Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rented accommodation and racist comments

Untouchables of rental market of Delhi by Vivek Shukla 24-Apr-2010 

New Delhi: If you think that there are only social and political untouchables, then you are grossly mistaken. There are untouchables even in the rental market. Africans, Muslims and those who do their own business have to make hell of an effort to find suitable rented accommodation. Those who specialize in providing rental accommodations avoid these three.
Realty advisers say that more often than not they hardly make any effort to find houses for Africans, Muslims and businessmen. Reason: They know the answer of landlords. When they learn about the background of the person, they simply say no.
Kajol Makhijani, of Mak Realtors says earlier landlords avoid only Muslims and businessmen. Now Africans have also added in the list of untouchables. Though she assures colour of the skin is not the issue. […]

Another realtor say that the worst part of this growing trend is that even blacks diplomats from America or European nations like Britain, French and Holland too do not get accommodation on rent at one go. The tag of Africa is becoming a kind of headache for them.
A student of Mass Media in Noida from Congo, Dennis Tsang from Congo reveals that apart from finding a suitable house, they also face rank racist comments. “I never thought that I would have to face such comments in India, the country of Gandhi,” says Tsang, who got a rented flat in Lajpat Nagar-iv after doing lot of hard work.
Devinder Gupta of realty advisory Centruy21 India says that the situation for blacks was not that bad as recently as a few months ago. But, the involvement of many youngsters from Nigeria and some other countries in drug trade in Delhi and parts of the country ruined the image of whole African region and the community, adding “Generally landlords avoid Muslims, businessmen and Africans. Though if they assure them that they would live according to set guidelines, many landlords also rent out their space to them.”  

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Female offspring and philosophy

Dalton Conley and Emily Rauscher report:
Washington (2008) finds that, controlling for total number of children, each additional daughter makes a member of Congress more likely to vote liberally and attributes this finding to socialization. However, daughters’ influence could manifest differently for elite politicians and the general citizenry, thanks to the selection gradient particular to the political process. This study asks whether the proportion of female biological offspring affects political party identification. Using nationally-representative data from the General Social Survey, we find that female offspring induce more conservative political identification. We hypothesize that this results from the change in reproductive fitness strategy that daughters may evince.

I don't yet see an ungated copy, do you?  By the way, I applaud the authors for their "stones" in writing the last paragraph of the paper, such as:
The conservative emphasis on family, traditional values and gender roles, and prolife anti-abortion sentiments all stress investment in children – for both men and women. Conservative policies mirror the genetic interests of women, writ large. They attempt to promote paternal investment in offspring. Further, they stress investment in conceived offspring – “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” In short, Conservative policies support the genetic fitness of women by capitalizing on each pregnancy, reducing male promiscuity, and increasing paternal investment in children. Such policies may impinge on the freedom of parents’ immediate offspring, but they increase the expected number of grandchildren via daughters.

I'm not sure that's true as stated, but it does deserve further debate. 
In Inside Higher Ed Jason Stanley, professor of analytic philosophy, wonders why no one takes his colleagues seriously.
Perhaps philosophy has fallen into disfavor among humanists because philosophy has not been true to its roots. According to one sort of myth of this sort, traditional philosophers were commentators on culture. In the 1920s, philosophy was then ruined by the Logical Positivists, who created a new, dry, vision of philosophy. In their quest to declare the traditional questions of metaphysics meaningless, they divorced philosophy from the broader connections with culture and politics that give it life. The Positivists lost favor on the continent, and obtained posts in the barren intellectual wastelands of Chicago and New Haven, bringing their dry, logical methodology with them from Vienna.
This story is false in every detail. [...]
Logical Positivism, in its embrace of the transformational power of science and reason, does not mark a break with traditional philosophy. Rather, it is a continuation of it. [...]
It is Slavoj Zizek who is markedly out of place in this tradition, and not Saul Kripke.

Yeah, sure. Who leads more people to read philosophy? Not that I recommend Hegel to my friends, but who's been inspired to read philosophy by Kripke? Analytical philosophers appear to be stuck in an echo chamber that reinforces their prejudice that they're to culmination of the tradition, rather than a detour to a dead end. A visit to the Philosophy section of their local bookstore, or Amazon's rankings, should indicate that their notion of what is philosophy is very different from that of the general reader - who considers philosophy to be something similar to what it has been for the last twenty-five centuries. How many analytic philosophers read Greek, or anything prior to Frege?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Multiple reasons why women might hate other women

There are three basic motivations underlying why men fear/hate/vilify women (and they are not mutually exclusive, but may exist in various combinations or all at the same time):
  • sexual frustration;
  • castration anxiety, and
  • resentment and anger at being dependent on women, especially the mother.
The idealization of women, on the other hand, originates from the innate desire of all humans, male or female, to return to the perfect union with the mother that each experienced in the womb.
There are also multiple reasons why women might hate other women on both an individual and societal level, and thus are often complicit in their own subjugation in misogynistic societies.
Many women hate or envy other women whose existence lowers their own status with men, i.e., other women who are more attractive than they are either in looks or accomplishment, depending on the cultural expectations. For example, in one culture a woman might attract men because of her beauty; in another because of her purity or religious devotion. A corollary to this is that the aging woman will increasingly become aware of her diminishing attraction to men or usefulness to a society that only values her reproductive capability. This sets up a dynamic tension between old and young women. […]
From a psychological perspective then, the freedom and empowerment of women in society are absolutely critical because women are responsible for the earliest environmental influences on children--influences that will impact the child throughout his or her life. If the society has little respect for women and regularly demonizes, debases or humiliates them, the impact will ripple for generations. This is the primary reason why encouraging and promoting women's rights around the world should be a high priority in US Foreign Policy. […]
Sexuality is an essential part of each individual. The double standards of modesty and behavior encouraged by the current practice of Islam are destructive to the normal development of personality in both males and females. Psychopathic traits in males are societally encouraged, while females are conditioned to be their willing victims.