Ok, full disclosure, the title is purely clickbait and this article is going in a totally different direction. Sorry about that…Lauren Southern is at it again! And this time, it includes sex!
Her latest video recently rubbed a friend of mine on Twitter the wrong way and, naturally, I had to see what the fuss was about.
And she received quite the response on her post about Southern’s video, which you can see for yourself here. Southern also included sources in her video description and I’ll let you decide whether or not they’re convincing.
What was interesting to me about the video, the response, and its subsequent threads on Twitter was the juxtaposition between two warring, yet somehow complimentary ideals which were illustrated in these two unique women.
For the record, I enjoy both of these women’s content very much. I’ve followed Lauren for quite a while on YouTube, and have had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Eva (aka Toxic Femininity on YouTube) over the past few months, and will be having her as a guest on my show later this month.
As I read through the threads it struck me that there were two distinct sorts of arguments that came to embody two different philosophies.
The Individualist Philosophy
The Societal Philosophy
The Individualist arguments tend to gravitate around (surprise, surprise!) the individual, their happiness, and their discretion. This was the philosophy Eva seemed to be embracing, at one point stating:
The Societal philosophy was brought forth by Lauren’s initial video calling out women for certain behaviors, and making assumptions about certain trends holding true for nearly all women in society (i.e. the desire for a husband and family).
As human beings we are born with an innate mix of these philosophies within us. We are physically, mentally, and emotionally individual units. Our life is a solitary experience because nobody can live for us, only with us and yet…
As human beings we also continually seek out associations, societies, communities, or whatever other title will fit. We’re communal creatures by nature. We connect over meals, through dance, through social networking sites, through video games, art, music, sports, national identity or heritage, relationships and families…the list goes on and on.
So if we’re innately both, then why the conflict?
This is the great paradox of the individualistic/communal duality of human beings. Both characteristics compliment and yet at the same time vehemently oppose because, pushed too far in either direction, one will end up destroying the other. A culture which places a high premium on collective will and extreme emphasis on the “common good” will swallow up the individual. In the same way a “society” predicated on extreme individualism lacks the cohesion to remain a society. So the question of living as an individual who has an innate need for community is where exactly to strike the balance between the two.
That’s a question people have been asking for centuries upon centuries.
Lauren’s argument was that a certain, prescriptive sort of behavior was more beneficial in the long run for society. If it sounded antiquated, well…it’s because it is. It was a worldview that was prevalent in American culture (I can’t speak to other cultures) for the better part of its history. It’s only been in recent decades that Americans have witnessed the implosion of the traditional nuclear family, attitudes toward sex and relationships becoming increasingly liberal, and the generations raised by daycare rather than parents.
Lauren Southern’s career is built entirely on restoring traditional Western values, it’s something she’s ridiculously passionate about. We need people who care about society as a whole, or the direction of cultural trends.
The danger of looking simply at cultural trends as a whole is that one can lose sight of the fact that individuals are the fabric of that society. Individuals have different experiences. One person may completely embody a cultural trend, while another may engage in similar behaviors and defy the trend. At the end of the day what matters is freedom of choice, not a prescriptive way to live.
I will readily admit that I am biased toward the individualist’s camp, but that doesn’t stop the nagging questions I have about what makes a great society. Yes, I want to be as free as possible and don’t want any authoritarians (Right or Left) to tell me what’s best for me. At the same time I watch the descent of American culture firsthand and wonder if We The Individuals are even capable of sacrificing some of our precious autonomy for anything greater than ourselves.
It’s been said that Rome, the shining jewel of civilization in the ancient world, was lost when it’s citizens stopped believing in Rome. I am an individual, but I’m also a citizen of America. I need to be true to myself and strive for freedom, but I also have some degree of responsibility to those I share a country with.
So the question then isn’t who’s right in this discussion.
At the end of the day, the question is:
Where exactly will we strike this necessary balance?