Putting People in Boxes
No, I’m not talking about undertakers. I mean, the natural human desire to categorize things, and how that’s been perverted by leftists.
This post is the result of a discussion with a friend about standards and definitions. (For the record, this friend really exists; I’m not attributing my thoughts to an imaginary person.) He is a deep thinker, and has a propensity for making mental models of situations and people he encounters. I think this is fairly common among Odds, when we’re looking for sense and predictability in an unpredictable world. It also had serious evolutionary benefits; when we were still living in trees, rapidly sorting unfamiliar things into very basic categories like: Do I eat it? Do I mate with it? Do I flee from it? kept our ancestors alive. It’s hard to work out the nuances of categorization when the cannibal tribe from next door is gnawing on your arm.
But the discussion sent me down the rabbit hole, and I started thinking about what happens when a person doesn’t conform to the model or fit in the box. What happens when someone doesn’t meet the definition of female/male/black/white/purple/whatever.
Sane people assume that the definition isn’t quite right, and adjust their mental model accordingly. They expand the box to include a person who would otherwise find it a tight fit.
An increasingly vocal portion of the left assumes that the person isn’t quite right, and holds onto their precious definition by kicking the person out of the group. How many times did we hear that Sarah Palin wasn’t a ‘real woman’ because she’s a Republican? Conservative black people are insulted and derided, and the left screams that they’re not ‘real black people’, though they’d probably say African-American, wanting to show off how woke they are.
Combine the normal human desire to categorize with a knee-jerk tendency to exclude people who don’t belong, and ta da! Fireworks! And not the good kind. See, if a person doesn’t fit into one box, they MUST fit into another. That’s why we have 57 genders and an infinite numbers of races nowadays. One large box has become a zillion tiny ones, and woe betide anyone who thinks they’re too constricting.
Allow me a digression. I, though female, am not a girly-girl. I’ve painted my fingernails maybe five times in my life; I don’t care what my hair looks like as long as it’s not in the way; and for a few months when I was twelve, I had three sets of clothing. Until recently, I was fairly convinced that I would spend my life single, childless, and living in a cabin in the woods, surrounded by books, guns, horses, and woodworking tools and only interacting with other humans over the internet. Not exactly stereotypically female, is it?
I was blessed with sane parents, so they didn’t try to make me into something I wasn’t, aside from convincing me (mostly) that it was rude to read when other people were in the room and make me use a fork to eat instead of my fingers. But less sane parents might have encouraged me to think I was a boy or that I was a lesbian, because I built tree forts instead of playing with dolls and didn’t like the boys in my class (they were too childish for my taste).
My parents were smart enough to realize that, just because I didn’t fit into the box that our culture has labeled ‘heterosexual female’, I shouldn’t be made to find myself another box in which I would be an even worse fit. They were also smart enough to realize that, if they tried to convince me I was in fact, the opposite sex, I might have been persuaded. Not because I was overly gullible, but because I trusted my parents’ judgment and really wanted their approval (in some ways, I am stereotypically female).
Not everyone has sane parents, and perhaps more importantly, there is an increasing minority of people who believe that, just because a person steps out of their box or doesn’t fit perfectly in the first place, they shouldn’t be allowed back in. In its most benevolent form, this leads to 57 genders, one in each box, so everyone in the world fits into one. Have to make the little darlings comfortable, you know? And of course, people can only associate with like-minded people, right?
And if a person wants to step outside, finds that it’s cold out there and wants to come back in? Nope, can’t allow that. So you have people who try to transition from one sex to the other, regret their surgery and try to return to their birth sex, and they get crucified by both sides, transsexual and not. Many of them started their transitions when they were very young and didn’t know any better but were pushed into it by parents who a) wanted a child of a particular sex and didn’t get one or b) genuinely but mistakenly thought they were doing what was best for their child.
The same thing happens to black people who start out poor and pull themselves up into the middle class. Or immigrants who make good. Unless they abase themselves before the liberal gods- and even that’s not always successful- they become ‘traitors’ in the eyes of the people they left behind. Because they stepped outside the box, and in doing so, showed other people that it could be done.
Sticking people in arbitrarily defined boxes is emotionally simplistic, and when I’m the emotionally subtle one in a conversation, you know something’s wrong. For one thing, who decides the definition of a particular box? Is it one of those things that comes from a ‘collective subconscious’, whatever that is?
I think not. That sounds like a hive mind. Ants have hive minds. I don’t know about you, but I’m too big to be an ant and I don’t like being underground.
So what’s the solution? One option is to have individual sized wooden boxes, in which we can zoom around the universe, bumping into other people’s boxes, waving at our friends as we pass by, and challenging each other to box races. But individual sized boxes would necessarily be small, so as to be more maneuverable, and it’d be a tight fit whenever I want to snuggle with my honey. How would I cuddle the children (that I don’t have yet)? And I get terrible leg cramps when I ride in a car for too long; what do you think would happen if I was stuck in a teeny little box for my entire life? Let’s not even go into the fact that these things would bear a striking resemblance to coffins.
Ideally, I’d have a very large box with a long and complicated name (perhaps something in Old Entish, because an Ent’s name is essentially a recital of their life story), where people can wander in and out if they like. But it needs to be BIG. My books alone would take up half the space. It needs a corner where I can hide when I don’t feel like talking but it needs to be sturdy enough that I can use it as a stage when I want to. The walls can’t be very high, because I like to see out of it. And I need enough space to keep a few horses. Pretty scenery would be nice, too, but I get bored when I look at the same vista every day, so can I have a variety of views?
And since I’m a giver, I think everyone else should have boxes, too. They can decorate them however they like, and I don’t even mind if they overlap into mine. Just wipe your feet on the rug, don’t be a butthead, and don’t follow someone else when they try to move away from you.
If you must put me in a box, make it a large one. Earth sized at the very least. Multi-universe sized is better.