RARA-AVIS: Re: New books and other things...(this is not about Ross Mc or Vietna

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 06 Aug 2009

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    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "annvon78" <annvon78@...> wrote:
    > There is a lot of historical and anthropological evidence for "human nature" that includes switching genders roles, from India (where transvestites travel in troupes, a long tradition) to the old Yugoslavia, not sure but maybe it's modern-day Serbia (where a woman in a manless family would switch roles for life, not only dressing but actually becoming known as the man of the family, hanging out with men and never marrying), often in order to carry on blood feud, and that tradition is only ending because blood feuds are being controlled). And have you ever read Sir Philip Sydney's "Arcadia", considered an English Renaissance masterpiece; a long section on men dressing and acting as women. And of course Shakespeare never saw a woman act any of his female characters, and how did that influence the audience? Maybe there are some serious faultlines in US society which can benefit from journalistic and artistic surfacing, but it's not as though it "never" was.

    Yes, but the phenomenon we're seeing has no precedent in history, as far as I know. It is a social engineering phenomenon. What Faludi alludes to, and this is as frightening as it sounds, is that apparently the US is moving towards a "culture" without a "society". How's that for engineering? The Serbian woman who puts on the pants is not in doubt about who and what is a man and who and what is a woman. She steps into a role that her society (which does exist, and has existed for a long time) has assigned to her or expects from her, but the situation is clear.

    The phenomenon I was alluding to is not one about vernacular society. It is rather a consequence of the disappearance of all traces of the vernacular. A good summary would be: children raised by the media and the classroom. Human nature being what it is, attempts at creating some substitute for the vernacular won't cease. The forms it might take can be ugly, of course, as the book we're discussing shows.


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