One thing that we have noticed in our life about ideologies is that the first thing any of them do is remove all accountability from their members. Now, please don’t get us wrong, we realize that we’ve been harping on about this quite a lot recently. However this truly is a legitimate and imminent problem from our perspective and as of yet we’ve only really sort of side-stepped around the issue of accountability rather than actually confronted it directly.
The idea of taking responsibility for ones own actions and opinions is one of the core tenets of the values that we hold. It is also one of the things that we most respect. To us it’s less important that your ideas match with ours as it is that your ideas are intellectually consistent and that you accept the logical consequences for them. For instance if one is going to make the claim that women are as equally capable and as strong as a man, then you cannot take positions like Miss LonelyHearts and claim that it’s the duty of all men to act in ways to make women feel safe, or to not talk to women because it might upset them. Or take positions like Lara’s that if you’re catcalled or groped everyone must immediately jump to your aid.
Or, alternately, you must also apply those same standards to men as well. Which means that we should expect that Miss Lonely Hearts would act in such a way so as to adjust her behaviour to make the men around her feel comfortable and safe. Or that Lara would jump to the aid of a man being touched or sexually harassed by a woman. Does anyone actually think they would do those things though? Somehow I rather doubt that. Though I have no question that they truly believe this to be equality.
Because life is so much easier when you don’t have to deal with reality, intelligent thought, or logic.
In the tradition of the Hebrew Bible it was described that on the tenth day of the seventh month a goat would be cast into the desert. This goat would have the sins of the Israelites confessed to and placed upon its head before Yahweh. After which the Azazel, or scapegoat as it is called in english, was cast into the desert and took the sins away from the Isrealite people never to be seen again. Thus the tribes sins were paid for.
“And Aaron shall lean both of his hands [forcefully] upon the live he goat’s head and confess upon it all the willful transgressions of the children of Israel, all their rebellions, and all their unintentional sins, and he shall place them on the he goat’s head, and send it off to the desert with a timely man.”- Leviticus 16:21
For feminists it’s society and it’s omni-present, yet strangely intangible “patriarchy”. Which is characterized by male-dominated society conferring leadership and power roles onto men as they are held to be the ones naturally suited for such things due to traditional gender roles. Thus meaning that women are held back into roles of subvervience and subjugation or are considered to be less capable or weaker than men because society and those roles tell them they must be so. Such as in Victorian times when the tendency for males in society to be taught to protect young women from the unwanted advancements or attentions of males was seen as treating women like children who were too weak to look after themselves. Thus reinforcing the traditional gender role of women being dependant upon men and being valuable objects that need protection. Or in the more modern examples of feminists like the aforementioned Lara who say that the fact that men don’t step in to help protect women from the unwanted advancements or attentions of males is seen as society’s tolerance and normalizing of degrading and harsh treatment of women. Thus reinforcing the traditional gender role of women being sex objects for use by men.
Don’t try to think about it too hard.
As for Christianity,well, as the poem goes “let me count the fucking ways” (paraphrased).
God creates us initially flawed. Then the proto-humans are convinced by an outside force into committing a great sin that damns everyone who comes after them regardless of what they do. God then hands down a series of rules of behaviour that we must obey while his sulphur-smelling lackey goes around tricking and forcing people into breaking his arbitrary rules that we have no control over. God then gives us a messiah by birthing himself through a human and sacrificing himself whether we want it or not. Which forces a debt upon on us which we must pay through obedience to his words and commands. The relationship between Christianity and responsibility for ones actions is like the relationship between Bai Ling and her brother in Gene Generation (look it up damnit).
I could go on with other ideologies or more examples from these ones, but I think you can see the common denominator here. Whether it’s a mighty god who tells us how we must behave, a devil lurking in the shadows whispering at us to tell him to sod off, or society and gender roles telling us to play with dolls instead of hot wheels there must always be a way to avoid personal accountability for ones actions or ideas. Because otherwise they would be open to criticism, and no ideology can survive that.
The website A Voice For Men lists as one of its facts about mens rights that “Women receive custody in about 84% of child custody cases.” According to Lousie Pennington this is, of course, the result of patriarchy.
“It is men who voted against extended paternity leave and men who assume that childcare is the preserve of women. That is the reason women get main residency in cases of divorce: they do the vast majority of the childcare before.”
Which is interesting, and by “interesting” I mean factually false, because prior to feminism it was the father who was awarded custody of the children in the vast result of cases. It was not until feminist Caroline Norton helped to put through the Tender Years Doctrine that it became customary for the woman to be considered the main childcare provider. Mrs. Norton argued in her pamphlet “The Separation of Mother and Child” that to separate a child from it’s own mother was not just an injury to the child, but a literal violation of the laws of nature. She argued that it was simply not possible for a father to ever provide sufficient love and care for their child.
“Does nature say that the woman, who endures for nearly a year a tedious suffering, ending in an agony which perils her life, has no claim to the children she bears ? Does nature say that the woman, who after that year of suffering is over, provides from her own bosom the nourishment which preserves the very existence of her offspring, has no claim to the children she has nursed ? Does nature say that the woman who has watched patiently through the very many feverish and anxious nights which occur even in the healthiest infancy, has no claim to the children she has tended ? And that the whole and sole claim rests with him, who has slept while she watched ; whose knowledge of her suffering is confined to the intelligence that he is a father ; and whose love is at best hut a reflected shadow of that which fills her heart ? No ! the voice of nature cries out against the inhuman cruelty of such a separation. “
“It pronounces the protection of the father insufficient, — it pronounces the estrangement from the mother dangerous and unnatural and such as must be immediately supplied by female guidance of some sort or other.Does not this, of itself, demonstrate the harsh and unjust tenor of the law? Why should the father, whose utmost care is insufficient for the care of his infant children, have power to divide them from the mother, whose care is sufficient ? “
Or really the whole of the eighty-plus pages pamphlet. The entire feminist argument was that only a woman could properly care for her child and that men were incapable of being sufficiently nurturing. Yet when criticized for the results of this sort of thinking modern feminists lay the blame at the feet of “patriarchy” and not the armies of their feminist precursors who stood up in front of the courts and forgers of law and told them exactly that. Take this excerpt from the blog TheRadicalIdea on how “patriarchy” hurts men too.
“Fathers During Custody Hearings are less likely to acquire custody of their children. Courts presume that the mother is the more suitable caretaker because the Patriarchy perpetuates the gender binary in such a way that masculinity becomes divorced from the concepts of care and nurture, while femininity becomes inherently tied to this. This also harms male children who may be better off with their father than their mother but are given to their mother based on this rigid gender divide.”
Yes, I can’t for the life of me imagine where they got that idea.
That was unusually snarky, vicious, and sarcastic. I might be rubbing off on you. I kind of like that.
Your approval fills me with shame.
I won’t go more into religious or Christian lack of accountability because we already did it twice with the Pope recently. So really, go read those two articles if you want to know what we’re talking about there.
Having an ideological Boogie-man to remove accountability means never having to admit to your critics that you might be at fault. Whether it’s god’s will, the devil’s handiwork, patriarchy, scapegoating, etc, there is always something else to blame. Something else to put the faults of yourself, your tribe, or your society upon so that you never have to accept your own choices as yours (unless it works out good for you, of course).
In order to maintain this though, in the face of growing criticism from rational people or the inevitable effects of increased scientific knowledge and understanding, they must then start to jump through ever-increasingly twisted hoops in order to maintain their views. They’ll say that you can’t really know the mind of god, even though they just spent the last ten nug-humping minutes telling you how great and loving (but not in a creepy abusive boyfriend way) he is. Then it’s a metaphor, though how they know the difference remains a mystery. There’s a scientific conspiracy to suppress teaching the controversy. A conspiracy by mostly-male scientists to prevent womens perspectives from being taught, which is why “strong objectivity” is better than that normal objectivity that everybody else has always used. Because all perceptions are equally valid. And if the critics don’t stop and keep on coming? Well then they’re “misoginists”, “militant atheists”, “rape enablers”, “hate god”, “need to educate themselves”, “show respect and tolerance for others religions” or whatever else they possibly come up with to keep them from actually having to answer to the facts and reason leveled against them.
In other words everyone is right and wrong at the same time. Truth, evidence, facts, reality, are meaningless concepts that we don’t have to take into account because the only thing that fucking matters is that some random asshole wants to believe that it’s true. I can’t even begin to communicate to you how much I can’t stand these people.
Here’s the thing.
A person on reddit once said to me that reality is the ultimate arbiter of truth. To disagree with reality is to simply be wrong. Ideologues do not just disagree with reality, they think they can change it’s very nature by creative thinking and redefinition.
But accountability is the beginning of morality, and I am not referring to accountability in the face of some mythical higher power. I am referring to being accountable to reality, and to the logic and reasoning of the positions you take. The worst of humanity always shines through when you convince them that they hold no responsibility for their actions. It is a very frightening thing to watch a religious person take a religious code that advocates killing others for not being bound to it and truly believe it to be a religion of peace. It means that there is nothing that they can not and will not do to justify their actions or beliefs in their own eyes. Even when faced with all of the evidence in the world that their ideas are wrong they will still cling to the belief that they are right and do anything to make it seem the case. It isn’t the belief that’s bad, the devil made them do it, that’s all. A few prayers, some confession and it’ll all be good.
However how can one truly understand morals if one cannot even countenance the idea that their position can, in fact, be immoral itself?