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Or perhaps someone who doesn't want their valuation of other human beings to be solely based on criteria which are instilled by a mixture of: a) a centuries-long ingrained conception of women as possessions and b) (if you insist) evolutionary priorities.



These two things are not the same.

A) Noticing a woman's beauty when you first encounter her.

B) Making a 'valuation' of a woman 'solely' based on her looks.

What's really deeply disturbing about the above is the mind-control aspect, driven by shame. Not only must you censor your words, but you must also hate yourself for your involuntary thoughts. This is total ideological possession, as Peterson puts it.

And it's so, so familiar. I swear, soon enough progressive men will be wearing chastity belts to help banish impure thoughts, or hair shirts to make up for their privilege. I am not even sure I'm joking.


Ok, let's set aside the object of this "mind-control", i.e. the whole theme around men's attitudes to women, because we're not going to agree on that I guess. This is to be expected. But what I don't understand is your unwillingness to accept that it's sometimes ok to feel shame or the need to self-censor when one has certain thoughts. Is "mind-control", as you put it, always bad? Is one not allowed sometimes (not always) to attempt to regulate one's thoughts according to the guidance of a sector of society one respects (whoever that may be)? Indeed (though this is extreme) can one not even sometimes hate oneself for one's involuntary thoughts (depending on what they are, of course)? I understand you're linking this to the case of finding women attractive, but your post also seems to suggest that any kind of self-regulation, second-thoughts, self-criticism, is "ideological possession". Surely you don't believe that.


Of course everyone is allowed to feel shame or self-censor. I don't think the OP was suggesting it shouldn't be allowed.

Personally I don't think that is a particularly good way to live though. The mind is our only refuge from the rest of society, and to attempt to censor your mind so it's more acceptable to society seems like a really sick thing to me.

To me it doesn't seem that OP is arguing against self-regulation or self-improvement in general, just self-regulation against conforming to society at large. That isn't to say one's own personal values aren't influenced by the values of society.


Which is precisely why I added loads of caveats - "sometimes (not always)", "a sector of society one respects (whoever that may be)", "(depending on what they are)". I haven't seen anyone in this discussion suggest that one should conform to (in your words) "society at large". That's just a straw-man.


This isn't a debate and my comment wasn't adversarial to yours so I'm struggling to understand how you think I've set up a straw-man to attack your argument. I agreed with your rhetorical question in my first sentence then went on to give an additional opinion.


Sorry, perhaps I misread your comment. I thought your second paragraph was disagreeing with my assertion that self-censoring is sometimes a valuable act.


I wasn't clear at all looking back. I do agree, self-censoring I suppose is what "differentiates us from animals" and what allows us to grow as people.

Thinking about it more the whole issue is incredibly complicated.


And yet when we select partners evidence shows that most people look for the conventional attributes i.e. fertility in women, and status in men. Arguing against what seems to be a critical part of what we are seems bonkers.


Not in my experience, but that is anecdotal. If you have evidence beyond the anecdotal I'd be interested to see it, though of course there's no obligation for you to do research work for me.

EDIT: Just to add that your comment's two halves are not logically connected. Even if we do act in this way, it doesn't make it a "critical part of what we are", or if it does, there is no reason that "critical parts" cannot be altered if need be. In the early 19th century most people would have thought that a 10 hour working day was too liberal - an 8 hour working day would have been unthinkable; but that "critical part" of people's way of perceiving society was not set in stone, as it turned out.


There are studies that show general agreement on estimations of physical attractiveness, regardless of race and culture. Needless to say these are disparaged by those whose beliefs are challenged by said research, but anyway. There are also studies that indicate that most people end up with partners of a similar level of physical attractiveness all else being equal, which would seem to indicate that a hierarchy does exist, and moreover that each of us has some notion of our personal position in the hierarchy.

Whether this all derives from biology is hard to say - however the alternative is to suggest that we are all somehow indoctrinated to value physical attractiveness and would otherwise be saintlike in ignoring things that suggest genetic unfitness, such as obesity, small stature, disfigurement etc. Look at the animal kingdom - I don't think animals are gauging partners on their ability to tell a funny joke, or having the correct politics. The sex drive is one of our most basic drives. To think it's not still driven by basic prerogatives does not seem reasonable to me.




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