This will represent the fourth in a series of posts on the recent conflict that has engulfed Exvangelical Twitter, and largely centered around Chrissy Stroop.
If you have not read the previous posts, they are available here:
The framing and rhetoric of this post draw directly upon these, so if this is your first foray into this series, what follows may be a bit jarring. I strongly suggest reading the previous works first to get your footing.
That being said this post will be a bit shorter, and a lot more pointed.
First, there are a few prerequisites that we must cover.
First, Chrissy Stroop is a trans woman. She has decided to come out fully as such, and changed her name accordingly. I celebrate that Chris can live openly as her fullest self and affirm her in this.
Second, regardless of intent, the published version of the Magdalene Collective statement was demonstrably transmisogynistic. While I have argued there is not evidence of intent, the impact remains.
And impact takes precedent over intent.
Finally, while Chrissy Stroop was legitimately hurt by the wording of the MC Statement, that in no way excuses her for the numerous lies she has told or the blatant harassment she has orchestrated against multiple persons to defend those lies.
Legitimate hurt can be expressed in toxic and oppressive ways, and Chrissy Stroop does not get a pass for her actions.
Again, impact takes precedent over intent.
On June 13, 2019, Chrissy Stroop published an article on Rewire.
On the surface, the average person reading it might have considered it a fairly unremarkable post.
But, as you may now be aware, from the very title this post is framed with the same lies about the Magdalene Collective that have become boilerplate of her recent public work.
There was no small amount of irony, then, in reading the line “Addressing such questions can be particularly challenging; however, given the harsh reality that survivors’ communities tend to replicate the very abusive patterns from which members have been attempting to escape.”
If it sounds familiar, there’s a reason. It was also a focus of the Magdalene Collective Statement. Unfortunately, the authors made grave errors in the wording of their post, and thus a necessary discussion of how trauma communities often reproduce the dynamics of the communities they are leaving was lost.
But as Chris has noted repeatedly (including in the very article being discussed), the statement did raise valid concerns.
As such there is a certain disturbing irony to Chrissy now picking up this narrative, as it was she who ensured that the Magdalene Collective’s efforts to fix the wording of their statement never came to fruition.
To accomplish this, Chrissy orchestrated a series of claims, now proven false, against Samantha Field.
This becomes further sickening when Chrissy states: “Dubious exercises in gatekeeping, Twitter mobbing, and vicious scapegoating couched in a simplified and weaponized social justice rhetoric, have all characterized exvangelical online spaces this spring, hampering both individual paths to healing and the coalition building and appeal to outsiders that are necessary for exvies to make the kind of impact that will ultimately weaken conservative, mostly white evangelicals’ political power.”
The reader will recall that, in addition to her lie-filled invective against Samantha Field, Chrissy was also involved in incidents that resulted in the doxxing of a QPOC and served an explicit role in the racist harassment of Charlotte Henderson, a queer black woman.
Given these well-documented events (presented in the posts linked above), the level of projection required to type those words is near unconscionable.
But Chrissy still wasn’t done there. In addition to attempting to center herself as the voice of reason, after spending literal weeks on Twitter spreading blatant lies, Chrissy apparently thinks she can continue to lie with impunity.
This brings us to the Coalition for Responsible Home Education.
To be honest, it makes absolutely no sense for Chrissy to target the CRHE. While Samantha Field, Eve Ettinger, and Kathryn Brightbill (all MC statement signatories) serve on their board and Kieryn Darkwater on staff, the CRHE has had no involvement in the controversy surrounding the MC Statement.
And none of these persons was acting in any official capacity for the CRHE (a religiously neutral, policy and research-focused organization) when they signed the statement.
Yet Chrissy not only decided to target the CRHE in this post, she made a truly baffling claim.
It is hard to contain the nausea caused by reading these words in an article written by the same Chrissy Stroop who literally targeted people for public harassment because she deemed them as “neutral” in the MC statement affair.
But something else jumped off the screen at me as I read this section.
It seems rather minor on the surface, a throw-away line about Ryan Stollar being removed from the board of the CRHE in the wake of the MC statement fallout.
Except of course, that this is pure fabrication (Rewire has since issued a correction).
In February 2017, the board of Homeschooling Alumni Reaching Out (HARO) announced that Ryan Stollar had been removed from their board of directors.
Here is their statement:
At the time of HARO’s announcement, Ryan Stollar was also serving on the board of CRHE, as can be seen from this archived link to their “Officers and Staff” page from February 17, 2017:
But, by the next time the page was archived, on May 30, 2017, Stollar was no longer listed as a board member.
While there is no public statement from CRHE regarding Stollar’s exit, the fact that his seemingly quiet exit from CRHE occurred around the same time as his very public removal from HARO makes it unlikely this is coincidence.
Further, a basic search of CHRE’s on The Wayback Machine produces an archive of their “Officers and Staff” page from May 10, 2019 – just days before the MC Statement was published. The reader will notice the absence of Ryan Stollar.
Why would Chrissy Stroop bother to tell such a demonstrable lie?
I suggest it is because this is now, and has always been, about power. Notice this line of rhetoric from a mere few paragraphs later:
Chrissy is trying to keep herself centered. Painting Stollar as an “AMAB” Exvangelical canceled by the evil MC statement signatories fits her narrative that this is an evil group of vagina having persons targeting Chris, and others, for having a penis.
That isn’t even rhetorical flourish, these are Chrissy’s own words.
Which is to say what I hope is abundantly clear by now.
Chrissy Stroop has absolutely no interest in honest engagement. She has lied blatantly and repeatedly over the past several weeks to keep the spotlight on herself, even if that means reducing the individual identities of a group of queer persons (several of whom are trans spectrum) to the lump sum of their genitals.
To be honest I think we’ve moved past closing with questions.
Chrissy Stroop has repeatedly proven that she has no qualms with advancing blatant falsehood for the purpose of self-interest. I have laid out in careful detail a number of these lies.
It is my considered opinion that Chrissy Stroop’s only interest at this point is appearing “good” at all costs. The levels of blatant projection in which she engages only further demonstrate her blatant refusal to engage criticisms leveled at her in good faith.
As Maya Angelou famously said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Cover Photo by KEVIN CLYDE BERBANO on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “Lies”
Hey, I appreciate the time it took to write this, but after following so many of the involved in Twitter, I really can’t agree with your conclusions. I’m typing all of this on a mobile device, so please forgive typos. I’ve also tried to use all the correct pronouns, but if I mess up, I’m sorry and I’m in no way trying to invalidate Chrissy’s being a woman. Also, this statement really centers on Chrissy because she seemed to be the point of your posts, and your conclusions really did seem drawn, despite your saying they weren’t. Even your questions “what were her motivations for lying…” Aren’t really questions. I don’t think it’s clear anyone knows they are lying (maybe except samantha F, but it could be a misunderstanding– didn’t see a retraction though). Personal emotional interpretation is very powerful, and there’s plenty of emotion all around in this conflict.
I do agree that Chrissy hurt people in her response to the MC statement (and I feel bad for Charlotte) but many of the things you characterize as “blatant” lies, really aren’t that blatant. If you do nothing more than assume that everyone on that group chat knew Chrissy was trans but that they (all the group) were still using masculine pronouns because they (Chrissy) weren’t ready to come out yet, Chrissy’s assumption that the statement targeted them (Chrissy) makes a lot more sense.
One thing that I keep getting hung up on is Samantha Field’s assertion to Janeway in a very straightforward attempt to turn her against Chrissy, that Chrissy filmed a crying woman without her consent. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that this was a lie, at least according to the woman in the video (@WittyApothecary). Everything Field said after that point really became suspect to me. That’s a bit of an aside, but it does lend credibility to the interpretation that Field’s motive was to smear Chris(sy).
Honestly, you could read everything as jealousy: Chrissy came to the exvie movement later and got a bigger platform (I believe this was because of their Russian expertise during this latest election). As a relative outsider to this whole thing (I’m exvangelical cishet white woman who knows none of the involved people personally, only what you’ve posted here and what @WittyApothecary has said for herself), people complaining that Chrissy isn’t being supportive enough of women and is essentially recreating evangelical patriarchy feels like a jealous, petty accusation. And Eve’s accusation that Chrissy only came to talk about exvangelical things to revive their career is next-level dismissive- no one who grew up in the evangelical church deserves to be spoken to that way. Chrissy’s interpretation that they were being called a grifter by that statement seems pretty reasonable to me, and your accusations that Chrissy is lying because Eve didn’t literally use the word grifter seems obtuse at best.
The substance of the private group chat, which you claim was strategically edited and which you posted in its entirety (you say the entire chat sheds new light– I’m not sure it does, but maybe I’m missing something) is essentially that as a male who is late to the subject, Chris should stop QTing with the comments and just retweet women’s work. And Chris seems open to that, up to a point. Again, the career-revival statement was a pretty low blow. The point was made that “AFAB” people weren’t problems in this area. Bringing up “AFAB” as a term in that conversation really makes me suspect people did know about Chrissy’s gender: the women have an issue with Chris, and even if Chrissy identifies a woman, she’s not a “real” woman since she’s “AMAB,” and therefore her gender doesn’t count when it comes to centering women. I realize no one said this, but I don’t think it’s an unreasonable subtext to infer. But of course since Chrissy wasn’t out yet, there’s plausible deniability (see, we had no idea Chrissy identifies as a woman, provable by our use of masculine terms, rather than we’re all using masculine pronouns because Chrissy’s not out yet or we’re all using masculine terms because we don’t really accept transwoman as women, even if we know we have to say we do). Again, is there another trans woman who is causing a problem for the MC? And if not, why bring up “AFAB?” Seems unnecessary. Sure, maybe they’re just saying that if you lived any part of your life as a woman, you have the experience to talk about overlapping issues ( having been an evangelical wife, e.g.) which makes sense. But that’s not exactly what they were talking about. They were talking about how men shouldn’t talk over women on Twitter. I honestly read that group chat as “we are upset with Chris so we’re going to lecture him about mansplaining and talking over women, and also make it clear that trans men can QT because they were AFAB, but even if you’re trans woman, you will never be accepted as a woman and will always be subject to accusations of sexism against “AFAB,” or true women. It really can be read as transexclusionary. At least transwoman exclusionary. And if you can accept that Chrissy has the same interpretation, I think her reaction is at least understandable from a place of hurt and not cold malice, particularly when followed closely by the MC statement. I don’t agree with her that it forced her to come out. Coming out was only necessary because she felt the desire to publicly call out the signers.
Anyway, I know this is long, and I have no idea what your personal relationship with any of these people is but if you were serious about wanting to engage, I hope you’ll consider a less black and white view of the situation. It really seems to me like a bunch of people with the church as a common background but who otherwise are members of various other persecuted groups fighting about who has had it the worst. It’s sad all around. I don’t really see any villains here.
I’m kinda confused by most of this.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had closeted trans friends before, but in private convo you don’t misgender them. If they are out to you, even if they aren’t out publicly, you use their preferred pronouns.
So honestly, that doesn’t hold water.
And I didn’t say I wouldn’t draw conclusions. I said I would present mine, and let people decide for themselves. So again…I’m confused.
I’m not gonna argue about what Beth Riley has said, except to say that was never mentioned in the MC statement. As a person who has heard multiple sides of that incident (I was supposed to be at that get together actually, and had to cancel plans at the last second), I can tell you Samantha heard that info the same way I did, initially, second-hand.
I know everyone who attended the event in question personally, Sam wasn’t one of them.
That being said, Riley corrected the misunderstanding Sam had from what others had said to her, and no one has contested Riley’s story. It’s her own experience.
I’m not gonna drag Riley into something that isn’t about her and force her to relitigate something she has expressed was painful to have out there in the first place.
Also, note that the person who made all of that public wasn’t Sam.
Also, I’m curious how you’ll engage the racist treatment of Charlotte Henderson in this post:
Lastly, regarding the language. AMAB and AFAB is common language in the queer community. As a trans spectrum (genderqueer) person, I use it often. Also, given that the person who inserted the language is trans-masc enbie, AFAB is part of their personal identifier. As they have expressed.
Weird how Kieryn being trans-masc keeps getting erased in all this.
Lastly Chrissy continued to push the narrative about Sam after public statements from the actual authors were made. So you can’t honestly say she didn’t know.
And Chrissy knew she was out as a masc-presenting genderqueer person. She tweeted it for National Coming Out Day.
Yet she initially said they wanted to out her as genderqueer, then changed the narrative when people noted she’d been out as such for 2 years.
I’m not sure how you can look at that and not see blatant dishonesty.
That being said, I appreciate the time you’ve spent. I don’t see anything here as an attempt in bad faith. And I’m trying to be kind. But there are significant holes that simply do not line up with the wealth of evidence I have offered across the four posts I have written on this.
Have a good day.