Forward: I got about halfway done on this, and lost all interest in completing it. But I hate unfinished business, so now it’s done. Quite a bit of motivation came from realizing the number of examples of The Progressive Ratchet that come out during the discussion of Social Justice Warriors.
It appears Body Crimes and I will be having a discussion. This is a good thing; I’ve mentioned more than once that discussing ideas is very difficult, because people tend to talk past one another until the point they decide to stop talking at all, save for a few choice insults upon parting. The rest of this post will be in the form of an address to Body Crime’s last post.
First, thanks for engaging. I really do enjoy actually discussing ideas, and am one of those rare types who learns from mistakes. I think this will be productive.
Things We Have In Common
It is important to set the stage, because a mere point-by-point response will fall short. First I’d like to establish some sentiments that your commenters (and therefore, I assume, you) and I have in common:
sn0rkmaiden: I would agree by the way with the way second wave ‘equality feminism’ could prove hostile to motherhood. I’ve a slightly older friend who got totally turned off feminism when she had a massive amount of separatist second (third?) wave shoved down her throat at uni.
Concur. “Feminism” is a big thing, but a non-zero portion of it is extreme and anti-femininity. In this case, vis-a-vis motherhood. Supporting evidence: this fiasco – http://thoughtcatalog.com/amy-glass/2014/01/i-look-down-on-young-women-with-husbands-and-kids-and-im-not-sorry/
Shadow_Nirvana: It is sort of a “political correctness gone berserk” kind of thing, isn’t it? In “The Blue Pill” reddit, I said Roosh, Rollo and Roissy all started with capital R because they were Retards. In minutes, I was warned(although not harshly).
sn0rkmaiden: @ La Strega. ‘Knickers in a twist’ is a fabulous expression! How dare they reprimand you for that, though I suppose you could have changed it to ‘non gender specific undergarments in a twist’? I had a quick look to see if anyone had read/responded to my comment, and yes, I can see I haven’t won anyone over and I’m being chastized for using ‘the vapors’ when I suppose I should’ve written ‘throwing a humourless hissy fit’. I can’t be arsed to respond to them, no one’s going to give an inch or concede I might have a point are they? It reminds me of a pointless argument I once had with non partner where he got very annoyed when we went to see ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ and I said it was shit, he furiously argued it wasn’t ‘shit’, it was just really bad.
The thing is ANY critical or pejorative word could theorhetically offend someone, you have to draw a line somewhere.
Ellie: More serious, though. As a minority I do believe that different identities, like race, gender, class, DO affect how you are treated and what you experience. However, I have huge issues with much of ultra-politically correct social justice worriers, and that sjw are often more divisive than anything. There is also a lack of pragmatism, and a lot of americentrism. There is a lack of perspective and activists often lost sight of their own privileges, especially activists in ‘oppressed’ groups.
The thing is that the most vocal social justice types(and get the most media attention) are usually rather privileged themselves, whatever color or gender they are. Also, social justice buzzwords like privilege are defined differently by the average joe. For example, I’m a middle class asian american, but I live in an impoverished, drug laden, lily white area. If I took my asian ass, with its stable family, cheap(!!) college education, comfy home, over to the many working class or poor whites in the area and lectured them about white privilege you can bet my ass that its not going to go over well.
Bodycrimes: I hate all the ‘privilege’ talk. Yes, it can be quite illuminating to understand what position you’re coming from, but being able to buy clothes in a mainstream store is not ‘privilege’. Flying to Davos and having the ear of world leaders who can then implement your private agenda is ‘privilege’.
sn0rkmaiden: Privilege is such a subjective word anyway, and since when should it prevent anyone from having an opinion or expressing one?
Just visiting: It’s why reactionary philosophy has traction. Now, I’m not a reactionary, but I think that p.c. has gone too far. The human rights commissions in Canada were a good example of that. People and bloggers getting sued by a kangaroo court which did not have to follow the rule of law or even the constitution. But, once their verdict was decided and filed in a court, it was backed up by law. Non compliance could get you thrown in jail . Their decisions could contradict law or licensing for business’. Cases could drag on for a decade and even if you did win, you couldn’t recoup costs. Meanwhile, the plaintiff had all costs paid for on the tax payer dime. Turns out that a lot of these cases were heard and decided by professional activists.
Ellie: One issues with sj is that they have many legitimate complaints, such as institutional racism. However, they frame it in a way that can only alienate people, even relatively liberal people. Another thing is that first world sjws choose comparatively superficial things that show ‘privilege’ like skin colored bandages. Many (not all) stuff in the ‘white privilege checklist is also really just ‘majority privilege.’ While many of the things hey focus on are trivial, they are valid, but of course people will roll their eyes. They also have a hard time putting hard empirical evidence down of their claims: everything is anecdotal, or is statistical, the reasons for the statistics are nuanced. For example, I recently saw a tumblr comic that showed disparities in incarceration rates, education rates, between minorities and whites to illustrate white privilege. The only thing that does is reinforce the ‘blame whitey’ image they already have instead of coming up with pragmatic solutions to problems.
sn0rkmaiden: It’s like some people just want to wear their moral superiority on their sleeves, rather than actually make things better. (Hmm, sounds like a lot reactionary types over on the right…)
Let’s review what you all have stipulated to. P.C. is out of control. We have to “draw a line somewhere,” but there are literally no places in which we are permitted to draw lines. It has real consequences, including corruption of the court system with people being economically ruined. The idea of “privilege” is out of control, (and being used to demand things that ought not be demanded). The “SJWs'” (thanks for the term, btw), who appoint themselves as solvers-of-problems and saviors-to-all consistently cause more harm than good, and divide rather than unify. In fact, many of them mistake “white” and “majority” and end up guilty of being racist themselves. Minority problems aren’t addressed through tangible solutions, nor even simple blame on the majority, but specifically on white men.
These are all things I agree with. These are all observable trends. It is my opinion that these all inform the neoreactionary worldview, in opposition to the progressive worldview, which denies them. (Also, Ellie’s comment seems to explain quite clearly why neoreaction seems so full of “angry white men.” It’s not that we’ve lost power (review the demographics of literally any important organization to confirm this), it’s that the rank-and-file white guys are tired of being blamed for things that 1) we aren’t responsible for and 2) arguably aren’t problems in the first place (flesh-colored band-aids?)) So far, we’re not so different, in terms of observations.
At the analysis is where we’ll begin to see things differently. Here’s what I think of them: In their simplest terms, 1) we have problems, 2) we are systematically incapable of solving these problems. I believe the obvious conclusion is that, at some point, something has to give. The longer it takes, the more problems we will have accumulated. At this point, it might be fair to call me a Chicken Little or look around for my tin-foil hat. “How bad can this abstract problematic situation be, Ambassador? (thanks for that, too :)” This maneuver though, I believe to be disingenuous. How can a Social Justice Warrior demand that I explain how bad things are, when his whole career and raison de’etre is that “things are very bad.”
Perhaps it is here that the most useful juxtaposition and comparison of progressives, conservatives, and neoreactionaries can be made. Since Ellie raised the example of minorities in prison, I will use that:
- Progressives will say, “The school-to-prison pipeline is an abomination! Black kids are being discriminated against. They have no chance! They have no hope! If only white people were more multi-cultural and respected hip-hop culture this wouldn’t happen! We need to either 1) establish separate disciplinary standards for minorities or 2) alter disciplinary policies until we are satisfied with the number of minorities in jail.”
- Conservatives will say, “None of the above is true. Everyone is being treated equally and fairly.”
- Note that these are conservatives aspiring to “equal treatment” which is a progressive ideal and the idea that something can be “equal and fair” is a progressive lie. Further note that conservatives are simply responding to progressive accusations. Conservatives are simply a foil for progressives to push against towards their goals. But I digress from my main point.
- Neoreactionaries will say: “America’s brimming prisons are essentially POW camps. Their inhabitants do not recognize the laws they were convicted under, or accept the society that convicted them. In terms of cultural reality, they are aliens.” (Moldbug’s Open Letter to an Open-Minded Progressive.)
First, note that in the progressive-conservative discussion, the progressives make accusations, and the conservatives respond according to the dialectical framework the progressives created. That phenomenon is easily observable elsewhere: progressives don’t call conservatives “pro-life”, they call them “anti-choice”. They accuse them of “waging a war on women.” And conservatives engage in this discussion set up to put them on the defensive. While the rank-and-file protesters might sling slogans like “abortion is murder,” “baby-killers,” etc, you will never hear such vulgar phrases from polished conservative politicians, even though those statements are 100% true according to their worldview, conservatives pull their punches. Progressives do not. Further, progressives take the prerogative to define themselves: they are campaigning for “reproductive rights;” which sounds great except that they are not campaigning for the right to reproduce. They cast themselves as potential victims of some impending government eugenics program, even though the net result of abortion in many ways has been a eugenics program, specifically one that targets black women in America and female fetuses worldwide. (Misrepresentation is a huge part of the progressive arsenal. I like the old saying, “The Devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.”)
Second, it should be clear that the neoreactionary view on the situation, unlike the conservative view, is completely independent of the progressive view of the situation. It does not serve as dutiful whipping-boy for progressive anger, but instead offers a completely different analysis. Like the progressives, we agree there is a culture problem. But unlike progressives (and conservatives), we do not believe the answer is “multi-culturalism.” Indeed, we aren’t even convinced such a thing exists. How can we respect majority culture if we also compel it to alter itself to better suit minority culture? The irony is perhaps best expressed as, “Multi-culturalism is the belief that all cultures are equal, except for ours, which is the worst.” Conservatives deny the problem exists, but don’t challenge the progressive idea of multi-culturalism. Neoreaction goes on the ideological offensive; it acknowledges the problem, but actively disputes not only the effectiveness of the progressive solution but the idea that such a thing even exists. All sorts of politically-incorrect thoughts and potential solutions can follow.
But I’ve gotten off-track of the topic of “Things We Have In Common,” and my purpose here is not to discuss minority incarceration in-depth. It was necessary to come this far though, because the bait-and-switch of SJWs who try to pull the rug from under us is a common one, and it is necessary to hammer home that you and I agree that “we have problems” and “things are very bad.” It is the conservatives, the problem-deniers, who both of us would disagree with.
Now that we’ve established some common ground and concerns for the future, I’ll continue our discussion more directly.
My post on Is the red pill bad from your mental health? got a thoughtful response from a red pill blogger, Mr iParallax. You’ll find his blog here, so go check it out. I asked him if I could respond in a blog post, and he agreed, so here goes:
>>It is a well-known phrase that politics makes strange bedfellows. With the overwhelming degree of uniformity in the mainstream media and culture, it is inevitable that all dissenters will be lumped together as “The Others.” For example, in a world that bases equality of genders on belief in the *sameness* of genders, anyone who dares believe men and women are different is a dangerous heretic.
I want to stop you right there. This idea that all feminists promote the idea that there are no differences between men and women is false.
Feminism – like other major systems of thought – has multiple strands to it, some of which compete. The second wave feminists of the 1960s and 1970s could roughly be divided into two camps: equality feminists and difference feminists. Difference feminists, whose arguments arose from Victorian ‘maternalism’, argued that men and women are different and that women’s differences should be acknowledged and valued.
Equality feminists argued that while ‘sex’ basically means the equipment you came with, ‘gender’ – how maleness and femaleness are expressed/performed – is socially constructed. Their view, which in practice could be hostile to motherhood, dominated until it was challenged in the 1980s. The equality feminism world view, by the way, didn’t arise in isolation: there were strands of anthropology and sociology that basically argued for the tabula rasa, the idea that people were a blank slate until they were written on by culture. New developments in genetics in the 1980s made the role of heredity much clearer.
I am aware there are multiple strains of feminism. I am also aware that they fight among themselves ferociously. I began blogging in part to document and predict such progressive infighting, or, as I call it tongue-in-cheek, The Revolution.
Today, people across many disciplines – including feminism – recognise that human behaviour arises from both nature and nurture. But ‘nature’ and the role it plays is still poorly understood.
Just on this, I read a lot in the Manosphere about supposed differences between men and women, which are inevitably based on bogus science. And every one of these arguments inexorably leads to: women should be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen making us sandwiches.
Whereas if you were really going to run with biological determinism as a political argument, you’d have to concede things like women’s better fine motor skills. In other words, all male neurosurgeons and opthamologists should be fired forthwith and replaced with women, because women are clearly better suited biologically for doing fine surgical work.
Yet, oddly enough, nobody ever makes this argument. I guess that’s an oversight.
So are the differences between men and women “bogus science,” or do women really have better fine motor skills than men? You can’t have this both ways. For obvious reasons, genetic determinism sets off a lot of crimestop triggers in peoples’ heads, and therefore people don’t think very clearly on this issue. There are some good reasons for this: it has a lot of nasty implications with respect to theological questions of free will, and historical instances of racism and eugenics. Nevertheless, I think you are avoiding taking a comprehensive stance on this issue…afraid to fully commit to either stance and all the baggage that comes with it.
iP: For merely stating an obvious fact, such as women bear children and men don’t, or that men and women tend to exhibit different problem-solving techniques, I am branded a dangerous heretic, or a “misogynist,” in today’s lingo.
BC: No offence, but you need to change your social group if you’re getting a hard time for stating that women bear children. As for ‘different problem-solving techniques’, I’m not sure what you mean, so I can’t answer that.
Fair enough, let me adjust fire slightly. Almost no one in polite company denies that women bear children. Almost everyone in polite company denies that this has any impact whatsoever on women’s lives, decision-making, health, or priorities, and that these impacts should be considered when making policy decisions. See: wage gap myth, the “infertility epidemic” caused by women excessively delaying starting families in favor of careers, the hostility of career-feminists towards motherhood, especially of the stay-at-home variety. As for problem-solving techniques, it seems that it is quite acceptable for “experts” to declare, for instance, that women make superior <fill-in-the-blank>, because they are more caring/emotional/atuned-to-feelings/whatever. Yet try to apply that same logic to imply that men might make better <opposite-of-previous-blank> because they are more reasonable/detached/objective is dismissed as sexist and inappropriate.
iP: Interestingly, many of these facts when stated by women are considered laudable, but when stated by men they are detestable. This is usually fueled by fears and assumptions of the other party’s motives:
Woman: “Men and women think differently”: Yes! Celebrate our uniqueness and individuality!
Man: “Men and women think differently”: No! Gender is a social construct! A woman can do anything a man can do!
BC: You can take that point as a win for your side. I must concede this is sometimes true.
iP: …It is this anti-intellectualism and counter-factualism that has created an environment of intolerance, and has spurred the rise of the “Dark Enlightenment,” “Neoreaction,” “Red Pill.” If you “criminalize” normality, then don’t be surprised when normal people become “criminals.”
BC: Again, you’d have to be more specific about how ‘normality’ has been criminalised. I suspect I would not agree with your definition of ‘normality’, but I’d have to hear it first.
In some ways, I think the best short-hand I can do is to link the opening scene from season 1 of the Boondocks. Forgive my brevity here; this is incredibly broad, and could be an article unto itself.
iP: We are building a community where we fit in, and finally have an venue to apply our constructive efforts. Don’t overlook the “manosphere’s” huge emphasis on self-improvement. (Nor its contrast with the Jezebel-esque attempts at self-delusion: obese is beautiful, you should be loved for just being you, you’re perfect as you are, etc)BC: If you printed out all the self improvement articles from every media outlet directed at women – all the diet, exercise, psychology and beauty advice – and put it next to self-improvement articles directed at men, you’d see the women’s pile from space. In fact, if you were anywhere near the pile when it fell over, you’d be crushed flatter than Flat Stanley. If the male pile fell over, you’d get a nasty bruise.
I can’t argue with your specific point. But I will take issue with a broader point: consistency and coherency. The same mainstream publications that are advertising the Paleo diet today were advertising low-fat diets a few years ago, and will be advertising blood-type diets tomorrow. They promise to put 2 inches on your biceps and 60 pounds on your bench in two weeks, with the help of
This corner of the internet includes quite a few different perspectives, of which the “Manosphere” is just a small part. Whether you want to look at our political theorists, our human biological diversity types, or anyone in between, you’ll notice a consistent devotion to finding truth and a willingness to ask questions that unsettle people. You will not find calls to ban research we find politically inconvenient. I know I’m not doing a bang-up job here at uniting all these dozens of threads I see into one, so I’ll return to the example of the broken clock: just because mainstream publications contain a certain amount of truth in their sky-high piles, doesn’t mean they are informed by or seeking the truth. It’s just a different worldview. I don’t know how else to explain this here.
BC: In closing, could I suggest that Manosphere writings are largely redundant. Everything written in the Manosphere has already been said, and much more pithily:“Woman is less qualified [than man] for moral behavior. For the woman contains more liquid than the man, and it is a property of liquid to take things up easily and to hold onto them poorly. Liquids are easily moved, hence women are inconstant and curious. When a woman has relations with a man, she would like, as much as possible, to be lying with another man at the same time. Woman knows nothing of fidelity. Believe me, if you give her your trust, you will be disappointed. Trust an experienced teacher. For this reason prudent men share their plans and actions least of all with their wives. Woman is a misbegotten man and has a faulty and defective nature in comparison with his. Therefore she is unsure in herself. What she herself cannot get, she seeks to obtain through lying and diabolical deceptions. And so, to put it briefly, one must be on one’s guard with every woman, as if she were a poisonous snake and the horned devil…. In evil and perverse doings woman is cleverer, that is, slyer, than man. Her feelings drive woman toward every evil, just as reason impels man toward all good.”That was written in the 13th century by Albertus Magnus. The Manosphere would probably claim that just shows the timeless wisdom of the ancients. The rest of us would suggest that the Manosphereans have more than eight centuries of intellectual and scientific thought to catch up on.
A certain portion would one-up you and go back at least as far as Adam and Eve in Genesis. I’m not among them though. Also, I can see how such a quote could be shoehorned into the discussion, but I’m not really interested in addressing theories of male/female social strategies through the angle of this quote.
BC: Now then, down to admin. The comments section is open. Robust discussion, for and against red pill ideas, is encouraged. I will take any particularly interesting and/or enlightening comments and put them in this post, to spare everyone the tedium of trawling comments. Be as hard-hitting and contrarian as you like – we have a long tradition of civil disagreement here at Bodycrimes.
I don’t think I ended up being too hard-hitting or contrarian. In fact, I spent the first half of this post summarizing things we agree on.
Clearly it took a while for me to finish this post. It turns out that gender relations just really isn’t a subject that captures my attention as much as political theory, present-day political infighting, and attempting to project current trends to their logical conclusions. My “to-write” list on my home-office whiteboard only seems to get longer…never shorter. No promises I’ll do much better on the turn-around next time, but any response is welcome.