In the 21st century, grievance is a growth industry — worth billions — and activists are the new entrepreneurs. All hail the post-industrial economy! However, milking White Privilege has become such a cash cow that’s it’s getting very crowded at the high end of the social justice and awareness trough. To put it bluntly, there are only so many dollars Western society is willing to pay to ease its liberal guilt. So in order to survive, activists are beginning to specialize.
For example, generic “anti-discrimination” branding simply doesn’t work anymore. It’s too vague. It’s got too many syllables, too many letters, too much going on, too many things to think about. It just isn’t sexy. It smells like pro bono law students and low-rent housing. Sting and Susan Sarandon are never going to show up to raise awareness (read: money) for “anti-discrimination.” However, rebrand it as, say, Anti-Islamophobia — and now you’ve got something a creative activist can sink his (or her) fangs into.
First of all, adding somebody else’s religion to your cause is always a good idea* because everybody knows that only fascists and assholes are against freedom of religion. So not only do you prove you stand for tolerance and diversity, you’ve also designated your opponents fascists and assholes. Clearly, a twofer.
*except Christianity — Social Justice Warriors hate Christianity the way Satan hates the wafer.
Two, ya got the whole “phobia” thing going on. We’ve been programmed from childhood to distrust phobias. They are, after all, an irrational fear of things like spiders, #13, closed spaces, etc., etc. and people spend years in therapy, trying to get rid of them. Thus, in one fell swoop, you’ve declared that anyone who disagrees with you has a serious psychological disorder. They’re not just voicing a different opinion — they’re sick.
But, I’ve saved the very best for last:
Ya want sexy? Nothing feeds middle class imaginations like the tale of the helpless victim being rescued by the powerful hero. This is the stuff Scheherazade and Disney built their careers on: the psychological territory that bodice ripper novels and Michael Moore documentaries are made of — and it runs deep, deep, deep in our subconscious. So if you want to get into the worthy cause business, the formula is simple: identify a metaphorical damsel in distress, market a rescue mission and people will pay you big bucks for the privilege of being part of it. Why? Because, stereotypical or not, The Rescue is a very, very powerful sexual fantasy (on all sides of the gender equation) and people, especially here in the 21st century, desperately want to feel sexy.
One thought on “There’s Gold In Them Thar Phobias”
mmm, I think you might be onto something with that last point. Not a whole lot of sexy happening in the world these days.