Amy Glass is a person—maybe a man or maybe a gender-irrelevant troll or maybe an Internet conspiracy or maybe the Biggest Misogynist Of Our Time—there’s no way you haven’t heard of (because you watch Fox News, right? LOL) who wrote an article vaguely about feminism and modern female lifestyles.
Amy Glass wrote an admittedly somewhat unintuitive, in my opinion, piece claiming that she looks down on women who prioritize both the act of and the celebration of child-rearing and marriage above other pursuits. While the 9,000+ Internet commenters largely attribute that incoherence to her inadequacies as a writer, inconsistencies with this piece when taken in context alongside the other half-dozen or so essays she’s previously contributed, and/or a general failure in the logic flow of the argument, I’d argue that the bulk of the confusion comes from the fact that the viewpoint she expresses is simply so unfamiliar that most people’s snap judgment—the unreflective conservatives, the bleeding heart liberals and the like—is to be immediately repulsed by such an outlandish viewpoint. It doesn’t make immediate sense, it’s not immediately convincing, and therefore it’s quickly dismissible, like Miley Cyrus sleepily fake-masturbating surrounded by teddy bear backup dancers (come at me, commenters).
Much has been said about the moral importance of preserving the “traditional”, both in this context and far more meaningfully in others. How do we avoid the intellectual oppression of implying (or explicating, even) that the norm must be the rule, while still making somewhat objective claims about what we think are the right ways to live our lives? Short of devolving to moral relativism, we all think we know the correct way to be, right?
Which is exactly why I come out on the side of supporting Amy Glass, actually.
Put in less articulate terms, this article essentially states, “I personally hold a certain opinion.” So… seems like the most concerted, impassioned reaction one could have to that statement is, “I do not agree with your opinion, here’s why” or “I do agree with your opinion, here’s why.” No one—not Glass, not Thought Catalog, not the minority few pro-GlassGate commenters—is insinuating that simply by virtue of intellectually consuming her point of view that you ought to accept it?
Similarly, because we are dealing with an inherently subjective opinion (keyword: subjective, keyword: opinion; consult the dictionary if you need help understanding the poignancy of that distinction) why all of the arguably well-intentioned anti-Glass crusaders who’ve been published in response over the last week or so completely fail to realize that their ability to articulate examples of mothers and wives who’ve lived fulfilled, meaningful lives (again, subjective opinions as evidence!) somehow invalidate Glass’s point of view is beyond me.
Allow me to me explain by way of example, gut-reaction-lemmings. I hate guacamole. Super unpopular opinion! I could easily dredge up a soccer team’s worth of people who would vehemently disagree with if not borderline disown me for this opinion. However, one or two or ten thousand people existing as living case studies as refutation of the fact that guacamole tastes like fucking vegetable Crisco disprove my opinion (hope you’ve still got that dictionary dot com tab open) as the entire population of the United States signing a petition to take a boat to Africa in support of collecting a whole new legion of slaves makes that okay. Just because people do not share your viewpoint actually, logically, rationally, scientifically proves 0% fact or truth in the same way that everyone agreeing on something doesn’t make it right.
So although we (Royal We – I personally can’t wait to get married and have kids mostly to relieve my throbbing religious guilt) may completely disagree with the unapologetic asshole that Amy Glass is, maybe we are better served not taking things—generally harmless things which are not presented as the fundamental fabric of reality but as the casual, self-important espousing of a relatively anonymous person who is fortified by the Great Anonymity Of The Internet so mind-blowingly seriously.