Posts Tagged ‘feminism

You get your own vote but not your own reality

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If you run a blog, it might be a good idea to ban discussion of certain topics, especially ones that quickly bore most readers and drive the rest to pointless acrimony.  You might prohibit debate over voting strategy if you want to avoid constant shouting matches about Ralph Nader.

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville, on the other hand, prohibits these shouting matches with more muddled reasoning:

Voting for a candidate in one of the two major parties is a legitimate choice. Voting against a candidate in one of the two major parties is a legitimate choice. Strategically voting for a third party candidate in a decidedly blue or red state is a legitimate choice. Voting for a third party candidate in a swing state is a legitimate choice. Not voting is a legitimate choice.

Some of these choices are ones I can imagine making; some of them are not. That does not mean they are not legitimate choices for individual voters to make with their votes. Period.

This doesn’t mean anything!  Of course a choice is “legitimate” in the sense that it is legal and physically possible to make.  But if you have a goal in mind (say, moving the country to the left), then some choices are wrong.  Voting Republican, for example, will almost certainly be ineffective at reaching that goal.  You might think voting straight-ticket Democrat will get you there, or you might have a longer-term strategy involving third parties, but these are competing hypotheses about reality, so at least one of them is wrong.  If you want a certain policy enacted, there may be an objectively optimal way to vote, even if it’s sometimes difficult to discover it in practice.

This difficulty is one of the reasons for discussing voting strategy.

Admittedly, this argument only works if you care more about increasing your chances of getting a good government than avoiding a feeling of disgust as you leave the voting booth.)


Written by pinkocrat

November 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm

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Conservatives understand the stakes of gay marriage

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Social conservatives are naturally inclined to portray evolution as revolution, but they’re substantially correct about same-sex marriage.  Rhetoric like “It doesn’t effect your marriage” suggests gay marriage is just a minor legal tweak, when it’s more like one victory in an ongoing gender revolution.  I broadly agree with NRO’s Dennis Prager in his response to Republican Jon Huntsman’s recent endorsement of marriage equality:

I believe that the ultimate aim of the LGBT movement and the rest of the cultural Left is nothing less than to end gender distinctions.

It’s obviously a generalization that ignores a lot of gay/trans/feminist infighting, but yes, leftists generally do think most gender distinctions are pointless and poisonous.  But these intuitions are so deep that we’re baffled when conservatives say things like:

…the consequences of redefining marriage — asking children if they hope to marry a boy or a girl when they get older, banning religious adoption agencies from placing children first with a married man and woman, denying the importance of both sexes in making families, choosing boys to be high-school prom queens and girls to be high-school prom kings, and much more…

we think, “Do they realize how ridiculous that sounds?”  And the answer is no, they don’t, because it isn’t ridiculous to them.  Any major change in marriage–and officially declaring that gender is irrelevant is a major change–is a potential threat to the institution.  As Jennifer Thieme at the Christian Post puts it:

Gay marriage does not exist as a stand-alone policy issue.  Nor is it a conservative issue, because it requires the natural family to be dismantled at the level of public policy. True conservatives support limited government, and they understand that there are other institutions which serve to limit government power. Two of these institutions are the natural family and religion.

There’s truth here.  Families, churches, and the state provide overlapping economic goods: healthcare, food, housing and job training.  That means a larger state can make traditional family roles less important.

I think gender-role-based nuclear families unfairly task husbands with being sole “providers”and make wives into dependent unpaid laborers, and I’d feel more economically secure getting welfare from a legally accountable bureaucracy that doesn’t get frustrated if I don’t want to have sex or go to church.  Same-sex marriage to me is the culmination of decades of feminist work to build relationships on joy rather than economic obligation.  But if you like the old model, it’s a nightmare.

Written by pinkocrat

March 4, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Three reasons feminism is in my self-interest

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1)  I don’t want to live in a shitbag world of murder, terrorism, and arbitrarily stunted lives.  Misogyny is an antihuman malignancy to which feminism is the cure.

2) The feminist critique of masculinity frees me to express the full range of human emotions without fear.

3) Feminism doubles the number of my potential friends and allies.  Women are not an alien race I lust after but contemn; they’re people.  This makes the world a lot less frightening.

Written by pinkocrat

January 17, 2013 at 4:55 am

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A feminist Titanic would have enough lifeboats

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Emily Esfahani Smith at The Atlantic writes:

Feminists want men to treat women as equals; traditionalists want men to treat women like ladies. Are the two mutually exclusive?

Chivalry is about respect. It is about not harming or hurting others, especially those who are more vulnerable than you. It is about putting other people first and serving others often in a heroic or courageous manner. It is about being polite and courteous. In other words, chivalry in the age of post-feminism is another name we give to civility.

This is not true. It doesn’t even make sense–nobody would be debating chivalry if it were simply about courtesy.  The point of contention is the gendered character of chivalrous obligations, both the stupid ones (door-holding, restaurant payment) and the the extreme ones that expect me to die for strangers.

Plenty of feminists of have explained how chivalry is bad for women, but as a dude who wants to survive shipwrecks I’ve got another beef with it.  Stories of men giving up their lifeboat spots for women are supposed to inspire me to noble sacrifice, but they don’t.  They scare me by turning heroism in the face of death into a minimal expectation for men.

It’s even dumber in the case of the Titanic, since stricter safety requirements could have easily prevented mass death.  But what if you are in a situation in which  not everyone will survive? Here’s my proposal:

1) First, kill the outspoken racists.  I stopped watching Walking Dead in frustration after the survivors repeatedly risked their own lives to save Merle Dixon, whose hatred endangered them all.  I don’t advocate killing racists in non-emergencies, but you don’t let a good crisis go to waste.

2) Alright, let the children go first.  They take up less space and my intuition suggests it’s cruel to let a child die in uncomprehending fear.

3) Let people volunteer to stay behind.  People who are really into dying with honor get to go out like champs, so it’s almost a win-win.

4) Draw lots.  Good luck!

Seriously though just enforce safety codes better and you’ll avoid 90% of these situations.

Written by pinkocrat

December 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm

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Why women date “jerks”

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You’ve gotta check out “Nice Guys” of OK Cupid, it’s amazing.

I’ve had non-reciprocated crushes on friends.  I know it’s painful.  Here’s some unsolicited advice:

date my friend flowchart

Oh, right, why women date “jerks”:

1) Maybe this guy isn’t really that bad, you’re just sad that the woman you like chose him and not you.  I’m not making fun of you; it really sucks.  I’m partial to this explanation largely because whenever a friend I was crushing on dated someone else, they honestly turned out to be pretty cool dudes.  I like to think that reflects well on my judgement via the transitive property.

2) Some men are assholes, and they often have no trouble attracting women.  Not because women love being treated badly (huh?) but probably because stereotypical assholes tend to share a cluster of desirable traits like confidence, ambition, and charm.  But the cool thing is you don’t have to be a jerk to have these!  Martin Luther King spoke with authority and refused to back down even in the face of death threats, and very few would say he was a jerk.

MLK was, in fact, quite the ladies’ man.  The FBI has the tapes to prove it.

Written by pinkocrat

December 19, 2012 at 9:46 pm

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