“You whore, you lout, you proud wretch, you haughty boob, you highfalutin donkey. You let yourself think that no one is more clever than you. […] You hold council against me, you brought me here and want to drive me out again because I won’t condone your airs, misdeeds, knavery, shitting around, thievery and whoring! Note well, your power hangs by a thread, and when it is broken, your power will well and soon come to an end.”—Lutheran preacher Paul Linderau on Hermann Mühlpfort, Mayor of Zwickau, as quoted in What Was Preached in German Cities in the Early Years of the Reformation? Wildwuchs versus Lutheran Unity by Susan C. Karant-Nunn.
It’s bizarre how our impressions of people can be distorted by such insubstantial and irrelevant things.
A recent example: I’m due to attend an appointment with a woman tomorrow who shares the first name of one of my best friends. This fact, which surely bears no relevance to her personality, makes me far more predispositioned to like her than if she were to be named after a person I strongly dislike, and this will in turn influence the outcome of our meeting.
Just one more piece of evidence that people who don’t think the world is utterly strange are severely misguided.
“Learn to be quiet just as you learn to talk, because if talking guides you, being quiet protects you. By being quiet, you attain two characteristics: you are able to take knowledge from those more knowledgeable than you, and you are able to repel the ignorance of those more ignorant than you.”—Abu adh-Dhiya
As an anthropologist, I am intrigued by the possibility that culture
shapes how biological scientists describe what they discover about
the natural world. If this were so, we would be learning about more
than the natural world in high school biology class; we would be
learning about cultural beliefs and practices as if they were part of
nature. In the course of my research I realized that the picture of
egg and sperm drawn in popular as well as scientific accounts of
reproductive biology relies on stereotypes central to our cultural
definitions of male and female. The stereotypes imply not only that
female biological processes are less worthy than their male counterparts but also that women are less worthy than men.
“The law on the hijab is a pure capitalist law. It orders feminity to be exposed. In other words, having the female body circulate according to the market paradigm is obligatory. For teenagers, i.e. the teeming center of the entire subjective universe, the law bans any holding back.”—Alain Badiou