[xmca] Re: Objecting to objectification

From: David Daniel Preiss Contreras (davidpreiss@puc.cl)
Date: Fri Oct 28 2005 - 19:40:07 PDT

there are 2 things here:

1. What about if the author was a man and Ricardo would have said he was a
acting like a "good boy". Would that be pejorative without being sexist? As
I understood it originally, Ricardo was only intending to say that the
author was acting like a good compliant scholar. I wonder if there is any
other sexist sentence in the whole submission of Ricardo. I donīt remember
other but I may be mistaken.

2. Of course, from an APA point of view, an according to the rules of the
USA academy, the sentence of Ricardo is just a disaster. But, what do happen
when you are not regulated by those rules?

Itīs just like now, in a different level, the USA imposing a parlament to
Iraq where half of the representatives have to be women (a criterion that
even the USA does not accomplish), or the West efforts of nation building in
Afganistan (after killing lots of civilians, most certainly, that nobody

You can, of course argue, that the milieu where Ricardo inhabits is "sexist"
or that all Latin American milieus are sexist. But thatīs still a dangerous
claim. Itīs the same claim that drive the American government to impose
democracy by force or the French government to impose laicism in its muslim

Of course there is machism in Latin America. But, who sets the standars of
what is sexist and what isnīt? And, what about if the sentence of Ricardo is
not considered sexist in Latin America?

While, as I said, I do agree that in american academic english Ricardoīs
words sound distateful, I urge you all of you to put his words in a context.
The risk of not thinking twice here is the risk of ethnocentrism which is
just as dangerous as the risk of misoginy or sexism.

We all have to think twice if we are going to do XMCA a multiculturalist
list. If not, let us just alienate the others, send Ricardo to lurk, and let
us make one common sense prevail.



White, Phillip writes:

> i thought of this - the second language issue.
> thinking about, for example, using "una chiquita buena" as a descriptor for an adult is perjorative, no matter what.
> have seen Stetsenko in action as discussant in Sevilla, poised, capable, and marvelously centered - well, Ricardo's term was beyond bounds.
> phillip
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of David Preiss
> Sent: Fri 10/28/2005 12:19 PM
> To: 'eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity'
> Subject: RE: [xmca] Objecting to objectification
> Hi Mary,
> I empathize with the feelings, but I was wondering wheter we are
> misinterpreting Ricardo. There may be issues related to the fact that he is
> writing in a second language, and that the translation does not sound good,
> although he did not intend to objectify. Ricardo, could you clarify?
> That said, why do you say that xmca has been a men's club? Sounds strange
> for a group of ex-collaborators and incoming followers of Sylvia Scribner...
> david
> David Preiss
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Profesor Auxiliar / Assistant Professor
> Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
> Escuela de Psicología
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> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Mary K. Bryson
> Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 12:51 PM
> To: XMCA
> Subject: [xmca] Objecting to objectification
> On 10/28/05 8:00 AM, "Ricardo Japiassu" <rjapias@uol.com.br> wrote:
>> The most part of article is a predictable critical review of
>> Leontiev1s Activity, Counsciousness and Personality - not because Dr.
>> Setsenko1s thinking cannot go beyond the obvious rather present an
>> original approach to activity but, in my point of view, because she
>> preffers to be a 3good girl2.
> Misogynist sexist objectification of any author or their work is absolutely
> unacceptable on this list. If we are ever going to move forward in this
> field towards a body of knowledges that is anything other than
> over-determined by a particularly gendered history this kind of signifying
> practice can not be condoned. You have almost managed in practical terms to
> have a private men's club, with a few women relegated to the wings. If this
> really is the intent, then be clear about it and the rest of us can move
> elsewhere.
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David D. Preiss
home page: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~ddp6/
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