@emacsen You can't control who other people are or who they become. You shouldn't be ashamed of something you didn't do, didn't know about no had no control over. I mean, could you realistically have known?? How many others have worked with her and simply had no idea??
I remember once thinking that Eric Raymond was an interesting fellow. I noped right out of there pretty quick once I found out what he was really like, but I really didn't know at first.
You're right that I had no way of knowing or controlling what Nina would do. Also, earlier on she was verbally expressing a different sentiment than her written self.
She would express concerns regarding normalizing strict gender roles, and that young people who might be gender non-conformist might be pressured into transitioning rather than to simply be non-conformist, or non-performative in their gender expression.
(these would be my words to explain it, not hers)
Put in plain language, her earlier sentiments were essentially (again my words) A 14 year old who may be experimenting in how they experience the world, gender and sexuality, might be pressured into conforming to a certain gender expectation by society, and be pressured into transitioning to fit that rigid expectation, rather than just be who they are.
That's an argument I think merits at least some larger societal discussion, even if I disagree with it.
I won't go too deep into why I disagree with it, other than to say that Western Queer communities are not like Iran, where SRS is common because homosexuality is disallowed and thus the only way to be openly gay is to transition.
Instead, we see gender queerness and fluidity going part in parcel with the modern Queer community. So there's less to be worried about in terms of this strict normativity argument for sure.
ESR is an interesting case... Let's talk about him.
I was influenced early on by ESR's writing. And also, ESR actually threatened to punch me, in person.
My read on ESR is two fold. Firstly, he was always a bit of a nut. He was the guy invited to the party because he would carry out O'Reilly's vision and community build around it, without question.
ESR was motivated by both money and ideology, and he was basically sold the idea he could get money by spreading his word. As for his other views, on guns, women, etc...
ESR was always a gun nut, driven by libertarianism. People around him knew that the thing to do with him was keep him on track, but if you deviated from that even a little, he'd go onto that track. It's a lot like how I've heard Simson Garfinkel knows his stuff on Unix security, but if you let him go, will talk about UFOs. "We're all a bit mad here."
ESR's dating advice, etc. was less bad that a lot of contemporary stuff at the time. Not good but not god awful
The problem with a lot of these folks is that either their bad behavior is hidden from the public (I've heard people say ESR did more than "act weird" with women, but I can't find specifics at the moment), they failed to take in new information and understand the cultural zeitgeist, or they are unwilling to see the importance of what's going on around them.
The person who is in my mind as I write this is John Cleese.
John Cleese has written about how awful it is that you can't make jokes anymore. He may be right that it's more challenging to make jokes and thus examine and ridicule the culture than it's been in the past.
What he fails to identify if *why*. The reason it's harder is marginalized voices are expressing how punching down is not acceptable, and they don't want to be the butt of a joke from a privileged person.
What Cleese could say is "Once marginalized voices have the chance to be heard, maybe the pendulum will swing back and we'll have the potential for humor again, or maybe new forms of humor will arise." but instead, he's just doing what he *thinks* he's always done, and bucking "mainstream culture".
I think what happens is that older people see what's going on, but fail to understand they *why* and so they're actually bucking "mainstream culture." in their mind.
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