Guest post: The acreage devoted to Twitter sensitivity

Sep 26th, 2022 6:01 pm | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Fringe.

Many political parties seem to have over-reacted to online trans activism, imbuing social media genderist opinion with more importance and perceived support than it would actually have in the population at large. It’s as if there’s a social media equivalent to the funny-looking, strangely proportioned figures of the “motor humunculus” and “sensory humunculus” when the cerebral territories for these systems are mapped onto the surface of the brain. If the “digital humunculus” of the body politic were to be mapped out in the brains of political party officials, the acreage devoted to Twitter sensitivity would be grotesquely swollen and distorted, overshadowing the vestigial acceptance of “woke” thought amongst the vast majority of the electorate that is not consumed by or engaged in Twitter spats.

These functionaries are so eager to please the algorithmically magnified online extremists that they forget just how much of an outlier their position is out in the wild, away from the sheltered, hothouse confines of discussions limited to 280 characters at a time. They also forget that the positions they take and rules they pass in their overzealous haste to appease and empower these few vocal extremists, erode the rights and needs of women, who make up half the population. While the adults were otherwise engaged, the interns left with the keys to the social media accounts have set fire to the street, and denounced their neighbours for trying call the fire department, because their cool friends told them it was the only way to fight fascism. Unfortunately, some of the adults have decided, in the interests of fighting fascism, they want to be cool too, and think it would be best to add more fuel to the fire to keep it going, and help it spread.

Forced to make its own way in the world, the sad, malformed, misbegotten, digital humunculus (like trans activism itself) would be completely incapable of standing on its own two withered feet, let alone doing anything at all without the willing support and power given to it by those enablers and collaborators who fear (or wish to share) its frighteningly exaggerated power to avenge the slightest of slights. They haven’t realized that while transactivists don’t actually have the numbers or power to propel them into office, or drive them out, women do.

There will be consequences

Sep 26th, 2022 5:08 pm | By

It’s Matt Walsh the Christian reactionary again, but what can I say, he’s right about the trans takeover even if it’s for the wrong reasons and he’s wrong about nearly everything else.

You can make a lot of money mutilating teenagers. Wot larks eh Pip?

It’s not ok to have conscientious objections to mutilating teenagers.

Why? Why is it ok to mutilate teenagers but not ok to refuse to do that? What caused all these people to settle on that side of the issue? Why did everyone move so fast to believe and enforce the belief that sex is all in the mind and that it’s absolutely necessary to mutilate people who say their bodies are the wrong sex? How did this happen? Why is this doctor standing behind that lectern telling her audience they will be punished if they object to mutilating teenagers? Why will there be consequences for not mutilating teenagers instead of consequences for doing so?

It’s like a damn horror movie running for years and years and years.

Updating to add:


Play the trans buddies one. Have a sick bucket ready. Hi, we love you, we’re going to ruin your body, but we’ve got a nice BUDDY for you so you won’t ask any last minute questions.

Guest post: Claims of neutral treatment

Sep 26th, 2022 4:39 pm | By

Originally a comment by Holms on Mermonsters.

I remember visiting an acquaintance’s place years ago, a guy I thought of as decent and level-headed. Part way through the afternoon his young son arrived home from school or barged in during dinner or something, and approached his parents with the air of someone with Important News. He informed the room that he had been penalised points on a science test at school, maybe even failing it, because he answered everything in the biology section with ‘evolution isn’t real’ and ‘God created Adam and Eve’ and similar, instead of the answer he knew was expected of him.

Both parents immediately beamed at him, congratulated him for his good christian values and so on; effectively, they flooded him with approval and positivity. They then informed the rest of us that they had not coached, pressured, proselytised or anything of they sort; they insisted they had raised him with strict neutrality regarding the question of evolution versus creation.

I had known the family to be christian, but there was a distinct pang of dismay at realising they were that sort of christian. At the time, I thought the big lesson to take from this was that even generally reasonable people can have irrational – even delusional – beliefs. While this remains true, I now take a second lesson from that day. I believe those parents genuinely tried to be neutral towards their son regarding evolution, making no overt effort to pressure him into creationism; I also see that their idea of neutrality is heavily biased, undercutting their conscious effort to be neutral. The delight they showed was a strong social cue to him that choosing creationism over evolution was the one that earned parental approval, and while it was the first such instance I’d witnessed between them, it cannot have been the first time ever. The mere fact that they still claimed to be neutral with him on the matter – while love-bombing him – showed me that claims of neutral treatment of a question cannot be trusted. That may have been their genuine goal, but the selective approval shines through.

TRAs like to say they do not exert influence on children to be trans, that the urge bubbles up entirely from within. But they also do this:

A moderator also publicly congratulated a teenage user for deciding that they were transgender by the age of 13 and deciding that they wanted drugs and “all the surgeries”.

Positive reactions, celebratory receptions like this are a strong social cue, and children are not blind to them.


Sep 26th, 2022 11:50 am | By

Labour not a fan of women, it seems.

Repressed citizen

Sep 26th, 2022 10:54 am | By

“Well I am King.”

“Oh, King, eh, very nice. And how’d you get that then, eh? By exploiting the workers! By ‘anging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society. If there’s ever going to be any progress – “

“Dennis, there’s some lovely filth down ‘ere.”


Sep 26th, 2022 10:24 am | By

The Telegraph reports that Mermaids is giving binders to 14-year-olds against their parent’s wishes.

Mermaids, which receives funding from the taxpayer and runs training for schools and the NHS, offered to send a breast binder discreetly to a girl they believed was only 14, even after they were told that she was not allowed to use one by her mother.

Evidence obtained by The Telegraph shows that the charity’s staff have offered binders to children as young as 13 who say that their parents oppose the practice.

Chest-binding has been described by parent groups as a form of “self-harm” and it can cause breathing difficulties, chronic back pain, changes to the spine and broken ribs.

And, despite all that discomfort and risk, the girls doing it don’t magically turn into boys.

Sports risk injury too, and ballet is very hard on the feet, especially girls’ and women’s feet, but at least there’s a genuine purpose in view.

The Telegraph has uncovered evidence of the Mermaids online help centre offering advice to users who present themselves as young as 13 that controversial hormone-blocking drugs are safe and “totally reversible”.

In the last month alone, this newspaper has seen discussions in the charity’s moderated forum for 12 to 15-year-olds on how to raise money to start taking drugs and the best way to take testosterone.

A moderator also publicly congratulated a teenage user for deciding that they were transgender by the age of 13 and deciding that they wanted drugs and “all the surgeries”.

It’s so Jonestown, so Branch Davidians. Believe The Leaders, join The Cult, do what The Cult tells you to do, shun everyone outside The Cult. Believe believe believe.

In a statement setting out its position on binders, Mermaids said that it took “a harm reduction position” that providing a binder with safety instructions was better than people using other “unsafe practices” or experiencing dysphoria.

Of course Mermaids and trans activists are busy coaching people to believe that “dysphoria” is both real and worse than anything else.

Mermaids holds a privileged position in public life. The controversial charity is paid to train teachers, police forces, NHS staff and social services on dealing with transgender issues.

In recent years, it has received more than £20,000 in taxpayer’s money from grants and more than £500,000 from the National Lottery.

Staff have met government officials, given advice to the NHS and were identified as influential at the soon-to-be closed Tavistock Clinic as it was dolling out drugs to children.

It’s as if Jim Jones or David Koresh had been put in charge of Health and Human Services.

“Look at those losers,” he said

Sep 26th, 2022 8:10 am | By

Maggie Haberman tells us what it’s like talking to Trump:

“Can you believe these are my customers?” Donald Trump once asked while surveying the crowd in the Taj Mahal casino’s poker room. “Look at those losers,” he said to his consultant Tom O’Neil, of people spending money on the floor of the Trump Plaza casino.

Which is interesting/funny/ironic because that’s what we think about him. “Can you believe this guy was president?” “Look at that corrupt ignorant greedy sack of flesh.”

I have found myself on the receiving end of the two types of behavior Donald Trump exhibits toward reporters: his relentless desire to hold the media’s gaze, and his poison-pen notes and angry statements in response to coverage. His impulse to try to sell his preferred version of himself was undeterred by the stain that January 6 left on his legacy and on the democratic foundations of the country—if anything, it grew stronger. He had an almost reflexive desire to meet with nearly every author writing a book about him.

Because he’s a massive narcissist, and too stupid to figure out how to hide it.

At one point, Trump made a candid admission that was as jarring as it was ultimately unsurprising. “The question I get asked more than any other question: ‘If you had it to do again, would you have done it?’” Trump said of running for president. “The answer is, yeah, I think so. Because here’s the way I look at it. I have so many rich friends and nobody knows who they are.” He then went on to talk about how much easier his life would have been had he not run. Yet there it was: Reflecting on the meaning of having been president of the United States, his first impulse was not to mention public service, or what he felt he’d accomplished, only that it appeared to be a vehicle for fame, and that many experiences were only worth having if someone else envied them.

As I said. Narcissist, too dumb to pretend otherwise.

They talked about Sidney Powell and how she defended herself against libel suits.

“I was very disappointed in her statement,” Trump said. “That is so demeaning for her to say about herself.” Then he essentially read stage directions on how to use public claims in lawsuits. “All she had to say,” he said, “was ‘Upon information and belief, I think such and such.’ Now all she says there, was take a thousand stories that were written over the last 10 years long before all of this, that are bad stories,” he said, “and that is information and belief, she read them. And that’s the end of that case. That’s true for everybody: ‘It’s upon information and belief and let’s go to court to find out if it’s true.’”

Funny, that’s pretty much what he said the other day about his magic power to declassify all the things. He talked absurd nonsense and then hastily inserted “as I understand it” before talking more nonsense.

Speaking to Sean Hannity of Fox News in an interview broadcast on Wednesday, the former US president said: “Different people say different things but as I understand it, if you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified, even by thinking about it.”

That’s how he understands it, ok??? You can’t punish a guy for how he understands things. Upon information and belief that’s how he understands it, amen.

I pressed him on what, at that point, was one of the persistent mysteries of January 6, which would become central to the congressional select committee’s investigation: what he had been doing in the hours when the Capitol was under assault from his supporters. He insisted that he was not watching television, despite volumes of witness testimony and other evidence to the contrary. “I didn’t usually have the television on. I’d have it on if there was something. I then later turned it on and I saw what was happening,” he said. He lied throughout that bit of our interview: “I had heard that afterward and actually on the late side. I was having meetings. I was also with Mark Meadows and others. I was not watching television.”

He always had the television on.

I was curious when Trump said he had kept in touch with other world leaders since leaving office. I asked whether that included Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping, and he said no. But when I mentioned North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, he responded, “Well, I don’t want to say exactly, but …” before trailing off. I learned after the interview that he had been telling people at Mar-a-Lago that he was still in contact with North Korea’s supreme leader, whose picture with Trump hung on the wall of his new office at his club.


He demurred when I asked if he had taken any documents of note upon departing the White House—“nothing of great urgency, no,” he said, before mentioning the letters that Kim Jong-un had sent him, which he had showed off to so many Oval Office visitors that advisers were concerned he was being careless with sensitive material. “You were able to take those with you?” I asked. He kept talking, seeming to have registered my surprise, and said, “No, I think that’s in the archives, but … Most of it is in the archives, but the Kim Jong-un letters … We have incredible things.”

Yes because you stole them.

In fact, Trump did not return the letters—which were included in boxes he had brought to Mar-a-Lago—to the National Archives until months later. The Washington Post reported on it in early 2022; the Justice Department began investigating how the classified material made its way in and out of the White House residence. (In one of our earlier interviews, I had asked him separately about some of the texts between the FBI agent and the FBI official working on the Robert Mueller investigation whose affair prompted the agent’s removal from the case; we had learned the night before Biden’s inauguration that Trump was planning to make the texts public. He ultimately didn’t, but he told me that Meadows had the material in his possession and offered to connect me with him.)

Admits to being a blackmailer Your Honor.

I asked why he had given Jared Kushner expansive power. “I didn’t,” Trump said, although he had done exactly that. When I pressed, Trump said, “Look, my daughter has a great relationship with him and that’s very important.”

There’s that narcissism again. It may be very important to him, but to literally everyone else on the planet it’s not important at all, and his job was to work for us, not himself. Grown-ass adults with even the slightest awareness of other minds know that what’s important to Me isn’t automatically important to anyone else. Trump not so much.


Sep 26th, 2022 7:10 am | By

It appears the water is heating up in Trump’s frying pan.

[Tip: Riggleman calls Thomas’s texts “insightful” and 60 Minutes host asks “Insightful how?” and Riggleman uses the word again, but he doesn’t mean “insightful” – he’s using the made-up word “inciteful” i.e. “intended to incite.” Also it’s amusing that 60 Minutes takes care to show us a clip of him “typing” with two fingers.]

And for good measure…

Who elected him?

Sep 25th, 2022 3:58 pm | By

Another incident from the orgy of monarchist mourning:

I knew that Charles Windsor would be declared “King Charles III” in official ceremonies around the UK. I had assumed they would be fairly small-scale….

It was only when I went to church that I learnt that there was not only a proclamation in Oxford but a procession that would start just outside our church. I was feeling sad and angry as I left church and walked past the cordoned-off streets, and saw the dignitaries and military leaders standing on the steps of Carfax Tower in clothing more suited to the 16th century. This, apparently, is how we proclaim a new head of state in 21st-century Britain.

After making slow progress along the pavement, I asked the police how I could get across to the other side as the road was closed off. When I expressed a mild criticism of the royal procession during my question about the road closures, they became defensive and refused to talk with me further. Someone who had heard me came over and challenged my views, but the police told us not to talk to each other. I have no idea on what basis the police stop people with different views having a discussion.

You and a lot of gender critical women.

He was stuck there so he listened to the proclamation.

I remained quiet in the first part of the proclamation, concerning the death of Elizabeth. Any death is sad and I would not object to people mourning.

It was only when they declared Charles to be “King Charles III” that I called out: “Who elected him?” I doubt most of the people in the crowd even heard me. Two or three people near me told me to shut up. I didn’t insult them or attack them personally, but responded by saying that a head of state was being imposed on us without our consent.

A security guard appeared, stood right in front of me and told me to be quiet. Two more security guards came along and they tried to push me backwards. As I asked them to give the legal basis for what they were doing, the police came over, more or less moved the security guards out of the way and took hold of me. I was outraged that they were leading me away, but was taken aback when they told me they were arresting me. I have no illusions about the police’s questionable relationship with the law, but I seemed to have been arrested for nothing more than expressing an opinion in public. They gave me confused answers when I asked on what grounds I had been arrested.

Lèse-majesté of course! Mind you that’s not illegal except in Thailand, but the police get to make up their own laws when it comes to Saying Something Naughty.

Eventually I was handcuffed—I don’t know what sort of threat they thought I posed—and put in the back of a police van. A police officer got in the van and took my details. After lots of conversations on his radio, he said I would be de-arrested but that they would want to interview me. I said I would do so only with a lawyer present. After some more radio conversations he told me I would be de-arrested and then contacted to be interviewed at a later date, and possibly charged.

For saying “who elected him?” It’s trumpian in its absurdity and overreach.

Eventually, on the way home, I was told that I had been arrested under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act (the outrageous act passed earlier this year) for actions likely to lead to “harassment or distress.”

Vivat rex!

33 million people

Sep 25th, 2022 9:35 am | By

This is the warning.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has warned that climate change will not spare other countries the sort of disaster that left up to one third of his country underwater and millions of its children at risk of water-borne diseases.

“In this ground zero of climate change, 33 million people, including women and children, are now at high risk from health hazards,” he said.

It’s not going to be just pockets here and there, that the rest of us can ignore. It’s going to be millions – and in fact it already is.

Authorities have warned it could take up to six months for the flood waters to recede in the country’s hardest-hit areas, as fears rise over the threat posed by waterborne diseases including cholera and dengue.

The deluge has left 3.4 million children in need of “immediate, lifesaving support,” according to UNICEF, leaving them vulnerable to contracting water-borne diseases, including dengue fever and malaria.

“The undeniable and inconvenient truth is that this calamity has not been triggered by anything we have done,” he said.

Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of the world’s planet-warming gases, European Union data shows, yet it is the eighth most vulnerable nation to the climate crisis, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.

Hardly fair, is it.

Many areas still under water

Sep 25th, 2022 8:57 am | By

Also, the floods haven’t gone anywhere.

Millions of people in Pakistan are still deeply affected by catastrophic flooding which “is not going anywhere”, UN relief agencies said on Tuesday.

Close to eight million people have been displaced by the disaster and the UN along with the authorities and partners have continued to race to reach affected populations with desperately needed relief items.

Southern Sindh province is still in crisis, with many areas still under water.

To date, more than 1,500 people have been killed, including 552 children.

“We don’t have enough food, we don’t have shelter, and still even the kind of healthcare that is required is not available,” said Gerida Birukila, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Pakistan Chief of Field Office in Balochistan, another of the worst-hit provinces.

As had been feared, life-threatening illness and disease have now spread among displaced communities, including cerebral malaria, for which there is no available medicine.

It’s like Katrina times a big number.

Eight times more rain

Sep 25th, 2022 8:48 am | By

To the surprise of no one

It is likely that climate change helped drive deadly floods in Pakistan, according to a new scientific analysis. The floods killed nearly 1500 people and displaced more than 30 million, after record-breaking rain in August.

The climate is changing. Climate events that break records are likely due to climate change.

The analysis confirms what Pakistan’s government has been saying for weeks: that the disaster was clearly driven by global warming. Pakistan experienced its wettest August since the country began keeping detailed national weather records in 1961. The provinces that were hardest hit by floods received up to eight times more rain than usual, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Climate change made such heavy rainfall more likely, according to the analysis by a group of international climate scientists in Pakistan, Europe and the United States. While Pakistan has sometimes experienced heavy monsoon rains, about 75 percent more water is now falling during weeks when monsoon rains are heaviest, the scientists estimate.

But don’t go thinking at least they won’t have a problem with droughts. Climate change is sly.

…while it’s clear that intense rain will keep increasing as the Earth heats up, climate models also suggest that overall monsoon rains will be less reliable. That would cause cycles of both drought and flooding in Pakistan and neighboring countries in the future.

Great. If the drought doesn’t kill you the monsoon will, and vice versa. Lose lose.

A new record

Sep 25th, 2022 6:24 am | By

More storms? Worse storms?

Canadian troops are being sent to assist the recovery from the devastation of storm Fiona, which swept away houses, stripped off roofs and knocked out power across the country’s Atlantic provinces.

After surging north from the Caribbean as a hurricane, Fiona came ashore before dawn on Saturday as a post-tropical cyclone, battering Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Quebec with hurricane-strength winds, heavy rains and huge waves.

The Canadian Hurricane Centre tweeted that Fiona had the lowest pressure ever recorded for a storm making landfall in Canada. Forecasters had warned it could be the one of the most powerful storms to hit the country.

“We’re getting more severe storms more frequently,” Trudeau said.

More resilient infrastructure was needed to withstand extreme weather events, the prime minister said, adding that what was once a one-in-100 year storm might now arrive every few years because of climate change.

The Prince Edward Island premier, Dennis King, said few communities were spared damage, with the devastation looking to be beyond anything they had seen before in the province.

Just the beginning.


Sep 24th, 2022 2:55 pm | By

Thanks but we’ve decided to go in another direction.

Investors are walking away from commitments to invest in a company that planned to merge with Donald Trump’s Truth Social platform.

Was it something he said? Something he did? Everything?

“Blank-check” company Digital World Acquisition said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Friday that some backers were pulling a total of $139 million they had planned to put into the deal. Digital World had previously announced funding commitments of $1 billion.

The investors who signed up for the deal about a year ago were able to back out if it was not completed by September 20.

But it’s Trump. Everything he touches turns to gold.

An effort to boost discipline

Sep 24th, 2022 9:46 am | By

For some reason Russian soldiers aren’t all that keen on Putin’s war.

Russia’s Kremlin-controlled lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved legislation that toughens punishment for soldiers breaching their duties, in an apparent effort to boost discipline in the ranks amid the fighting in Ukraine.

Under the new legislation, deserting a military unit during a period of mobilization or martial law would be punishable by up to 10 years in prison, compared with five years under the current law.

Those who voluntarily surrender to the enemy will also face a prison term of up to 10 years, and those convicted of looting could be handed a 15-year term.

Another amendment introduces a prison sentence of up to 10 years for those who refuse to go to combat or follow an officer’s order.

Sounds like a morale problem. I wonder why that might be.

Not his problem

Sep 24th, 2022 8:16 am | By

The suckers are paying Trump’s legal bills.

As Donald Trump’s legal woes mount, donors and the Republican party have paid millions in dollars of his legal fees.

His newest legal headache saw him and three of his children hit with a fraud lawsuit, which alleges they lied about the value of property “by billions”.

Financial data shows that he has already spent more than $1m (£890,000) of donations fighting the case in 2022.

Millions of dollars spent combatting these charges have come from Mr Trump’s Save America political action committee (PAC) – which takes donations from Trump supporters across the country – Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show.

Save America has paid more than $1.12m this year alone to law firms hired to defend Mr Trump in the New York case. As a so-called “Leadership PAC”, it can use money to pay for expenses that cannot be funded by campaign committees, such as some personal travel or some leadership expenses.

The fix is in.

Guest post: Eight out of ten cats prefer

Sep 23rd, 2022 5:43 pm | By

Originally a comment by tigger_the_wing on Meet “truthful hyperbole”.

All sorts of advertising slogans from my childhood fell foul of accuracy laws.

The one which changed the most (long past the point, in my opinion, that it should have simply been abandoned) was Whiskas cat food. “Eight out of ten cats prefer Whiskas!” became, eventually “In tests, eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said that their cats preferred Whiskas!” Not exactly snappy, eh?

Unbiased Whiskas Cat Food Review In 2022 - All About Cats

EU laws are very protective of consumers. Subway have fallen foul of them quite recently, when they lost their case to continue to call their rolls ‘bread’. They contain too much sugar – they are officially cake.

I wonder if they’ll ever come down on European estate agents, landlords, and the like, for the exaggerations and blatant lies they tell.

A rapidly shifting landscape

Sep 23rd, 2022 4:00 pm | By
A rapidly shifting landscape

Another one.

Serious challenge

Sep 23rd, 2022 11:53 am | By

Iran has been tripped up by the women.

The eruption of nationwide protests in Iran following the death in police custody of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman detained for allegedly failing to adhere to hijab (headscarf) rules is the most serious challenge Iran’s leadership has faced in years.

Oddly enough women don’t like being bullied and oppressed and muffled in yards of cloth.

Civil liberties groups continually spotlight the suppression of women in Iran, an entire part of society who have been the biggest losers of the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Half of society – the half without which there won’t be any more Iranians. (Men are required for that too, but in a pinch you can get by with far fewer of them.)

Iranian women were forced to wear hijab (headscarf) soon after the revolution and have lost many of their rights, including right to travel, right to work and right to child custody over the age of seven. There was little objection to these changes from men at the time.

“The fact that many men are joining the protests shows that the society has shifted to more progressive demands,” says Mehrdad Darvishpour, an Iranian sociologist based in Sweden.

The main slogan of protesters is “Woman, Life, Freedom”, a call for equality and a stance against religious fundamentalism.

The real problem is theocracy. Get the goddam religion (whatever religion it is) out of government. Woman, Life, Freedom, Secularism.

A matter of respect

Sep 23rd, 2022 11:27 am | By


Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi withdrew from a long-planned interview with CNN’s chief international anchor Christiane Amanpour at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Wednesday, after she declined a last-minute demand to wear a head scarf.

I don’t suppose Amanpour sent Raisi a last-minute demand to wear underpants on his head. Why does he think he gets to tell her what to put on her head? She doesn’t go to his school, she doesn’t have to wear its uniform.

Amanpour, who grew up in the Iranian capital Tehran and is a fluent Farsi speaker, said that she wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the local laws and customs, “otherwise you couldn’t operate as a journalist.” But she said that she would not cover her head to conduct an interview with an Iranian official outside a [in a different] country where it is not required.

“Here in New York, or anywhere else outside of Iran, I have never been asked by any Iranian president — and I have interviewed every single one of them since 1995 — either inside or outside of Iran, never been asked to wear a head scarf,” she said on CNN’s “New Day” program Thursday.

Iran is stuck on the down escalator.

Amanpour said that Raisi’s aide made clear that the interview — which would have been the Iranian president’s first on American soil — would not happen if she did not wear a head scarf. He referred to it as “a matter of respect,” given that it is the holy months of Muharram and Safar, and referred to “the situation in Iran,” alluding to the protests sweeping the country, she added.

Ah but that’s just it. We don’t respect sexist laws that treat women like Obscene Sexual Invitations on two legs. We have deep contempt for such laws.

Anti-government protests erupted across Iran last week over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody, after having been [she was] arrested by Iran’s morality police on an accusation of violating the law on head scarves.

Wearing a large piece of cloth over one’s head and neck should not be a police matter, let alone a custodial matter, let alone a death in police custody matter.

In Iran, the head scarf is a potent symbol of a set of personal rules imposed by the country’s clerical leaders, which govern what people can wear, watch and do. Over the past decade, protests have flared as many Iranians have grown resentful of those limitations.

Sigh. The habit is spreading. Those rules impinge on women far more strictly than they do on men, so at least say “people, especially women,” or better, in a piece on women and hijab, just say “women.” This really is about women, and the violent oppression of them by clerical men.