Things on which everyone can agree

Thanks to Amber I have gotten some good sidebar links of conservatives who (unlike Bill Cooper, who Geds is deconstructing in a more systematic way) are not weird and extreme, I have noticed some things. Namely, that conservatives and liberals tend to pay attention to different news items. This is not surprising, since I imagine our respective providers of news--Fox News for the reds and, somewhat ironically, The Daily Show for the blues--tend to focus primarily on those items which support their chosen ethos.

However, there are some things on which we all seem to agree.
I wish here to make mention of one of those things. Other things will follow in later posts. (Stay on the lookout for post #2: Brainwashing children is bad.)

Thing#1: Rape is bad.

Here is a conservative blogger decrying a recent Playboy article which lists a top 10 conservative female pundits one might wish to "hate f***." Granted, under the right controlled circumstances, given a partner with whom one already has established limits, angry sex can in theory be fun. It offers a way to let aggressive emotions percolate out of the psyche in a constructive and enjoyable fashion. And for those of us who maintain an extremely rigid boundary between fantasy and reality (said rigidity being necessary because the line between fantasy and reality is frequently tested) the concept of "hate f***" is not entirely repulsive. Because it is understood to exist only on the fantasy side of that line. In which realm, as in the world of cartoons, all participants are willing, and elements of illusory non-consensuality are said imaginary participants' way of working through their emotional issues.

In short, while such a list might well adorn the personal blog of an individual who presumes a certain level of fantasy-making sophistication in his or her audience, it should MOST CERTAINLY NOT be an article in Playboy magazine. Which is read by impressionable young men, middle-aged men who may not be accustomed to using their critical thinking skills, and curious teenage girls who pilfer pornographic magazines from their neighbors in hopes of seeing someone else's awesome boobies. (Guess which category I have had occasion to fall into.) None of whom should be given the idea that rape is cool. Rape is reprehensible. We can all agree on that.

Here on the other hand is a story about a lesbian who was gang raped shortly after the passage of California's Prop 8. Granted, this act of violence is atypical, the act of extremists who take an ideological position to a weird place way beyond its logical conclusion. However, despite the fact that rape as a "punishment" for homosexuality is both extreme and not sanctioned by any defense-of-hetero-marriage type group, anti-gay hate crime is still pretty friggin common. Your average person who thinks homosexuality is a sin would probably say, "look, if you can't be attracted to the opposite sex, the best thing to do is join a church, pray to God for healing, and be celibate and we will give you lots of love and support!" Yet it is very easy for a person to drift from the idea that homosexual acts are sinful to the idea that people with homosexual desires are inherently wicked and somehow less than human. If a person has in themselves large amounts of bitterness and unchecked aggression, even if they don't otherwise have an animus against gays, gays can become a target of convenience because they represent something "everyone" "knows" is "evil."

So how does a religious group police itself so as to weed out those who take indictment of a sexual orientation as a license to commit violent acts against those who are so oriented? How does an ideological group weed out those of its members who are perfectly willing to dehumanize their conservative opponents to the point where encouragement of rape seems hilarious rather than appalling? Is it as easy (and difficult) as holding ourselves and our siblings-in-metaphorical-arms to a higher standard of discourse?


Anonymous said...

I think it's exactly that easy. But the media has to speak to the masses, so it isn't exactly possible. Thanks for the link on the Playboy article, by the way- I couldn't agree more with Michelle Malkin or Congresswoman Bachman. I would hate f*** them into next Tuesday.