I don’t really understand how racial equality activists measure their results. (I’ve met some who seem like they’d at least be interested in measuring them.) The most obvious way is to use statistics, but then you run into the problem of “Whose statistics?” And “What do those statistics control for?” Am I missing something?
I wound up reading a post on Twitter.com by looking at my brother’s Twitter page and clicking on a twittering he replied to, and then clicking on the twittering that twitterer was replying to.
— Stop Trump 🍷 (@StopTrump2020) October 5, 2017
At first I didn’t get it. So what? The House prioritizes all kinds of things over other things. That’s kind of a key part of their job. Then I realized there was an invisible “Isn’t that crazy?!?! What monsters!!!” at the end of the headline, that would have been clear to me had I been part of the intended audience.
And then I read the replies, and met some representatives from that audience. Below is just a sampling:
“Pro-birth”, not “pro-life”. Once a baby is born, they care nothing about them from cradle to grave.
— I am Sam (@sammierose45) October 5, 2017
That’s not pro life, that’s pro death. They’re saying they are okay with what happened in Vegas.
— Spooky Squiddy🎃 (@InklingIka) October 5, 2017
You know every one of those Republicans has had a woman abort their love child. Not sure why they’d deny that service to others.
— Khristie Paulson (@khristiepaulson) October 5, 2017
— MillionsHateTrump (@NancyTexass) October 5, 2017
@lanihirsch I wish someone would hang them all up by their balls‼️
— Lani Hirsch (@lanihirsch) October 5, 2017
Only thing that will facilitate a culture of life is for real caring Americans to get rid of the republicans in congress&every other office
— Marge Davis (@Marjee123) October 5, 2017
They are truly awful excuses for human beings.
— William Wassersug (@scifisportsguy) October 5, 2017
— Tricia Messner (@tricia_messner) October 5, 2017
That’s right, let those babies with health issues come to terms then refuse to take care of them. #gopcunts
— Laurie McClave (@lauriemcclave) October 5, 2017
👆🏽inhumane, amoral, misogynistic/sexist hypocritical (sex crazed) adulterers AKA Grifters/Grabbers Of P🐱🐱& Power make sane Americans🤞🏽4Karma
— SmartSassyLady (@SaneSophisticat) October 5, 2017
I need to start watching Game of Thrones cuz we’re def going back to mid-EVIL Times! 😡
— Lyn Trotter (@CltrotLyn) October 5, 2017
Anyone that votes for a Repub is a moron like Donnie
— gary (@lgary2739) October 5, 2017
They really think they doing something good like the old saying there’s special place in hell for all the GOP
— Chip hunter (@hunter_chip) October 5, 2017
So Repubs want forced births for women who may not have insurance & have a high probability of being seriously injured in a mass shooting?
— Brenda (@Brantre123) October 5, 2017
When do we vote on male castration? #bastards
— CKG (@snarkytoo) October 5, 2017
Republicans hate women. They are pro fetus to satisfy the extreme right. Notice they don’t care about people after they are born.
— Katbluking (@Katbluking) October 5, 2017
Dirty, old white men. History will judge them harshly.
— MattW (@UtterMattness) October 5, 2017
Trying to please the deplorables to raise their poll numbers I guess.
— kathleenroeberg (@kathleenroeberg) October 5, 2017
Cuz most important 2 old white congressmen is to control women’s v. afterwards if child gets shot or dies of a preventable o’well #hypocrits
— Cyril Tobiasson (@Cyril1863) October 5, 2017
Not much else to say about this.
I do wonder if these people genuinely feel this way, or if Twittering is just catharsis for them. On the one hand, it’s hard to imagine that none of these people have a single friend or loved one who is anti-abortion or Republican. On the other hand, bubbles can be pretty thick.
Something that doesn’t make sense to me, though, is how people can go online and, using their real names, write this kind of stuff where anyone can see it? (Employers, family members, kids, etc.) This wasn’t in some dark hidden corner of Twitter, it was a single click from the page of some D-list actor’s Twitter feed that my brother subscribes to.
Do they not care? Do they have some good reason not to fear consequences? Or are they oblivious to the tone and messages in their own writing? Has Twitter.com made it easier to be oblivious?
(P.S. Yes, all the Twitterings and the hashtags that used “white” as a put-down were written by…white people.)
I don’t understand people who are still vocally anti-Trump. It’s been passé for 2 full years at this point, yet it remains bizarrely popular to go out of your way to bash Trump, point out his flaws, etc. Don’t the people who do that get bored with themselves?
If a skunk sprays a dog just outside your window, you don’t sit there sniffing furiously and complaining for two years. You close the window.
Continued from Part I.
The polite, mainstream view of diversity is that it’s of course very good and valuable. A majority of people seem to either hold this view or are too intimidated to admit they disagree. Why, then, don’t very many people…
- …racially intermarry?
- …have a diverse mix of friends?
- …go to work in highly diverse fields?
- …live in very diverse neighborhoods?
Here are what I would summarize as the stated and revealed diversity preferences of most people, across five dimensions of diversity.
Diversity type: Racial Stated preference: strong Revealed preference: weak
If you say, in mixed company, that you don’t care that much about your neighborhood or company being predominantly white, you might hear audible gasps. Yet, your neighborhood and company are both things you thoughtfully chose. If they are predominantly white, then clearly racial diversity is not that important to you. You’re just not supposed to say it out loud.
Diversity type: Gender Stated preference: strong Revealed preference: weak
If you say, in mixed company, that you don’t care that much about your profession or the list of Oscar-winning directors being predominantly male, you might hear audible gasps. Yet it’s unlikely that you or anyone else in the room boycotted your industry or refused to go see movies because of this disparity.
Diversity type: Sexuality Stated preference: strong Revealed preference: strong*
This is one where people seem pretty consistent. Those who are vocal supporters of gay rights and the inclusion of non-straight viewpoints probably do tend to have more gay friends and coworkers. But there’s an asterisk there because there just aren’t that many gay people to begin with, so most “allies” are simply likely to wind up with not many gay people in their lives.
Diversity type: Socioeconomic Stated preference: strong Revealed preference: weak
It’s fashionable to say you care about the poor, about allowing poor people opportunities to live in middle-class or wealthy areas, and so on. But then when your kids are school-age, all of a sudden they’re in private schools or you’re moving to a new school district. That’s just one example illustrating this pattern, which I see as widespread. Even poor people do their best to move away from other poor people, while complaining that the new places they move to don’t have the same culture as the places they left.
Diversity type: Ideological Stated preference: weak Revealed preference: weak
Ideological diversity receives little attention (except from Jonathan Haidt) and as a result there are few if any serious efforts to increase it.
Pro-diversity signaling seems to be a kind of marker that Nice White People wave around to show others how conscientious and with-it they are. It’s like driving a Prius to show how much you care about the environment: it actually does nothing for the environment, and the few important ways you could be helping the environment go unnoticed.
The misalignment between stated and revealed preferences, at least where there is a stated preference FOR something when the revealed preference is NOT FOR it, is a symptom of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is frustrating. It’s even frustrating to be frustrated about hypocrisy, because it’s never a surprise.
Sometimes I find it frustrating when people talk about how important diversity is but then they go live very non-diverse lives: they marry people who look and think like them, they move to neighborhoods where everyone looks and thinks like them, they get jobs in industries where everyone looks and thinks like them, etc. It’s always someone else’s job to provide the diversity they go on and on about. My wife summed it up well. Clearly there is a split between what economists would call people’s stated and revealed diversity preferences.
Digging deeper into my thoughts, I realized “diversity” can be said to have many possible dimensions. Most commonly, when people say diversity they are talking about racial diversity (a mix of people of different races). In organizational, recreational, or social settings they might also be referring to gender diversity (a mix of men and women). Those who are a bit more savvy as culture warriors might include sexuality diversity (a mix of people who are straight, gay, bisexual, etc.). Occasionally you can hear calls for socioeconomic diversity (a mix of people from lower, middle, and upper classes and/or the cultures associated with those classes) and on very rare occasions, calls for intellectual diversity (a mix of people of different ideologies and belief systems)–this last one disproportionately coming from Jonathan Haidt.
(Religious diversity is sometimes called for as its own dimension, but it is often confused with racial diversity–e.g. “Muslims” used for “Arabs”–and properly fits within intellectual diversity anyway. Outside of maybe Ireland, nobody cares much about white Catholics and Protestants getting along anymore.)
Next I decided to examine my own stated and revealed diversity preferences.
Diversity type: Racial Stated preference: weak Revealed preference: strong
I have trouble getting worked up over complaints that countries, neighborhoods, companies, or schools are “too white.” Same would go for “too Japanese” or “too Nigerian.”
Yet I’m in an interracial marriage and several of my closest friends are black. Before I got married and since about my sophomore year of high school, I dated black girls almost exclusively. And what’s more, on a meta level this diversity is an aspect of my life I enjoy and appreciate.
Diversity type: Gender Stated preference: weak Revealed preference: weak
While I might be a feminist in some sense, I just don’t care that much about how many women work in tech, how many women are CEOs, how many female broadcasters get their own shows on CNN, and so on.
Nor do I have many female friends. Discounting family, the only women I’d say I’m close to are a couple former coworkers and my best friend’s wife. Compare that to dozens of male friends, at least half of whom I’m equally close to. And I’m fine with that.
Diversity type: Sexuality Stated preference: weak Revealed preference: weak
I have no problem working and socializing with gay people, but I don’t long for them if they’re not there. And, unfortunately I suppose, they have not endeared me to their political causes–quite the opposite. (“Unfortunately” because I really do think their causes such as gay marriage etc. are generally well-intentioned.)
I had a number of very close friends in high school and college who were gay, but my only remaining of those friends has become more of a friend of a friend. I have not acquired any new gay friends since then. I’m not sure why; one theory could be that when you’re married and have kids you just wind up in different circles from most gay people even if you otherwise share similar interests. Apparently I don’t care enough to change that.
Diversity type: Socioeconomic Stated preference: weak Revealed preference: strong
This one is interesting since in theory, when I think about where I’d want to live or work, I’d say I prefer to be surrounded by people who are approximately in the same or slightly higher socioeconomic class as me. (That is, people who read nonfiction, actively listen to classical music, don’t pay much attention to sports, have 401Ks, eat raw vegetables, etc.)
But I find myself with friends who smoke, earn way less money than me, have southern accents, and/or never finished college. I value those friendships and the perspectives and groundedness they provide for me as well. Knowing I was moving closer to several such friends recently was very comforting to me.
Diversity type: Ideological Stated preference: strong Revealed preference: strong
This is the one type of diversity I care about enough to evangelize. And sure enough my own world is full of this kind of diversity, as I can think of names of close friends from several religions and a quite full range of political orientations.
In a follow-up post, I’ll give my impressions on the stated and revealed preferences of the polite/”mainstream” culture around me. I’ll look for patterns in those preferences and compare them to my own, and then try and figure out what makes this topic so frustrating for me.
I try to interpret other viewpoints charitably. This post is an attempt to unpack some typical leftwing explanations for differences in achievement between populations and offer what I think is a fair response.
It’s hard to keep updated on my Trump predictions since I have stopped following the news, but as I’ve said before, bits and pieces slip by my personal journalism embargo. So I know that recently Trump fired Bannon, and I remember hearing something about Sessions being close to the chopping block too.
The day after Trump was elected, I predicted there would be massive turnover in his administration, and it seems like the examples above fit that pattern.
Part of that prediction was that with all the turnover, the Trump administration would gradually become more liberal. I don’t know whether that part of it is happening.
The gist of my predictions was that Trump would turn out to be an overall left-of-center president whose actual policies far more resembled what Hillary’s would have been than those outlined in his campaign. I am now much less confident in that overall prediction. (Luckily nobody took me up on it with a bet.) I now think Trump might be motivated in large part by a combination of contrarianism and narcissism that combine to make him inclined to want to please alt-right types so long as it keeps him in the news.
…Unless this is just all some long game he’s playing, which I don’t rule out either.
The main thing that’s changed is I’m no longer motivated to watch and seeing how things play out. Whereas before I at least wanted to see if my predictions came true because it would indicate whether my model of Trump was accurate, I’ve now mostly lost interest.
I don’t normally think of myself as a feminist but I must be one in the larger scheme of things. Here are a few of my feminist “credentials,” as such:
- I am unhappy with the notion of women being treated unfairly or unkindly just for being women.
- I admire and am genuinely impressed with many of the women I have worked with or for.
- I believe that a woman can be as good as a man at basically any job (with the understanding that there will be statistical divergences).
- I happily support and perpetuate my daughter’s apparent interest in “unladylike” things such as cars/trucks, bugs, dirt, worms, and laughing at farts.
- I don’t think it should be illegal or even an undue hassle for women to vote, drive, own property, run businesses, etc.
So what differentiates me from feminists? Why don’t I think of myself as one?
I think the overarching answer may be that unlike most feminists, I am either comfortable with or encouraging of human sexual dimorphism in all its forms; no active push against sexual dimorphism exists as part of my thought process, or at least I can’t recall any.
Some of it boils down to taste, of course. For instance our society exaggerates some forms of sexual dimorphism, such as with the convention that women wear relatively long hair on their heads but shave off their leg- and armpit-hair–and I am supportive of this; I would not rally for this to be overturned.
There might be subconscious biological underpinnings here: body hair retains scent-producing bacteria very well, and strong scents are used by many animals–perhaps including humans for most of our evolutionary history?–as markers of dominance or territorial ownership, so by shaving their body hair women remove a path to dominance and territorial ownership, which would benefit me as a man…but that’s highly speculative. Had I grown up in a society where women wore their hair short and didn’t shave, I doubt I’d object.
Some of the difference between me and feminists boils down to our viewpoints too though. I don’t see an inherent problem, for example, with women being underrepresented or overrepresented in various fields, or tending to perform better or worse on standardized tests, or things like that. To me these are just instantiations of sexual dimorphism. I am OK with them, while feminists actively oppose them.
Contrary to many feminists, I also think sexual dimorphism explains a lot of the obstacles many women face (and blame on men). For example, women claim they are often talked over or assumed less competent by men at work. There are certainly some misogynistic men out there, but I feel confident the vast majority of these cases simply fall into the “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” problem where men and women are accustomed to interacting in different ways that don’t always translate well when their roles are interposed. We should be aware of our behavior and thoughts and try and correct for that in a work environment, but I don’t see it as a Huge Moral Atrocity That Needs A Policy Solution Right Now.
Some aspects of feminism, as with identitarianism in general, seem to me like a monomania in which little molehill inequalities are constantly discovered and made into mountainous issues backed by conspiracy theories. For instance, men sometimes separate their legs when seated. Maybe there are physical reasons, maybe it’s acculturated, but it doesn’t matter because This Is Man-Spreading! The Patriarchy even wants power and influence over space on subway seats and park benches!
For one thing, stuff like that often betrays bad faith and an eagerness to fight rather than merely correct wrongs. But for another thing it’s a kind of autistic obsession in which the nuances of life are considered intolerable. I believe the world can accommodate a few double-standards. Some double-standards benefit me, others do not, but unless I specifically know where they came from and am confident that they serve no useful purpose (I seldom have this confidence or understand where one might get it) I tend to see them as Chesterton Fences.
There are other aspects of feminism that definitely repel me. Not every feminist does this, but there is a contingent who is quick to blame everything they dislike on men, or everything they dislike a man doing on the fact that he is a man, complete with made-up pathologies and strawman reasoning. I have even seen them get offended at men who don’t join in with them while they do this.
How could I be expected to get down with that?
Societies cannot be more tolerant than their most typical members, but individual members can choose to be more tolerant than their societies.
I can’t think of a single winner from the recent events in Virginia:
- Obviously the biggest losers are the victims who wound up dead or in the hospital. No innocent person should ever expect to meet that fate when they go out into public.
- I’m a great admirer of Robert E. Lee, and he deserves better advocates than these autistic reactionaries whose whole world is an echo chamber on the internet. Lee’s memory has already been dragged through the mud for decades, and it fares even worse from an event like this.
- The Alt-Right, Neo-Nazis, and the Klan are totally clueless on PR. In fact, I can’t think of a more perfect way to paint them as vile lunatics than the actions and messages they’re already propagating on their own. It’s like Conquest’s Third Law, except it’s applied to a loosey-goosey jacky-wacky internet movement instead of a bureaucracy.
- Trump hasn’t done himself any favors here either. My most charitable interpretation is that Trump is aware that news stories almost always blame the pro-white side in a clash of any kind but then quietly reveal facts later that indicate it was the other side who was the real aggressors, so Trump wants to distinguish himself by not jumping into the fray and dogpiling on the pro-white side the way Obama did. Also, Trump is constantly attacked, viciously, by the same journalists now awaiting a statement of condemnation from him, and he might take it personally.
- America’s race relations probably won’t unravel from this event (in fact I think they’re generally much stronger than the media would have us believe) but crap like this sure doesn’t help.