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July 9th, 2018

Straw or no straw?

I'm wondering what your opinion is on the latest in armchair activism - the straw ban. Even though straws have been around for ages and recycling has been around for ages, there's now a recent fever to ban plastic straws. Someone that is a former councilman in my town posted this, I guess thinking people were going to stroke his ego and pump their fists in agreement

Well, me, being the contrarian that I am, disagreed. Though I was polite about it. Straws are necessary for many disabled people and while I think it's great that people want to reduce the impact, I didn't think this shaming attitude toward doing it or even an outright ban is right at all. Is it so difficult to just do it subtly? To not automatically put down a straw and maybe just ask if someone needs one?

His ego was clearly bruised as he automatically got defensive, saying that disabled people can just carry them with them and that places shouldn't have to provide the accommodation. I countered, and yes, I did call him ableist, and asked whether he was going to encourage grocery stores to get rid of their energy-wasting electric carts for the disabled.

I also pointed out the irony that in the picture there is an equally wasteful plastic cup with unnecessary plastic lid which is many times bigger than a straw. He shot back that the cup is recyclable and I countered with the fact that it wasn't easily recyclable and it falls into the same category of plastics that are the same as the plastic grocery bag that he's lobbied for a local ban. The plastic grocery bags are much easier to recycle than cups so by cherry picking his activism, he was being hypocritical. All I was asking is that these places soften their message about conserving straws and that a ban NOT be proposed because it makes life very inconvenient for a protected class of people.

He railed at me, making a joke that I was making "straw man" arguments (I told him that pun was offensive) and also said that I could "keep my straws and my guns" (what?). Basically he was being an ass. Interestingly, he actually gave in when I pointed out that parents with small children need the convenience of straws too. Or maybe it was when I pointed out that the straws are made of the same material but the only reason they're not recycled is because they don't get processed properly in the recycling machines and maybe that is where to start.

I even said early on that I was bringing reusable bags to the grocery ages and ages before the proposed plastic bag bans. That I agree with reduced usage but that it was the tone of the message that it was wrong.  There wasn't one person on the thread that agreed with his strong arm tactics. He kept trying to encourage me to go offline and discuss it with him in person (what, so he can try to intimidate me? I don't think so, bud).

He ended up deleting all of his replies to me but left his post otherwise intact. Quite cowardly and lacking in integrity if you ask me.

This entry is crossposted from https://missdiane.dreamwidth.org/1077309.html. You can comment here on LJ or if you prefer, on on the original post at DW using OpenID. comment count unavailable comments are currently on Dreamwidth.