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Tag Archive: activism

Apr 26 2014

On Demanding Solutions To Social Problems

One of the most frustrating and most understandable responses I encounter in the course of activism goes something like this: “Okay I get that this is a problem but what am I supposed to do about it? Should I decline a job that I supposedly got because of my privilege? What are your policy prescriptions? …

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Nov 15 2013

In Defense of Conferences #sk6

This morning as I was sitting in my horrifically delayed plane to Missouri for Skepticon, I had this exchange on Twitter. I don’t mean to pick on Ali at all; he stated his argument well (even though I think I’m right and he’s wrong!) and was really great about listening to my take on it …

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Nov 01 2013

(How) Should We Call Out Online Bigotry? On “Somebody Said Something Stupid Syndrome”

Anti-racist Doge to the rescue!

Over at The Chronicle of Higher Education, Ben Yagoda has a post called, “Must Attention Be Paid?” In it, he describes what he called “Somebody Said Something Stupid Syndrome,” or “SSSSS”: SSSSS (as I abbreviate it) begins when an individual writes or is recorded as saying something strikingly venal, inhumane, and/or dumb. The quote is …

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Sep 29 2013

Of Pranks and Playboy: The Pros and Cons of Online Hoaxes

Header for Playboy's fake party guide.

If you were online at all last week, you probably came across a Playboy article called “Top Ten Party Commandments.” The article was in Playboy’s usual style, but rather than emphasizing your typical dudebro disregard for women’s feelings, opinions, and preferences, it’s all about how you can’t truly have a good time without consent and …

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Aug 30 2013

Making the Normal Abnormal

Much of progressive activism focuses on making things that seem weird, abnormal, and wrong to many people seem more ordinary, normal, and acceptable. For instance, activists have tried to show that being attracted to someone of the same gender is no different from being attracted to someone of the opposite gender, that eating vegetarian or …

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Aug 02 2013

“They’re Your Friends/Family/Neighbors!”: On Activism and Appeals to Kinship

This post may have more questions than answers. You have been warned! For a while I’ve been noticing a certain tension in activism of various kinds. On the one hand, we want people to care about our causes not because those causes are necessarily proximal to them and impact their lives directly, but because these …

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Jun 25 2013

Internet Activism Matters: An Update On Kickstarter and Ken Hoinsky

Remember that awful rapey Kickstarter project? So, not only did Kickstarter release an amazing apology for allowing the project to get funded, but the authors of the petition to get it pulled have spoken with the author of the rapey book. Here’s what he said: Today, Hoinsky said in a statement that he ‘wholeheartedly apologizes …

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Jun 07 2013

Yes, Activists Have Doubts Too, And Also Criticism Is A Process (A Rant About Two Kinda Different Things)

I was avoiding my statistics homework today and found this comic on Tumblr, by an art student named Alyssa Korea: This really resonated with me, for various reasons. First of all, it really captures that feeling of Am I doing it wrong am I saying something problematic am I exactly what I’m fighting against that many of …

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May 13 2013

[meta] On Tone, the Policing Thereof, and What It Is I Do Here

So my “Why You Shouldn’t Tell That Random Girl On The Street That She’s Hot” post went a little bit viral and I’m still responding to comments on it. One thing that has come up a lot are guys telling me that they basically agree with me, but that they are very concerned that the …

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May 05 2013

[blogathon] What I’ve Learned From Blogging

This is the fourth post in my SSA blogathon, and another reader request. Don’t forget to donate! I’ve been blogging in some form or another for ten years. Since I was 12. Did they even have blogs back then? Apparently! But I only started this blog a little less than four years ago, and it …

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