I've had a lot of things floating around in my head lately. I say lately, I actually mean in the last few months. this blog, as an example, I wrote about a month ago. I suppose I've just been floating a few things around in my head, letting them percolate until I thought I could express them in a way that accurately represents how I feel about something. First came clarifying in my head how in fact I do feel about it. And I think I know, or at least I know how to get the ball rolling
The title of this first blog entry is The Protoculture. Besides being a Macross reference, I think its a solid term for the kind of things I'm talking about. Just to warn anyone off from this topic before I get rolling, this is about politics, feminism, and a lot of topics that are pretty divisive, especially on this website.
I have trouble with my political identity these days. In high school I liked to tell myself I was fairly moderate, but after a fashion I realized I was on the liberal side of things on almost every hot button issue, so I identified, and still for the most part identify, as a left leaning individual. At the same time I try to play devil's advocate when I can, try to see debates from both sides. I do this because, if all you ever see or read are things from the same perspective as yourself its easy to get stuck in your beliefs. At that point all you're doing is participating in a big circlejerk. I don't want that. I don't ever want that, I want to be able to see things clearly, to cut to the truth of the matter, if such a black and white thing can be found. I get the feeling, and this is just a feeling, if I'm wrong please call me out on it, that LL is much the same on that. Like, he shows up and plays the devil's advocate on all of the political threads that pop up, but If I remember correctly, he's even more liberal than I am, just going by those tests a bunch of us took before. So I say all of that, I guess as a guidepost for what I'm going to talk about next
For a long time, it was my point of view that feminism was an artifact of the past. That people like Susan B Anthony and other suffragette’s succeeded, women having the right to vote, Title IX being enacted. In school they teach feminism as something like that, or at least they did when I went to school. So, when confronted with the reality, that De Jure, there is Gender equality, but De facto, there are still a lot of problems. And I agree with that. There are. Culturally, there are still a lot of rigidly enforced gender roles, I don’t want to get into ALL of that, people have spent their entire lives talking about it, and I don’t have that long, its 1:00 in the morning and I have a trip tomorrow. Whenever I think about Gender inequalities, all I ever get back to is that in order to effect any change you would have to change culture in a lot of fundamental ways, and you can’t make people nice. You can’t force civility on people, or you wouldn’t be civil yourself. Its so easy to get lost in anger about these things, but when that happens you so often become worse than what you fight.
A big scapegoat on the internet is lumping a lot of people and things into Tumblr, this new “Protoculture” and blaming it for everything. Maybe its not scapegoating, maybe Tumblr is the stereotype, but I generally try to assume the best of things. And I have it on good authority that Tumblr is 90% porn, and I can get behind that. Thought i’d throw a bit of humor into this rambling wall of text. Regardless, what i’m getting at is that there is a movement that I am witnessing and I don’t know where I stand anymore. A new kind of Liberalism I guess, and I can’t just chalk it up to radicals shouting loudly because I know reasonable people, some on this very site, that are as much a part of it. I keep looking at myself and my political identity and I always ask questions, I constantly question myself, check myself, to make sure i’m standing in the right place. I think I am, but I know people, have seen people, who KNOW that they are right. Sometimes that gives me pause. So, any civil discourse on where we sit in the pages of history is most welcome. This wasn’t nearly as solid as I thought it was when it was sitting in the percolator, but I think I needed to exorcise it, get it out there. Please feel free to engage in civil discourse in the comments, if anyone feels like getting through this wall of nonsense.