I think these sensational incidents around discriminated people are a double edged sword. On the one hand, the incident serves as an example of how bad it can bite you if you discriminate against people. This would hopefully drive a positive change in the society.
On the other hand, we, the outside observers, only hear very fuzzy statements about the core issue. If I personally witnessed the bullying, I’d probably punch this Stephen Mahood person in the face, but I haven’t. All we hear are conclusions. So, imagine you’re the owner of a little startup. You’re very positively disposed towards any demographic that’s discriminated against in the society. Then a transgender person comes to apply for an open position, to which 20 other people have also applied. Then you think to yourself: “On the one hand I have the opportunity to help alleviate the discrimination issue by hiring this talented person to our friendly company, on the other, what if this person ends up not liking the job and decides to make themselves into a transgender rights martyr by blowing an unrelated everyday quarrel out of proportion and blaming it on discrimination?”. You know, your company feeds your children, and keeps them under a roof.
This is what I mean by the double edged sword. When these issues have devastating effects on organizations, and when the onlookers aren’t satisfied by the evidence, the whole incidence might actually end up hurting those discriminated even more.
… the whole incidence might actually end up hurting those discriminated even more.
Yes, because people like you rationalize their non-empathy and “fuck you, got mine” attitude that comes from your privilige, which you refuse to acknowledge and take responsibility for. Not hiring a transgender person because you fear that they could become a “martyr” and drag your reputation down just highlights your subconscious transphobia, and is, you might have guessed it, illegal discrimination. It will of course be hard to prove in court, so.. whatever, right?
The next time you hear yourself say “I am very positively disposed to group X, but…”, take a step back and examine your unspoken biases. You might not actually be that positively disposed to group X.
See, this is the attitude that gets Trump elected. When someone follows a trail of thoughts that concludes in a way you’re not comfortable with, you shout and swear at them. Then you try to invoke mob justice on them by implying that they think that way because they’re secretly terrible people inside. Then people stop talking to you, and go ahead doing things the way they think is right. Though you don’t have any means to argue with them anymore.
First off, US politics is extremely fraught and unhappy right now. Lobste.rs is for the most part a nice bubble from the awfulness, and I (and I presume many others) would like to keep it that way to the maximum extent possible. It’s certainly off-topic here and I would much prefer it to be considered off-topic everywhere.
Second, the “stop complaining, it’ll upset people” argument has a long and sullied history of being used to keep oppressed groups from speaking out. It’s never appropriate, never valid, and I urge you never to use it.
I’m really sorry if I’ve offended you with my political comment, but I honestly think this “I’m morally superior, so I don’t have to listen to you, nor do I have to treat you with respect” attitude from the liberals is pushing more and more people towards conservatism, and this is happening all around the world!
About the original issue; I think you must be very creative for inferring that I said “stop complaining, it’ll upset people”. Seems like I’m not able to explain myself, so I’ll give an example.
In one of my previous workplaces, we’ve put up a job posting that indicated we were looking for a very experienced C++ developer. One of the applicants was a woman with a maths PhD without any professional software development experience in any language. She claimed since she’s so good with math, she’d learn programming very fast. Her application was eventually rejected, and she made a small fuss that she was discriminated against.
Now, in that incident, her case was ridiculous, so it’s easy to laugh at her attempt at abusing her “potentially discriminable” status. But imagine that person somehow ended up getting hired, and ended up not receiving a promotion due to incompetence, but decided to punish her team leader the same way…
I believe you’ll still somehow manage to imagine me as someone who defends bullies, secretly hates transgender people (oh, and due to my example, women also!), but maybe you’ll also take a moment to consider both sides of the issue. And since you’re forcing yourself to misunderstand me at the moment, I’ll be explicit, “both sides” here doesn’t mean the side of the bully, it means the side of those people who are wrongly accused of being a bully.
I apologise for the swearing.
But yes, if you think that “being very positively disposed to a group” and saying “I fear the situation that might arise should I associate with a person from that group” is a consistent attitude, then I think you have a fucked up understanding of “very positive” and I judge you as being a terrible person inside.
Oh, more swearing. Sorry for that.
EDIT: also, trying to make Trump’s election a problem of the people who most definitely did not vote for him? Gold star for responsibility reversal, my dude.
I’m an adult, I can handle the f-word, don’t worry. Please try to pause your prejudices for a moment, and try to understand what I’m trying to tell. I’m saying that making a huge reaction while not proving that the reaction is indeed deserved will create an atmosphere where the victim (and their group) is hurt even more. How can you claim that something is wrong with ME in reaction to this. Maybe I, personally, will go ahead and hire that transgender applicant anyway, but this doesn’t change the fact that someone else might end up being scared enough to do otherwise. See, this is ultimately not about what I think or do.
So, my recommendation is that the next time a transgender person is subjected to mobbing due to their choices, they should take the time to document the situation. Then we can mob justice the f* out of the culprit all together (I guess in that case we won’t have to bother, since the court will probably take care of that).
There’s also another implied recommendation here. The next time you witness someone from a discriminated group abuse their status and frame someone for personal gain or for retaliation for unrelated issues, you should speak up. Especially if you belong to the same group. Because if you don’t, everyone else witnessing the same incident and its consequences will ignore any future claims of discrimination.
How can you claim that something is wrong with ME in reaction to this.
There is not a single indication in your first comment that you think this is a bad thing to do. And not in your reply comment to mine. That makes me think that you think it’s a reasonable stance to take. Your further explanation of your recommendations cement this for me.
Yes, I understand what you are saying. You are saying “marginalized folk, don’t make a huge fuss, you might hurt your group” and that you want discriminated folk to police each other for this “too much fuss”. I hear it not as a cautionary warning out of empathy, but as a threat: “Don’t make a fuss, or we ignore any accusations you make” – it legitimizes any (micro-)violence against the discriminated, because you refuse to believe it happened or was “bad enough” to warrant a reaction. I think this is bad and you advocating for this is also bad.
You insist on trying to reduce everything to good and bad while projecting to an oversimplified world-view. There’s nothing I can say that will save you from this lower dimensional mode of thinking.
I’ll keep looking for my saviour, thanks anyway. High five!
I don’t know about you personally, but yes! If someone didn’t vote for Trump, but their public attitude drove more than one person towards Trump, I’d say they’ve contributed to his election.
Drama! Accusations! Condemnation! Gasp!
Seriously, reading the other links off that page make it kinda hard for me to have sympathy for Leah. Ragequitting a project after somebody else gets fired and then saying a bunch of (frankly) mean things without providing a bit better context or at least admission of incomplete knowledge is not super persuasive.
At least the article mentions the GNU documentation license; that wrinkle I wasn’t aware of. So, it’s not all hearsay and grumping.
Only point I can really disagree with:
Women are taken far less seriously, especially trans women, so it’s only natural that everywhere all over the internet,
people are demanding evidence
People demand evidence because that’s how facts work.
Has the link changed? That text doesn’t appear on my reading…
For what it’s worth, I personally a) agree with her, b) suspect that the FSF has behaved disgracefully in this instance.
But I’m also really uncomfortable with what I think is a growing trend towards criticizing people for no reason other than them requesting evidence to substantiate public claims. In any field.
Your quotation elides the second half of the sentence.
With the second half included, a more charitable reading is
In response to this claim, some people have asked for evidence whilst others have described Leah [presumably without evidence] as childish/unprofessional.
Perhaps I am being uncharitable; I’d taken the author’s emphasis on ‘evidence’ (it’s italicized in the original) to mean that she grouped it along with ‘childish or unprofessional’ (also italicized).
Leah Rowe is a woman, and she recommends Vim. Her .vimrc is on vimuser.org.
She’s referring to RMS’s “EMACS virgins” joke. At a conference, RMS said “EMACS virgins are women who have never used EMACS, and it’s our duty to relieve them of their virginity.” It was a stupid and unprofessional thing for him to say, especially on stage in an official capacity at a conference (especially as he singled out “women”).
So I think her comment is saying that she’s “a woman” and she “recommends Vim” (instead of EMACS).
Do we actually have any context? Or is it just accusations? I’m honestly asking.
Also, of all things, to take offense to this? The hell. It’s a completely sane statement.