Until the early eighties, feminism largely identified 'power' as the hierarchical positioning of men over women. In this last decade, this formulation has been questioned... That the subject of feminism is not 'outside' relations of power, that it is not opposed to power but formulated within its terms, suggests the need to rethink the central terms of feminist conceptions of power: if power is not a property of the self, is not an individual potency or capacity, but is, rather, that by which subjects are relationally defined and established, then the subject is in its very constitution implicated in culturally and historically specific power relations... Moreover, if power not only oppresses or dominates, but is also that which produces, sustains, and circulates subjects, then how might feminists take account of the ambiguity of power-relations, the subordinating and constraining effects of power as well as its generative and formative workings? How are feminist thinkers limited by extant vocabularies of power which do not account for such ambiguities? How have these vocabularies hindered efforts to conceive the complex intertwining of race, caste, class, sexuality, and gender in the subject of feminism?
An Inclusive Litany
Kathy Boudin recently published an article in the Spring 1993 Harvard Review called "Participatory Literacy Education Behind Bars: AIDS Opens the Door." In the article, she relates how, in her role as prison educator, she has used the subject of AIDS to incorporate critical literacy teaching practices into the prison's skill-based curriculum. Kathy has also been involved in developing peer-counseling group programs.
Robert Meeropol has created a foundation to benefit children whose parents have been harassed, injured, lost jobs, or have died in the course of progressive activities. He and Michael '60 are the two sons of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Since its inception last year, the foundation has awarded nearly $50,000 to several dozen children. Michael, Robert and the Rosenberg Foundation were recently featured in the New York Times.
In our last newsletter, Peter Orris was quoted praising the "well written" EI 50th Anniversary Book. His letter also included the following: "I do not understand what 'balance' you thought you were achieving with the inclusion of the 'opinions' of Elliott Abrams.
"Most faculty and students in the school that I attended would have been embarrassed if it were revealed that the 'Albert Spear' [sic] of our age and country had spent his high school years on Charlton Street. I do not object to Mr. Abrams expressing his opinions in whatever forum. I would have hoped that it was unthinkable for EI's 50th Anniversary Album to be sullied by three paragraphs by this architect of the Reagan Administration's bloody anti-democratic campaign in Latin America.
"I guess the faculty can feel proud that they had as few spectacular failures as Elliott Abrams. This failure, of course, reveals again that learning is not merely accomplished by having excellent teachers, one must provide an open mind as well.
"This letter is meant less as a comment on Elliott Abrams than it is on the Editorial Board's decision to include this material within an otherwise excellent booklet. I am still embarrassed by this graduate's inability to learn any of the important lessons taught at EI. Why aren't you?"
[Ed.: Kathy Boudin was a member of the terrorist Weather Underground group during the 1960s and 1970s, and is currently serving a prison term for murder, armed robbery, and various weapons charges after a foiled 1981 armed robbery of an armored truck in Nyack, New York. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were convicted and executed in 1953 for espionage after supplying atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. In his memoirs, Nikita Khrushchev confirmed that "the Rosenbergs provided very significant help in accelerating the production of our atomic bomb."]
Katherine Kitty Wuerl, who lied about finding a syringe in a Pepsi can, was sentenced to a year and a day in Federal prison Friday for product tampering... Psychologist Kenneth Small said he had found that Wuerl suffers from a syndrome known as "fictitious disorder."
In providing a knowledge of sexual harassment as a structural endemic condition that finds its social form as affective, even psychic reality, Hill has subtly complicated the question of "truth." Thomas can no longer just confirm or deny the allegations, because the widening circle of guilt makes that option futile, or purely formalistic. The very system of truth and falsity within which he operates, as part of the common culture, is founded on the evasion of the endemic reality of women's exploitation. And likewise Anita Hill must be believed not because she was personally speaking the truth, but because her affective language is symptomatic of the collective sexual condition of working women.
"This has been espeically true in education over the past decades."
"The Education America Act sets into law the six National Education Goals and establishe a bipartisan National Eduation Goals Panel to report on progress towards achieveing the goals."
"It is time to rekindle the dream that good shools offer."
A supermarket chain stepped in yesterday to defend against traditional "gingerbread men" biscuits from some of its own staff who had renamed them "gingerbread persons" in Britain's latest dispute over political correctness. British newspapers said that a number of staff at Gateway, Britain's fifth largest retailer with some 650 stores, decided to relabel the ginger biscuits in an attack against sexism. But Gateway stepped in quickly to put a stop to the move. "We have sent instructions to our stores that gingerbread men must be gingerbread men," a spokesman [sic] said.
Later at the party, asked if he was wearing leather shoes, Baldwin looked down and said, "Yeah."
I feel an incredible sympathy for the maligned communist bureaucrats who tried to provide housing to all the people. But they made certain mistakes by not being aware of certain aspects of the human soul. I mean, to build unbelievably ugly housing with no corners of beauty in it was misguided because people felt depressed in those buildings. The next round of leftists has to be aware of every aspect of the human soul, including the desire to read "People" and enjoy it and why we enjoy it and what need it fulfills.
How can I argue against a culture I haven't tried to understand? Is it relevant that I, an outsider, may find [clitorectomies] cruel? As hard as it is for me to admit, the answer is no. To treat the issue as a matter of feminist outrage would be to assume that one society, namely mine, has a privileged position from which to judge the practices of another.
[Ed.: It is time to recognize a brand new field of study: anthroapology.]
The Fish and Wildlife Service presented an unusual rationale for prohibiting development. The agency argued that global warming would eventually result in 13-foot rises in the oceans; therefore, San Francisco Bay—along with the existing habitat for these endangered species—would be inundated. When this cataclysmic event occurred, wiping out major urban areas of the United States, the Fish and Wildlife Service would apparently busy itself by creating new habitats for these species bird and rodent on the site.
Beginning in October of 1987, the agency held up development on the property for three years—just long enough to cost the Shorelands Company $12 million and send the firm into bankruptcy.
One of the best ways to help children protect themselves is to teach them to stand up for themselves in all sorts of situations, including casual harassment at home, at school, or in the neighborhood. Because sexual abuse is so common, learning how to stand up to sexual harassment is important training for self-defense as well as self-esteem. Here's a good example of an eight-year-old girl who successfully confronted territorial harassment by boys on the playground:
"My name is Anna Marie. I am eight years old and I live in Maryland. I think girls have rights, too. This summer, I was playing on the big slide at my school. Two boys came over. They said, 'Get off the slide!'
"Then they started singing a stupid yucky song: 'I see London, I see France, I see Annie's underpants.' That made me so mad!
"I called my grandmother to come over here please. She was sitting on the bench by the sandbox. She goes to marches for women's rights. She took me to a big march once in Baltimore; it was neat. She was busy and didn't hear me, so I went to get her. I told her what the boys did. She said, 'You go right back and tell those boys to stop harassing girls.'
"I went back and they were on the slide. My grandmother was watching me. I said real loud, 'YOU STOP HARASSING GIRLS! THERE'S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT BOYS' UNDERPANTS! THERE'S NOTHING FUNNY ABOUT GIRLS' UNDERPANTS! THAT IS A STUPID SONG! GIRLS HAVE RIGHTS, TOO!'
"They looked so surprised! They got off the slide and ran away. I was proud of myself. My grandmother was proud of me, too!"
Note the specifically gender-related nature of the harassment—the comments about "dumb girls" and the targeting of the girl's underwear were both intended to humiliate her as a female. When this kind of language is used, the interaction is not simply a matter of routine playground sparring among kids; this is an incident of gender-specific, sexist harassment.
When Rob Spooner discovered basic errors, including an incorrect formula for gravity, in his daughter's high school science textbook, the publishers informed him the mistakes were needed to simplify the mathematics for "enriched, average, and remedial students alike."
One academy woman strongly objected that the incident was "not a matter of gender, it's part of life here." She told the Baltimore Sun that she had participated in the hazing of females and that before the 1989 Army-Navy football game, she had "helped to strip, tar and feather a West Point cadet." Other midshipmen also told the Washington Post that the incident was not unusual, saying that upperclassmen are often tied to chairs and put outside or have their heads put in toilets as retaliation by plebes they command. They also doubted that Dreyer was targeted because she was a woman, but instead think the episode grew out of Dreyer's involvement in a spirited snowball fight.
"We want to set a precedent here," says Jasper Carlton, director of the foundation. Carlton is basing his petition on the theory that proposed logging of the Tongass National Forest would harm the wolf by depleting the stock of sitka black-tailed deer, its main food source. "Let's not wait until a species is near extinction before we act," he says.
Wandering in the imposing Swiss Alps that same morning, my heart and imagination allowed me to feel closer to the spirit of Carl Jung than ever before. Realizing how the mountain peaks were all connected to the same earth, I started thinking about the collective unconscious, that information which is common to all—the foundation of what the ancients called "the sympathy of all things." One curious element about the collective unconscious is that it can be tapped and communicated with. Was my reality tapping into John Lennon's reality?...
Back home in the Netherlands I continued to teach intuitive development at my school. During the next six months I kept setting aside any ideas about the possibility of communicating with the specter of Mr. Lennon and settled for the comfortable habit of communing with my familiar, old, intangible guardian, Basil. He had not only helped me write my first book, but had continued to assist me in many aspects of my professional and private life. I felt totally safe with him and didn't have to think about meddling around in the affairs of a world-famous deceased Beatle.
I did feel compelled, however, to nose around regularly in record stores and bookstores, trying to discover more about what John Lennon had actually been like...
No matter what my rational convictions may have been, John was a friend and presence, was growing steadily more genuine. I could swear he was taking a strong interest in my daily life activities...
In March of 1987, I reached a decision. Having grown steadily more curious, and somewhat less appreciative, I knew the time was ripe to meet directly with John Lennon's elusive essence.
- A $60,000 Belgian Endive research study for the University of Massachusetts.
- $6.4 million for a Bavarian ski resort in Kellogg, Idaho.
- $13 million to repair a privately owned dam in South Carolina.
- $3.1 million to convert a ferry boat into a crab restaurant in Baltimore.
- $43 million for Steamtrain, U.S.A., in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to recreate a railroad yard of old.
- $107,000 to study the sex life of the Japanese quail.
- $4.3 million for a privately owned museum in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
- $11 million for a private pleasure boat harbor in Cleveland.
- $150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
- $6 million to repair tracks owned by the Soo railroad line.
- $320,000 to purchase President McKinley's mother-in-law's house.
- Funds to rehabilitate the South Carolina mansion of Charles Pickney, a Framer of the Constitution. Unfortunately, the house was built after he died.
- $2.7 million for a catfish farm in Arkansas.
- $84,000 to find out why people fall in love.
- $1 million to study why people don't ride bikes to work.
- $3 million for private parking garages in Chicago.
- $1.8 million for topographic maps of two parishes in Louisiana.
- $144,000 to see if pigeons follow human economic laws. [!]
- Funds to study the cause of rudeness on tennis courts and examine smiling patterns in bowling alleys.
- $219,000 to teach college students to watch television.
- $500,000 to build a replica of the Great Pyramid of Egypt in Indiana.
- $850,000 for a bicycle path in Macomb County, Michigan.
- $10 million for an access ramp to a privately owned stadium in Milwaukee.
- $1.8 million for an engineering study to convert Biscayne Boulevard in Miami into an "exotic garden."
- $13 million for an industrial theme park in Pennsylvania.
- $500,000 for a museum to honor former Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
- $2 million to construct an ancient Hawaiian canoe.
- $350,000 to renovate the House Beauty Salon.
- $6 million to upgrade the two-block-long Senate subway.
- $20 million for a demonstration project to build wooden bridges.
- $160,000 to study if you can hex an opponent if you draw an "X" on his chest.
- $250,000 to study TV lighting in the Senate meeting rooms.
- $800,000 for a restroom on Mt. McKinley.
- $100,000 to study how to avoid falling spacecraft.
- $100,000 to research soy-based inks.
- $1 million for a Seafood Consumer Center.
- $130,000 for a Congressional video-conferencing project.
- $16,000 to study the operation of the komungo, a Korean stringed instrument.
- $1 million to preserve a Trenton, New Jersey, sewer as a historical monument.
- $6,000 for a document on Worchestershire sauce.
- $10,000 to study the effect of naval communications on a bull's potency.
- $33 million to pump sand onto the private beaches of Miami hotels.
- $57,000 spent by the Executive Branch for gold-embossed playing cards on Air Force Two.
Critical Mass is an anti-car, pro-bike and skate ride. The goals are varied because participants have many different mind sets, but some of us see Critical Mass as an expression of a much larger idea.
We believe that car culture is just one aspect of the state-capitalist system that destroys community and keeps us alienated from each other. We want communities to be rebuilt, with people putting their energy into working in their neighborhoods to create a free and ecological world, rather than traveling downtown to take part in the circle of exploited labor. As Anarchists, we understand that it is not work or capitalism alone that is to blame, but every system of hierarchy and domination. The nuclear family, for instance, is a cornerstone in the oppression of women, which is enforced by car culture and the destruction of community. The racism of the system is apparent when one realizes that highways and freeways are usually built and expanded in poor, usually non-white neighborhoods, destroying people's homes and raising the noise pollution and toxins in these neighborhoods. All so middle class white people can get downtown to work—often for multinational corporations which exploit to an almost unimaginable degree the people of the so-called Third World.
In protest of all this and more, we take to the streets. We take over, temporarily, what we believe must be destroyed and creatively rebuilt. We celebrate our resistance, We learn from each other and build solidarity and strength. We become visible, as bikers, skaters and revolutionaries, in a world where we are constantly wrongly portrayed by the corporate-owned media. We take to the streets. We will not be pacified.
Even when the Bill Dreams aren't romantic, many have an intimate flavor.
And few are presidential—Clinton usually drops into dreamland wearing his cap and jogging suit or a faded pair of jeans.
In one woman's dream, Clinton is her dentist ("but he isn't taking any new patients"); for another dreamer, the president is a stand-up comic who is bombing ("I wish I could give him funnier material").
Psychologists who specialize in dream analysis say the Bill dreams should come as no surprise.
"Clinton is very charismatic and he isn't afraid of a real woman," says Robert Van de Castle, a University of Virginia psychology professor and dream expert.
"He has struck a deep emotional chord. President Bush didn't stir up the same kind of passions. You wouldn't want to steal away with him to a hotel for a weekend."
One of every four of the women polled was as likely to fantasize about Clinton as about TV heartthrob Luke Perry.
No president since John F. Kennedy...
A B.L.O. spokesman, identifying himself as "G.I. Joe," said: "Obviously, our goal is to get media attention. We are trying to make a statement about the way toys can encourage negative behavior in children, particularly given rising acts of violence and sexism." The group of like-minded artists, parents, feminists and anti-war activists coalesced in anger the previous year when they discovered that one of the 200 phrases randomly distributed among the talking Barbie dolls was the complaint that "math class is tough," which the group said reinforced sexual stereotypes.
But the center's accommodations are nothing compared to the decision some schools have taken: no holiday celebrations at all. A spokeswoman for the National Association for the Education of Young Children told the San Antonio Express-News, "It's important to be aware of the holidays, but celebrating only the holidays of the dominant culture may exclude some children. The easiest way is to de-emphasize holidays or not celebrate them at all."
NIST is also behind a move to promote a new standard size for a sheet of paper according to metric measurement. Instead of 8.5 by 11 inches, NIST has endorsed a size called "A4." The new size is equivalent to 8.3 by 11.7 inches.
Early in 1994 the Federal Highway Administration began seeking comments on a plan to change road signs to the metric system (1 mile = 1.609 kilometers). The choices being considered were replacing miles with kilometers over seven years; making the change in one year along with an education program; giving the states two years to change all signs to display both miles and kilometers; or just leaving the whole damn thing alone.
But what about the CIA allegations? Is Aristide emotional? Yes. Has he been depressed? Possibly. Has he been prescribed an anti-depressant? Who knows? Who cares?
The CIA says Aristide is a rabble-rouser? Yes, at heated moments he has told followers to give as good as they get. During the coup in which the generals overthrew and almost killed Aristide a couple of years ago, a Macoute chief died in a jail cell, shot by a guard. Did he die, as the CIA claims, by Aristide's order?
I guess it's possible. But it still proves nothing to me about Aristide's fitness to be president. It proves that sometimes Macoutes die as Macoutes live. That can't be called lawful, but is it unjust?
- Cynthia Haynes-Burton:
- Who do you think your audience is?
- Victor Vitanza:
- My attitudes are that I am very much a "comp teacher," that I am
a writing instructor, and that I am contemplative about what I do. I
always am giving writing lessons and taking writing lessons. I don't
know, however, if I am Levi-Strauss or if I am that South American
Indian chief in "Tristes Tropiques" that Levi-Strauss indirectly
gives writing lessons to. Perhaps I am both. Which can be confusing.
One of the fundamental questions that I am ever-reflexively confronted with is that I do not know who I am for this profession. I am a member of this field called composition studies, or rhetoric or composition, or whatever, while at the same time I am not a member by virtue of the fact that I do not follow what is considered to be the protocol for this field. In other words, I do not know what other people in the field do do. Therefore, many people do not sense me as being one of them. It is what we do together evidently that determines whether or not we can swim, crawl, run, jump, or fly together. Aristotle spoke at great length about knowing, doing, and making. In this sense, then, let me be a para-Aristotelian.
- Please start over.
- Okay, so what I have said so far: I very consciously do not follow the field's research protocols. And yet, of course, I do; most other times, however, I do not. And yet again! Do you feel the vertigo of this? I hope that my saying all this, however, does not come across as if I am dis-engaging into some form of "individualism," or "expressionism," for I do not believe in such a fatuous, dangerous concept as practiced in our field.
I suspect that as long as the peccadilloes remain within reason, the American people will have great tolerance for a President who has not only seen the sunshine of Oxford, but also the dusky Dunkin' Donuts of the soul."
I think people want to know if River ran his course or if he was taken from the world prematurely. He was my first born. I birthed him at home, suckled him to a chubby 2 year old, and then held him in love and awe until his safe passage on October 31.
The coroner's report states that drugs were the cause of death. His friends, co-workers and the rest of our family know that River was not a regular drug user. He lived at home in Florida with us and was almost never part of the "club scene" in Los Angeles. He had just arrived in LA from the pristine beauty and quietness of Utah where he was filming for six weeks. We felt that the excitement and energy of the Halloween nightclub and party scene were way over his usual experience and control. How many other beautiful young souls, who remain anonymous to us, have died by using drugs recreationally? It is my prayer that River's leaving in this way will focus the attention of the world on how painfully the spirits of his generation are being worn down.
They are growing up with polluted air, toxic earth and food, and undrinkable water. We are destroying our forests, the ozone layer is being depleted, and AIDS and other diseases are epidemic. The world is a very confusing place for most young people and we need to address that. Drug abuse is a symptom of an unfeeling, materialistic, success-oriented world where feelings and creativity of young people are not seen as important. Drugs, including alcohol, are used to soften the pain of feeling separated from ourselves, each other, and love. We can't just say "Just Say No"—it's ridiculous—we need to offer our children something they can say "Yes" to.
I have been trying to make sense out of chaos in relation to the world situation for many years, and with River's passing I feel more clear than ever before. I feel the answer to our destructive nature, which manifests itself in many forms, and our inability to love and care for another are based on our disconnection from every natural part of who we are. The universe and earth is a magnificent system of oceans, rivers, tributaries and streams of electrons, atoms, micro-organisms, plants and animals, of plankton, moss and trees. And we, the humans, believe we can stand apart from this living system and say we are the masters. We act as if all of this was put here for us to use, abuse, and profit from. We have separated ourselves from the very essence of life in order to raise ourselves up as the ultimate divine expression on Earth.
River made such a big impression during his life on Earth. He found his voice and found his place. And even River, who had the whole world at his fingertips to listen, felt deep frustration that no one heard. What is it going to take? Chernobyl wasn't enough. Exxon Valdez wasn't enough. A bloody war over oil wasn't enough. If River's passing opens our global heart then I say, thanks dear, beloved son, for yet another gift to all of us.