Some Things to Keep in Mind When Engaging with the Gender Identity Debate

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The political battle over sex and gender continues to escalate, with increasingly consequential results. Adolescents and pre-teens are finding themselves confronted with opposite-sexed bodies in changing rooms, toilets, and other places where they undress.[1] Female athletes are watching their potential fortunes dim in competition. [2] Homosexuals are being criticized and often berated for being same-sex, […]

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The End of Traditional Civil Rights?

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ I’m concerned that we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of civil rights, as traditionally understood.  The fight for civil rights was born with the original women’s movement of the late 19th century** and may very well may die with the contemporary gender-identity movement that has engulfed both feminist and gay and lesbian […]

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Bits and Pieces – Emotional prescription / Standpoint statements

by Daniel A. Kaufman Emotional prescription Does it make sense to speak of “prescribing” or “critically examining” an emotion or feeling? People often say things like this: “You should be happy.” “You should care about what happens to your sister.” “You shouldn’t be mad about that.” What do we ask of a person by way of expressions like these?  Are […]

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Politics and Politeness

by Mark English I’m probably more contrarian than conservative, though I freely admit that my views on some issues might be seen as conservative. Whatever that means. Many views which would now be classed as conservative would have been seen as liberal not too long ago. Moreover there is a big divide between those who see recent societal changes as […]

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Self-Made

by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ A to B:  “You’re an asshole.” B to A:  “No I’m not.” A to B:  “Well, it’s not up to you whether you’re an asshole or not.  It’s up to everyone else.” —Louis CK (1) The “self-made man” traditionally was someone who had made his own fortune, rather than inheriting it  Today, many would point […]

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Shostakovich and the Stories We Tell Ourselves About Ourselves

by Margaret Rowley Ethnographers tend to like stories, as do many non-ethnographers. Much of the point of ethnography is simultaneously to hear people tell their stories (interview) and watch them live their stories (observation), and then try to critically analyze what’s happening (theoretical intervention). At least one ethnographer, Clifford Geertz, has suggested that the definition of culture is “stories we […]

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