Link roundup: February 2020

Just a few links this month.  Enjoy.

[On the word “pedophile”] | Osteophage – Coyote discusses how the word “pedophile” refers specifically to the internal state or intent of perpetrators.  This runs counter to my usual philosophy about sexual violence: it’s the action and consequences that matter, not the perpetrator’s motivations.  Focusing on motivations is a bad idea because it gives people a way to excuse sexual violence by making unverifiable and irrelevant claims about perpetrators’ motivations AND it raises the potentially derailing question of whether sexual inclinations alone can be morally wrong.

If you’re wondering what words to use instead, the gold standard among researchers and activist organizations is child sexual abuse or CSA.  A perpetrator of CSA could be called a child sexual abuser.  A couple years ago I wrote a guide to sexual violence terminology, which was mostly based on researchers and activists, and I have to say that “pedophile” wasn’t even on my radar because nobody uses it.

Do not try to understand me | Pervert Justice – Crip Dyke talks about how trying to understand trans experiences can be a hangup for cis people, and isn’t really necessary to begin with.  I have to say, that being an ace activist/commentator, at least trying to understand the full range of ace experiences is part of the role.  But there are just so many different experiences, some quite far off from my own, that it’s foolhardy for even a dedicated activist to try to understand it all.  It’s more important to understand concerns and goals than personal experiences.

Neurotypical People are Weird | Andreas Avester – Andreas points out a lot of counterintuitive communication habits of neurotypical people, from the perspective of a (partially fictional) frustrated neurodivergent person.  What this reminds me of, is an old post where I explained the need for subtextual communication by using the card game Hanabi as an example.  But the way most people use subtextual communication is purely intuitive, and it’s quite difficult to think out or explain every bit of subtext.  I can imagine this being confusing and frustrating for someone who doesn’t have as much of an intuition for it.  Let us not assume that everyone’s intuitions are on the same page.

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