Archive for ‘psychology’

January 29, 2013

sexual politics – class 4b

Perhaps, in the final analysis,
it is possible to argue that women tend to transcend the usual class stratifications in patriarchy,
but for whatever the class of her birth and education, the female has fewer permanent class association than does the male.
Economic dependency renders her affiliations with any class a tangential, vicarious, and temporary matter.

(even the marxist couldn’t get it right !)

long back, Aristotle had already observed that the only slave to whom a commoner might lay claim was his woman !

and the service of an unpaid domestic still provides working-class males with a “cushion” against the buffets of the class system which incidentally provides them with some of the psychic luxuries of the leisure class.
Thrown upon their own resources, few women rise above working class in personal prestige and economic power,
and women as a group do not enjoy many of the interests and benefits any class may offer its male members.
Women have therefore less of an investment in the class system.

but it is important to understand that as with any group whose existence is parasitic to its rulers, women are a dependency class who live on surplus
and their marginal life frequently renders them conservative,
for like all persons in their situation (slaves are a classic example here) they identify their own survival with the prosperity of those who feed them.
the hope of seeking liberating radical solutions of their own seems too remote for the majority to dare contemplate and remains so until consciousness on the subject is raised.

As race the world over, (and caste specifically in India) is emerging as one of the final variables in sexual politics, it is pertinent, especially in a discussion of modern literature, to devote a few words to it as well.
Traditionally, the white male has been accustomed to concede the female of his own race, in her capacity as “his woman” a higher status than that ascribed to the black male.

similarly the upper caste male has been accustomed to concede the female of his own race, in her capacity as “his woman” a higher status than that ascribed to the lower caste male.
Yet as white racist ideology is exposed and begins to erode, racism’s older protective attitudes toward (white) women also begin to give way. ( same as in the Indian caste system)
And the priorities of maintaining male supremacy might outweigh even those of white ( or caste )supremacy;
perhaps sexism may be more endemic in our own society than racism.
For example, one notes in authors whom we would now term overtly racist, such as D. H. Lawrence – whose contempt for what he so often designates as inferior breeds is unabashed – instances where the lower-caste male is brought on to master or humiliate the white man’s own insubordinate mate. ( you can find such examples even say in books of Arundhati Roy’s God of litte things, where she too makes the upper caste women sleep with the lower caste male as a denouement of the the very upper caste to which her family belonged to and she doesnt want to ….. )
Needless to say, the female of the non-white races ( or lower castes) does not figure in such tales save as an exemplum of “true” womanhood’s servility,
worthy of imitation by other less carefully instructed females !

January 27, 2013

sexual politics – class 4a

It is generally accepted that Western (eastern as well) patriarchy has been much softened by the concepts of courtly and romantic love.
While this is certainly true, such influence has also been vastly overestimated.
In comparison with the candour of “machismo” or oriental behaviour, one realises how much of a concession traditional chivalrous behaviour represents – a sporting kind of reparation to allow the subordinate female certain means of saving face !

While a palliative to the injustice of woman’s social position, chivalry is also a technique for disguising it.
One must acknowledge that the chivalrous stance is a game the master group plays in elevating its subject to pedestal level.
Historians of courtly love stress the fact that the raptures of the poets had no effect upon the legal or economic standing of women, and very little upon their social status.
As the sociologist Hugo Beigel has observed, both the courtly and the romantic versions of love are “grants” which the male concedes out of his total powers.
Both have had the effect of obscuring the patriarchal character of Western (and Eastern, as well) culture(s) and their general tendency to attribute impossible virtues to women, have ended by confining them in a narrow and often remarkably conscribing sphere of behaviour.
It was a Victorian habit, for example, to insist the female assume the function of serving as the male’s conscience and living the life of goodness he found tedious but felt someone ought to do anyway !

The concept of romantic love affords a means of emotional manipulation which the male is free to exploit, since love is the only circumstance in which the female is (ideologically) pardoned for sexual activity.
And convictions of romantic love are convenient to both parties since this is often the only condition in which the female can overcome the far more powerful conditioning she has received toward sexual inhibition. Romantic love also obscures the realities of female status and the burden of economic dependency.
As to “chivalry,” such gallant gesture as still resides in the middle classes has degenerated to a tired ritualism, which scarcely serves to mask the status situation of the present.

Within patriarchy one must often deal with contradictions which ale simply a matter of class style.
David Riesman has noted that as the working class has been assimilated into the middle class, so have its sexual mores and attitudes.
The fairly blatant male chauvinism which was once a province of the lower class or immigrant male has been absorbed and taken on a certain glamour through a number of contemporary figures, who have made it, and a certain number of other working-class male attitudes, part of a new, and at the moment, fashionable life style.
So influential is this working class ideal of brute virility (or more accurately, a literary and therefore middle-class version of it) become in our time that it may replace more discreet and “gentlemanly” attitudes of the past.

please see any of our box office hit movies like Dabaang etc

One of the chief effects of class within patriarchy is to set one woman against another,
in the past creating a lively antagonism between whore and matron,
and in the present between career woman and housewife.
One envies the other her “security” and prestige, while the envied yearns beyond the confines of respectability for what she takes to be the other’s freedom, adventure, and contact with the great world.

Through the multiple advantages of the double standard, the male participates in both worlds, empowered by his superior social and economic resources to play the estranged women against each other as rivals. One might also recognise subsidiary status categories among women: not only is virtue class, but beauty and age as well.

Wonder, silence, gratitude

one who is going upstream ......

one who is going upstream ......

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