Teaspoons 101: I Am Not the Thought Police

Frequently, when I ban a commenter who isn't overtly expressing bigotry, but is derailing a thread with typical silencing techniques—accusations of oversensitivity, humorlessness, looking for things to get mad about, exhortations to "get over it," protestations of providing much-needed objectivity, and the usual tiresome attempts to deny the perceptions and experiences of the actual targets of the particular bigotry being discussed—I make a point to note that the commenter is not being banned from the blog in its entirety. I will note that their commenting privileges have been revoked, but invite them to keep reading the blog in the hopes they might learn where they went wrong, and assure them I will be open to a discussion of reinstating their commenting privileges if and when they email me with some awareness to that end.

I almost always immediately receive an irate email full of phrases like "echo chamber" and "censorship," and I am berated for being the "thought police."

I am not the thought police.

I am challenging you to think about things in a way in which you may have never thought about them before.

The entire rest of the world, with its privileging of men and heterosexuals and cisgender people and thin (but not too thin!) and tall (but not too tall!) and able and healthy white bodies and religious people and people who have sex and people who can and want to be parents and the wealthy and the educated, and all the ways in which the rest of the world facilitates and upholds that privilege, and all the ways in which the rest of the world marginalizes and demeans and treats as less than all the people who deviate from those privileged "norms," and all the ways the rest of the world has indoctrinated you into that system of privilege, and socialized you to believe it's the natural and right and immutable state of the world, and all the shills for the kyriarchy who fill the ether with self-reinforcing rubbish on a constant loop so you swim in a sea so thick with the detritus of Othering that you don't even notice it on a conscious level anymore, and all the bullies who appear to kick you back in line if you do, if you have the temerity to question the message, and all the other bits and bobs of the brainwashing to which we are all subjected since the day we're born as part of scheme, nearly incomprehensible in scope, to ensure that challengers to these traditions are never made, and, if they're born, are squashed with the weight of mountainous tidal waves of blowback in the other direction…? The purveyors of that shit are the goddamn thought police.

And you know what one of the biggest lies they tell you is?

That it's the other way around.

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