What’s 10 Questions Between Friends (2) – My Interview w/ Ms. Emily from the Grounding My Roots Blog

The Lovely Ms Emily has sent 6 questions my way, to conclude our initial interview. In this post I meet these questions like I do the ladies I’m intimately familiar with, head on and slightly inebriated. But I am not without compassion, the questions have been well prepared and juiced up from part one of this interview that you can read here.I tried my best to balance my answers so that there would be equal parts of seriousness and silliness but I horribly failed and now you will have to contend with my typical nonsense. Like I tell all women before, I’m sorry but enjoy what you can.

TheLovelyMsEmily: What inspired you to begin these interviews with women?

There are a few reason why I was inspired to do these interviews. I can do no better than to first quote a line from Dario Fo‘s autobiography: “Yes I may as well admit it ever since I came into the world I have always liked women and they have always made me head spin.”

With that said I should note that while Its always nice to enjoy the company of women, there was more to these interview than gonadal suggestion.  I find blogging interesting in the sense that the more we learn about a person the more we are estranged from them. We each take the information we great and create an image of the person and when we interact it is not between ourselves and that person but between ourselves and the person we have created. While this normally happens in real life, on the internet there are no facial expression there is now sound of a voice or body language.

The net and by extension any blog is part of the public sphere, I was trying to figure out the extent to which it is possible to talk and discuss something critically with someone I don’t know really but know through their writing given the state of the current state of the public sphere  as aptly described by the German Philosopher Jurgen Habermas with his writings on discourse theory and the public sphere

According to Habermas, a variety of factors resulted in the eventual decay of the public sphere, including the growth of a commercial mass media, which turned the critical public into a passive consumer public; and the welfare state, which merged the state with society so thoroughly that the public sphere was squeezed out. It also turned the “public sphere” into a site of self-interested contestation for the resources of the state rather than a space for the development of a public-minded rational consensus.

It all came together well to make a long story short, the fact that it was a month celebrating women,  my love of the ladies, my love of philosophy and deconstruction popular methods of communication.

TheLovelyMsEmily: Even though you’re male, do you feel you relate more to men or to women? I, for example, have a male friend whose best friends, including me, are female. And he has way more female friends than male.

Hmmm. Though Im a very friendly person I don’t have very many friends/acquaintances.  I have a few confidants – the ones who get to see me as unfiltered and raw as scenes from a paid porn subscription, they are majority female. I don’t know if that means I relate more or get along better with the ladies, I dunno. I think a lot of it is that for a lot of my guy friends we bonded over something, shared experiences, like going to college together, working out together, drinking seeing movies acting like hooligans together. My friendship with them last a lifetime. For my female friends we don’t necessarily bond the same way. We talk hang out chill over dinner, which is cool as I’m quite talkative and unlike most guys have more personality than a wet mop, and also most importantly am not trying to rod-ram, or wear every chick I meet like a feed-bag. I reserve all those antics for my lady. But once my female friends find someone get married or have a child its pretty much over, and rightly so marriage and raising kids is tough. Uhm, yeah I dunno the direct answer to this you tell me lol

TheLovelyMsEmily: Do YOU think the role of women is changing globally? If so, where?

Society whatever we choose to define it as, is not a static entity in time it’s continually in motion especially as technology continually erodes the barriers both geophysical and ideological that isolated us generations before. As a consequence we are confronted with issues where we have to adapt and or change and subsequently social roles and conventions must change too, and they are never completely static as well. The question then to me is twofold, on the one hand how sensitive are we to scale and pace at which this constant incremental change is happening and on the other jellied hand, for the changes we do in fact notice is the change for the better is it more restrictive or less restrictive are these changes applicable to all women or a certain specifically global demographic?

I would by habit say that the women in the place with the most freedom are probably doing the most to help change the roll of women but the 3 women winning the Nobel Peace Prize this year and Aung San Suu Kyi win in Burma are a challenge to that sort of thinking. It’s hard for me to pinpoint where in the world it is happening the most because I dont have a means or a scale to measure the change and I dont have the ethnographic and cultural expertise to establish some sort of baseline or normalize the difference between cultures both between and within a country to make changes in roles comparable.

But I also feel and this is an opinion not a fact that compared to a generation or two ago there are more women getting education and though the pay may not be equal they are women in positions of power and influence. There is even porn for women now which would have been unheard of when I was in Highs School (Class of 99). I can go on but I’ve been pretty verbose.

TheLovelyMsEmily: Do you have an answer to my “big” question (from your question 9) about whether it is better to do something even if it isn’t the best way, or is it better to do nothing at all?

To me there is no such thing as an ideal condition or the perfect time to do something. For example you cant always wait for the hotel room  might have to do in the D train on the way to the Bronx. There’s no such thing as the absolute best way either, doggy style isn’t the universal panacea people say it is. I feel that no matter how good a plan is a lot of times it’s only from inside (chuckles) the situation can you decide what avenue will bear the most fruit and see it to its conclusion. Life is so short  I’d rather do something however small than be idle at the worst even if I fail I and maybe even other people around me have learned something and have a start where they can build further.

TheLovelyMsEmily: Who is the most inspirational woman(women) to you?

There are many women who I find inspiring. Currently I am taken aback by the AWWP (The Afgans Women Writing Project) I put a link to the about page there.  The women who write there and who share their story really are inspirational. A few days ago I wrote a piece on the Power of Telling One’s Story , the Afgan Women Writing Project assert that “To Tell One’s Story is  Human Right.

The Middle East and Asia in particular south east Asia are places close to my heart. I remember what it was like to step off the plane when I was 15 in Bangalore India, this was before it became the city of lights  and I took a bus out into the night and saw the sun rise, but that adventure I will tell another day. My point here is that because of our war on terror, many people, many innocents have really been demonized and their rich cultural heritage have been obscured for the sake of selling a story and sensationalism. Like 1984 we dont know anything about our enemy and the hand we played really in shaping them like supporting Saddam Hussein  toppling the government in Iran,  arming the Mujahideen and other rebel forces in Afganistan to fight the Russians during the cold war and then leaving the country with various rebel factions armed with no infrastructure. Through the AWWP women get a chance to tell their story, and reading their stories as a writer myself has really touched me, and made me a proud American to see Americans start, assist and contribute to this project

(Taken from Website) What does AWWP mean to me? That Afghan women can share their opinions freely on the project, that now no one can prohibit them from sharing their ideas with the world. In the past, Afghan women didn’t even have the right to speak with a strange man. This project supports Afghan women by showing they are as important as other women in the world. It shows the world that even though Afghan women faced lots of problems, they didn’t lose their ability or courage. It shows the kindness of American women who spend their precious time working for the development of their Afghan sisters. —Sabira

TheLovelyMsEmilyBeing a male in America, how do you think your male peers treat women in general? With respect? Disrespect? If disrespect, what do you feel you can do about it, or have already done about it? Do you feel there IS anything to be done about it?

(Serious Answer) It may be interesting to note that males have a certain amount of estrogen in their bodies and females also have a certain amount of testosterone. This to me has always been like a hormonal version of the Ying Yang, there cannot be masculinity without femininity physically as well as psychologically, just as there cannot be light without dark. I think this was in a way reconfirmed to me by the global meltdown of the last couple of years. The euro doesn’t do well or banking collapses in Iceland and that unleashes a string of worldwide economic calamities.  We are not  as isolated nationally socially and individually as we think we are. By oppression any segment of the global population we in turn over time oppress ourselves and are left bereft to create the healthy holistic self-image needed. It is no surprise to me that after centuries of oppression and marginalization of women in our society men have lost a sense and idea of what it is to be a man.

This view of mine is not solely conjecture. I refer you to Robert Bly the American poet, author, activist and leader of the mythopoetic men’s movement.

The characteristic of the early mythopoetic movement was a tendency to retell fairy tales and engage in their exegesis as a tool for personal insight. Using frequent references to archetypes as drawn from Jungian analytical psychology, the movement focused on issues of gender role, gender identity and wellness for modern men and women. 

There are many books and meeting groups out there for men to help them be emotionally well balanced, to go within themselves to find meaning, to listen deeply and not in a superficial way these abilities normally associated with the feminine energies in the pysche.

So to answer your question  I feel as long as one’s psychology is unbalanced, and one is estranged from oneself and in turn others while one may act in accordance with legal and social norms there really isn’t a deeper understanding and catalyst for wide spread change. The fact that both athiest thinkers and mystics agree on the emancipation of women as being the key for change in this new century reinforces this for me.

What can be done ? Education? Open Forum Discussion ? I have tons of ideas but Ive been blabbing a lot already

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One comment

  1. Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! I know my questions were long-winded and could take days and many pages to answer them thoroughly, but you have a knack for being concise. Also, AWWP sounds like an awesome project. Thanks for sharing it with us!

    “It is no surprise to me that after centuries of oppression and marginalization of women in our society men have lost a sense and idea of what it is to be a man.” This is very enlightening, at least for me. I never thought of it in this way, although I guess you’re right about europe’s economic crisis and how it basically ate itself from inside out. There’s a lot of smack talk in China these days about how men in China are becoming more and more feminine, but maybe even if outwardly they’re less masculine, they’re actually getting in touch with what it means to really be a “man”? Then again, how can one define what a “man” is? Even a man couldn’t answer that one.


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