The pursuit of social justice has been corrupted. At some point, the righteous battle for the civil rights, fueled by legitimate grievances, was hijacked by social justice warriors with fascist agendas. But 2015 was the year that saw the SJW narrative crescendo and collapse on all fronts.
Rape Culture: The Witch Trials Of Third Wave Feminism
It is unfortunate that feminism has become a dirty word, given its noble origins. We should speak of feminism in three “waves” to separate the good from the bad: the First Wave can be considered the suffragettes who fought for the right to vote during the early 1900s; the Second Wave, which is concerned with equal pay and reproductive rights, arose during the 1960s and still exists today; the Third Wave reared its ugly head in the 1990s, and that’s when all the trouble started. When conservatives complain of man-hating feminazis, they usually mean the Third Wave feminists.
Viewing the Third Wave in the most favorable light, one would say that it is concerned with ending patriarchal attitudes in society. Put it in more judgmental terms, the Third Wave is obsessed with a female victim/male oppressor dichotomy where women are always innocent victims and men are always vile assailants. The Third Wave believes that society facilitates rape by excusing or rationalizing men’s behavior–so-called rape culture, a nebulous term that has been criticized as unhelpful by the rape survivor group RAINN.
In order to combat rape culture, the Third Wave thinking goes, alleged rape victims should never be questioned. How to conduct an investigation without questioning the victim? Feminists like Zerlina Maxwell argued that, since proof beyond a reasonable doubt is a difficult standard to meet and too many rapists escape punishment, an accusation of rape should be enough. The presumption of innocence and due process should be discarded, according to these feminists, because the harm a man suffers by a false accusation (which they claim almost never happens) pales in comparison to the harm a woman suffers when her rape claim is doubted.
Unfortunately the federal government lapped up the Third Wave’s narrative–in universities for now, and one shudders to think that this insanity will invade our courts. In its infamous “dear colleague” letter, the federal Office of Civil Rights implemented the lowered standard of proof and the abrogation of due process that militant advocates like Maxwell have clamored for. At university, an accusation can ruin a male student’s academic career, such as in the Emma Sulkowicz “Mattress Rape” case at Columbia.
Thankfully the Third Wave narrative unravelled when Rolling Stone published Sabrina Ruben Erdely’s “A Rape On Campus,” which was exposed as one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of journalism. Immediately after the story’s publication, dozens of fraternity members at the University of Virginia received death threats and suffered property damage when the world believed that they had orchestrated gang-rapes as an initiation ritual.
Most journalists could not see past their own biases–frat boy rapists, of course!–and praised Erdely for her reporting. But the Washington Post bravely challenged the politically correct policy of never questioning a rape victim, and in doing so they exposed the Erdely’s “A Rape On Campus” as a work of SJW fiction. Even feminists took Erdely to task for setting rape activism back 30 years by making skepticism politically acceptable.
The Cotton Ceiling: Trans Doublethink
It ain’t easy being trans. Boys Don’t Cry depicted a brutal account of the rejection and violence faced by trans men and women. But their victimization does not justify the Orwellian thought control being paraded around as tolerance.
It began with insidiously reasonable requests relating to language. Deliberately referring to a trans person by his or her original gender became “misgendering,” which is hateful transphobia. So far, so good: It seems fair that everyone should be able to choose one’s own name and identity. (Except when you invent words that don’t remotely resemble English.)
But courtesy veered into historical revision: Referring to a trans person’s original sex was verboten even when discussing someone’s pre-transition life. For example, we must say that Caitlyn Jenner won an Olympic medal, that she was an athlete, even though all the record books say that Bruce Jenner won an Olympic medal and that he was an athlete. It’s not an entirely unreasonable request, even if it values sensitivity over accuracy.
The next battlefield was over the bathroom, particularly in schools. While it is foolish to think that transsexuals have any prurient interest in using this or that bathroom, it is likewise foolish to expect everyone to be OK with this. (At StickyDrama’s dorm in the University of California at Berkeley, all bathrooms were unisex, which worked out fine after an initial discomfort.) By using the language of victimization, the trans advocates won the ear of the federal government, which has forced school districts to allow trans students use whatever bathroom they please. Here we see how the mantra “trans women are real women, trans men are real men” is used to justify a sort of sexual de-segregation.
But the new trans agenda has caused even the most liberal and progressive non-trans groups to rethink how far they will allow such nonsense: the so-called Cotton Ceiling.
The Cotton Ceiling was coined by trans activist and porn star Drew DeVeaux. It refers to the tendency of lesbians to exhibit supposed transphobia by refusing to have sex with trans women. If a lesbian refuses to have sex with a trans woman—in other words, a person who was born male, including a trans woman who still has a penis—she is transphobic, bigoted, hateful, even if the lesbian is otherwise supportive of trans advocacy.
Trans advocates attempted to shame lesbians who refused to have sex with trans women. To the lesbians who were uncomfortable with a trans woman’s penis, the trans advocates reply that “sex is more than genitals” and that refusing to try sex with a trans person simply because of the genitals is, you guessed it, transphobic. Trans women are real women, they say, and any distinction of biological sex versus gender identification is invalid. Anyone who dares to deny that 2 + 2 = 5 is transphobic.
Enough, screamed the lesbians. We support your civil rights, just please don’t shove your lady sticks in our faces. Outraged trans advocates termed this group of lesbians TERFs: Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists.
What trans advocates are really advocating is the abrogation of the right to freedom of association–in this case, an intimate association. Lesbians prefer to associate with natural-born women, which runs counter to the trans position that “trans women are women”; i.e. no difference exists between a trans woman and a biological female. Therein lies the Orwellian doublethink: trans women’s bodies are different than biologically female bodies, regardless of politically correct exigencies.
Cultural Appropriation and Safe Spaces: Politically Correct Fascism
If trans advocacy attacks the freedom of association, cultural appropriation attacks the freedom of expression.
Cultural appropriation began with the condemnation of blackface and Native American themes in fashion. Then, it was somehow decided that white women should not braid their hair. It has developed into a labyrinth of guidelines and prohibitions on how to look and what to wear, especially on Halloween.
The problem is, parodies–even racially insensitive parodies–are sacrosanct in American jurisprudence. And nothing enrages advocates more than suggesting that they should just deal with it: Instead of a dialogue–“listen to minorities,” the SJW says–obedience is really the goal, and anything less than full immediate compliance is met with a shouting match.
“But we’re exercising our right to free speech by voicing our discontent,” say the SJWs. No: Free speech encourages a debate, but it does not tolerate the silencing of contrary views, whether by physical force or shouting. SJWs do not want a dialogue, which by definition is a back-and-forth; SJWs want to be the only voice in the room. Even if that room is on a university campus.
From that sentiment arose “safe spaces.” In a safe space, only one voice is permitted. Any opposing view is supposedly unsafe; however, unsafe is merely doublespeak for offensive. Again, by exploiting the language of victimization (“this speech makes me feel unsafe” rather than “this speech offends me”) SJWs attempt to deprive the holders of contrary views of their most fundamental civil liberties.
This fascist mentality was actually gaining traction in universities across the nation–until Melissa Click. When the university professor used the threat of physical violence to intimidate a journalist from entering a safe space, even the most liberal news media organizations were appalled.
Social Justice Isn’t Justice–It’s Extortion
Radical feminists, trans advocates, race baiters: The Internet united these relatively small, marginalized groups that had been scattered around the globe into hordes of formidable influence. By coordinating their efforts, these hordes forged victimization into a weapon against the descendants of their traditional oppressors. These beneficiaries of imperialism felt guilty for the sins of their ancestors, and the hordes accordingly exploited the language of victimization to gain political power. This tactic was termed social justice.
Social justice can be distinguished from traditional justice. Traditional justice values above all factual truth and fairness to the individual, and it aims to achieve equal opportunity in society by protecting civil rights. Traditional justice is not so much concerned with crimes that took place hundreds of years ago and their effects on society today.
By contrast, social justice aims to create equal results in society by remedying past wrongs. Factual support is ideal but not necessary; in social justice, the agenda or narrative trumps all, even the truth. And while SJWs would argue that social justice is also concerned with fairness, their brand of fairness values groups over individuals–fairness that is viewed through a generational lens.
In social justice, innocent individuals inherit the collective guilt of their ancestors, and in one form or another must pay accordingly. The SJWs’ demands could conceivably be justified if they were a form of compensation for actual wrongdoings. But when predicated on ideologies that ignore or outright deny any inconvenient fact, their demands amount to nothing more than a confidence game. Thankfully, 2015 was the year in which mainstream society realized that the SJW platform is un-American and no less dangerous to our way of life than an invasion by China.