Dating: Accordions Vs. Sitars

The accordion is much easier than it looks.

Each left handed button is an entire chord, and it’s arranged in an easy-to-memorize pattern. You pick it up, press down, and it booms with harmony. The instrument is constructed that you only need to engage with it minimally to get the song you want out of it.

Similarly, ‘accordion style’ partners are easy to play – engaging in a relationship with them is simple, and you need to engage with them minimally to get the ‘song’ of a good relationship out of them.

Accordion relationships don’t cost you a lot of energy. I don’t mean energy as in ‘they don’t talk a lot,’ I mean energy as in ‘they perform actions that make relationship-specific aspects with them very easy’ – such as excellent communication or being self-motivated about exercise.

Aspects that might bump someone towards the ‘accordion’ side of the spectrum are things like equal status to you, physical and emotional stability, identity independence (separating their self worth from their relationship with you), independent wealth, or their own social network.

The Sitar

Have you ever played a sitar? It’s leagues more difficult than an accordion. Not only do you play one note at a time – no easily organized chords – there are dozens of strings, and just holding the instrument properly is a lesson in itself. The process of using the sitar requires understanding the instrument well, and engaging with it closely is an integral part of making it sing. The accordion may feel like ‘playing a song,’ but a sitar feels like ‘playing the instrument.’

‘Sitar partners are high cost – in that functioning in the relationship takes a lot of energy. Mental or physical disabilities, childhood trauma, poverty, significant introversion, jealousy, or practical dependence can all contribute to being a sitar partner, as maintenance of the person themselves must be done before maintenance of the relationship.

The accordion/sitar spectrum is also not the same thing as casual vs. committed relationships, or compatible vs. incompatible preferences. Casual relationships can still require a lot of energy, and incompatible preferences can take very little energy to handle, if lubricated with good communication and self awareness.

Now, this might start to sound like I’m calling Accordions ‘desirable and good’ and Sitars ‘undesirable and bad’,

but I want to steer away from that sharply. Inheriting a lot of money from a relative might push someone towards the ‘Accordion’ side of the spectrum, and getting into a car accident might push them towards the ‘Sitar’ side – frequently a partner’s cost is affected by things entirely outside of their control, and having these things happen to a partner probably doesn’t affect how much the relationship is ‘worth it’ or how much you love them.

The benefits of Accordion partners might sound ideal, almost romantic, but I think a lot of people find relationships to be like the Sitar – it’s only fun when it’s hard.

Sitar partners have the ability to provide an intense sense of specialness – if they require a lot of energy to date, then you are set apart from others more distinctly by being the one to spend that energy. Not just anybody could/would spend all this energy! They also lure in people who feel they need to feel like they must work hard to feel like they deserve love from the other person.

There may also be a greater sense of satisfaction and meaningfulness when progression is made in the relationship. And often, the sense of ‘suffering with someone’ is tragically romantic and incredibly bonding – often we feel sharing our pain is a core component of achieving intimacy, and comforting a suffering partner – and being comforted by them in turn – can make you feel fused to each other so completely that it soothes that gnawing itch of constant aloneness. Such is the appeal of unhealed wounds.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone explicitly verbalize that they are looking for a partner who will cost them a lot of energy, but it seems very obvious from observation. For example, a few years ago I watched the dating life of one of my old roommates – she shifted through a lot of attractive, easy-to-date men, only to end up disappearing to love/take care of someone who was extremely high cost – aggressive and neurotic, with a few mental disorders. It took me a while to realize that she hadn’t been duped – she was doing this deliberately, and this is what she wanted. She didn’t date him in spite of the fact he was a Sitar, she dated him because of it.

I don’t think that any pairing of Sitar/Accordion Sitar/Sitar Accordion/Accordion is bad at all, but it does seem difficult for people who’ve ended up in the relationship rather accidentally, and not because they were actively seeking it like my old roommate actively sought it.

I’ve seen a few people who prefer Sitar partners date an Accordion partner and end up a bit unsatisfied. Usually their complaint (not explicitly verbalized!) is that of lack of passion – their Accordion partner is a little boring, or just friendly, or cold. And the other way around is just as bad – people who prefer Accordion partners are unhappy when they date Sitar partners, and the experience for them is exhausting and often feels like an unnecessary distraction, or a chore.

I think that often, in both of these scenarios, the people would still say their relationship is ‘worth it.’ Once you cross the familiarity threshhold, there’s no going back really until other factors break the relationship down from the inside, or they deal with it and grow old and die. The best cure is prevention.

This is why I think learning to explicitly identify the kind of labor you want to put into a relationship –

without judging that desire at all – would be very useful, because then you can avoid getting into a mismatched relationship in the first place. This may be difficult, as I suspect most people would tell themselves they want an Accordion one, because that seems like the ‘right’ answer.

I think the reason for this is that Sitar relationships tend to feature more intense points of unhappiness, and there’s a big “unhappiness is bad” narrative going on, and it’s nearly taboo to say “unhappiness can be fulfilling and meaningful.” Go watch a tragic movie goddamnit.

And sometimes people who want a Accordion relationship end up dating a Sitar partner – often because they feel that they would be a bad person if they let the difficulties affect their love for someone, or out of a sense of duty, or an unawareness that Accordion partners are an available option, or because they failed to recognize early enough that their partner was a Sitar. I usually see this in people who are so passively nice it ends up being a defensive maneuver. I belong in this category.

Basically, my point is make sure you research the instruments you buy beforehand, so you can learn to recognize signs of whether it will easily make you a beautiful song or if it will make you bleed as it slowly absorbs into your flesh and you don’t know anymore whether it is you or the instrument who is shedding those tears.
But hey, I respect the intensity.

“Me Too”: on Sexual Assault

I want to preface this by emphasizing that I in no way want to trivialize experiences people have had as victims of sexual assault. All feelings are valid, and it’s ok to feel hurt even at something that might seem trivial to others.


People on my Facebook and Twitter are posting “me too,” which is meant to indicate that they’ve been victims of sexual assault. The comments talk about how rampant abuse is, and I’ve read many anecdotes over the last few days of experiences that have left people living in a state of fear. “The world is not safe for us,” seems to be the message.


I felt weird and confused, because I have never felt this, despite having been a sex worker and living in a lot of different cities. I’ve generally felt quite safe my entire life, and never really witnessed this systemic harassment that I see people talk about. I don’t know what’s going on – how is it that everyone’s getting abused around me and I’m left untouched and ignorant to this? I started to write a post about this.


But then I remembered – I actually was a victim of sexual assault. There were many instances in my life that might qualify – I was molested as a child, stalked and chased in deserted streets, groped at a party, forced into a nonconsensual handjob, kissed without consent, and I still receive mildly concerning messages from a few very dedicated people. Also let’s not forget catcalling whenever I go outside alone wearing anything form-fitting.


So, I could also post “me too,” if I wanted! But posting it still didn’t feel right. Remembering these things didn’t make me feel less safe – in fact I had actually completely forgot about a few of the events up until this point. I never really considered them an issue.


I think this is because very few of the events made me feel afraid for my life or well being. The forced sexual contact was really annoying and uncomfortable, but I wasn’t afraid they would hurt me, and I think on a gut level I don’t view ‘having my hand shoved onto a dick’ as much different than ‘having my hand shoved onto a forearm.’ It was mostly uncomfortable because of social anxiety – I wasn’t sure how to effectively communicate without ruining my social ties later on.


The only thing that left lasting impact was being chased through Istanbul’s deserted streets by a hooded man – to this day I have trouble walking alone at night, even in safe areas. But I never really considered this part of a systemic problem – I don’t know if he wanted to rape or mug me, but both of those things seemed equally physically threatening, and I know several other people who’ve been mugged, most of them men, and I sort of classed it as just an unfortunate thing that happens sometimes. I never once thought of this as having to do with rape (or mugging) culture, and more thought of it as “sometimes psychopaths get born, and sometimes I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I don’t feel like a victim.


I have a weirdly high resilience to these experiences, but I don’t want to insinuate that those who don’t are weak. I did not choose to be unaffected, and it’s likely that the reasons for this are random factors in my childhood, or a genetic balance of brain chemicals, or something different and unknowable. I am not stronger, I take absolutely no credit, I just happened to find myself in this position.


But with the “Me Too” campaign, I felt a pressure to view the things that had happened to me as part of this ‘systemic abuse’ narrative, as important somehow, as something I should be more upset about. Was there something wrong with me for being so unaffected by sexual assault? Should I get more angry? The idea of offering up my experiences as part of the cause felt sort of appealing, like I was special.


And the problem here is that if I did choose to label my experiences as something important and troubling, that I would become unhappier and more fearful. People who view their experiences as important and troubling seem to also have a lot of distress associated with it, and it seems like it would be an improvement if they could reach a mental state where they no longer saw them as important and troubling.


I’m not at all saying they are failing by “Me Too”ing their experience, only that the state of “Me Too”ing is more unpleasant than a state without labels – and more importantly, that the “Me Too” program might actually increase the amount people feel their experience has been traumatic for them. I’m reminded of my experience leaving home. I was raised a homeschooler in an incredibly sheltered environment by an abusive father. The experience itself really sucked, and was very uncomfortable, but I did not assign it a special label. I didn’t know that my experience was special or important – until I left home and started talking to people from the outside world.


People reacted in horror when I mentioned things from my childhood that I thought were normal and common. They said things like, “are you okay? How are you coping?”. As I integrated with my new culture, I took on the horror they felt about my childhood. I started to feel horrified at what I had gone through, and this caused me pain at least as great as the experience had been itself. I felt like I was living with a gaping wound in my chest. I felt injustice and crippling rage and suffered through nightmares for years. I defined myself as a victim, and thus I felt like a victim.


I would not have been able to heal without shedding my label and the narrative about what I had gone through. The label and the narrative helped me adjust to my new culture, but it also locked me into suffering. I no longer consider myself a victim, and as a result I no longer suffer like a victim.


Now, I’m not necessarily arguing that people shouldn’t have reacted in horror. I think probably rejecting my upbringing as ‘deeply not right’ was super important for integrating into a healthier perspective, and I think to some extent suffering from an updated narrative was inevitable – but I do wish deeply, at some point, that someone would have told me to not make it special. I wish someone would have told me that I should feel and process whatever pain I need to feel, but to refuse to give it an identity, to refuse to make it part of me. I wish at least one person would not have reacted with horror. I wish someone had told me this didn’t need to be a story about the poor abused Christian girl who must feel the way a poor abused Christian girl should feel.


And in the same way, I sort of want to reach out to the people saying Me Too and I want to tell them that it’s okay to hurt, but this doesn’t have to be anything special. It can just be pain, and then healing. I’m afraid that the cultural attitude that sparks Me Too will lock people into the pain.


Please realize I’m not necessarily making an argument against the “Me Too” campaign. It’s very possible that the benefits are greater than this cost, especially in a world where sexual assault is a hidden harm – but I wanted to introduce the concept that going about it this way might also have a cost. I don’t know if Me Too is a net benefit or not, but I see nobody discussing the potential downsides, and I feel a cultural pressure not to. There’s a reason I’m posting this here on my blog and not on my social media.


It’s just, despite having a list of ways in which people have sexually abused or harassed me, I am happy. I don’t feel any urge to label those experiences. I don’t feel afraid, and I feel completely free. I want others to know that this is possible, and that maybe one path is by rejecting the urge to put those experiences into a storyline that designates them as special.

How Taboo Are These Sexual Fetishes?


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The correlation between tabooness and sexual interest was statistically significant at p < 0.01.

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Fuckers Vs. Raisers

Disclaimer: Pure conjecture, riddled with a ton of what-ifs – probably none of which are original.

One day in a stereotypical medieval town, a bard comes through.

This is a very sexy bard, violet-eyed, good with a lute, and experienced in the ways of women. During his short stay he sleeps with four of the village wenches, and then bounces off to a new village, to seduce more wenches.

The men in the town don’t know about this, of course, and when one of the wenches gets pregnant, everyone assumes her husband did it. Years later, a new child with violet eyes is running around. Life goes on.

There are two sexual strategies for men – Fucking and Raising. Fuckers, like our friend the Bard, do the ol’ fuck-and-run. Move frequently, shoot seed everywhere, and hope that this results in violet-eyed toddlers getting raised by other men. Raisers, by contrast, shoot seed into comparatively few women and end up raising the children they produce.

A society probably can only tolerate so many Fuckers, because Raisers are doing all of the work. If too many men are Fuckers, the kids will stop getting raised, and then the Fucking sexual strategy loses effectiveness.

Kind of like charity/hospitality/welfare. A society only has so much excess to give to people who take advantage of it.

My question then is why are women attracted to Fuckers? Is there any female advantage to this?

Women are attracted to men who indicate they would help their child survive – and to a woman, only Raisers will help her child survive. Having a child by a Fucker is dangerous – if she doesn’t have a Raiser lined up, then she’s on her own, and historically this is Very Bad News. If she does have a Raiser and he finds out the child isn’t his, again – Very Bad News.

So when the Bard fingers his lute, why do all the women around him sigh?

I think their sighs don’t have anything to do with the fact he’s a Fucker – I think it’s because his traits, if they were present in a Raiser, would be ideal. He’s presenting confidence, skill, and high social standing. If a Raiser like that moved into town, all of the women would be trying to wife themselves at him like crazy. The Bard also is a potential Raiser in the women’s eyes, and he probably has to emphasize that idea in order to get her to sleep with him.

This is maybe where the trope of “guy tells girl he loves her in order to sleep with her” comes from. Women don’t want to fuck Fuckers, but they will fuck Fuckers disguised as Raisers. And when they find out, they usually describe the feeling of “being used.”

This makes me think that women’s sexual strategy involves defending against Fuckers at all costs, and that there are minimal or no evolutionary benefits for women to be charmed by the Bard (beyond maybe getting some fresh gene material into the town?). Fuckers only succeed by disguising themselves as Raisers.

This frames things a lot more in terms of ‘battle’ between the genders. I have held the idea until now that human sexual strategy is a lot more of a complimentary competition, but this seems like it has really disproportionate benefits.

Of course this is very general, and cultural norms are changing. Birth control means that women aren’t threatened by Fuckers, and so Fuckers don’t have to pretend (as much) to be Raisers to get laid anymore. Sleeping with a Fucker who isn’t pretending to be a Raiser has given rise to the new fun sort of relationship called Casual Sex.

Okay I am done writing now but I don’t know how to do a closing paragraph. I don’t really want to learn.

The Amory Spectrum

In discussions about monogamy and polyamory, I find I’ve recategorized the two ideas into something that feels more functional for me, and I accidentally try to use them synonymously with the original words. This ends up getting pretty messy, so I’m going to do the obvious thing: invent more words and then explain them!

(there’s a good chance someone has already written about this somewhere.)

Presenting: The Uniamory/Multiamory Spectrum

Your position on the Uniamory/Multiamory spectrum depends entirely on how many restrictions you place on your partner’s romantic/sexual behavior. It doesn’t matter what restrictions are placed on you, or what your partner actually does, or what you actually do, or the functional habits in your relationship.

You are uniamorous if you have rules, expectations, or agreements placed on your partner that state they cannot engage in relationships besides you.

You are multiamorous if you have no rules, expectations, or agreements about your partner’s romantic/sexual behavior with people besides yourself.

Remember this is a spectrum, going from lots of rules (no flirting) to medium rules (you can kiss but no sex) to no rules (you can do literally anything you want). For fun I’m going to provide the Amory Spectrum:

  • 0. Exclusively uniamorous; all extrarelationship romantic/sexual expressions are disallowed; no flirting, sexting, nude photos; can include forbidding being alone for too long with other people or ‘leading them on’; usually uncomfortable with watching porn or expressing attraction to others
  • 1. Predominantly uniamorous, only incidentally multiamorous; all obvious extrarelationship romantic/sexual expressions are disallowed, but leniency for flirting or engaging in light touch. Acceptance of expressing attraction to others and porn use.
  • 2. Predominantly uniamorous, but more than incidentally multiamorous. Most extrarelationship romantic/sexual expressions are disallowed, but with strong leniency; can include approval of nude photos, kissing and light petting, or attending sex/nude/kink parties (as a couple, without interacting with others). Most camgirl’s partners fall within this category.
  • 3. Equally multiamorous and uniamorous: Includes swinging, having threesomes, and occasionally allowance of very casual/occasional extrarelationship interactions, but with disallowance of any serious or regular extrarelationship interactions.
  • 4. Predominantly multiamorous, but more than incidentally uniamorous: general extrarelationship romantic/sexual expressions are allowed with several rules, such as strongly enforced relationship hierarchy, and can include regulations of number of partners allowed, the frequency of their interactions, or moderate restrictions on their sexual activities
  • 5. Predominantly multiamorous, only incidentally uniamorous: the majority of extrarelationship romantic/sexual expressions are allowed with few rules; can include light prescriptive hierarchy or minimal regulation of sexual behavior.
  • 6. Exclusively multiamorous: all extrarelationship romantic/sexual expressions are allowed; no rules or requirements are instituted, and no prescriptive hierarchy is instated

Also: rules for the purpose of sexual safety, such as getting tested regularly or using condoms, do not count towards the multiamory spectrum.

If you date someone for twenty years with no rules about what they can or can’t do, but they never actually get involved with anybody else, then you are multiamorous but functionally monogamous.

If you prefer relationships that tend to be functionally monogamous, you can actively search for monogamous partners while both of you remain multiamorous.

If you insist that you and your partner will only love each other forever, that neither of you even experience the desire for others, and you also have rules that your partner can’t act upon desires even if they do have them, then you are both uniamorous and monogamous.

If you have no rules about your partner’s behavior but they have rules about your behavior, then you are multiamorous dating a uniamorous person, in a monogamous relationship.

Uniamory instituted out of fairness does not count; if you are level 6 multiamorous but dating someone who is level 2 uniamorous, and your partner agrees to not take advantage of your level 6 leniency because it wouldn’t be ‘fair,’ and instead acts as though you are level 2 uniamorous too, then this does not make you uniamorous.

Polyamory and uniamory aren’t really compatible, but sometimes you see poly relationships that rank low on the amory spectrum. If you consider yourself poly but are a 3 on the amory scale, then you might be on the uniamorous side of polyamory.

Basically, I think putting “restrictions placed on partner” into a highly defined, separate role to be a strongly illuminating way of looking at relationship structures. Frequently I find people citing monogamous motivations to explain their uniamory implementations (e.g., “We’re level 1 monogamous because neither of us find anybody else to be attractive!”)

Filling the Dating Role

A: “You’re looking for someone to fill the position of head software engineer for your company.”

B: “That’s right.”

A: “What sort of things are you looking for? Good work history? Proficiency in programming languages? Ability to manage?”

B: “What kind of employer do you think I am? I mean I’m not against those things, but really, I’m just a simple worker at a simple company. The most important attributes in an employee are kindness, a sense of humor, loyalty, and intelligence.”

A: “What?”

B: “I mean, would you hire anyone who was mean, or an idiot, or boring?”

A: “I’d prefer not to, but that’s not the point. You’re hiring them to perform a specific duty.”

B: “And that specific duty will be done poorly if they aren’t funny, intelligent, or kind.”

A: “Yes, those things are important – but they’re base things we want for any human we have to interact with regularly, ever – for any job, for a roommate, for a friend. And yes, those traits can offset a little bit qualification – you’d probably prefer a very emotionally mature but slightly less qualified worker over an emotionally immature but overly qualified worker – but it still gives us no information about how well they’ll perform specifically to the role itself! The base traits of funny-intelligence-kindness are like a platform upon which you build the rest of the structure of qualifications, and when I ask about the role, I am asking about that structure, not the platform.”

This is how I feel when I ask people what they look for in a romantic partner and they reply with “funny-intelligent-kind”. (For the purposes of this post, the generic positive personality trait cluster will be known as FIK.)

I think it’s particularly important because we frequently say being FIK is what’s the most attractive, but then we go on to avoid dating most of the super-FIK people. It’s sort of like if, in a job application, the requirements said they were looking for FIK applicants, but then went on to completely ignore the ones highest on the FIK spectrum.

If you point out that they’re not selecting for FIK, usually the response is something like “but I would never be attracted to someone who wasn’t FIK!” This is true, but not illuminating. The question about selection comes from the aspects that fit the specific role, not the basic FIKness required for form the platform base for that role.

FIKness is something we want for all people in our life, not just dating, so saying you want a FIK person to date reveals nothing about your actual dating requirements.

So to learn about aspects unique to the “dating role,” we have to disregard all qualities that are equally desirable for other roles, friendship included. Anything FIK-related, throw out.

For men dating women, the answer is kinda obvious – physical beauty. For women dating men, power.

This last part is worth its own set of discussion, but I’ll save that for another time – this post was mostly just a response to a few discussions I’ve had with people who claimed FIKness for their romantic selection and were resistant to pointing out role-specific requirements.

The Enticing Moral Claim

There is a tribe called Jhurk where all sorts of lies are told. Easy ones – “no you don’t look fat in that,” malicious ones – “no I didn’t steal your sheep, a wolf ate it,” and even beneficial ones – “no, invading war chief, I have no one else for you to capture in my home.”

One day a man named Goolag, who recently caught his wife with the local voodoo master when she’d sworn she was only going out to pick berries, comes up with a rule.

“Lying is bad!” he proclaims. “I hate liars!”

Nobody likes being lied to. Everyone agrees with Goolag, and they start putting up anti-lying flags. Soon their religions pick up moral tales about how their deities refused to lie. Young Jhurkian men signal how moral and hip they are to Jhurkian women by saying “I don’t date liars.”

Demonstrating how much you are against Lying becomes a quick and easy way to get moral points with the group. Everyone cheers with Goolag when he screams FUCK LYING.

Because everyone generally agrees that “being a liar” is a terrible thing, accusations of lying become especially powerful. Because accusations of lying are so powerful, they become broader – and the people of Jhurk are either “Liars” or “Not-Liars.”

Once someone in Jhurk receives the ‘Liar’ label, nobody cares to investigate further. The lie might have been harmless, horrible, or even occasionally beneficial – but under all the excitement about decrying lying, it’s packaged into one single, binary switch – Liar or Not-Liar. This isn’t a deliberate decision on the part of the Jhurkians, but more a result from a learned sense of outrage.

One woman, Zokk (whose husband was recently shunned for lying about a surprise party) tries to defend Liars. But all of Jhurk knows that Liars Are Bad – and they bring up Goolag’s wife, that dirty whore, and Gneb, who lied about the money in the tribe treasury, and Ved the traitor, who lied about being allied with Jhurk when really he was just selling tribe secrets to the rival tribe across the river.

“Why would you defend Lying when Liars do all these things?” they say. “You are a Liar-apologist!” and thus both Zokk and her husband are shunned.

“Lying is bad” was turned into a moral law in exactly the same way moral laws in religion operate. In religion, a set of “correct behaviors” are agreed upon, and adherents are ‘good’ and the rebellious are ‘bad.’ This can feel very deep and true, like how religion decries homosexuality so hard that people start to genuinely feel disgust and horror reactions about it.

Identifying a general sin is a very efficient way of dealing with social problems, but also very mindless and inaccurate. Jhurk’s lying problem was certainly eradicated, but eradicated religiously – in a strong, oversimplified, and demonizing sense.

New moral laws are usually the most exciting to signal (No dating site profile is cool for saying “I only date people who are against slavery”). And because they’re so exciting, they’re also the most virulent and religious.

I was reading about this commune back in the 1970s where they operated by the new and exciting moral law of Tolerate Everyone (as in allow anybody to live on this commune). This was a revolutionary concept to them and they took it very seriously. There was a strong social pressure to Tolerate Everyone, and anyone who did did not Tolerate Everyone was shunned by the group.

And over time the excitement wore off and they realized this wasn’t sustainable. The commune became a magnet for the drug addicted, the severely mentally ill, people who wouldn’t work, and dangerous criminals. Maybe something like Tolerate Everyone Except Those Who Are A Detriment To Your Community would have been better.

Of course Tolerating Everyone is a good idea and they were right to identify it as desirable – but it’s not desirable not as a law. The world is complex and nuanced and every situation has to be taken individually. This takes much more gentle thought and mental effort, but it might have saved that commune, and Zokk’s husband.

I think the terms “racism” and “sexism” are being used almost exclusively as religious law today.

Ideas having to do with race and sex are vast and complicated. Some come out of fear of culture, others out of mindless fear, others out of statistics. Some are more extreme than others. Some are justified, others entirely invalid. All of them have personal causes.

And in using the easy, simplistic, blanket term of ‘racism’ or ‘sexism’ to address any issue that even smells a bit like race or gender hostility, we are guilty of exactly the same trap that the religious fall into – except they’ve usually had a couple centuries to chill the fuck out while we’re still excited about it.

We say “if you’re racist don’t message me” on our dating profiles because it’s an easy and safe and exciting thing to signal. We use “sexist” as an immediate weapon word against situations that are in the line of fire but they might not be that terrible, we don’t know, we don’t have all the facts yet.

I’m not saying that discrimination against people based on race or gender isn’t terrible. It is – sort of like how maliciously lying to your neighbors is also terrible.

But I distrust the transformation of bad things into a label that can be used as a wide, inaccurate scythe that mows down the worst offenders, the mild offenders, and anybody innocently standing at the edges of the problem, all in the same sweep. It stifles discourse, it reduces empathy, it turns neighbors into opponents, and it mirrors the thinking of the mindless, traditionally religious.

The religious aren’t religious because they’re stupid, they’re religious because it’s enticing. Beware the enticing moral claim!