Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Sex, Violence, and Marriage

 

I’ve been engaged in a pair of interesting conversations lately with people whose views are, shall we say, somewhere to the left of my own — and yes, I know that’s a pretty big crowd — about the meanings of words. Specifically, we’ve been talking about “sex” and “violence.”

The left is in the process of redefining sex to mean something other, something broader and less precise, than male or female. They do this by pointing to differences in the way human sexual traits are distributed, claiming that abnormal combinations of traits represent new sexes, rather than merely variations in distribution. (They also cite biological abnormalities, the rare genetic mutations that cause some people to actually be sexually ambiguous in their physiology.)

There’s a point to this redefinition. By stirring up mud and obscuring what we all pretty well know about normal sexual distinctions, they can marginalize those distinctions. That’s important, because their goal is to say that all differences of behavior and situation are the result of social constructs, arbitrary rules made up (by men) to achieve a social objective (the subjugation of women). Once biology is rejected, all that remains is injustice.

(Of course, injustice can occur in spite of biology, and routinely does. But it’s easier to find injustice everywhere if we rule out a biological basis for behavior.)

Something similar is going on with the word “violence.” The left would like it to be expanded to include the expression of ideas that make some people uncomfortable. Once again, medical science is pressed into service, in this case, to demonstrate that people experience real physiological responses to stress — including stress caused by hearing ideas they don’t like.

Since stress is bad for us, it follows — in the left’s reasoning — that ideas that elicit a stress response might also be labeled violence, and so either prevented or, as in the case of the hoodlums currently rioting in the streets of Seattle and Portland, met with actual, physical violence. And so Antifa argues that the real physical violence it uses each night to destroy property and hurt people is simply a justifiable response to what it claims are bad ideas coming from the other side.

“Words are violence” justifies hurting people who say things you don’t like, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing.

I mentioned “marriage” in the title because redefining marriage was an early goal — funny how long ago that seems — of the left’s redefinition efforts. It was important that the word be redefined, because the left believed (and was correct in that belief) that, by applying the word to relationships to which it had not previously been applied, the way we thought about those relationships would change. That’s why achieving the legal status of marriage was inadequate: the word itself, with its rich associations, had to be roped into service as well.

Of the three, the equation of speech and violence is particularly pernicious and destructive. Our greatest right, our most fundamental right, is of conscience — the right to believe what we wish and to hold those beliefs openly. The left’s insistence that speech is violence is an effort to justify restricting our speech, and ultimately to restrict what we can believe and express. One doesn’t have to have read Orwell to see how this works.

Speech is not violence. Speak. Don’t surrender your right to conscience and free expression — even if you believe things that some people don’t like.

Published in Culture
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 16 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnellJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well said!

    • #1
    • August 6, 2020, at 11:33 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Arahant Member

    Henry Racette: The left is in the process of redefining sex to mean something other, something broader and less precise, than male or female. They do this by pointing to differences in the way human sexual traits are distributed, claiming that abnormal combinations of traits represent new sexes, rather than merely variations in distribution. (They also cite biological abnormalities, the rare genetic mutations that cause some people to actually be sexually ambiguous in their physiology.)

    • #2
    • August 6, 2020, at 11:34 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: The left is in the process of redefining sex to mean something other, something broader and less precise, than male or female. They do this by pointing to differences in the way human sexual traits are distributed, claiming that abnormal combinations of traits represent new sexes, rather than merely variations in distribution. (They also cite biological abnormalities, the rare genetic mutations that cause some people to actually be sexually ambiguous in their physiology.

    [ snip ]

    Yes, the two biological sexes, male and female, are expressed on a spectrum.

     

    • #3
    • August 6, 2020, at 11:36 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. TreeRat Member

    Sticks and Stones

    Just break my bones

    But NAMES

    Can really hurt me!!!!

    [Updated for this new era.]

    • #4
    • August 6, 2020, at 1:37 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Stad Thatcher

    Henry Racette: Speech is not violence.

    This is why we have freedom of speech – so we don’t resort to violence in settling our differences. However, the left refuses to accept defeat, and resorts either to surreptitous means (via the courts) or outright violence (BLM, antifa) to advance their agenda . . .

    • #5
    • August 6, 2020, at 1:37 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. GrannyDude Member

    These people do not have enough experience with real violence.

    • #6
    • August 6, 2020, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    These people do not have enough experience with real violence.

    That thought has crossed my mind.

    • #7
    • August 6, 2020, at 3:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  8. Flicker Coolidge

    When silence is violence, what protection do you have for silent meditation, or being slow to respond, or not talking and taking offense in your sleep?

    • #8
    • August 6, 2020, at 3:37 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Bob Wainwright Member

    Their rule is: “Your speech is violence, but our violence is speech.”

    • #9
    • August 6, 2020, at 4:43 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnellJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dija see where the Seattle rioters protesters are suing the city because they have to buy expensive gear to protect themselves from the police actions? They say that because some can’t afford the protective equipment, their freedom of speech is being abrogated.

    • #10
    • August 6, 2020, at 5:39 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Stad Thatcher

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    These people do not have enough experience with real violence.

    True – no experience at the receiving end of real violence . . .

    • #11
    • August 7, 2020, at 5:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Front Seat Cat Member

    Did anyone notice the acceleration on all that you describe above, specifically during the Obama administration? Prior to that, during the Bush years, I don’t recall this intensity of language changes, gender changes, race relationship declines and reverse racism, the levels of depression, mental health issues and suicides among youth being so high, the intense shaming and silencing of free speech, the open abuse, like people in the Trump administration eating in a restaurant and being shouted out, the uptick in occult interest, the increase of intense anger and rage, and on and on and on. I sincerely think evil increased when boundaries, standards and values were diminished – the moral barriers that held some of these things in check.

    You are talking about a pillar of civilization – the separate yet complementary distinctions between male and female, and the purpose of marriage to a healthy society. Evil wants to remove this pillar. I was watching a you tube interview about a woman who wrote a book about the intense increase of young girls transitioning to an alternate sex. It is a shame and a sham for “progressives” and feminists to claim to be for women, supporting this gender confusion in youth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtftWcgXjdg

    The is Joe Rogan show featuring Abagail Shrier, who wrote a book on this issue happening to young girls. It was featured in a recent The Moynihan Letters (Dr. Moynihan is Editor of Inside the Vatican).

    • #12
    • August 7, 2020, at 10:14 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  13. Flicker Coolidge

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Did anyone notice the acceleration on all that you describe above, specifically during the Obama administration? Prior to that, during the Bush years, I don’t recall this intensity of language changes, gender changes, race relationship declines and reverse racism, the levels of depression, mental health issues and suicides among youth being so high, the intense shaming and silencing of free speech, the open abuse, like people in the Trump administration eating in a restaurant and being shouted out, the uptick in occult interest, the increase of intense anger and rage, and on and on and on. I sincerely think evil increased when boundaries, standards and values were diminished – the moral barriers that held some of these things in check.

    You are talking about a pillar of civilization – the separate yet complementary distinctions between male and female, and the purpose of marriage to a healthy society. Evil wants to remove this pillar. I was watching a you tube interview about a woman who wrote a book about the intense increase of young girls transitioning to an alternate sex. It is a shame and a sham for “progressives” and feminists to claim to be for women, supporting this gender confusion in youth.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtftWcgXjdg

    The is Joe Rogan show featuring Abagail Shrier, who wrote a book on this issue happening to young girls. It was featured in a recent The Moynihan Letters (Dr. Moynihan is Editor of Inside the Vatican).

    Yes, I noticed a definite redefinition of race relations and racial expectations, fostered essentially by 0bama and his wing-man Holder. 0bama, the first nominally black US president, was also the first president to speak of a set race/police conflict.

    He also was one of the lawyers that coerced banks into lending “red-line” loans to poorly qualified applicants, a practice that was directly responsible for the sub-prime melt-down of 2008.

    • #13
    • August 7, 2020, at 11:49 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Weeping Member

     Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    Dija see where the Seattle rioters protesters are suing the city because they have to buy expensive gear to protect themselves from the police actions? They say that because some can’t afford the protective equipment, their freedom of speech is being abrogated.

     

    • #14
    • August 7, 2020, at 12:49 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Eridemus Coolidge

    Something similar is going on with the word “violence.” The left would like it to be expanded to include the expression of ideas that make some people uncomfortable. Once again, medical science is pressed into service, in this case, to demonstrate that people experience real physiological responses to stress — including stress caused by hearing ideas they don’t like.

    Since stress is bad for us, it follows — in the left’s reasoning — that ideas that elicit a stress response might also be labeled violence and so …. met with actual, physical violence. And so Antifa argues that the real physical violence it uses each night to destroy property and hurt people is simply a justifiable response to what it claims are bad ideas coming from the other side.

    Equating physical violence with being made uncomfortable is a dangerous philosophical linkage. I think it’s further reinforced by the (dubious) concept of reparations for all the “physical violence” absorbed by past minority generations. Basically, they are just descibing the loss of self control (also excused by the left but less convincing to others). And what about the counter stress of not knowing if you can venture into a previously safe part of town – and how that affects everyone, regardless of politics?

    Notice that Conservatives aren’t allowed to argue the mirror image back over the divide. My proof: A Facebook insert seen this week that said “Hey Conservatives, maybe if you had dealt with the Nazis better, we would’t have needed a Black Lives Matter.”

    A: What Nazis, as in looting and destroying things? Where has this been happening? The left cannot make equivalencies that the argument depends on. Hence: FAIL

    • #15
    • August 7, 2020, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. The Reticulator Member

    Eridemus (View Comment):
    A Facebook insert seen this week that said

    What is a Facebook insert? 

    • #16
    • August 7, 2020, at 7:16 PM PDT
    • Like