Sorry but

The difference between a funny joke and a cringeworthy mistake is entirely dependent on your opinion of the person who said it and your willingness to recognize their point of view (which is not the same as agreeing with their point of view.)

Holding up part of a person’s statement as cringeworthy is a great way to shut down a discussion and discourage anyone else from defending them or even understanding what they were trying to say. It’s just another form of self-perpetuating uncoolness: once a person is labelled as uncool, then everything they do is worthy of mockery, even totally unremarkable normal things.

I don’t like it. Either say something about what’s actually wrong with what they said, or don’t get involved. You can win the argument without fighting dirty and you can leave it without insulting them on the way out. I don’t care if the person truly is awful. This isn’t about what they deserve; it’s about what tactics you consider acceptable, because that affects everyone you talk to, not just awful people.

If I had seen this at a time when I had more brain, I probably would have started an argument

I’m not going to get into this with this dude on Facebook but jeez.

“People said gross sexist things about Michelle Obama too” is not a justification for saying gross sexist things about Melania Trump.

You don’t have to care about Melania’s feelings. You don’t have to think she’s a good person, or consider what kind of treatment she “deserves” or what’s “fair”.

The issue is, when you judge one woman for having posed for nude photos, how does that judgment blow back against every other woman who has ever taken a sexy photo?

Do you want people to think that having taken nude photos is a shameful, gross, judge-able thing?

Do you want to implicitly support the sexism that says that women’s ~sexual purity~ is the most important thing about them, and that treats women doing anything sexual at all, and men being accused of sexual assault, as equally bad “sex scandals”?

Do you really want to do that, in the name of gross petty “but they started it!” revenge?


There’s this article being passed around on Tumblr about something that’s apparently a pretty new idea in psychology. It’s called “rejection-sensitive dysphoria” and it purports to describe how people with ADHD are particuarly prone to being sensitive to criticism, as an inherent part of the neurology of ADHD brains.

And like.

I don’t have ADHD, but if someone was trying to tell me that my sensitivity to rejection

(which is pretty similar to what that article describes)

was just how my brain works,

and not, say,

a reaction to having been repeatedly criticized and rejected, my whole life, for things I did not understand and/or could not stop doing,

(those things having been caused by the way my brain works)

I would be offended, personally.

I kind of hate all ~personality types~ tbh

Today I saw yet another person trying to make a statement about “atypical”/”female” autism traits, and I’m a little frustrated. I mean, it’s good that people aren’t taking either the assumed femaleness or the assumed rareness of these traits at face value, but… can we not go around claiming to know definitively what does create those traits or make them a distinct subtype? Because we don’t know. Has anyone studied this? In a way that acknowledges that gender and assigned sex are different things? No? Then how do we know whether these traits are actually more common in women, or more common in AFAB people, or anything?

(I’m guessing no one has actually studied this even in a trans-erasing way. This dividing people up into highly-detailed ~types~ is very tempting… and it’s basically what psychology is built on… but it’s kind of hard to turn it into a falsifiable hypothesis and I’m guessing nobody has bothered.)

People are answering this question based on what they think should be true. People who think everything is biological are calling it a biological difference. People who don’t believe in sex-based brain differences are saying it can’t possibly be biological, it has to be social. People who are concerned about respecting trans and nonbinary people are saying a lot of different things depending on what they think about gender.

But it’s all so reductive! Even if we knew for sure that (a) these traits were associated with gender, and (b) that the association was becaues of learned social norms, saying “These traits are caused by this experience which is caused by having this gender” is so so so oversimplified.

This is very personal stuff to make such broad, simplified statements about. Avoiding TERF logic re: gendered socialization is good, but by asserting a one-sentence explanation of why people have these traits, you’re explaining people’s genders and personalities to them and not giving them any room to disagree.

And also, again, you don’t actually know what causes this. You just know that some people have noticed what seems like a gender-related pattern. That’s all.

Some factors that might affect whether someone is perceived as having “typical” or “atypical” autistic traits:

  • Their actual internal experience of autism, not everybody actually has the same set of autism “symptoms”
  • Their internal experiences of some other mental illness or disability
  • Other brain differences maybe IDK, who really knows how brains work?
  • Gendered norms/stereotypes they’ve internalized
  • Cultural norms in general they’ve internalized
  • Smaller-scale norms they’ve internalized or lessons they’ve learned (e.g. things about their family that aren’t typical for their society at large)
  • Their own individual fucking personalities

And also:

  • Other people’s internalized cultural norms, assumptions about autism, and personal opinions and biases, which affect which of an autistic person’s traits they notice and how they interpret those traits.

And this category that we’re sorting people into is so fuzzy anyway! How can you possibly say there’s one definitive explanation for it?

Likable (there are two ways to spell it and I pick this one)

The whole thing about Hillary’s likability grinds my gears so much.

Because: yes. Yes, the reason why many people Just Don’t Find Her Likable is because of sexism.

But people seem to be trying to fight this by arguing that she is actually very likable and people should like her?


Why would you let likability become the goal like that?

When likability is the ultimate standard by which people vote, what happens is the problem we are having now: people vote their biases. The most ineffably likable person, to most people, is the one who’s most like them.

Likability is the problem here.

“She is likable, you should vote for her because you like her,” is just pushing the problem one step away. (And how many people do you think are going to be successfully argued into liking her?)

Stop telling me that Hillary is a good person. Stop telling me that she deserves success. Stop telling me how much you like her. I don’t care.

(And like. No politician can be really genuinely likable, because they can’t be genuine. They have to plan and calculate everything they do, even the things they genuinely support and want to do, because they have to be prepared for how their words/actions could be misconstrued. Unless you actually know them personally, no politician is your friend who you know and like. It’s incompatible with being a politician. And it doesn’t matter, because if you think the policies they support are good policies, you vote for them and then hopefully policies you support become law! That’s how it works! You don’t have to like them!)

It’s really disconcerting to have worked to absorb these ideas of, like, “Everything you see/hear about politicians is carefully crafted for public consumption,” and “sometimes in politics you have to work with people you don’t like in order to get things done,” and then have people I learned these ideas from, people who know more about politics than me, be all “I just like her so much, I really want her to win because I like her.”

I’m going to vote for her but stop telling me how nice she is.

I shouldn’t be surprised

Turns out it still Really Bugs Me when people call Breq a female character. Yes, it would probably make misogynists mad if Ancillary Justice was made into a movie, but no, the main cast is not all women. They are all genderless.

Extra fun bonus: on re-reading, because Tumblr’s suggested post feature is really annoying, the post that prompted this actually didn’t say that the whole main cast is women. So they’re probably basing it not on (more understandable IMO) translation confusion because everyone is called “she”, but on the fact that that one character from a culture that does have gender, still calls Breq she, and people conclude things about Breq’s body from this. We don’t know anything about the plumbing of any of the other Radchaai characters. So. Yeah.

Male violence

Why do people have to be such ridiculous assholes about abuse. Why.

The asshole I’m mad at in this specific case thinks they’re doing a good thing and being very anti-abuse! But they’re going on about male violence, and even if they didn’t put an explicitly transmisogynist interpretation on that, it’s still bullshit. The male violence* theory of rape and abuse seriously scares me so much.

Continue reading “Male violence”