Sunday, August 07, 2016

"...the well-intentioned left has become so oversensitive about everything that we have entered into an authoritarian cultural moment."

Read Bret Easton Ellis' excoriating monologue on social justice warriors and political correctness | Culture | The Independent: "To pretend that looks or that hotness, whether you're a guy or a girl, shouldn't make you popular, is one of those sad politically correct stances that make you question the validity, the reality, of politically correct thinking, and a few journalistic reactions to the LA Weekly piece. This ode to Sky Ferreira may not have been that well written, but it is clearly written honestly by, yes, most definitely a man, who is, yes, most definitely looking at a woman he desires, and writing about that desire. What's wrong with that? 

Even if it overshadows what he thinks about her music, so what if he's honest about objectifying her? Oh, clearly you didn't think the little snowflake justice warriors everywhere, from the LAist to Flavorwire to Jezebel to Teen Vogue to Vulture, were going to let this innocuous piece go unnoticed without having a hissy fit? Oh yes, most deliciously, the little snowflakes got so pissed off and were just sooo unbelievably offended by this piece, that they had to denounce it.

Oh, little snowflakes, when did you all become grandmothers and society matrons, clutching your pearls in horror at someone who has an opinion about something, a way of expressing themselves that's not the mirror image of yours, you snivelling little weak-ass narcissists? The high moral tone from social justice warriors is always out of scale with what they are indignant about. When did this hideous and probably nerve-wracking way of living begin transforming you into the authoritarian language police, with your strict set of little rules and manufactured outrage, demanding apologies from every sandwich or salad you didn't like?

Teen Vogue, of course, found the use of "boobs" and "knockers" as yes, "misogynistic", and started a very tired complaint about 'the male gaze' - that's g-a-z-e, listeners. When I hear self-proclaimed feminists complaining about the male gaze yet again and hoping that it will - what, go away? be rerouted, contained? - I'm thinking, are these women so deluded that they are bordering on insanity, or have they just not gotten laid in the last four years? 

... in our society, social justice warriors always prefer women to be victims. In all of these cases, from Jezebel to Flavorwire to Teen Vogue, they all succeeded in recasting Ferreira as a victim of something, reinforcing her supposed victimisation. This is the usual hall of mirrors loop they find themselves in when they're looking for anything to get angry with. The reality of the world is that men look at women, and men look at other men, and women look at other men, and women especially look at other women and objectify them. Has anybody been on Tinder lately, and seen how our Darwinian impulses are gratified in a swipe or two? This is the way of the world in order for our species to survive, and I doubt that is ever going to be erased...

...the little Nazis policing language have a new rulebook about how men and women should and should not express themselves about their desires, this allows Jezebel and Flavorwire to write their own childish responses, placing Sky in the delicious position of victim. But the sad ending of this story is that the LA Weekly, which edited and posted the piece, felt like they had to apologise for the piece after so much online complaining, apologise about a piece where someone was clearly writing honestly - sometimes embarrassingly so - about what was on his mind in the moment about a performer, and the way he was looking, and yes, gazing at this performer, and that was it. That is allowable. 

Why is it once again that I feel the well-intentioned young liberal self-proclaimed feminist left has become so oversensitive about everything that we have entered into what is really an authoritarian cultural moment? It just seems that it's so regressive and so grim and so unreal, like in some dystopian sci-fi movie: there's only one way to express yourself as some kind of neutered thing, this mound, this clump, turning away from your gender-based responses - towards women, towards men, towards sex. This neutering, this castration, is something no-one really wants or believes in, I hope. But hey, maybe if I go with it and pretend to believe it, it'll fill my column - and I do need to put out some clickbait this week."

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