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View Diary: Iran is not dangerous (but Sarkozy is) (198 comments)

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  •  Fascinating diary (8+ / 0-)

    I've got to follow the links, but first a couple pearls o' wisdom...

    I intuitively connect literacy with feminism, and feminism with lower-than-maximum fertility rates. The logic goes like this:

    • Oral, in-person language is always modified by the context of who is speaking and who is listening. There are separate conventions, governing both language and content, for men speaking with men, women and men speaking together, women speaking with women. This creates the conditions for a women's culture separate from men's culture.
    • Written language and content is exactly the same no matter who reads it. For the first time, literate women receive the same information as men. Women and men, while retaining their separate gender identities, also begin to converge on a generic, non-gendered identity as "just people".
    • Since all "people" should have the same rights and opportunities, women begin to expect to have lives outside the home just as men do. They have another identity besides the traditional women's role of child bearing and rearing.
    • Since childcare interferes with participation in life outside the home (e.g. a job or career), families begin to choose to have fewer children.

    Note that TV and radio are also gender-blind communication media and therefore can be expected to re-inforce the emergence of the non-gendered "just people" identity.

    •  Not to quibble as I think you are mostly on point (1+ / 0-)
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      But, I think much of the intellectual history of the last century, including but not restricted to Those French Literary Critics, would tend to argue against your your second point. Text does not have a single immutable reading, independent of who "approaches" it. I don't think it is as malleable as do some of my decon friends, but I doubt that, to pick an example, the communities of literate Iranian men and women would understand or respond to "Women's Consciousness, Mens World" or "A Vindication of the Rights of Women". It is difficult then to see how both groups could be said to be receiving the same information, though doubtless they are reading the same stream of bits.

      The convergence to a gender neutral polity, should it occur, might be mediated by texts, but won't be a direct result of a common unambiguous intrinsic shared meaning.

      We leave aside the issue of the primacy of religion in the evils of the world.

      To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It's a ritual sacrifice. With pie. (Anya)

      by Boreal Ecologist on Sun Sep 23, 2007 at 05:53:16 AM PDT

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      •  Wow! (1+ / 0-)
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        Boreal Ecologist

        I'm too old school to know hardly anything about deconstructionist stuff. From what I hear, all those people are really smart though.

        When I was young and bright, we had Marshall McLuhan. The Medium is the Massage etc.

        Literate Iranian men and women might have really different reactions, compared to each other, to whatever those "Women's Consciousness, Mens World" or "A Vindication of the Rights of Women" texts have to say. Or they might both reject both completely. Who knows. All that's about nominal content, not mode of expression.

        But they both read the same bus schedule, recipe, and results of the big soccer match, expressed in exactly the same way. Again, they might react differently, but half of the communication, the expression half, is gender-blind as to the recipient. That's gotta have a cumulative effect.

        •  Thanks...but I will quit while I'm ahead (0+ / 0-)

          All my PoMo friends are now pretty much from past lives, and I can't find my Lyotard (maybe one of them stole it, although it is the bookstore here at Laval).

          Just for the record...
          VotWoW is sometimes regarded as the proto-feminist argument, written by Mary Wollstonecraft in 1792 (don't worry, I had to look this up).

          WCMW is a famous piece of more Maxist oriented feminist thought by Shiela Rowbotham, which had a big impact on me when I read it in the late 1970s.

          I wish I could develop this line of thought further, but real life is calling.


          To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It's a ritual sacrifice. With pie. (Anya)

          by Boreal Ecologist on Mon Sep 24, 2007 at 04:32:19 AM PDT

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