Intersectional Privilege, 2/12
I think we have a few options for how we treat public discourse. The first two are
Expect everyone who participates in the marketplace of ideas to abide by male standards, meaning you accept some level of abrasiveness and hurt feelings as the price of entry.
Expect everyone to abide by female standards, meaning we care less about truth and prioritize the emotional and mental well-being of participants in debates.
Instead of either of these options, I think we’ve stumbled upon a hybrid system, where
We accept gender double standards, and tolerate more aggression towards men than we do towards women. We also tolerate more hyper-emotionalism from women than men.
Call this “female privilege.” But I don’t believe that it protects women in positions of power. I think that men can get away with aggressive talk against female political figures, for example. And I’d bet that it’s pretty rare for a female corporate officer to cry that something said at a meeting was “hurtful.”
There is, of course, no such thing as “online violence,” because the online world is disembodied and violence can only occur to bodies. Was there ever any chance whatsoever that these three ideologues doing this research would fail to find the effect they were looking for? How much do you want to bet that a vast portion of what they’re defining as violence is in fact perfectly fair criticism?
In fact, Glenn Reynolds points out that the left will say that violence is speech when that violence takes place, say, at a “mostly peaceful” BLM riot. But the left will say that speech is violence when a conservative says something offensive to progressives.
Call this double standard about what constitutes violence “progressive privilege.”
Finally, if a black public figure (other than an outspoken conservative) receives criticism, the probability that the critic will be branded a racist approaches 100 percent. Call this “black privilege.”
Intersectionality would imply that when you are in a room and a progressive black woman makes a comment, you had better think twice about disagreeing out loud.
The intersectionality people talk about isn’t truly intersectional. An ugly woman, for example, is hardly living life on easy mode, whereas a rich black man navigates the world differently than a poor white man. I think a lot of these things are real, but not correctly weighted. We don’t take seriously the implications of class and beauty, either, both are dismissed completely out of hand.
Gentlemen’s Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, 1875
"One of the first rules for a guide in polite conversation, is to avoid political or religious discussions in general society. Such discussions lead almost invariably to irritating differences of opinion, often to open quarrels, and a coolness of feeling which might have been avoided by dropping the distasteful subject as soon as marked differences of opinion arose. It is but one out of many that can discuss either political or religious differences, with candor and judgment, and yet so far control his language and temper as to avoid either giving or taking offence.
In their place, in circles which have met for such discussions, in a tête à tête conversation, in a small party of gentlemen where each is ready courteously to listen to the others, politics may be discussed with perfect propriety, but in the drawing-room, at the dinner-table, or in the society of ladies, these topics are best avoided.
If you are drawn into such a discussion without intending to be so, be careful that your individual opinion does not lead you into language and actions unbecoming a gentleman. Listen courteously to those whose opinions do not agree with yours, and keep your temper. A man in a passion ceases to be a gentleman.
Even if convinced that your opponent is utterly wrong, yield gracefully, decline further discussion, or dextrously turn the conversation, but do not obstinately defend your own opinion until you become angry, or more excited than is becoming to a gentleman."