Hey, guys! Look at me, I’m shaking it up. We have video links now! The budget for this blog is off the charts.
This is Tori. I usually like her channel. I find her an intelligent and well spoken person for the most part, though we disagree on many things. This is one of the things we disagree on apparently, and it baffles me because she delves into total irrationality that is not very characteristic of her in this video. I don’t want to act like this video is representative of her as a person, because I don’t think it is (she herself calls it a rant after all), but how someone whose usually so open-minded about things can just slam down a brick wall immediately like this is odd to me. So here’s my response to her lambasting me and my anti-sjw peeps for pretty much being sociopaths. ‘Cause you know that’s the case, right?
I want to talk about a criticism that people involved with social justice get a lot: That we care too much about people’s feelings. . . . This is an interesting criticism to me because it pretty blatantly reveals the priorities of our detractors. On the whole these people aren’t focused on making the world or people’s lives any better, they’re focused on themselves.
And right out of the gate, you totally missed the point! Yay! Now, I will be the first to say that social justice warriors care too much about people’s feelings because I think that that is the truth of the matter. When you have “safe spaces” set up with bubbles and stuffed animals and puppies for grown ass adults who don’t want to hear an opinion that they don’t agree with and go so far as to label it as harassment solely because they don’t agree with it, you care too much about people’s feelings. (I’m talking about an incident a while ago talked about in the New York Times where a college wanted to cancel a speech on gender in America that would be critical of the idea of rape culture because they saw it as harassment towards survivors of rape, and when that didn’t happen, they set up the aforementioned bubble party instead to help people who were traumatized by the horror of having to endure someone questioning their ideology.)
And I also would say that it blatantly reveals the priorities of your detractors, but I don’t see how “You care about feelings too much” blatantly points to “I’m a selfish dick who doesn’t care about you or your feelings!” I don’t see how that is the connection you made. If anything, the only blatant thing it says about the anti-sjw mentality is that it doesn’t see feelings as a valid means of criticism or a valid thing to found a movement on. As Chris Hitchens once was egregiously paraphrased: “When someone tells me ‘I’m offended!’ I say ‘I’m still waiting to hear what your point is.’ Being offended is not an argument.”
That’s what I think. It’s not that I don’t care about feelings, it’s just that I don’t think feelings should be what we base ideas around. A good example is all of the hullabaloo about rape cases in America where feminists started coming out of the woodwork to say that we should always believe a rape accusation no matter what and treat the accused person like a rapist before any proof comes out or even if proof comes out pointing to their innocence because, if we don’t do that, rape victims will feel bad. Well, I’m sorry if you feel bad, but that shouldn’t have some huge affect on how we make laws or how we societally perceive “justice.”
Another thing that I’m sure an sjw would actually agree with me on: I’m against the death penalty. I’m against the death penalty for the same reason that I’m against many an sjw antic: It’s all about feelings. It doesn’t deter violent crimes at all (just ask Texas), it hurts innocent people sometimes, and it costs a lot to maintain despite not being in any way effective at doing what it’s supposed to do. But fuck it! We feel bad because bad things happened, and someone’s gonna pay for it now! It’s all about people feeling bad.
I don’t go out of my way to hurt people’s feelings. It’s not like I’m anti-sjw because I just love getting under people’s skin and making them feel bad. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, and I’m not wholly apathetic to how people feel. Feelings are what distinguish us from lesser animals; I like them a lot. I’m anti-sjw not because I don’t care or am actively malicious but because I think that basing arguments around something as subjective as feelings doesn’t help objective reality. Feelings can be an element of your argument, of course, we’re not emotionless robots that should only be appealed to through reason and nothing else. But when they start dominating the majority of your rhetoric, that’s going too far. It’s like the whole “Women are afraid to walk by themselves at night.” thing that apparently proves we have a rape culture even though that fear in no way matches the reality of the situation that men are the ones more likely to be hurt walking by themselves at night than women. But since women feel like they’re less safe, it must be a problem. It’s like that faulty “1 in 6” college girls will be raped statistic that hits you right in the feels because it sounds bad, so they keep using it, even though it’s ridiculously overinflated and proven to be ridiculously overinflated. Feelings often do not coincide with the reality of the situation, and when you focus on them, you’re not focusing on the reality of the situation anymore.
And what’s with the whole “You don’t care about making the world a better place, you just care about you” talk? Where in the hell did that even come from? I genuinely do not understand how she made this leap in logic. If anything, our ideas of what helps society don’t line up. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care about making the world a better place. That just means that we don’t agree on what things specifically will make the world better. I personally do not think that the social justice mentality will make the world a better place. I think it would make the world a worse place and turn us into a nanny-state that infantilizes its populace, and that’s why I don’t like it. If I thought it would make the world better, I wouldn’t be against it. What, do you think I’m actively against stuff that I know will make things better because I’m just that much of a dick? No. Of course not. I do not think that what social justice warriors are doing is a good thing. That’s not to say that I’m against social justice. That’s one of the problems with this argument. It equates the general idea with people, so if you’re against the people, well, you must be against the idea too. I’m all for social justice. I’m just against how the typical social justice warrior (which is a very particular breed of social justice activist–there are lots of activists who I like because they avoid the sjw pit fall) goes about trying to achieve social justice.
But obviously we can’t always make sure that people aren’t offended by anything we say. And, in my opinion, sometimes people are offended by stupid things. So in my opinion, deciding what things are problematic based off of what offends people isn’t very helpful.
But for me, being politically correct. And, let me just say, that I hate that term because it was invented by the right wing media as a means of trivializing people calling out bad behavior.
Doesn’t mean it’s not a useful term. Douchebags make helpful terminology all the time, and “politically correctness” may reek of right wing bigotry to you, but that in no way invalidates it as a term in of itself.
For me, being politically correct or non-problematic isn’t about not offending people, but it’s about not perpetuating bad ideas.
And . . . this is where you lose me. Well, you lost me way before this, but this is a very objectionable statement. “Political correctness” and “not perpetuating bad ideas” have the same relationship as “the law” and “what’s morally right.” They coincide sometimes, but definitely not all the time. It’s the Javert problem: To be lawful or to be right? It’s the social justice warrior problem: To be politically correct or to be right? “Political correctness,” definitionally would just mean “engaging in things with tact.” I’m all for tact. But, in practice, that’s not what political correctness entails. Political correctness often entails just not talking about stuff that should probably be talked about because talking about them “perpetuates bad ideas.” Political correctness makes it pretty much impossible for someone to say “Hey, I think you’re wrong about this.” or “I think you’re being hyperbolic.” or “I think you’re over-reacting.” because political correctness isn’t about intellectual integrity, it’s about making people feel good.
You’re not allowed to tell the black Harvard student who thinks that racism is rampant on her campus because people look at her weird sometimes, which must be because she’s black, that she’s over-reacting and seeing racism where maybe that isn’t the first conclusion she should be coming to. You’re not allowed to question whether or not rape culture is a valid idea. You’re not allowed to talk about the gray area of alcohol and sexual interaction. You’re not allowed to espouse pro-life sentiments. You’re not allowed to say that maybe black people have a few things that they can improve on as a cultural group too, and that it’s not just white people doing bad things. You’re not allowed to say, “Being gender queer and transexual at the same time is confusing because if gender is fluid why is gender also so important to you that you’re trans?” You’re not allowed to ask what transitioning is like for a trans person. You’re not allowed to do any of those things because those are all “problematic” and probably some kind of ____ist. And we’re not required to be educators, but sit down and stfu while we talk at you about our problems that you can’t question or comment on at all because it’s our turn to speak now.
That ^ is political correctness. How does wanting to actually talk about what constitutes rape perpetuate bad ideas again? Because I was told to my face by a teacher freshman year that asking questions about sexual consent when alcohol was involved was problematic and victim-blamey. (For the record, my question was: “It confuses me how you can say that after a girl has had X number of drinks than she’s incapable of giving consent, because lots of girls can hold their alcohol perfectly well, and lots of girls still give genuine sexual consent even when drunk. So saying that a drunk girl is incapable of giving consent is odd, especially in situations where the guy is also drunk.”) That was an unacceptable point to make, apparently.
Bad ideas are things like stereotypes that disproportionally increase the incarceration rates for certain groups of people. . . . Bad ideas are things like slurs that can perpetuate the marginalization of certain groups of people.
My response would be “Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason.” And while, yes, it’s important to acknowledge that they are indeed generalizations that don’t apply to entire groups of people (which is where many people fail and become “problematic”), the stereotype in of itself can be helpful. The human ability to generalize has it’s downsides, but it’s ultimately there because it’s conductive to survival. Stereotyping is what tells you to not tell people that you’re gay when you go down to rural Appalachia and run out of gas on a back road. Stereotyping is what tells minorities to avoid people who look like skin heads. I also feel inclined to point out the social justice hypocrisy of preaching against stereotypes of minority groups even though social justice warriors seem to love to perpetuate the “violent male” and “helpless woman” stereotype or the “evil white person” and “ignorant minority who just don’t know no better” stereotype. Generalizations are awesome when they’re not about you/help you out, right?
Also, I don’t see how political correctness really helps with actual _____isms. You say it’s about not perpetuating bad ideas, but how is just not allowing certain things helping, really? If someone is racist, well they’re not going to say a slur around you because they know better, but that doesn’t stop them from being racist. If someone disagrees with an opinion that you hold but doesn’t give voice to what they think, they don’t stop disagreeing with you, you just aren’t given the chance to hear what they have to say. And if you’re going to say “Ah, but political correctness helps people to listen and learn, so they don’t have to speak.” As it turns out, it’s really hard to outright change someone’s mind when they’re not allowed to actually talk about stuff. If an idea can’t be debated, it’s hard to be swayed from it one way or the other. Also, as I pointed out before, I don’t understand how many “problematic” things are even problematic.
No one is going to single-handedly change the world, but by taking your single slice of the world seriously, you’re doing something pretty decent for it.
What makes you think that people who aren’t social justice warriors don’t take the world seriously? What, they don’t take it seriously because they don’t go out of their way to make sure that what they’re doing isn’t problematic? What makes you think that they don’t try to be good, nice people to those around them. What makes you think that they don’t try to contribute to something that they think is bad? I know that I try to be one of the “lead by example” types by not doing what I spout on the internet about being bad. I stay away from “black events” on my campus because, if I’m going to hang out with you, it will be as a person, not as a black person. I refuse race and gender based scholarships even though many are offered to me and many would help me because I don’t think that they’re fair. I think scholarships should be based on merit and income.
More women go to college and teach at college, so it’s not like being a woman in academia is hard, and affirmative action officially disadvantages white people at this point. I at least think that, if we’re going to have them, we should have more arbitrary scholarships like “Green Eyes” and “Curly Hair.” I’ll happily take a scholarship for poor people though. I do take my world seriously and care very much about maintaining my personal integrity on the matters that I think are important. And the assumption that I don’t just because I don’t follow the same guidelines as you is ridiculous. It’s along the same lines as a fundamentalist Christian looking down their nose at Buddhist as someone who doesn’t take life seriously. Ivory tower much?
Here’s another criticism: the whole “why is this important when people are starving in [insert country here] argument.
I would agree. I hate this argument. I think it’s stupid and unhelpful. People can only care about so many things at one time, and it generally suits you better to care about things that are immediately relevant to you. The plights of people in a completely different country typically are not. If you do choose to care about those places, more power to you. It’s a difficult thing to do. I’m sure there are plenty of anti-sjw’s out there who use this argument like an ace in the hole, and I don’t think they’re helping. I don’t think many of them really care about the plight of other countries, just like most people don’t care about it. Even sjw’s don’t really care about it half the time. (Can you really tell me that you were deeply invested in Africa’s health care system before Ebola became relevant news in America, people who were shaming everyone for only caring about Africa when it was relevant?)
That being said, when I bring up the plight of people in other countries, it’s not to ask “Why do you care about Z, when X is happening in India right now?” I bring up plights of other countries in order to shed light on something resembling relativity. I bring up the genuinely misogynistic ideals of many men in, say, Saudi Arabia, when talking about feminism in order to point out how they probably shouldn’t be throwing the word “misogyny” around to describe a homeless man calling a passing woman “Beautiful” when she walks down the street. I bring up the genuinely fascists government mandates of Egypt when talking about race riots in America to point out that maybe you shouldn’t be acting like you’re in a race war where you have no power at all even when your city is practically run by people of your race, voted in by you and supporting your actions (looking at you, Baltimore). I bring up the situation in Ukraine where people are actively disgusted by handicapped people to the point of not helping someone in a wheelchair onto a bus because “fuck that no-walking freak” in order to point out how maybe using the word “retarded” to mean “stupid” because word meanings change and depend upon context isn’t a slur the same way calling someone who is actually handicapped “retarded” is a slur.
I bring these foreign situations up not to ask you why you don’t do something about those things instead. I know you can’t do anything about something happening across the ocean. I bring them up as a means of pointing out how hyperbolic to the point of counter-productiveness your rhetoric has become. How hyperbolic to the point of insult your rhetoric has become. It diminishes your entire cause. It makes the larger problems seem less important. I’m not even saying the problems social justice warriors bring up aren’t bad. Maybe they are. Maybe they could stand to be fixed. Everything can be improved somehow. But to take a magazine ad that shows too much of a woman’s breasts and call that misogyny; to totally ignore that homeless people are the demographic most abused by police in America, not blacks, just so you can spout rhetoric about how we’re in a race war. Doing stuff like that diminishes your entire point because it makes those harsh, sounding scary words mean nothing after a while. If everything is racist. And if everything is misogynist. And everything is ableist. And everything is homophobic. And there’s no distinction made in how you talk about it, soon those words grow to mean nothing. They turn into simple buzz words that you can no longer use to gage the seriousness of a situation because they’re used o describe everything. It’s an insult to people who have experienced actual misogyny to take magazine ads you don’t like and treat them with your rhetoric like they’re commensurate to women not being able to go outside without a man. When you use hyperbolic rhetoric, that’s what you do. I’m not trying to “derail” the issue. I’m trying to get you to acknowledge that every issue falls on a gradient, and maybe if your issue is dark gray, you shouldn’t talk about it like it’s the deepest of blacks. Dark gray is still bad. But it’s not the same thing.
That’s not to say what you’re talking about isn’t an issue. That’s not to say that no improvement can be made. But you have to look at it with perspective. If the issue is not a mountain, don’t treat it like a fucking mountain. Regard the problems with the level of severity that they actually are. When you make it seem like a bigger problem than it is by using buzz words that don’t really fit but “get people talking,” you’re once again not dealing with the actual issue. You’re dealing with the shadowy ghost of the issue that you made yourself because the shadow is so often scarier than the real thing. You are not living in a misogynist totalitarian regime a-la The Handmaiden’s Tale, and acting like you are doesn’t do much to address the real problems that still exist. You are not living in 1930s Arkansas, and acting like you are doesn’t solve police brutality. As it turns out, when you make something into some huge Boogeyman of a problem, people expect a huge Boogeyman of a problem, and when that’s not what they find, they’re kind of at a loss of how to deal with it. And even worse, it makes the actual problems harder to solve because “Well, we didn’t find that huge Racist/Sexist Boogeyman that you said was looming over everyone all the time, so that must mean that there are no problems!”
I do think that there are issues that are non-issues. And it annoys me when people focus on things that are of no consequence.
That really is the bottom line here. These people who are so ardently opposed to social justice don’t care about making the world any better. They don’t care about issues that they use to derail conversations. These people don’t give a damn about other people. They don’t care about issues that matter, really. And that’s why you don’t see me giving them the benefit of the doubt. Because they don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. And it would be a waste of my time. A complete and utter lack of empathy is not to be respected, and I don’t respect it.
Well, that’s sad, because I respect you. I respect what you’re trying to do, even if I think the social justice warrior mindset in counter-productive and dogmatic at times. I listen to your points. I even agree with some of them. But my disagreeing with how to go about things apparently makes me an utter sociopath unworthy of even being heard out this one time.
I don’t ascribe to social justice warrior tenants because I think they’re harmful. I don’t think that they help those who need help. I think they perpetuate problems. I think the identity politics of social justice warrior-ism is utterly counter productive because it further divides people along race lines and gender lines and sexuality lines and what have you. It’s separatist, tells one group of people to sit down and shut up and not to question anything because they’re tainted by the original sin of having the same skin tone or genitalia as wrong-doers in the past. It makes it seem like arbitrary differences are insurmountable. It attaches identities to labels and ideologies so whenever that ideology is questioned people feel like it’s an attack on them. It infantalizes people. It has impossible, ever-changing standards that no one can live up to, and then turns around and says that those standards should only apply to certain groups. I don’t think it helps. I don’t.
And I do care about making the world better. You know how I try to make the world better? I try to treat people how they deserve to be treated. Hell, when I graduate, do you know what I want to do? I want to help develop low income communities by providing them with more opportunities for social growth and self-improvement. You know, college pamphlets next to the cash register in liquor stores, better job and school resources, bright murals to dissuade gang violence, educational resources to help people with mental illnesses so often ignored or stigmatized in low-income settings, helping people take classes in prison to discourage toxic prison cultures. Those kinds of things. But I don’t care about other people. I don’t want to make the world better. I’m just selfish and have no empathy for the plights of other human beings.
And if you think this whole not caring thing is cool, if you are into romanticizing apathy to be cool and edgy . . . I’m done with that. I am not wasting my time.
I guess I won’t waste my time either.
See you later, guys.