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A Mind Racing Away From Itself

May 19, 2009

Apathy includes something of the earlier meaning, in which suffering — actively — is held at bay. A state of mind racing away from itself. Himadeep Muppidi, “Shame and Rage: International Relations and the World School of Colonialism

Perhaps I can position the needs of the patriarchy in a state combining the powerful pair of terror and certainty.

Inside the patriarchal mind is often a clear understanding of the effects of patriarchy coupled with an apathy of salvation. This apathy is salvational in that it allows the person utilizing it to move towards a place of certainty, where they are certain they understand the play of gender roles, and are therefore able to overcome it, maintaining themselves as a good person.

I vividly remember one of my female classmates angrily telling me in class one day,

I know sexism is out there, but it doesn’t affect me. I am sorry it has hurt you so much, but I am a stronger woman than that.

Allow me a translation of this, with the acknowledgement that it is entirely mine.

Sexism is constantly haunting me, chasing me like the phantasm of a nightmare. I believe that if it caught up to me, it would do irrreperable damage to myself, so I have violently pushed it away, using my mental energy to develop an apathy towards it. I am disgusted by your decision to allow this nightmare to catch up to you, in that it makes you weak. I am able to understand my apathy as strength, as it allows me not to feel emotions gendered as feminine. My apathy has allowed me to make a move that is very comforting to me, which is one towards certainty.

Certainty is a much safer place to be than one of doubt. When we allow doubt into our lives, a multitude of possibilities arise, many of them uncomfortable, some dangerous. With that said, with certainty comes a numbness, a narrowing of possibilities that may be seen.

I have tried to show in my posts so far that what I am showing here applies to the relationship between the West & the Third World, parents & their children, and our psyches.

  1. Jay permalink
    May 19, 2009 4:56 pm

    You might want to check out Fromm’s Escape From Freedom. I think that is what you are trying to get at, although it’s not entirely clear.
    I also wonder what your female classmate would think about your interpretation of her words. I would be careful to not project too much of your worldview on others’ sentiments when translating.

  2. thomasmurphymusic permalink
    May 21, 2009 8:29 pm

    As, I said, my translation of her words was entirely mine, and could not represent her intention, which I always lose to a certain extent. My position may be somewhat stronger than one that claims to represent her in that I recognize my position of interpretation.

    I will check out the Fromm.

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