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Culture War Roundup for the week of September 12, 2022

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This is probably too "boo outgroup", but given the direct relation I felt it was probably worth sharing.

Our once and former (?) moderator TracingWoodgrains has been called out as "a sociopathic troll" who exists to create anti-transgender drama. This is according to, a pro-trans website which has built a list of communities toxic to the transgender movement.

The focus on Trace comes from their look at Blocked and Reported, and includes a list of ideologically affiliated subreddits, including:






It seems that the move came at the right time, since if we weren't particularly noticeable before, we likely are now.

Yeah, so that's neat.

It's hard to be frank on this topic without sounding conspiratorial. The reality is that there is a small but obsessive cadre of 'activists', mostly a distinct subset of Extremely Online trans women, who hate my bosses with every fiber of their being. I knew that coming into the B&R job, of course. It was priced in, and the question was not "will they hate me once they notice me?" but "when will they notice me?".

The answer seems to be approximately when the podcast decided to cover the recent Keffals/Kiwifarms kerfuffle with care and in detail rather than jumping on the "Kiwifarms must go" train (link). They don't care at all about me qua me. I'm a nobody still, some random with a tiny platform who mostly just bloviates on obscure forums. But they do care about my bosses, very much, and in the recent scuffle it seems they've finally identified me as another angle of attack.

This can mostly be attributed to everyone's favorite AgainstHateSubreddits moderator, who has a personal and longstanding feud with rdrama. She spammed Jesse's replies and her own Twitter account with six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon links between rdrama and Kiwifarms, using my prank as an excuse to link Jesse to Kiwifarms to try to discredit his reporting. See: Exhibit A and Exhibit B as the most relevant—per her, I carried out "fascist terrorism" in league with Kiwifarms and Libs of TikTok, working with them to terrorize trans people and push teachers out of their jobs. This is now Established Fact on a certain corner of the internet. One obsessive in particular who has a long history of spreading particularly unhinged malicious rumors about my bosses (eg baselessly accusing Jesse of assaulting trans women) has tried to amplify it further (see here), having cracked the code that I am a "right wing monster" who is "laughing at the thought of his contributions to queer people and school teachers facing armed violence", indicated in part by my dogwhistling username reference to Known Bigot Orson Scott Card.

Any amount of engagement with this set encourages them, of course. Responding to out-of-the-blue false accusations from people I've never met gets morphed into "screenshotting the posts of trans people who have them blocked to try and rile mobs up" (see here) and becomes more evidence that I am a "creep" connected to a "dangerous stalker".

Andrea James is part and parcel with this group, and has a long history of genuinely unhinged harassment in this domain. She was discussed in Alice Dreger's Galileo's Middle Finger (1, 2, 3): in 1998, for recommending Blanchard's book and commenting on her own autogynephilia; in 2003, for posting images of J. Michael Bailey's children with lewd captions parodying his book, and later in her own interactions when James referred to her kids as her "precious womb turds", among other things. My bosses have been stalked by her for a while on this front—see here.

Inasmuch as I have an official statement on the matter, it can be found on my Twitter over here. I knew this sort of thing was inevitable, and while it's definitely an irritation, it's just chatter from people who were going to hate me no matter what I did, looking to wield me to undermine reporting they'd rather my bosses not do. Quite frankly, in the circles I travel in and care to travel in, having that sort of enemy is more likely to help than it is to hurt. In candor, it felt much worse to be called a Weapon Of The Cathedral in league with Taylor Lorenz by people I'd been chatting with on good terms for years (eg here). This, in contrast, is just Business As Usual. It's frankly not even worth correcting the explicit factual errors on the page, since nobody who is likely to like or respect me in any capacity is particularly likely to trust James, Oaken, or the rest. I'll just take note and move on.

My only disappointment is that she didn't commission a caricature of my character like she did for my bosses (here).

dogwhistling username reference to Known Bigot Orson Scott Card

What's the reference?

You should clarify that your bosses are Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog. I finally figured that out but only after reading your entire post and following several links.

Since the article linked in the OP mentions it, I figured emphasizing it more would be redundant.

I worried the move here was premature, but am surprised by how much a breath of fresh air it is being able to read a comment which can just speak plainly and link plainly.

No "[ Removed by Reddit ]" like Exhibit B causes, no codewords for kiwifarms, or cryptic hints followed by a cryptic reply seeking some cryptic clarification, the comment even links rdrama (directly!) for book excerpts. And no wondering about whether it'll get your account banned.

I found the railway wording funny, but that's just me.

A rich new culture of Soviet humor and Straussian reading of comments could have developed. Homophone slang rising above automoderation, perhaps culminating later with rhyming slang.

Alas it was uprooted before having the chance to blossom.

This is the very last place I thought I'd hear about Jake Alley aka SecretGamerGrrl after the death of Kiwifarms. My condolences. I would link to KF to explain for those not in the know, but there's really not that much. Jake has the distinction of being one of the few non-retarded cows with fewer skills and accomplishments than Chris-chan, the high point of his life being involved with gamergate's CON. He is now blocked by most of his former associates in anti-gamergate/trans twitter, but that hasn't stopped him from vaguetweeting about them for years after the fact. He maintains that he is both undoxed (not true) and that he has had to move due to threats of neonazi violence at his home multiple times (impossible unless the first claim is false).

SGG's bete noire is Jesse. If Jesse were to die tonight, heaven forbid, SGG wouldn't know what to do with their life.

I was extremely salty at you for the LoTT thing, I can barely stand Jesse Singal, none of what is happening is surprising, and you seem to be taking it well... and somehow I find all of this very sad. If this is what you get for being associated with Jesse Singal and Katie Herzog, is there even a chance for any form of sanity being restored?

Well, yes. I think so.

If you look at the specific people who do this sort of thing, they tend to be older loners with few close friends on- or offline who spend much of their time shouting mostly into the void on social media. Inasmuch as they have influence, it's usually mediated via a few more predictable figures who amplify everything that might advance their causes, or overly credulous/careless institutions that don't look closely at people who ostensibly align with causes they want to be seen supporting. It's real influence, mind. There are spheres where people will absolutely trust their word over mine. The broader leftist culture they take advantage of is dominant on social media and in several influential domains.

But the other thing I get for being associated with them is a general circle of Sanity around me, with people who have more reach and influence than any of those watching, already very familiar with this song and dance. If I examine the set of people who share and believe that sort of thing, they're all people with politics far from mine in domains far from mine who would have no interest in what I have to say in the best of circumstances. I'd rather they not take notice of me, but they just don't have enough proximity to me to really matter, y'know?

I'm not interested in being defined by a struggle with a few fringe lunatics, but to be blunt, I'm confident in my odds in an Optics Battle in the eye of the broader popcorn gallery if it ever comes to something like that. They're the sort of people even their allies tend to tolerate at best, and you can only cry wolf so many times before most people start tuning you out. Like—Jesse can still have pitches accepted at the New York Times. Blocked & Reported can cover things in peace most of the time, with only occasional storms when people bother to notice. Materially, it's unlikely that these guys could close doors to me without raising my profile enough to open more and better doors. They're annoying, but at least in my position, that's about all they are.