Author Topic: Juju  (Read 14018 times)

fern hill

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Juju
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2006, 06:29:25 PM »
Mandos, Marilyn French is a lightweight. Just saying. . .

Edited to ask (since I seem to keep getting behind here): Are we speculating, doing applied anthropology, what?

Because there are facts, studies, a helluva lot of stuff and work and bloodsweatand tears that I don't mind talking about, but if it's going to be Super Bowl vs. baby showers, I'm outta here.

Mandos

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Juju
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2006, 06:47:32 PM »
Oh, I was trying to keep it light and personal experiency but I hardly mind it if you wish to introduce such crass and unpalatable things as cold hard facts.

skdadl

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Juju
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2006, 06:59:09 AM »
One loose thought: in my understanding, anyway, the simple equation patriarchy = men doesn't make a lot of sense and is not helpful. Understandably, it makes a lot of men feel defensive, and that's not what we need.

To me, patriarchy is a political concept, and critiquing it is not an attack on men, not at all.

suzette

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Juju
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2006, 08:19:53 AM »
Your point is a really interesting one, Mandos. I've discussed this kind of thing with women, but never with men.  I'd encourage you to keep going with the personal anecdotes rather than researched "facts"; men's own experiences and thoughts would make for very worthwhile reading.    It would be great if some other men could give their point of view here as well -- I'd love to hear them.

vmichel

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Juju
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2006, 09:27:43 AM »
Quote from: Mandos
Well, that's my point.  Women at baby showers have an object, a presence and purpose for the event that obviates most of any putative need to direct anger at men.  Men's events, however, have a comparative emptiness to them that seems to require (think strippers at stag parties, and so many other exmaples) that one of the objects of the gathering be differentiation from women.


But men have the boardroom. Managers meetings. They are the decision-makers in churches. Fathers groups. Government. It seems everywhere I look, I see groups of men who get together for very important and valued purposes, and who make major decisions with other men. Granted these aren't specified as men-only groups, the way a baby shower is specifically women-only, but in my experience most important decisions in work, church, and government are made by groups of men.

Mandos, are you talking about something different? I can't see how men could be described as peripheral to society, when they have the reins of society in hand.

Mandos

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Juju
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2006, 11:30:19 AM »
vmichel: I'm not saying that men are peripheral NOW.  I'm saying that patriarchy is at least in part a process by which men might have become nonperipheral from a position of social peripherality.  I'm trying to give an explanation for the "incentive to patriarchy" that is not purely material---because it seems to me that we could have had general human prosperity without it.

What is the origin of the probably often quite subconscious desire of many men to have power over women?  Divorced leaders of father's rights groups, for instance, with a little bit of scratching deeper, often have this feeling that they've been made an exterior appendage of the woman-child duality---even thought they often have most of the financial cards.

deBeauxOs

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Juju
« Reply #21 on: June 11, 2006, 11:31:12 AM »
suzette wrote:
Quote
Your point is a really interesting one, Mandos. I've discussed this kind of thing with women, but never with men.  I'd encourage you to keep going with the personal anecdotes rather than researched "facts"; men's own experiences and thoughts would make for very worthwhile reading.    It would be great if some other men could give their point of view here as well -- I'd love to hear them.
My thoughts exactly.  

Years ago. a male lover older than me by a good decade shared with me many personal stories of growing up male: being sexually rejected as a young man, growing up in the shadow of a powerful, hard-drinking father, feeling creepy while looking at porn mags. refusing to play team sports.  It provided me with an insider's view of what it felt like to grow up with the lure of patriarchal privilege laid at your feet and to experience dissonance between one's deepest desires and those "rewards".

It was all pillow talk - it seemed that was a safe place for him to divulge such feelings.  Later on when I read social anthropologists like Michael Kaufman, the anecdotes my lover had shared supported the analysis offered by critics of patriarchy.

Mandos

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Juju
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2006, 04:21:59 AM »
In discussions elsewhere on this matter, I was apprised of some discoveries by "real" anthropology in this vein.  As I alluded to above, there are societies that are matrilineal and matrifocal in the world---a small number (itself an interesting fact) but a number nontheless.  In these societies, women own and inherit the property, the means of production, etc, and are apparently the primary decision-makers for their communities.  Examples include the Minangkabao in Indonesia---apparently an educated and prominent part of Indonesian society.

In most of these societies, however, it seems that there is an area of work or spirituality that is left as men's work and is also considered very high status work, even though in principle quite possible for women to do.  Nevertheless, even in these societies, where women make most of the decisions and formally accrue the material benefits, men's work is given an undue prominence and status.

Plus, with a few exceptions, these societies continue to limit female sexuality via marriage.  It's as though in exchange for women's material primacy in society, the men have to be bought off.

Gigi

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Juju
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2006, 08:49:21 PM »
I have often maintained that the division "men's work" and "women's work" are male in orgin.  This ties in to the need to be special somehow.

When women "invade" those areas, two things happen.  Not only does their job become "women's work"  (think secretaries, which were until relatively recently, male) and devalue, but first, there is a need to prove that women can't do that job as effectively.

I have seen people postulate that this begins in childhood when a boy first discovers that he is "different" from his mother, and then needs to carve out a niche/justification for his "different-ness".

Bottom line though is that women view work as something that needs to be done.  We have seen how in times of war women will step in and do "masculine" jobs and not be "threatened" by having to step outside of their roles.  

We haven't had the opportunity to see what happens in reverse, though.  I'd put money on it that if there was a virus that went around and knocked everyone with a second X chromosome on their ass for a few weeks, there's be a lot of arguing about who would do the "women's work" and there'd be a hell of a mess to clean up when we got better.

cogito ergo sum

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Juju
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2006, 07:53:39 PM »
Quote from: Mandos
I admit I too was surprised when confronted with it personally, because I have myself never done any "male-bonding" activities.  I was never into team sports for instance, and that takes away about 75% of all male-bonding activity opportunities.  Most of the things I did as a child, while they didn't always involve females, weren't socially constructed to exclude them.


I'm intrigued by the equation of male-bonding with team sports and the general non-participation/revulsion against team sports by a lot of progressive men.  I'd consider myself to be progressive and I grew up playing team sports (and I actually still do play team sports).  In my experience, team sports are not a particularly hard thing to get into as long as one is competitive and competent enough.  Co-ed team sports aside,  I also don't find team sports to be any particular hotbed of male bonding or of furthering the patriarchy.  Most of the male bonding that people associate with team sports occurs when going for drinks or hanging out afterwards.  The thing is, that this kind of socializing occurs just as easily after other group activities such as student council, plays, party meetings, etc.

arborman

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Juju
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2006, 08:08:40 PM »
There I was, out in the wilderness for months, lost without all my old friends.  And then I find them all in here, discussing juju.


I've always thought of the 'traditional' male role as disposable.  A community can lose 80% of its males in hunting or fighting with other communities and still survive - one male can impregnate many women, if the need arises.

On the other hand, more women are required to maintain a population level.  So the men were detailed for the dangerous jobs.  Women had different roles, and as noted above, many were the decision makers.

A fairly rational approach, in a hunter gatherer society.  Being humans, we'd apply all sorts of mythological and social conventions to the roles that would provide people with their empowerment and sense of belonging in the community.

However, we've moved into other cultural and economic relationships, and held onto the traditional roles.  The result is that few men hunt or fight other tribes, and all the rest of us have left (of that history) is sports, war and the enduring patriarchy.  Neither war nor patriarchy is much use to the new economic system, but our bad habits have managed to perpetuate them both, to the detriment of all of us.

A division of labour that makes sense when life expectancy is about 30 years, and survival of the species is paramount is entirely nonsensical when most men and women survive into old age, and the species isn't going anywhere.  Yet, being humans, old habits die hard, and we've managed to hang onto, and expand upon, some of those old divisions into entirely new and twisted iterations (i.e. subjugation of women, non-personhood etc).

Luckily for all of us, women have decided not to stand for it, and hopefully things will continue to evolve in healthy directions.

On the other hand, I'm likely full of shit, as it has been at least 10 years since I did any serious reading on the roots of patriarchy.
The pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter what place in history or society; they can be a part of all his other pleasures, and they last the longest, to console him when he has outlived the rest.

Toedancer

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Juju
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2006, 08:54:27 PM »
Quote from: Gigi
We haven't had the opportunity to see what happens in reverse, though.


That's the day I live for I think. And since I'm a bargooner I'm willing to bet we'd have an amazing society. What a pipe dream.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

 

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