George Packer and the Atlantic’s sad defense of inequity

Content warning: This post is about harmful language and it contains words that are used to dehumanize people. Please take caution.

In April 2023, the Atlantic published a 2,500-word opinion piece complaining about language equity style guides. The attack on these guides is misleading, wrong, and harmful. It continually misrepresents the style guides. It shows a misunderstanding of the content and the point of them. It refuses to accept others and expresses contempt for anything that doesn’t fit the author’s narrow and outdated idea of language. And it gives fuel to the fascists in their culture war.

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Santorum Samples Vol. 4

Santorum Samples are passages from Rick Santorum’s It Takes a Family. They are deliberately taken out of context in an attempt to show that Mr. Santorum is a rational human being. Because we all know that when viewed in context, Rick Santorum is a jackass. Find more samples here or just click on the tab above.

From p. 37:

“Irving Kristol once wrote that the most subversive question that can be posed to civilization is: why not? Thanks to the decision of four activist judges in Massachusetts, that is a question we now must face as Americans. In order to answer the question of “Why not?” with respect to same-sex marriage, we have to come to a fuller understanding of what marriage is. Is it simply about publicly honoring a romantic attachment? That’s what the highest court in Ontario, Canada, believes. Just in time for the June wedding season of 2003 that court wrote, as it ruled in favor of same-sex marriages:

Marriage is, without dispute, one of the most significant forms of personal relationship…. Through the institution of marriage, individuals can publicly express their love and commitment to each other. Through this institution, society publicly recognized expressions of love and commitment between individuals, granting them respect and legitimacy as a couple.*

Marriage in this view means nothing more to society, to what we are as a people, and to our future, than making people feel accepted. The state’s interest in promoting and stamping approval upon a marriage starts and stops with tolerance, and therefore it is meaningless.”

Lessons learned:

1. Here’s the game show that is playing in Rick Santorum’s head:

Welcome to Who Defines Marriage?!, the game show where one lucky winner gets to define marriage for the rest of the country! Let’s meet our contestants. Hailing from lovely Everywhere, USA, is Society! Society is reasonably conflicted over this, but no matter – the part of it that opposes same-sex marriage will be dead soon! Next up, we have the Courts! With a flair for the dramatic and a style that is both comfortable and classy, the Courts usually consider their best trait to be the ability to grant equality to all. And last but not least, we have Rick Santorum! Rick believes he deserves to define marriage because, hey, what he thinks is good for (his) God is damn well good for everyone else – whether they like it or not! … And the winner is Rick Santorum!

2. Tolerance makes things meaningless. Sooooo…. Fuck you to all the non-white, non-straight, non-Christian non-male people out there. Society’s tolerance of you is ruining Rick Santorum’s meaning.

3. Blame Canada!



*Also, us here at …And Read All Over would like to send a warm Fuck yeah! to the highest court in Ontario.