One glassy-eyed celebrity after another

Jun 22nd, 2020 11:20 am | By

A rather sad account of transgender life:

Am I a woman? I used to believe I was. I used to have stars in my eyes. My role model was the Bond girl (and self-described “Transsexual Supermodel”) Caroline Cossey. She was gorgeous and glamorous. If she could do it, couldn’t I? Me, a socially awkward boy who struggled to find brotherhood in the company of boys, who more easily made friends with girls. Why not?

I have a lot of sympathy for that struggling to find brotherhood in the company of boys. I had friends who were boys who struggled that way. It wasn’t that they “felt like girls,” as far as I remember, so much as it was that they were nerdy aka bookish aka intellectually inclined aka not particularly keen on sports. The company of boys can be tiring.

In the very early days of the modern Internet, there was a non-commercial predecessor to Facebook and Twitter called IRC, or Internet Relay Channel [Chat]. Using login credentials borrowed from a teacher, I used this chat network to seek out help. And I found it. For a misfit like me, finding a group of people who were accepting and validating was amazing. Maybe even intoxicating. These people understood me—or, even if they didn’t quite understand me, they would at least listen to me. Crossdressers, transvestites, and transsexuals—people who were gender non-conforming—a community where I belonged. Finally.

A community with a belief system.

“Born in a man’s body” became the accepted device for explaining our existence as transsexuals. To “cure” this condition, we were expected to take feminizing hormones and whatever other treatments were necessary to achieve femininity, commonly including hair removal (through the process of electrolysis, predating laser depilation), facial feminizing surgery, tracheal shaving to reduce the prominence of the Adam’s apple, surgery to change vocal pitch, rib reduction surgery, a list of implants including breast, hip, buttock, and cheek, and then finally sex-reassignment surgery.

You might be wondering about the women who wanted to transition to become men. They were hardly around. And truth be told, they weren’t particularly welcome in a space populated by gender-bending men. Antipathy toward the female sex is the norm in these trans spaces. It’s hard to make believe in the presence of the real deal.

I’ve noticed that. Boy howdy have I noticed that. I wish more people would.

While I wasn’t paying attention, a new thing called the “Transgender Community” arose to take the place of the thing I’d previously known as simply community. Whereas the community I’d transitioned with was mostly middle-aged white men of all different political views, this new community was mostly middle-aged white men of radically leftist ideology. Before, we had been a group of individuals brought together by an unusual commonality. Now, it’s a whole identity movement. What’s more, the previous antipathy toward women has become more intense. 

So very intense.

My ignorance of the transgender cuckoo’s egg was corrected when I started that blog, which I used to explore the intersection of transgenderism and feminism. While there was heat on both sides of the divide, it was immediately obvious that only one side used threats of violence, violent (often sexual) imagery, and harassment as part of its strategy to confront its counterpart. I was shocked by the misogyny coming from “my side,” and spoke out against it.

If only more people would.

As I came to accept myself, and accept my choices, the depression lifted. I wrote more, trying to work out and understand my life through a different lens. Events and encounters that had previously left me confused and anxious started to make more sense when I realized I’d experienced them as a transsexual and not as a woman. In fact, my spiral of misery was practically an assured outcome given my effort to assert a womanhood that never existed and never can or will.

Since then, I’ve learned I’m not the only transsexual to have this revelation. The transgender community (such as it is) talks about authenticity, about true selves, about becoming ourselves. Why did I need to become a lifelong medical patient and have a dangerous surgery to reveal my “authentic” self?

Is there even any such thing as an “authentic self”? Hume said the self is “nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement.”

Now I’m 45. Almost certainly more than half-way to wherever I stop. If I keep taking estrogen, I risk a stroke and deep vein blood clots. If I stop, I risk skeletal deterioration. Teenage me had no way of appreciating the choices middle-age me would have to make. Do I regret my choices? As a child growing up during the AIDS crisis, and watching some of my friends damaged by drug addiction, there’s a chance that my choices left me better off than I might otherwise have been. If I regret anything, it’s that so few people helped me to understand the weight of my decisions, and that I was discouraged from believing in my own agency.

Of course there’s also a chance that those choices didn’t leave Corinna Cohn better off.



Splat

Jun 22nd, 2020 10:04 am | By

This one however is brilliant.



The niece in the attic

Jun 22nd, 2020 9:52 am | By

Trump’s niece really doesn’t like him.

“I think he’s freaking out,” said Michael D’Antonio, author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success. “He will treat her savagely.”

On Sunday, Axios reported that Trump insists Mary Trump is “not allowed” to write her book, because doing so would violate a non-disclosure agreement she signed.

Trump told Axios: “She’s not allowed to write a book. When we settled with her and her brother, who I do have a good relationship with – she’s got a brother, Fred, who I do have a good relationship with, but when we settled, she has a total … signed a nondisclosure.”

It’s interesting how he extorts NDAs from people. I guess he must have something to hide?

Mary, 55, is the daughter of Fred Trump Jr, the president’s older brother, who died in 1981 at the age of 42 from a heart attack linked to alcoholism. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature, as well as a PhD in clinical psychology from Adelphi University in New York, according to Forbes.

Meaning she’s a whole lot smarter than Trump. Trump at this point would flunk second grade.

D’Antonio commented: “It makes her someone that Donald would fear on a very elemental level. She thinks for herself, she’s analytical when it comes to humans and she can express herself, so this is a nightmare for him.”

We can hope so.

The president is now reportedly considering suing Mary over the memoir, due to be published on 28 July by Simon & Schuster. It is expected to disclose Mary was a key source of confidential documents for a Pulitzer prize-winning New York Times investigation into Trump’s personal finances.

Squirm, Donnie. Squirm and sweat and lose sleep.



They’re showing us who they are

Jun 22nd, 2020 9:02 am | By

So now Don is furious at Brad and so are Jared and Princess, but Brad is furious at the news media and the news media are…reporting the news.

The Tulsa fire department said 6,200 people attended. The Trump campaign claimed 12,000. The arena holds 19,000.

Who ya gonna believe, the fire department or the Trump campaign? Hahaha just kidding.

Trump’s demeanour on returning to Washington was widely scrutinised. He was initially quiet on Twitter on Sunday but the president was reported to be “furious” at the “underwhelming” event, which followed a week of controversy about whether it should even be held. According to NBC, Trump was “particularly angry that before he even left DC, aides made public that six members of team in Tulsa tested positive for Covid-19”.

Right. Everything about Covid-19 should be kept completely secret, because it’s better for Trump that way. Stop testing, stop mentioning, stop reporting, stop saying “wear a mask.” Stop all of it. Pretend there is no Covid-19.

In a statement, Parscale blamed the low attendance on “a week’s worth of the fake news media warning people away from the rally because of Covid and protesters”, which he said “coupled with recent images of American cities on fire, had a real impact on people bringing their families and children to the rally”.

Look at that. Just look at it. This filthy hack is shouting at the news media for reporting that a huge indoor rally would be unsafe during a lethal pandemic. This filthy hack wants them to have shut up about that so that more people would “bring their families and children to the rally” – and get infected.

As Covid-19 cases in Oklahoma rise, public health officials had warned against holding a large indoor gathering. The Trump campaign did not require attendees to wear masks. Some observers speculated fear of Covid-19 may have stopped some supporters from attending the rally.

Oddly enough, not everyone wants to risk death for the sake of watching Trump scream into a microphone.



Fox and Owl and Drew

Jun 22nd, 2020 8:45 am | By

Oh that’s gotta hurt.

Four authors represented by JK Rowling’s literary agency have resigned after accusing the company of declining to issue a public statement of support for transgender rights.

Ouch. Four! Resigned! Will the agency even survive?

Fox Fisher, Drew Davies and Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir said they could no longer work with the Blair Partnership, the London-based agency that represents all aspects of the Harry Potter author’s work, because they were not convinced the company “supports our rights at all avenues”. One other author is understood to have also quit the agency but wishes to remain anonymous.

Who?

In a joint statement, Fisher, Davies and Jónsdóttir said that following Rowling’s recent intervention on transgender rights, they had asked the agency “to reaffirm their commitment to transgender rights and equality”.

“Intervention”? What intervention? She wrote some words. She didn’t intervene in anything. That’s a snide way of implying she was aggressive and “violent” because she wrote some words, words that were partly about her own experience with literal violence.

However, following private talks, they said: “We felt that they were unable to commit to any action that we thought was appropriate and meaningful.”

Oh the horror. They told their agency to do some things and their agency declined to obey. How dare the agency not jump when they said jump.

A spokeswoman said it would always champion diverse voices and believe in freedom of speech for all but it was not willing to have staff “re-educated” to meet the demands of a small group of clients.

Good. Note that the Guardian puts scare-quotes on “re-educated” but not on “intervention.”

The authors’ public resignations pose a challenge for the publishing industry, which has traditionally prioritised freedom of speech but is facing rebellions from staff and clients over the views of authors.

No they don’t. The public resignations of nobodies don’t pose a challenge for the publishing industry.

Earlier this month, it was reported that staff at Rowling’s publishing house, Hachette, were told they could not refuse to work on her new children’s book because they objected to her views on transgender rights.

See? Not a challenge. Just say no – or, indeed, fuck off.

The Blair Partnership – which was founded in 2011 with Rowling as its key client – represented about 80 individuals before the resignations, including the boxer Tyson Fury, the cyclist Chris Hoy, and the former Labour politician Tom Watson.

And now represents about 76 individuals after the resignations, and will continue to flourish. (Tom Watson was a friend of my beloved friend Maureen Brian, so I know he’s good people.)

Jónsdóttir, also known as Owl Fisher, said they were happy with the Blair Partnership on a professional level but had asked the agency to make a public declaration of support for transgender rights following Rowling’s comments. The co-author of the Trans Teen Survival Guide suggested the literary agency should conduct staff training with the group All About Trans but “these requests weren’t met positively by the management”.

Good. Excellent. If the agency had made such a statement it would have been joining the public bullying of Rowling as well as endorsing fatuous bullshit about Magic Gender, so it’s very good that they refused to do so, and to be re-educated.

The Blair Partnership said:

We are disappointed by the decision that four clients have taken to part ways with the agency. To reiterate, we believe in freedom of speech for all; these clients have decided to leave because we did not meet their demands to be re-educated to their point of view. We respect their right to pursue what they feel is the correct course of action.”

Shorter: don’t let the door hit you on the way out.



Ramming

Jun 21st, 2020 4:31 pm | By

Life in the USofA:

Right-wing extremists are turning cars into weapons, with reports of at least 50 vehicle-ramming incidents since protests against police violence erupted nationwide in late May.

At least 18 are categorized as deliberate attacks; another two dozen are unclear as to motivation or are still under investigation, according to a count released Friday by Ari Weil, a terrorism researcher at the University of Chicago’s Chicago Project on Security and Threats. Weil has tracked vehicle-ramming attacks, or VRAs, since protests began.

The 20 people facing prosecution in the rammings include a state leader of the Virginia Ku Klux Klan, as well as a California man who was charged with attempted murder after antagonizing protesters and then driving into them, striking a teenage girl. Video footage of some attacks shows drivers yelling at or threatening Black Lives Matter protesters before hitting the gas.

On the one hand protests, on the other hand people trying to kill the protesters. There’s a certain disproportion there.

“The use of car attacks against peaceful protesters is increasingly a deliberate terror tactic for white supremacists,” said Amy Spitalnick, executive director of Integrity First for America, a civil rights nonprofit that’s leading a civil suit on behalf of Charlottesville ramming victims. The goal of the suit is to bankrupt and dismantle several hate groups that helped organize the rally.

“As detailed in our lawsuit, the Charlottesville violence was planned months in advance online — including discussions of hitting protesters with cars,” Spitalnick said.

It’s very American, isn’t it. Cars keep you from every having to walk anywhere and you can kill pesky libbruls with them.



GIANT essay for sale

Jun 21st, 2020 3:09 pm | By

Remember that awful, sloppy, book-length post by Laurie Penny last week?



A light moment

Jun 21st, 2020 2:46 pm | By

Oh. Well ok then.

Yes well you can see how that would be frustrating, having the press focus on a highly contagious virus that has killed 122,000 Americans in the past four months when it could be focusing on the awesomeness of

Wait a minute. He’s frustrated because the press is focusing on a lethal disease that is burning through the population when it should be focusing on him? He’s FRUSTRATED?

Tells you almost all you need to know, doesn’t it. This is supposed to be the grown-up, less frivolous and callous explanation of Trump’s horrible determination to hide the fatality stats, and that’s the best they can do? He’s pissed off because the press is not all about him?

The less grown-up explanation is even worse.

Tongue in cheek, cool, just a joke, everybody likes jokes, Trump’s a funny guy

But what’s funny about a lethal pandemic?

Why would a president be making funny about a virus that has killed 122 thousand of us so far and will go on to kill a lot more? I’m not seeing the humor.



Sneak the misogyny in at the end

Jun 21st, 2020 11:45 am | By

This is quite a good campaign video…until the end.

What’s at the end?

Image

Har har. Let’s shit on women. Har har.



Trust that appropriate action will be taken

Jun 21st, 2020 11:26 am | By

Careful, the thought police are watching.



The rampiad

Jun 21st, 2020 10:37 am | By

The bit where he says we have to test for the virus less, so that we won’t know how bad it is.

The crowd cheers this murderous claim.

2.19 minutes on his Adventure Going Down the Ramp – and he’s only begun.

He claims he had a whole conversation with the general about the ramp when we know he didn’t – we saw the clip where the general makes the “here we go” sign with his hand and off they go. There was no conversation.

A hand puppet would make a better president.



He even re-enacted his walk

Jun 21st, 2020 10:07 am | By

Richard Wolffe at the Guardian observes the humiliation.

…nothing truly comes close to the embarrassment of his so-called comeback rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.

It was so toe-curlingly cringeworthy, such a crushing humiliation. There are 80s pop bands who have enjoyed greater comebacks than Donald Trump.

Ok the smaller than expected crowd was humiliating but at least the rally itself was good, right? Trump on top form? Feeding off the energy of the [smaller than expected] crowd?

Trump told the crowd at great length why he couldn’t possibly walk down a ramp unaided. He even re-enacted his walk down the deadly incline. He also treated them to a long excuse about why he couldn’t hold a glass of water with one hand. It apparently has something to do with protecting his expensive silk tie.

So if you lift a small glass of water with only one hand you can’t help dumping most of it down your front?

Have a sample – a crazed digression on getting a fancy new plane for himself. He even admits that people pushed back and said it was a luxury.



The roar of the crowd

Jun 20th, 2020 6:27 pm | By

Look at this maniac.

What he really wants to be is a stand-up comic. He gets so high on his own performance…it makes my skin crawl.



A half-empty arena

Jun 20th, 2020 6:09 pm | By

The Tulsa tweets are interesting.

Also…I hate to say this, but…he drank from a glass of water. Yes really. Then he threw it across the stage, with a “You feelin’ lucky today punk?” look on his face. Stupidest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.

He threw a glass! What a macho man!



Plans

Jun 20th, 2020 5:57 pm | By

Charming.

Image

As you can see, that’s Facebook and it’s public, so I found it. This is the nice lady who wants to murder Rowling:

Image may contain: 1 person


Not my department

Jun 20th, 2020 5:02 pm | By

Barr is every bit as evil as anyone thought but not as fiendishly clever. Not so clever at all really.

President Donald Trump on Saturday denied involvement in firing Geoffrey Berman, the powerful prosecutor atop the Manhattan US Attorney’s office, shortly after Trump’s attorney general sent Berman a letter saying the President had done so.

Who, me? Nah I didn’t. Pass the burgers.

Attorney General William Barr told Berman, whose office has led prosecutions and investigations of Trump’s allies, that Trump had agreed to remove him after he refused Barr’s effort a day prior to oust him.

“Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service,” Barr wrote in his letter to Berman. “Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so.”

Rich coming from Barr, do admit – the guy who chooses Donald Trump’s ass over public service.

Speaking to reporters shortly after Barr’s letter was made public, however, Trump said, “That’s his department, not my department.” He added: “I’m not involved.”

AWKward.

Berman said in a statement several hours later that he would exit his post. “In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately,” he said.

But it’s not going to be easy for Barr to slide a patsy into the job.

The fast-moving developments seemed to catch by surprise Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump’s and Barr’s, who said Saturday he had not been told about the effort to fire Berman. And in a significant announcement Saturday, Graham said he would honor tradition to let home-state senators sign off on a replacement for Berman’s post, meaning that Democrats essentially have veto power over a replacement to a position considered the most powerful US attorney job in the country.

Kind of a Friday night fizzle then.



Overflow canceled

Jun 20th, 2020 4:52 pm | By

Hahahahahahaha

The overflow where there is no overflow.

Sir sir where are all the people sir?



Guest post: A hostile ultimatum

Jun 20th, 2020 12:06 pm | By

Originally a comment by Bjarte Foshaug at the Miscellany Room.

People have always noticed that human beings have different innate physical traits. Furthermore, the distribution of these differences is not entirely random. Some of the most obvious (let’s call them “sex differences”) seem to cluster into two sets of traits that tend to go together far more often than expected by chance. One of these sets (let’s call it the set of “male” traits) is clearly more representative of fathers than mothers while the opposite is true of the second set (let’s call it the set of “female” traits). Roughly half the people on the planet have a strong preponderance of traits from the first set, and roughly the other half have a strong preponderance of traits from the second set. But since “Person with a strong preponderance of innate physical traits from the set of traits more representative of fathers than mothers”, or vice versa, is a rather awkward and cumbersome thing to say, most of us prefer a more convenient short-hand like “man” or “woman” respectively. As we might expect when dealing with physical reality rather than pure mathematics and idealized Platonic forms, there is going to be some fuzziness around the edges, and not every person ever born is going to fit neatly under any of these labels. Luckily, this is not a problem since they’re just short-hands for sets of physical traits anyway, not cosmic revelations about who you are on the inside.

It remains a fact, however, that societies throughout history and all over the world have tended to put people with a strong preponderance of traits from the second set regardless of what you prefer to call them at a major disadvantage compared to people with a strong preponderance of traits from the first set (once again regardless of what you prefer to call them). The list is practically endless: Being granted the right to vote significantly later than the other sex (if ever), under-representation in position of power and influence, the pay gap, less chance of getting hired in the first place, objectification, getting judged by level of attractiveness or “fuckablility”, locker-room talk, “banter”, slut-shaming, cyber-bullying, sexual harassment, sexual assault, groping, domestic violence, rape, hyper-skepticism towards claims of rape and abuse, victim-blaming, gaslighting, forced pregnancies, getting jailed for having a miscarriage, forced marriages, child brides, being forced to cover up, not being allowed to leave home without a guardian of the other sex, not being allowed to drive, being denied an education, being considered “impure” and having to isolate during period, female genital mutilation, acid attacks, honor killings, witch-burnings, stoning, getting burned or buried alive along their deceased husbands etc… etc…

This system of oppression has been called the “patriarchy”, and the ideological life-support system upholding the patriarchy has been given various names like “sexism”, “misogyny”, “male chauvinism” etc. The movement working to debunk sexism and abolish the patriarchy has been called “feminism”. An essential part of the feminist struggle has always been combating the sexist stereotypes that portray women as naturally inclined towards everything that tends to please men and otherwise less suited for any role that men prefer to keep for themselves.

There’s a complication, however. There are people – commonly referred to as “Trans” – who insist on being called “woman”, ”female”, “she” etc. despite having a strong preponderance of innate physical traits from our first set, which is exactly what it means to be a “man” / ”male” according to our working definition [1]. There is also a loud and outspoken group of activists – henceforth referred to as Trans Rights Activists (TRAs for short) – who may or may not be Trans themselves standing by and ready to gang up on anyone (especially if biologically female) who fails to treat the claim of these biological males as anything less than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. In order to make sense, these people obviously have to dispute that being a “man” or “woman” has anything to do with physical traits. On the other hand, they don’t want us to stop using words like “man” and “woman” (as if they referred to something real) altogether [2] (after all, how can one claim to be a “real woman” if there are no real women?).

So while TRAs tend to reject the idea that our physical traits make us “men” and “women”, they pretty much have to insist that something else does, usually something about the person’s inner life, personality traits, way of thinking or feeling etc. Not only are “male” and “female”, “masculine” and “feminine” ways of thinking or feeling said to be a thing, but supposedly the only thing that makes a person “male” or “female”, “man” or “woman” in the first place. Thus referring to somebody as either “man” or “woman” in the lingo of these people is to make a factual claim about what’s going on inside his/her head. Exactly what’s being claimed is never made clear since all we ever get are tautologies (A woman is someone who thinks or feels in whatever way I happen to think or feel) and circular definitions (A woman is someone who identifies as someone who identifies as someone who identifies as… etc. etc. ad infinitum). In the rare event that any actual specifics are offered, the internal markers of with “womanhood” invariably turn out to be indistinguishable from the sexist stereotypes that feminist have been fighting to abolish.

Calling unrelated things by the same name (in other words, the use of homonyms) is not in itself a problem as long as nobody’s laboring under the delusion that we’re still talking about the same thing. After all, few if any real-world problem are attributable to the fact that flying mammals and clubs for hitting baseballs are both referred to as “bats” in English. Words don’t mean anything in themselves, but get their meanings from us. If somebody wants to apply the word “fish” to what the rest of us call “bird”, and vice versa, they are free to do so. But then it is either disingenuous, or stupid, or both to go on talking as if everybody else were using these words in the same way, pretend we’re still talking about the same thing, and demand to have it both ways (e.g. insisting that “birds” can still fly).

Unfortunately, the TRA use of language is very much of this latter kind. There is a reason why biological males who think or feel a certain way (let’s call them “women₂”) are so obsessed with being called the same as the people with physical traits more representative of mothers than fathers (let’s call them “women₁”): Because they want everyone to accept that they are the same. However, since they don’t in fact have innate physical traits more representative of mothers than fathers, they have to argue that something else makes them the same as women₁, or – more precisely – that something else makes women₁ the same as them, hence the strong insistence on “female” or “feminine” ways of thinking/feeling that women₁ supposedly share with them, thus making them the same “kind of people”.

From such a point of view it quickly becomes obvious that – despite the rhetoric – this is not simply about whether or not Trans women₂ have the right to define “who they are”, but whether or not they have the right to dictate who women₁ are as well (Basically saying: “Women₁ are whatever they have to be to make me one of them”). It is also obvious why the “certain way” that women₂ are supposed to think and feel is never specified. Most women₁ might not appreciate having all kinds of mental traits attributed to them (especially if said traits seem to be entirely derived from sexist stereotypes, pornography and male sexual phantasies). To keep the women₁ from protesting that this doesn’t apply to them at all and walking out in droves, better stick to tautologies and circular definitions and avoid specifics at all costs.

I am sure we are all familiar with Daniel Dennett’s concept of “deepities”, but anyway: A deepity is an ambiguous statement with two possible interpretations. One of these interpretations makes the statement true but trivial, while the other makes it profound but false. There is something similar going on in TRA discourse except that in this case the statement in question is either true but irrelevant or relevant but false depending on the interpretation. Take the following sentences:

• This toilet / sporting event / locker room / shower / domestic abuse shelter etc. is for women₁.

• Misogyny is discrimination of / hostility towards women₁.

• Feminism is a movement fighting the discrimination of women₁.

• Straight men₁ and lesbian women₁ are attracted to women₁.

• Bjarte Foshaug is a man₁.

As written, these sentences are all true (for certain values of “this” in the first example) but also irrelevant to any point that TRAs are trying to make. Substituting women₂/men₂ for women₁/men₁ respectively might make the sentences relevant to their point but also false. In good Orwellian fashion, there is usually a strong element of having it both ways by taking credit for the truth of the first interpretation and the relevancy of the second interpretation at the same time. There’s also a strong element of “word-magic” involved. Much of TRA rhetoric seems to boil down to the idea that you can take whatever’s applicable to X and make it applicable to Y by renaming Y as X (renaming fish as “bird” makes it true that haddocks and halibuts can fly etc.).

Since the existence of biological sex allows us to talk about women₁ as a group in its own right, regardless of what’s going on inside their heads, TRAs are at war with sex as a concept. At best, biological sex is said to be too complicated and messy to allow us to say anything in particular about the sex of individuals. At worst, the validity of biological sex as a category is denied altogether. In their war on biology TRAs have come up with an entire parallel vocabulary (I call it “Genderspeak”) in which every word pertaining to biological sex has a homonym (“man₂”, “girl₂”, “misogyny₂”, “feminism₂”, “lesbian₂” etc.) redefined in terms of “gender identity” or just “gender”. It has, of course, become quite common to use “gender” as a synonym for “sex” [3] (probably because the latter word has other denotations that are irrelevant in this context). It is important to note that this is not what TRAs mean by “gender”. Instead, “gender” supposedly denotes a perfectly real and vitally important [4] difference between sets of distinct and identifiable ways of thinking and feeling best left unspecified.

Let’s pause for a minute and notice the double standard: If biological sex is messy and not everybody falls neatly into either the “biological male₁” or “biological female₁” category (once again, as you’d expect when dealing with physical reality rather than pure mathematics and idealized Platonic forms), that pretty much invalidates biological sex as a category. But if the supposed “gender” differences they’re talking about are so vacuous and ill-defined that most TRAs don’t even try to come up with a non-circular definition, that apparently makes them more firmly established than the laws of thermodynamics. If defining “man” and “woman” in terms of biological differences doesn’t meet their standards of accuracy and precision (despite describing the vast majority of people on the planet well enough to be quite useful), then you definitely wouldn’t expect any the circular non-definitions in terms of thoughts and feelings to meet those very same standards. Even if there were no basis for talking about biological sexes as distinct and identifiable categories, it still wouldn’t imply that being a “man” or being a “woman” is about something other than physical traits. What it would imply is that there’s no basis for talking about “men” and “women” either. If biological sexes are not a valid concept, then neither are “men” and “women”. If physical traits don’t make us “men” and “women”, then nothing does.

According to gender ideology, however, most people’s ways of thinking or feeling really do make them either men₂ or women₂, thus establishing a “gender binary” that really does apply to the great majority of people on this planet. Besides man₂ and woman₂ there’s a vast number – or so we’re told – of other “non-binary” genders that only apply to a minority of people on the Trans spectrum. Everyone else is considered, by default, to be “Cis” (the binary opposite of “Trans”). It is important to note that “Cis woman” does not mean the same as “woman₁”. Genderspeak doesn’t have a name for women₁. “Trans women” and “Cis women” are both women₂ since thinking or feeling in a “female” or “feminine” manner (whatever that’s supposed to mean?) is the only thing that makes somebody a “woman” of any kind in the first place. Thus even the “Cis” label rests on an implicit claim about what’s going on inside other people heads. It’s just that the “Cis” people (allegedly) see themselves as the gender that society at large consider them to be while the “Trans” people do not. Suffice it to say that by those criteria I’m neither “Cis” nor a “man₂”.

Not only are TRAs themselves using every word in the Genderspeak sense, but hardly anything they have to say makes sense without presupposing (perhaps the most disingenuous part) that everybody else is doing so as well. For example, when I have to fill out one of these forms that require us to tick off a box labeled “M” or “F”, I tick the “M” box. My passport also has the same “M” in it. When I have to take a leak, I go to the “Men’s Room” etc. All of this doesn’t involve any act of “identifying as a man” on my part. It’s simply is the case that I have physical traits more representative of fathers than mothers”, which is all it means to be a man₁. Yet to TRAs that “M” is taken as an admission that I do indeed embrace the whole ideological framework of “male” vs. “female” ways of thinking and feeling and personally subscribe to the former. In other words, that I’m a (Cis) man₂ as opposed to a man₁. It’s as if you were saying something about flying mammals (bats₁) and I started accusing you of talking about clubs for hitting baseballs (bats₂), claiming baseball bats can fly etc.

On the same note, Gender-critical feminists (labeled by TRAs as “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists” – “TERFs” for short – and portrayed as a hate-group on par with violent white supremacists and neo-Nazis) don’t accept “gender” (in its Genderspeak definition) as a valid concept, and since there is no such thing as “gender” there can be no “gender binary”. Indeed, the closest we might get to an accurate representation of the gender-critical position in Genderspeak would be to say that everybody is “non-binary”, or “gender non-conforming ” [5], or even “agender”. As already mentioned, TRAs themselves are the ones who insist that there are distinct and identifiable “male” and “female” ways of thinking and feeling, thus establishing a “gender-binary” that really does apply to everyone except a minority on the Trans spectrum. Yet the gender critical feminists, who reject this whole framework, are the ones accused of “enforcing the gender binary”, “denying the existence on non-binary identities” etc.

Likewise TRAs themselves are the ones who insist that some perfectly real and vitally important mental differences make certain people “female” to the very core of their being, regardless of any physical traits, thus justifying dividing people into separate groups requiring separate vocabularies, separate dress-codes, separate toilets, separate sporting events etc. Yet gender critical feminists, who take the position that being “female” doesn’t say anything about you other than the most superficial and irrelevant physical facts, are the ones accused of “gender essentialism”.

Even the frequently repeated trope about gender being (arbitrarily) “assigned at birth” presupposes that everybody else is using words in the Genderspeak sense: When the nurse tells the expectant parents “It’s a boy”, I for one (and I strongly suspect most people) simply take it to be a mundane empirical observation regarding the child’s biological sex (meaning “It’s a boy₁”, not “It’s a boy₂”). “Gender” in the Genderspeak sense doesn’t enter into it all. According to the official TRA narrative, however, the nurse is pulling a factual claim about the child’s (future) inner life out of his/her ass and everybody else just goes along forever after. In the case of Trans people the nurse gets it wrong, and every evil ever to befall a Trans person goes back to this fatal mistake.

It really cannot be stressed enough that TRAs are in the exclusion business as much as anybody, since their definition of “woman₂” by necessity excludes anyone who fails to think or feel the right way about themselves. When they speak of “inclusion” and fighting for the liberation of “all women” (as opposed to “only ‘cis’ women”), clearly what we are meant to envision is taking the circle that already includes the ‘cis’ women and expanding it to also include the ‘Trans’ women. As always when it comes to alt-left slogans, we’re supposed to hear it, let it resonate just long enough to have some warm fuzzy gut reaction and then think about it no more. If you do think about it (and are therefore guilty of “transphobia”, “transmisogyny”, “denying the rights” of, or even advocating “violence” against Trans people), it quickly becomes obvious that redefining “woman” in terms of thoughts and feelings doesn’t simply “expand” the circle, but replaces it entirely. And this matters, since TRAs have made it abundantly clear that all of “women’s rights” are supposed to go with the name rather than the actual people. If they have their way, every right, every concession, every piece of progress that women₁ have managed to wrestle from the arms of the patriarchy throughout the ages will henceforth apply to people like them instead of the people for whom they were originally intended.

We know for a fact that the old circle included roughly half the world’s population. How many does the new one include? It’s pretty much tautologically true that it includes the tiny minority of men₁ who prefer to be called ‘woman’/’she’ since the Genderspeak definition of women₂ pretty much boils down to “whatever men₁ who prefer to be called ‘woman’/’she’ happen to be” (or at least “people who think or feel in whatever way men₁ who prefer to be called ‘woman’/’she’ happen to think or feel”). How many women₁ does that include? I very much doubt that many women₁ would say they fit the definition of women₂ if they knew exactly how this requires them to think or feel. Indeed if you look past the warm fuzzy connotations of words like “inclusivity” and focus on what’s actually being said, the new circle is almost certainly going to be orders of magnitude smaller and more “exclusionary” than the old one.

But it’s actually worse than that. As previously mentioned, the discrimination of people with innate physical traits more representative of mothers than fathers is a very real problem in itself regardless of what you prefer to call them. Also, as many others have pointed out, there is absolutely nothing women₁ can do to “identify out of” the way they’re treated, and all the inclusive pronouns in the world are never going to make an ounce of difference. And yet, if you follow TRA logic to its ultimate conclusion, nobody at all will be allowed to stand up for the rights and interests of women₁, since even acknowledging the latter as an oppressed group in its own right with its own separate issues that are not entirely reducible to those faced by men₁ who prefer to be called “woman”/”she” is exclusionary to Trans women₂ and hence a hatecrime. So the Trans lobby’s ultimatum to women₁ everywhere boils down to “Shut up and let the oppression you face go forever unaddressed and unopposed, or have your name pulled through the dirt all over the internet”. A hostile ultimatum if ever there was one.

Of course, few if any TRAs are going to come straight out and say any these things. I will inevitably be accused of attacking strawmen, misrepresenting the TRA position etc. Apparently, nobody is denying that biological sex exists, that discrimination of women₁ is a problem in its own right etc. My response is that most of the alleged “TERFs” whom they have already attacked and vilified, whom they have already tried (sometimes successfully) to get fired from their jobs, whose voices they have already tried (sometimes successfully) to silence, whose names they have already dragged through the mud all over the internet are guilty of nothing more than saying those very same things they now claim “nobody is denying”. If you look at who actually said what, it usually turns out that the only crime of the gender-critical feminists was refusing to give away all of women₁’s rights to people who are not women₁ while all the supposed instances of “transphobia”, “denying the rights/dignity/existence of Trans women”, perpetuating “violence” towards and even “murder” of Trans people etc. were put into their mouths by the TRAs themselves. In this respect, the latter are very much like the corrupt cops often portrayed in gangster movies who plant drugs or weapons on an innocent person and then go on to arrest him/her for finding what they themselves planted there in the first place.

I also happen to know for a fact that even many of the “approved” feminists (the “trans-inclusive”, “intersectional”, “feminist₂” kind) have said things that could get them labeled as TERFs and demonized any time (in fact, things for which they themselves have already demonized others as TERFs). E.g. I have personally been referred to as both “man” and “him” by “Trans allies” who, in the absence of telepathic powers, couldn’t possibly know how I think or feel about myself. I have also heard people like that talk about the “Bechdel Test” and how this or that movie only had X “women” in it, when the movie in question didn’t offer any clue about these people’s “inner sense of self”. This goes to show that even the supposedly “good” feminists are unable to consistently live up to what’s required of them: When specifically talking about Trans issues, words like “man” and “woman”, “male” and “female” refer to an inner state, but for all other purposes they still talk and act as if these words referred to something physical. Even the Trans women₂ themselves do not in fact treat biological sex as a non-issue. After all, why would anyone need any surgery or hormone treatment to make their bodies “align” with their “gender identity” if bodies are completely irrelevant to gender and no body type is any more or less “aligned” with being a “woman” than any other?

Although the TRA crusade to abolish biological sex and impose gender disproportionally hurts women₁ it doesn’t end there. Many have marveled at how quickly Gender ideology seems to have gone from utterly fringe to sacred truth across large a segment of the political left. One frequent explanation for the success of the Trans lobby is the way it has managed to attach itself to other social justice movements. One of the most disgusting examples is the appropriation of anti-racism as well as the conflation of “gender critical” and “white”, usually by people who are no less white themselves. When white people accuse other white people of “white feminism” it only ever means one thing:

“I speak for all the non-whites”

Because obviously people of color all agree with gender ideology…

Probably the most impressive feat of the Trans lobby, and possibly the main reason for the sudden spike in the popularity of Gender ideology, is the way it has managed to get itself associated with – and ultimately take over – what used to be the LGB (then the LGBT and now finally the T) movement. Who would have thought just 10 years ago that we should live to see the day when the only approved “feminist” position was that women₁ neither deserve nor need any movement to stand up for their rights or interests, or when the only approved “LGBT” position was that same-sex attraction (as opposed to attraction to anyone who thinks or feels in certain ways, uses certain pronouns etc.) is the pinnacle of bigotry and evil.

In the end, the only people to benefit from any of this are the Social Injustice Warriors (SIWs) of the far right. Discrimination of and even violence against Trans people is indeed a real problem. At least to an excellent first approximation 0 % of it is coming from feminists or even from people who have anything but contempt for feminism. The real enemy of both women₁, homosexuals and Trans people is toxic masculinity. If you fail to live up the cultural norms and expectations of what a real “man” is supposed to be like, it doesn’t mean you’re less of a man, let alone a woman. It means the cultural norms and expectations are bullshit and should be abandoned. For whatever it’s worth, every real transphobe I have personally encountered were men₁ who said things like “If I fucked someone and it turned out to be a guy, I’d fucking kill him” etc. These were not people who cared about feminism to say the least. They were raging homophobes and misogynists who were afraid of being tricked into acting “gay” and end up getting “fucked like a bitch” as only women deserve.

________________________________________________

[1] There are also people who insist on being called “man” despite having a strong preponderance of physical traits more representative of mothers than fathers. By and large, though, their issues are not the battle ground on which the Gender Wars are being fought.

[2] The same way most progressive, left-leaning people these days are uncomfortable with using any word to identify other people by their ethnic origin, the color of their skin etc. If that was the case they were making, they might have a legitimate point, but it’s not the point they are making.

[3] Feminists sometimes use the same word, e.g. when talking about “gender roles”. It’s important to note that this has nothing to do with the TRA concept of “gender identity”. The gender roles that feminists are talking about are imposed from the outside and part for the sexist culture that needs to be changed. Gender identity is supposed to be an expression of a person’s true self, hence questioning it in any way is the real act of oppression.

[4] So important, in fact, that “misgendering” a person is the most hateful act imaginable and comparable to actual violence.

[5] Another term that “people of gender” have reserved for themselves while everyone else – even those who reject gender as a concept – are assumed to be “gender conforming”. What does it even mean to be “gender non-conforming” if the only thing that makes someone a certain gender in the first place are the gender norms (s)he conforms to?



Felony T-shirt

Jun 20th, 2020 11:46 am | By

Apparently it’s a crime to attend Trump’s rally if you’re not a fan of Trump? Or if you’re wearing an “I can’t breathe” T-shirt?

So…they arrested her because shirt?



Three ways

Jun 20th, 2020 11:35 am | By

How murderous is this Tulsa rally exactly?

Three items:

An indoor event. Instead of holding the event outdoors, it is being held indoors in a center that regularly crowds people together for concerts and sporting events.

No physical distancing. The president has touted that his campaign has already received more than one million requests for seats. And he has mentioned that only 22,000 people (or even up to 40,000 if he can get the adjacent convention hall) will be allowed to attend. Someone needs to check that math because 22,000 — already 2,800 people above capacity — signifies there will be no physical distancing in place.

No masks. Trump has also reported that those attending the rally will not be required to wear face masks.

In short it’s exactly what we’ve been told and told and told not to do: mash together in a huge crowd in an indoor space. It’s as if a mayor told everyone to go shop for groceries at the same time, without masks.

Only it’s worse, because it’s a Trump rally, and what do those involve? A whole lot of screaming and cheering and laughing and excitement – so a whole lot of rapidly breathing out great clouds of droplets in a tightly packed crowd. It pretty much couldn’t be made any more lethal if experts sat down and tried for a month.

And we know they know that, because of the waiver.

Trump is committing mass murder in a few hours, because…he likes crowds yelling his name. That’s worth any number of lives, right?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which created categories to evaluate the “riskiness” of activities, having a mass gathering in an indoor venue without wearing face coverings and being unable to practice physical distancing is the highest possible risk.

Mass murder, for a couple of hours of ego-stroking.