All entries by this author

As if women are completely invisible

Aug 16th, 2019 8:08 am | By

Holly Lawford-Smith on bad news out of Australia:

I know the sex self-id bill was expected to pass, but I’m still kind of in shock that it did, 56 v. 27 at Lower House yesterday. It’s just surreal, that Labour & the Greens are supposed to be progressive parties (whose members would probably call themselves feminists), and yet they’re pushing through legislation that replaces sex (an objective characteristic that affects how people are treated) with gender identity (a subjective characteristic that may play no role at all in how you are treated). Women in Australia still face a range of serious issues, including but not limited to pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination, insufficient research into female-specific medical problems, subjection to

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It’s yuuuge

Aug 15th, 2019 5:44 pm | By

Buy Greenland jokes:

David Frum:

Buy Greenland. Tow it into the Gulf of Mexico. Airflow over melting ice cools Texas and Florida. Global warming problem solved!

Yoni Appelbaum:

Honored sirs, I am PRINCE KIELSEN and I am contacting you with exciting opportunity. I recently inherited an island but need a small amount of cash. Send a money order for $600,000,000 to my account and I will give you “Greenland.”

John Noonan:

All I’m saying is why settle for Greenland when Canada is right there for the taking

Robby Soave:

Uh, we should definitely buy Greenland. Have any of you looked at a map? It’s like, gigantic. It’s bigger than freaking Africa.

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Make Greenland white again

Aug 15th, 2019 4:30 pm | By

Donnie Two-Scoops wants to buy Greenland.

In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea.

I can see it now – casinos, golf courses, condo towers with DONALD TRUMP in letters 60 feet high, shooting ranges stocked with the last remaining elephants and lions, McDonalds and Burger King on every corner, only white people allowed.… Read the rest

“People who are denying my humanity”

Aug 15th, 2019 4:03 pm | By

Patrick Strudwick at BuzzFeed reports that two trans people have quit The Guardian because they consider it “transphobic.”

A transgender employee of the Guardian — which once called itself the “world’s leading liberal voice” — has resigned, accusing the newspaper in an email to staff of being “an incredibly transphobic organisation”.

In a cutting resignation letter sent last month, the employee said the paper “fundamentally not only stands against my own values but also against what I am”. A second trans staff member resigned weeks later, also citing the “harm” they say the newspaper is doing to trans people.

Following the leak of the email to BuzzFeed News, the trans employee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she

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Shortsighted and deeply flawed

Aug 15th, 2019 12:03 pm | By

The Guardian has more details:

Omar and Tlaib were planning to see the Palestinian cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Ramallah and to spend time in the disputed city of Jerusalem. They would have had to pass through Israeli security checks to enter both the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Former Israeli diplomats also spoke out against the ban, arguing that the country should instead attempt to show Israeli perspectives during the women’s trip.

Alon Pinkas, formerly Israel’s consul in New York, said the country should “engage Omar and Tlaib, [and] show them where they are wrong or have a partial and skewed perception of reality.”

It could have been a chance to show Omar and Tlaib the point of view … Read the rest

Trump’s puppet

Aug 15th, 2019 11:54 am | By

Barak Ravid:

I want to tell you a secret: A month ago when Netanyahu decided to allow Omar and Tlaib into the country they alreadty supported BDS and he knew it back then. There is only one reason for Netanyahu’s backtracking today – the pressure from Donald Trump

Jennifer Rubin:

The ban is a stunning, unprecedented step, one that signals Israel, long a bastion of democracy in the Middle East, cannot tolerate criticism. For Netanyahu it sends message that he is Trump’s puppet, willing to damage the long-term relationship with US

Michael McFaul:

Prime Minister Netanyahu respected the independence of our legislative branch when he accepted the invitation of the U.S. Congress to speak even though the

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The illusion of liberty and autonomy

Aug 15th, 2019 11:17 am | By

My friend @marstrina sums it up nicely:

At the end of the day I think the fundamental philosophical difference at stake in this contestation is about social embeddedness: does our image of ourselves require external referents & feedback, or is it self-generated and unique?

The attraction of the latter view is the illusion of liberty and autonomy it offers. But a world populated entirely by self-contained individuals whose innermost selves are neither accessible to nor influenced by anyone else is a zombie dystopia, if you stop and think about it.

That whole idea that we can transcend social embeddedness to be self-generated and unique and oh so special makes my skin crawl. It’s Trumpism, basically. It’s egotism, it’s … Read the rest

Great weakness

Aug 15th, 2019 10:31 am | By

Meanwhile Israel – or Netanyahu – has joined Trump in demonizing Tlaib and Omar.

Israel announced Thursday it was barring the entry of two US congresswomen after Donald Trump encouraged the move, a remarkable step both by the US President and his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to punish political opponents.

Deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely told CNN on Thursday of Israel’s decision to ban Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering the country. The announcement came shortly after Trump said Israel would be showing “great weakness” by allowing them to enter the country.

Ah, so this must be more of that tough-guy masculinity we’re told Trump represents.

Trump has criticized the two lawmakers —

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Grab-bag of enemies

Aug 15th, 2019 9:56 am | By

Yesterday it was neo-Nazis in Seattle:

Neo-Nazis affiliated with the anti-Semitic Daily Stormer Book Club plastered racist fliers on three Seattle synagogues.

The fliers were posted over the weekend by a masked man and featured an illustration of Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts biting an arm marked America, according to

The flier read “Send them back” and “deport the commie brown infestation.” The first phrase echoes recent language from President Donald Trump, who called on the freshman lawmakers, known as “The Squad,” to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.”

I think the … Read the rest

The right to redefine

Aug 15th, 2019 9:22 am | By

So, having said that, let’s consider the words as opposed to the emojis.

@Astropartigirl: Trans women are women. Period. As a cis woman, I promise I will not leave you out, ever. Keep being fabulous

@charlie_sci: I’ve followed you for a while – I love how many fellow scientists are on social media, and I admire your work. Politely, can I ask what is a woman?

@Astropartigirl: A woman is a gender identity. If someone identifies as a woman, she is a woman.

That’s the dogma, and she parrots it obediently, but it’s bizarre. If that’s what a woman is then only trans women are women. So what should we formerly known as “women” people call ourselves?

We formerly known … Read the rest

Keep being fabulous

Aug 15th, 2019 8:55 am | By

How’s that again?

Cosmology grad student issues statement of support for trans women.

Trans women are women. Period. As a cis woman, I promise I will not leave you out, ever. Keep being fabulous

With three tiny dancing laydee emojis which become enormous when copied here.

Let’s think about this. I was going to talk about the words and the thread that ensued but first let’s talk about this “keep being fabulous” and that emoji – coming from a woman talking to men who Identify As women. What is that?

Why, I mean, is an actual woman equating being-a-woman with keeping being fabulous and being a blonde laydee with big hair dancing in a red dress?

Why isn’t she … Read the rest

It’s all about the dollars

Aug 14th, 2019 5:06 pm | By

Oh dear, some of Trump’s people want him to do the right thing and he’s not interested – who could have seen that coming?

Donald Trump’s top aides are urging him to back Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, but the president isn’t interested, multiple people familiar with the administration’s internal debates say.

In recent days, national security adviser John Bolton, China hands at both the National Security Council and the State Department, and several economic advisers have pushed for a more assertive posture on the Hong Kong demonstrations, which have paralyzed the former British colony and roiled markets.

They are finding little traction with a president focused more narrowly on trade negotiations with Xi Jinping — and worried that criticizing the

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An inclusive environment for all participants

Aug 14th, 2019 3:27 pm | By

On it goes.

The England and Wales Cricket Board is reviewing its transgender policy before its £20m semi-professional women’s competition starts next year.

Under ECB rules the eligibility of players in women’s domestic cricket is determined by a player’s own self-identified gender, with no medical requirement for those who have transitioned from male to female to lower their testosterone levels.

In other words it’s entirely verbal and unilateral. Player says he’s a woman, he’s a woman, end of story. Shut up you there in the back. Player says he’s a woman, player gets to play on women’s team. That’s inkloooosive. It’s also totally fair because women can do exactly the same thing.

However, Claire Connor, the managing director of

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But his real love is trucks

Aug 14th, 2019 12:03 pm | By

Trump went to Pennsylvania to say words yesterday. The White House kept a record of the words.

It’s great to be back in the incredible Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Great place.  And this is my 13th visit to Pennsylvania during my administration, which is more than any other President to this point in the term.

……….What? That’s something to brag of? Number of visits to a particular state is something presidents are supposed to do a lot of? Why?

Today, we celebrate the revolution in American energy that’s helping make our economy the envy of the world.  This Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — I did very well here.  We did very well.  How many points did we

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Perpetrators hailed Trump

Aug 14th, 2019 10:56 am | By

ABC News has dug up an interesting fact:

President Donald Trump has repeatedly refused to accept any responsibility for inciting violence in American communities, dismissing critics who have pointed to his rhetoric as a potential source of inspiration for some citizens acting on even long-held beliefs of bigotry and hate.

“I think my rhetoric brings people together,” he said last week, four days after a 21-year-old allegedly posted an anti-immigrant screed online and then allegedly opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 and injuring dozens of others.

But a nationwide review conducted by ABC News has identified at least 36 criminal cases where Trump was invoked in direct connection with violent acts, threats of violence

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So he’s inviting anyone

Aug 14th, 2019 10:24 am | By

Ok this tweet is breaking my heart so I guess it might as well break yours too.

This is Antonio Basco. His wife of 22 years, Margie, was murdered in El Paso. Mr. Basco says he has no other family so he’s inviting anyone, who wants to come, to attend his wife’s services in El Paso: Friday, August 16th Perches Funeral Home Northeast 4946 Hondo Pass 5-9pm

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Emergency, everybody to get from street

Aug 14th, 2019 3:18 am | By

The president has issued a statement on the protests in Hong Kong.

Well no that’s not quite accurate. Donald Trump has said some words on being asked about the protests in Hong Kong. The words were random and meaningless.

Asked by a reporter if the Chinese should show restraint against the demonstrators, Trump said “the Hong Kong thing is a very tough situation. We’ll see what happens. But I’m sure it’ll work out. I hope it works out for everybody, including China, by the way. I hope it works out for everybody.”

It’s almost as if he hasn’t the faintest idea what “Hong Kong” is, let alone what’s happening there and why it’s happening and what any of it … Read the rest

Sport needs to look hard at fairness

Aug 13th, 2019 11:25 am | By

Let’s learn more about that University of Otago study.

New Zealand researchers say trans athletes have an “unfair” advantage over other women and sport needs to fix binary gender categories.

The advantages trans athletes have over female competitors are considerably large and sport needs to look hard at fairness, along with their inclusion policies, Otago University Associate professor of physiology Lynley Anderson says.

The issue became hot because of Laurel Hubbard.

Male to female trans athletes have been allowed to compete in women’s divisions since 2015 provided their testosterone level does not exceed 10 nanomoles per litre.

However, the average amount of testosterone for a cis female (born female) ranges from .870nmol/L. to 1.7nmol/L – nearly ten times less

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An advantage over rivals

Aug 13th, 2019 11:04 am | By

New Zealand’s own Rachel McKinnon:

History might well record that we reached peak craziness on July 20, 2019. That was when I read a story in the sports pages about a champion New Zealand mountain biker named Kate Weatherly, who was born male but “transitioned to female” from the age of 17.

Weatherly was reported as objecting to a University of Otago study which found, surely to no-one’s surprise, that transgender female athletes have an advantage over rivals who are born female.

Her own record seems to prove the point. According to the story, Weatherly went from being an “average” men’s downhill mountain biker to winning the women’s elite national championship.

Just like McKinnon, and Hubbard, and Miller and … Read the rest

Our support for what?

Aug 13th, 2019 10:40 am | By

@UN_Women goes to bat for…men displacing women in sport, I guess.

Trans and intersex athletes often face discrimination in competitive sports, including being banned from events and stripped of their achievements. Let’s show our support and tell the world to #LetThemPlay!

Do they though? When, where?

Maybe trans men are banned from playing US football – the kind that specializes in concussions – for safety reasons? I don’t know, but if that is the case…is it discrimination or is it safety?

But what we’ve been seeing lately is the opposite: men who claim to be women being allowed, and indeed encouraged, to compete against women, using their physical advantages to win all the prizes.

Why is @UN_Women cheering that … Read the rest