Women's Ways of Learning LO24623

From: Sajeela M ramsey (sajeelacore@juno.com)
Date: 05/16/00

Replying to LO24575 --

Preview: a long-ish post, but hopefully learningful and worthwhile.

Dear AT,

You wrote Tue, 9 May 2000 (in response to Judy Tal's comments about my
original posting on women's ways of learning:
> Dear Organlearners,
> Judy Tal <judyt@netvision.net.il> writes:
> >You're bringing up a CORE issue :
> >"Thinking, Feeling, and all that falls in between"
> Greetings Judy,
> What a nice expression for the associative pattern of wholeness:
> thinking * all falling in between * feeling
> But will it be nice of me to ask what is this "all that falls in
> between"?

What is this "will it be nice of me to ask" ? Why nice as a choice of
words here? This somehow feels a bit demeaning to me. You go on to say:

> I have always wanted to learn more from women because of being a
> man.
> Woman are God's mysterious gift to men who self have been born from
> women.
> They are a mystery because man was asleep when woman was created. I
> wonder
> whether woman was asleep too when she was created? ;-)

You make a lot of gender-culture based assumptions in this statement---how
do you know that God created women or men? Did it ever occur to you that
there is a Goddess creator? How is it you seem to know that man was asleep
when woman was created? Were you there?
> I have spent far more time with men than with women because of the

This I definitely "get" from you. You have much to learn from women's
ways, particularly in your style of communicating, and you allude to this
(but don't seem to learn from it) when you say the following:

>. Most of my mistakes with them were me connecting too much with
> their
> brains and too little with their hearts. Most of their mistakes with
> men
> were them connecting too much with their hearts and too little with
> their
> brains.

Your Socratic style of writing seems to me to be something of a block in
your own way---that is, if you really are seeking to understand women
better (and in general, to learn about understanding and connecting with
all people better). You continue, saying:

> And I love them (women) for it because they have given me much food for
> thought.

At, have you really learned anything from women? Do you allow yourself to
learn from them? Or do you simply pontificate about learning? You already
have much going on in your head. I want to know what are you FEELING. In
really simple simple affective words, I want to hear about how you
FEEL---not in fetishizing objectifying abstractions ABOUT feelings and
other things, which clearly have learned and are (probably) over-using.
You go on:

> Those (women and men) who have to care for these
> personality bifurcations and their resolutions into constructive
> emergences rather than destructive immergences, have to be sensitive
> to
> all which produces the massive entropy needed to reach the edge of
> chaos.

You say this as if you are proscribing an edict to this list-serve
community. I as your co-learner don't HAVE to do anything. I don't HAVE to
care for my personality bifurcations (and here you assume that I have
them, yet this may or may not be true, other then in your own personal
gestalt) and I don't HAVE to be sensitive to anything. I may choose to do
be, but I don't HAVE to. You go on to say:

> Emotions from the heart are powerful entropy producers.
> The majority of women can produce entropy far better than men. In
> other
> words, women are usually good at the practice of "entropy
> production".

AT, I get the feeling that you think you are so clever that you have to
explain things to your readers as if they are not. Also, where is your
citation for this sweeping generalization you make above about women
producing entropy better then men? You speak as though this is a given
conclusion. What is your basis of such a statement? If it is your opinion
then state that, but don't expect me to simply take it for granted that
because you said it then it must be true. And then if I think it isn't
that I have to challenge you so you can challenge me back and prove how
clever you are. This is not learning for me, but rather intellectual game
playing. You continue with the following:

> Here is some brain stuff rather than heart stuff. The more complex a
> thing, the longer the time it takes to become mature because the
> more the
> rhythm of "entropy production" has to go into it. This rhythm swings
> between digestions and bifurcations.

I'm getting indigestion just reading this. I'm experiencing heart
burn----Where is your heart AT? Under what gray matter heap are you hiding
it? You seem to go on about Jan Smuts quite a bit in this and other

> Jan Smuts (Holism and Evolution, 1926) whom we can call the "father
> of
> holism", believed wholeness to be the power of evolution.
I personally cannot subscribe to some (probably) caucasian and certainly
male as THE great authority on wholism and evolution. Understanding
critical theory as I do, I cannot --- evolution is itself a sexist and
racist concept, and believe me, I can provide you with a great deal of
research to back up that statement. With regard to Smuts you conclude:

> Obviously, he
> was extremely sensitive to wholeness and evolution in the widest and
> deepest sense. Do it surprise you that many men of his time accused
> him of
> being a womaniser even though he was never unfaithful to his wife
> Issy?

Obvious to whom AT? To you? I prefer that you say it is obvious to you,
because otherwise it feels like you are putting words in MY mouth for me.
 I don't know Smutts and I don't assume that he was sensitive to anything.
And no, it doesn't surprise me, somehow that he was accused of being a
womaniser. Any relation between the word "smut" and him by chance? Just
linguistic curiosity, but sometimes there are interesting puns to be
observed. You conlude your letter with this:
> I'll have to stop now ... for having no answers, and too litle
> room for all my questions.

At, I would personally appreciate your input more if you had more
questions and could resist what I perceive to be a compulsion on your
behalf to give so many answers. I believe the content of what you have to
say is not as important as HOW you say it. And I beleive it is important
for the sake of transforming humanity to, in our writing, try to work work
for non-discriminatory, non-stereotyped, non-dominator language. Our
individual efforts to change consciousness through language will really
accelerate only when change comes to how we say things---to the level of
awareness that we bring to what we say.

There is a clear pattern of dominator language that has its foundation in
gender and power that is used unconciously by us all. The distinction
between "sex" and "gender" is an example; these terms are often confused
and misused as interchangeable. "Sex" is physical and biological. Gender
is "constructed" -- defined by society. One is biologically identified as
female or male, and this doesn't vary between cultures. But what it means
to be "a man" or "a woman" -- the territory of gender -- varies greatly
from culture to culture and from one historical era to another.

Language can lack direct implications of inferiority, yet still promote
inequality. It may be "androcentric" -- treating male experience and
perceptions as the norm while ignoring or trivializing female experience
-- without being overtly sexist. I pick up on this in your language use
At, and hope by bringing my perceptions to your awareness that you might
begin to explore expressing yourself differently.

The English language was shaped by and reflects the values of a
Eurocentric dominator culture of the past 5,000 years. Poet Adrienne Rich,
expresses our dilemma in her statement: "This is the oppressor's language,
yet I need it to talk to you." Audre Lorde put it this way: "The
master's tools will never dismantle the master's house. They may allow us
temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never allow us to
bring about genuine change."

My great temptation as I read your postings and some of the others in this
list serve is to beat you at your own lingustic/cognitive games. I am
trying not to go that route because it really just prolongs the issues I
am adressing herein. Thank you Richard for nudging me not to go there.
(Richard sent my first post back to me because it was so sarcastic). I
have a keen mind for Socratic dialogue, and yet I realize its
shortcomings. Ergo my reason for posting the Women's Learning piece in the
first place!

Sunlight dappled trees through a lace curtain shapeshifting,


SajeelaSajeela Moskowitz Ramsey, President - CORE Consulting
Center for Organizational Renewal and Effectiveness
2432 Villanova Drive/Vienna, VA. 22180
703 573 7050/ SajeelaCore @Juno.com


Sajeela M ramsey <sajeelacore@juno.com>

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