The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Imaginary Monsters

In an amusing, and at the same time, insightful article, Heather Wilhelm discusses the Left's concern with the threat of "intersectionality" within some future Mars colony. Specifically, the worry that racism and sexism will infect a Mars colony—never mind that any attempt at traveling to Mars is a decade away or more. Oh, and for those who don't know what "intersectionality" is, it's a feminist concept that in Wilhelm's words is "widely interpreted to document how an individual can be oppressed in multiple layers, thanks to a mix of race, class, gender, and more."

Wilhelm goes on to discuss the Left's obsession with oppression, writing:
Racism or sexism are both, quite obviously, bad things. Unfortunately, the modern left has become so obsessed with the concept of “oppression” in general—or whatever “intersectional” brew is the craze of the day—that many simply can’t see straight. In the process, they often miss the big picture, fail to discern genuine threats, and even create imaginary monsters along the way.

If our culture’s oppression obsession were limited to wacky Guardian articles or the far corners of academia, we could all have a good chortle and move on. Sadly, that’s not the case. Take, for instance, this week’s events in Garland, Texas, where a “draw Mohammed” contest inspired the creation of a whole building full of religiously offensive cartoons—which, in turn, was enough to inspire two Islamic men to attempt a mass shooting at the scene.

Amazingly, in the wake of an attempted terrorist attack on American soil, countless pundits and politicians rushed to condemn, first and foremost, not the would-be murderers, but the cartoons—and, by extension, the people who drew them. In a free society, the implications of this are fairly stunning. But when you think about it in terms with our growing cultural fixations and fears, it sort of makes sense. After all, is there a better metaphor for an oppression-based imaginary monster than an “incendiary,” “offensive” drawing in pen and ink?
Leftists would correctly rail against the notion that a woman who dresses provocatively is somehow inviting a sexual assault. Yet, in essence, that's the argument they're making by blaming the organizers of the cartoon conference for the violent attack on them. The organizers 'dressed' provocatively (by exercising their free speech rights), so many on the left suggest that they therefore precipitated the assault by Islamic terrorists. Provocative 'dress' may be in poor taste, but it never should be used to justify a violent response.