The misconduct

Jan 21st, 2020 11:42 am | By

Schiff’s powerful opening statement.

The ACLU is telling whoppers

Jan 21st, 2020 11:24 am | By

Oh ACLU. You are so fucked up.

Nobody is trying to “keep trans youth out of sports.” The issue is BOYS who identify as trans competing against girls. Boys should compete with other boys whether they identify as trans or not. That’s the issue, as of course you know.

And women who say that – the way I just did – are “actually” fighting for women’s rights in sport, while you are trying to sabotage them.

Nobody is “cast out of the category of ‘woman'”; men are not in the category of “woman” in the first place.

You don’t get to tell women that we have to pretend that some men are women because they say they are. You don’t get to force us to deny what we know, you don’t get to force us to step aside, you don’t get to force us to shut up, you don’t get to tell us we’ve been displaced by the new and more exciting version of women that is performed by men.

What’s the source of that dopy statement? I found this one from last August in the Raleigh [North Carolina] News and Observer:

Advocates of transgender rights reject concerns about bathrooms and locker rooms.

“Instead, we recognize the harm to all women and girls that will flow from allowing some women and girls to be denied opportunities to participate and cast out of the category of ‘woman’ for failing to meet standards driven by stereotypes and fear,” they said in a statement

But…we were told it came from “groups that actually fight for women’s rights in sports.” That sounds like, you know, feminist groups. But the groups turn out to be those that advocate for transgender rights – which is not the same thing at all. In fact as we see from this very story, they can be in tension with women’s rights. So, in short, the ACLU flat-out lied in this particular tweet.

Guest post: An Honor Culture mentality

Jan 21st, 2020 10:58 am | By

Originally a comment by Sastra on A T shirt that could cause trouble or offence.

When psychologically fragile people are encouraged to believe they have no control over their emotions and no capacity to become mentally confident and self-sufficient — and society is told that these fragile people are completely and utterly dependent on outside validation in order for them to function or indeed even continue to live — we end up with self-appointed Saviors. Someone has to step in to protect the vulnerable.

We then go from a Culture of Respect, in which self-worth is inherent and restraint and resilience are held up as ideals, to an Honor Culture mentality, in which worth is socially determined. The ability to revenge yourself against those who dishonor you is now the currency of status. If the first one could be said to have the motto “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words could never hurt me,” then the second one is a combination of “Them’s fightin’ words” and “I don’t get mad; I get even.”

It’s the only way I can make sense of a gay man bashing a gay woman for wearing a pro-gay t-shirt, and celebrating violence against her. He’s a Savior fighting for the honor of those whose sense of worth is external, for they have Been Offended, and in an Honor Culture there is no other recourse than swift, harsh retaliation.

A T shirt that could cause trouble or offence

Jan 21st, 2020 8:30 am | By

The new gay-basher, so like the old gay-basher.

Huh. Man approves of a bar that throws a woman out into the January night without her jacket and keys because she is wearing a pro-lesbians and gays T shirt. I guess Man is a Christian fanatic, or maybe a some other religion fanatic? Or just a secular fanatic? But anyway someone who hates lesbians and gays and is happy to see them persecuted and ostracized.

Mind you he would probably tell us he has no objection to lesbians and gays he just doesn’t approve when they shove it in our noses, when they be lesbian and gay in public, when they flaunt their pervy slogans in our restaurants and bars.

But but wait, no, that can’t be it – his profile says he’s gay himself.

Scottish comedian, former journalist, ranter, moaner, gay, HIV positive – undetectable.

And yet he thinks LesbianGayBisexualAlliance is such an evil label that it justifies throwing a woman out of a gay bar?

We live in a confusing world.

The worst

Jan 20th, 2020 5:30 pm | By

Another book with further details about the horror that is Trump, this one by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post (we read an excerpt the other day):

Trump’s West Wing is tantamount to a family business and everything is personal. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump obtain security clearances because they are kin.

After publicly punting the issue to Kelly, Trump is described as applying pressure privately. “I wish we could make this go away,” he reportedly told Kelly. “This is a problem.” Said differently, protocols and national security were treated as impediments, not safeguards, when Javanka got involved.

It’s just his personal excellent con, it’s nothing to do with the country or its people.

At a meeting in the Pentagon’s inner sanctum, the “Tank”, the draft-dodging Trump derided America’s generals as “dopes and babies”. He added: “I wouldn’t go to war with you people.” Debasement was a coin of the realm.

That’s the one we read the other day.

When Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of homeland security and a Kelly deputy, balked at Trump’s demands on immigration, he berated her looks and height. For good measure, according to the authors, Trump would call her at 5am, just for the sake of harassment.

He’s like every shithead you’ve ever had to work with or sit next to at holiday dinners, rolled into one, magnified a thousand times, and running the country.

Likewise, Trump mocked HR McMaster, Michael Flynn’s replacement as national security adviser, for his mien and wardrobe. The scholarly McMaster was always on borrowed time.

Because Trump’s mien and wardrobe are so perfect.

Says one of McMaster’s aides, Trump “doesn’t fire people … he tortures them until they’re willing to quit.”

Every shithead you’ve ever encountered, added together and multiplied…

Stand still and count to 8

Jan 20th, 2020 4:44 pm | By

I saw this

so I had to go looking for it.

She’s not kidding. He walks up, shaking his stupid little fists, the two of them stand there with their backs turned as if at a urinal, then Trump puts a “that’s enough I’m bored” hand on Pence’s shoulder and they turn around and Trump shakes a stupid little fist again.

God I wish he would just spontaneously melt into a pool of grease right this second.

What a turnout

Jan 20th, 2020 11:48 am | By

Does it make sense to call it a “peaceful protest” – let alone “incredibly” peaceful – when many or most of the people protesting are conspicuously carrying guns?

No, it doesn’t. A large gathering of men carrying assault rifles is a threat, a visible calculated threat, aka terrorism.

Threats are not “peaceful” and guns are not not-threats.

Campaign song

Jan 20th, 2020 11:37 am | By

Playing soldiers with real guns

Jan 20th, 2020 10:19 am | By

More from the Hooray For Guns rally.

Festivities have commenced

Jan 20th, 2020 10:01 am | By


Just imagine if they were not white men.

Jenner voted for Trump

Jan 19th, 2020 5:41 pm | By

Aw, swell, just what we need.

Caitlyn Jenner is using her voice to speak out for transgender rights.

The activist and former Olympian, 70, took the stage at the Women’s March in Los Angeles on Saturday and declared her desire to change the direction the country is taking.

Oh, at the Women’s March. A man who won medals at the Olympics and killed a woman with his car “took the stage” at the Women’s March, because anything for women is always improved by having a man take over. Always.

Dressed in a white blazer, lavender skirt and heels, Jenner shared her delight to be attending her very first Women’s March.

If you report on a woman you have to say what she’s wearing. It’s only courteous.

“Together as women, trans women and cis[gender] women, we have the power to influence our communities, our families, our friends and colleagues, and turn this country around!” she told the crowd, Deadline reported.

No. He’s not a woman and we’re not “together as women” with him. By all means help turn the country around, but get out of women’s spaces and marches.

Though she supported President Donald Trump in the 2016 election, Jenner has since said she was wrong to advocate for him, based on his treatment of transgender people.

Yeah never mind everyone else.

Jenner is an asshole, and calling himself a woman doesn’t make him one tiny bit less so.

However, things are not so simple today

Jan 19th, 2020 4:06 pm | By

No, really? That’s not fake?

It’s not fake; I found them.




On the one hand, the sex that produces spermatazoa, and on the other hand

The traditional definition of female was “an individual of the sex that bears young” or “that produces ova or eggs”. However, things are not so simple today. Female can be defined by physical appearance, by chromosome constitution (see Female chromosome complement), or by gender identification. Female chromosome complement: The large majority of females have a 46, XX chromosome complement (46 chromosomes including two X chromosomes). A minority of females have other chromosome constitutions such as 45,X (45 chromosomes including only one X chromosome) and 47,XXX (47 chromosomes including three X chromosomes).

Female can be defined by physical appearance or gender identification. Male? Oh that’s a whole other story.

What is it to exclude?

Jan 19th, 2020 11:24 am | By

Some people were chatting about the LGB Alliance.

But what does that mean, “exclusionary”?

All groups “exclude” some people, necessarily, because if they don’t they’re just “everybody.” They may be open to all who want to join, but they still “exclude” those who don’t want to join.

This is ok. It’s allowed. It’s not automatically evil. Of course there can be exclusion for bad reasons, but exclusion by itself is neutral.

The LGB umbrella has been expanding by adding letters for years, so much so that it’s an easy joke, but there are in fact substantive reasons to ask if the expansion really makes sense. The reality is that being trans is not the same thing as being same-sex attracted, and in some ways the two conflict. Cotton ceiling, anyone? Lesbians don’t necessarily want to have sex with men who identify as women, and they don’t much want to be bullied for that preference, either.

It’s not obvious that it’s evil or phobic or “exclusionary” in the pejorative sense for LGB people to want a group for just them and not also trans people.

But never mind all that, just keep repeating “exclusionary” until the rocks melt into the sea.

Absolutely in fashion

Jan 19th, 2020 10:26 am | By

And there’s the trendy angle.

What I don’t get about this, and probably never will, is why it’s trendy. What’s so trendy about it? What’s the outcome? Lesbians become…straight men? I’m not seeing the trendy.

Call me old-fashioned but I’d rather have more lesbians than more straight men. There’s no great shortage of straight men in the world, so what’s the burning need to make more of them by magicking lesbians?

Call me old-fashioned and boomer and TERF and all the rest of it, but I still think lesbians and gays (and feminists) do far more to uproot and disrupt and sabotage the rules and restrictions of gender than The Magic Gender Party on its best day.

No longer welcome

Jan 19th, 2020 9:52 am | By

This happened last night:

If we’re thinking that lesbians and gays and bisexuals should be able to have alliances and groups for lesbians and gays and bisexuals, Owen Jones is here to tell us we’re wrong to think that.

But why does “the LGBTQ movement” have to be that and only that? Why is it some kind of law of the universe that all those items belong together, and not just together but always together, and not just always together but always together on pain of expulsion from bars and chastisement from Owen Jones?

Here’s the thing: T is not the same as L and G. In some ways it’s in sharp tension with L and G, just as in some ways it’s in sharp tension with feminism.

But Owen Jones knows better; Owen Jones knows that’s just hate speech.

Hmm. Smells like projection.

No tv or pop music for you, missy

Jan 18th, 2020 3:57 pm | By

Ah yes, the Amish. Who would ever have thought that a religious sect that isolates its members would turn out to have a nasty habit of raping its own daughters and sisters? Besides everyone who thinks about it for a minute?

As a child, Sadie* was carefully shielded from outside influences, never allowed to watch TV or listen to pop music or get her learner’s permit. Instead, she attended a one-room Amish schoolhouse and rode a horse and buggy to church—a life designed to be humble and disciplined and godly.

And very safe for rapey boys and men.

By age 9, she says, she’d been raped by one of her older brothers. By 12, she’d been abused by her father, Abner*, a chiropractor who penetrated her with his fingers on the same table where he saw patients, telling her he was “flipping her uterus” to ensure her fertility. By 14, she says, three more brothers had raped her and she was being attacked in the hayloft or in her own bed multiple times a week. She would roll over afterward, ashamed and confused. The sisters who shared Sadie’s room (and even her bed) never woke up—or if they did, never said anything, although some later confided that they were being raped too. Sadie’s small world was built around adherence to rules—and keeping quiet was one of them. “There was no love or support,” she says. “We didn’t feel that we had anywhere to go to say anything.”

All rules, and no love. Lots of rape, and no way to escape from it.

This god sure as hell hates women.

So she kept quiet, even when the police asked questions.

Even on the day when, almost two years later, Abner was sentenced by a circuit court judge to just five years’ probation.

And even on the day when, at 14, she says she was cornered in the pantry by one of her brothers and raped on the sink, and then felt a gush and saw blood running down her leg, and cleaned up alone while he walked away, and gingerly placed her underwear in a bucket of cold water before going back to her chores. A friend helped her realize years later: While being raped, she had probably suffered a miscarriage.

It’s as if the males in her family saw her as an appliance, not a person. Did they get that from their god?

Sarah McClure, the author of the piece, says it’s everywhere:

Over the past year, I’ve interviewed nearly three dozen Amish people, in addition to law enforcement, judges, attorneys, outreach workers, and scholars. I’ve learned that sexual abuse in their communities is an open secret spanning generations. Victims told me stories of inappropriate touching, groping, fondling, exposure to genitals, digital penetration, coerced oral sex, anal sex, and rape, all at the hands of their own family members, neighbors, and church leaders.

And these men all, it seems fair to assume, see themselves as particularly godly and devout and holy and thus “good” – yet they have no compunction about repeatedly raping their own sisters and daughters.

In my reporting, I identified 52 official cases of Amish child sexual assault in seven states over the past two decades. Chillingly, this number doesn’t begin to capture the full picture. Virtually every Amish victim I spoke to—mostly women but also several men—told me they were dissuaded by their family or church leaders from reporting their abuse to police or had been conditioned not to seek outside help (as Sadie put it, she knew she’d just be “mocked or blamed”). Some victims said they were intimidated and threatened with excommunication. Their stories describe a widespread, decentralized cover-up of child sexual abuse by Amish clergy.

“We’re told that it’s not Christlike to report,” explains Esther*, an Amish woman who says she was abused by her brother and a neighbor boy at age 9. “It’s so ingrained. There are so many people who go to church and just endure.”

Wait. It’s not Christlike to report. But is it Christlike to rape?

Why is the onus on the victims to shut up and endure the constant assaults, and not on the boys and men to refrain from assaulting their sisters and daughters? What about telling the men to be “Christlike” first?

T here’s no one reason for the sexual abuse crisis in Amish Country. Instead, there’s a perfect storm of factors: a patriarchal and isolated lifestyle in which victims have little exposure to police, coaches, or anyone else who might help them; an education system that ends at eighth grade and fails to teach children about sex or their bodies; a culture of victim shaming and blaming; little access to the technology that enables communication or broader social awareness; and a religion that prioritizes repentance and forgiveness over actual punishment or rehabilitation. Amish leaders also tend to be wary of law enforcement, preferring to handle disputes on their own.

But the religion seems to prioritize repentance and forgiveness not just over punishment or rehabilitation but also over not raping. Over stopping. Never mind punishment, what about stopping? What exactly is the repentance if the raping never stops?

It’s common for Amish victims to be viewed by the community as just as guilty as the abuser—as consenting partners committing adultery, even if they’re children. Victims are expected to share responsibility and, after the church has punished their abuser, to quickly forgive. If they fail to do so, they’re the problem.

When the rare case does end up in court, the Amish overwhelmingly support the abusers, who tend to appear with nearly their entire congregations behind them, survivors and law enforcement sources say. This can compound the trauma of speaking out. “We’ve had cases where there’ll be 50 Amish people standing up for the offender and no one speaks for the victim,” says Stedman.

Does God hate women? Looks that way.

Explain yourself

Jan 18th, 2020 2:38 pm | By

Man who identifies as a woman bullies woman (and Labour MP) to agree that he is a woman.

That is, trans woman Juno Dawson grills Labour MP Jess Phillips on why she retweeted the Women’s Party UK and does she understand why that retweet “caused some concern”?

Think very carefully before you reply.

“How much of this shit do we have to listen to?” Trump asked

Jan 18th, 2020 11:39 am | By

Trump did a talk for donors at Mar-a-Lago last night, in which he explained that he killed Suleimani because he said bad things about us.

In his speech — held inside the gilded ballroom on his Mar-a-Lago property — he claimed that Soleimani was “saying bad things about our country” before the strike, which led to his decision to authorize his killing.

“How much of this shit do we have to listen to?” Trump asked. “How much are we going to listen to?”

Who knew that badmouthing the US was a capital offense? Trump says bad things about most countries; does that mean those countries all have a right to take him out with a drone?

Trump did not describe an “imminent threat” that led to his decision to kill Soleimani, the justification used by administration officials in the aftermath of the attack.

Almost as if that was just the pretext, for public consumption.

He went on to recount listening to military officials as they watched the strike from “cameras that are miles in the sky.”

Of course he did. Big boy playing with real guns! Look at big boy!

“They’re together sir,” Trump recalled the military officials saying. “Sir, they have two minutes and 11 seconds. No emotion. ‘2 minutes and 11 seconds to live, sir. They’re in the car, they’re in an armored vehicle. Sir, they have approximately one minute to live, sir. 30 seconds. 10, 9, 8 …’ ”

“Then all of a sudden, boom,” he went on. “‘They’re gone, sir. Cutting off.'”

That’s four “sirs” in that short passage. He does love being called “sir,” bone spurs or no bone spurs. Next to killing people, it might be his favorite thing.


Jan 18th, 2020 11:08 am | By



God hates blur

Jan 18th, 2020 9:32 am | By

Oh did they now.

The Post reports:

The large color photograph that greets visitors to a National Archives exhibit celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage shows a massive crowd filling Pennsylvania Avenue NW for the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

The 49-by-69-inch photograph is a powerful display. Viewed from one perspective, it shows the 2017 march. Viewed from another angle, it shifts to show a 1913 black-and-white image of a women’s suffrage march also on Pennsylvania Avenue. The display links momentous demonstrations for women’s rights more than a century apart on the same stretch of pavement.

There’s just that one tiny problem.

The Archives acknowledged in a statement this week that it made multiple alterations to the photo of the 2017 Women’s March showcased at the museum, blurring signs held by marchers that were critical of Trump. Words on signs that referenced women’s anatomy were also blurred.

You know…there’s a reason there were words on signs that “referenced women’s anatomy”…i.e. used the word “pussy.” The reason is the fact that Trump himself used it in a bro-chat aka “locker room talk” in which he bragged about grabbing women by that bit of their anatomy. Blurring it in a photo of the march protects Trump, and no one else. It’s Trump who uses hostile contemptuous language to talk about women in the company of other men. That’s an important part of the story the Archive is curating, so they shouldn’t be blurring it out.

In the original version of the 2017 photograph, taken by Getty Images photographer Mario Tama, the street is packed with marchers carrying a variety of signs, with the Capitol in the background. In the Archives version, at least four of those signs are altered.

A placard that proclaims “God Hates Trump” has “Trump” blotted out so that it reads “God Hates.” A sign that reads “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women” has the word Trump blurred out.

If they’re too squeamish to stage a display critical of the current president then they shouldn’t do the display at all.

“As a non-partisan, non-political federal agency, we blurred references to the President’s name on some posters, so as not to engage in current political controversy,” Archives spokeswoman Miriam Kleiman said in an emailed statement. “Our mission is to safeguard and provide access to the nation’s most important federal records, and our exhibits are one way in which we connect the American people to those records. Modifying the image was an attempt on our part to keep the focus on the records.”

Then just don’t do it. If displaying it requires censorship then don’t display it.

Archive officials did not respond to a request to provide examples of previous instances in which the Archives altered a document or photograph so as not to engage in political controversy.

Because there aren’t any? Or because they haven’t found any yet?

They explained that the image is a “graphic design component” but not an “artifact” and that they alter only the former, not the latter. It’s clear enough that a reproduction at the entry is not the same thing as archival material, but it still seems completely grotesque for the national archive to distort by censoring a reproduction of one of its images.

When told about the action taken by the Archives, prominent historians expressed dismay. “There’s no reason for the National Archives to ever digitally alter a historic photograph,” Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley said. “If they don’t want to use a specific image, then don’t use it. But to confuse the public is reprehensible. The head of the Archives has to very quickly fix this damage. A lot of history is messy, and there’s zero reason why the Archives can’t be upfront about a photo from a women’s march.”

Quite so – if they feel they can’t use the photo without censoring it, then don’t use the photo. Don’t lie to us.

Wendy Kline, a history professor at Purdue University, said it was disturbing that the Archives chose to edit out the words “vagina” and “pussy” from an image of the Women’s March, especially when it was part of an exhibit about the suffragist movement. Hundreds of thousands of people took part in the 2017 march in the District, which was widely seen as a protest of Trump’s victory.

“Doctoring a commemorative photograph buys right into the notion that it’s okay to silence women’s voice and actions,” Kline said in an email. “It is literally erasing something that was accurately captured on camera. That’s an attempt to erase a powerful message.”

But then, silencing women’s voices and actions is kind of the hot new trend right now.