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  • The discourses of the author of this blog and the comments from many American citizens (mostly women), are interesting to study. I would say off the top that the basic initiative (intervention) the author suggests is not unique but it is uncommon in activist and democratic discourses. She suggests to start to deal with the fear-hate problem in American so prominent under the Trump administration, could be helped if everyone (Left and Right, moderate or extreme) just admitted they were afraid. Although this is important to acknowledge and I have no doubt about its truth, for I lived in the USA with Barbara for 9 years recently, the focus of her intervention can too easily reinforce a kind of individualistic psychology of fear analysis, with a social psychology collective admission. Again, in part, it is okay to begin, but much too shallow for political issues and the Fear Problem overall. 

    Psychology and social psychology, and American individualism that so many critics have challenged for decades still holds roots in a kind of "therapeutic culture" that many critical sociologists have been tearing down in its own over-therapeutic persuasion and focus. This can leave out too many other dimensions of reality and of why we have the Fear Problem (and/or "culture of fear," as Frank Furedi critiques) in the first place. The author's blog also posits underneath that notion of "we're all afraid, let's just admit it" kind of therapy... that "love is the answer" (with the same proportion of good ol' American hope and neighborliness). This is not going to do it. Fisher & Subba (2016) begin the book on philosophy of fearism with a dialogue that points out that "love" is not the focus but rather "fear" ought to be if we are to get out of this big mess we are in on this planet. Yet, philosophy of fearism adds theory, philosophy and helps people frame their experience and educate for a better critical literacy on fear management/education and including fearlessness and a vision of a Fearless Age [1]. Also, there is a much deeper analysis required as to how to best know and define fear itself. The blog author doesn't do any of that. It is a self-help discourse that rules that blog post discourse. Again, a start, but not enough to deal systematically as to why a culture of fear has bred and continues to breed. 

    Btw, I think a similar intervention to the woman's blog above, one I have often cited in my work for decades, is the dictum: "We are not bad, we are frightened" (Segal, 1984, p. 88)--this begins the ethical discussion we need to have as a society, as a planet, and how we too often judge "bad" behavior as morally wrong without the fearanalysis --and without the wound-hurt analysis upon which the destructive fear (and 'fear') patterning lays. We require a compassion-based (fearlessness-based) healing perspective, and that's what you'll find in Segal's book and dictum [2], which is not well-informed or explicated in the woman's blog and all her respondents commenting. This blog tells me just how little good fear education is going on in the USA. Oh, well... we have our work cut out for us. 

    Oh, two more things, there is no reaching out or curiousity on this women's blog in the discourses for 'better' resources to handle fear. And lastly, there is no distinction made between the way men (males) and women (girls) are conditioned socioculturally to respond to fear--that is, to the admission of "we're all afraid" as a starting point in solving the fear-hate problems mentioned in the blog. Again, her solutions are way too simplistic and naive. 

    Notes

    1. Fisher, R. M., and Subba, D. (2016). Philosophy of fearism: A first East-West dialogue. Australia: Xlibris.

    2. Segal, J. (1984). Living beyond fear: A tool for transformation. Hollywood, CA: Newcastle.

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