Yes, it does. After laying out the basic tenet that the movement toward equality has been hijacked by the current batch of SJW’s, Aristotelis Orginos believes he has found the problem, and the problem is …feminism? Or perhaps just those who call themselves feminist? His article isn’t quite clear, but it starts out unpromising and then falls into logical fallacies that leave one aghast that he’s a self-proclaimed “future teacher”.
First up, the confusion between ‘hate’ and ‘anger’. His supposition is that “…in attempting to solve pressing and important social issues, millennial social justice advocates are violently sabotaging genuine opportunities for progress by infecting a liberal political narrative with, ironically, hate.” No, they are angry. I don’t know of anyone who is truly fighting for justice and equality that is lining up a list of all the idiots they hate.
I’ll quote him extensively for a moment:
“Many will understand this term I used — millennial social justice advocates — as a synonym to the pejorative “social justice warriors.” It’s a term driven to weakness through overuse, but it illustrates a key issue here: that, sword drawn and bloodthirsty, millennial social justice advocates have taken to verbal, emotional — and sometimes physical — violence.
In a dazzlingly archetypical display of horseshoe theory, this particular brand of millennial social justice advocates have warped an admirable cause for social, economic, and political equality into a socially authoritarian movement that has divided and dehumanized individuals on the basis of an insular ideology guised as academic theory. The modern social justice movement launched on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Jezebel, Slate, Huffington Post, et al. is far more reminiscent of a Red Scare (pick one) than the Civil Rights Movement.”
Really? Has he read anything of Malcolm X? What about the riots of the miners and other unions who fought for the 8-hour workday and child labor laws and everything else we currently enjoy? Does he realize that those were actual battles, not just verbal engagements fueled by tacky, fruity, fake martinis? People fought and people died for those social justices to come about. They were angry at being abused and they picked up weapons and fought. That’s not hate, that’s exhaustion and self-preservation. And it’s nothing new. And the words that are currently being used to battle are far more civil than the knives and guns used in the past. Which would you really want us to use?
That asked, I don’t see the current crop of names most associated as “SJW’s” picking up swords or guns or anything other than cameras or code to fight currently. They are being pretty civil, and haven’t chosen to join the darkside just yet. I get that you, a straight-white-cisgendered-male don’t like being a target, but I’m pretty sure that no one does. I’m a gay-white-cisgendered-male, and I’ve been a target for anti-LGBTQ bigots my entire life, and I despise that. It makes me angry. However, I don’t hate the people who target me, nor will I let them get away with their vile attacks simply because they don’t like being challenged on their bigotry. You don’t like being attacked, stop attacking people.
Oh, but he can’t help himself. He then attempts to draw a parallel between the book 1984 and the current landscape of the equality movement’s millennial contingent. And he misses, but only because he’s completely wrong.
In 1984, as in any authoritarian system, the authority has the power, as one might expect, and can and does shut down dissent by exerting that power. Pretty simple concept.
When a dissident moving is trying to change the situation, and authority rises up against it, some go sideways, yes, and some go violent, yes, but it’s very rare that the dissident movement completely replaces the current hegemony. As we’ve yet to elect a woman as president, over 90% of leading companies are run by cis-straight-white-men and current statistics estimate that 1-in-6 women in the United States will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime, you cannot reasonably say to anyone that the feminist movement has won. It’s not even close. To say, therefore, that the movement has gone overboard and is now using its power, which is relatively small, to endanger and demean all of society is ridiculous. Well, it would be if so many cis-straight-white-dudes didn’t believe it.
And now we dive into ‘Rape Culture: Does It Even?’ which is a nice way to dismiss statistics and research as lies because they make you uncomfortable. Yes, rape culture exists. Done. End of story.
No you don’t get to claim it’s not real because you don’t see it. You don’t see my sex life, either, but it’s real. That sort of idiotic thinking is what got us here in the first place. The concept that “He’s a nice boy!” and “What did she expect dressing like that?” aren’t just imagined, their in police reports. While I don’t agree with the basic premise that all rape reports must be treated as if they are true, I know for a fact that questioning a person who reports a sexual assault is still, in 2015, riddled with questions like “Are you sure you didn’t mean to have sex?” and “Why did you put yourself in that situation?”
None of those question is uncommon, and all are accusatory to the person reporting the crime. When you report your car is stolen you won’t ever hear “Why did you buy that model?” or “Why did you get that sexy red paintjob?” because they are immaterial to the case. Same goes for the aforementioned questions to the person reporting a sexual assault. Asking questions the put the blame for the sexual assault on the person reporting it is the core of rape culture, and it’s a part of the current patriarchy. It’s very real, and it’s not right.
Some people get mad at that. Hell, I get mad at that. The fact that I have two sisters and a niece and countless female friends, and knowing that some of them have dealt with sexual assault makes me angry on a molecular level. How can you not think that’s a fucking problem that needs to be tackled, head on? And sometimes to fix a problem you have to really fight. It’s not pretty, but it’s necessary.
Now, I don’t agree with the statement that all accused rapists should be treated as guilty, but I do agree that all who accuse should be treated as if they are telling the truth. Ask what happened, don’t put the accuser into the role of a liar, and then do your investigation. That’s fair and right, and sadly, that isn’t what happens today. If it were what happened today, there wouldn’t be nearly a half million untested rape evidence kits rotting on shelves.
Back to Orginos tome. That he pulls the Blackstone Axiom out is not novel, yet it doesn’t really apply. With the research stating that nearly 60% of rapes are not even reported, and only 3% go to jail. That axiom is out of balance in the cases of sexual assault, so some corrective must be applied to the course.
Now, here’s where I agree with Orginos, “Due process, or the idea that a governing body must respect all legal rights of an individual, is granted to Americans by the 5th and 14th Amendments. To suggest that there is no recourse for the accused — and to ask for it is actually rape apology — is absurd…” and he’s right, it is absurd.
However, it’s no more absurd than the continued thinking that prompts questions like “What were you wearing?” and “Why didn’t you just leave?” which are both victim-blaming and dangerous to justice as a whole.
The idea that men are incapable of seeing a woman dressed a certain way and not immediately raping her is asinine, and yet it’s pervasive in our culture. From High Schools attempts to ban leggings all the way up to legislative representatives trying to tell women how they should dress, the sad fact is, it’s men pushing for these policies and inherently admitting they are incapable of acting in a civil manner because: TITS-AND-ASS. That’s not just disgusting, it’s shameful.
“…and to ask for it is actually rape apology — is absurd, reactionary, and further highlights the black-and-white nature of this certain brand of millennial social justice advocates. Why, after all, would someone ask for due process when a woman is accusing a man of rape? The millennial social justice advocate views this as an insidious question that results from sexism against women and is corroborated, they feel, by a statistically insignificant rate of false rape accusations.”
Some vocal people do view it this way, because our system has pushed them to this view. Just like the miners who, when pushed too far, fought back with weapons we, today, hope to never see in use, these people are using weapons that Orginos finds distasteful and wrong, and, honestly, neither him nor I know if they’ll be effective or not. We’re in the middle of the fight, so it’s not like the outcome is guaranteed either way.
That’s not to say that the weapons aren’t valid – they absolutely are. All’s fair in love and war, and the current fight for social justice for women against rape culture is a perverted mix of both. The sad fact is, 1 in 3 men would commit rape if it weren’t called rape. (But what’s in a name, right?).
Then Orginos opines the greatest love-letter to mankind, ever:
“To the social justice advocate of our time, conclusions are not contingent on facts; rather, facts are contingent on conclusions. In a global example of confirmation bias, the truth is malleable. The malleable truth is molded around the theoretical viewpoints of social justice. In order to uphold the sanctity of this viewpoint, adherents ostracize dissension. It’s nothing new — it’s a tactic as old as religion itself. Instead of holy texts, though, the millennial social justice advocate bows at the altar of the currently-in-vogue ideological Trinity: Marxism, Feminism, and Post-Colonialism.”
The only quibble I have with this is that his entire thesis is predicated on his firmly held belief that rape culture doesn’t exists, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When you start out from a viewpoint and then go collect facts and write evidence to support that viewpoint, he’s saying you’re doing it wrong. It’s also exactly what he’s doing.
But just because Orginos hasn’t stirred up enough shit, he decides to take on the racism, a social ill that, honestly, this country was founded upon. Only, instead of fighting against racism, which is what anyone with a brain will do, he decides to use the condensed format of twitter to try to prove that SJW’s just don’t get it.
The quote he pulls is “You cannot be racist to white people just like you can’t fire your boss because you don’t have that power” and he manages to miss the part about power. In fact, he missed it so much he puts forth the idea that “[t]he mantra of the movement is thus: It is impossible to be racist against white people because racism is the equivalent of prejudice and power. Since white people have social and economic institutional power and privilege (in America), those who are racially oppressed cannot be racist toward whites since those who are racially oppressed do not have power.”
That’s not how I view racism. That’s not how anyone I know views racism. That’s how people who want to claim they are being attacked for being a part of patriarchy deflect criticism. You most certainly can be racist towards whites, but if you’re a minority and you try to exert that racism in any way, what does it do? Depending on how high up on the social ladder you are you might be able to get away with some sort of racism towards white people in this country, but given the power that whites have in this country, it’s not going to be much or for long. And those fighting for social justice intrinsically understand that fact. The condensed format of Twitter doesn’t allow for a long explanation, but the tweet wasn’t wrong – if you don’t have the power, your racism doesn’t mean anything.
That he then tries to prove that sexism towards men is a problem is laughable. Men have power over women, physically by nature, and socially by the constructs that we’ve forced on society through the application of our nature. That’s not a bad thing in an of itself, so long as we don’t abuse the power. It’s really too bad that we have.
“Instead of the discussion being focused on how advocating to “kill all white people” as a political statement or how the hashtag #KillAllMen are prejudicial and hateful sentiments, the millennial social justice advocate excuses and legitimizes these phrases and behaviors by suggesting that they are not racist or sexist but are legitimate expressions against their oppressors. The discussion of how legitimately hateful and anti-liberal these statements are does not ever surface because, as the script goes, this is “derailing” discussions of legitimate problems of oppressed people to focus on the non-problems of oppressors.”
I don’t know anyone who is advocating to “kill all white people” but any idiot can see that it’s racist statement. It’s also called genocide, but whatever you call it, it’s evil and wrong. And the hashtag #killallmen is just the same level of stupid, and yes, it’s sexist.
What he never proves is that this the chosen tool of those fighting for social justice. The lack of proof is easy to understand, tho, as it’s almost impossible to come by. Of the prominent people who proudly fight for social justice, not one is this way, and all of them have advocated for calm to return to the discussion. So I ask you, Aristotelis, who are the people who have said this, and what power do they actually wield?
In searching Twitter for the hashtag #KillAllMen I can find a lot of people complaining about SJW’s saying it, but not any SJW saying it. I can see a lot of writing from sites like Breitbart, but that’s about the same level of thinking as buying stuff from Acme. And as soon as the #gamergate hashtag is invoked, I can and do find a hate mob. And don’t forget the doxxing, swatting and threats to rape and kill female SJWs.
But even though that’s publicly searchable information, that can’t be right. It’s an outlier. Nope, it’s just a statistic, and as we know, it’s all about lies, damned lies, and statistics. If you’re going to claim that all research and statistics about the pay gap and rape culture are flawed because you can manipulate data in such a way as to exclude them, you’re fighting against research and the scientific method. And you’re doing so to fit the narrative that you want to be true, which…
“But here’s the thing — who I am does not (or should not) have any bearing on facts.”
It shouldn’t but it often does, on both sides of any debate. You don’t like being lumped in with rapists, but then you tacitly defend them. You don’t like being a bigot, but then complain when someone like you is called a bigot, so much so that you’re now upset at the whole movement. You have, right in your writing, done exactly what you claim that SJW’s are doing – you’ve discounted the arguments of a group of people because you are feeling attacked (oppressed) by them.
Why are you feeling attacked? Why are you, a white male with a comely beard, feeling like you’ve done something wrong? Have you? Is guilt, that you refuse to acknowledge, eating you? While you write in antiseptic language, and try to keep it as devoid of your personal angst and defensiveness, it’s still coming through loud and clear.
You even go so far as to define ‘ad hominem‘, lacking the self-awareness that, right off the bat in the title of your essay, you’ve leveled an ad hominem attack. “Bullies”? You don’t like being told not to rape and that you have to treat women equally, and you’re calling those that do so ‘bullies’? Ad hominem, indeed.
As for your conclusion, let’s be quick about this in the hopes that, like removing a bandaid, it’s less painful:
- Identity Politics is only a problem for you if you lack an identity. That’s on you. And your supposition that identity politics is somehow new is ludicrous. Identity politics is the base of human history, as we define ourselves and define ‘the other’ which we are not. That the definitions are less about tribes and classes and more about attributes is an interesting wrinkle for our time, but even that isn’t particularly new.
- Safe Spaces are separate because the powers-that-be only left us those spaces. You aren’t welcome because, in many cases, it’s all we have. Get over it. Believe me, we’d like nothing more than to not have to retreat to them – and easily seen proof is the reduction in gay bars in cities. We used to need them as a safe space because we were separate but not equal, and now, as we’re becoming more and more part of the mainstream, the bars are fading away. Amazing how that works.
- You don’t like that we’re fighting using the tools available to us in Academia. Tough shit. You shouldn’t have been dickbags to begin with, so we wouldn’t need to fight back. You don’t like the tactics, so sad for you, but the only way to end the battle is for us to win it, because we won’t go back to being in the closet, being slaves, or being servants with no rights. Is that hostile to say? I don’t think so, but you might be feeling my anger at the system that attacked me, and that you are admitting to being a part of, and you might mistranslate that to hate. It’s not. I don’t hate you. I will fight against you, tho.
“The world is more than one viewpoint. The ostricization of those who hold alternate viewpoints is not any way conducive to social progress. The opposite of hatred is not hatred in the opposite direction. There is no excuse — none — for being a bad person toward another on the basis of their identity.”
I whole-heartedly agree. Why you are doing exactly that?
You’re theorizing that the way we are fighting is wrong. Really? Have you tried fighting for what we believe to be right? You claim to be a liberal, but everything you’ve written is libertarian, not progressive. You don’t want to be dragged into the fight, you just want everyone to be equal and get along. That’s not liberal. That’s libertarian, and it’s a nice ideal. I’d love to see it happen at some point. We have yet to achieve the equality that you are saying we should have – and we won’t achieve it without a fight. I’m sorry that you are going to have to suffer through the fight; I’d rather we didn’t have to fight, but we’ve exhausted all other options.
The fact that you can’t see the inequality that surrounds you, and try to defend your blindness by saying “I expect these responses — partially because I am so used to having seen this script play out over the last four years at NYU.” only proves how misguided and out of touch you really are.
You need to zip up; your privilege is showing.