There’s been a lot of talk recently about a revival of “PC,” much of it centering on the idea that identity politics debates are leaving people afraid to speak their minds for fear of being attacked or misunderstood.
I tend to think those concerns are a bit overblown, but I understand and sympathize with them, and so I’m creating a space on this site for people to raise issues that they don’t feel comfortable broaching openly elsewhere. Got a question you’re worried about asking? Ask me. Got an opinion you feel is unfairly excluded from lefty debate? Speak up. If I share your view, I’ll say so and take the heat. If I don’t, I’ll say why without flaming you. Either way, I’ll give you a platform and open up a dialogue. We’ll start the conversation, and we’ll see where it goes.
You can ask questions (or make statements) in comments here, or submit them over at ask.fm/studentactivism. Anonymously, if you like.
One disclaimer before we start: I’m just a middle-aged white guy who’s spent some time thinking about some stuff. I can’t give you permission or absolution for anything. All I can do is tell you what I think and give other people the opportunity to do the same.
Here are the questions I’ve answered so far. I’ll update this post as new ones go up:
- Does the power imbalance between “a prominent student activist in a radical community and someone brand new to this community” a barrier to a consensual sexual relationship between the two?
- Why is the concept of “social justice” necessary, and how does it differ from justice in general?
- “What can I do to be a better ally as far as intersectionality is concerned?”
- How does the concept of “racism = prejudice + power” work in circumstances in which people of color have institutional power over white people, particularly working-class whites?
- “Is it blackface to use the black emojis if you’re white?”
- Why do progressives put so much emphasis on trans issues?
- Is the term “mansplaining” demeaning to men?
- Why do folks respect Muslim women’s choices more than Christian women’s?
- What’s the point of all this concern for language if nobody’s learning anything?
- Should men call themselves feminists?