All entries by this author

“This formidable group of advocates”

Mar 22nd, 2016 5:58 pm | By

Dana Beyer rejoices at destroying academic careers.

Twelve years ago the Lambda Literary Foundation (LLF), which awards prizes to the best in LGBT writing, fiction and non-fiction, nominated the most scurrilous work of pseudo-scientific transphobic trash ever printed, The Man Who Would be Queen, by Professor J. Michael Bailey. I’ve written extensively about this book, as have many of my trans colleagues. The publication of the volume by the Institute of Medicine created a backlash and led to the formation of a coalition of activists which managed to get its views known at a time when we were not being heard. Led by Professor Lynn Conway, this formidable group of advocates not only tarnished the book and its

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Guest post: Abuse isn’t actually a reaction to the other person

Mar 22nd, 2016 4:04 pm | By

Originally a comment by ZugTheMegasaurus on She had been brought up to make the people around her happy and comfortable.

I have been, at various times in my life, a rape victim, a legal advocate for domestic violence victims, and a survivor of domestic violence. This “why did she stay” question crops up in virtually every discussion of any man-on-woman violence, and there is one fact sorely lacking from the conversation: “she” did not think like an abuser. It’s so simple, and it doesn’t stop within gender lines, and that’s probably why people don’t see it.

Anyone who has been abused will probably agree on one thing: the abuse doesn’t make sense. We know this is true from … Read the rest

Gender is not a binary of equals, it is a hierarchy

Mar 22nd, 2016 3:42 pm | By

From The New Backlash, Introduction:

Now, the dialog around “transgender” issues is dense and confusing and emotional and often downright abusive. Transgender identity politickers cloud the issues on purpose, but feminists can also fail to express ourselves clearly when we are 1) grounded in decades of theory most people have not read and/or 2) feeling defensive due to the endless attempts of anti-feminists to vilify/silence us.

So, first some clarification on my part: for several decades now, feminist theorists have been using the word gender to refer to the social and psychological expectations thrust upon women and men, otherwise referred to as sex stereotypes or sex roles. However, feminists and pro-feminists outside of academic circles may use the word

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She had been brought up to make the people around her happy and comfortable

Mar 22nd, 2016 12:23 pm | By

Zoskia Beliski at the Globe and Mail talks about the way women’s training in being polite and agreeable can interfere with their ability to stand up for themselves.

I didn’t want to seem frosty and I didn’t want to seem mad.

That was complainant Lucy DeCoutere during her time on the stand last month at the sexual assault trial of former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi, who faces a verdict Thursday. Asked to account for why DeCoutere had stayed at Ghomeshi’s house for an hour after he allegedly slapped and choked her, she explained that she had been brought up to make the people around her happy and comfortable, to “foster kind thoughts” with a “pleasing personality.” She said she’d been

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Bruxelles on t’aime

Mar 22nd, 2016 7:38 am | By

The Huffington Post collects more Tintin and Snowy.

Vladdo on Twitter:


Louison on Twitter:

“C’était au temps où Bruxelles bruxellait.” 🎶💔💔💔🎶 #Bruxelles #Brussels #cauchemar

That’s her dog comforting Snowy.… Read the rest

L’amour plus fort que la haine

Mar 22nd, 2016 7:23 am | By

The Guardian tweeted some cartoon responses.



Le mannequin qui pis:

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Mar 22nd, 2016 6:21 am | By

The New York Times:

A series of deadly terrorist attacks struck Brussels on Tuesday, with two explosions at the city’s main international airport and a third in a subway station at the heart of the city, near the headquarters complex of the European Union.

At least 11 people were killed at the airport, according to news agencies, and the city’s transit agency said 15 were killed in the subway bombing. More than 130 others were reported wounded. At least one of the two airport explosions was touched off by a suicide bomber, officials said.

“We were fearing terrorist attacks, and that has now happened,” Prime Minister Charles Michel of Belgium said at a news conference, calling the attacks

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Count all his failed businesses

Mar 21st, 2016 7:06 pm | By

Elizabeth Warren on Trump, the guy who loves to call people “Loser!”:

Let’s be honest – Donald Trump is a loser. Count all his failed businesses. See how he kept his father’s empire afloat by cheating people with scams like Trump University and by using strategic corporate bankruptcy (excuse me, bankruptcies) to skip out on debt. Listen to the experts who’ve concluded he’s so bad at business that he might have more money today if he’d put his entire inheritance into an index fund and just left it alone.

Trump seems to know he’s a loser. His embarrassing insecurities are on parade: petty bullying, attacks on women, cheap racism, and flagrant narcissism. But just because Trump is a loser

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Mar 21st, 2016 6:03 pm | By

Ah yes, this again.

Melissa Block at NPR says Think Twice Before Telling A Woman To Smile.

After the primaries last Tuesday a cable news guy tweeted at Hillary Clinton: “Smile. You just had a big night.”

Suffice to say, women – were not amused.

“Said no one to a man, ever” tweeted one.

Another offered: “Women LOVE it when you say this.”

And on it went, until comedian Samantha Bee was prompted to launch the hashtag “Smile for Joe,” thereby prompting a slew of women to post selfies as they make like Grumpy Cat: frowning, grimacing, and scowling.

The cable news guy said predictable “lighten up ladies!” type of thing – so why is this so annoying?


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When one thing is better than another thing

Mar 21st, 2016 4:12 pm | By

Chris Moos on Twitter:

So @nonajasmine, why did you delete ur tweet attacking Muslim women challenging gender segregation as “unfeminist”?

It is unfeminist to lecture other women on what they should do and think & I include Muslim women in that

No. Feminism is not endorsing everything any woman says or does or thinks. It never has been. Feminism is all about saying X is better than Y, and that of course includes saying it to women.… Read the rest

5 out of 66

Mar 21st, 2016 4:02 pm | By

It would be nice if this had changed more by now. Tell children to draw a pilot or a surgeon and what happens?

No prizes for getting it right.

A new short film has highlighted how children as young as five years old have already learnt common gender stereotypes and think of certain career opportunities as being more likely to be filled by men.

Kids in a school were asked to draw people in job roles, including firefighters, surgeons and pilots.

“Have a think in your head what this person looks like to you,” one of the teachers asked them.

Out of the 66 pictures drawn by the children, 61 pictures were of men and only five were of women.

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Never ask the internet for its ideas

Mar 21st, 2016 3:06 pm | By

So the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) asked the internet for suggestions for the name of their new ship. Currently in the lead, whupping Endeavour, Henry Worsley, David Attenborough, Falcon, and similar grown-up names, is Boaty McBoatface. I think that would be a fabulous name for a boat – although Hotty McHotterson would also be nice.

The £200 million polar research vessel, which will be operational in 2019, is set to sail the waters of Antarctica and the Arctic carrying a team of 90 scientists and support staff.

In a statement NERC said: “Tonne-for-tonne, the ship – together with NERC’s existing two blue water research ships – will provide the UK with the most advanced floating research fleet in

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“Gay men do not face oppression as gay men within the LGBT+ community”

Mar 21st, 2016 2:44 pm | By

From the NUS LGBT+ conference:

Conference Further Believes

5. Misogyny, transphobia, racism and biphobia are often present in LGBT+ societies. This is unfortunately more likely to occur when the society is dominated by white cis gay men.

6. The reps system exists to ensure that societies committees can always have a reserved place for groups which disproportionately face oppression within the LGBT+ community.

7. Gay men do not face oppression as gay men within the LGBT+ community and do not need a reserved place on society committees.

Conference Resolves

1. To work with other liberation campaigns to create an intersectional working group on building and maintaining safe(r) spaces, specifically liaising with liberation committees in CMs to provide advice on

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Critically examining the doctrine of gender identity

Mar 21st, 2016 12:13 pm | By

Here’s Rebecca Reilly-Cooper at Coventry Skeptics in the Pub last Monday. I’m told it was the best-attended event they’d had in ages, and very well received.

She’s doing a talk at Conway Hall in May but that sold out on the first day.

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Where is the invisible line drawn?

Mar 21st, 2016 11:47 am | By

Meghan Murphy detects some incoherence in the libertarian feminist approach to “sex work.”

Surprise! Gaming is a sexist industry that pornifies women. Through a particularly hypocritical post, even for Jezebel, it has come to light that Microsoft hired women in sexualized Catholic schoolgirl outfits to dance at an afterparty hosted by Xbox in San Francisco during last week’s Game Developer Conference.

Welcome to the industry, laydeez.

One woman who attended the party, named Kamina Vincent, a producer at an Australian games studio, told Jezebel that she spoke to one of the “dancers,” who told her “they had been hired to speak with attendees and encourage them to the dance floor.” Vincent correctly pointed out, “Decisions like these

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The psychological burden on the men had to be taken into account

Mar 20th, 2016 3:42 pm | By

That day in the forest was traumatic for Reserve Police Battalion 101. They didn’t like shooting people in the head all day. A few of them asked for and got transfers.

Christopher Browning continues:

The problem that faced Trapp and his superiors in Lublin, 
therefore, was not the ethically and politically grounded oppo- 
sition of a few but the broad demoralization shared both by those 
who shot to the end and those who had not been able to 
continue. It was above all a reaction to the sheer horror of the 
killing process itself. If Reserve Police Battalion 101 was to 
continue to provide vital manpower for the implementation of 
the Final Solution in the Lublin district, the psychological 
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The group-therapy session starts up

Mar 20th, 2016 2:26 pm | By

From 2005, a visit to the Zendik commune:

Lunch at Zendik is, like much else at the commune, more than it appears to be. Long before the farmers finish scraping their bowls, the group-therapy session starts up. A thin, blond woman in her mid-20s garners attention with an “Ahem, everybody” and tells the table that Helen has something to share. Helen’s a short, stout woman who “realized everything was bullshit,” dropped out of Harvard, and moved to Zendik. (She has since left the commune.)

Helen shares that she has “a date” with a guy at the table named Talon. She plans to get pregnant. Talon drops his fork, then goes back to eating lunch.

Helen’s declaration of intent to

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Mar 19th, 2016 4:42 pm | By

Phil Plait reports on yet another spike in global warming.

February 2016 was the hottest February on the planet on record, a staggering 1.35° C hotter than the average. The previous hottest Februaries were 1998 (0.88° above average) and 2015 (0.87°). That’s a huge jump.

Those numbers are from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, one of the premier centers for keeping tabs on our ever-warming globe. They are from temperature measurements over land and ocean going back to 1880. They representtemperature anomalies, that is, deviations from an average. In this case, the average is taken over the range of 1951–1980. That makes comparing temperatures easier, and shows that February 2016 was the hottest recorded

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Rumors of discord

Mar 19th, 2016 3:56 pm | By

Kimberly Winston at Religion News Service reports on the debut of a new atheism plus social justice network, The Orbit. You may have heard about it a couple of months ago when there was a leak.

The Orbit,” a collection of 20-plus new and existing blogs,  took off Tuesday (March 15) and will focus on social justice and activism through an atheist lens.

“This group is founded from the beginning as a group dedicated to atheist social justice voices,” said Greta Christina, author of an eponymous blog on The Orbit. “We were also focusing on a diversity of voices when we were building this network from day one.”

Look at all the good they do.… Read the rest

The husky merely stood motionless, staring at Finger Lake

Mar 19th, 2016 3:40 pm | By

From the Onion, a first-timer messes up the Iditarod.

After running directly into the grandstands during the Iditarod’s ceremonial start and veering 55 miles off course late Tuesday to chase a marmot, Siberian husky and rookie sled dog Melvin apologized to his musher and fellow canines Wednesday for making a complete fool of himself in the early stages of the annual 1,150-mile race.

“First Iditarod jitters, I guess,” the visibly contrite Melvin told reporters Wednesday at the Rainy Pass checkpoint. “I feel like such a moron. Here I am in the last great race on earth and I’m blowing it. I mean, 100 times out of 100, when my musher yells, ‘Gee,’ I turn right. But yesterday I go

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