Feminist YouTuber Laci Green Speaks Out Against ‘Social Justice’ Orthodoxy

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 6:26 pm, May 12, 2017
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Laci Green is one of the most notable voices in online feminism. Known almost exclusively as an outspoken advocate for the social justice movement, Laci’s popular YouTube videos even landed her a gig with MTV to produce a series called Braless, in which she took on subjects like pop culture and politics through the lens of intersectional feminism.

Laci Green

It’s no surprise that Laci has even been memefied for saying things like “Everything is problematic.” With over 1.4 million YouTube subscribers and her reputation as a feminist, she’s the last person anyone would expect to disavow the party line by reaching out to the other side of the culture war, but she’s done exactly that with a new video titled “TAKING THE RED PILL?”

Returning to YouTube from an almost year-long break, Laci revealed that her adherence to social justice orthodoxy and feminism is perhaps not as unshakeable as one might expect from a “social justice warrior”—much less a leading figurehead in the movement.

In the recent weeks, she was spotted hanging out with several notable conservative and anti-SJW YouTubers like Blaire White, whom she had an open conversation with on YouTube, and Chris Ray Gun—to the disbelief of feminists and everyone else who follows the culture war.

In her new video, Laci offers context for her feminism, which she describes as intersectional, sex positive, and skeptical. It’s the last part—the skepticism—that led her to questioning the orthodoxy. She says that engaging with criticism online can be difficult, especially due to hostility and the lack of open dialogue on either side of the equation.

“So I went down the rabbit hole of anti-SJW videos and found that some are pretty disrespectful,” said Laci. “But that’s not all the channels, I’ve recently found anti-SJW channels that are well-cited and reasoned.”

The videos, she said, “make some interesting points, and sometimes I’m like ‘yeah, I agree with that’ or ‘huh, I didn’t really think of that.’ And sometimes I disagree, but I still feel it’s beneficial for me to listen and consider another perspective—it helps me learn. So I decided to reach out to some and I was pleasantly surprised.”

“People have been pretty kind to me,” she added. “And, you know, I’ll be honest, I didn’t really expect that. No judgment, no vitriol, I even feel like I have a really good connection to a couple of new friends.”

Laci says that not everyone has been accepting of her willingness to engage with the opposite side, and that good friends of hers have not been taking it well.

“They express the opinion that talking to ‘antis’ or problematic people is not going to be worth the time, that it wouldn’t be fruitful, that I’m engaging with bigots and validating their perspectives, that I’m offering a platform to bullies,” she said. “While I can appreciate this perspective, I fundamentally disagree with it.”

Laci Green picked apart the concept of “harmful speech,” which she says the progressive left uses to shut down and suppress their opponents under the reasoning that doing so prevents “bigotry” from spreading. They’ve managed to do so through widespread protests that led to the disruption of speeches by conservative speakers and anyone critical of social justice, and the cancellation of book deals—like Milo Yiannopoulos’ Dangerous.

Laci Green on MTV’s Braless

Citing the protests against Milo Yiannopoulos, the suppression of free speech only makes certain arguments all the more attractive due to the backfire effect, which makes censored voices more sympathetic to a moderate audience.

“Through open dialogue, we can parse out ideas and really see what they’re made of. In response, everyone else has free speech too. They can dissent, they can protest, they can ask political questions, they can counter the questions, they can highlight fallacies and the moral failings of the argument,” she said.

Laci Green says it’s important to continue the conversation about these ideas and plans to do so with a new series of video debates—which many critics of feminism have openly expressed interest in despite their skepticism of her motives.

Social justice warriors are unhappy with Laci taking the “red pill” of opening her eyes to arguments counter to her beliefs, and have taken to lambasting her on social media. YouTube male feminist ally Steve Shives wrote: “I don’t want to make friends with anti-feminists. Far more productive to befriend someone at YouTube who could delete all their channels.”

“I just want to publicly re-affirm you’re not going to see me cuddling up with reactionaries,” echoed fellow social justice YouTuber Peter Coffin, who made Laci’s embrace of free speech about himself. “I’ve honestly been having a bad day and honestly the Laci thing has taken me off guard on top of all the other shit I’ve dealt with. I make the mistake of tying how I feel to the quality of work I put out so that puts me a live radio show away from feeling pretty bad.”

While many anti-feminists are skeptical of Laci’s seemingly newfound rehabilitation from social justice ideology, it’s easy to see how she fell into the role that made her popular in the first place. After all, the causes they fight for and the terminology they use (“social justice”) seem sound. After all, few people would willingly embrace bigotry. But once you go down that rabbit hole, it is easy to see how the ideology and its proponents stifle heretical dissent and use it to promote different kinds of bigotry—if you open your eyes to it.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.