Holly Wood champions her coining of the term “shit-toweling” to describe the facile arguments mass-flung at anyone who dares to speak of discrimination. I like it a lot:
This behavior coming from men is what I’ve decided to call shit-toweling. Shit-toweling describes the practice of trivializing or otherwise diminishing the compounded suffering that women and other marginalized groups experience over the course of their lives. Most typically, shit toweling is done by white men in an effort to defend a member of their own in-group from having to face accountability for reprehensible actions towards marginalized others. While there are many ways to shit-towel, the aim is always to discredit and silence feminist critique.
When men try to stifle women’s right to grievance with bad-faith arguments so badly construed that it insults everyone’s intelligence, it is the emotional equivalent of when a man wipes his ass with a towel and then flings it in your face. An example of shit-toweling would be a man trying to defend male privilege by insisting that those who criticize male privilege aren’t themselves being inclusive…
These shitbirds are legion. They wildly outnumber the minority of men stupid enough to risk their entire career by hitting send on a company-wide misogynistic diatribe. At breakneck speed, these men trip over themselves to defend the first amendment rights of professed shitbags as if Google has any civic obligation whatsoever to retain socially hostile staff. Last time I checked, software engineers have not yet organized for the collective right to academic freedom. Their opinions are not protected speech. They can be terminated at will. Especially if what the things that employee says jeopardize a company’s ability to retain and recruit new talent. While women’s discomfort is obvious, I know from having lots of friends in this world that there are plenty of male engineers who would also have an issue with working alongside an outed bigot and chauvinist.
The shit-toweling continued all day as men in other industries would go on defending this kind of antisocial workplace behavior as if professed sexism and racism are things any company that employs human beings should continue to tolerate in 2017.