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TYPO-L  September 2001

TYPO-L September 2001

Subject:

Re: Masculine/Feminine

From:

Hrant H Papazian <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 5 Sep 2001 08:15:50 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

From: Joshua Darden
> Women have to endure menstrual cramps, which in
> itself is sufficient to shatter the myth for me.

I think you might be missing the essence of my argument.

Menstrual pain cannot really affect a subconscious
perception that "pain = masculine/feminine", because:
1. The thought "I'm in pain because I'm female"
   constitutes high-level analysis.
2. The person is too old. (And maybe that's
   even a "feature" of Nature, it terms of
   when it starts happening?)

I'm sure it affects the *conscious* realm,
but that's entirely beside the point.

From: William Adams
> I'm not understanding what's meant by ``whiteletter''

Blame Gary.  :-)
It's basically the Italian stuff that
replaced the once-standard blackletter.

> I can't think of a single sign or gesture normally used in
> communication which crosses all cultural lines with exactly
> the same meaning or connotation

I agree that there aren't "signs" (the way we seem to
be using the word), but nonetheless: curvy = feminine.
Now, this association is rarely used in graphic design
(at least not consciously), but one point is that it
could/should be.

As for "gestures", a raised fist is a "sign" of physical
violence (and culture is very unlikely to brainwash that out).
So any graphic device that happens to connote a raised fist will
inevitably be associated with violence - not entirely (since
culture can associate other things with it too), but in part.

> but can't unconscious training affect this?

Of course it can. But:
1. Only at an early age.
2. That doesn't preclude Nature affecting it too.

It's crazy to claim that Culture is irrelevant in bahavior,
and especially in communication. What I'm saying is that we're
not theoretical beings in some conceptual ether: we're animals,
flesh and blood, and that's the *foundation* of everything in
our lives, including communication. The foundation gets partly
obscured through culture, but it is there, and is no less
relevant than culture - in fact more so.

There is a tendency which has grown strong in the last few decades
to attribute *everything* to cultural training. To me that amounts
to psychological cowardice; it's wrong, and among other things it
reduced the quality of our work.

Sober analysis about our "low-level realities" is warranted.
Everything else is laregly ephemeral. Unfortunately it's not
"politically correct" to do this analysis, and I guess these
days most people want to be politicians - there seems to be
more money/action in telling others what to think, instead
of bothering to think clearly yourself.

hhp

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