Okay, gang, here's the deal: This is my blog. I write things here. I've got two major themes:

  • Hey, check out this nifty stuff!
  • Jesus, people are weird.

If it benefits you in some way, then good, but mostly it exists to amuse me. I am not particularly out to make anyone feel bad; shouting DOWN WITH [ADJECTIVE]S! is really not my thing. I even think the homicidal lunatic drivers in Cambridge have every right to exist, although if they're that bothered by the idea of having to stop for pedestrians they might be a lot happier existing someplace that isn't Harvard Square.

I appreciate discussion, and I even appreciate being corrected when I'm wrong. But certain vocabulary, often known collectively as 'the language of social justice' makes my skin crawl. I think I'm stuck with 'sexist' -- although I'd prefer 'misogynist' and/or 'misandrist', for clarity -- and probably 'racist' -- there mostly aren't really specific words coined for/against certain races, nor any good definition of races to begin with -- but all of this 'sizeist' and 'ableist' and 'xie' and 'othering' is like biting down on tin foil for me. Every time I trip over a new one, I want to bang my head on the wall until I forget it again.

Here's why.

I have a degree in social sciences. It's probably not a particularly good one, but I think I've got the basics. All of the -ists and -ings say something meaningful in academic work. They're used as technical vocabulary, which means they either have a solidly accepted definition across the board, or are defined at the beginning of the paper. They serve as a shorthand for particular points of view from which to discuss discourse or texts.

When they are used outside of academic work, I have rarely if ever seen them used for any purpose other than shaming someone into shutting up. However they were originally intended, they've become shorthand for, "I don't like your viewpoint, so you aren't allowed to air it." Except instead of just saying, "I think that's unfair/rude/incorrect, here's my reasoning," using the social justice jargon conjures up this army of phantoms who all magically agree with you, implying that the difference between a wrong viewpoint and a right viewpoint boils down to the number of large, angry, politically-active people you can get to back you up.

If this is wrong when it's used against you, then it's also wrong for you to use against others.

I appreciate technical corrections. If you are a human who identifies with neither gendered pronoun, I will be happy to refer to you as 'zie' or 'sie' or 'hir' or anything else you ask. But when I'm referring to the quintessential "any random example of humanity", I'm going to keep using singular 'they', because it doesn't give me a damn headache. I'm going to keep referring to my epileptic friend as 'an epileptic', the people who ethnically, culturally and/or spiritually identify with Judaism as 'the Jews', and people who display behavior that is illogical and disruptive, which may be driven by mental illness or stress or just being a huge asshole, as 'crazy'.In short, I'm going to keep typing in the vernacular. I personally think the implication that I can't remember that other people are human beings without constantly saying so aloud to be kind of insulting; since this space is mine, I can act accordingly.

If any particular entry offends you, you're welcome to skip it. You are free to choose to read or not read anything you like. If I'm out to offend people on purpose, believe me, you'll know -- I get creative and profane.

If I feel like I have to scrutinize every last letter involved in my posts up, down, in, out, and sideways, to be absolutely sure it could not possibly offend anyone in any way, I'm just going to stop posting. I have spent enough of my life feeling like I can do nothing right, and that's no way to live. The stress is not worth it.

Edit: I've disabled comments on this entry, as I generally do whenever I feel pressed to state policy outright. It is my blog, it is my pet peeve, and it it not up for negotiation. I try very hard to shove a sock in it when I'm reading other peoples' blogs; they are your space and I have no right to tell you how to interact in your corner of the world.