The intolerance of the “tolerant”

I’m not going to go into this in any depth – do any systematic research. But I’ve noticed a spate of articles in the Guardian recently which are basically anti-men. It seems it is acceptable to make sweeping negative generalisations about “men” in a way that if they were made about women would be seen as the worst kind of sexism. (This is just one recent example – a badly written dissing of “older men” in general from someone who casually throws out as if it were entirely normal that she was “two-timing” two of her older men dates). This is just part of what is obviously a trend – another barrier has been overcome on the march towards liberation. Now “men” can be openly abused generically as a type and this is all fine.

I’ve just started reading Deleuze’s book about Foucault. [1] The translator, Séan Hind, explains in his preface that Foucault found in Deleuze a kind of thinking which was anti-totalist. For Foucault, Deleuze promotes a “Free political action from all unitary and totalising propaganda”. It occurs to me that the ideology which insists on the “rights” of gay people, transgender people and all the rest of it; which is the same ideology which now apparently legimitmises a kind of denigration of “men” at large is very much a totalising and paranoid and unitary programme. Like most revolutions (see The Rebel by Camus) this ‘movement’ is displacing the superficial content of the old one while adopting its misuse of power. One set of masters replaces another set. (Rather than the whole business of masters being finally overcome, which is what we are always promised). There is no end to the masters. In this case old white male as the totem of authority are replaced with a new unitary pole. The pole may be painted all the colours of the rainbow but it is a unitary project and paranoid about and viciously intolerant of anyone not on board. The new masters replace the old. Masters…masters….masters….


1 Foucault. Deleuze. Continuum. 1999

Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer