In a message dated 12/31/1999 11:54:07 AM Pacific Standard Time,
<< What about female labial rings and male ear or nipple
rings? What agent of social repression imposed these practices?
You are mistaking cruelty, torture and slavery with bondage, scarring and
Those are beauty objects and sexual toys. Not the same thing at all.
<<Do you see that the accepted historical vogue of interpreting these
phenomena in "political" terms may represent a complete misunder-
standing, and not even be exactly wrong? >>
You are making a fundamental mistake in interpretaion. It is not vogueish to
reject these memes.
Religious atrocities, silly fashion, and dumb cultural memes are rarely
"political" in inception, even if later they may get picked up by them and
further "imposed" on society to achieve a more specific end. Example: the
religious right has made a big case out of homophobic reactions, and used
that meme to achieve POLITICAL goals - however that meme grew out of a more
basic fear.) This is clearly distrucive to us, yet many follow.
The memes almost never (in the beginning) "benefit" one person, or even on
strata of society. There is no darwinistic simplicity since it is a polluted
pond. Things grow up and rise out of that bubbly murk, because it "catches"
It only takes one politician who can see the trend and harness it, like
Hitler did in the depression, to achieve "political" ends.
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