Christopher: I agree with you about the dangers of essentialist thinking,
and it was in fact that aspect of the phrase "killer Jews" to which I
objected (as one of the "me toos" you presume to lump as protesting
anti-Semistism). I don't believe Douglas to be anti-Semitic, and I wouldn't
accuse him of that. But yoking "killer" to any ethnic/racial/religious group
is unjust, offensive, and at bottom _essentialist_ (IMHO)--and there are few
if any such groups in modernity who have suffered more from such
essentialist prejudice than the Jews (see Sander Gilman's work, e.g.).
on 4/19/02 4:38 AM, Christopher Walker at [log in to unmask] wrote:
> when i spoke of testosterone i was reflecting on the language used and not
> the actions. [LH]
> But actions and words are a continuum. War being diplomacy by other means
> and all that.
> Unless you take Chomsky's view that there is an epistemic difference between
> (a) calling for the death of Salman Rushdie (fine by Chomsky: 'I donít think
> they ought to be stopped from making that speech') and (b) asking someone to
> shoot him (demurral, at this point, from the Great Cartesian).
> Two examples from the latest batch of posts. The _emphases_ are mine.
> A. *October 6, 1973*, written by a female poet and posted by Maria Fletcher
> And Palestine is _raped_ by our cowardly fears
> And the blood of Martyrs
> Tonight _perfumes_ my heart
> When the present celebrates the _death of dignity_
> Note how land occupation, the _possession_ of (female) virginity and the
> incitement to death (by a woman) coalesce. That's the sort of thing I mean
> when I suggest that gender essentialism is a diversion from looking at how
> our actions are shaped by our cultural histories and our bigotries.
> B. A passing comment by Alison C
> '...all these ideologies of death ... the _hard-eyed_ political/military
> _"reality"_ which scorns humane commonality as _weak_, feminine, decadent,
> and, worst of all, _impotent_....'
> Here a suggestion about how the male gaze of power ('hard-eyed') creates
> what it sees ("'reality'") is conflated with physical, gender-essential
> imagery: *hardness* versus *weakness* and detumescence ('impotent'). There's
> more than a hint that (some) 'men' regard *femininity* as a negative (of
> masculinity) but no suggestion at all that there might be in 'reality'
> 'killer grans' or even those who encourage violence in others.