The L / G / B / T divide

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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby Josh » 28 December 2021, 03:16

PopTart wrote:... and there we go. In the one breath, you grant licence for those who have attained some degree of equality and acceptance, to not have to participate in some fight, only to then place a moral judgement upon that decision and declare it ignorant.

Not quite. The moral judgement you've assumed here is only that - an assumption. Ignorance carries a lot of negative weight about it, but it's merely a matter of fact. If someone chooses not to engage with or participate in a fight for the betterment of particular minorities, they are inevitably going to be more ignorant to the plight of those minorities. This isn't an unfair assertion, nor an inaccurate conclusion to reach given the majority of gay and lesbian people would even admit to being quite poorly informed about the specific issues that afflict bi people, or trans people, or ace people, and so on. It's an ignorance - rooted not in maliciousness as I said, but in dissociation. No judgement is cast on those people for not understanding the issues of others better, just as I have seldom judged people for not knowing issues around bisexuality quite as I do, and I would hope others wouldn't judge me for with regards to the very many minority issues I don't have a deep understanding of.

PopTart wrote:It is a small leap in sentiment, from that kind of value judgement, to one that says If you aren't fighting the fight, you're helping the oppression to sentiments like If your not with us, you're against us to If you aren't one of us, you have no right to speak for us We have seen this same kind of radical thinking, come to dominate other minority rights groups and efforts and it turns people away, is counter productive and fails to understand the underlying seperating factors, within minority collectives, that presage fragmentation.
...as such I disagree with all of this. These aren't value judgements I'd ever stand by, be they in regards to LGBTQ issues or indeed any other sociopolitical issues I have some degree of awareness about. People are entirely free to dissociate from the fight for betterment if they do so wish. It is not an act of judgement to presume the overwhelming majority of people who do so will be less well-informed. And it would be quite the double standard for such a person to say that they want no part in such a fight, but equally they have an opinion on those it concerns which should be listened to in equal measure.

PopTart wrote:We must try to understand and tolerate peoples positions, in order to diagnose and address that fragmentation, in a way that doesn't exacerbate it. If your goal is to keep people on side, perhaps, don't call them ignorant? Perhaps, don't go out of your way to alienate them, because they aren't towing the line?
My goal isn't to keep people on side if they've already decided they want no part in any fight. There is no side for them, as per their own wishes. Once again, ignorance isn't an emotional regard, but a matter of fact. People who do not engage with the issue, are going to be less well-informed (ignorant) on said issue.


PopTart wrote:People also don't need anyones permission to not be politically active. You can certainly express that you have no respect for people who are not actively participating in activism, but you shouldn't expect, that having done so, you'll be entitled to theirs.

This bit I agree with. Though if you were under the impression I have no respect for people who aren't politically active, then you've got the wrong impression of me here.

If this boils down to you considering it disrespectful to refer to people as ignorant, then this is merely an issue of semantics. I'm not really bothered enough about that to comment on it further.

Josh wrote:These divisions have always existed. Is it possible that some outside groups could exploit them for advantage? Ofcourse, all the more reason that the collective we are a part of, needs to come to terms with those differences, identify and talk about them and come to some kind of consensus on how we remain a functional collective in the face of those differences. Or else, fragmentation is inevitable.
The divisions have always existed, obviously, or else there wouldn't be distinct identities (plural) in the first place. I presumed it was fairly obvious we're referring to the toxicity that has been allowed to fester between different groups, often perpetrated by the aforementioned sources that are seldom actually predominantly LGBTQ themselves.

PopTart wrote:Never heard of [LGB Alliance] tbf. I'd have to investigate for myself but for now, I'll take your word for it.
They're a very prominent advocacy group founded in the UK in 2019, who controversially attained charitable status in 2020. They have affiliate groups all over the world now, are at the centre of the push against Stonewall in the UK, and have the endorsements of several substantial figures - MP's and authors of mediocre fantasy fiction being amongst them. Their position on trans people will inevitably veer into the territory of opinions. Their stance on bi people is to not even identify us correctly, which speaks somewhat for itself.

Josh wrote:Their main target is not trans people, but gay people. Gay people are their first and last target.
Which shouldn't be a problem, in and of itself. I agree it runs the risk of diluting the power of the collective movement, but if we don't recognise, that different groups, who have attained equality at different rates, are going to have differing priorities, then we are sunk anyway.[/quote]You misunderstand me here. They're not prioritising gay liberation (and if they were it would therefore be unacceptable to label themselves as for lesbian and bi people as well), but targeting gay people by duping them into supporting their cause, only to ultimately use them to erode rights that all LGBTQ people enjoy - including those gay people.

PopTart wrote:Firstly, because they're interested in the support of susceptible gay people
What do you mean by susceptible gay people? Why are they susceptible? What are they susceptible too? I sense an unspoken insinuation here but I'm not privy to the particulars.[/quote]The insinuation is that they play to the tune of predominantly conservative gay people who like the sound of what the group is saying - prioritising gay rights, stepping away from the trans issue which erodes the gay argument etc. The reality is that they've achieved nothing for gay people, however. They're in the headlines for having associated with homophobes, for backing Parliamentary legislation that would be a regression of equal rights, for holding controversial opinions on stripping all references to LGBTQ people from the Curriculum. But these susceptible followers overlook all this, because they like the vague platitudes they first heard.

PopTart wrote:I do recognise that LG and perhaps B people, might now have different priorities to Trans people. Due to the different places we find ourselves in. This is both rational and understandable, but denying the possibility, is neither.

Have you any consideration for the substantial overlap between trans identity and non-hetero identity? In the US just 15% of trans-identifying citizens identify their sexuality as straight.

I cannot speak on behalf of all B people, but I feel confident in asserting that our issues now pertain closer to those of trans people than of LG people. We continue to have our identities dismissed or misinterpreted, including now by public bodies. Bisexuality is now commonly recognised for pertaining to preferences rooted in gender, not sex. It has been that way since The Bisexual Manifesto was endorsed by international Prides in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Both bi and trans people are dependent on the recognition of gender identity being legitimised. Biphobia, like transphobia and perhaps more so than it, is commonly perpetrated by people from within the shared community, as it always has been. Our shared community hasn't ever been about aligned priorities - we've all always had our own issues.

If referring to the different places we find ourselves in, then it is undeniably that gay and lesbian people have reached a point of greater equality. Those represented by the L or the G have the full freedom to dissociate from this shared community if they wish to. Yet that's not where we find ourselves - we find ourselves with some gay and lesbian people joining ranks with straight people, and trying to push less equal minorities out. This is unacceptable.

PopTart wrote:I can't say I agree with them, I tend to think the idea of gender is indeed a social construct, while sex is a biological reality. The problems in modern society, usually crop up when groups deny one or the other and fail to realise they are linked and can't be individually dismissed or considered in isolation from one another.
I mean, I'm bisexual. My very existence with this identity is dependent on this being recognised categorically as a reality.

PopTart wrote:Again, these divisions have always existed. Divisions aren't inherently bad. Being different isn't bad. Learning to work cohesively in the face of those differences is important and that isn't achieved by denying that differences exist. Coming to terms with those differences and finding where we do share common ground, is the only way the LGBTQ alliance is going to survive going into the future.
This I'm in agreement with entirely. And the majority of LGBTQ people would evidently seem to agree as well. The idea of a widening divide is what this is all about though, and I am not of the belief it's actually any wider at all. It's simply topical right now, as through the attainment of greater equalities for some, others who don't approve of those changes have exploited that position to try to divide and conquer us.





Josh wrote:Here for the first time in your well written and engaging post, I have to flat out disagree with you. Not the trans part, the bold part. Because as one of those that was witness to the gay rights movement as it existed before, it was never predominantly angry. On the contrary, it struck an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming tone. It never couched it's arguments or positions in adversarial tones. Were there angry people in the community, sure. But the movement was far more loving, than angry. It didn't position itself as an adversary to societies normal.
The movement started as a riot. A protest. It is rooted in anger. It is rooted in injustice and crimes committed against our people. It is rooted in a whole generation of young men that were tragically lost through a health crisis that was only anywhere near as bad as it was because of institutional hate towards us. L, G, B, T, and Q movements haven't needed to position themselves as an adversary to society because society determined that that was our role for us. Yes, the movement was (and remains) far more loving than it does angry, and I never said the anger was the predominant mood - but it was absolutely instrumental. Anger when channelled effectively gets shit done. Any persecuted minority group can attest to that throughout history.


PopTart wrote:The movement as it was, was about being fairly included. But the movement today, has become so much more hostile and angry and I think that has been to the detriment of activism in general. You are at liberty to disagree ofcourse. But that is my opinion.
I'm afraid I do disagree. The only concession to this for me is that any heightened anger felt by younger generations is rooted in a far more complex picture of their generations having been failed across the board. But that's capable of going off-topic into an abundance of others.

PopTart wrote:I can't really argue with that. But what proportion of the discrimination do Bi people get, for being, specifically Bi? Which makes it sound like I'm trying to justify Bi exclusion. I'm not. My point is, that the discrimination Bi people suffer, has always been something of a submarine issue, from what I can tell. Largely as, amongst straight people, discrimination towards Bisexuals is expressed as homophobia and within the gay community (which also discriminates against Bi people) it is a more subtle discrimination, mistrust or ridicule. The Bi specific discrimination from one side, is fought through the L and G agenda and didn't benefit from being it's own thing. While the Bi specific discrimination in the community, has always gone largely unspoken. As such, I feel that Bi has never really been given attention it was due, it lacks even basic recognition. But that might be a broader conversation for another thread.
The last sentence sums it up as I could go on at length about this aspect, but shan't for now. My only point here is for consideration is that any discrimination bi people face for being bi is in addition to the homophobia they face along the way as well. For some it's a truly double-whammy, and I genuinely think that is a contributing factor as to why bisexual people endure higher rates of sexual assault, domestic abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, self-harm, poverty, and homelessness than straight, gay, and lesbian people.

PopTart wrote:I don't think it's ironic at all, but you're right, it is predictable. Extremely so, because it follows that, once one group achieves their goal, they are the most likely to want to get off the boat and set up shop independantly, they have, after all, arrived. It also follows that there would be some resentment from those groups who still have a way to go (another factor contributing to frangmentation, that needs to be spoken about and reconciled)
This effectively sums up what I disagree with. Because it isn't LG people anting to disembark the boat and go independent of the rest. It's LG people deciding that T and often B people are disposable and should be cut off. These aren't the same thing. More privileged L and G people have that privilege so that they may passively just distance themselves if they so wish. However the issue continues to be those who actively engage only for the sake of driving a wedge, and entrenching divisions. There is no accusation here that some L or G people are pulling the ladder up behind them, it's far worse than that - the accusation is that from their new platform, these L and G people are choosing to punch down at those left behind.

PopTart wrote:I sense some dissonance here. On the one hand you advocate for collective minority action and umbrella groupings, while denouncing factionalism amongst minorities based on specific individual issues... while also claiming that some collective groupings are too broad(?) an that the focus should be on specific minorities and their specific issues. These two things would seem to be at odds, but perhaps I'm misunderstanding.
There is nothing wrong with asserting that you're an egalitarian, nor is anything factually incorrect about recognising that yes, all lives do matter. The issue isn't that these collectives are too broad, it's that those who justify denouncing smaller groups by claiming to associate with broader terms so often do so in bad faith. As you've said, it is right to champion our differences. It is possible to exist within our own groupings, and mingle and cooperate with others with whom we have obvious affinity or overlap. This should be done to platform the voices of all, not to broadcast that 'all voices matter' when in fact listening to few or none of them.

Josh wrote:It doesn't matter how righteous you think you are by doing this, the uncomfortable truth is that for one reason or another, you're entrenching divisions through a dismissive attitude.
I don't think righteousness really comes into it. I think it's about acknowledging the reality that divisions, inevitably exist and in ignoring or dismissing those divisions, we can never hope to reconcile them, learn to work around them or account for them in our collective actions and it will inevitably lead to fragmentationa and break down.

PopTart wrote:I can broadly agree with you here. It does beg the question, if the only overlap of importance is discrimination, why not include everyone, that is in some way discriminated against? It also begs the question what happens when one subgroup of the wider collective, ceases to be discriminated against?

To some extent there is overlap between different discriminated groups. Commonality and solidarity, and the aformentioned love, has always persevered between different marginalised groups. Umbrella groupings tend to simply denote commonality between discriminations. LGBTQ people are united by the intersection of gender and sexuality - gay people may well only care about sexuality, trans people may well only care about gender identity, bi people may well care about both... there's no rhyme nor reason, but there absolutely is common ground, and a common spectrum of struggle.

What happens when one group ceases to be discriminated against? In an idyllic world some would use their newfound privilege to try lifting others up where they can, and advocating for that. In a realistic world those people would probably just fade from those minority circles in time. In the hellish timeline we're in, those people are instead being exploited to punch down at those who remain beneath them.

PopTart wrote:Why is it that the experiences of one group (that perhaps you agree with) is acceptable as "lived experience" while the experiences of another group (with whom you might disagree or stand in opposition too) are readily dismissed as "anecdotal"? I think this speaks to some bias and some degree of dissonance, intentional or otherwise. I don't think it invalidates everything you have said before, but it gives me pause.
Lived experience supersedes a mere assertion made by someone who hasn't lived that same experience. It's not about who I do or don't agree with. My lived experience as a bisexual person makes me more qualified to express the bisexual experience than, say, a gay man who has never lived that experience. His remarks can only ever be anecdotal, whether they are in agreement with me or not.

PopTart wrote:On the one hand, you want people to empathise and place themselves in the shoes of persecuted minorities, but on the other hand, you deem that they are not qualified to formulate opinions on the matter. Where then is the incentive for people to empathise, if you are unwilling to ever let them have a meaningful say? Does this strike you as the road to better mutual understanding and respect?
There is a difference between assertion and opinion. I encourage opinion on persecuted minorities, I respect people who choose to avoid forming opinions on persecuted minorities. Those opinions become assertions when people begin speaking over the persecuted people. As is the case when it is gay, lesbian and straight people leading the charge to split the LGB from the T. Opinions become assertions when hate groups wrongly define bi people whilst pretending to act in our name.

Empathy requires listening, of course in all directions, but more so to the persecuted minority. They are best-informed and best-positioned to explain their situation to others, owing to the lived experience of it. Sadly this is not a balance that has been struck particularly well in recent years.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby Derek » 28 December 2021, 07:20

One of these days y'all need to learn how to make a point concisely
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 28 December 2021, 08:22

Derek wrote:One of these days y'all need to learn how to make a point concisely
You know, it's really frustrating, because I do know the point I'm trying to make, it's there, in my brain, getting it out, is like bringing two negative magnets together. There is this repulsion field. This must be what cognitive decline feels likes. I've always taken the scenic route, but I can honestly feel it getting worse!

Strap in Neurons, we're going down! Awooga, Awooga, Awooga

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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 28 December 2021, 09:41

Okay, I feel like I'm going to be doing your considered and well reasoned reply a terrible injustice here, but I'm not going to quote tree the whole thing as I might do normally. Dereks right shuuush, don't tell him! and I need to bring the disparate threads of my argument to a nice neat point (as much as I am able. :argh: ) Believe me, it very nearly, physically pains me, to not respond point by point, but if I do, we (by which I mean, I) will end up waffling on about the finer points of gravity or the sociopolitical ramifications of gift wrapping or some such.

Drawing back to the initial point of this thread, activism has become toxic. As you say that anger when harnessed and utilised well, can be a powerful force for demanding change. But I think the point being made, is that activism, across the spectrum has been overtaken by unfocused, indiscriminate anger. Fired scattershot in all directions. Rising resentments, petty recriminations and even what you describe as "punching down" ( :pukey: ) Sorry, it's just so... zeigeisty) are the result of this growing anger and toxicity. It has ceased to be productive and instead, has become self defeating. Feminism now outright rejects a friendly hand, if that hand is extended by a man, even a seeming natural ally, such as a gay man. Because of indiscriminate anger and the irrational, directionless resentment, that makes us evaluate one another, not by what we share in common, but by those things that set us apart. I think you are right that much of this anger, can come from other sources, beyond the actual fight for sexual equality and are instead coming from other social-economic factors in western society, that find expression for those frustrations, in the arena of LGBT rights. Or feminism, or racism.

That anger might be justified (whatever it's source) but it's misdirection isn't.

This anger, I think is being sometimes being stoked and often being steered, by various political forces, on both sides of the political spectrum. Who seek to capitalise on the energy contained there in.

It was being stoked and steered intially, in my opinion, by elements in our society that have identified identity as being a fabulous tool for evoking political and social change on systems and hierarchies they don't like. Push back however, took a suprising turn because, they have found elements within minorities, who are invested in those systems and hierarchies, as a result of previous civil rights achievements (privilege! :flame: ) who are willing to fight for those systems and hiercarchies, they are now part of. The very "conservatives" that you feel are "manipulating" L and G people into acting against their own interests and perhaps they are acting against their own interests. The truth is, that I think there are so many moving parts at play here. It has become difficult to see, who is right and who is wrong. I've always said, take two sides of an argument, draw a line between the two and the truth will invariably be found at the midpoint between them. The conflict is so bitter, because there is truth on both sides.

In summary, LGBTQ rights, have become vehicles for the wider culture war that is taking place. It is being manipulated on all sides, and as such, we now find ourselves pitted against one another, focused on ALL the ways we are different and ALL the ways in which one subgroup has privilege that others do not, and ALL the ways one group might have wronged another group and we focus less and less on the ways in which we are alike, the things we have in common.

I think the reality of this, is born out, not only in statements such as Eryx, but in wider trends in the community. Lesbians who don't agree with certain Trans assertions about sex, can be labelled as Turfs and quite literally have their homosexuality "revoked" Their claim to minority, or discriminated status, no longer recognised by the wider activist movement. We're talking excommunication style here. Sure, it's largely in social media circles, but ever more frequently, I'm seeing actual, real life friendships break down over these issues (mine included!) and I'm not alone. There are plenty of people trying to sound an alarm and say, hang on, something has gone wrong here but nobody is listening. Everyone is too busy being pissed and fighting.

Radicalisation has taken root and with radicalisation, comes dogmatism, orthodoxy and yes, even excommunication. I hate to use those terms, because of historical context, but there is no better term, that so succinctly describes what is happening.

You can no longer participate in activism, unless you do so on many of these terms. You have to play by these new rules or else, the only other option, is to not play at all. There is no alternative narrative. No alternative playbook.

So yes, I think the divide is real. I think it is being stoked by the political divisions that seem to dominate our day to day lives. I don't think it is really for our or the wider communities benefit and infact, only serves to drive divisions between us, some of which are pre-existent and some of which have been fabricated by those doing the steering and I think this will continue until we learn to retake control of our particular corner of rights activism and change the tone of the conversation.

The only way I can see to do that is to go back to the roots. To reconnect and genuinely listen to one another.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby Derek » 29 December 2021, 04:33

PopTart wrote:I've always said, take two sides of an argument, draw a line between the two and the truth will invariably be found at the midpoint between them. The conflict is so bitter, because there is truth on both sides.

I'm lazy tonight. Can you just imagine the extremely predictable counterargument and examples I'd bring up in response to this?
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 29 December 2021, 04:49

Derek wrote:
PopTart wrote:I've always said, take two sides of an argument, draw a line between the two and the truth will invariably be found at the midpoint between them. The conflict is so bitter, because there is truth on both sides.

I'm lazy tonight. Can you just imagine the extremely predictable counterargument and examples I'd bring up in response to this?

:lol: I think I can imagine them, yes. I too am quite tired, so perhaps you can imagine my meandering, inconcise response, that fails to alight on the point you were making. In turn I'll follow through imagining you pointing out how precisely it is, that I am wrong and I'll even throw in imagining myself conceding to your superior wisdom on the matter. I know, it's far fetched (me conceding that is.) but it's been that kinda night. Deal?
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby katzgar » 29 December 2021, 12:43

PopTart wrote:Okay, I feel like I'm going to be doing your considered and well reasoned reply a terrible injustice here, but I'm not going to quote tree the whole thing as I might do normally. Dereks right shuuush, don't tell him! and I need to bring the disparate threads of my argument to a nice neat point (as much as I am able. :argh: ) Believe me, it very nearly, physically pains me, to not respond point by point, but if I do, we (by which I mean, I) will end up waffling on about the finer points of gravity or the sociopolitical ramifications of gift wrapping or some such.

Drawing back to the initial point of this thread, activism has become toxic. As you say that anger when harnessed and utilised well, can be a powerful force for demanding change. But I think the point being made, is that activism, across the spectrum has been overtaken by unfocused, indiscriminate anger. Fired scattershot in all directions. Rising resentments, petty recriminations and even what you describe as "punching down" ( :pukey: ) Sorry, it's just so... zeigeisty) are the result of this growing anger and toxicity. It has ceased to be productive and instead, has become self defeating. Feminism now outright rejects a friendly hand, if that hand is extended by a man, even a seeming natural ally, such as a gay man. Because of indiscriminate anger and the irrational, directionless resentment, that makes us evaluate one another, not by what we share in common, but by those things that set us apart. I think you are right that much of this anger, can come from other sources, beyond the actual fight for sexual equality and are instead coming from other social-economic factors in western society, that find expression for those frustrations, in the arena of LGBT rights. Or feminism, or racism.

That anger might be justified (whatever it's source) but it's misdirection isn't.

This anger, I think is being sometimes being stoked and often being steered, by various political forces, on both sides of the political spectrum. Who seek to capitalise on the energy contained there in.

It was being stoked and steered intially, in my opinion, by elements in our society that have identified identity as being a fabulous tool for evoking political and social change on systems and hierarchies they don't like. Push back however, took a suprising turn because, they have found elements within minorities, who are invested in those systems and hierarchies, as a result of previous civil rights achievements (privilege! :flame: ) who are willing to fight for those systems and hiercarchies, they are now part of. The very "conservatives" that you feel are "manipulating" L and G people into acting against their own interests and perhaps they are acting against their own interests. The truth is, that I think there are so many moving parts at play here. It has become difficult to see, who is right and who is wrong. I've always said, take two sides of an argument, draw a line between the two and the truth will invariably be found at the midpoint between them. The conflict is so bitter, because there is truth on both sides.

In summary, LGBTQ rights, have become vehicles for the wider culture war that is taking place. It is being manipulated on all sides, and as such, we now find ourselves pitted against one another, focused on ALL the ways we are different and ALL the ways in which one subgroup has privilege that others do not, and ALL the ways one group might have wronged another group and we focus less and less on the ways in which we are alike, the things we have in common.

I think the reality of this, is born out, not only in statements such as Eryx, but in wider trends in the community. Lesbians who don't agree with certain Trans assertions about sex, can be labelled as Turfs and quite literally have their homosexuality "revoked" Their claim to minority, or discriminated status, no longer recognised by the wider activist movement. We're talking excommunication style here. Sure, it's largely in social media circles, but ever more frequently, I'm seeing actual, real life friendships break down over these issues (mine included!) and I'm not alone. There are plenty of people trying to sound an alarm and say, hang on, something has gone wrong here but nobody is listening. Everyone is too busy being pissed and fighting.

Radicalisation has taken root and with radicalisation, comes dogmatism, orthodoxy and yes, even excommunication. I hate to use those terms, because of historical context, but there is no better term, that so succinctly describes what is happening.

You can no longer participate in activism, unless you do so on many of these terms. You have to play by these new rules or else, the only other option, is to not play at all. There is no alternative narrative. No alternative playbook.

So yes, I think the divide is real. I think it is being stoked by the political divisions that seem to dominate our day to day lives. I don't think it is really for our or the wider communities benefit and infact, only serves to drive divisions between us, some of which are pre-existent and some of which have been fabricated by those doing the steering and I think this will continue until we learn to retake control of our particular corner of rights activism and change the tone of the conversation.

The only way I can see to do that is to go back to the roots. To reconnect and genuinely listen to one another.


Largely I agree with you but the fact remains ACE people find gay hypersexuality really really repulsive...when gays are hypersexual that is.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby pozzie » 29 December 2021, 21:21

Derek wrote:
PopTart wrote:I've always said, take two sides of an argument, draw a line between the two and the truth will invariably be found at the midpoint between them. The conflict is so bitter, because there is truth on both sides.

I'm lazy tonight. Can you just imagine the extremely predictable counterargument and examples I'd bring up in response to this?


No idea what razor-edged enlightenment you'd deign share with the likes of us, but ...

My response is that Pop(the)Tart ;) has got it all wrong. The truth is either two shakes to the left or a hop, skip, and a jump to the right of the midpoint but NEVER the actual midpoint. I thought everyone knew that! Jeesh ... :facepalm2:
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby Derek » 30 December 2021, 20:29

pozzie wrote:
Derek wrote:
PopTart wrote:I've always said, take two sides of an argument, draw a line between the two and the truth will invariably be found at the midpoint between them. The conflict is so bitter, because there is truth on both sides.

I'm lazy tonight. Can you just imagine the extremely predictable counterargument and examples I'd bring up in response to this?


No idea what razor-edged enlightenment you'd deign share with the likes of us, but ...

Well, obviously truth is not invariably found in the midpoint between two sides of an argument. Was the truth somewhere between the slavers and the abolitionists? What about people who think the earth is round and people who think it's flat? Sometimes one side is completely correct. Other times, neither is correct. For example, gay rights activists fifty years ago would have been happy to achieve decriminalization - they didn't fight for marriage and complete integration into society, because that was unimaginable. Truth didn't lie halfway between those activists and the reactionaries of their day, but on the other side of those activists, in the opposite direction of the reactionaries. It's such a bullshit ontology to suppose that truth has some kind of mathematical relationship with whatever people happen to believe at a given time. People are often stupid, arbitrary, evil, or just plain wrong.

This is such an obvious point that I think it's worth considering why people think this way, or at least why they say they do. Rhetoric like this only serves to obfuscate and prevaricate. It's a method of fillibustering change you would rather not see enacted that spares you from the responsibility of articulating an actual defense of the status quo on its own terms. And in that regard, it's very similar to rhetoric that denounces activism itself as toxic and harmful, while treating what that activism represents as unimportant, or beside the point. Every socially progressive campaign for human rights that is widely celebrated and accepted today was opposed in its own time by cowardly people who considered the cause to be worthy in spirit but too unpleasant and confrontational in execution.

It's always a good time to bring up MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail:

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.
Last edited by Derek on 30 December 2021, 21:09, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 30 December 2021, 21:01

You know, it's uncanny, that's precisely what I imagined you'd say. Word for word.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby pozzie » 30 December 2021, 21:15

But his points resonate with me though I think there's a distinction between Slavery v Abolition and something like the Covid response: Lockdown v Do Nothing. Clearly there is no way we can argue a little slavery is a social good or that there might be something else in the middle - say, sharecropping or Jim Crow? - that is good for society as a whole.

But there are issues where people argue from one extreme or the other AND there is plenty of juicy fodder for compromise in between. In my example of responding to Covid, clearly neither complete lockdown nor do nothing is the best approach and we do need something in between.

A good example of why I'm uncomfortable with one-size-fits-all responses.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby Derek » 31 December 2021, 01:14

PopTart wrote:You know, it's uncanny, that's precisely what I imagined you'd say. Word for word.

I don't think I believe that. It's not novel-length.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 5 January 2022, 18:40

Derek wrote:
PopTart wrote:You know, it's uncanny, that's precisely what I imagined you'd say. Word for word.

I don't think I believe that. It's not novel-length.

No, that would have been my reply. Your response was to be concise, remember?
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 5 January 2022, 19:27

pozzie wrote:My response is that Pop(the)Tart ;)

Wait... I feel I have missed a beat, what?

I mean, fair assessment. Not without merit. But what brought that on? :lol:
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby pozzie » 5 January 2022, 22:13

PopTart wrote:
pozzie wrote:My response is that Pop(the)Tart ;)

Wait... I feel I have missed a beat, what?

I mean, fair assessment. Not without merit. But what brought that on? :lol:


some things are just too easy and therefore way too hard to resist -- and think of it this way, I'm wishing you a successful 'happy ending'. lol
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 8 January 2022, 12:03

Derek wrote:
pozzie wrote:
Derek wrote:
PopTart wrote:I've always said, take two sides of an argument, draw a line between the two and the truth will invariably be found at the midpoint between them. The conflict is so bitter, because there is truth on both sides.

I'm lazy tonight. Can you just imagine the extremely predictable counterargument and examples I'd bring up in response to this?


No idea what razor-edged enlightenment you'd deign share with the likes of us, but ...

Well, obviously truth is not invariably found in the midpoint between two sides of an argument. Was the truth somewhere between the slavers and the abolitionists? What about people who think the earth is round and people who think it's flat? Sometimes one side is completely correct. Other times, neither is correct. For example, gay rights activists fifty years ago would have been happy to achieve decriminalization - they didn't fight for marriage and complete integration into society, because that was unimaginable. Truth didn't lie halfway between those activists and the reactionaries of their day, but on the other side of those activists, in the opposite direction of the reactionaries. It's such a bullshit ontology to suppose that truth has some kind of mathematical relationship with whatever people happen to believe at a given time. People are often stupid, arbitrary, evil, or just plain wrong.

This is such an obvious point that I think it's worth considering why people think this way, or at least why they say they do. Rhetoric like this only serves to obfuscate and prevaricate. It's a method of fillibustering change you would rather not see enacted that spares you from the responsibility of articulating an actual defense of the status quo on its own terms. And in that regard, it's very similar to rhetoric that denounces activism itself as toxic and harmful, while treating what that activism represents as unimportant, or beside the point. Every socially progressive campaign for human rights that is widely celebrated and accepted today was opposed in its own time by cowardly people who considered the cause to be worthy in spirit but too unpleasant and confrontational in execution.

It's always a good time to bring up MLK's Letter from Birmingham Jail:

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

Well, perhaps "invariably" was a poorly chosen word. I don't actually believe that the truth can be found at the midway point between two arguments, in all circumstances. Or in precisely the middle of two such arguments. I beg your forgiveness for my lackadaisical use of language. I will endeavour to use more precise language with ruthless and unyielding exactitude, as you do. And yes, I am being entirely facetitous. I mean, this is me, we're talking about, best to have measured expectations. ;)

You are quite right, in that the truth can't be found at the midway point between the argument for a flat earth and a round one (or a spherical one, we really must remember that precision of language, lest we come a cropper of Dereks high standards when dealing with matters ontological or any other discourse ) It should be said that Pozzie is right here, because neither if the Earth entirely "round" nor "flat" It is infact, an elipsoid, much, much closer to being round, but most definately not spherical. Flat Earthers are still "flat" out wrong, but perhaps this tiniest of concessions, might be enough to convince one or two idiots, not to be idiots

You are right also, that it is so obviously not true, if applied to every situation, that one might hope, that the reader would infere that such a statement or assertion, is a broad, generalisation and not a definitive statement of absolute truth. But then I guess that isn't accounting for your exacting nature Derek. Or your desire to tease out the wrong headed thinking behind the presumed assumption you've runaway with (granted, you might not have, had I not used such specific language, but come on, look to the spirit of the statement and not the letter of it)

But to your point about the position of slavers and abolitionists. I can certainly think of instances in which, the truth of the question of slavery and how to grapple with it at that moment in history, could be found between the two extremes of those two positions, if we frame the question being asked in the right way.

For example, it is often ignored, that some slave owners, were advocates of abolition, yet held what could have been regarded at the time, as legitimate concerns regarding how to enact abolition in such a way that didn't cause greater suffering (ancestors perhaps, of the same white moderates that MLK decries) This being in direct opposition to those abolitionists who held that freedom was more important than any material or existential consequence of abolition and that no delay could be countenanced. Who was right? Who was wrong? By what metric will we make such judgements?

Dependant on those things, a case could certainly be made, for a solution that could be found between the two extremes of limited/gradual emancipation with full emancipation in a not too distant future and immediate and complete emancipation, right now.

I'm not entirely convinced that we have a definitive answer, as to whether the historic handling of slavery and emancipation was properly or efficiently handled. I don't think experts are able to say definitively if it could have been done differently or better. I'm not suggesting it shouldn't have been done. Just to clarify. But I think history has yet to play out the full and complete consequences of this particular period of history, to a degree that we can say how successful the endeavour has really been. Hell, more people are slaves today than in most of human history, so we haven't really addressed the matter of slavery all that well at all.

As to MLK, in his statement, I get what he and you, are saying and I can see how the argument is applicable to the above slavery scenario (which is why I used it)

But he rightly identifies that order, has nothing to do with justice. He states that order ought be established for the advancement of moral justice, but human history has shown that very much not to be the case and order, has only ever been established as it's own end.

I do suspect this could veer off into a very large and very detailed discourse about slavery, abolition and race rights etc. I'm not entirely sure I'm upto that particular discussion, unless it is to unfold over the coming year. It's not a subject I'm much invested in, I'd need to read more broadly on the matter and canvas more viewpoints from better educated people.

But my point is, that there are instances, unlike the flat earth/globe example, in which, at first glance, it might seem there is no room for movement between two extreme positions and one must make a definitive step to one side or the other, in which that actually isn't the case, when we look at the granular nature of the subject and start to analyse it more thoroughly, maybe there are more than two sides, maybe the arguments involved aren't so clear cut and suddenly, a moderate, midway position actually holds water, because factors that hadn't been obvious at first glance, change outcomes and thus, rational conclusions.

So yes, the truth is not invariably to be found between two arguments, but there are a significant proportion of instances wherein that broad statement, can be said to be true.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby PopTart » 8 January 2022, 12:13

pozzie wrote:
PopTart wrote:
pozzie wrote:My response is that Pop(the)Tart ;)

Wait... I feel I have missed a beat, what?

I mean, fair assessment. Not without merit. But what brought that on? :lol:


some things are just too easy and therefore way too hard to resist -- and think of it this way, I'm wishing you a successful 'happy ending'. lol

:lol: Now I'm even more confused? Am I going to a masseur?! Have I been caught mastarbating? :confused: :runaway:
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby pozzie » 8 January 2022, 21:14

PopTart wrote:
pozzie wrote:
PopTart wrote:
pozzie wrote:My response is that Pop(the)Tart ;)

Wait... I feel I have missed a beat, what?

I mean, fair assessment. Not without merit. But what brought that on? :lol:


some things are just too easy and therefore way too hard to resist -- and think of it this way, I'm wishing you a successful 'happy ending'. lol

:lol: Now I'm even more confused? Am I going to a masseur?! Have I been caught mastarbating? :confused: :runaway:


nope, none of that darling -- just wishing that someone will give you a wonderful, full-body massage in the new year ;)
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby Derek » 9 January 2022, 08:24

PopTart wrote:Well, perhaps "invariably" was a poorly chosen word. I don't actually believe that the truth can be found at the midway point between two arguments, in all circumstances. Or in precisely the middle of two such arguments. I beg your forgiveness for my lackadaisical use of language. I will endeavour to use more precise language with ruthless and unyielding exactitude, as you do. And yes, I am being entirely facetitous. I mean, this is me, we're talking about, best to have measured expectations. ;)

You are quite right, in that the truth can't be found at the midway point between the argument for a flat earth and a round one (or a spherical one, we really must remember that precision of language, lest we come a cropper of Dereks high standards when dealing with matters ontological or any other discourse ) It should be said that Pozzie is right here, because neither if the Earth entirely "round" nor "flat" It is infact, an elipsoid, much, much closer to being round, but most definately not spherical. Flat Earthers are still "flat" out wrong, but perhaps this tiniest of concessions, might be enough to convince one or two idiots, not to be idiots

You are right also, that it is so obviously not true, if applied to every situation, that one might hope, that the reader would infere that such a statement or assertion, is a broad, generalisation and not a definitive statement of absolute truth. But then I guess that isn't accounting for your exacting nature Derek. Or your desire to tease out the wrong headed thinking behind the presumed assumption you've runaway with (granted, you might not have, had I not used such specific language, but come on, look to the spirit of the statement and not the letter of it)

But to your point about the position of slavers and abolitionists. I can certainly think of instances in which, the truth of the question of slavery and how to grapple with it at that moment in history, could be found between the two extremes of those two positions, if we frame the question being asked in the right way.

For example, it is often ignored, that some slave owners, were advocates of abolition, yet held what could have been regarded at the time, as legitimate concerns regarding how to enact abolition in such a way that didn't cause greater suffering (ancestors perhaps, of the same white moderates that MLK decries) This being in direct opposition to those abolitionists who held that freedom was more important than any material or existential consequence of abolition and that no delay could be countenanced. Who was right? Who was wrong? By what metric will we make such judgements?

Dependant on those things, a case could certainly be made, for a solution that could be found between the two extremes of limited/gradual emancipation with full emancipation in a not too distant future and immediate and complete emancipation, right now.

I'm not entirely convinced that we have a definitive answer, as to whether the historic handling of slavery and emancipation was properly or efficiently handled. I don't think experts are able to say definitively if it could have been done differently or better. I'm not suggesting it shouldn't have been done. Just to clarify. But I think history has yet to play out the full and complete consequences of this particular period of history, to a degree that we can say how successful the endeavour has really been. Hell, more people are slaves today than in most of human history, so we haven't really addressed the matter of slavery all that well at all.

As to MLK, in his statement, I get what he and you, are saying and I can see how the argument is applicable to the above slavery scenario (which is why I used it)

But he rightly identifies that order, has nothing to do with justice. He states that order ought be established for the advancement of moral justice, but human history has shown that very much not to be the case and order, has only ever been established as it's own end.

I do suspect this could veer off into a very large and very detailed discourse about slavery, abolition and race rights etc. I'm not entirely sure I'm upto that particular discussion, unless it is to unfold over the coming year. It's not a subject I'm much invested in, I'd need to read more broadly on the matter and canvas more viewpoints from better educated people.

But my point is, that there are instances, unlike the flat earth/globe example, in which, at first glance, it might seem there is no room for movement between two extreme positions and one must make a definitive step to one side or the other, in which that actually isn't the case, when we look at the granular nature of the subject and start to analyse it more thoroughly, maybe there are more than two sides, maybe the arguments involved aren't so clear cut and suddenly, a moderate, midway position actually holds water, because factors that hadn't been obvious at first glance, change outcomes and thus, rational conclusions.

So yes, the truth is not invariably to be found between two arguments, but there are a significant proportion of instances wherein that broad statement, can be said to be true.

First of all, spheres and ellipses are round.

I'm going to start helping you. This was... 907 words. Here's how I would have said it:

"You're right, the words I chose staked an indefensible claim. However, I stand by the point that compromise is sometimes the right option, and even when it's not, it may be the only viable option."

...To which I'd say, this is a point without a purpose. Whether truth is found between two positions (or not in alignment with them at all) depends on that specific truth and on those specific positions. Rhetoric about the necessity of compromise or the righteousness of centrism is worthless if it makes no reference to what's actually in dispute.

For instance, the example of slavers and abolitionists. I brought them up to demonstrate right and wrong in a moral framework. The abolitionists weren't right because Sherman's march to the sea was a brilliant tactical move. They were right because they believed that slavery was evil and had to be ended. If you think the political crisis caused by slavery could have been handled better, by all means tell us how. But that's not the point.

This is a question of rhetoric. If someone stakes a moral claim, you respond with a moral claim of your own. You don't bog down the discussion with useless generalizations, because that's not helpful, and cynic that I am, I don't believe it's meant to be helpful. I refer you back to this statement:

I wrote:It's a method of fillibustering change you would rather not see enacted that spares you from the responsibility of articulating an actual defense of the status quo on its own terms.

and this one

I wrote:Every socially progressive campaign for human rights that is widely celebrated and accepted today was opposed in its own time by cowardly people who considered the cause to be worthy in spirit but too unpleasant and confrontational in execution.


These are the points you need to respond to. I'm making a specific accusation: that your rhetoric is useless at best and harmful at worst because to aimlessly stall is to take the side of conservative reactionaries. Tell me how what you believe is different than what was believed by the white moderates MLK complained about in his letter.
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Re: The L / G / B / T divide

Unread postby Derek » 9 January 2022, 08:44

By the way Claudio, I hope you're proud of yourself, this one turned out to be a real mess. I just read it back all the way and lost at least 20% of my sanity.
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