In the wake of HuffPost SA‘s company-shattering humiliation last month which forced its Editor in Chief to resign, the publication has shown that the apology it issued was as superficial as the editorial policy the website operates according to.
In an article titled “9 Quick Steps To Becoming A Less Trashy Man“, HuffPost republished Lesedi Molefi’s scathing diatribe against those of us who happen to be men. Despite me l i t e r a l l y s h a k i n g because Molefi assumed so many people’s gender identities, I felt it would be a shame for such demagoguery to go unnoticed.
Of course, there is nothing new in the article which we haven’t already seen on the likes of Everyday Feminism or The Daily Vox, but the interesting dimension to this story is how HuffPost still has not come to terms with the fact that it was the content, not the identity of the author, which made “Shelley Garland’s” disenfranchise-all-men article problematic. Indeed, the Press Ombud said as much, and HuffPost accepted his findings, even though we at the Rational Standard think it might send a chilling-effect throughout the media that ought to be free from regulatory interference. I won’t go into my trademarked line-by-line interrogation of Molefi’s article. Instead, I’d like to pick some of the gems which made me sincerely question HuffPost‘s sincerity, and I do so in no particular order.
(Aside: The Press Ombud is not a government functionary, but part of the voluntary self-regulatory association known as the Press Council. Our courts have, however, been known to take ‘judgments’ of voluntary sectoral associations into account when developing South African law.)
“Be yourself. Sorry to dig into the tired platitudes here. But don’t be a sack of sh*t packaged as a lollipop, be a sack of sh*t. Really. Be a trashy sack of ass.”
Well, if Molefi insists, sure!
“YOU need to stop killing our sisters. Yes, you without the criminal record. Yes, you who has never raised a hand at a woman. Gasp! Indignation! Outrage! Tsek.”
Wait, didn’t he just say we need to embrace our trashiness?
In this caption, Molefi uses a tried-and-tested argumentative tactic which reeks of intellectual dishonesty: He thinks preempting the “Gasp! Indignation! Outrage!” which is sure to follow his perverted kind of reasoning somehow invalidates the indignation and outrage. It does not, and it certainly does not make his ‘argument’ any more reasonable.
This is also another chapter in the story of the ‘social justice’ left completely and purposefully destroying the English language. Molefi uses the word “killing” – which means to make someone who is alive, dead – but then appears to imply that actual killing isn’t required for ‘this kind’ of killing. No, the ‘killing’ Molefi refers to here is not the very real, very oppressive injustices women in South Africa have to suffer through; i.e. being beaten, raped, and killed by a very violent criminal subsection of the male population. ‘Killing’ here simply, once again, is used as a substitute for ‘offending’.
“Now, when you check yourself, don’t look for evidence of wrongdoing. […] The first step is to acknowledge that you are complicit. If you don’t know ‘how’ you are guilty it doesn’t mean that you are not.”
Again; I thought Molefi wants us to embrace our trashiness?
Molefi rejects the building blocks of reality here: Reason and evidence.
Without ‘reason’ – which includes the ability to show a nexus between cause and effect – Molefi’s article may as well not have been written in the first place. For if ‘substantiation of assertion’ (argument) is fundamentally not required, why did Molefi write his long diatribe? Well, there could be three reasons for this.
Firstly, Molefi may not be smart enough to realize that this is what the logical fabric of his ‘argument’ is made of. I’ll let the reader decide on this after considering both my and Molefi’s arguments.
Secondly, Molefi may believe the case is closed, and no more evidence of the complicity of all men in the oppression of all women is required. This would be fair enough, of course, if such a process whereby evidence was led, tested, and accepted actually happened; but it did not. “We don’t need evidence!” has been the narrative of the social justice left for decades.
Thirdly, Molefi may have bought into the perverted Critical Theory notion that reason, evidence, and logic depend entirely on who is speaking at the time. This is probably the most likely explanation. Those who have been inspired by schools of thought related to Critical Theory often believe that there is no such thing as ‘objectivity’, and that ‘reason’ is a white male construct employed particularly in the marginalization of women and black individuals.
I have dealt with this elsewhere.
It suffices to say here that this is an untenable position wherein Critical Theory defeats itself, as that school of thought makes use of all the tools of reason, logic, and evidence in an attempt to argue in favor of itself.
“The point is that you mustn’t look for a discussion or a conversation. Nah. Internalise what you hear from women. […] Don’t assume there is any plausible reason why she shouldn’t be offended by what you have to say or do.”
Okay, I am assuming Molefi was lying when he said we need to embrace our trashiness.
I am actually quite glad Molefi mentioned ‘discussion’ and ‘conversation’. It finally appears like the social justice left is moving away from their fallacious calls for an ‘open and honest discussion’, which has never been open nor honest. Instead, it has always been a condescending lecture by BA- and MPhil-holding elites about how bad whites and men in general but white men in particular are.
Molefi, of course, defeats his own ‘argument’ by implying the woman in a man’s life will always, ab initio, be right. I sincerely hope a woman who didn’t drink the same Critical Theory poison he has, tells Molefi that his entire worldview is incorrect. Thankfully, he won’t be able to oppose her in an intellectually honest way.
“That’s what [sic] you need to alter your behaviour.”
Yeah… that thing about us having to embrace our trashiness was a lie.
HuffPost made all the mistakes it made in the Garland saga again, minus the red herring of the identity of the author. It received a submission or sought to republish an article which clearly includes some of the most faulty reasoning ever introduced into political and social discourse. In fact, the article rejects reasoning both explicitly and by its nature. In other words, HuffPost once again failed to fact-check, or, as we at the Rational Standard like to say, failed to apply a rational standard to its articles.
And, of course, HuffPost once again published an article rallying against a massive amount of people who share a particular group-characteristic unrelated to the choices any of them have made during their lives. By the dangerous and backwards standard set by South Africa’s proposed Hate Speech Bill, Molefi’s article is practically a case study of hate speech. If the law is applied with an even hand after the Bill becomes enforceable, Molefi would be liable for three years in a South African prison. But look at me digressing – showing concern for the well-being of my very confused opponent – the fact of the matter is that HuffPost has moved on from the Garland saga and continues to show its contempt for its level-headed readers.
Don’t allow yourselves to be fooled: The tension in South Africa between different races and different sexes is amplified tenfold by the reckless and incomprehensible conduct of our press media, and HuffPost‘s baiting in this case should be evidence enough.