By Lee Hall
A Sunday schoolteacher taught me to classify people. The male and the female. In that order. Eve was created to help Adam, to serve, and, from Genesis on, to be ruled. “Yet your urge shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Aged six, I couldn’t absorb the ramifications, but the words got through. And there were more. Adam and Eve noticed they were nude, and covered themselves. Nature knows no indecencies, to paraphrase Mark Twain; we invent them.
We also invent rankings. Consider the Great Chain of Being: a scale rising from rocks, to plants, to non-human animals, to ordinary humans, to kings, through the heavenly beings, God at the pinnacle. The principle of hierarchy reverberates as we study nature’s “kingdoms” – and when scholarly humans set the gold standard in ability (for example, showcasing the brilliance of parrots or apes or…
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Turning physical attributes into a hierarchy of worth is a poor excuse for exploitation.
My comment is somewhat tangential yet would like to express its thoughts if you don’t mind. I watched the ‘Wolf Therapy at Promises Young Adult Program’ video after reading your fine article, Lee. My speakers are recently defunct therefore it was purely visual. What first caught my eye and would not release it throughout the video were the choke chain & heavy chain leash. A prime example of the ‘great chain of being’? Yes. [I happen to like dirt and all its lovely beneficial micro-organisms and since we have to deal with the chain’s perversity, I meant pervasiveness, in my opinion dirt should be put first on the list.]
Also, the incongruity between the freedom of the wolf and the chain was jarring.
I mused about therapy..how can anything be therapeutic – long lasting and in its deepest, most profound freeing sense – if the very therapy is at the expense of another being and their precious freedom. Besides that, I think therapy is a 2 way street.
I abhor domination and manipulation wherever, whatever, however subtle and borderline sophisticated the guise [read program]. Was the instructor supposed to be the alpha male in the pack? If so, which pack, is my question. The double gestures of submission – licking of woman’s face and her submitting to this. My question, where was the wolf’s tongue before her face? Cleaning his nether region? Who overrode & absconded with her common sense? I would have told the wolf, ‘no thank you, I prefer to clean my own face’. I suppose the alpha human animal male might have told me to ‘stick with the program’ and both responses wouldn’t have made the video. Side note: I don’t have a problem being myself with other animals. In fact, I find it to be easier being
respectful; spontaneous; making an apology without concern regarding my sincerity than with humankind.
PS Before my speakers had had enough, I often viewed TV programs when I had reception [my choice to stop it] and internet videos without sound. It is a basic exercise for improving one’s skills of observation besides giving one an easy window into watching through the eye of a human animal child or that of a non-speaker of the video language, etc. Yet, at the end of my day, it is often sound more than sight that brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for your consideration regarding my comment.
Great bllog post