Women are marching all across the world against the President of the United States, today on January 21st, 2017. What they are protesting is not entirely clear.
I want to introduce, therefore, an image which to me is actually very fitting as a representation of today’s events. Yes, these women are organised. No, they’re not all women. They appear to believe they have some type of cause, but that’s not enough for me; I’m not a believer (and it is a form of faith-based belief just based on the definitions involved) in social justice or moral subjectivism.
So what this looks like to me is—does anyone else remember being really young, and in kindergarten? Or preschool, maybe? And you always got that one child who clearly had been able to work their parents over since they were born by kicking and screaming and crying when things bothered them, and so they did this… you know, whenever things bothered them.
Even at that age, you’re watching this and thinking grow up. I almost consider being able to generate that sort of sentiment in a six-year-old objective rationality. Like, the type of fact with a solidity that you could use instead of Atlas to hold the planet up.
Is that what I’m comparing the Women’s March on Washington to? Seriously? I brought up that one kid in preschool?
Okay, but think about how silly this is. I’ll detail what I think is happening, because no women I’ve reached are even bothering to respond for requests for facts on what they’re actually protesting. Trump was quoted once as, after engaging in some fairly salacious (but nowhere near factually disturbing) talk about how women are attracted to resource-laden and famous men by saying (and I’m not even totally sure this is the actual quote) “you can just grab ‘em by the pussy.”
This was from a few decades ago, when Trump was a younger man with a huge number of popular business empires; including some involvement with the World Wresting Federation.
So now we have women marching, during his first days in office, wearing hats knitted to look like vaginas. Many men are also wearing them and marching along.
Let’s break out into anecdote land, and then I’ll talk about why context is such an incredibly important thing to always take note of.
I actually make money (imagine, for a brief moment, that this blog doesn’t exactly rake in the bitcoins) by cooking in commercial kitchens. If someone had ever said there anything like “grab ‘em by the pussy,” everyone—cooks, servers, males and females, would more or less just nod along with some approval.
I once told a fellow cook that if he didn’t smarten up and get his shit together, that I was going to “throat**** him so hard he’d be ****ting *** for a week.” Nearby, a gay guy laughed so hard he started to snort.
Do you think I’ll be called out, though, should I ever run for office or be considered for some other description of power-laden niche in society, for having been anti-gay? Or anti-male?
Of course I will. Does that mean they’re right?
No. Because context is the only indicator of meaning. Yes, vacuum is also a context, because there is no such thing as a vacuum. You cannot consider things without bias, and when you spin and spin and spin a line like that around in your head, while also thinking about specific referents that you have—say you’re an abuse victim, for example? Then this is really really bad—or say you hate men? This is also really bad, because men shouldn’t allowed near women.
Or say you’re a kitchen guy like me, and now it doesn’t matter at all. People say things, sometimes. Whatever. It’s a mindset that probably also applies to mechanics, military men, athletes and police, because all those professions are rough, unforgiving and insensitive to verbal remarks and are only judged by results. Context shapes you.
Now, does that mean this is moral subjectivism or whatever? No. Morality isn’t that complex. There are very few things that actually violate moral codes, because those codes, from the Aristotelian, secular and now-Libertarian sense, are very limited in number.
In other words, you can convince yourself that you are morally outraged over a rainstorm, but that doesn’t mean the occurrence of a rainstorm is against the moral rules of the universe. I’ll go even farther with this, too; if you claim that the Marching Women, from a moral subjectivist standpoint, are perfectly correct to be upset, then everyone else is perfectly correct to mock, attack, and obfuscate their march—those are the dangers of making a claim like that.
But they’re just peacefully protesting! You scream. Yes, but so what? We’re moral subjectivists now, and I’ve decided they’re all traitors.
Last I checked, too, there are no reports that anyone is bothering them. Because, why would you?
So if context and the shaping of your experiences which in turn shape you are the real problems here, along with a certain amount of outrage-y moral subjectivism, which I’ve already dismissed, then what you need is to stop deluding yourself so much.
The key to this?
Words. Don’t. Hurt.
Censorship is again, at the centre of this issue. The attempt to make words hurt people is only halfway the responsibility of the few people in history who’ve done so; one of the only applicable cases where Adolf Hitler can be used as a case example—a man who actually did manage to convince the most powerful country in Europe, almost singlehandedly, to go to war.
(Though, there are numerous and significant arguments that the Second World War would have happened anyway; disaffected population, Versailles Treaty, the bitter Prussian general class, and so forth.)
You’ll see Trump and the Nazi dictator compared even with the “grab ‘em by the pussy” remark, though, because that’s the censorship narrative. It’s exactly like saying “You can’t say that, because Hitler might’ve said it if he’d be worried about women instead of Jews and Germany had been something other than Germany and… and… and…”
So okay. Yes. If infinite variables changed, anything is possible, which makes it an unapplicable argument to actually do anything, much less abrogate the freedom of speech. It wasn’t a nice thing to say, and Trump is definitely on record as having apologised for his remarks, but in the context of the moment when he said it, it’s unlikely anyone even noticed.
It took the entire mainstream media, replete with veteran reporters, more than a year and a bit to dig the clip up, after all.
So is this a crime worth organising a massive Women’s March on Washington over? Of course it isn’t. It’s that kid in preschool, legs splayed and face teary, screaming for attention and aid over what is probably an imaginary difficulty. If Trump starts acting like Bill Clinton, we’ll know I was wrong about all this, but until then, there’s no proof of this being anything other than an outlier.
So what’s a march? Think of the word in this, yes, context. It’s militant. Do we march on women who giggle in cafes together about how dumb their boyfriends are, in a classic sitcom moment? Do men have to organise and stride forth, dead eyes set forward and dunce caps on? No, because dumping on men is perfectly okay.
Do we have to death-march on people who remark that whites (or Asians) have stereotypical qualities? No. But we do when it’s LBGT, or blacks, or women who are the focus, don’t we? Context, again. This is, again, moral subjectivism.
Which means there’s another problem behind it. That problem?
Victimhood means resources.
Justice is reciprocity. If you can convince enough people that you’ve had enough harm done to you, people will attempt to visit that harm on others in your name, and ensure that you are brought back up to par against whatever damage has been done.
People see this, and want in. Everyone likes free stuff when resources are finite, and resources, no matter how many people are trying to convince you otherwise, are always finite. And on some level, everyone knows this.
So victimhood spreads through the population as the empire declines, and people begin to find all sorts of reasons to extort one another.
This Women’s March? One more example. Whatever it is they’re going for—money? Attention? Power? Lobbying groups?—it’s just another screaming kid on the poor kindergarten teacher’s floor. The problem is becoming that that teacher? Well, they’ve seen it all a thousand times, now, and they’re getting less and less inclined to help.