Stetson University Management Professor Robert W. Boozer Challenges My Characterisation of His Comment, While Abandoning Horowitz 101 Psycho Research, as “Sexist” and “Misogynist.”

 The question that Professor Boozer raised was:

“How can history be patriarchal when it has periods?”

I wrote: {Professor Kirstein comment: This is an egregiously sexist comment and one that I believe discredits the sender of this e-mail. What was he thinking? Dr Boozer are you sure you understood the prejudicial, absurd and misogynist nature of this comment? Yet if you are reading this former St Xavier University president, we don’t suspend professors who write controversial e-mail. We criticise and condemn but not silence. This is America not post-Weimar Germany.}

Bob Boozer e-mail to Professor Kirstein, May 14, 2006. 

Peter,

The question “How can history be patriarchal when it has periods?” is intended to be ironic.  The context for this irony involves:

1.  The feminist principle that history is patriarchal.
2.  Joaquim de Fiore’s trinitarian periodization of history into the patriarchal ages: (a) Age of the Father (Ancient history), (b) Age of the Son (Midieval (sic) history), and (c) Age of the Spirit (Modern History). 

I know you are aware of these issues. But, there is a third matter (mater, mother) issue here that interests cultural historians and Jungians alike and that is:

3.  The influence for the “periods” appears decidedly  “feminine” in tone (and thus heretical).

Morris Berman’s “Coming to Our Senses” does a nice job of laying out this third hypothesis. For example, he discusses how this feminine energy in Catharism was co-opted by the Church and and transformed into worship of the Virgin.

My statement may be overly elliptical. But,  misogynistic? Nope.

Don’t forget to go see the “Da Vinci Code” May 19th to see these ideas played out on the “big screen”.

Sincerely,

bob

PS. Did you look at the article on the link?  Some of the framework for the statement is outline there.
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Professor Kirstein e-mail to Professor Bob Boozer, May 14, 2006.

Hello Professor Boozer: 

As you know I did fill out the survey despite ambivalence about the project. I also in my e-mail adopted a tone that was less condemnatory than others. I am quite familiar with Stetson. I went to an elite prep school and Dick Damron went to Stetson. He was from an established family in St Louis and was a boyhood chum who lived down the street. 

I did think the statement that apparently was a play on the menstrual cycle was sexist and misogynist regardless of its alleged roots in grand historical periodisation, now somewhat discredited as over-generalisation by the profession, and was surprised you would deploy such an unrelated topic in such an indelicate manner. I did not consult the link and perhaps should have but it seemed you were a little irritated at the pummeling by the Horowitz 101 and wanted to chide the group a bit. I do believe my characterisation of it was professional and accurate but appreciate your elaboration and defence.

BTW: I don’t think Age of the Spirit is exclusively patriarchal and in fact could be partially exculpatory evidence in your behalf. It more closely approximates Hegel’s notion of idealism and dialectical forces that propel history on a wave of spiritual contradictions and progressive energy. Your general discourse on Church history and theology is out of my paygrade and I yield to your knowledge. 

I think Professor H. Bruce Franklin’s suggestion of doing twin psychological studies of those on the right as well as progressives, while broadly contoured, was helpful in suggesting a new pathway of research. 

This has probably been a difficult process for you and I hope you have not experienced undue anguish. I do believe the criticisms of your research project were appropriate and given the persecution of professors who seek to transform America in a more progressive and humane manner, perhaps predictable due to the unsettled consequences of your proposal. 

Having debated Mr Horowitz and experienced national vilification due to my antiwar views–as well as a suspension in which my courses were hijacked from me–I am rather impervious to external criticism and somewhat less chary in responding to projects such as the one you proffered. Should you seek my participation in any future endeavor, I will carefully consider my response. 

Cheers, 

Peter 

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Bob Boozer e-mail to Professor Kirstein, May 14, 2006. 

Peter,

I have appreciated your comments and your participation.  And, the offer to discuss your results still stands (I don’t know your MBTI results because I have to purchase a report for each person!)

This experience has been a “learning” experience and only moderately stressful (as “pummeling” can be).  I had anticipated that what happened might happen, so was not too surprised at the reaction.  But, nothing ventured….

BTW, your comments on Hegel are relevant–Jung’s psychic dialectics (enantiodromia) are based on Hegel (and Heraclitus).

I have read some of your comments about events of the past few years.  We probably agree generally about many things.

Thanks for your willingness to engage the process.

bob

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