Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jordan Peterson - His Strange Atheist Bedfellows & His War on Cathy Newman

Over the last week or so, I’ve watched this Cathy Newman/Channel 4 saga unfold. It took twists and turns that were quite surprising to me, but shouldn’t have been - especially considering the recent trend of Movement Atheism to join hands with almost anyone that is sufficiently anti-left or anti-feminist. Even if that means allying with a Christian fundie snake oil salesman they themselves would have laughed out the room a few years ago.

I mean just take a look at this short clip below, wtaf is this nonsense?

(clip via TMM)

As we see the rise of the Cult of Jordan Peterson, we also see the rise of I-love-Jesus atheism. Douglas Murray is a good example of that...though, he's been one long before Peterson arrived on the scene, to be fair. He's a hispter Jesus Atheist. 

Murray is embraced wholeheartedly by the increasingly rightward shifting atheist scene for his anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim stances (going so far as to worry about the future children Muslim asylum seekers may have, *possibly* growing up to become extremists even if their parents weren't) 

“We could take in two asylum seekers, who might be the nicest most pro-British people ever, but their son might turn out to be a suicide bomber" - Douglas Murray

"But what levels, after all's said and done, do the celebrants of diversity want to get to? What is their ideal target figure? Is a ceiling of 25 per cent white Britons in London — or the country at large — optimal? Or would it be 10 per cent? Or none at all? A final, and perhaps harder, question: how — given the concatenation of claims against them — might "white Britons" ever acceptably argue, let alone complain, about such unspecified or unspecifiable odds?"  - Also Doug Murray 

You'll never believe who Doug is a big fan of: 

He's consistently been an excellent judge of character though, so we should *totally* trust him on this one...his other judgements have been So. Spot. On... especially regarding Trump.  -___-


Anyway, aside from I-Iove-Jesus-atheism (which is still some form of atheism), Peterson is also having the effect of stirring the embers of the hearts of some 'atheists' (being anti-left is a powerful uniting force). Perhaps some lost lambs needed a father-figure like JBP in their lives, to yell basic shit at them, shit that my grandma gave away for 'clean your room!' 'Sort yourself out!'...they needed someone to lead them toward god's warm and loving embrace. Yay!

screenshot via @classiclib3ral

After this recent Channel 4 interview, we've seen a flood of predictable 'contrarian' thinkpieces pouring out in defence of this newly emerged who dares to challenge 'leftist orthodoxy', by sharing ‘truths’ that no one else will tell you. 'Truths' like, how women just don’t WANT powerful positions, (no really, I've watched lectures of his where he, a top earner on Patreon making over 60K $ A MONTH, spends a lot of time deterring women from wanting power positions. He talks about how awful and complicated being rich is, how it can make you (women) unravel) about how the gender pay gap can be explained away because women are choosing lower paying careers, what they need in order to be happy is marriage and babies, ok? Also, there is no systemic discrimination, you silly emotional, brainwashed neo-marxist sjws! 

"The more I see women in particular, they hit 35-40 …and they’re not married…and they don’t have kids…and they are not happy. Cuz what the hell are you gonna do from the time you’re 40 till the time you’re 80?! You got no family… you got no relationships? What are you gonna do?! Go run your company?!!! Yeah well… if you’re 1 in a 1000 that will satisfy you.” - an actual JBP quote. 

“each sex has it’s own unfairness to deal with, but to think of that as a consequence of the social structure….come on really?!" - also an actual JBP quote (from the lecture linked above)

Anyway, amidst those thinkpieces...shared by the most popular anti-left (but still clinging to leftist status) figureheads,  there is a wave of outraged culty fanbases coming together, speaking out in unison against this shrill harpy of a woman who dared to have an adversarial interview with Peterson. 

The ones with a bit of self-awareness and self-respect will never admit to being sympathetic to Peterson’s views (kind of like they did with Milo)...and so will phrase their disgust at this interview more along the lines of, “I’m no Peterson fan BUT, all he did was say true things while she aggressively strawmanned him.”

How dare she assume *this man* could be saying sexist things????
I honestly had to watch the interview 3 times to see if maybe I had missed something the first two times, and no, I still don’t understand where the hate and rage towards Cathy are coming from. 

Why are people SO upset that she didn’t perform to their liking (people who claim to be 'for equality & progress')? I don't get it...She was pretty standardly 'meh' I thought. Not great at grilling him, sure. But at least she tried to take on this shifty charlatan.

I see it as I would if someone was imperfect in grilling someone like Mo Ansar, like sure they made some mistakes...but even attempting to expose someone like that is good (Though, I don't think Mo is remotely as rich, powerful or influential as not nearly as dangerous).

Why the full blown outrage? I mean, I understand where it’s coming from with people who are openly anti-left and anti-feminist, people who think diversity is a codeword for white genocide…people who think theres a leftist cultural marxist conspiracy to compel them to use non-binary pronouns, or some garbage like that - But I really don’t understand what so-called sophisticated thinkers & non far-right lunatics are doing lowering themselves to defend Peterson in any way whatsoever. 

There could have been a perfectly fair and measured critique, where people kept in sight who Peterson actually is; 

--An extremist thats radicalizing many young people every day, and making big bucks off it--

A man with ideas so regressive that they're sure to set us back a few decades, if they gain enough influence. His explanation here for accusations of sex assault is not to first find fault with the perpetrators of the assault, but to blame the idea that sex is no longer enshrined in marriage (not like marital rape ever happens or anything, never mind that many of the accused are MARRIED). I mean, I'm no stranger to hearing such garbage, I did grow up in Saudi Arabia, as a woman. 

I just don't expect to hear this nonsense being embraced so gleefully by people outside of a blatantly misogynistic theocracy.

Like any Salafist preacher in Saudi, JBP doesn't like the idea of casual sex. Quelle Surprise.

In this now disproportionately notorious Channel 4 interview he remained cool and calm is all. That is not to be confused with performing well or having decent ideas...or speaking 'truths'. 

He could have performed in any way and his sycophantic followers would have perceived it exactly how they do now. In their eyes he would have 'won' regardless. 

The harassment Cathy received from this misogynistic fanbase was mentioned in several publications. At first, even causing Peterson to tell his fans:

Don't let it fool you though, Peterson often engages in this kind of performative condemnation, of the alt right, or of misogynistic harassment...when he feels the mainstream media are on to him. But it isn't long before he shows his hand. 
He continued to post criticism of Cathy right after telling people to stop threatening her, which is not something you'd do if you were genuinely concerned about her being targeted. 

He then soon went on to do another interview where he started off obsessively complaining about her...and the apparent 'spin' that was being created, that she was some kind of planned feminist martyr, because this was a sort of ...I dunno face saving tactic, because she had received so much criticism. He said the criticism was being spun as harassment. 

So first he says stop threatening her, then he expresses regret for saying that and now is discrediting that it could be harassment or threats at all. That faux-concern didn't take long to unravel at all...

If that wasn't tasteless enough for you - he even dogwhistled to his followers through this other interview by saying,

29:30: "I was reviewing maybe 10-11 of these newspaper articles that had played this twisty game and accused me of like, siccing my internet trolls on poor hapless journalists and I thought --this was the dark part of me-- the shadow part thought, If I wanted to sic my internet trolls on channel 4 then there'd be nothing but broken windows and riots, and then there's a little part of me that thinks... wouldn't that be fun"

This man is dangerous, and he's clearly on some power trip. 

If a future interviewer ever tried to press him on this statement and say something like 'wow what an irresponsible thing to say after a channel had to call in extra security because of your fanbase' - he'd most definitely hide behind semantics, as he always does...and say something like, "Oh I wasn't signalling that they should do that, I was saying that that's the dark part of my thoughts, something everyone experiences...everyone has dark thoughts...but obviously I believe we should control those. So I'm not sure why you are misrepresenting what I was saying there" - Meanwhile, his followers would get enraged again that someone dared 'misrepresent' him, and again he'd get away with putting out troubling statements.

The idea that media coverage of Cathy Newman's post-interview harassment is part of a leftist conspiracy to portray Peterson’s poor fanbase as misogynistic is ludicrous beyond belief. Not like his own ideas could set the tone for his fanbase, and how people perceive them. It's got to be a conspiracy. 

Consider his chat with Camille Paglia which an article from Chatelaine puts as:

"Peterson said that men can’t control “crazy women” because men aren’t allowed to physically fight women. “I know how to stand up to a man who’s unfairly trespassed against me,” he said. “The parameters for my resistance are quite well-defined, which is: we talk, we argue, we push, and then it becomes physical. If we move beyond the boundaries of civil discourse, we know what the next step is."

"He adds that men unwilling to throw a punch are contemptible“If you’re talking to a man who wouldn’t fight with you under any circumstances whatsoever, then you’re talking to someone for whom you have absolutely no respect.”"

"...talking to Paglia, he laments that his own socialization prevents him from taking a swing at a lady. Referring to a woman who accused him of being a Nazi, he said, “I’m defenceless against that kind of female insanity because the techniques that I would use against a man who was employing those tactics are forbidden to me.” It’s hard to decide which is creepier: Is it the suggestion, in Peterson’s rueful tone, that he’s kind of bummed out about the fact that he can’t hit women? Or is it the implication, if you were to follow his argument to its conclusion, that because women can’t be hit, they shouldn’t be allowed to participate in civil discourse with men at all?"


Regarding the Cathy Newman interview though, let's not forget who the real victim in all of this was - Jordan B Peterson, of course. 

Not only did Cathy treat Peterson unfairly (even though confrontational interviews like this are not uncommon in Britain, I hear), but it was actually HER Feminist fanbase that threatened and abused HIM. 

And who was reporting on that, huh? Only one noble MRA blog (there might be another, but I haven't found it yet). 

We mustn't laugh....they could be a reliable source, we shouldn't jump to conclusions.... 

Ok..I checked their twitter account and it's full of great stuff like Retweets of Breitbart's Raheem Kassam, Cernovich and Paul Joseph Watson. See? Perfectly reasonable account. 

Daily mail, on the other hand, was reporting on how Cathy received extreme harassment and death threats. But we're all aware that the Daily Mail is known for it’s far left, radical feminist bias right? Everyone but the MRA blogs have been's why you've got to go straight to these sources for REAL information without a cultural marxist bias.

Speaking of cultural marxism and postmodernism corrupting things, here's Peterson the free speech activist calling for entire fields of study to be shut down because he deems them corrupt. Fields like 'English Literature'.

Totally normal professor. 

(clip via @cyberharm)


In all seriousness though, not everyone who jumped into this social media debate knew the backstory of Jordan B Peterson. I’m not faulting them for being unfamiliar with his views - and there are some fair criticisms to be made of Cathy’s interview but it just wouldn’t be the hill I’d die on when a swarm of far-right MRA types are already descending upon her.

It just seemed wrong to pile on in the middle of all that. 


In the past, many on the left became complacent with the progress we’d made. We never could have imagined that these stone-age ideas about traditional gender roles, race etc. would aggressively claw their way back into the public square like this.

These regressive ideas we thought we'd put to bed, come again in the form of various new-media far-right commentators like Milo, PJW, Molyneux, etc…who spend their time decrying victimhood culture on the left that portrays women, PoC as ‘victims’ of some systemic discrimination. Though this far rightwingery isn't all's just that Fox News has more friends now - friends with influence among young people. 

These uncucked heroes turn our attention to who the real victims are - White men (especially conservative) brave enough to take a stand against victimhood culture are the most victimized group of all. 

Peterson actually *weeps* in this clip about how some
poor men have it real hard. Not the first time I've seen him cry for his causes either.
Funny, because he certainly doesn't have that kind of compassion for women.
Maybe, just maaaybe..Cathy Newman sensed something off about his views. 


However, now that there’s some distance I’d like to point out that Cathy was indeed a bit ill-prepared for the interview. 

Exceptionally so? Nah, nothing outside of what I’d expect from mainstream journalists trying to grapple with the slippery tactics and sophistry of the new far right. That's how we get clueless 'Nazi next door' type articles. They aren’t in the trenches of youtube comments daily, hearing the arguments against every possible reasonable position that most of us took for granted. Unless they specifically research this or are personally targeted...they aren’t usually dealing with or studying crypto rightwingery, that hates more than anything to be called right-wing. Such free-speech warriors (who will sue you if you so much as suggest they are associated with the right or far right) cultivate a specific image, with a veneer of credibility that only thrives if the waters are murky on this…incredibly murky.  

Could some mainstream journalists be better on this? Yes, absolutely... as the far-right updates it's tactics, they should too. Especially if they want to have conversations where these types are held accountable for their positions.

I cringed when I heard Cathy's point about Free Speech. 

"Why should your right to freedom of speech trump a trans person's right not to be offended?"

That was really a gift to the Peterson trolls. I thought it was pretty basic understanding among journalists that the freedom to offend was an important one. I for one would love to hold on to my freedom to offend conservatives from around the world. As Peterson rightfully said, Cathy was benefitting from the freedom to offend Peterson at that very moment (hate to agree with Pete, but hey).

What I didn’t understand was the proportion of the anger. Yes that one bit was terrible...but say that and move on. Ultimately she attempted to do a good thing (at least to her best ability) by trying to expose Peterson for what a caveman he is.

Now I’m not a fan of Cathy Newman, I had no idea who she was before this whole thing. I have no emotional investment in her as a person. I just think the harassment and outraged articles calling her interview a 'catastrophe' are ridiculously out of proportion with how mediocre the interview seemed to me. It was nothing out of the ordinary - what they refer to her doing as 'strawmanning' Peterson, is her just trying to cut past his bullshit flowery language to make some sense of what his points actually are for her audience. Which he of course masterfully sidesteps because vagueness is his game, so he can’t actually be pinned to his vile positions if you don't have enough information on him. It reminded me of good ol' fashioned atheists trying to get a theist to acknowledge that a certain bit of scripture is violent or misogynistic. If you've played that game, you've seen the semantics dodges, you've seen the 'you're taking it out of context' accusations. This was just more of that. A pity many atheists fell for it though. 

I will say that Cathy barely scratched the surface with the things she could have pinned him on. His sexist tradlife ideas are shit but there are better ways to expose him. Firstly, I’d have asked about his posing with a Pepe flag and a white nationalist…

Then about his friendly appearance on a neo-nazi podcast, with a host that has advocated violence towards people residing ‘illegally’ in her fantasy ethnostate. 

He should have been asked this especially in the context of how he himself deplatformed (now) open ethnonationalist Faith Goldy from one of his Free Speech events, for going on a Daily Stormer (Nazi) associated podcast and not questioning them sufficiently about their beliefs. If that was something he judged Goldy on, surely he could see that he himself hasn't always met those standards. 

Peterson who is also a staunch defender of people fired for their unpopular views can’t get others fired quick enough (those he doesn't align with ideologically, that is). 

(As ridiculous & unhelpful as her tactics are, had this been blatant discrimination towards a PoC,
Peterson's tune would be entirely different). 

He who complains about the left not tolerating differing opinions, reacts this way when confronted with an opinion he disagrees with. criticized. 

After holding him to account on his most blatant contradictions and hypocrisies, Cathy could have gone into his more absurd viewpoints where he considers Disney’s Frozen to be propaganda, simply because Elsa didn't need a man to succeed. How very dare she get by on her own. 

Talk about fragility and snowflakery...being upset by Disney movies....tsk. 

(click to enlarge)

Or she could have questioned him about a chat where he doesn't quite grasp the concept of consent, with 'race realist' and known misogynist Stefan Molyneux (who also has theories about movies like Star Wars being anti white, white genocide propaganda


But then again, it wouldn’t really have mattered what she said to be honest…because his fans would have been furious with her regardless. She had the audacity to be combative with the great Peterson. This is a cult like following, no jokes. 

(click to enlarge)

Had she made him look properly foolish with excellent points, they would have been twice as enraged and felt twice as victimized by the postmodern neo-marxists who are always out to get them. *sob*


I have had many discussions with 'moderate' Petersonites, where they start fairly reasonably. It's almost as if they're reading from a script.

First, they'll say they aren’t *at all* fans of Peterson (they just happen to agree with and defend everything he says and vehemently disagree with the critic). Then they jump to the fact that they are in disbelief that you could find anything particularly alarming about him at all...or that you could find him even remotely 'right wing' (there's that crypto rightwingery again). They demand that you back up your claims that he’s right wing… and from here on, it really doesn’t matter what you say. 

You could show his friendly appearances with neo-nazis, his proud posing with pepe (hate symbol) flags & white nationalists, his naziesque conspiracy theories about cultural marxism being everywhere. His conservative views on sex and gender roles, his love of sharing far-right media, none of that matters. They can explain everything away with a "Oh he meant it metaphorically" or "You haven’t seen his *entire body of work* otherwise you’d know he isn’t right wing, he was doing that ironically to piss off leftist SJWs like you", the excuses are endless. And that is why this brand of right wingers enjoys vagueness so much, because it gives them plausible deniability. 

Now, I’m sure there are some lectures by Peterson that aren’t far-right..but that doesn’t excuse him for times his views overlap with alt-right talking points, his alt-right associations and it certainly doesn’t excuse his free speech hypocrisies….when he is every bit a screaming, sniffling, unable to tolerate differing opinions, wanting to get people fired 'SJW' as the people he projects this stuff on to - except his idea of social justice is upholding the status quo…so SQW to be precise. 

He is what he hates.

And his dogpiling fans are exactly the intolerant bunch they claim the left are. 


If you enjoyed this piece you might also enjoy my other blogposts on JBP

Professor Jordan Peterson: Charlatan Conservative Christian Perpetually Paranoid about Pronouns & Postmodernism

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Friday, January 19, 2018

On Aziz Ansari: Let's Set the bar Higher than 'Not Rape'

I've had a hard time getting myself to sit down and write about this. I've procrastinated for days, always finding something else to do, other than think about this blogpost....or the Twitterhate writing about this subject could bring, from the antis and 'Rational Centrists' - who are know... *totally*  believably moderate and Center in their politics. 

It's sad that we live in a world where being a feminist or simply a woman speaking up about sexual harassment/abuse/coercion/inappropriateness is a controversial position on the internet. 

Many tend to be more concerned about the careers of the accused being DESTROYED than what the victim might have gone through, and how their lives might have been affected. And, all this in a world where a self professed sexual predator was elected to lead one of the most powerful countries in the world. 

His career seems fine, so far. 


There are so many thoughts buzzing around in my head...things that I’m recalling, that I’d rather not. I'm reluctantly combing through my relevant memories, because these #MeToo stories cause them all to surface. Those experiences in uni, on a packed bus, at work...with a boss creepily running his finger down my neck, bare shoulder and along my ear... (was it my fault for wearing an off shoulder top?) are all coming back to me. Another experience comes to mind, one with a doctor responsible for putting me under before a surgery - who leaned in and called me 'sexy' I lay there on the operating table about to be knocked out cold. 

I clench my jaw just thinking about it.

There are so many ways that behaviour can be sexually inappropriate, a whole spectrum exists. It's not always as black and white as rape vs. not rape, attack vs. no doesn't actually have to be an 'attack' to violate someone.

And some very important, oft-neglected conversations lie in those grey areas. 

The thing that bothers me most about the discussion revolving around #MeToo, other than those trying to discredit the whole movement as some sort of hysterical, puritanical sex panic/witch hunt, is the binary thinking - That either this movement is perfection, impossibly unflawed....or that it is unfair and worth delegitimizing entirely... 'angry women' apparently now hold a lot of 'power' over some potentially innocent men that will get caught up in this. Will somebody please think of the accused men?!!

Sigh. If I were Aziz, I'd honestly cringe at the kinds of things being written in my defense.

(Click to enlarge) Interestingly. the writer of the above piece defending Aziz is also the author of this gem.
"Having so many choices, Caitlin Flanagan maintains, has torn women away from what many
of them want most: to raise a family and run a household. "  I bet this is on Peterson's reading list.

The attempts to discredit a general conversation about sexual behaviour that crosses the line, takes me back to my experiences with conservative opinions in Saudi and Pakistan. 

While of course not at all comparable in the power they wield over dissenters or the degree of blatant misogyny...the underlying distaste for women having these conversations, reminds me of what I've seen in the other countries I've lived in. There are definitely some common themes, harder to ignore in these Trumpian times, as the better packaging comes undone.  

However, despite some fierce criticisms, a very important discussion has opened up. And I for one am pleased to see the walls of silence come crumbling down, inspiring women around the globe, including in my motherland, Pakistan. As difficult as these conversations are, they need to be had. Finally…finally, women are being heard on this. Finally the grey areas are up for discussion...

There's this ridiculous idea that if it’s not a Harvey Weinstein level of abuse then it’s basically not worth criticizing. 

Firstly, I haven't seen anyone equate Aziz to Weinstein, and secondly why the fuck isn't something less than that worth talking about? The complaint isn't that it just wasn't romantic enough ffs. 

I'd even say the behaviours and incidents that are not on the worse end of the spectrum are probably personally relevant to more people.

It might be hard to come to terms with for some  -- especially those who are now having to question their own past actions -- but lets face it, sexual mores change, evolve and have *always* done so. 

This isn't some new thing sprung upon us by the 'spoiled, shrill, unreasonable, sjw' feminists of this decade. 

Once upon a time in popular media, Pepe le Pew's courting tactics were considered acceptable for children to view, hilarious even. 

Now, we know better. 


Many things can simultaneously be true in regard to this story & #MeToo, this is what most of the pushback doesn't get:

1) Of course it is in no way comparable to Weinstein, and 'Grace' from the story isn't saying that it is. 
2) It still paints a concerning picture.
3) The Babe article was done irresponsibly, it's focus on irrelevant minute details like the wine, etc. were damaging to the story.
4) It still started an important conversation.
5) Just because it isn't rape or about workplace harassment, doesn't mean it can't be included in #MeToo.
6) Criticizing people who are less than serial rapists doesn't mean it's a witchhunt. 
7) Yes there are bad takes happening in #MeToo, some blanketly throwing men under the bus. That is unavoidable in a conversation where literally anyone and everyone is chiming in. We should call those out too.
8) Some bad takes do not discredit all of #MeToo.


There are already many people like Christina Sommers, who will defend Milo at his worst, 

Now deleted whataboutery deflecting from criticism of milo making comments
about real ppl, actual consent. Not a play. 

But are waiting to jump at the slightest chance to discredit this entire movement, 

Not well reported but definitely not 'baseless', even he did not deny any of it. 

The skeptosphere in particular has been painfully swamped with praise for the ‘brave women’ who speak out against #MeToo (because of course),

Not to mention this very article laid out that the 'brave woman' being praised also defended Roman Polanski.
Then I was also linked to this, and it seemed he engaged and didn't deny defending someone
who was jailed for paying underage sex workers. :(

There are takes involving the revolting hashtag #MeNeither (yes that's really a hashtag dedicated to people who haven't been sexually abused talking about flaunting how they haven't in the faces of those who have), that frankly strike me as reminiscent of women who insist that because *they* had a choice around the hijab and niqab, that those things are not oppressive. We have plenty such women in Pakistan and Saudi, so many of these systems would not have thrived so long without the help of women who have a case of internalized sexism. Their western counterparts are now more openly flaunting their positions, in this absurd Petersonian era of the Skeptosphere. I mean #TradLife is a meme that exists now and isn't laughed out of existence. 

Yes yes unbunch your undies, I repeat, I know Saudi Arabia is worse and much more oppressive, and that women in Pakistan have a way tougher battle for rights ahead of them than western women do. I’ve heard that dismissing tactic enough times. 

There can exist similarities with differing degrees of intensity. 

But just imagine #MeNeither being used to oppose a hashtag where women were speaking up about religiously motivated abuse and mutilation like FGM. These same #MeNeither skeptics would see it for the disgusting minimization that it is. 

Aside from all this, there are also the deeply disappointing 'maybe Sandusky [convicted serial child rapist] is innocent' takes by Jerry Coyne and in Skeptic magazine. Jerry also expressed sympathy for poor Milo after his whole pedophilia scandal. 

Before I am accused of taking it 'out of context' let me just say here's a link to the whole piece
read it and cringe for yourself. 

The great Skeptic magazine also wrote a glowing review of Milo's book after this whole scandal. 

There are endless examples of concerning attitudes on this subject among 'skeptics' (see Amos Yee & the number of people that stepped up to defend or minimize Sargon tweeting 'I wouldn't even rape you', those that applauded it at an atheist/skeptic conference) ...but that's a separate blogpost in itself. 

Back to this story now;

This story hurt. 

Aziz Ansari cuts deep, he’s a successful brown Muslim comedian…such success in hollywood is rare for brown people. I have been rooting for him from the start. I grew up longing to see faces like mine on TV...and now...there he was. Oh Aziz 


He’s a non traditional secular guy too who makes shows about his complicated relationship with his parents religious expectations, about the first time he snuck off with his cousin to have some pork. 

There is so much that deeply and personally resonates with me. He's repping secular people of muslim background in a not anti-muslim way...which is just so rare and so important. It really hurts to see him criticized like this, and it hurts to read about how he conducted himself.

I don't criticize him lightly or easily, but even I can see that some criticism is warranted. 

It also hurts because conservative muslims have already long attacked him with garbage takes like ‘hollywood only accepts secular muslims’ 

Really now. Hollywood only accepts secular Muslims? 

 ....And now they're using this story to say that it was his secularism or westernization that are to blame. Which is such rubbish - as if traditional muslim men who have clung to their religiosity and culture do not mistreat if men directly from the old country do not mistreat women. 

I am so sick of people injecting their terrible agendas into #MeToo…be it anti-feminist, anti-western, anti-left, anti-porn, anti-casual sex....This isn't about any of those things...It's about sexual abuse and misconduct in whatever forms it may occur. 

This isn't hard.

On the flip side of anti-secular I've also seen pathetic anti-Muslim takes. 

Right, I suppose it was Cosby, Weinstein, Louis CK, Spacey & James Franco's Muslim upbringing
that caused them to behave this way...I mean, obviously there are some religious hypocrites, sexually repressed
who act out this way. But Aziz's story clearly isn't to do with his being of Muslim background. I forget which hadith says, 'demand a blowjob in the first 10 mins of a date'. 

I’ve also seen embarrassing ex-muslim takes, bringing Mohammed, (the prophet) into this whole thing? I mean why… this conversation is about people the very least, have recently existed? 

Are we going to bring Henry VIII into it too? This is such foolishness, and such a stretch to find a way to drag Islam into it. Why do they insist on making Islam criticism so cringeworthy? Islam certainly has some terrible beliefs surrounding treatment of women, most Abrahamic religions do. But when you're grasping at straws like this and inserting mohammed into conversations like #MeToo , it just makes your criticism appear silly.  

A better way would be to call out people who use religion/Islam to justify things like child marriage or sexual abuse today.. that would be relevant… unlike dragging Mo in all the way from 7th century Arabia. 

As for the anti left takes... OH MAH GAWD THE HYSTERICAL LEFT IS ON A WITCHHUNT AGAIN *eyeroll*....Yes absolutely there are some extreme takes on the left that make me cringe. Just the other day I saw one with like 25K retweets saying that men should act like their name could be on a list. I don’t think that preemptively instilling fear in innocent people is the right lesson to take from this at all. 

Then there was someone I encountered who claimed that STEM was immoral because Krauss tweeted that disappointing article. I mean, come on...what a ridiculous conclusion. 

I’m happy to call those views out without dismissing the whole of #MeToo. 

What I’m tired of seeing (particularly in the skeptosphere) are people who’ve not uttered a peep in support of women speaking out against predators but as soon as they get the opportunity to tweet an article questioning #MeToo, they’ll be all over that. 

(click to enlarge) An screenshot from an actual article Michael Shermer tweeted out about #MeToo - apparently the voices of women who have had enjoyable sexual experiences are missing from #MeToo...well no shit. 


Aziz’s case was a good way to see who’s just looking to delegitimize this entire conversation and who's willing to acknowledge the flaws in the Babe article... while also saying, "this is something we need to discuss, as we are currently redefining and renegotiating the boundaries of appropriate sexual behaviour. That is literally the point of this. Remember, at one time marital rape was not acknowledged...these boundaries continue to shift as culture shifts - and to be clear, I'm not saying this case was rape.

What makes Aziz’s case especially worthy of criticism is the context that he literally wrote a book on the nuances of modern dating,

"In Modern Romance, Ansari combines his irreverent humor with cutting-edge social science to give us an unforgettable tour of our new romantic world." 

And let's remember that some of these cases have only surfaced because the women involved saw these men shamelessly flaunting a #TimesUp pin after having treated them in this way.

Aziz has often used feminism in his comedy, has talked about being a feminist and encouraged people to use the word. It's perfectly fair to call him on his unfeminist behaviour.

Some of what was detailed in that ‘Babe’ piece was pretty horrifying, I can't even believe this is up for debate or being characterized as her wanting him to be a 'mindreader'. 

She physically removed her hand from his dick 5-7 times….she said she pulled away... went limp and stopped moving her mouth, she told him she didn’t want to feel forced…when he asked about sex she said 'next time'...

What about this is confusing or unclear? What part requires mindreading? What has made people behave so viciously towards Grace...the fact that it wasn't rape? Come that where we are as a society? Our bar should be set well above 'not rape'. 

He's a celebrity she has admired, it could easily have been intimidating for her when he started undressing her so immediately. She understandably needed a moment to process wtf was happening. She gave him enough cues to stop and he didn't...until she stood up and said no yet again. Even after all that he tried to kiss her again, reached to try and unbutton her pants again. Can a woman not expect to sit at a first-time date's house without getting felt up and kissed constantly? 

He doesn’t seem to have denied any of the things she’s listed, just that it was interpreted differently by him. And he might be right, he may not have even noticed doing anything wrong...Which is what’s appalling, this is the conversation that hasn’t happened properly.  Now is the time people are going to speak up about boundaries in the bedroom. 

Some responses to this were so cruel, so was hard to even look. 


The victim blaming in relation to this case is just everywhere…the articles I’ve seen are unbelievable. How are we *still* having these discussions. Some of it perhaps, can be explained by a generational difference in perception. There's this idea that younger feminists are not tough enough, spoiled even. Feminists back in the day were fighting the 'real' fight, this is just shallow frivolous stuff now. 

I mean of course there are some ridiculous fringe views in feminism too, but these are exaggerated to try and discredit the whole of it. 

Being taken seriously when demanding progress has been a struggle for each generation. 

Sarcasm Font:

Worry not, silly Regressives...everything is *great* now, feminism has achieved it's goals and therefore has become unnecessary - Because things are not *as* bad as they once were, because women are now seen as 'equal under the law'.... there's no problem. Kind of like how racism is over too. Especially post-Obama, there has been no racism in the US ever again. You know where they need feminism? In those other countries, those people over there don't know how to treat women. Us in the glorious West thankfully have it all worked out. 


In seriousness though, one of the best responses I've seen to an accusation (not a perfectly comparable situation but one that is also 'not rape') is from Dan Harmon of the show Community who recorded a heartfelt apology on his podcast. 

Now Grace’s critics might also look at this situation and see something that required no apology, but in my opinion his words did a lot of good. It set a great example for something like this to be done again. 

Megan Ganz was a writer on the show that he had feelings for which soon became incredibly uncomfortable for her. Here are some quotes from his recorded apology below, which I think are especially significant in this climate. Too many people still insist that anything less than rape or Harvey Weinstein isn't worth discussing.

He made sure to tell his audience that attacking her or revictimizing her would do him no favours. 

He used language like “Attracted to a writer I had power over” 

“Ran the risk of undercutting her faith in her talent”

"I did the cowardly easiest laziest thing you could do with feelings like that, not dealing with them..and in not dealing with them I made everybody else deal with them. I made her deal with them. I was flirty, creepy, everything other than being overt enough to constitute betraying your live in girlfriend to whom you’re going home to every night."

He acknowledges, that he stopped short of doing anything obvious enough to constitute open betrayal and it was still a problem. And how everyone else, especially her…had to deal with that because he wouldn’t.

"….telling myself and anybody that threatened to confront me with it, that if you thought what I was doing was creepy or flirty or unprofessional, its because you were the sexist…”

Sounds familiar re: how the skeptosphere treats racism/sexism, It’s you who is the real sexist if you think women are victims. It’s you who is the real racist if you complain about racism. 

(Interestingly it’s also like the twisted logic you hear a lot ex hijabis mention, how they once justified the modesty garment to themselves; "Women who don't wear hijabs are slaves to society/the patriarchy, who mould themselves according to the will of men." "Hijabs are liberating, feminist…a means of freeing yourself from the male gaze, from scrutiny over appearance, etc, if you don't wear one you are actually the oppressed one"… but no one really buys that kind of thinking deep down inside.. do they?)

Back to Dan Harmon though, note the subtlety he captures here:

"Its not as if this person didn’t repeatedly communicate to me the idea that what I was doing was divesting her of a recourse to integrity.. I just didn’t hear it. It didn’t profit me to hear it."

Aziz Ansari could benefit from thinking along these lines. What he did may have been within the bounds of legality…but it was most certainly not ok. As someone who is a celebrity you’ve got to be aware of the sway you have over others. He must have sensed some of her signals of not being on board...I mean she literally said at one point, "I don't want to feel forced" but it didn’t benefit him to really pick up on them and adjust his behaviour accordingly. 

This line in particular struck me:

“I want it to sound relatively unremarkable to you because that’s the danger” - its really wonderful to hear someone acknowledge this...a man-person, even.  There are so many of these 'unremarkable' experiences happening in bedrooms, at workplaces that cross the lines...we need to start talking about those, and how we've normalized this kind of thing. 

"I wanted to teach her a lesson, if she didn’t like being liked in that way

Good on him, for acknowledging he felt that way.

"I crushed on her and resented her for not reciprocating it, and the entire time I was the one writing her paycheques ….treated her cruelly. Things I would have never done if she was male."

"I lied to myself the entire time about it, I lost my job, I ruined my show and I damaged her internal compass…and I moved on."  [emphasis mine]

I imagine this is an effect Aziz might have had on Grace as well, and it would be good of him to acknowledge it in the storm that is being unleashed on her. Her internal compass must be all over the place right now... second guessing herself for creating this cyclone of hate.

Yes we know Aziz isn't a monstrous rapist, but still this account does not paint him in a good light. It would be incredible to hear something like Dan Harmon's apology coming from him...something heartfelt, with no excuses. Something that calls out the articles and people hating on her. But that's usually not how things are handled in these situations, so I won't hold my breath. Harmon said he went against legal advice to talk about this openly. 

Anyway, those are my meandering, rambly thoughts on the matter. Thanks for sticking around to read them. 

I hope that we can soon stop shaming Grace, and have more productive conversations around sexual misconduct that is 'not rape'. I hope we can hold people to a higher standard in the bedroom than just 'but it wasn't illegal'. I hope that the terrible op-eds saying spare Aziz from criticism because he is brown-skinned will stop. 


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