Do the activities of certain LGBT rights activists show how to lose your own argument?
Human rights are important – on that there is little doubt. Everyone likes to believe that there are intrinsic human dignities which should be respected. This is often manifested in legislation which guarantees freedoms such as free speech and equal treatment on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, political alignment, nationality etc. Many countries have already adopted such legislation, but where attitudes have yet to alter to what we believe are superior liberal ideas, such as LGBT emancipation or equal pay, battles must be fought for the hearts and minds of the governments, institutions and societal groups. These battles for rights are not just fought for pride or self-satisfaction but to stop the very real and terrifying discrimination which people face on a daily basis. In order to make secure and safe the lives of the genuinely oppressed or discriminated a convincing argument must be shaped and fought against people who are opposed to the very nature of these reforms. Why then, instead of creating a unified, strong and common-sensical argument, do various groups, from the Left and Feminists, to race and LGBT activists insist on tolerating opinions which severely weaken their own argument?
To elaborate, let me give the example of demisexuality. Demisexuality, according to the the Demisexuality Research Centre is a ‘sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond’. This rather begs the question if demisexuality can really be described as a sexual orientation: surely it is more of personal idiosyncrasy rather than warranting a label in itself? Even if you accept that demisexuality should exist as a label, is it necessary to make people aware of it? Whereas individuals with gender-dysmorphia have a genuine mental health need to be understood by society, mainly due to their vulnerability in transitional stages and their hugely increased rates of suicide, are demisexuals ever victimised? Has anyone been denied service at a restaurant or been spat on in the street for only feeling sexual attraction with those they have established an emotional bond with? That answer is an unequivocal no. Why then does demisexuality and a whole host of other new sexual identities and gender identities have labels which mark them out as minorities? One stream of thought is that these new identities have been shaped for the purposes of assigning everyone a group, so all can claim to be in a minority and then deserve special treatment as their minority is being oppressed. This type of behaviour is portrayed best in what are described as SJW’s (otherwise known as social justice warriors) who go out of their way to claim oppression and generally act in a privileged, entitled fashion. This behaviour is not only silly, but also, far more seriously, a threat to the genuine minority groups who face actual oppression.
Whilst it may be true that this use of labelling may create feelings of security and safety for those that identify with them – some are blatantly unnecessary and clearly demonstrate the the point of issue. Take the above mentioned g0y identity (Yes, that is a zero as opposed to an o) which is classified by the website Queer Story Files as ‘men who are only interested in masculine men and don’t involve themselves in some major parts of the lgbt community’. Perhaps a better example than demisexuality, which may fit the description of a sexuality, this identity is merely a personal preference and not an identity which, by some, is given the same importance as someone who is either transgender, lesbian, gay etc. It serves an internal purpose of classification within a group of people, certainly, but if someone were to be offended at their identity as a g0y being misrepresented, it creates a serious issue.
I will admit that my argument has been rather disjointed and perhaps difficult to put down into words, but let me instead demonstrate my point with a little scenario:
Two sets of LGBT activists are trying to convince a white, male, heterosexual, conservative man that LGBT individuals should be allowed to marry. Naturally, the conservative will be sceptical, by nature about lending his support to such an idea. Group 1 presents the pro-LGBT argument thus: they give examples of gay relationships which are shown to be just as loving as heterosexual ones, provide evidence about homosexual couples being as able as heterosexuals to raise children and craft this argument against a back-drop of a sensible LGBT culture, whose basic premise is that people should be allowed to love whoever they want, be they male or female. The conservative, although still sceptical is able to appreciate that same-sex couples pose no threat to the traditional society which he knows – the activists pose no threat to his way of life, do not insult him and eventually convince him to support or at least appreciate the cause. Imagine now however, Group 2. Group 2 is comprised of so-called SJW’s. At their stand are numerous flags describing the multitude of gender identities and sexualities which they believe should be afforded recognition and they are offended by the very existence of the conservative and launch into a tirade against him of how he oppresses these minorities and how he should recognise everyone for how they want to be identified, even such categories as goy or greyromantic. This is all set against a background of talk about misgendering animals, claiming their exists a plethora of new genders and demanding they be recognised as such. Whether you believe this is warranted or not, imagine being the conservative man. Whereas Group 1 indeed presented a change from your norm, it is easy to see how their interpretation could fit with the traditionalist lifestyle which the man is concerned with and wishes to protect – he is presented with a convincing argument which satisfies his concerns. Similarly, imagine the same man approaching Group 2 – and imagine the reaction. Group 2 presents a societal model which shatters everything the conservative has ever known, seemingly for arbitrary, attention-seeking reasons. The existence of Group 2 and their attitudes not only does not convince the man, but actively turns him against the cause – he sees it as a threat to his society. Now, imagine yourself as an LGBT individual who faces discrimination which is genuinely debilitating and life ruining. Which approach is best for solving your genuine oppression rather than that which may be conceived for alternative purposes? It goes without saying that the approach of Group 1 is the most appropriate.
This dilution of a cause to encompass what are, arguably, unnecessary elements, is not just an LGBT phenomenon. It applies just as equally to Feminism which encompasses the idea of ‘fat-positivism’ or radical Leftists groups which dilute the arguments of Social-Democrats by arguing for the abolition of currency or advocating revolution. I shall also point-out, for those who are undoubtedly surprised that a self-described Social Democrat seems to hold such a seemingly socially conservative view, that this idea has arisen out of nothing but concern and sympathy. For those who have real discrimination which looms over their daily lives, it must be infuriating to see a cause which could help them by hijacked by attention-seekers. Those who deserve rights need them, not just want them and to stand in their way in such a manner is a grotesque affront to real Liberalism and Social Democracy. That is also not to say that those who identify as demisexual and the like should face a personal backlash. I have a friend for instance who identifies as a pansexual, one of the groups which could potentially fall into the ‘Group 2’ approach, although certainly not as much as the afore mentioned g0y sexuality. He is a lovely individual but I’m sure he too could appreciate the point which I am trying to make. All of us should have basic human dignity afforded to us, but those who choose or decide to identify themselves as a minority by choice which may be argued as being gratuitous should certainly consider how they will conduct themselves.
I suppose from all of this, a basic message can be delivered. A cause for social justice should never be fought to make those fighting it feel comfortable or safe. Rather it should be fought to do away with genuine injustices – and it should always be remembered that those who you need to convince will naturally disagree and they, of all people, will not listen to a cause which has made a mockery of its original purpose. Those who will face the consequences however, will not be those who have weakened the argument, rather those who needed the cause but have been left behind by it and who do not have the luxury of choosing their labels.
Thank you for reading this week’s article. If you have been offended by this article, or disagree with it, please do leave your opinion. I would again like to state that this article was written not to call out any minority, but to expose a flaw they may create in social causes. I would not in any way or fashion condone discrimination against such people – but my point, I would hope, is still valid.