Sure it was only a prank

Jun 20th, 2024 9:35 am | By

This one just leaves me blankly unable to understand. The Irish Times:

A serving Irish soldier who beat a woman unconscious in a random street attack, and boasted about it afterwards on social media, has been given a suspended sentence.

You see what I mean. Wtf? Why? Why in hell? Why have any laws at all then?

Cathal Crotty (22), of Parkroe Heights, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, had initially tried to blame his victim Natasha O’Brien (24), by wrongly telling gardaí who arrested him that she had instigated the attack at O’Connell Street, Limerick on May 29th, 2022.

However, after gardaí showed Crotty CCTV footage of him setting upon Ms O’Brien without provocation, he admitted his guilt, Limerick Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Well he’s clearly a great guy so that must be ARE YOU KIDDING

Hours after the attack Crotty boasted to friends on Snapchat: “Two to put her down, two to put her out,” in reference to striking Ms O’Brien four times.

Ms O’Brien, who was not known to Crotty, was walking home with a woman friend after working a shift at a pub, when Crotty grabbed her by her hair and punched her to the ground.

He continued holding her hair with one hand and punching her face with his other first as she lost consciousness, the court heard.

Ms O’Brien, who sustained a broken nose and bruising, and suffered nightmares and panic attacks afterwards said she thought Crotty was going to kill her.

Crotty fled when a male passerby intervened, however his friends remained at the scene.

What a lovely lovely lovely man; of course he should not be punished.

From her victim impact statement:

“The physical injuries I sustained were devastating; a severe concussion, a broken nose, severe swelling, and bruising on both arms, shoulders, head, right upper thigh, left eye, cheek and jaw.

“I spent the following weeks and months attending hospital and doctor appointments, and due to persistent concussion symptoms I was deemed ‘high–risk’ for a brain bleed, and I received a battery of tests including a head CAT scan.

“A sense of constant dread and isolation was unlike anything I have ever experienced and I spiralled into self-destructive behaviours and lost all interest and motivation for life.

“Basic tasks at work became incredibly difficult and I ultimately lost my job due to my rapidly declining performance. I became numb and detached from reality, living in perpetual fear of seeing him again,” she added.

Oh. He ruined her body and her mind and her life. Well no wonder the judge thinks he should get a pat on the back for it.

There’s no last minute plot twist here. It’s incomprehensible.



A locker room is not genocide

Jun 20th, 2024 9:18 am | By

Man cannot grasp that women exist and have rights.

Unfortunately he’ll probably be an MP.

Note that he turns the question “What is your message to women asking for single sex services, sport, and care?” into “asking about trans people’s right to exist.” No it fucking isn’t. Telling men to get out of the women’s toilet or the women’s football is not telling them not to exist, it’s telling them not to invade, not to shove their way in, not to intrude, not to grab and take and steal and usurp. They can stop taking our stuff and still go right on existing!

It’s such a bullying move. “We want to keep our spaces and sports.” “Murderers! Slaughterers!! Genociders!!!” The guy isn’t 10 years old, either, he’s a grown man with an academic job.



Pay up or be roasted

Jun 20th, 2024 8:36 am | By

The death toll rises:

Riyadh — The death toll from this year’s hajj has exceeded 1,000, an AFP tally said on Thursday, more than half of them unregistered worshippers who performed the pilgrimage in extreme heat in Saudi Arabia. The new deaths reported Thursday included 58 from Egypt, according to an Arab diplomat who provided a breakdown showing that of 658 total dead from that country, 630 were unregistered.

All told around 10 countries have reported 1,081 deaths during the annual pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam which all Muslims with the means must complete at least once. The figures have come via official statements or from diplomats working on their countries’ responses.

We’re told Allah is merciful. If that’s true why doesn’t he (and he is a he) update the five pillars? Why doesn’t he tell his slaves to stay home if Mecca is too hot?

The national meteorological center reported a high of 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit) earlier this week at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Egyptian officials reached by CBS News would not confirm the figures stated by the AFP, but dozens of videos posted on social media in recent days showed bodies lying on the streets around the Grand Mosque.

Wait, it gets worse.

Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims attempt to perform the hajj through irregular channels as they cannot afford the often costly official permits. Saudi authorities reported clearing hundreds of thousands of unregistered pilgrims from Mecca earlier this month, but it appears many still participated in the main rites which began last Friday. This group was more vulnerable to the heat because, without official permits, they could not access air-conditioned spaces provided by Saudi authorities for the 1.8 million authorized pilgrims to cool down after hours of walking and praying outside.

Isn’t that lovely? Saudi Arabia parlays its ownership of Mecca into a cash machine, but the haj is one of the 5 pillars so people are determined to go so they skip the permits so cash-greedy Saudi Arabia lets them be cooked in the streets. No $$$ no air conditioned spaces for you.



Until attitudes within British theatre shift

Jun 20th, 2024 5:38 am | By

Entitlement much?

Kim Tatum dreams of playing Norma Desmond, Sunset Boulevard’s exquisite former star of silent films. Mariah Louca longs to perform as Dangerous Liaisons’ evil schemer Marquise de Merteuil. And for Reece Lyons, it’s the monstrous ambition of Lady Macbeth that makes her the ideal role. But, until attitudes within British theatre shift, it’s unlikely these talented performers will get to play their dream characters. Despite their skill, training and accolades, trans women just don’t seem to get cast in cisgender roles.

Yeah what’s up with that? Why do people who put on plays want women for women’s parts when they could have men instead? What are they thinking??

“I have never seen a trans woman on stage play a mother or a love interest,” Offie-award-winning Lyons says. “Why don’t we come to mind for that?”

I have a guess. It may sound crazy but I think it could be because they’re men.

Frustrated with the constant obstacles they face in the industry, the three actors are calling for trans women to be put on an equal footing for cis roles.

That is, the three male actors are calling for male actors to be “put on an equal footing” with women for women’s roles.

Most acting jobs already go to men, of course, because most plays are mostly about men just as most movies are mostly about men. Now men want to take the few women’s parts there are, thus confirming how manly they are, lipstick or no lipstick.

Consequently, trans performers struggle to find consistent work. “You can’t have a sustainable career within theatre if you’re only going to play trans roles,” Lyons says. There just aren’t enough parts. The failure to audition trans women for cis roles is a refusal to truly see them as women.

Because they aren’t women. Also, the fact that a guy can’t have a sustainable career within theatre is not a reason to hire him to play a woman. Most people can’t have a sustainable career within theatre. Vanishingly few women can have a sustainable career within theatre. Acting is a notoriously precarious profession, and most people can’t make a living doing it.

Auditions for cis parts are far more rare, Louca finds, and the majority of trans roles she’s been seen for have put trans agony at the forefront. None of the three are against playing trans roles, so long as that’s not all they’re considered for. Lyons talks with pride about performing in Travis Alabanza’s one-woman show, Overflow, in 2020 as Rosie, a trans woman who talks to the audience from a club bathroom. But being seen almost exclusively for trans roles reduces them. “Trauma is often all we’re given to perform,” Louca says. “Why would I want to relive that?”

For people who work in theater, or claim to, they seem remarkably obtuse about how things work. Casting isn’t done on the basis of who needs the job the most. It’s not done on the basis of who wants the job the most.

To help bring about more opportunities and greater equality for trans women, Louca believes there should be quotas in place. “If there’s 20 people auditioning, audition two or three trans people,” she suggests. Demonstrably increasing the numbers of trans performers considered for non-trans roles would enable more performers to build sustainable careers, develop more talent for our stages, and help influence attitudes among audiences. “Casting directors, producers and directors are deciding our narrative,” says Tatum. “But when you give trans women more visibility on stage and screen, it helps society understand us more.”

Again. That’s not how it works. The goal of theater is not to help society understand narcissists better.



Emergency meeting of influential voices

Jun 20th, 2024 5:12 am | By

Contempt for women never goes out of style.

An independent candidate standing in Birmingham said “70% of hell will be women” and joked about domestic violence on a podcast earlier this year, it has emerged, as polling suggests he is closing the gap with Labour.

Akhmed Yakoob, who came third in the West Midlands mayoral election in May with just over 10% of the vote, is standing against Labour’s Shabana Mahmood in Ladywood, one of the most deprived constituencies in the country.

Shabana Mahmood is a woman.

In March, Yakoob appeared on an episode of the Minted Minds podcast, hosted by the Birmingham-based entrepreneur Abdhul Zaman. Other guests on the episode included Shakeel Afsar, who is running as an independent candidate in Hall Green and was one of the lead protesters in the row over LGBTQ+ equality teaching in Birmingham schools in 2019; Dr Asif Munaf, a former Apprentice contestant recently suspended by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service pending an investigation by the General Medical Council into allegedly antisemitic social media posts; and the Coventry-based restaurant owners Mohammed “Sunny” Sarnwal and Waqas “Vic” Mohammed.

All dudes.

The podcast episode was advertised as an “emergency meeting” of “influential voices” to talk about Palestine, but over the course of the two-hour conversation the subject turned to masculinity and women.

Munaf said the majority of followers of Dajjaal – a false messiah or liar in Islam – would be women who had been “empowered”, and Yakoob agreed, saying that “70% of hell is going to be women”. One of the guests can be heard saying: “We don’t want to get cancelled.” Later, during a discussion about women making money by dancing on TikTok, Mohammed said: “Getting back to masculinity, I personally would give her a backhander. I’m not joking.”

Shakeel responded: “We do not advocate any physical violence against anyone.” Sarnwal said: “He’s right, though, what he’s saying.”

Yes yes yes but is he a friend to the LGBTTTTTT communniny?



Bend the knee

Jun 19th, 2024 6:27 pm | By

This is both idiotic and evil.

Louisiana will require the 10 Commandments [be] displayed in every public school classroom

The 10 orders are extremely thin morality and they are mostly religious. There is no good reason at all to stick them up in classrooms, let alone to mandate sticking them up in classrooms.

The Sacred Grocery List:

  1. I’m the only god
  2. Don’t make “idols”
  3. Don’t use my name when you swear
  4. Make one day every week all about me
  5. Honor your father and mother [in that order, of course]
  6. Don’t murder
  7. Don’t fuck around
  8. Don’t steal
  9. Don’t lie
  10. Don’t long for other people’s stuff

Why put that on the classroom walls? It’s so thin, so impoverished, so minimal – so worthless. The first 4 are god’s vanity project and can be thrown right out, and the last six are either minimal – don’t kill or steal or lie; well no shit, Dad – or nobody else’s business.

There’s nothing about being generous or compassionate or energetic in opposing cruelty and injustice. There are just bossy demands from Mr Deity and a few rules too obvious to mention, let alone plaster on school walls.



Policy

Jun 19th, 2024 6:01 pm | By
Policy

Ahem.

Ahem. Cough.



Imagine our surprise

Jun 19th, 2024 5:48 pm | By

Damn I wish I’d thought to say this. It’s so exactly right.

New boss so astoundingly exactly like the old boss.


Targeting

Jun 19th, 2024 11:14 am | By

What, again??

Met Police hassle Maya Forstater

A leading women’s rights campaigner who tweeted that a transgender GP ‘enjoys intimately examining female patients’ has revealed how police threatened to arrest her before launching a 10-month investigation.

Maya Forstater, 51, the head of the charity Sex Matters, has revealed Scotland Yard has been investigating her for the crime of malicious communications since August 2023.

The alleged crime, which carries a punishment of up to two years in prison, relates to a post Ms Forstater wrote on X/Twitter about trans former GP, Dr Kamilla Kamaruddin.

Who is, of course, a man who pretends to be a woman.

Dr Kamaruddin said that after transitioning, patients allowed her to perform ‘more intimate examinations that they did not let me to do when I was a male GP’.

In other words he bragged that he was successfully tricking women into letting him grope their genitals.

The cops threatened Maya with arrest if she didn’t turn up to chat with them.

‘And obviously I didn’t want to be arrested so I went. So I had to get a solicitor and went into the police station to be questioned, and it was only then that they told me what the tweet that was supposed to be a crime was.

‘I sort of thought that this must be mistake. It was like half a tweet. It didn’t tag anybody. It was attached to a blog post that explained why I’d said it.

‘It was not a threat to anybody, it was not obscene, it was based on facts and [the] quite disturbing fact that a doctor who is male was boasting about examining women who wanted a female doctor, and who were told they were getting a female doctor.’

Yes that’s quite disturbing all right. It’s bragging about tricking women into being sexually assaulted in the doctor’s office. How interesting that the Met Police want to arrest Maya for saying so rather than the doctor for doing it and bragging about it.

Ms Forstater, who has not ruled out legal action against the force, said that she was told she was being questioned for ‘targeting a member of the trans community’. 

Oh grow up coppers. What about this horrific doctor who is targeting members of the women community by sexually molesting them? Why don’t you threaten to arrest him instead of Maya?

Ms Forstater told how her solicitor told the police it was ‘ridiculous’, adding how he said: ‘This doesn’t come anywhere near what malicious communication requires for a prosecution. 

‘You should stop the interview right now, or not go ahead with the interview at all. This is discrimination. This is an abuse of my human rights, my freedom of speech to drag someone into police station to question them about a tweet.

‘But the police said ‘no, we’re going to carry on with it’, which they did. And since then, my solicitor has emailed them every couple of months to say what’s happening and they keep saying, we’re still investigating.’

Investigating what? How awful women are for objecting to male doctors who pretend to be women in order to manually rape their female patients? That takes 10 months and counting does it?



Effective communication

Jun 19th, 2024 9:20 am | By

A sciency article by 13 yes 13 authors arguing for “gender inclusive language” in [checks notes] childbirth.

The abstract:

Effective communication in relation to pregnancy and birth is crucial to quality care. A recent focus in reproductive healthcare on “sexed language” reflects an ideology of unchangeable sex binary and fear of erasure, from both cisgender women and the profession of midwifery. In this paper, we highlight how privileging sexed language causes harm to all who birth—including pregnant trans, gender diverse, and non-binary people—and is, therefore, unethical and incompatible with the principles of midwifery. We show how this argument, which conflates midwifery with essentialist thinking, is unstable, and perpetuates and misappropriates midwifery’s marginalized status. We also explore how sex and gender essentialism can be understood as colonialist, heteropatriarchal, and universalist, and therefore, reinforcing of these harmful principles. Midwifery has both the opportunity and duty to uphold reproductive justice. Midwifery can be a leader in the decolonization of childbirth and in defending the rights of all childbearing people, the majority of whom are cisgender women. As the systemwide use of inclusive language is central to this commitment, we offer guidance in relation to how inclusive language in perinatal and midwifery services may be realized.

I can’t help thinking it’s a parody. In particular, I can’t believe they wrote “We also explore how sex and gender essentialism can be understood as colonialist, heteropatriarchal, and universalist” with a straight face. Doesn’t that read like parody? Anything “can be understood as” anything, because people are good at coming up with stupid ideas and getting other people to endorse them.

Or take the first sentence:

The notion of childbearing having a necessary or logical belonging within the nuclear two-parent family initiated by heterosexual couples whose gender has a normative relationship with their sex assigned at birth is a recent development in our human history, and one still inconsistently observed around the globe.

Wait wait wait, slow down, you’re jumbling too many things together there. You’re mashing the social into the physical as if they were the same thing, which seems pretty amateurish for an academic article. This is supposed to be an academic article isn’t it?

The heterosexual couple bit is, of course, the reality of How To Make a New Human. The nuclear two-parent family bit is social. A heterosexual pair can make a new human even if the male half of the pair then departs for the other side of the planet, never to be seen again. Sperm meeting egg is one thing and family is another.

13 authors and they couldn’t even get the first sentence right.



Leave the henges alone

Jun 19th, 2024 8:47 am | By

No.

Two people have been arrested after Just Stop Oil activists sprayed orange powder paint over Stonehenge.

No no no. Not helping.

Members of the public attempted to stop the spraying and a visitor managed to wrestle a spray can from one of the protesters.

Wiltshire police said: “We have arrested two people following an incident at Stonehenge this afternoon. At around noon, we responded to a report that orange paint had been sprayed on some of the stones by two suspects. Officers attended the scene and arrested two people on suspicion of damaging the ancient monument. Our inquiries are ongoing.”

The evidence is pretty strong, on account of how there’s video of them doing it.

https://twitter.com/ST0NEHENGE/status/1803394207622512748


Guest post: Compulsive Ranting Disorder

Jun 18th, 2024 5:42 pm | By

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey at Miscellany Room.

Interesting, if a little slow-developing, article in the New Yorker on how psychiatric labels (such as autism, sociopathy, borderline personality disorder) have become entire identities. For example:

Just as personality tests (see, I’m an introvert!), astrological signs (I’m a Libra!), and generational monikers (I’m Gen Z!) are used to aid self-understanding, so are psychiatric diagnoses. When Paige Layle was fifteen, a psychiatrist told her that she had autism spectrum disorder. She describes the rush of clarity she experienced when hearing the DSM-5 criteria: “I’m not crazy. I’m not making it up. I’m not manipulative or trying to fake anything. . . . There’s a reason why I’m the way that I am.”

What I took from the article is that both patients and practitioners are putting a lot of weight on DSM categories that just aren’t that firm to begin with.

A related phenomenon that’s been irritating me is that I see the following progression:

1. Anti-social behavior X is an indication of mental health condition A.

2. Therefore, someone who does X may very well have A.

3. It is wrong to criticize anyone for anything that is caused by a mental health condition.

4. Therefore, if you complain about someone doing X, you’re an ableist jerk.

For example, read any advice column or discussion group where someone complains about how their friend Sally is consistently an hour or more late every time they try to make plans. Dinner reservations and theatre tickets go to waste, people sit around for half the evening wondering when she’ll show up, etc.

It won’t be long before someone will pop up in the comments to say that it’s the letter writer, not Sally, who’s an asshole. Sally probably has “time blindness,” which is a symptom of ADHD, you ableist jerk!

This, to me, turns the whole fucking thing on its head. People typically seek mental health treatment because they’re having problems regulating their behavior or emotions. Diagnostic categories were supposed to be to help define treatment methods (and, of course, to make sure insurance companies will pay for it). But many people — I should stress that I see this more from laypeople than actual professionals — want to say “oh, here’s this label, and it explains why you are the way you are, and now that you know, there is no reason for change because (clap) you (clap) are (clap) fine (clap) as you are (clap clap clap).”

Which — no. Sally is a fucking pain in the ass who nobody wants to be friends with, including, I’ll bet, all the people insisting that she’s wonderful as she is. It’s like someone throwing their empty whisky bottle at your head, cracking open a second bottle, and shrugging it off with “hey, I’m an alcoholic, this is what I do!”

Whew. Sorry, that rant got away from me for a bit. I can’t help it, I have Compulsive Internet Ranting Disorder, it’s just the way that I am, and you all need to indulge me.

One final bit of snark:

In 2020, she posted a video on TikTok slamming a trend that used “autistic” to mean “dumb.” It went viral. With a bluntness easily mistaken for vanity, she told the camera, “Hi, there, I’m autistic. I’m also the smartest person I’ve ever met, O.K.?”

Yes, “mistaken” for vanity. Indeed!



Haj kills at least 550

Jun 18th, 2024 3:43 pm | By

God hates people.

RIYADH/MINA, June 18 (Reuters) – Hundreds of visitors have died during the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca amid scorching heat, according to press reports and foreign ministries.

At least 550 people have died on haj, diplomats told French outlet Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday. Three hundred and twenty-three of the dead were Egyptians, most of whom perished due to heat-related illness, AFP reported, citing two Arab diplomats.

Wouldn’t you think a loving all-powerful god would either change the weather during the haj or issue an update saying it’s forbidden to go on the haj when it’s too hot?

Saudi state TV said temperatures rose on Monday as high as 51.8 degrees Celsius (125.2 Fahrenheit) in the shade at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

So Mecca is basically a stove.

“Haj is a difficult task, so you have to exert efforts and perform the rituals even in the conditions of heat and crowding,” an Egyptian pilgrim told Reuters on Sunday.

Pilgrims used umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun, as Saudi authorities warned pilgrims to stay hydrated and avoid being outdoors during the hottest hours between 11 a.m. (0800 GMT) and 3 p.m.

Haj, one of the largest mass gatherings in the world, is a once-in-a-lifetime duty for able-bodied Muslims who can afford it. It will end on Wednesday.

See that’s what I’m saying. Allah could just change that. He could so he should.

H/t What a Maroon



A role to play

Jun 18th, 2024 12:07 pm | By

Trump is trying to use Republicans in Congress to get rid of his guilty verdicts. The act of a dictator determined to destroy the institutions that get in the way of his peremptory commands.

It’s a campaign he orchestrated in the days after his May 31 conviction on 34 felony counts in New York, starting with a phone call to the man he wanted to lead it: Speaker Mike Johnson.

Trump was still angry when he made the call, according to those who have heard accounts of it from Johnson, dropping frequent F-bombs as he spoke with the soft-spoken and pious GOP leader.

“We have to overturn this,” Trump insisted.

Who’s “we” Kemosabe?

The speaker didn’t really need to be convinced, one person familiar with the conversation said: Johnson, a former attorney himself, already believed the House had a role to play in addressing Trump’s predicament. The two have since spoken on the subject multiple times.

Sure, because it’s completely normal for Congress to interfere with the outcomes of trials.



Also Emily was into kink

Jun 18th, 2024 10:26 am | By
Also Emily was into kink

Now they’re doing it to the Brontes, because of course they are. The Bronte Parsonage Museum announces:

It’s week three of our series celebrating Pride at the Museum! This time, we’re exploring gender identity and the Brontës.

Well don’t. Explore how the Brontes (Branwell apart) dealt with being female by all means, but leave genner idennniny out of it.

Throughout their lives, the sisters never settled for society’s expectations for women, and – as scholars discuss – the female (and male) characters in their novels explore what life beyond gendered barriers could be like…

Bollocks. Did Rochester “explore what life beyond gendered barriers could be like”? Give me a break.

Oh SHUT up.



Such disputes

Jun 18th, 2024 8:30 am | By

The Telegraph on the Deep Rifts:

It was an inauspicious start to Britain’s biggest LGBT celebration.

In a social media post featuring the rainbow flag and entitled “Can men get ovarian cancer?”, the charity Ovarian Cancer Action said it was marking the start of Pride Month by reminding its followers that “anyone with ovaries, regardless of gender identity, can be at risk for ovarian cancer”.

Last year, Oxfam was forced to apologise after posting an animation for Pride Month featuring a character who many said resembled JK Rowling, depicted with red eyes and wearing a badge bearing the word “Terf”…

Such disputes may on the surface appear minor, but there are worries among those who were there in the early days of the Pride marches that they are a sign of a more dangerous malaise. They warn that transgender activism has sown bitter divisions within the LGBT community and is now threatening to derail the movement they helped to build.

Nah such disputes don’t seem minor, not unless you’re dropping in from Planet Zog and know nothing about any of it. Of course they’re a sign of a “dangerous malaise”; in fact they are the dangerous malaise. Women are entirely fed up with being pushed to the margins of everything including feminism by men wearing lipstick.

“The big division has been around the idea of believing that trans women are women,” says Simon Fanshawe, one of the founding members of Stonewall

And around being forced to say it, and ferociously punished if you refuse.

Liane Timmermann, a member of “Get the L Out”, says: “Pride was previously a political movement for lesbians and gays and then it was totally hijacked by this gender-identity movement. “Trans activists have got higher up on the Pride board and it’s just become shocking. Lesbians who are same-sex attracted are not welcome at Pride now.”

Read the whole thing.



The messages of support

Jun 18th, 2024 7:30 am | By

Michael Cashman admits that his brief vague pseudo-apology to Rosie Duffield was not even an attempt at an apology but merely an attempt to get away with being a woman-hating pig.

There you go. He wasn’t apologizing at all; he thinks he’s the one who’s been wronged. He thinks he deserves “support” for rudely publicly insulting Rosie Duffield. What a horrible man.



Epaulette mockery crime

Jun 18th, 2024 7:09 am | By

Urgent news from the BBC:

Fire boss says he was abused over Pride image

Seriously? With all the horrors there are in the world, the BBC finds time and space to report on public reactions to a “Pride” image?

A senior fire service official says he was sent “reprehensible and homophobic” messages after he posted a picture of Pride-themed epaulettes.

Simon Tuhill, Northamptonshire’s deputy chief fire officer posted the image on X, formally known as Twitter, last week. He said he was “appalled and shocked” at the overwhelmingly negative messages he received. He said the fire service remains committed to supporting diversity.

Nonsense. It’s not “supporting diversity” to focus on one purported marginalized communinny while ignoring all the others. Where are the feminism-themed fire service epaulettes? Where are the anti-racism-themed fire service epaulettes? Where are the epaulettes for poverty, mental illness, handicaps, immigration status?

Mr Tuhill said: “I’ve been clear that the fire service culture, working as a team and embracing our diversity as an organisation, is really important. Because we’re much better at our job when we properly reflect it, because we understand what the community needs from us.”

No you don’t. You don’t understand any such thing. If you did you would either diversify your epaulettes or skip the whole epaulette-signaling routine entirely.



Guest post: Vignettes of corporate capture

Jun 17th, 2024 6:19 pm | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? at Miscellany Room.

Vignettes of corporate capture; neighbourhood incursions.

Last week I recounted some of my feelings around a local Pride event. Here are some thoughts around neighbourhood examples of corporate Pride “celebrations.”

Our neighbourhood bank has its windows decorated for its nationwide Pride Month campaign, featuring the LGB rainbow + trans colours. One of the windows is filled with the slogan “Nothing beats the feeling of being accepted for who you really are.” That’s all well and good, but what they’re promoting, and enforcing through said promotion, is forcing everyone to accept a very small, specific subset of people for who they are not, to be precise, Trans Identified Males. They are not women. Never have been, never will be, because humans can’t change sex. Because they are male, and will always be male, they have no place in women’s spaces, women’s facilities, women’s positions. It is not hateful or bigoted to say these things, but through campaigns like this, they’re going to try to tell us it is. Their choice of colours and initiatives shows they are all-in with forced teaming.

The company’s Pride campaign web page features a number of stories and initiatives, all under a photo of a heavily made-up TiM, all under the ominous (and to me, frankly threatening) sub-heading “Recognize what was. Celebrate what is. Work for what should be.”

Pardon me if I distrust what their idea of “what should be.” With their slogan in favour of expecting us to accept people for who they are not, I’m not at all confident in the soundness or benevolence of their concept of “what should be.”

For some years our local grocery store has featured a Pride/Progress flag sticker with the caption “All are welcome.” Well why wouldn’t everyone feel welcome? Why do they have to advertise this fact? Apart from virtue signalling, I don’t see the point. Do trans people always, automatically assume they are unwelcome if such anodyne, placating assurances are not on prominent display in the establishments they frequent? Do they risk starving to death while searching for stores with the trans-parasitized pride colours in the window, sighing with relief that they and their money will not be turned away at the check-out?

I went to a local drugstore today, one that’s part of a nation-wide chain. The sales clerk, who was obviously female, wore an official company name tag that told me, helpfully, (Name) She/Her. Thanks, but I’d figured that out for myself. You didn’t need to tell me. More importantly you don’t get to tell me. So not really so much “helpful”, as “”pushy. She was in an official, company T-shirt inscribed with “Pride Vibes” in rainbow+ trans colours. She also wore a badge with the forced-teaming Pride/Progress colours that said “Ally.” So what? Who cares? Why am I being confronted with a bipedal political campaign while buying allergy meds and dental floss? What other political movement has Head Office promoted with such vigour? What about women’s rights? Remember them? Well kiss them goodbye. The company’s so-called Foundation for Women’s Health has the now inevitable, obviating qualification:

Supporting All Women

As part of our commitment, we recognize that the term “women’s health” is understood in a variety of ways. Our work goes beyond the sex and gender binary, welcoming the experiences of all women and gender-diverse people.

Some “commitment.” Some “understanding.” Your “variety” of “understanding” includes incorrect ones, wrong ones. But they are somehow “welcome”. And what does mean for women’s health? Nothing good. But look at the colourful t-shirts, name tags, and badges!

Some observations. (Not that any of these are new or earth-shatteringly original, but some of them are new to me. Or, they’re nagging suspicions that are now confirmed. Some are the reiteration of all-too-familiar truths. I’m figuring this stuff out as I go along, with the help of the readership here. Thank you all. Each bit of the puzzle adds a bit more to the whole, depressing picture. Preaching to the choir is not always pointless or redundant, as members of the choir do not spend their entire lives in church, but live and act in the wider world between sermons. Onwards!)

Trans activism, whether or not it ever was any kind of grassroots, bottom-up movement, is now a fully corporatized, top-down priority initiative, with power and money behind it. It is no threat to corporate practice and governance at all. Certainly not in the way that enacting women’s rights, or recognizing indigenous rights would effect how companies operated, and how much either of them would cost. If trans “rights” were in conflict with corporate interests, companies would be manning the ramparts to fight against them, not leading the charge to have them enacted and entrenched. Promoting and enforcing trans “rights” costs them nothing beyond the price of glossy publicity materials. Oh, and their credibility, and their reputations.

Campaigns like this de-politicize trans “rights” by pushing them safely beyond the reach of public scrutiny and debate’ while offering them support of powerful. influential allies who don’t have to answer to the electorate every few years. Not quite as big a prize as complete, unfettered access to the levers of government policy, but a coup nonetheless. There are fewer hearts and minds to win over, and direct input to corporate policy and practice once they are won. The corporate image might suffer (though this is something activists aren’t going to care about as long as they get what they want), and companies are better able to push through and back against opposition and plow on with the “Pride” agenda, which centers trans activism. If public boycotts ensue, that’s not the concern of the activists. For the companies, it might be a different matter, but resistance that hurts the bottom line takes more effort and organization than opposition through electoral politics, where there is always the potential for a party to take up a cause and run with it, if it thinks it will have the potential to win them votes. Consumer boycotts will always take more work and organization to identify and consolidate others who oppose the corporate pushing of the trans agenda.

As the T is in no way “oppressed” or “marginalized”, the point of these campaigns is not to “uplift” or “include” them, but to empower them. Not in the kind of “self-actualizing” way that women are supposedly “empowered” by sex work, but in the way that allows them to take what they want and to control other people’s lives. Real power, like that which corporations have. Pride events and campaigns are less about “celebrating” than they are about normalizing the impossible, and enforcing that normalization by marginalizing and discrediting any resistance to it.

I once likened the “transified” Pride flag to the banner of a hostile, occupying power. Well, that banner flies in more places than ever, with companies retooling their own identities with “Pride” colours. But this isn’t the celebration of a marginalized, downtrodden “community”, but the ownership (by a tiny, opportunistic, and manipulative minority) of the living space and mental imagination of a much larger, silenced and disempowered community.

The occupiers are, in reality, a very tiny force, but the presence of their colours everywhere and on everything gives the impression of much larger numbers, boldly pretending to wield a higher degree of public support than it actually has. Salute, and repeat after us: “We’re ALL on Big, Happy, Pride Family.” And while all those colours are supposed to be festive and fun, they hide a darker subtext; the iron fist concealed in the velvet, rainbow glove, or a tank painted in sparkles and glitter. They are a call for compliance and obedience printed on the packaging of the products and services we buy, and in the places of business that offer them to us. Our passive acceptance of this repetitive messaging, the ever present display of trans power and influence is intended to wear us down and dull our defiance. “Who am I in the face of all of these rainbow flags? I am isolated and alone, surrounded by the colours of command and control wherever I look. They are everywhere. I can’t hide. I can’t run away. I can’t escape them. They have won.”

All those signs, badges and stickers are not-so-subtle cues that criticism and pushback of trans ideology are not welcome. They are not an invitation to the poor, huddling trans folk on the verge of being genocided, they are a warning to potential critics to watch our mouths and keep our doubts to ourselves. They are an “invitation” to “Be Kind: OR ELSE.” To put it in their own terms, we are being told up front that the space we are about to enter is Officially Unsafe. You are entering occupied territory. This place is not yours, but OURS.

In debates about who is allowed into women’s facilities under the control of a captured company, a woman who might want to complain is being told exactly whose side the corporation is on. Her battle is to be considered lost before the first shot is fired. The T has won, this is their territory. All the flags and bunting are happy, cheerful gang colours, proclaiming victory, control and jurisdiction, all with corporate blessing. Trans activism has already lifted its leg and pissed on everything in sight. Be KInd and shut the fuck up, because nobody will hear you.



Not bitter

Jun 17th, 2024 5:52 pm | By

If you do a Google news search for Rosie Duffield Michael Cashman you find headline after headline after headline on Cashman’s delayed punishment. It’s all so familiar, isn’t it – the endless bullying bullying bullying, and the impunity of the bullies. Cashman got away with it for days; it’s only because a lot of people screamed themselves hoarse that Starmer finally realized the poisonous sneer wasn’t just going to fade out of the collective memory.

So here’s some happier news.

Trans-Identified Male Who Exposed His Breasts At The White House Now Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Another Transgender Person

Ok so not better exactly, but…a little different.

The trans activist who received criticism for exposing his augmented breasts at the White House during a Pride event last June has now been accused of sexual assault. The alleged victim is a biological female who identifies as a “man.”

Hahaha of course she is. I shouldn’t laugh, but then they shouldn’t be such fools, should they.

That butt is not a male butt. I don’t know what the magicians put in there but whatever it is they put in a lot of it.

Anyway. There’s Biden saying [at 20 seconds] “[some of] the bravest and most inspiring people I’ve ever known.” I’m not sure about the “some of” because it’s mumbled, but I include it because surely he can’t possibly have said the bravest and most inspiring. But even “some of” is bad enough. What is so inspiring about them? What, in this political climate, is so brave about them? Why burble about how brave and inspiring they are when there are so many people in the world doing actually valuable things? What is all this trans bravery and inspiration in aid of? Narcissism. Vanity projects. Attention-seeking. Kicking up a fuss about nothing. Stealing other people’s rights. Giving yourself enormous buttocks. Swanning around in a tight dress. I see neither courage nor inspiration.