The old stuff hasn’t been well-organized nor placed in chronological order. My own efforts, for instance, were at the end of the second-half of a long blog post where I was pretty harsh on Rationality Rules. There’s room for a more dispassionate summary of the full context of what happened, especially if allegations about this “will be amplified by social media and echo for weeks, months, maybe years.” I’m pretty firmly on EoT’s side, but by minimizing my commentary in favour of direct quotes I can create a summary that Rachel Oates’ supporters will also find useful. The primary bias of this post will thus be via lies of omission, so I’ll try to be as comprehensive as possible. There’s also material that neither EoT nor I have mentioned, most of it focused on Rachel Oates’ side of the equation, so her point of view is better represented.
With that intro out of the way, let’s begin at the beginning. All dates and times are based on Twitter’s timestamp, which I think uses my timezone of Mountain Daylight Time, though it’ll be helpful to know about India Standard Time. Oh, and CONTENT WARNING for transphobia, plus mention of suicide and self-harm.
May 13th – 17th, 2019
[HJH 2019-12-09] The origins of it all trace back to here, apparently, with a mistake:
Text in a screenshot: Janet Reyes thought it would be a good idea to list those who have come out in support of Rationality Rules and those who have come out in support of the trans community. […]
Rachel Oates: Just been shown this screenshot and I’ve got to say: If you’re going to start making lists, you better put me on both. I support Steve because I don’t want to see the community divided, I won’t ‘denounce’ a friend for one mistake, I know he’s working hard to learn about what he did wrong and I know how hard he’s working to put things right.
Supporting Steve now does not mean I agree with everything he said in his video. We’re allowed to have differing opinions.
That said, if I genuinely thought he was transphobic I wouldn’t be supporting him but I know he never intended to cause harm and definitely didn’t expect certain people to use his video to try and push harmful agendas.
I, like so many other creators on that list, have consistently shown our support for the trans-community. So it’s not a choice between supporting Steve OR supporting transgender people. We can and DO support both.
Can we all just stop trying to create an us vs them thing? Can we stop trying to pit atheists and Youtubers against each other? Can we realise that we can disagree with someone’s ideas and thoughts and we can work to correct them and help them learn, without it having to turn into an all out war against a person.
People making lists like this need to grow up.
You can disagree with ideas without hating a person.
You can like a person & not agree on everything.
I support transgender people.
I support other Youtubers.
I support people taking time to learn and grow.
I don’t support drama and pitting people against each other and acting like children. This whole ‘oh you’re friends with x, so I don’t like you anymore’ is so immature.
Didn’t catch the mistake? Let Missus Snarky fill you in on the details.
Missus Snarky: Why did you share a list publicly that was between 20 people in a closed FB group? Now those people on the list are open to backlash, which was not the intent. The intent was to find safe spaces for those who have been subject to harm because of RR’s rhetoric. (May 14th)
Rachel Oates: I had no idea it was that small a group until just now. I tried to censor all the names, it’s just after being awake for nearly 24 hours I happened to miss one. That said, if you’re going to post on Facebook don’t expect it to definitely stay private. (May 14th)
And regardless of where it was posted, if there’s a group of people trying to be divisive, make lists and imply that I and these other creators are transphobic, then I’m going to point out that they’re being immature idiots who are objectively wrong. (May 14th)
Missus Snarky: It’s a private group where people are expressing concern for where they are safe to chat and interact. If a few people think your space isn’t safe, then yeah address that. But now you’ve exposed your entire audience to the list, which leaves it open to more assumptions. (May 14th)
EssenceOfThought considered this an attack. As they explained to me long after the fact, in December:
Oh, the attack was a mention of the fact that the person behind making the list in the PSA [Progressive Secular Alliance, the future name of this formerly-private Facebook group] was a trans person trying to protect other trans people by noting the connections between people and Woodford. Yet the moment Oates went ahead and targeted them, they put them in a terrible position where they’d either have to keep quiet and allow the lies to spread, or speak out about the lists actual purpose and receive unending abuse from her and Woodford’s audience. They did the latter. Objectively Subjective spoke out and got slammed. Hard. All because Oates couldn’t handle her ego being challenged by desperate people in private. I likely should have made that clearer at a later date, when it wouldn’t send them more abusive traffic. I’m not the only trans person targeted in all this.
This would all be in the future when EssenceOfThought first talked directly to Rachel Oates, though, at roughly the same time Oates posted the screenshot.
Pirate Kitty: [Rationality Rules] also Demonetized the [original transphobic] video (How it was monetized to begin with IDFK) But someone like Rachael should suggest to him that he re-monetize it, and donate the money it makes to an LGBTQ+ Charity.. that way in keeping it up, he can raise money for a charity. (May 13th)
Rachel Oates: He’s already planning on donating all the money he already made from the video – he’s just looking for the right charity (May 13th, 11:42PM)
EssenceOfThought: Evidence of this? (May 13th, 11:52PM)
Lizzy Lang: Idk…perhaps because she is personal friends with him and they have spoken about it. (May 14th)
Rachel Oates: Yep, literally what Lizzy said. Do we need to hire someone to take notes every time we have a chat now? (May 15th)
EssenceOfThought: I would like written confirmation from the person themself. (May 15th)
In terms of Twitter, that’s the sum total of their direct interactions before September 1st. There are some indirect responses, such as this from May 16th:
Godless Cranium: Wouldn’t it be great if the secular community did something positive…like maybe working together on a collaboration featured on multiple channels, reaffirming that we stand with the trans community, & outlining why trans athletes should compete as the gender they identify as? (May 15th)
Rachel Oates: I’m obviously happy to voice my support for the transgender community any time but on the topic of which groups transgender athletes should compete in, I’m not willing to make any claims at present. I don’t know anywhere near to enough about competitve sports to have a fully formed opinion and so to make a claim on video saying either ‘transgender athletes should / should not be allowed to compete in whichever group’ would be completely dishonest on my part. I’m not comfortable making such definitive claims on a topic I don’t know enough about. (May 16th/May 16th)
Clinton Collum: This is a great rational and thoughtful response. (May 16th)
EssenceOfThought: Not really. It pretty much reads “Though I have no basis to strip people of their human rights, I will none the less refuse to support them in those rights”. (May 16th)
While EoT’s tweet isn’t directed at Rachel Oates, it does include her handle in the reply. Twitter replies are inclusive by default, so even if you’re replying to one person every other person in the original tweet is automatically included, unless you manually delete them. Supporters of Rachel Oates such as Paulogia wind up generating most of the indirect tweets.
Sometime on or before May 17, it seems, EoT blocked Oates on Twitter. The block incensed Oates as it prevented her from refuting any allegations against herself, leading her to post a Twitter rant where she attempts to refute the allegations against herself. It’s also worth noting that Oates switched from using “they” pronouns when referring to EoT to using “he“/”him” pronouns that day. EoT prefers “they”/”them”, but does not take offense to either “she” or “he.” Still, Oates does care about getting those pronouns right.
Rachael Oates: Also, I’m really sorry if I got EoT’s pronouns wrong in this thread – I’ve heard different things about which pronouns they prefer & may have slipped up here. (May 17th)
Over the next day or so, things settle down. Somewhere in this timeframe, according to EoT, they blocked Oates from their YouTube channel.
The person who accused me of stealing Woodford’s ideas, Rachel Oats[sic], has taken to playing the false neutral. She claims that she supports the trans community, but refuses to stand in support of their rights. Now she says she can’t do so because she lacks enough information on the subject to make a call. Which could be reference to one of two things. First is the idea that she’s simply not well enough versed on the subject to have an opinion. Which is strange considering how viciously she attacks any trans person looking to hold Woodford to some degree of accountability. She wants to be able to argue in defense of Woodford whilst being also being discounted from supporting trans rights on the basis that she doesn’t know enough. If you genuinely believe yourself not to be knowledgeable enough to speak on a subject, then stop speaking on it as a whole. Something I noted which people then jumped on me for, claiming that that’s what she was saying. When no, it really wasn’t.
Then we have the fact that myself and many others have compiled the information on the matter in an accessible manner. Perhaps if she stopped attacking trans people for trying to hold Woodford accountable to his actions and actually read some of the sources supplied, she would have more knowledge on the matter. […]
So these are several reasons as to why I find said position to be entirely disingenuous and I wanted to tackle that in a video. Now I’ve taken to blocking various people on Twitter since I have no intent on having bad faith back and forths that will be buried within a day. And sending more of their friends to harrass me over this, telling me what a wonderful person they actually are, is not going to change my perspective on that.
Oates tried to post a comment to this video, and claims it was deleted. The bit about stealing Steven Woodford/Rationality Rules’ ideas relates to the assertion that RR was planning to demonetize his original transphobic video and donate the proceeds to charity before EoT suggested it. I’m not sure what the “attacks any trans person” portion is about. Twitter’s search doesn’t include replies unless I know the handle of the original tweet’s creator, so not finding evidence of this with a Twitter search is not definitive proof that it didn’t happen. Twitter’s search function is pretty lousy in my experience, anyway. EoT doesn’t provide examples, something Oates used to argue no such examples exist. In a follow-up thread, Oates shared screenshots of the things she believed EoT was referring to as a “vicious attack on the trans-community,” tacking on this at the end:
If I ever did something to offend the transgender community, whether by accident or on purpose, I’d apologise. But I don’t believe I did.
I’ve never condoned Steve’s original video. I’ve only ever shared that I believe he messed up but had good intentions, his view has (May 25th) changed and shared what I’ve seen of the work he’s doing.
Obviously, you also saw my tweets in EoTs about how I’m happy to support transgender people in whatever, I just don’t want to make claims about sports specifically when I don’t know enough about it. That does NOT (May 25th) mean I’ve ever said it believed we should stop transgender lathered[sic] competing where they want.
I have called certain actions like making lists, lying, strawmanning, gaslighting, etc, childish and immature and compared ‘calling out’ people just for being associated with (May 25th) someone, to being like a temper tantrum or drama seeking. I have critiqued EoT for blocking me on all platforms and not giving me a space to defend myself from his lies.
I have said negative things about EoT’s actions but that’s completely separate from their gender identity. (May 25th)
May 28th – 29th
Again, things die down until the 28th. On that day, Rationality Rules released his long-form response to EssenceOfThought, leading to an uptick in harassment directed at EoT. At about the same time, EoT pens a “final post” on Twitter about Rachel Oates, following up in more detail on Facebook.
I feel I should clarify some things on Rachel Oates since people keep asking things. Though this will by my final post on said person. The reason I blocked her was simple. She was incredibly hostile to trans people who suggested that Woodford is responsible for the content he puts out. Including the harm it has caused. I also found her later approach to be incredibly two faced.
Her lack of knowledge on the subject didn’t seem to stop her attacking trans people in defense of Woodford, so the idea that it’d excuse her from standing by trans rights in what Godless Cranium had suggested the secular community do to try and improve relations with the trans community made no sense outside of playing the field. She seems very good at this sort of manipulation.
The only reason I mentioned her in the video was the fact that since I’d blocked her, various people had charged me with censoring her. And I feel like doing that may have given her too much. She seems to be trying to position herself into the same ‘poor white cis woman’ that Woodford did with Selina Soule in his original video. And this is all just one more way to distract from the actual issue here. Cries to remove the human rights of trans women and attempts to avoid accountability when such transphobic content is called out. That’s why I’m maintaining the block. That’s why I will continue to refuse to deal with Oates.
Within an hour or two of that, Oates releases “An In-Depth Response to Lies About Me,” a rambling hour-fifteen minute video.
[1:05] I have recently had some pretty slanderous claims made about me by another YouTuber. I don’t want to give this YouTuber publicity or attention, so I’m not going to be saying their name in this video. Chances are, if you follow me on Twitter you’ll know who they are, but I don’t want to promote them in any way so I’m not gonna be saying their name. I’m not gonna be linking to their channel, I’m not gonna be linking to the video in which they made these horrific claims about me. As I say, I’m not really into the drama side of YouTube. I don’t want to turn this into a “he-said she-said they-said” kind of thing. I don’t want to get into that, but out of principal I feel like I have to make this video at this point, because I don’t want people thinking they can walk all over me. I don’t want people thinking they can lie about me, try and silence me, strawman me, gaslight me, lie some more, and I’ll just sit back and let them.
Despite the title, it mostly discusses Rationality Rules, his transphobic video, her visit to the ACA with him, and the events surrounding that. Oates spends much of it defending Rationality Rules rather than herself. One section did jump out at me, and I hope you don’t mind if I place it next to a tweet from Oates.
[15:04] As we get back [from] America, based on the stuff that I’ve learned and the people I’d spoken to, and the conversations I’d had, I was basically of the following opinion. I didn’t support the original video Steve made, but I did and do support transgender athletes being able to compete wherever they want, unless someone can prove it’s harmful in some way. For me, the default position on pretty much everything is, and always will be, let people do what they want until we can see and prove its causing harm in some way. And I figured this was obvious and didn’t need saying, but I’ve learnt now that I was wrong, and that I do need to overtly say this more often so that people who don’t know me don’t get the wrong idea. (May 28th)
I’m obviously happy to voice my support for the transgender community any time but on the topic of which groups transgender athletes should compete in, I’m not willing to make any claims at present. I don’t know anywhere near to enough about competitive sports to have a fully formed opinion and so to make a claim on video saying either ‘transgender athletes should / should not be allowed to compete in whichever group’ would be completely dishonest on my part. I’m not comfortable making such definitive claims on a topic I don’t know enough about. (May 16th/May 16th)
Why did it stand out? Oates got back from the USA on May 8th.
Aaaanyway, this comment popped up under Oates’ video shortly after posting, earning a heart from Oates herself:
Chara: Alright who’s been lying about you and where can I break their knees?
Because you deserve far better than baseless lies.
Within a few hours, EssenceOfThought spotted this comment or was directed to it.
She fucking favorited that comment… I knew she was bad, but to favorite a threat of violence against a trans person for sticking up for their human rights…. (May 28th)
“Hey I know what will prove I’m not a bigot. Favoriting jokes calling for violence against a member of a community that already suffers extraordinary amounts of violence for refusing to kneel before me!”
“Haha, the person you said you had done your final post made you do another one by favoriting a comment joking about violence against you!”
Oates initially defended the comment as being a joke, but a day later her position had softened a little.
You know what actually, I’ve been defending this for the joke it is but seriously, since there are some people who see this as inciting violence against people, I’m sorry.
Please don’t actually hurt anyone.
Liking a comment is not my way of endorsing or encouraging violence against anyone and I’m sorry it seemed that way.
I went looking for the original comment on YouTube and couldn’t find it, so it’s likely Oates deleted it.
June, July, and August
No really, not much happens between those two for three months. On Oates’ side, a few transgender people watched her video defense, and sent emails saying they don’t feel safe from transphobia in her social media environment. This baffled Oates. Still, most of the hate she’s mentioning on Twitter comes from Kent Hovind fans. She never mentions athletes or sports at any point, and the term “transgender” comes up exactly once in Twitter’s search.
Gary: Should a man wearing a dress be allowed to share a toilet with a teenage girl? I’m shocked that some men believe this is acceptable. Does the feelings of the teenage girl not matter? (Jun 4th)
Rachel Oates: As someone who used to be a teenage girl: There is nothing scary about sharing a bathroom with transgender women. (Jun 7th)
EssenceOfThought is having a rougher time. They continue to make videos, some of which argue with Rationality Rules and clear up misinformation, some of which deal with the ACA, Matt Dillahunty, and Holy Koolaid, and some that are unrelated or weakly related to the controversy Rationality Rules created. The content earns them months of transphobic harassment, and later on they’d claim to be seeking therapy and professional counseling during this period to deal with the harassment caused by Rationality Rules and his supporters.
Sorry, but I need two tweets from the day before to properly situate this.
Rachel Oates: I’m one of the cool kids now who uses phrases like ‘throws shade’
(I may or may not have had to google the phrase ‘throw shade’ to make sure I understood it…)
Christian Girl Throws Shade At Taylor Swift: (Aug 31st)
Redd Vencher: This is a nice sentiment. Can we expect a vid calling out [Rationality Rules] for his transphobia in the near future? (Aug 31st)
Now back to the promised date.
Rachel Oates: I knew this would happen.
Tell you what, the minute Steve stops treating transgender people as human, I’ll call him out for it.
But, I don’t know anything about sport to know which of the arguments are fair and which aren’t, so I’m keeping my mouth shut about that. (Sep 1st)
EssenceOfThought: Oh look, the transphobic piece of shit is lying through her teeth again. And yes, you are 100% transphobic since you break bread with someone who has thoroughly dehumanised trans people in order to strip them of numerous key civil and human rights, all whilst feigning (Sep 1st) ignorance on information readily supplied to you on how your friend has actively lied about numerous studies which didn’t even contain words for the items he claimed they proved remained the same. But all that’s irrelevant. If you have no justifiable reason to strip (Sep 1st) away a person’s human and civil rights, by default the right thing to do is defend them at all cost. You failed to do that. You’ve defended Woodford for months for dehumanising us. And you have the gall to spread bollocks that claims you’d stand up to him for doing what he has. (Sep 1st)
Meanwhile, Redd Vencher replies to Oates’ September 1st tweet:
Redd Vencher: What is entailed in not treating transgender people as human in your view?
If you knew it was going to come up when you put that line in your video, why didn’t you take the time to explore the topic more in the intervening months? (Sep 1st)
Here, Oates hops back in and EoT delivers their fourth (and so far final) direct reply.
War on Catmass: Was just about to say this. Rachel has come out in support for trans individuals, good for her, but has yet to call out Steven for his continued transphobic videos. (Sep 1st)
Rachel Oates: I’ve already said I don’t agree with Steve’s original video but I don’t know enough about sport to call out specific claims. But I’m not willing to call Steve transphobic because I don’t believe anything he’s said comes from a place of hating/dehumanising/denying trans-people. (Sep 2nd)
EssenceOfThought: I see the sewer mouth just can’t stop spewing shit. He’s actively lied on multiple occasions in his updated video, claiming specific journals to validate his position on aspects of physiology such as lung and heart size even though they lack any mention of said words. All as a means to defend his actively transphobic dehumanisation of trans people, something that has existed from his very first video right up to his most recent on the matter. You have nothing to offer but active dishonesty on the subject. (Sep 2nd/Sep 2nd)
Lizzy Lang rejoins the conversation.
Lizzy Lang: Jesus f*cking christ. There was absolutely no need to talk to her like that. What in the seven shades of hell is wrong with you? (Sep 2nd, 5:16AM)
War on Catmass: I wouldn’t start tone policing Lizzy. (Sep 2nd)
Lizzy Lang: See, I don’t kneel to your little cult. There was no reason to call her such things. She’s been nothing but polite. (Sep 2nd, 5:19AM)
EssenceOfThought: “See, I don’t kneel to your little cult.”
Says the person co-opting the Catholic church’s methods. (Sep 2nd, 5:24AM)
Lizzy Lang: Says the person gatekeeping and entire community. I’m tired of your nonsense. You call out harassment at every corner, yet you’re the one that won’t leave people alone. (Sep 2nd, 5:25AM)
EssenceOfThought: No, I call it when your friends violently seek to strip trans people of their civil and human rights. Because unlike you I have integrity. Unlike you I’m not a victim blaming piece of shit. (Sep 2nd, 5:28AM)
After a few comments by other people, this thread ends. Meanwhile, EoT was juggling a second one.
Lizzy Lang: Jesus f*cking christ. There was absolutely no need to talk to her like that. What in the seven shades of hell is wrong with you? (Sep 2nd, 5:16AM)
EssenceOfThought: I’m tired of transphobic abuse from bigots like yourself and her. You lot deserve everything the trans community can throw at you whilst you defend your friends seeking to strip us of our human and civil rights. You lot stripped away all civility by doing that. (Sep 2nd, 5:20AM)
Lizzy Lang: Oh cry me a bloody river. Nobody was trying to take away anyone’s rights. I’ve purposefully ignored your BS until now because you are a toxic individual. You need to get off your high horse before it gets ripped out from under you when ppl get tired of your nonsense. (Sep 2nd, 5:23AM)
EssenceOfThought: That’s a demonstrable lie. Steven Woodford is a violent transphobe, and you are all his fucking church. You turn a blind eye, target and abuse the victims of his violence, lie to protect his name. Do the world a favor and exit it. (Sep 2nd, 5:26AM)
According to Twitter’s search, EoT sends tweets at 6:14, 6:19, 7:10, 7:11, 7:14, 7:32, 7:34, 8:11, 8:33, 9:20, and 9:34AM. None of the replies to those tweets mention the 5:26AM one. As far as I can see, the first complaint to EoT’s 5:26AM tweet comes at 7:49AM from “christianj.” A Twitter search reveals that every single one of their tweets have been about EssenceOfThought, and that they have not tweeted since September 2nd.
christianj: i dont think its appropriate to tell people to kill themselves. this is a real problem. i hope your twitter account gets deleted for that. (Sep 2nd, 7:51AM)
Sebastian Pontow: …I absolutely don’t agree with EOT but I don’t think this was a call for suicide, ‘exit’ was referring to the ‘church’, not life. (Sep 2nd, 10:56AM)
Tannie: As I read it, he’s saying to leave this world. Church isn’t mentioned (Sep 2nd)
Judgement oftheRain: If you’re going to lie, at least put some effort into it Tannie. (Sep 2nd)
Rewinding a bit, here’s what Rachel Oates was tweeting at roughly the same time.
War on Catmass: You are admitting to looking away when your friends have problematic behavior just so that you don’t have to deal with it. (Sep 2nd)
Rachel Oates: I’m admitting that I haven’t watched the videos. I can just not want to be involved. I have a life outside of Steve you know…
EoT literally told me ‘if you don’t know enough about the issue, don’t talk about it’ so that’s what I’m doing. I’m removing myself from a conversation I don’t want to and am not knowledgeable enough to be a part of. It’s exactly what EoT asked of me and it’s still not enough. (Sep 2nd, 6:22AM / Sep 2nd, 6:24AM)
(Rachel Oates, quoting the above: Just a reminder that I’ve spent the last 3+ months doing exactly what EOT asked of me and it’s still not enough. I’m still a ‘piece of shit’ and ‘shit spewing’ ‘sewer mouth’ according to them.
Hint: Maybe try educating people instead of name calling in the future? (Sep 2nd, 6:26AM) )
War on Catmass: The problem is, you already made yourself involved. I don’t ask all YouTubers to comment on Steven because some just stayed quiet and said nothing, you didn’t. You defended Steven and you said he wasn’t transphobic. His videos make us question this. (Sep 2nd)
Rachel Oates: I made my statements at the time and I’ve stayed quiet the last 3 months. Let me stay out of it. (Sep 2nd, 6:27AM)
War on Catmass: Sorry, but I won’t let you stay out of this. I’m writing a script to point out the double standard that you have and your willingness to look away from the harm your friend is doing. Like I said earlier, you don’t need to call Steven a transphobe, I don’t even think you need to stop being friends, however, your silence helps shield Steven’s behavior. (Sep 2nd / Sep 2nd)
Rachel Oates: Then I don’t get what people want from me? It’s a topic I don’t want to talk about. It’s a topic I’m not interested in. I only have limited time and energy and this isn’t something I’m even in a healthy enough place to talk about, even if I wanted to. You shouldn’t be threatening and guilting me into talking about a topic I don’t want to be involved in anymore. (Sep 2nd / Sep 2nd, 6:35AM)
War on Catmass: In the same way that you said you will call out homophobia and transphobia whenever you see it. I will also call out problematic behavior. (Sep 2nd)
Rachel Oates: I won’t apologise for not wanting to be involved.
So, say what you want.
Right now, there’s no way for me to win with any of you. Whatever I do won’t be good enough.
EoT wanted me to stay quiet and I did and it wasn’t enough.
War on Catmass: I only want you to do what you said you would do. (Sep 2nd, 6:48AM)
That thread may have taken a toll on Oates.
Rachel Oates: I’m just going to take a Twitter break for a while. I’m exhausted. And drained. And sad. (7:23AM)
But, four hours later, Oates popped back for a quick message.
Rachel Oates: “I’ll call out homophobia and transphobia when I see it” does not translate to ‘I’ll call out every case of homophobia and transphobia in the world”
I can’t talk about everything. I don’t have the time energy or mental health to research every topic people ask me about.
EoT told me to keep out of talking about sport if I don’t know enough about it. I don’t know enough about it. Therefore it doesn’t make me a hypocrite to say the first statement but decide to keep my mouth shut on the transgender people in sports debate. (11:27AM / 11:27AM)
Rachel Oates: People can make all the videos and crap they want. I’m saying no more on the topic.
I know I’ve demonstrated time and time again I’m an ally to all LGBT+ people and if people like EoT want to push away an ally for the sake of point scoring then let him. (11:33AM)
I won’t speak on topics I’m not knowledge in.
I don’t have time to spend on topics I’m not interested in.
I want to be corrected and educated when I mess up.
I won’t be pressured into saying things just because other people are threatening me if I don’t. (11:33AM)
Unlike EoT I will never use my mental health issues, social issues or self harm as a shield or way to manipulate my audience.
Unlike them, I will never tell one of my viewers or another person to go kill themselves. (11:33AM)
I’m not being violent in anyway. I’m not harassing or threatening anyone. I’m not trying to withhold rights or privileges from anyone. When I said I was done speaking about Steve and sport, I meant it. I’m done. If you’re not happy with my silence, move on. (11:33AM)
Many hours later, a tweet of Redd Vencher’s caught Lizzy Lang’s eye.
Lizzy Lang: So apparently EoT meant I should “exist” the church. Though this is bad grammar, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt even though I severely dislike them after what they said yesterday to people. I can’t ask them myself since they blocked me. (screenshot of EoT’s “exit it” tweet) (9:44PM)
Lizzy Lang: And then they twist the narrative completely and write this gem instead of just apologising and clarifying. (screenshot of an EoT tweet: What has to be the most piss-ignorant take today is the idea that transphobic bigots genuinely believe deconverting from the Church of Woodford will kill them. No it won’t. Get the fuck over it. Your bigotry isn’t some damn life source.(9:35PM) ) (11:42PM)
It’s obvious the suicide interpretation is spreading, as at roughly the same time EssenceOfThought issues a clarification.
EDITED “That’s a demonstrable lie. Steven Woodford is a violent transphobe, and you are all his fucking church. You turn a blind eye, target and abuse the victims of his violence, lie to protect his name. Do the world a favor and deconvert.” (Sep 2nd, 10:03PM)
Notice how changing those two words A, doesn’t reduce the functionality of the sentence and B, brings everything in that Tweet together context wise. The issue with said Tweet is entirely invented. During a particularly hostile Twitter spat I said a single sentence which if looked at from a certain angle, may have been a call to suicide. Sure, that angle makes the sentence appear out of nowhere in a rant about churches and turning blind eyes. But apparently that’s enough to dupe people these days. And though it’s been reported by multiple people who have then taken to boasting about that fact, I have no intent on removing it. I have no intent on hiding it. Why? Because there never was a problem with what I said. I’m allowed to tell people to deconvert from Woodford’s Church of Transphobia. (Sep 2 / Sep 2 / Sep 2)
Someone named Cee replies to an existing thread.
Cee, Kerbal-bane, They/them: Given the context of the tweet, whilst not worded the most eloquently, it is very clearly calling people to leave Woodford’s Church of transphobia. To make it a call to commit suicide you have to totally ignore the first half of the tweet. (2:02AM)
Lizzy Lang: Well, let me put it this way. Neither I (the intended recipient) or most people took it that way. Now I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but seeing as EoT clearly said in the past that intent doesn’t matter as much as the effect, it would still be wise for them to say sorry. (2:13AM)
We’ll return to this thread in a bit. Meanwhile, at 2:10AM, Suris tweets out their latest video.
[3:30] So why am I coming down specifically on EssenceOfThought? Well, if it wasn’t obvious by the tweet that I showed earlier, my reasoning behind this is very, very specific. You do not, as a content creator with even an iota of power, tell somebody to commit suicide, especially when you’re someone who advocates for people who have mental issues. If you want to take up a platform and argue for those who are marginalized, and protect them and do what you can to defend them, I agree. I try to do the same thing with my platform. But you do not tell somebody in front of your own audience – because they’re watching, its Twitter – to kill themselves. Think about every person in your audience who has suicidal thoughts – who just saw that from you – just realized that you, someone who they may idolize, is willingly telling someone else to kill themselves. How is that a responsible use of your platform or your power? […]
[5:03] Now, of course, though, they’re telling somebody who’s an educator that they should kill themselves. Here’s a tweet exchange from them from before, to get a little more context if you need it. This is where Lizzie Lang pointed out that there was no need to talk to Rachel Oates like that, and of course EssenceOfThought says they’re tired of transphobic abuse from bigots like those too, and they deserve everything the trans community can throw at them. And given that, a few exchanges lower, EssenceOfThought told them to kill themselves, it can only be inferred that this is EssenceOfThought saying that they deserve trans people telling them that they should kill themselves. I’m not sure if there’s any other way I can read that, or if there’s any charity I can lend to it.
Rachel Oates’ first tweets of the day are in response to Suris’ tweet.
Rachel Oates: Not watched the video yet but I’ll say this: When you’re in the middle of a depressive episode or a panic attack or have already hurt yourself and this line is sent to you. You don’t have the ability to deeply analyse the context or what he ‘really’ meant. (2:15AM)
In that frame of mind, at first glance it does seem to encourage suicide. That’s how I saw it. And being tagged in that thread, it messed me up yesterday. A lot.
Regardless of their actual intention and meaning, EoT needs to apologise for how that was worded because it’s not ok. (2:17AM)
So, thank you for calling it out in a video (2:18AM)
Suris: And I agree.
I’d suggest watching when you get a chance, let me know your thoughts?
But remember, eot has stated in the past that intent doesn’t matter, its effect.
This is the standard they hold RR to, thus, I hold them to that standard.
Which is inconvenient for eot Im sure. (2:17AM)
Rachel Oates: Of course I will 🙂 Just out with Kyra but I’ll be watching as soon as I get home (2:19AM)
Speaking of which, we resume that thread of Cee’s.
Cee, Kerbal-bane, They/them: Individual readers are persons, unless you’re reading the tweet out in a book club then referring to the singular is acceptable (though there’s a lot of group think going on with you folks). Please, continue to reach, you’ll touch a star soon! (2:22AM)
Lizzy Lang: Says the group-think individual that thinks EoT can do no wrong. They should apologize like everyone else in such a situation. (2:24AM)
Cee, Kerbal-bane, They/them: Learn to read. Criticising someone is hardly thinking they can do no wrong. The amended version tweeted elsewhere is clearly superior as it prevents exactly this of deliberate misrepresentation intended to distract from the point about Woodford’s blatant transphobia. (truncated screenshot of their earlier “Given the context” tweet) (2:28AM)
Cee, Kerbal-bane, They/them: It is possible to think person A did something that wasn’t perfect whilst person B is still worse by using the situation to paint a false narrative and so manipulate the discourse. (2:30AM)
Lizzy Lang: I didn’t paint a false narrative. That is how I understood it. I couldn’t even ask for clarification or reply since they blocked me straight after that tweet. And speaking of manipulation and false narrative (screenshot of an EoT tweet: What has to be the most piss-ignorant take today is the idea that transphobic bigots genuinely believe deconverting from the Church of Woodford will kill them. No it won’t. Get the fuck over it. Your bigotry isn’t some damn life source.(9:35PM)) (2:32AM)
Rachel Oates: “In the few times we spoke” = I never spoke to them. They jumped into a thread, misinterpreted me and blocked me before I could explain myself. Then slandered me in tweets from behind a block. (2:41AM)
Somewhere around this time, Lizzy Lang watches Suris’ video and calls it a “Great vid.” Meanwhile, a thread of Lang’s that started yesterday continues today.
Lizzy Lang: So apparently EoT meant I should “exist” the church. Though this is bad grammar, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt even though I severely dislike them after what they said yesterday to people. I can’t ask them myself since they blocked me. (Sep 2nd, 9:44PM)
Lizzy Lang: And then they twist the narrative completely and write this gem instead of just apologising and clarifying. (screenshot of an EoT tweet: What has to be the most piss-ignorant take today is the idea that transphobic bigots genuinely believe deconverting from the Church of Woodford will kill them. No it won’t. Get the fuck over it. Your bigotry isn’t some damn life source.(9:35PM) ) (Sep 2nd, 11:42PM)
BadTemperedBadger: Has EoT completely lost the plot? It’s the best explanation I’ve come up with for recent actions. He’s gone off the deep end. (3:41AM)
Rachel Oates: I genuinely think they might need some help and I hope they get it.
That doesn’t excuse their behaviour and it doesn’t negate an apology. But I do genuinely worry about them. (3:51AM)
Sarah Maria Katharina: So. Everybody is giving their opinion on the [EoT] telling [Rachel Oates] to please cease existing situation, here is mine:
Note: I won’t comment on anybody’s character, but instead just analyze the fallout (especially for trans people) and potential alternatives. (3:48AM) […]
EssenceOfThought: “Everybody is giving their opinion on the [EoT] telling [Rachel Oates] to please cease existing situation”
Except that literally never happened. I told Lizzy to leave Woodford’s Church of Transphobia. Do go check the original tweet and what I was actually saying. (4:26AM)
EssenceOfThought spots Suris’ video at 4:07AM. They reply to the “exit it” tweet at 4:37AM with a quote of the clarification. This tags Lizzy Lang and Rachel Oates, theoretically making them aware of the clarification.
EssenceOfThought: I’m not the one running around making posts about things I never said. Transphobes invent stuff when they’re starved of it. But none of that has any relevance to me calling out active lies. (5:14AM)
EssenceOfThought: I have to be a bloody saint day in day out. Any slip up, any sign of human emotion, and I’m a monster. Meanwhile they get to repeatedly call for violence against trans people, to defend that, and then try and erase my very existence and I just have to take it. I’m sick of it. (6:56AM)
Speaking of Rachel Oates, she starts a long tweet thread.
Rachel Oates: How difficult is it for EoT to simply say ‘I’m sorry my tweet was poorly worded and it hurt people, I never meant for it to be interpreted that way’ instead of blaming everyone who read it as an encouragement of suicide? It’s essentially victim blaming. (5:58AM)
As I’ve said to others, when I was sent a screenshot of that tweet by EoT I was emotional, in the middle of a bad panic attack & in a really bad state. I’m not comfortable going into the details publicly. But, I was sent a screenshot of that tweet. I knew I was tagged in it (5:58AM)
But didn’t have access to the rest of the context.
As anyone who’s had a bad panic attack and depressive episode knows, your brain doesn’t exactly work clearly during that time. It’s racing. It’s foggy. You feel all the emotions at once. (5:58AM)
You simply don’t have the ability to critically analyse every word of a paragraph that’s presented to you.
All I saw when I opened that image was my name and ‘do the world a favour and exit it’ and that was enough to make me spiral.
I won’t go into details. They’re private. (5:58AM)
But yesterday was a bad day for me. A large part of he cause was EOT’s name calling and slanderous remarks. Another was that tweet which was in poor taste and my anxiety-riddled brain read as a direct encouragement of suicide. (5:58AM)
Is it my fault I suffer from mental health problems? No.
However, it is my responsibility to manage my response to outside stimuli which negatively affects me which is why I deleted Twitter from my phone and turned my phone off for most of yesterday. (5:58AM)
However, if someone came to me and said ‘I found a statement you said triggered an episode of ongoing mental health problems I have’ AND the majority of people agreed it could be interpreted that way, the LEAST I could do is apologise and learn from the mistake. (5:58AM)
I hope EOT uses this as an opportunity to learn to be a little more careful in their word choice, even when they’re in an emotional state themselves, and no longer resorts to victim-blaming when they screw up. (5:58AM)
I’m lucky that I’ve seen counsellors and have enough coping strategies to help myself get through bad episodes with only minor damage.
Other people may not have that and we need to be considerate of them. (5:58AM)
And finally to [Lizzy Lang] who EOT’s tweet WAS directed at. You were just trying to help me and I’m so sorry you got caught up in this and that you’ve had to face the backlash that you have. You’re a lovely person & really don’t deserve it. Thank you for always supporting me. (5:58AM)
Meanwhile, Spoonie Satyr is engaged in another thread.
Chris Lafond the Amateur Unofficial Food Scientist: I can’t and won’t speak for other people because I know the struggle of dealing with mental health, but I find that hard to believe.
It was the last sentence buried in a tweet thread.
Is it possible it did harm? Yes, but I am skeptical of the extent. (10:56AM)
Spoonie Satyr: Well you’re looking at one of those people. I relapsed big time, because of it. A phrase that I have seen time and time again used to tell people to kill themselves. I know I’m not the only one. I can’t say who else, as its not my place to, but I do know of others.
Its part of the reason I tweeted what I did about it. Why I cracked down on EoT for it. I agree with EoT on quite a few things, which was why I was so upset upon reading that specific phrase. I’m not trying to police how they word their tweets, I’m pointing out that, intended or not, harm was done, and may still be done, by the wording of that tweet. (11:01, 11:02, 11:03AM)
EssenceOfThought: I am sorry for the way my words put you in a bad place. That was not my intention, nor the meaning behind my words. But that in no way reduces the impact my words had on you. I will do my very best to ensure that such ambiguity does not exist in any future statements. (12:09PM)
Spoonie Satyr: You have no idea how much this means to me
Thank you so so much, you’re apology is more than accepted and vey much appreciated (12:36PM)