Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Quote of the Week

Why do people care? Because this is how gender norms are enforced, maintained, and handed down to the next generation. If they didn’t show how much they cared, you might think it didn’t matter whether or not you took hubby’s name, or popped out babies ... you might get to thinking that heteronormativity as a way of life was optional, and not an option you were particularly interested in. People care, because telling each other the story of How The Tribe Is Supposed To Be is how we make people behave, how we socially shame and norm each other into doing what we think ought to be done even if none of us like it very much. When people behave differently it is terrifying ...
Thus Spake Zuska


  1. Great!
    These questions is thought of too seldom.

    I have been forced to think much of what it means to care and worry. In a way it is some control, yes, especially if the caring is too much. Woman may often care too much and in that way demand attention.

    But women have also the right to care, because it is genetic. Women must care as a kind of coherent force in families or groups. (The blogs are partly about that too). That's why women dont make wars (so much). Women make babies! But to marry a uterus sounds really crude, maybe it is right? Men often say they want a woman to be the mother of their childs, means she have to take care of them.

    When I married my husband we had been living together for about 10 years and had two kids, the third coming, so we should know each other, but no. To my surprise he changed at once and began to own me! From that moment we started to 'fight' and I to defend myself. He had a revir - thinking, and I was his 'revir', his 'face', and he thought he could dictate how I should behave. Sad.

    How can one single ceremony make that? I have heard the same story from many women.

  2. Alas, marriage does seem to be a disaster for many. Never tried it myself, because I kind of understood the ownership problem (I have had offers, but none that were remotely acceptable). The majority of men are raised to think of wives as property. They might deny this, but the phenomenon is well studied. The shame is that so few have learned to either care or recognise this in themselves.

  3. "Big applause for Bonobo's female-led societies. Bonobo women stick together to protect/support each other against males. #WSF10 [ 2010 World Science Festival ]
    12:25 PM Jun 5th via TweetDeck

    Vanessa Woods [ Duke University ] going over the difference between Chimps and Bonobos. #WSF10"

    Bonobo Society: Amicable, Amorous and Run by Females/NATALIE ANGIER

    "Nature's raucous bestiary rarely serves up good role models for human behavior, unless you happen to work on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. But there is one creature that stands out from the chest-thumping masses as an example of amicability, sensitivity and, well, humaneness: a little-known ape called the bonobo, or, less accurately, the pygmy chimpanzee. Before bonobos can be fully appreciated, however, two human prejudices must be overcome. The first is, fellows, the female bonobo is the dominant sex, though the dominance is so mild and unobnoxious that some researchers view bonobo society as a matter of "co-dominance," or equality between the sexes. Fancy that."

    "As de Waal puts it in his book, "The chimpanzee resolves sexual issues with power; the bonobo resolves power issues with sex." Or more coyly, chimpanzees are from Mars, bonobos are from Venus. All of which has relevance for understanding the roots of human nature. De Waal seeks to correct the image of humanity's ancestors as invariably chimpanzee-like, driven by aggression, hierarchical machinations, hunting, warfare and male dominance."

    "De Waal said that many men grow indignant when they learn of the bonobo's social structure. "After one of my talks, a famous German professor jumped up and said, 'What is wrong with these males?' " he recalled. Yet de Waal said the bonobo males might not have reason to rebel. "They seem to be in a perfectly good situation," he said. "The females have sex with them all the time, and they don't have to fight over it so much among themselves. I'm not sure they've lost anything, except for their dominance.""

  4. What is a Bonobo

    Peaceful and powered by females

    "... In contrast to the competitive, male-dominated culture of their close relative the chimpanzee, bonobo society is peaceful, matriarchal and more egalitarian. Bonobos live in large groups where harmonious coexistence is the norm. While in many ways, males and females have "separate but equal" roles, females carry the highest rank, and the sons of ranking females are the leaders among males. Females form close bonds and alliances, which is another way they maintain their power among males, who are larger and stronger physically."

    The recent bonding/alliance amongst female bloggers (Kea/MsPhD/FemaleYoungScientist/ThusSpakeZuska/Ulla/et al) seems to be an evolutionary development amongst female scientists ("smarter than the avg homo-sapiens"), is a parallel development along the lines of Bonobo society. I.e., "convergent evolution" of 2 different species. However, the excessive/agressive use of the F word by certain members (male homo-sapiens like behavior) is an aberration to the female Bonobo model. I.e., "Loose Lips Sinks Ships"

    "You can't soar like an eagle [ Kea ] if you're stuck with a bunch of Turkeys [ chimp-like homo-sapiens men ]"

    "You can't make Chicken Salad [ peaceful matriarchal egalitarian Bonobo society ] from Chicken Shit [ chimp-like male-dominant behavior ]"

    I can see a new brand-name of Science Blogs for women: BonoboGirls. Should draw illustrious female-scientists, & create heavy web traffic (& ad revenue). Kea finds a solution for her Science Funding dilemma (at last).

    WOW. The Web is really a democratic process ("Marketplace of Ideas").

  5. That's great, Chimp, you totally get it. Of course, evolution is a slow process.

  6. Look at Lubos. He thinks men are smarter than women :) He doesn't realize that they are opportunists, that's what his numbers tell. Desynchronized brains. He talks of math, but according to the picture it must be wrong :)

  7. Yes Ulla, but then most men think they are smarter than women. At least Lubos is honest.

  8. Chimp cracks up my chicken shit.
    jc, another bonobo


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