The Gaze of the Other | Clarissa’s Blog

The Gaze of the Other | Clarissa’s Blog

Well she is a strange looking person for sure, who holds herself without poise, kind of like she had been dumped out of an elephant’s backside.

Whilst I understand and agree with the idea that we do not know what the “gaze” of the other really implies, apart from drawing from our own heads, I think that this epistemology, if taken too far, is fundamentally flawed.    For instance, we do also learn from experience what certain actions-without-words imply.   For instance, a child may learn to associate its mothers glare with an impending smack to the rump.   Also as adults we may learn to infer what certain attitudes imply, based on something akin to the inductive reasoning used by this child in my example, or on the basis of deductive reasoning.  For instance, if somebody’s response is very different from what I would have expected, given what I already know about a situation, I may have to conclude that they’re working on different premises than I, or that they have different information.

Whilst it may pay to keep things simple in most cases by imagining that what we don’t know will not harm us, that solution is not always practical or viable.   We sometimes need to go beyond a solipistic notion, “I can only know what is happening in my own head,” because it often pays to try to draw a basic outline of what is happening in the other’s head, as well, so that one may avoid any negative reactions.

The basic premise that one can get by without knowing what others think about you is predicated on society being very much as peace, with no forms of war or sabotage or any form of dynamic contention about space, ideologies, etc.

As for myself, I do study others’ reactions and make inferences about them.   I’ve learned never to attribute my own intelligence or mode of reasoning to others, since that is a form of projection that gives the others a significant advantage – the advantage of my intelligence, which they would not otherwise have.   Looked at closely and over time, most people react with emotion and not with intelligence or judgement.

2.  My point in relation to discussing a child is not to refer to childishness, but to the fact that we learn inductive logic at a very early age.   It’s a very useful skill to have and we all rely on it in our day to day lives.   We are therefore social from a very young age, and not cocooned in an individual bubble of consciousness.

At the same time, it is women like her that make women like me almost impossible for people to understand, because people assume that when I say similar things, for instance, in referring to “the other”, that I must be seeking my own victimhood.   The very trashy nature of contemporary culture, whose trashiness cannot be overestimated, makes it almost impossible to say anything valuable.

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