If you follow, or want to follow, me on Twitter, here are some things you should know:
- What i'm seeking to do with Twitter is connect with like-minded people who accept me and where i'm coming from. i usually don't have this experience either online or offline - with the exception of my partners - and haven't for most of my life. So i hope that my tweets will resonate with people who feel that what i write, and where i'm coming from, strongly resonates with them. i thus seek to build a network of people more likely to be generally supportive of me, rather than constantly criticising / critiquing me, as is often the case. i also use Twitter as my ventspace: i often use it to vent my feelings and thoughts. When i'm venting, please consider that i'm even less likely to at that moment be in a space to be 'helped' by critique / disagreement.
- i'm a highly sexual person, and my tweets can be very sexually explicit and/or link to very sexually explicit things. No, i'm not going to change that. My Twitter account is a space to be me, and that includes expressing my sexuality. i will not, ever, mark tweets with a '#nsfw' tag1, because what is "safe for work" varies from work environment to work environment. However, i do try to use tags to describe the content of what i link to: for example, "Here's a #cunnilingus pic i just adore".
- Empathy is really important to me. If you can't or won't show empathy for me at least occasionally, or only ever do so in a qualified way, our interaction styles are not compatible. As someone with a limited amount of spoons due to chronic health issues, i simply cannot afford to give some of my energies to people who merely drain my energies in return.
- There are many issues i feel strongly about, but for my own mental health, i tend to focus on tweets about a small selection of those issues: most commonly, trans issues, fatphobia and sex work. Still, i am not here to be your personal educator about these issues - particularly not in the case of the latter two, as i have thin privilege, and am not a sex worker. But i do happen to count fat people and sex workers amongst my partners and close friends.
- i tend not to tweet about things i haven't given lots of thought to. So when i tweet about feminism, be aware that it's in the context of me having been involved with feminist politics and activism for over two decades2; when i tweet anti-statist politics, be aware that it's in the context of me having formerly spent many years as a pro-state activist pushing for extensive government management of society; when i tweet about computing, be aware it's in the context of me having been using / programming computers since the early 80s3; when i tweet about sex work and porn, be aware that it's in the context of me having been involved in debates around these issues for as long as i've been involved with feminist politics; when i tweet about matters spiritual, be aware that it's in the context of me having formerly been an actively militant atheist for over a decade and a half. Additionally, my views on various issues are often relatively complex; keep in mind that the format of Twitter doesn't allow much space for subtlety and nuance.
- Some things i'd expect you to have read and be familiar with before i even consider entering a discussion with you on certain topics:
- "Erin's Trans Glossary", and Tobi Hill-Meyer on "Use of the Term 'Cis'". If you're interested in my experiences of being transgenderqueer, or my thoughts on trans stuff more generally, you might like to read my blog entries tagged trans and gender;
- Peggy McIntosh's essay "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack", which forms the basis for concepts such as cis(gender) privilege, thin privilege, class privilege, heterosexual privilege, able-bodied privilege etc. More general introductions to the concept of 'privilege' as i (and many others) use it are presented in "what is privilege?" and "'Check my what?' On privilege and what we can do about it";
- The "This is Thin Privilege" FAQ page, and @BigLiberty's "Truth Behind Fat: References" page;
- The writings of Laura Agustín and Petra Östergren in relation to sex work. i support the decriminalisation of sex work - not legalisation, which usually refers to a different approach - on the basis that it's the model supported by so many active sex workers i know;
- Roderick Long's "Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections"; and John Hasnas' essay "The Myth of the Rule of Law", which i feel presents a very strong challenge to those who argue that the law is, or ever can be, 'objective' and 'impartial', or who argue that only via state law can 'order' be produced.
So if you're willing to keep all that in mind - follow away! :-)
2. So that, for example, yes, i am aware that there's a multitude of strands of feminist thought: anarchafeminism, black feminism, cultural feminism, ecofeminism, first-wave feminism, individualist feminism, intersectional feminism, Islamic feminism, lesbian feminism, liberal feminism, libertarian feminism, Marxist feminism, queer feminism, radical feminism, second-wave feminism, separatist feminism, sex-positive feminism, socialist feminism, third-wave feminism, and so on. And i'm sure there are many varieties of feminism i've missed.
Further, if you're the sort of person who requires formal qualifications, i have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women's Studies. This doesn't, of course, mean that my word must be taken as gospel; it merely suggests i'm not a noob when it comes to feminism.