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I want to live in the paradise where the worst thing that's going to happen today is that I get socially or culturally marginalized.
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I make no bones about having serious misgivings about social justice as she is spoke currently. As noted, just about everybody will be in favor of "social justice"; there are going to be disagreements about what it is and how to bring it about.

Now, here in the USA, it's been pretty much orthodoxy among Democrat opinion leaders that the Republican machine uses "social issues" to persuade the downtrodden to vote against their own interests. I can see that. Various elites stir up stinks about abortion, gay rights, and Confederate flags to rile the underclasses and divert their attention away from the legal and political systems that shrink their paychecks and hopes. It's probably conspiracy thinking, but I can totally see that.

And as you may have figured out, I'd categorize myself as an Old Right conservative with fairly strong small-l libertarian tendencies. And as a reactionary, I see at least a temporary need for an alliance with a politically effective Left in this country to mobilize and attempt to preserve what's left of our customary institutions and way of life. Unrestrained oligopoly capitalism, technological disruption, the declining prospects of finding a nest safe enough to raise a family in, and ecological destruction are our gravest problems.

And I think that the academic and online Left has been manipulated by the powers that be to keep them perennially chasing fancies the same way that the guns and Jesus crowd has been manipulated. The common theme has been to divert attention and energy to quarrels about cultural power to keep them distracted from issues about economic power. Since the cultural issues can often be seen as existential threats to your self-conception, while the economic issues do not engage gut feelings that easily, it's too easy to misdirect weak-minded apes this way.

All of the academic and online mummery about cultural "marginalization" and all the issues that flow therefrom is as much a distraction as the War on Christmas. Academic institutions with wealthy benefactors bristle with hundreds of Professors of Critical Theory and Departments of Granfalloon Studies, all devoted to keeping a chosen version of identity politics on the front burner. Somebody finds that sort of thing valuable to keep around. It disappoints but doesn't surprise me that the promising Black Lives Matter movement, which started out with concrete political targets, is in the process of being diverted into issues about campus symbolism. Getting college administrators fired will not reform those police departments.

So there is something to the concept of the divisive "social justice warrior" that merits taking a bit seriously, for the same reason that we despise the right-wing social issue warrior. Despite the different demographics, the two seem mirror images of each other.
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The ever-adorable online feminist community has driven Joss Whedon off Twitter, because

Cut for spoiler )

is something they decided was intolerably sexist. (Disapproval of Iron Man's joke about ius primæ noctis is also involved.)

More spoilers in image )
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I, for myself, wonder how the 'feminist' label got so toxic. To the point that people say stuff like 'I'm for equal rights for women but I'm not a feminist.'

This sort of thing is part of the problem. The sheer priggishness of it all, and the drive to inject unanswerable personal drama, are simply unhelpful. ("Tone argument". Yes, I've heard it before. That's another part of the problem. Have you heard the news about another gospel of Jesus Christ?) Labels like "mansplaining" exist because the people who use them want to control the conversation. Dissent is met with canned doctrine, slogans, and labels.

My take remains that he was a clever but somewhat awkward fellow who got an awesome birthday present and may not have the world's best social skills, but up to now has lived in a world where his eccentricities are tolerated. Now he's been made a target of Internet bullying and been forced to grovel. He's too sympathetic a figure; he did not deserve this. Amanda Marcotte called his shirt "pornographic", and it surely is not. It's a piece of lowbrow pinup art. Camp, in other words. I want a world that's safe for camp.
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To claim that "the personal is political" is to invite the United States Senate to supervise your sex life. What else could it mean?

Unless your politics includes an agenda you want a government to put into action, it isn't politics. It's just whining. Fortunately, this kind of whining isn't done by politicians, but by "theorists" of various ilks.
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When Women Become Men at Wellesley
One of those T-shirted helpers was a junior named Timothy Boatwright. Like every other matriculating student at Wellesley, which is just west of Boston, Timothy was raised a girl and checked “female” when he applied. Though he had told his high-school friends that he was transgender, he did not reveal that on his application, in part because his mother helped him with it, and he didn’t want her to know. Besides, he told me, “it seemed awkward to write an application essay for a women’s college on why you were not a woman.” Like many trans students, he chose a women’s college because it seemed safer physically and psychologically.

From the start, Timothy introduced himself as “masculine-of-center genderqueer.” He asked everyone at Wellesley to use male pronouns and the name Timothy, which he’d chosen for himself.

For the most part, everyone respected his request. After all, he wasn’t the only trans student on campus. Some two dozen other matriculating students at Wellesley don’t identify as women. Of those, a half-dozen or so were trans men, people born female who identified as men, some of whom had begun taking testosterone to change their bodies. The rest said they were transgender or genderqueer, rejecting the idea of gender entirely or identifying somewhere between female and male; many, like Timothy, called themselves transmasculine. Though his gender identity differed from that of most of his classmates, he generally felt comfortable at his new school.

Last spring, as a sophomore, Timothy decided to run for a seat on the student-government cabinet, the highest position that an openly trans student had ever sought at Wellesley. The post he sought was multicultural affairs coordinator, or “MAC,” responsible for promoting “a culture of diversity” among students and staff and faculty members. Along with Timothy, three women of color indicated their intent to run for the seat. But when they dropped out for various unrelated reasons before the race really began, he was alone on the ballot. An anonymous lobbying effort began on Facebook, pushing students to vote “abstain.” Enough “abstains” would deny Timothy the minimum number of votes Wellesley required, forcing a new election for the seat and providing an opportunity for other candidates to come forward. The “Campaign to Abstain” argument was simple: Of all the people at a multiethnic women’s college who could hold the school’s “diversity” seat, the least fitting one was a white man.

“It wasn’t about Timothy,” the student behind the Abstain campaign told me. “I thought he’d do a perfectly fine job, but it just felt inappropriate to have a white man there. It’s not just about that position either. Having men in elected leadership positions undermines the idea of this being a place where women are the leaders.”

I asked Timothy what he thought about that argument, as we sat on a bench overlooking the tranquil lake on campus during orientation. He pointed out that he has important contributions to make to the MAC position. After all, at Wellesley, masculine-of-center students are cultural minorities; by numbers alone, they’re about as minor as a minority can be. And yet Timothy said he felt conflicted about taking a leadership spot. “The patriarchy is alive and well,” he said. “I don’t want to perpetuate it.”
More proof, if any is needed, that the counting coup of "privilege" and related cant only serves a war of everybody versus everybody else. You can't build a better world using ideologies designed to focus and intensify grievances. And if "marginalization" is ultimately what your grievances are about, you're already plenty privileged in the real-world sense. More importantly, those kinds of grievances aren't the sort of problem that real-world politics can address.

Now, what the promoters of the "privilege" ideology aspire to accomplish might be worthwhile. It claims that it wants to allow the presentation of multiple points of view, at least until it starts screaming. But here is an example of how it tends to actually play out when sown into fallible human brains.

The ideology is tripping over its own shoelaces here. It's fun to watch, in a Schadenfreude sense. It's like a medieval debate about whether God can create a burrito so big he can't eat it. By being a FTM transgendered fellow, the candidate's pigeonholed himself as "white male." But at a women's college, in an academic setting where the ideological Kool-Aid flows freely, claiming that identity can only make him enemies.

There's a cruelty at the heart of that way of thinking that comes shining through in this example. Like all other endeavors for moral improvement, and despite its high-minded goals, this ideology also turns rancid when it touches corrupted human hearts. For the taint in human hearts is contagious.
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You have to admit that this 39 year old story about a much younger Hillary Clinton and her professional victory is a well crafted piece of political attack theater.

Apparently she represented a criminal defendant accused of raping a 14 year old girl, and got him pled down to a five year sentence, four suspended. At some time not too long after that, she was interviewed by somebody, and remembered the case as a victory for her. As well she might, and as she surely is entitled to.

In 2014, this gets trotted out "Believe the Victims" style. Somebody digs out this taped interview. We learn that in the 1980s, Hillary still had an accent that could curdle milk. Now, this professional success story is spun as an "attack" on the "victim" because she dared to question her credibility as a witness. Hint: it's part of doing the job.

What interests me, of course, is the lesson we get in the essential vacuousness and insincerity of cant. "Why aren't you guys giving this rape victim a voice?" Eyeroll. #YesAllWomen, eyeroll. @AmandaMarcotte, eyeroll. Yes, it's a relatively convincing put-on, recognizing that this is the kind of odd phrase that might occur to One of Them. All is interpreted through a subjectivizing framework in which social influence versus marginalization is the only dynamic that counts.

You'll notice how little sense it makes in context. Whatever the alleged victim's problem was forty years ago, it had nothing at all to do with being denied a "voice". No one is allowed to conscript your attention in any case. And it certainly doesn't have anything to do with the current situation, in which her stale charges that melted under scrutiny have been picked up by the right wing noise machine.

I don't know how it came to pass that Hillary Clinton became the great vessel of the hopes of American womanhood. I would prefer that the Democratic nominee be someone other than her. This has nothing to do with her sex, and much to do with the fact that her husband was a weak and ineffective president. I know she was the brains of the outfit; they still strike me as unprincipled opportunists. After Bill, the only Clinton I'd vote for is George.

So why do they have to make me like Hillary more than I want to with this stunt?
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A precursor to the concept of sexual objectification can be found in the thought of Immanuel Kant, who wrote that "sexual love makes of the loved person an Object of appetite; as soon as that appetite has been stilled, the person is cast aside as one casts away a lemon which has been sucked dry." But, to Kant, this kind of "objectification" only occurs outside the context of monogamous marriage, and appears as part of his argument against prostitution and concubinage.

"Coverture", the mystic union of husband and wife, or something very much like that, is what makes legally enforced monogamous marriage magic and keeps objectification at bay: "the two persons become a unity of will." Kant's argument is a sister to the Roman Catholic belief that sex using contraception is no more than "mutual masturbation". The magic just ain't there unless you're makin' babies.
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It appears that the latest little kerfluffle among the ineffectually angry crowd is to object to the cant phrase "privilege blindness", because this phrase offends by its "ableism".

That sound you hear is somebody laughing behind your back.
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I start from a value system that says, first, that freedom is good and social control is bad. Second, people deserve slack. They deserve to escape "consequences", a disgusting euphemism for punishment. Everybody gets to play a Get Out of Jail Free card at least once. Punishment tends to make things worse, and many violent criminals are avengers in their own minds.

I am fully behind feminism and civil rights to the extent that they agree with these values, which historically has been almost all of the time. I see these as movements born of a broader movement for which these values are foundational, which also included the anti-war movement, gay rights, and just about everything else associated with the "counterculture" and the 1960s.

We expected opposition from the Westboro Baptists and their ilk. But when feminists start attacking exuberant self-expression, that's something even worse: a betrayal, a stab in the back. They should instead be a part of the common cause for more freedom for everybody. Something went wrong.
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Let me put it this way: if it's:

-- all about being 'invisible'
-- or even more often, 'having your voice unheard' by the 'hegemony' of the 'dominant [insert snarl word] paradigm',
-- all about language, imagery, symbolism, and representation;
-- all about 'discourse' rather than resources;

you probably ought to take care before tossing the word 'privilege' around. These, by definition, are the concerns of well-educated and well-fed people in reasonably comfortable chairs.
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The alphabet is a sinister but seductive device, one of Satan's dark inventions, this one to sow discord among sinful humans by allowing them an impersonal and perhaps anonymous means of imperfect communication, free from disambiguating and humanizing features such as intonation and facial contact, and thus to multiply the occasions of sin. If you are reading this you have already been corrupted.
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While the bankers and Kochs have pretty much been given free rein over the stuff that actually matters, our political left has chosen to focus on issues of etiquette to assuage hurt feelings.

The doctrine of "sexual objectification" is a perfect example of its divisive and trivial arguments over language, imagery, symbolism, and representation; and how it mistakes these things for things that matter. If I were of a more conspiratorial mindset, I'd suspect this was planned. My opinion is that it also is a perfect example of how people who apparently care about social justice have been distracted by a sexual sideshow while the rich get richer. The more you care about actual social justice, the more contempt you should have for this kind of gestural politics.
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"Privilege" is the new Godwin's Law. It signals the futility of further discussion. The person who invokes the notion has chosen to ignore you, based on who they think you are.
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It is always possible to get people to refrain from their evolved and expected behaviors and obey the program of behavior that the rational planner says will lead to their greater good. It's just a small matter of how much surveillance you want to use, how much fear you want to instil, and how many of them you are willing to kill.

Pour encourager les autres.
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The world predicted by social constructionism would be a creepy world of Stepford Wives. Fortunately, people don't always do what they're told. That, more than anything else, is what makes freedom possible.
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It's ultimately about accepting that evolution is fact.


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