Social Construction

I construe our world.

Causally-
by loudly projecting my fantasies onto you,
and accepting the role I have
unknowingly told myself to take.

Pragmatically-
by indulging the view of man’s nature for you,
and contrasting my own feelings with the presumed opposite
that has been passed on to me.

We struggle with
and suffer from
strongly created illusions in a weakly constructed reality.

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This poem is inspired by Sally Haslanger’s Essay “Ontology and Social Construction”. She differentiates between different forms of social construction and – among others – explains them with respect to gender.

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Source:

Haslanger, Sally:”Ontology and Social Construction”. In: Resisting Reality. New York, 2012, 84-112.

 

 

 

 

 

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Creative Obligation

I must create.
Raise myself into the depths of hearts,
but I am so tired.
My legs can’t jump
and my thoughts won’t carry me further.

I can only move slowly in my sleep,
but time falls down ever so steadily.
The sand grains become mountains
and my dreams won’t carry me further.

I am so tired,
but I need to quicken my pace
for I can only be creative until I’m surrounded by my desert.

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This poem is inspired by the feeling of being driven by the kind of anxiousness I get when I think about the  multitude of (demanding) goals I still want to reach in my life.

It also reminds me of this hilarious web comic from Existential Comics:

despairBears1

http://existentialcomics.com/comic/87

A Linguistic Transgression

I grew up a liar.
Pretending to have toy cars and squirt guns,
but I wasn’t allowed to share them.
I rejected my mother’s rosy presents,
because I thought I had to be a man.

He struggles:
I want to describe myself in your terms,
but I don’t exist for you.

Weird bulges developed on my body
and I tried to speak and act righteosly,
but I remained a liar.
For each success my mother spilled the dirty secret.
And pushed me into my place.

She struggles:
I want to describe myself in your terms,
but I don’t exist for you.

I suffer from daltonism
but I know when to stop and when to go.
Even today I feel like a liar.
I’m so hungry,
but you force me to eat my soup with a fork.

They struggle:
I want to describe myself in your terms,
but I don’t exist for you.

They cried and screamed
that they weren’t a pig.
They cut the other’s brain.
but the angry mob ate them anyways.

They struggle:
I can describe myself in my own terms
and I will exist in the scar inflicted on you.

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This poem addresses a feeling and difficulties that most people that don’t fit with the binary gender distinction will know. The meaning of the lines

“I want to describe myself in your terms,
but I don’t exist for you.”

becomes even clearer, when you consider that there is no easy possibility to signify this by using pronouns in the German language (-> I’m German). I’ve heard people using “they” instead of “he” or “she” in English, but a construction like that is not possible in every language.  As our languages greatly influence the way we think, we should come up with a way to (linguistically) include non-binary individuals as well.

Until then, I’ll have to stick to this:

Agender

© iFunny 2016

 

Absurdity

I’m just a neutral child in grown men’s shoes,
my mother taught me not to talk with strangers.
And I pretend to look at my life from another person’s point of view,
but the seriousness weighs heavily and it burdens me.
(Such is life’s) Absurdity.

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This is a poetic version of Thomas Nagel’s definition of philosophical absurdity (derived from his essay “The Absurd”).
According to him, the philosophically relevant (here in the sense of universally present) notion derives from the very human condition itself. He rejects the view that we might have a desire for meaning that the external world cannot fulfill (Albert Camus’ assumption). Instead, he proposes that the absurdity of a human’s life results from the necessity of the first person perspective with the serious application of its evaluative standards which clashes with our ability to “take a step back” (transcend our own point of view) and recognize that we are not able to appropriately defend our standards in a non-circular and non-arbitrary way. However, we are not able to stop taking our lives seriously.

The fear of living an absurd or meaningless life seems to be deeply ingrained in many human individuals. Artists from any field seek to increase the meaning of their lives by capturing and creating beauty. They try to contribute to projects of (lasting) value and seek to authentically express themselves. Looking at the fields of animal philosophy and cognitive sciences one could wonder whether this desire occurs in non-human animals as well.

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Source:

Nagel, Thomas: The Absurd. In: The Journal of Philosophy, 1971, Vol. 68, No. 20, 716-727, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2024942?origin=JSTOR-pdf.