Alarming News

April 12, 2010

Doesn’t nodding your head get old?

I don’t often agree with anything on the Feministe site but I’ve had a mostly civil back and forth with that site for many years. I hadn’t checked in to that site in awhile so when Jill of Feministe posted a link today on her twitter, I checked it out. The post, about sexual and physical assaults on transgender women was fairly standard fare over there. I left what can only be described, and do correct me if I’m wrong, the most innocuous comment of all time:

The author wrote:

“We are caught in the Catch-23: be open about our background and accept that many potential sex partners will simply lose interest, or not disclose and run the risk of being assaulted or even murdered by our partners.”

To which I responded:

How is this a dilemma? Clearly, the only option for a trans person is to disclose. How is that not obvious? I have nothing but sympathy for trans people, and anyone violent against them should be persecuted to the fullest extent, but not disclosing that they are transsexual is truly unacceptable behavior. It’s a major, awful lie. The way for trans people to be accepted is not to trick people into loving them, but to be open about who they are. Lying will only lead to violence and further marginalization in society.

Banned! For that! Seriously! Someone commented to my “major, awful lie”: “Yes, heaven forbid someone be tricked into touching me without prior warning, so they can put on their medicated gloves first.”

And then a moderator wrote “Sincerest apologies to those who saw the transphobic comment that was here for about 5 minutes before I saw it (and banned the person who left it). Alyson replied to it at the same time as I deleted it. It’s still in the archives, assuming that none of us empties the trash, but I won’t be reposting it unless CL specifically asks me to.”

TRANSPHOBIC. Is you kidding me? There is nothing transphobic about my comment. I can only imagine the scorn Feministe would heap on a straight man who would lie and deceive a woman to get her into bed, yet complete trickery on the part of a transsexual is perfectly acceptable, and if you dare question that then you’re the hater. Outrageous.

It’s sad that so many blogs have become total echo chambers. I have only ever banned the most outrageous commenters, and never because I merely disagreed with them. Crazy.

Posted by Karol at 07:02 PM |

Those who challenge liberal conventional wisdom must not be merely debated but must be banned from departing from the party line.

Have you ever read an entire Kos thread? Don’t meander too far off the path – you’ll get buried. Of course, reading through 380 comments that repeat the same 5 thoughts over and over is pretty boring, too.

Posted by: Chris at April 12, 2010 at 7:15 pm

1. Heartily agree. I think that the entire GLBT community needs to understand that there’s tolerance, and then there’s grabbing a yard when someone gives you an inch. Sorry, but just like I would have a problem dating/marrying a straight person with over 1000 partners, I think that someone has a right to make the call rather than be tricked into dating someone who is a different gender than they entered the world in.

Nor do I think that said individuals should be surprised if someone takes this…poorly. Yep, as with all people who violently assault others person should be thrown in jail for a long time (10+ years, in my humble opinion) or slathered down with some Crisco and put on the express lane to Mr. Edison’s deep fat fryer if they kill them…but much like a black man at a Klan conventon the victim should see some things coming. (Why, yes, I have nearly resembled that remark on accident. Notice I said “nearly.”)

2. Once again, I point out that people don’t usually start shooting one another if they can communicate. On the other hand, the growing phenomena of intolerance for alternative points of view is going to lead to bad things for all of us in the near future.

Posted by: James at April 12, 2010 at 7:18 pm

I guess moral values like “Thou Shalt Not Lie” did not fit into their world view. These are probably the same people that don’t believe in telling their partners they have HIV.

James – 1,000 partners…I am so icked out by a guy on the radio here is over 400. He talks about them by number. Some of it is real & part of it is his schtick.

Posted by: Buelldawg at April 12, 2010 at 9:44 pm

It seems, Karol, that you were banned for the same reason that criticism of the president is called “racist.” How dare we disagree! It must mean we’re evil racist imperialist capitalists who want to impose our values on…uh, people who want to impose their values on us. That’s the liberal paradox of “tolerance.” They can have their opinion, and you can have theirs too.

I agree with you completely: it’s lying. What’s wrong about being honest from the start about a deal-breaker? And if it isn’t a deal-breaker, why hide it in the first place? Maybe I’m just naive, but I had never imagined that “transgender” people tried to attract potential partners based on deception.

It’s also simply selfish, and that applies to anyone of any sexuality. It appears, though, that the “transgender community” considers it acceptable to deceive in some sort of self-centered hope. “But he’ll still love me when he finds out, love will transcend it!” Is it really a surprise when someone so deceived will get more than pissed about it?

There was a joke about the Star Trek TNG episode where Riker falls for someone from a gender-neutral race, who privately told him she has female tendencies. So Riker brings her back to his quarters, and after a little feeling around, he yells, “What the hell, you told me you were a woman!” “I’m sorry, this is not what you call female?” Riker then smiles and says, “Turn over.”

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 12, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Don’t you know… having common sense is not only sexist, but leads to hate crimes. Well, OK, in the real world, it actually prevents hate crimes, but, where’s the suspense there? It must be so erotic wondering if someone’s going to walk out of the date or beat you up later.

Posted by: Christine at April 12, 2010 at 11:45 pm

What I don’t understand (and I completely don’t get the ban) but the apology to the readers about your comment, as though those precious readers were going to be scarred by your words. Pretty pathetic, last I checked adults should be able to handle words, even if they disagree with them and find them repulsive. Pathetic.

Posted by: Pdov at April 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Amen, Karol.
As someone who has been on the internet longer than most of the imbeciles who have taken it over, I have seen the level of intolerance- and ignorance- continue to reach new depths. When I lived in the San Francisco Bay area in the 1980s, the first people online were really bright, (truly, not pseudo-intellectual) and curious people who were pioneering a new way for people to communicate. They succeeded in “shrinking” the world, making it possible for people all over the connected world to communicate with each other without running up unaffordable long-distance phone bills or waiting days or weeks for “snail mail” to reach it’s destination.
Unfortunately, as more people bought personal computers, joined online services, got their own e-mail accounts and started forming user groups, it gave rise to things like SPAM and viruses and organized hate groups and even terrorists being able to more easily organize, recruit and spread disinformation- being one.
Now, blogs have become the preferred forum for the more angry and opinionated among us to vent their grievances and attack their perceived oppressors. The groups that clearly identify themselves as such don’t bother me. I respect their right to free speech; I can simply not visit their site. The moderators in these forums are the new gatekeepers of information and, as such, assume the responsibility for facilitating the dissemination of information to the masses and moderating (what a moderator does) the blogs/ discussions that correspond with the stories. These people have a responsibility to do this job free from their own personal emotions and values. If they personally disagree with someone’s opinion, that doesn’t give them the right to censor that opinion. That’s one of the most serious violations of what our country stands for and if they want to live in the United States and benefit from all the freedoms and rights afforded them by our Constitution- rights denied in much of the rest of the world- then they have a duty to respect the right of the rest of us to enjoy those same rights. The fact that this site has allowed it’s gatekeepers to arbitrarily stifle the expression of opinions (without vulgarity or violating terms of use), is inexcusable.
These days, I mostly read sites that don’t have the overt agenda of propagating their own political views. I want to keep abreast of what’s going on in the world- just the facts. I have my own brain that works quite well; I don’t need anyone telling me what to think about world events or what my political views ought to be. I’ve grown tired of reading the same angry whiners commiserating together and attacking anyone who doesn’t parrot back the party line. To hell with them- the old saying “the masses are asses” may smack of snobbish elitism, but it rings true when you read the vast majority of gibberish posted. Part of my college education consisted of a required a course in critical thinking. Being able to clearly distinguish between a sound argument versus an unsound one, a valid argument versus an invalid one, fact from opinion- these are skills that very few people either possess or care about these days. Ignorance abounds. “I’ve got my mind made up, don’t confuse me with the facts,” seems to be the prevailing mode of thought most people abide by these days. Even seemingly well-intentioned people are sometimes just too lazy to do their own investigating, reading and evaluating and seem more content to just “go with the flow.” Social acceptance trumps integrity. Apparently, it’s more important to be accepted than to go against the grain, regardless of where the truth lies. If you question the prevailing opinion, you are labeled a misfit or a malcontent. You’ll scare the herd. Many people here in NYC think the way they think is the way the entire country thinks- or ought to think. Wrong!
I remember having a conversation in a restaurant and saying I thought Mayor Guilliani was doing a good job. It was like that old “When EF Hutton speaks, people listen” commercial. People within earshot at the tables near me stopped mid-sentence and from the looks they shot me, you’d think I had just shot their dog or something. Freaking hilarious. Even funnier: when the Republican Convention was held in New York (whose decision was that?) several years ago, I was having dinner with my wife in Chelsea, at our favorite Thai restaurant, and a man and woman, middle-aged, who were dressed in formal business attire sat down at the table next to us. From their conversation and their southern accents, we ascertained they were in town for the convention and in New York for the first time. Highly doubtful they knew they were in the gayest neighborhood in the city. Regardless, this gay couple- two dudes- felt it necessary to do an in-your-face PDA (public display of affection) stopping in the window right in front of them. And from the smirks on their faces after they “finished,” they got a kick out of putting on their show. The couple noticed them, but didn’t say anything and whatever they thought they kept it to themselves and resumed their personal business. This is what mature, responsible adults do. The hypocrites in this city that label conservatives as being mean-spirited, narrow-minded and intolerant need to look in the mirror.
About a decade ago, I was invited to a wedding up in Harlem. As I was walking down 125th Street in my suit, that fine Sunday morning, several older black men shared their sense of humor with me: “Mmmm Mmmm, I’m gonna git me some friiiied chicken. Hows abouts some watermelon?” Nice. Obviously, Chris Rock wasn’t making up that skit he used to do about old black men being the most racist people going. I understand they lived through and experienced true and horrible racism in their lives, but what does venting on me do to alleviate that? I’m not their enemy and they’re not punishing the people who did crappy things to them. And my point in mentioning this: if I even tried to submit this mini-essay I just wrote to most blogs or MSM comment sections, they surely wouldn’t print it and, if they did, you can rest assured I’d be attacked for being an insensitive, racist white guy who doesn’t understand what it is to be a minority and therefore has no right to point out inappropriate or irresponsible behavior. Not allowing this conversation to take place is the worst form of censorship and prevents any possibility of facilitating people of different backgrounds coming together in a common cause to build a better community for all of us, rather than different cultures segregating themselves and harboring resentment towards people of other ethnicities and blaming those people for their frustrations.
The feminist malarkey is no better. I’ve worked in several gyms and spas run by progressive, career women who have a big chip on their shoulder. As a heterosexual male, I’m somehow responsible for their lack of career advancement, inadequate salary, their having to choose between pursuing a career or a family or whatever. I’ve watched as gay male employees make blatantly sexual comments regarding their genitalia in the workplace and these women say nothing (or laugh like they’re sharing a joke in the women’s room). But when a heterosexual man repeats a quote from a popular movie that everyone’s talking about, he’s a sexist pig and she writes him up. I’ve observed gay guys pinch women’s butts and the women laugh or do it back. Tell me, honestly, that a straight guy would get the same response. You’d be on the wrong side of a law suit or being read your rights and cuffed. Apparently, if I’m uncomfortable with something someone says or does, then they’re in the wrong and it’s up to them to change to suit me. Everyone’s a victim these days and no one is responsible for their own behavior.
Doesn’t nodding your head get old? For the majority, it does not.

Posted by: kostas at April 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm

This is all very amusing. You ever notice how it’s always the feminists who get the vapors?

Having said that, though, let me say I’ve made a few comments on that site feminists are likely to find disagreeable, and as far as I know they haven’t banned me. My guess would be one of the moderators let her personal problems cloud her judgment.

Posted by: Eric at April 14, 2010 at 1:28 am

I can’t believe they don’t understand why it would many would find it wrong to trick someone who isn’t gay into gay sex. Would they support a man lying about income, race, VD status, religion or marital intentions to get sex as well, because telling the truth up front could have horrible consequences?

Posted by: T. at April 14, 2010 at 11:04 am

T’s comment above made me think that the treatment Karol got might be manifesting an underlying assumption that many homosexuals have (and some straights, too, it seems). Namely, that sexuality is fluid, orientation could be changed during one’s lifetime, and preferences are subject to nurture. I think that’s why, f.i., there are so many knowingly nodding heads at appearance of “closet gay” scandal de jour.
So they don’t consider lying about their sexual transformation unethical – well, if sexuality is dynamic, the partner’s attitude might change with time, isn’t it?

Posted by: Tatyana at April 14, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I also think that a lot of it comes from their belief that gender changes truly make one a woman. And that they should totally be treated as one. And that the gender of their birth is a mere technicality. Therefore it becomes a minor admission, something only a total bigot could make a big deal about.

“Like, dude, she’s a woman. Gender is a social construct. It doesn’t matter what she was born as. She’s a woman now, so it’s not a big deal for you to have had sex with her. It doesn’t make you gay.”

Same thing with those “pregnant man” stories. No, it’s not a pregnant man. It’s a pregnant woman dressed up as a man.

Posted by: T. at April 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

“Gender is a social construct”

I’ve always wondered about that absurdity. If gender was a social construct then the brains of men and women would be precisely the same, and as anyone with a smattering of medical acumen knows: they are not.

Gender roles in society [insert your favorite 1950s sit-com here] are social constructs, not gender.

The left acts like any sort of bias in any context is a bad thing, which it isn’t. If it was, one should always order a generic wine instead, one should order randomly off a menu, and one should be omnivorous, etc.

The utter deafness to people and the expressed desire to DEMAND that people behave precisely how the left DEMANDS people behave shows you everything that is wrong with liberal philosophy: they want therefore they demand others think in lockstep with zero tolerance of others. Demanding others think as you do is inhumane and, frankly, inhuman.

I believe in a tolerant society and I’m a conservative. The liberals talk a good game but they can’t practice what they preach, it’s always one set of rules for them, one for the rest of us, like somehow they never advanced beyond the emotional age of 5.

Posted by: V. at April 14, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Well, without even getting too deep into issues, why should someone want to be involved with someone who would not accept him/her?

Posted by: mj at April 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Well, without even getting too deep into issues, why should someone want to be involved with someone who would not accept him/her?

Lemme take a wild guess and say it’s probably for the sex.

Posted by: Eric at April 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm
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