Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On EGS Without Baskets


                Today I’d like to talk a little about something that I don’t like to talk about at all: my ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Specifically, I’d like to talk about why I don’t talk about them.

                There’s really no good way to say this, but I am more than my gender. I am more than my race. Sexual orientation is part of who I am, but it is not all of who I am.  I have an ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation in real life, and I am comfortable with them. But they are incidental. They’re things that exist, not things that I particularly care about.

                When I don’t talk about my EGS, what I’m trying to avoid is being boxed in and defined by things that I do not consider very important. “You’re just saying that because you’re Gay.” “You’re just saying that because you’re White.” “You wouldn’t think that if you were a Man.” If I say “I am a Gay White Woman,” then folks on all sides will line up to tell me what Gay White Women should think, do think, can only think. And that’s bullshit.

                Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for people who speak up and talk about their EGS and how it affects them. Those are voices that we need to hear. We need gender studies, ethnic studies, gay studies, so on, and ad infinitum. Those are things I love to read about – but I don’t want to get shuffled off to an intellectual ghetto by revealing that information about myself.

                It’s unfortunate, but revealing my EGS would almost certainly ghettoize my content. I would be expected to talk about “X issues” or to say that “as a X, I…” Mind, it could also potentially boost my site traffic – there are plenty of platforms actively looking for people like me as alternative voices. But I am more than the sum of my EGS.

                There are exceptions, of course; issues where my EGS does influence my positions. Growing up as a multi-ethnic in the South greatly informs my position on what racism is and isn’t. It’s why I’m fascinated with the subject and why I’ve read so much White Supremacist literature. I know what it is like to literally be discriminated against for nothing more than the color of your skin.

                I don’t talk about this as much, but I am also a Christian. This doesn’t do much to change my opinion on Hegel’s stages of history or video games, so I don’t bring it up much. Insisting that “such and such is the truth because God said so” doesn’t go very far as an argument unless you’re arguing with co-religionists. I’m a video game blogger who happens to be a Christian, not a Christian Video Game Blogger™.

                But as much as I do not want to end up in the Christian blog ghetto, it is a much more important part of my identity than EGS. I will bring it up when it’s relevant, and will not when it is not.

                That’s about it. I want people to consider my ideas, not my relative oppression level. I want to be free of my EGS, not defined by it. I’m interested in the discussion, not the exact demographic makeup of the discussers. No one has the right to speak for me, but me.

                If you do talk about your EGS, good! I look forward to reading about it. But please, don’t expect me to do the same.


  1. I think this is the beauty of the internet in its current form. For all its cons, the anonymity it provides is quite a useful tool, both for creating those coveted safe spaces that many people talk about(after all there's no bigger safety than voicing an opinion and no-one knowing who you really are) and for the circulation of ideas.

  2. The impulse to reduce everyone to a series of categories is fundamentally totalitarian. A human has worth as a human -- not as a member of a group. This was the great innovation of Western civilization and Christianity.

    It's sometimes a hard row to hoe: many people prefer to get their worth and their virtue by simply belonging to a group. Put the right sticker on your Prius and you're instantly a Good and Smart Person. It's seductively easy.

    But it's also a time-tested tool of tyranny. Divide and rule. Persuade everyone that their group is oppressed by all those other groups, and only The Party can save them.

    It's rare nowadays to find someone who refuses to get into a nice comforting warm basket. Good for you, Rev!

  3. Yes, you are somewhat correct in leaving religion out of debate, but morality is another matter. If you are serious about this thing called morality, then you must have major denial or selective amnesia to overlook the ills of the Left. Abortion would be the first thing that would make me keep as much distance from feminists and progressives.

    1. Abortion is one of my Stated Exemptions to the Leftist mainstream. But even there, it's as much for logical/scientific reasons as religious.

      Claiming the fetus is "just" part of the mother's body is illogical. A zygote, unlike a sperm cell or egg, has a full set of self-replicating human DNA. That full set of self-replicating human DNA constitutes a separate human body from that of the mother. Therefore, while the fetus is utterly dependent on the mother's body, it cannot be said to be part of it.

      As I'm sure we'll all be seeing in mainstream debate soon, a few on the Left are starting to make increasingly public statements to the effect that they would be okay with allowing post-birth abortion, ie killing fully born infants. The argument is that because infants (in extreme cases, toddlers) are not yet self-aware, killing them is not murder.

      In my opinion, if we're going to stick to the scientifically verifiable, all we can say for sure is that an individual human being is defined by a full set of self-replicating human DNA. Individual full sets of self-replicating human DNA (that is to say, individual humans) either have rights or they do not have rights. Defining a human being as a fully sentient set of self-replicating DNA is clearly a case of non-scientifically verifiable philosophizing. What is consciousness anyway? We can't say with scientific certainty.

      Do I personally find abortion to be an abomination? Yes. But that's not why I oppose it politically. I oppose it politically because we must have a scientific definition of "an individual human life" to move forward. Saying that life begins and birth or self-awareness is sophistry.

  4. On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

    But they'll shed a lot of ink trying to determine if you're a puppy.

  5. Replies
    1. Hey, me again.

      It is kind of like how SFDebris describes the difference between how Captain Sisko was written for DS9 vs how Captain Janeway was written for Voyager. Sisko was written as Captain who happened to be black, and that fact wouldn't enter the story unless it was somehow pertinent to it. Janeway, however, was written as the woman Captain. The woman Captain who had to always be right, even when it didn't make any sense at all.

  6. I see you grok the logic behind #NotYourShield
    Identity politics has been a noxious influence on politics and public discourse for as long as I've been alive. One is expected to hold a certain set of interests and opinions based on various parameters of identity, and if not, then accused of faking that identity for nefarious purposes. I don't blame you for wanting no part of that.

    BTW, I'm one of those who found your blog after Vox Day linked to it. I haven't read much yet, but what I have seen is interesting and good fuel for conversation. I hope you keep doing what you're doing.

    - Scholar-at-Arms

  7. Heh. So, if the dwarves insist on staying in the stable, you're not going to give them grief. You just refuse to be trapped in the same box.


    1. I'm glad that there are people willing to talk about it. I support them and read their work with interest. I just have absolutely zero desire in writing it myself.