Feminism: Mandatory Dan Savage Post

[Content Note: Ableism, Fat Shaming, Rape Culture, Biphobia, Racism, Domestic Violence]

Deconstruction Quickie here.

This is your yearly reminder that Being A Member Of A Marginalized Group does not automatically make you an ally to all other Marginalized Groups.

This is one of the many, many reasons why the comment policy here focuses on intersectionality and why I stress so long and so hard that pretty much everyone on earth has some kind of privilege and pretty much everyone on earth has some kind of marginalization and the important thing in my mind is learning how to:

  1. Recognize your privileges and check them at the door as much as possible. 
  2. Recognize marginalized groups (even ones you belong to) are not a monolith hivemind. 
  3. Recognize other people can be marginalized even if they look awfully privileged. 
  4. Recognize that negative generalizations against all/most "X people" are unfair and unwelcome. 
  5. Treat everyone with as much respect as possible.

This shouldn't be hard. That it is for some people, particularly for some nationally syndicated people, breaks my heart.


JonathanPelikan said...


Ana Mardoll said...

Yeah, no, I understand. Me too. It's not even "lolsob" at this point. The Helen Keller thing just... yeah. *sigh*

JonathanPelikan said...

Oh, I have another thought. Hugs to you , Ana. :) Despite whatever else is happening I always, always check up on this particular bookmark every day.

Ana Mardoll said...

Aw, thank you. :)

Will Wildman said...

That really is an amazing cornucopia of bigotry to flow from one person. Intersectionality failures have always made me despondent, since long before I was familiar with the term - on a fairly instinctive level, I have always hoped that if the system sucks for a person in one way, they'll be able to extrapolate that to understand how it sucks for people in other ways. It truly hurts when that's not the case, regardless of whether I'm in the intersected group.

depizan said...

Ah... well... He's a terrific example of how not to act?

(Trying to come up with some response beyond *headdesk* and/or swearing.)

EdinburghEye said...

I think the very last straw for me was when Dan Savage blamed the black voters of California for Proposition 8 passing. Several people pointed out to him the arithmetic of his illogic -and the whiteness of the very rich organisations that had poured millions into campaigning for Prop8 - but Dan remained oblivious, and suddenly all his sexism, and his fat-phobia, and his crap about bisexual people and trans people, all piled up into one choking mountain of FAIL, and I could no longer bear to read him.

Lonespark said...

I've probably read a lot of this fail at some point. And yes, sigh.

But now someone has mentioned Helen Keller, so yay socialism!

Smilodon said...

I still read his column sometimes. I disagree with him on a lot of issues, and on a lot of the advice he gives. But I started reading him in high school, when it was him, Cosmo, or Seventeen for sex advice, and his column was my entire introduction to the idea that sex was supposed to be a positive thing, and that sex between consenting adults could occur outside of a very narrow window of "acceptable". I wish there wasn't so much bad stuck in with the good.

Also, I'm more than willing to cheer socialism at any point, though my personal flavour of choice is democratic socialism. Yay!

Gilbert Deer said...

I'd also like to note he's said some pretty terrible things regarding asexual people.

Basically, if you're not a middle class white cis gay able male he feels perfectly fine talking shit about you.

Silver Adept said...

The cheers for Helen Keller's ardent socialism! Three jeers for the United States school system that does not teach this fact and prefers to leave her as a model for bootstraps can-do mixed with the Miracle of God. Kind of like leaving Dr. King a the great unifier of the races and neglecting the part where he agitated for real reform and reparation at the time among his other anti-establishment views. (I think that comes from Zinn, but I'm not sure)

The ways that intersectionality fail remind me of the graphic that represents the supposed hierarchy of the Internet/fandoms where certain groups supposedly consider themselves superior to other groups (and then everyone looks down on furries). Seems so much like U.S. secondary schoolyard identity politics, sometimes.

Ana Mardoll said...

I have never understood why people look down on furries. It seems like a harmless kink, best I can tell. Is it just a meme thing?

Ana Mardoll said...

Thank you. I was thinking that he had, but I was running out of steam near the end of that post.

Intersectionality fail depresses me so.

Silver Adept said...

All of the following its based solely on my anecdata of having hung around with more than a few furies in-line and in real life. Any errors of fact or broad brush, painting its my own. And I welcome corrections.

Additionally, any negative words or connections/connotations are used for illustrative purposes and not as my personal beliefs.

I think it's a bit more than just memetics, although one can certainly point fingers, often warranted, at the Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy that is the /b/ subform of 4chan and the more Trollish variants of the Something Awful Goondom. (I believe I have the right places here. If I'm wrong, I retract, apologize, and correct to the right places once informed.)

Content Warning for accusations of bestiality, homophobia, and weapons-grade stupidity and logic FAIL,

I think that a lot of furries are seen as "gateways" to a lot of things they consider very squicky. First and foremost, "If they're into that anthro art, then they must have lustful thoughts about their pets and other animals, and about my pets and other animals". Which its pretty much the same logic lines that claim gay men and lesbians are also into animals and children, whom they must recruit early to poison them properly into bring good gay men and lesbian women. Basically, "Your kink is not okay, therefore you must also like all these other things that are not okay."

Another possible "gateway" effect - a lot if the furries I gave been around are in kinky or otherwise non-"cis-PIV-man-on-top-monogamous-no-BDSM-sex-for-procreation-only-in-the-marriage-bed" relationships. Lots of QUILTBAG letters, ministers, and poly or open relationship people, and many of them aren't shy about it, either, once they know you're not going to give them grief. Which leads into all of the other logic failures already perpetuated against those groups, with multipliers because they're open about it.

Then there are the potential "freaks" of the furries, therians and Otherkin. People who believe that they're the reincarnate or incarnate souls of animals? You can guess what kind of lulz that generates for people who want to belittle others.

Those are the reasons I can think of - I'm sure there are others.

Ana Mardoll said...

Ah, I follow now. Not that that's logical in any way, but I understand how bigotry rolls. *sigh*

TW: Rape

I used to like Something Awful, back when they made valuable comments about rape games. Of course, even then I was a little "But It's More Complicated Than That!" because rape fantasies are complicated, and I think there's a difference between games that promote Rape Culture and games which say "okay, this kink you have? Here you go."

But then it started being -- or perhaps I just started noticing it being -- a place where EVERY kink was awful period and the ableism slurs flowed freely and I withdrew as a lurker.

Rowen said...

RE: Dislike of furries

The other thing I've come across is that many are viewed as . . . well, unwashed nerds taking their anime obsession a little too far. At least that's the type of dislike I've come across and this is mainly from people in the nerd and queer communities.

Which I think can be somewhat hilarious when it feels like the sentiment is "Ok, you go play with your stuffed animals and put a collar on and watch My Little Pony and draw pictures of anthropomorphic characters, I'M going to go do something adult . . .like catalog my comic book collection and polish my Avengers statues."

BaseDeltaZero said...

Lots of QUILTBAG letters, ministers, and poly or open relationship people

Ministers? As in... people who run churches? British public servants? Or is there some other meaning I'm not aware of.

But then it started being -- or perhaps I just started noticing it being -- a place where EVERY kink was awful period and the ableism slurs flowed freely and I withdrew as a lurker.

It seems to have a lot of 'you like something I don't? Then you're wrong and bad' as a general default.

Which I think can be somewhat hilarious when it feels like the sentiment is "Ok, you go play with your stuffed animals and put a collar on and watch My Little Pony and draw pictures of anthropomorphic characters, I'M going to go do something adult . . .like catalog my comic book collection and polish my Avengers statues."

Well, that *is* pretty funny.

Silver Adept said...

*sideyes his tablet and its autocorrect* Really? You made kinksters into ministers? (Then again, maybe it knows something about the fandom that I don't...)

Yeah, it tends to be a lot of "I don't like your kink, so your kink is not okay." Which is too bad, really - I've gotten some of the best unconditional hugs and cuddles from furries and there's a lot of room for expression there.

@Rowen - Square on the head with that hammer. Which its sort of the point of the "hierarchy" in the first place - everyone hates on each others' geekdom, while managing not to notice the very same habits in their own spheres. It's a classic speck-plank problem any time someone gets into that argument for those reasons.

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