Every day we consume media and it is rife with people from this group or that telling you to be on their side of an argument, and often thoroughly criticizing you if you hold an opposing opinion. Whether it be tumblr feminists, religious liberty activists, pro life, pro choice, pro Islam, anti Islam, pro second amendment, or anti gun, and every political issue in between. I'm going to share my personal views on a few of these topics but more importantly I wish to educate you, or rather give you an example of, how to be reasonable and thoughtful whilst discussing your views.
Right then☺️ Let's pick an issue shall we?
"Uh, yes Alex I'll take new age feminism for 800 please"🤔
Excellent choice👌🏼 not at all controversial.
Prior to August 18, 1920, there was a legitimate and obvious cause for feminism and no one of any scruples in today's society would dare say otherwise. Women literally had no say whatsoever in government in that they could not vote, and were essentially wards of their husband in the same way a child would also have been considered. But this was only the first step in truly bringing women to the same level of dignity that men have had in society for millennia.
The legitimacy of the feminist movement continued through giving women control of their bodies and reproductive cycles, assuring that women were paid equally for the same work, and providing equal opportunities in choice of career. All fair and just aspirations yes? After all it is demonstrably the empowerment of women that curtails poverty in society. Somewhere along the line however, things went horribly, HORRIBLY wrong.
Unfortunately, gone is the sensible argument that feminist movements once claimed. Largely I feel because their work is accomplished. Through the decades of an uphill struggle they achieved what they set out to claim: an equal position beside men in society. Now there are laws in place that prevent sexist discrimination. No male employer in right mind would invoke quid pro quo sexual harassment in today's workplace, as was a problem in the past, for fear of not just the lawsuit, but the public outcry and detriment to his business.
I compare feminism to an aging superhero. They've done their job, they've locked up the bad guys and foiled their dastardly plots, and they've made Gotham a more fair and tolerant city to live in. Now is the time to hang up the cape and remain vigilant. not combative, not seeking out injustice where none exists, but just standing guard to make sure that the law is respected and carried out in the improved, 21st century fashion.
Wasn't that nice and respectful? Just stating the facts, revealing a position to consider and moving on. Often I feel people place too much emphasis on "zingers" and "gotchas" when in reality no ones mind has ever been changed by being berated or subjected to a rant.
On to the next item for debate.
"Yes waiter I'll have the terrorism, medium rare."
"Would you like a side of Islamic fundamentalism sir?"
"Ew, does it come with the meal?"
"Only if I'm honest."
Well if that is any indicator, I have a bit of a bone to pick with Islamic teaching when it comes to terrorism both foreign in the form of Isis, and domestic with these lone wolves that are becoming quite the phenomena.
To start, if you view any of my opinion on the subject as islamiphobia, that is of course your right to do so, but it shows an unwillingness to listen to calm a rational discussion in this case because while I have a firm position, it's not one that anyone should find hateful.
There is a distinction between the Quran itself, and what is known as the Hadith (the commandments of the prophet Muhammad). Those that read any ancient scripture can find the verses and parts that we as progressive societies today would agree with, but my question to you is this: by what method do you read a verse of the Quran (or the bible) and say "yes that is so very true in my life"? im no stranger to religion. Several years ago as a teenager I would read the sermon on the mount in Mathews gospel and say to myself truly this Jesus fellow was had it figured out. The beatitudes spoke to me, still speak to me as good bits of moral wisdom.
My point is that it would be a different world if religions just gave you the good parts of scripture and let you apply them to your life, but that is particularly far from the case of Islam(and much of fundamentalist Christianity) where shariah law is the true methodology of both their social structure, and their sense of earthly justice. Much like the historical atrocities of Iron Age Catholicism with its crusades and inquisitions, Islam even today takes pride in being a theocratic type of world order that ideally everyone has a duty to believe and follow whether they come from that background or not.
It's why you often hear Muslims tell us, referring to western society, to "fix our women". We are, in regards to our attire, our views on sexuality and marriage, and subscription to democracy, at odds with shariah law. It's because Islam is not just a religion or philosophy on life, it is its own culture and its own system of theocracy in Muslim dominated countries of the Middle East and Africa.
This of course inevitably leads to an "us vs them" situation. Because our freedom means so very much to us here in the west, and our soldiers today and their forebears shed rivers of blood to defend it. While Islam is a system by which to submit to authority, and obey the prophet without question.
I am severely at odds with Islam in Its current state, just as I would be of Iron Age Christianity, and also Bronze Age Judaism. But I will lock arms with any Muslim as friend and comrade, who wishes to promote an Islam open to freedom of thought and absent of the concept of shariah law. I'm not saying that Muslims must drop everything and come so far as to be totally secular, that would be rude and impossible to suggest. But perhaps we can bury the notion of theocracy and work towards peace whilst respecting the democracy and culture of the west, and the personal liberty of everyone regardless of philosophical opinion, sexual behavior, or sense of fashion.
And for the sake of humanity we must join forces if for no other reason than to destroy groups like Isis. I don't think any Muslim here would disagree with me.
Great Scott I've reached 6000 words already! You've all fallen asleep already haven't you?😆 Well wake up because we're on to the next item up for debate.
Um🤔 Police shootings and racism?🙂👍
Alrighty then, my disclaimer for this discussion will be that excuses are one thing, but reasons for patterns in behavior are another.
I would like to begin by addressing those of you treating this as a race issue. it is a race issue but not like you're thinking. My opinion is that cops are not systemically or in general racists. From personal experience I(a white male) have been pulled over for bullshit reasons as well, though not shot on the road with my hands up. also cops come in all shapes and sizes, and more importantly temperaments. I dare say they are similar to human beings in that regard🤔 Dispensing with the sarcasm surely you see my point?
The human brain relies on barrages of sensory data to tell it what is going on around us. Unfortunately, our eyes and ears are the most fallible methods of detection we have and especially under extreme pressure.
During a seemingly suspicious traffic stop perhaps?
Cops hear just as many horror stories of their colleagues and friends getting blown away by gangbangers, as we do of police brutality and unlawful shootings. My opinion is that not nearly enough is done to evaluate the mental health of cops who place their lives on the line day after day, and end up more then somewhat edgy. Also needless to say, routine traffic stops in downtown LA are much more stressful than sunny little Matoon: population 34. So it can also vary from location to location.
Again I'm not making excuses, but when all we do is blame blame blame we forget to consider the full scope of a situation.
Now on on to why it's also a race issue. For one, a black person shot by police makes considerably more news than a white person. And then there's the location problem I brought up, because doesn't police brutality in general happen more in poorer, minority dominated communities than say, upscale gated communities? This is because there are racial and income factors that accompany criminal statistics, but also some very interesting statistics as follows.
Black males commit more crime, specifically violent crime, than any other demographic.
Black males make make up roughly 80% of prison populations
Black males have on average the highest testosterone levels of all other demographics.
Testosterone is the male hormone directly linked to increased aggression.
Please let me stress that it's a given that any unlawful shooting is a tragedy and I am not in any way justifying murder, but take a look at these statements, fact check me if you like, call me racist if you like, but understand that this is a significant correlation that we shouldn't just ignore in order to conform to what is politically correct. It's not fair to police, it's not fair to the study of criminal psychology, and it's not fair to black males most of all to dismiss a potentially significant contributor to criminal activity.
We are biochemical machines at the end of the day. We recognize that fluctuation in estrogen causes weight gain and mood swings in females, but when you try to point out the affects of testosterone it suddenly either becomes sexist or racist. Hormones are neurotransmitters. Nuerotransmitters are literally what our brain uses to transport through Neurons every single thought that crosses our minds. Hormones are incredibly powerful at influencing behavior and again I say this also not as a legal excuse for anyone, but as a psychological fact.
If I were a sociologist, I could delve deeper into the forces behind the conflict between the police vs black people phenomena but for now I will blame the media. That much I know is a factor in stirring all this up and painting a much uglier picture than actually exists. With that said, I just wanted to leave you with things to consider on both sides of the issue.
Phew😓 That was quite a montage eh? Tackled three hot-button issues all at once and hopefully only a few people will call me ignorant or an asshole, but there you have it. That is how you convey your opinions respectfully and with tact while also not dissolving your positions.
Visit us next time when we'll cover abortion, childhood obesity, and The Zika virus. Same bat time, same bat channel, and as always I'm your host
The Fying Frenchman.