Re: Rogue Males by Lionel Tiger

From: Francesca S. Alcorn (
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 04:59:45 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Rogue Males by Lionel Tiger
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    Stephen said:

    >Take a look at, which
    >challenges some of these myths that are frequently trotted out.

    And in the section about women it says "The status of woman in Islam
    constitutes no problem." I must admit it lost some credibility with
    me after that. :)

    It also contained quite an attack on secular humanism, and states
    that "....the clergy. These were the Trojan horse, because instead of
    leaving the religious camp to the libertarian camp, they started
    working on religion itself by new re-interpretations and new exegesis
    of the texts to render lawful and permissible what has been unlawful
    and reprehensive along the whole history of those religions. Many of
    those clergy themselves fell prey to the germs they were supposed to
    fend off." Memetics, it's everywhere.

    However as Lawrence pointed out, it is wrong to talk about the kinds
    of abuses which may occur in some areas as if it applies to all of
    Islam. Perhaps we should stick to your experience since I think you
    are trying to make a point here, and I am just muddying the issue at
    this point with what I am trying to say. I do think that if you were
    open to seeing these things from the women's point of view, and
    appreciating their dilemma you might be one step closer to helping
    change things. Let's see if we can salvage some sort of productive
    discussion from all of this.

    > >That they are powerless.
    >Or stupid? How dumb must a woman be to willingly throw away a power
    >that is so intrinsically Woman's and Woman's alone? Yes, many women
    >do throw away their power. And for what? Money. Prestige. Such power
    >can never be excised by force. It is willingly given... nay, thrown

    This makes me think of both Malcolm X and Stephen Biko, who said that
    in order for African Americans (in Malcolm's case) or Africans (in
    Biko's case) to change they must look to themselves. It is a
    necessary first step to recognize your power and to recognize the
    ways in which you surrender it before you can reclaim it. I think
    there is something of value in what you say, although I also sense a
    little bit of hostility?

    > What about all those other invisible drones littering battle-fields
    >or shovelling dirt in coal mines? I don't see much of this fabulous
    >patriarchal prestige among them.

    Again I see a parallel between what you say and the civil rights
    movement here in the US. MLK began to expand his movement to address
    poverty issues, which he saw as inextricably entwined with these
    other issues. I think the parallels exist because we are still
    talking about the dynamics of power and oppression. Or to be more
    memetically correct. We are looking at the ways in which memes
    enable their hosts to exploit other members of their species - or
    cause their hosts to be exploited by other members of their species.

    >The choices we make are votes cast in favor of what we think the
    >culture should be. My purchase of a car is a vote in favor of
    >destroying the environment, even though I don't like doing this. For
    >this reason, my only credible choice that proves my love for the
    >environment is to get rid of the car, and even, to shun my culture.
    >Anything less is just an excuse.... unless, perhaps, the effort in
    >sustaining the silent war we wage exceeds the benefits we obtain
    >from our culture. How many of us contribute more than we get?

    There is nothing that says that our memes or our culture necessarily
    represent our best interests. The dilemma you describe is eternally
    human. Do you have any suggestions of how these women you describe
    could do the equivalent of refusing to buy a car and shunning their


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