Ethics of Queer Fame: Fame and Fandom

People in the queer community have been slowly gaining more support and representation. As a result, more transgender individuals have been giving a position of influence, be it that of a writer or public speaker. As the cliche goes, “with great power comes great responsibility,” so too does great notoriety come with at least some ethical responsibility.

The main thing I wanted to discuss is a phenomenon particularly common with trans men or transmasculine people. That is, the use of crowding funding for transition. In most cases, it’s top surgery (double mastectomy).

While there is nothing inherently wrong with doing this and it makes perfect sense to do it, it does sometimes raise a bit of a concern. I’ve seen more than a handful of employed transmasculine people with a large following making posts like “If everyone could just donate a dollar, I could have top surgery!” Sometimes the amount is more, like five dollars. Still a small, insignificant amount. So what’s the harm?

The thing is, many of the followers are young trans folks. Many of whom are likely unemployed. Many don’t have the benefit of the emotional support and validation from thousands of strangers. Many who won’t be able to get surgery, or even HRT, until several years of waiting have passed. Some may not have any option at all.

It’s important to remember those people. Especially when you’re one of the lucky few who “comes out” and is able to get HRT immediately, and get top surgery only after a few months.

So while it’s perfectly okay to have a Go Fund Me (or similar) for transitional purposes, and to even advertise it, keep in mind that when asking for support, you could be inadvertently asking someone who will never even have the privilege of coming out. Or people who are barely living pay check to pay check.

And remember that if you are on the “fan” end of the discussion, you are under no obligation to help pay for someone’s transition. You’re not a “fake fan” or a bad person for being unable to contribute.

Even though Tumblr isn’t particularly good for most things, it actually can be useful in getting trans people who don’t have a follower base to rely on the money, resources, apparel, or support they need. So if you’d like to crowdfund but don’t have a “crowd” to begin with, try asking Tumblr for some help. I can’t say it’ll get you far, but it’ll help better than nothing.

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Not Who I Think I Am

Today began as any other normal day might. But what was initially just another day in my generally monotonous life became an unwelcome reminder of my past. There are numerous experiences I have had that very few, perhaps even no people, are aware of. It is one thing to keep dark experiences a secret, but it’s another that they’re so often repressed. I’m only writing this so that I can finally acknowledge some of the shit that has happened, to actually see it on screen in front of me, to force myself to stop ignoring both what has been done to me and what I’ve done to others.

While trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast, I got a notification on my phone. It was an email from “Trump Headquarters” and said I needed to pay a dollar to renew my membership. I laughed because I’m not a fucking idiot; I’m not going to pay to get some useless membership to something I never even voluntarily became a member of. I clicked “unsubscribe” in the email, and it took me to a page where I could manage my account. The profile I had, that I never myself set up, had my name listed as “Friend.”

Afterwards, I went back through my inbox to see if I had missed anything important. I cleared my spam folder, checked promotions, etc. Then I noticed that my “sent” folder, or outbox, had more items than I remembered. I rarely send emails, let alone with this particular account. I clicked on the folder and remembered just how old this particular email was. I had forgotten about many of these things….

I saw that I had be conversing with what were very clearly pedophiles. I didn’t know that then. Probably because I was some pretentious “I’m so mature for my age, I’m such an old soul!” child that it didn’t concern me when grown men were interested in…befriending…me. It was very disturbing to see. I gave strange men personal information. If I could go back in time, I’d slap the shit out of myself. And honestly, that’s a very common sentiment I have when reviewing my past actions.

To be clear, at this point I was age 12-13.

And of course, no mention of myself at that age would be complete without mentioning my boyfriend of the time.

We met via the therian community (which is cringey in and of itself). He was a 17-year-old (later 18) who identified as a demonic wolf, and later, a vampire and dragon as well. I’ll refer to him by “W.”  We, somehow, quickly became friends and decided to start a pack* together. Of significance in this pack was a person of about 16-years-old. This person was genderfluid or genderqueer and went by two different names. For convenience and anonymity, I’ll refer to them as “Kay.”

Kay and I had many things in common at the time. They were my friend before my pack member, and didn’t know W until I introduced them to one another. Both Kay and I were into the whole emo thing, Pagan, therians (we even shared a kithtype*), and really big into nature.

Shortly after the pack was created, we all exchanged Kiks (remember when that was a thing? Ha). We had a pack group chat on Kik, but we also spoke to each other individually. Outside of the group chat, W asked if I would be his girlfriend. Excitedly, I agreed. Why? I really cannot say. I honestly don’t remember how we even became friends, let alone what would make me romantically interested in him.

For awhile, everything was fine. But then I discovered W was cheating on me, and with multiple people. Almost all of whom were also members of the kin and/or queer community. Learning this, I decided to shut everything down. End the pack, end communication with them, end all of that. W didn’t want me to leave, and begged for me to come back. Naively, I agreed.

He began claiming he could use his witchcraft to spy on me. He said he knew where I was at all times, and he’d find out if I did something I wasn’t supposed to. I told him to prove it, and he did know my location. At the time, I had no idea that tracking, hacking, and all other kinds of internet shit could be used to do this. So I believed him, and lived in constant anxiety.

At this time, I wasn’t in my hometown. I was in Wyoming. He told me it was a particularly “magikal” place because of all the pioneer deaths and Native American spirits. He claimed there was a “thin veil” between the dead and living in this area, and that as a witch, I was particularly vulnerable. Of course all of this sounds fucking idiotic to anyone who isn’t an easily manipulated, weird preteen. But this just increased my fears.

What was supposed to be wonderful time to bond with my family in a very beautiful region was now a hell hole. I couldn’t sleep. I regularly stayed up until 3:30 am, just trying to calm down and sleep. In the same way that he ruined my time in Wyoming, he ruined St. Louis as well.

I would annually go there on winter break for my birthday with my sister and our friend. It was incredibly fun and I have several positive memories of the trip. However, one such trip occurred whilst I was in this relationship with W.

At this age, I was literally obsessed with hyenas. I previously made it a life goal to see them, and very few zoos at the time had hyenas. St. Louis did, though, and it was supposed to make this trip all the better. Yet when we got there, I was glued to my phone screen. I couldn’t not respond to him. I couldn’t delay. I didn’t want to anger him.

When I went into the Arch, as I had done many times before, I could only think of jumping from the window. I wanted to die. Though I was no stranger to depression at the age, it became increasingly worse, with suicidal thoughts consuming every waking moment.

So, here is where it gets disgusting.

W began threatening me, even if I was incredibly far way. How? With his suicide. If he wanted me to do or say something, he’d tell me to do it, and threaten to kill himself if I disagreed. And, I of course couldn’t let someone I “loved” die.

One such thing he requested were, well, inappropriate photos of myself. Of course. Although he did send similar photos to me so it would “make up” for the coercion. As though it actually made anything better…

He sent me videos of self-harming until I agreed. Literal videos of him cutting himself. Now that I am older, I realize they could have been fake, but I genuinely do not think they were. I think he’s just that fucking crazy. He sent me a photo of him holding scissors or a knife to his neck.

At some point, I got fed up with this and confided in Kay and some others. I told them what was happening with myself and W. Little did I know, however, that Kay and W had grown extremely close “behind the scenes.” Kay took his side, initially refusing to believe me at all. Eventually, Kay changed tactics and joined the whole “its your responsibility to keep him alive!” argument. Kay said it would be my fault if he killed himself.

I talked to other friends about it, who had no ties to Kay or W. They tried to help me get out of this mess. We, for whatever reason, thought faking my death would be the best route. For obvious reasons, this wasn’t going to work. So I resorted to serious considerations of actually dying. W found out about the friends trying to help me and started harassing and manipulating them as well.

So I was depressed, anxious, and stuck in a relationship wherein my sole responsibility was to be this man’s source of ametuer porn. He obviously didn’t love me, but he tried his hardest to keep up the facade. Until, I found out who he did love.

She was who he was actually dating this whole time. Probably before we even met. How he kept all his shit secret, I’ll never know. But he did. I found her and told her everything, how it wasn’t just me that he was engaging with.

She was an 18-year-old southerner. I’ll refer to her as L. She immediately noticed that I was much younger than herself and W, and replaced her feelings of betrayal with that of disgust and anger. She publicly called him out, warned other people of W, posted his full name and address for others to see. She called him what he was: predatory.

W had everything (poorly) planned though, which shows how deliberate this whole scheme was. He predicted something like this happening. He had initially told us an old address, altered his family member’s names, and used a vaguely fake name (W claimed his middle name was his first name, and his first name was his middle name). We then had difficulty determining what was and wasn’t true.

I deleted all my photos and videos of him, as well as our chat logs, to save myself anxiety. I later regretted this when he claimed I was abusing him the whole time, and took many things I said out of context. I did, however, send some of the photos to another electronic device and stored them there. And this morning, I found them again.

The images of him, an adult man, sexting me. The image of him holding a blade to his neck to threaten me with suicide. General selfies. And a few screenshots of our conversations and of those friends had sent to me of their discussions with him.

I didn’t find out until after the ordeal was over, thanks to the help of L, but W had also been trying to lure a girl even younger than myself into his trap. Her name was Emma, and I never found out how it turned out with her. But I pray she wasn’t as senseless as I was.

In addition to that, he had been sending people the photos of myself that he received as some sort of game or way of profit. Essentially, he was selling and trading child pornography….of myself, and presumably others. He primarily sent these to men in foreign countries, perhaps as a means of avoiding charges, because maybe I had been of age of consent in other places of the world. Maybe those nations didn’t care for child safety. I don’t know.

Either way, I know my photos are out there. God only knows how many people and where. But this is why if someone ever says to me “your cleavage is showing” or something like that, I would jokingly respond “But who hasn’t already seen it?” Most people assumed I was joking about my promiscuity, but it was actually a reference to this experience…that virtually no one knows about.


 

Every now and then some story pops up where some popular YouTuber has been coercing young fans into sexting. I see so many people defend those men with “it’s their (young girls) fault if they choose to send the nudes!” and “Why should we feel sorry for little sluts ruining a man’s life with their own choices!” Those young fans are consistently called “stupid.” And maybe they are. But it doesn’t change the fact that no one should be coercing or shaming another person into any intimate actNor does it change the fact that they are children whose minds aren’t yet matured and they cannot consent. We need to stop blaming the victim, even if they victim is an idiot. Even if the victim didn’t make the right choices. Even if the victim isn’t a “pure angel” or whatever the hell else.

 

I think part of what made me, personally, particularly vulnerable in my situation was abuse I had experienced at another time. It was far more disgusting and physical than in this circumstance. And far less people know about it. But I wouldn’t be able to write about it without it being obvious who the the other person was. It would remove the anonymity, so I can’t really discuss this until much, much later in my life. If ever….



 

I don’t exactly care about what has happened to me. I am, effectively, “over” my past. If my experiences still affect me at all, it is subconsciously. My problem isn’t what all has happened, but the fact that so much of it is secret. The fact that I can’t really talk about these things with anyone. The fact that it all seems very surreal. It’s as though the me who has experienced those things is entirely different than who I am now.

When I think of myself, I in some way see who I aspire to be, rather than who I actually am. When other people look at me, it is almost like they’re seeing someone else. When I look in a mirror, it doesn’t feel like me. I know it is, of course. But there is always something off.

Alternatively, I occasionally forget what I look like. If someone is talking about me, the image that comes to mind is the me who experienced the above situation. The me with long, dyed hair and a squishy face covered in heavy makeup. At these times, when I look in a mirror, I’m surprised at how much…better I look now. How I look more like I feel.

I almost have three different identities, or concepts of myself. In order of how frequently I see myself as each in my mind:

  • Ideal: The me who is constantly progressing in life. The educated guy who tries to help others. The talented, rational guy who will live far from here eventually. The guy who is efficient.
  • Past: The cringey girl who thinks with her heart, if she ever thinks at all. The pseudorevolutionary. She sometimes has trouble determining the legitimacy or authenticity of things. She doesn’t have a reason to live, so she lets other people give her that reason.
  • Present: The butch lesbian-looking mediocre student who doesn’t have anything going on in life. Unreliable, inefficient. Forgettable. Only holding onto life because maybe I’ll be who I think I am one day.

I know I am only one of these things. But I can’t help picturing the others in my mind. Maybe one day  I won’t have this bizarre problem. Hopefully addressing my past will help…

Are You Ready to Enter The World of Parenting?

You’re expecting or TTC, and you’ve found the highest quality cribs, looked into delayed clamping and skin-to-skin contact, joined several forums and support groups, researched extended breastfeeding or the best formulas available. You’re sure that you’re ready (or as ready as one can possibly be).

Information is readily available for expectant parents, unsurprisingly, since rearing children is something every generation has or will have in common. Be it books, family members, forums, or articles, there is no shortage of “how-to’s” or “what not to do’s” on parenting and giving birth. However, there are some aspects of parenting that few consider or are willing to address.

“I didn’t sign up for this.”

A major issue is that when people are nearing parenthood, they have one child in mind: A happy, healthy, cishet child who is just like them in virtually every way.

Parents of neurodivergent or disabled children often make statements like “I didn’t sign up for this,” or “this wasn’t what I had in mind.”

But why? Those types of children exist, do they not? They all have to come from somewhere. They’re all born to someone. Why not you? What prevents you from the possibility of parenting a neurodivergent or disabled child?

The same is often said of any other child that deviates from any arbitrary, unrealistic norm such as intersex and queer/trans children.

When you get pregnant (or impregnate someone) you’re effectively “signing up” for any type of child. Not just your ideal child.

 

You are NOT ready to be a parent if:

  • You prefer a dead child over a disabled child
  • You prefer a homeless child over a trans child
  • You prefer “curing” your child of an innate characteristic rather than loving them for who they are
  • You think female circumcision is barbaric, but male circumcision is perfectly okay
  • You’re willing to mutilate your infant to improve the infants sex appeal by your own subjective standards
  • You’d rather beat your child than discuss why you’re upset with them
  • You’d risk your child’s health or life to make them “normal”
  • You’d risk your child’s health or life to make them fit into your lifestyle (dieting, age-inappropriate physical activity, taking your child to potentially dangerous places, etc)
  • You’d prefer a lover over your child
  • You’d risk your child health or life for a lover
  • You’d perform invasive surgery on an infant to make them  a “normal sex”
  • You’d prefer a homeless child over a child with differing opinions
  • You prefer harming your own child in any way merely because that child wasn’t what you “expected”

 

Remember: You are NOT a failure as a parent for keeping your child safe and healthy even if your child is “odd” in some way. It isn’t your (or anyone’s) fault if your child is different in some way. You only become a parental failure when you’d rather your own baby suffer for being strange or when you’d hurt your own child because of some inconvenience. You’re a failure if you fit into the above list, not vice versa.

Whether your child is disabled, intersex, gay or trans, needs medication, eccentric, or has a mental illness….your child is your child. And you should continue to treat them as such.

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All children are worthy of love

Updated List of Vaccine Injuries!: Top 5 Health Complications You Didn’t Know Were From Vaccines

We’ve all known (especially us parents!) that vaccines can do some pretty strange and scary things to our babies, like resulting in austinism, ACDC, and ABAI. But censorship has been keeping most of the potential vaccine injuries hidden, which is why there are NO antivaxx Facebook groups, websites, or YouTubers that we could turn to for advice and never has been.

That all changes now. Thankfully, posing as a medical doctor, I’ve been able to discuss the true effects of vaccines with my “collegues” and will now be able to promptly warn Concerned Parents™ before they make the grave mistake of pumping thier precious cargo full of toxics. But dont worry, I’ve included several signs near the end that your child is FREE of vaxx injuries, meaning you’ve succeeded as a Parent!

  • Avarice 

This is important to look out for in your older kids: Teen and young adults may be suffering from Avarice. Avarice is a secret medical condition that causes people age 14+ to be consumed by a desire for money, wealth, and material goods. Though this is sometimes found in unvaxxed people (likely due to vaccine shedding), it is most commonly occurred in those who were vaccinated in infancy. Key symptoms to watch out for: Asking for an allowance, offering to do chores in the neighborhood for money, expressing a desire to attend vocational schools, undergoing any sort of career training, and contributing to the workforce.

  • Empathy

Do NOT be fooled by the shills, being a empath is NOT a natural gift or sign of enlightenment. That is what they want you to believe of us, to try to prove that shedding doesn’t affect our own kind. Being empathetic is really damage do to vaccines. It is a way of assuring a herd mentality (aka sheeple) because it causes them to be more concerned with others than with themselves! Ever had a vaxxer call you “evil” for not caring if THIER kids die as long as yours is safe? Empathy. Thats one of the injuries itself! And they call US crazy?! Your kids, your problem. Whats next, paying for public schooling? LOL

  • Effluxion

This is caused when vaccines cause your child to be drawn toward consuming other chemicals later in life. This is usually do to the vaccine being weak (probably as a result of shortages of toxics in the lab) so they have to compromise…..and make the child want to continually consume more as a kid. Your child probably has effluxion if they consistently crave the following chemicals: dihydrogen monoxide, sodium chloride, carbon-based foods, and ascorbic acid. Check labels,, but also do your research! Foods and drinks aremt legally required to label these deadly chemicals on every product!!

  • Conformity

Many parents sadly have normalized the ideas that kids go through phases and trends or care about whats ‘popular.’ NOT TRUE! This phenomenon has nothing to due with maturation, its a result of the vaccines affect on a growing mind! Keep note of your childs behavior and life goals as they age….big red flags are wanting to grow up to become a doctor, firefighter, police officers, lawyer, politician of any kind, or teacher…also may cause your child to want to “look professionally” or make “good impressions” (who are they trying to impress? The SHILLS, but theyre too young to know that yet). As your kid gets older they may start to question you,, think you are crazy,,, or weird. This is a major symptom of the vaxx injury. Why else would it seem so weird to care about the safety of your own kid? LOL

  • Guisgardism 

This is a form of being prone to hypnosis. It is a primary symptom that affects the children of aggressive provaxxers/medical doctors/shills. These people think their kids are “advanced” but it is truly guisgardism….kids eager for brainwashing. Watch out for….childrens friends or classmates if the mother says they are advanced,, if the kid askes too many questions,,, if the child is able to do multiple things at once, does the kid like puzzles or interactive games,,, the child makes “honor roll”,, is passing all classes (especially medical or health classes),,,,the child has a “natural gift” like empathy,, befriends vaxxed kids,,, the kid is able to speak more than one language or play an (or many) instruments,,, the kid plays inside more than outside,,, writes in cursive,, reads outside of class for fun,,, or likes school.

Those are the top 5 vaccine injuries that have been kept a secret for so long, but now you know! It is a scarey world sometimes! But we will persist LOL. Below is a list of signs your child is thankfully vaccine injury free:

  • Egoism

Dont let the shills scare you, this is actually HEALTHY! Your child shouldnt be worried about the health or safety of others,,especially if it means risking thier own safety! Your child probably displays egoism if they frequently use phrases such as “I dont care,” “not my problem,” “oh well,” “it doesnt bother me.” Anchorage this mindset!

  • Cautious 

Your healthy, unvaxxed child should display a lot of caution in life. Your child should trust YOU, and only YOU (and what/whoever you see fit). A cautious child will ALWAYS ask for permission before doing,,going or especially, eating anything new. Your child has no issues with obediance and will always be assure that you approve of their friends/dates before forming friendships or relationships. In adulthood, you can be confident your child stays in contact with you- and always remember that YOU come first in emergencies.

  • Traditional 

Once your child grows up and has kids of thier own, these kids of course will not be vaxxed either! And expect to have a strong presence in your grandkids lives! If your child was raised properly (naturally), they will be the same kind of parent you were, and their children will be like them as parents, and so on and so on. You will be responsible for several generations of natural, cautious, wellness living.

  • Time well managed

If your child is free from vaccine injuries, they will not be pressured into conforming or caving into Avarice. Instead of wasting time on reading, training, or schooling, a smart unvaxxed child will focus on being self suffient and making sure others dont vaxx. Good uses of time include blogging, arguing on social media, having children to raise more antivaxxers, volunteering at daycares and womens shelters to spread enlightenment, protesting hospitals/clinics/pharmacies, watching REAL documentaries, or making educational videos.

If your child displays the above signs, good on you mama! You have  a child raised right! You should be proud of yourself and your children


 

Disclaimer: Everything above the blue horizontal line is complete bullshit. Hopefully anyone bored enough to actually bother reading this came here through Facebook or random chance and not something like the below image. You should absolutely vaccinate yourself and your children, unless a legitimate medical professional discovers a specific reason as to why you’d be unable to do so.  In which case, promote community vaccinations so that you can reap the benefits of herd immunity and not die.

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Why We Should Remove The “G” From “LGBT”

People, namely men, have been using the word “gay” to describe themselves in regards to homosexual orientation since the 1920s, if not earlier.

But how many of these men knew the original implications of the term? 

Not all of the homosexual men of the early 20th century may not have been aware, but society was generally very homophobic at the time. Even though these men were calling themselves gay, many heterosexual people were also using it as an insult against them! Hundreds of homosexual men were considered perverts, pedophiles, diseased, and mentally deranged. And hundreds of those men knew the pain of having all of those implications attached to the word “gay.”

Just because some homosexual men in the past were okay with it doesn’t mean they all are currently.

Even today, many homosexual people have parents reject them for being “gay,” and consistently complaining about how they don’t want a “gay” child. So of course, it makes sense to not want to associate with the phrase. Yet so many people keep referring to the LGBT+ community as the “gay” community, and so many homosexual men are called “gay.” Even bars and clubs meant to foster a welcoming environment are called “gay bars.”

This word is everywhere, and it shouldn’t be. It is a slur. Just because some people are okay with using a word that has decades of abuse attached to it doesn’t mean all of us are.


 

Have I persuaded anyone to stop calling themselves “gay” yet? Probably not, and I can only guess why. Isn’t it strange that we in the LGBT+ community so regularly accept words like “gay” (even though it was historically used as an insult), but we feel the need to censor ourselves from using more inclusive terms like “queer?”

It’s the same argument. We can use queer to describe ourselves (sometimes), but not the community as a whole- it’s a slur that “not everyone has reclaimed.” Maybe I’m just a hermit, but I don’t ever remember filling out the international “LGBT survey” that lead us to believe that everyone has reclaimed anything. 

The most there is to go off of is contemporary LGBT+ communities, and for the most part, it does seem that the vast majority of us are okay with the word “gay.” But the same can also be said of the word “queer.” Despite the innumerable people actually preferring the term as a more inclusive descriptor, the minority that object to it are often the loudest.

I’ve also heard personal accounts justifying the objection to the word queer. One such story was from a cis lesbian (and told to a rather well-known trans woman who was using the term to refer to the LGBT community) that sounded a bit like this:

“I am NOT a ‘kweer!’ My father has screamed that word at me so many times while I cried in the shower or curled up in bed, and you have no idea what it feels like to have people force that word on ALL of us just because some people are ok with it! I am NOT AND NEVER WILL BE a kweer!!!” (Evidently even spelling out the word properly was too much for her to handle)

Okay.

The problem is, that isn’t at all a unique experience. Far from it, in fact. And the word “queer” in that situation can be replaced with any word we used to describe ourselves or the community. For example, the woman from the above example preferred the term “lesbian.” But no doubt you could substitute “lesbian” in the above situation, and it would be a real-life experience that hundreds of people could relate to.

Essentially, all of our words have been used against us and are therefore slurs. 

And since there is no way of knowing how many people have which personally history with which specific words, it would be safer to abandon them all.

Problem solved, right? Obviously not.

 

The problem is people, not the words.

Even if we were to create a whole new LGBT dictionary, those words would inevitably relate to some people just as the old ones did. They would all have the potential to be used as a slur because people are still ignorant and prejudiced.

Insisting that “queer” still counts as a slur, despite it being used to self-identify in the community perhaps even earlier than the word “gay,” is just a way of telling assholes that their definition matters more than ours does. It allows them to take some aspect of our identity away, which is exactly what they want.

If we want to prevent the emotional abuse associated with our identities, the solution isn’t continually making more words that mean the same thing. The solution is continuing the fight for equality, positive representation, normalization, etc.

 

I’m not going to deny that a word is applicable to me if it is. I am a brunette. That is a fact. But even if I am continually harassed over that fact, it is no less of a fact. Calling myself “brown-haired” won’t make any difference in the long run, because in the end, those harassing me are doing so because of who/what am, not merely because of what I call myself. So if people were to shout abuses at me regarding my hair color, I’d wonder what the hell was wrong with them.

The same goes for being queer. And, incidentally, hating someone for their gender or sexuality is just as asinine as hating someone for their hair color.


 

Even if a word is used regularly by the majority of the LGBT community, if someone specifically asks you not to address them or refer to them with a certain term, it is best to respect that request regardless of how odd it might seem. This is in individual circumstances, rather than references to oneself or the community as a whole.

It is also important to note that what is and isn’t a slur varies from community to community, and from culture to culture. For example, the consensus on terms like “faggot*” and “tranny” is that they are not yet reclaimed and not typically used to self-identify. In some cases, reclaiming a certain slur may not be uncommon, but it is still seen as generally inappropriate to refer to a whole category of people with it. Terms offensive in the United States may not be offensive in some Eastern nations. It all depends, but all in all, you should probably refrain from dictating how someone refers to themself or their community (should it usually be seen as an acceptable way of doing so).

 

*In fact, in a Facebook group I was in, a cishet woman banned several gay men for calling themselves “fags.” And that is definitely inappropriate.

Truscum, Tucute, and “Transtrenders” (Oh my!)

I’ve indirectly addressed the whole “truscum vs tucute” debate here before, but I’ve been feeling the need to add more commentary on the matter.

For those of you who are unaware of the above terms:

Truscum– also known as “transmedicalists,” these are people who believe that in order to be transgender, you must experience (and often, be formally diagnosed with) dsyphoria. They also tend to believe that both HRT and surgery are necessary to be considered truly transgender. They often believe that being transgender is little more than a genetic abnormality or mental disorder.

Tucute– sometimes automatically lumped in with “transtrenders,” these people believe that the only qualification for being trans is to identify with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.

Transtrenders– essentially a snarl word that doesn’t actually have a concrete definition, and is primarily an insult used against a variety of people who may personally consider themselves trans (often to the dismay of truscum) such as: nonbinary people, gender nonconforming binary trans people, gender nonconforming cis people, trans people who don’t experience dysphoria, transphobic people who suddenly come out as trans, etc.

 

Again, I’ve been meaning to go more in-depth on this topic for a while now, but never got around to it. Why now? Why this particular night? Well, I had a rather hilarious experience that unfortunately, isn’t too uncommon.

Like many other mindless millennials, I have an Instagram account. I used to have a bit of fanbase, with posts regularly garnering hundreds of likes and receiving comments urging me to publish books. Cute, right? But I grew up and I no longer cling to many of the misconceptions that people adored me for having. I can change with new information, but apparently my following could not. Currently, I use my Instagram account to complain about my day, shitpost, make NSFW posts I wouldn’t share with all of my family on Facebook, and generally only engage with “irl” friends or people I’ve actually known for years. Pretty basic stuff. But it’s also one of the few places I can talk about dysphoria, my experiences as a trans person, and connect with others with similar experiences.

So of course it wasn’t long before I encountered another user whose bio read like something along the lines of “I’m 15 years old, destroying ‘nonbinarys’ daily.” And their content was primarily screenshots of Tumblr posts by truscum and memes invalidating enbies.

m a j o r  c r i n g e 

It reminded my of the time I stumbled upon an aggressively pro-life 13-year-old whose life aspiration was to become a nun. She had some 15k followers, and was more than confident in her arguing ability. Grown ass men would cite this child [in an attempt] to “shut down” pro-choice debates.

But this “destroying nonbinarys” account encouraged me to address one of my biggest issues with truscum arguments, that are unfortunately, not unique to them. That issue being:

You are not a scientist just because you are truscum 

It’s really easy to sympathize with many truscum. In a lot of ways, I get it. And I get why they’re often so angrily trying to prove their points.

But my lord, it is absolutely embarrassing to see such a large number of people justifying their stance with pseudoscientific nonsense just because they “did their research.” Oh, where have I heard that line before? Only with antivaxxers, Holocaust deniers, the ‘9/11 was an inside job’ crowd, and about everywhere else.

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Besides the fact the you could exhaust yourself with extensive research using only peer-reviewed and academic sources and still not be able to logically counter all the points offered by tucute, but your ‘research’ isn’t infallible merely because you were satisfied with the results.

Specifically, I’ve seen a Tumblr post circling around on Facebook and Instagram  about how a truscum person “looked into” the neurology of being transgender and determined that dsyphoria is the result the brain being “wired incorrectly” during fetal development. Thus, being transgender is a medical condition.

It’s difficult to convey with words just how infuriating these situations are because this shit happens all the time and people who have actually spend years of their life and thousands of their dollars honing their understanding of neuroscience frequently take the backseat to these “researchers.” And even then, gender in regards to neuroscience is one of the most grossly misunderstood areas of science that produces a plethora of flawed studies. But do these people have the ability to recognize flaws in these studies? Of course not. They merely find commonly cited papers that align with their preconceptions and use it to “prove” that they were right all along. This also disregards the fact that papers, regardless of their accuracy, are far more accessible to the general public when they confirm a preexisting cultural bias or misconception. 

Thankfully, I’m not alone in these frustrations. A friend of mine, we’ll call him Chris, too has to deal with angry kids “disproving” everything with “research.” He has a Masters degree in sociology (with emphasis on sexuality and gender), but that of course could never hold up against a young teen’s use of memes in a debate.

This whole “I’m x because I researched it” is also reminiscent of the time I got into a debate with a rather prominent vegan figure. He asked for sources to my claims, and I provided several. He merely responded with “I’m not reading those unless they were written by an ethical vegan *finger peace sign emoji*” It’s, more often than not, a joke.

Truscum are among several other groups of people who have the delusion that their particular stance on an issue is automatically indicative of an actual understanding of scientific concepts, such as atheists and vegans. Can you be a scientifically literate truscum, vegan, or atheist? Absolutely! But you’re not a genius scientist just because you fall into any of those categories. This is especially true when you’re not even an adult yet and your arguments consist largely of memes.

 

HOWEVER

There is some validity to certain truscum perspectives. For example, you might technically have the right to consider yourself trans in a particular instance, but you do not get to claim you experience oppression if you don’t experience dysphoria at all and/or have no intentions of transitioning.

Maybe it makes sense to then bring back the term “transsexual” to make a distinction between those who wish to transition and those who don’t. Because the latter do not get to speak over the former and consume all the space in trans spaces. It wouldn’t make sense to.

Obviously the experiences of all trans people can vary, even if they identify the same way, have the same goals, and are the same asab. But the experiences of people who desire to transition and/or who experience dysphoria at all are drastically different from those who don’t. If you don’t want to legally transition, you’re not dealing with lack of legal rights trans people often have. You don’t have to deal with the heaps of paperwork and money that is often required just to change your name or gender marker on IDs or birth certificates. If you don’t want to physically transition, you don’t share the frustration that many other trans people do in having to wait a long time with several other people’s approval just to do something to your own body. You don’t have to deal with the financial burden of doing so either. If you don’t want to socially transition, you might never have to deal with violent by friends or romantic partners, homelessness due to parental abandonment or housing inequality, aggressive misgendering, people deadnaming you to hurt you, etc.

So basically, I won’t argue for the taking away of your right to call yourself “trans.” But please take at least one step back in trans spaces when we start discussing experiences of oppression, dysphoria and the fight for equality.

The Liebster Awards?

To my surprise, I received an email this morning indicating that I was nominated for some sort of award. As I’ve stated elsewhere, I primarily use this blog as a sort of personal archive; the writing is therapeutic and I can see my growth as a writer and person. I’m not necessarily involved here (like, at all) as far as the social and communication aspect goes. So it goes without saying that I was quite shocked that anyone actually considered nominating me for anything. As it turns out, these Liebster Awards are a rather cute way of promoting small writers.

I was nominated by Charlie of Nonbinary Journal. Their blog seems to be mainly of personal accounts/experiences as a nonbinary teen. I greatly appreciate the nomination by them (and their nomination of others, for that matter) not only because they bother to read some of my posts and somehow manage to enjoy them enough to warrant the nomination, but also because I feel that nonbinary writers and the experiences of enbies could always use more recognition. It is nice to know that they are helping this sort of microcommunity here on WordPress.

In accordance with the rules of this nomination, I will write 10 random facts about myself:

  1. I am a science (specifically biology) and education major, working on my course program as is required by one of the most well-known universities in Florida. I won’t be staying here long though, if everything goes right- thank god; I miss the North.
  2. I’m from a city a couple hours south of Chicago, Illinois.
  3. I am an avid reader. I’ve read around 240 books, namely of the “highbrow” variety. Sue me.
  4. I quite literally have no redeemable talents.
  5. I used to play the viola. I miss it with a passion that words cannot describe.
  6. My favorite TV shows are Rick and Morty, One Punch Man, Stranger Things, and People of Earth.
  7. I am a Pantheist. But I wouldn’t consider it inherently incorrect to be labeled as an atheist or ignostic either. “Pagan” is an iffy term, though.
  8. In terms of politics, I am a democratic socialist.
  9. I am a member of the National Science Teachers Association, as well as the American Institute of Biological Sciences.
  10. I am a certified agritechnologist (agricultural technology), and also have a financial literacy certification.

 

As per the rules of the nomination, I am to write a 150-300 word post about my favorite blog. Incidentally, I don’t follow many blogs. Those I tend to keep up with typically already have a larger following, such as PZ Myers’ Pharyngula or Ari Stillman’s The Gaytheist Manifesto. And to be fair, I’ve only recently become aware of the existence of the latter.

My favorite (presumably) smaller blog would have to be Jackson Warlock’s Reclaiming Warlock. I stumbled upon it entirely by accident after recently publishing one of my own blog posts. The similarities between myself and Rev. Warlock struck me: He is transmasculine transgender, as am I. He is Pagan, as I used to be. He used to consider himself an anarchist, as did I. He practices traditional survival skills, as do I. The list goes on, although perhaps my favorite similarity is our passion for birds. Unfortunately, that passion is not well-reflected here on this particular blog. Anyway, after noting how similar some of our opinions on certain topics were, I began following his blog. He posts opinionated pieces on relevant matters such as political events, controversies, goings-on in various pagan communities, BDSM, experiences as a trans person, etc. I by no means always agree with his perspective, but I do appreciate his writing and the style with which he explains his opinions or perspectives on an issue.

My 5-11 nominations go to:leibster award

  1. Reclaiming Warlock: http://www.reclaimingwarlock.com/
  2. A Sense of Natural Wonder: http://www.thegreenwolf.com/blog/
  3. Klaerc: http://wolfielupusbloodpaw.tumblr.com/
  4. LionGoatSnake: http://liongoatsnake.tumblr.com/
  5. Regina Flores: http://www.reginafloresmir.com/blog/

As I’ve stated before, I don’t really do the whole social aspect of blogs. It was very difficult for me to find any with less than 200 followers, and I am unaware of how many followers some of the above have. They were, however, some of the most lesser-known ones I’ve come across. I will add: #2 is the blog of someone I’ve actually been in Facebook groups with and have purchased form before. I believe she also had a Tumblr as well, but I am unsure. I haven’t kept up, but if you’ve liked some of my past writings, she may interest you. #3 Is more active on Instagram, and you might be able to find more of his writing there. #4 is someone I was aware of only years ago, and who was well-liked by many of my acquaintances. I have no idea how many followers the account has at this point in time. #5 is actually a rather interesting story: I stumbled across the website by a complete accident while I was working on a research paper. The blog was good enough to thoroughly distract me for a few hours though, so I warrant putting it on this list. Even though I, again, have no idea how many people follow her.

 

Rules for Nominees:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  1. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”
  1. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  1. Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
  1. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  1. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  1. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award so that they can pass it on.

 

We Need to Talk About This Huge Sense of Entitlement

The United States is meant to be recognized as the “Land of the Free.” Freedom, perhaps more than anything else, is what our citizens value most. But our freedoms are, and always have been, limited. Is this unjust? Is it unfair? It depends. But far too frequently, citizens are considering any restriction as “unfair” or erroneously as “unconstitutional.”

This significant sense of entitlement in American (and others) culture will be the bane of ‘civilized’ society, and feeding into it is the fact that a vast majority of adult citizens still lack the ability to properly define “opinion.”

An opinion is a judgment about a specific topic that isn’t inherently rooted in objectivity. The word “opinion” itself is derived from the Latin “opinari” which generally means “to imagine, believe, think, or suppose.” Which, in turn, likely comes from the Proto-Indo-European “op” or “opto” which indicates a preference or decision.

To put it simply, an opinion is nothing. It holds no more significance than any other arbitrary belief or preference. And yet we have countless citizens voting, raising children, and making crucial decisions based solely on this nothingness.

We have countless citizens who therefore feel entitled based on nothingness. And generally speaking, feelings of “worthiness” and having opinions aren’t morally wrong or necessarily detrimental to a community. But when so many people feel they have a god-given right to actively harm others based on merely opinion nothing, it becomes a grave issue.

And these issues manifest in a variety of ways: Parents refusing to give their children actual medical care, parents refusing to let boys wear nail polish or for girls to play with trucks, men justifying the murder of trans women, parents justifying abuse or abandonment of queer children, voting for xenophobic officials, etc.

antivaxx2

It doesn’t matter that SBS has characteristics specific to physical injury and couldn’t possibly be caused by vaccines. It doesn’t matter that there is an entire legal process to evaluate evidence and determine guilt. The reality of the situation never matters to these people, because their heads are so far up their ass and they think their “opinion” dictates reality. 

These people are so obsessed with their alleged “right” to ignore reality or hurt others that they don’t even consider the legitimate human rights of other people.

If you think you have the “right” to believe to forego medical care for your child because of your “opinion” that doctors are all just money-hungry demons out to harm others, what about your child’s right to actually be healthy? If you think you have the “right” to murder or harass a trans person because of your “opinion” that they’re all just deceptive perverts out to turn you gay, what about the trans person’s right to actually live?

It’s a problem not only of entitlement but of ignorance and sheer selfishness. They value freedom, but only for themselves. The right’s of others either simply don’t exist (presumably because of their opinion), or they’re of much less concern.

 

To reiterate: Fact and reality > any given opinion

Again, opinions are not inherently objective. They aren’t always backed by anything other than mere knee-jerk reactions, misunderstanding, ideology, or indoctrination.

An “opinion” that the earth is flat is wrong. 

An “opinion” that human races are distinct species is wrong.

An “opinion” that gender is purely biologically binary is wrong. 

And there is no reason at all that anyone should accept blatantly incorrect (and frequently dangerous) statements to appease someone’s sense of entitlement. There is no logical reason that we should be respecting anyone’s decision to maintain ignorance. And there sure as hell isn’t any reason that we should be voting for people and making laws based solely off incorrect statements.

Reality is sometimes offensive. That doesn’t mean you can hide behind “opinion” to change it.

Down With Christianity: Paganism as an Alternative to an Oppressive Religion

Christianity, and organized religion as a whole, hasn’t been without criticism among left-leaning and progressive crowds. Many have deemed the religion inherently misogynistic, racist, and completely outdated. A lot of these people were raised under Christianity and seek an alternative belief system that is more inclusive. This is where Paganism and witchcraft comes in.

When you spend your life under behavioral restrictions just because of the alleged existence of some male deity, it makes sense to be attracted to polytheistic religions boasting a number of powerful goddesses. Paganism and witchcraft tend to be the “go to” for those who may feel isolated by traditional Christian churches, such as those in the LGBT community, feminists, PoC trying to preserve heritage, anarchists, etc. And I certainly understand the appeal, as I was once a Christian-turned-Pagan as well. But as I’ve explained before, this idea of leaving Christianity for something more progressive doesn’t always work out as planned.

 

Is Paganism actually that much better than Christianity? 

The short answer, as can be inferred thus far, is “no.”

If you’re trying to leave a religion under the notion that it is too isolating/exclusive/problematic, then it doesn’t make much sense to replace that religion with another problematic religion. And because people have the potential to be oppressive, any religion therefore has that potential as well because religion is (clearly) man-made and composed of believers who are (again, clearly) other people. 

This goes back to how I observed an article featured on a popular witchcraft Facebook page that centered around a conservative Pagan witch who was married to a conservative Christian. Their beliefs, she claimed, complimented one another- not conflicted. In fact there was a post wherein a group of witches publicly hexed Trump some months ago, and the comments were abound with conservative witches scoffing and sympathizing with Trump. Though this is merely a singular Facebook page, finding conservative witches isn’t difficult. The Facebook group Southern Witches (consisting of over 17k people) has provided defense for a myriad of prejudiced people. It is therefore little surprise that going deeper into Pagan/witchcraft communities only exposes more unethical and discriminatory beliefs and practices.

Queerphobia

Disregarding Facebook and social media in general, problems with Paganism have always persisted. This is especially true of “educational” literature meant for those just beginning to practice.

These books frequently discuss “sex magick” that is completely heteronormative and tend to center on “masculine” and “feminine” energies (or whatever). As a result, one can frequently encounter intense binarism/exorsexism and interphobia.

We then get into the issue of bioessentialism: “Mother” this, “mother” that. Pagans frequently applaud their deities on the basis of fertility. Granted, this made sense hundreds of years ago, but in contemporary civilizations, it just manifests as yet another facet of queerphobia and enforcement of arbitrary gender roles. Goddesses are typically referenced in positions of birthing, mothering, and nurturing. Gods are revered for virility: Conquering, having sex with multiple women (consent is rarely considered), battling, etc.

Not to mention that this emphasis on “masculine opposed to feminine” is Eurocentric.

transphobia

While Paganism attracts many progressive types, it is also often a haven for TERFS and other bigots.

 

Misogyny

A large portion of the misogyny found in Paganism ties back to the aforementioned bioessentialism. If Paganism is allegedly so much more progressive than Christianity, why does it frequently equate women to wombs? Why is does imagery of the “magically cured infertile woman” still persist? Why is femininity symbolized primarily by large breasts and a huge ass? Why is menstruation’s relation to the lunar cycle of such great significance?

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This wasn’t meant for “body positivity” or to counteract eating disorders

Not to mention that a variety of well-known Pagan men are renowned misogynists, be they abusers or simply manipulating or coercing women into “magickal healing sex.” When a man joins a Pagan community and elevates himself to a position of authority, it becomes incredibly easy for him to prey on unsuspecting women. After all, you’d trust your coven leader to want what’s best for you, just as a Christian trusts their pastor. And that trust isn’t always well-placed, unfortunately.

 

Racism

You’d probably be hard-pressed to find forms of Paganism that don’t vitally incorporate cultural appropriation. This is especially true of “eclectic witchcraft” that quite literally takes whatever symbols and beliefs the practitioner wants from one tradition, and couples it with whatever other things they can find elsewhere. From smudging, to adopting an “Indian name,” to wearing feathers with kimonos, to “Native American Prayers” copied and recited from some sketchy defunct website, cultural appropriation certainly isn’t new among Pagan crowds. But if that isn’t “technically racist” enough for you, don’t fret: It gets much worse.

Welcome to the world of Asatru!

Also referred to as Odinism/Norse Wicca/Being a Viking, this belief system focuses on deities such as Odin, Thor, and Freya. While these listed beliefs are actually distinct (and the latter is just a completely incorrect way of referring to oneself when you worship Norse deities), they’re all generally similar insofar as which deities are involved and why.

Unfortunately, the similarities don’t stop there. One of the largest unifying factors is white supremacy. I’ve witnessed this first hand. When I was still an Asatruar, the community I was involved in elected to suddenly and aggressively exclude any PoC. This was apparently in response to how Dianic Wicca is closed to men, and how many indigenous religions are closed to white people. This is one of the more mild cases of racism among Asatruar, however; as Asatru is increasingly becoming the favored religion among racists, violent criminals, and the alt-right. The idea being that, unlike Christianity, Asatru was created by “Aryans” and has nothing to do with Jewish people. There’s even a specific form of Asatru dedicated to racism known as “Wotanism.”

 


This is only a handful of some of the ethical issues easily found in Pagan communities and teachings. Witchcraft, though related, isn’t nearly as easy to evaluate because it is a practice rather than a set ideology or religion. I’ve even met several atheist witches.

But when it comes down to it, of course Paganism isn’t inherently better than Christianity. They’re both creations of the past, reflecting past societies. And as long as contemporary society still has room for improvement, so do our belief systems. Our societies are still largely oppressive, likewise, so are a variety people among a variety of religions.

Hence why there are some Christians who are more empathetic and open-minded than some Pagans or some atheists. Religion isn’t the only factor involved.

 

Similar readings: “Wiccanate Priveledge” , Why I Left the Wiccan Faith , “Patronus,” or “Spirit Animal?”

False Claims of Logical Fallacy

Internet discussions certainly don’t abide by the same standards that genuine debates do, but you’ll inevitably encounter various people shouting “Nice use of logical fallacy!” at one another anyway. Interestingly enough, while the arguments are often faulty, they’re not composed of the logical fallacies that many often claim.

Argumentum ad Verecundiam (“Appeal to Authority”)

The “appeal to authority” is one of the most grossly misunderstood, misapplied fallacies out there. From various mommy blogs, to alternative news sites, to this little piece, claims of “appeal to authority” are certainly no rarity. But legitimate cases of this fallacy, ironically, are.

What is this fallacy, and why is it a fallacy? Essentially, “appeal to authority” refers to any argument hinging on or vitally incorporating the notion that if a powerful or influential figure does or claims something, we should all do or believe that something.

A few obvious examples of this fallacy follow as:

“Gwenyth Paltrow uses alternative medicine, so it must be safe!”  This leaves us asking “Why?” or “How?” It’s an illogical conclusion to make, as she has no medicinal knowledge from what we’ve been told, nor do we have any reason to believe she is healthy or cares for the safety of others based on what was told.

“Dr. Bob is a professional microbiologist, and he claims that windshield wiper fluid is ineffective and it is best to use mayonnaise instead.” What does being a microbiologist have to do with knowing what is best for a vehicle’s windshield? It’s irrelevant; we’re not told how or why Dr. Bob came to his realization.

A few examples show what is commonly mistaken as an appeal to authority, but is actually logically sound:

“Evolutionary biologist Dr. X claims that genetic mutations are random and spontaneous, which disproves Mr. Y’s claim that all life forms exist as they are for a specific reason.” Evolutionary biology requires extensive knowledge of ecology and changes in genetics. We can infer that Dr. X, whose education is relevant to the topic, understands the material enough to make an accurate statement on the matter.

“Joel Zimmerman, DJ and producer, says that DJs ‘skills’ lie primarily in producing, and that live performances basically boil down to pressing ‘play.'” We can assume that a well-renowned music producer has knowledge about the goings-on of live performances and the difficulty thereof.

It is important to remember that in order to be classified as an appeal to authority, it has to be an appeal to an irrelevant or unqualified authority. Citations of those with first-hand experience, those with an education in a field relating to the topic, those with a career relevant to the topic, etc. are NOT fallacious. “Authority” in this case doesn’t refer to someone arbitrarily perceived ‘higher-ranking’ than you in society, therefore making the argument invalid. Yet people often claim an argument is fallacious in this manner just because someone is taking the words of an experienced person or educated person over a stranger on the internet- that is NOT fallacious; it’s wise.

 

Argumentum ad Hominem (Personal Attacks)

Probably referenced even more frequently than “appeal to authority,” ad Hominem is another fallacy that is often erroneously claimed and poorly understood.

This logical fallacy consists of attacking the messenger, rather than the message. Instead of providing counterarguments to whatever points may have been made by the other party/ies, if one is using this logical fallacy, they’ll resort to insulting their opponent or otherwise invalidating their claims based on irrelevant information.

Examples:

“Dr. Barres may be a neuroscientist and the Chair of the Neurobiology Department at Stanford University School of Medicine, but he’s transgender, so his research obviously doesn’t count.” There is no clear, logical reason as to why being transgender would invalidate his research. Instead of addressing specific issues that may or may not exist with his research, the statement hinges on something as irrelevant as gender status.

“Most feminists are have short, dyed hair and are grossly obese, so I definitely can’t take you seriously.” No explanation is given for why poor image correlates to poor message content. Is the specific “you” in this statement physically similar to what was described? If so, does said person have any connection to feminism? Is there any inherent connection of feminist ideology with any given physically appearance? Too many loose ends, no substantial content.

“Your voice is unbearable! You obviously don’t know what you’re talking about.” There is no correlation between voice tone and rationality. Instead of commenting on the person’s voice, it would be logical to explain how it is apparently obvious that the person doesn’t understand the topic.

Ad Hominem fallacies, because they’re an attack on the person making an argument, cite irrelevant information or subjective statements about the person and therefore frequently align with prejudices or stigmas. This fallacy is more likely to be used against those who may not fit into a conventional idea of physical attraction or those who constitute some sort of minority.

Some examples of what is NOT an ad Hominem fallacy:

“My calculator indicates that 5 plus 5 is 10, not 25. You’re confusing multiplication with addition, dumbass.” Though this comment or reasoning may be callous, it is logically sound. This person isn’t insisting that the person was incorrect because the person was a ‘dumbass,’ but that the person was a ‘dumbass’ for being incorrect. And there is, in fact, a difference between those two scenarios.

“Tomatoes are a fruit, and I hate you for thinking they’re a vegetable.” This isn’t exactly an argument nor a line of reasoning, but the person isn’t insisting that the person incorrect for any particular reason. They’ve merely stated two facts: 1. Tomato is a fruit, and 2. They hate the other person (despite how uncalled for the hatred may be)

And take a look at this as well:

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This piece of text is rife with weak generalizations, assumptions, and insulting language. Nevertheless, it isn’t an argument based on the fallacy of ad Hominem. It actually describes what is specifically arguing against and why. It provides counterpoints to the argument that the 1st amendment is invalidated based on historical context. Though clear dislike is expressed of the opposing party, they make no claim that the opposing party is incorrect solely because they’re filthy hipsters or idiots. Rather, that they’re filthy hipster idiots because they disagree. (Text written by Steven Crowder)

Remember that an argument does NOT automatically constitute an ad Hominem just because it incorporates rude language, insults, or expresses clear hatred. It only qualifies when the opponent’s argument is perceived as invalid solely because the opponent is *insert insult/slur/irrelevant description*

 

Argumentum ad Populum (“Popular Appeal”)

This logical fallacy insists that because a majority supports an argument, the argument must be true/correct. Though generally correctly recognized more frequently than the above, many people still incorrectly label certain arguments as ad Populum. This often ties back to our first example of ad Verecundiam.

Examples:

“Christianity is the largest religion in the world. That many people can’t be wrong, so Christianity must be the only true religion!” This fails to explain why or how a large number of random people cannot be incorrect on any given issue. It also doesn’t account for the fact that all other positions on religion (including nontheists and those of nonChristian religions) combined account for a larger number of people than that of all Christians combined.

“A lot of celebrities love the xyz diet; it must be super effective!” There is no correlation between celebrities and accurate knowledge of human diet. Why must it be “super effective?” Did every celebrity who followed the diet get the same results in the same amount of time? There isn’t enough information.

Examples of what does NOT fall under this fallacy:

“97 percent or more of climate scientists agree that climate change is largely a result of human activity, so we probably shouldn’t cut the EPA’s already low budget.” This is not an ad Populum, because the people referenced are relevant to the topic and have a clear understanding of the matter.

“All the dentists we’ve gone to said little Johnny has cavities and should brush his teeth more, so we’ve decided to give him a sticker any time he brushes his teeth.” This is logically sound because the people (dentists) that inspired the decision are relevant and have the ability to detect and prevent dental cavities.

“According to VGR, only about 3 percent of the adult US population is strictly vegetarian. Most people in the United States eat meat.” This doesn’t constitute a logical fallacy because it is not even an argument. It is a factual statement based on statistics.

 

[This post will be continually updated]