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From Slate:

The Magnetic and Emotionally Complex Power of FaceApp’s Gender Filter

By Miz Cracker

As a full-time drag queen, I’ve spent a lot money, time, and makeup trying to look like a lady. But now there’s an app for that.

FaceApp, a new mobile app that allows users to switch the genders of their selfies with the touch of a button, has sparked a social media frenzy. Since launching in February, it has garnered millions of downloads, inspired reams of think-pieces about race and beauty—and fueled thousands of gender-bending #faceapp posts on Twitter and Instagram.

FaceApp offers many filters—users can see older, younger, or hotter versions of themselves, and so on—but the gender-bending option is one of the most popular among the gay male users in my social media sphere. And to be honest, it’s the filter that has me staring at my iPhone while no one’s looking. … Perhaps this is what has made FaceApp such a sensation—the sense of true transformation that it offers.

Also from Slate:

Hey, Tech Companies: Knock It Off With the Apps That Let People Change Their Skin ColorScreenshot 2017-08-10 00.22.56

By April Glaser

FaceApp’s racial filters lived only briefly, but they should never have happened in the first place.

For a brief moment on Wednesday, FaceApp—the app that went viral in April for taking a photo of someone’s face and making them look older, younger, more masculine, or more feminine—had a new feature that let users see how they would look if they were a different race. That means white users could make their faces black, and black users could whiten their skin. There was also an Asian filter, as well as one to make people look Indian.

Within hours, FaceApp had pulled down the new feature. That’s good. But really: Who thought it was a good idea? Did they actually think that this would go well? …

Perhaps the Russia-based company wasn’t aware of the history of racial parodying on our side of the pond. But considering the outrage that ensued after its whitewashing filter, one would think FaceApp had learned that making an app to change people’s race will never, ever, ever, ever be OK.

We need an updating of Animal Farm. Instead of chanting “Four legs good, two legs bad,” the characters will chant “Transgenderism good, transracialism bad” until they believe it.

 
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  1. Jason Liu says:

    SJW whining aside, the filters are actually pretty convincing. I’m impressed.

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  2. Olorin says:

    Heck, I view this as good.

    “They” are admitting they’re racial essentialists, which can be the red-striped pill before full-blown racial realism.

    “They” are also admitting that they find transgenderism not all that important. People feel strongly about important things.

    Transgender is a kind of play and not very familiar, so kinda fun. How many trannies has the average person ever known?

    Race, however, is deadly earnest. It involves conflicts and riots and murders and assaults and microaggressions and lawsuits and lootings and redlines and escalators and stuff, and the average person knows whereof he/she/zxr speaks on that topic.

    Nope. Don’t play with race. That’s the fire that burns.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    "Transgender is a kind of play and not very familiar, so kinda fun. How many trannies has the average person ever known?

    Race, however, is deadly earnest. It involves conflicts and riots and murders and assaults and microaggressions and lawsuits and lootings and redlines and escalators and stuff, and the average person knows whereof he/she/zxr speaks on that topic.

    Nope. Don’t play with race. That’s the fire that burns."

    Wow. Homos aren't negroes. Who knew? Didn't some altRight guy write a book about that?
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  3. Why is it that women don’t get pissed off (or are not told to) when men pretend to be women…

    …but non-whites get all upset (or are told to) when a white person pretends to be like them?

    It’s confusing. The sexes don’t exist anymore, but the races do? But I thought races don’t exist…

    How many fingers are they holding up, and who are we at war with now?

    (I think the whole idea is to keep whitey in his place while also emasculating him.)

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  4. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Is there one for making people look Jewish?

    I must say this(below) made me laugh for a full minute:

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    • Replies: @kihowi
    Shouldn't be hard. Curl the nose, extent the bottom lip, curl the hair, tilt the forehead allll the way back and half the height. Clasp the hands.
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  5. Too late; people have already saved the “what would Shaun King look like if he were black” photos.

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    • LOL: Cloudbuster
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  6. Perhaps the Russia-based company wasn’t aware of the history of racial parodying on our side of the pond.

    Those dastardly Russians haven’t gotten the message yet. Let’s boycott them.

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  7. kihowi says:
    @Anon
    Is there one for making people look Jewish?

    I must say this(below) made me laugh for a full minute:

    https://twitter.com/AnElvishMale/status/895425763155070976

    Shouldn’t be hard. Curl the nose, extent the bottom lip, curl the hair, tilt the forehead allll the way back and half the height. Clasp the hands.

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    • Replies: @Dissident

    Some men are suddenly struck with impotence if they learn from the woman with whom they are making love that she is a Jewess.
     

    Thus it is not from the body that the sense of repulsion arises, since one may love a Jewess very well if one does not know what her race is;
     
    - Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew
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  8. kihowi says:

    The thing is that “racism in the old days” is a myth. I have spent two decades now reading 19th and early 20th century literature, magazines, newspapers, plays and song lyrics and I have never, not once, seen anything that could be construed as nasty towards blacks. Whitey has always been polite and respectful to a fault. Especially what they call “racial parodying” was the most cheerful and harmless thing imaginable. The sinister interpretation was made up a century later.

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    • Replies: @StillCARealist
    They used the term "n-----" a lot in those books. Maybe not nasty, but certainly derogatory.

    there's a scene in Steinbeck's Travels with Charley when he takes on a hitchhiker in the south and the hitchhiker gets annoyed with Steinbeck and starts calling him a "n----- lover". It's quite the ugly scene and allows Steinbeck to appear virtuous and the working class Southerner ignorant and bigoted.
    , @NOMAN
    Blacks complain about having been depicted in the old mass media as silly or servile, but after the "Birth of a Nation" furor in 1915, they were never again depicted as violent or criminal (i.e., depicted honestly). "The Pawnbroker" (circa 1965) may have been the first movie to break the taboo- the violence of the ghetto Blacks causes the Jewish protagonist to flash back to Nazi Germany and his life in a concentration camp.
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  9. Dissident says:

    Apropos the “transgender” aspect at least, here’s another glimpse into the lunacy of Manhattan’s Upper West Side:

    https://www.westsiderag.com/2017/08/02/council-candidates-pledge-to-stand-up-to-developers-no-new-shadows-on-public-parkland

    First, notice anything less-than-”kosher”, in the specific context under discussion here, about one of the City Council candidates pictured? If yes, which one and how long did it take you to notice it?

    Now, be sure to look at the final photo of the series. Then note comment # 7 by “Cyrus”, which began,

    “The four girls on the bottom picture don’t even appear to be voting age.”

    How vision-impaired or indoctrinated must one be to truly believe that the individual in that photo, second-from-right with blond hair, is actually female?

    A somewhat abridged version of a reply I had submitted:

    Cyrus’s observation would appear valid. I am afraid, however, that it is far from what immediately came to my mind when viewing the photo that he refers-to. Suffice it to say that I seriously question whether his unqualified use of the term “girls” was accurate here…

    I am reminded, as I so often am in these confused, decadent and benighted times we live in, of a certain line from the lyrics of the theme song of a certain iconic sitcom of the 1970′s.

    Please note that, as concerns those who are truly confused and misled, I write with only pity and compassion. For those who have misled them, however; for the cultural and moral termites who have sown the accursed seeds whose bitter fruits we, as a society, now reap, I have nothing but the contempt, disdain, indignation and (entirely condign) loathing that befits such entities.

    Probably needless to say that I was hardly surprised when, upon checking later, I found that my comment had not appeared.

    Oh, I almost forgot: Five days after this story about the City Council candidates appeared at the aforelinked UWS local news/blog hybrid site, a story about a local circus appeared. One of the comments read,

    “My kids enjoyed the freak shows.
    Bring back the bearded ladies!”

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  10. fnn says:

    The thing is that “racism in the old days” is a myth.

    Well, except for 19th Century New York City:

    http://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2012/01/race-relations-in-early-new-york.html

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  11. Dissident says:
    @kihowi
    Shouldn't be hard. Curl the nose, extent the bottom lip, curl the hair, tilt the forehead allll the way back and half the height. Clasp the hands.

    Some men are suddenly struck with impotence if they learn from the woman with whom they are making love that she is a Jewess.

    Thus it is not from the body that the sense of repulsion arises, since one may love a Jewess very well if one does not know what her race is;

    - Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew

    Read More
    • Replies: @DFH
    Nonsense, you can tell a full blooded Jew (or Welshman) almost every time if you know what you're looking for
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  12. TheJester says:

    iSteve, you (with a little help from FaceApp) nailed it. All of the social issues associated with diversity in general and sexism, racism, and differences in gender, culture, and religions are about appearances.

    The lesson is that appearances need not map to reality (that’s the meaning of the former term) as long as you can look at a photo or in a mirror to convince yourself that, yes, if you were a man, you are now a woman.

    Perhaps instead of talking about Liberals and the Alt-Right we should talk about the Party of Appearances and the Party of Reality to clarify their logically contrary stands with respect to what is real and what is not.

    Being a Liberal is like going to a Masquerade Party and believing that the people behind the masks are indeed pirates, or lizards, or Abraham Lincoln (you get the idea). What is peculiar and fascinating is that the Liberal party goers apparently do believe that these appearances are real.

    A new meme … the Liberal universe as one, gigantic Masquerade Party. This clarifies a lot, including how hysterical and psychotic these party goers really are.

    The danger to all of us is the “carrying costs” to society as the masquerades and charades spread from universities, to government, to schools, to corporations … and with respect to latest masquerade party, Silicon Valley.

    Let’s speculate on the life expectancy of a society that can no longer tell the difference between appearances and reality … systematically confusing one for the other.

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  13. Ben Kurtz says: • Website

    “FaceApp offers many filters… but the gender-bending option is one of the most popular among the gay male users in my social media sphere. And to be honest, it’s the filter that has me staring at my iPhone while no one’s looking.”

    Steve, what was the term you used? Autogynephilia? Props to you — very perceptive.

    “One would think FaceApp had learned that making an app to change people’s race will never, ever, ever, ever be OK.”

    Because race is a fundamental construct in the human family tree, is a serious category with substance and meaning, and should be never denigrated as a mere “social construct” and not reflective of underlying reality… oh, wait…

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  14. anon says: • Disclaimer

    somewhat off-topic, but what’s with this stupid “not OK” formulation? I’d expect the CEO of the world’s first trillion dollar corporation to at least use the word “unacceptable” while throwing his nobody subordinate under the bus…

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    . . . but what’s with this stupid “not OK” formulation?

     

    The Left searches constantly for terminology to euphemize the simple 'right/wrong' dichotomy, since using the latter would signal that they acknowledge the existence of a moral universe with deontological standards.

    For quite a while 'inappropriate' was the euphemism of choice, but as the level of western 'formal' discourse deteriorates into an increasingly adolescent vernacular, I've seen 'not OK' and even 'not cool' coming into use. It's the linguistic equivalent of coming into the office in shorts and flip-flops instead of a business suit.

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  15. It may seem odd that transgenderism is promoted as an 100% real phenomenon in the Current Year while transracialism is not, what with Rachel Dolezal pointing out that mainstream scientists say that neither race nor gender is “fixed” nor “real”.

    Similarly, it may seem odd how the transgenderism issue relies on the idea that there are male and female brains, but that Justin Damore has been fired for saying there are differences, on average, between how men and women think.

    But actually, it makes perfect sense for transracialism to be triple-plus ungood, when you realise that the whole of SJW ideology basically revolves around the question of what’s bad for the whites.

    Here is Syreeta McFadden, writing in the Guardian, on why “Rachel Dolezal’s definition of ‘transracial’ isn’t just wrong, it’s destructive”

    Perhaps it feels convenient to white people who desire to unravel systemic effects of a hyperracialized society (especially those effects that they feel affect white people negatively) to embrace the notion of a transracial identity, as if such a thing exists. But to argue that real parity between race and ethnic groups in the United States exists – and can be exchanged one-on-one – is to deny protections for those groups marginalized by institutional power.

    Dolezal’s messy theft and fiction of a black American identity uses the currency of a subculture of privilege that is rooted in white supremacy too. If anything, to believe that one can transfer one’s identity in this way is a privilege – maybe even the highest manifestation of white privilege.

    The piece, as with the many similar screeds on the topic that can be located across the internet, does absolutely zilch to counter Dolezal’s point which is essentially that if transgenderism is real, so is transracialism.

    The ability to accept marginalization, to take on the identity of a woman without living the burdens of it and always knowing you could, on a whim, escape it, is not a transition to womanhood; to use it to further your career or social aspirations is not to become a woman To be a man in American society is to have more freedom; femininity operates as tension between restriction and transcendence.

    Here I have swapped race for sex in a paragraph of McFadden’s, and she sounds identical to the “radfems” we are told are evil for their “trans-exclusionary” attitudes.

    Transgenderism is good, because the main participants are white men, and its key feature is stripping the people identified in Current Year ClownWorld as the ultimate enemy of their masculinity.

    Transracialism is bad though, because it gives white people a get-out clause to being identified as enemy numero uno, meaning that white men could exploit the loophole and enter the world of “being in a marginalised group” while still acting white and male. And we can’t have that.

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  16. I doubt we’ve heard the last of this app. It’s just too sweet a new banana for non-whites.

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  17. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Olorin
    Heck, I view this as good.

    "They" are admitting they're racial essentialists, which can be the red-striped pill before full-blown racial realism.

    "They" are also admitting that they find transgenderism not all that important. People feel strongly about important things.

    Transgender is a kind of play and not very familiar, so kinda fun. How many trannies has the average person ever known?

    Race, however, is deadly earnest. It involves conflicts and riots and murders and assaults and microaggressions and lawsuits and lootings and redlines and escalators and stuff, and the average person knows whereof he/she/zxr speaks on that topic.

    Nope. Don't play with race. That's the fire that burns.

    “Transgender is a kind of play and not very familiar, so kinda fun. How many trannies has the average person ever known?

    Race, however, is deadly earnest. It involves conflicts and riots and murders and assaults and microaggressions and lawsuits and lootings and redlines and escalators and stuff, and the average person knows whereof he/she/zxr speaks on that topic.

    Nope. Don’t play with race. That’s the fire that burns.”

    Wow. Homos aren’t negroes. Who knew? Didn’t some altRight guy write a book about that?

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  18. All people are equal, some people are more equal than others.

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  19. @kihowi
    The thing is that "racism in the old days" is a myth. I have spent two decades now reading 19th and early 20th century literature, magazines, newspapers, plays and song lyrics and I have never, not once, seen anything that could be construed as nasty towards blacks. Whitey has always been polite and respectful to a fault. Especially what they call "racial parodying" was the most cheerful and harmless thing imaginable. The sinister interpretation was made up a century later.

    They used the term “n—–” a lot in those books. Maybe not nasty, but certainly derogatory.

    there’s a scene in Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley when he takes on a hitchhiker in the south and the hitchhiker gets annoyed with Steinbeck and starts calling him a “n—– lover”. It’s quite the ugly scene and allows Steinbeck to appear virtuous and the working class Southerner ignorant and bigoted.

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  20. “but the gender-bending option is one of the most popular among the gay male users in my social media sphere.”

    Oh wow. So gay men just want to be women? Well I’ll be. And all this time I’ve been told it’s a real thing and not just playing dress-up by messed up dudes.

    I predict homosexuality will start to dwindle as the young and broken start discovering that they’re not actually “gay” but really the other sex.

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  21. Slightly OT, but I was watching TV last night (my first mistake) when I heard a commercial for a show called “The Fosters”. Initially I was not paying attention, but two teenagers appeared to be talking about their relationship when one of them mentioned “trans”. So I backed up and watched it again (my second mistake) and it went something like this:

    Teen One: “I think we should continue dating.”

    Teen Two: “I thought you were having problems because I’m trans.”

    Teen Trans Dating for a show on at 8:00 PM, produced by ABC Family. That’s a long way from Alex P. Keaton.

    Is it possible to move faster than the speed of light? If so, WWT is doing it…

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    • Replies: @Ben Kurtz
    Actually, I think it's going so fast that it entered a time warp and got sent into the past. A quick internet search suggests that The Fosters introduced a transsexual character back in 2014.

    I don't watch TV so I'm really cut off from all these things.
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  22. Ben Kurtz says: • Website
    @Steve from Detroit
    Slightly OT, but I was watching TV last night (my first mistake) when I heard a commercial for a show called "The Fosters". Initially I was not paying attention, but two teenagers appeared to be talking about their relationship when one of them mentioned "trans". So I backed up and watched it again (my second mistake) and it went something like this:

    Teen One: "I think we should continue dating."

    Teen Two: "I thought you were having problems because I'm trans."

    Teen Trans Dating for a show on at 8:00 PM, produced by ABC Family. That's a long way from Alex P. Keaton.

    Is it possible to move faster than the speed of light? If so, WWT is doing it...

    Actually, I think it’s going so fast that it entered a time warp and got sent into the past. A quick internet search suggests that The Fosters introduced a transsexual character back in 2014.

    I don’t watch TV so I’m really cut off from all these things.

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  23. So, did Rachel Dolezal ever pony up for one of those “ancestry dna tests” one sees advertised on the telly … ? (“I traded in my lederhosen for a kilt”, that sort of twaddle …)

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  24. guest says:

    “Perhaps the Russia-based company wasn’t aware of the history of racial parodying on our side of the pond”

    I forgive them, because I live over here and no one ever bothered telling me what’s so bad about “racial parodying?” Besides, I see it all the time. Just not as much the evil “blackface.”

    By the way, our side of the pond? Russia is not Britain. There’s an entire continent between it and the Atlantic. Or is the Pacific suddenly “the pond?”

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  25. BB753 says:

    Why did the Russian company give in? Why should they give a hoot about leftist hang-ups about race?

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  26. That faceapp feature looked like a lot of fun. It’s a shame the whole world has to bow down to the American neurosis on race. As usual (and ironically) people complaining ‘how could have thought it’d be a good idea to make that’ have no idea that it’s just not a big deal outside of America (and americanised countries i.e. the west). I bet Africans, Indians, and especially Chinese would have loved it.

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  27. DFH says:
    @Dissident

    Some men are suddenly struck with impotence if they learn from the woman with whom they are making love that she is a Jewess.
     

    Thus it is not from the body that the sense of repulsion arises, since one may love a Jewess very well if one does not know what her race is;
     
    - Jean-Paul Sartre, Anti-Semite and Jew

    Nonsense, you can tell a full blooded Jew (or Welshman) almost every time if you know what you’re looking for

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  28. @anon
    somewhat off-topic, but what's with this stupid "not OK" formulation? I'd expect the CEO of the world's first trillion dollar corporation to at least use the word "unacceptable" while throwing his nobody subordinate under the bus...

    . . . but what’s with this stupid “not OK” formulation?

    The Left searches constantly for terminology to euphemize the simple ‘right/wrong’ dichotomy, since using the latter would signal that they acknowledge the existence of a moral universe with deontological standards.

    For quite a while ‘inappropriate’ was the euphemism of choice, but as the level of western ‘formal’ discourse deteriorates into an increasingly adolescent vernacular, I’ve seen ‘not OK’ and even ‘not cool’ coming into use. It’s the linguistic equivalent of coming into the office in shorts and flip-flops instead of a business suit.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dissident
    So right about "the level of western ‘formal’ discourse deteriorates into an increasingly adolescent vernacular". It utterly disgusts me.

    Have you noticed how the word "sucks", as a pejorative, has become increasingly acceptable, used by even "respectable" adults well past any age that their youth or proximity to it could be considered a mitigating factor? Roughly three decades ago, as an adolescent, I was reprimanded for using such vulgar language as "sucks".
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  29. JohnnyD says:

    It wouldn’t be a Slate article if there wasn’t some Russia bashing…

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  30. Polymath says:

    Race is a continuum and gender is bimodal, which explains why people don’t mind transgenderism and feel threatened by transracialism. Superficially, it would seem like the opposite should be the case, there are many people who truly do get to “choose their race” because they are genuine mixes, while the number of people who are physically intersex is tiny. However, psychologically, it goes the other way, it’s the easy-to-cross boundaries that need to be strictly policed.

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    • Replies: @Dissident
    Most interesting and, I believe, quite astute analysis.

    Didn't you mean, though, to write "sex" in place of "gender"? Or at least to put "gender" in quotation marks? Surely you must know that the latter is but a /linguistic/ construct.

    I recall hearing Angela Davis (in a lecture of hers that New York's infamous Pacifica outlet, WBAI, was airing), cite, as an example of "progress", how we've gone from thinking of "gender" as a binary to "realizing" that it's a continuum.
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  31. Dissident says:
    @Polymath
    Race is a continuum and gender is bimodal, which explains why people don't mind transgenderism and feel threatened by transracialism. Superficially, it would seem like the opposite should be the case, there are many people who truly do get to "choose their race" because they are genuine mixes, while the number of people who are physically intersex is tiny. However, psychologically, it goes the other way, it's the easy-to-cross boundaries that need to be strictly policed.

    Most interesting and, I believe, quite astute analysis.

    Didn’t you mean, though, to write “sex” in place of “gender”? Or at least to put “gender” in quotation marks? Surely you must know that the latter is but a /linguistic/ construct.

    I recall hearing Angela Davis (in a lecture of hers that New York’s infamous Pacifica outlet, WBAI, was airing), cite, as an example of “progress”, how we’ve gone from thinking of “gender” as a binary to “realizing” that it’s a continuum.

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  32. Dissident says:
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    . . . but what’s with this stupid “not OK” formulation?

     

    The Left searches constantly for terminology to euphemize the simple 'right/wrong' dichotomy, since using the latter would signal that they acknowledge the existence of a moral universe with deontological standards.

    For quite a while 'inappropriate' was the euphemism of choice, but as the level of western 'formal' discourse deteriorates into an increasingly adolescent vernacular, I've seen 'not OK' and even 'not cool' coming into use. It's the linguistic equivalent of coming into the office in shorts and flip-flops instead of a business suit.

    So right about “the level of western ‘formal’ discourse deteriorates into an increasingly adolescent vernacular”. It utterly disgusts me.

    Have you noticed how the word “sucks”, as a pejorative, has become increasingly acceptable, used by even “respectable” adults well past any age that their youth or proximity to it could be considered a mitigating factor? Roughly three decades ago, as an adolescent, I was reprimanded for using such vulgar language as “sucks”.

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  33. NOMAN says:
    @kihowi
    The thing is that "racism in the old days" is a myth. I have spent two decades now reading 19th and early 20th century literature, magazines, newspapers, plays and song lyrics and I have never, not once, seen anything that could be construed as nasty towards blacks. Whitey has always been polite and respectful to a fault. Especially what they call "racial parodying" was the most cheerful and harmless thing imaginable. The sinister interpretation was made up a century later.

    Blacks complain about having been depicted in the old mass media as silly or servile, but after the “Birth of a Nation” furor in 1915, they were never again depicted as violent or criminal (i.e., depicted honestly). “The Pawnbroker” (circa 1965) may have been the first movie to break the taboo- the violence of the ghetto Blacks causes the Jewish protagonist to flash back to Nazi Germany and his life in a concentration camp.

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