Sunday, December 01, 2013

More Anti-Movember Mumbo-Jumbo: Arianne Shavis in the New Statesman

Well, again, I think that Movember--and the word 'Movember', for that matter--is/are pretty dopey. No offense intended to anybody, but I just don't like mustaches. Not that that should matter a bit to anyone... Look, I'm pretty slack about shaving, and I'm sure that lots of people think that is pretty heinous-looking. And they're absolutely free to say so...

But anyway...

So I'm not wild about mustaches, though, even if I were, I'd still think that Movember was pretty goofy. However, some of the lefty/feminist/"SJW" responses to the thing are far, far stupider than Movember itself.

I discussed one idiotic criticism here.

Here's another one.

I don't see anything in there that's really worth wasting more time/energy on...though I will say:

It's true that people should think more about the fact that females are subject to greater social pressure to look a certain way than are males.. But that has virtually nothing to do with Movember. It's a separate problem that has only the most tenuous link to "Movember." Complaining about Movember on these grounds would be like complaining about, I dunno, that wedding dress show on cable on the grounds that males can't really get away with wearing dresses. The fact that somebody came up with a dopey group activity in which guys who want to participate grow mustaches has exactly zero "pernicious gendered and racial connotations." Not every activity has to be open to both sexes. If, say, some women wanted to...oh, God knows...have a multiple orgasm month or whatever, that would in no way be sexist. "Walk for the Cure" is in no way prejudiced against those who can't walk. People could round up participants in, say, Tanning Tuesday if they wanted, and this would in now way be "prejudiced" against people who can't tan. Prejudice (or bias) are simply not applicable to such cases. Not everyone needs to be able to participate in every activity. Bar someone from voting on inadequate grounds and there's a problem. But not every goofy activity everyone thinks up needs to be equally open to everyone. Hold a slam dunk contest if you like--I have no grounds for complaint simply because I can't dunk. (Though I used to be able to. know...almost...) If an activity were permissible only if every human being could participate in it equally, then basically no human activity would be permissible. Even eating--and activities which involve eating--would be impermissible on the grounds that some people must receive nutrients through a tube. Breathing would be out, because some people are in iron lungs. And so on.

But this is all too stupid even to discuss really.

The root of all evil here, really, is the sloppy, hyper-political ways of thinking (and I use the term loosely...) that prevail on what we might call the postmodern left. Influenced by sloppy thinkers like Foucault, Derrida, Lacan et al., the po-mo left has largely abandoned actual reasoning in favor of throwing around half-baked charges of prejudice. Bad theories make you stupid, and bad theories of how you ought to reason make you really, really stupid. And the po-mo left is afflicted by a terrible theory of how one ought to reason. Until the left shakes this stuff and at least tries to start genuinely reasoning again instead of relying on a barrage of  buzzwords and canned accusations of prejudice, it will continue--and deserve--to be a laughingstock.


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