The vast, vast majority of the time people say “all men” or “all White prople” or “all cis people” or “all straight people” (etc) they’re not necessarily making a descriptive statement, because literally all of those groups are defined by their relationship to power, which enables members to be seen as complete, individual, human actors.

As a result of that, the second an inch is given (“some men”) tons of members of those groups will completely rationalize whatever complicity they have. Tons of people confused about the issue will chalk it up to a wash. The table is tilted, in spite of collective benefits accrued, to an understanding of innocence, validity, and reasonableness.

The purpose of saying “all” isn’t necessarily to act like every straight person benefits from Straightness as an institution in the same way. A bold declaration of “all” is how to push back on a tendency to imagine no straight does.

If you hear someone say that about a group you’re a member of, ask yourself how their statement could apply to you. That’s literally the point - to interrupt a discussion designed to avoid that interrogation, and ask the people with the most time, wealth, and other resources to contemplate and critique themselves than expect the people with less to fix others’ misperceptions.

Despite the protests otherwise, that’s why “all” statements freak out members of those groups so much (and I’m saying that as a member of some of the groups I’ve mentioned) - not because they’re inaccurate, but because unless they are immediately pushed back on and shutdown, they actually address the issue.


“Here We Are” single Music Video by Super Junior D&E, teaser. The Music Video will be released on the 29th November 2017.

Le Clip du single “Here We Are” de Super Junior D&E, teaser. Le Clip sortira le 29 Novembre 2017.

if youre the person that put this post on my dash then im sorry but i saw something like “fallacies are bad in debate class that doesn’t mean they aren’t useful in real life sometimes an ad hominem argument is a completely valid tactic”

nope logical fallacies are always bad if you’re trying to defend a point and if you think they’re a valid stance then i can only assume (can really really hope) that you’re misunderstanding the meaning of it!

like saying you shouldn’t use ad hominem attacks doesn’t mean the other person’s life can’t inform how you approach their point. like if someone says “I believe in family values” on the surface, like REALLY REALLY on the surface, that sounds like a good thing, but it’s perfectly reasonable to be like “well, i hear you’re politically conservative, so when i hear ‘family values’ i hear….” etc. etc., that’s taking something about that person and re-contextualizing the argument

ad hominem would be like (if you’ll excuse the ridiculous example)

“I think apple is the best flavor of pie” “I heard you cheated on a test once so no one should trust anything you say”


Super Junior performing “Black Suit” at Inkigayo on the 19th November 2017.

Super Junior interprétant “Black Suit” à Inkigayo le 19 Novembre 2017. 

An important piece of how well-off you are, which measuring income isn’t really going to catch, is how much shock absorption your community has built in. 

Some people don’t have an in-person community, of course, and so the shock-absorption available to them is just whatever is in their own savings account and how much credit they have access to and maybe the knowledge that in the worst case they could move across the country and sleep on a friends’ couch for a few weeks but not longer because the friends’ landlord is strict about subtenants.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, upper-class communities have tons of shock absorption - if your home burns down, you probably have a friend who has a vacation home or an in-laws suite or a guest room where you can stay, if you lose your job it was the kind of job for which you get unemployment and you know someone who can get you an interview for another one, if you have a medical crisis you have lots of friends who can bring food and help out, and they all work jobs that let them take off on short notice in the middle of the day.

I’ve been helping a friend recover from surgery this week, and I’ve been thinking about this a ton. I could work from home for three days to be with her; her girlfriend had a spare bed where she could sleep for two because she was supposed to be near the surgery center and her house was an hour away; her girlfriend’s boyfriend could come over to help when girlfriend had to go to work; when her doctor’s appointment was changed to a time when I couldn’t drive her, another friend could take three hours off to do it. That’s a community with shock absorption.

It’s a class thing, but it’s not just a class thing. Doing this sort of thing is one of the things religions do. When I describe what I value about my community, my religious friends tend to go “oh, so, like what my church does”. A poor community where a dozen people from church will bring meals and support after surgery or after a loss or during cancer treatment has vastly more shock absorption than a same-income community where people have no way to coordinate that (and I think the decline of religion has been particularly costly in poor communities for exactly this reason).

And lots of money can’t fully substitute for a community, because lots of disasters (like medical emergencies) are of the kind that make it hard to advocate for yourself and independently arrange all the things you’re going to need.

I don’t know how you increase shock absorption. Lowering the cost of housing does part of it; a spare bedroom is a particularly critical kind of shock absorption that protects lots of people from homelessness. More leisure time increases shock absorption, and cutting the expected work week has been at least partially successful some places. My impression is that Social Security dramatically increased shock absorption, by giving elderly people (who often end up needing community support to remain independent or survive) more financial resources; it’s much easier for poor families to take someone in if they will get regular money towards housing and expenses. UBI would do it too, of course.