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Maya @maya ?

active 4 hours, 55 minutes ago
  • Matt posted an update:   3 years ago · View

    @maya As I have been looking around the relatively connected blog sites like feministe, the f-bomb, and a few others, ive noticed a discussion of the concepts of erasure and gaslighting. I was wondering if you had any comments about how these ideas interact with the subjective/objective reality conflict. Subjective reality is based on our imperfect understanding of all the factors in a given interaction. This is especially relevant in regards to people who feel bullied by certain verbal interaction but in turn bully others in this manner. Subjectively I may feel that I am being clever when I use word play or wit to put someone down or ”just tease” them. But they might subjectively feel that I am verbally or socially bullying them. I know this is somewhat rambling, but I had noticed two women on Feministe in the spanking controversy comments section accusing each other of erasure. One was vehement in her belief that spanking was physical abuse and that people who accepted it and said that they loved their parents in spite of tough discipline were in denial. She had been spanked as a child. This other women had been spanked as well and made references to gaslighting and erasure on the former’s part. She did not consider herself to have been abused. And by saying that spanking was not abuse, she caused the other woman to feel erased, because the implication was that the former poster’s experience as being abused by spanking was unreal, and her feeling was the real one. I know that in many feminists’ minds when one person’s subjective reality conflicts with another person’s its default for feminists to side with the subjective reality of the abused/coerced/offended person, such as in the case of rape. If the man or women feels raped then they were raped. But what about the collision of the subjective reality’s of these two passive participants? If one persons views their spanking as abuse and themselves as an abuse survivor, and another person who lived under an incredibly similar spanking policy does not consider themselves an abuse survivor is one or the other erasing the other by saying that spanking is or isn’t abuse? A huge problem I have in understanding feminist concepts is an ideology that is similar to moral relativism. In philosophy its an important critique of moral relativism that essentially anything is acceptable to the relativist because it is considered a cultural norm. This includes things like rape, arranged marriage, genital cutting of both sexes and gender roles. When feminists say that its erasure to tell a person that their subjective experience is wrong, how is that different from moral relativism, which is default anti-feminist in its support of cultural norms as objectively moral behavior in that particular society? We have cases like Stockholm syndrome where its widely accepted that the subjective experience of a kidnapped person is not the reality, that their love of their captor is not okay, and that they should be removed from the situation. How is that different from the cases of FGC, MGC, spanking, other forms of physical abuse and so forth? I just can’t get past the apparent systematic infection of relativism in Feminist thought. I don’t want to bog you down with more examples, but there are thousands more I could list off the top of my head.

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