06.04.16

A thought-provoking article – Privilege and Prejudice: Social Justice in an Age of Male Confusion

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~ by Andrew on April 6, 2016.

6 Responses to “06.04.16”

  1. I have numerous problems with that article, but this isn’t really the best place to elaborate on them substantively . Primarily, the idea that these movements – MRAs, Gamergate, the Dark Enlightenment*, The Alt-Right, Cultural Libertarians, whatever they call themselves at this moment – are assumed by the author to be everything they claim to be, champions of free speech and rational thinking. When in reality, they are at the very least guilty of every crime the forces they profess to oppose are. They despise open debate and difference of opinion and are driven primarily by anger and self-righteousness. They don’t bring facts to discussions, they bring pitchfork-wielding mobs, naked hostility and their own jargon and buzzwords. The line between what behaviour is an isn’t cenosrious has become beyond blurry in today’s world, but whatever sins the left supposedly commit in attacking free speech and expression, these angry dudes also happily commit when it suits their purposes. This is immediately clear from even a cursory glance at any environment where these groups thrive, and I’m slightly dumbfounded at the impression the author seems to have come away with. If your idea of intelligent, fact-driven and open discussion that supports freedom of expression resembles the movements that favour Chan Ops or YouTube channels that have cottoned on to the fact that pandering to reactionaries will get them mad clicks, discussion kind of becomes impossible on an axiomatic level.

    I agree that shunning the young men who go on to make up these movements causes problems, but unfortunately there isn’t, to my mind, an easy solution. It seems callous in the extreme to tell the targets of racist, sexist or whateverist behaviour that 100% of the effort for instilling a basic sense of empathy in the people who would do them harm lies on their shoulders. I personally try to strike a balance between being empathic to the real problems of young men and letting them know what kind of stuff is Not On, but there’s really only so much you can tell someone they’re wrong without making them feel bad.

    I also agree that we must always be willing to be critical of ourselves, but that’s its own reward, really. The idea that we should do so lest YouTube shoutymen dismantle us with their devastating rationality and charming British accents is more than a bit laughable.

    This comment has gone on way longer than I thought and it only begins to really cover all my feelings. Which is fair, whatever my concerns with the article it’s long-multifaceted and well-written. I’d be happy to discuss this with you IRL!

    *They coined this themselves this, by the way, it was not a slur.

    • This post is a panoply of typos and it fills me with shame.

    • I am glad to have provoked some thoughts! As always I am extremely concerned that linking the article implies some form of endorsement, when in fact many of my thoughts align with yours. We should totally talk about it sometime. I linked it because it was confronting and pushed a lot of sore spots for me, and they’re usually the things I like sharing the most. If I read an article and agree with it, I usually ignore it. I don’t know what that says about me, but anyway…

      As you know, I have deep concerns for the Left, but it is only because I love it so much and want it to succeed. I do have concerns, particularly when the division between “hateful” speech and “harmful” speech seems to be erased. And I also think that, as you say, there is a problem here with no easy solution – unfortunately, the alt-right ARE providing what SOUNDS like an easy solution, and I wish that there were a way to dissuade them using existing language within the Left, but I don’t think there is one.

      The biggest jimmy-rustler from the article was when he talked about prison. Way to miss the point, ffs.

      I guess it’s the contradiction between how “white dudes” as a group do need less attention, but in trying to enact this it is entirely imaginable that certain individuals suffer.

  2. I probably should have found a way to make clear that my issues lie with the article and not with you posting the article or that I think you must serve as the avatar for Mr Loki, the perils of online communications!

    • I mean, the constructive thing to do would be to post my opinions directly where the author would see them instead of here, but there are two things that prevent me from doing so:

      1) I lack confidence in my ability to intelligently express my ideas. It’s one thing when I’m posting in the comments of a blog run by this cool guy I know, less so when it’s in the domain of strangers.

      2) Even when I’m supremely confident I’m on the side of angels in these kinds of discussion, I find them really unpleasant. I often end up feeling intensely agitated and distracted.

      If it helps, I do think you’re a good example of the actual kind of person who is able to entertain controversial ideas in a respectful way, and that it reflects well on you!

      • As I have related to you in the past, I fucking thrive on internet conflict; I would get it delivered in an IV bag if I could.

        We should talk about it, then we can make a joint comment!

        And for the record, you should feel far more confident in your ability to express your ideas. You are coming through loud and clear from my perspective, and I always appreciate your comments for being intelligent and well thought-out.

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