Identity is wrapping paper

May 12th, 2022 12:03 pm | By

Eliza Mondegreen has a brilliant piece on Chase Strangio at The Glinner Update:

We’re supposed to pretend everything we know about sex is wrong: that legislatures never knew just who they targeted when they denied women the vote. That pimps and johns never knew whose bodies they sold. That the reproductive potential of child brides is pure guesswork. That the burdens of human reproduction settle, if not evenly, then at least mysteriously across the population.

Can be interesting as a thought experiment. As an alternative reality, it’s a train crash. The tottering of Roe makes that all too obvious.

We can argue about whether it makes sense to reorganize society on the basis of individuals’ personal identification with gender stereotypes, but whether we recognize sex or not, whether we name it or not, whether we like it or not, sex will continue to matter. Half the human race bears the burden of human reproduction. That means that these people—even if the language that keeps these people together dissolves in an acid bath of ideology—share experiences, needs, and interests. We used to call these people ‘women’ and the feminist movement used to center these very issues. Now mainstream ‘feminism’ has become a mixed-sex movement that prioritizes male identity claims over female realities, while self-identified feminists attempt to defend women’s most basic rights to determine the shape of our own lives by reducing us to “birthing bodies,” to reproductive functions and services. As if treating women like walking wombs isn’t what got us here in the first place.

Stop pretending some inner sense of identity matters here. Only some people believe they have an inner sense of gender identity but everyone—including every woman and girl who has ever lost her life in pursuit of an abortion—has an inner sense of who they are: what matters to them, what they want from life, what they have to offer the world. The point is that—when it comes to abortion and whether it’s safe and accessible and legal or not—identity is wrapping paper. Help us rebuild a feminism that cares about what’s inside the box. You’re keen to specify how the rest of us should talk about you—but I’m more interested in how we talk about us, in the first-person plural. How do we advocate for what we uniquely—and, yes, exclusively—share and why it matters?

Women who refuse to play your game of make-believe when our most basic rights are at stake are not asking you to pretend you don’t exist—much less wishing you didn’t exist at all—so cut the hyperbolics. We’re asking you to put the toys away. We’re saying it’s dangerous to pretend not to know what everybody on earth knows: mullahs, pimps, Supreme Court justices, legislators with trigger laws in their back pockets, abortion vigilantes. As our political opponents know full well, successful organizing requires clear-sightedness and clear speech. We can’t afford any more pretending.

This article was first posted on Writing Behavior by Eliza Mondegreen.

H/t Sackbut

He has no problem if

May 12th, 2022 11:19 am | By

Men telling women what they will allow us to think. Quite the spectacle.

That “provided.” He’ll allow it, provided we do what he tells us. He’ll allow us to be aware of reality, provided we obey him. All we have to do is ignore everything we know about men’s physical advantages over women and what some men do with those physical advantages.

Also in what world is anyone “entitled” to be treated as something they manifestly are not? That’s not a rule. It’s never been a rule. Adults often go along with children’s fantasies and playacting because that’s fun for everyone, but there comes a time to put away childish things. If a work colleague bounces in one day and claims to be Barack Obama is anyone obliged to “treat the colleague as” Barack Obama? Of course not. You could swap as many terms for “Barack Obama” as there are nouns in the language, and the answer would be the same. Nobody is “entitled” to force other people to participate in fantasy role play.

Also it’s not a matter of “wishing” to have a “belief” that people are what they are. We don’t “wish” to have it, we just have it, and it’s not a “belief,” it’s awareness. We can’t help being aware of what we’re aware of. If we’re outside at midnight and it’s cold and raining we’re aware of it; we can’t make it be noon and warm and sunny by “wishing.”

In short Craig Murray is a pompous bossy git.


May 12th, 2022 10:51 am | By

Hmm. Who is inciting violence here?

So what are we to do?

May 12th, 2022 9:46 am | By

A graduate student in philosophy has solved the problem of unfairness to women in sport:

The desire for a protected female sports category is a reasonable one. How could it not be? Males have an unfair physical advantage over females in sports, and we should want everyone – not just men and boys – to have inspiring athletes they can look up to and emulate.

But what follows from here? Should all trans women athletes be banned from female sports because of what their birth certificates say, as Florida’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act entails? I don’t think so.

Why not? He doesn’t say. Trans women are men, so why shouldn’t they be “banned from” (that is, simply by definition not included in) female sports? Why doesn’t he think so? He doesn’t say. Much philosophy.

He claims that hormones are the “most relevant” sexual attribute in sports, which is fatuous. How about the larger frame, the narrower straighter hips, the broader chests, and all the rest of the permanent differences? He doesn’t say – too busy getting to the core of his “argument.”

But there is one hiccup. Preliminary research suggests that some sex-based advantages may remain for trans women athletes who went through a male puberty, even after several years of hormone therapy. As a result, while many trans women athletes best fit into the female sex category, they may still enjoy a small unfair advantage. So what are we to do?

We shrug it off, that’s what! Why did no one think of this before?

You might think that the fairest solution would be to create a new protected sports category for trans athletes to compete in. But there are probably not enough people to create such a category, and the whole idea smacks of being distastefully ostracizing anyway.

The fact that letting men intrude on women’s sports smacks of being distastefully indifferent to women is neither here nor there.

Another option, the one that I embrace, is to let trans women athletes compete in women’s sports – and to just accept the “unfairness” of doing so. Life is not fair, as the old adage goes, and sports are no exception.

There it is! That’s his solution to this difficult problem, his slicing through the Gordian knot – just don’t give a shit! So simple, so easy, so quick! Just accept the unfairness to women because hey who cares anyway, amirite?

Shorter: just suck it up, bitch.

New guidelines

May 12th, 2022 9:19 am | By

Lara Bazelon in the Atlantic on the ACLU’s lurch into the void:

[I]n 2018, following the ACLU’s successful litigation to obtain a permit for white supremacists to march in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended in death and disaster, the ACLU issued new guidelines. Citing concerns about “limited resources” and “the potential effect on marginalized groups,” the organization cautioned its lawyers to take special care when considering whether to represent groups whose “values are contrary to our values.”

Like feminist women for instance. They prefer women who are actually men, or who identify as men.

By “our values,” the ACLU was referring to the progressive causes it has championed with fervor and great fundraising success since the election of Donald Trump: immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, reproductive freedom, and racial justice.

Not so much LGBTQ rights, more like TQ rights. It has championed putative trans rights, like the right to displace and silence women, at the expense of lesbian and gay rights, not to mention women’s rights. Civil liberties have been replaced by Chase Strangio.

Should its lawyers decide to take on a client espousing opposing views, the organization instructed them to engage in a public campaign “denouncing those views in press statements, op-eds, social media, and other available fora,” and “participating in counter-protests.” How, exactly, loudly disavowing their clients is consistent with lawyers’ duty to zealously represent them was not explained. Speaking as a criminal-defense lawyer, I don’t think it can be.

That is utterly bizarre. “If you must take on a client whose views we don’t like, turn all your energies to trashing the client in public.” Seriously??

It would explain a lot though.

Some terribly sophisticated point

May 12th, 2022 8:56 am | By

Some replies to the ACLU’s calculated insult to women yesterday:

“You may as well just say you hate women at this point and that you are actively working to erase women as a political class. It would be way more honest.”

“Way of disappearing the one, coherent group of people that are solely affected by it: women and girls, female people. Patriarchy has always tried to separate women from one another to better control us because our sisterhood is dangerous to them.”

“WOMEN female sex humans these are the people disproportionately harmed.”

“I’m puzzled as to how the abortion ban disproportionately affects gay men. I must be missing some terribly sophisticated point you’re making because there’s no way you would just vomit up letters randomly in order to avoid saying the word woman. When discussing abortion.”

ACLU spits on women some more

May 11th, 2022 4:34 pm | By

ACLU even worse if that’s possible.

It is possible, and this is worse, because it takes so much more effort to remove “women” from a list of this kind rather than a generic “this is bad for women people” blurt. They really took care over this one, rubbing our noses in it over and over again.

In reality abortion bans disproportionately harm Black, indigenous, and other women of color. They are the ones forced to carry the pregnancy for nine months and then painfully push it out. Men are not.

In reality abortion bans disproportionately harm lesbians. They harm gay men very little, apart from the sympathy and anger gay men may feel for their women friends.

In reality abortion bans disproportionately harm immigrant women. They’re also bad for immigrant men who have to help support the resulting babies, of course, but the men get to skip the nine months and then push aspect.

In reality abortion bans disproportionately harm young women. The harm to young men is negligible in comparison.

In reality abortion bans disproportionately harm women working to make ends meet, because of the nine months and then push and because of what to do with the baby while working.

In reality abortion bans disproportionately harm women with disabilities, because duh.

Say the word. Say us. Say “women.”

Abortion rights are for EVERYONE

May 11th, 2022 3:49 pm | By
Abortion rights are for EVERYONE


Those who need it. They. Them. Sssssshhhhhhhhhh don’t mention you know what.

Our, we, we, us, our. Who? Us. Yes but who? We. Yes but WHO??? Us.

Life coaching events

May 11th, 2022 3:24 pm | By

I was browsing Nina Lakhani’s tweets because of this Private Eye story:

Can you read it? Kath Viner told staff not to attack other staff on Twitter, and the next day Lakhani attacked Hadley Freeman on Twitter – over, of course, Sacred Transism.

Erase feminists, erase women

May 11th, 2022 3:18 pm | By


The Guardian tweet says “Latin American feminists vow to protect abortion rights” and “Women’s movements have fought hard.” Guardian US reporter’s retweet says “Latin American reproductive rights activists.” Correct correct correct, erase erase erase.

It goes too far

May 11th, 2022 11:50 am | By

God I despise Joe Manchin. Can we just fold West Virginia back into Virginia please?

The Democratic legislation to enshrine abortion rights into federal law looks set to fail in the Senate this afternoon by a vote of 49-51, after the West Virginia senator Joe Manchin said he would cross the aisle and join Republicans to vote no.

Easy for him. Not his body taken over. It would fail anyway because filibuster blah blah blah, but Manchin is plant food.

Manchin, a moderate Democrat, has been speaking with reporters in the Senate hallway, saying he believes the legislation as presented “goes too far”.

Gotta keep those women down some.

Can they be invisible?

May 11th, 2022 11:32 am | By

I’m seeing a lot of conversations about emotional support dogs and contingencies related to them and who gets to decide und so weiter so I decided to seek basic information via Google. Questions questions.

What does an emotional support pet do?

How do I train my emotional support dog for anxiety?

Can I make my cat an emotional support animal?

Can emotional support dogs fly?

Imagine how supportive it would be if your dog could fly!

But what do you do if your emotional support dog has anxiety?

Adios wartime neutrality

May 11th, 2022 10:36 am | By

It seems that unprovoked attacks, like hangings, concentrate the mind. Finland and Sweden are feeling less neutral.

Finland and Sweden could apply for Nato membership within days – a monumental shift for two nations with a long history of wartime neutrality and staying out of military alliances.

Russia strongly opposes the two states joining and uses the expansion of the West’s defensive military alliance as a pretext for its war in Ukraine.

Well, Putin opposes. What Russia thinks independent of Putin is not always easy to know, because Putin doesn’t allow it to be easy.

Putin is all of the totalitarian force and punishment of Stalin, with no trace of any fig leaf of working class solidarity or any other ideological veneer.

Finnish public support for joining Nato was for years at around 20-25%. But since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it has shot up to a record high of 76%, according to the latest opinion poll. In Sweden, 57% of the population want to join, again far higher than before the war.

Unprovoked attack on a near neighbor will do that, I guess.

Vladimir Putin’s actions have shattered a long-standing sense of stability in northern Europe, leaving Sweden and Finland feeling vulnerable.

I wonder if he’s asking himself how clever it was to bounce Finland and Sweden into joining Nato.

Finnish ex-Prime Minister Alexander Stubb says joining the alliance was a “done deal” for his country as soon as Russian troops invaded Ukraine on 24 February.

Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist describes that day as the moment the Russian leader proved he was “unpredictable, unreliable and prepared to wage a cruel, bloody and brutal war”. 

And to do so without any shred of pretext convincing to anyone not under his thumb.

For Finns, events in Ukraine bring a haunting sense of familiarity. The Soviets invaded Finland in late 1939. For more than three months the Finnish army put up fierce resistance, despite being heavily outnumbered.

They avoided occupation, but ended up losing 10% of their territory.

Watching the war in Ukraine unfold is like reliving this history, says Iro Sarkka, a political scientist at the University of Helsinki. Finns are looking at their 1,340km (830 mile) border with Russia, she says, and thinking: “Could this happen to us?”

And knowing the answer is of course it could.

Cast of characters

May 11th, 2022 9:51 am | By

The Telegraph did a story on the mother, the support person, and the dog. It will be a Royal Court play next, then a 6 part series on Channel 4.

Stonewall’s witness interrupted Allison Bailey’s tribunal hearing on Tuesday so that their dog and mother could accompany them while giving evidence.

Actually it was dog and mother and support person who turned out to be a support solicitor i.e. an extra lawyer who was a surprise to the court. I think the court wasn’t best pleased.

[A]s Kirrin Medcalf, head of trans inclusion at Stonewall, was sworn in to give evidence via the online hearing before Employment Judge Sarah Goodman on Tuesday, the hearing was forced to break after he failed to warn the court that his dog and mother would be in the room.

And solicitor.

Ijeoma Omambala QC, Stonewall’s barrister, told the tribunal that the witness should have “periodic breaks” and that he had a “support person” with him while giving evidence.

And mummy and doggy.

However, Ben Cooper QC, representing Ms Bailey, interjected, saying he was unaware of the witness having “extra needs” and said it was “not proper” for such a last-minute change. He accused Stonewall’s legal team of “blindsiding”.

Judge Goodman said that if there was another person in the room accompanying the witness, then they would also need to be “in shot”. Ms Omambala then told the hearing that “all of” those currently in the room with Stonewall’s head of trans inclusion included his mother, support person and dog.

But not that “support person” is a solicitor?

“This is all new information,” Mr Cooper said, as Judge Goodman called a break for a few minutes so that the room could be rearranged, and the hearing resumed with the witness accompanied by his mother, his solicitor, and a dog. 

Why stop there? Why not his budgie and his hairdresser?

The Family Groomer Show

May 11th, 2022 6:33 am | By

The Guardian has a piece by the author of “The Family Sex Show” saying it was right-wingers who objected to onstage porn for 5-year-olds.

The show is called The Family Sex Show. Its aim is to reimagine the way we think and talk about relationships and sex.

And it’s for children. What could possibly go wrong?

It doesn’t seem to have crossed Josie Dale-Jones’s mind that responsible parents don’t necessarily want Josie Dale-Jones “reimagining” the way we think and talk about relationships and sex onstage for an audience of their children. Who is Josie Dale-Jones? What’s her expertise? What does she know about child abuse, pedophilia, child groping, child grooming, child rape? Why is it up to her to reimagine such things for small children?

Making it was a process of collaboration with a diverse group of people who have varied life experiences.

There again – yes, and? Does that make “it” either harmless or good for small children? Do we want a group of random strangers explaining sex to small children in a theater?

The show is a fun and playful performance made up of songs, dances and personal stories. It is about bodies and how society views them. It also explores themes including gender, sexuality, pleasure and boundaries.

Again. Not automatically or obviously a good thing. To be more specific, the very fact that this fool thinks it would be a good thing is enough to make me think no children should go near it.

But really, the show is about care and mutual respect – and it exists in the hope that it can be a part of breaking down some of the systems of oppression alive today.

Let me guess. Like the systems of oppression that say men shouldn’t be guiding children’s hands onto their penises?

As a performance, The Family Sex Show is an invitation to experience something together as a family (whatever family means to you), encourage questioning and signpost places for audiences to figure out answers for themselves.

“Whatever family means to you” – so that can be the kid’s groomer then. Awesome.

As a guardian, the show is designed to help open conversations with your child about relationships and sex.

As a guardian? The show is a guardian? Who appointed it a guardian, and what inquiries were made? Maybe it’s not a good idea to “help open conversations” about sex with whatever random adult has brought a 5-year-old to see this play as the child’s “whatever family means to you” family.

The stupidity and cluelessness of this piece are breathtaking. The Guardian’s publication of it is a sour joke.

It’s all very bad for People

May 10th, 2022 5:52 pm | By

The ACLU has an article promoted on Facebook about Alito’s draft, so I clicked on the link to see if they managed to mention women at all. The answer: as little as possible.

What to Know About the Leaked Supreme Court Abortion Draft Opinion, and What’s Next

On Monday night, Politico published a leaked draft of the highly anticipated Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The draft majority opinion, penned by Justice Samuel Alito, overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which has been on the books for nearly 50 years and has ensured abortion is a protected federal constitutional right. If this draft decision is issued as the official decision, it would be unprecedented and would take away a fundamental right for millions of people…

No, it wouldn’t. It would take away a fundamental right for millions of women. That isn’t incidental, it’s central in all sorts of ways.

The word “women” appears only four times in the piece, which is not short. The first appearance is in the first para, above – it’s in the title of the case, so they’re stuck with it.

The second:

Brigitte Amiri: If this is really where the Supreme Court is headed — that you only have a constitutional right if it was contemplated by white men in the 1700s — then there’s a whole host of issues that we work on here and that people care about in our country that are at risk, like access to contraception and LGBTQ rights. These are rights that will most directly impact women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community.

No again. Women, including women of color and lesbians. There’s no reason to drag “people” and “communities” into this except as a craven attempt to shove women backstage. If they want to say this will fall especially hard on women of color, lesbians, poor women, immigrant women and so on, by all means, but don’t pretend they’re not all women.

ACLU: Justice Alito also refers to a 13th Century treatise that designates abortion as homicide, and relies on medieval common law in which women are likened to chattel.

Yes. Women, not people in general. Makes you think, doesn’t it.

The last one:

BA: Right, so we know these are Justice Alito’s views, and maybe this is ultimately written as a concurrence, rather than the majority opinion. But it is really terrifying that someone who is so powerful holds these views about people’s roles in society and women’s roles in society.

Oops. She slipped up there – she must have realized it doesn’t make much sense to talk about Alito’s views on people in society. Sometimes you just have to use the word “women,” dammit! It’s so embarrassing and awkward.

These people are about as useful as a leaky rowboat in the middle of the Atlantic in Janurary.


May 10th, 2022 11:44 am | By

Ain’t this the truth.


May 10th, 2022 11:31 am | By

The Guardian reports:

A paedophile has been jailed for 10 years after using social media to groom children.

Rachel Fenton, who police said was known as Richard Fenton when arrested and charged, pleaded guilty to 21 child sexual abuse offences and a drug offence and was sent to a male prison.

The Guardian understands Fenton was living as a man when arrested in November 2020 and was later charged under that name.

But during the sentencing hearing on Monday, Manchester Minshull Street crown court heard Fenton had changed their name and was in the process of transitioning to become a woman.

Gee I wonder why. Couldn’t possibly be to escape violence from male prisoners could it?

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester police (GMP) said the force first heard about Fenton’s transition in a pre-sentence report in April.

And knew exactly how to understand it, I’m betting. But that won’t stop them arresting women for saying trans women are men…or will it. Could the ship be ever so slowly changing course?

Fenton was arrested after a group of people posed as an underage girl online and an undercover cop did the same thing, and he tried to lure all of them into underage sex.

After arrest, Fenton breached bail by inappropriately contacting a third “child”, who was in fact another undercover operative using a fake profile of a 13-year-old girl.

He doesn’t learn fast, does he.

Fenton has been in a male prison on remand since January 2021.

Despite being a Rachel now?

It’s a start.

For ALL women

May 10th, 2022 10:31 am | By

For ALL women, meaning including men.

A potential scenario that might happen

May 10th, 2022 9:13 am | By

Ok it appears it’s going to be wall-to-wall tribunal here for a bit, because what’s coming out is too astounding to miss.

At this point they’re talking about whether Kirrin Medcalf [KM] consulted with other people before emailing Garden Court. KM is head of trans inclusion at Stonewall, and was a new hire at the time.

“people might be in a space with someone who wanted to physically harm them” – meaning, I take it, Allison. This is where this imbecilic ideology takes people. KM utters variations on that over and over again.

Oh it’s a potential scenario that might happen. Definitely more than enough reason to tell Allison’s chambers to bully her or get rid of her.

Why this ideology is so grotesque. Women worry about their safety around men in some circumstances, and Stonewall waves a magic wand and turns that into women being a danger to men who call themselves women.

Jaws are dropping everywhere.