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Mr William Joel:
I mentioned Brexit at the beginning: if you chose the wrong side you may have made an enemy for life, or at least forced a reappraisal by friends – "like finding out someone you otherwise respect is a Scientologist."* Nobody still in touch with their humanity wants there to be sides on this issue where genuine dysphoria is involved, but as long as rights are in opposition, there will be.

Truth needs honesty to make it whole. I don't have to agree with you, nice as that is. I do, however, have to believe that you're basically an honest person. This is ascertained by the integrity of your arguments. (That's probably one ascertain too many.) Liking the cut of your jib also comes into play, seeing as we're not all debating society material.

The ears have it

Lacking the bare necessities for debate, i.e., opposing views, I must needs tune in elsewhere – preferably somewhere with bikes nearby, as they make it more inviting. It's a shame when a forum no platforms itself. To coin a phrase, you might not do politics, but politics does you.

Claudius, apparently part giraffe

* actual comment I’ve just made up

House of Lords:
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."

Baroness Potato Head:
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.


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

--- Quote ---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.
--- End quote ---

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

--- Quote ---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.
--- End quote ---

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:

--- Quote ---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!
--- End quote ---

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:

--- Quote ---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.
--- End quote ---

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[close]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.

--- Quote ---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]
--- End quote ---

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 buzzzwordsDare 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:

--- Quote ---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.
--- End quote ---

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 won’t be going back, having had my fill of Clare and remaining unsatisfied.

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.


--- Quote ---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?
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---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.
--- End quote ---

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.

Oh be nice.

This just in:

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


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