What do you think? An Open Thread and an Unhappy Update

What are you thinking about?  Reading?  Writing?

Is there any good fiction you’d like to recommend?  Ways of taking a vacation without a lot of  travel? 

Some very good links show up in comments on this blog.  Here are two good  ones:

From Combat Barbie:

FeminineMstique Says:

That’s really nice for her, but it does nothing to counter the perception that underneath it all, every woman wants to be seen as feminine and girly.

It also does nothing to draw attention to the huge problem of misogyny and sexual violence within the army.

Read the post on the f word about soldiers and pin ups… http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2008/07/mod_but_the_boy which generated 28 comments with a range of perspectives.

From Th:e Second Snort

sally Says:

A group of philosophers has put together a wiki to collect some of the research and other resources that was originally identified by the ADVANCE team at UM, headed by Abby Stewart, including a bibliography on evaluation bias. Here is the URL:
Note that because it is a wiki, you can add stuff to it.
Also check out the ADVANCE website, which includes lots of great stuff:
If you have trouble finding the articles included in the evaluation bias bibliography, report that here in the comments and I’ll try to find a way to post them without obviously violating copyright.

The unhappy update: I’ve removed three comments; an initial one and two of my own which referenced it. I am uncertain about whether I have acted appropriately. The initial comment was a pretty thorough going attack on me. Unlike another recent one, it was signed. However, it was extremely negative. To wit:

JJ: … I think that you should step down from your current role as a contributor to this blog. … Your most recent gesture in this vein was exceedingly racist.. I think your pettiness, defensiveness, and vindictiveness combine to make you an inappropriate person for the role you play on this blog and a poor representative of feminism, as well as philosophy.

Having thought an excessive amount of time about what to do about this, I decided it presented me with a trilemma, which is the sort of thing philosophers are comfortable thinking about. The trilemma consists in three unacceptable actions that seem to occupy the whole space of possible actions. And then I discovered a 4th, which resovles the problem. It really is so nice to think of personal crises in terms of their logical structure. (That’s a joke.)
1. It is unacceptable for me to censure negative remarks about myself.
2. It is unacceptable for me to mount a defense of myself in this arena.
3. It is unacceptable for me to let highly negative attacks on me to remain in a public space without a response.

Then the resolution occurred to me: put all the stuff in a web box and let Jender decide when she gets back. So that’s what’s happening.

However, there is a remaining issue. The comment of mine that was judged as “exceedingly racist” was, I think, an aside about “some Islamic countries” which I said were right from some perspectives. That may have been taken as ironic. I probably should have stressed, and want to stress now, that many people in and from Islamic countries are very unhappy, to say the least, about the West’s easy assumption of its moral superiority. And Westerners who become more well acquainted with Islamic cultures can express the same attitude. On this blog we have sometimes expressed concern about some actions that harmed particular women in specific Islamic countries. It would be really not right to assume we were dismissing the whole of “Islamic thought.”

4 thoughts on “What do you think? An Open Thread and an Unhappy Update

  1. Pop Culture Corner!

    I just read Aimee Bender’s The Girl in the Flammable Skirt and am now reading her novel, An Invisible Sign of My Own. Highly recommend both.

    I’m a little bit obsessed lately with HBO’s Big Love. It’s about a family of Mormon polygamists living undercover in suburban Salt Lake City. I find the characters fascinating (especially Lois and Margene), and it has a lot to say, I think, about agency under patriarchy, the politics of the family, and the public/private split that occurs when one has to live one’s life in the closet (though the Henricksons’ closet is of course different from the queer closet). Both seasons are out on DVD now.

    You Say Party! We Say Die! is a Vancouver-based riot grrl/dance-punk band I’ve been listening to lately that reminds me a little bit of Sleater-Kinney.

  2. Question: Does anyone know of any women in philosophy who became mothers in middle school/high school? I’d like to know if I’m the only one. And if I’m not, I’d like to kiss their feet.

    Also, any references to teen pregnancy, teen mothering, teen pregnancy prevention, teen mother assistance (Charter Schools for parenting teens, etc) in the philosophical/feminist literature would be helpful.


  3. I am just reading Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession edited by Don Kulick and Anne Meneley. Very interesting and… might be curing me of my own obsession! :-)
    Otherwise, I am working on Beauvoir and her phenomenology of… the body!
    Saw a documentary on the plane the other day: My penis and Everyone Else’s by Lawrence Barraclough. Very interesting and amusing.

  4. HI
    Having sadly finished all the books by both Beauvoir & Sartre, I HATE having no more to read by AMAZING authors, I started reading those they had read themselves

    I have fallen in love with Violette Leduc, I have read both La Batarde and L’affamee and they are both amazing. The first is an autobiographical novel that also contains alot of phenomenology and exitentialism, the second is a thinly covered account of her love for Beauvoir, who was her mentor.
    Over the winter I read a book by Jenna Blum, it was great. It is Those who Save Us, an account of women in Nazi Germany.
    ALso Kiran Desai,particularly The Inheritance of Loss, is always a good choice. Alan Brennerts Molokai was really really good as well. Unfortunately I have run out of those books as well, I read too much and too quickly and everyone is either dead and can no longer write for me or take much longer to write than I do to read, so I am always looking for new authors.

    For music the only current thing I have really been listening to is the Welfare poets, great lyrics, reminiscent of the revolutionary thoughts of Tupac Shakur but missing the heavy gangsta beats, even though the beats are still tough.

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