She said nothing

Feb 29th, 2020 11:22 am | By


The organizer did indeed make heavy weather of that, and did make it sound as if Todd had done something sly or unreasonable by not replying.

They didn’t even thank her. Even when she pointed out they hadn’t thanked her, they didn’t thank her. It’s all so shitty.

You know who else takes help and services and support and scutwork for granted? When it’s women giving it?

Yup, you do.

But then at the event they treated that compromise as a generous kind all anyone could expect move.

This shit rots people’s brains.

Never ‘marginal’

Feb 29th, 2020 10:54 am | By

Filia has the short talk that Selina Todd would have given this morning if she hadn’t been abruptly pushed out at the last minute.

I am delighted to be here today. I owe my life to Ruskin College and my career to feminism. My parents met at Ruskin in 1967. My mum was one of 6 children who grew up in a working-class family in Leeds. She was the only girl. Here’s something she wrote recently about her childhood: ‘As a five- or six-year-old I had refused to touch my parents’ birthday present of a doll with a pram, sensing the restriction such a role-defined toy would place on me. My brothers would never have been offered such a present. I wanted a bike and after months of rejecting them, the doll and pram were sold and I got my bike. Action paid off.’

I grew up in a world very different from the one of her childhood. Thanks to the Women’s Liberation Movement, I had the right to equal pay and equal rights at work before I even got to school. When I started history at my coeducational comprehensive school in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the influence of feminism meant that the first history class we ever had was in women’s history. We were asked to go and interview the oldest woman we knew about her life. For me, women’s history and working-class history were never ‘marginal’, absolutely central to any understanding of who made change happen and how.

And they weren’t “exclusionary” either.

Today we continue to fight for those rights that the first Ruskin conference, and the movement it helped to create, campaigned for: the right to women’s refuges, women’s history teaching, equal pay and against male violence. At times it is easy to despair that this fight must continue. But history reminds us feminism never starts from a good place: it is borne from oppression. History also reminds us of the great victories that arose from that day at Ruskin fifty years ago. It is an honour to celebrate those feminists who made so many of our lives and achievements possible, and with whom we stand in sisterhood today.

The right to women’s refuges, in particular, is under attack not just from the right, not just from openly domineering men, but also from the woke left and from men who pretend to be women.

Selina Todd added a statement on the no-platforming:

I am shocked to have been no-platformed by this event, organised by Oxford International Women’s Festival and hosted at Exeter College. I was asked to participate in October 2019, and I explained to the organisers that some trans activists may object to my being there. I was then told that trans activists had already expressed hostility towards the event because they claimed second-wave feminism is inherently trans-exclusionary. However, the organisers decided that because I am a historian of feminism and working-class women, they would like to invite me, and were open to many different points of view being expressed at their event. I was delighted. I am deeply interested in the history of the WLM – my first academic article focused on it – and my parents met at Ruskin shortly before the first conference was held there. Participating had personal and scholarly significance. 

She warned them about the trans “activists” bullying, and they invited her anyway…then took it back hours before the event.

Between October 2019 and February 2020 I helped the organisers to get support from Oxford History Faculty – in the form of student helpers, facilitators and some funding – and to find media contacts. I was stunned to receive a phone call at 6pm on the evening before the conference telling me that I had been no-platformed. The organisers say this is because of pressure from trans activists and Feminist Fightback. I refute the allegation that I am transphobic, and I am disappointed that the organisers have refused to uphold our right to discuss women’s rights – one that the original organisers had to fight hard for.

I’m disappointed and very very very pissed off.

Just two minutes!

Feb 29th, 2020 9:50 am | By

I’m now 14 minutes into the video.

The two women doing the explaining are getting increasingly frustrated that the audience won’t just say ok and settle down and keep their issues about Selina Todd’s exclusion for lunch and breaks, so that the event can proceed.

But the audience in turn is frustrated that the two women doing the explaining don’t seem to grasp the outrageousness of the last minute disinvitation of Selina Todd.

The “explanation” in part is that Todd wasn’t on a panel or giving a talk, she was simply doing a two-minute thank you for the history department. That’s all! Two minutes! A thank you! It doesn’t count! One of them actually says it’s not a no-platforming if it’s only two minutes. I think that schedule with the conspicuous whiteouts tells a different story.

The main part of the “explanation” is that “people were pulling out” – and they had to decide, on very short notice, which would be the least disruptive thing to do. It’s not always possible to make out exactly what members of the audience are shouting back, but I think the gist of it is that they made the wrong choice. You can make out the word “bullying” quite often.

One of the women – the one who isn’t Tracy – explains that Selina and her history department colleague John were both going to say a thank you from the history department so the people in charge decided instead of both let’s just have John do it. At that point some shouts from the audience remind them that it’s a women’s conference.

It’s just a mess. These two women who are among those putting on this women’s liberation event and they appear to have no clue that it’s not ok to let men bully them into disinviting a woman from a women’s liberation event. “We told her she’s welcome to attend,” they keep insisting.

Promise kept

Feb 29th, 2020 9:26 am | By


And she was and she did.

I’ve watched 7 minutes so far. It’s maddening to watch – maddening to see the women academics explaining to other women academics that they simply had to push Selina Todd aside because “people were pulling out.” Julie and others keep asking “But why were they pulling out, what explanation did they give?”

Julie is…magnificent, as always.

No better way to mark women’s liberation

Feb 29th, 2020 8:54 am | By

My Twitter has much conversation about the rude last minute censoring and EXCLUSION of Selina Todd. (All caps because of the irony of the constant yapping about “inclusion” while excluding a feminist woman scholar from a feminist event because she doesn’t Center men in her feminism.)

The exclusion was so abrupt and last minute that they had to whiteout her name on the printed schedule.

You have got to be kidding.


Feb 28th, 2020 4:00 pm | By

Another shameful headline:

Exeter lecturer accused of ‘transphobia’ for saying ‘only females menstruate’

Sometimes the stupid feels like a swamp of thick muddy stinking muck closing over your head. Of course only females menstruate. Only females gestate infants, so only females need to menstruate. Only men inseminate, only women menstruate. It’s like the first page of the sex ed book. What the hell is wrong with people, flinging accusations at people for saying something so obvious and basic and accurate and pointless to deny?

An Exeter lecturer has been accused of transphobia after a series of tweets sent from a private account were uncovered.

“Uncovered” – why? By whom? By what right? Are women not allowed to talk in private?

One of the tweets sent by Economics lecturer Eva Poen read: “Only female people menstruate. Only female people go through menopause.”

The tweets have been criticised by LGBT+ Society, who say the attitudes shown are damaging to the wellbeing of trans students on campus.

What “attitudes shown”? Uttering a factual and non-insulting truth is not an “attitude.” If it’s damaging to the wellbeing of trans students to point out obvious facts about women then trans students should just be learning to deal with it.

“She is in a position of power over vulnerable young people while openly singling out trans people, especially trans students, with dismissive, disdainful attitudes,” the society told The Exeter Tab.

She’s a woman; she’s an economics lecturer. She’s not a corporate executive or a dictator or a man. She has “power over” students in the sense that she has some say over how well they do in her classes, but that’s all – it’s not a very worldly or far-reaching kind of power. Women have a right to state true facts about women, and confused students shouldn’t be trying to punish them for doing so.

These damn fools are marching backward.

So much for celebrating 50 years

Feb 28th, 2020 11:43 am | By
So much for celebrating 50 years

Another one.

About the event:

Join us for this anniversary event celebrating 50 years since the first Women’s Liberation Conference!

Held on the site of the former Ruskin college – the original venue for the 1970 conference – the day will be packed full of conversations, panel discussions and reflections.

In and at Oxford, this is. Oxford, where Selina Todd teaches history. Women’s history.

Eventbrite hasn’t scrubbed her from the schedule yet.

Women’s Liberation is about the liberation of women.

Todd says she was no-platformed – about 18 hours before she was due to speak! – because of her connection with Woman’s Place UK.

It’s a god damn outrage.

The 25th hour

Feb 28th, 2020 11:05 am | By

Yes, he really did say it. Here he is saying it.

CNN has more:

President Donald Trump is hoping for a “miracle” that will make the coronavirus disappear but tanking stock markets and signs the disease is stalking America are delivering their verdict on his scattershot management of the crisis.

“It’s going to disappear. One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” Trump said at the White House Thursday as the virus marched across Asia and Europe after US officials said the US should brace for severe disruption to everyday life.

The President also warned that things could “get worse before it gets better,” but he added it could “maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.”

Yes but just “seeing what happens” is not going to cut it. There are things people have to do – like wearing protective gear around infected people. Miracle-awaiting passivity is not our only or best option.

There are also signs that the White House is more concerned with its political plight than the burgeoning crisis.

An order for public health officials to clear all television appearances with the White House meanwhile raised the question of whether Trump will prioritize science as the threat from coronavirus rises or his own political standing.

That right there? That’s the wrong kind of action. Preventing public health officials from informing us is not the way to go. Error, error, return to starting position.

As television news channels devoted wall-to-wall coverage to the coronavirus, government public health officials were nowhere to be seen. Sources told CNN that all media appearances have to now be cleared with Pence’s office. The move could deprive Americans of sober, science-based advice from some of the best public health experts in the world.

Could? Almost certainly will, unless someone reverses the order.

CNN has reported that Trump has been angered that government health experts have contradicted his attempts to downplay the threat from the virus by saying it is all but “inevitable” the US will be affected and there will be severe disruption.

The revelation will do little to quell suspicions that Trump is trying to suppress damaging information to pacify the markets and protect himself politically and gets to the fundamental issue of the administration’s squandering of public trust. His acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, acknowledged to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday that potential disruptions to everyday life, such as school closures and impacts on public transportation, are likely. But his advice to people worried about the market reaction to the outbreak was to “tell people to turn their televisions off for 24 hours.”

Yeah, that’s the ticket, don’t do anything, just stick your head in the sand for 24 hours – on the 25th hour everything will be fine again!

Like a miracle

Feb 28th, 2020 10:37 am | By

None of this inspires confidence.

The briefing, led by CDC Director Robert Redfield and NIH infectious disease specialist Tony Fauci, was called to update members [of Congress] on the state of the coronavirus’ spread.

Redfield stressed that the risk to Americans remained low. But Fauci was more blunt, according to one person in the room, telling lawmakers that they need to accept there will be many more cases in the United States.

Fauci said the coronavirus is “unlikely to disappear” any time in the near future, according to the person. The remarks contradicted Trump’s declaration Thursday night that the disease was “going to disappear” one day “like a miracle.”


Fauci also emphatically denied reports that the White House is preventing him from speaking publicly about the virus. Vice President Mike Pence’s office had asked him to delay pre-scheduled television hits and seek renewed clearance to do the appearances in the wake of Pence’s appointment as response leader, he said.

How is that not preventing him from speaking publicly about the virus? Looks oddly like it to me.

Asked about an HHS whistleblower complaint alleging the department dispatched unprotected workers to aid coronavirus evacuees from China, the officials did not directly contradict the allegations, lawmakers said. But they insisted that they believed everyone was properly trained and protocols were followed.

That is really not the issue. Nobody cares what they “believed.” The issue is what they did, and didn’t do.

Robert Kadlec, the HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response, emphasized that no response workers had gotten sick while receiving the evacuees. But Rep. Mark Takano (D-Wash.), who represents a district where one of the Air Force bases that received evacuees, said he found the administration’s response lacking.

Fucking hell, not getting the disease does not mean you’re not contagious! This is the problem with putting Trump’s caddies and burger-fetchers in charge of things like the national health.

We’re doomed.

With three “other” women

Feb 28th, 2020 9:27 am | By

Sister Outrider is not submitting.

And Oger is still gloating and bragging and lying about it today.

What laws? What law is there that makes “transphobia” a crime? How can there be any such law when “transphobia” is so broadly defined (or more like undefined)? How can there be a law saying we must not say that men are not women? Oger considers it “transphobia” to see him as the smug entitled bullying man he is, but less ideologically warped people do not.

Oger is all too obviously getting a sick twisted thrill from forcing women, especially women who have been raped and women who provide services for them, to agree with him that he is a woman. He’s failing to force us all though, so nyah.

That’s sad. It’s a program for women, but the women in the program had to put up with Morgane Oger inserting himself (yes) into the meeting.

Because President Trump

Feb 28th, 2020 8:48 am | By

Late last night –

Why is he talking about himself in the third person? Why did he put his own name in quotation marks? Who knows. The important thing is, everything is all about him.

The WHO has other priorities.

The coronavirus outbreak has reached a “decisive point” and has “pandemic potential”, World Health Organization head Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus says.

For a second day, more cases have been reported outside than inside China.

Iran and Italy have become major centres of infection, with people travelling from there spreading the virus further afield.

Yes but how will all this affect Trump? That’s all that matters.

Prior approval

Feb 28th, 2020 8:15 am | By

So Pence’s press secretary is filtering what we get to learn from the government about this potential pandemic. They’ll be sending it to Fox News for approval next.

Very much under control is it?

Feb 27th, 2020 5:35 pm | By

Oh, man, here we go. The Trump gang is getting it wrong already. Very very wrong.

Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services sent more than a dozen workers to receive the first Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, without proper training for infection control or appropriate protective gear, according to a whistleblower complaint.

The workers did not show symptoms of infection and were not tested for the virus, according to lawyers for the whistleblower, a senior HHS official based in Washington who oversees workers at the Administration for Children and Families, a unit within HHS.

The whistleblower is seeking federal protection, alleging she was unfairly and improperly reassigned after raising concerns about the safety of these workers to HHS officials, including those within the office of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. She was told Feb. 19 that if she does not accept the new position in 15 days, which is March 5, she would be terminated.

In other words as with everything the Trump gang does, they’re doing it wrong and trying to silence people who warn us – and this time it’s a potential pandemic they’re getting wrong.

The complaint alleges HHS staff were “improperly deployed” and were “not properly trained or equipped to operate in a public health emergency situation.” The complaint also alleges the workers were potentially exposed to coronavirus because appropriate steps were not taken to protect them and staffers were not trained in wearing personal protective equipment, even though they had face-to-face contact with returning passengers. The workers were in contact with passengers in an airplane hangar where evacuees were received and on two other occasions: when they helped distribute keys for room assignments and hand out colored ribbons for identification purposes.

In some instances, the teams were working alongside personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in “full gown, gloves and hazmat attire,” the complaint said.

What did they think the CDC people were doing that for? A joke?

The whistleblower, in her complaint, states that “appropriate steps were not taken to quarantine, monitor, or test [the workers] during their deployment and upon their return home.” The repatriated Americans were among those evacuated from Wuhan and quarantined on military bases in California and Texas because they were considered at high risk for contracting the flu-like illness.

About 14 personnel from the Administration for Children and Families, or ACF, were sent to March Air Force base in Riverside County, Calif., and another team of about 13 ACF personnel were sent to Travis Air Force in Solano County, Calif., according to the complaint and the whistleblower’s lawyer, Ari Wilkenfeld.

Oh gee guess what – guess who else is in Solano County.

In Solano County this week, the first U.S. patient was confirmed to be infected with coronavirus who did not travel to a region where it is spreading or have known contact with someone diagnosed with the disease.

That’s who! The one who was in the news because of the mystery around how the infection happened. It’s a mystery no more.

After their deployments, the workers returned to their normal duties, some taking commercial airline flights to return to their offices around the country, the lawyers said.

So bang, there goes any chance of not spreading it here. Over.

Teresa Aracely Alcocer

Feb 27th, 2020 5:16 pm | By

Democracy Now has a brief but terrible report:

In Mexico, a radio broadcaster was shot to death Tuesday afternoon outside her home in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. She was known as Bárbara Greco on air. The 37-year-old had recently spoken out on violence against women and children in Mexico in response to the recent killing of a 7-year-old girl in Mexico City. Her friends and colleagues reported that her real name was Teresa Aracely Alcocer. Last December, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Mexico had suffered the second-highest number of journalist killings in 2019, after Syria.

The punishment for speaking out on violence against women and children is…death by violence.

Oger trolling

Feb 27th, 2020 4:55 pm | By

The loathsome Morgane Oger is gloating about Vancouver’s withdrawal of education funding for Vancouver Rape Relief, because VRR is an all-women organization.

A “purity test” he calls it. A man who pretends to be a woman calls a women’s organization for women who have been raped “a supremacist organization with a purity test on womanhood”…because it doesn’t agree with him that he is a woman. It’s as if Michael Bloomberg were a trans poor person and accused people who don’t agree that he’s a poor person “supremacists” conducting “purity tests.” Women are women, only women are women, men are not women, men are men – none of that is purity, it’s just humdrum daily reality, that doesn’t magically become something else just because we tell it too.


“Standing strong”=defunding part of VRR’s work.

It’s not VRR who should be embarrassed.

The organization does “recognize female persons to be female”; it doesn’t recognize male people as female, nor should it.

The male entitlement rises off Oger like steam.

Never before seen in history

Feb 27th, 2020 4:18 pm | By

Last summer Twitter permabanned Roger Dubar of Satiria. Of course it did.

A brand-new ideological view of “gender identity” has appeared, never before seen in history. It holds that the only difference between men and women is self-declared “gender identity”. It insists, regardless of their biological sex, that gender non-conforming people are the gender they say they are. It also insists that it is hate speech to even suggest that no one ever believed these ideas before.

Biological sex has real-world implications, in medicine, women’s sports, women’s prisons, statistical reporting, criminology, sexual attraction and in many other areas. Sex remains a protected characteristic in human rights law, despite the best efforts of some trans rights activists to change that. Expanding the definition of “women” to include men makes the word meaningless. Ironically, trans activists claiming that sex reduces womanhood to a matter of “biology” instead want to make being a woman nothing more than a personal belief.

If it were nothing more than a personal belief we would be able to declare ourselves men and see sexism vanish overnight.

I became interested in all this a few years back when I was describing in a Facebook thread my own experiences growing up as gender non-conforming . A trans teenager told me to go and kill myself and said they could not wait until all the “TERFs” were dead.

This level of deranged hatred from purported progressives, together with episodes like ambivalence on the Left to the murder of staff at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo (who, apparently, had it coming) led me to start the satirical account Satiria as a creative outlet.

Naturally Twitter isn’t going to put up with that sort of thing.

The hell with authenticity

Feb 27th, 2020 11:41 am | By

What we need is more shouty honest tell it like it is guys, right?*

Bernie Sanders’s performance in the last debate before Super Tuesday was a bellowing, boorish mess. The Vermont senator’s signature response when challenged was to pump up the volume, as though persuasiveness were measured in decibels. It was particularly excruciating to watch Pete Buttigieg attempt to inject some facts and reason into the proceedings, only to be interrupted again and again by Sanders’s shouting.

When I expressed dismay to a Democratic friend, he assured me it was just “Bernie being Bernie.” At least Sanders, the argument goes, speaks his mind. He is not scripted. He is true to himself. He may not play by the normal political rules, but he is the kind of outsider who will shake up the establishment.

That Democratic friend needs to watch some videos of Trump being Trump, speaking his mind, not being scripted, being true to himself, not playing by the normal political rules, being an outsider, shaking up the establishment – so that he can remember what a disaster that crap is.

[B]oth men have benefited from a certain definition of political authenticity that allows them — no, encourages them — to be unpleasant, ill-mannered loudmouths. The identification of authenticity with incivility and spontaneity is one of my pet peeves. And now my pet peeve has blossomed into a crisis of democratic values.

It’s one of my pet peeves too (mind you, it’s one of approximately 50 thousand), and you know what else? It’s only men who can convince people this makes sense; women are not allowed to come across as blunt but honest, rude but spontaneous, loud but energetic.

It is worth noting, first, that speaking your mind without filters is not a sign of political authenticity; it usually indicates a basic lack of respect for others. In almost any human interaction other than politics, Sanders’s outbursts on the debate stage would be taken as a sign of general jerkness. For Trump, such gracelessness is a lifestyle. Filtering out the worst of ourselves — demeaning language, crude insults, pushy interruptions — does not hide who we really are. It shows the kind of human beings we want to be.

And more important than that, it avoids causing pain and shame to other people. Demeaning language and crude insults are bad because they wound their targets (and because they encourage other people to do the same thing). First do no harm kind of thing. The demeaning language and crude insults are bad because they wound their targets, and we should want to be the kind of human beings who recoil from doing that.

There is a type of communication that seeks to change minds or clarify important differences. And there is a type of communication intended to establish dominance. The former is essential to self-government. The latter is more appropriate to professional wrestling matches and Trump campaign rallies (but I repeat myself).

Second, being unscripted in politics is not a reliable sign of authenticity. It generally comes from the arrogant and lazy belief that anything that pops in your head is worthy of public utterance. Authentic beliefs in politics emerge from reflection and craft. Ideas and policies are refined through the careful choice of arguments and words.

That belief that anything that pops into your head is worthy of public utterance is way up on my list of pet peeves, and makes me allergic to people who babble incessantly the way Trump does.

In the upside-down world of American politics, Sanders and Trump are given credit by their followers for vices that corrupt democracy. Meanwhile, grace, careful rhetoric, learning and governing skill have few practitioners and few defenders.

Well…Obama did get elected, twice. But then so did Bush.

*Editing to add: I have no idea how shouty Sanders actually was and how he compared to anyone else, I was just interested in the point about authenticity and shoutyness.

Just one guy’s experience

Feb 27th, 2020 10:57 am | By

There’s something hilarious (however depressing) about people announcing some stale wrong pejorative stereotype as if they’d discovered it themselves from their own personal experience and detached observation.

Aw how sweet – the old he thinks/she feels insult, offered with shy sincerity as if no one had ever said it before.

He’s the brains she’s the feefees. Never heard that before.

Pence in fact does NOT have “a talent for this”

Feb 27th, 2020 10:40 am | By

Some are expressing caution.

A lack of seriousness

Feb 27th, 2020 10:22 am | By

Is Pence a good choice to lead the US response to the new virus?

“Mike is not a czar,” Trump said. “I don’t view Mike as a czar.”

Pence is not a public health expert, either. Instead, as governor of Indiana, he slashed public health spending and delayed the introduction of needle exchanges, which led to the state’s worst outbreak of HIV.

So he’s not just not a good choice, he’s a specifically bad choice, one with a record of fucking up government response to a contagious disease. Swell.

Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves, who conducted the research linking the Indiana HIV outbreak to Pence’s policies, tweeted that the decision “speaks to a lack of seriousness by the White House.”

And a lack of competence, and a lack of giving a damn.

Pence also has a history of downplaying the link between smoking and lung cancer, writing in a 2000 op-ed that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”

How is it that he’s not earning a huge salary working for Big Tobacco?