I wrote an open letter response to Talia / people like Talia.
Life With Interest

Despite disagreeing with you on a lot of what you’re saying, I do appreciate the even tone of your response. It is true that even the worst offenders and the most militant castigators of the author in question do act from a desire for positive change.

That desire is clouded, however, by the intrusive nature of many of the points advanced in arguments like yours. It’s one thing to bring a respectful tone to the argument,but it’s a whole different thing to attempt a respectful understanding of the person speaking. You and others ask the author to consider that maybe the basic commitments in her life make her unsuitable for participation in a place, a profession, and a lifestyle which seem to her to her to be separable from the Spartan expectations in the environment as it is currently practiced. Why is it, she asks, that the people at the top live so lavishly? Why is it that I need to be on such good behavior to ask for even a sliver of what they take? How can it be that what they’re doing is that much more important than my life?

Those are big questions, and it’s reasonable that we all have strong feelings about how they should be answered, or even approached. The question here should not be whether the author could have or should have done anything differently if she wanted to complain. The question should be: why is it like this, and does it really have to be like this?

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