Victimhood competence hierarchies

“Tyrannical pathological hierarchies are based on power…”
-Jordan Peterson

Dr. Peterson sometimes refers to our traditional hierarchies as hierarchies of competence, since they arise organically out of our necessity to act in the world.  To do something is to want to improve the way you do it.  Some people will become better than others in some given action.  Some people achieve higher ability to cook, some become more proficient in math, others in music, or sports.  There are infinite hierarchies in which you may compete.  You can even create your own, like Paul Durand-Ruel, Steve Jobs, or Lee Felsenstein, Efrem Lipkin, Ken Colstad, Jude Milhon, and Mark Szpakowski, and enable millions of others to invent new hierarchies.

While any hierarchy is subject to corruption, they are inevitable, biologically ancient, and not by necessity pathological or tyrannical. Though those based on power usually are.  It’s sort of the point.

Social Justice practitioners are telling us all hierarchies are entirely socially constructed, unfair,  and oppressive – excepting theirs – which they don’t admit to having.  But what else is the jockeying for power in the identity group/victimhood hierarchy about?

We haven’t yet seen a merger of the many contenders trying to prove they are the biggest victims and the smallest oppressors.  The hierarchy of victim hierarchies is yet to be settled science. The Intersectionalist Progressive Social Justice Cartel is having some nasty fights trying to sort out their pathological hierarchy:

QTIBPOC vs. LGBTQ
Trans vs. feminist
Indigenous group vs. Indigenous group
Black LGBT vs. White LGBT

Given what they insist all the rest of us must believe, I think tyrannical also applies.`  And we don’t even have the comprehensive doublethink manual yet, since they’re fighting over it.

To advance their cause with less embarrassment they need is a kinder, simpler way than Twitter fights to sort it out, preferably based on objective analysis of the victim/oppressor ratio. Because nobody is a perfect victim.

If they did find the perfect victim, they’d have to make him/her/it/zir/xe/Mr. Mxyzptlk the Dear Leader of the world utopia. You might think of it as the ultimate inverse hierarchy, because actual competence in any real thing is a Western, white, colonialist, patriarchal concept.  To be avoided.

I surely don’t understand the intersectional nuances that would allow me to compare a black gay male who hires a fake hate crime attack on himself, with a brown cis-gender (and why do I have to use a made up term now to indicate ‘normal’?) female who spouts anti-semitic drivel in the US House of Representatives.  An objective assessment may well be impossible.

Each individual objecting to someone else’s existence will have their own criteria. We could ask them all their opinion of everybody else and average the results (sort of like Facebook); Throwing out those rated below some arbitrary score – by other voters whose ratio was in the top 1% on the victim/oppressor ratio scale  (sort of like Twitter).

Running, especially enforcing, that system would be the prize for winning the victim/oppressor ratio sweepstakes.

Still, if we were to attempt objectivity, even to arrive at an informed individual opinion, a complex spreadsheet to calculate power rankings might serve. We’re after a way to model other people’s thoughts. We need to place the technology into individual hands, since it is obvious we can’t depend on the SPLC anymore.

Let’s consider the complexities via example. Rate a black, homosexual male, wealthy actor; vs. a white, trans-female, wealthy former Pentathlon champion; vs. a brown, female, anti-semitic, Islamist congressional member; vs. a white, 1/1024th Amerind, biological female, wealthy United States Senator. It’s not easy, and those are only a few of the factors. The enterprise seems very difficult.

victim-oppressor axis

This is the type of analysis intersectionalists demand as a principle of governance.  And, that’s just a poor preliminary attempt to begin to capture the variables currently driving the SJW power struggle. It doesn’t include anywhere near the required profile information. I tried filling it in for a couple of people I thought would help refine scoring. Maybe you can guess who they are.

Complicating this further, just when you might think you have a workable algorithm someone gets offended by something you did not expect. For example, here’s an example of a lesbian, Leftist, female academic in the Humanities you’d expect to score moderately well: A concrete example against which to test our calculation of the victim/oppressor ratio.

Students demand controversial prof be replaced by ‘queer person of color’

That controversial prof is Camille Paglia. You might think this means race trumps homosexuality as a factor on the victim/oppressor scale. I don’t think we can depend on that. From the complainers:

“In recent interviews she has blatantly mocked survivors of sexual assault and the #MeToo movement, and in classes and interviews has mocked and degraded transgender individuals. She believes that most transgender people are merely participating in a fashion trend (“I question whether the transgender choice is genuine in every single case”), and that universities should not consider any sexual assault cases reported more than six months after the incident, because she thinks those cases just consist of women who regret having sex and falsely see themselves as victims.”

Aha! The problem is Paglia’s opinions and outspokenness, which one could at least imagine being held by a “queer person of color.” It isn’t about color.

The entire identity politics internecine war is about thinking the right thing. Thinking correctly is hard to define, though. It depends on the thought processes of the person thinking about someone else’s thoughts. See: Red Guards.

Full circle we have come. When objectivity is thrown out the postmodernist window, objective rankings are simply impossible. And that’s intentional, since any reference to a set of rules could inhibit the exercise of power.

So, it’s back to imagined victimhood points minus perceived privilege points times influencer points divided by the reciprocal of Twitter followers. The factors for race, sexual orientation, biological sex, wealth, income, religion, political affiliation, etc. are left to the student.  If you are intersectionally woke the answer just pops into your head.  Of course, that may not be the same answer another woke intersectional arrives at…

Clarity of thought, rational arguments, philosophical consistency are irrelevant. We don’t need no freaking spreadsheet to identify thoughtcrime. Besides, Excel itself is oppressive because it uses numbers, and its very name is a violent affront to nihilistic mediocrities cowering in their safe spaces everywhere.

It’s not so bad though, those of us not caught up in the victim-identity Olympic trials can eat lots of popcorn while we watch.

Man In Critical Condition After Hearing Slightly Differing Viewpoint

Religious wars

On Thursday, I listened to a few minutes of NPR because I couldn’t find any other radio stations that weren’t worse. The subject was the insane Aussie fascist who perpetrated mass murder at mosques in New Zealand. The segment was an interview with a woman who continually referred to “mosque attacks.” At first I heard her saying “mass attacks.”

But she was implying “mosque attacks” happen in Western democracies quite frequently. “They mean this. They mean that. They demonstrate societal Islamophobia.”

So when I stumbled across an article from the Associated Press:
A look at attacks on houses of worship over last decade

… it seemed like “mosque attacks” are a thing, but in majority Muslim countries. So, I started comparing the number of Islamist attacks on mosques to the attacks on houses of worship overall. Sixteen of the incidents AP listed were attacks on mosques by organized Islamist groups. ISIS, Al-shabaab, etc.. Four were attacks on other religions by organized Islamists. Two were attacks on mosques by white supremacist individuals. One was an attack on a Synagogue by a white supremacist individual. One was an attack on a Synagogue by Islamists. One was an attack on a black church by a white supremacist. One was an attack on a Baptist church by a deranged atheist. One was an attack on a Sikh temple by a white supremacist.

Where the AP incident descriptions below are not completely clear about who committed the crimes, I have linked to complete stories that support my classification.

Green are attacks on any religion that took place in a Western democracy.

77% of all these attacks were committed by Islamists.  70% of those were attacks on other Muslims.  They all were committed in the name of Islamic terrorist organizations.

Attacker-Attacked Incident
Islam-Christian Oct. 31, 2010: Al-Qaida in Iraq militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion there. Al-Qaida in Iraq later became the Islamic State group.
Islam-Islam Dec. 15, 2010: Two suicide bombers from the Sunni extremist group Jundallah blow themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran, including six Revolutionary Guard commanders.
Islam-Islam July 16, 2010: Jundallah group kills 27 and injures 270 after it carries out a double suicide bombing against another Shiite mosque in southeastern Iran.
Islam-Christian Oct. 31, 2010: Al-Qaida in Iraq militants attack Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad during Sunday night mass, killing 58 people in the deadliest assault targeting Christians since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion there. Al-Qaida in Iraq later became the Islamic State group.
Islam-Islam Dec. 15, 2010: Two suicide bombers from the Sunni extremist group Jundallah blow themselves up near a mosque in southeastern Iran, including six Revolutionary Guard commanders.
White Supremacist-Sikh Aug. 5, 2012: Six members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, in Oak Creek, are fatally shot by a white supremacist, Wade Michael Page. Page was shot by a responding officer and later killed himself.
Islam-Judaism Nov. 18, 2014: Two Palestinians using axes, knives and a gun kill four Jewish worshippers and an Israeli police officer in an attack on a Jerusalem synagogue.
Islam-Islam Jan. 30, 2015: Suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in the Pakistani town of Shikarpur kills 71. Jundullah claims responsibility.
Islam-Islam March 20, 2015: Islamic State suicide bombers attack a pair of mosques in Yemen’s capital, unleashing monstrous blasts that ripped through worshippers and killed 137 people.
White Supremacist-Black Christians June 17, 2015: Nine black worshippers including a pastor are killed by Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, after he prayed with them in Charleston, South Carolina. Roof was convicted of federal hate-crime and obstruction-of-religion charges and sentenced to death.
Islam-Islam Sept. 24, 2015: A suicide bomber strikes a mosque in Yemen’s rebel-held capital, killing 25 worshippers during prayers for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Islam-Islam Nov. 12, 2016: Suicide bomber from Islamic State group kills over 50 at the shrine of Shah Noorani, in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
Islam-Christian Dec. 11, 2016: Suicide bomber strikes inside a Cairo chapel adjacent to St. Mark’s Cathedral, seat of Egypt’s ancient Coptic Orthodox Church. The Islamic State group claimed the attack, which killed at least 25 people.
White Supremacist-Islam Jan. 29, 2017: A gunman killed six men during evening prayers at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City. Alexandre Bissonnette pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and attempted murder charges and was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Islam-Islam Feb. 16, 2017: Suicide bomber detonates his explosives vest among the devotees at the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Pakistan’s Sindh province, killing 98.
Islam-Islam April 9, 2017: Twin suicide bombings rock churches in the Egyptian coastal city of Alexandria and Tanta, killing at least 45 people. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.
Islam-Islam June 15, 2017: A suicide bomber kills four people at a Shiite mosque in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul. Among the dead is a leader of Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shiite Muslims.
Islam-Islam Aug. 1, 2017: A suicide bomber storms into the largest Shiite mosque in Afghanistan’s western Herat province, opening fire on worshippers before blowing himself up, killing at least 90 people. Hundreds more were wounded in the attack, which happened during evening prayers.
Islam-Islam Aug. 25, 2017: Militants storm a packed Shiite mosque in Kabul during Friday prayers. The attack ends with at least 28 worshippers killed and 50 wounded, many of them children. Two of the assailants blow themselves up and another two are shot dead by Afghan security forces.
Islam-Islam Sept. 29, 2017: A suicide bomber blows himself up outside a Shiite mosque in Kabul, killing five. The attack took place as worshippers were leaving the mosque after Friday prayers.
Islam-Islam Oct. 20, 2017: The Islamic State group claims a suicide bomber attack, killing 31 and wounding 29 people, at a Shiite mosque in Kabul.
Deranged atheist-Christian Nov. 5, 2017: Dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault weapon, 26-year-old Devin Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others.
Islam-Islam Nov. 24, 2017: Militants kill 311 worshippers in a mosque attack in north Sinai, the deadliest such terrorist attack in Egypt’s modern history.
Islam-Islam Dec. 17, 2017: Islamic State attack on a church in Pakistani city of Quetta kills 16 people.
Islam-Islam Aug. 3, 2018: Suicide bombers disguised in burqa robes attack a Shiite mosque in eastern Afghanistan, killing 27 people.
White Supremacist-Judaism Oct. 27, 2018: A gunman believed to have spewed anti-Semitic slurs and rhetoric on social media entered Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Pittsburgh and opened fire, killing 11 and wounding six, including four police officers.
Islam-Christian Jan. 27, 2019: Two suicide attackers detonate two bombs during a Mass in a Roman Catholic cathedral on the largely Muslim island of Jolo in the southern Philippines, killing 23 and wounding about 100 others. Three days later, an attacker hurls a grenade in a mosque in nearby Zamboanga city, killing two religious teachers.
White Supremacist-Islam March 15, 2019: At least 40 people are killed in an attack at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

This is AP’s list, and they acknowledge elsewhere that it is incomplete:

A U.N. report released in November documented 51 attacks on places of worship in Afghanistan since January 2016 that killed more than 270 civilians and wounded hundreds more.

(Update Mar 18: And here’s another one they missed: The 2014 firebombing of Bergisch Synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, by three Palestinian immigrants. German courts declared this to be anti-Israel, and not to be antisemitic. Sounds like Ilhan Omar.)

It’s highly likely that U.N. list skews to Islam-Islam atrocities, but calculating the increased Islam-Islam attack percentage isn’t the point of this post.

We can condemn the New Zealand attack without blaming it on Western democracies, or Tweets by Chelsea Clinton castigating Ilhan Omar for anti-semitism. One might note there are no listed attacks on mosques in Israel.

For one thing, like most of the group-organized attacks listed above, those 51 did originate from the culture. The white supremacist attacks all appear to have been single individuals, outside the culture. For another thing, all those individuals have been caught and have/will face(d) punishment under Western rules of law. This is not true of the Islamist attacks on Muslims.  Finally, there is no question that the Islamist attacks were all motivated by religion.

If, as the SJWs contend, all cultures are equal, then all cultures should be equally condemned when such atrocities take place. That they are not tells us something about these Western critics of Western values. We find mass murder abhorrent, and an affront to our values, no matter who the victims. Islamists do not.

Victor Davis Hanson, call your office

It seems that the plan is to reduce University course selection to just one subject:
Victim Group Studies.

How I was Kicked Out of the Society for Classical Studies Annual Meeting

Mary Frances Williams is a courageous person.  Reading about her experience tells us much about the modern Academy. Here is a long quote about the heart of the matter, but I recommend reading the whole thing to understand why Williams felt any need to make these common sense points.

I only wanted to make four very brief points, but I felt compelled to state at the beginning that we could not abandon the ancient languages because then we would have nothing left of our field—of all the egregiously shocking things I had just heard, that seemed to be the one that most cried out to be challenged. I then attempted to say the following:

1) It is important to stand up for Classics as a discipline, and promote it as the political, literary, historical, philosophical, rhetorical, and artistic foundation of Western Civilization, and the basis of European history, tradition, culture, and religion. It gave us the concepts of liberty, equality, and democracy, which we should teach and promote. We should not apologize for our field;

2) It is important to go back to teaching undergraduates about the great classical authors—Cicero, the Athenian dramatists, Homer, Demosthenes, the Greek and Roman historians, Plato, and Aristotle—in English translation in introductory courses;

3) One way of promoting Classics is to offer more survey courses that cover many subject areas (epic, tragedy, comedy, rhetoric, philosophy, history, political theory, and art history), or to concentrate on one area such as in Freshmen seminars, or through western civilization classes;

4) It should help with securing funding from administrators to argue that such survey courses are highly cost-effective: a student could learn a tremendous amount even if such a survey were the only Classics course taken. On the other hand, a seminar that concentrated on the close reading of a few texts would prove beneficial for all students.

Unfortunately, I was interrupted in the middle of my first point by Sarah Bond, who forcefully insisted: “We are not Western Civilization!”

What can one say to that? I didn’t respond; but as I then attempted to move on and make my second point, I was interrupted by her and others, and not permitted to finish what I had hoped would be four very brief statements. A member of the audience with no connection to the panel, Michael Gagarin (University of Texas Emeritus) rose, came over to me, and told me I wasn’t allowed to speak.

I had never been at an academic conference where a member of an audience had the power to forbid another audience member from speaking. I continued: “We don’t teach Homer. We don’t teach Cicero… Why don’t we teach Thucydides and Herodotus?… So I’m saying: Cicero has value. Homer has value. Demosthenes has value, because it will teach you about defending Democracy.” (Sarah Bond pointed out that these writers were “all men” and seemed to think she’d scored a devastating point at my expense.)

I then went on to say that I believe the journals publish articles on the basis of merit, not because of the race or ethnicity of the authors. Padilla then challenged me since I was clearly disagreeing with his argument, namely, that only black people and Hispanics should be able to publish in academic journals.

In the hope of making my position clearer—that race should not be a determining factor when it comes to assessing the value of scholarship—I said to Padilla, “You may have got your job because you’re black, but I’d prefer to think you got your job because of merit.” Admittedly, I was under stress and did not express myself as clearly as I might have done, but what I was trying to convey is that the principle he was advocating clearly didn’t apply to hiring decisions—and nor should it—because he had got his job on merit, not because he’s black. Indeed, if I thought the opposite, and I imagined there was a chance of him saying, “You’re right, I was only hired because I’m black,” that would have contradicted the point I was trying to make, which is that it would have been wrong to hire him based only on his race, just as it would be wrong for an academic journal to publish an article based on the race of its author.

Williams was attacked for her ideas in a supposedly academic discussion, and told to shut up. There’s lots of offensiveness to go around.

She quotes her offending phrase.  We can assume, since it is not flattering, that it is accurate; and can see why it could cause offense. But, as we’ll also see, Professor Peralta thinks he should have been hired simply because of his melanin content. A white person is not allowed to infelicitously agree with that, though.

And Williams is right, it would have contradicted her argument.  So, I think she didn’t mean it the way she said it.

From the comments: “There is nothing political in learning how to conjugate a Latin verb, for example.”  That’s actually the point Williams was trying to make.  But, there something political in it now.

In fact, that’s the whole point: Latin speakers were patriarchal, white, colonialists. Further, conjugation is simply a way to ‘otherize’ minorities by suggesting rigorous study is required for Classics students.

See, critical-theory intersectionality is easy. If you can write plainly.

For a Masters degree in the single University study SJWs are promoting, however, you have to be able to translate this (which is about STEM syllabi, though that’s irrelevant):

“…the curricular inclusion of Indigenous perspectives is differentially problematic if we cannot also attend to the taken-for-granted and naturalized epistemological, ontological, and axiological commitments and enactments of what we are including perspectives into.”

Finally, let’s let Professor Dan-el Padilla Peralta, confirm that he hopes his perception of what Mary Frances Williams meant is true. Italics in original.  I think we can reasonably ask if he might have been more offended if Williams had said, “You didn’t get your job because you’re black.”

Seeing as no one in that room or in the conference corridors afterwards rallied to the defense of blackness as a cornerstone of my merit, I will now have to repeat an argument that will be familiar to critical race scholars of higher education but that is barely legible to the denizens of #classicssowhite. I should have been hired because I was black: because my Afro-Latinity is the rock-solid foundation upon which the edifice of what I have accomplished and everything I hope to accomplish rests; because my black body’s vulnerability challenges and chastizes the universalizing pretensions of color-blind classics; because my black being-in-the-world makes it possible for me to ask new and different questions within the field, to inhabit new and different approaches to answering them, and to forge alliances with other scholars past and present whose black being-in-the-world has cleared the way for my leap into the breach.

“Into the breach” is cultural appropriation.

“Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’”

Rationale to ration

Medical Welfare Programs Look To Price Another Year Of Life

Medicaid and other medical welfare entitlement programs have created expectations that are bigger than the resources available to meet them. As a result, some welfare bureaucracies are looking to ration expensive drugs through a controversial method designed to put a price on the value of a human life.

If a beneficiary of a social welfare program needs a particular drug whose price exceeds a predetermined value of a “quality-adjusted life year” for the individual, under this method, that person would not get the drug. It is already in use in Great Britain’s single-payer health care system and in other nations. Some in the U.S. think it should be used here, too.

When the government pays for something, it gives bureaucrats a taxpayer-based rationale to refuse to pay for it.

See the Green New Deal fantasy: It’s a list of things, including electricity, gasoline, home heating, land use, product design, hourly wages, preferred occupation, food choice, and, yes, health care; all of which will be rationed or regulated. Why? In order to implement their view of “social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality

Is it any wonder GND proponents support “some are more equal than others” thugs like Venezuela’s Maduro and Cuba’s Castro?

Nobody is allowed good intentions but us

Here’s what compassion gets you from the rabid Left. (Link broken intentionally. You can fix it if you really want the reference.)

Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic

Because “colonialism.” Don’t you know all cultures are morally equivalent? Except Western Civilization, which is oppressive.

This sleight of mind is how our Leftists forgive female genital mutilation and support boycotting the only democracy in the Middle East; while refusing to express an opinion on, or even acknowledge, the debate among some Imams regarding the proper way to kill gays – throw them off tall buildings or collapse a wall on them.

That is a very partial list of the multi-cultural ‘diversity’ the Left embraces in order to facilitate condemnation of Western culture. (The answer to the Imam’s debate is obvious: How many walls can you afford to collapse?  You can use the same building many times.)

I’d also mention how the Islamic fundamentalist debate on the treatment of trans people is proceeding, but I’m not aware of it.  Perhaps it goes unmentioned in the Quran.  If so, that’s probably good for trans people in strict Islamic countries.

But. If Trump moves to extend some protection to gays in Islamic countries that makes him a racist.

Maybe for those ‘apolitical voters who vote based on feelings’ someone could could point out that the charge of “colonialism” is just one more tired talking point for the postmodernist/critical theorist/intersectionalist wing of the party calling themselves Democrats: They aren’t to be taken seriously from a moral standpoint.

My favorite example of the bankruptcy of cultural equivalence, AKA deeply held moral intuitions, is related by Mark Steyn: The Gelded Age

In a culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee” – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

‘You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.’

India today is better off without suttee. If you don’t agree with that, if you think that’s just dead-white-male Eurocentrism, fine. But I don’t think you really do believe that. Non-judgmental multiculturalism is an obvious fraud, and was subliminally accepted on that basis. After all, most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don’t want to live in anything but an advanced western society. Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched tribal dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society. It’s a quintessential piece of progressive humbug.

Progressive humbug has become a quintessential piece of Western culture.

A teaching moment for Nathan Phillips

What can we learn about masculinity from the Covington Catholic High School foofaraw? Who acted like a Man? How would we decide?

Let’s start with what it means to be a Man by revisiting a bit from an earlier post; the Feminist list of toxic masculine traits – stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression. Feminists focus solely on the negative aspects, but there are also positive behaviors associated with that list:

Stoicism. Self-control and fortitude. Overcoming adversity. The absence of whining, enabling men to work in dirty, dangerous, uncomfortable jobs.
Competitiveness. The entrepreneurial impulse. The urge to scientific curiosity. The drive to co-operate by winning within the rules.
Dominance. Negotiating skill. Drive to succeed. Good leadership.
Aggression. Protecting the weak. Response to threats.

Who demonstrated the plus side of those traits? Our competitors are Nathan Phillips, ‘Vietnam era’ Marine and long time Leftist “activist,” and Nick Sandmann, a high school student.

The focus of the SJW ire was (amazingly still is, in many cases) on Sandmann.  They want to destroy his life.

But, it was Sandmann who stood calmly while Phillips approached him, chanting and glaring, and continually beating a drum inches from Sandmann’s nose. It was Sandmann, while engaged with Phillips, who signaled to another student to knock off arguing with another protestor after that protestor had said, “Go back to Europe, you don’t belong here.”

There’s little argument that Mr. Sandmann was stoic. After an hour of filthy verbal abuse from the Black supremacists protesting on the Mall, the chaos escalated. In Mr. Phillips, Sandmann suddenly faced an even more confusing and potentially dangerous situation. He did so without complaint. He wasn’t stone faced, you could see the emotions flashing across his face when Mr. Phillips rudely challenged him, but Sandmann controlled them. Mr. Phillips claim he was trying to protect the Black supremacists is ludicrous on its face. Which bring us to competitiveness

Mr. Phillips’ game was, “I get to play the victim.  You get to play the oppressor.  1) I’m going to force you to move, or 2) make you push my drum away from your face. I win when you retreat. I get bonus points if you get physical.”

Turning away is potentially dangerous. If you ‘run,’ you look like prey. If you touch the drum, all hell is likely to break loose.  Mr. Sandmann was forced to play, but, seeking a peaceful outcome, he recognized the rules permitted a third choice. Stoic tolerance.

Dominance? Well, Nathan Phillips was obviously trying to incite Mr. Sandmann. Mr. Sandmann peacefully stood his ground despite having his personal space noisily invaded. And, he showed leadership in urging a classmate to cease an argument with one of Mr. Phillips’ fellow protestors.

Finally, aggression. Mr. Phillips was clearly the aggressor. Mr. Sandmann’s response to the threat was controlled and appropriate. Particularly for his age. His parents should be proud of him.  Mr. Sandmann’s performance under fire was exemplary.

The Man here was Mr. Sandmann. Mr. Phillips was the toxic adult.

I score it 4-0.

The Maim Scream Media™ should be ejected for the season.

Dressing like that is ‘asking for it’

I see some “conservatives” telling the Covington boys, “Don’t wear MAGA hats so you can avoid confrontation.”

That is teaching the wrong lesson on so many levels it’s sickening.

But let’s only deal with the free speech implication:
“Your freedom of speech is subservient to confrontational, subjective, racist, fake, hate-filled, collectivist-mob tropes. Even if you don’t say anything. And even if you maintain a calm demeanor.

You should cover your face and kneel, or some adults might Tweet threats to kill you and your family based on their subjective interpretation of your state of mind in a video deceptively edited by people who hate you on sight.”

And an addendum from their own school leadership:
“We not only won’t help, but we’ll castigate you. Because we have accepted that white males have their own peculiar, indelible original sins.”

And what were the Black Hebrew’s chants if not “hate speech?”

And, sorry, I can’t just leave it at free speech. One other implication is, “Dressing like that is ‘asking for it’.” Well, I guess that’s free speech, too.

Living through the “revolution.”

feminism-booksIn 1968 I supported “women’s liberation,” which I took to be the simple idea that men and women should have equal opportunity. Evidence that women were not treated equally was not hard to find. For example, my wife wasn’t allowed by her employer, Trans World Airlines, to be married when she was hired. In order to keep her job, she had to submit to routine weight checks. Being over 130 pounds, at 5’9”, would have called for a suspension until “excess” weight was lost.

These strictures did not apply to pilots, a job class where the negative health aspects of being 5’5” and 300 pounds might have a direct effect on passenger safety. Remedies for such discrimination were not long in coming, but the process kicked off a rising tide of shrill activism that spiraled into excess; and implicated great men, from past cultures, dead for hundreds of years. Grudges of the past still fester.

There are still feminists, they have been called equity feminists, who hew to the original intent. My wife, for example, whose degree in Womens Studies (likely attractive because of obvious discrimination she experienced) did not result in intellectual paralysis. This did expose me to the dangers of such curricula in the 80’s. It’s much, much worse now. It also prompted me to investigate feminist theory more thoroughly than I might have otherwise. The picture above is the current shelf, and I discarded about this many when we downsized our house. I also browsed any number of books my wife encountered in her courses.

I have one last minor feminist analysis credential appropriate to the 80’s. I was “Mr. Mom” for several years while my wife was flying internationally. This doesn’t make me non-toxic, however.

Demands for equality of opportunity have given way to insistence on equality of outcome, and the word equity has become a code word to that end. I am no longer the least supportive of feminism. The word is as corrupt as Cathy Newman’s ideopathy.

By emphasizing the extremes of men’s tendency (relative to women) to stoicism, competitiveness, dominance and aggression; and entirely ignoring the beneficial side of those traits when appropriately moderated (almost always by exposure to a man, a father, demonstrating such moderation), the SJWs are out to destroy traditional masculinity by re-defining it as toxic. Maybe a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle, as Ms. Steinem famously claimed, but a boy needs exposure to traditional masculinity (now we have to qualify that, just like “liberal”) like a feminist needs a clue.

These are cross reinforcing, of course, but here’s another way to look at:
Stoicism. Self-control and fortitude. Overcoming adversity. The absence of whining, enabling men to work in dirty, dangerous, uncomfortable jobs.
Competitiveness. The entrepreneurial impulse. The urge to scientific curiosity. The drive to co-operate by winning within the rules.
Dominance. Negotiating skill. Drive to succeed. Good leadership.
Aggression. Protecting the weak. Response to threats.

The simpering inherited from the 1960’s led to the proximate roots (circa 1995) of our present male bashing. By the turn of the 21st century, Christina Hoff Sommers was writing, Cassandra-like, on the wall up against which the gender feminists were plotting to line boys. I read The War Against Boys in 2001. It’s one reason I have long detested Title IX.

Following is a long excerpt (but much shorter than the book it summarizes) from a longer piece by Sommers from 2000. It clearly explains how we started on the path to where the words “toxic masculinity” can appear in a razor commercial, and half the population will defend it.

The whole thing is worth reading, but here’s the excerpt:

“One can welcome [Carol] Gilligan’s [Harvard University’s first professor of gender studies] acceptance of the fact that boys, too, have problems while remaining deeply skeptical of her ideas about their source. Gilligan’s theory about boys’ development includes three hypothetical claims: 1) Boys are being deformed and made sick by a traumatic, forced separation from their mothers. 2) Seemingly healthy boys are cut off from their own feelings and damaged in their capacity to develop healthy relationships. 3) The well-being of society may depend on freeing boys from “cultures that value or valorize heroism, honor, war, and competition—the culture of warriors, the economy of capitalism.” Let us consider each proposition in turn.

According to Gilligan, boys are at special risk in early childhood; they suffer “more stuttering, more bedwetting, more learning problems … when cultural norms pressure them to separate from their mothers.” (Sometimes she adds allergies, attention-deficit disorder, and attempted suicide to the list.) She does not cite any pediatric research to support her theory about the origins of these various early-childhood disorders. Does a study exist, for example, showing that boys who remain intimately bonded with their mothers are less likely to develop allergies or wet their beds?

Gilligan’s assertion that the “pressure of cultural norms” causes boys to separate from their mothers and thus generates a host of early disorders has not been tested empirically. Nor does Gilligan offer any indication of how it could be tested. She does not seem to feel that her assertions need empirical confirmation. She is confident that boys need to be protected from the culture—a culture in which manhood valorizes war and the economy of capitalism, a culture that desensitizes boys and, by submerging their humanity, is the root cause of “out-of-control and out-of-touch behavior” and is the ultimate source of war and other violence committed by men.

But are boys aggressive and violent because they are psychically separated from their mothers? Thirty years of research suggests that the absence of the male parent is more likely to be the problem. The boys who are most at risk for juvenile delinquency and violence are boys who are physically separated from their fathers. The U.S. Bureau of the Census reports that in 1960 children living with their mother but not their father numbered 5.1 million; by 1996 the number was more than 16 million. As the phenomenon of fatherlessness has increased, so has violence. As far back as 1965 Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan called attention to the social dangers of raising boys without benefit of a paternal presence. He wrote in a 1965 study for the Labor Department, “A community that allows a large number of young men to grow up in broken families, dominated by women, never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any rational expectations about the future—that community asks for and gets chaos.”

The sociologist David Blankenhorn, in Fatherless America (1995), wrote, “Despite the difficulty of proving causation in the social sciences, the weight of evidence increasingly supports the conclusion that fatherlessness is a primary generator of violence among young men.” William Galston, a former domestic-policy adviser in the Clinton Administration who is now at the University of Maryland, and his colleague Elaine Kamarck, now at Harvard, concur. Commenting on the relationship between crime and one-parent families, they wrote in a 1990 institute report, “The relationship is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature.”

Oblivious of all the factual evidence that paternal separation causes aberrant behavior in boys, Carol Gilligan calls for a fundamental change in child rearing that would keep boys in a more sensitive relationship with their feminine side. We need to free young men from a destructive culture of manhood that “impedes their capacity to feel their own and other people’s hurt, to know their own and other’s sadness,” she writes. [Have you noticed how much more likely people are to say, “I feel,” rather than, “I think,” these days?] Since the pathology, as she has diagnosed it, is presumably universal, the cure must be radical. We must change the very nature of childhood: we must find ways to keep boys bonded to their mothers. We must undercut the system of socialization that is so “essential to the perpetuation of patriarchal societies.”

Gilligan’s views are attractive to many of those who believe that boys could profit by being more sensitive and empathetic. But anyone thinking to enlist in Gilligan’s project of getting boys in touch with their inner nurturer would do well to note that her central thesis—that boys are being imprisoned by conventional ideas of masculinity—is not a scientific hypothesis. Nor, it seems, does Gilligan regard it in this light, for she presents no data to support it. It is, in fact, an extravagant piece of speculation of the kind that would not be taken seriously in most professional departments of psychology.

On a less academic plane Gilligan’s proposed reformation seems to challenge common sense. It is obvious that a boy wants his father to help him become a young man, and belonging to the culture of manhood is important to almost every boy. To impugn his desire to become “one of the boys” is to deny that a boy’s biology determines much of what he prefers and is attracted to. Unfortunately, by denying the nature of boys, education theorists can cause them much misery.

Gilligan talks of radically reforming “the fundamental structure of authority” by making changes that will free boys from the stereotypes that bind them. But in what sense are American boys unfree? Was the young Mark Twain or the young Teddy Roosevelt enslaved by conventional modes of boyhood? Is the average Little Leaguer or Cub Scout defective in the ways Gilligan suggests? In practice, getting boys to be more like girls means getting them to stop segregating themselves into all-male groups. That’s the darker, coercive side of the project to “free” boys from their masculine straitjackets.

It is certainly true that a small subset of male children are, as Gilligan argues, desensitized and cut off from feelings of tenderness and care. But these boys are not representative of their sex. Gilligan speaks of boys in general as “hiding their humanity,” showing a capacity to “hurt without feeling hurt.” This, she maintains, is a more or less universal condition that exists because the vast majority of boys are forced into separation from their nurturers. But the idea that boys are abnormally insensitive flies in the face of everyday experience. Boys are competitive and often aggressive, yes; but anyone in close contact with them—parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, friends—gets daily proof of their humanity, loyalty, and compassion.

Gilligan appears to be making the same mistake with boys that she made with girls—she observes a few children and interprets their problems as indicative of a deep and general malaise caused by the way our society imposes gender stereotypes. The pressure to conform to these stereotypes, she believes, has impaired, distressed, and deformed the members of both sexes by the time they are adolescents. In fact—with the important exception of boys whose fathers are absent and who get their concept of maleness from peer groups—most boys are not violent. Most are not unfeeling or antisocial. They are just boys—and being a boy is not in itself a failing.

Does Gilligan actually understand boys? Does she empathize with them? Is she free of the misandry that infects so many gender theorists who never stop blaming the “male culture” for all social and psychological ills? Nothing we have seen or heard offers the slightest reassurance that Gilligan and her followers are wise enough or objective enough to be trusted with devising new ways of socializing boys.

Every society confronts the problem of civilizing its young males. The traditional approach is through character education: Develop the young man’s sense of honor. Help him become a considerate, conscientious human being. Turn him into a gentleman. This approach respects boys’ masculine nature; it is time-tested, and it works. Even today, despite several decades of moral confusion, most young men understand the term “gentleman”and approve of the ideals it connotes.

What Gilligan and her followers are proposing is quite different: civilize boys by diminishing their masculinity. “Raise boys like we raise girls” is Gloria Steinem’s advice. This approach is deeply disrespectful of boys. It is meddlesome, abusive, and quite beyond what educators in a free society are mandated to do.

Did anything of value come out of the manufactured crisis of diminished girls? Yes, a bit. Parents, teachers, and administrators now pay more attention to girls’ deficits in math and science, and they offer more support for girls’ participation in sports. But who is to say that these benefits outweigh the disservice done by promulgating the myth of the incredible shrinking girl or presenting boys as the unfairly favored sex?

A boy today, through no fault of his own, finds himself implicated in the social crime of shortchanging girls. Yet the allegedly silenced and neglected girl sitting next to him is likely to be the superior student. She is probably more articulate, more mature, more engaged, and more well-balanced. The boy may be aware that she is more likely to go on to college. He may believe that teachers prefer to be around girls and pay more attention to them. At the same time, he is uncomfortably aware that he is considered to be a member of the favored and dominant gender.

The widening gender gap in academic achievement is real. It threatens the future of millions of American boys. Boys do not need to be rescued from their masculinity. But they are not getting the help they need. In the climate of disapproval in which boys now exist, programs designed to aid them have a very low priority. This must change. We should repudiate the partisanship that currently clouds the issues surrounding sex differences in the schools. We should call for balance, objective information, fair treatment, and a concerted national effort to get boys back on track. That means we can no longer allow the partisans of girls to write the rules.”

The Long March through the Institutions took a long time. These cultural vampires have been gnawing away at the foundation for awhile, and now they’re creeping out of the debris into the light. Sadly, they aren’t dissolving into smoke.

Brands to consider

For those interested, a complete list of Proctor and Gamble brands can be found here.

I made a list of products we do or have used, and was surprised at the extent of it.

Always
Bounce
Bounty
Braun
Cascade
Charmin
Crest
Dawn
Downy
Febreze
Gillette
Head and Shoulders
Ivory
Olay
Old Spice
Oral-B
Pantene
Prilosec
Puffs
Scope
Secret
Tampax
Tide
Vicks

There are many, many more.  And many, many alternatives.

For me the toughest ones to give up are Tide (I do the laundry, and Tide is superior) and Old Spice (used it for over 5o years, though it’s not what it used to be).

Ah well, it’s a PITA, but Persil works as well as Tide, and I can always find some Bay Rum somewhere.