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Quite a powerful video. Well worth your time and worth sharing.

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“To the extent that femininity is a psychology of the oppressed, or an indication of Societal Stockholm Syndrome, we are forced to ask whether women should support our culture’s glorification of “feminine qualities.”

It is one thing to be feminine in order to survive when you know why you are doing what you are doing; it’s another thing to celebrate femininity as proof of one’s womanhood.

However, we do recommend that women understand femininity’s function and the role that it plays in our survival in a patriarchy. Contempt is publicly expressed for battered women who stay with their partners and each day use every ounce of ingenuity they possess to keep their abusers from becoming (emotionally and physically) violent. Perhaps we would see the similarities between battered women and women in general if we understood the function that femininity plays in subordinates. Could it be that all women in a patriarchy are battered women and that our femininity is both our strategy for surviving and the proof of our oppression (if proof other than men’s violence against us were needed)?”

I especially love the second movement.

 

Lamento della ninfa is the 18th piece from Monteverdi’s eighth book of madrigals (Madrigali guerrieri ed amorosi, 1638). The three male voices narrate the story and offer empathy to the nymph while she is lamenting over her abandonment. This movement of the madrigal is a beautiful example for Phrygian progression with the ostinato of its bass line in four descending notes all the way through. The inner turmoil and sorrow of the nymph is mirrored in the music by the melodic and harmonic dissonances.

 

Text: Ottavio Rinuccini

Part I: Non havea Febo ancora (TTB)
Part II: Amor, dicea (STTB)
Part III: Si, tra sdegnosi pianti (TTB)

*****

Original text:

Non havea Febo ancora
recato al mondo il dì
ch’una donzella fuora
del proprio albergo uscì.

Sul pallidetto volto
scorgease il suo dolor,
spesso gli venia sciolto
un gran sospir dal cor.

Sì calpestando fiori,
errava hor qua, hor là,
i suoi perduti amori
così piangendo va:

“Amor,” dicea, il ciel
mirando il piè fermò
“dove, dov’è la fé
che ‘l traditor giurò?

Fa che ritorni il mio
amor com’ei pur fu,
o tu m’ancidi, ch’io
non mi tormenti più.”

Miserella, ah più no,
tanto gel soffrir non può.

“Non vo’ più che i sospiri
se non lontan da me,
no, no, che i suoi martiri
più non dirammi, affé!

Perché di lui mi struggo
tutt’orgoglioso sta,
che sì, che sì se ‘l fuggo
ancor mi pregherà?

Se ciglio ha più sereno
colei che ‘l mio non è,
già non rinchiude in seno
Amor si bella fé.

Né mai si dolci baci
da quella bocca havrai,
né più soavi; ah, taci,
taci, che troppo il sai.”

Sì tra sdegnosi pianti
spargea le voci al ciel;
così ne’ cori amanti
mesce Amor fiamma e gel.

Translation (by Massimo Ossi, slightly edited):

Phoebus had not yet
brought daylight to the world
when a damsel
came out of her dwelling.

Her suffering was plain
on her face,
and frequently she let
great sighs loose from her heart.

Thus trampling the flowers,
she wandered here and there,
and her lost love
she thus wept:

“Love,” she said, stopping
to look at the heavens,
“where, where is the faith
that the traitor swore to me?

Let my love return
as he was,
or else kill me, so that I
may no longer torment myself.”

Poor wretch, alas, nol longer
can she suffer such scorn.

“I don’t want him to sigh
except away from me,
I no longer want him
to confide his sufferings in me.

Because I suffer for him,
he is proud;
will he beseech me
if I flee from him?

She may have a more serene
brow than mine,
but even Love’s breast
does not harbor such beautiful constancy.

Never will he have such sweet kisses
from that mouth,
nor softer – be still,
be still, that he knows all too well.

Thus among scornful weeping
she scattered her laments to the sky;
thus in lovers’ hearts
Love mixes flame and ice.

The CBC wrote an article about the misunderstanding of people who benefit from systemic racism have when it comes to Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter.

What Black Lives Matter is:

“Frank Leon Roberts, a professor-lecturer specializing in race and social movements at New York University, says Black Lives Matter is an “anti-violence movement that is attempting to end structural racism in all forms.”

“Police brutality is one form of structural racism but there are other forms that Black Lives Matter is combating as well,” Roberts told CBC News.”

Combating the system that is murdering your people is a historic task.  The BLM movement is necessarily a long term movement, the structural change required in society is huge and most likely will require more militant action to see the problem of systemic racism resolved.  But let’s just stop here and state for the record the situation in question.

  1.  Systemic racism exists in the United States.
  2.  It is a choice to maintain systemic racism.
  3.  Society can resolve this matter in myriad of ways, but the two poles of the spectrum are peaceful revolution or violent revolution.
  4.  Peaceful revolution *should* be the preferred method of eliminating systemic racism.
  5. The path that is ultimately followed will be the result of the dominant class in society making a choice, or being forced to make a choice, as JFK well understood, see his quote below.

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” -John F. Kennedy

C.  It behooves us (the dominant class), to fundamentally re-imagine society so it more closely resembles this (from the Declaration of Independence):

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

(A side note here, “men” should not be construed as the default for everyone.  Women’s struggle to be recognized as fully human goes farther back the Declaration and necessarily that struggle (sadly) continues to this day)

So maybe let’s err on the side of preserving human life and take the less violent option, just for once?  The race issue in the US is not going to go away, this isn’t another #occupy, as this is so much larger and so so much more history behind it.  Oh certainly this instance of BLM might simmer down a bit, but the on going injustice coupled with the immediacy of social networking will keep the boil going.

I think it would be wise if the representatives of he status quo decided to take the non-violent path, because soon that choice will become unavailable, and then only the more chaotic option will be all that remains (which will be bad for everybody).

Let’s take a peek at the what the other side is saying:

“But there are many who do not see eye to eye with the message Black Lives Matter is attempting to send because they believe all lives are important, and specific groups should not be singled out.

[…]

“It appears many “all lives matter” supporters feel that “Black Lives Matter” is not about equality, but rather focusing on the oppression experienced by only one group.”

Well duh?  BLM is about the fact that being Black in the US is an oppressive experience.  Would the converse statement make things any more clear?  #WhiteLivesMatterMore?  Don’t look at foreign policy if you’re about to disagree with #WLMM, the uncounted coloured dead in Iraq (Afghanistan, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Syria, Mexico, India, Philippines… et cetera)  have millions of arguments to make against you…

“Recently, Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, went as far as to say that “Black Lives Matter” is “racist” during an appearance on Fox and Friends.

“It’s inherently racist because, number one, it divides us. All lives matter,” he said.”

Nothing more racist that overlooking the fact that a racial divide exists.  :/  But here we go again, with the notion that somehow the playing field is the same for everyone and everyone has the same chances and opportunities in society.  The answer according to the status quo is more ‘equality'(?).  Unfortunately, ‘more equality equals ephemeral/meaningless ‘change’ to the status quo to make things look more equal, while in fact, maintaining the superstructure that is responsible for the racial oppression in the first place (we can lump a large part of liberal feminism into this grouping as well).  So let’s dispense with the neo-liberal platitudes and realize:

  1.     The playing field is not even.
  2.     The opportunities are not the same.
  3.     Treatment within the society is not the same.
  4.    Outcomes in society are not the same.

Without addressing the root causes of institutional racism, nothing will change. (For a great example of please see the second wave of feminism, as they named the problem, and tackled some of the institutions responsible for their oppression)  Let’s slip over to Deep Green Resistance for their take on the problem –

“Justice is not won by rational argument, by personal transformation, or by spiritual epiphany. It’s won by taking power away from the powerful and then dismantling their institutions.”

Hmm… sounds like a painful process.  It all depends on how fiercely the dominant class latches onto the superstructure that benefits and supports them; maybe some enlightened self interest might take hold and change that doesn’t come from the barrel of gun will be possible.  I doubt it, but it could happen.

 

Oh, and some gems from the comment section of the CBC article, ranging from light banality to vapid boorish ignorance :

 

-I think it just comes down to poor branding. Black Lives Matter might be better served by say End Racial Violence, or Black Injustice, or less vague and self-evident to anyone with an open mind. The issue isnt that black lives don’t matter, and no one who isn’t a racist thinks they don’t so maybe the movement should have a more focused name based on their stated goals.

[Because changing the name will make all the difference.  Racists be like, “Oh snap! They are *just* trying to end Racial Violence – we’re totally on board with that!.]

-“Black Lives Matter” doesn’t do anything to prevent racists from joining their group, and their group has racist overtones in their messages, focusing only on blacks when many blacks have already openly called “Black Lives Matter” an Anti-Police hate group.

[Binky has the fun idea that oppressed people can be racist.  Sorry Binky, it doesn’t work that way.  Racism has the institutional power of society behind the racist actions in question.  Most certainly, oppressed groups can discriminate, but not be racist – especially toward their oppressors as they hold no institutional power in society.]

-Black Lives matter creates further division, especially with it’s members and supporters condemnation of saying All lives matter. Inclusive thinking rather than exclusive is required – All Lives Matter is inclusive and is something to strive for.

[Inclusion in this instance is just another way of obfuscating the fact that black people in America face more obstacles that white people do.  In every facet of their lives’ because of the colour of their skin, they are treated differently.  This has to change, and focusing on this difference is completely justified in pursuing their goals of a more equal society.]

-The problem is BLM aren’t selective in their support for black people who come to a bad end in encounters with the police. They even support the ones who have guns, a rap sheet five miles long and who had intent to kill cops. If you are going to support people who don’t deserve that support then your movement will be seen as a mockery.

[Ah, well perhaps we can use the tried and true ‘a few bad apples’ apolgia to wave this one away.  Funny how it tends not to work when you happen not to be white, rich, and male.]

 

cogntivebiasDon’t feel bad about this, we are all in the same boat when it comes to making bad decisions or being unduly influenced.  The science behind advertising and persuasion has come a long ways, and knowing how they manipulate you and the rest of the public is valuable knowledge.  James Garvey lists three of the ways we are vulnerable to persuasion the Representative Heuristic, the Availability Heuristic, and the Anchoring Effect.  Before we can discuss these systems though a brief overview of how we think and the short cutting our brain does that makes life generally go well but not always thoughtfully.

[…] by distinguishing between two kind of thinking:fast, automatic, intuitive thinking and slow, reflective, rational thinking.  You can imagine that these two kinds of mental activities are the work of two parts of your mind, two systems that swing into different kinds of action to accomplish different tasks.  The part that is responsible for first kind of thinking is called system 1 or the Automatic System, and the part the engages in slower, more careful thought is called system 2 of the Reflective System. 

     System 1 operates quickly and automatically,  This feels instinctive and intuitive, and it requires no effort on your part.  System 1 is in charge when you orient yourself to a sudden sound, wince involuntarily when you see something that disgusts you, read anger in the lines on someone’s face, and recognize written words in your native tongue – it all just clicks fluently and automatically, without you thinking about it at all. 

   The work of System 2, the Reflective system, takes effort, an act of deliberate concentration on your part.  Your deliberative efforts are limited and cannot be sustained for very long without degradation, a phenomenon called ego depletion.   System 2’s work is voluntary, slower that your gut reactions, and associated with the experience of choice and agency. 

[…]

   The two systems interact with each other in a number of surprising ways,  System 1 typically engages in a kind of constant monitoring, throwing up a series of impressions and feelings that System 2 might endorse, ignore, check, focus on, act upon, or simply go along with.  Much of the time System 2 is in a low power state, aroused only when the Automatic system encounters something it cannot handle. 

[…]

  Our mental resources are therefore limited.  It is an effort to bring System 2 into play, and it can be overloaded by trying to do too much.  So evolution has taught us a number of shortcuts, rules of thumb or heuristics, which conserve our mental energies and serve us well most of the time.

[…]

  But it also means that we go wrong in systematic, predictable ways – we are constitutionally susceptible to cognitive biases, and in turn, we can be nudged.

[…]

   We use shortcuts to arrive at judgments too.  […] It’s a large part of the theoretical framework behind contemporary persuasion, and it’s already shaping our world and changing our lives. 

 

   Consider this description of Steve. 

   ‘Steve is very shy and withdrawn, invariably helpful, but with little interest in people, or in the world of reality.  A meek and tidy soul, he has a need for order and structure, and a passion for detail’

   What do you think Steve does for a living?  Is he more likely to be a farmer, salesman, airline pilot, librarian, or physician?  Once you have an answer to that question , ask yourself what job he is least likely to have.

[…]

    Very many people, including me when I first read that description , conclude that Steve is most likely a librarian – how could this shy guy like that possibly be a salesman? – and in coming to this conclusion we make use of what Kahneman and Tversky call the representativeness heuristic.   We let our automatic faculties rip and take a short cut to an answer.  If one slows down and thinks about it, though, there are a lot more farmers than librarians in the world.  That’s extremely pertinent information if you are trying to guess which job on a list is most likely for anybody, and it should lead us to conclude that it’s most likely Steve is a farmer, maybe a shy and withdrawn farmer, but still a farmer.  The probability that Steve is a librarian is instead assessed by the extent to which the description of Steve matches up with or is representative of stereotype of a librarian we have in our heads. 

[…]

  We do this entirely automatically, and it has an effect on a host of judgments – how likely we think politicians are to be good leaders, how likely a new business is to succeed, and how likely our doctor is to be competent. 

[…]

   People who understand persuasion will take care to fit the right stereotype and make it easier for us to come to conclusions about them automatically. 

 

A second set of biases result from what Kahneman and Tversky call the availability heuristic.  When we think about how likely some even is, we’re affected by how readily examples come to mind. 

[…]

brain   We are likely to over-estimate the number of wayward politicians, shark attacks and meltdowns at nuclear plants because we can probably easily recall instance of such things.  The problem is that how easily we can recall something has less to do with how likely or common or worrying an occurrence is and more to do with what we happen to have heard about in the news recently and how striking that news was to us.  The news you choose to watch therefore has a lot of power over you,  The stories it repeats reinforce your susceptibility to the availability effect. 

[…]

   We over-react at first, then under-react as time goes on.  […]  Because of its salience, we think homicide is more common that suicide, but it isn’t.  In fact, Americans are more likely to take their own lives than be murdered or die in a car crash, but because murder and car accidents are more newsworthy, dramatic and available that suicide, we concern ourselves more with home alarm systems and airbags than the signs of depression. 

   A final kind of bias identified by Kahneman and Tversky, perhaps the most interesting and difficult to accept of the three, is called the anchoring effect.  When people first think about a number and try to estimate an unknown quality, the initial number affect their guess, anchors it – the estimate they make tends to stay near by.  Again, the rule of thumb in play isn’t too bad a guide, and we use it all the time.  What’s the population of Pittsburgh? If you don’t know, but you do know that Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania, and it has about 1.5 million people in it, you might feel able to guess about Pittsburgh.  It’s certainly smaller than Philadelphia – maybe it’s half the size, so perhaps Pittsburgh has a population of few than 750,000,  Maybe 600,000?

    anchoringThere are two very weird facts about this familiar process of guessing a quantity,  First we tend to undercook the adjustments we make from the original guess.  Once we have a number and begin adjusting in the direction we think is right, we tend to stay too close to the anchor, possibly because once we find ourselves in uncertainty, we can’t think of a good raise to carry on, so we play it safe and stop too soon.  Pittsburgh is smaller that Philadelphia, so we adjust downwards, but how far downwards?  In fact, this example we stayed much too close to the anchor, as we usually do.  Just 300,000 people live in Pittsburgh.

    Second, it doesn’t matter where the first figure comes from, it will still anchor our estimates, even it has nothing at all to do with the domain in question.  According to at least one understanding of what’s going on in such cases, sometimes System 2 is in charge, finding what it hopes to be a reasonable anchor and adjusting off it to estimate an unknown quantity.  But sometimes System 1 gets hooked on an anchor and freely associates, without our conscious control, and the cascade of associations ends up affecting our later estimate, whether it’s reasonable or not. 

   Tversky and Kahneman illustrated this second kind of anchoring with a rigged roulette wheel – it showed numbers from 0 to 100 but it actually stopped on either 10 or 65.  They spun the wheel and asked a group of students to write the number down, and then answer two questions.

   ‘Is the percentage of African nations among the UN members larger or smaller than the number you just wrote?’

  ‘What is your best guess of the percentage of African nations in the UN?’ 

    The average guess of those who saw the number 10 was 25 percent.  The average guess of those who saw the number 65 was 45 percent.  A roulette wheel is not a particularly informative thing if you’re trying to work out how many African nations are members of the UN, but still, those who saw the high number guessed higher than those that saw the low number.  Even ludicrous anchors have an effect on us”

-James Garvey.  The Persuaders pp. 55 – 66

 

Yeah, so being wary of your System 1 answers is probably a good thing.  Bad news for the anchoring effect, as even when you’re told about it, it still works on you. :/

hindsight

 

Deconstructing patriarchal bullcookery, one idea at a time.
Femininewiles

  “Capitalism is not wicked or cruel when the commodity is the whore; profit is not wicked or cruel when the alienated worker is a female piece of meat; corporate bloodsucking is not wicked or cruel when the corporations in question, sell cunt; racism is not wicked or cruel when the black cunt or yellow cunt or red cunt or Hispanic cunt or Jewish cunt has her legs splayed for any man’s pleasure; poverty is not wicked or cruel when it is the poverty of dispossessed women who have only themselves to sell; violence by the powerful against the powerless is not wicked or cruel when it is called sex; slavery is not wicked or cruel when it is sexual slavery; torture is not wicked or cruel when the tormented are women, whores, cunts. The new pornography is left-wing; and the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die. The Left cannot have its whores and its politics too.”

-Andrea Dworkin

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