Re: RES: [xmca] Objecting to objectification

From: tara ratnam (
Date: Sun Oct 30 2005 - 08:57:15 PST

Hi all!
I was puzzled by the storm raised by Ricardo's use of the phrase, 'good
girl'. Offensive as it might sound, interpreting it , as Phil suggests,
from the dominant 'western standard English', wasn't his voice marginalised
by not asking for his meaning first? This is what we try to do with the
culturally diverse students, i.e., negotiate to understand THEIR
INTENTwithout imposing our assumptions prematurely.

>From: Phil Chappell <>
>Reply-To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <>
>CC: Ricardo Japiassu <>
>Subject: Re: RES: [xmca] Objecting to objectification
>Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 18:18:36 +0700
>Dear Ricardo and All,
>I have been working with English users/learners in a similar context to
>yours, Ricardo (and others here on xmca), for 10 years here in Thailand. I
>saw immediately an "inappropriate" instance of language use that you made
>and that many of my students make - it is an unfortunate reality that the
>indeterminate delicate social and cultural constraints on language use in
>particular contexts are not known to them and you, particularly as you and
>they are enclosed from everyday activity where English helps shapes that
>activity. It is a fact that one form of English or an other in most
>international undertakings, and on xmca a western academic standard of
>English, is the dominant tool for communication and shared consciousness.
>There lies one tension, if not a contradiction.
>In my experience with English language learners who are beyond the level
>of struggling to share and build meanings with others because of their
>lack of proficiency, it is the idioms, metaphors and colloquial uses of
>English that get them into situations like these. In my experience and
>opinion, it is not as simple as looking to first language equivalents in
>thought to make a judgement on the meaning intentions. But how else can an
>actor become more than a peripheral participant?
>I, like the majority I assume am happy at Mary's response, and the
>thoughtful responses of everyone shows yet again what an incombustible
>community xmca has become over the years.
>To Mike's response, can I suggest that we have periods of language use
>other than English on the list? I reckon a number of legitimate peripheral
>participants just may enter into the main discussions if the language were
>one that they were more familiar with. And there is always a number of
>online translation services for folks like me who couldn't keep up in
>Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese....... I have learned much from
>posts that have gone to the lexical meanings of the author's first
>language (for example, smysl and znachenie) and expect I will learn more
>by struggling in another language.
>Respectfully to All,
>An added thought...over the years that I have been on the xmca list I
>think I have had 4 or 5 private messages indicating surprise in one form
>or other that my gender is male. I've never really thought much about it,
>as I use my short name Phil for Philip, but perhaps there are some answers
>to our questions to be found there. Two of the messages were from females,
>I think...
>On 29/10/2005, at 2:17 AM, Ricardo Japiassu wrote:
>>Dear Mary Bryson and all,
>>That was not my intention - misogynist sexist objectification of Dr.
>>Setsenko's writings.
>>What I want to say, using the expression "good girl", is that she acts
>>according predictable academic constrains and rules.
>>It was not my intention to defend or advocate any "private men's club" -
>>neither a private women's one, or a private gay one. I just tried to
>>some thoughts using English as a foreing language - and I had never the
>>chance to study it in USA or Astralia or England and just made a basic
>>course here, in Brazil, many years ago.
>>Please, do not move elsewhere. I promise be silent and act in a
>>(lurking) way. Maybe I have been pathetic trying to communicate in a
>>language that is not mine. Forgive-me if you felt the expression I made
>>as offensive.
>>I did noy know it has this sense in English.
>>xmca mailing list
>>xmca mailing list
>xmca mailing list

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