Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Don't claim to speak for other people

I don't think there's a mug of cocoa chocolaty enough or filled with enough marshmallows for me to me to read the comment section of a liberal blog without losing my happy mood.

Case in point a set of links Michael Hawkins shared with me on Facebook today. I couldn't make it through the first comment section without groaning to myself about how much I can't stand liberals - despite the irony that liberal Mr. Hawkins sent me the link with the same disagreement.

As I've written before, there's a faction in scientific skepticism that is trying to force political correctness onto the movement. They play the same old card, dividing the world neatly into feminists and misogynists. They make the unfalsifiable claim that the reason we men can't recognize the problems they claim are there is our male privilege, so we need to be silent and do whatever they tell us.

Yesterday a woman named Mallorie Nasrallah wrote a short essay saying these people don't speak for her. She's a woman who's been in the skeptical community for a long time and disagrees with everything the feminist faction is claiming.

The feminists didn't take it lying down and argued back, a bit viciously. Mallorie replied. What bothers me here isn't that Mallorie was criticized. No, that's part of the deal when you speak up. Criticism is a form of free speech, not tyranny. They had every right to fight back.

What bothers me here is that Mallorie had to frame it this way in the first place because other people were claiming to speak for her. That is the abuse of power.

It's no secret that I'm critical of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Most of their anger is directed at other people, but one thing that has always bothered me is their claim to speak for 99 percent of Americans. Polls have always shown that a smaller percent of the population support them. They claim they speak for people like me when they really don't.

I went through the same thing when I was on unemployment, where well-off progressives claimed they spoke for me when they wished to extend unemployment benefits. I opposed them, and I take it personally when people misrepresent themselves as speaking on my behalf.

Other people can argue is Mallorie is right or wrong, but one thing that is not up for debate is where she stand on the issue. She's a grown woman, let her speak for herself.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with you, an individual may be part of a group or a community or a certain section of the society that doesnt mean he/she doesnt have an opinion and view of his/her own. Just because a few people of a certain group are more vocal doesnt mean they are representing the whole group or all the individuals in the group. it is as you have rightly said misuse of their privilege of certain influence they have.