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October 31, 2014

Viral Catcall Video Sets Left Into Internal Purge Mode

Allah's "Quotes of the Day" on this video were pretty good, this one especially.

My own take on this was "This has nothing to do with me." This is a fight between two factions of the leftist coalition -- white feminist women and black and hispanic males.

I think the woman was indeed harassed at several points in the video, but then, I have been repeatedly instructed that I am to never criticize any historically-oppressed minority's culture, and I'm also not permitted to have an opinion on anything that vaguely Affects Women's Health, Well-Being, or Dreams, so I am left without any voice here.

(I suppose that the video should be taken as an indictment of the Designated Villain in all social dysfunctions, that is to say, White Males. But as almost no White Males appear in the video, I decline to accept that indictment.)

The left will just have to resolve this feud among its constituent members itself.

And they are indeed in a bit of a feud, Charles C.W. Cooke report.

As it has grown in popularity, the video has been transformed into a blank canvas, onto which America’s brave advocates of hyphenated-justice have sought to project their favored social theories. Evidently unwilling to let the spot stand on its own, Purdue’s Roxanne Gay wrote sadly that "it's difficult and uncomfortable to admit that we have to talk about race/class/gender/sexuality/ability/etc, all at once." Alas, she was not alone. Soon, the claims of "sexism" had been joined by accusations of "racism" and of "classism"” Hollaback had been forced to acknowledge that it had upset the more delicate among us, and those who had celebrated the video had been denounced as unreconstructed bigots. By this process was its message diluted and appropriated, the country's most prominent peddlers of grievance and discord electing to squabble and bicker over its meaning, and to strip it of its value in favor of their own, fringe fixations.

"The fact that the video chooses to showcase the experience of a white woman experiencing harassment almost exclusively at the hands of black and Latino men," Brooklyn Magazine’s Kristin Iverson proposed earlier this week, "is a pretty clear indication of who the audience for this video is supposed to be, namely, those who seek to protect and defend innocent white women, aka the already existing societal power structure." This theme was picked up in more explicit terms elsewhere, the less direct references to the "power structure" quickly giving way to overt accusations of white supremacy. "Thousands of satisfied racists are sharing that viral catcalling video," griped Lindy West at the Daily Dot, lamenting that its creators had imposed "manipulative, specific, politicized constraints on the issue of street harassment" and thereby permitted "the bulk of the audience to divorce themselves from the problem."

To be honest, I have "divorced myself from the problem," as neither I nor anyone in my cohort (that is, anyone I could be reasonably expected to socially chide into behaving better) does this.

Ever.

I've actually never seen it.

Yesterday, the Root's Dion Rabouin dispensed with euphemism entirely, confirming that "some of the video’s intentional choices seem to play on the Birth of a Nation trope that white women simply aren't safe from sex-crazed black and brown men." How that’s for a thumb in the eye for the millions who shared the spot on their Facebook pages?

I think there are actually some issues here worth discussing, such as different cultures' differing opinions on how forward men can/should be with strange women. We all have heard, of course, that some men in foreign countries are quite forward, for example. Mediterranean countries, largely, though not exclusively.

We could talk about whether or not it's fair or right for the dominant culture -- which is a liberal, college-educated urban-oriented Northern-European White culture -- to impose its own mores on less-powerful undercultures.

We could discuss whether it's entirely fair of women to expect that only attractive men will express interest in them.

We could talk about these things, but we can't talk about these things, because we live in a world of Puritan Repressiveness and Offense-Taking.

We cannot have any intelligent conversations whatsoever. We do not have discussions; we have Coordinated Group Accusations. We also have a lot of Coordinated Hysteria and Scalp-Hunting.

So we can't talk about any of these things. The penalty for venturing an opinion that someone else disagrees with is potentially career-ending.

So I really have nothing at all to say.

These people made this world, in which there is no discussion, only accusation; in which there is no search for truth, only imposition of consequences; in which there is no thought, only political campaigning and recruitment of persons for purposes of ritualized hazing.

I read a good piece by David French on Obama's insult of Netanyahu. I think it states things well.

French states that the viciously trivial mode of college campus invective has infected foreign policy discussions; I would expand that and say it's infected every mode of discourse.

For those who've lived under a rock for the past four-plus decades, the American academy has been characterized by two prime impulses: one substantive, the other stylistic. First, there's the substantive claim that the problems of the world can largely -- if not entirely -- be traced back to America's sins and the sins of our Western allies, most notably Israel. These sins have caused the peoples of the world to accumulate a long list of 'legitimate grievances,' and the problem of anti-American or anti-Israeli violence is therefore best dealt with by dealing with the underlying grievance...

Next, there's the sophomoric, malicious style of campus rhetoric, where stigma is the preferred method of argument. It's hard to overstate the propensity towards name-calling even of "elite" academics, and the culture of the academy is one where groupthink is enforced and reinforced through vicious rhetoric. Their opponents can't be merely wrong. Instead they are racist, bigoted, homophobic, or -- despite professed love of the disabled -- "Aspergery." The arrogance is overwhelming, and the fake tough-guy posture of name-calling elitists is laughable to everyone but themselves.

So this is a particularly nasty dispute between the stigma-flinging, groupthink-enforcement goonsquads of leftist identity politics; I say fuck 'em all, and let them destroy each other with their grotesque tactics.

I'll let the people who live for Identity Politics Attacks & Recriminations do what they do best.

I'll be over here, completely ignoring it all, waiting for the survivors to announce themselves.



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posted by Ace at 05:30 PM

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