To Ann (Re: to Tom Robertson)
Dec 20, 1996 00:22 AM
> At 10:33 PM 12/19/96 "Ann E. Bermingham" <firstname.lastname@example.org>wrote:>
> >Some of us are getting tired of the game. Our finger is poised on the
> >delete key every time we see your name next to a post.
> For you to consider me sexist, and her not,
> tells me you have not been reading them in the first place, and that it is
> far more likely that you are sexist than that I am.
Wow! I thought Tom had gotten as bizzare as he was gonna get, but this has
got to be some sort of ultimate - it has now reached the point where (at
least in the confines of his own world) he has "logically" proved that not
only is he *not* a sexist ... but April Joy and Ann *are*. Probably by the
end of the year it will be "rationally proven" that the several thousand
women that were beaten in their homes today are actually better off than
the men who beat them, because the men are "23" times more likely than
women to serve jail time for assault - plus the beatings weren't really
beatings ... but were really just an alternative, um, "leadership" style
that got a little out of hand.
I remember myself at the point where I could logically prove that women
had more power than men ... because men had to pursue women and risk the
fear of rejection, while women could say yes or no as they pleased when
asked out on a date. Yep. I built a completely solid, rationally airtight
case that definitively "proved" it was a "fact". And any woman that argued
with me was subjected to a *battle* ... in fact I was usually able to
twist the very arguments the women made into further "proof" of my thesis.
Of course, I was 14 years old at the time ... had not yet understood that
a rigid insistance on "rationality" when dealing with the subject of
interpersonal relationships is really a mildly pathological condition
arising because of the fear of the emotional nature, and the lack of its
integration into the total human energy-system. But I do remember that
when one is caught within the confines of such a narrow feedback loop,
one's unconscious assumptions are elevated into universal truths, and
*every* input from the world serves to simply confirm the assumptions.
Every argument made by anyone, if fact anything other than
complete agreement with one's thoughts is reconfigured as it enters the
loop ... and not only does not shake the underlying assumptions, but
rather justifies them. But this just shows the deep danger inherent in
the "rational mind" operating in an imbalanced way, without harmonious
integration with body, emotion and spirit. (I recently read a debate
between a group of political theorists from around the world, in which one
completely "rationally" demonstrated that the development of chemical
weapons technology was not only necessary, but actually desirable. His
logic was impeccable. It scares the *shit* out of me to understand that
there are still so many humans capable of that sort of thinking - but I
suppose that's just my own "irrational" reaction...)
ANYway ... what I do understand is that arguing with Tom will do nothing -
because everything anyone says will be re-configured as it enters the
world of his assumptions, and no one stands a chance in that world - in it
he *is* a poor innocent victim of the irrationality, emotionalism, and
(tee hee) "sexism" of the women and some of the men on this "feminist"
For myself, I remember it was not an argument, but rather an event that
opened my eyes. I was around 17, and the sister of a good friend of mine
was beaten and raped. She refused to talk to the police (at the time, and
even still to some extent these days, reporting a rape can feel like the
equivilent of being abused all over again) - and was ashamed and
humiliated and hid in her room for a week after getting home from the
hospital. She was, though, very close to her brother, and I remember a day
when he, myself, and two other friends were sitting in his living room and
she came downstairs for the first time - and I remember seeing her face
and it was suddenly as though time froze and the rest of the world
disappeared for a moment ... it was some sort of flash of empathy or
something, but in all of a second the full force of the experiencee
written on her face hit me ... not just the physical bruises but the
terrifying hollowness in eyes that I remembered sparkling the last time I
saw her. And in the space of that one second all my "rational arguments"
about the power women have over men were rendered silly, pathetic, and
just downright childish. It was not that they were any less "rational",
rather, that the paradigm *within which* they were rational was shattered.
And that is why, I think, several people have said they feel like Tom
twists things ... and why in his world he always "wins" ... once you
except the premises ... once you begin arguing within his paradigm, he
will always "win".
I suppose from the larger perspective I personally believe that this
century has seen the beginning of a huge *spiritual* project ... nothing
less than the re-harmonization of the masculine and feminine principles on
the planet. And considering the scale at which such a thing works, its
actually happening remarkably quickly - after literally *millenia* of
female subserviance, in less than a century we've gone from women needing
to win the right to even vote to women running nations. But anything
moving that (relatively) quickly will never (IMO) do so smoothly - some
portions of the population will eagerly leap into changes, while others
will resist, and still others actually dig themselves into psychological
foxholes ... perceiving evolution as a threat, or trying to dismiss it as
a "fad". Thing is, it doesn't matter much whether Tom spends the rest of
his life believing what he believes ... doesn't matter if he wins every
argument. The perspective he holds has already *lost the war*. 50 years
ago it would have been considered almost enlightened. 25 years ago the
norm. Today rather archaic. And probably 25 years from now will just
provoke giggles. *That's* how quickly the wave is moving.
Its not as though there won't be more like him, or the Rush Limbaugh
faction, or Christian or Muslim fundamentalists ... justifying their
points of view with arguments ranging from "well, we're *really* seeking
a "balanced" approach" ... to "well, its actually because we *honor*
women" ... and many, at the individual level, will never be convinced ...
but the larger phenomena going on is that with every generation there are
less and less of them, and their viewpoints ... which even a few decades
ago they could speak aloud with no one even arguing with them ... can now
no longer be voiced without significant voices being raised in opposition.
But there is, for all its weirdness, humor in such discussions. My strange
partner (who for the first time has bothered to follow a theos-l thread),
has enjoyed numerous laughs ... and when I asked her whether maybe it
ought to be taken more seriously, asked me how I could do anything *but*
laugh ... at a situation in which someone "spits into a tidal wave, and
imagines he was *won*!".
Ta ta, -JRC
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