It’s fairly uncommon that I hear from people who irritate me that I blog about. I received an email from Allie Conti at Vice, in response to this earlier post.
Her response is as follows:
I just wanted to alert you to the fact that I am a lesbian, which is one of the many reasons I do not wish to have sex with Martin Shkreli.
I thought that would be obvious to anyone who has ever seen a photo or video of me, but I guess you learn something new every day.
Thanks for reading,
It’s true that I previously implied she had a desire to have sex with Martin Shkreli. I was commenting on this interview, and some of her articles I looked up after the first one annoyed me:
Being in awe of his wine and his not-in-a-position-to-judge chess abilities is a gesture of sexual submission. He feeds her alcohol and puts her in a cognitively demanding situation on his home territory where he’s comfortable. He’s adding cognitive load while making novel, interesting arguments. Overloading the interviewer with novelty. Psychological manipulation is sexy!
Arrogance is the trap of being smart. She really lights up and shows interest when he talks about the Wu-Tang Clan instead of poor sick people nobody cares about. Really, he’s just being fascinated with the power of wealth out loud, and she wants to be a part of that. It’s marvelous to feel free. He could do anything! He could break it just to prove he can! He could give it away like a great philanthropist! The narcissistic flight of fantasy is endless!
It’s absolutely true that having power is fascinating. The natural impulse is to experiment, feel out the limits. It’s actually not very interesting at all that the direct experience of power and freedom is exhilarating to Martin Shkreli. Of course it is! Instead of questioning it, she sexualizes it.
I can make the same point that she made. Is it not highly obvious from this blog that I’m autistic? The preceding was prefaced with “I’m specifically impaired at judging sexual interest” and then I cited YouTube trolls as the authority on judging normal people’s body language customs.
It’s actually easier to tell that I’m autistic than it is to tell that she’s a lesbian. I’d be genuinely interested to know what cues I missed in the articles I read.
The point of what I wrote wasn’t whether she literally had a desire for sexual intercourse with Martin Shkreli. I’m not that autistic. The point was to pick apart the biases in her writing, which are gross. Their effect on public discourse advances the agenda of my enemies and puts obstacles in front of my own.
I thought the following things were notable:
- She reports negatively on an incident in which Nazis were punched.
- She highlights the one time Donald Trump was innocent of an accusation of racism.
- She falsely implies that the Portland train stabber was influenced by leftism.
- She glorifies BDSM, which I’m opposed to.
- Stigmatizing the homeless.
I interpreted her rhetoric in articles about those topics. Substantive criticisms were made.
My larger point stands that the interview with Shkreli couldn’t be described as adversarial. It’s not even controversial that Shkreli is a weasel-y manipulator. My point stands that Shkreli was getting away with his bullshit by appealing to a cultural fascination with power and cruelty. Evidence of that fascination: her own writings on BDSM.
I wrote, “Being in awe of his wine and his not-in-a-position-to-judge chess abilities is a gesture of sexual submission.” Would the conversation have gone any differently if she had been straight and flirting with him? I’m socially retarded for serious, and I believe I’m capable of recognizing a dude showing off and having it work.
I made a heteronormative assumption. It’s true. It wasn’t exactly a blind assumption. Her behavior is consistent with the behavior of a stereotypical Republican lady.
Her response illustrates an earlier point I made about normal people’s bad faith: normal people pretend their theory-of-mind is broken when convenient.
I give her credit for being an intelligent person who can read between the lines of things. It’s not plausible that she read my post and believed it was about her literal sexuality. She knows damned well that I’m making deeper and more pointed criticisms of her moral character itself. If I don’t pick up on the lesbianism that’s so apparent in that interview, she can dismiss me as a dumbass and avoid engaging with the actual criticism.
The substance of what I said is true. Allie Conti is soft on Nazis, and that’s bad. She’s one of many people whose writings I’ve used to comment on racism in the media.
The title of the post was, “The personal is still the political: wanting to fuck Martin Shkreli is not OK.” The last paragraph was:
The alt-right is sexy because women think “dominance” is sexy. Bullying me actually helps a certain type of dude have sex with women like Allie Conti. She’s fascinated at the sheer audacity. For the racist bullies to sue their victims is, like…perverse and also costs money. More money than she makes at Vice oh gawd.
This is in keeping with points made about women’s role in upholding patriarchy elsewhere on the blog. The ultimate target of the post is the act of making “dominance” sexy, which she’s done. She’s revealing a certain lack of egalitarianism.
But what do I know? I’m an autistic nobody who couldn’t tell she’s a lesbian from a sample of her writings and footage of her fawning over Martin Shkreli and talking about synthetic cannabinoids.