Re: Phallogocentrism

Shaughn Daniel (
Tue, 7 May 1996 12:15:19 +0100

X-Message: This post is perhaps beyond b-greek's immediate concerns, but
not the interests of some of its subscribers, so ignore it or read it as
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>I think you're putting me on, Shaughn, but just in case you're not, let me
>cross the T's and dot the I's. Someone (OUK OID' hOSTIS ... ) has argued
>that grammatical terminology and the enire grammatical analysis of verbs
>with regard to "active" and "middle" and "passive" and "transitive" and
>"intransitive" has been governed by a mind-set accustomed to think in terms
>of dominance and control--"active" and passive submission to control--which
>is to say, the old Pythagorean polarity of male & female, active & passive,
>etc. According to such thinking, the real polarity in voice is between
>active and passive and the "middle" is something in between. The clear
>historical fact, however, is that the passive in Greek without question and
>in Latin very probably (I won't try to talk about Indo-European languages
>about which I know even less than those) is an altogether
>secondary--later--development out of an earlier verbal system wherein what
>we call "active" and what we call "middle" were the only alternatives
>(passive verbs are just middle verbs accompanied by an agent construction
>or an instrumental complement).

<all puns intended in the following>

Carl, I was NOT putting you on and thanks for pointing it out for me. Your
end-of-the-semester break from the rigorousness of academia has provided
you the environment to explore such things. Here in Germany, we are still
going on strong with the Spring semester through the end of July. So I'll
keep my comments short and to the point. Verbosity is something I just
can't resist.

I would just throw these chinks into the system: these feminists, modern
reincarnated victims of so many years of perverted male dominated history
and grammatical analysis, continue within the same system we males work,
yet, they continue to actively submit themselves to being passive in that
they coin the word "phallogocentrism", which doesn't do anything to the
subject except give us a better picture of reality--in other words, the
only true feminists are knife-carrying crusaders who could care less about
the definition of the problem and get down to chopping off the problem
altogether. Should we fall on our knees and admit with sobs that we males
have been so awful and finally submit to them? It has the taste of just the
opposite: dominatrix-theologians with leather whips and we are their
unwilling submissives. First, they beat us with history that we didn't
bare. Secondly, they are caught up in wishful thinking that they can
completely castigate "outside" of the male-female dualism of the known
world. Lastly, and I think neo-freudians would have a ball with this one:
some act as if they had penises--and modern technology makes that an
option, should they choose!

So, the point must be from all this that multilingual (lit.
"multi-tongued") bi-sexual and/or transvestite theologians are the only
balanced people, nit wahr? <grin while adjusting my dress and pantyhose> Of
course, I would be interested in understanding whether the "middle" voice
developed from the practice of masturbation. All of this really doesn't
affect Paul, though, as one theologian in Texas has argued (not me!),
because he was actually a closet homosexual seething out in his letters
against his own sins and desires, striving for the ultimate of all human
relations extant, which, btw, did not include females. Everyone knows that
males are incapable of intimacy with one another. Rather than being madmen
that immediately destroy the environment around them, they became poets and
preachers and singers, etc., that had set a time-bomb in motion.
Literature has worked to a certain extent in preserving this world from
immediate and total oblivion--those dastardly phanatasies going into books
to ease the inner nightmares and angst of madmen. But the earth rumbles on
as if in birth pangs.

Question: and should we now think that male theologians who have written
over a 100 books are really making a statement about their penis size?
Feminists continue to give mixed messages about this: some like them big
while others are just not concerned about it. Or, those of us whose
contributions to theology will be lost in the future electronic
library/junkyard of some never-never-land server in the universe: is that a
statement that we were so lame as to never bring our phantasies to reality
in paper form? Or was it the hidden desire to get beyond paper dreams and
on into electric dreams?

I hope that no one on this list is under the age of 18, if so, then just
delete this post. I don't want to violate your government's right to tell
you what you can and cannot read.

Sincerely to the absurb,
Shaughn Daniel
Tuebingen, Germany