Everything Is Equal

Americans are known around the world for a curious incapacity to rank problems in the order of magnitude. It’s a supermarket mentality where everything is equal to everything else. Take as an example this article about the harassment experienced by female politicians.

The article starts by discussing really bad abuse that a candidate received:

It has been two years since Ms. Schrode, now 27, lost her Democratic primary and moved on. But the abuse — a toxic sludge of online trolling steeped in misogyny and anti-Semitism that also included photoshopped images of her face stretched into a Nazi lampshade and references to “preheating the ovens” — never stopped.

Aside from the anti-Semitic comments, the candidate also received many gang rape threats. I’m sure that any normal person will agree that this is truly horrible. But the article that starts out this strongly, then trivializes the message by listing completely ridiculous examples of “abuse.” An example:

Lauren Underwood, 31, a Democratic House candidate in Illinois, recalled that when she was visiting a supporter, a local Republican stopped by and was affronted when he learned that Ms. Underwood was challenging his friend in Congress. “He threw his shoulders back and stood at his largest and leaned into me, as if he was going to launch at me for having the audacity to run for office,” Ms. Underwood said, adding that her supporter came to her defense.

That somebody stood in a manner she disliked without ever saying or doing anything offensive or abusive is described as equally bad as rape threats and anti-Semitic online trolling.

And this is just one article. If you grew up in the supermarket mentality, you don’t notice it, like fish in the famous joke don’t notice water. People don’t even notice anything wrong with statements like “when I read about the Rwandan genocide, that reminded me of the horrific time when my coffeemaker broke.” OK, I’m exaggerating but only slightly.

3 thoughts on “Everything Is Equal

  1. I’ve actually seen this one more than once, and it particularly bother me. It’s when some soi-disant social justice warrior claims that genocide and making a pun about someone’s name are the same, or that using a “problematic” word is identical to genocide.

    Come on, way to make the entire movement, perhaps sometimes even with a worthy goal, look like a joke and have nearly no one pay any attention to it except a few like-minded weirdos.


  2. A woman shouldn’t have to put up with rape threats. She should be prepared to put up with voters who laugh at her. Men certainly get mocked on the campaign trail. When a trivial slight is treated as something that a woman shouldn’t have to deal with, it sounds suspiciously like the Victorians talking about the “weaker sex.”

    I don’t think women are any weaker than men, but some of these modern-day writers apparently do think that way.


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