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[Xmca-l] Re: Analysis of Gender in early xmca discourse
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>, "Vera John-Steiner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Analysis of Gender in early xmca discourse
- From: Greg Mcverry <email@example.com>
- Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2016 20:13:44 +0000
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It was I, and not Jacob, who originally brought up that the concept of
"logic" has engendered roots because of the roots it had in a Western
tradition that has long favored the activity of those who identify as male
versus those who identify as female or other.
If power influences meaning than our definiton of logic was influenced by
I was not in anyway trying to suggest the conclusion men are logical and
women are illogical. I think the song quote goes, "That's right the women
What I positing, and then to which Jacob provided some research to support,
was that how we as a society view an epistemological definition of "logic"
and how to "make logical arguments" is rooted in the same power structures
and discourse patterns that have lead to gender inequality.
I didn't respond.... yet...to calls for clarifications of my thoughts about
gender and etymology of logic mainly because I had to do work that pays
bills (get feedback out to students) and I wasn't prepared (either with
energy or knowledge) to argue subjectivity versus objectivity.
It is just as hard to convince a hunter to be a vegetarian as it is to
argue with someone rooted rationalism that objectivism may not exist.
I am intrigued by this idea that Rein brought up that our gender fluidity
changes over time and cultures. Yet I am always reminded that the Western
heroes we celebrate today ...Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Batman and
Superman...share much of the ideal male detailed in Greek and Roman
mythology. Until recently female heroes were missing from our ideal.
I have to disagree with David that gender differences are rooted at some
biological differences. I think I may have more in common with any given
female as I do with any given male. Yet as the father of three boys I can
see the differences of engendered practices up close. I really don't know
the answer. I think this is because we have conflated gender and sex as a
binary and it isn't.
I might suggest we retire this thread and split it into three:
-Creating more inclusive practices on XMCA
-Engendered nature of logic
- the role of reproduction, deman, and production
As I stated earlier listserves are awful for this kind of conversation
because they work so well. I don't think the current format, while allowing
for distributed thought and federated content, has all the tagging and
moderation tools necessary to ensure an inclusive environment.
On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 3:50 PM Annalisa Aguilar <email@example.com> wrote:
> If I might comment, I think what has happened in what was being talking
> about, what causes gendered discourses has been reduced to questions of
> whether men are logical and women are illogical, and therein lie a bunch of
> problems and silly assumptions, if you don't mind me calling them silly.
> I don't recall when it was Jacob brought to the list questions and
> observations pertaining to logic and how it was he had been struck down
> from unfolding his thoughts about it, but I certainly do not want to
> prohibit him from speaking out about it. Perhaps he could start a special
> thread Just For That. I would be happy to contribute. I would suggest that
> we should let him moderate that thread, and respect his leadership of that
> However, one of the developments that I am witnessing, is Maria-Cristina
> and Larry and I were kind of going somewhere with the weaving we were
> working upon, and then that development was sideswiped to return to an
> unpleasant memory of being a jerk and being logical (as if these are
> inherently intertwined behaviors). It was an interruption of sorts. I'd
> rather not go back over it because I don't want to descend into an
> essentialist discourse.
> That's why I would rather go back what Maria Cristina and I were
> unfolding, with some nice contributions from Larry.
> At the same time, because it merits a response, I would like to address a
> perfect example of what happens to logical women. Consider Hypatia.
> This idea that logic is gendered is ridiculous. Many women can be logical.
> Many men can be illogical. It's just that the basis of the inquiry,
> specifically, the values that the logic support are different, and that
> difference is based upon culture and what I will call "entrained gender."
> When women use logic (argumentative or otherwise) to the better of their
> male peers, what usually happens is that she is then castigated for her
> looks, or her lack of nurturing, etc. That aggressive act is an act of
> entrainment, where she is punished for being empowered with her own mind,
> and thus she is attacked and put back in her place. When she is dependent
> and entrained to be like Barbie or a trophy wife, to speak in high-contrast
> indicative terms, she is rewarded, but then punished and ridiculed for
> being so illogical (or even better emotional, sinful, fill in the blank).
> This kind of entrainment is a double bind. The various "she"s and the
> various shapes and sizes we come in, can't win without suffering some kind
> of hurtful insult, coming or going.
> Look at what is happening in the US election. If any of the candidates is
> being more logical in the context of this election, it is Hillary. if there
> is anyone being more irrational, emotional, and off-topic, it is Trump, and
> yet there are forces seeking to promote a witch hunt and that fire is being
> kindled by the FBI, the highest police department in the land. *There it is
> in living color.*
> Has any presidential candidate ever in the history of this country ever
> been threatened by the other candidate to be put in prison???
> It is a typical male chauvinist tactic to threaten a woman with
> confinement and to attack a woman's mental state as being far from sane.
> That is why saying that men are logical and women are not, is a veiled
> statement against the mental health of a woman, because somehow there is
> the belief that women's bodies are not genetically or biological capable of
> supporting a math problem. Hope that that is clear.
> I would like to assert that all humans with proper education and guidance
> can be logical. It isn't gendered, it is just being a good thinker, a
> critical thinker.
> That is why to say that somehow logic is male is hugely insulting. So I
> hope that men will understand that that is a likely trigger for intelligent
> women, many who populate this list.
> Let me add that logic has typically been used as an intellectual weapon,
> in an adversarial mode, which has been already commented upon. But this
> has, as I said above, to do with the basis of the particular logical
> inquiry. The foundation. That basis has to do with values. If your values
> are to keep women in their place, whether conscious or not, then you will
> use logic as a weapon and indicate logic is for the male brain only.
> If your values are for social justice, then you will see logic as an
> intellectual tool to build better minds which builds better people, and
> subsequently builds better community and results in a more just society. Is
> that logical enough?
> Hammers can crack skulls or build houses, take your pick *based upon* what
> you value, and what you want to create, what kind of friends to you want to
> hang out with? Turkeys or eagles?
> Anyway, I'd like to return to the conversation with Maria Cristina and
> Larry, and of course anyone else interested, about demand and production,
> or in her view, reproduction, and I think in Larry's version,
> reversibility, if that is OK. But before I tie off on this topic, I also
> want to share how very much I appreciate Vera's post, whose tone might be
> representative of those women and others more prone to lurk until they are
> ready to contribute. Again, I hope there is an emerging safe space here, at
> least I'd like that to be the case. So that other women can participate and
> not feel irrelevant, but cherished and cared for as valuable contributors
> that they are.
> Kind regards,