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The Age of Snark

I was reading an article on the CBC website about a new vegan soft-serve ice cream based on a less well-known bean and, as you might predictably guess, the comment section is filled with people who will never eat this product snarking about it.

I eat vegan ice cream alternatives because I am lactose intolerant and those options satisfy my ice cream craving without exposing me to lactose. Some people have other forms of food intolerances, are on special diets for medical reasons, and more. In other words, a lot of us are grateful for having access to pretty tasty alternatives.

A lot of ignorance around the topic of meat and dairy alternatives becomes fairly analogous to my experience as a trans person and the ignorance that resides on trans related topics. Not surprisingly, I see ignorance in these areas coming from the same people quite often. Why? 

There seems to be a very vocal segment of society that wallows in their ignorance and revels in sharing it online. They seem to be immune to any form of actual evidence or reason, they're just interested in being ignorant, rude, and possibly cruel. No science, no evidence, is ever going to persuade these people because of one simple fact: they see education and knowledge as leftist and weak.

These same people, banging their ignorance out to all who can see are able to do so because of the deeply educated and curious who created the technology we have today, but these people sneer at those who created it. They don't value it because they don't have the wit to grasp its complexity. It's easier to denigrate what you don't understand than it is to accept that it's okay not to understand.

We see this with trans issues and trans care. The wealthy are happy to point this ignorance at trans people because it is distracting the public from the fact that our world is burning and they don't want to do anything about it. It's been working because the deeply incurious, ones with no interest in learning the truth, are more interested in having a source to vent their hate at. They swallow the lies and propagate them.

The most recent snark I saw was a brief clip of a cis man trotting out the very tired, "if genitals don't have anything to do with your gender, then why are trans people getting bottom surgery?" (he said it with more malice, I paraphrased) So, first of all, a lot of trans people do not get surgery for a variety of reasons, there is not a universal path here. Second, the plastic/cosmetic surgery industry doesn't exist to serve the body dysmorphia needs of trans people, it's clearly there for the enormous money to be made from cis people that are deeply unhappy with what nature gave them. There is nothing unique about the trans desire to feel better in their own body, a huge number of cis people feel exactly the same.

This is the thing, if these bigoted and uncurious people actually took the time to understand us, then they would understand a lot more about what gender affirming care actually is. They don't want to know that, trying to explain it to them is like talking to a rock, because the pillars of their ignorance are not interested in learning. Learning shakes you from complacency, it makes you uncomfortable, but you grow. So, they would rather write cruel snark and wallow in the muck of their own ignorance. It makes them feel important and comfortable.

So, we are in The Age of Snark and it's going to be a while before we come out of it, it would seem.

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