Nov 04 2013

It was so disruptive

So things must have been too calm and boring, so D.J. Grothe decided to throw a little bomb on Facebook and Twitter.


No hyperbole: I just saw the worst-passing transsexual I’ve ever seen in the lounge here. It was so disruptive that I am forced to believe it was an intentional way to protest against rigid gender binaries. Or so I’d like to think.

There were some shocked comments, and then a bunch of “PC gone mad/it’s all the fault of rage bloggers” people rushed in to circle the wagons in such a tight circle that not even an atom could get through.

Update: Part of the wagon-circling: Sara Mayhew posted her view of the matter on that Facebook thread:

That’s PZ, me, Rebecca, Amy, Melody, and in the front row, Carrie and…Elyse. That last one is so vicious I can hardly believe my eyes.


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  1. 1

    There you go again, blogging with all the rage, you rage-blogger you!

  2. 2


  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson


  4. 4

    DJ’s posts like this make me glad I no longer support the JREF.

  5. 5
    Anthony K

    They’re such little conservatives, aren’t they?

    “In the big city I saw one o’ them queer types. Couldn’t tell if he was a he or she was a she. I couldn’t do nuthin’ but stare.”

  6. 6

    Drescher (in the comments on that post) misses the 80s, when careless bigotry didn’t get called out like it does today (THANKS FOR THAT, RAGEY SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS!!1)

  7. 7
    A. Noyd

    And, according to zenlike over on Pharyngula, Miranda Celeste Hale thinks it’s terrible to be obsessed with people you hate.

  8. 8

    Oh Jesus, that comic. What disgusting shitbag she is.

  9. 9
    Tom Foss

    It’s apropos that this cartoon would show up the same day that this tweet of Sara Mayhew’s ended up retweeted into my timeline. For those who can’t read it, it says:

    Want to know if you’re a nice person? Ask yourself if you’re kind when it’s hard to be. Even jerks know how to be nice when it’s easy.

    Irony and all that. Isn’t Mayhew the one who’s gone on about the immaturity of Amy’s jewelry? Considering this is the caliber of bullying doodle that I was the subject of in grade school, it would seem she’s eliminated even more of her room to speak.

    Ye gods, these people are thoroughly disgusting.

  10. 10

    Isn’t it a little bit ironic you complaining about a cartoon? Next thing you know Rebecca Watson will be posting about how EVIL it is to post cartoons and parodies on web sites.

    Oh, wait………..

    You fucking clueless, talentless waste of faeces. Oh, and you’re a liar and hypocrite, too. The Pit are now at work on hundreds of more shops of you, since you obviously are a big fan of them. You REAP what you sew,

  11. 11
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Gee, I’d hate to see what someone who isn’t supposedly a professional artist might have come up with.

  12. 12

    Can someone describe Mayhew’s contribution? I have no idea what it’s about and that leaves a fairly large hole in the overall meaning of this post.

  13. 13
    Al Dente

    fwtbc @11

    It’s a drawing showing caricatures of people the drawer dislikes. The drawer, one Sara Mayhew, is still emotionally in third grade.

  14. 14

    fwtbc @11:

    It’s a doodle of PZ Myers holding an anti-Groethe sign, Benson complaining about blockquotes, Rebecca Watson holding two stacks of dollar bills (which she helpfully explains is her salary from blogging), Surly Amy crying over fake jewelry, Melody Hensley looking morose and holding a beeping phone, an infant Carrie Poppy painting a “DANGER: TAM” sign, and an infant Elyse apparently drunk and pooping.

    It’s even more juvenile than it sounds, sadly.

  15. 15
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Rage? I’m surprised DJ has all his teeth, given his attitude and speech in a lot of cases.

  16. 16

    . Her drawing is on the level of a 7 or 8 year old’s drawing but with less subtlety.

  17. 17
    Stephanie Zvan

    Is that supposed to be Melody on the right or me? Mayhew’s been raging at me about my blogging for the last week or so. Or did Mayhew decide to combine us for no particular reason?

  18. 18
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Oh yes, the “FTBullies” and Skepchicks are all infanite and immature, unlike the totes respectable Ms. Mayhew, who spends the grand majority of her day posting hateful and pointless attacks on the previous. My irony meter not only exploded into shards, it also took out my Can-You-Believe-This-Shit-inator.

  19. 19

    It’s apropos that this cartoon would show up the same day that this tweet of Sara Mayhew’s ended up retweeted into my timeline. For those who can’t read it, it says:

    Want to know if you’re a nice person? Ask yourself if you’re kind when it’s hard to be. Even jerks know how to be nice when it’s easy.

    I felt a great disturbance in the twitterverse, as if all the irony meters ever suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly exploded.

  20. 20
    PZ Myers

    Wait, that’s supposed to be me? How can you tell? None of the others look like any of their labels, either — if that’s supposed to be you, Ophelia, there isn’t the slightest resemblance — and I assume you’re just identifying them by rough association with Mayhew’s objects of hatred.

    You know, it’s not just the mean-spiritedness of it, it’s the abysmal lack of talent.

    By the way, if that’s me, who is that on the sign I’m holding? They’ve got horns, I guess, so it’s an anti-Satan sign? I don’t get any of it.

  21. 21

    Hey. Cartoonists aren’t supposed to be able to do lettering, right?

  22. 22
    Stephanie Zvan

    PZ, the person with horns has something on their face. Since I assume that’s deliberate, from the context, I’ll guess that’s supposed to be Grothe’s goatee.

  23. 23

    Let this be a warning to you, kids. Don’t do Percocet and draw.

  24. 24

    That last one is so vicious I can hardly believe my eyes.

    Ophelia, somebody on Facebook said that the “poop” may be a reference to Elyse blogging about being a mom and dealing with kid-poop. If so, it wasn’t meant as a reference to Elyse’s cancer. Hanlon’s razor.

  25. 25
    Claire Ramsey

    How intolerant, hateful, and narcissistic does a person have to be to claim that another person’s appearance is “disruptive”? Also, what depths of inhumane ignorance is he displaying? Stay classy, D.J. Grothe.

    I am sickened. Nevertheless, I don’t find that guy’s comment disruptive in the least. I am a grown up. I can disregard many intolerant ignorant hateful narcissists.

    I also despise that nasty cartoon. What the HELL is wrong with people?

  26. 26
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I know Sara’s not very bright – her succession of poorly-thought-through tweets, blog comments and all-around #navalgassing has put that beyond a shadow of a doubt – so it probably hasn’t occurred to her that a lot of people are beginning to attach her name to a lot of assholish behaviour, whether or not she’s even been involved.

    And people have long memories.

  27. 27

    The whole ‘PC gone mad’ schtick reminds me of a Stewart Lee quote:

    It really worries me that 84% of this audience agrees with that statement, because the kind of people that say “political correctness gone mad” are usually using that phrase as a kind of cover action to attack minorities or people that they disagree with. I’m of an age that I can see what a difference political correctness has made. When I was four years old, my grandfather drove me around Birmingham, where the Tories had just fought an election campaign saying, “if you want a n****r for a neighbour, vote Labour,” and he drove me around saying, “this is where all the n****rs and the c**ns and the jungle bunnies live.” And I remember being at school in the early 80s and my teacher, when he read the register, instead of saying the name of the one asian boy in the class, he would say, “is the black spot in,” right? And all these things have gradually been eroded by political correctness, which seems to me to be about an institutionalised politeness at its worst. And if there is some fallout from this, which means that someone in an office might get in trouble one day for saying something that someone was a bit unsure about because they couldn’t decide whether it was sexist or homophobic or racist, it’s a small price to pay for the massive benefits and improvements in the quality of life for millions of people that political correctness has made. It’s a complete lie that allows the right, which basically controls media now, and international politics, to make people on the left who are concerned about the way people are represented look like killjoys. And I’m sick, I’m really sick– 84% of you in this room that have agreed with this phrase, you’re like those people who turn around and go, “you know who the most oppressed minorities in Britain are? White, middle-class men.” You’re a bunch of idiots.

  28. 28

    Wow. That Mayhew quote about being kind, followed by that cartoon. Is she the least self-aware person in the world? Got to be top ten, at least.

  29. 29
    SC (Salty Current), OM

    Has Sara Mayhew’s Twitter account been suspended?

  30. 30

    What a shitty cartoon drawn by a shitty person.

    DJ deserves embarrassing supporters like Sara.

  31. 31

    He’s also getting support from TERFs now. Ideally that would be a wake-up call for him on how transphobic the original comment was (though I don’t expect that to actually happen).

  32. 32
    jim newman

    I find this cartoon morally repugnant. How can Mayhem, uhhh Mayhew, find any moral high ground here?

    What the hell was DJ thinking? I don’t get this recent penchant for people to open their mouth’s and let their brains fall out. Is there some critical mass of mass sociability where people descend to acting like chickens alternating between bullying and rape? I still say let’s have slow cooked soup!

  33. 33

    What I find most interesting about Mayhew’s participation in many of these issues is that she is far more driven by simple social needs than most people, as opposed to having a rational contribution to the issue/subject. Notice that the picture has absolutely no connection to the incident involving Grothe’s comment? All it is in form is a stereotype of the people she sees as being socially opposed to what she cares about. She responds as if folks criticizing Grothe are the same as her. She is a projectionist (what I like to call people who seem to be engaging in psychological projection). Whenever anyone here at FTB touches on her involvement in these issues that is mostly what I see her doing, piling on with the emotional crap and providing little to nothing that relates to the actual issue at hand.

    As for Grothe himself, clearly this guy is a bigot on top of being a bad logical/rational thinker if this is any indication.

    It was so disruptive that I am forced to believe it was an intentional way to protest against rigid gender binaries.

    Because asking what this person questions about themselves was too hard for you? Because what you perceive about the world simply must be what reality is?

    Or so I’d like to think.

    Why do you want to think this? What could possible be so important that it makes you want this person to be fake? What is so scary about that alternate world that you abdicate your responsibility to ask questions and instead engage in wishful and downright disgustingly offensive thinking?

  34. 34

    DJ continuing to fight the good fight against the ‘Rush Limbaughs of atheism’ by being… well, an inarticulate shitsack, apparently.

  35. 35

    I well remember the head of house at my school muttering “Damned Jewboy” and such stuff. He was a decent old buffer within his limits, but I’m certain that it is an improvement that “these things have gradually been eroded by political correctness”.

    However I still feel very uncomfortable about it’s imposition on other people (it’s no particular hardship for me), so I can’t honestly agree that its “about an institutionalised politeness *at its worst*”.

    Shunning and obloquy are the same mechanisms by which people are trapped in their religions and otherwise forced to conform to social norms, whether beneficial, harmless or harmful. We should all be sensitive to it – particularly those who belong to monitories in the world beyond these blogs.

    D.J.Grothe really should go off into a room somewhere to say things like this though (presumably he reckons it’s OK because the person could not be identified).

    What is it about electronic or text communications that make people feel they are sharing confidences even when the’re telling the whole world?

  36. 36

    Should read ‘minorities’ of course.

  37. 37
    Ophelia Benson

    Yes Sara Mayhew’s Twitter account has been suspended.

  38. 38
    Josh, Official SpokesGay

    Why, yes. Yes, Sara Mayhew’s account has been suspended. Yes, indeed.

  39. 39
    Ophelia Benson

    PZ – how I know who’s who – oh, from that whole comment thread, which is full of irrelevant bullshit about “rage bloggers” and SJWs, and from long familiarity with Mayhew’s particular myths about me, Rebecca, Amy, Elyse. It took me awhile to get Carrie, but once I embiggened the image it was obvious. You’re right that it certainly wasn’t because she caught any likenesses (except, a bit, Melody).

  40. 40

    @ yahwey 34

    What is it about electronic or text communications that make people feel they are sharing confidences even when the’re telling the whole world?

    Probably has something to do with the fact that information going though ears is different from information going though eyes anatomically, and that facility in one does not guarantee facility in the other. I see some people type things that if spoken would have much worse social impact and look much worse. I think we are lazier with text than we are with sounds and that needs to be better distinguished better on a social level.

  41. 41
    Bernard Bumner

    I presume D.J. reads his own Wall? I would be very, very embarrassed if something I wrote attracted that kind of defence.

    Even if I thought I was utterly correct and flagrantly misrepresented by my detractors, I would not stand for the sort of partisan, childish, and largely irrelevant nonsense being offered in the spirit of support. Particularly if I was the President of a public outreach organisation.

  42. 42
    A. Noyd

    yahweh (#34)

    However I still feel very uncomfortable about it’s imposition on other people….

    I don’t get how setting up social consequences for those who spread hatred is in any way an imposition. The ability to spread bigotry without consequence is a special privilege that comes at a cost to others. The only people who feel it’s an imposition to remove things they didn’t deserve anyway in order to prioritize the needs of all people equally are privileged, entitled jackasses. On the other hand, it’s a huge imposition for those with less privilege to have to tolerate hatred-spewing bigots—an imposition that can limit their access to jobs, healthcare, support organizations, etc.

    What is it about electronic or text communications that make people feel they are sharing confidences even when the’re telling the whole world?

    That’s the thing, they don’t feel they’re sharing confidences. The whole point of broadcasting their hatred is to receive support for it and to reassure themselves that they’re still able to spread that hate without consequences. Because, for them, it’s not enough to feel as they do in private.

  43. 43

    A.Noyd, I think this is one of the chief points of divergence between myself and most of the contributors here whose opinions I think you represent well.

    You say “I don’t get how setting up social consequences for [those who spread hatred] is in any way an imposition.” and I think that you really do not.

    But it’s the question of who says they ‘spread hatred’ or whatever else which one might believe deserves obloquy. To work, this has to be a majority, even if it is only a local majority. You may find no-one here to disagree with you about it, but in other times and places you could easily find yourself being the alleged hatred spreader. Past and present candidates for ‘social consequences’ have included unmarried mothers, homosexuals, atheists, apostates, communists, infidels.

    Now, there may well be a delicious irony in turning the tables and seeing the privileged (I should declare an interest here) given the same treatment, but it is also more than a little short sighted.

    We can’t all conform and, atheism notwithstanding, would be well advised to think occasionally that there, but for the grace of God, go I.

    For the purpose of clarity, I am not suggesting D.J.Grothe deserves anything less than he received for his public unkindness.

  44. 44
    Ophelia Benson

    yahweh – what? You’re claiming that the reason given in the past for the ostracism of single mothers and gays was that they spread hatred? I don’t think that’s right. (It’s a small part of the story with the other groups on your list, too, but at least it can be seen as a part. But the first two? I don’t think so.)

  45. 45
    Ophelia Benson

    Bernard @41 – oh DJ was reading all right. He (and Barbara Drescher and Miranda Hale) Liked that cartoon.

  46. 46

    @ yahwey 43

    To work, this has to be a majority, even if it is only a local majority.

    Are you speaking of the whole process? Because one person can start such. I’ve been the lone persistent dissenter often enough.

    Otherwise I think I see what you are getting at but the terms might be a bit muddy. I think there should be a separation of criticism from hatred and in fact hatred is an imprecise word here. I think that hatred is secondary to something else that indicates hatred is appropriate. In this case whatever D.J.Grothe was feeling which could have been disgust, or a feeling of something in in surroundings just “not being what he normally expects” (to be replaced by whatever it really was).

    You can’t spread hatred, you can only spread specific things due to feelings of hatred that are themselves caused by specific things.

    D.J.Grothe is getting criticized, some of it because other people hate him undoubtedly. (though the hatred does not make the criticism invalid). And perhaps D.J.Grothe hates obvious transexuals. But the things they do because of the hatred are not hatred themselves.

  47. 47
    A. Noyd

    yahweh (#42)

    Now, there may well be a delicious irony in turning the tables and seeing the privileged…given the same treatment, but it is also more than a little short sighted.

    What you’re not getting is that the privileged, by definition, cannot receive the “same treatment” because they are shielded from harm by their privilege. And what they’re asking for is “rights” in excess of what others get. Yes, shaming and shunning and the like can be used against those with less privilege. No fucking duh. But when the tables are turned, it’s not the same thing.

    There’s nothing short-sighted about it because context matters. You can’t just equate acts because they appear to be the same when you ignore context. For instance, if someone has more food than they can eat, you can remove their excess without inconveniencing them. But when you do the same thing to someone who already has too little, you’re harming them. Reducing both cases to nothing more than “food removal” and pretending that “food removal” is inherently bad based on the obvious harm in only the latter case is just dishonest.

    Similarly, using social sanctions to equalize things is not the same as using social sanctions to increase inequality. Social sanctions are not inherently problematic. Powerful people using them against the less powerful is bad because it does genuine and measurable harm. The reverse just does not hold true.

  48. 48

    Ophelia, no. I’m saying beware of ostracism as a tool and the justifications people find for it – the effect depends on who is calling the shots and may not always suit you.

  49. 49

    A.Noyd, I do understand what your saying, and I broadly agree with your version of the context. I’m asking who’s the judge and suggesting that intolerance is not a safe solution, even to intolerance.

  50. 50
    Ophelia Benson

    Ok, well, I’ve written posts on exactly this subject. (Just saying. Not expecting you to know that.)

  51. 51

    Wait, there are safe solutions? What social tool can’t have both constructive and destructive ends? There is no solution where consideration of the appropriateness of ostracism or intolerance is not a part of the equation.

  52. 52

    Unless the person doing the considering is an impulsive person that is.

  53. 53

    What social tool can’t have both constructive and destructive ends?


  54. 54
    Ophelia Benson

    Tolerance of what? Racism? Sexism? Domestic violence? Bullying?
    Your question answers itself.

  55. 55
    A. Noyd

    yahweh (#49)

    I’m asking who’s the judge and suggesting that intolerance is not a safe solution, even to intolerance.

    The judge is who is measurably harmed. And by harm I mean things like the previously mentioned reduced access to jobs, healthcare, support organizations, etc. Also, harm to self-esteem and mental health. Also, stereotype threat. Also, limitations on social mobility. And the list goes on.

    We’re not just calling whatever we want “hate” while the other side gets to do the same. They can pretend they get to, but anyone claiming equivalence is wrong to do so. And since merely being wrong isn’t going to stop them, we need things like intolerance of their harm-doing to protect their targets. If they’re going to make themselves impervious to reason, evidence and empathy, we have to appeal to their self-interest.


    What social tool can’t have both constructive and destructive ends?


    You’re being extremely naive. Tolerance of harm is destructive. “The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

  56. 56

    I won’t tolerate homophobia or transphobia.

    I won’t tolerate them for various specific reasons that I can outline. Reasons that I came to agree with when other people also stopped tolerating these behaviors and spoke out. That verbal intolerance let information fall in my head that later helped to move me from the hyper-religious militaristic upbringing that I had that hated other things for irrational reasons.

    Intolerance also does not indicate the means of expression of intolerance. I actively criticize homophobes and transphobes but I don’t bash them with baseball bats (exaggeration of the criticism into fantasies of police states if common).

    I have yet to encounter a single human social phenomena or emotional state that can’t lead to bad ends if thoughtlessly applied or mindlessly hyperstimulated. Compassion can be misapplied, tolerance can be misapplied, hatred can be misapplied, ostracism can be misapplied.

  57. 57
    Tom Foss


    What social tool can’t have both constructive and destructive ends?


    No, as we keep encountering in the conference discussions, tolerance of intolerant people causes the marginalized groups to be ostracized. You can’t explicitly tolerate misogynists without alienating women.

  58. 58
    jim newman

    I am absolutely intolerant of intolerance. To not do so is to be complicit. To stand aside and say cie la vie is to accept bad behavior and continue it. I refuse to be a pure pacifist anymore where I accept that I am abused and robbed because who am I to say who should survive or benefit?

    I am tremendously enjoying “Brave Genius” right now about Monad and Camus. A main point is frustration of the French in WWII who joined the resistance and those who accepted conquest. Germaine Bree has written that Sartre’s Existentialism (otherwise a poor philosophy) was based on hatred of the French who tolerated invasion.

    Clearly, this is not so big an issue but I refuse to accept immorality simply, intent or not. If change requires education so be it, incarceration so be it. But do not stand by like so many apartment dwellers fearing to investigate the sounds of rape in the alley.

  59. 59

    Jim, et. al

    I’ll leave this now and agree to differ. I think this is a black and white approach here (to tolerance and other things) which I do not share.

    Ophelia, referring back to the article, sorry you and others have to put up with this juvenile commentary elsewhere.

  60. 60

    Discussing the context of the use of social tools like tolerance and intolerance is black and white?

  61. 61
    jim newman

    No worries. Also, oops, it’s C’est la vie. My partner always had a high “creeperdar” about DJ refusing to listen to POI when I put it on–she is not part of my interest in atheism so has no investment. She refused to say but I would guess she thought he had a way of imposing on the guest, concluding for the guest, that bothered her.

    As to peaceful negotiations…. Hmm. I’m a philosopher and not a conflict therapist. The dust must settle and there is a long history so mediation would be difficult. Is it worth it? Sometimes harsh lessons are required. You all would know more about this than I.

    Yes, I too make stupid remarks, I even posted on it today, but not for a second would I want others to not call me on my shit. Neither of these people are shy of confrontation so there is little concern they aren’t big enough to deal with it. In fact, it seems to be the opposite.

  62. 62


    I’m struggling with your viewpoint. Intolerance of intolerance is a problem? So you are intolerant of intolerance of intolerance? I think that means you are tolerant of intolerance, which I cannot tolerate.

    It appears that you are the one who is arguing for a black and white view point. You are asking for judges to be clearly defined, that material be clearly classified, lines in the sand to be drawn.

    Unfortunately, you won’t ever find any of that, and that seems to be your reason to oppose these social pressures. The world is too gray for you.

  63. 63
    Ophelia Benson

    Black and white? That’s a rather annoying claim. Why isn’t it more simplistic (aka black and white) to make a blanket claim that all tolerance is good (aka not destructive)?

  64. 64
    A. Noyd

    Yes, my several comments on how and why context matters and what we can use to distinguish superficially similar situations in the real world is me using a black and white approach. *eyeroll*

  65. 65
    Ophelia Benson

    An anonymous comment via email:

    How timely.

    Our 5-yr-old daughter has referred to herself as a boy from the time she could talk. A mere taste of this: figure on imaginative play starting at 2.5 and going on for the next 3 years, she’s probably adopted an average of 3-5 characters per day, this means she is about 4000 for 4000 in adopting boy instead of girl characters. Never once, not with prompting or cajoling, would she so much as consider stepping into a female character. Always a Chipmunk, never a Chippette. Even after watching “Brave”, our older son had a couple of moment of pretending to be Merida… but my daughter never wavered.

    After we realized the behavior was consistent and not “a phase” (and definitely not explicable as older-brother-worship), we’ve let her dress in “boyly” clothes (her word, invented at age 3), bought her boyly toys, get a boyly haircut (the “Bieb”), and have marveled at the pure delight she’s taken in this.

    Cue preschool 3 months back. I’d long expected that her immersion into this social environment would serve as the tipping point. For almost 3 years, she was sufficiently satisfied to be a girl who got to act/dress/play as a boy. But the other shoe was bound to drop. A girl name, a baseline girl identity, in a bible-belt culture, has run her smack into the inevitable social pressures toward gender conformity. And so that shoe dropped – last week, unprompted, and with maturity way beyond her years, she approached us and told us we needed to stop calling her by her birth name. We needed to use a boy name from now on. And we needed to talk to her teachers and tell them to do that, too.

    With all the lead-up, with all the signs, with the writing having been so clearly on the wall… nevertheless, it’s been a surprisingly emotional hit to both my wife and me. We’ve done our research, we’ve read our books, we suspected this might come, academically. But now – shit got real.

    And speaking for myself, nothing about my daughter’s transition [no - that's not right - truthfully our daughter hasn't changed one bit - this is "our transition"], (not even the fact that almost certainly, there are probably mere weeks – maybe days – separating me from never again referring to her as “daughter” or “her”) has really been that bothersome. She’s a person of remarkable character; spirited, happy, precocious, and every kind of awesome; and nothing about this, or any changes to come, will touch that.

    What has been keeping me up at night is the world that waits for her – and how it seems set to chew that up and spit it out. I’ve been particularly worried about how this bible-belt culture will treat a gender-creative; or possibly trans-gendered child.

    And I wake to read a post like that from DJ Grothe. And realize it’s not just the conservative Christians I’ll need to worry about. From the pit of my heart, on behalf of my daughter, who’s thus far been shielded from such hatefulness:

    Fuck you, DJ. Fuck you and everything you stand for. Read this post, reread your words, and please, for my daughter’s sake, go away. Forever. Resign and go into isolation, stay away from the mic, disable your twitter feed; just stop injecting your poisonous hatred into the world my daughter is entering.

  66. 66

    I think that a anytime one runs into the circular treadmills that are represented by things like the intolerance of intolerance “problem” they should watch/read something on chaos and reductionism (or suggest it to someone else). I was recently exposed to this wonderful video,
    “Chaos and Reductionism” by Professor Robert Sapolsky

    These arguments always ALWAYS have two levels of resolution, the individual and the social. Every behavior has at least two presentations (the individuals view and reasons, the ultimate social origin and purpose) and neither of them can’t be properly understood without the chaos of the context. There are no blacks and whites here and discussing the context of a particular behavior is in fact an effort at precision.

    Circular negations of clearly useful and natural phenomena are often a sign that the level of discourse is at the wrong level of resolution. If the individual level is a problem, look at the social level because they are both true.

  67. 67

    That should say “…neither of them can be properly understood…”

  68. 68

    Maybe your anonymous correspondent could suggest a gender neutral name – there are plenty of good ones and it might make it easier. My son knows a girl called Scout. Terrific name.

  69. 69

    Ophelia, referring back to the article, sorry you and others have to put up with this juvenile commentary elsewhere.

    I have to take issue with this sort of thing too. Apologizing for another persons bad behavior is not very useful and I’m still undecided on if it is ultimately useless. I guess if it makes some people feel better maybe? What matters to me is channeling that instinct into actions.

    I know that if someone wanted to apologize to me for the behavior of someone else that was tormenting me for my TS associated behaviors I would actually get pissed off. It’s just more words to me and the world if full of words meant oh so sincerely but utterly useless to helping me and only useful to make the person making apologies feel better.

  70. 70

    Brony, anything else?

  71. 71

    @ yahweh 70
    Since there is more than one thing in that comment you will have to elaborate.

  72. 72
    jim newman

    I take issue with the problem of intolerance of intolerance and refer to it in the context of this comment in relation to this post in relation to this social situation.

    If you wish for me to be specific. I don’t give a good god damn if an elephant walks in in human clothing have a little respect. At the level of this conference with its past history these two idiots should know better. Sniggering like kids and playing this childish game is like being in preschool. Philosophically justifying this shows you should be in the sandbox flinging sand with them.

  73. 73
    A. Noyd

    yahweh (#68)

    Maybe your anonymous correspondent could suggest a gender neutral name – there are plenty of good ones and it might make it easier.

    Might want to specify what “it” you’re referring to. The kid seems pretty intent on asserting a masculine identity and having others respect it. So a gender neutral name isn’t going to do much to address that.


    brony (#69)

    Apologizing for another persons bad behavior is not very useful and I’m still undecided on if it is ultimately useless.

    Pretty sure yahweh meant it in the sympathy sense, not the taking responsibility sense. And while merely naming bad behavior as bad behavior doesn’t do much, I don’t think it’s useless. (Generally speaking, anyway. If I were yahweh, I’d worry about undermining that message with too much wishy-washy bullshit about not imposing on the perpetrators.)

  74. 74
    jim newman

    What is this mendacious duplicitous bullshit? You defend two idiots who know better then you take a message that is a castigation against you and soothingly provide support as if nothing has happened and you all are as innocent as two clowns with the crown jewels. I can’t believe it. What makes you wish to be here? What do you gain by this crap? Wouldn’t you be more happy with like-minded souls or are you so emotionally facile you require conflict for pleasure?

  75. 75

    @ A. Noyd 73
    Maybe. I did admit to not being sure about it because I am only going on my perception there and it’s not something I have thought about much. It might be because in all honesty I don’t have any experience of anyone being sympathetic about my situation and that is a significant factor in how fair I might be on that issue.

    I tried to depersonalize it and make it a general comment so I hope it was not taken personally. But since he was the example of what I was talking about I guess that is probably unrealistic.

  76. 76

    Anonymous author (@ 65: THANK YOU for sharing your story. You are clearly doing parenting right, and I hope it helps a little to know that in addition to the DJs of the world, you and your offspring have plenty of allies out there too–including me and my own kids.



  77. 77

    @ Ophelia Benson 65

    And what would that child look like as an adult?

    Will they “blend in” as someone like DJ Grothe apparently wants them to do? Whatever that might mean?

    I have seen similar people to the one that Grothe mentions. I take the city bus all the time and there was a person who had a more masculine body type and permanent five-o-clock shadow and they were wearing fully traditionally female clothing. I wish I struck up a conversation with that person now. I’m aware of this resistance to interaction involving unfamiliar contrasts more now and I want to be better.

    I have memories of saying unkind things among friends in similar situations when I was a child and now as an adult I can see that I was mirroring the environment that I grew up in unthinkingly and that is how primate behavior works. The offspring mirror the adults until later when they can self-reflect and try to be a better adult for others to mirror.

    Making this happen requires verbal intolerance. Calling out the behavior. Being a role model. A better mirror in a sea of mirrors. The advantage is on our side because we are fortunate to be in a society that at least pays lip service to a marketplace of ideas and people like homosexuals and transexuals honestly harm no one, are expressing what they genuinely are (like we all want to do) and being disparaging about what is harmless does look bad in general, no matter how much some individuals might try to play such off in other ways.

  78. 78

    And speaking for myself, nothing about my daughter’s transition [no - that's not right - truthfully our daughter hasn't changed one bit - this is "our transition"]…

    That line in particular was really eye-opening. And the last paragraph made me want to cheer.

  79. 79

    I also see “I’m sorry for” as a way to sympathize with, not to take responsibility for. It has both meanings in English. It’s entirely common and acceptable to say “I’m so sorry your cat died”, without the other person thinking you’re the one who did it.

  80. 80

    It is not the goal of all trans people to “pass.” Some can. Some cannot. Some don’t want to.

    The stupid is palpable.

  1. 81
    Guest post by Anonymous: How timely » Butterflies and Wheels

    […] and edited by Anonymous, so not identical to the comment on It was so […]

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