First of all: Hi! Long time, no blog. Aside from posts on my parenting blog and the occasional burst of Twitter rants, my kid hasn’t given me much time to think, much less write, about much else. However, the dear little bug is now a year old, and has started part-time day care, so my writing bandwidth should be in much better shape, soon. Expect more posts here, as well as–I hope!– at least one new book by the end of the year or early next.
On to today’s topic: Sexism, individualism, and emotional asceticism.
I won’t rehash the entirety of the recent SFWA drama here, but suffice it to say: sexism happened, anti-sexists protested, then anti-anti-sexists threw toddler tantrums about free speech and damn broads and all that sort of fun stuff. I wasn’t even indirectly involved, just followed the proceedings and tried not to sprain my eye muscles with all the rolling. This was, of course, an outgrowth of the years-long shitstorm in geek/atheist/etc. circles over harassment, inclusiveness and such. A certain segment of straight, white dudes in these communities have got it into their heads that said communities were built primarily or exclusively for them, and thus have been apoplectic that their crayon-scrawled ”no girls, queers, or non-whites allowed” signs are being ignored–and even worse, that other straight, white dudes are being traitors to their kind by actually welcoming the interlopers. Quelle horreur.
In the midst of the most recent iteration of this drama, I also watched an interesting movie called After The Dark (previously The Philosophers.) No spoilers, but the basic gist is a series of thought experiments in a philosophy class re: end of the world/bomb shelter scenarios. The instructor is trying to convince the class that they should choose only those who will be good breeders and have useful post-apocalyptic skills for the shelter, leaving “useless” artists and those with illnesses and such to die. Other students protest that, trying to argue for practical uses for art, etc. The dilemma isn’t specifically presented as one with gendered sides, but it does sort of neatly fall into that, in stereotypical terms: “practical” men and “emotional” women.
Which brings me to the intersection of these these things, and the reality that a life philosophy that encourages minimal emotion is a) impossible to apply and b) actually illogical. Continue reading