“Are you a feminist, or a woman hater? “Black Lives Matter advocate, or racist?” “Do you acknowledge that Islam is a religion of peace, or are you an Islamophobe”? “Do you agree that people can identify as any gender they choose, or are you transphobic?”
I have just given you examples of four different scenarios in which people will often say that you must either agree with A, or you are B. In reality, I agree with none of those arguments. I am not a feminist, but I do not hate women. I do not support the Black Lives Matter movement, but I am not a racist. I do not think that Islam is a religion of peace, but I am not a so called ‘Islamophobe’. I do not think that people can just pick and choose from a list of forty-five made up genders, but I am not transphobic.
This is what black and white mentality is. People acting and arguing as though there are only two sides to every argument. Those two sides are, argument A: Their side (i.e. the progressive one), and argument B: The enemy side (i.e. the oppressive one). This type of thinking is what leads to intolerance of other opinions, which by definition is bigotry. People who think this way are people who see the world in a binary way. They see in a way that makes it seem as though there are no neutral third parties, and certainly no fourth, fifth, or sixth parties. There is only their side of an argument, which they see as the morally just side of the argument, and their opponents side of the argument, which is the side that they see as the immoral side of the argument.
If you believe that feminism is 100% about equality and that it is a great thing for everyone, then the opposite side of the black and white argument is that you just hate women and want them to have less rights than men. So of course, if everyone who does not identify as a feminist hates women, then they are probably horrible people and do not deserve respect. However, unbeknown to these simple binary-like minded groups of people, there are actually many more sides to the argument. I, for example, do not identify as a feminist, and I also just so happen to not hate women. In fact I have various arguments as to why I think that feminism is a bad thing for everyone. Now regardless of whether you agree with my arguments that is another thing entirely, but the point is that I have a third argument. I also know for a fact that there are people out there with a fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth ninth, and tenth argument. But unfortunately these binary-minded people only see in black and white. Their enemy is the black, and they are the white. The white representing the morally righteous argument, and the black representing the immoral argument. But with a simple introduction of colour into the equation, we begin to see that the argument of being a feminist is only the colour green, and the argument of hating women is the colour brown. My argument is the colour blue, and countless other people all have different arguments represented by different colours. The argument goes from being one of right and wrong, to being one of ever evolving ideas, opinions, and most importantly… debate.
Now up until this point I have kept the idea of politics out of this just so that I could best explain the type of thing I am talking about, and before I continue I would like to make it clear that I am well aware of the fact that pretty much any individual on any side of the political spectrum is capable of this type of thinking, however I think that it is more than apparent that the majority of this thinking today comes from the left. All of the examples I have given thus far of black and white thinking have been leftist dilemmas. Another example would be, “Are you pro-choice, or do you think that women don’t deserve control over their own bodies?”. Now, I am pro-choice, however, I acknowledge and understand that there are many arguments against abortion, and almost none of those arguments are to do with people being against women having control of their own bodies. But this is just one of many examples in which the left will take an issue and blatantly ask you whether you agree with them, or if you are a horrible person. This type of thinking is not only ignorant, but it is also dangerous.
If you have a large group of people spouting the question, “Do you think Donald Trump is literally Hitler, or are you a fascist?” and then you say in response “No, I don’t think Donald Trump is literally Hitler, but I also am not a fan of him and I just so happen to also not be a fascist”, they are not going to be satisfied with your answer, because in their mind if you do not denounce Donald Trump as ‘literally Hitler’, then you are a fascist. You are the enemy. If that large group of people have come to a consensus that you and everyone who thinks the way you think are fascists, and they also agree that fascism is dangerous and might end up taking away their rights or killing them, then of course they are going to then take action. We have already seen it happen with leftists assaulting people they deem to be ‘Nazis’.
Nothing is a black and white issue. Nothing. There is always another side to everything. That other side may be incredibly stupid or irrelevant, but it always exists. So now the question is: How do we introduce colour into the eyes of the colour blind? And to be frank, I really do not know. All I know for sure is that we could all be doing with a little more colour in our view.
You’re welcome, society.