Mr. JB has decided to grow in his beard. He normally shaves every day, but over the holidays decided “fuck it”, and just let nature take its course. He now has fairly nice coverage, and even though he finds the beard a bit itchy, it also keeps his face warm, and he saves money on razor blades! A lot of moaning goes on in this house about the price of razor blades. Apparently, they are rather expensive, especially those fancy ones with four cutting edges. Men are so fussy about their shaving routines, aren’t they?
Luckily, Mr. JB has the option to grow in his beard or not. He doesn’t work in an environment that requires strict corporate formality. It’s perfectly acceptable for him to have a beard or moustache or any other kind of facial hair he likes. Guys like JudgyAsshole or Prince Charming, who work in slightly more formal offices COULD grow in their facial hair if they wanted to (and they DO every Movember), but that would have an impact on how they are perceived (less professional, less well-groomed, less conscientious), and so they adhere to social norms and remove their facial hair every day.
It’s kind of annoying, time-consuming and involves money. It’s just part of the culture, and if any of them truly despised the requirement to shave, I guess they would think twice about becoming stockbrokers or surgeons. To shave or not to shave is a choice, basically. One that has consequences, as all choices do.
So you’re probably thinking, “yeah, yeah, what’s the fucking point?”- I just wanted a context to put today’s post in, because for me, today encapsulates so perfectly exactly what is wrong with feminist culture.
Natasha Scripture, writing for the New York Times, wants to know if make-up might be bad for women’s self-esteem. Could the daily application of lipstick and undereye concealer actually harm women and keep them from achieving true equality (with men, I suppose, and we all know that men absolutely DO not partake in any time-consuming daily grooming rituals). Natasha says “ah, hell no”, a little lipstick and mascara makes her feel like she’s presenting a slightly better version of herself to the world. No harm, no foul.
Jenna Sauers, writing at Jezebel gets her panties twisted over that one! She writes, “in most if not all contexts, I don’t really think wearing makeup is a “choice.” At least, it’s not a choice in the sense of a decision where the branching options are neutral and equally weighted and carry few, if any, negative social consequences, the way making a ham sandwich or a veggie wrap for lunch is a choice”.
Let’s think for a minute about her example: ham sandwich or veggie wrap. Are there any negative social consequences to choosing one over the other? Well, the veggie wrap will probably come in with a lower calorie, salt, sugar and fat count than the ham sandwich. Eat a ham sandwich every day, and you might find yourself packing on the pounds. Does being fat have social consequences? Hmm. Yes. Yes it does. If you care about that, and would like to NOT get fat, you will alter your choice. Is the veggie wrap GUARANTEED to be lower in fat and calories and help you keep off unwanted pounds? Nope. You’ll have to read the ingredients and figure it out for yourself. Why that ham sandwich could be ultra low fat ham on thinly sliced gluten-free bread with a swipe of mustard! Gosh, all that lean protein might be better for you!
You see? That’s how choices work. You have them, you need to make them, and you are responsible for getting the information you need to make a good choice, however you define that. It’s called be a grown-up and taking responsibility for your own decisions.
Look at how Jenna defines choice: the branching options are neutral, equally weighted and carry few, if any, negative social consequences.
So, if the branches are NOT neutral, the choices do NOT carry equal weight and you most certainly WILL face negative social consequences, then it’s not a choice at all? Really? Well, newsflash, honey: very few, if any, choices in life will have equally weighted, neutral options with no consequences. It’s completely childish and ridiculous to expect such a thing.
Do you detest wearing make-up? Fine. If it’s that big a deal to you, pick an occupation that doesn’t require you to look professional or polished. Or go ahead and enter a professional occupation and then refuse to meet the standards and watch the promotions and opportunities pass you by because you refuse to adhere to the requirements of the job. Whatever you like. Do you love wearing make-up? Great! Go ahead and do that, but understand that there are some occupations where wearing a ton of make-up will be a detriment to your success.
All of these things are your choice. The idea that things are only a true choice if you face no negative social consequences is truly laughable. And so very destructive. Because if choices that come with consequences are not choices at all, then someone must be to blame for imposing them.
Give a feminist a choice with a consequence, and she’ll find someone to blame, all right. Hint: it won’t be herself.
This is the idea that makes me reject feminism and so many other liberal theories: that negative social consequences are prima facie evidence that a choice has been constrained by some nefarious plot designed to undermine a victimized group of helpless beings who lack agency or will or spirit and who can thus never be held responsible for their own decisions. It’s patronizing, infantilizing and deeply, profoundly insulting.
It’s really an amazing feat, when you consider it from afar. Feminism, which purports to promote the interests of women has managed to claim the moral high ground by postulating a theory that reduces women to helpless victims with no capacity to make decisions or face consequences. We are basically children, at the mercy of forces we do not ourselves possess, cannot resist and are helpless to overcome.
Yeah, well fuck that. I don’t need another theory about why I’m such a helpless moron in need of salvation. What I need is a theory of action and reaction. Something that expresses the idea that whenever one subject takes an action, there will be a reaction. Some kind of closed system maybe? I guess that means the reaction might be in the opposite direction? Hmmm. I’ll have to think about this. I could be on to something!
Life is choice. Choices have consequences. Is that really so hard to understand? You can make all the right choices, and still get screwed. That’s life. And moments like those, when you’ve done everything right and everything is still fucked up, that is when a tube of Chanel’s Rouge Allure in Passion comes in handy. There is nothing quite like the perfect red lipstick to make you feel like you can face down Satan himself! Bring it on, life. Me and Chanel? We can handle anything!
Lots of love,