basically, the M/S dialectic (just gonna call it M/S, and nannu NN) is about two "self-consciousnesses" trying to have like...real self consciousness? ok this part is still blurry. but they are trying to assert that they are real things that exist
side note to say...why must we get our sense of identity through validation of another. for hegel this either ends in a double murder or slavery!! maybe the answer to all this is to just be like descartes and derive our proof of our existence from ourselves
side note pt 2: im not sure if descartes and hegel are fully talking about the same thing though. is it the pure knowledge of one's existence or is it the identity and "self" that is built upon that? like, how do i know that i exist?
like, it's a question of do i know i exist? vs something like identity, which gets into things like do i know i am a woman? what makes me a woman? because with the lord
ive been watching trans women talk about feminine presentation lately, and they say a few things about femininity. 1. that it feels good and freeing, bc essentially they chose it AGAINST the wants of cisnormative society. and 2. that they feel extra pressure to perform/
conventional femininity in order to not be misgendered. this ties us back in right. what does it mean to be a woman? can you be one without other people seeing you as such? i firmly believe that anyone is the gender they align with, even if they don't pass as cis.
and it isnt my place to speak on this, and i need to read and quote far more trans women. but it does seem that passing, or at least performing enough femininity to be perceived as a woman (or "trying to be a woman") is an important factor in self-recognition of womanhood
and this is where it gets a bit tricky with hegel. because he assumes that the two SCs start off equal. and then it is through the struggle for identity that one somehow prevails and enslaves the other
and this makes it hard to apply to the real world, which fanon points out in an essay about the utility of MS when talking about the liberation of black people. because of course everyone is just a human, but at some point different groups stopped seeing each other as such
i need to read his essay again. im essentially trying to do what he did, but about women. from what i remember, he argues that black people are not truly free because they did not free themselves, rather they were "freed" by their former masters, who still hold power in society
so back to what i was saying. i cant approach this as if Man and Woman are two real life things that definitely exist. rather THESE THEMSELVES AR ETHE RESULT OF THE MS DIALECTIC WHICH IS WHAT NANNU SAYS!!! right??? i think this is something
because that's like saying an innate master and an innate slave wakl up to each other, and they both want to validate their respective identities. no. it is two humans who try to validate their humanity, and in order to do so, one ends up enslaving the other.
so again, Man and Woman dont square off in order to be seen as those things. In The Beginning there was not a man whose rib turned into a woman, or 2 beings created equal (both versions of the A+E story in genesis). in the beginning there were horny lumps of flesh.
here's where i want to look into ideas about gender binaries in nomadic and hunter gatherer societies, which had far less inequality. obvi though, there was the group with dicks and the groups with vaginas, and they had diff roles in reproduction. but i wonder how much this/
affected one's sense of self and one's perception of a given other person. i have also heard that men killed animals and women gathered plants
but at some point, as He Zhen (and i think rousseau but i uh...didnt really read him) argues, men created a identity for themselves through the oppression of women--it was through defining an other that they could form a sense of self out of what was left. this is MS at work
so in order to feel human, they used this division. and i want to stress he zhen's idea that both masc and fem are deviations from a Human norm. not that masc is the norm and fem is a deviation.
and so what does that mean for us today? why is gender so important? im getting tired now so im gonna take a break. i go back and forth about idea like abolishing gender, which in its use often is a veil TERFs use for their transphobic attacks
and also i dont want to say is that bc women are slaves in this scenario, they get ultimate liberation through creating stuff whereas men dont because they dont do anything but sit around and be validated. that's kinda how hegel resolves the issue. i dont think thats fully true.
but i'd like to pick those ideas apart as much as i can. what is at stake here--the identity of being a woman, or the identity of being a human being?
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