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Strong opinions on both sides

Jess DeWahls talks to Spiked:

It turned out that an embroiderer was ranting online about the fact that I had work in the Royal Academy. She had attacked me twice before. This time, she basically encouraged her followers to contact all the places that stock my work, including the Royal Academy, and tell them that they shouldn’t work with a transphobe. That afternoon, the Academy emailed me, saying that it had received eight complaints about ‘transphobic’ views I had voiced online.

In other words one opportunistic rivalrous shit (whose work is crap) told people to go after DeWahls and the RA took this coordinated campaign seriously.

Transphobic views like ‘women have vaginas’ and ‘there are two sexes’, presumably. It

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Strong opinions on both sides
By Ophelia Benson, June 22, 2021

Jess DeWahls talks to Spiked:

It turned out that an embroiderer was ranting online about the fact that I had work in the Royal Academy. She had attacked me twice before. This time, she basically encouraged her followers to contact all the places that stock my work, including the Royal Academy, and tell them that they shouldn’t work with a transphobe. That afternoon, the Academy emailed me, saying that it had received eight complaints about ‘transphobic’ views I had voiced online.

In other words one opportunistic rivalrous shit (whose work is crap) told people to go after DeWahls and the RA took this coordinated campaign seriously.

Transphobic views like ‘women have vaginas’ and ‘there are two sexes’, presumably. It

Read the rest

Archives
Bad Moves
Articles
Flashback
In Focus
Latest News
Letters
Notes and Comment Blog

Strong opinions on both sides 

Jess DeWahls talks to Spiked:

It turned out that an embroiderer was ranting online about the fact that I had work in the Royal Academy. She had attacked me twice before. This time, she basically encouraged her followers to contact all the places that stock my work, including the Royal Academy, and tell them that they shouldn’t work with a transphobe. That afternoon, the Academy emailed me, saying that it had received eight complaints about ‘transphobic’ views I had voiced online.

In other words one opportunistic rivalrous shit (whose work is crap) told people to go after DeWahls and the RA took this coordinated campaign seriously.

Transphobic views like ‘women have vaginas’ and ‘there are two sexes’, presumably. It

Read the rest
A useful weapon for excluding women 

Sarah Ditum on the different standards for your Gaugin and Picasso on the one hand and your Jess DeWahls on the other:

And what had De Wahls actually done to make herself untouchable? In 2019, she published a long, considered essay laying out her thoughts on gender identity. “My hope is that this will help you, the reader, the viewer, to understand my conclusions about this subject,” she wrote. “And I will tell you them candidly so no mistake can be made in misunderstanding or misrepresenting me.” As anyone who has ever ventured an opinion on gender could tell you, this was always a vain hope given the torrents of bad faith that run through this subject.

…So it didn’t

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More on that 

I’ve realized I have more to say on Peter Tatchell’s fatuous remarks to the Guardian on the definite rightness of the Royal Academy’s libel of Jess DeWahls:

Veteran LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Trans women are different from other women, but being a different kind of woman is perfectly valid and no justification for the denial of their identity.

Let’s think about this. How are trans women “different from other women?” They’re different in being men. That’s a very differenty kind of difference. You could replace it with the word “not.” Trans women are different from other women in being not women. Well yes, that’s different all right, and it’s also a negation, and an opposite. Not-man is not … Read the rest


A little is ok 

Ash Sarkar thinks it’s all just fine.

Nobody says it’s “en masse.” So what? Any is too much. “It’s just one guy cheating” is not a powerful argument.

Again: not the issue. Women … Read the rest


Deemed 

The Guardian poisons the well in the usual way.

An artist whose work will no longer be available in the Royal Academy’s gift shop after views she expressed in a blogpost were deemed transphobic has said she is considering legal action against the institution.

It’s a bad sentence to begin with: too many separate bits of information with no punctuation between them. But setting that aside, note the “were deemed transphobic” – by whom, you damn fool? God? The entire world? Knowledgeable people? Or eight sniveling censors who don’t give a shit about art but just like silencing women?

It was the latter, of course, so what the hell is the Guardian doing insinuating that it’s some kind of authoritative … Read the rest


They will have to talk eventually 

And here she is.

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It would have been her first Olympics 

The woman cheated out of a place at the Olympics by a man pretending to be a woman.

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The IOC has said it is committed to inclusion 

A couple of weeks ago:

Allowing transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard to compete in the women’s competition at the Tokyo Olympics would be like letting athletes dope and may set a dangerous precedent for future Games, Samoa’s weightlifting boss told Reuters.

Like letting athletes dope only worse, because it’s 37 years of more testosterone.

Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork coaches Samoa’s Commonwealth Games champion Feagaiga Stowers and is concerned Hubbard’s presence in the super-heavyweight division at Tokyo could deny the small island nation its second Olympic medal.

Sorry, small island nations go to the wall.

The IOC has said it is committed to inclusion regardless of gender identity and sexual characteristics but is also updating its guidelines.

This stupid word “inclusion” needs … Read the rest


Ever hungry to accuse people 

John McWhorter argues that it’s fine to call the Ibram Kendi-type anti-racism “Critical Race Theory” even though it’s not the actual law school Critical Race Theory, in part because people who say it isn’t fine are just playing rhetorical games. I’m still not convinced, but he says some interesting things (as he always does).

Since a year ago, CRT-infused members of The Elect, traditionally overrepresented in the world of schools of education, have sought to take the opportunity furnished by our “racial reckoning” to turn American schools into academies of “antiracist” indoctrination.

Schools of education – that’s one of the interesting things. From what I’ve read they can be quite faddy and at the same time anti-intellectual. If they’re full … Read the rest


Requiring a balance, which we won’t attempt 

Again with the shuffling and hemming and ending up in the same place:

New Zealand’s government and the country’s top sporting body have backed her inclusion for the upcoming Olympics.

“As well as being among the world’s best for her event, Laurel has met the IWF eligibility criteria, including those based on IOC Consensus Statement guidelines for transgender athletes,” New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive Kereyn Smith said.

But Hubbard is among the world’s best for the event only if he is counted as … Read the rest


Critical Pronoun Theory 

And while everyone is squawking about the critical race theorist under the bed, kindergarten children are being instructed on Special Pronouns.

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Directly downstream 

About that Andrew Sullivan piece on what he calls “Critical Race Theory” –

How on earth could merely teaching students about the history of racism and its pervasiveness in the United States provoke such a fuss? No wonder Charles Blow is mystified. But don’t worry. The MSM have a ready explanation: the GOP needs an inflammatory issue to rile their racist base, and so this entire foofaraw is really just an astro-turfed, ginned-up partisan gambit about nothing. The MSM get particular pleasure in ridiculing parents who use the term “critical race theory” as shorthand for things that just, well, make them uncomfortable — when the parents obviously have no idea what CRT really is.

Isn’t that silly of the … Read the rest


Guest post: Critical Race Theory v Catholicism 

Originally a comment by Tim Harris on Overdose of individualism.

I have just sent the following e-mail to Andrew Sullivan after his latest piece on the subject of race on his blog ‘The Dish’. He rightly takes issue with some horrid examples of what has happened in some schools, but…

Dear Mr Sullivan,

Well, this on Critical Race Theory was rather better than your ready inclusion of ‘systemic racism’ as one of the horrible, ambiguous un-Orwellian terms in your last piece, although I think that as usual you exaggerate things. I agree with much of what you say, particularly with respect to those examples from schools, but was — I am sorry — amused by your comparing these examples … Read the rest


History and headlines 

Laurel Hubbard is on the team.

The New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to make history and headlines, plus an enormous amount of controversy, after being confirmed as the first transgender athlete to ever compete at the Olympic Games.

He’s “set to make history and headlines” by stealing a place from a woman. How about thinking of her for one fucking second, Guardian? How about imagining what that feels like?

“I am grateful and humbled by the kindness and support that has been given to me by so many New Zealanders,” Hubbard said in a statement. 

Of course he’s not humbled. If he were humble he wouldn’t be doing it! It’s a shit thing to do … Read the rest


Ethical issues arising 

Let’s think about autonomy.

In some cultures and contexts children have always experienced some forms of autonomy – like ones where their labor was necessary for example. Farm children – which was most children … Read the rest


It makes a virtue of our bystanding 

Victoria Smith points out how dull, banal, simple, obvious the whole issue of female subordination is. Where’s the fun in that? No room for clever layers of irony or jargon-riddled homilies.

“Men keep threatening to kill — and in fact killing — women and girls” is just not very interesting or complex. On the contrary, it all sounds terribly basic. Aren’t there more fascinating debates to be had about language and symbols and whether in fact — hear me out on this, it’s counter-intuitive hence super-clever — female people are in fact complicit or even to blame for their own deaths, what with them weaponising their pain by performing being murdered within the cisheteronormative capitalist economy? Makes you think, doesn’t

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Continuing the conversation 

No, please, do go on; I love being patronized.

Hazarika belittles feminist women and pats herself on the back for being so brave and determined. Two for one: you get both sides of the Both Sides award.

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Making a virtue of cowardice 

The Fawcett Society is continuing the “who can possibly know what to think in such a complicated disagreement??” approach. If they’re going to go that route in spite of everything, why are they even the Fawcett Society? Why aren’t they the Everybody Society? Being a feminist society is taking a position, it’s not throwing up one’s hands and saying “You’re both wrong and you should both apologize and start over.” Feminism isn’t about splitting the difference.

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Using totems in the workplace 

The Law Society? Really?

Under HR and people management:

Using pronouns in the workplace

I think you’re supposed to learn that in the very early grades, or even earlier, as you learn to speak the local language. I don’t think it’s something adults need a refresher on.

Judging by name or appearance is not always an accurate method for determining a person’s pronouns.

Yes it is. Being able to tell who is which is another very early skill.

We frequently, and likely subconsciously, interpret or ‘read’ a person’s gender based on their outward appearance and expression, and ‘assign’ a pronoun.

However, our inference as to that person’s gender identity may not be correct.

Getting it wrong is extremely rare. This … Read the rest


She got the coward part right 

Sarah Phillimore is scathing about the cowardice and malice of Ayesha Hazarika.

[T]here was only strange and timorous silence from the Fawcett Society following [Maya] Forstater’s victory, until it was finally broken by an article in the Evening Standard on Wednesday.

Hazarika calls for “more moderate voices” to overcome the toxicity of the current debate, and an end to “cruelty and polarisation”:

As with so much right now, extremist, unforgiving, rigid voices on both sides dominate the online war in a fight to the death of who can scream and shame the loudest. And all it does is alienate people in the middle who want to find a solution which is humane, modern and common sense. But more moderate

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