class on gender/sexuality/aggression

Marius Johnston (mariusj@NETCOM.COM)
Wed, 5 Oct 1994 10:58:20 -0700

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 18:11:09 -0800
Reply-To: Moira Killoran <mkilloran@WHITTIER.EDU>
Sender: General Anthropology Bulletin Board <ANTHRO->
Subject: class on gender/sexuality/a
To: Multiple recipients of list ANTHRO-L

Subject: Time:5:56 PM
OFFICE MEMO class on gender/sexuality/aggression Date:10/3/94

\After seeing a bumper sticker last summer in Nebraska that said: "If I
\don't get laid soon someone is going to get hurt" I decided it was time to
\put together a course/and do research on how sexuality and aggression
\are constructed.

I wonder why Moira decided to do this (is she stereotyping)? I also wonder
what her assumptions are. If I am not incorrect, this quote comes from a
C&W song, unfortunately the name escapes me. It seems, given the "texts"
of her "course", that she assumed that the person to be hurt was to
be a women. The wiser, and more common interpretation is that of a bar
room brawl or some such. Clearly, at a minimum, she need to listen to
more C&W.

\I'm putting together a class that I have titled (although I don't like it):
\*Narratives of Gender and Sexuality and Aggression* for juniors and

Doesn't this demean what academia, at it's best, is all about? Political
indoctrination has no place in the classroom. Again the lists of texts are
so one sided that it is obvious that neither gender, sexuality or aggression
are being presented with anything beyond bias. The introductory
paragraph (and probable misunderstanding of) illustrates and gives
motive to that bias.

\I plan to use Foucault's History of Sexuality, Sanday's Fraternity Gang
\Rape, Benedict's *Virgin or Vamp* (written by a journalism prof. but a
\good analysis of the lang. of the media on rape) and maybe Vance's
\*Pleasure and analysis of the lang. of the media on rape) and maybe
\Vance's *Pleasure and Danger* (a collection of articles) and Allison's
\*Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo
\Hostess Club*" I would welcome any feedback on these texts and how
\this appears as a \course-

There is no effort to sort out the variables that relate to aggression.
Indeed "aggression" is very narrowly defined. It is defined in such a way
as to make her conclusions inevitable.
There is a lot of violence in the inner city. If one
were to list the ten reasons why, would sex, or lack thereof be included?

I think it is safe to say that, at least, satiation of hunger and having sex
are basic "drives" that are hard wired into brain and body. Deprivation of
either increases activity. This is illustrated by animal experiments in
experimental psychology. In order to study operant conditioning, a rat is
deprived of food. A hungry rat is a more active rat that can be conditioned
by successive approximation. Human deprivation, at least initially,
increases activity of all sorts. Is increased activity "aggression"?
Moira needs to widen her perspective.

\I know of many articles that I might use particularly in reference to
\sexuality on college campuses (Mindy Strombler's stuff on "little
\slutties) but I am trying to use ethnographies and worried about only
\appealing to a female audience---Thanks

Not long ago there was a program on TV, The Culture Wars. Part Five was
about "Introduction to Woman's Studies 200" at the U. of Washington,
Seattle. In reality, much to student Pete Schaub's chagrin, it was a course
in something else (students had to memorize explicit lesbian erotic
"poetry", for example.). The course was run by a teacher and a group of
"facilitators". The facilitators were previous female graduates of the
course who "valued it's feminist point of view". They had the role of
chorus as well as enforcer.

A sample exchange

Teacher: "Woman are less violent in their expression of anger than men.
We commit less crime and never abuse our children."
Cindy: "I agree, I think girls are always the peacemakers in the
relationship like..."
Facilitator: "Cindy, you will never have any self respect if you call
yourself a girl
Teacher: "Never forget that the person is political."

Pete Schaub's perspective is interesting.
"My understanding is you go to college to ask questions and figure out how
things work but in there, unless you phrase your question in a manner that
supported what they were saying or gave them the impression that you
were endorsing what they were saying, you were just hounded by them."