A few days ago, I reblogged a post on Tumblr that read the following:
“honestly tumblr ideological discourse is such a mess, like, a huge section of tumblr is young people being inundated with radical ideas that they’ve never been exposed to before with absolutely no context, and then they’re expected to immediately start pushing these ideas (even though they’re incapable of understanding them because they haven’t been given the framework with which to do so) and it just ends up in a mess of guilt-tripping and increasingly confused ideology”
Clearly this was one of those times where a person’s ability to make a good point is irrespective of their ability to press Shift, so I decided to support it by adding this:
“This is why I avoid subscribing to ANY ideologies so as to not be blinded to other people’s opinions just because said opinions don’t conform to my specific political viewpoints. I’m not “a conservative”, “a liberal”, “a feminist”, nothing. It’s irrelevant to my critical thinking; anyone, even feminists, can be full of shit. I’m just me, and I’m going to make the effort to listen to you before I decide whether or not you’re a moron.”
The point I was trying to make is that if you’re so dedicated the ideas of your favorite political party that you’ve already judged who all your enemies are based on which party they root for (as opposed to what they actually have to say), chances are you’re kind of a dipshit yourself.
There’s a rampant problem in our society today where, most noticeably online, people have decided to start thinking entirely in black-and-white. They’ve decided to save time on listening to alternate perspectives on major issues – especially ones that somehow challenge their own – by using “political labelling” to preemptively deduce who’s not worthy of their attention and who is. It works about as reliably as picking your movies for Netflix and Chill based on which company wrote the subtitles.
Oftentimes they also base it on skin color, “privilege” and gender, but mainly it’s all in the ideology – almost as if they believe that every ideology but theirs is some sort of alien hivemind that assimilates less enlightened humans and renders them unable to offer up unique or insightful thoughts on anything. Although, considering that these guys also think that conforming to the “correct” ideology automatically makes you the GOOD guy and always in the right about stuff, maybe they think they themselves are a hivemind too and are unintentionally onto something when it comes to modern-day politics?
In an age where the Internet allows for anyone to push their beliefs and political labels onto young and impressionable morons across the globe via social media platforms and/or alt-right YouTube rants, intellectual honesty and critical thinking have gone straight to shit. And even as these people get older and more intelligent, some of them will still only allow themselves to truly reflect on ideas or opinions that line up with their own thinking (read: line up with the political “-ism” they’ve been branded with). It also helps if the person is more similar to you (sex, pigment, etc.) because now your opponent is suddenly worth either having a discussion or blindly agreeing with, regardless of the quality of their arguments compared to those of whatever person you decided not to listen to because they accidentally said something mean about Bernie Sanders.
And it is fucking tiresome!
This is one of the biggest reasons I try as hard as I can not to write about politics or even bring it up in the things I do write; I don’t want to end up assigning a label to myself and then actively ignore counterarguments/viewpoints that don’t fit together with my designated worldview, or just come from people who don’t share my tag. This is basically what you do when you make ideologies a part of your identity. It’s a little bit like sports fans who draw conclusions about anyone that cheers for the ostensibly incorrect hockey team. You decide who the villain is based on WHO they vote for without listening to or even thinking about WHY. Not everyone who disagrees with you politically is as malicious as the Nazis, guys, and even then I’d still love to hear the reason someone chooses to be a Nazi.
But this isn’t just about automatically dismissing other people’s insights on a given subject based solely on what their (implied) political orientation is; it’s also about your own opinions. In order to be a critical thinker, you must also be able to be self-critical, and I’m not gonna lie, among the several different ideologists I’ve encountered there are immensely few that seem quite as separated from self-criticism and intellectual honesty as feminists. Or at the very least, some specific types of feminists – coincidentally, often of the kind that do most of their “activism” on this thing called the Internet.
On that note, let me tell you about a Swedish Twitter feminist™ called Lady Dahmer:
You may not have heard of her but here in the land of Vikings she’s a pretty big name in the social justice circles and, depending on who you are, a target of either harassment or minor worship. Me, I never really paid her any mind since she didn’t seem all bad outside of being excessively radical in her feminist rhetoric and sometimes spelling words wrong. However, it was when I happened across a Twitter convo between her and some other users that things got interesting.
One day, Dahmer was doing what she does best and had a heated keyboard fight with another woman about the inherent violence and rape urges of human males, in which Dahmer was purposefully dodging the question about whether or not she thinks that way about her sons (yeah, she got kids, the poor sods). And yet, we’re still not at the best part. The best part was when a male user chimed in and started backing the user Lady Dahmer was arguing with. We now get to what I briefly mentioned earlier about how gender and “privilege” can be other determining factors when people like this hand-pick who to listen to.
Initially, Dahmer didn’t wanna talk to this guy (you starting to see what I’m sayin’?), but after he made a point about the questionability of her assertions and sources, she did respond with something that caught my attention.
I don’t know how common this is in the rest of the world, but amongst the feminists of Sweden, it is intensely popular to accuse all men everywhere of always using so-called “master suppression techniques” when arguing about feminism. One master suppression technique, allegedly, is to “in a manipulative way portray the arguments of, or your opponents themselves, in a ridiculing fashion”. And this, I noticed, is exactly what Dahmer did by opening up her rebuttal with (and I’m paraphrasing and translating roughly here) “Oh but adorable little boy, this has been studied for years-“. Or something like that, I dunno, go run this crap through Google Translate and then come back to me:
Noticing that this looked eerily similar to the kind of shit that feminists normally qualify as “monster’s depression kashyyk” or whatever, I decided to respond to Lady Dahmer with something along the lines of:
“Huh, now that’s funny, I thought the general consensus was that only men employ master suppression techniques”
The result? I got blocked from her account. And then the other guy got blocked too. No counter-argument, no indication that she actually put what I said on her mind, no nothing; just an instant block. Don’t you love how convenient the invention of the “block” button has made it for these people I’m describing to block out facts and criticisms they don’t want to hear and maintain their untarnished self-image? Thanks again, Internet.
How can people expect to be taken seriously when they’re both unable to see themselves as possibly being wrong sometimes and also unwilling to process information that comes from the wrong source, regardless of its actual legitimacy? Instead of blocking me or acting as if what I’m saying is so obviously absurd that it warrants no retort, why not actually prove me wrong? Way to go on seeming like such intelligent feminists, girls. You dipshits are like people who use the word “really” as a punchline. Take it away, Maddox:
Again, it’s true that there are multiple brands of feminism (there’s even such an oxymoronic thing as “conservative feminism”) and that members of one will often criticize another, but they can act hostile and hyper-defensive amongst themselves too. Lady Dahmer has her own idea of what qualifies as “the right type of feminist” and which precise thoughts (or genitals) you need to have before you’re allowed to call yourself one. On several occasions there actually have been other feminists arguing with her on Twitter. The only difference here is that, since most of them are women, Dahmer is more likely to make the effort to counter their points and actually maintain a discussion than she is when it’s men talking to her, regardless of whether said men identify as feminists – Dahmer’s kind or otherwise.
It didn’t take me long to have this epiphany about Dahmer’s selective listening skills, mostly because she has openly stated that she “doesn’t listen to her oppressors”, so I eventually got a pretty funny idea. I thought: what if I were to create a brand new Twitter account, claim to be an overweight woman around Dahmer’s age, assert that I am politically active and an advocate of women’s rights everywhere but in Africa and the Middle East, write a few Tweets and gain a couple followers (Bots or not) so as to seem more legit, seek out Dahmer’s account, and hit her with literally the exact same counter-points that male feminists (or ANY man for that matter) have tried to make her selectively attentive cerebrum process over the years? If I inform her on things that feminists, bless their hearts, actually NEED to start thinking about (such as wage-gap truthers and men being ill-represented in the body-positivity movement), how differently, if at all, do you suppose she would respond if it came from a girl?
Yes, I am seriously contemplating lying about my identity online just to see how an angry Twitter feminist reacts when I provide her with the exact same facts and counter-arguments I’d throw her way even if I wasn’t pretending to have tits and a cunt. I have mastered pettiness. Everybody go home!
A lot of this has to do with emotions and the fact that emotionally charged discussion will often render one or both parties blind to the facts that make them angry – thus facts won’t change their minds. Dahmer doesn’t want to accept whatever helpful or constructive things men have to say because she’s angry at them for all the bad they’ve done to society. And like many others before her, she has found an ideology where assuming that everyone else is wrong by default just because they’re men or just not on the same page as her suddenly sounds justified, and so she feels she’s right to get even angrier when the way that she’s content with processing reality becomes challenged by research, critique or even the most basic common sense – that’s just “sexism” and “ignorance” now.
I am reminded of a similar case during which I came across an equally angry and sanctimonious feminist at the local pub. She loudly made the claim that “men aren’t capable of anything”, her primary evidence being how badly other groups have fared under the rules of white males (such as Wu Zetian and Ranavalona I) throughout history.
Noting that she immediately started turning down many if not all counter-arguments to that statement, mainly those that came from men, I decided not to say anything then and there. Although I did gain the inspiration for the following Tweet which, hopefully, helps illustrate why the claim that men have historically never been capable of “anything” (sic) may not hold that much water:
I know that this isn’t exactly unique to politics and that it shows up in emotionally charged discussions in general. Both parties in such a debate can feel so at peace with their respective ways of seeing the world, as well as safe amongst their like-minded peers, that thinking logically about alternate worldviews is the last thing they wanna do. One of the greatest examples is debates about religion, because really, when you have subscribed to a mindset that sways you into believing you’re gonna be sent to some sort of eternal paradise when all of this is over, why WOULD you willingly take in counter-points and scientific evidence that point AGAINST the possibility of such a thing existing?
And yes, I’ll be honest about it: as an atheist, I am often quick to judge someone who describes themselves as a Christian or a Muslim or any other favorite religion of mine to mercilessly make fun of. However, unlike people (often religious) who disregard all facts provided to them by anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs in God, I always try to make the effort to at least listen to what religious people have to say, in spite of what a rarity it is to find a Christian who believes that gays shouldn’t marry while simultaneously believing something that isn’t incredibly fucking stupid.
Bear in mind, I’m not trying to make the case that everyone who has a definitive idea of which ideologies and politics they like loses their capacity to think critically about the world, as opposed to having predisposed ideas of who’s wrong and who’s right and avoiding any scientific data that shatters their illusion of being on the superiorly enlightened side. I do, on the other hand, believe that it’s common enough to talk about, because this is how many of you “activists” out there are like. It’s tough shit if you don’t like it, but if you feel as if my words have somehow ruined the image you have of yourself and those around you, you can just pretend you never read this and act as if my writing it never happened. Oh and block my ass on all your social networks just to be completely safe!
Bottom line: people who have too much politics to worry about are not gonna listen to you unless you share their exact thoughts and they most likely think too highly of themselves to somehow change their ways of thinking on their own. And no, they’re probably still not listening even if they don’t block you on Twitter straight away.
Basically, I’m right and you’re all fucking idiots who are blind one way or another. Or am I? Maybe I’m not? But then again, maybe I am? Think about that for a while before you comment, will ya?
That’s enough for one day. Until next time, always know where your towel is.