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Quillette Podcast 4 – Meghan Murphy on Why Twitter Was Wrong to Ban Her

Canadian editor Jonathan Kay talks to Meghan Murphy, the founder of Feminist Current, a radical feminist blog and podcast. Meghan was recently banned from Twitter for “dead-naming” and “misgendering” trans women, activities that are now prohibited in Twitter’s terms of service. She wrote about this for Quillette.

29 Comments

  1. ga gamba says

    As if her essay wasn’t enough, now we get the voice of Meghan too.

    I don’t care for people such as Meghan. Why? Because they’re hypocrites.

    On her own website she routinely deletes comments. Further, she decides what comments may appear, Moreover, she defines what is permissible to debate. The foul streak of authoritarianism runs deep and wide in her.

    “You’ve left so many stupid comments on the site that I’ve deleted, so I’m disinclined to publish any of them, as clearly you’re not here in good faith, but just so you know where you are, we do not argue, on this site, that trans-identified males are female.”

    This is not an isolated case, though one is one too many.

    “All of your comments have been published, but if comments are removed, that’s up to the discretion of the moderator (me!) and is not up for debate.”

    Okie dokie, it’s her platform and it’s her choice to refuse to debate what she censors.

    For her now to go on a publicity tour lamenting her fate and whingeing about the same unjust act she herself is guilty of perpetrating is something I find utterly laughable. And condemnable.

    I don’t think she’s irredeemable though, and the way to demonstrate reform would for her to write and to post an essay on her site apologising for her censorship of the past and pledging a commitment to free speech this point forward on her platform.

    It’s not an impossible task. It’s not even a big ask.

    Just the other day the Guardian published an essay by a trans gender activist named Esther Betts. Frankly, she had been acting in batty and bonkers ways. She was also being an arsehole. She not only regrets that now, she’s reforming herself.

    I no longer think that gender-critical voices should be simply censored. They have the right to “speak their truth”, even if I think it is much less than the truth. It’s immoral for me and immoral for the transgender community to act as if we have the right to control speech. Not only is it ultimately impossible in free societies, it sends the wrong message: we want to control you. In shutting down these events, we are denying people the opportunity to learn a different truth: what we really want is to be free and to be understood.

    I encourage Meghan to reflect on her own behaviour, and if she’s no longer committed to being an censorious arsehole, follow Esther’s example. Do so and your criticism of Twitter is credible.

    • Baila says

      Nobody forced you to listen. Or to read. Ester Bets, the man who menaced and threaten women? The dude in black clad who was blocking women from passing. Bets is a man with a history, documented on video that shows some scary male aggressive behavior.

      OMG he said women and those who know he is a man can speak–sign him up for the free thinker award.

      People show you who they are believe them.

      While I may not agree with Murphy I have not seen any evidence of censorship by her for other positions. She may think a married baby making lady like me is not pushing women’s causes ahead but would concede after I set it out for her, that the tits that nurse the next generation and instill in them values matter rather a lot. She is not dripping with tact but re motherhood dealing with loud and silly can wear anyones patience down: “but why why why. Removing of comments by a moderator is far cry to what is happening. That you even compare the two speaks volumes.

      • ga gamba says

        Nobody forced you to listen. Or to read.

        What a bizarre statement. Firstly, I’ve never said I was forced. Both the acts of reading and listening were my choice.

        I found Meghan is a hypocrite. She censors others, but when censored herself she is indignant. Yet, it is censorious people who behave like her who have created the environment where platforms such as Twitter think it’s appropriate, perhaps even justifiable, to censor. Hate speech laws and policies didn’t arise from nowhere. They are in response to demands. It’s been a sustained attack on speech freedoms that gradually whittle away public support for freedom, replacing it for safety. Censoring speech has become normalised. Now the battle is which group of censorious arseholes will prevail.

        All of this was foreseeable. We had been warned. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” That was said by Benjamin Franklin more than 200 years ago. People today ignore it. I think speech liberties are essential. It’s the foundation on which most everything rests. For a little bit of safety of not seeing words that upset her she traded her essential freedom away. That was a stupid bargain. Sadly, stupid people choose to learn the hard way by having their freedoms taken away. But I remain hopeful they may reform themselves. Some do. Others rationalise their abhorent behaviour and continue to march on their misguided path.

        The dude in black clad who was blocking women from passing. Bets is a man with a history, documented on video that shows some scary male aggressive behavior.

        Yes, I said she was an arsehole. Indeed you’re correct Betts has a documented history. So too does Murphy. Their actions differ, but nonetheless both are wrong. One recognised it and states she will change. The other doesn’t. That’s important.

        While I may not agree with Murphy I have not seen any evidence of censorship by her for other positions.

        I presume the word ‘other’ is the one on which your sentence hinges because I’ve provided two examples of her statements affirming she indeed censors people.

        OK, fine, she only censors people who disagree with her on the one issue of those born male cannot switch to female. Whether she censors people for one topic or 1000, she still censors.

        Removing of comments by a moderator is far cry to what is happening.

        Murphy moderates and removes. Twitter moderates and removes. That’s exactly what’s happening. Though Twitter is a larger and more influential platform, I know of no serious claims by civil libertarians that censorship by small platforms is justifiable whilst those by large is not. The people who make the imbalance argument are usually authoritarian pomos who endeavour to advantage their side whilst disadvantaging the other. “I’m allowed free speech because I’m weak but they are not because they are strong.” Once such a distinction by size or influence is made, then a person may argue censorship by small local government is acceptable but not that by the state or federal government. Neither is acceptable.

        Frankly, I’m astonished people have such a hard time getting the concept of free speech into their noggins. I think the quid pro quo of I have my freedoms because you have yours and vice versa is easy to grasp.

        • Peter from Oz says

          Gg
          I agree with you. At first blush it is easy to support the idea of “my site my rules.” But thinking things through it becomes more and more obvious that the more private censorship goes on, the more the government feels justified in enacting and enforcing speech codes by law. By b coming more Puritan we open ourselves up to authoritarianism, rigidity and decay.
          It seems that many people, especially those of a leftist bent have learnt a new trick over the last few years. The trick is to brand normal points of view as being unacceptable to utter. Any view that could possibly be read as contrary to some extremist left wing cant must be immediately labelled as ist or phobic.
          We must resist this urge of the left to outlaw truth in favour of fantasy and feelings.
          The thing is that it will serve the leftists better if they actually have to debate rather than trying to shut down the arguments of others.

  2. Andrew Leonard says

    In the West, there is a cultural division of labour between the left and the right.

    It is the right’s responsibility to uphold and maintain social standards. These standards include the political rights of citizens, due process in governance and law, and civility in public matters. The right is well suited to this role, because the responsibilities align with the political and civic values that define right-wing.

    It is the left’s responsibility to manage political categorization. This entails defining and updating the categories we all use for political entities – including people, groups, organizations, ideas, processes and structures. It also entails determining the validity of and interpretation of facts, statistics and scientific research deemed to have political relevance, along with the political and social status of those involved with these things.

    Unlike the case with the right, the left’s domain of responsibility has no natural connection to the underlying values that define left-wing. The lack of integration between values and responsibilities is problematic. In this unconstrained condition, there is a much greater propensity for rationalization, double-standards, and the formation of agendas that are in opposition to existing social values.

    As a consequence of this, the categorization responsibility inevitably degenerates into a fairly simple process of compartmentalization. So for example, to express as fact ‘men are not women’, is compartmentalized as ‘hateful conduct’, not because there are any attributes of that expression that suggest a relationship with the concept of hate, instead it is simply that that expression and others with similar meaning are placed in a compartment with the ‘hate’ label attached. Likewise, Quillette is compartmentalized as ‘alt-right’, not because those involved share key political positions with those who refer to themselves as alt-right, but instead because that is the compartment into which it has been placed by the left, in its corruption of the categorization responsibility.

    Now that this corruption has reached the point of outright abuse, any future social progress is going to require a redefining and redelegation of each sides responsibilities, with improved mechanisms of quality control, the most important being an improved match to value sets.

    • Winston Smith says

      “It is the right’s responsibility to uphold and maintain social standards. These standards include the political rights of citizens, due process in governance and law, and civility in public matters.”

      Interesting, what planet are you writing from? Here on Earth, in the country called the US, the right works to disenfranchise minority voters, gerrymander districts, block recounts, steal elections, and pit white voters against racial minorities and gays.

      • Andrew Leonard says

        Regardless of the accuracy of these wild claims, Winston Smith implicitly categorizes the right as equal to Republican – a good example of my thesis.

        • Winston Smith says

          Wild claims? There are heaps of documentation for each of the claims I made. The fact that you put zero effort into debunking said claims is telling. With respect to ‘…the right being equal to Republican’, I don’t know what country you’re from, but in the US, ‘the right” is indeed equal to Republican. Technically, more than two parties exist in the US, but only two parties ever make it onto the ballot. We are, for all intents and purposes, a two-party system. And there are absolutely zero members of the right who are Democrats. What was your point again, Andrew?

          • Andrew Leonard says

            My point is to not waste time talking to people whose worldview is shaped by watching CNN and reading Vox

          • Peter from Oz says

            You’re not getting it, Winston. The right stretches across both parties as does the left. That is what Andrew is aging. Yes, as a whole the Republicans have more right wingers and the Dems have more liberals.
            In addition the Dems are pretty evil and nasty too. They do all the things you talk about and cheat much more. But that is by the by. The fact is that the right and left have members in both main parties. In fact it could be argued that some people are both left and right. Thus some Republicans may be fiscally conservative but more supportive of liberal positions in other areas. Some Democrats too might be quite radical in social areas but fiscally more conservative.

    • Andrew Leonard says

      Peter,
      When I think of the right, I’m thinking ideas, and individuals such Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand and Thomas Sowell. Definitely not limited to thinking in terms of political parties, or only the US.

      Hayek on economics, society and social justice.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnMd40dqBlQ

      How many of the idiot SJWs could watch this and decide that Hayek was a Fascist?

  3. There are plenty of comments/ers that disagree with MM and friends on FC, but apparently, she knows a troll when she sees one. As she said you were obviously not there in good faith. As here too.

  4. I appreciate that Quillette is doing podcasts because they are convenient to listen to during commutes, but it’s just not there yet. My recommendation is to make them more critical. Challenge the guests. Don’t offer leading questions. Perhaps invite opposing viewpoints.

    I hope it turns into something good, but for now it these really feel tacked-on as dot-com bonuses; without their own personally.

  5. Kent Gold says

    Pineapple!

    I’m following pineapple girl from the Knox article comments (comment is a fun read, article not so much). As Dave Chappelle said so well, “I’m out, niggaz! I’m out!”

    Quillette seems to have drifted into publishing mostly tea cup hurricanes. No way am I listening to this maple leaf whinge about her egregious mistreatment by the Big Blue Bird. I’d rather wax my ears.

  6. R Henry says

    I find it amusing how Progressives develop new nomenclature to describe the results of their culture-smashing agenda. “Deadnaming,” “misgendering,” and “cis” –truly words, and concepts, I can live without.

    • Cis is a latin term over that, like Western Transition, is more than 2000 years old, R Henry. It means “on the same side,” as in, your actual sex is the same as your assigned sex. Truly words and concepts the West actually can’t live without if it wants to go another 2000 years.

  7. Has anyone successfully downloaded this podcast with iTunes? I’ve been unable to subscribe and listen to any Quillette programs using iTunes.

  8. Harland says

    The censoring feminist is outraged – outraged I tell you! – that someone censored HER.

    She’s not against censorship. The phrase “free speech for me, not for thee” is completely appropriate in this case.

    • Winston Smith says

      Her only principal appears to be that women are victims of men.

      She’s not against censorship unless she’s the on being censored. Else she wouldn’t be anti-pornography. She’s not against taking away someone’s means of making a living unless it’s her own. Else she wouldn’t be against sex work. Even her opposition to “trans ideology” lacks any basic principal. Her only objection to trans people seems to be that allowing males to identify as women opens the door to a new way for men to victimize women ( trans women might invade women-only spaces and take grants money or jobs that are supposed to be for [cisgender] women).

      She is a NPC.

  9. Nate D. says

    Jonathan Kay: I’ve seen some voices online talking about Twitter banning you expressing a little bit of schadenfreude, on the basis that, in a previous iteration of your career you sometimes rooted for people to be de-platformed.

    Meghan Murphy: I’ve never tried to de-platform anyone. I’ve probably written kinda obnoxious posts saying that people should shut up, which I regret writing now. But I feel like writing snarky posts telling somebody to shut up is different than actually, actively trying to de-platform somebody – which I have not done.”

  10. If I self-declare to being absolutely 100% and totally insane can now join Twitter? Having joined could I self declare my absolute conviction that I was insane to regard myself as insane and so must surely be sane? Now being desirous to express my sanity should I leave Twitter?

    Is confusion a trait one is born with or is it something acquired later in life? Should I frequent the safe spaces of the confused or the non-confused? It’s all so confusing it might well drive me close to sanity.

  11. estepheavfm says

    Well . . . Twitter is Hell and feminism is cancer (or bubonic plague, depending on your politics). Personally, since I cannot even get a job interview, or a fellowship, or a grant due to my EXTREME ‘privilege,” I plan to transition (wear women’s clothes) and “identify” as” female. When you are surrounded by “Brawndo has what plants crave” types, do as “Brawndo has what plants crave” types do. We are now living in Idiocracy/1984/Kafka’s Trial/Three Stooges land. Anybody know where I can get size 13 women’s shoes of a variety rthat the HR chicks will like?.

  12. Pingback: The Left Eating Their Own – Small Dead Animals

  13. Earl from Edina says

    I’m a staunch conservative, but when is enough enough?

    Why do we allow Jack Dorsey to decide who gets a voice and who doesn’t?

    Seriously, the US Government needs to take Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Media platforms and deem them public utilities.

    Nobody trusts the minions working for The Zuck, The Jack, or The Goog to do what’s right by all of society.

    I hate Ms. Murphy’s ideas, but I’m willing to kill my Twitter account now because of these overreaching and overarching efforts.

    Sticks and Stones may break my bones…but words can never hurt me..never rang so true as today.

  14. Peter from Oz says

    I’m beginning to think that all those who hate censorship and have Twitter accounts should all tweet nothing but the f word for 24 hours as an “up yours” to the management. Let the buggers then try and delete all accounts who use the offensive word.

  15. Winston Smith says

    @Andrew Leonard If I were the type of person who gets his news from CNN I would not be here on Quillette. You probably make fun of “SJWs” who are patently unable (and unwilling) to even attempt to process any idea that differs from their post-modernist, Marxist, social constructivist worldview. And yet, you’ve just refused to engage with me because my ideas are different. You’ve attempted to completely reduce me to caricature without knowing the slightest thing about me. I hope you take a moment to consider how narrow minded you are.

  16. Winston Smith says

    @peter from oz. Yes, there are moderates and extremists in both parties. However, I don’t think it’s accurate to call a fiscally conservative Democrat a “member of the right” or a pro-choice Republican a “member of the left”. To say that someone is on one side or the other implies that they are partisan, and therefore conform to the orthodoxy of their party.

    Also, if you really want to get into it, I would argue that both the Democratic and Republican parties are conservative parties. The most successful Democratic president of my lifetime deregulated Wall Street, was tough on crime, and supported the death penalty. Those are not considered liberal positions in any country in the world. The only true liberal politician that I can think of in the US is Bernie Sanders.

    The only real differences between the two parties are their identity politics, how much of a tax cut the rich should get, and their stances on civil rights and abortion. That is why every single presidential election boils down to name calling, identity politics and a pretend referendum on abortion. Those are the only things up for debate. Everything is else is agreed upon and predetermined. In short, our democracy means we can elect whomever we choose for president –as long as that person happens to be a warmongering, Zionist, Wall Street stooge.

  17. Winston Smith says

    @Peter from Oz

    “In addition the Dems are pretty evil and nasty too. They do all the things you talk about and cheat much more”

    Really? Can you name a state where the Democrats purged voters from the roll? Can you name a state that the Democrats gerrymandered to retain Democratic control? Can you name a time that Democrats blocked a recount of a vote? Can you name a time that the Democrats colluded with a hostile foreign power to win an election?

    I’m not saying that the Democrats are perfect. They surely have their flaws. But at least they believe that this country is a democracy. The Republicans clearly do not believe in democracy. They believe in their absolute right to rule by any means necessary.

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