In response to my blog post "The double standards of critic-shaming", someone commented, "What about the double standard created by shaming critic-shamers? Or should we just not go there?" Oh, he got me good. Let's not go there, right? Oh, fuck it. Let's go there. Is it possible to shame the shamers?
I'm hoping he was being sarcastic, but I can't find any sarcasm. It seems he thinks that I am shaming the shamers, which is wrong, apparently. Although, by this logic, he's now shaming me by implying I can't shame the shamers. And now I'm shaming him. And so it continues. It's not a very good argument on his side, and I can show this with a very short story, which goes like this:
Bob and Sven are at a party. Oh, how fun it is. Then they see Wendy and Brad making out. "She's totally gonna sleep with him. What a slut," Bob said. Sven replied, "It's a double standard that you shame her, not him. They are human; it's their right to do what they want with their own bodies." Bob looked hurt, and said, "What about the double standard that you shame me for slut-shaming her? What about THAT?!"
Shaming people who arbitrarily shame others is, in a sense, a double standard, with the difference that it's not arbitrary. So there's no real double standard in shaming the shamers. Critic-shaming is a way of silencing critics, thus avoiding any discussion at all; it isn't based on an argument and is thus arbitrary and irrelevant. If you only have to shout "Islamophobe" to "win" an argument, then it's not really a discussion; it's just biased slander.
There's no double standard in my arguing against critic-shaming, for two reasons. One, I'm not just tossing the term "critic-shaming" in someone's face and leaving it at that; I make an actual argument. Two, I'm not saying one cannot disagree with my views; I'm just saying open and honest discussion is important. Critic-shaming is not a good argument and doesn't belong in a rational discussion, like ad hominem and straw man arguments don't belong there. In fact, critic-shaming is a blend of ad hominem and straw man.
If you want to call Sam Harris, Bill Maher, and Richard Dawkins bigots so that you don't have to face their arguments, then go ahead. If you support censorship of expression that is offensive to religions, or in other words blasphemous, then make your case. But you contribute to the problem, not the solution. In this regard, you are conservative, not liberal. But blasphemy laws aren't that bad, right?
If you are so tolerant that you tolerate intolerant ideologies just for the sake of tolerance, then you are as big a problem as any conservative. Even if someone is a racist or sexist, arguing rationally is much better than doing a Ben Affleck.