Why I’m a Sexist

The political system loves the extremes, it doesn’t so much show a lot love for the moderates.

– Claire McCaskill

I suppose I should write about my raison d’être. Why my beliefs are the way they are. Why I say the things I say. Why I write the things I write.

I started becoming interested in feminist critique in about 2013, when it took over the computer science scene. This doesn’t sound bad on paper, but there were some issues that cropped up. People were reprimanded for not using gender neutral pronouns. There were pages of arguments about the terms “master” and “slave”. Some people were obviously not pleased with this.

I was lucky enough to attend a science orientated high school. I managed to take many classes on offer, including classes in computer science. Then feminism crept in. On the first day of my programming class, the teacher spent half the class ranting about how sexist computer science was. He would e-mail us about scholarship opportunities for women only, then say “Sorry, men. There’s tons of opportunities for you” (Hint: he only ever posted scholarships and internships where women are preferred). Then there were the events. All of them during my school year were catered towards women. The only science club for several years was geared towards women. When one was started, the teacher literally said when I walked in “Where are all the women? I’ll have to make cuts to the club, but I’m keeping all of the women”.

The above paragraph sounds like me complaining about women. To steal from Trump, I have no problems with women, I have a problem with leaders that prioritize women. This is of course not to say that we shouldn’t help women, or that women’s charities should not exist. The problem is that when one group is preferred, another group gets left out. (As a bonus, reread the above paragraph and replace “women” with men. See what your reaction is.)

I have a firm belief that general, inclusive solutions to problems are the best answer. On the same page that touts statistics about women and minorities not taking computer science, it shows that only 2,100 out of 42,000 high schools teach AP Computer Science. That’s 0.05%. Why don’t we bring science outreach in a general fashion first? Men and women are equal victims of domestic abuse. Men are also highly discriminated against when seeking abuse shelters. Why not help all victims of abuse? Breast cancer gets much more funding than prostate cancer despite similar death rates. Why not contribute to and promote both?

Then GamerGate happened. Trump happened. The alt-right happened. The men’s rights movement happened. I looked to each movement individually instead of believing the media, and found some good ideas (mixed in with the bad, of course).

I am a moderate. I am not a conservative. I am not a liberal. I am not a Democrat. The reason I’m so interested in researching ideologies is because I see what ideologies do. They demonize others. They prevent criticism. They often only tell half the story. When you belong to an ideology, you adhere yourself to those beliefs. The ideas get reinforced. This does not mean one can not have an open mind. Though, these days it seems like the “open-minded ideologue” doesn’t exist, and is almost becoming an oxymoron.

As a moderate, no topic or idea is off limits. No criticism can not be made, regardless of experience, age, gender, or race. If an inexperienced person criticizes an idea, then does that not point out a major oversight? Outside criticism should be held in high regard. After all, is not the purpose of a movement or ideology to recruit outsiders? If you are perceived in a negative fashion by outsiders, then maybe something is wrong with your movement.

What happens when you criticize feminism or Black Lives Matter? “You’re just a racist / sexist! You do not understand the suffering we’ve been through!” What happens when you criticize gun control? “You’re just an idiot! Only a conservative would think that more guns is the solution!”

One of the core tenets of an ideology is to never admit it is wrong. Being wrong causes fracture. As a moderate, the best idea wins. It does not matter where it comes from. What is the best idea? A logically and factually argued one. Shouting “racist”, “sexist”, “you’re not a real *” is not factually or logically argued. Something might be wrong with your idea when there are scientific studies saying that it is.

Being open minded is not enough. I have spoken to many who hold open minds and value free speech (mainly university administrators, as an interesting note). I call these people “half-based”. They are aware of the value of differing viewpoints, but are unaware or vastly underestimate the dangers ideologues cause. They shut down debates. They actively campaign against free speech. The president of Yale was quoted saying “the humanities should encourage modes of thinking that discipline the mind without pretending to direct it” (Kimball, Roger – Tenured Radicals pg 62). When academics of any variety are against freedom of expression, opinion, and the free flow of ideas, this signals something incredibly wrong. (And no, there are not the minority by any stretch of the imagination).

There are currently posters on campus advertising for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. If you don’t believe that, good. There are currently multiple posters on campus advertising for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. I just lied again. There are currently multiple posters on campus advertising for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government along with on campus recruiters. But writing “Trump 2016” is a “racist violent hate crime”. Rule 3: SJWs always project.

My Italian textbook has the word “socialism” but not “sometimes”. It also spent a full chapter on environmental activism. This is clearly the first thing you need to know when travelling to Italy. Ciao! Com’è il buco dell’ozono?

The housing administrator says that the classroom is the perfect place for debate because “the best idea wins”. A professor said that we are in school to “break ideological barriers”. My academic advisor said “go ahead and start a men’s resource center!”  (Which I’m sure will go swimmingly well…).

All of these statements are ridiculously false when ideologues are involved. They actively hate other ideas. Not oppose them, but hate them. It’s why they’re so offended, scared, and “triggered” by other ideas. They do not wish to debate them on the merits. They can just sling around buzzwords instead. This is not just limited to feminism of course, but Marxism, socialism, postmodernism, and in fact any ideology mature enough does the same thing, with different words of dismissal.

They of course do not bring up conflicting material or criticism in the classroom. Most criticism is disregarded. We do not read any criticism of Marxism or feminism. We do not discuss Venezuela or the USSR’s issues. We instead are greeted with stories in praise of the glorious socialist land of Sweden (who will be a third world country in 2030, by the way)! We do not discuss the fact that the wage gap does not exist. We do not discuss that men and women are equally likely to be victims of domestic abuse. We certainly never go over the many issues regarding studies involving rape culture.

This is a key failing of universities. Their goal should be to demonstrate all views and interpretations. Even just mentioning criticisms is enough to turn the tide. Instead we get my sociology professor saying “If you don’t think Kuhn is right, you’re wrong!”

They are hostile to opposing ideas for an understandable reason: they have built their whole lives around ideologies. An academic teaches, writes, and reads articles, books, and papers that reaffirm their ideas. Young feminists and activists take to Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook to voice their causes. They join the local “*’s rights” groups on campus. They are taught their world view through the authority of their teachers. An attack on an ideology is an attack on identity. Ideologies, by their very nature, have confirmation bias at their very hearts. Booker T. Washington wrote an excellent paper on this a century ago. (It also gives me anti-racist points.)

By far the most dangerous part of ideology is the effect on thought. Ideologues are overwhelmed by their own positions constantly. This leads to every single solution proposed to a problem ending up being ideologically driven. My linguistics professor asked about exactly what I’m interested in: why ideologies are hostile to neutral ideas. Specifically, biological universals. My answer was postmodernism: that any mention of any possible human universal destroys the idea that everything is socially constructed. Another student’s answer: racism, of course. My answer had nothing to do with race. The question was asked in regards to academic ideology (I assumed, because I don’t think a typical average joe KKK member is concerned with universal grammar, or even know what it is). To say that it is due to racism would be to claim that academia is racist, a field dominated by Democrats. So she would have to then say that Democrats and Marxists (and by extension, feminists) are racist.

Which is of course the worst part. We see time and time again the word racist next to the word conservative. All conservatives are racists and hate LGBT people! It is almost second nature to sling buzzwords at opposing groups, especially in the media. Stereotypes of opposing movements are rampant. You can certainly call all Republicans women hating bigots, but when you call feminists man hating bigots, then we just don’t understand the movement.

Political discrimination and attacks on free speech are an enormous, active, and ongoing problem. If you do not think so, then you’re an ideologue yourself. One needs to break the narrative. Think hard about why, if we all want equality, #KillAllWhiteMen is ok, but #RapeAllWomen is not. Ask yourself why we do not turn our attention to men’s issues. If your answer to these questions is “women are oppressed” or “feminism helps men too”, congratulations: you’re an ideologue.

Objective solutions are the best solutions because they show they work. Feminism is doing a very poor job helping men if they are falling behind in education. They are doing a very poor job with the fact that men commit suicide more (and no, the “women attempt suicide more!” argument only serves to distract from the issue. The other feminist response is that men are reluctant to talk about their feelings. If only they had resource centers of some kind…) They are for sure doing terrible work in equalizing the workplace death rate (where is the “women in coal mining” initiative?).

An ideologue’s response would be that women’s issues are more important. Why? Women get Equal Pay Day, International Women’s Day, and Women’s History Month. What happens on International Men’s Day? I think you can hazard a guess. We live in a gynocentric society, despite any claims of oppression. Women’s issues get far more exposure and acceptance. By even saying that women’s issues are more important, this fact is echoed. If we are truly about equality, why are we not helping men? Why are men’s rights groups frequently protested, dismissed, and ignored?

To finally sum things up: ideologies are intrinsically ineffective at what they do. They constantly push the same views, dismiss opposing views in a hostile manner, and end up reframing new problems in the confines of their ideology. Ideologues are closed minded. It’s a very simple fact. No matter how open minded and progressive one claims to be, only a moderate can be truly open minded. Labelling ideas in any way is a threat to everyone. It is an incredibly easy way to dismiss views, even for non-ideologues. “I’m not a conservative, but…” or “I’m not a liberal, but…” only shows some kind of distaste or suspicion of certain ideas only because certain people say them. No one can truly adhere completely to a belief system. Ideologies are by their very nature, exclusive. This leaves out ideas, opinions, and criticisms that might be of value. The ability to criticize any idea (or person) is an ability of such importance, that I can not put into words about how important it really is. Objectivity is the only test of an idea’s merit. Without it, it is only a fantasy.

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