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[Xmca-l] Re: Analysis of Gender in early xmca discourse


It *feels,* if I might say, that we are experiencing a much more plural and nuanced discussion about the topic at hand, without the pressure. It's a fresh of breath air. :)

I agree with Peg that achievement can only bring one so far (if I am reading her correctly), before long one becomes mechanized to the goal rather than the journey. Then the goal being had, the time being gone, it's hard to remember how we got there, or even why.

A lot of what I think Vygtosky brings to us is a means (process) and space (zone) to afford creative gestures (development) in which it's not about me, it's not about you, it's not about me and you, or me or you, but it's about the gaps and overlaps that are created and DISCOVERED by being us being together, those fleeting instances that emerge into our consciousness in time and space, because you and I make that space in between like two flints that join and come apart, join and come apart. And then spark that flies.

Those discoveries or ignitions, cannot be anticipated, nor planned. Still, they seem to appear at that very decisive moment of relaxation and play, by happenstance (Vera showed this to me).

It is difficult to let discovery by happenstance (which has a similar etymology to "happiness," which is also discovered, or revealed – depending upon your worldview) *happen* when,  something Larry had referred to recently – the "dynamic of three boys" – takes over, (no, I don't refer to any 3 boys in particular, but rather to the dynamic), the desired outcome doesn't occur whereby everyone has equal freedom to play, and it's just the privileged or the more-dominant aspirants.

So that is my nod to gender in discourse, which is the name of this here thread, isn't it.

Maria Cristina points out a different cause related to the gap of presence I'd mentioned (the absence of women, and Other discussants, which I'd indicated is a huge loss we as a community experience by not having more vocal presence as presents for us all). She explains the loss as caused by a lack of time, and Alfredo adds a deeper dimension to that, a view of those who have an entirely other world over-taxed with non-professional commitments, duties centered upon personal relationships and the sacrifices required to keep them alive, and even flourishing... we hope...because that is the real food of life.

I don't think they mean to say that those who post have nothing better to do, while others connected to them slave away off screen, but for me, by being more personal (as a feminist viewpoint, let us start with personal experience), there is a rich sense of them as people and who they share their lives. It palpates into a genuine connectedness and a stirring vulnerability that comes with sharing; not displaying, not competing.

To reflect on what Maria Cristina says about accumulated knowledge, it is understood isn't it that any accomplished person is accomplished because of the help of others? There are no rugged individuals here are there? So does it really make sense to have the kind of mindset to win medals and laurels in competition when the rewards (and even glory) are much deeper, more lasting when done in community alongside that openness to happenstance I spoke of above. Medals tarnish and the laurels fade, and when the winter comes, all that matters is how much wood did you chop and who is left to talk with by the fire while the snow falls?

It's difficult to maintain a hardboiled dialectic materialism, when the material of happenstance (or is it happiness) is nothing that comes from a jar, isn't it? And yet the instinct is to look for the object, and if not the object, the means to make that object an object (aka ontology), in order to produce it. That is a lot of work. Perhaps thankless.

Maybe it has more to do with the demand than the production. Just a thought. (I am thinking about Arjun Appadurai right about now and his exploration of the social life of things).

Like Peg, I don't want people to be stuck only with the thought or physical structures we know about and live with. The world is infinite expanding flowering lotus and there are as many possibilities (why settle for eating cold gruel every day, when we can fly?).

Personally, I don't have a problem with long posts. To give equal short shrift to short posts, there are occasions where I have more of a problem with short posts, or posts that seem like swiss cheese. Nothing against the Swiss, or cheese, but I am hinting about the cultural references that are implicative not indicative. But perhaps this is a tall order.

It's like private jokes tossed out as a means to display exclusivity (and even power). But such a kind of discourse requires a third-person, to objectify as the one who can be ignored. The one we can interrupt and dismiss. Isn't that conduct is far easier to do with short posts than long ones?

With long posts, on the other hand, there is an investment to be made, and also to receive: By the one who writes (who gave the time to consider) and by the one who reads (who gives the time to reflect). Both take a lot of work, thankfully. So let the people who want to do the work dive in, and if there is not enough time, then there's not enough time. Save the thread for a rainy day.

I did that very thing with Alfredo's post and subsequent ones. I am staying up late to read, and I'm investing in my reply. I regret Henry has reservations to post all those essays he's written, and I would certainly love to read them, and if you would too, then chime in. Please.

I'd suggest, while wrapping up this long post and sharing my observations and metaphorical weavings, that the Second Great Awakening that Larry shared is connected to the Transcendentalists, i.e., Emerson and Thoreau, who were inspired by many things, including Vedanta, which explains the validity of morality and how it is not a human invention, but a subtle structure of laws upon which the universe unfolds (dharma). So it makes sense to me that moral concern would be the guiding light in their pursuit of freedom and individual conscience. Moral concern, freedom, and individual conscience are birds of a feather.

Unless they are chased by a toddler.

Good night,


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