All entries by this author

That domestic violence was PRIVATE

Jun 18th, 2019 11:29 am | By

It’s strange how men who assault women, or defend other men who assault women, keep turning up in Trump’s administration. The acting secretary of defense just resigned.

The Washington Post pressed the button to launch this story at 12.58PM ET today, one minute ahead of the time logged when Donald Trump announced Shanahan’s withdrawal from the process to find his forever home at the Pentagon.

It’s pretty raw, beginning:

In the months that he has served as President Trump’s acting secretary of defense, Patrick Shanahan has worked to keep domestic violence incidents within his family private. His wife was arrested after punching him in the face, and his son was arrested after a separate incident in which he

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Map of what is not up for debate

Jun 18th, 2019 10:21 am | By

A philosopher sent Brian Leiter a guide to Philosophical Discussion of Trans Identity.

Members of the profession have doubtless seen the recent letter from MAP, objecting to the participation of Kathleen Stock at a recent meeting of the Aristotelian Society. As the letter writers thoughtfully advised: “scepticism about the rights of marginalised groups and individuals, where issues of life and death are at stake, are not up for debate. The existence and validity of transgender and non-binary people, and the right of trans and non-binary people to identify their own genders and sexualities, fall within the range of such indisputable topics”.

Junior members of the profession may be wondering what sorts ideas may be discussed and

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Never being able to get flat enough

Jun 18th, 2019 9:51 am | By

The NY Times is still normalizing breast-mutilation.

A recent Times article on chest binding prompted a discussion among readers about the practice, which some transgender and gender-nonconforming people use to compress their breasts and treat body dysphoria, as well as how we covered it.

I bet it did.

So the Times asked readers to report on their adventures in binding. They got more than 200 responses, mostly from very young people (of course – this wasn’t a fashion ten years ago).

I am 31 and have been wearing constrictive sports bras since I developed breasts in high school. I didn’t know about binders until well into my 20s. I wish I had. Without the availability of binders, many people

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Our support for policies and practices which are inclusive and supportive

Jun 17th, 2019 4:58 pm | By

There’s a counter-letter to yesterday’s letter to the Times. Of course there is.

The title is “University support for LGBTQIA+ people”…as if the letter to the Times were about refusing to support people.

The letter is bad. It’s bad the way these things are always bad – it’s all buzzwords and rote phrases that are abstract and not defined. Academics shouldn’t be writing bad letters of that kind.

As academics and other colleagues working in higher education, we are writing to register our support for policies and practices which are inclusive and supportive of our trans colleagues and students.

What does that mean? Inclusive in what sense? Supportive how?

There is reasonable inclusion, which means not excluding people … Read the rest

Applying the social pressure

Jun 17th, 2019 4:05 pm | By

Ok ok yes I know I can’t force people to believe ridiculous things…but I sure as hell can bully them into pretending to believe them!

Useful, in a way, to see one of them admit it. “Come here, bitch, I need to apply some social pressure to you.”

Well, by claiming that sex/gender is an identity, trans dogmatists are intellectually and politically harming feminists. Impasse? How about we … Read the rest

Meet the queer gorilla

Jun 17th, 2019 11:00 am | By

The Natural History Museum – the one in South Kensington, next to the V&A –  has lost its mind.

The opening shot was June 1.

A rebellious member of the public asked what they were talking about.

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Jun 17th, 2019 10:16 am | By

The BBC pulls out a few items from Trump’s 30 hours of talking.

Mr Trump argued that no president has ever been as mistreated as himself, including Abe Lincoln, who was shot dead.

“If you can believe it, Abraham Lincoln was treated supposedly very badly,” he said. “But nobody’s been treated badly like me.”

Mr Trump, who calls himself a student of history, has previously drawn comparisons with the 16th president. During a rally last September in Montana, Mr Trump said Lincoln’s legendary Gettysburg Address “was excoriated by the fake news”.

And during his first election campaign, Mr Trump claimed: “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, I can be more presidential than any president that’s ever held

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Jun 17th, 2019 9:52 am | By

This is great. Mere human dares to cough while Trump is talking.

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Taller, bigger and stronger on average

Jun 16th, 2019 5:22 pm | By

Sean Ingle at the Guardian:

The International Olympic Committee’s guidelines for transgender athletes are unfair on female athletes and should be suspended while more research is carried out, according to a group of former and current Team GB athletes surveyed by an academic.

In the survey of 15 female British Olympians, most of them answering anonymously, 11 also agreed with the view that “it can never be fair for transgender athletes who have been through male puberty to compete in female sport”, with another declining to answer.

Among those questioned – who came from track and field, swimming, rowing and modern pentathlon – were Tessa Sanderson, the 1984 Olympic javelin gold medallist, and Sharron Davies, who won a

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Ya fiyad

Jun 16th, 2019 3:42 pm | By

Trump is firing his pollsters because he doesn’t like the numbers. Attaboy Don! That’ll work! Get more loyal pollsters, and they’ll make the numbers come out better, and that way you’ll win.

President Trump’s re-election campaign is letting go of some of its own pollsters after leaked internal polling showed the president behind Joe Biden in critical states, NBC News reports. Parts of the president’s expansive March polling was made public in recent days. The polls reportedly showed the president trailing across 2020 swing states, as well as in reliably red states that haven’t been competitive for decades in national elections. In states where Trump edged Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by narrow margins in 2016—such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida,

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Oh I see, it’s our fault is it

Jun 16th, 2019 3:27 pm | By

It turns out it was our fault that Mermaids posted all those private emails online. We turn the milk sour when we feel like it, too.

Mermaids UK stated it had notified the Information Commissioner’s Office, the data protection watchdog, and contacted those affected.

The Charity Commission had also been notified, it said, and an independent investigation into the breach would be launched.

“We’re going to be employing a third party to oversee processes and advise on how we can improve internal practice,” the spokesperson told the BBC.

“I think it’s important to note that this dates back some two years when Mermaids was a smaller charity dealing with the first aggressive onslaught from those who are opposed to giving

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Trump Depths

Jun 16th, 2019 2:47 pm | By

A new town in occupied territory named “Trump Heights” – it makes a certain kind of sense.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a plaque marking the location of the newest settlement in the Golan Heights on Sunday.

The marker proclaims the settlement will be known as “Trump Heights.” Netanyahu said the name was chosen to thank President Donald Trump for breaking decades of US tradition and recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel in March. Prior to that point, the US observed the international custom of considering it occupied territory.

Probably because that’s what it is.

H/t Rob… Read the rest

The vulnerable lose the right to name their oppressors

Jun 16th, 2019 11:50 am | By

BBC News in 2014:

The Paedophile Information Exchange was affiliated to the National Council for Civil Liberties – now Liberty – in the late 1970s and early 1980s. But how did pro-paedophile campaigners operate so openly?

A gay rights conference backs a motion in favour of paedophilia. The story is written up by a national newspaper as “Child-lovers win fight for role in Gay Lib”.

It sounds like a nightmarish plotline from dystopian fiction. But this happened in the UK. The conference took place in Sheffield and the newspaper was the Guardian. The year was 1975.

Child rapists were trying to go mainstream.

The group behind the attempt – the Paedophile Information Exchange – is back in the news

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Broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr Trump

Jun 16th, 2019 11:04 am | By


It turns out there are drawbacks to having a president who is too childish and reckless and self-serving to be trusted with…anything, basically.

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Neat boxes

Jun 16th, 2019 10:35 am | By

Et tu Natural History Museum?

Joan was assigned Jonathan at birth.… Read the rest

To register our disquiet

Jun 16th, 2019 10:14 am | By

Today in the Times:

Mick Hartley shares the letter:

The LGBT charity Stonewall has a Diversity Champions programme, which UK universities are rushing to associate themselves with, thereby demonstrating their commitment to inclusivity and the battle against transphobia. Hidden away near the bottom of the Sunday Times letters page today, a large number of academics – mostly women – express their concerns:

As academics we are writing to register our disquiet over the inappropriately close relationship between the LGBT charity Stonewall and UK

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In the tents with the girls

Jun 15th, 2019 5:16 pm | By

Janice Turner in the Times:

In 2005, when WH Smith sold Playboy-branded pencil cases, parents argued that little girls were being groomed into porn culture; in 2011, when the Playboy club reopened in Mayfair, it was picketed by feminists who, like Gloria Steinem, saw it as a “gendered version of a minstrel show”; in 2017, Hugh Hefner’s obituaries catalogued the misogyny of his porn empire and sordid mansion. But in 2019, posing for Playboy is “empowering” and qualifies you to be hired as a role model for Britain’s most vulnerable children.

What did I miss? Despite PR spin by Hefner’s son Cooper, men still don’t read it for the articles.

When I saw that Munroe Bergdorf, whose day job

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Mermaids wants more of it, much faster

Jun 15th, 2019 3:31 pm | By

Susie Green of Mermaids accidentally posted a bunch of highly personal emails online.

Andrew Gilligan in the Times:

Many of the emails, written between 2016 and 2017, included the full names of the parents and children, pre- and post-transition, along with telephone numbers and intimate details of treatment and care. They were sent in confidence by the parents, or forwarded by other agencies, to Susie Green, chief executive of Mermaids, the high-profile transgender children’s support group.

The messages could be found through a simple online search until Friday, when Mermaids removed them after being contacted by this newspaper.

Alongside the client emails were hundreds of often revealing internal ones showing trustees’ concerns about Green’s leadership, accusations from parents

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Their crime was to help the wrong kind of human beings

Jun 15th, 2019 12:14 pm | By

Kenan Malik thinks maybe it shouldn’t be a crime to help people in emergency situations.

In Arizona on 11 June, a jury was unable to reach a verdict on Scott Daniel Warren, a college lecturer accused of conspiracy to transport and harbour migrants after providing them with food and shelter. He faced up to 20 years in jail. He may still do if there’s a retrial.

Meanwhile, in Sicily, Pia Klemp, the German captain of the boat Sea-Watch 3, was charged with assisting in illegal immigration after rescuing migrants in distress in the Mediterranean. She, too, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Warren and Klemp are the latest victims of a disturbing trend that has gone

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The empowerificationality of Sarah Sanders

Jun 15th, 2019 11:57 am | By

Sarah Sanders was a terrible press secretary but Arwa Mahdawi suggests that wasn’t her real job.

Sanders was never really hired to be a press secretary. Her real job, I’d venture, was to be a Very Visible Woman. Her real job was to be the female face of a deeply misogynistic administration; to play the role of the empowered working mother and make the Trump administration’s crass patriarchy more palatable.

Mind you, it cuts into the Very Visible bit if you stop holding press briefings.

There’s no better example of how effective Sanders was at using her sex as a shield than the speed with which a number of high-profile female journalists jumped to Sanders’ defense when Michelle Wolf

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