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Showing posts from January, 2016

On sexual freedom

Beverly Harrison said, "If greater genital expression were really the solution to our social miseries, we would expect ours to be the happiest society around.
" What would make us a happier society? Rod Dreher said that sexual liberation can go too far: "Liberals believe that what consenting adults do in bed with their bodies is immune from moral judgment. Social conservatives recognize the falsity of this view, understanding that immoderation in sexual matters corrupts individual character and can have deleterious social consequences." Mary Daly, on the other side, suggested that sexual liberation in itself does not go far enough: "The lifting of taboos on genital sexuality does nothing to liberate from sex roles.
" Alan Watts reflected that this may be the wrong question to ask. Since sex is not entirely good nor entirely evil in itself, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to whether and how it should be permitted. "But if puritanism and culti

Quotes on masculinity and feeling and expressing emotion

"It is indeed possible to soften men. But to make them 'care' is another thing, and the project must inevitably fail." Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, p. 129 "It is very much in style today to urge men to feel. However, this urging is partially reminiscent of taunting a crippled man to run." Herb Goldberg, quoted by Starhawk, The Spiral Dance, p. 108 "But a man who is emotionally paralyzed cannot be male, that is, he cannot be male in relation to female, for if he is to relate himself to a woman there must be something of the woman in his nature." Alan Watts, Nature, Man, and Woman, New York: Vintage Books, 1991 (Copyright 1958). p. 113 "Genetic men, it seems, are taught to deal with the onset of this chemical [testosterone] that makes our feelings so much harder to ignore by getting rigorous, brutal, almost crushing training that frequently forces them out of contact with all their feelings. This is akin to using a

Quotes on the human attempt to dominate nature

Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan: Human beings are not particularly special, apart, or alone. A biological extension of the Copernican view that we are not at the center of the universe deprives us also of our place as the dominant form of life on the planet. It may be a blow to our collective ego, but we are not masters of life perched on the final rung of an evolutionary ladder. Ours is a permutation of the wisdom of the biosphere. We did not invent genetic engineering, we insinuated ourselves into the life cycles of bacteria, which have been directly trading and copying genes on their own for quite some time now. We did not "invent" agriculture or locomotion on horseback, we became involved in the life cycles of plants and animals, whose numbers increased in tandem with ours. ... The reality and recurrence of symbiosis in evolution suggests that we are still in an invasive, "parasitic" stage and that we must slow down, share, and reunite ourselves with other being

Quotes on love and freedom

Barbara Chase-Riboud: "Love demands freedom. Love exists only in freedom – not only of choice, but place, gender, race." Rollo May: "Hatred and resentment are destructive emotions, and the mark of maturity is to transform them into constructive emotions. * * * Furthermore, if we do not confront our hatred and resentment openly, they will tend sooner or later to turn into the one affect which never does anyone any good, namely, self-pity. Self-pity is the "preserved" form of hatred and resentment. One can then...refrain from doing anything about [the problem]. * * * No one can arrive at real love or morality or freedom until he has frankly confronted and worked through his resentment. Hatred and resentment should be used as motivations to re-establish one's genuine freedom: one will not transform those destructive emotions into constructive ones until he does this." Starhawk: "The self-hater is the literal embodiment of structures of dominat

Memory and relationships

The novelist James Meek wrote: "If he’d had the kind of mobile in Afghanistan that could take pictures, a year ago, Kellas would have a photo of Astrid now. Perhaps it was best that he hadn’t. She wouldn’t have aged. She was thirty-four then. But a person’s nature shows in motion and change, and this made the stillness of every portrait photograph a kind of lie. Memory was more plastic. The gap between how you remembered a friend and how they were when you met again could be pinched, joined and smoothed over by memory when there was no photograph in the way. Now that Kellas had a camera phone, he knew the game, where you kept taking pictures of each other until you were left with a single image that pleased you both. If months passed without meeting again, the agreed truth of the moment became its possessor’s holy image. You either stopped believing it, or you began to give it your faith. Rosalind Cartwright said: “Memory is never a precise duplicate of the original; it is a co