Monday, July 30, 2018

On Manne's "Down Girl"

With thorough argumentation and heavily footnoted facts brought to the table, Down Girl, by Kate Manne delineates misogyny from sexism and hopes "to offer a useful toolkit for asking, answering, and debating" (13) issues centred around misogyny.

     Misogyny vs Sexism
     Ideological Nuances
     Domestic Violence
     Family Annihilators
     Testimonial Injustice
     Keeping Them Down

Right off the bat, let's clarify that it's not remotely a man-hating thesis. It's about looking at how we all are affected by the beliefs floating around us.
"One need not be a man to be a misogynist either: women can fit the description too, as can non-binary people. . . . many if not most of us at the current historical juncture are likely to be capable of channeling misogynistic social forces on occasion . . . unwittingly policing and enforcing distinctively gendered norms and expectations but also, on my analysis, over-policing and over-enforcing gender-neutral and potentially valid norms, e.g., genuine moral obligations" (77).
A primary issue discussed is that women who compete for typically male-dominated roles: "will tend to be perceived as morally suspect in at least three main ways: insufficiently caring and attentive with respect to those in her orbit deemed vulnerable; illicitly trying to gain power that she is not entitled to; and morally untrustworthy, given the other two kinds of role violations" (xiv). Women have an extra layer of barriers to wade through to get to positions of powers because everyone (men and women) has been socialized to believe women are the caretakers of the world. It's similar to what Neil deGrasse Tyson describes in the world's reactions to his efforts to excel in science - the path of most resistance:

Sunday, July 29, 2018

End of an Era: On Buying My First Car

I bought a 2009 Kia Rio. I went with a friend because I had no idea how it all worked, and I had lots of stupid questions, like: How do I get license plates before I have the car, or do I leave the car at the dealer and get them afterwards, and then walk up to the dealership carrying them? And when does insurance happen? I was a bit baffled by the sequence of events about to transpire. I thought I'd leave with the car, but it took three days to do all the things to be done.

I intend to live north when I retire, so I knew a motorized vehicle would be in my future eventually, but I was banking on getting a car in another year or two, once some of the newer electric cars had been out and tried and tested for a while. Once Ford got in, and that rebate disappeared, though, I reconsidered. I went for an old car that will hopefully make the five years until Ford is gone and the rebates return with a more reasonable premier.

If we're not all burnt to a crisp by then.

Three other events provoked decisive action:

1. My youngest leases a horse now, thanks to her dad, but she needs to get back and forth to the stable, thirty minutes away by car, three times a week. I had been borrowing vehicles to take her, since her dad can rarely make it, but that route was wearing thin. The deal I made when I agreed to the horse, of course, was that I'd only have to take her once in a while here and there, but we know how those things work.

2. My older two suddenly started making noises about getting their licences. Neither wants a car of their own, but we're beginning to realize how handy it would be if they had the ability to drive - not to mention how much more employable it makes them. And the youngest is just two years away and chomping at the bit to be at the wheel. It's hard to learn to drive without access to a vehicle to practice with. Rentals won't allow it, and I wouldn't impose that on my closest friends.

3. Whenever I rent, I throw a bike carrier on the back (like this, but for three bikes), and it often leaves some little scratch or indent, and I stress out about it for the entire trip. Before returning cars, I've sometimes had a buddy take a piece of wood and a hammer to tap the dents back out. It made it more tolerable when a slimy rental guy charged me for a dent I definitely didn't make when I used a car for a brief trip sans bikes. I figure that's just karma. I wrap the entire carrier in towels and sponges, and put socks on the pedals, but there's no great way to install one without a trailer hitch. With my new car, I pretty much immediately made an indent on the tailgate thingy, so I don't have to worry about that anymore!

A neighbour who was also scammed by the same slimy dealer considered buying a car together with me, but that started sounding complicated. It makes a whole lot of sense for neighbourhoods to share vehicles, but so many just want their own. And, with four of us using the car on my end alone, sharing with another family would be difficult.

So it's done. And now I'm dealing with a bit of buyer's remorse.

The car is really, really small. We all went up to a cottage, and it barely fit one bag each. Then a camping trip was a feat for a Tetris master, with the cooler just barely making the cut. I almost got a slightly larger car, but it was shiny orange, and it felt a bit ostentatious buying something so bright. That's the mennonite in me talking.

And the hills! I'm used to driving almost brand new cars when I rent, and the crappiest of them can easily overtake tractors with minimal extra pressure on the pedals. I never think twice about passing. This baby can barely make it up the hills once you get north enough that the roads run through blasted rock. I'm not used to being that annoying person everyone is desperately trying to pass, but 80 is a bit of a struggle sometimes. Sorry everybody. It helps to laugh at myself by listening to John Mulaney's bit about driving:
"If you're ever on the highway behind me, I hear you honking, and I also don't want to be doing what I'm doing."
Driving a piece of crap is reminiscent of driving my first boyfriend's car: a Chevette with 300,000 km on it. Whenever it hit 60, the entire car would shake. I was always pretty sure one of the doors would fall off from the vibrations. It was low to the ground, like my car, so it always felt securely on the road, and you could take the corners crazy fast, but I worried about breaking through the floor like Fred Flintstone. I drove it on its final trip: a block from home, the brakes completely failed, and my bf had cut the emergency brakes the last time he replaced the brake pads (They were in the way!!), and it was just a magical stroke of luck that the lights changed just in time for me to be able to turn left at the bottom of a hill and coast my way home in one piece.

But it's great on gas. Muskokas and back for $40.

I figured if I could drive it for five years, that would be about the cost of renting each year, but I forget insurance. Insurance alone is about the cost of all my rentals and taxis and bus rides. So it definitely won't save me any money. It's just saving me the time and trouble of booking a car, trudging to the rental place and filling in the forms to get the car, and having to bring it back later. And sometimes there isn't a car available. Rarely, but it does happen. Yes, of course I've looked into car sharing, but it costs more than renting and isn't significantly more convenient.

So now I feel a bit like a traitor to the movement. I let convenience tip the scales away from concern for my GHG production. But, really, I'm not driving more (hopefully), I'm just driving an extra car that wasn't in circulation previously. Philosopher Luke Elson, in The Conversation, recently concluded that buying carbon offsets makes air travel a moral option, and his argument could be extrapolated to work for cars as well, except I don't really agree with it. He takes a consequentialist stance banking on offsets actually having a 1:1 exchange, which is a thin premise creating a shaky foundation. Even if it were the case that we could pay someone to plant a tree whenever we drive and the GHGs produced would be fully subtracted again by the tree growth or some other fix, it's still adding GHGs to the total. Morally, it's clearly better to avoid adding those GHGs to the atmosphere AND to pay for some trees instead of paying money for a flight or a car or an air conditioner or a steak dinner. We need to get into the negatives when it comes to GHG production. There's no time for bargaining on this one.

If we all run on Elson's moral code, then we'll keep burning fossil fuels and just trying to plant trees faster than they can burn to the ground. The overriding problem with consequentialist ethics is that we can never guess the future with accuracy. For this issue, we have to err on the side of contributing less GHGs, rather than being hopeful that subtracting them might work.

There's no moral way to justify convenience of my family over the survival of our species.

But now I'm one of the normals. I was invited to a far away cottage this summer, and the owner gave me a convoluted route to take to get to there including trains and several busses, rather than the obvious choice of carpooling with another guest. Many people just can't get their head around how to live without a car. They aren't intuitively aware of all the other options, like getting rides from friends, and borrowing vehicles, and they don't recognize how far they can actually comfortably walk and bike, or how cheap it can be to take cabs and use rentals. I'm thankful my family made it this far so we've got the knowhow that makes alternatives obvious and second nature.

I still plan to bus when I go into Toronto. It's just over $10 if I book it online ahead of time, which is cheaper than parking downtown, and I can read on the way instead of stressing out on the 401.

And today I biked 7 k to MEC for my very first life jacket for my next trip. Look at me, buying all my own stuff instead of renting and borrowing like I have for five decades, starting with all my sib's hand-me-downs! To too many people, my life looked like I was cheap, or worse (because of inherent prejudices), a "poverty case." Nobody congratulated me on going without for so long. Nobody encourages others to borrow instead of buying - well, nobody in my circle. That's a paradigm shift that's got to budge soon.

Isn't this the photo everyone takes with their first car??

On Discovering Ourselves Through Choosing Others

Online dating, or, I suppose, regular dating (but I barely remember what that even is anymore) is a fascinating exercise in identity discovery. To take part in the game, we have to know who we are and what we want. Those are huge questions.

We carefully choose what to reveal in an attempt to surmise our most important vitals. Some go for the best portrait of themselves: casting a wide net by glorifying parts that will most likely entice the most people. I opted for the most necessary bits for connection: the parts that people need to like for anything to work. It's a process of weeding out rather than a sweeping in, which I prefer regardless how thin the weeds were to begin with. But even just this question is a struggle. How can we ever know the parts that are most important? I went for reading, cycling, and canoeing, but that's barely what I'm about. That's just what I like to do. It's so superficial and artificial. We find ways to pigeon-hole ourselves to be understood by others, whether we're funny or smart or adventurous. What an odd expectation that we can boil ourselves down to a list of adjectives.

And then there's the choice of the important traits of another unknowable human being. Everybody thinks they're nice and good listeners and all that jazz. Even with the most honest and authentic profiles, it's impossible to describe the self to another to determine compatibility. An attempt to even know the self, which is always in flux, may be a targetless exercise. And "common interests" is such a ruse, a red herring that can send us careening down the wrong path with expectations held high. I might find someone who loves canoeing as much as I do, but they might be just a bit too overbearing or chatty or serious or something that a fleet of Old Towns couldn't override in a cost-benefit analysis. 

But it's fascinating to me to observe myself making decisions about people based on scant information. What do my choices say about my own identity and where I think I fit in the world? And what do they say about my prejudices? And what's the difference? If I pass on the guys in suits, is that about attraction or an anti-corporate bias? I think biases are completely enmeshed in our preferences for another, and I don't think there's much we can do about that. I could date CEOs over and over, but I can't make myself like it. And I might find one that has a similar value system as I do. It's possible, but less likely that some guy in jeans, I think. But I only think that because of stereotypes based on previous experiences and media. But we need some way to decide.

This is all so very unsavoury and dehumanizing.

Is the guy in the suit with the expensive watch in front of the fancy car just adding that pic because he thinks it will impress girls because our culture provokes us towards that image, or is this a reflection of what he actually values in life? I'm not sure which is better or worse.

Does sense of humour matter more than interests? Does hamming it for the camera even correlate to being funny in person? Doesn't everyone have a sense of humour, but just of a different type - like having a taste in food? And is a similar sense of humour important only because I hope to be entertained? I tend toward people who have different interests or abilities so I can learn from them. We look down on people who light up at the prospect of a partner with wealth, the golddiggers, but is coveting a wealth of ideas that different? Isn't it still just looking to get something rather than to share in something? In the back of my mind through it all, I have Aristotle looking down his nose at relationships of utility over the infinitely more laudable relationships of virtue. But we can't easily assess morality from a self-description. Everyone thinks they're virtuous.

Should I just ignore the too formal living room in the background, the ratio of photos of their face to their vehicle, or the number of sports they list as interests? These things seem to warrant a quick pass, yet I've been happy in the past with a hockey playing motorcycle enthusiast with a more formal aesthetic than my hippy decor. When I ignore education levels, is it because I really see no correlation between intelligence and education or because I just want to believe that about myself? I'm fully aware that it doesn't really matter. I might do as well if I threw a dart at my computer screen. But we have to whittle down the numbers. And we need an in, a starting point for conversation that isn't necessary in a more natural meeting where spontaneously disagreeing with someone else's comment or randomly having the same shoes could be a point of connection. Or sometimes there's just a smile that makes us weak in the knees and renders those details superfluous.

That one was too difficult to navigate realistically. But that sudden overwhelming electric surge flooding my body when our eyes connected reminded me of the painful nature of desire. It's easy to pick and choose when it's a matter of interest. It's so much harder when suddenly there's a longing that you didn't expect. But where would we be if we lived life with a surge protector!

On top of being near impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff, the whole enterprise is also fraught with emotional turmoil. It kills me not to respond to someone who seems a poor match, but any comment, even, "Thanks but I don't think we're a good fit," is often met with a defensive hostility. There's a raw vulnerability in revealing a desire for connection, in displaying a wanting, in making overt that there's a missing piece in our lives otherwise outwardly illuminated as a perfectly content. Mid-conversation with several prospects at once (something that goes against my monogamous nature in the first place), I went into the woods for a time without access to wifi and returned to an onslaught of "arrogant cunt" and the like. I've narrowed my search to people old enough to have spent the majority of their adult lives before cellphones, yet many nevertheless have fallen into the expectation of immediate responses. I'm too thin-skinned for some of the fear-induced hatred coming my way. I can tolerate it when people react heatedly to a perspective I hold, but not to my silence threatening their self-esteem. The message boards are rife with a sense of feeling completely misunderstood by one another. Instead of helping us connect, this tawdry process can eat away at our belief in our worthiness of connection.

Many demand "no baggage," but who among us is that untouched by the world? Who would want to be? Relationships are never about not having any flaws or issues, but about being able to overlook or forgive or understand the more difficult idiosyncrasies of the other. I'm fond of poet David Whyte's discussion of the purpose of relationships, that it's not about improvement or growth:
"the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone."
And then, of course, there are the booty calls. Yuck.

It takes time to meet people and really get to know them in order to weed out the crooked ones, time I could be actually weeding my garden or my pile of books to read. And from time to time I think I'm less interested in a partner than in a people. I grew up in a large family where there was always someone who had time to play a game with me. I still idealize communal living or intentional communities as they're now known. We can't expect one person to cover all the bases, the reading AND the canoeing. It makes sense to have a wider base. My most content moments were never because of a partner, but because of a group affiliation, typically when I was living in a house full of friends. But once people couple up, that form of relationship sits at the top of the hierarchy. It's seen as better, an improvement over communal formations. As Fredrick Engels explained in Origins of the Family:
"[Monogamy] develops out of the pairing family, as previously shown, in the transitional period between the upper and middle stages of barbarism; its decisive victory is one of the signs that civilization is beginning. It is based on the supremacy of the man, the express purpose being to produce children of undisputed paternity; such paternity is demanded because these children are later to come into their father’s property as his natural heirs. . . . We meet this new form of the family in all its severity among the Greeks. While the position of the goddesses in their mythology, as Marx points out, brings before us an earlier period when the position of women was freer and more respected, in the heroic age we find the woman already being humiliated by the domination of the man and by competition from girl slaves."
There's lots to unpack there! But I'm just going to move on and leave this little Wagoner poem here. It feels entirely relevant, even though I can't quite explain why:

From here.

ETA - and it's just bizarre that horoscope counts as ethnicity!

ETA - This study suggests we're all looking for someone out of our league, but for women over 40, that's pretty much everyone.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Music is a Necessity

. . . After food, air, water, and warmth, music is the next necessity of life. ~ Keith Richards

Things are really messed-up. The kids got out of the cave alive, which is amazing. But Ford is already making backwards plans for education in Ontario, and the U.S. might see some new and frightening abortion laws, and we seem completely unable to stop a drippy pipeline from being shoved through our precious land and water.

So I went to a folk festival to recharge.

We need more of them. I feel like we need them everywhere right now! There's not much that rekindles feelings of connection and community like singing and dancing with total strangers, especially when you're standing in the grass under the shade of sun-dappled trees. It's the elixir to our days spent inside on social media sickened by the angry and violent exchanges that fill the comment section of the most innocuous piece. (Yes, of course, stop reading them, but they're like a traffic accident!)

There are tons of festivals every summer, and if you can't make it to check out live music, consider singing and dancing anyway. Remember to recharge and reconnect with the notion that human beings can be absolutely wonderful!

"We possess art lest we perish of the truth [dammit!]." ~ Nietzsche (Will to Power, section 822, p 435).

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

On Half Earth

The headline says, Scientists call for a Paris-style agreement to save life on Earth. Monbiot says this often, and E.O. Wilson, and so many others. We have to let parts of the world rewild, and stop covering every inch of the planet with concrete and asphalt and golf courses:
"In 2016, E.O. Wilson — arguably the world’s most lauded living evolutionary biologist — published a book called Half Earth where he proposed that to save life on Earth (and ourselves) we must set aside around half the planet in various types of reserves. . . . In less technical parlance, this is a ringing call for a massive, global agreement that would look at drastically increasing the amount of the world covered by parks — in some cases up to the Half Earth goal — and indigenous protected areas. Indigenous people are now widely recognized as some of the best defenders of nature after decades of being sidelined. . . . 
Such an agreement would likely fall under the United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity, first established in 1992, as an international treaty. . . . The CBD has had a number of disadvantages. For one, much like the Paris Agreement, it’s non-binding and largely voluntary. This has been a necessary concession in order to get so many nations sign on — just like with Paris — but it also means there’s no legal way to enforce action. Just international peer pressure. For another it’s lacking a major signatory. Guess who? Yes, of course, the United States. . . . Finally, the CBD has not been able to garner the same kind of media attention and interest as the various climate change declarations. For some reason, an agreement about the fate of millions of species on Earth just hasn’t grabbed our attention-deficit media. 
But these drawbacks need not ensure that the CBD be toothless or ineffectual. And if there’s a time for it to prove its mettle, it’s now. . . . "It is certainly a major challenge, as has been the case with the Paris Climate Accord. But we need to start somewhere. If all this sounds like utopian fiction, Dinerstein pointed to the fact that Chinese scientists have already published a paper on how they could hit 50 percent protected land in one of the most populous countries on Earth."

It's possible.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

First Time for Everything

I wonder what would have happened to Sleeping Beauty had she slept for, oh, say 20, 30 years or so, but continued to age. I'm thinking Shrek, but with the change preempting the story instead of driving it. And what if she was not only wizened with time (like a hag, not like a man), but she also had her lady bits unceremoniously removed, leaving her sexless in all but desire. I imagine Prince Charming, also older and wiser, mounting the steps to her room to greet her and quietly gazing down at her sleeping there with laugh lines created as she dreamt each night and age spots from the sun peaking in her window during the day, and her hair sticking to her head a bit from the hot flash that steeped her in sweat at the most inopportune moment, as it always does.

Would he embrace the woman laying prone, thus saving her life, or would he cringe a bit, think better of it, and then tip toe away?

It's a weird place to inhabit to have been a bit of a princess, sometimes with more than one suitor offering a selection to choose from and the ability to make decisions about whom to sleep with and when, to suddenly wake up and be hidden from, avoided. To go from Ariel to Ursula in the blink of an eye with age, illness, and an absolute inability to give a shit about fashion.

And then poor Sleeping Beauty has to slip past the dragon on her own, not to avoid being seen as edible, but to avoid being seen as undesirable. How embarrassing!

I've never been stood up before, and it kinda sucks. It's not as bad as movies make it out to be, but it's definitely annoying.

It was my first date in almost this century, and could have possibly been my first kiss in a full decade. I ventured into online dating after a friend, recently engaged from an online encounter, explained that for every ten people you say "Hey" to online, one will likely lead to a conversation. And every ten conversations will likely lead to a date. And every ten dates will likely lead to one relationship. It's a numbers game, apparently, and it would only start, if you do the math, with 1,000 "Hey"s. It's all about persistence. I just let batchelor buttons completely overrun my back garden, so I'm not sure if persistence is my strong suit.

But he didn't show. My son thinks it's because I'm so awkward with people, but this dude didn't have a chance to see just how truly awkward I could be. AND I was far more awkward in my late 20s and early 30s, with two little ones in tow, and I had zero problems finding a date back then. My potential suitor also didn't have a clue about my leftist politics or my feminism or the extent to which environmental concerns and basic morality affect my day-to-day lifestyle. He was good to go online, the initiator of the event, spurred on by well-angled photos, until he beheld my outer casing waiting for him, all three-dimensional and poorly lit, and he silently demurred.

LUCKILY, I had brought a book to rescue me from the tedium of waiting, and I welcome a respite form the heat. I arrived thirty minutes early to get through a chapter or two, and I sat by the door to be the found rather than the finder because I am the worst at facial recognition. I was in a bar full of soccer fans watching the match on many screens, and I would have had little chance of picking him out of the crowd. All people generally look alike to me. I thought I was just not paying attention to people until my kids came to my school, and I couldn't find them in the hallways either. It's a thing. Anyway, I was one of very few females in the place, and alone, and with a book and a beer, acting like I was just there for the A/C; I'm pretty sure I stood out.

I waited two hours.

It was exactly enough time to finish Kate Manne's Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny. I didn't bring it purposefully, and I kept it flat on the table to avoid frightening my potential suitor with the cover; it just happened to be what I was reading at the time. And it was delicious. All about that another day.

What makes it all an an annoyance rather than a tragedy is that, unlike Sleeping Beauty, I don't need to be saved. I'm not waiting to be awakened. I cast my net from time to time when everyone's busy with their partners and I can't find a canoe buddy. Sometimes I recognize that I'm missing out on the benefits of being first on someone's list of people to please. While it's been a while since I've been seized passionately, a warm embrace is always within easy reach. And the fortuitousness of reading that particular book on that particular day helped make me roll my eyes instead of feel pathetic as it reminded me of the inane social dynamics we've accepted as normal: the princess scenarios, the authority of maleness, the routine of giving to instead of sharing with. It's not about not being chosen, not being worthy, and therefore losing the race for a mate, but about not fitting that time-worn stereotype. It's not that men are lacking because they don't rise above the superficial, but that, in our society, it's amazing that any of us are ever able to see outside of the dominant perspective of what a mate should encompass.

He messaged that he had been there, and I simply wasn't to be found, but then he neglected to responded to my reply offering another time and place with my phone number to prevent another madcap mixup. Of course I apologized for not being sufficiently visible. My son (and dating coach) is pretty sure that's all bullshit. It's just so much easier for the guy to say he couldn't find me than to say the other thing. You know: you're not really up to my standards, or you're not my type, or, even, you're uglier than I thought you'd be. So, only eight more crappy dates until I get a good one, if the odds are in my favour, and if I'm up for it.

I have a lot of books to read. We'll see how enticing the prospect of A/C is this summer.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Progress or Ruin

Monbiot's recent article sits in my belly like lead:
As a child and young adult, I delighted in being able to identify almost any wild plant or animal. And now it has gone. This ability has shrivelled from disuse: I can no longer identify them because I can no longer find them. Perhaps this forgetfulness is protective. I have been averting my eyes. Because I cannot bear to see what we have done to nature, I no longer see nature itself. Otherwise, the speed of loss would be unendurable. . . . I have lived long enough to witness the vanishing of wild mammals, butterflies, mayflies, songbirds and fish that I once feared my grandchildren would experience: it has all happened faster than even the pessimists predicted. . . . The United Nations reports that our use of natural resources has tripled in 40 years. The great expansion of mining, logging, meat production and industrial fishing is cleansing the planet of its wild places and natural wonders. What economists proclaim as progress, ecologists recognise as ruin.

I've left out the worst of it.

We need to find politicians willing to take a stand against lobbyists and corporate rule. As a society, we need to just stop doing anything beyond what's necessary for our own survival. If you don't need it to live, then don't buy it. If you don't need to go there in order to survive, then just stay and sit still a while. Travel under your own steam and live within your means as well as within the means of our ecosystem. But none of that's really going to happen, is it.

17/10/18 is the new 420 here. At least we can sedate as we watch it all unfold before our eyes.

The Trouble with Relativism

From a comment on a social media post advocating that we stop protesting people with Trump hats:
"The trouble with refusing to serve someone because you abhor their views, is that tomorrow someone else will do the same thing to you."

Here was my response:
That's like saying we have to tolerate everything in order to support tolerance. We don't. As Popper said, "We should claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant." It's not that one principle has to govern all actions, but that we have to look at the use of the principle and decide from there. Someone with a Nazi armband can be ousted from a restaurant by the owner because they clearly and openly advocate harm to a group of people, which we can all agree is heinous and wrong. But someone with a rainbow shirt isn't advocating harm to anyone; they just want to be allowed to exist. So refusing them service should cause an outrage. 

This is an increasing problem with relativist views. I see it in my students often who really want everyone to be right all the time. "He's not wrong; he just has a different idea." But there can be right and wrong ideas. In fact, there HAS to be. We have to all agree that holding a view that harming other people based on their group affiliation is just plain wrong. People who hold that immoral view have to be TOLD they're wrong over and over by everyone they meet.

Or else. If that view gains traction, which it is, then we KNOW the path our society could take. It's up to us, right now, to stop it in its tracks.

ETA in brief:

Her: Allowing the state to dictate what we're allowed to do or not allowed to do is advocating totalitarianism.

Me: That's a slippery slope. Canadians have lived with hate crime laws on the books for decades without becoming totalitarian in nature. We are able to stop discrimination without lumping in non-discriminatory actions. It is possible to create a clear line.

For the Popper quote, see Notes to Chapter 7, in The Open Society and Its Enemies, or page 544 of this PDF.