This Casual Cruelty*

M** pointed out an article to me today, called, “I am allowed to oppose same sex marriage.” I’m not going to link to it. But, funnily enough, it’s about someone opposing same sex marriage.

I felt the same way when I saw that article (written by “the executive director of a Christian think tank”) as I did when my high school religion teacher demanded that I read a propaganda brochure denigrating non-Christian religions.

Mad. Really mad.***

And you know the first part of my rage? The first, most immediate part of my rage is not about the discrimination – which I’m also, of course, mad about.

The first part of my rage is about this:

(I saw this in a great blog post yesterday, called Intolerable, by Jeremy Keith / @adactio.)


Brandolini’s Law:


Yes. And the first part of my rage manifests as EXHAUSTION.



Because oh, my dog, these people who have had the power and the privilege and the floor for so long are finally being questioned/ignored, and in their death throes, they cry, “But explain to me why I can’t have freedom of speech,” and “Explain to me why I’m wrong,” as if we have nothing better to do than enter a pointless argument; as if the onus is on us to persuade them on the issue.

(It reminds me of the line by Ricky Gervais, “You say there’s a God. I say, can you prove that? You say no. I say I don’t believe you, then.” – I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness, yes! The ridiculousness of people asking me to prove to them that something that doesn’t exist doesn’t exist!”)


I said to M, like I said to my old religion teacher, all those years ago, “I don’t want to read that.”

Fortunately, M didn’t shout at me and seethe with anger, like my religion teacher did.

But she did ask me again to read it.

And here, I’d like to quote some of Keith’s blog post, Intolerable:


The author cleverly wraps a disgusting viewpoint in layers of reasonable-sounding arguments. “Can’t we have a reasonable discussion about this? Like reasonable people? Shouldn’t we tolerate other points of view?” Those are perfectly sensible questions to ask if the discussion is about tabs vs. spaces or Star Wars vs. Star Trek. But those questions cease to be neutral if the topic under discussion is whether some human beings are genetically unsuited to coding.

This is how we get to a situation where men who don’t consider themselves to be sexist in any way—who consider themselves to be good people—end up posting about the Google memo in their workplace Slack channels as though it were a topic worthy of debate. It. Is. Not.

“A-ha!” cry the oh-so-logical and thoroughly impartial men, “If a topic cannot even be debated, you must be threatened by the truth!”

That is one possible conclusion, yes. Or—and this is what Occam’s razor would suggest—it might just be that I’m fucking sick of this. Sick to my stomach. I am done. I am done with even trying to reason with people who think that they’re the victimised guardians of truth and reason when they’re actually just threatened by the thought of a world that doesn’t give them special treatment.


I really appreciate this. Previously, my first part of rage felt, I guess, slightly unjustified, slightly inappropriate, like, “Why are you feeling exhausted about this? Argue with them!” – But reading about someone else feeling the same thing – I feel justified.


My second part of being mad is about the discrimination itself.

I said to M, “He’s writing this like it’s something we should reasonably consider. But it’s not something we should reasonably consider. It’s horrible. It’s discrimination. It’s hurting people. It’s like someone saying, ‘We should respect the history of slave ownership. Why won’t you respect our culture, and our tradition, of slave ownership?'”


(And while we’re on analogies about discrimination, here’s another one: Imagine the outrage if all men were only paid until 3:43PM each day? Hahah hahaha hah, no, thatwouldneverhappen.)



* Blog post heading is taken from one of the last lines in Keith’s blog post.

** No comment.

*** I was mad for like a second. I wasn’t mad at all the rest of today, except for the times that my kids threw their food on the floor, or set each other on fire. The rest of the day I was perfectly zen.

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