Re: virus: Tabacco mind virus: antivirii

Eva-Lise Carlstrom (
Wed, 23 Jul 1997 21:44:24 -0700 (PDT)

On Wed, 23 Jul 1997, Neco and Jeff wrote:

> Eva-Lise Carlstrom wrote:
> >
> > There was a poster on a bulletin board on the University of Oregon campus
> > bearing a picture of a young Asian woman, arms crossed, facing the viewer,
> There is nothing wrong with detail to paint a vivid picture in the mind
> of the listener but I wonder...had she been caucasion would you have
> pointed out her race?
If she'd been Caucasian I would have mentioned her hair color. But in any
case, her race is more relevant than usual here, given the rise of Asia as
a major target audience for tobacco advertising.

Not criticism really, just thinking out loud. I
> live in Tokyo and recently in a store here I overheard two kids talking
> about me and referring to me as, 'the gaijin (foreigner or more
> literally outsider) next to us' rather than 'the person next to us.' I
> asked my fiance (Japanese) if she thought that there was anyone in all
> of Japan who would have referred to me as a person rather than a
> 'gaijin' in a similar situation and she thought not. Is this good or
> bad? Are there any memes quietly replicating here? I wonder.

I try to be aware of and avoid that kind of double standard--referring to
people 'like me' as 'people' and people 'unlike me' as exceptions. I
think it's a natural, but often harmful, habit. I have observed in myself
a tendency to notice black people's race in particular, where race doesn't
occur to me usually when seeing strangers of other races (I am white)...I
think this is probably largely because there are so few black people in
the town I grew up in, but it irritates me as a mental phenomenon.

I just read a book called _The Mismeasure of Woman_, by Carol
Tavris, that deals with one variety of that phenomenon: the casting of men
as the human norm, and women as exceptions. It also discusses the modern
cult of the victim, pagan revivalism, and psychoanalysis. Interesting
reading, if you're into any of that.

whose current job is about four blocks from the library--two south, and
two straight up.