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CMV: Proportional Representation (PR) is the Superior System
It is more fair
I was inspired by the American elections on this one. That's because hearing Trump complain about election fraud seems rich considering he would not have come close to beating Hilary or Biden in the last two elections without the Electoral College system (in both instances he lost the popular vote). Of course, the Electoral College system is law, so gerrymandering cannot legally be "fraud" but come on - if a candidate wins the popular vote they should, morally speaking, win the presidency. The Electoral College system is even worse than British First Past the Post (FPTP) it seems, as a party that wins the Electoral Colleges still does not necessarily have control over the senate.
It reflects the voting majority better
Here in UK recently we had an election where the Prime Minister won an 80 seat majority the size of which he would never have gotten with proportional representation. While Johnson would have always stayed on as PM, he would not have had a "democratic" mandate to push through the policies he wants to: a hard Brexit, Americanising the Supreme Court, questionable Civil Service reforms (Cummings) and the Internal Markets Bill to name a few. That's because a stronger Opposition under PR would have opposed a lot of this.
You get more local representatives that may reflect your point of view
I have heard it said that FPTP returns you a constituent politician that can dedicate themselves to representing local issues. But with PR there may be several local representatives in population dense areas that reflect different political perspectives. So if you have an issue you think a socialist would understand better you can contact them, or if it was a conservative or a liberal you wanted to talk to, you'd be more likely to have those options as well. Obviously in some communities, you might find there wasn't as broad an array of representatives. However you'd have a better shot at that under PR as well as a wider choice of representatives to talk to even if they are from the same party.
It is just as "stable", if not more so
First, I disagree with the premise that opponents to PR subscribe to that a constitution is stable if it does not require a coalition government and government can more easily enact policies in accordance with their voting base (and get those through parliament). Firstly, "more stuff done" is not better: quality, not quantity. When we had a minority conservative government before 2019 I actually thought parliament were doing a good job of scrutinising and making amendments to Brexit legislation so that the country could come to a positive consensus on what would be a stable result. Being able to rush stuff through parliament just leads to chaotic mistakes like the Iraq war, where Blair was able to rush a decision to go to war even though the decision was very popular among the public at large. Would he have been able to do this under a proportionally representative parliament? Also would Cummings have as much sway in bullying his vision for the country if parliament was proportionally representative? Neither of these seem likely. The other objection related to the point about is that FPTP means the largest group can get their voice heard whereas with a coalition government the negotiations result in a compromise that represent no particular group. But actually PR just treats what the majority want a lot differently. For example if 40% of people want a No Deal Brexit but 60% of people are divided between Remain and Soft Brexit, sure the largest minority group wants a hard break from the EU. But it would seem that the majority of people (60%) would prefer to at least remain in a customs union with Europe. So FPTP has a twisted idea of what it means to represent the majority. The idea that it would be less stable and more democratic to force a vision through parliament that most people don't want because ideology exists as a spectrum rather than a binary categorisation seems perverse. If a National Unity Government was strong enough - necessary in fact - to face Hitler, it seems that coalition governments should be able to fare well enough during times of lesser crisis.
It won't particularly lead to racist parties forming, or it might but it is not that substantial
So, with the vote split between two large parties partially "left" or "right to the Overton window people will generally vote for centrist governments, or centre-right if you consider UK and America are to the right of most other countries. This doesn't really give much breathing space for racist parties in general as racist parties tend to have radical ideologies that deviate far from the centre-ground. But with proportional representation, people no longer consider voting for a party that deviates too far from centre a "wasted vote" since those parties now have a legitimate shot to either get into power, or simply to veto government. Whereas before, they would be stealing votes from a mainstream party closest too them, enabling the party you hate most to get in, now that doesn't matter because your favourite party can form a coalition with the enemy of your friend (whether in power or opposition). Or they can form a coalition with your enemy, softening the blows and impacts of that party's policy making. This can lead to authoritarian and racist parties forming, some say. But the thing is firstly, racist parties can get in power even with FPTP. For example, when the Reformed National Party won most of the seats in the 1948 FPTP election leading to apartheid South Africa (1). The Nazi Party had actually arrested all of the Communist deputies and changed the rules to make it easier to pass the Enabling Act in 1933 (1), thus making the system less proportionally representative. Meanwhile, Karl Popper has this to say about tolerating (or not tolerating) intolerance in modern democracies:
Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.
More relevantly to my argument, he says:
as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise.
I extend an interpretation of this (my words, not Popper's) to mean that it could be prudent, even on a political level to occasionally hand the racists a platform so that we can debate and repudiate their ideas. Whereas complete suppression can occasionally lend credence to the idea that a person's logic is "irrefutable" and that is why their expression has been muted. Letting the racist party's a small portion of politic representation to refute their ideas can quash such a notion. And besides, we can defeat racist parties through legal mechanisms to defeat or obstruct them when their policies become too extreme. For example, the British National Party (BNP) "gained all the borough council seats in parts of Burnley despite getting nowhere near a majority of the vote" (1). However, the BNP were also obstructed by legal democratic mechanisms when a court ruled the party was legally required to allow ethnic minorities membership in the party, thus morphing the whole focus. Popper sort of makes a similar argument to this as well though neither of us have outright claimed racist or anti-democratic authoritarian parties should be banned entirely:
[W]e should claim the right to suppress [those who are intolerant] if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.
I'm not saying that there is no threat from racist parties under PR as quite a few European proportionally representative democracies have them. I am just saying that the threat is firstly exaggerated and secondly we are not exactly protected from them by FPTP either. Could you imagine how bad it would be if a country were facing the same instability, economic depression and racial divisions as a country like Germany during the Weimar Republic but instead of a PR democracy, a racist anti-democratic government were able to gerrymander constituencies to their benefit through FPTP? (1) ___________________________________________
(1) Electoral Reform Website: "Did Proportional Representation put the Nazis in power?"
UK’s highest court to hear landmark case on gender-neutral passports after decades-long fight by non-gendered activist
This is the best tl;dr I could make, original reduced by 66%. (I'm a bot)
The UK Supreme Court is to hear an appeal case on the government's refusal to issue gender-neutral passports brought forward by Christie Elan-Cane. The non-gendered activist, who has campaigned for a third gender option on British passports for more than 25 years, lost the latest round of per long-running legal challenge at the Court of Appeal in March. Elan-Cane's law firm, Clifford Chance, said Thursday that it has secured permission to appeal to the Supreme Court to challenge the government's policy to refuse to issue non-gendered passports. Clifford Chance is proud to be working with Christie Elan-Cane and Blackstone Chambers to argue this case before the Supreme Court. Per latest case, against the Home Office, was heard at the Court of Appeal in December 2019, after Elan-Cane lost against the Home Office at the High Court in 2018. Elan-Cane lost per appeal at the Court of Appeal earlier this year, with the court saying that the Home Office policy of only providing binary gender options for UK passports is not unlawful.
Hi everyone, this is my first ever post here. I run a little website called The Thought Experiment where I talk about various issues, some of them Singapore related. And one of my main interests is Singaporean politics. With the GE2020 election results, I thought I should pen down my take on what us as the electorate were trying to say. If you like what I wrote, I also wrote another article on the state of play for GE2020 during the campaigning period, as well as 2 other articles related to GE2015 back when it was taking place. If you don't like what I wrote, that's ok! I think the beauty of freedom of expression is that everyone is entitled to their opinion. I'm always happy to get feedback, because I do think that more public discourse about our local politics helps us to be more politically aware as a whole. Just thought I'll share my article here to see what you guys make of it :D Article Starts Here: During the campaigning period, both sides sought to portray an extreme scenario of what would happen if voters did not vote for them. The Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) warned that Singaporeans that their political opponents “might eventually replace the government after July 10”. Meanwhile, the Worker’s Party (WP) stated that “there was a real risk of a wipeout of elected opposition MPs at the July 10 polls”. Today is July 11th. As we all know, neither of these scenarios came to pass. The PAP comfortably retained its super-majority in Parliament, winning 83 out of 93 elected MP seats. But just as in GE2011, another Group Representation Constituency (GRC) has fallen to the WP. In addition, the PAP saw its vote share drop drastically, down almost 9% to 61.2% from 69.9% in GE2015. Singapore’s electorate is unique in that a significant proportion is comprised of swing voters: Voters who don’t hold any blind allegiance to any political party, but vote based on a variety of factors both micro and macro. The above extreme scenarios were clearly targeted at these swing voters. Well, the swing voters have made their choice, their roar sending 4 more elected opposition MPs into Parliament. This article aims to unpack that roar and what it means for the state of Singaporean politics going forward. 1. The PAP is still the preferred party to form Singapore’s Government Yes, this may come across as blindingly obvious, but it still needs to be said. The swing voter is by its very definition, liable to changes of opinion. And a large factor that determines how a swing voter votes is their perception of how their fellow swing voters are voting. If swing voters perceive that most swing voters are leaning towards voting for the opposition, they might feel compelled to vote for the incumbent. And if the reverse is true, swing voters might feel the need to shore up opposition support. Why is this so? This is because the swing voter is trying to push the vote result into a sweet spot – one that lies between the two extreme scenarios espoused by either side. They don’t want the PAP to sweep all 93 seats in a ‘white tsunami’. Neither do they want the opposition to claim so much territory that the PAP is too weak to form the Government on its own. But because each swing voter only has a binary choice: either they vote for one side or the other (I’m ignoring the third option where they simply spoil their vote), they can’t very well say “I want to vote 0.6 for the PAP and 0.4 for the Opposition with my vote”. And so we can expect the swing voter bloc to continue being a source of uncertainty for both sides in future elections, as long as swing voters are still convinced that the PAP should be the Government. 2. Voters no longer believe that the PAP needs a ‘strong mandate’ to govern. They also don’t buy into the NCMP scheme. Throughout the campaign period, the PAP repeatedly exhorted voters to vote for them alone. Granted, they couldn’t very well give any ground to the opposition without a fight. And therefore there was an attempt to equate voting for the PAP as voting for Singapore’s best interests. However, the main message that voters got was this: PAP will only be able to steer Singapore out of the Covid-19 pandemic if it has a strong mandate from the people. What is a strong mandate, you may ask? While no PAP candidate publicly confirmed it, their incessant harping on the Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) scheme as the PAP’s win-win solution for having the PAP in power and a largely de-fanged opposition presence in parliament shows that the PAP truly wanted a parliament where it held every single seat. Clearly, the electorate has different ideas, handing Sengkang GRC to the WP and slashing the PAP’s margins in previous strongholds such as West Coast, Choa Chu Kang and Tanjong Pagar by double digit percentages. There is no doubt from the results that swing voters are convinced that a PAP supermajority is not good for Singapore. They are no longer convinced that to vote for the opposition is a vote against Singapore. They have realized, as members of a maturing democracy surely must, that one can vote for the opposition, yet still be pro-Singapore. 3. Social Media and the Internet are rewriting the electorate’s perception. In the past, there was no way to have an easily accessible record of historical events. With the only information source available being biased mainstream media, Singaporeans could only rely on that to fill in the gaps in their memories. Therefore, Operation Coldstore became a myth of the past, and Chee Soon Juan became a crackpot in the eyes of the people, someone who should never be allowed into Parliament. Fast forward to today. Chee won 45.2% of the votes in Bukit Batok’s Single Member Constituency (SMC). His party-mate, Dr. Paul Tambyah did even better, winning 46.26% of the votes in Bukit Panjang SMC. For someone previously seen as unfit for public office, this is an extremely good result. Chee has been running for elections in Singapore for a long time, and only now is there a significant change in the way he is perceived (and supported) by the electorate. Why? Because of social media and the internet, two things which the PAP does not have absolute control over. With the ability to conduct interviews with social media personalities as well as upload party videos on Youtube, he has been able to display a side of himself to people that the PAP did not want them to see: someone who is merely human just like them, but who is standing up for what he believes in. 4. Reserved Election Shenanigans and Tan Cheng Block: The electorate has not forgotten. Tan Cheng Bock almost became our President in 2011. There are many who say that if Tan Kin Lian and Tan Jee Say had not run, Tony Tan would not have been elected. In March 2016, Tan Cheng Bock publicly declared his interest to run for the next Presidential Election that would be held in 2017. The close result of 2011 and Tan Cheng Bock’s imminent candidacy made the upcoming Presidential Election one that was eagerly anticipated. That is, until the PAP shut down his bid for the presidency just a few months later in September 2016, using its supermajority in Parliament to pass a “reserved election” in which only members of a particular race could take part. Under the new rules that they had drawn up for themselves, it was decreed that only Malays could take part. And not just any Malay. The candidate had to either be a senior executive managing a firm that had S$500 million in shareholders’ equity, or be the Speaker of Parliament or a similarly high post in the public sector (the exact criteria are a bit more in-depth than this, but this is the gist of it. You can find the full criteria here). And who was the Speaker of Parliament at the time? Mdm Halimah, who was conveniently of the right race (Although there was some hooha about her actually being Indian). With the extremely strict private sector criteria and the PAP being able to effectively control who the public sector candidate was, it came as no surprise that Mdm Halimah was declared the only eligible candidate on Nomination Day. A day later, she was Singapore’s President. And all without a single vote cast by any Singaporean. Of course, the PAP denied that this was a move specifically aimed at blocking Tan Cheng Bock’s bid for the presidency. Chan Chun Sing, Singapore’s current Minister of Trade and Industry, stated in 2017 that the Government was prepared to pay the political price over making these changes to the Constitution. We can clearly see from the GE2020 results that a price was indeed paid. A loss of almost 9% of vote share is very significant, although a combination of the first-past-the-post rule and the GRC system ensured that the PAP still won 89.2% of the seats in Parliament despite only garnering 61.2% of the votes. On the whole, it’s naught but a scratch to the PAP’s overwhelming dominance in Parliament. The PAP still retains its supermajority and can make changes to the Constitution anytime that it likes. But the swing voters have sent a clear signal that they have not been persuaded by the PAP’s rationale. 5. Swing Voters do not want Racial Politics. In 2019, Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and the man who is next in line to be Prime Minister (PM) commented that Singapore was not ready to have a non-Chinese PM. He further added that race is an issue that always arises at election-time in Singapore. Let us now consider the GE2015 results. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore’s Senior Minister and someone whom many have expressed keenness to be Singapore’s next PM, obtained 79.28% of the vote share in Jurong GRC. This was above even the current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who scored 78.63% in Ang Mo Kio GRC. Tharman’s score was the highest in the entire election. And now let us consider the GE2020 results. Tharman scored 74.62% in Jurong, again the highest scorer of the entire election, while Hsien Loong scored 71.91%. So Tharman beat the current PM again, and by an even bigger margin than the last time. Furthermore, Swee Keat, who made the infamous comments above, scored just 53.41% in East Coast. Yes, I know I’m ignoring a lot of other factors that influenced these results. But don’t these results show conclusively that Heng’s comments were wrong? We have an Indian leading both the current and future PM in both elections, but yet PAP still feels the need to say that Singapore “hasn’t arrived” at a stage where we can vote without race in mind. In fact, this was the same rationale that supposedly led to the reserved presidency as mentioned in my earlier point. The swing voters have spoken, and it is exceedingly clear to me that the electorate does not care what our highest office-holders are in terms of race, whether it be the PM or the President. Our Singapore pledge firmly states “regardless of race”, and I think the results have shown that we as a people have taken it to heart. But has the PAP? 6. Voters will not be so easily manipulated. On one hand, Singaporeans were exhorted to stay home during the Covid-19 pandemic. Contact tracing became mandatory, and groups of more than 5 are prohibited. But on the other hand, we are also told that it’s absolutely necessary to hold an election during this same period, for Singaporeans to wait in long lines and in close proximity to each other as we congregate to cast our vote, all because the PAP needs a strong mandate. On one hand, Heng Swee Keat lambasted the Worker’s Party, claiming that it was “playing games with voters” over their refusal to confirm if they would accept NCMP seats. But on the other hand, Heng Swee Keat was moved to the East Coast GRC at the eleventh hour in a surprise move to secure the constituency. (As mentioned above, he was aptly rewarded for this with a razor-thin margin of just 53.41% of the votes.) On one hand, Masagos Zulkifli, PAP Vice-Chairman stated that “candidates should not be defined by a single moment in time or in their career, but judged instead by their growth throughout their life”. He said this in defense of Ivan Lim, who appears to be the very first candidate in Singaporean politics to have been pushed into retracting his candidacy by the power of non-mainstream media. But on the other hand, the PAP called on the WP to make clear its stand on Raeesah Khan, a WP candidate who ran (and won) in Sengkang GRC for this election, stating that the Police investigation into Raeesah’s comments made on social media was “a serious matter which goes to the fundamental principles on which our country has been built”. On one hand, Chan Chun Sing stated in 2015, referring to SingFirst’s policies about giving allowances to the young and the elderly, “Some of them promised you $300 per month. I say, please don’t insult my residents. You think…. they are here to be bribed?” On the other hand, the PAP Government has just given out several handouts under its many budgets to help Singaporeans cope with the Covid-19 situation. [To be clear, I totally approve of these handouts. What I don’t approve is that the PAP felt the need to lambast similar policies as bribery in the past. Comparing a policy with a crime is a political low blow in my book.] I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. And so did the electorate in this election, putting their vote where it counted to show their disdain for the heavy-handedness and double standards that the PAP has displayed for this election. Conclusion I don’t say the above to put down the PAP. The PAP would have you believe that to not support them is equivalent to not wanting what’s best for Singapore. This is a false dichotomy that must be stamped out, and I am glad to see our swing voters taking a real stand with this election. No, I say the above as a harsh but ultimately supportive letter to the PAP. As everyone can see from the results, we all still firmly believe that the PAP should be the Government. We still have faith that PAP has the leadership to take us forward and out of the Covid-19 crisis. But we also want to send the PAP a strong signal with this vote, to bring them down from their ivory towers and down to the ground. Enough with the double standards. Enough with the heavy-handedness. Singaporeans have clearly stated their desire for a more mature democracy, and that means more alternative voices in Parliament. The PAP needs to stop acting as the father who knows it all, and to start acting as the bigger brother who can work hand in hand with his alternative younger brother towards what’s best for the entire family: Singapore. There is a real chance that the PAP will not listen, though. As Lee Hsien Loong admitted in a rally in 2006, “if there are 10, 20… opposition members in Parliament… I have to spent my time thinking what is the right way to fix them”. Now, the PAP has POFMA at its disposal. It still has the supermajority in Parliament, making them able to change any law in Singapore, even the Constitution at will. We have already seen them put these tools to use for its own benefit. Let us see if the PAP will continue as it has always done, or will it take this opportunity to change itself for the better. Whatever the case, we will be watching, and we will be waiting to make our roar heard once again five years down the road. Majulah Singapura! Article Ends Here. Here's the link to the actual article: https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2020/07/11/ge2020-the-roar-of-the-swing-vote And here's the link to the other political articles I've written about Singapore: https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2020/07/07/ge2020-the-state-of-play/ https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2015/09/10/ge2015-voting-wisely/ https://thethoughtexperiment.org/2015/09/05/expectations-of-the-opposition/
Neo-Atheists, Atheists, militant Atheism and everything in between: Caged by Abrahamic Monotheism
Neo-Atheists, Atheists, militant Atheism and everything in between: Caged by Abrahamic Monotheism Nupur J Sharma | 7 September, 2020 Before we proceed further, there are two things that ought to be stated outright. Firstly, the purpose of this article is not to encourage desecration of the Quran or any other Islamic scriptures or doctrine. The sole purpose is to provide an understanding of the core matter at hand, in light of the online battle between ex-Muslims and Hindus. And secondly, most obviously, the author does not believe that all Muslims are Jihadis or terrorists. Now that we are done with formalities, let us jump straight to the matter. Steven Weinberg, the great American physicist and a Nobel laureate, once remarked, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil, but for good people to do evil – that takes religion” and since then, this quote has almost been weaponised by Atheists around the world to condemn religion as an outdated concept that is using violence to maintain its relevance in a world that has outgrown the need or the desire for its tenets. The New Atheism movement started in the mid-2000s with the ‘four horsemen for Atheism’ – Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Sam Harris – gaining immense popularity. The core tenet of New Atheism is that religion was created in an attempt to explain how the world works at a time when science had hardly made the leaps that it has today. Thus, at a time when science has progressed, religion’s validity has expired, so to speak. There are several other claims that New Atheists make which we will examine in the course of this article, however, the central theme remains constant – Religion, any religion, has outlived its validity. The New Atheism movement, however, ushered in another remarkable trend. It essentially espoused that being an Atheist was not sufficient. Atheists must ‘scientifically’ counter the theists and expose their dogmatic ways wherever they are found. What started off as an attempt to infuse scientific discourse and composed debate on the question of Religion, soon became a free-for-all with the influx of several ex-Muslims, like Armin Navabi, Harris Sultan and others, who simply assumed that the function of Atheism was ‘desecration’ without the consideration that criticism for every religion would have to differ based on the genesis, nature and context of that specific religion itself. Armin Navabi, Iranian Ex-Muslim who is now an Atheist first tore up and spat on the Quran. Following the support he got from Hindus, he proceeded to willfully desecrate the Hindu faith. The underlying reason for doing this, per Armin, was that all faiths should be desecrated equally, however, that is not where this saga began. It has already been established that the saga of desecrating the Hindu faith started with another ex-Muslim, Abdullah Sameer, shielding the Muslim community after the Sweden and Norway riots, getting called out by Robert Spencer and then, proceeding to draw a false equivalence between Hindus (who were calling him out online) and Muslims (who were burning the world). Soon, after the spat between Robert Spencer and Abdullah Sameer, Sameer started posting offensive images of Hindu Goddess Kali. Along with him, several other ex-Muslims like Harris Sultan and Armin Navabi started talking about how Hindus are just as bad as Muslims because they were calling them out on Twitter. On the 3rd of September, Armin took things a step further and shared the same image of Maa Kali. Only a couple of hours before posting this distorted picture which showed Goddess Kali in a sexual epithet, Armin was retweeting and talking about the #DesecrateTheQuran hashtag. Given how this spat started, one can easily assume that this entire episode was orchestrated to falsely equate Hindus and Muslims post the Sweden and Norway riots by the Muslims. However, for the purpose of this article, I will not be delving into that aspect. What needs to be analysed, however, is the surmise that gives rise to the notion that desecration of all faiths, in equal measure, is a desirable outcome of Atheism. It is in this spirit, that Harris Sultan, while speaking to ‘Hindu Atheist’ Kushal Mehra question OpIndia for covering Armin’s desecration of the Quran but being silent or even outraged, by his desecration of the Hindu faith. At the heart of it, is the supposition that all religions are equal and thus, all religions should be desecrated equally and it is this ill-informed position that needs to be challenged. Dissecting the ‘All religions are equal’ claim The notion does not really stem from Atheism itself but the notions of religious pluralism that assumes that not only do all religions claim that their truth is the ‘only truth’ that exists, but that all religions are based on the principles of Universal Truths and thus, these are the two tenets that need to be dealt with if religions are to co-exist peacefully. Religious Pluralism essentially says that firstly, all religions must acknowledge that certain truths exist in other religions as well, thereby declaring that it is not only their own religion that is the ‘only truth’. Further, it says that all religions must acknowledge that every religion teaches basic universal truths that have been taught since before the advent of religion itself. When one delves into the principles of religious pluralism as a construct that can enable religions co-existing without sectarian violence, it becomes important to ensure that all religions are brought down to the same surface level and hence, the claim that all religions are the same takes a beastly proportion where cultural context is often lost. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on Islam, Christianity and Hinduism since the question we eventually want to answer is- why is it permissible to desecrate Islam and not desecrate Hinduism? At the very outset, it suffices to say that no other religion in the world, at this point of time in history, lays out a doctrine for the torture, subjugation, conversion and humiliation of all the people who refuse to believe in their faith, other than Islam. This question of whether all religions are equal and whether Islam is inherently a religion of peace was discussed at length in an interview with Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer. He said in the interview that Islam as a religion indoctrinates its adherents to slay the Kafirs where they see them. They lay out the doctrine for religious warfare and strict rules as to what is to be done with the ‘spoils of war’. No other religion in the world has left behind a trail of mangled bodies, blood and gore in its wake as much as Islam and what is worse is that this carnage was sanctified in their religion, in fact, it is one of the necessities of their religion. Moral relativists and apologists of Islam often say that Islam is a religion of peace and it is its adherents who have distorted the peaceful version of Islam. They also say that the Quran is a peaceful text that essentially takes people closer to universal truths, just as other religions do, but it is the Hadith that twists the meaning of the Quran and ebbs people to commit violence in its name. None of these claims hold scrutiny, according to Spencer, since there exists no version of Islam that does not lay out a doctrine for the subjugation of Kafirs. In the interview, Spencer quoted verses of the Quran that themselves asked Muslims to slay the Kafirs and strike their neck. As Mr Spencer talks about the verses of the Quran that ordain its followers to slay Kafirs and Polytheists, one has to wonder how can a religion that is at odds with Polytheism be equal and aspires for the same goals as that of a Polytheistic religion? When Islam is at odds with Polytheism and the religious texts explicitly mention the subjugation of any Polytheist faith, how accurate is it to say that all religions are exactly the same since neither Christianity (which is also an Abrahamic religion) or Hinduism (which is a polytheistic religion) say anything that remotely resembles Islam. We can further classify this argument between Abrahamic faiths and Polytheistic faiths. In the conversation with Robert Spencer, it was clear why Islam took over 500 years to find footing in India and countries like Europe fell to the onslaught of Islam far quicker than India. The Quran presents itself as completion and correction of Christianity, said Spencer, which also gives us a window into just how vast the difference between the Hindu faith and Islam/Christianity really is. Hence, to essentially say that all religions are equal and aspire towards the same universal truths is a fallacious statement that is made by the people who either harbour malice, or ignorance. What the desecration of the image of Maa Kali meant for Hindus A familiar grouse that was expressed by the Neo-Atheists is why Hindus were celebrating the desecration of the Quran while they felt outraged when Armin Navabi desecrated the Hindu faith by sexualising Maa Kali. The underlying issue with this question that seems to baffle the Ex-Muslim Atheists is that they, almost militantly, follow the tenet that all religions are the same, a question, that we have debunked earlier in this article. When we have concluded, with adequate proof, that all religions are indeed not the same, one has to then understand the cultural context to truly understand why Hindus were celebratory, or even supportive, when ex-Muslim Atheists desecrated Islam and went after the same Atheists when they sexualised Kali. From what I understand, the backlash against Armin Navabi first started with him sharing the sexualised images of Maa Kali and was exacerbated with his follow-up tweet that essentially told Hindus to put Maa Kali in a Burkha if her sexualisation was offending them. What Armin did was to reduce the divine, with no provocation whatsoever, to a basal, human upheaval of hormones. To ask Hindus whether they would want to masturbate to a deity they consider their mother or even say that he “simps for Kali” which essentially means that he would put the deity on a pedestal to get sexual favours in return. This tirade did not come from a place of understanding but from a place of militancy of thought that had no cultural context whatsoever. When they ask “how is the desecration of the Quran different from the desecration of Maa Kali”, the simple fact remains that the ex-Muslims grew up in a household that deeply believed in the tenets of Islam, as per their own confessions. Their draw towards Atheism or even anti-theism comes from being told that if they do not follow exactly what the Quran says, they will go to hell. Or that apostates deserve death and if they do not follow the tenets of the Quran, they too, like apostates would deserve death. From being told that women don’t deserve respect or can even be beaten up because the religion accords a sub-human position to women. It is a faith that is largely considered the root of violence and militancy across the world, a faith that has claimed countless lives in order to stay relevant in the modern age. Hence, since their anti-theism or atheism comes from their experience of religion growing up in a household that followed Islam, they understand what they are desecrating, to begin with. They know, that when they tear the Islamic scripture, what is the extent of the ideology and what those pages say, in very specific terms. However, for most monotheists, barring a few who can be debated on their ideas of universal truths and not just anti-theism, the idea of Hinduism is too abstract to even understand what the religion’s basic tenets are. This was, in fact, admitted by Navabi himself in a podcast he did a year ago. How then is it acceptable to critique a religion one doesn’t understand simply because it is a religion and the anti-theist believes in the desecration of all religions, even though they are by no way equal. Further, what the western anti-theists and atheists, a significant chunk of them being ex-Muslims, don’t understand is that there is a cultural context to the outrage of Hindus. For thousands of years, Hindus have been subjugated by the Islamist invaders who have raped Hindu women, beheaded our kings, murdered our children all for the ultimate goal of the establishment of the Caliphate. There are countless tales of how the Islamic invaders murdered Hindus and kept their wives, mothers and daughters as slaves – the spoils of war. The barbarity was so perverse, that Hindu women often chose to jump into the fire and give up their lives after Hindus were defeated in war, lest they were taken slaves by Islamic invaders. You might wonder why they didn’t simply slit their wrists instead of stepping into the burning fire – well – they did not want their corpse to be desecrated by the followers of Islam who had laid siege on their land. The brutality is not just limited to Islamic invaders. In the modern political landscape of India, Hindus were humiliated during the partition as well. One recalls how the Khilafat movement claimed the lives of countless Hindus during the Moplah massacres by Islamists and even the Direct Action Day, spearheaded by Jinnah. After the countless deaths of Hindus, our own, MK Gandhi, asked Hindus to simply lay down their lives if the Islamists chose to claim it. During partition, Hindus were mutilated and their women raped. At the altar of ‘secularism’, which the Atheists love to espouse, India decided to not conduct a full exchange of population, a suggestion that was made by various luminaries at the time including Dr B.R. Ambedkar, and thus, began another cycle of subjugation in modern India. This year itself, we saw riots by sections of the Muslim community and aided by the Left against the Hindus. The saga of brutality continues to this day not just in India, but also, against the minority Hindus of Pakistan and when India decided that the minority Hindus could take refuge in India, their natural home post-partition, the Islamists ran riots yet again. They stabbed a Hindu over 50 times simply because he was Hindu and chopped off the arms and legs of another before burning him alive. Since the Atheists and anti-theists love to ally with the Left, the obvious question that will be thrown after reading this article is – what about the Muslims who died? Let me preempt that question and say that in every war, both sides suffer losses, but war is defined by those who start the war, and Hindus, have never started one. With centuries of subjugation behind them, when Armin says that Hindus must put their Goddess in a Hijab if they are offended by the cheap sexualisation, he triggers an all-too-familiar sentiment – convert or die, worse, be raped. For centuries, whether they were Islamic invaders, or the Muslims post-partition of Pakistan and Bangladesh, the domestic Muslims who still employ this tactic or even the Muslims of Pakistan who till date subjugate Hindus, this trope has been used to humiliate Hindu women and their faith. For centuries, these were the options given to Hindu women by Islamist barbarians – wear a Burkha, convert to Islam or be raped or killed. This is exactly the sentiment that was invoked by Armin – He essentially said that he will reduce our Goddess to an object of cheap titillation, a disrobed woman, humiliated because he can. And if Hindus did not want him to cheapen their mother, they should make her wear a Hijab. While it is unclear that this was the intent or not, however, it is clear that internalised misogyny, Hinduphobia, hate for Idolatory and the unbridled urge for the subjugation of Kafirs is so strong, that even after leaving the faith, the barbarism towards polytheists remains. Hindus saw what Armin did as not just the humiliation of their deity, but also Iconoclasm that the community is far too familiar with. For the Hindu, there is absolutely no difference between their Idols being desecrated by the Islamic hoards and being buried in the steps of a mosque, their Ram Temple being demolished by invaders to build a Mosque and then deny them their rights and what Armin did. Essentially, it was an outsider, an Islamist, perhaps, who desecrated their faith and presented the remains as an offering at the foot of Abrahamism. One simple account of the hatred Muslims had for idolators comes from a poetic account of what Ahmad Shah did at Sidhpur, available in Mirat-i-Sikandari, the history of Gujarat, written by Sikandar ibn-i-Muhammad alias Manjhu ibn-i-Akbar in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. He marched on Saiyidpur,— writes the historian, on Jamad-ul-Awwal in AH 818 (July/August, AD 1415) in order to destroy the temples which housed idols of gold and silver. As quoted by Sita Ram Goel in his book, ‘Hindu Temples’, the poetic account is as below: He marched under divine inspiration, For the destruction of temples at Saiyidpur, Which was a home of the infidels, And the native place of accursed fire-worshippers.— There they dwelt, day and night, The thread-wearing idolaters.— It had always remained a place for idols and idol-worshippers, It had received no injury whatsoever from any quarter. It was a populous place, well-known in the world, This native place of the accursed infidels. Its foundations were laid firmly in stone, It was decorated with designs as if drawn from high heaven. It had doors made of sandal and ud.— It was studded with rings of gold, Its floors were laid with marble, Which shone like mirrors. Ud was burnt in it like fuel, Candles of camphor in large numbers were lighted in it. It had arches in every comer, And every arch had golden chandeliers hanging in it. There were idols of silver set up inside, Which put to shame the idols of China and Khotan. Such was this famous ancient temple, It was famous all over the world. By the effort of Ahmad, it was freed from the idols, The hearts of idol-worshippers were shattered with grief. He got mosques constructed, and mimbars placed in them, From where the Law of Muhammad came into force. In place of idols, idol-makers and idol-worshippers, Imams and callers to prayers and khatibs were appointed. Ahmads good grace rendered such help, That an idol-house became an abode of Allah. When the Sultan was free from Saiyidpur, he marched on Dhar in AH 819 (AD 1416-17). One has to understand that for a Hindu, what Islamic invaders did to their temples and their idols is no different from what Armin Navani or any of the other ex-Muslim Atheists did to the image of Maa Kali. In both cases, the iconoclasm was exactly the same. In both cases, the followers of Abrahamic religion (yes, Atheist is also an Abrahamic, Monotheistic religion, which I will explain later in the article), desecrated the idol that they sacred. An idol and a faith that did absolutely nothing to deserve the kind of humiliation that it received except the fact that it chose to exist and fought, fiercely, the attempts to convert. The urge to desecrate Hindu idols comes from the basic contradiction between Hinduism and other monotheistic religions. The icons of Hinduism are expressionist while the monotheistic religions are mostly suppressionist. While Islam and Christianity are political ideologies, Hinduism is that which depends on its adherent’s experience and spirituality. While all you need to understand and even criticise Islam and Christianity is a study of their text, what you need to criticise Hinduism is experiencing and ultimately, working up to understanding its scriptures. While Christianity and Islam focus on a binary value system, Hinduism has multitudes of value systems that can even be at odds with each other. That Islam and Christianity both function on the basic premise that any human emotion is to be suppressed, Hinduism believes that it is to be celebrated and expressed, and it is this expressionism and the lack of binary value systems that Abrahamics find so difficult to rationalise. The binary model simply does not work with Hinduism and thus, the frustrations of a suppressive culture is often expressed by desecrating symbols of an expressionist, spiritual religion. Essentially, when Hindus say that Abrahamics do not understand Hinduism enough to criticise it, they mean that until they have gone through the experience of being Hindu, there is no text that they can read and claim proficiency in the religion, unlike Islam and Christianity. To top it all, other than the painful ignorance of Hinduism itself, the Atheists and anti-theists who have denounced Islam do not understand the cultural context of the Hindu communities struggle with Iconoclasm and thus, have not the faintest idea of the scars that have been inflicted time and again. For a Hindu, an Atheist is only deepening the scars left by the religion they claim to have denounced. For a Hindu, what the Atheist does is no different from what the adherents of Islam did to his idols and temples. And this cultural context cannot be ignored simply by repeating the “all religions are equal” trope, because they are certainly not. Why Hindus endorse desecration of Islam but not of Hinduism 20-year-old Yazidi girl Israa, who had been rescued from ISIS, burnt her hijab as she was surrounded by the Kurdish forces in 2019. The image, that powerful image, became one of the symbols of resistance against the Islamic forces. Israa is helped by female Kurdish fighters after being released from IS fighters (Image source: metro.uk) In her interview, she had said that she felt suffocated the first time she was asked to wear it and she wished she could burn the ISIS terrorists just like she burnt her hijab. Why did Israa feel suffocated with the Hijab and why was burning that Hijab such a powerful sentiment for her? For that matter, why is burning the image of Adolf Hitler such a powerful image for Jews? Why does a Yazidi celebrate when symbols of her oppression are destroyed? Because the hijab symbolises and is a manifestation of her oppression. Her scars. It symbolises the very people who took away her dignity, her faith, her family, her community, her temple, her everything. It is a symbol of those who pushed her and her family to darkness. It is a symbol of those who she wishes to destroy, not because she hates Muslims, but because the staunchest followers of Islam destroyed her life and desecrated on everything she and her ancestors held dear. Given the history of Hindus and their subjugation by Islamists, the sentiment mirrors that of Yazidis. When symbols of oppression are destroyed, Hindus are bound to support that as an act of defiance. It becomes even more pronounced when that destruction of oppressive symbols comes from those who claim to have left the faith of Islam. It is essentially seen as a validation of vindication of their pain. The reason why Armin got support and coverage when he desecrated the Quran is for the very reason that a Yazidi woman would burn her Hijab or be jubilant when someone else does. It was a destruction of the symbol of centuries of oppression. It was an act of defiance, the same defiance felt by Hindus. It validated the angst felt by Hindus. Now, imagine claiming that the destruction of the Hijab by a Yazidi is the same as the destruction of the symbols of Yazidism. While Islamists consider Yazidis as devil worshippers, would it be fair to assume if a Yazidi is happy about the destruction of the Quran or even that of the Hijab, she has to mandatorily be accepting of the destruction of her faith when has done nothing to receive that ire? This analogy is exactly what is needed to understand why Hindus supported the desecration of the Quran by Armin and not the desecration of Maa Kali. Hindus saw their vindication in an ex-Muslim recognising that Islam is a religion that has the potential to subjugate non-believers because that premise has been responsible for their own humiliation for centuries. On top of that, it helped them reinforce that what the Left has been telling them to almost gaslight them, about Islam being a religion of peace is not true – and this came not just from Hindus, who were the victims, but also people who used to be Muslims and have since left the faith. Then came the inexplicable desecration of Maa Kali and it jolted Hindus from their stupor. They wondered why an Atheist ex-Muslim would desecrate their faith when they had done nothing to deserve that ire. Armin tore the Quran because his experiences taught him that he did not want to endorse the ideology in the Book. What was his experience with Hinduism that drove him to desecrate Hinduism? Nothing except the notion that all religions are equal. Hindus would endorse the desecration of the faith that subjugated them and reject the desecration of their own faith that has been subjugated by the oppressor. Interestingly, Atheists seem to not have the bandwidth to grasp the fact that by desecrating Hinduism, they have only cut the branch that they were sitting on. Their aim in desecrating Islam was that its tenets are inconsistent with the modern age values that the world espouses. However, one of the tenets is to slay polytheistic religions and as a result of that, idols are desecrated. Essentially, the Atheists ex-Muslims seem to have done exactly what their erstwhile religion ordained them to do, it was only cloaked with Atheism and not Islamism. The ire of Hindus was expected, and necessary because for far too long, their faith has been desecrated for no fault of theirs, simply because the Abrahamics cannot accept polytheistic faiths. Saying ‘enough is enough’ is important. The shaming of Hindus when they voiced their disgust We have already established why Hindus were disgusted and outraged at the conduct of Atheists against Hinduism and the depiction of Maa Kali, however, what was more unpalatable is the response of the Atheists, ex-Muslims and Hindus to that outage. Outright, Hindus were labelled “just as bad as Jihadis” for protesting against the blatant disrespect for their faith, for no good reason. What is essentially wrong with this assertion is that first, the ex-Muslim atheists and Liberal Hindus were trying, rather hard, to draw a false equivalence between Hindus and Muslims. That is almost the same as drawing an equivalence between Jews and Nazis when a Jew criticises the desecration of its faith by ex-Nazis. Or saying that a Yazidi is “as bad” as an ISIS terrorist because they differentiate between the burning of the Hijab and the ruination of her faith by the very people who enslaved her. What the Atheists and Liberal Hindus essentially wanted was to submit to the whims of those who clearly have no idea of the cultural context of Hindus or worse, know and don’t care. Personally, I believe it is the second because I have seen several videos where these ex-Muslims discuss Hinduism and I find it hard to believe that they would have no idea of the cultural context. Essentially, the Atheists ex-Muslims and Liberal Hindus wanted Hindus to submit to the desecration of their faith, quietly, demurely, or they threatened to label them just as bad the very people who raped, subjugated, murdered and forcefully converted them to Islam. The manipulation in this tactic is staggering. Essentially, this is akin to telling a victim that she must not voice her opposition to what the perpetrator did against her or she will become just as bad as the perpetrator himself and because the victim harbours such visceral hate for everything that her perpetrator stands for, she would somehow be brainwashed and gaslighted into silence. The debauchery of this argument was further exposed when some of the Hindus started telling their fellow Hindus that Hinduism is a tolerant religion and hence, any and all desecration must not be responded to aggressively. What they wanted to tell Hindus is that they should accept the desecration of their faith to display how tolerant they and that if they don’t, even their words of protest would be right compared to those who were murdering and burning down entire cities because they were offended. Perhaps the overtly erudite Ex-Muslims and Hindu Atheists and liberal Hindus need to pay attention and read Karl Popper. He says: “Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.—In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant“. Popper’s Paradox of Tolerance is an apt description of what Abrahamics and Liberal Hindus want pious Hindus to follow. Essentially, these elements want Hindus to be tolerant to a level where the intolerant reign over the tolerant and the tolerant espoused by Hindus dies along with them. Certainly, one can see how that is a principle that has never been one that can be followed without the complete annihilation of the community that wishes to be tolerant to the level of their own destruction. It is essential to understand here that Islam took over 500 years to find footing in India because of the deep faith that Hindus held. Despite the barbarity heaped upon them, they refused to submit to the rule of Islam and held on to their faith despite all odds. When the Liberal Hindu and ex-Muslim Atheists want Hindus to inexplicably let go of that faith in the name of tolerance, what they do is create a situation where they leave the faith open to the onslaught of Abrahamics – the intolerant. Does the last standing major pagan religion in the world deserve to be annihilated on the basis of hollow principles like tolerance? This is a question that Hindus need to ask themselves without consideration for what Abrahamics believe they should do. But under no circumstances should Hindus be played by moral pleas of tolerance and in no manner, should they be manipulated to believe that their words can be deemed just as violent as rampaging mobs burning the world down. Freedom of Speech – The hypocrisy of it all Neo-Atheism and especially, those by Ex-Muslims and Ex-Christians are essentially based on two concepts that they consider the axiomatic truths – Universal value system and binary value system, as discussed before, that draws heavily from the Enlightenment philosophy. Essentially, this means that Atheists believe that there are certain universal value systems that are to be accepted without any question. Individual rights, the dominance of man over nature, freedom of expression, overt reliance on logic and essentially, rejecting everything that is not “real”. The binary logic sees everything in black and white and is a concept of absolutism. Essentially, Atheism gives no room for any deviation from what it believes to be the ultimate truth and/or the ultimate value that is to be espoused. When ex-Muslims criticise Islam for its dogmatic practises, they must essentially declare that all religions are to be treated the exact same way since their binary logic does not allow them to understand a construct where a religion like Hinduism can have multitudes of value systems. When they talk about freedom of expression, they must be absolutists because any limitation means that they are being thoroughly non-binary. For Atheists, they must desecrate Hinduism if they desecrate Islam because since one religion is problematic, all religions must be equally problematic. If one religion has Jihadis who burn the world down, the other must also have the same kind of adherents even though there is no empirical evidence to prove the hypothesis. The beliefs of Liberalism and Atheism come from the enlightenment age which had no scope for the understanding of Hinduism since it was aimed at overthrowing the dogmatic Church. Thus, Hinduism and its criticism thereof simply remains a product of the Abrahamic lens that is donned by Liberals and Atheists without really the consideration that none of these principles applies in totality to Sanatan Dharma. In that sense of absolutism, freedom of speech and expression is also meant to be absolute according to most liberals and atheists, however, just as any absolute ideology, this too suffers from its inherent hypocrisies. Every culture has its natural limits to freedom of expression that draws from the cultural context of that particular society. For example, one would not go to Israel and name their child Adolf Hitler because there is a contextual limit to FoE that comes into play. Similarly, one would not use the “N-word” in the USA because attached to it are tales of suppression and one has to give due importance to the cultural and societal context before being an absolutist as far as FoE is concerned. This was proved remarkably well when in a podcast by Kushal Mehra, who calls himself a Hindu Atheist, three ex-Muslims refused to use the “N-word” even when the subject came up. The ex-Muslims on that podcast included Harris Sultan who is now equating Hindus to Jihadis because they would not roll over and accept the desecration of their harmless faith. If Harris Sultan was indeed an absolutist when it came to freedom of speech, he should have ideally had no problem with using the N-word rather openly. He did not because Sultan seems to be more clued in and respectful of the cultural context of the country he lives in and more importantly, the culture he has adopted as his own. Extending the same rationale, one has to question the Atheists that if they would not demand absolute FoE to use the “N-word” because of the history of subjugation attached to that word or would not expect a Jew to ‘tolerate’ anyone ‘hailing Hitler’, why would they then expect unbridled and unrestricted freedom of expression when talking about Hinduism? If these ex-Muslims would not call Jews ‘just as bad as the Nazis’ for voicing their exception to their faith being desecrated in the same manner as Hitler did, why would they say that Hindus are as bad as the Jihadis when Hindus were voicing their exception to their faith being desecrated in the exact same manner as the Jihadis did? To take this a step further, their wails of ‘freedom of expression’ became a loud shriek and words such as ‘Mujahindus’, drawing an equivalence with Mujahideen, were thrown about. Atheists posture as the arbiters of morality but here they are, conflating people trolling a person on social media with cast distance between them with actual terrorists. Speech is now violence we are to believe. And such people pretend to be FoE absolutists. Abhijit Iyer Mitra calls Hindus opposing the sexualising of Maa Kali ‘Mujahindus’. The amusing aspect of this is the fact that Abhijit Iyer-Mitra himself does not hesitate to abuse the parents of individuals he disagrees with. Coming from him, it is especially difficult to accept such an argument. The other argument, presented by Kushal Mehra is that people in India do not understand how neo-atheists in the West operate. I humbly disagree with that assertion. We understand perfectly how neo-atheists operate in the West. Neo-atheists in western countries are overwhelmingly oriented towards the Left and suffer from delusions of their own. In the current context, just because they get a kick out of abusing our Gods, it does not mean that a deliberate provocation ought to go unchallenged. There also seems to be an insinuation that Hindus ought to be fearful of the mockery neo-atheists are capable of. With due regards, there is absolutely no reason for us to be fearful of them. Instead, they are the ones who ought to be careful with regards to the manner in which they use their speech. One does not know when cancel culture strikes them down. Also, Abhijit Iyer-Mitra and Kushal Mehra are good friends of mine but I am extremely disappointed with their ideological stance on the current debate revolving around atheism and freedom of expression. The hypocrisy of Harris Sultan is particularly astounding. He was recently threatened by a Muslim for his criticism of Islam. The offended Muslim had actually threatened to hurt Sultan’s family and had made it clear that he was aware of the atheist’s address. Hindus have done no such thing. Harris Sultan has personal knowledge of the fact that Hindus and radical Muslims are not the same. Even so, even he peddles the delusion of equivalence between the two. Why it is perfectly okay for Hindus to endorse desecration of Quran and oppose abuse of Hindu Gods At the very outset, it ought to be mentioned that the foremost loyalties of Hindus ought to lie with their Gods and Goddesses and not to concepts such as freedom of expression and other such things. It is perfectly permissible, even rational, for Hindus to not tolerate the abuse of the Devis and Devtas. There is no decree that FoE ought to be the foremost priority of Hindus. Atheists might value FoE above all else, and we have already established that they are not the FoE absolutists they pretend to be, but Hindus are under no compulsion to prioritise FoE over their Gods and Goddesses. It is also perfectly rational for people to have one set of rules for the out-group and completely different for the in-group, there is nothing wrong with that. Atheists do not have the authority to decide what is permissible and what is not. For them, insulting someone’s mother is crossing the line. We share the same sentiment. The only problem here is that we consider our Goddesses to be our mothers as well. Therefore, their insult towards our Goddesses invokes the same emotions in us that an insult to their mother evokes in them. They have no business dictating the relationship we share with our Gods and Goddesses. It also ought to be mentioned that neo-atheism is intrinsically Abrahamic in its approach. It arises out of the enlightenment worldview that was ingrained in Abrahamic philosophy. It is no surprise then that modern atheism has a distinctly protestant approach to it. Furthermore, it also ought to be mentioned that the fervour with which modern atheists approach politics is the same as a devotee approaches religion. Neo-atheists have merely substituted religion with the political ideology of their choice. Instead of proselytising on behalf of a religion, they proselytise to convert their people into their favoured political ideology. Instead of Gods and Goddesses, they want people to believe in absolute FoE, the rules of which they wish to dictate as the evidence clearly by the current saga, and the precepts of liberalism** ... continued in comments**
Reason for Hindutva (Request the Mods to pin this if they wish to)
Big long post coming up. Okay. This is a reply to one person's comment about Hindutva in this sub, and I felt that anybody who is looking for the reason for Hindutva should read this, hence I'm posting this as a separate post here. Any changes to my post are welcomed and I apologize beforehand for the looong post and any mistake/error that may have crept in. Please suggest changes if any needed. There is a direct comparison between Indian conservatives and (usually) American/Western RW. Thus, Western definitions and interpretations of social & political issues (binaries like Left Wing vs Right Wing, secular vs communal, etc.) are mapped directly onto India with little to no understanding of either the dynamics of Indian society, or its history. Let's talk about one: Islamophobia. In countries like America, Islam is a micro-minority that is growing slowly, and because of the appearance of being harassed by Right Wing Americans for over two decades (and the general perception of Muslims, their unnecessary harassment at the hands of law enforcement & general public), there exists sympathy for their community from the "inclusive Left", just like there's sympathy for the Black community ( bec. of higher levels of poverty, ghettoisation, etc.). This exists for Brown skinned Hindus too. There's an appearance of their community being 'otherised' in society over the last 20 years, and because of diversity, inclusion, & identity politics, Muslim community has found a new supporter in the Left Wing (SJW, Democrats, etc.). Other than 9/11 and a few other isolated terror incidents, Islamic terrorism has not impacted America to the level White supremacist & police shootings/killings have, and the vast majority of deaths have not happened at the hands of Muslims. There are jihādi nutjobs in the Muslim community, and I'm sure the FBI is tracking every single one of them down to keep America safe. Then there's the case of RW White supremacists who are literally "phobic" about Muslims and Islam, thinking that all Muslims (in America) are terrorists by default, and want to halt immigration to Muslim countries, and want to send Muslims back to their home countries. The majoritarian Christian community has the (relatively) large American conservative population in a tight grip, so the question of Islamic proselytism, and the establishment of a Shari'a state simply doesn't exist as a major threat to America right now. Let's just say that there's currently no major threat from their community to America as a whole (I don't think the govt and intel agencies would allow that to happen). Islam is a slightly different flavour in America than in India. Let's walk (fly?) over to India. The Muslim community is the second largest majority. Their population in India is nearly 3/4th the population of America. ~200 million Muslims live in India. India is surrounded by 2-3 Muslim countries (Pak, Afg, Bang). The history of the relationship between Hindus and Muslims is NOT peaceful. Muslims ruled tyrannically over the Hindus for over 500 years, oppressed them, destroyed thousands (>30000) of holy sites & temples and then just as a Hindu empire was being re-established, the British swooped in to lord over India for ~150 years. India is probably the only major failure of Islam, since they were unable to convert majority Hindus to Islam. Countries like Syria, Jordan and Israel/Palestine, which were Christian & Jewish lands were fully occupied by Islamic forces. Powerful empires in ancient & medieval Iraq - Iran fell to Islamic forces, who gave the locals two options: convert or die. To save their lives, the entire stretch from Turkey and Israel/Palestine to Iran converted to Islam. Millions of non Muslim pagans have died at the hands of Muslims. Buddhist majority countries like Afghanistan fell to Islamic invaders and Central Asia was also taken over by them. Over the centuries there was a forceful adoption and integration of Islam in these societies and historic native pagan and non Muslim religious sites were systematically destroyed and mosques established atop them. Simply put, Central, West and South West Asia converted to Islam under the sword. Not due to choice. Islam is an extremely regressive faith that refuses to evolve. Coming back to India. In 1947, an entire country was ripped apart from the motherland India and was formed on religious lines (Pakistan and later, Bangladesh). Now, every nation from Turkey in the West to Afghanistan & Pakistan in the east was one large Muslim bloc. East of India, countries like Malaysia and Indonesia became Muslim, China was atheist and Myanmar and Sri Lanka were/are far too weak to stand up with India to counter these foreign invading Islamic (& Christian) forces. After Independence, the government tried to establish a secular state (again, trying to copy paste from the West), with no real understanding of the real India, or what it meant for the average Indian to be part of the Dharmic faiths (Hinduism and it's daughtesister religions). Separation of Church and State is a very Western concept, and shouldn't have been implemented in India. The British had divided Hindus to such an extent that there was no real identity for Hindus to mould or shape their community, and start fresh. On the other hand, Muslims did have a model to look up to: Saudi Arabia version of Sunni Islam, the medieval Indian Islam, and Iran's Shia Islam. Now, successive governments slowly began to appease Muslims for their vote, because the Muslim community was less fragmented than the Hindu community, and tended to vote as a bloc for certain political parties. The Hindu community on the other hand, was broken up into several small caste based fragments, and regional political parties rose to represent may of these individual communities. Hindus tended to vote as a caste instead of as a religion. Politicians being politicians, and with ample amounts of interference from foreign actors, Hindu community has never been united as a single bloc in the last 70 years. Add to this the shift of the Hindu populace towards the left (socialist, non religious) post-independence, and the majority Hindu community slowly lost touch with its faith, religion and Hindu social & religious issues. Coming back to the topic of Muslim invaders: as I stated earlier, Islamic invaders brought in their own tribalistic culture, and negatively influenced India's own historically superior society. For many Indian Muslims today, they see this Islamic rule as a kind of "Golden past" and the means to establish Islamic rule over India. However, for us Hindus, it is a matter of life and death and most importantly, self-preservation of the native culture and ideologies. Check out the Kashmir issue, and the cultural genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Pandit community from Kashmir at the hands of Islamists. There has been a slow but constant deracination in Kashmir, to establish it as a Muslim country following Shari'a law. 5000 villages and town names in Kashmir were changed to Islamic names from their historic Hindu/Buddhist names in the last 50 years. Hindu nationalism arose because of an anger of the Hindu population verily against this. "Hindutva is Hinduism that resists": Hindutva merely resists such attempts to erase Hindu and associated Dharmic faith history, it is a movement for Hindus to stand up for themselves and establish a Hindu state along Hindu Dharmic principles. It is a movement that resists the Muslim & Christian conversion activities in Indian states like Kerala, Kashmir, Assam and West Bengal (and their goal to establish a Islamic state very much like Kashmir, to drive out non Muslim 'kafirs'). This is a concerted campaign, bankrolled by foreign state actors like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan towards Islam, and Western countries like UK, France, and US for Christianity. Thus, Islamophobia cannot exist in India, because the term has no meaning here. Hindus are not irrationally scared of Muslims. The fear is justified in more ways than one. There is a brutal bloody history of Hindu oppression at the hands of Muslims (and even to this date it continues in Muslim countries), and there is a visual live evidence of what goes if India becomes a Muslim country. In countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan, religious minorities do not have any rights, and women are traded and sold like slaves. Hindu and Sikh women are kidnapped, forcefully converted to Islam and married off to men much older than them. In India, a similar practice is going on: i. Love Jihad - Muslim men take on Hindu names and prey on gullible girls from the Hindu faith and forcefully convert them to Islam after marriage. ii. Little girls as young as 7-8 years old are kidnapped and sold in Arab countries to rich sheikhs. Both of these have an overwhelming amount of evidence and reportage. Hindutva is a self respect political movement for the Hindus. The whole of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is Islamic, so many South American and European countries are state Christian, and some South East Asian countries are Buddhist too. There doesn't exist one single Hindu country for the self preservation and development of Hindus. Heck, a global minority religion like Judaism has a home state in Israel. And just to clarify, no, the establishment of a Hindu state does not mean Muslims or other minorities cannot live in India, or cannot practice their religion. A Hindu state would allow Muslims and Christians to practice their faiths without impinging and infringing on local faiths, without exploiting the natives, especially the poor and sub altern communities. A Hindu state would truly be a model for multi religious, multi cultural, diverse society because the nature of Hinduism itself is to accept and tolerate a multitude of diverse opinions and thoughts. Islam and Christianity have a history of killing alternative opinions and heterodox schools, while Hinduism accepts them, or at the least, tolerated their presence. If religions like Sikhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism (Parsi), native tribal faiths, Buddhism, Jainism and even atheism can live in peace with Hindusz for over 1000 years of history, why cannot Muslims? Why can't Christians? End.
B1048 - Gender Recognition (Reform) Bill | 2nd Reading
Gender Recognition (Reform) Bill
A Bill To Reform the grounds and procedure in order to obtain gender recognition; and for connected purposes BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:- 1 - Definitions: The “2004 Act” refers to the Gender Recognition Act 2004. The “2015 Acts” refers to the Gender Equality Act 2015 and the Gender Equality Enhancement Act 2015 2 - Amendments to the 2004 Act (1)The following provisions of the 2004 Act are repealed—
Section 1 (3) and (4) and consequently Schedule 1 and the definition of “Gender Recognition Panel” under Section 25.
Section 2, except for (5) as amended —
(5) Where gender markings are required to denote gender identity in all official documentation including but not limited to Passports, Driving Licenses and correspondence from Government Departments, a non binary person shall be afforded the option to denote their legal gender identity an ‘x’, or as ‘non-binary’
and consequently the definitions of “Gender Dysphoria” and “approved country or territory” under Section 25 are repealed
Section 3 in its entirety and consequently the definition of “Chartered Psychologist” under Section 25.
Section 4 in its entirety and consequently Schedule 2.
Section 6 in its entirety
Section 7 in its entirety
Section 8 in its entirety
Section 10 (1A) (a)
Section 11 in its entirety and consequently schedule 4
Section 13 in its entirety and consequently schedule 5
Section 21 in its entirety
(2) The following sections in the 2004 Act are amended—
In Section 1 (1), replace “either gender” with “any gender identity, or lack thereof,” and in subsection (a), replace “the other gender” with “any gender identity, or lack thereof,” and in subsection (b) insert “identity, or lack thereof” after “gender” and in subsection (c ) replace “either gender” with “any gender identity”
In Section 1 (2) , insert “identity” after gender in the definition “the acquired gender”, and in subsections (a) and (b), add “identity, or lack thereof” after references to “gender”
and subsequently add “identity” after “acquired gender” in Section 10 (5) and Section 25
In Section 17, replace mentions of “a full gender recognition certificate has been issued to any person or revoked” with “a person’s gender identity, or lack thereof, has become, or ceased to be”
In Section 20, replace “to whom a full gender recognition certificate has been issued were not” with “had not become”
In Section 22, replace (2) with:
(2) “Protected Information” means information that relates to a person: (a) who has made an application for a gender recognition certificate and which concerns that application or any other application by that person under this Act. (b) whose gender identity, or lack thereof, has become the acquired gender identity and concerns the gender identity before it became the acquired gender identity.
In Section 25, omit references to “interim gender recognition certificate”
(3) Insert a new section into the 2004 Act, reading:
2A - Applications to the Registrar General
Schedule 3A (Applications to the Registrar General) has effect .
And Schedule 3A shall be implemented as per the schedule of this Act. 3 - Amendments to the 2015 Acts Section 2 in the Gender Equality Act 2015 is repealed in its entirety, and consequently Section 2 of the Gender Equality Enhancement Act 2015 is repealed. 4 - Amendments to the Equality Act 2010 In Section 27 of Schedule 3, replace—
in subsection (1) and (6) “one sex” with “the same gender identity”
in subsection (2), “sex” with “the same gender identity”
in subsections (3) and (4), “both sexes” with “any gender identity, or lack thereof ”
in subsection (4), “each sex” with “any gender identity, or lack thereof”
in subsection (6), “opposite sex” with “a different gender identity, or lack thereof ”
in subsection (7), “that same sex” with “that same gender identity”
And insert subsection (9) reading, “A person using a service should be under no obligation to disclose their gender identity or be excluded from using a service based on their perceived gender identity, or lack thereof” And insert subsection (a) after (9) reading, “any exclusion based on perceived gender identity, or lack thereof, or based on a person’s gender which has ceased to be the same as their acquired gender, shall be treated as discrimination based on gender identity.” And rename the cross heading “Single Sex Spaces” to “Same Gender Identity Spaces” 5 - Extent, Commencement and Short Title (1)This Section and Section 4 extends to England and Wales, and Scotland (2) Section 1, Section 2, Section 3 and consequently the Schedule of this Act extends to England and Wales only. (3)This Act comes into force 6 months after Royal Assent. (4) This Act may be cited as the Gender Recognition (Reform) Act 2020. #Schedule Insert in the 2004 Act: Schedule 3A - Applications to the Registrar General 1 - Interpretations In this section, “Registrar General” shall refer to the Registrar General for England & Wales. 2 - Persons who may apply to the Registrar General for Gender Recognition (1)A person making an application under Section 1 (1) of this Act may do so if they meet the condition that:
(a) is a subject of a UK birth registry entry or; (b) is not the subject of such an entry, but is an ordinary resident in England or Wales.
3 - Notice to be given by Registrar General upon receipt of application (1)On receipt of an application under Section 1 (1) of this Act, the Registrar General must notify the applicant in writing, including electronic form: —
(a) that the application has been received (b) the date by which a Gender Recognition Certificate will be provided. (c)that the applicant has the right to revoke the Gender Recognition Certificate during the intermission period and is not limited to applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate again after this period. (d)reiterate that there is no cost for applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate in this instance or in future instances of application.
4 - Ground for which application is granted (1)The Registrar General must grant application under section 1 (1) of this Act if—
(a) the application includes a statutory declaration by the applicant that the applicant meets the criteria of:
(i) Section 1 of this Act (ii) Section 2 of this Schedule
(2) A statutory declaration shall be the only requirement by the Registrar General to process an application for a Gender Recognition Certificate
(a) An applicant may declare they intend to live in their acquired gender permanently but the absence of this must have no bearing on the processing of a Gender Recognition Certificate. (b) there shall be no charge for requesting a Gender Recognition Certificate at any instance of any application by an applicant.
(3)An application for a Gender Recognition Certificate is considered revoked if the applicant sends written notice stating their wish for the application to not continue before the day that a Gender Recognition Certificate is issued 5 - Certificate to be issued by the Registrar General (1)The Registrar General must issue a Full Gender Recognition Certificate to an applicant by the date given under Section 3 (1) of this Schedule. (2) If there is a delay in the issuing of the Gender Recognition Certificate, the Registrar General must inform the applicant, in writing, the reasons for such a delay. (3) If there is an error in print, an applicant may, in writing, inform the Registrar General.
(a) The Registrar General must inform the applicant when the error will be fixed by, and issue a replacement Gender Recognition Certificate.
6 - Gender Recognition obtained outside of England & Wales (1)When a person has obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate in Scotland or Northern Ireland, —
(a) the person has, for all purposes, received a Gender Recognition Certificate as issued by the Registrar General. (b) the person’s gender identity, or lack thereof, is the acquired gender identity
(2) When a person has obtained overseas gender recognition —
(a) the person has, for all purposes, received a Gender Recognition Certificate as issued by the Registrar General. (b) the person’s gender identity, or lack thereof, is the acquired gender identity
(3) in this Act, an “overseas gender recognition” means gender recognition recognised in a country or territory outside of the United Kingdom, which resulted in a person’s gender identity, or lack thereof, becoming the acquired gender identity. **This bill is written by The Rt Hon. Sir CountBrandenburg GCMG KCB CT CVO CBE PC MP MLA on behalf of the Liberal Democrats and co-sponsored by The Labour Party, The People’s Movement, Democratic Reformist Front and The Conservative and Unionist Party and inspired by the draft Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill* Acts referenced: The Gender Recognition Act 2004 The Gender Equality Act 2015 The Gender Equality Enhancement Act 2015 The Gender Recognition (Amendment) Act 2018 Section 27 of Schedule 3 of the Equality Act 2010 The Equality (Amendment) Act 2020 Opening Speech: Mr Deputy Speaker, Section 2 (1) removes references to the Gender Recognition Panel, and obsolete references to marriage, as well as fees and the implied effects to benefits. Also omitted are various definitions such as Gender Dysphoria in order to demedicalise Gender Recognition (since applications to Gender Recognition Panels can be intrusive and undermine the idea that Gender Dysphoria is not a prerequisite to being trans) This is the same reason Section 2 of the Gender Equality Act 2015 is being repealed, since to be issued a full gender recognition certificate, there is a requirement for a professional to sign off for it rather than self declaration by an applicant. Section 2 (2) makes amendments to the 2004 act (M:along the lines of the Draft Scotland Bill from irl and amendments to Section 22 have been altered to reflect that we recognise non binary already.) Section 3 reflects that thanks to the Chancellor’s bill last term, we have added gender identity to the equality act over “sex” and thus adjustments have been made to the chapter on single sex spaces to reflect gender identity and ensure that trans people cannot be denied access to relevant spaces in law, as has been practice in, for example, women’s hostels to be trans inclusive previously. This act provides an opportunity to clarify this part and ensure that denial of access to these services based on perceived gender identity is discrimination based on gender identity. Section 4 amends Section 27 of Schedule 3 of the Equality Act 2010, since references for sex discrimination have already been replaced under the Equality (Amendment) Act 2020. This changes wording to refer to gender identity and ensures that people who are trans, or otherwise of a perceived gender identity, have access to these spaces and cannot be excluded. The Schedule, as introduced under Section 2 (3), gives the new process for applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, guaranteeing no fees may be levied, and that the only required part is a Statutory Declaration by an applicant. There is no reflection period as this would be an antithesis for self declaration and gives the only time frame as that is required to issue the certificate. There is a right to apply as many times and that someone in the period between application and issuing may revoke their application. It recognises gender recognition that occurs outside the UK and eliminates the need to reapply if you are a non citizen resident, as well Mr Deputy Speaker, I believe this to be an important bill for improving our attitude to equalities. Yes, the Gender Recognition Act 2004 was a landmark piece of legislation and a victory for recognition of trans people, but reform is sorely needed and previous attempts at reforms have only tinkered with the edges. Communists and the Radical Socialist Party tinkered with the requirements under the 2015 acts and relaxed the process so that any age can receive a GRC, and removed the 2 year period for evidence upon application. That I recognise as a major step, and the advances under the Greens’ 2018 amendment under the GRA to include non binary identities, rather than the “other” status as found in the 2015 acts is another major step in reform as we are now recognising that gender exists as a spectrum and that the axioms of the binary are not fit for our modern understanding of one’s gender. However, these acts upheld the burdensome gender recognition panel requirements, requiring someone to be going through transition or for it to be professionally certified. As we now better understand gender, Dysphoria is not a prerequisite for someone to be trans and requiring a professional diagnosis means that it makes legal recognition of a person’s gender a hurdle. That is ultimately where acts gone by have fallen short, where trans people may not experience Dysphoria or may, for whatever reason, not want to medically transition. That right for recognition must be upheld, and we only need to look to Ireland to see example of recognition in a demedicalised process in its Gender Recognition Act 2015. That is what this bill today achieves: the principle of self identification, and that the only legal requirement for someone to receive a GRC is for them to make a Statutory Declaration, a process we already use for changing information on other government identification documents. This bill only amends Gender Recognition for England and Wales, the reforms for Scotland and Northern Ireland should seek to produce their own legislation on this matter as pertaining to the Registrar General for their respective nations, and take into account any differences in equalities law. This is my reasoning in drafting today’s bill to extend only for England and Wales. With the nature of this bill, I have sought cross party sponsorship of this bill to signify that this House does stand with the trans community and that we reaffirm that trans rights are universal. I thank the parties who have co-sponsored and for giving me feedback on this bill’s drafting, and this strengthens the nature of it being reforms that transcends party lines. I hope to see members from all backgrounds in this House join me in passing this legislation!
me_irlgbt survey results! really long post! this took me 6 days! exclamation mark!
Long post. REALLY long post. buckle in.
TLDR at the end
First off, thanks to everybody who responded! There were 467 responses in total, which is amazing. I know filling out surveys online can be boring, so I really appreciate you all indulging me for this. A few notes before we get started!
The aim of this research was to get a better picture of the people who involve themselves in this shitposty mess. Nothing was too strenuous, and as this was basically just research for funsies, it’s obviously not fully academic. I did try to follow general good practices, but I’ve also fucked about a little. This isn’t going in a fancy journal.
I have presented the data with the finest graphs Google Sheets has to offer. I am not an expert in using spreadsheets, so some of it may be, in academic terms, somewhat fucky.
I am not an especially adept researcher or statistician. I’m studying this shit in college but that doesn’t mean I’m good at it yet. I know we get some researchers round these parts, and I’d thank you to not cringe too hard at my work.
Now. Let's get started with the results.
Total survey responses: 467
AGE: 460 responses
https://imgur.com/thGOvqi As we can see here, the majority of respondents are between the ages of 13-24, with most being 18-24. No surprise, this pretty much tracks with the general demographics of reddit. We have 3 tiny kiddos who responded, bless them. One person over 60, heyhowareyougorge. It’s interesting to cross-reference the age demographics with the type of posts we see here. I’m in my early 20s, which in gay years is like being in your early 40s, and i’ve been out for years. I see a lot of closet or coming out type posts, which I personally don’t relate to as much any more, but that totally tracks with the amount of youngins we have here. If you’re looking to karma whore, here’s the data you need.
COUNTRY: 457 responses
https://imgur.com/xwAb3g8 So, clearly very US-heavy. Again, not a surprise here for a US-based website. I would like to confess to purposefully splitting up the UK demographics out of sheer curiosity too; I’m Scottish and wanted to know how many fellow Scots I had. Happenin troops. I also wanted to use this to see how many people were from countries with less legal protections for being LGBT. The countries in here I’d particularly like to highlight are: Dominica, where it is illegal to be gay. Penalties include a 10 year prison sentence, or “incarceration in a psychiatric institution.” Absolutely no legal protections for any LGBT people. That’s pretty fucked. India has no legally recognised same sex unions, no same sex marriage, no adoption, but all of these things have been proposed. some anti-discrimination laws. They have a third gender option, called hijra. Trans people do have some legal recognition of gender, which is nice. As far as I’m aware, this situation is pretty unique to India. Qatar, where same-sex sexual activity is punished by fines, imprisonment, or the death penalty. Obviously no legal protections. Russia, where same-sex sexual activity is technically legal, but in Chechnya, it is heavily punished. Gay people are abducted and sent to concentration camps in this region. Russia has done little to prevent this. Singapore, where there is technically punishment of up to 2 years in prison for male same-sex sexual activity, but this is apparently not enforced any more. F/F is legal though. Malaysia, where it remains illegal to be gay. Punishments can be up to 20 years in prison, fines, or whippings, just for engaging in same-sex sexual activity. However, a 2016 court ruling did recognise gender changes as a fundamental constitutional right, according to wikipedia. I’d like us to take a moment to remember, especially if you’re from the US, that the fight for LGBT rights is far from over. It’s not some distant thing. Even people on this good gay subreddit could face severe punishments for their identity. If you are in a country with legal protections, take a moment to be thankful. If you can, please educate yourself on the state of LGBT rights in these countries, and see if you can do anything to help.
ETHNICITY: 463 responses
https://imgur.com/hk6KINj Again, not particularly surprising results here. Reddit is a pretty overwhelmingly white website. I’m a full blown white person so I’m not sure how much I can really say here without verging out of my own lane. I do think we should keep this in mind however, because as a largely white subreddit we may not have so many people calling out racism when they see it. I don’t want POC to feel ignored here just because they make up a smaller percentage of our demographics, so I welcome any POC responses here as to how we’re doing with that. I personally haven’t seen too much racism, as the bigotry we tend to get is centred around our lgbt identities. Whenever I see it it tends to be anti-black, and usually confined to usernames. I do try to ban that whenever I see it, but I’m only one person, so I do rely on you to report things to me!
GENDER: 467 responses
https://imgur.com/GOMLltE https://imgur.com/BY9eRfU Now, this is the one I’ve had to go in and fuck with. This, and all the other charts, are basically just the raw data in visual form. The chart above is each individual response, allowing for those who selected multiple options. So, rather than counting every time someone selected “male”, then “nonbinary”, etc, it’s counting every time a person selected “male + cisgender,” “nonbinary + queer”, if that makes sense. This chart here is the one I’ve fucked with, that just has the amount of times an option was selected. https://imgur.com/ejdAKm9 I basically simplified the data here. Whenever someone said something like unsure, unknown, etc, this was put under “questioning”. The “other” responses are the only ones that received significant editing. These were long-form responses that could not be parsed into simple answers, so here they are in their entirety.
“Something like that lol”
“I don’t have one of these ‘gender identities’ everyone keeps talking about”
“Lol i’m absolutely fucked and i have no idea”
“What is this ‘gender’ you speak of”
“My sex is female”
Now, I could probably have parsed them into other categories, but honestly I thought this was more entertaining. Some important things to remember when reading this data! * I collected it pretty poorly. I wasn’t aware of how google would collate it and i done goofed a bit. Take it with a pinch of salt. * once i “simplified” the data to look at how many times each option was selected, I ended up with almost 800 pieces of data. You’ll recall that only 467 people responded to the survey, so there is significant overlap. This is why I'm showing you two versions. The crossover is not fully clear, and there’s probably ways I could process this data better, but i’m gonna be real with y'all it’s a lot to wade through and I'm honestly just bad at this * This question allowed people to choose as many or as few labels as they wanted. Some people listed their gender as just “transgender” with no other qualifiers, for example. Therefore this data should be treated as only a partial picture of the gender demographics of this subreddit
PRONOUNS: 464 responses
https://imgur.com/lsP8661 Again, I arguably messed up on the collection of results here, BUT, I do think it’s very interesting to see the combinations of pronouns people use. For example, I think it’s cool to see that, among those who use they/them pronouns
25 respondents use they/them as their only pronouns
31 use he/him and they/them
30 use she/her and they/them
Now obviously it’s gonna be difficult to argue for these results to be generalised to the population at large, but this does support what I’ve seen anecdotally for a while; neutral pronouns are often used alongside non-neutral pronouns. We might not have seen this if I had been a better researcher. Here is the version with my own editing, simplification, and parsing of “other” results: https://imgur.com/6sR4w3U Other results are as follows, presented without comment
”A variety of neopronouns”
”Whatever is right in the moment”
”in the closet for everyone except online friends”
”well i would use those pronouns if i was out or if anyone respected them lmao help me”
”the normal ones”
”All? IDK it’s been a very confusing time”
”he/him among general public, they/them among close friends but out in public, would like to use she/her but only when out and fully transitioned”
”I don't know what this means”
Among neopronoun usage, we have specific examples of: * ve/ver * it/its If we put this alongside the “other” responses that indicate neopronoun usage, we can say that 5 of our respondents use, or are comfortable using, neopronouns. I think this is an interesting point to highlight, because common transphobe rhetoric is that people are using a “confusing” variety of pronouns. We have a generally trans-friendly sub (at least I hope so), and out of 464 respondents to this question, only 5 people indicated neopronoun usage. Could it be that this line of thinking, that people are using confusing newfangled pronouns, is just an uninformed scream from the ignorant?
SEXUALITY: 467 responses
https://imgur.com/CXVxEKc Again, raw data. For this one I don’t feel it’s super necessary to go in and parse out who picked multiple things, because the data here seems kinda straightforward, if you’ll pardon the pun. We have a lot of bi and pan people here. Again, it’s difficult to argue for the generalisation of these results, but this does support evidence of bisexual people making up the majority of the LGBT community. If we compare this to the by now well known findings from the Kinsey institute, this does support the belief that most people are likely neither a Kinsey 1 or a Kinsey 6, but somewhere in the middle. It’s not directly comparable because I didn’t use the same metrics, but it’s interesting to think about. I also think it’s interesting to see so many straight respondents. Of course, this could just be trans people who are straight, but I know from the comments I’ve received that some people who responded are totally non-LGBT, just allies. Also, shoutouts to “an absolute mess” and “just desperate for love”. Same, babes.
EDUCATION: 461 responses
There were enough “other” responses that I felt like I needed to go in and take those out, so here’s the raw data before I did that. https://imgur.com/eguYGeK And here is the simplified version https://imgur.com/DZClNVV Here are the “Other” responses
have not completed high forms of education
IDK not american
middle school (x4)
wasn't allowed to go to school by parents, currently studying for high school entrance exam
2nd year degree
in 5th year of phd but no master's earned on the way
professional degree (Juris Doctor)
certificate of achievement, 1yr college
What’s a diploma
My favourite response is “IDK not american”. As we all know, education only exists in America. Anyway, this pretty much tracks along the age demographics. With a population mostly aged between 13-24, it makes sense that the majority are high school or college educated. Of course, it should be kept in mind that not everybody’s education is a linear or traditional experience, and won’t completely track with our age demographics. Shoutouts to the 3-4 people with PhDs tho, mad respect. And that wraps up our demographics section! Onto some of the cool shit.
PERSONAL LIFE SECTION
POLITICAL ALIGNMENT: 477/467
https://imgur.com/TUQNBVJ Here’s the raw data. As you can see, there’s a lot of write-in responses. If you’ve spent any time hanging out on this subreddit, I don’t think it’s any shock to see how overwhelmingly left-leaning we are. I think this sort of goes with the territory of being an LGBT subreddit though, we do tend to develop liberal politics as an attempt to avoid homophobia and transphobia, and then from there it’s easy to fall into leftist politics, especially on places like Reddit. Simplified data: https://imgur.com/isja5Kc Other responses:
Don’t have these words in AUS
I have a hard time understanding all the different words, but I know I’m the opposite of Donald Trump
Hard to say since these terms mean slightly different things in different places/political climates
Whoever isn't a racist bigot
slutty sjw whos ready to bust a fat nut and shoot capitalists
angry *Governmental axis: libertarian. Economic axis: centrist. Social axis: progressive
I don't have a strict political alignment, I just think that every politician can have good ideas whatever their alignment is
I vote based on the current goals of each party
regulated markets, welfare capitalism, taco trucks on every corner. thank you for coming to my ted talk.
Whatever is Civil Rights
no one changes anything but rich mens pocket books
Prefer not to say
We’re clearly a very left-leaning subreddit here. I think it’s interesting that out of a total of 447 responses, only 9 disclosed that they were on the right-hand side of the political spectrum. Is this because only 4% of people round these parts are on the right, or is due to an unwillingness to identify with conservative politics, even on an anonymous survey? Difficult to know for sure. Interesting data tho amirite. Also whoever answered “slutty sjw whos ready to bust a fat nut”, same girl
Raw data: https://imgur.com/oQQWZH9 Again, a fuckfest here, but even before we go in and parse things out we can see that 336/460 indicate atheist or agnostic beliefs. This sort of goes along with my hypothesis/unscientific belief that a majority of LGBT people are non-religious, or will find religion themselves later on. I personally would love to do research on the prevalence of found religion in later life, especially pagan/wiccan type beliefs, in LGBT people. I think a lot of us do really desire that sort of connection to spirituality, but can’t always get it from the religions we were raised in. This is from my perspective as a western white person raised around christian/catholic beliefs; I know there’s differences with, for example, Judaism, where it’s fully baked into the culture to question and argue with your own beliefs, so I know there’s a hell of a lot of cultural bias going into this assumption. Simplified data https://imgur.com/FimSsoh I’ve kept Atheist/agnostic as separate categories, grouped the different Satanism responses, and again created an “other” category. Other responses:
Both Christian and agnostic
I don't believe in a conscious force making decisions, but there is some sort of force underlying the physical world
idk man. dudeism?
Its a mix
None (not explicitly atheist or agnostic, just...ehhhhh)
Given that this is Reddit, I’m not surprised by the high amount of atheist/agnostic responses, given that the site still has a strong legacy left behind by the glory days of /atheist. With this bias in mind, I do still think this presents a compelling basis for further research on the religious affiliations of LGBT people.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS 465/467
https://imgur.com/vcrZae3 This one actually didn’t require much fucking with, so I’ve just presented the gently simplified data. Other responses
In a queer-platonic relationship
I walk a lonley road, the only one that i have ever known.
I’m not really sure rn
In a polyamorous relationship
I have a domme
On a crash course to divorce :(
Wow we’re a single lot aren’t we Honestly I think this correlates with the age demographics. If I were a better data analyst I’d go in and confirm this with the data, but I’m not, so I won’t. Knowing that we have a lot of younger people, who are more likely to have either no relationship or a frequently changing/unstable relationship status, this kinda seems about right. It would be interesting though to compare this with relationship data from other LGBT communities. I think we all know the struggles of finding available partners, especially when you are, as the data suggests, in high school or college. It’d be interesting to see if the high rate of single people here is due to a desire to seek out other LGBT people in order to gain a sense of community as well. Maybe LGBT people in a relationship feel they already have enough of a sense of community and belonging and are therefore less likely to seek out LGBT spaces online. That’ll require some good qualitative data tho which is time consuming. Could be really cool tho.
[Dislike] However, I do not condone jokes of violence against Terfs
I don't even know what that is.
I don't know or care what that means
I hate them so god damned much even the mention of the word terf makes me wanna punch a *wall then vomit.
I have never heard of this
I have no idea who they are
Idk bout them
Never heard of them
Not sure exactly what that means but if I understand it right I dislike them because I support transgender people
strongly dislike is not enough
[just a transphobic pro-terf comment]
strongly dislike isn't strong enough.
TERF is a slur lol
terfs r trash
They can go to hell
They have no place
Too little experience with them to form a meaningful opinion
we should set them on fire
trans rights babey
I think this is a pretty conclusive result. Of the 29 “other” responses, 20 of them indicate Dislike to Strongly Dislike. 5 respondents said Strongly Like, and 1 said Like. These respondents were the only ones who also put in positive “other” responses. 82% of responses were Strongly Dislike. This is honestly going to inform my moderation style. I always remove outwardly transphobic comments, especially if they mirror the “rational people” comment in the responses above. However, seeing such a strong dislike of TERFs will likely mean I’ll remove more comments that are gently TERFy but not as explicit. I do want to reiterate, this is a feminist space. I personally am a strong feminist. I hold some more radical feminist views. I also believe trans women are women, they have a place in the feminist movement, and in women’s spaces. You can absolutely be a trans INCLUSIVE radical feminist. Feminism is almost useless without intersectionality. Trans people are valid and welcomed here. Transphobia will never be tolerated here. Not up for debate.
At first glance, this notion makes sense to me, but I know to little about the issue to form a meaningful opinion
Dissagree w/ but not dislike as people
Don't know whether they're right or wrong since I'm not trans therefore can't confirm shit
I can understand where they're coming from, but i think it's a harmful ideology all the same
I don't agree transition is necessary, since sometimes staying in the closet is the only way to survive. But dysphoria of some kind is necessary.
I don't understand how people can be trans if they've never experienced Dysphoria. Not being a dick, i just can't find an explaination.
I get where they're coming from
I have no opinion. If somebody says they're trans, all i want are their preferred pronouns.
I haven't heard about this before, I'd have to read up on it before giving an opinion!
I just need to shout about the exclusionary nature of the stance
I think dysphoria is necessary, but not medically transitioning
I’d err on the side of caution because it sounds like it could be ehhh. I don’t know enough about *the trans part of the LGBT+ community to properly answer this one
I’m not sure about them yet
It isnt nessacsry but many people do experience it
Neutral as long as they aren’t excessively pushy or rude about it.
New to this concept tbh
Non-binary trans is still trans.
Not enough reading or research done on my part to have an informed opinion
Not familiar with this topic enough to say
punch them too
Therapists should treat it
There is background to their points but their attitude stunts progress for all trans people
they're very flammable too
trans people are trans regardless of what gender affirmations, if any, they choose to undergo. ❤️
trans rights babey
uncle terfs, more or less.
wanting to be a different gender = gender dysphoria, so 90% of the time transmedicalism is just *pointless gatekeeping
This is the one I definitely needed trans people’s opinions on. I am cis-ish (androgynous butchy lesbian who occasionally likes a cheeky they/them pronoun but is for all intents and purposes a woman/dyke) and so feel entirely unqualified to weigh in and decide which side of the issue is “correct”.
56.2% of responses indicate either Dislike or Strongly Dislike transmedicalists
Of the “other” responses, 15/29 indicate a dislike or disagreement with transmedicalist ideology
There is a large amount of “neutral” or “no opinion” responses. I can assume a lot of these are from cis people who, like me, feel unqualified to weigh in.
This is also likely to inform my moderation style somewhat. Again, I always remove blatant transphobia when I see it, and this includes anybody stating that nonbinary people are not valid, not real, etc. From these results, I’m going to assume this is the right move, and continue with this strategy. I personally lean towards not believing in transmedicalism. Some of this may very well stem from my feminist views, but I generally think gender is extremely fluid, and that labels are only worth what the individual believes they represent. If any of you have an understanding of sociology, I tend towards a Weberian/symbolic interactionist approach towards labels in general. Therefore I believe whatever a person identifies as is probably the right identity for them, regardless of what I may think of it. This isn’t necessarily relevant to your understanding of the survey, but it may be relevant to your understanding of my moderation actions. That wraps up this section! This was a long one, thanks for sticking with us <3
THOUGHTS ON THE SUBREDDIT 457/467
https://imgur.com/VUwfXtq Finally, some data i don’t need to fuck around with. Note to self, do more ratings like this. Obviously as a mod I’m happy to see that opinions trend above 5 here. The average score we’re getting here is 7.87 (2dp) and honestly, I’m down. If that was a movie on IMDB, that shit would be a pretty well-received movie. The most frequent response here is 8/10, and most responses are between 7-10, which tells me people generally enjoy hanging out here. I know there’s always a strong chance for bias here, because the people who are likely to respond to a kinda long survey for a subreddit are likely to be people who either really enjoy it, or really don’t. However, even with that bias, I’m gonna just take the W if that’s cool with you.
THOUGHTS ON MODERATION 445/467
https://imgur.com/pmkKyuC Slightly lower trend than overall subreddit opinions, but the average is almost the same at 7.73 (2dp). Since sending out this survey I have made some slight tweaks to my moderation style, as well as making some additions to the automoderator. We’ll chat about that later. I’m glad the overall trend here is positive though; I don’t want this to be a place where you all just end up resenting me.
i dont have a reddit account, and i very rarely check comments. I dont think i'm the best person to answer this.
I dont pay attention enough to say
I just discovered this subreddit like yesterday so I don't really know
I think we need mods who do more than just let people police the sub themselves. We may only need a new mod if the current mods don’t change how they mod. Respond to reports is what I’m saying (I don’t see almost any removed comments ever)
idk i just enjoy the memes
idk im just lurking here
Idk. How many moderators do you have?
if they're good moderators
maybe? i think a little more mod participation would be cool. just seeing admins in comments laughing and joking along with us, and sharing in the memes. i enjoy the hands-off approach but that doesn't mean i don't ever wanna see more mods chilling out and sorta like.,..... making their presence known and joining in on the fun!!! yknow it makes it feel safer
no idea tbh but it seems to be running ok
So the general answer here is that we maybe need more mods. Far more people said no than said yes. Personal interpretation is that people may have felt more comfortable answering “maybe” than answering “yes”. I know that having one active mod for a 90k subreddit is not usual, and by now most subreddits will have gotten a couple more people in. I won’t speak for parlayv but, if you think i’m hands-off, she’s like, not even got hands. Hands not on this plane. We did create the subreddit together (IIRC I came up with the name and she was like “omg that needs to be a subreddit” and then, all of a sudden, it was) but I’m the one who pretty much runs it. I don’t think she’d take issue with me saying that. She’s too busy playing runescape and smoking weed anyway lmao So, given the general results, I will look at bringing more mods on. I’ll probably pull from people I know first, and if that doesn’t work, may open up applications later. If this happens you’ll all know about it. I’ll address some of the comments at the very end. Your concerns are not going unnoticed!
THOUGHTS ON RESEARCHERS 459/467
https://imgur.com/Px4XqGQ Another very similar score, but this time the most frequent response by far is a 10. Average score is 7.84 This one was kinda important for me. I made the decision to allow researchers to post their surveys here. Full disclosure, when researchers come to me in modmail, my key concern is that they’ve followed all ethical procedures. So far, every single one has been done through a university in an official capacity, which means they have to prove they’ve gone through the ethics of their work and it’s been approved before they can even start researching. Whenever I’ve checked them out they seem completely fine, and I’ve so far not received any complaints, which makes me feel good. I personally believe research is incredibly important for us to understand ourselves, as well as other people. I’m obviously biased as hell here because I’m a social sciences student but the whole reason I’m interested in this field is the benefits I believe it can bring to us. So if it’s cool with you all, I’m going to take this result as support for research posts. For now I don’t foresee any issues with frequency but we’ll revisit this if that becomes a problem. I’d like to give you all a sincere thank you for your positive reception to these posts <3
SHOULD WE BAN TERFS OR TRANSMEDICALISTS? 461/467
This question specified “regardless of rulebreaking”, meaning should they be banned on sight if they say they identify as either a TERF or a transmedicalist. I also meant if they posted in TERF or transmedicalist subreddits, but I didn’t specify this, so I won’t use that in my analysis of this data. https://imgur.com/o1fevKC Other responses
Allow them only if they don't say anything transphobic on me_irlgbt
ban 'em when they post inflammatory stuff to bait responses
allow transmeds to flair their posts/create separate sub
only ban Transmedicalists if they’re being dicks about it
don't know enough about transmedicalists to say
Ban transmedicalists, do not ban TERFs
Definitely ban TERFs, I just don't really know much about trans medicalists, so I feel weird making a definitive statement about them.
Definitely ban TERFs. I’m neutral on transmedicalists
Forum should not be allowed to become a hostile environment. They can easily do that.
I don't know the context behind transmedicalists but if they're anything like terfs then yes ban them
I think a distinction must be made between hate and ignorance. Obvious hate should naturally be answered with a ban, but rule-breaking content arising from possible ignorance should be met with a removal, private warning and, most importantly, directing the poster toward resources to educate themselves.
I think there is more ground to talk with transmedicalists but that I would prefer not to deal with them. TERFs should be banned regardless of circumstance.
I’m not sure how i feel about just “banning” people but i disagree with them both
if being mean
If making people uncomfortable
If they are strongly voicing there options, even in other sub, that may be harmful.
Keep them on a shorter leash
Maybe? Or at least make posting that stuff against the rules
Only ban when breaking rules, but dismissing trans women & gnc/nb trans peeps should be against the rules
Only if they are putting forth their beliefs in a way to claim that people are not valid.
Still don't know anything about the transmedicalists but ban the terfs
TERFs have no rights and should go. Transmedicalists are... Kinda difficult? I used to consider myself trans and sorta get where they're coming from. I think it's just a generational issue? I don't think they should be banned outright, like TERFs should, but it should be made very clear that MeIRLGBT isn't the place to discuss that
Yeah, but only if you are sure they are terfs/transmed
yes, because they're harmful to trans communities and this subreddit should be safe.
Again, a generally anti-terf attitude, which is expected from previous questions. Once again, this is mostly to inform my moderation style. I am hesitant to ban people because I don’t want to be seen as a powertripping mod out to get everybody. These results, alongside the other terf/transmed ones, are kind of encouraging me to take a slightly heavier hand than I currently am. Again, some specific responses at the end!
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE MORE OF? 98/467
This was complete free-entry, so I’ve gone in and grouped a bunch of the responses together.
Ace content: 3
Bi content: 4
Positivity/wholesome shit: 4
Trans content: 5
Commie shit: 2
Garlic bread: 2
That Gay Shit: 13
More activity in general: 5
allowing different titles
mod posts for awareness days (ie bisexuality awareness, TDOR, etc)
more response to reports
peace, love, and understanding
a monthly challenge to make themed memes
clarity as to what this neat little subreddit is about
Other responses were generally just “nothin, we good”, so that makes up the rest of the responses. Further answers at the end!
[i removed these comments for being transphobic lol]: 2
That Het Shit: 3
That Gay Shit
non-meme content: 6
Christmas decorations in October
self-deprecating humour: 2
equating tops/bottoms to personality or body types. this isn't yoai it's real life, and i know this is more of an overall issue with the gay community but it's pretty prevalent on this sub
i hope the rest of your day is the best of your day.
Okay to the people who said they want less of themselves and less gay shit you are in the wholeass wrong place are you okay Reposts seem to be a common issue. Could you lot do me a favour and post in the comments what you think are common reposts? I come on and browse the sub but I really rely on things you report to me, so I don’t always see common reposts. As far as specific content you don’t like, I’m afraid that’s gonna be a self-directed thing for yall. Downvote the non-rulebreaking content you don’t like and hopefully people will get the message! Lol @ the one person who said less surveys. Ur in one. Cant stop wont stop x
ANYTHING ELSE TO ADD?
ily, thank you, etc
This shit sweet as hell thank you for taking the time to add it in at the end ily
“all my answers need the addendum of “I am an idiot, and there are many things I don’t know”
Hi. how u doin
I am a gay
Absolutely. We love that for you.
[bee movie script]
Hi. no. dislike.
Comrades! You have nothing to lose but your chains!
There’s like 5 of you that said this and i love it
imagine being sega and not working towards creating and publishing a new jet set radio future game; absolutely criminal
Imagine being sega. Can’t relate
Perhaps a link in the side bar we can click to escape the subreddit, especially on mobile if possible.
Honestly not a bad idea. I’ll look into this.
Please just add the QA to the name. It’s 2 letters
I’m sorry, i can’t change the subreddit name. I’ll add it to the sidebar tho <3
Sexual attraction is bourgeois
Idk what this means but it is now one of the central tenets of my faith
Thanks for all the “other” options
You’re welcome it made like, 100x more work for me, but i kinda like that we have a smidge of qualitative data alongside all the quantitative shit.
Thanks for letting me participate despite my non LGBT status
Thanks for being chill!
You people need to calm down. I can sense that this energy primarily comes from North America, so I will explain. The level of discrimination and the lack of basic human rights are so extreme, people cannot stand it anymore even if they are not fully aware of these subconscious vibes, so they need to pull extremely in the other direction to make up for this. And hence you have this kind of subculture that emerges as result. The problem is that, you people are as bad as the other end of the problem because you're as extreme, and it translates into over the top aggression and people so insanely touchy they see an attack in absolutely everything, even if they are not being attacked. Become aware of these energies, and chill.
Gurl are you like okay? Do you need a lie down? Some fruit snacks? Everything okay at home?
“I think we need mods who do more than just let people police the sub themselves. We may only need a new mod if the current mods don’t change how they mod. Respond to reports is what I’m saying (I don’t see almost any removed comments ever)”
I’m gonna hold my hands up here, I have generally sucked ass at this. I rely almost completely on you lot reporting things to me, but for the longest time I had a big ol mod queue that was just overwhelming to look at. I’ve made changes to this in the past few weeks, including *expanding automod scripts. Automod now deletes certain slurs automatically, as well as any comment that might be mentioning or encouraging suicide. This is a big help because obviously trolls will rely on their old faithful slurs. I was hesitant to do this because I think we all have a right to slur reclamation, but I think the benefits outweigh that right now. *I got a fancy new mod plugin! It’s called toolbox, and basically just tells me whenever a new post is made so I can approve it or not, and it tells me when I have new reports. It’s made the whole experience less stressful *I spent a day addressing all the shit in the queue. The subreddit used to be like, full anarchy, so there were reports going back 2 years. Again, I take responsibility for that. I’ve been a shitty mod and I am addressing that. I hope these changes help address those concerns.
” i think a little more mod participation would be cool. just seeing admins in comments laughing and joking along with us, and sharing in the memes”
I’ve honestly been thinking about this comment for a while. I try to avoid posting here because, again, I’ve seen a lot of criticism of mods who participate too much in their own subs, especially when they distinguish their posts. I don’t wanna look like a dick, yknow? But I like this comment and I’m gonna try and just hang out with you lot more <3
Mod posts for awareness days (ie bisexuality awareness, TDOR, etc)
I kinda think this idea slaps. Does anybody have a calendar of important LGBT dates? I think we could tie this into the other comment about challenges for themed memes, where appropriate.
Clarity as to what this neat little subreddit is about
Me_irlgbt is a queer shitposting subreddit. It’s generally for memes and queer fuckery. Not selfies. That’s about it.
Okay, so, the reason I’m not going to do this is because I feel that if I post a thread for support, I then have a duty of care to anybody who posts in it. I do not have the capability, time, or knowledge to provide that duty of care, so I feel it would be strongly unethical to do this, regardless of how good the intentions are. I think it’s a well-meaning idea, I just wanted to clarify why I’m personally not comfortable with it.
Not everybody in me_irlgbt is gay. Can we have more inclusivity?
When I use “gay” on this subreddit, especially if I’m referring to the general mass of users, I wholeheartedly mean it in a community way. Like, “we, the gays” as contrapoints once said. You are welcome here. This isn’t the only response along these lines, so I will keep it in mind when making changes. And we’re done! Holy shit that was a long post. This has taken me 6 days to edit. Again, reiterating from the top, I’m not an adept researchedata analyst, so I’m sure many people could’ve done a MUCH better job looking at these results, but I think this will do for now. Thank you so much to everybody who responded. It’s been really interesting for me to have a look at this, and pretty cool to get to fuck around with all this data. Thank you ilysm <3
The population on this subreddit trends young, mostly 18-24
Most people live in the US
Most people are white
We have slightly more male-identified people than female, but not significantly so.
Roughly a quarter of respondents are trans-identified.
Most people use she/her or he/him pronouns. Around 18% use they/them, with the rest “other” or neopronouns.
About 60% of the people here identify as bisexual or pansexual, 17% lesbian, 16% gay, 17% asexual. These responses do overlap with many people using multiple labels for themselves.
mostly high school or college educated, which makes sense with the age demographics
overwhelmingly left-leaning politically
generally positive feelings towards the subreddit/mods
mostly atheist/agnostic religious views
74% of respondents are single/not in a relationship.
88% of respondents do not like TERFs
about half of respondents do not like transmedicalists, but 28% are neutral
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