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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The Right Doesn't Own Cultural Freedom

Over the past couple years, it's been quite dismaying to realize the understanding of the phrase "social justice" has wandered far from its origins -- that to many it now signifies a kind of cultural authoritarianism based on group identities, rather than the old humanist maxim, "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need."


It's equally dismaying to discover that on the other hand, antisocialists are now trying to monopolize the term "cultural libertarian," as one can see from a group they've created on Facebook. They seem quite unaware that classical socialism is very much rooted in humanism and committed to individual liberty, and a society in which "the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all."

Monday, December 05, 2016

On the BBC, a Feminist Yet Again Exploits an Actual Rape Victim to Protect Hoaxers



On this morning's BBC Newshour, the recent revelation that Maria Schneider actually didn't consent to the rape scene in Last Tango in Paris was discussed with someone from a group called Women in Hollywood, who seized this as an opportunity to repeat yet again the feminist article of faith that this is "something that women just don't lie about." I've submitted this comment to the BBC:






  
   The guest you spoke with for your story on the rape scene
   in Last Tango in Paris made a statement of ideological faith,
   not fact, when she said that rape is "something that women
   just don't lie about."





  
   Not only do women lie about rape, it probably happens a
   good deal more often than many people realize. A female
   friend of mine once related three different instances of which
   she had personal knowledge. In two, a woman had what she
   described as "enthusiastically consensual" sex -- long before
   that became a catch phrase -- close enough for her to clearly
   hear, and in one case see, what was going on (this was when
   she was rather heavily involved in the party scene). In each
   case, the following day these women talked to her about they
   had been "raped." In a third case, the boyfriend of one of her
   female classmates related his concern over having learned
   that she'd been raped by a man in the same class as the two
   women -- a man not matching the description of anyone
   actually in the class. My friend believed that in this last case,
   the woman invented the rape to secure the boyfriend's devotion
   via a protective response (which looks similar to the probable
   root of the rape hoax recently at the University of Virginia).
   In the other two, she put it down to some women's being
   "unwilling to take responsibility for their sexuality." It should
   be emphasized my friend wasn't in any way condemning these
   women for being "loose," as she was much like them in that
   respect; she was only criticizing them for refusing to own their
   own choices.





  
   Janet Bloomfield has compiled a list of documented false rapes here:

   12 Women Who Lied About Being Raped And Why They Did It





  
   While this article doesn't directly demonstrate how frequent such
   false claims are, the fact the women involved all evidently thought
   they could get away with it, combined with the observable fact that
   so many people, like your guest, keep perpetuating the assumption
   that women never lie about rape -- an attitude that would, in fact,
   make false claims easy to get away with -- suggests that these
   documented cases are just the tip of a possibly much bigger iceberg.





  
   The flip side of this attitude is the assumption that rape of men by
   women is either impossible or exceedingly rare. Like its counterpart,
   this assumption results in very distorted public perceptions, as the
   best recent research indicates that it's actually pretty common, but
   much more rarely reported:


   Men Are Raped Almost as Often as Women in America. We Need
   to Talk About This.









Sunday, November 27, 2016

The "We-ness" We Need Is Planetary

Although sleeping when this interview aired 11/25, I nonetheless caught much of it thanks to being in the dream state.

One thing Lilla doesn't say is that a chief reason American liberalism has become preoccupied with identity issues is that this has served as a way of running away from class, as the Democratic Party became increasingly beholden to corporate money -- whereas major parties exist in Europe that explicitly define themselves in class terms, none such exists here. And the one kind of "otherness" that FDR very much did talk about was precisely class, saying that "economic royalists" "hate me, and I welcome their hatred." The post-identity "we-ness" we need is planetary, not just American.

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/25/503316461/columbia-professor-says-democrats-need-to-move-beyond-identity-politics

Saturday, November 26, 2016

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Another Rewarding Visit to New York

Last night I attended a graduate information session at the New School. I was pleased to learn one of their psychology faculty has an interest in cultic issues.

The person sitting next to me had a Stein/Baraka button on her bag. She said a CUNY schoolmate is the Green candidate for US Senate there. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Another, Unexpected Reason to Like Scott Aaronson

Wow. I hadn't realized that the person behind MakeMineCount is the same as the one behind the Nader Trader website in 2000 -- let alone that that person was Scott Aaronson.

I voted for Nader in 2000, but it was the Nader trader effort that got me rethinking electoral strategy and led me, by early the following year, to support tactical voting and strategically selective ballot placement for third parties like mine (the Greens).

This further enhances the moral contrast in my eyes between Aaronson, promoter of such an eminently useful idea especially in the context of this crucial election, and feminist Amanda Marcotte, who led a vicious Twitter harassment mob against him early last year.