5/7/06

"You are throwing like a girl." Merleau-Ponti and feminisim.



"Throwing like a girl" is a common trash-talk phrase used in playgrounds in the US. It is also a successful book by Iris Young,a professor in political philosophy and feminist theory. She analyzes the particularity of women's bodily movement in contrast to men's. She explains that a woman,50 years ago, has a natural tendency to restrict the range of movement when throwing the ball whereas a man would rather use the full range of body motion. I might not be the case anymore nowadays as more often that not, we see women not shying away from showing of athleticism and strength (as seen on this Candace Parker Dunk in high school). Merleau Ponti, one of Pr. Young reference, is a famous French philosopher, contemporary to Sartre and De Beauvoir, who theorized that the body and mind is one whole entity and cannot be separated as argued by Descartes ( "cogito ergo sum") He also coined the phrase:" faire et en se faisant, se faire et n'etre que ce que l'on s'est fait"(loose translation: Build, and by building, build yourself, and only be what you have built)which is the motto that my mother lives by. The point is that, women, by not shying away from athletic performance are also asserting their place in society as more than a supporting cast for men. Iris Young is making a case for body language as a sign of evolution in gender perception and athletic success as support for gender empowerment.
In a related note, I attended a wedding ceremony yesterday where the preacher was advising the bride to be a good submissive wife by supporting her husband hence achieving marital bliss. My boss could not believe her ears and we were all left pondering: which century is this ? Did we go back in time through some kind of time machine ? The main head scratcher was the fact that lots of people were nodding along in approval....seriously..I am still speechless.


1 comment:

  1. moniquerakotomalala5:12 PM

    wll ,supposely the 21st century will be that of women...

    a long way to go but still stay on the right track for assertivness..which Merleau-Pontiphilosophy is about.Mum

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