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foxycat
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.

[ Edited ]
There's more to us than biology. Are you negating the strides women have made in the past 100 years? Many of us have decided that mating and procreation are only two of many choice in our lives. Feminism is not about tossing out our old roles completely, but having the freedom to make the choice. 12-year olds in bikinis and heavy makeup, as in the house I worked in last week, have already had their choices made for them.

BTW--I have no problem with well-written books about romantic love. Romantic love is a real part of many women's lives, too, and is not necessarily degrading. The books I was referring yesterday are the trashy cookie-cutter "bodice-rippers."

Everyman wrote:


foxycat wrote:
And in spite of the almost 200 years separating us from Wollstonecraft, too many women still think their purpose in life is to attract a man.

Well, of course, biologically that is their purpose in life. The primary biological imperative of any species is reproduction with the most desirable member of the opposite gender which one can attract.

We tend to forget, for all our technology, literature, etc., that at the core we are still a member of the animal kingdom, and subject to the biological imperatives of all species.



Message Edited by foxycat on 06-25-2007 01:21 PM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Everyman
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Re: Prof: Lopve and biological imperatives.


Choisya wrote:
There is also the consideration that the world is vastly over-populated and our biological imperative might more sensibly be that of adopting more babies and looking after the ones that are already here.

There we are agreed. The problem is that modern medicine and agriculture have interfered drastically with the evolutionary forces -- primarily famine and disease, with an assist from war -- which have acted in the past to keep populating in check. Evolution is a slow process, but it will catch up in the end.

But until it does, our biological imperatives and our rationality are in conflict, and inevitably biological imperative will win, since it has had millions of years head start and is deeply embedded in our genes, which rationality clearly is not, or it would be much more widespread than it is.

Meanwhile, it is overpopulation much more than any other form of human activity which threatens the health of our planet.

Which is getting aways away from Nietzsche, but Ilana invited us to wander!
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Everyman
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.


foxycat wrote:
There's more to us than biology. Are you negating the strides women have made in the past 100 years? Many of us have decided that mating and procreation is only one of many choice in our lives.

Whew! Lots of points packed into so few lines. :smileyhappy:

Yes, there's more to us than biology, but less more than we would like to think, I think. As I said in another post, biology is a more powerful force in the end than rationality.

I don't discount the strides women have made, but I also don't discount the fact that not all change is progress. Certainly many women, probably most of those here, see those strides as positive. But some women see them as retreat from a privileged position they preferred and which they are losing or have lost. Now, I admit that they may be over-romanticizing the past, but I also know women who think the the life of women before World War I was preferable to the life choices they have today.

I'm not interested in getting into a debate on this, frankly, because it's just based on individual opinion, not on facts, and I'm already pretty convinced that I know what virtually everybody on this board will say. But I think it's useful to recognize that it is not universally accepted by all women that the life choices they face today are better than those they faced a hundred years ago, whether you think those opinions are based on reality or fantasy.
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Class

[ Edited ]
Do you think there's still the kind of pressure on "upper" class women to conform when they dress, decorate their houses, entertain, etc. that there was, for example, in Jane Austen's time?


Choisya wrote:

It is also class related with more middle class, professional, men helping with children and chores than working class men.


Message Edited by Prof on 06-25-2007 01:43 PM
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Choisya
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.

I am not in a position to impose my preferences on anyone Everyman and I am only trying, perhaps badly, to express how I think these things will in the long run affect our society and women's lives in general. I am trying to avoid the personal.




Everyman wrote:
As long as we agree that excessive is in the eye of the beholder. You apparently do not want to be romantically loved to a point that you consider excessive. But perhaps some women might enjoy what you consider excessive, and I don't think you should impose your preference on them.


Choisya wrote:
:smileyhappy: And the subjection of women is part of a long tradition too Everyman. Sexual desirability and mating is one thing, excessive romantic love is another.



Everyman wrote:
Choisya wrote: I do not want to discuss these concepts, which I hold dear, because I know they are far too controversial for these boards and I will be in a minority of one

When did that ever stop you before? :smileyhappy:

will be in a minority of one in thinking that 'love stories' show 'Excessive concern for romantic love and physical desirability' and can harm women:-

Well, if the do, they are part of a long tradition. The Song of Solomon is pretty big on physical desirability, and the Trojan War wouldn't have been fought, at least if you believe the legends and not the economic probabilities, if Helen had been an unattractive hunchback.

But since, at least if you believe in the theory of evolution, the whole purpose of gender desirability in animal species (of which we are one) is to promote procreation among the fittest members of the species, there can be no such thing, biologically speaking, concern for romantic love and physical desirability is natural and necessary for us to advance evolutionarily as a species.








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Everyman
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.

That's fine. My point was that calling something "excessive" is a value judgment (usually intended as negative) based on what we personally see as desirable in a given situation. I think it's a term we should use with great caution when used to criticize (explicitly or implicitly) the way other people choose to live their lives.

After all, some people apparently think that the amount of posting you and I do on these boards is excessive. Which should make us particularly careful about accusing others of excess in the activities they prefer.


Choisya wrote:
I am not in a position to impose my preferences on anyone Everyman and I am only trying, perhaps badly, to express how I think these things will in the long run affect our society and women's lives in general. I am trying to avoid the personal.




Everyman wrote:
As long as we agree that excessive is in the eye of the beholder. You apparently do not want to be romantically loved to a point that you consider excessive. But perhaps some women might enjoy what you consider excessive, and I don't think you should impose your preference on them.


Choisya wrote:
:smileyhappy: And the subjection of women is part of a long tradition too Everyman. Sexual desirability and mating is one thing, excessive romantic love is another.



Everyman wrote:
Choisya wrote: I do not want to discuss these concepts, which I hold dear, because I know they are far too controversial for these boards and I will be in a minority of one

When did that ever stop you before? :smileyhappy:

will be in a minority of one in thinking that 'love stories' show 'Excessive concern for romantic love and physical desirability' and can harm women:-

Well, if the do, they are part of a long tradition. The Song of Solomon is pretty big on physical desirability, and the Trojan War wouldn't have been fought, at least if you believe the legends and not the economic probabilities, if Helen had been an unattractive hunchback.

But since, at least if you believe in the theory of evolution, the whole purpose of gender desirability in animal species (of which we are one) is to promote procreation among the fittest members of the species, there can be no such thing, biologically speaking, concern for romantic love and physical desirability is natural and necessary for us to advance evolutionarily as a species.










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Gender, Humor and Literature

Munching cookies isn't healthy! If you're having cheese with your wine, you're better off.

Getting back to humor, are men less concerned about looking silly than women are, and more willing to engage in physical comedy? Do they need humor more, as a survival mechanism? Shakespeare's humor is much more daring than Jane Austen's, for example!


IlanaSimons wrote:

you're healthier.

Prof wrote:
It's iced tea and cookies for me. (What does this say about the difference between us?)

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IlanaSimons
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Re: Gender, Humor and Literature

Maybe a great op-ed piece could be written on this topic. I think women are only now coming into their own with humor. Among my faves (T.V., not book, unfortunately):
Sarah Silverman, Chelsea Handler (my top favv favv fav), Kelly Rippa (she doesn't capitalize on her genius; she lets Regis take over. She deserves much more).

I like this topic. women are only now putting it out there without apology or smiley faces or the obvious retraction, "I'm only kidding." They let something hang and it's smart.




Prof wrote:
Munching cookies isn't healthy! If you're having cheese with your wine, you're better off.

Getting back to humor, are men less concerned about looking silly than women are, and more willing to engage in physical comedy? Do they need humor more, as a survival mechanism? Shakespeare's humor is much more daring than Jane Austen's, for example!




Ilana
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Choisya
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Re: Prof: Lopve and biological imperatives.

I am trying to avoid the personal Everyman and to keep to the general. This is a reference back to Foxylady's post about the 'gazillions' of books and magazines devoted to teaching women to 'stand on their heads' for 'their' men.




Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Yes biologically that is true but that does not necessarily mean standing on your head to attract ONE desirable member of the opposite gender and serving him like a slave for the rest of your life.

My wife would laugh uproariously at the idea that this is even remotely what she did. She would be laughing too hard to resent the remark, but I will resent it on her behalf.


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Choisya
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Re: Home Comforts

It can also be based on bitter experience, countless surveys (like those I have given) and observing the behaviour of those around us Everyman. I knew no man of my generation who lived alone when young and now I know a number of old widowers who live squalidly because they do not know how to look after themselves. It is much rarer to find an old woman living in squalor. It is a statistical fact (in the UK) that widowers get health problems and die younger because they are less able to look after themselves because they have always had women looking after them. As I said before, it may be different in the US.




Everyman wrote:
I'm not sure how many men will read the book, but both my sister and I married late and lived alone for many years, and I can assure you that my home was much more neatly kept and much more "housekept" than hers. That only women and not men are interested in housekeeping is an opinion based on gender prejudice, which feminists of all people should eschew.

Choisya wrote:
How many men do you think will read this book Prof? And don't more men need to learn the art of housekeeping so that they can help their hard working wives? It may well be a great and serious book but I bet it is aimed at the women's market, like most of the others on the subject of housekeeping.



Prof wrote:
Rochelle, I think housekeeping is the subject of so many magazine articles because it's an important but neglected art. :smileyindifferent: (This is my first "face." I think you discovered this one, because the only place I've seen it is in one of your posts, #673, on Virginia Woolf!) There's a serious book about this subject, Home Comforts by Cheryl Mendelson.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnit=H&bnrefer=ISLL&EAN=978074327286...

The last review is by Alison Rogers in Brill's Content. "Although it's a reference work, Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House packs the punch of a major novel." Dr. Mendelson is a philosopher. This could be a great book!







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Choisya
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Re: Class

I suspect there is a sort of 'keeping up with the Jones' pressure in every part of society but when you are in the upper income bracket you are more likely to entertain, go to dinner parties etc. and this puts more pressure upon you. I am not upper class but I know when I did a lot of entertaining and going out and about socially I felt this sort of pressure. Thank goodness I am done with all that!:smileyhappy:



Prof wrote:
Do you think there's still the kind of pressure on "upper" class women to conform when they dress, decorate their houses, entertain, etc. that there was, for example, in Jane Austen's time?


Choisya wrote:

It is also class related with more middle class, professional, men helping with children and chores than working class men.


Message Edited by Prof on 06-25-2007 01:43 PM


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Choisya
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Re: I knew it would be a mistake!

[ Edited ]
My original use of the word excessive arose from a particular quote I made about Mary Wollstonecraft's views. I am primarily trying to express Mary Wollstonecraft's views, how I relate to them and how I see them in relation to our own society. I am not trying to criticise anyone. I am not accusing anyone. I am deliberately avoiding personal remarks such as You apparently do not want to be romantically loved to a point that you consider excessive. It is, so far as I am concerned, an academic discussion. However, as I thought, it is fraught with problems and I wish to h*** I had not started it and had not replied to Prof. I only did so because I thought I had been impolite in my original response to her but I will cease this exchange now in the hope that I have now sufficiently explained my original POV about 'romance' to Prof.





Everyman wrote:
That's fine. My point was that calling something "excessive" is a value judgment (usually intended as negative) based on what we personally see as desirable in a given situation. I think it's a term we should use with great caution when used to criticize (explicitly or implicitly) the way other people choose to live their lives.

After all, some people apparently think that the amount of posting you and I do on these boards is excessive. Which should make us particularly careful about accusing others of excess in the activities they prefer.


Choisya wrote:
I am not in a position to impose my preferences on anyone Everyman and I am only trying, perhaps badly, to express how I think these things will in the long run affect our society and women's lives in general. I am trying to avoid the personal.




Everyman wrote:
As long as we agree that excessive is in the eye of the beholder. You apparently do not want to be romantically loved to a point that you consider excessive. But perhaps some women might enjoy what you consider excessive, and I don't think you should impose your preference on them.


Choisya wrote:
:smileyhappy: And the subjection of women is part of a long tradition too Everyman. Sexual desirability and mating is one thing, excessive romantic love is another.



Everyman wrote:
Choisya wrote: I do not want to discuss these concepts, which I hold dear, because I know they are far too controversial for these boards and I will be in a minority of one

When did that ever stop you before? :smileyhappy:

will be in a minority of one in thinking that 'love stories' show 'Excessive concern for romantic love and physical desirability' and can harm women:-

Well, if the do, they are part of a long tradition. The Song of Solomon is pretty big on physical desirability, and the Trojan War wouldn't have been fought, at least if you believe the legends and not the economic probabilities, if Helen had been an unattractive hunchback.

But since, at least if you believe in the theory of evolution, the whole purpose of gender desirability in animal species (of which we are one) is to promote procreation among the fittest members of the species, there can be no such thing, biologically speaking, concern for romantic love and physical desirability is natural and necessary for us to advance evolutionarily as a species.

Message Edited by Choisya on 06-25-2007 02:54 PM
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Everyman
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Re: Gender, Humor and Literature



Prof wrote:
Getting back to humor, are men less concerned about looking silly than women are, and more willing to engage in physical comedy?

Well, there's certainly no female equivalent to the Marx Brothers (who, btw, I dislike) or to that guy who smashes up fruit and other things on TV. OTOH, there's the woman who douses herself in chocolate on stage, but I forgot, that's not humor, it's performance art.

And what woman would ever consider engaging in a farting contest funny?
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Everyman
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Re: Home Comforts


Choisya wrote:
... I know a number of old widowers who live squalidly because they do not know how to look after themselves. It is much rarer to find an old woman living in squalor. It is a statistical fact (in the UK) that widowers get health problems and die younger because they are less able to look after themselves because they have always had women looking after them. As I said before, it may be different in the US.

Must be an English thing. Perhaps hour socialistic welfare state is kinder to women than to men.

And as to why widowers die younger than widows, one must be careful of post hoc propter hoc. Men are shorter lived than women in general. Though what with women having picked up the smoking habit from men decades ago (and now suffering the consequences) and getting heart attacks from too much workplace stress, you're catching up!
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Quadrivia

Yes, Choisya, I understand where you're coming from.

Does anyone know why "trivial" means what it does today? "Trivia" means "three roads" in Latin, and the three liberal arts of grammar, logic and rhetoric make up the "trivium." Geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music make up the "quadrivium." Why don't we use the word "quadrivial?"


Choisya wrote:

I only did so because I thought I had been impolite in my original response to her but I will cease this exchange now in the hope that I have now sufficiently explained my original POV about 'romance' to Prof.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Quadrivia

Cool fact.



Prof wrote:
Yes, Choisya, I understand where you're coming from.

Does anyone know why "trivial" means what it does today? "Trivia" means "three roads" in Latin, and the three liberal arts of grammar, logic and rhetoric make up the "trivium." Geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music make up the "quadrivium." Why don't we use the word "quadrivial?"




Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Laurel
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Re: Quadrivia

"Trivial entered Middle English from Latin trivium 'place where three roads meet', from tri- 'three' and via 'road, way'. A medieval trivium was an introductory course at a university involving the study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. In the Middle Ages seven ‘liberal arts’ were recognized, of which the trivium contained the lower three and the quadrivium the upper four (the ‘mathematical arts’ of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music). This association with elementary subjects led to trivial being used to mean 'of little value or importance' from the 16th century."

© Oxford University Press, 2004






IlanaSimons wrote:
Cool fact.



Prof wrote:
Yes, Choisya, I understand where you're coming from.

Does anyone know why "trivial" means what it does today? "Trivia" means "three roads" in Latin, and the three liberal arts of grammar, logic and rhetoric make up the "trivium." Geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music make up the "quadrivium." Why don't we use the word "quadrivial?"




"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Humor and Courtesy

This explains why Jane Austen's novels didn't appeal to some people in the nineteenth century if her detractors felt she wasn't "ladylike!"


IlanaSimons wrote:

I like this topic. women are only now putting it out there without apology or smiley faces or the obvious retraction, "I'm only kidding." They let something hang and it's smart.
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foxycat
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Re: Prof: Love Stories & romantic love.

I read a number of newspapers online. This is in the Wall Street Journal today, and it relates both to this generation's ant-feminism and our talk about the pendulum swinging to extremes:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118254928882245220.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
.....
I'm with Choisya, Everyman. She's having an academic discussion about the general state of affairs, not attacking anyone in particular. She's always very careful to talk in general terms.

.....
BTW--Choisya or Everyman, not sure who said it, I'm FOXYCAT, not FOXYLADY.
Foxy is one of my cats.:smileyvery-happy:
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Elementary

Thank you, Laurel. Is this from a dictionary?

Are words more "elementary" than numbers? Should college students be taught quadrivia before trivia?


Laurel wrote:
"Trivial entered Middle English from Latin trivium 'place where three roads meet', from tri- 'three' and via 'road, way'. A medieval trivium was an introductory course at a university involving the study of grammar, rhetoric, and logic. In the Middle Ages seven ‘liberal arts’ were recognized, of which the trivium contained the lower three and the quadrivium the upper four (the ‘mathematical arts’ of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music). This association with elementary subjects led to trivial being used to mean 'of little value or importance' from the 16th century."

© Oxford University Press, 2004