Discrimination in the Old Days

Right, so I was going to put this in like a week ago when I was fresh from the evolution panel.  But I didn't.

Anyway, someone brought up the point that, in The Descent of Man, Darwin was horribly sexist, saying that even though women had the potential to become as smart as men, they shouldn't, because it would disrupt the domestic sphere.  And then there are people who think that Shakespeare shouldn't be read because of anti-Semitic sentiments in works like Othello.

To all of these people: what. the. fuck.

Darwin was definitely progressive for his time; Shakespeare, not quite as obviously, but considering the number of character parodies, he was definitely more rabble-friendly than not.

Seriously, people can't be judged relative to our own time.  They have to be judged alongside contemporaries.  One of the benefits of living today is that we are more enlightened (and I totally imagine, 500 years from now, the future √úbermensch all laughing at our ridiculously old-fashioned ideals).  It's rather easy to be a douchebag when you have hindsight on your side.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen !