Wherein I misread a quote

David misreads quote, goes off on rant, has this pointed out to him. Storify created to produce a single link I could attach to existing tweets where I said stupid things to mark the fact that I've changed my mind.


  1. The original quote by C.S. Lewis. It showed up on my stream retweeted by Cabbidges, who is a lovely person.
  2. It also got retweeted a bunch of time by people going "and this is why feminism/social justice is wrong". I proceeded to skim the quote, misunderstand it, and get pissed off at the people using it to bash any notion of social progress.
  3. Specifically, I skipped over the clause "for the good of its victim", which makes the whole quote about paternalistic rules-making "for your own good", rather than about moral rules in general, such as "don't be awful to *other people*.
  4. Which is why using it to bash feminism doesn't work. Telling people not to be eg misogynist isn't for their own good, it's for the good of others who are made to suffer by that misogyny. That the quote got used to support anti-feminist sentiment goes to show how self-centered the people who used it that way are. Casting themselves as "victims of tyranny" for being told to stop hurting others.
  5. Anyway, with this (popular) misreading in my head, I proceeded to do the thing you shouldn't do on Twitter, which is to rant opinions and call people out:
  6. At this point I was starting to realize that I'd misread the quote, and but failed to straight out admit it.
  7. And yes, indeed, as Cabbidges pointed out to me, "for your own good" is a well-used cover for all kinds of awful stuff.
  8. I eventually realize I was just plain wrong. Oops.