Author Topic: TWAM


« on: August 09, 2020 »
Having no skin in the game, I never gave "trans women are women" much thought. When I finally did, I gravitated to "trans women are trans women", which seemed fair enough, if no more satisfactory than "Brexit means Brexit" ever was. It took a marathon session of Magdalen Berns vlogs this past week to help me make the leap to "trans women are men". This is no leap at all unless you usually try to start from a position of empathy.

I have the former Rachel McKinnon to thank for introducing me to the late Berns (and the Mumsnet feminism chat board, which installed a shrine to JK Rowling this summer, for igniting my interest in this knotty subject). Rachel, who has since changed his name to Veronica Ivy, gave an indication of his empathy levels by his reaction as Berns lay in hospice for the glioblastoma which took her life almost a year ago.

McKinnon/Ivy called her "a trash human" and said "maybe live by the maxim whereby, 'Don’t be the sort of person who people you've harmed are happy you're dying of brain cancer'." Words aren’t literally violence as some in the debate are insisting, but the professor does tend to favour violent words.

Her Thighness struck gold in womens cycling. Anyone who follows sports knows this, so needless to say it was news to me. As Spiked put it: "It sounds like a great achievement until you realise that Rachel is a six-foot-tall, 14-stone bloke." That @DonaldJTrumpJr also rolled his eyes is perhaps no surprise, though raising a son who gets it is still not quite a good enough reason for me to vote for his grabby dad this November.

Sorry seems to be the easiest word

"If you want to understand why this topic is so complicated and emotionally charged, please read on. If you want to yell and scream, go back to Twitter," wrote a sympathetic Fred Dreier, whose tweets are a model of decorum. I don't have any skin in that game, either, but even allowing that there are six-foot-tall 14-stone birds, it's my considered opinion that women should not have to make room for men in their sports – including men who no longer have all the bits they were born with (which apparently isn't the case here, or indeed, for most transfolk).

It's up to men to share their spaces with people who do, after all, share their chromosomes. Activists who would storm the gates to XX might at least ponder Chesterton's fence:

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

Magdalen Berns, monotoned boring transphobic to those who have no appreciation for devastating logic delivered in deadpan, is now beyond cancel culture. For anyone else late to the party, here's a taster.

The truth: we all have skin in that game.


« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2020 »
Moving on from dogmatic mantras, she or he is fine with me

as long as they aren't being a click. I refuse to enter the reality distortion field of outliers like Veronica and Riley, who require a suspension of disbelief too far to engage with on their terms. In Riley's case, it isn't so much the laryngeal prominence as it is the covert aggression, cringey inauthenticity, and twisted intolerance. (The unrelenting jump cuts also do my head in, but it is the way of things.)

Of the many replies to articles and blog posts and videos I've now consumed on this subject, the winner for pith has to be: "I'm not buying what you're selling."

Apologies to those expecting a post about flip-flop hubs.

An Open Letter to the Friend Who Thinks I Hate Transgender People
Sufferin' succotash.

See also The Many Lives of Jan Morris. Subscription or incognito mode required. Note to self: read everything Morris has ever written.

Is Julia Serano right that transwomen are female?

I Am a Transtrender and so can you
To live outside the law you must be honest.

Riley J. Dennis Is An LGBTQ Educator
We're all getting an education.

A Pineapple is Not a Broken Orange
Talented speaker, but TMI, and almost certainly a crowd of the unwary. Cassie doesn't handle discussion (as opposed to cheerleading) too well, which is fairly typical.

On Gender, Blurring the Line Between Dogma and Farce
"The current spasm of social panic..." I find the word spasm triggering.

Decoupled from reality
That train has left the station.

Can I ask trans women I'm dating about their genitals?
The comments offer some relief from the advice on offer.

I kind of feel like shock or surprise shouldn't be part of the experience of undressing with someone you're about to have sex with.
Put down the penis, and come out with your hands up.
Expecting people to be attracted to equipment that they're simply not attracted to is -- well, let's call it quixotic.

J.K. Rowling and the Echo Champer of TERFs
Slate are clearly sold on the agenda, as is the author on his talents. Keep an eye out for the tireless JennyAnyDots; marvel at how she's largely ignored.

Responding to J.K. Rowling’s Essay
I settled in for an hour of enlightenment, but got stuck on the Maya Forstater coverage starting nine minutes in, which included a brief shot of her "very clearly transphobic" tweets. With a fundamental disagreement on what constitutes transphobia, there seemed little point continuing. YMMV.

Clare Flourish
has a way with words, which is always a find. Advertised as open minded and generous of spirit. The evidence is inconclusive.

World's first Transgender MMA Fighter
Quite a speciman.

Inspiration Profile: Pips Bunce
Not technically a wanker banker, but close.

Why I'm Not Getting "The Surgery"
Disproves that old adage that men seldom make passes at girls who aren't lasses. Honestly educational. I've assumed cost was the main reason for not going all the way.

So, About This Surgery
Are you sure you want to be scrolling down, braveheart?

Forget What Gender Activists Tell You
Hard to forget.

Girl Dick, the Cotton Ceiling and the Cultural War on Lesbians and Women
You had me at girl dick.

A Glossary Of Transphobia
Speaking of which.

100 Ways to Make the World Better for Non-Binary People
"Embrace the contradictory and confusing." Sure thing, boss.

42. Give your pet gender-neutral pronouns like "they." This is awesome practice. (And ask me about my rant on how we can never know animals' genders since they can't speak to us...)
So many teachable moments, so little time.

"Gender Fluid" Person Confuses Everyone
Nicky Campbell needs to be drowned like a kitten. That said, I wasn't confused. Maybe a word that rhymes with confused.

Google informs me that "needs to be drowned like a kitten" has never before been uttered online, which comes as a surprise. The phrase popped into my head and refused to be forgotten. For the sake of clarity, I do not condone the drowning of kittens, television presenters, or indeed any living creature, no matter how hapless. Embracing the contradictory and confusing can go too far.

Next on INSIDE edition: Fisherman found guilty of staging kitten rescue video

Why transgender people are ignored by modern medicine
A cautionary tale of getting what you want, and getting it good and hard.

Things Not To Say To A Trans Person
Annoying in that special way the BBC has of bringing it out in people.

First Day
Did someone mention shameless?

Ah, the perils of top tubes

It's not complicated
That a person can spend as much time as I have wondering if the M in TWAM should be Men or Male shows just how complicated it has become. It should probably be the latter, but it doesn't really matter because both are considered transphobic.

I've Given Birth, But I Am Not My Children's Mother. Where Do I Belong?
Possibly on a different site.

Call 'em They
You get one yes. Choose carefully.

May the Force be with thee.

There's no such thing as a non-binary haircut
Another reminder that history rhymes.

Do I need a haircut? There's a binary answer.

No, misgendering me is not okay or justifiable. Yes, this is a big deal.
That I value civility and thus can live with a degree of cognitive dissonance in aid of those suffering from dysphoria does not mean I agree that corporeal reality must be cast aside in the race to a brave new world.

"Am I not a woman like they are?" asked Amelia in 2014, to which the answer is of course no. A few years later he was sliced all the fuck up, and although that doesn't change inconvenient biological facts, she's gone some distance to earn the pronoun. I would be more impressed if s/he had been a better sport all along and competed with men.

In The New Transgender World, Women No Longer Exist
"The only way ensure that everyone who knows she is a woman is treated as a woman is to destroy any definition of what it is to be a woman. Is this so hard to understand?"

Assigned Male
Usually found preaching before a congregation of straw men. Here's a good critique. This one's a bit more fun.

Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record

Why J.K. Rowling must die
With handy flowcharts.

Transgender ideology
Always more links.

"I invite you to disenchant all of my fairy tales."


« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020 »
By now you'll know there's a battle between TRAs and TERFs.

TRA = Trans Rights Activist
TERF = Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist
Mumsnet TERF = Tired of Explaining Reality to Fuckwits

You need a special shirt to be a feminist.

I might be able to fit into one of these

but you don't go to Mumsnet for peace and quiet, do you.

Not everybody considered this to be an olive branch, and Phoenix1234 would go on to feed cynics enough evidence to cast more than enough reasonable doubt. Finally a smoking gun was produced: the OP was caught tweeting about how easy it was to troll. Woe is me, no screenshot. This video captures the spirit of Joss's celebrations:

Then all was zapped.

You gotta feel for the regulars in these discussions, having to deal with shapeshifters all the time. At least they get a lot of practice honing their arguments and lobbing food for thought.

A progressive might counter: what's so unjust? That's how progress is made.

OvaHere Thu 17-Sep-20 20:24:05

As an illustration of goalpost shifting this is where we've travelled to in less than a decade.

Women and transsexual women


Women and transwomen


Cis women and trans women


Women and trans women are both female


Women and cis women (implication that only trans women are women without a prefix)


Women (again meaning trans women) and cervix havers/utererus havers/menstruators/non men/people who need an abortion.

It doesn’t take a feminist to see the problem here.

Men on Mumsnet are generally about as welcome as this cyclist:

Going full trans is no guarantee they'll make the cut, no matter how much they may want to gather with the sisterhood to fight the patriarchy. Peace in our time? Not bloody likely.