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Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: January ::
Re: Seeking Enlightenment
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.0179  Friday, 28 January 2000.

[1]     From:   Paul Swanson <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 10:17:31 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

[2]     From:   Larry Weiss <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 11:17:45 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

[3]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 10:09:33 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

[4]     From:   C. David Frankel <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 14:30:48 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

[5]     From:   Jefferson Cronin <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Jan 2000 07:37:16 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0167 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

[6]     From:   Judith Matthews Craig <
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        Date:   Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 18:30:56 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.0167 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

[7]     From:   Werner Broennimann <
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        Date:   Friday, 28 Jan 2000 08:47:14 +0000
        Subj:   SHK 11.0172


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Paul Swanson <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 10:17:31 -0500
Subject: 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

>Somebody come up with a quote re: memory loss and advancing years!

        When the age is in, the wit is out.
                                -Dogberry in Much Ado, 3.5.34

Paul Swanson

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Larry Weiss <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 11:17:45 -0500
Subject: 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

I am fascinated by the implicit assumption in so many of the posts on
this subject that women who participate in sexually explicit
entertainment, but not their male partners or homosexual porn actors,
are victims of some sort of abuse.  Is sexual entertainment itself to be
defined as abusive for women, but not for men?  Or is there some
pseudoscientific study that purports to correlate a woman's, but not a
man's, willingness to participate in this sort of performance with prior
abuse?

It seems to me that this assumption smacks of a peculiarly Victorian
brand of sexism, attributing to women weaker libidos or less acute
economic motivations, or both, than men have (blessing or curse that
these may be).  This sort of profiling strikes me as far less
intellectually rigorous than racial profiling by police, which is at
least based on a long empirical history and turns out to be highly
predictive.  Have any members of the list who so glibly repeat this
cant, perhaps because it seems politically correct to do, actually known
a pornographer or an "adult model"?

By the way, no one has yet to answer my question about whether the
Playboy MND is actually pornographic or just titillating.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 10:09:33 -0800
Subject: 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

I kind of can't help noticing that almost all the guys who have posted
on this are, well, guys.  I've been reluctant to say anything, for fear
of being pegged as a whiny woman with no commitment to scholarly
integrity, but I'll risk that.  I have looked at Richard Burt's book, it
seems well researched, well written, and even, yes, I think makes a
scholarly contribution.  I also feel uncomfortable when the references
to Shaksporn crop up, especially when there seems to be a lot of them in
a row and there is a lot of description.  And I don't claim to speak for
all women here, but I do feel both uncomfortable and muzzled (see
above).

I don't want to advocate censorship. But I would appreciate sensitivity
on the issue.  I'd like to think that both are possible-maybe by putting
a note in the subject line?--but I think it ought to be left up to the
posters.

Thanks, Gabriel, for speaking up first.

Melissa D. Aaron
California Polytechnic State University at Pomona

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           C. David Frankel <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 14:30:48 -0500
Subject: 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.0172 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Gabriel Egan writes:

"A comparison with racism is apposite. If a list member were
contributing information about where to find entertaining pictures and
stories about black people being whipped-and was avowedly a consumer of
this entertainment-most of us would be outraged. I'm all for scholarly
investigation of the problems of pornography and prostitution, and for
scholars to swap sources of information. But we should engage our moral
faculties concerning gender oppression just as we do concerning racial
oppression."

"Reading nineteenth-century racist writing (for example, in
Encyclopaedia Britannica and Punch) many of us are amazed that otherwise
intelligent people accepted it as well within the range of normal
thinking. I suspect that our grandchildren will feel the same amazement
at our moral
apathy, within academia, concerning degrading representations of women."

It's tempting to imagine what the future might think of us.  Of course,
it's just as likely that they will look with amazement on the equation
of pornography with racism and the notion that all pornography consists
of degrading representations of women.

cdf

[5]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jefferson Cronin <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Jan 2000 07:37:16 +1000
Subject: 11.0167 Re: Seeking Enlightenment
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0167 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Thanks to Simon Malloch for his reaction to my comments on pop culture's
role in teaching Shakespeare.

He said:

>If they can satisfy their fleeting interest for Shakespeare or for Jane
>Austen in the movies or on tv,  what is the likelihood that they will
>pick up the novel or the play (and this is the suggestion of the post -
>that "Romeo and Dudeliet" may lead students back to the bookshelf)?
>And why should they,  in the end, pick up the book or the play?  Why read
>Austen and Shakespeare when the study of their presence in popular
>culture is promoted at universities as an equally valid,  if not
>superior,  enterprise?

To clarify my point-Evidence of Shakespeare's presence throughout the
spectrum of pop culture can be used as a tool to show the, or some,
relevance to the study of Shakespeare for some students.  In the context
of introducing great storytelling and writing to those who have little
or no previous positive experience with it, fresh examples from their
world can be, and in my experience has been, very illuminating.  It can
be a significant factor in altering perspective. Simply using a few
contemporary references as a tool is not promoting them as a superior
enterprise.

>The point is that students presently are already
>immersed in popular culture;  they do not need to go to university to
>study it.  Exposure to a catalogue of Shakespeare appearances in popular
>culture will not necessarily send students racing to the library;  they
>will simply not be inclined to engage Shakespeare from outside of
>popular culture.  Let us hope that you have some success.

It is precisely the point that they are immersed in their own pop
culture-which contains elements of Shakespeare-therefore proving the
relevance of Shakespeare to their world.  Such a logic argument can
create the kind of curiosity in some students which will send them to
the next step of their study of Shakespeare, and others.  Once their own
curiosity enters the scene, Shakespeare can do the rest on his own-and
in my experience has quite often done just that.

Peace,
Jefferson Cronin

[6]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judith Matthews Craig <
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Date:           Thursday, 27 Jan 2000 18:30:56 -0600
Subject: 11.0167 Re: Seeking Enlightenment
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.0167 Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Gabriel Egan writes:

<Gay pornography clearly is less problematic because <men, in general,
are
<less exploited than woman. Nonetheless, poor actors of <both sexes do
<take jobs in the porn industry in moments of great need. <Regular
<pornography IS aimed at a female audience, isn't it? <Surely that's the
<bizarre mind-flip identified by gaze theory: women have to <see the
world
<as men because much of the world addresses itself to a <male consumer.

Maybe I missed something here.  Why would regular pornography be aimed
at women? And how can women see the world as men?  Do women have to get
old to see the world for themselves?  Or do they have to have the
protection of a man to remain women as young women, since the man
filters the world for her?  I do know that I am a lot better at seeing
the world as it really is as an older woman than I was when I was
younger-and I made EVERY effort to see as (I thought) a man sees.

Judy Craig

[7]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Werner Broennimann <
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Date:           Friday, 28 Jan 2000 08:47:14 +0000
Subject: Comment:        SHK 11.0172

I disagree with the claim that the Playboy MND special has nothing to do
with Shakespeare.  Hefner clearly represents Egeus, exuding strong
paternalistic possessiveness.  Even without such relevance, we must be
grateful to Richard Burt for reminding us in weekly installments that
Shakespeare has become a global brand.

Werner Br

 

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