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Tag Archive: feminism
“Doll’s house I spent two years making, being destroyed in a fire.” – Harriet.
The authorship of some of these phrases had been forgotten for years or decades before being unearthed by a researcher. In other cases, the authors were never “lost”—their names have long been known to specialists and can be easily found with a little research—yet they are mostly unknown to the general public. Moreover, the real authors are often obscured by inaccurate attributions that have gained wide currency.
Finally, a few of these lines were crafted by women who are anonymous partly because they worked in professions that tend to be anonymous, such as screenwriting or speechwriting. I’ve included them nevertheless, because they show the range and depth of well-known quotations by women. The hallmark of almost all these cases, in fact, is that people are surprised to learn that such famous lines were written by such obscure women.
Laugh and the world laughs with you;
Weep, and you weep alone.
Proverb? No, this too was written by a woman, an American named Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919). Her 1883 poem “Solitude” begins with these words.
Does it really matter what these affectionate people do—so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!
Online, one can find this remark credited to King Edward VII and an eighteenth-century general, as well as to the person with the best claim: Mrs. Patrick Campbell (Beatrice Stella Tanner Campbell, 1865–1940), the preeminent actress of her time on the London stage. She used this memorable line in rebuking an actress who had complained that an actor they knew was enamored of a young leading man.
This looks like an absolute riot. I can’t wait to read it all!
Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of
society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded,
responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government,
eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy
the male sex.
It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males
(or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must
begin immediately to do so. Retaining the male has not even the dubious
purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male)
gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set
of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a
walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient,
emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are
via Matt Dalby
Historians at Stanford have uncovered the earliest known survey of sexual behavior. Similar in style to the more-famous Kinsey Reports, the survey began in 1892 and focused exclusively on women. While more than half of the subjects said they’d known nothing about sex before marriage—about what you’d expect thanks to Victorian stereotypes—almost all of them seemed to be making up for lost time, both actively desiring and enjoying sex, even those who thought they probably oughtn’t.
tasty snippets from the article in question:
Thanks to a steady supply of young female research subjects, Mosher’s scholarly aim soon became clear: to prove that women were not inferior to men, and that frailties chalked up to sex were really the effects of binding garments, insufficient exercise and mental conditioning. Her master’s thesis, for example, showed that women breathe from the diaphragm, as men do, rather than from the chest, as was believed at the time. She concluded that this so-called biological difference was really due to tight corsetry.
Slightly more than half of these educated women claimed to have known nothing of sex prior to marriage; the better informed said they’d gotten their information from books, talks with older women and natural observations like “watching farm animals.” Yet no matter how sheltered they’d initially been, these women had—and enjoyed—sex. Of the 45 women, 35 said they desired sex; 34 said they had experienced orgasms; 24 felt that pleasure for both sexes was a reason for intercourse; and about three-quarters of them engaged in it at least once a week.
Unlike Mosher’s other work, the survey is more qualitative than quantitative, featuring open-ended questions probing feelings and experiences. “She’s actually asking these questions not about physiology or mechanics—she’s really asking about sexual subjectivity and the meaning of sex to women,” Freedman says. Their responses were often mixed. Some enjoyed sex but worried that they shouldn’t. One slept apart from her husband “to avoid temptation of too frequent intercourse.” Some didn’t enjoy sex but faulted their partner. Mosher writes: [She] “Thinks men have not been properly trained.”
Their responses reflected the cultural shifts of the late 19th century, as marriage became viewed as a romantic union, not just an economic one, and as people began to dissociate sex from procreation, says Freedman. One woman, born in 1867, wrote that before marriage she believed sex to be only for reproduction, but later changed her mind: “In my experience the habitual bodily expression of love has a deep psychological effect in making possible complete mental sympathy & perfecting the spiritual union that must be the lasting ‘marriage’ after the passion of love has passed away with the years.” Wrote another, born in 1863, “It seems to me to be a natural and physical sign of a spiritual union, a renewal of the marriage vows.”
This makes me think of Foucault
The new law will ban the denial of coverage to women who have had a prior Caesarean section, or have been victims of domestic violence. Previously companies have denied coverage in such circumstances by regarding them as pre-existing conditions that will mean a higher cost of coverage. One such company–the ironically named Golden Rule based out of Indianapolis–not only rejected women who had a C-section but went on to recommend that if they became “sterilized” they would offer coverage.
Some new changes to the law will not take into effect until 2014, but the ban on discrimination will be implemented immediately.
Pierre Bourdieu’s Masculine Domination is the English translation of La Domination Masculine (1998), which was developed from an article of the same name published in 1990 in Actes de la Recherché en Sciences Sociales. It articulates Bourdieu’s theories of gender construction and his analysis of the pervasive and insidious power of masculine domination, which is, in “the way it is imposed and suffered . . . the prime example of this paradoxical submission” through which “the most intolerable conditions of existence can so often be perceived as acceptable and even natural” (1). This domination is effected, subtly, through a form of what Bourdieu calls “symbolic violence, a gentle violence, imperceptible and invisible even to its victims, exerted for the most part through the purely symbolic channels of communication and cognition (more precisely, misrecognition), recognition, or even feeling” (1-2). Despite Bourdieu’s reference to “gentle violence,” symbolic violence is the most powerful weapon in masculine domination’s arsenal, since, despite its virtual invisibility, it creates the conditions of possibility for other, more immediate and explicit forms of violence, whether economic or physical.
I would argue that symbolic violence is a key tool of oppression and control beyond any gender or race.
I was saying yesterday that nothing was striking me online. Nothing was crying out to be blogged. Today, a brief glimpse at Dangerous Minds has opened up a whole avenue of connections and pathways fired up in my head, skipping across synapses all the way down my spine, along my arms, out to my fingers. Now i have 12 tabs open for research, waiting to be integrated into this post.
Jason Louv, I’m coming for you man.
At first the thought was just the skeleton of paragraph, a lynchpin to build other words around, the introduction to this post. I was thinking “This post is going to take hours to write, hours that should be spent on my novel.” and my sense of humour being what it is i thought it would make a good introduction to make out that I was really angry, that i now had no choice but to write the post, and that it was all your fault.
But then something happened. Whilst I was thinking this lynchpin-paragraph-thought I was tamping coffee into my filter to be made into beautiful, gorgeous espresso. The only tamp i have is the crappy plastic tamp/scoop combo that came with the machine. My mind was not completely on the task at hand and I tamped too hard, pressure perhaps off centre slightly. The crappy plastic tampscoop snapped, the filter leaped from its holder, plumitting floorwards, arcs of finely ground coffee cutting parabolas through the air.
A mess, Mr Louv. A fucking mess. And now my tampscoop is just a tamp. I could of cried.
As far as i can tell this is actually your fault.
So now I’m really coming for you. I reckon i can scrape the money together for a plane ticket. I have a friend in cali, not sure where, in the south. Maybe an hour outside LA. That’s where you live, right? LA? Can’t be that big a city. I’m gonna find you and then i’m gonna drag your arse back here to ayrshire to clean my fucking kitchen.
Okay, maybe I haven’t thought this through very well. Maybe I’ll just clean my own kitchen. To be honest, it was already a bit of a state before this whole debacle started.
This post doesn’t really start with Jason Louv. This post really starts with Matt Dalby. I don’t know why he keeps popping up, I really don’t, but it was he that first introduced me to the concept of Psychogeography and taught me the name of Iain Sinclair. Appropriately enough I remember exactly where we were when he did.
We were walking through the Hayes in Cardiff. The Hayes is the home of the oldest record store in the world. It was established in 1894 and is still going today. Fiercely independant and full of musical gems, anybody who professes to loving music shops there. I love that little record store. Shortly before I left Cardiff The Hayes was undergoing some serious gentrification which meant the rent was being jacked up way high. Higher than Spillers Records could afford. The shop was in danger of closing. The people rallied around. Protests were signed and demos held. I kept my fingers crossed. As far as i can tell it all worked out.
He took his cues from Charles Baudelaire’s concept of the flâneur which, in Debord’s redefining of the concept became The Dérive. The difference between the two, with my lightly skirmishing eyes, is difficult to conceptualise but it may be political. Or personal. Or maybe the personal is the political. Anyway Debord defined psychogeography thusly:
Although it has been stated more recently as:
“a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities…just about anything that takes pedestrians off their predictable paths and jolts them into a new awareness of the urban landscape.“
The point is to dig, you dig? Not just to consume your environment as you would a billboard, going from point A to point B, but to let it in a way consume you, going from point A to some point that does not yet exist as a point.
In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there. Chance is a less important factor in this activity than one might think: from a dérive point of view cities have psychogeographical contours, with constant currents, fixed points and vortexes that strongly discourage entry into or exit from certain zones. – ‘Theory of the Derive‘
The Derive and the concepts of Psychogeography are a great way to get to know a place. For the artist or writer I would say they are indispensible tools. I remember at the time, when Matt told me about them and Iain Sinclair, that I intended to do alot of research into the subject. I don’t think I did. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve really dug deep into the subjects, at least in any kind of specific way.
So, they drifted into the unconscious to fester and lay root.
A bunch of years later. 3? 4? I’m done with film school and unemployed. Matt has moved to manchester. I spend my days drifting through Cardiff, drawn to certain nexii. Friend’s houses, parks, libraries. In fact, I’m not drifting, I’m skating.
I’ve skateboarded from a young age. I was never very good at it. Far too clumsy with a poor sense of balance the world of tricks was something that mainly eluded me. But, god, did I love to skate. To roll along on a summers day was a special kind of bliss. To pull off a pop-shuvit or an ollie was, despite being the most basic of tricks, a great satisfaction. I actually miss it terribly and on the verge of starting up again.
Between all this drifting and rolling along i’m writing. I’m thinking. I’m reading. I’m making notes. I have an idea for a feature film. I have some pages I’d written, mainly dialogue, from years back, but lost in the ether. The idea still dribbles around my mind quite regularly, waiting to be born. One of the main characters is the city of cardiff itself.
It’s a semi-autobiographical movie. It features quite heavily some drifting around cardiff. Actually, it’s more missioning than drifiting – going from place to place with a purpose in mind. To be honest, the film is really a topic for another blog post, so let’s not get too caught up on it. I’m trying to stay on topic here.
One of the characters skates. It gets him where he wants to go faster than walking and it entertains him when bored. I figure there has to be some kind of semi-academic book on skateboarding so I go looking for it. I find it in one of the Cardiff University libraries.
I couldn’t get the book out so part of my day would be to go to the library and make notes from this book. I still have those notes. Fuck, I’m looking at them right now. Not as many as i would if liked cuz I got caught up on Jung in my head and began making notes on him instead. I shall put these quotes up here at some point. In the meantime check out the google books page for extracts from the text.
My point, within the context of this article, is that psychogeography and skateboarding are intrinsically linked. The skater views and interacts with the urban landscape in a way which reconstructs its purpose. Whereas the derive is about letting the city guide you to places beyond destinations, skateboarding is about taking destinations and aggressively co-opting them for your own means. When you skate you feel the city. Its bumps and contours, its steps and spaces, in a way that most people will never know. From my notes on my notes:
Skate spots are found, appropriated and co-opted. Taken out of their original context and re-imagined within the skater-deck-object nexus. This makes skateboarding almost a critique of capitalist-consumerism, a subversion of the dominant ideological reading of terrain – removing it from one, anti-human/nature/pro-commerce/societal context and integrating it into a more bodynaturecentric one.
and an actual quote from the book:
Skateboarders were here acting in a manner akin to anarchist communities, in that they tended to work with nature (found terrains) and to be spontaineous in their actions. Skaters, again like anarchist communities, also preffered to rapidly replace this spontaneity with the socio-spatial tactic of colonization whenever possible, such that established skateboard locations… generated their own names, boundaries, access conditions and internal culture (p.51)
I found these ideas very exciting, especially within the context of my Cardiff film. Being semi-autobiographical I had already made a caricature of myself one of the protaganonists and armed him with a skateboard. Now I found validation for doing so, opening up the film to further ideas by which it could be influenced. Psychogeography had made itself known through my creative ideas without looking at it directly.
Iain Sinclair was born in Cardiff and thus we come full circle… When he lived there I’m sure it was a very different place from how i remember it. Although he was born there it is not his home. London is his home and it is as part of the London avantgarde poetry scene of the 60s and 70s that began to make his name. With his poetry, films and novels he continues to this day to be known as “the capital’s visionary laureate”
Psychogeography is a talismanic term that Sinclair understands to have been cannibalised from French situationism. “For me, it’s a way of psychoanalysing the psychosis of the place in which I happen to live. I’m just exploiting it because I think it’s a canny way to write about London. Now it’s become the name of a column by Will Self, in which he seems to walk the South Downs with a pipe, which has got absolutely nothing to do with psychogeography. There’s this awful sense that you’ve created a monster.“
And thusly we come to the article which started this whole mess….
In London, from the first, I walked. As a film student, newly arrived in the early Sixties, I copied the poet John Clare on his feverish escape from Matthew Allen’s asylum in Epping Forest, when he navigated by lying down to sleep with his head to the north. Skull as compass: all the secret fluids and internal memory-oceans aligned by force of desire. Clare returned, as he thought, to Mary, his first love, his muse; to his heart-place, Helpston, beyond Peterborough, on the edge of the dark fens. My drag was cinema, Bergman seasons in Hampstead, Howard Hawks in Stockwell. Or art: the astonishing Francis Bacon gathering at the old Tate, at Millbank, former prison and panopticon. Bacon’s melting apes were robed like cardinals. Naked men, stitched from photographs, wrestled in glass cages.
Motiveless walking processed the unanchored images that infiltrated dreams of the shadow-belt on either side of the Northern Line. I lodged in West Norwood, a house on a hill, like the one I had left behind in Wales. I wandered through mysterious suburbs to the rooms above the butcher’s shop in Electric Avenue, Brixton, where the school was based. Street markets, I discovered, were a significant part of the substance of this place. Walking was a means of editing a city of free-floating fragments. I composed, privately, epic poems conflating the gilded Byzantium of W.B. Yeats with the slap and strut of Mickey Spillane’s California. London was an impossible relativity of historical periods and superimposed topographies.
(“An introduction to Lights Out for the Territory by its author, Iain Sinclair, who loves east London but not the forthcoming Olympic Games. The book traces nine walks across the capital.” via Dangerous Minds & Arthur magazine)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little trip. There are plenty of links to click filled with interesting, exciting and heavy ideas to sink your teeth into. Writing it has pretty much swallowed the productive segment of my day and I now have a whole bunch of stuff to read my way through.
Excessive sexual appetite was only clearly pathologized when it showed up in women. During the Victorian era, nymphomania became the catch-all term for a wide range of inappropriate behavior, from “lascivious glances” to extramarital affairs, writes Carol Groneman in Nymphomania: A History. Even wearing perfume was sometimes diagnosed as a symptom of “mild nymphomania.” The book describes the case of Mrs. R, a widow who, in 1895, blamed her “lascivious longings” on reading too many novels and going to too many gay parties as a young girl. It is with “the greatest difficulty that I could conduct myself in a decorous and ladylike manner in the presence of the other sex,” she lamented to her doctor, who prescribed leeches applied to the uterus and ice to the genital region.
Now, about 95 percent of people who are diagnosed with sexual disorders are men, according to Marty Kafka, the reigning expert who treats patients at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Some are true deviants and some are merely compulsive. They may masturbate or obsessively look at porn or bankrupt themselves on prostitutes. Often, the compulsion is crippling; they may intend to spend half an hour looking at porn and instead waste their whole work day away. The sex itself usually gives them very little pleasure and a lot of distress, says Kafka, who has been studying the condition since the ’80s. These days, the treatment usually involves a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and antidepressants. “We may argue over the exact definition,” says Kafka. “But I have no doubt in my mind that the condition exists.”