Tuesday, September 20, 2011

gaslighting vs. gasbagging, and revising the past

coffeeandink: More on #YesGayYA:
Another thing that contributes to the issue: gaslighting. Gaslighting makes the people who are complaining feel crazy, or discredits them in the eyes of other parties: it prevents fixing the problem because it doesn't admit that a problem exists. Gaslighting explains away any example of the problem (whether logically or not), and explaining away one example is taken to explain away all of them. An example is considered discredited if the complainant can't provide irrefutable documentary evidence of the issue, which is seen as the same thing as disproving the issue --or (this one is my favorite)--they can provide documentary evidence, but if it is presented in full gaslighters will find it too confusing to parse, and if it's presented in brief gaslighters will find it too simplified or subjective to credit.
I love, in the way I love cult logic, the notion that when your concepts don't gibe with reality, you should assume people are trying to trick you. The reason gaslighting can work is that sane people first consider the possibility they're mad. Only mad people begin with the assumption that gaslighters are at work.

deepad | In which I am derailing and contrary and also unsupportive of the Market:
Some of you may remember an extended online 'discussion' we had in 2009 regarding the failure of white writers to adequately represent the chromatic characters that they thought they were portraying so ably.
A discussion about white writers writing folks of other hues would be interesting. To make this personal, I'm rather proud that the FSFwiki says of me, "His work features strong women characters and people of color." Now, are they wrong? Could be. I wrestled for a while with the question of whether Ethorne in Dogland is a magical negro; I concluded that he's not. (I won't spoiler the book with the reason here, but if anyone asks, I'll put it in the comments.) All of the writers attacked in Racefail 09 have written "chromatic characters." But where's the discussion of how well or how poorly they wrote? The only "discussion" was about how people who disagree with neoliberal antiracists are racists. If I missed the links to the discussion Deepad mentions, please, share them.