Thursday, November 8, 2012

phallocentric power twice

this late 19th century poster illustrates phallocentric power @ the height of the struggle for women's suffrage in the U.S. take a look at the role of "men." a policeman hold the woman down, he reddish nose a sign of having been "attacked" by a "masculine woman" (epithet used against the suffragettes at the time).

a dapper mustached man vexingly steps on the woman's chest while force-feeding her through a funnel. "men" resent women's claim for political equality (in so doing, they are betrayed by their own representation). the "victims" are now the torturers who deprive  women of their freedom to go on a huger strike for being arbitrarily detained (for protesting men's political inequality?) this is how men protect their right not to be infringed upon by women.

and why not -all the while- have a little fun?

but meanings multiply with contexts: a little more than a century later water-boarding becomes a policy of state. the phallocentric method remains, now with different subjects. instead of women, now we got terrorists. both suffrage and terror are subversive acts.

who is the well-dressed man?


Marisabel said...

I was so glad that Paul brought up the point that these texts we've been reading have so much spiritual and practical wisdom but do not ackowledge women. It could be argued that using "he" for human is just a form of speech and I agree to an extent. It is a form of speech but it isn't just so. It is a reflection of a time where although these texts stress equality and compassion the society still thought of women as sub-human.

I could not stand that some people in our class seem to dismiss this topic because "it does not affect the reading or meaning of what it it trying to say".

The reason it is worth discussing is because it is terrifying evidence of humanity's ability to know absolute truth but still fail because of its unwillingness to APPLY this information. Or more importantly maybe it is not something humanity is unwilling to do but something that is very difficult for it to do.

We need to uunderstand that even though these texts speak of truths, and you can recignize them as so at the time, it is still possible to miss the point.

Ignorance can not be dismissed because it took place in "the past". We must stay alert and vigilant for the ignorance of the present because it will be the same mistakes the future will dismiss as "the past", where people just did not know better.

Part of the process of getting the full depth of these texts is to update or at least understand the hypocricies/human error that touched and influenced.

Why is it that everyone wants to believe we've gotten to some magical place where there is no sexism, racism, agism nor classism?

And if we do live in this magical place, why do people think that these "isms" that are birthed through ignorance can never resurface?

We keep reading these enlightened texts that mentions a specific gender instead of just humankind and we think we are unaffected; that we have nothing to learn or discuss.

When both mean and women alike keep seeing "man" or "he" to refer to the enlightened being these texts want people to become they are affected. It enters the subconcious which slips into our concious attitudes about the roles of men and women which eventually becomes our reality.

atRifF said...

thanks marisabel, i guess people willingly miss the ying boat for another predictable yang trip into the waters of delusion.