When I was younger, sometimes I'd be arguing an issue with somebody online and find myself frustrated because, while on a surface level they could back up their argument with fancy terminologies and links, there was something "off" about these people I couldn't quite pin down.
I'd think "Ok, on a surface level it looks as though you have a relevant point but....". But (like I said) there was just something "off" about them. You know when you pass an open garbage bin, or you walk into a room where all the windows have been closed a long while and it's stale? There was that same sensation, yet I couldn't quite articulate what it was- and so I'd be frustrated at these (usually) smarmy people as they carried on, sounding so very intelligent and yet....
...Yet in the years since, with experience and the clarity that brings, I know what it is. And this will help you (especially you younger guys) in distinguishing worthy ideologies with garbage ones. And it rarely (if ever) has to do with your opponents' argument itself. Let me explain:
Whenever somebody advocates a particular ideology, you can't just pay attention to their argument on the surface level. You also have to look at the person who is making the argument. Observe the following (some of these you can only do IRL, while others you can do with a quick check of your opponents' social media profile):
- How they hold themselves
- How they speak
- Their health
- Their social skills/ social competence
- Their personal achievements and success
- Their happiness
- Their demeanour
- Their level of self-awareness
- How they dress
- The state of their life
This all indicates whether their ideology is valid in and of itself, or if it is (perhaps) being adopted as a coping mechanism, a convenient excuse or an attempt to gain power or respect of some sort.
I've been thinking about this in the more recent discussion in the MSM about the concept of "toxic masculinity". The problem is the idea that there are inherently negative traits to males that are harmful to society, so logically speaking we should also assume there are inherently female traits that are negative (toxic femininity). Yet this is never discussed by the people who go on about toxic masculinity- so are we to assume that when it comes to women, there's nothing to see and that (yet again) in this "equal" society there's a problem that's all on the men to fix? This comes across as a thinly disguised attack on traditionally masculine traits, a further attempt to feminise boys and make them easy to control, lest they display "toxic" male traits.
But pay attention to the typical male who advocates this notion of "toxic masculinity". They are routinely:
- Unfit (tubby or scrawny in build)
- Weak facial features
- Poor dress sense
- Awkward body language
- Use fancy terminologies in place of an argument that can be understood in layman's terms
They routinely come across as men who were raised by single mothers or with a passive/ absent father figure in the house, raised as men taught to collectively put women on a pedestal and excuse all dysfunctional female behaviour for fear of being yelled at or called a sexist by a woman (their worst nightmare). You get the distinct impression, the distinct "feeling" that they weren't popular at school, probably have few actual friends and while they have plenty of female "friends" and colleagues, they come up short in the department of actual girlfriends or sexual interest from women.
When you consider all this, you realise you should pay less attention to their argument and more attention to the manifestation of their outcome. You know it's a bullshit ideology because their life is filled with delusion. No high-status girl wants him. No man worthy of respect wants to be him. Their discussion about how "we need to redefine masculinity" becomes much clearer for its' root objective: these men want to change what general society defines as masculine traits, to a point where the man in question is no longer on the lower rungs of the male social hierarchy. Rather than better himself to find more success, personal fulfilment and healthy relationships, he would rather order everybody else to change their perception of guys like him so that he's no longer the dorky, nerdy, awkward soy boy on the lower rungs but instead usurps those jocks and successful "alpha" males he hates and envies. He wants to redefine masculinity- to a point where a sensitive, "enlightened" male feminist boot licker like him is regarded as top or near the top of the pile.