Do you agree the visual is more important for men than for women when it comes to sex? I think Prager misses that women are looking at different things, but they still have important visual cue. Women aren’t so instantly aroused by aesthetic physical beauty, but they’re still looking. What they’re looking for are signs that tell more about each man as a whole. Thus, they pay attention to grooming, signs of good or ill health, body language and, looking at the face, mood and attitude.
I’ve still got a few more things I want to share with you tonight, so consider this Part 2 for the day (with Part 1 here).
The coming (and inevitable) Leftist implosion
Every time I read a Kevin Williamson article, I like his writing and thinking just a little bit more. In one of his latest outings, about the inevitable fissures on the Left (as exemplified by (1) the way Black Lives Matters activists are attacking old, white Bernie and Hillary, and (2) the way the black/Hispanic majority in very Leftist Houston nevertheless voted down men in women’s restrooms), Williams has the following wonderful lines:
The challenge for the Left is that while the Republican party is mainly a coalition of ideologies, the Democratic party is mainly a coalition of interest groups, and the current model of Democratic politics — poor and largely non-white people providing the muscle and rich white liberals calling the shots — is unsustainable. The social attitudes of non-white voters are pretty plainly not those of white liberals, and, at the same time — and probably more significant — the economic interests of white liberals are pulling away from those of the people in whose interest they purport to act. Hispanic immigrants and urban blacks make below-average wages; public-school administrators and other government employees make wages that are well above average. There aren’t a lot of people in Cleveland’s Glenville who give a fat furry rat’s patootie how much interest Caitlyn from Bryn Mawr is paying on the student loans that financed her women’s-studies degree. If you’re wondering why Democrats lean so deeply into the racial rhetoric — Joe Biden’s shameful “They want to put y’all back in chains!” etc. — that’s a big part of your answer.
Rich Lowry’s article nails why I don’t trust Rubio
Marco Rubio is bright, articulate, focused, conservative, and telegenic. I ought to like him . . . but I just don’t. I’ve been pfumphering around for a while trying to put my finger on my problem with him and I think it really does boil down to his support for amnesty:
I castigated the Left for racism based upon reports that Obama & Co. have told American troops to stand down when confronted with Afghan pederasty. Racism is not the only motivating factor. At a fundamental level, the Left encourages child sexuality because it decouples children from their sense of themselves individuals, making them more malleable for the state. After having been underground for decades, pedophilia is coming to the fore as the new frontier for increased state control over individuals.
I developed the idea about a totalitarian state’s vested interested in child sexuality in a 2010 American Thinker article I wrote, entitled “Sex and State Power.” The article examined Islam’s tight control over women’s sexuality, which allows it tight control over women in general, as well as the decades’ long hard-Left push, both in America and abroad, to sexualize very young children. My focus in 2010 was the Left’s press to educate children as young as 5 about sexual preferences and practices outside of the old-fashioned norm of heterosexual sexuality within the context of marriage. Skipping over the Islamic issue and going straight to the pedophilia issue, I’d like to quote from that article:
Those of us who came of age before the 1980s, when the Judeo-Christian, Western tradition, though battered, was still ascendant, view our sexuality as a private matter. We believe that our bodies are our own property, which means that we should not be touched or controlled sexually without our consent. A person raised with this worldview inevitably believes as well that his ability to control his body is the essence of his individuality. This physical individuality is the antithesis of slavery, which represents a person’s ultimate lack of control over his body.
What’s interesting is that, because the Left expresses itself in terms of “freeing” people’s sexuality, many people miss the fact that it is every bit as sexually controlling in its own way as Islam is. This control comes about because the Left works assiduously to decouple sex from a person’s own sense of bodily privacy and, by extension, self-ownership. If a person has no sense of autonomy, that person is a ready-made cog for the statist machinery.
The practical problem for the Left when it tries to attack individuality as expressed through sexuality is the fact that a person’s sense of an inviolate physical self develops quite early, during childhood. As one of my blog readers said, “Once a child individuates, he becomes aware of being his own self. … The most basic thing one can own is one’s own self, and not letting others touch that self in ways you don’t like is an exercise in self-ownership.” (Emphasis mine.)
The Left, therefore, needs to decouple self and body as early as possible in a person’s development — and it does this by bringing its own peculiar notions of sexuality into the realms of child-rearing and education.
Once upon a time, the radical Leftists were quite open about their agenda. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, German Leftists explicitly sought childhood “sexual liberation” as a political goal. In practice, this meant exposing children to adult sexual practices, focusing obsessively on the children’s external sexual organs, speaking about sexual matters in the crudest terms, and, unsurprisingly, engaging in actual sexual molestation. The Leftists advocating this liberation framed it as a way to break free of stifling bourgeois notions of morality that enslaved people and prevented them from realizing full sexual pleasure.
Reading the Leftists’ contemporaneous literature, however, reveals a more comprehensive aim than merely breaking those much-derided bourgeois sexual chains. The Leftists also intended to destroy the traditional nuclear family, with its bright lines between parent and child, and to bring down the capitalist system, which is dependent on a competitive, and therefore individualized, workforce:
Nor can the above ranting be excused as the thoughts of a radical fringe. For example, these same European Leftists infiltrated the Catholic Diocese in Mechelen-Brussels, in Belgium, creating a sickening environment that actively promoted pedophilia. In other words, this particular church’s forays into perversion were not the secretive gropings of individual priests. Instead, there was a concerted effort, led by a liberal Belgian church hierarchy, to make pedophilia a routine practice within the Church.
While the overheated Marxist rhetoric of the 1960s has died away, the Leftist preoccupation with childhood sexuality, and its relentless desire to have the state control a child’s sexual development — and, by extension, to deny the child self-ownership — is still alive and well. The primary pathway the Left currently uses to decouple childhood sexual development from self-individuation is the gay rights agenda.
What wasn’t on my radar in 2010, when I was focused on the Left’s push to make children sexually aware of and supportive for the LGBTQ spectrum of sexuality, was pedophilia. In fact, I’d long been aware of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (“NAMBLA”), which left flyers all over Berkeley when I was a student there in the very early 1980s.
To give you a sense of how swiftly our culture has moved, UC Berkeley in the early 1980s was one of the most radical Left campuses in America, but the students who picked up the flyers (which were literally strewn on the ground) were universally disgusted by the notion of pedophilia and understood absolutely that society should not condone sexual relationships between adults and prepubescent children or even teenagers.
Fast forward thirty-five years and you have one of America’s mainstream online publications, the Leftist Slate, running an article promoting sympathetic feelings for pedophiles. Milo Yiannopoulos uses that Slate piece as the springboard for a larger discussion about the push for government and social approval of pedophilia:
Today, Salon gave a platform to a self-confessed pedophile to explain his urges in sympathetic terms. “I’m a Pedophile, But Not A Monster” reads the headline. It’s a long, self-pitying screed that ends with a call to be “understanding and supportive” of adults who crave sexual intimacy with children.
Forgive me if I’m not first to start the standing ovation. In fact I’m pretty sure most people will find the existence on Salon’s website of this post both shocking and distasteful.
The timing of Nickerson’s post, barely a week after multiple high-profile progressives rallied around progressive activist Sarah Nyberg, couldn’t be more suspect. Over the past two weeks, an alarming number of left-leaning commentators have rallied around the self-confessed transsexual pedophile and progressive activist who defended white nationalism.
In other words, progressives who got fired up about whether green and purple was a “rapey” colour scheme were suddenly fine with discussion of incestuous pedophilia from a 22-year-old in a chat room full of teenagers. It has been a somewhat grotesque spectacle to watch.
But these two incidents are merely just the latest in a disturbing trend of pedophilia activism on the Left, which has gone out on a limb time and time again to normalise child abuse. From the 1970s to the present day, organised pedophilia has been a recurring problem for the supposedly progressive movement.
Yiannopoulos sees pedophiles as the new frontier in moral relativism and victim culture:
Anarcho-capitalists and libertarians may wish to dismantle many social and legal checks on personal behaviour, but they draw a hard line around behaviour that harms or violates the rights of others. Relativists have no such rules: by definition, they don’t believe in universal rules at all.
Horrifyingly, there are signs of a new pedophile acceptance movement forming on the Left. Just as Allen West warned, the gay rights movement is being used as a template. First comes the argument that pedophiles are just “born that way,” absolving them of any moral responsibility for their desires. Then comes the argument that pedophiles are just normal people, like the rest of us, but somehow impoverished or victimised by their own condition.
Inevitably, our society’s current ostracisation of pedophiles will be portrayed as an injustice: an oppression from which pedophiles must be liberated, or for which they deserve our sympathy. And woe to the oppressors! Quietly, in progressive columns and academies around the world, progressives are losing their footing and sliding down that slippery slope. Publications like Salon are abetting the turpitude.
I don’t disagree with Yiannopoulos’s conclusion. Indeed, I think he’s correct. I think, though, that the rot goes deeper than viewing pedophiles as just another group of victims suffering from the terrible discrimination inherent in Judeo-Christian Western morality (that’s the Leftist view, obviously, not mine). As we struggle to protect those same Judeo-Christian values, it helps to keep our eyes on the larger issue: Totalitarian doctrines have always been predicated upon controlling people by controlling their sexuality — and there is no better way to do that than to catch them when they’re young, very, very young.
Several bizarre trends are burgeoning on American college campuses, all of which have the potential to backfire in spectacular form against the hardcore Leftists who are promulgating these ideas. This post focuses on three of the worst ideas in modern academia:
(1) The next generation of political correctness, which classifies any speech that hurts a student’s feelings as either a microaggression or a form of triggering. Older generation Lefties are slowly figuring out that these concepts are a form of censorship — but pointing that out, of course, is a form of microaggression that can trigger feelings of persecution in women, members of the LGBTQRSTUV community, people of color, people with handicaps (including young lawyers who demand corner offices at large law offices because they suffer from claustrophobia, something that really happened), victims of rape, victims of bad haircuts, people traumatized by reading about Cecil the Lion, etc.
(2) The bizarre pretense that a person’s sex is no longer a biological matter (as in X and Y chromosomes, which manifest themselves in different reproductive systems, hormones, musculoskeletal systems, etc.), but is simply a matter of preference, so that students can now claim to have a “fluid gender identity” that changes depending upon the person’s mood. On Tuesday, feeling manly, you can put on jeans and a baseball cap, and manspread over a couple of seats at a campus coffee shop; then on Wednesday, to explore your feminine side, you can put on a nice sun dress, put conditioner in your beard to make it soft and silky, and participate in the Womyn’s Group’s latest protest against male hegemony.
(3) The rabid attack on all men as rapists. The most recent examples of this campus pathology range from a manifestly delusional confabulator (as happened at the University of Virginia), to a pathetic woman desperate for attention (as seen with Emma Sulkowicz), to a scorned woman (such as the one who fell into the clutches of one of academia’s professional man haters, and then managed to drag an innocent man into a kangaroo court beyond even Kafka’s imaginings).
The last of the three trends, incidentally, is a direct by-product of the virulent misanthropy that incubates in “womyn’s studies” departments and that thrives on American campuses. If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend Robert Stacy McCain’s Sex Trouble: Essays on Radical Feminism and the War Against Human Nature. The book, which is by McCain’s own admission a work in progress, provides chapter and verse on the man-hating lesbians who occupy academia and churn out academic bestsellers. One of the more prominent examples of these “scholars” was the late Andrea Dworkin who, in 1987, published Intercourse, which asserts that all male-female penetrative sex is by definition a form of rape.
You do realize, of course, where we’re going with these three trends? One day, it’s going to happen that a young woman, whether because she’s delusional, an emotional exhibitionist, or simply vindictive, will file a complaint with her university’s sexual harassment squad claiming that, even though she consented for months to have sex with her boyfriend, she’s concluded in retrospect that her erstwhile boyfriend raped her. Being familiar with the Stalin-esque administraition her campus, she rightly assumes that, once she’s filed her complaint, her boyfriend will be summoned before a kangaroo court and run out of campus on a rail, with his entire future destroyed. Ah, sweet revenge!
But wait! In the Perfect Storm scenario, the ex-boyfriend, when called before the tribunal, refuses to bow down. He does not beg for a lawyer. He does not offer pathetic, chauvinistic attacks against his victimized accuser. He does not beg for mercy.
Instead, the accused ex-boyfriend claims that the charge against him cannot possibly be true. The reality, he says, is that during the time he was dating his accuser, his gender identity was feminine. Not only was his gender identity feminine, it was also lesbian — and to the extent his appearance on campus was externally masculine, he behaved that way because he had discovered that he had much greater sexual success as a lesbian (with sexual success defined as encounters with other women) when those same women believed he was a man. He knew, however, at all relevant times, that he was a lesbian having sex with the woman now hiding behind a screen and accusing him of the heteronormative crime of rape.
Not only does the accused ex-lesbian boyfriend deny the charges against him, he counterattacks. His accuser, he says, the so-called “victim,” has caused him deep emotional distress. She is therefore guilty of microaggressions directed at (1) lesbians, (2) women, and (3) gender fluid individuals. Moreover, the administrative tribunal itself is a triggering factor that has caused him to relive in a post traumatic stress way the horrors of a childhood with religious conservative parents who insisted that men are men, women are women, and that marriage can be only between one man and one woman.
Because of these appalling microaggressions and triggering events, the manifestly innocent ex-lesbian boyfriend, upon leaving this administrative tribunal, plans to head directly to Leslie Abramson’s office, where he will file a suit against the University and his accuser alleging discrimination, sexual harassment, gender bias, emotional distress, and all other claims necessary to compensate him for the terrible emotional wrongs committed against him. The worm will have turned.
As I’ve noted before, we cannot afford to back down an inch in the culture wars lest the fanatics take over, brutally squashing all dissent — and as is always the case with fanatics, all the joy in life. One of the most ferocious battles in this war involves relationships between men and women (or, maybe more accurately, boys and girls) at the university level. Robert Stacy McCain accurately notes the malevolent misanthropy driving these battles:
We’ve seen it over and over again, as a movie cliché or a silly cartoon: The man is caught in flagrante with another women and, defensively, says to his wronged spouse, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?” It is the ultimate definition of cognitive dissonance.
While cognitive dissonance can make for good humor, in the real world, there comes a point when the human brain can no longer tolerate the loud noise of that dissonance. At that point, people have two choices: embrace the crazy or go for reality.
In his beautiful memoir, Fear No Evil, Natan Sharansky describes the corrosive mental effects of living with overarching government lies. The government touted its incredible economic success, yet for ordinary citizens the reality was that they were living with another family in a small, rundown apartment unit, or that the stores routinely had empty shelves or long lines. Or the Soviet government boasted that it was a free and liberal nation, yet everyone knew that they had better not speak out against it lest they be hustled away on a dark night, tried in a kangaroo court, and sentenced to an eternity in a frozen gulag.
The government’s conduct was the living embodiment of Joseph Goebbel’s “Big Lie”:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
For Sharansky and other dissidents, life under the Big Lie was a malevolent clown house, with warped mirrors and unpleasant surprises around every corner. Reality could too easily become a meaningless construct, as you were repeatedly assured (at the point of a gun) that your empty store was a bountiful paradise and your fearful glances over your shoulder were just the inevitable price of “freedom.” What saved the dissidents from the insanity of cognitive dissonance was this:
A lot of people thought it was kind of tacky for Barack Obama to honor Memorial Day on his Twitter feed by posting a picture of himself eating ice cream while surrounded by fawning reporters. Lena Dunham, however, has gone Obama one better. To honor Memorial Day, she posted a picture of herself in lingerie:
Me? I would have preferred a picture of Dunham eating ice cream, but that’s not where I want to take this discussion.
A friend and I were discussing whether the picture was attractive and we concluded that it’s not. We both agreed that part of why it’s not attractive is because we don’t like Dunham. Seeing endless acres of flesh on someone you think has a corrosive influence on your society is not an appealing sight. So we had to ask ourselves the next question: If we liked Dunham more, would we find her more pleasant to look upon as she flaunts her flesh?
My answer — no.
This answer doesn’t have anything to do with my being opposed to people who would be rejected by Cosmo Magazine or a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. There are big women who manage to look radiantly attractive in lingerie photographs. They look happy in their own skins and their attractive sensuality communicates itself to the viewer. Even if a comfortably filled-out woman isn’t your idea of objective “beauty,” a woman who feels sexy still manages to look sexy. Dunham doesn’t.
What Dunham does is look defiantly depressed. Her face says, “You better like me, you sons and daughters of bitches, or you’re clearly guilty of a hate crime against women and, worse, against big women.” Dunham may be about sex (God knows, she certainly never stops talking about it or taking pictures of it), but she’s not about sexy.
Nothing illustrated that more to me than a sad “just use me” quotation Dunham made about the endless nude scenes on her critically-acclaimed (although not audience acclaimed) show Girls:
While Ellie Kemper said she had yet to film a sex scene, Dunham told the other comedians she’s not shy when it comes to being naked on set.
“I stopped wearing the nude patch after the first season of Girls,” Dunham said. “There’s not one guy who works on that show who hasn’t seen the inside of my vagina. This patch – you glue it over your vagina. It gets sweaty and always falls off. My male co-stars, at the end of the day, don’t care.”
I’m sure Dunham is right that her male co-stars don’t care about her vagina. But I’m equally sure that they don’t look at Dunham and see anything more than a woman begging to be used sexually — and by that I mean more than just being used for sex. She’s reduced her essence — the part of her that deserves love and respect — to a vagina.
For an older generation of feminist, the one swept away by the tide of hard Left harridans, feminism meant believing that men and women should get equal pay for equal work, and that job standards should be tied to the needs of the job, not to pandering to one sex’s abilities or trying to shut out the other sex’s opportunities. For the Dunham generation, feminism means “love me, love my vagina — and really, there’s nothing more of me that’s worth loving.”
Dunham, in other words, isn’t a feminist, she’s a sexual nihilist. Worse — and this is where I get into politics, as the nihilistic voice of her generation, she’s joined by countless other women who have reduced the corrupt, ineffective, potentially dangerous Hillary to nothing more than a vagina and who, having reduced Hillary to this biological absurdity, insist that, on this basis alone, Hillary is worthy of becoming President of the United States.
My suggestion is that Hillary’s next campaign poster should look like this. (Sorry about the abysmal quality of the “poster.” I don’t have anything like Photoshop on my computer and this is the best I can do.):
It ought to win Hillary at least a few votes from the Dunham generation.
Do you remember the McMartin preschool case in the mid- to late-1980s, when the owners of a small, family-run preschool found themselves accused of satanic sexual debauchery with the children in their care? Although the McMartin case was the most widely publicized, and therefore the most memorable, case, there were similar cases popping up all over the United States.
Each case would begin with a mother reporting that her child had said something that indicated he or she was the victim of sexual abuse at the preschool. Investigators and child therapists would move in and, next thing you knew, scores of employees and owners were suddenly being accused of the most heinous crimes.
Significantly, these accusations didn’t even stop with ordinary sexual molestation. Instead, they invariably included additional bizarre behaviors such bestiality, animal sacrifice, and even human sacrifice. Looked at objectively, without the accompanying media-fed hysteria, the charges sounded every bit as ridiculous as the claims made almost three hundred years before in Salem, Massachusetts. Needless to say, as in Salem, a lot of lives were irrevocably destroyed before the hysteria finally ended.
I think we’re all agreed here that, when it comes to sex, mutual consent is a good thing. In an ideal world, men and women would communicate with the type of clarity last seen when God spoke to Moses from the burning bush. That, of course, is not what happens. Instead, things get physical first, and words, if any are used, are spoken last. It’s a dance.
For example, look at this clip from a 1943 film, The More The Merrier. She’s carefully interviewing him, while he’s single-mindedly intent on getting the kiss. As he moves on her, she wiggles and pulls away, only to stay well within his orbit. She speaks all those words; and he silently seduces her:
I spend so much of my life starting things, but never finishing them. Part of that is my core inefficiency and part of it is the fact that, although it goes sorely against my nature, my life is lived in the service of others. Even worse, those others aren’t interested in my having time to blog. Shame on them! They’ve been fed now, though, and should be pacified for a while. 😉
The registration form doesn’t require proof of life either
Everybody who’s surprised to learn that the Obama administration is trying to block any state efforts to require immigrants to prove citizenship when registering to vote, please raise your hands. Those with their hands raised, how have you managed to remain so naive after six Obama years?
A short rant about American blacks
Watching how the Democrats (led by whites, fueled by blacks) have destroyed cities across America, with special attention given to the destruction of America’s black communities, I have a rant:
“Fine, we, the white collective, screwed you. We screwed you 200 years ago, and 100 years ago, and 50 years, and last week. We seem incapable of not screwing you. So why do you keep looking to us for help? Look to yourselves. Fix your own communities because, according to you, whatever we touch, we turn to dross. The fact is, you can’t grow up until you cut the apron strings, especially because, by your own definition, your white American Mommy is toxic.”
Of course, once one says that, rather than the black community pulling itself up by its own bootstraps, all that happens is a renewed press for reparations. But still, the reality in communities is exactly the same as it is when you sit in the therapist’s office and he intones (usually to your irritation), “Only you can help yourself. You have to want to change.”
Good news: Arab young people are becoming surprisingly pro-Israel
During Operation Protective Edge last year, several pro-Israel Facebook groups started posting pictures of people’s hands (no faces). In one hand was a passport, with the cover showing the country of origin; on the other hand, the inked words “I support you Israel,” or something similar. An amazing number of those passports were from Muslim countries. The following article, therefore, wasn’t completely surprising, but it did make me smile:
It all began as a personal project by a young Israeli Arab who lives in northern Israel. He wanted to use social networking to convince other Israeli Arabs that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are not some “army of evil” and that its soldiers are not as bloodthirsty as they tend to be portrayed in Arab propaganda films. He soon learned, however, that in the digital age, there is no end to surprises. Instead of messages and responses from the Israeli Arab audience he was targeting, he began receiving messages of peace and love from young Arab men and women from across the Arab world.
Read the rest here. George Dubya may have been right about the yearning for freedom within the Muslim world — especially as they see ISIS’s depredations.
Socialism hasn’t served Scandinavia well
I’ve told you before about my polite remainders to a Scandinavian friend that his belief that his is a successful socialist country is a delusion. The money for socialism has come from American defense during the Cold War (“We’ll pay for your military so that you can socialize your medicine.”), while the Scandinavian collective (“Ja, ja! We agree about everything.”) means that they haven’t had to rely on the coercion that is the real socialist deal in governance. The end of the Cold War, combined with the influx of uncooperative Muslims into Scandinavian countries, is revealing what a big fake Scandinavian “socialism” always was.
It turns out that there’s a book expanding on what I’ve gathered just using a few news stories, some glowing PBS documentaries about Scandinavian wonders, a short visit to the Scandinavian countries, and some common sense: Michael Booth’s The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia. This is definitely a book I have to read.
A review at Reason gives you a taste of why I’ll like it — and a taste of how much worse the Scandinavian reality is than I ever realized:
The book, which has just been published in the U.S., is especially powerful in its dissection of the culturally corrosive effects of Scandinavia’s expansive state power, which seems to “smother its people’s motivation, ambition, and spirit.”
A full fifth of Danish adults don’t work and live exclusively on public benefits. Norwegian media is so deeply dull that one of its most popular television shows ever is—this is for real—a seven-hour real-time feed from a camera mounted on a train traversing mountains. Booth calls the prevailing Swedish political norms “benign totalitarianism.”
In other cultures, you have “tall poppy syndrome,” where if a reality star makes a record or buys a Lamborghini, they’ll get pilloried in the media. The difference in Scandinavia is that tall poppy syndrome applies to everyone all the time. So if you show naked ambition or arrogance, you will get cut down to size. “Don’t think you are that special, don’t show off, don’t boast.” No one wears a suit and tie in parliament. It’s extraordinary.
If you want an incredibly equal, socially cohesive society, you definitely lose something by way of individuality, eccentricity, diversity. Often I’m asked, “Could the Nordic template be applied to Britain or America?” And the answer is no. You can’t just hope that people will suddenly become conformist and driven by equality. It doesn’t work that way.
Media brings about its worst fear — guns for self-defense
The media, in its efforts to have Americans join its anti-gun fervor, has been plugging stories for several years telling people about America’s gun violence epidemic. Rather than making Americans insist that we ban guns, however, the opposite happened: more and more Americans decided to arm themselves. I think we call this a Massive Media Fail.
Free speech for me (if I’m antisemitic), but not for thee (if you’re pro-Israel) at Connecticut College
Professor Andrew Pessin, at Connecticut College, was branded a racist for daring to support Israel — with all the attendant stalking and harassment that comes with that label:
Professor Pessin is the latest casualty of what might be described as a “killer bee swarm” on the local and global internet. It took only one student, Lamiya Khandaker, who defamed Pessin in a student newspaper, to launch a university-wide and global campaign against Pessin defending last summer’s military campaign against the terrorist group Hamas by the Israeli government.
Pessin has been fighting a campaign to brand him as racist for his support of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in summer 2014, based on a remark posted to Facebook in which he compared Hamas to ““a rabid pit bull is chained in a cage, regularly making mass efforts to escape.”
Khandaker’s use of certain key words and concepts regarding Pessin—“I feel unsafe as a Muslim;” there is “subtle institutional racism;” Pessin is a “racist” because he allegedly compared Palestinians to “rabid pit bulls”—all functioned as zeitgeist signals to a previously conditioned mob and they lit out after him.
Pessin began receiving hate mail and death threats following her allegations, and wasforced to take a medical leave due to the level of stress this incident placed on him.
In point of fact, and contrary to what Khandaker alleged, Pessin was referring to the terrorist Hamas leadership when he made the “pit bull” comment, not to Palestinian people.
You can sign the petition here (which is still stuck at a little fewer than 10,000 signatures).
Sexism rears its ugly head in attacks on female hunters
David Reeder noticed something interesting — the animal rights/anti-gun crowd is sexist, very, very sexist (language warning):
You can think what you want about hunting, that’s your prerogative. But when you conflate hunting with poaching, when your disapproval translates into misogyny, vile torrents of profanity and threats of violence, that just proves what many people think already: you’re a pretentious asshole. It certainly doesn’t do much for your credibility or strength of your argument either, but why let a little rational discourse get in the way of your most recent excuse to be outraged?
Here’s an idea! As long as you (and by you I mean any of the many thousands of people wishing hunters ill) are engaging in such smarmy tomfuckery, why don’t you go ahead and be even more outraged when it’s a pretty girl perpetrating such wanton carnage. It’s bad enough when a Mossy Oak-clad quinquagenarian harvests an animal, but God forbid it’s a hawt white girl with bewbs posing next to that hapless, slaughtered beast. She should be reviled publicly — in fact, let’s revoke her right to vote and stick her back in front of the stove while we’re at it.
I’m not a fan of trophy hunting. It makes no sense to me to kill something if you’re not going to eat it. Having said that, it’s legal in many places and useful in many others, culling animals that would otherwise upset the balance in the ecosystem. And God knows, if I were going to attack it, I wouldn’t do so on sexist grounds.
As a mental health professional, I find the storms raging at Georgetown and Oberlin University regarding Christina Hoff Sommers’ visit and speech as “triggering” and traumatizing to be beyond bizarre. My objective as a mental health professional is to empower people, to enable them to overcome trauma in order to live as fully as possible, to not be burdened by symptoms of depression or anxiety and to not let the entirety of their lives be dictated by a single trauma or even multiple traumas.
Do trigger-warning, safe-room advocates at colleges not believe that it betters people to overcome pain and move on, or is it truly their belief that no one, at any time, must ever expose a traumatized person to an opinion that differs from theirs on “triggering” topics in case they may become upset? It is impossible to control the world in such a way.
Perhaps the attempt to protect one set of victims by silencing or cancelling speakers may actually be “triggering” to another group of people, such as those individuals who have personally been victims of totalitarianism, kangaroo courts or punitive re-education, who are reminded of the fear brought about by not being allowed to voice their opinions and hear diverse viewpoints or face political prison. Is there a safe place on campus for those students who are re-traumatized by the attempt to shut down speakers or demand only “correct” speech?
People who have been in car accidents may be “triggered” by traffic or certain types of cars. People who have been mugged may be “triggered” by people resembling the attacker or by certain streets. People who have been at war may be “triggered” by the news or certain sounds. People can be reminded of loss by a song, a phone call, a book—in fact, by anything. Everyone who lives has faced loss and trauma of some sort. The longer we live the more loss or trauma we experience due to deaths of loved ones or other challenges. Some people have had substantially more than their fair share of trauma.
Word must have gotten out that I have a temporary hiatus in the endless mountain of legal work that’s overwhelmed me, because the phone hasn’t stopped ringing all morning. Every time my fingers get anywhere near my keyboard, the phone rings, I glance at the caller ID and, yes, it’s a call I need to take.
The most interesting call I received came in a short while ago from a delightful, interesting man who will be speaking to a local conservative group with which I’m involved. His topic: Israel. In past weeks, some in the group have been a little worried that this man, a Democrat and Obama supporter, might inadvertently antagonize our group. Speaking to him today, though, I think he and our group will be singing the same song. He seems to feel, as I do, that — Obama is doing something unconscionably dangerous in allying us with Iran while giving Iran the nuclear go ahead, and something profoundly evil by sacrificing Israel to achieve this unconscionable goal.
I am deeply, deeply disturbed when I think what Obama is doing in the Middle East. By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes. This is not ineptitude or misguided faith. Obama, dragging the United States along behind him, is deliberately embracing evil.
All I can think of lately, and you’ll see why as you read further, is the British military band in 1781, at the Surrender at Yorktown, playing “The World Turned Upside Down.”
Don’t just blame Lena Dunham; The New Yorker published her