I am a Canadian,
philosophy PhD student and an Assistant Professor of philosophy at a Canadian University. I am interested in philosophy, especially ethics and feminist theory, feminist ethics and bioethics (the ethics of health care). I am also interested in pop culture, video games, cooking, sex and relationships. That is what I will write about most often, I suppose.
I am a philosopher who studies ethics, so I am “full of should,” take this just as it sounds. Read the posts with this in mind.
The description of why I chose the name for this blog is copied below. For the original description, see here.
When I was a kid I used to cry a lot when I noticed things I thought were unfair. My parents used to tell me I was a Bakka, which I think was supposed to make me feel strong about my tearfulness. In Fremen legend, Bakka is “the weeper who mourns for all” humankind (from Frank Herbert’s Dune). I have always identified with this legend, and I still feel very moved by what I would now call injustice.
I think it is important to note, at this point, that I do not think crying makes me “weak.” In fact, I think often crying is the only appropriate response to the things that go on in the world (I wrote about the strength in crying here). We kill each other. We rape each other (I have written about rape culture a few times, see here). We exploit each other. We oppress each other. We dismiss each other. We ignore each other’s pain. We pretend the other does not have authority to talk about their own experiences. These are horrible things. Mostly, we don’t feel much when we do these things. But we should. I think too few of us cry about these things that clearly demand a response. And not just a cold, dispassionate, reasoned response, but a visceral, emotional response.
Of course, “cry me a river,” is also a way of dismissing someone who is trying to tell you about the negative thing they have experienced. I wanted to include the tagline “The river that I step in is not the river that I stand in,” as a way of reclaiming the dismissiveness of “cry me a river.” Plato attributes the tagline to Heraclitus, although it is often translated differently.
“You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you” from Wikiquote.
“Heraclitus, you know, says that everything moves on and that nothing is at rest; and, comparing existing things to the flow of a river, he says that you could not step into the same river twice,” from this lecture.
The point is that everything changes and nothing stays the same. I am not sure I would go as far as to say that there are no permanent persisting objects, but I think the quote can remind us that “crying a river” can be useful when it helps to move things along.
I just found out about an excellent further association with the word Bakka from a comment by KatherineSpins who wrote:
Bakka, phonetically your name matches a word in Amharic that can be roughly translated as “Enough” or “Stop it” – I spent some teenaged years in Ethiopia, and this word was usually used to end a conversation that you had simply had enough of.
So when I saw your name, I gave it the meaning of someone who is tired of the isms and the privileges and the phobias, who has simply said: Enough.
I love this association and I wish I could claim I knew of it before now.
A further association is that ‘Baka’ means “maybe, might or perhaps” in Tagalog, which I learned from reading this New York Times article. I think this is another wonderful association since it speaks to what could be and how things could be better than they are now.