Pissing off the Right People

A really exciting thing in my life right now is the volunteer work I’ve been doing for Scarleteen since early this year. I actually have a longer post in the works about ST, and how volunteering has been an incredibly positive experience for me, but yesterday something happened that’s worth mentioning in its own post.

I wrote an advice column that went up on the site yesterday morning. It describes a sad situation, to be sure, and anecdotal evidence from friends and acquaintances tells me it’s not an uncommon one, but despite the unhappy subject matter I was really excited to have written it (this was my first advice column for the site) and am happy with how it turned out.

When I came on shift at Scarleteen that afternoon, I found out about the following tweets, both from one person:

#radfem2013 bc this is anti lesbian and anti woman [link to my article]

#radfem2013 bc this passes for sex ed for teens [link to my article]

Honestly, my first response to this is just to laugh. I’m really not sure how “your girlfriend is entitled to her feelings but not to be rude to you; you are probably going to find that you’re not compatible any more, sorry” can be interpreted as an “anti-lesbian/woman” stance. Not that I’m saying anything I write is above reproach; criticism stings, sure, but I’m still open to it, assuming it’s coming from someone at least halfway reasonable.

My assumption here, though, was that this person is the flavor of “radical feminist” who is hateful towards any trans person; I was right! The #radfem2013 hashtag references this conference, which is pretty viciously anti-trans although it’s more apparent on its twitter feed than on the official website. A little digging turned up @NyctoDea’s terrible tumblr (seriously, if the name alone doesn’t clue you in, the fact that the sidebar makes a nasty “men in dresses” comment should do the trick) that follows a familiar trans-hating radfem pattern. I’m not concerned about upsetting or offending this person. I don’t mind it at all. I laughed about it a bit on twitter that afternoon, and I still think it’s something to laugh about.

But really, once that initial evil stab of joy at irritating a terrible person wears off, I have to keep making a joke out of this because otherwise I will explode with rage, you know? It’s really really not worth it for me to try to engage with her (which is why I’ve linked her tweets directly here but haven’t replied directly on twitter), because I know she won’t care. And I can’t make her.

So my response remains: if I’m pissing off radfems with what I write, I’m probably doing something right.

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One Response to Pissing off the Right People

  1. chiizus says:

    Having read your column, it sounds like you were very objective and gave excellent advice, none of which I felt discriminated against anyone. Sounds like that person just wanted something/someone to lash out at. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t even read the whole article carefully and just skimmed over it and saw the parts they wanted to see without coming away with the full context.

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