What do you think?

There’s plenty to think about. 

It’s easy to get the feeling that the world is falling apart.  Pakistan’s “fractious coalition” is falling apart, Russia is happy to sever ties with NATO, Australia is rejecting a request to take East Timor guest workers, and…well, you get the picture.  Is there some good news worth point out?

There’s a very major national election coming up.  Are  you watching the convention or clips from it? 

We’ve had some discussion recently of implicit association:  I gather Biden has said that he didn’t press Anita Hill’s charges against Thomas because he thought she was lying.  That sounds like a case where implicit associations may well be working.  The woman says P, the man says not-P.  Someone is lying.  Slam dunk, right?  I don’t think so.

Have the ideas that charges of sexual harassment are not incredible and that women are not generally very fond of bringing them gotten through to the public consciousness yet?

I was taking a break from a paper I am writing (two papers and two evaluations due Sept. 1!!) to check email.  And I find from the NY Review of Books, which has already made some preferences too clear, the following:

This month, we are publishing two books that highlight man’s connection to the forces of nature: Richard Hughes’ In Hazard, a spellbinding tale of a ship caught in a vicious hurricane; and Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, an innovative and intimate study of the Aran Islands. Both offer adventure and startling insight into the natural world and humanity’s place in it. Each title is available at a limited-time 25% discount.

Wondering whether I should ask them to stop sending me email, I scrolled down the message to see lots of names of very distinguished women.  “I have misjudged them,” I thought.  And then looked more closely.  All the women were writing Intros to guys’ books.  Why does that seem so familiar?

Are you starting a fall semester?  Are there good things about it to look forward to?  Are you scrambling to meet end of summer deadlines?

What are you thinking?

11 thoughts on “What do you think?

  1. Well, from my point of view both are high risks, but at least Obama is a high reward, while McCain has very little reward at all. So if both have the chance of flopping up big time, u might as well take the one who has a chance of turning things around…

  2. I’ve been thinking about the Anita Hill thing, and wondering how early that was in people’s awareness of sexual harassment. Of course, feminists had been talking about it for some time. But in my hazy memory I find myself thinking that it was maybe the first time the rest of the country even learned the term. Can that be right?

  3. Interesting point. A google search took me to answers.com:

    According to them, there’s some awareness raised in the early 1970’s, and it gets explicitly in law in the 80’s, but it isn’t until the Anita Hill hearings that there was much national consciousness. It is implicitly against the US law by 1964, but that act does not mention it explicitly.

    I do remember using the term in the 80’s. I think that among women faculty, the discussions of the Chilly Climate made us aware in the 80’s. Of course, even today women who complain about it may find more problems created than solved.

  4. Biden wasn’t my favorite of the potential VP candidates, he’s not who I would have chosen, but it could be worse. I’m pretty okay with him.

    All in all, things are pretty good here. I’m both stressed out and fulfilled at work, I’m taking a professional editing class at community college (because even though I just finished my M.A., I can’t stay out of school), and I’m happy with the work I’m doing to protest the HHS proposal. The world is a frustrating place right now, but at least I’m able to do something about it.

  5. Alec,
    Who is it that is going to benefit from Obama? From what I have heard him say and the ads I have seen him run the only people who will benefit are the people he is targeting- the overindulged middle class who need nothing. In rewarding them for having too much to begin with he can then act as if he cares about anyone who is not like himself, hence, in the eyes of the dominant class, having been a nice, good boy who has done as much as he can.
    Does that mean that entrenching poverty is a feminist value? I mean I already KNOW that that is exactly the case with way too many feminists, one can talk about gender, race, disability, but bring up poverty and they trip on ya, I mean you can say that that is a value of your brand of feminism but PLEASE do not lump us all into that category. Many woman from backgrounds of deprivation do not want anything to do with feminism for that reason. I hated feminism until I was introduced to Maria LUgones and Chela Sandoval. There are different types of feminism because, as a result of the class chasm, there are different issues and “needs”. I, as a person who lived in poverty for over 3 decades, have VERY different needs from the prototypical Haraway/Harding rich white feminism, focusing on which choice to make has no relevance to those with lives like mine, we have never had that kind of luxury. IN the future it might be nice if, instead of assuming that hegemonic/(upper)middle class feminism fits all, specify which feminists it will be of any benefit to, personally, outside of the ivory tower, I know no women at all who will not be extremely harmed by the policies of Obama. If it weren’t for the abortion issue I would almost vote for McCain, but, if you check further back (i believe even in this blogsite) you will see that Obama is not so great with that either, I mean he is religious, there was a TEMPLE at the convention for crying out loud, as we should all know by now religion is extremely dangerous in many ways- and is particularly used for entrenching poverty AND taking choices away from women- those women who have the luxury of choice to begin with that is.
    Exactly what are feminist values? Are they decided upon by different types of feminism or does Sandra Harding get to make them up and dictate them to the world?

  6. ilovefanon,

    1. Who do you mean when you refer to `the middle class’? And on what basis do you consider them to be `overindulged’? I consider myself and my mother both to be on the bottom edge of the middle class, and our lives are far from overindulged: neither of us can afford to maintain our houses, neither of us has decent health care, and increases in transportation, heating, and food costs (combined with the problems with the housing market in her case — she designs houses) are going to make this winter a lean one for both of us. It’s true that we enjoy some luxuries that other people do not. But it’s far from true that we `need nothing’.

    2. Your dichotomy between Harding and Haraway, on the one hand, and Lugones and Sandoval, on the other, doesn’t make any sense. All four theorists read, comment on, constructively criticize, cite, and thank each other. (See, for example, the first endnote in Sandoval’s essay in Harding’s Feminist standpoint theory reader.)

    3. You write, `I know no women at all who will not be extremely harmed by the policies of Obama’. Could you please elaborate? With all of your comments critical of Obama lately, I’m still unclear what, exactly, you think he’s going to do.

    4. What about all the women you know who will be harmed even more by McCain’s policies? It’s true that Obama’s far from the ideal candidate of the left. It’s also true that McCain will be much, much worse.

    7. You write, `as we should all know by now religion is extremely dangerous in many ways- and is particularly used for entrenching poverty AND taking choices away from women’. And this is true. But religion can also be a powerful inspiration for liberatory movements that challenge poverty and give oppressed and marginalized groups more power and autonomy. Liberation theology is the most important example here, in both its Latin American and African American forms. It’s not difficult to find radical leftist feminists — with ideas as challenging to the status quo as those of Sandoval and Lugones — who ground their politics in devout Catholicism.

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