Jun 082017
 

A couple years back, when I still identified fairly strongly with feminism, I said “If feminism is losing people like Scott Alexander, we really need to take a look at ourselves and reevaluate what we’re doing wrong.” It was a tragedy to lose him, because he is an ideal feminist (IMHO). This was before I realized that “The Left” I had grown up with had been taken over by a lunatic fringe and was in the process of eating its own.

It’s happened again. Laci Green, for those unfamiliar, is a fantastic YouTuber, who mainly talks sex and sexuality.  I loved her Sex+ show and watched it regularly. She is (was?) strongly liberal, and a feminist… kinda notorious for it, actually. Which, you know, all the hearts from me. :) Eventually I drifted away, when I faded away from YouTube entirely. Now I see she’s back! And in as fantastic form as ever! But the surprise announcement that she’s willing to talk to people with differing opinions has opened floodgates of hate from the lunatic fringe.

It sounds like she was subjected to a lash from the lunatic-fringe left, and is standing up for her principles. I am sad for her that she had to go through that, it’s rough as hell. But it’s fucking awesome that she’s not collapsing under the assault. I wish I could offer support in some way other than the occasional supportive comment and posting on my blog.

In her next video, when she said “I will always be a feminist” I wanted to cheer and cry at the same time. I do not identify as feminist in public anymore. It’s become too toxic and extreme. But I hate that the extremist took our word, and our movement. I, too, will always be one in my heart.

I consider it a duty of people to help police their own groups. I DO get pissed at the Catholics who don’t make a stink about their child-molesting priests. I despise the Republicans who will close ranks and cover their own, no matter what they did. Because no group EVER takes criticism from an outside group. They can only take it from other insiders. I would expect an atheist congregation to kick out an abusive community leader, because there ain’t nobody outside the community who will! A community must be able to criticize itself to some extent or it becomes rancid. I eventually opt-ed out of feminism because nowadays anything less than total devotion makes you the enemy, and that environment is deeply toxic. I know quite a few people who’ve lost many friends and huge chunks of their support network, finding themselves suddenly attacked by people they had counted as allies, for minor infractions. The far left’s auto-cannibalism is getting nuts.

II.

I guess I still haven’t given up entirely, though. Some of my friends are still of the opinion that Twitter and YouTube should ban people who promote what they call “hate speech.”

No. Here is why.

I prefer not to ask corporation to act as our guardians of public morality. In my experience, they ALWAYS default to where the money is. Profit is their lifeblood. Perhaps right now it is most profitable to only censor those that a loud enough faction can successfully label “white supremacist” or “nazi” in the court of public opinion. But that’s a notoriously fickle court, AND it’s possible that some day it’ll be more profitable to only censor those that can be successfully labeled “feminist” or “homosexual”. Trump’s election scared us all because it showed us that’s not as distant as we used to think.

I would rather that companies not get involved in judgements of morality. Mega-phone companies sell mega-phones to anyone who wants them, they don’t vet to make sure they’ll never be used at anti-cop rallies. Concert halls rent out to whoever will pay for them, not just people who sing the “correct” kinds of songs. Printers will print any book a client will pay for, not just ones that aren’t “obscene.” Or that’s the way it should be, anyway.

We are very much pro-Net Neutrality for everything else. ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to decide what websites’ data they’ll allow to get to your computer, or slow down some of it. Right? Communication providers like Twitter and YouTube should be held to the same standard. I don’t want them to be anyone’s morality police, for either side. They’re held to the same law as everyone else – speech that is threatening or an incitement to violence is illegal, and would cover the worst of the terrorist stuff. The exchange of ideas remains protected.

III.

I take it as a good sign that our society seems to be able to pull back from that cliff and return to sanity rather than plunging into violence. It’s wonderful that people like Laci Green, famous for being leftist, is willing to stand up despite losing her support base and many friends, and say “This is going too far.” This is the strength we need to survive, and it looks like our society has it. :)

I am a fan of civilization. I love Laci Green for what she’s doing. Censorship is the purview of villains, and we are no villains! If we’re confident that our views are the better ones, the best thing to do is to promote the free exchange of ideas so that everyone can see this. We don’t NEED to resort to censorship, because we’re right.

  12 Responses to “Three Huzzahs For Laci Green!”

  1. YES! The whole de-platforming is such a hypocritical movement. Let Anne or Milo or whoever speak so that people will hear how ill-informed they are. Picket, protest, speak your mind, but do so respectfully. Truth will always prevail. True progressive ideas win the long game.

  2. What I honestly don’t get about feminism is what they protest for / against. It would make sense to protest for womens rights in the middle east or against practices of female genetalia mutilation in north africa (which begs the question why we tolerate it for males in the western world). But they protest what? Against the showing of a documentary? Against male privilege? What privilege?
    The feeling I get from people that are against feminism in its current form is that they want to talk and present their arguments while the feminists want to shout loud enough to not hear any arguments.

    I don’t really get touched by the topic that much in germany, I mostly just see videos from protests in the US, Australia or GB.

    • People—feminists included—find it easier to talk notice and deal with problems that are nearby than ones that are far away. It would be nice if they protested for/against what you said more often (it does already happen), but it’s not really surprising if the American feminist movement deals primarily with problems in America, the Australian movement deals primarily with problems in Australia, etc.

      As for what non-extreme things feminists could worry about, consider (both past and present issues):

      * Right to vote
      * Rights to abortion and contraceptive
      * Right to serve in the military
      * Assumption that women did not belong in the workplace, especially if her husband had a job
      * Women still are underrepresented in a lot of areas, and although this isn’t as simple as a lot of feminist writers assume it probably still represents an issue somewhere.
      * Even when equally represented, there are various times when women are less respected than men.
      * Obviously it’s impossible to get good data to know for sure, but there’s at least a case to be made that sexism played a deciding role in the 2016 US Presidential election.

      There’s plenty left for feminism to do which isn’t deplatforming, classifying nonviolent things as violence, or any of the other overly-extreme stuff. You just don’t hear about it as much because it isn’t as Exciting and Newsworthy and the media dragons don’t care as much.

      • But where do women not have the right to vote, to abortion and contraceptive, to serve in the military?
        I haven’t encountered the notion that women don’t belong in the workplace yet, either. And women being underrepresented in some areas.. like engineering or what? But there’s no artificial entry barrier. And a lot of the women working in those areas hate the idea of people assuming they’re there to fill some gender based quota.
        Another thing is that those quotas can hurt the quality of a product: https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/6f1a2d/culture_war_roundup_for_week_following_june_3/dig0m7f/
        (In short:Github plans a conference, they have a blind review of the proposed talks, so people don’t know who the speaker would be. After the selection process only male speakers were selected so the conference was postponed until they find a way to include more female speakers.)
        The thing is, I think it’s mostly the [attitude of old people] that presents the problem. Unlike in the past there are no laws barring women from getting certain jobs. And I honestly doubt that protesting at universities changes this attitude.

        And about the election of Trump.. I obviously don’t know that much about what people moved to vote this or that way BUT as someone that lives sorta in between Russia and the US I was in favor of Trump. Because everything Hillary said about how she’d conduct the war in Syria made me seriously worried about it leading to a war between Russia and the US. (She wanted to shoot down russian planes for example)
        The other reason I was against Hillary was the way Bernie Sanders got removed from the election. I might have a bit of a paedagogic attidue on that but the way I see it, if you let people get through with this and reward them with the precidency that kind of stuff is gonna happen all the time. As long as I remember I was always in favor of the Democratic Party’s candidates until this time. The DNC simply decided to not care about the votes of people that want change so it pushed for a second establishment candidate that would pass whatever laws wall street paid for. Basically people had to chose if they wanted to be ruled by bankers or the industrials and I guess they chose the industrials (or the majority voted for the bankers, oh well, I guess that’s what you get for having maybe the worst kind of democratic system of all developed nations – someone should change that so every vote counts the same but so long as the ones with the power to change that are always those that seem to have profited from the broken part of the system that won’t happen).
        And just to make it clear, I wasn’t for Trump. I would rather have one US citizen selected at random and made president than either of those two candidates.

        • I said that some of those were historical issues, not modern ones. I never said there was an artificial entry barrier to engineering and I certainly never proposed quotas; I said that it probably indicates a problem somewhere. The “where” appears to be highschool or before, but I don’t know more details.

          As for the election, there are reasons to prefer Trump over Clinton which are not sexism- or racism-based (although I only partially agree with the particular ones you mentioned and don’t find them decisive). My point was that there’s a good chance sexism played a big role, not about who I or anybody else would have preferred to win. I do agree about electoral college reform, though.

          • You’re right, sorry, I didn’t want to make it sound like those were things you would propose, which I did.

            It’s just that I see those being the results of efforts of feminism. That github conference thing for example wouldn’t have happened ten years ago. I think blind review is the way to go for something like that. Also, I don’t think they would have postponed the conference and tried to find a different selection process if the result had been that only female speakers were selected.
            I have the impression that feminism nowadays doesn’t want equal rights for both genders, it just wants more rights for women and doesn’t care about men’s rights. I assume that some feminists do but there is no policing inside the movement to make it clear that the goal is equal rights and the ones who don’t want equal rights are either more or simply louder.

            And another reason, that is sorta hard to admit to myself, why I was for Trump, was that I’m selfish and care less about the results for the people in the US than the effects it has on europe. We’ve had politics that are trying to reduce or remove privacy rights and things like net neutrality for years and it’s a constant fight against that. Yet, apparently we’re electing the same set of politicians over and over again. Every prognosis said that Hillary would win (and she basically was the candidate for people that wanted no change, I think). I think the result might have awakened some politicians on this side of the pond that they can’t just ignore a growing part of the population and expect to get reelected term after term.

            Also, I think the fact that Obama didn’t (or couldn’t) fulfill some of his promises that everyone assumed a President should be able to fullfill if he put his mind to it, like the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, where still 46 people are being held without a trial, for I think over a decade now. We’re honestly making fun of statements like these:
            “If Venezuela cannot [address human rights issues], it should voluntarily step down from its seat on the Human Rights Council until it can get its own house in order. Being a member of this council is a privilege, and no country who is a human rights violator should be allowed a seat at the table,” Nikki Haley, the current United States ambassador to the United Nations, said.
            I think people voting for the democratic party are the ones caring more about human rights and I can see them being disappointed and caring less about the election. It’s similar with the green party in germany that was founded in 1980 and had the end of nuclear power generation as one of, if not THE, central points that they wanted to push for. They’ve been part of the german government from 1998 to 2005. The decision to end nuclear power happened in 2011 though, under the conservative party, as a result of the Fukushima catastrophe.

            Anyway, I digress, like I said, I don’t know many US americans personally so I can’t say if sexism did or didn’t play a role in the election. I can’t see it playing a role in germany and my assumption that our cultures are somewhat similar lead me to that conclusion (that it wouldn’t play a role in US elections).

  3. Laci Green ‘seems’ to have suffered from a violent backlash and she seems willing to have discussions with the other side.

    What I have actually observed. Laci Green has stated she will make videos with people from the swastika brigade (go and read the replies in a Laci Green tweet if you think I am being hyperbolic) but hasn’t and just started dating one.

    What kind of world do we live in where publicly stating your intentions and then not following through while cultivating an audience of literal right wing extremists and dating one makes you a person who sticks up for the principles?

    I must conclude that you have taken only a cursory glance at recent events and simultaneously are actually ok with someone with a sub base of 1 million plus giving a platform to literal Nazi’s.

    Go and bloody well watch some Sargon of Akkad and Bearing and ChrisRayGun (her SO atm) and thunderfoot and then come back and tell me how what laci is promising to do is a good thing. Seriously. Go and watch the videos of the kinds of people she will be chatting with.

    • Like I said, I drifted away from YouTube entirely a few years ago, and I’m only now starting to catch videos here and there from the people I used to follow. So I have no idea of the wider context, and haven’t heard of anything of those people aside from Thunderfoot (who I remember from my ol’ atheist stomping grounds. I recall him being a bit of a douchebag, but entertaining to watch and usually having good points.) When I have some free time I’ll check out a few videos, maybe they really are awful, I dunno.

      However.

      I will judge Laci Green for the work she actually puts out, and not for who she dates in her private time, or the work of people who *are not her* but that she agrees to talk to. “Being Willing To Talk To People” is one of the lowest bars of civility, and I am extremely reluctant to criticize anyone simply for talking to others. I reject the rhetoric that talking to someone on your youtube channel is “giving them a platform,” especially if you don’t agree with what they say! Christian call-in shows would often cut off atheist callers. The Atheist Experience would welcome theist callers and talk with them. The former looked like they were scared of anything that might upset their fragile worldview, while the latter looked like they were willing to defend their beliefs because they knew the truth was on their side. I question the motives of anyone who demands that people with well-thought-out counter-opinions not be allowed to present them. What are we trying to hide? If the light shall burn away hate and corruption, then why are we shrouding ourselves rather than throwing the windows open?

      If she doesn’t put out anything for several months then yeah, I’ll assume she was just stirring up controversy to gain follows. But I’m willing to give her some more time to put together an interview and present it rather than jumping to a comforting conclusion.

      Finally, knowing nothing about these people, but knowing how often the term “literal Nazi’s” is used incorrectly, I’m curious how you define “literal Nazi.” If it doesn’t directly involve the actual Nazi party in some way, I will be disappoint.

      • Oh the team she is ‘willing to talk to’ contains literal nazi party apologists.

        So a literal Nazi is someone who is in favour of a white ethno state which is achieved by ‘peacefully removing’ all of the non whites. There are many instances caught of people in favour of this actually admitting in semi private (like some obscure webcast or on a web page you need the way back machine to find) that anyone who thinks this can be done peacefully. Said literal Nazi will also have some serious issues with anyone of Jewish decent. If killing all the non whites and jews and setting up an ethno state of superior white humans doesn’t make someone a literal Nazi then what does….

        Now in regards to ‘talking to the other side’ no, even if she makes some videos it was already a shitty move. Other people have been having online debates and discussions with the other side for YEARS. No need for a big self important video stating they are the chosen one. They just do it. It doesn’t exactly take weeks to set up a week to set up a live stream let alone months.

        So the whole premise of people talking to the other side has been around for a long time. I’ve actually watched a reasonable amount of the content even.

        Have fun with thunderfoot and finding out why he hates feminism too. I actually checked and he seems to have wound down finally and is down to just one Anita Sarkeesian video every month. I’m guessing you missed his all of my videos will be about what a horrid person Anita is phase which lasted for well over a year.

        • As an aside it seems funny that on one hand you claim to judge her by her work while on the other hand you are cheering her for stating she will do a thing without even understanding what she is promising. I don’t think it is accurate to say that the post I was responding to wsas about her work actually. I’d never have made a response if you posted something like “I like Laci Greens sex ed videos’.

          Go back and read your post. Someone has made some vague promises and you have grafted your own narrative about how you would like things to be onto it and then made a blog post responding entirely to ideas in your own head rather than observable occurrences.

          Also maybe go and check out what the red pill actually is before celebrating the idea of soeone hosting a redpiller on a channel with 1 million subscribers. https://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/ Just so you don’t get confused about the movie. It is the top google result which isn’t about the recent movie and its protests.

          If you walk out of TRP subreddit still thinking that giving these people a platform is a good idea then that is ok. My issue right now is that you are advocating a theoretical course of action without actually knowing
          the context.

          • That’s a good point. My cheering was mainly a reaction to the people I saw saying “This is awful, we must do everything we can to discourage it!” If what we’re judging is her announcement that she’s willing to talk to others, I judge that to be a great thing, not a bad one. That is what I meant to cheer. Any further judgement should be reserved.

            I’m pretty familiar with Red Pill thought, and basically disgusted by it. But I feel the same way about christians and muslims and nationalists and Trump-voters, and I don’t think anyone should be shunned for being willing to talk to any of them either.

            • Willing to talk to and cosying up to aren’t really the same though are they.

              She literally made a video that was at least Red Pill neutral. Talking to people is fine. Other channels have managed to do it without softening their stance towards the Red Pill. The video is literally titled ‘Taking the Red Pill’ as though that is an even remotely humane choice. No where in the video does she state openly that she is against Red Pill thought.

              Imagine Scott Alexander made a post saying ‘ Joining the KKK’ and inside of it he spoke as though he might be converting and would now attend meetings weekly in order to check stuff out. Says he has seen things and that maybe they aren’t all bad in the KKK. Leaves it totally ambiguous about how he feels about it for real. Starts dating a renowned KKK leader. Promises to start publishing debates about the merits of the KKK on his blog post.

              Do you think some kind of backlash would be reasonable (I bet you my mouse hand that it’d happen and that it would be other people you respect doing it)?. Would you not feel a bit betrayed?

              Being ambiguous about your stance on the KKK or Red Pill thought is something which deserves backlash. No one is angry at Laci for having dialogue the same way no one is angry at the numerous youtubers who have been in each others streams. People are angry at Laci for good reason. She has tacitly endorsed Red Pill thought, even if it was through some kind of brain malfunction rather than actual malice.

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