Author Topic: TWAM

« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2021 »
I too have trouble with prose these days. I read some pieces from my University days recently and was struck by my former succinctness. I seldom achieve that now - there are so many caveats, word-fails, and possible assumptions to pre-empt online that I tend to go round the houses and end up back home with a nice cuppa instead. Still seeking more spaces between academia and quip.

Thinking about safe spaces I remember when I was a new parent and young musician. There was encouragement in the air for women to develop musical talent without sexist surroundings. Hence 'women only' workshops, with creche, yeah! But it was unsatisfactory for me. I am not arguing against the need for same sex safe spaces where these are vital, as they can be. There is sex underlying much music. What we ultimately needed was for men and women to play together without nastiness, plus creche very possibly. I hear this happening more and more now, so there is hope. Skateboarding has also made huge woman strides. Neither music or skateboarding could thrive in a universe without occaisional offence -

I agree about
a safe space, and not just for me. My definition of that isn't an absence of, to use a popular word, triggers, or unpleasant or disturbing concepts, but a sincere striving for integrity. It includes the freedom to be offensive, but...

The internet as it stands - riddled not only with advertising but also with its market research feedback loop - must not become the default medium. This is what is perhaps the most dangerous aspect of our response to covid.

I stumbled on this thread having first met Chompsky on another. If people I know do the same or similar I will not be embarrassed.


« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2021 »
I do wonder how I'd feel if I knew and cared for someone convinced they're the sex they're not. God knows it's easy to take a firm line online, but face to face?

Mostly agree about the dangers of the internet becoming the default medium (though it would be interesting if you expanded on that). It's safe to say it eventually became so for me after a friend introduced us in the late 90s. I have often thought of myself as the closest thing to a hermit that a person who enjoys being out in the world on his bike can be.

However, I have also taken pleasure in meeting new people since covid started shutting doors.

Heaven and hell
Close encounters

In my case it's not really the pandemic which has seemingly handed me the keys, but the latest in a lifelong series of mood swings which renders me alternately capable of company, and almost horrified of it.

I read some pieces from my University days recently and was struck by my former succinctness.

Amazing how much you know when you're younger, which can make it easier to be succinct.

More spaces between academia and quip sounds good.

« Reply #22 on: June 26, 2021 »
I am ashamed for this world and for what became of feminism that gender has become bigger when it should have been falling off the map.

From this,

to what?

To any feminists or trans-activists who may or may not be reading this - whatever your stand on trans issues - The process is the product. The medium is the message. You are giving power to market forces by campaigning via their channels.

I have been guilty of omission - lack of response to the misdirection of the womens' liberation movement into something more contrived, that which then allowed the media to lampoon and discredit it. I fell from my disgrace by defending Julie Burchill online for her support of her friend who had been vilified and threatened by a trans caucus. My attempting this Voltairian task rebounded with evidence that nowadays conclusions come first and reasoning a poor second. I then realised that as a time-to-time teacher I hadn't been half aware enough of the behaviourist culture creeping into primary education - this which I more or less hold responsible for the 'likey likey' nature of social media.

Where does Search Engine Optimisation come from? Can we abort it poet-partum?


  • London's hard-boiled black'n'white sweetie
« Reply #23 on: June 26, 2021 »
I dug this out ov yer © vault Ernie,

The Cookie Crumbles

The war beyond war
is a secret affair
so many like and share

It'll eat you under the table, see
meet your beat to the nth degree
wipe its lips on your cv

« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2021 »
Transspotting I recall when Rachel Riley put up the 8-letter word TRANNIES on the Countdown board.  I had never heard the word before (this was about 10 years ago – I think Nick Hewer was on his first day as host).  It seemed a rather quaint, endearing term your gran might use for men who enjoy dressing up in women's clothing (NOT dressing up as women, mind you, but as men dressed as women – think pepperpots).

We're (or at least I'm) not talking about drag queens, of which less said the merrier.  So, whatever happened to transvestites?  The female butch sort have been with us since Beowolf beat Grendel.  Every school had at least one.  And, less to the point, whatever happened to hermaphrodites? 

Trainspotting We all know that 'trans' means 'across' and 'cis' means 'smile for the camera', if you live where I do (Swiss cis, anyone?).  And it also means 'this side of'.  Until you take the train called the Cisalpino, in which you travel across the Alps.  Heaven only knows what a return ticket is called.  Round trip is certainly a circumalpino.  But, as sam has already said, I've no skin in this game. 

Trendspotting As Christine Keeler once said to me — Wait!  Delete that!  Start over.  (I'll save my dalliance with Miss Keeler for another day.)  As Christine Jorgensen once said to me, "I don't like it hot."  This is absolutely true.  I was cooking at the hotel where she was staying during a lecture tour of university campuses, and she came to the kitchen to speak to the chef.  "I thought I'd just pop back here to talk with you a while."

That was what led to a thirty-minute conversation I had with the 'notorious' transsexual of my generation.  She was writing a Scandinavian cookbook (perpetually, it turned out) and enjoyed talking with restaurant and hotel cooks.  She had an hour or two before she needed to get ready for her lecture, and if she wasn't eating early, she was eating late.  "But cook it a good half hour ahead of time.  I love hot food cooled down and cold food warmed up.  Room temperature is the objective."

We spoke of her tour.  I told her I'd not be able to hear her deliver her talk, so she covered what she thought I'd like to hear.  I don't know how she knew, but she was spot-on in her comments to me.  This was in the early-mid 1970s, and students those days were glad to be challenged by the new and the exciting.  Edward Teller was another controversial speaker I cooked for, but our orbits did not intersect.

Christine Jorgensen would have been de-platformed these days, to ensure she didn't spread word of her own experiences, which would contradict today's orthodoxy.  We spoke of George, her persona before the operations.  "We were never different people.  I'm still the same person George was.  You cannot change a person on the inside by changing the outside."

She mentioned her sister.  "We get along better now as sisters than we did as brother and sister.  My parents and I get along better now, as well."

Back to food – well, we never got back to food, except for preparing her early dinner.  As I recall, she wanted a beef sirloin steak grilled medium rare, then cooled, of course.  She probably had a salad with that and some rice.  She did say she liked the way rice cools down so fast.

Miss Jorgensen has the final word.  "Give everything time to develop its natural flavour," she told me.  Yes, indeed, with food and with life.


  • .
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2021 »

image search: Vertigo

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo has felled me again. I'm currently reading and typing on a laptop with the both of us tipped onto our right side, which besides having the advantage of quelling my nausea, makes it easier to curl into a fetal position. This is the classic position for someone who, pardon my hyperbole, just wants to die. I don't want to die. I just want everything to stop spinning.

We continue this thread with DeRigueurMortis, from Witchesnet Mumsnet:

What is it to be a woman?

I don't wake up thinking I feel like a woman today.

I'm just me.

That said I've lived a life that's been defined by my sex.

I wasn't seriously sexually assaulted at 17 by a man because of my gender identity. I was deliberately targeted because of my sex.

I couldn't "opt out" and not feel like a woman on the last day of my Uni finals because I had the period from hell and spent 3 hours with blood stained jeans after trying to answer questions with severe cramps.

I did succeed in my career in a male dominated industry only to find I was still expected to "take notes" and "play hostess's" even when more junior employees (men) were present.

I gave birth and suffered serious tearing which a male doctor thought "insignificant". Having insisted on being examined by a female doctor I was referred for surgery.

I had my coil replaced with no anaesthetic and passed out screaming in pain as the old one was removed only to come round and find a new one had been inserted (that I would not have consented to) and then bled for 3 weeks.

I've spent thousands of pounds over the years on sanitary protection and pain relief.

Going through peri right now and I've had to fight tooth and nail with my male GP to get HRT. Apparently I'm expected to deal with night sweats that mean I average 4 hours sleep and have to be in the spare bedroom so I don't disturb DH as well as myself.

I don't feel like a woman.

I am one.

No trans woman can ever have these experiences.

They have a notion, a concept about being female is that is mostly rooted in the most inconsequential aspects of women's lives such a lipstick and clothing.

I, like most women I think, spend relatively little mental energy on such matters in comparison to how much I expend on being safe and looking after/worrying about my health in relation specifically to my female anatomy (checking for breast lumps, attending smear tests etc).

Yet these experiences are apparently nothing.

Because men can be women.

They can take away the very word and definition of what a female is.

That's the biggest fucking steal in history and I'm not having it.

Her post made me think of Clare Flourish. Unless Clare has upped Clare's game considerably since my last visit, I can't see Clare lasting 5 minutes in a fair discussion with people who have their critical faculties engaged. However, Clare* would fit right in at the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times:

There is no doubt that Wi Spa did the right thing in defending the right of a transgender customer to be nude in the women’s area, even though the sight of male-appearing genitalia discomfited at least one female customer, who complained at the front desk.

"Male-appearing genitalia". Let that soak in. And this, a tweet which will live in infamy:

Less infamous but disturbing in its own way (note this is unrelated to the bad Penny hot take above):

This gambit never fails to leave me unimpressed. As TheShadowyFeminist put it:

I think I've (almost) become immune to the bad faith smearing of women who have concerns with male inclusion in female spaces as 'right wing' by trans activists. It's no less a bad faith argument coming from a co-founder of [Woman’s Place UK].

* What can I say, I like the name.

I visited Clare's site again, in search of any words of wisdom about the Wi Spa. Didn't find them, but I did spot The Orrery, which charmed me enough to read more, disinclined as I was to give the works of Clare any more of my time. (Here's an example of someone I have time for.)

An Explanation of Trans Ideology made me reconsider if Clare would indeed last 5 minutes with people who don't agree with the premise that "Anyone who wants to be is a woman." For all I know, Clare already has, and then some. That's not to say Clare's powers of reasoning (never mind capacity for empathy) stand up to any real scrutiny; just that when you have a way with words, as Clare undoubtedly does, you can, at least, keep a conversation going... if a conversation is what you want in the first place.

"How you can ride side saddle? This is so uncomfortable."
above: Alchemist distilling the essence of Woman, discovers Kool-Aid.

« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2021 »
Hello - interesting to hear from you David.

I haven't got very much to say in reply - I'm mostly showing up to say I'm still around.

However there is a campaign to have an 'x' box on your birth certificate rather than 'm' or 'f' - this would be a huge advance for those born intersex or hermaphrodite, and I feel, more fundamentally important than any legislation regarding gender identity. I have talked with someone who was subjected to 'correction' surgery as a baby because they didn't fit either box. I want a society where fitting into boxes is not a priority, for all sorts of reasons.

I feel safe enough here to say that I have been assaulted for being a woman, for being a 'batty man' and for being 'weird' - the point to this confession not being to score points on any scale but to say the problem is not mine, it is in the eye of the beholder. I do largely blame behaviourism - the shortcut to niceness for teachers uncomfortable with reason. More hard-hitting than C.P. because internalised as the comfort zone. Sometime around the early seventies we had a better future within focus.

Descending into minutiae of classification to oppose discrimination in particular or in general seems the penultimate irony (The ultimate being the recommendation to register on the database of people who don't want to be on databases.)


« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2021 »
I wasn't of an age to appreciate all the 70s had to offer (though apparently had a political conscience, as I remember dissing Nixon on the playground). In some ways it seems much better than where we are now. Even Nixon, bad as he was, would be an improvement on the leadership in the current GOP.

As a minor example of bridling over being put in boxes, my first job required a necktie for us XYs.

This incensed me, as women were allowed to breathe free and subject to no discernable code. I was jealous!

More seriously (though both the physical uncomfortableness and the symbolism of wearing a noose are worth diatribes), as a box ticking exercise it's good the NHS knows I'm male. Other than that it seldom comes up except at places like mumsnet, where stereotypes are rife, and on the road, where it's hard not to notice that male cyclists heavily outnumber female. On my old forum I made an effort to keep the atmosphere from getting too blokey.

Today's must-read:
Just as the mobile phone demanded a personal account of a human on a daily basis with their social media so Genderism demanded an audit of the human soul of the new young. They were to account for their souls to a binary of action man and barbie.

This public form of life by committee meant all those secret, forgotten, private things. Those nights in a forest, that time she got drunk and wore her hair short or he played with makeup. All those crazy wild, tropical butterflies of youth. That vast swarm of colours.....

Each had to be pinned dead to a board and labelled like an exhibit in the natural history museum. This life permanently observed had no space for private, human, wild, nights in the dark. It had no place to accept that something can happen even if it is not observed.

Genderism pinned the butterflies to boards and made them dead and still. The curators told of their wild colours and tropical identities but they had the pallor and stillness of the soul of a thing living half it's life. They became collectors of who they were.


Irreversible Damage
« Reply #28 on: July 17, 2021 »


Regnery was blindsided by the ABA's statement, according to president and publisher Thomas Spence, who denounced the organization's characterization of the incident as "an act of violence." In an e-mail to PW, Spence wrote: "The only explanation I can think of for the ABA's statement that credits them with a rational (though dishonorable) motive is that they're trying to drum up publicity for their annual Banned Books Week promotion, coming in September (this year's slogan: 'Censorship Divides Us'). Perhaps finding books that have been 'banned,' in any meaningful sense, is so difficult that they have been forced to do the dirty work themselves."

For starters, please take the negative reviews with a grain of salt. I highly doubt they read the book and just looked at the cover. Admittedly, the cover makes it sound antagonistic to the trans community - it's not. This book isn't critiquing geninue gender dysphoria, but rather rapid onset gender dysphoria that is plaguing the hearts and minds of many young LGBTQ+ people. As a lesbian, this book resonates with me a lot. I've been told I should transition because I look more "masculine" and I should "conform to gender roles." What an insane concept to me. What's scary and why I appreciate books like this, is because if I was just a decade or so younger, I probably would've thought I should be a man, that I'm not normal for liking girls as a woman. I probably would've seriously considered transitioning, and the serious psychological plight it would've had once I tried to detransition. (Many aspects of HRT are permanent). Anyway, if you're a parent, gender confused, or LGBTQ+, or just generally curious, please read this book.

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. The subtitle ("The Transgender Craze Seducing Out Daughters") has a definite whiff of moral panic about it, and I was a bit worried it might be a bit cringey, but I heard an interview with the writer and she didn't come across that way, so I'm going to guess it was added by the publishers to try and whip up sales or something. It does at least show pretty clearly who the book is aimed at: parents of teenage girls. Not the girls themselves (but please can someone else write that book, because we need it).

There's a little-discussed phenomenon that's been going around in the last few years known as Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria, which has mainly been affecting girls and young women. Essentially, it does just what the name implies: children who have never shown any sign of gender confusion become suddenly and overwhelmingly convinced that they were born in the wrong body. The teenage years have always been pretty hard on girls and they are more susceptible than boys to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, cutting and eating disorders. ROGD is just the latest manifestation of this.

The author is really at her best when describing the mental state of girls experiencing the pain of growing up in modern society, with its restrictions, its loneliness, its unrealistic expectations and its ubiquitous porn. She has real compassion, and sheds a lot of light for parents (especially male parents like me) on what their daughters might be going through. She does this without being judgemental and certainly without dismissing actual trans people: she has interviewed many for the book, and refers to them respectfully throughout. To that extent, it isn't really about being trans at all: she wants to distinguish between the different strands of the trans community and point out that in most cases, these girls aren't really a part of it at all.

Having laid the groundwork to establish this, she describes the social contagion aspect of ROGD and related trends, and the online network of people who "support" girls by basically encouraging them to embrace the illness, and offering a ton of peer-pressure to stop them turning back. There are loads of first-hand testimonies to support this. She describes the well-meaning but wrong-headed professionals who are trained to only ever affirm the girls' self-diagnosis, never to suggest exploring other related mental health concerns.

Parents, who know the children best and love them above all else, are often treated by professionals as if they are somehow holding their children back. In some cases they are even given the stark choice "would you rather have a living son or a dead daughter", which is a horrible way of posing the dilemma, since it is designed to hijack the parents' natural protective instincts and guilt them into colluding with their daughters taking Lupron then, later, losing their fertility, changing their voice and appearance permanently and even undergoing unnecessary surgery.

In America, where big pharma has already made a fortune from over-diagnosing childhood ADHD, depression and anxiety, the possibility of a whole new market of lifelong patients to buy hormone blockers, testosterone and pain meds is a godsend. It's really agonising for me, as a parent, to think of children herded down this road to victimhood by adults who really ought to bloody know better. And my heart goes out to the parents in the book, even though they aren't always sympathetic. Some are very supportive, trying to do the right thing, but unsure what that is. Others are bitter and angry at seeing their children lured away by an online cult. And it's the parents, more than anyone, who can benefit from this book, because there isn't really anything else on the market right now.

It's not going to scold you or scare you, it's pretty level-headed. It has its flaws or course, all books do, but it really opens your eyes to what's happening. It shows that there is hope, and that you can be an anchor for your daughter, to help her regain a sense of herself as she is, without feeling like you are hectoring her.

Of course, you'll be castigated by activists anyway and called a transphobes, because that's the world we live in now: read some of the one star reviews from people who obviously haven't read the book if you want to get an idea of what to expect. But someone has to stand up for the girls, and if professionals won't, if the online community won't, well it'll just have to be the parents, won't it?

« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2021 »
Ah - I guess this incident is a candidate for the Irony #1 spot.

The trans liberation movement is in early days as a popular phenomenon. What odds the current media worship to excess becomes the sauce for a bitter backlash within a decade?

Such tactics have been used before.