Good Old Subservient Women
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
16-10-2011, 11:59 AM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
Hey, Lucradis.

I'm not saying that cultures are untouchable, I'm saying that they are what they are, not what we think they should be.

We shouldn't look at them through a window, because they are not something outside of us. We are in one. We are in just one of many. And just as the earth is not the centre of the universe, our culture is not the centre of all cultures.

The question of "is it ok" can be answered several ways. Is it ok relative to what you and I believe? No. It’s BS. Is it ok relative to what they believe? Yes. Is it ok relative to some sort of universal moral code? I argue no because I argue that there is no such thing as a universal code.

In terms of the first, it's only not ok relative to what you and I believe today. That can change, and has in the last 100 years.

I'm all for human rights. But the reality is that someone gets marginalised in every hierarchical system. That doesn't make it right or cool, it makes it a reality.

I recognise that you call it child abuse; however, I chose to disagree. But that could very easily side-track this particular conversation.

I don't know enough about the guy to say if he gets off on power. Wouldn't shock me.

I didn't quite follow you point to the end, so if I missed something important there please let me know.

I'll say this though about the psychological question. His cultural belief is that women are not equal to men. So when he looks at his daughters, he loves them dearly, but believes they occupy a certain space. His love for his daughters is not diminished by his belief about what their place is, it’s likely informed by it. So when he goes to bed he's comfy cozy because he loves his daughters and he defends the community belief that they shouldn't lead Bible groups because that's not something that women do. His cultural beliefs are perfectly internally consistent. It's like AA. The first step is admitting there's a problem. Until he does that, he's fiiiiiine. Namean?

Hey, Hughsie.

Very few people follow all the rules. That's true across all cultures.

I feel the rest of what you said painted a picture with to wide a brush. I'm not saying that individuals don't use rules to their advantage, of course they do. But what you said seemed... biased I suppose. Perhaps one-sided.

Hey, Sines.

You may not give a fuck about cultures, but you're in one.

History has shown time and time again that human rights are negotiable. There is a constant struggle between those in power who wish to curtail human rights to make their lives easier, and those that are ruled who struggle to increase their rights to make their lives easier. I am 100% with you that more rights are better than less rights. But I recognise that the struggle for rights is part of the reality.

I agree with you that those in charge need to be convinced to extend rights. But I contend that it needs to be done from within. I can support a group that is seeking rights, but I can't tell a group that they need to seek rights (colonialism tried that sort of thing and it was a disaster), nor can I tell those in charge to grant rights to people who don't want them.

Quote:Cultures should not be allowed to force the people who just happened to have been born in them to conform.

I disagree. This is the basis of all human society.

I'm not saying that oppression is good. But everyone is born into a culture. That's the way it works. If they want to leave, leave. If they want to change it, change it. But we're all born into a given culture and are expected to play along.

As for your SpongeBob analogy, I agree and I disagree. I agree, oppression sucks. Centralised power sucks. But it is. And it is for a reason. I just try to understand that reason.

I'll be the first to admit, I get swept up in emotional arguments same as the next guy. I think that modern slavery, and occupation, and burquas, and anti-sodomy laws, and... fuck, you name it, is a big sack of drippy bullshit. I'm with you, brother. I'm there. But as captivated as I might be by the emotional arguments, I also understand the rational arguments and in this case, the two aren't compatible, which is why this has been a charged subject for, well, forever. When asked about this dad and his daughters, the emotional arguments don't tell us anything meaningful (he’s a poo poo head!). The rational arguments explain why that situation is what it is and why he's cool with it.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 12:12 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
I see what you are putting down and I also know that there is no convincing you either, but then that wasn't my intention.

You follow the live and let live philosophy I do believe, correct me if I'm wrong.
I don't necessarily. If there is no harm done, than so be it. Otherwise it falls on those who can, to help. That is a responsibility to society as a whole whether people want to be a part of it or not. Like being alive requires breathing. Much like you said that we're all in a culture so deal with it.
I tend to lose people near the end of all of my posts. I ramble and words wander off to join other words totally unrelated. It's a curse.

One thing I didn't make entirely clear (probably still won't knowing me) is that this particular religion lives within the larger picture society. They aren't amish, living on the fringes and only blending when some things are needed via trade. They live within and are surrounded by other cultures, even ones that don't glorify the dominance over women. They see how other people live and treat women, some better and some worse. But because they are around such outside behaviors then it becomes a choice for them to treat women as lessers. Just like when they originally merged and found out that the rest of the world has no problem working on sunday. Most of them said... ok, I guess I can work that day too, without being killed. And so they see women being treated as equals, but because it doesn't work in the favor of those who run the church they decided to not accept that among their religion. It's picking and choosing for the purposes of oppression. Not retention of culture. If that was their only concern then they wouldn't work on sundays, or cut their hair and shave their beards. For those that don't it would make sense to say they are just retaining their culture, but for those who pick and choose, it can only be for the purposes of oppression.

That probably doesn`t read as clear as it sounds in my head. Feel free to point that out.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 12:21 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
(16-10-2011 11:59 AM)Ghost Wrote:  
Quote:Cultures should not be allowed to force the people who just happened to have been born in them to conform.

I disagree. This is the basis of all human society.

I'm not saying that oppression is good. But everyone is born into a culture. That's the way it works. If they want to leave, leave. If they want to change it, change it. But we're all born into a given culture and are expected to play along.

You do realize that 'conform' includes forcing them to not leave, and crushing anyone who wishes to make changes, right?

And if enforced conformity is the basis of all human society, then that doesn't make it a good thing. 'Culture' is whatever the majority concern themselves with. You don't need to force people into a culture if the majority wants it anyway. And any culture that does force people to conform is evil. Kind of like how any religion in a 'convert or die' state is evil.

Cultures are, in a specific sense, relative. There's no firm basis to judge the Spongebob culture as a 'better' one than an honor focused culture. While you could measure which one makes more people happy, in the end, it's all subjective as to which a given person prefers. Which is why everyone should have the right to not be a part of any given culture, and to belong to any they choose. And that's impossible with enforced conformity.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 02:44 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
Ghost,

Thanks for your response.

I'm not 100% sure what you mean by me being biased. I'm assuming you mean I'm being very critical of Christians while not criticising any other group. Correct me if I'm wrong about that.

I suppose that if I am honest I cannot deny the possibility of me being biased against Christianity. I do not feel that I am being biased but I'm that first to admit that I'm strongly anti-religious and so I cannot rule out the possibility of being sub-consciously subjective.

However this is a thread specifically about Christian attitudes hence my criticism of Christianity. If this was a thread about another culture that I had sufficient knowledge of then I would probably criticise their actions in the same situation.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 03:11 PM (This post was last modified: 16-10-2011 03:14 PM by Ghost.)
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
Just for the record, I’m like in a dreamy zen state right now. It’s kinda trippy. Much love yo.

Hey, Lucradis.

For a guy who says "I agree" and "good point" as much as I do, I sure am inconvincible Cool

I wouldn't so much characterise it as live and let live, but rather, diversity is there for a reason.

My contention has to do with the word help. We've seen what European help in Africa accomplished. It's like when you find a robin chick that has fallen from its nest. If you leave it be, it might die. If you "help" it by touching it in any way, you've doomed it because once the mother smells you on the chick, she'll abandon it. So doing something isn't always the same as helping.

To be a bit of a geek, this was the central idea that Star Trek grappled with. They met new cultures all the time and had to figure out how to co-exist with cultures that were very “alien” to their own and they really looked hard at the consequences of imposing norms on other cultures. It’s often done with the best of intentions, but the consequences are frequently disastrous.

I see what you mean about them being surrounded, but cultural borders are not the same as political borders. They're way more disjointed and overlapping. So just because they're adjacent to another culture it doesn't follow that they should become them. We could just as easily argue that people surrounding them should become Mennonite. Cultures see each other all the time. But if there was no resistance to the adopting of the practices of other cultures, there would be no cultural boundaries at all. A Mennonite can see women treated differently, but that doesn't mean they can adopt that practice, any more than most people in the US will simply adopt the practice of refusing to fight in American wars. That’s because all beliefs exist in context. They never exist in a vacuum.

So I agree, there is some meme flow between cultures, but it has less to do with choice and more to do with the dynamics of systems and how invasion works. Even your working on Sunday example wasn't simple. They didn't look and just go, hey, let's just do it! It was a long process that involved applying leverage to the articulations that held the ‘don't work’ tradition in place so that it could be disarticulated from the system and the ‘do work’ tradition rearticulated in its place. I'm not saying that Mennonites can never let women be equal (and I hope that they do), but that all cultural change can be difficult.

I see what you're saying about picking and choosing for dominance rather than culture retention. I'd say that it's probably there but more complicated. Why would someone unilaterally abandon something that benefits them? Nash talks about the improbability that sort of thing when discussing game theory. We have a tendency to only abandon things if we are forced by circumstance or if there is something of greater value to replace it. At the same time, the position of women is already a part of their culture. So in preserving it, they are in fact preserving their culture. Cultural differences define cultures. Let go of your differences and you compromise the distinction of your culture.

Some things change and others don't. That's just the way it is. But it's unrealistic to say that just because a culture changed a few things, then it should change all things. It's not an all or nothing proposition.

BTW - It read plenty clear, brother Smile

Hey, Sines.

Quote:You do realize that 'conform' includes forcing them to not leave, and crushing anyone who wishes to make changes, right?

Yes.

Quote:And if enforced conformity is the basis of all human society, then that doesn't make it a good thing.

You're right to say that "forced" conformity is not the basis of all human society, but enforced conformity is. And you're right, it doesn't make it a good thing. It's simply what has been observed. Value judgements don't play into it at all.

Quote:'Culture' is whatever the majority concern themselves with. You don't need to force people into a culture if the majority wants it anyway. And any culture that does force people to conform is evil. Kind of like how any religion in a 'convert or die' state is evil.

If you break a law, you're going to prison. How is that not forced conformity?

Are all countries with laws evil? Cause they all have them.

Conformity is always enforced. The degree of that enforcement varies greatly, from your dad being disappointed in you to the state executing you. If there is no consequence (not a synonym for punishment) for violating a tenet, then the tenet is meaningless.

You're right, the majority don't need to be compelled. But that's because the majority (or at least the majority power holders, blacks were the majority in apartheid South Africa) are the ones that need to be catered to.

Now I absolutely agree that it gets out of control pretty quick. The severity of enforcement measures I mean. And I'm right with you in that I think totalitarianism is balls. But all cultures have norms and all cultures enforce them. And all cultures go through highs and lows of control vs freedom. It's a process. That is to say, it's not a problem of the system, it's a feature.

Quote:Cultures are, in a specific sense, relative. There's no firm basis to judge the Spongebob culture as a 'better' one than an honor focused culture. While you could measure which one makes more people happy, in the end, it's all subjective as to which a given person prefers.

Right with ya, brother.

Quote:Which is why everyone should have the right to not be a part of any given culture, and to belong to any they choose. And that's impossible with enforced conformity.

I see what you're saying. I have a beef with the frame, but it's such a well-intentioned thing to say that I think I just gotta say… sure.

I think my beef is this; the word ‘should’ has no place whatsoever in Darwinism. Should only has a place in engineering. When we talk should, we're talking about MMCs: Memetically Modified Cultures. If GMOs have taught us anything, it's that it's a bad idea.

ON EDIT:

Hey, Hughsie.

Right on, brother. The first point was that they certainly aren't the only ones that pick and choose, so I felt it was an unfair accusation. The broad brush thing was about the "they do this because of this" stuff. I thought it was a little too general.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 04:44 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
Ah, with you now.

I didn't mean that Christian were the only ones to pick and choose, I just highlighted them because this thread was to do with Christianity. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

As far as the "they do this because of this" comment goes, it probably sounded a little more accusatory than I intended. I wasn't meaning that they purposely look for anything that may benefit themselves, I was more trying to say that it annoys me that they will find reasons to discount stuff that inconveniences them (such as the shaving and Sabbath points) but then rigidly stick to everything else.

Best and worst of Ferdinand .....
Best
Ferdinand: We don't really say 'theist' in Alabama. Here, you're either a Christian, or you're from Afghanistan and we fucking hate you.
Worst
Ferdinand: Everyone from British is so, like, fucking retarded.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 06:52 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
This has turned into a very interesting dialog. But it's all academic to me, I grew up in a matriarchical family and I live in a matriarchical family. I fill the crucial role of "bringing home the bacon", but deciding how to properly distribute those resources to most efficiently fill the needs and wants of the family falls on my liege, my wife. Works well for us.

That said, every point Ghost makes seems reasonable and considered to me. But Lucradis is directly embedded in a foreign culture, so reasonable and considered might not be all that compelling to him.

Maybe we should go on that show "Wife Swap", I guarantee you my wife will have him sitting down to pee by day 3.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 07:16 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
Yeah I think everyone here has made good points, it's nice.

I'll only add that my mind has a hard time wrapping around the idea that a man could become comfortable with making his own daughters subservient for any reason. I understand that he grew up within this ideology which would obviously influence his decision making skills in that regard. But the point I brought up about the religion picking and choosing which rules they felt like following within the general population was because I fell that if one can cherry pick rules this means they are aware on some level that the rules might not be that important after all. If that's the case then to regard women in such a way as they do is a conscious choice. I get that they might not want to change that idea right off the bat because it serves them well (by It I suppose could mean women) what I can't get is, since it has to be a conscious decision then it is a personal decision. Something that each individual male within that mennonite society is making for themselves. That's the part I don't get. Not why they would choose it, but how a father could choose it and feel good about themselves, knowing as they do (from being a part of the greater society) what it means for his daughters. He can't claim ignorance. He sees what a powerful woman can become every day, he also sees what a subservient under educated woman can become. I don't get how when they know that it's obviously better psychologically for the daughter to become strong and independent, intelligent, and successful, they could sentence them to the life of basically a slave.

I may also be biased as I am also vehemently against religion and indoctrination, and I have a daughter myself. But it just seems cruel and a little bit insane. But then I already think that you have to be a little bit insane to pray to god earnestly.

I had a whole side point written right here. It was long. But about 3/4 of the way I got distracted and couldn't find my groove again. Dammit. It's deleted. But it had something to do with how evolution only happens when the organism is forced to change. Yadda yadda.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
16-10-2011, 07:59 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
(16-10-2011 07:16 PM)lucradis Wrote:  I don't get how when they know that it's obviously better psychologically for the daughter to become strong and independent, intelligent, and successful, they could sentence them to the life of basically a slave.

While cognitive dissonance can almost certainly explain his behavior, it cannot be sustained without the continuation of learned helplessness on the part of his daughters.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
17-10-2011, 03:46 PM
RE: Good Old Subservient Women
It is nice.

Hey, GirlyMan.

Thank you, kind sir.

Learned helplessness is a VERY good addition to the conversation!

All hierarchical societies have marginalised groups of people. And they have to be held down to varying degrees because they generally don't like their lot in life. There's a great line, in a fantastic scene, in a wonderful movie called Cry Freedom in which Denzel Washington as Steve Biko talks about a simple fact: the oppressed are aware of the fact that they are oppressed. Here's the 4:08 minute scene (skip to 3:04 for the specific part, but the whole scene is awesome). It usually has to get to the point of utter intolerance of the situation before the oppressed demand change. That, sadly, seems to be a cost:benefit thing. Sometimes, the System (a lovely term from apartheid South Africa) has to use naked force to keep them down. Other times, something as simple as learned helplessness does the trick. It's a powerful psychology that has everything to do with this conversation. Great addition.

I challenge you on the cognitive dissonance front. I don't think he has two ideas fighting for dominance. I think he just has one; women have their place. Any argument to the contrary is as ludicrous to him as the notion that gay marriage will destroy the sanctity of the institution of marriage is to me. He'd only really move into the realm of cognitive dissonance if, say, his daughter actually led a meeting and then he was like, "Wow, she's awesome! But she's a woman. Does not compute!" <robot head explodes>

A similar idea to learned helplessness is slave mentality aka, colonial mentality. If you tell someone they're lesser enough times, eventually they'll believe it. After the slaves were emancipated in the US, many of them refused to leave their plantations (or so the mythology goes anyway, I have no sources).

Hey, Lucradis.

Quote:I'll only add that my mind has a hard time wrapping around the idea that a man could become comfortable with making his own daughters subservient for any reason.

Let's take something we understand. Say, putting the elderly in old folk’s homes. Most of us wouldn't bat an eye. Some of us would, but generally speaking it's a pretty widespread practice in the West. But there are other cultures that look at us and well up with tears because to them, it's an affront to all sense of decency.

A more personal example is Medicare. I'm from Canada. We have an (under siege) universal health care system. Break your arm? Paid for. Heart attack? Paid for. Cancer? Paid for. Child birth, haemorrhoids, check up, car accident, facial reconstruction, diabetes screen, stab wound from a drunken brawl? Paid for. When I look at the US... I actually find it very hard to articulate what I feel. The closest I've ever come is a mixture of pity and sadness. The notion of having to pay to use the hospital is so anathema to everything I think about decency. I feel so bad for Americans. And yet, about a year ago, I had a conversation with a woman from the States and she was gung ho about their private system. Her arguments even made sense within the context of American culture. But I just can't comprehend how it's even allowed. It seems criminal to me.

So then we get to this guy. Women have their place. And I bet you money that it's not framed as them being kept down, but that their place is viewed as sacred and of the utmost importance. You and I can't comprehend it, but it makes perfect sense to him.

That's the thing about cultural relativism. We can only relate to other cultures so far as we agree. Where we disagree, we just can't comprehend it. The truth of what we think seems self-evident. There's no way it isn't better, the best! But better has nothing to do with it. It just is. If we didn't disagree, then we'd be the same culture. To accept cultural diversity is to accept difference.

Quote:But the point I brought up about the religion picking and choosing which rules they felt like following within the general population was because I fell that if one can cherry pick rules this means they are aware on some level that the rules might not be that important after all.

But that's true for all people in all cultures. I couldn't present a single person I've ever known who hasn't flouted at least one rule.

Quote:I get that they might not want to change that idea right off the bat because it serves them well (by It I suppose could mean women) what I can't get is, since it has to be a conscious decision then it is a personal decision. Something that each individual male within that mennonite society is making for themselves.

What we have to keep in mind is context.

If I walked into a room with a sleeping German and you ordered me to kill him, I'd tell you to go fuck yourself. If I walked into a room with a sleeping German and you ordered me to kill him and I was a Canadian soldier and it was WWII, you wouldn't have to order me.

If you say women's lib is just a truth, like gravity, then you can look at their decision in an ideal way. But decisions are never made in a vacuum. There is never an ideal. All decisions are made in context.

Quote:I may also be biased as I am also vehemently against religion and indoctrination, and I have a daughter myself.

Who, by your rationale, you are indoctrinating.

I feel you for the lost post, brother.

OH SNAP! I just thought of a great analogy (if I do say so myself, which it seems I do Tongue). A lot of people think that there are certain cultural absolutes. And I admit that there are a lot of things I myself think are pretty hard to argue against. But here’s the thing. Say we decide that trait A is the best. So we insert it into every culture in the world. We’d suspect that it would make them better. But it might have catastrophic effects in some cultures (and there is a mountain of data showing how that approach has been catastrophic in many different cultures) because traits form a complex and that complex in action is the culture, not the individual traits. To put it into perspective, it’s like saying, gills are best, and then giving every species in the world gills. The havoc that would wreak is incalculable. The fish would love it. I’d probably get eaten by a shark cause I can’t swim worth fuck all compared to one. That’s if the salt water didn’t dissolve my skin first.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: