Montag, April 13, 2015

Social Justice Bullies

In einer Analyse der Social Justice Warriors von heute, die sich wunderbar auch auf deutsche Protagonisten wie Anne Wizorek und Andreas Kemper anwenden lässt, kommt Aristotelis Orginos auch auf die Orwellsche Newspeak des Feminismus zu sprechen:

The same is said of sexism and men  —  that one cannot be sexist against men because we live in a patriarchal society (...). And yet, when it is brought up that men face legitimate social, political, and economic issues, they are told that feminism has the solution for them as well.

Orwell calls this "doublethink."

Instead of the discussion being focused on how advocating to "kill all white people" as a political statement or how the hashtag #KillAllMen are prejudicial and hateful sentiments, the millennial social justice advocate excuses and legitimizes these phrases and behaviors by suggesting that they are not racist or sexist but are legitimate expressions against their oppressors. The discussion of how legitimately hateful and anti-liberal these statements are does not ever surface because, as the script goes, this is "derailing" discussions of legitimate problems of oppressed people to focus on the non-problems of oppressors.

Nachdem Orginos darlegt, inwiefern die hysterischen "Eine-von-fünf"-Vergewaltigungsstatistiken und die vermeintliche Lohnlücke zu Lasten von Frauen absurder Quatsch sind, führt er weiter aus:

Using misleading statistics to push an agenda does no one any good. It derails progress by attempting to support a legitimate cause with shoddy foundations. Foundations that, in time, will collapse  —  and a movement with it.

Here’s the issue  —  many reading this will be incensed just by the fact that I am bringing up these statistics in a negative light. After all, why would I do such a thing if not to paint feminism in a bad light or to play down the issue of rape on campus? As a heterosexual male, it is assumed that I am doing this fact-checking not in the name of academic honesty, but for sexist reasons or because I am a rape apologist or because I think women are "asking for it."

But here’s the thing  —  who I am does not (or should not) have any bearing on facts. The problem with this brand of modern social justice advocacy is that who one is as a person (race, class, gender, etc.) is the be all and end all of their capacity to have a certain viewpoint. A millennial social justice advocate can discount an opinion simply because it is said or written by a group they feel oppresses them. It is a logical fallacy known as ad hominem whereby one attacks the person saying an argument rather than the argument itself. But this logical fallacy has become the primary weapon of the millennial social justice advocate. It is miasma to academia, to critical thinking, and to intellectual honesty. Yet it is the primary mode of operating on college campuses nationwide.

(...) To view everything through a particular theoretical viewpoint (that is, feminist, Marxist, post-colonialist, etc.) is an intellectual limiting exercise that works only in a vacuum. The world is more than one viewpoint. The ostricization of those who hold alternate viewpoints is not any way conducive to social progress. The opposite of hatred is not hatred in the opposite direction. There is no excuse  —  none  —  for being a bad person toward another on the basis of their identity.

Let me finally be abundantly, abundantly clear (I learned this was necessary a few months back). Social justice and social justice advocacy is a good thing. To utilize one’s education to solve social ills is an admirable goal.

The version of millennial social justice advocacy that I have spoken about  —  one that uses Identity Politics to balkanize groups of people, engenders hatred between groups, willingly lies to push agendas, manipulates language to provide immunity from criticism, and that publicly shames anyone who remotely speaks some sort of dissent from the overarching narrative of the orthodoxy  —  is not admirable. It is deplorable. It appeals to the basest of human instincts: fear and hatred. It is not an enlightened or educated position to take. History will not look kindly on this Orwellian, authoritarian pervision of social justice that has taken social media and millennials by storm over the past few years.

Those who need to hear this message will probably respond that I am 1. too privileged to understand 2. tone-policing the oppressed (and that I shouldn’t tell the oppressed how to treat their oppressors) and 3. really just a closet racist/sexist in a liberal’s clothing. I expect these responses  —  partially because I am so used to having seen this script play out over the last four years at NYU.

But the fact of the matter is  —  anyone unwilling to engage in productive, open, mutually critical conversations with people they disagree with under the moral protection of liberalism and social justice are not liberals, are not social justice advocates, and are not social justice warriors; they are social justice bullies.

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