I’m Not a Hypocrite

I ran across a post over on Godless Mama’s blog, where she describes a number of things, apparently that she’s seen, that she describes as hypocritical.  I’ll be the first one to agree that hypocrisy runs rampant online and that people from all groups can and often are guilty of it.  That said, and I know this wasn’t aimed at me, but I wanted to go through her list and see what I thought of the various ideas she’s come up with from my personal perspective.  I am not a hypocrite. Note, I’m not saying she’s wrong by any means because I’ve seen this kind of hypocrisy online, but this is my take:

You spend a lot of time defending Milo Yiannopolous and Richard Spencer under the banner of “we have to protect even the most offensive speech,” but did not defend Kathy Griffin’s mock ISIS photo under the banner of “we have to protect even the most offensive speech.”

There is a difference between defending a person’s right to speak, which I think applies every bit to Yiannopolous and Spencer and Griffin, and defending a person from the consequences of that speech.  Milo and Kathy lost their jobs because of their chosen speech.  That was up to their employers and they had every right to make those decisions.  So long as no one tries to stop their ability to speak, I’m fine with it.  Actions have, and should have, consequences.

You chastise others for their echo chambers and admonish them to engage with to their opponents, but block people who disagree with you on Facebook and Twitter.

I don’t block anyone, anywhere, unless it becomes painfully obvious that they are incapable of having any kind of intelligent discussion or debate, or they’re just a troll.  Then again, I use neither Facebook nor Twitter, so I don’t think this applies to me regardless.

You have ever said “fuck your feelings” with regard to perceived political correctness, but lamented the lack of respect shown to Mike Pence when he was booed at a Broadway show.

I couldn’t care less about feelings.  The only thing I would say about said Broadway show was a lack of respect for people who paid good money to see a production, not a political attack.  If I paid to see a movie and instead, we got a political diatribe from the actors, I’d be rightfully pissed off.  These are supposed to be professional actors who were paid to put on a play, not to rant about political topics.

You were horrified by the evangelical Christian trend of “purity balls” but laud hijab as a feminist symbol.

I’m not really bothered by purity balls, I think they’re stupid because I find Christianity to be stupid, but if people want to voluntarily put them on, I don’t think they actually hurt anything.  Nor do I really care what clothes people choose to voluntarily wear.  Note, I said voluntarily.  If it is imposed on them under threat of violence or punishment, that’s a different matter altogether.

You supported the Benghazi investigations but oppose the Trump-Russia investigation.

I don’t oppose investigating anything for which there is evidence.  Remind me when there was any evidence whatsoever for Trump-Russia again?  This is just more butt-hurt nonsense from the political left because they can’t believe they lost the election.  On the other hand, Hillary admits that she violated the law by having a personal e-mail server and deleting e-mails.  There is evidence for that.

It bothered you that Richard Spencer lost his gym membership, but you think LGBT couples should just find another bakery.

I don’t think either is true.  All businesses must follow the same public accommodation laws.  I don’t think the gym should have been able to deny Richard Spencer a membership unless they could show that his being on the premises constituted either a public safety risk or a demonstrable hazard to their continued existence as a business.  Bakeries are in business to make cakes.  They are not in business to make moral pronouncements about their customers.

You criticize western feminists who talk about sexist imagery in comics for overly frivolous concerns, but complain about women-only screenings of the film Wonder Woman.

Again, public accommodation laws.  You cannot discriminate against someone on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or creed.  Alamo was discriminating, which should not be acceptable, period.  The same goes for hotels that set up floors for just women.  That’s discrimination.  Now Alamo said that men, if they wanted the same experience, they could pay for a private screening.  So could women.  Therefore they are having a double standard based on gender, the very definition of discrimination.

You called the people who were outraged when Trump bragged about grabbing women’s genitals without their permission “snowflakes,” but not the people who were outraged when Colin Kaepernick didn’t stand for the national anthem.

People have a right to free speech and that includes not standing for the national anthem.  Again, freedom of speech is not freedom from consequences.  Nobody  called the anti-Trump whiners snowflakes because they didn’t have the right to be upset, but because they chose something essentially meaningless to get upset over, something the are still doing regarding Trump to this day.  I’d say the same thing to people who got upset over Kaepernick’s perfectly legal decision not to stand.  Now Kaepernick’s employers could and did choose not to continue his contract, which was entirely their right to do, just as the American people could have chosen not to elect Trump over his comments, which they didn’t do.

You were more bothered by Michelle Obama’s bare arms than by Melania Trump’s nudity.

Can’t remember caring about either, sorry.

You characterize Milo Yiannopolous as “just a troll” but an anti-Trump D-list comedian as “a Leftist celebrated public figure.”

Never said either.  In fact, I did criticize Milo for being a troll.  I don’t think people should troll anyone at all for any reason, period.  I find the whole practice utterly idiotic.  But there is a difference between saying mean things and putting out pictures of yourself holding the severed head of the President of the United States.  Threatening the President is a class E felony under Title 18.  I don’t care if Kathy thought it was a joke, it was a really stupid thing to do.

You dismiss non-binary concepts of gender as not based in science, but defended the “Penis as Social Construct” hoax by saying even if this hoax didn’t debunk the field of gender studies, it doesn’t matter because everyone knows a better hoax would have.

I think hoaxes and trolling are idiotic, period.  The whole “Penis as Social Construct” thing was funny because it showed just how idiotic these snowflakes actually are, that they took it at all seriously.  We have only to look at very real papers, like “Glaciers, Gender, and Science” which showed up in Progress in Human Geography, to see that.  All someone has to do is throw out an article that agrees with their preconceived notions and they’ll embrace it uncritically.  Ideology means more than reality to these people.

You oppose legal abortion but support the death penalty.

I support both.  But is it hypocritical to support legal abortion and oppose the death penalty?

You said jokes about the death of Roger Ailes were disrespectful of Ailes’s family, but you promote Sandy Hook truther Alex Jones or call criticism of Sean Hannity’s treatment of the Rich family “regressive.”

I really don’t care.  Roger Ailes was a dick.  So is Alex Jones.  So is Sean Hannity.  Any criticism that is decried because it makes someone feel bad is absurd.  It only matters if the criticism is valid.

You claim to oppose Islam on behalf of the women it oppresses, but promote personalities who deny the existence of date rape or who call for white women to be publicly flogged for sexual impropriety.

I oppose Islam because it’s an idiotic belief system that harms people.  And I don’t see anyone who says that date rape doesn’t happen, I do see people who argue that retroactive “rape” is ridiculous, where women who decide, after the fact, that they changed their mind and therefore they got raped when they consented at the time of the act, is about the stupidest thing imaginable.

You deny that Western colonialism turns Muslims into Islamists, but claim that too much political correctness turns white people into racists.

No, Islam turns Muslim into Islamists.  Violence is part and parcel with Islam, as it is with Christianity. That people can choose to ignore large swaths of their religious beliefs because it interferes with the culture and society in which they live isn’t excusing Islam, it’s showing how little religion actually matters to believers.

You spent weeks or months condemning the Richard Spencer punch and holding it up as evidence of pervasive violence on the Left, but justified, laughed at, or remained silent when a conservative politician assaulted a journalist and deny it is indicative of a violence problem on the Right.

Violence is never called for, no matter who performs it, especially as a response for free speech.  The only opposition to free speech that we ought to permit is more free speech.  But where I haven’t personally seen people celebrating Greg Gianforte body slamming Ben Jacobs, the same cannot be said of the left, who have turned the sucker punching of Richard Spencer into a celebrated meme.

You spend more time worrying about the threat to free speech posed by Ann Coulter being dis-invited from speaking at a college campus than you do about a citizen being convicted and imprisoned for laughing at a government official (or a bill that would send teenagers to federal prison for sexting, or a journalist being arrested for asking a government official a question, or state legislatures passing laws criminalizing peaceful protests).

Limiting free speech by any government entity is a violation of people’s constitutional rights, period. That means that people should never be disinvited to speak at publically funded colleges, nor should they be jailed for exercising their free speech rights to laugh at politicians or any of the other things you mentioned.

You declare the importance of seeing people as individuals rather than as collectives while making hasty generalizations about feminists, Muslims, Democrats, Leftists, etc.

Maybe people should stop joining these collectives if they don’t want to be tarred by their negatives?  Maybe people should stop being offended when people object to things that these groups do. That’s really the biggest problem with collectivism, that the second someone criticizes a label, the people who wear that label, even if they are not guilty of the criticism, get upset that someone said something mean about their label.  I mean personally, you can say all the mean things you want about atheism or conservatism you want, it won’t bother me at all unless the things you say directly describe a position that I hold.

You speak out against anti-LGBT attitudes embraced by conservative Christians, but file anti-LGBT attitudes among Muslims under “cultural differences.”

I find both reprehensible.  Of course, the only people who are accepting anti-LGBT attitudes among Muslims tend to come from the political left, people that I generally oppose.  But I also oppose the religious right, so I’m an equal opportunity critic.

You denigrate the boycott of Sean Hannity’s advertisers in response to his treatment of the Rich family as a regressive leftist attack for “wrong think,” but were supportive or silent when conservatives boycotted Beauty and the Beast for having a gay character (or Hamilton because the cast addressed Mike Pence; or Budweiser, 84 Lumber, CocaCola, Airbnb, Kia, and Tiffany for airing SuperBowl ads with pro-diversity messages; or Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka Trump’s clothing line; or Netflix for having a show called Dear White People; or Starbucks for having insufficiently Christian holiday coffee cups; or Hawaii because a federal judge there ruled against Trump’s travel ban; or Target for encouraging trans people to use their restroom of choice; or Target again for banning loaded guns in its stores; or ABC for cancelling Last Man Standing; or . . .  )

People can boycott anything they want, for any reason they want.  Boycotts don’t work.  They tend to happen when people cannot address the problems that they identify on the other side of the political spectrum.  Now of course, people can do what they choose to do with their money and can choose to buy or not buy products based on any criteria they like.  I just object to it when it goes beyond being an organic, individual effort and turns into mob justice.  Mob justice sucks.

So there are my answers.  Keep in mind, I am not being critical of Godless Mama in any way, shape or form for pointing out this hypocrisy, I think she’s identified some excellent points and people ought to think about why they get offended by some things and not others.  Hypocrisy is not something anyone should be proud of.  It is something that people ought to try to excise from their lives and far too often, unfortunately, do not.  But this is where being skeptical needs to be a part of your character, not something you apply here but not there, because it might offend your political sensibilities.  That’s something that’s a bigger problem than most people want to admit.

 

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