Man endures pain as an undeserved punishment; woman accepts it as a natural heritage. – Anonymous
The history of women is that of a romance and horror: albeit highly coveted and upheld as the bearer of life and all that is gentle and kind, her history is comprised of systematic oppression, degradation and continuous abuse on both a micro and macro level. The history of woman cannot be told without accounting for centuries of pain and suffrage at the hands of her male counterpart who assumed the role of superior. Continue reading
The clerk asked him for his first and last name and papi answered, “Alejandro Sandoval.” Confused, yet convinced, I blurted out, “No, papi, your name is Jose!” He immediately pinched me and commanded me to hush. I sat on papi’s hip and silently wondered who Alejandro Sandoval was and why my dad was claiming to be him.
Mami once told me that my little outbursts could land our family in trouble with la migra. I was four years old and unaware of papi’s American alias. I did not know it was illegal for papi to be Jose in this country until we arrived back to the house and he complained to mami about how ajenta I was. Mami told me I have to stay quiet when adults are speaking. “Si ellos se enteran lo deportan,” she warned me.
Overcome with guilt, I apologized and promised to never speak out of turn again.
Never mind what they said we could not do,
where they said we could not go,
who they said we could not be;
we are wild dandelions growing out of the cracks of society.
Even if neglected by sunlight,
we will nurture our own development,
we will blossom into our potential,
we will sway with the wind
until we uproot and float towards the direction of liberation.
Ultimately landing in a glade
where we will no longer be despised,
where our existence will no longer be cursed,
where we will no longer have to struggle for survival,
we will plant ourselves and wait
like the forgotten seed
until we emerge from who we were
and transform into who we will be.
Am I a skeptic? Absolutely — but only when it comes to ridiculous concepts. I am inclined to doubt the existence of the Bloody Mary, the Headless Horseman, and of God. I find such concepts to be ridiculous given their mythical nature. The three are the product of the human mind, but mankind tends to create and forget it has created.
To some, a slap to the face may be a highly unpleasant experience; however, to others, a slap to the face may be a pleasurable experience. Those who derive pleasure from suffering physical pain are swept under the term ‘masochist’. In order for one to understand why a person would willingly subject themselves to physical pain, one needs to understand what ‘pain’ is, as well as why it is perceived and felt differently amongst human beings.
The impact an experience with pain has on one’s psychological state can heavily influence a person’s perception and interpretation of pain. It is necessary to look at the subjective psychological conditions that may influence an individual’s action or reaction although examining it through a philosophical lens can result in the realization that pain is not solely a psychological event.
My project in this piece is to question D.C. Dennett’s notion of pain by challenging his definition of pain with the case of the masochist. More particularly, I shall explore different ways of understanding a masochist’s reaction to pain by employing the modes of thinking proposed by Donald Davidson and Jennifer Hornsby.