In my last post I expounded upon why I take feminist claims that they feel eternally oppressed by “rape culture” with a grain of salt. To apply what Glenn Reynolds often says regarding “global warming” to gender issues, I’ll start taking “rape culture” seriously when they start taking rape culture seriously. You’re never going to convince me that the terror of prospective rape paralyzes you when you’re dressed in lingerie for a slutwalk, and women who feel oppressed don’t get off on a book about being manhandled with hardware.
Nonetheless, not unlike the Global Warming Alarmists who don’t take “global warming” seriously enough to change their own carbon footprint, they sure as hell take it seriously enough to insist you reduce yours. The only behavioral change required of a feminist to fight back against “rape culture” is to “raise awareness” through bitching about it all the damn time. To ask her to do anything else (like perhaps not grinning while
being raped receiving oral sex on the street) would only oppress her even more. Like the proverb says: Change comes from without.
However, were I to say that this emphasis on Rape Culture had no connection to some genuine emotion, I’d be wrong. Behind all their screeching there’s a hefty amount of genuine anguish; these chicks aren’t happy. At all. The pain is real. What they blame for that pain is not.
In the early days of my blog, I distinguished between the three main classes of lefties: the Anointed, Entitled, and Benighted. In short, the Anointed are those who believe that they deserve to be in charge of the rest of us because they’re so much more enlightened, the Entitled believe that the world owes them something, and the Benighted weren’t necessarily oppressed, but they understand the plight of the Entitled enough to surrender their sovereignty to the Anointed. The Benighted don’t necessarily have anything tangible to gain from being lefties, they simply believe it’s the right way to be.
Of the three groups, the Benighted are the most unstable and therefore likely to change. Their sense of Self is unnaturally diminished, and this creates an internal vacuum. No matter how Selfless you may be, something inside of you will never be comfortable living for the sake of guilt. Thus, the Benighted are the least reliable members of the lefty coalition.
This is why I recommend focusing on the Benighted for conversion away from leftism. Nevertheless, all too often (because conservatives and libertarians are so awful at presenting their views) they never fully digest the immoral nature of leftism. They can’t become evil by leaving leftism, but they can’t stay Benighted either. Entitlement thus becomes their escape.
But if you’re so “privileged” that 99% percent of women who’ve ever lived and about 90% percent of women alive today would trade their material circumstances for yours in a heartbeat, how can you possibly get away with claiming that you’re Entitled to anything?
You emphasize every negative aspect of your existence, every slight you’ve ever received, and every uncomfortable emotion you’ve ever felt, that’s how.
For example, Julie S. Lalonde, so recently excoriated by Sunshine Mary. Julie was inappropriately “assaulted by a 9 year old and his 5-year-old brother.”
I’m not saying that what the kids did was okay, nor do I believe that Julie was entirely out of bounds for feeling “shaken” by what they did. Nevertheless, if it takes you “a decade or so of experience supporting survivors of violence” to “call what happened to [you] sexual assault”, it probably wasn’t that big a deal in the first place. Unless you’re striving to find reasons to define yourself as a victim.
Julie also says that “[m]ost survivors take days, months and even years to define their experience as violent” without realizing that it may actually just “take days, months and even years to” learn that the definition of “violence” has expanded beyond “the use of force or threat of force”, and now incorporates guilt (Definition 2).
Some of us might think that Julie would be better off to just get over it, but as a genuine victim of sexual assault, think of how this raises her status. Her articles are more legitimate, she can feel much more justified to get in the face of men waiting to see Warren Farrell (I was a VICTIM of sexual assault!), whatever rage she might feel at anybody who opposes her is transformed into righteous indignation. If she simply forgot about it, she’s just another middle-class white chick.
This quest for victimhood, the predominance of Victim Culture, has two decidedly negative side-effects.
First, if more oppression brings you more prestige, you’re more likely to act in such a way as to increase the likelihood that you’ll be oppressed. A racial example might be a black guy being as aggressive and obnoxious as possible so that every person who crosses the street to get away from him can be further proof of how racist they are. If you’re rude as hell to the checkout girl and she gets pissed at you, it turns her into your oppressor. You now have even more right to get indignant when somebody tells you that you have no excuse to be such a failure. I call such folks Victim Predators.
But regarding gender, it might actually increase the likelihood of sexual assault. Dress like a whore, and when some guy “assaults” you with his eyes you have even more evidence of society’s rampant sexism. Get wasted at a frat party and either you’ll get some good sex with an Alpha, or you’ll have dozens of sympathetic ears listening to how awful
he was in bed it is to now belong in the ranks of the sexually assaulted.
And if any of you think my assertions are absolutely outrageous, then why the hell does it happen so damn often? If the University of Arkansas has more cases of sexual assault than downtown Newark, then what the fuck are you doing prancing around like a little harlot after downing eleven lemon drops?
Yet the second effect is far more insidious. The Quest for Victimhood is the desire to dwell on the wrongs that have been done to you. It transforms the grumpy clerk at the hardware into a racist or sexist who’s out to get you. It requires you to amplify your anger and never let a slight merely drift away.
They’re all out to get you.
Nearly every religion emphasizes the need to forgive those who wrong us and to be grateful for the things that go our way. When we let go of how we’ve been wronged and focus instead on what’s gone right, we empower ourselves to take advantage of the good things that come our way.
But Victim Culture is neither forgiveness nor gratitude; it’s their opposite.
I understand how difficult it can be to let things go, especially when we’re right to believe we’ve been wronged. I have my own issues in this area, but I’m genuinely trying to view this stuff the way Christ wants me to. I adhere to no philosophy that encourages me to remain as bitter as humanly possible. Feminists and most other breeds of lefty do.
Is there anger in the Manosphere? Yes. However, with a few exceptions, we encourage each other to change course, to grow into healthy men, to get over it. Anger is perfectly understandable if you’ve been wronged, but if you feed on it instead of work through it, it only eats you up inside.
For Julie and those like her, viewing their own emotional traumas with the same callous indifference they view those of omega males would serve them far better.
Otherwise, they’ll just end up like this.
Good post Martel. I’m working on something now, and I think I will purloin your conclusion. If that is all right with you.
It’s all right with me. That’s why I write all this damn stuff.
Victomhood as far as I see it…is a one way ticket to Hell.
I’ll admit that I played that part as well. It did me no good. It was only when I took responsibility for my actions, went to confession, and let it go…did things begin to change for the better.
Hi Martel, I’m a Lefty and found your generalisation of ‘The Left’ quite interesing. Mostly because it can so easily be applied to The Right or quite simply a group I refer to as ‘the human race’. But it’s easier to see the faults in your opponents when you ignore them in yourself. I know you most likely don’t agree with that, but it doesn’t matter whether you do or not, it’s simply the truth.
Before you start banging on about how I’m some tree hugging hippie, let me tell you a bit about myself. I work in finance, I have a portfolio of investments and I run my own business. Everything I have today I built from the ground up and had to fight tooth and nail every step of way and I am still fighting every step of the way. I started with literally nothing. I will continue to build on it until I reach the point where I can live comfortably off what I’ve built.
I have absolutely no desire to mooch off the State, I want to be completely free of all that crap. I also believe that everyone is entitled (there’s the ‘e’ word ;)) to at least the basics. You know, food, clothing, shelter. What they as individuals do after that is their choice. Whilst I want everyone to have the essentials as a minimum, if anyone tries to come after any of what I’ve built for myself, I’ll cut their balls off.
I’m a Lefty to the core, mate. A ‘No gods, No masters’, abortion supporting, pro-gay marriage, pro-union, flag burnin’, anti-religion, anti-feminist atheist and damn proud of it. You can try to wrest my views from me, but the only way you’re going to do that is by prying them from my cold, dead hands.
You’re completely correct that the entire human race has a tendency to declare itself a victim, but only certain political movements work extra hard to accentuate that negative instinct and exploit it for its own purposes. Saul Alinsky wrote that one of the primary purposes of a “community organizer” is to get people to feel super-victized by things that they don’t necessarily mind if left to their own devices. Economic redistribution schemes are based on fostering resentment. Nobody’s innocent of victimhood, but it’s permeates the left through and through.
Congrats on your successful business. Seriously. I’ve conceded that many lefties have no desire to mooch off of anybody.
Nonetheless, I most decidedly will NOT concede that anyone is “entitled” to the fruits of another man’s labor, even for “the basics”. If Frank has “the right” to healthcare, then Doctor Robert has the OBLIGATION to give it to him (more on that here, here, and here).
Furthermore, when somebody feels “entitled” to the fruits of another’s labor, it crowds out any sense of gratitude they might feel for somebody else working their ass off to support them.
Whilst I want everyone to have the essentials as a minimum, if anyone tries to come after any of what I’ve built for myself, I’ll cut their balls off.
So you castrate tax collectors?
I literally can’t “wrest [your] views from” you, so I’m not going to try, and in comment boards its virtually impossible to get others to voluntarily surrender them. Nonetheless, I welcome your feedback because opponents offer great opportunites to clarify my own views (and put up links to posts that have fallen down the memory hole).
“but only certain political movements work extra hard to accentuate that negative instinct ”
Nonsense. They all do. Every libertarian is convinced that the evil governemtn is out to get their freedoms. Every nazi was genuinely convinced that the jews were doing them some sort of actual harm.
The use of fear by politics is universal.
You’re right about the National Socialists, but small government philosophies are NOT devoted to making people feel like the world OWES them something. Anger over not being left alone by coercive government force isn’t even close to insisting that everybody else pay for your birth control because of how oppressed you’ve been.
But tax cuts are now “tax giveaways”, cuts in the rates of increase of spending are “spending cuts”, and me not paying for everybody’s medical bills is “depriving people of their healthcare”, so I suppose that just wanting to be left alone means I think that the government “owes me” a lack of interference in my own life.
Equating the desire to not have to support everybody else with the desire to get every treat and perk you can from Big Daddy Govt., THAT’S nonsense.
Thank you for making my point for me.
@ Murray: “Thank you for making my point for me.”
Sometimes I use that line myself (it’s a great way to make somebody defensive and confused), but then I back it up.
I would suggest another very important type, they’re a subset to the Anointed, but an important one. I call them the Pure In Heart. They make lots of noise, publish blogs and such, but are too Pure In Heart to get down in the mud and do retail politics, where things happen. They don’t get people elected, or try to get laws changed. Only corrupt compromisers do that, not the Pure In Heart. Rather, they refuse to vote, refuse to organize, and just hive with other Anointeds to decry how stupid everyone else is for not just obeying them because they are Pure in Heart. They only talk to each other inside their Bubble. Within “activist” circles, they lead purges to throw out founders or leaders who they feel are no longer as Pure In Heart as they. You might be thinking of the “vanishing commissars” of Stalin’s era, or Mao’s, and you’d be right, also this was why the Left in the USA lost its juice in the 1970’s and 80’s, tearing itself apart with navel-gazing identity politics and shaming. But another key habitat of the Pure In Heart is feminism. Susan Faludi did a lengthy article in the New Yorker last April about this: how in the 70’s then-radical leaders like Ti-Grace Atkinson and even Gloria Steinem were purged from groups they had founded by other True Believers. Whereupon they all devour each other, and they lose whatever momentum they might have had to get something done politically or social-policy-wise. While the ‘Sphere decries the reach of third-wave feminism, its writers often forget how much that brand has been self-damaged to the point of widespread derision. (And if feminism is so all-powerful why are there so many red-state legislatures pounding away and easily passing anti-birth control laws?)
You may have guessed where I’m going: now there is a new species of Pure In Heart: the Tea Party, making the exact same mistakes as the radical Left: being ideologically inflexible, unconcerned with governing but always big on Making A Point, listening only to themselves, and purging their ranks to anoint more Truer Believers. And the results, ultimately, will be the same: a lot of noise, and chaos.
For “Pure at Heart” I’ve used the phrase “True Believers”, but it’s a valid phenomenon. I put rhetorical motivations on a different “axis”, but there are definitely Anointeds who fall into this catagory (as well as cynics who don’t believe their own crap it but just like being in charge).
Furthermore, I agree with much of your analysis regarding the 70’s radicals.
But on the Tea Party, my agreement is only partial. I would take mainstream Republican criticisms of “we need to focus on winning elections” more seriously if mainstream Republicans were good at winning elections, but they’re not. The GOP hasn’t had a “True Believer” presidential candidate since 1984, and things haven’t gone particularly well for conservatives since then.
Nonetheless, you do have a legitimate point. Often the TP doesn’t focus nearly enough on persuasion; they prefer getting “fired up” and preaching to the choir. This IS a problem.
Yet more “realistic” Republicans who “focus on winning elections” SUCK at winning elections themselves and suck even more at getting anything done once they win them. Romney and McCain both came across as eminently reasonable and had a proven track-record of “reaching across the aisle”; McCain lost to the most partisan member of the Senate, and Romney lost to the most partisan president in our lifetimes.
Perhaps the Tea Party emphasizes purity of belief too much, but the Rovian faction doesn’t emphasize it nearly enough. People have a drive, a need to believe in something greater than themselves, and even hardcore political realists need to take this into account. Trent Lott, Mitch McConnell & the like BORE people (including independents) and you can’t win elections with blandness, especially when you’ve got the entire culture fighting against you every step of the way.
So you’ve got to have some FIGHT, some energy, a way to get people to feel like they’ll actually get SOMETHING they want instead of just another compromise. The Tea Party can be really bad at making its case, but at least it understands THIS, and Karl Rove simply doesn’t.
However, Rand Paul and a couple of other Tea Parties do seem to have some pretty strong political instincts. We need those who BELIEVE to learn how to sell their beliefs, not for those who only believe in “winning elections” to be able to take those who believe for granted.
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