We often don’t see a problem till it comes back around to affect us or the people we care about. Such is the case at Michigan State University, where a “self-proclaimed feminist” student blasted the school for mistreating her boyfriend, simply for the fact that he had been accused of sexual assault.
Such though is the world we live in … and the greatest irony is that those who like to call others bigots are often the biggest bigots themselves. Hypocrisy is rife in a world full of thought police. This is why classical Liberalism never embraced efforts towards social re-engineering. The reality is that shifting the rules of the culture merely shifts who is in control, and who is the outcast, the villain, the guilty, the punished. It is not a game where society wins … rather, it is a game where certain individuals win. A game of power.
That is a game for modern progressives. For true Liberals, the realization is that embracing individualism and meritocratic principles ensures that if someone must win, then at least the most deserving individuals should. Group membership is irrelevant. The system should be structured to create the correct incentives, but individuals must rise and fall on their own. That is the principle of Individual Self-Determinism.
The girl at MSU got a rude awakening into this. It’s all fun and games till you realize the bigotry you’ve been promoting hurts real people …
She, of course, wrote an angry letter to MSU’s Vice President of Student Affairs, Denise Maybank. Problem is that Denise is a black woman, and in the world of identity politics, she CAN NOT be a bigot. She is, by default, innocent. Even if she persecutes someone purely based on their gender or race …
Cue forehead slap
And this is what the slew of articles (or Steve Shives take) about the things people “misunderstand” about being a feminist seem to, ironically, misunderstand. The issue is not with equal rights for women or whomever … the issue is with identity politics. The recent immigrant sexual assaults in Germany even highlight how identity politics is problematic for feminism itself, namely:
It forces us to choose which group is most important.
Ignoring the experiences and/or plights of individual people. It forces us to silence individuals, simply because of their group membership. Nothing can be so dangerous for a democracy or free society, which requires vibrant, open discourse.
A perfect example of this was the flap last Fall over Matt Damon’s comments about diversity in Hollywood … because, you know, as a white male, his opinion and experience is less valuable than a black woman. If that sounds like bigotry, it is because it is. Just socially acceptable bigotry.
Even Twitter has gotten into the act, censoring numerous anti-SJW hashtags such as: #MensRights, #GamerGate, #NotYourShield, #JeSuisMilo, #OpSKYNET, #FeminismIsAwful, #WomenAgainstFeminism, #SPJAirplay.
A liberal looks at a person and sees the individual. Their unique, individual experience in the world. A progressive looks at a person and sees only their group membership, and assumes they share a collective experience with others. That all black men have the exact same life experience. Or all black women. Or all lesbians.
To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
We are all innately bigots. It is part of our in-group/out-group preferences built deep into our psychology by evolution. It is unavoidable. The real question is how we act on that innate bigotry. In a Progressive/SJW/Feminist world, the idea is that some forms of bigotry are socially acceptable. Okay to act upon, in response to some perceived historic slight.
But to a true classical Liberal, such a position is an affront to Individualism … and thus an affront to Liberalism itself.