Category Archives: Political Correctness

Fired for Love

There’s a billboard that’s been popping up with the words “Imagine being fired because of who you love”. It’s put together by a radical LGBT organization that can’t tolerate merely having their wills imposed on the entire country by a few lawyers, but needs everyone to affirm their decisions and enthusiastically support them. There’s nothing new about this totalitarian impulse at the heart of the LGBT movement. I’ve long viewed it as a sort of intellectual defense mechanism against the Holy Spirit and conscience; when condemned so profoundly and comprehensively, the reaction is to look for affirmation elsewhere, and if that affirmation isn’t easily found, it must be forced.

But this post isn’t about the totalitarian impulse. It’s about the billboard.

I immediately thought of two problems with using the bumper sticker slogan on the sign as some sort of profound insight.

First, I can imagine a pedophile, or a couple engaged in incest, or a rapist, all using this as a defense. After all, if it is wrong to be fired because of who you love full stop, then surely it would be wrong to be fired for raping a woman you “love”, or a child you “love”, or a sibling you “love”. An LGBT zealot might respond that in the case of rape, there is no consent, and “consent makes right”, but this is just another opportunity to remind the zealot that their own incoherent worldview undermines this. “Love is love”, they say, and who are we to judge how that is conveyed? Surely, people with healthy consciences would find it appropriate for a company to fire a pedophile who stalks children. But following the logic of the billboard, that would be wrong.

Second, there is no reason to think that “love” needs to be identified as marriage or sex. This has been another consistent problem for LGBT advocacy. In trying to justify same-sex acts, the zealots undermine any other form of love that isn’t sexual in nature. But why do this? Parents love their children. Best friends may love each other more deeply than any sexual relationship even if sexual acts would never cross either of their minds and there is no sexual attraction whatsoever. The fact is, the “discrimination” implicitly condemned by the billboard is not of love or even the object of that love. It’s the sexual acts and demand to be considered “married” (a term with virtually no meaning to most anymore) that are in question. It’s telling that euphemisms like “who you love” are employed. Even the organization that threw together the sign knows, deep down, that they can’t get away with being clear and precise. Their ideas are too bad and shallow for that, and they need all the cover they can get.

No one is getting fired for “who they love”, but it’s probably true that some religious organizations and small businesses run by Christians have policies that don’t allow overtly evil behaviors like same-sex acts to be thrust into the faces of those they serve. This organization, deeply dishonest as is typical of LGBT advocacy and liberalism in general, must craft emotional pleas, because their real message is totally unpalatable. Their true message is: “Our right to sexual pleasure trumps all other rights, and if you don’t celebrate us, we want you to suffer painful death.”

Always, always remember that.

Victimhood Privilege

I’ve found that one of the best ways to defeat bad ideas is to ask simple but important questions to those who hold them. For example, when dealing with someone who believes a woman can be trapped in a man’s body, I like to ask: “What is a man?” No transgender advocate can answer this without undermining their position, because their position is delicately balanced on the ambiguity of words.

What I call “victimhood privilege” is similar. Victimhood privilege is the set of benefits one receives from being a member of a culturally designated victim group. Same-sex attracted individuals, transgender people, darker skinned people, women, etc all qualify to varying degrees as members of victim groups because at some point in the real or imagined past, each group had members who, we are told, were victims because of their membership in those groups. We can go ahead for now and accept this reasoning for the sake of argument.

If you ask a liberal progressive “what makes someone a victim?” or “what does it mean to be oppressed?”, you won’t get clear answers. If you don’t obviously lead with the question, the best you can hope for is something ambiguous like “victims are people who are mistreated” or “oppression is when ‘the system’ works against you”. But ask them to be more specific, and the fun can really start.

For example, I’ve heard people offer the example that oppression might include being arrested for expressing yourself. But you can remind them that a Christian pastor was recently arrested for doing just this in a library where “drag queen story hour” was being performed at taxpayer expense, and they’ll quickly retract their example.

Or, you might hear that a form of oppression is when a college won’t let your student group meet. If you remind the person that the only groups that colleges prohibit these days are Christian or politically conservative groups, they’ll again retreat.

Another common example offered are bullying victims. People who have been pushed around with slurs or threats of violence. But again, all you need to do is remind the liberal progressive who offers this example that the clearest examples of bullying are LGBT activists who threaten Christian business owners with violence and fines and who slander them on social media.

Victimhood privilege, then, is not about being a victim at all. It’s about being a member of a group which is immune to criticism, getting all the benefits a true victim deserves while actually creating victims with extreme hatred. This should be obvious enough from the fact that so many people actively desire to be seen as victims. Real victims get sympathy to compensate for their situation, and people would rather not have the situation altogether, even if they lost the sympathy. But there are some real benefits to victimhood privilege that being a real victim doesn’t entail. And the clearest example is when these faux “victims”, like aggressive LGBT activists try to get people fired and ostracized (that is, made victims) simply for not being enthusiastic enough about the bizarre sexual proclivities of other people.

Diversity, Inclusion, Tolerance – Part 1

Contemporary culture may reject classical virtues that were nearly universal until last century, but it would be a mistake to think it rejects virtue and morality altogether. What’s happened instead is a replacement of real virtue with hollow substitutes. Faith, Hope, and Love are now Diversity, Inclusion, and Tolerance.

Importantly, whereas the classical virtues are truly Good (that is, they reflect transcendent Goodness, which is the Nature of God), the new virtues are totalitarian are are not, when understood to mean what they do to modern people, good in any meaningful sense. Lets consider each of them on their own, starting with Diversity.

The old definition for diversity is philosophical, and is the opposite of unity. It just means a collection of distinct things. Diversity in its historic sense is a description of the world, not a virtue.

Contrast this with the modern definition, taken here from a community college:

All of our human differences.

Here is the more full definition from the same site (emphasis mine):

The concept of diversity encompasses acceptance and respect. It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. It is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.

Diversity is a reality created by individuals and groups from a broad spectrum of demographic and philosophical differences. It is extremely important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.

“Diversity” means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. Diversity is a set of conscious practices that involve:

  • Understanding and appreciating interdependence of humanity, cultures, and the natural environment.
  • Practicing mutual respect for qualities and experiences that are different from our own.
  • Understanding that diversity includes not only ways of being but also ways of knowing;
  • Recognizing that personal, cultural and institutionalized discrimination creates and sustains privileges for some while creating and sustaining disadvantages for others;
  • Building alliances across differences so that we can work together to eradicate all forms of discrimination.

Diversity includes, therefore, knowing how to relate to those qualities and conditions that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet are present in other individuals and groups. These include but are not limited to age, ethnicity, class, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, as well as religious status, gender expression, educational background, geographical location, income, marital status, parental status, and work experiences. Finally, we acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.

That’s a lot of content for a simple term, and interestingly enough, there’s no clear definition offered. In fact, the definition reads rather like an apologetic of “diversity” as a social imperative.

According to this definition, diversity entails acceptance, appreciation, recognition that some people have “privilege”, and the abolition of discrimination of all kinds. This makes diversity not a description of the world, but a modern virtue which must be actively pursued, and which compels total acceptance and appreciation of, presumably, all “ages, ethnicities … work experiences …” as well as other things not listed.

The definition is rife with self-referentially incoherent statements.

For example, we are to “recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another”. Really? According to this definition, the modern Western “diversity” culture is vastly superior to the “discriminatory” culture it condemns.

Another example: Diversity includes knowing how to relate to members of groups we are not members of ourselves. But we must also recognize and respect the “right” to self-identification, which means group membership is fluid and essentially meaningless. All it takes to be a member of another group is to self-identify as such. If the boundaries of groups are meaningless, what does it even mean to relate to members of other groups?

Yet another example: We must eradicate all forms of discrimination. But we are also told that we must acknowledge institutionalized privilege and discrimination, which requires us to discriminate between people who have privilege and people who do not. But if we can only oppose discrimination by engaging in it, we have committed a logical fallacy.

A final example: We are told to move beyond tolerance and into embracing and celebrating people who are different than ourselves. But most people in most of the world do not hold that diversity is a virtue. In order to embrace and celebrate them and their culture, we must embrace and celebrate the idea that embracing and celebrating other opposing cultures is wrong. Another logical contradiction.

This statement was clearly not produced by a competent philosopher of ethics or religion given the multitude of contradictory demands, but by a bureaucrat or administrator at a local university. It reads like the incoherent drivel these sorts of people often write, as further evidence.

Even further than the incoherence of the modern view of diversity, though, is the fact that diversity is simply not always good. It is not good to have diverse views on adultery or murder. It is not good to have a diverse amount of competency among professionals. It is not good to have a diverse grasp of the English language when trying to write English. In these and many other areas, we should prefer merit and genuine virtue over diversity.

Consider the short definition above, that diversity is “all of our human differences”. Do we really want to celebrate, accept, and embrace all of our human differences? Like our criminal behavior? Our mental and physical illnesses? Our hatred for people?

But still further than this, diversity is rarely good in the first place. Other than among the most ardent adherents of diversity, diverse metaphysical, ethical, political, epistemological, and religious views do not lead to harmony, but disharmony. Unity on essential and important things is to be preferred. This is rarely possible to achieve perfectly, and so diversity may well describe many real scenarios where people of different belief systems and backgrounds live together. In such cases, though, there is still a requirement that everyone believe in the basic value of human life and the respect of other people. Diverse views of the value of other people or whether we ought to respect other people is not going to produce harmony.

For all these reasons, I think the modern definition of diversity can be safely rejected. You’ll notice, if you go back to the college definition, that the merits of diversity (that is, what good things naturally come about from it) is not mentioned at all. While diversity is defended in its own definition, instead of merely defined, the benefits are not listed. There are simply breathless threats that we must do this or that. The closest attempt to do so is this grammatically invalid sentence:

It is extremely important to support and protect diversity because by valuing individuals and groups free from prejudice, and by fostering a climate where equity and mutual respect are intrinsic.

I suppose in the twilight of Western civilization, you can’t expect college-educated college educators to be able to put a subordinate clause after “because” in a sentence.

But even though no good reasons are given for this worshipful attitude toward the total acceptance of everything other people do and are, it is extremely important to support and protect the concept anyway. I strongly suspect this is because there are many people who are paid to promote this material, and without protection and support, they’d need to get real jobs.

Discrimination In the Fight Against Discrimination

The BBC has published an article to apologize for hiring people based on their skill instead of their sexual organs.

We’re in excellent company. Both inside and outside of the BBC, more journalists and editors are realising that, while the media didn’t invent gender bias, it has a key role in perpetuating it. The BBC’s director-general has announced a target of 50:50 across all of the BBC’s programmes and sites by April 2019. The challenge is also being piloted by media organisations in the US and Europe.

The article is like an encyclopedia for feminists. Here’s a gem from The Atlantic they quote:

“Women in science face a gauntlet of well-documented systemic biases. They face long-standing stereotypes about their intelligence and scientific acumen. They need better college grades to get the same prestige as equally skilled men, they receive less mentoring, they’re rated as less competent and less employable than equally qualified men, they’re less likely to be invited to give talks, they earn less than their male peers, and they have to deal with significant levels of harassment and abuse.”

As I wrote yesterday, the feminist angle is to ignore any of the interesting causes that might lie behind the effects they are seeing, and to instead assign a cause, namely sexism.

The author is careful to avoid mentioning the female-only scholarships, the female-oriented primary schools, the female advocacy articles (like this one) for cushy jobs. No women are demanding equal representation to work on oil rigs or fishing ships.

The only way the BBC can have equal representation of both sexes is to systematically hire on the basis of sex. They have quotas. If ten qualified people apply to the BBC for open positions, the BBC will first look at the sex of each of those people to determine whether they can be hired. This isn’t sexism or discrimination, apparently, because only men can be sexist, and only women can be targets. This is the very definition of an unequal measure and of unjust discrimination, but that’s a point that’s been safely ignored for decades.

We started to make gender-even sourcing a requirement in all our commissions, something requested of our writers along with a deadline and word count.

The BBC is admitting that the quality of a source is less important than the sex of the source. This is beyond virtue signalling and into clear social Marxism.

The try to counter this with nonsense:

To make it clear, we will continue to interview, and reference, the most qualified people. That hasn’t changed, and nothing about seeking out female voices undermines that.

“Yes, my job is to serve readers by finding the best sources for my stories, but why assume that the best source isn’t a woman?”

Notice the false framing. No one suggested that we ought to presume men are the best sources. We just don’t want to presume that the best sources are equally men and women. There’s no warrant for that whatsoever. The BBC knows this, but can’t admit it, so they hide behind a defense against an obviously flimsy argument that no one has made.

What’s astonishing here, even for me, is how little self-awareness the author of this article or any of the quoted sources are. For all the moaning about unequal percentages of the sexes in every single metric that can be conceived, the authors refuse to acknowledge that men and women might be different. They hold two* contradictory notions at the same time:

  1. Men and women are exactly the same.
  2. Men are oppressors and women are oppressed.

They are forced to affirm (1) out of reverence to their false god, Egalité. They are forced to affirm (2) out of their commitment to the cult of Feminism.

They’d rather hold a contradiction at the center of their worldview than admit that the differences we see between men and women on various metrics is a result of innate differences between men and women and not from some evil spirit of sexism that haunts and guides the world.

That the BBC is so bold as to publish an article like this reveals just how far into the cesspool we’ve fallen.


*Granted, there are other contradictions held as well (e.g. women are better than men, women are naturally good and men are naturally evil, etc).

How Blame Fails

A bookstore in London noticed something in the sales lists of the top 500 rare books sold at auction in 2018: no woman broke the top 20. In fact, they began to average 1 woman every 100 books. They call this grim:

blame

Any set of data can be analyzed in limitless arbitrary ways. This same data, for example, would probably show that men of a certain age appear in the top 500 than men of other ages. Books probably come from some centuries more than others.

A more thoughtful person would probably not notice or care about any patterns. After all, this is a list of rare books sold at auction. The types of books that become rare and the demand for those books are contingent on innumerable causes. Maybe the third-place book made it so high because the author recently had a resurgence from a movie based on his work. Maybe copies of dozens of the books were recently discovered in an old library, allowing them to be sold. Maybe books written by women are produced in larger quantities than books written by men such that they never become rare. It’s all speculation. Professional investigations could be performed on each book and the buyers (if the data is available) and it might take years. It doesn’t seem to be a valuable use of time.

But what is a valuable use of time for the Perpetually Outraged is to quickly look down the official list of victims (from least to most victimized) to see if any are represented less than half the time. At the top of the list is women in general, followed by select racial minorities, etc. Lucky for this bookstore, they didn’t have to go very far down the list.

The bookstore doesn’t spend any time considering what the possible causes are for the results. Obviously, as men wrote more books in the past than women and older books are typically the ones that become rare, the obvious explanation is that we see exactly what we expect. There’s no systematic bias against women by people who collect rare books or people who auction them. There’s just fewer rare books written by women. Reflection is anathema to the Perpetually Outraged, so we fall instead to the default position of blame.

Feminists on Twitter soon took the data to say things it did not say:

blame2

Aside from some severe misunderstandings of scarcity (scarce books cannot be auctioned more frequently than less scarce books), the Twits also presume that sexism is to blame for the apparent discrepancy. Why do women have fewer rare books? Sexism. There can be no other explanation. Even though it would take a great deal of effort to determine if someone is a sexist (hating someone for their sex requires incredible knowledge of one’s inner thought life), the Twits have no problem applying the term to a bunch of strangers. Strangers whose names are not even known.

Where reflective, thoughtful people might, in extreme circumstances, wonder how best to improve their own writing, the feminist Twits blame sexism. It’s much easier that way.

The article concludes by reminding us both that female authors are not taught as frequently in the UK as male authors* (for likely similar reasons as above), and also that entire bookstores dedicated to feminism exist without issue. This isn’t something the author of the article should be so excited to mention. If women are read less than men even without dedicated bookstores selling only books written by men all while women do have such bookstores, feminists have bigger problems to worry about. The conclusion isn’t that men are sexist, but something much simpler: people in general don’t like female authors and blame keeps the harshness of reality out of sight for feminists.


*Maybe the accidentally anti-feminist Transgender movement will helpsolve” this problem by having men produce books while claiming to be women. That way men still write all the books, but ideologically pure liberals will stop noticing.

Privilege and Character

Someone on CNN accused a conservative of white privilege yesterday. She was soon stunned into silence as he revealed that he was black.

The concept of privilege offers a glimpse into the minds of progressives. In it, we can see that envy is a guiding principle in Leftist philosophy. That’s because privilege is simply a way of casting good character in a negative light.

There’s a grain of truth in the leftist lie, as there is in many lies. The truth is that some people are more likely to succeed than others because of their pasts. A middle-aged man who has worked hard for two decades is privileged over a man who has never held a job and his lived on government welfare since he dropped out of high school. A child who has a married mother and father is more likely to succeed in school, marriage, and a career than the child of a single mother.

Historically, those who had strong character were admired. It was a good thing to make good, tough decisions that required sacrifice. It was good to work hard to privilege one’s children instead of squandering their inheritance. It was good to emulate men of honor and character.

Progressives have a different commitment, though. When someone is successful, progressives look on them with envy and suspicion. A man who succeeds must have done something wrong and crooked to get where he is. He must have stolen from someone or cheated someone or hurt someone.

The Left has classified the world in postmodern oppressor/oppressed categories, such that the more “oppressor” categories a person finds themselves in, the more suspicious we should be about any of their success. Where historically the important question was “how can we succeed?”, the Leftist asks “how can we tear someone down because of their skin color, sex, and beliefs?” The Left doesn’t build on the work of the past, but makes sure to destroy everything to preserve a flat wasteland of mediocrity and failure.

This is more insidious than presuming a man must have had his success by virtue of being white when he is actually black. The Leftist model actually encourages people they deem “oppressed” into behaviors which keep them poor, dependent, broken, and flailing. Instead of urging people in these groups to strive for the kind of character which leads to success, the Left encourages envy and hate. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy where the Left encourages the very behaviors that lead to the very situations they claim to champion against.

It also reveals some inherent racism on the Left. When a white man succeeds, its his “privilege” that does it. He comes naturally equipped for success. When a white man fails, it’s in spite of his “privilege”. The opposite is true of black men. They succeed in spite of their disadvantage of being black. And failure isn’t a big deal; it’s expected. After all, they are black. This explains why progressives are far, far more likely to talk down to minorities, even to the point of treating them like children.

I see this attitude even among lefty “conservative” women on subtly different topics. For example, I’ve made the strongly evidenced claim that women should marry before having children and stay married if they want the best possible outcome for their children. “Conservative” women were very quick to tell me how mean-spirited and cruel my suggestion was. Even though this is extremely good advice for young women, we can’t have it spoken aloud, lest the women who have already made mistakes feel bad. I have another post in mind for the topic of sympathy-as-hatred, but this example also fits here.

Calls to good character are condemned – by the Left as privilege and by some “conservatives” because it might make people feel bad. The real victims, though, are the people who could live much better lives by being encouraged to make good decisions who are instead told that the consequences of their actions are someone else’s fault.

The Insanity of Gender Theory

Think fast.

A person with short, combed hair, and no makeup walks up to you wearing a suit. What gender is this person.

The person’s sex cannot be in doubt. There are two sexes; it is in the nature of sexual reproduction to have two sexes. One is male, and the other is female.

No, my question is to which gender a person is. The answer is that it is impossible to tell, given the fact that the term, when not used in linguistics, is for all practical purposes the greatest example of intellectual fuzziness and ambiguity available.

The person could identify as a man and be a biological male. The person could identify as a female and be a biological male and wear male clothes and act like a male. In fact, a man could simply be living a normal and say “I identify as a woman” without changing in a single way, and it would fall within the category of transgendered.

One would suspect that it would be difficult to build a punitive framework around this concept for anyone who did not find purchase in it. After all, how can someone be penalized for not fully understanding something that, by its own nature, cannot be understood? But one would be wrong. Utterly wrong.

Not only are there penalties for those who do not adhere to a philosophy grounded on ambiguous nothingness, the penalties themselves are severe. Social ostracism, losing a job, and dealing with financial penalties are not uncommon. Simply not being enthusiastic enough about the anti-philosophy of Gender Theory is sufficient in many cases.

Large companies across the United States are, in order to cater to the sexual radicals that make up the bulk of the cultural elite, increasingly enforcing the proclamations of Gender Theorists on anyone and everyone. Within a year of the first efforts to allow biological men into the biological women’s restroom (and mind you, the restrooms are divided by biological sex and not gender, else there would be urinals in both or neither), there are now boycotts of entire states who do not comply with the newly enhanced Gender Theory proclamation that requires it be permitted.

The United States is treading some familiar territory to those who lived in the fascist pits of despair popularized in the 20th century. Freedom of speech and conscience are not only limited, but are limited precisely where they ought to be most free: in the expression of true statements. “Men are men and cannot conceivably feel like women” is anathema. Despite the fact that no human being can ever feel like another in total, because we are ourselves and not someone else, it is taken for granted that a man can know what a woman feels like so thoroughly that he himself becomes one. In a sane society, this might be seen as a severe mental illness, but in an insane society, it is normalized just as one would expect. In order for a civilization to go insane, it must normalize insanity and institutionalize sanity.