Wednesday, June 6, 2012
First, a simple thing:
Gender discrimination is not like racial discrimination. They're not even comparable.
Racial discrimination creates social islands - black people, held separate from white people, are at a disadvantage - this can have long-term implications for everybody involved, because it shapes the social structure of black people.
Gender discrimination does not. Yesterday's gender discrimination affects everybody today equally; there are no social islands, social islands -go extinct-.
I can -almost- buy the idea that black people being discriminated against for two hundred years requires continuing corrections today. I still reject it, for the reasons I've described in my affirmative action posts - any description of the problem I've yet encountered is just as resolvable by lowering the living standards of white people as by raising those of black people. But there's a truth to the idea that the ramifications of such behavior continue long after the behavior itself has ceased.
But using those arguments in terms of gender-based corrections is fundamentally wrongheaded. The closest you can come to a meaningful argument is that there aren't enough role models for women in history - but even this ignores the very idea of egalitarianism, because it presumes that women can't use men as their role models. An ideal that requires it be ignored for the purposes of achieving it isn't an ideal which can be pursued.
-Every person-, male or female, is equally affected by the boons and penalties of their parents. What happened to women two hundred years ago is -irrelevant- to the living conditions of women, as distinct from those of men, today. The ancestors of men and women underwent -precisely the same- journeys, because they're precisely the same ancestors.
I thus reject the idea that there is, or can be, any kind of justice after the fact for the genders. All that you can create is injustice - and two injustices do not balance out into a semblance of justice.
I reject the "Patriarchy." I'm not in charge. Never was, never will be. First, I don't want to be - and when somebody with an eight-sigma intelligence says that, maybe the intellectual snobs will listen to the possibility that being in charge is not the advantage it is made out to be. It's a lot of responsibility for not a whole lot of extra reward. More specifically, however, I reject the idea which a culture which explicitly held and holds the lives of men to be cheaper than the lives of women can in any meaningful sense be said to hold men in general in higher social standing. What kind of two-tiered social system requires the sacrifice of the lives of the "higher" tier in order to save the "lower" tier?
I reject feminism especially when it purports to defend men, because it does so on the basis of defending them from -what-, exactly?
It isn't defending them from a culture that holds their lives, emotions, and experiences to be cheaper than those of women - nay, it "defends" them from a culture that demands they be the best men they can be. It "defends" them by teaching them that they can stop rape - just don't rape anybody, and rape will be ended! It "defends" them by encouraging them to join the very professions it worked for fifty years to "defend" women from being "forced" to occupy.
The defenses feminism offers for men, when proffered to women by anyone, it treats rightfully as an insult.
I reject egalitarianism. A principle which sums up the protest I put to affirmative action - for the idea of equality is only achievable by stamping on those who rise too high. It is impossible to bring everyone up - and therefore egalitarianism demands everyone be brought down.
I believe men and women are people, and people foremost. And for this, most of all, I reject feminism, which holds them to be first and foremost their gender.