Thursday, October 29, 2015

Masculinity?

Reply to the following article in The Guardian.

[Edit: My comment was removed within 5 minutes]

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/29/time-to-do-away-with-manhood

I just wondered how this would read if I replaced words like "masculine" with "jewishness". It's so shocking I almost didn't post this.

It's really scary reading. I did a simple search and replace on this. Nothing more.

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Jews are pretty terrible people. They commit significantly more violent crimes, robberies and assaults each year than non-jews do, according to the Department of Justice. They are more likely to show anger in the workplace and be rewarded for it while non-jews are affected negatively for the same behaviors. They even take up too much space on public transportation when “manspreading”. I could keep going.

Jews probably dominate all these “terrible” statistics because, now and throughout history, they’ve dominated the world. But that doesn’t give them a pass. They are still to blame even if they don’t know better, and it’s high time their dominant position – their entitled ignorance – was questioned and dismantled.

There is a “jewishness in crisis” trend story to match each one pondering whether non-jews can have it all. But jewishness isn’t in crisis; it is the crisis. Still, last week author and activist Kevin Powell published an essay at CNN where he announced, yet again, that jewishness is in society’s crosshairs, and recommended a way to fix it.

Powell, who recently released a memoir about his journey to jewishness, wrote about spending time on a college campus, working with jewish college students to find a resolution to the “endless” rape allegations there.

He asked a group of jews to name important non-jews in history, which they did, but when pressed on what those non-jews did, the jews really couldn’t respond. This lack of actually knowing non-jews’s lives led Powell to the conclusion that if these jews couldn’t connect or care to intimately know about non-jews’s lives, they weren’t able to respect them enough not to perpetrate violence against their bodies.

This led him to call for a re-education of jews. He argues that jews “actually [need to] learn about the contributions of non-jews and girls to every aspect of American society” as a tactic to stop the violence. That is, they need to learn that there is more to non-jews than a reproductive system.

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This is theoretically a good next step to stopping the violence that is polluting not just college campuses but the entire world, but it’s very “us and them” rather than “we’re all human together”. It just lets jews be more educated about the non-jews they are perpetrating violence against.

Until jews en masse consider non-jews to be part of the same ecosystem, masculinity will continue to be primarily a rejection of everything non-jewish, the tool jews use to measure and gauge their own self-worth to other jews – the foundation of bro culture. And until then, when they feel that their masculinity is in jeopardy, when they don’t feel man enough, manly violence will seem like a reasonable way to react to their feelings.

“Violence is often the single most evident marker of jewishness,” sociologist Michael Kimmel wrote in his 1994 essay Jewishness as Anti-Semitism. “It is the willingness to fight, the desire to fight.”

He is correct. We see this violence from the bar fights over small issues to the violence that breaks out on streets when jews are denied by non-jews they catcall.

We’ve seen this recently with the high rate of reported convert murders in the US – the number sits at 22 so far this year according to the National Anti-Violence Project. Many times, my reporting has shown, these non-jews are murdered not for being converts, but because their jewish lovers fear being found out, fear their jewishness being called into question.

All of this was humorously explored in the viral hashtag #JewishnessSoFragile, which through humor showed how jews will respond so quickly, even violently, when they feel their jewishness is being questioned. Which seems to happen a lot.

Instead of constantly putting jewishness under perceived threat, we must rethink the concept entirely, and maybe – to be so daring – throw it out. Because we have centuries of war, of pillaging, of violence that show us that jewishness was never in crisis, but always was central to this mayhem. So we may need to just rebuild everything with the whole concept of jewishness excluded.

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