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.

His 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. 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 transphobe 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.

*For men, as it turns out.

I should add that, if memory serves, it was actually Rod Dreher at The American Conservative who introduced me to this subject. I know, I know. But I'll take TAC over the Red Orange Guards at Daily Kos any day.


« 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.

*Editing this about three years later, I'll just say here that this view will evolve. Or de-evolve, as some might have it.

Know Your Lingo
A refresher.

Everything is transphobic

Questioning gender ideology
"Or, How I became a 21st-century heretic/social pariah, and you can, too!"

Boys vs Women
Male High School Athletes vs Female Olympians.

Fact Checking a Widely Shared Rebuttal of J.K. Rowling
"After all, you’d have to be an insane pedant to go through the whole thread trying to correct the record. So, let’s begin." Part 2 (there are 4! – perseverance is amply rewarded) includes the best dissection of 'cis' I've ever read.

Somewhere over the Rainbow, something went terribly wrong
"Definitions matter. Respecting people, matters. Criticising bad ideas also matters."

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

See also The Many Lives of Jan Morris. Moreish.

The Usual Suspects
A slightly less glowing take on Morris.
When I first read [Conundrum] in my impressionable late adolescence, I was full of a desire to be kind and tolerant to all rare flowers, and I enjoyed the wispy whimsy of it. Re-reading it now as a bad-tempered gender-critical crone who feels acutely that the time she has left on this planet is limited, I found it infuriating and forgivable only for its brevity.

Is Julia Serano right that transwomen are female?
Medium appears to have taken a position on the matter.

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.

You "educate" people by making reasoned arguments and providing evidence to back up any specific claims. Then you listen to people's responses to that, questioning any weaknesses or illogical reasoning, and then respond with further clarifications or thoughts to counter. And so on until an understanding of each other's viewpoints is reached.
- AssassinatedBeauty

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.

Yes, it’s Wrong to Tell Trans People
You Don’t Want to Sleep With Them Because of Their Genitals

"I would never tell anyone who they should be attracted to. But."

The Secret Internet of TERFs
Fox News dropped "fair and balanced", The Atlantic picked it up. Worth it to find Sarah Ditum.

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.

Responding to Jammidodger's attack on JK Rowling: Part 2
Looks like I'm not the only one who had a problem with that. (Here's Part 1 of 4. Alas this excellent response has a small fraction of the views it deserves.)

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.

Barry makes comics
More straw. More men.

Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record

Why J.K. Rowling must die
With handy flowcharts, if screenshots aren't enough.

I Am A Transwoman. I Am In The Closet. I Am Not Coming Out.
"Forced to carry multiple perspectives like bactrian humps" isn't a sentence you read every day.

Are Pronouns Important?
"Sometimes I misgender myself."

Eddie Izzard Publicly Requests ‘She’ & ‘Her’ Pronouns
Collective gender euphoria, here we come.

Not so fast.

Can't a girl mode ride her bike in peace without a big song and dance being made about it?

For the Eddiefication of those who think he's a better catch in boy mode

We need to talk about Ellen Page
OK, I'm listening. "Cheer, hit the ‘like’ button, don’t think too much about it, the marching orders go... And leave it to Big Tech to immediately correct the historical record in Elleniot’s service. There was never someone named Ellen and Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia."

Chloe Dygert apology for social media conduct “not sufficient” says Rapha
Definitely not buying what they're selling.

Cat Graffam
"i always land on my feet & throw up on the floor". I'd buy what she's selling.

Gender is not a spectrum
"I too believe my thoughts, feelings, aptitudes and dispositions are far too interesting, well-rounded and complex to simply be a 'cis woman'. I, too, would like to transcend socially constructed stereotypes about my female body and the assumptions others make about me as a result of it..."

From the comments:
I find several things wrong with this article.

The first is that the subject of the article suggests an unwholesome self-absorption and self-centredness. Practically all of us have things about us that are socially or intimately awkward. But, most of us, we do not indulge in marathon sessions of introspection in an effort to find out how we would like the world to treat us. In my experience the world, unless it has some political interest it treating you otherwise, will treat you as it wishes.

The second is that it is entirely from a feminine point of view. The author is either speaking for men, dismissing them as inconsequential or simply branding them as ‘the oppressor’. As a working class male my perception of social and cultural reality is entirely different to hers. I have been oppressed by both males and females when they had power over me. Oppression is not the exclusive domain of the masculine male, it goes with the power whether it be physical, financial or economic.

Nature doesn't care how we identify. It assigns us a role in the interests of reproduction and how we handle that role decides the chances of the continued survival and development of our genes. In the general melee of survival some class of society will develop invariably with a pecking order based on strength of some kind. Eventually social and cultural conditions become expressions of the balance of power in society and culture. Whatever that balance is the one certainty is that some of those in power will be oppressors. If feminists currently feel empowered and powerful then, for sure, they are oppressing. But they do not seem to mind.

"We are dying chemical reactors powering about 4 quadrillion binary logic gates."

Should Cis People have the Same Rights as Everyone Else?
The indefatigable Katy Montgomerie tries her hand at satire.

A short dialogue with oneself

Addressing The Claims In JK Rowling’s Justification For Transphobia

Being called a TERF, or transphobic, isn’t an insult. It’s not a bullying tactic. It’s not the same as saying someone has fleas. It’s a description of someone whose views come from a place of irrational prejudice of trans people.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Just how when we are discussing gay rights, women’s rights or the rights of people of colour, pointing out homophobia, misogyny or racism is the first step towards a rational discussion, calling out irrational prejudice of trans people is the first step here.

Go on. I mean, you’ve lost me, but I’m still here.

There is no denying that all of these accusations are sometimes overused or mistargetted, but that isn’t an excuse to instantly shrug them off every single time they are pointed out. How can we discuss an issue that is undeniably, demonstrably surrounded by irrational prejudice if we aren’t even allowed to call that out for what it is?

We may have found common ground.

You cannot address oppression if you cannot name your oppressor.

You shall overcome, eh?

Tulsi tweets the truth
The truth hurts: it is known.

Umberto Eco & The Bunnymen
Earns a link for the handle alone.

Not a promising start, but went on to raise some smiles.

Public Pronoun List
Truly a public service.

Pronouns are about power

Can someone please explain…
A suggestion OP. If you read any of the posts on this thread and find them to be describing things that don't seem to make sense or are incomprehensible feel free to assume that they're actually wrong rather than assuming that there's some profound complexity you don't understand.

TERF's Original Sin
Guilt-by-association time again. Bonus points for 'Sonderkommando'.

Bunburys Eighth – Sealion training for beginners
Mumsnet community disruptors watch, one of a series. FWR reminds me of HPC: true believers I happen to agree with, but seemingly a despised minority. Though it remains to be seen how much of a minority they are.

"Trans men are men. Period." You're seventeen, so you should know.

Are we the baddies?
Are you spewing hatred and abuse at everyone who has the temerity to disagree? Do you often find that violent imagery is necessary to get your ideas across? If not, then probably not.

Women are not an identity. Not a feeling. Not a legislative status to be awarded with a certificate. We're the people who are born and die female. No lie will ever be powerful enough to cover that reality. Not ever.

UK census, a thread
Provided as an example of uncivil discourse. Look for replies to GottogetaGRC. Transphobic? No. A bit mean spirited? Yep. Goady, in the parlance. Not all, but some. "Word it in a particular way and you will get a better response." Yep.

Laé D. Boi
Not related to La-Z-Boy AFAIK. Do tell us more about the subtle nuances of being a woman.

My Pronouns are Fluid and My Identity is Solid
Utterly exhausting.

My Existence Is Not Up For Debate
Not gawking but yawning.

The Missing Link
I'm glad you exist, Emma.

“because transphobia”
Had I killed myself, activists could have dug into my life and saw that I was raising money for top surgery, and that my parents didn’t want me to transition. Had I killed myself, my story would be PERFECT for trans activists to drive home their point. Had I killed myself, all of this would be erased. My own parents might have regretted the way they fought for me. CNN might have shown my picture and lamented the transphobia that killed me. I would cease to be a complicated individual in need of well rounded, compassionate help

The Wrong Kind of Trans
Derivation of 'quisling' only necessary insofar as Godwin’s law must be obeyed.

Basic Biology
Somehow Controversial.

Debunking the ACLU's '4 Myths About Trans People'
Another institution captured.

The Sacred Androgen: The Transgender Debate
Yeah, this didn't go over too well.

Interesting how the original link now goes somewhere quite different.

Tavistock trust whistleblower David Bell
What doing the right thing looks like.

First Dog On The Moon, Fixed
The Guardian giveth, but mostly they takeath away.

Dear Teen Girls: Leave the Vulnerable Kids Alone

The Spousal Exit Clause: Trans Widow’s Rights Are Not Yours to Give Away
Kind of says it all.

Owen Jones vs Robert Webb
A Witchfinder General's work is never done.

This is an essay About Penises
That was an essay about a dick.

When I Think About You I Terf Myself
Not going gently into that good night. (AGP = autogynephilia)

Let's Have No More Talk of Dysphoria
Follow the money.

How is it "gender critical" to impose rigid binary social categories based on sex?
Dive right in.

Transgender ideology
Always more links.

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

Things like “Gender identity”, “born in the wrong body” or “TWAW” really are incredibly effective and misleading linguistic tools being used to justify the notion that Sex is irrelevant and that male and female are mere identities.
– Lorelei


« 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.

Mum's the word
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2021 »
Pregnant women become mums. Who knew.

"In the course of debating the maternity bill in the House of Commons, the word 'woman' was used some three-hundred times, and yet it doesn’t appear in the legislation once; instead, the draft bill refers to 'pregnant people'." - The Critic

House of Lords debate

'Lesbian peer Baroness Barker tears down tired transphobic arguments in powerful House of Lords speech' - Pink News

"I feel that Baroness Barker has gone off the rails a bit. If we were to always use 'gender neutral' language then we wouldn't be able to call this a Maternity Bill." - Lord Forsyth

"This extreme ideology does not want equal rights whilst recognising our differences. It wants to deny those differences exist at all. Happily that agenda has been rolled back today." - Lord Lilley

"It is factually incorrect, as has been referred to here today, that only women can become pregnant." - Baroness Brinton

"This is the ideology of the madhouse. It is a plain fact of human existance that only women get pregnant." - Baroness Meyer

"I make myself feel better when watching @UKHouseofLords members readily disregarding trans people by reminding myself that they’re old, and most of them will be dead within the next 20 years!" - @mimmymum

"Thank fuck for The House of Lords." - Mumsnetter

"For a group to be properly protected by the law, they must be properly identified in the law."

Dramatic reveal
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2021 »
I was assigned male at birth.

Moment of conception

Fortunately I didn’t let my assumed genitalia define me or my life goals, or I might have been just another Mr.

Science tells us that a raw potato produces about .5 volts of energy, but by boiling, we can produce 10x as much. I harnessed this to achieve the rank of Baron, which today I disclose to the world has been a lie.

Our knowledge of whatever ology you care to name has progressed far beyond what most of us were taught as children. We live in a complexted world of nuance. You say potāto, I say potäto.


  • .
A cautionary tale
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2021 »

Would you resist? After reading the following on Clare Flourish's blog, it turns out I couldn’t. (I also liked the font.)

Trans people are real. The hostility is such that no-one “wakes up one morning” and declares themself a woman on a whim. I don’t have a cervix, and trans men do, but being a woman is so much more than a reproductive system.

Gender critical folks are often accused of reducing women to their pesky reproductive organs. I think that’s what triggered me to reply thusly:

You can’t know what being a woman is like, and that’s OK. It doesn’t make you any less a person. I’m sorry you’ll likely regard this as hate speech, but it most certainly doesn’t come from a place of hate. We fundamentally disagree that a man can be a woman and vice versa. I’m male, and welcome you with open arms into our sex.

Hate speech got a mention thanks to her recent post about Facebook, a klaxon if ever there was.

You'll see I used the name ’Elliot’. This was inspired by Elliot Page. If an edit button had been available I might have worked on that last bit, which could be misconstrued as the world's clumsiest pick-up line, but oh well.

A one-pipe problem

In fact none of that might have survived an edit. I felt bad for posting it, almost trollish. Blame the box. On revisiting the scene of the crime, I found a response:

Hi, Elliot. Thank you for commenting.

Not hate speech, so much as arrogant idiocy. You refuse to accept the category of “trans woman”. What on Earth do you imagine “being a woman is like”? It’s more than one thing, Elliot, even for cis women!

I didn't really want to dive headlong into what on Earth being a woman was like, because frankly I don't have a clue. That was kind of the point of my post, because manifestly, neither does Clare. Now feeling somewhat committed, I offered this:

Hi Clare, thanks for your reply – though note your own recent admonition to The Buzzz (“Please be courteous” Granted, “arrogant idiocy” is not technically an ad hominem, but some may call that a distinction without a difference).

I don’t refuse to accept the category of “trans woman”, I merely refuse to accept it as = to woman. We’ll never see eye to eye on this, but I do applaud your willingness to accept comments even from people like me.

One more thing – thanks for using the word “arrogant”. It was on the tip of my tongue for some reason.

Not everyone appreciates when they leave ammunition lying around.

Clare's reply to this was by way of annotation, my first and last paragraphs having been cut but apparently still readable to others who had also commented.

ad fundum
Speaking of triggering, this did serve to remind me that the audience for such blogs indeed includes those in a fragile state. While I sympathise, these issues are affecting more and more people, and we mustn’t be forced to tiptoe around, at least in public debate. Her space doesn't really qualify, so she can snip at will, but if she's genuinely fishing for a range of comments it does have a stifling effect.

Let's go with a screenshot next, not because I'm in love with my highfalutin terminology, but as a change from dark quote boxes:

Incorrigible whoring for NACF aside, I'm not actually sure I want her to take me up on my offer to post here – and why should she? She's got her own platform, read by more people than this. Partly it’s because I’m lazy and this promises to be an epic time sink. Even liberal quoting or linking to people better versed on the subject (because lazy, remember) still takes time.

Clare cut-n-pasted my last 'graph and added more annotations. I then signed off, our unintentional commemoration of International Women's Day complete.

That’s a genuine email address, though I don’t suppose I blame you for not contacting me. I chose that route of communication rather than providing my blog address because it seemed harmless enough, and I wanted more information on which to base a judgement before opening the possible floodgates. Am still uncertain on that score, but your commentary isn’t promising.

I’ve heard of sealioning. Thanks for bringing it up (and for the link to the cartoon), as it’s always good to examine one’s own motives. I was motivated by your words and your invitation to comment. Beyond that, I will confess only to a certain persistence (reading from Wikipedia’s definition), now quite spent.

As for verbosity, I’m far too courteous to draw parallels with pots and kettles. In any case, it ain’t true: I use the words necessary to the task at hand.

[OK, maybe a few more. Because writing isn’t just a bare-bones exchange of information.

While I could easily run a red pen through my own replies, her characterizations of them cross a line from uncharitableness to, well, wrongness. At the very least she could use a course in artful mockery. - Ed.]

If they’re not words you like, doubtless you will count them too many.

I’ll leave you in peace now. [unnecessary last word]

This elicited a final spasm of annotation in place of conversation, followed by what I'm going to interpret as a kiss goodbye. At least I'd made a lateral promotion to loquacious.

last buzzzwords
Dare I say apropos?


Wait, there’s more.
Is it possible I helped inspire a new comments policy? Exhibit A is that the announcement appeared in what you might call Elliot's afterbirth. Exhibit B:

I am not particularly interested in long arguments showing I am bad. Don’t call me an idiot, a hypocrite, discourteous or arrogant, not even if you quote me to prove this to your own satisfaction.

Willful misinterpretations and woeful hypocrisy aside, I don’t have a problem with any of it, even where I strongly disagree (and I'll not call her an idiot even in this bastion of privacy): her blog, her rules, etc. None of it will apply to me anyway, as I have no plans to return, having had my unsatisfying fill of Clare.

on edit
Global [sic]: all instances of "she" or "her" for Clare.


  • .
Say what
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2021 »
I've come around. If you say trans women are women, and you're a heterosexual man lookin’ for love, trans women belong in your dating pool. Same goes for women who are reactionary enough to have a predisposition to coupling exclusively with those with male [sic] anatomy. Gay guys and lesbians don't get a pass either, if they're true believers.

While it's none of my business whom you invite under the sheets, cognitive dissonance is a turn-off.

Your only out is to admit that you are in fact transphobic as defined by the social media powers that be.

It took the hagiographer of instagram influencer Alok Vaid-Mennon to make me see the error of my ways. As India Willoughby put it way back in the mists of 2018, "all this superficial stuff that you are a woman and all that sounds great and is the right thing to say. But it makes no difference if people don't believe it - that's the problem." Don't be the problem: be the solution.

In other news, Glenn Greenwald has sadly fallen from the pedastal I put him on. (Owen Jones was never tall enough, metaphorically speaking of course, to get on one in the first place.)

Andrew Sullivan struggles to see the obvious losers in this no-win debate, and reckons that an experiment needs to be done to help him figure out the definition of humanity.

British Cycling have launched a consultation on their transgender participation policy. Their code of conduct says "Treat all Transgender and Non-Binary Participants with dignity and respect," which sounds great until you read that you're to "Support the Transgender or Non-Binary Participant with their choice of changing facilities." This strikes me as showing a lack of respect for the privacy of those who don't believe you can change sex, but I guess that's another reason people like me don't belong in British Cycling.


It's bizarre the way only trans people's feelings matter according to this ideology. Why don't my feelings about my body and its femaleness matter - wanting to be able to have a safe space - an actual, literally safe space as opposed to just protecting my ego - away from males?

The problem is there is fundamental disconnect in how language is being used. You and I use it to make meaning clear, to communicate. The current identity movement use it to signal who is in and who is outside of the group. Which is quite ironic for a movement all about inclusion, but so much is. 

You read it all from a starting assumption that language is being used to clarify. But what you are actually reading is a number of language cues that indicate whether someone is a true believer, or maybe one of the sacred caste. The language shifts all the time because that's how they stay aware of the heretics, and how they constantly keep each other a little off-kilter, and thus easier to manipulate.

My relatively relaxed attitude to pronouns has taken a hit thank to Barra Kerr and Blibbyblobby [no, really]. Politeness still reigns, but it's a pretence that there's no cost.

This just in:

"I am a woman and you are a scam."


  • .
A room of their own
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2021 »
Today is Alice B. Toklas's birthday. She's one of those people who never goes out without a middle initial. (Babette.) As I've not read Gertrude Stein, she's little more than a literary reference to me.

For god's sake man, pick up a book

According to this, the sister was no mister. Gertrude, that is. I understand Alice had a bit of a mustache, which is only worth mentioning because secondary sex characteristics are one of the many #nuances of biology, a degree

in which is now required to advance to the current level of enlightenment superseding grade school notions of the birds and the bees.

I've been thinking about why trans activism interests me enough to have amassed an ever growing collection of links (here's another, and it's a monster). It's an attempted coup on reality.

Denying material reality seems to be some kind of gateway drug, leading to wilder and wilder straying into the realms of incomprehensibility and wilful lack of comprehension. It’s the weirdest thing.

Women are adult human females. We do not believe that men can become women by 'feeling' like women or 'identifying' as women. We condemn the erasure of females and female-only spaces, the silencing of critical thinking, the cancelling of feminists and critics, the denial of biological reality and of sex-based oppression. We oppose the 'cotton ceiling' and the pressure on lesbians to have sex with men. Women are oppressed to exploit their biological sex characteristics, and women have a right to a movement that is about their own liberation from that oppression. We resist the redefinition of both "women" and "feminism" to make them serve men.
– Ovarit [I've added the links]

People who insist, for example, that anyone can be a lesbian, inspire the wrong kind of awe. Here's the right kind.


  • .
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2021 »


  • .
Wise up
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2021 »
Not all owls have it going on upstairs. I'll spare you the exploding head this time.

My Gender is Uncertainty: My Mood is Anger. I can't blame Medium for continuing to offer me these stories, because I keep reading them. "I didn’t ask for your reassurance; I wanted you to relate," says Kai Cricket Moon. Despite not being the right demographic I jumped into her archive, and was rewarded with some lovely writing from this "non-binary, they/them plant slut living in Vancouver." She's clearly traumatised and alienated from herself. Here's hoping she comes out of this mess a woman.

The Annals of the TERF-Wars was written in 2018, which came as a surprise, as it seems pretty up to date.

Great Pit of Carkoon. Don't fall in like I did!

100 Easy Ways to Make the World Better for Trans People

1. Respect people's pronouns. This is really not very complicated! If someone tells you how they identify, you have no say on the matter. Use the pronouns they use.

I will use the pronouns that come naturally. You have no say in the matter.

2. Still on pronouns: if you don't know somebody's pronouns and want to get it right, either use gender neutral pronouns (i.e. they/them/their) or quietly and discreetly speak to the person and ask. Be aware of your surroundings and those around you before doing so—do not out this person or put them in an unsafe situation.

Kindly don't advocate putting other women in unsafe situations by insisting they deny reality. See Pronouns are Rohypnol.

3. Trans folk can use gender neutral pronouns, so please do not assume that we must adhere to a binary.

Binary is why you exist.

4. Try to start removing binary language from your everyday conversations. If we all make conscious efforts to steer away from gendering everything, this will have a knock-on effect that stops our learnt obsession of having to divide everything into binaries.


5. Trans women are women. This is not up for debate—so don't try to.

Men are not women and women are not men.

6. Trans men exist! We are often overlooked or forgotten, so try to remind yourself that we are out here and can find the male cis world hard to navigate.

You mean women. Even women keen to erase themselves.

7. Call out transphobia WHEREVER you are! Even if a trans person is not present, be our defence. Hateful language perpetuates the dangerous cycle of violence.

Delusional language perpetuates and exacerbates further delusion. It is known.

8. Understand and be vocal that transphobia is never "funny," "in jest," or "banter."

Alas, you don't get to decide what's funny, either.

9. Don't refer to us as a whole. Do not make sweeping generalisations about every trans person. We are all individual people with different opinions.

Congratulations on being just like everyone else: an individual, with an opinion. Prone to hypocricy.

10. Reject the idea that transitioning looks like one thing. People wish to transition in various ways. If someone doesn't want to or can’t medically transition, this does not mean they are "less trans." There is no such thing as "less trans" or "more trans." This is a personal journey that doesn't need to tick any boxes in order for the transition to be validated—by anyone!

I imagine it can look like anything you want it to.

11. NEVER ask anything about our genitalia or body. "So… do you still have everything down there" as a puzzled hand flutters near our privates is not ever going to be OK. That is final.

Expect that if men want access to women's spaces, this is germane. Also, generally you're the one making a big deal about genitals.

12. Oh, let's not forget that we do not all know each other. The queer community is bigger than you think.

How do you know what I think? Have you audited my head? Read my blog? Interviewed my known associates?

13. Try to refrain from using language that is heavily influenced or derived from queer culture if this is not your community. Words and phrases are a way of communication in code for a large majority of the queer community (like "reading"). Language creates a dialogue within the queer community that is meant to protect and ensure safety.

Are there really 87 more of these?

14. Do not enter queer or trans safe spaces without a queer person asking you to be there or without making sure that allies are welcome.

If irony could kill, you would now be in a very unsafe space indeed.

15. When you are in queer spaces, repeat: "This is not my space, I will not fill it" and actually do what you say.

If I take up negative space will that be satisfactory?

16. Be aware of your hands. Do not touch people without consent in all spaces—and especially queer spaces—and especially avoid touching trans people who often are triggered by physical contact involving parts of their body.

I prefer not to be touched by strangers either, but unless it's sexual (as if) or a punch in the nose, I get over it. Everyone has boundaries. This has not been copyrighted by you.

17. If you are called out for being offensive, do not argue. This is not a debate. Apologise. Take a moment to reflect. If necessary, leave or give the space over to those you have offended or upset.

You really want to be in charge of the world.

18. Never try to argue with a trans person that something isn't transphobic.

#NoDebate. We get it.

19. Remind us that being trans isn't a burden or a bad thing!

Because you must get hoarse singing your own praises all the time.

20. Recognise the strength and power of your voice.


21. Now use it.


22. If a trans person is being verbally assaulted, made to feel unsafe or uncomfortable, or being attacked in any way and needs your help—open your mouth.

I'm going to file this with "Don't touch my girldick without asking."

23. This being said, do not become the ally that speaks over or for a trans person in this situation. Ask if we want you to step in because there's nothing more frustrating than cis person silencing you. It happens enough, jeez!

Jeezus christ.

24. Talk to us about more than gender! Movies, what we had for dinner, our next holiday—anything that isn't constant emotional labour.

Speaking of constant emotional labour.

25. Take us off your mood boards. Book us, pay us, and celebrate us.

Talk to HR, I'm sure there's an opening for another diversity consultant.

26. Do not fetishize trans folk. We are not your sexual experimentations, tokens, or reason to rebel against your parents. We are not here for you.

It's pretty clear you're there for yourself, Kai Isaiah-Jamal.

27. Criticise the media. Write to the newspapers, institutions, and publications that are spreading hate towards the trans community. Create polls and petitions. National news portrays us as monsters and threats to society. We can't stop them from doing that on our own.

Here there be monsters.

28. Learn what Mx means.

Can I just hover?

29. Talk to the generation above you—your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. You can't always change traditional mindsets, but you can give them a new perspective.

It's great to talk to people, preferably without the goal of badgering them into a cult.

30. Support the generation below; speak to young kids. Make them aware that gender is a spectrum and they don't have to commit to one gender for their whole life. Educate them on their freedom and choices.

This be the verse you're looking for.

31. Don't buy gendered things for kids around you. This just pushes the ideas that boys must like blue and girls must like pink and only one of them can play football in their spare time. I don't even particularly like either colours!

I'll buy them what they like, if it's in my budget, which is quite low, so probably just a piece of string. They can learn how to untie knots, which is a life skill.

32. Stop pretending only trans people experience name changes or surgery. Me changing my name and a friend getting married and changing her surname meant we had to go through some similar legal process. Help trans folk with these legal procedures, whether that's telling us which bank is easy to change your name with or going through the deed poll process with us. It means it doesn't feel like these are "trans issues"—they're just really confusing forms that nobody quite understands!

This is really specific.
I think you're going to need a personal assistant.

33. Share your platforms. I am tired of cis people talking about trans health. Ask us to talk, educate, share our stories, and pay us. This way you don't get the credit for the lives we live.

By educate you mean thought control. Someone even wrote a song about it.

34. Support trans artists. Rock up to our exhibitions. Buy our books. Listen to our podcasts. Use your social platforms to share the incredible things we do despite the adversity we face.

So many buskers, so little discretionary income.

35. Don't expect trans folk to always congratulate you for being an ally. Sometimes you're just being a good person. I don't get a gold star for just being a good person.

Admit it: you want a gold star.

36. Donate to organizations and charities that are set up to aid and help trans folk. There are so many organisations struggling with funding. Without lots of these resources we can't access things like mental health services and free meet-ups.

There are doubtless people who will pay to be browbeaten, and more.

37. Do not tell us what RuPaul, Trump, or the Daily Mail said about us. Chances are we already know.

Cheer up, you get a lot of good press these days. In fact it's kind of hard to avoid having it shoved down our throats.

38. Post about the #blacktranslivesmatter campaign—highlight that trans people of color are targets of violence.

Yep, violence is bad.

39. If you are dating a trans person, try to understand their triggers. For example, me and my partner call my menstrual cycle "Lucifer." So if I text her to say "Lucifer is here," she knows to bring chocolate and pillows. You can also try covering tampon or pad boxes and wrapping with cute cartoons or their favourite colour.

What a coincidence! "Lucifer" is my safeword.

40. Do not tell us we "are playing the victim," WE ARE THE FUCKING VICTIM.

We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.

41. Do not attend panels that address gender and/or trans identity if everyone on the panel is cis.

How will I know?

42. Give trans creatives platforms to share work that aren't all about being trans.

But you're so good at it.

43. Do your research. For all ignorant questions, divert to Google. Google is your friend. I am not, especially if you're asking me how doctors make a penis from my leg.

You need new friends.

44. If trans folk do have to explain something to you that may be uncomfortable, triggering, or upsetting for us, buy us a bunch of flowers, take us for dinner, drop something into our PayPal. No labor should be free.

How many more times are you going to ask for money? Didn't Vice pay you for this?

45. Transphobia is a huge issue in the queer community. Do not let other people who identify as queer get away with things, because they can be by far the worst.

If you want me to be your collaborator, you're going to have to pay me. A lot. Full disclosure: I'm going to be a double-agent.

46. Record transphobic incidents. (Caveat: This is only if your immediate assistance is not needed and you have checked you can use this footage by the person involved.) Share this with everyone you can. It may lead to prosecution or people in positions loosing their job. Nobody should still be allowed to be a CEO and use offensive slurs.

Feels like padding.

47. Don't question someone's religious beliefs because they are trans and you think they go against what it says in a holy book. This isn't your business, OK?

Say what you will about God, he knew to edit his commandments.

48. Trans issues are not for profit. That's it.

Better tell your compatriots with the merch.

49. "Queer" is not a theme. Do not have a "queer" house party and let boys who still use the word "faggot" wear your heels and dresses because it's fun.

Is it just me, or is this getting really nit-picky?

50. Drag queens are not always trans, but they can be—so respect that!

Not sure how wrong-footed I'm meant to be here.

51. Do not make someone feel bad after dragging you for something you have done that is deemed transphobic. Your guilt is not my guilt to feel.

We're either the deemed or the deemers.

52. Don't ask what gender dysphoria feels like because it’s a stupid question and there’s no way you can try to understand it.

I promise I won't try to touch the holy hem of your victimhood.

53. Ask your friends or trans folk you know if they'd like company when going to hospital appointments. Hospitals are scary at the best of times and sometimes you don’t always get the treatment, doctors, or results you want. Be there to give a hug, at least.

Hugs for everyone! With the proper consent forms filled out.

54. Do anything you can to stop trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) from leaving stickers, leaflets etc. Tear down everything you see associated with them.

Because what we need is the right amount of freedom of speech, and no more.

55. Do not engage in question-based conversations with TERFs. You have nothing to learn from them.

Not a big fan of the Socratic method. Got it.

56. Correct others when they misgender people.

Could you write all this down in a little red book or something?

57. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing. Remember that at all times.

Have mercy, there are so many other things I'm trying to remember in my little man brain, this isn't always going to be at the forefront.

58. Do not ask a trans person’s partner what being in a relationship with a trans person "makes" them. It makes them in love, now fuck off.

Charmed I'm sure.

59. Trans Lives Matter should be more than a hashtag. Push it further than social media.

But social media is where this thrives. Out in the real world, eventually people hit the brick wall of reality.

60. Tell your trans friends and partners how great they look. Highlight the changes after hormones, surgery, or even just a good skin day.

Not to be mean, but this is usually a stretch.

61. You are not a true ally if you allow your partner to use transphobic language. Educate your friends and family.

Little red books for everybody!

62. Love your children regardless of what gender they identify as. Most self-hate for many trans folk comes from not being accepted at home.

I don't have kids, but I do have a rabbit who had his balls cut off, poor little guy. As for loving your kids, it's hard to disagree. You can love them best by educating them. We have different ideas about what constitutes an education.

63. Offer shelter, money, food etc. The basics of survival are hard for trans folk. If you have enough to spare, try to offer.

Just how much money do you need?

64. This is not a "phase." Do not tell me it is one.

You do sound pretty far gone. There's hope for others.

65. If your trans friend is leaving a social situation and feels uneasy about travel, offer to walk them to a train station and wait with them, drive them home, or get them a taxi. Travelling home alone by yourself can be a scary scenario.

It almost sounds as if you have sympathy for those who are predominantly the victims of violence.

66. Do not think you are saving us. We don’t need saving. You are helping us to have what everyone else has without having to ask for it.

You don't need saving, but you obviously need a cash infusion.

67. Be active about your allyship. Just saying you are an ally but not doing enough to actually make a change isn’t enough.

[Nobody mention cotton ceilings.]

68. Avoid gendered slang terms like "dude," "man," or "missy." For trans people, these too feel like misgendering.

69. Expand your knowledge of gender. For example, the Yoruba language is genderless. There is also a third gender in many spiritual philosophies.

For those of us not hung up on gender, this really isn't necessary.

70. Decolonize the way you think of gender. Remind yourself that these social constructs are postcolonial issues that the western world have pushed onto people.

You might be happier consorting with the Yoruba.

71. Be hyper aware of the systems that work against trans folk in issues like policing, housing, and health care.

Hyper? Really?

72. Offer to help go to health meetings and assessments. These spaces and the people within them can be very triggering and cause distress.

I'm calling duplicate.

73. Correct yourself if you accidentally misgender someone. It doesn't matter if it was an accident—it still hurts.

And again. Seriously, you could've made your points, dubious as they are, without this monster list. Sorry, was that monstering?

74. Make no excuses for others. No trans person wants to hear one of your friends say something offensive, only for you to say, "I've known them for ages, they don’t mean it like that."

Still not doing much to dissuade me that this is a cult.

75. Don't forget that racism is rife in the queer community and trans people of color are often the most vulnerable. Protect us.

Let us cut to the chase: you want me to lay down my life for you, apologising with my last breath that I couldn't do more.

76. Do not call yourself an ally if you do not believe in complete intersectionality. You be xenophobic and be an ally for trans folk. It doesn’t work like that, I'm afraid!

Fortunately I not be an ally.

77. Sex work is a service. Again, this is not up for debate. Do not try to stop trans folk from advocating for and implementing their own safety measures. Do not hide your prejudice against sex workers with fake worry.

I'm proud of myself for only saying that once.

78. Do not ask to try on or feel a strap-on, breast plate, or packer. These belong to us.


79. Believe trans folk when they say they have been targeted. Recognize the hatred that is thrown at us from so many angles.

Paid by the word. I respect that.

80. Read Charlie Craggs' To My Trans Sisters, Juno Dawson's The Gender Games, C Riley Snorton’s Black on Both Sides, and Travis Alabanza’s Before I Step Outside (You Love Me).

I'll add it to the list.

81. Relearn there is no universal trans experience. Not all of us go through the same things—we are all shaped by our varying lives.

It just goes on and on and on.

82. Share our work. Often our talents are overlooked based on our gender identity.

Look – I'm sharing.

83. Step down. Take up less space. If you are asked to do or take about something that you think your trans friend, partner, or coworker is more qualified for. Give our names.

Should I see an advertisement for a compiler of epic bullshit lists, I'll forward your name.

84. Love us and see us as human beings. After all, that's what we are!

Again, welcome to the club.

85. Watch Pose, Paris is Burning, Tomboy, Tangerine.

Are they on Netflix? Am I bothered enough to check? Will have to get back to you on that.

86. Learn the correct terminology. Instead of saying "when you were a girl/a boy" say "your assigned gender at birth."

Will our robot overlords be programmed with gender, I wonder?

87. "Transgenders" is not a thing. We do not fall under one group. Never say that.

I'll promise to never make a typo if you also promise. Oh, I see what you mean. Well, I've never said that, and am not likely to. You, on the other hand, have shown a willingness to shove people you disagree with into monolithic groups. Please work on that. Do better.

88. Fight for our rights. Block and report pages or people spreading hate, too.

Now if only we could all agree on what constitutes hate.

89. Help to introduce gender neutral bathrooms. They should be way more common. Ask for them at work, cafes, bars, and venues.

If you truly care about people other than yourself, you'll be sensitive to their needs, too. Judging by your picture, I'd say you can get away with using the bathroom of your choice. Go for it.

Btw, I like that gap in your two front teeth. I've also got one. Dare I say, mine's bigger than yours.

90. If somebody who is trans asks you to go to the bathroom with them, go. This can be a very unsafe space for us.

Your enemies are legion. I almost forgot for a minute.

91. Pride is not for you to get drunk and smear glitter on your face. Respect that this is not your space.

Have you always been this controlling? Have you considered a career on the staff of a dictator?

92. Trans-only groups are there for a reason. These are also not your spaces.

Look no further: this is the definition of gall.

93. Your curiosity does not come before our comfort. Don't expect answers and labor.

If you really don't want to talk, I'm hardly going to bring out the waterboard.

94. Saying "I do not see gender" is hella problematic. We don't need another way to be erased.

Does all the policing ever get tiring?

95. Don't assume anything about gender dysphoria. Not everyone experiences it and not everyone experiences it in the same way. People navigate it with different coping mechanisms.

Thanks for another reminder that people are different. It's so easy to forget.

96. Do not deny your privilege. If you tell me that being a cis heterosexual white man doesn’t mean you haven't "had it rough," I will tell you that you are wrong.

There'll be no taking the fifth in kangaroo court.

97. I also am not playing Top Trumps with you. Don’t try to top my experience.

You like playing with yourself too much for me to want to interfere. I can almost empathise.

98. Not everything needs labels. As my grandmother would say: "Baby, some things just be as they be."

Your grandmother was a woman, right? Can we agree on that?

99. Intimacy can be even more complicated for some trans folk. Respect boundaries and ways people feel comfortable with nudity, tactility, and sex. This may mean being patient or unlearning what we deem as 'sex'.

Not sure I want to go there.

100. Find your own ways to disrupt the cis world. There are so many ways to do this.

To put this in terms you're most likely to understand, your validation appears to depend on invalidating other people. Didn’t you kick this off with the following?

Here are 100 ways that cis allies can help us.

You're confusing me, which I appreciate is a feature and not a bug. It's unclear if the cis are meant to be allies or enemies. Frenemies?

Are we done here?