Not an ideologue but a bulldozer

Jul 13th, 2024 5:54 pm | By

Sarah Kendzior on the real danger:

1) Yes, Trump knows what Project 20205 is. No, he likely doesn’t care, because policy is a thing other people do while he steals money and ensures impunity for himself and his backers.

2) Trump is not an ideologue. He is a bulldozer used by two GOP-linked networks that often collaborate.

3) The first network is made of hard right-wing ideologues that have been gradually implementing a neo-fascist US since the Reagan era, chipping away at courts, regulations, rights, etc. This is the Project 2025 network.

4) The second network is transnational organized crime, the network in which Trump is most at home. Their goal is to collapse the US and strip it and sell it for parts, much like the oligarch wars that followed the collapse of the USSR. This network has been active for decades as well. Its dynamics and Trump’s role are laid out in my book HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT.

5) Both networks contain fanatics of varying faiths who deploy rhetoric with apocalyptic overtones. Some are true messianic believers. Others exploit religion for financial and political gain.

7) Blackmail, threats, and bribery play a role in solidifying their power, but many officials are simply complicit, including in the Democratic Party.

8) The two networks may clash at some point, depending on whether their goal is American autocracy or collapse. Either way, Americans will get some form of mafia state kleptocracy, which is what we have already.

So. We’ve got that to look forward to.



Shots fired

Jul 13th, 2024 5:37 pm | By

Better to get a foreign take, so the BBC reports:

Secret Service agents have rushed former President Donald Trump off stage after what sounded like gunshots erupted at a rally in Pennsylvania. Footage showed him grimace and raise a hand to his right ear, before ducking as sharp cracks – apparently shots – broke out.

He was quickly swarmed by secret service agents and rushed off stage to a waiting vehicle. He raised a fist as he was bundled into the car. In a statement Trump’s campaign said he was “fine” and was being “checked out” at a local medical facility.

And now he’ll be able to make hay off it.

Trump’s Vice-President Mike Pence said he and his wife were praying for his former ally, adding that he urged “every American to join us”.

Pence’s former ally who tried to get him killed by the insurrectionists. “Hang Mike Pence,” he said.

Everything will get worse. We’re doomed.



Progressive how exactly?

Jul 13th, 2024 11:34 am | By

When Ted Cruz gets it and the Dems don’t

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday rejected the nomination of a progressive judge who approved the transfer of a 6’2″ transgender-identifying male child rapist to a women’s prison.

Just for the record – there is nothing “progressive” about trying to put a male rapist in a woman’s prison. If he needs protection from other men then deal with that, but not by transferring the danger to women.

Nominated by the Biden administration to join the federal bench for the Southern District of New York, Sarah Netburn allowed male sex offender July Justine Shelby to be sent to FMC Carswell, a female federal correctional facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Her order overturned the Bureau of Prisons’ rejection of his request for female housing.

What a sadistic thing to do.

Born William McClain, Shelby pleaded guilty in 1994 to molesting a nine-year-old boy and to raping a seventeen-year-old girl. After his release 18 years later, Shelby violated parole by using the internet in his apartment, landing himself in prison for another six years, until 2015. After being released again, Shelby underwent hormone therapy to begin transitioning to a female.

At the May hearing, Netburn testified that she found concerns that Shelby would sexually abuse female inmates “overblown.”

Something wrong with the arithmetic there, but anyway, seriously? Overblown? Would she like to be locked in a cell with him for a few days, see what happens?

Shelby was entered into administrative segregation recently for exposing himself to female prisoners, the Washington Free Beacon reported Wednesday.

Is that overblown?

Democratic senator Jon Ossoff broke with his party Wednesday to oppose the nomination of Netburn.

After Cruz pressed Netburn over her decision to move Shelby to live among women, current and former female inmates sounded the alarm over gender-inclusive prison housing policies in letters to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Most incarcerated women have already experienced sexual trauma and violence during our lives,” female former inmate Amie Ichikawa wrote to the committee in a letter sent by the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) and obtained by National Review. “We are trying to heal and prepare to be productive citizens after serving out our sentences. Having men in our prison systems disrupts all of this. We fear for our safety.”

Thank you Jon Ossoff. The rest of you Dem senators – you’re despicable.



People who use tampons

Jul 13th, 2024 10:27 am | By

NPR takes care to insult women again, via a story about metals found in tampons.

Researchers have found toxic metals — including arsenic and lead — in over a dozen popular brands of tampons, raising questions about a menstrual hygiene product used by millions of Americans.

American whats? Dogs? Cars? Barbecue grills?

Researchers say the study marks an important first step in confirming the presence of toxic metals in tampons, which are used by an estimated 52% to 86% of menstruating people in the U.S.

Ah there we go. They start slowly and build. Americans instead of American women is a jab, and menstruating people is a smash in the head with a hammer.

They say more studies are needed to determine to what extent such metals might “leach out of tampons” and into peoples’ bodies. They’re calling not only for more research, but also for stronger regulations.

“We plan to evaluate the study closely, and take any action warranted to safeguard the health of consumers who use these products,” Hils added.

Ah that’s a good one – consumers. What kind of consumers? Shhhhhhhh.

Catherine Roberts, a health and science journalist at Consumer Reports who has written about tampons, says it’s more surprising that the question wasn’t investigated sooner.

“It’s in the most sensitive part of people’s bodies. It’s so close to us,” she says. “We use so many [tampons] over a lifetime. It’s just wild to me that this is so both so little researched and so little regulated.”

Of people’s bodies – so there goes the opportunity to discuss the ways women’s health is neglected or overlooked because women are still viewed as inferior.

People who menstruate may use more than 7,400 tampons over the course of their reproductive years, the study authors calculated, with each tampon staying in the vagina for several hours at a time.

In what vagina? The people’s vagina? Are vaginas like noses and kneecaps – everyone has them?

Dr. Nathaniel DeNicola, an OB-GYN who served as the environmental health expert for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says the more pressing question is not whether there are chemicals in tampons, but “when does it convert to a dangerous amount?”

Some of the metals found in the tampons — including copper, calcium, iron and zinc — are not only considered safe, but recommended for patients by many doctors, he notes. They would not be damaging in low amounts, but a cumulative amount could have a lasting effect on a person’s endocrine functions.

That’s an awkward piece of writing. The self-conscious swapping of “a person” for “a woman” creates a pointless clunker of a sentence.

It’s not clear from the study whether people are getting harmful amounts of each metal from tampons, DeNicola says.

Well it damn well is clear that half of “people” aren’t – the male half.

To Roberts, one of the main takeaways from the study is that the “organic label was clearly not a guarantee that these products would not have heavy metals.” So what are concerned shoppers supposed to do?

Ideally, she says, regulators would mandate heavy-metal testing for tampons to take some of the pressure off consumers.

Until then, she says, there are some measures that tampon users can take to try to reduce their exposure to chemicals in general.

Shoppers, consumers, tampon users – but never women. Never never never women. It’s a filthy word, and it must not be uttered.

DeNicola recommends relying on a combination of “third-party testing and some personal due diligence.” He says there are apps shoppers can use to scan product barcodes and see what chemicals they contain, which could be useful for personal care and feminine hygiene products.

In some cases, people might want to consider alternatives to tampons, such as pads or menstrual cups. The reusable cups have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially given their lower environmental impact compared to tampons.

Shoppers shoppers shoppers, people people people.

DeNicola notes that plastic from tampons is one of the biggest sources of waste worldwide (and that some brands are more eco-friendly than others). Roberts points out that even if they didn’t contain chemicals, tampons would still pose a risk of toxic shock syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening illness (wearers can reduce their risk by changing their tampons frequently).

Wearers?? You don’t wear tampons.

DeNicola stresses that this study doesn’t have him running to tell his patients not to use tampons at all.

And so we come to the end without ever using the word “women.” NPR is despicable.



Guest post: They all think they’re Gregory Peck in Gentleman’s Agreement

Jul 13th, 2024 8:35 am | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Please, insult us some more.

According to the cult, ‘transwomen’, who are actually men who want to pretend (and who also want the rest of us to believe) that they are women, actually are women; but the words ‘woman’ and ‘women’ aren’t ever to be mentioned in regards to adult human females; just people who can be pregnant.

In trying to decouple “sex” from the concept of “woman,” genderists are attempting to break the female monopoly on womanhood, as if menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation were as inconsequential to the definition of “woman” as hair colour and shoe size. They want an “expansive” definition of “woman” that has nothing to do with the biological facts of the female body, allowing their use of womanface to be sufficient qualification for entrance to what they believe to be a hatefully excluding club. They all think they’re Gregory Peck in Gentleman’s Agreement.

In their minds, the only real women are the ones who choose to be women, and work hard to “become” women. Being born female is the easy way, and shouldn’t count. It’s as if women were born into inherited wealth, and trans identified males have to work their way up, starting from the mail room. They ask “How can you deny us womanhood? We’ve earned it!”. This is part of the reversal of power relations, with women being privileged Karens, spitefully barring hardworking TiMs from their hard-earned, just reward. This isn’t male entitlement at all; it’s the story of an oppressed minority demanding justice, thwarted by a powerful, selfish, entrenched ruling class. PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MAN BEHIND THE LIPSTICK!



Poor child A

Jul 13th, 2024 8:15 am | By

On the one hand anybody can be a woman, men can be women, men are absolutely definitely without question women if they say they are – and on the other hand women exist for the purpose of pumping out children and can be rented for the purpose of child-production.

Or to put it another way, when greedy callous rich people decide they want to have a baby but the mommy doesn’t want to do that whole horrible carrying it and pushing it out thing, the people they pay to do the gestating for them are always, without exception, women. Never men, not even men who say they are women; always women.

The global trade in babies is big business. Research company Global Market Insights estimates the surrogacy industry was worth $14 billion (nearly £11bn) in 2022 and expects this to grow to $129bn by 2033.

Celebrities think nothing of renting a woman’s womb to secure a baby. Singer Robbie Williams and his wife used a surrogate for two of their four children. Actor Sarah Jessica Parker, she of Sex and the City fame, was delivered twin girls by a surrogate.

And we know for sure both of those surrogates were women, not men cosplaying women. How do we know? Because the result was actual babies, not fantasy babies.

[I]t was a decision in Edinburgh Sheriff Court a few days ago that exposed the ethical questions at the heart of this most controversial practice. A judge decided that a 72-year-old man and his now-dead wife were the legal parents of a three-year-old boy, Child A, who had been born in the USA under a surrogacy arrangement.

And while Sheriff Sheehan admitted that she would not have granted an adoption order to a man in his 70s, she said the child’s welfare would be compromised if the court did not grant a parental order in these circumstances.

If people in their 70s can’t adopt (for very obvious reasons) why can they exploit a younger woman to make a child for them to leave an orphan in a few years?

“These concerns must be balanced with the fact that A’s welfare would be gravely compromised by the court’s refusal to make an order,” she said, “His gestational carrier has had no contact with him since birth. He is now aged three years and 10 months.”

And there, in a judgment handed down by Edinburgh Sheriff Court, is the reason that surrogacy is unethical. The child’s birth mother, a woman who rented out her womb to elderly strangers in circumstances we will never know, is dismissed as a “gestational carrier”. She is dehumanised. Reduced to nothing more than a living incubator for a rich couple who were far too old to have a baby but wealthy enough to buy one.

She is dehumanized and the child is born to be an orphan.

A surrogacy pregnancy is also more dangerous for a woman’s health. Only this week, Canadian researchers who looked at the records of nearly one million births revealed that surrogates, who usually become pregnant by IVF, have double the chance of dangerous pregnancy complications such as high blood pressure and heavy bleeding. Around seven per cent of surrogates suffered severe complications, compared with 2.4 per cent of women with natural conceptions and 4.6 per cent who had undergone IVF.

Marina Ivanova, the study’s author, said there could be several reasons for this, including the “physiological and psychological impact associated with carrying a pregnancy for another person” and “the socio-demographic characteristics of those who choose to become gestational carriers”. In other words, surrogates are more likely to be women living in poverty, and carrying a baby for strangers will have an adverse impact on a woman’s physical and mental well-being. Tell me again, which aspect of this practice is ethical?

No can do.



Please, insult us some more

Jul 12th, 2024 5:14 pm | By

Man who gets celebrated and flattered and high office for pretending to be a woman makes a point of pretending men can be pregnant.

Is that a male body right there?



Guest post: If Og and Mog hadn’t known which was which

Jul 12th, 2024 4:37 pm | By

Originally a comment by What a Maroon on Hollowed out?

This hits close to home, for reasons I mentioned in the other thread. I hope that people don’t take this as a reason to dismiss the branch of (non-Chomskyan) linguistics that Vyv espouses, which goes under the (unfortunate) name of “cognitive linguistics”.

But anyway, yes, “gender” is a sociolinguistic construct. And I think he would agree with me when I say that the concepts expressed by language are not a direct reflection of an objective reality, but rather a result of our embodied interaction with the world, as filtered through our senses and our brain and also influenced by the culture we’re raised in.

But that doesn’t mean that those concepts are arbitrary, with no basis in reality. We wouldn’t survive long if our mental representation of the world (however incomplete and distorted it may be) had no relation to the real world. You have to be able to distinguish between an apple and a rattlesnake, and know that one is good for eating and the other is something to avoid, even if your language doesn’t distinguish between apples and pears, or red and orange. And knowing that there are two sexes that are immutable, and being able to distinguish between them, is pretty key to the propagation of our species–we wouldn’t be around to argue about gender if Og and Mog hadn’t known which was which. But that is not gender essentialism (it may be sex essentialism, I suppose, but then some things do have essential characteristics). Gender essentialism is saying that if you like to play with dolls and dress up in frilly clothes, you must be a girl regardless of your anatomy. Or that you have an inner sense of your gender that overrides your anatomy.

I know y’all know all this, but it irks me to see someone whose linguistics I largely agree with making such a weak, dishonest argument.



Hollowed out?

Jul 12th, 2024 12:15 pm | By

And just one more thing about this Evans fella, because I hadn’t seen it, and because he’s being a ridiculous dogmatic twerp in that he’s blocking anyone who disputes his claims even though they are actual scholars in the field and he is not.

His polite, informed, in no way misogynist or anti-feminist sharing of his exciting article:

Ouch:

We agree that gender is a sociolinguistic concept, and therefore isn’t necessary in the first place, given the harm it wreaks on women. GCs don’t think gender identity must necessarily align with biological sex – we (mostly) don’t think it is a real or useful thing. We think the word « woman » describes biology, not a sociolinguistic concept. This is not tricky and I have no idea why you’ve failed to engage with what you are trying to tear down.

I have a tentative idea why. I think it might be because he’s not very sharp.



Block first, answer questions never

Jul 12th, 2024 11:47 am | By

Ah I hadn’t realized when I shared Carole Hooven’s response to Vyvyan Evans’s Explanation of Woman that he (Evans) had responded to it by blocking her. Not by offering a reasoned response, or even by offering an unreasoned response, but just by officially ignoring her. How adult.

And he didn’t stop there.

Guy has PhD right there on his profile, yet he instantly blocks fellow academics who dispute his claims. That’s a good look.



Seems off the mark

Jul 12th, 2024 11:36 am | By

Carole Hooven disputes Vyv Evans straight on the “biological essentialism” question:

Picking one point to explore in this article in @PsychToday that claims, among other things, that “TERF has been ‘rebranded’ as gender critical (GC) feminism, a ‘linguistic pivot’ from ‘anti-trans’ to ‘pro-woman’”. Take the idea of “biological essentialism” and Evan’s claims about “GC ideology.”

@VyvEvans: “GC ideology invokes biological essentialism: the idea that sex is binary and immutable, determined at the level of chromosomes. Thus, one’s gender must inevitably align with biological sex as assigned at birth.”

While there’s no consistent definition of bio essentialism, Evan’s seems off the mark. Nor does his claim about gender (a “sociolinguistic construct” with a “basis in biology”) follow logically from his definition.

Here’s a definition of “biological essentialism” from Oxford Reference:

“The belief that ‘human nature’, an individual’s personality, or some specific quality (such as intelligence, creativity, homosexuality, masculinity, femininity, or a male propensity to aggression) is an innate and natural ‘essence’ (rather than a product of circumstances, upbringing, and culture). The concept is typically invoked where there is a focus on difference, as where females are seen as essentially different from males: see gender essentialism.” https://oxfordreference.com/display/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095507973…

An example of a “gender essentialist” idea is that being nurturing is an “essential” part of being female: all females possess the trait, it is innate, determined and immutable. Not a product of socialization, etc. This kind of claim is, I hope everyone knows, false. Nonetheless, it is consistent with the idea that there are real and biologically influenced sex differences in nurturing. The existence of a sex difference in a particular trait— that exists *on average* —does not mean that the trait is “essential” to one sex or the other.

The claim that sex is binary and immutable (in mammals, including humans) is a fact of biology, not an “essentialist idea.” (Sex, however is not always determined by chromosomes.) And there is nothing that necessarily characterizes being male or female, other than the only trait that reliably differentiates the sexes: whether the reproductive system is organized around producing large or small gametes. The “gamete size” trait is the only trait that is “essential” to being one sex or the other.

There is no other particular behavioral or physical phenotype that necessarily follows from being male or female (e.g., some male animals can give birth or do all of the parenting, some females are larger and more aggressive than males, etc.), even in humans. BUT even with all this variation within and between species, we still observe dominant patterns of sex differences in nature. And human male and female bodies and behavior fit the dominant pattern in mammals (and other taxa), on average (bigger, stronger, more aggressive males, smaller, weaker, more nurturing females).

Dr. Evans claims that since GC feminists “invoke biological essentialism,” they believe that “one’s gender must inevitably align with biological sex as assigned at birth.” They do? That’s news to me. My understanding is that CG feminists understand that sex is binary and immutable, and most (not all!) believe that #sexmatters because on average, males and females are different in ways that matter in society.

Happy to have some GC feminists clarify their views on this.

Ok. Why yes, I do believe that sex matters because on average there are physical differences between women and men that matter a fuckofalot in society.



Another unrequested lecture

Jul 12th, 2024 11:13 am | By

Dude laboriously does us an explain in Psychology Today that gender norms are cultural. Gosh, who knew?

Never mind that we don’t need some guy telling us that, because it’s there only as a runway for a flight into the usual Women Must Do What They’re Told.

More recently, the advent of so-called trans-exclusionary radical feminism (TERF) came to be a significant feminist ideology. In recent years, TERF has been “rebranded” as gender critical (GC) feminism, a “linguistic pivot from ‘anti-trans’ to ‘pro-woman’ … an attempted claim to legitimacy with an aim of accruing mainstream support,” according to a peer-reviewed research article by Claire Thurlow.

No, chump, “terf” hasn’t been rebranded. Terf has always been a snide pejorative for women who don’t submit to trans ideology.

Thurlow argues that despite the rebranding, GC feminism continues to deploy anti-trans tropes and alarmist rhetoric aimed at inciting moral panic. According to another commentator, Katelyn Burns (writing in Vox), GC feminism is now the de facto dominant ideology in the UK and a significant force in the United States, where, ironically, GC feminists ally with (male) “family-values” conservatives whose goals are often antithetical to those of GC feminism.

Wut? Gender critical feminism is now the de facto dominant ideology in the UK?? You must be joking. No kind of feminism is the dominant ideology anywhere on the planet, let alone the gender critical kind in the UK. And we don’t “ally with” family values conservatives. We do overlap with them on the question of whether people can change sex, but guess what, we all sometimes overlap with people we disagree with on most things, because there’s so much that everyone agrees on.

His final summing up:

Whatever one’s views on the immutability or otherwise of biological sex, gender is itself a sociolinguistic construct. While it certainly has a basis in biology, it is confected in a cultural context. And non-Western cultures take different views as to whether gender identity must align with biological sex as assigned at birth (see my previous post). The takeaway from this is that while freedom of speech is important, so is tolerance of opposing views, without resorting to perceived transphobic tropes.

That’s the takeway? You could have fooled me. He hasn’t mentioned “transphobic tropes” before this abrupt conclusion, so we don’t even know what he considers a “transphobic trope.” It’s funny that he takes the precaution of calling them perceived transphobic tropes, but since he hasn’t specified any, his meaning remains conjectural. Dude tries to tell women what women are, fails.



This is fine

Jul 11th, 2024 4:07 pm | By

Oh great.

Furthermore he pronounces it pootin. Poot is slang for fart.



A prominent substantial significant figure

Jul 11th, 2024 2:37 pm | By

Ok listen up, what’s with all this endless whining and fussing about some writer, the people who really need our support and sympathy and worship and support are the ones who chat about books on social meeja.

Tilly Fitzgerald, a former Waterstones employee and a prominent figure on social media for book enthusiasts, has publicly expressed her gratitude following substantial backing from the literary community in an open letter. Fitzgerald’s dismissal from the bookstore chain has sparked significant controversy and debate around freedom of expression and the responsibilities of employees on social media.

Prominent; substantial; significant. We know we’re in the presence of Important Stuff when we get that many Inflative Adjectives in one short paragraph.

Kidding. Actually we know we’re in the presence of a bad writer.

Fitzgerald, known for her engaging book reviews under the username TillyLovesBooks, came under fire after posting a provocative comment on the social media platform X…

The incident led to Fitzgerald’s termination, with Waterstones citing a breach of their social media policy. However, the decision was met with a wave of support for Fitzgerald, culminating in an open letter signed by over 500 authors and industry professionals, urging Waterstones to reconsider their stance.

How does a wave culminate? Bad writing, I tells ya. Probably stemming from extremely bad thinking.



It’s transplendent

Jul 11th, 2024 2:09 pm | By


Siding with the bullies

Jul 11th, 2024 10:55 am | By

Sometimes the bitterness is overwhelming.

The Guardian puts the boot in:

More than 500 authors and book industry professionals have signed an open letter calling on Waterstones to reverse a decision to dismiss an employee who said she would tear up and throw away books written by a gender-critical author.

Yes that’s right, side with the bratty entitled snot who tried to sabotage a novelist, don’t even consider siding with the novelist who did nothing to deserve the sabotage.

Figures including Chocolat author Joanne Harris, writer and podcaster Dorian Lynskey, and author and culture journalist Jason Okundaye have backed Tilly Fitzgerald, who posts book-related content and reviews under the username TillyLovesBooks on social media. Fitzgerald was sacked after responding to a post on X by author Christina Dalcher, which appeared to endorse a publishing network for those “concerned about the impact of gender ideology” on the sector. Fitzgerald wrote: “Ooh, I’ll enjoy tearing up your books and popping them in the bin today. Thanks for the heads up.”

Maybe just maybe writers shouldn’t be defending the brat who bragged about tearing up books at the expense of the non-brat who writes them.

Fitzgerald told the Guardian: “My intention responding to Dalcher was only to let her know that I would no longer be supporting her books in my personal capacity as a reviewer.”

Brazen lie. She could have just told her that. Bragging about tearing up Dalcher’s books is another thing altogether.

The open letter, which was published by British comedy script writer Sara Gibbs, said that its signatories “feel it is an egregious error to terminate the employment of a dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable bookseller for expressing a personal opinion about an author and their work on their social media page.”

Another brazen lie. She didn’t just “express a personal opinion.” She went well beyond that.

“We would like to express support and solidarity with Tilly, and to urge Waterstones to do the right thing and reinstate her,” the letter goes on to say.

No solidarity for Christina Dalcher then.



Queering the history

Jul 11th, 2024 9:59 am | By

Well now that’s something I realized I needed to know more about.

The world’s only, eh? Ok then. Goldsmiths QH MA:

Why study MA Queer History at Goldsmiths

This is the world’s first postgraduate programme in Queer History. It engages with histories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and other (LGBTQ+) people, identities and communities. It is innovative, creative, free-thinking, stimulating, diverse and challenging – everything that is distinctive about history at Goldsmiths.

And other LGBTQ+ people, identities and communities – so what does that mean? You’ve already got the +, so what does the “and other” mean? It’s about LGBTQ people and + people and other LGBTQ people – so what does that mean?

‘Queer’ is an inclusive term, encompassing the complex experiences of sexuality and gender diversity across history. In the past, ‘queer’ has been used as a term of derision, but many today have reclaimed the term to capture the complexity of gender and sexuality.

Is that part of the + and the “and other”? We get + and the other and queer? Each with its own distinctive meaning which we don’t know what it is?

I ask because normally the goal with this kind of thing is clarity and specificity, not vagueness and infinitude.

Maybe it’s part of queering the MA, or the academy, or knowledge, or all of the above + more + more + more.

  • Adopting the Department’s thematic and interdisciplinary approach, the course explores the queer past across period, region, and theme from the early modern period to the present.
  • You’ll develop your research skills and understanding of key debates and methods used by historians of the queer past.
  • You will learn to interrogate past understandings of queer identity and experience. You will question binaries between heterosexual and homosexual, male and female and will learn about the contexts of queerness and issues of intersectionality.
  • You will develop your own specific subject interests through a range of option courses, primary research, and a dissertation on a theme of personal interest.

You will have so much fun, and by the end you will know how to swim.



Amateur hour

Jul 11th, 2024 8:09 am | By

The BBC is incoherent with shock and rage and confusion.

Braverman sparks outrage after LGBTQ+ flag comments

What mean? What mean, BBC? Sparks outrage after comments or because of comments or at comments? And what does “sparks outrage” mean anyway? Does it perhaps just mean a BBC reporter finds the comments outrageous? And what are flag comments anyway? And do you actually mean “LGBTQ+” or do you just mean one or two of those initials?

Rishi Sunak is facing calls to expel Suella Braverman from the Conservative Party following remarks she made about an LGBTQ+ flag.

Is he? Or is that just BBCese for “I think Sunak should expel her for remarks I don’t like”?

Ms Braverman, MP for Fareham and Waterlooville in Hampshire, criticised the flying of the Progress Pride flag at the Home Office in comments that some found offensive.

Oh some found offensive, did they. How very newsworthy. How many? Two? Just you?

Designed in 2018, the flag was created to represent people of colour in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the trans community and those living with HIV/Aids.

What do you mean “as well as the trans community” when it’s already there? In the T: see it? Why does the trans communinny get a double mention when no one else does? Not to mention the familiar issue that T is not the same as LGB and shouldn’t be mashed in with it.

Casey Byrne, a former Conservative candidate for Reading Borough Council and LGBTQ+ campaigner, said Braverman should be “expelled” for the comments she made at the National Conservatism Conference in the United States.

Hey. Excuse me. You haven’t told us what they were yet. This is sly manipulative evasive incoherent “reporting.” You shouldn’t be shouting about who found some mysterious comments expulsion-worthy before telling us wtf you’re talking about.

We get three more one-sentence paragraphs of empty shouting before we finally get a particular.

Ms Braverman also criticised the flying of the Progress Pride flag at the Home Office to “show how liberal and progressive we are”.

In her speech, she said: “I couldn’t even get the flag of a horrible political campaign I disagreed with taken down from the roof of the government department I was supposed to be in charge of.”

Finally a particular.

She then appeared to describe teenagers having gender transition surgery as “mutilation”.

She said: “The Progress flag says to me, one monstrous thing: That I was a member of a government that presided over the mutilation of children in our hospitals.”

Oh the horror. The mutilation, you mean? No no, of course not: the horror is mentioning it.

On the NHS website, surgery is only listed as a treatment option for gender dysphoria for adults.

So there have been zero such “treatment options” for minors?

Then we get a huge beaming photo of Casey Byrne the former Conservative candidate for Reading Borough Council and LGBTQ+ campaigner.

Mr Byrne, from Reading, said she should be “ashamed” and that her words had “real potential to cause harm to LGBT+ people”. Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Suella Braverman has crossed a very clear line that only her expulsion from the Conservative Party, would be an appropriate consequence. Rishi Sunak, as leader, should expel her from the party and send a clear message – we will not tolerate hate.”

Is it hate to say that minors should not be mutilated?

Then we get someone else expressing shock and in conclusion

Ms Braverman made a second speech on Tuesday at a Westminster conference of Popular Conservatism where she spoke of the need to insulate government bodies from what she called the “lunatic woke virus”.

The BBC has contacted Suella Braverman, the Conservative Party and the Home Office for comment.

It’s really shockingly bad “journalism.” 90% trying to work up outrage and 10% humdrum facts about something Braverman said.



A spiral of malice

Jul 11th, 2024 4:33 am | By

Yikes. Lachrymose Tilly the former Waterstones employee is still publicly trying to ruin the life of Christina Dalcher.

“This woman is really going to town,” she says, meaning Christina Dalcher is really trying to put people’s jobs at risk, when in reality Dalcher is doing precisely the opposite of that: she’s telling people not to stir anything up, including not to pile on Tilly Fitzgerald herself. It’s an infinite spiral of ironies.

And then sobbing Tilly finishes with “please don’t buy her books.”

What a piece of work.



Guest post: There goes that

Jul 10th, 2024 4:58 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on They win we lose.

A short list of reasons why I think this is silly:

1) It’s usually much harder to sue the government for things it has failed to do than things it has done. This is especially true when you’re trying to sue because the government didn’t do stuff to that guy/corporation over there.

2) Related to point (1), there are likely some major standing problems. An industry that is aggrieved by a regulation it contends is too restrictive has an obvious injury it can point to — we’re losing money because of this regulation. Environmental groups have to rely on more indirect theories — our members are people, and people will suffer from climate change if this isn’t done — and SCOTUS has been trimming back that kind of standing for years now.

3) You won’t “DDOS” the courts. You’ll add a few cases to the dockets of the district court judges in the 9th Circuit where you propose to file these things. If you actually manage to file enough of them to annoy the judges, they’ll just start issuing boilerplate Orders to Show Cause why your case shouldn’t be dismissed, and they’ll quickly get disposed of. Keep filing them, and you’ll eventually exhaust their patience and get yourself sanctioned.

4) Even if you could overburden the district courts, SCOTUS ain’t gonna care, and neither will a Trump administration.

Basically, this is an Underpants Gnome strategy:

Step 1: File lots of borderline frivolous lawsuits

Step 2: ?????

Step 3: Victory!

Now, to extract a serious point out of all this: sure, in principle Chevron isn’t inherently conservative or liberal. The case actually originated out of a challenge to the Reagan Administration’s EPA, run by now-Justice Gorsuch’s mother.

The problems are:

1) It’s an asymmetric battle. Industry groups have the resources and incentives to fight every fight. Environmental and consumer groups tend to be much more limited and have to pick their battles.

2) Conservatives rule the courts. Oh, you got some district court judge in California to order Trump’s EPA to do something? And the Ninth Circuit denied the government’s emergency appeal? How nice for you, bravo, bet you spent a lot of time and money on that. Well, Scotus just issued a stay in a one-sentence order on the shadow docket, so there goes that.