Saturday, 31 October 2009

Activist? Moi?

At My Apologetics, a comment to me:

I see that you have a whole bag full of quotes ready to cut and paste.

Let us save each other some time by you posting the web links only.
That way those who wish to read the campaign sheet can do so at their own leasure.

Your last statement filled with random thoughts special pleadings and non-sequiturs makes me wonder whether have a point at all. I now you have an agenda. But a clear and understandable point seems to be missing.
My Reply:
OK, some of the "campaign sheets" as you call them:

Male-to-female transsexuals show sex-atypical hypothalamus activation when smelling odorous steroids by Berglund et al Cerebral Cortex 2008 18(8):1900-1908;

Male–to–female transsexuals have female neuron numbers in a limbic nucleus.
Kruiver et al J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2000) 85:2034–2041

Sexual differentiation of the human brain: relevance for gender identity, transsexualism and sexual orientation. Swaab Gynecol Endocrinol (2004) 19:301–312.

A sex difference in the human brain and its relation to transsexuality. by Zhou et al Nature (1995) 378:68–70.

A sex difference in the hypothalamic uncinate nucleus: relationship to gender identity by Garcia-Falgueras et al Brain. 2008 Dec;131(Pt 12):3132-46.

A polymorphism of the CYP17 gene related to sex steroid metabolism is associated with female-to-male but not male-to-female transsexualism by Bentz et al Fertility and Sterility , Volume 90 , Issue 1 , Pages 56 - 59

Association study of gender identity disorder and sex hormone-related genes by Ujike et al, Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2009 Oct 1;33(7):1241-4.:

Androgen Receptor Repeat Length Polymorphism Associated with Male-to-Female Transsexualism by Hare at al in Biol.Psych. Vol65, Issue 1, Pp 93-96

Are You A Boy or A Girl? Contesting the Uncontested: Intersex and Genders a PhD thesis, Stephen Kerry held by the University of Newcastle, NSW.

Biased-Interaction Theory of Psychosexual Development: “How Does One Know if One is Male or Female?” M. Diamond Sex Roles (2006) 55:589–600

Changing your sex changes your brain: influences of testosterone and estrogen on adult human brain structure by Pol et al, Europ Jnl Endocrinology, Vol 155, suppl_1, S107-S114 2006

Neuroimaging Differences in Spatial Cognition between Men and Male-to-Female Transsexuals Before and During Hormone Therapy by Scoening et al J Sex Med. 2009 Sep 14.

Clinical implications of the organizational and activational effects of hormones. M.Diamond Horm Behav. 2009 May;55(5):621-32

Disorders of sex development expose transcriptional autonomy of genetic sex and androgen-programmed hormonal sex in human blood leukocytes : Holterhus et al, BMC Genomics 2009, 10:292

Autogynephilia in Women. Moser, C. Journal of Homosexuality (in press).

Psychiatric Misadventures P.R. McHugh The American Scholar (1992)

The atypical brain development of transsexuals Swaab, NBC Handelsblad (a non-academic summary)

Re Kevin – Significant Findings Of Justice Richard Chisholm In Respect Of The Expert Medical Evidence In That Case As To The Causation Of Transsexualism And As Strongly Affirmed By The Full Court (Australian Family Court) On Appeal. Deakin Law Review 2004 v22

That will do as a start. Once you've read them - and some are fairly heavy going, which is why I only give selected highlights - I'll give you the other batches. It's only going to be a surperficial treatment of the subject, as much of the works are dead-tree only, or pay-per-view.

I've never actually encountered a Fundamentalist Post-Modernist before, who viewed scientific journal articles as nothing more than "activist campaign sheets".

I eagerly await the evidence you had for forming your own, contrary views.
...but I'm not holding my breath.


Nicole said...

There's some other really good comments in the responses to that original article Zoe.

It's funny though, the very predictable behavioural pattern of those who discover they really don't know enough about a topic to have an opinion on it, after they've written about it in the first place.

People with varying intellectual levels, it doesn't matter, the pattern is unmistakable.

I was called an anarchist this week because I didn't agree that gender was a binary, and I linked a belief in said binary to fueling the bigots' fire.

An anarchist?

And that was on a trans forum.

Keep up the great work Zoe!

Boo said...

Your response doesn't seem to have been posted. Or, judging by the pasting the author's gotten so far, perhaps they deleted it.

Boo said...

Oh, and fyi fundamentalist postmodernists are actually pretty common. Since their particular interpretation of the Bible/cause/whatever is the absolute truth, reality has to be negotiable and completely open to interpretation so they can dismiss anything inconvenient. How else to you explain creationism?

WSR Photography said...

I think people need to be reminded that someone's blog is their blog and not subject to the rules of others on what or how they write their blog. Many on-line articles (as print has long practiced) have quoted text of other sources with references. Only now you can also link to the source if it is publically available.

In short, it's yours to do what you want, and I personally like what your say (or write). Activism is relative from the observer's perspective and not necessarily the writer or speaker. Someone is just expressing what they know, think or feel.

As for Myapolgetics, I didn't see any information about the writer(s). If you want to be anonymous and can't stand the light of public identity, then what right do you have to require we listen? If you believe in what you say, stand in the light and say it.

As for GRS, the opposition misses the point. It's not gential mutilation, but corrective gential surgery, to correct a physical birth defect. And there are other surgeries performed to either remove, enhance, change or repair physical characteristics and birth defects, and I don't see the opposition make cases against those surgeries.

They're either considered to be acceptable for a variety of reasons. And as for comorbidity of psychological issues (not necessarily problems) cited in the Myapologetics post, they forget GID isn't the cause but other factors in their life which effects the GID. Blaming GID is blaming a sneeze for a cold.

Anyway, thanks for your blog.

Anonymous said...

The "Age of Faith" lives on in blog-space. He's just a dumbass papist who don't warrant the linkbacks, imo.

Eric said...

Holy shit, links, awesome. Goodbye rest of my Saturday.

And yeah, you're an activist, but that doesn't mean that your sources are bad or that you're wrong. But, I'm sure an intelligent woman like you knows this and doesn't need the validation.

Anonymous said...

Your response doesn't seem to have been posted. Or, judging by the pasting the author's gotten so far, perhaps they deleted it.
Boo, you are unfortunately correct:

Unfortunately I cannot allow Zoe’s last comment through to my site because it has been flagged as SPAM by the automated systems on WordPress.

You are free to visit his site where I am certain all the links are intact.

Yet, earlier in the thread:

The fact his original came with a SPAM warning that I chose to override is my mistake.

Oh well...


Lloyd Flack said...

Is this blog post important enough to spend much time on? Yes, Zoe has many prepared quotes and links to cut and paste. That is part of the problem. To put out lots of fires Zoe has created the equivalent of form letters. If someone realizes that they are receiving the equivalent of form letters in a discussion they will quite reasonably be offended and are not likely to pay much attention to your arguments. It looks like that has happened here.

There is no good way here. The problems are widespread demanding a mass production response at least if there are few people doing what Zoe is doing. But if the recepients of mass production responses recognize them as such then it might be better if there had been no response at all. The blog owner here sees himself as a smallindividual who has become the target of a machine and reasonably resents it.

Lloyd Flack said...

Everyone, time to back off and look at what went wrong. You got his back up so he is not willing to look at the evidence. Yes, his opinions were carelessly formed. And he is too unwilling to take another look at them.

But you have damaged your credibility with him. Figure out how it happened and try not to repeat with others.

Matt said...

Lloyd, your wisdom again is invaluable. However, you haven't commented on the broader issue, being that this is the second time in roughly a week that a) Zoe has come under significant attack and - simultaneously - b) information has been disregarded simply because Zoe posted it.

Zoe may be (well, is) presenting high quality data and conclusions consistent with that data, but has she outlived her usefulness, if you will. Or perhaps a better question is: Is Zoe's participation in such discussions now counter-productive?

Does the answer to that question change if someone else (or someones else) were to 'accept the baton'?

Zoe Brain said...

Forget it - I quoted his own blog at him, and showed where I'd considered other evidence. Unable to argue, he censored.

His blog, his rules. No point taking it further though.

I'd recommend looking at some of his posts after that one. He condemns ignoring evidence, silencing critics etc. Exactly the things he's done in his responses.

He's playing an intellectual game with us.

Boo said...

No Lloyd, what went wrong is that this person decided to take a swipe at a vulnerable minority group based on nothing other than his vague sense that trannies are icky. Then when confronted with how poorly he laid out his views, his ego wouldn't let him back down. It's got nothing to do with Zoe. Anyone else would have gotten the same response. This person specifically said they don't care about the science, or success rates, or anything. His entire argument was basically "Hey, I'll say it's like lobotomies! Just cause!" It's impossible to have a rational discussion with someone who literally doesn't believe in facts.

Anonymous said...

That's because people don't give Zoe the hard answers, like How can Zoe claim to have fathered a child and still claim to be intersex. Even where is proof that Zoe claims to have 5ARD or 17BHDD. What about those statements that Zoe made online claiming to be naturally intersex when she started taking Hormones such as Androcor.

Zoe Brain said...

Yes Nicky, we know.

Please consider:
1. Right View
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

"Buddha explained right speech as follows: 1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully, 2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others, 3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and 4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth. Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when necessary."

I wish you the best, and hope that you heal.

Lloyd Flack said...

You have been answered before. Her condition does not have a name. She only said that it was a male to female equivalent to those conditions. You are misrepresenting what she said. And you have been corrected on this before.

You have also been told that intersex can lead to reduced but not non existent fertility.

And there are eye witnesses. Unlike you we don't have to rely on the internet. We know what we saw.

Anonymous said...

St. Peter
Lloyd, Your so blinded by Zoe's lies. It's no wonder why you've been so conned by Zoe that your defending a pathological liar when the evidence is so compelling. That's why You blindly will believe whatever Zoe tells you.

That's why you won't bother to ask, why would Zoe pay for a UK medic to fly to Australia just so he or she can sign some paper for Zoe. Why would Zoe be a man in the UK and a woman in Australia. How come Zoe hides the fact that Zoe was a man who was married to a woman who he divorced so he can have a SRS. Why would Zoe Brain AKA Alan Brain take a drug knowing that it would suppress his Testosterone levels and place him on the sex offender registry. The fact, is Zoe got caught in a LIE and your feeding into Zoe's Lies.

As for Zoe, Your caught in your own lies. The fact that your feeding your own lies and constantly spreading your own lies, puts your credibility in doubt. You have No intersex condition. You are a transsexual in serious deep denial that you had to fake your way as an intersex as a way of escaping the fact that you Zoe Brain are a transsexual.

Even far worse is the fact that your going around the web cutting and pasting facts that don't back your claim other than projecting oneself on others.

Zoe Brain, I suggest you seek some REAL psychological help because your delusions are feeding the lies you tell people online and you know full well that people are wising up to all the lies you have spun online

Zoe Brain said...

Go, Nicky. I see you're commenting on the Apologetics site. Feel free to continue in your usual inimitable manner. The more, the better.

This guy was playing games. While normally I would be sorry for anyone that attracted your eccentric attention, in this case, it's richly deserved. Karma.

On that note, please remind yourself of the eightfold path. Read what Lloyd and others have actually said, not what you think they've said. Try to gain some insight into your own situation, as I try to gain insight into mine.

Boo said...

Zoe, come clean. You are clearly lying about having an unusual medical condition, because unusual means something no one can have. If you are intersex why would you take medication? You are in deep denial of the things you have discussed openly. You need to stop dispensing facts. Facts are just confusing to people. Only pathological liars such as yourself associate with facts and research.

Lloyd, you obviously have been ensnared in Zoe's web of lies by means of a three-dimensional holographic projector which made you see things that were in fact just Zoe's projected pathological lying denial of her SRS which she freely admits having and is in denial of.

Zoe, you need to stop denying what you openly acknowledge and start denying facts.

Matt said...

That's why you won't bother to ask, why would Zoe pay for a UK medic to fly to Australia just so he or she can sign some paper for Zoe.
This has not occurred, nor does it need to. There is an Australian medic who is authorised by the UK authorities to sign the relevant paperwork.

Why would Zoe be a man in the UK and a woman in Australia.
This is the result of an unfortunate discrepancy in Australian laws and UK laws. Ironically, were Zoe transsexual and transsexual only, it would have been easy for Zoe to change all her documents, in both coutries. However, because Zoe's intersex condition created doubt as to what her 'official' gender was best recorded as, prior to her transitioning, some of the rules that allow transsexuals to change their recorded gender do not apply to Zoe. Thus, creating a situation where Zoe's official gender depends on exactly which government department you are speaking to.

How come Zoe hides the fact that Zoe was a man who was married to a woman who he divorced so he can have a SRS.
Zoe has never hidden her history that she lived prt of her life as male. She is still married to her partner, whom she refused to divorce, despite the insistence of some government departments that she should do so.

Why would Zoe Brain AKA Alan Brain take a drug knowing that it would suppress his Testosterone levels and place him on the sex offender registry.
When Zoe's own, endogenous, hormone production went wacky, and tumours and other nasty stuff was suspected, the first thing to do, to make Zoe healthy was normalise her hormone levels. To do this, exogenous (outside of the body) hormones were started. The hormone regime had two parts: Part 1 was to suppress any endogenous hormone production, such that it doesn't interfere. This is what the Androcur did. The second part of the hormone regime was to provide a normal amount of oestrogen (now that the Androcur had ensured Zoe had no sex hormones of her own).

The fact, is Zoe got caught in a LIE and your feeding into Zoe's Lies.
Simply untrue.

Zoe is, as she says, a person who has a rare intersex condition. The first part of her life was lived as mostly male (but with some significant anomalies). After many medical investigations, she now lives as female. Thus she is someone who is both intersex and transsexual.

Anonymous said...

Zoe, Come clean, Your nothing more than a pathological liar and everyone knows it. By you cutting and pasting facts on to forums and other people's blogs, you have no credibility and your basically hiding behind facts that you cut and past on to other people's sites. You are hiding the fact that you are noe intersex and you do not have 5ARD or 17 BHDD. Your noting more than a transsexual how is in deep denial and you need to stop feeding into your own lies you push online.

Your lying about being intersex and lying about having 5ARD or 17 BHDD. Face it Zoe, Everyone is starting to wise up to you lies and your cut and pasting of facts that you put to hide your transsexuality. Your not an intersex person and stop stealing intersex people's history and trying to pass them off as your own.

Lloyd, you obvisouly are in deep denial of the truth and cold hard facts. You've been duped by all of Zoe's lies and duped into believing all of Zoe's lies as facts. Zoe is basically in denial of the fact that Zoe had SRS, which she goes online to other sites and freely admits, all the while denying it on this site.

Zoe, Stop hiding and start admitting all the lies and cons you played on to people. People are wising up to all the lies you post online.

Anonymous said...

As for Matt, their is no such thing as a "rare intersex condition" You either have it or you don't. Your basically been duped and conned into believing all the lies that Zoe has been telling you.

Fact, Most 5ARD and 17BHDD people do not naturally change their sex. Which Zoe likes to claim and can't prove that Zoe has either one.

Fact. Most, if not all intersex people can't father a child. Which Zoe has fathered a child before having SRS and is in deep denial.

Fact, Zoe knew full well that taking Androcur was going to place Zoe on the Sex offender registry. Also for a fact that Zoe Cut's and paste facts to hide behind the fact that Zoe is not intersex, but a transsexual.

It's a fact that Zoe is hiding facts from you and only telling you what you really want to know. The fact is Zoe is not an intersex person and no 5ARD or 17 BHDD person will ever look like Zoe. Also no intersex person I know of has the capability to father a child. So ask Zoe how could Zoe have fathered a child while claiming to be intersex.

The fact is Zoe is a pathological liar who is hiding from the fact that Zoe is a Transsexual and can't face or bear to admit it.

Laserlight said...

Zoe was quoting the Eightfold Way, but I'm thinking Anon calls for a verse from another Book: "Thinking themselves wise, they became fools."

Anon, you should never say something is impossible if it has already happened.

Zoe Brain said...

I used to think Nicky had OCD - but he has no insight into his condition, and cannot actually perceive what is being said to him. It's not that he reads it and ignores it, he can't actually perceive it.

He's not a troll. He literally can't perceive what you're saying.

While accusations of someone being mentally ill are usually just put-downs, in this case it's true. I've been reading up on the subject, and know enough to know that he should be treated with compassion, even if I'm unqualified (in the academic sense) and unqualified (in reality) to make a diagnosis.

He has a serious mental illness, not just Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. That involves insight into the condition, which he lacks.

He deserves our compassion, and also not for us to make his situation worse.

The stereotyped repetition in his writings, the inability to perceive what others have said, the multiple online personalities, show that there's something very seriously wrong.

Delusional Schizophrenia is a devastating illness, and I hope against hope that it doesn't progress in his case. If you look at his other writings, he seems quite a nice person.

I hope I'm incorrect, that he's just a troll, not with a progressive mental illness. I don't think so though. Please be kind to him anyway.

Nicky, if you're reading this - please see a psych. I just hope that you can perceive what I'm writing now. I'll admit to any accusation that you make, as long as you see a mental health professional first, OK?

Lloyd Flack said...

what we have to do is get his attention and get him to see that something is wrong with him.

Perhaps make a single point that he has got wrong and that he has avoided adressing. Keep on making it until he reacts and we can see that he has seen it. If you make multiple points he will latch onto one and ignore the other things that clash with his way of seeing things.

If he responds again here I think I will just make the point that Matt and I are eye witnesses. He has avoided this point. I think it offers the best chance obreaking through to him.

Kindness and soothing may not be good for him and they could make things worse.

Anonymous said...

I think Zoe should admit that She's not and intersex and she's only a transsexual. Zoe is nothing but a professional liar and a Professional Con artist. I be Zoe conned Lloyd into believing that Zoe is an intersex person.

No matter where Zoe goes online their will always be people pointing out the fact that Zoe is not an intersex person. Zoe is a Transsexual in deep denial and Zoe is a cut and paste transsexual.

Anonymous said...

So ZOE, give it up. we know your a liar and a pathological liar. We know you aint intersex and we know your a Transsexual in deep denial. All that postings your doing online is leaving a trail of evidence to your con's and lying. People are wising up and starting to learn the true facts about you.

Lloyd Flack said...

There are eyewitnesses, people who saw what was going on. I'm one of them. Matt is another. Laserlight was in contact with Zoe from well before her changes started. We do not have to rely on Zoe's word. We know what we saw. And you are ignoring the fact that people saw what happened. Understand.

We are in a far better position to know whether Zoe is telling the truth or not than you are. You only have internet postings. We saw it. Get it!

Anonymous said...

Lloyd, being their is one thing, but having a paper trail and an internet trail is another. I suggest you look at the internet train because Zoe leaves behind a huge internet trail to follow.

The fact is Lloyd, Zoe is a Transsexual and Zoe will not admit it

Nicole said...

She's not intersex and she's only a transsexual

My God I hate the way those who purport to be intersex consider they are "above" transsexuals.

Who can blame mainstream society for sitting back, laughing to themselves to see two very marginalised minorities behaving like this?

Lloyd Flack said...

If I was there and saw something and internet articles or your interpretation of internet articles says otherwise then either the internet articles are wrong or you have misunderstood them. If my eyes and the internet disagree then the internet is wrong. Understand! Persomnally seeing something trumps the internet.

I saw what happened. Zoe is physically as well as neurologically intersexed.

Leah said...

Zoë I suggest you disable anonymous comments if yuou can.

To Anonymous: I've known Zoë for more than 3 years and she is exactly who she says she is. You, on the other hand, are a trouble making elitist of some kind. Please leave.

Zoë: Better yet can you ban their IP address? You've put up with this foolishness enough.

MgS said...

I suspect that "anonymous" may well be this person - the writing style's similar, and he left a turd of a comment over at my apologetics.

On a related note - I pursued things a bit further with the author at My Apologetics, but it's becoming quite clear that they aren't interested in actually spending the time to evaluate the science out there.

It's sad really - for someone who bemoans how others don't seem to pay attention to the evidence, or think rationally enough, they are obviously unwilling to do their own homework in this regard.

Anonymous said...

It will never matter because no matter where Zoe post online on other people's forums, blogs or news articles online. I will be their to make sure people will know that Zoe is not an intersex person and Zoe is a Transsexual in deep denial.

Zoe leaves such a internet trail that the evidence is very compelling. That's why people are wising up that Zoe is not an intersex and Zoe is a Transsexual and traitor and a sellout.

Anonymous said...

That's because if you look at the evidence online. Zoe is in very much deep denial of being a Transsexual. Zoe leaves so much evidence of Zoe's Denial of transsexuality. Even Zoe's Claim of being intersex is highly suspect and in doubt. I would Google Zoe's name and see what kinds of evidence Zoe leaves behind online. Even Zoe's intersex claims are called suspicious as well.

Lloyd Flack said...


You refuse to see things don't you. You are talking to people who know Zoe personally. They know that she is telling the truth. No online evidence, even if you weren't distorting it, would count for anything against what they have seen. You are trying to put online evidence against eye witness evidence. Online evidence looses ever time. So you are wasting your time.

An example of a falsehood that you are telling, you say Zoe was married in the UK and has divorced. This claim of yours is completely false. She was married in Australia, not the UK. I know this because I was at her wedding. She is still married. there has been no divorce. The fact thatnthere was no divorce was part of what led to her passport problems. I did my little bit towards helping her with that.

You are completely unbelievable. Everyone can see how you avoid letting yourself see anything that clashes withhat you believe. Things that proove you wrong, you don't let yourself understand. Now get this. There are witnesses to Zoes transition. You cannot possibly be right and anything on the internet that you say supports your belifs is ether misunderstood or wrong.

MgS said...

@Anonymous 1:02AM:

Frankly, since you have no access to Zoe's medical files, you are in no position to pass judgment.

Your accusations against her are personal, and spurious in the context of the evidence that she puts forward as relevant - especially WRT transsexualism and the probability of it overlapping substantially with a variety of Intersex conditions.

Nicole said...


Way back at the top of these comments you made some comments about the way that this ignorant blogger was handled that I didn't agree with at the time and MgS has just confirmed in another kind of way.

I'm sure you and others are aware that there are a group of people completely opposed to us that we are never, ever going to educate because they don't want to be educated. I'm not sure that they are the ones that Zoe is really writing for? I know whenever I go into battle online in this way that I always attack what the bigot is writing to get my views across in order to educate the "middle ground", the group who are undecided or ignorant but reading with an open mind.

It is important to pick every part of untruth that they are sprouting apart and to show them up as ignorant bigots (if they are), and to continually bombard them with facts, stick to facts and never get emotional. Give them enough rope ...

And as MgS has pointed out, pursuing this blogger further didn't get them anywhere, and neither will going behind the scenes into private messages or emails, the "middle ground" doesn't see them.

If we stick to facts we can't go wrong, they will look like fools and the middle ground will see that and make informed decisions both about the subject matter about and the motives of bigoted people.

And the more of us that come down hard on them, the more they are likely to realise that having an opinion on something they really know nothing about can get them into an embarrassing mess, because they can't support their opinions with facts.

MgS said...


It's not so much pursuing the one individual as hoping that just maybe someone else reads the counterpoint facts and comes away with a more informed opinion.

Lloyd Flack said...

You did a very good job of getting him to expose his unwillingness to look at available information. You were effective precisely because you engaged his arguments directly rather than directly trying to make him look bad. You let him do that himself. Your trying to do so would have merely made you look like a bully and given him undeserved credibility. He ended up exposing himself as a poser and a wanker, just like the sort of postmodernist that he scorns.

You exposed the activism red herring nicely. He seems to assume that peoples politics necessarily governs their opinions on matters of fact rather than the other way around. Now obviously sometimes it is true but often enough people do diligently try to find out what is going on and have the integrity to allow that to influence their politics.

I don't think that anyone could have successfully got him to look at the facts. But that doesn't mean that no mistakes were made or that his initial suspicion was completely unreasonable. What was unreasonable was his not being willing to re-evaluate his initial suspicion. Part of this was because Zoe got his back up but I do not think he would have done so no matter what Zoe did. He pigeon-holed her and dismissed everything she said.

But consider the possibility that this incident shows things that could have gone wrong even when dealing with someone more reasonable.

Look at it from his viewpoint. A blogger with a fairly small number of visitors gets a comment out of the blue from someone who has left comments at many sites and who blogs extensively about the topic of your post. This comment looks like a cut and paste of similar comments that have been left elsewhere at many places that disagree with the commenter's viewpoint. Wouldn't you be suspicious in his place? He saw it as someone looking looking for contrary opinions and attacking them wherever found. He is wrong but the initial suspicion was not unreasonable.

One of the problems is that while Zoe's motives are plain to those who know her they can easily be mistaken for something else by someone who doesn't. Zoe has a very strong sense of responsibility and believes that she has an obligation to help and educate. This is very much a personal thing and has nothing to do with politics. She has been this way for as long as I have known her and by her account before that. But a political zealot pushing a cause would behave in a way that looks similar. And the sheer number and variety of places where Zoe posts make it look like a political obsession. What is more common people obsessed with a political cause, or people who are desperately, passionately trying to help other people? Or at least what is more prominent? And the cut and paste comments don't help if someone notices this. People are more willing to listen to someone personally engaging them. There can be a cost to one person commenting at a lot of places.

Then of course there is the general misreading and misunderstanding that the internet facillitates.

Sorry this was so long but I think we need to look at what we might be doing to make people switch off and not listen. Of course they have to be willing to listen in the first place but that is not under our control.