#gamergate #NotYourShield bad faith gender policing reddit TERFs transmisogyny transphobia

Just some “GenderCritical” transphobes talking about using disability law to ban gender-inclusive language on college exams

Apparently the singular they is as deadly as giant radioactive ants

By David Futrelle

I have to give the inhabitants of the “Gender Critical” subreddit credit for one thing: they are endlessly creative in coming up with new ways to be assholes.

Today, the TERFs-who-don’t-want-to-be-called-TERFs on the subreddit are working themselves into a lather over a report from one college student who was shocked and stunned to find the singular “they” used on a college exam in a slightly confusing manner.

How to fight this terrible gender-inclusive menace? Several commenters thought they had an answer : with a bad faith Americans with Disibilities Act challenge.

“Imagine having dyslexia and having to deal with this absolute word salad,” wrote someone called strawlesbian.”Pretty sure it would not hold up to an ADA challenge.”

I’m not quite sure what dyslexia has to do with it; I mean, dyslexia makes everything hard to read, regardless of whether or not a singular “they” is present. But at least one GenderCritter thought this idea was hilarious — and possibly workable.

“Lol, we might have to get ourselves classified as disabled,” wrote someone calling herself sojourner_truth_.

“My little ladybrain is so broken that when I see a man in a dollar store wig and lopsided fake boobs, I don’t see a woman at all! Poor widdle me! You have to accommodate me or else!” Dismantle the master’s house with the master’s tools.

In a followup comment, she made clear she wasn’t actually joking.

I joke around on here a lot and I know sometimes things don’t come out right. In all seriousness though, for my part I think it’s important to use any and all legal tools at our disposal to get the ship righted.

Of course I’m not suggesting violence or anything immoral here- but these protections were put in place to support the greater goal of making learning accessible for every student. This example fits that goal! OP said it was very difficult to understand and very frustrating as she was just trying to take her exam. Why should the TRAs get to make university exams harder for everyone else?

Just as I used a privacy law to shut down my university’s shitty racist program, I think it’s perfectly fair and good to use disability law to stop this compelled speech insanity.

You might want to check with some actual disabled people about that. Indeed, several other commenters called sojourner_truth_ out for being “demeaning to disabled students and students that need accommodations.”

But sojourner_truth_ was not dissuaded. Whet if, instead of simply presuming to speak for disabled people, they could find an actual disabled person to be the face of their bad faith challenge?

Are there any students in OP’s class who have a diagnosed disability, though? I think it’s much harder to prove without that key person involved.

I think this sub is onto a very valuable strategy for getting this trans nonsense out of school materials. If we can find the right person, one who has a doctor’s diagnosis already, then this could be a real victory!

It’s basically GamerGate’s #NotYourShield all over again.

NOTE: If your political strategies seem like they were directly cribbed from GamerGate, you’re probably not the progressive movement for justice that you’re pretending to be.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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2 years ago

Yes, your kitty was gorgeous (but, then, I’m a sucker for black cats–always have been).

I’ve no doubt you gave her the best possible life, but, no, as the others have already said, helping them go always hurts, even when we know it’s for the best.

Please accept my deepest condolences, and I hope you find some measure of comfort in the memories of her.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
2 years ago

She was pretty, VP. I’m so sorry for your loss!

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
2 years ago

Warning: brain dump in progress… reader discretion advised…

I kind of get the “cis by default” thing too. It feels to me sometimes that a lot of people simply don’t examine very closely the culture in which they are immersed, how it shapes them, and equips them with the assumptions they take for granted. For example, a lot of people, including friends and relatives of mine, feel they are religious; and while they probably wouldn’t consider themselves particularly devout, they imagine themselves at least in good standing vis a vis the precepts of whatever faith they claim to belong… Yet, if you sat them down and quizzed them on what they actually believed, you’d probably find most of it would be completely out of whack with the strict doctrines of whatever religion they identify as members of¹. They just kind of… go with the flow; and because they’re a bum on a seat in a church on Sunday, or knees on a prayer mat on a Friday, no-one really inquires too deeply. It’s often these people rather than the chapter-and-verse-quoting zealots that get more bent out of shape about troublemaking atheists like myself because it forces them to confront what it is they actually believe in, which can be frightening (especially if your faith is one of the believe-this-or-burn-forever types). Likewise, I think a lot of homophobia and transphobia is similarly rooted in a desire not to think too hard about it– they’re swimming so comfortably in a sea of cis-hetero-normativity that the idea of there being other options shakes them to their cores.

Also, speaking as a straight white cis dude, I recognise the accompanying privilege affords the luxury of allowing these issues to fade into the background of my life. When you’re having a core part of your identity being used as a stick to beat you day-in, day-out, I imagine it’s a very different experience. Actually, I don’t really have to imagine that hard, because I see it every day on the Internet ?

At the same time, I think about the “cis by default” thing a bit (and again, such thoughts are probably somewhat privileged). Probably inspired by a similar thought expressed in the Watchmen comic, I consider that at the moment of conception, there were tens of millions of possible “mes” that could have come about. By the law of averages alone, half of them would be women². How would my life have gone if another of my father’s spermatozoa had fertilised my mother’s egg? Would I be gay, straight, cis, trans? That I am who I am in the face of such astronomical numbers seems somewhat… arbitrary. At least at the biological level. And, again, that’s probably a thought that can only be entertained with a certain amount of privilege.

¹ Which is not altogether a bad thing: I think people are mostly kinder than a stricter interpretation of their religion would allow them to be, but that’s a whole ‘nother rant…

² I’ve seen some people claim that if you ever had a thought about being a different gender, no matter how theoretical or fleeting it is, you’re trans! Sorry, but I think that’s about as credible as the Freudian notion that everyone wants to bone their folks…

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
2 years ago


I wouldn’t be so sure. I’ve seen plenty of centrist liberals make similar remark about Ann Coulter.

I agree with you: liberals truly need to knock that shit off. It’s like Steve Martin in “Roxanne”: “you see this, and the best you could come up with is ‘Big Nose’?!” Ann Coulter is an odious thing crawled out of the darkest recesses of the American id who is (to steal a joke from Charlie Stross) probably in her burrow right now laying her eggs on a paralyzed immigrant, and the best put-down you can muster against her is, “she’s a man, baby! Yeah!”? Your lazy transphobia is almost as pathetic as your lack of creativity.

I mean, I get it, kind of: in her writing, Coulter has often made clear that she is vain about her appearance, regularly disparaging her women political opponents for failing to live up to her standards of feminine appeal, so turning it back at her is an easy shot. But that’s all it is, an easy, cheap shot that writes off any harm to trans women as acceptable collateral damage. They should all be made follow David Simon on Twitter to learn how to drag a conservative ideologue properly ?.

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