Suggesting it’s polite

If you’re going to make a case for something, try using a little care in the way you make it. For instance:

I was going to argue with the column, so as a preliminary step I read it, which is just as well because I found I don’t disagree with it all that much. If particular person X asks to be called “them” I’m not going to go to war over it. The issue is when you try to generalize that into a Big Rule that applies everywhere – as Clarke did in that tweet. It’s laughably easy to think of exceptions to Clarke’s Big Rule, so it won’t work as a Big Rule.

And this is part of the issue between feminists and ideologues of All Things Trans. Sure, we may be willing to call friends or family or colleagues what they ask to be called, but that doesn’t translate to agreeing to that for everyone on the planet no matter what the specifics. What we’re willing to do to be “polite” or kind or sympathetic toward particular nearby individuals is not necessarily what we’re willing to do universally as a matter of political and social justice.

Graham Linehan explained some of this.

We (women) could probably afford to “be nice” too if it were purely local and the people requesting it were not belligerent misogynists, but it isn’t and they are, so we can’t.

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