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One strike is enough

I have a firm rule about where I put my money when it comes to online services: I have no tolerance for bigotry. I simply won't fund it.

There have been a number of providers that I had maintained subscriptions for years with that ultimately lost my business because of a single instance of bigotry. This is a hard line for me, no exceptions, I will not permit my money to fund it in any way. I realize that I am a drop in a bucket for many of these services, but where else do I start? At least I can choose not to compromise my own values.

One of the more prominent ones that I dropped was the Globe and Mail. This one was caused by a few things, all in one article, but the essence of it was an article about the Greta Thunberg sexual assault sticker that had made its way into the hands of misogynists. They had comments turned on, for some reason, and you can imagine what that devolved into. So, the Globe claims that they moderate comments and that they have a reporting mechanism for those that make it through. Sadly, as one might expect, there were several comments that revelled in the notion of sexually abusing her and I so filed complaints.

Consider this: the comments made their way through supposed moderation in the first place, which tells you something about Globe and Mail values right there. The second is that they did not remove the comments after my complaint. I cancelled my subscription and I made it clear in doing so that that they had lost me as a subscriber because they didn't see anything wrong with rape jokes.

Another dropped subscription is Spotify. That one is simple: Joe Rogan. The essence of that decision can be summed up by my tweet:

I dropped them as soon as they signed that contract. They ignored the voices of their own people, who objected, because they just wanted to chase the dollars regardless of the damage being done. Sorry, my portion of the money may have been miniscule, but it is my money to choose not to give and I'm not giving it to him.

My most recent one is the NY Times. This one is for transphobia and it's a subtle one. In this case, they showcase a trans runner who talks about how they got better after HRT, how they're now reluctant to race against other women where they might win, and so forth. Of course there's some trauma porn as well, necessary for the cis interest element, about what led to her transition, etc. Media outlets love revisiting our pain.

What's the goal of this? Well, in the midst of raging transphobia around trans women participating in sport, it's pretty clear that it's to reinforce the notion that trans women have an advantage. Never mind that neither the science, nor the actual evidence clearly in front of us, supports that notion, it's yet another place where transphobes can point and say, "see, we told you, even this trans person agrees with us." It legitimizes the bigots and I can't, and won't, pay for this. They used and abused a trans woman for their agenda and that is unforgiveable to me.

It's a truism of the trans condition that we're now in a place where we search sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Wikipedia for evidence of transphobia before we like, read, or buy content. I wish it was otherwise. Regardless, as a consumer, my only real option is to feedback with where I spend my money and one strike is enough. 


 

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