What is “exclusionary”?

There’s this idea that the truth is “exclusionary.”

Of course, that’s true, in a sense. Right answers exclude wrong ones; truth excludes falsehood. But it’s not true in the political sense of “exclusionary,” but many people think it is true. (Thus they exclude the claim that it’s false. Bigots!)

There’s a new comet in the sky of Facebook, called This Angry Inclusionist Enby Lesbian. Lets call him Taiel for short. Taiel explains:

You cannot exclude non-binary folks from identifying with whatever labels we choose.

That strikes me as a very odd way of putting it, but it fits with the overall interpretation of “exclusion” that has become fashionable.

Here’s the thing: it’s not “exclusion” the way saying “you can’t join our club” is exclusion. It’s “exclusion” only in the sense of declining to accept self-evidently false claims as true.

Taiel is right that people – all people, not just non-binary people – can identify with whatever labels they choose, but he’s not right if he thinks that means we all have to accept and endorse those labels ourselves. You can identify as a Saturn rocket; you can’t make me agree that you’re a Saturn rocket.

Truth, reality, facts are all “exclusionary” in that way because that just is how it is.


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