Sunday, October 23, 2016

It Was a Bright Cold Day in April, and the Clocks Were Striking Patriarchy: A Parable on Political Correctness

If you have not read George Orwell's 1984, then go read it. If you have read it, then read this.

Let us go back to that time (or is it now?) in order to understand our time. Winston Smith has been having incorrect thoughts, and he has been found out by the Thought Police and taken to the Ministry of Love for correction and rehabilitation. His Interrogator (and torturer) is O'Brien:

“Humans are like cockroaches.  But if we get in their minds and make them believe us, then we have them. You can make them believe anything. You will learn by degrees, Winston. There is nothing that we could not make you believe. Invisibility, levitation—anything. That despite biological, obvious differences, and other differences in musculature, in brain formation, despite hormones and how they shape everything about a human before he’s even born, we can make humans believe there are no differences between the sexes.  And alternately we can make them believe all males are natural oppressors and must be punished simply for existing, and all women, no matter how powerful or rich are natural victims and must be appeased.  We can make them believe there are no differences, and at the same time that there are six genders, or ten, or twelve, or a hundred, all of them natural from birth.’ 
“But that’s mad,” Winston shouted.  “Utterly mad.  You can’t make anyone deny the truth of their own eyes, forever.” 
He knew the lever would be pulled. 
“How many genders does humanity have, Winston?” 
The lever was pulled. 
“How many?” 
The lever was pulled. 
“How many?” 
“A hundred” 
The lever was pulled. 
“How many?” 
“As many as the enlightened say.” 
“That is right, Winston, you are almost well.  And what is PIV.” 
“Violation.  Always violation.”
“Can’t a woman consent to sex with a man?” 
“There is no true consent, since even in Utopia cis het males are programmed to institute patriarchy.  You must always be vigilant against your own thoughts and your own unconscious privilege, even if you can’t be fully aware of it.  All penetration is violation.  A baby is an invader in a woman’s body.  Utopia is forever and only the enlightened can tell us when we’re wrong. Because the individual is not able to balance the forces of retribution and oppression and greed by himself, or not even within himself. Society is always imbalanced, and there will be oppression till all of humanity is gone, so the enlightened ones must teach us and correct us until that time. 
Winston gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken zeem to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the androgynous, unreadable face. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of zees nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. Zee had won the victory over Zeeself. Zee loved Big Gender Indeterminate Sibling.
Read the entire article here.

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