General Politics Thread

ayase

State Alchemist
I sometimes feel the ones who often make this issue actually political and blow it up are the ones who feign genuine concern over sporting fairness and rather use this (legitimate but, in my opinion, pretty small) issue to delegitimate transgender rights and people in general. I find the tone of some of these pieces give away the intentions of the author pretty easily.
I definitely agree with that, but at the same time I also think it’s possible to identify when people are NOT having a go at any particular group and are actually attempting to raise reasonable points and questions, only for their arguments to be shut down by people wrongly claiming that they are just being whatever-ist or whoever-phobic. This doesn’t foster any kind of solidarity or create any dialogue, at best it just makes people stay silent for fear of being labelled bigots (sometimes for fear of losing their jobs, or their friends) and at worst it actually pushes them further towards those kinds of extreme views by making them feel their valid opinions are being misinterpreted and ignored.

As for Dawkins, I’m not sure quite what he’s thinking there (and to be honest he has lost me more in recent years as he’s moved further away from the message of “people can be good without religion” towards “religion is always bad for people” even towards religious people who keep it to themselves and aren’t doing anyone any harm) and he could definitely have phrased that better, but I do think it’s really important that mental health and exploring WHY people feel the way they do are the first points of call for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable in their own skin, for whatever reason. Is there, perhaps (I say, knowing full well this could be construed as a transphobic argument, but it absolutely is not intended as such) an argument for saying that it’s better to help people feel like they are okay being who they are, that it’s fine for someone to live their life as whatever gender they like, wear whatever they like, use whatever pronouns they like but at the same time accept that they can never biologically become the opposite sex, and that no amount of drugs or surgery will ever change that? I don’t intend that as a hateful or hurtful thing to say, I just look at it from my own point of view and think: I’m short and I’m losing my hair. Those things make me a bit insecure but I think the healthiest thing for me to do about that is accept those facts about myself and become comfortable with the reality of my biology rather than take drugs or get a hair transplant (I couldn’t afford one anyway) and wear platform shoes. Perhaps a lot of people would disagree and say I should do whatever I like to make myself more comfortable about my appearance, and if the NHS was to start offering free hair transplants who knows, perhaps I would. The influence of big pharma on how people are encouraged to believe drugs are the answer to all their problems should perhaps wait for another time, but I do think it has a massive impact on how people, including but not limited to transgender people, are treated, and therefore societal attitudes as well. People trust doctors and medical science. Perhaps they shouldn’t, necessarily.

I think things like fourth wave feminism and BLM and Trans rights movements ect have had tangible positive effects and these kinds of "identity politics" if that's what they are, are actually crucial in my opinion. What is also crucial, that is perhaps sometimes lacking, is the will and energy to find ways of bringing about unity and solidarity.
Once again Vash, I don’t really disagree. I think any movement to lift disadvantaged people UP is generally a positive thing, it’s the putting DOWN and silencing of other disadvantaged people and the splintering of those groups into ever smaller, pettier and more ineffectual ones that irks me so much. White people living in poverty or men who feel marginalised and ignored don’t like being told they have it good by non-white people or women, this creates division not solidarity and, as I mentioned above, I think works to drive a lot of those white people and men who SHOULD be the natural ally of the downtrodden into the arms of actual racists and misogynists. And that’s just horribly sad and negative for everyone. As is the destruction by the genuinely privileged (those with wealth and power) of the sort of people who DO try and bring people together in solidarity, like Jeremy Corbyn. That, I’m sure we can agree on.
 
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Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
My views.

Bathrooms? The policing of this is ridiculous. I have used unisex bathrooms and survived the experience. I can understand that some people might have very specific needs requiring absolute privacy (e.g. abuse victims) but making victims out of other people is not the solution; they should be allowed to access the private, lockable disabled toilets (which should be far more abundant). The complaints conflate sex, gender, orientation and danger in a very unpleasant way and hurt cis women who don't look classically feminine enough as much as they hurt trans women. I don't like the idea of people judging 'how female' or 'how male' a person has to be to gatekeep toilets from their less feminine/masculine friends, which ridiculously actually happens in the real world now, just because people are more scared of trans women with no interest in other women than they are of actual molesters who happen to share their gender. Why don't we have criminal record checks before we're allowed to use public toilets if it's purely a safety issue? It ticks me off.

(On a similar subject, passports? All of this debate over whether to allow exceptions to the male/female designation yet people don't just remove the sex field entirely? It seems utterly superfluous. They have access to my birth details, picture, name, retina data and fingerprints; what exactly does my physical sex add to anything? I can see an argument for it being unnecessary personal data which has to be expunged under GDPR...)

Safe spaces for groups who face discrimination only seem to be a problem now that minorities are seeking them, while male-only social/entertainment spaces have been championed for generations with very little time for people who point out how awful they are. I don't care for them personally but if someone wants to have a productive debate about a sensitive topic without the #NotAllMen or #AllLivesMatter brigades charging in on purpose to derail it, which seems to be how 99% of these conversations end up online, I can see why people would want some space to breathe. I also don't really see the value in allowing physically female people to attend a meeting about checking for a male-only health issue (for example) though if someone really wants to go it seems polite to discuss it in a civilised way with the organisers (civil discourse seems to be a dying tactic). At which point it really becomes about the right for individuals to decide who can or cannot attend their private functions, which seems reasonable since I don't really want random strangers dropping in to (say) my D&D sessions either even if I do post about them online. Maybe more people will be fine with opening up once we stop drawing divisive lines between the sexes for no reason in other respects, and the need for safe spaces will vanish.

Sports: I cannot fathom why sports are divided by sex and not by measurable physical characteristics (i.e. testosterone levels/muscle mass/whatever is relevant in any given sport). Again, this is a situation where I feel that sticking to a traditional model for separating the two sides by sex alone makes no sense to me. There will always be women who have 'unfair' natural talents and men who have a similar natural advantage, so let the big folks (of any gender) compete together and the slower/weaker/smaller ones compete in a separate league. I'm sure that fair boundaries must be possible to figure out. Even setting trans people aside, we have the problem of intersex people and those who are cis women gifted with unusually high levels of performance-enhancing biology. Caster Semenya had her integrity and achievements called into question through no fault of her own simply because she was naturally blessed with 'unfeminine' levels of testosterone, forcing her to come close to losing her career and having tens of thousands of strangers questioning her credentials as a cis woman. If the rules mean that cis women are persecuted for being women too under rules specifically designed to protect women then they clearly make no sense, and dropping the sex requirement allows trans men/women to compete at the level that matches their actual physical limitations rather than humiliating them with constant questions about their transition status. They already have something similar with the paralympics, I believe, and it seems sensible to grade people based on their prowess rather than what they've got in their pants?

Ultimately, I agree that in an ideal world, trans folks wouldn't feel dysphoria in the first place because they could self-identify without question and present whichever characteristics they want. Like how coming out shouldn't matter in a world where everyone sensibly respects people's sexual preferences, except it does because so many people still don't. A person's birth sex really shouldn't matter to anyone but the person themselves unless they have a sex-specific medical problem and choose to seek help, but it does and our society (even down to our language) loves to divide people into little pigeon holes and force people to share these personal things. Until society changes in a major way, I don't think gender politics can go away. I've experienced so much gender-related ridiculousness in my life that I think the status quo is irredeemably broken in every way, and the ones who can fix it aren't the people who are directly suffering from its flaws.

R
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
As for Dawkins, I’m not sure quite what he’s thinking there (and to be honest he has lost me more in recent years as he’s moved further away from the message of “people can be good without religion” towards “religion is always bad for people” even towards religious people who keep it to themselves and aren’t doing anyone any harm) and he could definitely have phrased that better, but I do think it’s really important that mental health and exploring WHY people feel the way they do are the first points of call for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable in their own skin, for whatever reason. Is there, perhaps (I say, knowing full well this could be construed as a transphobic argument, but it absolutely is not intended as such) an argument for saying that it’s better to help people feel like they are okay being who they are, that it’s fine for someone to live their life as whatever gender they like, wear whatever they like, use whatever pronouns they like but at the same time accept that they can never biologically become the opposite sex, and that no amount of drugs or surgery will ever change that? I don’t intend that as a hateful or hurtful thing to say, I just look at it from my own point of view and think: I’m short and I’m losing my hair. Those things make me a bit insecure but I think the healthiest thing for me to do about that is accept those facts about myself and become comfortable with the reality of my biology rather than take drugs or get a hair transplant (I couldn’t afford one anyway) and wear platform shoes. Perhaps a lot of people would disagree and say I should do whatever I like to make myself more comfortable about my appearance, and if the NHS was to start offering free hair transplants who knows, perhaps I would. The influence of big pharma on how people are encouraged to believe drugs are the answer to all their problems should perhaps wait for another time, but I do think it has a massive impact on how people, including but not limited to transgender people, are treated, and therefore societal attitudes as well. People trust doctors and medical science. Perhaps they shouldn’t, necessarily.

I find this a hard thing to answer really, especially as I'm not really knowledgeable about the science/psychology and trans issues beyond the relatively light reading here and there I've done and people I've spoken to. The other day this actually somehow came up in conversation with my close friend and he basically argued something similar to what you wrote, only he was more completely convinced of it perhaps, that any kind of surgery related to sex change is mistaken and acceptance of our natural bodies is what we should be encouraging. I mean I think all I can say to that is if possible being able to reconcile ones inner landscape with ones outer is good, and I would say people placing less value on the outer form in general is good (basically the argument my friend was making, and I understand where he's coming from. I've experienced body dysmorphia in my past and learned to deal with it by believing in the comparative unimportance of the outer versus the inner). But for many people with gender dysphoria that doesn't seem to always be possible, it's such a deep feeling, and of course even if I believe our bodies and sex shouldn't matter, as Rui said, we live in societies where sex and the appearance of it is such a major part of life. So I think the problem is less people needing to accept their bodies, and rather society needing to change majorly first so that it's more possible. Until then I would support anything that helps people find some peace and happiness in life.
Once again Vash, I don’t really disagree. I think any movement to lift disadvantaged people UP is generally a positive thing, it’s the putting DOWN and silencing of other disadvantaged people and the splintering of those groups into ever smaller, pettier and more ineffectual ones that irks me so much. White people living in poverty or men who feel marginalised and ignored don’t like being told they have it good by non-white people or women, this creates division not solidarity and, as I mentioned above, I think works to drive a lot of those white people and men who SHOULD be the natural ally of the downtrodden into the arms of actual racists and misogynists. And that’s just horribly sad and negative for everyone. As is the destruction by the genuinely privileged (those with wealth and power) of the sort of people who DO try and bring people together in solidarity, like Jeremy Corbyn. That, I’m sure we can agree on.

I agree that more work does need to be done to unite all the currently divided groups of downtrodden people, but the problem in my opinion isn't movements of people who do want to have specific issues of gender and race or whatever addressed and fixed. I imagine I would agree with you in that I think wealth is often the biggest factor when it comes to discrimination and quality of life, but those other issues of race and gender are very real and they all intersect. It all needs to be discussed and dealt with, and absolutely it should be done with the aim to unite people and bring working class white men onboard rather than push them away, but identity politics can not be ignored or side lined and people should not fear discussing these things and fighting for them. That's exactly what Corbyn tried to do. And even though he failed, I think there has to be a way for solidarity to be found. But we can't give up speaking up on these issues, surely.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
People might question why I like talking politics here, but this is why. Genuine, interesting, reasonable responses that facilitate dialogue rather than stifling it.

@Rui I would first like to say that I agree that the “fear of sexual predators” argument for segregated bathrooms is alarmist nonsense. If people genuinely believed that, wouldn't parents also be terrified of their male children using mens' public bathrooms, and be demanding separate toilets for children? That said, I'd feel as much of a prick expecting people whose beliefs include modesty around people of a different sex or gender to have to take a dump in their presence as I would demanding they all rip off their modest garments and have to walk around in skimpy clothing. Not that I would complain if they did, but that should be entirely their choice.

@Vashdaman I don't really want to get too deep into the issue of gender reassignment surgery or drugs and I semi-regret even bringing it up, because despite having my own personal beliefs on the matter those aren't decisions that will really affect me and are for the individuals concerned to take (as I believe anything concerning people's own bodies should be, whether it's getting a tattoo or a covid vaccine or an abortion). I am absolutely in favour of trans people (and all people) being or doing whatever they want (within reason, as long as it's not harming other people) but the the real core of my argument here is whether anyone has the right to acceptance in groups or spaces which were not necessarily set up or intended for them.

I might not care all that much about these things for myself, but nor do I expect other people to be a-okay with doing things my socially libertarian way. My belief in freedom of association and that no-one should be forced into the company of anyone else leads me to conclude that actually, yes, it probably is okay for both individuals and groups to exclude anyone they like for any reason. The opposite would also be fair, that no-one should be excluded for any reason, but as @Rui mentions it's not particularly enjoyable when people come into a group and (either intentionally or not) ruin it for the people already there. So as discriminatory as it might feel, I think I'm comfortable with the existence of groups that exclude other races, genders or biological sexes if that's what the people in them want. One of the major things that confuses me here is that I've never really understood why anyone would want to be in a group that didn't want them; I don't see refugees or Muslims lining up to join the BNP or the EDL (although weirdly, you do get people still wanting to be part of religions that believe they're going to Hell for a multitude of sins. Masochists, perhaps?). That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t also be accepting groups that welcome everyone. It’s probably also worth adding that I agree that sex has zero relevance on identity documents, I don’t have my passport to hand but I’m fairly confident they don’t even include height, which is surely a far more obvious proof of identity to customs officials than genitals. Not that I particularly agree with the existence of passports or customs officials either.

@Rui your stance on segregation in sport is totally fair and understandable, as long as anyone who takes that stance is okay with the majority of current top-tier female athletes being relegated to second-tier events while the top-tier is dominated by male athletes. If we were to accept that and strive for total, merit based egalitarianism, probably there should be no more complaining about men (or women, or people of any particular race or ethnicity) dominating the upper echelons of other fields either. I certainly don’t believe men are better than women, but they are different to women and I think that is bound to lead, as it already has, to certain roles in society having gender imbalances.

On that topic, I do find society’s current obsession with trying to convince/pressure women and girls into areas very few of them are interested in just to redress those gender imbalances totally bizarre (and very “middle-class problems”* given that I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone complaining that say, manual labouring is male dominated. Where’s the push to get more women into factories? I guess that’s not aspirational enough, no-one wants to be like those working class men). In my opinion every individual should be pursuing what they want out of life, rather than being told what they should want or aspire to by other people (whether that’s parents, teachers, doctors, pressure groups or the government). This doesn’t just go for women, or any particular group, I know I would probably be far happier being a stay at home father to imaginary children (who I will never have, due to my personal belief that inflicting this society on anyone else is an act of cruelty. Apologies to any parents reading, you might not have spent as much time considering this as I have, or perhaps you even think life in our society is a positive experience to gift to other humans, in which case you and your children have my sympathies) than I ever will be going to work. But once again that’s not aspirational enough; you should want to feed the capitalist machine and work yourself to death for someone else's benefit, screw parenting. Give your child a smartphone and leave their childhood development to YouTube e-celebs, who will leave them with a sense of inadequacy for not being mega rich for sitting at a webcam all day.

That went off at a bit of a tangent. My apologies, I guess I’m just even more miserable and p*ssed off at society than normal today.

*Really, I suppose I believe any inequality which is not economic is a middle-class problem. I’ve been accused of class reductionism before and I think it’s about time I started wearing that label with pride, honestly. I do think wealth is the only real privilege; when people have economic power, be they black, white, straight, gay, male, female, cis, trans, there’s very little stopping them from doing whatever they like. And the real problem is that wealth is massively concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite who then use the power of money to get everyone else to blame each other for their problems so they never band together and turn on them. I won't have much to say in favour of identity politics until groups campaigning for social justice acknowledge that a poor, straight, white, cis man is actually worse off than a rich, gay, black, trans woman. Not that they're entirely to blame for that, because I think with very few exceptions they're being manipulated by the people at the top via the media specifically to focus on divisive, trivial matters. If we increased the minimum wage, cracked down on employers exploiting immigrants, stopped outsourcing jobs overseas to exploit even poorer people, stopped wealthy people and corporations off-shoring their profits and secured a reasonable UBI, everyone could be happy forever. But no, let's quibble over language use and historical monuments and representation in consumer media and ignore all of that.
 

RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
Sorry, I haven't contributed to this thread in a while, but I just wanna say everyone's posts here of late are really interesting to read. I agree with some of what you said a lot @ayase but I guess my own experiences make me view things somewhat differently... like I'm desperately trying not to make the politics thread "all about me" but I've been mentally ill all my life with severe, persistent sexual shame issues that make me think I should have my genitals mutilated for doing, well, anything sexual that I enjoy, really, whether solo or with partners and I ended up in a number of sexual and romantic relationships that were full of unhappiness and involved my male partners being selfish in bed and otherwise ****** to me (neglectful, dismissive) generally I was made to feel like a rapist (something I'm already really afraid of somehow becoming) if I was unhappy with this persistent unfairness because it would be "wrong" to make them feel any "pressure" to do anything they didn't want to do so that made it ok for them to manipulatively take advantage of my feelings of guilt and shame to just take and take and take. I felt like my soul was slowly dying for the overwhelming majority of my life between that and my persistent depression and all the bullying and generally crappy treatment I experienced as a child because of prejudices about my ADHD and autism that just really crushed me and I'm still trying to convince myself that I'm not a bad person who doesn't deserve to be happy, or whole, or exist. I'm not dirt poor at the moment cuz my benefit payments thankfully increased after some uncertain difficult months while they were reevaluating them last year (I emphasise that I was lucky there, a lot of disabled people have just been left to die in poverty by the current UK government). I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't know where these issues fall into a class reductionist analysis but they are real issues that I have to deal with every day, I keep thinking I'm too fortunate financially to matter at all even though I'm not rich I just feel like I don't deserve my rented apartment containing anime blu-ray CEs and nice Arteza art supplies. I'm honestly sorry that you don't feel like you can be a dad even though you want to be (which reminds me I still wanna explain why my opinion on smacking kids as a punishment is what it is). This is making me think of someone I know, now by all accounts he's been ****** to his ex-girlfriend and I believe that that is the case like I don't think he's a very good guy but I do also know that one time, well... she broke both his legs... and I'm like "OK so like that's really terrible did she even go to jail for that or anything?" Cuz that would ruin my entire life forever if someone did that to me I'd probably never physically recover. (re: your point about how some poor white cis men have it worse than some people who are not any of those things but are rich). I also keep thinking back to loads of things people have said about fat people online and thinking "wow maybe I really am worthless because of that and any positive opinion I have of myself is just a hopeless delusion". I think you're right that some ID politics stuff is ridiculously petty and divisive but I don't think it's entirely that simple. I feel like I must sound really uneducated when I post here but I do know about what's actually happening in the world it's just there's so much going on in my brain that it's very dominant and I can't really escape it. I am actually a high school dropout cuz I couldn't handle the stress of the bullying at my school or the increasing academic pressure, and I feel ashamed and almost like some sort of fraud for that too sometimes. I feel kinda bad about posting this here but I also firmly believe the personal is political. I also want to post some thoughts on trans stuff as a cis person who knows a lot of trans people I should probably weigh-in maybe? And about other things people have talked about. Again sorry this is so personal for a politics thread. FWIW I agree with your class politics goals like UBI and stopping offshore wealth squirrelling and whatnot.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I feel kinda bad about posting this here but I also firmly believe the personal is political.
I get what you’re saying, and perhaps it’s worth starting another thread for this kind of thing. People have shared plenty of personal stories in the general conversation thread over the years but it’s not really specific to more serious personal thoughts and feelings. Personally I’d be happy to share and discuss that kind of thing as I’m pretty much an open book as far as such things are concerned (though I’m less comfortable sharing anything that involves other people I know in real life, at least not in detail, out of respect for them) but I think it would be wrong of me not to also say that if you do feel like these thoughts and feelings are having a constant, daily impact on your life then it might be worth looking into some more personal mental health support.

I know you have said that you had reservations and/or bad experiences with that in the past, but there are people who are genuinely willing to help. I have used that support, I sometimes still do and probably always will. And while it’s not entirely on topic, I wanted to post this here rather than PM’ing because I do think it’s important there shouldn’t be shame attached to having mental heath needs and it is something people should talk about.
 

RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
Well, at least Derek Chauvin is actually gonna be held accountable for murdering George Floyd. He was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. TBH I think he should have received a life sentence, but at least it wasn't just a slap on the wrist.
 
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ayase

State Alchemist
Well, at least Derek Chauvin is actually gonna be held accountable for murdering George Floyd. He was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. TBH I think he should have received a life sentence, but at least it wasn't just a slap on the wrist.
It’s always satisfying to see anyone who abuse their power held to account, it’s just a shame it took so much pressure to deliver what ultimately is a single sacrificial offering from an utterly rotten system.

Talking of abuses of power not being held to account, Boris forgives Han (in the public purse) cock (in the aide). Of course he does. It’s nothing he wouldn’t have (and hasn’t already) done. Remember Jennifer Arcuri? If there’s anything that defines this government it’s gifting jobs and government contracts to their chums. It’s just a shame the British people are so utterly disillusioned nothing will change, just as it hasn’t for (hundreds of) years. So where’s the opposition, who are meant to hold them to account on our behalf? Busy losing Batley & Spen for taking the electorate for granted. That sounds familiar. The white working class clearly don’t have a monopoly on feeling ignored and unrepresented by the Labour Party.
 

thedoctor2016

Mushi-shi
I have a weird feeling because left want Batley and Spen to be lost (like Dawn Butler planning a leadership bid) it will 2017 all over again and we will somehow win. I do expect us to lose but it would be funny if we didn’t as it was funny all the right people had to pack up their leadership bids because Labour is in a time warp it’s 2016/17 all over again but now the left vs the power not the other way round.
Keir is not gonna win 2023/4 I know that and if the Tories get a Blair beating majority I’d be packing my bags. But I have a feeling in 2029 Labour could win turn of a new decade maybe with Andy Burnham or someone else from “left behind” areas as leader.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I don’t really care who wins Batley & Spen. Labour moderates might as well be Tories (they were all the time Blair was in office: privatisation, war, cronyism, kowtowing to the right-wing press) so it’s not like it makes much of a difference. Probably the most hilarious (though unlikely) result would be Galloway actually winning. I agree with a lot of what he claims to believe in, but he is also an opportunist, a hypocrite and an egomaniac. Though even given those flaws, I’d still vote for him over 95% of the current inhabitants of the HoC...
 

RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
It’s always satisfying to see anyone who abuse their power held to account, it’s just a shame it took so much pressure to deliver what ultimately is a single sacrificial offering from an utterly rotten system.

Yeah, I agree. My heart breaks every time I think of kids like Tamir Rice :(
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Favourite stories of the day:

Top (ex) cop to peons desiring privacy: “If Facebook Messenger implements end-to-end encryption, using it will run the risk of turning you into a paedo”

In lesser publicised news, using Telegram can also potentially turn you gay and using Viber can give you a MILF fetish. Thanks for more or less confirming what everyone always suspected though Simon, that Zuck & Co. are currently willing participants in the public-private partnership to make Nineteen Eighty-Four real. Interesting how, in the age of “anti-terror” surveillance laws that give the security services the right to access all your communications and the friendly NHS branded “track and trace” app that logs your every move for us plebs, MPs seem more up in arms about the fact Matt Hancock was recorded on camera than they do about his conduct. Petition to make MPs wear body cams at all times when? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, right?

——-

In lighter news, The i makes the shocking discovery that Love Island is a vapid programme concerned primarily with idealised physical appearances.

Not content with dropping this bombshell, their reporter goes on to explain how racist it is that the white contestants didn’t pick the black contestants, before claiming “There is countless literature on why racial preferences are ultimately racist”. Which can only lead me to presume, had any of the white contestants registered a preference for a black contestant* in place of this article would be one about how those people were racist for fetishising black people. Or perhaps one about how a black person picking a white person was proof of internalised racism. A black contestant picking another black contestant would presumably have short-circuited their brains.

Good to know that anyone who is physically attracted to any one person more than any other (i.e. everyone) is a racist. Welcome to 2021, where the goal of eliminating prejudice is defined as literally impossible by people who claim to want to eliminate prejudice.

*Which, based on nothing but appearances, I totally would have done. Easy first choice, and after reading her frank quote in the article I’m only more convinced it would have been the correct one.
 
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RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
Favourite stories of the day:

Top (ex) cop to peons desiring privacy: “If Facebook Messenger implements end-to-end encryption, using it will run the risk of turning you into a paedo”

In lesser publicised news, using Telegram can also potentially turn you gay and using Viber can give you a MILF fetish. Thanks for more or less confirming what everyone always suspected though Simon, that Zuck & Co. are currently willing participants in the public-private partnership to make Nineteen Eighty-Four real. Interesting how, in the age of “anti-terror” surveillance laws that give the security services the right to access all your communications and the friendly NHS branded “track and trace” app that logs your every move for us plebs, MPs seem more up in arms about the fact Matt Hancock was recorded on camera than they do about his conduct. Petition to make MPs wear body cams at all times when? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, right?

——-

In lighter news, The i makes the shocking discovery that Love Island is a vapid programme concerned primarily with idealised physical appearances.

Not content with dropping this bombshell, their reporter goes on to explain how racist it is that the white contestants didn’t pick the black contestants, before claiming “There is countless literature on why racial preferences are ultimately racist”. Which can only lead me to presume, had any of the white contestants registered a preference for a black contestant* in place of this article would be one about how those people were racist for fetishising black people. Or perhaps one about how a black person picking a white person was proof of internalised racism. A black contestant picking another black contestant would presumably have short-circuited their brains.

Good to know that anyone who is physically attracted to any one person more than any other (i.e. everyone) is a racist. Welcome to 2021, where the goal of eliminating prejudice is defined as literally impossible by people who claim to want to eliminate prejudice.

*Which, based on nothing but appearances, I totally would have done. Easy first choice, and after reading her frank quote in the article I’m only more convinced it would have been the correct one.

Hey kids, spying is fun! (that's a reference to that "spelling" line from Taylor Swift's Me!)

I could rant for days about people who think that they have the right to condemn people for having sexual attraction preference about stuff like that. Like... I can't help what my lower regions find appealing? Sorry y'all lol. Speaking as a fat woman I don't expect everyone to find me attractive, though I do expect society not to act like no one finds fat people attractive, or we're lying if we get raped cuz no one would do that to an "ugly" chick/we should be grateful. Ironically a big factor in the not-really-consensual things that happened to me was feeling like I wasn't allowed to say no because I didn't find the man in question physically attractive, and it honestly really bugs me that I'm seeing the same reasoning coming from some of the people who are supposed to be focused on opposing racism, transphobia, fatphobia, and ableism, that I'd see coming from an INCEL. If I'm gonna be completely frank I like (as in, find sexually attractive, not as in that's the only type of guy I'll be friends with) thin men who are relatively well endowed, a bit younger than me and with relatively conventionally handsome faces. I have tried, at the behest of lots of people who didn't feel comfortable with what I like, and in some cases at the cost of considerable personal trauma, to like other types of men... turns out I just feel nothing apart from deep discomfort in those situations! Also, as a person with P-OCD I'm deeply disturbed by people acting like being interested in men who are younger up to a point, but still legal adults, makes one a pedo apparently. Like... no. No it doesn't. I think horseshoe theory kinda applies here in a way where it's like a kind of woke edgelord thing now to accuse anyone who's sexual preferences you don't quite approve of, of being a bigot or no better than a child molester. I also see a lot of naive people supporting all this digital police state stuff cuz apparently it will prevent paedophilia and it's like... I mean technically you could crack down on certain types of abuse by putting cameras in every home containing a family but that doesn't make it a good idea, nor stop it from being an infringement of basic civil liberties. And I wanna be clear that I say that as someone who deeply believes that much of the way society treats children is ageist and wrong on many levels and hates how much abuse, sexual and otherwise, goes on behind closed doors. I'm not defending creepy older men who chase barely legal girls and refuse to make sure they don't accidentally get pregnant/an STI cuz he doesn't wanna wear a condom or wait for her to access reliable birth control but some people just wanna control who everyone is allowed to find attractive and have sex with using dubious social justice arguments. And it is totally clickbait as well, these types of articles.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I can't find much to disagree with there @RadFemHedonist although I'm not particularly happy with how "incel" is now being used. Long, long before it developed its current meaning or short form I would be quite frank in referring to myself as a "involuntary celibate" because I thought it was pretty descriptive (and had a bit of self-depreciating humour to it) - All it meant then was someone who desired sexual relationships but didn't have them. That's a common enough situation for anyone to find themselves in at some time in their life (or for most of their life), but now I guess anyone who that describes has to call themselves something else, or nothing, or be associated with far-right misogynists. Which is particularly ironic as iirc the person who popularised the term, which they were using to describe themselves, was a woman.

Desire for, but inability (for whatever reason) to have sexual relationship =/= believing yourself entitled to sex, but now thanks to the internet one has become conflated with the other and we're left with a term not dissimilar to how "virgin" is used as an insult, implying that anyone who is not getting regular sex is lesser or deficient. I mean maybe we are, but way to make people feel even worse about it.
 
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RadFemHedonist

Thousand Master
I can't find much to disagree with there @RadFemHedonist although I'm not particularly happy with how "incel" is now being used. Long, long before it developed its current meaning or short form I would be quite frank in referring to myself as a "involuntary celibate" because I thought it was pretty descriptive (and had a bit of self-depreciating humour to it) - All it meant then was someone who desired sexual relationships but didn't have them. That's a common enough situation for anyone to find themselves in at some time in their life (or for most of their life), but now I guess anyone who that describes has to call themselves something else, or nothing, or be associated with far-right misogynists. Which is particularly ironic as iirc the person who popularised the term, which they were using to describe themselves, was a woman.

Desire for, but inability (for whatever reason) to have sexual relationship =/= believing yourself entitled to sex, but now thanks to the internet one has become conflated with the other and we're left with a term not dissimilar to how "virgin" is used as an insult, implying that anyone who is not getting regular sex is lesser or deficient. I mean maybe we are, but way to make people feel even worse about it.

I agree, and am aware of the term's origins, I think it is very sad that a term that was meant to be merely descriptive (and also was meant to be used by people of any gender) has been taken over by a bunch of horrible misogynists :( I am sorry that you feel bad, it's easy for me to say you shouldn't but that would probably come off as a bit condescending :( I do understand that having a hard time finding sex doesn't mean you feel entitled to it. I know someone really nice who's been in that situation for a while and he feels similarly as you do, I wish I could convince him he's good enough :(
 

ayase

State Alchemist
So it seems YouTube recommending videos one person on a network has watched to other people who connect to the same network is a real thing that happens, even when they are using different, secured, password protected devices. What the actual, everloving **** Google? I'm well aware of Google's (and most social media platforms') generally creepy privacy invasions, the megacorporations knowing what content I consume is one thing (though I do block all their ads and believe I'm able to see through their manipulations pretty well) but sharing what content one person on a network is consuming with anyone else who shares that network? That is a disgusting privacy violation, and has the potential to put people in actual danger as that article points out. While the worst that could happen to me is having my guilty pleasures or kinks revealed to a housemate (which I'd still rather didn't happen) at least I'm not a secretly gay/atheist/abused person in an oppressive homophobic/religious/abusive family environment, for whom the consequences could be dire.

I struggle to believe that anywhere in YouTube's ToS does it grant them the right to openly share your browsing habits with other private individuals, but I'll certainly be going looking for that clause and whether I find it or not, I intend to make a much bigger thing of this. It seems people have been pointing it out for more than four years yet I can't find a single article from a mainstream publication regarding it. Investigative journalism at its finest.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
So with the covid cases and hospitalisations shooting back up, I have to wonder why there aren’t questions being asked as to whether the vaccines have actually done anything, other than line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies with billions of pounds of public money.

I guess no-one wants to hear that the major reason the UK has such a high covid rate, massively higher than countries that have barely even started vaccinations, appears to be because we’re a nation of unhealthy people crammed into our Calhounian behavioural sink. Because that would require actual difficult questions about society and personal responsibility rather than looking for other people to blame. It would require the government gift people with the shocking revelation that the best way to increase their chances of survival is to live healthier lives, rather than playing the saviour who will fix everything with rules and regulations.

I have no love for this government. But “the government” is not killing people (at least in this instance), social media is not killing people, other people not wearing masks or sanitising their hands is not killing people, a virus is killing people and I don’t know when people started shifting the burden for looking after their own health from themselves onto others. Successive governments are, perhaps, to blame for that particular attitude.
 
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serpantino

Thousand Master
@ayase I'm curious if this means you support the government wanting to add taxes to foods they deem unhealthy or do you think they should be hands off?

On a personal level I agree with what you say about people needing to be healthier but the government doesn't operate on a personal level (except when one of their mates needs a high paid job or contract.) The government has to look at large data & I think an integral part of their job is to be held accountable for the way they handle that data & use it to influence the populace.
We as individuals can't control the moronic masses, the government has that toolset and responsibility and whether they bungle through it or take charge makes a huge difference to that large data, which, in turn, influences & saves/costs lives.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
That’s an interesting question @serpantino and I think for the most part, I’m in favour of the government leaving people alone to make their own decisions and live with the consequences, whether that’s covid, sugar/alcohol/tobacco intake or anything else. I don’t think the government has any more business making these decisions for people than they do any other areas of people’s personal lives. But social libertarianism is an interesting thing, and I see what I can only describe as a whole lot of hypocrisy from people who don’t think the government has any business in their bedroom, their womb or what they wear on their head or face for religious reasons (I agree, it doesn’t) but are more than happy for them to force everyone to wear PPE, take vaccinations, shut down borders, force people into self-isolation (sometimes at mandatory cost to those people) and track our every move. It should all, as far as I’m concerned, be personal choice.

This whole mess as I see it is a result of politicians attempting to give the impression they can control nature, which frankly they can’t. But if a politician came out and said “Actually, there’s pretty much s*d all we can do about this, old people and unhealthy people are more likely to die of covid because they are more likely to die in general, it’s a mutating virus which will now be with us pretty much forever and the best thing people can do is try and be healthier and more resistant to viruses, but that’s entirely up to them” they’d probably get crucified. Because governments have to have a reason to exist, and now they play virtually no role in economics after abandoning that to the free market, their reason is “we protect you from threats” - first terrorism, now covid (also things like “online hate speech”) and if they admit they can’t actually protect people from these things without resorting to draconian, authoritarian measures (the complete opposite of the libertarianism people claim to want in other areas) then more people are going to start asking what the point of the government is any more.

I’d describe myself these days as a libertarian socialist - I think the government should be involved in the economy and not in social issues. But what we have now is basically the opposite of that, and if they’re not going to give a toss about managing the economy (any hope for economic socialism in this country went out with Corbyn) then at least I’d rather they stopped regulating people’s personal lives as well and just went full ancap.
 
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