January 5, 2020

Big Structural Mom Energy.

I'm reading "My dream candidate exists – and her name is Elizabeth Warren/She’s overcome misogyny, billionaires’ wrath, and media smears to get to the front of the race, and she brings a special brand of Big Structural Mom Energy" by Rebecca Solnit (in The Guardian):
What I call Big Structural Mom Energy could also be called radical compassion. It lies in the homey delivery and quality of attention she brings to, for example, the young queer woman in Iowa she encouraged and hugged earlier this month. Warren, who has said more about trans rights than any other candidate, has made her credo clear, over and over: that everyone matters, and matters equally, and that the systems that shape our lives should value, defend and give everyone opportunity equally. She got a lot of attention for her comic answer to the question about what she’d say to someone opposed to marriage equality, but after the laughter was over, she said something she’s said in many forms in her campaign: “To me, that is the heart of it. That was the basis of the faith that I grew up in, and it truly is about the preciousness of each and every life.”
I thought a lot about that term "Big Structural Mom Energy," which Google convinces me Solnit invented. Is there even such a thing as a "structural mom"? I'm picturing a large sculpture — a colossus. Or maybe a high-energy, strict disciplinarian character who's got her kids' schedule packed with enriching activities. Google convinces me that whatever sorts of moms there might be out there, "structural mom" is not the idiom.  But oddly enough, I am finding "structural energy." It comes up on websites offering alternative medicine, notably Rolfing.
Rolf claimed to have found an association between emotions and the soft tissue, writing "although rolfing is not primarily a psychotherapeutic approach to the problems of humans", it does constitute an "approach to the personality through the myofascial collagen components of the physical body". She claimed Rolfing could balance the mental and emotional aspects of subjects, and that "the amazing psychological changes that appeared in Rolfed individuals were completely unexpected."
Get us a President who can do that to the country. Go after the soft tissue and restructure the emotions. Rolf the body politic.

IN THE COMMENTS: Ryan say "Big Structural Mom Energy" is "an obvious play on Big Dick Energy." That's a term I saw fit to write about in June 2018 (because The Guardian — the same place that published Solnit's piece — had an article, "Big dick energy: what is it, who has it and should we really care?/It is a phrase that is ‘a thing’, according to the collective wisdom of the internet – but do you have BDE?").

76 comments:

Gahrie said...

To me, that is the heart of it. That was the basis of the faith that I grew up in, and it truly is about the preciousness of each and every life.

Unless that life is still in the womb.

Michael K said...

Brought to you by the Labour Party brain trust that has learned nothing from their catastrophic defeat.

Temujin said...

It's amazing. It's like they go to college and come out completely unable to communicate with humanity or hold a cogent thought. They enter intelligent and come out handicapped.

As for the Big Structural Mom Energy. It used to be called Big Brother.

rhhardin said...

Grammatically it's structural energy of the mom type.

rhhardin said...

Might be like prestressed concrete.

rhhardin said...

Remember though that constraints do no work. Motion is always orthogonal to them.

Ryan said...

It's an obvious play on Big Dick Energy. See Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande.

rhhardin said...

The ball does not sink into her indian casino roulette wheel, nor the dice into the craps table.

Curiously those are both non-holonomic systems. No use trying the lagrangian.

rhhardin said...

She's trading on earnestness. Evidently for the young.

gspencer said...

The Elizabeth Warren of whom this Rebecca Solnit so happily writes is not the Elizabeth Warren currently running to get a new taxpayer-funded job while simultaneously holding another job for which the taxpayers are also paying.

Charlie said...

i.e. the subjects need to be treated like children. Mom knows best.

No thanks.

rhhardin said...

Rolf claimed to have found an association between emotions and the soft tissue

It's called erogenous zones.

rhhardin said...

Consumer praise for Terry women's bicycle saddles show the emotions involved with soft tissue
http://www.terrybicycles.com/Saddles

MikeR said...

"to get to the front of the race"? Not quite.

tommyesq said...

She’s overcome misogyny, billionaires’ wrath, and media smears...

Say, that would make a great title for Warren's autobiography, if only it were shorter and more concise... maybe "My Struggle?"

tommyesq said...

... the systems that shape our lives...

Government should not be the "system that shapes our lives," it should be doing as little as possible to keep the peace and leave us alone for the most part.

MadTownGuy said...

Has Warren rolfed, er, morphed into Marianne Williamson with a foray into alternative medicine? Nah, more likely she will go after the body politic's soft tissue with her forty whacks.

tommyesq said...

By the way, I wonder about the decision to blog this particular article - it seems certain to draw a response from those commenters who frequently assert that women vote solely on emotion, to the detriment of the country.

Bay Area Guy said...

If Senator Paleface is your dream candidate, I'd suggest you get some better dreams......

whitney said...

Radical compassion is why the Scandinavian countries are now the rape and bombing capitals of Europe. In my city, our female chief of police decided police can no longer Chase anyone. Which means if you're pulled over and you just keep going they can't chase you. She even acknowledged that crime would increase. It's pure insanity that she's doing it and that a significant number of people think it's a good idea.

Ann Althouse said...

"Grammatically it's structural energy of the mom type."

It could use some hyphens.

Big-structural mom-energy.

Big structural-mom energy. (My favorite.)

Big-structural-mom energy.

"Mom" is a noun used as an adjective. It might be clarifying to use "maternal" and some commas:

Big, structural, maternal energy.

I presume the idea is simply that Warren supports big structural change and something about her being or seeming like a mom makes her more energetic.

Anyway, I don't agree with you if you're saying that Solnit meant to talk about something that could be called "structural energy." I think it's "mom energy" and structural is tossed in there as a way to refer to all the general talk about "structural change." But the word "change" is missing, so you can see what is supposed to be "structural." "Structural" is just babble. Or poetry.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's an obvious play on Big Dick Energy. See Pete Davidson and Ariana Grande."

Wow! Great insight!

Zach said...

She claimed Rolfing could balance the mental and emotional aspects of subjects, and that "the amazing psychological changes that appeared in Rolfed individuals were completely unexpected."

Unintentionally hilarious if you grew up with "rolf" as a slang term for "frisbee golf."

JML said...

If she’s looking for structure, the igloo bubble just might be for her.

Kate Danaher said...

This reminded me of the "will you be our daddy" moment of the 1992 election:

"The focus of my work as a domestic mediator is meeting the needs of the children that I work with, by way of their parents, and not the wants of their parents. And I ask the three of you, how can we, as symbolically the children of the future president, expect the two of you, the three of you to meet our needs, the needs in housing and in crime and you name it…."

https://www.cato.org/blog/ponytail-guy-presidency

Lucien said...

Nothing resonates with the mass of the American electorate like trans and queer rights.

Yancey Ward said...

I think Iowa may well be do or die for Warren. If she finishes 3rd or worse, it is over for her even before New Hampshire. All those biographical lies, easily demonstrated as lies, have done her in.

Leep said...

I'm not fat, I'm big structured!

Fernandistein said...

the young queer woman in Iowa she encouraged and hugged earlier this month

Oh sigh, he sighed, be still my beating heart, for now I know who I would always vote for: whoever's running against Warren, except maybe Solnit.

her comic answer to the question about what she’d say to someone opposed to marriage equality

Marriage equality would consist of the gov't staying out of the marriage business so that the married are no longer (slightly) subsidized by the non-married, and nearly everyone is against it.

Paul Zrimsek said...

It takes a big structural village to raise a child.

JaimeRoberto said...

It's a play on Warren's call for "big, structural change" and the video of her in front of a large dog statue with the crowd chanting "big structural Bailey".

mccullough said...

Warren is a grandma. Not some soccer mom.

She’s also nowhere near the front of the race.

n.n said...

Tough reliable father power. Equal and complementary. #HateLovesAbortion

Seeing Red said...

I don’t need a mother and her life is based on lies.

Not something I want my children to emulate.

She wants to dictate-mother someone?

Volunteer.

rightguy said...

I guess with Warren you get a Big Flapping Cunt, instead of a Big Swinging Dick.

wendybar said...

Lizzy is a liar. No thanks.

chickelit said...

Is there even such a thing as a "structural mom"? I'm picturing a large sculpture — a colossus.

Let's erect one straddling the mouth of some river. Big enough so that we can look up its skirt when passing under. Maybe Ben Rhodes can advise.

Tom said...

He came to love Big Mother.

SGT Ted said...

"Big Structural Mom" is an euphemism for a smothering, female totalitarianism.

Sebastian said...

"that everyone matters, and matters equally"

So we can finally dispense with "Black Lives Matter"?

Sebastian said...

Big Structural Mom is the scolding parent of Big Brother.

Jamie said...

Rightguy, I hate that word you used, but your comment made me snort with laughter.

The professor has fished us in. Someone upthread already pointed out the fact that this piece goes *straight* to the popular "women are all about the feelz" thing. The very first commenter noted that Warren's great compassion for all precious life excludes unborn humans - another of our favorite hot buttons. And the poor construction of the term "big structural mom energy" has led to a nice discussion of grammar. She's got to be watching this thread with the avidity of a birdwatcher, hoping her calls will flush out the elusive Full-Throated Commenter.

I wonder if she cares about this topic at all, beyond what she can make us do with it. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

Char Char Binks said...

Big Structural Mom Energy will make a great campaign slogan.

Bob said...

"Rolf the body politic.

Trump kind of does this. Just not in the way the Rebecca Solnits of the world approve.

I'm also reminded of the "Saint Hillary" interview in 1993. Hillary Clinton wanted to convey her sense of "love and kindness", "politics of meaning", "personal responsibility". A pity her rather ruthless political conduct and frequent departures from truthful speech makes mockery of her ethereal idealism.

Elizabeth Warren, "big-structural-mom-wannabe", is pretty much in the same boat.

Aggie said...

Whenever the loving press wants to jump-start a candidate, they start gushing excessively about the saintly qualities of their humanity. They've done the same nonsense with Hillary and Big Barry. Teenyboppers who get close to the stage and can't wait to tell all their friends.

The only thing motherly about Warren is that she's clearly female and has borne children. Other than that, she exceeds Hillary in the 'calculated' department and is probably her equal in 'handles power poorly' department, falling short only in the 'graft and corruption' department, which is to say, she just doesn't think big enough - probably because she hasn't benefited from the same 8 years of access and training.

dbp said...

Big Structural Mom Energy is unwieldy, I suggest we abbreviate it as BS-Me.

stevew said...

I don't need a mother or a father and I certainly am not looking for POTUS to take on those roles in my life.

Mother, do you think they'll drop the bomb?
Mother, do you think they'll like this song?
Mother, do you think they'll try to break my balls?
Ooh, aah, mother, should I build the wall?

Mother, should I run for president?
Mother, should I trust the government?
Mother, will they put me in the firing line?
Ooh, aah, is it just a waste of time?

Hush now, baby, baby, don't you cry
Mama's gonna make all of your nightmares come true
Mama's gonna put all of her fears into you
Mama's gonna keep you right here under her wing
She won't let you fly but she might let you sing
Mama's gonna keep baby cozy and warm

Ooh, babe, ooh, babe, ooh, babe
Of course mama's gonna help build the wall

Mother, do you think she's good enough for me?
Mother, do you think she's dangerous to me?
Mother, will she tear your little boy apart?
Ooh, aah, mother, will she break my heart?

Hush now, baby, baby, don't you cry
Mama's gonna check out all your girlfriends for you
Mama won't let anyone dirty get through
Mama's gonna wait up 'til you get in
Mama will always find out where you've been
Mamma's gonna keep baby healthy and clean

Ooh, babe, ooh, babe, ooh, babe
You'll always be a baby to me

Mother, did it need to be so high?

- "Mother", Roger Waters.

Josephbleau said...

I rolfed a few times, in college. I cleaned it up and decided to stay away from the keg.

chickelit said...

@Josephbleau: Rolfing on the floor laughing!

Josephbleau said...

I don’t know how to use the word structural in the sense that humanities type people use it.

Fernandistein said...

Put on the skillet, put on the lid
Structural Mama's gonna make a little fry bread
That ain't all's Structural Mama's gonna do
She's gonna encourage queer women, too

Structural Mama's short little baby loves 1/1024 fractional In-din fry bread,
...etc...

Three little children, lyin' in bed
Two were sick and the other 'most dead
Sent for the doctor and the doctor parrot-ted
"Give everyone opportunity equally".

Seeing Red said...

I thought the same! Lolol

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Heap Big Momma Weasel energy

The Left criticized Elizabeth Warren for calling Soleimani a 'murderer,' so she issued a new statement focused on attacking Trump

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-left-criticized-elizabeth-warren-for-calling-soleimani-a-murderer-so-she-issued-a-new-statement-focused-on-attacking-trump

John henry said...

Why is a British news paper interfering in our election s?

Is Warren denouncing it?

John Henry

Wince said...

Evidently even Warren's dog is "Big Structural".

"Big Structural Bailey!

Big Structural Bailey!
"

Darrell said...

Never start a political acronym with "BS."

bagoh20 said...

"What I call Big Structural Mom Energy could also be called radical compassion."

It's so radical that it's the opposite of compassion. These people who want to transform America and fight capitalism don't give a shit what it costs actual working Americans, which is why they think so many Americans should just learn to code or build windmills or some other crazy shit. If you open your mind, it becomes clear that they either want to be President at any price to the rest of us, or they are incredibly stupid. I'm not sure which explanation is more generous, but I can't reason my way to a better one.

bagoh20 said...

"Mom energy" what Obama had in his jeans.

Howard said...

Mom overblown, mom going overboard

MayBee said...

I'm trying to decide if it seems to me that Elizabeth Warren is full of compassion. It isn't really a persona that fits her.

Kirk Parker said...

Josephbleau

"I don’t know how to use the word structural in the sense that humanities type people use it."

Well there's your mistake, right there: humanities people do use the word, but without any sense whatsoever.

rightguy said...

Jamie : I thought twice about posting something that vulgar- its not my style. But I couldn't resist this one. Slippery slope !

tds said...

For those interested in Big Dick Energy, best ever example there is, a short clip from the 'Tropic Thunder'


"Playa / Playa,
Big Dick Playa,
Swinging past your knees,
..."

narciso said...

they tried in 2004, Hamilton county ohio, they pined that Corbyn wasn't apparently extreme enough for them,

narciso said...

following up last night's discussion,


https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/jan/05/doctor-who-recap-series-38-episode-two-spyfall-part-two

rehajm said...

Liz is dumb.

rehajm said...

Isn’t this just mire of the shit Hillary shoveled- throw out some catchy verbiage the oldsters think the youngsters think is edgy, then they’ll think I’M edgy and cool...

...and by youngsters, anyone under seventy.

Paco Wové said...

It takes big structural mom energy to properly milk the soft-power dividend.

DavidD said...

“[E]veryone matters, and matters equally....”

What, like “All lives matter”?

Wait a minute there, Skippy. BLM might have something to say about that.

DavidD said...

chickelit said...
“Let's erect one straddling the mouth of some river. Big enough so that we can look up its skirt when passing under. Maybe Ben Rhodes can advise.”

Maybe somewhere along the Red River valley.

traditionalguy said...

Greco-Roman Phallic statues are the symbols of the Patriarchy. But it’s the women that buy them. Men take them for granted like white Privilege. Don’t leave home without one..

n.n said...

The analogous reference to big dick is big pussy [hat], or big front hole for the trans/neo-males or sex conflaters. A black whore... hole h/t NAACP, which is no longer inferred to be a net energy consumer but rather a cannibal.

Phidippus said...

Elizabeth Warren is a horrible person, a habitual liar, a phony, and full of anger and resentment. It seeps from every pore, despite the makeup.

It's easy to see why she appeals so certain kinds of females. It is also easy to see why she will not be elected, not now nor in the future. (Hint: There aren't enough of those kinds of females to outnumber normal females and men.)

What a stink she leaves behind, whenever she speaks!

DavidD said...

Phidippus said...
“What a stink she leaves behind, whenever she speaks!”

...

“Sometimes you tell the truth—like you’re pulling taffy.”

TheDopeFromHope said...

More like Big Structural Squaw Energy.

Bob Boyd said...

Big Structural Mom Energy

BS ME