Black Lives Matter and Racism

Today we’ll be looking at #blacklivesmatter (BLM) – the movement, what it stands for, and it’s claims.  As is usual with 4th Wavers, we’ll be covering tons of studies, statistics, data, facts, evidence, so you can link this post as a final resource anytime you find yourself in an online debate.

As most of us are aware, the BLM movement is primarily concerned with the treatment black people experience from the police, from experiencing violence to being unjustly shot and killed. But the movement also puts forward claims that go much further than that, and suggests that blacks are *disproportionately* targeted by the police – and mistreated by society at large – as a result of racism and racist beliefs on part of the people taking such actions. As stated on the BLM website:
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Black people are not inherently more violent or more prone to crime than other groups. But black people are disproportionately poorer, more likely to be targeted by police and arrested, and more likely to attend poor or failing schools. All of these social indicators place one at greater risk for being either a victim or a perpetrator of violent crime. To reduce violent crime, we must fight to change systems, rather than demonizing people.
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^ Now this is the official position put forward by the movement, so keep this in mind.  We’ll come back to it later.

We’re also familiar with the long list of names of black people that were targeted and killed by the police, as well as images like this one.

But the central question here, and the point that is causing all the commotion, is whether or not black people are being targeted simply because they are black.  The official position of BLM hints that they actually aren’t – they’re targeted because they’re disproportionately poorer, which is a “social indicator” that places them at greater risk.  Again real important to keep this concept in mind, because that’s the central point that’s causing the argument, especially when it comes to #AllLivesMatter .

There is some truth to the idea that black people are poorer due to laws and decision making policy that was in place during the earlier part of the 20th century, and there are some specific examples of “white privilege” which are associated (white privilege is extremely rare, but individual examples do exist). But the movement isn’t only addressing evidence based critiques like this.  Again, there are some extraordinary claims that come from the movement, linked with hashtags like #walkingwhileblack , #drivingwhileblack and #handsupdontshoot .

Research shows some surprising figures.
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A study conducted by the Washington Post found that white officers shooting unarmed black men accounted for only 4% of fatal shootings. Moreover, in 3 out of 4 fatal shootings, the police were under attack, or defending someone else who was. They also performed a painstaking case-by-case analysis of the most widely publicized incidents of this nature that have occurred: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/wp/2015/12/26/2015/12/26/a-year-of-reckoning-police-fatally-shoot-nearly-1000/
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A study conducted by The Guardian shows over twice as many whites have been killed by police in 2016, casting serious doubt over the “shot because they’re black” claim.  That’s a hell of a lot of white people also being shot. You can see the study here: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database . “Proportionally”, however (blacks counted “per million”), we see that blacks are over twice as high as whites (we’ll see why in a second). It’s interesting to see that Native American ranks highest of all in terms of “proportionate”, because they make up only around 2% of the population, according to the Census Bureau. Blacks make up only around 6%.  Yet for some reason, saying “all lives matter” – which include Native Peoples, Latinos, and Asians – all of which are linked here to pages demonstrating that they also are victimized by the police – is criticized as being racist.
all lives matter cartoon

Take a look at those stats we just covered. Now you really gonna pretend like your house is the only damn one on fire?

A common argument against “all lives matter” has often been comparing it to houses that are on fire.  http://www.vox.com/2016/7/11/12136140/black-all-lives-matter <— see for yourself.  This argument against “all houses matter” indicates that no other houses, except this one specific house or group of houses, experiences any fire.  So is BLM just not understanding that other races exist and also experience these issues?  Because every other race most certainly *does* experience police brutality (which here is the “fire”).  The analogy simply does not carry over, since twice as many whites are shot by police according to the data we have on the subject, and the original argument was focused on blacks being targeted for being black, not simply being the only ones that ever experience this issue.

Moreover, no one is saying #BlackLivesMatter can’t be used, or isn’t valid.  It’s perfectly fine to develop your own special interest group that focuses only on one given demographic.  The problem is being told that #AllLivesMatter is racist and can’t be used, because blacks are targeted only for being black, and everyone else is targeted for some other reason.  That just isn’t the case, which we’ll see in a bit.

And not to get into a point-by-point response with Vox (I think we all have better things to do), but in reply to number’s 4 and 5 on the Vox list linked above:

>> Do people who change to run thru a cancer fundraiser going “THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES TOO”

^^^ No,  because other diseases also receive funding, and are being addressed at their own unique fundraisers.  For example, there’s myasthenia gravis fundraisers, cystic fibrosis fundraisers, and so on.  But imagine if you weren’t even allowed to *suggest* that one particular disease is a problem worth addressing, much less receive it’s own fundraiser or awareness, without being denounced for saying so.  Or imagine if you couldn’t say “all diseases matter” and feel concern for anyone who falls ill or becomes sick, because doing so would make you a “diseasist” or whatever.

And again, no one is saying Cancer doesn’t matter, or you can’t have cancer awareness.  But you *are* saying other diseases can’t be given their own consideration, or that we can’t show equal amounts of concern to others who are sick and dying.

>> WTF is the impulse behind changing to . Do you crash strangers’ funerals shouting I TOO HAVE FELT LOSS

^^^ ……………. actually yes.  That is precisely what I would say.  I would approach the people who are feeling bad, and tell them “I’m so sorry, I know how hard this is.  I too have felt loss, so what you’re going through must be terrible.”

It’s not the #AllLivesMatter people who are turning this into a denouncement of others, as though social movements were analogous to a football game, where if someone isn’t routing for your team, then they have to be against you because they’re on a different team.  This nonsensical “us vs them” mentality seems to have hijacked every social cause.  It’s very possible to be concerned about other groups and also be concerned about your group.

I swear it’s like the people at Vox, Buzzfeed, and Cracked think this grade-school level wit is just so incredibly golden that there’s just *NO* counter argument that a person could think of within just a few seconds of thought.

Anyway back to those studies from earlier – now lets look at the reason *why* blacks are shot disproportionately more often.  Is it “because they’re black”?  If we look at the charts again (hopefully you still have them open in another tab), in 2015 we see similar numbers; almost twice as many whites as blacks shot and killed by the police, though the “proportion” is higher for blacks, as they make up less of the population.  (Also, this refers to all whites and all blacks taken together as demographics.  That’s really important, so keep that in mind, we’re going to come back to that in a second.)

Okay, so… why is that?

Remember that thing about how blacks live in poorer neighborhoods in the original BLM statement?  Well this is unfortunately true – and it’s due to racist decisions that were made in the earlier part of the 20th century.  These were things like what neighborhoods blacks could or couldn’t live in, and yes, that was definitely motivated by racism.  As it turns out, those neighborhoods happened to end up a lot more poor, since society was “separate”, but certainly not equal.  Many of these neighborhoods remain affected to this day, and according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, households at or below the poverty line will be involved with over twice as much crime. http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5137 – it also shows blacks and whites have similar rates of violence when below the poverty line.

So this really isn’t about being black, it’s about being poor – just like we saw indicated in the original BLM statement.

This makes perfect sense. If black households are more often poor, and live in poorer neighborhoods, then crime will obviously happen more often in those areas, and provide more chances for police encounters.

Percentage of poor

Aside from addressing the obvious problems in this graph, how about programs aimed at getting police involved with the community they protect? How about an advisory board made up of members of that community to help facilitate relationship building? That might that be slightly more effective than chanting “pigs in a blanket – fry em like bacon”.

Now before we move on, 2 things.

1) Yes, you could argue that the current situation was created by racism that existed in the past, and is still a problem today.  But this is a *lot* different than saying “police officers shot him because he was black”.  I hope it’s clear now why that narrative, perpetuated by BLM, is simply not true.

2) Despite having more police encounters, when comparing encounters between each demographic (everyone who experienced a police encounter), rather than the entire white population vs the entire black population (the demographics mentioned earlier), we find that blacks are still not shot more often than whites.  Again, this is comparing all police encounters with whites, and all police encounters with blacks, rather than “all whites” and “all blacks” everywhere.  A meta analysis involving FIVE MILLION CASES – by a black researcher (if that matters) now reveals this to be the case.

You can see this analysis here: http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21702219-are-black-americans-more-likely-be-shot-or-roughed-up-police-quantifying-black-lives?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fte%2Fpe%2Fed%2Fquantifyingblacklivesmatter – and yes, I’m leaving that great big ugly URL there because I don’t want you to miss it.  This demonstrates that blacks *ARE NOT* shot by the police more often, when all arrests are compared. The use of more frequent physical restraint against blacks can be explained by the fact that blacks live in poorer neighborhoods, as we discussed earlier, where crime is higher, and this would of course affect the vigilance in police perception.

Now that’s not downplaying the use of force, which is still definitely a problem.  But the claim here was that they’re being targeted because they are black – and that’s simply not true.  They are being targeted, but it’s *not* for being black.

Now lets touch again on the whole blacks-being-poor bit, which is the real story here, because it actually goes a hell of a lot deeper.

As mentioned, in the earlier part of the 20th century, racist housing policies controlled where blacks could and couldn’t live, thus forcing them into areas where they had fewer opportunities, and these areas became economically depressed. This in turn lead to a number of other important factors that persisted long after the original racial policies were changed. Blacks, as a demographic, now have a more difficult time getting into college or finding work opportunities – like the original BLM statement pointed out. Combine this with the lowered property value of black residential areas, and a black person will end up having a lower credit score, which severely affects several other parts of a person’s life, including the value of their savings and eligibility to receive a loan, which in turn affects how easily they can purchase a house or car. The key importance here is that while the system inadvertently makes things more difficult for black people, it is very possible that no one *IN* this system is actively racist, neither consciously nor subconsciously!!

SJW (social justice warrior) morons point to the higher asking price of a vehicle that a black person is trying to purchase and claim that it’s somehow “subconscious racism”. Right. As if the sales person is, on some subconscious level, thinking to himself “Oh boy! Blacky wants a car! Imma ask him for more money than he reasonably has because he’s black and doesn’t earn as much, and this makes perfect sense, given that I’m trying to make a sale and a higher asking price makes achieving that sale more difficult! Mwahahahaha!!!!” – and the sales person does this even if they’re black. Because of “internalized racism”. Or whatever cockamamie intellectual-sounding buzzword 3rd Wavers and SJWs are using to cover obvious plot holes in their “theory”.

The fact of the matter is, the sales person doesn’t care about skin colour, they care about credit score and other factors that go into buying a car, which are set by the bank.  The bank doesn’t care about skin colour, they care about where you live, how long you’ve been employed, how many payments you’ve missed, etc.  The housing authority doesn’t care about your skin colour, they only care about previous evictions, landlord-tenant law, and related considerations.  Each person in the system is only doing their job.  None of them are aware of the larger systemic problems.  They are not themselves racist.  They don’t hate blacks.  They aren’t trying to keep whites in control.  There is no secret agenda.  It’s screwed up, but it’s not caused by white people secretly hating blacks and needing to “check their privilege”.

That nonsensical narrative that whites are the problem is only fostering an ideology of hate, rather than unity.  That’s why we keep seeing crap like this:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xNxoeqf0Ws – “Pigs in a blanket – fry em like bacon”.
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https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/751236850799374336 – advocating gun violence against anyone who disagrees
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_2tmieafYY Give it a watch.  This one’s pretty damn out there.
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So the problem with BLM comes down to two things.
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First, the usual rhetoric nearly always ignores the very highly complex reality surrounding blacks and how their lives are affected by systemic disadvantages.
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Second, aside from rarely ever addressing those problems, we get the impression that the solution is merely for every white person to hang their head in shame and constantly apologize for being white (“White people, appropriately take your place in the back”).  It creates the narrative that the actual reason for all the shootings and other problems have nothing to do with what we discussed here, and is all simply because someone with white skin decided to shoot someone who had black skin, and for no other reason.
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I mean, there *are* actual people associated with the movement that are at least trying to make sense of all this, but we rarely ever hear these voices over the screaming accusations of white people being the problem.
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This in turn makes every white person sick to f*cking death of hearing about how they’re part of a problem merely for existing.  The vast majority of white people aren’t racist at all.  They’re normal human beings who just want the best for everyone.  But I’ve even been told I’m racist just for *being* white, and I’d place a wager that most people reading this have been told that at some point too.
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Pretty soon a black person gets angry because they’re convinced every white person is somehow at fault.  Type “white people inherently racist” into google and look at how many results come up that I honestly don’t think are even worth replying to.  This kind of mindset does nothing except create animosity and hatred, and makes the problem worse, not better.
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This is exasperated even further by telling a person with white skin that they’re somehow not allowed to have an opinion – unless of course their opinion just happens to agree with you. Remember when whites said that to blacks? Remember how frustrating it was, and how there was a word used to describe that kind of sentiment? Began with an “R”?  Take all the time you need.
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This is ultimately where the problems originate with #blacklivesmatter .  People aren’t disagreeing with your movement because they’re racist.  You’ve simply turned disagreement into a qualifier for being racist.
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Whites are not racist by default. They’re just sick of being told they are.  And the problem here isn’t “because you’re black”.  And it isn’t “because they’re white”.  It’s because of complex multifaceted socio-economic causes that too often end up getting ignored.  And instead of actually thinking your way through it all, you find it easier to stick to your hateful and simplistic blame-people-who-aren’t-like-me narrative.

you can sway men by prejudice before logic

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Heterosexual Pride Day – What Is It, and What’s The Problem?

So it seems #HeterosexualPrideDay has been trending lately.  And if you’ve read most of the stuff about it on the internet so far, you’d come to the conclusion that it’s a huge problem caused by bigotry and homophobia.

But first, what *is* Heterosexual Pride Day?  How did it start, who’s running the show, and what is the actual intent?

What Exactly Is ‘Straight Pride’?

A google search reveals only page after page of mocking the idea.  It’s difficult to track down any actual sources that explain what the day is actually about.  One might think just from what’s already out there, that there is something very seriously wrong with the idea of heterosexuals feeling any sense of pride, given how everyone is reacting to it.  Why else would something be considered so terribly wrong, before anyone even discusses what it is?  It’s obvious that straights aren’t allowed to feel proud about who they are, right?  I mean it’s not like they’re people too, and entitled to feeling the full range of human emotions that everyone else feels.

But hang on, surely we’re missing something here.  Straight Pride just *can’t* be about feeling the same type of inner peace and connectedness with one’s community that gays feel.  There has to be something more sinister going on.  I mean, it’s not like the LGBT community is now criminalizing other groups the same way LGBT people were treated for so long.  So what is Heterosexual Pride Day then?

As it turns out, there might not actually even be such a day, at least not one recognized anywhere.  The BBC has done a piece on this, and they were not able to track down any official day, or organization, or even a group of people who are actively and consistently promoting this event.  That article hyperlinks to this one, referencing events and rallies that have been held in the past.  However, the Unicorn site being linked also does nothing but mock the idea, while it desperately to connect Straight Pride Day to individual acts of homophobia by high school students.

I mean really, from the first paragraph under their 2001 heading:

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In 2001, a high school in St. Paul, Minnesota set up “safe zones” in which homophobia would not be tolerated. Furious at his school’s blatant intolerance of intolerance, the student proudly held a one-man hetero rights demonstration by donning a T-shirt with the words “Straight Pride” on the front.
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^ Honestly, what does that even have to do with straight pride day?  Someone else, somewhere else, is straight, and also homophobic.  Therefore, straight pride day has to be homophobic?  I mean, it just *HAS* to be?  Because there are straight people who are homophobic – so that just PROVES straight pride day has to be homophobic too?

This is not research

How most 3rd Wavers reach their conclusions

You know, some black folks commit crimes.  Therefore, Black History Month – yea forget it, I’m not even finishing.  That logic only works if you’re white, straight, or male (works best if you’re all 3).

The BBC article also links to this article by Pink News, where one person actually did organize a rally!  Lets see what he has to say about it.  I’m sure we’ll see nothing but the blatant homophobia that totally justifies all the horrible demonization, and we can just move on.

From the article:

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Creating a public Facebook event, he [Anthony Rebello] wrote: “We all have the right to celebrate the way of life we have chosen for ourselves. In the name of equality & equal rights, I have created this event to celebrate our right to be heterosexual, and to encourage younger heterosexuals that they should be proud of their heterosexuality.”
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^ …….. um…. o… kay?  Sooooo… he thought straight folks ought to feel good about themselves, just like gays ought to feel good about themselves.  That’s… literally what he said.  He even mentioned equality and equal rights.

So, what’s the problem with this?  Why is the LGBT community so outraged?  There has to be more to this.  Again, it would be with breathtakingly exasperation to find out that the very people who were told they couldn’t feel proud of themselves or hold events in public are now telling other groups that they can’t feel proud of themselves or hold events in public.

An Interview With A Straight Pride Organizer

4th Wavers decided to reach out to Anthony Rebello, the organizer of the straight pride event linked above.  Below are the questions we asked Anthony, and he was kind enough to provide us some very thorough responses.

1. In July of last year, you decided to start the first Heterosexual Pride parade.  Roughly how many did you invite to attend, and how did you invite them?

Anthony: I invited nearly 200 people through the option made available in my event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/426907587464714/?active_tab=posts After that, facebook would not allow me to invite anymore people. I wanted to invite all my friends, but the option was unavailable.

2.  What were the events that lead up to you deciding to create this event?  Was there any “aha” moment where this came to mind?

Anthony:  I noticed that many different kinds of people were celebrating their sexual preference/nationalities/beliefs/opinions, so I decided I would also celebrate my own beliefs by being #ProudToBe a Heterosexual.

As someone who supports #EqualRights, I saw no problem with celebrating the fact that I am Heterosexual. In many ways, the #LGBTQ inspired me to do so. I have shown my support for the gay community. I have been to Pride parades. I used to live downtown Seattle. I have many gay friends. I figured the #LGBTQ would support the fact that I was just as happy to be Heterosexual as they are to be gay/transgender/bi… That wasn’t the case. I was labeled a bigot, white supremacist, member of isis… Harassed, insulted, even threatened. I even lost my job because of it. Here is a link to the backlash.

3.  Are you against gays and lesbians having their own pride day?  What about gays and lesbians in general?

AnthonyNot at all.  I believe everyone should be proud of who they are. That everyone should celebrate their lives, no matter what. I believe that is why we are alive. Like I said, I have attended a few Pride parades. I had an apt in Seattle. Belltown. I worked right next to Westlake. I had many gay/lesbian friends/coworkers. I never hurt anyone. I’m not that kind of person. I support the idea that everyone should have equal rights. What about gays and lesbians in general? I have never had a problem with them. I have had many gay guys hit on me, and I didn’t get mad, I just explained to them that it wasn’t my thing, that I was a heterosexual, and that I have always been attracted to girls/women.

4.  Was the Heterosexual Pride event meant to detract from, or counter, the LGBT movement?  Or was it merely an event where heterosexual folks could find community and identity?

Anthony: Not at all. I am an individual. As an individual, I have always done my own thing. I have always appreciated people who do. I don’t want to control anyone. It’s hard enough to control myself sometimes, lol!  This event is merely an event where heterosexual folks can find community and identity, a place for Heterosexuals to identify with other Heterosexuals and be #ProudToBe Heterosexual. I tried to make it clear in the statement on the event:

 “In the name of equality & equal rights, I have created this event to celebrate our heterosexuality, and to encourage younger heterosexuals that they should be proud of their heterosexuality. This is not a protest. It is a celebration for all to enjoy. Hope to see you there.”

5. Dan Savage has done a pretty brutal piece on this matter, which you can find here: http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/07/25/22601295/did-anyone-make-it-to-the-straight-pride-parade-today.  Accordingly, he quotes you as saying, in reference to the LGBT community:

“I think it’s a trend.  A cry for attention.  From your government, a distraction.  For $.”  – in this statement, you compared homosexual marriage to allowing animals to get married.  You also said you don’t agree with turning boys into girls, and vice versa, and referred to it as a “shitshow”. 

Do you stand by these statements?  How do you address that now?

Anthony: At the time, Gay marriage was a *trending topic, in the news every day, and all up in everyone’s faces all the time. To be honest, I was sick of hearing about it. I tried to show support for the idea that we don’t need approval from anyone to have a good relationship. That a solid healthy relationship is between the 2 people having the relationship, and nobody else. I wrote a  blog entry called  “Marriage” http://smilemeariver.blogspot.com/2014/07/marriage.html which says this:

“You don’t need a third party, or a piece of paper to have a good relationship with someone. You don’t need anyone’s permission, or approval. If you make each other happy, that’s what matters. It is between you, and the person you are involved with, not you and society”

Soon after that, I posted another entry, where I said:

“In response to the whole gay marriage thing, as an artist, and an individual, I feel the need to voice my opinion on the subject. I apologize if my opinion hurts anyone’s feelings.”

I wasn’t actually trying to compare insects getting married with gay people getting married. The point I was that in my opinion, people were making things too complicated. I was trying to simplify things in my own sarcastic, smart ass kind of way. I am an artist, and an individual, and I can see now how this may have been perceived differently by many. In hindsight, I could have worded it better, and I probably should have. Either way, that’s how it came out, and I honestly wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. I was just venting my opinion creatively.

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4th Waver would like to thank Anthony for his time and helping to provide clarity for this issue.  Anthony speaks more about the results of his organizing a straight pride day here, where he faced serious retaliation at his work.

You can see Anthony’s primary website at www.anthonyrebello.com, on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/user/rebello4610, on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/noodums.  His blog is http://smilemeariver.blogspot.com/, and if you appreciate his artwork, you can send a donation to https://www.gofundme.com/rebello.

Thanks again Anthony for clearing up the confusion.

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Now to be fair, when researching this story, we did find one example of a straight pride parade (page 21) that was, in fact, religiously motivated and intolerant towards LGBT people.  This was very clearly far departed from the example above.  At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst campus, the Young Americans for Freedom group sponsored a “Straight-Pride Rally” on April 24th, 1990.  They reportedly waved bibles and shouted insulting phrases towards gays and lesbians.  But at best, this appears to be an isolated incident, and it’s very difficult to find any other examples of this happening.  With that being the case, there’s no indication that “straight-pride day” necessarily means anything at all anti-gay.

This goes to show that pride, like any emotion, can inspire someone to do good or bad.  So maybe we’re going about this the wrong way.  Instead of “straight pride”, first… what is “pride?”

Emotions May Vary

Lets start with a complex, yet (sometimes) easy to understand emotion like “love”.

You probably love your parents, your cat, and your significant other.  But you love each of these things in a different way, because there are different *kinds* of love, and ways you can love.  I mean, I also love French fries.  Just not in the same way I love Jaline.  (Sorry baby cakes, fries come first!)

In that same exact way, there’s different kinds of “pride” a person can feel.  There’s the pride you feel towards an accomplishment, or after having achieved an important goal.  But there’s also other sorts of pride.  For example, if your son or daughter does really well on a project, you might feel a sense of pride – even though it’s an accomplishment done by someone else, you still feel this way!  It’s simply a different kind of pride.

How many of you out there are proud to be an American?  Or for our international readers, are you proud to be British?  Irish?  Norwegian?  I’ve had people tell me such pride is ridiculous, but it most  certainly isn’t.  The pride you feel for your country is just another kind of pride.  It’s not good or bad in and of itself.  It’s just a normal feeling.  What you do in response to that feeling is your choice, and that’s where the “good” and “bad” aspect of it comes in.  Does American pride inspire you to help those in need?  Or take their rights away?

I have straight friends who are very dear to me. Some of them are as close as family. I can’t imagine why on earth would I *NOT* want them to feel proud, and good about who they are!  To say otherwise is a double standard.  I can have pride, but you can’t – completely not recognizing at all that their pride might be different, held to a different degree, at a different level, and might have purposes or reasoning.

Now remember, what pride inspires you to do is the important question!  That can be either good or bad.  The pride parade held at the university of Massachusetts, the pride event certainly wasn’t very welcoming or inclusive.  Yet the pride parade that Anthony organized most certainly was, and the LGBT brutally harassed him for it (possibly inspired by their own sense of pride).

If you could show that straight-pride day was inherently anti-LGBT, or hateful, or based on some kind of discrimination, or SOMETHING to that effect – then this whole entire thing would be completely different.  An event held by a KKK group is reasonably expected to fit such a description, and if you could show something similar with straight pride, there would then be a perfectly acceptable reason to denounce straight-pride in general.

But this simply isn’t the case. Straight Pride does not automatically mean anti-gay. In fact the only people who are currently saying are from the LGBT community. I’ve yet to see a straight-pride person say anything negative.

So What’s the Purpose Behind Gay Pride?

We’ve covered how pride can vary, and how Straight-Pride can’t reasonably be pinned down with any one intent or purpose, as it depends on what pride inspires the person to do in each case.  But the idea of “Gay Pride” is pretty well established, and steeped in some history!  So surely this one is easier to get a hold of.

Howard P. Kainz, professor of philosophy at Marquette University, Milwaukee points out in his book “Politically Incorrect Dialogues” that:

I also find the reference “pride” inappropriate.  Pride is warranted when one has done something or accomplished something worthwhile.  If, as has been suggested, true homosexuality is something inborn and natural, or at least not a matter of conscious choice, I see nothing to be either proud or, for that matter, ashamed of.  Pride is simply out of place and out of it’s proper context“.

He follows this by stating how a “heterosexual pride” day would be immediately recognized as “dumb and ridiculous”.

As we’ve seen above, however, there are different kinds of pride, just as there are different kinds of anger, love, sadness, and so on.  He does make a point, however, that

Straight pride day

Suggested flag for Straight Pride Day.  Now keep this in mind, because they’re gonna want “allies” later.

there seems to be something different between gay-pride and straight-pride.  After all, supporting one of these gets you near universal acceptance, while accepting the other can risk having your life ruined (and which one you think is which says a lot about you).

Michele J. Eliason, professor at San Francisco State University, states in her book “Who Cares – Institutional Barriers to Health Care for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Persons”, that:

“Whenever I do a workshop on lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues, someone inevitably asks: “Why must you people have those parades and rallies?  Heterosexuals don’t have straight pride rallies”.  There are several reasons gay pride celebrations are important and a necessary part of gay life today.  First [LGBT] people often feel isolated and alone . . . a yearly gay pride event allows them to come together and celebrate their lives.  For a few hours a day, they can be in the majority instead of being a hated minority.  Second, heterosexual people can affirm their identities in a myriad of ways: by putting engagement, wedding, birth, and anniversary announcements in the newspaper, by bringing their families to work-related social events, [etc].  Lesbian, gay, and bisexual people often lack that support, and need to create their own ways of affirming themselves . . . and heterosexuals also have parades–homecoming, Mardi Gras, wedding dances [etc] and many other kinds of celebrations all affirm heterosexuality”

So again, “pride” simply means something different when referring to either straight or gay, and in each case, may serve different purposes.  If Mardi Gras and wedding dances are already a sort of straight-pride event, and we’re totally okay with those, then why do we have a problem with another straight pride event simply called “straight-pride”?  Gay-pride may indeed include the overcoming of oppression in years passed – this is something gay pride can include that straight-pride probably doesn’t.

However, I want to dispel a certain notion that straight people “have always been accepted”, and have never faced oppression.

When I was a straight white man, I was told every day how worthless I was; that I was sexist for ever even looking at a woman; that I had only one thing on my mind; that I thought about it every 7 seconds; that any – and I do mean *ANY* – expression of interest in a woman was harassment; that I was the problem; that I was a part of this thing called “patriarchy”; that even though I spent most of my adult life homeless, I was “privileged”; that the only thing I was ever allowed to express was apology and shame for all the “privilege” I had, despite sleeping on park benches; and that the very normal emotions I have for a woman were somehow wrong.

Moreover, as a white straight man, I was definitely the target of public-sphere violence. It was okay to physically challenge me and try to beat me up, because hey, I’m a man, and I can fight back, right?  Having street smarts kept me alive numerous times.  I knew not to walk down a back alley with a brand new pair of Nikes.

Now that I’m a woman – all of that vanished.

Now, if I have any of those same feelings, it’s my LGBT rights! And you’re a bigot for even lifting an eye-brow. And it’s wrong to hit a woman! While I’m still just as strong and capable as I was before, the difference in how people treat me is extremely obvious. Men no longer challenge me to a fight. That would be silly – I’m a woman.  Moreover I can walk down any back alley I want now and you can’t dare mention whether or not that was smart to do, because that’s victim blaming!

Finally, Michele J. Eliason‘s book was published in 1996.  Since then, things have changed quite a bit for LGBT people.  In fact, here’s a graph provided by Ben Mully, who took the position against having a Heterosexual Pride Day.  You can see that post here.

Gallup supports LGBTAs we can see, things are quite a bit different today than they were in 1996.

Ben also argues in favor of that additional caveat that the word “pride” carries for the LGBT community.

—– —–
Pride day [is] a celebration of OVERCOMING oppression so that you can sit comfortably in the year 2016 and say you don’t feel oppressed. The phrase “Gay Pride” started when a very real fight for equality was being waged in America and it’s use is honored in all sorts of LGBT events from Pride days, to Pride Parades, to Pride Fests, etc etc etc. That’s why it’s used in this context. It’s a part of American history that many believe should not be ignored, especially because there are still strong political forces that are pushing a message to take us backwards to a time when homosexuals were treated as second class citizens.
—– —–

In the same discussion, Ben takes the stance that since gays have a pride day for that reason, it’s precisely why heterosexuals cannot have one; if you’ve never experienced institutional oppression, then you are specifically disallowed from using the word “pride” in this context.

But as we’ve seen, “pride” does not necessarily have to mean or include this one particular thing, or have this particular context.  There are many different kinds of pride, and when someone wants to have a pride day, they could be doing so with their own intentions in mind.  A holiday based on American pride – or pride for any sports team – would not require the same historical context.  Moreover, straight-pride day is not being officially sanctioned by any governing body.  It’s simply individuals who want to participate in their own event, with the intention of reaffirming their own identities.  And it’s *very* possible to have a straight-pride day without it having an anti-gay agenda.  I mean here’s just such an example from a straight woman.

And although there is absolutely no indication that straight-pride must necessarily be anti-gay – there is no spokesman, no doctrine, no pamphlet, no mission statement, and no widely accepted belief or creed necessarily attached to this particular event – that is the only narrative that’s being allowed by the LGBT “community”.  To have straight-pride must mean you are anti-gay.  Even when there’s almost no one to be found on the straight-pride of the argument saying so.  In fact, I’ve been blocked by nearly a dozen people so far on facebook before the post you’re reading now even got posted.  Even daring to ask why straight-pride is bad is enough to get insta-banned from the communities I was once a part of.  Remember when that sort of treatment was given to anyone supporting an LGBT issue?

Lets take a look at the mainstream reaction to #heterosexualprideday , which is now trending.

http://distractify.com/news/2016/06/29/heterosexual-pride-day-seriously

First, lets start with the intro.

>> Apparently, people haven’t taken enough away from the LGBTQ community, so it’s time take Pride celebrations from them.

^^^ How on earth are my straight friends, who want to have a pride celebration of their own, taking anything away from me?  I mean this is not some faceless, menacing and unfalsifiable “culture” that exists only in narrative.  These are real flesh-and-blood people on my facebook who I can message and talk to right now.  Some of them are as close as family, and they’d even be willing to invite me TO a straight-pride event as a guest, even though I’m not straight.

Really, who is trying to take away gay prides simply by having straight pride?

Straight Culture

Here’s some of that unfalsifiable culture now. If you’re straight, you belong to a “culture” that automatically makes me oppressed. Hence I can have pride and you can’t. And even though there are literally scores of pages mocking straight pride, it’s still somehow you who’s mocking us by the very suggestion.

>> Straight pride” marches have actually been around since the nineties, and were started by people who opposed any steps forward for LGBTQ rights.

^^^ In the last 30 years, you will be hard pressed to find even 1 straight pride parade.  They have not “been around”.  The absolute most I could find are rare individual instances, like the two listed above.

And while one of those did have anti-LGBT activists involved, that does not mean that absolutely everyone, from now on, forever, has to be anti-gay simply for having straight pride.  In the same sense, I’m 100% certain there have been gay-pride people who were anti-straight.  In fact I even remember reading an article on this a while back, but I have no intention on providing links because it just doesn’t matter – the fact that those gay-pride folks were anti-straight does not at all mean I’m that way, just because they were.

Now on to the twitter replies.

>> Really? What’s next, ?

^^^ As long as you’re not causing my rent to go up, or making me late for work, I honestly wouldn’t are if you had a #DoTheHokeyPokeyDay .  It’s a free country, so organize whatever day you want.  As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, and you’re having a good time, by all means, be my guest.

>> You don’t choose your sexuality but you do get to choose if you’re really insecure about it. Happy, !

^^^ Okay so you have to be insecure about your sexuality before you can have a pride day?

Damn.  Guess I can’t go to gay-pride then.  😦

>> i have nothing against the heteros, i just dont want it shoved in my face, or on the internet where children can see

^^^ Well, yea.  I wouldn’t want anyone shoving something in my face, regardless of what it was.  The only time I want you to do that is if it’s French fries after a heavy leg training day.

I’ve had gay folks go on and on about the details of their sex lives without inviting the discussion, to an extent I didn’t feel comfortable with, in an environment where it wasn’t appropriate – and ditto for straight folks.

As far as the internet goes, sure, there are plenty of gay and straight porn sites that I agree kids shouldn’t be looking at.  Like we covered, this isn’t 1970, where holding hands is “shoving it in your face”.  Gay people hold hands all the time now, and while gay pride may commemorate overcoming such barriers, straight pride doesn’t have to.  You’re allowed to feel pride, regardless of whether you’re straight, gay, lesbian, latino, black, or …. or… (yea there’s one race that has to be left out for now, but we’ll get into that in another post).

>> i can’t believe hetero marriage was finally legalized in 1655. It’s been far too long.

^^^ Again, straight pride does not *have* to be about the same thing gay pride is about.  I mean one is straight, the other is gay – they’re already not the same.  Gay pride can be about overcoming barriers.  Straight pride can be simply feeling good about who you are, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

>> The missionary position AMIRITE

^^^ I’m not even sure why this one was included.  Straight people only do the missionary position?  Gay people never do?

>> you DON’T need because
-nobody thinks your sexuality is invalid or ‘abnormal’
-nobody is taking your rights away

^^^ Problematic when one day, people think being gay is valid and normal, and people aren’t taking your rights away.  What then?  Probably you’ll have to start dreaming up some “Hetero-archy” (just like the patriarchy) where a group of super rich and powerful hetero-people are causing you to be paid 77 cents for every dollar a straight person makes, or some other such nonsense.

Instead of making your pride day contingent on how oppressed you are and forever will be, why not celebrate your pride day, and then let others – yes, even straight people – be who they are, and do what they want, so long as it’s not bothering you?

It’s simply astounding, with breathtaking exasperation, that the very people who were once told they couldn’t have displays of pride for themselves in public……………. are now telling others they can’t have displays of pride for themselves in public.

>> For those that can’t make it to , PLZ join us for parade on Friday. TBA

^^^ Actually yea, I have friends who are black too.  I’ve dated black women.  Kinda makes you wonder how that’s possible if I were actually racist.  The arguments that come back are usually something akin to “all white people are racist” – because having white skin automatically gives you a certain set of characteristics (which is ironically the definition of racism), and I secretly AM racist, just on some subconscious level that I’m unaware of.  This has more to do with you wanting to assume the role of victim than with me actually being racist.

Straight Ally

If you’re trying to be an ally, and you keep getting accused of this shit, or you end up having your pride mocked with a baby crying on a white flag, you’re better off just not being an ally.  Respect is a 2 way street, and we are NOT more entitled just because we’re gay or lesbian. 

In that same way, it seems you actually want straight-pride to be anti-gay.  Keep in mind that there was literally no other prompting that straight-pride, on it’s own, meant anything anti-gay.  This is what people came up with on their own as soon as they heard the term, because they insist on an “us-vs-them” mentality.  As we get closer and closer to equality, now with gay marriage being legalized, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission now interpreting the Civil Rights Act to include LGBT people, how will you keep this going?

When 2nd Wave Feminism established equality for women, 3rd Wave feminist in the 90s had nothing to fight for.  So they began making shit up – like the wage gap caused by sexism, the long debunked theory of objectification, the existence of male privilege, and so on.  This is allowed lots of young women a chance to feel persecuted, and “continue fighting” against nonsense that no longer exists, and some that never existed at all.

Is that really where this is going?  To stay relevant, do we have to start dreaming up that everyone who isn’t like us is now an enemy out to get us?  Do we *REALLY* need to build ourselves up by tearing others down?

It appears so.  And that’s why I’m no longer a part of that “community”.

 

The Complete and Final Resource on Patriarchy in the US

Decided to make an updated post on this topic.  “Patriarchy” is the cornerstone that most other 3rd Wave circular arguments rest upon.  We know the wage gap is caused by sexism because of Patriarchy = We know patriarchy is real because the wage gap is caused by sexism.  We know male privilege is real because of Patriarchy = We know patriarchy is real because of male privilege.  Etc.  You can find a complete resource responding to all these points here.

This post includes info from another post, but I feel some people are perhaps less inclined to review that one because it takes the form of a debate.  So I’m basically starting with the info from there, and expanding upon it.  I’ll also include the most common arguments I’ve seen, so you’ll know how to respond to them.

===============================================================

Patriarchy corner stone

Patriarchy is the cornerstone for the entire faith-based movement of 3rd Wave Feminism

First we’ll begin by using the absolute loosest definition of patriarchy so that it has the greatest possible chance of survival against rational inquiry; it’s a system wherein “masculinity is favored over femininity”. That’s it! That’s the only definition we’re using, because with that definition, you can build up towards anything you want that’s more specific.

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If that were true:
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— Why is it totally okay to beat a man in public, but men can’t even LOOK at a woman without it being labeled and denounced? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRCS6GGhIRc – here’s another example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOyrYThlOag .
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— Why would we have laws allowing women to file charges of sexual harassment because of a swimsuit calendar in your cubicle? http://ehsdailyadvisor.blr.com/2012/06/can-you-recognize-sexual-harassment-when-you-see-it/ – Why would saying “hello” and “god bless you” be considered shocking forms of street harassment?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1XGPvbWn0A .  Shouldn’t men get a free pass if masculinity were valued and femininity were denounced (at least in saying such horrible things as “hello”)?
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— Why would we lower the physical requirements of women joining police departments (http://www.pstc.nh.gov/faqs.htm), the military (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Physical_Fitness_Test), and remove tests for fire departments altogether (http://nypost.com/2014/12/11/fdny-drops-physical-test-requirement-amid-low-female-hiring-rate/), even when it’s been repeatedly demonstrated that women who actually bothered training would have no such need? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3fD-L-Gdjg
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— Why would I, as a woman, be allowed to board the bus ahead of someone who was clearly standing in line before me? Why is it when I drop something, three different men reach to pick it up? Why am I always allowed to use the restroom when the sign clearly says “no public restroom”? Why do I not have to pay for my own meals on dates? Why can I use the men’s room if there’s someone in the lady’s room, yet if a man tried that, he’d probably be arrested? http://www.katu.com/news/local/Portland-business-owner-in-battleover-bathroom-access-260064661.html
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— Why are convicted killers of women more likely to get the death penalty? In a patriarchy. Where masculinity is more valued than femininity. http://www.presstelegram.com/article/20150627/NEWS/150628436
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— Why are women almost never given the death penalty? In a patriarchy. Where femininity is not as valued as masculinity. http://www.businessinsider.com/women-and-the-death-penalty-2013-9
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— Why do we punish men just for the accusation of rape with no evidence, but there’s virtually no recourse at all towards women who falsely accuse men of rape? If we valued men and not women, shouldn’t this be… reversed somehow?
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— Why would the suicide rate for men be 3 times higher than for women? In a society where they’re more valued? https://www.afsp.org/understanding-suicide/facts-and-figures
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— Why are you able to stand up in public, anywhere in the modern day US, and shout “WOMEN ARE SMARTER THAN MEN!” – and get applause, yet if you did that same exact thing and shouted men were smarter than women, you’d get beaten up? No need for hyperlinks here – just go out and try it yourself.
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— Why is it I can walk into a club wearing lipstick and eyeliner and have men fawn over me, yet for a man to have women fawn over him, he’d have to be a billionaire? What does money matter when men are more valued than women?
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— Why would the Justice Department have an entire branch set up just for violence against women, even though domestic violence has been shown repeatedly to happen at equal rates to both men and women? http://www.justice.gov/ovw
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— Why would we have Rape Shield laws?  http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/rape-shield-laws.html.  How did those get passed in a patriarchy?
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— If a building is on fire, how many people would rush in, risking their lives, to save Bob, the big fat bald-headed accountant? How many would rush in to save Tammy, the bikini model? Almost everyone goes for the model – but why, when Bob is more valuable because penis *cough* I MEAN “patriarchy”?
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— If a woman is inside her house naked, and a man walks by and looks in the window, he’s a peeping tom, and gets arrested. Yet if it’s a man inside the house naked and a woman walks by, it’s still the man who gets arrested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JRdFf8qtSc
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— Why are we all okay with men being called nearly ever name under the sun (http://verbalabuseofmen.com/ ), but we need to “ban bossy”? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ban_Bossy
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— I have a pass that allows me to eat dinner at some of the shelters around town.  Every evening when dinner is served, the women get to go first.  Why?  When we’re not as valued?
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— Why does 97% of alimony cases go to women?  http://www.forbes.com/sites/emmajohnson/2014/11/20/why-do-so-few-men-get-alimony/ – shouldn’t it go to men?  Who are in power?  Who are in charge?  Who can just FORCE THE WOMAN to hand over her money and belongings to the man after a divorce?  (You know, like they do in the middle east?)
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— Why is Hillary Clinton beating Bernie Sanders?  An old and well-off white man?  I mean the patriarchy isn’t just letting her win, they’re letting her cheat her ass off and get away with it scot-free.   http://www.sansmemetics.com/2016-the-year-americans-learned-their-elections-are-rigged/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork
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If you want to see what patriarchy looks like, just imagine a world where we flip all of these around. Imagine living in a country where is the exact opposite of everything we have in the US now. That might arguably be a “patriarchy”.
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Is there any such place on earth that exists right now? Are there places where women are treated like trash just for being women? Why, yes, there is, as a matter of fact, glad you asked!!
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hate men is patriarchyAnd that’s probably the best indicator that we DON’T have that in the US. And that’s the answer to the original question put forward; yes, patriarchy is real, but not in any developed first world nation.
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The job 4th Wave Feminists have in front of us is to acknowledge legitimate women’s issues and get to work on them, while debunking the myths created by the 3rd Wave that hurt everyone.
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The above should be enough to pretty much slam shut the case on patriarchy, but we’re not done.  As I stated earlier, lets go ahead and answer the most popular arguments for teh existence of patriarchy.  Any new arguments I find may be added later.  This will be the final and most complete resource in shutting down this nonsensical claim once and for all.
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        —————————————————————————————————
           Most Common Arguments for the Existence of Patriarchy in he US
        —————————————————————————————————
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1. “What about our all-male congress?  Why aren’t there any women?  Men are clearly in power!”
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Probably this is the most common argument and is the immediate go-to point on the subject.  It also reveals just how little thought goes into making this claim. To begin with, we live in a free and open society, where anyone can run for any position in our government.  Men are elected to congress because people vote for them, and over 50% of voters are women.  In 2012, 53% of voters were women, and they backed Barrack Obama.  There were similar numbers in the 2008 campaign, where more women than men voted, and when Obama was first elected.  If you’ll remember, that’s also where Hillary ran her first campaign, and lost the democratic nomination to Obama, because that’s how most women voted.  We currently have an old white hetero-normative male running against Hillary in our current election season, and women plenty of women are voting for him instead of her.  At no point in any election process is being male a requirement.

So we then get the question “Why aren’t women running for office then?”  The 3rd Wave narrative insists that it has to be patriarchy!  But this subject has been very thoroughly researched, and as you might expect, studies reveal a completely different answer.  You can find one such study here:https://annieslist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/WhyDontWomenRun.pdf

From the study:

—– —–
When we move to the third box in Figure 1 and examine those members of the sample who actually ran for elective office, gender differences again emerge. Twelve percent of the men from the initial pool of prospective candidates actually threw their hats into the ring and sought elective positions; only 7 percent of the women did so (difference significant at p < .01). At first glance, this might seem like a small difference, but, in reality, it reflects the fact that men are 71 percent more likely than women to run for office.
—– —–

Long story short: women simply choose not to run for office.

You can find another study here: http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/building-women2019s-political-careers-strengthening-the-pipeline-to-higher-office – this is from a far left leaning feminist organization, which basically reaches similar findings: women simply choose not to run for office, and the ones that do often don’t have the skills to succeed.  Just like at any job, you need skills related to that job, or you probably won’t do well.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12158/full – another study, this one from the American Journal of Political Science.  The study concludes:

—– —–
Even if potential candidates have the same qualifications, harbor the same ambitions, face the same incentives, and confront the same unbiased voters and electoral institutions—in short, encouter identical decision problems—the fact that representatives are chosen by electoral means is enough to dissuade women from putting themselves forward as candidates.
—– —–

– and further –

—– —–
But we also know that when women run for office, they win with at least as much frequency as do men (Darcy et al. 1994).
—– —–

Which just reiterates the point; women most certainly *can* run, and *can* win, but they choose not to put themselves out there and run.  Men face just as much scrutiny and just as many challenges.  The difference lies in personal choice.

Nothing says it better than this line:

—– —–
Women’s entry into the candidate pool increases only if we simultaneously guarantee that campaigns are completely truthful and eliminate the private costs of running for office.
—– —–

Right.  We need to make a bunch of rules!  Everyone has to be COMPLETELY HONEST! (In politics, seriously.)  No name calling!  No mud slinging!  No personal attacks!  Don’t criticize the things I say, or what I do, or where I go, or what I’ve done in the past – then I’ll feel safe enough to run!

Notice how Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren don’t need any of that?  Let that sink in for a moment.  Because *THAT’S* why they made it to the top.  Sarah Palin routinely has her personal and family life attacked anytime she appears anywhere in the media.  Say what you want about her, but I couldn’t do that.  You have to be incredibly damn tough to survive, and even tougher to succeed – just like any man does.

You can find numerous other studies on this subject.  Nowhere will you find “Women are kept out of congress because men laugh at them and send them home” – or any other claim involving patriarchy.

I also have personal experience working with politics.  In 2014, I worked for the Democratic Party of Portland (bet you thought I was a conservative, didn’tcha?)  I got an up close and personal look at just how vicious some of the mud-slinging can be.  If you’re running for office, your opponent has people on their team who will go through your entire personal history and look at every letter you’ve ever written, every job you’ve ever held, and every statement you’ve ever said.  Hell when Ben Carson was still in the 2016 race, journalist went so far as to seek out people he went to grade school with and interviewed them about his childhood!  Utterly nothing about your life will remain private if you decide to run for office.

Most women just don’t want their personal lives in front of the whole world to see.

Most men are willing to to run that gauntlet.

Again, this comes back to personal choice.  If women were being kept out of office “because patriarchy”, how on earth do you explain all the women who *DO* successfully make it in politics?  Was the patriarchy just sleeping when they decided to run?  Did patriarchy leave the door unlocked and the women slipped in, going “SURPRISE!” – then the patriarchy couldn’t kick them out?  Clearly, some women *are* making the personal choice to run, so there goes your “social pressures” argument.  Men face exactly the same social pressures when they run for office (just look at what Obama and others have had to face).  They simply make the personal choice to do it anyway.

Second, women are kept out of power?  Then how do you explain:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carly_Fiorina

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Bader_Ginsburg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_Kagan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonia_Sotomayor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandra_Day_O’Connor

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper

Why would this happen in patriarchy

Jokes aside, why would this be so common and so well understood in a patriarchy? Because in an actual patriarchy, the answer to the question would be “No. You’re wearing a blanket.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gina_Raimondo

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Brown

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maggie_Hassan

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Fallin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikki_Haley

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susana_Martinez

^ I mean, how is *any* of this possible if women were “excluded from power”?  Going back to the Why Don’t Women Run study from above, we find:

—— ——
Men are significantly more likely than women to identify a state office (17 percent of men, compared to 11 percent of women) or national office (10 percent of men, compared to only 3 percent of women) as their first choice (differences significant at p < .01). These results mirror those researchers who find that women are more likely to focus their political involvement at the local level or in positions that match their stereotypic strengths.
—– ——

So then it makes perfect sense why we find so many women mayors and governors, but fewer women running for president.  You can see a list of female mayors here: http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/levels_of_office/women-mayors-us-cities-2015 (that list is too long to have on this page).  Goes back to personal choice – something 3rd Wavers just hate (given how often we hear the argument “social pressure made me do it / kept me from it!”).

1.5 “Men can’t represent women’s interests / women are under represented!”

First, saying a man can’t represent a woman because he doesn’t have a vagina is like telling a brain surgeon he can’t help a patient with a tumor because he’s never had a tumor.  It also says nothing about how men are supposed to be represented if we let women into congress; somehow or another, women can represent men’s interest just fine? … well, yes, they can.  There’s nothing about lacking a penis that makes it impossible for you to understand how men live.  And vice versa.

Second, how exactly has a mostly male congress *not* represented women?  They routinely discuss and address women’s issues.  For example, even though every study ever published has shown that the wage gap is a result of women’s personal decisions, it still goes before congress and gets discussed anyway.

In fact, here’s a list of legislation passed by an “all male congress” that almost exclusively benefits women:

— The 19th Amendment ratified in 1920, allowing women to vote
— US vs Ballard, a 1946 ruling preventing discrimination of women on federal juries.
— Hoyt vs Florida, a 1961 ruling which extends US vs Ballard over state juries
— Federal Fair Pay Act of 1963, guaranteeing women are paid the same amount for the same work
— Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  effectively making sexual harassment a federal offense
— Executive Order 11375, signed in 1965, which extended affirmative action to women
— Griswold v. Connecticut, a 1965 ruling granting all married couples access to contraception
— Loving v. Virginia, a 1967 decision that allowed women of any race to marry man of any race
— Executive Order 11246, signed in 1968, which prohibits sex discrimination by government contractors and requires affirmative action plans for hiring women
— Gun Control Act of 1968, which prevents anyone convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a firearm (passed with almost unanimous support from congress, by the way)
— Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, extending affirmative action to college campuses for women
— Eisenstadt v. Baird, a case in 1972, established the right to use contraceptives
— Roe v Wade, a 1972 ruling that has since made it legal to seek an abortion
— Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prevents discrimination based on gender of any federally funded program (signed by president Nixon, by the way)
— Frontiero v. Richardson, a 1973 decision that ruled against the discrimination of military spouses
— The Fair Housing Act, passed in 1974, which eliminates housing discrimination on the basis of sex
— Sprogis v. United Airlines, a 1975 ruling that prevents discrimination against women for being married
— Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, prevents discrimination for being pregnant
— Kirchberg v. Feenstra, a 1981 decision that overturns state laws that give the husband exclusive control over property that’s jointly owned with his wife
— Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees, a 1984 decision that required many male-only organizations (Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions, etc) must allow women.  It’s difficult to imagine this happening to female-only organizations
— Comprehensive Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (or COBRA), in 1985, which allows women to continue receiving benefits from their health insurance policy, if the policy was connected to their job, and they lose that job.
— Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, a 1986 ruling that stated sexual harassment, even if it doesn’t cause any economic loss, is still a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
— The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, allowing women 12 weeks of maternity leave among other things
— Harris v. Forklift Systems, a 1993 decision stating that a woman doesn’t have to show any signs of physical or psychological injury when reporting sexual harassment
— The Violence against Women Act of 1994, which in turn created Rape Shield Laws
— The subsequent creation of the Office of Violence Against Women
— Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994, which prevents anyone from stopping a woman from accessing reproductive healthcare
— Gender Equity in Education Act, passed in 1994, aimed at training teachers in gender equity, promote math and science for girls, counseling for pregnant teens, and prevention of sexual harassment
— United States v. Virginia, a 1996 ruling that stated the Virginia Military Institute was required to accept women who wanted to enroll (just a side note: the VMI considered going private to avoid this decision, but the Department of Defense threatened to pull all ROTC programs if they did.  Patriarchy?)
— Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, extending statute of limitations for suing over wage discrimination cases.

Keep in mind, these are all only federal laws, and supreme court decisions.  This doesn’t include state laws and state supreme court decisions.

Then we have even more laws, statutes, and court rulings that men can arguably benefit from as well, although if we believed the claims of 3rd Wavers, these would have been passed mostly for the benefit of women.

You can see a few such statutes here: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/usao-me/legacy/2012/06/01/Federal%20DV%20Statutes%20-%20September%202010.pdf

Among them:

— Interstate Travel to Commit Domestic Violence
— Interstate Stalking
— Cyber Stalking
— Interstate Travel to Violate an Order of Protection
— Household and Dependent Care Credit Act of 2001, an attempt to offset the cost of raising children through a tax credit
— Apessos v. Memorial Press Group, a 2002 ruling that an employer cannot terminate an employee who requires time off to settle a matter pertaining to domestic violence
— In J.E.B. v. Alabama, a 1994 decision that basically says any challenge whatsoever regarding the participation in the democratic process on the basis of race or gender is disallowed
— The Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) is signed into law in 2010.  Part of this act requires that private health insurance companies provide women with birth control, without co-pays or deductibles.

I actually don’t want this post to go on forever, so I can’t include literally every congressional act, supreme court ruling, and executive order that benefits only women.  You can find another list that goes even further into this here: http://www.nwhp.org/resources/womens-rights-movement/detailed-timeline/ .  But this claim that women “lack fair representation”, as if our “all male” congress (in a patriarchy) has never done anything for women, is absolutely mind boggling.

Can you imagine for a moment congress passing that many laws and decisions that exclusively benefit men?  Yea neither can I.

…………in a patriarchy.

2. “Wage gap!”

Here’s the link again in case you missed it.

3. “Men hold doors open for you because you’re seen as weak / men pay for dates because it’s assumed you cant pay / men do nice things for you because they’re expecting sex”.

Answered this one in a post you can see here.  But if you want the short version: you can’t read someone’s mind.  You don’t *know* that a man is holding a door open for you because he thinks you’re weak.  He could be just trying to be nice.  He could see you as strong and confident and wants to hold the door for that reason.  He might even admire you, and that’s why he’s doing it.  The same goes for all the other suggested motives – you can’t know those are a person’s reasons within those hypothetical examples.  It’s just a story that you’ve decided to accept and interpret the world with.

I have a black friend who was getting nasty looks from his professor in college.  The professor was nice to all the other students, but always seemed tense around him.  Finally one day my friend called him out on it, expect some type of racist motive (3rd Wavers call themselves “intersectional” when they make up motives based on race).  The professor finally levels with him.

“Ever since this semester started… you’ve been taking my parking space.  Could you please stop doing that?”

My friend began parking somewhere else, and things were fine from that day forward.  “Men only _______ because _______” — When applied to men as a whole, that’s just narrative.  It’s certainly not “proof of patriarchy”.

3.5 “So you’re saying it’s impossible to know someone’s motives?”

Of course not.  It’s easy to know someone’s motives – just ask them!  People are generally open if you approach them in a non-accusatory way.  I know that after spending the evening with someone who’s offering to pay for my meal, it’s certainly *not* because they sees me as unable to pay for my dinner.  We’ve been dating for a while, and we know each other.  I don’t have any reason to suspect a hidden motive.

But that’s not what we’re talking about.  “Patriarchy” isn’t what one person does.  The exact definition of patriarchy changes based on who you ask (as it happens in any faith based movement), but all definitions include some type of prevailing culture or system that operates across the entire country and affects everyone.  So even if you were dating someone who paid for your meal because he thought you weren’t able to due to having a vagina, that wouldn’t be proof of patriarchy.  That’s just proof that you’re dating someone who’s very….. strange.

4. “What about rape culture / thousands of rape kits that are backlogged!”

Here’s the complete and total answer to rape culture.  As for rape kits, a 2011 report released from the Justice Department details exactly why that’s happening – and it has nothing to do with patriarchy, sexism, rape culture, or any other 3rd Waver buzz word.

5. “Women are still battling for reproductive rights!”

Review the list we went over earlier, and look at how many laws and decisions have been made regarding women’s reproductive rights.  You have a dizzying array of rights.  Men on the other hand have virtually nothing in this regard.  How in the world has it gotten this backwards?

reproductive rights of women

(Update 5/13/16: The above meme appears to have been successfully challenged by a number of different people.  You can see the full discussion here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=795018017295411&set=a.409712675825949.1073741828.100003616618834&type=3 .  A review of the facts currently shows that women still do have some advantages over men in regards to child support, but the majority of the points in the meme do not hold.  Thank you for challenging the information you see on 4th Wavers.   That’s how we improve.)

This is not to say the system we have is perfect.  It’s fair to say that abortion clinics in certain states have been unfairly shut down, and this is a serious injustice that should be corrected.  John Oliver does a fantastic job of outlining these issues here.  But don’t pretend like women just have no rights a all.  That’s ridiculous.  And while these are issues that people are becoming aware of and trying to correct, nobody is at all concerned about the man’s rights regarding a pregnancy.

If this were a patriarchy, why isn’t this the exact opposite way around?  Shouldn’t the man have a ton of rights, with the woman left out of the discussion?

You know.  Kind of like it is in *actual* patriarchies?  Like Iraq?  And Saudi Arabia?

6. “Women don’t get maternity leave!”

Really?

…. and the reason for this… is because the US is a culture that hates women so much that we just can’t stand the thought of them at home, raising a child?

It might have something to do with the inordinate cost of paying a woman to not show up at work every day for over a year while she stays at home.  That might also be why men aren’t given time off either for having a child.

This is still a problem of course, and one that should be intelligently discussed and considered.  And as a socialist, I’m confident there are solutions that most likely exist outside of the price system.  But this isn’t something caused by men hating women (or femininity being devalued, if that sounds better) so much that they don’t want them to go home and raise kids.

Come to think of it, if the patriarchy’s view of women is that they should stay home and raise kids, then shouldn’t we expect *more* maternity leave?

7. Women are objectified / harassed!

Objectification Theory has been debunked, and women aren’t objectified.  As far as harassment goes, according to 3rd Wave sources, literally anything a man says in public, no matter what it is, can be called “harassment”.  In the 10 hour walk through New York video, which was famously used by the agency Hollaback as solid proof of the “shocking and horrifying” harassment (yes, those were their own words) that women go through each day showed us such horrible catcalls as “Hello”, “God bless you”, and “Have a nice day” (those are some of the first things we hear in the video).

None of these would fit the legal definition of harassment.  And you can’t point to anything someone says that you don’t personally like and claim it’s harassment (well, technically you can, since 3rd Wavers do this all the time – but that doesn’t actually make it harassment).

This isn’t to say that harassment just never happens – of course it does, just like any crime occasionally happens.  Murder, theft, arson, and so on.  That in no way suggests that there’s an entire nation wide culture that thinks these things are okay.  That’s why we have laws against them – and 3 federal statutes specifically against harassment were listed above.

8. Women can’t go topless in public / women are told they can’t breastfeed in public!

I honestly can’t imagine a world where women go topless in public.  As it stands, if you *LOOK* at a woman the wrong way – that’s male gaze.  You try to explain yourself – that’s man-splaining.  You give up and go sit down – that’s man-spreading.  The only way to not “enforce the patriarchy” is to curl up in a little ball, close your eyes, and remain motionless until a woman gives you permission to move.

………… but even then, we’d have “man-breathing”.  Your breathing too hard.  That’s a sign of domination!  It’s patriarchy!

Okay now women are going to go around topless?  Can you just imagine?  Absolutely positively *EVERY* conceivable thing a man does is going to be harassment of one kind or another.  I mean if you think it’s bad now, just wait until the “free the nipple” campaign succeeds.  I’m honestly waiting for rape accusations against men who weren’t even in the same area code.

I’m also not aware of the legions of women who are just dying to walk around town topless.  Like that’s a serious thing all women are wanting to do, and can’t, because patriarchy.

As far as breastfeeding goes – I’d agree, that’s a problem, and personally it’s not one that I understand.  I’ve never really got what people are so hung up about.  Sure breast can be sexual, but that doesn’t mean they always are.  But what does this have to do with masculinity being promoted at the expense of femininity?  It’s more likely just a cultural hold over from more puritanical times centuries ago.

9. Women have to change their names to the man’s after marriage!

This is because marriage used to serve a very different function than it does now.  In fact, marrying someone because you love them is actually a relatively new thing!  Even the practice of getting on your knee and proposing with a ring is a manufactured tradition that started only in the 20th century.

Marriage used to be about alliances during war, land exchange, inheritance, and so on.  If you trace back the original reasons for the name change, it gets rather complex as we go through medieval Europe, and cultures prior to that time.  Marriage has meant different things during different time periods, and the practice of name changing has since gone obsolete.

It had nothing to do with “men are awesome, women are worthless, so you change your name to mine”.  In much the same way chivalry has utterly nothing to do with holding a door open for someone, or treating women in any particular way.  Chivalry was almost entirely about medieval battle etiquette.  The only time it would apply in modern times is if a man were challenging you to a jousting tournament.

10. “The English language is male dominated!  MailMAN, ServiceMAN, etc”.

First, our language has changed over the last few decades, and using gender specific nouns in describing an occupation is becoming less and less common.  That’s not something that should happen in a patriarchy.

Second, gender roles evolved out of earlier survival behavior.  I would like to see the typical modern day blue-haired “I need a safe space” 3rd Waver chop wood, carry stones, then kill a large animal and drag it back to the cave, and see how well she does.  Chances are, she’s not going to do well at all.  Her male counterpart is unable to give birth to children even if he wanted to, and probably also wouldn’t do well sitting around a cave listening to a screaming baby all day.  For survival, they took different survival roles.  These roles eventually became culturally ingrained as gender roles.  It explains why many occupations had “man” in the name for a long while, but it has utterly nothing to do with women being inferior.

In fact, in all ancient civilizations, when these roles were first developing, women were the ones in control of society.  They ran the government, owned all the property, and men were unmistakably second class.  Centuries later, while the man was out plowing the fields under the hot sun in medieval Europe, the women was inside *not* getting sunburned, mosquito bitten, or called off to war anytime the king got bored.

Gender roles are not patriarchy.  And neither is gendered language.

————————————————————————————————-

I hope by now the myth of patriarchy is clear, and how it’s ultimately the driving force behind the 3rd Wave agenda.

How can you believe that men run everything just to hurt women (patriarchy), that men are somehow inherently valued over women and are given power over them (another definition of patriarchy), that women are oppressed by men and excluded from any form of power or decision making (yet another definition of patriarchy), that men are given advantages only because they are men (because of patriarchy), that men see women as objects (due to patriarchy), even when absolutely none of these things have any truth to them…

…. and not call that “man-hating”?  How is it possible to believe all that – none of which have any evidence – and not call yourself anti-man?

growth

Simply brilliant, and could not have said it better myself.  As a trans-woman, I’ve also changed, grown as a person, and this really connects with me.  Thank you to whoever made this.

3rd Wave has nothing to do with women’s issues, and sure as hell has nothing to do with equality.  It’s focused around, and centered on, hating men.  It criminalizes masculinity and victimizes femininity.  “Patriarchy” is just an pseudo-academic way of making this look like a social theory from an activist group rather than an ideology from a hate group.

That’s why 4th Wave exists.  We’re checking 3rd Wave back towards reality, and hope that one day we can rescue feminism and return it to what it was originally about; empowering women, and focusing on legitimate social justice issues.

Science vs Story Telling: How Do You Know What’s Actually Real?

[Special thanks to Jaline Williams for assisting with some of the research for this post.]
—————————————————————————————————————-
Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time (seriously, sometimes it *actually* starts with “once upon a time”) our country, the United States, was a rich, powerful nation!  We lead the world in science, technology, and social development.  However, one day, our people believed that they were “entitled” – that the world owed them something, and that they could get lots of free benefits by voting the right people into office.  Our country has steadily declined into a welfare state ever since.  (Your news, fair and balanced.)

And that’s the story of our economic woes.  The end!

If you live in the US, you’ve probably heard that story a number of times.  All of our economic problems can be blamed on the poor – and of course the solution is to give the rich more money!

80 richest people

I’m sure it’s because 3,500,000,000 people are all just too lazy and don’t want to work.

Stories of this sort usually have an agenda in mind.  They’re often times appealing to adults for the same reason they’re appealing to children; they make big, complex problems seem simple, easy to grasp, and usually have some sort of built-in solution that goes along with them.  In this story, the problems we face are caused by the poor who don’t want to work, and the solution is to simply stop helping them.

When we actually examine the cause of homelessness, we’ll find that it is not, in fact, caused by a massive wave of people – by the millions – all collectively deciding at around the same time “I shouldn’t have to work!” – then quitting their jobs, sitting on the couch, arms folded, and sitting there until they’re finally evicted.  Homelessness is a multifaceted issue with numerous direct and indirect causes, from the extremely complex matter of the 2008 housing bubble and economic meltdown, to naturally emergent economic properties like gentrification, to the simple facts like the cost of living going up while minimum income hasn’t kept pace.

People often want answers to complex issues, but don’t want to spend the time studying or researching what the causes actually are.  So why listen to science when you can settle for a good story?

Another story is how life came about.  You know the one; in the beginning, there was nothing.  Then god said “Let their be light”, and there was light, and he saw that it was good.  Then on the 4th day, he created the sun and moon.  Which is really amazing!  Because if the sun was created on the 4th day… how were there 4 days???  To be clear, Genesis 1:16 of the King James Version states “And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night“. Apparently the authors of this chapter weren’t aware that the moon doesn’t produce it’s own light.

Of course, the diversity of life on earth is extremely well documented and thoroughly understood, with a considerable number of observable examples that fit perfectly with the theory.

Stories like The Magical Sky Wizard – who tosses hurricanes at homosexuals – often have plot holes and logical inconsistencies.  That’s how you know they’re just stories; reality is consistent, while fiction doesn’t have to be.  For some even simpler examples: why does Superman stand there and let the bullets bounce of his chest, but ducks when they throw the gun at him?  If Batman really were a billionaire, why can’t he fix the economy of Gotham City and get rid of crime?  Fans of these stories usually come up with explanations, but that’s what fans generally tend to do.  They like remaining true to their fiction, and they don’t want their story ruined.

At this point, you might have a sense of how stories (we’ll interchangeably call them “narratives”) differ from a scientific theory.  Lets explore further so we have a more articulated understanding of exactly how they differ from one another.

Science

The following is borrowed from AronRa, in his series “Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism”.

—– —– —– —– —– —–
A fact is any element of verifiably accurate data. “Verifiably accurate” means it can still be shown to be true even to those who don’t want to believe it. Facts alone do not make “evidence” until they collectively prove one scenario over any other (some facts may be strong enough to do this).

Evidence is when factual circumstances which are accounted for, and indicative of one particular explanation over any other. Gather enough evidence together, and you’ve got proof.

Proof, then, is an overwhelming preponderance of physical and logical evidence showing – beyond contention – the accuracy of particular position. (100% absolute proof exists only in mathematics)
—– —– —– —– —– —–

Let’s play with these for a moment.

Say you’re accused of killing Mr. Neckbeard. A knife was found in Mr. Neckbeard’s back early on the morning of June 10th. The knife belonged to you. The first thing the judge and prosecuting attorney do is congratulate you, and celebrate into the wee hours of the morning! We HATE neckbeards!!!

… but ok seriously, it’s a fact that the knife belonged to you, and it’s a fact he was found dead with it in his back. But those do not make “evidence”, because remember, evidence must be indicative of one particular explanation over any other! There’s not enough evidence to convict you (or amount to proof) of any wrong doing.

Even if we had eye-witness accounts and testimonies from a bunch of other people that you hated Neckbeard, that still does not prove anything. Facts and evidence are not enough – we need an overwhelming preponderance of physical and logical evidence, and that, we don’t have.

However, you can still be convicted for murder. Here’s why.

Narratives

You and I do not understand or experience life through a system based only on facts, evidence, and proof. No one does. We also do not experience life only through our senses and thoughts. We need some way to tie it all together; who we are, who everyone else is, where we stand, what’s happening to us, why it’s happening, what’s happened to us before and what’s likely to happen in the future – all of this is done by a method of internal “story-telling”. This includes the inner voice in our minds that dictates the world that happens around us, and our understanding of that world, put together in a story-format.  In psychology, this is closely related to the concept of “schema“.

Many different people may go through the same tragedy; some come out as heroes, others come out as survivors, and others come out as victims. The difference is the narrative each of them writes for themselves, and the way they caste themselves in that story.

We make stories not jumale dangerst for us; we make them for everyone around us. And those stories are occasionally rewritten, based on what we experience and how we feel at any given time. I remember sitting at the table in the community room at my old building, and someone from my floor walked by and looked in my grocery bag. After she left, another friend comes over and says “She was nosey!” I said “She was just curious.” We’ve clearly written two different stories about what just happened.

In the theoretical courtroom that didn’t have enough evidence to convict you, the jurors have their own story where you’re guilty. A good lawyer knows that he doesn’t have to PROVE anything to a jury; he only has to CONVINCE a jury! This means (usually) starting off on a strong groundwork of facts and evidence, but then playing and building on created or pre-existing narratives with emotional appeals.  How surprising is it when an all-white jury finds a black man guilty?

Because narratives are how we view the world, it is indeed possible to have one that’s closely in line with the facts.  Narratives are not automatically wrong.  But because they often incorporate story-telling elements, like assigning motivations to the behavior of others that is often unverified by science (this group of people really only want this / do that / believe such-and-such because ____ ), they usually do end up with conclusions that are not concordant with the facts or evidence, and are sometimes in complete contradiction.

This is what separates 4th Wavers from other websites focused on feminism and social justice.  4th Wavers does not rely on narratives.   I may sometimes use narratives to counter other narratives, if only to show that an alternative story is possible, but most of what you find here is checked against other sources and thoroughly challenged before it goes up.  After it goes up, the comments section is left open so that the content is subject to ongoing public review.  That’s how science works.

In fact, as a way of *proving* we do not have an agenda, and are not committed to any sort of narrative, I will not only change the material in a post if someone points out the errors, I will give them a shout out for having caught the error.  That’s how science works!

Occasionally I have an idea for a topic, and begin working, but I can’t find enough evidence to back what I had in mind, and have to abandon the idea.  In fact, right around somewhere in here, I was going to add that “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” meme.  But, after doing some very brief research (it’s one of the first results that comes up), it turns out that this ain’t legit.  It’s important to check *everything*, because if I don’t, someone else will, and I’ll end up having to give them credit somewhere in the post.  That’s how science works!

Summed up, the differences are:

Science Narratives
You can test each part of a claim to see if it’s true. Usually cannot test parts – or any – of a claim. When you are able to test parts, they disprove the original claim.
If a claim is tested and it fails, science changes so the untrue part is corrected. If a claim is tested and it fails, the results are ignored or dismissed, and the narrative continues unchanged.
Is consistent – all the facts fit together and are mutually supportive. Unknowns are admitted. Is not consistent – the claims often contradict one another, and unknowns are filled in with more unfounded claims.
You are strongly encouraged to question and challenge claims, and can reap huge rewards for a successful challenge. You are strongly discouraged from questioning or challenging claims, and will be ostracized or attacked for doing so.

Want to find out quickly which of these a person falls into?  During a discussion, just ask this simple question:

“What would change your mind?”

If the answer is “evidence!” – then you’re probably dealing with an intellectually honest skeptic who relies on factual verification.  Bonus points if they can go into details, and tell you exactly what kind of evidence.

If the answer is “nothing” – then you’re probably dealing with someone who’s bought into the narrative, believes what they’re told, and isn’t interested in facts.  In short, this is what separates 3rd Wavers from 4th Wavers.

An apologist is often someone who is very highly skilled at dressing up narratives to sound like science.  Lets take a look at an example of this in the form of flat earth “theory”.  You may have heard of these folks.

What’s really awesome about this is that all the observations explained round-earth theory can also be explained by the flat earth theory! The shadow cast on the moon by a round earth could also be made by a flat disk. The sun appears to go “around the earth” only because it’s small, hovers around the disk in a circle like fashion, and simply disappears into the distance. And how do you explain gravity? Well, there is no gravity – the flat disk of earth is simply moving through space at 9.8 meters per second (Update 3/28/16 – this should read “the earth is accelerating through space at 9.8 meters per second.  Thanks to Memento Mori for catching the error!) And all the photos we have of a round earth?   Those are actually all part of a money making conspiracy by – you guessed it – rich, powerful, white men, in faraway offices, telling us all what to believe (sound familiar?)

This makes for a really interesting puzzle to solve. Each of the flat-earthers explanations actually do explain every observation equally well as the round earth explanations. Each and every “Then how do you explain” question has an answer that sounds entirely plausible, and may even come off as quite convincing, especially if explained by a practiced orator using skilled rhetoric and perfectly delivered emotional appeals.

So what’s the answer then? How can we determine if Flat-Earthism is science, or narrative?  Look back to the chart from earlier.  The “facts” put forth by narratives are inconsistent, and not mutually supportive.  Each explanation that flat-earth theory gives only addresses observation immediately presented. Explanations do not mutually help each other explain the entire concept the way science does, and falter when scrutinized more closely and compared with other evidence. Let’s take a look and compare them.

Flat Earth Model

Observation Explanation
Gravity The earth is moving through space, creating the illusion of gravity
Sunsets The sun is actually only 32 miles across, and disappears into the distance
Photos of Earth This is a government cover up so NASA has an excuse to draw money
Seasons The tiny ball of sun is sometimes closer and sometimes further away
Falling off the edge There is a giant ice wall which holds the waters onto the disk and keeps things from falling off.

 

When more closely scrutinized and compared with other evidence: gravity can be seen not just when an apple falls from a tree, but because the ground moves up at an infinitesimally short distance to meet the apple. A sun 32 miles across cannot create or maintain an internal nuclear fusion reaction, plus solar eclipses would be impossible to explain. An outright contradiction in this model can be seen on the Flat Earth wiki page concerning stars: http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/tiki/tikiindex.php?page=The+Stars

—– —–
Each star in a cluster is attracted to one another through gravitational vectors.
—– —–

We’re not supposed to have gravity, remember? If we did, the earth would pull itself into a ball. It’s why all planetary bodies are spherical.

Pointing out these inconsistencies may causes frustration on the part of someone who’s bought into the narrative. Rather than be corrected because “Oh, I didn’t consider that” in the search for the truth, they’re being contradicted in the deal they’ve already bought and paid for. Explanations start becoming more and more divergent – “Well, stars have gravity, but our planet doesn’t!” … because physical laws don’t apply when we don’t want them to.

Can you draw some parallels here to 3rd Wave Feminism?

Now lets compare to science.

Astrophysics Model

Observation Explanation
Gravity This is an inherent property of matter which is equally below us at any point on the planet, because the earth is round
Sunsets As the round earth revolves around the sun, it also rotates. We can go into space and watch this happen.
Photos of Earth It looks round because the goddam planet is round!
Seasons Earth tilts on its axis
Falling off the edge There is no edge. Gravity pulls everyone towards the center of a spherical earth

These are all consistent with each other, mutually support the same conclusion, and fits perfectly with other evidence. Also, each explanation is independently verifiable; the cause and effect do not rely on each other (circular reasoning). We don’t say gravity is real because the planet is round, and the planet is round because gravity is real. Both the roundness of the planet and the force of gravity can be tested and confirmed on their own merits.

Now lets consider the parallels within Feminist Theory.

Third Waver Model

Observation Explanation
Most CEOs are men We live in a patriarchy where men are given power just because they’re men, and women are kept away from that power
Men are paid more yearly Men devalue women, and express this by intentionally paying them less
Women aren’t found in male dominated fields, especially congress Men hate women and keep them out of these fields by sending them invalidating messages
Men like looking at swimsuit calendars and scantily clad women Because men see women as objects
Rape is everywhere on college campuses Because of male privilege given to men by the patriarchy creates rape culture

Each explanation answers only the surface observation, and as a whole, causes numerous inconsistencies.  If men are in power, and are oppressive against women, they wouldn’t continually pass and enforce laws that specifically improve things for women.

Black vs Male

The exact same data that illustrates disadvantages for blacks, somehow indicates privilege for men.

Rape is not everywhere on college campuses.  http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5176 <— From the Bureau of Justice Statistics: college women experience less rape than non-college women between ages of 18 to 24.  How much less?  6.1 per 1,000.  That’s roughly 0.6%.  To put that in perspective, the 1 in 5 claim is an exaggeration of about 35 times what it really is.  So this is just false.

If rape culture (the idea that society thinks rape is permissible) were real, why did the conviction of rape carry the death penalty until 1977?  Why is rape the only crime where you’re guilty until proven innocent – and also where you can never be innocent?

If women were paid less than men, why don’t companies hire only women?  The answer may be that men hate women so much, that companies hire men anyway, even if they cost more, and are willing to spend billions.  But if this were true, why are there such stringent sexual harassment laws everywhere in the work place?  Why are women given legislation, like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 which clearly benefits only women?  (Done by an all-male congress, which is patriarchy, remember?)  Why would we see clear data where women earn more than men?  How do some women manage to succeed in male dominated fields if they’re kept out?  Did they leave the glass ceiling open, and the women crawled through when no one was looking?  Whether she wins or not, how the hell is Hillary Clinton doing so well in the presidential race?

Now lets try science again.

Fourth Waver Model

Observation Explanation
Most CEOs are men Men have greater social pressure to succeed, and are willing to take more risks
Men are paid more yearly Statistically men work longer hours, call in sick less often, and choose work that is harder, as confirmed by over 50 peer reviewed studies on the subject
Women aren’t found in male dominated fields, especially congress This is by personal choice; women choose not to take jobs in the fishing industry, where fatalities are 60 times higher than the national average. There’s nothing stopping them from applying.
Men like looking at swimsuit calendars and scantily clad women Because they’re straight, heterosexual men. Gee, imagine that. I’m lesbian and I like it too (but for some reason it’s not objectifying when I do it).
Rape is everywhere on college campuses This is simply not true.   Besides the statistics seen earlier (science), if 1 in 5 women were raped every year, then in 20 years, everyone should have been raped.

(Update 4/3/16: Anthony Stalter points out that the original study didn’t say 1 in 5 per year – after looking at the claim again, it appears to more accurately be “1 in 5 during their time in college” https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/survey-more-than-1-in-5-female-undergrads-at-top-schools-suffer-sexual-attacks/2015/09/19/c6c80be2-5e29-11e5-b38e-06883aacba64_story.html – thanks for keeping an eye out, and helping us improve!)

The answers in the above chart are consistent with each other, consistent with independently verifiable evidence (the cause and result don’t rely on each other for support), and mutually help explain what we see.

How To Build Your Own Narrative

This lesson wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t show you how to create your very own made-up bullsh*t so you can raise money for some inane “social justice” cause, or so you can just troll your conspiracy theorist friends.  It’s easy to do!  In fact, its so easy, that it might feel like you’re missing something.

Start with a plot, and keep it simple; people are poor and want hand outs because they just don’t want to work / god is real and you only deny him because you love your sins / men hate women and oppress them because they want privilege.  It only needs to sound vaguely agreeable, like it *might* somehow be true, and then just build around that with emotional pleading, and repeat the same basic lines again and again.  People will eventually start to believe it’s true.  Remember, the facts don’t have to add up – they only have to explain the surface of what’s being observed at the moment.  Most people don’t like to think too hard, nor do they like to do their own research.  But if someone does start asking questions, just create more narrative right on the spot, and claim it’s either divinely inspired, or that you have some special insight (and don’t worry, consistency isn’t important, so you can always change your answers later).

If people start questioning too much, or scrutinizing your claim by asking for evidence, shout them down with insults, suggest they have sinister motives, and most important of all, don’t forget to be triggered!  End the discussion by claiming you need a safe space, and encourage everyone to leave with you.  That way your ideas can’t be challenged at all.

changing feminist narrative

Whoever made this, you are a fracking genius. Thank you.

If you still need help getting started, just borrow a format from a narrative already established.  There’s plenty to choose from!

Take for example: http://www.bustle.com/articles/132243-8-appearance-based-compliments-that-are-actually-insults

Okay, so here are 5-sexist-comments-towards-men-that-you-should-avoid (not going to bother actually inserting a bunch of annoying gifs).

“You look good”.

[man-rolling-eyes.gif]

This is sexist because it assumes that men look bad. Because men look bad, they are judged by their appearance. We should judge everyone based on the content of their character.  Why do women insist on objectifying men?  It’s perhaps because they were raised that way.  We can teach women to value men for something besides how they look.

“What’s your favorite colour?”

[black-person-reaction.gif]

Colour has long been a point of contention in human history. Entire wars have been fought over colour; the Civil War [hyperlinks to more drivel] was fought over this very thing, and millions of men died in that war.  Think before you mention something to your man that might be so hurtful.

“What do you do? / What’s your job?”

[man-wtf-reaction-face.gif]

Unemployment has been unbearable since 2008, when the economy crashed, and a number of people lost their homes. Men who had previously worked for decades at companies to keep their families fed and housed, were now on assistance and seeking shelter.  Women can be good allies by remaining sensitive to what matters most for men.

“Excuse me, do you know where _____ is?”

[gif-of-some-guy-giving-directions.gif]

Men are often told they have a better ‘sense of direction’ – and men have had to suffer from this stereotype for decades. This awful, classist notion, began in the 50s, when men first started being used this way, and men have had to bare the burden of this expectation until this very day.  Remember: men are people too!  Don’t view them as walking compasses.

“Hello”.

[Some-snide-condescending-gif-to-go-with-the-rest-of-these.gif]

Saying hello to a man can be sexist. It violates a man’s personal space, and can make him feel unsafe. Moreover, the word itself even begins with “Hell” – a place of eternal torment. How would you feel if someone said this to you just for who you are?  Would you like it if someone greeted you this way?  Always remember to respect the spaces of others, and don’t say hello unless you have permission.  Consent benefits everyone!

===============================

Finally, here’s another fantastic job at constructing a narrative using the exact same techniques that 3rd Wavers use every day.

Try making up your own narrative in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Response to Cultural Appropriation (Yes, To The Entire Theory)

Cultural Appropriation is a popular topic in the field of social justice, so if you’ve been following stories centered around racism, privilege, and so on, undoubtedly you’ve heard this term also come up.  As per our usual method, we’ll start out with defining what this word actually means by using definitions put forth by it’s proponents.

And of course we’ll get this ball rolling with one of the most popular sources on the internet (it’s in the top 5 search results every time I start researching one of these for some ungodly reason).  According to the source of all that is wrong with the internet Everyday Feminism, a basic definition would beCultural appropriation is when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that’s not their ownRight off the bat, that sounds like something that wouldn’t pass rational inquiry, but first lets focus on getting our terms straight.  Everyday Feminism goes on to say it’s a “power dynamic in which members of a dominant culture take elements from a culture of people who have been systematically oppressed by that dominant group“.

My ancestors also invented the justice system, democracy, and modern infrastructure. Of course I was born in 1981 and had nothing to do with any of that - but for some reason I'm always included when it's genocide or slavery.

My ancestors also invented the justice system, democracy, and most of the modern infrastructure you now enjoy. Of course I was born in 1981 and had nothing to do with any of that – but for some reason I’m always included when the topic is genocide or slavery.

This definition goes on to emphasize “power dynamic” as the condition that differentiates this term apart from “cultural exchange” (where people share cultures) and “cultural assimilation” (where people adopt certain conditions because it will make life easier).

This definition is also concordant with other sources, such as what I could find here, and here.  I’ll be focusing mostly on EF as a source, because they not only give the generally accepted definition, but give a list of practical examples to back up their claims (or in other words, they are the best source – and that’s really saying something).

Several possible outcomes are stated to result from the practice of cultural appropriation.  Some of them are:

1) It trivializes historical oppression (like calling Native Americans “Redskins” in the NFL)
2) It makes being racist okay (like writing a positive review on Mexican food in a “shady neighborhood”)
3) It’s cool if a white person does it, but “ethnic” if a person from that culture does it.
4) It allows the dominant group to profit from the oppressed group in a way the oppressed group cannot
5) It allows one race to be rewarded for the accomplishments of another race (like Elvis being the inventor of Rock and Roll, while this was actually invented by blacks).

To go straight ahead and bat these out of the way…

— 1) No one thinks the Trail of Tears was trivial because we have a baseball team by that particular team.  I’ve never heard anyone say “The Native Americans had it good – just look at our baseball team!”

For cultural appropriation to happen under the stated definition, it must necessarily included 1. a power dynamic, and 2. something being taken from the oppressed group.  So while this might technically fit the definition, it doesn’t necessarily lead to this outcome.

— 2) You’re using yelp reviews of “good restaurant, bad neighborhood” as proof that eating Mexican food makes racism towards Mexicans acceptable.  Those damn yelp reviews!!

What’s more, I’m still not seeing anything being “taken by a dominant group” through a “power dynamic”.  This comes dangerously close to presupposing that one race is always dominant and the other is always oppressed for no other reason than race – which is the definition of racism.

— 3) The comparison in the third example is that showing up to a corporate job interview wearing cornrows would be something that would bar a black woman from employment, while a white girl in a fashion magazine with cornrows is seen as edgy.  Can anyone not see the difference between the expectations at a corporate job interview and a fashion magazine?  Or how a white person showing up to such an interview with cornrows would be equally rejected?

Black people do not own cornrows anymore than white people own straight hair, and black women straighten their hair all the time.

— 4) The example used is a white woman selling Native American items because she can get a home mortgage loan to start a business, while a Native American cannot, because reservation land can’t be mortgaged.  However, the Native American woman can mortgage a private home just fine – she just can’t mortgage reservation land because it belongs TO THE RESERVATION.  There’s nothing barring her from starting her own business.

If the simple act of making and selling something that originated in another culture was the same as “a dominant culture taking something through a power dynamic”, then utterly everything you’ve ever bought or sold is an example of cultural appropriation.

— 5) Elvis became famous for rock and roll, a form of music which came from rhythm and blues, invented by black people.  However, black people invented rhythm and blues from church hymns, which were invented by white people.

Further, this directly conflicts with the second possible outcome given; the music from black people may very well have helped them be seen more favorably, which would have helped end racism, not promote it.

Now lets go ahead and get the next few out of the way.

6) It misrepresents marginalized cultures – like how dressing up as Pocahontas ignores the real story of her life.
7) It perpetuates stereotypes, plus you’re pretending to be a race you’re not.
8) White people can do things that people of other cultures were once punished for doing.
9) My right to wear your stuff trumps your feelings about it.

So then.

— 6) First, dressing up like Pocahontas isn’t what created all the misconceptions about her life.  This is a normal part of how history passes down through generations.  It often gets distorted as one retelling follows another.  For example:

http://www.writespirit.net/greatest-historical-myths/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_common_misconceptions#Ancient_to_early_modern_history

http://all-that-is-interesting.com/american-history-myths

What’s more, it’s pretty well known that when Disney gets a hold of something, they spruce it up quite a bit.  And of course there’s always actual history books laying around if you care to improve your knowledge (What??  Take personal responsibility for my own education???).  There’s also Crash Course on youtube if books aren’t your style.

Either way, no matter what historical figure your daughter dresses up as, I’m willing to bet you have a distorted understanding of who they actually were.

Second, where’s the power dynamic?  Your daughter could dress up as Susan B Anthony.  She’s not doing that because she has power over Susan’s indigenous culture.  Also, what’s being “taken”?  What does Susan or Pocahontas or anyone else actually losing as a result of a kid dressing up like them?

— 7) Honestly?  If I have cornrows… I’m pretending to be another race???

The primary claim on this one is that Katy Perry dressing up as a geisha perpetuates a stereotype about Asian women, but this confuses geishas with Asian women.  It’s as though Everyday Feminism believes we can’t tell the difference, or that we’re all stupid animals who can’t understand that there might be more than one side to a person.  Yes, an Asian woman can be passive and submissive.  They can also be domineering.  They can also be friendly.  They can also be angry.  And that’s not different women – the SAME WOMAN can be all those things throughout the day.  Because they are human, they can be all these things.  But you could make this same claim that everyone will think Asian women are only that way, no matter which state we happen to depict an Asian woman to be in.  You’ll say THATS the ONLY way us white folks can understand them to be.

Angry Japanese math teacher?  Stereotype!  Tiger Mom?  Stereotype!  Hyper excited Japanese camera tourist?  Stereotype!  Submissive Asian swimsuit model?  Stereotype!  Chinese dude sitting on a bench not doing anything?  Stereotype!

How many of you are in danger of doing this?  Lets say you saw a Geisha performance.  The very next day you met an Asian woman.  What are you going to do?  Start ordering sushi from her because you saw the geisha serve that the night before?  Everyday Feminism seems to think so.

In researching for this post, I came across this. Whoever made it, thank you. Just... thank you.

In researching for this post, I came across this. Whoever made it, thank you. Just… thank you.

White men actually expect Asian women to live up to the “exotic geisha girl” stereotype” – and of course one of the sources for this claim comes from http://mic.com/articles/72827/asian-women-don-t-get-luckier-on-okcupid-we-get-more-harassed – a page which mentions “Like many ladies in New York City, I get catcalls all the time.”

Right, like that 10 Hour Video where men have the audacity to say things like “Hello”, “God Bless You” and….. “HAVE A NICE DAY!!!”

No actual statistics from any credible sources are offered – the entire page is only 1 woman retelling the imagined dangers she thinks she’s experienced.   And that’s your proof that geisha stereotypes cause Asian women to be harassed by white men (and specifically white men).  Because one Asian woman got some rude comments online.  I mean you can’t argue with that kind of proven proof.

But if you would like some actual statistics on a related topic, check out this video.  In the first 3 minutes, the author pretty much lays the smackdown on any SJW who might ever try to bring up this topic in regards to Halloween.

TL;DR – if you celebrate Halloween at all, you are celebrating an appropriation of an appropriation of an appropriation of a Celtic holiday you know nothing about.  So you can skip right by all the costume talk.

Also lets head back to that original definition for a moment.

1. What’s being taken from the Japanese by Katy Perry?  I mean if I take your car, but the next morning your car is still there… then how in the hell did I take it?  Geisha’s are still allowed in Japan.  We haven’t taken anything away from them.

2. Where’s the power dynamic?  Japan rivals the US in a number of ways, Japanese culture is very highly respected and admired, so much so that we’ve coined the term “Wapanese”.  I’ve never heard of any modern Japanese person being discriminated against.  Most of us Americans are probably more fascinated to meet a person from Japan, and are more likely to ask them what Japan is like.

— 8) Here it’s said we’ve culturally appropriated yoga, and can practice it, while Indians were once punished for practicing it.  And while we’re benefiting from it commercially, people living in India aren’t.

Or have they?

Consider how much culture we’ve appropriated from China for a moment.  We tattoo their letters on our skin, we eat their food at restaurants, we practice their martial arts, we enjoy watching them in movies, we listen to their music, and Chinese themes can be found decorating our homes.

Now consider how many far right politicians would love it if they could convince the American public to go to war with China, which they can never do now, simply because of how we’ve come to view them.  Despite having such political animosity, China is one of our biggest trading partners, and all of this is thanks in part to our “appropriation”.  A long time ago, we used to have a decidedly racist stance against the Chinese, but that changed too, again thanks to appropriation.  As we start taking more and more of their culture, we stop being racist and start liking them.  Pretty soon we’re even appreciating them!

It’s true that Great Britain once brutally subjugated India.  Today, British teens can be seen wearing nose rings, and cricket is wildly popular in India.  That’s a sign that relations between the two cultures have considerably improved.  There’s no longer hatred between them.  That’s what tends to happen when one culture starts taking from another.  Cultural appropriation makes it hard to stay mad at each other, and even harder to keep seeing the other side as being inferior.  Why would you adopt their culture if it were inferior??

9) From the page: “You should have the right to express yourself however you want to – and you do. Nobody can force you to stop taking things from other cultures.

๑۩ﺴ Reality Check! ﺴ۩๑

Your car is German.  Your vodka is Russian.  Your pizza is Italian.  Your kebab is Turkish.  Your video games are Japanese.  Your democracy is Greek.  Your coffee is Brazilian.  Your tea is British.  Your bread is French.  Your timber is Canadian.  Your rubber is Malaysian.  Your oil is Saudi Arabian.  Your electronics are Chinese.  Your numbers are Arabic.  Your religion originated in the middle east and most of your holidays are pagan.

If cultural appropriation were real, then you don’t appropriate from other cultures.  You **ARE** appropriated culture.

That’s what makes this topic so incessantly inane and inspired this response.  The “power dynamic” is nothing more pseudo-intellectual way of addressing which cultures you actually think are inferior to ours.  We consider the United Kingdom to be on equal terms with us.  That’s why it’s never said that we’re appropriating from them.  Or Australia.  Or Norway.  Or Russia.  There’s no “power dynamic” (we’re not superior).  India is seen as inferior because it’s largely undeveloped as a nation.  Hence there’s a power dynamic (another way of saying we’re superior), and thus we can appropriate from them.  We can identify ourselves as the white devils we are and begin practicing that mental self-flagellation, because we’re more “enlightened”.

Meanwhile, most folks living in India honestly couldn’t care less if Americans are practicing yoga.  Go on facebook right now and ask someone living in India and see for yourself.

What Is Privilege?

I had to come up with an innocent enough sounding title that would convince a newcomer to not X out the tab as soon as they got here.  I think a simple 3 word question will do.  Get ready to rage quit about half way through though.  This one’s gonna be fun.

Lets start off by actually defining what the word means in social parlance.  According to the dictionary:

PrivilegeBut of course we’re not going to rely on just the dictionary definition.  We do have other sources.  And if you’ve been a reader of this site for any length of time, you probably know which source we’re definitely going to include.

According to the Fox News of social science, privilege is “Any unearned benefit or advantage one receives in society by nature of their identity. Examples of aspects of identity that can afford privilege: Race, Religion, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, Class/Wealth, Ability, or Citizenship Status“.  The article goes on to mention white privilege 4 times, male privilege 4 times, and even “right-handed privilege” twice.

By the way if the editors at Everyday Feminism ever happen to find their way here, sentences can be grouped together in paragraphs.

You don’t need to make every sentence it’s own paragraph.

It’s true.

You really don’t.

And according to http://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com – which boasts an annual attendance of 1,500 of education workers from around the globe, and even offers Continuing Education Units for participants – privilege “exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do“.

Now those aren’t too far off the mark, to be honest.  But lets make this even easier using a fun analogy!

Lets say you and I are standing at the bottom of this wall, and we’re about to climb it:

climbing_wallWe’re gonna see who can get to the top first.  But before we do, someone comes by and straps a 50 pound backpack on your back, then says “ready set go!”

I don’t have a pack on my back.  Does his make me privileged?

NO!

It doesn’t.  It makes you disadvantaged, but it doesn’t make me privileged, because remember the definition of that word; it’s first and foremost an unearned advantage that I have that you don’t.

Now some might point out that you having the pack on your back “gives me an advantage”.  That’s true in one sense, but if my privilege were really defined by your disadvantage, then there would be no end to privilege.  After all, someone out there has asthma.  Does that mean I have breathing privilege?  Someone else was born without legs.  I have walking privilege?  Someone else is blind.  I have seeing privilege?  Oh hell lets make it INSTITUTIONALIZED SEEING PRIVILEGE because most of the world is designed with eyesight in mind!  You can think of a million things another person has that’s makes them worse off – this doesn’t mean you’re privileged.  It means they’re disadvantaged.  This is important because the focus belongs on removing their disadvantage, not on penalizing me for not having their disadvantage.

If you showed up to a car accident and someone was bleeding all over the pavement, you wouldn’t look at me and start blame me for not bleeding – you would get some gloves on and start patching up the one’s who’s injured.

Okay now back to our rock climbing wall… lets say I had someone at the top of the wall who was pulling on my rope and helping me climb.  Would that be a privilege?

YES!

That’s exactly what privilege means!  It’s an unearned advantage that I have that you don’t!  I have someone helping me, and nobody’s helping you.  This means I might have privilege where you don’t have any disadvantages.  Or I might have a privilege and you could be disadvantaged at the same time.

There are also some gray areas.  In real life, I just happen to be a performance athlete.  I can land around a hundred one-armed pushups in generally less than 4 minutes, and can pull 385 off the ground at a body weight of 140.  So if you’re not an athlete, and we’re about to race to the top of this wall… am I privileged?  This one’s tricky – I’m definitely advantaged!  However, I earned that advantage.  I hit the gym nearly every day for a year, and worked hard to get where I am fitness-wise.  I followed a super strict diet that entire time.  I made the sacrifices.  So yea, I’m advantaged, but for it to be a privilege, it has to be “unearned”.  Keep that in mind because we’ll come back to that in a bit.

And here we’re at that rage-quit part I mentioned earlier, so go ahead and place your cursor over that X at the top there and get ready to tell your friends about this horrible conservative neo-nazi KKK page you stumbled upon.

If we’re climbing that wall, someone could be tugging the rope at the top for you………. even if you’re black.  Or you could have that 50 pound backpack strapped on and still be white.  Colour does not automatically necessitate privilege or disadvantage.  Now, there’s lots of times where that’s the case!  It’s indisputable that institutionalized and systemic white privilege does exist, and Laci Green – as much as she is wrong on so many things – actually did a good job of laying this out.  But let me say it again – colour does not automatically necessitate privilege, advantage, or disadvantage, in any given situation.   This means that each individual instance of privilege must be examined independently, and according to the facts, avoiding narratives and presuppositions as much as possible.

Whether or not you want to call white privilege “racism” depends on how you define racism.  It’s very possible for a system to be set up in favor of one race or the other without any conscious intention of racism being present.  So if you mean to call a situation racist, or call it “systemic racism”, then that’s probably accurate.  Just be aware that the people running that system may not themselves be racist, and the way the system is designed may be a left over artifact from an earlier generation that made it that way.  Address the problem without attacking the people (unless you can show the people are the ones at fault).  This same thing applies to all forms of privilege.  You solve more problems that way, make more allies, and piss fewer people off.

Alrighty, now with that out of the way, lets examine how privilege is discussed by your typical SJW (Social Justice Warrior) by looking here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/dayshavedewi/what-is-privilege

Nice heartwarming look at how much worse everyone else has it than you, and why you should feel guilty and ashamed for having it so good (i.e. being “privileged”) – although there are a few legitimate examples.  We’ll only cover 10.

1. If your parents worked nights and weekends to support your family, take one step back.

^^^ This might make me disadvantaged in some ways, but how does it make YOU advantaged?  Or even privileged?  Remember my 50 pound backpack doesn’t give you climbing privilege anymore than my asthma gives you breathing privilege.

2. If you are able to move through the world without fear of sexual assault, take one step forward.

^^^ We’ve covered this pretty extensively in another post.  But yea, if you walk through a developed nation like the US with fear of sexual assault every day, you may want to speak to a therapist.  Either that or stop visiting Everyday Idiots.

3. If you can show affection for your romantic partner in public without fear of ridicule or violence, take one step forward.

^^^ Definition of privilege.  My disadvantage doesn’t mean you have an advantage.  We need to focus on the stigma of a man kissing another man, and fix that, rather than focusing on a man kissing a woman, since that’s not the issue.

4. If you have ever been diagnosed as having a physical or mental illness/disability, take one step back.

^^^ Again, my wheelchair doesn’t mean you have walking privilege.

5. If the primary language spoken in your household growing up was not english, take one step back.

^^^ I can see how this one would be connected to other areas where privilege did exist.  White neighborhoods are generally better off because of racist housing policies (some of which were outlined in Laci’s video earlier) that existed in decades passed, and those neighborhoods would speak English.  Someone fleeing economic disparity might have grown up in a household that didn’t speak English.  It’s important to examine each item on it’s own merits, and this one might have some truth to it.

6. If you came from a supportive family environment take one step forward.

^^^ Well, this is an advantage.  And it’s one you didn’t have to earn.  So this one checks out.

7. If you have ever tried to change your speech or mannerisms to gain credibility, take one step back.

^^^ This one seems pretty scattershot.  All of us change our speech and mannerisms throughout the day, depending on the situation.  We don’t act at an interview the same way we would at a family reunion.  How would this equate into a privilege?

8. If you can go anywhere in the country, and easily find the kinds of hair products you need and/or cosmetics that match your skin color, take one step forward.

^^^ I’m going to admit some ignorance on this one.  I see aisles for hair and skin products for black folks in Wal-Greens all the time, but I’d rather have black folks chime in on this one, since it’s a personal thing and they’d know more about it.  Is it really that hard to find what you need?  Do you have to drive for miles and miles looking?

9. If you were embarrassed about your clothes or house while growing up, take one step back.

^^^ If you were embarrassed growing up……. um…. okay, every single person who has ever lived through the ages of 13 to 17, take 10,000 steps back.

I get how economic disparity means some people are privileged, but this one isn’t saying that.  It’s saying “if you were embarrassed”.  Hell even the richest kids have to go through that.

10. If you can make mistakes and not have people attribute your behavior to flaws in your racial/gender group, take one step forward.

^^^ I’m white, and I’m constantly told how I don’t understand, how I’m part of the problem, how I oppress others, how I’m so lucky, how I’ll never have it so bad, PLUS!  If I’m homeless, sexually assaulted, robbed, beat up, or wrongfully arrested, I’m told “I was still privileged” (usually by people affiliated with #BlackLivesMatter who’ve not taken any time to understand what “privilege” actually means).  I hear all the time about how whites are hurting everyone else.  Sounds like a flaw in my racial group.

But then it’s not all black folks who are doing that.  It’s only a few of them.  Same like how blacks are judged in that same way, because it’s not all whites, it’s only a few vocal and open racists.

Either way, this is a narrative, not an actual unearned advantage belonging to any group in particular.

Finally, in doing research for this post, I looked far and wide for any identifiable “Black Privileges” so I could list them here, but wasn’t able to find any.  Similarly, I’ve not yet been able to find even one example of an actual male privilege, though we do have a list of numerous female privileges.

For black privileges, I found a few sources, but these failed just as badly as most of the ones we see on the BuzzFeed link above – keeping in mind the definition of “privilege”.

http://reverseracism. tumblr.com/post/63340296481/the-black-privilege-checklist

I chose this page because, to be quite honest, other lists I found were just laughably bad, and I didn’t think they should be taken seriously.  So just a handful from the link:

A black person could potentially benefit from affirmative action. There is almost no affirmative action for white people on the basis of skin, even for foreign-born whites.

^^^ This was originally placed as a counter-measure to white companies refusing to hire blacks.  So this isn’t really a privilege, it was a necessity needed to integrate blacks into the workforce.

I can pursue a career in rap, R&B, or gospel without being considered controversial.

^^^ I can’t offhand think of a “controversial” white gospel singer.  Or even why that would be controversial in the first place.  Or why controversy in any of these categories would be bad – Eminem stated himself that if he were black, he “would have sold half”.

African-americans invented the biggest forms of music in America, namely Jazz, Rock, and Rap.

^^^ How is this a privilege?

African-americans are historically portrayed as underprivileged in history textbooks. Ethnic whites who were historically underprivileged like the Irish and Italians, and Appalachian Miners are given footnotes on the side.

^^^ This is probably true.  However, how does this translate to an “unearned advantage” in any discernible way?

I can be sure of watching a football or basketball program and seeing my race widely represented.

^^^ That’s because your race puts in the time and effort to make this happen.  It’s done by choice.  There are whites who play NFL football, and there are blacks who compete in the World’s Strongest Man.  It’s just that one race tends to gravitate towards the other – but the individuals still put in the time and effort.  This isn’t a privilege.

And this of course isn’t to say that black privilege and male privilege DON’T exist – just that I haven’t been able to find any.  So feel free to leave some examples in the comments section if you’ve found a few that check out.

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Patriarchy Theory Explained

This post has been a long time coming!  Patriarchy is one of the 5 sacred tenets Third Wavers frequently use to prove how persecuted women are in modern day America.  But lets not jump on that boat right away.  First, what exactly is “patriarchy”?

That depends on who you ask.  As with any belief system, there are multiple interpretations.

I’ve covered definitions promoted by Everyday Feminism, a site which sports an impressive 4.5 million monthly visitors, and even offers courses in online feminism.  They define patriarchy as “a system of domination by which the wealthy, white, male ruling class has authority over everyone else“.

I’ve covered another, slightly more sophisticated definition by youtube user “marinashutup”, where it’s simply defined as “a social system that values masculinity over femininity.”

Then of course there’s the very intelligently written Finally Feminism 101 definition, which states that patriarchy is “one form of social stratification via a power/dominance hierarchy – an ancient and ongoing social system based on traditions of elitism (a ranking of inferiorities) and its privileges”.

This definition immediately excludes all modern developed nations, as they are not at all stratified based on power or dominance of any sort.  Business offices are populated based on qualifications, work ethic, and networking, not on sexist discrimination, and there now exists over 50 peer reviewed studies confirming that, some of which you can see explained step-by-step here (in fact, to date, there does not exist a single study anywhere in the world which demonstrates a link between sexism and the lack of female career advancement or pay scale as a demographic in first world countries).  Political offices are populated based on vote (as that’s how all modern democracies operate), and studies show that women simply choose not to run (if they were kept out of office just for being women, how do you explain the women who are currently *IN* office now?)  Finally, domestic violence has been shown again and again to happen equally between men and women – except that women have an entire branch of the justice department devoted just to them.

Finally Feminism goes on to say: “Historically, patriarchy operates through the disproportionate (sometimes exclusive) conferring of leadership status (and formal titles indicating that status) on men, a tradition characterised by casting all women as naturally unsuited to lead men, no matter what talents and expertise they might possess (unless there are exceptional circumstances resulting from intersections with other social hierarchies conferring high status that gives rare women political authority e.g. the royal lineage of Elizabeth I, or the divine claim to authority of Joan of Arc).

Looks like they tried to cover their asses half way through there by pointing out exceptions and calling them “rare”.  Like I said, it’s more intelligently written.

However, how exactly is leadership status among womenrare“?  I mean seriously, I was able to hyperlink nearly every individual word in this paragraph with a unique female ruler or leader at some point in historyRareThey make it sound like only two women in history were ever not oppressed.

Now, does social stratification based on male dominance exist at all?  Well, as a matter of fact, it does!  Look at modern day Afghanistan and how women are treated there.  The fact that we can see clear examples of this type of environment helps us immediately recognize the lack of said environment in any developed nation.  It’s also clear from the sheer number of women rulers and leaders throughout history (yep, every word hyperlinkd – I could list off a hundred more), that this “domination by men / oppression of women” narrative was not exactly ubiquitous, nor is it accurate.

I’ve been studying feminist archeology over the last several months.  Incredibly boring interesting stuff.  Two books in particular have been my guide: Merlin Stone’s When God Was a Woman, and Riane Eisler’s The Chalice and the Blade.  These are both utterly fantastic books – Merlin Stone in particular gives an absolutely brutal, pain staking, point-by-point account of ancient societies and how they lived.  Make sure you have plenty of coffee on standby, especially if you’re like me and are not particularly interested in archeology, but are determined to learn where this notion of “patriarchy” actually originated from.

I’m going to give you the fun, easy-to-read version of this research here, as opposed to the 257 page name-every-ancient-city-that-ever-existed-and-describe-in-detail-what-life-was-like-there version (seriously, finishing that book and the associated research was a major life accomplishment).

Once upon a time (circa 10,000 BCE), sex was celebrated, and women ruled the world.  Women were viewed as sacred “bringers of life”, so they lived in temples and banged any guy they wanted for fun (the world wasn’t heavily populated, so making babies was generally a good thing).  Now, to be clear, this “women ruled the world” part is somewhat disputed – but what’s clear is that there was no male domination, no “patriarchy” as it were, religion centered on goddess worship, properties were owned and managed by women, the leaders were women, and inheritance passed from mother to daughter (matrilineal society).  So it’s not a huge leap then to consider that they might also have been matriarchal, and there are a considerable number of archeologist that think this was absolutely the case.  Things remained this way until around 5,000 BCE, when certain regions became male dominated (we’ll discuss more on that in a bit).

Were men dominated in “matriarchy”?  Were they oppressed and denied rights?

That’s not entirely clear, and probably varied a bit by region.

Absolute ruler of all things within her realm.... in a patriarchy???

Absolute ruler of all things within her realm…. in a patriarchy???

The Minoan civilization on Crete, among several others, appears to have been rather egalitarian.  However, in Anatolia, there was this idea that if a man slept with a high priestess, he should never ever again sleep with another woman ever – even to the point of him castrating himself to make sure it doesn’t happen.  Castration wasn’t particularly frowned upon, and was even romanticized.  In ancient Babylon, they had a pretty strange New Year’s tradition, where they brought the king inside the temple, stripped him naked, humiliated him, and beat him up.  In Egypt, the women would go out picking up men, and in some cases slipping them intoxicants to make them less resistant (When Bill Cosby was a Woman).  While in the Sumerian region (Elam to be specific), the men who worked in temples were forced to strip in front of the women.

Now just imagine if we reversed the genders, and it was men doing all this to women.  We’d hear no end about how women were oppressed by that mean ol’ patriarchy.  Kinda putting a dent in that whole “women oppressed for thousands of years” jive, ain’t it?

So now on to that 5,000 BCE bit mentioned earlier, where things started to change.  As tribal societies settled down, and city-states formed, these different cultures began competing for resources.  You might have thought it was only men who go out and conquer, but women can get jealous of what other women got, and they want men to go out and get it for them.  Women put men in charge of the fighting, since they were stronger and are generally considered far more expendable.  Women, after all, were the “bringers of life” (a notion found repeatedly throughout the ancient world), and were thus far more valued.  Need a war?  Let men fight it out.

Giving men more power of agency meant they could build better armies, and win more wars. In this way, women helped lay the groundwork for what would later be “patriarchy”.  Female goddess worship turned to male god worship. Greeks went from worshiping Rhea to worshiping Zeus (we don’t even see Zeus as the king-father guy until 3,000 BC or there abouts, when northern invaders began battling their way across southern Europe).

As men started to gain power and religion gradually came to focus on male god worship, the groundwork for the clusterfuck of “sexual morality” had been laid.  Now here’s where that tricky intersection between Matriarchy and Patriarchy show up, so pay close attention to this next part.

In matriarchal societies, property was passed from mother to daughter. This was the established line of power – a mother always knows who her daughter is, and no one cared who the father was. HOWEVER! If men could make it so we KNEW who the father was, we could start a PATRILINEAL line of succession!  Men had been gaining power militarily for centuries, thanks to circumstances previously mentioned, so naturally they wanted a patrilineal line of inheritance so men would have even more agency. The only way to do this was to convince women it was bad to have sex with more than 1 guy. If she had sex with only the ONE GUY, we always know who the father is. If she messes around, we can’t know for sure, as DNA testing wasn’t around yet.

Trying to “convince” women not to sleep around didn’t work. Lots of records exist of women as late as 500 AD still up in the temples having men line up for them, so they could bang them one after the other and have kids out of wedlock. This is where we get quite a number of bible passages condemning “The Great Whore” and “Harlots” and “temple prostitutes” and so on. However, calling them names wasn’t effective, so men began straight up slaughtering the women who wouldn’t stay “moral”, using the power of agency granted to them through centuries of fighting.

The need for patrilineal inheritance is reflected in how the laws were set up.  You’re probably familiar with some of these from the bible.  If a woman cheated on her husband with another man, then both the woman AND THE OTHER MAN were put to death. However, if the woman was raped, she was married to the man who raped her. Why kill the man in the first example? It’s about father-son lineage, that’s why.  That’s also why it’s okay to sell your daughters into sex slavery – hey, the only thing that counts is whether or not the man knows which kid is his.

The next step was to finalize this process by making it legal through the institution of marriage.  And thus, “patriarchy” became a system where men and masculinity were definitely more valued than women and femininity.  It’s a system where women can be raped and beaten, and everyone’s totally okay with it.  It’s a system that ensures patrilineal succession by shaming and punishing all female sexuality outside of marriage.

It’s a system where men make the rules in favor of men, *not* a system where women have so much power that they can ruin a man’s life with just a simple accusation and nothing more.  It’s a system where men are valued because they are men, *not* because they went to college for 4 years, studied real hard, earned a degree, then gradually worked their way up to a 6 figure income.  It is a system where men are in charge only because they are men, *not* a system where men are voted into elected offices – by women – through democracy.

(And should AronRa ever see this: hopefully this answers your question.  Women being “slut shamed” is not clear evidence of a modern day patriarchy; it’s an artifact of an earlier Judaeo-Christian effort to suppress female sexuality, and is why this mindset still exist mostly in religious circles and almost nowhere else.  It survives on in the same way many linguistic artifacts from Greek mythology continue in the English language.  Men being called sexist pigs for everything they do is a backlash against this, starting with the rad-fems during the second wave movement, and being adopted by the Third Wave in the current movement, which abandoned the focus on women’s rights almost entirely in favor of villainizing men.)

So yes, the fact is that patriarchy actually did exist, and still does exist, in some regions of the world.  The desire to establish such a system was spearheaded by the Levites at around the beginning of the first century, and between 300 and 500 AD, a number of pagan and goddess worshiping sacred sites were shut down and either outlawed or converted into churches by the then Christian emperors, including Constantine.

The severity of the treatment of women varied from place to place, and of course changed over time.  Much the same way not all men were horribly oppressed in every ancient society before then, nor to the same extent.

By the time the middle ages and the feudal system had come to Europe, women could once again be found in nearly every social strata of society.  A peasant was a peasant, whether man or woman.  Both had limited options.  Lords of course had power over them – but so did Ladies.  And while King Henry the VIII was ill-tempered and had 6 wives, Queen Marry of Scots was even more ill-tempered and had 3 times as many people burned alive.

Masculinity was more valued than femininity, but only in certain places, and for certain times.  Femininity was more valued than masculinity, but only in certain places, and for certain times.  Both Patriarchy and Matriarchy have existed, but neither exist in the present day US, or in any other modern, developed nation.