I spent a great deal of time and effort staying off the political spectrum. I strongly suspect that the political divide of left and right, or red and blue is a product of the governing class. Government reform would require a united voter base. So they divide and conquer.
Something I’ve observed is that those on the far ends of the political spectrum tend to have a great deal in common. They’re loud. They’re aggressive. They assume the moral high ground. They have questionable beliefs. And they aren’t very reasonable when those beliefs are challenged. I’m not the first to have noticed this either. I think it’s referred to as the horseshoe diagram, and it suggests that the silent majority tend to agree on most reasonable issues.
On this political spectrum, it’s been well documented when the right can go too far. Nazis. When a right-wing ideology starts talking about racial supremacy, that’s a red flag. When they start targeting those of a particular race or religion, blaming them for the country’s problems, that’s a red flag. When they start to deny science to advance their own political agenda, that’s a red flag. An entire generation of Germans learned that in the most painful of ways. So… if that’s where the right can go too far, do we not have similar standards for the left? Equality is not equality unless we are all held to account.
Jordan Peterson has made this question a cornerstone of his debates. He’s often confronted by media personalities who assume that he represents the ‘alt-right’. In most cases, he addresses that claim and acknowledges that while conservatism and tradition can have value, there is absolutely a point at which it goes too far. He often suggests Nazis are a clear example of when the right can go too far. He’ll then ask the interviewer if they could give an example of where the left has gone too far. In most cases, they can’t answer the question. I’ve tried it myself and had a similar experience. On the extreme ends of the political spectrum, it would seem as though you can do no wrong. As long as you’re fighting for a righteous cause, your actions are justified. But when both sides take this approach, and both sides believe in their righteousness, there is no middle ground.
I have no issues holding someone to account for a flawed ideology, regardless of it’s right, left, up, down or sideways. Today, I saw a tweet that was posted to social media that has motivated me to say something. This was a tweet by @legal_feminista. It said:
Let’s enter 2019 with the right energy:
Trans women are women. Sex work is work. Black lives matter. Rape culture is real. Yes all men. Fuck white supremacy. Abolish borders. Free Palestine. Protect indigenous rights. Support mental health. Believe women.
Normally, I wouldn’t pay much attention to something like this as I’ve seen or heard most of it before. But this tweet received about 60,000 likes and 17,000 retweets in about 48 hours. This perspective isn’t an outlier, it’s mainstream. So… let’s dig in and see what we find.
Trans women are women. That depends on how you define women. If gender is a social construct and not determined by biology, then sure, trans women are women. But what about biology? If gender is a social construct, surely, sex must be biological. Otherwise, we’re ignoring the significance of things like the female and male reproductive systems, or the Y chromosome. And what happens when trans women start using the natural advantages afforded to a biological male to put women at a disadvantage? There are now various stories about trans women dominating against female athletes. I’m not sure these competitors would agree that all trans women are women. At some point, I think we’ll have to acknowledge that there is a very real biological component to being a male or a female. But in addition to that, we have masculinity and femininity. Part biology, part psychology, part sociology.. this is what gives us masculine women and feminine men, and really masculine men and really feminine women. Traditionally, we thought that we should all be masculine men or feminine women and it forced many of us to pretend to be people we weren’t. Now we’re a little more open minded. Sex comes primarily in 2 flavors.. with a swirl here and there. But who we become as individuals, well that’s a flavor that’s unique to each individual. It includes how masculine or feminine you are, who you’re attracted to, how you choose to dress.. and as long as it’s consensual, it’s all good. I genuinely think that if we had a little more love for all the unusual ways we turn out, people would be more secure and confident in who they are and less consumed with trying to become someone else.
Sex work is work. Damn right. Got your back on this one sister. Making prostitution illegal is about as sensible as making alcohol and cannabis illegal. By pushing it into the shadows, you put good people at risk. By bringing it into the light, we give ourselves a chance of doing it right.
Black lives matter. Yes, because all lives matter. My issue with the black lives matters movement was that they weren’t on board with all lives matter. I agree that racism against black people exists. I agree that it shows up in matters of police brutality. But I disagree that police brutality is a race issue. Black lives matter had an opportunity to open their doors and champion an All Lives Matters movement that would’ve forced police everywhere to reevaluate how they interact with the public. It could’ve been the solution to police brutality for people of every color. It could’ve been an opportunity for the black community to be leaders for all of America. Instead, ‘all lives matters’ was understood to be an attempt at dismissing their cause or taking the spotlight off the black community. What a missed opportunity. And meanwhile, you have prominent leaders within the BLM community speaking about black racial supremacy to crowds of cheering fans.
Rape culture is real. Maybe. It depends on how you define it. Growing up, my understanding of rape was someone being held down against their will, being fully aware of the experience as it’s happening, kicking and screaming for help, and dealing with the emotional trauma afterwards. It was easy to understand that as one of the most terrible crimes a person could commit. I’m now told that if two people get drunk and have sex, they’ve effectively raped each other because you can’t consent if you’re drunk. I was also told that if a woman gives consent, but changes her mind during sex without telling her partner, if the partner continues, he’s a rapist. I think we’re losing sight of the difference between a violent rape and a regrettable sexual encounter. By no means am I condoning any behavior that remotely resembles rape, but I do think that it’s important to recognize degrees of severity. I think it would be more accurate to say that we have a culture of sexual harassment. But if you stop here without asking why, you’re missing half the equation. I don’t think men want the responsibility of pursuing women for sex. Most are terrible at knowing whether or not a woman is interested in them. Most are clueless at figuring out how to flirt. And most take rejection pretty hard. And to make it worse, in the same way that men have been socialized to pursue sex, women have been socialized to withhold it. If we’re going to find our way out of this mess, I think it starts with honesty and respect. Personally, I vote for women to take over the role of asking guys out for a bit.
Yes all men. No. This is literally sexism 101. It’s like saying that all women are neurotic. Or all black people are prone to crime. Or all Muslims are terrorists. Just because you’ve had bad experiences with some men doesn’t justify you treating all men with the same contempt.
Fuck white supremacy. Fuck all racial supremacy.
Abolish borders. Sure. but how? Who would you pay your taxes to? What area would your democratically elected official preside over? What would be the jurisdiction for the laws you voted for? Or was this just about firing back at Trump for garbage immigration policies?
Free Palestine. We should all look for opportunities to put the guns down and hash things out like like reasonable adults. Unfortunately, religion prevents that.
Protect indigenous rights. Or maybe recognize that indigenous rights, voluntary segregation, and systematic exploitation have destroyed America’s indigenous cultures. I think it’s time to try integration. There’s a great deal we can learn from Native American culture, including finding a more balanced relationship with nature. I think it’s about time we took a real look at their history, and show respect where respect is due. And once we’ve rewritten history to accurately reflect the role of Native American’s in the development of modern western culture, we can begin to heal. And part of that will be learning to heal as one family. If done right, indigenous rights should be no different than any other human rights.
Support mental health. Absolutely. Mental health isn’t as obvious as physical health… but can be that much more impactful. We’re waking up to this reality now.. and there’s a lot of work to be done.
Believe women. No. It would be just as foolish to say, ‘Believe men’. It’s interesting because the last time I saw this, it was ‘believe the victim’. But what happens when the victim is a man? Is it still so believable? The problem isn’t in who we believe, but rather the fact that we should to believe anyone in the first place. Believing someone is assuming they’re telling the truth without knowing if they are. Once you have evidence, you can understand whether or not someone is telling the truth. Without that evidence, you’re left with assumptions. While some women might think so what, it’ll do more good than harm, consider this: What would stop someone from paying a woman to make false claims against a man? Do you believe the woman? Or do you presume innocent until proven guilty? On multiple occasions, people have paid women to make false claims against men. If we believe all women, this will keep happening. No victim is worth abandoning the right to innocence until proven guilty. We should trust those who tell the truth. We should support those who have experienced hardship. We should hold accountable, those who caused harm to others. Regardless of what’s between your legs.