Tag Archive for class

The making of the Mesopotamian sex class

Fourth and final part of my history sequence which was cut from my thesis!

Part one: A history of honour
Part two: The cradle of patriarchy
Part three: The castrated woman Read more

On not getting beaten up (much)

The other day, P Z Myers turned his critical gaze upon Professor Randall Collins for some libertarian nonsense he’d written about the education system. This reminded me of some thoughts I had when I saw Professor Collins lecture at Cardiff – here’s a video. I’d read his book and I was interested by his theory of micro-interactions, and his position that most violence fizzles out at a micro-interactional level. It was when it seems like he was presenting his positions not an addition to existing ideas around violence, but more in terms of a complete theory of all violence ever, that I started to get uneasy. He ended by presenting us with strategies to avoid violence, as if we were only clued up on the techniques of interaction then we could negotiate our way out of tricky situations.

Basically his advice is:

  • Don’t turn your back, run away or fall;
  • Maintain eye-contact;
  • Match, but don’t escalate the level of confrontation – being neither a victim nor an aggressor, but simply maintaining an equilibrium with your opponent. Read more


This post is a bit late, but I was too angry to write about it earlier.

‘Shameless’ Mick Philpott presented himself as a ‘character’, a swaggering ne’er-do-well bragging about his unusual domestic arrangements (wife Mairead plus co-habiting mistress Lisa Willis) and his seventeen children on the human bear-pit of the Jeremy Kyle show. Yet the quantity of Philpott’s parenting vastly outstripped the quality: six of these children perished in a house-fire Philpott started himself. Lisa had left him, taking her children with her, and Philpott formulated a juvenile revenge fantasy – to frame her for arson and heroically ‘save’ the children from the flames, in collusion with Mairead and a neighbour. The ill-conceived plan failed, all the children died, and Philpott and his associates were found guilty of manslaughter. Read more