As I’ve said several times, I’m not invested in what someone else chooses to call themselves or whether they want to be part of any movement or community. I have no problem with any statement of opinion anyone cares to make… even if that opinion is that they think I’m a really horrible person.
The problem I have with many of the Separatists and the Separatist movement in general is the same issue I have with religious fundamentalists and Fox News: They make demonstrably false statements over and over again until it becomes a meme.
There’s a war on Christmas because people write xmas! Secularism is taking the Christ out of Christmas! Never mind that Christians began spelling Christmas this way 100s of years ago… Christians are victims of a cultural war!
Crossdressers were never involved in the fight for trans rights. Prince invented the term transgender. The Transgender Community was invented in the 1990s by a communist. Christine Jorgensen wasn’t a transgender woman. Third-gender pronouns were invented by people in the 1990s who wanted to destroy the male and female gender. Gender identity and expression protections will allow women to be raped! Never mind that the preceding assertions are demonstrably false, Separatists are victims of a transgender umbrella!
I respond to Separatist memes for the same reason I respond to the myths surrounding the ‘war on xmas,’ the hero-worship of Columbus or the assertion made in Littleton v Prange that sex is immutable because at the moment of birth, a god comes down and confers a binding binary sex upon all children without exception.
LET ME BE VERY CLEAR:
My goal is to join in the debate over language, the objective value of communal norms and the sacred cows. Those are conversations worth having. Here’s a list of the conversations I think are not worth having:
- Whether separatism is subjectively good or bad
- What the life circumstance of any particular separatist might be
- Whether or not any specific separatist is a good person
- Speculating about the mental health of a specific separatist
- Whether or not a separatist chooses to self-identify as a transgender person
- Whether a separatist is rich or poor, highly educated or uneducated and/or employed or unemployed
- What separatists think about me as a person
- Whether or not separatists should meet as a group either online or IRL
- The political, religious or sexual persuasion of any particular separatist
None of the above topics have any bearing upon the truthfulness of claims made by separatist and as such are a waste of time. When I come across the posts of Separatist or Inclusionist which focus on something other that objective truths, I know that what I’m about to read is probably just a pile of rhetorical BS.
SEPARATISTS ARE VALUABLE:
Public decent, objection and robust critiques are all functions of a healthy community. Continuously reevaluating our language, challenging our beliefs, testing what is asserted to be true and questioning the sacred cows are all hallmarks of a community health and well-being. Our very language, culture and goals were forged out of this decades long discussion/argument/
The pushing that many Separatists do (or their corollary for any other aspect of community) helps to ensure that leadership egos are kept in check, that communal norms are objectivity valued and that investments of time, energy and attention are worth it. They are the irritant that produces the pearl.
As long a the debate is focused on behavior, objective facts and supporting evidence, then our debate becomes of vital significance. When the debate becomes about something other than behavior, objective facts and supporting evidence we’re probably wasting out time, energy and attention. For example…
A while back, two of us got together and formed an internet group. We formed with just one premise, i.e., to speak individually, but as one voice, in challenging the transgender at every opportunity. We don’t sit around writing endless narrative. We don’t sit around quoting the latest research. We are coordinated. We act… Our group is growing and we’ve succeeded in shutting down threads spouting TG non-sense… All of us share one thing in common: a sense of loyalty and unity in our quest to speak with one voice to the transgender. If one of us goes at someone, we all go at them. If someone attacks one of us, they may as well attack each and every one of us.
– A Separatist opinion leader
Deriving a sense of empowerment by intimidating others and “shutting down” the free exchange of ideas is the definition of bullying. “Shutting down” the debate is the last thing I want; I want all facts to be freely and openly reviewed. I want a chance to review all the evidence Separatists have and I want my evidence-based fact assertions to face the same scrutiny. I want a free and robust debate about the things that matter.
These community debates are culturally important and will continue because it’s serves as the “conscious” of our community. They are the collective compass we use to find our way home.
PWNING FALSEHOODS ≠ PWNING PERSONHOODS
I’ve noticed some Separatists tend to conflate my denigration of their unsupported assertions of fact and/or their obdurate behavior with denigration of their personhood.
I love taking sledgehammers to a demonstrable falsehood. I enjoy using colorful language to describe dishonest tactics when they are used in place of facts. I enjoy PWNing an objectively bad idea, a proven falsehood or dishonest tactic. There’s nothing wrong with attacking these things.
What’s harmful is attacking someone’s personhood. Dana Taylor spreads demonstrable falsehoods and trades in the same rhetorical tactics used by almost all hate groups. While I’ve strongly denounced her obdurate behavior, her factual errors and logical fallacies, I’ve not attacked Dana personally. I’ve never said that she’s a poo-poo head or used her life circumstance to dishonestly turn public opinion against her arguments. I stick to attacking what she does, not who she is.
I know a number of Separatists that I like and respect as well as some that I don’t like or respect. However, my like and/or respect is completely irrelevant to the objective validity of an assertion of fact. Someone I don’t like can be right and someone I like can be wrong. Having someone question my assertions of fact is what should happen in the adult world. My denigration of your truth assertions ≠ my dislike of you as a person just as my agreement with your truth assertions ≠ my like of you as a person.
Being able to engage in a colorful debate is a healthy thing (IMHO)… A bit like Christopher Hitchens and Pastor Douglas Wilson. They were two great and colorful debaters who never made their spirited debate personal and who went on to collaborate on a number of projects (including a movie). They both enjoyed their debates and called each other friends even though, where religion is concerned, they were on opposite sides.
There’s nothing wrong with being colorful when demolishing a falsehood and there’s nothing wrong with robust and vigorous debate… in fact, there’s everything right about that process. The continued tradition of robust debate around language, the objective merits of Separatism vs Inclusionism, communal goals, etc. is a sign of health and should be valued. Community is about unity and NOT uniformity.
cross-posted from Ehipassiko