Everyday experience and empirical studies show that greater diversity of social groups leads to communal fragmentation.
You just can't feel like your group membership is stable when there are so many competing sets of beliefs, norms, and practices. Sure, you're fine with your own group -- but there are so many other groups out there. It's like not being sure whether to drive on the left or right side of the road depending on which neighborhood you're driving through.
Most of these studies look at racial and ethnic diversity (like the big one by Robert Putnam), but class diversity or inequality is another example (a la Charles Murray's story in Coming Apart).
Though it may come as a shock to feminists, men and women are not an example of diverse social groups whose proximity breeds alienation. Our most joyous and festive occasions are marked by the participation of both sexes -- weddings, feasts, parties, religious services -- unlike more mundane tasks like running errands, earning a living, mothering, and so on, where we're happy to segregate.
In fact, it feels unnatural if men and women occupy two wholly separate worlds, as has been taking place over the past 20 or so years. Contrast that with the natural process of segregation along racial/ethnic and class lines.
What about the Big Political Topic du jour -- diversity of sexual orientations? Unless you live in a city, you may not be familiar with such diversity in real life (consider yourself lucky). But having had to endure exposure to such diversity for years now -- and getting worse and worse every year -- I've concluded that it is far more alienating than racial or class diversity.
A racial or ethnic group that I don't belong to is not necessarily perverse, corrupted, deviant, and infantilized. Ditto for a class layer that I don't belong to. Their mere presence as a social group does not appear weird and abnormal, however much I don't like them pushing for their own group's benefit at mine's expense.
When faggots begin to infest an entire city, though, it strikes a normal person as though a bunch of schizos had been let loose from the nut-house. The gay syndrome of traits is so warped, manifold, and stark that nothing short of a comparison to abnormals will do.
You don't even have to find their syndrome disgusting (though it's hard to see how some folks do not). You don't find schizos disgusting either. There's just something so obviously outta-whack about their entire infantilized pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving.
When there's just one of them, your brain doesn't register a very strong signal of deviance, just like if you only see one schizo muttering to himself on a park bench. But increase their concentration -- and they don't need to be operating as a single pack -- and suddenly you sense that there's an entirely different world that's breaking through into the normal world. Like homos, schizos are not even "that" numerous -- several percent of the population, so in no way could they overwhelm society on their own.
If you've ever seen five or more druggie / wacko bums in an area at once, you know what I mean. It feels like a breach in the very fabric of our normal wholesome world. It is no different with queers. Concentrated deviance feels more threatening to the stability of a community than a foreign ethnic group or an economic class far above or below our own. The latter two are at least from the same realm as ours -- the normal!
Which scenario gives you a greater feeling of communal breakdown? Seeing a woman from your ethnic group dating a man from another? Seeing a woman from your class dating far above (uppity, too good for us) or far below (wasting her prospects)? Or how about seeing heterosexual girls preferentially choosing gays as their male friends?
I don't mean which one gives the average person a greater fight-or-flight response, or anger, or etc., since those are priming us to start an Us vs. Them battle that, over evolutionary time scales, would have been about ethnic conflicts (and for less time, class conflicts). It feels like the in-group member is acting like a traitor, and you want to make sure they remain loyal only to their own group.
I mean which scenario, when you're exposed to it long enough, sows the seeds of doubt that your community is hanging together. With a white dude who tries to act black, at least he's joining a group that is part of the range of normal, whatever else you think about it. Ditto the striver who wants to betray his roots and join a much higher class.
But what if a good chunk of mentally normal folks only preferred the company of schizos? Now they're not looking to exchange one more or less normal group for another one. It's an inversion of what is preserving -- shunning the normal and welcoming the warped. Forget higher levels of norm enforcement -- the most basic one is that we treat the sick as sick and the healthy as healthy. If we cannot manage to enforce even that, then we are no community at all. Too many of "us" just don't give a fuck, so normlessness prevails.
Many conservative commentators give the name "cultural suicide" to our immigration policy, or other policies with similar effects. When you think about it, though, it's not so much suicide as metamorphosis -- one day America is European, the next day it's Amerindian.
In the context of social groups, I think "suicide" goes better for cases like girls associating with gays. Not only because such women (and their gay BFFs, naturally) will have fewer children and wipe themselves out over the long evolutionary haul. But because they're obliterating something normal (guy-gal friendships) and leaving only something warped in its place ("I don't trust normal men, only kiddie-acting cocksuckers can step close").
It is scarcely less pathetic, deviant, and alienating than if people only dated and slept with robots. No matter how advanced the AI, that's just not a normal person. Come to think of it, has any sci-fi writer ever premised a dystopia on women only associating with queers? Or is truth stranger than fiction?
I don't know how or when we're going to get out of this, but I do have hope that we will, based on history. The late Victorian era was in the same ballpark as ours for how heavy the homo presence was, and not just high-profile cases like a major cultural figure such as Oscar Wilde trying to turn buggery into a dissident political act. Go to Google Images and search "gay victorian". They were "out" enough to sit for photographs as a couple. Here is a pretty scandalous one. Here is an example of even greater deviance, two Victorian trannies.
That whole fin-de-siecle atmosphere was not merely decadent, but specifically homosexual.
Yet somehow that began to fade away during the first several decades of the 20th C. Homo deviance seems to be part of rising-inequality periods, where the dog-eat-dog mentality means that nobody can be bothered to enforce basic communal norms, even if they're breeding vice, decay, and perversion.
That all turned around during the Progressive Era, which was twinned with the Temperance movement. By the middle of the 1910s, the red light districts had been shuttered, they were about to enact Prohibition, cut off immigration, and... well, somewhere in that suite of changes must have been one that killed off the lackadaisical attitude toward gay decadence and deviance of the fin-de-siecle period just before.
Maybe there's a book on that somewhere, I'll have to remember to check later. Point is: they reversed it before, so we can reverse it again. And it may not have required a specific movement like Prohibition. Perhaps the gays were spooked into the closet by the entire sweeping away of the dog-eat-dog / whatever-it-takes mindset of the Gilded Age. "Oh no, moral judgement is making a comeback -- run!"
Great observations, as usual . . . I think seeing veiled Muslim women is a close second in the alienating department.ReplyDelete
Anything that causes a shortage of females, like veiled women and male surplus immigration and possibly obesity, is highly destructive. However, I have to wonder if the gays coming out is nature's way of correcting this gender imbalance by removing surplus males. Of course their tiny numbers won't make a dent in the problem compared to their cultural impact.ReplyDelete
Fascinating analysis of the gay Victorian era. Which is weird given the Victorian stereotype of repression.ReplyDelete
I never thought I'd say this, but flaming homosexuals are right up there with blacks as far as making myself feel alienated. There's just something so off-putting about their push for "marriage equality" that makes me feel more bothered by them than I was previously.ReplyDelete