Tuesday, December 31, 2013

two old posts about SJW censorship

• warriors love their echo chambers, plus a major sign you're dealing with a cult


Had my comments deleted from All Skulls On: Teaching Intersectionality through Halo. Le sigh. I think what I find most obnoxious about people who delete one person's comments but don't delete the responses to them is future readers are deprived of the context—but then, the point is to make it impossible for anyone to judge what a dissenter said. SJ warriors care about victory, not context.

To pretend deleting some comments is creating a "safe space" is very odd. If the discussion is "triggering", it should be entirely excised.

One of the first signs that you've landed at a cult's web site is when you find that polite disagreement is banned.

A copy of my first comment there is still at it's all one thing: Regarding Scalzi's "Lowest Difficulty Setting" and Teaching Intersectionality through Halo.

• where "more inclusive" means "less inclusive"

Liza Groen Trombi, editor-in-chief of Locus magazine, announced, "The writer who penned the offensive Wiscon post will no longer be contributing to or associated with Locus in any way, online or in print. The Locus Online editor will retain his editorial autonomy, with the understanding that nothing like this can or will be permitted to happen again. I’ve worked very hard in the past three years to build a better, more modern Locus, with greater parity, social awareness, and more inclusive coverage."

I disagree with Lawrence Person on a great number of issues, from capitalism to Islam, but I would never fire someone because I didn't like the politics of their humor, then claim my reason was to be more inclusive.

Monday, December 30, 2013

If I was cataloguing all the types of SJWs, I'd include animal-rights activists

And I say this as someone who had kept a near-vegan diet for years and wishes everyone would adopt a mostly vegetarian diet. Really, there are lines that activists should not cross, and death threats to dying people is one of them: Animal-Rights Activists Bully Dying Italian Girl - The Daily Beast

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Is the Internet a Mob Without Consequence?

Is the Internet a Mob Without Consequence? - NYTimes.com: "“This default to hate, this automatic mockery and derision, needs to be viewed with the same hatred as Sacco’s tweet,” wrote Tauriq Moosa, a tutor in ethics, bioethics and critical thinking at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. “Indeed, more so, since more people do it, no one is arbiter of said hate, and it’s constant, wide-ranging and terrifying if you’re the target.”"

Friday, December 6, 2013

Identitarianism articles at The North Star

At The North Star, Mark Fisher's Exiting the Vampire Castle does a nice job of dissecting identitarianism. A taste: "The Vampires’ Castle specialises in propagating guilt. It is driven by a priest’s desire to excommunicate and condemn, an academic-pedant’s desire to be the first to be seen to spot a mistake, and a hipster’s desire to be one of the in-crowd. The danger in attacking the Vampires’ Castle is that it can look as if – and it will do everything it can to reinforce this thought – that one is also attacking the struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism. But, far from being the only legitimate expression of such struggles, the Vampires’ Castle is best understood as a bourgeois-liberal perversion and appropriation of the energy of these movements. The Vampires’ Castle was born the moment when the struggle not to be defined by identitarian categories became the quest to have ‘identities’ recognised by a bourgeois big Other."

It starts a bit slowly imho, but it's got grand bits. I suspect I'll be using "embourgeoisement".

Reactions, pro and con, and additional articles on the subject are also at The North StarI especially recommend Eve Mitchell's I am a Woman and a Human: A Marxist-Feminist Critique of Intersectionality Theory.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

KKK Member and Black Musician: on effective anti-racism

In KKK Member Walks up to Black Musician in Bar-but It’s Not a Joke, and What Happens Next Will Astound You, Daryl Davis says,
A lot of people have anti-racist groups. They get together and meet and have a diverse group and all they do and sit around and talk about how bad discrimination is. Then someone says ‘there’s a Klan group across town. Why don’t we invite them to come and talk to us?’ and the other person says ‘Oh no! We don’t want that guy here!’ Well, you’re doing the exact same thing they are. What’s the purpose of meeting with each other when we already agree? Find someone who disagrees and invite them to your table. Invite your enemy to talk. Give them a platform to talk because then they will reciprocate. Invite your enemies to sit down and join you. You never know; some small thing you say might give them food for thought, and you will learn from them. Establish dialogue. It’s when the talking stops that the ground becomes fertile for fighting.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

“Identity” — the bane of the contemporary Left

Michael Rechtenwald said at “Identity” — the bane of the contemporary Left | The Charnel-House:
Identity is the bane of the contemporary Left. Should the forces of revolution rise up tomorrow, “leftists” will spot-check them, making sure they are comprised of the “right” identity groups. If they are not properly composed, the Left will call off the revolution, suggesting that more “marginalized” people need to be involved in the leadership, in speaking roles, and so on.

Friday, November 1, 2013

On the term “identitarian”

The conclusion, and best bit, from On the term “identitarian” | The Charnel-House:
“Identitarian” ideology here occurs wherever apparent heterogeneity masks underlying homogeneity. When individuals assert the uniqueness of their various identities, and recite all the various experiences and factors that make them different from the dominant narrative or “hegemonic order” of society, they neglect to consider the way that capital operates by making that which is seemingly incommensurable commensurable. Far from being inherently radical or occupying a marginalized vantage within society not fully captured by the logic of capital, these various identities are regarded by capital as so many niche markets through which groups or individuals can semi-consciously cultivate the illusion of being different than everybody else. This is not to say that racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on are not problems; they are. But they are bound together by a social dynamic that runs deeper than the facile notion of “intersectionality”: namely, the totality of capitalist social relations, in which these phenomena coexist and interrelate. These different “identities” do not provide a true basis for transcending capitalism, nor are they properly outside of capitalism; they are generated, layered, and recombined within the neoliberal configuration of capital.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Maya Angelou on why WisCon should not have censored Elizabeth Moon

I'm hopping in my time machine to take this back to the debate over Moon's GoHness:

"Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women." —Maya Angelou

Moon stood up for all women in much harder circumstances than most, and perhaps, all, of her WisCon critics have ever known.

Monday, October 21, 2013

17c Reclaiming Civility

At my main blog: Reclaiming Civility. Anonymous comments can be left here, but not there.

Next: 17d. A Farewell to RaceFail

do SJWs simply trust the wrong "experts"?

Why We Make Bad Decisions - NYTimes.com: "In a 2009 experiment carried out at Emory University, a group of adults was asked to make a decision while contemplating an expert’s claims, in this case, a financial expert. A functional M.R.I. scanner gauged their brain activity as they did so. The results were extraordinary: when confronted with the expert, it was as if the independent decision-making parts of many subjects’ brains pretty much switched off. They simply ceded their power to decide to the expert."

Identitarians cite a number of people to back up their beliefs, but the people they cite tend to have nothing more than belief to back up their own views—the proud embracing of subjectivity means any standards for experts are irrelevant. Hmm. Which is only more argument that identitarians are cultists.

Friday, October 11, 2013

What a bunch of twerks!

What a bunch of twerks! | Ellamay Russell | spiked: "But the problem here is not that the one-time Hannah Montana child star has appropriated black culture as a white thing; no, the problem is that black culture is being reduced to a sexually provocative dance. That is what is really offensive about this Cyrus the Siren furore: the degenerate identity politics of feminism has transformed a racial stereotype - the black woman as sex object - into something to be embraced by, er, black women. Contemporary feminism really is a schizophrenic beast. One minute its proponents are ‘slut-shaming’ and the next they’re shouting ‘you go girl, you work that twerk!’."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

13. The Female Marine Officer vs. the True Feminists, or Censoring Elizabeth Moon

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

Study: "females and males had carried out sexual violence at nearly equal levels by the age of 18"

Study: 10 Percent of U.S. Youths Cause Sexual Violence:
Perhaps the most controversial part of the study is that males, traditionally thought of as the perpetrators of sexual violence, are not the only ones responsible for sexual violence—females are too.
"Not long ago, males were asked the perpetrator questions and females were asked the victim questions," Ybarra noted. "We never appreciated the fact that males could be victims and females could be perpetrators.
"[This study] highlights the importance of asking both sexes both questions."
The study found that females and males had carried out sexual violence at nearly equal levels by the age of 18. Of the survey respondents who reported being perpetrators, 48 percent were female and 52 percent were male. Interestingly, females tend to assault older victims, while males are more likely to choose younger victims. Females are also more likely to engage in "gang rape" types of activity and act in groups or teams (1 in 5 females reported this type of activity, compared with 1 in 39 males).
Researchers aren't sure if this pattern is because of differences in developmental trajectories between males and females.

Are "bourgie black person" and "black social justice warrior" two names for the same kind of person?

Based on this, maybe: Quiz: Are You Bourgie? | Clutch Magazine.

ETA: I don't think they are. But the overlap is amusing.

12. Racefail Fallout

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

8. Racefail 09 Flares Up

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

7. Is Politeness Oppression?

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

6. The Powwow Dancer vs. the People of Privilege, or The Hounding of William Sanders

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

5. Social Mob Justice, or The Outing of Zathlazip

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

4. Parallel Lives, the Taxi Test, Class Markers, and Fat

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

3. Questions Without Answers?

For the current version of this post, see a guide for Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

4 ways to deal with unreasonable people

1.

2. "Don't worry about people talking 'behind your back.' It just means you are one step ahead of them, and they are exactly in the right position to kiss your posterior."—Old Vaquero Saying (according to Bob Boze Bell)

3. The Complete Guide to Not Giving a Fuck

4.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists

Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists - Salon.com: "So the message to advocates is clear: Avoid rhetoric or actions that reinforce the stereotype of the angry activist. Realize that if people find you off-putting, they’re not going to listen to your message. As Bashir and her colleagues note, potential converts to your cause “may be more receptive to advocates who defy stereotypes by coming across as pleasant and approachable.”"

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Are SJWs mildly autistic?

That’s not autism: It’s simply a brainy, introverted boy - Salon.com: "Mildly autistic kids often don’t really comprehend irony, sarcasm, and absurdity. Mentally gifted kids, on the other hand, often thrive on irony, sarcasm, and absurdity."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Essential fact about sexism in genre writing

SEXISM IN GENRE PUBLISHING: A PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE « Tor Books: "The sad fact is, we can’t publish what we’re not submitted. Tor UK has an open submission policy – as a matter of curiosity we went through it recently to see what the ratio of male to female writers was and what areas they were writing in. The percentages supplied are from the five hundred submissions that we’ve been submitted since the end of January. It makes for some interesting reading. The facts are, out of 503 submissions – only 32% have been from female writers."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

An awkward fact for feminist social justice warriors

What Witchcraft Is Facebook? - Laura Dimon - The Atlantic: "Typically, mass hysteria is confined to a group of girls or young women who share a common physical space for a majority of the time. Bartholomew has studied over 600 cases, dating back to 1566, and said that the gender link is undeniable; it’s just a question of why. It is accepted within the psychiatric community that conversion disorders are much more common in females. There are also social, biological, and anthropological theories that have to do with how and why females might cope with stress."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Felicity Savage on the Jemisin-Vox Day Tiff

The Language of Scandal: Why Do Speculative Fiction Writers Love Disgusting Scatological Insults? - Amazing Stories

antiracists or neosegregationists?

The Miley Cyrus kerfuffle, with people complaining she "appropriated" a black dance style and is "exploiting" her black backup dancers is an interesting example of how some people just hate it when white people dance like or with black people.

Noah Berlatsky at The Atlantic added that white people shouldn't sing like black people when he complained about Janis Joplin.

I may have first noticed the curious hatred of miscegenation by many anti-racists in the Save the Pearls kerfuffle: the book is about an interracial romance, yet it was denounced as racist. I suspect some of the people who denounced it have also complained about the shortage of "eligible" black men and about white women "stealing" black men, but I haven't bothered to verify that.

Is anti-racism the love child of the Nation of Islam and the Ku Klux Klan?

Monday, September 2, 2013

the privilege theorist's anti-scientific understanding of race

In a wide-ranging discussion about racism and race reductionism at Lake Hermanstadt: Fools don’t claim that cats bark, but they talk about cats when everyone else is talking about dogs, Anubis said:
the definition I use is based on Paul Mecheril’s: Racism is the (institutionalized) power to differentiate groups of people by physical and/or social traits, and to ascribe these traits to national, ethnic or cultural origins.
I answered:
Mecheril's definition may work in Europe, but in the US, racism continues to be based on physical traits; tribalism and bigotry are based on social traits. While I agree that the goal is to end the nation state, that's not to end racism; that's to end tribalism. Racism is a very distinct concept, the idea that whiteness is good or bad. For example, people who like Christian Africans and hate Muslim Africans are not racist in US terms (though you could speak poetically of the race of Christians and the race of Muslims). People who hate Muslims, regardless of their race, are bigots. Their bigotry has nothing to do with the nation state, because it's targeted against a religion that transcends nation states.
Anubis said:
The reason why it’s good to work with Mecheril’s definition is that it comes very close to the definition used by (primarily Latin American) theorists who are concerned with the question how racism shapes international relations. So I don’t think it’s a definition that works only in a local context, although I live in Europe and I’m primarily concerned with racism in Europe. To be sure, a different definition might be needed in the US context (which I don’t know personally). Talking about the historical origin of racism, it is important to note though that racism wasn’t invented in the US (or the North American colonies).

The talk about tribalism doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, because it sounds unscientific, to say the least.
I said:
We simply have to disagree on whether racism was invented in the Americas. Yes, tribalism is ancient. But racism was an Age of Enlightenment rationalization of the African slave trade: if people of the time wanted to believe all men are equal but some should be enslaved, they had to conclude that there's a racial hierarchy. It is significant that the first appearance of "white people" in North America's historical record was around 1680.
But I've been thinking about Anubis's "it sounds unscientific, to say the least".

Anti-racists fail to distinguish between two very different kinds of prejudice, one based on what people can change and one based on what they cannot. An immigrant may adopt the religion, clothes, manners, and, with great effort, speech of a culture, but cannot change race or sex. Whether the different kinds of prejudice ultimately matter, I don't know—I oppose them all—but I fully expect that history's most recent form of prejudice, racism, will disappear long before the older forms like tribalism and sexism. We're seeing that disappearance now as the word "racism" is being used for other prejudices.

But what's fascinating is the self-righteousness of claiming that failing to distinguish between very different things is scientific. A crow is not a crane. The scientific attitude is to find both differences and similarities in order to be precise in addressing problems. Tell me that prejudices are ancient, and I'll happily agree. Tell me that racism is ancient, and I'll have to insist that history disagrees. Historian and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Eric Williams continues to be right:
Slavery in the Caribbean has been too narrowly identified with the Negro. A racial twist has thereby been given to what is basically an economic phenomenon. Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery. Unfree labor in the New World was brown, white, black, and yellow; Catholic, Protestant and pagan. (Italics mine.)
ETA: Anubis says I've misunderstood her position; see the comments at Fools don’t claim that cats bark, but they talk about cats when everyone else is talking about dogs.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Gender Wage Gap Lie

Gender pay gap: The familiar line that “women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar” simply isn’t accurate. - Slate Magazine:
"The point here is not that there is no wage inequality. But by focusing our outrage into a tidy, misleading statistic we’ve missed the actual challenges. It would in fact be much simpler if the problem were rank sexism and all you had to do was enlighten the nation’s bosses or throw the Equal Pay Act at them. But the 91 percent statistic suggests a much more complicated set of problems. Is it that women are choosing lower-paying professions or that our country values women’s professions less? And why do women work fewer hours? Is this all discrimination or, as economist Claudia Goldin likes to say, also a result of “rational choices” women make about how they want to conduct their lives."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

When Class Became More Important to a Child's Education Than Race

When Class Became More Important to a Child's Education Than Race - Sarah Garland - The Atlantic

an observation about cultural appropriation and genetic determinism

In the comments at On Miley Cyrus, Ratchet Culture and Accessorizing With Black People, Specular said:
You can't have this one both ways: either pop music created by non-dominant cultures is open to enjoyment and emulation by people outside that culture, or it is off limits to anyone not from that background and we therefor can't complain about limited sales and/or industry recognition. It's like when the folks over at Queerty complain that hipsters "stole" camp from gay people. It's not "progressive" in any sense, it's straight up genetic determinism and IMO not something to be proud of.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

C. S. Lewis on moral busybodies, aka do-gooders or social justice warriors

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." —C. S. Lewis

Saturday, August 10, 2013

James Webb: Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege

James Webb: Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege - WSJ.com: "In 1974, a National Opinion Research Center (NORC) study of white ethnic groups showed that white Baptists nationwide averaged only 10.7 years of education, a level almost identical to blacks' average of 10.6 years, and well below that of most other white groups. A recent NORC Social Survey of white adults born after World War II showed that in the years 1980-2000, only 18.4% of white Baptists and 21.8% of Irish Protestants—the principal ethnic group that settled the South—had obtained college degrees, compared to a national average of 30.1%, a Jewish average of 73.3%, and an average among those of Chinese and Indian descent of 61.9%."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

an update on the Tawana Brawley story

Tawana Brawley starts paying man she falsely accused of rape in 1987 - CNN.com

I was one of the people who believed her: I assumed a black woman wouldn't lie about being raped by white men. When the truth came out, I realized my assumptions were both racist and sexist. Everyone deserves the presumption of innocence.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Brendan O’Neill on trolls and moral panic

The hysteria over trolls is a classic moral panic | Brendan O’Neill | spiked:
To understand why virtually the entire British media and significant chunks of the political class have become weirdly obsessed with small numbers of trolls who fire vile insults at women, you could do worse than dip back into the late, great Stanley Cohen’s 1972 book, Folk Devils and Moral Panics. An indispensable guide to the modern era’s malarial-like social scares, which come and go like waves of a fever, Cohen’s book popularised the term ‘moral panic’. A moral panic occurs, he said, when ‘a condition, episode, person or group of persons become defined as a threat to societal values and interests’. A moral crusade, fuelled by ‘media sensationalism’, is then launched against these allegedly threatening ‘deviants’, he said, until they loom large in the public mind as ‘folk devils’ whose behaviour poses a threat to public safety or moral norms. In the past, Teddy Boys, football hooligans and drug-taking yoof were elevated to the status of folk devils; today, it’s internet trolls.

Monday, August 5, 2013

more evidence that anti-racism training is a deadend

Riley Cooper racial slur: How does racial sensitivity training work? - Slate Magazine:
Although the numbers may have changed in recent years, a 1998 survey suggested that only 2 percent of diversity trainers have a relevant degree. 
Does racial sensitivity training actually work? It’s difficult to say. A 2007 study of 829 companies that use diversity training suggested that the sessions make virtually no difference in the number of minorities hired or promoted into management positions. (Employing a manager of diversity or a diversity task force produces far better results.) There are also troubling anecdotes, like the Texaco executives who were taped referring to employees as “black jelly beans” who were “glued to the bottom of the bag” after seeing jelly beans used in a diversity training session.
It's more evidence that if you don't understand the problem, you can't find the solution—something an Australian study of anti-racism programs found two decades ago. Perhaps the whole thing's been nothing but huckstering ever since Derrick Bell and his buddies came up with their capitalist-friendly approach to fighting racism rather than poverty. It certainly pays well for the academics who promote it—and they get to enjoy their class privileges at the same time. That's a win-win, eh?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jim Goad on identitarian infighting

Goad's been called a racist asshole, which I think is a great oversimplification—he's the embodiment of contrarian, and he hates all forms of "P.C.", but if racism equals power plus prejudice, he's got no power and his prejudices seem to be all-encompassing. He wrote The Redneck Manifesto, which anyone interested in class in the US should read. This post of his seems very relevant to this blog: Cannibalism Among the Oppressed.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Black Panther Fred Hampton saw the difference between identitarianism and socialism

“When I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. We’ve got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don’t fight racism with racism. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.” —Fred Hampton

Muhammad Ali on racism

“Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.” ―Muhammad Ali

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Damien G. Walter and "class envy"

On second thought, I'll keep this blog going until I decide whether to make a book about social justice warriors, so here's a twitter exchange that seems relevant:

  1. No, Will. This is the whole point. As we covered already, this isn't about Jemisin. It's about you, and your victim complex.
  2. And your class envy, and your being beaten up as a kid. And your anger, which you've turned in to racist insults, when...
  3. …you could have turned it in to something better.

I responded:
  1. Ah, "class envy". On this side of the pond, that's what rich folks say about the people who don't know their place.

The interchange reminded me of Jemisin's use of "flyover country".

What can I say? Elitists are elitist. Or as identitarians would say, classists are classist.

What he was thinking of when he said I deal in racist insults, I haven't a clue. I do my best not to insult anyone, though I realize that to cultists, any disagreement is insulting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

when you think social justice warriors can go no lower: the SFWA edition

Joe McCarthy's witch-hunt ended soon after Joseph Welch asked him on public television, "Have you no sense of decency?"

I keep waiting for that moment to come with the internet's social justice witch-hunters.

The answer to Welch's question is that witch-hunters have no sense of decency. They're hunting witches, after all. To holy warriors, decency is only weakness.

The latest example is a tumblr, Speculative Friction, dedicated to sharing posts made at a site that's not available to internet search engines, and which has an explicit privacy statement. At Vox Popoli: A scandal a day for SFWA  there's a claim in the comments about who's behind specfriction, but I haven't been able to verify it. (And for gentle flowers, I'll add a warning that Vox Day's fans defer to no one's concept of propriety.)

Warriors claim they respect privacy, but they only respect their own. They doxxed Zathlazip, who tried to keep her identity private, then turned around a year later and accused people of "outing" Coffeeandink, who was using her legal name in public posts. Hypocrisy lies at the heart of their identity.

Friday, June 28, 2013

for the people who came to this blog seeking more information about WisCon and sexual harassment

Elise is a friend; I vouch for her sincerity. Her account is here and elsewhere: Brandon Sanderson Blog: Guest post by Elise Matthesen: How to Report Sexual Harassment.

My only comment at this time: Stopping when you are first asked to stop is not some weird new feminist notion. It may be the oldest idea of how good men are supposed to treat all women. It is at least as old as chivalry, and I suspect there were Sumerians who understood that.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

amusing comment in review of a Jemisin novel

Researching the call for civility in the Jemisin-Vox Day tiff, I googled "jemisin civility" and found Amazon.com: Jeremy's review of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inherit...: "In a book about a political power struggle it is frustrating to see the protagonist refuse to act with any sort of civility or tact."

It made me laugh. Why would a writer who rejects "tone policing" write characters who act with civility or tact?

Monday, June 3, 2013

oh noes! Ann Somerville is cyberstalking me!

It began with her tweet:
17hWhat a surprise. Shetterly is defending sexist dickwittery in comments.
I responded with:
16h Actually, I'm supporting the right to disagree. I believe in intellectual diversity, not bourgeois identitarianism.
Then I saw her response:

16hchrist, does will shetterly do anything but ego google himself all fucking day? As if he could ever say anything I want to hear
16hWhat does it say about the SF community that a racist sexist tool like Shetterly is more acceptable than 'lady writers'?
So I tweeted:
12h Do you even know what "racist" and "sexist" mean? You use them like synonyms for "poopyhead".
12h The Feministsf wiki said my “work features strong women characters and people of color”. What did it say about yours?
12h I marched and was beaten bloody in the civil rights struggle. What have you done?
Will Shetterly ‏@WillShetterly12h Ah, well. Bored now. Ciao!
Then I noticed she had blogged about me: Bros before hos. So I tweeted:
2h Oops, forgot to say this: Stop cyberstalking me! (I hope I'm using the term in the proper SJW sense.) :)
What can I say? I was bored, and I assume Ann Somerville was also. It used to bother me when SJWarriors threw hissyfits about me, because I like to think people can disagree civilly—I have many friends who don't share my politics. But since Warriors reject civility as tone policing, I realize that outrage is just what makes them happy. So now I find their attention kind of flattering.

But mostly, I pity them. They want a better world and haven't a clue how to make one. (Hint: Embracing the idea of treating everyone with respect is a start. I don't always succeed at that, but I keep it as a goal.)

ETA: Her blog post may be private now. I wish these people would decide whether they want to be public or private before they hit "post". But changing things from public to private is just another example of SJWs wanting to have everything two ways, and a third if they can figure one out.

Recommended: Intersectionality and identity politics

Intersectionality and identity politics | Slave of the Passions:
I don’t agree with those who say that the problem with intersectionality is that it’s a difficult, academic concept that ordinary people can’t possibly be expected to understand. It’s true that I don’t much like the word ‘intersectionality’. It’s a big, new, difficult sounding word to describe something that is actually a remarkably straight-forward and common sense idea, and that always gets my hackles up, as I suspect it’s often done in an attempt to make the obvious and mundane seem complex and profound. But I’m not going to fight with anyone about that. It’s useful to have a phrase to describe this simple idea, and if intersectionality works for you, then that’s fine – and, for better or worse, it looks like we’re stuck with it now. (It also seems worth mentioning that in my time as an academic I have never heard or read the word. Perhaps other academic disciplines use it, but it is never used in my field, and I had never encountered it until I started reading feminist stuff online.) So while there may be some initial resistance or confusion when meeting the term for the first time, I don’t think the reason to object to the discourse of intersectionality is that it’s just far too academic and complicated for normal people to understand. It’s actually incredibly obvious and easy to comprehend that if you’re a non-white woman, you’re going to be subject to both sexism and racism, which is a different experience from being subject to only one of these, and so on and so on, for other forms of prejudice. 
So if this is what intersectionality is about, then I don’t believe many people on the left have any problem with it at all. I think the problem lies not with the idea of intersectionality itself, but with the identity politics that some of its proponents believe follows from it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Eric Hobsbawm on Identity Politics

“So what does identity politics have to do with the Left? Let me state firmly what should not need restating. The political project of the Left is universalist: it is for all human beings. However we interpret the words, it isn’t liberty for shareholders or blacks, but for everybody. It isn’t equality for all members of the Garrick Club or the handicapped, but for everybody. It is not fraternity only for old Etonians or gays, but for everybody. And identity politics is essentially not for everybody but for the members of a specific group only. This is perfectly evident in the case of ethnic or nationalist movements. Zionist Jewish nationalism, whether we sympathize with it or not, is exclusively about Jews, and hang — or rather bomb — the rest. All nationalisms are. The nationalist claim that they are for everyone’s right to self-determination is bogus.” – Eric Hobsbawm, "Identity Politics and the Left"

Monday, May 27, 2013

the theme song for this blog?

"New Age of the Fist" by Alistair Hulett:




It’s not post-modernist
It’s not post-structuralist
It’s not the end of history like they promised
It’s not post-feminist
Or post-industrialist
It’s the new age of the fist
Post this!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

answering searchwords: can PoC (people of color) be racist?

You might ask yourself how many white folks there are in the Nation of Islam. Or watch this video:



Or you might just laugh when SJWs tell you they don't use dictionary definitions. Sane people do, because it's good to be able to understand each other.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

if I could teach Social Justice Warriors one thing...

...it would not be a fact. There are too many facts they don't know to choose one. Instead, I would teach them an attitude that's well-expressed in Daniel Dennett's seven tools for thinking: Respect your opponent.

Many SJWs defend what they do by saying their opponents don't respect them. If that was true, they would not have to write so many words about why politeness should be ignored.

They also rely on the great cry of the self-justifier: "But X did it first!" Even if you think it's right to treat others as they treat you—and there have been times in my life when I believed that—it's never right to treat people worse than they treated you.

But in every case I know of where SJWs attacked someone who could possibly be said to have given the first offense, their response was far more vicious than the offense.

Teaching SJWs to respect their opponents may be impossible. The SJW love of call-out culture and rejection of tone-policing suggests their approach could be called antirespectism. Teaching Social Justice Warrior to respect their opponents would be the end of Social Justice Warriordom.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

identitarian rhetoric, a case study: Stevie, Tibet, and slavery

At Free Speech, Blacklisting, and Tactics, J Thomas said:
Gandhi’s tools did not work for Tibetans who did not want the Chinese Empire to take their food from them. Nothing worked, and half of them died.
Being a longtime sufferer of SIWOTI, I noted:
J Thomas, this is a digression, but you should do a little more reading about the claims of the Dalai Lama’s faction, especially regarding the numbers of people who died. They’ve generally been discredited. Keep in mind that the Tibetans who fled tended to be the slaveowners; they’ve got a bit of an agenda. 
Highly recommended: http://www.michaelparenti.org/Tibet.html And to people who claim Parenti’s an apologist, note that he says scathing things about China.
The conversation soon returned to the main subject. Then Stevie entered.  Here's our interchange:

Stevie:
Arriving somewhat belatedly to the Tibet thing, courtesy of rather a lot of fascinating medical technology attached to various bits of me, I should point out that to scholars in England the notion of ascribing European social structures such as feudalism to wholly different non-european cultures is recognised fairly and squarely for what is is: imperialism. 
It never ceases to amaze me, and depress me, that people like Parenti are so ignorant that they don’t even know they are imperialists…
Me:
Stevie, yes, the same argument can be made that the Union was being imperialist when it freed the slaves in the states of the South. You may think that slavery should be respected in the cultures that practice it. I’m on the side of Tibetans like Wangchuk, who said, “I may not be free under Chinese Communism, but I am better off than when I was a slave.”
Do you also oppose “imperialist” attempts to end sexism, racism, and homophobia?
Incidentally, the imperialists interfering in Tibet were the British, not the Chinese. Tibet has been recognized as part of China for centuries by every major nation in the world.
Stevie:
Will
Nothing that I have ever written here or elsewhere could be construed as a statement that I believe that slavery should be respected in the cultures that practise it; quite the reverse.
I have written here and elsewhere that my father was a slave on the Death Railway, that he survived when vast numbers did not, and that he carried the scars both mental and physical for the rest of his life.
The fact that you resort to such an offensive straw man argument suggests that you are simply incapable of mustering anything better…
Me:
Stevie, it indicates that I am appalled by your attempt to defend slavery as it was practiced by the Tibetans up until 1959. Nothing more, and nothing less. I hadn’t thought there was anything to argue about in opposing slavery in the 21st century. Then I met apologists for the Dalai Lama. Slavery is an abomination in its Eastern and Western forms, and while I have no love for any non-democratic country, whether it calls itself communist or capitalist, it takes a cold-hearted person not to admit that freeing Tibet’s slaves was a good thing.
At that point, SKZB entered:
Stevie: Will is drawing conclusions from your positions; the conclusions may or may not be justified.
Will: Stevie does not consider herself as defending slavery, and you ought not to say she is before proving your case.
Both of you: This conversation needs to take place somewhere else.
Me:
“This conversation needs to take place somewhere else.”
Actually, it does not, but if Stevie wants to, it can happen on any of my Tibet posts at my blog. Though if she really thinks criticizing Tibet’s serf system is “imperialism”, I doubt there’s any point to it.
Stevie:
Skzb
You are right to conclude that this particular child of a slave is revolted by the way in which the people who suffered the brutal reality of torture, starvation and forced labour are being used as fodder for mere rhetorical device.
Thank you for your kindness. I’m folding.
Now, I'm sorry I wasn't kinder to Stevie, who was dealing with medical issues. I have nothing against her.
But her approach to rhetoric in general and metaphor in particular is fascinating. Social Justice Warriors often object to metaphors—see Sparkymonster on Amanda Palmer's reference to the Ku Klux Klan and K. Tempest Bradford on Elizabeth Bear using "death march". Yet they love violent metaphors like "Die cis scum", "Die in a fire", "stab somone" and, a favorite of Tempest's, "cut a bitch".

Stevie claims characterizing Tibetans before 1959 as slaves or serfs is imperialist. But the alternative is to use the Tibetan categories of mi-bo, mi-ser, or nangzen. Each is different, but then, slavery in New England in the 1600s and slavery in Louisiana in the 1800s were different, too. We expect English words to carry different meanings depending on context. Quibbling about "slave" or "serf" when describing Tibet's hereditary hierarchy is to argue that English words should never be used to describe anything from another language. When I'm eating noodles, must I say "tagliatelle" if the meal is Italian and "mì" if it's Vietnamese? Slavery was subtly different in every country—must we use the local word in every case, or can we simply say "slave" when we're talking about a class of people born into servitude who could be bought and sold?
Stevie calls her father a slave and herself the daughter of a slave. Referring to prisoners of war as slaves because they're forced to work is a valid metaphor for me, but I'm surprised it is for her. After all, POWs expect to be freed if they survive the war, and they don't expect their children to be born into slavery as happened in the US and Tibet.
And Stevie's use of "imperialist" is fascinating. Parenti's a communist who criticizes both China and the Dalai Lama's faction—is calling for democratic socialism "imperialism"?
The answer is that in the rhetoric of the social justice warrior, "imperialism" only means referring to something in an improper way. The modern warrior is as obsessed with proper terms for things as the 19th century genteel sorts who spoke of "limbs" instead of "legs". To warriors who fetishize the Dalai Lama in ways they would call Orientalizing if done by their opponents, it matters that the approved words are used to describe someone like Wangchuk; the life he was forced to live is irrelevant.

Possibly of interest: Tibet, the Dalai Lama, feudalism, slavery, and the Great Game.

Friday, May 10, 2013

a comment to Sady Doyle about rape jokes

I left this comment at Not So Funny: Sam Morril’s Rape Jokes and Female Comedy Fans:
My guess is he didn’t respond because you opened with claims of statistics that are astonishingly suspect. As Christine Hoff Sommers wrote, regarding the CDC claims, “…where did the CDC find 13.7 million victims of sexual crimes that the professional criminologists had overlooked? It found them by defining sexual violence in impossibly elastic ways and then letting the surveyors, rather than subjects, determine what counted as an assault.” 
Do you think rape jokes cause rape? If so, superhero jokes should make me fly. And to make this more specific, “Kill all men” jokes should increase homicide. But they don’t. Black humor comes from the recognition of cultural taboos–there’s no evidence that black humor weakens those taboos. Do dead baby jokes cause abortions?

Sam Morril's response to Sady Doyle: Sam Morril - http://globalcomment.com/not-so-funny-sam-morrils-rape... 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lies, Damn Lies, and Rape Statistics

Lies, Damn Lies, and Rape Statistics: "Thanks to the Clery Act, universities in America make public all reported campus crimes. This allows anyone to look at every instance of reported crimes on the campus and, in particular, all incidents of sexual violence. I decided to take a look at the reported violent sexual crimes for Brown, and fortunately for women but perhaps disappointing for feminists, the result came nowhere near Koss’s figures. For the past three years, the average number of reported forcible sex offenses (which range from groping of private parts to penetration) was 8.66. The number varied from as low as seven to as high as 10. With an estimated 3,141 female undergraduates, 0.28 percent are victims of reported sexual violence each year. This is inconsistent with the one in four statistic, but on par with the national average."

Woman fined for 'racist' English insult

Woman fined for 'racist' English insult - Telegraph: "Elen Humphreys, 25, of Garndolbenmaen, near Porthmadog, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment, after she branded Angela Payne, who had an affair with her father, an “English cow.” "

Monday, April 29, 2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

recommended reads of the day

Intersectionality and identity politics | Slave of the Passions:
Taken to its ultimate conclusion, in this vision of politics there could be no room for movements like feminism at all. For feminism assumes some degree of commonality among women, which the logic of this identity politics must deny. As soon as you call yourself a feminist, you are identifying yourself as part of a movement that speaks for and represents others. And yet these others are all radically and irreducibly different, from you and from each other.
The objectivity of oppression | Slave of the Passions:
The problem with some versions of intersectional identity politics is that, in elevating subjective experience above objective knowledge, they dissolve the possibility of making coherent, meaningful claims of injustice or oppression at all. On this logic all complaints are reduced to an expression of one’s personal preference or feelings, with no way to distinguish genuine injustice from mere dislike. If we want to hold on to the concepts of injustice and oppression, and if we want them to have real political weight and to signify actions and practices that need to be altered, then we have to understand them as having objective criteria that are defined independently of how any individual experiences them. The intersectionalist demand to attend to people’s narratives and to learn from people’s experiences can, at its best, shed a great deal of light on difficult concepts like oppression and injustice, and help us to understand the forms they take and the remedies they require. But at its worst, it descends into solipsism and narcissism, where we mollify oppressed people with the consolation that they are being listened to, but where we and they ultimately lack any resources with which to end their oppression.
via https://twitter.com/MattBruenig/status/324972595130793984