A couple years back, when I still identified fairly strongly with feminism, I said “If feminism is losing people like Scott Alexander, we really need to take a look at ourselves and reevaluate what we’re doing wrong.” It was a tragedy to lose him, because he is an ideal feminist (IMHO). This was before I realized that “The Left” I had grown up with had been taken over by a lunatic fringe and was in the process of eating its own.
It’s happened again. Laci Green, for those unfamiliar, is a fantastic YouTuber, who mainly talks sex and sexuality. I loved her Sex+ show and watched it regularly. She is (was?) strongly liberal, and a feminist… kinda notorious for it, actually. Which, you know, all the hearts from me. :) Eventually I drifted away, when I faded away from YouTube entirely. Now I see she’s back! And in as fantastic form as ever! But the surprise announcement that she’s willing to talk to people with differing opinions has opened floodgates of hate from the lunatic fringe.
It sounds like she was subjected to a lash from the lunatic-fringe left, and is standing up for her principles. I am sad for her that she had to go through that, it’s rough as hell. But it’s fucking awesome that she’s not collapsing under the assault. I wish I could offer support in some way other than the occasional supportive comment and posting on my blog.
In her next video, when she said “I will always be a feminist” I wanted to cheer and cry at the same time. I do not identify as feminist in public anymore. It’s become too toxic and extreme. But I hate that the extremist took our word, and our movement. I, too, will always be one in my heart.
I consider it a duty of people to help police their own groups. I DO get pissed at the Catholics who don’t make a stink about their child-molesting priests. I despise the Republicans who will close ranks and cover their own, no matter what they did. Because no group EVER takes criticism from an outside group. They can only take it from other insiders. I would expect an atheist congregation to kick out an abusive community leader, because there ain’t nobody outside the community who will! A community must be able to criticize itself to some extent or it becomes rancid. I eventually opt-ed out of feminism because nowadays anything less than total devotion makes you the enemy, and that environment is deeply toxic. I know quite a few people who’ve lost many friends and huge chunks of their support network, finding themselves suddenly attacked by people they had counted as allies, for minor infractions. The far left’s auto-cannibalism is getting nuts.
I guess I still haven’t given up entirely, though. Some of my friends are still of the opinion that Twitter and YouTube should ban people who promote what they call “hate speech.”
No. Here is why.
I prefer not to ask corporation to act as our guardians of public morality. In my experience, they ALWAYS default to where the money is. Profit is their lifeblood. Perhaps right now it is most profitable to only censor those that a loud enough faction can successfully label “white supremacist” or “nazi” in the court of public opinion. But that’s a notoriously fickle court, AND it’s possible that some day it’ll be more profitable to only censor those that can be successfully labeled “feminist” or “homosexual”. Trump’s election scared us all because it showed us that’s not as distant as we used to think.
I would rather that companies not get involved in judgements of morality. Mega-phone companies sell mega-phones to anyone who wants them, they don’t vet to make sure they’ll never be used at anti-cop rallies. Concert halls rent out to whoever will pay for them, not just people who sing the “correct” kinds of songs. Printers will print any book a client will pay for, not just ones that aren’t “obscene.” Or that’s the way it should be, anyway.
We are very much pro-Net Neutrality for everything else. ISPs shouldn’t be allowed to decide what websites’ data they’ll allow to get to your computer, or slow down some of it. Right? Communication providers like Twitter and YouTube should be held to the same standard. I don’t want them to be anyone’s morality police, for either side. They’re held to the same law as everyone else – speech that is threatening or an incitement to violence is illegal, and would cover the worst of the terrorist stuff. The exchange of ideas remains protected.
I take it as a good sign that our society seems to be able to pull back from that cliff and return to sanity rather than plunging into violence. It’s wonderful that people like Laci Green, famous for being leftist, is willing to stand up despite losing her support base and many friends, and say “This is going too far.” This is the strength we need to survive, and it looks like our society has it. :)
I am a fan of civilization. I love Laci Green for what she’s doing. Censorship is the purview of villains, and we are no villains! If we’re confident that our views are the better ones, the best thing to do is to promote the free exchange of ideas so that everyone can see this. We don’t NEED to resort to censorship, because we’re right.