Culture Wars, recent, Social Media, Spotlight

Knitting’s Infinity War, Part III: Showdown at Yarningham

This is my third report for Quillette on the shockingly vicious social-media wars that have erupted in the world of knitting. My first, written in February, described how knitters’ blogs and Instagram accounts have become weaponized over the issue of racial representation after a knitting designer gushed publicly about her forthcoming trip to India. I concluded with the hope that “the world of knitting can return to a focus on designs, colors, and the value of something that’s unique and handmade, rather than the nationality or race of whoever made it.”

This proved to be extremely naïve.

In my second article on the subject, published last month, I described how this subcultural farce had descended into a full-blown tragicomedic soap opera, with knitters seeking to destroy one another’s livelihoods because of arguments about whether certain yarn colors might be racist, or whether yarn-related publications profile enough black women.

I was surprised that such an esoteric subject would stir up so much reader interest. (My editors tell me that both articles went viral.) And I honestly never imagined that I’d be writing about this subject again. Surely, such fury within knitting circles could not sustain itself, right?

And yet, here I am. Over the last seven weeks, things have only become more insane.

Last month, for instance, Ravelry, the world’s largest knitting website, banned any expression of support for Donald Trump—arguing that “we cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy. Support of the Trump administration is unambiguously support for white supremacy.”

The least that can be said in defense of the Ravelry policy is that Trump is a public figure, who probably will not be much put out by an editorial policy on a knitting site. What was far more unsettling was what happened two weeks later, when knitters who claim to be champions of social justice went after a gay man within the community because he’d written a satirical poem suggesting (correctly) that all the recent anti-racism mobbings might be having a toxic effect on the community.

On Monday, July 8, Nathan Taylor, known as the Sockmatician on social media—a full-time designer, knitting instructor, and web-shop operator (and the author of Guys Knit)—posted the following on his Instagram profile:

With genuine SOLEM-KNITTY
I beg you, stop the
Enmity
Don’t use the word
DIVERSKNITTY,
To mask your
ANIMOS-KNITTY.
Stop bullying
FEROC-KNITTY
And insta-
ANONYM-KNITTY
And self-imposed
IMPU-KNITTY
Is breaking our COMMU-KNITTY

Taylor followed up his poem with a (since deleted) post:

One year on almost to the day, since I sent out the first ever post to use the #diversknitty hashtag—a word I made up—from Helsinki airport, I am, again, at Helsinki airport, and I feel compelled to speak up about this issue once again, but this time from a very different perspective. There are now over 17,000 posts using that hashtag. My word. And it is time to reboot it as a tool for good. Diversity is a beautiful and NECESSARY thing, and SHOULD be FOUGHT FOR…But there is poison out there, too. People who are self-proclaiming to be the arbiters of the whole diversity discussion, and deciding who is “enough” and whose reputation and livelihood they believe they have the right to destroy…Yes, ask people who do openly racist/homophobic/bigoted actions to re-evaluate their standpoint, but please, for the love of all that is good, do not go after people who are already doing what they feel they can to put this necessary situation right.

Predictably, the post brought out the worst of the knitting world’s anti-racism mobs—since the last thing any mob likes to be told is that their mobbings (which they typically regard as necessary and virtuous) do more harm than good.

Social Justice Knitters, SJKs as I call them, weighed in en masse in the comments section. “What did I just read? Respectfully, your words are bigoted. You don’t own the concept of diversity…How is this post doing anything other than protecting white fragility, tone policing, and white silence?” said Helen Kim, who has become a sort of self-appointed spokesperson and inquisitor-in-chief for the SJK community. “Interesting how your voicing of the need for ‘positivity’ in these discussions reminds me a lot of the rhetoric used by white supremacists.”

Cover of Taylor’s 2018 book, “Guys Knit”

Within a few hours, there were hundreds of comments, largely negative. A user who goes by Skeinanigans, for instance wrote: “It is a product of privilege to be able to speak gently because you haven’t had your personhood systematically degraded for your entire life”—to which Taylor replied: “Oh, but I have.” And as a gay, HIV-positive man, Taylor would indeed be insulated from allegations of privilege in any normal discussion. But to the intersectionalists who act as SJK enforcers within this shrill subculture, that didn’t matter. As an activist by the username of jessiemae put it: “It is possible to be a member of a marginalized group and participate in oppressive behavior. Your marginalization does not absolve you, and you do not get to speak for those who are marginalized in ways that you are not. A gay white man claiming credit for movements that existed long before he used a cute word for them in an Instagram post one time doesn’t get to dictate how bipoc+ (black, indigenous, people of colour) fight for their lives. This is basic shit, y’all. DO BETTER!”

Many of Taylor’s 20,000 followers tried to offer words of encouragement and appreciation. Notably, Loop London, an iconic yarn shop in Camden, North London, stood by Taylor—which of course generated calls to boycott the shop. Some who originally had been supportive changed their tune as the criticism grew, apologized, thanked the people who called them out, and promised to educate themselves and “do better.”

But the saga didn’t end there. The next day, Taylor’s husband Benjamin Till, a composer (who also happens to be Jewish) posted on Sockmatician’s account: “This is Nathan’s husband, Benjamin. At 3 pm today, Nathan was admitted to [the emergency room at] Barnet Hospital. Your messages of anger have been processed. Please now send love.” 

Till also wrote on his blog about what had happened:

The situation with the aggressive online trolls grew through the night, as the American knitters got involved and started to leap onto what they perceived as a ripe carcass. Nathan disabled comments when the sheer weight of them became too much, but the following morning, his other Instagram posts, and then his Twitter feed had been hijacked by the haters. The taunts continued. He was a white supremacist, a Nazi apologist…He started obsessively reading the posts but became increasingly worked up, then more and more erratic and then suddenly he snapped, screaming like a terrified animal, smashing boxes and thumping himself. I was forced to wrestle him to the ground and hold onto him for dear life as the waves of pain surged through his body. He made a run for the car keys. He said he wanted to drive at 100 miles per hour until he crashed. I called our doctor and they could hear him screaming in the background and said I was to immediately take him to [the hospital], where he was instantly assessed and put on suicide watch pending a decision about whether or not he needed to be, well, I suppose the word is sectioned.

Taylor was kept in the hospital for six hours, but was later released, although he was still frazzled, according to Till, and subsequently deleted his Instagram and Twitter accounts.

The accusations continued, however. Many said they didn’t wish illness on anyone, but that his breakdown didn’t excuse the “harm” he had caused. A user by the name of “Amy.might” replied to Taylor’s now deleted post as follows: “Let’s be clear here. Holding people accountable for the incredibly harmful words they voluntarily put out to the world is not cruel or bullying…I hope Nathan feels better soon so he can address the harm he caused regardless of what his intentions were. I believe that people are flawed, but redeemable.” 

Fast forward a few days to Yarningham, a knitting festival in Birmingham, where Taylor was scheduled to teach some classes. One of the vendors, Almas Khan, who goes by the name Witchcraftylady on Instagram, approached Taylor to tell him what she thought of his blog post. In her own words, Khan describes what happens next as follows:

I watched him receiving hugs and people moving around the space uncomfortable with the fact he hadn’t apologized for the harm he and his husband caused. I saw his stand was empty so I went over. When he saw me standing there he switched on his smile and the minute I said I wasn’t there for a book and wanted to talk about his posts he dropped the façade and actually started shouting at me. He had his fingers in my face, screaming at me to leave his sight, he had his clenched fists in my face…He was totally out of control.

Khan also broadcast a live video on her Instagram profile. While viewers provided words of support for Khan and mocked Taylor, Khan described how the sight of “people hugging himwas too much for me…I’ve never seen a grown man open his eyes so wide when I told him he was a fucking hypocrite. That’s what’s keeping me going—that look on his face.” She also claimed to know that Taylor was going to hit her, and expressed hope that “more people call him out.

Taylor was approached by one of the organizers and taken outside, according to Khan. Another version of events, documented on Till’s blog by an anonymous poster who said she had been present, went as follows:

A woman went rushing up to Sockmatician as he was doing a book signing today and screamed in his face. He asked her to stop, but she carried on. So he called for her to be removed and then one of the organizers of Yarningham came over and started pushing Sockmatician out of the room whilst the first woman screamed at him “Why are you walking away? You’re a hypocrite, stand here and face up to me like a man.” Sockmatician was clearly very distressed. The woman went at him knowing fully well he’d been in hospital. Very unpleasant. Not too impressed by the Yarningham organizer, either. She pushed the wrong person out of the room.

So far, no video footage has been released of the kerfuffle. Hence the jury is out on the exact nature of the scene. Taylor didn’t return my request for comment. In a post titled Fuck the Tone Police, Helen Kim expressed support for such confrontations, saying it’s time for people of color to express anger: “White people still need reminding: they are not, never were, and never will be the victims of white supremacy. Systemic racism is not positive, pleasant, pretty, feel-good, comfortable. Why should the experience of dismantling it be?”

Unlike some of the previous victims of these campaigns in the knitting world, however, Taylor hasn’t bowed to the demands of his critics—not yet anyway. And so the mob is still hard at work trying to destroy his reputation and business. As a result, he has been removed from the lineup at the Woolness knitting festival in Newcastle in August, claims one Instagram user. And Taylor’s events calendar, which once was displayed on his website, has been deleted—perhaps to prevent more confrontations.

As for Khan, she’s as active as ever on the web—selling her own “luxury yarns and hand made goods.” On her Instagram profile, where she says her mission is to “spread joy” and sparkle, Khan boasts of having created the “Raiseyourhandinsolidarity” hashtag so that she might “share the beauty of all of our hands and unite everyone around the world.”

Early days yet. But so far, it isn’t working.

 

Kathrine Jebsen Moore grew up in Norway, studied Media and Print Journalism in London, and worked at Bloomberg News until 2009, covering financial news, specialising in oil & gas and fishing. She now lives with her husband and four children in Edinburgh. She is a freelance writer and you can follow her on Twitter @moorjebsen.

Featured image: “Minigrenades,” by Shoshana, 20111. 

 

Comments

  1. I can’t wait for part 4 of the yarn civil war. It is quite scary but also very entertaining.

  2. Maybe Ep IV will have Thanos snap his fingers so folks will wake up from the spell of thinking knitting is inexorably tied to politics.

  3. Interesting in that this knitting kerfuffle is a microcosm of many separate online cultures. The bullying, mob mentality, spill over onto meat space to destroy livelihoods, it’s all there. I especially notice those who originally stand up for reason and constraint having to later confess and ask forgiveness.

  4. I’m curious as to what happened to all the comments on this article?

  5. I read an article on Gizmodo about Part 2 of the kerfuffle (I use that word a lot, too!) and aside from being unimpressed with Ravelry, I was also unimpressed with a lot of the coverage of it because it was so one-sided. I had no idea about Parts 1 and 3… that poor guy.

  6. It’s impossible to read this and not be convinced that we are in the “blowoff” phase of SJW insanity. There’s gonna be a massive crash when these folks’ faith in intersectionality blows up in their faces.
    We need to be prepared to help them recover. We’ve got a model for what happens when a god is dethroned - look at post-war Japan in the late 40s & 50s. There will be great opportunity for tremendous good if we plan for it.

  7. Wait… what happened to all the readers’ comments from before? I hope they weren’t nuked. They should have been migrated to the new commentary platform.

  8. I’m looking for all the 100+ comments I got part-way through a couple of days ago. Where can I find these, please???

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212 Comments

  1. Cynical Old Biologist says

    Obviously, there are many people who should not be allowed access to the internet.

    • Pub Feed says

      On one level, the whole thing is a waspy, pathetic, scratch-your-eyes-out handbag fight. Pure melodrama queen comedy.

    • Carl Craven says

      Obviously, there are many people who should not be allowed access to the internet. –
      YES … everyone.

    • Gillian174 says

      Obviously, there are many people who should not be allowed access to knitting needles!

    • Geary Johansen says

      Someone should post on Ravelry that Western pharmaceuticals are a tool of White Supremacy. But then again, the thought of all these social justice knitters coming off their meds is quite scary, unless they could be cordoned into a locked room first.

      • Alicia E. says

        I think the issue is narcissistic personality disorder. The control freak’s need to control other people, events and discussions is a clear sign you are dealing with a narcissist. They will target people for abuse including character assignation and even make up lies about their targets. I would be willing to bet that Khan lied about Taylor. Narcissists will never admit that they are ever wrong, so they never show up for treatment. As such, I don’t think any of them are on pharmaceuticals. They need to be told repeatedly that their negative opinions about other people are wrong.

  2. Pub Feed says

    Interesting how openly, nakedly racist the Asians like Helen Kim are here, with their dimbulb bleatings about ‘white fragility’ and ‘white supremacy’ and such racist utter swill. Racial jealousy is a terrible thing, eh? 🙂

    • SAS says

      Yet can’t marry outside their ethnicity. Who’s racist?

    • Look at Sarah Jeong, people are directly rewarded with high paying jobs for their track record of racism and misandry. Maybe they believe it, maybe they don’t, but it sure is working out for them!

    • jimhaz says

      The common factor is the prevalence of Gender and Grievance Studies graduates. You can bet Helen Kim is a graduate of such a course.

      What needs to be demonstrated to uni/college management is the negative outcome of offering such courses. They are a kind of Lets be SJW Terrorists training. They rely on the higher levels of female herdliness and lack of EQ.

  3. Sander Malschaert says

    Calling out the New Racists is becoming my new hobby pretty fast. It never fails to enrage them if you call them a racist in public and explicitly state their redefinition of racism is just a fig leaf to cover their own hate.

  4. Pub Feed says

    There is no such thing as ‘new racism.’ There is only racism, eternal and unbending and stupid. It’s just that in America a lot of races are feeling free to be openly anti-white now (try talking, for example, about ‘Asian fragility’ or ‘Asian supremacy’ and see how long it takes before you are derided as a racist), because there is no comeback for it. And also because the left wing over there are self-loathing, self-flagellating fools with no brains or guts or dignity. America is the cautionary tale, now coming to a tragic slow end.

    • Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA says

      Except for Asian achievement in education. DeBlasio’s plan in New York to “reform” the selective high schools is in no small part due to anti-Asian animus.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Pub Feed
      Great comment.
      There is a wonderful irony in the fact that just about all of the left-wing cant that is infecting the Western World originated in what many people still wrongly think of as the bastion of free enterprise, the US.

  5. Christopher Moss says

    What might come next? Stamp collectors stampeding towards political correctness? Airfix kit builders adding exhaust plume patina to their virtue signalling to show it is older and more real than yours? The world has gone f*****g mad.

    • Martin28 says

      @ Christopher Moss
      At the risk of stereotyping, this is much more likely to happen in an uber-female activity, such as embroidery, sewing, baking, belly-dancing. Maybe it is already happening in these places to a degree, but is not being reported. I don’t see this in stamp-collecting—at least not yet.

      • MMS says

        @Martin28 Gender stereotyping is gender stereotyping… Quillette is above that petty foolishness. You should be too…

        • stereotyping is not ‘petty foolishness’ but a pretty effective way to describe a population group–with the understanding that this is just a pattern in a noise, that is brimming with exceptions.

        • Marianne Connor says

          @MMS As a woman, I agree that what’s happening here is classic female aggression. Middle school revisited. Vicious and petty. These are women who never grew up and cannot express themselves in adult fashion. Instead, they remain fixed in the “you can’t sit at my lunch table” behavior of children.

        • It is established, however, that young women are more left-leaning than their male counterparts while older women are more conservative than their male counterparts. Which raises a question about the age demographic, you’d think knitting would skew older, but I guess those women aren’t online so much? Certainly not social media. Men may be the foot soldiers in the culture wars, as with Antifa, but without women to appeal to they’d probably just stay home playing video games. They’re obviously not all that concerned with minorities or they’d let them speak for themselves. I don’t even think this is about meaning, meaning you’d take seriously. This is about marketing your wokeness, and there’s really only one way to cash that in, unless you’re like a paid author or speaker.

          • lewis guignard says

            WH: Your comment about women being more leftist then later in life more conservative than men is curious. I wonder if it has to do with seeing the effect socialist policies have on the family and community when they’re older.
            Take mothers in NYC who are trying to get their children in charter/private schools and out of the public schools. They find that government agents and agencies are against them. Those people whose theoretic charge is to help the people.

          • Ruth Henriquez Lyon says

            Knitting no longer skews older, since it’s become a “thing” for young women over the past 15 years. But you’re right, the older women aren’t online so much, and are not so willing to spread hate by mobbing people who have said nothing wrong, or else have said something slightly impolitic with innocent intentions.

            I’m 62, a knitter/weaver/spinner, Hispanic, and I’m finding all of this completely insane. These officious, self-appointed defenders of oppressed groups of color have no idea how patronizing their concern is. And you’re right that it’s all virtue signalling, not real concern for the “others” they purport to defend. I used to consider myself progressive, but no longer. We need hugs in this world, not hate.

        • Peter from Oz says

          MMS
          Being a fascist wanker is being a fascist wanker Quillette is above that evil nastiness. You should be too.

          • Virtually silencing people because you disagree with what they’ve written — THAT is below the Quillette, or any free-thinking, open-minded, intellectually self-confident adult. Calling people names is lazy and only disservices you, because anyone with a brain and two seconds to regain their composure won’t care if you do.

        • Geordie says

          Research into the sex of people who undertake those activities is extremely likely to reveal a preponderance of females. Stamp collectors are mostly males. This is not ‘gender stereotyping’: it’s an accurate observation of the real world.

          Ever heard of Dr. Johnson, and his famous refutation?

          • Ruth Henriquez Lyon says

            Ever heard of Madame Defarge (Tale of Two Cities). She was big into knitting.

      • Learn a bit about GamerGate and Sad Puppies. The fiber craft world is but the latest target of the SJW outrage mob. I hear there is a new one – craft beer. Where will it end?

        • CTE says

          As long as it’s tolerated people (SJW’s, etc) will do this in every “space”. Once it’s dismissed then it won’t happen any longer.

          It will start being dismissed when people stop caring about being called racist, bigoted (already happening, but not necessarily a good thing as these words hold important meaning) or we all start having bigger, more primitive, concerns to occupy us (hunger and survival type stuff).

          There is absolutely no way for a democratic civilization to keep on this way, lacking common purpose or ideals, but hopefully we will discover this in the west before it becomes too dire. I keep waiting for the fever to break but it’s going to require some very brave public figures that push back on their own side first (and don’t take advantage of the very obvious incentives to do just the opposite).

      • Lakanal says

        You said something perceptive AND provoked a bien-pensant rebuke. Gold star!

    • Andrew L says

      Plastic model kits haven’t been immune from the lunacy. Revell was compelled to recall a fanciful Luftwaffe flying saucer kit because its mere existence allegedly bolstered claims that Nazi scientists were vastly more brilliant than their Allied peers. That’s on the record. Off the record I’ve heard chatter that IPMS contests should start disallowing entries with historically accurate Swastika tail markings.

      • Mike Clark says

        Enter IPMS contest
        Replace all Iron Crosses and Swastikas on your Messerschmitt Bf 109 with Pride insignia
        First Prize!!

    • Lesley Clayton says

      I concur. Will you raise the standard ITS A MAD WORLD AND DONT FORGET IT – IAM WADFI! There that sounds like something all sides, shape, tone, ethnicity, could justify attacking

  6. Alan Gore says

    It seems we have Twitter with yarn here. Let’s see now…how to you knit a hashtag?

    • TarsTarkas says

      Maybe you can fry it. Or smoke it.

      The problem is these people are not just being allowed to get away with it but are being encouraged to be even more crazy. That is the problem with social media: the ability to fire broadsides from the dark without ever having to worry about return fire. Doxxing is hateful, but for many victims redoxxing might be their only weapon of retaliation.

  7. Alan N says

    An article in this week’s Spectator claims that the Chinese social credit system is still at the stage of “rudimentary” trials. It seems we in Britain have made a lot more progress without having to call on the infrastructure of a one-party state.

    I don’t suppose for one moment that the witchfinders’ ire has anything to do with their victim’s sexuality…

  8. João Ferreira says

    How fascinating! I think this should become a series here on Quillette. I have some suggestions for activists who may be wondering which hobby to destroy next:

    Think landscape painting is all iddilic gatherings and beautiful pictures? Think again! How pastoral paintings promote white supremacy (which is even worse than white supremacy promoting pastoral paintings).
    Gardening Gulag! The racism and homophobia lurking in the DIY community.
    Addressing the white male privilege of plane spotting.
    Addressing the white male privilege of train spotting.
    Addressing the white male privilege of bird watching.
    The toxic masculinity and climate-change denial of the butterfly hunting community.

    • TarsTarkas says

      Botany. Think of all those patriarchal bees and wasps and mosquitos forcing pollen onto those poor helpless pistils. (Of course bees (and wasps) are matriarchies, but they’re still patriarchal for the purposes of the SJW’s. I believe most beekeepers are male). And botany is overwhelmingly a white pursuit. at least on this side of the water (gender diversity is no problem). We’ve had brushes with SJW’s, but have shrugged them off, everybody’s in agreement (at least in our organization, and I hope in other similar ones) that competence in the field is what’s important, not what you look like or act like. Although among the other sciences physics certainly seems to have been infected

    • Jonny Sclerotic says

      Underneath Part II of this fiasco, someone made the very good point that knitting is often recommended to help those with mental stability issues, and it’s therefore unsurprising to see emotional outbursts from members of the community.

      I wonder if there are similar episodes of emotional incontinence in the cupcake or pottery communities?

      • João Ferreira says

        Hullo there, Rev Jane Ennis, wonderful nickname, well done.

        In the off chance that your post is earnest, I recommend an urgent brain scan. Stay strong.

        ‘best,

      • Geordie says

        As you’re probably not a white middle class boy, you’re forgiven for not having taken an interest in train spotting. The next time you go to a busy station, note the preponderance of working class boys and men among the spotters.

        And then, maybe learn something about actual, real life.

      • You are not familiar with Dutch landscapes of the 17th century? They’re quite beautiful in many cases.

  9. Obviously a lot of knitters have too much time on their hands or other, more serious, issues. If I may, I’d like to call attention to a group of women knitters in Nicaragua who are making baby blankets in order to survive in Central America’s worst economy. Our non-profit trains women there to make them and these now expert knitters keep all of the profit in order to feed and clothe their families in another socialist country with no jobs and a failing economy.

    Please check out the work and the blankets at sheepdreamzzz.org

    The knitters we work with don’t care about any of this other stuff, in fact if they understood the issues they might call it “first world privilege” to have the luxury to engage is such debates. Some people should put more effort into actually making a difference vs. calling people names and stereotyping entire classes of people based on how they vote.

    • Photondancer says

      They’re not interested in making a difference, they’re interested in making a profit. Every one of the attackers discussed in this series has her own online store which she spruiks in between screaming at her competitors about what evil racists they are.

  10. Martin28 says

    This would be hilarious if it weren’t so vicious. In a way, I find myself cheering this on. The social justice fanatics cannot back down. And the crazier they get, the more enemies they will make. The contradictions between their actions and their moral superiority will become more and more obvious. I have to think that this guy is an enemy, his husband, and perhaps many of his followers. Thank you Kathryn Jebsen Moore, and Quillette—may your readership grow.

  11. I would say “stick to your knitting” – but hey there’s probably a micro-aggression in there that a cisgendered white male who used to knit at school has overlooked.

    • Kathrine Jebsen Moore says

      Yes, the term “stick to your knitting” is “tone policing” and typical of something a white supremacist would say. 😉

  12. John Savage says

    I have rarely laughed so hard at anything! Thanks!

  13. Ken says

    Lord Almighty these people are awful. Someday, someone is going to take his/her own life over these Social Justice bullies.

    • Frances says

      Exactly that thought occurred to me. But I’m gathering that even that wouldn’t matter, given the moral vanity of the SJKs. In some way the dead person would be responsible for the Wrongthink that brought on the bullying in the first place – and that would be just fine. Move on to the next target.All in a day’s work for the deranged.
      Does anyone else find all this just so depressing?

      • mirrormere says

        Frances:
        Stealing “moral vanity” – a perfect description! Thx.

        • Frances says

          Mirrormere, you’re welcome.
          I just wish it wasn’t a ‘thing’ – but it is.

      • GwenEcho says

        in the world of SJW words = violence and violence = justice.
        where will it all end. as we say it would be funny except that it’s becoming more than alarming…..

    • lewis guignard says

      Ken: They already have. You will irregularly find in the news where cyber bullying is related to a suicide at the middle and high school level. My belief is that nothing would suit these attackers better than to see that happen.

      So, how long do those who support the ideals of a civilization which values all stand up to those who are making clear by their actions, that they don’t????

  14. The people involved seem completely oblivious to their own behaviour and how ridiculous it makes them seem.

    Banning political commenst from one party in order to be all inclusive is a classic Oxymoron.

    The remarkable thing about the poem and comments is how incredibly tame and innocuous they are. Taylor probably thought being reasonable and moderate in tone would protect him. At least he has not apologised yet. That simply gives the hate mob more ammunition.

    In the long run Taylor’s reputation will be enhanced by this I hope he makes it through.

  15. ga gamba says

    The lower the stakes the greater the vitriol.

    • Jonny Sclerotic says

      @ ga gamba

      Yes, it’s like a Christopher Guest movie zooming in on the absurd cocoon of a microculture that has no idea how pathetic it looks from the outside. Parker Posey would be perfect as a shrill killjoy whose neuroses sucks life from any room.

  16. Robert Fisher says

    Isn’t victim status starting to look like a speculative frenzy, like internet start-ups in the late 90’s or real estate circa 2006-7? The behavior from some of the people in this article suggests that which one sees just before the crash. Maybe one day, there will be a disheveled person saying “I don’t look like much now, but back in 2019, I was one of the biggest victims out there back when being a victim was the big time.”

    • Andras Kovacs says

      A very astute economic observation: inflation of virtue signalling causing a crash of the heaviest invested ones.

  17. northernobserver says

    It is quite interesting how Inter-sectional Social Justice Theory has enabled sociopaths to destroy civil society in the name of “progress” “inclusion” and “justice”
    Like Marxist Class Theory and the Dictatorship of the Proletariat before it, the Marxist re-imaging of society through surface characteristic oppressor oppressed dynamics simply produces death and misery. The Khans and Yaniv’s of this new world order need to be removed by force. It’s a moral imperative.

    • Farris says

      “Interesting how your voicing of the need for ‘positivity’ in these discussions reminds me a lot of the rhetoric used by white supremacists.”

      Meaningless statements like this make me laugh. They offer nothing in terms of argument or evidence. They come from people who see white supremacy in a glass of milk. The meaning of narcissistic statements like this is, “I thought it so it must be true or correct.”

      This article did enlighten me on one fact. I learn I had underestimated exactly how high the snowflakes had piled.

      • Sue says

        Farris, it’s obvious to the meanest observer (and my goodness, some of these observers are mean) that milk is full of white privilege. After all, it’s white! We have to call out the neo-Nazi cows who produce this evidence of toxic lactosity.

        • Farris says

          @ Sue
          Would vegans advocate killing Nazi cows? Also I would point out giving milk is a matriarchal activity. Thanks for your observations.

      • Serenity says

        Farris: “They come from people who see white supremacy in a glass of milk.”

        People like Helen Kim are puppet masters. They don’t say what they see. They say what would unleash the mob to destroy dissent.

        As for the deep snow – I agree. And winter is not here yet.

  18. pattiecovert says

    Mr. Taylor, I hope you recover quickly, and your poem was very clever.

  19. Fiat Lux says

    Evidence that the zombie apocalypse is underway already…

  20. Fuzzy Headed Mang says

    “Social Justice Knitters” This is not a parody, right? Right. I’ve met people like Witchcraftylady, they usually suffer from what is clinically termed “borderline personality disorder.” The best idea is to stay the hell away from them. Very funny article, I feel quite sorry for Mr. Taylor being the subject of so much histrionic wrath.

  21. Weasels Ripped My Flesh says

    Next will come the Night of Long Knitting Needles ….

    • djb75 says

      Or Kristallknit.

      I’m not sure how you provide a space that is open to all, yet seeks to exclude roughly half a country.

      “Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
      ― George Orwell, 1984

      • Geordie says

        You mean such as being pro-niqab and pro-homosexuality? Yes, this is becoming increasingly entertaining in the UK.

  22. Geary Johansen says

    FYI Noah Carl- the sociologist who was dismissed from Cambridge for getting too close to the IQ debate, has an interview out on Triggernometry, on YouTube.

    • Kathrine Jebsen Moore says

      Thank you. I love Triggernometry, and have also written about Noah Carl’s plight for the Post Millennial.

  23. My theory is that knitting is just so goldarn boring, these people have to inject politics into it just to make it interesting and meaningful for themselves.

    Second, as we’ve seen in so many other cases, accusations of political incorrectness are a great way to destroy the careers of those whose professional success you are jealous of or wish to supplant. Fortunately, sometimes these attempts backfire, at least partially, due to the courageous journalistic efforts of people like this author.

    Third, regarding the gay white knitter, it seems to me the psychotic episode he experienced must have been a kind of working out of the immense cognitive dissonance brought on by his own prior conviction of the rightness of the social justice cause. Rather than present himself as a victim from yet another angle, he might consider renouncing the entire ideology, otherwise I fear he risks future psychotic breaks.

  24. Ray Andrews says

    “But to the intersectionalists who act as SJK enforcers within this shrill subculture, that didn’t matter.”

    Seriously tho. Do we really have intersectionality? The woke think they do, but do they? In practice it seems to remain the case that the highest ranking victim-identity trumps. White person triggers black person, there are no mitigating circumstances. We do not see Taylor’s victimhoods been summed, his whiteness subtracted, and then weighed against the victimhood of the abstracted black identity, he is simply, binary, white. Would he have survived had he been also disabled and fat and ugly and unemployed and a card carrying communist — would that have added to his score such that he might survive? I don’t think so, his whiteness means he can never win. There is no intersectional score really. As the tweets above show, being a homosexual assists him not in the least in overcoming his whiteness. This needs study.

    • Strawberry Girl says

      It’s the rock-paper-scissors world of “intersectionality.”

    • That’s because to the intersectionalist all oppression is the same. The different forms it takes are merely aspects or holograms of a single reality. When a homosexual white man oppresses a black woman, for example, the fact that he is a homosexual doesn’t count for him at all. Actually, it counts again him, because his racism and sexism are presumed to have been lurking behind the innocuous facade of victimhood all along, doing their dirty work all the more effectively under that camoflauge (The gay knitter was accused of being a hypocrite, recall). For similar reasons, the professional activist who wrote White Fragility argues that the racism of well-meaning progressives is more damaging than the racism of unapologetic bigots, because it is more subtle and insiduous as well as more common today.

      The in-group dynamics of what has been called the purity spiral are also worth reviewing when trying to explain these situations, which are seemingly so absurd on their face…

      • Serenity says

        breathnumber : “The in-group dynamics of what has been called the purity spiral are also worth reviewing when trying to explain these situations”

        Nothing new under the sun. The in-group dynamics of bullying / mobbing / tyranny of all shades is pecking order, hierarchy of dominance, similar to social organization within a flock of poultry in which each bird pecks another lower in the scale without fear of retaliation and submits to pecking by one of higher rank.

        The most ruthless and cunning, like Almas Khan, occupy the top of the pyramid, closely followed by mobs of flying monkeys / SJKs.

        The pecking order relationship has a detrimental effect on the low-rank majority – suppressing their self-confidence, initiative, entrepreneurship and creativity, subjugating their independent spirit.

        Thank you for the article. Kind wishes to Nathan Taylor.

  25. Batman says

    Why aren’t these people being prosecuted?

  26. Zachary Snowdon Smith says

    Please write a Part IV when the time is right.

    • Geordie says

      such as when any of these people have prised themselves off social media and found the time actually to knit something? It does rather raise the question: are they all sitting there, knitting, whilst simultaneously screeching at Siri to post their bile?

  27. Absolutely gobsmacked at this story! Question: if any of these online bullies had children or other loved ones being treated the way they treated this man, how would they react? Are they so blind or deluded that they can’t see that they are behaving like demented fanatics? What do they want? do they really understand what diversity means? What is their vision of the world? Have they got a clear line on what is acceptable? How can anyone be free and get it right? It’s impossible! I can’t get my head around this madness!

    • Captain Obvious says

      Why don’t people JUST LOG OFF? Vanishing few of these people need this for business reasons.

    • Fen Tiger says

      The history of the Cultural Revolution – which is what this horror show most resembles – shows that there is no reason to assume that these persecutors would be necessarily be concerned at all if a loved one became a victim. They genuinely believe that they are virtuous and that their victims deserve all they get and more.

      It took the intervention of the army to put down the Red Guards; how it will be achieved in our societies, I haven’t a clue.

    • Rev. Wazoo! says

      @ advancedtrainingweb
      It’s a kind of religious fervor (ideological possession) seeking the devils among us to be cast out from the congregation combined with a puerile schoolyard”no backsies” kind of Kafka-trap, “I can hit you but you can’t hit meeeee.”

      But childish bullying done by adults in a mob is ugly, vicious and immoral.

  28. DiamondLil says

    I sometimes wonder how many of the rage monkeys in this situation are actually BIPOC and how many are underemployed, young white liberals seeking to maintain their position at center stage through protestations of “allyship.” Of course, some might also be outrage hobbyists from 4chan and reddit, just stirring the pot for the fun of it. That would make sense if you consider how many center leftists are repelled by this type of behavior and resent being silenced by people they have always believed saw them as the “good guys.”

    • Rory says

      Most of the rage monkeys are white liberals performing the ally dance and Asians trying to make it look like they couldn’t possibly have any privilege of their own. Not many who fit the original definition of BIPOC. People who actually lack privilege realize that making more enemies is not going to help.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Rory

        Asians are already white. Some skillful wokists might sustain their victimhood for a little bit longer, but the game is over.

    • “Of course, some might also be outrage hobbyists from 4chan and reddit, just stirring the pot for the fun of it.”

      I’ve thought of THAT possibility before. And Right-wing provocateurs could have a field day with this sort of thing!

    • Rory says

      White liberals doing the ally dance and Asians trying to seem like they couldn’t possibly have any privilege of their own. Few BIPOC by the original definition. People who actually lack privilege realize that making more enemies doesn’t help.

      • Rory says

        Sorry about the duplicate comment. I got an error message the first time.

        • Brett says

          It just shows your privilege in posting twice….

    • Johnny says

      Are center leftists repelled? So far, they seem to either fall in line or shut up, the opposition to this on the left is ridiculously small, and for large parts of the moderate left, they are far-right extremists.

    • Geordie says

      I’d never heard of BIPOC before, and am perplexed. Apparently it means ‘black, indigenous, people of colour’. Are people of colour not black, or vice versa? What about indigenous? To where? I’m white, and indigenous to the UK. Black people are not indigenous to the UK.

      Black and people of colour, er, people, are indigenous to Africa and Asia (although not all of it, unless people with very pale yellowish skin are also people of colour) where we also find, as if quite by chance, that they are also the in vast majority and thereby lack minority victim status.

      Can someone untangle my confusion, please, and explain to me why BIPOC is not the most absurd oxymoron? Thank you.

      • Photondancer says

        @Geordie

        BIPOC originated in the USA and only makes sense there (I’m being charitable with regards to ‘sense’). The indigenous part refers to native Americans. The term was explicitly created due to other ‘people of colour ‘ defying the SJW credo and being too successful in life, damn their hides. Since asians and, increasingly, latinos have, with a monstrous lack of gratitude, started to do quite well in the USA due to their own efforts rather than SJW patronage, the SJWs don’t want to deal with them any more.

  29. TarsTarkas says

    If we didn’t know that this was actually real you could call this story ‘How to spin a yarn’. An ugly and vicious one.

    And you may notice that how many of these enraged people are not angry for themselves but angry on behalf of someone else that they perceive was ‘harmed’. Projection at its finest.

    • DiamondLil says

      Chiming in with performative wokeness keeps the spotlight on themselves.

    • It is virtually always someone being angry on behalf of someone else. Which, in my mind, is the ultimate in condescension. I would be angry if someone felt the need to speak for me.

  30. Strawberry Girl says

    The problem began when feminists co-opted knitting several years ago as an expression of their activism and brought the crazy with them. What you have now are people with personality disorders and in many cases come from cultures that might be either emotionally or entirely repressive, especially where women are concerned, who cannot take out their frustrations on their parents or their immediate circle, so they target whites in general and men specifically. Destroying people might originate with their own frustrations but ultimately, it’s about power-tripping. Make no mistake, these people thrill at ruining others’ lives and breaking them down to nothing. Look at the Canadian pedophile out to destroy largely immigrant women who wouldn’t wax male nether regions. It’s not about redressing “wrongs” or making society more free, it’s about fear and power. You can say it’s just knitting but there are people like this everywhere. What do you do when they have power over you at work? Or God help us, they’re elected to office (don’t laugh, we got “the squad” in the U.S.) or end up in charge of a bureaucracy. Corporations are already terrified of them and social media backs them up. At least the Salem witchcraft trials ended after a few years. I don’t know when this will stop or who is able/willing to stop them.

  31. Morgan Foster says

    It used to be that a white man who was gay and HIV+ was secure in his status as a member of an oppressed and protected class. No more, it seems.

  32. dirk says

    But why not support openly white supremacy? Don’t be so hypocrit. I am knitting white wool and white modules, taught by my white mother or grandmother? Or something I picked up somewhere abroad? And I think this a superior business, like you may think too, doing your own things? Wat’s wrong with that?

    Sometimes, I really don’t understand what”s ging on in this world, why is it wrong to feel superior?? I do it all the time!

  33. Captain Obvious says

    Anyone in doubt that social media is a drug many people can’t handle, capable of inducing full-on madness, has their evidence right here. 3 easy solutions, for those of you getting ready to perform interventions:

    (1) Turn off the fucking media device. Permanently. Run it over if you have to.

    (2) Help the social-media dependent entrepreneur find a better job in the real world.

    (3) Hobbyists with this much time to devote to nonessential activities should try that too.

    There. Fixed it. You could also try completely ignoring SJW trolls. Nah–never happen!

  34. dirk says

    And, could it be that, whereas all primates have a war gene in their DNA, that in case there are no wars any more to be engaged in, or be enjoyed, they are freshly made? My parents, when it got late and got cozy, always came up with the war experiences they remembered, of WWII. That’s over now, so, what remains to quarrel about? Whool? Knitting?? Very nice stuff for the psychologist!

  35. Jonny Sclerotic says

    Great article. Thanks for keeping tabs on this car crash of a situation. It illustrates nicely the moral and intellectual turpitude of brutish intersectionalism.

    Part of the problem is the instant globalization of bad ideas. Power relations are now judged by the same standard globally (enabled by the internet) even though historical power structures are different everywhere. White privilege makes a bit of sense in the US, even though there are plenty of underprivileged white people. But in a place like Scotland, the concept makes no sense at all. There’s no history of, say, black oppression within Scotland because there’s no historical black population. Black people in Scotland today are not descendants of slaves and are not a political or socio-economic bloc. I haven’t looked into the figures, but I’ll wager the poorest 20% of people in Scotland (in terms of income, status etc) are all white.

    So now you have this absurd situation where knitters in Edinburgh are accusing knitters in London of oppressing Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour – a formulation that makes zero sense in Britain. They even use the British English spelling of ‘Colour’ while keeping ‘Indigenous,’ even though that would signify pale skinned folk!

    • The indigenous people of Scotland were the Picts or Caledonians, who were oppressed by the Celts, who invaded from Ireland. Since that was a long time ago and they all look the same any Scot can simply declare themself a Pict and claim to be oppressed, like declaring one’s gender!

    • Aerth says

      And that is what baffled me the most in this whole knitting drama.

      • Jonny Sclerotic says

        Aye, it’s a grim irony that, in 2019, Amerocentricism is stronger among the Woke than it is among the few fascists that aren’t a figment of their imagination. These solipsistic narcissists are the least worldly people in the West.

        I hereby declare myself a TransPict!

    • @Jonny, very true.

      They are ahistorical and deliberately keep themselves ignorant. They want the narrative, and if facts intrude, well, facts are wrong. They even say this from time to time (either that facts are part of the patriarchy, or that there are deeper truths than facts or, the most common, that “if it’s not true here, it’s true somewhere, and that’s what matters”).

      So you have this absurd mystical religious belief that ‘indigenous’ always means darker skin when ‘indigenous’ has nothing to do with skin color, or the idea that white nationalists never attack white people (by the way, that completely supports my own conviction, that Jews are nonwhite, but never mind). I remember reading that Frozen didn’t show ‘indigenous’ people of the land and was therefore racist, absurdly ignoring the fact that white nordic people are indigenous.

      But also, it reveals the underlying contempt these white people have for anyone who is not white–they really believe anyone nonwhite to be primitive, childlike, and not fully responsible for their own actions, just as though life were like a game of golf and they themselves get no handicap because they’re so good at golf, and, at the same time, they get to decide the handicap of everyone else in their group (the individuals don’t choose, they do).

      Indigenous folk can’t be white because everyone knows white people are all powerful colonists who conquered everywhere, and everyone knows nonwhite cultures are incapable of helping themselves but must instead be ‘helped’ by rich white people. In this way, they make themselves front and center–as with all narcissists, it doesn’t matter to them if they’re front and center for good or for ‘evil.’ Just that they’re front and center.

      • Jonny Sclerotic says

        @ d

        The golf handicap analogy is perfect for the bigotry of low expectations. I’ll be nicking that.

        The few SJWs I have the misfortune of dealing with in real life (and it’s really no more than 3 people) do not like talking about history. The eyes glaze over. The firewall goes up. It’s fitting that they sport the legend ‘Resist’ on their fridges, lapels, and bumpers. Any new information that doesn’t feed the narrative must be resisted.

        As a few other posters have suggested, I think this madness has peaked and plateaued. Fingers crossed anyway.

  36. Aerth says

    ““White people still need reminding: they are not, never were, and never will be the victims of white supremacy”

    Helen Kim should take break from knitting (if she’s still doing it as it seems now she is more interested in mobbing) and read some history books. I mean, ok, technically Third Reich was going for Aryan supremacy, but it didn’t changed the fact that millions of white people were killed because of it.

    • Jonny Sclerotic says

      @ Aerth

      Unbelievable isn’t it? How can these prats be unaware of the most famous genocide in history, and go around calling everyone Nazis? Meanwhile, every genocide of the last 25 years has been perpetrated by Africans and Asians, against Africans and Asians.

      (Lest any genuine racists leap on this second point, I only mention it to demonstrate the emptiness of the white supremacy narrative, not to imply any predilection for mass murder on the part of any particular ethnicity. It should go without saying that homo sapiens of every shade are susceptible to genocide, both as perpetrator and victim).

    • The third Reich’s treatment of Slavs and Jews should put paid to the idea that white people never were and never will be victim sof white supremacy.

      The ‘woke’/SJWs are stunningly, outrageously and flamboyantly racist and sexist while proclaiming themselves to be acting against racism and sexism. It is quite hard to understand how it continues but must reflect the power of a need to conform and once established the fear of being ostracised.

      Orwell is fantastic on this, his observations on doublespeak and double think in 1984 are absolutely accurate. What is depressing is this is reached such and intensity has become almost ubiquitous in democracies.

  37. Nicholas says

    Seriously though, the ‘crafter’ movement has always had a serious nutjob contingent. A friend who sets up small businesses so they can accept payment via debit and credit cards on their smartphones, has stopped approaching crafters directly and relies on web ads and referrals. She got tired of being lectured by “Idiot hippies” on the dangers of smartphones and capitalism, and had one woman clumsily stalk her to worn potential customers that she was a “corporate spy”. So, nothing has surprised me at all in these articles, but then I grew up on the west coast where ‘Big Hippy’ rules, and has his/her stinky, resin-stained fingers in everything.

  38. Brett says

    As a told my son the other day. It used to be your character that mattered, now it is your race, sexual orientation, sex (real or perceived), ethnicity, etc. that matters. Character doesn’t count at all.

  39. Well, well, well, they finally said it:

    “It is possible to be a member of a marginalized group and participate in oppressive behavior. Your marginalization does not absolve you.”

    It’s too bad they can’t see they are the ones participating in this oppressive behavior. Maybe they will tomorrow.

    • Rev. Wazoo! says

      @ Susan a Kritzo
      Yes, they function under the child’s taunt,
      “I’m rubber and you’re glue;
      Everything you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

      Intersectionalist profs dressed up the language/rationalization but the meaning is the same.

    • Shamrock says

      “Maybe they will tomorrow.” Don’t bet on it.

  40. WTF says

    If only Kim’s and Khan’s mothers believed in abortion…

  41. I remember how in the halcyon days of vehement left-wing free speech advocacy and the rise of the New Atheist movement someone (Dawkins possibly) said that they would like religion to become more like knitting wrt its social impact and people’s attitudes towards it. I’m not entirely sure how these latest developments jibe with that sentiment..

  42. Brian says

    I’ll continue to knit for pleasure. Fuck the SJK.

  43. Morphine2 says

    You’d think the word “schadenfreude” was coined espressly to describe the deliciousness of watching progressive micro-grievance groups cannibalize each other. I feel bad for the lady that just wanted to go to India. I hope she did, and enjoyed it immensely. The rest of these shrieking piranhas can go ahead and tear each other’s throats out.

  44. Mike says

    “It is possible to be a member of a marginalized group and participate in oppressive behavior. Your marginalization does not absolve you”

    Surprisingly lucid point, although I suspect it is selectively enforced.

  45. cryptical says

    Well, that’s done it. I’ve finally deleted my ravelry account. Definitely don’t want to be part of something that is promoting this kind of bullying of anyone, as well as, ironically, exclusion in the name of diversity.

    For a while I thought I could just use it to search for patterns and organize my projects, but it’s gotten more and more in your face with its SJW stuff, to the point where I was hardly using it. And now, I’ve left for good.

    Pity, because it was so useful for finding patterns and yarns and techniques and keeping track of things, but I expect I’ll manage to keep knitting somehow anyway.

    • Sarah L Woodruff says

      I deleted my account straight away, after reading the “announcement” but I hold no ill will for those who stuck around. There’s a nice new community forming over at http://www.fiberocity.com and the capabilities are growing! Feel free to stop by and set up an account. Also, there is an FB group called Walk Away From Ravelry, though it’s more a of a place to air grievances and share conservative humor at the moment.

  46. Rob says

    Knitters aside..I can’t help but think this is what our new ‘far left’ education system has wrought. In ways, ultra Political Correctness has become the new weponry in our society.

  47. Lakanal says

    Though Kathrine’s outstanding articles are depressing, their cool exposure of the phenomenon is reassuring; and the brilliance and good sense of the comments in this thread are hugely encouraging. The sad truth of the classic New Yorker cartoon is: “On the Internet, no one knows you have a personality disorder”. But I think we are beginning to understand.

  48. Brigitte Savchik says

    I guess I’m one of the “older, conservative” women that use Ravelry. I was completely disgusted at their ban of support for Donald Trump, not to mention their hysteria when he was elected president. The pussy hat designs that started appearing were SO-O-O-O-O-O-O stupid.
    I sent Ravelry admin the following email, and to date have not received a reply:

    Jul 4 2019, 02:04 PM
    Either you allow support for ALL political parties and/or presidents or you ban politics altogether from Ravelry. You run the risk of becoming thought police when you only allow dialogue from one party.

    Since you do not seem to be familiar with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Did you get that part about abridging the freedom of speech?

    May all your yarn contain knots.

  49. Reading about these idiotic Tweets attacking this man for his thoughtcrime, I have to wonder, not for the first time, why we are all paying attention to the ravings of a clearly unbalanced cult-like group of a tiny fraction of people?

    Why are these Tweets given so much power? The correct response is to ignore them, or to laugh at them. Definitely not listen to them, nor to reason with them – how and why reason with an unhinged group of people who are as cultish as Jim Jones?

    I think one of the reasons Tweets have become so big – even though I know not a single person who uses Twitter – is that traditional media is falling apart, and so echoing Tweets becomes a really easy way to report ‘news.’ This gives undue power to a very small portion of our population. In addition, social media encourages people to self-segregate into ideological camps, so those in the Twitter bubble don’t see how marginalized they really are. I think this is why – to slightly change the subject – the Democrats are right now on the road to losing the next election: they are chasing a handful of extremists on Twitter as opposed to real people who will actually vote. And no one is telling them not to as they’re all inside that bubble, including the media.

    Anyway, as far as the ‘knitting world,’ can they start just forming groups that are non ideological? Why are they so afraid of these unhinged bullies? Why does this happen: “Some who originally had been supportive changed their tune as the criticism grew, apologized, thanked the people who called them out, and promised to educate themselves and “do better.”? I guarantee it’s only a very small portion of knitters, and the rest are silent bystanders. If people started pushing back en masse – not one at a time – they wouldn’t have power; the crazies would be screaming to an invisible windmill. I realize it’s hard in some careers – eg if you want to act, you really can’t speak out as you’d be blacklisted. But here he could have his own business.

    On the other hand – to be devil’s advocate with myself – it’s hard to build your brand without the support of social media, and if you know they can unplatform you if you dare to anger the lunatics, you can see your whole business collapse. This is why it’s so important to have an alternate to Twitter/FB et al, and for there to be transparency in their models.

    I feel very badly for this guy, particularly his breakdown. These people are not only unbalanced, they are immoral and evil.

    • @d
      Immoral and evil. Yes, I think that sums it up perfectly.

      Though I think it’s fair to say it comes from the “right” as well. There was that fellow at Columbia, if I recall correctly, who tweeted “All I want for Christmas is white genocide,” and there were calls to have him sacked. He said a really stupid thing (whether he meant it ironically or not), but I wouldn’t want to see him fired over it. Ditto Sarah Jeong; I just won’t spend a penny on anything the NYT produces. (For similar reasons, I refuse to ever buy Gillette products again, and the next watch I buy will be an Egard.) But what Taylor said was so constructive by comparison; to equate his statement with bigotry is just plain stupid.

      One result of the evil the SJW mobs represent is that many of us are compelled to post opposition to their mob tactics anonymously; this is in part due to the frequent attempts at character assassination and career-destruction they employ. This includes the so-called ubiquitously privileged white male, such as Taylor, who has been subjected to such unjustifiable and cruel treatment. (And it can at times get high-level, official sanction, such as the case of James Damore, whose firing was absolutely wrong other than by the bizarre doublethink of an SJW-addled bureaucracy.)

      Rather than attempt to comprehend the nature of an opposing view (as distinct from agreement or disagreement with it), they simply declare it a kind of heresy, throw straw men at it, and try to destroy the lives of those who dare to think differently from themselves. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, this is becoming a more and more common tactic of SJW types, facilitated by social media.

      That said, I will neither retract nor apologize for any viewpoint I’ve posted on Quillette, even if by chance someone were to doxx me.

    • BrainFireBob says

      Considering the re-currence of Ms. Kim in these articles, one suspects this is nothing more than her eliminating business rivals. Why is there no reporting on whether she was competing for customers with these people?

  50. Interguru says

    @Martin28 “This would be hilarious if it weren’t so vicious. In a way, I find myself cheering this on. The social justice fanatics cannot back down. And the crazier they get, the more enemies they will make.”

    You’re being optimistic. Right wing nuttery, such as birtherism of pizzagate has resulted in the Republicans holding the White House, the Senate and many states.

  51. My comment is based on the assumption that the description in the article is essentially accurate (a necessary caveat in this day and age). However, as I consider Quillette to be a reliable source of information, I’m not too concerned on that point.

    The treatment this man has received from these sanctimonious, straw-manning hypocrites is disgusting, and completely lacking in even a modicum of a moral compass. There is a huge difference between disagreeing with someone and attempting to bully them into submission. The latter is clearly what is being attempted by those attacking Taylor.

    Falsely accusing him of claiming to “own the concept of diversity,” falsely conflating his opinion with that of “white supremacists,” all the while sanctimoniously declaring their victim status and doing their level best to destroy the man’s reputation, and by extension his livelihood. Projection, plain and simple. Helen Kim sounds like one of the “orthodoxy-sniffers” Orwell warned us about.

    Who wants to be seen as a white supremacist, other than someone who positively identifies as one? This is the typical SJW tactic of taking a near-universally reviled label, trying your level best to make it stick on anyone whose presents a viewpoint you dislike. (Which, in the case of Taylor, cannot reasonably be seen as bigoted; and even if it were, you might wish to try using reason instead of hysterical and irrational mob tactics.) And then, with the most nauseating hypocrisy imaginable, accuse them of things like “presuming to own the concept of [insert SJW buzzword here], or of being “tone police.”

    What the living f**k is Kim doing OTHER than presuming to be the “tone police,” by deciding what people should and should not say in a public forum? I guess she has decided that she can be the “tone police,” but Taylor can’t. But maybe a better term for her would be the self-appointed “Thought Police.” The behavior of her and the other cyber-thugs is an object lesson in willful ignorance, narrow-mindedness, cruelty, and (with supreme unintentional irony on their part) complete intolerance. Their actions are worthy of nothing but contempt. (Cue the histrionic and fake accusations: “Your disagreement with my opinion = racism!” Your denial of my labeling you a racist is further proof that you are a racist!”)

    Mr. Taylor, I hope you see this comment.
    I would like to express my support for your ABSOLUTE RIGHT to say what you wanted to say, and to affirm that those who accuse you of intolerance, bigotry, etc. are COMPLETELY WRONG to do so. To label as racism the comments by you quoted above is ludicrous beyond description. You are the one having your personhood denied by the totalitarian Thought Police mob. If it is possible, I would simply do your best to ignore them. I wish you the best of luck and prosperity in your trade.

    • Peter from Oz says

      Well said RT
      I would suggest to Mr Taylor that he now goes on the attack. Turn the battle onto his own ground. Go for these people on the basis that they care more about undefined groups of people rather than individuals.

  52. Peter from Oz says

    Back in the bad old days there was a horrid passtime known as ”poofta bashing” where a group on blokes would beat up some poor chap who might or might not be a homosexual, but whom the group decided was a ”poofta” who needed to be punished.
    Some wag of course pretty soon analysed the real situation and put it in a pithy saying:

    ”In a poofta bashing the real poofta is the basher who is bashing hardest”

    That, I think, has relevance today in the case of woke mobs. She who calls others racist with the most passion is the real racist.

  53. Raoul says

    Perhaps it’s no coincidence that Madame Defarge liked to knit.
    Pure evil and hatred prefers to masquerade as righteous anger when claiming a front row before the guillotine.

  54. Richard E Golden says

    Anyone who likes this series should Google “Kat Rosenfeld” AND “young adult fiction”. She has been documenting very similar insanity in that subgenre of the publishing world. People have lost book contracts for the crime of cultural appropriation and insufficient wokeness.

    The worst part is that some publishers require authors to submit manuscripts to a “sensitivity reader” who makes sure the book is free of any hint of racism sexism, homophobia, etc. And people who get advance review copies are trashing the authors even before release.

    Real Orwellian stuff going on in these cultures.

    When the SJW mobs came for Martina Navratilova, I knew the end was nigh.

    • mirrormere says

      This is crazy stuff too! Though it was quite satisfying when one of the “sensitivity readers” submitted his own book and was dragged through the trolls when he snagged several major SJW tripwires. Poetic justice.

  55. The outrage mobs continue to march onward. Their latest target – Yarndale, a fiber arts and crafts festival being held in late September in the UK. The reason? When they released their list of vendors, it was determined to be “too white.” There not “enough” BIPOC/BAME/LGBTQ+ people on that list. They were roundly attacked on both Twitter and Instagram, first for not responding right away, then for not responding perfectly.

    It’s disgustingly white supremacist, racist, and toxic.

    I’ve noted that there is no place to indicate one’s race or preferred bed partner on the vendor application. So, I suggested as much, in a reply to a comment by the woman that attacked Nathan Taylor.

    witchcraftylady
    @yarndale would really like to know where these stands have come from? The onus to find vendors from marginalised groups is on you, don’t expect others to do your job for you. Asking people to share is like you can’t be bothered to even do it yourself. Also, what happened to applications that were made and rejected? Did you keep them or delete them?

    lissakay
    @witchcraftylady I guess they need to put a place where you can tick a box on the application to indicate which marginalized group one hails from. That way they’d know to give those folx extra consideration, since they can’t compete based on the merits of their work, right?

  56. Jane says

    I am shocked by all of this; not sure what to call it other than extraordinarily cruel, intolerant behavior. Also, remember how some feminists would say the world would be a better place if women ran it?

    • Geordie says

      Ah yes, the ‘kinder, gentler politics’ we were promised. All I’ve actually noticed is a large increase in passive, and not so passive, aggression.

    • Photondancer says

      @Jane

      Yeah, that one always gave me a good laugh.

  57. GRPalmer says

    One should note that the UK for one, has some rather expensive slander/libel laws.
    You call me a racist,
    I call my lawyer,
    you call your banker
    I take all your money.
    Sounds like a plan.
    Works for me.

  58. Rick Berino says

    Please, Claire Lehmann, PURLEASE tell me you have commissioned this series of articles as a parody.

    • dirk says

      It wouldn’t be the first one Rick, there was one this year on a lady having sex with cactus plants or what (though this was hidden in another link).
      There was a picture as illustration for it of Jeanne d ‘Árc being burned, with whom she felt soulmate. Now this “shockingly vicious war in the knitting world”. Soulmate again?Too funny! I love it!

  59. Harold Porter says

    These knitters have their knickers in a knot

  60. Mohammad Sarafraaz says

    After reading how deranged these Progressive Puritans have become with their new religion of Social Justice, in order to spite them, I hereby declare I am now a racist and an Islamaphobe. Any one of them here who wishes to argue with me and call me names? I dare you.

  61. Photondancer says

    Since readers of last month’s article may have missed it, please do not support Kate Davies. She has repudiated Quillette and its readers, referring to us as ‘despicable ‘. See the statement by her representative Tom Barr at the end of last month’s article.

  62. Somluck says

    Is it true that the knitting gives women something to think about while they are talking?

    • Jack Dee says

      Now the obvious question is where can I get some of those delightful Yarn Fragmentation Grenades pictured above ? They look perfect for smuggling into my Univers-Knitty and lobbing at the Diverse-Knitty & Equi-Knitty Comm-Knitty.

  63. I saw this unfold and wasn’t surprised to see the SJK mobbing, not because Nathan had done anything wrong, but because in the previous couple of weeks a lot of the activists had been ranting into thin air with no fresh meat to feed on. Their self-righteous posts had all moved into the ‘why is everyone sitting on the fence’ and ‘your previous statement of support was maybe just words, so I’m going to read into thin air an idea that you may have meant the opposite of what you said, no evidence needed’ territory as they stalked IG for new blood. You can actually see the movement evolve, mass, target and then move in in cyclical patterns. What has appalled me is the knee-jerk mass judgement that has been poured out in Nathan’s direction by so many makers and dyers I had more respect for. They’re protecting their businesses by staying on what they see as the politically correct path, but they all rushed in without anyone stopping to check whether both sides had been heard. You can bet your bottom dollar that if this had all played out in the opposite direction there would have been mass clamouring to let the other side speak before burning coals were heaped on. Unsurprisingly, the so-called victim at Yarningham’s first response post-face-off was to ask her friend to put it on IG immediately. Both she and said friend have stated this for the record. I don’t know about you, but I always want to air my problems the second they happen… It’s a savvy business move, she’s acquired thousands of new supporters, huge traffic through her business and unending attention for her martyrdom. Safe to say no victims present here. Well, not the ones still publicly sharing their traumatised world for all to see anyway.

  64. Call me Cyndi says

    I find it amusingly odd how this brawl of epic proportions over literally nothing seems to validate what I thought were the tritest, most classist and sexist stereotypes about knitting, like the one that people who pursue an interest in it tend to be middle-aged, lower middle class women who identify as pansexual, but who, in actuality, have not enjoyed physical contact with another human being in twelve years, and who have become so tired, bored and dissatisfied with their lives that they jump for joy at the first opportunity of tearing someone else into digital shreds—all in the name of social justice, naturally.

    Err, well, I guess, I’ll stick with tennis, thanks.

  65. BrainFireBob says

    Ms. Kim: Are these people business rivals? What is her specialty vs. this gentleman’s? Part of me says “follow the money.”

    Part of me remembers that advice I received from my friend’s Japanese mother: “There’s no racism like Asian racism, we commit.”

  66. Katie G says

    The Yarndale furore is ridiculous. It has echoes of the fair wage/inclusivity contradiction that SJKs managed to knot themselves up in earlier this year. Back then there was a simultaneous outcry for small independent businesses (yarn dyers and pattern writers) to be paid a fair wage for their work, absolutely, you would think, of course that’s fair. In any case, hand-dyed yarn is a totally luxury item not one of life’s necessities, so why on earth would they price below a profit threshold? But at the same time, the same voices were also clamouring for total inclusivity in the knitting community, within which they demanded the right to be able to afford to buy all the yarns and all the patterns regardless of their current financial circumstances. It had a weird socialist manifesto at the heart which was attempting to claim that if this was a community then there should be no barriers to entry and yet disregarded the fact that businesses were businesses and had the right to exist in a marketplace rather than as a weird charity for the underprivileged. Yarndale is a business, it’s a yarn show, its owners run it to make a living, vendors attending likewise are there to make a living, and customers can choose to attend or not to attend to spend their disposable income however they would like. If you want a show to make a profit then you need the vendors to sell well and the customers to want to buy what’s on offer. If you want a show to be well attended then you have to offer vendors you know people will travel to visit. So there are some limits to the choices you can make that may circumscribe either of these factors. Additionally, you also can’t ask for information relating to race, disability or any other factor to be openly declared on a form, and even if you could, you would be straight into court if you made decisions based on that information. So the organisers of the event are pretty much stuck on this one – they can only make vendor selections from those that apply, and they can’t really research every unknown application to find out whether it ticks more boxes because this is also discrimination. They have to try and balance the different interests of vendors (ie not have too many doing the same thing), and they need to ensure that they have enough for customers to want to make the trip and buy plenty of yarn. If you stocked a show with all new vendors, or those less well known you run a risk of fewer attendees. That may be an uncomfortable fact, but it is a fact, and at the end of the day, this is a business/marketplace we’re talking about not a zero-profit community gathering where traffic and trade wouldn’t matter. Some of the BIPOC voices who have added to this discussion have also already said that they don’t want to be included on a ‘diversity’ ticket, they want to be included on a ‘quality’ one, and to that end we’re back to the existing selection criteria. Yarndale is also one of the biggest yarn festivals in the calendar, there has been a proliferation of festivals across the UK, and if you’re one of the currently underrepresented and underexperienced vendors trying to find your way in, as with everything else in life, maybe try to cut your teeth on smaller venues first, build your reputation and earn your place the same way everyone else did. If it currently is a white-dominated arena it’s still competitive within that, and the up and coming small white businesses also have the same desire to be part of the bigger festivals but have to make their way – it’s circle of life stuff, big fish and little fish, not deliberately and directly targeted racism. The Yarndale organisers can’t win here because those are not the rules of this particular game. It’s being played at you not with you, and it’s not actually about finding a fair solution it’s about the destruction of people currently making a living in order to keep the war going and keep people in a fighting mindset – it’s the control tactic that Stalin favoured to keep people in line.

  67. Morgan Foster says

    “Quillette Circle” seems to be a new thing.

    Can anyone tell me what it is, and why it is? I don’t see a convenient explanation on the home page. Apologies, if I missed it.

    • It’s a ghetto designed for the commentors for the purpose of hiding their comments from innocent passersby whose feelings or sensibilities might be hurt by the blunt cruelty often on display here.

      Don’t worry though,

      FrEe ThOuGhT StIlL LiVeS

      See you on the other side of the barbed wire.

      • Morgan Foster says

        I see the “notable replies” feature is visible to the non-joining public, but now I’m under pressure to write many more comments to increase my chances of making the honors list.

        • Actually, it seems they just put up a paywall. You have to sign up for recurring donations to enter the “Circle”.

          • Morgan Foster says

            What, like in the past few minutes? When I signed up I wasn’t asked for money.

          • Morgan, I suggest you don’t log out then. I too was able to make an account for free earlier, but when I tried to log back in about an hour ago, it said, “You must have an active subscription associated with your account to log in…” Then it takes me to: “Help free thought live by becoming a monthly patron or making a one-time payment with the form below. If you wish to start posting in the Quillette Circle please ensure you subscribe to a recurring donation.”

          • Morgan Foster says

            @breathnumber

            “Help free thought live by becoming a monthly patron or making a one-time payment …”

            Free thought isn’t free.

            Goodbye, my friend. It was fun while it lasted.

          • Michael Johnston says

            I just created an account and wasn’t asked to subscribe.

    • Photondancer says

      Google indicates it is a Facebook thing.

    • mitchellporter says

      I have just created something called “Quillette Heptagon” as a temporary meeting point for would-be commenters while we figure out what’s going on. It was meant to be a wordpress blog, but hey insisted on creating it as http://quillettepentagon.home.blog

  68. Diana Ayala says

    The common thread here is that all these people cosplaying as SJ heroes are incredibly unattractive. On the surface this sounds shallow- but think about the deep implications.

    • Morgan Foster says

      @Diana Ayala

      They’re like a female analogue of the obese, unwashed men who play internet games all day in their mothers’ basements and have no real friends.

  69. The Ulcer says

    All of this stupidity lives in social media. Humanity is clearly not ready for mass, instant communication. Just stay away and your life will be so much better.

  70. Opera Riot says

    When was the last time you read a story about a satirical poem driving crowds of people to madness and mayhem?

    Don’t try to tell me poetry doesn’t matter.

  71. bill53 says

    Apparently there are a lot of sociopaths in the world and they are all knitters.

  72. Sydney says

    I’m late to this. Wow. As an illustrator (ie someone in the arts/crafts world) I swallowed the first two posts whole. I’m struck dumb by the latest development/s.

    These people need to knit themselves Mao jackets and matching caps, and hand the patterns out for their legions of woke-totalitarian followers. They can knit up fellow-totalitarian Antifa’s anonymizing, Klanesque masks and hoodies. That way we can identify them all in the streets. They’re all sick and dangerous.

    Horrifying.

  73. Brendan says

    Appears to be a symptom of actual privilege, as we live in an economic gradient of the US and the world that has forgotten the basics of why we effing vaccinate our kids, why we demonize bread (or insert bad carbohydrate here) which used to be the staple of life, or why a tiff over having too many items in a checkout line becomes a national battlefront for sexism, racism, nationalism, and then of course the open-minded knitterati who for the sake of tolerance, decide to ban the support of a publicly elected President. I just welcomed a baby girl into the world, and I hope her world isn’t as intellectually boring as the current one is.

  74. mirrormere says

    Looks like Khan has pulled her website. Would be nice if it stayed that way.

  75. Dan says

    What the hell is Quillette Circle on this site? Please don’t tell me it’s what I think it is….

  76. dirk says

    Once upon a time, long ago (but not more than a week) it was possible to check in one glance whether a comment had to do with the article, or just with some detail or personal remark (often not related at all with that article)of another comment (by the distance to the mark). No longer….
    What’s worse even, the comments miss a date, so you can’t any more find out whether somebody copied another one.

    So, the whole logical structure of a comment section…….gone with the wind!

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