Sealioning, and why this new term is shitty and upsetting to me

Published on Jan 4th, 2015 by

So I was never comfortable with this comic from the moment I saw it shared around amidst a cacophony of braying guffaws. Yes, dears, I get what it’s meant to be about, someone barging in trying to waste your time by asking questions they could google, pretending to be interested, oh my goodness. Except, yeah, that’s not actually what the comic is conveying is it? Or at least it very much isn’t to me. It is an animal politely but firmly asking two clearly privileged dudes why they’re making public declarations of hate for their entire species. Instead of the sea lion being ‘lol how annoying’, maybe the sea lion is finally standing up for itself, but also knows that if it isn’t anything but polite in its insistence then the dudes will kick the shit out of it. As someone who’s dealt with bigotry for who I am, and who was always encouraged to just be nice and polite and respectful when challenging said bigotry, this comic’s always had a dark fucking tone to me. I said as much at the time and relayed my concerns (maybe I should’ve been more insistent, sea lion style!) but Social Justice (in my gaming circles anyway) seems to be doing a great job lately of ignoring marginalized voices in favor of loud ones. So now it’s especially upsetting to see ‘sealioning’ becoming Social Justice’s new buzzword, and I made some slight edits to the comic to show how I read it every fucking time.

sealioncomic

 

I mean, maybe I am in the wrong, and I’m just annoying if I see someone engaging in bigotry against me and dare to ask why. Maybe you’re right, I should just fuck off and google ‘why do some people hate me because I was born with a spinal deformity’ because let me fucking tell you guys, I’ve experienced that exact┬áscenario in the comic numerous times in my life, only I never had the courage to keep asking why like the sea lion does. So yeah, maybe fuck anyone who wants to challenge bigotry against them. But at least if people are allowed to try and make me feel like a sea lion, then I’m allowed to try and make them feel like a hippo(crite).

Latest Comments (25)

Magnus H.

This is very interesting to me, as I hadn’t heard of this comic until this point in time, and reading it just now, I got something else out of it at first: I took it as lampooning some forms people like Gamer Gaters or “Men’s Rights Activists” take to harass others, by pretending to have a civil discussion while hammering away with their oppressive tactics, trying to silence their chosen target by telling them they’re not entitled to getting angry and raising their voices (The “Go Away” panel being – in my head – a clear indicator of that interpretation).

My interpretation of it probably stems from me not taking the sea lion as a direct representation of a species, so I didn’t see it as “hating the sea lion because it was born as a sea lion”, I saw it as “hating the sea lion because sea lions are assholes”. This might be my priviliged background coming through, as I generally don’t get harassed or hated because of how I was born, I don’t have to face that. When people hate me, it’s (usually) because of personal traits. Sometimes it’s because of an assumption of privilege that isn’t necessarily true, but usually it’s because of WHO I am rather than WHAT I am. So my interpretation was informed by that and reading your interpretation was enlightening. It really made me think about the fact that even though I’m very aware and cautious not to exploit my privilege, I still benefit from it in ways invisible to me most of the time. So thank you, really.

January 4, 2015 4:01 pm Reply

Magnus H.

*privileged

PS: Privilege awareness and a social consciousness (not conscience. Also important, obviously, but a separate thing) are evolving traits in me. As I didn’t face adversity based on my birth growing up, I am still learning and will always be learning how to be a better ally and a better fellow human being.

January 4, 2015 4:05 pm Reply

Dav

I always saw the sealion as being the sort of fkwit that wants to appear as rational when they are in fact the typical MRA or GooberGart or flat out bigot who seeks to undermine and goad the victims of their bigotry into a reaction so they can then claim that “all feminists (for example) are hysterical abusive who won’t even answer a simple polite question.”

I work as a community manager on a very large forums site and I see this sort of person as the greatest threat to any community and the most insidious of scum that stalks around forums looking for potential victims of their particular brand of bigotry to harass into silence and shut down conversation. Usually they’re the smarter sorts who can debate really well and who are very articulate and will pick apart the most minute of secondary points to death in an effort to discredit a person (and they do tend to fixate on a person or two at a time, knowing they have a greater chance of success).

However, all that said, that was my understanding and mine alone. I don’t mean to attempt to shout down your interpretation of it or anything of the sort! Your article has given me interesting food for thought on issues ranging from harassment, point of view and interpretation of art.

Thank you for sharing it.

January 4, 2015 9:57 pm Reply

Zero132132

You're literally saying that polite disagreement is the worst thing you've come across on the internet.

That's fucking creepy, dude.

March 31 2015 17:50 pm

Katelyn Gadd

Hi! Your reading of the comic is interesting to me but mostly in a ‘this is shocking and I’m not sure I understand it’ sense.

The comic is clearly about GamerGate. It originally went up during the height of GG’s insane bullshit, when crowds of sockpuppet twitter accounts were showing up to harass anyone that mentioned the hashtag, and monsters were hacking accounts, publishing personal details, and otherwise attempting to ruin people’s lives and drive them to suicide. Because, you know, video games.

Wondermark’s use of abstraction here seemed clever to me at first: A number of comics and writings on the subject of GG either directly criticized the group – easy fodder for the GG favorite ‘no true scotsman’ fallacy – or criticized lazy strawmen, like the idea of the gamergater as a stereotypical white male gamer. The use of a sea lion prevents those distractions and avoids calling the group out by name, focusing on the behavior instead.

The main theme of the comic is the sea lion’s behavior. The point is not that the sea lion’s behavior is or isn’t justified – certainly it is reasonable to be upset if someone you don’t know describes you as being terrible – the point is that the behavior is itself undesirable, and annoying. More importantly, if you replace the proxy (sea lions) with the actual subject (gamergate) the structure becomes more obvious:

Two people holding a private conversation in a semi-public space, a car (twitter, perhaps) say something about how they dislike sea lions (gamergate). Nothing beyond this is elaborated.

A sea lion overhears their conversation (a gamergater reads the tweet, by searching for the word ‘gamergate’ on twitter, so they can read all tweets about it, because they do that) and confronts them and insists on a debate.

The people who were having the private conversation are not interested in a debate. They do not attempt to have a debate. The sea lion (gamergater) does not go away, and in fact continues to intrude on privacy, following them from a public space – outdoors (twitter) into a private space – their home (their home). In the comic it’s showing up to shout at her while she’s in bed but in the real world it’s gamergaters and general creeps showing up at your home and calling your phone at 2am!

So, a few other things:

Replacing ‘sea lion’ in this context with a minority group, like paraplegics or blind people or black people, or in fact ANY category of people – minority or not – is inappropriate because ‘sea lion’ here is a proxy for an opt-in group of people, self-selected and indicated by *behavior*.

Also note that in the comic the character doesn’t say she hates sea lions, or that sea lions are terrible, or that sea lions shouldn’t exist. She just says she ‘could do without’ them – that is, they are undesirable, and having them around is a hassle. (Which is immediately demonstrated by a sea lion showing up and making itself unwelcome.)

Replacing Sea Lion with ‘disabled person’ is especially unhelpful in the context of this comic. It certainly makes it aggressive and distasteful, but that’s a result of your word replacement, it’s not implicit to the comic or the point that it’s making.

The sea lion’s behavior is not inherent to being disabled or to being black or to being a woman or anything else. It’s a behavior, an opt-in behavior commonly associated with an opt-in group – gamergate – that tends to get very angry when they are stereotyped in this way. It’s a self-reinforcing stereotype, as a result.

To more clearly illustrate why I think replacing ‘sea lion’ with ‘disabled people’ or any other minority is inappropriate, here’s a statement about me:

I find spiders repulsive. I find them so repulsive, in fact, that I have nightmares about them and sometimes have hallucinations about them when I am awake.

If you replace ‘spiders’ with a minority group in the above statement, like ‘black people’, it suddenly becomes racist. That does not make the original statement about spiders racist.

Likewise, if I were to say:

I like most beverages, but I could do without coffee.

You can replace ‘beverages’ with ‘people’ and replace ‘coffee’ with ‘mexicans’ and suddenly it’s racist! The original statement was not racist. It was about coffee.

The problem with using a replacement in this case is that you picked a replacement that doesn’t align with the original comic and as a result turns it into something it wasn’t.

This comic is also not establishing a ‘good people’/'bad people’ dichotomy. The sea lion is not the ‘bad person’ and the person who dislikes sea lions is not the ‘good person’. They’re both called out within the comic for doing something they shouldn’t: She says something unfavorable about sea lions (so the sea lion is upset! not for no reason!) and the sea lion harasses her about it.

Anyway. I’m really sorry that your life has you in a place where this is how the comic reads to you. Nobody should ever treat somebody that way.

P.S. I think the sea lion is an apt proxy to use for GamerGate here because of the things sea lions are known for, at least among people like me who’ve seen them at the pier or perched on rocks:

http://www.nationofchange.org/sites/default/files/SealionProblem051214.jpg

They congregate in large groups in random places, regardless of whether or not they’re welcome, and they make a *whole lotta noise*. Oh god, they are so loud.

This is a pretty apt comparison to a person with 250 twitter followers saying something about GamerGate and suddenly getting drenched in thousands of harassing tweets from gaters, or a random game developer suddenly getting dozens of harassing phone calls from creeps in the middle of the night. Suddenly, out of nowhere, all these noisy undesirables show up.

January 4, 2015 11:14 pm Reply

Joshua

The problem, Katelyn, is that the comic is left *too* open to interpretation. It's all well and good to know that the intent was to describe Gamergaters' behavior, but that doesn't make other interpretations any less hurtful. Comparing a poorly defined metaphor to direct statements and saying "but what if I said black people instead!" makes no sense whatsoever, and adds nothing to this conversation.
If you'd paid attention when reading the post (you read the post, right?), you'd know that the author already said they know what the comic is meant to convey. Your whole screed explaining and defending it is incredibly insulting.

January 04 2015 23:38 pm

Ashton Raze

Hi Katelyn! First of all, sorry for whatever I said or did that gave you the impression I'm incapable of understanding context or reading about the comic in a wider sphere. That seems to have caused you to write a LOT of words explaining something I already knew. Oops! I'll try to make it clearer that despite being neuroatypical/disabled I do actually have fully-functioning mental faculties next time!

Secondly; it's pretty unfortunate that replacing the sealion with a group I belong to comes across as inappropriate and unhelpful to you! Oops again! Next time when I read something and I think 'hey, despite the creator's intent, this is reminding me of experiences I've had as a disabled person, and could easily apply to me if being read from a slightly different perspective' I'll be sure to keep your feelings in mind, and try to suppress any of my own marginalizations so as not to inconvenience you and others. My bad. I wasn't aware that using the term 'sealioning' at the expense of multiple people (many of whom have expressed agreement with me following this blog) was so important to people. I guess, once again, you've made it clear that folks like me should 'know our place' and remember it's not our right to speak out against oppression of ourselves when it might be 'inappropriate' or 'unhelpful' to the majority. Sorry again. I got ahead of myself. I guess it's all the talk about making things better, more equal etc. Easy to forget on occasion that it's often all talk.

One more apology; I'm not going to bother deconstructing the part about coffee, spiders etc because you and I both know full well that they're entirely different things, which you've chosen to use here as a method of derailing and gaslighting a disabled woman. I know the correct form would be for me to trip over myself trying to respond, but I just don't have the energy, sorry.

In future, next time I'm alarmed about something becoming populist social justice terminology because it has the potential to oppress or silence others, I'll remember to make sure and check that it's appropriate and convenient before saying so. Thanks for the reminder!

January 05 2015 01:32 am

Katelyn Gadd

Hi Ashton,

I don't see any way to respond to this other than with 'what the fuck' and to apologize because somehow I made you furiously angry? I don't know how that happened and I don't understand anything that happened here.

Sorry for posting.

January 05 2015 02:02 am

Joel Bocko

Is it just me or does this comment kinda read like...sealioning? I'm not sure if it was unintentionally meta or a very subtle troll though I'll give them the benefit of the doubt (since I'm not terribly keen on the comic's conceit either...).

June 07 2016 03:42 am

Sunny Sun

Sealions aren’t an ascribed status. Someone chosing to conflate that with marginalized groups is saddening.

January 5, 2015 2:57 am Reply

Ashton Raze

The exact problem is that sealions *are* an ascribed status. You hardly choose your species, do you? Also I am less 'choosing to conflate that with marginalized groups' as 'sharing how the comic makes me feel in a way involving a marginalized group I am part of', so.

January 05 2015 18:45 pm

wall of text

I’m not even sure how to comment on this, because it just brings out so many different emotions in me, and that makes me less able to think through it clearly or express myself clearly, but… I’ll try I guess.

I still like the comic. Even though I see what you’re saying. I’m not sure I have a good reason why. Partly I do think it’s a fast and quipy explanation of a way people behave that’s pretty obnoxious… and that’s maybe not meaningless? Like, people dealing with the kind of folks who use politeness as a weapon to derail and intrude and silence are frustrating, and it’s not nothing for people dealing with it to have some way to… idk, shrink it down mentally? Trivialize it for themselves? Making a joke of something can be a powerful weapon against it. So I can see that.

“Ugh, this person is being so frustrating, I can’t deal with this!”

“Oh, yeah, they’re being a total sea lion.”

Suddenly you can laugh about it, and that’s cool.

I guess? Maybe? I don’t know, b/c I don’t know at which point my empathy for what other people need ends and where my own self-loathing begins and where it’s actually just privilege.

Am I still okay with it b/c I recognize why people need it? Am I just excusing it b/c I think it’s funny and I “know what it means”? Is it b/c I’m willing to let others be silenced and feel unwelcome? Is it b/c I’m willing to let myself?

B/c even though I like the comic, everything you say makes sense, and is something I’ve been wrestling with a lot when it comes to how I do or can in sj communities.

One of my big frustrations with gg — after the fact that gg was a thing at all, and the harassment, etc. — was how when the indie community closed ranks, how much any kind of benefit of the doubt for actual meaning real completely got thrown away.

I had a really strong emotional reaction to the “gamers are dead”, “the word gamer is bad” articles and talks that were going around, and it took me a while to really figure out why. The way the conversations went, it always seemed to just as easily target folks who only had games as a source for joy for legit reasons: depression, disability, trauma, tragedy. Shitty life. Let’s punch up! (But let’s also punch down while we’re at it, b/c we’re not thinking about it.)

I tried to engage with someone I super respected over this — badly, I was very emotional — and got hit with full blast condescension. I was obviously just an asshole and a g’er who wanted to gatekeep games. It sucked. And I’m not in any mental position to handle that — I blocked them, deleted all their work that I had to try and not be reminded of it. I’m still reminded of it.

I unfollowed most indie/games folks b/c it felt like the only way to be welcome was to make sure I say the right things, at all times, or I was going to get hit with that condescension again. Support the right people, play the right games… AAA is garbage, experimental games is the future of games. Yay experimental games! But I can’t play you. I can’t play serious games. I need anything serious couched in some serious fantasy, or I’m out. So now I feel like I’m the enemy. I’m the person who only wants games to be stupid, and immature, etc.

Is it better if I talk about my spiraling mental health? Does that make it okay to prefer to stupid shooter to Depression Quest? Can I refuse to ever touch Papa & Yo just b/c it’s too serious, or do I need to present my credentials as a child of an alcoholic? Can I get angry when “gamer” is dismissed as nothing but capitalist bullshit meant to deceive losers who have nothing better to do b/c I think that’s hitting a lot of other people too? Or do I say that the number of joys — even plain old escapes — in my life is so low I’m scared to really count them b/c I think I’ll only need one hand, and games are one of them? THEN is it okay for me to be a gamer and have much of my life revolve around games?

I hate that. I hate that I have to trot out my private miseries in order to be given the benefit of the doubt. That’s not for me. That’s for them. That’s for them to feel like I might be worth listening to. My miseries are mine to share or keep as I choose. My sj-approved identities are not there for the public, they’re *my* identities, and I can refuse to share them if I want. Except not if I want to talk about things. Esp. if they’re things that affect me to the extent that I can’t always be objective and clear and unemotional about them.

Using my bullshit as leverage to have people listen to me is so gross. I don’t want people to listen to me, I don’t know shit, and talking scares me.

Even now… do I delete this? Am I saying something wrong? Will I get the snarky response?

Is that passive aggressive to even bring up? You’re entitled to your anger, it’s justified. If I say something stupid, you should be able to call me out, and I should listen and learn. I hope I can. Or maybe I’ll freak out. Probably that. Recheck obsessively to make sure I didn’t upset anyone.

Maybe it’s better I say nothing at all. I don’t know how to do this without allowing myself to feel like I’m in danger, or that I’m squashing your ability to respond honestly to something I say. Is there a way to have a sealioning comic that doesn’t also squash people? Is the good it does for people more important?

And I get why gg made everyone close ranks. I totally do. You can’t always give the benefit of the doubt. I don’t have to deal with thousands of @’s. You can’t give everyone all your time. I certainly couldn’t engage much at all with the gg folks, it was too much.

I guess… it feels sometimes like if you can’t say and do certain prescribed things, you’re not welcome. These are the right games, those are the wrong ones. Only enjoy problematic things if you’re super ready to criticism it. (I need some things in my life that I just let go of — I need escape. Is that enough, or do I have to be in constant pain?) Call out people publicly. (Am I just a terrible ally if I’m too scared to? If the thought of being publicly aggressive panics me, is it okay to not?) Call out people in person, especially if you’re a man, b/c you don’t have to be scared of violent retribution. (I am, very much so.)

Am I a bad ally b/c I can’t do things? Am I worthless to sj if I can’t do these things? I want to believe my work is enough to be meaningful in some way, but it’s probably not. Chances are nobody will see it. Am I so broken that I just shouldn’t care anymore? I don’t want to not care, but I have less an less caring left in me as everything tightens around me. Maybe I’m too broken to belong here anyway.

That’s mostly what I feel. I’m too broken to belong, too broken to help, too broken to ever be able to have a real relationship with the cool people out there. So better to stop seeing them. Forget they’re there at all.

(This is okay. SJ doesn’t need me talking anyway, really, and the cool people already have friends, and I’m not even sure I’m fit for friendship anyway. I just wish I could stop wanting it anyway, I guess.)

I hope this wasn’t just a huge rambling derail. If it is, I’m sorry. Let me know, I’ll delete. This is as much for me as anyone else, trying to figure out my thoughts. But… I still post publicly. Before the panic sets in, I still think maybe it’s worth saying this “out loud” instead of just in my own garbage brainmeats.

The gamer thing in here feels so trivial, and… I know it is. But it’s a small thing wrapped up in the things in my life that are the biggest things, and I can’t separate them out well :(

Some of the stuff here might just be privilege all up ins, being sneaky. I’m white, male. I know I have to watch for it. Separating out my priv. when dealing with eg. race is actually fairly easy, b/c I can just listen confident that my emotions don’t matter here, I can just listen. But as soon as the disability stuff gets in there… it’s so much harder.

I don’t know. Thanks for the blog post. I felt too much from it, I hate that I’ve written all this, but maybe writing through some of it will be useful to me.

January 5, 2015 4:47 am Reply

Nat

Maybe this is just my own weird hang-up, or an autism spectrum inability to fully grasp some metaphors, but I really find it *very* difficult to go along with the idea that “being a species of animal” can possibly represent “being a person with a shitty opinion or attitude” without it being at best confusing.

I have to be honest, when I first read the comic, I honestly could not tell if it was meant to be pro-Gamergate or not, or just an absurdist bit of humor without any meaningful point. So the central point of the comic was completely lost on me.

Of course I understand now it’s just a comic that is using the sea lion as a metaphor. But animals don’t choose to be animals, they just are animals. So someone being shitty to an animal for being an animal (an animal that, in the world of the comic, can talk and apparently has thoughts and feelings just like humans) just doesn’t read for me as someone being appropriately shitty to a shitty person, it read as someone being shitty to someone for something they have no control over. I can’t get behind that message.

You could certainly argue that the sea lion responds in a way that was also inappropriate, but neither side comes out looking good in this comic. The sea lion was told “the thing about you that you have no control over is fundamentally objectionable to me” so I find it hard to completely blame it for the way it’s responding.

If I imagine that in the world of the comic everyone who is a sea lion is in-fact an evil wizard who has willingly taken the form of a sea lion to extend their malevolent dominion over the seas, then it makes a lot more sense for me.

January 5, 2015 4:48 am Reply

Merus

I’m a long-time reader of Wondermark, so honestly my reading of this particular comic is in that context: specifically, it’s not topical, the sea lion represents an actual sea lion, and the joke is that these privileged people have a bizarre opinion that, surprisingly, is not entirely ill-founded.

I guess it’s useful that it gave us a metaphor to describe reasonable-sounding-but-bad-faith arguments, but the idea that Wondermark would have suddenly decided to drop the surreal humour in favour of a topical analogy seems implausible to me.

It sucks that you’ve had problems trying to call people out on their prejudice, though, and it doubly sucks that people will probably use that analogy against you in the future.

January 5, 2015 3:46 pm Reply

Ashton Raze

To clarify; my issue isn't *at all* with Wondermark or the comic, it's the way the comic's been used in a wider sphere. It's perfectly fine as a comic imo.

January 05 2015 18:42 pm

Anonymous

Word substitution fallacy. If I criticize white people for behaving a certain way (e.g. racist towards POCs) that doesn’t mean you can substitute what I’m saying with “black people” and point out how I’m being racist towards POCs for criticizing white people for their behavior and actions.

January 5, 2015 3:59 pm Reply

wall of text

That's not at all what's happening here? Like the poster has said already, this is about what the comic reminds her of and makes her feel.

But even besides that, this comic is clearly a metaphor. Right? Nobody thinks it's actually talking about sea lions. Or, at least, the way it's being used it's not meant to be talking about *actual* sea lions.

You're meant to sub in "gg'er", or "obnoxious internet anon troll", and you're meant to make the inference b/c the behavior fits.

Poster is saying it ALSO fits to sub in "disabled/marginalized person trying to be heard", which makes the metaphor unpleasant, and that makes them dislike it and feel crappy about it.

"Isn't it annoying the way people come in here and pretend to be civil? UGH" the sj community says, well-meaning.

"But... you dismiss us like that too," says a marginalized group that's tried to bring up interstitial concerns and is ignored / yelled at / immediately assumed to just be a troll.

Also, your "if I said x" argument isn't super helpful, b/c it's just some theoretical nothing you made up :/ We're dealing with very intricate issues of dialog between marginalized people, your simplification of the argument using a "that's the same as [other thing that is unrelated]" just comes off as uncaring and disingenuous :(

Like, understand that issues of [lack of] intersectionality in sj between marginalized groups marginalized in overlapping and different ways is difficult and complex.

January 06 2015 06:16 am

Anonymous

Ashton, thanks for posting this. I think it’s absolutely worth talking about how this term is being used. It seems to me that it has a specific intended use, but I wonder how important that intent is when the term could also be used to silence people who want to talk in good faith about their own marginalization. It’s troubling.

January 6, 2015 5:03 am Reply

Sophia

And it could fit into a larger discussion of how different marginalized communities often silence one another.

I'd say "language monopolization" is another way that one marginalized group often silences another.

June 10 2016 22:30 pm

James

I always assumed the comic to be on the side of the Sea Lion really. Coming from a place where ”chinky’is often used to describe a chinese, I was recently at a meeting with freinds where one of asian descent called the other out on it. There was a very similar response. Blankness and a refusal to enguage or acknowledge.

If you make an incorrect statement in a public space you can expect to be called out on it. The joke is that despite however polite the Sealion is, he never gains a response from those to choose to ignore the questions he asks.

Coming form a slightly more pro gate position (in that I think there is a legitimate point about conflicts of interest) it always seemed odd to me the way this comic was used. Someone would make a smarmy post comparing them to nazis, and would apparently find disagreement o be so utterly absurd as to warrant a term ‘sealioning”.

If you post in a public space you should anticipate disagreement, particularly a controversial, or as you pointed out, outright bigoted opinion you should expect a response, and in fact should respond. Further, you shouldnt make such glib statements in the first place.

This is not the same as responding to bigots spam of course. Or those people who feel the need to fill every comment section in news sites with comments about Obama’s parentage.

January 6, 2015 4:36 pm Reply

wall of text

Twitter has made a lot of things strange. It's "party line" style of communication means that sometimes conversations that are kinda private are happening in a public space.

But like, public space doesn't mean public conversation *necessarily* and it gets kinda complicated. Eg. if you were talking with your friends in a coffee shop and I, a stranger, just tried to join in... it'd be kinda weird. Rude.

That's basically twitter. Sometimes the "anyone can join in" is awesome. Sometimes it feels like they're intruding. And social rules of when it is or isn't rude to enter that conversation are kinda non-existent right, I think?

Twitter is weird :D

January 06 2015 21:55 pm

anon

Wall of Text, if you were to say you hate ____ and it was a group of sentient beings, I’d expect you to get called out on it in a coffee shop or any other public setting.

March 31, 2015 5:25 pm Reply

sanic

“Sealioning” bothers me because it really boils down to a label people ascribe others to invalidate their thoughts and opinions and avoid any dialogue. It scares me people pat each other on the back for being all the more ignorant by refusing to listen to the thoughts and ideas of others.

Oh and I am a participant on the gamergate issue if you want to use that as justification to ignore what I’ve said or devalue it as necessary.

March 31, 2015 7:09 pm Reply

Dwayne

Nice post.
People being bigots in public or forums you are party to shouldn’t go unchallenged.A line is crossed when you chase people around to other forums and in private. I have find and provide as objective evidence as I can often alter and sometimes reverse my position from my own and others evidence.

Some people are trolling but often enough I find more people are cut off just for disagreeing when others hold their positions just this way. People are prone to behaving hyperbolic I suppose.

If people bring their public internet media to their bedroom and kitchen table though it’s their own bloody fault.

August 29, 2015 9:14 pm Reply

Sophia

Thanks, Ashton, for this article.

Figured that with all the people barraging you for daring to speak out, you might appreciate hearing from someone who agrees with you. Until I read your article, I thought I was alone in these views.

If the author was referring to Gamergate by the sea lion, then the comic wasn’t well done — because as you put it, nobody chooses their species.

The comic would have been more clear if instead of the women, they had two elephants —- and a poacher instead of the sealion.

June 10, 2016 10:14 pm Reply

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