All entries by this author

Guest post: The old switcheroo

May 5th, 2023 12:15 pm | By

Originally a comment by Lady Mondegreen on Top of the roller coaster.

there are, of course, zero trans people who think, “people are or can be the other sex”

I have in fact seen trans-identified people claiming just that. But it’s a motte-and-bailey: argue trans activists and their allies into a corner and then OF COURSE, nobody is claiming that trans people really are the other sex! They know very well they’re not!–

–and then we’re lectured endlessly about intersex conditions, which supposedly support the TRA claim that Sex Is Not Binary. We’re told that sex is assigned at birth–yes, sometimes the word used is “gender”, but there’s also “assigned male at birth” and “assigned female at birth.” (AMAB … Read the rest

Guest post: Sexuality, not “gender roles”

May 5th, 2023 11:37 am | By

Originally a comment by Artymorty on They are pretending they have the right to be certain.

I’d like to offer at least a partial concession to Silent Bob’s argument about gender being “assigned at birth.”

If we take gender to broadly mean the sets of customs and behaviours that are expected of us based on how we’re perceived sexually, then in most other cultures, people really are assigned a gender at birth — they’re assigned a very specific cultural role in their community. Elsewhere in the world, your observed sex at birth will determine which gender role you are assigned, and this will determine which clothing and jewellery you can and cannot wear, which hairstyles you can and cannot … Read the rest

Swear allegiance and mind the gap

May 5th, 2023 11:30 am | By

The poor flustered monarchists are trying to put a cuddly spin on this whole “swear allegiance” idea. Can’t be done, chaps. It is what it is.

The King would find the idea of people paying homage to him during his Coronation “abhorrent”, the broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby believes.

For the first time, the public are being given an active role in the ceremony as they are invited to swear allegiance to the King.

But Dimbleby, a close friend of the King, told BBC R4’s Today programme he has “never wanted to be revered”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has previously said the oath is voluntary.

Yes but Arch, such an oath is itself…well it’s an oath. That’s the point of swearing it, … Read the rest

An arrangement

May 5th, 2023 10:59 am | By

The Washington Post:

Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo arranged for the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to be paid tens of thousands of dollars for consulting work just over a decade ago, specifying that her name be left off billing paperwork, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post.

In January 2012, Leo instructed the GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway to bill a nonprofit group he advises and use that money to pay Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the documents show. The same year, the nonprofit, the Judicial Education Project, filed a brief to the Supreme Court in a landmark voting rights case.

And when Republican activists do things about voting rights, they’re not working to expand or protect them.… Read the rest

16.9 million menstruators

May 5th, 2023 10:24 am | By

The Guardian makes a point of insulting women some more.

Not everyone in the US can afford period products: an estimated 16.9 million menstruators live in poverty, sometimes having to choose between buying food and pads. Those who can may still be using the first type of pad or tampon they ever bought.

In the 2010s, there was some innovation marketed to millennials who craved a more comfortable way to deal with menstruation. Period underwear brands led by Thinx  cropped up, often using suggestive advertising like yonic-looking fruit to hawk the panties. (Knix, Aisle and Bambody are other popular labels.) Suddenly, menstruators had a bit more choice, though many still felt that their best choices were uncomfortable tampons or

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As feminists, we demolish women’s rights

May 5th, 2023 6:03 am | By
As feminists, we demolish women’s rights

The director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project (they have such a project??) wrote a piece a few weeks ago titled Trans Rights Are Women’s Rights. It’s subtitled “Here’s why the rights of trans people are at the heart of gender justice for all” and illustrated with this adorable photo:

Hur hur, cis-ters, what a hilarious pun, and how impressive for a grown-up, can tie its own shoes organization like the ACLU to use it.

March is Women’s History Month, which means I’m often asked to name the most pressing issue facing women in America. Answers spring to mind, sometimes faster than I can form the words.

She says there are a lot of them, and lists some.


Read the rest

The silence speaks volumes

May 4th, 2023 5:32 pm | By

Joan Smith on the SNP’s free speech problem:

The silence speaks volumes. Where are the politicians showing solidarity with a colleague who has been no-platformed by a leading Edinburgh venue? Joanna Cherry is an Edinburgh MP, a human rights lawyer and a powerful voice for women’s rights. It’s another example of the demonising of women who hold perfectly legitimate views, allowing them to be picked off and isolated from mainstream politics. 

Anyone who claims to believe in basic freedoms should be horrified. So where is Humza Yousaf, leader of the SNP and Cherry’s long-standing colleague? Where is Stephen Flynn, the party leader at Westminster, where Cherry is an MP?

[L]eading lawyers have spoken out about the decision to

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A lesson to the world

May 4th, 2023 5:21 pm | By

Brendan O’Neill on the Scottish Inquisition:

Imagine a country where every time women tried to speak up about their rights they were insulted and abused by mobs of men. A country where women were continually prevented by gangs of misogynists from showing a film about womanhood. A country where women who express their political views run the risk of being branded old hags and even threatened with death. A country where members of the ruling party can be seen standing next to placards calling for women to be beheaded. A country where lesbians can be censored for daring to say women are real. A country where even wearing the Suffragette colours is a risky business.

In other words Imagine … Read the rest

Guest post: They are pretending they have the right to be certain

May 4th, 2023 3:51 pm | By

Originally a comment by Sastra on Top of the roller coaster.

Silent Bob #21 wrote:

And what has it got to do with “pretending” anything? Trans people are people who are much happier and healthier living as a different gender to the one assigned at birth and (typically) reassigning their bodies. What does this have to do with any pretence? What pretence? I

Are we assigned “gender” at birth? I thought we were supposed to be assigned sex. Gender involves masculinity and femininity. Assigning gender at birth would be putting pink frilly bonnets on girl babies and calling them “quite the little princess” or shoving a male infant into a miniature Green Bay Packers onesie. Which, admittedly, we do.… Read the rest

What else is incredibly painful

May 4th, 2023 11:42 am | By

Cycling news tells us in the headline:

‘It is incredibly painful to be othered’ – Austin Killips on division, debate and building dialogue

Gee, you know what else is incredibly painful? To lose a race to Austin Killips. If you lose a race to Austin Killips you’re a woman, because that’s where he races: in the women’s races. This means that you’ve lost a women’s race to a man who claims to be a woman. Painful? I’d say so. It’s also painful when he assaults you during the race.

Here’s an interesting fact. There are clips of Killips assaulting a woman during a race but Google images pretends there are none. I just tried to search and all I get … Read the rest

Harlan picked up the tab

May 4th, 2023 10:40 am | By

Corrupt enough yet?

In 2008, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas decided to send his teenage grandnephew to Hidden Lake Academy, a private boarding school in the foothills of northern Georgia. The boy, Mark Martin, was far from home. For the previous decade, he had lived with the justice and his wife in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Thomas had taken legal custody of Martin when he was 6 years old and had recently told an interviewer he was “raising him as a son.”

Tuition at the boarding school ran more than $6,000 a month. But Thomas did not cover the bill. A bank statement for the school from July 2009, buried in unrelated court filings, shows the source

Read the rest


May 4th, 2023 10:28 am | By

Proud Boys convicted.

Former Proud Boys extremist group leader Enrique Tarrio has been convicted of seditious conspiracy.

The conviction follows a seven-day jury deliberation on five members of the far-right neo-fascist organizations who have been accused of conspiring against the peaceful power transition between Donald Trump and Joe Biden in January 2021.

Three other members of the Proud Boys – Ethan Nordean, Joseph Biggs and Zachary Rehl – have also been convicted after facing a slew of charges including conspiracy charges, evidence tampering and obstruction of the Electoral College vote.

Enjoy your stay.… Read the rest

Their very existence

May 4th, 2023 10:01 am | By

Kezia Dugdale, former leader of the Scottish Labour Party, does the “hurr hurr Joanna Cherry isn’t being silenced, look, she’s still talking!!” routine.

In one interview yesterday she said: “Lesbian feminists and women such as myself are being prevented from speaking in public about our views”.

This is a literal quote from the teatime STV News bulletin watched by hundreds of thousands of people. Her views were being broadcast to, let’s say, the equivalent of Edinburgh, compared to the venue capacity of The Stand?

An operator yes, a martyr no.

In other words the Streisand effect. The Stand withdrew its invitation to her, and the result was a lot of bad publicity for The Stand. You know what? That’s … Read the rest

Guest post: The binary goes away, the binary comes back

May 4th, 2023 8:17 am | By

Originally a comment by Papito on Top of the roller-coaster.

My peak happened rather suddenly when my son announced to us that he was really a woman inside. This was patently absurd. His pediatrician wanted to send him straight to the gender clinic. He said to me, “Do you want a live daughter or a dead son?” I said to him, “I brought my son to you because he was cutting himself. I would like the cutting to stop, not for a professional to do it instead.”

FYI, my son is over it now. I was able to steer him carefully around all the eager affirmers, and find him a real therapist. He’s autistic, he’s not like the other … Read the rest

To normal people, yes

May 3rd, 2023 5:18 pm | By

Trump says it’s such a ridiculous, made-up story. Just ridiculous!

Donald Trump called a writer’s claims that he raped her at a Manhattan department store “the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” testifying in a deposition shown in court Wednesday that the allegations were “made up” and that the assault never happened.

Lawyers for accuser E. Jean Carroll played about 30 minutes of excerpts from the former president’s deposition, including his emphatic denial of the longtime advice columnist’s accusation that he attacked her in the mid-1990s in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room.

It does seem like an odd story, for sure. And yet…

…we’ve all heard him saying “You can grab them by the pussy.”

He said it. He said it … Read the rest

An inthidiouth plot

May 3rd, 2023 3:09 pm | By

Judge to Trump: No.

A New York judge has tossed out Donald Trump’s lawsuit against The New York Times, and ordered the former president to pay all attorneys fees, legal expenses, and associated costs.

Trump filed the lawsuit in 2021, alleging that the newspaper, three of its reporters and his niece Mary Trump engaged in an “insidious plot” to obtain his private records for a Pulitzer-winning story about his tax issues.

The twice-impeached former president’s claims against the defendants “fail as a matter of constitutional law,” New York Supreme Court Justice Robert R. Reed wrote in his ruling filed on Wednesday afternoon, deeming the paper’s newsgathering as being at “the very core of protected First Amendment activity.”

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Guest post: Honest, open debate is poison to their program

May 3rd, 2023 10:42 am | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Smoke and mirrors.

You gave us a “nutshell” summary with what was wrong with the Tavistock. Here’s a nutshell with what is wrong with trans activism:

None of the individuals who have been targeted, who include poets and authors as well as politicians, have called for legal rights to be removed from transgender people.

The framing is deliberate because the reality — forcing women to accept biological males in women’s sports, refuges, changing rooms, toilets and prisons — doesn’t sound so appealing.

Trans activists lie to conceal what their opponents say; they lie to conceal what exactly they are demanding. They rewrite the language to do both, launching their political … Read the rest

Pants versus ears

May 3rd, 2023 10:25 am | By

Trans-identifying man Jennifer Finney Boylan says sex is not in the body, it’s in the brain.

When someone says they feel like a woman, what exactly does that mean?

Nothing. It means nothing.

Or it means something, but the something it means is about fantasy and imagination; it’s not about material reality. We can think we “feel like” anything, and that can be a fine pathway to empathy and broader sympathies. It can be, but it can also be a lousy rotten stinking pathway to telling people you know more about being those people than they do.

Across the country, conservatives are insisting that — and legislating as if — “feeling” like a woman, or a man, is irrelevant.

Read the rest

Top of the roller coaster

May 3rd, 2023 9:42 am | By

Glinner is explaining to David Baddiel about peaking, and I saw this reply.

The bit about first you climb up believing all kinds of nonsense.

I never did actually believe it.

What did I do? Kept my mouth shut. Watched and waited. Avoided. Evaded. Bracketed. Ignored.

I guess to be more precise what I never did actually believe … Read the rest

A star is born

May 3rd, 2023 9:01 am | By

“For all the hypersensitive whiny little cis women”

Summing up – “You know because womanhood, it doesn’t really have a meaning – you know it’s kind of what you want it to mean – it’s a social construct – I know that’s complicated for y’all”… Read the rest