All entries by this author

People are people are people

Jun 4th, 2022 7:48 am | By

Mike B commented:

Yesterday, my partner and I listened to a long segment on NPR on abortion. Not once was the word “woman” used. In its place, “somebody,” “a person/people,” “patient.” The verbal gymnastics was astonishing, like watching horses run an obstacle course.

So I went looking. I found a segment from today, so not the one Mike listened to (unless they tweaked the date), but it fits the description – the only use of “woman” is in the name of a women’s center, which NPR is not at liberty to “correct.” Other than that, zilch. What we get instead is:

Following the leaked Supreme Court decision that suggests Roe v. Wade will be overturned, many Americans of

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The inclusion workshop

Jun 4th, 2022 6:11 am | By

Janice Turner informs us that civil servants (in the UK) are being told appalling drivel as official “training” – by people who are secretive about it.

Here are some facts I learnt by watching an “inclusion workshop” for civil servants. A brain in a jar “knows” if it is male or female and, if transplanted into the “wrong” body, would exhibit distress. This country has no legal sex-based rights. It is impossible to define what “woman” or even “female” means. There is zero conflict between women’s rights and trans rights, so beware colleagues asking too many questions; they’re probably bigots.

So by “inclusion” the people who send civil servants to these workshops mean exclusion of women. Interesting.

A:gender, “a network

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Deforestation and global warming collaborate

Jun 3rd, 2022 12:39 pm | By

Some tipping points:

The second is the loss of the Amazonian rain forest. Deforestation is drying it out, and when it reaches a tipping point, there will be no going back. (We’re in the lucky generation that gets to watch Bolsonaro making it happen. On purpose.)

…with a significant loss of trees, less water will enter the atmosphere so areas of the Amazon will become drier and drier as the water cycle breaks down. This is already happening in the southern and eastern Amazon, where dry seasons have become longer for at least the past 2 decades.

Global warming will intensify this damage. Along with deforestation, it will lead to increased forest fires, regional droughts and

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Jun 3rd, 2022 12:23 pm | By

Tipping.… Read the rest

Lake Powell and Lake Mead

Jun 3rd, 2022 11:30 am | By

More on the drought:

The megadrought currently choking the western United States is the worst drought in the region in more than 1,000 years. It’s having an enormous impact across many states and on several major reservoirs including Lake Mead, a water source for millions of people in the West. 

This week, local officials in Southern California started restricting water use, including watering of lawns to once or twice a week, for about six million residents. It’s also having a major impact on Lake Mead, which is a major source of water for agriculture and for millions of people in the American West.

Ok hang on – why not just ban watering lawns entirely? Lawns make no difference … Read the rest

Lake Mead

Jun 3rd, 2022 11:05 am | By

Meanwhile, drought.

A once-in-a-lifetime drought in the western part of the US is turning up dead bodies – but that’s the least of people’s worries.

It’s not once-in-a-lifetime any more. Lifetimes are going to be radically different in the future (the future meaning now and tomorrow and so on – not some distant prospect beyond the horizon).

Sitting on the Arizona-Nevada border near Las Vegas, Lake Mead – formed by the creation of the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River – is the largest reservoir in the United States and provides water to 25 million people across three states and Mexico. Here, the stunning scale of a drought in the American west has been laid plain for all to

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Sexist comments? Surely not?

Jun 3rd, 2022 10:35 am | By

Now there’s a surprise.

When Hillary Clinton ran for the US presidency in 2016, she received sexist comments “on a constant basis” and her team had “no idea” how to deal with them, her former aide Huma Abedin has said.

Abedin, who worked closely with Clinton on her campaign, recalled that the former secretary of state was deluged with openly sexist remarks as well as unhelpful advice, or instructions to emulate male politicians.

Really? Women get abuse? I thought it was only trans people – especially male trans people. We’ve been told for years that women are the evil domineering phobic cruel sex, but now it seems that a woman running for high office has to expect nonstop sexist … Read the rest

Delighted to take spots reserved for women

Jun 2nd, 2022 5:21 pm | By

Girls to the Front has a thread on “Sophie” Cook.

We were not “quite happily” using “Mx” a few years ago. I’ve never used it and never been the slightest bit happy about it. It’s just one more intrusion on and theft of what’s ours.

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Why him?

Jun 2nd, 2022 5:06 pm | By

The Times on “Sophie” Cook:

Senior prosecutors are facing criticism over the recruitment of a transgender activist to a key diversity role despite evidence that she has posted derogatory tweets about women.

And is a man.

Sophie Cook, who has supported the replacement of the word woman with “womxn” and used the acronym “terf” — trans-exclusionary radical feminist — has been appointed the Crown Prosecution Service’s “speak-out champion”, a new role.

You know, the CPS could have appointed a woman. It wouldn’t be a bad idea – women have all kinds of issues with the CPS, conspicuous among them the staggeringly low rate of prosecution of rape cases. What does a man who calls himself a woman have to … Read the rest

Guest post: Compelling arguments for monarchy

Jun 2nd, 2022 11:56 am | By

Originally a comment by Bjarte Foshaug on One’s estates.

The third* most common argument I hear from pro-monarchy Norwegians is something along the lines of “Would you rather have something like the American model and get someone like Trump as the Head of State?”. This seems to presuppose that the monarchy does indeed serve a real function that must be served somehow, so if the monarchy is abolished we need to put something else in its place. My answer is the same as the one I give when religious apologists ask what atheists want to put in religion’s place: Neither the monarchy nor religion serves any function that needs to be served at at all, so we can … Read the rest

Guest post: Peat bogs are carbon sinks

Jun 2nd, 2022 11:52 am | By

Originally a comment by Enzyme on One’s estates.

Campaigners have said much of this land lies on peat bogs, which should be allowed to grow wild to sequester carbon instead of being used for grouse shooting.

OK, but this is important, and it perhaps does undermine some of the point about tree-cover. I’ve no love for grouse-moors, and many grouse moors are close to peat areas: anyone who’s been to the Peak District can attest that there’ll be grouse-butts in one place, and a couple of hundred metres away you’re up to your thighs in peat.

BUT… Peat-bogs are not forest. They are AMAZING carbon sinks. According to the Beeb,

Peatlands cover around 12% of the land in

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Using she/he pronouns

Jun 2nd, 2022 11:39 am | By

It can be so difficult to be sure you’re not reading a parody. Surely the BBC wouldn’t publish a parody news item

When Alexa Hermosillo, 25, came out as non-binary about a year ago, while living in San Diego, California, he found many of the people he dated still boxed him into a gender binary.

He was expecting to find something else? “Dating” (i.e. sex) tends to work that way.

Hermosillo had short hair and presented as more masculine, but was using she/he pronouns at the time. People he dated, however, “would assign that more normatively masculine role to me”, he says (Hermosillo now identifies as trans masculine). “If we drove somewhere, I would be the person to drive.

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John and Dan agree on one thing

Jun 2nd, 2022 10:26 am | By

The Guardian decides today would be a good day to treat “JK Rowling” as just another political issue people disagree on, and by the way she’s the wrong side to pick.

It seems they have a series called Dining across the divide: two people eat something and talk about how they disagree. Catchy subhead for this one:

One voted Labour, the other Tory, and they disagreed about Brexit. Can they find common ground over JK Rowling?

Can they? Can they? Can they agree that she’s a bitch and a Karen who has no right to say that men are not women?

Of course they can.

John The subject where I felt I was educated is the storm that has engulfed

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A mere 80 women

Jun 2nd, 2022 9:16 am | By

To think I used to admire Peter Tatchell.

So, who cares, right? So 80 “cis lesbians” do get pressured to have sex with men pretending to be women, so what? Bitches. Karens.

A lot of people make the point that Simon makes:

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They have a little list

Jun 2nd, 2022 5:40 am | By

Simon Edge tells us that the publishing industry is full of horrible little censors. Little in mind, regardless of stature.

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They don’t have the best writers

Jun 1st, 2022 4:03 pm | By

A crudely written vituperative piece on the Allison Bailey tribunal by one Moya Lothian-McLean:

Barrister Allison Bailey – a co-founder of the LGB Alliance, a transgender-exclusionary organisation – is suing, in one fell swoop, Garden Court, her legal chambers, and Stonewall, the largest LGBTQ+ organisation in Europe. 

It’s just stupid and ludicrous to call the LGB Alliance “transgender-exclusionary.” There is no law or rule or unwritten agreement that lesbians and gay men must “include” trans people in everything they do. It’s not particularly obvious why they’re expected to “include” them at all ever. Stonewall, meanwhile, could be said to have become a mostly trans-focused organization, and it can certainly be called one that treats some lesbians and gay men … Read the rest

One’s estates

Jun 1st, 2022 11:48 am | By

Oh, gee, I thought Priss Choss was such a keen environmentalist.

The duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall, two of the royal family’s largest portfolios of land, have snubbed tree campaigners who are calling for the royals to rewild their estates.

Well. You know. There’s The Environment, and then there’s One’s portfolio of land.

Rewilding advocates at the campaign group Wild Card have been meeting for months with the crown estate, which manages most of the royal land and pays the revenue into the Treasury. They say relations have been “really positive”.

However, the duchies are separate to the crown estate, and not subject to the same level of accountability. The two organisations – described by the land campaigner Guy

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Rainbow bullets

Jun 1st, 2022 11:21 am | By

Honoring Pride Month.

H/t Jane Clare Jones… Read the rest

Ameliorating the concepts

Jun 1st, 2022 10:11 am | By

Jon Pike talks about conceptual engineering and That Word:

There is a growing approach in philosophy called “conceptual engineering”. It’s a cool name for an interesting project. Indeed, one of my colleagues at the Open University is heavily involved as a conceptual engineer. They look at our concepts and see if they are doing good work — if they are functioning well. If not, then we should try to improve them (“ameliorate” is the key term). The chief thinker behind this is Sally Haslanger; the title of her main work Resisting Reality: Social Constructions and Social Critique gives you a flavour of what she is up to.

So far, the term (and concept) “female” has seemed relatively immune

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Brought to attention

Jun 1st, 2022 6:41 am | By

Warwick Pride Issued a Statement the other day – which is to say, it wrote a public post on Facebook. It’s quite a surprising document.


That is, Facebook post regarding external speaker Nadhim Zahawi.

TW: Transphobia, SA, abuse, homelessness

SA = sex abuse, right? So why isn’t it either “SA, A,” or “sex abuse, abuse”? Or indeed “abuse, sex abuse” – it’s more usual to start with the general and go on to the specific.

Picky picky.

It has been brought to our attention over the past few weeks that the Warwick Conservative Association is running an external speaker event, inviting Nadhim Zahawi, the Conservative Secretary of State for Education, to campus on

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