Category: Society


Has feminism become a cult?


I recently had another blogger, queer guess code, respond to my previous post about feminism. Her response perfectly demonstrates the irrational need to hold onto a belief that has taken hold of many feminists. If you read my post, you’ll see that it was quite a mild criticism of some types of feminist thought: it was not a criticism of feminism itself! Yet, the response was one of pure anger. Her response is here. You can check it out if you happen to like reading many exclamation marks, boldface, ALL-CAPS and swearing coupled with a painful writing style and little semblance of a logical flow.

One thing that I have truly been amazed at from writing this blog is how many civilized Muslims have responded to my (sometimes admittedly strong) attacks on Islam and how many uncivilized feminists have responded vehemently against my minor criticisms of certain aspects of feminism.

I really didn’t expect that feminists would be more inclined to be close-minded than religious people. Feminism comes out of a culture of questioning everything! How can this be?

Perhaps my personal experience is not representative. What do others think?


It seems quite difficult to read anything by feminist writers today that doesn’t come back to the idea of patriarchy. This concept has, in my opinion, actually taken away a lot from the feminist struggle. When most people think of the struggle of feminism, they think of women overcoming the dominance imposed upon them by males; however, if you are a little more clever, you will realise that this is only half of the issue. The other side is the dominance of males imposed on females by females. This realisation requires a little more introspection by women, admittedly.

When a feminist writer blames male dominance in society on patriarchy, they are not considering what women are doing wrong to deny themselves access to the dominant positions in society. Thus, the need to be introspective and work harder to attain betterment of oneself is negated. This is a major step backwards.

While playing the victim does demonstrate how a perpetrator is doing something bad, does little to encourage oneself to improve or change. So, I would say that there are other reasons than just the idea of the patriarchy for, for example, there being so few female CEOs in the world.

I believe that one issue is that many so-called ‘masculine’ activities are quite beneficial to the introspection of an individual. One example is sports. When women don’t play sports because they think that competitive activities are a guy thing, they miss out on the chance to criticize themselves. In sport, it is quite evident who is better and who is worse. In other activities that are usually non-competitive, like art or dance, this is less obvious (of course, comparing Picasso to a common person is an easy call, but comparing two people in the same range becomes extremely debatable). When you do poorly in an art class, there is no game sheet to say how few points you scored. You are not reminded constantly of your shortcomings. In sport, assuming you are playing in the right level for your skill, you are constantly reminded about what you can do better (this is why playing against poor players will generally stagnate or even degrade a player’s skill, since they don’t worry about what they are doing wrong). This forced introspection and encouragement of betterment is a strong influence on the development of a child’s mind, inside and outside of sports.

This is only one example. No doubt there are other activities deemed ‘masculine’ that help men develop into the kind of people who will work a little harder to achieve dominant positions in society. So, this is actually a kind of feminism, in my opinion; just one that goes against the grain of what many feminists seem to advocate these days. In short, parents instill the skills needed for successful girls — those parents must realise that many ‘masculine’ activities are quite beneficial to their children’s development.


For all Muslims living in Western countries who think that they are being persecuted because their brethren are carrying out terrorist attacks, you clearly don’t understand what it means to be persecuted. Actually, the reverse is much more true.  Christians (and obviously Jews) are genuinely persecuted in Muslim countries Although I am not a Christian or a Jew, I sympathize with any group which is persecuted.

Meeting a random American who snubs you because you are Muslim (especially immediately after an Islamic terrorist attack) is not persecution. Sorry. You don’t get to elevate that experience to persecution or else you diminish the meaning of the word “persecute”.

Now, where’s my evidence? I will make way for Ayaan Hirsi Ali and let you read for yourself. Ironically, Muslims often complain about how their plight is not discussed in the media enough. Yet, the plight of Christians in Muslim countries is little known to the vast majority of people. Here is the article:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/05/ayaan-hirsi-ali-the-global-war-on-christians-in-the-muslim-world.html

On Censorship


[WARNING: I HAVE ATTACHED A GORY IMAGE NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THIS BLOG POST]

 

In times past, the general public could only witness what they say directly or what media outlets produced on their shows. If something was deemed to risqué or too grotesque or too profane, most of us would never see it. This has all changed with the advent of the Internet.

While there are definite downsides, I believe that this change has been a great advance for global civilization. It might seem counter-intuitive how showing, for example, grotesque images could be good for civilization, but not if you take some time to consider it.

Take for instance, the recent Boston Marathon bombing. Two relatively small explosives set off in a busy area. Imagine this situation without the aid of photos from the bombing site. I don’t know about you, but to be honest, for me, it wouldn’t feel — feel being the key word here — extremely terrible if I didn’t see any images related to the attack. Even if you told me the death count and a list of terrible injuries, it wouldn’t feel as terrible as it truly is. I perhaps wouldn’t say this in order to not offend anyone, but if I’m honest with myself, I would just think, well, that’s terrible, but there have been much more terrible terrorist acts in order to justify the lack of sadness or horror I’d experience. This kind of erroneous thinking can only happen when someone is “spared” the genuinely horrific images of such a scene.

However, after seeing the grotesque image below, the abominable nature of this incident suddenly flowed over me.

Of course I know every bombing that has injuries that are terrible. However, it doesn’t matter how great of a writer you are, you will never create the same impact with words that this picture can create.

 Image

As much as we may like to think otherwise, we are visual creatures. Words can only say so much. Perhaps other people are more sensitive than me and can imagine the gruesomeness of a bombing much better and therefore feel empathy much more easily. That’s great for them; they don’t have to look at these images. I’m not arguing that anyone should be forced to see such images. I don’t have this skill, unfortunately and I don’t believe that I’m the only person who needs to see these kinds of pictures to get a greater understanding of the tragedy. And if I’m right about that, then it logically follows that we all should have access to any such images.

So, why do grotesque images make civilization better? Because they have the ability to instantly create a connection between the viewer and the victim — that is, empathy for the victims. Caring for strangers is one of the greatest achievements that modern civilization has achieved over our base instincts: many of us accept as our own people who may have very different DNA. There is one more step toward a empathetic global civilization: we need to expand this empathy beyond those who we personally encounter to all humans around the globe. This can only be fully achieved if we are allowed to see the great achievements and terrible sorrows of all people in some visual form. A decision to censor images or video of human suffering is therefore a decision to block empathy. Freedom from censorship is, in this way, the most humane decision.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali at her best!

 


Islamic Republic of the Maldives Sentences Child Rape Victim to 100 Lashes

A girl is repeatedly raped by her father in law and other men. So what does the Islamic nation of the Maldives do? They sentence the girl to 100 lashes because she had sex outside of marriage.

HERE’S WHAT WE MUST DO: NEVER TRAVEL TO THE MALDIVES, AND DISCOURAGE EVERYONE YOU KNOW FROM TRAVELING THERE. THEIR CASH COW IS TOURISM. HIT THE GOVERNMENT WHERE IT HURTS!


Four years have passed, and I can’t say I’m disappointed with Obama, as I’ve heard many people proclaim; however, I admit that he didn’t turn out to be the president that I expected when he took office. I really did expect him to be someone who was going to fight tooth and nail for his positions; I was really surprised to find out that he was such a great compromiser.

Yet, I do understand why this happened. The entire Republican Party revolted against him, and he needed to make a great effort to allay their fears and anger in order to get anything done. Could I have done better myself? Of course not! That’s definitely not what I’m insinuating. I’m insinuating that I thought Obama could have done better. But, this is just idle speculation. I am appreciative of his achievements while in office thus far.

But now is his second term. If the Republicans are still not happy with him, then they have a serious problem. He has been a puppy dog in comparison to their quarrelsome behavior. It’s time for Obama to become a junk yard dog.

He’s shown glimmers of it in the past when talking to reporters and when teasing Donald Trump’s birther conspiracy theory activism, now he needs to focus this energy against the immaturity coming from the Republicans, in a relentless fashion. He’s been elected to a second term: he’s earned this right.

Republicans are still unwilling to compromise on issues such as taxation and gun control, among others. So be it. Obama must be just as unwilling to budge on his positions. Further, Obama should be seriously critical of the behavior of Republicans. We have seen that Obama clearly has enough intelligence to embarrass people who act foolishly. Now is the time to employ this superpower and let everyone know just how foolish the Republicans are being every time they disagree for disagreement’s sake.

Of course, it is not only Obama, I understand, that must make this choice: his fellow Democrats must also be willing to stand united with their leader, just as the Republicans have decided to do against Obama for the past four years.

Perhaps this is too audacious of a hope, but I can dream 🙂


I’ve seen Alex Jones in action from time to time, and didn’t really realise just how crazy he is — just pegged him as a bit of an over-the-top conspiracy theorist. Man, was I wrong: this guy is an outright nut. Clearly, from the video I’ve posted here, the guy believes in every conspiracy theory in existence!

Unfortunately, I don’t live in a place where I can call into his show, but I’d love it if someone took up the following challenge:Call into his show with some conspiracy theory you’ve just made up, something somewhat believable, and see how he reacts. My guess is he’d jump on your side immediately.


Possibly the stupidest and most disgraceful conspiracy theory yet: The Sandy Hook Truth Movement.

Yeah…. so, I can understand people being mistrustful of their government and government power, but this is ridiculous. Is this something that is really possible?

The government somehow used a psychotic person to shoot little children and not mention the conspiracy to anyone. Where do you find such a person? Craigslist? This is as close to literally impossible as a conspiracy can get.

Any normal person could not carry out such a heinous crime. Any crazed maniac who would carry out such a crime could not be trusted to keep it secret. It makes no sense.

And I thought 9/11 Truthers were being foolish…

Here’s a more in depth article.

It amazes me that I can never overestimate the audacity of stupid people.


ImagePreviously, I wrote a blog entry about an unfair “out” that believers have when they explain how something happened: “God did it.”

However, that is not the only trick up the believer’s sleeve. There is also the situation in which something does happen, but which an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God would not want to happen. Polio, floods, wars, drug wars, genocides, rapes, slavery, psychopathy, psychopathic killers, torture, child molestation, other religions existing, atheism, errors or contradictions in the Bible/Koran/Torah/etc., animal cruelty: the list goes on.

Why would God allow these things to exist? They do not help the case for religion in the slightest. However, a quick rejoinder solves all this: “God works in mysterious ways.”

Ah, yes! The “get out of jail free card” of religion. It works for anything that conflicts with one’s particular religious beliefs.

This is, however, not as great a solution as one might think. Why? Consider this.

After 9/11, many people might have said, “How could Osama Bin Laden have planned such a terrible act?”

Well, the answer would be simple, wouldn’t it? “Osama Bin Laden works in mysterious ways!”

“Oh, no! No, no, no! This cannot be applied to anything other than God, that’s not fair!” one might say.

Well, that’s partially correct, at least. It isn’t fair because it isn’t a fair argument.

It is an unfalsifiable statement. Although unfalsifiable sounds great (as in, “Wow! It can’t be falsified! It must be true!); unfalsifiability is not a measure of a statement’s strength, it’s actually a demonstration of it’s weakness, for precisely the same reason why it can be used to legitimize Bin Laden, or any other terrible act, for that matter. It can be applied to anything and still work. If something is true, it needs to have a method for testing it’s truth — an unfalsifiable statement cannot be tested and is therefore not a fair statement, logically.

If religious people can use “God works in mysterious ways,” then everyone can use “x works in mysterious ways” to prove anything. This is obviously not an effective way at getting to the truth in any matter, so the only other option is for nobody to use this manner of arguing. God does not work in mysterious ways: unfalsifiable statements work in mysterious ways.

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