The Force Is Strong With This One

once again, i'm afraid i cannot get away from comparisons to star wars. of course, the other comparison i made this semester was in advanced pedagogy, and this current one doesn't involve yoda, but instead obi-wan. responding to luke skywalker's confusion about what happened to his father, obi-wan ultimately says, "luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view." the comparison i seek to make here is from sonia johnson's "who's afraid of the supreme court?" in which she says much the same thing, observing that "much depends on how we view the nature of reality" (282). she explains further:

..reality is what people expect to see in the harbor or on the front of their neighbor's house. Reality is what we believe we will see when we look there, what we think is possible, what we have been told to believe is true, very strong, inevitable, unchangeable, irrevocable. Reality is what we are conditioned to value, and therefore what we pay attention to. Reality is what we are taught to think god plunked down in front of us and we have no choice but to learn to live with the best we can. It is what is called "natural" (283).

in a sense then, the act of learning is as much about conditioning as it is actual learning. while luke skywalker's taking his first steps into a larger world (another obi-wan paraphrase, but from episode iv), sonia johnson's explaining a process of her first steps into a different world. and perhaps it is larger and more expansive than patriarchy, if only because of what this women's world allows for.

out of such observations, though, johnson ultimately says that resistance to patriarchy doesn't work. well, let me clarify that. outright, visible, public resistance to patriarchy doesn't work, at least in her mind, and so she opts to not be part of it anymore. but this leaves me wondering, for while sonia's resistant to resistance, she's also resistant to patriarchy. where does this put her? well, if we take bakhtin's notions of monoglossia and heteroglossia, sonia johnson exists outside of each; perhaps she's x-glossic, moving beyond not only patriarchy, but the more mainstream kind of resistance to patriarchy.

also, i came across an article earlier this morning. here's an excerpt:

Alan Moldawer's adopted twins, Matt and Andrew, had always thought of themselves as white. But when it came time for them to apply to college last year, Mr. Moldawer thought it might be worth investigating the origins of their slightly tan-tinted skin, with a new DNA
kit that he had heard could determine an individual's genetic ancestry.

The results, designating the boys 9 percent Native American and 11 percent northern African, arrived too late for the admissions process. But Mr. Moldawer, a business executive in Silver Spring, Md., says they could be useful in obtaining financial aid.

"Naturally when you're applying to college you're looking at how your genetic status might help you," said Mr. Moldawer, who knows that the twins' birth parents are white, but has little information about their extended family. "I have three kids going now, and you can bet that any advantage we can take we will."

i mention this article because it relates to another observation by sonia: "Men use the laws we get them to pass as daggers to stab us in the back" (287). the above article concerns how people, visually identified as white, are using dna tests to acquire affirmative action scholarships for college. perhaps this is just another instance of co-optation...