Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. “Sordida Senem” as a Sexual Identity: A Structuralist Challenge to Current Conceptualities of Intersectionality

 

Abstract/Summary: While there has been much focus on the issue as to whether a non-constant sexual identification (e.g., “gender fluid”) is itself an identity within a recognized constellation of identity or constitutes a series of changing identities, we find that there has been virtually no attention to age-related identity changes largely invisible to the existing intersectional paradigms and methodologies arising from conceptualities of race, class, and gender. Specifically, we focus on an as yet unexplored social identity we term sordida senem:

Here is a self-descriptive quote from subject N. of our study:

I love my wife and grown kids and grandkids but if I’m honest, I think that I am the kind of guy who would be happier if he could just blow the whole 401(K) on a couple of 19-year-old strippers in a big finale.

From the standpoint of dialectic critical realism, the experience of N. suggests victimization of the sordida senem identity by means of the monovalent expectations of heteronormative monogamy. Is N. choosing the identity he appears to live at the expense of a truer self and thus a victim of the very hegemonic patriarchal order he appears to personify?

But if I were to find the right girl with the looks, youth and bad judgment I would need in order to really let loose, what would people say? Even if I were finding sexual fulfillment and maybe my true self, I would be called a “dirty old man” by everybody—like that old billionaire who married Anna Nicole Smith—lucky bastard.

Given that its membership is largely comprised of older, white, heterosexual cis-males, traits which typify, indeed seem to comprise all forms of privilege, the sordida senem experience does not easily fit into a cognitively realized politics which presumes as its ontological starting point a consciousness of discovery of oppression and dominated minority social identities. An almost Hegelian contradiction arises in which simultaneous experiences of both marginalization and virtually personified hegemony occur within a construct in which neither element can be affirmed.

You know, the world would fall apart without guys like me. We get it done, we know how it works, we show up every day because everybody counts on us to be there and we don’t get a lotta respect for it. What happens if we all just quit and take some babe to Vegas? Yeah, I know, probably way too much guilt and blowback to really enjoy it.

The analytic task before us is whether this class of experiential phenomenon (sordida senem) can be brought into non-hierarchical context such that we avoid both the pitfalls of the analytic problematic and of a generic epistemic fallacy such that we merely reinstate a habit of naming and thus mimic the superidealism of a Baudrillard or can and should we recognize this as a valid, affirmable identity.

Nobody is gonna bake me a cake if I come out as the real me and bring a wad of hundreds downtown to the Boom Boom Room. Which stripe on the on the pride flag is for guys like me?

Indeed.

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  1. Housebroken Thatcher

    You lost me with the title: I do better with basic American, monosyllabics and words that have been in use for a couple of decades. 

     

     

    • #1
    • December 17, 2019, at 10:14 AM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Mark Camp Member

    Best R. satirical piece in months, I think!

    But…how can you stand to learn their language well enough to spoof it perfectly? You must have read a lot of it.

    • #2
    • December 17, 2019, at 10:50 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  3. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Best R. satirical piece in months, I think!

    But…how can you stand to learn their language well enough to spoof it perfectly? You must have read a lot of it.

    Do a Google search for bad writing or anything written by Judith Butler and it’s a snap.

    • #3
    • December 17, 2019, at 10:57 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Unsk Member

    Bathos,

    I would argue that the membership of those enjoying the sordida senem experience is not limited to the older, white male cis-male cohort but has tragically expanded to many of the bi-sexual lesbian persuasion and even more tragically these people whom we would normally assume to have better morals than those of the evil cis-male cohort have nonetheless taken on and mimicked the monovalent expectations of heteronormative monogamy we have come to expect from the grotesquely evil White Patriarchy. 

    • #4
    • December 17, 2019, at 12:13 PM PST
    • 1 like
  5. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Bathos,

    I would argue that the membership of those enjoying the sordida senem experience is not limited to the older, white male cis-male cohort but has tragically expanded to many of the bi-sexual lesbian persuasion and even more tragically these people whom we would normally assume to have better morals than those of the evil cis-male cohort have nonetheless taken on and mimicked the monovalent expectations of heteronormative monogamy we have come to expect from the grotesquely evil White Patriarchy.

    Not to get all Foucaldian or otherwise treat your comment in an oppositional matrix or pseudo-Hegelian dialectic but I am nevertheless compelled to point out that the use of “morals” and “evil” is inherently problematic in any discourse about structuralist framing of conceptualities of identity.

    The term “sordida senem” and it’s literal translation (“dirty old man”) point to both specific behavior and to the context established by the predictable societal response to the naturalized idealization of the “dirty old man” as an actualized sexual identity which context is not shared by parallel behavior alone as performed by individuals of another specific identity.

    • #5
    • December 17, 2019, at 12:30 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @oldbathos, that is a hilarious takeoff on our current cultural “leadership,” but I’m beginning to worry that you have too much idle time on your hands.

    • #6
    • December 17, 2019, at 1:02 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. Bob Wainwright Member

    Google “Idea Laundering in Academia”. Your post reminds me of this recent article in the WSJ which explains how ideas like this actually get started and eventually become firmly established academic disciplines. 

    • #7
    • December 17, 2019, at 1:11 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    @oldbathos, that is a hilarious takeoff on our current cultural “leadership,” but I’m beginning to worry that you have too much idle time on your hands.

    You might be be surprised how little time it takes to toss off drivel like this. The barrier to success in the new academic world is not the workload but residual self-respect and intellectual integrity.

    • #8
    • December 17, 2019, at 1:28 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  9. Henry Racette Contributor

    This speaks to me.

    • #9
    • December 17, 2019, at 2:30 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    When I was seven years old, I truly wanted to be a horse. (At least part of the time.)

    With the state of politics in this age of gender fluidity, it now appears I had the right idea about life back then.

    Plus I could be cute or strong or simply happy running around, with few concerns about gender at all:

    • #10
    • December 17, 2019, at 2:54 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Mark Camp Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    The barrier to success in the new academic world is not the workload but residual self-respect and intellectual integrity.

    That could be considered aggravated assault by some of your victims, particularly those in the highest 2 percentile of intellectual function.

    • #11
    • December 17, 2019, at 4:14 PM PST
    • 1 like
  12. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    I am trying to remember the group name or the name of the grad students, but they recently had their fifteen minutes of fame by making up various outlandish studies and submitting them to various academic journals. Then they sat back and watched as the various academic journals published their papers. Really hilarious stuff. Rather on the order of the Charles Dawson, but of course, much more current day.

    Dawson lived in the 1800’s and eventually received recognition of his many archaelogical and paleontalogical discoveries. So he became an elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1895. At the age of 31, and without a university degree to his name, he was now Charles Dawson F.G.S., F.S.A.

    His most famous discovery was in 1912 with the Piltdown Man which was billed as the “missing link” between humans and other great apes.[1]

    The Piltdawn Man discovery ended up being the crown jewel in the many pranks and hoaxes he played on the world of science.

    • #12
    • December 17, 2019, at 10:39 PM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Housebroken Thatcher

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    I am trying to remember the group name or the name of the grad students, but they recently had their fifteen minutes of fame by making up various outlandish studies and submitting them to various academic journals. Then they sat back and watched as the various academic journals published their papers. Really hilarious stuff. Rather on the order of the Charles Dawson, but of course, much more current day.

    Dawson lived in the 1800’s and eventually received recognition of his many archaelogical and paleontalogical discoveries. So he became an elected fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1895. At the age of 31, and without a university degree to his name, he was now Charles Dawson F.G.S., F.S.A.

    His most famous discovery was in 1912 with the Piltdown Man which was billed as the “missing link” between humans and other great apes.[1]

    The Piltdawn Man discovery ended up being the crown jewel in the many pranks and hoaxes he played on the world of science.

    One of the episodes of “You Are There” I remember watching back in the ’50s was about the Piltdown Man.

    • #13
    • December 18, 2019, at 7:14 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Samuel Block Support

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    When I was seven years old, I truly wanted to be a horse. (At least part of the time.)

    With the state of politics in this age of gender fluidity, it now appears I had the right idea about life back then.

    Plus I could be cute or strong or simply happy running around, with few concerns about gender at all:

    Well, I’ve got good news: this brave new world has a safe space for you, too!

    https://youtu.be/Fxqp8r2sgGU

    • #14
    • December 18, 2019, at 1:07 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    When I was seven years old, I truly wanted to be a horse. (At least part of the time.)

    With the state of politics in this age of gender fluidity, it now appears I had the right idea about life back then.

    Plus I could be cute or strong or simply happy running around, with few concerns about gender at all:

    Well, I’ve got good news: this brave new world has a safe space for you, too!

    https://youtu.be/Fxqp8r2sgGU

    One of the comments that really made me laugh (Not that the whole thing didn’t really make me laugh)

    Aerin 1 year ago

    Do you think God stays in heaven because he, too, is afraid of what he has created?####

    Of course none of these people are hurting anyone, except maybe the viewers. Although it does appear that the pursuit of “pony space” leaves a person without the means to have clothes to wear.

    • #15
    • December 18, 2019, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 1 like