Social media offers several comforts and advantages, not the least of are the immediacy with which we can take actions to curate our space, and block.
As with any comfort and advantage, it is susceptible to be used to the point of excess by some. Among the famous frequent exercisers of one of these immediacies, the block button, are Donald Trump and Piers Morgan. Anyone familiar with them would be aware of their massive sized egos, which render any opposing view as an affront to their humanity and a challenge to their unerring reasonings.
I am many things. Perfect, I am not. I, however, doubt that any forensic examination would find my views to be inordinately problematic, save for by the most conservative among us. Still, I am blocked by a fair amount of people. We block a fair amount of people.
The instant gratification or relief achieved by blocking someone also can relieve us from examination of our own beliefs or arguments when, an alternative, a conversation, simple or otherwise, would possibly expose a prematurity in our reaction. After all, the person we’ve blocked is obviously a bigoted idiot, worthy of extrication for their twitter (and facebook and instagram) words. The 240 characters we have interpreted in the correct way perfectly embody this idiot’s psyche, state of mind, and intent.
Self-awareness itself can be a weight. Imagine being cognisant of how little you know, how many stupid mistakes you make each day, and how much you continue to make those mistakes in search of something more from life – because you harbour hope for humanity.
Blocking and the Ego
Examining the instances in which I’ve been blocked disarms much of the bravado on display. There is evidence of the link between copious doling out of blocks on social media and egomania. We construct homes, not healthy relationships. I want to be constructive here, although I may not be able to prevent the destructive recoil.
There is much to be said about a belief that our ideas are above reproach, especially those which appear to be grounded in moralism and equity. But the truth is, we are subject to our own biases, even in the pursuit of fairness in an inherently unfair world.
I have been blocked en masse by many who could be classified along the spectrum as feminists, radical at a stretch, which is a good and noble cause. Men are trash – or the patriarchy, for precision – and there will be various dissenting views on how to upend the system institutionally disadvantaging women. On the methods, I may not always agree, but I agree with the implied goals of an abolishment of the institutional biases embedded in most levels of society. But they blocked me for a reason, and I somewhat believe that it is because the views ascribed to me confirm the monolith of men.
But me of a few years ago would be tempted to gaslight the comfortable generalisation that is “all men are the same” and say that it is the men you choose that are trash. As someone who now has fair cause to make my own comfortable generalisations, and sometimes indulges, I have experience to justify an empathy in that regard.
After years of being passive, mostly because I had other personal battles to fight, I began to deepen my understanding of the ways in which the patriarchy practically and seriously affects women on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, in response, I am obligated to hold others and myself more accountable.
Still, my own critical analysis of the various approaches has led me to the conclusion that the concept of: “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”, is not being fully considered by either gender.
Newton’s Third Law states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Although this theory is applied mainly to physics, it can also be applied to history. Whenever people have taken a stand in history, there is almost never a case in which another group did not react based on the actions of the original group. Therefore, it is important for us to understand the multiple viewpoints presented by various groups concerning a certain event. (Source: Schroeder History)
Ultimately, a third party listened to the entire podcast which prompted the widescale blocks and confirmed in a thread that the visceral reaction was unwarranted. I must, though, accept the consequences of a fragment of a sentence drawn from an hour-long podcast episode being reacted to without context. The podcast listener believed the reaction to be justified because that was what was presented. I didn’t block anyone in retaliation. But I did not agree.
It is the world we live in, where we block those who do not agree or appear to agree with us. As much as we may like to see opinions that confirm that we are indeed, right, it is entirely fantastical to believe we cannot learn from most everyone. As much as I dismiss right-wingers as disingenuous, they offer perspectives that may enrich my understanding of the world around me. The rigidity and structure with which they view social aspects of life is a check and balance against the freedom with which I operate.
Liberals – I have several critiques of how many I’ve come across handle and approach issues in an idealistic, yet rigid and seemingly hypocritically intolerant way, and I would like to engage them respectfully from a similar position that is, however, deeply influenced by my beliefs in balance and pragmatism.
Deconstructing Hypergamous Feminism
Hypergamy is an oft-debated topic in the twitterverse. A significant portion of female section of the twitterati charges that broke niggas deserve love, but not from them. Men who don’t make six figures and spoil their ladies are bruck or mean, which are two of the worst things you can be as a man. Hypergamous feminism – it is a doozy. Is it an oxymoron?
A tweet did the rounds recently, soliciting thoughts on whether men should give their women money, “like an allowance”. Of course. A man that is truly invested in you will invest in you, spiritually, emotionally, physically, and monetarily.
Gender lines were soon drawn and it was bruck, wukliss man, because there is no connection between blackness and poverty, versus gold digger gyal, because there should be no aspiration for men that are on a positive trajectory. I believed that tweet warranted deeper scrutiny, because the manner is as important as the content. Any sort of demand or expectation by women would elicit an equal and opposite reaction from the men, and the men would not be unreasonable in doing so. If you ask for one part of the basic patriarchal contract, then you can expect the other end of the transaction to feature men requiring the domestic duties to be taken care of by their partner.
In my mind, the proposition was an indirect reinforcement of the patriarchal bargain agreed to by men who aspired to and wielded power, and the women who married up and across to themselves wield power over women and men below them on the social hierarchy.
In fact, the rewards that individual women may reap from patriarchal bargains function as sanctions for women as a class. One problem with patriarchal bargains is that they pressure women into internalising patriarchal ideologies and, thus, either knowingly or unknowingly recreating patriarchy every day. Even if some of these bargains are “easy” for women to make- even if they do not bring immediate harm to women’s own lives or if they make an individual woman’s life easier in the short term- it reinforces a system of oppression for all women. There is an individual gain, but a collective loss. (Source: Feministing)
And this is applicable to black people who are able to, and do, colour inside the lines of capitalism and exploitation to extract the benefits they can, while reinforcing oppression on a collective scale.
The issue with the tweet, and the men confirmed this, was not the allowance, but the demand or expectation implied by the use of “allowance”. I consider the intersections were important; not all women can find themselves in such a scenario and that will leave many of those women disadvantaged in this scenario.
But what of the women who may not benefit from the various markers of social status and find themselves in relationships with men who are part of the epidemic of marginalised young men in this country? These men fall lower on the social rung than the first woman described, and would run yuh weh at the suggestion of the existence of a patriarchy if his eye was to simultaneously catch the figure of the uptown, or uptown adjacent, girl over CRU Bar.
Aside from there needing to be a conversation on the capitalistic mindset involved, and how it institutionally reinforces the oppression of our race, our scenario sees many more women likely trapped in a cook, wash, clean, and breed cycle, with little of the monetary benefits from the patriarchal contract. That is, unless, this allowance expectation only applies to certain women.
The conversations surrounding the tweet drew me into one particular conversation that confronted the overlaps between hypergamy and feminism. I would have explained my reasoning on this, which might have been flawed, even if long contemplated. I was, of course, blockt on the grounds that arguing that individual adherence to any patriarchal norm which benefits you but disadvantages another is “telling” and obviously misogynistic.
We, myself included, all have tons to learn in our social media discourse.
Author of the Limit does not Exist. Egalitarian. Central Banker. All I do is tell jokes, really.