There Is No Such Thing

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I tend to go on a bit about the matter of issue framing, the concept that how we discuss ideas matters almost as much as the ideas, themselves.  Thus, we can either refer to taxes finally paid to the country when someone wealthy dies as “death taxes,” or as “estate taxes,” or as “owed anti-aristocratic adjustments.”  We can refer to people opposed to abortion as “pro-life” or as “pro-coat-hanger.”   We can talk about “putting coal miners out of work” or we can talk about “providing new, clean-energy jobs.”  We can talk about “taxing corporations,” or we can talk about “anti-corporate freeloader adjustments.”   You get the idea.  And, as George Lakoff  has pointed out, attempts to negate a frame —  Your President is not a crook! — often backfire.  By invoking the other side’s frame, even to argue against it, you strengthen it.  Far better to do a…

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Incel: the Strange Identity That Became a Weapon Against Feminism

Michael O. Church

The incels are coming. Hide the socks.

The word incel means different things to different people, which means for dangerous discussions. On the surface, all it takes to qualify as an incel is to be involuntarily celibate, a fairly common turn of fate that most people experience at least once, and yet a community of homegrown extremists and terrorists have taken up the label incel to describe something darker: a defeatist mentality asserting that women (and especially feminists) have doomed a large percentage of men to implacable misery.

If by “incel”, one means a misogynist or extremist, than nothing is acceptable but an utter desire to end that culture. Of course, to attack incels as people risks association with one of the oldest pillars of patriarchy: virgin shaming. This is why I don’t like the term incel: the extremists began using it to sympathy, but also to…

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Disrespect on the Daily

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I feel disrespected.

And, I have good reasons to feel that way.

As this white paper   notes, I am judged more harshly, paid less, and will always have less power than a man.  (See also, e.g., What Works for Women at Work, noting further the double-bind that requires women to “act like men,” but that then punishes them for doing so.)  Most medical studies ignore the impacts of a new drug or treatment on women, preferring to use only men as study subjects.  The right wing has been calling me a feminazi for decades.  America recently elected a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women.  Not only did a majority of white men vote for him, including those whose very livelihoods depend upon the migrant workers he promised to exclude, but more African American men and Hispanic men voted for him than voted for Mitt Romney…

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Evil, and its relationship to the tech industry.

Michael O. Church

Earlier tonight, I read something that I wrote on the Internet a few years ago. I won’t link to it. I regret it. It was an impulsive, not-very-coherent “wall of text” post on a message board. It disturbed me to read it and realize that I had written it.

The VC-funded tech industry, these days, swarms with talentless narcissists. In that world, you can find yourself face-to-face with raw evil– the kind that lacks form or purpose. It’s something that you don’t encounter in most industries– at least, not in the same way. That might be the most understated occupational hazard of that industry.

For a contrast, let’s talk about finance. There’s a lot of greed, but Wall Street isn’t evil. In finance, people don’t go out of their way to ruin each others’ lives and careers. That sort of vindictive behavior is common in Silicon Valley. For all the…

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