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transphobia 

Based on the shit going on with JK Rowling, I checked out Nina Paley's twitter.

She's quoting the above, and selling a transphobic t-shirt.

I feel so ashamed of having worked with her.

I had no idea, and I genuinely think something in her switched to become this hateful self.

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transphobia 

@emacsen You can't control who other people are or who they become. You shouldn't be ashamed of something you didn't do, didn't know about no had no control over. I mean, could you realistically have known?? How many others have worked with her and simply had no idea??

I remember once thinking that Eric Raymond was an interesting fellow. I noped right out of there pretty quick once I found out what he was really like, but I really didn't know at first.

transphobia 

@Lofenyy

You're right that I had no way of knowing or controlling what Nina would do. Also, earlier on she was verbally expressing a different sentiment than her written self.

She would express concerns regarding normalizing strict gender roles, and that young people who might be gender non-conformist might be pressured into transitioning rather than to simply be non-conformist, or non-performative in their gender expression.

(these would be my words to explain it, not hers)

1/

transphobia 

@Lofenyy

Put in plain language, her earlier sentiments were essentially (again my words) A 14 year old who may be experimenting in how they experience the world, gender and sexuality, might be pressured into conforming to a certain gender expectation by society, and be pressured into transitioning to fit that rigid expectation, rather than just be who they are.

That's an argument I think merits at least some larger societal discussion, even if I disagree with it.

2/

transphobia 

@Lofenyy

I won't go too deep into why I disagree with it, other than to say that Western Queer communities are not like Iran, where SRS is common because homosexuality is disallowed and thus the only way to be openly gay is to transition.

Instead, we see gender queerness and fluidity going part in parcel with the modern Queer community. So there's less to be worried about in terms of this strict normativity argument for sure.

ESR is an interesting case... Let's talk about him.

3/

transphobia 

@Lofenyy

I was influenced early on by ESR's writing. And also, ESR actually threatened to punch me, in person.

My read on ESR is two fold. Firstly, he was always a bit of a nut. He was the guy invited to the party because he would carry out O'Reilly's vision and community build around it, without question.

ESR was motivated by both money and ideology, and he was basically sold the idea he could get money by spreading his word. As for his other views, on guns, women, etc...

4/

transphobia 

@Lofenyy

ESR was always a gun nut, driven by libertarianism. People around him knew that the thing to do with him was keep him on track, but if you deviated from that even a little, he'd go onto that track. It's a lot like how I've heard Simson Garfinkel knows his stuff on Unix security, but if you let him go, will talk about UFOs. "We're all a bit mad here."

ESR's dating advice, etc. was less bad that a lot of contemporary stuff at the time. Not good but not god awful

5/

transphobia 

@Lofenyy

The problem with a lot of these folks is that either their bad behavior is hidden from the public (I've heard people say ESR did more than "act weird" with women, but I can't find specifics at the moment), they failed to take in new information and understand the cultural zeitgeist, or they are unwilling to see the importance of what's going on around them.

The person who is in my mind as I write this is John Cleese.

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transphobia 

@Lofenyy

John Cleese has written about how awful it is that you can't make jokes anymore. He may be right that it's more challenging to make jokes and thus examine and ridicule the culture than it's been in the past.

What he fails to identify if *why*. The reason it's harder is marginalized voices are expressing how punching down is not acceptable, and they don't want to be the butt of a joke from a privileged person.

7/

transphobia 

@Lofenyy

What Cleese could say is "Once marginalized voices have the chance to be heard, maybe the pendulum will swing back and we'll have the potential for humor again, or maybe new forms of humor will arise." but instead, he's just doing what he *thinks* he's always done, and bucking "mainstream culture".

I think what happens is that older people see what's going on, but fail to understand they *why* and so they're actually bucking "mainstream culture." in their mind.

8/end

transphobia 

@emacsen It reminds me also of Richard Dawkins, who was once beloved by quite a few. One day, something in him flipped, and started saying some nasty stuff that went completely against many of his earlier works prior that made him popular in the first place.

I myself am starting to think that maybe people really do change, often for the worst, very rapidly. Not sure what causes this kind of change though.

@emacsen @Lofenyy I'm guessing it has to do with their work. They spend a good chunk of their life promoting an idea, and often the ideological lines don't change that much in that span. However, in the process they gathered a cult-like following, so there can be an inflexion point where they can start saying anything and they don't get any significant backlash anymore, or they attribute it to a media cabal, targeted harassment, etc...

But at the core everybody change. My opinions have changed from 10 years ago, I just don't have that big of a platform or past records to show.

transphobia, extremism 

@Lofenyy @emacsen I've seen people in my life change in similar ways, and in every case it seems to be associated with algorithmically-driven, engagement based social media. Yes, people have always changed over time but until the rise of Facebook and Google-owned YouTube I'd never seen people change so abruptly. The message amplification effect of The Algorithms seems tailor made for "recruitment" for any movement, good or evil, and unfortunately evil gets "higher engagement".

I know people who work in education and healthcare who've gone full anti-vax, professional truck drivers and tradespeople who were totally pro-union, NDP (left wing) voters fall deep into the Freedom Convoy hole and go Full Trump. It's quite unreal!

Nina Paley seems to have fallen into that trap as well. Just as people are pulled into the alt-right by moderate-sounding "alt-lite" personalities and gradually pushed to extremes, Paley looks to have been pulled in gradually from "questioning" into hateful TERF.

transphobia, extremism 

@msh @emacsen @hypolite I'm not in a thinking space right now, but I want to take a moment to mention that the term "alt-lite" should definitely give rise to the term "diet Nazi's". It's like Nazi's, but with half of the hate-fueling calories!

transphobia, extremism 

@msh @Lofenyy

There's also an element of the pressures of both acceptance and rejection.

I know I wasn't the only person who stopped working with Nina after this stuff happened and I am guessing it radicalized her, just as the attention it garnered online probably gave her a new support network.

transphobia, extremism 

@emacsen one thing I saw again and again is that groups who were moderately strange were suddenly pushed out of society by being put on a level with a small problematic minority in their group. And that made it impossible for them to talk online about their hobbies without being attacked. Result: Some of them actually joined that problematic minority, because those still seemed to accept them.

That’s what the right-wing do: Ignore you as long as you obey. @msh @Lofenyy

transphobia, extremism 

@emacsen To leave the abstract: first all preppers were called nazis, because there are preppers who are nazis. Then esoterics were called nazis, because there are nazis who are esoterics. Then folks from alternative medicine. You’ll notice that the group pushed out of the public space got biggerat every step.

And what was lost in-between: that the problem with nazis is not what they do as hobby. The problem with nazis is that they follow nazi ideology. @msh @Lofenyy

transphobia, extremism 

@ArneBab @msh @Lofenyy

I agree with you, but keep in mind, the left does the exact same thing.

The difference in the Western Left is they are less likely to become explicitly violent.

But this same stuff happens on the left.

transphobia, extremism 

@emacsen At least in Germany the groups on the left usually attack each other long before they get in power (so they never get there). The groups on the right start fighting *after* they get power. @msh @Lofenyy

transphobia, extremism 

@ArneBab @msh @Lofenyy

The thing that scares me on the left is less violent uprisings and more stuff like where, like in many universities in the US/Canada/UK, Jews are openly discriminated against in a display of "social justice", and I have dozens of examples of such.

While we see antisemitism on the right, this kind of antisemitism is less prevalent in my personal day to day life than that on the left, and I therefore have greater concern over it.

transphobia 

@emacsen Was a huge fan of hers, backed multiple of her crowdfunding campaigns, and now im kind of embarrassed ive done so.

Ive got a pressed DVD copy of Sita Sings the Blues I now never watch.

She went from being one of my favorite people to being such a despair inducing disappointment.

transphobia 

@emacsen Also want to take a moment to say that I hope you really don't beat yourself up over this. You really don't deserve it.

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