June 8, 2015

Judgy McJudgerson

Dear Duggar Outrage Brigade: NOW do you see why this is a stupid meme?

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Short version: everyone judges. It’s good to judge. It’s right to judge. Judge away.

Long version:

I was going to start a sentence about how people are talking about judging a lot right now, but the truth is people talk about it all the time. Judging, shaming, labeling, etc. It’s a constant topic of conversation and especially on the internet where everything you put out there becomes a public commodity (and, you know, therefore everyone’s business).

Everyone judges. The act of pointing at someone and criticizing them for “judging others” is in itself judging others. It’s a two-way street with no exit.

Everyone judges. You have to judge in order to function in a world with other people in it, whose motivations and feelings and backgrounds and intentions you can’t know because you aren’t a psychic. And then you have to make judgments on how to respond to those judgings you just made. Judging others is necessary and right and good.

Everyone judges. The difference is that, usually the people who get accused of it the most often, at least aren’t pretending they are somehow above it or apart from it. Just the ones who judge them.

If that sounds circular, it’s because it is. That’s the point.

And before you quote Jesus to me, read the whole quote in context. He was condemning actual hypocritical judgment. Like, calling other people self-righteous hypocrites for “judging” (or not enthusiastically supporting) others. That kind of hypocritical judgment.

I guess it’s possible that you’ve never actually judged anyone if you’ve never had to hire a babysitter, or didn’t watch any of the Casey Anthony trial. Maybe you’ve been able to avoid judging anyone ever if you never had a random guy hit on your friend during Girls Night, or never read a headline with the words “Officer Involved Shooting.” You’re totally justified in condemning all those other judgers out there because you never disagreed with anyone ever about anything. You didn’t even agree with them, because that’s a judgment as well. You are completely opinion-neutral.

Congratulations, you don’t judge people!

Unless, of course, you do. In which case, get over yourself and just be honest that you aren’t bothered that other people are “judging,” you’re pissed off that they don’t agree with you. Because the whole freaking world has to agree with you or they’re just a buncha haters!! That’s the SJW rules now.

This is junior high stuff, people. Time to get over it. Not everyone has to agree with you. Not everyone has to applaud everything you do. Not everyone who thinks differently than you is “filled with hate.”

And not everything is objectively neutral. The slippery slope is not a fallacy, and the more we silence dissent in our favor (or so we think) the more opportunity we give for oppression. You want to talk about oppressed freedom of expression? Look at who is being vilified as “haters” for disagreeing with the latest #hottake on Twitter or HuffPo. People don’t openly judge other people as “haters” because they want to encourage reasonable discourse, btw.

I’m over it. Use your brains and reach whatever conclusion you want. Let others do the same. Disagree if it comes to it. Believe you are right and others are wrong. Be honest with yourself that that’s what you’re actually doing. Judge away.

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