Thursday, December 28, 2017

Guest Post: "The Seeds of Social Justice"

The following is a guest post by Γ1, based on her observations of public high school status hierarchies.

Over the years of my educational career, I’ve seen a lot of stuff. Cloistered, as I am, in the lovely town of [Lilly-white Φ-ville], my experience is admittedly limited in certain regards but I’ve been treated to the general picture, albeit gentrified. Seeing as I myself am somewhat of an observer of trends, these years have allowed me to analyze how upper middle class children grow up. I’ve watched as the minds of my peers were carefully cultivated into political correctness and I’ve watched as the dissidents attempted (poorly I might add) to break free of it. Looking back on what I’ve been through so far, it’s amusing to see how things have panned out.

Of course the most obvious and perhaps the most depressing thing to watch is how true the things my father told me turned out to be. As a homeschooler, I couldn’t believe that people could spend so much time on diversity, an entity held up as an idol for many of these people. Yet, as I sat through one English class after another on how evil white people were, I began to accept my fate. Every single one of my classmates ate it up without issue and any and all attempts at questioning this narrative were largely silenced. Whether that was through my own inability to articulate my points or my teacher’s loyalty to the agenda, I’ll never know.

Throughout the next four years, I continued to be treated a wonderful selection of anti-white propaganda wherever it could be squeezed in. Whether it was English where almost every book was another attempt to browbeat us into submission, or it was History, where we must have learned about slavery a dozen times as well as a smattering of other instances of white’s oppressing one group or another, there was plenty of progressive narrative to go around. I spoke out where I could, against mass immigration, against diversity, and against whatever new thing we were expected to swallow. For the most part however, I kept my head down.

I was quite interested in not ending up as an unmentionable, after all.

Instead of railing against the status quo, I observed. Due to the type of school I attend, politics is a very real thing that people care about. We are, after all, the one percent. Thanks to the accomplishments of our parents, we can spend less time avoiding being murdered in gang warfare and more time talking about the failures of the latest political figure. Seeing as my ideas weren’t truly formed yet as well as not exactly being PC, I didn’t try to engage with many of my peers. I did however listen to them. The split within my grade was almost comical in its clarity.

The jocks were the stupid republicans who had no idea what they were on about. This was okay, naturally, because they were the jocks and people tolerated them, much like one tolerates a stupid, yet adorable pet. The kind that runs into walls and is slightly cross-eyed.

The popular, yet more artistically minded people were without fail the cool liberals who were obviously more reasonable than those jocks. They weren’t too annoying, until election time rolled around and they felt like everyone needed to hear their opinion of the world. Generally though, they were able to expel much of their teenage angst through expressive paintings and the drama club.

As you strayed from the sphere of popularity, you found the more normal, middling sort of children. As the majority, these were the people who knew enough to not talk politics because why would anyone listen? You could never be quite sure about those people and they’d often abstain from discussions to maintain that image. It was a survival tactic in and of itself and if one got too far out of line, they tended to be excommunicated swiftly and silently. Cruel, but I respect the skill. Of course, there were tells, but in the end they were a pretty even split, with friend groups being mixed crowds of moderates that weren’t into politics enough to care yet or were at least determined to appear that way.

Then there were the very bottom crowd. The dregs if you will. Those who were either not cool enough to make it into a better spot on the social ladder or those that, in an attempt to be hipster, abstained from a spot on the ladder altogether. This, unfortunately, was where I was.

Of course I can’t complain, I chose to be there intentionally. I was almost recruited by several groups when I first got to school, including both sides of the popular crowd. At the time however, I didn’t understand the opportunities being offered to me so I stayed away. I didn’t want the social responsibilities that came with popularity and ended up compromising on political hegemony. But these are, as they say, the breaks.

For the most part, the people who I called my friends didn’t care about politics. They were too busy trying to kill themselves to care who was the current party in power. Uncharitable, yes, but accurate nonetheless. Up until eighth grade, I never heard word one about politics from any of them. The massive coalition of people that formed what I considered a decent group to be around. The nerds who would eventually split off, the losers, who somehow managed to stick around, and the hipsters, who made up the central tenant of people, all of these people were what I called friends.

And then eighth grade rolled around and boy, did I not see it coming.

Suddenly people started caring about politics. The gamers and the nerds mostly spilt off at this point, probably uninterested in anything but their video games and honors math classes. Those who were left over, the hipsters and the losers, who eventually became one and the same (there’s probably a lesson to be had there…), were almost entirely liberal. But they weren’t just liberal, no, they were Socialist or Communist or even, and there were only a few of these, Anarchists. They never bothered to argue topics of the day, no, all these bourgeois children cared to discuss was the plight of the working class, a section of society they had only ever seen through the tinted windows of their mother’s newest Volvo.

This was something I endured, mostly because it was amusing. I never imagined that all these ridiculous ideologies that never worked anyway, would actually continue to hold sway over people that I had up until then believed to be logical and cynical. Naturally, I had underestimated the power of wealthy idiocy.

Because as everyone knows, it’s always the rich people who are the craziest. They can afford to be.

But I didn’t have to deal with much of it because I left and thus was removed from the heart of this insanity. As I continue to keep in contact with these people however, while at the same time becoming increasingly more aware of the state of our society, particularly the Social Justice movement, I notice a terrifying trend.

Those kids that I had left had now become, without exception, Social Justice Warriors. The indoctrination started young and it started slow but it started under my nose nonetheless. Like the creep of parasitic vines along a healthy tree, the roots of regressive leftism slowly worked their way into those kids I once called my friends.

At the bottom, they had, or at least believed they had, nothing to make them different or special. It was in the fabled eighth grade that it started. One of my friends came out as gay. No one saw it coming, but it heralded a greater movement. Little by little the rot started creeping in. That’s when the socialists and the commies showed up but at the same time, many of the girls started identifying as feminists. Then a large figure of the coalition of losers came out as polyamorous and pansexual before starting to date a girl. Others suddenly realized they were Trans and by the time I was leaving to be homeschooled again, they had just welcomed in the only fat black girl of our school into their fold.

It took me a year to realize what they had become, but then I was seeing it. A group of people who used to be the losers, were suddenly known as the people who, given the opportunity, would rant on about the oppression inherent in the system till your ears fell off. It was horrifying and a miracle that I survived at all.

As I look over it, it occurs to me that I bore witness to something that is often overlooked. While fingers can be pointed at the school system for brainwashing the children, that isn’t exactly the whole story. It starts with the kids who don’t know how to stand out in a socially acceptable way. As they attempt to fit that weirdness into something a little more acceptable, they find things like the LGBTQ+ spectrum and Feminism, things that allow them to be different. Suddenly, celebrated by the popular liberals who want to say the right things so they can continue to be the in crowd, these former losers discover how far you can get just by believing in a certain thing. This leads them to turn these identities into personalities. The fact that the stupid dumb I can’t believe they even manage to be popular jocks make fun of them only strengthens their belief that they’re doing the right thing. By the end, they’ve learned to turn oppression into currency and acceptance into a weapon.

Now I don’t pretend to know how to stop this. Heck, I probably don’t even fully understand how it happens. In Lilywhitevill where nothing bad ever happens, I can only see my school. But for what I can see, I can guarantee that this is how it happens. How the losers find somewhere to belong in the Cult of Social Justice.

I’m honestly just glad I survived.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Random Thoughts on Weinsteingate

I must confess that, while reading SSC's post on Overgendering Harassment, to having a what-was-he-wearing reaction to the problem of female-on-male sexual harassment along the lines I have written about here, for instance. This isn't to say that I think specific cases are funny or sexy; on the contrary, the account of one of Scott's commenters is genuinely harrowing. But it's rather like listening to someone complain how awful the jetlag is on their annual vacation to Maui: dude, you have an annual vacation to Maui? I managed to provoke almost zero interest, even from unattractive girls, until age 27, and even today, my median social experience with women-not-my-wife is passing them in the hallway as they decline to make so much as eye contact. Now I will admit that I should be more comfortable than I tend to be with my mix of trade-offs; after all, my romantic life eventually turned out well, with a happy marriage to a loving and faithful woman. But let me turn the question around: which of these male victims would trade places with me: no sexual harassment, and also no dating, let alone sex, for ten years after high school, during which you will have no assurance that things will ever get better?

For that matter, I suppose I could ask female victims of harassment the same question. And I understand that there are good reasons why the psychic toll of sexual harassment is greater on the median woman than it is on the median man. But, what if her ratio of wanted and unwanted sexual interest were fixed, and she could only control the overall frequency. Would she really pick zero of both?

It is satisfying to see high-profile Democrats (suddenly) held to the same standards that the rest of us have been living under for 25 years. That doesn't change the fact that those standards are mostly stupid. They were stupid at Tailhook and the Clarence Thomas hearings, and they are stupid today.

The conduct at issue the last couple of months is all over the severity map. On the one extreme we have Weinstein and Conyers, who (it is alleged) backed up their appetites with an elaborate system of rewards and punishments, blackmail and payoff. In the middle we have Spacey and the Frankengroper, who, at a minimum, assumed far more than was warranted about their own attractiveness; and, at maximum, committed assault. But by the time we get to, say, Garrison Keillor, I don't actually have a problem with imposing the burden on women (or men) to say, "please don't do that". But unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), Weinsten's Caligula-level depravity anchored the issue in the public mind. So now all of them are having their statues pulled down, their parks and schools renamed.

We might have hoped for a new consensus: "zero-tolerance for sexual assault" is to apply a dumb-as-rocks policy to a weaselly category. But that doesn't look very likely at present.