See, ladies, “Lysistrata” was a satire, and its charms and political wisdom have long escaped me anyway. Threatening to withhold sex to force men to vote for who you want is neither fair, smart or democratic, and is exactly as ethical as trading sex for votes, which is a particularly weird form of prostitution.
Today’s unethical website calls itself “Vote Trump Get Dumped,” and it argues…
Those who vote Trump should understand this: No sex. No dates. No chance.
To cast a vote for Trump is to agree with his sexist, perverted, demeaning, backwards, offensive treatment of women. Learn what’s at stake.
Join us by wielding your influence. Until Trump is defeated, we don’t date, sleep with, or canoodle with Trump supporters.
The Greeks did it. Women during the temperance movement did it. This is a tried and true method of getting men’s attention when they’re being dumb.
Actually the Greeks didn’t do it, it’s not “tried and true,” and it is itself dumb, as well as undemocratic. Citizens have the right to vote as they see fit, badly reasoned or not. Using any form of coercion to take away what should be a free choice is irresponsible, disrespectful and unfair, not to mention a breach of democratic principles and process.
This kind of divisive political tactic, punishing citizens for their political views, tears at the fabric of society and threatens human relationships and communities. It is akin to bars that only serve Republicans, Facebook users who defriend Hillary supporters, and mayors who set out to punish states that pass laws they don’t agree with.
Our political choices, like our sexual choices, should not be subject to extortion and coercion. The Golden Rule applies.
123 thoughts on “Unethical Website Of The Month: “Vote Trump Get Dumped””
Besides being unethical, this is the kind of tactic that makes Trump supporters out of undecideds. It will be hard to take him down if his opponents take as many votes as they give him.
Will work swimmingly in America … where women have been given astounding power over their men.
The appropriate response would be of course to tell the li’l missus to pack her bags and shove off. But unfortunately the house is hers even if not.
A man who allows a woman to dictate to him is no man at all, rather he has become female to her.
“A man who allows a woman to dictate to him is no man at all, rather he has become female to her.”
Because being “female” to someone obviously means being inferior and following orders.
What an unusually thoughtless comment from you.
Hello Chris. In defense of myself I would say it was a thoughtful comment but the thinking that was done to support it is likely not to your liking. Therein is discovered the difference. As will always be the case, what supports my assertions or conclusions, and this is true for you too, are predicates and presuppositions.
And when one is dealing on the topic of ethics and morality (really on any significant topic) one is actually speaking more about one’s predicates. I mean, it all revolves and resolves back into that.
My premises are perhaps unusual or unpopular but they are anything but thoughtless.
Men serve women. Man serves the feminine. The masculine is directed to the feminine in a service relationship. The ‘object’, if you will, is for man to fulfill his assigned role well, correctly, and nobly. There are dozens and hundreds of other predicates that support that statement, too much to go into.
Camille Paglia wrote: “If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.”
Men have constructed civilization, and Western civilization, and it is a near total and delusional hallucination not to understand how masculinity, and men, and man’s mind, and man’s tendency, have done all of this. In my view anyone who speaks ill of these attainments, and thus of man, is a fool of the first order. One has to orient oneself in truth and common sense before one wades into the resentment game.
Factually, it is Western civilization, and man’s will and intentionality (not woman’s will and not really her choice or decision) that have ‘liberated women’. The freedom and the power that women have and enjoy (and abuse shamelessly I will add) is an outcome of strictly Western processes and choices. I mean more Northern Europe as Southern Europe has had a different relationship. To liberate women – to some degree since biology and embodied existence does not allow anyone anything like ‘complete freedom’ – is a male offering to woman, and this offering has uniquely been made in the context of Northern European culture. It is a product, or an outcome, of the male mind, not the female mind (though this does not mean that women do not and have not hankered after expansion of parameters). Again, one has to correctly organize one’s predicates and the ‘facts of history’ before one can approach the topic.
Men – if they did not have to serve woman (and women becomes a cosmic emblem, a description of situation, of incarnation in a body, upon the green earth with no other place to go) – what would become of them? It is so easy to see that man’s project is woman. If they were not created (in a turn of phrase) to serve woman, what would they serve? what would they do? Granted, there is no alternative but to serve the female and men do this (best) by being male, not by imitating women.
Now, a few words on ‘patriarchy’. This is in fact an insidious term. It must be ‘deconstructed’ and reduced to its elements. Simply put it is largely a Marxian term. It proposes that it is possible, and recommended, to engage in a sexual class-war. But if we understand that it is masculinity, and the masculine mind, that has constructed the world, the notion becomes insidious as I say, and frankly destructive, when the notion of ‘overturning the patriarchy’ is broached. The Idea itself is destructive, and the idea infects persons.
When these sorts of perversions of ideas are let loose within a population, or in a culture, and in a civilization, and they are taken up by people who for various reasons cannot or will not think them through correctly, you have ‘idea’ as ‘hens’ (a half-formed semi-idea) that move through culture creating chaos and havoc. The ‘ideas’ behind a large part of formal feminism are basically Marxian ideas placed in the service of ressentiment, and their effect is (similarly, or proportionately) destructive. It becomes an acid that eats away at established structures.
When I said that “a man who allows a woman to dictate to him is no man at all, rather he has become female to her” I will defend it by explaining it:
Women are a dependent species. It is not a hard notion to grasp, but to grasp the implications will likely turn you against a whole structure of false ideation, false-claim, about ‘women and their power’. Women cannot get on without men. Men have conceived of and constructed every aspect and every dimension of the ‘world’ that we now live in. And women have been brought into that world. Women can now (and I do recognize struggle and gain and such) participate in that world to an incomparable degree. But women will not, nor should they, ‘take over’ that world, and they must (IMHO) reassess their relationship to all of it. Understand that male capacity serves feminine interests (the facts of incarnation in this world, embodied existence as I say) and resolve to orient themselves correctly.
When I say ‘orient themselves’ I open up into a whole other category of conversation. (My posts are too long anyway so I will cut this off).
That’s a really long and over complicated way to say “I’m sexist,” Alizia.
Those terms ‘sexist’ ‘racist’ ‘patriarchal’ and numerous others are terms that are used to quench free thought. I have been through all those arguments. I mean, I have done the work and arrived at my perspectives. I explain them. If you cannot defeat them or rebut them (though I recognize this may not be the place for that), and all you do is turn our a ‘magic word’, you have performed a sort of ‘hack job’.
It is not ‘overlong and complicated’. That is just an insult. It was simple, abbreviated yet allusive. But what more do you want?
Squelch not ‘quench’.
Chris, you’re so… textbook. Do they offer classes in Social Justice Warrioring now? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least. But never in all my internet travels have I met a person more stereotypically everything I enjoy mocking.
HT, you can’t seriously be suggesting that Aliza’s views *aren’t* sexist, can you?
“But never in all my internet travels have I met a person more stereotypically everything I enjoy mocking.”
Your Internet travels must be pretty limited–I’m hardly a radical feminist, or even a radical SJW, and there are much, much better encapsulations of the stereotype out there than me.
No, they are. But that doesn’t per se mean that what she said isn’t true. “Black people are more likely to develop sickle cell anemia.” is a racist statement, it separates people into racial groups, and highlights an area where black people are inferior to other races. It’s also true.
You saying “That’s sexist” like you’re saying something meaningful is comically stereotypical of your movement. I don’t agree with Alizia on everything she’s said here (although some of it is thought provoking), but I do think it warrants more thought than an offhanded thirteen word dismissal from a hopped up social justice fanatic.
HT: ““Black people are more likely to develop sickle cell anemia” ” is a racist statement, it separates people into racial groups, and highlights an area where black people are inferior to other races. It’s also true.”
OK, but that’s not a good analogy to what Alizia said.
She said, “A man who allows a woman to dictate to him is no man at all, rather he has become female to her.”
That’s not a true statement. That’s like saying, “A white man who has developed sickle cell anemia is no white man as all, rather he has become black.”
“You saying “That’s sexist” like you’re saying something meaningful is comically stereotypical of your movement.”
And acting as if it’s meaningless is comically stereotypical of yours.
“a hopped up social justice fanatic.”
You need to get out more.
“She said, “A man who allows a woman to dictate to him is no man at all, rather he has become female to her.””
No, she wrote 871 words on that post alone, and you are choosing to focus on 22 of them. She also wrote:
“Camille Paglia wrote: “If civilization had been left in female hands we would still be living in grass huts.”
Men have constructed civilization, and Western civilization, and it is a near total and delusional hallucination not to understand how masculinity, and men, and man’s mind, and man’s tendency, have done all of this. In my view anyone who speaks ill of these attainments, and thus of man, is a fool of the first order. One has to orient oneself in truth and common sense before one wades into the resentment game.”
It’s hard to argue against that. I understand why you glossed over it.
“That’s not a true statement. That’s like saying, “A white man who has developed sickle cell anemia is no white man as all, rather he has become black.””
Only if you focus on 2.5% of what she said.
And acting as if it’s meaningless is comically stereotypical of yours.
What’s my movement again? I feel able to lump you in with social justice because you self identified there. If my ‘movement’ is the reasonable part of society that values truth, logic and reason over the tender snowflake feelings of entitled idiots, I think I’m good letting the comparison stand.
You need to get out more.
I know, it’s beautiful out there! You’re still a fanatic.
“No, she wrote 871 words on that post alone, and you are choosing to focus on 22 of them.”
No, you’re looking at two separate comments. I’m looking at her first comment on this thread, which was quite short. I didn’t read all of the second comment, because it was way, way too long, and nothing in the first few sentences of it indicated that she was going to retract her initial sexist and stupid statement about men “becoming female” by allowing women to dictate to them, but instead indicated that she was going to spend a very long time making rationalizations for those comments. Saying it was just a small part of what she wrote is another rationalization; who cares that it was a small part of it, if it was clearly wrong, which it is?
“It’s hard to argue against that. I understand why you glossed over it.”
I glossed over it because it was part of a supremely long-winded comment. Reading that portion now, it has nothing to do with her initial sexist statement, so what does it have to do with my argument? Nothing.
” I’m looking at her first comment on this thread, which was quite short. I didn’t read all of the second comment, because it was way, way too long”
I laughed. Thanks.
So… I’m just trying to get through this. You didn’t read her comment before calling it sexist? You just assumed it was because you thought the previous one was, and she didn’t get around to her point fast enough?
I’m sorry Chris, but if your weak little brain can’t handle the nasty big words maybe we need to send you out to summer school. Seriously. Read the content or don’t comment.
“I glossed over it because it was part of a supremely long-winded comment. Reading that portion now, it has nothing to do with her initial sexist statement, so what does it have to do with my argument? Nothing.”
Well Chris, as with so many other discussion we’ve had: this isn’t about you. Very little actually is. In fact, if you started from the position of understanding that your first response will have nothing to do with the topic being discussed, you might become a better communicator.
I’ll try and make this as clear as I can.
“A man who allows a woman to dictate to him is no man at all, rather he has become female to her.”
Was sexist and stupid.
Perhaps it was unfair of me to assume the second comment was a rationalization for the initial sexist and stupid comment. I’ll grant you that. I have no desire to go back and read that second comment in full, as I find the writing style frustrating. So in short: I retract my statement about her second comment.
Her initial comment was still sexist and stupid.
Agree or disagree?
Of course it was. And if you had said that then, I wouldn’t have blinked. But you didn’t, and then when she explained herself, you were too righteous and triggered to read and respond. Words have meaning and things happened. I’m just glad I was along for the ride. Thanks,
Sorry, its is the spell-checker on my autonomous Mac:
…you have ‘idea’ as ‘hens’ (a half-formed semi-idea)
The term is ‘henid’: “An unclarified, sub-conscious “feeling”. A vague, unformed, foggy or confused idea. A disorganized, undifferentiated thought. A proto-thought.”
Zoe if you’re reading this, the above is what comes from calling gender something that’s innate, from going around talking about male brains and female brains.
Zoe if you ARE reading this, and I think you are, please note that I am still working out the ‘orbit’ metaphor for self-description. Please understand that I have a unique barycenter. Much is implied there, little revealed …
What on earth is this comment supposed to mean? It’s like Sybill Trelawney came to life and then got a head injury?
She says, utterly oblivious to the example she is of the result of assuming that all the differences between men and women exist only below the nose.
So has anyone figure it out yet? Why I think gender is a harmful construct? Anyone? Bueller… Bueller….
No one should let anyone dictate to them…bars, officials in other states, women, men. Gender has nothing to do with it. If you won’t fight for autonomy, you will lose it.
Ahh but here we have a case of someone using sex based roles, i.e. gender, as a justification for dictating to others. Men dictate, women are dictated to. Not following that system makes you less.
The person who is dictated to is always female. There’s a word…. what was it? Oh yes, patriarchy.
Then what would you call such an arrangement?
What does it have to do with this post?
If you require that to prove patriarchy, you have the dozen people in her philosophy club wrapped up and that’s about it. Alizia is philosophical at the cusp of insanity. I don’t think that anyone actually thinks of dictation as men’s work. I’m just saying.
‘Philosophical at the cusp of insanity’.
This is interesting. To think, to probe, to question, to disagree with convention, to challenge convention, to desire to think things through is ‘insanity’.
How do you define ‘sanity’? 😉
Based in reality, and supported by facts.
Philosophy is great for thinking exercises, but it is very rarely useful when you try to conform the arguments to fit into reality. Ideas that don’t work get pedestalized, things that no one actually thinks are said and used as examples. Philosophy without context is dangerous. And I think that while you give it lip service, you don’t give it the respect it deserves.
You have made a statement which expresses a whole group of assertions and conclusions.
The difficult step for you would be to understand that you do not really understand what you mean when you say ‘reality’, and that you confuse truth and understanding (and the possibility of either) with assemblage of facts. There has to be an interpretive self, and that is a project which I doubt you have thought much about. In a forum-context (of statement, response) this could be gone into with some depth and it would, no doubt, reveal interesting things. Here, this can’t be done.
You are an American. Americans are known to be ‘anti-intellectual’ and to shun ‘philosophy’ which is, in essence, focussed thinking on important questions. The American Question is: “Does the dog hunt?”
Practical, down to earth, very effective within its domain, yet disinclined to a ‘higher analysis’. You often set yourselves up in opposition to those who desire or need to think things through. You ridicule that need or tendency, you shun them. You assert that your way is the *right* way and you do this with a unique and characteristic zeal: a judgmentalism that can at any moment turn very ugly. In a split second polaraziations are established and a minor civil-war is enacted.
I do not have ANY problem with that, nor with you or anyone. I am here to think about things, think them through, be inspired, to do this in my way, but I should say also: To seek alternatives to what I feel and believe is a defect.
All of this, in my view, has much to do with how we *see* this reality. With that, quiteikely, I have lost you.
Just for the record, Alizia, HT is a Canadian, which, as both Canadians and Americans will tell you, is a very different approach to life. If you are looking for the loudmouth American, I’m your man. We Americans have produced some first-class thinkers, although the Greeks and Romans beat us to the basics, but in the end we are first and foremost practical people. We had to be to hack civilization out of the wilderness and ultimately save the Old World from itself. American practicality is what gave us the armored ship, the submarine, the airplane, the atomic bomb, and men on the moon several times and safely home again.
Yes! That’s exactly what I’m talking about. You write so many words that mean so very little. I think you enjoy typing and waxing erudite while failing utterly to actually carry a conversation. You’re a deep thinker without an off switch, unable to form thoughts in less than paragraph form. And I think that pointing that out stung a little. I’m sorry for that, but I still think it.
“You are an American” I’m not, actually. And I don’t shun philosophy so much as I understand the time and place for it (the assumption being that this isn’t the time or place for it.) Your response will invariably be: “There is no wrong time or place for philosophy.” When of course there is. If philosophers ran the world, we wouldn’t be living in grass huts, we’d have died out centuries ago.
Exactly right. Sorry, Alizia, but I don’t even read your posts, because all you do is babble. Maybe you think it makes you sound smart, but it just makes you sound like you have dysentery of the mouth.
HT wrote: “You write so many words that mean so very little. I think you enjoy typing and waxing erudite while failing utterly to actually carry a conversation. You’re a deep thinker without an off switch, unable to form thoughts in less than paragraph form. And I think that pointing that out stung a little. I’m sorry for that, but I still think it.”
‘Meaning’ is a very complex topic. What ‘means’ something for you, or for me, or for any other, points up the difference between the individual as a seeing instrument, and some dullard who is incapable of any of that. Those who *see* and get my admiration are those who deal deeply in *meaning* and those possibilities.
Based on what you write, HT, you have many many miles of territory to cover before you get to a theme. Your posts are silly overall, they begin nowhere and go nowhere. What ideas are you working with?
Now, you propose the possibility of saying something to me that ‘stings’. And I do not mind if you sting. But you’ll have to do much more work to cause a sting.
Oops. Sorry to have made that assumption then HT. Still, I think that the blog can be seen as an ‘American’ blog for discussing American issues and ethics. The problem with writing on fora is that one can too easily generalize and start speaking to one archetypal person. (And exteriorizing all one’s pet issues, rebuttals, etc. like Don Quijote fighting windmills).
Your views on philosophy are, IMHO, totally shallow and ill-conceived. I wouldn’t say that if I could not prove it. But this is not a forum that allows long conversations and question/response/rebuttal. Over time perhaps we will have an opportunity to go into it, to some degree.
Steve wrote: “Exactly right. Sorry, Alizia, but I don’t even read your posts, because all you do is babble. Maybe you think it makes you sound smart, but it just makes you sound like you have dysentery of the mouth”.
Sure, I have heard all of that before. I fully understand, I really do. But it is MORE accurate to say that you do not understand the ideas being presented, and you have no way to think about them. They are ‘off your radar’.
There is nothing that you think about that I cannot also think about and wrap my head around. But there is a great deal on my mind which simply flies over your head.
A more accurate statement, IMO.
Well, excuse me, genius. I understand full well most everything you post, but it’s not really relevant to the topic being discussed, and it’s not organized. It’s essentially talking AT everyone else on the blog rather than talking TO them. Maybe you are on the spectrum. I know I am and given the choice would go on and on about pet topics for hours on end that no one else gives a damn about. But I’m self-aware enough to usually but not always catch myself, or come back to the topic at hand. You on the other hand, just keep flapping.
Now you’ve said you can understand everything I can, but I’m too stupid to grasp your rarefied thinking. That’s the kind of insult that, in person, at best would be a conversation ender, at worst would get you beaten up. In high school were you the class blabbermouth who went on and on about irrelevant things until your classmates waylaid you and left you crying and bleeding in a driveway?
In some sense you are correct. But it is because I take a position outside or above ideas generally, and try to isolate what are the main elements, then I speak to that. I also believe in (find utility in) writing independent pieces. It is a bit like talking ‘at’ as you say. It helps me to hold to independent positions.
Truthfully, some of you scare me (I mean more ‘scare’). Some of you can be so forceful in expressing mere opinions but you assume you are dealing in solid ideas. People like that frighten me. (I mean they make me uneasy and they are ‘problematic’).
I recognize because I encounter it often that what I think about, and what interests me, does not very much interest others. Still, I pursue what is important to me and I try not to care about that. Some people read what I write, and for that I am thankful.
Notice please that I did not say you are stupid. I referred to a ‘dullard’ who does not have a mind capable of ‘seeing’ but was not referring to you specifically. I meant it as an illustration.
I didn’t go to high school, I went to a Yeshiva school, mostly in Venezuela (though I was born in the US).
I should warn you Steve that I am an expert with knives and thrown missiles of all sorts. Were you to aggress – ‘stilo nueva jersey’ – you’d find a Ninja star stuck in your skull. It wouldn’t be pretty.
I can’t decide if you are a computer simulation or just in need of therapy Alizia.
I’m coming around to the computer simulation hypothesis at this point. Or someone’s idea of an experiment or prank.
A computer simulation in need of therapy?
At a minimum, it does make me fear Skynet a little more.
Sounds like what you need is your own blog, where you can spout off at will and at anyone who cares to read it, instead of miring the discussion here, which your posts are ill-suited to. An expert with knives and thrown missiles? I might believe you if you said you were a black belt in karate, those are common enough. I might even believe you if you said you were a crack shot with a pistol, there are enough former cops and military people around, although you don’t sound like one. I don’t believe that one. Not for even a millisecond Hey, everyone, look here! This blog has its very own Emma Peel! The KGB has “do not handle at all” written in its file on her! I bet you ROCK that leather catsuit.
Why do you say that, deery? What would the prank be about? An experiment about what?
If the topic is ethics, one has to have background to form ethics. All the ideas that I have written on this thread alone along can be clearly related to the topic.
Instead of focussing on me, why not focus on the ideas?
You are turning this into a ‘group attack’.
I don’t mind except that it would be so much more in keeping to deal with the ideas. You are making this ad hominem.
You know, you are correct. It is something of a group attack. And I normally try to discuss the idea and not the person.
But at this point I can’t shake the deep suspicion that this “persona” is not real, which actually doesn’t bother me as much, but that this is just someone either mocking the other posters or else there is something wrong with you in a fundamental way that is scary. Not your run of the mill average aspy that you find on any forum, but someone at the extreme end of the spectrum, or a computer program still figuring out how to pretend to be human. But it is unpleasant (I’m searching for another word here, but this comes the closest) to read. I’m sorry if you feel ganged up on. That is not my intention, but I have noted this as a thing. I will see myself out now.
I am sorry for the group attack as well. I normally am a very nice person, but reading your posts brings out the worst in me. (I imagine much like an abusive husband who blames his wife for “making” him hit her.) I don’t like that about myself.
So, one of three things are happening: either you are deranged, a computer similation, or I am a mean and horrible human being.
The only approach that I can take is not responding to your posts anymore.
Beth, I will admit that I rarely read all the way through one of Alizia’s posts. Nor do I disagree with Steve that sometimes they seem to be coming from someone ‘on the spectrum’. Never-the-less, I hate to see her leave, because ALL opinions, especially in ethics, are valuable and worthy of consideration. If they are rejected, then they are rejected, but this should not be cause to question anyone’s sanity or there ‘fitness’ to respond on a blog. If I am viewing this correctly, a blog is supposed to be an expression of the bloggers area of expertise, and an invitation to respondents to express their opinion on that area. Ethics, to me, are fairly straight-forward, and have little ‘wiggle-room’. But then, I was raised largely by my grandmother, and many years ago, at that. My ethics, outside of my professions, are largely a reflection of how SHE was raised, and what I internalized from her values. Alizia, I gather, was raised rather more recently, and in a rigorous religious environment from which she has only recently escaped. My gut feeling is that she is struggling to develop an identity and an ethics ‘code’ for herself, which explains why many of her posts are over-intellectualized and are based on other writings. My hope is that, with input from us, as responders, and Jack, who owns the blog, she will eventually develop into a full-fledged, sarcastic, yes, insulting and unreasonable (as many of us are) responder, but that will never happen if she leaves. You may guess that this reply is as much for her as for you, but that was intentional, as Word Press will not allow me to reply to two people at once. For what it is worth, I enjoy your posts (rarely agree, but never enough to argue uncivilly).
I’m not sorry, I’m a jerk.
“Your views on philosophy are, IMHO, totally shallow and ill-conceived. I wouldn’t say that if I could not prove it. But this is not a forum that allows long conversations and question/response/rebuttal. Over time perhaps we will have an opportunity to go into it, to some degree.”
She says, spending a paragraph saying “You’re wrong, but I’m not going to tell you why.”
Do you know who Reza Aslan is? He went on TYT and a few TV news outlets lambasting Sam Harris, Bill Maher and others about their views on Islam, all the while saying that he was an Expert, that he had a PHD on the subject, and using info-graphics to prove his points. David Packman spent 20 minutes on his show and dismantled his arguments; Reza doesn’t have the credentials he said he does, the specific credentials he cited don’t exist, the info-graphics were incorrectly interpreted, he outright lied in some statements, he mischaracterized others. Reza Aslan’s credibility was seriously called into question. The video went relatively viral, and now Reza has some hard questions to answer. Over this last weekend, he sent out dozens of Tweets to the tune of: “I don’t know who David Packman is, and I’m not going to respond to him.”
In other words: I’ll respond dozens of times, just not on the merits of what he said.
Alizia, you’ve written novellas on here. The idea that you’re balking at explaining something because the conversation would be too big either frightens me because it’s true, and you might crash the internet while simultaneously proving my point, or disappoints me because it isn’t true.
I can’t bring myself to care which, overmuch.
And if you’ve read my ‘novellas’ I am grateful.
You misunderstood: It is not at all that I recoil from discussing, in any depth, any particular topic, but that the blog format doesn’t allow it. The conversations attenuate until there is no longer a ‘reply’ button.
I do not have and I don’t watch TV. I have no idea what you are talking about though I do know who Maher is having seen some YouTube vids.
Just keep this in mind HT and for now let’s let this drop: Anytime that you desire to talk of one idea, or one problem or issue, in depth, please let me know.
“This kind of divisive political tactic, punishing citizens for their political views, tears at the fabric of society and threatens human relationships and communities. It is akin to bars that only serve Republicans, Facebook users who defriend Hillary supporters, and mayors who set out to punish states that pass laws they don’t agree with.”
It’s absolutely nothing like that. You’re talking about corporations and government officials wielding their power improperly. There is a right to be treated equally under the law, and court cases have interpreted that to mean being treated equally by public accommodations as well.
There is no right to have sex with anyone who doesn’t want to have sex with you, regardless of the reason. A vagina is not a public accommodation. There is nothing unethical about a group of women calling on other women to not have sex with Trump supporters, any more than it would be unethical for a group of women to call on other women not to have sex with men who don’t tip their waitresses. This would not be “coercion” to get men to tip better. People have the right to choose who they will and will not have sex with, and to declare that publicly, for pretty much any reason.
The analogy is absurd.
Wrong. In all cases, this is someone using discrimination and coercion as a means of interfering with a right that must be absolutely autonomous: political opinions and voting. This has nothing to do with public accommodations: an owner of an establishment is free to punish someone for their opinion ( if you want to have a drink, you must change your partisan views) just as a woman can withhold sex to manipulate a man’s vote (though if he wants sex, he must change his political opinion.) It’s just wrong to do it. It’s not illegal–citing the public accommodation laws is mistaken, for they don’t apply.
In all of these cases—the sex, the business, the bat services—something desired is withheld to coerce political thought and action, which infringes on speech and political choice.
You don’t disprove an analogy by focusing on irrelevant differences. What is the same is what matters, and all examples are equally unfair and coercive. AND the coercive action in each case is legal (though trading sex for votes would be illegal). It’s just unethical.
Making men tip differently using sex extortion is also coercive, and coercion is unethical. However, coercion regarding political view and especially votes is more unethical.
Bending people to your will using threats and extortion is an abuse of power—the specif value being breached is autonomy. It’s not that hard a concept.
I thought about this, Chris, and maybe its too long. Here, I’ll make it simple:
1. People have a right to support whoever they want in a political race. Forcing them to do otherwise by attempting to withhold affection, company or sex, or punishing them for their support of a candidate by withholding or threatening to withhold these benefits is unethical coercion and a breach of autonomy.
2. People have a right to their political affiliation and beliefs, and a business establishment punishing them for exercising this right or attempting to force them to change by denying service is unethical coercion and a breach of autonomy.
3. The public has a right to choose its government and have that government express the public will. Efforts by other governments or business entities to force the public to change their views and the legislature to change its laws by withholding business and employing economic threats and boycotts is unethical coercion and a breach of autonomy.
Whether it is women, corporations or governments, the ethical violations are the same.
Well, it was a little shorter…
I realize that the order of cause and effect are important — but would it be unethical for a woman to refuse to sleep with her partner again AFTER discovering he was a Trump supporter? What if she considered it “signature significance,” about his political leanings more generally. After all, people discovering unlikeable traits in their partners and refusing to associate with them after is nothing new. — it’s freedom of association. Why is it unethical to decide ahead of time? I know women that wouldn’t date a man who told sexist jokes, or who was a smoker, or any number of things. What here crosses the line from having personal standards to engaging in direct coercion?
I once had a woman break up with me for using the word “retard.” She may not have treated me fairly by making larger assumptions about my views on the mentally-disabled based on an off-color remark, but it was nonetheless hers to make, and it certainly didn’t represent her attempting to hinder my rights. I wouldn’t consider it unethical for a black woman to refuse sex to a man who uses the word “nigger,” or for a Christian woman to refuse to sleep with a Muslim. They’re just personal choices.
What’s more, I have to agree with Chris that sex isn’t some public service that women are obligated to provide. Yes, people enjoy sex and the threat of being without is coercive, but so is a parent threatening to withhold candy if their child doesn’t behave (no, I’m not equating men to children). Men still have the right to vote for Trump, even if their partners carry through on their promises; this isn’t an “offer they can’t refuse.”
Also, perhaps our respective views on the matter clouded our respecitve readings, but the website itself struck me as satirical. I have a hard time believing all or most of the people who read or agree with it actually believe this is going to lead to any real change. What’s more, I also have a hard time believing the website’s creators actually assumed Lisistrata was a true story or that this sort of sexual protest was common place –they’re using a familiar reference (cliche) to make a satirical point.
What ultimately bothers me about your thesis, however, is how limited it is in focus. You zero in on the ethics of coercion by denying sex while remaining silent on other troubling implications. The most offensive of which (assuming the site were serious) is to encourage the belief that the only real power or influence women have in society is sexual. Or the larger trend of reducing serious political issues into hashtag fodder (hashtivism?). Or encouraging the belief that men are mindless automatons blindly guided by their phallic ambitions. Or by encouraging gender division.
Like it’s source material, the entire premise of the website is based on cliched understanding of gender roles and sexuality. It have been forgivable in Ancient Greece, people today should know better.
Somebody breaking up with someone else because of their politics is totally different than what’s posited here. Breaking up with someone because you disagree fundamentally about something is not unethical.
Exactly. Thanks for making that distinction explicit.
I understand the distinction — what I don’t understand is why doing it after the fact is okay, but deciding ahead of time isn’t.
The element of coercion. Deciding that someone isn’t up to your standards and walking away is fine, necessary even. You can even tell them what the deal breaker was. But using your relationship as leverage to change someone’s behavior (especially inciting them to vote for someone other than the person they want to) is coercive and therefore wrong.
Humble (and Jack),
As previously stated, the website is satirical (further research has confirmed as much) so it’s a moot point to begin with. Moreover, the website says nothing about pre-existing relationships. In fact, the main page indicates that followers should avoid relationships/sexual entanglements with Trump supporters, not dump or withhold sex from those already involved with one.
You seem to be walking a fine line between coercion and influence. I understand that stating something as a strict quid pro quo is coercive, but telling a partner that their support of candidate A is a huge turn off and that they have no intention of further copulation isn’t quite the same. Moreover, it seems to make the assumption that the men in question were somehow entitled to sex in the first place. Sex isn’t air and the withholding of it doesn’t cause death, injury, or illness — just a bruised ego. A person can do with their body whatever they so choose, including refusing sexual intimacy with anyone for any reason.
I’m sorry, there’s no way I can square this as an ethical issue. Especially since (last time) the WEBSITE IS SATIRE!!!! I got that almost immediately as would anyone of the generation to which it was targeted.
The problem with social justice, and feminists in particular, is that humor utterly escapes them when you use the right buzzwords. I suppose that could be true for anyone, but after #pissforequality (Where a 4chan troll convinced feminists to soil themselves and post images online in solidarity for rape victims that lost bladder control) I feel that the group is especially gullible.,My feeds were absolutely inundated with people who took this seriously, and pledged to participate. The website might be satire, but the response to it wasn’t, and something approximating a real campaign mutated out of it.
This is women talking about not having sex with partners, husbands, boyfriends, if they plan to vote for Trump. It’s coercion. These men are being told that they cannot hold that opinion, and are being punished for it. Why not discuss it? Oh, no, it’s wrong because a woman says its wrong. Great logic.
Besides that , if two people care about each other, sex should not be used as a weapon.
“It’s absolutely nothing like that. You’re talking about corporations and government officials wielding their power improperly. There is a right to be treated equally under the law, and court cases have interpreted that to mean being treated equally by public accommodations as well.”
I’m pretty sure you could have omitted that paragraph and said just as much. What you tried to say here escapes me.
“There is no right to have sex with anyone who doesn’t want to have sex with you, regardless of the reason.”
Right… But this campaign assumes that the woman would be having sex in the absence of the Trump support. There’s a difference between “I find some part of you lacking, and so I’m not going to have sex with you.” And “I want to have sex with you, but only if you fulfill this requirement.” Put in a slightly different light.. . Money instead of voting support, this is identical to prostitution, which is why Jack’s example was so apt. This campaign makes women into hookers for Hillary. Congratulations girls!
“This would not be “coercion” to get men to tip better. People have the right to choose who they will and will not have sex with, and to declare that publicly, for pretty much any reason.”
I’m sorry, but that’s one of the top ten stupidest things you’ve said… You give a spectacular example of coercion and then say it isn’t coercion. I mean… You’ve said some awful stupid things… But this is pristine.
“the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.”
This campaign assumes that women have sexual influence. It says so explicitly. The threat to withhold sex for behavior is inherently coercive. And while this might not be as unethical say… When you want him to take out the trash (although it’s still pretty petty, and you probably have other problems to deal with), it’s absolutely awful when it comes to voting. “Don’t vote how you want to, vote how I want you to, or no nookie for you.”
“I want to have sex with you, but only if you fulfill this requirement.”
I don’t think that’s the case here as the women are explicitly saying they DON’T want to have sex with Trump supporters. Again, I fall back on my assumption of satire (which the site itself heavily suggests). This isn’t a group of women actually saying “I would sleep with you save for this one thing,” it’s more like “I wouldn’t be caught dead in bed with a Trump supporter and I want everyone to know it.”
The campaign only has influence if sex is being withheld, it can only be withheld if it was on the table in the first place.
But I do think you have something of a point in that this won’t actually effect anything. If the political differences between two people are such that this would be effective, chances are that it was a failing relationship anyway. This is the kind of snarky, one-liner that maybe excited the base it was designed for while simultaneously polarizing their opponents. It’s division for the sake of division.
HT, my belief is that this applies to relationships like Mary Matlin (SP?) and James Carville (Again, SP?) who are married. On the other side of the coin, suppose Mary said “I like Trump. Either you like him, too or all sex is off”. I think, but do not presume to speak for him, that Jack was referring to existing relationships. Your take, as well?
It’s been pointed out to me that this is probably satire, and so I’m actually a little embarrassed for treating it as seriously as I did. I usually fact check these things, but it seemed so realistic. Which might be a condemnation of the movement on it’s own… It satirizes itself to the point where someone can hardly be blamed for believing they’ve done something colossally stupid.
Regardless, it still raises real ethics questions, and useful scenarios to talk about. To your question: I think the relationships would have to be existing, and already on the rocks, for this to have been effective. And I think that as opposed to being effective, it would have been the catalyst for breakups.
The satire excuse is easy, because it’s based on satire. But women have been talking as if Lysistrata would work for centuries. It’s serious. Just stupid.
My point, exactly. And, I don’t really care if the site was satirical or not. Satire stops being satire when it promotes an unethical behavior.
Well, I think you have to agree that Swift’s suggestion that the Irish eat children wasn’t unethical If he had made the suggestion after the Donner Party had returned, I might grant the point.
I’m not sure if he was promoting the behavior or describing the Irish. Agree completely about the Donner Party.
“women are explicitly saying they DON’T want to have sex with Trump supporters.”
How can you read what was written on the site and say that? They are saying “if you won’t give up your support of Trump we won’t have sex with you, but if you do, we will.” That is not the same at all as saying “we DON’T want to have sex with Trump supporters.” It says they do and will, but first they have to promise not to vote for Trump. Hence “Dump” Trump. The extortionists don’t care how their sex partners feel about Trump, just that they “dump him.”
“Until Trump is defeated, we don’t date, sleep with, or canoodle with Trump supporters.” — No mention of women that want to but refuse to.
So you think this means that if he is defeated, they’ll sleep with people they never wanted to anyway? What you are suggesting is worse than a threat—it’s also fraud in the inducement.
What guy in his right mind would spend any time with someone who would have or not have sex based on how he voted? “Today’s word is ‘compatibility’ boys and girls. Can you say ‘compatibility?’ Sure you can.” If people are just sport fucking, does this woman really think voting booth behavior is going to factor into the ‘go-no go’ decision? If a married or committed couple is this far apart politically and the woman is willing to resort to such extreme tactics without any mixed emotions, the relationship is doomed in any event. Bizarre. Did Amanda Marcotte write this? Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Joan Walsh? Paul Begala?
I know! Talk about dumbing down a relationship…don’t talk about issues, just shut down the sex. Lecture and nag. Treat your partner like a lesser human being, that will convince them!
Men ought to walk out (sleep on the couch, or otherwise strike,as it were) if confronted with this BS.
Married women have already turned the intimacy factor waaaaay down because they closed the deal, between “headaches,” being too tired, and just not being up for it. Withholding the monthly night of pedestrian sex is just a way of controlling their sex-starved men, who are barely worthy anyway. If their men want their ration, they need to do exactly as they are told. So glad at times like this that I am a life long single person who does not need to put up with the nagging, the withholding, the being ordered around, and the just generally being treated like you’re 8.
Was your idea of marriage formed by watching bad sitcoms?
No. It was formed by watching other people in real life. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a wife henpeck her husband into silence, publicly tell him to straighten his shirt like a kid, or tell a clearly well-worn embarrassing story at his expense, I’d be a rich man indeed. If I had a soldier for every sitcom or commercial that shows the woman as the adult partner and the man as either an arrested child or a Neanderthal, I’d command an army. I also read Ellen Fein’s rules, which encourage game-playing, lying, and manipulation, and make think women that by playing cold and entitled they will warm men up.
I’ve also personally encountered all the problem types: the obvious 419er (aka the model stranded in Ghana), the SE Asian woman who’s clumsily angling for a passport, and, more to the point of this discussion, the fragile attention whore who turns and burns the minute your attention is other than 100% favorable (“if you can’t be completely supportive, be quiet!”), the broken China doll who cuts every hand that touches her (“I don’t want to hear solutions, I just want to vent!”), the favor-seeker who disappears the minute the favor is done (“Thanks, gotta jet!”), only to reappear when she needs or wants another favor (“Sorry I’ve been kinda busy, but I was wondering…”), and the just plain temperamental tsundere who will be your soulmate today and refuse to talk to you tomorrow, without telling you why she does either.
Let’s not even talk about the snarly feminist who goes on and on (and on and on) about “rape culture” while expecting you to just smile and nod like Casper Milquetoast, or the drama queen to whom every minor setback is an apocalypse, but who will call you a baby if you are down with the flu and suggest you might need to take a sick day or that this weekend might not be the time to meet up with her college gf so she and that gf can sit at the table on the deck while you and the hapless husband of that gf move some big heavy object and they compliment each other on how well they’ve trained you.
It should come as no surprise that the pink-sneakered, six-degrees-of-awesome-just-because-I’m-a-girl girls who reluctantly have to put up with us dumb, clumsy, ugly, Neanderthal guys because Ryan Goslings and Fabios are few, far-between, and usually taken, would think it was perfectly OK to slam the portals of (modified) ecstasy in the face of potential Neanderthal behavior.
I feel like there are so many long-winded comments on this particular thread that could so easily benefit from brevity. The above translates basically to “Women, amirite?”
A couple times in my life, I was a very awful person. I decided that despite who I was, I wanted a wife, a house, a picket fence and 2.4 kids. I was great on dates, there was no sexual tension. I keep a clean house, I’m handy, and humble. Oh so humble. But in the long run, these relationships invariably failed because I just couldn’t keep up in bed. I didn’t want to.
This myth that women aren’t just as sexual as men is just that. This campaign is more like a game of sexual chicken than an accurate description of sexual dynamics. Withhold sex from her until she promises not to vote for Hillary and see who breaks first: Him, her, or the relationship (which was probably already pretty shitty if someone thought this was a good idea.).
Headaches? Being too tired? Geez Steve. Where are you getting your information?
Ever wonder why romance novels (bodice rippers to 50 Shades) are so popular among married women? My guess is that they want more intimacy in their lives.
The same reason women like stories like Lohengrin. Mortal men are just so…ordinary, and they all look for the knight in shining armor.
I think that is what teenage girls are looking for — no doubt. But grown up women? I don’t think so. Otherwise, there would be no need for all the sex scenes in these books. The main character in 50 Shades of Grey was an asshole, but the woman stayed with him because of the sex.
Gonna need a proper definition of “grown up woman”. For every modern man-child, I am convinced there is at least one woman-child out there somewhere. The average adult does not strike me as being terribly adult, save for where society demands at least the outward appearance of maturity.
I think it would be a good rule of thumb not to date anyone who would vote for Trump. But then, I also wouldn’t vote for anyone who “wanted” to vote for Trump and then agreed to vote for someone else because I asked him to.
Well, sure, because wanting an asshole as President is a major clue that the Trump fan lacks character, trustworthiness, decency, kindness, tolerance, taste, common sense, respect for others, civility, responsibility, civic competence and a working knowledge of right and wrong.
Of course, if he’s hot…
But, by the same token, wanting an obvious liar and sexual abuse enabler as president is also a clue that the Hillary fan lacks the same factors, hot or not.
Lena Dunham? Is that you?
If he’s hot, then he just falls into the “friends with benefits” category, or maybe just “sleep with him” category since you probably don’t want to share a meal or a conversation with him.
Beth, I cheerfully admit I am a guy, so probably not qualified to judge, but my guess is that nobody sane considers Trump “hot”.
Dragin, you’re confused. We’re discussing men who might vote for Trump. As for Trump’s attractiveness …. well, I might need to find a vomit bucket.
Don’t take too long at it…I’ll be right behind you. No, I was following the thing with Alizia. With everybody dumping on her, she finally elected to pull out rather than keep defending herself.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat must be in want of a date.
I wonder what Steve’s take on Austen is?
The city? Never been. Unfortunately the farthest west I have gotten so far is New Orleans.
Just FYI…the city is spelled “A-U-S-T-I-N”.
I know how the city is spelled, genius. Then again I suppose intentional misunderstanding of a question to brush it off works better in verbal discussion. I am not that familiar with Jane Austen the writer. As far as I know she wrote Victorian-era romantic comedy, mostly poking fun at the gentry and the gamesmanship of matchmaking and social manners prevalent at the time. I saw the film version of Emma and was not impressed with the plot, about an arrogant, spoiled woman of the gentry who specialized in causing trouble for others, but who somehow was rewarded with a Prince Charming.
What are you reading now, if you don’t mind me asking? What sort of literature do you appreciate?
Friendly question, no snares.
Honestly I read mostly history, and right now I’m working on The Fighting Emperors of Byzantium. I also do high fantasy, although right now I do more writing than reading of that. All this talk of throwing knives and shuriken makes you sound like you belong in a Game of Thrones setting.
I wonder if you know – you must know and you are kidding me, right? – that I was joking? What else do you say when someone alludes to high school beat-ups? I was riffing off the fact that some people have mentioned that when push comes to shove you threaten violence. I don’t mind, not really. So I kidded you back. I’ll stick an icepick into your ear and twist too if you think that will help any. 😉
Since I ‘got out of prison’ (my hyper religious upbringing) I have been reading many different things. Trying to catch up on novels certainly, but also philosophy and essays on philosophical/cultural themes. Right now I am reading the second volume of ‘The foundations of the nineteenth century’ by Houston Chamberlain. I think it is the most interesting and truly informative ‘history’ book I have read.
I watched a number of episodes of Game of Thrones. Someone dropped off three pirated DVDs with various seasons of episodes. I can understand why people are attracted to it but I could not see it as anything but very cheap literature – a false-Shakespearean drama with lots of setting and no content – with pornographic under- and over-tones.
Unfortunately I was not sure. There’s, I am sorry to say, a creepy feel to some of your posts, like someone who is intelligent, but not “all there” in an unsettling way. There’s a feeling that you just… don’t quite fit with otherwise ordinary folks. However, since you reference having been brought up overly religiously, perhaps even oppressively so, and only having broken with that recently, that might explain this “square peg” feeling.
I myself don’t read Game of Thrones, but my brother is a fan so we engage to some degree on it. I agree with you as to its merit and also attractiveness.
All this said, I think the rest of us here MIGHT benefit from knowing a bit more about this background of yours, to understand rather than fear you.
Just an FYI, according to Martin, it is supposed to be based on the Hundred Years War, a very real and formative event (for Central Europe, among other places). Sometimes, you can learn a lot from fiction.
Wars of the roses but he also cribbed from a lot of other history.
Your right! My bad.
Steve — you read high fantasy books? And write too? Wow, who knew that we have something in common.
Yes and yes. I created a world mostly for role-playing games when I was a teen and college student. I was inspired to start writing seriously, using this as a backdrop, about 2008, partly as a reaction in disgust to a review of “Breaking Dawn.” It got a jumpstart in 2010 when a friend of mine read some of the stories and said they sounded just like a I made a “stew” of pieces of existing stuff, so I did more original things. That’s about all I’ll say here, though, to politely answer you but avoid (further) thread drift.
Got to agree with you, there. I have NEVER managed to work my way all the way through an Austen novel.
Thanks for acknowledging my superior intellect, by the way.
Emma is a bad starting point. Not that I actually think any Austen comedy of manners would be to your taste but that in particular was her attempt to start with a very unsympathetic heroine and make people like her. You’re not wrong in your assessment of Emma’s starting character though it’s only after she grows up emotionally that she ends up with George Knightly.
deery wrote: “But at this point I can’t shake the deep suspicion that this “persona” is not real, which actually doesn’t bother me as much, but that this is just someone either mocking the other posters or else there is something wrong with you in a fundamental way that is scary. Not your run of the mill average aspy that you find on any forum, but someone at the extreme end of the spectrum, or a computer program still figuring out how to pretend to be human. But it is unpleasant (I’m searching for another word here, but this comes the closest) to read. I’m sorry if you feel ganged up on. That is not my intention, but I have noted this as a thing. I will see myself out now.”
This ‘persona’ is indeed real. What I cannot understand is how you get ‘mocking’ and far less why you think there is something wrong with me in some fundamental way. Because of what I think? Because I take issue with politically correct ideas and write about that?
Do you understand what you are really saying? That if you don’t think along certain lines, and the group doesn’t like it, you get the table of insane or mentally ill? Do you have a sense of what the implications are?
But I would never say that ‘something is wrong in a fundamental way’ to you, or to anyone, in any sort of conversation.
What is ‘the extreme end of the spectrum’? Is it because do not share ‘your’ feminist ideas? Or declare myself as Eurocentric? Or can even allude to race/culture? Or have described myself as ex-Jewish? Can’t you SAY what you mean instead of describing me as ill?
‘Unpleasant’. So subjective.
But anywayI can take the hint. I will disappear. It does make sense to me. The focus here is a good one, but my focus is obviously too odd.
The spectrum, Alizia, is the autism spectrum, by which degrees of functionality in an autistic person are measured. To say someone is “on the spectrum” is to say they are autistic to some degree. A lot of people think of the autistic as the non-verbal screamers or the flappers, who engage in odd physical behavior. However, there are just as many autistic people who can speak, write, feed themselves, and so on, but are just, for lack of a better term, operating on a different system than the rest of humanity. Quirky behavior, excessively formal ways of talking or writing, going on and on about pet topics not relevant to the situation, non-linear learning, having trouble coping with the break of a routine or plan, sometimes great intolerance or rigid morality, these are all characteristics of being on the spectrum. There can also be a creepy vibe to them due to problems with eye contact (sometimes they can’t maintain it, sometimes they look right through you) or contact issues (can’t touch at all or can’t be touched enough) and other atypical behaviors. I know this because I am myself on the spectrum, hence the sometimes intolerant behavior and rising temper. Just going by your posts, you seem to be there too. This isn’t an illness, per se, it’s just that you appear to be, as I said, operating on a different system than most of the folks here. The problem is you seem to stray off thread topic and focus attention on yourself, which can take away from the discussion that Jack put this thread here for. With respect, I would encourage you to look back at some of what you have written here and ask yourself if it advances or inhibits the discussion as begun. If it inhibits, it probably doesn’t belong here, and I’d encourage you to begin a blog of your own for that.
Thanks for the background. As far as I know, and if the people in my life are reliable reflectors, I am not ‘on the spectrum’. And I am not autistic nor do I have any other syndrome that I am aware of.
You are right to notice in me, and it is fair to notice, a large difference in focus. I can’t really say when it happened, or even what happened, but my ideas (my ‘received ideas’) went through a transformation. Are going through a transformation. It is a complete revision.
It does not surprise me, and yet it is not without effect (I mean at some ‘personal’ level) that this is interpreted as ‘mental illness’. If I have to go through this insinuation by *you* or any group to be able to – eventually – think freely, then I guess that is the price I’ll have to pay.
I have said, and I do think, that there is always a great deal of backdrop and background to any of the declarations that we make, and those that we take as being true and reflecting ‘reality’. Last night I made a statement about women and their manipulation of men. Today I wind up in the firestorm by explaining myself.
There are consequences to thinking outside the parameters.
So, and for example, when we speak of male/female dynamics, or ‘patriarchy’, or progressivism and conservatism, and all manner of other things, there is a background that can be explored. It is fun, productive and interesting to do so.
I am more interested in the background I think than I am with the specificity. I am interested less in Contingency and more in the structure that stands behind it. Additionally, I constantly hold myself back (and watch myself holding back) from expressing more directly what I really think, see, understand and believe.
Step out of line and they’ll mow you down. I suggest to anyone reading to examine the implications.
I am not unhappy with what I have written on this blog so far, and too I have been respectful enough to ask on numerous occasions of Jack if my contributions were welcome. But I too have begun to feel – if reaction is any indicator – that my angle of exploration will not be appreciated. I do not have a problem with that. I deal with it rather coldly. Just a fact. There are millions of places to write in cyberspace.
I will only point out to you-plural that ‘you’ have totally redirected the conversation away from the ideas and to a personal (mild) attack of me. In my view you should look to *that* and less attempt to psychologize and effectively pathologize me. It is a typical, and perhaps unavoidable, group-dynamic issue.
Last post. Thanks for putting up with me. 😉
So, I can campaign for Trump and donate to Trump and women will still have sex with me, but if I vote for Trump, which can only be verified if I permit it, then it’s no more sex.
Umm…okay. Sound logic. Not even getting into the logistics of some of Trump’s supporters being women and others who don’t give a rat’s ass about American politics. However, if they find a modicum of success, look for me to invest in “mail-order bride” services. I know a successful business plan when I see it.
Good God. They took the batteries out of the ethicsalarms and must have suffered brain damage from the undetected hypocritical-monoxide…
How else could you explain this:
When one of the most undeniably obnoxious habits of Trump is to call women ugly and use their supposed ugliness to discredit him, a group purporting to criticize Trump puts this, a statement calling Ms. Huffington ugly “inside and out” on the homepage!
Or was that a quote of Donald Trump??? They are still idiots for not making their “memes” clear.
“Women during the temperance movement did it. This is a tried and true method” that ultimately culminated in a decade of increased criminal activity, decreased respect for the law, and a not insignificant hit to the agricultural sector of the economy, followed by a sheepish about face and tacit admission of what a spectacularly bad idea it had been. What a truly aspirational model these people have chosen.
Well, here I am again. I admit that in my case one of the hardest (well, THE hardest) thing is to learn how to deal with what I call ‘darts’ and ‘intrusions’. Let me explain. The topic here is ethics and morals and this is carried out in the context of American society and American politics. It would be simple, wouldn’t it? if it were merely a cold, analytical conversation about ‘ideas’. But one immediately discovers, when the conversation begins and opens out, that it is, in fact, a highly emotional conversation. That is, the ideas which might be dealt with cooly and coldly live in people who are intensely emotional. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say ‘irrationally emotional’. I cannot of course exclude myself except that being aware of this I think allows the possibility of acknowledge emotions and sentiments, giving them recognition, and then returning to the ideas.
My ideas are in formation. My ideas are at this point uncertain overall. I regard all theorizing as experimental. There is very little about which I can say ‘I am an expert’. I cannot tell you, because I do not know and have not decided, what is ‘absolute truth’. Yet it does appear to me that in order to make absolute, definitive statements in any larger area, one has to be able to make absolute statements. Since I cannot make absolute statements about Absolutes, similarly I cannot make absolute statements about ‘contingent’ topics. As much as I might wish to I am unable to make absolute declarations about ethics. This results not in confusion necessarily (I mean a confused condition or something like being lost) (I do not feel lost) but more confusion about defining issues, or broaching issues, or desiring to have interchanges with others, through a process of articulating QUESTIONS. I am a walking question therefor.
I am also an individual. If (as someone pointed out) I tend to place myself at the center of conversations, I do so because I consider this good and healthy and also necessary. For me, it is all about the individual. It is the individual that has to think, has to respond, has to answer, has to react. So with each question or problem (each blog-post here is essentially an invitation to participate in a process of questioning and answering, considering and deciding), I as individual greet it as an opportunity to activate myself as individual. (I am an eye that desires to become bright). I also view the self, and my self, as autonomous and free. Yet I recognize that this is in some ways an illusion. For example, if I were really free I would not have been affected by Deery’s and Beth’s ‘intrusions’. I would not respond, as I did respond, at an emotional level. It would just wash over me, no effect.
What happens, you see, is that in our conversations, in our politics, in our social and idea-battles – and these things are all things of tremendous consequence – we can really get nasty. Women will get nasty with other women in unique ways, and women (for various reasons) often show themselves as expert at handling and employing ‘intrusions’: these are darts which by-pass ideas, and conversations, and go right to the emotional body. They are designed to inflict harm at that level. If an intrusion is not deal with, it festers inside one. A dart is an invasion of another’s sovereignty. There are two ways to deal with them. One is emotionally. You have to deal with it on its terms. You have to unravel it and then extrude it. Get it out of you. Then, you have to deal with it at a mental level: to uncover the ‘idea’ through which, or as a result of which, it came into being. (This has, of course, to do with the assumptions and the predicates that determine how we assign value and meaning).
What I am trying to speak about here has a great deal more relevance than you might suspect. Because politics – whether it has been this way always I cannot say – but politics seems to show itself more as a ‘game’ which involves emotional darts and underhanded tactics. Is this only American politics? (and I mean by ‘politics’ the discussion of culture, discussions of value, discussions of policy, and also ideological issues, philosophical formulations and more) Or is this happening everywhere? What this means is that you come into an intellectual space, you come in wanting to discuss ideas, and if what you think is seen as improper, non politically correct, and does not jibe with certain *givens* that function in the present, that you are attacked at an emotional level. Don’t you see? Not only must you ‘defeat’ your ‘enemy’ but you have to destroy him or her.
The ‘dart’ is one that implants in you the intrusion that you are sick. That you need therapy. That something is not just wrong with an interpretation of an idea but that you are literally mentally ill. It is designed to undermine your person at the most fundamental level. This is not the first time I have encountered this. In fact I encounter the same tactic ALL THE TIME and see it played out as a pattern in different fora.
As I thought about this I realized that this is not just a ‘game’, not just a tactic in a political argument, but something far more substantial. It has to do with emotional realities that function within the persons who use these intrusions. It is not you who are the problem, it is the one who uses the intrusions in that way who is externalizing their own internal relationship. Inside themselves, they must see some aspect of themselves, as being sick (and requiring intervention and therapy, or perhaps chemical inhibitors). Thinking this over I cam to wonder if this is not emblematic of a very real and prevalent problem within the psyche (if I can speak like this) of America? What does it mean when we start to see ‘the other’ as deranged? When this usage enters into political discourse? When we begin to divide ourselves up in such a way and then to describe others (with no irony!) as ‘needing therapy’?
The question is actually quite interesting and I think considerable.
I backed out a few days ago because I felt that if the game is going to be played in that way that I am not up to it. But then I dedicated some time to thinking about it (as I worked out the intrusions which, mind you, did not and do not go very deep) and concluded: This is what it has come to. And that to appear and to participate on any political platform, in any political discussion, will involve learning to come to terms and to deal with the psychological underpinning. If I can successfully deal with this, and deal in this arena (where I admit I am weak), I will be in a better position to deal with what is going on in my own country at a macro-level.
Does this ‘essay’ have relevance toward a conversation on ‘ethics’? in the American context? Is it good and considerable material? Or should it be dismissed as non-helpful?
I think it is really quite relevant. In any case, even if I don’t continue to participate here I felt I had to give this response. Strictly in defence. I do have (quite) a few things to say about some of the substance that came up in this topic. Later perhaps.