dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: symbols

link to an article from www.feminspire.com re: the ever-cheerful female

link to article: DO WOMEN OWE THE WORLD A SMILE?

From the article:

“A ‘brooding’ man cuts a strong, masculine figure–there’s a seductive draw to a mysterious stranger, after all. He doesn’t reveal his secrets; he holds the promise of affection above your head. That, it seems, is the default for sexy in a man: brooding and aloof, to match the chipper availability of his female counterpart.

The problem at hand isn’t that there are some unrealistic expectations for a woman’s public demeanor. It is that certain gender roles continue to creep into polite society and limit us in many aspects from mating rituals to self-expression. This idea functions on the assumptions that “sex” and “gender” are the same thing; from there it assumes there are two fundamentally opposite sexes that complement each other”.

 

My thoughts:

I have often encountered problems with my melancholy nature. Being melancholy can become frustrating, as it’s not  a fun way to be, but it’s not bad, either. I sometimes really enjoy being a bit moody and brooding over things that bother me or interest me but that are difficult to think about and for which there often is no answer. And I don’t think that this makes a person less attractive.

But often when I am thoughtful people ask me why I am so quiet, whether something is wrong, and then they try to cheer me up, they try to get me to smile, and they are happy when I do, it puts eevrything right again…the/their world is cheerful again. But  they are not interested in the underlying causes of my broodiness or what I am really thinking of. A smile makes them happy, no matter the reason for it, it banishes the shadows of melancholy.

Especially in men the desire to see a smiling, cheerful, elfish little creature of the opposite biological structure is very appealing. It’s their little escape route from the world of worries and the mundane. But once the smile vanishes from a young girls face, the girl vanishes as well and what’s left is akin to a diseased relic of what once was a symbol of glee and inspiration. What’s left is only the cautious approach of peers who ask: “Are you OK?”

 

from mystudentstruggles’: Socialisation: Part Two

Socialisation: Part Two.

 

My thoughts:

An objective and informative article about socialisation theories.
Made me shudder to think how much of this (socialisation) is going on in all levels of society, every single day of our lives. If we don’t stop, take in a deep breath and think for a minute about all the symbols and words that interfere in our identities, wherever we go in this Western world, we will easily lose our immunity to it. For what is our ‘culture’, what is our ‘modernisation’, what is ‘personal speech’ and ‘democracy’ when it comes down to lived experience? RHETORIC!

This is subtle oppression at its best and most viral.

Another gender-related article (link) related to media

Here’s the article on gaming culture: ‘Sexual Harassment in Video Game Culture’:

link to article

Some excerpts:
“According to psychologist Scott, “My thought is that we continue to live in a real life culture that continues to be alarmingly misogynistic under the surface, but the hostility that many males feel towards females is suppressed by social forces (like mothers, law enforcement officers, etc.). In secondary virtual worlds, like MMOs, those controlling social forces are largely absent…. In secondary worlds, males can be anonymous, and allow aggressive impulses to have free reign – and some seem to feel very empowered by this. These are likely men who don’t experience a sense of strength or personal power in their primary lives. Perhaps they are threatened by women, and deeply angry at them. They carry those feelings to secondary life and it feels really good to them to act out that hostility – and they are able to do so with impunity.”

“It’s not only women who are concerned with this issue. Men are also disturbed by harassment and sexism. James Bosier, an MMO player who plays to game with his daughter, is also concerned with the bigger picture: “I think [harassment] diminishes the game experience for everyone. It plays into the stereotype that people who play games are nerdy, misogynistic men who live with their parents. It continues to prevent us from being a more respected medium.”

My thoughts:
Aren’t we all misogynistic, deranged, sexually frsutrated, psychotic gamers?! (I know, ’cause I watch TV!!!)

Harassing someone online is not that bad anyway, ’cause it’s not real, it’s online…fictional harassment, so why be bothered by it, it’s just a couple of words and stuff and why should…I mean why….(upps, this comment could not be finished because the person making it was distracted by something on the computer and is now drooling over his keyboard while his eyes are glued to the screen).

We all need to let off steam, it’s our human right. If you don’t like this, get out of my space and go somewhere else (since the computer is situated in someone’s personal space, it is automatically assumed that everything on the Internet [what the computer generates] is also part of their personal space).

&%@(HFVWQOYOO*&@#)!(@*# (only one of the many intelligent arguments anti-bullying campaigners are confronted with)

The brave new world of going beyond Part I: A short introduction to Transhumanism

I have often wondered what is wrong with me, why I keep feeling like the eternal outsider. Perhaps I have now found what I was looking for all along, a synthesis of ideas that match my feelings more closely than any other: Transhumanism.

Transhumanism is not new. Transhumanism is happening right now, in the minds and actions of people all over the world. Transhumanism also happened in the past. Transhumanism is past, present, and future, because it is us.

A bit about me and why I find transhumanism interesting

I grew up travelling the world, because my Mum worked overseas for about 2-3 years at a time, and then the whole family had to move around with her, wherever she went. Me and my brothers repeatedly changed countries, schools, friends, and were constantly bombarded with new sensations, different social settings, and human cultures. every school system presented its own challenges, new peer groups formed constantly around us and dissolved again, we were accustomed to airports and other forms of transport, as we left our home town to move abroad.

This has given us an immense opportunity to get to know different settings, landscapes, foods, scents, cultural impressions, political systems, and ways of life, but also imprinted in me a sense of strangeness, of not belonging anywhere, really. Maybe it is because I was not prepared for the great impressions I received from constantly travelling and never really coming to rest, maybe it was due to my character (which tends to be a bit cynical) that I didn’t fully appreciated being moved around a lot and never having my own, never-changing place to stay. I don’t know this for sure, but I can say that it affected my worldview, and maybe has made me more prone to bouts of anger about the human condition and lack of closeness with others, a strong dissociation. For I often saw and still see my surroundings through a detached lens, I am often the observer of others, but rarely the one who actively interacts. I am often the disinterested third wheel in a relationship and never the one initiating close contact. I am often more intested in old buildings and historical figures than real humans and the lived experience.

I think that is why I am also more into science-fiction-related-material than I was before. I often considered sci-fi to be close to lunacy and not very practical. But this view has changed, and I am increasingly more interested in (a) what it is/means to be human, and (b) how technology and ideas can be applied to ameliorate the human condition.

H+

I started googling transhumanism and came to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism) to get an understanding about what it is (really) about, as it had only ever really existed as a vague idea in my head.

According to wikipedia, transhumanism is seen as “a continuation of humanism and Enlightenment thinking”. Transhumanist concepts tackle “the applications of advanced sciences to human biology” and a major focus of the movement is “the application of science to better the (individual) human condition, the improvement of human bodies…”. Transhumanists generally seek a control of human evolution and the use of new technologies to achieve that.

Another aspect of the movement is the critical stance towards biological determinism, and biology in general, as transhumanists tend to “see the very concept of the specifically ‘natural’ as problematically nebulous at best, and an obstacle to progess at worst”.

Transhumanism is a movement encompassing various thinkers and topics affecting the way humans live and the potential for human life in the future. It is geared towards a goal that is a sort of utopia, a reference point for the future: posthumanism.

Posthumanism is something to strive towards, as this quote exemplifies: ” They [transhumanist thinkers] predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label ‘posthuman’.

the Vitruvian genderqueer

Cognitive liberty, morphological freedom, procreative liberty

I personally cannot conceive of a time where transhumanist ideas were not in vogue or under scrutiny from various political parties and segments of society, and I used to be an Archaeology student. I think in humans there is a great motivation to strive to better things, to affect one’s environment, to change and adapt, to create and experiment, and to initiate ‘progress’.

A lot of humans want to gain knowledge about their environemnt (nature), their selves (human body and mind), and their abilities (boundaries and powers to transform). We wouldn’t have cars and tall buildings and complex social interactions if it weren’t for this desire to strive for progress.

Also, I think there’s still a great need for humans to “become more than human”, to exceed our limited potential and be the creatures that we envisage to be, but whose abilities we do not yet own. We look towards something greater than us to strive for, just like a child watches a sibling and tries to be as good at sports as them. There’s a competitive element there, perhaps a need to show off, to leave one’s mark, to create something new and exciting.

Transhumanism has to do with redefining humans and what life in the future could be like. It involves a lot of theorizing, but also has very practical applications. Eventhough this type of philosphy is called transhuman and even confronts us with menacing words such as ‘posthumanism’, it is not removed from humanity, humanism, and the human, because it is produced by humans, shaped and criticised by humans, and its efforts are to increase the quality of human life. It is no anti-human philosophy. Humans are at its centre, its focus is on making life better for individuals around the world.

I think individual choice is a major concern for transhumanist thinkers, and that’s another reason why this movement has become attractive for me. I don’t agree with every aspect of it, nor do I fully understand what it entails. I’m not really scientifically-minded, and have trouble understanding scientific concepts and mechanisms, but I like creative thinking and the expansion of thought. I wonder where it can lead and what it means for us common folk.

the universal brain

In the next post i would like to highlight some of the concepts of transhumanist thinkers, some more practical applications, and include some more personal commentary.

more about symbols

As this is a very new blog, I’ll explain some symbols first. These can be found at the top of this page and include a raised fist, some Neutrois colours, and a scallop shell.

The raised fist symbolises strength, but also solidarity and empowerment.

The colours represent ‘Neutrois’, a gender identity. They are represented on the fist to show my support for this identity.**

The shell is a symbol for spiritual search and pilgrimage. As I confront myself, my values, and gender/sexual identity, I will be on a journey that involves looking within myself and trying to figure out where I came from and where I am going with my life. I hope I will find some amount of self-realization, but also self-acceptance along the way.

Neutrois Niche is the name of this blog, because I identify as Neutrois and this is my niche. However, I also identify with transgenderism, with feminism, and other, mostly marginalised, ‘isms. I’m not an activist, my focus is too much on myself. However, I really hope that through increased exposure, these groups will get the recognition and respect they deserve and get what they need to live fulfilling lives.

 

**for more information: http://www.neutrois.com/