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Thoughts on Gender, Emotions, Compassion, and Judgment - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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June 22nd, 2011

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02:01 am - Thoughts on Gender, Emotions, Compassion, and Judgment
I just read this excellent essay about compassion and judgment in the neopagan community by my good friend Lupa. The truths in it go well beyond the pagan community and have to do both with the fact that compassion has been significant suspect and out of favor in the US since the early 1980s, and the sorts of moralistic judgments found in both fringe and mainstream communities, and which seems to be particularly poisonous in the US.

Reading this also indirectly reminded me of a post my beloved teaotter made a few days ago, where she linked to a truly excellent essay about the use of manpain in TV & movies, and how it is used to reinforce the idea that only a man's feelings are important, powerful and real (and in most cases, by man, in media this means a white man).

This essay came out of the author's creation of an equally excellent short (5 min) video illustrating these ideas.

I see the two essays and the video as all being related, because the US is even more than the rest of the first world, a place where men are supposed to be powerful and judgmental, and where compassion by a man is inherently suspect to much of the population.

I grew up in the 1970s, when there was a strong but brief movement (almost exclusively on the coasts) to both honor compassion, to attempt to foster it in men and boys, and to show it more in mass media, which I have previously discussed here. As I've mentioned before the US changed in drastic ways in the 1980s, making much that came from the previous 15-20 years almost unrecognizable, and while there has been much progress on many social issues, we live in a nation where media images of men are that they cannot show grief or any similar emotion without something truly horrible, which typically means the death of a child or a woman they love.
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful

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