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I’ve been trying to post here everyday, like I mentioned before. But it’s a struggle mostly because of the things I cannot say. I’m struggling too with the postcon crash. Today was the first day where I felt like things started to come back on track. Slowly slowly. I had a productive day at work and then I came home and had a productive day at TPP.

I have sat down now to read The Female Man and decided to start back at the beginning since I hadn’t gotten that far in when I started it before and I read the quote at the beginning of the book – by R.D. Laing in The Politics of Experience (Penguin 1967) and I *had* to repeat some of it here. After the goings on of about the last week, it made me laugh.

If Jack succeeds in forgetting something, this is of little use if Jill continues to remind him of it. He must induce her not to do so. The safest way would be not just to make her keep quiet about it, but to induce her to forget it also.

Jack may act upon Jill in many ways. He may make her feel guilty for keeping on “bringing it up”. He may invalidate her experience. This can be done-more or less radically. He can indicate merely that it is unimportant or trivial, whereas it is important and significant to her. Going further, he can shift the modality of her experience from memory to imagination: “It”s all in your imagination.” Further still, he can invalidate the content. “It never happened that way.” Finally, he can invalidate not only the significance, modality and content, but her very capacity to remember at all, and make her feel guilty for doing so into the bargain.

This is not unusual. People are doing such things to each other all the time. In order for such transpersonal invalidation to work, however, it is advisable to overlay it with a thick patina of mystification. For instance, by denying that this is what one is doing, and further invalidating any perception that it is being done, by ascriptions such as “How can you think such a thing 1″ “You must be paranoid.” And so on.



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  • By Tansy Rayner Roberts on 4 May 2011 at 7:55 am

    The fact that Joanna Russ doesn’t date is a deep tragedy for humanity.

    I am looking forward to us doing a spoilerific book club on The Female Man! Have my copy on order.

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