Columnist Jef Rouner recently “broke the internet” with a controversial piece titled “No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong.” In it, Rouner explores and ultimately tears down the notion that opinions are inherently valid–and valuable. The piece spread far and wide across the web with both positive and negative feedback, but a significant portion of disapproval came from conservative audiences who rejected his ideas on systemic racism and climate change.
More interesting than the original article was Rouner’s follow up piece, “It’s Weird How People Correct Me When They Think I’m A Woman,” which he published a week later. There, Rouner points out that many readers of the original piece incorrectly assumed he was a woman. Rouner notes that these readers employed a condescending, gendered tone in their responses. As importantly, Rouner highlights that this tone was not present from readers who correctly identified him as a male, and criticized his work: