Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Story of our Life

"To be an adult means, among other things, to see one's own life in continuous perspective, both in retrospect and prospect. By accepting some definition as to who he is, usually on the basis of a function in an economy, a place in the sequence of generations, and a status in the structure of society, the adult is able to selectively reconstruct his past in such a way that, step by step, it seems to have planned him, or better, he seems to have planned it. In this sense, psychologically we do choose our parents, our family history, and the history of our kings, heroes, and gods. By making them our own, we maneuver ourselves into the inner position of proprietors, of creators."
-Erik Erickson, 1958
(Aside from the exclusive use of the male pronoun and the neglect of the complicated issue of agency, this is a pretty good statement.)


Blogger Xander said...

Centuries of fighting about woman's rights has finally culminated in its ultimate goal of equal pronoun representation. And you sir have damaged this great pillar of society by progating this 1950s, penis-centric double speak!

Seriously, using gender neutral or mixed pronouns is a social nicety, not a moral imperative. It's purpose is to avoid offending certain people, not to avoid oppressing them. It can be dangerous when people confuse these kinds of issues. First because it can draw attention away from what a person is trying to say. It violates the rule of charitable interpretation. And second, it trivializes real evils in the world by equating them with unintentional insults.

7:21 PM  

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