Tag: power dynamics

Humans Behaving Humanly

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=levitra-lowest-price Maureen Dowd’s recent column takes on the David Letterman controversy and the power dynamics that shape romances between superiors and subordinates, particularly on the job.  She stakes claim to a middle ground between those eviscerating the long-time late night comic and those who find nothing much objectionable about his behavior.  To me, Dowd’s columns are often hit or miss, but this one does hit on some interesting and pertinent points.  Still, what I find most off-putting is her reliance on a different school of feminist critique that is, in my humble opinion, several decades out of date.  Our own generational mindset forms our opinions and may still be relevant to those of our age range, but staying resolutely within these parameters does not often allow one to remain current or even pertinent.

canadian levitra prices american pharmacies Dowd writes,

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=viagra-generico-50-mg-pagamento-online In an ideal world, bosses would refrain from sleeping with subordinates, so as not to cause jealousy and tension in the office. But we’re not in an ideal world. Otherwise, we’d already have health care for everyone and Glenn Beck wouldn’t have any influence over the White House.

miglior sito per comprare viagra generico 50 mg spedizione veloce a Napoli Some have been quick to criticize Letterman for his dalliances.  I am not among them.  In truth, I myself have broken the unwritten rule of office politics and engaged in a relationship with a co-worker.  It should be noted that I was not in an subordinate position either time and once even dated a “superior”, though the lines separating chain of command at that workplace were rather fluid.  It has been my experience that while such behavior might not necessarily be problematic in and of itself, in stable work environments, it need not be a major issue.  In dysfunctional work environments, however, it is courting disaster.    

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=purchase-cialis The most contentious assertion to be lifted out of Dowd’s entire column is this one.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=brand-levitra-us A few years ago, I wrote that 40 years of feminism had done nothing to alter the fact that older men often see young women in staff support as sirens. For some men, it’s the very inequality of the relationship that’s alluring, the way these women revolve around them and make life easier, the way they treat Himself like the sunrise and sunset of their universe.

enter Temptation lies inside of each of our hearts and whether we merely lust in them or actively engage is a decision purely ours.  What I object to in Dowd’s line of logic is what it implies.  As she posits it, young women have no defenses and no say against the sinister designs of an older man in a position of authority.  This is a tad insulting to women, because it implies that men pull the strings and that a woman’s individual intentions are somehow predestined to be superseded and overruled by the men in charge.  Women certainly have every right and capability to object and decline an offer of sexual intimacy if it is made.  They are not powerless to guard off the insatiable carnal lust of any man, nor somehow obligated to fall into bed with him, whether or not he is their boss.  There is often something attractive about authority figures for all of us, regardless of gender, and this is when power dynamics enter the picture and influence our decision-making process.    

source link Part of the argument advanced by Dowd is rooted in a paternalistic belief that the young are too immature and too childish to know how to make correct decisions for themselves.  While I know that I made foolish choices in my past out of a combination of youth and inexperience, I do recognize now that age has brought things into focus that were once blurry and uncertain.  It would seem that the matter we are discussing now is not consent, rather it is judgment.  Even so, I never saw instances where some magnetic, voodoo force compelled my female friends to engage in sexual relationships with their professors or bosses.  If I was even aware of such things, what I saw was highly consensual and if immaturity was present, it was frequently present within both parties, age notwithstanding.  Still, the ancient motif of the vampire older man with sinister intentions preying on the innocent, virginal young girl/woman still persists to the current day and it’s a caricature as deeply insulting to men as it is as women.      

here Dowd continues,

But it’s absurd to compare a jester (unmarried at the time) to Bill Clinton and other philandering pols. Officeholders run as devoted family men upholding old-fashioned values. They have ambitious public agendas and loyal acolytes whose futures depend on whether these leaders succumb to reckless dalliances.

As Craig Ferguson, whose show is produced by Letterman, joked: “If we are now holding late-night talk-show hosts to the same moral accountability as we hold politicians or clergymen, I’m out.”

This arises from a hypocrisy we all carry.  Though we rarely hold ourselves to a standard of perfection, because we recognize all too well how exhausting and impossible it is, we certainly hold others to this same unfeasible expectation.  This isn’t just illogical, it’s also completely nonsensical.  In my real life as well as my online existence, I have seen this sort of matter destroy whole communities or severely compromise unity.  In a Feminist internet community I regularly frequent, a mini-drama has recently broken out over matters of semantics.  A member has taken much time, energy, and effort to file a protest, accusing the moderators of not adequately monitoring and refuting numerous instances of offensive, and anti-feminist language.  While I can tell that the protest is motivated out of good intentions, I also am aware that within any movement which feels a compulsion to bring to light to a multitude of enemies lurking insidiously in the in the shadows, sometimes aiming to find every instance of genuine injustice can be taken a bit too far.  

This is itself a kind of Sisyphean struggle for perfection, a kind of wack-a-mole activism that will only create frustration, hair-splitting, and nitpicking in the end.  One could conceivably devote full-time hours specifically to highlight inflammatory, objectionable instances of societal evils—the sort found in every corner of this big, broad world and even broader internet, but still be no farther towards resolution.  There is no sin in admitting that we ourselves are imperfect people and that we ourselves are limited in our scope of influence.  If identifying a problem were sufficient in and of itself, we would have put behind many stubborn problems long before today.  Admitting our limitations does not mean that we are impotent or incapable, but it does insist that we recognize that we have the capacity to accomplish a few things very well before it comes our time to pass away to the next life.  Life is short and I myself would rather devise a way to do a few things exceptionally well than spread myself so thinly that I unintentionally dilute my efforts to making improvements and pushing badly needed reforms.

The Olympics are for The World, Not The Most Powerful

What has gotten much attention the past few days is the hypocritical Republican response to the United States losing a bid to host the Olympic Games.  What is not being discussed is why it is, in my opinion, altogether fitting and proper that Rio de Janeiro and South America won the right to host the games.  If we believe in any such thing as fairness and equality, we would concede that it is time that a country beyond our own receive some positive publicity and be able to showcase its strengths for once.  It is not as though we haven’t had our time in the sun many times before and I believe that giving this privilege to other deserving cities is worthwhile.  In instances like these, those of us who believe that world harmony involves giving every country a seat at the table can find much in the decision upon which to rejoice.  

If, however, you are so tactless as to mention this notion in conservative circles, prepare to have your patriotism questioned.  If you dare to believe that this country ought not to bill itself or carry itself as the epicenter of everything, they’ll claim you’re trying to give away our political power on a world stage out of misguided guilt.  This fact, above all others is what enrages me most about the Right.  The fear of losing something intangible and poorly understood at best is what has driven so much invective recently.  It would seem that the party of no is also the part of me first.  

Specifically regarding developing nations, we rarely see much news or attention devoted to their affairs beyond natural disasters, instances of shocking social injustice which we have long set aside, or the occasional eccentric spectacle.  We enjoy the sensationalist aspect of the man with four wives and twelve children, for example, but almost never are we informed about any good, meaningful news that occurs in a developing nation.  Those who spread, make, and shape information dispersal never feel much of a compulsion to explain or cite the style of governance and policy matters of other countries, unless, of course, it’s meant to provide some needed contrast to our own system and our own way of doing things.  To wit, issues of dire importance to Brazil frequently never make it into the American consciousness.  As a result, the view we hold of most countries besides our own is a romanticized one full of as much fiction as fact.  Frequently, it is also years out of date.  Due to our own response and to the way that substantive concerns of other nations are summarily placed at the bottom of the deck, it is hardly surprising that, with time, resentment has built.  

I feel as though I understand this attitude somewhat.  As a native Southerner, it wasn’t until I traveled North and West that I realized how much of our national discourse and national identity is formed by the large cities found up and down the East and West Coast.  One rarely sees much news or attention devoted to the South beyond natural disasters, instance of shocking social injustice supposedly long put aside, like racism, and the occasional eccentric spectacle.  Those who spread, make, and shape media rarely feel any compulsion to broadcast good news about the region.  Unless meant to provide some sort of needed contrast to the rest of the country, Southern policy decisions or viewpoints rarely find their way into substantive conversation.  As a result, the view we hold of the South is a romanticized one, likely forty to fifty years out of date, and comprised as much of fiction as it is of fact.  And again, because of this, resentment has built.

Our attitudes may be frequently thoughtless and condescending, but they are not deliberately malicious.  We don’t mean to snub other countries of the world or regions of our country, for that matter, but we get caught up in our self-importance and inadvertently leave others out in the process.  When major challenges arise, they are those of misunderstanding and ignorance first, not of destructive intent.  They could be corrected so long as we made a concerted effort to get out of our own head space and take into account that being truly fair and balanced means a little additional legwork on our part.  With as much going on in Washington, DC, or New York City, or Los Angeles, it is easy to merely frame the context and the debate based on our largest metropolitan areas.  In doing so, however, we leave out the contributions of those without the economic or political clout or population size to suck up enough of the air in the room.  If we collectively did our homework and examined areas not particularly well-examined, we might even shockingly concede that people in other countries and even in other parts of our own aren’t really that different from us after all.    

If we believe that the phrase “Citizen of the World” is more than just a smiley-faced, feel-good platitude, then it might be wise to devote more of our increasingly divided attention to other areas.  If we believe that “United Nations” is what its name says it is, we’d take care to live it in our waking existence.  In saying this, I do recognize that it would be unnatural for any country to not devote most of its focus on itself, but what I do notice when I survey the news of other countries is how predominate our presence is and how it exists, a bit uneasily at times, equally and at times with frequent dominance alongside their own native concerns.  I’m not sure the American ego will be quite so gracious if someday we are no longer Number One.  That would definitely be a humbling experience, one which I have no desire to neither prophecy nor to propagate.  Ultimately, if we were a world community, that fear among many would be irrelevant anyway.