Canceling | ContraPointsMay 31, 2021
(quirky orchestral music) - Okay. Let us begin. (moans) I literally need a man. I need a man, help! Alright, I'm going to get some pliers, the lesbian solution. Well. Let us begin. ("Silent Night") I love my king. This isn't really the most feminine moment for me, not really my 2020 vibe. But it does provide proportions to my giant man hands. New, new, new. (hitting) Alright, no one thinks I'm cute, let's get started. Okay, look, this video is about cancellation, also known as cancel culture, formerly known as call-out culture. And I know you guys know all about this, but before I dive in, I have to explain the basics to my fellow boomers.
So listen up old folks, in the lingo of these avocado-guzzling, Applebee's-killing, smartphone-addicted young people,
cancelingis the online shaming, vilification, and ostracization of prominent members of a community by other members of that community. As with a lot of internet slang, this use of the word cancel started on black Twitter, where a few years ago people, well, mostly women, were tweeting "cancel R. Kelly" and stuff like that. You know, it started as a surveillance strategy to bring justice and accountability to powerful people who had previously been immune to any consequences for their actions. For example, the Me Too movement promised to use social media shaming to remove sexually abusive men from power who could not otherwise be held accountable.
The promise of cancellation was to return power to people who didn't have it and bring justice to prominent abusers. It is, in a way, the 21st century version of the guillotine, the one that brings justice, the avenger of the people. But, also like the guillotine, it can become a spectacle of sadistic entertainment. And I want to argue that we have, well, a bit of a Reign of Terror situation on our hands, Gorg. Now there is a version of this conversation that has already been taken into account, and it goes like this. On the one hand, there is a group of comedians who constantly complain that cancel culture is out of control, you can't joke about anything anymore without these millennial jackals trying to get you in trouble.
And the other side is mostly progressive op-ed authors arguing that there's no such thing as cancel culture, it's just that powerful people are finally being held accountable for their actions and they can't handle it, so they go around complaining. cancel culture. Unfortunately, neither of those views is as correct as some people might hope. So it's a good thing I'm here to tell you the truth. He didn't know I was transgender. Story time, emotional, not click bait. Let's start with an example. The most notable YouTube cancellation of 2019 was the cancellation of James Charles. And again, I know you kids remember this, but (sigh) I have to reheat the old YouTube tea for the grown-ups.
Put the kettle on, Karen. So James Charles is a 20-year-old beauty guru, which means, boomers, look, there are people making YouTube videos teaching you how to do makeup. It's worth checking if you can figure out how to start Internet Explorer. I certainly can't. It's a pretty bomb, it's on, (clicks) it's wonderful, it's fabulous, it's so far away, man, (mystical sitar music) it's a gas, I love it. Free love, give peace a chance, Nixon is a fascist. Then, in May of this year, James' colleague and... mother figure? Fellow YouTube beauty guru Tati Westbrook uploaded a 40-minute video accusing James of endorsing a hair vitamin brand that she hopes was a competitor to her hair vitamin brand.
An exciting plot, I know. And this was huge, the New York Times covered it. And while Tati was at it, almost as an afterthought in the hair vitamin dispute, she also accused James of being a sexual predator. (ominous music) Now I went back and reviewed the original deleted video of Tati. And she actually never uses the phrase sexual predator. It's funny, I remember she called him that because that became the story on Twitter. But what she actually said was: "James had tried to trick straight men into thinking they were gay." -My God, you tried to trick a straight man into thinking he was gay, once again. - Which is quite different from calling him a sexual predator.
But see, this is what cancel culture does: it takes one story and transforms it into a significantly different story. You know, the headline I would write about the James and Tati story might say: Tati Westbrook accuses James Charles. of trying to fool straight men into believing they are gay. But cancel culture transforms that story into the headline James Charles is a Sexual Predator. (ominous music) Interesting, now I want to make it clear that my intention here is not actually to defend James Charles. I'm not a James Charles fan. I am a biological woman in my 30s.
Close to death, I know, please leave a comment before you die. That being said, I think the statement, "James Charles is a sexual predator," is a stretch, to say the least. At least, according to the information I have as of December 2019. So let's look at how this kind of stretching of the truth occurs. Cancel cultural trope one (acoustic music) and you should write this down, class, because it will be on the exam. Cancel cultural trope one, presumption of guilt. There is a traditional understanding of justice that before a person is convicted or punished, the accuser's side of the story and the accused's side of the story are heard.
It allows both sides to present evidence and only after everyone involved has had a chance to present their case does it pass sentence and punish the convict. (moans) Punish me, king. Drinking this is punishment enough. Am I not
cancelingyet please? (laughs) You know, in the United States of... (groans) Legally we have the presumption of innocence. But canceling does not comply with the law. Canceling is a form of vigilante mass justice. And many times an accusation is sufficient proof. That's basically the point of the progressive slogan: "Believe the victims." It's a norm that was implemented in progressive spaces because, in the world at large, people generally don't believe in victims.
But I think it's pretty obvious that "believing victims" is a norm that's easy to abuse. Was Tati really James' victim? No, she is not a helpless woman abused by a prominent man in her industry. She is at the top of the industry and James did not victimize her at all. I see this case more as a weapon that used cancel culture against a business rival. Anyway, before James even had a chance to respond to Tati's accusation, the story had already gone from "Tati Westbrook accuses James Charles of trying to cheat on straight men" to "James Charles tried to cheat on straight men" , and from there, it was generalized as "James Charles is toxic and manipulative", which leads us to cancel cultural trope two, abstraction.
Abstraction replaces the specific concrete details of a statement with a more generic statement. In the transition from "Tati Westbrook accused James Charles of trying to cheat on straight men" to "James Charles is toxic and manipulative," not only have we lost the sense that this is an unverified accusation, we've also lost everything. . the specific details. “James Charles is toxic and manipulative” is an incredibly vague statement and might as well be “James Charles is evil.” But even without the presumption of guilt, if someone tells me that James Charles is accused of toxic and manipulative behavior, I'll think that sounds pretty bad.
And I'm going to start speculating about the details. And anything I can come up with in my imagination will probably be worse than anything he's accused of. Furthermore, the specific allegation that he attempted to deceive heterosexual men into believing they were homosexual is clearly questionable. How can straight men be fooled into believing they are gay? If you find out, let me know. It's bad, I'm bad, I'm super bad. This is not a problem that straight men typically have. At the very least, it requires more explanation. It's the kind of story that seems to have more than one side.
So I'm immediately going to feel a little skeptical of the accusation, and I'm also going to look askance at Tati Westbrook because this accusation is setting off my homophobia detection alarm. (siren blaring) Leave the gays alone! But I won't have the chance to pick up on possible homophobia and be skeptical of it if all I've heard about the situation is the toxicity and manipulation of James Charles. And I also want to point out a linguistic shift that's happening here. When the claim was that James Charles attempted to deceive heterosexual men, the verbs in the sentence were "try" and "deceive." So what we're criticizing here is James' behavior, we're criticizing things he did, supposedly trying to fool straight men.
But once the statement becomes "James Charles is toxic and manipulative", the verb in the sentence is "is", "be", so these adjectives are characteristics of James, and now it is not his actions that are we are criticizing, but rather his personality, his toxicity, his manipulability. This is what I'll call trope three of cancel culture, essentialism. Essentialism is when we go from criticizing a person's actions to criticizing the person themselves. We don't just say that they did bad things, but that they are bad people. And that's what gets us from "James Charles tried to fool straight men" to "James Charles is a sexual predator." So here we focus on James himself, not just his actions, but the kind of person he is.
A sexual predator. (ominous music) And we have also intensified the accusation. Because I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase sexual predator, the image that comes to mind is that of a rapist or child molester, maybe an abusive boss, not a young teenage boy obsessed with wanting to date straight boys. . I mean, it's not that a person like that couldn't be a sexual predator, but I really don't think the fact that he is a sexual predator is a fair summary of the accusation. So this strikes me as a pretty nasty and dishonest misrepresentation of history, and it happened instantly on Twitter.
It totally dominated the conversation in a community of millions of people for weeks. Within days, James had lost millions of subscribers and who knows what effect it had on his personal life. Not that anyone seems to care. In fact, most people seemed to enjoy the fall of him. He was a teenage millionaire, a young and beautiful superstar. Easy to envy, easy to resent, difficult to relate to, difficult to sympathize. What was the point of canceling James Charles? Did we want to teach him a lesson? Did we want him to learn from his mistakes and grow as a person?
Imagine really wanting someone to learn, imagine really caring. My hunch is that the average BeauTube viewer was not sincerely outraged or hurt by their sincere belief that James Charles was a sexual predator. In other words, this was not a case of SJWs unleashed, it was a controversy manufactured from above by a handful of seemingly vindictive and envious people. Honestly, I think most of those who said "James Charles is a sexual predator" just wanted to tone him down. Cancel cultural trope four, pseudomoralism or pseudointellectualism. If you look at the world we live in, would you say that people are often motivated by a sense of moral integrity and intellectual rigor?
No, maybe not. Let's be the real United States, we are a bunch of morally impotent meatbags, constantly shitting ourselves out of fear and lust. For Tati, calling James, it was really about hair vitamins, right? I think my sister was very salty that this millionaire kid, who she had supported and helped, had betrayed her by endorsing a rival brand. And accusing him of trying to trick straight men was just a twist of the knife. But moralism or intellectualism provides a false pretext for the call. You can pretend that you just want an apology, you can pretend that you are just a concerned citizen who wants the person to get better.
You can pretend that you are simply offering criticism, when what you are really doing is attacking a person's career and reputation out of spite, envy, revenge, I mean, it can be any motivation. Twitter saw James as a very privileged, spoiled brat, and it was fun to wipe the smile off his smug face, at least for a few weeks. He's schadenfreude, right, this kind of petty sadism. It may not be the internet's proudest moment, but it's not its most embarrassing either. And that's not to say that everyone who canceled James Charles wasn't sincere. But there's a big difference between "cancel R.
Kelly" and "cancel James Charles." And I'm interested in how these two things came to be alike. (ominous music) When James was cancelled, I remember being a little paralyzed looking at his life and career.suggested, "You don't think Buck Angel sounds like John Waters?" And I was like, "Well, he just messaged me on Insta, let's see if he wants to." to do it." And I loved the idea of having Buck Angel as John Waters in the video credits. Like a trans icon playing a gay icon. In my head it was so, well, iconic. So I contacted Buck over the line and he said: yeah, I'd love to do it.
So here's the 10-second voiceover clip that ruined a month of my life. - "You have to remember that there is such a thing as 'good bad taste' and 'bad bad taste.'" taste". "To understand bad taste you have to have very good taste." - That's it, kids, that's why mom canceled. Now I knew at the time that trans people on Twitter hated Buck Angel. But my thought was well, trans Twitter hates all trans celebrities and they certainly hate me, so I wasn't going to let that stop me. I didn't know how cruel things were about to get.
Now, until now, I have been telling this story from my point of view, but I want to give a fair and balanced explanation. So I want to pause and contextualize why some trans people hate Buck Angel so much that they're willing to cancel anyone who associates with him. Basically, it all goes back to this old debate in the trans community known today in Tumblr lingo as truscum versus transtrenders. So truscum are trans people who distinguish between true trans people and false trans people whom they call tendencies or tucutes. Generally, Truscum thinks that what being trans means is having a lifelong struggle with dysphoria, undergoing a medical transition involving hormones and surgery, and socially reassimilating into the target binary gender, whether male or female.
Whoever is not, according to Truscum, must be a confused teenager, someone who is simply trying to get attention, someone who confuses their trauma or their fetish with being trans, in a word, a trend. So that's a view of trans that generally excludes non-binary people, as well as people who don't want to medically transition for whatever reason, and for that reason, this view is sometimes also called trans medicalism, being truscum obviously the derogatory term for these people. So a lot of trans people really hate truscum because their point of view is that not all trans identities are valid.
And Buck Angel is widely perceived as a truscum. So the next question is: is this true? Is Buck Angel, in fact, truscum? Now my honest answer to that question is: I don't know. He certainly said some things that sound like what Truscum says, I'll give you that. One point he likes to highlight a lot is that he is transsexual, not transgender. And the difference between those terms is sometimes defined as transgender implies that you want to medically transition, so hormones and surgery, and transgender doesn't imply that. And people associate this, "I'm transsexual, not transgender" with truscum because truscums often call themselves transsexuals and say that anyone who isn't transsexual isn't really trans.
And often those people will be very mean to the people call trends, especially certain transmedical YouTubers like Vanessa LeBlanc and 2CuteSmasher9000. (laughs) 2CuteSmasher9000 Roast me, Calvin, I dare you. (laughs) (dinging) But I think it's important to note that the term truscum is a Product of the tumblr wars of 2014, and trying to apply it to trans people of an older generation can sometimes be misleading. Like when Buck Angel transitioned, the word transsexual was just the word for his identity and he still identifies that way. So that, when he was younger Trans people tell him it's wrong to use the word transgender, he feels like these ungrateful Millennials are invalidating his identity.
And I understand where he's coming from with that, but I also understand why a lot of non-binary people are skeptical about by Buck. . As he says over and over again: "I'm transsexual, not transgender, don't mix me up with those people." And this desire to separate themselves from transgender people is perceived as hostility. I think he has sometimes said that non-binary people are invalid, but I personally don't like that it seems like he wants to distance himself from them. And that's my disagreement with Buck, not that he invalidates non-binary identities because I really don't see him doing that, and if he was doing it, I would have seen it, because for the last two months a lot of people have done nothing but send me tweets Buck Angel's problems.
But as someone who cares a lot about non-binary people and who loves non-binary people in my life, it bothers me when he does this distancing thing and I hope he listens to this criticism because I think it would be great if he got better at this. Of course, Buck is technically right that there are different types of trans people. And I agree that it's important that we can make those distinctions and talk about the differences when they're relevant. But I also believe that as a community, trans people benefit from unity, not division. For example, if you have an employer that discriminates against trans people, they won't care if you are transsexual, transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming.
They will discriminate against you anyway. We are all in this together and there are a lot of disagreements between us and we often don't get along very well, but politically I think we should work together as much as possible instead of breaking up into little factions because we share most of the same interests and I think the The best way to do this is to build bridges instead of burning them. And that's why I'm willing to work with people like Buck Angel who I have some disagreements with. Create a connection, you know. And having that connection can lead to communication and build understanding.
I also need all the connections I can get, gorg, I feel very alone. (sad violin music) It's not a joke, it's true. I now understand that some people have such harmful opinions that giving them a platform is potentially dangerous. But in any case, I didn't even give Buck a platform to share his opinions, I gave him a platform to be a John Waters impersonator. A bunch of people on my Reddit sub asked me why couldn't I get John Waters to do those lines? Well, first of all, I don't actually know John, but I have a feeling he'd dismiss me as some kind of (bleep) millennial SJW.
Why is Buck Angel canceled but John Waters isn't? Well, because trans Twitter doesn't know who John Waters is and let's try to keep it that way. I actually mentioned this to a friend of mine who knows John and he told me that he and John had watched Buck Angel porn together. Then plot twist. (ominous music) Okay, so trans Twitter won't forgive me unless I condemn Buck Angel as a truscum and apologize for working with him. But I'm not going to do that because I don't think it's the right thing to do, and doing it just so I don't get canceled would be cowardly.
I'm happy to tell you that I don't agree at all with Buck's divisive rhetoric about transsexual versus transgender. I wish he would be an ally to the entire transgender group instead of trying to distance himself from the rest. And I'm glad to hear the perspective of non-binary people who don't trust it because I totally understand where they're coming from and I think that's valid. But I also respect the decades of good activism Buck Angel has done for trans people and I'm grateful to him for that. And in light of that, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt about where his heart lies and express my criticism in a more measured way than simply attacking who he is as a person.
But Twitter needs to establish that he is a horrible person because this is the strategy they have chosen to establish that I am a horrible person. And if truscum's accusation is not strong enough to prove, they have other evidence to draw on to support their conclusion. For example, here's a tweet that says, "Natalie is trying so hard to make it look like 'the only thing Buck Angel did was write' some dodgy tweets, and that's 'far from the truth.'" Dude released a targeted sensational harassment campaign, "exposing a trans woman against her will, "with the specific intent of causing her physical, "emotional and professional harm." The shortest way to say that is "that he wanted to make her suffer" and very They might as well have killed her." Wow, this is not the boss.
A friendly reminder that this is not a good look. Maybe not try to get the trans women killed? Disappointing. Sounds pretty serious, let's investigate. (quirky, mysterious music ) This is what I have managed to reconstruct. Scene one, it is the year 2003, Los Angeles, where the world of cinema, the world of p*rn and the BDSM scene come together in a story of heartbreak, betrayal and transsexualism, La La Land Dramatis personae, Buck Angel, transsexual porn star Ilsa Strix, dominatrix and later wife of Buck Angel. Lana Wachowski, wildly successful director of The Matrix, at the time, had not yet come out as a transgender woman.
The synopsis is that Ilsa Strix and Buck Angel's marriage ended after Ilsa had an affair with Lana Wachowski, who had not yet come out as trans. So Buck was understandably upset about the matter and, in what seems like a small act of revenge, told a series of magazines that this famous director Wachowski was a transvestite who had stolen his wife, which, I guess, was the information that I had at that time. time. So, is that coming out of a trans woman against her will? Well, in retrospect, it seems like that may not be what he thought she was doing at the time.
But to really get to the bottom of this, we have to do some digging. We have to track down the dirty details of trans people's personal stories, which I've noticed is one of the Internet's favorite things to do. So I went on eBay and bought Rolling Stone Issue 991, January 2006, and was finally able to reveal (drum roll and intense music) that the seller canceled the order. Damn. But I was finally able to locate and translate a Spanish version of the Rolling Stone article from the Wayback Machine, and I can finally expose the truth. Stop, freeze exactly where you are.
Look at yourself and what we've all been doing for the last 30 seconds. Who does this behavior remind you of? If your answer is that social justice advocates fight for trans equality, you are wrong. If your answer is creepy stalkers who hate trans people... (bell rings) I'm very suspicious of anyone whose online behavior leads me to investigate articles full of dead names and sordid scandals involving trans people from almost two decades ago . This is very similar to the techniques used against trans people by internet fascists. So I'm pretty suspicious of anyone who pushes this kind of research.
How can you tell the difference between a transanarcho socialist with an anime avatar and a Nazi posing as a transanarcho socialist with an anime avatar? Well, you can't. Anonymous is anonymous is anonymous, whether on 4chan or Twitter. So unless Buck Angel, Ilsa Strix, or Lana Wachowski contact me and let me know that for some unimaginable reason they want me to publicly dig up their 17-year divorce drama, this is none of my damn business. And it's not yours either. So shut up and go back to Kiwi Farms where you belong. (pleasant lounge music) (sipping) Let's make this tea in Irish.
It doesn't work as well with tea. So leaving aside any sensational drama that occurred during the Bush administration... (laughter) I'm saying this is in the most vulgar way and they deserve it. They deserve the fucking shit. I'm spilling whiskey tea all over my damn bathrobe. I am a lady. she is a woman. (cough) (pop music) The main argument against me usually references a collage of Buck Angel's problematic tweets. And this is supposed to be definitive proof that he is a horrible person, and therefore that I am a horrible person for collaborating with him. Well, here's the thing: a collage of problematic tweets does not define a person.
And I'm also very used to being defined that way. So I know how unfair it can be. Before collaborating with Buck Angel, many people on Twitter were already calling me truscum, which has been going on for a year and a half. And every time my name comes up on Twitter, a bunch of people respond by saying, "Natalie is truscum," Natalie is a trans doctor, "Natalie hates non-binary people" and you should really think about what kind of "message you're sending." . to your trans and non-binary followers by putting it on a platform. And if the person defends me or responds in any way, "they say I can't believe you're ignoring the valid concerns of marginalized people." You know, they're using their marginalized status as trans people as a weapon to isolate and attack another trans person.
And sometimes these things go to my head too. I start to wonder wait, am I a trans doctor? Do I really believe all these horrible things they say I believe? But the answer is no, I just don't. I do. These things they say about me are 100% false. You know, "believing in marginalized people" is a norm that has been encouraged in leftist spaces for good reason, as is "believing in victims" or "believe in women." And these norms were established to counteract the dominant trend of not listening to marginalized people, victims orwomen. But any norm can be abused, and the harsh reality is that sometimes marginalized people get it wrong.
Sometimes people who call themselves victims hide a more complicated situation. And it has even happened, once or twice, that a woman has lied. And the accusation that I am truscum is simply false. I mean, first of all, I don't even think of my own transgenderism as a medical disorder, let alone anyone else's. Of course, I have collaborated with Dr. Spiegel et al. But I will not allow my art to be reduced to mere medicine. (upbeat pop music) Secondly, this accusation that I hate non-binary people is simply not. No no. My thinking about trans identity has always been based on non-binary people.
I used to identify as non-binary before my medical transition, and some of the people closest to me in my life today are non-binary trans people, some of whom are also transsexual, by the way, (laughs), it's complicated. I've also made at least five videos on this channel defending the validity of non-binary gender identities, going back over three years. That's five of around 50 videos, or 10% of the content I've created on this channel, are about non-binary identity. A few months ago I even made a 30-minute video called Transtrenders, which uses characters' dialogue to show what I believe are the shortcomings of transmedicalism.
But there are still hundreds of people on Twitter saying I'm a truscum who hates non-binary people. And your main proof of this is a collage of my problematic tweets. So let's take a look at that. Here are the three tweets I usually see saved together as definitive proof that I hate non-binary people. This is the first of September 2018. Notice how it's taken out of context of the thread so you can't even see what I'm talking about. "I'm sure this is not the experience of many NBs." NB stands for non-binary people. "I leave it to them to articulate 'what NB existence looks like in a binary world.'" "I don't and I can't speak for them. "But surely," God, I used to write like a nerd, "but surely an account that begins and ends with 'I'm not a man because I don't identify' as one, is pretty weak." Well, when I wrote the Twitter thread that tweet was clipped from, I was defending myself against accusations that my most recent video, at the time, The Aesthetic, was anti-non-binary.
In that video there is a character named Justine who defends a version of the theory of gender performativity. And I basically made this video to express the anguish I felt about the pressures of transition to the public. "It is a time of hormones for me and I have already advanced in my thinking. At that time I was very... My behavior must (quirky music) be perfectly feminine at all times or else I am not really a Woman, my self-esteem is based entirely on sleeping with straight men who look like my dad.(buzz) And anyone who knows anything about trans women knows that most of us go through a phase like this at some point.
And some YouTubers never come out of it. there. (tongue pops) But personally, I mean these days, no matter what I wear, (sad violin music) that's when I dream these dreams... (laughs) Dragging "The Danish Girl." Well, what fuck the Danes, I could never stand those kind of people. We all know what I'm talking about. You can tell the whiskey is getting to me because I'm being intolerant of the Danes. These things come out, you know? (cups clinking) When you're honest, you get real when you have a little bit of irish in your system. Did I just put lipstick outside the damn lip liner?
This is all Lily's fault. Lili Elbe, fuck her dreams. The point is that when I was doing the aesthetics, I wasn't even thinking about non-binary people. And people will say that the fact that not all the videos I make reference non-binary people is in itself NB-phobic. Like I said, about one in 10 of my videos are about non-binary identity, but not all of them are and I feel entitled to make some videos that are just about trans women. But still some people on Twitter said that Justine's character is a transmedic. And because she may win the fictional debate in the video, I, Natalie Wynn, am a transmedic.
But here's the thing: the theory of gender performativity, which Justine defends in that video, is conceptually as far away from transmedicalism as possible. Transmedicalism says that trans identity is biological, neurological, hormonal, diagnosable and treatable, while performativity says that gender is gesture, it is expression, it is performance, it is a social phenomenon. Phenomenon, phenomenon, phenomenon, phenomenon. Performativity does not make any reference to gender dysphoria or any type of medical concept. So while transmedicalism is a kind of bioessentialism, performativity is a kind of social constructionism. So these are exactly opposite gender theories. Are you following the class? I am not. (laughs) I'm ready to drink Jameson tea until he dies.
But some trans people felt invalidated by what Justine says in that video. And transmedicalism is another thing that makes them feel invalidated. So they decided that Justine is a transmedicalist and therefore that I am a transmedicalist. And this is literally just a misunderstanding of the media. That is, not plausibly interpreting a video that some people found genuinely emotionally difficult. And much of the negative response to that video is pure emotion. I always hear, "I don't care what you intended," trans people were hurt by that video. "You hurt trans people." But here's the thing: just because you were hurt by the content I made doesn't mean the content is bad or that I'm victimizing you in any way.
I will give an example. I did a stream a couple of years ago with a BDSM and kink activist. We were talking about various issues and we got to DDLG, which is daddy dom, girl, basically when consenting adults play up the age difference and the power dynamics that come with that. And me and these pervert activists were casually discussing what DDLG is and what it isn't, when I noticed someone in the chat was starting to completely freak out. They were writing in all caps like my abuser used DDLG to justify my rape, why are you defending my abuser?
I can't believe you betrayed me like that. Please stop siding with my abuser, please stop, I'm begging you. This was actually really fucking annoying to me because this person was clearly in a lot of pain. They were having a panic attack because they were having a traumatic reaction to this conversation. And I kept telling them to leave the creek and take care of themselves, but they didn't. So I had to block them and then get in touch and make sure they were okay. Was there very real pain? Yes. Was it caused by the content you were streaming?
Yes. But does that mean I did something wrong? No. Is it wrong to talk about perversion in a context in which it is clear that you are going to talk about perversion? No. But when you produce online content that will be seen by thousands or millions of people, there will always be some people who will be harmed by it. So if you want to argue that a tweet or video I made is somehow immoral, I think you need more of an argument than just "People got hurt." Alright, back to the tweet. To this day, people on Twitter quote the line: "But surely an account that starts "and ends with I'm not a man because I don't identify as one is pretty weak." And they claim this is proof that I'm truscum or that I think people have to prove their identity in some way, which is not at all what I was saying in that thread.
What I was saying is that if you are trying to persuade a skeptic that trans identity is valid , simply saying that I'm not a man because I don't identify as one is not a very good argument. Which it isn't. I mean, as far as I know, no one has been convinced by that. That being said, I don't agree now. agree with the mindset I had when I tweeted this. Back then I still deliriously believed that it was possible to rationally explain why trans identity is valid. And I was simply looking for a more persuasive argument than: "This is how I identify, you have to believe me," no more questions".
But I no longer believe there can be any rational justification for gender identity. Which is another reason I'm not a transmedicalist. Transmedicalism tries to be a rational theory about why trans identity is valid, and I don't think it succeeds that way, I don't think anything does. My current opinion on this is that: "I'm not a man because I don't identify as one" is as good an argument, or rather as bad, as any other. You know, some things in life just can't be done. explain rationally. Like love. Why do you love the person you love? Well, because you love them.
You could write a poem about it or some gay shit like that, but you can't give any real argument. And why am I a woman? (upbeat pop music) Because I'm a woman. That's all. I mean, I can describe my experiences and my feelings to help you understand better, but logically I can't prove anything. And I'm so sorry if you can't stand that humanity has been left behind. drifting in an absurd world. That must be really fucking difficult for you. Tell me all about it. (doorbell rings) Next, please. Okay, again we're halfway through the thread and context is missing, but the tweet says: " While I've met 20-year-olds in "boy mode" who say hello, "I'm a trans woman, she-her pronouns." "So I guess by including this tweet in the ContraPoints collage it's problematic, people are implying that I don't think it's valid for someone who presents as a man to identify as a woman and request their pronouns.
Well, that's not true. I was surprised the first time I experienced this, but I think it holds true below. (bell rings) Okay, mid-thread, no context once again. "But now you get into these leftist discord/Facebook groups" and between 20 and 30% identify as some type of trans, "most of them are not conventional binary transsexuals. "That seems to be the future." It's okay, it's true. that many leftist discord servers are like this. But reading this again, I don't like the way the phrase "mainstream binary transsexuals" hits my ears. I can see how it could imply that non-binary identities are somehow novel, which is not true.
In fact, there have been non-binary people for longer than there have been medical transsexuals. So we'll call this a bad tweet. I apologize for tweeting it and I apologize to any non-binary people who felt trivialized. (bell rings) Well, this is the most important one. This tweet has its own article in the damn Guardian. You know, I really wish people would pay less attention to the tweets I spend 30 seconds writing, and a little more attention to the videos I spend, you know, hundreds of hours making (sighs) Anyway, let's look at the tweet. This is the most analyzed paragraph I have ever written and it is very mediocre. "This has happened to me before in hyperwoke spaces. "Like it's me and a group of cis women "and we all have to go in a circle saying 'she/her' "because I'm there. "There's this paradox where I can go "to a sports bar in North Carolina" and be weirded out all night, sure. "But in consciously transinclusive spaces, "I have to explain my pronouns" and watch people wake up. he awkwardly corrected himself "every time they said you guys." I guess it's good for people who use they-they only and want only gender-neutral language, but it comes at the expense of semi-passive transsexuals like Me, and that's fucking hard for us.
So people interpreted this tweet as me being against the practice of sharing pronouns, which I literally am not doing. As if I had been the person who started the pronoun circle many times. The backstory of this tweet is basically that I once got into a situation where I was with a group of cis women and we all had to walk around saying our pronouns. And like a typical trigger (bleep), I tiptoed to Twitter to tiptoe it. But this is the thing: by the end of this thread, I had already convinced myself to move away from the initial frustration I was expressing.
If you know my videos and my voice, then you know that I say: "It's about a minor cost" of semi-passive transsexuals, and that's so fucking hard "for us", it's sarcastic. It is a minor expense. It's actually not very difficult for us, gorg, it's okay. (sighs) But people on Twitter don't watch my videos and they don't get the sarcasm. So people went crazy about this. They were dragging me down and I made the bad decision to try to solve the tweet problem with more tweets, which 100% of the time is like trying to put out a fire with lighter fluid.
So my dumb brain and I made another short thread, trying to clarify what I was saying and defending my right to talk about my own experiences. That didn't make things any better, so in a state of anger and frustration, I tweetedyet another thread and this time I said some really stupid things, including the now infamous line: "Sometimes I feel like the last of the old school trannies." Honestly, I don't know what the fuck he was trying to say. "I don't feel like the last of the old school transsexuals," I don't even know what that means. I guess I basically meant that, offline, I don't have radical aspirations.
I want to go unnoticed, I want to go unnoticed. And that's what I meant by "old school," I want people to assume my pronouns. It's funny because it's so different from the way I am online, where I'm totally cheeky and open. I'm like sexual confession everyone, sexual confession, I have abnormal urges! (siren blaring) It's 1:00 a.m. My neighbors can definitely hear that. They know I have abnormal impulses now. They already knew it. But offline, I'm a low-key pussy, like a total coward. So this was an angry thread and I apologize for tweeting it. (bells) (muffled pop music) (slurping) Back to Buck Angel. (sighs) I'm kind of a conscientious objector to the practice of condemning someone based on a collage of their worst tweets taken out of context, but I definitely have anxiety about this.
I think I'm doing the right thing by not condemning Buck as truscum and evil but, I mean, I could be wrong. What if I'm basically sacrificing myself for the sake of a person who really is as bad as Twitter says? Maybe tomorrow he'll tweet fuck non-binary people and then I'll have fucked him up. (sighs) All of this is incredibly stressful for me. But I do think that by refusing to participate in the anti-Buck Angel campaign, I am erring on the morally safer side of things. Because even if he's a little grumpy, excommunicating him from the trans community probably isn't the best approach to take.
In my experience, when people accept binary but not non-binary trans people, it usually takes a 30-minute conversation to win them over to some level of non-binary acceptance. And I'll give you a couple of examples. The first time I got canceled, like I was totally torn up on Twitter, was in 2017, when I hadn't yet medically transitioned and, at the time, identified as non-binary. And at VidCon 2017, I ran into a YouTuber named June who had made some videos where she basically made fun of the idea of non-binary people. And I posted a photo of brunch I had with June and a few other people, but let's keep them out of it, and people on Twitter totally criticized me for being a liberal bootlicker and best friend to transphobic bullies.
Christ, these damn people, man. This is fucking frustrating. And I'm not going to say that I changed June's mind because I don't know what her thought process was, but I talked to her about nonbinary identity and she removed the anti-nonbinary videos of her. And I don't regret that brunch. (slurping) (glass breaks) (man screams) Example two, a couple of months later, I did a livestream with a conservative trans woman YouTuber named um, what was her name? Sharon, Sharon, was it Sharon? I guess she's just not a very memorable person. Anyway, she had made some videos saying that non-binary identities aren't real.
But I gave her a chance and she surprised me by being super compassionate and thoughtful. By the end of that broadcast, she was almost completely accepting of my identity. Again, the point is not that she is some kind of persuasive genius. If I were a persuasive genius, maybe I could convince myself not to get cancelled. The point is that sometimes people who seem ignorant or hateful simply need to be given a non-judgmental space to learn, grow, and think. And simply condemning them as die-hard fans actually prevents that growth from occurring. And Sharon, despite her totally forgettable personality, turned out to be an incredibly open person.
Later, she made an apology video to non-binary people and I became good friends with her and we worked together on most of the videos I made this year. You know, until she ruined my life by recommending a canceled John Waters imitator. I guess the moral is to never talk to people you disagree with, it will only cause you pain. (soft acoustic music) I think there's something wrong with my hormone dosage, like I'm crying three times a day. Oh, and I can't cum unless there are vibrators in at least three of my holes. It happens like once a month, there has to be a full moon.
Honestly, it only bothers me because it numbs the pain for a few moments. What I'm trying to say is that I really believe in conversation, which means listening to multiple perspectives. I don't want my audience to get all the information about trans people from me and I think it's important to listen to criticism. So I encourage my audience to check out some non-binary YouTubers who criticized me and criticized Buck Angel. For example, check out non-binary YouTuber, Luxanders' video about me and non-binary YouTuber, Korviday's video about Buck Angel. I think YouTube as a platform is better at producing reviews than canceling.
And I think that's because, at least in the vlog format, making a video forces you to face the fact that you are a human being with a face and a name, who can be held accountable for the things you say. But people on Twitter are a different story. And I think it's time we looked at what cancellation really is. I've given you enough context now for you to understand what I'm about to show you, which is what I saw on my timeline every day for almost a month. All of these tweets are after I uploaded Opulence, two months ago, when the Buck Angel scandal first broke.
And now I'm going to hold hands because this is getting ugly. (gong rings) (laughs) "Hey, if any of you still support ContraPoints" after their growth and collaboration "with notable TERF favorite and truscum Buck Angel, "they're no friends of the gender non-conforming , "that do not pass and non-binary trans people." Screw him and screw his damn scam. "I'm absolutely furious right now. "It's weird how I'm 30 and trans and managed to not be a truscum, maybe I'm just some kind of anomaly," or maybe ContraPoints is a scheming, damn kapo" who could use a completely hurt backhand in the mouth. "Since I'm out of Twitter jail for now, "I just want to say screw the ContraPoints, "their sycophantic followers, and all their BreadTube friends" who closed ranks to protect after that she throws “the rest of the trans community under the bus for profit.” “Natalie Wynn is a fucking scammer. “ContraPoints videos are now more style than substance” so that explains why she embraced the TERF ideology so well. "ContraPoints' work with truscum" now definitively demonstrates "that almost everyone who defends ContraPoints" simply hates NB and is also truscum, "legit, we'll start with the following peeps" who continue to follow ContraPoints at this point. "Mark my words almost everyone. "I know there are some who were probably surprised "by this in some way." "As long as you know ContraPoints is truscum, you'll be calm and safe. "Eat shit, Natalie. "For someone who used to identify as gender queer, "we expected more from you. "But I guess when you've got your head so far up your own ass, it's hard to consider others, it's rather disappointing." Oh, that's a good one.
If you're going to drag me, at least be funny. "Fuck Buck Angel, fuck ContraPoints, 'fuck any real tranny' your deception." This is what fans of the ContraPoints hashtag don't understand. "If Natalie refuses to accept that she has to apologize" and continues to profit from it, "it will be our responsibility to "work to remove her from the platform," like every other creator of racist, sexist and bigoted content. "No one has suggested or tried to "cancel her, but the longer "this continues without an apology "and a commitment to be better, the stronger the case becomes for actively working to remove her from the platform." In other words, no one has suggested we cancel it, but we should cancel it, great. "Can everyone finally agree that ContraPoints belongs squarely inside a trash can." Here I am, honey. "ContraPoints collaborating with Angel Buck..." Angel Buck, thank you for letting us all know that you didn't have idea of who he was until Twitter notified you why you should be outraged. "ContraPoints collaborates with Angel Buck, "a trans doctor who once outed a trans person" to try to destroy her, and supports him "because he looks and sounds like a man proper, it's not "a fucking drunk little mistake." This is a big problem. "ContraPoints could literally collaborate with Hitler." (bell rings) We have a comparison with Hitler. "I could literally be collaborating with Hitler today" and you would all say, well, "she's a little flawed, you know?" "Fuck off". "Can Natalie Wynn stop being a coward" and commit to being a trans-med, "it's really exhausting to see this happen every week." Natalie Wynn is a spoiled brat who refuses to take responsibility. "Anyone who supports Natalie Wynn" does not support non-binary people. "Natalie Wynn is a terrible person, oh my god.
Every cis, non-binary person "who thought Natalie Win wasn't transmed now owes me" and every non-binary person $50. “Joe Biden has a better position on “the validity of non-binary gender than ContraPoints.” “My opinion is that ContraPoints really sucks” and I don't like it. "I hate ContraPoints so much, it's unbelievable. "ContraPoints is like we hate some non-binary people!" (laughs) This is a very good impression of me. You're doing great, honey. You're doing great ., very good." Buck Angel apologizes for TERF, "bootlicker and truscum." "Any association with him should be seen as hostile" to the trans community as a whole, "let alone the denial of non-binary existence." That's the line in the sand, folks, where do you stand? "And here we are, buddy," Buck-f*cking-Angel on ContraPoints. "Eat my whole ass!" What what? (laughs) "This is Natalie, Natalie is a transmedicalist," this is Natalie's friend Lindsey, Lindsey is a lefttuber. "Natalie and Lindsey are still friends" because Natalie and Lindsey are both cowards. "Lefttube is a scam." Oh, and they made me do it. the man.
The shadow! "Problems that arose with (mumbles) being" in Contra's new video. "His video about grasses doesn't make sense now. "His video about transtrenders doesn't make sense anymore." You know, if your interpretation of why I chose Buck Angel totally contradicts the videos I spent hundreds of hours making, do you think maybe your interpretation could be wrong? Apparently not. “Her apology is completely void,” it sends a message that she hates non-binary people. “She is reckless with her content. "The positive set came from Buck Angel being" in the new Contra video, "he has $400,000 this month from Patreon." 400,000, this number is completely made up.
It's exponentially wrong. $400,000, $400,000 a month. "How strange, ContraPoints is the leftist PewDiePie. "Personally, I like to characterize her as "Blair's white wolf in leftist sheep's clothing." "Reminder that ContraPoints is a piece of "shit" who still hasn't apologized for using platforms like truscum and is actively taking their side. "Anyway, if you still support ContraPoints, "stay away from me!" poop, I'm ContraPoints" and I can't stop being a transmedicalist "and shit in public huh." (groans) Valid criticism of marginalized people. (laughs) "F*ck ContraPoints, f*ck truscum. "ContraPoints is a truscum. "ContraPoints is a truscum. "ContraPoints is a truscum. (applauding) "ContraPoints is a truscum. "ContraPoints is a truscum.
You know, when you repeat the same damn phrase over and over, you don't need to repeat the same phrase over and over... (bleep) Actually, there's nothing more persuasive, in fact, it could become less persuasive because true things usually only had to be said once. (tongue rolls out) "If you still support ContraPoints, please unfollow me immediately and do not interact with me again." In conclusion, fuck Natalie. Wynn "and fuck anything he has to say." (sighs) (somber acoustic music) Okay, let's get started. That was just a sample of hundreds and hundreds of tweets. And all of this, let me remind you, is a 10-second voice-over clip in a 48-minute video on a completely unrelated topic.
How do you work, how do you create, when such a trivial decision can become the main event for weeks of your life? And the tweets are just the beginning. After that there are the Reddit threads and the YouTube comments AND the Facebook speech AND the Medium posts and the Newsweek article. Opulence is a video that Theryn and I spent hundreds of hours carefully reconstructing. I think it's my best video. And to have the response completely overwhelmed by one small casting decision is heartbreaking and infuriating to me. And it has left me with much less energy to create new things.
But here's the thing, people on Twitter saying bad things about me isn't the worst, not even close. Like she was a politically opinionated trans woman who publicly transitioned while creating anti-fascist content on a notoriously right-wing platform. (laughs) Sweaty, I'm so used to reading bad things aboutme online that most of you probably can't even imagine how used to it I am. And the way you psychologically survive in that situation is that you block people on platforms who harass you and don't pay attention to them. But there are some things you can't block. And an important one is that you can't stop people from chasing your friends and colleagues.
And that's exactly what people did to me at the height of the Buck Angel incident. Lindsay Ellis, Philosophy Tube's Olly and Hbomberguy were inundated with tweets demanding they publicly disown me, a person they've all been friends with for years or more. In response to demands that she apologize, Lindsay issued a statement in which she said: "I was not involved in Opulence." My name was mentioned in it, "but I was not involved in the production." So, regarding I apologize calls, "I have to ask, apologize for what?" There is only one logical response: "Apologize for being Natalie's friend." And here is a response to her statement. "I don't need to consider you my damn friend" to disagree with beliefs you knowingly request "or allow on your platform." "Same with Contra, it just means you're willing to "let horrible ideas fester." "For financial gain, which is fine, but it makes you a piece of shit." And here's a comment at Hbomberguy. "I doubt you would read this," but could you tell us what you think about "that whole situation so we at least know" that you're on our side? "We don't want to have to cancel them all" and cause BreadTube to come in. a schism "as a result of this, thanks." Nice YouTube channel you have (sad violin music), mate.
It would be a shame if someone canceled it. (laughs) How fucking sinister. Philosophy Tube's Olly issued his own statement affirming his support for non-binary people, but added: "Sadly I have also been harassed, threatened, deceived, speculated about my private life and insulted loved ones, while acknowledging the feelings of those who kindly raised "their concerns in a polite manner." , "I do not wish to legitimize the large number of people" who use their pain as a cover "for unacceptable abusive and toxic behavior." And here are some responses to Olly "As a non-binary fan of yours, I'm disappointed by this lack of apology." Again, what exactly are you supposed to apologize for?
Have you ever associated with me? "Things we're going to criticize Olly Philosophy Tube for," being a hypocritical, whiny piece of shit, "refusing to listen to trans people," actively, openly, and repeatedly mocking "trans people he refuses to listen to." hear". "Thanks for the apology, now stop supporting ContraPoints." Now keep in mind that what these Twitter people are doing is demanding that cis people publicly condemn a trans woman for loosely associating with another trans person. Does anyone else find this wildly inappropriate? Even Mia Mulder, a trans woman who has never publicly associated with me, was attacked because she tweeted a heart to Olly, you know, after he made the post talking about being cheated on and threatened.
And just for that reason, they put her on her enemies list. "I'm sad to say that Mia is on the list of people who have supported ContraPoints as she continued to be a bigoted piece of shit." To which Mia responds: "Standing on ContraPoints, Jesus Christ. "No matter what I do, people call me" and I'm not even related to the video "and I don't even know Natalie!" The chain of guilt by association it's so long and twisty I can barely follow it. So they go after Mia, (quirky, mysterious music) who tweeted a heart to Olly, who didn't condemn me for my Buck Angel dub. who was retweeted by a TERF.
We're just It's a couple of degrees of separation left before every person alive on planet Earth is wiped out by the Angel Buck situation. And several colleagues of mine, by the way, Lindsay, Harry, Olly, all took a financial hit from this. All of them They lost some Patreon support. One of Lindsay's former supporters even demanded a lifetime refund of $38 saying, "Dear Lindsay, I'm sorry to be pushy, "but I'm really going to "Give money to your operation under the guise of "that "wouldn't do anything morally objectionable" and supporting ContraPoints and blaming us "for disagreeing with that is, "in my opinion, amoral. "Please answer." I hope I sent it to you in a few cents.
Look, I'm very grateful to my colleagues for walking me through all of this, but I'm also aware that I'm becoming a burden to anyone who comes into contact with me. I have no collaborators in this video. I'm working on this totally alone because I'm aware of how radioactive I am right now and I don't want to contaminate anyone else. During the height of this most recent cancellation, a creator I admire texted me to say, "I cut the shoutout to you in my last video" because I was nervous about drawing the ire of your detractors, "who are getting "It's really scary. "But I wouldn't want you to think I'm disavowing you, no matter how many people ask me to." Jesus Christ The situation here is that any cis person who defends me, or even associates with me in any way, will be labeled transphobic.
Any binary trans person who associates with me will be branded as an NB-phobe. And any non-binary person who associates with me will be excluded from their own community. That's why on the internet I find myself increasingly alone. I'm isolated by harassment. And that is ultimately the point, to exile myself from my community, any community. And it's all because I refuse to participate in doing exactly that to Buck Angel. My experiences have made me so disillusioned with the idea that calls on social media can lead to any kind of justice, which I have essentially sworn off. There is a fairly prominent figure in left-wing politics who I could absolutely label Me Too, but I never will because I have no faith left in the process of denouncing the vigilante justice.
And I'm not saying that I'm totally against Me-Tooing people, because I think that, in some cases, it's totally brave and admirable. But in my case, I feel like I know too much about the dark side of social media shaming to want to engage in it again. You know, I feel like the story would end up out of my control, warped and twisted in all kinds of unpredictable ways. He would end up going after me and the person he would accuse, something that, in this case, honestly, neither of us deserve. So I'm just not willing to take that risk, except maybe in some very extreme situation that just isn't, it's not worth it.
And likewise, when a mob is at my door demanding that I condemn Buck Angel to save me from cancellation, no! I'm just not going to do that. I am a conscientious objector. I'm willing to go to Twitter jail for this. Take me away, boys. (somber piano music) (moans) If there's one thing I can't stand, it's BreadTube videos. "Part 8 and a half, 'The Fuck Your Ass Philosophy.' (groans) I've done this to YouTube and I'm sorry. So look, canceling isn't criticism. It's not holding anyone accountable. It's an attack. to a human being. In this video I used the word "cancel" more or less synonymously with what feminist Jo Freeman, author of the "Bitch Manifesto," calls trashing.
And I have linked her essay, Trashing.: The Dark Side of sisterhood, in the description. It was originally published in Ms Magazine in 1976, but it's a perfect description of what's happening on trans Twitter today. "It's not disagreement, it's not conflict," it's not opposition. "These are perfectly ordinary phenomena that, "when practiced mutually, honestly and not excessively, "are necessary to maintain a healthy and active organism" or organization. "Littering is a particularly vicious form of defamation that amounts to psychological rape." It is manipulative, dishonest and excessive. "Occasionally it is disguised with the rhetoric of honest conflict, or covered up by denying "that any disapproval exists." "But it is not done to expose disagreements" or resolve differences. "It is done to belittle and destroy. "Whatever the methods used, destruction implies "a violation of one's integrity," a declaration of one's worthlessness "and a contestation of one's motives." Indeed, what is attacks are not one's actions. , "or the ideas of oneself, but oneself." And that is what distinguishes criticism, bullying or abuse from criticism or accountability.
Criticism attacks your actions or beliefs. But when people cancel me, they don't mention my problematic tweets because they want me to revise my beliefs. No, what they are doing is accumulating evidence to support the case they have decided to make that I am a horrible person who should be avoided. The only sense in which I am, as they like to say, the new Blair White, is that I think I have now taken Vanessa's crown as the most hated transsexual on transsexual Twitter. (Laughs) Vanessa, I'm trying to fight you. Fight me, damn it. You cannot have a unilateral dispute.
I don't want to be one of those trans YouTubers who drags other trans people all day and never responds. That would be really pathetic. The new Laci Green, that's the other one. The newest in a series of women you have decided to treat as supervillains. Maybe reflect a little on that habit, eh? And supervillain is the right word, like I'm the bad guy. Duh, I'm the enemy. And what do you do with the enemy? Well, you deny, you deny, you deplatform and you destroy. As that tweet put it: "That's the line in the sand, folks, where are you?" you're on the wrong side of the line, sweaty, and now you two are the enemy.
Cancel cultural trope seven, dualism. Certain ancient religions teach their followers to understand the cosmos as a struggle between light and darkness, good and darkness. evil. And cancel culture does much the same thing. It's binary thinking, people are good or they are bad. And to add to that essentialism, if a person says or does something bad, we should interpret that as "The mask slips," as a momentary glimpse of their essential evil. And anyone who wants to remain good should be willing to publicly condemn anyone. that the community has decided it's bad. There's really something dystopian about this, you have to be willing to point fingers." other people to prove their own innocence."That's the line in the sand, folks, where do you stand?" In the most extreme version of this, all bad people are equally bad.
So collaborating with truscum means you can be a truscum too. And of course, being a truscum is equivalent to being a TERF, and on trans Twitter, it's a known fact that TERFs are Nazis. And this implies that Nazis, TERFs, truscum, people who associate with truscum, people who do not condemn people who associate with truscum, people who offer emotional support to people who do not condemn People who associate with truscum, all of them must be treated. in the same way. "Remove her like every other creator of racist, sexist, and bigoted content. "A complete blow in the mouth." I recently read a book by Sarah Schulman titled "Conflict Is Not Abuse: Exaggerating the Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty to Basically, Schulman's argument is that, in various contexts, from romantic relationships to community infighting to international politics, exaggeration of harm is used as a justification for cruelty and escalation of conflict.
So, for example, and This is my example, not Schulman's, TERFs focus on the exaggerated danger that trans women supposedly pose to cis women. And in a very classic exaggeration of the harm, they will describe everything they don't like as rape. Let them trans women entering women's spaces is rape. The existence of trans women, Janice Raymond, is rape. And then they use that exaggerated harm as justification to retaliate against them, deceive them, harass them and avoid them. Well, the same type of logic is used to justify abusive behavior within the trans community. Dualistic thinking, essentialism, pseudomoralism. All of this allows people on Twitter to treat me in an obviously abusive way, while feeling like they are doing the right thing because they are attacking the enemy.
And I realize that some people will say that I am the one exaggerating the damage to avoid criticism. Well, look, you've seen the tweets, the angry demands for me to be exiled, the threats and orders to my colleagues, the attempts to isolate me from my community, the attacks not on my actions but on who I am. like a person. There's really nothing ambiguous about this, it's just abuse. But I don't think it's an abuse for the people who do it. They feel like they're throwing punches because I'm a celebrity with a platform and a lot of followers on Twitter.
And it's true that I have more power than any of them individually. But as a collective, they have a terrifying power that they don't seem to be aware of as individuals. As Jon Ronson, author of a great book on public shaming, put it: "I guess when shaming happens" like when airplane attacks are remotely administeredunmanned, no one needs to "think about how fierce our collective power could be." "I feel responsible for the avalanche." And this is how these situations arise in which hundreds of people incessantly beat someone who has already been knocked to the ground, and all the time they feel as if they are beating.
You know, there's actually a kind of power in security and anonymity and darkness. And there are a lot of ways that being a public figure makes you really vulnerable. For example, you are more vulnerable to doxxing, stalking, and harassment on a scale that most people probably can't even imagine. You are vulnerable to having your reputation permanently degraded in a way that people who post anonymously or pseudonymously are virtually invulnerable to. And many of the people who attack me do not stop to reflect on themselves, they do not take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. They are simply venting their unfiltered anger.
But in response to these attacks, I, as a powerful person with a platform, cannot react like a human being. I'm not allowed to get angry. I'm not allowed to show pain. I'm not allowed to get defensive, I'm not allowed to lash out. All I can do is remain completely numb inside as I frantically try to calculate the ideal public relations response that will pay due deference to the valid concerns of these poor marginalized people, while ignoring the tsunami of verbal abuse that is sweeping over. about me. People on Twitter don't try to persuade me like I'm a human being.
They give me orders, they tell me what to believe, they demand that I say exactly what they want me to say, or else. It is extremely objectifying. They don't treat me like a person with my own opinions and feelings. They treat me like this kind of moral commodity to be consumed or denounced. And all of this is terribly ironic because of the contradictory demand that creators be authentic at all times. One thing that always frustrates me about these situations is that there is a demand that you apologize instantly. And there is a perception that a quick apology is more sincere than a delayed one.
But, in fact, the opposite is true. It takes more than a couple of hours to calm down, lower your defenses, listen, learn, grow, seriously reflect on what you may have done or said that was wrong. That can take days, weeks or months. I had to do my October AMA stream for Patreon, and at the beginning of the stream, I gave my half-formed emotional reaction to the Buck Angel situation. And some traitor on my Patreon (scoffs) transcribed that part of the broadcast and spread it on Twitter, only to instigate another round of cancellations. You have no opportunity to think or feel.
And because supposedly the best thing to do from a public relations perspective is to apologize immediately, cancellation produces a lot of insincere apologies from people who, in fact, have learned nothing. And I think most people are aware of that. In fact, I think the very demand for an apology is often insincere. If they cancel it, instead of criticizing it, the line has been drawn in the sand. You and all your relatives have been declared enemies. Apologize to Twitter. At this point, I can also apologize to 4chan. Dear 4chan, (upbeat music) I'm so sorry for calling you skinny-wristed otaku weasels who like to look at pictures of little girls.
I've been trying to educate myself and learn from my mistakes, and now I realize that's only 70% of you. Once you cancel it (sad piano music), you really won't be able to do it right. If you apologize, the apology will be declared a manipulative attempt to save face. And in fact, it will be used as further proof of what a Machiavellian psychopath you really are. If you try to explain or defend yourself, I mean, first of all, you will almost certainly go deeper. But even if you are articulate and correct, you will still be seen as unable to accept criticism and as ignoring the pain of marginalized people.
And if you simply remain silent, you will be seen as a coward running away from responsibility, although there are many reasons why you could remain silent. Maybe you are taking a few days away from social media to try to calm down and think clearly. Or maybe you're so overwhelmed by the bullying that you've simply shut down. (upbeat trumpet music) Let's make drinks. Who wants to do a shot with me? Do you want to have a drink with me? Let's take a shot. (cork popping) The tequila shot is my favorite, I like the whole ritual of salt, tequila and lime.
It's just very satisfying for me. That's the end of that bottle, okay. Let us begin. (slurping) You feel warm right away, you know that feeling that's like oh hey, how are you, happiness? Hey, how are you? Do you feel that life is worth living? It is a good moment. You say, oh, this is good, this is going to be good. I can get over this. This is how it starts, you have to be careful with that. Look, I really don't like to present myself as a victim. That's not really a narrative I relate to. But to communicate the effect that cancellation has, I feel I must say something about pain.
Much of the happiness one could expect from success has been taken away from me by this constant fury that surrounds me. Try to think about this rationally. I am Libra Sun Pisces Moon. (blinking) Getting canceled is hell for me. I want to please everyone. And I'm starting to think I might be in the wrong career for that. (laughs) In a way, leftist Twitter finally did what 4chan, Nazis, stalkers, and TERFs have been trying and failing to do to me for years. They have made Twitter a platform so hostile to my existence that I have decided to leave it forever.
And they demoralized me to the point that I could barely get out of bed for a month. And I know (sad violin music) that sounds very melodramatic, but I'm just trying to be honest with you about how melodramatic I am. I find it difficult to convince people of the severity of the pain that cancellation causes because I think it's hard to imagine if you haven't been through it yourself. And I don't know a more succinct way to convey it to you than by telling you that, over the last few years, I've been harassed by Nazis, I've been harassed by TERFs, I've been harassed, I've been harassed.
They have deceived me, they have threatened me, they have sexually assaulted me. And the pain of being cancelled, of being totally trashed by other trans people online for years has been harder for me to deal with than everything else combined. Jo Freeman actually describes how I feel better than I think I can describe it myself. "I was one of the first in the country, "perhaps the first in Chicago, "in which my character, my commitment and my very person were attacked in such a way by the women of the Movement "that they left me destroyed and in little pieces." unable to function. "It took me years to recover and, even today, "the wounds have not fully healed. "This attack is achieved by making you feel "that your own existence is the enemy of the movement," "and that nothing can change this unless that you cease to exist." "These feelings are reinforced when you are isolated" from your friends, as they become convinced "that their association with you is equally hostile" to the movement and to themselves. "Any support for you will contaminate them. "In the end, all your colleagues join "a chorus of condemnation that cannot be silenced," and reduce you to a mere parody "of your former self." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
Now, as it happens, I'm going to survive this because I've deliberately built a support network that will be there for me regardless of what trans communities online say, and I've done it very deliberately because at the beginning of my transition, back in 2017 , I relied heavily on The Leftist Online Trans Community for all kinds of emotional support. You know, when you're at the beginning of the transition, I mean, it just sucks. You feel like everyone is against you. And I talked about this a little bit in my last video, feeling like a freak show walking down the street.
And even if you're lucky enough to have a supportive family, it will usually take a while for them to recover. At first they don't understand, they say They tell you things like "Aren't you worried that you'll regret this?" And they struggle with your name and pronouns, which is understandable, but at the same time, it makes you feel like you're not being seen. for who you are. Therefore, you need a kind of second family that understands how you feel and is happy with your transition, and validates your gender. And during the first few months of my transition, I found that in this world of online transgender leftism.
Well, that didn't last long because, well, I was two months into my transition when I first did an interview with the Journal Is Jesse Singal, and then I agreed to do a debate with Theryn and Vanessa. That's a long story, but in short, I associated with a number of people that trans Twitter considers the enemy. And trans Twitter broke me up about this and completely broke my heart because I was really relying on, basically, emotional support from strangers online. Which seems really stupid in retrospect. And after they turned against me I decided, first, that I would never depend on this group of people again and, second, that I was going to have to find acceptance elsewhere.
And in retrospect, I think this may have actually been good for me in an indirect sense because I was kicked out of the safe space and I let go of that mindset. And so, basically, I was thrown into the deep end of reality and forced to sink or swim. And I don't know if my transition or my channel would be where it is today if it hadn't been for that trial by fire. Are we swimming through fire or are we mixing metaphors? The point is that I am more armored against cancellation than I was two years ago.
And the reason is that I have acquired a certain level of privilege, security and independence from any community. So if a community cancels on me, I still have somewhere else to go. The people most vulnerable to cancel culture are not white comedians, they are not James Charles, they are not me, they are marginalized people who feel like they have nowhere to go when they are rejected by their community. That means struggling trans people with a few hundred Twitter followers, it means lots of sex workers, it means people who are totally dependent on activist circles for emotional and material support.
I will quote Jo Freeman once again. "I had survived my youth because I had never given anyone or any group the right to judge me. "I had reserved that right for myself. "But the movement had seduced me "by its sweet promise of brotherhood." It was intended to provide a refuge from "the ravages of a sexist society", a place where one would be understood. "It was my very need for feminism and feminists" that made me vulnerable. "I gave the movement the right to judge me" because I trusted it. "And when he deemed me worthless, I accepted that judgment." There's a really irritating point that people on the left like to say, "Well," canceling doesn't really end anyone's career. "Cancelled people usually get a new job or keep their platform, so I guess it's not so bad, huh?" I think people say this because they are trying to mitigate any guilt they may feel about how they are being treated. "Because it's a really stupid argument.
There are a lot of things that don't end your life and are still terrible. But there are also cases where the cancellation has ended someone's life. On December 5, 2017, a porn star called August Ames She committed suicide by hanging herself in a public park after being canceled on Twitter for a homophobic tweet. On December 3, she tweeted: "Whatever artist replaces me tomorrow" for Erotica who shot a gay guy." p*rn, just to let you know. "BS is all I can say," he shrugs. "Agents really don't care who they represent? "LA Direct, I do my homework for my body." So I've never worked in p*rn, so I can't really say what the norms are around women. working with men who have done gay porn.
But the tweet certainly sounds homophobic to me and that seems to be the consensus of other industry people on Twitter. So Twitter did its thing, people in August's community called her homophobic and lashed out at her. "And as always happens, many passersby threw tomatoes at the woman in the stocks. Over the next few days, August tweeted several more times going over the usual stages you go through when you're being canceled. First, he defended himself. He stated that most other women in the industry feel the same way she does. She then said she's bisexual and therefore couldn't be homophobic.
Then she said okay, I guess I'll be fake. "And not have opinions then. She then started lamenting how bad Twitter is and became very defensive about her right to choose who to have sex with, and she walked away from the people who were attacking her. And then in her last tweet, she simply said, "Fuck everyone." And that night she went to the park and committed suicide. All of this is so familiar to me that I feel like I can relive each stage of this emotional process with her. There's that first moment when you realize the outrage is starting and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach, and then the anger, the feeling of incomprehension, and then the bargaining, the fear, and finally the shame and the desperation.
And here is theissue: I totally agree with your critics that your tweet was bad. Of course she has the right to say no for any reason, but she expressed it publicly in a homophobic way. But she was still a person who deserves to live. And I think there has to be a better way to deal with these situations than just tearing someone down until they commit suicide. And I know it's never as simple as Twitter making her kill herself, there's always other things going on in the background. But what I mean is that canceling is more dangerous for marginalized people because marginalized people generally have more things going on in the background.
John Watson did an investigative podcast about her death and explains how she was sexually abused when she was a child and was abandoned by her father. She lived with a boyfriend from whom she was a little emotionally distant. And a few weeks earlier she had filmed a scene with a guy who was unnecessarily rough and mean and abusive to her, so she was a little traumatized by that and so she was a little nervous and really defensive about who he worked with when she was tweeting. Then the backlash hit, and since she had no other support network, she probably felt like the only community that had turned against her.
And that's a really painful feeling. She must have felt very slighted. That's how I've been feeling for the past two months. I feel despised and weighed down. And I can imagine how a person who feels this way might have a couple of impulsive hours in which she thinks her best option is suicide. I mean, I can more than imagine it because I've been there myself. And I'm still here, because in those moments I have been with good friends who took care of me. And by friends I mean Xanax. (laughs) (beating) But I've also survived because there are a lot of people on the Internet who would be very entertained if she killed me and I simply refuse to give them the satisfaction.
Oh no, bitch, I intend to live as long as possible out of pure spite. I mean, who needs a guardian angel when you can spend Christmas after Christmas in the fumes of utter contempt? What I'm really trying to say is Merry Christmas, you fucking morons! ("Listen! The herald angels sing") (crashes) ♪ Oh holy night, the stars are shining brightly ♪ ♪ Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow ♪ I need to get my back Lesbian pliers again. (cork pops) ("Silent Night") Have a happy new year, gorg. How am I going to get this bathtub out of my apartment?
Does anyone in Baltimore want a bathtub? Leave a comment if you want a bathtub. Alright, I need to take a deep breath because, let's be honest, I'm one step away from attacking my own Twitter followers with an umbrella. I'm one step away from making a fuss and making a suit out of women's skin. Just kidding, I would never do that. However, on a bad skin day, I have seriously considered it. Oh, I'll be fine. I have to sober up anyway because I'm having more plastic surgery in a couple of days. And plastic surgery is the only thing keeping me together right now. (laughs) YouTubing, this is a healthy profession, it's great!
If someone wants my work, let them step forward. All you have to do is create informative and entertaining videos on extremely controversial topics and, of course, represent the full range of experiences on the LGBTQIAA-plus spectrum and be perfectly woke and irreverently funny. Well, go ahead, I'm waiting to be entertained. Feed me mother. Oh, don't mind me, I'll sit down and pour another glass of wine. Oh, and of course, I will obsessively examine every word you say for any hint of moral transgression, as well as criticize your appearance, you third-rate transvestite. Zero out of 10, get off my stage.
You successfully spread it everywhere, okay. (bell rings) (sighs) I still want to talk about why people cancel and the effect it's having, but it looks like there's going to have to be a part two, gorg, because I've reached my limit. So why don't we cut all our losses and try again in 2020? I realize that people on Twitter aren't actually going to watch this video, they're just going to make fun of the title and how long it is, which is fair, but they are the ones whose accusations against me are so numerous and complicated. , a feature film was needed to answer.
But yeah, they'll look at the title and transcribe quotes out of context and say: I'm a fascist, I'm a TERF, I'm a truscum, I'm the new Blaire White. I'm the new Laci Green. I'm a cis bootlicker, I'm an enlightened centrist. I'm shit Lib, I'm alt-right. I'm a heartless scammer who collects millions of dollars for the bodies of dead trans women. "Take off your mask, ouch, this is not the boss." "Friendly reminder that this is not a good look." "Maybe you're not a cis bootlicker? Disappointing." But they're already saying all those things so I'm vaccinated. Look, their mistake was to completely break my spirit, they should have left a little piece intact.
But it's good, it's good, it's good, because basically my survival from here on out depends on my ability to not care at all what people say about me online. So here's to not giving a damn. (Auld Lang Syne) - Happy New Year everyone! - This is almost a Norma Desmond cosplay. Which is good, because I'm not going to age gracefully and now it's better to get into character. YouTube stars never die. (tongue explodes)
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