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    Social engineering

    Romeo Mike has two great posts up this week. The more general one is about how movements for tolerance mutated into political correctness. I’m going to zero in on the gay content–go figure–but there’s a lot more to it:

    I never wanted anything more out of my gay rights than to not be arrested for it. I was perfectly aware that my dynamics were different from the mainstream, so why should a tail wag the dog. Yet now society itself is being dismantled to accommodate a few hundred people who demand to have the same everything, even when so much of it has to be artificially constructed, and risks affecting essential social fabric.

    Well, societies do evolve. The decriminalization of homosexual conduct has itself certainly been a change in the social fabric, after all–however innocuous those of us with the most to gain by it may find it. And entitlement-mindedness did not originate with gays; it’s the way politics works nowadays. Furthermore, just about everyone who espouses “traditional values” is picking and choosing customs from the past that he deems worth reviving or updating, and human institutions are by definition artificial constructs. Even so, none of that vitiates the point that fecklessly restructuring long-standing institutions to serve political ends that only emerged a decade or two ago is ill-advised. Not even all gay activists can agree on why gay marriage, as opposed to the other potential ways gay unions might be recognized, is the only way to go. The reasons most frequently and loudly offered appear to center on “respect” and “dignity,” which it’s dangerous for free people to expect the government to confer on them.

    About feminism, RM (I hope he doesn’t mind my calling him that; I am certainly not going to refer to him as “Romeo”) says,

    Though males had to work to support their families, feminists co-opted work as an equality issue. Now, child-rearing is disdained by many women who identify their life purpose by labouring for their employer. For many, children aren’t part of the equation anymore, even though they still mate. Yet the subsequent rise in mean income forced up the cost of living so now women have no choice but to work, child or not. Surely, on their death beds their last words will be,”I can rest now knowing my life’s purpose was to make profits for my boss.”

    Again, I’m with RM overall. Encouraging people to think of their career as their primary source of fulfillment (or even intellectual stimulation) works against their instincts and the good of their children–no argument here. At the same time, let’s not lose sight of a couple of things. For one, while Australia has a different tax system and welfare state from the US, my understanding from Australian friends is pretty much that the two countries are not much different in this respect: families with children can make it with one income if they’re willing to forgo the frills of full-on bourgeois living.

    For another, not everyone is cut out for child-rearing. We are a complex civilization with many important artifacts to maintain and develop for future generations, and there’s no shame in devoting yourself full-time to such tasks. The problem is that everyone–including the vast majority who will eventually become parents–has been encouraged to develop in a way that’s at odds with good parenting, not that women who aren’t the mothering type are now free to pursue careers.

    The big problem is mouthing abstract bromides about “diversity” while taking concrete steps to shoehorn people into politically-approved personality and behavioral types. RM tackles that in the other post, coming up with a useful neologism:

    mis.het.eur.andry; from misandry, hatred of men + het, heterosexual + eur, euro

    “denigration of straight white male/s under the guise of promoting anti-patriarchal ideology.”

    The whole mentality of seeing different ways of life as some kind of rebuke directed at your own is something I’ve never understood. If you have to defang people’s personalities in order to be able to deal with them comfortably, there’s something wrong with your spine. Liberal societies nurture strong, combative personalities and will always have their share of friction. Feminists and gay activists who expect us to make lasting gains that are woven into society instead of being appliqueed onto it need to see the advantage there. Opposition doesn’t just tear you down, it also shows you where your own arguments have flaws so you can improve them.

    5 Responses to “Social engineering”

    1. Portia says:

      I’m just tired of this “hyper correcting” where it affects me the most. As a reader. Except for some of the more “guns and powder” thrillers, it is now impossible to have an action hero who isn’t a woman. Someone who upholds moral justice and fights for right HAS to be a woman, or the book is denigrated as “right wing.”

      I live in fear that James Bond will be given a sex change operation before his next cycle.

      Yes, I am aware I’m a woman. However, this whole idea that women only want to read about women and that women who kill are “empowered” while men are sociopaths is just … well, sick. In the sense of a sick, sputtering culture.

      Yeah, we should have female action heros. But I want male action heros too. Who aren’t stupid and don’t need to learn to be “more sensitive.” I like reading about people I can lust after. And heaven help me, if I see one more woman with a sword “save the world” I’m just going to puke.


    2. John says:

      Portia, have you read Terry Pratchett’s “Monstrous Regiment”? I think you’ll like it, even if a woman with a sword does (nearly) save the world.

    3. Portia says:


      Exceptions ALWAYS made for Pratchett who is the best writer currently working in any field and also a very nice person. Monstrous Regiment is worth it JUST for the ability to tell people “Meetings before lunch are an abomination onto Nugan” and have them stare blankly at you. And having someone you just met and whom you think might kind of end up being a friend immediately say, “What, like chocolate, babies and the color blue?” Priceless.

      [I tend to talk from the socks. A lot. 😉 ]


    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      “But I want male action heros too. Who aren’t stupid and don’t need to learn to be ‘more sensitive.’ I like reading about people I can lust after.”

      That’s a menace in all of pop culture, and it’s appearance as well as sensitivity. The male movie and rock stars are as highlighted, botoxed, dermabraded, scalpeled, fake-baked, depillated, and collagened as the women are now.

    5. Portia says:

      That’s a menace in all of pop culture, and it’s appearance as well as sensitivity. The male movie and rock stars are as highlighted, botoxed, dermabraded, scalpeled, fake-baked, depillated, and collagened as the women are now.

      Yeah, and if plastic did it for me, I’d just buy appliances. Cheaper and take far less time.

      As for sensitivity — I just realized most of the “sensitivity” in books is as fake as the appearance in movie stars.

      On Pratchett — one of the facets of his genius is that he writes the sexiest men, who, clearly, aren’t projections of himself. (The only projection of himself as far as I can determine is a “budhist-like” monk.) I do have the most horrendous crush on Commander Vimes. And (creepily) on the Patrician. (Makes me worry about my sanity, yes, it does.)


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