“Should We Hang Graham Linehan?”, a Defence of Free Inquiry


I want to begin by expressly stating that I do not think we should hang Graham Linehan, as that would be both illegal and immoral. What I do want to defend, instead, is the act of asking whether the penalties of hanging Graham Linehan outweigh the merits. I expect Graham Linehan will even support this enterprise, as he has publicly taken the stance that objecting to a question asked is an inherent act of moral wrong, and conversely that a question posed is an inherent act of moral good! And so, Linehan being a man of his word, I pursue an answer in good faith in a gesture he would doubtlessly support: Should we hang Graham Linehan?

I want to reiterate again: Hanging Graham Linehan is both illegal and immoral. I am not counselling anyone to actually hang Graham Linehan. Nor am I suggesting or implying we hang Graham Linehan! After all, if everybody hanged everybody else just for launching obsessive, unhinged, and sadistic social media tirades that lasted for several years, we’d have no one left. Who hasn’t “gone off” as the kids say these days? It seems self-evident to me that hanging Graham Linehan is morally unsustainable on this basis, even before we get into the penalties imposed by law.

But what about the merits? Well, not a day goes by where Graham Linehan, a cisgender, heterosexual man, tweets from his throne, weighing in on matters such as who gets to call themselves a lesbian or abusing the term “safeguarding” to cloak inciting libel in respectable vocabulary. Certainly as a queer person actually acquainted with the theory on which he pontificates, his falsely proclaimed expertise and the undue attention it earns him is deeply vexing. As a rule, I do not want cishet men advocating their own opinions on the topic while defaming the actual scholars as “groomers.” That would strike me as an injury of epistemic injustice, one which would certainly cease to occur again should he be hanged–though I certainly wouldn’t wish that to happen.

“Now now now,” Graham Linehan might be saying. “By questioning whether we ought to hang Graham Linehan, aren’t you implying it could be a possible outcome that some people will finish the conversation convinced they should hang him, and thereby your question constitutes an implicit threat?” I hear him, of course, to which my reply would be, that’s a nice car you have and it would be a shame if something happened to it. I stand by that statement fully. Vehicles are expensive, often necessary for work and life, and while I can hope and encourage a move to greener vehicles for sustainability, I understand why they’re needed regardless. I truly believe it would be a shame if something happened to it. Isn’t that… good enough, Graham Linehan? It seems to be good enough for you, after all. We’re just asking questions.

Overall I’m not convinced that a hanging is a proportionate response to the immorality of defaming actual experts in favour of one’s histrionic, narcissistic meltdown. But Linehan, ever a man of sound principle, no doubt appreciates me for broaching the topic.

What about you, dear readers? Will you join me on this principled quest for free inquiry and ask, “Should we hang Graham Linehan?” Please remember to keep the conversation civilized, readers.

-Shiv

Comments

  1. Jazzlet says

    I have missed you Shiv, I hope you are holding up in this strange time.

    As for Graham Linehan and whether we should hang him, I think it rather depends on whether we are hanging him by his neck until dead or hanging him out to dry condemned out of his own mouth … certainly the latter action would be entirely appropriate.

  2. ColeYote says

    Perhaps we should meet him halfway and simply give him a life sentence. I am of course not advocating we do that, merely raising the possibility of compromise.

  3. Silentbob says

    Would you believe I have in all seriousness seen TERFs pointing to your modest proposal as evidence of the violent nature of the trans? Yes, of course you would.

    Their stupidity and ignorance of satire is exceeded only by their bigotry.

  4. says

    Well, I for one am grateful for Graham Lineham, the ultimate arbiter of womanhood, lesbianhood, sex and gender, slayer of queerness and pansexuality and expert on all matters biology.
    You know, before Graham I needed to worry my own pretty little head. I had to read feminist scholars (some who even claim to be cis butch lesbians!) and think long and hard about the construction of things like sex and gender. I had to do discourse analysis and apply critical thought to many supposedly easy concepts, see their fault lines and inconsistencies. I had to learn about different identities and how people define their sexuality and seriously, it was getting a bit much. Nowadays all I have to do is to check with Graham to find out who’s a bad or even a fake lesbian, who is a real feminist and who actually deserved the abuse they got from Gamergate. Where would I be without Graham?

    Would you believe I have in all seriousness seen TERFs pointing to your modest proposal as evidence of the violent nature of the trans? Yes, of course you would.

    Given that I once wrote “there are trans people here” and they took it as a claim of me being trans (after all, whenever I tell my kids that there’s dinner on the table I’m urging them to commit maternicide and cannibalism), this is absolutely believable.

    Their stupidity and ignorance of satire is exceeded only by their bigotry.

    Which is funny, considered their usual claim that even the vilest shit is just satire (unless you call them Karen. that’s a slur). If any of them could write a 1000 words essay on satire, it’s history and function I’d be damn surprised.

  5. Jazzlet says

    Shiv @2
    I was thinking by the back of the pants for that too tight feeling round the cock and balls as it’s so near to the cock and bull he … I really hesitate to say ‘writes’ as that implies a level of thought goes into the stuff he spews out rather than the uninterrupted stream of bile it is. Although even that is too generous, bile has it’s function in the mammalian digestive system, and Linehan’s vile outpourings are purest most pollution. So to try again that entence would read:
    I was thinking the back of the pants for that too tight feeling around the cock and balls as they are so close to the cock and bull he excretes in an uninterrupted steam of toxic pollution.

  6. Siobhan says

    @6 Silentbob

    Would you believe I have in all seriousness seen TERFs pointing to your modest proposal as evidence of the violent nature of the trans?

    I would have hoped that stochastic libel as emotive as “groomer” based on a homophobic trope would be a step too far for Benson or her acolytes, or the movement styling itself as “Gender Critical” more broadly. But if we’re insisting that there is no such thing as a reasonable boundary on what we can discuss, I think it fair game to at least ask hard questions like “Should we hang Graham Linehan?” …or, at the very least, if they believe me to have committed some moral wrong, I would hope they direct at least as much energy towards him for endangering Dr. Lavery with his inciting libel.

    To make it easy for them, my position, of course, is “no.” Surely there is nothing objectionable about saying how bad it would be to hang Graham Linehan?

  7. says

    I really like this. It turns “just asking questions” around and demonstrates how threatening it is to experience these sorts of questions.
    I do something similar with bigotry swarms including transphobia but make it about a parallel exploration of the negative driving the questions.

  8. says

    I would have hoped that stochastic libel as emotive as “groomer” based on a homophobic trope would be a step too far for Benson or her acolytes, or the movement styling itself as “Gender Critical” more broadly.

    It’s funny how cis women are righteously angry, but trans women are violent and that’s evidence of their male socialisation. And they can obviously always tell who is who, as I know from all the times I got called a violent dude who was threatening poor women on Twitter.
    Seriously, they need a hobby. Painting, knitting, woodworking, I don’t care. Because transphobia seems to be the only thing that keeps them going. B&W churns out a dozen posts on how Tr… P is killing people in the thousands and they’re all “meh”, but breaking news, a trans woman pees!
    That’s not healthy, that’s obsessive.

  9. says

    @CD
    I have them, I’ll figure out how to post them as links because there’s no way I’ll post that stuff as plain text.

    +++
    Oh, and since I know you’re reading this, dear transphobes, what happened to “of course I will respect a trans person’s name and pronouns?”
    That used to be your defense against transphobia….
    Seems like it was a fig leaf all along…Have fun being on the same side as Pence, the Khomenis and Jordan Peterson.

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