Capitalism makes us sexist and insecure
And it does so to distract us from what’s important.
Modern capitalist values make us insecure, sexist and unhappy, and here’s why.
Humans have a tendency to want security. We constantly try to find ways to align ourselves with others, find our place in society and identify ourselves in order to feel secure. This longing for a label constantly shows through, with people often aligning themselves with big ideologies which mean very little in the grand scheme.
“Indie”, “middle class”, “English”, “left-wing”, “a belieber” – they go on and on. The reality is that all of these words barely ever correlate to the person identifying by them. They are used as an aspiration as much as a description – they prescribe, not describe.
People will stand behind their “prescription” with blind conviction. If you have ever seen an EDL protest you will know how violent people get “defending” their Englishness against the “enemy” of immigration and Islam. They fail to recognise that the real problems in the 21st Century come from the routine economic thieving by the top percent of the world’s population: the very reason that people are forced to immigrate in the first place.
We see young One Direction fan girls self-harming as a form of celebrity lobbying against Zayn leaving the group while they show little or no interest in their education. On Black Friday (I hate that name) we saw shoppers fighting for televisions like a packs of wolves.
The prospect of material gain brought out some animal fight or flight instinct. Meanwhile the government continued to slip in budget cuts for key services. It doesn’t add up – for some reason people are able to deeply connect to the unimportant whilst being totally alienated from what matters.
There are routine distractions from the genuine causes of our economic and social inequalities. We will vehemently blame immigrants for unemployment and an expensive NHS while failing to acknowledge that bankers still receive billions of pounds of bonuses after having been bailed out by the UK taxpayer.
Meanwhile the Guardian reckons that our nuclear program, Trident, has cost us up to 130 billion pounds: the government invests in nukes (to kill people) while still shutting down A&E centres (to save people), allowing our NHS to slip into administrative crisis.
Emphasis on “British Values”, “tradition”, partisan politics and other bullshit labels leads us to increasing social fragmentation. If you aren’t English, culturally British and/or white, there is a bizarre pressure to assimilate, with “British Values” now being taught in state schools.
This alienates people from one and other, creating a psychological condition where far right extremism and radical religion grow. ‘Islam is the problem’, ‘immigrants are the problem’, ‘the far right is the problem’ – no, these are symptoms of cultural atomisation.
But this form of alienation and micro-oppression can be traced down to some of the most fundamental human labels.
A lot of us will have realised that gender is a spectrum, and that we ought to not be so bound by masculine or feminine ideals any more. But still there is a huge preoccupation with gendering everywhere in modern capitalism. Adverts seem incapable of not perpetuating some kind of masculine or feminine ideal, be that as explicit as with the advert below, or as subtle as this.
The labels of masculine and feminine, man and woman, are totally counterproductive in creating a world where we aren’t alienated from one and other.
It amazes me how ‘Lad’ culture and hyper-masculinity, idealising perfectly chiseled male bodies and sexism, is constantly pushed forward by films and TV. It sickens me how the equally sexist “feminine idols” like Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj, argue that voluntarily objectifying themselves is somehow empowering for their femininity.
That’s a massive lie. The reason that they are getting naked is to sell more copies of their “Kardashian Game” mobile phone app, while showing a total disregard for the effect that sexualising and idealising the female body has on women and culture on large. They are both tapping into and contributing to a culture of endemic insecurity.
That is the key word in this culture of alienation and capitalism: insecurity. All of these labels, ideals and different ways to identify are tools of insecurity. And if people see a way to be something, to aspire to something, then they certainly will jump at it because their true individual self is made to seem so deeply insignificant.
We buy, mindlessly compete and become unaware of ourselves while being distracted from the realities of our social and economic exploitation.
We need to wake up, recognise our common humanity and see where we’re being used.