It tells you pretty much all you need to know about the biases of the New York Times that its workplace ethics column, “Work Friend,” is authored by race-obsessed, radical, and combative gay feminist Roxane Gay. No biases there! She has also been described here as a prolific writer of prose and fiction and a visiting professor at Yale, and that’s all accurate too. However, her biases increasingly poison her advice as thoroughly as they poison her opinion columns.
Her last two of those for the Times were a laborious spin job to make Will Smith’s attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars somehow virtuous (“a rare moment when a Black woman was publicly defended”) and a standard issue rant against the likely Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe.
Ugh. I have to pause a bit here because I have concluded that Gay is too often intellectually and rhetorically dishonest because of her ideological mission, and people like that shouldn’t have regular platforms (or advice columns) in the New York Times. Here is a representative line from that second essay: “[W]e should not live in a world where someone who is raped is forced to carry a pregnancy to term because a minority of Americans believe the unborn are more important than the people who give birth to them.”
ONE: The Roe reversal, if it occurs, has nothing, zip, nada, to do what a “minority of people believe.” The decision will be based on the Constitution and the law. The draft suggests no opinion on “the importance” of the unborn on the part of the Justices either.
TWO: Nobody knows what the public’s informed opinion about the unborn is, because most of the public doesn’t have an informed opinion, just a snap emotional judgment based on ignorance, bad information and outbursts like Gay’s. Thus the belief that Gay blames a the unannounced Supreme Court opinion on isn’t a legitimate belief at all, even if a poll could discern it accurately (and polls can’t) and her characterization of it was fair, which it isn’t.
THREE: Are the mothers of the children of rape killed because the fetus isn’t? No? Then Gay’s statement is a lie. Those who believe that unborn children should not be legally killed do not believe that the unborn are more important than the “people who give birth to them.” They take the position that they are human lives and therefore are equally important.
FOUR: We live in the world that exists. “We shouldn’t live in a world where…” is inexcusable laziness: Gay is protesting that rape exists, that the act creates a human life, U.S. laws must deal with human lives according to the Constitution, and society has to find ethical ways to balance the interests involved. Thus does Gay default to what has become progressive magical thinking: because reality is inconvenient to an ideological agenda, POOF! It doesn’t exist, or “shouldn’t.” Facts Don’t Matter.
FIVE: “People who give birth.” True to her creed, Gay won’t acknowledge that women give birth, because trans fanatics will get mad at her. Being loyal to her fellow travelers is more important than communicating clearly, which is what a Time columnist is obligated to do.
That’s a lot of dishonesty and deliberate misrepresentation in one sentence, don’t you think? But that’s Roxane Gay.
I felt I had to get Gay out of the way and my craw before discussing the topic that arose in “Work Friend” without further distractions. I’ll look at the ethics of the pronoun issue in Part 2. First I have to calm down and drink three cups of coffee.
[One more note: I am going to tag this with both “Roxane Gay,” which is the correct spelling of her name, and “Roxanne Gay,” which is how I have repeatedly tagged her in the past. This is for my benefit as well as that of readers, so they can use the tags to track down EA pieces involving her. People who maintain deliberately eccentric spellings of common names cause unnecessary stress and inconvenience to people like me, and some day I may get around to writing about the ethics of it.