Discussions on fascist misogyny, race and identity politics


#82

Well sure. That’s why they’re being called out for their naive intent leading to anti-feminist outcomes. I’m hoping some of them will wake up and join the rest of us.


#83

Good. If that is your goal, perhaps your time would be better spent pointing out the flaws in their intent, as opposed to correcting my outcome-based assesment of their intent.


#84

I’ve already done that by describing the privilege-blindness and cluelessness underlying their naive intent. And I’m agreeing with your outcome-based assessment, noting that it’s not the only approach to assessing them.


#86

"It’s tempting to lead with positivity and encourage a friendly atmosphere, but we don’t end harassment and discrimination just by telling people to be nice. Even someone with no bad intentions can still cause harm if they’re being ignorant or careless. A classic example is stepping on someone’s foot: whether you mean to do it or not doesn’t change the fact that stepping on somebody’s foot hurts.

The strength of this example is that it removes privilege and systemic discrimination from the equation, which makes it much easier for people who don’t understand institutional power to grasp. But trying to explain the impact of racism, sexism, and other forms of systemic discrimination without addressing them as a system is impossible.

Talking about stepping on someone’s foot as a stand-in for micro-aggressions still leaves people confused. Okay, sure, if you step on someone’s foot, you move and apologize–but if it was an accident, then even if it hurt, it doesn’t justify the person cussing you out or shoving you off their foot, right? Shouldn’t civility go both ways? Shouldn’t people assume good intent and ask politely for the other person to move?

So I am not going to ask you to put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s inadvertently stepped on someone’s foot. Instead, I’m going to ask you to imagine that your foot’s been stepped on.

But not just once.

Your foot has been stepped on every single day of your life.

A few people have done it on purpose, but most of the time, it’s been an accident. The people who do it don’t hate you. Most of them don’t even know you. Some of them are your friends. Some of the people who’ve stepped on your foot genuinely love you.

And yet, every day, your foot is getting stepped on. Maybe it’s because of your race, or your gender, or because you’re disabled. Maybe it’s because you’re fat or poor. Maybe all of the above. Point is, people are constantly stepping on you.

You learn to stand back. To yield space to people who might hurt you. To give other people the right of way when walking in crowds, so they won’t walk right into you and BAM bring their heel down on your good dress shoes. You’re constantly being told that you need to watch where you put your feet.

How long, do you think, would you put up with that before you’d start wondering why people are telling you to watch your feet instead of telling the people who step on you to watch theirs? How long would it take you to stop caring whether or not people mean to do it? Because when push comes to stomp, they clearly don’t mean not to do it, or it wouldn’t. keep. happening.

In that context, people telling you to ‘assume good intent’ sounds like they’re really telling you to shut up. That your feelings about getting stomped on all the time don’t matter. That no matter how sore your foot is, how much money you’ve spent replacing ruined shoes, how many times you’ve limped on broken toes, you still have a responsibility to worry about the feelings of the people who are hurting you. Because they don’t mean it. As if that makes a difference.

Marginalized people already know that we’re supposed to “assume good intent” in others. We are told every day that we’re “paranoid,” “overreacting,” or just plain “crazy” if we don’t feel good about being treated badly. This process is called ‘gaslighting,’ and it’s a way of making marginalized people distrust our own perceptions so we won’t object to being mistreated.

In The Gift of Fear, Gavin de Becker talks a lot about instinct, and the way that women develop ‘gut feelings’ about men who are trying to harm them. The central thesis of the book is that women should learn to trust these instincts because they’re based on concrete observations of dangerous behavior. They are a form of pattern recognition that women develop from years of experience. Members of other marginalized groups develop similar forms of pattern recognition to protect themselves from harm, often based on signs so small they can’t consciously describe them.

When you tell people in your community to “assume good intent,” you’re reinforcing the notion that marginalized people shouldn’t trust their instincts.

People often reach for positive statements like “assume good intent” because they’re worried about people being “shamed” over innocent mistakes. But society at large is already inclined to assume good intent in people with power and privilege–even when they’re not demonstrating it. If you want to build a culture of “assuming good intent,” start by assuming good intent in marginalized people."


#87

I’m going tell you my honest opinion on this whole thing.

The westen society, and its institutions, are solely built for the service of wealthy christian males of roman descent. Those were built with nuance so it would ingrained in the minds of those who lived in it. A society for roman kings.

And it needs to be destroyed for the sake of humanity.

The glorification of kings and their culture have brought nothing but slavery and genocide. Sure there are advancement in knowlege and technologies, but those are used for the kings’ endless conquests.

Kings conquered nearly every form for organizations; from your family, to your job. Everything they couldn’t control directly, they either corrupt with their influence, or destroy it outright. They only thurst power and wealth in every way imaginable.

The culture of Kings are the source of all of the strife in humanity; thus we need to create a culture without it.


#88

I’d like to clarify, here whether you meant to suggest that if someone with autism thinks Damore is a misogynist idiot then they might not really have autism.

No, of course not. People with autism are just as capable of holding incorrect views as anyone else.

My point was about how neurotypical people view the intentions of and react to people on the spectrum. People on the spectrum are far less likely to misinterpret the bluntness, lack of eye contact, etc. as personal slights, which a neurotypical person often would, because coming from another neurotypical person those kinds of things are more likely to actually indicate that person has a negative opinion of you.

Someone on the spectrum could of course erroneously come to the conclusion that Damore was a misogynist, say because they never read his memo and just got their info from the one of the many dishonest articles written about it, or maybe they did read it but their own ideological biases blinded them to what he was actually saying. They’re just not likely to form a negative opinion of him based solely on his social skills or lack thereof.


#89

I only got as far as the first paragraph, wherein it says this:

…the author of an eye-poppingly sexist company-wide memo about why men are naturally better at computers than women

and

The memo claimed that it was wrong for Google, a company with 80% of its technical roles held by men, to be pursuing diversity.

I stopped reading after this because that makes it look like she never actually read the memo, because it didn’t say anything of the sort in either case.


#90

I stopped reading when I saw this picture:

He was not fired because he expressed an opinion, but because he insisted that his opinion was The Thruth™. Enough justification for me.


#91

Not “of course” not. This was our exchange:

I said I knew neurodiverse people who wouldn’t want to be associated with James Damore and you said that “maybe they’re more of the ‘fashionably neurodiverse’ set.”

You called into question the autism of people I know with autism because they wouldn’t want people to think they have the same views as Damore. I asked to clarify because I thought you didn’t really think that, but you did say it. So let’s not say “of course” not.

And yes, this is a little personal to me and I’m angry about this. I’m not doing a cold analysis of what I think what wrong with what you wrote. I’m recalling the experiences of a very close friend of mine who I was dating during their discovering of their own autism. That was the mid 90s, a long time because anyone would have thought to be “fashionably” autistic. You saying that hey, maybe they’re faking it, without knowing them, without knowing anything about them but that I think they wouldn’t want to be associated with Damore, made me extremely angry. In general, it’s an awful thing to say (and they aren’t the only person I know who I don’t think you should have said that about) but yes, this is very personal to me.

That’s right below you taking a very uncharitable interpretation of what I wrote:

I can see how someone would read what I wrote and think I was trying to stealthily equate what James Damore did with a serious crime. It was at the top of my mind, but I can see how I probably shouldn’t have made that particular analogy. I assume we can all understand how using a group you are a part of as cover when you have done something other people disapprove of (or something criminal) stigmatizes that group without me needing to make an analogy. But reading it that way sure eats at your claim that you read things charitably, or that you interpret words as written as opposed to reading in a whole bunch of your own bias. If we agree that not everyone with autism has has the same views as Damore then the analogy holds.

You have read everyone in this thread about as uncharitably as possible. It’s hard for me to think anything other than: You want to read James Damore charitably because you don’t like identity politics, you read what I wrote in a negative light because I support “identity politics”.

I’m not going to listen to you say intensely bigoted things about people with autism (it doesn’t matter that you are one of them), expecting me to shrug that off because of “of course” you don’t think that, while simultaneously accusing me of trying to argue in bad faith by sneaking exaggerated associations with my analogies. I understand there’s a mute list on the BBS, and I’m going to be availing myself of it.

We are talking about written text. Eye contact has nothing to do with it. The memo wasn’t unusually blunt for something in the style it is written in. People don’t like what Damore wrote because of the content.

My journey of reading the memo went from an expectation that it was going to be insanely sexist because I what I read about to; to an immediate reaction of “this does not seem insanely sexist”; to thinking, “oh no, this is written in a style that indicates he is thinking about things in a very different way that most people, so they probably reacted badly”; to thinking, “oh no, I wanted to have sympathy for this but it’s starting to get pretty stupid.”; to ending on “ugh, he thinks he’s invented the wheel here, he should have checked existing literature and seen he’s presenting nothing novel or interesting.”

Your belief that everyone else (or at least everyone who disagrees with you) acts out of personal bias appears to make it impossible for you to understand that other people can come to different conclusions than you without making a mistake, or to contemplate that you may be the one making a mistake. (Or to acknowledge that you made a mistake while saying that “of course” you didn’t mean what you said)


#92

You seem to have forgotten the topic we were discussing, our exchange started with you saying this:

Maybe if he’d had more of the interpersonal skills that he ascribes to women he would have realized that creating a PR disaster for your employer is a bad career move.

So it’s pretty clear I did not say what you think I said, because I thought we were talking about ‘interpersonal skills’, not the content of his memo. Not being able to read minds I didn’t realise you had secretly changed the topic of conversation, so you’ll have to forgive me for that.

I’ll retract and apologise for the ‘fashionably neurodiverse’ comment, because it turns out you were not saying what I thought you were saying, so it doesn’t apply. I’m not making up the concept though, I have come across these people in real life and they make me angry.

We are talking about written text. Eye contact has nothing to do with it. The memo wasn’t unusually blunt for something in the style it is written in. People don’t like what Damore wrote because of the content.

Again, we weren’t just talking about written text, we were talking about his interpersonal relations within the company. People are free to not like and disagree with what he wrote, that has nothing to do with my point on neurodiversity.

Your belief that everyone else (or at least everyone who disagrees with you) acts out of personal bias appears to make it impossible for you to understand that other people can come to different conclusions than you without making a mistake, or to contemplate that you may be the one making a mistake. (Or to acknowledge that you made a mistake while saying that “of course” you didn’t mean what you said)

That’s not what I said, and I don’t believe that. Also, I didn’t make a mistake with the ‘of course’ comment, we were just arguing at cross purposes, you should hopefully now be able to see where I was coming from.


#94

You are right that I misunderstood because I didn’t keep the discussion of why he was fired separate from the discussion of the content of what he wrote.

I had written more, but then i thought about continuing to discuss it, and it seemed pointless. Still, I wanted to acknowledge that I had indeed misunderstood before leaving.


#95

On forums like 4chan, members linked advocates’ names with their social-media accounts. At least three employees had their phone numbers, addresses, and deadnames (a transgender person’s name prior to transitioning) exposed. Google site reliability engineer Liz Fong-Jones, a trans woman, says she was the target of harassment, including violent threats and degrading slurs based on gender identity, race, and sexual orientation. More than a dozen pages of personal information about another employee were posted to Kiwi Farms, which New York has called “the web’s biggest community of stalkers.”

Meanwhile, inside Google, the diversity advocates say some employees have “weaponized human resources” by goading them into inflammatory statements, which are then captured and reported to HR for violating Google’s mores around civility or for offending white men.

Until her name and face showed up on a website run by Beale, the right-wing provocateur also known as Vox Day, Fong-Jones says she did not appreciate what she was up against. Like many diversity advocates, Fong-Jones serves as an informal liaison between under-represented minorities and management as an unpaid second shift. Over the past few years, she learned to keep a close eye on conversations about diversity issues. It began subtly. Coworkers peppered mailing lists and company town halls with questions: What about meritocracy? Isn’t improving diversity lowering the bar? What about viewpoint diversity? Doesn’t this exclude white men?

Fong-Jones initially assumed that the pushback stemmed from genuine fear or concern. But that changed in August when Damore’s memo, arguing that women are less biologically predisposed to become engineers and leaders, went viral. On Google’s internal communications channels, employees debated Damore’s arguments.

Beale published leaked snippets of a conversation between Fong-Jones and a colleague, where Fong-Jones argued that Damore should not have been allowed to publish his memo on an internal Google site. That fired up Beale. “Google’s SJWs [social-justice warriors] are starting to get nervous as evidence of their internal thought-policing begins to leak out into the public,” Beale wrote. “And never forget, they genuinely believe that they are better-educated, as well as our moral and intellectual superiors, because Google only hires the smartest, best-educated people, right?”

That’s when it clicked: perhaps some of her coworkers’ questions had not been in good faith. “We didn’t realize that there was a dirty war going on, and weren’t aware of the tactics being used against us,” she says. The stakes soon became clear. A few days later, alt-right figurehead Milo Yiannopoulos shared an image with his 2.5 million Facebook followers featuring the Twitter bios and profile pics of eight advocates at Google, many of them trans employees.


#96

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