It seems to me that there are three sorts of people: those who wish to dominate others, those who wish to be dominated, and those, like me, who are instinctive egalitarians. I have tended to support BDSMLMNOP, because by making it explicit, and working it out in the powerful context of sex, there's the hope that types 1 and 2 can cease to politicize these urges. And, of course, I do not wish to control others, even internally, by condemning them. Besides all this, they seem happy enough, and "relatively harmless". Goreans still creep me out for the very reason that they seem to see an idealized social order based on dominance as desirable. There is some basis in ethology for the idea that dominance is "normal" - we seem to see dominance hierarchies, for example, among chimpanzees; of course, as Shirley Strum showed in her studies of baboons (a popular account of which is available in her book Almost Human), we sometimes see what we are inclined to, rather than what is there. Even if what we see is real, this would only suggest, to me, that some of us have evolved past a flawed, or outmoded heritage. It's certainly not universal - see, for example, squirrels, or cats. The Aes-Nihil crowd (whom I will address separately in a later post) seem to share this flaw with the Goreans, but, of course, carnies that they are, they could be putting us on. (See, in this connection, Hakim Bey's "Intellectual S/M Is the Fascism of the Eighties".)
What I'm trying, clumsily, to get at here, is a flaw in our social relations and our individual psychology - largely reproduced through our heinous child-rearing processes (which reek of S&M made pernicious by not being confronted consciously). Certain people are horrified at the prospect of freedom in others, because it raises the possibility of pursuing their own freedom, and presumably losing the "love" of their parents. For this, and other reasons, i am at times glad I was raised without a father, and have a certain casual contempt for the obvious symptoms of those who were - poorly - shaped by fatherhood as it tends to be, here.
Kindly get your Daddy off my back, mediocretins!
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October 20, 2010 07:17 AM PDT
I'm the kind of person who is easy going, I relate to people the way they relate to me.
September 25, 2010 03:33 PM PDT
@JfZ - so true. Goreans are maybe harmless, but it also seems like something people can fall into and never crawl back out of....
|J f Z |
September 19, 2010 10:49 PM PDT
When Imajica was an adult-themed BBS back-in-the-day, I had the chance opportunity to speak with some people who were Goreans in a chat room for an afternoon. Very strict fantasy/IRL culture there. Blech.
August 22, 2010 04:12 PM PDT
Thanks for the feedback, Anne - sounds like your kids have a good shot at a sane life, which is as much as a parent can hope for. good job!
Another interesting point:
on the cognitive basis of hierarchy.
August 18, 2010 07:51 PM PDT
I think I'm like you.
My child (now 16) has freedom, and I believe it manifests in how he carries himself and the relationships he has with me, his father, and his two step-parents...
Amazing what happens when we raise children without some of the "normal" societal bounds...
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