I was “no-platformed” in my hometown this week, because months ago and in a completely unrelated context I said “if a person has a penis he’s a man.” I stand by that statement; my views on the subject are formally articulated here. I am ashamed of venues that cave to bullies. They deleted the event page but not before these screenshots were taken.

“Tolerance” is no longer a liberal value. Now the word is “inclusion”, which actually means “silence everyone I disagree with.” I was able to have a productive and valuable conversation with Jordan Peterson, in spite of – or perhaps because of – our differences. It’s not hard; respect, civility, and tolerance are values we share. Meanwhile so-called “left” ideologues can’t tolerate any questioning or dissent; their tactic is to bully and silence women like me.

These same screenshots were posted on Imgur yesterday; in the middle of the night they all vanished. New link here, but it too can be disappeared at any time. That is the world these intolerant political tactics create.

Regardless of political positions, people need to step up for free speech and tolerance. I have always supported the right to speak for everyone, especially people I disagree with. That’s what free speech is about. The alternative is fascism, which the “left” seems to be hell-bent on creating, even more than the “right” they claim to “resist.” They actually share the worst values of those they claim to oppose.

Read it and weep:

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Note: One of the first people to bully the venue is the Chair of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois. That should give you pause.

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Author: Nina Paley

Animator. Director. Artist. Scapegoat.

27 thoughts on “Intolerance”

  1. I’d love to see a movie from you on free speech. When I was young, I was naive enough to think it was a leftist value. But it’s not. It’s just a human right that authoritarians on the left and right oppose.

  2. That’s awful 🙁

    What strikes me as particularly tragic here is the naked cowardice on display. “Our small business is not in a position to hold the forum for such a debate over these issues”. I would almost have more respect for them if they did the more typical thing, which would be to issue a simpering apology and reiterate the McCarthyist talking points. Instead they openly admit they are caving in to the bullies.

    You may not be interested in the culture war, Arcadia. But the culture war is interested in you. It’s coming for all of us, and it’s never going to stop unless people who know it’s wrong stand up and say so, and stop complying with it, stop lying on it’s behalf.

    I find it to be a strange experience, introspectively, to read your views on trans stuff. On one hand I think it’s bonkers and I could quibble for hours over every other sentence. But it doesn’t make me angry. It doesn’t make me feel threatened. What scares me and fills me with fury are these new McCarthyists that want to dictate to everyone else what they’re allowed to say and think.

  3. I’m looking forward to the screening! I hope you’ll find another place to show your movie

  4. FWIW, I think that your ideas about the male conspiracy to “colonize women’s spaces” are rather bonkers; however, de-platforming you is beyound the pale. Silencing one’s ideological opponents slides from the “bonkers” territory straight into “destructive to society”.

  5. The political “left” has gone insane. Have you seen the story about the people raising “theybies”; the parents won’t say what sex (not “gender”) the kid is, not even to the kid? And they don’t even realize they are abusing the kids by doing this.

    (I’m not “right” or “left”, but the polar opposite. Both of those sides- really just different expressions of the same side– have some insane notions.)

  6. This is insane. Seeing these comments truly makes me despair.

    I’m wondering if, years from now, the people – especially self-identifying feminist women – who rejected and shamed the feminists speaking out against trans ideology will look back on what they have written against them and feel, well, shame. The sad part is that most women will eventually have to see the light, once the impact on women’s rights is no longer possible to deny.

    What I find striking is the belief, expressed by many commenters, that validating transgender people’s identity is somehow a moral and ethical imperative, while denying that identity amounts to denying their right to exist? How did they come up with that idea?

    Identity is merely a label chosen by someone that reflects their own interpretation of their subjective experience of gender. Of course that interpretation can be false or rooted in problematic beliefs. No one said that refusing to validate Rachel Dolezal’s “Black” identity was denying her existence and that we were morally obligated to go along with it. It was correctly acknowledged that, since this identity she’d chosen for herself was rooted in racism, it had to be challenged and criticized.

    This is exactly what’s happening with transgender identities. They are mostly rooted in sexist, essentialist principles and denial of material, medical realities. Of course they should be challenged and criticized accordingly. Why do these people think we are morally obligated to approve ? It doesn’t make any sense.

  7. If I understand all this correctly, I’d have to say that I see this from a different perspective. First of all, I always desire to do the kind thing, and I think that supporting whatever persuasion another person feels about his/her own body is kinder than saying or doing things to try to separate them from what they feel. I also think that the gender of a soul could be different than the gender of the body, and I suspect that plays a part in what appears to be “gender confusion”, as viewed by people whose gender of their bodies and souls match. I also know that the Native American culture identified several genders, I think it was four…and because of the many other things I am inspired by in their culture, I honor their insight on this. I just want people to feel happy, whatever their understanding of their body-soul connection, and I am glad to contribute to that in whatever way I can. And I also fully support each person’s right to their own views. I love “Sita” and everything I’ve seen of “Seder-Masochism” and just published the third article in my “Nina Paley” series here:

  8. @Papyrus:
    I think you are wrong about trans identity. I also think that Nina Paley is wrong about transgenderism being some sort of an evil plot orchestrated by the Patriarchal Illuminati or whatever. At the same time, I do not fully agree with Meryl Ann Butler, either. But I would never want to prevent either of you from speaking your mind. Doing so would be much more destructive than any kind of misgendering.

  9. Almost wore out my angel of death tshirt so I today I got a new one a quilt to go with. Posted it to Instagram #Seder-Masochism.
    Say what you like, believe what you need to believe. I like you just as you are, end of story.

  10. This keeps reminding me of the Seinfeld episode where he jokes about hating his dentist and is accused of being an ‘Anti-Dentite’.
    The whole world turns against Jerry for this apparently harmless opinion, until he finds one other person who agrees, a woman, who adds “Same goes for those blacks and Jews”.

    I’m sympathetic with some of Nina’s objections, but this giant thread is loaded with links to right-wing rags and their anecdata. This is getting darker.

  11. The mental delusions of men are NOT civil rights. Transgender activist bullies are actively working to disappear the sex-based rights and protections of women. They are stealing positions on women’s sports teams, stealing women’s scholarships, stealing women’s leadership positions in acadamia and government, imposing on, speaking for and erasing women. Girls are being forced to share showering facilities with boys. Women need to wake and fight this nonsense. Screw being tolerant of your own erasure and legal demise as a protected sex category. I reserve the right to be intolerant of intolerance. Transgenderism is in actuality a stealth Men’s Sexual Rights movement to force women and society to accept men parading their sick sexual fetishes in public. Women are not obligated to include MEN in their private women’s circles, in their private women’s gatherings, in their private public spaces. Transgenderism is a cult of misogyny, homophobia and male ego. There is no LGBTQ movement. It’s a lie. Homosexuals have been hoodwinked into tolerating and accepting these usurpers who with their narcissistic male egos refuse to take no for an answer. Refuse to respect women’s feelings and rights to exclude men. Gender is a lie. Gender is what women want liberation from.

  12. See, this is a good example of what I was talking about. Sandra Russel comes off as, shall we say, somewhat unhinged; but nonetheless, I am glad she is able to speak her mind. This way, we can discuss her ideas and actually understand why they are wrong — as opposed to just reflexively dismissing them out of hand as being “morally evil” or “offensive” or whatever.

    In general, we should avoid racism, sexism, and other type of bigotry not just because they are immoral (by today’s standards of morality), or because they make us feel bad (according to modern sensibilities), but because they are *factually incorrect*; and we will never be able to figure that out if we’re not allowed to talk about such ideas.

  13. Speaking as a male person with a vagina, I agree that the vocal majority of the so-called “Left” take political correctness to tyrannical extremes, and that censorship of the conversation is highly counter-productive. Obviously I don’t believe that a person’s identity is derived exclusively from the morphology of their genitalia, and I feel disappointed to have my identity invalidated by those outside of the transgender experience, but I think that many, perhaps most, of those of us who fall anywhere between the extreme ends of the political spectrum would defend the right to object and publicly discuss these issues.

  14. You are one vile stupid transphobic bigoted bitch, also your stance on population control is batshit insane. You need serious fucking therapy, go suck off Trump you fucking loser.

  15. Meryl Ann Butler, and anybody else who may be tempted to compare American Indian or other cultural traditions to contemporary transgenderism: don’t do it.

    These traditions were mostly for men, often gay men. They were not about men “being” women. And sexually egalitarian cultures didn’t have them.

  16. Bugmaster, Sandra Russel is using emotive, loaded words (“stealing” etc.)

    But everything she’s talking about here actually has happened:

    “They are stealing positions on women’s sports teams, stealing women’s scholarships, stealing women’s leadership positions in acadamia and government, imposing on, speaking for and erasing women. Girls are being forced to share showering facilities with boys.”

    You can substitute the word “taking” for stealing. I don’t believe there’s any kind of conscious conspiracy here, but garden-variety misogyny paired with this latest popular delusion is just as bad for women (and for young gender nonconforming kids, who are being pushed toward medical “transition” at ever younger ages) as if it were.

  17. “darkness” is sadly typical of today’s online warriors. Trans activism gives him a free pass to abuse a woman in the most misogynistic terms possible, and he gets to enjoy moral indignation and self-satisfaction to boot!

    You so woke, Michael.

  18. Jordan,
    Yes humans invalidate each other constantly. People telling other people they are not smart, not good at some worthless job or not a good spouse, parent, child etc.

    I think most smiling adults eventually divorce thesmelves from people they don’t trust and stop relying on their validation.

    You are not telling the truth though. If you have a vagina you are almost certainly female (much more than a 99 percent chance). It’s not a matter of identity, it is reality. Your sex is a part of the real world the way your height, skin color and blood type are. Female is a sex category.

  19. I came to read your blog today because you have been something of a hero to me for your open culture/anti-copyright activism (not to mention as an animator/filmmaker/artist). I’ve seen you as a voice for openness and the breaking down of barriers that control, divide, and harm people. But it really saddens me that you would make and stand by a statement that delegitimizes transgender people. It seems to me like a deep, deep contradiction of values. It hurts people who look up to you and care about you. I beg you to reconsider.

    The no-platforming is a pain in the butt and I generally consider it an unskillful response, but please, please consider how you, as an important voice in the radical community, wield a lot of power to hurt people who look up to you. Ask yourself if that’s something you want to do.

    Think about how you want to have your work taught to young people fifty years down the road. Trans people are here to stay and the world is only going to get more inclusive, not less. Do you want kids to see you as somebody who helped to make the world a freer and more open place in every respect, or somebody who was on the right side of history about a few things, and on the wrong side of history about others? As an art educator I see the massive potential in your work to inspire up-and-coming artists, but if my students are trans or non-binary, how can I expect them to get inspired by someone who invalidates them?

    I’m willing to separate the art from the artist here, but in this case I really, really hope I won’t have to.

    Don’t let your frustration over the no-platforming monopolize your attention and draw it away from care for the generations of artists, both cis and trans, who look up to you.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  20. While I disagree in your stance on trans women I respect your content and the works you’ve made. Especially in your discussion on freeing art from copyright laws. It sucks that when I link to your video discussion on the CC people immediately turn me down due to your reputation. I find that disturbing. Disagreeing on one point does not mean they are not valid in another. So thank you, for continuing on discussing the issues you’re truly passionate about among all the backlash.

  21. Not a matter that’s gotten much attention from me.
    But, it’s ridiculous that a filmmaker with no clout who hasn’t harmed anyone could provoke such hatred.

  22. I really like your artworks and your ideas on copyright and free culture, but personally I disagree with your ideas on trans people. I am not trans myself, but I know a trans woman and a trans man, and I am know that they are both well-intentioned and perfectly sane people. They didn’t transition because they wanted to take away from the rights of the gender they transitioned to, they just felt like being labeled as another gender was a more fitting description of themselves. Sure, maybe gender wouldn’t exist in an ideal world, and the only thing separating men and women would be strictly biological, but this is not the world we live in just yet, and I don’t think that trans people are keeping this ideal from being reached. As you’ve said, it’s really not that hard to show a little respect. Trans people are not asking for much.
    I do agree that the reaction to your beliefs is a little ridiculous. It is sadly very common for people to conclude that someone they disagree with is a bad person overall because of one minor thing. But just because these internet folks are a little over-judgemental and intolerant of dissent does not necessarily mean that the reasons they disagree with you are invalid.
    I encourage you to really think about your opinion on this. We all have to deal with this constant flow of new information and culture into our minds, and it can sometimes seem strange and overwhelming, but there’s no shame in letting it change your mind. Ultimately this is your choice though and I will continue to admire your work and your passion regardless of what you choose.

  23. What on earth do you think my opinion is? Have you read anything I’ve written on the subject?
    You could listen to the podcast I co-host with Corinna Cohn, a transwoman:
    I’m just wondering where you’re getting your ideas about me, because they’re so far off base.

  24. Sun Tsu said, if you know the enemy and yourself, you don’t have to worry about the outcome of 1,000 battles.

    If you want to REALLY know the enemy, you should probably listen to the best arguments of the biggest trans supporters. Don’t go after the weakest, easily defeated arguments, that’s Easy Mode, and there is no honour in that battle. Go straight for the boss fight.

    Just two videos:

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