AS297: Are the PC Police Out to Get Us?

In today’s episode I talk about several very striking examples of misleading headlines that have been created and shared in furtherance of the narrative that the PC police are ruining our lives. When I investigated these news stories though, I found that the truth was somewhat more complex and in many cases the stories were just downright misleading! Here are some links discussed:

Fake BLM Video

NYC Gender Pronoun Law

Professor put on leave for anti-PC opinions?

Teacher’s Union Says Call Students ‘Comrade’

Comedy Club Bans Irony!!

45 thoughts on “AS297: Are the PC Police Out to Get Us?”

  1. Thomas, nobody is “anti-social justice.” Some of us are and remain anti-absurdity. That’s like calling pro-choice people “pro-abortion.” Almost no one, if anyone, is pro-abortion; they’d rather it didn’t come to that, but they want the choice available if it does. I’m for everyone being free to be whoever they are or believe themselves to be. Hell, I don’t even care what bathroom anyone uses. Taking a leak or a dump has never been an intensely sexual endeavor for me, as it apparently has for many people.

    An example of what I call absurdity is the fact that (probably well over ten years ago by now) I was taken to task for referring to a place that served Chinese, Korean and some Japanese food an Oriental restaurant. “You don’t ever say Oriental,” they told me, “Always say ‘Asian’.” Why on earth not? “Oriental is a racial slur,” I was told. When I tried to get them to explain how Oriental, which means simply “eastern” is a racial slur, they could not. They didn’t know why. It just is now.

    I few years later, I met and hung out with a lady who worked in the HR office of Los Alamos Fucking Laboratories, a hotbed of government-mandated Political Rectitude if ever there was. While she confirmed for me that “Oriental” was definitely a racial slur, she had no idea why, either. I asked if “Occidental” was similarly a slur. She didn’t know what occidental meant. Nobody’s that anti-PC until it starts to get absurd.

    Do you know how and/or why “Oriental,” meaning eastern or “of the Orient,” is a racial slur? Does Eli?

    1. I think some people find the term “oriental” offensive for the same reason one might find the term “exotic” offensive when used in reference to a person. It has historically been used to describe people as being objects of fascination rather than human beings.

      Why does it matter, though? Why do you care what someone wants to be called? Is it so hard to not use a word when someone specifically asks you not to?

      1. I wanted to know WHY, and no one knew. They were just following each other around blindly. I have no problem at all calling someone as they wish to be called, but my SJW friends never even said that Asians wished to be called Asian; if that’s true, it’s not a problem. They were just mindlessly following an edict to quit using the term Oriental and couldn’t say where the edict had come from or why. It’s the mindlessness I object to, not the terms.

        1. Well I’ve now given you a reason why it would be insulting, and cursory google would have turned up other answers as well. Besides that, in most cases I really don’t care why a word offends someone- it really doesn’t affect my life at all to use a word they find less hurtful. If not using the word would negatively impact my ability to express myself, that’s the point that I would ask for justification. Before that point you’re just being an asshole.

          1. I never. ever said I wouldn’t use whatever term they wanted me to use. You’re right it’s no problem at all. You should read my posts before you respond angrily to them. You just made another point for the Anti-SJW side.

    2. I’m anti social justice. We have an actual justice system and, from the way SJWs refer to it, it seems social justice is the antithesis of it.

      What I mean by this is: contrary to the dictionary definition (remember feminism ONLY means equality between men and women HAHAHAH…no) actual justice is blind. Social Justice has a progressive stack (look it up…it’s a mind fuck of absurdity) and actual justice takes place in a court room, social justice takes place on social media by an unruly mob.

      Whatever people want to claim social justice is, it’s became a lynch mob that goes after peoples livelihoods for indiscretions against a far left dogmatic ideology. Our justice system isn’t perfect – and needs reform – but it’s a far deal better than the bolshevik b.s. that is advocated by most social justice advocates. No, censorship of speech/expression isn’t the answer, nor is taking the law into your own hands so you can exact your lb of flesh against your ideological foes.

      But i’m sure someone will correct me on how Social Justice is only advocating for equality, even if it looks like b.s. propagated by supremacist movements pushing far left marxist ideologies.

    3. Do you need to know the exact etymology and history behind the n-word to know it’s a slur? Why is it such a problem to take someone at their word that a word is a slur or is offensive? If you think they’re wrong or lying, you can always just Google the term and find out, and I don’t think it’s a big deal to avoid the word to be safe until your next opportunity to look it up.

      I just don’t understand why the social policing of particular words is so important as compared to not establishing an unwelcoming environment for people of all backgrounds, where they don’t they’re around racists or bigots (not that you are, but if you use the words that are associated with bigotry, you should be sympathetic to their confusion and distress).

      1. I have a tendency to forget that SJWs are like unto Gods who should just be followed, never questioned. Just FYI, none of the people I talked to were actual Asians who could vouch for being offended. The people I knew were just bureaucrats following the butt in front of them.

        Put it on your calendar, though: January 20th, 2017: PC is a NON-ISSUE ! Whiners of any stripe from either side will be ridiculed or ignored. Probably ridiculed, then ignored. I, personally, think PC has a place in a civilized society, but we are headed away from a civilized society at a fairly good clip and we’re lovin’ every minute of it!

        1. You can absolutely ask questions. The problems arise when you are argumentative and presume to know more about a group’s experiences than they do. If you genuinely ask questions and try to learn about what other people go through and why they don’t think you should use certain words, I don’t think you’ll have a problem. If you go into it with the attitude that you’re going to be busting PC feelings, then you’ll be *correctly* seen as unwilling to have a conversation and you will not be seen as worth talking to.

          I hope that last part is a joke. Civilized society is stable democracy without coups, violence, a etc. If you don’t value civil society then there’s a serious problem with your thinking and/or your moral attitude.

          1. So I’m permitted to ask questions, but not to be argumentative? Does that mean I must simply accept the answer given?

            You’re talking down to me from your perch in the Pantheon of SJW Deities like I need your permission to question your policies and pronouncements. You obviously consider yourself above me (and probably pretty much everyone), but I deny your deity. Isn’t that supposedly what Atheistically Speaking is all about?

            If you actually read what I said, I mean like the words, hey, instead of listening to all of the prerecorded tapes going off in your head that were triggered by them, you’ll see that I wasn’t arguing anything. I wasn’t saying, not once, not in the least, that Asians were wrong to find “Oriental” an offensive term, if indeed they did; I was just asking how a word that means “eastern” or “of the east” could be a racial slur. I’ve still not met an Asian who objected to the term, just pasty white SJWs who go off on it ad nauseum without an Asian in sight. All of the stuff you’re complaining about is stuff you read into what I actually wrote or into what somebody else wrote subsequently. Go back and read what I actually wrote. The stuff you supposedly object to is not there.

            And no, the last part is not a joke, which you will realize for yourself soon enough.

  2. The NYC transgender law is even less radical than you let on. All it did was add “gender identity” to the list of protected classes in the New York Human Rights Law, which has existed since 1945. This law has been around for 71 years without New York turning into New Stalingrad, but when we suggest that the trans community might be people worth protecting too, it’s the end of free speech.

  3. It’s not going to get any better Thomas, and the fake news phenomenon is just the inevitable continuation of a trend I’ve complained about since the advent of cable news. When I was growing up most of us got our news from ABC, NBC, or CBS, and respected people like Walter Cronkite, John Chancellor, Huntley and Brinkley. While you can argue they had biases their ratings were based on their credibility, and their credibility was based on getting the facts straight. Additionally the news portion of those networks were, for the most part, considered by the networks as independent, not for profit, public service entities.
    As a citizenry we might disagree on political policies, but we mostly agreed on the facts.
    That all changed, and continues to change for the worse, as I said with the advent of cable news, and now the internet. It’s gotten to the point now that the internet is bursting with fake news sites happy to give people sensational fake headlines for profit.

    To give you just a taste of how bad it’s gotten. I don’t know if you heard the story about a CNN Boston affiliate broadcasting 30 minutes of porn on Thanksgiving. It was initially picked up by the independent, got 50k shares, got on the front page of reddit, and then Fox News, the Drudge Report, Mashable, the New York Post, Daily Mail, Variety. Even CNN responded, and blamed their local affiliate for it. AND THEN… it all turned out to be a fake story started by one guy with a tweet. This is our future. Add to things like this the numbers of people who don’t trust any news sources, meaning they don’t even have a way to fact check, and we’re fucked as a civilization.

  4. Have you tried investigating this outside of those instances in which you were asked not to continue using an offensive term? Not to plagiarize a recurring theme from the episode, but did you try Google?

    One of the first results I got is a blog post that references a 2009 article in the New York Times written in response to New York banning the term “Oriental” as it relates to people in official documents.

    Two professors are interviewed, and they provide thoughts as to why this is considered an offensive term (e.g., it is associated with a time when Asian Americans were both officially and socially a subordinate class, and it is a term applied to Asian Americans by European Americans that defines them in relation to the dominant culture, which inherently colors their existence in this space as dependent and alien).

    Most compellingly though is the fact that Asian Americans would prefer not to be called Oriental, they have expressed that it’s a hurtful term, and they’ve asked us to stop doing it. It is in no way absurd to respect someone’s wish not to be called a particular word even if you don’t understand why that word hurts them.

    As to your point about language, I do identify as pro-abortion sometimes, as do many advocates for women’s health. I’m also pro-surgery and pro-aspirin, but those issues rarely come up. I have no moral or ethical squeamishness about anybody seeking an abortion to end a pregnancy occurring within their own body. I use the term pro-abortion when I think it’d be helpful to address stigma and challenge cultural memes that this procedure is intrinsically dreadful even in the best of circumstances.

    Finally, I think it’s important to say “anti-social justice” for the same reasons I think it’s important to say “white supremacist” rather than the sanitized, presentable “alt-right.”

    1. My previous comment was meant to be in response to St. Ralph’s post. I may have typed in the wrong box. Apologies.

    2. I don’t have any trouble at all referring to people as they wish to be referred to. Hell, “Asian” is two less syllables than “Oriental,” my tongue will last that much longer. My point, inadequately expressed, was more that the social justice warriors I knew at the time (’90s? 2000s?) didn’t know why “Oriental” was a “racial slur.” It just came down from on high and they accepted it without question or understanding.

      If SJW activism actually resulted in social justice, I’d be all for it. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it sets social justice back a few years. And sometimes it’s just noise. So let’s not say anti-social justice; that’s not true. Lets say ant-SWJ.

      1. I guess my opposition to shifting to “anti-SJW” is similar to my opposition to saying “anti-absurdity,” in that adopting the term SJW tends to imply you’ve drawn a line of what you find acceptable and you’re announcing that you won’t accept anything beyond that. There’s nothing wrong with that as a statement, but it’s not super helpful for people who are outside your head, and more importantly, in my mind it somewhat poisons the water for future conversations and would bias my own thinking toward maintaining cultural norms rather than being receptive to critiques of those norms by people who are expressing that they are harmed by those norms.

        As Thomas noted in the episode, there are definitely extreme examples of individuals who have perspectives I can’t begin to understand, and while I don’t want to dismiss them off-handedly, if it comes to a point where I can’t reasonably accommodate their request, I’m okay shrugging it off as a weird interaction. I don’t think I’d make the leap that this person represents a movement, or even that I have to be anti whatever it is they’re doing.

        I’m not sure I know what you mean when you say that SJW activism sets social justice back sometimes. Assuming the most extreme, non-representative strawman (e.g., “I’m a feminist, and I think all men should be castrated for the safety of women”), the idea that they are responsible for potential backlash against feminism, a backlash based on people casually/falsely assuming that all of feminism must be represented by that extreme view, seems to absolve the people enacting that backlash of their deserved guilt. If I refuse to hire a woman because I think feminists are going to try and castrate me, I’m doing the wrong thing.

        To your point about people accepting that certain terms are offensive without question, I would say it sounds like you’re making a big assumption about other people’s experience. When I was in high-school, I was a self-involved introvert who liked philosophy, and I was constantly alienated and certain that everyone else was blindly accepting cultural norms and didn’t know what it was like to engage with existential unrest and their own mortality. With perspective, I realize that’s not true, everyone makes sense of their existence in their own way, and trying to conceptualize others’ experience based on our limited access to them requires we minimize it significantly.

        I don’t mean to imply that you’re necessarily wrong about the people you spoke to, but it’s certainly possible that they had some experience they failed to articulate, that their personal burden of proof had been satisfied by hearing that someone who knows more about this came to a particular conclusion, or that they decided (as you have as well) to err on the side not offending someone even if they don’t have an exhaustive explanation of why the term is offensive.

        I suppose that’s part of a larger problem I have with people who tend to criticise social justice advocacy. There seems to be an implicit assumption that someone asking you not to say something (because it offends, mocks, or disempowers them) is inherently an act of domination and censorship, that people demanding rights and respect are also somehow demanding your submission, and that anyone who isn’t outraged or skeptical of things you don’t understand must be must be weak or deluded. We know from this episode how quickly the narrative is twisted to make innocuous incidents into widespread attacks on our freedoms.

        1. “I’m not sure I know what you mean when you say that SJW activism sets social justice back sometimes.”

          Look, for instance, at what just happened. The election? Do you realize who the president elect is? Did you see him on the tube mocking the disabled journalist? Did you hear the “I just grab ’em by the [bleep]” tape? Did you catch any of the unending racist, misogynistic twit storm that proceeded forth from the phone of The Donald* before the election?

          Lemme tell y’all a story ever’ man oughtta know (well not just men, everybody): White male America was like a caged bear. Caged by rules and regulations that they did not agree with but could do nothing about without jeopardizing their present and future income and their health insurance. Well, the SJW/PC crowd poked at the bear again and again and again. Some of the poking was justifiable, especially in the beginning (the bear was after all an ornery bear and a wild animal to boot), but later the SJW/PC crowd poked and poked just because they could. They had power over the bear and they reveled in it. And they trusted the bars of the cage placed there and maintained by a left-leaning Federal government that relished its control over the bear as well. The bear learned that if it responded negatively to the poking, it didn’t get fed so it quit responding to the poking and just sat there. The SJW/PC crowd interpreted this as the bear accepting their dominance over it and embracing their published poking policies. This was a severe miscalculation. Deep down inside the bear was just getting angrier and angrier, sitting on a sea of white hot hatred for the Establishment that it saw responsible for its imprisonment and torment. Then one day a clown with piss-colored cotton candy hair came around and told the bear that if the bear would defy the establishment and break out of the cage the clown would make sure the bear wasn’t poked anymore ad would be free to forage for food in its native habitat. At the same time the Establishment sent around one of their oldest most trustworthy zoo keepers who told the bear that it really didn’t want to get out of the cage, the cage was where it belonged and that it should just sit there and be poked. And oh, by the way there’s going to be a little less food from now on because we, the Establishment, can make more money sending the available food overseas, and, after all, the Dollar is our Lord [amen]. Well, the bear had always hated this particular zoo keeper, and even though a lot of the promises that the piss-colored clown was making didn’t make a lot of sense, the bear got so angry that it broke the cage in a fit of rage and escaped. So, starting next year, the bear is loose and clown is in charge. If the SJW/PC crowd is lucky, they will be ignored. But, the bear may think to itself, “Payback time!” in which case it’s former tormentors would do well to be elsewhere.

          The theory that rebellion against Political Correctness, Affirmative Action and the like played a large roll in getting The Donald elected has been pooh-poohed over and over by far more extensively educated people than me, but so far, all of the brilliant people I’ve heard who say that that couldn’t have been the case, all live in the same bubble that Thomas and Eli and many of the rest of you live in, and as a matter of fact, the bubble that most of my friends and relatives live in. They still don’t believe that white male America’s hatred of Hillary Clinton and Political Correctness and such had very much to do with Trump’s victory. I live in a different bubble, one closer to the ground, where I worked day to day with white, working class, mostly male, America for decades, and what I was afraid of (no, not sure of, just afraid of) was exactly what happened.

          To support my observation I offer the fact that you (“you,” meaning SJWs, progressive liberals, and—yes, especially—the god damned DNC) could not see the situation on the ground from your bubble. You still deny that there was anything to see, and that anyone but The Donald and The Fates could be at fault, that the Dem’s ship just randomly ran aground and was damaged, probably irreparably, . . . ‘cuz. The steering and navigation systems in your academically plush bubble failed to accurately sense the “situationals,” make adjustments and get the job done. The fact that we were out-maneuvered by a walking talking hairball of a douche bag kind of says it all, doesn’t it? We got it so inexcusably fucking WRONG in the primaries and the general election, but now we know exactly what the deal was? And most importantly, we were not at fault—I repeat—we were not at fault. Hindsight is 20-20; we were not at fault.

          Anyway, that’s one hell of an example of how overactive, unrestrained to the point of giddiness, SJW/PC activism can set back social justice years, people, years. Have you seen who’s being selected for the cabinet? These people would like to set social justice back 150 years. They’ll probably get away with setting it back 50 to 70 years. Your post contains a lot of detail and nuance about how and why people should be or should not be treated this way or that. It’s like the musings of a true PC connoisseur. Beginning January 20th, say goodbye to policies with fruity aromas, heady noses and subtle savory after-tones. Nope. In less than two months from now its warm Budweiser, by the keg, in red plastic cups, for the next four, probably eight, years. Oh, and don’t forget a Supreme Court pathologically hostile to social justice for the next thirty or forty years. Let’s not forget that.

          This particularly douchey post was fun while it lasted, but I gotta hit FedEx before they close.

          *I think we are to refer to him as “Il Duce” after January 20th—that’s his preferred moniker which we are duty-bound as SJWs to observe. We wouldn’t want to hurt his feelings.

          1. I enjoyed your imagery.

            I don’t disagree with a lot of your insights here. I’ll admit that I underestimated white hate and resentment, not necessarily how extreme or entrenched it is, or its ability to harm others in meaningful ways, but certainly its popularity. The election was a real punch in the gut, I think because I trusted people to be better than this.

            I realized at Thanksgiving how angry I was at my relatives who voted for Trump. I recognized that if he’s lost, I’d have been able to view them as something smaller and less threatening (like that caged bear you discussed). It would have bothered me that people I care about voted for all the gross things Trump represents, but I wouldn’t have been so disgusted and ashamed. I suppose it’s the difference between reading a majority opinion vs. a dissent by justice Scalia.

            Your metaphor notwithstanding, I think we still disagree as to whether advocates are at fault for backlash perpetrated against them by a resentful mainstream culture that “feels” victimized. I also think we disagree on whether social justice advocates have been “poking the bear” for fun and/or revenge. I don’t doubt that this is the perception held by many Trump supporters, but there is far too much evidence suggesting that this group views any social change, whether it affects them or not, as a personal attack (e.g., War on Christmas, Safe Spaces, everything mentioned in this episode).

            Finally, thank you for pointing out the nuance and PC literacy/up-my-own-assedness of my post. Sometimes I worry that discussing human rights in a nuanced and thoughtful way risks alienating the audience I would like to engage, and ultimately waters down what should be clear and compelling facts.

            More directly: punishing someone for asking you to respect them is an asshole thing to do.

  5. This was an interesting listen and I think it would also be interesting to hear Thomas address some of the scare stories from the other side. As a lefty, I hear a lot of things said that make the likes of Mike Pence sound like a moral monster but I wonder how much of this stuff is exaggerated put of all proportion.

  6. I thought about how offensive the term oriental was when I drove past the Manila oriental market in the SF Bay Area today. Surely the employees and patrons of this market, many of whom are Asian, feel a great sense of oppression when they’re working and shipping there.

    Seriously, St Ralph here specified that he was referring to a restaurant when called out by some clueless person. It is generally considered offensive to refer to a person as oriental, but a store or good isn’t a problem, and the many establishments that employ the term in their name seem to be evidence of that.

    Perhaps the lack of this destinction being made by those bothering St Ralph and those like him with respect to the appropriateness of the very term they are ‘educating’ him on is what is so bothersome?

    And for the record, the term ‘anti-social-justice’ is preposterous, and a deliberately unflattering portrayal of classical liberals opposed to the Marxist ideologies of the progressive left.

    Can someone explain why trudeaus gender neutral cabinet makes sense? I’m betting there is someone who is a fan here.

    1. I’ll take a swing. Women are people.


      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      My best guess is that women are half the population, and due to historical subjugation and disenfranchisement, women tend not to be offered positions in governing bodies at the same rate as they are offered to men. In an effort to create a gender balanced cabinet that is more representative of the population and as such, potentially better able to address the needs of those populations from a place of knowledge and experience rather than a place of conjecture and dismissal (i.e., a group of old white men deciding that tampons are a luxury item), the Prime Minister of Canada decided to buck the tradition of selecting a disproportionate amount of men. This was likely both a symbolic gesture (i.e., using government to set a tone) and a practical one (again, women have relevant insights about the ways legislation affects women).

      There’s a well documented bias towards misjudging the amount of women present in a particular scene, wherein people who are asked to judge images of groups containing men and women tend to identify groups as equal when they have 70-80% men. They’ve even seen it in cartoonists, specifically asked to draw a scene with an equal number of men and women, who end up presenting an image with significantly more men than women. Perhaps the Prime Minister recognizes that it’s important not to let his biases go unchecked when it comes to running the country?

      I assume due to your question that you don’t accept these arguments, and that you likely suspect more qualified men were ignored for the sake of a photo-op? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but just on the off-hand chance I’m correct, I think it’s worth recognizing that there are more than enough qualified and capable people to hold these positions, a cabinet made up of the top 100 smartest people may not, from a functional standpoint, be the best option, and… again… women are people, and justifying their inclusion at equal rates in positions of power shouldn’t be something we have to do.

      As to “bothering” someone by responding to a question they posted on a public forum, asking specifically about why a term is considered offensive… I guess I’m sorry? It seemed pretty clear by the context clues that the question was about people’s willingness to accept assertions that words are offensive without a thorough understanding of their offensiveness, and as a result, I felt a pedantic dodge about furniture vs. people, while valid and informative, would be less helpful than engaging the question being asked.

      1. Wow…
        Condescending and Disingenuous framing of my argument as anti woman? Check

        Straw manning my rationale? Check… Granted you did sort of qualify that as an assumption

        Mistakenly taking the ‘bothering’ comment to mean you when I was clearly referring to the friend of st Ralph’s original comment? Check… You have nothing to be sorry for other than general clowniness.

        Marxist undertones of valuing equality of outcome over equality of opportunity? Check

        Offering any rationale beyond ‘because women’? Not check.

        What im curious about is the hiring process for a gender neutral cabinet. Did he decide which positions would be men or women ahead of time? Seriously, think about filling an arbitrary demographic quota from an HR perspective.

        Is Thomas’s argument helped or hurt by the fact that the same dumbass sent over like 5 fake stories? Id say it’s hurt. Has Thomas commented about Bill c16 in Ontario? He certainly laughed off concerns about that bill in New York, I wonder if he’s caught wind of the Jordan peterson saga.

        It’s sad to see an agenda taking over this podcast: the tone in which Thomas reads the articles, let alone his unwillingness to showcase the many valid instances of political correctness stifling conversation, in one form or another, betrays his bias.

        Gender/race/orientation neutral cabinets are an arbitrary display or virtue signaling. There has never been and will never be any rationale behind ‘because identity’ or ‘current year’

        Maybe Thomas should ask bill maher, ayaan hirsi Ali, Jerry Seinfeld, and Chris Rock what they think about pcs tendency to stifle conversation? Is it at all suspicious that Thomas is rebutting nameless people sending him links rather than the actual points being made about PC by credible people.

        Framing the conversation as social justice vs anti-social justice is a huge giveaway of bias. Totally disingenuous framing, really cringeworthy really.

        1. Accusing me of misidentifying you as anti-woman does not adequately address the points raised about the social and political benefits of representation, the fact that cabinets being disproportionately full of men is not a random natural occurrence but an extension of historical and current social inequality (which is, itself, perpetuated by disproportionate representation in governing bodies), nor the fact that this cabinet of 30 was chosen from a litany (a binder-full, if you will) of well-qualified potential members with the intention of building a working team, not a roster of the top 30 smartest Canadians.

          Again, crucially, if you’re going to be governing a country that is half women, having women in positions of power can help ensure that legislation that negatively affects women is not passed without discussion, consideration, and justification.

          As to the charge of Marxism, I guess I don’t know his work well enough to have an opinion. What I will say is that your critique feels very Randian, but I recognize that this is likely the result of my conceptualizing your statement using references that have relevance in my mind, not necessarily a reflection of you and your ideas. To your point about equality of opportunity, I don’t see how a society in which it is considered notable and controversial to have a cabinet that accurately reflects the gender make-up of the population can be considered a society with equal access to opportunity. I don’t feel like that’s reading tea-leaves.

          We didn’t just happen upon a society operating “as it should be,” whereupon any alteration is an attack on the natural order of things. If women are disproportionately underrepresented in the outcome of a given system, we could just throw our hands in the air and tell the gals to try harder, or we could recognize that there are likely places in the system that bias it in favor of men, and by tweaking those areas, we can achieve more equal outcomes as a secondary result of achieving more equal access.

          I apologize for the bothering point. I misconstrued your comment.

          Finally, is there anyone you’d like to see Thomas interview on this point (assuming Chris Rock is too busy)? I don’t know if you’ve been following Eli Bosnick and Andrew Torrez, but they had a recent discussion with two anti-SJW people that went just horribly. It sounds like there’s another one coming up on Thursday with a similar result. Eli, I believe, has repeatedly discussed the fact that few people on that side of the issue seem interested in having this conversation, and the ones who do engage seem to just want to defend their right to call people they don’t like “cucks” and “faggots.” I don’t believe these people represent the whole spectrum of anti-PC culture warriors, but I’m still kind of waiting on somebody to make a compelling argument that isn’t “I’m being oppressed because people won’t pay me money to say whatever I want to say.”

          I’m genuinely asking. Who should I be reading/listening to if I want to challenge my ideas on this?

          1. Well said Some Guy. Throughout these comments you eloquently made most of the points I couldn’t be bothered to coherently formulate. 🙂

            Btw I don’t believe that your (let’s call them “winking asides to the audience”) come over as disingenuous. It’s a valid way of either making a joke or acknowledging an absurdity so as to move on with the bigger point.

            On that note:
            (and this next bit is gonna get me shit)

            I have noticed (personal opinion) in following these issues for a while now that it does seem to be the Ant-SJ (or whatever we should be calling that team) that they are the side most likely to cherry pick and then generalise, and also (ironically) take offence at the manner in which they are engaged.
            Obviously that’s partly what Thomas was talking about in the episode but I also noticed it in the comments above and in other interactions I’ve seen.

            It reminds me in someways of the Episide with David Smalley. It feels like Ant-SJ advocates turn up with a narrative and some points of “Gotcha” evidence and then get very defensive if the evidence is challenged or an alternative interpretation is proposed.
            Again, that’s just my opinion.
            (Btw this is a caveat that seems to be used far more on the “SJW” side than the other)
            That caveat was also just my opinion btw. (wow, that was a caveat caveat, I might need to be more assertive in future)

            On a personal note, I never thought I had an opinion on this issue (maybe it’s a bigger deal in USA than UK) and didn’t even know what SJW ment until a month or so ago. But it seems to a relative outsider that one side doesn’t even know what they are angry about and they are very reluctant to have their opinions pinned down. But when their positions are stated in concrete examples or as basic principles; they end up agreeing with the other side while continuing to be angry about some ethereal component of the otherside’s beliefs.
            -Insert final caveat here-

          2. “Eli, I believe, has repeatedly discussed the fact that few people on that side of the issue seem interested in having this conversation, and the ones who do engage seem to just want to defend their right to call people they don’t like “cucks” and “faggots.””

            Am I reading this right? Is Eli saying the anti-sjw side is the one unwilling to debate these ideas?

            Am I really reading this right?

          3. “But it seems to a relative outsider that one side doesn’t even know what they are angry about and they are very reluctant to have their opinions pinned down. But when their positions are stated in concrete examples or as basic principles; they end up agreeing with the other side while continuing to be angry about some ethereal component of the otherside’s beliefs.”

            This resonates in a way that is tremendously validating.

            Very often, it feels like people on the anti-social justice side of this are torn between that vague, inarticulable outrage and the amount to which they pride themselves on their “reasonableness.”

        2. Yeah I read his/her message and my jaw was on the floor.

          Equality of outcome > equality of opportunity becuase woman are people so we should force equal representation and we shouldn’t have to explain our justifications for throwing out the tenants of meritocricy?

          Not only do I disagree with that marxisti b.s. I’m an opponent to it and any ideology that pushes for it. Like, not only is that kind of thinking directly responsible for the rise of the right but I will disassociate myself, completely, with anyone who thinks that’s a sensible position to take.

          1. You ever get the feeling Orwell was forced to read Hegel in college and never managed to get over it?

            I guess my previous comment might not have been as clear as it could have been. What I meant to do was challenge the shallow soundbite criticism that social justice is the unwarranted and self-defeating engineering of “equality of outcome.” From my perspective, this seems like an obtuse reaction that cherry-picks a narrative with an arbitrary end-point, assumes an easily disproven naturalistic fallacy about meritocracy, and ignores the fact that “outcomes” are instances in continuing chains of events which inform and shape subsequent events.

            My argument is not that “we should change the outcomes because they’re not what we want them to be,” but because they are a reflection of a system that doesn’t work the way it claims to (i.e., “everyone’s got equal opportunity”), the inequality of outcomes corroborates the lived experience of discrimination and disenfranchisement expressed by marginalized people, and that failing to adjust the system perpetuates the inequality within it.

            As to “not having to explain my justifications”… I kind of thought I did (i.e., proportional representation increases the likelihood that legislation that affects women will be considered by women during legislative process, equal representation in government sets a tone that normalizes women’s participation in public life that undermines their traditionally accepted under-representation, and the fact that building a functional cabinet is not necessarily best achieved by staffing only the top 30 people based on some arbitrary standard (e.g., smartest, tallest, least hairy, etc.)). I accept that you may not buy any of these, but let’s not pretend that nobody here is willing to engage you.

            I think an argument could be made about the rise of the right, in so far as it can be blamed on liberals who failed to oppose it, can be better pinned to those luke-warm, hamfisted, “let’s not rock the boat,” holier than thou, moderate liberals who self-stimulate about their empty embrace of principles that best serve their hegemonic interests rather than recognizing and advocating for the human dignity of those disenfranchised by society.

            And yes, you did read my last comment right. I know it’s a high bar to ask for a representative of the anti-SJW persuasion who’s neither a chicken-hawk nor a self-congratulatory troll, but I’m sure there’s somebody, right? Should I take your incredulousness as an indication that you think I’m missing an obvious answer? Are you aware of any reasonably informed representative of the anti-SJW movement who’s willing to have a conversation and not just whine about how nobody’s willing to debate him (I’m assuming him… because come on)?

  7. I agree. I can’t wait until we force 50% of oil rig, trash pick up, construction, and mining jobs to be women. I’m sick of this tired idea that there is other determining factors as to why certain professions are operated by certain sexes more than the other.

    Clearly it’s just sexist ass awful men discriminating against women who just as equally want trashman jobs.

    Surely the correct response to do away with a discriminatory system (and there is discrimination still in employment) is to do away with the current system for one that is more discriminatory …but in the right way.

    Fine. 50% oil workers women 50% CEOs. Deal? (of course the answer is no).

    “You ever get the feeling Orwell was forced to read Hegel in college and never managed to get over it?”

    No, but I have a feeling one too many gender studies major read 1984 and mistook it for a self help book.

    “the inequality of outcomes corroborates the lived experience of discrimination and disenfranchisement expressed by marginalized people, and that failing to adjust the system perpetuates the inequality within it.”

    I barfed in my mouth reading that. Did you get it off of a tumblr blog? Do you think blathering buzzwords is impressive anymore?

    I think it’s ironic that you point out the truth that no system is purely meritocratic only to turn around and drop a drivel bomb on us that’s equally – and opposite – conspiratorial.

    No, our meritocracy isn’t entirely meritocratic and the inequality of outcome isn’t entirely due to disenfranchisement. As in most things: the truth is in the middle. Hence why there is a divide among the left between people like you/Eli and me.

    I don’t agree with the right. At the same time, I find you SO silly I just want to pat you on the head and say “no, sorry, that is the wrong answer but here is a participation sticker”.

    Unfortunately, Trump is our president, you don’t feel you’re ideology shares blame, and so I can’t laugh at how silly you are anymore because this is serious now and I have a feeling that the ideology that is systemically being rejected right now (yours) is about to double down to disastrous effect.

    “I think an argument could be made about the rise of the right, in so far as it can be blamed on liberals who failed to oppose it, can be better pinned to those luke-warm, hamfisted, “let’s not rock the boat,” holier than thou, moderate liberals who self-stimulate about their empty embrace of principles that best serve their hegemonic interests rather than recognizing and advocating for the human dignity of those disenfranchised by society.”

    or…just maybe….MAYBE…when you call everyone who doesn’t agree with you racist it makes the word mean nothing.

    Or, you know, you’re 1st year gender studies word salad. could be that too (it’s not) totes (it’s not).

    1. Your inability to follow a sentence doesn’t make that sentence word salad. Perhaps if you took the time to read and engage the ideas being expressed by the words rather than barfing at the sight of tumblr signifiers, you’d be able to contribute more than just patronizing dismissals.

      Also, words don’t lose meaning through use. I’d point to the irony of your attempt to police other’s language, given your username, but I imagine it would just invite an attack about me being a first-year English Lit major.

      1. “Perhaps if you took the time to read and engage the ideas”

        Yeah. if only you accepted Jesus into your heart you’d have the evidence you need that he exists.

        I’ve been engaging in the morally bankrupt ideas of Cultural Marxism for years now via Atheism+, GamerGate, and interactions like these. I can’t tell you how many “academic” studies I’ve been passed that explain why we’re in a patriarchal rape cultural. It would be cute if only it wasn’t so tired.

        It was word salad and it gets dismissed as word salad. It’s the kind of religious diatribe that is only clever to those who already buy into the narrative. I don’t.

        “policing other’s language”.

        I could care less who you knee jerk reflexively call racist. I’m surprised you haven’t called me racist yet but I assume it’s on the tip of your tongue 😉

        “words don’t lose meaning through use”

        Nearly fell out of my chair laughing.

        Ironic coming from someone on the side of social justice. Aren’t you the guys who redefined racism to be something only whites can be to non-whites.

        Word used to mean prejudice based on race and was applicable to blacks who hate whites. It LOST that meaning (only to sophists though) and gained a new one.

        Yeah……words don’t lose meaning through use.

        Yes. they do. They also lose impact and become farcical.

        Also linking anti-sjw to chicken hawk when it was us sexist Berniebros that preferred the isolationist Bernie Sanders who apparently hated the identity politics pandering Hillary who has never met a war she didn’t LOVE.

        1. So, asking you to read words is the same as demanding you blindly accept Jesus into your heart? You got me.

          And you’ve been dismissive of evidence for a long time? Guess that’s as good as having evidence to support your claims. Too bad I didn’t catch you back in your heyday. Maybe we could have had a productive conversation.

          Again, word salad is a term that has a meaning, and it’s not “syntactically cogent statements that I don’t like.”

          I’m glad we can both agree that I didn’t call you a racist out of nowhere for no reason. Not sure why you feel that’s notable, but at least you now have evidence that contradicts your persecution fantasies.

          Just because people involved in relevant advocacy work have a more nuanced definition of a word than the one you adopted in fourth grade doesn’t mean they redefined it to persecute those poor, disenfranchised white people who just want to talk about how unfair black people have been to them historically.

          I know there’s a fun meme about cursing being more potent if you withhold it for special occasions, but there is such a thing as lazy writing that relies on shock value rather than content to convey ideas, and this is a pretty great example.

          If we want “racist” to be an emotionally impactful insult, then sure, we can keep a tight grip on it, but if you want to make meaningful social change, it’s useful to have terms that aren’t just blunt taboos.

          1. “Just because people involved in relevant advocacy work have a more nuanced definition of a word than the one you adopted in fourth grade”

            ‘Nuance’. let’s see how long mr/mrs “race A can’t be racists against race B because of their race” stays ‘nuanced’

            “doesn’t mean they redefined it to persecute those poor, disenfranchised white people who just want to talk about how unfair black people have been to them historically.”

            hahaha about 3 seconds. I think that’s a record.

            “So, asking you to read words is the same as demanding you blindly accept Jesus into your heart? You got me.”

            So. Mr/Mrs obtuse. When someone says “horseshoe theory” do you honestly think they have a theory about a literal horseshoe? Don’t answer that, it’s hypothetical. Let’s just assume I tossed a horseshoe your way and it WHIZZZ went well over your head. I’m sure you thought it was racist as it flew by.

            “Again, word salad is a term that has a meaning, and it’s not “syntactically cogent statements that I don’t like.””

            Yes. Which is exactly why I applied the term word salad to the non-syntactically cogent WORD SALAD you were spitting.

            “dismissive of evidence for a long time?”

            when it’s non-substantiated drivel yes. People point to things like the human eye or a banana and call it evidence for god. You’re claiming it’s right to not dismiss that?

            You’re spouting religious dogma kiddo. You’ve joined a religion. When you have EMPIRICAL evidence of this and not some social-science (pseudo-non science) sophistry by ideologues in your humanities department then we’ll talk. Right now you have Salon articles and insistence in the face of indisputable evidence (see the wage gap MYTH) which sounds a lot like faith and I already left one religion and they didn’t even call me racist/sexist/mysogynistic/abelist/transphobic at a drop of a hat before I did.

            “persecution fantasies.”

            A. never said i was persecuted. Ironic coming from someone who supports a fear narrative that puts ‘war on Christmas’ to shame. There is that horseshoe again QUICK DODGE. JK silly IT’S NOT A REAL HORSESHOE.

            B. My comment about being considered a de facto racist by the far left would be as silly as you appear to think it is were it not for the fact that I am about 1 feminist removed, at all times, from someone who believes all white people are inherently racist.

  8. oh and yes there is someone (dozens really).

    Sargon of Akkad (Carl Benjamin) regularly holds these debates
    Sam Harris REGULARLY holds these debates
    Jordan Peterson REGULARLY holds these debates
    Armoured Skeptic
    Kraut and Tea
    Sam Harris
    Gad Saad
    TJ Kirk (amazing atheist)
    Lalo Degach
    Bible’s Reloaded guys

    I know they’re all super block happy maniacs unlike Shives, Watson, Meyers and the like.

  9. This is all very entertaining and we should get every last entertainment mile we can get out of this while we can, but . . .

    You all realize, don’t you, that come January 20th, 2017, PC is OVER. For at least four years, very probably eight. SJW and anti-SJW alike can just go home entertain themselves by reading pre-WWII history—as a sort of trailer for upcoming events.

    1. I think we disagree on this as well. I don’t think that advocacy work is a boutique endeavour to distract ourselves when there are no genuine threats. You supposed that the oversensitive left drove out moderates and bolstered Trump. I suppose that the left did not do enough to convince those moderates that treating their fellow humans with dignity and respect is what protects us all from fascists and opportunistic politicians who would court and exploit vulnerable people by appealing to their resentment and fears.

      Giving up is cynical, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising, because it feels like the natural extension of anti-PC criticism.

      But maybe you’re right, or maybe we’ll get a four year reprieve from cynics failing to appreciate the gravity of political policies that dehumanize certain groups of people, and the importance of opposing those policies at every opportunity, but I kind of doubt it.

      1. We’ll see who gets a reprieve from whom. I think a few months to a year into the Trump regime former SJWs are going to start finding it hard to get a job anywhere, doing anything. Two years in, and further, they will be pretending they are and have always been someone else.

        And you know, what really, really puts people off? It’s taking down to them. I’m sure you talk down to everyone you talk to and you’re probably not even aware of it anymore, but that’s what really drives the moderates into the other camp.

        1. I take your point, and I apologize for making you feel talked down to.

          In the spirit of reciprocity, if you speak to people as dismissively as you post on this board, it might explain why nobody you’ve spoken to about these issues feels comfortable being vulnerable and sharing their experience with you. I’m not saying that is the case, and it might not be something you’re aware of, but people are often hesitant to participate in an inquisition demanding they justify their experience to a man who’s appointed himself the arbitrator of what is and is not acceptable/reasonable/destroying our once great society.

          1. In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, “There you go again.”

            OK. Now you’ve made me quote Ronald Reagan. My feelings are hurt and I’m going home.

          2. Congrats: you just figured out why people are turning away from the religion of social justice.

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