Sunday, June 18, 2006

Feminism

Twisty Faster of "I blame the patriarchy" did a rather humorous (and scathing condemnation) of blow jobs. The resulting mess it interesting to watch, because it shows the dynamic of the progressive blogsphere. And it's times like this that I really, really wish that I was conservative.

But not for the reason one may assume. I like the fact that we're infighting because it shows discussion and growth. It shows that there are shades of grey, and that there are areas open to exploration and growth, and that the personal really is political.

I must say, though, black-and-white would be REALLY nice right now.

I've done activities growing up, and one of my favorite was Tae Kwon Do. In Tae Kwon Do, there's a lot of work and effort to put in: there's strength training, there's techniques to work on, there's forms, and finally sparring. Of all of them, sparring was my favorite, but it was also the most difficult. When we were learning, we would learn, say, a punch. We then did that punch about a billion times, and the instructor correcting that punch until it was just right. 25 left-hand, 25 right-hand. Then we would move on. It was very necessary, it was complicated, but it didn't require that much knowledge: it required obedience. You knew what you needed to do: you needed to do this punch, this way, and the instructor was the keeper of this knowledge, you followed him and you were rewarded or punished accordingly. You had a goal, and it was easy to work to it, and it was easy to see what was "right" and "wrong".

Free sparring was a little more complicated. Yes, you needed to know how to execute that punch, but there was a LOT more to think about. You had a hazy goal in mind- you wanted to win- but there was no clear path to navigate how to get there.

Afterwards, win or lose the class and the instructor sat down and talked about what you could do better, what you did well. There was no consensus: there are many ways to win, but there was a general feeling of how to get there.

Conservative politics are a lot like the former. There is a black and white: this is wrong, this is right. There is someone telling you what to do, and there's a clear answer to it.

Liberal politics are like the latter: we're going up against things that we have never seen before. We have a goal in mind, just not a clear idea of how to get there. We recognize diversity of opinion, and build on the work before us.

It's just, when you were frustrated; it was the punches that you feel back on. There's something very therapeutic about occasionally NOT thinking, just doing. And that's why sometimes I wish I was conservative: there is a clear goal, there's a clear way to get it, there's work and no thinking.

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