Crossing the Line and Why We Should Do It
Today the rant is gonna be multifaceted, and I got a feeling this is gonna go long, so get a blunt rolled if that's your thing, if you have trouble getting up in the morning brew some coffee and get right, go take a piss if you gotta... Whatever you do to settle in for the long haul, do that now.
Aight, we gucci?
So the topic today is political correctness, why we need to draw some lines in some places, where I draw my lines, and why we can't go through life expecting others to stay behind our lines. Then its gonna make the smoothest transition you've ever seen and hit on the struggle for equality, and finish by blowing your mind by sticking the landing on that need for unity I constantly preach about.
Shits gonna be grand.
Ayo let's go:
Startin' off slow, we got meme culture. One thing I've noticed in a lot of meme culture is that a lot of people get offended over a lot of really petty shit, and that makes people think that anyone who is offended doesn't have a right to be.
There's people who think Batman should be Batperson because labeling things as men and women is wrong, and to become gender equal we need to sterilize society of all things referencing gender.
These people are idiots. Men and women, male and female, are all very real parts of nature that most lifeforms use to reproduce. If you're one of these people, sorry that reality offends you. There are very real features that are universally feminine or masculine, and the two contrast. These features are shared amongst cultures that have never interacted, and date back to the very beginning of recorded history.
Some parts of both concepts are healthy, some parts of both are unhealthy. We should restructure these a bit, and toss more features in the neutral pile in my opinion. Restructuring our gender roles is a topic for another time. For now, people just need to accept that genders exist, and those genders are male and female.
Transgender people identify with the opposite gender from what society labels them. Good for them, I hate society's labels. They still identify to one of the two, cause genders are real. If that fact of life offends you here's the only apology I can give: Sorry, I'm not sorry.
People should make fun of these paintchuggers till they accept that the world doesn't conform to what they want. Please remember this point for later, it will be on the test.
The real thing those monkeys do that pisses me of is drain credibility from legitimate complaints.
Here's a story to help make my point:
One day, there's this "Malicious Patrick" meme on one of my favorite meme pages about a dude accidentally getting period blood in his mouth while doing a lady friend a special favor.
I made a joke about how if a woman allowed that to happen without making the guy aware of the risk, she needs to be taught a lesson only domestic violence can teach.
The joke offended a woman, and she had a good point. Kids see a 30 year old dude joking about beating women online and think beating women is acceptable, and beating women is not acceptable. It's meme culture, though. People cross lines in far worse ways constantly.
Now, I see beating up on people weaker than you to teach them and train them like a dog as a weak, no-skill form of manipulation. I see resorting to violence as a failure of key systems in my sociopath game.
Even according to my altered moral code, violence in general is inadvisable. That's especially true when it's against someone noticeably weaker. In that case it's just shameful.
Normally, I don't joke about hitting women, and I know violence is not okay as a rule, but because the specific context of the situation made that exact joke work, I pushed the envelope. I personally found it funny; That's my only justification. I don't go around trivializing those matters on a day-to-day basis so figured I'd allow myself an indulgence.
I know that's like saying I don't normally murder random strangers in the street, but if I see bum I'm declaring cheat day and curbstomping him, and I get that on a social responsibility level it's questionable at best.
There's still a need to draw the line, even if I willingingly and intentionally crossed it fully understanding why the line is there.
Women in these abusive relationships need to literally escape from them like criminals in prison. They need to resort to straight fleeing across state lines and starting new lives with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a $20 in their pocket. If they're lucky enough to survive all that, they're traumatized for life by it and can never trust a person again. Domestic violence is no joke, dont treat it as one.
There has to be lines, so when people cross them you can explain why the line is there and they can understand life better.
Here's where I draw one of my lines:
When someone makes a meme making fun of a plane crash, a school shooting, or some other event that led to the loss of human life, people should be upset and not allow that meme to spread in my opinion.
Human life is sacred; That fact is what makes me typing this and you reading it possible.
When people have died and parents have lost their children or husbands have lost their wives, all those people who lost loved ones are now forced to live the rest of their lives in pain. They feel the absence of that loved one day in and day out. That's the natural healthy way to feel.
Unless you've lost someone extremely close to your heart, you can't understand and I can't truly explain with words. It hurts more than anything else in this life. It never goes away or gets any easier, you just become more used to it and don't notice it as strongly. Mocking people's loved ones by mocking how they died only pours salt in that wound.
If a meme is causing direct emotional suffering in the most extreme possible form, it's not funny. Even people who haven't lost loved ones should be offended by that disregard for human life.
So there's certain things I won't joke about like tragedies where people have died, rape and domestic violence, harming children/babies... I dunno there's probably something else but those are the major lines I draw. If we kept our humor confined specifically to what everyone agreed was totally acceptable, we would never have a dialogue about what's unacceptable and why, though. That's just how I feel about it.
We're required to push these limits and skirt them to validate them, as well as to create chances to bring these issues to light and spread understanding. Learning what's tasteful and acceptable vs what crosses the line helps people who can't live that struggle understand it.
Some people know exactly why the lines are there, and they think it's edgy to blast across them for no reason. They aren't the people who I'm saying need educating, because they won't accept the education people are trying to give.
It's the kid saying you starve a black person by hiding his food stamps and thinks its okay due to sheer not knowing why it's wrong that people should be out looking to educate.
Now the reason people can't educate that first example is because some folks think the idea of protecting any sensibility is equal to protecting those gender neutral dudechicks from earlier. They don't share my view on the existence of an acceptable line. They see censorship and the idea of being harmed by words silly. They may respect the cause those lines protect, but think allowing words to control you is something people need to be broken of for their own good. The idea that lines should exist *is* their line.
Really, despite what I said earlier, those dudechicks have just as much of a right to their line as anyone else, just like the people I who think no lines should exist have a right to draw their line at the existence of lines. Both are equally stupid places to draw lines to me, but both are acceptable lines with valid reasons to exist.
Out of respect for the gender neutral dudechicks' line, I invented a gender neutral term for "dude". I hope they like it.
If you have lines, protect your them. People should educate others on their struggle, but they also need to understand that whether or not they choose to respect lines, people are crossin' their lines no matter what. Some even mean well by it. Homies gotta expect it to happen or log off.
Of course, the same principles apply once fully logged off and in the real world.
(Don't log off by the way; The real world is a trap)
The only difference is people blasting past the line to desensitize others learn quickly some people believe the lines aren't BS, and are willing to dole out beatings over them.
Something that's happening IRL that needs attention is whites, especially straight dudes, even ones who are down with "The Cause", have become the group it's okay to discriminate against. It bleeds into the net, but it's most prominent IRL.
I've heard people make two statements recently that triggered me in this regard that I wanna use as examples.
For the Struggle for Equality to succeed, neither of these statements or statements like them can be acceptable:
1) Mental illness is a black female problem, white dudes aren't allowed to bitch about mental illness because white males are the cause of the shooter crisis.
2) White people all associate Native Americans with casinos and booze cause whites are small-minded and ignorant.
Both things would cause mass public furor if I reversed those statements to make it so whites were saying them about the other ethnicities.
In reality, mental illness is a genderless problem that can't see race. Mental health institutions are one of the few places I've been where we saw past race to our common struggle. Dividing that otherwise non-segregated community along racial lines hurts the Struggle for Equality, it doesn't help it.
I'm a Redskins fan, and I see Native Americans as proud, strong people with an indomitable spirit. I want my sports teams to never give up fighting with everything they've got, the way Native Americans do. I see "Redskin" as a badge of honor. Natives who think I see a boozehounds and casino-running conman are the ones perpetuating that stereotype by telling me I'm not allowed to see them as a proud, strong people with an iron-will to survive.
Equality means "everyone is equal".
It's not "everyone except the group we don't like is equal". That's just the same system we already have with a new target for the discrimination.
I'm aware white privilege and male privilege are real, but people of all races and genders are complicit in maintaining them. Society can't hold just one group responsible for it just because that group is receiving the benefits of something people from all groups are contributing to.
More people are becoming aware of the true meaning of the Struggle for Equality. Women's suffrage led into the civil rights movement, which slid onward to the LGBT liberation and has created the beginnings of what could be a new, more egalitarian society.
To create that society, we need to put our money where our mouth is and truly stop using labels, cliches, and stereotypes directed at any group for any reason. We need to stop arguing, and come together.
What we need is tolerance for intolerance, and to come together even with people who cross the line. That isn't meant to say "validate intolerance". Debate people who hold intolerant views as much as you can but carry that debate respectfully. Meet their intolerance with patience and understanding, and try to persuade them away from their toxic views. Show them a better way of thinking, and show them why it's better.
I'll never be able to erase intolerant views, and I understand that shaming people out of society for their beliefs would make me no better.
Making the act of holding a belief against the law violates the most sacred right, Freedom of Speech. I must begrudgingly accept that it's a part of the world I live in. Yes, these beliefs can lead to terrible actions, and I'm fine with throwing people who commit those reprehensible actions in prison. I can't try to make thoughts and ideas illegal though. Freedom of Speech is what makes The West truly free.
Tolerance for intolerance. Americans can't let their different perspectives keep them apart. People can't expect to create a sterilized, blank slate of a society. That would make society a bunch of robots, and life would be devoid of the undefinable quality that makes it so great. The lines help people find the universally agreeable middle ground to meet on. Society needs to celebrate and accept its differences while still coming together as one on the important stuff.
Above all else, what society needs is unity.
(Told ya I'd stick that landing.)
Image Credit: The Big Lebowski, a film by the Coen brothers.