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Showing posts from July, 2015

We don't want people who will see

It was a bloop in IM from a colleague. “Oh god, I’m so sorry,” it read. “And screw Gawker.” It was an email a moment later, from my boss. “Just ignore it,” it read. “It’s not a big deal; they do this to everyone.” That’s when my heart lunged into my stomach. That was four years ago. That was the first time Gawker wrote about me.
The piece itself was relatively mild, on the Gawker spectrum. There were no intimate texts involved, there was no damning sex tape. I had simply been pronounced irksome because “She’s against domestic violence. She’s against harassing children. She’s against elder abuse” — and I apparently expressed this in ways insufficiently nuanced for the writer. I was, in summation, declared “a first class hack.”
I’ve been at this a very long time and been called worse by better, so it wasn’t the piece itself that really got to me. It was the picture. It was an image of me, pale and freckled, that had run in Salon seven months before, when I shared that I had just been diag…

The Overnight

There’s been quite a lot of attention lately to the seemingly plausible occurrence that you could lose everything you’ve accrued for yourself in life over one casually made remark — you always have to be watchful. When we hear this complaint being made it’s usually people pointing fingers at a politically correct culture, and we’d be correct to assume that what the people complaining want foremost is actually a chance to flip things around so that the politically correct — i.e., progressives — are the ones under pressure. We’d also be correct to note that easily as fair a way of assessing our times is actually more of it as eliminating our ability to shame groups of people, and that it is really this, our successful activism against prejudice and stigmatization, that is a key source of many people’s anxiety: “you” feel bound up, it’s because we’ve taken away the arenas you were used to being able to piss into, so deal! But we must still note that there’s a sense that we’ve also made …