Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Breasts on Israel but not the US

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:08 AM
Original message
Breasts on Israel but not the US
"Israel has the right to defend herself" --Twice (in relation to Lebanon)

"The United States has the right to defend itself" --Twice (in relation to terrorism, 9/11)

I had a thread several weeks ago about genderizing the Middle East conflict. Lots of people said that "herself" was a normal way to refer to a nation, and that administration rhetoric was not deliberate. Chimpy's press conference today makes it clear that genderizing is deliberate.

Word choice is crucial in propaganda.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. Stand beside HER, and guide HER, through the night with the light from
above....

He's an idiot. I wouldn't read any more into it than that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's a Broadway song, not a press conference
"God Bless America" was written by Irving Berlin for a Broadway show and has become the defacto second national anthem, highly symbolic and romantic.

Press conferences are the business of governance.

If you don't understand how you're being manipulated, you have no way of fighting it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:20 AM
Original message
And he's an IDIOT.
This is a guy who MAKES UP words, who cannot put a sentence together, and says things like "Is our chirren learnin'" and "We gotta make the pie higher."

It's not propaganda, it's stupidity.

Just because it happens at a press conference doesn't afford it any particular gravitas. He could make the same fuckup right before he says something like "Now watch this drive."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
8. Idiots would not think enough to be that consistent on pronoun usage
I agree with you that the chimp is an idiot. No question. But his handlers and the PR people that craft the message are not. I know someone in the biz and message crafting is extremely specific and controlled. Someone in PR came up with genderizing as a way of creating an image, and the chimp was taught to repeat it ad nauseum. He may be an idiot, but the people who pull the strings are not.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. true
nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
15. But he is not consistent, he never is, on this or other issues of grammar
or word usage.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/2006070...

You've kept America what our founders meant her to be: a light to the nations, spreading the good news of human freedom to the darkest corners of earth. That was a month and a half ago...

Two weeks ago: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/08/2006080...
By passing comprehensive immigration reform, we will uphold our laws, meet the needs of our economy, and keep America what she has always been -- an open door to the future, a blessed and promised land, one Nation under God.

It's absurd to read something dire and untoward into the babblings of a nitwit who cannot string a respectable sentence together. There's plenty nefarious about Bush, but the fact that he doesn't consistently put "breasts" (as you term it) on America, while applying them to Israel, is NOT evidence of evil--it's evidence of stupidity and an inability to speak coherently and cogently.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. It's not grammar, it's word choice. The examples you chose are
interesting.

In both cases, America's ideals are being spotlighted. These are the ideas of America as repository of the highest ideals of justice and freedom (which it must teach to the world as the light to the nations), and America as great acceptor, with open arms, of all peoples. Both of these are non-threatening, nurturing images and are genderized female.


Genderizing is highly context sensitive and is usually directed at males. War brings out a masculine genderizing of nation as conquerer, but also a feminine genderizing as woman to be protected, the idea being that war is a defensive act against an aggressor.

The reason the Israel example sticks out so much is that Bush does NOT use "her" for the US in the context of the war on terror, but does for Israel. One of my posts below explains why I think this is.

Believe me when I say that every word is well thought out.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #17
22. But with him, it IS both
This is an idiot who cannot remember, after being briefed, which way to exit a presser in China.

Well thought out? Come on. He's lucky to stumble through his pressers and pray that there is no interference on his ear mike, so Karl can give him guidance so he can at least get the main points across.

The "DemocRat" thing, I buy that--they do it all the time, and the only thing I wish is that every time they do it, some Democrat would stop the damned party and correct them, and suggest that they are stupid. After a while, that meme would take hold.

But as for the example you cite, the screwing up the gender usage with reference to the US, no, sorry. I just cannot and do not buy it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. You ignored my analysis and gave me rhetoric
I can't do much with that, sorry.

Again, genderizing is context sensitive and deliberate in politically sensitive cases.

And Bush's stupidity or whatever is not the issue. He has his talking points and does them well. What he can't do well is answer any substantive questions. Talking points are where you find the most deliberately crafted language.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. We are gonna have to disagree then, you gave me the same argument
after I gave you TWO examples that opposed your thesis to trump your single one, which clearly, if you watched it, was the ramblings of a spitting, sputtering, nitwit, struggling to get through that presser.

You can call it context-sensitive, I view it as he had a few too many pulls off the bottle of Jim Beam last night and he's stumbling over his words.


So, whatever.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Sound arguments are worth repeating, especially when they are not heard
the first time.

Since you think this is an numbers debate (which it's not, but I'll play along) I will point out that I actually gave your 4 examples (trumping your 2)--2 repetitions in a single press conference of Israel as "herself" and 2 repetitions (in the same press conference) of the US as "itself" in sentences with the same meaning: Israel must defend herself, The US must defend itself.

Add to this the sheer number of times in the first weeks of the Israeli/Lebanon conflict which Bush, Condi Rice, and other officials used "herself" in the same context with the same words. Add to that the fact that "itself" was not used by these officials.

So, I guess the numbers actually support the argument, so it might be helpful to read it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. This is the guy who said he loves his wife like he loves his brother
And you expect me to seriously parse his grammar and his use of one phrase in one instance, and actually believe that there is meaning in his use of its vs. her or his or even their?

I'm sorry. I think you are overreaching. You have every right to your opinion, I have every right to mine. On more than one occasion, he's used IT to describe Israel...he uses her and it and their interchangeably--why? Because he is stupid, not because he is taking clues from his minister of propaganda (when he does that, he pauses first, and goes "Heheh" before he speaks--he wants to make sure the dummies don't miss his trick). Some examples of Israel as IT:

The United States is strongly committed and I am strongly committed to the security of Israel as a vibrant Jewish state. I reiterate our steadfast commitment to Israel's security and to preserving and strengthening Israel's self-defense capability, including its right to defend itself against terror. http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A12313-2004Apr...

As we work with friends and allies, it is important to remember this crisis began with Hezbollah's unprovoked terrorist attacks against Israel. Israel is exercising its right to defend itself. http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/2006073...


More: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2006-07/16/content_6...

And here's Lebanon, getting both the ITS and the HER treatment by the Monkey in the very same press conference:

We want a Lebanon free of militias and foreign interference, and a Lebanon that governs its own destiny, as is called for by U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1559 and 1680....An effective multinational force will help speed delivery of humanitarian relief, facilitate the return of displaced persons, and support the Lebanese government as it asserts full sovereignty over its territory and guards its borders.....The whole cornerstone of the policy for Lebanon is for Lebanon to be free and able to govern herself and defend herself with a viable force. http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&S...


We disagree. You find his actions nefarious, I find them a mark of his idiocy and inability to speak extemporaneously in a cogent fashion.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. I applaud your effort, but a handful of counterexamples doesn't change
the consistent overall message over the past 4 weeks.

The argument stands.

Peace.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. And I, likewise, applaud yours, though I remain unconvinced of your
argument's merits. Peace back at you.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. There's a good way to test your theory
When the GOP noise machine puts out a slogan or word choice, the tactic is always echoed throughout their propaganda network. If Rush, Hannity, Cheney, and Tony Fox are using this same word choice I'd say you're onto something. If not, then maybe we should just take Junior's intellect into account. He really is an idiot, you know.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #6
21. Condi used "herself" in regard to Israel as well
I think I also heard Cheney use it. I don't watch FAUX or listen to Rabid Right talk radio, so I don't know what the tools are saying.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. He used that Frank Luntz-endorsed "Democrat Party" today
I didn't hear the term "insurgent" today.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
27. Yes he did. As in "rat"?
And not "democratic" and "democracy".
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. You fail to bring this to a point.
Even if it were true that this was deliberate (which I'm really not convinced it is), what's the point in making this connection?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Heh, heh....to a POINT
Like Jane Russell's bra?

But honestly, I was wondering that, as well.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. I think people need to be more aware of the language of propaganda
This is a small and very obvious example. I have a friend who does PR for a living and every single word is thought out in the creation of a message. That's what all those focus groups are for--how does each word play emotionally in the minds of the audience, short circuiting logic.

Essentially, the use of the female gendered pronoun is to create an idea of vulnerability and support the idea of the verb "defend". The US example did not need this because 9/11 is still very present in the minds of Americans and we are always told we are defending ourselves when we go to war: We are never the aggressors, according to our government. The case of Israel attacking southern Lebanon to flush out terrorists was not so clear. Lebanon had not attacked Israel, and Hezbollah had not flown a bunch of planes into a famous buildings in an Israel city. The way to sell it to Americans, I think, was to not relate Israeli vulnerability to the current Israel/Lebanon context, (which would not support an incursion into Lebanon) but to make the vulnerability a trait of Israel itself, hence the use of the female pronoun.

Many people actually do subscribe to a vulnerable Israel in the midst of an aggressive and violent Arab nationalism. The pronoun "her" makes sense under those conditions.

But the use of the pronoun is an unconscious argument: a subliminal way of creating assent in the listener without the listener realizing it. It's the manipulation of propaganda, and it ticks me off. There are lots of other examples which are more obvious like "cut and run", both very loaded words, especially for males, bringing up images of castration and cowardice.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. I think it's a good point
I think there are better examples out there too. For instance, the use of barnyard animals every time someone talks ill of homosexuality issues. It serves two simultaneous purposes. The first is obvious - to denigrate homosexuals. This isn't particularly useful, however, as it also brings up the notion that all humans are animals, which is a concept that most of that same audience violently rejects (see: evolution debate).

The second isn't so obvious, but it's probably more important. The target audience for such hate speak is typically rural america. It puts the concept into terms they can understand. For instance, one might not understand psychology or genetics, so such an explanation of homosexuality probably would go over their heads. But to say "You don't see two male pigs engaging in sexual relations" makes the argument tangible for those folks. They hear it and say, "You're right - I've never seen two male pigs have sex, and I've been around pigs all my life."

You're absolutely right about the propaganda involved here too - when speaking in terms of the United States, people don't want to associate us with being vulnerable, yet when making the case for Israel, it's rather convenient to paint such a picture.

I don't think on Bush's part it's very significant, because as it's been said elsewhere, he's not a sophisticated enough speaker to make such a distinction, even WITH his handlers around. However, it's definitely something to look for.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:55 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. Really excellent and thoughtful points, Vash!
I enjoyed your well reasoned post. I had not thought of the rural piece, but that makes sense as well.

The barnyard thing is kind of a smear. And it's particularly vicious and nasty.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nicholas D Wolfwood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #29
34. Thanks Nikki!
:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. You're welcome
I've been thinking about George Lakoff lately and wondering what his take would be on the language of this administration.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. Propaganda happens, but in this case you're reading way too much into it
I quoted two examples that I found in thirty seconds where he used the SHE/HER construct vis a vis America in the last two months. I'm sure there are more.

This guy has a history of not being able to speak coherently.

I don't buy the argument.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #19
24. You would disagree with me despite very detailed explanations and analysis
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 12:52 PM by Nikki Stone 1
I can't do much more. You're attached to your beliefs.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. Et tu? You're equally attached to yours.
Like I said, we disagree. I did provide two cites in refutation. Here's another:

Our new immigrants are just what they have always been people willing to risk everything for the dream of freedom. And America remains what she has always been the great hope on the horizon an open door to the future a blessed and promised land. http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/05/15/D8HKHJG80.html

It is all apropos of nothing, though, IMO.

I think this site tells us all we need to know about what happens when the Monkey stands behind a podium without a teleprompter: http://www.dubyaspeak.com/
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #13
23. Motherland has been used for a long time.
Fatherland is used by Germany, Argentina and I think Venezuela.

That is where the genederization of he or she comes from.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. So which is the US? Motherland or fatherland?
Why is it referred to as "she" in patriotic songs but as "it" in political discourse, like Bush's press conference today?

Language in politics and propaganda gets crafted specifically for specific reasons.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
30. Israel is to be cherished like a mother, & the US discarded like a mother-
:blush:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Annces Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
7. I bet you are right
These people use media manipulation like a magician uses magic tricks.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. Yes. Like "CUT and RUN"--bringing up castration imagery
and cowardice.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
meisje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
9. Sell I hope she does not try to board a flight to the U.S. w/ padded ones!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
10. Question ??? Word choice is crucial in propaganda.
I would agree that the word choice is always important in propaganda, like the Iranians substitution of the word "Zionist" for "Jewish"

You say the "genderizing is deliberate"

What are the propaganda objectives bush is achieving by using different pronouns ?

Bear in mind, I am not saying the bush administration is not above using propaganda to achieve it's ends, but I just don't see it here.

Just asking

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
donsu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. sometimes they use 'her' for symphthy as in Israel and sometimes

it is used as a putdown as in referring to mideast countries.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Remember Newt's list of "approved" vocabulary words?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. Exactly. I always wonder what PR firm is behind these word choices
and how much taxpayer money has gone to them to manipulate the taxpayer.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nikki Stone 1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
32. See my posts above for explanation
Essentially it is about creating the sense of vulnerability.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
33. Many languages assign gender to nouns - nouns including nation and country
German includes masculine, feminine, and neuter genders and the grammar reflects this not only in the choice of (definite and indefinite) articles but in the conjugation of verbs. French and Spanish (in which I have no academic training) have masculine and feminine ... and also have grammatical implications. ESL speakers can, therefore, be easily understood to use the gender-based reference depending on how their native language 'wired' their thinking. Since it's not improper in English (and often regarded as poetical or stylistic) to use gender in reference to nouns including country, I'm not inclined to get my panties in a twist looking for subtle bias or prejudice. God knows there's enough heavy-handed deceit and propaganda to choose from.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
35. for a propaganda ploy, they're pretty inconsistent
I think maybe you're making too much of this. Just look at today's press conference with respect to Iraq. Chimpy made essentially the same statement twice during the press conference. Once he referred to Iraq as "herself" and once as "itself".



G Bush: "If you think problems are tough now, imagine what it would be like if the United States leaves before this government has a chance to defend herself, govern herself, and listen to the -- and answer to the will of the people."

G. Bush: "imagine what Iraq would look like if the United States leaves before this government can defend itself and sustain itself."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lonestarnot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
38. True that!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Marie26 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
39. He said the same about Iraq
I really don't think it means much.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:30 PM
Response to Original message
41. I agree with you and posted a question about this a month ago
when Dumbya was speaking about it. I think the propaganda is about making Israel look victimized. He doesn't use the feminine in all instances. He might use it to marginalize, though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Sep 19th 2014, 05:11 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC