Case Study #1: transgenderisomer/nbp7
I’m going to start a series of case study posts where I take a troll, other commentator or anything else useful and dissect them as a means of pointing out things of interest. This first one will be a little different however. I’m going to spend A LOT of words on this one because I’m trying to figure out how I want to organize information on how we do social conflict in general and in text. So I’m going to be pretty stream-of-consciousness here.
Pulling out an organization structure
In order to get things going I need to create an organization scheme to introduce topics. This is a bit trickier than I thought since I’m trying to mentally organize things that I see or do automatically, which I think is something everyone trying to get more serious about writing has to do anyway. I’m dissecting a recent troll on Pharyngula, a poster going by transgenderisomer who portrayed themselves in PZ’s “Now there’s an idea” thread as someone that they were not. It turns out that they were also posting as nbp7 in PZ’s “Maybe we should outlaw ownership of guns by men” post where they sowed as much doubt as they could about claims of rape. In the end this attack was also an example of deception.
As I go I am going to underline things that can be individual categories or can be broken down into individual categories. After this post, and maybe in the comments, I will organize them into a rational hierarchy of topics that I want to individually cover in future posts. I would be happy to consider any suggestions and look at any patterns that others see that I do not (especially since I got all this stuff from watching or listening to others anyway, I just have a brain that likes to focus on these things). It would be foolish to assume that I have seen everything. For such a simple set of exchanges (the whole thing covered 16 posts from #53-#76) this is going to get complicated, but it’s supposed to make future posts more clean and organized and I often have issues organizing my thoughts and language.
Note: Before I continue I should mention that I consider something as small as a single claim meant to oppose, contradict, or otherwise assert/demonstrate something as wrong/incorrect as an attack and dominance display. Even a tepid and friendly “I’m sorry, but I think you are incorrect about X.” is an attempt to remove an obstacle, and the emotion associated actions of with obstacle removal is anger (1). The structure of that statement bears this out as the “I’m sorry…” is an attempt to blunt the feeling of an attack and can be seen as a “I know that I’m pointing out that you are wrong about reality and that is a potential weakness, but I want you to be able to fix this for your sake” (optimistically). The reason I see things this way is that brain science has to be able to explain the phenomena of criticism at its most basic level and the phenomena that I believe most closely compares to it is the dominance display, and that seems to be correlated to what testosterone does on a computational level in both male and female people. In this case a very small and proactively blunted dominance display (“What I have is better than what you have” with an actively reduced aggressive profile). I know that there are plenty of people engaging in discussions about things they disagree on that would say that they don’t feel these things as conflicts, but in this post the subject is arguments over things people disagree about. Naturally this way of seeing things could be biased by my own combative psychology that I work to moderate and I felt that this was worth mentioning.
A. The social context of an engagement: “Battlefield”
Social context is always important when considering someone acting in a combative posture, an individual engagement and those following from it. You can roughly compare an article or post a social context like a “battlefield” that influences the conflict occurring within it. For a commentator the social context is not only the post, article or other topic, it’s also the preceding comments that can alter the social environment of the thread. In this case I consider PZ’s post a “hard” contextual boundary, and the preceding comments “soft” contextual boundaries. A hard contextual boundary is something that most people can easily recognize as directly relevant to the content of a communication. For example if someone criticizes the content of an article as a non-literal characterization (like hyperbole or “feelings about” statements), the actual text of the article that is being characterizes can be demanded with a little social pressure because the connection is more obvious. A soft contextual boundary is something less obviously connected and requires more work to get someone to respond to such as information implicitly connected to the main post or article, or the content of comments earlier than the ones of the combatants that contain relevant information. One reason social conflict occurs is because the combatants have very different perspectives and experiences leading to very different sensitivities to content (experience creates sensitivity). In order to get someone to acknowledge the soft context one has to apply social pressure towards it with reason, logic, rhetoric or a combination. Reason and logic are about being correct and rhetoric is about winning.
(I may change “hard/soft” to something like “explicit/implicit” or “direct/indirect” as categorization of these topics may require better terminology. I’ll take any suggestions anyone may have.)
As a hard contextual boundary a post or article creates the battlefield in its most broad form, it includes the topic that derails can be measured by, the content that can (and should) be quoted, the sources that the author uses, and other things that can explicitly influence a commentator. These are things that can be appealed to when confronting an opponent, for example lack or quoting or deviating from the topic. A soft contextual boundary is like the previous engagements that occur (and may still be occurring) on a battlefield that can affect current engagements. Sometimes the comments that are already there affect the social environment to an extent that can be advantageous or disadvantageous.
In this case the hard social context is a clipping in a newspaper that says the following:
“To the two men whose anti-abortion letters were published on June 28: Unless you have a woman’s body, I don’t want hear your opinion on what woman’s bodies should or should not do. In fact, it would be a delight if the “Star Tribune Editorial Board ceased publishing men’s letters about women’s bodies entirely. Perhaps newspaper readership among round people would grow if every time we opened a paper, we didn’t have to read old men’s fusty opinions about uteri.”
… and the soft social context is the previous 52 comments that may be relevant to what a commentator posts but for which there is less implicit social pressure to take into account, and related issues and concepts that pertain to abortion, female bodies, personal autonomy, listening to relevant perspectives, deliberately elevating relevant perspectives for socially strategic purposes and more.
Now we go from battlefield to individual engagement and what counts as hard context gets an addition: a comment that someone is responding to, the respondee, in this case #47 by Nerd of Redhead who transgenderisomer was acting as responder towards when they first entered the thread. Nerd was already engaging with another commentator (parrothead) when transgenderisomer decided to attack them.
B. The structure of the engagement.
Transgenderisomer entered the thread not by responding to the hard social context of the post, they entered the thread by attacking a commentator who was already engaged with someone else. This is a derail, which some social circles tolerate more than others (how relevant or tangential a derail is can often be a source of argument). So we already have three pieces of hard context that can become relevant to the responder’s first post:
*The original post
*The respondee’s opponent.
Note on different engagement structures: That this attack involves one commentator attacking another already involved in an engagement alludes to many kinds of engagements including engaging with the post offensively/defensively, engaging with another commentator offensively/defensively, engaging with multiple opponents implicitly in one post, and other permutations. In this case transgenderisomer could be assisting the respondee’s opponent by attacking the respondee, or they could just be attacking the respondee and/or the respondee’s content (it could be personal conflict affected by feelings about one’s opponent or the opponent’s group and/or impersonal conflict that targets content only).
I’m assuming that transgenderisomer’s primary targets are their opponent and their opponent’s group (3) (probably atheist/skeptic social justice in general) in a personal conflict based on the nature of their attack and the rest of this analysis.
C. transgenderisomer’s attack, comment #53
Do you understand where the term “freeze peach” comes from? Next time you try to defend a person’s autonomy, you may want to avoid using blatantly misogynistic terms.
The nature of this attack is an assertion seeking to disarm via redirection of social momentum back towards an attacker not attacking the responder. This is a disarm because the term “freeze peach” is a pejorative (2) and thus inherently a term-weapon as pejoratives are insulting characterizations, and transgenderisomer is trying to prevent their opponent from using that weapon. Additionally I categorize this kind of disarm as a form of “symbol stealing” since a person is trying to take control of a social symbol (3) from another person. The power of a pejorative is entirely in its socially symbolic nature as the damage done is not physical (unless we start talking about the neurobiology of feeling and that might be a bit much, though even there I consider negative feelings in bad people from reasonable attacks to be good things).
The means of prevention of weapon use is to assert that the term is inherently misogynistic, and the respondee (Nerd of Redhead) is part of a social justice community that opposes misogyny. Because the term freeze peach is being used in defense of women and female people, it has social momentum driven by the respondee’s concern for women and female people, motivation to act by experience based social attachment in other words. By suggesting that the term is inherently hateful or contemptuous towards women (misogyny) the responder, trangenderisomer, is trying to make the respondee feel like they are harming women indirectly (“social splash-damage”) if they try to attack anyone with that weapon. This is an attempt at a transformation of the respondee’s emotion connected to the weapon-object and the people they care about. Turning social feelings of peer protection and assistance into social feelings of unintended harm of peers would alter the motivation to use the weapon, IF transgenderisomer were correct about the historical origins and social splash damage associated with the weapon’s use.
D. The first counterattack of the respondee and their in-group
New elements of hard social context come into play as the attack on the respondee motivates multiple members of the respondee’s in-group to respond to that attack, including me. Thus every following comment in a chain of responses between people becomes new hard context. These commentators and the respondee are now acting as counter-attackers. These counterattacks are bound by their own relationships with the social context (hard and soft) and will be motivated, advantaged, or disadvantaged by different things.
The first four response-counterattacks on transgenderisomer are all directed at the same thing, the implicitly socially threatening conceptual link between freeze peach and misogyny. The nature of the counterattacks comes in different forms:
*Assertion(4) that freeze peach is a form of linguistic mockery as opposed to a a sexist term with insulting misogynistic origins (#54, Gilell)
Maybe you can enlighten us, but to my knowledge the term is a humorous homophone of “free speech”
*Assertion that the meaning of freeze peach has to do with evasion of social responsibility for speech and not anger or contempt for women (#55, Nerd of Redhead).
*Rationally shifting the burden of proof onto transgenderisomer’s assertion about the historical origins of freeze peach (#56, me). Depending on the reality this social pressure could strengthen the social attack’s effectiveness from assertion to argument transformation if true, or place social pressure that would force the attacker to deconstruct their own attack and making it an attack on themselves if false (which almost never happens because that makes someone feel weak and is usually part of an apology). The person being counterattacked can attempt to meet or avoid the attack.
By all means, tell us of the misogynistic origins of “freeze peach”. That way when I get done with work I can be sure that you are not another advocate of the status quo trying to prevent a social opponent from using in-group terminology that expresses our viewpoints more efficiently.
*Arguments of a different historical origin of freeze peach that would negate the attack and attack the immediate reputation, (as opposed to long-term reputation) of the attacker with a demonstration of ignorance (#57, ).
E. transgenderisomer’s counterattack (#60)
Dead wrong. I’ll sit here and explain what it means since you’re apparently too lazy or stupid to search the inernet before mansplaining to me what “freeze peach” means. The term “freeze peach” has origins going back at least to the 1920’s and is essentially a derogatory term for a woman who isn’t sexually receptive to a man. In case this doesnt make sense to you, consider that nowadays women who show no interest in sex at a given time are often insultingly called “cold” and that “peach” is still commonly used as a derogatory term for a woman or her vagina (or both to insinuate a woman is nothing more than her vagina).
transgenderisomer ignores Gilell and chooses to respond to Nerd of Redhead. The nature of the response is an assertion of factual wrongness, essentially “No! You’re the one whose wrong!” because they included no sources and only asserted a different reality connected to the term freeze speech. If we did not already know that transgenderisomer was being deceptive there are two possibilities:
*transgenderisomer really believes that freeze peach is a historical term for “a woman who isn’t sexually receptive to a man”, but is unwilling or unable to defend that view. They are posturing as if they know that this is a fact, but choosing to make this a personal conflict (5) by attacking Nerd of Redhead by irrationally asserting that they have the burden of proving transgenderisomer’s assertion via the insult of “too lazy or stupid” (personal characteristics unrelated to substance), instead of an impersonal conflict by providing an example of the asserted usage of freeze peach or a history of the term (especially when they say that it’s a commonly used derogatory term).
*transgenderisomer is lying about the origin of the term in order to prevent its use as a weapon as I previously mentioned. They can’t prove what is not true so they have to do whatever they can to manipulate the attention of a potential audience. They do this with more symbol stealing (sexism, misogyny), and attacking the person of their opponent instead of the argument of their opponent. It is true that women disinterested in sex get called things like “frozen b***h”, and that “peach” is a believable sexist term in the same category as “sugar” or “honey”. So the two together seem like it could be a misogynist term allowing this to be an example of a deceiver using a group’s values and the symbols that represent them as a shield against effective criticism (effective via the shorthand of an unpackable insulting characterization). And as I mentioned above they are personally attacking Nerd of Redhead because they can’t attack the substance of their response.
F. The in-groups’s second counterattack on transgenderisomer.
*Tentatively accept the possibility of of transgenderisomer’s claims being true and reasonably asking for evidence (#61, The Student). This is less of an attack, or a very soft attack or blunted attack, because The Student still allows the possibility that transgenderisomer might be correct.
*Emphasizing the lack of evidence for transgenderisomer’s assertion contrasted with the existence of evidence for the connection to speech connections (#63, Nerd of Redhead)
G. transgenderisomer’s second counterattack (#64)
Your skepticism could be solved by typing some words into a little box towards the top of your screen rather than continuing to mansplain. Plus, the fact that its usage was out of context is your fault for being a bigoted dope who used it out of context and does not give credence to your “skepticism” (read sexism).
Note that there is no identifier for which comment transgenderisomer is responding to. In some cases the context is obvious enough to figure out who someone is responding to, and I believe this is that sort of case due to the choice of “skepticism” making this a likely reply to Nerd of Redhead #63. However sometimes an attacker will leave a response that does not refer to a specific person as a means of referring to a group of commentators (and possibly the author of the piece being commented on). This can have the effect of making people do more work than they need to.
This response to Nerd of Redhead is also interesting in that it establishes a pattern that they consider Nerd of Redhead to be the most important person to respond to for some reason. There are several possibilities for each potential nature/disposition of attacker that I outlined in part E (honest attacker versus dishonest attacker). They might have a history with Nerd of Redhead and feel like attacking them more. Nerd of Redhead has a history of being a more intense and confrontational commentator and transgenderisomer may feel that they need to deal with them. They may feel that Nerd of Redhead is the “alpha in the room” as it were and treat them as the most threatening opponent. But I have to admit that this paragraph is pretty speculative and mostly serves to cover some concepts.
A likely possibility involves Nerd of Readhead’s comment at #23 where they use the term mansplain. This is a term that many people have found threatening suggesting that it is a rather potent social weapon (6) and insulting characterization. In the dishonest condition this is an example of symbol stealing in an attempt to use a group’s social weapons against itself which if successful can prevent its use by “going there first” because a counter claim of mansplaining would look like “No, you’re the mansplainer” to less perceptive audience members even if true (receiving a pattern can be biased by previous exposures of the pattern if comprehension is incomplete or incorrect). The use of mansplain can also serve as social camouflage because a member of an out-group pretending to be a member of an in-group needs to be able to use the symbolic language to pass as an in-group member, especially in emotionally intense situations where people are scrutinizing more closely. In the honest condition if there was a misogynistic history to freeze peach and transgenderisomer experienced it, it would be an example of mansplaining (as this is a term that gets misused on occasion I welcome anyone pointing out that I’m getting it wrong too).
The use of “bigoted dope” is a similar example of symbol stealing (bigot) combined with a personal attack (dope) that seeks to distract from the lack of support for transgenderisomer’s claims. transgenderisomer’s claim that Nerd of Redhead is the one using the term out of context remains an assertion that looks less and less likely given the evidence presented that only free speech related uses of freeze peach are being found. The assertion that Nerd of Redhead’s rational skepticism (based on the evidence so far) is sexist is simply name calling.
E. The community’s second counterattack and the “death blow”
At this point the evidence is in favor of freeze peach being a term related to free speech, and there is literally no evidence for a connection to misogyny (outside of times where the term is used on misogynists) beyond transgenderisomer’s personal testimony. The remaining responses are people saying they can’t find a connection to 1920’s terminology or current use, reasonable accusations of trolling (7), claims that they have never heard this use of freeze peach, alcoholic recipes and fruit references, and finally PZ’s lethal piece of information at #76. transgenderisomer was posting from the same IP address(8) as a poster going by mbp7 in another thread. In that thread mbp7 was doing everything they could to socially undermine claims of sexual assault, to the point that I now suspect that they are personally invested in seeing claims of sexual assault as threatening (9). This strongly suggests that they are not a person that wants to do anything about sexism, misogyny or bigotry.
F. Other notes and considerations
*This probably does not apply in the case of this troll, but I think that some trolls give clues to their identity in their usernames (unless very blatant it’s unwise to use this as a single piece of evidence). “Trans” in chemistry indicates that parts of a compound are on the opposite side of a double bond while “cis” means that they are on the same side. This terminology makes the prefix terms conceptually useful to the trans community. The addition of “isomer” is also interesting as an isomer is a compound with the same number and kind of atoms, but with those atoms in a different configuration. If nothing else it suggests more familiarity with chemistry than trans issues, but in the case of someone that does not match common transgender stereotypes and is not cis it might have meaning. This is probably not meaningful in this specific case, but imagining the reasons people take symbols can occasionally be useful and is interesting.
*I’ve often thought that the reason that political conservatives and other traditionalist types who fear change refer to “false flag operations” (a group pretending to be another group and doing something bad as a means of discrediting that second group) is a phenomenon similar to psychological projection where a more conflict oriented person (like me) willing to use deception (unlike me) instinctively imagines that someone else might use the same tactics that they would be wiling to use. That makes sense in the context of a person used to social authority being vigilant towards threats to that authority and calling on what they already know. It’s only speculation at this point, but the existence of people like transgenderisomer who are willing to use deception to avoid bad reputation and pretend to be an in-group member makes me wonder about the people claiming that something is a false flag operation.
(1)Why yes this is evolutionary psychology. But it’s universally applied evolutionary psychology. That does not mean it’s correct (theories are always subject to change), or that it’s unbiased (personal experience always colors objective reality including subjects like scientists trying to describe objective reality). But since it’s meant to be applied to all humans it’s less likely to be biased in a problematic way.
(2)All insults, pejoratives and insulting characterizations are inherently arguments. In this case the claim that a person is “…a freeze peach absolutist.” is a claim that one’s opponent is making an irrational appeal to free speech as a means to force any platform, public or private, to host speech when privately held social spaces can and should be regulated by the owners of those spaces. The pejorative is meant to protect the right of people to control their own social spaces and exclude speech that they do not like as people should be allowed to do within their own homes. In this case the respondee’s opponent is trying to claim that newspapers disallowing kinds of speech from kinds of people is censorship.
Additionally freeze peach can imply that a person is trying to avoid the consequences of speech as people are allowed to choose how they want to interact with others based on their speech. For example shunning xenophobic bigots (on the internet and in meatspace) and banning them from one’s blog.
Personally I am not bothered by pejoratives, insults, and insulting characterizations that are not inherently bigoted. The important issue there being that a characterization can implicitly be unpacked into characteristics applicable to an individual person. Bigoted ones are inherently false as they irrational and/or illogically divide groups of people (discrimination) or irrationally/illogically make assumption about groups of people (prejudice) which make people reasonably offended by their use.
(3) A new feature of the social context of a social conflict engagement becomes obvious here, the social characteristics of the groups on either side of the social battle, and the symbolic text or meatspace objects used to identify them with respect to in-groups and/or out-groups. Just as the “sides” of physical conflicts can get complicated such as the difference between a war between nations and a civil war within a nation, so too are social conflicts complex on the internet (arguably more so). This complexity is based around how the groups in a conflict are conceptually organized in perception and on the internet it possible for opponents in one battle to be allies in another because as human beings we can group by many things both rational/logical and irrational/illogical such as:
*Physical characteristics, biological or ornamental (height, weight, eye-color, perceived attractiveness, assumed genetic heritage, worn symbols or physical alterations…)
*Activities (work, play, social, individual…)
*Beliefs (religious, social, philosophical, moral, ethical…)
*Manner of thought (skeptical, rational, cynical, optimistic, pessimistic, xenophobic, bigoted…)
*Manner of action based on beliefs and manner of thought (passive, active, aggressive, submissive, supportive, playful, honest, dishonest…)
*Manner of communication based on beliefs and manner of thought, which I see as equivalent to actions (racist, sexist, honest…same as above since communication IS and action, people just often seen them differently).
*More, because I’m sure there are other ways that we categorize ourselves and one another that I have not included here. We are endlessly creative and inventive primates to our benefit and detriment.
These feed into one another in many cases such as where beliefs feed into actions taken based on those beliefs, actions shaped and chosen by manner of thought. Or groups based on play activities can include sub-groups that sort based on beliefs such as when social and political conflicts occur in sports or other games (see: gamergate).
A key concept is that there must be a socially useful symbol (perceptual-conceptual link to a relevant group based on how the group is defined) that a group can organize or be organized around in how one mentally categorizes people they encounter. These are constantly being created and falling out of use. The symbols of religions or political parties are obvious, but less obvious is organization around the use of in-group pejoratives, concepts or actions. Skeptics are organized by manner of thought, misogynists are organized by hatred and condescension towards women and resulting thoughts and actions.
(4) Assertions (aggressive opinions, arguments without the support) and demands of information are valid responses to transgenderisomer because all transgenderisomer offers is an assertion themselves. The rules of Tis-for-Tat morality allow this. Normally mere assertions are weak attacks because they are mere opinion with no support rendering insulting characterizations mere name-calling. They are being treated as they are willing to treat others. But since transgenderisomer offered no support for their assertion assertive counterattacks are of equal strength. Providing evidence makes an assertion into an argument so response #57 is a strong attack. Demands of evidence for an assertion are attacks on weapons (arguments, pejoratives) AND immediate reputation because if unanswered they leave the question of transgenderisomer’s competence and/or honesty open to doubt.
(5) It’s strategically important to note that in a case where a term really does have misogynistic, racist, or LGBTQphobic connotations the fact that the people relevant to the group get tired of pointing this out is important. It gets exhausting for such people to have to repeatedly point these things out and that very exhaustion may be a strategic goal in social conflict. I consider it important to at least consider it possible and have a process in place to deal with a potential deceiver and minimize the pressure on someone who is telling the truth. In this case our community is familiar enough with the origins of freeze peach and experienced enough in the identity and nature of existing problematic terms that it was worth the risk in putting the burden of proof on transgenderisomer, but choosing to do a search for evidence was a reasonable response to minimize pressure in the unlikely event that the assertion was true.
(6) Many people find mansplain to be a threatening insulting characterization. It is the act of a man (or male person and men probably*) explaining the experiences of women and female people to them as if they are more knowledgeable about the experiences of women and female people. The term does not have to only deal with things that only a woman (or a female person) would have direct experience in such as pregnancy, (or passing as a women in the case of trans women). It can also be the case that a women (or female person) is experienced in a skill, area of knowledge, trade or other thing and the man (or male person) feels like they need to need to act like they know more than the expert since this is about social dominance displays.
One popular way to try to eliminate its use is to claim that it is a sexist term. This is functionally similar to trying to claim that pointing out racism among white people is racist. This is not a rational claim when considering mansplaining in the context of dominance displays on two levels. On the first level there are people who feel socially threatened by skilled and powerful women (and female people, like misogynists, overt or covert) and in order to deal with that they devalue the power or skills of women (and female people) in some social manner. On another level it is more socially acceptable for women (and female people) to be talked over and criticized making this a phenomena worth addressing in raw statistical terms as many sexist social structures have to be addressed as a raw numbers phenomena in addition to the underlying causes when trying to change society (in fact the overt and covert misogynists will hide in the patterns created by the second level and may even be how they originate).
*I believe that the physical and social characteristics historically associated with women can be separated as independent things that a mansplainer would react to in mansplaining (intersectionality and the trans community have implications). Nevertheless I am obligated to point out anything in parentheses that tack on male person/people and female person/people is my addition.
(7) Trolling is an interesting insulting characterization to me. I believe that its actual use has evolved beyond the original meaning of a person deliberately causing disruption in a community by starting arguments, and deliberately offending people, deliberately derailing from relevant topics (in fact some people like to sort trolls based on types). Given political realities some people cause disruption by their mere presence even if they are being honest and claims of trolling can be mere expression of a feeling of disruption (not in this case given the evidence). Maybe I’m being too sensitive here, but I think that the issue of political differences causing disruption is something worth taking into account as the strategic elimination of people and their arguments via claims of trolling is something that reasonably exists (as well as such a claim being used to get out of a justified ban). I’m probably being too sensitive because I think in social strategy terms far more than most people.
Tangentially, the claim that someone is “just trolling” as a way of reducing or eliminating criticism is also not relevant because people don’t “just troll”. I feel safe in asserting that people are far less likely to be trolling communities that address things they care about, and more likely to troll communities that address things they dislike making trolling a means of social conflict. In this way “just trolling” is like “just joking” when a joke is used to relieve a person’s tension about something related to groups of people and the joke functionally preserves stereotypes, insults the group and its members, and other things that reasonably make someone offended at a joke (as opposed to a joke being at the expense of xenophobic bigots themselves).
(8) Since I can’t help thinking of these things in terms of social conflict strategy I have to consider the possible claim that it was someone else posting from that address, as a means of having a response to such a claim if nothing else. In this case the utter lack of evidence for transgenderisomer’s claims, and the reality that loss of use of freeze peach has social effects advantageous to people who want to be able to shout down the claims of female people is good enough.
(9) I have a long term goal of being able to identify rapists and abusers on the internet by the patterns contained in their text. I do not yet have that level of skill, but its become useful to point out when a person’s positions make life easier for rapists and abusers. Much useful rhetoric can be added to that substance.