how you interpret “sexism,” and then move on to what constitutes a “sexist remark.”

    Sexism, a term coined in the mid-20th century, is the belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to, less competent, or less valuable than the other. It can also refer to hatred of, or prejudice towards, either sex as a whole (see misogyny and misandry), or the application of stereotypes of masculinity in relation to men, or of femininity in relation to women.

    If you can enlighten me some more, I am always open to learning.

    Now if you girls will excuse me, I will have to start a “bon fire” with my pom poms so I can burn all my bras. JK, have a 9:30 am appointment.

    Peace Out!

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

    Is it necessarily sexism to have women around to add color and spice to gladiatorial games? Is it necessarily sexism to like women painted like a work of art?

    Just asking.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It would be more interesting if they had an ad that advocated ending football entirely because of the deaths and damages it has caused to players.

    I suspect that might cause a significant upsurge in television sales after the Superbowl, due to millions of enraged fans hurling at the TV screen whatever happened to be in their hand at the time (likely in most cases to consist largely of metal or glass).

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

    Is it necessarily sexism to have women around to add color and spice to gladiatorial games?

    That sounds like practically the definition of sexism.

    Is it necessarily sexism to like women painted like a work of art?

    I don’t think so, necessarily. I would think it depends on the context.

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

    How so?

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Well, consider what you said. It appears the women would be decorative. Women are not decorative objects, they’re people.

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

    Part of a show, Cindy. That’s all.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Oh my, this is sort of funny. Part of a show that’s all? How did women as decorative objects get to become part of a show? Why don’t we treat men this way?

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

    What have decorative objects got to do with it? It’s your words, not mine.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    to have women around to add color and spice

    Okay, so what are they being used as/for then?

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

    I am not puritanical and I love women, I love female figure, I love show and dance act. And none of this suggests I love them as objects.

    And this isn’t to say that’s the only reason why I love women.

    Again, I don’t see any problem here – not at least insofar as I’m concerned.

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

    Let’s forget it. Next time I’ll these thoughts to myself.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Okay. I’m always happy to see men who love women. I’m not sure how puritanicalness figures in. Are you saying that because you are a male who likes women then you accept sexism as part of the deal–because ‘this is how it’s done around here’ it’s therefore not sexism?

    Gender roles are sexist. If you don’t see how women used as showpieces based on their gender as a display is sexist, then perhaps you haven’t asked yourself why are they displayed that way. It’s just a show? Why is it a desirable form for a show? What makes it okay?

    This is the same problem I ran into with Christine. It appears ‘normal’ so it must be okay or it’s not a big deal. Things are not ‘okay’ simply because we see them everywhere. In fact, that we see them everywhere is probably indicative they deserve some further analysis.

    I think there is a problem with both gender roles and displaying women as sex objects. If my opinion offends, then I’m sorry. But I have to say what I think.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Oops, I didn’t reload before I posted. So, I couldn’t respect your wishes. Sorry. Not trying to be offensive.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Roger, I’m sorry you are in the hot seat now, but better you than me.

    Cindy, did look over your articles here on BC and you are a great writer. May have to comment on one..lol. Why don’t you write more?

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

    As I said, Cindy – I like shows and musicals, and Oklahoma, and South Pacific and yes, even Chorus Line. And Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell too.

    And it’s ain’t necessarily so that the women or men appearing in any such are objects.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    Wasn’t the scenario what about gladiators with women being displayed for spice and color? When did we switch over to Oklahoma and the South Pacific?

    Sexism abounds. It is embedded in the culture. It is what it is, no matter who likes what. I might watch I Love Lucy, but you can’t tell me that the gender roles in that TV show are not sexist.

    I didn’t make any personal judgment about anyone. I just said what I see.

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

    Gladiators was a metaphor for Super Bowl. Chorus girls are just as much part of the act as the lead dancers. In fact, some of the chorus girls become lead dancers. And no, I don’t regard them as objects.

    You see what you see, and I see what I see. It’s in the eye of the beholder.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Christine,

    I look forward to your comment. I am a squirrely writer. It is a difficult task for me. I write plenty of stuff in fragments. I just never finish much.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    What, no chorus boys?

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

    Yes, chorus boys too. You should see the Chorus Line movie. It’s about people, not objects.

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger, you aren’t suggesting that women are not objectified in our culture are you?

  • http://thihttp://blogcritics.org/writers/maddy-pumilia/ngsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    If you are not suggesting that, then you might like to consider where you draw a line. That should shed some light on the matter.

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

    But what are you suggesting? That your employees are objects too? And all who have to work for a living also?

    Where do YOU draw a line?

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

    Anyway, we can pick this up another time.
    Till tomorrow.

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    Cindy, I’m not on BC, but would love to know how to contact you.

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

    Amy,

    That would be lovely. I fixed my link to my blog (Tolstoyscat). So, if you click on my name you will go to my blog and on the right my e-mail is located at the complete profile link. Or you could add me on facebook or twitter or both (also from my blog). Nice to meet you. :-)

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Yipes! I go out for the night and return to so much banter between the kitty and the katty. So, I must stick in my two pence worth…

    As I said, Cindy – I like shows and musicals, and Oklahoma, and South Pacific and yes, even Chorus Line. And Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell too.

    Roger, if I didn’t know better I would say you are really Harvey Fierstein.

    Roger, you aren’t suggesting that women are not objectified in our culture are you?

    Men are objectified. What about the objectrification of Levi Johnston and Scott Brown. Just because they’re strikingly handsome, masculine, virile males doesn’t mean much. I mean Scott Brown’s no dummy. Levi Johnston, on the other hand…

  • Jordan Richardson

    Cindy,

    I know this sort of questioning usually leads to annoyance, but here goes…

    What about the football players themselves? If women are objectified on the sidelines as part of the show, surely the men on the field “performing” their duties as athletes are also objects. Would they not be mere objects to help a “team” (or corporation) win a game/championship/exposure/revenue?

    To that extent, what about models – male or female? To what extent does a person drawing attention to an object or an objective become an object?

    I’d argue, along with Roger, that the objectification lies not in the role itself but in the meaning we choose to assign to the role. The purpose of a the occupation of a stripper may be to excite, so to speak, but it’s my approach to her occupation that decides whether I dehumanize her or not. Just the same, it’s my approach to border guards or police or government officials that decides whether I make them my enemies or my friends.

    So you’re right. These things deserve more analysis. But, as with all things in life, they also contain countless complexities and facets that really only have personal meaning.

    If Christine’s approach is that Item A and Item B are decidedly NOT sexist, who is someone else to suggest that her perspective, based on her experience and worldview, is inaccurate?

  • Jordan Richardson

    It’s also important to note, as I’m sure you agree, that behind every role there is a person. Surely dehumanizing a profession or a role has to have some sort of residual effect when we consider who the person is.

    We need to be careful that we don’t begin to dehumanize people in our attempts to clearly define them with respect to their roles in society. I think by assigning a certain role as “sexist” or “enemy” or the like, we do a disservice to the broader human context that we should be mindful to.

    Furthermore, I think this type of thought leads to dangerous absolutes in a world too complicated and too vibrant for them.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Gender roles are sexist.

    Not always.

    Gender roles do not always imply that one gender is inferior or less competent.

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

    Let me do this backwards, Jordan. Beginning with the last one.

    Why is it necessary to include the quality of incompetence or inferiority for gender roles to be sexist?

    The reason gender roles are sexist is because they are imposed by a society from the outside. They rob a person of choice and create pressure to fit a uniform mold. They apply to both men and women. They prescribe behavior based on sex. That is what makes them sexist, not the spirit with which the limitations are imposed.

    Consider what you are saying. It would be okay to tell women they should stay home and raise the children and cook if you hold that role in esteem? Men must be strong, must mot cry, must be the breadwinners? And as long as we offer them respect for that role it’s not sexist? Does that make any sense?

    If those don’t make the point. What about this one: women should wear burqas, because we love them and hold them in the highest regard?

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

    Men are objectified.

    Yes, I quite agree. But my goal there was to bring Roger to a point where we were in agreement so he might question why he draws his own line where he does and could then compare that with why I draw mine where I do.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Why is it necessary to include the quality of incompetence or inferiority for gender roles to be sexist?

    Because that’s the definition of sexism. Using Wiki as a light source: “the belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to, less competent, or less valuable than the other.”

    If you have another definition you’d like to work from, I’d be happy to include it.

    The reason gender roles are sexist is because they are imposed by a society from the outside.

    Not always.

    Your inferences that follow are based on a rather limited set of criteria, I think.

    It would be okay to tell women they should stay home and raise the children and cook if you hold that role in esteem?

    It would be okay for a woman to stay home and raise children and cook if the woman holds that role in esteem, yes. And why wouldn’t it be okay under other circumstances if free will is honoured?

    Again, you’re generalizing based on some of the most common of gender roles and dehumanizing using the same criteria. Under your logic, being a housewife always constitutes some form of sexism. And that’s just not true.

    women should wear burqas, because we love them and hold them in the highest regard?

    Women should wear burqas in the event that they choose to, as I’ve continually said.

    The problem here is that you’re implying a whole set of gender roles and, again, dehumanizing the entire experience. What if a woman chooses to wear a burqa? What if a woman chooses to be a housewife? Or a cheerleader? Or a stripper?

    This is where I think your preconceived notions of gender roles really do the most harm and where the sort of incessant labeling that appears to populate your worldview really robs people of their individuality. Your philosophy, if it’s taken at face value and applied practically, actually assigns gender roles to tasks, occupations and lifestyles that need not have those attachments.

    It’s your worldview that generates negative connotations in regards to a cheerleader or a stripper or a housewife or a burqa-wearing female. And that, I’m afraid, eliminates the humanity from the equation and subsequently diminishes who we are as human beings down to a series of roles.

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

    You only have part of your own definition there. Here it is from wikipedia:

    Sexism, a term coined in the mid-20th century,[1] is the belief or attitude that one gender or sex is inferior to, less competent, or less valuable than the other. It can also refer to hatred of, or prejudice towards, either sex as a whole (see misogyny and misandry), or the application of stereotypes of masculinity in relation to men, or of femininity in relation to women.[2] It is also called male and female chauvinism.

    Come on, Jordan, this is basic stuff. Are you sure you aren’t merely being contentious on purpose? That people who consider themselves ‘progressive’ are this out of touch with feminist perspectives is startling and eye-opening.

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

    Jordan,

    You seem to be going way off track. Did I say women should not stay home and raise their children? That actually would have been my preferred role were I able to have children.

    Gender roles are imposed by the society. They are culturally defined. Otherwise it doesn’t make sense to call them ‘gender’ roles (roles whereby people are expected to act accordingly based on their sex). If people are simply free to choose any role (which is preferred, imo) then they are by definition not gender roles.

    It’s your worldview that generates negative connotations in regards to a cheerleader or a stripper or a housewife or a burqa-wearing female.

    No Jordan, now you are a cheerleader for male domination over women. So, how bout you go fuck yourself and if you decide you want a serious conversation I’ll rejoin.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Whatever you say, Cindy.

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

    I am so pissed off I can hardly believe this shit.

  • http://www.jtony.com Jtony

    I believe you are factually incorrect when you say that no one has seen the ad. News outlets showed large portions of the ad when this story first came out, and I would be surprised if the key players hadn’t gotten hold of the whole thing when the news outlets had it.

    Regardless of your stance on abortion, calling this ad wholesome is naieve. It’s political message is clear and direct, “don’t have an abortion, abortion is bad.” The question is, does such a political statement belong, and is there a double standard when the network denies a liberal ad one year but allows a conservative message the next without stating their change in policy ahead of time.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Yeah.

    It’s interesting that you tell me to “Consider what I’m saying” as though you’ve thoroughly outlined my position (which you hadn’t).

    Then, when I respond to the points you raise which are inherently based on your mischaracterizations of my position, you lose your shit all over the place.

    To top it off, somehow in your infinite wisdom you draw “burqas” into the mix and call me a “cheerleader for male domination” before telling me to go fuck myself.

    I don’t know whether to laugh or applaud at the sheer gall it takes to mischaracterize someone just for the purposes of finding an easy villain.

    Really.

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

    Has no one considered how gender roles are imposed on people? Do you really think that women get to FREELY decide to be strippers and cheerleaders and wear burqas?

    This is why I thought it would be better to become gay. I couldn’t tolerate living with men who see women this way.

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

    I will come back when I cool off and see if I can make sense of the gist of what you are trying to say.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Jtony: then I stand corrected. So is there a link to the ad or the news organizations that played clips of it?

    Everyone has their own interpretation of “wholesome” and I stand by my opinion! And when I see the entire commercial, I can then make a more accurate assessment of it.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Cindy, have you never considered that perhaps your worldview is somewhat limited?

    I know my worldview is limited, but it seems to me that you’ve already assigned meaning to these “roles” when others may not have because you think you know what these “roles” mean.

    What you’re talking about has roots in a number of fields, including biology, psychology, sexuality, history, and the social sciences. But the way you discuss this issue is just so damn basic that it’s no wonder emotion draws itself in so easily. You’re only interested in the “how” question on a broad scale; the specifics don’t seem to matter to you. It’s easier to paint people as villains or as “enemies” or the like, isn’t it?

    The fact is that you are dehumanizing people by your assumptions. Your assumption that women don’t “get to” FREELY “decide” the associated occupations and/or fashion choices only furthers the notion that these women aren’t really people. After all, were they real women they wouldn’t “choose” to become cheerleaders.

    Your limited worldview winds up placing you into “stances” when it comes to people, which in turn inevitably colours everything into a series of either threats or things you can support.

    And it’s not a matter of men seeing women this way, at least in my case. It’s a matter of my understanding that various women have various desires in life. It’s not my place to assign my own meaning to those desires or goals or wishes or, sure, “roles.” It is my place to honour and respect those women, even if they are strippers or cheerleaders.

    If a woman wants to be a stripper or a porn star or a cheerleader, great. If she wants to wear a burqa, great. If she wants to get men off, great. If she wants to get women off, great. If she wants to confine herself to a small room and play pachinko for the rest of her god damn life, great. People make their own choices, regardless of how I feel or how you feel about gender roles.

    And my supporting that fundamental right and my respect for that fundamental decision has nothing to do with how “progressive” you think I am, either. It has to do with how human I am and how I’d want the same respect afforded to my choices and how I wouldn’t want anyone telling me that my choice is, indeed, reflective of a “role” or some sort of historical construct.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And let’s be clear:

    It’s not okay for a woman to get paid less than a man for doing the same work. It’s not okay for women or men to be forced into doing anything against their will. And it’s not okay to judge women or men by their profession, religion or fashion choices.

    It’s not okay to have such disdain for people as individuals so as to characterize their desires to be cheerleaders (male or female), strippers (male or female), or religiously devout enough so as to make an aesthetic decision (male or female) as merely reflective of one particular avenue of a worldview.

    It is absolutely okay to respect and honour a woman or man for being a stripper or cheerleader or ANYTHING else because he or she gets some enjoyment or pleasure out of it. It is absolutely okay for a woman to dress up to impress a male, just as it is absolutely okay for a male to dress up to impress a woman.

    These sorts of things are hardwired into the human experience. Our attraction to certain things is not merely a matter of societal assignment.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And one final point before I bow out:

    This whole discussion doesn’t even touch on social mores and norms of North American/Judeo-Christian cultures and other cultures.

    We can take into account the “roles” assigned for geishas in Japan, for instance, and how their position in Japanese society and industry is indeed very empowering. In our Western understanding of geishas, they are mere whores. But in Japan and in those cultures, the concept of the geisha takes on completely different connotations. Geishas are among the strongest and most successful women in Japan, which is compelling in that Japan is a very male-dominated society. Geishas hold incredibly high social status, for instance. A glimpse at the Wikipedia entry on geishas proves interesting, but it’s some of the entry’s reference points that provide the most insight.

    I bring this up because it is an example of something that may seem like some sort of “sexist” role from our perspective, but in reality it is a completely different concept because it is based around other values and individual bits of context.

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

    Jordan,

    You are making presumptions. You are reading my opinions as judgments about individual people. There is nothing to warrant that in anything I’ve said. You seem to keep speaking to this judgment you have made about me rather than the actual topic.

    Let me spell this out, so you understand it. That cheerleading is sexist and teaches young girls to accept themselves as sex objects says nothing about what I think of women who are cheerleaders.

    I don’t presume to judge my fellow women based on roles they have accepted or have had foisted on them. That is not actually the point of the conversation–judging people. The point is freeing people and allowing people real personal choice without imposing artificially created roles and superficial ideas of how they should look or what they should be or how they should act. Treating people as sex objects is degrading. This is about liberation for both women and men.

    Cindy, have you never considered that perhaps your worldview is somewhat limited?

    Have you ever considered that your worldview is unsophisticated? Since we are being honest. My guess is you have never considered any feminist thinking on the subject. You seem to be shooting from the hip, superficially considering subjects you haven’t really thought about in depth, based on your values. It’s sort of evident to someone who has considered these things more carefully.

    From where I sit, your analysis is shallow and lacks insight into what gender roles are and how they are adopted and what their effects are on people.

  • mom

    has anyone considered that EVERYONE”S view is limited.. by their own perspective uh duh

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

    It’s not only the case, as Jordan mentioned, that the manner of how we look at people occupying those “questionable” roles that determines whether we objectify these persons or not. Equally, if not important, is how those very people look at what they’re doing.

    A woman may find herself in a lower position of “the entertainment industry” for a variety of reasons and by her own free will – for example, to put herself through school and get a degree, to be able to provide for her kids in the interim, any variety of legitimate and honorable reasons. And more often than not, probably, that’s the real story behind the “despicable” role. Are we therefore to judge her for the choice she had made and think her “an object”? Is she, for the very same reasons, think herself “an object”? Hardly, I’d say.

    It may be deplorable and perhaps a statement on the kind of society we live in that pays for those “gender roles,” and more handsomely than for other kind of occupations. And it may also be the case that many try and do enrich themselves at the expense of women who take up those roles. But is entertainment industry, even Broadway musicals, is to be condemned therefore because of many bad apples. Haven’t people like Ziegfield or Bob Fosse made positive contributions in providing women with opportunities for new and exciting careers. To argue against it would be like arguing that blacks used to be discriminated and exploited because entertainment industry, show and dance and music were the only venues available to them in which to excel.

    In the ultimate analysis, many people merely do what they can, make choices out of the choices that are available to them. And to reduce this state of affairs to a simple-minded pronouncement of racism or sexism is grossly inaccurate and fails to do justice to the complexity of the situation, the individuals involved, personal choices and motivation behind each and every decision.

    It is one thing to try to condemn society for the ready availability of those “despicable” roles, quite another to categorically insist that in each and every case those persons are objects.

    I have other things to attend to now, but I thought I had better post this response in the interim.

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

    And if Cindy is trying to make a distinction between commenting about individual persons as oppose to “social phenomena,” then I suggest she had better formulate her thesis in a clearer way so as to avoid making that confusion.

    Later

  • mom

    so simple.. no big words necessary..do unto others as you would have others do unto you..and you don’t even need a genius IQ to GET it.. maybe the high IQ is an impediment..hmmm

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

    Mom,

    You have a way with observations and with words. :-)

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

    Roger,

    What do you understand me to be saying when I talk about people being objects–objectification of people?

    You are offended. Is that because you are not always considering women in their stage roles as sexualized objects? Okay, that is fair enough. I like musicals too.

    It is one thing to try to condemn society for the ready availability [creation and maintenance] of those “despicable” roles…

    Yes, this is my basic stance.

    …quite another to categorically insist that in each and every case those persons are objects.

    I would be more convinced if while you are denying your treatment of women as objects you didn’t have a counter theme showing up. The idea that not viewing women as sex objects is somehow puritanical. That would be along the lines of this:

    There is every indication that Marilyn Monroe suffered greatly because of the sexual objectification of her self. So, when you say you like her, what does that mean? You like her role as a sex kitten or as the woman who suffered for being in such a role likely her whole life?

    Do you understand that if you like her in her role as a sexual object and know nothing about her as a real woman, that means she is only an object to you. Can you see that?

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

    “The idea that not viewing women as sex objects is somehow puritanical.”

    First off, that’s not my counter theme. It served as mere introduction to the idea and culture of show business.

    Second, “Do you understand that if you like her in her role as a sexual object . . .” again puts words in my mouth.

    How could I like anyone as a “sexual object” rather than as a talented performer, and beautiful besides? And no, knowing about the intimate details of her somewhat tragic life – which, btw, I do have some knowledge of – is not necessary in order to appreciate Marylin Monroe in the respects mentioned.

    It doesn’t even figure in.

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

    To add, I’ve never thought of her as “sex kitten.” It’s a novel idea to me. I don’t ever remember thinking of a person on stage or film in those terms – though no doubt some parts may be effectively characterized so.

    But it’s a part and not a person. Besides, one effective way of doing away with stereotypes in arts – and yes, the entertainment industry, too – is to precisely exaggerate the stereotype in order to show how comical and ultimately demeaning it is.

    Thus, “I Love Lucy,” has done more to liberate women from their traditional roles than reinforce those roles. “All In The Family” has done more to ridicule bigotry than make it attractive.

    And one could go on.

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

    Ok. I guess women are not seen as sexual objects and it was just my imagination. I concede.

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

    I can’t speak, Cindy, for how other people view women. I can only speak for myself.

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

    And if your argument simply is that aspects of our culture perpetuate and feed on stereotypes and “gender roles,” of course you’re correct.

    But I don’t see how Jordan or I, or any reasonable person in fact, would argue against such an uncontroversial thesis.

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

    Jordan,

    Here’s a book review which concisely wraps up the emergence of the geisha, historically, in a paragraph.

    It emerged as a way of escaping poverty and prostitution–catering to the wealthy male members of society. The geisha, herself, is a testament to the will of women to reclaim some dignity for themselves in a male dominated pit of existence.

    The dominator world that made the geisha necessary is to be despised.

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

    Roger,

    Then why are you both?

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

    Both what?

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

    I think Jordan fails to understand that much of the world has been dominated by men. He simply holds up strippers and cheerleaders and burqua-wearing as things women choose, as if these are things they would have designed on their own behalf as opposed to being things they have been indoctrinated to accept by those who have dominated them. That he simply ignores that these roles and positions have been designed by males while treating women as objects or property is disheartening and a perpetuation of the problem.

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

    Both arguing against what I’m saying?

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

    Perhaps because these are two different questions.

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

    Why necessarily designed by males rather than dominant culture, your favorite expression?

    The kind of enmity you seem to be perpetuating, whether wittingly or not, does not really, imo, advance constructive discussion about the issues.

    It falls into the victim-oppressor kind of schema which, if I may refer to some of our discussions in the past, does not really empower the person and serves instead to perpetuate the condition of unfreedom.

    The trick, again, is to be able to operate outside of the schema rather than to be beholden to it or offer a direct kind of resistance. Because, again, in resisting something directly, you’re upholding a version of reality as defined by the opposition and thereby validating it.

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

    Okay. What do you mean two different questions? Can you define them?

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

    I refer you to the end of #87 (“it is one thing to try to condemn society for the ready availability of those “despicable” roles, quite another to categorically insist that in each and every case those persons are objects”) reiterated in #88.

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

    Why necessarily designed by males rather than dominant culture, your favorite expression?

    Because males have dominated society(s). The entire construct of dominator society is a male creation. It is important to understand that clearly.

    Do you see that being clear is very important in these things. It is importnat to understand that whites dominated blacks and other peoples of color. It is important to understand that males dominate women in this and many other societies.

    And if I offend you merely by saying this truth, then it is clear that you haven’t dealt with this any more than the right-wingers who balk and try to squirm out of the fact of white domination over people of color or Capitalist dominating worker.

    We don’t change what we don’t see clearly. Perhaps that is why we don’t change, eh? Plenty of progressive men abound, yet still we are inundated with pornography. Often women come to see accepting this dominator position as a measure of their own freedom. Like wearing a suit and stepping into the dominator role and excelling at the dominator game is the way to becoming liberated.

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

    105 – Exceptions to the rule may exist. They don’t discount the rule.

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

    The kind of enmity you seem to be perpetuating, whether wittingly or not, does not really, imo, advance constructive discussion about the issues.

    I am not perpetuating any enmity, Roger. I talk to feminist men all the time now. They seem quite comfortable with my ideas and offer similar ones. They are no more offended or feel like I am attacking them than I would feel attacked if another adult suggested that adults dominate children or that whites have dominated people of color.

    It falls into the victim-oppressor kind of schema which, if I may refer to some of our discussions in the past, does not really empower the person and serves instead to perpetuate the condition of unfreedom.

    I think I disagreed with that in part then and I reiterate that now. To simply redefine victims as non-victims is a fantasy. It makes victims fail to see their victimization. It exonnerates victimizers when they haven’t done the work essential to their exoneration.

    The trick, again, is to be able to operate outside of the schema rather than to be beholden to it or offer a direct kind of resistance. Because, again, in resisting something directly, you’re upholding a version of reality as defined by the opposition and thereby validating it.

    I think I am clarifying the problem well and appropriately. I think the feedback I am getting from you is more indicative of defensiveness in you rather than a flaw in my position.

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

    I don’t see what’s to be gained by footing the whole bill at the feet of males – as if dealing with “dominating aspects” of our culture weren’t enough and some kind of additional explanation were required.

    So now, in addition to the conflict between different strands of culture, we have additional and overarching conflict between the sexes. Talking about ridding ourselves of dualism and conflict.

    And no, I don’t feel offended at all by your notion of what is true. I find it kind of odd, though, that after more than a year of our conversations you’re still trying to lecture me on the evils of domination.

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

    On the one hand, I agree with you, the best thing to do is to operate outside the schema. I think that is best possible as an extension of being a member of a supportive community. But typically one finds that supportive community based on a recognition commonalities of both what one resists and what one supports. Thus a feminist community could be supportive. How does one find that feminist community if not based on common opposition/resistance. Resistance is defining.

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

    I’m not trying to lecture you. My point of view involves the evils of domination. It is true with anyone I talk to.

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

    Title of this post: I have no means for working outside the paradigm, if I am not aware I am perpetuating it.

    This might help. It was what one of the women who is involved in the Argentina worker-run factory movement (I’m not sure if it was in the panel discussion I attended or on a video.) said about the men. This relates to a factory that has adopted an egalitarian system where all workers are equal. She said something like, the women work to teach the men.

    If you can understand why that is–that the women work to teach the men how to behave when transforming to an egalitarian society*–you might see why it is important to clarify who is doing what. If, as an adult, I do not consider that I may be dominating children, I have no means for working outside the paradigm, if I am not aware I am perpetuating it.

    Mark Schannon said something like this once about his ex-wife or ex-gf. He said he told her he’d be happy to do any housework she wanted him to do. (Something to that effect.) She pointed out that that still made the housework department her job.

    *And of course this is a generalization. Thus, we don’t have to suggest there are no exceptions.

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

    Whether you’re trying or not trying to do that is besides the point. But you ARE suggesting I’m not sensitive enough about the subject matter.

    And yes, you are perpetuating the paradigm when you disregard the fact that many women in those “questionable” roles are necessarily victims.

    Has it occurred to you that in many cases they may be simply using the system, unjust as it may be, to further their own ends. To deny this possibility is to dehumanize them simply because they do not fit your neat paradigm.

    Again, there’s a distinction to be make between some of the effects of “dominant culture” and how some people deal with it and do not lose their humanity for the fact. Thus far, you seem to be insensitive to the latter question, conflating the two issues into one. And this is muddled thinking.

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

    to be made . . .

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

    #112:

    Some of these women are doing precisely what you state you’re incapable of doing – working outside the paradigm. They use the existing system to their own ends, God bless them. And that’s a courageous act, not to mention an empowering one.

    So I say, more power to them.

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

    It’s kind of interesting that other than Jordan, there haven’t been many participants on this hotly-debated topic.

    I realize, I suppose, the homage I get from all onlookers and interested parties or not for carrying the ball. And I suppose further it only speaks to their confidence in me to do the job and combat extremely popular view of seeing sexism and racism everywhere we turn.

    Interestingly, only Silas Kain has spoken thus far, and against the unpopular position. And I should expect Jet Gardner to chip in next.

    But that’s rather expected, because gays, just like women and blacks, have been under the thumb for so long that in more cases than not, they can respond only on the emotional level.

    Which isn’t to say that I blame them. But to a larger point, any movement, whether revolving about feminism, gay rights or racial discrimination, is vulnerable to a kind of rabid fundamentalism and “take no prisoners” kind of mindset.

    To which I would respond – choose your enemies wisely, for there is greater basis for solidarity from so doing than from adopting an all-out antagonistic approach with respect to all who fall into the category of “others.”

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

    Has it occurred to you that in many cases they may be simply using the system, unjust as it may be, to further their own ends.

    I think if you look at the post on geishas I made to Jordan you will see that it has occurred to me. Regardless, they still are victims of a system for having to actually be forced into positions where they must use THAT system. It is sort of like saying a wage slave is not really a wage slave if she feels like she is using her boss.

    To truly not be a victim, then she must be free to choose what to do or not do from a position of freedom not from a selection of options handed to her by dominators–some of which she may finagle to her advantage whilst putting herself in a degrading position.

    Thus far, you seem to be insensitive to the latter question, conflating the two issues into one. And this is muddled thinking.

    So, now perhaps you can see that I think the two issues are inseparable.

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

    The drug pusher and the drug addict are both created by the same society.

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

    Egads, Roger @ #116.

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

    Victim is as victim does. End of story, and a point which should have sinked in by now.

    And no, comparing women who work at the lower level of the entertainment industry is way off line.

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

    Furthermore, what makes the two issues separable and distinct is precisely what we actors make of the situation and how we, as opposed to outside observers, define our participation or lack thereof in social and cultural system that is not of our own making.

    And trying to override the actors’ own viewpoints and understanding of what it is precisely that they are doing verges on objectifying them in order to justify our own thinking. In effect, it’s tantamount to depriving them of their humanity and all the things that makes them a person.

    It is to reduce what’s surely a matter of greatest complexity – the humanness of us all and the irreducible individuality that comes part and parcel – to a pet ideological position.

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

    We shall overcome this hurdle, Cindy, I’m certain of that.

    Meanwhile, please understand that my comments are not directed at you personally. It is, thus far, a debate about the existing state of affairs and ways of describing it.

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

    121 – Yes, there is that. But our own definitions may be the result of overcoming the system or of injury by it.

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

    Explain your last post.

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

    Roger,

    You seem to try to reduce everything I say down to an all or nothing affair. I think 121 demonstrates you can see through my POV.

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

    125 (you can’t see through my POV)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    wear a burqa?

    NO WOMAN SHOULD EVER HAVE TO WEAR A BURQA,

    UNLESS SHE IS A BEEKEEPER!

    and I guarantee that little black dress wasn’t designed by a woman either…

    Thank you for spelling that word for me, Cindy This would make an excellent Tweet.

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

    115 –

    Some of these women are doing precisely what you state you’re incapable of doing – working outside the paradigm. They use the existing system to their own ends, God bless them. And that’s a courageous act, not to mention an empowering one.

    So I say, more power to them.

    Please describe such a woman so I am clear what you mean.

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

    Of course I do, Cindy, and I’m not minimizing it.

    But since complexity is an undeniable feature of the issue at hand, why not give it proper due?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I had to get that out!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Private conversation? I’ll be around later, Cindy, Rog, Jordan.

    :0 bye

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    “Some of these women are doing precisely what you state you’re incapable of doing – working outside the paradigm. They use the existing system to their own ends, God bless them. And that’s a courageous act, not to mention an empowering one… So I say, more power to them.”

    Isn’t it charming? They found a way to make it work, the darlings. God bless their little hearts… keep on keepin’ on. But don’t make too much noise over there. Daddy’s busy.

    From a person as ostensibly well spoken as yourself, Roger, I find the entirety of post 116 as confirmation that your acumen with words doesn’t extrapolate to complex constructs, such as those under discussion here.

    “It’s kind of interesting that other than Jordan, there haven’t been many participants on this hotly-debated topic.

    My job requires the time and energy I would have loved to dedicate to this discussion.

    “Interestingly, only Silas Kain has spoken thus far, and against the unpopular position. And I should expect Jet Gardner to chip in next.”

    What relevance is there in assessing that one position or another is “popular?” I find that aspect meaningless and the fact that you choose to use the in-group/out-group qualifier to make your argument confirms that you are relying on the perceived masses who think-what-you-think to negate the opposing argument. Very logical.

    “But that’s rather expected, because gays, just like women and blacks, have been under the thumb for so long that in more cases than not, they can respond only on the emotional level.”

    That justifies dismissing the validity of their arguments entirely. Problem solved. Well done, you!

    So when well spoken, rational, insightful members of one of those groups who disagree with you DO come along, you can call in the troops and send them back to where they belong. Which is anywhere we don’t have to look at, listen or deal with them.

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

    And Roger, for the record I didn’t state that I cannot work outside the paradigm. You’ll need to reread what I said.

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

    Jeannie,

    127 – I agree. I hope you won’t hesitate to contribute when you return.

    (It’s not a private conversation.)

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

    No, it’s not dismissing the problem, Amy, only pointing to the radicalization symptom that is likely, and justifiably so, to infect – and I do stress the word “infect” – the underlying thinking.

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    You stress “infect” because you hold all understanding which you are bestowing to me. More paternalism instead of reasoned debate.

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    If your position is right, what risk is there in hearing out the opposing side rather than declaring it “infectious” and “radical”? Your method belies your underlying vulnerability: that you KNOW your side is just that — one facet representing your experience rather than the absolute truth.

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

    135 –

    This reminds me exactly of when the right-wingers in BC claim that the problem is that racism is really created by the left-wing which won’t just accept color-blindness.

    They would claim a similar infection.

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

    Further to 138 –

    But what they are actually doing is dismissing the entire viewpoint and experience of the ‘other’.

    123 – Tentative explanation for what I mean by this: 121 – But our own definitions may be the result of overcoming the system or of injury by it.

    When you grew up, how did you deal with issues of masculinity foisted upon you by your culture? Did you adjust by learning not to cry, for example?

    Let me put it this way. Having to overcome a hostile, destructive environment can be done but it can produce its own set of destructive behaviors and views.

    I am trying to say an environment based on domination is an unhealthy environment which produces further sickness. That people may rise above this is a testament to them. That the geisha appeared as a response to the alternative was amazing, yet the geisha still contains the sickness brought about by domination and is not a real solution.

    Is there a parallel position, perhaps, from which you can try to empathize as a male child who did not live up to some social requirement expected of boys?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    I like this honest debate about gender and seeing what issues turn the volume highest. Maybe it’s due to my nature, or maybe it’s due to the strong women I’ve had as role models in my life from grandmothers to nuns in school but I see women so differently.

    Women are, by nature, multi-taskers. They are the nurturers, teachers, keepers of the familial flame. They have been trusted for eons to raise our children, keep our homes and provide an environment which advances the species. Perhaps humankind would have been best served had we evolved into a maternal paradigm as opposed to this archaic, testosterone induced stupor.

    Advances in education and technology have provided women a means of escape from centuries of being treated as chattel. That’s a good thing. Men, especially fundamental religious doctrinaires, are afraid of surrendering any of that “status” which they perceive is the Divine right of the male.

    My fellow males, deal with it. We are weak, insecure little boys from cradle to grave. In our perpetual quest to dominate that which is feminine, we are only validating that which I see — women are the nucleus of humanity’s atom. Men are expendable protons and neutrons who spin crazily around those nuclei as we exercise our version of “control”.

    I read a story today about the discovery of a girl’s body in Turkey — buried alive by her father and grandfather because she “talked to boys”. This was the headline in the NY Daily News: Dad buries Turkish teen alive to keep her away from boyfriends. Does anybody see anything wrong with the wording here? The headline should have read: Father brutally murders daughter. But back to these butcher murderers who are self-righteous members of a fundamentalist cause which I am beginning to believe deserves extermination…

    They consider it an honor killing to remove the “shame” from their family. They found dirt in this girl’s mouth and lungs. It was a horrific murder motivated by an archaic, cruel belief system perpetuated by a group of radical men who not only want to dominate women but they want to dominate the globe because of the so called “injustices” their kind have suffered in their respective history while adhering to a Holy book filled with hate and anti-Zionist mumbo-jumbo.

    You know what? Those “men” can claim honor. Their society may validate their actions. But in my mind they are cold-hearted murderers who are evil. The death penalty is too good for them. If I were the judge the sentence would be severe — removal of their genitalia. Let them piss through a tube driven into the little hole which remains after their happy parts are removed and burned in front of them. They should be forced to live like Islamic women for a year and then subsequently buried alive so they can experience that which that poor girl went through. That’s justice.

    To hell with political correctness. In 1999, I was one of a few who protested in NYC against the Taliban and their practices against females. The US government didn’t heed our call. The Bush Administration had to wait until a band of deluded Muslim thugs hopped on a few planes and drove a stake through the heart of the American economy. See, that’s where we messed up. Sure, women have made advances in our society. But the truth of the matter is had women genuinely advanced in the United States, Hillary Clinton would be President today. Believe it or not, your Progressive champions Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer are all talk, and inaction. They screwed Hillary over claiming they were afraid of Bill. That’s bullshit. They are just jealous that they lack the one tool which would make them effective leaders — a uterus.

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

    You’re missing the point. There’s no question that racism and sexism are still acceptable currencies in our society. But it’s another thing entirely to accuse any individual person of racism or sexism. That’s taking matters to a wholly different level, and I have never, to the best of my knowledge, leveled such a charge against any one individual, especially on BC where our intimate knowledge of the people we deal with is cursory at best.

    But none of that detracts from the larger question, namely, that a larger ideological perspective, however justifiable, does infect how we tend to view individual persons. And that, I submit, is grossly unfair.

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

    How is your experience different than mine, Amy? And on what grounds exactly do you claim your experience(s) overriding mine?

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

    Silas,

    While your testimony may be well taken concerning how some of us might view women in the general scheme of things, it fails to address the gender controversy. And my position is that rabid feminist viewpoint is a hype.

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

    141 –

    But it’s another thing entirely to accuse any individual person of racism or sexism.

    Well are they acting racist or sexist? As I recall I never labeled the subject ‘Roger and Jordan are sexist pigs’. Roger and Jordan each came along, on the defensive from the start.

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

    Again, as I explained in the previous post, there’s nothing defensive about my stand. Nothing but a response to an extreme view.

    And it wasn’t I who said to Jordan to fuck himself. Surely, you must have thought of him as the sexist pig when you issued that comment.

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    Where did I claim my experience(s) overrode yours, Roger?

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    Rabid, infect – do you hear what you’re saying? Are you so blinded by your own contention of rightness that anyone’s opinion that differs too muchly from yours is a degraded, less-than perversion of the One Correct Perspective?

    “And it wasn’t I who said to Jordan to fuck himself. Surely, you must have thought of him as the sexist pig when you issued that comment.”

    More global oversimplification. You are AWESOME at this, Roger.

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

    Well, you were arguing for “absolute truth,” for one thing, Amy. So I only presumed that only your kind of experience was the proper prerequisite, since mine was obviously off the mark.

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

    Roger, you have been defending your personal viewpoint in most of your posts. Do I have to list them from the very first ones? Why would you make it out like you were being accused of something personally, as I just quoted you doing in my #144, unless you are on the defensive?

    You cannot admit that the position most flawed by emotion here is yours.

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    Read critically, Roger. I wasn’t claiming mine was correct; I was taking issue with the fact that you are contending YOURS is.

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

    You had better belief that I’m awesome. Welcome to the club of my admirers.

    In case you failed to notice, Amy, I’m quite capable of accommodating diverse points of view. Are you capable of the same?

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

    I wasn’t contending that mine necessarily is. I was only offering a much needed correction.

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

    #149,

    Since when having a personal view point, especially when one is capable of defending it, any kind of sin or admission of a defensive stance?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Yikes! A maelstrom!

    And my position is that rabid feminist viewpoint is a hype.

    Is it hype, Roger? Or is it a natural progression out of centuries of being second-class citizens? Is rabid feminism much different from rabid Islam? Now, before you pop a blood vessel, folow my rationale. Many view rabid Islamic behavior as the natural extension of years of oppression. Perhaps rabid fundamental Christians are a natural progression of years of being the “have nots”. Rather than get the gumption to do something about it — they let go, and let God. It’s the easy way out. But back to feminism. I don’t think it’s hype — it’s LONG overdue.

    Interestingly, only Silas Kain has spoken thus far, and against the unpopular position….
    But that’s rather expected, because gays, just like women and blacks, have been under the thumb for so long…

    Thanks, but I would like to think my values come from what I have experienced. I had two distinctly different grandmothers but there was one thing which the shared — they were not limited by their gender. 95% of my male relatives share my views and they’re not “gay”. They have seen first hand what these women sacrificed in their quest to insure their children and grandchildren would treat all people – regardless of gender – as equal. In their quiet eloquence and grace, they made their difference never discouraging daughters from achieving their dreams. They knew the power of being a woman and they defied the contemporary odds. Growing up, Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy were paid homage equal to FDR and JFK in the home where I grew. That’s not a gay or straight thing.

  • Anonymous (Amy)

    Hahahaha! (This is a rare moment when I wish I could make myself use ‘LOL’ – just can’t do it.) Oh, the condescension. What a gloriously chauvinistic repartee. (See? When I mean it, I’ll come right out and say it, no artifice.)

    You missed a preposition up there in #147. Perhaps if you weren’t so emotional you wouldn’t keep misreading things.

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

    153 – Roger,

    Let me reword for clarity: You were not merely defending your viewpoint. You were defending your beliefs as if I was attacking you personally by expressing mine.

    Is that more understandable?

    That you each arrived having felt attacked does not mean I: A) began the discussion by calling any person a sexist, nor that B) I have to temper my beliefs because someone feels insulted by them. You may feel that what I am saying suggests some of your attitudes might qualify as sexist in my book. And that might be true. Some of them might qualify. If that is the case, then that is the case. Denial doesn’t seem likely to solve anything.

    Surely, you don’t hold yourself as being above sexism altogether now?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Is the Super Bowl here yet?

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

    I’m very far from emotional on this topic, Amy, contrary to what you may like to believe.

    As to Silas’s long comment, I’ll say, Oh well.

    It’s Cindy and no one else but Cindy, who is the intended target of my comments.

    I have thought we had an understanding of sorts, but now I wander. Was it an illusion?

    So forgive me, Silas and Amy, if I don’t address your immediate problems and concerns. I don’t know you. It’s Cindy that I thought I knew. And it’s Cindy to whom I’m trying to respond.

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

    #156.

    I surely do. And I’m sorry if it displeases you, your Highness.

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

    What sort of understanding, Roger? I don’t see that we have agreed yet. Did I miss something?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    No problem, Roger. I’ll always love you.
    Is the Super Bowl here yet?
    ROFLMAO! I’m gonna watch just for the commercials. I could care less about the teams.

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

    It doesn’t displease me Roger. But I understood you to admire pornography. I have a difficult time reconciling that as a non-degrading position.

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

    Women as commodities is not a position I can reconcile with non-objectification.

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

    Besides I also don’t find your argument about Marilyn Monroe convincing. You brought up Jane Mansfield and Marilyn Monroe, while proclaiming you are not a prude. Then you suggested that you don’t bring them up as related to sexuality.

  • Confused Feminist

    Last year, I watched a junior high wrestling match. I thought it was a boys wrestling match, until…

    …one very pretty young lady (I thought she was helping with stats) pulled off the sweatshirt that had been covering her singlet, and stepped out on the mat. To wrestle a junior high guy. I didn’t know whether to keep my mouth shut, and be an enlightened feminist about it, or to stand up and raise hell and be an enlightened feminist about it.

    Food for thought, food for thought…

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

    Farewell, Cindy. Till next time.

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

    LOL Confused!

    (Roger, Am I in the doghouse? Too indelicate?)

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

    Oops. I see I am.

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

    “Yikes! A maelstrom!”

    That’s either a brilliant pun or a major faux pas in this thread.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Cindy, I know you are Roger have a strong bond, am sure you will hug and make up!

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

    LOL, El-B.

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

    I hope so Christine. After all, I wasn’t trying to hurt him. I was just expressing my true reservations.

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

    Christine, go look at the reply I got on that facebook message when you get a chance. You should be amused. I got one female who agrees with Jordan!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Cindy, you are too funny. When I debate I can only handle it for a few minutes and then either I concede, or say f-u (in one way or another). You should be a “professional debater.”

    Will check out facebook.

  • Dan

    I hope Tebow and his mom did not underestimate the corrosive effect the uberliberal fascist media hounds have on the image of anyone they take as a symbol of what they hate.

    Already a counter message has been planned. They couldn’t bear to let the ad go unanswered even before it’s been shown.

    It might have been better for Tim Tebow to avoid the scorn (he’ll soon get) from media components and comport himself low key like Kurt Warner.

    They will Palin-ize and likely ruin him if he continues down the track. Watch and see.

  • Cliff

    I am fascinated by the discourse, so I’d like to try to join in. My library system had a few videos by the Media Education Foundation (U.Mass-Amherst) as far as media and representation (that is, objectification go).

    -Mainstream commercial media influences and quite typically limits cultural views. Makeup and hair commericials equate well-being and self-esteem with beauty aids and pure skin and perfect features. Men are objectified too, but their objectification is a position of dominance (cheerleading overwhelmingly is represented as a female “service” or “boon” or “auxiliary” to men’s “performance.” Subservience to a large degree, I think, really)

    – A huge problem is that media is a large influence in how we do define roles. Proactive parents and – conservative or liberal or otherwise – a savvy approach to media literacy will counter much of media representations but it’s always an uphill climb. Take an indigenous people like the Inuit or Lakota. When televisions hit the reservation and started depicting white America trying to maintain cultural identity became even harder.

    -I think we dehumanize when we simply ascribe “enemy” when the state goes overseas, but I don’t think we dehumanize when we say “sexist” because the term is just like “racist” or “ageist.” We’re critically evaluating a stereotypical and supremacist position of some other person or culture. These type of “…ists” I think do lead to dangerous absolutes.

    -I believe it’s important to bear in mind that many people will choose actions or behaviors that are self-repressive depending upon the cultural practices they have been raised or affected by. Bottom line is this is why public relations and advertising is multi-billion dollar and sells everything from shoes to war.

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

    Ah Cliff, thanks for coming by. :-)

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

    Don’t misrepresent things, Cindy,

    You did not hurt me but you did disappoint me. There’s a hell of a difference between the two.

    And in the future, if you decide to characterize me or try to explain my state of mind, have the balls – sorry for being crude here but sometimes crudeness is absolutely necessary – to say it to my face rather then by way of indirect remarks to all and sundry.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    You OK, Cindy?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I have to go read something….bye bye

    :{ you are both such good souls, I hate to see the two of you unhappy.

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

    I’m okay, Jeannie. I should probably learn some restraint or get some ‘class’ or something.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    You should be a “professional debater.”

    Christine, Cindy is the kind of woman every little girl should look up to and little boy wishes he finds in a wife. If she could make a Romanian male happy for a time, she’s a miracle worker.

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

    Silas, it was a friendly marriage–an act of human solidarity. He had no country to safely live in. Now he has one.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Silas are you in on this too? Cyn is terrific!

    It’s Friday night, what the heck are all of you doing on BC! Do we not have a life? lol Big hugs and kisses to all of you!

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Silas, it was a friendly marriage–an act of human solidarity.

    Darn! If you know any females looking for a similar situation, I’ll rent myself out for 5-7 years. I like a challenge, LOL.

    It’s Friday night, what the heck are all of you doing on BC! Do we not have a life?

    Catching up on some work and waiting for my nephew to arrive. I’m taking him on a campus tour of Wentworth tomorrow. He really wants to go there this Fall.

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

    We expected some big snowstorm today, Christine. We canceled work and stayed home. So far nuthin. But it is still expected. I stayed home and played scrabble. That ‘mom’ you saw earlier. That was actually my mom! She was playing scrabble when I started arguing with Jordan. :-)

    Silas, That is funny.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Cyn: How cool to have your mom get in on the action. And you can play scrabble as you debate? Wow, I am impressed!

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

    Silas why does your town have the worst zoo in the universe? Wow what a terrible place! They had a lion in a mountain setting! WTF? Lions don’t live in mountains. A lot of the place was overgrown and run down.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Cliff, I’d like to try to touch on a few of your points.

    Mainstream commercial media influences and quite typically limits cultural views.

    Anything can limit cultural views. Cultural views, by their very definition, can be limiting. All media – not just mainstream media – can serve to limit any views, too.

    Men are objectified too, but their objectification is a position of dominance

    Not always.

    Men are typified in commercials as being dumb oafs who can do small number of tasks: they can BBQ, they can wash their cars and they can watch television. Other than that, men are mostly portrayed in most modern commercials as helpless individuals when it comes to cooking without a BBQ or when it comes to expressing emotions. Read just about any magazine targeted towards men and you will discover more objectification towards males than you will towards females.

    This is an important foundation to lay because it reveals just how superficial these constructs are in our society. Assigning traits or labels to positions is, as I am arguing, a completely different matter that proves dehumanizing.

    In other words, there is NO question that a lot of today’s media would look towards my lifestyle and my marriage with sideways glances because I am a “house husband” and because I do the cooking, cleaning and “household duties.” But that does not mean that the position itself has ANY connotations, positive or negative.

    The approach is what counts. What we as humans, as individuals, bring to the table is far, far, far more important than what an assigned gender role implies, isn’t it?

    Put another way, how innately sexist a particular role is lies in the eye of the beholder, but I still maintain that there’s nothing innately sexist about any societal position or “role.”

    cheerleading overwhelmingly is represented as a female “service” or “boon” or “auxiliary” to men’s “performance.” Subservience to a large degree, I think, really

    And here I would argue along the same lines as above. Furthermore, cheerleading is an athletically challenging sport. It is competitive, too. The simplification, in terms of equating it with some form of entertainment for the menfolk, lies with your particular perspective.

    For example, I can choose to objectify a nun should I be so inclined. But surely there is nothing innately sexual about the nun. My perspective, weighted as it is by my own experiences and bigotry, brings such a thing to the table – it isn’t her distinction that does so.

    Incidentally, the first cheerleaders were males and the very notion of cheerleading was designed to draw large crowds into support for a particular event (usually, of course, a sporting event).

    A huge problem is that media is a large influence in how we do define roles.

    But it doesn’t have to be a large influence and that’s part of the problem. Too many people on both sides of the “aisle” merely succumb to this as the “way of things” and nobody budges an inch. We need to recognize the “isms” for what they are, strip them of their power by choosing to not let them poison our worldviews, and let the media’s role stand where it is. We need to interact with our media rather than let it merely define us. Just as much as media informs the opinion and worldview that cheerleaders are bimbos shaking their asses for men, it ALSO informs the opposite opinion.

    So make it work for you. Make your own choices and stop hanging the existence of “isms” on such broad constructs.

    I think we dehumanize when we simply ascribe “enemy” when the state goes overseas, but I don’t think we dehumanize when we say “sexist” because the term is just like “racist” or “ageist.”

    “When the state goes overseas?” Who gets to define this criteria? Why can’t the label of “enemy” also dehumanize a neighbour? Or a police officer in your own land? Or a friend?

    And we do dehumanize any time we choose labels over substance, Cliff.

    When we simply ascribe the “ists” or “isms” to worldviews without knowing the person beneath the “role” or occupation or societal position, we do the person a disservice.

    Christine is a wonderful, well-spoken, intelligent person. Nobody should think any less of her because she was a cheerleader. (And before the knives come out, it’s just an example, folks).

    We’re critically evaluating a stereotypical and supremacist position of some other person or culture.

    And this seems okay to you? To “evaluate” a position of “some other person” or culture? It seems presumptuous to me and perhaps that’s why I go to great pains to make informed individual opinions rather than critical evaluations. And, believe me, I know I fail at this a lot.

    But there’s a HUGE difference between critically evaluating an individual who clearly exhibits traits of sexism and an occupation that we believe is sexist.

    These type of “…ists” I think do lead to dangerous absolutes.

    Precisely. So why do we use them as labels?

    I believe it’s important to bear in mind that many people will choose actions or behaviors that are self-repressive depending upon the cultural practices they have been raised or affected by.

    And I believe that it takes a lot of gall to run around the world from some sort of “enlightened” standpoint as though making a proclamation from the Throne of Progressiveness that suggests others are “repressed” or even “oppressed” when they may not be.

    Oppression requires, at least in my view, the existence of an authority figure or the existence of power to impose will in a “burdensome” fashion. An anarchist will argue that the existence of police officers or security guards or border guards are oppressive, for example, and will argue that the authority from which the oppression stems is some sort of societal norm.

    I would argue that the choice of using these sorts of labels to characterize individuals in certain roles is a form of internalizing oppression. So when you suggest that someone is “self-repressing” based on your worldview’s association with societal norms, you are oppressing them in a sense by invoking a set of stereotypes – unknowingly or not. And those stereotypes, I would posit, exist because of the very mainstream media you suggest informs them. So it flows full circle, I think.

    In terms of repression, I’m not really so sure that people choose the actions or positions we’re talking about here in an attempt to count out a set of desires or impulses. If anything, I think people choose these actions to purge those desires. At the very least, I think it can work both ways simultaneously.

    Anyways, I think that’s about all I want to take from this discussion. I didn’t mean to make anyone angry and I apologize for that and if I misunderstood anyone’s point. I know better now and won’t be stepping in the middle of such hornet’s nests for, well, at least a few more minutes…

  • Jordan Richardson

    Media Education Foundation (U.Mass-Amherst)

    Yes! Sut Jhally is awesome.

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

    Jordan makes some valid points, especially as regards the “isms.”

    It is rather unrewarding, if not futile, to be arguing with an exponent of an “ism” – be it feminism or Marxism, any “ism” on can think of. It’s like arguing against a set position rather than the actual person. And the person you’re arguing with has apparently adopted the least-resistance type of approach of succumbing to “group-think” rather than taking the responsibility to think for themselves. Point one.

    The large question pertains to the nature of the truth at hand. While it may be tempting to stress the correlation between patterns of domination (or enculturation)in any society and the fact that most societies happen to be patriarchal – and emotionally satisfying to boot – the larger question remains: what is the value of such a “discovery,” of making the connection so as to affect the person’s entire viewpoint.

    In contrast, I’d like to suggest another project, a human project of building bridges rather than destroying them, of finding commonalities rather than differences if we are truly some day to come to embrace all of humanity under one fold. And in light of that project – a greater and far more important truth than the one posited by stressing our differences – feminism is failing if it goes beyond the initial stages of consciousness building and keeps on informing persons’ overall outlook for life.

    To put it more succinctly, perhaps, adversarial relationship may have their place in a sports arena or in a court of law – to bring up but two fairly common examples – but they have no place when it comes to the human project delineated above – not if our intent is to bring as many as we possibly can into the humanity’s fold.

    So what then is the value of the first-mentioned truth? And what is the value of overlooking it in light of the human project? It’s not to deny that racism or sexism still exists or that we mustn’t deal with it when confronted with obvious manifestations of it. It is, rather, to focus on the project itself – on the idea that building a common future is far more important than dwelling on the inadequacies of our present.

    So at the very least, feminism fails as a methodological principle, for not looking forward enough and being an obstacle in fact to future progress by creating divisions and the spirit of animosity and adversarial stance, all of which must be removed if the human project has any chance of succeeding.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Agree 100% with Roger’s #191. Well said.

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

    Well, Jordan, I thought I had better go out with a bang before every incurring the wrath of every female visitor.

    See ya on the threads.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Good luck to you, sir. :)

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

    I think we are at a point beyond reconciliation of ideas. That is. The ‘ism’ proclamation falls flat. Femin’Ism’ being only, as you like to say, a convenient shorthand for literally anything that addresses female liberation or power or lack thereof. That is all it is.

    There is cultural pressure to reject the idea of feminism. For much of my life I would wince at the idea of being called a feminist. What’s that a ball-busting man-hater? No thanks! There is a stigma attached to the idea of the ‘feminist’ that is still at work even with people who consider themselves progressive. I know that was true of me.

    But biggest problem is the rejection of feminism out of hand. Without even attempting an understanding of what it is about. Okay, I did that too. That is the power of stigma.

    At one point, I challenged the stigma. I recognized it as coming from the culture, rather than being something I actually decided to do. When the culture is driving us through indoctrination, sometimes the effect can be seen when we reject or accept things without actually examining them for ourselves. Recognizing that this was so, I came to realize I had very little real idea what feminism is. In fact, shamefully, I would not call myself a feminist until a man I respected told me HE was a feminist. That is what made me look closer. If a man can be a feminist then perhaps there is something I am missing, I realized.

    I think the discussion is bogged down because some of the participants seem to be making proclamations about something they have not even given a fair examination. I could not have argued with myself when I adopted that bias. So, how could I expect to make any headway with others who may be similarly biased. Not to say that bias is the only possible problem. After reasonable examination of feminist ideas one might still reject feminism. Well, that is fine, but it would be a very different conversation then. That one I might take on. But this one I suspect is based on an emotional rejection of the idea of feminism.

    That this is a common bias for both women and men to have, itself, speaks volumes about the insidious sexism still a hugely inherent part of our culture.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Cindy,

    What makes you think that “others” are the ones with unexamined biases?

    I think that’s probably what bogs me down the most here. It’s as though your opinion comes from On High or from some universe of sublime enlightenment.

    What I find most interesting is that you appear to find absolutely no use for the main crux of the argument here, which is, as I see it, the rejection of labels.

    You pronounce feminism, which is a marvelous thing. But you also fail to realize (or at least fail to express) that feminism is, itself, a label in your usage. Moreover, feminism is more than just an Emma Goldman thing or an Alice Walker thing, isn’t it?

    You’re treating this conversation like a project, not a dialogue. This is evident in how you express yourself. You say things like “how could I expect to make any headway” and so on. This implies, again, that positions other than yours like enlightenment and, furthermore, are somehow couched in ignorance and/or unexplored thought.

    Your outright dismissal of other views comes not from our alleged ignorance but more from your desire to dismiss alternative possibilities. And that, I fear, is deeply damaging and offensive. Your continued assumption that we haven’t “attempted an understanding” is really hard to swallow, especially considering your “go fuck yourself” dismissal of my own views earlier.

    That you have such a viewpoint is, I suppose, hardly surprising considering the rather awkward rigidity of the majority of your positions. When someone attempts to tell you that the world may not actually be all that compartmentalized or ready-to-label, your reaction is that of stunned arrogance.

    And nowhere else has that reaction been more clear than this discussion here. It’s too bad, Cindy, but I fear this impasse is, at least on my behalf, going to be self-imposed. I have no interest in discussing things with others who confine themselves so readily.

  • Jordan Richardson

    In fact, just as a parting comment, I’d venture to guess that your concern is more with being a feminist than it is with actually having feminist ideals realized. It seems to me that it’s much more satisfying to live within the label than it is to work towards the practical goal.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Blarg, that should say “other than yours lack enlightenment” in #196.

  • Cliff

    Thanks, Jordan.

    Hmmmm… I’m not sure how to get italics, so I’ll just use arrows. (can I do html tags?)

    >>Anything can limit cultural views. Cultural views, by their very definition, can be limiting. All media – not just mainstream media – can serve to limit any views, too.The approach is what counts. What we as humans, as individuals, bring to the table is far, far, far more important than what an assigned gender role implies, isn’t it?

    Put another way, how innately sexist a particular role is lies in the eye of the beholder, but I still maintain that there’s nothing innately sexist about any societal position or “role.”>And here I would argue along the same lines as above. Furthermore, cheerleading is an athletically challenging sport. It is competitive, too. The simplification, in terms of equating it with some form of entertainment for the menfolk, lies with your particular perspective.>Precisely. So why do we use them as labels?>And I believe that it takes a lot of gall to run around the world from some sort of “enlightened” standpoint as though making a proclamation from the Throne of Progressiveness that suggests others are “repressed” or even “oppressed” when they may not be.>So when you suggest that someone is “self-repressing” based on your worldview’s association with societal norms, you are oppressing them in a sense by invoking a set of stereotypes – unknowingly or not. And those stereotypes, I would posit, exist because of the very mainstream media you suggest informs them. So it flows full circle, I think.

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

    And the person you’re arguing with has apparently adopted the least-resistance type of approach of succumbing to “group-think” rather than taking the responsibility to think for themselves. Point one.

    This is way off the mark. Analysis like this, shuts out communication. It is an attempt to shut down your opponent rather than try to comprehend. There been a failure to explore feminism on your own before proclaiming it all you have proclaimed it to be–basically dead an buried. So you’re making it a straw-man.

    As far as the building bridges goes. It isn’t all about skipping into the sunset. Often there is difficult work to do. So, when you find yourself rejecting my ideas in frustration, yet you are compelled to explore them anyway, then we will make progress.

    Roger, I refer you back to Louise Pratt and the idea of the contact zone–where cultures meet. And I suggest that the clash of disparate cultures as they try to grapple for understanding is tumultuous. It is not always pretty or calm or friendly. We are discussing historically embedded ideas of domination, oppression and repression. Some of those ideas are still very much alive among us and between us.

    We can’t get there from here, boys. I am afraid men have to deal with this or we don’t move forward. Sort of like us white folks have to deal with our privilege and what it has created within our culture. I may not be personally responsible for slavery, but I am embedded with the culture from which it sprang–and it is not a resolved deal. Therefore, people are still being effected by it and it needs to be dealt with before moving on. And, of course, I mean that in the larger sense of as a culture.

    I recognize men who have dealt with this because they are supportive and empowering to women–like my friend Cliff, who posted above.

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

    Speak of the devil! Yes you use html, Cliff.

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

    “We can’t get there from here, boys. I am afraid men have to deal with this or we don’t move forward.”

    Again, an example of “group-think,” and therefore a position that’s diluted at best and ready-made for public consumption.

    The very posing of the question, in terms of boys, men, whatever, is not only sloppy thinking but a dangerous one as well because it posits the existence of incompatible and necessarily conflicting categories – women against men, blacks against whites, and so on and so forth. In fact, the very posing of the problem in such terms effectively forecloses the possibility of a solution.

    Not to mention perhaps the most important point of all, implicit as it may be. All meaningful communications and negotiated understanding take place only between individual persons, not between any groupings of such persons. It only then that we can enlarge on these understanding and bring others into the fold by moving outward, from the center as it were. But a true beginning can only start at the center, which is to say, mano a mano – Jordan and Cindy, Roger and Jordan, Cindy and Roger.

    There are no shortcuts.

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

    It’s only then . . . (last paragraph)

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

    196 –

    What makes you think that “others” are the ones with unexamined biases?

    Oh, it’s not ‘others’ in general, it is you and Roger in particular. I sense this based on the level of you conversation. My opinions don’t come from on high, Jordan. They are a part of a larger conversation though–one that is a cultural one among feminist thinkers. I’m saying you seen to be unfamiliar with that, yet willing to judge it anyway.

    But, that’s just my sense.. I could be wrong. So am I wrong? You are saying you are not speaking from bias, but you actually have given a reasonable period of examination to feminist ideas?

    What I find most interesting is that you appear to find absolutely no use for the main crux of the argument here, which is, as I see it, the rejection of labels.

    I began a conversation about gender bias, you joined it. I haven changed my argument. So, perhaps you’ve been mistakenly directing your comments to me.

    Well neither of us have any further interest in talking to each other about the subject. So, at least we have finally arrived at some agreement.

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

    That’s rather unfortunate because Jordan happens to be one of the few people worth listening to and communicating with.

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

    202 – I disagree. And I stand by what I said. We cannot pass this spot, Roger. Unless you are willing to change.

    I’m not willing to change. I disagree with your analysis. I feel I have gotten to this view based on much work and good thinking. I feel you are wrong. I have tried to ask you to look at that. You don’t seem to want to look at the feminists and gain some perspective about what I am saying.

    Perhaps you and Jordan have some magical way to judge the perspective of an entire subculture from the outside, without looking at, in some way that can’t be called biased. Personally, I think that is pretty much the definition of a ‘biased’ pov.

  • Confused Feminist

    I didn’t want to talk about Cheerleaders anymore either way back when I posted #165 and I still don’t.

    The subject of feminism and abortion on the OTHER Tebow thread seems to be progressing nicely…yes…devolved into a locker roomdiscussion on the human mammary gland…where feminists would feel RIGHT at home…

    So let’s not talk about abortion or cheerleaders anymore. I want to give us feminists NEW trails to blaze. So, I propose discussion of the dilemma raised in #165:

    …one very pretty young lady (I thought she was helping with stats) pulled off the sweatshirt that had been covering her singlet, and stepped out on the mat. To wrestle a junior high guy. I didn’t know whether to keep my mouth shut, and be an enlightened feminist about it, or to stand up and raise hell and be an enlightened feminist about it….

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

    Again, you are confusing or conflating the social question – which concerns the existence of cultural biases and means of overcoming them – with an equally if not more important question as regards the stance which ought to guide our relations with others on personal, one-on-one level, one person at a time.

    And the notion of viewing all men with suspicion, as inauthentic speakers and suffering from bad faith, is counterproductive to the desirable goal of reaching common understandings and a sense of unity.

    Enough said.

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

    207 – lol, CF. Okay. I like that. Let me think about it for a bit.

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

    What are your choices, “Confused”? In between approving or disapproving her act? If so, I would opt for the former because it breaks down the stereotypes.

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

    And the notion of viewing all men with suspicion, as inauthentic speakers and suffering from bad faith, is counterproductive to the desirable goal of reaching common understandings and a sense of unity.

    This is your own construction of what I said. I never said this.

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

    Yes you did and keep on saying that because of your continuous reservations concerning my and Jordan’s authenticity of speech.

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

    Again, this indicates to me that you are being defensive. Your argument is concerned with not being included in with the men who you thinks feminists would regard with suspicion, as inauthentic speakers and suffering from bad faith.

    Feminism covers a variety of issues concerning equality and social justice. There is no singularity of opinion.

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

    I don’t believe you and Jordan represent ALL men. That is the place you are mistaken.

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

    …one very pretty young lady (I thought she was helping with stats) pulled off the sweatshirt that had been covering her singlet, and stepped out on the mat. To wrestle a junior high guy. I didn’t know whether to keep my mouth shut, and be an enlightened feminist about it, or to stand up and raise hell and be an enlightened feminist about it….

    You could do either. Both would be consistent with feminist thinking.

    I personally would chose the latter.

  • Cliff

    Roger,

    I think a better way to talk about a proponent of ‘-ism’ – albeit broadly – is to talk of an idealogue. A proponent of an ideology, I agree we’d want to be careful of espousing anything that’s oppressive, overly simplistic or not supported by the sovereignty of the populace, but we do
    have various -isms and some are helpful and some are repressive and most have a combination of these complex facets. And I find a variety of personalities whether they are in to capitalism, anti-racism, etc., and I’ve had various experiences on a case-by-case basis. I think it runs the
    gamut of variety. So, a fanatic of one -ism can be balanced in a forum by balanced and more open-minded thinker of the very same -ism.

    >>In contrast, I’d like to suggest another project, a human project of building bridges rather than destroying them, of finding commonalities rather than differences if we are truly some day to come to embrace all of humanity under one fold. And in light of that project – a greater and far more important truth than the one posited by stressing our differences – feminism is failing if it goes beyond the initial stages of consciousness building and keeps on informing persons’ overall outlook for life.>To put it more succinctly, perhaps, adversarial relationship may have their place in a sports arena or in a court of law – to bring up but two fairly common examples – but they have no place when it comes to the human project delineated above – not if our intent is to bring as many as we possibly can into the humanity’s fold.

  • Cliff

    Hmmm… some of my comments missing from my copy and paste.

    Hey, that’s what I feel like I’m already doing, but in the words of an indigenous elder who shared a life practice “We gotta know where we’ve and where we’re at to know where we’re going.” And I think we’re just spending some good time talking about where we’re at. And that does mean some differences based on inequitable positions, considerations and policies. But that means we can talk about our commonalities all that much better once we can see that as a society in its entirety have some very different experiences and very valid perspectives that can help us all with dealing with the good, bad and ugly.

    &

    Ahhhh… nice point, but I don’t think we have to be adversarial at all. It’ll be hard not to feel that way when we get feeling emotional, but we just have to be better at understanding that some other person (culture, society) truly has a different experience and take on an issue and should bring that to the forum – generally speaking. I’ve been impressed by Native American professional journals talking about how tribal councils could and should utilized their traditional non-adversarial conflict resolution and justice systems to resolve legal issues in modern-day courts.

    I’m understanding there are too many schools and methodologies of feminism (as an academic discipline) to keep it down.
    : ) Besides it’s so brand new from a Western perspective.

    Cindy – Hell’s yeah! Feminism/feminist is a general pejorative term that in too many cases even touch feminist theory. Lot a gap to bridge, enit?

    All-I’m only catchin’ up but, I’m guessing, if I wanted a democratic and civil society making the most flexible and just laws possible and voting accordingly then I’d have to educate the civil folk in past laws and history and government. If I wanted that same society to consider said laws with blacks, Latinos, women, men, white, etc. in mind then I’d/we’d want to be educated on these issues. If Cindy is well-educated and versed in feminist theory and issues then I would expect to make headway in educating folks who I’d expect to not be so well-versed and studied. That’s what I’m getting so far.

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

    I never had any desire to be included in any group, especially when it comes to my thinking – and not since I was a kid – and I certainly don’t cultivate any such desire now.

    I’m certain that feminism covers a variety of important issues but I wasn’t focusing rather on its detrimental effects of molding all minds after a fashion and to the point of making it difficult for individuals to think as individuals.

    But of course, my reservations here are not limited to feminism but any group movement and “group think,” however noble its original intentions. In the long run, they tend to stagnate individual thought by supplanting it with ready-made categories, so no thank you. And it doesn’t matter to me one iota whether there is a substantial agreement or disagreement within the feminist movement and on what issue. That kind of consensus is as little convincing to me as consensus among academicians. I arrive at my own judgments independently, not by counting noses.

    As to your other claim about my “being defensive,” all I have to say is “whatever.”

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

    but I was focusing rather . . . (second paragraph)

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

    Here are some thoughts on the subject when I am in the ‘hot seat’, so to speak. So the analogy is male-female to adult-child. These are traditional historical power positions.

    If I am to be an adult who does not dominate children, I will have to be willing to acknowledge that there are things I have learned which may arise to defeat my intention without my wishing that to be so. I have grown up in this culture and this culture is in me. Unless I examine those things in me, they control me without my consent.

    The people who make me aware of these things are–children. Because children are the one’s whose subculture is going to clash with my adult culture. I can be open to that or I can be defensive and insist that I am perfect and brilliant and so special that I somehow managed to bypass what no other humans have managed to bypass. That is why I get along with children. I am willing to do that.

    It is clear when people are willing to do that. Without that there is no contact zone.

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

    I’m certain that feminism covers a variety of important issues but I wasn’t focusing rather on its detrimental effects of molding all minds after a fashion and to the point of making it difficult for individuals to think as individuals.

    And my point is that this is a presumption based on bias. You don’t have enough experience to make this claim from any other position.

  • Mark

    Rog, I recommend that you take a closer look at the work being done by the ‘neo’ feminists (particularly at Amherst.) It is a self-inflicted blindness to discount (or abstract from in argument) the ongoing impact of sexism in our society.

    Cindy, what conditions need to be met for this venue to function as a ‘contact zone’?

    We cannot pass this spot, Roger. Unless you are willing to change.

    I’m not willing to change. I disagree with your analysis.

    What results are you expecting?

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

    #216, first paragraph,

    Right, Cliff, but I didn’t want to use that term. The general point is that any idea may be brilliant when originally conceived; but once it’s reformulated for mass consumption, it suffers for the fact.

    Another point: even the greatest ideas (of the kind) are subject to a definite timeline. While greatly beneficial at first – in this case, when it comes to consciousness raising – they eventually outlive their usefulness and become detrimental as time goes by.

    Which isn’t to say that the original function has already been fulfilled and we must therefore scrap it, only that from certain other perspectives, such as those delineated by myself and Jordan, the continuous rigid adherence to the feminist dogma – and yes, all such movements run the risk of deteriorating into a kind of dogma – is more harmful in the long run than helpful.

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

    215 – To continue with the topic CF posted.

    Both those positions are feminist positions as they both challenge traditional gender roles. They do it in different ways though.

    (next – why I chose the latter position and disagree with the former)

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

    222 – He would have to look at feminism before he decides to discard it.

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

    I am not discounting it, Mark; nor am I denying that important contributions are being made by the feminist writers. I never suggested such a think.

    I was only pointing to the dangers of wholesale adopting of any “ism,” feminism included, if for no other reason that it thwarts individual thinking.

    And so yes, Cindy in the feminist mode was more an exponent of a feminist philosophy than Cindy as the individual and critical thinker, like we both know she can be.

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

    such a thing . . . first paragraph

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

    egads…how sanctimonious…

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

    CF – I will have to think about your puzzle. I am not sure now that I would chose the latter. I might think either position is equally valid.

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

    OK, I’ll take it back in that case. You were always formed by a “group-think” mentality and you continue to do so.

    Have I finally fixed it to your satisfaction?

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

    You also fail to take into account, Mark, that much of our role-playing is a matter of performance (see Irvin Goffman, for example, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Which is to say, we have and make use of considerable freedoms when it comes to our public performance.

    What I am trying to combat here is the idea that we somehow must resign ourselves to the roles which are “assigned” to us, the idea, in short, that as agents (and actors) we’re somehow rendered powerless in spite of the social structure.

    But of course, it goes back to the original distinction I’m pressing for, between the social question, having to do with the existing cultural biases in any given society, and the question of how we as individuals ought to act and relate with one another. I submit these are separate questions and they address somewhat different concerns.

    To press the point again, meaningful communications and negotiated understandings take place mainly on a personal level, one on one, one person at a time.

    It is this point of focus that thus far is missing from the discussion.

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

    No Roger (sigh)…

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

    closing italics, I hope.

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

    ending italics?

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

    ha! you owe me a beer! ;-)

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

    Carry on. I’ll try to take a short nap.

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

    CF,

    I’ll paste this again so it’s handy:

    …one very pretty young lady (I thought she was helping with stats) pulled off the sweatshirt that had been covering her singlet, and stepped out on the mat. To wrestle a junior high guy. I didn’t know whether to keep my mouth shut, and be an enlightened feminist about it, or to stand up and raise hell and be an enlightened feminist about it….

    I have conflicting thoughts now. I’ll try to elaborate. I need to think of this in two ways. The first is from a position of whether I think she ‘should’ do that or not. And in that sense I support her in wrestling. Whether I, personally, think of it as beneficial to the ongoing struggle or not is irrelevant. I support her in her individual choice. Not only do I feel strongly that we each need to find our own way. But, also we make no progress if we do everything from my own perspective. Elaborating: at any given time my perspective may be limited or even wrong. Therefore, that is a second reason for me to not try to act to prevent someone else’s doing something.

    And thinking now about it, THAT is the most relevant position, imo. Supporting the girl’s personal choice is the thing I think is most important to do.

    The second way I can think about this is as an analogy for the way forward. Not a perfect analogy, but I’ll try. (next)

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

    CF,

    I think as women we can place ourselves into the male dominator paradigm and try to succeed within that or we can find our own voice and challenge that paradigm entirely. I prefer the second choice. For me a feminine perspective would point to an egalitarian paradigm.

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

    oops, that’s not really complete…egalitarian and in a direction outside of the competitive model.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Good morning Cindy..:)

    I would try to catch up on the conversation in this thread, but I don’t think I can.

    I do fight for all of our rights, also..I think I do…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    As a woman born in the fifties I have fought male chauvinism my entire life.

    never give up and never give in

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

    Hiya Jeannie :-)

    Here is a little bit how I see things so far. (subject to correction and change)

    I think both women and men can create a better paradigm through feminist perspectives. It isn’t just ‘male’ chauvinism for me. It is the innate chauvinism of the dominator culture. I think it effects both men and women. Both are forced into roles. And the culture indoctrinates both men and women with sexist values. Men are as much victims of this as women are.

    The difference between them is not so much that men are wrong and women are right but that men more often adopt dominator or degrading or objectifying stances toward women–as that is a potential aspect of ‘maleness’ in the dominant culture. Women are also capable of doing this to themselves, to other women, to children, and to men.

    What do you think?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    I have gone from strong to weak to strong back to weak not for too long! Strong now and getting stronger trying to tamper down this temper not easy here! Feeling strong is seen by many as defiance when displayed by a woman….I remember hearing a man say, “Jesus Christ, can’t you control your wife!”..soo glad I didn’t marry that jerk..love my husband and love the strength we allow each other to have…this is how I feel Cindy, but, wait! I might change my mind…:)

    it’s so good to be alive!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Has anyone seen Clavos, today?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    (?)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well, I’ll see ya later…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Look at that Cindy,

    You asked me what do I think and I told you how I feel…

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Wow, all this “hooplah” over “pom poms?” Have a great weekend!

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

    Anyways, Mark, thank you for coming in and extending Cindy a show of support. Seconding Jordan here, I myself regret having stepped into this hornet’s nest, but once I had, there was no way of withdrawing.

    In the future, perhaps we might both attend to other, less controversial issues. Till then.

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

    Sorry Jeannie, I went away to make yet another version of garlic lasagne. I am trying to make the portion size satisfying while keeping the saturated fats and cholesterol down.

    Do you like to cook, Jeannie?

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

    Mark,

    I haven’t been able to find credible sources about neo-feminism, especially out of Amherst.
    The following article is fairly comprehensive, but somewhat biased, I’m afraid.

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

    Another link.

    Interesting comment about Simone de Beauvoir at the end.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Yes, Cindy,

    I like to cook.

    :]check out my eggplant Parmesan recipe on Christine’s thread.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    Is my article safe in pending? Because if it’s not, then I’ll remove it until I hear from Clavos.

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

    Jeannie,

    I will look for your recipe. Yes, to the best of my understanding you should simply put your article in ‘pending’ once you are done. Then someone will come along and edit it once they arrive.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    It is a good dish! I use Veagenaise, but you can use light mayo. The secret is not to use egg or milk, the breadcrumbs really stick better this way.

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

    Jeannie is that good–Veagenaise? I am always on the look out for low fat and low/no cholesterol stuff. I am wondering if that is good for a person who like Helman’s/Best Foods mayonnaise? I hate to just buy it as I have about three mayonnaise’s each with one spoon missing and no one who wants to eat them. So should I give it a try? Was it hard to get used to? Do you use it with tuna? Pasta salad?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    We are playing leap frog! Go read the comment on Christine’s other thread now.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Veagenaise is great! I sound like an ad.

    I swear you would not know the difference, the only thing is it is made with Grapeseed oil and has a green tone, not toemain!(I’m sure that word is spelled wrong)

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I hate when you two argue..:{ and I hate when we all argue!

    Here is a laugh, ha ha and a smile :)for both of you…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    There’s a huge full moon tonight. Can you feel it?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well you slipped away again..I can’t watch the news tonight! They are swooning all over Palin. Oh my liberal heart breaks to see how many are fooled by the latest plug-in.:{
    so, I’ll wander around ..bye

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

    We are just at an impasse Jeannie, on a point, we are not enemies.

    Here’s an Italian song about the moon?

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

    At this point, this post is mostly for my own benefit.

    I was rereading Jordan’s comments on gender roles, where he makes assumptions about what I think. For the record I should have denied that those positions resemble mine. They don’t. I never contradicted his points–beginning with #72. So, this is just for the record, lest I am considered to believe things I don’t, merely because I failed to repudiate.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    No wonder they mock my gramar.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I never contradicted his points–beginning with #72.

    And you still haven’t contradicted my points, Cindy. All you’ve done is some sort of cop-out blanket denial, but I’d venture to guess you wouldn’t allow me the same grace as to say something so flippant as “whatever you assume about me is wrong” without proof or adequate discussion.

    The basic crux of my argument remains: labels suck. To this I get told to go fuck myself. Geez, maybe I should have rallied my Facebook friends too…

    The idea that you found a way to turn that sentiment into something that painted me as some sort of “anti-feminist” or proponent of male dominance is flat-out offensive. It also demonstrates your true colours, sadly, and has managed to transform my vision of you as an individual to be admired for principles into an individual to feel sorry for because of an inability to see past labels.

    I fail to see what is so shocking and so surprising about the pleas of Roger and myself when it comes to moving past labels and into a more comprehensive understanding of individuals and human beings as people and not adversarial archetypes. But, as I said, I think you live in that space of adversaries because you find it more comfortable and because it makes it easier.

    Personally, I prefer real progress. I prefer the real ideal of feminism (equality) to the sloganeering and labeling that you seem to prefer. And, while your point of view might look better on a sign or in some form of dressed-up protest, I think mine looks better for the broader ideals of what it really means to be human in this complicated, often ugly world.

    It’s kind of sad. I almost looked up to you, to a point, until I came to the realization that you’re just as full of bullshit as the rest of us.

  • Mark

    Cindy, so your bone of contention is that Rog and Jordan haven’t given feminism a ‘fair hearing’? Or is it that they are making sexist statements? Harboring sexist thoughts? Or what? I am missing the point of this…..also, what conditions need to be met for a venue to serve as a ‘contact zone’?

    Rog, the ‘isms’ are evolving concepts/movements; no point in getting hung up on their past dogmas.

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

    I’m sorry, Jordan, that my opening this Pandora’s box has led you to this unhappy conclusion, and I hope you’ll reconsider. I, for one, can’t say from the bottom of my heart that I know exactly what it feels like being a woman, just as I can’t say I know how exactly does it feel to be a black male. And my empathy and trying to understand those situations can only go so far. So I would ask you, if you could, to withhold the judgment in this matter.

    I have had over a year of intensive conversations with Cindy, and although we don’t always see eye to eye, I have found her generally speaking to be more responsive to new ideas than most. And she is more open-minded than most. So I know you don’t really mean what you said in your closing remarks. It’s just that this particular issue is one about which she is understandably more sensitive than about anything else. Again, I couldn’t really say much about the extent to which I would be affected if I were faced with ongoing discrimination whether as a woman or a black male. I really can’t tell.

    So I do ask you to make an allowance in this particular respect. I know that harsh words were spoken, but that was in the heat of the debate. I know that she respects you for your postings and the values for which you stand, and I know you respect her too.

    Again, let’s put this behind us and let cooler heads prevail. Ciao.

    Roger

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

    We’ll talk tomorrow, Mark, if you’re game.
    Good night.

  • Mark

    While Cindy claims to not understand social dialectics, she is committed to the ‘way of opposites’ as the means to make progress in thought and debate…and I, presume, society.

    “Resistance is defining.”

    The challenge is to present a non-oppositional model that contains a solution to sexist practice.

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

    Mark,

    Okay I began rereading what Jordan wrote from the beginning, earlier. I think if I had responded to some of his concerns immediately rather than responding to the bit I felt like and then letting the conversation get swept away, I probably could have made my position clearer.

    I thought they both came in as defensive and discounting. Not willing to try to see my points. Just dismissing and discounting them. Since I try to carefully considered and develop my pov (not to say I never make mistakes, nor to say I am a final product and won’t learn new things–which I may, any minute, in fact. but I mean generally)…I was pissed that men would just come right in and start discounting me. I was angry. I felt they failed to even consider what I was trying to say. And it isn’t like I was talking about a subject has either one of them had any experience with looking at feminist thought that they couldn’t have understood more clearly on their own. That is it is not my job to teach them, nor to defend the whole of theory.

    I can also see some of Roger’s points and chose to ignore them too. Again because that is what was being done to me and I was mad. And I don’t appreciate being told what my problem is. Especially when I can go talk to a roomful of other people who will comprehend what I am saying immediately as they have taken the time to become familiar with the concepts.

    So, I guess for this to work for me, maybe a calmer more cooperative interchange (as both Roger and Jordan suggested is in order).

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

    267 – I was not interested in listening to you as I felt you were not interested in listening to me.

    I’d just as soon not have to live up to anyone’s ideals. I am only a human bean.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    You made me smile.

    I am only a human bean.

    :]gnight, get some sleep now

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

    Chit! I can’t believe it, 272 sounds combative. I didn’t hear it that way in my head. So simply, I’ll say:

    I think both Jordan and Roger had points I agreed with and I failed to acknowledge that. I think if I had it would have gone better.

    [Nite nite Jeannie. :-)]

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

    267 – Jordan, There is no reason to turn my bringing people into the conversation as something negative or subversive. My aim was to further understanding. I felt shut down and discredited by two people. I hoped that someone who had a gentler calmer way of expressing ideas similar to mine would help. And I think it may have. Cliff is a calm reasonable person as you can see.

  • Irene Wagner

    Cindy I am SIFTING through this thread to find your thoughts on the matter that I see you have sprinkled throughout. I can’t argue with any of it. I’m still thinking it through myself. Although, I still must say that I am leaning heavily toward the “shocked” side.

    But I shall say no more. I am concerned about the privacy and feelings of people I know (coach, team, young man and his female contender, and…me)… Thanks for thinking it over.

    Until we talk again, Keep throwing starfish ;)

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

    Good night my dear CF :-)

  • Jordan Richardson

    There is no reason to turn my bringing people into the conversation as something negative or subversive.

    I didn’t. Any connotation you add to my statement is your own, as are any other inferences you’ve brought to my essentially simple desire to drop the labeling and get down to treating people as people.

    You were not in the least bit discredited, Cindy. If anything, it was your crass dismissal of other views that did the discrediting. Nobody discarded feminism, yet you and others accused both Roger and I of doing so.

    That is absurd.

    The simple fact remains that it was you who took my idea that people should be treated as people and not ideals or roles to create a monster out of me. You decided to turn my pleas for peaceful, compassionate treatment of other people into an adversarial stance against feminism. It was you who expressed “shock” that someone as “progressive” as me could think such a “backwards thing.”

    Christ, it was as though you’d found out that somebody you thought was on your “team” actually shared a differing view, so you had to run off somewhere else to find an “oasis” of more like-minded people to share in your disdain.

    Again, that’s absurd.

    Your entire course of conversation here is revealing because it shows you as a person more interested in finding “like-minded equals” than finding equals – period. You don’t want equality. You want equality on your terms.

    And that’s really sad to see.

    And about your “aim to further understanding?” Really? “Go fuck yourself” furthers understanding? Talking about how Roger and I just “don’t get it” furthers understanding? Condescending to everybody who doesn’t share your view furthers understanding?

    The only thing you come across as being interested in furthering here is your agenda, Cindy. You’re only looking for people who share your limited worldview and who can subscribe to your incessant desire to label things to make them easier to hate or discard or protest. People aren’t labels or roles. And the sad thing is that you know that and yet you persist to argue tooth and nail against those of us who simply want to treat individuals as, yeah, individuals.

    Is that so hard to understand? Is that so “shocking” to someone who claims to desire peace over war?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I wish there were girls wrestling teams.

    There are.

    Hell, come up to Canada and watch the women play hockey. They’re awesome!

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

    Okay I think that is enough Jordan. I am sorry for my part but you had a part as well. If you insist on burning me at the stake as a witch, then we won’t get far. I suggest now you go find out what you did wrong.

  • Irene Wagner

    I’ve seen Tonya Harding skate, Jordan. She was a pioneer in hybridizing wrestling and skating in a way not even hockey could.

    Women’s hockey teams never dressed in uniforms so pretty.

  • Irene Wagner

    Well, Jordan. I don’t share Cindy’s limited worldview, and she doesn’t share my limited worldview. But the worldviews intersect often enough that…Jordan, everyone’s worldviews do.

    y’know what I’m saying?

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

    I think what my actions show Jordan, is that I felt double-teamed by two people who were not interested in actually understanding what I was saying. One-you were busy telling me what I think and being completely contentious from the outset, now that I look back again. The other was either being defensive as though my very opinions were personally against all males and him by inclusion or on the other hand telling me what my problem was that my thinking went so awry.

    I was looking for ‘like-minded’ people to come in the hope that it would provide you with another way to view what I was saying.

    The fact that I did not address all your ideas is understandable since the comments were contentious from the get go.
    ———

    So Mark, I have changed my mind again. As I see it it was an argument that was started both by Jordan and Roger in response to ideas I did not even address to them. I.E. they came in swinging because they did not like what I was saying. They did not understand nor try to understand. It is clear from both their opening remarks.

    So, I don’t think we have a conversation unless that changes. My suggestion that Roger look at feminism was in the hope that he would make some recognition thereby.

    And now I am pissed off all over again.

    I will have to think about #271 because it makes (made) sense (earlier anyway) but at the moment I am not really open to further criticism no matter how well-intentioned. I actually can talk to people who don’t find my positions oppositional because they understand them.

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

    “Make some recognition thereby”–that it is not necessarily what he thinks. And that because he hold a bias about it he displays that bias toward everything I say.

    Now I have to go to bed. I am interested in talking to anyone who at this point wants to discuss what their own part in the uproar was. I was willing to begin to do that, it seems Jordan prefers to join me by handing me the entire check.

    I’m done with being blamed. If we aren’t past that on the next go round, then count me out.

  • Confused Feminist

    Sleep well Cindy. I am still confused, but appreciated your input.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    I didn’t hear it that way in my head.

    “How can I know what I mean until I’ve seen what I said?” – E. M. Forster

    :]My new favorite quote, this is really helping me with my perception.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Cindy,

    I don’t appreciate the fact that you instantly discarded what I had to say by telling me to go fuck myself. What sort of tone do you expect to take place after that sort of interaction? I never went there with you. I never insulted you. I never swore at you.

    The very worst I possibly did was misunderstand your views and address points you didn’t specifically make, but the idea behind that was to take your IDEAS and to practically apply them to see their limits. Remember when Roger asked you “where/when does it end?”

    That’s the same thing I was doing.

    And for some reason, when pressed about actual practical application of your worldview, you felt threatened and “ganged up on.” Grow up. Nobody’s ganging up on you.

    You more than set a tone for contention by discarding my opinion entirely and instantaneously referring to me as a proponent for MALE DOMINATION! How do you expect things to go after that? How would you have responded if I just called you some sort of “uppity bitch?” Or something else?

    But guess what? I didn’t do or say anything of the sort. You say you’ve re-read what I had to say. Somehow I doubt it. I think it’s probably more accurate to say that you assumed the crux of what I was saying and inflated it to suit your purposes. My worldview didn’t and doesn’t line up exactly as yours, so you attacked me for taking yours and questioning it practically.

    That’s what happened here. I’d like to apologize for some sort of part in that, sure, and I’m usually one of the first people around here to apologize when I’ve done something to offend somebody else. But I look back at what I said to you and can’t see what you see, Cindy. I just can’t.

    I look back and see you jumping down my throat for arguing certain facets of your ideology. I see you swearing and cussing me out for that. And I see my own response (“Whatever, Cindy.”) as an attempted withdrawal from this insane conversation. And my regret now is that I didn’t just shut the fuck up and leave it there, because this is utter bullshit and you know it. You’ve characterized me from the beginning as some sort of fucking chauvinist.

    And honestly, that’s enough now. I’m done.

    I won’t be participating in any sort of this bullshit again if I can help it because I know now just how absolutely futile it is to discuss things with you.

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

    Mark, #268:

    “Rog, the ‘isms’ are evolving concepts/movements; no point in getting hung up on their past dogmas.”

    Good point about the progressive and the evolving character of movements. My comments, however, were more general in nature. Let me explain.

    I may say, for example, that I am a Wittgensteinian. And to say that means that by and large Wittgenstein influences the way I think and try to do philosophy. But Wittgenstein was one man, one mind, not a collection of different ideas or an amalgam of many minds. Besides, to say I’m a Wittgensteinian is not to say – in each and every respect. Part of the reason may be that some of what Wittgenstein had said I may not yet fully understand; another part, that in some respects I may disagree.

    Compare that now with saying, “I am a feminist.” It’s a different kind of statement entirely, and for three reasons. First, it’s a movement, an “ism,” and as such it does precisely consists of a combination of many threads and trends of thought – thought with which one may agree more so in some aspects and less so in others. Second, as a movement, it’s also subject to popularization, which is to say, ready-made for public consumption. And third, as a movement, it partakes of two essentially different dimension: (a) ideological or intellectual one; and (b) a practical one – which is to say, a call to arms or action. And it is in this last respect, perhaps, that the distinction I am drawing is most pronounced.

    To wit, I may agree with aspects of feminism (for example, some of its stance on some of the issues) and not with others; or, one may agree with certain practical objectives of feminism as a movement and less with others.

    So for example, to ask someone, “Are you a feminist?” is a loaded question. For you may be a “feminist” in some respects rather than others. You may agree, for example, with the feminist stance on some of the issues but not all. Most importantly, perhaps, you may agree with some of the objectives of feminism – like consciousness raising – and disapproving of it insofar as it tends to perpetuate a militant and antagonistic stance with respect to all who haven’t totally embraced all the ins and outs of the “ism.” And by its very nature, all “isms” share that exclusionary character in that all who are not part of it are, for lack of a better word, an enemy. And that kind of labeling is labeling of the worst kind.

    No question that “feminism,” the term for partial liberation movement, has a bad rap and suffers from negative connotation. It is easier, I suppose, to be more sympathetic to, say, a black liberation movement – if you are a white male and have no stake in perpetuation discrimination and injustices again black people. Why so? Because a militaristic feminist stance seems to strike at the very core of a relationship that is even more basic than the relationship between the races – the relationship between a man and a woman. And it’s for that reason that the opposition to feminism is no doubt the strongest, and many men do in fact feel threatened or get on the defensive. Is it necessarily because they’re challenged in their status as dominators? Here we have to go into individual cases to decide whether the truth lies. But surely in many cases that’s not the issue at all. The very relationship between the sexes is being threatened; hence the negative rap.

    Anyways, my argument is that the situation of enmity is not conducive to people binding together and coming to a shared understanding, of creating a society where all would be included and treated with the respect they all deserve – as persons.

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

    289 – It was an argument in which tempers flared. That is pretty much what it was. It wasn’t your wife sleeping with your best friend.

    Part of any relationship is the need to repair after a fall out. Not only are you refusing to participate in that by examining yourself, you won’t even allow me to broach it. So, you continue to attack while I attempt to repair.

    Had you calmed down at the end you might have seen that that is what I was trying to do. I would have gone over your arguments and acknowledged the things I was to angry to look at in the initial argument.

    It is just as well that you don’t engage me in similar discussion while this idea that people need to not make mistakes and that no repair is possible is something you think is a good position to take. My sense is that you get some sort of pay off from keeping your rage dialed up to high.

    While reciting in 10 volumes, every conceivable ill you can think up to attach to my behavior might serve as some sort of cathartic experience for you, I am not sure it’s conducive to achieving any sort of understanding. And so it is just as well we don’t get embroiled if this is the way you are comfortable handling things.

    I make mistakes and then I try to look at them, see where I went wrong, and make repairs. That is what I do. I can’t do more than that. I can’t for example, never make mistakes, which is what you seem to require. As I said I am only a human bean.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    Look at bean 8 ] being

    As I said I am only a human bean.

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

    291 – Jeannie,

    It’s from X-Files. Did you watch that when It was on in the 90s? I was a fan.

    In the episode, Mulder and Scully are interviewing a witness who is a sweet retarded man who plaintively pleads: “I don’t know everything. I’m only a human bean.” It was always one of my favorite lines.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Remember, every single play in football starts with one man fondling another man’s ass.

    Dave

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    you are beyond crude, and I wonder how long it is going to take you to fall from your grace.

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

    I don’t know why you’re addressing this comment to me since #289 was a response to Mark. And I really see no connection.

    As to the larger issue, which you seem to be addressing, the matter of relationships, I have this to say. Apparently, you have chosen to place greater value on your ideological stance – correct or incorrect as it may be – than on our relationship which, I see now I was wrong to assume, stood on firmer ground.

    It’s not surprising, however, in light of your reservations (which you expressed) concerning my authenticity as a person and a speaker – in that, according to you, I do treat women, if only occasionally, as objects and harbor therefore, however unwittingly, sexist attitudes – however strongly I may be denying that. And since I’m being so discounted as a person, naturally the relationship itself is being discounted by the very same measure. QED

    It’s not my job here trying to convince you that your reservations are unfounded. I could speak to the fact that your knowledge of me as a person is limited only to what you see on the written page, that you don’t know me in fact as a person at all, have no idea how I do in fact relate to people, whether women or men. But I shan’t because in the ultimate analysis, there is no way for a person to exonerate themselves in light of such a charge – as pertaining to their authenticity and absence of good faith. And secondly, the entire enterprise is not really worth it.

    There is one stance, however, that is open to me in light of these accusations. And since I’m being discounted and devalued like a bad coin, the only logical alternative left open to me is to withdraw the coin from the circulation, if only for a time being, lest I contaminate and cheapen the discussion.

    PS: In closing, it is interesting to note women who experience real hardships, economic and otherwise, aren’t as hung up on the notion of female liberation as a middle-class white woman. I’m speaking of hard-working black women who struggle day in and day out to make ends meet and put the food on the table. There may be many reasons for that – one of them being perhaps that the black male, by comparison, tends to be less reliable and homebound. But whatever the reasons, a hard-working black woman knows where she stands and what her values are and where she stands. Her identity as a woman is rarely in question.

    Which reminds me of another remark, namely, that mental illness is a luxury that only middle class can afford. People who really have to struggle have no time with such foolishness.

    Well, just perhaps some of this has relevance to feminism. It’s a kind of luxury that only some can afford.

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

    I don’t know why you’re addressing this comment to me since #289 was a response to Mark. And I really see no connection.

    Sorry Roger, That should have read 288 not 289. It was addressed to Jordan. Perhaps a comment was deleted in the interim? Either that or I put the wrong number.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Cindy,

    Oh, I see..but do you see the, pile between us? That is the kind of chauvanism I fight.
    I do not there is as much power over us here as professed.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    OMG not you Roger!

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    believe is missing :)

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

    Roger,

    289

    I felt that you decided that your presumptions about feminism were to be applied to me. How could you reasonably claim you could fairly assess both feminism AND how it presumably affects me AND do all that without having the personal experience with feminism it would take to arrive at such a conclusion?

    As for the rest of your post I will refrain from comment. You certainly have a right to express your disappointment.

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

    I guess I can’t let this go by without comment:

    PS: In closing, it is interesting to note women who experience real hardships, economic and otherwise, aren’t as hung up on the notion of female liberation as a middle-class white woman. I’m speaking of hard-working black women who struggle day in and day out to make ends meet and put the food on the table. There may be many reasons for that – one of them being perhaps that the black male, by comparison, tends to be less reliable and homebound. But whatever the reasons, a hard-working black woman knows where she stands and what her values are and where she stands. Her identity as a woman is rarely in question.

    You know this how? You have spent time as a hard-working black woman?

    I rest my case. Your entire case against me is a projection of your own biases against feminism.

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

    I don’t believe I made any such presumptions, Cindy. If you follow the thread from the beginning, you should see that this whole discussion has evolved around a number of questions I posed to you, and your responses.

    As to the rest of my comment, since I have been discredited as a speaker in your eyes, so for the time being at least, let me stick to my resolve to silently withdraw myself from this conversation and fade into the twilight.

    Till next time.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Roger, #302,

    OH.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Bye, Cindy :) I’ll see ya later.

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

    302 – We will have to disagree. That your conceptualizations are presumptions, is not based on your argument. It can’t be seen in the thread. It can only be seen by a reader who is sympathetic to my experience. You have classified me in order to explained me to yourself and discounted my ideas as groupthink. Your assessment doesn’t fit with my experience of me.

    since I have been discredited as a speaker in your eyes

    You haven’t. I just don’t think you are above being human, as you seem to think you are. I noticed an inconsistency between your behavior and your claim about how you feel. I addressed it. If that is a problem, I’m sorry. But, it would be a problem for me to have to refrain and pretend I don’t see what I see.

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

    I don’t believe I made any such presumptions…

    Actually, I take that back. I think it can be seen in your argument and I think it is evident.

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

    Mark (#271):

    “The challenge is to present a non-oppositional model that contains a solution to sexist practice.”

    Just food for thought, Mark. How about turning sexist practices on their head, so to speak?

    In the extreme case, I’m thinking, for example, of Anaïs Nin’s work, elevating pornography to an art form – as a way of disarming “the enemy.” A less extreme example might be Simone de Beauvoir, for instance The Woman Destroyed.

    The latter offers an interesting contrast as to the manner in which feminist issues are couched in other than Anglo-Saxon culture; they’re more intertwined with the rhythm of life itself which always remains the larger and overriding context. At the very least, it does suggest a certain puritanical streak to the Anglo-Saxon culture, a streak we haven’t quite been able to shed as yet, a streak which poses this rift and separation between life and art and ideology – making the latter two as though somehow separate from life and capable of existing on their own.

    It goes without saying that both women were no strangers to feminist concerns.

    But as I said, just food for thought.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine
  • Irene Wagner

    The Die is cast then? The Rubicon crossed? The USA plunged into chaos because CBS decided to go ahead and run this?

    Dit dit do ditty dit.
    I feel like finding my son and giving him a hug. That’s the sum total of the impact that ad spot had on me. Thanks Christine.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Irene, what is funny is that if the women’s groups and Planned Parenthood wouldn’t of made a such a fuss, most who see this ad would NOT of even known what it was about!

    What a bunch of idiots; just shows their desperation and their desire to snuff out anyone that disagrees with them by attempting to stop the “CHOICE NOT to abort;” (or the voices that want to share that side of the message).

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Irene, there is another version when Tim tackles his mom; yet I can’t find it on youtube! But this article has the video in it.

    Tim Tebow Super Bowl Ad Surprisingly Not Controversial

  • Irene Wagner

    Abortion politics, like all politics, “makes strange bedfellows,” Christine. I read Roger’s #307 and his comments about Nin and pornography, and it brings to mind how Playboy magazine was the first widely distributed US periodicals to promote the repeal of abortion laws in the 1970’s.

    On the other hand, I don’t like it that by calling myself pro-life…or whatever my politically correct categorization is these days…anti-choice… abortion-foe (my personal fave)… automatically puts me in the Far Right camp.

    So much polarization.

    What this country is needs is another Wardrobe Malfunction during Halftime. Something to bring the nation together in one loud guffaw!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    The Saints’ football players were cheering with “pom poms!” Great game!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, that was a big old fuss over nothing, wasn’t it?

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

    It’s not over, Dreadful. If Christine is right, the Saints will get reprimanded for posing like sex objects.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Yeah, Dr. D: it sure was! And the Tebow Ad was cute but the Snickers, Betty White Ad was the funniest!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Roger, LOL!

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

    Well, your “pom pom” remark, Christine, had started this maelstrom. But I suppose it’s all to the good now. Live and learn.

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

    It’s because you’re encroaching. Just kidding.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Yeah, I didn’t quite get it. The thing is that I am NOT a feminist, so I guess I am out of the loop!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Jet, which one? I noticed on your other thread, as I dared not go over there, that you liked the Letterman, Oprah, Leno one? Do you want me to link it here?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine
  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Boy a lot of people sure are skeptical when I’m trying to be nice?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Jet, this one is funny too! NEW E*TRADE Baby – Girlfriend

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine
  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    This one was heartwarming: Budweiser Clydesdale Horse n Bull Super Bowl Commercial 2010 Hope the dog spot is not jealous.

    Spread the Love!

  • cee

    Pro choice does not mean anti-life but pro- life equals anti-choice. medical decisisons and discussions between a doctor and patient should remain in the examining room, not in the hands of governement.

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

    Or be dictated by anyone’s religious philosophy.

    And those who subscribe to any should have sense enough to let God be the judge rather than take it upon themselves to act as God’s proxy.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Does it come to anyone’s surprise that there are no federal holidays based on specifice Jewish or Muslim religions?

    What does this tell you?

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

    It’s a Christian nation, Jet.
    Onward Christian soldiers.

  • http://jetssciencepage.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I guess you didn’t notice that the caption of my Tebow article’s photo of him is… onward christian soldiers?