and then they came for me

Wow, I can’t hide that I’m more upset than I should be by the ridiculousness below.

I know some of my closest friends disagree with me on trans issues as well as the whole postmodern “third-wave” “pro-sex” feminist thing (also mentioned below). I also know I’m as guilty as anyone of losing my temper and lashing out at people whose positions I disagree with. What scares me, however, is how quickly I’m being painted as a serious enemy by this tiny group of people over at The Vegan Ideal. The inability to have any space whatsoever for people who don’t agree with 100% of what a certain group of people have decided are the “right” positions is…breathtaking.

My friend R. (I’m pretty sure I’ve already told this story on the blog), a long time political vegan, will eat a little bit of cheese or egg at a restaurant if it comes on his plate even when he specified for it to be vegan, because, as he explained it to me, he became vegan in order to not waste lives, and if that food goes in the garbage it will truly be wasted. My friend C, another old school political vegan, is currently musing on the ethics of vegans keeping bees in respectful ways. Many of my friends in this little upstate NY town keep chickens, eating their eggs and providing them with long, happy lives.

My friend B. really believes in the transformative, feminist power of sex work and stripping and burlesque. I pretty much think it’s giving into the patriarchy, instead of challenging it, but I like talking about it with her, I want to hear more about what she thinks—I want to keep hearing different perspectives.

I’m not exactly in the same place as of any of these people (especially the chicken freaks), but I respect them. I respect that they are THINKING. And TRYING. And growing and changing.

I try, as hard as my fucking little wild heart can, to trust that the people I surround myself with—on the internet and in real life—have good intentions. What a slap in the face it is when this trust isn’t returned. I don’t know why this is affecting me so much. It’s a bunch of fascists on the internet—why am I surprised? Because they are vegan fascists? I’ve known insane vegans forever. They burn themselves out after a few years, and it can be fun to watch the show in the meantime. But my god, it hurts when they turn their guns on you.

Yuck.

Happily, I am not a fascist. I’m an anarchist. As such, I honor multifaceted methods of bringing about a better world. For the millionth time, I repeat: to nuance! To learning! To refusing to step in line!

51 Responses to “and then they came for me”

  1. Liz2

    I can’t address the issues in question with any kind of coherence.

    But don’t be upset: “no bad press,” etc. And what a relief to not be the Vegan Ideal, it sounds like a lot to live up to.

    Your blog is lovely, it feels like a safe space for thinking and shit slinging and cyber-lounging. Keep it up.

    Reply
  2. Stephanie

    Can I ask if anyone from the Vegan Ideal approached you to talk about this issue before the post went up? I don’t know what your current position is, but I suspect that I “agree” more with the position assumed by the other blog (I’m one of those postmodern feminists). But one of the things at stake here is what it means to be a vegan activist and how we should conduct ourselves. Maybe there is a way we could talk about cis privilege that is outside the context of moral purity? The ecofeminist tradition that you’re writing out of has some resources for this, especially in care ethics. This is something that I spend a lot of time thinking about- how to conduct myself in ethical and political action involving people that I disagree with. In any event, I hope that this experience doesn’t cause you to close down the discussion for yourself. I say this as someone who reads your blog and the Vegan Ideal regularly. I find your straight forwardness refreshing and I appreciate the Vegan Ideal’s mission. The conflict between two assumed allies is difficult for me. I do understand that you might not want to blog about this right now. If you ever want to continue the conversation, drop me an email.

    Reply
      • lagusta

        Ah! NOW I GET IT!!! Noah, I had no idea you were in any way connected with the site. I just figured you were a reader….I am not a regular reader of The Vegan Ideal, so if you’ve posted there before I wouldn’t have known it. I think Stephanie was asking if anyone from the site emailed me, which, to my knowledge until this moment, they hadn’t.

      • Noah

        It’s true – I’m not connected to The Vegan Ideal other than as a reader. I posted the emails for Stephanie’s benefit because I think they show two things:

        1. Lagusta clearly stood by the earlier writings. (A fact I did share with Ida.)

        2. Someone (me and the people I reference as earlier talking with Lagusta about the essays) had contacted Lagusta, both privately and publicly.

        I hear Stephanie’s concerns about how we should approach one another – and obviously share them as I do often use the private approach. But I think that is not in any way required, especially when responding to public writings. When writings are in public for all to see and be influenced by, they demand a public response.

        It felt to me like Stephanie was saying that if only Ida had just contacted Lagusta privately before posting, this whole mess could have been avoided. Well, no, because me and a bunch of other people had already tried that. Lagusta had been defending (or slooowly changing) her views for years.

        A public discussion may be trying for Lagusta, but it seems to have been necessary. And now anyone reading it can learn from it as well, not just one person.

    • Noah

      I will post this is a separate comment in case Lagusta is not comfortable with her email being posted here, but this was the reply:

      Subject: Re: your recent edit
      Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 01:18:17 -0500
      From: lagusta
      To: Noah

      Nope. I just got tired of being yelled at. And, yeah, I changed the essay all around and talked about the changes here: http://www.lagusta.com/rants/trans2008.html. That old essay shouldn’t even be up any more, weird.

      Reply
    • Noah

      [Ida’s post did not go up until Wed, Nov. 25.]

      Subject: Re: your recent edit
      Date: Wed, 18 Nov 2009 12:50:54 -0500
      From: Noah
      To: Lagusta

      I’m sorry to hear that you are tired of people reacting to your writing. I admire you for putting yourself out there. I know it’s not easy to receive feedback from people who are angry. I know that confronting privilege is difficult; recognizing that we might have hurt people is difficult. But I see that you really do want to learn.

      We are all on the same side of things, that is why it is so much more painful to see transphobia from someone like you than from Focus on the Family.

      I assume you’ve read Audre Lorde’s The Uses of Anger. Not everyone can express the hurt your words have caused in a way that is polite. I’m sure you understand. But that doesn’t mean what they are saying is any less valid. I thought it was really interesting when I saw that Valerie had said the exact same thing Piny did (about welcoming trans women), but you seem not to have heard Valerie. I’m glad you heard Piny, though.

      I was talking with Ida of The Vegan Idea about you and she doesn’t think you will listen, and I’m always like, people just don’t know any better, they have to be educated. But then when I came across the old writings and saw that that trans guy had said the exact same things I’d just said, I began to wonder, what’s the point? I really am naive. She’s heard it all before, why am I bothering?

      But I am still bothering because I know that you really truly don’t know what you are saying and that you are saying it out of ignorance, not malice. But the thing is, the words are deeply hurtful and oppressive. They are harming real people, and as long as they are out there in the world they are harming real people. Those comments and essays are making people feel bad about themselves, keeping them in the closet, preventing them from transitioning, denying them health care, making their lives unsafe.

      I could share more details with you that might actually help you to understand, but I do not feel safe doing so. Nor do I have any reason to believe that sharing part of me would make a difference. Especially given that by my count 5-6 trans people have tried talking with you about this and your views have not changed–they’re they same ones you expressed in the comments (and you do just reprint the old essay, so I’m not sure how your views have changed).

      It is possible that you could listen, really listen, without a need to defend yourself and your worldview? Are you actually interested in becoming a trans ally? Right now you’re saying you’re not opposed to transsexual people, but turning around and saying we shouldn’t exist. Which, as you might imagine, tends to make us sad and angry. Hence the yelling.

      Noah

      Reply
  3. Chutney

    You are an amazing and inspiring person, please don’t take the hateful words of internet strangers to heart like this.

    Reply
  4. Jordan

    It hurt my feelings also.. I think it hurt most of all because they attacked Bloodroot. Selma and Noel are wonderful ladies who have come from a time and place that is so much more differant then todays. They are Pioneers in creating a safe place for women and all progressive peoples. They are not Anti transexuals!!!!
    And when they attack places like bloodroot and these wonderful hard working ladies it makes me mad! Why pick on other progressive peoples Just because they are not perfection? Throwing out all of their hard work made me so very sad for the person who wrote this about you and bloodroot.

    Reply
  5. Marla

    The exact point-counterpoint arguments are not something I feel interested in rehashing, Lagusta, but I do have to say that I’ve felt characterized as foolish, neurotic, etc. in the past regarding your position on different issues. Like, for example, if you saw me – as a mother with a child – go into a shop and ask for something gluten-free, I’m afraid that just on that basis, I would be written off as yet another neurotic yuppie Democrat breeder. I know that your thinking is more complex and nuanced than this, but I have to be honest, that is how it comes across to me sometimes, and feeling judged like that is just so hurtful. (Not that you are trying to be hurtful or even necessarily that you think this way – I overstate things all the time [there I just did it again!] when I write – but just that it hurts to think someone might be thinking this way about me based on me fitting some subjective criteria.) I love you and reading what you have to write and most of the time, I don’t feel like I’m on the receiving end of any lashings out. Is it possible to say that I love reading about your opinions except when it seems that I could be characterized as an idiot because of certain external factors or is that immature of me? :)

    I guess this is all to say that we could all – me fully included here! – use a little more generosity, understanding and appreciation of nuance. We shouldn’t let that dampen our passionate voices, though. Thanks for being your deeply human self, Lagusta.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Heya Marla!

      I wouldn’t take it personally.

      I think, as I’ve said, that way too many people avoid gluten and wheat for no reason, but I’ve also said that there are people who need to avoid gluten for real, and clearly you’re one of those people.

      I also believe that way less people should have kids and should raise them more mindfully and that there is power in choosing the childless path, and I very much want my blog to be a space where people feel comfortable taking glee in not having kids. But of course I also celebrate people who are raising them well and enjoy the experience, & I’ve talked about that too…albeit way less, as the whole rest of the world seems to celebrate that. ;)

      xoxox

      Reply
    • lagusta

      I wouldn’t take it personally, Marla. I’ve spoken out against the hyper obsession with wheat and gluten-free foods, but I’ve also made the point that clearly some people need to honestly avoid these foods. Both can exist: there is a real serious ridiculous segment of society who avoids these foods for no reason, and it’s fun to laugh at their stupidity. This doesn’t mean there aren’t people who truly can’t eat them, and that we can’t have compassion for them.

      Likewise, I very much want my blog to be a space where childfree people feel celebrated and sane, and where I can deposit my feelings that, in general, having kids is ludicrous, but I’ve also talked about the delight I sometimes get from my friends’ kids and kids in general and how lovely it is to know people who are raising kids well…I just don’t focus on that as much, since the whole rest of the world seems to celebrate the joys of having kids. ;)

      xoxo

      Reply
      • Marla

        I know, Lagusta, and I certainly don’t want or expect you to be all “Rah rah rah, have kids!” You create the sort of blog that reflects your views and the sort of vision you have for expressing your beliefs. I have always agreed that those who choose to not have children deserve to have such a space; it’s just when I’m one who does have a child and may do something else that seems to indicate some predetermined conclusion (based on factors I can’t control), it sucks to feel that I would be harshly judged if you didn’t know me. You are right that most of the rest of the world is on the side of having children; i can accept that that some are very opposed to it. I have no problem with that and accepted going into parenthood that that would be something I’d occasionally face.

        I’ve responded in the past that I agree with some of your g-free views, especially in regards with conflating it with veganism (the same thing happens with raw foods, too) but it’s hard not extrapolate that I would be judged if you didn’t have the benefit of knowing my specific situation. I guess unintentionally creating hurt feelings is one of the potential results of expressing a strong position on something and it’s something I’ve had to address before as well. From the view of the person who would potentially be judged, though, I can say that it’s hard not to take it personally. (And I should point out that it’s not like I’m all weeping over my keyboard in such instances, just that the feeling of being judged does arise from time to time and it never feels good but given the bigger picture, I can still appreciate what you have to say.)

      • lagusta

        Oh argh, double comments! I thought one got lost! Dang!

  6. Ida

    Lagusta, you and Bloodroot are obviously involved in advocacy work that opposes some forms of exploiting other animals. So does PETA, but I don’t think that should stop you from criticizing how PETA perpetuates oppression. Surely you don’t consider yourself a fascist for opposing PETA, do you? Of course not.

    I openly oppose your beliefs about trans people and Bloodroot’s exploitation of nonhuman animals. When I refer to you positions as “anti-trans” or “anti-vegan” I’m using those terms to identify the specifically anti-trans and anti-vegan nuances of those positions. However, instead of addressing those issues, you refer to me and whomever else your associating with my site, as “vegan fascists.”

    That word, “fascist,” has meaning. It’s a term rooted in totalitarian right-wing national and racial supremacy and genocide. But the nuances of this term’s meaning are being confused and disregarded in the current context. When you use the term to denounce me, my website, my arguments, and those you associate with me and my site, you are painting all this with an extremely broad brush. As such, that term is being used to ease any nuances that are present in the work on my site. Not to mention how this disregard for nuances erases the work on The Vegan Ideal that address actual fascism.

    And sorry, but I don’t think calling people names like “insane,” “stupid,” “freaks,” “fascist,” etc has anything to do with “good intentions.”

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Your inability to see people who disagree with you even the slightest bit as allies is what makes you a fascist. If this is not your belief, your writing certainly says the opposite.

      Reply
      • Noah

        Defending oneself from oppression is not fascism.

        Trans women (perceived/erased as “gay men”) were rounded up by the Nazis and sent to concentration camps where many died. Magnus Hirschfeld was a pioneering human sexuality researcher in pre-war Germany. He was one of the first researchers to acknowledge the existence of transsexual people and take us seriously. We’ve still barely progressed to the level of understanding and acceptance that he advocated 90 years ago because his research center, his life’s work–including all of his documentation about trans people–was burned by the Nazis.

        That is what fascism looks like.

        If you do not speak out when other women are persecuted, you’re right – when they come for you, there will be no one left to speak out for you.

        You declare yourself to be a trans ally, but that is not really a designation that can be self-imposed – especially when trans folks feel otherwise. As you might put it: “I’d like to believe all cis women are allies in that struggle, but I need a whole hell of a lot more proof.”

      • lagusta

        I really adore how you write completely made up quotes of mine and actually put them in quotation marks!! It’s awesome!

      • Noah

        As you might put it. Might.

        I’m aware that this is what you actually said: “there is also the very unsubconscious (that is: conscious) world of patriarchy and the world men have created and that we are all trying so hard to dismantle and change. I’d like to believe all trans dudes are allies in that struggle, but I need a whole hell of a lot more proof.”

        It hurt when you said that about me, a trans dude, and I thought long and hard before directing it back at you. If you found it hurtful, I am sorry. I was trying to make a point about who gets to determine allyship. If you get to determine who is an ally to women, trans folks get to decide who is an ally to trans folks.

      • lagusta

        Um, are you hurt when someone makes a sweeping statement about vegans? I’d like to think you’re smart enough to know that sweeping statements are just that: they don’t apply to everyone they are about, and the people making them know that, and allow for that. Please note I didn’t say “every single transgendeed male is a horrible misogynist” –I don’t believe that, so I didn’t say that.

      • piny

        Vegans =! Trans People. Is there a Vegan Day of Remembrance? Should there be?

        You didn’t. But on the other hand, you evaluated trans men as a group rather than as a collection of individuals. You also linked the collective strength of trans male feminism to the validity of trans male gender/transition. That is kind of offensive, just as if you reserved the right to “question” lesbian sexuality because some lesbians are misogynist.

        Anyway. You just did the opposite of asking, and I have to go explain where Indonesia is. I’ll stop now.

      • lagusta

        Because this discussion has become so rambly and disorganized, I can’t instantly find where I “evaluated trans men as a group rather than as a collection of individuals”. I’m not doubting that I did, because apparently I have committed every sin known to the PC police, but it hurts my heart to think of rereading everything to find where that specific sin took place.

        I have realized that a lot of my initial words were rather imprecise and should have been followed and preceded with a ton of “Of course, not in every case” and “I’m not trying to speak for an entire group of people here” and “this is a minor point when compared with the larger struggle for trans rights, of course, but it’s still interesting to discuss, no?” and things like that.

        I guess I thought my lovely, smart blog readers would sort of read that into my words. Well, I will never make that mistake again. And why should they have? Noah and Ida and many others don’t know me in real life, so they have only my imprecise internet words to go on.

        One more thing: “you also linked the collective strength of trans male feminism to the validity of trans male gender/transition”

        I mean…seriously? That’s what you took from my words? I guess I was a whole lot more imprecise than I thought. Of course I think trans men can be feminists, and that this has nothing to do with their transition—except in the sense that all of our personal feminisms have a lot to do, of course, with our own experiences.

        And how can there even BE collective trans male feminism if anyone can’t ever say that there is such a thing as a group of trans men who might ever share any little thing enough to be talked about, well, collectively?

      • piny

        Okay. Just reread this for a sec, please?

        Because this discussion has become so rambly and disorganized, I can’t instantly find where I “evaluated trans men as a group rather than as a collection of individuals”. I’m not doubting that I did, because apparently I have committed every sin known to the PC police, but it hurts my heart to think of rereading everything to find where that specific sin took place.

        Do you expect me to react well to “committed every sin known to the PC police?” Would you?

        Yeah, me neither. It’s much better than being called a bitch who needs to STFU, but it still kind of sucks.

        I was talking about the same comment you were.

        There is such a thing as trans men, plural–just as there are women, plural, and gay people, plural, and even vegans, plural.

        But there is no shared political compass–and there is no collective obligation to one.

        I get that you think that trans men can be feminists; that you aren’t saying that no trans men are feminists. That’s not what I was talking about. This is what I was saying:

        When you say you need “a lot more proof” that “all trans men” are feminists, you’re giving them a hivemind–an obligation to each other’s political beliefs. You’re not evaluating them as individuals.

        And you said that in response to a comment from Noah that started this way:

        “Gender and sex are very different things. You may not be tied to your gender, but I’m willing to bet you’re sticking with your sex….”

        …and didn’t really contain anything about whether or not trans men are feminists. (Although I get the sense that Noah is.) So you implied that trans male feminism was important to the validity of trans manhood. You didn’t mean to say that, I get that, but that is what it looks like.

      • lagusta

        (in case it doesn’t show up in the right place, this is a response to Piny’s comment on Dec 4 at 3:17 am)

        Well, maybe no one’s ever called you out on being so insanely obsessively p.c. before and I was just performing a public service!

        “When you say you need “a lot more proof” that “all trans men” are feminists, you’re giving them a hivemind–an obligation to each other’s political beliefs. You’re not evaluating them as individuals.”

        OK, duly noted. Error made.

  7. Noah

    To call someone a fascist and allude to Nazis in the title…these are pretty serious allegations/appropriations. Is listening to an oppressed person speak out against oppressive writings really like being hauled off to a concentration camp?

    Of course not. But I see that you feel attacked. OK. It’s no fun feeling threatened.

    Ida obviously felt threatened by your words, words that threaten her very existence, her health care, her access to women’s spaces, far more than her words can threaten anything you do. Your words appeared on a website whose purpose included seeking to exclude trans women from accessing services for women (such as shelters and rape crisis centers).

    But rather than renouncing such a position, you linked on your site to an extremely anti-MTF essay which practically calls all trans women male rapists. An article hosted on the Vancouver Rape Relief site – the organization that fought to create a legal precedent that excludes trans women from providing and receiving services for women.

    It’s important to keep those power imbalances in mind. You used cissexual privilege to assert views about what transsexual people should do with their bodies. When transsexual people assert otherwise, it is only your cissexual privilege that is threatened, not you.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Noah, I put those references in intentionally, of course. Fascism (and Nazism) is exactly what happens when we attempt to control the way people think and tell them that there can be no deviations from one line of thought. I’m not calling anyone a Nazi, of course, but I stand by the allusion, because I seriously see p.c.ness taken to an insane extreme here.

      I recognize that for you, any deviations from your line of thinking equal oppression. To try to understand where you’re coming from and feel empathy, I’ve tried to think about it like veganism: if someone tells me that they agree mostly with me about veganism, I just think, “that’s stupid. You should just be vegan already.” But I’m still thankful when they are at least cutting down on dairy.

      Why can’t you be thankful that I believe that in 99.99% of cases people are right to transition and that there might be an .01% whose motivations I (used to be) interested in talking about? I know I have absolutely no right to say who can and can’t transition, but I’m not saying that. I don’t want to stop anyone from doing anything (I repeat I repeat I repeat), I (used to be) am just interested in musing on that .01%. I’d argue that of 1000 people doing ANYTHING, 1 is doing it for the wrong reasons (not sure if that math works out, but I don’t care), and that interests me. Well, it used to.

      Reply
      • piny

        So…

        When several people said that your ideas were transphobic and that they supported transphobia, they were being horribly unfair to you. With an attitude like that, they cannot expect you to talk to them any longer, let alone listen to their arguments.

        When you compared those people to Nazis, the personification of human evil, well, that was perfectly justified. Because their arguments are insane.

        Does that seem like a double standard, or is it just me?

      • lagusta

        I was upset more by the tone, and lashed out at that. I just don’t think it’s useful to cast someone as an enemy when they express an opinion one tiny bit different than one would like.

        And no, I don’t think their arguments are insane, not at all. Again, it was the ridiculous accusatory attitude that made me shut down. Noah said in an email to me yesterday that it “felt threatening” that I responded to a comment and accidentally posted his IP address! If a simple mistake like that is taken as a threat, god knows what actual thoughts could do. If people are going to be so intensely upset by my ideas, and are going to think they are going to cause so much intense harm, then my god, forget about discussion. It’s not worth it to me.

      • Noah

        The reason I sent an email rather than replying to that comment is because I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. There was something bizarre about it, but I couldn’t place my finger on it. Posting a comment from a phone is beyond me, so it never occurred to me that you did not see exactly what had been posted. I did have to assume it was on purpose, but I still couldn’t really understand it.

        What Piny said. I read that quote as: “I don’t believe that trans men can be feminists because their act of transitioning [and the resultant person] is inherently anti-woman.” That quote cannot be taken out of context from the other writings (still up at that time) that explicitly expressed fears that trans men were only transitioning due to misogyny.

        As to being upset at the tone of the quote: exactly.

      • lagusta

        Yeah, WordPress has this thing where I just respond to a comment in my email and it goes on the blog. I need to copy the original email for it to work though, which has your email and IP address. I’ve never seen anything happen ever before where it left that info in, it’s always stripped it out in the past. I am not super amazing with computers, the whole issue truly flummoxed me.

        I understand that there are real, serious threats to your safety as a trans person and that perhaps that has made you overly cautious. Why you “had to assume” that I meant you that much harm, however, really and truly makes me want to cry. You really thought I intentionally left in your IP address so that, what, angry transphobes could hunt you down in real life? I’m sitting here with my mouth literally agape, just not knowing what to say to that.

      • piny

        As someone who’s heard this actual threat a few times from actual internet assholes…remember that you have to reason back from the posted information. So it’s like, “Whoa, why did this person post my IP address?!” and if it were me, I’d already be a little freaked out. Noah had to assume it was on purpose because he’s familiar with a WP template that would make your mistake impossible, not because you’re a bad person.

        I think even the jerkoffs who do post IP addresses to intimidate, i.e. not you, don’t usually wish violence on their targets. They’re not the type to think things through when it comes to hurting others. I think their reasoning goes something more like, “That’ll shut ’em up.”

      • lagusta

        I just….I’m so in shock. I barely even understand what that threat MEANS. Noah sends me these nice polite emails saying he understands I’m a kind person or whatever, then accuses me of all this ridiculousness…it’s just shocked me beyond all belief.

      • piny

        I meant the threat where people threaten to reveal your personal information on the internet so as to intimidate you into silence. The one we were discussing. Just now. I was not accusing you of anything. And I think that should have been pretty clear from the, “i.e., not you.”

      • piny

        I understand that you feel like the people talking to you are accusing you unfairly. But then again, you compared Noah and the other people in the conversation to Nazis.

        How can your definition of “ridiculous accusatory attitude” include “you’re saying transphobic things,” but not, You’re acting like Nazis, “being painted as the enemy,” “a bunch of fascists,” and “turn their guns on [me,]” “the PC police,” “Your inability to see people who disagree with you even the slightest bit as allies is what makes you a fascist,” and “any deviations from your line of thought equal oppression?”

        These all look pretty accusatory from where I’m standing, and comparing people evaluating you negatively on the internet with men who murdered a priest with millions of others seems sort of ridiculous to me.

      • lagusta

        I don’t want to say “you started it,” because that’s childish, but uh, YOU STARTED IT. I was trying my hardest, in my horrible horrible horrible transphobic way, to keep an open heart and listen. I know you’re all saying I’ve been saying the same things over and over and over for years, but I’ve really seen my positions change over time. We’ll never agree completely. I’m OK with that, you aren’t. Continuing to harp on me over and over and over and OVER just seems ridiculous.

        Though I’ve gotten hot headed and horrible at times, I’ve still learned a lot from this discussion. Some of it has been useful, but a lot of it has been of the “if you don’t agree with us we will treat you like shit and slander your name all over the internet” variety. But I’m trying to take what I’ve learned and leave the rest.

      • piny

        I dunno if that’s such a productive way to talk about things, either, since I don’t see this as a fight, but…I don’t think that’s true.

        You wrote something on your blog, remember? You commented critically about something other people were saying and doing. Then they responded to you, and then some other people responded to you, too.

        I’m happy to go away, honestly, but I’m also responding to things you are saying in your comments threads. Things you’ve said just now. I don’t think I’m harping on you so much as making half of a conversation. You’re the other half.

        And if you see that as harassment, or as treating you like shit, or as slander, then I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree. You keep saying that you’re trying and trying and trying to have an open-mind, but…well. Agree to disagree.

      • lagusta

        I’m no longer trying to be productive! This has made me so insane that I’m just trying not to scream in all caps!

        You’re right, I’m the other half. I’m stopping, Right now. For real this time. When I said “I’ve learned a lot from this discussion” I was speaking in the past tense, because at this point its become just laughably ridiculous.

      • piny

        Noah didn’t know it was accidental; he just saw his private information exposed. And he did contact you privately, because he did want to give you the benefit of the doubt.

        Insane was your word.

        I’m not arguing that you can’t be angry. I’m not arguing that you can’t use harsh language.

        What I’m saying is this:

        You say that you got really, really, really upset and angry when people wrote blog posts and comments about how you’re saying some bigoted things. You were upset, as you say, by their “accusatory tone.” And by the fact that you were cast as “an enemy” because they said things that you didn’t like. And by the fact that they didn’t take all your good qualities and actions into account. You say that it shut you down.

        But did anyone compare you to Adolf Hitler? How respected would that make you feel? I mean, when I think “intense harm?” I think about Nazis.

        But you’re done. So I really should just shut up and go, and I’m honestly sorry to have wasted your time and mine. I hope you have lots of productive discussions with other people, and I hope you never feel compelled to break out the Niemoller again.

      • Noah

        You might understand more where we are coming from if you think in terms of being a woman – a situation where you are the person experiencing oppression – rather than veganism, where you are an ally to nonhuman animals who are the ones experiencing oppression. (They might have a harder line view than you.)

        Even slight deviation from your line of thinking about women (say, thinking .01% of the time she really did deserve it) might just equal oppression.

        These comments have been begging for that Leslie Feinberg quote, so I can no longer resist: “Where I come from, being ‘politically correct’ means using language that respects other peoples’ oppressions and wounds.”

        It’s almost like you don’t want to admit that your views have changed because that would mean admitting that you’ve said transphobic things in the past. When called out on them, you selectively dismiss your older views as outdated, but with no explicit renunciation. But simultaneously you want us to acknowledge that your views have changed. Though how can we know that if we only get your most up-to-date views in dribs and drabs like in this comment.

        But I do I think your views have changed in the last two weeks. And I am thankful for that.

  8. brittany

    that Ida bitch needs to STFU. Noah’s ok, though… maybe.

    also, just FYI, how dare you characterize this group of people as “tiny.” you further marginalize their totally super-valuable, respectful and inclusive perspectives that are completely relevant to the everyday existance of everyone in the world, ever. how ignorant and oppressive and cis (ha!) of you. ;)

    xoxo <3

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Oh man Britt! I love you, but don’t turn my blog into that kind of place!

      Reply
  9. piny

    I ITCH to discuss it more, I know I haven’t conducted myself well throughout the whole thing, but I can’t. I want to win this argument and convert everyone to my side and express everything so perfectly and elegantly that all the unpleasantness will fall away under the shadow of my brilliance, but we all know that’s not what’s going to happen.

    Thus, I will give up.

    This is an interesting contrast with the last line of this post.

    I don’t have time for the internet anymore. I had no idea any of this was going on. Maybe that’s for the better.

    I’m sorry you’re not going to discuss this issue on the internet anymore. I understand that this doesn’t mean “I will not discuss it with trans people anymore,” but I think there’s some significant overlap. This is where you meet trans people who think differently from you. It’s important to air issues with minority representatives outside one’s calling circle, after all.

    Best of luck convincing people that there really is a connection between a glass of milk and a factory farm, between minor laziness and great cruelty. I do enjoy the recipes.

    Reply
    • lagusta

      Actually, since I decided not to attempt to improve my trans alliness (?) online by working out my issues on the internet, I’ve been having AMAZING real talks with real friends, and you know what? It’s been wonderful!

      With my real friends I can actually say what I actually think and can trust that they understand where I’m coming from. Maybe the internet is just not made for this kind of conversation.

      And now I reread your comment and see that you already knew that from my earlier comment and are saying I should be talking about it online to get other viewpoints. I’m just too sensitive for that right now, unfortunately. I’m not saying it’s right, it’s just where I am.

      Reply
      • piny

        Yes, it is. And I completely understand–this whole discussion has made me want to go wallow in my supportive spaces, and I’d bet a few dollars that at least a few of your interlocutors feel the same.

        Try to at least remember in the meantime: if you’re not a little uncomfortable, you probably aren’t learning much.

  10. piny

    Sorry, Noah–am I being super obnoxious here? I know you’re well able to speak for yourself.

    Reply
  11. lagusta

    I know that. I’m just saying that Noah’s action shocked me. The comment #26 was a response to comment #22.

    Reply
  12. brittany

    50 COMMENTS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! hahahahahahahahahaha… HOBBIES, PEOPLE!!! (and bickering on the intrawebz does NOT count!!!)

    Reply

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