Was Jane Donnelly mansplaining to Mark Hoskins?

by Michael Nugent on February 21, 2016

Hoskins Hate

In my latest post, I included a section on hate speech and how to navigate the balance between freedom of expression and other rights.

Mark Hoskins responded with this comment:

“Well done on mansplaining hate speech Michael.”

Well, thanks, Mark, but your compliment is misdirected. The section on hate speech was researched and written by Jane Donnelly, Atheist Ireland’s Human Rights Officer. If you read the post more carefully, you can even see her ‘mansplaining’ to Aidan about her research.

Which causes some confusion, doesn’t it, Mark?

Was Jane ‘mansplaining’ hate speech? If so, how could she do that?

Or are you now ‘mansplaining’ to Jane? If so, why did you compliment me?

These aren’t rhetorical questions, Mark.

I’d like to know how your perception has changed, of exactly the same text, making exactly the same points, now that you know it was researched and written by a woman and not a man?

Or is ‘mansplaining’ an invented word to distract attention from the content of what is said, onto who is saying it (or who you mistakenly believe is saying it), in order to not have to address the content on its merits?

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{ 267 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lancelot Gobbo February 21, 2016 at 10:07 pm

Seems you have run into the Thought Terminating Cliché. Read more here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clich%C3%A9#Thought-terminating_clich.C3.A9

2 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 10:13 pm

That all seems to be going too fast. I can’t keep up.

3 DrainBamaged February 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm

Michael, you’re so considerate. I’d have destroyed these feebs already. You’ve such patience

4 Jan Steen February 21, 2016 at 10:41 pm

Chessmate, Mark. And another SJW bites the dust. They must like the stuff.

5 Citizen Wolf February 21, 2016 at 10:46 pm

I saw the post by Mark Hoskins. Is he anyone of any note?

6 Shatterface February 21, 2016 at 11:34 pm

The whole ‘mansplaining’ thing is ridiculous when you could easily find a woman who opposes feminism to articulate her views.

Do we suddenly defer to her? Does her ‘lived experience’ trump a male feminist?

‘Mansplaining’, ‘whitesplaining’, ‘ cis-plaining’, etc. are all predicated on the supposed impossibility of empathy; that we have no common humanity only differences based on ‘identity’.

7 Kristine February 21, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Haha, nicely done! Maybe Mark should mind his MANners next time!
#5 – “Is he anyone of any note?”
I do believe that I have found Mark Hoskins (aka El Marko). Judge for yourself.
https://twitter.com/markhoskins
https://selfcertified.wordpress.com/

8 Bob February 21, 2016 at 11:37 pm

The concept of “mansplaining” has nothing to do with the content of what is being explained, and everything to do with the context in which it is being explained.

Mansplaining happens when a man explains something to a woman in a context which suggests that the man is being patronising or condescending because of assumptions he has made about the woman’s relative lack of knowledge.

If I quote Martha Nussbaum to explain the capabilities approach to a female colleague of mine, for example, I cannot avoid the charge of “mansplaining” merely because I happen to be quoting a woman.

Given that mansplaining tends to apply to explanations rather than arguments, it’s safe to say that Michael’s suspicions are unfounded.

9 Phil Giordana FCD February 21, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Thanks for mansplaining, Bob.

10 John K February 21, 2016 at 11:53 pm

So @ bob,
Why isn’t what you are doing now mansplaining to Jane Donnelly?
Aren’t you assuming a lot about her and her writing?

Can we expect your apology without you trying to defend yourself or explain your position?

11 Bob February 21, 2016 at 11:55 pm

It isn’t mansplaining when a man addresses a man, Phil.

12 Bob February 21, 2016 at 11:59 pm

@John K

My remarks were not directed at Jane, they were intended for Michael, with the last line offered as a general remark.

It might be worth emphasizing also that merely having a man explain something to a woman is not sufficient for it to count as mansplaining – there must be an implication of an unjustified assumption on the part of the man. A male teacher explaining an idea to a female student, for example, will not count as mansplaining if the assumption that the student knows less than the teacher is reasonable.

13 John K February 22, 2016 at 12:05 am

@Bob
“My remarks were not directed at Jane, they were intended for Michael, with the last line offered as a general remark.”
First, then who is Michael’s post directed at that makes it mansplaining?

Second, what if Jane Donnelly decides that you are addressing her?
Why is your intent in what you say important?

“It might be worth emphasizing also that merely having a man explain something to a woman is not sufficient for it to count as mansplaining – there must be an implication of an unjustified assumption on the part of the man.”
What unjustified assumption is laid out in the section on the definition of hate speech?

Why does Mark Hoskin’s *assumption* that part wasn’t written by a woman not count as mansplaining or some other unforgivable thoughtcrime?

14 Richard "The King" Sanderson February 22, 2016 at 12:13 am

I presume Mark has profusely apologized to you, Michael?

15 Karmakin February 22, 2016 at 12:16 am

In reality, the gender doesn’t matter. At all. If “Mansplaining” is a problem, it’s a problem when anybody does it to anybody, period. Personally, I think this whole thing was started when some people decided to ‘Splain to Mr. Nugent here.

Do some men do it to women? Sure. Do some women do it to men? Sure. In reality, this probably has more to do with perceived social, cultural and intellectual status than it does gender. (Although, to be fair, there are people who make assumptions about social, cultural and intellectual status BASED upon gender)

16 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:18 am

@John K

“First, then who is Michael’s post directed at that makes it mansplaining?”

I don’t know – I haven’t claimed that Michael was engaged in mansplaining. My position is that his understanding of the concept is mistaken, and that his suspicion about the rhetorical use of mansplaining is unfounded.

@John K

“Second, what if Jane Donnelly decides that you are addressing her?
Why is your intent in what you say important?”

It isn’t clear why Jane would make such an assumption – as far as I know she didn’t write the blog and hasn’t shown up in the comments. If she did, my intent (in terms of who I intended to address) is relevant as to whether I am actually engaged in mansplaining, because mansplaining is defined by condescending or patronising assumptions that the speaker makes about a woman (or, presumably, someone they believe to be a woman). Without that intention, it ceases to be mansplaining (and may simply be old-fashioned condescension).

“What unjustified assumption is laid out in the section on the definition of hate speech?”

I don’t know, but again, I’m not claiming Michael was mansplaining. I’m just making a point about how the concept is best understood.

17 Brive1987 February 22, 2016 at 12:26 am

2x definitions from an impeccable source. Both work just fine.

1. Femsplaining: Pretending that some ideology-driven piece of feminist or sociological theory is not only real, objective science but also common knowledge. It suggests that the addressed person is an ignorant enemy of science.

2. Femsplaining: The endless hatred, whining, bigotry, vilification and slurs and ideological cant used by victim feminists in lieu of actual evidence.

18 John K February 22, 2016 at 12:26 am

“I don’t know – I haven’t claimed that Michael was engaged in mansplaining. My position is that his understanding of the concept is mistaken, and that his suspicion about the rhetorical use of mansplaining is unfounded.”

So then you believe that Mark Hoskins was using it incorrectly?

“It isn’t clear why Jane would make such an assumption – as far as I know she didn’t write the blog and hasn’t shown up in the comments. If she did, my intent (in terms of who I intended to address) is relevant as to whether I am actually engaged in mansplaining, because mansplaining is defined by condescending or patronising assumptions that the speaker makes about a woman (or, presumably, someone they believe to be a woman). Without that intention, it ceases to be mansplaining (and may simply be old-fashioned condescension).”

Again, you’ll have to explain why your intention is so important all of a sudden…

19 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:34 am

“So then you believe that Mark Hoskins was using it incorrectly?”

I’d have to hear his argument.

“Again, you’ll have to explain why your intention is so important all of a sudden…”

The intention to address a person that one believes to be a woman is a necessary but not sufficient condition that has to be satisfied in order for something to count as mansplaining. You can’t make a misogynistic assumption of the relevant sort about the person you’re addressing if the person you’re addressing isn’t a woman.

One may, of course, be responsible for giving the impression that one is mansplaining, even if one isn’t, depending on how one behaves.

20 Kristine February 22, 2016 at 12:43 am

Phil #9 – Took the words right out of my mouth!
So, “It isn’t mansplaining when a man addresses a man”? Then Michael wasn’t mainsplaining either as Mark Hoskins claimed, AM I RIGHT?
Are you really going to spend a Sunday evening justifying your pettifoggery?
Please mansplain that to me. Without being, you know, MANipulative.
(And I thought that “gender doesn’t really exist” and “it’s just a social construction” anyway? But maybe we shouldn’t GO THERE.)

21 John K February 22, 2016 at 12:44 am

“I’d have to hear his argument.”
What argument can he make when you have stated that Michael isn’t mansplaining? Nor could he be given your definition of it?
How can it be mansplaining when the part he’s complaining about is written by a woman?

“One may, of course, be responsible for giving the impression that one is mansplaining, even if one isn’t, depending on how one behaves.”
So then you have to explain your intention to a woman who might be wrong?
That would be mansplaining too, no?

What should one do when they are accused falsely of mansplaining?

22 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:50 am

@John K

“What argument can he make when you have stated that Michael isn’t mansplaining?”

He might have a better definition of it than the one I’ve offered. Or he might be using “mansplaining” as a shorthand for an expression to describe a person who tends not to be a victim of hate speech explaining the concept to people who tend to be (“privsplaining doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). But, as I said, I would have to know more about his reasons.

“How can it be mansplaining when the part he’s complaining about is written by a woman?”

If the content is presented by a man, it doesn’t matter whether it was written by a woman.

23 John K February 22, 2016 at 12:58 am

“He might have a better definition of it than the one I’ve offered. Or he might be using “mansplaining” as a shorthand for an expression to describe a person who tends not to be a victim of hate speech explaining the concept to people who tend to be (“privsplaining doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). But, as I said, I would have to know more about his reasons.”
So your agrument is that he’s either using a different definition of the word than you do, but is still therefore right.
Or that he’s complaining about something else unrelated in Michaels post (which neither he nor you will point out) so therefore could still be right?

What would it take for someone’s accusation of mansplaining to be false or mistaken?

“If the content is presented by a man, it doesn’t matter whether it was written by a woman.”
How is this possible? How can it be mansplaining then when the content is made by a woman who cannot have the assumptions you say are necessary for mansplaining?

Jane’s words aren’t just snippeted or partially quoted. They are given in full. You are saying that by putting them into quote marks, their content becomes irrelevant and invalid…

Why bother with the content of something when the more important issue is the person who is presenting the content is the only deciding factor?

24 Kristine February 22, 2016 at 1:00 am

“If the content is presented by a man, it doesn’t matter whether it was written by a woman.” There you have it folks – hypocrisy incarnate.
Women’s written content is fair game for male SJWs to fight with Those Other (Incorrect) Men about who is more of a white knight.
It’s all about the white knights and their appropriation of female voices to engage in a male feminist beauty contest.
Thanks, Bob. Thanks for being honest about your sexism at last.
Jesus.

25 Kristine February 22, 2016 at 1:06 am

So if I write something in, say, Skeptical Inquirer (which little me has done), Bob, and you quote it- it suddenly becomes YOURS?

26 Skep tickle February 22, 2016 at 1:13 am

Bob, combining your comments on mansplaining in #8, 11, and 12 above, I get this:

Mansplaining happens when a man ( but not anyone who is not a man) explains something (even something previously said or written by a woman) to a woman (but not to anyone who is not a woman) in a context which suggests that the man is being patronising or condescending (?but not if the context suggests that he is trying to clarify?) because of unjustified assumptions he has made about the woman’s relative lack of knowledge (?but not for any other reason?.

I appreciate that in #16 you said:

…I’m not claiming Michael was mansplaining. I’m just making a point about how the concept is best understood.

and I agree that’s how it’s understood in purest form (though in use it does get applied more widely, sometimes when men simply make statements when women are present in the conversation).

Mark Hoskins, in the other comment thread, said that Michael was mansplaining. Michael’s section 2.7 was titled “What is hate speech”, the opening paragraph of which was this:

I now want to discuss the idea of hate speech. Aidan and others seem to have their own definition of this, which Aidan has not chosen to share despite being repeatedly asked, but which allows them to assume that certain comments are so obviously hate speech that everyone else should automatically agree with them. But this is not the case.

Even if we (a) accept at face value your description of “mansplaining” and (b) note that Michael did make some comments about “hate speech” before quoting Jane Donnelly’s writings, several problems arise.

First, your explanation(s) rely on assumptions about the gender of the people involved, or at least on assumptions made about the gender of the people involved.

When Michael presented information that he & others had already been discussing, and quoted Jane Donnelly’s findings, wasn’t he doing so either to Aidan or to the general readership of his own blog?

But neither Aidan nor the general readership of Michael’s blog identifies as a woman, as far as I can tell. So doesn’t that “context” mean right off the bat that Michael’s comments, whether his own or quoted from Jane, could not possibly count as “mansplaining”?

…Unless mansplaining is actually used to refer to situations in which the person speaking or writing is assumed to be a cis-man and says something to a person assumed not to be a cis-man. Then perhaps it could pass muster on the gender criterion.

Second, most people will have difficulty finding anything about Michael’s or Jane’s words that qualifies as “patronizing” or condescending, and/or as making “unjustified assumptions”. Unless “mansplaining” is actually said to happen when the person speaking or writing is assumed to have privilege. (Your term “privsplaining”, posted while I was writing this, covers this. It looks like it’s been used infrequently, and that “condesplaining” has been used as a synonym, but sounds different to me – again, Michael’s & Jane’s words don’t come across as condescending to me, but other’s mileage may vary.)

Observing uses of the term “mansplain”, it also seems to be applied (at least at times) as a shortcut for dismissing the speaker or writer when that person’s (meaning, that man’s) position would otherwise require evidence to rebut.

27 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:14 am

@John K

“So your agrument is that he’s either using a different definition of the word than you do, but is still therefore right.”

No, that is not my argument. You asked for arguments he might make to defend his accusation, so I suggested two of them.

“What would it take for someone’s accusation of mansplaining to be false or mistaken?”

They could be wrong about the facts (i.e. that A is explaining something to B, where A is a man and B is a woman, for example) or they could be wrong about the attitudes they believe are suggested by the behaviour (essentially that A thinks he knows better than B, because B is a woman). Simply put, not all explanations are condescending, and not all condescending explanations are condescending in the relevant respect.

“How is this possible? How can it be mansplaining then when the content is made by a woman who cannot have the assumptions you say are necessary for mansplaining?”

Because mansplaining refers to the act of explaining, and the explanation, in cases of mansplaining, is being offered by a man.

“Jane’s words aren’t just snippeted or partially quoted. They are given in full. You are saying that by putting them into quote marks, their content becomes irrelevant and invalid…”

The content isn’t relevant, as I’ve tried to explain, with regard to whether something counts as mansplaining. If A mansplains something to B, the fact that A is mansplaining doesn’t entail that A’s explanation is wrong. I can explain a concept to you in a way that is condescending (maybe I have already done so), but my condescension doesn’t entail that my explanation is wrong.

@Kristine

Please don’t misrepresent what I’ve said, thanks.

28 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 1:16 am

Bob at 8

Mansplaining happens when a man explains something to a woman in a context which suggests that the man is being patronising or condescending because of assumptions he has made about the woman’s relative lack of knowledge.

Kinda like when you tell women to STFU regarding their fears of being raped in changerooms etc? Because YOU know what’s best for them? Because you have personally determined that the safety of Ahnold look-alikes (who claim to be women) trumps the right of women to feel secure in their private spaces?

29 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:24 am

@ Skep tickle

I don’t think I have any issues with any of the points you made, except to say that in my experience the term is not often used to avoid criticizing the content of an expression (I accept that it may sometimes be used in this way, but I have not seen it happen often).

In some cases, an accusation of ‘splaining seems to be a proxy for something like the following thought: “You are treating us as though we are not familiar with these concepts or these arguments, but we have heard them all before, and we have been through these arguments before. We are not interested in spending our energies covering this ground yet again”. That is a reaction that has been present on both sides of these discussions, as far as I can see, and it seems to me that it is a reasonable response in at least some contexts (those who think people like me aren’t worth wasting time with, for example, would agree).

30 Billie_from_Ockham February 22, 2016 at 1:26 am

Why do dictionaries have separate entries for “Gish Gallop” and “Bobsplaining”?

31 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:27 am

@Cindy

I didn’t tell women to “stfu” regarding their fears of being raped. Nor did I say that I know what is best for them. On the contrary, I explicitly said that I believe the rules for such cases should be determined by women (though I include trans women in this group).

32 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 1:35 am

Bob @31

Actually, you made it clear that you consider women who disagree with you to be transphobic

33 Aneris February 22, 2016 at 1:37 am

“Mansplaining” propagates this rubbish ideology, and does this in one go with making you the subject as well as sabotage your attempt to make something else (in particular the ideology) the subject. It’s a evidently a term that makes Mark a member of the Good People Team For Social Justice, proud member of the correct tribe.

It’s a standard maneuvre and as #1 notes, a thought terminating cliché for them — at least to some. However, I’m sure it’s also exploited cynically by people who don’t actually subscribe to standpoint theory and the intersectionally-essentialist views of Critical Race Theory, such as trolls. Social justice trolls are also common.

34 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 1:38 am

Bob, most of the people here you are condescendingly explaining mansplaining to are women.

That’s mansplaining.

Stop talking to women like you are a mechanic charging them for unnecessary repairs when they just came in to test their tyre pressure.

35 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:40 am

@Cindy

I consider people who deny that trans women are women to be transphobic, not on the basis that they disagree with me, but on the basis that they deny the reality of trans people’s identities.

I understand that you disagree with that, but you don’t need to misrepresent my views in order to argue against them.

36 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:42 am

@Shatterface

I’m pleased to see you agree with my preferred definition of mansplaining.

37 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 1:47 am

Bob #35

yes Bob, you made it clear that women who refuse to accept the presence of Ahnold Schwarezennger ultra masculine look-alikes (who claim to be women) in women’s only spaces are, in fact, transphobic.

How dare they!

A man is a woman if he says he is! He doesn’t need to change a single thing about himself, and women are transphobic if they don’t accept ‘her’ at ‘her’ word!

38 John K February 22, 2016 at 1:49 am

“No, that is not my argument. You asked for arguments he might make to defend his accusation, so I suggested two of them.”
But both of these arguments are very tenuous and make a lot of assumptions. And both require you to offer Mark a lot of benefit of doubt. And then they rely on the fact that it doesn’t really matter what Mark’s point is, just that Michael is wrong.

“They could be wrong about the facts (i.e. that A is explaining something to B, where A is a man and B is a woman, for example) or they could be wrong about the attitudes they believe are suggested by the behaviour (essentially that A thinks he knows better than B, because B is a woman). Simply put, not all explanations are condescending, and not all condescending explanations are condescending in the relevant respect.”
Then Mark is wrong because 1) the part they are complaining about is written by a woman. 2) There is nothing condescending in Michael’s post. 3) It’s not address to a woman, nor does it make any assumptions about any women.

“Because mansplaining refers to the act of explaining, and the explanation, in cases of mansplaining, is being offered by a man.”
But it’s not being offered by a man. It’s offered by a woman.

“The content isn’t relevant,”
Yes that’s the issue that Michael and others are highlighting.
Folks like Mark are free to level an accusation of mansplaining to dismiss everyone’s points without addressing them.
You are arguing that no one could ever be misusing the term regardless of who makes the points or who levels the accusation of mansplaining.

39 Kristine February 22, 2016 at 1:54 am

“@Kristine – Please don’t misrepresent what I’ve said, thanks.”
Excuse me, Bob – how could I “misrepresent” what you said?
Please mansplain it to me.
Thanks.

40 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:57 am

@John K

“Then Mark is wrong because 1) the part they are complaining about is written by a woman.”

But it was part of an explanation offered by a man, depending on how one reads the blog in question (It says it was authored by Michael, and he uses “I” most of the time, not “we”, so that’s a reasonable interpretation).

“There is nothing condescending in Michael’s post.”

That probably depends on whether you think it’s condescending to assume that one’s audience has not thought through some fairly basic ideas about hate speech. But my intention is not to defend Mark’s accusation – he can make his case, if he wants.

“Yes that’s the issue that Michael and others are highlighting.”

In the mistaken belief that the point of the concept is to cast doubt on the content. But that isn’t the point. The point of the concept is to highlight condescension.

“You are arguing that no one could ever be misusing the term regardless of who makes the points or who levels the accusation of mansplaining.”

No I’m not – I explicitly acknowledged above (#29) that the term can be misused.

41 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 2:05 am

That probably depends on whether you think it’s condescending to assume that one’s audience has not thought through some fairly basic ideas about hate speech.

I see no evidence that you have thought through basic ideas of hate-speech.

I see you using the term as a thought terminating cliche to actively prevent yourself thinking clearly about it.

When presented with a counter-argument to your dogma your first instinct is to dismiss it as ‘hate-speech’ or ‘mansplaining’.

That’s just one step up from counting the words.

42 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:06 am

@Kristine

You misrepresented what I said by suggesting that my comment that “if the content is presented by a man, it doesn’t matter whether it was written by a woman” was somehow an endorsement of male appropriation of female voices. On the contrary, the distinction between the author of the content, and the presenter of the content matters precisely because there is a difference between a woman speaking for herself to another woman, and that woman’s ideas being presented by a man to a woman, on the basis of sexist assumptions he has made about the woman.

43 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:08 am

@Shatterface

“I see no evidence that you have thought through basic ideas of hate-speech.”

Why would you? It is not a topic I have discussed on this site.

“I see you using the term as a thought terminating cliche to actively prevent yourself thinking clearly about it.”

You seem to be using the term “thought terminating cliche” as a “thought terminating cliche”.

“When presented with a counter-argument to your dogma your first instinct is to dismiss it as ‘hate-speech’ or ‘mansplaining’.”

I haven’t accused anyone of hate speech or mansplaining, as far as I can remember, so I don’t know to what counter-arguments you’re referring.

44 John K February 22, 2016 at 2:09 am

“But it was part of an explanation offered by a man, depending on how one reads the blog in question (It says it was authored by Michael, and he uses “I” most of the time, not “we”, so that’s a reasonable interpretation).”

Yea, I suppose that if you read the blog, but decide not to read the parts where Michael is directly stating he’s quoting Jane…

“In the mistaken belief that the point of the concept is to cast doubt on the content. But that isn’t the point. The point of the concept is to highlight condescension.”

But that’s what Mark did. It’s what lots of people do all the time. And giving how you are saying that it relies on subjective interpretations of what is considered condescension, which in turn can be inferred without having to worry about the authors intent. Plus how even women can be accused of mansplaining and such accusations can be levelled at anything regardless of the content of the points…
It’s almost like the word has no meaning and exists solely as a buzzword to stall discussion.

“No I’m not – I explicitly acknowledged above (#29) that the term can be misused.”
Then is it possible that Mark is misusing it?

Is Kristine misusing it when she’s accusing you of it?

45 Why Not February 22, 2016 at 2:10 am

Feminist at xojane explains

http://www.xojane.com/issues/why-you-ll-never-hear-me-use-term-mansplain

Why You’ll Never Hear Me Use the Term “Mansplain”

This probably would have been way better if only I’d had a man to help me write it. KIDDING!

“Mansplaining” — for which I will cease using scare quotes forthwith — is an internet-born term for what happens when a dude comes into a conversation, usually online, usually happening between a group of women, and proceeds to commandeer the discussion to explain to said women things that they already know. The concept seems to have originated with Rebecca Solnit’s 2008 article in the Los Angeles Times, “Men who explain things to me,” in which she recounts an experience at a dinner party where a male guest repeatedly spoke over her to extol the virtues of a very important book on a particular subject, unaware, in spite of Solnit’s attempts to tell him otherwise, that it was a book of which she was the author.

Mansplaining is when a dude tells you, a woman, how to do something you already know how to do, or how you are wrong about something you are actually right about, or miscellaneous and inaccurate “facts” about something you know a hell of a lot more about than he does.

Bonus points if he is explaining how you are wrong about something being sexist!

My husband does occasionally fit this description; after all, this is the guy who recently informed me, during the Mars Curiosity landing, that I “had no idea what they were talking about” in the control room, after I shushed him so I could listen. Admittedly, he was annoyed because I shushed him, and that’s fair, but he also probably didn’t expect me to assert the ferocity with which I had been following the development of this rover for years now and YES, I do actually have a rough idea of what they’re talking about in my own amateur way, thank you.

This is OK, though, because I’m kind of a mansplainer too. I credit (or blame) my years in the soft sciences of academia, where I became very good at speaking knowledgeably on a range of subjects, and even better at making shit up (under the hilarious misapprehension that I could impress people with my imaginary wisdom) when necessary. (Where my scholars at? Back me up here.)

I’ve never called what I do mansplaining, obviously — I’ve always called it “lecture mode,” and I even have this habit where I take a deep, semi-dramatic breath before it shifts on, and I begin, on the exhale, with, “Well–” I always begin with “Well–” and I always conclude with, “Does that make sense?” probably because I am always expecting someone to explain to me that I am totally wrong about everything I just said. This is something I’ve gotten used to, as a lady. I come to anticipate it, even as I’m going all know-it-all myself.

I hate the word “mansplain.” I’ve never liked it; I didn’t like it even when it was gaily burning through feminist conversations like a cleansing fire lighting up all the annoying crap guys say and do when they feel threatened by feminism, or by feminists. A guy has injected himself into your conversation to tell you why you’re all being unreasonable? MANSPLAINER! It was funny, and empowering, a self-aware scarlet M applied to anyone who failed to choose his words with care.

Mansplaining came out of a palpable frustration with the way some men choose to silence, interrupt or talk over the voices of women, and to tell them why they’re wrong to be hurt by both casual and overt sexism. The anger that spawned the word is legitimate. I’m angry too. I get it. But I’ve never used it — I am pretty sure this post is the first time I’ve ever done so — because humor aside, I have a bunch of problems with it.

For one, it’s mad essentialist, and by this I mean it assumes a certain universal set of truths shared by all men. Men mansplain, because they are men, and this is an attribute of a masculine gender. Except there are lots of men who don’t mansplain, and who would rightly be a little irritated by the assumption that something in their chromosomes or genitalia or gender identity somehow operates to make them all susceptible to a particular shared behavior.

The truth is anyone, regardless of gender, can be guilty of this incredibly annoying, frustrating, and dismissive conduct. While it’s certainly powered by sexism, men are not its sole proprietors — have you heard some of the arguments I’ve gotten from women on stuff relating to body image, about which I evidently know absolutely nothing of merit despite making it my primary field of work for well over a decade? — and it’s no more acceptable if it’s coming from a non-man.

More than that, “mansplaining” is kind of lazy and dismissive. Folks, there are few things as deeply satisfying as deconstructing a dude’s shitty argument point by point. Even if you do happen to be married to him. Throwing down the mansplaination gauntlet to end a pointless fight may well turn the tables on a rude jerk’s efforts to dismiss your points, and it may even offer gratification (and certainly self-protection) of a sort. But it also impresses upon that dude that he has no business in discussing or stopping sexism. Which is not a great outcome.

Finally, it assumes that men are bad. Like, inherently bad. While I’ll cop to the notion that many aspects of masculine gender socialization utterly suck, I try really hard not to survey all the men in my life with wariness and suspicion. I mean it: I try really hard, because I do often regard men with an intrinsic distrust, which is probably the wages of engaging in feminist stuff for a really long time — that minority of men who are terrible people and who are so LOUD all the time, can become representative of their sex.

But if I am going to lose my freaking mind when a dude attempts to discredit me based on what he believes is a set of universally shared characteristics of my gender, I kind of feel weird about doing it right back.

More than that, whenever we call a dude a mansplainer, we’re knee-jerkily assuming that he is unable to understand anything we’re talking about. Which is both a depressing and terribly hopeless way of seeing things. Men are entirely capable of getting sexism and recognizing these issues, but the constant use of mansplaining makes it sound like they’re not. It sends expectations through the floor, when really we ought to be expecting guys to step up in these conversations, and learn something.

I don’t avoid using “mansplain” because I’m unwilling to alienate douchebags. Please, rest assured I couldn’t care less about protecting douchebag feelings. And I’m not saying you can’t or shouldn’t use the word. Use it all you like.

I don’t use it because I don’t want to perpetuate the idea that gender is somehow an excuse, or an explanation, for bad behavior. No, I am not angry because I’m on the rag, and a guy is not a douchebag because he has a penis. A douchebag is a douchebag because he or she is a douchebag. And after all, having my authority and ideas shit on by men never did convince me to sit down and shut up and placidly swallow whatever I was told and do whatever was expected of a proper lady — I don’t know why I should expect that returning the favor would suddenly inspire compliance in them either.

46 JackSkeptic February 22, 2016 at 2:14 am

@Bob

Did you ever consider that if you believe in a political philosophy that requires memes to shut down any examination of its claims, uses simplistic terms for complex ideas and requires knowing the gender, race or sexuality of a person in order to evaluate the validity of what they are actually saying ….is a philosophy that fails the basic test of reality?

Further, when a meme fails due to lack of knowledge further memes are applied (such as internalised misogyny giving freedom to mansplain, see Aron Ra and Christina Hoff Sommers) the only purpose of your beliefs is to assert authority where non exists and to shut down any discussion you don’t like. It is deeply non-intellectual and highly attractive to the emotionally brittle and authoritarians.

Worse of all it does nothing at all to further social justice. Absolutely nothing. Even worse, it removes people agency, trivialises important issues and treats minorities and women as incapable of standing up for themselves. Deeply patronising and to the minorities I know (yes I have asked), deeply offensive.

I do now know why you have fallen for this but trying to defend it is impossible although I commend you in trying. That is more than the vast majority of SJW’s do.

Life is complicated, some groups do need help, they do get picked on. But the solutions SJW’s assert make things a lot worse. That is why I am against them.

47 Aneris February 22, 2016 at 2:14 am

Bob Hoskins, however, was a fine actor. Certainly much more effective than the duo Bob & Mark Hoskins.

The ideology is never properly explained and there is a lot of confusion and suppression which then leads to such implosions as on FreeThought Blogs and Ophelia Benson, as soon as a person slips from being liked to being disliked (which seems to predate the smearing).

There is no coherent thought what exactly are trans people: we are told that the “gender binary” was an evil invention of Teh Patriarchy (not to be confused with patriarchy), but when it comes to trans people, of course stable categories are needed to transition into. Things that make someone a more prototypical member of the gender category are frowned upon when it concerns biologically “cis” people. Then again, trans people rely on prototypes created by such people for communicating their identity (say, you wear a dress and lipstick to communicate a female identity, which relies on the fact that women stereotypically differ in these ways from men).

Don’t misunderstand me (of course you will). I regard trans women as women, but also believe its a trick question. We operate with graded categories anyway and there’s a corner where trans people can fit in, too. But of course when evoking a category, people tend to think of prototypical members, not the less prototypical ones. This is made even worse because the prototype is also undermined.

In other words, I’m presenting you an animal that has feathers, a beak, and lays eggs, but it’s not exactly like “Bird” (the category) and ask you to accept it as a bird. But at the same time, I tell you that birds hardly exist, and that none of the features, feathers, beak, eggs etc. were important for “birdness”. But thats social justice warrioism, where Boobquake exist in a superimposed state with Sarkeesians eccentric ideas that polygons are people and shall not be objectified.

48 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:19 am

@John K

“Yea, I suppose that if you read the blog, but decide not to read the parts where Michael is directly stating he’s quoting Jane…”

The fact that he’s quoting Jane doesn’t make it any less his presentation. If you area woman who I condescendingly assume (for misogynistic reasons) has never heard of the capabilities approach, I can mansplain it to you regardless of whether I quote Amartya Sen, or Martha Nussbaum, for example.

“But that’s what Mark did. It’s what lots of people do all the time. And giving how you are saying that it relies on subjective interpretations of what is considered condescension, which in turn can be inferred without having to worry about the authors intent.”

So read Mark’s comment as “You’re very condescending, Michael” or something similar and dismiss it as you would if he has put it like that.

“Is Kristine misusing it when she’s accusing you of it?”

I think she’s mistaken, but she can be mistaken without misusing it – she might believe I am being condescending towards her even though I’m not, for example. Or, if I have been condescending, she might believe that my condescension towards her arises as a result of misogyny on my part, even though it is not. She may even be justified in a mistaken belief, depending on the circumstances. Or she might be right (though I don’t believe so).

49 Kristine February 22, 2016 at 2:23 am

“@Kristine
You misrepresented what I said by suggesting that my comment that “if the content is presented by a man, it doesn’t matter whether it was written by a woman” was somehow an endorsement of male appropriation of female voices. On the contrary, the distinction between the author of the content, and the presenter of the content matters precisely because there is a difference between a woman speaking for herself to another woman, and that woman’s ideas being presented by a man to a woman, on the basis of sexist assumptions he has made about the woman.”
You are the perfect illustration of my points. Michael’s blog was a quote of a woman that was addressed to no one in particular – man or woman. Mark Hoskins ASSumed that it was Michael himself speaking, and decided to dismiss the comment (as Why Not quotes above) and engage not in a discussion, but a shaming technique by invoking “manplaining.” Give it up, you’re beginning to look ridiculous.
Let Mark H explain himself if you “need to hear his argument.”
But he seems to have disappeared. That in itself speaks volumes.

50 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:26 am

@JackSkeptic

“Did you ever consider that if you believe in a political philosophy that requires memes to shut down any examination of its claims, uses simplistic terms for complex ideas and requires knowing the gender, race or sexuality of a person in order to evaluate the validity of what they are actually saying ….is a philosophy that fails the basic test of reality?”

I think that there are many examples of that kind of behaviour which are exhibited by the kinds of people who use terms like “social justice warriors”, “white knights”, “feminazis”, “identity politics” and “cultural marxism” (not all of which have appeared here, but which do seem to orbit one another in many places).

51 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 2:29 am

Why would you? It is not a topic I have discussed on this site.

That’s odd because you referred to it in the quote I was replying to when you were implying you knew enough about it that you didn’t need Mick explaining it to you.

52 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 2:35 am

Bob’s defence of the term ‘mansplaining’ in response to criticism from women commentators reminds me of a cartoon character climbing a tree, crawling out onto a branch, and sawing off the limb behind him.

If you are a man, once you introduce that concept into an argument with a woman, you have lost.

53 John K February 22, 2016 at 2:37 am

“The fact that he’s quoting Jane doesn’t make it any less his presentation. ”
No, you’ve changed your claim now. You said that Michael:
“It says it was authored by Michael, and he uses “I” most of the time, not “we”, so that’s a reasonable interpretation”
But he clearly and unambiguously states that Jane wrote those paragraphs.
Mark took issue with those paragraphs, decrying them as mansplaining.
I don’t see why or how the fact Michael presented them in full makes them mansplaining.
If Mark was refering to the post as a whole, then your points might make sense. But he didn’t, He singled out the parts written by Jane.
If this wasn’t his intent, then it’s his fault for writing an unclear, dismissive response.

So either he is mistaken, or he is misusing the term.

“So read Mark’s comment as “You’re very condescending, Michael” or something similar and dismiss it as you would if he has put it like that.”
I do dismiss it because there’s nothing condescending in Michael’s post.

If mansplaining is just condescension, why is a new buzzword necessary?
Why is just accusing someone with that buzzword with no substance to the post helpful or anything other than an attempt to stall discussion?

“I think she’s mistaken, but she can be mistaken without misusing it – she might believe I am being condescending towards her even though I’m not, for example. Or, if I have been condescending, she might believe that my condescension towards her arises as a result of misogyny on my part, even though it is not. She may even be justified in a mistaken belief, depending on the circumstances. Or she might be right (though I don’t believe so).”

So then you are in fact mansplaining to her?

If not, wouldn’t it be mansplaining when you try to explain why she is mistaken with the assumption that you know something that she doesn’t?
Why are you assuming that she’s mistaken? How do you know that she doesn’t know something that you don’t being that she’s a woman and you are not?

Why does your intent not to be condescending matter when she can freely interpret that you are being condescending?

If your intent matters more than someone’s inference, why then does some one’s intent not matter in the cause of potentially homophobic terms?

54 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:46 am

@john K

“I don’t see why or how the fact Michael presented them in full makes them mansplaining.”

Because Michael is the one offering the explanation. He’s the one presenting Jane’s quotes in the context of a blog that he wrote.

(But maybe Mark has a different interpretation, and maybe his claim really is predicated on the mistaken belief that Jane’s quotes were written by Michael)

“If mansplaining is just condescension, why is a new buzzword necessary?”

It denotes a specific type of condescension – one that is motivated by particular types of assumptions (i.e. usually a man who assumes that he knows better than the person he is talking to because he is a man and she is a woman).

“So then you are in fact mansplaining to her?”

I don’t believe I am: I don’t believe I have been condescending towards her, and if I have, I don’t believe I have been condescending towards her on the basis that she is a woman.

“If not, wouldn’t it be mansplaining when you try to explain why she is mistaken with the assumption that you know something that she doesn’t?”

Only if that assumption is predicated on the fact that she’s a woman. Otherwise it’s just plain old condescension (or not, if the assumption is warranted- there are some cases where we are entitled to assume we know more about a topic than the person we’re talking to).

“Why are you assuming that she’s mistaken?”

Firstly, because I can see no reason to think that I have been condescending towards her. Secondly, because I don’t believe I am addressing her any differently than I would address a man who had put the same questions to me.

“How do you know that she doesn’t know something that you don’t being that she’s a woman and you are not?”

I don’t – she might.

“Why does your intent not to be condescending matter when she can freely interpret that you are being condescending?”

We can be condescending without intending to be – so intent does not determine condescension.

“If your intent matters more than someone’s inference, why then does some one’s intent not matter in the cause of potentially homophobic terms?”

I don’t think Michael intended his use of the word flounce to be homophobic.

55 John K February 22, 2016 at 3:12 am

“Because Michael is the one offering the explanation. He’s the one presenting Jane’s quotes in the context of a blog that he wrote.”

But again, Mark was disagreeing with those points. The points made by Jane, not Michael.

“(But maybe Mark has a different interpretation, and maybe his claim really is predicated on the mistaken belief that Jane’s quotes were written by Michael)”

Gosh, it would have been way more helpful for Mark to actually make and address points rather than just do some drive by buzzwording…
Almost as if the buzzword is used to stall discussion and dismiss thing without addressing them…

But hey, best to assume Michael’s the one mistaken, not this other guy, since his use of a buzzword has identified him as a noble and righteous brother in the struggle.

Why are you giving him the benefit of doubt, but not Michael?

“It denotes a specific type of condescension – one that is motivated by particular types of assumptions (i.e. usually a man who assumes that he knows better than the person he is talking to because he is a man and she is a woman).”
So then it’s just sexist condescension. No need for a buzzword.

And it certainly does not apply to anything Michael wrote.

“I don’t believe I am: I don’t believe I have been condescending towards her, and if I have, I don’t believe I have been condescending towards her on the basis that she is a woman.”
Again, I see no reason why she can’t infer that condescension. You’re certainly being condescending to me and others.

How is she to know that your condescension isn’t because of some sexist basis? Because you say so? Because of you previous stances and statements?
“Only if that assumption is predicated on the fact that she’s a woman. Otherwise it’s just plain old condescension (or not, if the assumption is warranted- there are some cases where we are entitled to assume we know more about a topic than the person we’re talking to).”
How can you determine when you entitled to do that? That sounds awfully like privilege to me…

“Firstly, because I can see no reason to think that I have been condescending towards her. Secondly, because I don’t believe I am addressing her any differently than I would address a man who had put the same questions to me.”
“I don’t – she might.”
So then why are you defending yourself before she can explain exactly how you have offended her? Isn’t that what you’ve decried Michael for doing?
“We can be condescending without intending to be – so intent does not determine condescension.”
“I don’t think Michael intended his use of the word flounce to be homophobic.”
Nope, but you still hold that it was homophobic, regardless of his intention.
You don’t intent to mansplain anything. You agree that people can take what you are saying as mansplaining. Yet you say your intention makes some kind of difference.

But then, when Michael mansplains something…

56 Bob February 22, 2016 at 3:36 am

“But again, Mark was disagreeing with those points. The points made by Jane, not Michael.”

He didn’t explicitly disagree with the content, he disagreed with Michael’s presentation of it. That something is presented in a condescending way does not entail it isn’t accurate.

“Why are you giving him the benefit of doubt, but not Michael?”

I haven’t said that Michael mansplained anything.

“Again, I see no reason why she can’t infer that condescension. You’re certainly being condescending to me and others.”

I disagree. You’re welcome to explain why you think that, but I don’t think it would help address the issues in question: even if I am mansplaining, you should still be willing to stick to the actual content of my remarks.

“How is she to know that your condescension isn’t because of some sexist basis?”

That depends on why she thinks I have been condescending. For all I know, she might have a good reason, from her perspective, to believe that. Sometimes mistaken beliefs can be justified.

It’s probably also a good idea to avoid a proxy argument, given that she can choose to elaborate on her view, if she wishes.

“How can you determine when you entitled to do that? That sounds awfully like privilege to me…”

How you determine when you are entitled to presume that you know more about a topic than another person depends on the context and your assessment of the evidence available to you.

“So then why are you defending yourself before she can explain exactly how you have offended her? Isn’t that what you’ve decried Michael for doing?”

I don’t have reason to believe that she is engaging in good faith, for a start. That is a pretty big distinction between my relationship to her, and Michael’s relationship to Aoife.

“Nope, but you still hold that it was homophobic, regardless of his intention.”

The word has homophobic connotations. Michael’s use of it was careless at best. The connotations of the word are not determined by Michael’s intent.

“You don’t intent to mansplain anything. You agree that people can take what you are saying as mansplaining. Yet you say your intention makes some kind of difference.”

Intention is relevant in some contexts but not others. It is relevant in the context of mansplaining in the sense that the mansplainer must be intending to explain something to someone he takes to be a woman. It is relevant in the context of Michael’s original remarks to the extent that he would be more blameworthy if he had intended to use the word in a homophobic way (which I don’t believe he did).

57 Skep tickle February 22, 2016 at 4:04 am

Bob @35

I consider people who deny that trans women are women to be transphobic, not on the basis that they disagree with me, but on the basis that they deny the reality of trans people’s identities.

I agree that it would be ideal for dignity and the platinum rule (“Treat others the way they want to be treated”) to be the standard mode of interaction between people, including respecting each person’s self-identification (where possible) and including addressing and referring to each person as they prefer.

“Trans” originally implied that the person was transitioning or had transitioned from one gender to another in the gender binary, changing appearance (and other aspects of presentation) along the way. It’s not now assumed to require as much change…or even any visible change, it seems. Others (understandably) risk missing non-standard genderedness given the still-widespread assumption that gender presentation matches gender identification.

In the other thread(s), Cindy brought up the recent situation of a man (meaning, a person who appeared to be a man and was assumed by observers to be a man) who undressed in a women’s locker room and who, when asked to leave, said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here”. No news report that I’ve seen has said that the person stated whether or not the person self-identifies as a woman. Does it make any difference, and if so why?

Further, in the “who decides” question: The winner of a national transgender beauty pageant in the UK was stripped of her title because she was “not transgender enough” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/12165845/Winner-of-national-transgender-beauty-pageant-stripped-of-her-title-because-she-was-not-transgender-enough.html

Finally, I would just note that Bob seems to be using “female” to mean “woman” and “male” to mean “man”. If you are a feminist ally, you will want to educate yourself on how problematic this is – see, for example: http://jezebel.com/the-problem-with-calling-women-females-1683808274

58 John K February 22, 2016 at 4:23 am

“He didn’t explicitly disagree with the content, he disagreed with Michael’s presentation of it. That something is presented in a condescending way does not entail it isn’t accurate.”

Again, he stated that he thought that the parts about hate speech where “mansplaining”.
I’m going on what he posted.
What are you using to determine that he’s disagreeing with Michael presentation?

“I haven’t said that Michael mansplained anything.”
Nope, but again, you are giving weigh to Mark’s drive by comment as if it had merit.

“I disagree. You’re welcome to explain why you think that, but I don’t think it would help address the issues in question: even if I am mansplaining, you should still be willing to stick to the actual content of my remarks.”
I’m inferring it. Your intent doesn’t particularly matter there.

“That depends on why she thinks I have been condescending. For all I know, she might have a good reason, from her perspective, to believe that. Sometimes mistaken beliefs can be justified.

It’s probably also a good idea to avoid a proxy argument, given that she can choose to elaborate on her view, if she wishes.”

I’m saying that she could chose to infer your statements however she likes. You are saying that your comments couldn’t be mansplaining just because of how she takes them.
But you are agruing that it is valid to accuse Michael and Jane of it depending on how someone takes it.

“I don’t have reason to believe that she is engaging in good faith, for a start. That is a pretty big distinction between my relationship to her, and Michael’s relationship to Aoife.”

So you’re assuming that she’s not arguing on good faith, based on what exactly?
Isn’t that exactly what Michael is saying is the point of the term mansplaining in the first place?

What are you using to determine that Michael couldn’t have reasonably suspected bad faith in his interaction with Aoife?

“The word has homophobic connotations. Michael’s use of it was careless at best. The connotations of the word are not determined by Michael’s intent.”
“Intention is relevant in some contexts but not others. It is relevant in the context of mansplaining in the sense that the mansplainer must be intending to explain something to someone he takes to be a woman. It is relevant in the context of Michael’s original remarks to the extent that he would be more blameworthy if he had intended to use the word in a homophobic way (which I don’t believe he did).”
The connotations are only there because of what people might infer.
But you are saying that inferences aren’t important in other cases.

A person can infer homophobia in a word, just as they can infer sexist intent in inferred condescension.
What the person intends is not relevant to the validity of the other person’s response.

And we’ve also discovered that you are allowed to determine if someone is arguing in bad faith and dismiss their inferences, but Michael is not.

59 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 4:42 am

Kristine #49:

But [Mark H] seems to have disappeared. That in itself speaks volumes.

Indeed. Likewise with Aidan who similarly doesn’t have the courage of his convictions, and who is apparently unable and unwilling to defend them or acknowledge his errors. Hardly much to commend either of them to our consideration.

60 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 4:53 am

Aneris #47:

I regard trans women as women, but also believe its a trick question.

Pray tell, what the is your definition for “woman”? Kind of surprised to see you suggest that since, if I’m not mistaken, it was you who pointed me to the credible analogy with “crayfish” – an entirely different critter from most if not all fish, and why “transwoman” is the more credible term.

But I’ll agree that there are such things as fuzzy sets where the demarcations are matters of some reasonable disagreement. But not in cases where standard definitions are clearly predicated on some binary, some digital, logic and groupings: one either produces ova (aka “women”) or sperm (aka, “men”), or produces neither (aka, “intersex”) – either currently, potentially, or historically. And “transwomen” are neither fish nor fowl – pandering to the delusional to suggest otherwise.

61 DrainBamaged February 22, 2016 at 5:11 am

Bob! Freaking stop replying, this is almost abuse of a corpse level destruction. There’s no victory here for you, nor a stalemate. Realise you’ve been crucified and let it go. It’s getting weird watching you try to fight back.

62 Pitchguest February 22, 2016 at 5:30 am

#22

“How can it be mansplaining when the part he’s complaining about is written by a woman?”

If the content is presented by a man, it doesn’t matter whether it was written by a woman.

And this is the part where my brain exploded. WHAT?

63 Pitchguest February 22, 2016 at 5:54 am

#22

Sorry, but I just need to reiterate. WHAT? Then what’s the point? If a woman can say the exact same thing a man can without ‘mansplaining’ (or ‘womansplaining’), then it’s not really ‘mansplaining’, is it? It’s just someone trying to express their opinion. Except one of two people’s identical opinion is apparently condescending and dismissive in tone based on their gender alone. How incredibly sexist.

64 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 7:03 am

That was an awful lot of Bobsplaining in the comments.

65 Jan Steen February 22, 2016 at 7:17 am

“You are using homophobia to defend misogyny.”
“That is ridiculous. This is simply an outrageous smear. I am a known campaigner for LGBT rights.”
“The fact that you become angry and protest against the accusation proves that you are not a good ally. Therefore you are clearly guilty.”

This is a textbook example of a Kafka trap: Someone is accused of heinous behaviour; the person denies the accusation, which is then interpreted as heinous behaviour and as proof that the original accusation is true.

This whole “good ally” schtick reminds me of the Stalinist show trials, where the accused were told to cooperate with the prosecution in the greater interest of The Party.

It is absolutely no surprise to find that Aidan is an admirer of Toni Negri. Who is Toni Negri?

He was accused in the late 1970s of various charges including being the mastermind of the left-wing urban guerrilla organization[4] Red Brigades (Brigate Rosse or BR), involved in the May 1978 kidnapping of Aldo Moro, two-time Prime Minister of Italy, and leader of the Christian-Democrat Party, among others. Voice evidence suggested Negri made a threatening phone call on behalf of the BR, but the court was unable to conclusively prove his ties.[4] The question of Negri’s complicity with left-wing extremism is a controversial subject.[5] He was indicted on a number of charges, including “association and insurrection against the state” (a charge which was later dropped), and sentenced for involvement in two murders.

[from Wikipedia]

Proof of Aidan’s fandom:
https://automaticwriting1.wordpress.com/tag/toni-negri/

The SJWs always try to ridicule those who draw parallels between stalinism (or maoism) and SJW tactics. But these parallels are unmistakable, undeniable and uncanny.

66 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 7:21 am

Today, I identify as an Airbus A380.

My favored pronouns are “jet”, ‘tail fin” and “emergency exit”.

67 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 8:01 am

Phil Giordana FCD #63:

“jet walk; tail-fin walked; emergency-exit walk” – works for me. Next step is to get Sarkeesian and Emma Watson to present it to the UN for universal promulgation? 😉

68 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 8:58 am

Indeed. Likewise with Aidan who similarly doesn’t have the courage of his convictions, and who is apparently unable and unwilling to defend them or acknowledge his errors. Hardly much to commend either of them to our consideration.

He’ll be busy checking and deleting his Twitter history for Bad Think not realising it’s probably been screencapped already.

69 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:07 am

I’m re-watching Gladiator, so now I identify as a Roman general.

My preferred pronouns are “Decimus”, “Meridius” and “Maximus”.

(I may stick to that one, sounds awesome)

70 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 9:11 am

Phil #66:

You mean like “Gluteus Maximus”? Has a nice ring; well “seated” to take the world by storm ….

71 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:13 am

And before someone decides to unleash hell:

I’m not making fun of people with actual gender dysphoria or gender identity issues. Those are very important and valid issues (I said “issues” twice because my mental thesaurus is on strike right now). I’m poking fun, all in good spirits, at people who claim to be animals or inanimate pieces of furniture.

They never claim to be tapeworms, lice, or my obnoxious wallpaper. It’s not an identity, it’s a delusion and a vacuum attempt at self aggrandizement.

72 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 9:16 am

Shatterface #65:

He’ll be busy checking and deleting his Twitter history for Bad Think not realising it’s probably been screencapped already.

Suggesting that “we” are in the position of Big Brother imposing our dogma on Aidan? I doubt you meant that, but there’s certainly a potential danger in thinking “our” conventional wisdom is beyond reproach. However, I think the weight of factual evidence and reasoned argument is decidedly against him.

73 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 9:18 am

Phil: #68:

… and a vacuum attempt at self aggrandizement. ….

Definitely sucks ….

74 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:27 am

Steers @70:

Ok, that was actually funny. New software update seems to work.

75 citizen_wolf February 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

@Kristine #7
So in response to my question, I guess the answer would be ‘no’.

Phil #63
How’s your fly-by-wire doing?

76 citizen_wolf February 22, 2016 at 9:43 am

Bob is like a mad Duracell bunny. He just never stops.

77 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:49 am

Citizen Wolf @72:

“How’s your fly-by-wire doing?”

Pretty spiffy. I’m not a huge fan of fly-by-wire, as my few flying hours have all been on either a Cesna 172 (single engine) or Twin-Otter (dual engines). those are straight-to-surface cable planes, and I love the feel.

But it appears the A380 as some force feedback on the joystick so the pilot can feel the plane.

I’m definitely saving up to try a A380 sim soon.

78 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:52 am

Comment in moderation, probably because of the use of “F/l/y/i/n/g

79 Jake February 22, 2016 at 10:54 am

Is there a reason everybody has to be so nasty to each-other on this website?

I’m surprised at a lot of people who probably claim to be very logical and intelligent keep resorting to Reductio ad absurdum.

80 Aneris February 22, 2016 at 11:44 am

You are mistaken, Steersman (#58). The argument on Freethought Blogs was that because they are called “transwoman” it would logically entail they are women. Allegedly “trans” was a modifier on “woman”, i.e. a type of woman, but a woman by definition. This argument is false, were I brought up the crayfish example. This definitional and somewhat prescriptivist approach doesn’t work: Lara Croft is widely and intuitively considered a woman, but will not meet any of your criteria of womanhood — it’s a fictional character. She does never produce ova or whatever you have on your list.

To make matters worse, you’ll find turtles all the way down: even if the creators decided to mention whatever is on your list: these aren’t real things, but likewise fictional. As a silly (but I hope illustrative) example: let’s supose your list has “ponytail” as one check on your womanhood definition list, and the creators do you a favour: without doubt, she has a ponytail, again defined in some fashion; (say) “a ponytail is made with hair”.

But what is hair? With your approach you again have a definition for “hair”. But it won’t be satisfied either: her “hair” are polygons and pixels and it has none of the properties of hair. No hair, no ponytail, no womanhood. This is likely true for all things on your checklist, hence mysteriously, Lara Croft can never be a woman with this approach.

A solution to the mystery is the “quacks like a duck” approach — association and analogy making, and conventions. Otherwise, I see a similar map-territory-confusion you seem to share with the stereotypical social justice warror. Please see this as a clarification and be mindful whether a full-blown discussion about this fits here.

81 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 12:03 pm

More disgusting smears:

Allan’s Kelly @sparklyparticle
@TENI_Tweets – @micknugent has posted a blog in support of anti trans legislation. Please could you have some sort response to this.

https://twitter.com/sparklyparticle/status/701714952898400256

82 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Sorry, that’s Alana Kelly.

Ducking autocorrect.

83 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:09 pm

@John K (58)

Again, he stated that he thought that the parts about hate speech where “mansplaining”. I’m going on what he posted. What are you using to determine that he’s disagreeing with Michael presentation?

[Trying to get this quote function right]

Mansplaining, according to the definition I am defending, is about presentation, not about content. It’s about the way in which a person offers an explanation, and in this case it is reasonable to assume that Michael is the one offering Jane’s words as an explanation. To say that something is condescending does not entail that it is wrong. Mansplaining may often involve explanations that are in fact correct.

“I’m inferring it. Your intent doesn’t particularly matter there.”

I didn’t suggest that my intent determines whether I have mansplained something. If I remember correctly, I’ve explicitly said that intent is irrelevant in that context (except that I must intend to be addressing someone I take to a woman for it to count as mansplaining).

“I’m saying that she could chose to infer your statements however she likes. You are saying that your comments couldn’t be mansplaining just because of how she takes them. But you are agruing that it is valid to accuse Michael and Jane of it depending on how someone takes it.”

An accusation of mansplaining is just an accusation of a particular form of condescension. Anyone who forms an impression that they or someone else is being condescended to can make that claim. Whether such a claim should be taken seriously by an observer is up to them.

“Isn’t that exactly what Michael is saying is the point of the term mansplaining in the first place?”

I don’t know if follow you here. If you mean that an accusation of mansplaining implies bad faith on the part of the mansplainer, then I don’t think that’s true: you can, in good faith, attempt to educate someone about something even though you really ought to know that they don’t need to be educated about it, for instance. [I’ve left out the preceding question, because I’d rather not have an argument by proxy when the other person can choose to defend themselves if they wish]

“What are you using to determine that Michael couldn’t have reasonably suspected bad faith in his interaction with Aoife?”

Michael knows Aoife, and just as Aoife has no reason to suppose that Michael is some kind of secret homophobe, Michael has no reason to suppose that Aoife’s accusation was made in bad faith.

“The connotations are only there because of what people might infer.
But you are saying that inferences aren’t important in other cases.”

I’m not saying that. Some inferences are accurate, some are not, some are justified regardless of whether they are accurate (because of the context) while others are not. It can sometimes be wrong to express oneself in a way that could be inferred to have homophobic connotations, even if that is not intended. It can also sometimes be wrong to express oneself in a way that could be inferred to be condescending, even if that is not intended. One can hold homophobic ideas without intending to hold them, and one can be condescending without intending to be. If one intends to be homophobic or condescending, that usually makes one’s actions worse.

84 Derek Walsh February 22, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Bob:

intent is irrelevant in that context (except that I must intend to be addressing someone I take to a woman for it to count as mansplaining).

If someone is being condescending to a transwoman whom they have misgendered, is that mansplaining?

85 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:24 pm

@Pitchguest (62 & 63)

And this is the part where my brain exploded. WHAT?

Suppose that I try explain an idea to you using a quote from someone else. We wouldn’t normally say that that other person tried to explain it to you: we would say that I tried to explain it to you, using the quote. Mansplaining refers to the person offering the explanation. In this case, that person was Michael.

If a woman can say the exact same thing a man can without ‘mansplaining’ (or ‘womansplaining’), then it’s not really ‘mansplaining’, is it? It’s just someone trying to express their opinion. Except one of two people’s identical opinion is apparently condescending and dismissive in tone based on their gender alone. How incredibly sexist.

The context of how something is expressed affects whether one can reasonably infer it to be condescending, and whether the condescension can reasonably be inferred to arise as a result of sexist assumptions on the part of the presenter. It would not usually be reasonable, for example, to assume that a woman who condescendingly explains something to another woman, is motivated by a negative judgment about women, rather than some other negative judgment.

86 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Aneris #80:

You are mistaken, Steersman (#58). The argument on Freethought Blogs was that because they are called “transwoman” it would logically entail they are women. Allegedly “trans” was a modifier on “woman”, i.e. a type of woman, but a woman by definition.

You may wish to check your files or clarify your statements there which look a little obscure. Consider this demand by one abbeycadabra of [she who must not be named] which was the purity test which started this debacle:

[she who must not be named]. Do you believe trans women are women, yes or no? (Please be aware that ‘yes, but’ or any other kind of ‘sort of’ or ‘maybe’ is an appeal to ‘separate but equal’ and therefore equivalent to ‘no’.)

Seems to me that it was the positioning of the “trans” as an adjective, as a separate word and not part of a compound one, that opened the floodgates to the charges that “transwomen” are women. Although I’ll concede that your summary is partially right.

But I think you’re seriously barking up the wrong tree with most of your subsequent argument, starting with this:

Lara Croft is widely and intuitively considered a woman, but will not meet any of your criteria of womanhood — it’s a fictional character. She does never produce ova or whatever you have on your list.

To make matters worse, you’ll find turtles all the way down

Except I’m not the one coming up with all sorts of wild and wooly attributes and their innumerable combinations that might potentially define “woman” – that’s Greer’s bailiwick and that of many other nominal feminists. Stereotypes all – and [she who must not be named] is, I think, entirely justified in questioning the rather slavish dependence on those by people who should know better.

Me? I’m standing pat on a single attribute, a single defining characteristic or ability, i.e., the ability to produce ova. Got that? You’re golden. Don’t have it? Sorry, tough titty. You might try paying a little more attention to what I’m saying rather than, apparently, what you think I’ve said.

87 Bob February 22, 2016 at 12:27 pm

@Derek

If someone is being condescending to a transwoman whom they have misgendered, is that mansplaining?

I would think not, according to the definition I have offered (though it may be mistakenly perceived to be mansplaining by observers who don’t realize that the person is misgendering the trans person to whom they are speaking).

88 Derek Walsh February 22, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Bob:

I would think not, according to the definition I have offered (though it may be mistakenly perceived to be mansplaining by observers who don’t realize that the person is misgendering the trans person to whom they are speaking)

So if someone misgendered a transman, and spoke to them condescendingly, that would be mansplaining? But would mistakenly not be perceived as such by those who have correctly gendered the target?

This stuff is complicated. I hope I can remember it in case it ever becomes important.

89 John K February 22, 2016 at 12:39 pm

“Mansplaining, according to the definition I am defending, is about presentation, not about content. It’s about the way in which a person offers an explanation, and in this case it is reasonable to assume that Michael is the one offering Jane’s words as an explanation. To say that something is condescending does not entail that it is wrong. Mansplaining may often involve explanations that are in fact correct.”

Then according to you the only defining characteristic of “mansplaining” is the inference of intent on the listener.
No other factor like accuracy or who’s actually saying the points or even the gender of the listener can be used to determine if it’s “mansplaining”.

The definition you are offering makes the concept meaningless.

If a woman can make points to a male listener and it’s still mansplaining (which is what happened here) then it’s ludicrous to call it “mansplaining”.
If you’re going to insist that it’s only when a man explains something to a woman, then separating it from condescension is ultimately meaningless also.
Like Michael said, it’s a meaningless buzzword to avoid discussing the content of people’s post.
That’s what Mark did. That’s what you are doing.

Unless you’ve some opinion about the points made? Or unless you can explain how Mark’s one line post actually helps discussion?

“I don’t know if follow you here. If you mean that an accusation of mansplaining implies bad faith on the part of the mansplainer, then I don’t think that’s true: you can, in good faith, attempt to educate someone about something even though you really ought to know that they don’t need to be educated about it, for instance. [I’ve left out the preceding question, because I’d rather not have an argument by proxy when the other person can choose to defend themselves if they wish]”

No, I’m saying that people mostly use the term “mansplaining” in bad faith.
Like you said, it offers nothing about the content of the post and is nothing more than an ad hominem attack based on the accusers inference of the speakers intentions.
People like Mark only have to declare it mansplaining, and then end the discussion.

“Michael knows Aoife, and just as Aoife has no reason to suppose that Michael is some kind of secret homophobe, Michael has no reason to suppose that Aoife’s accusation was made in bad faith.”
Again you’re ignoring the actual events and assuming that Aoife was straightforwardly presenting criticism.
Some one making an accusation of using deliberately veiled homophobia behind the accused back with no attempt to address concerns directly and privately before hand is a very good indication that some one is not acting in the best faith.

But you’re going to pretend that’s some how unreasonable.

So why are you assuming Kristine here is arguing in bad faith?

Why is it ok for you to do but not for Michael?

90 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 12:49 pm

It’s all because Bob is mastering HIS mansplaining skills.

Not working so far.

91 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 12:57 pm

Is it X-plaining if you have mutant powers?

92 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:02 pm

@Derek

So if someone misgendered a transman, and spoke to them condescendingly, that would be mansplaining? But would mistakenly not be perceived as such by those who have correctly gendered the target?

That’s right. I think.

93 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:13 pm

@John K

Then according to you the only defining characteristic of “mansplaining” is the inference of intent on the listener.

The criteria I suggested are: (1) A man explains something to a woman (or someone he believes to be a woman), (2) the explanation is condescending, (3) the condescension is motivated to some degree by the fact that the man is addressing a woman (or someone he takes to be a woman). If those criteria are satisfied, it counts as mansplaining.

If a woman can make points to a male listener and it’s still mansplaining (which is what happened here)

But that isn’t what happened here. A woman made points which were then taken and presented by a man. The points were made by Jane. They were presented by Michael.

If you’re going to insist that it’s only when a man explains something to a woman, then separating it from condescension is ultimately meaningless also.

It’s a type of condescension, it’s not distinct from condescension.

So why are you assuming Kristine here is arguing in bad faith?

Why is it ok for you to do but not for Michael?

I’m not really interested in defending myself from charges of hypocrisy from you, when Kristine is “in the room” as it were, and able to speak for herself. If you want to assume that I’m a hypocrite, that’s fine. It doesn’t affect the merits of my points.

94 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 1:16 pm

No, I’m saying that people mostly use the term “mansplaining” in bad faith.

Quite. ‘Mansplaining’ is just an ad hom.

You never see it used by someone who is winning an argument.

95 tina February 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm

So, if you misgender a transparent and mansplain to them, will you cross over an event horizon?

96 john welch February 22, 2016 at 1:35 pm

Bob@8

Thanks for explaining something it is reasonable to assume everyone here already knew. That was might white of you.

97 John K February 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm

“The criteria I suggested are: (1) A man explains something to a woman (or someone he believes to be a woman), (2) the explanation is condescending, (3) the condescension is motivated to some degree by the fact that the man is addressing a woman (or someone he takes to be a woman). If those criteria are satisfied, it counts as mansplaining.”
But we also have that a woman’s words can be mansplaining and that a man doesn’t actually have to be explaining to a woman, so your first point is out. And your other 2 points rely on the assumptions and inferences of the person who’s making the accusation.

“But that isn’t what happened here. A woman made points which were then taken and presented by a man. The points were made by Jane. They were presented by Michael.”
So then Jane’s words were not mansplaining. But by Michael posting them, they magically become mansplaining?

If we didn’t know the genders of either person, is it still mansplaining?
Or does it only become mansplaining when the gender of people is know and until then it’s in a supersplaining state?

“It’s a type of condescension, it’s not distinct from condescension.”

Then there’s no need to give it a label. It’s either sexist condescension or it’s not. The gender of the person is irrelevant to the points and calling it “mansplaining” doesn’t help define it any further.
Unless you’re looking for a buzzword to throw around and stifle discussion.

Do you think the term actually ads to the discussion of anything?
Do you think that Mark’s use of the term is fair?

“I’m not really interested in defending myself from charges of hypocrisy from you, when Kristine is “in the room” as it were, and able to speak for herself. If you want to assume that I’m a hypocrite, that’s fine. It doesn’t affect the merits of my points.”

It does affect the merits of your points since you are arguing from a position of superior sensitivity.
You are guilty of all the stuff you are chastising Michael for.
You are engaging in mansplaining.
You are declaring that people are arguing in bad faith, but then scolding Michael when he does it.

So either you don’t actually put stock in the merit of your own points, or your own points are contradictory. Your hypocrisy shows that it’s either one or the other. You avoiding points and playing dumb makes it clearer which it is.

98 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 1:43 pm

“mainsplanning” is a useless internet buzzword.

It has sadly joined the legions of “racist”, “misogynist” and “islamophobe” as useless terms that have been deprived of their inital power.

Except “Islamophobia”. That one is bullshit start to finish.

99 Bob February 22, 2016 at 1:43 pm

@John welch

Given that pretty much nobody here has agreed with my view, which differs from the one Michael set out his blog post, I’m not sure why you think I was explaining something that it’s reasonable to assume that everyone here already knew.

100 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Mansplaining, even.

101 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

Bob @99:

“Given that pretty much nobody here has agreed with my view”

Will you one day maybe understand that the problem may not be other people, but you?

102 tina February 22, 2016 at 1:47 pm

If Phil identifies as an Airbus 380 and then condescendingly explains how to fly to a transwoman, is he mansplaining or airplanesplaining?

103 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

I’m pilotsplaining.

But to the point, I’m now Romansplaining.

104 tina February 22, 2016 at 1:55 pm

If a woman can mansplain that would be misgendering her so what is correct word for a woman doing that that would be acceptable to feminists?

105 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Alea Jacta Est.

106 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm

(not a factual answer to Tina)

107 tina February 22, 2016 at 1:58 pm

103
So you are a shapeshifter? How many identities can you manifest simultaneously, if more than one?

108 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Tina @107:

About 3654.

109 tina February 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

I am seriously impressed by Phil *swoon*

110 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:01 pm

@John K

“But we also have that a woman’s words can be mansplaining”

That isn’t entailed by my definition. Mansplaining, as I have defined it, refers to the behaviour of men, not of women. You are not acknowledging the fact that there is a difference between authoring content and presenting it.

and that a man doesn’t actually have to be explaining to a woman, so your first point is out.

I covered that in the parentheses in the first point – the man has to be explaining to a woman or someone he assumes to be a woman.

And your other 2 points rely on the assumptions and inferences of the person who’s making the accusation.

No they don’t. Assumptions and inferences are relevant to whether a person is justified in believing that they are being mansplained to. They don’t affect whether something actually is a case of mansplaining.

So then Jane’s words were not mansplaining. But by Michael posting them, they magically become mansplaining?

“Words” cannot be mansplaining – that’s a category mistake. Mansplaining is a type of behaviour, not a type of content.

If we didn’t know the genders of either person, is it still mansplaining?

Why wouldn’t it be?

Then there’s no need to give it a label.

There’s no “need” to give lots of things labels, but we label them anyway, because it can be helpful. If your objection to the term is just that we already have a phrase for it, that’s not a particularly strong objection.

Unless you’re looking for a buzzword to throw around and stifle discussion.

Dismissing mansplaining as a useless buzzword and suggesting those who use it intend to stifle discussion looks like a pretty good way to stifle discussion.

Do you think the term actually ads to the discussion of anything?

I think it can – its usefulness depends on the context in which it is used.

Do you think that Mark’s use of the term is fair?

I would have to know more about what he means.

It does affect the merits of your points since you are arguing from a position of superior sensitivity.

I don’t know what it means to be “arguing from a position of superior sensitivity”.

You are guilty of all the stuff you are chastising Michael for.

I disagree, but it doesn’t matter if I am in this context. If I say that Michael is guilty of X, whether I am also guilty of X does not affect the merits of the accusation. (It would, of course, be a handy way for a defender of Michael’s to divert attention away from the original claim.)

So either you don’t actually put stock in the merit of your own points, or your own points are contradictory.

Or you are mistaken (which is a distinct possibility, given that you still don’t seem to understand the concept of mansplaining as I have been defining it). Or I am a hypocrite (which is a distinct option, not merely evidence for one of the others you suggest).

111 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Bob up above:

“Mansplaining, as I have defined it, refers to the behaviour of men, not of women.”

Can we get that Humpty Dumpty quote again?

112 racismisbaddude February 22, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Bob @99:

Bob, do not lose heart just because no one here agrees with us and is trying to gas light us with detailed argument. We are the holders of revealed truth, the wisdom passed down by generations of feminists. We will find many places in which the fundamental writings of our cause hold no sway, but that is only because those people are not ready to let the scales fall from their eyes. Take heart that there are so many of us in government in so many countries, writing legislation to outlaw the speech that offends our known truths.

Sometimes, having people call us foolish online is the price we must pay to spread to those who are ready to receive it in their hearts.

113 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm

@Phil

You can help yourself to whatever clichés you like, and you’re welcome to offer a plausible definition of mansplaining that refers to the behaviour of women as well as men, if you can think of one.

Alternatively, you can go back to making fun of trans people and I’ll go back to ignoring you.

114 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 2:16 pm

Bob, you’ve posted an awful amount of text just to state the following:

Mansplaining means a man is explaining something to a non-man (usually, a woman. As you mansplaining to Jane, Kristine, and others. Misogynist scum! [Michael, that’s rethorical])

(Even though man, woman and associated labels are just social constructs according to your ideology.)

Can you try to be a bit more coherent?

115 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Ignore at will!

116 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:18 pm

Phil, I’ve simply been responding to the questions that were asked of my by others.

Apparently I shouldn’t do that. But I also should respond because otherwise I’m just trying to end the discussion and have no interest in defending my views. Convenient little trap, that.

117 citizen_wolf February 22, 2016 at 2:20 pm

For the love of Thor, what’s all this mansplaining baloney shite about!

How did it get from flounce to here?

I’m still waiting for a response from Aidan. He said yesterday that he’d get back to us with a response, but nothing so far. Considering he had a blow-out because MN was off doing important work, work that superseded Aidan’s petty needs (and they were petty, because his offense was based on his misunderstanding of what Cindy said), I think we need to organize a rage-blog in response to Aidan’s lack of a response.

Now if only we knew someone who’s good at that sort of thing…..

Say Aidan, you’re good at that sort of thing, so if you could give us a few pointers on how to get all angry and flouncy, that would be great.

118 Derek Walsh February 22, 2016 at 2:20 pm

tina:

If a woman can mansplain that would be misgendering her so what is correct word for a woman doing that that would be acceptable to feminists?

My understanding is that you have to find the way that the person outranks you in the privilege scale. So if you are a woman of colour, and you are being condescended to by a white person, that’s whitesplaining. If you are a transwoman being condescended to by a cis woman, that’s cissplaining. If you are disabled and being condescended to by an able-bodied person that’s ablesplaining.
Sometimes it might be hard to frame the person you disagree with as more privileged than you, but that’s only because you’re not trying hard enough. Anglosplaining, richsplaining and geeksplaining are all terms that I have not just invented.

119 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

And I’m not making fun of Trans* People, I’m making fun of the otherkin/otherwaysofknowing crowd. I’m pretty sure I clarified this in my #71 comment.

120 Derek Walsh February 22, 2016 at 2:21 pm

^
Stoopid HTML tags

121 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm

I need to Humansplain my cats now. For realz, devious little bastards!

122 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 2:24 pm

So if I have both the primary and secondary characteristics of a biological female…

And also present as an unambiguously feminine woman…

But I *identify* as a man, and then explain something in a condescending manner to someone who looks ultra masculine and produces sperm/has a penis, but identifies as a woman…then I am guilty of mansplaining…

Right?

What if two genderfluid people are condesplaining to each other, and mid-debate they both switch to the opposite genders? Is the person who was mansplaining now a victim of it and vice versa?

123 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Citizen wolf @117

Aidan purposely misread what I said because “professional victim in need of copious amounts of attention” is the only way they know how to get it.

Narcissistic supply. They needs it.

124 John K February 22, 2016 at 2:29 pm

“That isn’t entailed by my definition. Mansplaining, as I have defined it, refers to the behaviour of men, not of women. You are not acknowledging the fact that there is a difference between authoring content and presenting it.”

I know there’s a difference between authoring and presenting it.
I also know that it doesn’t change the content of the message, so it’s still the woman’s words.
Michael presenting those word verbatim and in context makes it no more him “mansplaining” any more than it does any other woman’s words here simply because it’s Michael’s site.

“I covered that in the parentheses in the first point – the man has to be explaining to a woman or someone he assumes to be a woman.”

But you have been maintaining that Mark’s accusation has merit.
Michael is not explaining anything to a woman or someone he assumes to be a woman.

Do you now believe that Mark’s accusation is wrong?

“No they don’t. Assumptions and inferences are relevant to whether a person is justified in believing that they are being mansplained to. They don’t affect whether something actually is a case of mansplaining.”

So then how do we determine whether some one is justified in making those inferences and assumptions?

Is it acceptable for people to make the accusation without good reason to make those inferences and assumptions?

“Why wouldn’t it be?”

Because you are saying that people’s relative genders define it.
If the statements/behavior/whatever cannot be determined to be mansplaining without knowing the gender of the person, then the term has little meaning or consequence.

Actual condescension is apparent in people’s statements. Sexist condescension is apparent when it’s based on sexism. The people’s gender has no bearing on anything in the discussion.

Pointing out someone’s gender like with a meaningless term like “mansplaining” does exactly nothing but stall discussion.

“There’s no “need” to give lots of things labels, but we label them anyway, because it can be helpful. If your objection to the term is just that we already have a phrase for it, that’s not a particularly strong objection.”

No my objection is that people are using as if it was a separate term that doesn’t require explanation and can dismiss someone’s points.
That’s what Mark did. It’s what the term is almost exclusively used to do.

If Mark did his drive by and just said “Michael is being condescending in a sexist manner” then it would be even more apparent how ridiculous his point is.

“Dismissing mansplaining as a useless buzzword and suggesting those who use it intend to stifle discussion looks like a pretty good way to stifle discussion.”

Again you’re the one saying that it has no baring on the content of people’s points.
If someone is being sexistly condescending, then people should point that out and explain why.
Driving by and falsely accusing people of it offers nothing.
Snarky comments offer nothing.

I’m explaining my points. Yet somehow I’m stifling discussion?

“I would have to know more about what he means.”

Why? By your definition Michael cannot be mansplaining.

“I disagree, but it doesn’t matter if I am in this context. If I say that Michael is guilty of X, whether I am also guilty of X does not affect the merits of the accusation. (It would, of course, be a handy way for a defender of Michael’s to divert attention away from the original claim.)”

Or could be that you’re arguing in bad faith perhaps?
But we’ve already discovered that you are the only one who can determine that.

“Or you are mistaken (which is a distinct possibility, given that you still don’t seem to understand the concept of mansplaining as I have been defining it). Or I am a hypocrite (which is a distinct option, not merely evidence for one of the others you suggest).”
I could be mistaken, but you have not demonstrated this. You declaring that you don’t have to discuss it does not demonstrate that I am mistaken.

I think you are a hypocrite, and this indicates that you aren’t arguing in good faith, or you don’t realise the contradictions in your position or how easily your position can be turned around.

By doing stuff like deliberately misrepresenting what Aoife did makes me think that it’s not because you just don’t realise the contradictions.

125 tina February 22, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Language policing is a notable feature of the SJW’s. There is always a tense watching: a being on the look-out for deviations to ‘call out.’ Passes for lapses can be given, up to a point, to those perceived to be ideologically pure, but only for so long. There is always pathological mistrust leading to ever stricter conformity because the risk of excommunication is perceived as too great a cost. From time to time an innocent must be sacrificed to in order to keep the faithful pure. They must become the enemy regardless of previous good works. They must become the devil, indispensable to all totalitarian movements. And you’ve gotta admit Michael would look good with horns.

126 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm

This child identifies as a boy, wants to be referred to using male pronouns, yet he chooses to dress as a girl and do girl stuff.

http://raisingmyrainbow.com/2016/02/21/the-new-gender-binary/

Which bathroom/changeroom etc should he be using?

127 Bob February 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

@john K

“I also know that it doesn’t change the content of the message, so it’s still the woman’s words.”

Mansplaining doesn’t refer to the content of the message, it refers to how and why the message is presented.

“But you have been maintaining that Mark’s accusation has merit.”

I haven’t said that it does or doesn’t have merit. I said I would need to hear more from him.

“So then how do we determine whether some one is justified in making those inferences and assumptions?”

The same way we would determine if someone is justified in making any other allegation of condescension.

“Sexist condescension is apparent when it’s based on sexism. The people’s gender has no bearing on anything in the discussion.”

If a woman condescends to you in the relevant way, it’s unlikely that she is doing so because she believes that your position as a woman makes you in need of the explanation.

“Again you’re the one saying that it has no baring on the content of people’s points.”

Because it obviously doesn’t. There is nothing in the concept of condescension that entails that a condescending explanation is less likely to be accurate than one which is not.

“If someone is being sexistly condescending, then people should point that out and explain why.
Driving by and falsely accusing people of it offers nothing.
Snarky comments offer nothing.”

The vast majority of snark comments (which I agree, offer nothing) have been made by defenders of Michael on this and related blogs. I say that not to defend Mark’s comment, but to point out that you are expending a massively disproportionate amount of criticism on it, given all of the other comments that have been made (many of which are far more insulting than anything Mark said).

“Why? By your definition Michael cannot be mansplaining.”

I answered this question already (#22).

“Or could be that you’re arguing in bad faith perhaps?
But we’ve already discovered that you are the only one who can determine that.”

An example of arguing in bad faith might be someone who misrepresents what their opponent says. Like suggesting that I have said I am the only one who can determine whether someone is arguing in bad faith, for example.

128 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Cindy @ 126

And if a man explains something to this boy who identifies as a boy but EXPRESSES himself as a girl…is it mansplaining?

What if the boy EXPRESSED himself as a boy but secretly identified as a girl, and a man explained something to HER, would it be mansplaining?

What if this boy was genderfluid and changed genders multiple times throughout the conversation?

Would the mansplainer then be in a position whereby they are alternately mansplaining and not mansplaining?

Schroedinger’s mansplainer?

129 citizen_wolf February 22, 2016 at 3:04 pm

What the hell ever happened to just explaining something? And if you do it in a condescending manner, then you’re rude.

What the hell is with this gender politics crap! How about just treating people like individuals. FFS.

My Raven mind can’t take more of this. We Ravens don’t have dimorphic sexes, so we don’t give a f*ck about gender politics. We just do our stuff.

Anyway, I’m off to look for some carrion to peck at. With a bit of luck I might find a dead sheep at the bottom of a cliff.

130 citizen_wolf February 22, 2016 at 3:05 pm

I just hope I don’t turn back into a Wolf mid-flight.

131 John K February 22, 2016 at 3:30 pm

@bob
“I haven’t said that it does or doesn’t have merit. I said I would need to hear more from him.”

Again you are arguing that he might be right even if he’s using the term differently to you?

We now have you also saying that mansplaining could be something completely different to what you define it as…

Even if Michael is not addressing a woman, nor has anything in his post that could possibly be construed as condescending to a woman or anyone else… He could still be mansplaining…

Do you agree at least by your definition that Michael was not and could not be mansplaining?

“If a woman condescends to you in the relevant way, it’s unlikely that she is doing so because she believes that your position as a woman makes you in need of the explanation.”
Nothing stopping women from condescending to anyone in a sexist way.
If that woman is sexistly condescending towards other women, is it still mansplaining? How would it be different to a man doing the same thing?

“The vast majority of snark comments (which I agree, offer nothing) have been made by defenders of Michael on this and related blogs. I say that not to defend Mark’s comment, but to point out that you are expending a massively disproportionate amount of criticism on it, given all of the other comments that have been made (many of which are far more insulting than anything Mark said).”

I’m not critising anyone’s snark. I’m pointing out the flaws in your assertion that the term has any meaning or weight beyond snark.

How did it go when you contacted FTB about their flagrant use of the word “flounce”?

“An example of arguing in bad faith might be someone who misrepresents what their opponent says. Like suggesting that I have said I am the only one who can determine whether someone is arguing in bad faith, for example.”

My apologies for being facetiously snarky.
But again, it’s something you critised Michael for doing but have no issue doing yourself.
I think you both used your common sense and came to reasonable conclusions and acted accordingly.
However you are saying that when Michael does it, he’s wrong.
You have not explained why you are justified.
You continue to misrepresent events to hold that Michael was unreasonable.

132 Tigzy February 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm

What I want to know is this: if a man mansplains to a woman identifying as a man who passed on a feminist message orginally conceived by a man who was himself accused of mansplainin even though the message found traction within female and female-identifying spaces, despite that fact that some within the feminist movement did believe it was a clear cut case of mansplainin (even though no man had actually violated a woman only safe space to do such mansplainin – which would normally not make it mansplainin, no matter that in essence, it is), does that make potato a gender?

133 Bob February 22, 2016 at 3:40 pm

“Again you are arguing that he might be right even if he’s using the term differently to you?

We now have you also saying that mansplaining could be something completely different to what you define it as…”

We have me saying that there might be a better definition than the one I’ve offered. It would be arrogant to assume otherwise.

“Do you agree at least by your definition that Michael was not and could not be mansplaining?”

Not by my definition, no.

“If that woman is sexistly condescending towards other women, is it still mansplaining? How would it be different to a man doing the same thing?”

The man wouldn’t be doing it for the same reasons. Mansplaining relies on an assumption of inequality based on differences in gender. You can’t do that if you think the person you’re talking to shares your gender.

134 Jet Lagg February 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Tina@125

Language policing is a notable feature of the SJW’s. There is always a tense watching: a being on the look-out for deviations to ‘call out.’

Let’s not forget the inevitable kafkatrapping that follows.

“That was a transphobic remark.”

“I respectfully disagree.”

“Now you are dismissing the concerns of a trans person in addition to making a transphobic remark. The evidence of transphobia keeps mounting.”

135 citizen_wolf February 22, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Bob
**We have me saying that there might be a better definition than the one I’ve offered. It would be arrogant to assume otherwise.**

Hi Bob, I tend to avoid using words that I’m not sure about. Sometimes I do misunderstand a term or word and use it inappropriately, that happens to all of us, I’m sure.

However, before getting into a lengthy back and forth on what a particular word means, I’ll make damn sure to know what I’m talking about before-hand.

136 John K February 22, 2016 at 3:51 pm

@Bob
“We have me saying that there might be a better definition than the one I’ve offered. It would be arrogant to assume otherwise.”

That’s not a reasonable assumption to make for someone who makes a very shallow drive by comment like that.
I think you realise this, since again your own posts show that you don’t apply this equally.
When Kristine starting accusing you of mansplaining, you didn’t wait for her to offer her better definition of the term before you declared she was wrong.
This was because you decided that she was not arguing on good faith.
But the guy with the drive by comments… he’s on the up and up and must have a good reason for making an accusation…

“Not by my definition, no.”

Great. So not super sure what your point is…

“The man wouldn’t be doing it for the same reasons. Mansplaining relies on an assumption of inequality based on differences in gender. You can’t do that if you think the person you’re talking to shares your gender.”

Women can have sexist opinions about women. They can believe they are inequal to men for the exact same reasons some sexist men do.
If such a woman uses that belief to explain something to a woman, then what’s the difference between that and mansplaining?

137 Cindy February 22, 2016 at 3:58 pm

If a man of color tells a white woman that she is inferior, and she replies condescendingly, is she guilty of whitesplaining?

If the MOC is a Muslim, he has way more oppression points than the privileged white woman.

138 Bob February 22, 2016 at 4:20 pm

@Citizen_wolf

There is a difference between being confident in one’s views, and being open to the possibility that one might be wrong.

“When Kristine starting accusing you of mansplaining, you didn’t wait for her to offer her better definition of the term before you declared she was wrong.”

As I’ve already said, I’m not really interested in whether you think I’m a hypocrite. I’m interested in the most plausible definition of mansplaining. Accusations of hypocrisy are not relevant to the definition I offered.

I also think it’s a little disingenuous to describe Mark’s contribution as a “drive-by” as though people who comment on blog posts are under some sort of obligation to stay to defend their views, especially given the behaviour of many of Michael’s supporters in the comments.

“Great. So not super sure what your point is…”

That Michael’s understanding of the concept of mansplaining is not plausible.

“Women can have sexist opinions about women.”

They can, but the opinion in a case of mansplaining isn’t just the assumption that the person knows less because she is a woman, but that you know more because you are a man.

139 Bob February 22, 2016 at 4:21 pm

[ The rest of that comment (138) after the first sentence is addressed to John K (136) ]

140 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

If a man quoting a woman is mansplaining what about a woman quoting a man?

After all, the woman is offering a mansplanation.

141 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 4:27 pm

I’d a man offers an explanation to a mixed audience is he mansplaining to one half while explaining to the other? At what point do his words become a mansplanation?

If he mansplains in the woods and there’s no woman to hear it is it still a mansplanation? What if one of the lumberjacks is transgendered just like his dear Papa?

142 Jeff_V February 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

Q: What do you call a male SJW floundering in the deep end of the pool?
A: Bob.

143 Bob February 22, 2016 at 4:46 pm

(It’s hard not flounder when so many people are slinging mud.)

144 John K February 22, 2016 at 4:46 pm

“As I’ve already said, I’m not really interested in whether you think I’m a hypocrite. I’m interested in the most plausible definition of mansplaining. Accusations of hypocrisy are not relevant to the definition I offered.”
It is relevant because you are offering this guy the benefit of doubt when it’s very clear that he had no intention of elaborating on his point, nor is there any plausible way in which he might be right.

However, you then dismiss other people’s definitions as definitely wrong before they can elaborate on them.

“I also think it’s a little disingenuous to describe Mark’s contribution as a “drive-by” as though people who comment on blog posts are under some sort of obligation to stay to defend their views, especially given the behaviour of many of Michael’s supporters in the comments.”

I’m open to other terms, but not sure what else you might call it.

I think it’s disingenuous to make accusations like that someone is being condescending to women or using homophobia without backing that up even if some people are being mean.

But maybe saying someone is doing a drive-by posting is a much worse thing to do…

“That Michael’s understanding of the concept of mansplaining is not plausible.”

Not seeing how his concept is less valid than yours, or Mark’s non-existant one.
Not seeing why yours is any more authoritative.

“They can, but the opinion in a case of mansplaining isn’t just the assumption that the person knows less because she is a woman, but that you know more because you are a man.”

If the sexist woman is making the point, it’s cause she thinks that men know more than women, thus is just repeating what she believes is men’s superior knowledge. That’s not different to a man thinking he knows better cause he’s a man.

Are you saying that only men can mansplain, regardless of the intent or belief of the speaker?

145 johnself February 22, 2016 at 4:46 pm

I feel bad for Michael, whatever he does from hereon out it is going to be analyses, interpreted and misrepresented endlessly.

@Bob: I get the broader concept behind “mansplaining” as you lay it out (a man condescendingly or dismissively explaining something to a woman often having to do with gender) and I think it is wrong of course. But can you explain why it is helpful to introduce such an overtly gender-based term? I mean, imagine someone made up the term “femsplaining” to mean for instance a heterosexual woman who condescendingly dismissed or explain something to a transperson or lesbian, wouldn’t you see that as problematic as it was an obviously gender-referencing slur? Wouldn’t it be much more helpful to explain to the person that she was being condescending?

146 tina February 22, 2016 at 4:52 pm

Social justice Warriors simply parrot dogma expressed by other SJW’s. Any and all critical objections to accusations of projected wrongdoing are dismissed as lies. There are only black and white positions and anyone who chooses the wrong one becomes the enemy and becomes ‘FAIR GAME’ (in Scientology parlance). One standard tactic, observable here, is to provoke disagreement so that the enemy can be identified and tagged for attack by other SJW’s. Another is to steer the conversation into multiple different directions all orchestrated and directed by them. Truth, logic, reason, critical thinking, scepticism are all abandoned in favour of SJW sacred values such as ‘FEELZ’ and ‘LIVED EXPERIENCE’ and so on, all of which negate any accountability or responsibility for any actual damage to either individuals or organisations engaging in real world social justice activism. This is of little or no importance to them. What matters is to defend the dogma of their Social Justice Religion at any cost. We call it ‘L***g for Peezus.’

147 Bob February 22, 2016 at 4:55 pm

@John K

“It is relevant because you are offering this guy the benefit of doubt when it’s very clear that he had no intention of elaborating on his point, nor is there any plausible way in which he might be right.”

Those claims are simply not relevant to whether the definition I offered of mansplaining is plausible.

“However, you then dismiss other people’s definitions as definitely wrong before they can elaborate on them.”

I haven’t done that. I argued against Michael’s understanding of the concept, and defended my understanding of the concept in response to questions from commentators. But even if I had done that, it still has no bearing on the plausibility of the definition I’m defending.

“Not seeing how his concept is less valid than yours, or Mark’s non-existant one.”

I can only refer you back to my first comment on this thread, where I explain what’s wrong with his view.

“If the sexist woman is making the point, it’s cause she thinks that men know more than women, thus is just repeating what she believes is men’s superior knowledge. That’s not different to a man thinking he knows better cause he’s a man.”

But the woman is not thinking that *she* knows better than the woman to whom she is talking, in virtue of her gender: she couldn’t, because they are both women.

“Are you saying that only men can mansplain, regardless of the intent or belief of the speaker?”

In my earlier comment (93) I said explicitly that one of the criteria for something to count as mansplaining was that “A man explains something to a woman (or someone he believes to be a woman)”. So yes, only a man can mansplain. That’s why it’s called *man*splaining.

148 tina February 22, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I don’t know what people think all the Bobsplainin is about other than to distract attention while more SJW stormstroppies are called up to the front line to inflict yet more damage on Michael’s reputation.

149 johnself February 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm

@Tina: “Another is to steer the conversation into multiple different directions all orchestrated and directed by them. ”

This is absolutely spot on. The OP with Jane Donnelly’s well-researched post on hate speech is being pushed into the background of a 100+ post discussion which tries to do what? Define a word which seems to have no relevancy for the discussion anyway?

150 Bob February 22, 2016 at 5:04 pm

@Johnself (145)

But can you explain why it is helpful to introduce such an overtly gender-based term?

How helpful it is probably depends on the context in which it is used. If it is used to describe a particular pattern of behaviour, for example, then it could be useful in that sense if that can help us better understand and respond to certain certain social interactions.

“imagine someone made up the term “femsplaining” to mean for instance a heterosexual woman who condescendingly dismissed or explain something to a transperson or lesbian, wouldn’t you see that as problematic as it was an obviously gender-referencing slur?”

I think there are already analogous terms to describe cis people or straight people who condescend to non-cis non-straight people in a similar way. I assume the opposite of mansplaining would be circumstances where a woman condescends to a man, on the unjustified assumption that, because she is a woman and he is a man, she knows better than he does about some particular topic. Given the kinds of societies we live in, it’s harder to imagine plausible examples of that (off the top of my head, perhaps an example might be a woman who assumes that because her colleague is male, he does not know as much as she does about traditionally feminine subjects)

151 johnself February 22, 2016 at 5:16 pm

@Bob: “I think there are already analogous terms to describe cis people or straight people who condescend to non-cis non-straight people in a similar way”

Okay, but I noticed you didn’t really answer my question. I agree with you that such examples are no doubt rarer to come about, but I am sure they exist. For instance imagine a white right-leaning heterosexual women who believe trans-people are sinful and so try to explain to a (male) trans-person how he really ought to live his life or behave. Would you think it was helpful and wise to introduce the term “femsplaining” to describe her behavior?

152 Shatterface February 22, 2016 at 5:17 pm

I think there are already analogous terms to describe cis people or straight people who condescend to non-cis non-straight people in a similar way. I assume the opposite of mansplaining would be circumstances where a woman condescends to a man, on the unjustified assumption that, because she is a woman and he is a man, she knows better than he does about some particular topic.

Feminism, for instance?

153 Brian February 22, 2016 at 5:27 pm

@johnself

It isn’t clear to me whether the example you describe might count as “cisplaining” rather than “femsplaining”. I don’t have any clear intuition about how helpful it would be. It isn’t obvious to me that it wouldn’t be helpful in at least some contexts.

154 johnself February 22, 2016 at 5:32 pm

@Brian: Well, thanks for your answer. I won’t try to convince you, I am just going to say that I find the term very condescending to *all* women even if just applied to a few because it (to my ears) implies there is a particular bad way to explain things *inherent* to women (compare to “condesplaining”). But thanks for your answer, if you think the term is unproblematic at least I think it is coherent for you to use the term mansplaining.

155 jimthepleb February 22, 2016 at 5:44 pm

As a thicko, I’m finding all this smartsplaining quite distressing.

156 citizen_wolf February 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm

@Jeff #142
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs in a pool?
A: Bob

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs in long grass?
A: Rustle

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs at your front door?
A: Matt

157 Bob February 22, 2016 at 5:55 pm

@johnself

I’d agree with what Brian said (153), but I would add that I agree that if the term implies something inherent to all men or women in general that it would be a reasn not to use it.

158 jimthepleb February 22, 2016 at 6:05 pm

What do you call a man with no arms and no legs who can swim the channel?
Clever Dick.

159 Steersman February 22, 2016 at 8:02 pm

Bob #83:

[Trying to get this quote function right]

“By George! I think he’s got it!” 😉

For a little extra pizzazz you might want to try using bolding and italics – “b” & “/b”, and “i” and “/i” (without the quote marks), respectively, inside the same angle brackets on either side of what you want emphasized. :-)

Changing gears, while I haven’t followed much of this mansplaining discussion, I’ll agree with you to the extent of suggesting that “the lust to dominate” is a rather problematic aspect of current discourse – and of discourse in general. A passage from a Christian pastor’s views on the issue (quite reasonable ones even if couched in relgious terminology):

Second, we need to become sensitive to the lust for domination that is part of our fallen nature. It comes out in disguised and insidious ways. We are adept at using acts of service to manipulate others and get our way. Sometimes when making a strong point in a discussion with my wife, I feel an odd thrill. It’s not the thrill of pursuing the good, true, and beautiful in partnership with someone I love. Instead it’s the thrill of winning or, to put it more accurately, it’s the thrill of her losing. I’m dominating. It feels good at home, on the job, in the Church, and in the Public Square. It’s giving in to libido dominandi and is cause for repentance. Loving truth is good; loving being right and lording it over others is sin, plain and simple.

160 Citizen Wolf February 22, 2016 at 8:56 pm

Jaysus, that guy sounds like a psychopath.

I’ll admit to getting pleasure from winning, or at getting my point across and the other person agreeing, but unless it’s someone I actively dislike, I never get a thrill from someone else losing a discussion. In general I get no pleasure from others losing at anything.

Of course, the clergy is one of those occupations that has a higher percentage of psychopaths than the general population.

161 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 9:02 pm

I’m just drivebysplaining.

162 Citizen Wolf February 22, 2016 at 9:49 pm

Is that Francodrivebysplaining? Or if you’re French and it’s said in English, is it still Francosplaining, or does it become Anglosplaining? And can it be Francosplaining if said to an Anglophone (part of the majority) or would it only be Francosplaining if said to a member of a minority language (Breton, for example).

163 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Plain and simple drivebysplaining. Language has nothing to do with it.

Je commente en passant.

Ego commentati in transitu.

164 Citizen Wolf February 22, 2016 at 10:45 pm

Ah, mais la langue est tres important. L’anglais est la langue de colonisation, n’est pas. English has dominated, replaced and rendered extinct many languages.

Surely certain persons on the radical left interested in gender politics and such-like should strive to communicate is a less repressive language. A language less tainted by the patriarchy. Surely English IS the language of the patriarchy.

165 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 10:58 pm

“Ah, mais la langue est tres important. L’anglais est la langue de colonisation, n’est pas”

Imma let me correct you here:

Ah, mais la langue est très importante. L’anglais est la langue de la colonisation, n’est ce pas?

166 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 11:01 pm

BTW, do you have a flag?

(Eddie Izzard reference. Google it)

167 Citizen Wolf February 22, 2016 at 11:33 pm

My apologies, mon Francais est terrible.

Oh, I know the reference, I don’t have to ask monsieur Google. :)

Eddie est tres drole. Regardez, le singe est dans l’arbre. hahahaha

168 Citizen Wolf February 22, 2016 at 11:35 pm

Oh, and btw, you were defintely Francosplaining to me @#165 :)

169 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 11:48 pm

Sur la branche.

Mais le chat est sur la table.

La sourie est sous la chaise.

And I now identify as the President of Burundi.

170 Phil Giordana FCD February 22, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Sorry, big Izzard fan.

171 Pete Attkins February 23, 2016 at 12:14 am

Phil Giordana, extending cogito ergo sum: I think I’m a computer, therefore I am a computer.

172 John K February 23, 2016 at 2:04 am

“Those claims are simply not relevant to whether the definition I offered of mansplaining is plausible.
I haven’t done that. I argued against Michael’s understanding of the concept, and defended my understanding of the concept in response to questions from commentators. But even if I had done that, it still has no bearing on the plausibility of the definition I’m defending.”

It shows that you are not applying your own rules equally.

You have declared your definition true and Michael’s and Kristine’s false before they have elaborated.
But you argue we should wait and see if Marks comment has validity because he might have an even better definition…

There is no reason to think he does, you are just pretending that you think he might because otherwise you might have to agree with Michael that the accusation was stupid and unfounded.

“I can only refer you back to my first comment on this thread, where I explain what’s wrong with his view.”

And I refer you to the various issues and contradictions I and others have been pointing out about your definition as well as several points you are glossing over.

“But the woman is not thinking that *she* knows better than the woman to whom she is talking, in virtue of her gender: she couldn’t, because they are both women.”

She isn’t thinking she knows better herself. She’s deferring to what “men think” ie. what she has been told to think/say.
She is making the same point a man who believes the same would be.

“In my earlier comment (93) I said explicitly that one of the criteria for something to count as mansplaining was that “A man explains something to a woman (or someone he believes to be a woman)”. So yes, only a man can mansplain. That’s why it’s called *man*splaining.”
Lol. As if the word had etymology..

You’ve also defined it as “sexistly condescending”, so it’s “a man sexistly condescending…”
The gender of the speaker doesn’t make any difference to the concept, so it doesn’t make any sense to make it a separate thing based on gender.

However if you wanting to make a term to flippantly dismiss someone’s opinion based on their gender…

173 tina February 23, 2016 at 2:06 am

Social justice Warriors simply parrot dogma expressed by other SJW’s. Any and all critical objections to accusations of projected wrongdoing are dismissed as lies. There are only black and white positions and anyone who chooses the wrong one becomes the enemy and becomes ‘FAIR GAME’ (in Scientology parlance). One standard tactic, observable here, is to provoke disagreement so that the enemy can be identified and tagged for attack by other SJW’s. Another is to steer the conversation into multiple different directions all orchestrated and directed by them. Truth, logic, reason, critical thinking, scepticism are all abandoned in favour of SJW sacred values such as ‘FEELZ’ and ‘LIVED EXPERIENCE’ and so on, all of which negate any accountability or responsibility for any actual damage to either individuals or organisations engaging in real world social justice activism. This is of little or no importance to them. What matters is to defend the dogma of their Social Justice Religion at any cost.

174 Bob February 23, 2016 at 2:27 am

@John K

“You have declared your definition true and Michael’s and Kristine’s false before they have elaborated.”

Michael set out his views in the original blog. My comments are a response to his views. Kristine has not offered an alternative definition.

“But you argue we should wait and see if Marks comment has validity because he might have an even better definition…”

That was in response to you asking me to make claims about his use of the term. But we don’t know how he’s using the term, so I can’t appraise it. I already said that his use appears to be incompatible with my definition (#87).

“And I refer you to the various issues and contradictions I and others have been pointing out about your definition as well as several points you are glossing over.”

No one has demonstrated anything contradictory in the definition I offered, and I have responded fully to all of the issues raised.

“She isn’t thinking she knows better herself.”

Then why is this hypothetical woman offering an explanation at all? The act itself presumes that you have access to some sort of epistemic advantage that the other person does not.

“She’s deferring to what “men think” ie. what she has been told to think/say. She is making the same point a man who believes the same would be.”

So she has sexist beliefs, but those sexist beliefs aren’t sufficient to explain why she thinks she knows better than the woman to whom she’s speaking. That fact is not explained by her gender – it’s explained by her belief that women should defer to men. But that belief itself is her belief, not a belief to which she is deferring.

175 Desiree aka. chill chick February 23, 2016 at 4:55 am

I’m always amazed at how much time people like Bob have on their hands to engage in argumentum ad nauseum. Let’s cut to the chase:

Suppose A is a member of the SJW tribe, and B is an outsider. Then mansplaining occurs whenever B says something that A disagrees with or just doesn’t want to hear.

I’m pretty sure this covers all cases, including the case where B is a woman. In this case, she is a chill girl and gender traitor whose internalized misogyny has robbed her of agency. It isn’t her speaking, it’s The Patriarchy speaking through her.

Also, I’m going to Hell for this, but here are my “man with no arms or legs” jokes:

Q: What do you call a man with no arms or legs, and a rabbit up his ass?

A: Hutch.

Q: What do you call a man with no arms or legs, and 20 rabbits up his ass?

A: Warren.

176 Jet Lagg February 23, 2016 at 5:09 am

I’m always amazed at how much time people like Bob have on their hands to engage in argumentum ad nauseum. Let’s cut to the chase

I’ve come to terms with the fact that a number of people will never alter their position despite being confronted with what I consider incontrovertible flaws in their logic. It’s easier to see this as a joke if you assume free will is basically an illusion, and nobody can help themselves. From that perspective the only reason to really get angry at someone is from a utility standpoint, and that is why I admire Michael and wish Aidan would recognize their complete lack of contribution and fuck off.

177 Skep tickle February 23, 2016 at 5:46 am

I’d like to commend Bob on his having maintained civility despite being under fire from multiple people simultaneously in these several threads. :)

178 Steersman February 23, 2016 at 6:09 am

Skep tickle:

Very charitable thing to say. 😉

179 Phil Giordana FCD February 23, 2016 at 7:12 am

Yeah, Bob is just Sea Lioning.

(Can we make up more words? This is fun!)

180 Nialler February 23, 2016 at 10:10 am

@Phil Gordiana, #179:

I cannot recall a more egregious example of Capuchin Monkeying than yours.

181 Phil Giordana FCD February 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

But…but I was eating surrendering cheese at the time!

182 citizen_wolf February 23, 2016 at 11:16 am

@Desiree #175
Haha, you’re off to hell alright :)

183 Phil Giordana FCD February 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

I sing like an amputee though.

Can’t hold a note, can’t carry a tune.

(H/T Bloodhound Gang)

184 Xavier Ninnis February 23, 2016 at 4:04 pm

Cindy @122
Thank you, I laughed aloud.

185 Xavier Ninnis February 23, 2016 at 5:07 pm

@ citizen_wolf
Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs in long grass?
A: Rustle
Q: What do you call him after 6 months?
A: Peat

186 Citizen Wolf February 23, 2016 at 7:29 pm

Aha, I’ll use that Pete/Peat one :)

187 Pete Attkins February 23, 2016 at 10:17 pm

Desiree #175, you’ve modified my internal dictionary. The word “warranty” I now recall as “Warren T.”: “Warren” as in your question, and the “T.” as in a “T-junction” within the warren :-)

Citizen Wolf #186, I’ve had my first name written as “Peat” several times. My reply is usually along the lines of: You’ll be correct after I’m dead, but in the meantime, I’m legally bound to use “Pete” — it isn’t my fault that my ancestors misspelt both words in my name!

188 Phil Giordana FCD February 23, 2016 at 10:54 pm

Isn’t Pete a shorthand for Peter?

189 Citizen Wolf February 23, 2016 at 11:30 pm

@Phil
Yes

And I realise I made a mistake with the ‘guy in the long grass’ joke #156

The answer should have said Russel (name), not rustle (verb). The joke should have been evident from the name (Russel).

Tsk, I guess that’s why this isn’t my day-job, and Eddie Izzard gets the big bucks. :)

190 Citizen Wolf February 23, 2016 at 11:38 pm

I see that our good friend Aidan Rowe has closed his twitter account to non-followers.

His new banner photo has a charming message.

“Fuck marriage – we want revenge”

Revenge? What does that entail? Revenge conjures up in my mind nasty actions aimed to harm people emotionally or physically.

And revenge against who? Is promoting the idea of revenge similar to hate speech? I know the target for the revenge isn’t made clear, but presumably there is a target.

191 Phil Giordana FCD February 23, 2016 at 11:45 pm

Michael, I apologize in advance if I use your blog as a platform for the following rant. Delete at will if I go too far.

Aidan (whom I foolishly respected) decided to use my posting at the Slymepit as a fallacious accusation that Michael, Ashling and even Atheist Ireland were somehow connected to the Pit. He (I’m not giving him the courtesy of preferred pronouns anymore) posted this on his Twitter stream.

He did this by posting a screen capture of my FB page’s heading (pictures of me, I’m vain like that) and my full civilian name.

Aidan somewhat feels me posting at the Pit and also here at Michael’s is an indictment against Michael, Ashling, and Atheist Ireland. It is not.

We’re just casual friends who met last year while I visited Dublin. Michael and Ashling are amazingly sweet people, and I will not say a bad word about their characters.

But you, Aidan, who so bravely blocked me from your Twitter account where you can continue your stupid vendetta unhindered, are despicable.

(that last paragraph is the part where I’m a bit over the top).

Grow up. Seriously.

[rant off]

192 Phil Giordana FCD February 23, 2016 at 11:48 pm

Citizen Wolf #190:

Oh, okay, so it wasn’t just me being singled out. My bad.

193 Pete Attkins February 24, 2016 at 12:09 am

Phil wrote: “Isn’t Pete a shorthand for Peter?” In written form: maybe, or maybe not. In verbalized form: who can possibly know if “the insult to our personage” wasn’t deliberate?

Due to the endlessly repeated misspellings of my name, I am a member of a small marginalised and oppressed group. I very much hope that the commentator “Bob” will fully support our group by writing hundreds of comments to support us. Note to Bob: being allowed to use the private spaces reserved for girls/ladies/females/women will not solve our particular problem.

194 Matt Cavanaugh February 24, 2016 at 12:44 am

Bob wrote: “The criteria I suggested are: (1) A man explains something to a woman (or someone he believes to be a woman), (2) the explanation is condescending, (3) the condescension is motivated to some degree by the fact that the man is addressing a woman (or someone he takes to be a woman). If those criteria are satisfied, it counts as mansplaining.”

How it works in practice:
1) A man makes a point to a woman;
2) The woman doesn’t like what the man says;
3) The woman has neither logic nor evidence to refute the man’s point.

If those criteria are satisfied, it counts as mansplaining.

195 Pete Attkins February 24, 2016 at 12:54 am

Matt Cavanaugh #194: Exactly!

196 Steersman February 24, 2016 at 1:15 am

Matt Cavanaugh # 194:

2) The woman doesn’t like what the man says;
….
If those criteria are satisfied, it counts as mansplaining.

No doubt that is very frequently the case. As the Bible puts it (Proverbs 17:10):

A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

And the “fool” frequently gets their knickers in a twist, flounces off, and closes all communication channels including more modern ones (nothing new under the sun). Which of course doesn’t much improve the likelihood of the fool becoming less foolish.

However, to at least give the devil his or her due, I expect there are more than a few cases of actual condescension – of “mansplaining” and “femsplaining”; I expect we all – present company excepted, of course – have some tendency to lord it over our interlocutors given the opportunity.

But a bit of a sticky wicket to decide in all cases which motivations have been the most active.

197 Pete Attkins February 24, 2016 at 1:52 am

Steersman, if I’d been born a female named Petra Attkins and the owner of this website had been born a female named Michaela Nugent then many of the accusations levelled against what we write and say would be rendered obviously null and void.

I’ve found it educational to read about the experiences of people who have experimented with their online ‘nyms and personas. This is, of course, an ongoing area of academic research. As with all research, many will be fascinated by it; but some will use it and distort it in order to promote, and try to enforce, their ideology/belief system/wishful thinking.

198 Steersman February 24, 2016 at 3:07 am

Pete Attkins #197:

I’ve found it educational to read about the experiences of people who have experimented with their online ‘nyms and personas.

If you have any links handy I’d certainly appreciate it if you could post them (TIA if you do).

But I’ve certainly seen some anecdotal evidence that suggests that such personas can have some influence – positive or negative, and not surprisingly – on our responses. Trick is, I think, to ensure that the influence isn’t “excessive”, isn’t a case of “letting the little head dictate to the big head” – literally or figuratively.

However, I think too many have a tendency to see even the most innocuous or benign manifestations of that as egregious sexism or worse. Although, as in many situations from neuroscience to actual online harassment, the frequency of the events can have a strong influence on the perception.

199 Desiree aka. chill chick February 24, 2016 at 4:04 am

I have to agree with Skep Tickle #177, Bob deserves credit for remaining civil. Though I’ve often been frustrated at the “internalized misogyny” trope, I shouldn’t have taken it on him since he didn’t bring it up. I will just say (if Bob happens to read this) that I remain unconvinced that “mansplaining” is a fair or useful term. There are plenty of rude people who talk over and down to others. Men by no means have a monopoly on this behavior. Not everything needs to be shoehorned into the “men = oppressors, women = victims” narrative.

200 Jet Lagg February 24, 2016 at 3:34 pm

Phil@191

Aidan somewhat feels me posting at the Pit and also here at Michael’s is an indictment against Michael, Ashling, and Atheist Ireland. It is not.

Ironically, this is exactly the same tactic anti-abortion activists use to smear Planned Parenthood when they point out that the founder Margaret Sanger kept company with the KKK.

Nevermind that she was speaking to them to advance her own cause, not theirs. Nevermind that she thought of them in incredibly unflattering terms. The KKK is racist, so Sanger is racist, so Planned Planned is racist.

So tell me again how Michael having a conversation with someone means he endorses all of their views. Tell me how it means he also endorses the views of everyone *that* person has had a conversation with. Go on, you freethinkers, you skeptics. Explain it to me.

201 Pete Attkins February 24, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Steersman #198, Many thanks for your reply. I don’t know where to start with supplying links because I can’t remember which websites I learnt this from. I’ve been very fortunate to learn so much from my personal interactions with some of the researchers and some of the clinicians. I’m a regular reader of Mind Hacks; BPS Research Digest — Blogging on brain and behaviour; PLOS Neuro; and several other science- and evidence-based psychology and neuroscience websites.

Having seen the vitriol aimed at Michael Nugent (and at Richard Dawkins), I shall refrain from mentioning any individual science blogger who writes informatively about the social experiments that I mentioned. Some experiments have been reported on the BBC News website by reporters who’ve gone undercover to learn more about the modus operandi of persistent Internet trolls.

In my very small way, I am perhaps a social justice warrior, but I’m most definitely not a Social Justice Warrior! SJWs attempt to undermine everything that I and others do and stand for; they make our lives more difficult, but their endless deployment of logical fallacies and Gish Gallop rhetoric serves as a wonderful opportunity to enhance our critical thinking skills.

Apologies for not properly answering your comment. Many thanks for your comments on Michael’s website, I find them most uplifting and encouraging,
Pete

202 An Ardent Skeptic February 25, 2016 at 1:09 am

@ Phil

Never sink to someone else’s level. The beauty of Michael’s approach is that, no matter what ugly accusations get flung at him, he always responds with honor and integrity. Aidan wants to be referred to as “they”, “them” or “their”. Don’t allow Aidan’s bad behavior to cause you to behave less honorably by refusing to use these designations.

203 John Greg February 25, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Michael, what word or concept have I used in the previous comment (circa 203) that requires it be under moderation? Let me know, and if I can do so without prejudicing myself, so to speak, I will change it.

Thanks.

204 Steersman February 25, 2016 at 5:50 pm

John Greg #203 (?):

FWIW, I largely agreed with your previous comment and don’t see anything that would have tripped any automatic filtering.

But, somewhat more generally and to respond directly to Ardent Skeptic, while I’m a big fan of turning the other cheek, even if I’m not always successful at doing so, I think it is unwise, to say the least, to argue that one should never respond in kind. Tit-for-tat, and “walk softly and carry a big stick” and all that.

Seems to me that more than a few transactivists have crossed the Rubicon – gone well beyond the Pale – and hardly deserve much in the way of courtesy, much less the pulling of any punches.

205 Cindy February 25, 2016 at 6:05 pm

@Steersman 204

I have seen a plentiful number of screenshots wherein transactivists have threatened to ‘bash the faces in, with a brick’, and so on, of various radfems.

In fact, gender critical transwomen have also been subjected to threats of violence from transactivists.

Of course, pointing out that transactivists are real people too and can be just as capable of engaging in bad behaviour is considered transphobic. Fancy that.

206 Ada Z February 25, 2016 at 6:34 pm

It’s odd to be reading such a long comments thread dedicated to the complexities of this newly made up word. It’s clearly a sexist term – at least by the definitions provided by Bob, above. Yet, it’s being promoted by people who are claiming to want less sexism in our society.

207 An Ardent Skeptic February 25, 2016 at 6:57 pm

@Steersman

I’m not suggesting that people pull their punches. Michael makes it very clear that he considers the behavior of some people to be highly unethical.

I am suggesting that people not resort to pettiness. Refusing to use a preferred pronoun is petty and does nothing to highlight the petty and vindictive behavior of others. There is a difference between taking a ‘no nonsense’ stance against bad behavior, and childish behavior where various parties snipe at each other. “Mommy, Aidan was mean to me. They started it, so I was just being mean back?” accomplishes nothing.

Phil admits he was on a rant because Aidan had treated Phil badly. That’s fine. We all need to blow off steam. I’m only suggesting that now that he has cooled down, he not carry through on his threat not to use Aidan’s preferred pronouns because doing so would be stooping to Aidan’s level.

208 John Greg February 25, 2016 at 7:17 pm

An Ardent Skeptic, as I implied in my “awaiting moderation” comment (circa 203), it sometimes seems to me that using these rather ridiculous, ungrammatical, inaccurate, non-specific, and sometime quite meaningless pronouns is just another form of stooping to petty nonsense.

As I say, I am on the fence on this issue, and often vacillate back and forth; I can’t make up my mind because I sometimes think that condoning, supporting, and using these skewed pronouns is unhealthy.

209 Steersman February 25, 2016 at 7:20 pm

Cindy #205:

I have seen a plentiful number of screenshots wherein transactivists have threatened to ‘bash the faces in, with a brick’, and so on, of various radfems. ….

Of course, pointing out that transactivists are real people too and can be just as capable of engaging in bad behaviour is considered transphobic. Fancy that.

Exactly right. Case in point being this story from Breitbart:

Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro has filed a report with the Los Angeles Police Department alleging battery against transgender Inside Edition reporter Zoey Tur, née Robert Albert Tur.

Shapiro filed the report Sunday morning, two days after a contentious exchange with Tur on the HLN program Dr. Drew. On a panel discussion over Bruce Jenner’s receipt of ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award, Tur grabbed Shapiro’s neck and growled, “You cut that out now, or you’ll go home in an ambulance.”

Tur a “transgender activist”? Ha! More like transgender thug.

210 Steersman February 25, 2016 at 7:44 pm

An Ardent Skeptic #207:

Refusing to use a preferred pronoun is petty and does nothing to highlight the petty and vindictive behavior of others.

I can at least sympathize with that perspective – certainly some elements of pettiness and “sniping”. However, I also think there’s an important principle in play, and that such demands are just the thin edge of the wedge. Don’t know if you looked at that Breitbart article yet, but there was this, I think, important and credible observation by Shapiro:

Tur’s threats against Shapiro followed Shapiro arguing that referring to transgender people by their preferred instead of biological sex is “mainstreaming delusion.” Of Jenner, Shapiro declared, “How he feels on the inside is irrelevant to the question of his biological self.”

“mainstreaming delusion”, indeed. But you might want to take a look at a sensible and cogent observation by Michelle in another thread of Michael’s, along with an equally cogent response by yours truly. :-) The rather important crux of Michelle’s argument:

Current rhetoric erases that, reduces women to clothing and other superficial things rather than being female being essential to being in that class. ….

Give ’em an inch and they’ll take your whole damn arm – and then “lay seige to our intellects”.

211 An Ardent Skeptic February 25, 2016 at 8:27 pm

@ John Greg and Steersman

This is a fascinating discuss. My position on people demanding the use of pronouns in non-standard ways in public forums is that it’s bullshit. Clear and concise writing is difficult enough without people insisting on adding to the confusion by demanding words be used in ways which make communication even more difficult. In a public forum where we are having discussions with each other, but also talking to those who are not directly involved in the discussion in order to convince them that what we think is a valid POV, having people demand that everyone use words with meanings that are unclear is self-centered and petty. It’s fine to ask your friends to address you using terms you prefer. It’s another matter entirely to expect everyone to adopt an unclear writing style just because you yourself have a personal preference. (And, as a dyslexic who has difficulty reading, these types of demands drive me batty. “Who’s they or them? Oh right! They and them is Aidan. ARGH!!!” is the internal dialog which is going on in my head when I’m trying to parse this shit.)

So why give in to these demands? Because it eliminates the possibility of people perceiving us as being equally petty. Then when someone like Aidan continues to behave like a self-centered two year old throwing a temper tantrum and we push back against this truly egregious behavior, we have proven ourselves willing to consider the feelings of others but unwilling to accept totally unjustified claims of mistreatment.

To bottom line my thinking… It’s a matter of choosing one’s battles.

212 Cindy February 25, 2016 at 8:28 pm

There are folks out there who have genuine dysphoria, and I for one will not deliberately misgender them, as it will cause them emotional pain. I have no problem playing along.

But, a line must be drawn. I will not accept that someone is ‘biologically female’, that the penis IS a female organ, based on *nothing* but the declaration of the individual who happens to have that organ.

Lesbians who won’t have PIV sex with intact male bodied individuals are *not* hateful transphobics.

Women who are worried about intact males accessing women’s domestic violence shelters/prisons/change rooms/bathrooms on nothing more than ‘I feel like a woman therefore I am a woman’ is also a step too far.

213 Pete Attkins February 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

John Greg, I have no idea why two of my comments went into moderation.

On the subject of personal pronouns, my response is: Keep them personal; the hint is contained within the term! I was taught to address my adult audiences: Ladies and gentlemen,… If this isn’t good enough for them, tough. Those it annoys aren’t the slightest bit interested in anything I have to say, and vice versa.

I’ve lost count of the number of times that many who insist on having their personal pronouns respected refer to, say, Richard Dawkins as Mr Dawkins. This isn’t excusable ignorance, it’s a blatant display of both contempt and double standards.

214 An Ardent Skeptic February 25, 2016 at 9:38 pm

@Cindy

Yup!

I have no problem with playing along despite the personal difficulties it causes me. However, it would be nice if those who have genuine dysphoria showed themselves to be reasonable human beings, and while stating what their preferred form of address is, cut people some slack when commenting in public forums if they don’t always get it right because it’s a non-standard word usage. It would also be nice if they showed consideration for people like me by not demanding the use of plural pronouns for single entities. We should all do our best to show consideration for the concerns of others. It goes both ways.

(And now my solution to the pronoun problem… From now on people should use “thee” thou” and “thine” when referring to someone else in comments on the internet. They’re singular, non-gendered pronouns and, therefore, less likely to cause hurt or confusion. What do thee think about using these words, Cindy? 😉 )

We give the Aidans of this world an inch, and then the Aidans takes a mile. When we do so it’s the Aidans who prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are obnoxious, self-centered, and childish with no concern for anyone else. Apparently it never occurred to Aidan that Michael is busy and has more than just Aidan’s concerns to deal with. Aidan’s mommy needed to say “Hold your horses!” far more often than she ever did. The need for immediate attention is something we’re supposed to grow out of.

215 An Ardent Skeptic February 25, 2016 at 10:17 pm

@ Pete

“Hear, ye! Hear, ye! I thank thee for attending my talk on the use of personal pronouns and the demand by some that plural pronouns be used inappropriately and inaccurately in public discourse.” :-)

216 Cindy February 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm

@Ardent Skeptic 214

“Intent is not magic” all too often, becomes “intent is meaningless”

I suspect, that this is because the folks accusing others of wrongdoing are, as has been shown on this blog, narcissistic attention seekers who demand that the entire world revolve around them. They will create something out of nothing. They profit from victimhood. It gives meaning to their empty lives. They are showered with attention and love from people who don’t put any thought into things, and who just want to appear to be super good liberals (Bob).

I have a friend who is gender fluid. Xie is biologically female, but hates it. This causes xer tremendous discomfort. Xie once had a very feminine nym, so was constantly misgendered. Xie, not being a narcsissistic brat, changed xer nym to something agender, that way, xie would no longer have to deal with the discomfort associated with being referred to as a female. Referring to this person by non-gender specific pronouns costs me nothing, so I don’t mind.

The problem, once again, arises when certain people demand that we validate their identities by putting our own health, and even lives, at risk, which is, imo, unreasonable. (FYI, there was a ‘poz’ activist who stated that it was homophobic or something to demand that HIV positive individuals disclose their condition to potential sexual partners, since the right to have sex overrides the right of the partner to know what health risks they are exposing themselves to).

FYI, there are also two types of trans persons. There are truscum – who side with the radfems. Truscum are the folks who describe themselves as tranesxual, and who have the surgery. They suffer from genuine dysphoria.

Then, there are the trans trenders. The trans trenders claim that they are well and truly trans without:

1) Ever feeling the need to transition. The penis is female.
2)Tthat they are trans with zero dysphoria. They ‘feel’ that they are the opposite sex, that their gender is mismatched with their bodies yet…

Well. What I want to know is…how is it possible to feel that gender and body don’t match whilst simultaneously claiming that there is zero sense of dysphoria (gender and body not matching). How does this work?

And how is it possible to claim to be trans, as in, transexual/gender, without changing a damn thing about yourself? It is impossible to be trans without transitioning to something. I mean, isn’t that the whole point?

217 Steersman February 25, 2016 at 10:47 pm

An Ardent Skeptic #211:

This is a fascinating [discussion].

Indeed. :-)

My position on people demanding the use of pronouns in non-standard ways in public forums is that it’s bullshit. Clear and concise writing is difficult enough without people insisting on adding to the confusion by demanding words be used in ways which make communication even more difficult.

Quite right. While there is maybe some justification for the use of “they” and “them” where it is not at all clear what sex of the person referred to is, I don’t think that’s entirely justified where it is, or is reasonably inferred. Although I suppose there might still be some justification for doing away with sexed pronouns (he, she) in general as there is maybe some consequential prejudgements that are unwarranted, even if the idea is somewhat moot. However, I also think there are, as you suggested, some justifications for retaining them, just for the purposes of clarity: much more economical, and precise or less confusing, to say “he and she were walking” rather than “Fred and Sally were walking” or “they and they were walking” or, god-forbid, “xi and xe were walking … zir dog …”

In any case, I tend to agree with both you and Cindy that, for example, using “she” to refer to a “transwoman” is not an unreasonable courtesy, at least in many cases – I don’t see why the defintion for “she” couldn’t be extended to refer to them as well, particularly since it is also, according to the definition, “used for ships and nations”. But with the provisio that it is clearly stipulated as being applicable only to a “transwoman” and not a “trans woman” as that opens the door to the rather egregious and quite problematic claim that they are in fact women.

And, apropos of which, I wonder if you’ve seen this video in which a “transwoman” argued, with maybe some justification, Stop Calling Trans Women “Male”. However, he then not only crossed the Rubicon but marched halfway to Rome with his claim that Trans women are female. In such cases, cutting them much slack doesn’t seem all that reasonable or appropriate, and seems little better than pandering to the delusional; as Hitchens suggested or argued, being offended really isn’t much of an argument.

218 John Greg February 25, 2016 at 11:04 pm

This is a repost of an earlier comment that Michael put into moderation. I’ve cleaned it up (I think), and here we go….

An Ardent Skeptic, I am sort of on the fence about your reply to Phil.

On the one hand, your point is good, that one should, as much as possible, maintain as honourable behaviour as one can, regardless of the raging roar one may be responding to.

On the other hand, this pronouns and “I identify as WTF” stuff is getting way out of hand; it has gotten to the point where we are now all expected to coddle, support, elevate, and celebrate people who appear to me to have some outright bizarre personal image issues. I don’t think such support is good or healthy for anyone.

219 John Greg February 25, 2016 at 11:07 pm

An Ardent Skeptic said:

“From now on people should use ‘thee’ ‘thou’ and ‘thine’ when referring to someone else in comments on the internet. They’re singular, non-gendered pronouns and, therefore, less likely to cause hurt or confusion.”

Well, that’s one of the most sensible, if dated, 😉 ideas yet.

220 Pete Attkins February 26, 2016 at 12:10 am

John wrote: “Well, that’s one of the most sensible, if dated, ideas yet.”

It might be dated, but the deployment of “thee”, “thou”, and “thine” will long continue to be the most non-gendered terms that will satisfy even the demands of religious fundamentalists.

Many thanks for thine comment.

221 Ada Z February 26, 2016 at 12:37 am

“They” has always had both plural and singular usage, so standard English has already got everyone covered. He, she, they is all we need.

222 Pete Attkins February 26, 2016 at 12:45 am
223 An Ardent Skeptic February 26, 2016 at 1:48 am

@ John Greg and Pete

Thee, thou, and thine are dated, but then I’m dated. I’ve gotten way too old to try to keep up with all the politically correct vocabulary getting flung around in comments all over the internet. As soon as you learn one thing, it gets changed to something else. And, more and more it gets used solely as a way of finding fault with others. These “proper vocabulary” violators are evil people who have some sort of phobia – homophobia, islamophobia, transphobia, etc. I am going to admit that I’m a vocabulariophobe. I have an aversion to all people who police the vocabulary of others looking for the most minor of ‘politically correct vocabulary’ infractions.

John, I understand your frustration and annoyance with “I identify as WTF” stuff getting way out of hand. But, I am not advising Phil to start calling Aidan “them” when he hadn’t been willing to previously. I’m suggesting that since Phil was willing to use Aidan’s preferred pronouns, he shouldn’t refuse to now out of spite because Aidan has behaved badly towards him. That’s why I advised him not to respond ‘in kind’ to Aidan. If people choose not to honor Person X’s request at all, that’s a different matter than choosing to honor Person X’s request and then deciding to no longer do so after being treated badly by X.

224 Shatterface February 26, 2016 at 2:57 am

On the other hand, this pronouns and “I identify as WTF” stuff is getting way out of hand; it has gotten to the point where we are now all expected to coddle, support, elevate, and celebrate people who appear to me to have some outright bizarre personal image issues. I don’t think such support is good or healthy for anyone.

I think it’s sensible to distinguish between genuine transgendered people who feel, for whatever reason, that they were born the wrong sex, and make-believe ‘genders’ like ‘queer shapeshifter’.

That’s brony/otherkin territory.

Nobody should be bullied, guilt-tripped, or otherwise coerced into participating in someone else’s cosplay.

225 Ada Z February 26, 2016 at 5:30 am

Pete Attkins,

As pointed out in that link, the use of “they” to refer to an individual is common and accepted English. It has been for at least 50 years. An example would be:

“There is someone at the door. I wonder what they want.”

This is absolutely standard usage for situations where you do not know the sex of a particular individual. I don’t know anyone who would use “he or she” rather than “they” in such situations, unless they are attempting to be formally accurate, such as in court or reporting a crime. So, as far as pronouns are concerned, there is no need for anything but “she”, “he” and “they”.

226 Phil Giordana FCD February 26, 2016 at 9:50 am

An Ardent Skeptic:

Respect must be earned, and mutual. Aidan has managed to show with his little game that he has no respect either for Michael and Ashling, nor myself, and all that with the goal of advancing his little agenda of smears.

I don’t owe him anything. And as Shatterface said above: I refuse to take part.

Maybe, just maybe, if he actually puts his money where his mouth is and does start the difficult journey towards transitioning, instead of wearing nylons and insisting everybody calls him “they”, then I will reconsider.

I know it sounds harsh, but there are way too many precious little snowflakes who want to be special on the web for me to give any credibility to a “shapeshifter”.

227 Pete Attkins February 26, 2016 at 11:39 am

Ada #225, That’s what I was taught decades ago. I posted the link because it seemed to confirm this, but wasn’t sure if I’d misunderstood it. Your example makes the usage of “they” very clear, and it’s easy to adapt.

I’ve been taken to task many times just for treating the word “data” as a singular, e.g., the data shows… or the data is… In formal technical writing the word is usually treated as a plural, but in everyday language this sounds as if I’m being pompous so I use the singular. Sometimes I point out that the data being discussed is actually a dataset [database term], which is obviously a singular and countable noun. It’s a shame that this type of silliness is so prevalent in the 21st Century.

228 Jet Lagg February 26, 2016 at 2:40 pm

Cindy@216

I have a friend who is gender fluid. Xie is biologically female, but hates it. This causes xer tremendous discomfort. Xie once had a very feminine nym, so was constantly misgendered. Xie, not being a narcsissistic brat, changed xer nym to something agender, that way, xie would no longer have to deal with the discomfort associated with being referred to as a female. Referring to this person by non-gender specific pronouns costs me nothing, so I don’t mind.

It would cost me something. It’s them asking me to learn a new set of words and concepts that will apply exclusively to them (and that I will have to take time to explain to everyone who hears or reads me using them). Now for a friend I’d definitely do that. But if a stranger is not just asking but demanding this of me? That’s pure narcissism. I’m going to laugh in their face.

And that they’re in a bad mental state doesn’t change a thing. Men going through a divorce have a suicide risk many times higher than the rest of the population, but society doesn’t coddle them in the slightest. People like Aidan want to use their marginalized status as a ticket to behave however they please with zero repercussions. I won’t play along.

229 Nialler February 26, 2016 at 2:50 pm

Situation:

Stade de France is hosting a major meeting for feminists. It is open only to women and there are 60,000 of them in attendance.

The event is being covered by French TV.

At one stage, a commentator announces, regarding the crowd: “Elles sont tres ….”

She breaks off as a whisper in her earpiece informs her that the little incident in the crowd was an attendee giving birth. The mother and her baby boy are doing well.

She corrects herself:

“Ils sont tres…”

230 Shatterface February 26, 2016 at 4:45 pm

As pointed out in that link, the use of “they” to refer to an individual is common and accepted English. It has been for at least 50 years. An example would be:

“There is someone at the door. I wonder what they want.”

You could use the same argument for ‘it':

‘There is someone at the door. I wonder who it is?’

231 An Ardent Skeptic February 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

@Phil

I absolutely agree that respect has to be earned. Aidan has not earned mine. But my initial comment to you (which started this discussion about the use of pronouns) has nothing to do with whether Aidan is deserving of respect or, even less, courtesy. It’s about you, and whether or not you which to be consider worthy of respect.

I know there has been plenty of talk about free speech. And, I have heard numerous times that “words don’t hurt unless you let them”. What has been missing in the discussion is how our own reputations are effected by what we choose to say. So, I say choose, Phil!

Here are your options:
1) Start using “he” “him” or “his”, or if you really want to be spiteful “it” or “its”
2) Write in a way that does not require the use of any pronouns when disagreeing with Aidan’s ideas and behavior
3) Continue to engage with Aidan as you were before by using Aidan’s preferred pronouns while strongly disagreeing with Aidan’s ideas and behavior
4) Ignoring Aidan completely

All of the above options are available to you. The ones you choose will say more about you than they do about Aidan. If you choose Option 1 after being willing to use “they” them” and “their” previously, you will look petty, childish, and spiteful.

I’ve been watching people from all sides of these various debates for years. And, through the years, based on how people have chosen to engage with others, I have made decisions about who and who isn’t worthy of my respect, courtesy, and consideration. My overall impression of you, Phil, is that you are a very caring individual with a good heart. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always come through in your writing, particularly when you’ve been personally harmed by others.

It’s when we’ve been bruised that it’s most difficult to maintain our resolve to behave with honor and integrity. Michael is one of the few I’ve seen who has consistently been able to behave with honor and integrity despite the personal pain he’s suffered. All I’m suggesting is that you choose the options which will serve to let others know that you are an honorable individual. Aidan has already done an excellent job of destroying Aidan’s own reputation by behaving like a self-centered, whiny, childish, spoilt brat. You don’t need to behave spitefully to prove what Aidan is unless you wish to lower your own reputation.

232 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:36 pm

I’ve been ninjaed on this by Pete Attkins (and Ada), but… Ada Z said:

“‘They’ has always had both plural and singular usage, so standard English has already got everyone covered. He, she, they is all we need.”

Well, yes and no. In common usage “they” (and their) is often used to refer to an individual. Nonetheless, it is, at least formally, considered grammatically incorrect to use it that way. The various thee, thy, thine, thous, et al., are somewhat easier to maintain grammatical correctness with, oddly enough.

As rude as it may seem to some people, I still prefer, for my own use, i.e., not prescriptive (Aidan? Adian?), the use of, for unknown singular or multiple unknowns, “s/h/it” (as in she/he/it), simply because it contains within it the implicit argument/criticism against the precious snowflakism of the ever-endlessly-growing list of goofball Me-Me-Me-first pronouns.

233 Pete Attkins February 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Nialler, I have vague recollections of my high school French lessons that attempted to teach me something about the difference between kitchens and bathrooms: one is masculine, the other is feminine — or something akin to this.

Hopefully, someone will enlighten us as to the politically correct application of gender to all inanimate objects — I have no wish to offend the rooms in my house by misgendering them, or god forbid, referring to them as “they”. Ships and boats were traditionally, and still are, referred to as “she” and “her”.

234 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:38 pm

Ardent said:

“John, I understand your frustration and annoyance with ‘I identify as WTF’ stuff getting way out of hand. But, I am not advising Phil to start calling Aidan ‘them’ when he hadn’t been willing to previously. I’m suggesting that since Phil was willing to use Aidan’s preferred pronouns, he shouldn’t refuse to now out of spite because Aidan has behaved badly towards him. That’s why I advised him not to respond ‘in kind’ to Aidan. If people choose not to honor Person X’s request at all, that’s a different matter than choosing to honor Person X’s request and then deciding to no longer do so after being treated badly by X.”

Excellent point. Although I still maintain some disagreement with it, you do, in my opinion, make a very good point/argument.

Ardent, I was only being playful with the “dated” comment. Also, while I am, I think, older than you, it is, for me, not my age that escalates my frsutration with the various pronouns flying around, it is my education and literacy that compels me to criticise what I consider to be the idiocy of it all.

Off Topic: Ardent, while I respect and understand your reason for leaving the Pit, I sure wish you had stayed. Your comments, insights, and outlook are always, always interesting, informative, and refreshing, even when I disagree with you. I think that you have, more than just about anyone else I can think of (online-wise), changed my opinions and thoughts about many various shibboleths that I hold/have held over time.

235 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Michael, why is my comment, circa 235, in moderation?

236 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:39 pm

Shatter said:

“I think it’s sensible to distinguish between genuine transgendered people who feel, for whatever reason, that they were born the wrong sex, and make-believe ‘genders’ like ‘queer shapeshifter’.

“That’s brony/otherkin territory.

“Nobody should be bullied, guilt-tripped, or otherwise coerced into participating in someone else’s cosplay.”

I agree with all of that.

237 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:40 pm

Phil said:

“I know it sounds harsh, but there are way too many precious little snowflakes who want to be special on the web for me to give any credibility to a ‘shapeshifter'”.

QFT!

238 Shatterface February 26, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Michael, why is my comment, circa 235, in moderation?

Did you include more than one link?

239 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Nope. No links at all.

And no use of the words (or descriptions/comments about other people) that Michael does not want us to use — at least, so far as I am aware.

240 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Maybe “i-d-i-o-c-y”?

241 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 8:54 pm

“s-h-i-b-b-o-l-e-t-h-s-“?

242 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 9:07 pm

I said:

“Also, while I am, I think, older than you, it is, for me, not my age that escalates my frsutration with the various pronouns flying around, it is my education and literacy that compels me to criticise what I consider to be the idiocy of it all.”

HAHAHAHA! I love it!

Just when I start blowing my own horn about literacy, I make a stupid typo. HAHAHA.

Obviously, “frsutration” is frustration.

243 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Michael, what have I done now?

Why are comments circa 243 and 244 in moderation? Typoes? Spelling mistakes? Eeek.

I haz confuzed!

244 Pete Attkins February 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm

John Greg wrote: “Nonetheless, it is, at least formally, considered grammatically incorrect to use it that way.”

No. Some proponents of English grammar are highly vocal about, and protective of, their opinions that it is grammatically incorrect; and they try hard to force their evidence-lacking beliefs on others. I think you will find that their stance doesn’t just lack evidence, it is actually refuted by the consensus reached by those who rely on solid evidence plus epistemic logic.

245 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm

Ah, good. Thanks, Michael.

Feel free to delete comment #244 and 245, if you wish.

246 Michael Nugent February 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm

John, I’m not sure why some of your posts are getting caught in moderation. Sometimes it’s just a glitch in the software.

247 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm

Pete Attkins, are you sure about that? Can you find any citations or quotes from texts, dictionaries, and/or other such “formal” elements that support your claim?

I know you’re quite right in terms of common usage, but I don’t think you’re right in terms of formal prescription, so to speak.

248 John Greg February 26, 2016 at 9:55 pm

Michael, maybe it’s my inherent Pittism?

:)

249 Phil Giordana FCD February 26, 2016 at 11:17 pm

Ardent:

As far as what it says about me to onlookers and lurkers, I don’t really care much if they haven’t made the effort to follow the comment threads here to get the whole picture.

I was initially very cold to Aidan’s arguments, acting rather childish (that’s in my nature as I like to try and defuse tense dialogues with humour). Then, I calmed down, apologized, and went with the preferred pronouns thing as a courtesy. Most of my posts afterwards were actually very supportive of Aidan and Aidan’s choices of pronouns (go back and check if needed). Then out of the blue, Aidan decided to use me (the guy who was showing support) through my facebook page and friends status with Ashling to publicly try and implicate some kind of collusion or secret kabbalah between Ashling, Michael and the Pit because of that friendship. All with the goal to smear them and/or lessen their reputation.

I will reconsider my position once Aidan publicly apologizes to Ashling, Michael and myself. And I mean a real apology, not the usual SJW notpology.

Is that fair enough?

250 Pete Attkins February 27, 2016 at 12:37 am

John, Please don’t think for a moment that I’m being argumentative. I really enjoyed your notion of using: thee, thy, thine, thous, et al.

I’m useless at grammar so I try very hard to delineate opinion-based and evidence-based recommendations. The link I provided is, I think, an evidence-based resource. I also think that Ada backed it using epistemically sound reasoning.

I don’t like using an appeal to authority because it is so often a logical fallacy. However, an appeal to expertise is not a logical fallacy. I shall continue to rely on well known English dictionaries because their authors and contributors come across as being the complete opposite of authoritarian — they welcome discussion, which is a core element of the scientific method.

About our comments going into moderation: I write very mild words compared to Michael and many of the commentators, so perhaps it is the length of our comments that flag them for moderation. Although I’ve found it irritating, it is very important for us to remember that it is not a human right to comment on Michael’s blog; it is a privilege that many websites no longer grant to the readers because far too many readers have abused this privilege.

251 An Ardent Skeptic February 27, 2016 at 2:00 am

@ Phil

I am not trying to dictate your behavior. And, I wouldn’t have bothered to say anything at all if I hadn’t already noticed that you do your best to be reasonable and give people the benefit of the doubt. All I’m suggesting is that you maintain your own standards of reasonable behavior and don’t allow Aidan’s bad behavior to influence yours.

252 An Ardent Skeptic February 27, 2016 at 6:05 am

@ John

I know that your “dated” classification was not intended as a negative comment about my age but I ran with it, nonetheless, because I feel old. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of puzzles while I have been sitting in waiting rooms waiting for medical appointments. One puzzle revealed a great quote when it was solved : “If you can’t laugh at yourself, others will do it for you.” I thought the quote was damned accurate. I can laugh at myself and my own idiosyncrasies so I certainly don’t mind when others do to. “Thee”, “thou” and “thine” are dated, but then so am I. Despite my age, I am more knowledgable about the culture of the 1930s and 40s than I am with the culture of my teens. That’s because I grew up in a very religiously fundamental household with parents who thought that all pop culture after 1950 was evil and, therefore, did their best to limit their children’s exposure to it. I was even expected to use “thee”, “thou”, “thy”, and “thine” when giving thanks to God. If I didn’t use Biblical sounding language when praying, my parents took it as an indication that “my heart wasn’t right with God.” Of course, my parents were foolish enough to think that the King James Version of the Bible was precisely what God actually said. It never occurred to them that God wouldn’t have spoken the King’s English.

I do think that, although you and I are about the same age, I’m older. I turned 60 last November. You haven’t hit 60 yet, have you? (Of course, with the way I was raised I don’t seem my age – it’s more like I’m in my 70s or 80s. I can sing a Gershwin tune but I don’t know the lyrics for any Beatles songs. :-) )

253 John Greg February 27, 2016 at 7:49 am

Ardent Skeptic said:

“I turned 60 last November.”

OMG, you aged cheater you!

Yes, you are quite right, I am not yet 60, but it is only about eight months or so away.

Ya know, as I said before, I miss our chit-chats. You and I have, over the last, what is it, 4 years?, had several really good back and forths. I miss those. Even when we disagreed, we still communicated, and communicated well.

Anyway, lucky you on the 60 year thing. I will not see my 60th. I plan to suicide sometime over the next, oh, two, three, or four weeks. For a variety of reasons. No, no, no, don’t offer “condolences” or “don’t do it”, or any other such intentional supportives; I am broke, and have been unable to find work for the last 15 months, and the only current future option is homelessness, as in living on the street and, having been homeless once before in 05-06, I will not do that.

Many Pit folk, bless their lovely contrary souls, provided financial support back in September, but, well, as much as I love them for that, their beautiful and beneficent actions could not light the light at the end of the chthonic tunnel.

Anyway, I guess what I am trying to get around to saying is just to repeat that I have always enjoyed our dialogue. Despite the fact that you and I disagree about many things, I have always felt you were a pal, and I have always felt we communicated well, and I have always thought you were an interesting, highly intelligent and insightful person. I am glad to have known you.

Time for tunes!

“I like New York in June, how about you
I like a Gershwin tune, how about you
I love a fireside when a storm is due
I like potato chips, moonlight
Motor trips, how about you”

254 Nialler February 27, 2016 at 11:24 am

@ Pete Attkins: La Cuisine and la salle de bain are both feminine. I tease my wife that almost all diseases are also feminine.

255 Nialler February 27, 2016 at 11:26 am

@John Greg:

I can confirm what Michael says. I have had a couple of posts marked as being in moderation without any obvious reason. The software seems slightly buggy.

256 Shatterface February 27, 2016 at 1:02 pm

I’ll start worrying about pronouns when SJWs agree that English, which is largely gender neutral, is a ‘better’ language than Hindi, Spanish, German, etc. for this reason.

257 Ada Z February 27, 2016 at 2:38 pm

You could use the same argument for ‘it':

‘There is someone at the door. I wonder who it is?’

You couldn’t make that argument, because “it” is not commonly and generally used as a pronoun – it can’t often be used to replace “he or she”, but is used in more specific and restricted circumstances, such as “A figure appears in the window. It is Mr Jones.” There are plenty of cases where it can’t be used:

“I’ve got a guest coming for dinner.” “Well, I hope they like fish.”

“Someone left heavy breathing on the answer-machine. If they think that they’re going to scare me with their silly games, they’ve got another thing coming.”

“There is someone in my garden – I think they have a gun!”

“They” is much more often used than “he or she” in English. I assume it’s the same in other variants of the language, such as US English.

258 Matt Cavanaugh February 27, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Ardent Skeptic @ 211: “My position on people demanding the use of pronouns in non-standard ways in public forums is that it’s bullshit.”

All males in the world do fine using ‘he/his’; all females, ‘she/hers’. It’s been suggested that one, third set of pronouns be adopted for anyone who doesn’t identify as male or female.

But no — SJW doctrine insists every individual is free to concoct xir own personal personal pronouns. I, for example, could decide that ‘he’ just doesn’t do me justice, and declare my preferred personal pronoun to be “Count Fleet”. And you all would be obliged to memorize that for me. Of course, if everyone has a unique pronoun, then they aren’t pronouns any longer, just nouns.

It’s lunacy, when you get down to it. SJWs submit to such lunacy as a test of their convictions, in the same way Lubavitchers touch the invisible rebbe.

For those like Aidan who demand error-free use of their personal personal pronouns, that’s just attention-seeking behavior of troubled individuals. While I agree with Ardent Skeptic that we should choose our battles, at some point the enabling has got to stop.

259 Matt Cavanaugh February 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm

“However, it would be nice if those who have genuine dysphoria showed themselves to be reasonable human beings….”

There’s plenty of those out there — flying under the radar, just trying to get on with their lives like everybody else. They unfortunately get a bad rap from the tumblristas giving daily, public exhibitions of their drama & PD symptoms.

260 An Ardent Skeptic February 27, 2016 at 7:20 pm

@ John

I’ve taken a look over at the pit to see if anyone had noticed your response to me. I see someone has. I’m not going to join the pit but I will try to keep track of the conversation at the pit about your current circumstances to see if there is anything Armchair and I can do to help.

(I also looked up the initial conversation when this issue was first discussed at the pit. It was great that so many people were willing to help.)

And, just so you’ll know…my own circumstances are a bit problematic at the moment so I have less time to spend doing internet things. If you don’t always get an immediate response from me, please don’t take it as a sign that I don’t give a damn. I’m being treated for cancer and the medications make me tired. I take lots of naps.

261 Shatterface February 27, 2016 at 7:31 pm

I’m going to stick with male pronouns but, in deference to My Special Snowflake status. insist they are capitalised. Like God.

262 John Greg February 27, 2016 at 10:00 pm

Matt C said:

“… at some point the enabling has got to stop.”

Indeed.

263 John Greg February 27, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Ardent said:

“It was great that so many people were willing to help.”

Indeed it was. Those lovely wonderful folks gave me 5-6 months of continued existence. Grand and beautiful people they are, despite the spurious reputation.

“If you don’t always get an immediate response from me, please don’t take it as a sign that I don’t give a damn.”

I would never think that about you. I am too familiar with your ways … so to speak.

“I’m being treated for cancer and the medications make me tired. I take lots of naps.”

My deepest and sincerest condolences. I hope you get well.

264 John Greg February 27, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Michael, dear chap, I am trapped in your trap, again.

265 Pete Attkins February 28, 2016 at 2:49 am

John, you asked if I could provide some citations or quotes to support my claim in comment #244. I hope my usage of blockquote tags works…

1. The British Council (the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities), Topic: Pronouns – personal pronouns (I, me, you etc).

We use he/him to refer to men, and she/her to refer to women. When we are not sure if we are talking about a man or a woman we use they/them.

Talk to a friend. Ask them [object pronoun] to help you.
You could go to a doctor. They [subject pronoun] might help you.

2. Cambridge Dictionaries Online, Topic: Sexist language.

We can use they, them, their and theirs to refer to both sexes at the same time, even when a singular noun has been used, *although some people consider this unacceptable*. However, in present-day English, this usage is becoming more accepted [my emphasis]

3. Oxford Dictionaries.
http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/06/he-or-she-versus-they/

266 John Greg February 28, 2016 at 3:59 am

Pete, excellent. Thanks so much for that. I’m a’gonna peruse.

Cheers.

267 Jet Lagg February 28, 2016 at 7:04 pm

Matt@259

There’s plenty of those out there — flying under the radar, just trying to get on with their lives like everybody else. They unfortunately get a bad rap from the tumblristas giving daily, public exhibitions of their drama & PD symptoms.

Therein lies the rub. By definition, the reasonable ones must be silent, because the entire point is they want to be regarded as the gender of their choice. Men with dysphoria don’t want to be trans women. They want to be women. They’re trying to pass, and screaming about your trans status is a guaranteed way to fail to meet that goal.

So, all we see are people like Aidan, which in turn sets the trans community back. To reiterate, in case anyone needed another reason to think lowly of Aidan, he’s actively sabotaging a marginalized group.

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