I bet you don’t even think of how you use those words. I have met very few people who do. You use them all the time, in a correct way, but it is likely, as is the case with so many words, you wouldn’t be able to tell others how to do it correctly, only correct them when wrong. Have you thought about it? What the difference is? One of the definitions for each word, and I believe they are etymologically connected, involves a frame of distance from the person or observer. I would say it is the main thrust of each word’s other definitions also. “This” deals with that which is close. Either physically, or within your mind. “That” deals with things that are further from you, either physically or mentally. When you say, “This is mine and that is yours,” the mental images or definitions do not place whatever that is closer to you than whatever this is. In time, if you say, “that happened ‘x’ number of years from now/ago” you are not speaking of this happening right now. If you just say, “this was just last week” it immediately implies an issue close to you temporally also, that references the past. Even within mental constructs, like ideas, the issue of closeness delineates the usage. To illustrate this, I will talk about different aspects of feminism, and only use the words this and that (and of course content of phraseology)to show what I agree with and don’t by showing what is “close” to me.
Feminism is naturally divided. The basic structure of it is based upon division. Multiplicity in my moral compass creates a struggle within to remain under the banner of “Feminism”. “Women have it harder than men.” I have heard it many times.That bothers me. I have seen many more women being given a free ride than men. Granted, they usually have to serve or service men to get it, but it is somewhat “free” nonetheless.Men have less opportunity like that, but we have the “Bro Code” that gives an inherent advantage and preference, as long as we adhere to this unwritten, and largely misunderstood code. And I will tell you, that is a recipe for disaster, encode something, then don’t write it down, or give it distinct parameters. honestly, It is something that a woman would likely do, which leads me to believe it was developed as a defensive weapon in the war of the sexes. More likely a “Chicken and Egg” argument, and a casual observation anyway. I would say this is dead even except for one thing, the “slut” factor. Men generally have a flaw in their logic, a double standard when it comes to women, and that is sexual promiscuity. We want to have it, we want our women to know what they are doing, and we don’t want them to have slept with other men to have got the knowledge. I honestly hang my head in shame just writing out that lengthy hypocrisy. So we want there to be a few women that sleep with every guy, never marry, and somehow convey this knowledge to other women via some process that doesn’t involve other men…… Umm, that’s crazy. Men can control what they do sexually, and should have every legal defense when it comes to sobriety that a woman does. Before we can call ourselves equal, we need to accept the histories that make us men, and women, as something to progress from. Women should earn the same pay for the same job. Whether subconscious or with deliberate intent, there is an income gap, and sexual trysts and power plays aside, I believe it has a lot to do with my next issue. “Women need maternity leave, and men do not” This first part I completely agree with, while that last part I disagree with completely. Mothers need physical time to recover, and time to bond with their child. This is something I wholeheartedly agree with and support. fathers need time to help with both the physical demands of immediate childbirth while the mother is less physically capable, and to also bond with their child, something undervalued in today’s civilized world, by society, by fathers, and children themselves. I understand that single mothers will not have another person to help and may have a more difficult time. This is also normal, and all the more reason to continue to have a job when they are capable of returning to work afterward. As it is now, There is a massive disparity between Paternity and Maternity leave. It is even considered a man’s duty to not be around while the baby is little. Something I find both strange and archaic.
Does the usage of this and that illustrate the closeness? Or perhaps it is more appropriate to say it underscores the differences?
I hope I at least got you thinking in a way you havent ever, or at least in a long while. This isn’t an Enlightenment post to be sure, but merely one to get discussion going, even if only within my noggin’. Much ado about nothing, if you will. None of this post was meant to be overly political, or insightful.
But, if this causes bedlam, I guess call a fireman. Sometimes to pique interest, I act like an arsonist, and randomly tell a story in a way that’s deliberately inflammatory. I hope you get this far through, so you can see the rhyme I left for you, it is for those that do, that I give thanks, through and through.
P.S. – read this twice and email me in the morning. -Dr. A