Sunday Reads: No Agency

I am a woman.

Agency refers to the thoughts and actions taken by people that express their individual power. The core challenge at the center of the field of sociology is understanding the relationship between structure and agency. Structure refers to the complex and interconnected set of social forces, relationships, institutions, and elements of social structure that work together to shape the thought, behavior, experiences, choices, and overall life courses of people. In contrast, agency is the power people have to think for themselves and act in ways that shape their experiences and life trajectories. Agency can take individual and collective forms.

I am a resident of Georgia.

Sociologists understand the relationship between social structure and agency to be an ever-evolving dialectic. In the simplest sense, a dialectic refers to a relationship between two things, each of which has the ability to influence the other, such that a change in one requires a change in the other. To consider the relationship between structure and agency a dialectical one is to assert that while social structure shapes individuals, individuals (and groups) also shape social structure. After all, society is a social creation — the creation and maintenance of social order require the cooperation of individuals connected through social relationships. So, while the lives of individuals are shaped by the existing social structure, they none the less have the ability — the agency — to make decisions and express them in behavior.

I have no Agency.

The above is quoted from: How Sociologists Define Human Agency …it is not the best source but it came in handy. As you can see…I am not in a particular good mood this morning.

Wave Of Protests Planned For Tuesday Over State Abortion Bans | HuffPost

lanned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Women’s March, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other groups are organizing nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday to protest the wave of new state laws banning abortion.

The “extreme bans on abortion [are] stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access,” the groups said on the “Stop The Bans” protest website.

[…]

Actions will be held Tuesday at statehouses, town squares and courthouses across the nation. “We will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women,” the website states, referring to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. “Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions best left to women, their families and their doctors.”

You can find more information at the website here:

#StopTheBans

Across the country, we are seeing a new wave of extreme bans on abortion, stripping away reproductive freedom and representing an all-out assault on abortion access. This is Trump’s anti-choice movement… and it’s terrifying, particularly for women of color and low-income women who are most affected by these bans.

We will show up to speak out and fight back against this unconstitutional attempt to gut Roe and punish women. Politicians shouldn’t be making decisions best left to women, their families, and their doctors.

Together we say: Stop the bans. Sign up below to be the first to get updates.

I will end this with the song Veronica, by Elvis Costello:

 

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?
Well I used to know a girl and I could have sworn
That her name was Veronica
Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
And a delicate look in her eye
These days I’m afraid she’s not even sure
If her name is Veronica
Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those who shout
Her name and steal her clothes
Veronica
Veronica
Did the days drag by? Did the favors wane?
Did he roam down the town all the while?
Will you wake from your dream, with a wolf at the door,
Reaching out for Veronica
Well it was all of sixty-five years ago
When the world was the street where she lived
And a young man sailed on a ship in the sea
With a picture of Veronica
On the “Empress of India”
And as she closed her eyes upon the world
And picked upon the bones of last week’s news
She spoke his name out loud again
Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those who shout
Her name and steal her clothes
Veronica
Veronica
Veronica sits in her favorite chair
And she sits very quiet and still
And they call her a name that they never get right
And if they don’t then nobody else will
But she used to have a carefree mind of her own
With devilish look in her eye
Saying “You can call me anything you like,
But my name is Veronica”
Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
And all the time she laughs at those who shout
Her name and steal her clothes
Veronica
Veronica
Oh Veronica

Elvis Costello’s grandmother inspiration for ‘Veronica’ | Lifestyles | heraldcourier.com

Q: I recently heard the Elvis Costello song, “Veronica,” and wondered what the story behind it was.

A: Co-written with Paul McCartney, whose Hofner bass can be heard on the song, “Veronica” can be found on the 1989 album, “Spike.” It has been one of the most popular and successful of Costello’s songs, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard singles chart. A very intelligent song, both musically and lyrically, it tells the achingly touching story of an aging woman suffering from memory loss. In a posting on his website, Costello states that his grandmother, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, was the inspiration for this song. He says that it appeared that his grandmother was happiest when she remembered events that occurred in her life between the 1920s and 1950s. “I wanted it to be joyful-sounding,” he says, “But with some sort of defiance. Because there’s a strange sort of defiance in old people when they’re physically pathetic. A strange way about them. They’ll suddenly look at you and they’ll be looking right into you. And then you look back and they won’t be there at all. I think that’s quite comforting.”

Veronica by Elvis Costello – Songfacts

Elvis Costello recalled the story of the song in his 2015 memoir Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink:

“When I’d got the call to say Paul wanted me to write some songs with him for his next record, I didn’t know what to expect, but as his last co-written hit had been with Michael Jackson, I wondered whether I should be taking some dancing lessons. I’d brought an early draft of ‘Veronica’ that you would have recognized, but we immediately got to work putting a better flow into the chorus and shifting the bridge into making that part of the song seem more like a dream.”

More interesting tidbits at the link.
The little cat at the top of the thread was a stray that had been hanging around our house for the past week…she was very sweet…I decided I was going to keep her…and call her Veronica.
She was in our back screen porch yesterday…content as can be…using the litter box…but last night she got stuck on some sticky paper my dad had stashed in his trash heap he keeps in the back corner. Needless to say, he let her out this morning without telling me…and she is gone.
So…that is that.
This is an open thread.

12 Comments on “Sunday Reads: No Agency”

  1. quixote says:

    JJ. I don’t know. Just hugs.

    (Purely about cats, not Veronica, but they do know what side their bread is buttered on. This one may well turn up again.)

  2. dakinikat says:

    • Peg says:

      https://www.cleveland.com/news/2019/05/state-legislators-share-stories-of-sexual-assault-as-lawmakers-push-abortion-bans.html

      …One such woman is Gretchen Whitmer. In 2013, she was minority leader in the Michigan state Senate when she spoke against a Republican-backed effort to require separate health insurance to cover abortion.

      Seven minutes into her floor speech, a visibly upset Whitmer put down her notes and told her colleagues that she had been raped more than 20 years earlier and that the memory of the attack continued to haunt her. She thanked God that she had not become pregnant by her attacker…

      …Earlier this week, Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature passed two bills to restrict abortions and sent them to the governor.

      That governor is now Whitmer. She said she will veto both of them.

  3. jackyt says:

    It seems to me that the entire ‘abortion debate’ masks the underlying contention: are women full, equal, autonomous human beings, or are they an exploitable resource?

    • dakinikat says:

      It’ seems they think we’re chattel.

    • quixote says:

      Yup. I’ve done a barrelfull of posts on that (latest “It’s 2019. Women aren’t even three fifths of a person” also rossposted at Widdershins.) But from being the only person I knew talking like that, suddenly I’m one of hundreds! Very heartening to see so many people get it.

      Some of them say it a lot more clearly than me. Jennifer Wright on twitter: “You can’t take organs from a corpse without the deceased’s written permission, even if it will save lives. When you outlaw abortion, you’re allowing women less bodily autonomy than the dead.”

      And one I saw today: “I’m just a walking womb begging a fascist for the same rights as a corpse.”

      *Nobody* is forced to provide life support to others. Except women. Tells you what they think of us. Livestock.

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. dakinikat says:

  6. lililam says:

    Thank you for the interesting back story on Verónica, a wonderful, catchy tune with even more lyrical interest now. I have an obscure Costello album that he did with the Brodsky Quartet- lovely yet also interesting classical instrumentals with that characteristic Costello voice.

    I just saw a re-run of a “Casey DC”broadcast (I never usually watch this show) with a moving speech from a republican South Carolinian representative who spoke about her incest and rape story. Despite her generally pro-life stance, she was mad as hell that a choice was not given to those who experience such trauma that those who do not cannot make the judgment to offer no choice. I frequently remember that multi-purpose pronouncement by the late Doris Lessing: Make no judgment where you have no compassion (if I remember it correctly).