Nonverbal communication expresses power and dominance. In public, professional settings, who gets to touch whom and the nature of that touch play out and define gender relations. Because it’s typically subtle, people are often unaware of this dynamic. When it’s more obvious, those in the “one down” position see it clearly, and those in the power position remain oblivious due to their sense of entitlement. The stereotypical male boss/female secretary and male customer/female waitress interactions illustrate this over and over again. Of course, as gender roles change, the accompanying nonverbal behaviors change with them. Hillary is the perfect example. Let’s track the changes, from oldRead More →

The Opportunity of Adversity – Aimee Mullins’ presentation at TED.

Mullins had her legs amputated as a child and has made a name for herself as a model, athlete, and inspirational speaker. Her talk addresses how the idea that she’s “overcoming adversity” diminishes her. It’s a great illustration of the power of language and our stereotypes about people with “disabilities.” It’s a good video for discussing language.

A comment on the TED site is interesting, though: Mullins wouldn’t be as effective if she weren’t pretty.

 

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We’ve all seen the tea bag party’s stupid, misspelled protest signs. The signs are painfully hypocritical as they demand in poor English to make English America’s “offical” language. We might even take delight that the anti-anti-war protester who called us all “morans” has become motivational poster. The illiteracy of the tea baggers party is depressing; it underscores how these folks are victims exploited by astroturfing corporate interests. Now, to be fair (and balanced), the left has its own share of misspelled posters. My fave: “Will sombody please give Bush a blowjob so we can impeach him.” Misspelling aside, the sentiment is funny. Anyway, these teaRead More →

In football, according to my husband, a counter trey “is when ….. ” Some things happened I didn’t get, and I stopped listening. The context of this explanation was my dissertation on feminist rhetoric and women speakers. He did actually read parts of it, and givie me some feedback. His main response was that my dissertation sounded like a “counter trey.” He drew the play with the standard little circles and arrows to illustrate. I found that same scribbled drawing today while cleaning up. Although I don’t really remember what he said in detail, I did get the gist. To explain for me, here isRead More →

Today Rupert Murdoch called Obama “dangerous” according to an article in the Huffington Post: “I think Barack Obama would describe himself as a pragmatic leftist but he’s not an extremist,” Murdoch said. “I think he sees himself as a president for change and that involves bigger government. He’s made no secret of that. I think that’s dangerous.” This statement reminded me of something I read in the YWCA Dialogue on Race reading packet. I first heard this phrase of “dangerous negro” in an article called “Struggle and Transformation: The Challenge of Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Vincent Harding, written in the mid-80s. Vincent Harding isRead More →

I don’t really have much commentary on Chapter 4. I saw it as a case study in science studies and caring for animals situated within breeding pedigree dogs. Maybe I’m missing something. As for Chapter 3, I struggled with this chapter more than with other chapters. So first I’m gonna spin out what I got from the chapter (without the nuances, which would add years to this process). Chapter 3 The chapter is about how we deal ethically with other non-human species, specifically lab animals. “Instrumental action with animals is not the enemy” – sometimes we have to have lab animals. This puts her onRead More →

Yesterday I found the greatest link to DavidHarvey.org. David Harvey is a professor of Geography at CUNY. He’s a Marxist, and a prolific writer (ten books), including one I read called The Condition of Postmodernity, and he’s wicked smart. Every year for the past…who knows how many years, he teaches a course that is a close reading of VOl. I of Capital. Last year, someone recorded his lectures on videos, and now you can see them on his website. I spent two hours today listening to the introduction to the class, which covered a close reading of the first six pages of the book. IRead More →