But the more insidious and painful part of our failed meritocracy is how it has stratified society and even enhanced classism.
Here’s the thing—if a system promises equality and progress based on your abilities alone, then failure would seem totally deserved. If someone could not climb the ranks in society, one could simply say that they did not work hard or that they were simply not good enough. It becomes a total personal failure.
On the flipside, should you succeed, that success is seen as the product of your own hard work and nothing else. You alone produced your success and you do not have to question whether you were given a head start with the circumstances you were born into…
R. Quinn Moore, who coined the term “Multiracial Meritocracy” to describe Singapore’s meritocratic system, explained how the dominant “logic runs that if the rules are not the same for everyone, the system is simply “not fair.”” This logic, however, easily falls apart when structural biases and disadvantages exist for races within diverse communities. What is more sustainable and fair would be, dissonant as it may superficially seem, a system where “inherited advantages or disadvantages are compensated for”…
As a student growing up, the world felt competitive. Because your personal results mattered so much, it seemed as if the world functioned with complete emphasis on the individual. This heavy emphasis on the individual might give us a clue to why social justice issues, and concern about the community at large are not questions that are prioritized when we talk about meritocracy. Instead what we always talk about is the rise of an individual to the top ranks…
Meritocracy as a system that reductively characterizes complex human beings living within complex circumstances into simple human units, shapes our judgments of others in equally reductive ways. Signifiers of human value thus lie in things like the job you have, the money you rake in, the clothes you wear or the car you drive. The worst thing that this does is convince the disadvantaged that they deserve their perceived failures and the treatment they receive from society.
I remember back in JC when two guys cracked a racist joke about poor Malay families (you know, the one that goes “what’s the difference between a Malay man and a bench?”). It was funny to them (they were non-Malay and came from rich families), but not to me. I felt so acutely as if they regarded my reality as a laughing stock. Fodder for ridicule. How do you carry yourself confidently in such an environment? Some people do of course, but can you blame others if they feel like they have to go to lengths to compensate for what so many have insinuated is somehow a deformity?
Studies have shown how those at a structurally disadvantaged position due to race do not acknowledge institutional racism, but instead tend to blame themselves completely for their failings. They are unaware that they were not given the same opportunities. So insidious is the classism perpetuated by meritocracy, so convincing is the simple lie told about how anyone can climb up the ladder, that it has managed to make those victimized by it perpetuate their own disadvantages into the next generation in their class.
How does pornography actually harm people?
- Those who view pornography overestimate how frequently certain sexual acts are actually practiced, which increases one’s willingness to do unconscionable things.
- Porn viewers physically map their brains based on the images they see. Pornographic consumption remaps the physical structure of the brain.
- Many men who view porn lose the ability to relate to or be close to women.
- Porn viewers become desensitized to the barrage of imagery, and as a result, child pornography and violent pornographic images often lose their ability to shock and disgust.
- Women often report distress and harm when discovering that their husbands view porn. They typically feel betrayal, loss, mistrust, devastation, and anger as a result of their partner’s behavior.
- Porn users have an increased likelihood of divorce and family break-up.
- Those who had an extramarital affair were three times more likely to have used Internet pornography than those who had not.
- Porn leads men to place less value on marital fidelity and more value on casual sex.
- Therapists report seeing fourteen- and fifteen-year-old boys addicted to porn.
- An Italian study reported that boys who view porn were more likely to report having sexually harassed a peer or having forced someone to have sex.
- Adolescent girls who report using pornography are more likely to report being victims of passive violence such as sexual harassment and rape.
- Today’s consumption of pornography encourages sexual exploitation such as trafficking.
- Adolescents who view pornography are more likely to view women as sexual objects.
- Porn consumption raises the risk of sexually risky behavior.
- Men who use pornography are less attractive to potential female partners.
- Exposure to pornography decreases sexual satisfaction with one’s partner for both men and women.
- Chronic pornography use is associated with depression and unhappiness.
- Users often report disgust and shame at finding themselves stimulated by images that would have once repulsed.
Pornography is humiliation and degradation of women. It’s a disgraceful activity. I don’t want to be associated with it. Just take a look at the pictures. Women are degraded as vulgar sex objects. That’s not what human beings are. I mean, I don’t even see anything to discuss.
As to the fact that it’s some people’s erotica: that’s their problem. If they get enjoyment out of humiliation of women, they have a problem… The fact that people agree to it and are paid is about as convincing as the fact that we should be in favour of sweatshops in China.