There was an experiment conducted back in the 1960s by a guy named John B. Calhoun using mice in an overcrowded space. Starting with about eight mice in what could be considered a mouse utopia called Universe 25, with no predators and an abundance of food, they bred and within just a year there were approximately 2,200 mice. The experiment sounds relatively dull, but it takes a dark turn, as Calhoun knew it would.
Within Universe 25 there was no privacy. Mice spent every moment surrounded by other mice. It was chaos at all times. The mice began exhibiting odd behavioral patterns such as not carrying pregnancies to term, or if they did have children, completely abandoning them, or sometimes even attacking them.
With so many mice to ward off, males abandoned the activity of defending territory as it became far too difficult. Social bonds were almost impossible to form as norms broke down. Those mice that were considered the failures of that society would congregate and attack each other for no discernible reason. Larger, stronger mice would kill and cannibalize weaker ones.
Out of the way “penthouse” spaces were occupied by mice considered to be “the beautiful ones,” and were groups primarily consisting of females and very few males. They would spend their time grooming, eating, and sleeping, but doing nothing else, not even breeding. Pansexuality became common, and soon the society collapsed, even when the numbers of mice dropped to numbers seen when Universe 25 started.
The reason is, as Calhoun would explain, that the mice had ceased being mice even before the society collapsed. He called it a “first death.” A death of the spirit. These mice had lost the ability to be mice. To know how to fight, breed and care for themselves. He coined the term “Behavioral Sink” to describe the fate of Universe 25.
This wasn’t the only time Calhoun conducted the experiment. At some point he had done the same experiment with rats, and they had suffered the same fate due to the same pattern: Violence, followed by hypersexuality, followed by asexuality, followed by self-destruction.
But why do I tell you this story? I’ll get to that.
On June 1, I watched as millions in the online world reacted to a famous ex-sports star revealing his “new self” to be a she named Caitlyn. For all intents and purposes, I couldn’t care less. “Let your freak flag fly” is my typical standpoint on things. It’s a relatively benign view that I think suits me just fine.
Thing is, as I’m popular with expressing from time to time, Bruce Jenner’s story doesn’t jive with me. Transgenderism makes zero sense biologically. Every medical article I come across calls it a sickness or a disorder of some kind. I do think it’s a very real disorder, but I feel like recently it’s a disorder that’s become a fad. I’ve noticed within recent years a massive uptick in the amount of people saying they’re transgender, almost like it’s a trendy thing to be. Bruce Jenner may very well feel more like a woman than a man, and maybe he had been struggling with those feelings for years, but I get the distinct suspicion that not everyone really has the same problem.
But regardless, I bear no ill will towards people who consider themselves transgender — I just disagree with their thinking. I’m sure many of them would see my Christianity as equally perplexing and weird. This never stopped my atheist friends and I from having normal, healthy friendships. Same could be said for my gay and lesbian friends. As I always say, disagreement should rarely equal hate. Disliking a man for intentional medical malpractice on children is a disagreement that could very well warrant hatred, but simply because you identify as female when you’re male is far from a good reason to dislike someone.
However, many others don’t see eye to eye with my wanting to see eye to eye. Many feel that any unwillingness to embrace transgenderism as absolute truth and goodness is unacceptable and unforgivable. Failure for strict adherence to the narratives of social cause celebre results in modern day witch hunts. Those who disagree, detract or even make light of the issue are isolated and ridiculed relentlessly. They are degraded or falsely accused of awful things. I witnessed that this week, both first and third hand.
I watched as even CNN reported on Drake Bell, a former Nickelodeon star, who was hounded by Twitter users for tweeting out that he’s still going to refer to Jenner as Bruce, should they ever meet. Drake’s reasoning, as he explained, was that he admired Jenner as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Regardless, the fire became too hot, and Bell ended up deleting all of his tweets concerning the episode.
Friends were correcting friends over adherence to Jenner’s change, which on numerous occasions sparked fights. There was even a bot that would correct you “politely” if you referred to Jenner as “he.”
I was no exception. I expressed my disdain for this topic of all things to dominate the headlines and be the front running topic on everyone’s minds. This was followed by many corrections when I would refer to Jenner as “he,” followers of mine turned on me with accusations of intolerance, and one fellow writer made an insinuation that I was only angry because Jenner was trans. Just earlier that day I was having a conversation with trans folk about my stance, and it’s one that they could not accept and became dismissive — and in one case against another Twitter user, slightly hostile. I became angry at the whole situation very quickly.
I was angry because I didn’t want to care, but I was being made to care. People couldn’t simply express a differing opinion without being “corrected.” I’d have pardoned it if it had just generated arguments within Twitter, but these fights got so out of hand over something so ridiculous, that my normally patient self couldn’t stomach it.
But it didn’t end there and didn’t stop with Jenner. Later that night Reuters would report on the death of a Mormon leader with the headline “Mormon leader L. Tom Perry dies at 92, opposed same sex marriage.”
Perry was a leader within a well-known religion. He did some interesting things within it, was once a retail businessman, saw some good travel, had three children and was a Marine in World War II. Regardless of all this, Reuters, a major news publication, decided to boil down Perry’s entire personage to his stance on a prevalent social issue of today – gay marriage.
The witch hunt persists even in death. The media cannot leave a man’s “wrong” opinion on social issues alone. I felt sorry for this man that I’d never met. This is how many people in the world were introduced to him, and would remember him if they remembered at all. Moreover, I couldn’t help but wonder if gays across the world felt used when the media wields their cause like this. If anyone within societal “protected classes” ever feel like they’re being used as a weapon against those who just don’t think the way certain people think they should. All of it creating more division and misunderstanding. All of it pointless.
And it’s not just gays and transsexuals, it’s women as well. Politicians and media make the assertion that women are undervalued and more importantly, underpaid, even though this claim is demonstrably false and will ultimately hurt women if not society. Yet resistance to this narrative is futile and it persists.
A patently false claim about a certain video game by a popular feminist was proven false by Forbes writer Eric Kain yesterday as well, and a response he received was a sentiment I see often within feminists circles that men should simply shut up when a woman talks, or not disagree at all.
A popular hashtag popped up on Twitter recently called #GiveYourMoneyToWomen which was essentially women demanding money from men for simply being beautiful, or doing womanly things.
No matter how false the concept or the assertion, you’re “on the right side of history” or you’re public enemy number one. You can’t even not have an opinion. You’re a part of the collective or you’re a pariah. God forbid you express a wrong opinion and people find out where you live or work. You can ask Memories Pizza in Indiana about that.
This week, that’s all I could think about to describe what I saw; what I see. Pointless fights. Apathy. The rejection and, sometimes, intolerance of social norms. I don’t want to sound hyperbolic, but I see a lot of Universe 25 in the first world. While we may have more longevity, and our timeline may be slower, I see a lot of mice within man.
I’ll leave off with a message to those with identity concerns. Not everyone believes what you believe, nor should you ever want to live in a world where they do. You especially don’t want to live in a world where they should be made to. My opinions do zero harm to you. If you don’t like them, you can write them off. We can disagree and very likely move on with our lives, never seeing each other if you so desire. It won’t even be considered “tolerance” as I won’t have anything to tolerate. We disagree and that’s that.
However, and I think I speak for many when I say this, when you attempt to force others to believe as you do through social consequences or threats, when you attempt to acquire our taxpayer money to fund costly surgeries that will make you look like you feel, that’s where tolerance ends. Now you’re forcing us to adhere. To comply. And all you’re going to get is rejection.
Hailing from Austin, Texas, Brandon Morse has been writing about politics and culture across many websites for the last six years, with a heavy emphasis on anti-authoritarianism. Aside from writing articles, he is also known for voice acting and authoring scripts. He is an avid gamer, dog person, and has a bad habit of making vague references to things no one has heard about or seen. Follow him at @TheBrandonMorse on Twitter.
Click through the gallery below to read more from Morse in his previous EveryJoe columns:
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