Apr 142010

HNT Wicked Wednesday pic is one post down……

I have a lot of social issues and flaws (to the point that I have been asked once or twice if I have Asperger’s, lol) and I do or say things that come out wrong. As my position in the community as creator/editor of e[lust], I also too often censor myself and try to remain neutral.

Combine those two things, and the result is a huge infraction of friendship.

Recently Roland posted again about one of his favorite subjects to rant about….Entitlement and Privilege. My eyes glaze over anymore, and I have a personal policy of not engaging in fights in comments. Why?

1. The person starting the debate/rant/diatribe is 9 times out of 10 a stubborn mule. They will not listen to anything other than agreements. They will continue to counter your arguments, facts and opinions until they are blue in the face. I have seen others do it without hesitation and guess what happens? The arguer is left PISSED and rabid-eyed, frothing at the mouth while the one who started it is calmly chuckling to himself.

2. As I said up there, because of e[lust] I try to bite my tongue too much. When I started it, I knew that I had friendships in the community that put be definitively on one side of the room, so to speak. Just because I am friends with this group and against that clique, though, didn’t mean that I wanted to alienate anyone from participating in e[lust]. I had visions of fostering a community-wide thing where gang lines got blurred. Holy fuck, you can stop laughing at my pacifist ass now, really. Ok, seriously, stop laughing at me. Are you done yet?

Even though part of his rant was about a person I care about dearly, Kyle, I commented on the post but held my tongue on my feelings. Roxy, in true hell-hath-no-fury fashion, took me to task about it, ripping me to shreds on her blog. Utter itty bitty shreds. Her words are vicious, and meant to hurt (unlike my actions of silence, which wasn’t meant to hurt). But I put myself in her shoes, in Kyle’s shoes, and I have no argument. She’s right. She’s 100% right and I’m unhappy with myself for my need of neutrality.

Part of what was said on Roland’s post:

The usually brilliant Butchtastic Kyle wrote a blog post about his humiliating experiences at the hands of the TSA agents at the airport. Normally, I would think this would be a topic to break the beers out for, since I too have had some head-spinning experiences with security dudes before and love to compare notes.

However, here’s the rub; Butchtastic Kyle was whining – and it’s fair to call it exactly that – about the inappropriate search he received for going through airport security packing a silicon cock.

Yep, weeks after the dude in Detroit tried to blow up an airliner with explosives hidden in his underpants, Butchtastic Kyle thinks it’s in somehow appropriate to march through security with six inches of silicon stuffed in exactly the same place – his briefs; and then gets pissy about the reception he got (both from security and in the comments on his blog, including mine.)


So my words, that I shouldn’t have held:

You’re wrong. You are flat-out wrong. You missed the entire point of the post, of the incident he recalled, his words. Did you even really read it? You, a white hetero cis-male, couldn’t ever possibly put yourself in Kyle’s shoes and understand how the TSA’s treatment felt. The TSA had every right to pull him aside and do a search. That part I will not deny and I don’t think Kyle was, either. It was the utter disrespect and disdain they served up to him. The lack of privacy and humiliation. NO ONE deserves that shit from ANY ONE. Period. If you suffered the indignation of a public humiliation I’d bet all my pretty undies that you’d be up in arms and fricasseeing the offenders.

After Britni attempted to school him in comments he replied to her “You seem to always assume that your perspective is the only correct one, and that anybody who disagrees with you is somehow not entitled to have an independent opinion of their own.”




He also said in comments “Some people in this community are aware that I was actually the subject of a documentary in the UK on a certain form of discrimination!” Then pray tell, how HOW can you say Kyle was WHINING? How would you react if one of us wrote up a ranty blog post saying how you were coming off as a whiny, entitled sad sack? I invoke the Golden Rule here. Try it sometime.

Another quote, while I’m at it:

Ultimately, if I’ve learned anything from this experience it’s that it’s all very well to call out people like Britni and Kyle; but you sound like a bit of a horse’s ass if you end up exhibiting bloggy behavior that’s arguably worse than theirs.

*scratches head*

That was said ironically, right? Seriously? No, really, tell me it was.

In conclusion….

I have learned 3 lessons

1. Even Switzerland has to step in sometimes.

2. ….shit, I forgot the second one……

3. I’ve grown up. Old me would have read Roxy’s rant and written her off for doing it publicly without bitching me out personally, and for her vicious words. This Lilly read it. Thought about it. Talked to Roxy. Cried and apologized and did the whole “other shoes” bit and went “wow….she’s right. I was wrong in my inactions.” Publicly apologized and attempted to right the wrong.

So Kyle….and Kyle’s loving White Knight (roxy)…..I am humbly and terribly sorry. Sorry for remaining neutral and thinking it was ok. For not seeing that the way I handled it was wrong. Sorry for not saying fuck my “job” and drawing a line in the sand. Mostly, sorry that you are hurting and I didn’t help.

I won’t be making this error in judgment again.

  7 Responses to “Umbrella”

  1. Thank you, honey. I do understand the desire to stay out of things, especially when the person you’d need to battle is a stubborn, misogynistic asshole. I was let down by the lack of response, and not just by you. So I appreciate this. A lot.

    hugs right back ‘atcha, babe

  2. Welcome to the big girl pants club. Like you I would have cried and written someone off a few years ago but hang around long enough in the bloggerland and a few things happen. Some good. Some bad.

    The bad. You’ve lost your idealism of “Can’t we all just get along as one big happy blogger family” Sadly that will never happen just as it never happens in the real world outside of the internet.

    The good. You’ve grown over the past two years and become stronger. One of the benefits of blogging I feel is learning how to face things, not hide and work out personal relationships.

    I’ve experienced both.

    In closing……..

    You’ve just thrown away two weeks of me talking you down from ranting ;)

    Congratulations! I always admire anyone who will stand up and say what they feel no matter how it is viewed by others.

    (umm….just don’t do it to me. Okay ;)

  3. One of the few things I absolutely, emphatically appall are people who try to be neutral, but in doing so become slanted themselves. At the same time I can never find fault with those who truly and sincerely support what they believe and voice those principles.

    Great post, Lilly. Loved it. Made my day.


  4. Good for you. I am debating whether to continue to read his blog, not just because I disagree vehemently with pretty much everything he says, and arguing with him is pointless, but as Kyle mentioned in his comment above, it’s really hard to read an attack on you and see no one jump in to defend you. That post of his didn’t bother me so much, but it seems that post after post on his blog attacks me in some way, and everyone in the comments simply chimes in to agree. It’s disheartening to read so many people talk shit about you over and over again.

    I’m glad you said something. I was surprised at the lack of response, which is why I commented when I hadn’t intended to feed the fire on that post. I couldn’t believe that no one had stood up for Kyle, so I felt the need to. Good for you <3

  5. Gosh, I can’t believe I almost missed this post – I’m pleased I didn’t.

    Today, I was actually thinking of writing a post specifically apologizing to Kyle about my rant. I guess it would be disengenuous to do it now, as it would seem like a response to what you wrote, rather than a self-realization about me being wrong, so I’ll write what I intended to here instead.

    While I still think I made a reasonable point, the way I went about making it was unacceptable; far too angry and ranty to be appropriate to Kyle’s measured response and I dug myself deeper into a whole with each additional comment. He was pretty cool and classy about it and I should have followed his example.

    I also realized that my responses to people like Britni had simply made the insult to him worse. I was, in all honesty, being a douche by continually calling out what I said was ‘dickish’ behavior on his part when he’d had the class not to even get engaged in the first place. I was angry at Britni’s typical responses, but dragged Kyle into my response which wasn’t appropriate or fair.

    So Kyle, I honestly am sorry for the tone and attitude I took. That was unforgivable.

    And the problem with me going off like an interstellar rocket to the dimension of douche? It totally undermines any point I was trying to make; and the people who might have initially agreed with my point wouldn’t want to admit that openly because of the way in which I made it.

    So now I’ll try and reasonably explain my point, and try to do so in a dignified manner.

    It’s funny you wrote this: “If you suffered the indignation of a public humiliation I’d bet all my pretty undies that you’d be up in arms and fricasseeing the offenders.”

    Because my experiences with the TSA were actually what inspired my point in the first place.

    However; you make a very valid point. This isn’t a ‘pissing match’ about whose experiences with the TSA are worse, or who suffered the worst humiliation, or who’s higher or lower on the politically correct ‘privilege’ hierarchy that people like Britni are so fond of using.

    The real crux of the matter is that Kyle is absolutely right in arguing that the TSA shouldn’t treat him, or other trans people, with disrespect.

    But one of my points is that the TSA treat almost EVERYBODY with disrespect, so while I TOTALLY agree with Kyle that he shouldn’t have been treated poorly as a transman, I don’t think it’s a ‘trans’ issue and is more of a ‘TSA agents being douchebags’ issue.

    And I know you might disagree, but I still argue that Kyle’s attitude towards packing while going through airport security isn’t cool. He’s right – he has the right to pack wherever he wants. There’s no law preventing him from going through the airport packing a silicon cock. It’s a free country, after all.

    The problem is, however, that people like the ‘underwear bomber’ have given TSA agents a reason to be deeply suspicious of anybody packing mysterious objects in their underpants. Every time Kyle packs, he’s going to be hauled aside and questioned – and he will be treated with disrespect because until they prove otherwise, he might have the capacity to blow everybody to smithereens with the hypothetical bomb in his briefs.

    And as an airline passenger, I’m honestly not sure I have a problem with that. If that makes me a douche, fair enough.

    (Try and look at it from their perspective, though. It’s a scary experience – imagine what it must be like to be a TSA agent who suddenly discovers the next ‘shoebomber’? )

    Kyle’s decision to pack at the airport creates drama. It creates delays. It raises tensions. It might even distract TSA agents from actually spotting a LEGITIMATE security risk. As I said, it’s a free country and Kyle has the right to do this – but knowing the consequences, I’m not sure it’s a decision he should make without some concern for other people.

    But ultimately that’s his choice to make, even if I disagree with it.

    My real problem was that Kyle said he wouldn’t pack if traveling with his wife and kids, but he would pack if traveling alone, which means he wouldn’t want to cause drama for his kids or wife to share; but doesn’t mind causing that drama for complete strangers to live with. I don’t think I’m being unreasonable to say that’s not a particularly cool attitude to take. You might disagree with me, but I know plenty of people who wouldn’t.

    Anyway. as I said, I vehemently stand by the point I made; but was totally uncool in the way I made it. I’m sorry, Kyle. It took people like Dangerous Lilly and Diva – who I respect immensely – to knock me into shape.

    I also regret getting into Britni’s whole ‘privilege’ bullshit. It’s not a language I speak because I resent the way certain people in this community use the notion of privilege. It’s crooked logic; especially when people use the idea to deflect or diminish people’s arguments. However, I was wrong to jump on Brit’s boat and start using the old ‘well, think of the people YOU’RE more privileged than’ argument as that was totally hypocritical of me.

    (As Lilly said – pot/kettle/noir)

    Ultimately, we should ALL treat each other with respect and respect each other’s freedoms. The TSA agents should treat people with dignity and respect and knowing that they don’t, I don’t believe it’s totally unreasonable to ask Kyle to think about how what he decides to do will affect other people.

    But I was very wrong in the way I accused Kyle of being a ‘douchebag’ and engaging in ‘dickish behavior’ and ‘whining.’ There were more effective ways to make my point; and given how I have previously really loved and admired Kyle’s writing, kind of two faced of me.

    So for that, I unreservedly apologize.

    ~ I think this was possibly hte longest comment I’ve ever gotten, and I don’t see how it would have looked like you were responding to my post if you’d done it on your own blog. But perhaps doing it on your own would have been more effective to apologize, doing it here is kinda like hiding it. Kyle wouldn’t have come back to read it had I not pointed it out to him, as he wouldn’t have any reason to come read comments on my post.

  6. I was going to post something to my blog but perhaps Roland will come back through here and see it. I want to make something clear, something about his central complaint against me: I didn’t delay the other passengers. Just as would have happened if I’d been the target of one of the random pat downs or other special searches, I was pulled aside while other travelers continued on their way. I was as calm as I could possibly be, responded quickly and politely to their requests, even though my voice and body were shaking with adrenaline. I understand Roland’s points, but from my observations both during the incident I blogged about and at other points when people get special attention, there was no delay or undue drama caused.

    And another point, though it’s a bit picky: Roland, I don’t identify as a transman.. I’m not one, don’t plan on being one. thanks for listening.

  7. Panda, I know that’s the way you feel but I would argue that if someone started writing criticisms about your actions or those of someone you loved, you’d be less patient and philosophical about it. When it hits close to home, it doesn’t feel like an exercise of free speech, it feels like what it is: someone being judgmental about my actions from afar, without taking the time to find out more from me directly. I respect that our opinions differ, but you may find yourself in a similar position at some point and you may not be as generous being the target of someone’s criticisms.

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