Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ithiliana and the outing of Michaela Ecks/Laura Hale/Purplepopple/Partly_Bouncy

The Heart of the Maze - Calling out Michaela Ecks/Laura Hale/Purplepopple/Partly_Bouncy. Ithiliana's excuse in the comments is amusing: "I knew that she has been open, but did not take into account that many people would not know as well!" I could've said the exact same thing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

why do sj warriors feminize the people they mock?

In Blatant gender discrimination in who we discriminate against, Ann Somerville calls me "La Shetterly".


It makes me think of the SJW anti-feminist obsession with tears and the warriors who characterize departure as "flouncing", a word that evokes women's frilly clothing, and "clutching pearls", another metaphor based on traditional feminine accouterment. Why do they equate femininity with weakness?

Ah, well. Their problem, not mine. The feministsf wiki has my back.

—La Shetterly

ETA: And if anyone's keeping count, add Somerville's attempt to out the StGRB folks to their double standard on outing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ann Somerville, SJW

Ann Somerville kept one of the histories of Racefail 09 that banned commenters who disagreed with her. It seems she has her own history with outing people. It's glass houses all the way down.

ETA: Somerville's response: That’s your best shot, Melissa? » Ann Somerville's Blog. That section of fandom is strange. The nice thing about not using pseuds is you don't have to worry about being outed.

ETA 2: I thought the details I'd included here were public knowledge, but I'm deleting them from this post because they may be why Somerville's claiming I doxxed her. What's amusing is that if so, she's admitting she's the person who did the doxxing, but nevermind that.

If this isn't why she's claiming I doxxed her, please let me know, and, just as others have done when they accidentally doxxed someone, I'll delete the information and apologize.

Monday, September 17, 2012

the cognitive dissonance of the social justice warrior

"It's racist to write anything about any other culture whatsoever. That is "appropriating". It is also racist to not write anything about any other culture. That is "erasing"." —Julio Siete

Feminists and anti-racists share two principles that sound good:

1. We should treat people who are not part of our identity group with respect.

That's a great principle. It's a shame SJ warriors ignore it—see the problem with social justice fandom's "tone argument".

2. We should give more weight to the opinions of people in an identity group than the opinions of outsiders.

That sounds great, but it has at least three problems:

1. If SJ warriors truly believed that, they would favor the opinions of white people on whiteness and men on maleness. Instead, they look at economic power in the world, see that it's been dominated by white men, and conclude it must be understood in terms of whiteness and maleness. This is like looking at traffic and concluding what matters is the color and size of cars, so white midsize sedans must be the privileged source of everything that's wrong with the automotive industry.

2. The notion that members of a group understand their group best is the argument of devout members of every group.  It's endorsed by people who will earnestly explain to you that the world is run by lizard-people, Satan, Jews, blue-eyed devils, the Illuminati, or thetans who have forgotten their true nature. What cult doesn't think it knows itself best?

Moreover, the moment a woman or a person of color disagree with a warrior, their social identity is revoked—they'll be dismissed as race traitors or pawns of the patriarchy. Group identity only matters to social justice warriors so long as the person of that identity shares the warrior's worldview.

3. While SJ warriors claim they oppose privilege, they fail to see that giving more weight to the views of people in a group is privileging that group. The reasonable way to understand anything is to reject privilege of all forms. Study the evidence of both insiders and outsiders, then draw a conclusion.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

identity politics quotes

"It is easier [for Republicans] to coax one of two ideological tendencies (usually the Christian right) to compromise for the greater good of conservatism than it is to persuade an identity-based group (feminists, gays, African Americans) to make concessions on what is, after all, their identity as they see it.” —Todd Gitlin

“For years, I declined to fill in the form for my Senate press credential that asked me to state my 'race,' unless I was permitted to put 'human.' The form had to be completed under penalty of perjury, so I could not in conscience put 'white,' which is not even a color let alone a 'race,' and I sternly declined to put 'Caucasian,' which is an exploded term from a discredited ethnology. Surely the essential and unarguable core of King's campaign was the insistence that pigmentation was a false measure: a false measure of mankind (yes, mankind) and an inheritance from a time of great ignorance and stupidity and cruelty, when one drop of blood could make you 'black.” ― Christopher Hitchens

“People who think with their epidermis or their genitalia or their clan are the problem to begin with. One does not banish this specter by invoking it. If I would not vote against someone on the grounds of 'race' or 'gender' alone, then by the exact same token I would not cast a vote in his or her favor for the identical reason. Yet see how this obvious question makes fairly intelligent people say the most alarmingly stupid things.” ― Christopher Hitchens

“We must not be anything other than what we are.” ― Maaza MengisteBeneath the Lion's Gaze: A Novel

“...we have to be aware of the power and importance of organizing not just around identity, but the materiality of daily life, which still, in many respects, is racialized for people of color. You build from that, but you have a grander social vision that transcends it and recognizes the strengths and limitations that are drawn from the particularity of identity.” ― Manning Marable

"Identity politics enabled many formerly silenced and displaced groups to emerge from the margins of power and dominant culture to reassert and reclain suppressed identities and experiences; but in doing so, they often substituted one master narrative for another, invoked a politics of separatism, and suppressed differences within their own 'liberatory' narratives." - Henry Giroux, "Living Dangerously: Identity Politics and The New Cultural Racism"

Walter Benn Michaels on anti-racism and diversity

From The Trouble With Diversity:
We would much rather get rid of racism than get rid of poverty. And we would much rather celebrate cultural diversity than seek to establish economic equality. 
Indeed, diversity has become virtually a sacred concept in American life today. No one's really against it; people tend instead to differ only in their degrees of enthusiasm for it and their ingenuity in pursuing it.
From The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality:
There’s no reason why people with a certain set of genes ought to be reading a certain set of books and thinking of those books as part of their heritage, or why, when they read some other set of books, they should think of them as part of someone else’s heritage. There are just the things we learn and the things we don’t learn, the things we do and the things we don’t do.
From a pay-to-read site, The Chronicle of Higher Education:
The argument is that anti-racism today performs at least one of the same functions that racism used to — it gives us a vision of our society as organized racially instead of economically — while adding another function — it insists that racism is the great enemy to be overcome. But all the anti-racism in the world won't take any money away from the rich and won't give any of it to the poor. a time when class difference in the US is as high as it’s been in the last hundred years, we’re being urged not to talk about what we never talk about (the inequalities produced by capitalism) and to talk lots more about what we always talk about (the inequalities produced by racism). Why?
From What Matters:
In 1969, the top quintile of American wage-earners made 43 per cent of all the money earned in the US; the bottom quintile made 4.1 per cent. In 2007, the top quintile made 49.7 per cent; the bottom quintile 3.4. And while this inequality is both raced and gendered, it’s less so than you might think. White people, for example, make up about 70 per cent of the US population, and 62 per cent of those in the bottom quintile. Progress in fighting racism hasn’t done them any good; it hasn’t even been designed to do them any good. More generally, even if we succeeded completely in eliminating the effects of racism and sexism, we would not thereby have made any progress towards economic equality. A society in which white people were proportionately represented in the bottom quintile (and black people proportionately represented in the top quintile) would not be more equal; it would be exactly as unequal. It would not be more just; it would be proportionately unjust.
The emphasis is mine; that's a statistic I plan to memorize.

From Identity Politics: A Zero-Sum Game:
About three quarters of the job losers in the current recession have been men, which means that the numbers of men and women in the workforce are now roughly equal. So, from the standpoint of gender equity, the recession has actually been a good thing. It's as if, unable to create more jobs for women, we'd hit upon the strategy of eliminating lots of the jobs for men—another victory for feminism and for anti-discrimination since, from the standpoint of anti-discrimination, the question of how many people are unemployed is completely irrelevant. What matters is only that, however many there are, their unemployment is properly proportioned.

This is, in part, a logical point: there's no contradiction between inequality of class and equality of race and gender. It is also, however, a political point.
although real progress in the direction of greater economic equality would be more beneficial to poor blacks and Hispanics than would complete economic parity with white people, the goal of economic parity with whites works a lot better for black and Hispanic elites. Indeed it works pretty well for white elites too: which would you rather do—welcome some women and minorities to your board of directors, or not have a board of directors at all?
From Neoliberalism: Diversity and Inequality:
Bobby Seale, the co-founder of the Black Panther movement in 1966, warned his comrades: “Those who want to obscure the struggle with ethnic differences are the ones who are aiding and maintaining the exploitation of the masses of the people: poor whites, poor blacks, browns, red Indians, poor Chinese and Japanese... We do not fight exploitative capitalism with black capitalism. We fight capitalism with basic socialism.” Now, with the rise of Obama, we still don’t fight capitalism with black capitalism, we try to save capitalism with black capitalism.

Not content with pretending that our real problem is cultural difference rather than economic difference, we have even begun to treat economic difference as though it were a form of cultural difference. What is expected of the upper middle class today is that we show ourselves to be more respectful of the poor, and that we stop acting as if things like our superior educations really make us superior.

And once we succeed in convincing ourselves that the poor are people who need our respect more than they need our money, our own attitude towards them becomes the problem to be solved, and not their poverty. We can now devote our reforms not to removing class but to eliminating what we Americans call “classism.” The trick is to analyse inequality as a consequence of our prejudices rather than of our social system, and thus replace the pain of giving up some of our money with the comparative pleasure of giving up (along with our classism) our racism, sexism, and homophobia.
 From Let Them Eat Diversity:
Major social changes have taken place in the past 40 years with remarkable rapidity, but not any in any sense inimical to capitalism. people get more wealthy they tend to become less committed to the redistribution of wealth but there are lots of ways in which they become “more liberal”—with respect to gay rights, antiracism, with respect to all the so-called “social issues,” as long as these social issues are defined in such a way that they have nothing to do with decreasing the increased inequalities brought about by capitalism, which is to say, taking away rich liberals’ money.

...people in the Tea Party movement have a problem that is realer than “White male status anxiety,” ... my point isn’t really to deny the phenomenon of status anxiety, it’s just to point out the extraordinaire eagerness of American liberals to identify racism as the problem, so that anti-racism (rather than anti-capitalism) can be the solution. has been very comforting to discover over the past five or six years that there are plenty of people who have views similar to mine and who are actually better at expressing them.

...Victimization that does not take place through discrimination is invisible and that’s why it’s worth remembering that the vast majority of poor people in the country are White. After all, the country is about 70 percent White and if you look at the bottom quintile of income it’s about 61 percent White, so it’s an absolute majority.

...Today we’re living in a deeply anti-racist society ... officially committed to anti-racism ... which you can tell when Glenn Beck thinks it’s a good idea to couch his criticism of Obama by calling Obama a “racist.” It’s the killing word to say to anyone. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t still racism, it means that there is an important sense in which anti-racism is absolutely the official ideology because no one can imagine themselves to be committed to racism. It’s become a kind of moral imperative rather than a political position, deployed by the Right as well as the Left.

...To be poor in America today, or to be anything but in the top 20 percent in America today, is to be victimized in important ways and in so far as we’re appreciating the characteristic products of victimization, we are not actually dealing with exploitation, but rather enshrining victimization, treating it as if it had value and therefore ought to be preserved. And that’s obviously reactionary.
Interviewer: Like the Richard Geres of the world viewing Tibetan poverty as a commendable stand against materialism.
WBM: Completely.

...You know you live in a world that loves neoliberalism when having some people of color who are rich is supposed to count as good news for all the people of color who are poor. The argument for Obama is he’s there, so I can be there too, but all the white male presidents we’ve had haven’t done much good for poor Whites, and in a country where there’s now declining social mobility (less than in Western Europe), it’s hard to take even the traditional solace in the fact that the empty claim that anyone can grow up to become President now includes Black people. None of this will make any difference unless we start thinking about the politically relevant question, eliminating the gap between the rich and the poor.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Appropriating Spoon Theory

Let’s talk about spoons - Morning Chorus: "If you use this expression and are not disabled, you are appropriating a term meant specifically for people who suffer from chronic fatigue and pain. You’re ignoring the true spirit of the analogy and are being an ableist fuckhead for reducing our daily struggle to get by with something that just upsets you."

Monday, September 10, 2012

the racist assumptions of anti-racism, or yes, social justice warriors are racist

Several people came to this blog seeking "social justice warriors are racist."

This post's for you.

Social justice warriors love to say "race is a social construct" as if that's a new concept. It's actually ancient. Even in the 19th century, when most English-speaking people thought race was a valid concept, the opponents of racism knew, from a scientific view and a theological one, that humanity is one family.

Social justice warriors say "race is a social construct" in the same way that conventional racists say "I'm not racist, but...." It's a rhetorical device that, in their cases, means nothing. If social justice warriors truly believe race is a social construct, why do they make statements about all white people or all people of color?

Because they're racists.

Social justice warriors get their understanding of race from Critical Race Theory, which does not reject the idea of race. It endorses race, then tries to reject the idea of racism by dividing people racially. For Critical Race Theorists, the "social construct" is based on appearance, not culture. That's the only way that they can divide humanity into "people of color" and "white allies" and, by implication, "white enemies." Since all white people are racist in their view, the white allies are still racist, but they become allies because they accept the terms of CRT.

Critical Race Theorists see power in racial terms, as though only poor dark-skinned people and rich white people are relevant to understanding the US today. But power is not that simple.

For more about the assumptions of Critical Race Theorists:

The Man Who Changed Middle-Class Feminism, or Derrick Bell and Critical Race Theory, Where Racism and Anti-Racism Intersect.

Racism equals prejudice plus power, so only whites can be racist?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

what is "upper class in India"?

• caste: the first racism, or another reason to blame the British? (1/26/9)

Most of my reading about India had been about the Raj and Hinduism, so I thought the concept of caste and race were effectively identical: people are born and die in the caste their culture assigns them, and no matter how much their class might change, the prejudice against their birth category remains.

But it may be that when the British accepted the pseudo-science of race in the late 1700s, their concept influenced Indian thought. From Caste system in India:
Some scholars believe that the relative ranking of other castes was fluid or differed from one place to another prior to the arrival of the British.[40]
Whether they're right about the past, the ranking is not fluid now. Some writers desperately claim that modern casteism is not racism. From Caste system in India:
...Andre Béteille, who writes that treating caste as a form of racism is "politically mischievous" and worse, "scientifically nonsense" since there is no discernible difference in the racial characteristics between Brahmins and Scheduled Castes. He writes that "Every social group cannot be regarded as a race simply because we want to protect it against prejudice and discrimination".[93]
What people like Béteille cannot grasp is there is no significant genetic difference among the commonly accepted racial groups either. If "caste" allowed for change the way "tribe" does, if you could change your caste by adoption or marriage, the caste system would not be racist. But so long as "caste" is seen as an inherent human quality, the caste system will be a form of racism.

• what is upper class "in India" (2/24/9)

In the recent LJ brouhaha between old school opponents of racism and younger upper and middle class antiracists, the question of upper class "in India" came up.

A few weeks ago, my knowledge of India was relatively superficial. I knew it was a growing economic power, and I'd seen articles like last year's Richest Man In India Builds $1 Billion House:
What would you do if your net worth were $22 billion? If you were Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani, you might build yourself the world's most expensive home.
And I knew a bit about caste injustice from articles like Untouchable @ National Geographic Magazine:
Discrimination against India's lowest Hindu castes is technically illegal. But try telling that to the 160 million Untouchables, who face violent reprisals if they forget their place.
More recently, I saw this in Too Much weekly:
You won’t find a shopping mall any more lavish than the six-month-old Emporio in India’s New Delhi. Gold-plated ceilings. Atriums with crystal chandeliers. Boutiques offering every top luxury brand on the planet. You probably won’t find a mall any more exclusive either. The Emporio carries an entrance fee that equals, the Birmingham Post noted last week, “about one week’s salary for 80 percent of India’s billion-plus population.” Guards everywhere make sure that no one tries to sneak in without paying up for the $5 entrance ticket. With hundreds of millions of Indians living on less than a dollar a day, sociologist Satish Deshpande points out, India is “tending more and more towards a kind of apartheid, a kind of separation” now “sharply visible in our cities.”
Within India's more than one billion population, there is a middle-class country of 80 million, the size of Germany--with satellite televisions, nice cars, well-appointed homes, and white collar jobs hooked into the world economy
Which included a link to mall talk: Arundhati slams Slumdog:
"English writers in India come from a particular class, but if they do not make an effort to come out of it, they are bound to be superficial.”
Obviously, I love the last quote. But the question remains: what's the border between middle and upper class in India? If Juan Cole's vague definition of India's middle class is accurate, it's quite comparable to the US's. Which would suggest that India's upper class is like the US's also. I've thought that the world's upper class is effectively international, coming from different cultures but sharing similar privileges. Am I wrong? If so, I welcome the chance to learn the truth.

ETA: Gandhi said, "All amassing of wealth or hoarding of wealth above and beyond one’s legitimate needs is theft." However you define India's upper class, Gandhi defined them as thieves.

• when googling "upper class in India"(2/25/9)

The three-day siege of Mumbai, which ended a week ago, was a watershed for India’s prosperous classes. It prompted many of those who live in their own private Indias, largely insulated from the country’s dysfunction, to demand a vital public service: safety.
The bombers, it turned out, systematically targeted first-class men's compartments, poking a poisoned finger in the eye of the city's well-heeled white- collar establishment. The victims were overwhelmingly male; judging by the lists of dead and injured posted at city hospitals, they were mostly of working age; judging by the testimony of their friends and relatives, most of them were habitual first-class passengers.
in 1990, only a handful of students with very rich parents went abroad for undergraduate degrees. Now over 10,000, with indubitably middle class parents, do.
India's notorious social distinctions based on caste and class have spilled into the blood donation sector. Even reputable blood banks now advertise blood that is guaranteed not to come from the dregs of society.
When I tried to talk to Mangabhai about his financial planning for the time he can no longer work, he looked at me with glazed eyes. He had absolutely no idea. “The poor don’t have the luxury of looking into the future,” Bhavnaben said to me.
From here:
In India, over 40 percent of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. Ten million of those poor would have to work over 60 years each to match the combined fortune of India’s 100 richest. This Indian top 100, Forbes related last week, now together hold $276 billion in assets, “over $100 billion more than the $170 billion total net worth of their Chinese counterparts.”
 • Why I love Gandhi

MEANWHILE : Gandhi, for one, would have found it funny - The New York Times
When a reporter asked him what he thought of Western civilization, he famously replied: "I think it would be a good idea." He did not spare journalists either, saying: "I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers."

Even the mightiest were not spared. In order to identify with India's poorest, Gandhi used to wear a homespun loincloth all the time. Winston Churchill bristled at the thought of a "half-naked fakir" going to meet the British king thus attired.

But that's exactly what Gandhi did at the Round Table Conference in London called to discuss India's future in the 1930's. He went in his loincloth to Buckingham Palace and met the king. Later, when somebody asked him if he felt that was proper, Gandhi replied: "The king had enough for both of us."

Gandhi believed his life was his message, and, as such, he lived simply, usually traveling by the cheapest form of transportation — the third class of Indian Railways. To a reporter's question as to why he did this, Gandhi said, "Because there is no fourth class."

the SJW anti-feminist obsession with tears

In our culture, the macho view is that tears are girlish and men don't cry. The feminist view used to be that men and women should both be able to cry in joy and sadness.. But either that changed or Social Justice Warriors have a strongly anti-feminist streak.

To wit:

SJWs love to mock men for crying. This struck me when I read Catherynne M. Valente's The Tears of Christopher Priest. If you can find any hint of tears in Priest's Hull 0, Scunthorpe 3, you read differently than I do. So why did Valente characterize it as she did? Because her community mocks by feminizing.

The most obvious example is their delight in white women's tears: "White women's tears is a sarcastic / humorous reference to the tendency of race and gender discussions to be derailed by white women into the pain the discussion is causing non-POC. ... During RaceFail '09, the phrase was mentioned several times; badgerbag created an image in delux_vivens's journal."

It is amusing that an image of making white women cry was created by a white feminist.

Social Justice Warriors fail to live up to Malcolm X in so very many ways, but I'll only focus on one. Most SJWs know from watching Spike Lee's version of Brother Malcolm's life that he once made a young white woman cry. Lee shot the conclusion of that incident, but didn't include it in the movie. Here's Malcolm's take, from an interview with Gordon Parks, two days before he was killed:
[L]istening to leaders like Nasser, Ben Bella, and Nkrumah awakened me to the dangers of racism. I realized racism isn't just a black and white problem. It's brought bloodbaths to about every nation on earth at one time or another.

Brother, remember the time that white college girl came into the restaurant—the one who wanted to help the [Black] Muslims and the whites get together—and I told her there wasn't a ghost of a chance and she went away crying? Well, I've lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a [Black] Muslim that I'm sorry for now. I was a zombie then—like all [Black] Muslims—I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man's entitled to make a fool of himself if he's ready to pay the cost. It cost me 12 years.

That was a bad scene, brother. The sickness and madness of those days—I'm glad to be free of them.

— El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)
SJWs say it's presumptuous to extrapolate from a dead man's words because they're more interested in appropriating Malcolm's image than in his anti-capitalist thought. Still, the implications of his words are clear: He was a zombie when he was driven by a simplistic ideology. So are the SJWs. Maybe someday they'll be glad to be free, too.

PS. A strong argument in favor of men crying: Why Do So Many Men Attach a Stigma to Crying When It Could Give Them a Mental Edge?

Nick Mamatas, SJW or SJW Ally?

Nick Mamatas' (Character) Class and The Game of Life is a fine reply to John Scalzi's Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is. Nick hangs with a lot of SJ Warriors, but he's more of an Ally than a Warrior, sticking up for his friends and indulging in his love of gossip.

Someday I need to write about identitarian socialists, the people who like Roediger's Wages of Whiteness and don't notice that even Roediger acknowledged it has problems. If I wanted to play the psychoanalytical game, I might argue that some of the white ones suffer from guilt for their racial connection to white capitalists, and others suffer from envy of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, and the Black Panthers—they wish they could trade the white skin of the slaver for the black skin of the people who were for centuries the most abused of the US's working class.

But white guilt and white envy both miss the fact that black folks owned and sold slaves in Africa and the US. There is no shade of human skin that isn't linked to the slave trade—or to any human evil. Better to reject the notion that children bear the sins of their parents and work to build a better world.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Rev. Thandeka on whiteness and anti-racism

Rev. Dr. Thandeka, author of Learning to be White.

From The Whiting of Euro-Americans: A Divide and Conquer Strategy:
...we must not forget that white racism was from the start a vehicle for classism; its primary goal was not to elevate a race but to denigrate a class. White racism was thus a means to an end, and the end was the defense of Virginia’s class structure and the further subjugation of the poor of all "racial" colors."
The white southern elite also established the "extraordinary rule" of allowing slave owners to exercise the vote of all or at least three-fifths of their black slaves. This concentration of political power not only degraded, in theory, the personhood of people with African ancestry by counting many such persons as only three-fifths human, but it effectively disenfranchised virtually all white southerners except for the biggest slaveholders.
Six points from Why Anti-Racism Will Fail:

1. Absence of oppression is not privilege.
Imagine that business and government leaders decreed that all left-handed people must have their left hand amputated. Special police forces and armies are established to find such persons and oversee the procedure. University professors and theologians begin to write tracts to justify this new policy. Soon right-handed persons begin to think of themselves as having right-hand privilege. The actual content of this privilege, of course, is negative: it's the privilege of not having one's left hand cut off. The privilege, in short, is the avoidance of being tortured by the ruling elite. To speak of such a privilege -- if we must call it that -- is not to speak of power but rather of powerlessness in the midst of a pervasive system of abuse -- and to admit that the best we can do in the face of injustice is duck and thus avoid being a target.
2. Privilege comes from wealth.
80 percent of the wealth in this country is owned by 20 percent of the population. The top 1 percent owns 47% of this wealth. These facts describe an American oligarchy that rules not as a right of race but as a right of class.
3. Anti-racism misinterprets actions resulting from feelings of shame and powerlessness.
One day, over lunch, Dan recounted an experience that helped shape his racial identity as a white. In college during the late 1950s, Dan joined a fraternity. With his prompting, his chapter pledged a black student.

When the chapter's national headquarters learned of this first step toward integration its ranks, headquarters threatened to rescind the local chapter's charter unless the black student was expelled. The local chapter caved in to the pressure and Dan was elected to tell the black student member he would have to leave. Dan did it. "I felt so ashamed of what I did," he told me, and he began to cry. "I have carried this burden for forty years," he said. "I will carry it to my grave."

The couple at the next table tried not to notice Dan's breakdown. The waiter avoided our table. As Dan regained his composure, I retained mine. I could see his pain. I felt empathy for his suffering but was troubled by his lack of courage. Dan's tears revealed the depth of the compromise he had made with himself rather than risk venturing beyond the socially mandated strictures of whiteness.

I realized that being white for Dan was not a matter of racist conviction but a matter of survival, not a privilege but a penalty: the pound of flesh exacted for the right to be excluded from the excluded. Dan's tears revealed the emotional price of his ongoing membership in the "white" race.

Although he is not a racist, Dan might make a confession of racism to a UUA anti-racism trainer because this would be the only way to mollify the trainer and also because racism is the only category he would have to express a far deeper loss and regret: his stifled feelings and blunted desires for a more inclusive community. But Dan did not cry during our lunch together in the restaurant because he was a racist. He cried because his impulses to moral action had been slain by his own fear of racial exile.

The anti-racist charge of white racism gives persons like Dan a way of addressing their moral failure of nerve without having to face a harder truth that they acted in racist ways not because they were racist but because they were afraid of being rejected. The charge of racism does not heal this condition or even describe it. It simply punishes a person for being broken.
4. Anti-racist rhetoric divides people.
...the silent majority...know that the anti-racist rhetoric ... runs counter to the economic realities of this country and their own lives. I believe that these persons simply dismiss the rhetoric as insulting to their intelligence and walk away. ... This is the way in which our community is broken. One withdrawal at a time.
5. Anti-racism does not offer solutions.
When it comes to specifics, [anti-racists] call for no other action on the part of the white sinner except confession.
6. The true solutions are to talk about class and race, to empathize, and to organize.

Adolph Reed Jr. on anti-racism and social justice

Adolph Reed Jr., Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, “the smartest person of any race, class, or gender writing on race, class, and gender” (Katha Pollitt, Mother Jones

on race and anti-racism

from The Real Divide | The Progressive:

...race is especially useless as a basis on which to craft a politics that can effectively pursue social justice.

...Exposing racism apparently makes those who do it feel good about themselves. Doing so is cathartic, though safely so, in the same way that proclaiming one’s patriotism is in other circles.

...Many liberals gravitate to the language of racism not simply because it makes them feel righteous but also because it doesn’t carry any political warrant beyond exhorting people not to be racist. In fact, it often is exactly the opposite of a call to action. Such formulations as “racism is our national disease” or similar pieties imply that racism is a natural condition. Further, it implies that most whites inevitably and immutably oppose blacks and therefore can’t be expected to align with them around common political goals.
from The limits of anti-racism:
Apostles of antiracism frequently can’t hear this sort of statement, because in their exceedingly simplistic version of the nexus of race and injustice there can be only the Manichean dichotomy of those who admit racism’s existence and those who deny it. There can be only Todd Gitlin (the sociologist and former SDS leader who has become, both fairly and as caricature, the symbol of a “class-first” line) and their own heroic, truth-telling selves, and whoever is not the latter must be the former. Thus the logic of straining to assign guilt by association substitutes for argument.
My position is—and I can’t count the number of times I’ve said this bluntly, yet to no avail, in response to those in blissful thrall of the comforting Manicheanism—that of course racism persists, in all the disparate, often unrelated kinds of social relations and “attitudes” that are characteristically lumped together under that rubric, but from the standpoint of trying to figure out how to combat even what most of us would agree is racial inequality and injustice, that acknowledgement and $2.25 will get me a ride on the subway. It doesn’t lend itself to any particular action except more taxonomic argument about what counts as racism.
from pdf here:
Proponents of an antiracist politics commonly express anxiety that Obama’s election could issue in premature proclamation of the transcendence of racial inequality, injustice, or conflict. It is and will be possible to find as many expressions of that view as one might wish, just as it will be possible to find a more or less explicitly racist “birther” tendency. The greater likelihood, and in my view the great danger, is that we will find ourselves left with no critical politics other than a desiccated identitarian leftism capable only of counting, parsing, hand-wringing, administering, and making up “Just So” stories about dispossession and exploitation recast in the arid language of disparity and diversity. This is a politics that emanates, by the way, from the professional-managerial class that remains generally insulated from the ravages of the ongoing economic crisis, the endless wars, and the other costs of predatory neoliberalism.

on identitarian Ivy League POC and Obamaism

At Obama: WTF? A Facebook Roundtable of the Left « Corey Robin, Adolph Reed says of Obama, "I’d refrained from saying that he, as well as his various running dogs, haunt me as illustrations of the modal type of Ivy League POC students I’ve been teaching for the last 30 years. That same mastery of performance of a cultivated, yet at the same time empty and pro forma, intellectuality, conviction that one’s career advancement literally embodies the victory of the civil rights movement, and that awe that Bromwich notes of the rich and powerful."

The last reference is to David Bromwich, who has written many criticisms of Obama.

from Where Obamaism Seems to be Going | The Progressive:
Lesser evilists assert as indisputable fact that Gore, or even Kerry, wouldn't have invaded Iraq. Perhaps Gore wouldn't have, but I can't say that's a sure thing. (And who was his running mate, by the way?) Moreover, we don't know what other military adventurism that he—like Clinton—would have undertaken to make clear that he wouldn't be seen as a wimpy Democrat.

sexism was the first classism: socialism and feminism

sexism was the first classism (6/14/9)

I'm reading Friedrich Engels' The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, partly because a mention of it in Indian Givers intrigued me. Many of its examples are dated now, but the book stays relevant because of its ideas—anyone interested in the history of feminism should read it. For example, Engels writes:
In an old unpublished manuscript, written by Marx and myself in 1846, I find the words: “The first division of labor is that between man and woman for the propagation of children.” And today I can add: The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male.
Engels and capitalist feminists (10/4/9)

I'm generally loving Tristram Hunt's The Frock-Coated Communist (aka Marx's General in the paranoid USA), but I came on one bit that Hunt misunderstands. He's younger than me, so perhaps it's a generational thing. He cites Engels' mockery of some feminists and concludes,
...purposeful, intelligent women who were neither pretty nor named Marx were the subject of instinctive misogynistic abuse by Engels. He particularly disliked middle-aged female intellectuals...
But Hunt then goes on to cite the evidence against his own assertion:
...he was highly dismisive of the campaign for female suffrage—'these little madams, who clamour for women's rights'—and regarded their cause as a distraction behind which class rule would flourish. 'These Englishwomen who championed a women's formal right to allow themselves to be as thoroughly exploited by capitalists as men are, have, for the most part, a direct or indirect interest in the capitalist exploitation of both sexes,' he wrote to 'Mother Schack', explaining how he was more focused on the coming generation than on formal equality amongst the existing one. Yet when, in 1876, a female candidate bounced up the steps of No. 122 Regent's Park Road seeking Engels's vote for the London School Board elections (for which women were eligible to stand following the 1870 Education Act), he couldn't help but give her all his seven votes—as a result, 'she had more votes than any of the other seven candidates for election. Incidentally, the ladies who sit on school boards here are notable for the fact that they do very little talking and a great deal of working—as much on average as three men.'
Elsewhere, Hunt does a fine job of pointing out the importance of Engels' The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State to writers like Kate Millett and Shulamith Firestone. Hunt misses what Engels saw clearly: capitalist feminists of his day were exactly like modern capitalist reformers who refuse to discuss class issues. They have no interest in leveling the class pyramid. They only want to secure their place at its top.

male feminists of the 1840s: Friederich Engels and Frederick Douglass (12/30/10)

When Engels was in his early twenties, he wrote in The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844,
"If the rule of the wife over her husband—a natural consequence of the factory system—is unnatural, then the former rule of the husband over the wife must also have been unnatural."
From Wikipedia's entry on Frederick Douglass:
In 1848, Douglass attended the first women's rights convention, the Seneca Falls Convention, as the only African American.[12] Elizabeth Cady Stanton asked the assembly to pass a resolution asking for women's suffrage.[13] Many of those present opposed the idea, including influential Quakers James and Lucretia Mott.[14] Douglass stood and spoke eloquently in favor; he said that he could not accept the right to vote himself as a black man if woman could not also claim that right. Douglass projected that the world would be a better place if women were involved in the political sphere. "In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world."[14] Douglass's powerful words rang true with enough attendees that the resolution passed.[15]

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kynn Bartlett, SJW

One of my favorite songs is "'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness if I Do". It may explain why I have enormous sympathy for transfolk: so long as people aren't forcing anyone else to do anything, they should be free to do what they please.

Alas, Kynn thought everything was her business. (Past tense because Kynn has been much quieter, as Kynn anyway, since Jack's rape charges. Maybe Caoimhe Ora Snow or one of Kynn's other identities is continuing Kynn's habits, or maybe she's learned a few lessons the hard way.)

Kynn was a happy social justice warrior for most of the time I knew her. When she was charged with rape, most of my sympathy was with the people who charged her, but a part of me was sorry that Kynn's friends, like Nick Mamatas, abandoned her instantly, without considering the possibility there might be two sides to the story. Julia Sparkymonster, to her credit, was among the few who tried to take a moderate position, but in the company of extremists, there's no room for moderation: when the mob turned on her, Sparky denounced Kynn.

drow (dark elves) and blackface

I'm trying to imagine a minstrel show with black elves. And failing.

Answering a question about whether a drow costume would look like blackface at Halloween Costume -- drow or blackface, one person answered, "I showed my wife (who is black) your post and she said she wouldn't consider it blackface either, that the idea wouldn't occur to her, unless you were also dressed as a Vaudeville act. We live in South Carolina and I don't know anyone that I would think would have the blackface allusion as a first impression. My kids wouldn't even know what blackface was if we hadn't explained it to them one time while studying old films as part of their homeschool studies. "

Where Will Community Rank On the List of Recent Blackface Stunts? - Movieline: "Will the sight of Ken Jeong in blackface push things a bit too far?" The writer doesn't know about drow, but does explore the question of blackface with examples of actors in dark makeup.

Blackface - Television Tropes & Idioms: "Due to sensitivity over this issue, particularly in America, any attempt by a non-black actor to play a black character will usually be labled by someone as outright blackface, even when it's really just a Fake Nationality." Someone should add: This will probably happen on Tumblr or LiveJournal.

ETA: Just for the record, I can imagine fusing a minstrel character with a dark elf. That may be the only explanation for Jar Jar Binks.

on blackface, or the cultural imperialism of anti-racism

Here's almost everything I've written about blackface. The tl;dr: Social justice warriors don't believe in context. Blackface is about mockery. If someone's pretending to be someone of another race without making fun of people of that race, it ain't racist. It might be stupid or ignorant, but as many have noted, ignorance is not racism; it's just ignorance.

Monday, September 3, 2012

the Social Justice Warrior cult

Updated versions of old posts about cults:

• the Social Justice Warrior cult

Whether The Culture of Cults is an accurate description of cults in general, I don't know, but it has many bits which describe Social Justice Warriors. It identifies their kind of cult:
...therapy cults, promote a secular type of belief system, based on quasi-scientific or quasi-psychological principles.
Their approach to discourse:
Actions which, to an outsider, might seem devious or immoral, may, in the mind of a believer, seem perfectly just and ethical.
And their pursuit of ideological perfection:
'The Demand for Purity: The creation of a guilt and shame milieu by holding up standards of perfection that no human being can accomplish. People are punished and learn to punish themselves for not living up to the group's ideals.'
Its list of traits of cult belief systems fits SJWs well:
Independent and non-accountable - believers follow their own self-justifying moral codes: e.g. a Moonie may, in their own mind, justify deceptive recruiting as 'deceiving evil into goodness'.
Aspirational - they appeal to ambitious, idealistic people. The assumption that only weak, gullible people join cults is not necessarily true.
Personal and experiential - it is not possible to exercise informed free choice in advance, about whether the belief system is valid or not, or about the benefits of following the study and training opportunities offered by the group. The benefits, if any, of group involvement can only be evaluated after a suitable period of time spent with the group. How long a suitable period of time might be, depends on the individual, and cannot be determined in advance.
Hierarchical and dualistic - cult belief systems revolve around ideas about higher and lower levels of understanding. There is a hierarchy of awareness, and a path from lower to higher levels. Believers tend to divide the world into the saved and the fallen, the awakened and the deluded, etc.
Bi-polar - believers experience alternating episodes of faith and doubt, confidence and anxiety, self-righteousness and guilt, depending how well or how badly they feel they are progressing along the path.
Addictive - believers may become intoxicated with the ideals of the belief system, and feel a vicarious pride in being associated with these ideals. Cults tend to be cliquey and elitist, and believers can become dependent on the approval of the group's elite to maintain their own self-esteem...
Non-falsifiable - a cult belief system can never be shown to be invalid or wrong. This is partly why critics have low credibility, and why it can be difficult to warn people of the dangers of a cult.
Because you just can't talk about group dynamics without mentioning The Stanford Prison Experiment: A Simulation Study of the Psychology of Imprisonment:
In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress.
The second basic pattern that Bion detailed: The identification and vilification of external enemies. 
...even if someone isn't really your enemy, identifying them as an enemy can cause a pleasant sense of group cohesion. And groups often gravitate towards members who are the most paranoid and make them leaders, because those are the people who are best at identifying external enemies. 
The third pattern Bion identified: Religious veneration. The nomination and worship of a religious icon or a set of religious tenets. The religious pattern is, essentially, we have nominated something that's beyond critique.
Italics mine. some contexts, it seems that an intellectual analog of Gresham's Law applies... It's not only that bad ideas drive good ideas out of circulation, but also that certain kinds of bad ideas reinforce themselves, becoming stronger in the people who believe them to start with, and taking root in the people who don't. 
This is a particularly noxious form of the Law of Group Polarization, which says that "members of a deliberating group predictably move towards a more extreme point in the direction indicated by the members' predeliberation tendencies" (Cass R. Sunstein, "The Law of Group Polarization", Journal of Political Philosophy 10(2), 175-195, 2002; working papers version here). 
As Sunstein explains, "[G]roups consisting of individuals with extremist tendencies are more likely to shift, and likely to shift more (a point that bears on the wellsprings of violence and terrorism; the same is true for groups with some kind of salient shared identity (like Republicans, Democrats, and lawyers, but unlike jurors and experimental subjects).When like-minded people are participating in 'iterated polarization games' -- when they meet regularly, without sustained exposure to competing views -- extreme movements are all the more likely." 
In cases like the Freeper thread that I cited, there seems to me to be an additional factor. In addition to the basic group-polarization dynamic, there's a sort of Gresham's Law effect, whereby people with a taste for the rational evaluation of evidence are likely to withdraw from a forum whose participants are so obviously uninterested in the facts of the matter. As a result, as the group opinion becomes more extreme, the standards of evidence get worse and worse, until we get to the point illustrated in that Freeper thread: a freely-available web link is cited to "prove" the opposite of what it plainly says, and 30-odd participants chime in enthusiastically, over a period of several hours, without even noticing.
• how to know you're in a cult

If you think your group's solution is the only solution? You're probably in a cult.

ETA: Dated and general, but still relevant:

my response to "Will Shetterly: Do Not Engage"

On Jan. 24, Micole Coffeeandink publicly shared "Will Shetterly: DO NOT ENGAGE". In SJ Warrior terms, Coffeeandink, Sparkymonster, and Mary Dell "cyberstalked" me to find things I'd said that could be taken out of context to make it look like I believe something I don't. I've bled from the blows of white racists and gotten death threats from the Ku Klux Klan—ain't no way I'm denying racism exists or that it no longer matters.

regarding the claims

See about "parallel lives: a different race, a different class".

See about the Taxi Test

K. Tempest Bradford, SJW and seeing color.

See about Tobias Buckell, diversity in f&sf, and the greatest failure of anti-racism

See racism equals prejudice plus power, so only whites can be racist?

See about race, class, and Hurricane Katrina. There's a typo in the archived post that I wish I could fix. To "Why is it so hard for some people to admit that racism still exists in this country?", I wrote, "I agree that racism doesn't exist. But race doesn't, and if we keep focusing on race instead of class, we'll never end racism." That should be, "I agree that racism does exist. But race doesn't..."

regarding the comments

Though I stated explicitly in "parallel lives: a different race, a different class", "Life would’ve been harder on me", Julia Sparkymonster characterized it in the discussion at Will Shetterly: DO NOT ENGAGE as being "about how his life wouldn't have been very different if he was born black" and Liz Henry (badgerbag) said, "Gotta say... I wonder what he thinks of the families of the 33% of his mom and dad's county in Florida who were Negroes and could not send their children to Minnesota for the summer so they could avoid the KKK?"

Social Justice Warriors have a surprising amount of trouble imagining that in the '60s, black Southerners could be middle class or white Southerners could be poor. White and black poverty were both extreme in the South. There were black business owners, and there were dirt poor white people, like one of my best friends, who literally lived by the railroad in a shack.

When word spread that the Ku Klux Klan would burn us down, Mom drove us to safety in the middle of the winter in our second-hand station wagon. If Dad had taken us, we would have slept in the car, because that's how we usually traveled to family reunions then, but since Mom drove, we stayed in cheap motels.

Which is to say, yes, if I'd been black and middle class, one of my parents could've driven us to stay with relatives, but if I'd been poor and white, we would've been trapped where we lived.

Icecreamempress had trouble understanding my answer in one exchange from "parallel lives" that Sparkymonster quoted.

Sparkymonster had said,
I'd also remind you that having Delaney as a role model for writing fantasy would do jack all about the institutionalized racism in the publishing industry (and sci-fi fandom). Look at the dearth of writers who are black. Do you think that is just a random coincidence?"
And I had replied,
...about the time I began paying attention to their race, I was reading Delany and Frank Yerby. They would've told me that I could be a black writer--and they did tell me that I could be a writer.
Icecreamempress responded:
I can't believe that W*ll Sh*tt*rly has never actually met Samuel R. Delany. Or that, if he has ever actually met Samuel R. Delany, he thinks that Delany would ever suggest any such thing.

And Jesus Christ, Frank Yerby could hardly be a black writer himself--why would he encourage some random white guy to do it?
I meant that when I was fifteen, I was reading black writers. Their work told me that if I'd been black, I would've known it was possible to become a black writer, just like them. Since I wasn't black, reading them told me it was possible for anyone with luck and skill to become a writer.

I have driven Chip Delany around, by the way. Never met Frank Yerby.

I love the Bingo Card beyond words. I used it as my LiveJournal icon until I deleted my LJ.

Veejane said,
...what I remember was how he called himself lower-middle class, and yet had a trust fund and went to Choate.

(My Choatey white butt laughed and laughed at him, but after the first or second try didn't even bother. If he can't even speak truthfully about his own personal wank issue, how on earth could he possibly give the time of day to any other issue? It was clearly all about his proving his righteousness, from a very slender body of evidence.)
My class changed enormously when my grandfather's money became available to me and changed again when it was gone. People who see the world in terms of race and gender while ignoring class don't realize that class in the US changes when wealth changes.

veejane said, "I vaguely recall that the same post entailed an in-depth comments-debate about investment portfolios, i.e. he did not believe that having or even seriously thinking about an investment portfolio said something about the social positioning of his parents/family."

To which I can only say, WTF? Investment portfolio? If you set an investment portfolio in front of me today, I would not know what it was unless it had "investment portfolio" written in big letters on it.

As to whether I'm a socialist, a libertarian, a tool of China, a tool of Cuba, or a tool of both, I'm a democratic socialist who believes in democracy strongly enough to despise the antidemocratic work of the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy. My opposition to the CIA may be why they think I'm a tool of China or Cuba, but the last time I looked, neither was democratic.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Micole Coffeeandink

Coffeeandink has a special place in the many “fails” of scifi’s social justice fandom. She helped “out” a woman who was then terrorized in her offline life. She helped drive a Cherokee writer from the science fiction genre. She fired the opening shots in the flamewar called Racefail 09, and at its end, she claimed people had “outed” her even though at the time she was using her full legal name in public posts on her LiveJournal.

And she may be the perfect model of a social justice warrior, a white female graduate of a very expensive private school—in her case, Harvard—who blogs about every form of privilege except wealth.

I met Micole sometime in the 1990s. She was Patrick Nielsen Hayden’s assistant at Tor Books, where she worked with two more people she attacked during Racefail, Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Kathryn Cramer. I don’t remember Micole well enough to recognize her if I saw her—I’m only sure she had dark hair—but she struck me as pleasant, intelligent, and capable. Like all beginners in publishing, she reminded me of myself when I was young and dreaming of a career in the world of books.

There is one detail that I think I remember from our first meeting, but it’s possible the fiction writer in me has invented it for dramatic purposes: When we were introduced, to be sure I’d heard correctly, I asked if her name was the far more common Nicole. With the proud patience of someone who often has to verify an unusual name that pleases her, she confirmed that it was Micole.

During her time at Tor, there was a copyediting problem with Freedom and Necessity, a book by my wife and Steve Brust. I can’t remember whether Micole was part of the problem or the solution. She’s mentioned on the copyright page, so she may have helped. The fact that I don’t remember shows it wasn’t a big deal. I only mention it to establish that our professional lives intersected.

She sold two short stories to anthology series that I wrote for, Terri Windling’s Bordertown and Jane Yolen’s Xanadu. I’m always pleased when people who want to write are succeeding. I thought she was on her way to becoming a colleague.

But she left Tor abruptly. She stopped selling stories. Both Xanadu and Bordertown had been published by Tor—whether that’s significant, I don’t know. Our careers stopped intersecting.

Micole and I were both fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, so it’s possible I noticed her next at a site like Whedonesque, where her public profile from 2002 still has her last name and links her to a Coffeeandink blog on blogsot. Since K. Tempest Bradford says it’s important to get screen caps to preserve the historical record, here’s one:

(click to embiggen)

Though Micole abandoned the blogspot address, that profile may be the start of Google associating “Micole”, her last name, and “coffeeandink”.

She began following my LiveJournal, so I followed hers in turn. That’s probably when I noticed her habit of posting her full name, sometimes including her middle name or initial, in public posts on her LJ. Most of those posts were about convention appearances, but some, like this one (now “friends only”, were about her published work. Two examples saved by the Internet Archive (click for larger):

And she used her name with her LJ elsewhere. For example, for the first International Pixel-Stained Techno-Peasant Day, she shared on her LJ a story published under her legal name, and from 2007 to 2009, K. Tempest Bradford hot-linked Micole's legal name to her Coffeeandink LJ on two pages at Fantasy Magazine. Here's an example from WisCon:

(clicky biggy)

Micole and I quickly found we understood race in incompatible ways. In response to a criticism of Critical Race Theory, Micole joked, “It’s almost like critical race theory was developed in response to actual racial oppression!” To which I would note that the Nation of Islam developed in response to actual racial oppression, but this does not mean white people are devils created by a black scientist named Yakub.

In 2007, during Blog Against Racism Week, I wrote “parallel lives: a different race, a different class”. Micole was among the CRTheorists who were upset by it. When I tried to address her points, she banned me from her LJ.

I was surprised, and a little sad because I hadn't wanted to hurt anyone's feelings, but I was mostly amused. That was when I realized social justice fandom is a cult: people they can’t convert are excluded so their ideas won’t corrupt the group.

I forgot about her after that. I didn’t pay attention when she was helped in the outing of Zathlazip and the hounding of William Sanders. I even missed her opening shots in Racefail 09.

But she got my attention when she posted “Will Shetterly: Do Not Engage”.

For people who want the quick take on the pseudo-pseudonymity of Coffeeandink:

OMarch 1, she used her full name in a public post about the conventions she would be at, should anyone wish to find her.

But the next day, on March 2, 2009, Micole announced that anyone who included her name in the history of Racefail 09 was "outing" her.

Then, on March 9, a week after saying she had always been pseudonymous, she said, "I have locked down or edited some posts with identifying information in them." If she truly believed she was pseudonymous, why did she hide many posts, alter others, and change her user name?

Jace said, "The issue isn’t whether or not she wanted to establish a pseudonymous identity online, it’s that she went about doing it so badly she has no right to complain when it failed." If metaphors should not be used lightly, saying anyone "outed" Micole is an insult to every gay person who suffered for being outed.

As for why Micole wanted pseudonymity, she said:

At this point, I am mostly just fighting a losing battle to prevent my mother from finding my LJ via Google.
Hint for anyone else who doesn't understand search engines: If you don't want your mama to find you by Googling, don't use your legal name in public posts on your blog.