Pay no attention to the “oversensitive” blogger with “obvious issues” behind the curtain

[TW: ableism and ableist language used with vicious sarcasm]

Oh, who would’ve fucking guessed it:  it’s actually complete and utter bullshit to assume that violent people are mentally ill or that people with mental illness are more likely to be violent.

Or, just in case this isn’t clear, it is simply impossible to watch someone’s YouTube channel and psychically diagnose them with paranoid schizophrenia.

I assure you, dear readers, I am wearing my shocked face right now.

Rather than looking at individual cases, or even single studies, Fazel’s team analyzed all the scientific findings they could find. As a result, they can say with confidence that psychiatric diagnoses tell us next to nothing about someone’s propensity or motive for violence.

But you know what?  This is a lot like an issue which comes up in fat acceptance when people are discussing studies showing this or that.

It actually doesn’t fucking matter.

It’s not actually fucking relevant, because even if there were a clear connection (just to repeat for all the douchebags clinging to stereotypes to justify their douchebaggery, there isn’t) you would still be a gigantic asshat to make assumptions about people’s mental health based on their actions and your prejudices about how humans are meant to act.

For those who are still refusing to get it:

You do not get to make the call about someone else’s mental state unless you are that person, or their duly appointed medical practitioner.

You do not get to assume that “only a craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy person” would do xyz.

You do not get to whinge that “it’s obvious” and at the same time pretend that you’re using words like “insane”, “craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy” and “nuts” in some kind of Totally Nonjudgemental Clinical Way, especially when you are operating in a linguistic culture that frequently uses those words in entirely non-clinical ways.

Right now you may think that this is just some over-sensitive crap from someone with obvious triggers around mental illness, and you, Marty G, may somehow sincerely believe that that statement is not in of itself buying into prejudice around mental health, is not full of nasty little implications*, is not inherently gendered.

You’re fucking kidding yourself, dude.

You also, Scott, don’t get to say “maybe this guy did this thing in a vacuum because he’s insane.” Guess what, folks? People with mental illness strangely have this thing where they still live in our society, they still receive societal messages about things, and they still get influenced by “normal” stuff just like you.

You don’t get to imply that none of the prevalent language of violence and hatred and freaking gunsights over people’s homes might just all be nothing to talk about because hey, we all know that mentally ill people just randomly shoot people because they’re craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy. And somehow this isn’t you buying into demeaning stereotypes?

Could someone please explain that one to me again, and try not to just repeat “But I watched his YouTube channel and he’s clearly craaaaaaaaaaaaaaazy” because I’m just not sure how that’s meant to be any kind of argument against you being a judgemental asshole with no qualifications to make that call basing your opinions on ableist stereotypes.

Less-ranting related reading: Discussion of an assassination: ableism & the failure of sociological understanding, just in case my obvious triggers and oversensitivity totally harsh my cred.


*I do just want to deal with this one directly; Marty, you see, just thinks I “have strong reactions over anything to do with mental illness and [he doesn’t] know or care what the root cause of that is“. Fuck off, Marty.  If I say “Marty obviously has some issues dealing with stroppy women who won’t fellate his intellect” I’m not going to whinge that I’m totally not calling you a sexist pig, I’m just, you know, observing a pattern of behaviour and I don’t care what the reason is!  Your implication is obvious.  Have the fucking spine to own your assumptions when it’s someone you [vaguely, internet] know and not just the Progressive Bigotry-Scapegoat of the Week.


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  2. Boganette

    Ughhh you’re my hero for dealing with these dudebros. I am hiding at the moment. Keep up the good work. People need to read this post.

    • QoT

      Thanks B. I’m currently being powered by a slight sense of disbelief that people who should know better aren’t getting this – and thus also by anger at their obvious refusal to acknowledge their privilege and bias.

  3. NickS

    This + Marty’s epic, utter oblivious continued mansplaining/ableism is really grating.

    Though I don’t have the anger/energy in me to pull out the cluebat on this at present though :/

    • QoT

      We are none of us obliged to put our own happiness on the line to educate those who refuse to debate in good faith, Nick. I know plenty of other bloggers who have given up trying to debate feminist/disability/other issues at The Standard because they didn’t think it was worth the stress. I’m just too stubborn to let it go!

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  5. IrishBill

    “Mansplaining” always strikes me as a term used to dismiss someone’s opinion on the basis of their gender rather than their arguments but at the risk of being labelled a “mansplainer” I like to point out that we’ve repeated asked/offered/begged feminist lefties to write guest posts for the Standard and to come aboard as authors because, frankly, we are mostly men and we are mostly focused on class-politics and we do tend to write about what we know.

    However we do recognise there’s a glaring gap in our coverage of other left issues.

    So let me once more extend the offer of a guest post/cross post to you QoT – we’ve can offer the largest audience of any left blog in NZ and you can argue with Marty as much as you like.

    Email me at fenianbill[]gmail etc if you’re keen.



    • QoT

      Thanks IB, though I feel I must point out that mansplaining is explicitly about men using their gender to “win” arguments because of the way in which society validates male voices (a fantastic display of this was Keith Olbermann throwing his toys on Twitter but failing to realise that short text messages don’t carry the same gravitas as a deep rumbly voice on the telly).

      If it irks you to feel like you’re being dismissed on the basis of your gender, welcome to the world women live in every day!

    • QoT

      Also, I do feel it might pay for the Standard crew to consider *why* feminist lefties prefer to hang out at places like Hand Mirror or HaT. A similar discussion was had recently at Kiwipolitico given Anita’s hiatus.

      On THM, for example, I know that I can call out offensive language without being told by multiple moderators (not you, thanks) that I have obvious issues and shouldn’t take things so personally.

  6. IrishBill

    If it irks you to feel like you’re being dismissed on the basis of your gender, welcome to the world women live in every day!

    I’m not personally irked so much as philosophically (as I am by inherently misogynistic terms) by it. Nor, alas, do I need a lesson on how unfair the world is.

    Not to pass any judgement on the culture of TS, I think that whatever culture it has is a product of both commentors and authors and is dynamic.

    That dynamic could quite easily be altered by regular posts from feminist writers which is why we’re always keen to get feminist writers on board (and let me again offer you a guest post – perhaps an analysis of TS and its gender politics would stir the pot a bit…)

    Alternatively it could simply be that TS fills a niche, the hand mirror fills another, ideologically impure another and so on. It is the niche-y old internet after all.

    In which case everything is as it should be.

    However we do have a not-inconsiderable audience that could do with a bit of gingering up now and then and you do have a perspective on the world that (mostly) aligns with the broad aims of the TS collective so it would be good if you’d seriously consider writing a post or two for us.

    • QoT

      Happy to think about it IB, I’m just getting back into the swing of work and writing in the new year. Rarking people up is so dear to my heart …

  7. Armchair Critic

    Commenting on the comments, rather than the substance of the post…
    I’d love to see posts/cross posts/guest posts from you at TS, QoT, primarily because it would add something that is missing most of the time. Also, it would ruffle a few feathers and that would be fun to watch/join in.
    From your perspective I’m sure there are many good reasons not to post at TS, too, and fair enough.

    • QoT

      It’s definitely something I’m interested in, I guess the prospect is just a little daunting … larger commentariat and certainly not one entirely friendly to feminist/ginger outlooks. But I have a few ideas.

      • Armchair Critic

        Well then….
        I reckon the larger commentariat is a good thing.
        As for being not entirely friendly, undoubtedly that’s true too. But I never thought anyone blogged to make friends.

        • QoT

          There’s friendliness and friendliness – I’m also not concerned with making friends, but am keenly aware of the kind of shit women bloggers can be subjected to, especially on not-explicitly-feminist blogs.

          Given previous posts on The Standard which I’ve commented on here, and the generally “relaxed” moderating style there, I guess I’m chiefly loath to open myself up to sustained passive-aggressive Get Back In The Kitchen And Stop Being So Sensitive attack.

        • Armchair Critic

          Well done – loved both posts QoT.
          I think/hope the sustained passive/aggressive attack was less than what I expected, and possibly that’s because your points were mostly well put, and received.
          Please continue.

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