Thursday, November 16, 2006

Dualism Revisited

Everyone knows the Chinese are evil, nasty, people. At least that's the general consensus, whether we're willing to admit it or not. While I too fall victim to blindly criticizing most policy I hear on the news or in class about China, an interesting controversy broke out today with my professor regarding the nature of sex and gender roles in the world's largest nation. While the "progressives" here in the United States continue to fight daily for even more liberal definitions of gender and sexuality, it's interesting to see how the great "evil" in the East feels about the same issues. I took the following from an article by sociologist Harriet Evans discussed in my class on Society and Politics of China. It explains how the dynamic Chinese culture views these topics today.

"Views about the sexual component of marriage as set out in dominant discourses of gender and sexuality since 1949 have consistently been premised on two core principles. Whether offered in official publications, journals, or advice booklets to newlyweds, explanations of the sexual response and responsibilities of the married couple have first of all assumed that legally recognized monogamous marriage is the only legitimate framework for sexual relations. Advice about what are considered appropriate sexual attributes, needs, and responses in women (or men) is framed by the assumption that a [person’s] relationship is with their [spouse], their exclusive and lifelong sexual partner. Legitimate sexual conduct continues to be defined with reference to the legally recognized heterosexual relationship” (Evans, 342).

And we think the Chinese are backwards? Interesting.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Ran Across This Today...

"A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age she considered herself to be a very liberal Democrat and was for distribution of all wealth. She felt deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch Republican, which she expressed openly. One day she was challenging her father on his beliefs and his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the addition of more government welfare programs. Based on the lectures that she had participated in and the occasional chat with a professor she felt that for years her father had obviously harbored an evil, even selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his. The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father. He stopped her and asked her point blank, how she was doing in school. She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain. That she studied all the time and never had time to go out and party like other people she knew. She didn't even have time for a boyfriend and didn't really have many college friends because of spending all her time studying. Her father listened and then asked, "How is your good friend Mary doing?" She replied, & Mary is barely getting by; She continued, "She barely has a 2.0 GPA, "adding, and all she takes are easy classes and she never studies; "But Mary is so very popular on campus, college for her is a blast, she goes to all the parties all the time and very often doesn't even show up for classes because she is too hung over." Her father then asked his daughter, "Why don't you go to the Dean's Office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0." He continued, “That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA." The daughter visibly shocked by her father's suggestion angrily fired back, "That wouldn't be fair! I worked really hard for mine, I did without and Mary has done little or nothing, she played while I worked real hard!" The father slowly smiled, winked and said, "Welcome to the Republican Party."

See y'all at the polls... IF you're gonna vote against Hillary :-).