Do You Think The Average Person Needs A Romantic Partner To Be Happy?

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CanadaApple
Do You Think The Average Person Needs A Romantic Partner To Be Happy?

This is the first thread I'm starting here, so I'm sorry if I'm doing anything wrong!Smile

Basically, what I'm asking is, do you think that the average person needs a romantic partner to be happy in their life? Im sure that some people can get by with out one, and I'm sure that the average person doesn't need to be in a romantic relationship every single day of their life, but on average do you think it's a kep part of being happy?

I ask because, and I hate to say it, but I've never really been in a relationship, and I've always felt like it was something that was missing in my life.

So, what are your thoughts? Sorry if this shouldn't go here, but I wasn't sure wheer else it would go...

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Actually, that's an interesting question.

A partner in love and life can make a person happier, in my own experience, but it's a little dangerous to your own mental health to predicate your own happiness on being in a relationship.  You need to be happy on your own before you can really be part of a healthy emotional partnership, from what I've seen.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hi CanadaApple.

You've asked an interesting question, but I'm not sure how possible it is to answer it.

Everyone will have their thoughts about it, but as a sociology-type I prefer to look at what is possible to study and measure, in a social-sciencey kind of way. In other words, any conclusions from research will be about generalities and not specifics. This also means such studies will be guided by our current society's prerogatives, ie, hetereosexuality, class assumptions, race assumptions and the idea of "women and marriage", something loaded with all of that, plus sexist assumptions.

By the way, I found no articles (quick google search) that discussed "men and marriage." Not a surprise, but still.

Cohabitation also seems to be not seen as an option. Perhaps since it functions the same way as marriage does, it's the social equivalent.

So, that said, I heard of a study from years ago (sorry, no link), about happiness as connected to being married or being in a relationship, that lists the levels of happiness as follows:

From happiest to least happy:

Single women

Married men

Married women

Single men

Here's what my quick google search found:

Who's happier: Single or married women?

Quote:
In many ways, staying single makes sense, especially for women. Legally, women who choose to forgo marriage have all of the same rights married women do, aside from a few tax breaks, and personally, they're free of the stress and compromise marriage inevitably involves.

This article is a bit stupid, but worth a look: Are married people happier than singles?

Quote:

But betting on marriage to bring you happiness may be a risky gamble. After all, the odds of holding on to that perfect partner forever have been whittled down to a coin flip -- about 48 percent of marriages end in divorce [source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

I love how the marriage stats come from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Hee hee. But that's my bias.

My quick and dirty "happiness as related to being single or coupled assessment" goes something like this. 50% (or so) of legal marriages end in divorce. Of the remaining 50% who are married, many are miserable at a point in time where a survey might be done (even if they get divorced later). There are also many couples who stay together and are miserable unto death do them part.

This math ain't hard to do. Smile

And finally, studies on happiness and other socially desired phenomenon are notoriously problematic because of response bias, that is, participants giving answers they think the researcher is looking for.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks for starting this thread, CanadaApple. Great topic!

If it's true, I worry for humanity (well, I do anyway) because I wonder how many people actually have "romantic" partners--even those who are married! I mean, what do we mean by "romantic" anyway? Sexually attracted? Economically co-dependent? Personality affinity? Domestically cemented? Shared appreciation of rock climbing?

Humans are social creatures, right? And there are a myriad of relationships that make life better--work relationships, family relationships, romantic relationships, random relationships--and we invest and profit from in them in different ways (excuse the capitalist metaphor).

There is simply no way you could throw all your energy into a single relationship--say, a monogamous, long-term, sexual and economic pact--and it could give you everything you need to be "happy." It is not a panacea to alienation and malaise. Sure, you could find yourself in a rewarding, enjoyable relationship with a member of a gender to which you are attracted erotically, but you'd need all kinds of other relationships to coexist with that one. I know many people who get by great without a conventional romantic partnership, because they have wonderful relationships with friends, colleagues, family and even pets (maybe especially pets! I know I do...)

I mean, we also need to ask what it means to be happy, right? Is that possible in a social and economic system which strips us down to our net dollar worth and reduces human relations to an economic exchange? How can we know anyone in that context? How can we know ourselves? Just think about the pressures that make us ask the kind of question phrased in the OP: we are told, everywhere, always, that the impossible Hollywood relationship--which will fulfill us in all parts of our life--is all we need to be happy. How can we be happy, truly, when the one blueprint we're given is so obviously impossible?

In short, no. And also yes. But mostly no.

Merowe

Catchfire wrote:

Thanks for starting this thread, CanadaApple. Great topic!

If it's true, I worry for humanity (well, I do anyway) because I wonder how many people actually have "romantic" partners--even those who are married! I mean, what do we mean by "romantic" anyway? Sexually attracted? Economically co-dependent? Personality affinity? Domestically cemented? Shared appreciation of rock climbing?

Humans are social creatures, right? And there are a myriad of relationships that make life better--work relationships, family relationships, romantic relationships, random relationships--and we invest and profit from in them in different ways (excuse the capitalist metaphor).

There is simply no way you could throw all your energy into a single relationship--say, a monogamous, long-term, sexual and economic pact--and it could give you everything you need to be "happy." It is not a panacea to alienation and malaise. Sure, you could find yourself in a rewarding, enjoyable relationship with a member of a gender to which you are attracted erotically, but you'd need all kinds of other relationships to coexist with that one. I know many people who get by great without a conventional romantic partnership, because they have wonderful relationships with friends, colleagues, family and even pets (maybe especially pets! I know I do...)

I mean, we also need to ask what it means to be happy, right? Is that possible in a social and economic system which strips us down to our net dollar worth and reduces human relations to an economic exchange? How can we know anyone in that context? How can we know ourselves? Just think about the pressures that make us ask the kind of question phrased in the OP: we are told, everywhere, always, that the impossible Hollywood relationship--which will fulfill us in all parts of our life--is all we need to be happy. How can we be happy, truly, when the one blueprint we're given is so obviously impossible?

In short, no. And also yes. But mostly no.

Great post, great subject! An intimate relationship doesn't have to give you everything, just something.

I'm thinking about modernity, how its sundered the apparently traditional institution of marraige which was what, formalized sexual pairing for the purposes of childrearing? That must go back culturally, I mean, to biological places...if birds do it...it's not even mammalian behavior ha ha...

Isn't the whole 'romantic' construct a relatively recent creation, a few centuries maybe? Before that, what? How far back is the first love poem? (And what was the object of the poet's attention?)

But doesn't a pair, a couple, realize all sorts of useful economies of scale in mundane tasks of daily life that are also compelling from a survival point of view?

MegB

I think of "happy" as the punctuation in periods of relative satisfaction in life.  I've lived most of my adult life as a single person, but met someone special 10 years ago and married him (a big surprise for me) 4 years ago.  When I was single, I enjoyed my life.  I was social, had a decent job that I didn't hate, had creative outlets and had the love of my family, children and wonderful friends.  Being married was never on my radar and being in a long term relationship wasn't a goal for me.

What I can say is that when you share your life with someone in a romantic way, it can either be a source of stress or its opposite.  I am happily married to someone I love without reserve, but we've been through some hellish times and I think that the measure of any relationship is how it weathers life's storms. 

Is being in a romantic relationship necessary to happiness?  Hell no.  Is being in love with your best friend and having that love reciprocated a good thing?  Hell yes.

Gaian

Yes, I had to learn that love and friendship are a necessary pair, second time around. Spent my adolescence in the company of Bogey and Bacall, Clark and Vivien. Was warped.

CA, if it's not to be marriage but " happiness in/out of relationships. Maybe it's better to go with jusst you own personal experience?"- keep in mind that while your "experience" will mount, you should look around at the experience of the aged single, before letting life leave you in that condition. Not to be too utilitarian about it all, of course, but contentment is great. :)

p.s. It seems to me that Elisabeth Young-Bruehl's life, mentioned in babble's obit thread, demonstrates the flexibility sometimes forced on us by life's "experiences" and absolutely necessary to reach anything approaching "happiness."

wage zombie

Quote:

I'm thinking about modernity, how its sundered the apparently traditional institution of marraige which was what, formalized sexual pairing for the purposes of childrearing? That must go back culturally, I mean, to biological places...if birds do it...it's not even mammalian behavior ha ha...

Isn't the whole 'romantic' construct a relatively recent creation, a few centuries maybe? Before that, what? How far back is the first love poem? (And what was the object of the poet's attention?)

I've heard that idea, but I've considered it, but I just don't believe that romantic love is come new cultural creation.

Rumi is listed as being born in 1207, and while his love poems may have been about God (the Mystery), the richness of the language suggests to me that romantic love must've been around already then.

I don't know how old the source is for what we think of as "the Greek myths", but certainly whoever came up with them had a developed working notion of romantic love.  I think there are "beloveds" and "love potions" and "love rituals" going back several thousand years easily in Indian literature (the Vedas).

I don't think there is much pair bonding among non-human primates, and I have read theories about how pair bonding was a significant strategy in our evolution.  One wonders how this could've come about.

On the other hand, I believe I have witnessed two dogs "falling in love".  And check out this video of a leopard and tiger couple.

Did white europeans invent 'falling in love' a couple centuries ago?  What about brain chemistry?  I'm not sure it responds that quickly.

Gaian

When a hunter - maybe someone working on his third marriage - shoots one of a pair of geese, he condemns the other to life on the edge of the flock, alone.

No, it's only Homo sapiens' hubris that allows it to make such statements about sentiments among other sentient creatures.

CanadaApple

Thanks for that very well thought out answer Maysie, though I didn't exactly have marriage in mind when I asked the question. Tongue out

 

But yeah...I'm not exactly sure how you could scientifically measure happiness in/out of relationships. Maybe it's better to go with just your own personal experience?

Maysie Maysie's picture

Catchfire wrote:
 It is not a panacea to alienation and malaise.

That would be where recreational drugs come in. Wink

In related news, rats have feeings too. Awwwww.

Quote:

Given a choice between munching on a tasty chocolate treat or helping a fellow rat escape from a restraint, test rodents often preferred to liberate a pal in need, indicating that their empathy for others was reward enough.

.....

Researchers started by housing 30 rats together in pairs, each duo sharing the same cage for two weeks. Then, they moved them to a new cage where one rat was held in a restraining device while the other could roam free.

The free rat could see and hear his (or her - six of the rats were female) trapped buddy, and appeared more agitated while the entrapment was going on.

The door to the trapping enclosure was not easy to open, but most rats figured it out within three to seven days. Once they knew how, they went straight to the door to open it every time they were put in the cage.

To test the rats' true bond to their cagemates, researchers also ran the experiment with toys in the restraint to see if the rats would free the fake stuffed rats like they did their comrades. They did not.

Now that's friendship! Or love. Or something.

 

Smile

 

 

Bacchus

Merowe wrote:

Isn't the whole 'romantic' construct a relatively recent creation, a few centuries maybe? Before that, what? How far back is the first love poem? (And what was the object of the poet's attention?)

But doesn't a pair, a couple, realize all sorts of useful economies of scale in mundane tasks of daily life that are also compelling from a survival point of view?

 

Roman love poet Catullus?  Thats 2 thousand years ago for one example just off the top of my head.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

As much as I'm sure you all want me to go into a historical exposition of love poetry, starting with Ovid, I think I'll demur for the time being. But it should be obvious that what counted as love poetry to Catullus is much different than what counts as love poetry to Petrarch, Shakespeare, Keats, Eliot and Ginsberg. Not to mention Sappho, Browning, Dickinson, or Plath. So I'm definitely inclined to agree with Merowe that modernity and modernism have shattered what we used to think of as romantic and so we're in the process of writing new definitions which are just as fragile as the conventions we know.

MegB

The Epic of Gilgamesh dates from about 4 thousand years ago, and it deals with the love and friendship between Gilgamesh and his friend Endiku, and the goddess Ishtar certainly has the hots for Gilgamesh.  I also remember an archaeology survey course I took in first year. In one of the lectures about ancient Sumer, the prof mentioned an even older text - a romantic poem written by a woman believed to be a priestess of Ishtar.

CanadaApple

Rebecca West wrote:

The Epic of Gilgamesh dates from about 4 thousand years ago, and it deals with the love and friendship between Gilgamesh and his friend Endiku, and the goddess Ishtar certainly has the hots for Gilgamesh.  I also remember an archaeology survey course I took in first year. In one of the lectures about ancient Sumer, the prof mentioned an even older text - a romantic poem written by a woman believed to be a priestess of Ishtar.

And IIRC, Endiku was made "human" after he was seduced by a woman.

Gaian

The first cautionary tale.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Cautionary tale to whom? Men, to beware of evil sinful lustful women? Nice, Gaian.

What year is this?

Michelle

Agreed, Maysie, that hit me wrong too.

I think I'd rather be single forever than to be in a relationship with this guy.  (Thanks for the link, Maysie!)

In answer to the thread question: I don't know - maybe yes for the "average" person.  (Or, at least, society gives us messages all the time that the only way to be truly happy is to be in a good romantic relationship, and the "average" person buys into that idea, whether they ever manage to achieve it themselves or not.)

But then, who's average?  My friends fall into at least one of these categores: In relationships and happy, in relationships and wish they were in a happier relationship, single and happy to be out of a bad relationship, or single and wish they were in a good relationship.  And then I know a couple of people who are simply single and just happy to be single.  So I guess it varies.

Gaian

Maysie wrote:

Cautionary tale to whom? Men, to beware of evil sinful lustful women? Nice, Gaian.

What year is this?

I would not DARE to write that without tongue in cheek, Maysie. There must be some tiny place for humorous treatment of that hoary old canard between the sexes? Indeed, who today could state that with a straight face except the very ugly? Does it always require this :) as a followup?

Just a soupcon of space for solace? Cause I sure as shit am not going to offer an apology to those who have no space left for repartee. Not only am I not a part of "the problem," I worked beside my late partner for many years with overcoming society's sexism in mind.

Find another, easier target, and some space for the not completely humourless.

I did post this in the obit thread next door with empathy for her task in mind:

"Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, 65, biographer, Hannah Arendt: For Love of the World, and Anna Freud: A Biography. Leaving a tenured professorship, she continued to write, The Anatomy of Prejudices leading to her last work, Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children.

She had no children of her own from a brief marriage 40 years ago and had, as the Globe's Sandra Martin tells it, " made her name writing about two other childless women, became fascinated with children through writing Anna Freud's biography, her own work as a therapist and her personal life as an aunt and a stepmother.

"She came to believe that prejudice against children was intertwined with all the other prejudices she had written about, and was also embedded in the history of psychoanalysis.
"Childism" will be published by Yale Press next month."

She died on Dec. 1 from a pulmonary embolism after attending a Tafelmusik concert in Toronto with her partner in marriage, Christine Dunbar."

Or do you suspect a Jekyl and Hyde personality at work here :) Just to be safe, another one :)

Maysie Maysie's picture

I never asked for an apology, Gaian. babble has taught me to set achievable goals.

(Hint, that was a joke)

Back on topic:

Michelle wrote:
 My friends fall into at least one of these categores: In relationships and happy, in relationships and wish they were in a happier relationship, single and happy to be out of a bad relationship, or single and wish they were in a good relationship.  And then I know a couple of people who are simply single and just happy to be single.

I have been all of those things, and depending on the day/week/month/year/decade, can be more than one in a relatively short period of time. The answer to your original question, CanadaApple, is, like the phrase "It was nice to meet you", inconclusive. I hope you're happy now. Tongue out 

takeitslowly

imo, i need a romantic and sexual partner in order to be happy.

 

I feel like i am undesirable when i do not have a man who want to be with me, i feel ugly, i know thats really my self esteem problem, but thats how i feel.

Glenl

Partners are not required to be happy, but being loved by someone makes everything easier.

Maysie Maysie's picture

A successful [relationship] is basically an endless cycle of wrongs committed, apologies offered, and forgiveness granted…all leavened by the occasional orgasm. – Dan Savage

MegB

Ha! Maysie that made me smile out loud!

eastnoireast

"generally, yes", in answer to the question,

but the tricky thing for me has always been, and i think is the big qualifier to the question, is that you have to be fairly happy with yourself, single, in order to be happy in a relationship.

if a relationship is a raising of something larger, something more complex than just one person, then the more autonomously stable (happy, non-dependant), each of the people, the inputs, are, the better.

of course, in a relationship you kinda pool your skills and such, so one does become "dependant" as well as stronger; but the idea is to grow something larger, not entangle you or your partner.

i've been through famine and feast, relationship-wise, and that's how it's seemed to me, anyway.

autoworker autoworker's picture

Can an average person find happiness in a relationship with someone on either side of the mean?

6079_Smith_W

I think the average person thinks he or she needs to be coupled up to be happy. 

But the fact is that if you are in a relationship you still wind up having to deal with your own shit (on some level, anyway) just the same as before.

 

milo204

We all need a little romance in our lives.  Doing that with the same person or different people isn't important except for what makes you happy.  It doesn't matter if you're in a long term relationship or not, you can be happy either way.  And you can be pretty sure there's tons of other people who feel the same way.  

I know people who are always in a committed relationship, i know folks that have been single for years, i know celibates, people in open relationships..they have all found their own particular happiness and it works great for them.  The common theme was they were all just taking it in stride without too many expectations of what things should be or what kind of relationship they "should be in" at that stage in their life.

CanadaApple

Maysie wrote:

I have been all of those things, and depending on the day/week/month/year/decade, can be more than one in a relatively short period of time. The answer to your original question, CanadaApple, is, like the phrase "It was nice to meet you", inconclusive. I hope you're happy now. Tongue out 

I expected that "answer". Tongue out

It doesn't exactly make me happy, so I guess I have to find another answer for myself. SmileEmbarassed

 

wage zombie

You'll never really know until you try it.

CanadaApple

wage zombie wrote:

You'll never really know until you try it.

True, but it's easier said than done for some people. Tongue out

Tommy_Paine

Romantic is a funny word.  In today's view, I guess it implies a sexual aspect.  I don't think it's always been that way, nor maybe should it.

Over the years at work, I've had jobs where I've been partnered with other guys.  And you develop a relationship at work, and with some guys it extends to social life, where he has your back, and you have his.  I've felt that with a number of guys.  I consider it high romance, actually. Even if there is no sexual aspect to it.

One such person I felt a connection to that way, and someone I dearly miss (he retired, and moved away) is gay.  I viewed our relationship as 'romantic' in a certain way.  But as far as sexual intimacy goes, I'm not only straight, but from the other direction, I was deffinately not his 'type'. 

I remember one day, discussing politics here or ethics or the mix of both, now absent poster Webgear said he'd have me in his shield wall any day.  If you know the context, I found it a supreme compliment, and a view of the kind of romanticism I mean.

I think in ancient times, people may have gone out in large hunting parties of a dozen or so, and there may have been a leader.  But each person had someone else that was special to them, and they watched eached other's backs in all things.

Women, too, I have noted have complex group relationships, more so than men I think, but they each have that special friend who has their backs over all others.

That, to me, is romantic.

Now, the sexual dynamic is an add on.  I think marriage is when you have the kind of above relationship, but it is taken to a higher level through the bonds of sexual intimacy.

We all have different sex drives, sex means something different to us all.  I can imagine someone being happy without a romantic relationship that includes sex.

But I can't imagine happyness without the kind of romantic relationship I described above.

6079_Smith_W

@ Tommy_Paine

If you haven't read DH Lawrence's "Women In Love" you should. The title is ironic, because it is in many ways more about men in love.

 

Caissa

I'm with Tommy that romantic is a funny word. I've been married to my best friend for 15 years. Maybe that's romance maybe it's not. I know that in many ways Ms. C and I are better together than I can consider myself apart. I hope she feels the same way, too. That said, I think we were both happy when we were single and I hope that the last one standing will be happy then as well.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Catchfire wrote:

As much as I'm sure you all want me to go into a historical exposition of love poetry, starting with Ovid, I think I'll demur for the time being. But it should be obvious that what counted as love poetry to Catullus is much different than what counts as love poetry to Petrarch, Shakespeare, Keats, Eliot and Ginsberg. Not to mention Sappho, Browning, Dickinson, or Plath. So I'm definitely inclined to agree with Merowe that modernity and modernism have shattered what we used to think of as romantic and so we're in the process of writing new definitions which are just as fragile as the conventions we know.

Well, chronologically, you should have started with Sappho, not Ovid. Nits, nits, lovely nits.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Maysie wrote:

Cautionary tale to whom? Men, to beware of evil sinful lustful women? Nice, Gaian.

What year is this?

Who would have thunk the "ex-gay" movement had pagan roots. Better alert the cranks.

Slumberjack

Maysie wrote:
Everyone will have their thoughts about it, but as a sociology-type I prefer to look at what is possible to study and measure, in a social-sciencey kind of way.

egad.

6079_Smith_W

bagkitty wrote:

Maysie wrote:

Cautionary tale to whom? Men, to beware of evil sinful lustful women? Nice, Gaian.

What year is this?

Who would have thunk the "ex-gay" movement had pagan roots. Better alert the cranks.

Of course there is another interpretation (which I have heard from a fairly conservative source) on that allegory, the Eden story, and others like it, and that is that women showed men the way into the real world.

Gaian

Sounds much safer to jest in that direction. But how, really, does that differ from the standard interpretation of that apple offering. No,humourless is safe.

6079_Smith_W

Gaian wrote:
Sounds much safer to jest in that direction. But how, really, does that differ from the standard interpretation of that apple offering. No,humourless is safe.

Malicious, devious intent, and the notion that it was a fall from a state of grace into a state of uncleanliness.

And the notion that something wrong was done, someone is to blame for it, and that it is something to be feared. 

The fact is that people never were immortal, and Eden is a myth. But these stories were created for a reason.

 

Gaian

quote: "But these stories were created for a reason."

Absolutely. We can take that as a given. And the reason was begat in paternalism and for the purpose of control.A great excuse for laying back while the other does the work. And that's why the stories should be treated as a joke, ended with a joke, not solemn and tendentious statements about the obvious. That only leads to knotted knickers, right? Or do you imagine that you are bringing light to the darkness of this poster's being? When I say that "humourless is safe," I mean around here...while still trying desperately to maintain an edge of humour. Does that make sense to you, at all?

MegB

Canada Apple wrote:

Endiku was made "human" after being seduced by a woman.

Yeah, we often have that "humanizing" effect on men.

Gaian wrote:

The first cautionary tale.

Certainly, for those who steadfastly want to continue to be 5 minutes away from a fart joke and don't mind the callouses on their knuckles, built up from years of them dragging on the ground. :D

Merowe

Gaian wrote:
The first cautionary tale.

The first time I read this remark I took it at face value, an ironic injection of levity. Perhaps not the fruit of the same train of deep thought that led to The Critique of Pure Reason but a wryly well-intentioned remark without a trace of unconsidered or overlooked sexist inflection/intent.

Reading subsequent attempts to nudge it into controversy I return to the comment and find it quite as innocuous as I did the first time. The obvious endorsement of a pre-Christian patriarchal perspective is so unmistakably contra babble values - and therefore satiric in intent - that to persevere with some simple-minded adherence to a literalist analysis is um, quite fucking small.

Honestly, people. Give it a rest already. This is like picking scabs.

Slumberjack

It's valid for the people who read it in that way to raise their objections.  No one else can gainsay that experience when the subject here was in the way it was written.  It should have been that alone, instead of saying there is no right to the reaction, because it incorrectly makes it into two issues, becoming an attempt to laden each side with a part to carry, when there is only one part.  Not that I need go on about the way things are written, surely, but a possible solution here seems obvious.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Q: How many men does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Only one, but the house has to revolve around him.

.....

I leave this thread to my betters, who clearly understand sexism, intent and we're-so-beyond-that-so-we-can-mock-it-at-will "humour" far better than I.

As you were, sirs.

6079_Smith_W

@ Gaian

I'm not saying the story as it wound up on the page isn't steeped in sexism, especially when you get to the part about curses, and comparing women to snakes (sorry Rebecca).

And my initial statement wasn't even a pointed one; I am just saying I have heard interpretations of it which aren't all wrapped up in trickery, disobeying, and shame - and sexism- which some christians turned into this whole nonsense of everyone being born in a state of sin because of this little story.

If we aren't literalists why do we fall into the same trap as the fundamentalists and treat this like it is a real story, rather than looking at it like we would any other myth, and see what it tells us about the thinking of the people who wrote it. 

(that is to say I know why. Unlike the works of Ovid, enough people still believe this one is gospel truth that it is still very dangerous) 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

@Merowe, @Gaian: I took Gaian's remark as ironic as well. But I'm a white, able-bodied, heterosexual male and I'm used to my perceptions being accepted as the general social reality. Is it too much to ask that we take a minute and consider how others might take it? Especially since the only two women to post since were rather taken aback by it? Is it too much to ask that we take a moment to reconsider how our words make others--who share different lived experiences--feel? A simple: ah, sorry, I see my irony did not travel on the internet as it would have in other mediums. I see how a single throwaway sentence with no contextualizing could have been taken otherwise, but here's what I meant. It might have gone a long way. It might have even led to understanding.

I'll note that the only people "picking at scabs" are those who are still chafing from being challenged, Yea!, by a woman. The offending creature let it lie at post #19. Yet still she finds herself in the crucible. I wonder if there's any literary lesson to be learned here? Somehow I doubt it will garner the same chorus, however, of man's word scorned.

It's time to look around, folks, and see if there are any women posting here. Count how many of them are moderators or former moderators. And when the truth hits home, wonder why.

Gaian

Merowe wrote:

Gaian wrote:
The first cautionary tale.

The first time I read this remark I took it at face value, an ironic injection of levity. Perhaps not the fruit of the same train of deep thought that led to The Critique of Pure Reason but a wryly well-intentioned remark without a trace of unconsidered or overlooked sexist inflection/intent.

Reading subsequent attempts to nudge it into controversy I return to the comment and find it quite as innocuous as I did the first time. The obvious endorsement of a pre-Christian patriarchal perspective is so unmistakably contra babble values - and therefore satiric in intent - that to persevere with some simple-minded adherence to a literalist analysis is um, quite fucking small.

Honestly, people. Give it a rest already. This is like picking scabs.

Thanks, Merowe. And no, it would not have arisen from reflecting on the work of Kant. The old Scottish empiricists were as far as I'd go, a world where you were required to "show" the basis of one's theory. Hume - the enemy of the church - would write in A Treatise of Human Nature: "But though experience be the true standard...we seldom regulate ourselves entirely by it, but have a remarkable propensity to believe whatever is reported, even concerning aparitions, enchantements, and prodigies, however contrary to daily experience and observation."

And so the hanging must take place to assuage the hurt of past indignities, no matter the "daily experience and observation," of the criminal over four years, my constant celebration of feminist successes. But as we observe in other threads, repartee must take place only at a potty level, like the celebration of Christmas itself in the minds of some among the culturally correct, the avante garde.

Of course I'm sorry if I have given hurt. But I don't believe there's been hurt, the feistiness suggests people well able to play out the game among one's peers - who are after all looking on expectantly - handle something which in other, less formal formal circles, without all the audience expectations, is the subject of healthy humour. Healthy because we must celebrate our surmounting of myths, apparitions, enchantments that have been used to enslave.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Catchfire wrote:

@Merowe, @Gaian: I took Gaian's remark as ironic as well. But I'm a white, able-bodied, heterosexual male and I'm used to my perceptions being accepted as the general social reality. Is it too much to ask that we take a minute and consider how others might take it? Especially since the only two women to post since were rather taken aback by it? Is it too much to ask that we take a moment to reconsider how our words make others--who share different lived experiences--feel? A simple: ah, sorry, I see my irony did not travel on the internet as it would have in other mediums. I see how a single throwaway sentence with no contextualizing could have been taken otherwise, but here's what I meant. It might have gone a long way. It might have even led to understanding.

I'll note that the only people "picking at scabs" are those who are still chafing from being challenged, Yea!, by a woman. The offending creature let it lie at post #19. Yet still she finds herself in the crucible. I wonder if there's any literary lesson to be learned here? Somehow I doubt it will garner the same chorus, however, of man's word scorned.

It's time to look around, folks, and see if there are any women posting here. Count how many of them are moderators or former moderators. And when the truth hits home, wonder why.

FWIW, I'll add a feminine-derived comment:  Mountain out of a molehill.  Honestly, people.  Haven't we got bigger fish to fry than worry about a tongue in cheek one-liner that was clearly ironic?

Maysie Maysie's picture

LMFAO Timebandit.

I was done at post 19. I moved on with the topic. 

Why the fuck I'm still being blamed for the shit storm is a mystery to me. 

I called something sexist. A buncha people disagreed with me. Stop the fucking presses.

smh

(cross posted with Michelle, who's a goddess)

Michelle

Who made it into a mountain?  Maysie wrote a short two-sentence post about it.  I wrote one, simply saying it hit me wrong too and then I moved on within the same post.  Then George went on for paragraphs about how he was not going to apologize, no, and he's being so oppressed by the humourless ballbusters at babble.  Maysie wrote another one line tongue-in-cheek post about how she doesn't expect an apology from him, and then she moved back onto topic within the same post.

Cased closed, or so one might think.

Then the guys in the thread start complaining for post after post after post about how deeply oppressed they were by our tiny little one-liner posts.  That's why I haven't bothered to come back to the thread since - it's too much of a bore now!

I think maybe there are other people who should move on, the way Maysie and I did many, many posts back.  Why is it that no one asks the guys, who have been going on and on and on about it for many posts on end, whether THEY have bigger fish to fry? 

Because we already know that the answer, of course, is no.  They don't.  It's very important to ensure that any woman who objects to a sexist one-liner (it was just a joke!  Don't you get it?  It's right up there with "I went to bed at 2 with a 10 and woke up at 10 with a 2!" Comedy gold!) regrets ever having entered into the conversation.  That's the biggest fish of all to fry.

Well, continue frying it.  I'm going to check out some other threads.  :)

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