Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dialogic Cinephilia - September 27, 2018

MB here - responding to a question about feminism:

Feminism doesn't demand absolute equality in every sense, at all times, like the world of Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" (a classic story of PC mania)... rather it is a simple demand for equal opportunity, value and respect. There are varying abilities in all people and the fact that some men may be physically stronger than some women is no more important than the equally true fact that some women are stronger than some men. I respect science, more and more as the Trump government seeks to discredit it, but when thinking about gender even science has often fell for these gender myths and I think we should avoid a deterministic stance (e.g. nature vs nurture).

Feminism is an important word and theory. It is just as valid today as it was in the past, as we are continuously assaulted by the decisions of backward-looking theocrats; the discrimination of American corporations who think of women as servants not leaders; the continuing culture of physical intimidation at a local level and on a global scale; emphasis on body as sole factor in a women's value because she only needs to worry about one thing; or where women's history/perspective is generally ignored unless it supports a patriarchal view.

I'm a man, maybe even chauvinistic in my attitudes... I was raised in the 70s and 80s ... but damn, how blind must a person be to not recognize a continuing system that grossly favors men overall and that systematically attempts to cover up this reality.

There are abusive feminists, they are human, but you cannot discount an entire movement for the actions of a few members. And I am under no illusion that the world will simply become better if women were placed in power as they are just as capable of cruelty and oppression. This is simply a recognition of systematic discrimination in our society and the call to fight it.

I do not claim gender as a privileged position and recognize that it needs to be put into play with a multitude of other perspectives to understand the relationships of power (most definitely perspectives of class, race, sexuality and place--especially when they are used in a deterministic factor to perpetuate discrimination against groups of people).


Hertel-Fernandez, Alexander, Caroline Tervo and Theda Skocpol. "How the Koch brothers built the most powerful rightwing group you've never heard of." The Guardian (September 26, 2018) ["In America, wealthy people have always thrown their weight around to influence elections and policy. But what is newer and more portentous in the early 21st century, especially at the state level, is the rise of organized big donor collectives through which hundreds of billionaires and millionaires invest in organization-building to remake the very terrain on which US elections and government activities play out. Organized political mega-donors can get much more leverage through persistent organizations than from scattered, one-time contributions to particular politicians."]

Jacobson, Jodi. "Senate Aides Knew of Second Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Claim & Tried to Rush His Confirmation." Democracy Now (September 24, 2018) ["Senator Dianne Feinstein is calling for the immediate postponement of the nomination proceedings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after a second woman has come forward alleging sexual misconduct by the judge. Deborah Ramirez, a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale University, has accused him of exposing himself and thrusting his penis into her face during a college party in a dorm room. Ramirez spoke on the record to The New Yorker and is now calling on the FBI to investigate her allegations. The New Yorker revealed Republican Senate aides learned of Ramirez’s allegations last week and responded by trying to quickly move Kavanaugh’s nomination ahead before the allegations became public. This comes as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday about her allegations that Kavanaugh attempted to rape her when she was 15 years old and he was 17 years old. Kavanaugh has denied both accusations." Parts two: "“Survivors Must Be Heard”: 1,100 Alumnae of Dr. Blasey Ford’s H.S. Demand FBI Investigate Kavanaugh."]

"Kindergarten Suspensions: Yes. It's a Thing." Have You Heard #3 (2016) ["Have You Heard heads to Boston for a look at the controversial trend of kindergarten suspension. We go behind the data to bring you the story of a mother and a five-year-old boy who, in his first four months as a kindergartner, was suspended 16 times. Hard to imagine? His mother thinks so too as she struggles to understand how her bright, creative little boy could end up in so much trouble so quickly."]

The Most Perfect Album: 27 Songs about the 27 Amendments by Various Artists (Mix on Youtube:  September 17, 2018) ["More Perfect, a Radiolab spinoff podcast about American democracy, commissioned acclaimed musicians and artists from around the world to write original songs inspired by each of the 27 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. “The mission of this album is to take these sometimes forgotten words and animate them through the power of music. These 27 amendments not only outline our basic rights as Americans, but they also show a country changing, evolving, re-imagining itself. Striving—and not always succeeding—to be better. These songs are a small way to say that these words matter. We’re thrilled to bring listeners this music in this critical moment.” — Jad Abumrad"]

Roberts-Miller, Patricia. "What’s wrong with the 'women should be afraid that their sons will be accused of rape' meme." (Aacademic/Personal website: September 24, 2018)

Turse, Nick. "Pentagon Stands by Cameroon — Despite Forensic Analysis Showing Its Soldiers Executed Women and Children." The Intercept (September 27, 2018)

"Waterfall Trip, Volume 3." Kentucky Waterfalls (2018)

“Beloved Pan and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul, and may the outward and the inner man be at one.” ― Socrates (in Plato's Phaedrus)

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