Curiosity is tiring and thought-stopping cliches are energy conserving

From The Curious Feminist by Cynthia Enloe, pg 1

Being curious takes energy. It may thus be a distorted form of “energy conservation” that makes certain ideas so alluring. Take, for instance, the loaded adjective “natural.” If one takes for granted that something is “natural”—generals being male, garment workers being female—it saves mental energy. After all, what is deemed natural hasn’t been self-consciously created. No decisions have to be made. The result: we can imagine that there is nothing we need to investigate. We can just feel sympathy with women working in sweatshops, for instance, without bothering to figure out how they got there or what they think about being women sewing there.

“Tradition” serves much the same misguided energy-saving purpose. If something is accepted as being “traditional”—inheritance passing through the male line, incoming officials swearing on a Bible—then it too can be swathed in a protective blanket, making it almost immune to bothersome questioning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.