Search Results For "alec baldwin" bigot

I’m glad Dan agrees with me on the core point. But why on earth does he feel the need to qualify it? That is the question. Why are progressives held to a lower standard than conservatives? Should they not be held to higher standards? Many readers – depressingly – take Dan’s position or worse:

I feel slimy doing this but I am going to “defend” Alec Baldwin. I am now 38, I do not consider myself homophobic or a bigot. I am from the San Francisco bay area and I have had family, friends, employers are co-workers who are gay. I will vehemently advocate for gay rights during discussions with co-workers and I will not vote for bigoted politicians. I have frequented many gay bars with my wife because the partying is better.

However, when I am angry, I frequently use the phrases, cocksucker, faggot, bitch or a combination of the three words. Does this make me homophobic? Perhaps. Unfortunately I also use racial slurs. I am a third-generation American of Mexican descent and I use all type of slurs – anti-white, anti-Mexican, anti-black. I did grow up in a racially diverse area and we would always joke around with each other using racial slurs. I can only say in my heart and in my head I do not have negative feelings towards gay people or any race. I consider myself a conservative but voted for Obama in small part because the racist strategy used against him was so offensive to me.

Here’s a question. When my reader says he uses racial slurs, he doesn’t cite them. Does he use the word “nigger” or “kike” in public, in anger, I wonder, as Baldwin did in a homosexual context? If he did, would it be relevant to qualify it by saying he voted for Obama or loathes racist political demagoguery – and that he should thereby be given a pass? Ask yourselves that.

Another reader:

As you stated, Baldwin’s anger was merited. But you and everyone else should be very careful in throwing around the word “homophobe”, since being implicated as a homophobe is sort of a big deal. To say that Baldwin has contempt for gays is ridiculous. People who protest gay pride parade and spit on gays are homophobes. People who fire gays for their sexual orientation are homophobes. People who get cut off in traffic, lose their temper and yell “you stupid bitch” aren’t male chauvinists – they’re just being assholes at that moment.

Baldwin was pissed off and threw out a word that invokes the most pain possible.

I want to unpack this sentence, because it is important:

Baldwin was pissed off and threw out a word that invokes the most pain possible.

So Baldwin regards calling another man a “cocksucking fag” a way to inflict the most pain possible. That means he has to buy into the logic of the stigma in order to wield it as a weapon. What he’s implicitly asserting, by choosing those words, is that a man who sucks another man’s cock is a terrible thing to be. It’s a classic form of demonizing gay sexuality. It’s laden with the tones of schoolyard anti-gay bullying.

Then he uses a term that is routinely used in this context (there are other much more benign contexts I have no trouble with) to imply another man is inferior to other men, because he is effeminate, i.e. a fag. I’m sorry, but this is homophobia in its rawest form. If I heard someone yelling “cocksucking fag” to another man on the street, I’d immediately know what was going on, wouldn’t you? And whenever I have witnessed such a thing, I have intervened and protested.

There are many ways to vent in public. “Asshole,” “douchebag”, “fuck you!”, to cite a few more obvious ones. Since living in New York, I have heard many more variations on the theme. But a man who instinctively uses misogynistic or homophobic slurs as weapons in public is not just another angry New Yorker. If this were a one-off, it would be one thing. But Baldwin’s record on all this is appalling. Two years ago, he allegedly had another confrontation with a photographer:

At one point, at the beginning of the confrontation, It sounds like Alec says to the photog, “I know you got raped by a priest or something.” Then, in an effort to assert his dominance, Alec got right in the pap’s face … and in a menacing tone said, “You little girl.”

Baldwin again denies it and there may be some confusion over the precise wording. But this is textbook schoolyard homophobia, laced with the familiar memes of anal sex and the threat of thuggish violence against a gay man demeaned as a woman. (Notice the obvious rank misogyny embedded in that as well.) Even Mel Gibson – for all his foul anti-Semitism – never physically threatened a Jewish person while calling him a “kike.” Then there were the infamous tweets of earlier this year, directed not at a random person, but someone he actively knew was gay:

George Stark, you lying little bitch. I am gonna f%#@ you up … I want all of my followers and beyond to straighten out this fucking little bitch, George Stark. @MailOnline … My wife and I attend a funeral to pay our respects to an old friend, and some toxic Brit writes this fucking trash … If put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much … I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck…you…up.

Again: the classic, unreconstructed homophobia is so obvious it takes one’s breath away. He has called other men “bitch” and “girl” while threatening violence – hate crimes – against them. Again: note the stigmatization of gay sex: “I’d put my foot up your fucking ass … but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.” He is threatening to anally rape a gay man – and is only restrained by the foul thought that a gay man would actually enjoy being raped. How much more hateful can it get?

And in all of these cases, he reflexively and comically lies afterward. He either denies everything – even when you can hear him on tape, for Pete’s sake, even when it’s in his own tweet! – or claims preposterous ignorance. I mean seriously, he has subsequently claimed he had no idea that the word “queen” had homosexual connotations and yesterday tweeted this (and, again, I swear I am not making this up):

Rich Ferraro from @glaad informs me that c’sucker is an anti-gay epithet. In which case I apologize and will retire it from my vocabulary.

At this point, it has become a joke that could work pretty well on 30 Rock – where, by the way, he is a brilliant comic actor.

One final point: is this a witch-hunt of someone – exactly the kind of thing I really try not to engage in, especially on gay issues? Am I being too sensitive?

I’d say this: I hope that Alec Baldwin as a human being really isn’t a homophobe in the depth of his heart and soul. He may well not be or may try not to be. Friends speak well of him. We all harbor prejudices; we’re all human; of all people, I know what it’s like to get angry and say or write stupid things. People are complicated. They can be bigots in one context and the opposite in another. I’m a sinner as well.

The reason I cannot let this go is the precedent it sets. Baldwin is not just an actor; he hosts a political show on MSNBC. He behaves as a political actor with his support of various causes, all of them noble. He has set himself up as a pro-gay progressive. If we concede the point that because you are somehow formally pro-gay, it doesn’t matter if you hurl murderous homophobic threats against people in public, then we have sold our soul.

I’m not talking about poorly written sentences – like Richard Cohen’s. I’m not gleaning subtle tropes in someone’s prose that might lead to suspicions of bigotry. I’m talking about the crudest of anti-gay epithets yelled in public repeatedly, combined in most cases with a threat of violence. If we excuse even that for the greater cause, then it seems to me we have nothing but cynicism left. And that level of cynicism is deeply corrosive of a civil rights movement.

In my view, the gay rights movement is not, at its core, about enacting legislation, or merely a political struggle. It is a moral case for the equal dignity of gay people, and for mutual respect. What deeply troubles me is not so much that one hot-headed actor is a bigot, but that his public support for gay causes is effectively buying him a right to perpetuate the vilest canards and hatreds that have demeaned gay people for centuries. What disturbs me is that pro forma support for various gay organizations or causes gives this man permission to perpetuate the foulest forms of bigotry – and never take full responsibility for it, and to do it again and again, with no penalty or the faintest sense that he has really done something terribly wrong by his own alleged standards.

It isn’t Alec Baldwin who troubles me so much. It’s his liberal enablers.

(The video below is NSFW!)

We knew that already, of course. His instinctive, reflexive recourse to homophobic slurs is now well established. Let us review the previous evidence. This is what he said about a vile Daily Mail dirtbag who offended him:

“George Stark, you lying little bitch. I am gonna fuck you up … I want all of my followers and beyond to straighten out this fucking little bitch, George Stark. @MailOnline … My wife and I attend a funeral to pay our respects to an old friend, and some toxic Brit writes this fucking trash … If put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much … I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck … you … up.”

Staggeringly, Baldwin insisted that that rant was not a sign of his homophobia. That’s how entitled he thinks he is. Now we have an almost identical outburst against another indefensible photographic stalker – but after Baldwin won a suit against another stalker. The video is here. The key expletive is the term “cock-sucking fag” which Baldwin utters under his breath as he is walking away from the hack who was harassing him, his child and his wife.

Look: Baldwin’s anger in both cases was thoroughly merited. But he continually resorts to this kind of homophobic poison when he’s angry. Just as Mel Gibson revealed his true feelings about Jews in his drunken rant, so Baldwin keeps revealing his own anti-gay bigotry. These outbursts reveal who he actually is.

I should add that this is a free country and he has an inviolable right to use these words. But he has no right to pretend in any way to be a tolerant liberal when he is anything but, when it comes to gay people.

So many liberals, of course, give him a pass when they would never dream of doing so with anyone who was conservative or Republican. Even after his bigotry was on full display, MSNBC hired him for a new show as a liberal pundit. For too many of them – especially gay establishment liberals, like the tools at GLAAD or the terminally naive like Hilary Rosen – there is a glaring double standard here. It seems to me that this double standard cannot stand any more. And this raging, violent bigot cannot be defended any longer.

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A reader quotes me:

“It was one of the purest expressions of violent homophobia you can have.” No, it really wasn’t.  It was someone who was (rightfully) upset lashing out in a homophobic way.  That’s wholly different than someone beating a guy up for something like “looking like a fag”, for example, which is much more of a pure expression of violent homophobia.

“But you just fucking did – in your own words.” No, he didn’t. He didn’t “advocate violence against someone being gay”; he advocated violence against someone who happened to be gay. There’s obviously a difference there.

The fact that his gayness wasn’t the source of the vitriol makes this a different kind of offense.  It’s still offensive, to be sure, and probably reveals a bit how he really feels about gay people (or at least how callous he is about insults rooted in homosexuality), all his work with GLAAD notwithstanding. But it’s really not the same thing as attacking someone because of their sexual orientation.

The fact that he didn’t need to deploy homophobic threats proves just how meretricious they were. They were designed precisely to add homophobic insult to threatened injury. That must account for the vast majority of homophobic slurs: used not to begin with in some fracas but because they can be deployed subsequently to put another human being in his place. So Baldwin is cut off on the road; and he sees an HRC sticker on the bumper of the car and screams: “I’m gonna find you, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck … you … up. I’d put my foot up your fucking ass, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.” And then proceeds to follow the dude and intimidate him. That isn’t homophobia? Except in this case, it’s worse. He knew the target was gay, and threatened to beat him up, and urged others – up to a million others who follow his tweets – to beat him up.

Why, I wonder, has Baldwin not been arrested? In my view, George Stark should press charges. Bigoted bullies like Baldwin need to know that their stardom (and their “liberal” past) does not excuse this. Kids are brutalized by this kind of language every day; they commit suicide because of this kind of language; others are killed by those who share Baldwin’s homophobic rage. And yet he still hasn’t apologized to the gay community for inciting gay-bashing.

The reason he escapes censure is because of liberal bias, which, when it defends homophobic violence, is particularly repellent. GLAAD is such a useless irrelevance you can overlook it. But check out Hilary Rosen, a prominent lesbian in Washington, all but giving Baldwin a pass:

What he said was disgusting. But I think he has a deeper reservoir of good will among folks because he’s been a progressive ally and fighter for progressive causes for years, and that’s the genuine side of him.

Fuck that. If he had used the n-word and threatened to lynch a black dude, would anyone doubt his career should be over? And yet gays and lesbians are defending him. How many African-Americans are coming to the defense of Paula Deen? Let’s rephrase his tweet in terms of, say, African Americans and see how it comes across:

I’m gonna find you, you toxic little spear-chucker, and I’m gonna fuck … you … up. I’d lynch your sorry-ass, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much.

Would Baldwin decide that this was merely “ill-advised”? Would African-American leaders vouch for his bona fides? These are the same craven liberals for whom Bill Clinton could sexually harass and assault any woman, and they’d look the other way. Another reader:

Not to defend Alec Baldwin, but there is a hysterical element to the uproar over these utterances that has lost all sense of perspective.

It is natural, when the Muse of Vituperation strikes, to use any available attributes of the person with whom one is irate as part of the denigration, whatever one’s feelings about the class of persons to which the object of the rant belongs. This may be viewed by others as homophobia, anti-Semitism, racial prejudice, or another kind of xenophobia, but it really proves nothing of the kind, unless you define those feelings so broadly as to convict almost everyone of them. At that point, the term “homophobia” becomes meaningless, mere inflammatory rhetoric, like calling Paula Deen a racist because she admitted in a court deposition that she used the “N-word” once or twice some decades back under provocation, bless her little pea-picking heart. Not to defend her, either – I can’t stand her, but that whole thing has become a witch-hunt, and now it looks like you’re trying to gin one up against Alec Baldwin.

Of course someone like Alec Baldwin is going to use terms like “toxic little queen” ranting at someone gay (or who he thinks if gay) with whom he’s so angry – he once famously called his own daughter a “pig”, for crying out loud. The insults are personal, not evidence of bias against a class of persons. Baldwin should have kept them private, instead of tweeting them. The way he used this language makes him an angry buffoon, but not a homophobe. I’d have probably called the guy a fucking little faggot, if I’d been in his shoes – but I wouldn’t have tweeted it.

For the record, I am openly gay, with a partner of 39 years. My dealings with individuals different from me are above reproach, but I wouldn’t want to be held to public scrutiny over what I’ve said about the @#$%! who cut me off in traffic talking on their fucking cell phones.

In other words: there are plenty of things we feel, but we don’t say them out loud, and we don’t tweet them. And we don’t tweet encouraging a mob to “straighten” another person out. Baldwin did all the above. Another:

I don’t think your comparison with Mel Gibson is entirely apt. Gibson had a history of anti-Semitic statements (some of them relating to his father, a notorious Holocaust denier) that preceded his drunken altercation with the “Jew” cop. Calling the cop a Jew was confirmation of what people already suspected of him. Baldwin, for all his history of mouthing off to people (including his own daughter), hasn’t had a history of making homophobic slurs (at least not to my knowledge). So this incident does not confirm what many people already suspect about him (other than that he has anger management issues).

Nevertheless, at least for me, the threats of violence are so specifically related to homosexual stereotypes, and so graphic, that I think I’m done with him. And I say that as someone who has been a fan for years. Not only that, I once met him on an airplane when he saved me from being hit by my suitcase falling out of the overhead bin. In addition to being quick to catch the suitcase, he was charming and humble. Or so it seemed.

The thing for him to do is acknowledge it and profusely apologize. Lots of liberal-thinking folks, especially baby boomers, find out that they’re still carrying around buried bits of racism, sexism or homophobia embedded during their childhoods. But he hasn’t apologized, which is troubling in and of itself. Okay, sure, he was mad because his wife was insulted. But he’s had time to cool down and come to his senses and see how ugly his tweets were.

How do we know if this man isn’t routinely given to this kind of homophobia? These things do not come out of nowhere. Another has the right idea:

You know, I never understand why celebrities (or most other people, it seems) in situations like this don’t just cop to it. What would be so awful about saying:

Yeah, that was homophobic of me” or “Yes, that was racist” or sexist or transphobic or whatever? “Yes, that was homophobic of me. I’ve done a lot of work supporting the gay and lesbian community over the years, and I’m proud of it, but the truth is, I’ve lived in a society where homophobia was the norm for a long time, and as you’ve seen, I’ve obviously internalized some of that. That’s not good. I’m sorry for what I said. I should never have said it, and I need to do some serious self-examination to ensure I don’t make such an awful mistake again. If there are people out there who have gone through a similar experience – both gay people and their straight allies – I hope you’ll please help me figure out what I can do to make the situation better. In the meantime, I hope the past work I’ve done supporting gay friends and strangers serves as evidence that I am not irredeemable and that my heart has often been in the right place. That does not excuse this incident or the words I used – I want to be clear about that. Again, I am sorry, and I ask for your help and support in becoming a less prejudiced person, and I aim to demonstrate over time that I’m worthy of your forgiveness.

I just don’t get the whole “Of course I’m not homophobic / racist / sexist / whatever” mindset. I suppose it’s just ego, and I know it infects even people who aren’t famous. But the truth is, we’re all at least one or two of those things to a degree. That’s why they’re such a problem – because they’re pervasive and affect us in ways we’re often not entirely conscious of. Maybe celebrities copping to it would just lead to a trend where people admit being prejudiced and then don’t change. But I’m guessing not. And I think the admission of it would serve as a reminder of how deeply these pernicious forces run in our culture (which would help us root them out) and of the fact that we’re all human and imperfect (which would take the steam out of overly p.c., sanctimonious finger-waggers).

In any case, something needs to change. As it stands, our cultural conversation is frequently much more about not getting caught (or doing damage control if you are caught) than it is about seriously addressing the thinking that leads to people like Alec Baldwin saying horrible things.

It would be good for Mr Baldwin to begin that conversation, starting with a full apology.

This is now getting hilarious:

[T]he idea of me calling this guy a ‘queen’ and that being something that people thought is 175px-BaldwinTAhomophobic … a queen to me has a different meaning. It’s somebody who’s just above. It doesn’t have any necessarily sexual connotations. To me a queen… I know women that act queeny, I know men that are straight that act queeny, and I know gay men that act queeny. It doesn’t have to be a definite sexual connotation, or a homophobic connotation. To me those are people who think the rules don’t apply to them. This guy could blatantly lie, I mean blatantly lie about my wife on the internet and there are just no rules that apply to him, but that’s outrageous to me.

He somehow hasn’t come up with an explanation for why he desired to sodomize the dude with his boot, but decided not to because the dude would enjoy it too much. But we’ll wait. This raging bigot will surely come up with some reason for using that analogy that has nothing to do with homosexuality at all.

Again: the double standards for a liberal are simply astounding. Let us just stipulate that if Alec Baldwin is not a homophobe, then Mel Gibson must also now be cleared of any insinuation that he is an anti-Semite. And at least Gibson was drunk. What excuse does Baldwin have? Oh, I forgot, this one:

His rant, he said, was not “a call for violence against a specific person because they’re gay, it’s a call for violence against a person who lied about my wife.”

Seriously, bragging about calling for violence against someone is now exculpatory? Only in Hollywood …

M0re Dish on this douche here and here.

First off, let’s fisk the ridiculous statement:

My ill-advised attack on George Stark of the Daily Mail had absolutely nothing to do with issues of anyone’s sexual orientation.

The tweet:

If put my foot up your fucking ass, George Stark, but I’m sure you’d dig it too much … I’m gonna find you, George Stark, you toxic little queen, and I’m gonna fuck…you…up.”

Nothing homophobic about that, whatsoever. Move along, Nothing to see here:

My anger was directed at Mr. Stark for blatantly lying and disseminating libelous information about my wife and her conduct at our friend’s funeral service. As someone who fights against homophobia, I apologize.

Well, if it had nothing to do with homophobia and a reporter’s sexual orientation, then why didn’t he threaten to punch the guy in the face than sodomize him with his foot? And why apologize at all? He has nothing to apologize for, according to him. Then the get-out-of-being-a-violent-gay-basher card:

I have worked, periodically, with numerous marriage equality organizations, especially over the past couple of years, to achieve the very rights that gay couples are earning by recent court decisions. I would not advocate violence against someone for being gay and I hope that my friends at GLAAD and the gay community understand that my attack on Mr. Stark in no way was the result of homophobia.

Many Thanks, Alec Baldwin.

I’m sorry but you have to be deaf, dumb and blind to say that his attack on Stark was “in no way the result of homophobia”. It was one of the purest expressions of violent homophobia you can have. Then this:

I would not advocate violence against someone being gay.

But you just fucking did – in your own words. You called a mob out to beat the crap out of a “toxic little queen.” And the threat of violence makes it, as I said before, a potentially criminal statement, not a gaffe.

This isn’t an apology. It’s bullshit. And if you want to know why I regard GLAAD as so awful, just read their response. It begins:

Alec Baldwin speaks out in support of the gay community

Seriously. GLAAD then responded:

His words yesterday do not match his history of actively supporting LGBT equality. While Alec’s apology is a first step, this should not be the end of the dialogue. There are now other visible actions that he should take to fight anti-gay violence and GLAAD looks forward to working with him.

So he’s now going to do the GLAAD Stations of the Cross and they will milk him for more and more money to account for his raw bigotry. They’d rather get his money than call him out for what he actually said.

The double standard is blindingly obvious. Conservatives would be crucified for saying something like this. A liberal is given an easy exit. I’m not for punishing people for speech; but I am against excusing the threat of homophobic rape against a specific individual because the bigot says he pro-gay. Sorry, Mr Baldwin, but we await an actual apology.

My “Scorn Of Feminism” Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Nov 24 2014 @ 1:02pm

The in-tray keeps getting flooded with feedback on this subject:

Here is my take, as a long-time reader, on the reason so many of my fellow Dishheads have written in to express disappointment with the coverage of feminist issues on the Dish. I read articles such as the recent expose of the culture of silence and tacit acceptance of rape at UVA in Rolling Stone and am outraged but also moved and emboldened by the recent attention that sexual violence has gotten in the media.

Then I go to the Dish, my daily source for news and analysis, and read that the real pressing issue is the “demand that men be gentlemen, rather than something other than men,” as presumably you believe feminists do.

I can’t help but feel that you have your priorities way off. We’re living through a major shift in the way our culture deals with gender, rape, and sexuality, in large part led by a new generation of feminists (men and women), and the impression one gets from the Dish on this is a sense of annoyance and a worry that masculinity as a whole is being unfairly indicted. This strikes me as an analysis not worth my time to read – something I rarely feel about the blog, even (or especially) when I disagree.

Thanks so much for your work. I hope to see more coverage of issues that actually matter when it comes to gender politics today, such as the sea change in how we address rape as a culture.

Another critic:

Andrew, your stances in the Gender Wars threads are disheartening. As passionately as you’ve argued your causes, surely you must know there is not “always a debate to be had,” and that sometimes debates get good answers on questions that are essentially settled. The endless “debate to be had” is one thing that frustrates feminism and its good cause, because it constantly has to solve the same problems over and over for every new person who comes to the table. Frankly, every feminist contradiction you’ve covered in this thread has been debated within feminism since its beginning. It’s not feminism’s burden to educate.

If I may share an anecdote: in my very first job at an entertainment news TV show, I was endlessly harassed. By men. I’m a cis-gendered straight white male.

My ass was grabbed, my nipples were tweaked, and “playful” advances were a constant. It helped me see that sexual harassment really is a problem with men, of any orientation, and gave me some meaningful context for when feminist women describe an inescapable environment of harassment. It’s real. I believe them. If “feminist bullies” always seem to “make everything about gender,” it’s probably because the world treats their gender as everything about them.

Love the Dish, but the conservative mean streak to irrationally hate old canards (The Clintons! Those Damned Feminists! Cigarette Police!) still runs strong in you, and it’s a shame. Feminism’s core values and goals are so much in line with yours.

Another reader quotes a previous one:

You are not a woman, you will never understand what it is like to grow up as a female, work as a female, experience life culturally, interpersonally, electronically as a female. Perhaps it is time you learn to defer a bit on those topics to those that do.

Oh give me a freaking break. Well guess what? I’m a woman (born that way!). I’m damned successful at my job, I’m the breadwinner of my family of four (by a wide margin) and I’ve worked in a male dominated field for 15+ years. I “understand” what it’s like. You want to know how I got where I am? Not by crying about how victimized I’ve always been or blaming men for getting in my way or by buying into the myth that every man just wants to either sleep with me or ignore me. I got to where I am by actually buying the argument that men and women are equal and then comported myself accordingly. I don’t get walked on at work. I don’t get talked down to or ignored or sexually harassed. I demand respect and I get it, from men and women.

Feminists don’t care about equality for women. They want domination for women. Feminists don’t want to have an open and honest discussion about how men and women really ARE different and they can’t always be the same – they want to lambast people for daring to say that testosterone matters. They don’t want girls to have choices about what to be when they grow up; they want to make sure that girls never want to be the things that feminists don’t approve of. They don’t want men to have opinions that haven’t been vetted by a feminist and they sure don’t have a sense of humor about ANYTHING. Feminists make a conscious choice to take everything as an insult and to find the man’s fault in every situation. Why on earth any reasonable person would want to be labeled a feminist is beyond me.

There are legitimate problems for women in our society, violence against women being the top of that list. But the solutions are not going to come from feminists telling every man that he is at heart a rapist or telling every woman that they cannot trust a man. The sooner they get beyond spewing bile at 50 percent of the human race the sooner they might actually make some helpful contributions to the problems.

Another female reader:

While I may agree in principle that the politically correct/language police in our society has gotten out of hand on many fronts, I think you are missing the point behind many complaints. While the language used by many is very absolute and unforgiving, it is simply true that there’s a long way to go until men and women are treated equally by society. Rather than focusing on the unfairness of the language police and lamenting about how rigid feminists are in their definitions, or how they “eat their own,” I think it would move the conversation forward to focus on those who are trying to redefine the word and the movement to include everyone. I’ll point to two things that happened this summer while you were on vacation.

First, the discussion about feminism on your blog that was started by your guest blogger, Elizabeth Nolan Brown. She wrote a post called “This is why men need feminism,” where she pointed to a response that Joseph Gordon Levitt stated when asked about calling himself a feminist. I think his response is perfect, and Elizabeth’s response to it equally perfect. He first states that his idea of the word means that you don’t let gender define who you are. He then follows by acknowledging the long history of abuse of women in societies throughout history. Elizabeth wrapped up the post by stating:

What’s great about Gordon-Levitt’s definition is that it shows why feminism is directly relevant to men’s lives as well as women’s. We’re all in this mess of gender expectations together. Feminism isn’t just about raising women up but helping us all – men, women, cis, trans, whatever – get to a place where we’re a bit more free.

This is important because gender equality is not just a fight for women, but for anyone interested in a freer, more equal society.

But the anger and absolutist attitude held by some in the feminist movement wasn’t formed out of thin air, but in response to thousands of years of oppression. While women’s liberation has made important strides in the past 100+ years, it in no way has eliminated the structural and institutional imbalances in society that perpetuate that inequality. I’d like to argue that the problem of gender inequality has been enshrined in our institutions similar to the institutionalized racism many refuse to recognize.  These structural imbalances place women at an automatic disadvantage, even though our society has attempted fixes here and there. It’s important to acknowledge that, even if you disagree with the tactics and language of the feminist movement in its current form, which I know you do.

You point to the balance of security of women from assault and rape against due process of those accused. Yes, there’s a portion of those accused falsely. There’s so many more who have been raped who have not received due process under the law due to the structural imbalances I point to, whether it be a policeman who didn’t believe her story, or the prosecutor more concerned with their track record than prosecuting a crime, or the college that protects the boy while leaving the girl vulnerable to attack and exposure, or the high school sports team that won’t bench their players after gang-rape accusations. You fail to recognize that the recent, and seemingly extreme, action on college campuses is perhaps a response to 30+ years of incremental steps that have not curbed the problem of rape anywhere in our society.

If you want to argue that we should be worrying about this small percentage affected by this problem, tell me how we do that without displacing the thousands of women who have had no ally in prosecuting the crime against them, i.e. the massive storage warehouses throughout the country that are holding backlogged and untested rape kits? To me, worrying about the smaller percentage of those falsely accused displaces the massive amount of women who have been violated twice, first by her rapist, followed by the societal institutions that should be protecting her.

Second, I’d like to point to a UN speech given by Emma Watson this summer in launching her initiative “HeForShe.” Her speech discusses gender stereotypes that both girls and boys suffer from. It’s her task to get as many as possible to recognize that these stereotypes of BOTH boys and girls inhibit society from moving forward towards greater gender equality. It’s a great speech, and it also asks all people to buy in to the feminist idea that no matter who you are, you deserve equal treatment under the law and in society. It asks all of us to fight towards this goal, not just one half.

Here is a link to the full speech for you to read, but one of my favorite sections is the following:

I was appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women six months ago. And, the more I spoke about feminism, the more I realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop. For the record, feminism by definition is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of political, economic and social equality of the sexes. I started questioning gender-based assumptions a long time ago. When I was 8, I was confused for being called bossy because I wanted to direct the plays that we would put on for our parents, but the boys were not. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. When at 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear muscly. When at 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings.

What I appreciate about this part of her speech is that it highlights that gender discrimination flows both ways.  It’s not just a problem for girls, it’s a problem for everyone.

My main point is that rather than harping on the “feminist left” and their rigid ideology, why don’t you focus the attention of this blog towards those who are trying to move this conversation forward in a new and meaningful way? It’s simply true that we have a long way to go on this front and we all can participate in moving gender equality forward, or we can sit on the sidelines and bitch about the tactics and language. Your choice.

More criticism from a reader, who sends along the above video:

At the end of that reader dissent you linked to, you pulled a paragraph from the post she was addressing and used it to defend yourself, as though the reader hadn’t acknowledged that you’d condemned misogyny. I don’t want to nitpick, but to say this dissent was totally unqualified isn’t quite accurate – you still had the last word.

And that post speaks the problem I’ve had (as a straight white male) reading a lot of your posts about #Gamergate, masculinity, and feminism the last few weeks – you repeatedly start with a paragraph or two saying something along the lines of, “Of course harassment and violent threats against women are wrong…”, but then spend the rest of the post explaining how you have sympathy for people that have been picked on or those who may feel their masculinity is under attack and how feminists have gone too far and are unfairly targeting certain individuals. You put an awful lot of energy into defending men and gamers from the “femi-left,” so I think it’s understandable why some readers think you just don’t get it when it comes to feminism and women’s issues and have suggested you defer on some of these issues just as you have with race.

I think they have a point. Is it too much to ask that you occasionally write a post that says nothing more than, “Catcalling is primitive behavior that objectifies and degrades women and it should be condemned,” and then leave it at that?  Instead, you continue with a nuanced view of this behavior and end with something like this:

And so I think we just have to live with a certain amount of straight-very-male homophobia and sexism, and leave it be. Young men want to live out fantasies of rescuing big-boobed women while being encased in a steroidal muscle culture (precisely because, for so many, it is utterly beyond their actual day-to-day lives). And my inclination is simply: give them a break.

I’m sure you can see why a lot of women (and men) might find this sort of language dismissive, but in a weird way I think the problem is just the order in which you reveal your thoughts/opinions. I expect many of these posts have given readers the impression your loyalties lie first and foremost with men (or gamers) who believe their masculinity or identity is under attack. I’d bet that you wouldn’t have received so many angry responses if you began these posts acknowledging your sympathies with male culture (or whatever) first and then aggressively condemned the tactics used to silence and/or demean women. Because at the end of the day, the point that you end on is really all that matters.

And come on, Andrew, you are a feminist, right?

Lastly, a female reader looks back at my views on Hobby Lobby (full Dish coverage here):

I love reading the Dish and became a subscriber as soon as you offered your readers a way to support your work. As so often happens with the familiar people in our lives, I feel as if I can predict your response to issues centering on women’s experience, whether it is your response to Hobby Lobby or #Gamergate. I wouldn’t write if I didn’t think there were potential for you to treat women’s issues with the same nuanced, well-argued, and fundamental empathy that you bring to so many other subjects.

I am disappointed that your posts employ so much dismissive, glib, or minimizing language when you address events in the culture that center on women and women’s issues.  These issues may have passed you by, both as a virtue of your gender and your sexual orientation, but that is a profoundly limiting lens and one that I do not see at play in your otherwise aggressive, curious, and serious coverage of issues that are not part of your autobiography.

As a woman living in the Deep South, many of the issues about women’s rights and status are not theoretical.  The stakes are quite real for women’s autonomy over their bodies and women’s equality in professional and civic life.  I would like you to consider the demoralizing effect you send your readers about women’s issues when you repeatedly use this language to introduce these subjects:

“The obvious damning answer is that I am a man and no one has taken anything away from me – indeed the all-male majority who upheld Hobby Lobby’s religious rights specifically barred any procedure other than female contraception. If they did that for prescriptions for Truvada, for example, I might react differently.”

“And so I think we just have to live with a certain amount of straight-very-male homophobia and sexism, and leave it be.”

My frustration as a reader is intensified when I see you tackle similar issues of straight-male homophobia and sexism when the instigating event does not center on women. You really bring it in the Alec Baldwin thread, for example. I do not ask for emotional identification, but for a professional, intellectual recognition that maybe Hobby Lobby is alarming for many and that perhaps women in tech or gamer culture do not deserve to be patted on the head and told “leave it be.”

I do not agree with a number of your positions, but, man, you are a great writer and thinker who pushes me and surprises me. To quote you: Know hope.

Dissents Of The Day

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 10 2014 @ 12:02pm

Collier may have missed our airing of dissents from transgender readers here. The Dish doesn’t duck from strong criticism. Another reader:

I disagree with your view on language as being harmless and that people should just get over being offended by the use of “tranny,” “faggot,” or whatever. We could have an interesting back-and-forth discussion about the power of language and it wouldn’t bother me if we vehemently disagreed.

What does bother me, and the reason I’m writing, is your use of your blog as a bludgeon against a college student who represents not the antithesis to your argument, but simply a young, naive strawman used to convey your disgust. Here’s how you describe them: “What I am interested is condemning this pathetic excuse for a student.” What I think is pathetic is your savaging of a random, young college student who embarrassed themselves rather than representing an honestly defensible position. If you’re going to attack and rant against a position, take on someone who can strongly defend it. Instead of boosting the strength of your argument, it makes you come off as a bully.

I think that’s condescending to the student. If you want an example of bullying, check out the petition organized by the student and their allies:

On Thursday May 22, The Institute of Politics hosted a seminar with Dan Savage, a gay advice columnist who has a history of making numerous misogynstic, biphobic, transphobic, and racist comments.

Note that these students have absolutely no compunction about accusing someone of being a racist and misogynist, but cower and complain that they don’t live in a safe space if someone neutrally uses a term they have decided is now verboten. I don’t have much sympathy for this kind of hypocrisy, intimidation and cant. Another reader:

I am with you when you say that trans folks (and lesbians, gays and everyone else) should get over the over-sensitive word policing. Yes, it is appalling that a student ran crying out of a lecture. I too dislike the idea of trigger warnings in lectures. And yes, Savage seems to be using this in an appropriate context. That being said, let me remind of your posts against one Alec Baldwin. You seem to argue that trans folks should just get over themselves when being presented with language that they don’t much like at the same time that you take Baldwin to task for deploying homophobic language. Want to explain that? Are you not living up the same standard that you expect of trans people?

You can read the blog for many years and find my position on free speech, including offensive speech, clearly and consistently applied. The Baldwin case was about the double standards of liberals. If you are going to present yourself as a crusading gay rights activist, then it’s perfectly legit for me to call someone out when he uses terms like “cocksucker” and “faggot”. Baldwin’s outbursts were also linked to physical threats, using the term “faggot” and “toxic little queen” to directly intimidate gay people. (Even then, as in the Jonah Hill case, I’m totally cool if someone acknowledges what they said and offers a clear apology – which Baldwin refused to do.) But none of that is the same as being able to use terms freely in a non-aggressive form, not directed as a slur at someone, but as part of a lively or challenging discussion. As I wrote yesterday:

I’m not talking about deliberate demonizing of others or threats of violence; I’m not talking about prejudice or bigotry. I’m talking about being able to say words freely in order to think more freely.

The student was engaged in an attempt to prevent that, to dictate by emotional blackmail which words can and cannot be used in a university. And its [sic] confreres tried to get Dan Savage indicted for a hate crime because he refused to obey. I’m sorry but this tendency is anathema to a liberal society. Another reader goes into greater detail on the college student and trigger warnings in general:

Wasn’t there some sort of famous quote from James Madison or John Adams or something, that he studied politics so that his descendants might study poetry? I’m glad the Stonewall Rioters did what they did, but it might also be that our ethical conversation about what can and cannot be done within the world of LGBT rights has progressed to the point where there is at long last some space for a new generation of campaigners to give thoughts to our emotions and our human selves. Human selves that are sometimes traumatized and re-traumatized by sloppy language – human selves which are thankfully now free enough of the oppressions of a world before Stonewall, but are still subject to the bare difficulties of living psychically in a world arrayed against us, even if only in subtle and often-invisible ways.

I don’t mean to defend this particular student – the description of the situation does seem to suggest Savage has the right way of it in this context – but your blanket condemnation of any respect given to the concept of a trigger warning itself is silly. Not only that, but it assumes that a trigger warning is given so that people can avoid ever having to see something that offends them.

For instance, I can get triggered by fat hatred. But you know what? This doesn’t mean that I don’t read things that contain it! If I’m reading a post that says “(TW: fat hatred)”, I steel myself. I know that I may get bothered; I know that my anxiety levels might jump through the roof; I know that I might feel my heart start to beat faster as memories of my abuse flood my psyche. But I read on anyway. And quite often I find that material that would have drained my emotional reservoirs had it come upon me as a surprise is actually easier to manage and sort through because I had just a moment or two to prepare myself.

Your idea about what a trigger warning is and why people want them is abject caricature. Very few people ask for them because we want to wall ourselves off from all possibility of taking offense. We ask for them because sometimes, just sometimes, going into a difficult situation knowing it will be difficult gives us the mental and emotional space to make fruitful contributions to the discussion and explore the subject matter with the correct distance required for academic, dispassionate perspective. While I lack any sort of study to prove this is the case, I know from my own anecdotal experience that no one in my wide circle of TW-savvy acquaintances and friends actively avoids all posts that contain their triggers. They might sometimes skip one because they’ve already engaged 10 that day and don’t have the energy for another one, but the idea that trigger warnings exist to wall off academic or critical inquiry is absurd. Trigger warnings exist because they often give people the mental and emotional space to actually engage in such inquiry with aplomb.

Previous Dish on trigger warnings here.

Dissents Of The Day

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 4 2014 @ 12:05pm


Among the scores of upset readers rattling the in-tray:

I’m going to disagree with you, quite strongly, about the resignation of Brendan Eich. While I agree that he is certainly entitled to his point of view, and to take actions in support of that point of view, he is not entitled to face no consequences from those actions. That’s all this is: consequences. If he truly has the strength of his convictions, he will consider this a necessary sacrifice. Were I to loudly proclaim a belief in the inherent inferiority of other ethnicities than my own, and take actions to enshrine that belief into law, would I not reasonably expect to face consequences?

He’s not going to prison; he just has to find a new job. For someone with his abilities, that should not be difficult. I just imagine it will be done more quietly this time.

As I said last night, of course Mozilla has the right to purge a CEO because of his incorrect political views. Of course Eich was not stripped of his First Amendment rights. I’d fight till my last breath for Mozilla to retain that right. What I’m concerned with is the substantive reason for purging him. When people’s lives and careers are subject to litmus tests, and fired if they do not publicly renounce what may well be their sincere conviction, we have crossed a line. This is McCarthyism applied by civil actors. This is the definition of intolerance. If a socially conservative private entity fired someone because they discovered he had donated against Prop 8, how would you feel? It’s staggering to me that a minority long persecuted for holding unpopular views can now turn around and persecute others for the exact same reason. If we cannot live and work alongside people with whom we deeply disagree, we are finished as a liberal society.

Another reader:

Eich certainly has his right to free speech. Where the line should be drawn (Supreme Court decisions notwithstanding) is when somebody’s speech becomes action – in this case, donating to Prop 8. Monetary support to reduce fellow citizens to second-class status should not be enshrined as “protected speech.” He can say what he wants, of course, but we can also say, publicly, that we don’t want to directly fund that sort of politics (since our money given to the company goes to the CEO’s salary).

What if an employee went to a demonstration that his company found objectionable? Would that be a reason to fire him? What we have here is a social pressure to keep your beliefs deeply private for fear of retribution. We are enforcing another sort of closet on others. I can barely believe the fanaticism. Another reader:

There is not a single mainstream company in the world today that would endure a CEO who donated to a neo-Nazi organization, or the KKK, or for a referendum to make interracial marriage illegal.  If he were to apologize later, or say it was a mistake, then he might survive.  But to be defiant in his support for blatantly anti-Semitic or anti-black causes?  No one would survive this. In making our case for marriage equality, we have set the right to marry for homosexuals on the same level as the right to marry inter-racially.  This means that the public will respond to those who oppose it just as they would to those who fought to prevent my parents from marrying. And rightly so.

A little history lesson. Not so long ago, many in the gay community itself – including large swathes of its left-liberal wing – opposed marriage equality. I know, because I was targeted by them as a neofascist/heterosexist/patriarchal “anti-Christ”. Yes, I was called precisely that in print for being a conservative supporter of marriage equality and for ending the ban on openly gay people in the military. And I’m talking only a couple of decades ago. And now, opposing marriage equality is regarded as equivalent to the KKK? And neo-Nazis? Another reader tries to catch me in a double standard:

So let me get this straight: It’s perfectly ok to spend money supporting legislation that causes actualdirect harm to gay people, but when Alec Baldwin calls someone names, he should be fired?

I never called for Baldwin to be fired – just that his rank use of homophobia while threatening violence made his claim to be a liberal preposterous. I was calling out hypocrisy. I never campaigned for Baldwin to be punished for this – just that liberals stop defending him as a campaigner for civil rights. The next reader probably has the strongest dissent of them all:

You wrote, “Eich did not understand that in order to be a CEO of a company, you have to renounce your heresy!” Andrew, you are seriously misreading this. Mozilla is not just any company; it’s the subsidiary of a non-profit, the manager of an open-source project, part collective and part community, and only thrives because the community cooperates, delivering applications, helping out by contributing code, and donating money. A key qualification for a CEO of such a company is that he or she not alienate the community, and Eich simply did not meet that qualification (the board screwed up in hiring him, clearly). I hardly think you’d see the same kind of fireworks if, say, he had been appointed CEO of Oracle.

This is more akin to an opponent of gay marriage being appointed CEO of a company that depends on gay or gay-friendly customers or stakeholders. A public radio station in a gay-friendly metro is a good example. So it’s more like, “in order to be a CEO of an organization dependent on certain stakeholders, you must not offend them.” Seriously, this is news?

And CEO is not just any job; Eich was CTO of Mozilla for many years with nary a peep. But a CEO personifies the company, and the standards are different. Eich then compounded the mistake by eliding the discussion every time he was asked about it. He could have stood by his personal beliefs but drawn a distinction between those and how he intends to isolate them from his ability to lead Mozilla. He could have shown a bit of empathy towards the people victimized by Proposition 8 (many of whom are his customers, employees and partners) without recanting his personal belief (Rarebit, one of Mozilla’s partners that pulled out of the store, has a good take on this here).

He could have done many things, but he was too proud to give people even a fig leaf of an acknowledgment. Instead, he stonewalled, and more insultingly, he wrapped himself in the mantle of tolerance (the whole stuff about Mozilla’s “culture of inclusiveness”), essentially saying, “If you’re really tolerant, you must tolerate my intolerant views and continue to interact with the organization I lead just as before.” Please. He’s entitled to his views, but he’s not entitled to people’s cooperation.

In order to be a CEO of a company, you must be able to lead it. Clearly he couldn’t, because too many people, both employees and external stakeholders, simply would not follow him. He was pushed out because he could not do the job he was hired to do.

Really? Here’s what Eich said last month: “I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything. I can only ask for your support to have the time to ‘show, not tell’; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.” There is not a scintilla of evidence that he has ever discriminated against a single gay person at Mozilla; he was dedicated to continuing Mozilla’s inclusive policies; he was prepared to prove that the accusations against him were unfair, and that his political views would not affect his performance as CEO. But this was not enough. He had to be publicly punished for supporting a Proposition that is no longer in effect. This is absolutely McCarthyism from an increasingly McCarthyite left. Another reader makes a distinction:

Gay activists didn’t run him out.  I really think you are wrong on that.  Sure, some of the usual suspects piped up.  But that wasn’t what did it as far as Mozilla goes.  It was young and down-for-the-cause straight people.  There’s been a very radical, very recent shift in critical mass and majority opinion (especially among tech people, young people) that opposing gay marriage is immoral.  This supportive/progressive/tolerant/well-intentioned straight majority does not hesitate (although it should) to equate gay rights issues with race based civil rights issues.  The gay marriage issue has tapped into a moral consciousness.

After all these years of ducking whenever someone starts talking about morals, the gays are now on the winning side of that conversation.   And I think this moral shift is so new that we don’t see it yet.  And so I don’t share your disgust that Eich quit.  He lost the respect of the co-workers and colleagues he was supposed to lead due to something than runs deeper than a mere political point of view.  This was a moral position.  And a growing number of reasonable average people just can’t abide homophobia anymore.  It wasn’t an angry rump of gay activists that did him in.

Yes, it was broader than that. It was a coalition of those, gay and straight, who do not believe that people with different views than theirs’ should be tolerated in a leadership position. It’s a reminder of just how closed-minded and vicious so much of the identity-politics left can be. One more reader:

Morality has always been about keeping society on the same page. If you violate the the norms, then you are shamed and ridiculed. The ultimate “victory” of the gay rights movement will be that those discriminating against homosexuals will be ridiculed and isolated as bigots. Ultimately we can only hope that the best values win out, and that we will always find outcasts in society that share our values, should our values violate the norm.

There you have the illiberal mindset. Morality trumps freedom. Our opponents must be humiliated, ridiculed and “isolated as perverts”. I mean “bigots”, excuse me.

Orwell wept.


Update: More unfiltered feedback at our Facebook page.

Dissents Of The Day

Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 20 2013 @ 1:03pm

Lots of pushback from readers on this post. Before we get into them, just a recommendation to go read TNC on the underplayed racial aspects of this. On to the dissents. First up, an accusation of a double-standard:

So Alec Baldwin in anger calls a reporter a “c—ksucking f—-t”, MSNBC fires him, and you rejoice and write, “I’m glad the allegedly liberal network does not regard violent homophobic bigotry as something it wants to associate with.”  But when Phil Robertson, not in anger, spouts vile bigotry, you scratch your head and ask, “Why on earth would they fire him for giving some more [redneck reality]?”

I’m confused. If a celebrity is a Southern conservative, it should be understood he’ll have bigoted views and shouldn’t lose his job for expressing them, but if he’s a liberal he gets no such breaks?  Is that the principle? Is there a principle here?

Baldwin is a commentator on a liberal network who was on tape threatening another human being with violence, using homophobic slurs, something he has done before. Robertson is a reality TV star who is only a star because he has the kind of views he expressed to GQ. Is that not an obvious difference? Let’s say, for example, that Alec Baldwin were actually Jack Donaghy from 30Rock, in a reality show, and had yelled homophobic slurs at a paparazzi off-camera in a way that was perfectly consistent with his persona on camera. It would be nuts and hypocritical to fire him.

Another adds, “Phil Robertson would sit across from you at a dinner and have no problem telling you that you might as well be screwing a dog. Not sure Alec would do that.” Maybe true, but I’d much rather have dinner with Phil Robertson than Alec Baldwin. Engaging fundamentalists on this subject is one of my favorite activities. And I’d much sooner engage than condemn. Another reader looks at the advertizing aspect:

Oh, come on Andrew … really you’re befuddled?  A&E of course issued the perfunctory statement stating that they disagreed, etc. etc.; which may very well be true.  However, that isn’t the reason they suspended him.  Advertisers abhor controversy, and it doesn’t take a genius to know that there is a good chance this would negatively impact revenue.  THAT is the reason.  The free market has spoken loud and clear.

And another:

Not everyone is as independent as you and your staff, Andrew. Many require ratings and advertisers and thus rely on not offending large swathes of the population (gay or not). Keeping Robertson would cost them money, and it is A&E’s right to shit-can a redneck they feel has cost them money.

Of course it is. There’s no real First Amendment issue here – on either side. I just think A&E are full of it. Another reader:

I don’t think it’s unfair to fire Robertson at all.  As a someone raised in the Deep South who is also gay, I think the stereotype of the Southern Christian as “anti-gay” is itself objectionable.  The character Robertson played is a Southern religious fundamentalist, true, but that doesn’t require ignorant statements on the level of what he said to GQ.  (Incidentally, his statements about Muslims and Japanese people were as bad or worse, and were equally inexcusable, as well as breathtakingly ignorant.)

If I had an employee that made statements like that, I would have to fire him.  And it wouldn’t be an emotional or political decision, either.  The laws of the state where I live are such that, if a person is openly making statements like this, my business would run some pretty significant legal risks if we didn’t fire him.  Why should this guy get a pass?  Because he’s from the South and that what’s expected of him?  That is very poor reasoning.

Because he was employed specifically because he was the kind of person who would make such comments!

TNC strikes back at Alwan’s understanding of what “bigot” means:

The notion that bigot has “its origins in the general notion of close-mindedness” would be news to etymologists. The origins of the word ”bigot” are unknown, but the current theory holds that it is an import from Middle French denoting someone who was sanctimonious or hypocritically religious. Alwan is concerned about the word bigot becoming “perverted,”  to exploit “its toxicity.” But this happened long before Alec Baldwin. As late as the 1700s, the word was brought to English with its French meaning. That it was perverted into other meanings is unremarkable. Language does not exist encased in glass and formaldehyde. And the perversion of words is not a cosmic felony, it is how language actually works. …

Alwan’s definition of a bigot, as a “global” label encompassing their humanity, as someone who is wholly unpersuadable, wholly without conflict, and wholly without doubt, is not a description of humans, it is a description of myth.