... social roles vary in the extent to which it is culturally permissible to express ambivalence or negative feelings toward them.Ambivalence can be admitted most readily toward those roles that are optional, least where they are considered primary. Thus men repress negative feelings toward work and feel freer to express negative feelings toward leisure, sex and marriage, while women are free to express negative feelings toward work but tend to repress them toward family roles.
Alice S Rossi
Even criticism is more interesting when the writer's authority does not only come through this omniscient narrator, but through questions, ambivalence, vulnerability. A mind questioning and on the move, not just settling down and declaring - that's one of the most interesting possibilities.
The less obvious hurdle is that of preparing parents emotionally and putting forward realistic images of parenthood and motherhood. There also needs to be some sort of acknowledgement that not everyone should parent - when parenting is a given, it's not fully considered or thought out, and it gives way too easily to parental ambivalence and unhappiness.
Magneto has a whole lot of complexity to him. Emotionally, he's coming from a very damaged place. I like the ambivalence of it. I want the audience leaving the theater wondering, asking the questions themselves rather than being spoon-fed like a lot of these super-villain characters.
Often, if there's something that I want to do, but somehow can't get myself to do, it's because I don't have clarity. This lack of clarity often arises from a feeling of ambivalence - I want to do something, but I don't want to do it; or I want one thing, but I also want something else that conflicts with it.
Life is full of tough decisions, and nothing makes them easy. But the worst ones are really your personal koans, and tormenting ambivalence is just the sense of satori rising. Try, trust, try, and trust again, and eventually you'll feel your mind change its focus to a new level of understanding.
My children cause me the most exquisite suffering of which I have any experience. It is the suffering of ambivalence: the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness. Sometimes I seem to myself, in my feelings toward these tiny guiltless beings, a monster of selfishness and intolerance.
Mothers are not the nameless, faceless stereotypes who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose, but women who have been dealt a hand for life and play each card one at a time the best way they know how. No mother is all good or all bad, all laughing or all serious, all loving or all angry. Ambivalence rushes through their veins.
Man-hating is everywhere, but everywhere it is twisted and transformed, disguised, tranquilized, and qualified. It coexists, never peacefully, with the love, desire, respect, and need women also feel for men. Always man-hating is shadowed by its milder, more diplomatic and doubtful twin, ambivalence.
Indeed, it is that ambiguity and ambivalence which often is so puzzling in women--the quality of shifting from child to woman, theseeming helplessness one moment and the utter self-reliance the next that baffle us, that seem most difficult to understand. These are the qualities that make her a mystery, the qualities that provoked Freud to complain, "What does a woman want?
Lillian B. Rubin
There may be hostility and ambivalence, there may even be no responses and those are the worst because it means people do not care. Yet all of these are part of the parcel of land that we call human experience and spirituality. The deep lows and pinnacled heights as well as the wonderful things in what one priest called the lowlands of mundania. This book is not for you if you are looking for hatred on atheists, religionists or just looking for reasons to justify yourself.
Leviak B. Kelly
Whether outside work is done by choice or not, whether women seek their identity through work, whether women are searching for pleasure or survival through work, the integration of motherhood and the world of work is a source of ambivalence, struggle, and conflict for the great majority of women.
When divorces meant marriage no longer provided security for a lifetime, women adjusted by focusing on careers as empowerment. But when the sacrifice of a career met the sacrifices in a career, the fantasy of a career became the reality of trade-offs. Women developed career ambivalence.
Strangman shrugged theatrically. "It might, " he repeated with great emphasis. "Let's admit that. It makes it more interesting-particularly for Kerans. 'Did I or did I not try to kill myself?' One of the few existential absolutes, far more significant than 'To be or not to be?', which merely underlines the uncertainty of the suicide, rather than the eternal ambivalence of his victim." He smiled down patronisingly at Kerans as the latter sat quietly in his chair, sipping at the drink Beatrice had brought him. "Kerans, I envy you the task of finding out-if you can.
The struggle to emerge out of the past, clean of memories; the inadequacy of our hearts to cut life into separate and final portions; the pain of this constant ambivalence and interrelation of emotions; the hunger for frontiers against which we might learn as upon closed doors before we proceed forward; the struggle against diffusion, new beginnings, against finality in acts without finality or end, in our cursedly repercussive being..
The public's continuing ambivalence about cultural matters is all the more striking given that the political conversation on these issues has for 30 years been dominated by an aggressive, radical right-wing insurgency that has achieved an influence far out of proportion to its numbers. Its potent secret weapon has been the guilt and anxiety about desire that inform the character of Americans regardless of ideology; appealing to those largely unconscious emotions, the right has disarmed, intimidated, paralyzed its opposition.
Let us consider the polarity of love and hate.... Now, clinical observation shows not only that love is with unexpected regularityaccompanied by hate (ambivalence), and not only that in human relationships hate is frequently a forerunner of love, but also that in many circumstances hate changes into love and love into hate.
Ambivalence reaches the level of schizophrenia in our treatment of violence among the young. Parents do not encourage violence, but neither do they take up arms against the industries which encourage it. Parents hide their eyes from the books and comics, slasher films, videos and lyrics which form the texture of an adolescent culture. While all successful societies have inhibited instinct, ours encourages it. Or at least we profess ourselves powerless to interfere with it.
At the same time, eroticism in the home requires active engagement and willful intent. It is an ongoing resistance to the message that marriage is serious, more work than play; and that passion is for teenagers and the immature. We must unpack our ambivalence about pleasure, and challenge our pervasive discomfort with sexuality, particularly in the context of family. Complaining of sexual boredom is easy and conventional. Nurturing eroticism in the home is an act of open defience.
History's villains are more easily recognized in retrospect. In an article published in 1935 and reprinted in 1937, Winston Churchill expressed a curious ambivalence towards the German chancellor prior to the outbreak of war: We cannot tell whether Hitler will be the man who will once again let loose upon the world another war in which civilization will irretrievably succumb, or whether he will go down in history as the man who restored honour and peace of mind to the great Germanic nation. . . .
I confess to feeling continued ambivalence about political life, aware of its shortcomings and disappointments, but drawn back to it again and again because of its infinite promise. Justice can triumph, wrongs can be righted, and pain can be alleviated, if the right fix is found. The optimistic illusion that one can change the world is difficult to resist, especially when from time to time that illusion is sustained by even a hint of reality. Change does happen in the political process.
Madeleine M. Kunin
Disgusted by the abuses to which it led, humanity repressed Christianity by which it had so long been dominated. Repressed, but not eliminated. Herein lies, I believe, the essence of the tragedy of modern times. The modern man lives as if Christianity were a negligible hypothesis with no relation to the concrete realities of the world and society. And yet at the bottom of his heart this man remains impregnated with Christianity, so that he lives in a state of perpetual ambivalence with regard to it.
If New Orleans is not fully in the mainstream of culture, neither is it fully in the mainstream of time. Lacking a well-defined present, it lives somewhere between its past and its future, as if uncertain whether to advance or to retreat. Perhaps it is its perpetual ambivalence that is its secret charm. Somewhere between Preservation Hall and the Superdome, between voodoo and cybernetics, New Orleans listens eagerly to the seductive promises of the future but keeps at least one foot firmly planted in its history, and in the end, conforms, like an artist, not to the world but to its own inner being-ever mindful of its personal style.
Ambitious young women today are taught to ignore or suppress every natural instinct, if it conflicts with the feminist agenda posed on them. All literary and artistic works, no matter how great, that document the ambivalence of female sexuality they are trained to dismiss as "misogynous." In other words, their minds are being programmed to secede from their bodies ... there is a huge gap between feminist rhetoric and women's actual sex lives, where feminism is of little help except with a certain stratum of deferential, malleable, white middle-class men.
What does it mean to care? Let me start by saying that the word care has become a very ambivalent word. When someone says: 'I will take care of him!' it is more likely an announcement of an impending attack than of a tender compassion. And besides this ambivalence, the word is most often used in a negative way. 'Do you want coffee or tea?' 'I don't care.' 'Do you want to stay home or go to a movie?' 'I don't care.' 'Do you want to walk or go by car?' 'I don't care.' This expression of indifference toward choices in life has become commonplace. And often it seems that not to care has become more acceptable than to care, and a carefree life-style more attractive than a careful one.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
with a click, my novel would be born; it would come out into the light suddenly transformed from the hypothetical text composed in my imagination into finished, tangible thing with a real and independent existence. The moment of clicking on the print button always gave rise to strange and powerful ambivalence-a combination of self-satisfaction, gloom and anxiety. Self-satisfaction for having finished writing the book. Gloom because taking my leave of the characters has the same effect on me as when a group of friends have to depart. And anxiety, perhaps because I am on the verge of delivering up into other people's hands something that I treasure.
Alaa Al Aswany
For a mother the project of raising a boy is the most fulfilling project she can hope for. She can watch him, as a child, play the games she was not allowed to play; she can invest in him her ideas, aspirations, ambitions, and values -- or whatever she has left of them; she can watch her son, who came from her flesh and whose life was sustained by her work and devotion, embody her in the world. So while the project of raising a boy is fraught with ambivalence and leads inevitably to bitterness, it is the only project that allows a woman to be -- to be through her son, to live through her son.
At the tattoo parlor, my friend worked with needle and ink applying a design to the skin on his client's back, as the three of us sat discussing our spiritual desires and ambivalence about religion. In the midst of our conversation, the man under the needle turned and said, 'Jesus is cool, it's just that they have fed with Jesus. I mean, Christianity was at its best when it was secret and hidden and you could die for it.' This profound, if crass, statement recognizes that the power of the gospel lay in its ability to be a counter-cultural and revolutionary force - not only a story to believe, but a distinctive way of life. The man's comment prompted me to consider the questions: Am I in some measure complicit in the domestication of Jesus?
Above all human existence requires stability, the permanence of things. The result is an ambivalence with respect to all great and violent expenditure of strength; such an expenditure, whether in nature or in man, represents the strongest possible threat. The feelings of admiration and of ecstasy induced by them thus mean that we are concerned to admire them from afar. The sun corresponds to that prudent concern. It is all radiance gigantic loss of heat and light, flame, explosion; but remote from men, who can enjoy in safety and quiet the fruits of this cataclysm. To earth belongs the solidity which sustains houses of stone and the steps of men (at least on its surface, for buried within the depths of the earth is the incandescence of lava).
Emily looked over at Courtney. He was still asleep. For a long time she had thought that if you loved anyone you had to tell him everything: go to him and confess as in the dream; there could be no secrets. But now in the dark of early morning with the copper bottle cold against her fee she felt that this desire to tell all was simply an evasion of responsibility, a weakness in wanting to push on to the person you love something that is your own responsibility to solve. It would be easier for her to tell Courtney all about Abe, to come to him as he sat at this desk in the chill little workroom and confess, to hand the responsibility for her ambivalence to him, to let him settle the problem of her puny conscience for her. But I know, she thought, lying there beside him on Madame Pedroti's lumpy bed, that if I love Courtney that is the last thing I must do. If I love Courtney he must never know.
It was an unusual sunset. Having sat behind opaque drapery all day, I had not realized that a storm was pushing in and that much of the sky was the precise shade of old suits of armor one finds in museums. At the same time, patches of brilliance engaged in a territorial dispute with the oncoming onyx of the storm. Light and darkness mingled in strange ways both above and below. Shadows and sunshine washed together, streaking the landscape with an unearthly study of glare and gloom. Bright clouds and black folded into each other in a no-man's land of the sky. The autumn trees took on the appearance of sculptures formed in a dream, their leaden-colored trunks and branches and iron-red leaves all locked in an infinite and unliving moment, unnaturally timeless. The gray lake slowly tossed and tumbled in a dead sleep, nudging unconsciously against its breakwall of numb stone. A scene of contradiction and ambivalence, a tragicomedic haze over all. A land of perfect twilight.
One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endle¶sung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate. I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.
So I close this long reflection on what I hope is a not-too-quaveringly semi-Semitic note. When I am at home, I will only enter a synagogue for the bar or bat mitzvah of a friend's child, or in order to have a debate with the faithful. (When I was to be wed, I chose a rabbi named Robert Goldburg, an Einsteinian and a Shakespearean and a Spinozist, who had married Arthur Miller to Marilyn Monroe and had a copy of Marilyn's conversion certificate. He conducted the ceremony in Victor and Annie Navasky's front room, with David Rieff and Steve Wasserman as my best of men.) I wanted to do something to acknowledge, and to knit up, the broken continuity between me and my German-Polish forebears. When I am traveling, I will stop at the shul if it is in a country where Jews are under threat, or dying out, or were once persecuted. This has taken me down queer and sad little side streets in Morocco and Tunisia and Eritrea and India, and in Damascus and Budapest and Prague and Istanbul, more than once to temples that have recently been desecrated by the new breed of racist Islamic gangster. (I have also had quite serious discussions, with Iraqi Kurdish friends, about the possibility of Jews genuinely returning in friendship to the places in northern Iraq from which they were once expelled.) I hate the idea that the dispossession of one people should be held hostage to the victimhood of another, as it is in the Middle East and as it was in Eastern Europe. But I find myself somehow assuming that Jewishness and 'normality' are in some profound way noncompatible. The most gracious thing said to me when I discovered my family secret was by Martin, who after a long evening of ironic reflection said quite simply: 'Hitch, I find that I am a little envious of you.' I choose to think that this proved, once again, his appreciation for the nuances of risk, uncertainty, ambivalence, and ambiguity. These happen to be the very things that 'security' and 'normality, ' rather like the fantasy of salvation, cannot purchase.