Author Topic: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality  (Read 30241 times)

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Hajnal

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Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« on: January 30, 2012, 10:02:05 PM »
+1
I wanted to bounce off of something Owl said. I think it's worth a new thread.

I'm still kind of processing this as I go along, so forgive me for any sidetracks. :-[

Owl's my inspiration for the word "ableist" btw. Credit where credit is due.

What if a woman can't get a job because she's disabled in some way, and no workplaces cater to her disabilities? Is she a "whore" for relying on her partner then? What if she is temporarily unable to hold a job due to mental or physical illness, both perfectly valid reasons for not having a job?

I have a similar dilemma from my own experiences.

Since I was moral, or virtuous, for deFOOing from my "corrupt", abusive parents, I naturally figured that going back to them for any reason would be a self-betrayal. I'm not sure, but I sort of remember being urged to never go back either in podcasts or conversations with other members, like going back would be the absolute last thing I should do. Like there is a kind of shame in going back. And I'm sure I wasn't alone in seeing people as inferior for being in contact with their parents.

It was bad for an 18 year old to rely on her parents for money. To be virtuous, I had to be a Spartan. I wasn't a kid anymore. I was 18.

But to move in with a male FDR member whom I fell in love with for being what I thought to be the most virtuous FDR member, based on his esteem within the group and resemblance of the philosophical ideal... And fail to get a job for 6 months, largely out of the depression of having left a physically and emotionally torturous home (and all the crummy issues around that) and a lack of marketable skills... Yeah, that makes me a whore, somehow, trying to seek the virtuous path...

If you're unlucky, if you're abused, if you're whatever, you're expected to rise up out of your troubles, or you're not virtuous, and who wants to be not virtuous??? Maybe that doesn't mean you're evil, but you're a loser.

I wish I had seen this red flag when it showed up when I was first asking for help on how to escape my parents and how to get my first job. You're just supposed to do it. Your self-esteem, your happiness, depends on it.

Inevitably the people who are abused just enough to buy into it, but not enough to find themselves bedridden like I was (and still am, though not quite as horribly), are going to have less trouble being "virtuous".

But I was blind because of course my upbringing failed to immunize me from such bullshit one would find at FDR, and of course I pretty much felt that FDR was the only place I could turn to; my parents wouldn't help me when I begged them for help. FDR was better than the home situation, but FDR's still pretty shit.

The strange thing about Stef is that he leaves breadcrumbs of actual substance sometimes. The first thing he said to me in a podcast with him was that I need sympathy for myself.

Anyway, I felt pretty quickly abandoned by FDR too. (Please don't nag me about saying FDR...) It occurred pretty repeatedly. But I didn't know what to do, I stayed. The romantic relationship with the FDR guy also had this same pattern - abandonment and clinging. I felt bad for clinging. Which within months triggered aggression between us, and I feel like I was the one being physically attacked most of the time but it is hard to remember exactly what happened. Anyway, the basic idea is that it sucked horribly.

Let's fast forward to last fall so I can stick to the point about the ableism. I had to go to the Emergency Room for something. I bear you no details, but... Can you imagine going to the E.R. when you're broke?

Should you call your parents?

Does this mean you're a loser? Should you be guilty for going back?

By the way, it probably wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't tried to move out and scrape off of minimum wage, under shitty living conditions.

It's all too appalling. I didn't realize it before and it took me some time to figure out through experience... But there are many reasons it can be dangerous to leave your community, even if they're abusive, when you've got nothing to sail on. It's like going into the wilderness.

The fear I had in leaving to go out into the world entirely on my own was damn well rational!!!!!

Stef was neglected as a kid, and I don't think he's processed that very much if at all.

-----

Anyway, I want to hear from you all about similar experiences or musings with regard to how Molyneux has an ableist bias, and also ways in which his brew of philosophy can physically harm people.

Owl

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 12:06:30 AM »
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Man, that sounds terrible. I'm sorry you went through all that :/

I can't take credit for the word "ableist" - it's a social justice concept I've only become aware of myself fairly recently. And in becoming aware of it I've realised how ableist Stef & Co are, in pushing people to do things they may not be capable of and in ostracising/criticising people with mental health issues or different beliefs.

For example, something that happens to me when I have a lot of information to process is that I shut down and become non-communicative for a while as I sort things out in my head. I can't help it, it's how an autistic brain works. Stef always criticized this as "manipulative" - apparently I was just trying to make other people "work harder" in the conversation by being quiet. Because if you don't act like Stef, and you can't multitask fifteen different things at once without breaking a sweat, you're bad.

If you aren't capable of supporting yourself the way Stef has always been capable of, you're bad. If you're not cut out for therapy, you're bad. If you can't leave home and instantly be successful, you're bad. Just pull yerself up by yer bootstraps! Stef did, so you should be able to as well!

When you build a forum around confronting abusive parents and seeking real happiness - you are going to end up with a lot of broken, lonely people on that forum. A lot of those people may have mental health issues, and some of them may have breakdowns from the emotional trauma of leaving their families and starting a new life. The way the community deals with people who are breaking down is to shun them without explanaition, which I think is horrifically irresponsible. Both times I was shunned I seriously contemplated harming myself, and I hate to think that anyone *did* hurt themselves for experiencing something similar.

There's also the fact that Stef constantly refers to people, such as religious people, as "retarded" and "deluded", insinuating that they lack intelligence or have a mental disorder because they choose to believe things that aren't "rational". It's extremely bigoted and ableist to call someone who doesn't subscribe to your worldview a "retard".

I think, if you're really serious about personal freedom and the freedom of others, you need to be thoroughly aware of concepts like ableism, sexism, class privilege etc and how they manifest as systematic oppression in our culture. How Stef got this far and still thinks using oppressive words like "retard" and "prostitute" is okay I don't know.

I can forgive myself for being ignorant these things back then, because I was an uneducated teenager. He's a middle-aged man who calls himself a philosopher and a bringer of truth and claims to be freeing people, but he's not. He's inflicting the same kind of bigotry and discrimination you find everywhere else. There are teenagers on Tumblr who have a better grasp of systematic oppression than Stef has.

Hajnal

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 01:02:56 AM »
+1
Wow!

The way the community deals with people who are breaking down is to shun them without explanation, which I think is horrifically irresponsible. Both times I was shunned I seriously contemplated harming myself, and I hate to think that anyone *did* hurt themselves for experiencing something similar.

I've been worried about this! Have also worried about suicidality. I've experienced both desire to self-harm and kill myself. (Not anymore BTW!)

There was another member on FDR who I saw in the last couple months who actually self-harmed straight after talking to Stef. I felt a lot of empathy for them. Jesus f*cking christ :'(

There are teenagers on Tumblr who have a better grasp of systematic oppression than Stef has.

True dat lol 8)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 01:12:46 AM by Black Swan »

Argent

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 03:22:52 AM »
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Great thread!

I can understand where Stefan is coming from, to an extent.  I came from a home that in *some* ways utterly failed at preparing me for successful adulthood.  I've been working to fill in the missing pieces ever since, and it's hard.  I can only imagine how hard it was for him.  I'm lucky that I have managed to achieve financial independence, because having money makes it a lot easier to gain other missing skills/knowledge.  Anyway, I have probably become fixated on self-reliance to the point where I push others away.  There is a part of me that says, plain and simple: being self-sufficient is good, having to rely on others is bad.  I know reality is much much more nuanced than that.  It's a trust issue and I'm aware I haven't quite found the right balance yet. 

I think this is probably where Stefan and I diverge.  I'm reasonably sure that me ending up in the pretty decent situation I have is more due to luck than any personal virtue.  I like to share what I've learned to help give others a leg up, but I'd never sell my life as something to emulate, much less confuse the luck I've had with virtue.  The way he allows (/encourages!) members to idealize his life creeps me out.


Owl

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 05:38:41 AM »
+1
Wow!

The way the community deals with people who are breaking down is to shun them without explanation, which I think is horrifically irresponsible. Both times I was shunned I seriously contemplated harming myself, and I hate to think that anyone *did* hurt themselves for experiencing something similar.

I've been worried about this! Have also worried about suicidality. I've experienced both desire to self-harm and kill myself. (Not anymore BTW!)

There was another member on FDR who I saw in the last couple months who actually self-harmed straight after talking to Stef. I felt a lot of empathy for them. Jesus f*cking christ :'(


Wow, okay.  That makes me really angry. Stef is like a quack therapist doing tons of psychological damage to people- but he can't be held accountable because he's not certified  and he doesn't call what he does "therapy", even though that's exactly what he attempts to do.

QuestEon

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 01:33:05 AM »
+1
Wow, okay.  That makes me really angry. Stef is like a quack therapist doing tons of psychological damage to people- but he can't be held accountable because he's not certified  and he doesn't call what he does "therapy", even though that's exactly what he attempts to do.
I think that sums it all up. I don't have any real understanding of psychology, but I'm still willing to bet that if you take one of his "convos" to a real therapist and ask "Does it sound to you like the man in this podcast is trying to do some wacky version of cognitive therapy?" I'll take the therapist's word for it and I'm pretty certain the answer will be "yes."

But back to the "ableist" idea. I wonder why no one has ever challenged Molyneux with the truth that some countries differ in how willing they are to help someone trying to make it on his or her own?

You know, he makes a big deal out of "throwing my mother out of the house when I was 15..." but I don't believe Stefan and his brother lived on their own. There's more to that story that he conveniently leaves out; there was some adult help there.

But more important,  in many ways Canada is a socialist country! Molyneux had (and I'm quite sure relied upon) a financial support system that made health care, food, and education available in ways they aren't available in other countries. Like, for example, that big country directly south of Canada.

So, we have a guy who quite likely grew up on the public teat in a socialist country convincing 18-year-olds in the US and elsewhere to strike out on their own. That's a very different undertaking in the states, which can be a very unkind place to people with no money. (Trust me, I know!)

He doesn't seem to have any shame or awareness in what he's asking them to do. It seems hypocritical to me.
It isn't about winning the debate. It's about the truth.

Hajnal

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2012, 01:55:59 AM »
0
But more important,  in many ways Canada is a socialist country! Molyneux had (and I'm quite sure relied upon) a financial support system that made health care, food, and education available in ways they aren't available in other countries. Like, for example, that big country directly south of Canada.

So, we have a guy who quite likely grew up on the public teat in a socialist country convincing 18-year-olds in the US and elsewhere to strike out on their own. That's a very different undertaking in the states, which can be a very unkind place to people with no money. (Trust me, I know!)

He doesn't seem to have any shame or awareness in what he's asking them to do. It seems hypocritical to me.

THIS. O_O

Thursday

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2012, 10:36:34 AM »
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It's a pretty horrible way to earn your living by encouraging young vunerable people to move out without leaving at least someone in the family or at least a best friend a forwarding address.  I guess if you have truly been abused you may not want your parents to know but I can't get my head around the fact that all friendships have to go as well.
When I was younger I moved abroad and although I had my family and friends back at home I will always remember the desperate loneliness I felt for a long time before I became more established, if some of you guy's have gone through that and still managed to stay away, it must have been extremely hard to do.

Kaz

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 09:10:50 PM »
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Is a woman who stays at home a whore according to Stefan Molyneux?

Stefan Molyneux stayed at home and relied on his wife income for many years.
Just because you have left FDR, it doesn't mean that FDR has left you.

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2013, 11:19:45 PM »
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But more important,  in many ways Canada is a socialist country! Molyneux had (and I'm quite sure relied upon) a financial support system that made health care, food, and education available in ways they aren't available in other countries. Like, for example, that big country directly south of Canada.

So, we have a guy who quite likely grew up on the public teat in a socialist country convincing 18-year-olds in the US and elsewhere to strike out on their own. That's a very different undertaking in the states, which can be a very unkind place to people with no money. (Trust me, I know!)

He doesn't seem to have any shame or awareness in what he's asking them to do. It seems hypocritical to me.

THIS. O_O

Stefan never seems to describe his history in quite enough detail -- you know, the level of detail that undercuts idealization and which might reveal hypocrisies like having perhaps accepted Canadian welfare.

I'm well-versed in FDR, so to speak, but if anyone can point me to the podcasts or essays where Stefan describes his past with the most detail, I'd be interested to check them out/revisit them.  And I don't mean irrelevant humanizing anecdotes about faltering bowels.

One semi-relevant anecdote (in terms of providing a window into the empirical experiences that have fed into Stef's theories on relationships) that's coming back to me.... Stefan talked about being in his twenties and giving his phone number to a woman.  He described his bitterness, confusion and disappointment at realizing, a few days later, that she wasn't going to call him.  I forget what the intended takeaway was. What struck me about it was how minor an event it was but how vividly it seemed to have stuck in his emotional memory.  He didn't frame it as "this was one of many little rejections I've had, that we all have."  To me, the story underscored his isolation, which I believe is the true through-line in the life of this self-styled relationship guru, even continuing today.  How isolated he is to say "I can't wait 'til Izzie grows up so we can play tennis!"  Surely there's some tennis-playing adult in the vicinity?  There's something to RTR that allows the practitioner to pre-empt all rejection.  Learning more about his life would be useful.

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 01:50:36 AM »
+1
Thanks.

In this podcast, Stefan does another common trick:  He gives one brief disclaimer -- "I'm not saying this is syllogistically true or anything.  It's just my take." -- then follows it with 3,000 morally righteous, unambiguous declarations. 

Intentional or not, this is one of the "mind control" techniques mentioned in another thread.  In that case, it was put this way:  First, the speaker makes his case for a completely non-controversial notion.  Stef will literally say "We agree that one and one is two, right?"  Then the speaker will pile on claim after increasingly-justification-requiring claim, overwhelming the ability of the listener to continue rationally assessing each of them.  Yet, because of this priority effect, the listener has framed the experience in general as "I am assessing this argument-by-argument."

Lisa

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2013, 03:14:50 AM »
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Is a woman who stays at home a whore according to Stefan Molyneux?

Stefan Molyneux stayed at home and relied on his wife income for many years.

Hi, newly registered user here. In my opinion, Stef has major unresolved "mommy issues" & therefore issues with women in general. I believe he is a misogynist deep down, which explains his recent attraction to the "Men's Rights Movement" which can be pretty harsh & frankly irrationally hateful in it's indictments of women & blame on women as a whole for society's downfalls. Uses of words like "whore" & "prostitute" & the general way he focuses on mothers for ruining their children are extremely hateful of women from my personal point of view & when I began to see this side of Stef, I was really able to closely examine his abundant character flaws & question his motives. It seems like Stef is trying to attract more fringe crowds rather than trying to be inclusive & appeal to more people in general in an effort to get libertarianism a positive image for more people. When you push toward the fringe, you alienate the more moderate & rational. Does Stef have an alienation wish which he projects onto others? He sure does want people to alienate their own support groups. Maybe he just knows that the more fringe elements are more willing to engage in cult-like behavior, so he sees them as a opportunity for more donations.

In the end, especially after recent events, I simply see Molyneux as nothing but another maladjusted bully. Bullies usually prey on those they view as weaker. For anyone still listening to him, I would consider that observation any time the words "whore" or "prostitute" leave his mouth.

virginia

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2013, 06:59:59 AM »
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That's another of the many reasons why there are so few women in the movement.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

Lisa

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2013, 07:23:24 AM »
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That's another of the many reasons why there are so few women in the movement.

Yep. I don't blame them tbh.

Lisa

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Re: Stefan Molyneux's ableist morality
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2013, 04:11:45 PM »
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Another point: I noticed that Stef is also very disparaging of what he calls "the most attractive woman in the room" or attractive women in general. He advises guys not to go for her but look for a lower-ranked female to better your chances. There is just so much wrong with that I get flustered even thinking about all the reasons. What's wrong Stef, don't think you'll measure up to a beautiful woman, so you just go for someone that you find less attractive, like your poor wife who you said you were not even attracted to when you met her? What kind of husband speaks this way about his wife, a woman he chose to have a child with & claims to want to stay with for the rest of his life? Why would anyone agree to be with someone they weren't attracted to? From my observations, this is just more of Stef slyly getting his woman-hate on by belittling his wife & stating that the most beautiful of the species should be ignored. Doesn't he realize that shunning someone for having good looks is just as bad as shunning someone with bad looks. What a piece of work this guy is.

Stef should go back into therapy & work on his motherhate issues & stop looking at all women as a place to dump his resentment for the women in his past who he believes have done him wrong.

Also, why is a woman being with a man for his ability to provide any different than a man being with a woman for her ability to bring on an erection in him? They are both essentially superficial reasons, however both are also highly utilitarian. DERP