Thursday, November 5, 2009

Who is Godwin? Good Question....

Transgender blogger, Suzan Cooke asks "Who is Godwin?" in another of her rants entitled Nasty Girl on "Women Born Transsexual." Since Cooke, like most transgender bloggers, is very big on censorship, I will answer her here. (BTW, Cooke is always welcome to comment here, but she should, of course, keep in mind that here the playing field is level.)

I would imagine, given her comparisons of those who voted against gay marriage in Maine to Nazis that she is referring to Godwin's Law, which was originally formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It states
As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.
The term Godwin's law can also refer to the tradition that whoever makes such a comparison is said to "lose" the debate.

And it is exactly the sort of over the top rhetoric of those like Cooke that led Godwin to formulate the law to begin with. He is not, as Cooke rather defensively suggests, a Nazi sympathizer. Quite the opposite. The purpose of the law is to try, far too often unsuccessfully, to get those who trivialize the Holocaust by comparing anyone they disagree with to Nazis, to reconsider. While I am unhappy that gay marriage lost in Maine, I would not compare it to the murder of six-million Jews, as well as a number of other people by the Nazis.

But then again, I don't share Cooke's often extreme views on a number of points.

5 comments:

anoldfriend said...

The problem with Godwin's law is most people who use it use it to silence someone when drawing real parallels between events in the present day and the time when the NAZIs were in power.

Just Jennifer said...

Well, that is a misuse of Godwin's Law. It is not about real examples of genocide or other atrocities, but when people throw it out over much lesser things. For example, Cooke's use of it is especially silly.

anoldfriend said...

That is the sad part is Godwin's law is misused far more than properly applied.

Just Jennifer said...

I'm not so sure. But yes, it is misused at time, but is it also broken a lot. It becomes an easy way to try to bash people. Kooks like Cooke are quick to call anyone they disagree with a Nazi. But in almost every case, the person they are accusing come nowhere near being comparable to the actual Nazis.

anoldfriend said...

Chalk it up to Cooke's Homo-socialist leanings.