Author Topic: Hearts and minds


Hearts and minds
« on: May 30, 2022 »
I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been increasingly spellbound by trans issues since my first post about them in TWAM. (Shouldn't be hard to find. I'd link to it anyway, but this is an experiment: a post with no links. Wish me luck.)

It blows my mind that we're at a place where a male can say he's female or a female male or either neither and be taken seriously by academics, 'scientists' (well, scientists worthy of tongs), politicians, those who regard with suspicion anything outside the walled garden of the Guardian, and other Serious People. That a feeling inside one's head can now supersede objective reality. This has real world consequences which keep on unfolding, despite being dismissed as ammunition from the right for culture wars. The mission creep is relentless.

Once you commit to TWAW you cross over. Things make sense to you that make no sense to those who haven't crossed over with you. Take this excerpt from a 2018 story in Them called 'New Research Shows a Vast Majority of Cis People Won't Date Trans People':

Surprisingly, among the 127 participants open to dating a trans person, almost half selected a trans person of a gender incongruent with their stated sexual orientation. For example, 50% of the trans-inclusive straight women and 28% of the trans-inclusive gay men were willing to date a trans woman, even though one wouldn’t expect either straight women or gay men to be attracted to women. Similarly, 50% of trans-inclusive straight men and 69% of trans-inclusive lesbians said they’d date a trans man, even though both groups are presumably only attracted to women.

My bold. Oy vey (shoutout to Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg).

Being transgender is a mental health condition. I know that sounds terrible, like I'm calling them crazy. I'm not. I hope people who feel trapped in the wrong body can find peace. Personally I think the only route to this is for gender noncomformity to be widely accepted and boundaries respected. We had this down ages ago - think 70s and 80s gender bender rock stars - but it seems like an impossible dream now.

I started by saying I'm not ashamed, but maybe I am, a little. I do post about this a lot.* Perhaps I'm wondering if I've become a crank, like Graham Linehan. If only I were that prolific and talented (though my Downfall on this subject is better than his).

A recent tweet by Tom Wilson, the guy who recently got Billy Bragg to go full Godwin on Twitter, prompted this post. "Hearts and minds, people," he said simply. I try to use both.

Hearts and minds
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2022 »
* Old business:
Quote from: Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Tomorrow's Eve
Every human occupation has its repertoire of stock phrases, within which every man twists and turn until his death. His vocabulary, which seems so lavish, reduces itself to a hundred routine formulas at most, which he repeats over and over.

Which is my way of admitting that I've just repeated myself and promise to again, because we all do. Though I'll try not to. Perhaps not very hard.

New business:
For today's post I'm borrowing Henry, who along with Millicent Fawcett helped found Newnham College. You know, for the dames.

This will all make sense in a minute
Look, if you don't have a Twatter* account, I applaud you. But you're going to miss a lot of interesting stuff.

* the preferred spelling for those who resist Big Bird's embrace

BBC ‘altered gender in trans rape claim’
The BBC changed the testimony of a rape victim after a debate over the pronouns of her transgender attacker, The Times has learnt and I'm simply copying rather than putting in that extra bit of effort. The woman referred to her alleged rapist as “him” but insiders said that her words were changed to avoid “misgendering” the abuser in an article on the corporation’s website. Here's The Vipers' take on it. Vipers = what the Mumsnet cognoscenti call themselves, as in nest of.

F*ck the Tories: a Thread Dedicated to Suella Braverman
(Their asterisk, not mine. Corporate policy is actually to double down on profanity where prudent.) I've already been triggered by this thread on my hopefully infamous Lurk board. Fortunately someone is patiently and ably attending to the necessaries, to the consternation of Labour berserkers.

I'd like to vote red. It's not going to happen for various reasons, including the fact that too many of them are either dissembling or honest fools hypnotised by the big swinging dicks of Stonewall and other institution influencers.

[mentally insert pic of Swingometer photoshopped with the appropriate male anatomy]

Kellie Jay Keen and Tucker Carlson of Fox News
The Vipers again, in a supplementary entry. I'd pay good money

to see the F*ck the Tories crew dropped into the pit to see if any of them make it out alive. (Apologies if that sounds too much like literal violence. For clarity: with their logic uneviscerated.)



A tune to mark the four month anniversary of my terminal disappointment with Yet another cycling forum. I almost imagine visitors from across the road humming along; we could do an ironic duet.

A hard rain's a-gonna fall
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2022 »
If this is your first click here, I should make it clear that I do not in fact identify as a monarch. It's George's birthday. Coincidentally there's a lot of royalism in the air for some reason (though PinkNews certainly isn't feeling the love).

Busy day yesterday at Herne Hill Velodrome. Inclusivity was afoot:
We have created two new race categories – Thunder and Lightning – that take the physical performance of cis-men or cis-women [sic] as the starting point of each, and invites those of similar ability to race in that category, regardless of gender. It is a radical rethink of what a race could look like, celebrating the differences between riders but offering a level playing field in terms of competition.

Kissing fairness goodbye

Quote from: the Twittersphere
This might be the picture that encapsulates the issue with males in women’s sports so perfectly. 2 males celebrating 1st and 2nd place and the woman looking after her child in 3rd.
They're women. Sit down.
They're men. Wake up.

Official statement by one of the winners:
You know I cheated, I know I cheated, but there's nothing you can do about it.

Sorry, that was a malcontent over yonder, where another spoilsport did the math:
Quote from: nepeta
Because there are now two finals in both the Thunder and the Lightning categories (finals A and B), a total of twelve racers won something (goods, mostly, but also small amounts of money).

Had Thunder and Lightning been divided on the basis of sex, six men and six women would have won something (placed first, second or third in the two finals for each main category).

But given the new inclusiveness, TEN men and TWO women won something! This is how fairness marches forwards.

After the inevitable fallout the organisers had this to say before retreating to their safe space:
We will not be commenting further, especially to the media, or anyone who wishes to use our welcoming and inclusive race to push their narrative.

BREAKING: Jo Smith (the one holding her daughter) has spoken.

Apparently Jo helped organise the event, otherwise a cynic might suggest this was meant to placate trans activists, whose pile ons tend to be a bit nastier than their counterparts.

She briefly took her account private, perhaps finding the slow handclap too painful. We can thank the combined forces of Mumsnet and The Daily Mail – a marriage made in hell – for the attention.

For the record, I am totally uninterested in competitive cycling for either sex. However, Olympic class folly is always a spectacle. Call it genderWHOOSH.

Hearts and minds
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2022 »
NHS drops the word ‘women’ from online health guidance

The Moral Atrocity of “Top Surgery”
Alarming headline ✓. Conservative source ✓. Your point being?

OH HB151, aka the genital inspection bill
Sec. 3313.5318. (A) Each school that participates in athletic competitions or events administered by an organization that regulates interscholastic athletic conferences or events shall designate interscholastic athletic teams based on the sex of the participants as follows:

(1) Separate teams for participants of the female sex within female sports divisions;
(2) Separate teams for participants of the male sex within male sports divisions;
(3) If applicable, co-ed teams for participants of the female and male sexes within co-ed sports divisions.

(B) No school, interscholastic conference, or organization that regulates interscholastic athletics shall permit individuals of the male sex to participate on athletic teams or in athletic competitions designated only for participants of the female sex.

(C) If a participant's sex is disputed, the participant shall establish the participant's sex by presenting a signed physician's statement indicating the participant's sex based upon only the following:

(1) The participant's internal and external reproductive anatomy;
(2) The participant's normal endogenously produced levels of testosterone;
(3) An analysis of the participant's genetic makeup.

More red meat to the base. (Funny how red is the colour for Republicans in the US and Labour in the UK.)

Actual inspections are unlikely given that your doctor probably has a good idea of your sex already. In any case, nobody is going to be happy with that level of invasiveness no matter how well intentioned the bill. If only there were some sort of certification of one's sex at birth.

What made you change your mind?
I started paying attention.

Hearts and minds
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2022 »
If Steph were to roll up to help my heart out of a jam

I like to think I'd have the presence of mind not to grill him about his Twitter activity. It's just basic survival instinct.

Yes of course any abuse he's getting is terrible; no end of people can restate the obvious. Doubtless his female co-workers have many horror stories.

Only by his tweets and retweets may we know a man's soul (and that of his followers. Paging Dr Greene.) I'm pretty sure Steph is attempting to reboot his childhood. Here's an example: a boy likes dolls, grows his hair and dons a pink dress, so he's really a girl. Did I miss the panel where he clicked his heels together?

As for this emotional blackmail, words fail.

Hearts and minds
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2022 »
A movement that depends on silencing and attacking the livelihoods of its critics is surely not one to take pride in.

More to be proud of.

Hearts and minds
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2022 »
Your Moral Panic™ links and quotes for the day:

White House Gnosticism
The trans movement holds that gender is “just a performance,” but its demands are adamantine. And of course, the trans idea, especially as it’s communicated to young people, is full of metaphysical assertions about being “born in the wrong body.” Or that there is a truer, inner self that is at odds with the body that contains it. Why should anyone credit this talk? It is not scientific or all that rational. In this world we do not ever encounter selves apart from their bodies. For those who are literate in metaphysical ideas, the transgender movement is just Gnosticism repackaged. Why should the White House have any truck with it? By what right could it possibly impose these views across the medical community, or on any public institution at all?

A Blight on the Presidency and the Nation
The sense of betrayal over the Times piece among gender-affirming trans activists is palpable—and revealing. These activists regard dissemination of their ideology by the nation’s leading public opinion organs as an entitlement; they have zero tolerance for dissent.

“Gender Identity and Expression” Stow Away on Resurfacing Anti-Racism Bill
The first reading passed without discussion, as is now protocol. The entire proceeding took less than one minute and fourteen seconds, including the Deputy Speaker’s introduction of MP Vuong, and the next proceeding, Mr Vuong’s own introduction of the bill, the planning of the Second reading, and a brief inaudible interruption to which the Deputy Speaker replied, “Am I going too fast?”. Yes Deputy Speaker, all of this is going way too fast! We are talking about legislation that has the capacity to forever tarnish the lives of those “suspected” of having the intention of saying something “hateful” on social media or news media/outlets, including on our personal blogs.

The GenderBread Man is coming
In case you thought that a small corner of your world might escape: “Trans / non-binary inclusion never stops; to keep the journey alive is straightforward. You need to consider building it into all the things that you do.”

What went wrong at the Tavistock clinic for trans teenagers?
[Dr David Bell] puts medically transitioning children alongside the early 20th-century craze for curing mental illness with lobotomies. “Like lobotomy, there is no evidence. Like lobotomy, it starts with a patient in an impossible state and, initially, seems to work, then it becomes the universal cure.” Bell argues that with mental (as opposed to physical) medicine, “The existence of a treatment creates the illness. Good centres for pneumonia wouldn’t create more pneumonia cases. Whereas with ‘false memory syndrome’, in the Nineties, suddenly you had lots of cases. It was the same when Freud wrote about hysteria.

“So I think we have a group who, at one time, would have been anorexic. A lot of them became self-harmers, had borderline personalities, and then became transgender. So they’re people dealing with similar kinds of problems, but they get refracted through the lens of what’s going on in the culture.”

A New Religion
I’ve been to Sabbath services in Dublin synagogues and have meditated at ‘Dzogchen Beara’, the Buddhist retreat centre in west Cork. I’ve stayed with the nuns at Glencairn monastery in County Waterford and participated in a pagan Mayday celebration on the Hill of Tara which involved scattering white rose petals on a pentagram with its lines chalked out on grass. I’ve danced with witches in Clonegal Castle in County Wexford and peered into the holy well in the castle dungeon which, at the time, was a ‘Temple of Isis’. I’ve interviewed members of Atheist Ireland and the Church of Scientology.

People from all these religions and belief systems permitted me to enter their worlds with no compulsion on me to participate or to believe. Yet today, in Ireland, when it comes to gender identity theory, it is becoming difficult to adopt the phenomenological perspective as there is increasing pressure to accept this theory uncritically.

The right side of history or the winning side?
People who've experienced—or fear—real powerlessness need recourse to a truth that doesn't live in anyone's head but can be made plain for all to see. So it's curious to see the World's Most OppressedⒸ people making arguments from unquestionable personal authority, while warping processes and institutions that are designed to seek the truth and silencing the people who speak it. That's power's agenda.

Here's another by Eliza, with this instant classic: 'Somehow, telling lesbians that they “just haven’t tried the right dick yet” went woke.'

Billy Bragg
"Billy is a social construct. Anyone who wants to be a Billy can be a Billy."

Hearts and minds
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2022 »
First, of course, we owe Lia Thomas a big thanks for the work he put into this.

There's still a lot to be done as we crawl back to the obvious, but it's a start.

Now to Bristol, where bothsidesism is alive and well.

a little rewrite and we're good to go

To be fair to the Black Pampers (clearly inspired by David Lammy), I don't think they were threatening the women with immediate death when they turned up in their playfully menacing attire; it's the desire to maintain women*s rights that got them a little overexcited. Happens to the best of us.

FishFright, is that you?

* A must read article, if you can get past your squeamishness about the Daily Mail, dear lurker. I know how hard it is simply by virtue of the zillion ads and pop ups. Wait a minute – here it is again, without ads.

Hearts and minds
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2022 »
Looks like I'm a pope today. Nobody is more surprised than me. Let's not dwell on it.

This is insanely catchy.

What happened in Bristol was appalling. You really start to wonder what is the point of the police. I mean, other than supporting existing power dynamics, which they're quite good at. Were some of those women armed with stickers, I wonder? Because then it would be totally understandable why the authorities treated the sides equally: stickers are horrific. (Here's some history.) I'm going on about stickers because it's a nice way to compare and contrast peaceful free speech with genuinely unhinged behaviour worth, you know, policing.

Here's another taste. A few people have pointed out that it sounds a bit like a [Godwin] rally in the background.

Statement from Kellie-Jay, one of the trans activists' favourite demons:

Standing for women statement
“Bristol Speakers’ corner” event,
College Green, Bristol
19th June 2022

Standing for women organised a women’s free speech event “Let Women Speak”, not a protest or a rally.  It’s an event aimed at combatting the silencing of women’s voices on the erasure of our rights, our spaces and our language posed by the totalitarian transgender promoting ideologues.
We are not afraid to take this issue to the wider public who are covertly being kettled into this pernicious and dishonest ideology through national and local government, the justice system, global corporations, our NHS and schools.   
Our attendees are peaceful law abiding concerned citizens, they are mostly women.  We invite ordinary women to speak, we are a broad church.  Standing For Women is apolitical, all women are welcome. We even fight for the rights of women who disagree with us.
We refute the claims made by some media and the Avon and Somerset police that there was bad behaviour on “both sides”. Aggressive and threatening men, on the MRA/TRA side, were very close to our wardens and attendees.  They shouted obscenities in the faces of women and they tried to push through the police line, there were physical confrontations by men in masks.
Our communications lead, Iris, had worked very hard to inform the police about the sort of male aggression and violence women may encounter.  She was, frankly, ignored.  This was particularly striking following our event in Manchester. The policing in Bristol was inadequate and dangerous.  The male aggression and intimidation women experienced in Bristol was revolting.   Women were told to die, get in the sea by threatening men in masks.
Women were asked by the police to go home, rather than enjoy refreshments in a bar we had hired.  Apparently the police can choose to protect women on the basis of whether or not we are eating or drinking, as a senior officer told me that the police were not here to protect us in the pub. The Slug and Lettuce, St.Nicholas Street, Bristol decided to close rather than continue serving joyful and peace loving women due to the male aggressors surrounding the venue.  The police did not disperse the agitators and maintained that they could not guarantee our safety.
Standing For Women will be asking Chief Constable Sarah Crewand, PCC Mark Shelford, Mayor Marvin Rees, and Minister of State for Crime and Policing Kit Malthouse to examine footage to see how better to protect women at public events.
No other group of people would be expected to bow so submissively to the whims of threatening aggressors.  Women know that the police would have worked harder to protect us if we had been men calling themselves women, rather than the old fashioned adult human female variety.
Standing For Women would like to thank all of the brave attendees who faced the onslaught of violent misogyny and made their voices heard.  We extend special thanks to those women who held the line as wardens and our Communications lead, Iris, who went above and beyond to try and facilitate a peaceful gathering.
Kellie-Jay and team
PS. Boys, we won't be quiet.

Everyone calm down
Nothing to see here, just another man relishing smacking women.

Neither marginalised, abused nor vulnerable
A little reminder.

I'm going to say based for the first and last time.

This was funny. Spotted in this thread.

Hearts and minds
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2022 »

Updated Marcus Aurelius:
The object is not to be inclusive, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the incoherent.

Cueing this up again, because it gets me every time:

Another copy & paste collection of whatever caught my eye.

On self-identifying
This is all a bit like insisting a feather doesn't respond to gravity by coercing everyone to stand underneath it and blow on it—even to the point of trying to legislate a sustaining breeze. Quite aside from the petty authoritarianism self-id imposes on other people, what’s actually freeing gets lost in the scramble: being yourself, not caring too much what other people think, not depending on external validation to prop up your sense of self.

Quote from:  EsmaCannonball
I have a problem with chosen pronouns because forced pretending is deeply humiliating and proves all the power lies with the gender ideologists, but even worse is being forced to be sexist (and sometimes homophobic) by colluding with idea that gender is what makes us a man or a woman. A man standing in front of me and making me pretend he's a woman, because he is mimicking a sexist conception of womanhood, is degrading me. It's not about politeness, it's about power.

The Evil of Banality
Large-scale social transformations can’t be accomplished without the vehemence of activists and the complicity of institutions, but they also tend to require the nonchalance of the chattering class, which is often most influential not when it opines but when it yawns.

The end of No Debate in Ireland
The attempt to collapse a wide range of concerns and problems into “questioning trans people’s right to exist” is transparent by daylight. The cat is out of the bag. You can call it a bad, transphobic cat, you can intimate that Putin would love a cat like that but rational people will start to wonder what’s your problem with cats.

Quote from: GarethKeenan Q.E.D.
Um. I don't think I'm allowed to say what I think. 

Which is a huge part of the problem.

Trying to erase the biological definition of sex isn’t just misguided – it’s dangerous
I wish people would think harder about why this anti-materialist movement, which campaigns for subjectively determined human identities to take precedence over biology, has gained so much strength at the precise moment in history when it is most essential that we should be materialists, prepared to confront the limits of nature.

Jonathan Liew
Waaaay too many good replies to choose one.

Quote from: Interested Party
Now when you hear the word 'inclusion' you know someone is looking to breach someone else's boundaries.

Open letter: The National Lottery and LGB Alliance
A distinguished collection of signatures, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Laurel Hubbard and the Olympics Trans Inclusion Policy
It’s easy to get a scientific consensus of course when you don’t invite any dissenting voices to the table. It seems that the success of women in the last few years in defending women’s sports may have a direct correlation to just exactly how irritated the medical and science director of the IOC appears to be.

Crony Beliefs
From first principles, we should expect ordinary beliefs to be treated with level-headed pragmatism. They have only one job to do — model the world — and when they do it poorly, we suffer. This naturally leads to such attitudes as a fear of being wrong and even an eagerness to be criticized and corrected. As Karl Popper and (more recently) David Deutsch have argued, knowledge can't exist without criticism. If we want to be right in the long run, we have to accept that we'll often be wrong in the short run, and be willing to do the needful thing, i.e., discard questionable beliefs. This may sound vaguely heroic or psychologically difficult, somehow, but it's not. A meritocracy experiences no anguish in letting go of a misbelief and adopting a better one, even its opposite.

Labour and women
Here's a thread of just some of the statements Labour Party politicians have made when asked about women's rights and spaces against the backdrop of an increasing number of males who identify as women.

Quote from: achillestoes
Keir Starmer puts his ear to the ground and hears the steady rumble of his own tumble dryer.