*Wrote this very late last night after a day of writing. Equalite looked wrong but I couldn’t figure out why. That’s because it’s egalite, of course. Apparently my half-asleep “wrote a lot” brain is illiterate.*
People aren’t angels. No matter how oppressed they are. Not even considering if they’ve been victims or not.
I’m trying to finish Through Fire and on limited time. Oh, yeah, and the two main leads in Through Fire – I re-wrote an emotional pivot and now I have to rewrite other stuff – are trying to hose down the seacity with testosterone. It’s… uh… interesting? For a definition of interesting that starts with “if I were near you guys in real life I’d have beaned both of you with a frying pan. Or a burner. Whichever came first.” Not that the other males and females around are being particularly nice.
Like the other books in the Darkship/Earth Revolution twin series (look, ma, twins!) this book is divided in sections. The amount to which these are self contained varies. I don’t think any of the sequels have as much self-contained parts as Darkship Thieves, which is ALMOST four novellas mashed together. Anyway, the sections signal at least a shift in speed and tone of events. Kind of like a sing saying “ramp ahead” or “watch for the dip.” In this case the four sections are Liberte Fraternite Egalite and Ca Ira.
However, as far as the book is concerned, the problem of the novel is to aim for equality. Not equality of standing, not equality under the law but equality of results. Whenever you do that, the results are always streets running red with blood.
I find it interesting that it is more or less explicitly the aim of the ones who call themselves “Social justice” warriors. Not enough writers of a particular skin shade? Then there should be, even if for a variety of cultural reasons, fewer people in certain subgroups read science fiction. (And don’t sing to me of oppression. In Portugal it’s considered really odd for a girl to write ANYTHING but Romance and for anyone to write anything but historical. Or read. – or it was thirty years ago, at least. Not oppression, culture.)
If your idea of justice is to have the same results regardless of where everyone starts, the result is of course not justice but the most profound of injustices.
Take for instance the difference between male and female. If you try to change that by fiat of law you’re going to get in serious trouble. And we are. Let’s forget that the hormones do change the brain in certain ways and that, regardless of culture, women are going to have different reactions to babies than men will. (These are women in the general and collective. Individual women will be stubbornly individual. The fact remains, in the aggregate and statistically.) Let’s talk about physical differences. Physical differences are such that not only are women more likely to be raped (in the sense of forcibly penetrated) but also more likely to suffer bad consequences from such an episode. (As in, women can conceive.)
The social justice warriors solution to this is to make men and women EQUAL by fiat. This includes countering the weakness of women’s physique with the ability of any woman at any time to cry rape on any man without the man being able to defend himself. That makes him more legally vulnerable than she is physically vulnerable, and voila, equality.
This is not actually true, of course. Two wrongs actually don’t make a right. What you end up with is a number of women who are raped and for whatever reason don’t talk about it (like, fear of the rapist) and a number of women who pretend to have been raped to get back at innocent men and thereby destroy their lives.
Even giving women absolute ability to be believed without proof and regardless of contradictions in the story (what some “feminists” are suggesting in the case of UVA and Lena Dunham) you’re not going to get every woman who was raped to come forward. And you can’t say that the majority of the reports in those circumstances would be truthful. Why would they be?
I keep reading women pronouncing on how people won’t report rapes that didn’t happen, because no woman wants to humiliate herself or make herself unfit for political society by claiming to have been raped when she wasn’t.
Uh. Really? I didn’t realize we were living in the Victorian age. Nowadays, what with slut walks and no slut shaming and all that, saying you were raped has zero shame for the victim, and all the opprobrium on the accused, even when completely innocent. (As Barry One has found out.)
These women – though they are, at least allegedly, women – seem never to have met any woman of flesh and blood.
Here is a hint. Real people are human and they respond to incentives. Also, real people, male and female go through really stupid phases (we call it adolescence.) Under the influence of hormones and unrequited love, young women become the most appalling shrews and young men become almost painfully stupid. This means giving either of them power over the other is not social justice but the ultimate injustice.
Men and women are different: in their mind and in their body. For my money the best way to keep women from suffering the disadvantages of being the (physically) weaker sex is to teach them to defend themselves. Karate, other martial arts, self-defense classes and of course guns.
The social justice warriors hate that though. You see, it makes the responsibility for keeping themselves safe and equalizing (eh) their circumstances dependent upon individuals. There’s way less opportunity not just for graft and corruption, but a lot less opportunity for the “social justice” “warriors” to exert power over others and work out the unfathomable personal grudges corroding what passes for their souls.
And so they prefer to pretend that while men are evil, bestial beings, women are akin to angels and devoid of a baser nature. Even if teenage girls could take revenge on boys who ignored them with a single word, they won’t because they’re superior beings. Also, of course, the wings might get in the way of the pointing finger. It must be the way I tell them. I can’t laugh for crying.
Speaking of – I just read the most bizarre (and I mean that) – Pride and Prejudice fanfic. Having written all day a couple of days ago, I defaulted to reading something mindless, hence fanfic (though got from amazon under the KULL program.) This book had 4.5 stars, and though it seemed to be a minor variant, it turned out to be jaw-droppingly twisted. It was sort of like watching a train wreck.
First of all let me say I have nothing against Christian fiction. I think a lot of it drops the affirmations of faith that seem necessary in the genre at the oddest places, but I skip over them as I skip over sex in normal romances. But this one… this one…
England has its own brand and movements of evangelical Christianity. I haven’t made a study of it, but just through reading autobiographies and such, I know what some of them are, and also what expressions they would use in the Regency.
The most offensive thing about this novel is the way that everyone in Pride and Prejudice is suddenly a Southern Baptist. Worse, they are Southern Baptists in the modern age. No, this is not how they are identified, but it is how they process Christianity, express themselves and talk to each other about religion and life.
Some of the other minor violations: Mr. Bennet was a preacher before inheriting Longborn (What?), Mrs. Bennet appears to be bipolar and far more despicable than Austen would ever write her, people react and act in ways no one in real life acts, unless it’s in a small, trusted faith community. For instance, if a total stranger thinks I’m depressed and comes talking to me about how they love me because Jesus told them to, they’re going to get stared blankly at. If they try to hug me forcibly they’re going to get hurt.
It reminds me of when I was a store clerk in North Carolina, and a lady asked me the time, and I told her where the clock was in the store and told her I couldn’t read it that far. (I have bad astigmatism, but at the time I didn’t have bad nearsightedness. Still, it was hard to read at THAT distance.) Instead of saying “thank you” she loudly prayed for my sight to be healed. RIGHT in the middle of the store. I didn’t know where to put my face. And it’s kind of like I’d react to a stranger saying “Jesus is telling me to come and ask you to tell me why you’re depressed.” Instead of which, the person in the novel just goes along with it and is sooo happy and responsive. It reads like a tin ear for human relations.
Leaving all that aside, I call this “the novel where everyone got raped.” Honestly, I think it’s only Lizzy and Georgiana (though I wouldn’t bet Anne and maybe even Lady Catherine weren’t. They just don’t appear in this novel.)
The point though is that these two rapes are central to the book. They are there purely for plot reasons. Both of them are fairly unlikely in the circumstances. And both of them are resolved in very odd ways.
However, relating to the post, these rapes are not considered, in any way to reflect badly on the characters: on the contrary they are what make the characters worthy of sympathy and interest.
Now, I’m not going to say the rapes should be held against the characters. Rape is always the rapist’s fault. However, more and more I’m seeing rape played for a cheap sympathy trick. Which I suspect is reflection of how it’s viewed when the “consequences” of claiming to have been raped (note, not reporting to the police, but claiming it to your friends, neighbors and acquaintances) are sympathy and unconditional belief as well as consequences heaped on whomever you choose to accuse.
Given that view, why would women be angels? Why would they not surrender to an impulse of revenge? Would you believe women are superhuman? Why?
Surely a well formed conscience wouldn’t make false accusations. But how well formed is the conscience of someone who was raised on the idea men are inherently oppressors and that the world inherently owes women compensation for the horrors of being born with a vagina?
As someone said, rape crisis centers should believe every woman unconditionally. College authorities, reporters and frankly everyone else should examine the story for holes. And the accused should have the right to defend themselves.
Everything else; everything purporting to generate perfect equality for two completely different biological forms, will end up in a gigantic game of tit for tat, in which there’s no winner.
Egalite makes for a great revolutionary cry. But when the revolution winds down, equality of results ends only in equality of death and blood.