Young feminists use social media in order to respond to rape culture and to hold accountable the purveyors of its practices and ways of thinking when mainstream news media, police and school authorities do not. This article analyzes how social networks identified with young feminists take shape via social media responses to sexual violence, and how those networks are organized around the conceptual framework of rape culture. Drawing on the concept of response-ability, the article analyzes how recent social media responses to rape culture evidence the affective and technocultural nature of current feminist network building and the ways this online criticism re-imagines the position of feminist witnesses to rape culture.
Carrie A. Rentschler
In this paper I examine the role of emotions in the initial development of self-awareness through intersubjective communication between mother and infant. I argue that the empirical evidence suggests that the infant's ability to communicate is initially an ability of the infant to share emotions with the mother. In section one I examine the biological foundations that allow infants from birth to interact with others of their own kind, focusing on the abilities which allow them to engage in emotional relationships with others. These include an infant's ability to express, share, and regulate emotions as well as her brain's ability to imitate the neuronal activity of another. In section two, I explore the fit between Sartre's phenomenologically-based account of intersubjectivity in Being and Nothingness and the accounts from psychology and neuroscience that I've examined in section one, focusing on his phenomenology of the Look and the emotional response he claims it elicits. In section three I examine the explanatory gap objection that Sartre among others could raise to my attempt to understand phenomenological accounts of human reality and scientific ones in light of each other. I don't have any final answer to this objection, but I offer some thoughts on why I think it's less of a problem than it might first appear to be.
Responding to a Response by Agafonow
Garrett W. Brown
In the preceding article Alejandro Agafonow explores the idea of incorporating market-based approaches into the structure of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in order to address particular deliberative and democratic shortcomings (Agafonow 2011). This exploration was in response to an article I wrote on safeguarding deliberative global governance within the Global Fund and with particular deliberative deficits that were highlighted within that article (Brown 2010). In my article, it was argued that the decision- making capacity of the Global Fund suffered from a deliberative deficit in that donor members enjoyed an unfair advantage in boardroom deliberations due to two structural inequalities. First, donors enjoyed an unfair deliberative advantage because of their ability to utilise an effective veto, which manifested itself in the form of possible threats in the reduction of future donations if specific initiatives passed. Second, donors often enjoyed an unfair negotiating position due to their ability to meet prior to Board meetings and thus possessed an ability to create donor caucuses where collective voting strategies could be formulated. It was concluded that these two conditions created real perceptions of unequal deliberation between donor and non-donor Board members and therefore threatened to render the Global Fund’s multisectoral mandate for creating deliberative decision-making via agreed consensus as mere window-dressing for an obfuscated form of multilateral power politics as usual. In responding to this deliberative deficit, I argued that certain regulative devices should be incorporated into the Global Fund Framework Document as a means to safeguard deliberative procedures constitutionally within the multisectoral Global Fund Board.
Riziki S. Shemdoe, Idris S. Kikula and Patrick Van Damme
This article presents local knowledge on ecosystem management by analyzing and discussing traditional tillage practices applied by smallholder farmers as a response to drought risks in dryland areas of Mpwapwa District, central Tanzania. Farming activities in the area wholly depend on rain-fed systems. Information from key informants and in-depth household interviews indicate that farmers in this area use three different traditional tillage practices—no-till (sesa), shallow tillage (kutifua), and ridges (matuta). Available information suggests that selection of a particular practice depends on affordability (in terms of costs and labor requirements), perceived ability to retain nutrient and soil-water, and improvement of control of erosion and crop yield. In this area, smallholder farmers perceive no-till practice to contribute to more weed species, hence more weeding time and labor are needed than in the other two practices. The no-till practice also contributes to low soil fertility, low soil moisture retention, and poor crop yield. No plans have been made to introduce irrigation farming in these marginal areas of central Tanzania. Thus, improving the ability of the tillage practices to conserve soil moisture and maintain soil fertility nutrients using locally available materials are important tasks to be carried out. This will ensure the selection of practices that will have positive influence on improved crop yields in the area.
Shamanic Sickness, Spirit Embodiment, and Fragmentary Trancescape in Contemporary Buriat Shamanism
During fieldwork on a contemporary revival of shamanism in Buriatiia in the summer of 2005, I was initially puzzled by what I had witnessed. The spirits that were embodied by the shamans were interacting with the audience. Afterward, the shamans did not remember what had occurred while they were in trance. To me, it resembled what has been described as spirit-mediumship performance. While discussing this with shamans, their initial response was that Buriat shamanism is real shamanism, insisting that authentic trance is unconscious, while at the same time dismissing other forms as fake. Later, however, some quietly admitted that Buriat shamans used to be able to remember their ecstatic journeys, and eventually they will be able to regain this ability. I argue that the post-trance amnesia among the contemporary Buriat neo-shamans is the result of the disruption caused by the Soviet anti-religious legacy, which inhibited Buriats to progress to higher degrees of initiation.
Science, Capitalism and the Commodification of Biodiversity
A recent article in the popular journal Scientific American begins with the claim that scientists have succeeded in “cracking the code of life.” Two decades ago, such an announcement would have been met with wonder and amazement. Today, it is likely to elicit a far more subdued response. Over the past few years, we have grown accustomed to reading about the “miracles” of modern science. The expanding use of new reproductive technologies, genetic engineering, prosthetics, and cloning to name but a few of the most astonishing advances, have allowed us to become habituated to the dizzying pace of scientific discoveries. The ability of science to impress us with its seemingly impossible feats has become “extraordinarily ordinary” over the past five years (Hayden 1998).
David Bordwell’s Narration in the Fiction Film is a uniquely valuable overview of narration in one medium, lucid, rigorous, rational, broadly comprehensive and finely detailed, and unequalled in any other narrative medium. But Bordwell proposes that the cognitive activity of the viewer of a fiction film is to construct the story from the film. While true, and brilliantly analyzed by Bordwell, this omits an important part of our cognitive activity: our engagement with the “author” or filmmaker, an essential part of our engagement with any fiction (or for that matter non-fiction), a response not confined to films by auteurs or to high literary fiction. Our compulsion and capacity to engage with characters, actors, and filmmakers reflects our sophisticated cognition, including our ability to respond to multiple levels of intentionality and our swift emotional attunement.
Nirmala Erevelles and Xuan Thuy Nguyen
When we first proposed this special issue on “Disability and Girlhood: Transnational Perspectives,” we had not yet realized how the urgency in the global humanitarian crises that has escalated in intensity and scope of violence in recent months would demand our thoughtful attention. These crises, the outcomes of social protest, wars, and genocidal acts in many parts of the world for over a decade, punctuated by the Paris bombings of November 2015 that took the lives of 130 innocent citizens; the widespread displacement of 4 million Syrian refugees from their homeland; the increased militarization at the borders of the European Union and the United States; and the environmental impact of this war of terror on the daily survival of disabled and non-disabled people around the globe continue unabated. On the internet, photographic images of women and children with disabilities (and girls in particular) serve as the very embodiment of vulnerability in competition with thousands of other images of suffering (see for instance, Human Rights Watch 2012) vying for the attention of an impatient and fickle global audience (Goggin 2009; Kim 2011). In these images, disability, seen to be synonymous with vulnerability becomes simultaneously hypervisible in its ability to trigger an affective response and hyper-invisible when inspiring an emancipatory response to the material consequences of actually living with a disability.
The National Autistic Society defines autism as affecting “how a person communicates with, and relates to, other people and how they make sense of the world around them.” People with autism oft en seek regulation of experience in order to manage the difficulty in inferring and understanding the provisional knowledge and subjectivities of others. Much like the neurotypical “other people” described by those with autism, the on-screen assemblage of normative cinema appears to know what to reveal, what to conceal, where and how to be. However, such a cinema is also required to be regulated, so as to be socialized to the reception and response of “others” (the audience) through normative techniques. But when and how might the much-debated screen-mind relationship produce a frustration of otherness or tamper with an audience’s ability to ascribe provisional knowledge to others? And what can the cinema learn from the autistic experience? This article proposes a form of cinema—cinemautism—to challenge a neurotypical cinematic form.
The issue of age of consent for sexual activities has been bedevilled by the absence of any objective standards or criteria for what is meant by or involved in "consent." Despite this absence—or because of it—the social and political response has been to reach for blanket prohibitions on sexual activity by persons under particular ages—ages which have settled in the mid‐ to late teens. At the same time, the percentages of persons aged 15 and under who are sexually active in our societies indicate that young people are regularly consenting to sexual activities. Consent to sexual activity has also been a concern in relation to the lives of the cognitively or mentally impaired. In an attempt to clarify issues surrounding consent there, a significant proposal in regard to objectifying standards for consent was reported by Carrie Hill Kennedy, in her article “Assessing Competency to Consent to Sexual Activity in the Cognitively Impaired Population” (Journal of Forensic Neuropsychology 1:3, 1999), where she developed a two‐part scale for ability to consent, including twelve criteria involving knowledge and five criteria involving personal assertiveness and safety. Kennedy herself has maintained that there is no relevance for her research as applied to minors: adults have sexual rights, minors do not. However, it would seem clear that there is a certain relevance—if not in the use of a similar scale for assessing the competence of a particular minor to consent, then in generally comparing the age at which children attain the developmental level comparable with that implied by Kennedy’s five Safety standards, and using that information to critique the present, obviously unrealistic ages of consent. In relation to the Knowledge scale, the importance of sexual education becomes still clearer.