How shaming works.
A useful little exchange, this. I know that similar conversations have been playing out all over Twitter from the moment I started talking about gender and it’s handy to be able to show how they work.
I’d been hearing this accusation from a few different anonymous accounts for a few days by the time I saw this one — namely, that I had been “harassing a 19-year-old girl”. I hadn’t been doing this, of course, so I had no idea what they were talking about. But let’s park that for the moment and have a look at what else is going on here.
Real Life NPC opens by making sure Chris Perkins, a popular figure among ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ fans, is publicly exposed by the simple but very deliberate decision of moving his username into the main body of the tweet. For those of you lucky enough not to be on Twitter, this means that the tweet is a not a one-on-one message, but a general one pushed out to all of Real Life NPC’s followers.
So that simple ‘hey’ is doing a lot of work: it’s the equivalent of getting the attention of someone standing on a crowded train platform by making a tannoy announcement. The intention is that some of Real Life NPC’s followers will also respond to the message, and add to the pressure on Chris.
You might think that the words ‘famous transphobe’ might need some backing up with evidence as it’s such a vile thing to say about someone. Nope. One of my favourite incidents on here was when Owen Jones was told to unfollow Skylar Jordan , like him, a journalist, and also like Owen, a gay man.
Again, note the important work the “hi” is doing.
Another follower of mine sent me this DM conversation that occurred after he complained that any discussion on trans issues was met with accusations of transphobia.
X: “I’m happy to talk with you. I’m not happy to be your entree into discussions with abused people who need protecting from bigots since, even if you are not one, you don’t appear to be able to spot them, which makes you a risk. I’m open to having my mind changed on the latter. If that’s not interesting to you then we can leave it there and I’ll wish you well.
Stonermc: “I am open and happy to discuss things with you. I will not discuss glinner or anyone else as I do not know you and you may pass on info to others but, I have not always agreed with his manner or language and have told him so. I have also told others.. I have told people that they should treat each other with respect.”
X: I have no interest in knowing anything about him I don’t already know. But if he’s off topic as a subject then this one’s a dead end I’m afraid.
Stonermc: I’m not going to talk about a specific person and that’s it. I wanted to discuss your views on this matter and where I can find more information. I know there are haters out there.
X: So, your contention was that debate isn’t happening. My retort is: it is happening, you’re just excluded from it. You’re excluded from it because you’re perceived as a risk because of your fence sitting on issues which no reasonable, informed person can fence sit on. Claims of “fence sitting” are often used to give deniability to bigotry. I am happy to take your word that it is not the case here. But that still leaves the question of judgement: to meet that bar, well just saying “be nice” to bigots doesn’t meet it.
And on and on. I imagine some version of these one-on-one ‘reeducation’ classes are going on all over.
Finally, the punchline. Do you know who the “19-year-old girl” was?