February 25th, 2010
I went to a show today at the Price Center ballroom in UCSD. It wasÂ a humorous, informative effort at raising awareness about social issues like violence against women in some parts of the world with a distinct undertone of strong feminism. Now there is nothing wrong in advocating equality of opportunity and status between the sexes, the only people who truly find problems with this, I must say, either lack the requisite education or are not smart enough to learn from their education. But as with any other large group of people, feminists are a moronic bunch. Although the show began for me on a wrong foot, I liked some of the acts and the fact that it made me more aware of things which are going on in some parts of the world. It was generally a good experience until at the very end when the hosts, while standing on the stage, asked for those of us who would oppose violence against women to stand up. Now it's dumbass questions like these which make me want to throw up everytime they are uttered by simple minded, overgeneralizing groups of activists. First of all, it's a wrong forum of ask such a question. It's not as if the audience comprised of tribal leaders from Afghanistan who would be expected to have a differing opinion. It was an educated gathering and they were there precisely because they sympathized with the issue to begin with. They all stood up which made me think how many of them would really, actively do something to alleviate worldwide feminine distress. Not many I thought. In fact, a lot of them probably would only do what I would do - try to mend things if something in the immediate vicinity is not right. But until something happens in my immediate experience, I must admit, I have too many concerns of my own to bother with the conditions in Sudan.
Anyway, I decided to keep sitting - not to make a point but because I could not help but think that standing up was such an empty gesture to such a pointless question. Which brings me to my other point. I find that individuals are in general fun to be with, they are diverse and generally smart, and they add much needed variety to life. It's when they start belonging to groups and having agendas they work towards and common goals they fight for, that their company becomes positively unbearable. All our terms that signify such groups are loaded with implicit meanings their members never understood and nuances that most of them were never too smart/careful to acknowledge. Nationalism appeals to the irrationality of individuals and sells them murder in nicely ribboned boxes, religion all but benumbs their power of critical thinking, every group an individual blindly belongs to takes away a chunk of his individuality until all his life is defined by sets of rules, expectations, and duties. And finally he has not brains enough to realize that in this world of subtle shades, there is really no logical place for hard coded laws and bullet points and agendas. Hell, something as apparently positive as 'trying to save the planet' begs the question, 'What the fuck do they mean, save the planet?' The planet will take anything they throw at it and survive. But if they meant saving their own asses, well, that's a different thing. Who doesn't want to do that? My problem with groups, especially those driven by emotions, is that this honesty with oneself is easily lost in all the general bullshit they teach their members. But here is the thing. I do not know of any other way by which things could be done and changes could beÂ made at large enough scales. If I were to weigh the potential of great change that lies in huge groups of people against the ossification that groups generally do to their members, I would grudgingly accept them as necessary evils - as long as I can avoid being a part of them and their ideologies. Oh! how did I come here? I think I was thinking of a group called feminists.