Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Low Boys, Low Men, And Feminists

The car picture is one of those pictures that came up on an image search for something entirely unrelated. It's what used to be called a Low Boy. They would race these on dry lake beds, like the Bonneville Salt Flats. Maybe they had places like that in New Mexico. I don't know. I pass some salt flats on US 60 east of Willard and assume there are others in the state.

Usually they'd mark out a big oval course several miles long with cones and race individually, against a timer. People used to customize cars in this manner as street rods, too. If you do a image search for Low Boy the first many pages are low boy trailers, but eventually, beautiful old hot rods start showing up. The Lowriders being built today may be descendants of the Low Boy. The particular car pictured here has a long history, from the time it was pieced together from spare parts in the 1950s through a couple owners and other painting and customization treatments, all recorded on the web site Kustomrama: Traditional Rod and Custom Encyclopedia. (Full disclosure: When I was in high school I subscribed to a magazine called Rod and Custom.)
Huma Adedin and husband

I came across the picture in a search for pictures of Anthony Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin. On the Stephanie Miller radio program this morning, Stephanie and recurring guest Jacki Schechner were giving it to her pretty good for "standing by her man" the way she's doing and I wanted to put a face to who they were criticizing. Miller and Schechner were saying that everyone, including women and the Democratic Party, needs to stop letting men off the hook who are disrespectful to women.

I think they were representing an example of how our political beliefs are in part an expression of our own particular psychology, our yearnings, our drive for self actualization, basically, that is, our strivings to make up for what we lack, and our attempts to redress the grievances done to our psyches. I think about this in myself once in awhile. It's reflected in the fact that the world I envision and want to see come about is one where I'd end up better off.

If you listen to any proposal anyone makes, it's alway one that ends up with them retaining their perks and privileges. When I recognize this in my thinking I adjust for it, and try to leave myself out of the equation and envision a world that's simply better for the majority or for people who are losing out in this one. This includes the recognition that I, as a resident of the United States, even after 30 years of Neoliberalism enjoy a standard of living far superior to what most people in the world have, and that in a more equal world I'd end up with less, materially.

But then I go to sleep and wake up back in a more self centered world, in which my unconscious offers up to me solutions that benefit me and causes me to pass over possibilities that are not. That's what the unconscious does, and if you listen carefully to your thinking, you can catch it happening once in awhile. Try doing it when you're considering several options. You bring some of them up from your memory into your conscious. You hold them up, turn them around, weigh their various pluses and minuses so you can make your decision. Other possibilities you pass over quickly without doing that to, without lifting them up into your conscious mind and envisioning them. That's your unconscious saying, ' Stay away form that one. Too much discomfort associated with that one.'

But, and this is not going to be a popular thing to say, I see a process like this at work in feminists. The easiest way to put it is this. If you look at what feminists concern themselves with, what the media face of feminism is, it concerns itself with two things, primarily. Equality and empowerment. Those are two different things. Empowerment can result in equality, but it's not equality. Empowerment means acquiring more power. Women have less than men, they want more. It's quite natural to want more, but the desire for power comes from a different place in the psyche that does the desire for equality. One comes from not having enough of something, the other comes from suppressing the desire to have more of something.

I'll qualify what I've just said by saying that there are different motivations among feminists, but when I hear someone, for example, hearken back to days when there were matriarchies or talk about female goddesses, and when I don't hear them qualify their promotion of empowerment by saying 'we only want so much power,' or, 'we only want to get power to the point of having an equal amount as men,' I have wonder whether, on the level of unconscious imagining, they would just replace partiarchy with matriarchy. No one is different than anyone else when it comes to power. When people get it, they want to hold on to it. They want more of it. Examples of this in human history and around the world today are boundless.

But I'd rather see feminists focus on equality. On envisioning a world where no one needs power and where no one has power over anyone else.

Besides, my unconscious tells me women have plenty of power already.



  1. I have to wonder if Susana's husband, Chuck Franco, would put up with Susana showing her bologna bits via social edia. Something tells me that he wouldn't. The things women put up with all under the guise of power. Huma worked for Hillary Clinton and probably enjoyed the power play that went into that job. Why else would anyone put up with this? I suppose there may be some cultural issues involved as well but I can't speak about that with any intelligence so I won't.