So, on N. K. Jemisin’s Facebook page, she asked
What’s the internet name for false equivalence? (e.g. “Jemisin called [Vx Dy] an asshole! Why, that’s just as bad as saying women should be raped, scarred with acid, and genitally mutilated!”) I mean, “false equivalence” will do, but I keep hoping there’s some cutesy new label for it like “seesaw tipping” or something.
She was asking in the context of the current Hugo controversy, because the various Sad/Rabid/etc. Puppies are fond of this tactic, but it’s also a favorite of Gamer Gators (“You claim that someone from GamerGate threatened to find your address and come there with a gun, but someone from your side said they hope I die in a fire!”), the Republican Party (“calling people racist is much worse than actual racism!”), the Christian Right (“making me offer insurance that will pay for birth control is like making me kill babies personally! And far worse than not being able to afford contraception!”) It’s the hyperbolic version of “the other side does it too!”
The relevant Bible verse is this one: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” But “planking” is taken, and stupid, and “specking” doesn’t really evoke anything.
What is needed, really, is a term as evocative and on-point as “dog whistle” - “a reference only certain people can hear.” So I was heading toward the idea of making something seem like something it is not - duck blinding? Boca burgering? Making vegan cheese?
A friend suggested “vegan beefing,” and then I hit on one I liked, which I hereby suggest:
(Another friend suggested “Tofurkey” but one doesn’t want to attract corporate attention if possible.)
Still open to suggestion, but I would sure love to have a shorthand way of pointing a finger at this kind of bullshit. Does it work for folks? Is it catchy? Does it carry the right implication? COULD IT BE THE NEXT SANTORUM?
(I don’t actually care if it’s the next Santorum.)