You Know What Really Bugs Me?

When people hear my passionate denunciations of pedophiles or read my posts against child abuse, they immediately assume I must have been a victim of pedophiles or child abusers. And this is patently ridiculous. You don’t need to be a victim of any particular injustice in order to be bothered by that injustice.

I support the fight for the rights of gay and transgendered people, and I’m neither gay nor transgendered.

I believe in the rights of the HIV positive people, and I’m not HIV positive.

I feel very disturbed when elderly people are mistreated or live in poverty, and I’m not elderly.

Hell, I even feel pain when I see a mistreated and tortured animal, and I’m not an animal.

Of course, it’s very tempting to dismiss anybody’s legitimate political activism on behalf of a certain group of people by pushing it into the realm of personal grievances. “Oh, you just care so much because you must have been traumatized and now you can’t be objective” people often try to say. Well, they are nothing but idiots. You don’t have to be a victim of anything in order to be bothered by the victimization of others. You just have to be a decent person who is capable of feeling the pain of others.

75 thoughts on “You Know What Really Bugs Me?

  1. You are an animal. You are definitely eukariote. And you don’t look like a plant, and animal or a protozoan.

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  2. People no longer believe in absolute truth, so instead they jump to the conclusion that everything is personal. It’s part of the crisis that Nietzsche points out in his Genealogy of Morals, concerning the ‘ascetic ideal’ and its ultimate, historical demise, which had already begun around the time he wrote. It’s crazy either-or thinking. It’s also a symptom of not having any inculcated training for thinking. It’s very hard to get to the point where one transcends the binaries of a merely reactive thought system. Like, when someone criticises aspects of Western socialisation and another person automatically responds, “You must love the East then!” That is absolutely nonsensical — and so much so that one cannot even refute it.

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  3. I guess some people are projecting- they only care about causes which are related to them, so they assume all others must only care about causes which personally affect them as well.

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  4. A bus stops & 2 men get on. They sit dwn & engage in an animated conversation. The lady sitting nxt 2 èm ignores èm at 1st, bt her attention is galvanised wen she hears 1 of èm say:
    ”Emma come 1st.
    Den i come.
    Den 2 asses come 2gether.
    I come once-a-more!.
    2 asses , èy come 2gether again.
    I come again & pee twice.
    Then i come 1 last time”
    the lady cnt take this any mo.
    ‘u foul-mouthed sex obsessed pig’,she retorted, ‘ in this cntry we dn speak aloud in Public abt our sex lives”
    ‘hey coola dwn lady,who talking abt sex?am js telling my friend hw 2 spell Mississippi”

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  5. I think some people react to things like that — news stories about child abuse, etc. — more strongly than others, and probably other people, who react less strongly to it and wonder why you are having such an intense emotional response compared to theirs, and figure you must have some personal history that is making you feel it so much more keenly.

    (Jennifer makes a good point, too, about moral relativism and the replacing of the universal “that’s horrible” with the personal “that must have been horrible for you”).

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    1. Yes! And then those who don’t have a strong reaction to such story try to dismiss me by claiming something must be wrong with me. When in truth, I’d have to wonder about anybody who doesn’t have a strong emotional response to stories of injustice.

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  6. you must also get the same thing from people who wonder how you can study L.A. lit when you aren’t from there. I always think of it as the “you are what you eat” school of thought, as if it is impossible for someone to grasp something that they have not experienced. Jesus people who IS for sexual assault and pedophilia? I don’t need to be killed to be against murder.

    as per P.P. I do think some people have a less visceral response to some issues (perhaps psychological distancing from the horror/fear) and since you are quite eloquent in your response to painful things that happen to people, it may be hard for them to grasp such empathy.

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    1. “you must also get the same thing from people who wonder how you can study L.A. lit when you aren’t from there. I”

      -Actually, I do. 🙂 People always ask, “But why Spanish and not Russian literature?” Mind you, English-speakers who study French are not asked why they don’t just stick to English lit. 🙂

      “as per P.P. I do think some people have a less visceral response to some issues (perhaps psychological distancing from the horror/fear) and since you are quite eloquent in your response to painful things that happen to people, it may be hard for them to grasp such empathy.”

      -That’s probably exactly what it is.

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      1. I get asked a lot why I study the Asia-Pacific region, since I’m not Asian. I don’t have much of a response to that, I wish I had a witty one-liner to put their question in its place.

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  7. Your post on cosleeping was so creepy and messed up that there has to be something icky going on in your mind when it comes to cosleeping. That isn’t there for most people. Which makes one wonder if you have had some bizarre experience with cosleeping that the majority of people who cosleep would never dream of having. If that’s not the case then you just have a very disturbing imagination. Which is creepy by itself.

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    1. What’s creepy is a person who drags children into bed with her instead of finding adults for this purpose.

      Nice try to dismiss my argument without addressing a single point of it, though. And if you find what I say about this horrible practice so creepy and disgusting, just wait until your children grow up and find the courage to tell you much harsher things about it.

      It would be very nice to find out what it is that creeps everybody out so much in this post. The idea that adults have orgasms in their sleep? The idea that children masturbate? The concept of children needing personal space? The fact that healthy men tend to wake up with an erection? Is this so hard to imagine that one needs a really vivid, creepy imagination to conceive of such things?

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  8. Personally, I think you have a way lower threshold of ‘abuse’ than the average person does, so I can see where they might assume you were abused.Abused and non-nt people hate being touched, but most people regard a certain amount of physical affection in childhood as normal.
    I do not regard cheek kissing or hugs, (prepuberty) as abusive, nor do I think it’s abnormal for children to seek comfort after a nightmare by sleeping in their parent’s room. Also, small kids suffer from all sorts of irrational fears; that’s a normal part of childhood and not a reflection on the parents. So saying ‘children who suffer a lot of nightmares are doing so because the parents are doing life wrong’ is pretty outrageous.

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    1. ” most people regard a certain amount of physical affection in childhood as normal.”

      = I’m one of those people because I believe that a lot of physical affection is required by small children. Except when they are autistic or clearly demonstrate they don’t want any.

      ‘I do not regard cheek kissing or hugs, (prepuberty) as abusive”

      -I don’t either. So?

      “Also, small kids suffer from all sorts of irrational fears”

      -No, they don’t unless the parents haven’t been able to provide a comfortable, anxiety-free environment. As I said before, I don’t believe anxiety and fear just happen for no reason, both in parents and adults.

      ” that’s a normal part of childhood and not a reflection on the parents”

      -That’s an unnecessarily tragic vision of childhood.

      “nor do I think it’s abnormal for children to seek comfort after a nightmare by sleeping in their parent’s room”

      -Nor do I. Again, so?

      “So saying ‘children who suffer a lot of nightmares are doing so because the parents are doing life wrong’ is pretty outrageous.”

      -Feel free to be outraged. I, for one, prefer to be outraged on behalf of helpless children who have no way of defending themselves from irresponsible parents.

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  9. I hear ya, ridiculous, I had the same feeling after reading your post on co-sleeping and your one about kissing your child on the lips. It bugged the shit out of me. Tell you what, lets call it even. 😉

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    1. What same feeling? My posts are general and are aimed to be so. What bugs me is that people try to shift the discussion to the realm of the personal. So I don’t see any similarities here at all.

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      1. Of course you dont. That is what tends to bug the shit out of me. You make your generalization and then get confused when some people get offended by your generalization. I know you have your view of the world, but maybe, just maybe you could step out of your shoes for a minute and imagine what it is like in someone else’s.

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        1. I’m not in the least “confused.” Didn’t I say in the very text of the original post on co-sleeping that I was prepared for a massive flare-up in jerkdom in response to it.

          “maybe, just maybe you could step out of your shoes for a minute and imagine what it is like in someone else’s”

          -That’s exactly what I’m doing when I defend the rights of gay people, the elderly, and the incarcerated. I’m starting to get a sneaking suspicion that you don’t read my posts at all before responding to them. This entire very short post is dedicated precisely to the fact that I support the rights of people of whom I am not one.

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  10. Exactly how many small children have you known?
    Personally, I was a ridiculously anxious young child. I was afraid of heights, piranhas, and the microwave and xrays because I was scared of getting cancer. My little sister was scared of the very noisy toilet. My brother suffered from all sorts of mysterious nightmares from the ages of 4 to 6, possibly because we moved, and it took him a while to adjust. He also was scared of spiders.
    Did any of these fears have anything to do with the way my parents raised me and my siblings? No. I was just a kid who overthought a lot of things. Sibs were also completely normal kids, afraid of some things but not others. (Li’l bro still has a lingering hatred of spiders, I still don’t like heights.)
    I’ve heard kids at the beach saying they don’t want to go into the lakes because of sharks, or freaking out about the idea of tornados. Or asking, anxiously, whether the mummy in the museum I work at will come back to life.
    Do they all suffer from bad parenting? Maybe a few, but almost all of them suffer from overactive imaginations. Or they process some nugget of information really badly, and it ends up turning into a phobia. For example, sharks do live in a lake in Nicuragua, but they don’t live in lakes in the northern US. But a six-year-old isn’t going to get that lakes aren’t the same everywhere, and will assume that lake sharks are found in every lake.
    So, the point: My outlook on young children isn’t bleak, it’s realistic. God do I hate it when people pretend childhood is all happy-bunny time, all the time. Even the best raised child will have a few irrational fears, and it doesn’t do anyone any good to pretend that only abused children have nightmares.

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    1. ‘Exactly how many small children have you known?”

      -This is not about any personal anecdotes anybody is collecting. This is about child psychology, which is a branch of knowledge that has existed for a very long time and has produced a mountain of research.

      “Personally, I was a ridiculously anxious young child. I was afraid of heights, piranhas, and the microwave and xrays because I was scared of getting cancer. My little sister was scared of the very noisy toilet. My brother suffered from all sorts of mysterious nightmares from the ages of 4 to 6, ”

      -After what you shared about being bullied and suffering from extremely low self-esteem, I’m not surprised to hear that you grew up in an environment neither you and your siblings perceived as unsafe and anxiety-ridden.

      “God do I hate it when people pretend childhood is all happy-bunny time, all the time. ”

      -Same here.

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      1. Good point about the research. Problem is you haven’t cited any research yet and quite frankly I’m under the impression that you are not familiar with any study on co-sleeping. The topic is actually controversial. Until you acknowledge that I assume you have either no idea what you are talking about or it’s a personal issue.

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        1. Yes, I already noticed that you enjoy assuming a lot. Weren’t you the person who somehow managed to find references to free will in my post? And then suggested I said children are “brainwashed”? Yes, that was freaky. So feel free to keep assuming whatever it is that you want.

          I’ll make the last effort to get you to address the text you are reading and not your weird assumptions or conclusions: I never said I studied any “research on co-sleeping.” Now, reread the comment you tried to respond to with this inanity and find out what kind of reading I did recommend.

          I wonder why it is that people with such non-existent powers of reasoning and such an incapacity to process a very simple sentence think they need to post in threads they are incapable of understanding.

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  11. You still don’t get it. We were not in an unsafe environment at all. All of those anxieties developed regardless of our environment. Well, maybe the toilet could have been fixed 😀 Moves are a bit troubling for small children, but nothing that they won’t adjust to. It’s not something horrible and mind scarring.

    Would you please stop fixating on the idea that abuse explains everything? It doesn’t.
    As for the bullying, again, the only way that wouldn’t have happened was if I was a blonde waif who *got* the girl rules the moment I stepped foot in school. It was mostly girls policing a girl who didn’t get the rules. The few boy bullies were picking on any girl they could find because they were acting on men’s visceral dislike of women.

    A lot of phobias develop from, again, totally irrational fears. Small children are not rational. They get attached to the oddest things, and they also fear the oddest things. The only way to cure an irrational phobia is to let the kid outgrow it.
    Also, child psych is usually a complete waste of time. Occasionally, there’s something useful, but most of the time it’s just a way to bludgeon parents.

    You’re one of the worst offenders, you know. Olvzl, at Echidne’s blog, was the worst of all time.
    Both of you regard childhood with a starry, misty-eyed view, and completely gloss over the messy day-to-day reality of a child’s life.

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    1. “Also, child psych is usually a complete waste of time. ”

      -yes, education is so totally stupid, I know. Ignorance is bliss.

      “A lot of phobias develop from, again, totally irrational fears. Small children are not rational. ”

      -Is it another mantra of yours? 🙂

      “Both of you regard childhood with a starry, misty-eyed view”

      -Yes, all of the instances of child abuse I describe are evidence of that.

      “They get attached to the oddest things, and they also fear the oddest things. The only way to cure an irrational phobia is to let the kid outgrow it.”

      -Can I be spared these lists of Medieval prejudices?

      “As for the bullying, again, the only way that wouldn’t have happened was if I was a blonde waif who *got* the girl rules the moment I stepped foot in school. It was mostly girls policing a girl who didn’t get the rules. The few boy bullies were picking on any girl they could find because they were acting on men’s visceral dislike of women.”

      -Men’s visceral dislike of women, eh? Are you trying to prove my points for me, or something? A little question: why haven’t you outgrown your irrational phobia against men yet?

      Leaving aside these new weird fantasies about men, I will remind you that the entire process of growing up of an individual consists of a slow separation from the parents. An important stage in that process is learning to see the parents critically. Usually, a normally developing child completes that process by the age of 16 at the latest. I don’t know how old you are but you don’t seem even to have started on this journey of allowing yourself to have opinions about your parents. Any suggestion that things in your childhood might not have been very rosy because of how scarred you obviously are enrage you. This, in itself, is evidence that there is something deeply painful you perceive but don’t want to recognize.

      And the last thing: the quality of parenting can ONLY be measured by the quality of life of the adult children.

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      1. This is a really interesting comment and it shows how wildly insane I am. Check this out: I always – since age 12 or so –
        wanted to seek psychotherapy to fix what was wrong with me,
        namely, a desire to take a critical distance on my parents. I
        decided I would do this as soon as I could afford it and that
        time came when I was 32 … at which point I *still* thought
        this desire to look somewhat critically at my parents was a
        sign that I was secretly mentally ill.

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        1. No, you are not in the least insane. 🙂

          There is this saying that goes, “Children first adore, then judge, then pity their parents.” Every one of these stages is equally crucial.

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  12. “I always say when people ask me why Spanish literature, “Love cannot be explained.” :-)”

    Probably, but I see Spanish Literature also as counter-reaction from your part against the state-communism repulsion of emotions dogma.

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    1. I’m not sure I understand this. My Ukrainian culture is, indeed, very emotional. I always say that we are the Latinos of the North. 🙂 But I don’t do Latin American literature. I work with Spain.

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  13. Clarissa: Look, I do criticize my parents. I just don’t think they were abusive.And I’m getting tired of this little hobbyhorse of ‘bullying is all the parent’s fault.’ Pack behavior, see Goldman. And, no you cannot judge the parents by how their kids turn out. A kid could have every advantage in the world, have parents who did everything by the book, and still be a total fuck-up in the eyes of socieity.
    How is it a prejudice if I am pointing out ways children actually behave? I’m sure everyone on this thread remembers the one stuffed toy or doll they just couldn’t live without, or odd things they were totally and utterly terrified of or revolted by. Children live in a vastly different world than adults, and until you get that, you have no hope of understanding them.
    One more thing: I’ll outgrow that ‘irrational’ fear the day men quit raping and being generally creepy. It’s not irrational to want to protect myself.

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    1. “And, no you cannot judge the parents by how their kids turn out.”

      -That’s actually the only yardstick of measuring a success of parenting.

      “A kid could have every advantage in the world, have parents who did everything by the book, and still be a total fuck-up in the eyes of socieity.”

      -Could you provide the name of that book? 🙂 🙂

      “One more thing: I’ll outgrow that ‘irrational’ fear the day men quit raping and being generally creepy”

      -I’m very sorry that you have such a tragic worldview, that’s all I can say.

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      1. PGP: It is obvious to me that you are a wonderful, compassionate, politically active and overall great human being. I believe you can be very happy in your personal life, too.

        It sounds like you are a heterosexual woman. I’m also one and I can absolutely promise that you can be very happy with a man in a hetero relationship. All of those rapists and abusers do exist. But so do wonderful, mild, gentle men who can’t even imagine being mean to a woman. men who are more than ready to value a woman for her intelligence and power and not her thinness or blondness abound.

        If anybody deserves to meet such a man, it’s you. And you will meet him, as soon as you give him a chance. He’s sitting there, all lonely at his computer right now, waiting for you. Seriously, just give him a chance.

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  14. Politicalguineapig :

    As for the bullying, again, the only way that wouldn’t have happened was if I was a blonde waif who *got* the girl rules the moment I stepped foot in school. It was mostly girls policing a girl who didn’t get the rules. The few boy bullies were picking on any girl they could find because they were acting on men’s visceral dislike of women.

    I never got the girl rules either. That mattered in preschool but not in primary school or high school or university. It mattered a hell of a lot in the workplace.

    I think cultural context and sub cultural contexts matter a heck of a lot.

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  15. bloggerclarissa :

    Leaving aside these new weird fantasies about men, I will remind you that the entire process of growing up of an individual consists of a slow separation from the parents. An important stage in that process is learning to see the parents critically. Usually, a normally developing child completes that process by the age of 16 at the latest. I don’t know how old you are but you don’t seem even to have started on this journey of allowing yourself to have opinions about your parents. Any suggestion that things in your childhood might not have been very rosy because of how scarred you obviously are enrage you. This, in itself, is evidence that there is something deeply painful you perceive but don’t want to recognize.
    And the last thing: the quality of parenting can ONLY be measured by the quality of life of the adult children.

    I had separated from my parents by the age of three. I had judged them to be very irrational, often in dispute about how to formulate my impressions. For instance should I be ‘allowed’ to sit on a wall marked ‘no trespassers allowed’? Everything was morally fraught whenever both parents parented together. They also tried to pull the wool over my eyes too often by telling me to believe something that I immediately found to be empirically false. So, I decided to make my own conclusions about life from then on. To this day, I don’t like anyone who isn’t straight with me as I feel I have to expose the sham and break with them to reestablish my independence. It’s really independence as the only means to retain sanity, for me.

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  16. Then there was the thing my parents developed with increasing intensity, after I had become an adult: “you have to trust us, you have to trust us!”

    This was entirely impossible for me. “convert to our faith and, above all, TRUST us.”. That would mean the same as to cease to exist.

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    1. And how about the most potent weapon of parents, the disappointment?

      “Dad, I was mugged and sexually molested as I was walking from the bar last night.”

      “OMG, my daughter is walking from bars at night??? I’m so disappointed!!!”

      A true story, this.

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  17. bloggerclarissa :
    And this is why you are capable of such profound insights and such independence of thought today, Jennifer Frances.

    Yes,that is true. I’m one of the most ruggedly independent people I know. But also I have almost a 6th sense for manipulation and deception — for instance an absolute loathing of ‘behavioural management’ and behavioural psychology in all of its manifestations. I cannot think of anything more demeaning.

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    1. I agree completely. I always get completely enraged by any attempts to manipulate me. If a person tries to manipulate me, they must think they are smarter than I am. And I have no idea what it is that could make them believe that.

      Behavioral psychology is a load of complete and utter bullshit.

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  18. bloggerclarissa :
    And how about the most potent weapon of parents, the disappointment?
    “Dad, I was mugged and sexually molested as I was walking from the bar last night.”
    “OMG, my daughter is walking from bars at night??? I’m so disappointed!!!”
    A true story, this.

    Parents are often disappointed that magical principles don’t operate in the real world. Parents can have a lot of growing up to do.

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    1. Yes! And it’s the duty of every adult child to foster their growth. I’ve done wonders with mine. Maybe I should write a post about this one of these days. 🙂 I’d title it “How to bring up parents.” 🙂

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      1. I would love to read the explanation of your views. I understand what you mean, if the parents are in the wrong, but if one has great parents, who give suggestions, but let make your own decisions? I want to say that in some cases it’s working on yourself only, not on parents. Agree?

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  19. bloggerclarissa :
    I agree completely. I always get completely enraged by any attempts to manipulate me. If a person tries to manipulate me, they must think they are smarter than I am. And I have no idea what it is that could make them believe that.
    Behavioral psychology is a load of complete and utter bullshit.

    I just wonder why they don’t address me in a normal way. It becomes very creepy for instance to read a some kind of progress report of me as a student teacher that says, “Jennifer is learning to perform XYZ” when nobody has ever discussed with me the need to perform XYZ and what they are really saying is. “we’d like it if you could perform XYZ.”

    If Im going to be patronised from the outset, what is the point?

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    1. Are you a student teacher? I’m supervising a student teacher this semester, which is why I ask.

      Of course, I made sure I explained my suggestions to her in detail and will now see if she addresses these specific points before the next review.

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    1. I hear you. The only weapon a child has in this war is the threat of discontinuing the relationship. If the parents don’t care about that a whole lot, you can’t engage in productive hostilities.

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  20. bloggerclarissa :
    Are you a student teacher? I’m supervising a student teacher this semester, which is why I ask.
    Of course, I made sure I explained my suggestions to her in detail and will now see if she addresses these specific points before the next review.

    Not at all. I tried that before my phd and decided that I couldn’t operate in such a lowbrow context. I mean ethically speaking mo than anything.

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    1. For my father, it was a HUGE revelation when I announced at the dinner table, “Yes, you are a male chauvinist.” He honestly had no idea. The belief that ‘women are sophisticated creatures who hate these nasty things such as sex” was no indicator to him.

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  21. bloggerclarissa :
    For my father, it was a HUGE revelation when I announced at the dinner table, “Yes, you are a male chauvinist.” He honestly had no idea. The belief that ‘women are sophisticated creatures who hate these nasty things such as sex” was no indicator to him.

    A lot of people genuinely can’t see that their assumptions about gender ruin communication and then relationships.

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  22. Clarissa: I haven’t actually figured out my preferences yet. As I said in another thread, I believe love is an illusion, and I can’t afford to indulge in that right now.
    Also, if you believe behavioral psychology is bullshit, how do you explain your veneration of child psychology?
    JF: I found the opposite. Girl rules mattered a lot in elementary school, as did keeping one’s head down and pretending to be as dim as one’s peers. High school? Well, I kept myself to myself, and word got out that I was taking martial arts classes. I was pretty much a grinder during high school, since I didn’t care to go out of my way to socialize. The workplace? Well, I’ve been working as a temp, so I don’t stick around long enough to attract notice, and my permanent job right now is home care- all they ask is that I show up and do my job. The places I volunteer at have been pretty nice to me.

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  23. Politicalguineapig :

    JF: I found the opposite. Girl rules mattered a lot in elementary school, as did keeping one’s head down and pretending to be as dim as one’s peers. High school? Well, I kept myself to myself, and word got out that I was taking martial arts classes. I was pretty much a grinder during high school, since I didn’t care to go out of my way to socialize. The workplace? Well, I’ve been working as a temp, so I don’t stick around long enough to attract notice, and my permanent job right now is home care- all they ask is that I show up and do my job. The places I volunteer at have been pretty nice to me.

    My school was old style colonial, hence based on a military model of organisation. This was very different from nursery school where we were expected to “play” as if spontaneously — and yet guided away (if female) from toys considered to be “for boys”. This actually happened to me. I wanted to play with some coloured blocks and was told I couldn’t, but must go and play with a bunch of girls I didn’t know, who were playing “house” on a mattress near a window. The teacher said, “This is Jenny and she will join you.” The kids asked me what I wanted to “be” and I had no idea what that meant. I felt I had to play at knowing what I didn’t know and what I had no interest in knowing.

    But, primary school had a very military type of order. We pretty much marched in single file between classes and learned to behave in a rather disciplined way. This sense of order stopped at the playground, which was literally chaotic. For instance, we had a grade one and a grade two slide and one was steeper than the other. In both cases, the boys and girls would jostle to form a very crude line and then three or four kids would go down the slide together. It was really what we called “rough”.

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  24. JFA: Ah. I’ve mentioned my schooling- it was pretty much the opposite, a destructured environment where learning was discouraged.
    Clarissa: For your amusement, I submit the Baby Boom generation of the US, almost all reared on Spock, and mostly from secure, middle-class families. They turned into a collection of Don and Donna Quixotes, tilting at windmills from their teens until their thirties. A number of them never grew out of that phase. A small contigent of lost souls from that generation drifted into the Moral Majority movement, to get the structure they never had growing up, or to find an alternative to that soulless void that is American suburbia.

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    1. Spock was very popular in my country to several decades ago. This stuff is contagious. Brrr.

      ” A small contigent of lost souls from that generation drifted into the Moral Majority movement, to get the structure they never had growing up, or to find an alternative to that soulless void that is American suburbia.”

      -What a brilliant statement. Very well put.

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  25. Politicalguineapig :
    JFA: Ah. I’ve mentioned my schooling- it was pretty much the opposite, a destructured environment where learning was discouraged.

    It’s very much part of current educational philosophy to destructure learning environments. I call that killing with kindness. This approach tends to reproduce the status quo — those whos family backgrounds are destructured and who have no motivation for learning will not learn anything, whereas the opposite will be true if one’s motivational levels are already high.

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  26. > You don’t have to be a victim of anything in order to be bothered by the victimization of others. You just have to be a decent person who is capable of feeling the pain of others. <

    whoa/yes (bingo ?!)
    Clarissa, *this has also been bugging me.
    as-a-not-verbose/verbal-person i found this (link gives a visual tour) on the web that pretty much expresses my analysis which is, summarized answer to your post, "lack of empathy".
    (empathy imho is usually confused with com-/misery, sympathy e.a.)
    although empathy *should be a common human (and mammal) denominator, unfortunately *empathy these-days to me seems to be lacking everywhere.
    imho, if i as a human being lack empathy i fail as a human being.
    (thank you for adressing this)

    http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/2010/05/06/rsa-animate-empathic-civilisation/

    (ot/off-topic – "my" gravatar here makes me smile/giggle to myself )

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    1. Honestly, I wouldn’t pay much attention to this link. Whenever anybody begins to use the word “wired” in relation to human beings, I always know that this is a pseudo-scientist speaking.

      You in no way fail as a human being, empathy or no empathy.

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  27. I don’t think Spock is bad, per se, but it’s one of those philosophies where milage per child varies wildly. It’s better than some of the odder ones: attachment parenting just *reeks* of ‘get back in the kitchen,’ and Babywise or the Pearl’s manuals should skeeve anyone with a heart out.
    JFA: The worst part is that a lot of classes seem to be geared to go at the demotivated children’s pace. I had an entire class in high school get derailed by one demotivated kid. The motivated kids soon get bored and tune out or end up working at half their ability.

    Like

  28. Politicalguineapig :
    JFA: The worst part is that a lot of classes seem to be geared to go at the demotivated children’s pace. I had an entire class in high school get derailed by one demotivated kid. The motivated kids soon get bored and tune out or end up working at half their ability.

    That sucks big time. Certainly there is something very wrong at the core of contemporary society, for the most part. One can often find relief in subcultures of various sorts, such as my martial arts subculture.

    Like

  29. I do martial arts too. It helps a lot. I also find that when I’m really frustrated, going out and getting my butt rocked off helps. I’m kinda sad ’cause I couldn’t get to two really good gigs this weekend.

    I dunno. Some parts of society suck a lot- like elementary school, but it helps once you have options. I was more motivated in my college classes, because everyone wanted to be there, and everyone wanted to learn.

    I think with elementary school, there are two big problems: parents are often unavailable to help kids with homework or to encourage them in their education,* and teachers are often unwilling to exert their authority. I don’t think an authoritarian approach is helpful all the time, but every so often kids have to be told to knock whatever they’re doing off and pay attention- or at least, to just do whatever they’re doing quietly. I was terrible at paying attention, but my teachers never noticed.

    * I don’t advocate parents doing the kid’s homework for them, but sometimes homework made a bit more sense if it was explained, or gone over again to make sure everything’s correct.

    Like

    1. “teachers are often unwilling to exert their authority. I don’t think an authoritarian approach is helpful all the time, but every so often kids have to be told to knock whatever they’re doing off and pay attention”

      -I somehow have a feeling that this happens beyond elementary school, too. I was very surprised by the complete lack of discipline in the high school class I observed recently. Those were very good kids but they seemed to have no idea that class time was not for chatting about their lives and showing the latest purchase they made to each other.

      I’m in favor of an authoritarian approach in the classroom. And it always worked for me.

      Like

  30. Politicalguineapig :
    teachers are often unwilling to exert their authority. I don’t think an authoritarian approach is helpful all the time, but every so often kids have to be told to knock whatever they’re doing off and pay attention- or at least, to just do whatever they’re doing quietly. I was terrible at paying attention, but my teachers never noticed.
    * I don’t advocate parents doing the kid’s homework for them, but sometimes homework made a bit more sense if it was explained, or gone over again to make sure everything’s correct.

    Yeah, certainly I would be unwilling to exert my authority in the contemporary classroom. You have to be able to put yourself on the line to exert yourself in any way in a situation where perceptions have power of play and consumer values predominate.

    “What’s in it for me?” would be my first question before exerting authority. If nothing, then I would leave my students to the hand of fate.

    Like

  31. el :

    I would love to read the explanation of your views. I understand what you mean, if the parents are in the wrong, but if one has great parents, who give suggestions, but let make your own decisions? I want to say that in some cases it’s working on yourself only, not on parents. Agree?

    Suggestions about what? And at what age?

    Among adults, any form of advice that hasn’t been asked for is a form of manipulation, I’m sure you know that.

    Like

    1. Among adults, any form of advice that hasn’t been asked for is a form of manipulation, I’m sure you know that.

      If you share about XYZ in your life with a parent/sibling/friend and the other person tells his/her opinion, you call him/her a manipulator? I thought telling what you think is only natural and shows that you care.

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      1. This is getting too hypothetical. What kind of XYZ are we talking about?

        “My marriage is a disaster and I’m thinking of getting divorced”

        or

        “I keep oversalting my borscht”?

        When people who are close to us share deeply painful issues, they don’t look for “honest opinions” or advice. They look for acceptance, support and reassurance.

        Like

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