Member since: Tue Jul 13, 2004, 07:39 PM
Number of posts: 2,314
Number of posts: 2,314
The Tea Party has screamed "socialist" at Obama, a corporate Democrat, for so long without any understanding of what the term has meant historically that less informed mainstream Repubs and Democrats, raised or born during Cold War, who used to recoil at the term tend to tune it out.
I mean, when you repeatedly scream that someone with obvious pro-Wall Street policies, who steadfastly protected the free market in health care, a "socialist," many people who don't really understand the term are actually _softened_ to it. I mean, if THAT's socialism, then they don't care.
Some in the Republican party have gone more to the right because of this red-baiting against Obama and now associate anything left of rapacious unregulated capitalism with "socialism" and "communism"--but they're nuts anyway. We were never going to reach them.
Everyone else is beginning to think, "meh." It's kind of like the evolution of people around women's rights over the past 50 years. When woman-haters kept screaming "bitch" or "lesbian" or "slut" at strong women as if that's an insult (my constant experience in the 1980s--if you spoke up you had to be discredited with one of the three standard epithets), finally enough people said, so what if a woman's strong or if a woman loves other women or a woman has sexual agency? Why is that an insult? The screaming of the extremists finally backfired. The culture changed around them and what they think is an insult is either meaningless or has turned into a compliment.
And so it goes with "socialist." It's not the conversation-stopping epithet it was even 10 years ago. We can paradoxically thank the right wing crazies for some of that.
Less informed independents and more open-minded Republicans may think, well, they tell me Obama's a socialist, but I like and trust Bernie a whole lot more than Obama or Hillary, and he's actually talking about returning our lives to the prosperity of my parents and grandparents' generation, so let's try his kind of socialism.
Posted by zazen | Sun Oct 4, 2015, 10:18 AM (1 replies)
So the late Andrea Dworkin is "disgusting and horrible?" Are you a teenager? You remind me of my daughter's friends who've suddenly discovered the feminist club and throwing around new terminology.
There is a long, nuanced, rich history of attempts to provide civil remedies to people coerced into pornography--beginning with protection against revenge porn 30 years before it showed up with cell phones and the Internet--and building an apparently still radical understanding that sex discrimination as currently expressed in the West has a little bit to do with a multi-billion dollar industry in which predominantly those with vaginas and XX chromosomes are trussed up, double penetrated, face simulated drownings, real beatings, real electric shocks, choked with penises, smothered with feces, etc. Oh yeah, and those who aren't underage are typically battered, addicted, or suffer from childhood CPTSD before "participating" in this empowering lifestyle.
In addition to the straight out women-hating in "legal" pornography we have dozens of racist tropes to which orgasms are conditioned. Asian females hang passively from trees, like in the photos of the Penthouse that the child murderer here in Chapel Hill had in 1985 when he kidnapped and hanged a little Asian girl from a tree at Finley Golf Course. African American women crawl on all fours in plantation settings.
Do we have a multi-billion dollar industry where white folks ejaculate to photos of African Americans being beaten and lynched? If so, is that just natural? Would those of us who expressed concern be "exclusionary anti-racists" who "opposed" their "participation" in their own degradation?
We won't get into the number of children from across the globe who are trafficked into making internet-available porn that transcend any regulation as to age or safety.
It is really, really sad to me, but not surprising given their woman-hating tactics in the 70s, 80s and 90s, that the pro-pornography camps have enlisted the cause of transgender rights as a means to continue to vilify those of us who question the conditioning of orgasms to hate, torture, and murder.
And also very sad that women who benefit from decades of feminist work throw their feminist forebears under the bus, then come here and misappropriate Patricia Williams (a big supporter of MacKinnon, btw) and her concept of intersectionality to defend this conflation.
The fact that women can be conditioned against their own interests to see sexually tortured females as some expression of freedom reminds me that Republicans who vote against their own economic interests have nothing on the capacity of self-delusion on the left.
Posted by zazen | Sat Sep 5, 2015, 07:52 AM (3 replies)
simply because these politicians have family members, friends, and constituents afflicted and they have obvious self-interest in continuing to "seek cures," however simply they understand it. Whether the biomedical research with any attention to public health and access will be funded--well, I doubt that. I suspect those goals need to fly well below the radar. Also, as you suggest, NSF and other basic research programs that can be explicitly tied to economic development or homeland security may be protected.
The American competitive granting system has become unsustainable over the last 20 years, related to the larger problems of neoliberal economics (generating from both parties), but I agree that the current GOP regime will become more explicit in targeting particular programs (like going after NSF's SBER funding). Because of crumbling universities and their ridiculous doubling down on going after sponsored funds in lieu of equitably redistributing resources from administration to faculty, the competition was already increasing even when funding levels remained at generous 1990s levels.
I've seen grant competitions with 30% funding rates hit about 1%. It's preposterous.
Re your personal situation, I've known so many poor academics--and many, many overpaid administrators--that I feel for you and don't see a lot of options within the current higher ed infrastructure.
If he's a decent writer, there's a real growth industry in consulting for foreign language researchers who wish to publish in English language journals. It pays 20-60 ish an hour, but if you've got a PhD in a biomedical field and strong editing skills, academic consulting companies can hire him freelance on an article by article basis. As for the grad students, well, it's probably the best pay in the academy they'll ever get and the sooner they start looking for other options (or investigating creating co-ops, barter economies, and homesteading skills), the less debt and re-skilling they'll need as things continue downward.
It's awful. I feel for you.
Posted by zazen | Thu Nov 20, 2014, 11:29 AM (1 replies)
The physical time out thing never worked for us. There was no way to hold my child in time-out without getting injured myself (I still take meds for an injury I got them when it flares, 15 years later. That little maniac is doing quite well at an Ivy League college today, btw.) People who aren't there say you can just carry them to their room. Trying to carry a 40-80 lb wild animal to a room without injuring them just in the act of protecting yourself is very hard. I was at least covered in bruises.
Different things worked with different kids, and consistency was critical in taking away privileges (which was difficult, as I was the heavy), but of course, number one was recognizing and then intervening before escalation. Once escalation is there, whatever we could do to extinguish the behavior without enabling it (usually ignoring) was necessary, before approaching it later with much more positive, validating strategies that also set limits. That's a book so I won't elaborate on that one.
One thing I did find--and it might sound awful and shame-based to some--when all else failed was to tell them this was inappropriate behavior that they wouldn't show to their teachers or friends, and that I was going to film it so that I had a record of it. One parent I knew actually ran around the house following his daughter with a camera while she screamed and raved and she ended up laughing at the end of it. The thing is, if they care enough about their reputation at school, then they're capable of controlling their behavior at home. If they don't care, you have another (and bigger) problem, because they may have some issues where they really can't control themselves yet.
But when I saw out of control behavior at home and controlled behavior there, I knew that I had leverage. Also, there's something about "film" that says accountability--and it gives them a neofrontal cortex kind-of sense of how they might appear to others. Maybe people used "God" like that in another era. I believe in a Higher Power personally, but we weren't a Christian church-going family so I didn't have the whole social apparatus of that to reinforce the rules, which in earlier days helped I'm sure.
As much as I can't stand being saturated with "screens" and despise how social media has directly screwed with my daughters' lives, this is one way I can harness easy video capability on an iPhone for my own advantage. Again, it needs to be used in a context of therapeutic understanding of appropriate boundaries and stuff, but it may help to de-escalate a tantrum in a pinch.
If nothing else, it's diagnostic. Like I said, if they really give a crap, that's telling. That means they have a lot more control of their behavior than they're letting on.
Both my kids are strong, poised, successful, personable, accomplished young feminists now--but they were hell on wheels for the first 10 years. Both of em. I think spunk is a good thing--if channeled well, it'll keep them from being pushovers as adults. That's the hope, anyway. I'm hoping for a thank-you on my death-bed.
Posted by zazen | Tue Sep 16, 2014, 01:56 PM (0 replies)
Like others here, I find some of her writing similar to other interesting "thought experiments," in that I do think there are elements of some heterosexual relationships in the context of 10,000 years of patriarchy (tracing back through this particular civilization, anyway) that congeal/eroticize power/submission dynamics into gender.
But then there's living in the bloomin', buzzin' confusion of the present, with complex human beings who are all born into conditioning and try to do all of the things humans do (love, hate, reproduce, protect our young, make meaning, serve others, control others) when we are limited by the language and limits of any given age.
The idealization/rejection splitting type behavior she's doing with her female friends screams borderline personality disorder, which is really better described as complex PTSD now, since it's generally a reaction to long-term childhood trauma where you had to bond with an abuser who repeatedly abused you in some way in order to survive. There _are_ people who understandably experience childhood as captivity, but it's truly sad that she can't imagine it otherwise.
Complex PTSD (and the conditions that breed it) look the same regardless of the genitalia of the actors in it. They aren't inherently patriarchal. She's taking a lot of examples of battering, rape, and sexual harassment that cross cultures and that tend to be male-on-female (in other words, patriarchy) and conflating the two. Men aren't born abusers, and women aren't born victims, but we're born into a gender system that eroticizes power and submission (that people with alternative sexualities have to struggle with as well). We're also born into a continuum of formative family situations where we may be subject to awful abuse (from women as much as from men) that lead us to a kind of borderline thinking where people are all good/all bad and where we voraciously search for patterns in others' behavior that might indicate danger.
She appears to be conflating her personal complex ptsd with the realities of patriarchy and then explaining the latter in terms of her desperate fear and paranoia from the former.
Does the drive from her complex ptsd lead her to make intelligent, thought experiment-like points about male dominance? Occasionally. But living with that level of hate, pre-judgement, self-certainty, and paranoia is just perpetuating whatever hell she came from and must prevent her from seeing love and beauty in the people around her when they don't fit into her pre-established terror-inspired categories of safe/unsafe.
As we say down here, bless her heart, and I mean that in a really nice way.
I also really, really hope she gets help before she has any children. God forbid.
Posted by zazen | Tue Jan 14, 2014, 09:10 AM (2 replies)
aren't strong assertions, are they? So I'm not sure how I could be "simply wrong."
IHE's aren't discrete entities. There are influences across higher ed in which members of all IHE's participate (or that they contest or resist) that reflect neoliberal values. No institution is free from it.
I study this as part of my work (and I've worked in higher ed for 25 years) and I don't defer to the "Princeton Review"'s methodology and raison d'etre for expertise on anything.
Also, volunteer programs (read Marc Bousquet on academic exploitation) can be used to exploit student labor. I've certainly seen the new movement in student "service learning" twisted in this way at many an institution.
Having said that, if the programs there are consciously resisting 30 years of academic capitalism, that's awesome, especially if they build in the transition-town (sustainability, resilience, whatever we call it) approach of an Oberlin. Every time I hear one more thing about Vermont (and I've met Bernie Sanders at the WH--he's delightful and an inspiration) I seriously consider moving there. But I feel it's more important that we fight the good fight here in North Carolina and look to Vermont as inspiration.
To recap, an entire institution cannot be somehow exempt from academic neoliberalism. Do the kids not use federal student loans? Do the faculty not pursue external federal grants? Could they collectively vote to reinstate tenure as a body if they wanted to? The larger trends in higher ed do not spare individual IHEs. It's like saying your entire town is exempt from capitalism. Can you resist it? HELL YES.
Posted by zazen | Wed Oct 23, 2013, 10:05 AM (0 replies)
and maybe, maybe, more people will begin to understand that most "pornography" is a photograph of a legally unconsenting (through being underage, drugged, or coerced) person being sexually violated that is then spread in perpetuity without their consent or even compensation.
I'm heartened that there's an uproar about rape photos and revenge porn, but that's because people believe (except for the original perpetrators, clearly) that those violated in them are human beings. Because mainstream society is conditioned to not think of prostitutes and pornography "actresses" (usually, sex trafficking victims) as humans but as things (and "whores" who deserve and secretly want it) then photographs of them don't even register on the moral meter. They're just so much human trash.
I'd venture to say that 50% of pornography online is photographic sex crime evidence. I'm sorry we're seeing more of it being made of the "good" females, but maybe that'll wake people up to the humanity of the "bad" ones to whom this has been happening for decades.
Posted by zazen | Thu Oct 17, 2013, 05:18 PM (1 replies)
We Southern women were taught that from a young age. One is never supposed to acknowledge it --to "dignify it with a response."
A funny Southern writer, Florence King, really captured the weird class/gender/regional dynamics in that, because if a woman didn't acknowledge it--if she froze as if refusing to see anything inappropriate and continued on her business, as if that prurient world wasn't real to her, then that meant she was a real lady and the men felt guilty and wouldn't do it again (to her). So, our opportunity to seize "power" in that situation was the opportunity to assert class. And to prove we weren't Yankees.
That's a weird holdover from aristocratic notions of upbringing, wherein ladies do not acknowledge things that are inappropriate. So, what the system gets is women who don't argue directly back when they're harassed, but what it dangles in front of a certain type of woman is the opportunity to assert that she's a lady. Not exactly a fair trade, and one that reinforces the Madonna/whore complex.
Posted by zazen | Thu May 16, 2013, 08:06 AM (1 replies)
We have a bunch of inside the beltline (Raleigh, that is) multimillionaire neoliberal Dems who've let this happen too. I bet any one of them would be upset about any 3 of the 10 monstrous pieces of legislation underway (but not all 10), but would they ever dirty themselves at a protest? Why, that's so 20th century. And no one who wants to be taken seriously does that. They just pay congratulatory lip service to those who did it in the past, because it's safe to say you would have taken to the streets from a vantage point of 40 years, when you know the outcome.
They're busy with their wingspread seminars and smoked salmon post-seminar buffets and that neoliberal celebration of academic capitalism called the Emerging Issues Forum to rehash the same stale pro-corporate crap about "making NC competitive for the 21st century!" They have no idea the level of evil they're dealing with, nor of the environmental/energy shit storm coming our way. It's hard to be too worried when you haven't yet fallen out of the middle class.
Sorry to be so cynical. I have my reasons.
Posted by zazen | Wed Feb 20, 2013, 08:59 AM (1 replies)
Enculturation into science writing entails learning how to qualify arguments all over the place. Even with startling data, one has to position one's self humbly within a larger community across space and time.
Then, Republican deniers take text from those articles and twist it to make it sound like the scientists really aren't sure about their findings.
I remember one asshole House member asking a scientist during a hearing, yelling at him, basically, "is it right or wrong?! can you not answer a question with yes or no!? why can't you tell us the truth!?" etc. etc. (so he could have footage for his campaign web site, we presume).
Posted by zazen | Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:30 PM (0 replies)