Just Merveilleux?

Life at № 42

Coddling Idiots: Safe Spaces, Trigger Warnings & Microagressions

storyending

That, my friends, was an actual discussion chez Roughseas. I’ve been hearing murmurs of this new phenomena for a while now, but I’d never seen it in action (courtesy of storyending.)

The Atlantic tells us: “Something strange is happening at America’s colleges and universities. A movement is arising, undirected and driven largely by students, to scrub campuses clean of words, ideas, and subjects that might cause discomfort or give offense. Last December, Jeannie Suk wrote in an online article for The New Yorker about law students asking her fellow professors at Harvard not to teach rape law—or, in one case, even use the word violate (as in “that violates the law”) lest it cause students distress.”

and it gets worse: “Microaggressions are small actions or word choices that seem on their face to have no malicious intent but that are thought of as a kind of violence nonetheless. For example, by some campus guidelines, it is a microaggression to ask an Asian American or Latino American “Where were you born?,” because this implies that he or she is not a real American.”

and: “Trigger warnings are alerts that professors are expected to issue if something in a course might cause a strong emotional response. For example, some students have called for warnings that Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart describes racial violence and that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might “trigger” a recurrence of past trauma.”

How quaint. I can see it now, Schindler’s list is going to be on television and they’re preparing the warnings:

  • Trigger warning: If you survived the Holocaust this film may bring back memories.
  • Trigger warning: If you’re a Nazi, you might not like how this ends.
  • Trigger warning: confined spaces
  • Trigger warning: blood
  • Trigger warning: anti-semitism
  • Trigger warning: dead bodies
  • Brutality
  • War
  • Genocide
  • Trigger warning: Have you ever had a bad experience on a train?

Seriously? Seriously? How so very cutesy. Ah, the sensibilities of the first world urban bourgeois. Super-egos need a lot of protection, don’t they? Let’s get real for a second. No warnings. This is Homs in Syria:

See original image

These are gay men being executed in Iran:

See original image

Remember the Candelaria Massacre in Brazil when police killed eight street children? Just because they felt like it.

See original image

Have I triggered you yet? If so, I’ll keep going anyway. Get a grip.

I think the first time I saw a dead person was in Rio. Then another in India. Both bodies on the ground, covered in newspapers. The first time, I remember asking my mother why someone was laying on the sidewalk covered in newspaper? Candide indeed. No police, no ambulances, no sirens. Just death. Interestingly enough, I didn’t suffer panic attacks forevermore when the NYT and the International Herald Tribune were delivered (every morning.) Perhaps that’s because I didn’t spend my life in the comfort zone. The kind where one’s sensibilities are the centre of the universe.

After reading that comment on Roughseas I’ve been asking myself what the hell is a virtual *safe-space*? (and more importantly, how do I stay away from it) Is it a place where we can’t be challenged or disagreed with? Where we can’t be called an idiot? Is that safety? To me it looks like a delusion, because that’s not how the real world works. In Rwanda half a million Tutsis were slaughtered by Hutus. Now that was an unsafe space. Being called an idiot on the internet hardly qualifies in comparison, now does it?

 

 

 

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102 comments on “Coddling Idiots: Safe Spaces, Trigger Warnings & Microagressions

  1. Clare Flourish
    February 23, 2016

    The trouble is, Roughseas does endorse this kind of discrimination. She thinks I am part of oppressive patriarchy, and that my rights don’t matter. That is the meaning of “What about the trans women?” being abbreviated as WATTW, and interpreted as diverting attention from the real concerns of real women which are more important. I think her concerns are important; just not more important than mine.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 23, 2016

      Disappointing state of affairs.

      Like

    • roughseasinthemed
      February 23, 2016

      The trouble is Clare, I have not yet appointed you on the internet as my official interpreter for how I think. Can you possibly learn to distinguish between your view of my thoughts and what I think? Or is that too difficult?

      By the way, what is ‘endorsing discrimination’ in the above screenshot?

      Like

      • Clare Flourish
        February 23, 2016

        There you go, cisplaining again.

        Do you think the term “male pretendbian” is an offensive description of a trans woman, or not?

        Liked by 1 person

      • roughseasinthemed
        February 23, 2016

        Clare. Wrong blog. Wrong subject. This is about safe spaces. I think.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        I don’t control comments, have at it. The topics are related.

        Liked by 2 people

      • roughseasinthemed
        February 23, 2016

        Very violetwisp darling. You could learn a lot from her 😉

        Like

      • Clare Flourish
        February 23, 2016

        You’re telling me where I can comment? Why are you so controlling?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hariod Brawn
    February 23, 2016

    Don’t you go getting all micro-aggressive with your glitter now Mr.M.!

    Brilliant post – brought tears to my eyes looking at that Iranian photo – it really did.

    This: “the sensibilities of the first world urban bourgeois”. Nailed it. ‘Safe space’ my arse.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 23, 2016

      I think in great part it’s to do with the internet and living in that bubble. People are entirely disconnected from reality. They don’t have to negotiate relationships anymore. They unfriend, unsubscribe- edit their list so they don’t have to confront poverty, rape, death, aggression, war, famine- life.

      Liked by 4 people

  3. roughseasinthemed
    February 23, 2016

    I tend to agree with you re safe spaces. However, still doesn’t absolve you from frightening someone off and being rude to them. You know fine well not everyone can take your acidity. Especially at first encounter. The rest of us don’t even notice it.

    Like

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 23, 2016

      The part you’re glossing over is what she said. I’d said nothing to her at all until she decided to launch a personal attack. She can’t have it both ways. Is her concept of a *safe space* unilateral?

      Like

      • roughseasinthemed
        February 23, 2016

        No I’m not. I’m replying to your blog post and the screen shot. You should have included the rest if you wanted to. When we make screenshot blogposts, we include what we want to highlight.

        Want to mention previous comments? Ttfp or ttfss. But don’t expect a sensible discussion if you don’t photo accurately. Many people never follow links.

        I don’t know her. I obviously won’t now you’ve frightened her off! Some women do need safe space. Some of us who have been assaulted shrug it off. That’s life. Doesn’t mean it’s right.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        I couldn’t get a screen shot that fit any more comments and was still legible. Besides, it was that last comment of hers which was the most interesting. So if you don’t coddle her, you’re not a feminist?
        A feminist safe-space is one where weak women need protection from the word idiot?
        C’mon, that’s bull-manure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • roughseasinthemed
        February 23, 2016

        Imbecile. You take more than one screen shot. That is one farthing short of a cretin. Just to use your fave words.
        To be fair, I don’t proclaim any of my blogs as safe spaces. But the little spoiled rich boy decrying women doesn’t sit well. Seriously, don’t get up early. You are much nicer later on.
        Anyway, yes, of course I will stand up for a woman who feels insulted. Because at the end of the day, rich, white (ish), gay, aristocratic, pretty much trumps most women. So stop being so patronising. Being stopped for papers? Yup. Still happens in Spain. Come on, don’t pull that one.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        I didn’t feel the need to take more than one screen shot. You were perfectly content to coddle and indulge the woman “as a matter of fact.”
        Spoilt rich boy decrying women? Is that women as a collective? What exactly am I decrying? Women’s rights? Where?
        And how exactly does an individual’s identity determine what they can or can’t say or their ability to comprehend the world?
        That sounds a whole lot like women being told they can’t do one thing or another because they’re women.

        And btw, checking papers in Spain today is very different from what is used to be.

        Like

  4. john zande
    February 23, 2016

    So all those envelopes filled with glitter come from you, huh? Bastard!

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Esme upon the Cloud
    February 23, 2016

    Sharply written and I couldn’t agree more. *nods*.

    – Esme upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

  6. makagutu
    February 23, 2016

    Mr. M, I will have to get used to that. I think I like Pink more.
    I have read with dismay those articles about students in the USA and UK complaining about words, statues and I am not sure what they would do had they to face real world problems like insecurity.
    You hear complaints about Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and his nigger references and they want them rewritten. They want history washed clean or made to suit them. It will take long for them to grow up.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Cara
    February 23, 2016

    I’m a real life incest survivor (my maternal grandfather raped me every day for a summer when I was ten). As a child I also watched the Joel Steinberg trial on TV (an older cousin of mine was a family lawyer and very interested in that). No one said “trigger warning” before my grandfather mounted me; no one said “trigger warning” before I heard about how Joel Steinberg tied his adopted child to a radiator. I lived. I maybe have an unhealthy obsession with the macabre (I was the only kid in my junior high who claimed Stephen King as a favorite author), but I lived & I never killed anyone.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 23, 2016

      That’s the thing. We all have traumas of one sort or another. That makes this phenomena particularly annoying. Being human is about confronting our problems and then moving on. Not wallowing until the end of time.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Cara
        February 23, 2016

        That is exactly what being human is.

        Liked by 3 people

  8. Ruth
    February 23, 2016

    Haven’t we all been the victim of something or other? How can we confront our demons if close our eyes hoping never to bump into them again? Closing our eyes doesn’t make them go away. They’re right there whispering in our ears and breathing in our face. If we take that approach the demon is always on our shoulder, right there waiting every time we open our eyes.

    I admit that I’ve been triggered by some of roughseas’ writing(and the writing of others as well as comments left) and I’ve confessed as much when I left my own comment. I’d never dream of asking for a *safe place* on someone else’s blog. That’s what my blog is for(if I so choose, which I don’t). It is not the fault of someone else that I was hurt in the past. It is not the fault of someone else that my past sometimes haunts me. It is an unfair burden to place on someone else to know my thoughts and my traumas. Why is it someone else’ responsibility to protect my feelings? That is my job. If I’m particularly triggered by something I read I can always stop reading.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Esme upon the Cloud
      February 23, 2016

      “I’d never dream of asking for a *safe place* on someone else’s blog. That’s what my blog is for(if I so choose, which I don’t).” – Exactly Ruth. We can make our blogs whatever we wish them to be, our refuge if we choose to, the rest of the big bad world out there must be endured, because that is human, that is life. ” If I’m particularly triggered by something I read I can always stop reading.” – Absolutely.

      The world will become de-sensitized if it tries to protect everyone.

      – esme.u.t.C

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        Not just that, but it’s artificial. If someone can’t deal with seeing a statue or being called an idiot, what are they going to do when a relative gets cancer? When they lose their job? When they get a divorce? When Madoff makes their live savings disappear?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Esme upon the Cloud
        February 23, 2016

        True. And such artifice also makes for a bland experience in the few years we have in life, until some kind of tragedy as you say does occur. People should be informed of what goes on in the world – they don’t have to like it, or agree with it all, but by the Gods they should damn well know and have their eyes open.

        – esme.u.t.C

        Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 23, 2016

      Hi Ruth, do you mind me asking what you mean by triggered? As this is a new expression to me I’d like to know exactly what it entails.

      Like

      • Ruth
        February 23, 2016

        No, I don’t mind at all. If you suffer from any form of PTSD you can be triggered by sounds, smells, pictures, and, yes, even words on paper. Whatever you’ve just heard, smelled, seen, or read triggers a memory so intense it’s as if you’re right back in whatever situation brought on the trauma in the first place. It can range from mild to quite intense.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        How does that affect your ability to function? A person reads something they find disturbing, and then?
        Give me the worst case scenario.

        Like

      • Ruth
        February 23, 2016

        I’ve also had nightmares and have a tendency to relive whatever experience what I’ve read triggers. It does affect the ability to think clearly and logically rather than emotionally.

        Trigger warnings can be quite useful. There are days when I’m emotionally strong enough(most days, actually) to read most anything. And the truth is, I don’t always immediately know what triggered me. It is one thing for close friends and intimate family members to be mindful of what might trigger a person, but we can’t expect the whole world to tiptoe around us. Especially when we don’t even know at what moment we might have an episode.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        Sorry, but I have to keep going.
        Being triggered is an unpleasant experience; So what’s the solution? As you said, we can’t control the outside world, so it’s coming sooner or later.
        How does/could avoidance help?
        Wouldn’t desensitization be a more successful path?

        Like

      • Ruth
        February 23, 2016

        Firstly, I don’t think it’s possible or even entirely appropriate to avoid things or experiences because they are unpleasant. Perhaps for a season, but for a lifetime? I don’t think it’s healthy.

        Secondly, I don’t think desensitization is the best path either. I’m afraid that would only lead to more people becoming more like those who perpetrated whatever violence upon them. I just don’t see that as a viable solution.

        I have been in therapy. That helped. People must develop their own coping mechanisms, the ones that work best for them. Time does seem to dull the intensity of my own memories. The thing is you can’t possibly know how far down the road to recovery someone is. I don’t know the first thing about storyending or why she needs a safe place. I don’t know what trauma she’s been through. It is clear to me, though, that whatever it was it involved men and likely it involved them either calling her names or making her feel inferior(stupid). You had no way of knowing that until she reacted. Part of the thing you may have to remember is that the reaction may not be toward you per se, but rather, her reliving whatever memory your words triggered.

        You can either be callous about it or realize that some people may not be at the same place emotionally as you. Sometimes when people react in a seemingly over-the-top way it’s because of their own baggage. You can continue to pick the scab over the sore or you can try to soothe it. Or you can just leave it.

        When I’ve had a bad reaction to something I’ve read, or heard, or seen, or what-have-you, I eventually come to the realization that I have overreacted or that this is simply something I must work through, that I have to put my big-girl panties on and just deal with it. But there was a time that I did need such safety and protection. It was incumbent upon me to find those places, not on everyone or anyone else to provide it.

        In some ways I have created a safe space at my blog because I know that there are some people going through some things that are just coming out of them and need a safe place to land.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Ruth
        February 23, 2016

        Worst case scenario for each of us is different. I’m sure you understand that. It’s a bit like a soldier that suffers from PTSD. Something seemingly random to the rest of us sends them into a full fledged panic and acting out of a conflict that is only taking place in their mind.

        Similarly, those of us who have been raped or have been abused by our parents or spouses can and sometimes are triggered back to that place. So maybe it’s lying in the fetal position in tears. Maybe it’s that I simply felt intimidated and so I retreated(at least for the moment) in fear. Things that trigger me trigger my fear. Other people are obviously different. Other people react with seemingly over-the-top rage.

        Liked by 3 people

      • roughseasinthemed
        February 23, 2016

        Triggered. Is a new expression to you? Are you extracting?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        Triggered is a term that should be used in a medical context by people suffering from PTSD (as Ruth), not as an affectation.

        Liked by 4 people

    • acflory
      February 24, 2016

      Well said! I once read the definition of a lady as being someone who did not DELIBERATELY try to hurt anyone’s feelings. I think that should apply across the board. But to take it beyond that into the realm of possibilities and maybes and perhapses? Not only is it impossible to achieve, it also codifies kindness and empathy into a rigid system of rules and regulations, thereby stripping kindness and empathy of any true emotive value. No thanks.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. tildeb
    February 23, 2016

    I think this coddling (and how far too many otherwise intelligent people are willing to implement and enforce fascist rules to accommodate it) is going to become a much greater problem than just about anything other than climate change and for the same reason: its negative, pernicious, and cumulative effects.

    The money quote from a Macleans Editorial on this subject (involving a criticism for misguided people accommodating those offended by statues of Dead White Guys who were previous Prime Ministers of Canada ona university campus and insisting on their removal) I think is both perceptive and timely:

    “This modern and progressive Canada did not just spring into existence the moment a few precocious undergrads brushed the hair from their eyes… Statues are symbols. The symbolic meaning of the removal of (these statues) is that history is to be scrubbed clean of controversy and portrayed in a manner that indulges victimhood and modern sensibilities. The demands of inclusivity and diversity now apparently require universities to shelter their students from any sight of their forebears and turn the once mind-broadening experience of post-secondary education into a sterile ‘safe-space’ where no uncomfortable truths needs be confronted and no sensitivities triggered.”

    Indeed, this is the same movement to scrub blogs clean of offending commentary in the name of such similar pablum. No one has the right to not be offended and blog administrators need to consider what long term effect such self-imposed scrubbing will have on the exchange of controversial and even contrary ideas and the quality of critical commentary attached to them.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 23, 2016

      Brilliant. You know the same thing was happening just this month at Oxford with a Cecil Rhodes statue. It’s simply ridiculous. Do we take down war monuments too? Statues of Napoleon? How about the pyramids as they were built by slaves?
      It’s the utter infantilization of the human being. And worse it prevents people from developing the skill-set necessary for everyday life.

      Liked by 2 people

      • How do you feel about the Confederate Flag being flown from Southern State Capitols?

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 27, 2016

        That’s a very different thing! The motivation of displaying the flag these days is, at least in part, to promote racist ideas.
        A statue of Napoleon that’s been somewhere since 1820 isn’t a *current* political statement.

        Like

  10. inspiredbythedivine1
    February 23, 2016

    I had a safe space once but the safe I bought to put in it wouldn’t fit so I wound up using it as a second closet.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Helen Devries
    February 23, 2016

    Don’t teach the law on rape…very clever. Who do they think is going to represent them when they claim to have been raped or are alleged to be a rapist?
    Or will we see the courts refusing to entertain such cases as they might provoke distress?

    Liked by 3 people

  12. agrudzinsky
    February 23, 2016

    You might add a few images from today’s Ukraine as well.

    I can understand where these people come from. But the thing is that hiding your head into the sand and shielding yourself from this violence, abuse, etc. does not make this stuff disappear. Some people argue that there was a sharp decrease in atrocities around the world after WWII precisely because the image and video technology allowed to show what Nazi atrocities looked like to millions of people. It’s like with the meat industry. If people watched the images of a slaughter house, most would become vegetarians. Shielding people from these images just lets this stuff to go on and on.

    Making these warnings mandatory is an overkill. A simple sense of tact was always sufficient. There is a Russian proverb “One does not mention a rope in a house of a person who hung himself.” I would admit that the question “where are you from?” irritates me also. The person who asks this question often thinks that he shows a sincere interest in you which is a polite thing. When an immigrant is asked this question, he hears it slightly different “I perceive you as an alien, you are not one of ‘us’.” Same sentiment when someone tries to “compliment” me “Your English is very good!” Yeah… This simply means that you heard the accent. If I spoke lilke a native, a thought that I wasn’t born here would not even cross your mind. But I usually don’t give a damn even if someone tries to offend me. I have enough problems of my own to be bothered by someone else’s.

    Being offensive is a powerful marketing techinque. It works wonders when you need to engage people. These days, when every second of your attention converts into $$ through advertising industry, I’m afraid, we are going to see more and more of this crap in the media. The more horrible, appalling, outrageous, gruesome, disgusting, etc. the news is, the more attention it gets.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 23, 2016

      First, let me say your english is excellent! And coming from a Frenchman you can be certain the phrase is utterly… meaningless 😀
      It seems common sense is being substituted by anything but common sense. Even the current realpolitik has stopped making sense. The EU now loves Erdogan but hates Putin? Not sure how the positive outcomes are being calculated.

      Liked by 1 person

      • agrudzinsky
        February 23, 2016

        Putin is a thug. I hope, you are not too enchanted with his charisma. There were a few films about him recently showing that he comes from a criminal background. He got into KGB primarily due to his connections in the criminal world. This explains a lot about what’s going on in Russia these days. Unfortunately, his influence is not limited to Russia, as you may know. He supports radicals all over the world. I’ve heard Le Pen is primarily financed by Kremlin. I think, you can thank Putin for the surge of Syrian refugees in Europe today which started after Russia began bombing Syria (I suppose, your picture of Hom is primarily a consequence of Russian activities there). Not to mention his homophobia. Given that Erdogan is the only world leader who was brave enough to use force against Russia downing a Russian plane, I can understand why Erdogan is considered a hero.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        Erdogan is also a thief and a criminal. And a supporter of Islamic extremism.
        Just ask the Kurds how things are going for them.
        Erdogan and Putin are as bad as each other. The thing is in classic realpolitik we would form a relationship with the more convenient/important power, and that’s Russia.

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        February 23, 2016

        Does Putin’s homophobia bother you at all? You may think, it only affects Russian LGBT people. This is not true. Putin sponsors right radicals promoting fascist “traditional values” all over the world.

        I think, EU making alliance with Russia is a good idea as long as it does not support Putin. He is a bloody murderer, a thief who steals by the billions, and a liar. To me, those are good reasons not to make aliances with his regime. It may end badly.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 23, 2016

        It bothers me very much. I’m under no illusion that Putin is a good man or leader. And yes, it’s a big scandal here that he’s financing Le Pen and the FN.

        The thing is Russia isn’t just Putin. There are 140 million people there who aren’t Putin. Historically speaking, alliances have opened doors and freezes have closed them and created more animosity. The biggest victims of the cold war were the Russian people not the Russian leadership. They ate well and got to drive around in those big black limousines.

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        February 24, 2016

        I agree that isolation isn’t good for anyone. But here is the logic behind today’s Russian internal and foreign policies as I see it. There was a recent film titled “whoismrputin” on Youtube – a series of interviews and documentaries about Putin’s origins and how he came to power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viC1I_vJyUs Unfortunately, it’s in Russian, but I think there soon will be a version with English subtitles. Given what I read about Putin recently, he is deeply connected with Russian organized crime. He was born in a working class family. His judo training was an attempt to build character. His judo coach was a criminal boss. He later arranged Putin’s entry to the KGB school. It’s fairly obvious that Putin’s obsession with martial arts, army, special forces, and his “macho” image of a tough guy comes from insecurity. He is short, was weak of health when he was young and came from an underprivileged background. His main value is loyalty. This is what promoted him to be a president. Yeltsin assigned him as a successor primarily to avoid persecution (there is a tradition of denouncing the former rulers in Russia). This explains why Putin defends Assad in Syria. This explains why Putin as a president promoted his cronies whom he knew from his youth judo club to rule state monopolies such as Gazprom and awards them government contracts to arrange winter olympic games in subtropical climate. He himself amassed huge wealth in “presidential palaces”, yachts, expensive watches, airplanes, and cars which, probably, formally, belong to the state and, of course, are paid for from the budget. If he stops being a president, he will lose it all. He will hold on to power to the end. Naturally, he does not like when this information leaks to the press. Hence, persecution of free press. He does not like opposition because he realizes that if the power changes, he will go to jail or worse. He terrorizes and eliminates his opponents such as Nemtsov, Khodorkovsky, Litvinenko, Kasparov, Kasyanov. He denounces overturn of dictators abroad, of course, because it is likely that if he looses the grip of power, he may meet the fate of Gaddafi or Saddam. His goal in foreign policy is to show that a forceful overturn of a dicatator leads to chaos, war, and terrorism to instil fear in his own people and he uses every opportunity to create war, chaos, and terrorism in countries that have overturned dictators (Ukraine) or are about to do that (Syria).

        This is exactly what created the todays refugee crisis in Europe which, again benefits Putin because it gives rise to anti-immigrant nationalistic xenophobic sentiments in Europe and justifies nationalistic and xenophobic sentiments he promotes in his own country. This is also the reasons behind funding Le Pen in France, Jobbik in Hungary, or hosting a congress of neo-Nazis in St. Petersburg. This gives him an opportunity to say to his own people “look at the chaos in these countries that call themselves democratic and the chaos they create around the world”. This is what stands behind his recent speeches in UN and elsewhere.

        At the same time, he provokes the west to be hostile. Russian planes violated NATO airspace about 40 times in the past few months until, finally, Turkey, shot down a Russian plane. This, again, gives Putin an opportunity to say to his people: “See, they hate Russia because Russia stands against their corrupt policies that bring chaos and terrorism.” Same reaction when West imposes sanctions against Russia. The people suffer, but Putin’s regime only riles up “patriotism” and gains support for Putin inside Russia as it always happens in a country surrounded by “enemies”. All of this seems fairly straightforward and coherent. There is not much mystery behind the Litvinenko murder who leaked information on Putin to the corruption investigators in the west. Polonium can only come from one particular plant in Russia completely controlled by the state. There is not much mystery behind MH17 downing. The pro-Russian thugs announced themselves that they downed a Ukrainian transport aircraft before they figured out that it wasn’t quite what they thought. It’s not hard to figure out where they got the BUK missile.

        Unfortunately, you are right. People are the ones who suffer. But what is West supposed to do? Should France have sold Russia the Mistrals? Should Europe continue buying Russian gas and oil given that Russia uses the monopoly for political manipulation? Should US and Germany continue selling military technology to Russia so that it can produce more bombs and missiles to bomb Syria and Ukraine? Putin himself compares Russia to a bear who will not let anyone to rule in his taiga. Well, when a bear becomes dangerous to people he is either isolated or killed.

        So much for the “convenience” of making alliance with Russia. Russia is not interested now. Internally, Putin is better off in the role of a “hero” fighting “enemies” inside the country (liberals and protesters) and outside. As for Erdogan, Turkey is the first buffer between Europe and Syria to fend off the refugees. He is also the only one who can afford kicking Putin’s butt with little or no consequences – he controls Bosphorus and Dardanelles, and Turkish Navy in the Black sea is many times stronger than Russian Black Sea Navy. Russia is not much interested in a real armed conflict with Turkey. I can totally understand why EU “likes” Erdogan better than Putin.

        I’m not saying that Russia is to blame for the current situation in the world, but Putin seems to deliberately exacerbate things everywhere.

        Liked by 2 people

      • agrudzinsky
        February 24, 2016

        Sorry to waste your and my time with this political crap. Just don’t mention Putin to me next time. It tips me off. 🙂

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 24, 2016

        No waste at all! You know the person who bought my house in Spain was Влади́мир Алекса́ндрович Гуси́нский. One of Putin’s first victims 😉

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        February 25, 2016

        From Wikipedia

        Several buildings were bombed and many people were killed. Kremlin took the position that Chechen separatists were responsible for the bombings.

        Exact same scenario as with the assassination of Nemtsov and Anna Politkovskaya. Putin has made Chechnya a state within the state. Its president Kadyrov is Putin’s hitman. He deliberately says and does things that go against human rights and Russian laws, but the Kremlin allows it to create an impression that Kremlin does not completely control Kadyrov and, therefore, is not responsible for what he does and says. In fact, however, it is clear that all Kadyrov’s money and orders come from the Kremlin.

        If there is a major revolt in Russia like the one in Ukraine (which is unlikely because most people are under the spell of the TV), the government forces will not commit mass shootings. All the bloody work will be done by the Chechen thugs and the “informal activists” like the notorious biker’s club “The night wolves” also heavily sponsored by Putin. While Putin will step aside and pretend that he knows nothing of the atrocities and had nothing to do with them while pointing fingers to the neo-Nazis in Europe. Bloody motherfucker. How can you call this SOB a “more convenient ally”? One can’t trust a single word out of his mouth. Russia has to be walled off from the rest of the world until Putin is dead. You won’t call your local mafia boss a ” more convenient and powerful ally ” and do business with him, would you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 25, 2016

        I think the only way to get rid of Putin is to embrace Russia.
        Mark my words, the religious leadership in Iran has signed its own death warrant by opening the country up.
        If Putin doesn’t have the west as the big bad enemy for his propaganda, what is left?

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        February 25, 2016

        There may be some biblical wisdom in your words.

        21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
        if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
        22In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
        and the Lord will reward you.

        — Proverbs 25.

        This was done, however after the end of the Cold War. U.S. sent humanitarian aid to Russia, provided grants to researchers and students, accepted Russian students into U.S. universities, sent books to Russian libraries. Now they say that thus the U.S. created the “fifth column” inside Russia — a generation of U.S. admirers who now “sell their Motherland” to America. They ban humanitarian NGOs sponsored by the west. They even destroy the books donated to the libraries by the Soros foundation. They blame the U.S. for “sucking the brains” out of Russia referring to the mass emigration of scientists, artists, students, and young professionals. They say that the Russian constitution with provisions for human rights and freedoms was “dictated by the West” to violate Russian sovereignty (this is said by Russian senators) and has to be denounced in favor of extended presidential power to enable Putin “taking back” Russian sovereignty from the West. Embracing Russia would mean approval of its crimes in Ukraine and Syria. Putin realizes that being friends with the West is not in his interest now because the West will demand him to play by Western rules. This means to fight corruption because western business will not operate in a country where 90% of investments are swindled by the officials and there are no legal safeguards for the private property from being confiscated. He will keep provoking conflicts and testing the limits of western tolerance. He only understands the language of brute force like the one used by Turkey. That incident has set the limits for Putin clearly. Embracing Russia as it is now is the same as embracing a murderer who wants to kill and rob you.

        Like

      • tildeb
        February 25, 2016

        Yes, Putin is a thug, but he’s a far better (meaning more effective) world leader than Obama whose failed foreign policies have led to mass destabilization throughout the Middle East and countless deaths in the name of obtaining ‘democracy’ for people who haven’t the first clue how to differentiate it from mob rule… a doomed policy from the start. For all his faults, Putin is Russia and it has resumed its leadership role over its suzerain nations.

        Like

      • agrudzinsky
        February 25, 2016

        Tildeb, I beg your pardon, what do you call “effective leadership”?
        Can you name a single crisis that Putin has solved? Let me list a few
        of his “great achievements” from this 16 year rule. In internal
        policy:

        Created a cleptocratic state where all branches of power obey him
        personally. He tells the Senate (Duma) and the judges what laws and
        verdicts to make. That’s when these matters are not decided by
        bribes.
        While being flush with cash from oil revenues at $110 per barrel,
        he has effectively distributed the revenue among his cronies and
        failed to develop science, technology, education, health care,
        industry — you name it. He only succeeded in creating a military,
        strong enough to harrass his small neighbors. Even in oil and gas
        industry Russia relies on imported technologies. Recently, when
        the West banned imports of military technology to Russia, Russians
        decided to use their own electronics in a satellite. After they
        made the satellite, it turned out to be too heavy for the Russian
        carrier to be launched into orbit. For comparison, the
        “ineffective” U.S. has delivered pictures from Pluto, launched a
        few probes to Mars, the first private rocket with
        reuseable first stage, and registered gravitational waves for the
        first time in history confirming Einstein’s prediction made 100
        years ago. U.S. also developed oil drilling technology to become
        the top world oil producer overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia in
        2014.
        Putin succeeded in killing the business, small and large, in his
        own country in favor of the state monopolies. He has “nationalized”
        all oil companies in Russia not controlled by the state
        monopolies.
        He effectively jails or eliminates opposition and protesters using
        the judicial system controlled by him. It was funny how last year,
        on Russian Constitution Day, police arrested protesters who held
        articles of Russian Constitution proclaiming the freedom of speech.
        There was a man who co-authored the Constitution among the people
        arrested.
        When the judicial system is not busy cracking down on opposition,
        they engage in usual racket — making fake cases against small and
        medium business owners to overtake these businesses in favor of
        the prosecutor’s family members.

        In external policy:

        He violated the Budapest memorandum and annexed a large piece of
        territory of a neighboring country in a fashion that painfully
        reminds the Anschluss of Sudety region by Hitler in 1938. This is
        an unprecedented case for the post-war Europe completely
        destabilizing the situation. Now he wants to place nuclear weapons
        in Crimea threatening Europe while pointing fingers at NATO
        expansion.
        His actions lead to about 10,000 dead in Ukraine not to mention
        300 dead on MH17.
        He supports the Assad regime that lead to 300,000 dead already.
        The refugees are fleeing from Assad and Russian bombs, not from
        ISIS. How does this solve the crisis in Syria?
        As a result of Putin’s policies, Russia was kicked out of the G8
        club. World leaders don’t even want to sit next to him in
        international meetings. He managed to alienate almost every
        neighboring country — Ukraine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia — you name
        it. Even Belarus and Kazakhstan now look cautiously at partnership
        with Russia. Sounds like a huge success in foreign policy,
        doesn’t it?
        Russian diplomats became notorious for their lies at
        international stage. They keep denying Russian involvement in
        anything, and Putin admits it personally, a few months later. This
        is, perhaps, the most disgusting side of Russian “leadership”.

        Putin sounds “cool” from the UN tribune criticizing the U.S. But this
        does not make him an effective leader. Yes, the U.S. created the
        chaos in the Middle East. But it was started by Bush with his
        invasion of Iraq on fake pretexts. Obama’s mistake was to withdraw
        the U.S. forces leaving the country flooded with U.S. weapons to take
        care of itself.

        I suggest that you don’t call former Soviet Union republics “Russian
        suzerains”. Ukraine is a large European country, with almost 50
        million population, almost 70% larger than Germany and only 6% smaller
        than France by area. Russia has systematically exterminated
        Ukrainians throughout the history of the Russian Empire and the Soviet
        rule. The reason why Eastern Ukraine is populated by Russians who
        hate Ukraine today is because these people were brought there from
        Russia after Stalin induced hunger in this fertile region killing
        about 3 million Ukrainians. These people know that their grandfathers
        lived in houses that stood vacant after whole villages of Ukrainians
        died from hunger. Same is true about the Crimean Tatars. So, when I
        read that “Russia resumes its leadership role over
        its suzerain nations”, I can barely refrain from using profanity.

        Liked by 1 person

      • 100% agree with agrudgzinsky re Putin.
        100% disagree with tildeb re Putin is a more effective world leader than Obama
        It is not up to the United States to “save” Ukraine, we are not the policemen to the world. Ukraine sits right next to Europe, if Europe is concerned about Putin’s despicable actions in Crimea and Ukraine then they can very well send German, British, and French troops to fight the Russians in Ukraine. Why would Obama send American men and women to fight and die in Ukraine when Europe sits on their hands?

        I read a comment once, I think it was Churchhill, when asked what countries were considered friends of Britan he replied, “Britan doesn’t have friends, it has interests.” What is the American interest in Ukraine? Europe has far more interests in Ukraine yet they do nothing, so there is your answer to what is American interest in Ukraine.

        We should treat Russia just like we treated South Africa during apartheid, shun them, shun Russia. Put sanctions on them, just like we sanctioned South Africa during apartheid. Google, ” Don’t play Sun City” that is what we nice countries and citizens of the world should do. Obama said in a speech once, and I can’t remember the exact wording but it was more or less, “Look there are a lot of countries headed by dictators, people who live under oppression, the United States is not going to go liberate all of them, the citizens in those countries deserve our non military support and we will give it.” I like the way Obama has handled Foreing Policy.

        Then there is Trump who said he would not only waterboard prisoners but he would do much much worse. Much worse. A strong potential American President, embraces torture. Another Putin. He said yesterday he is going to open up libel laws so he can sue newspapers who write bad stories of him, is this not the same thing but just to a lesser degree that Putin has done with the Russian Press? And tildeb thinks Putin is a greater world leader than Obama?

        Liked by 1 person

      • tildeb
        February 27, 2016

        No matter what you might prefer, Str8G, Putin has brought Russia back into being a dominant world player. That’s why I called him ‘effective’… and more effective than Obama in this regard who has – under his watch – lost not only Crimea and Ukraine to Russian expansion but has utterly failed to produce anything pro-Western from the Arab Spring. This golden opportunity has been squandered and we are left with mostly civil unrest and massive civilian casualties everywhere it has appeared… the worst being Syria, of course. Leaving chaos in one’s foreign policy wake is not a favourable review compared to Putin who has made Russia much more dominant and much more influential in the area vacated by Obama’s foreign policy fumbling and speechifying.

        I’m not saying Putin is a nice guy or one whose leadership I would like to live under. The man himself is very dangerous to cross but wily in how to advance Russian interests. I’m simply recognizing this unpleasant fact and I wish it weren’t so. But it is so.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 27, 2016

        I think people generally feel uncomfortable making those very important distinctions.
        Napoleon too was terrible, but also very good at his job (for much of the time.)
        Hitler lasted 10 years, Mussolini 20 and Franco 40. We can’t deny all that took a great degree of skill.
        Personally I think the Putin issue is somewhat overblown. Take Crimea for example. It was reported as if he’d marched across an ocean to take a piece of Canada. Except Crimea was Russian. Culturally and historically Russian. There are still people alive today who were born when Crimea was exclusively Russian. It was only part of Ukraine for 50 years, much of which was (still) under Soviet rule.

        Like

  13. clubschadenfreude
    February 24, 2016

    I’m so tired of people whining about “safe space” when all they are wanting is an echo chamber so they can keep fantasizing that they are such wonderful special snowflakes that no one can dare tell them that they are wrong, They want to be able close their eyes to the world and believe it revolves around their ever-so special gluteus maximi. Sorry, poor things, but once you get your face out of your phone, the real world doesn’t obey you.

    I’m a woman and I am certainly not afraid of anyone because of what they say. I counter it, show its wrong and go on. That’s what free speech is and I find it very valuable.

    I’d welcome some glitter. I have a thing for shiny objects. There’s this fabulous silver painted and mirrored art deco dining room set at a local store and I so want it and it *so* doesn’t go with my house at all. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 24, 2016

      Yes, yes and yes.
      You know a silver and mirrored art-deco dining room set is sort of my dream purchase. I desperately wanted one for this house but Mike wanted something more *warm*. In the end I gave in for bargaining credits I’ll use at a later date 😀

      Like

      • clubschadenfreude
        February 24, 2016

        heh. 🙂 I have what I call loosely a “Victorian farm house” home and it just doesn’t have the bones to have that lovely bit of art deco in it.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 24, 2016

        Art deco is still a very good niche market. If I were you I’d take some pictures and send them to a couple of dealers in NY. Mirrored furniture goes for small fortunes 😉

        Like

      • clubschadenfreude
        February 24, 2016

        alas, it’s just a reproduction….in a place called “Bob’s Discount Furniture” 🙂 The style is called “Diva” which amuses me to no end….

        Liked by 1 person

  14. acflory
    February 24, 2016

    Breathe, Pinky! Think of your blood pressure. And then shrug it off because the only thing any of us can be sure of is that bad things will happen…eventually. It’s called life and these children will learn that lesson soon enough. I almost feel sorry for them.

    And then I’m reminded of that old children’s? rhyme…sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. M.M.J. Gregory
    February 24, 2016

    There is a line between coddling and self-care. I don’t know how the whole conversation went down, so I won’t comment on your exchange.

    In the larger picture, I think safe spaces and trigger/content warnings are needed. We have a serious mental health crisis in our world. If a sentence can help people take better care of themselves, then I am all for it.

    Microagressions happen. Does everyone agree on what constitutes one and what doesn’t? Of course not, but it gets us talking about how we treat one another and the biases in our minds and cultures. This is an important step in evolving into a more just, equal world.

    Safe spaces are by definition not everywhere, but the internet is a great place for them. Life is full of constant bombardments, safe spaces are simply places where the bombs are fewer. That isn’t a bad thing.

    Any of these concepts can be taken to extremes, but I think they are necessary and representative of a shift that gets us closer to equality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 24, 2016

      Have a look at the post because it’s a bit twilight zone. So are the comments. I presumed Roughseas reblogged the anti-transgender post *as satire*. In hopes of adding to the satire I highlighted how the transgender woman in question resembled an anti-trans woman. It was all downhill from there:
      https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/2016/02/22/male-pretendbian-running-for-nus-womens-officer/

      Liked by 1 person

      • M.M.J. Gregory
        February 24, 2016

        There are a lot of things in that comment section I disagree with, from all parties. I don’t think you should dismiss safe spaces on account of it though.

        Like

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 24, 2016

        I just don’t believe “safe spaces” are either feasible or good for people. Learning to confront things, hash it out and survive make us more prepared to deal with life. Of course that’s just my view as it applies to my existence 😉
        But be honest, how threatening do I really seem? Do I look like I might jump out from the bushes to slap you with one of my flower arrangements? Force you to carry a Chanel bag? Hold you down as I have my minions put Prada boots on you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • inspiredbythedivine1
        February 24, 2016

        “Do I look like I might jump out from the bushes to slap you with one of my flower arrangements? Force you to carry a Chanel bag? Hold you down as I have my minions put Prada boots on you?” Stop that! You’re turning me on!

        Liked by 3 people

      • M.M.J. Gregory
        February 24, 2016

        Well, as you said, that is your existence. I think you’d agree we shouldn’t dictate for everyone based on what works for one.

        I don’t think of you as threatening. I do think there was rudeness on both sides of the conversation. I am bothered by her interpretation of a safe space because it seems to mean the safety to discriminate, but perhaps I’m wrong. I’m not her.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 24, 2016

        Agreed. I was definitely rude. I’ll admit I was a bit thrown by the whole thing. I’m still somewhat in disbelief people I’ve been commenting with for quite a while would endorse any variety of discrimination. I’m still hoping I missed something or things will end up in a better place. I don’t know. Not great.

        Liked by 3 people

      • M.M.J. Gregory
        February 25, 2016

        I get why many feminists are bothered by trans women. I don’t agree, but I get it. I just want us all to let everyone express themselves as they want. No freedom unless all are free.

        Like

      • tildeb
        February 25, 2016

        I think you’d agree we shouldn’t dictate for everyone based on what works for one.

        But isn’t this exactly the problem forced on everyone to make the one feel ‘safe’?

        Like

      • M.M.J. Gregory
        February 25, 2016

        Not at all. There are many helped by content warnings and it is such an easy thing to do. Meanwhile, safe spaces are made and maintained by those who need them. If you don’t care for them, don’t enter.

        Like

    • roughseasinthemed
      February 25, 2016

      Madalyn, I’m not sure when you refer to

      her interpretation of safe space

      you are talking about me or storyending.
      I, personally, don’t like someone saying they feel uncomfortable on my blog because of the comments made by a long-standing blogging friend. Not all of us are as thoughtful and considerate in our style as you or Ruth for example.
      Regarding trans women, *some* feminists, and not just feminists, are bothered for lots of reasons.
      I do not care two hoots about sharing a toilet, sauna or changing room with whoever.
      But other people do care:
      Girls, and their parents, think it is inappropriate for a man to self-identify as a woman, and wander into that female space. But in order to not discrimate against the trans woman, every other person has to use alternative changing rooms if they are uncomfortable. I’m sure you saw the recent story regarding a girls’ swimming team.
      Women who have been raped and/or sexually assaulted don’t feel safe around MAAB in a confined space.
      Some lesbians, a minority group in themselves, are unhappy about MAAB/trans women, declaring themself lesbian.
      None of the above are my issues. But that doesn’t mean those views aren’t just as valid as any other. They deserve to be heard too.

      Like

      • Clare Flourish
        February 25, 2016

        K***, you keep missing out the word “some”. My friend who worked at the rape crisis centre was appalled at the thought of excluding trans women from her service. If falsehoods and implied falsehoods like yours- what- all girls and their parents? Every single one of them? – if your falsehoods are spread you incite hatred and fear, along with the disgust and derision the title of your post incites.

        Some people are feminist; but some people can’t manage that, it’s too difficult, so they become trans excluders instead, and obsess endlessly about trans women. Look at their insane blogs! A rite of passage for such people is being bullied by a trans woman. You can, if you wish, consider my “shedloads of disrespect” your such rite of passage. The disrespect is real, even though seeing it expressed in my use of your name was entirely in your imagination.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mr. Merveilleux
        February 25, 2016

        Valid? No they’re not valid. There’s nothing valid in the promotion of discrimination. And the purity tests proposed by these people are beyond ridiculous. A *real* woman is someone who menstruates? Why not only someone who has children? Why not someone who belongs in the home and cooks and cleans?

        Liked by 3 people

      • violetwisp
        February 25, 2016

        Some men have been raped by gay men. And that’s why I support every male locker room shouting ‘backs against the wall’ when gay men walk past. Then beating them up. They’re all perverts. I’m just finding it amusing the lesbos are finally seeing how the rest of us feel about them!

        (See yourself in that mirror? You can walk about of your version of 1970s homophobia if you think really hard about it.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • M.M.J. Gregory
        February 25, 2016

        I was referring to storyending. I don’t know her, but that was my impression.

        I understand the hesitation and fear around trans women. I do. I’ll admit that I feel a certain amount of it too, but those feelings aren’t based in fact. Being trans doesn’t mean a person has corrupt ethics and morals. They are no more likely to do wrong than any other segment of the population. The sooner we realize that, the better.

        I want to live in a world where gender is a non-issue. We have a long way and lots of growing pains to get there. Not everyone wants it and maybe we’ll never get there, but I think it is worth fighting for.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. violetwisp
    February 24, 2016

    I almost completely disagree with you but I have new-found respect for you after that envelope of glitter comment. That is almost certainly a classic.

    I’ve had so many arguments with Tildeb about this. There’s something important about safe spaces for people. Yes, sometimes their definition of safe can be requested in obviously impractical public areas – blogs and toilets spring to mind. But it’s a balancing act for people who have been harmed, and the snide ‘sensitive snowflake’ accusations don’t help us find reasonable ground.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mr. Merveilleux
      February 24, 2016

      Careful, one day you might open an envelope and then spend the next week trying to get the glitter out of your carpet!
      I’m all for protecting people. I’m against ANY form of discrimination. I believe in meritocracy. People should have to work, study and put their hearts into achieving things. In that sense, I really can’t stand the “free pass”. Don’t speak to me because you’re a woman? Not acceptable. Don’t use a bathroom because you don’t look like Angelina Jolie in a dress? Also not acceptable. Safe-spaces are starting to look like Katy Faust codes.
      Let’s be safe from gays, transgendered people, women who work and sometimes disagree with their husbands. Is that really safe?

      Liked by 2 people

      • violetwisp
        February 25, 2016

        There’s no such thing as a meritocracy – there’s too much bias and discrimination in society. You maybe don’t know that because you’re an degree-educated aristocrat living with someone well respected in the high arts at a high point in homosexual trendiness. Do you think it’s possible you might not be able to relate?

        I’m more than happy for any individual from under-represented, traditionally repressed group to be given a leg-up. I’m more than happy for people who feel under attack within society (that includes Muslims, trans people, women who have been abused) to claim safe spaces. They can be told in kind terms if the request is inappropriate. For example, public toilets exist so we don’t have sewerage on the street – it’s impractical to exclude anyone from using them. The signs on the doors indicated preferred gender are always over-ruled by cleaners, carers and parents. If you don’t like the idea of not controlling who’s in a public toilet, don’t drink when you’re out.

        Like

    • tildeb
      February 25, 2016

      When the reasonable ground is already staked out by fundamental values of equality and respect for shared rights and shared freedoms, then the ‘alternative’ you wish to implement is no longer reasonable.

      And that’s the point you want to keep waving aside in order to champion those too delicate in sensitivity according to you to meet at this reasonable and common ground. That’s not my problem and the offense others may take and the unsafe feelings they may have are not ones I should automatically respect and strive to accommodate when it comes at the real expense of others. I shouldn’t have to pay the cost you demand to allow for such sensitivities.

      What you want is special consideration granted to those who feel offended, who feel threatened by the common ground, who have difficulty facing reality as it is and want to change it into specialized allotments of protected environments obtained only by reducing the rights of others. I’m not willing to grant that unreasonable request when it interferes with establishing and respecting our common ground essential for real equality.

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Ruth
    February 25, 2016

    “But be honest, how threatening do I really seem? Do I look like I might jump out from the bushes to slap you with one of my flower arrangements? Force you to carry a Chanel bag? Hold you down as I have my minions put Prada boots on you?”

    I really don’t care about a Chanel bag or Prada boots, but could you slap me with one of those flower arrangements? In such a way as to not damage said flowers? And glitter-filled envelopes? Send them my way!

    About that threatening thing? You don’t seem threatening at all to me, but I read you in comment sections long before engaging with you. You are an equal opportunity insultist and I dig sarcasm. For someone who only just met you having you call them an imbecile might come across fairly intimidating. Rightly so, you point out that “she started it”. Individuals are just that. I can’t project the level of devil-may-care what someone I don’t even know says about me onto everyone else. In other words, the words of people I don’t know have little impact on me(it’s more their stories that might be impactful). You could call me an imbecile(which is possibly true) and I wouldn’t give a bespectacled damned. If my husband called me that it would hurt.

    Acflory boils it down to “sticks and stones”. Unfortunately I’ve found it’s just not quite that simple. Words have inflicted far deeper wounds than any physical abuse I’ve endured. Damage to the psyche lasts far longer.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory
      February 25, 2016

      You’re right Ruth, when any discussion gets to this point, generalities are no longer appropriate. In point of fact, the case that led me to take more than a passing interest in LGBT issues was the death of a young gay boy who was literally bullied into taking his own life. Those words killed.

      The mistake I made was not to read the original blog post [the one by PurpleSage] before commenting. If I had, I think I would have been less conciliatory.

      Someone very near and dear to me is a trans male. All he is asking is to be allowed to be himself. To be treated as a normal person, with the same rights and obligations as any other normal person. And one of the things normal people do is advocate for others. But clearly being trans is beyond the pale. It’s okay to be gay, or lesbian but anything outside those two, clearly defined boxes is not okay.

      Well, let’s change the names shall we? Let’s call lesbians African Americans and trans people American Indians. According to people like PurpleSage, it’s okay for African Americans to sit in the bus with ‘white’ people but it’s not okay for American Indians to share the bus with either ‘whites’ or African Americans.

      Why? Because one lot fit some definition and another lot don’t.

      Oh that’s fair. That’s just. That is a nice, tolerant way of looking at difference.

      “So long as you’re like me you’re okay. Pretenders can go hide in a corner and die.”

      If ever I needed a reason not to become a feminist, or any other ‘ist’, this is it in a nutshell.

      Liked by 4 people

  18. Curious and Curiouser
    February 27, 2016

    I didn’t read the whole thing. I’m tired and also get awful déjà vu reading this stuff. One phrase did make me prick up my ears though: “discrimination queue”. I call it the Oppression Olympics. This is the nub of why I find most arguments from gay feminists critiquing trans activists to be moot. I feel like the argument about who has suffered the most to be particularly awful when it’s carried out by white academics. Please. Life is pain. Many people suffer. But trying to work out whose suffering is the Most Valid (particularly when you’re denying the suffering of anyone else not in your club): just shut the fuck up already

    Liked by 1 person

  19. theoccasionalman
    February 27, 2016

    Yeah. I’d have to agree with you — your comments were not anti-woman, and she started the name-calling. [Recognizing the teacher’s biases and going along with them doesn’t make a student intelligent.] But I find the tenor of comments on that post a little uncomfortable. We hear less from trans men because there are fewer of them, and because they don’t want to be labeled as trans men: they want to be identified as men, full stop. We don’t have many specifically men’s organizations because it’s discriminatory, so when trans men join the dominant group, they just blend in. Becoming a woman is more complicated because women are (rightfully) defensive about men taking over.

    I have an aunt who dropped every college course that had James Joyce on the syllabus. Responding to the trigger of prose one finds distasteful.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Sirius Bizinus
    February 27, 2016

    I never really knew about trigger warnings until after I started reading mental illness blogs. As far as I’m aware, it’s predominantly used as a courtesy and not as a required filter. That’s even dealing with populations that have higher risks of trauma.

    The problem with safe spaces is that it can backfire if not managed carefully. I read the post and the comments you referenced, and it seemed like your interlocutor was trying to passively get RS to do something to you. Ideally, a safe space is supposed to be a place where bullying behavior is not tolerated. Ironically, her behavior is a form of bullying.

    As with many new social conventions, it takes time to work out the kinks. People can be mistaken, and they can use terms in ways they’re not normally used. It’s the Internet, sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Good job these kids don’t have to survive the Great Depression or defeat Hitler or anything like that.

    Like

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This entry was posted on February 23, 2016 by in activism and tagged , , , , , .
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