Way back when, I made it a New Year’s Resolution to entirely walk away from the stupidity that is Atheism+ and I think that for the most part, I’ve done pretty well keeping that resolution. As a part of that, it meant virtually abandoning several blog networks including FreethoughtBlogs, Skepchicks and, on the other side of the spectrum, the Slymepit. I can honestly say, I have never regretted the decision, nor have I had the slightest interest in ever going back. Being free from extremist feminist stupidity is like a breath of fresh air and I heartily recommend it.
However, while I’ve been gone, the stupidity has gone on unabated. I sometimes see things on the periphery, reported on other blogs or podcasts that I listen to and sometimes, there are things so utterly idiotic, so abjectly stupid, that I have to step in and make some comments to get it off my chest and keep me from headbanging the desk. This is one of those cases.
Over on a FtB site called Heinous Dealings, a blog by Heina Dadabhoy, she writes the following post about “Excluding White Male Authors”. It is so full of feminist idiocy, I haven’t got any idea where to start. I guess the only place to begin is at the beginning.
I recently announced something I’d decided on ages ago: That I’d exclusively be reading non-male authors in 2015 and non-white authors in 2016.
That seems extraordinarily stupid, truth be told. Isn’t the point of reading anything to gain information, not to bask in the author’s gender or skin color? I read for content, not political correctness. It doesn’t matter to me who writes a book, only if I enjoy reading the book. I really have no idea the gender or skin color of most authors, given that any of them could easily be using a pseudonym. I also don’t care. It never enters my mind to give half a shit about the physical characteristics of the author, but then again, I’m not a racist or a sexist. Radical feminists like Dadabhoy absolutely are both.
The moment of resolution happened when my horrified eyes beheld my reading record on gender. Not only were my percentages far less than 50/50 (favoring male authors) but also most of the female authors on record for me reflected books that I’d read as a child and younger teen. From the time I started university until now, I’d mostly read white male authors.
Maybe because the content you wished to consume just so happened to be written by white male authors? Why does it matter? Does the content change because the gender of the person writing it changes? Apparently you never thought so in the past because it took you a very long time to realize “your mistake”. So why, other than your radical feminist credo, do you care now?
Furthermore, the works by the relatively few authors of color I’d read were on racial issues and the non-male authors I’d read were writings on feminism.
Then it sounds like you had a very limited literary spectrum, doesn’t it? There are plenty of female authors who write about things other than feminism and tons of non-white authors who write about things other than race. I guess you’ve just been confined within your liberal hidey hole for far too long. I’ll tell you what, I don’t read any books about race and I don’t read any books about sex and I read books by people of every color and every gender. Maybe you need to expand your horizons beyond the liberal echo chamber you inhabit.
How did this happen to a voracious reader who graduated with a double degree in the Humanities, an area of study widely reviled as diversity-obsessed? The short answer is that I paid no attention to gender or race in my reading, and not caring is a recipe for bias in a world riddled with inequality.
Nor should you. I thought the whole point of liberalism is to establish equality, to go beyond race and sex into a race-blind and sex-blind society. Not so when it comes to radical liberals, they can only see the world in terms of sex and race and privilege. Everything comes down to that, nothing else matters and it can take someone who is supposed to be “diversity-obsessed” and make them a complete sexist, racist asshat. I’m a voracious reader too, I just don’t segregate my book shelves into books by a particular gender or a particular race. A book is a book. Read it or don’t. It doesn’t matter what the person behind the pages has between their legs or how much melanin they have in their skin. But I’m not a racist or a sexist, people like Dadabhoy are.
A common argument against discussing or taking conscious care when it comes to matters of race and gender is that calling attention to the issue will exacerbate matters. Why not focus on the common humanity we all share rather than our differences?
Yeah, why not? That would make perfect sense. Of course, we have to deal with cases of overt racism and sexism, but once you get beyond that, why not just let everyone else compete in the forum of ideas and see who can rise to the top. Oh wait, to a liberal, it’s not about equality, it’s about putting the “downtrodden” on top and punishing the successful. It’s all a giant conspiracy!
Unfortunately for the anti-victimhood brigade, that attitude does not accurately reflect the world in which we live. Seemingly “equal” and “unbiased” behavior doesn’t lead to equal and unbiased outcomes. Because of intrinsic biases, behaving as if equality were already acheived leads to the reinforcement of the status quo, which is certainly not equality for all.
No, it doesn’t accurately reflect the world that liberals *WANT* to live in. Here she points out the same problem with liberalism that I’ve pointed out time and time again. They don’t want equality, they want specific statistical outcomes. You have to have quotas, forced by the government, to ensure that exactly half of the writers are male and exactly half are female. There has to be a law that a certain percentage of writers are black, another percentage are Hispanic and another are Asian. Some have to be straight, some have to be gay and some have to be transgendered. That’s not equality, it’s just playing number games.
Bias doesn’t magically correct itself when we ignore it in favor of pretending like all that matters is that we are human. If that were true, there would be a lot more balance in my reading history. If a voracious non-male reader of color like myself managed to read so few non-male and/or non-white authors, then active correction is the only solution.
Bias doesn’t magically correct itself when you, yourself, are biased. Bias only goes away when it goes away on all sides. It won’t happen when the side screaming about bias is more biased than anyone else in the equation. The only correction she needs to make is stop giving a damn what the color or gender of her authors are and only pay attention to the quality of the writing itself.
As uncomfortable as it can be to admit you have biases and to actively work to correct them, the implications of letting the biases simply be are far more uncomfortable.
But it doesn’t seem to stop her, does it? She wears her biases on her sleeve proudly. Now I suppose she could be totally unaware of how biased she and her lefty cronies actually are, it’s just more cognitive dissonance, but maybe someone needs to educate her on the facts of reality, outside of the liberal factory she’s spent far too much of her life inside of.
That means either one of two things:
That I have a bias in my reading and I’m interested in correcting it; or
That there are few-to-no non-male and/or non-white authors worth reading.
Or 3. That you’re paying attention to things that are wholly irrelevant except inside of your liberal echo chamber. You do not have a bias in your reading, you read books that come out and that you enjoy. You didn’t specifically select those books because they were by white, male authors. You selected those books because the content looked interesting and apparently, you enjoyed them on that basis. She’s not correcting a bias, she’s developing a bias. She is becoming biased against white, male authors, not because of what they write about, but because of what they are. That is the epitome of racism and sexism that liberals whine about so often. Pot. Kettle. Black.
The only rational thing to do here is not to toss out white authors or male authors, it’s to include more non-white and non-male authors if it bothers you so much. Increase your diversity. But no, a “diversity-obsessed” liberal would never do that! That would mean that they’d actually have to do what they claim they want to do. What a bunch of hypocrites.