Signpostings

Relationships in a World of Individualism

  • rWorld

    The rWorld is about more than Dale Kuehne's book Sex and the iWorld.
    The rWorld is a New England based, non-profit (in formation), that is composed of a growing number of people and organizations from many faith and ideological backgrounds worldwide. We believe that much of the fulfillment for which women and men are looking can be found by enhancing the quality of our relationships. While the individual freedom we enjoy in the West is a gift, the love and intimacy for which humans yearn will not be found in self-serving materialism or hedonism, but in a variety of healthy relationships.

    Contact us if you'd like get involved:
    scr.im/rwld

  • Dale Kuehne

    Sex & the iWorld

    Professor of Politics and The Richard L. Bready Chair for Ethics, Economics, and the Common Good at Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.

    In this blog I'm highlighting signposts of the world in which we presently reside as a means of helping promote a civil, and meaningful dialogue about what kind of world in which we wish to live. I am particularly interested in exploring how might we reconcile the individual good and the common good, and where reconciliation isn’t possible, which should take precedence and why.

    I also blog at Sharewik.com

    [Content Caution]

Posts Tagged ‘identity’

Another One Bites the Dust (Take 2): Gender Scouting

Posted by Dale Kuehne on February 26, 2017

The question is not whether girl scouting will allow transgendered girls to opt in, but whether we will have Boy or Girl scouting …?

Another distinction bites to dust.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/31/512541372/boy-scouts-will-admit-transgender-boys

The busses that you ride in, they say are mighty fine,
But when they turn a corner, they leave the wheels behind.

Chorus
Oh, I don’t want to go to Boy/Girl Scout Camp.
Gee, Mom, I want to go, but they won’t let me go;
Gee, Mom, I want to go home.

The leaders that they have here, they say are mighty fine,
But when you get up closer, they look like frankenstein.

The first aid that they give you, they say is mighty fine,
But if you cut your finger, you’re left with only nine.

The water that they have here they say is mighty fine,
But when you try to drink it, it tastes like turpentine.

The biscuits that they serve you, they say are mighty fine,
But one rolled off the table and killed a friend of mine.

The spaghetti that they serve you, they say is mighty fine
They rinse it the toilet and drain it on the line.

The cocoa that they serve you, they say is mighty fine
It’s good for cuts and bruises and tastes like iodine.

The tents/cabins that you sleep in, they say are mighty fine,
But whoever said this has never slept in mine.

The toilets that they have here are the best that they can get,
Last night my tent mate had to go, they haven’t found him yet.

Scout Camp www.scoutsongs.com

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Coming Out as Trans-Everything

Posted by Dale Kuehne on June 22, 2016

College students demonstrate understanding of the future of identity in the West.

Your tells are so obvious,
shoulders too broad for a girl.
It keeps you reminded,
helps you remember where you come from.

You want them to notice,
the ragged ends of your summer dress.
You want them to see you
like they see every other girl.
They just see a faggot.
They’ll hold their breath not to catch the sick.

Washed off on the coast,
I wish I could’ve spent the whole day
alone with you.
With you.

Transgender Dysphoria Blues by Against Me! from Transgender Dysphoria Blues (2014)

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Tomorrow’s Headlines: Looking Beyond Same-Sex Marriage

Posted by Dale Kuehne on July 2, 2015

The Supreme Court has made its ruling. What’s next? It’s time to look at tomorrow’s headlines. My take can be found here at the Qideas website:

http://qideas.org/articles/tomorrows-headlines/

The sun will come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There’ll be sun

Just thinkin’ about tomorrow
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow
’til there’s none

When I’m stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely
I just stick up my chin and grin and say, oh

The sun will come out tomorrow
So you gotta hang on
’til tomorrow, come what may!

Tomorrow from the musical Annie by Charles Strauss and Martin Chardin (1977)

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rLiving 30: Non-Memorial Day (Continuity, Commonality/Identity)

Posted by Simon on February 26, 2011

Memorial Day in the US is the last Monday in May. It’s equivalent to UK Remembrance Sunday which is second Sunday in November. And the message from both seems straightforward: don’t take your freedoms for granted since it was secured by the sacrifice of others, so remember them, and be thankful. Even today there are those dying so that others might be free, so remember them too.

Relational Proximity Dimension #2 is Continuity: A relationship is formed and strengthened by the amount, frequency and span of time we are together. It includes a sense of shared history, and an anticipation of the future.

Relational Proximity Dimension #5 is Purpose/Commonality: Our sense of connectedness and relationship is greater to the degree we have things in common or share a common purpose or identity.

“A nation is a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future. It presupposes a past; it is summarized, however, in the present by a tangible fact, namely, consent, the clearly expressed desire to continue a common life. A nation’s existence is, if you will pardon the metaphor, a daily plebiscite, just as an individual’s existence is a perpetual affirmation of life. – Ernest Renan”

The above quote (given to me by my friend Dana on a comment on the original run of this series) sums up very well what Memorial Day, and Fourth of July, does functionally for people who call the United States of America their nation. Without conscious remembrance of the sacrifices of the past, a people may well forget who they are or why they are. You can’t build a national identity on a shared history if you don’t continually think about or remember that history. And you can’t build a common identity if you don’t ‘share’ – agree with – the reason for the sacrifices in the first place or if you don’t know or agree on what your ‘common life’ is for which you’d be prepared to sacrifice your life.

The combination of the lack of conscious remembrance and a vehement disagreement over the purpose of recent sacrifices seems to be one reason for a loss of national identity within western nations. I don’t know if you feel it, but I feel it.

But it’s an odd, and slightly uncomfortable, thing to build an identity on a common suffering and death even though that’s the normal context for reference to a nation’s character (i.e. who they are); 9/11 being the most recent example. I say ‘build’ as though it’s a conscious act, but of course identity and commonality is something inexplicable and unique that emerges from that cauldron of suffering. Those who have been through it, like soldiers in war, just know … they just KNOW … what binds them together. And when they forget what it was that bound them, then bound they are no more.

One wonders why then do we want to keep remembering the pain, the suffering, the injustice, the cruelty? Why not forget? Why not instead focus on the future, build something new? Or find something else, something stronger, more positive from the past. Or find something transcendent, something not contingent on circumstance. In fact there’s a paradox in that justice and truth screams at us to keep remembering, to never forget! But the goal of remembering, the goal of all proper attention to evil and injustice, is redemption, restoration, justice and peace. The hopeful future together presupposes the redeemed past together.

This paradox is embedded in the title of the book, “The End of Memory: Remembering rightly in a violent world” (which I haven’t read yet so what follows is pieced together from reviews). In it, the author Miroslav Volf – himself trying to ‘forget’ his experience of interrogation in former Yugoslavia – proposes the need and importance of ‘non-remembering’: “To be fully overcome, evildoing must be consigned to its proper place – nothingness”. But he’s not simply saying, “forgive and forget”. He’s talking about a right kind of remembering, the kind that has an aim to know the truth of what really happened in all its ugliness. The kind that for the sake of justice, Will Not Forget! That’s the “end’, the goal, of memory: to expose and reveal the truth. But ultimately, one wants to really ‘end’ remembering suffering and death. One wants just to not have to remember any more.

Like I say, I haven’t read the book, so I hope I’ve correctly got to the essence of it. But regardless, it does seem there’s a paradox here with memory and memorializing.

It’s likely Memorial weekend is just a long holiday weekend for a lot of people. Time to really gear up for summer. Unless, that is, you happen upon a parade (as we had in Somerville one day; that’s my daughter M~ above), or have lost someone in the theatre of war so cannot help remembering. And even if for those watching the parades, and participating. I do wonder how much we’re really remembering as we should, so that we can stop remembering as we should.

Paying proper close attention to – really remembering – the fact and reason for the sacrifice may yet restore a sense of commonality and pride in one’s national identity. The people of the United States have made many, many sacrifices for others. Perhaps with some courageous remembering, the right kind of remembering – even of recent wards – there’s a chance the people of this nation could really feel “a large-scale solidarity, constituted by the feeling of the sacrifices that one has made in the past and of those that one is prepared to make in the future.”

As an Englishman, whose father served in Normandy in WWII and died last Remembrance Sunday, Nov 8 2009, I remember and thank you, people of the United States, and your sons & daughters who have given so much for us.

This post draws this series to a close. Please do comment and let us know how these reflections have helped you view life through the lens of relationships. Please see the introduction for the background to this series and the five dimensions of Relational Proximity.

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