Jender has recommended to us the wonders of the contest, Eurovision. Nations are now in the process of choosing their entries for 2012. The one for Russia struck me as very surprising. It may be one of the more subtle protests about Putin (think of his tailored suits), though it seems also a very enthusiastic celebration of women’s craft work on the part of a very modern audience.
Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Russia , Winners Russian National FINAL
The band Buranovskiye Babushki consists of eight grandmothers. They are originally from the Udmurt Republic, from the village of Buranovo. The band performs most of their entries in their Udmurt language, and tonight they sang Party For Everybody. The lyrics of this song were written by the grannies themselves.
They scored the highest number of points and won the Russian national final.
Russia will take part in the First Semi-Final of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday 22nd May in Baku.
Another university in my city just gave a wonderful day-long symposium/workshop on women in philosophy. There was a lot to take away from the main speakers, Carla Fehr and Sally Haslanger, and the comments and suggestions of others. Among other things, Sally mentioned micromessaging, a notion that appears first in management theory.
When one thinks about the climate of a department, micromessaging should be considered an important part of it.
Micromessages are small, largely non-verbal signals that we send and pick up in many, and perhaps all, conversational set ups. They might range from the different amounts of time people are allowed to speak to whether a more powerful person looks others in the eye. If you have talked to people at the APA who are always looking over your shoulder to see who else is there, you’ve probably received some strong micromessages about your importance.
The messages are not neutral; they contain an assessment of your importance and the quality of what you have to say. They are encouraging or discouraging, and they can help you flourish in an environment or they can degrade both your mood and your work.
I would not be surprised if many of us have been told that these small details in our environment are not important. “Just ignore them and go ahead and do your own work.” I haven’t read enough of the book (linked to above) to say what the author’s reaction to this is, but I think that that is desperate advice. These messages can impact us on a visceral level. Perhaps like pervasive bad smells, you can work despite them, but that does not make them and their capacity for making you feel slightly sick go away.
We can ‘habituate to smells’ and no longer notice them. I’m not at all sure that getting habituated to a negative environment is the same. In any case, those who have a positive environment are given a strong advantage over those who do not.
The series, The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe, first from the University of Chicago Press and, later, the University of Toronto Press, has published 194 texts or collections, the vast majority of which are by women. Further, many, and perhaps all, are available as e-texts on Amazon.com for under $12.
You can find the series Introduction and Bibliography on links from this page.
The Introduction is profoundly disturbing. It describes the attitudes toward women from the days of Aristotle onwards through the period of the series. This is not a story of any progression. Nonetheless, it does explain why so much of women’s writing at this time is devoted to arguing for women’s right to an education and her equality more generally.
Filmmaker Julia Haslett has produced a new film about french philosopher and activist Simone Weil. The filmmaker is available for campus screenings. Find out more about the film An Encounter with Simone Weil here