N'kay. All done?
Jan Moir is a Daily Mail columnist whose printed words have today caused her to reach for her boss' PR agency (because of an Internet revolt that Twitter was at the heart of that blew up the Press Complaints Commission's website) in order to say she's not what you think she is.
That is significant. Today was significant. Social media made this happen - apparently the Mail doesn't usually respond within hours to outrage at its contents.
But listen to what Richard Yates, from black experience, is telling you - focus on what they said, not who you think they are.
And this is very relevant to this situation. The Mail, and others, publish Moir's sort of rant all the time. In the official 'process' it will be judged on what she said, not who she is accused of being.
If what we want is what she (and others) write banished from the mainstream, not to silence but to place them firmly on the fringes, then how is that achieved?
How do we define her words? I ask, is what she wrote heterosexist or is it homophobic?
Heterosexism is a term that applies to negative attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior.
Homophobia (from Greek homós: one and the same; phóbos: fear, phobia) is defined as an "irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals", or individuals perceived to be homosexual; it is also defined as "unreasoning fear of or antipathy toward homosexuals and homosexuality", "fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men", as well as "behavior based on such a feeling".I don't think Jan Moir is about fear, she's about superiority. I think this because that's what she wrote.
Yates is laying out for us how, exactly, we undermine the sort of power which a Moir (there's a type) wields, especially including their power in claims of 'victim' or 'silencing'. Here's a template, from other minorities, which should be grasped in order to define her as 'fringe', 'extreme', someone who says she's superior.
Drop 'Moir is homophobic' for 'Moir is heterosexist'.
That's my contribution to the aftermath of today: Learn from others and be precise in attacking power.
Make them go look 'heterosexist' up and in the process completely change the coming debate over 'silencing free speech', the 'power of the mob' and the ubiquitous raising of that cop-out phrase 'PC'.
Thanks to Jamie Potter for inspiration.