The best women are men

Remember the transgender Aussie Rules player trying to play in the women’s league?

(Hannah Mouncey, not to be confused with a bricklayer from the 1970s)

Well, “Hannah” Mouncey has just been given the green light and is eligible to compete as a woman.

Readers outside Australia will probably find coverage of the league on satellite television channels or via the watch again facility on Australian tv channel seven. I’m sure most matches will be fun to watch but there will be an extra frisson of vicarious adrenaline rush if they show footage of the recently-female “Hannah” smashing in to an originally-female player.

See also; Fallon Fox.

Who has agency?

Those unfamiliar with the principled, intellectual and classy world of Australian politics may have missed this current affair (s’cuse the pun); the Deputy Prime Minister has left his wife and family for a member of his staff and has subsequently had a child with her.

As always, there are some other periphery issues to be aware of; the staffer was recently moved into a new tailor-made taxpayer-funded position and the Deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, has previously been a drum-beater for such things as “family values”. Whoops.

Well, nepotism and hypocrisy are nothing new in politics. Hand out the appropriate penalties, hoist him by his petard and move on.

What is more interesting, however, is the left’s take on all of this. There is a concerted effort to compare and contrast the situation with a hypothetical gender role reversal, obviously to bring our old nemesis duh patriarchy in to the firing line.

The link above has a TV monologue piece by veteran broadcaster (one hesitates to use the noun, “journalist”), Lisa Wilkinson, where she poses questions about how the story might have been handled should the genders have been reversed.

We’ll answer that question in a moment, first let’s look at one of the facts that are being touted in the list of reasons to damn the, already fucked, Barnaby Joyce; his paramour is 15 years his junior.

How do we feel this is relevant? Is she under the age of consent?

Not exactly, she’s 35 years young.

So why would the feminist, Lisa Wilkinson, think this is a relevant fact?

Bill’s Opinion

It’s subtle but the inference we are being offered is that a 35 year old woman was taken advantage of by the Deputy Prime Minister. Let’s rephrase that; a 35 year old professional woman does not have enough agency to make an informed decision about selecting her sexual partners.

That’s a fairly damning report card for the outcomes delivered by 3 waves of feminism.

Lastly, we can answer the “what if the genders were reversed, how would the press report it?” question with three words;

Julie “bicycle” Bishop.

Every Australian journalist reading this will be aware of the in-jokes, rumours and innuendo surrounding the Foreign Minister’s complicated and “busy” personal life. They will also be aware of how much of that has been investigated and reported on by the Canberra press corps – zero.

Hypocrisy is contingent on the observer’s viewpoint, it would seem.

That joke isn’t funny anymore

Think of your favourite jokes, comedy sketches or scenes from a funny film….

What is the one common thread that ties those chuckles together?

May I suggest, “laughing at someone’s expense”?

At the root of every successful form of comedy is some level of poking fun at someone else or oneself.

Comedy needs a victim.

The victim is seen to be deserving for various reasons; hubris, pride, arrogance, stupidity, aggression, etc. but, for whatever the reason they have deserved to be the butt of the joke, we find it amusing.

The acts of smiling, chuckling or laughing at joke, sketches or slapstick are completely involuntary, it’s almost impossible to control in advance what one finds amusing.

Yet, apparently, “Food allergies are not a punchline“.

Bill’s Opinion

Be very, very afraid of the joyless people who require us to not laugh at a joke.

As P.J. O’Rourke explains, they’ve confused the fact that they would prefer it if we didn’t find something funny with the reality that we still do.

He gives the example of Helen Keller falling down the well and breaking 4 fingers shouting for help. We know we shouldn’t laugh at that but we still do.

Q. How do you know if someone is gluten-intolerant?

A. It’s the first thing they’ll tell you.*

* also works for vegans, boot camp participants or people from Yorkshire.

Sorry seems to be the easiest word

Anyone who has been involved in rearing human infants will understand that the word “sorry” is the coda to the process of reconciling a malevolent or negligent act, not the start.

It’s also totally meaningless for the word to be said by anyone other than the person who committed the act, unless it’s used in the context of sympathy (“I’m sorry that happened to you”) instead.

Australian politicians don’t seem to have learned this important life lesson, however.

A decade ago the then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, apologised for previous Australian governments’ treatment of the Aboriginal people of Australia.

This year, the current Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, will apologise for child abuse committed in various institutions.

In addition to the word “sorry”, these apologies have a significant commonality; they are both meaningless because the speaker was not responsible for the crime. In most cases, the speaker was not even born at the time of the crime.

This new apology will receive much gushing news coverage and several soundbites will be carefully crafted to ensure their future use in television documentaries.

But let’s be clear; it will change nothing.

Fortunately, I’m not a victim of institutional child abuse (or any other kind of child abuse for that matter) but I am able to empathise with those who are. I assume that, if an apology were to be offered to the survivors, it would be far more likely to give them “closure” if the apology was delivered by the perpetrator.

If the perpetrator refused to give the apology or was unable to (most are dead now), perhaps it might give some satisfaction if their direct manager apologised for their part in the problem.

But there seems to be a rapidly diminishing law of returns in play as the apology moves further and further away from anyone actually involved at the time to the point that, when we reach the Prime Minister (in just his 3rd year in the job), it may as well be delivered by an out of work actor. At least the dramatic delivery would have a good chance of seeming genuine.

Bill’s Opinion

Apologising for history is virtue signalling nonsense.

We can understand why it is attractive to politicians however; it’s far simpler to say sorry for something you weren’t responsible for than to competently oversee the investigation and prosecution of criminals and assisting any living victims.

In other news, on behalf of the whole of western Christendom, I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the sacking of Constantinople in 1215. Hopefully we can all move on from here and find common ground.

Did you actually read the report?

Cognitive dissonance occurs when irrefutable facts meet a firmly-held world view.

At this point the subject has two stark choices; change their mind in light of new information or create a mental cul de sac in which to park the inconvenient truth with the hope that it will stay there quietly.

Read the summary of this study (the full paper is linked at the bottom of the article) and then select which choice our blue ticked Tweeter decided upon;

The study found that there was a 7% difference in hourly pay in favour of men and the difference was explained as follows;

20% due to selection of times and locations of rides accepted.

30% due to experience gained by longevity in the service and more hours worked when the longevity was equal.

50% due to men driving 2% faster than women so able to accept more fares in a given period. Other USA studies indicate females have more accidents but men have more fatal accidents.

Nancy still feels that the pay gap is due to duh patriarchy.

Bill’s Opinion

Uber’s algorithm is gender blind. The dataset of 1m drivers, 750m rides over 2 years clearly shows driver choices are responsible for the 7% pay difference.

The pay difference is similar to other industries. This isn’t to claim there is no sexism occurring resulting in pay gaps between men and women in other industries but it does raise a very serious doubt.

And Nancy has just learned the difficult lesson that facts don’t care about her feelings.

H/t View From Northcote

Probably the most subtle humblebrag of the month

And we’re only a week into February.

Translation for those who don’t speak Creepbook for Business English;

Look at me! Look at me!

I’ve made it so far up the corporate ladder that I have to travel for work. In fact, I’m working so hard that I’m at work about 3 hours before the rest of you proles even wake up.

However, I’m the victim here because, well, the patriarchy or something.

If you can search for the original post (I’m not going to put a link here as I prefer anonymity), the comments are great too with even more humblebragging stories of “creeps” in business class lounges.

Bill’s Opinion

Oh do just shut the fuck up, please.

Team Australia – World Policepersons

Two former Australian Defence Force Academy cadets are claiming they were discriminated over their transgender status.

Reading the article in the link may be difficult for some readers, this is due to the fact that the Sydney Morning Herald is quite imprecise in the language used throughout. Depending on one’s point of view, this confusion may be thought to be due to either a genuine desire to be sympathetic to the two subjects OR to deliberately cloud the truth.

After some re-reading, it becomes clear that a female (now called Joel) and male (now called Sarah) both joined the Australian armed forces as a woman and a man. Quite soon afterwards, they announced that they were “transitioning” to the opposite gender.

It should come to no surprise to anyone who has ever met a human that this this caused significant issues for all concerned.

For example, the woman now known as Joel found the physical training regime of her male colleagues somewhat inconvenient, as she was the only one running around with a large pair of functioning mammary glands tightly strapped to her chest. It takes some re-reading to realise that the issue was due to the fact that she was training alongside men, not women. It’s not clear from the article whose choice that was.

The selected quotes throughout the article reek of cognitive dissonance or at least an unhealthy lack of self-awareness.

Some favourites;

“I don’t know what person in their right mind would think, ‘oh great, I’ll join the Defence Force for a free transition’.”

“It would be much easier to work in a civilian capacity and save money and transition than it ever would socially to try and transition in Defence.”

Or, in English, “I joined an organisation which demands the highest physical strength, fitness and discipline standards along with a strong esprit de corps resulting in a lethal and highly-effective defence service to the nation. Apparently, being confused about one’s gender dilutes this somewhat“.

The man now know as Sarah seems similarly confused about the purpose of the military;

Miss Bowley said when she joined the ADF in 2011 she was overcompensating with extreme masculinity.

“I was so masculine I was described as the epitome of aggression,” Miss Bowley said.

“I went so far to prove to everyone and myself that I was masculine.”

But that changed after she attempted suicide twice.

Again, this might be translated in to vernacular English along the following lines, “Imagine my surprise to discover my employer was less than impressed, after hiring me in part due to my aggression, to discover I wanted to wear dresses and be known as Miss Sarah. Unreasonably, they felt this might be an unhelpful diversion in the field of combat“.

This is quite an interesting point and one which our diligent journalist, Kimberley Le Lievre, has either accidentally missed or deliberately missed;

Both Miss Bowley and Mr Wilson were medically downgraded against their wishes and despite their physical ability. A spokeswoman for Defence said members who were transitioning gender were not automatically downgraded.

Sounds terribly unfair, doesn’t it? Except, at the time, transgenderism had its own DSM-5 category as it was considered primarily a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. This was amended in May 2013 to merge the categories of transgender and depression to infer that people who are transgender and depressed are depressed regardless of their transgenderness not necessarily because of it. Regardless of where one stands on this assertion, it’s clear the Australia Defence Force were acting on current medical advice by diagnosing both subjects as medically-unfit.

Another hilarious quote;

“You might identify as male but you might say ‘hang on a minute, I don’t fit all of those’. That’s going to lead you to question things.”

Again, the last thing a fighting unit requires in battle is someone who is living in an existential flux status. You want to trust the person fighting next to you implicitly, if you know they don’t feel comfortable in their skin, one assumes that trust is going to be reduced.

And;

“Any organisation that has more diversity does better.”

That’s a claim with highly-dubious scientific sources but, even if proven correct in the world of commerce or pubic sector administration, I’d be willing to bet the defence budget on the fact that there isn’t a single corroborating study for fighting forces, especially ones that have fired live rounds any time recently.

Lastly, this gem;

“It was the scariest thing I’ve done, to be honest,” he said, of coming out while in the defence force.

Let’s have a moment’s silence for those who gave their lives on the Normandy Beaches while we consider the relative scariness of experience.

Bill’s Opinion

Being transgender is a personal tragedy for those concerned. The suicide rates within that demographic are the highest in society and do not drop for those who have the reassignment surgery.

These people should be supported and helped but with the realisation that, but for a recent capitulation by the APA, the professional opinion was agreed that they were suffering from a mental disorder, not some magical third gender yet to be explained by science.

Let’s support these people but for fuck’s sake keep them away from live weapons and in no way give them responsibility for the defence of anything so important as national security.

Meat is murder, cheese is rape

An Australian vegan was offended by a British ham and cheese sandwich this week.

I know, it sounds like the setup to a mediocre joke but, no, the offence was actually taken by the protein-deficient antipodean.

That vegans don’t eat, wear or use animal products is an incontrovertible fact. That they go around in a constant state of high offence that others do may be news to many of us.

Firstly, let’s remind ourself of the basic flow of offence when it occurs;

1. An external stimulus (words, pictures, sound, etc.).

2. The recipient mentally processes this.

3. The recipient then chooses to take offence (or in most cases, doesn’t).

4. The recipient loudly proclaims their new state of offence to the world.

5. The world continues to spin on its axis, the laws of physics are maintained, water still flows downhill, nothing of any consequence changes.

Imagine for a second, though, what it must be like to live in this state of constant offence; Joey Armstrong claims to be highly-offended by the sight of a “murdered” pig combined with “raped” cow milk processed into cheese.

This claim was made inside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, London. To have arrived there from Australia, Joey will have travelled to his nearest international airport, hopefully in a taxi that did not have leather seats, through the departure lounge replete with retail outlets selling leather products and multiple food outlets offering many meat items.

On the plane, he would have been unlikely to have avoided smelling and seeing the food choices of his fellow passengers; the clichéd “chicken or fish” option leaves little chance of an offence-free flight.

At Heathrow, he will have doubtless caught a whiff of the delicious toasted ham and cheese croissants sold by Pret á Manger just after the security checks. Then, into London, he’d be challenged to find a carriage on the Piccadilly Line or Heathrow Express trains without passengers wearing leather shoes, belts and jackets. There might have even been a bacon sandwich consumed in front of his crying eyes.

After such a traumatic journey, exiting at Oxford Circus station isn’t going to be much of a relief; he’ll have to pass yet more dead animal-wearing pedestrians, dead-animal flesh outlets (cafés) and, even when safely in the bowels of the BBC, he may have to witness a cold meat selection in the Green Room before the interview.

The poor chap will then have to experience it all in reverse on the way home to his vegan utopia homestead.

With so much offence and trauma being incurred, it’s a wonder Joey can still function enough to have a coherent conversation. Oh, hang on…..

Bill’s Opinion

One of two things are happening here, either;

  1. Joey is deeply offended and traumatised throughout most of his waking moments but somehow manages to function in a state of excruciating mental suffering, or
  2. He’s making it up and is a lying shit.

Lastly, who else is enjoying the irony of an Australian vegan called Joey Armstrong; a “Joey” being the name for a baby kangaroo and strong arms being the last thing one ever associates with pasty weak vegans.

We may need a new scale

In the UK, there’s an unwritten rule that Prime Ministers are compared on a scale of Chamberlain to Churchill.

Neville Chamberlain being the Prime Minister who championed the cowardly “appeasement” approach to German (illegal) re-armament and expansionism and Winston Churchill being, well, the Prime Minister who reversed that failed policy and guided the country to victory.

How might David Cameron compare on that scale?

He entered the position as leader of a coalition government. Many commentators suggest that he might have won a majority but for the conscious leap to the left of his party from a free market position to a more social-democratic one. This was his strategy to counter the successful move to a more centrist position by the Labour Party. It was argued at the time that the fact Labour could be successful by being more like the Conservatives was a great data point to suggest sticking with traditional Conservative policies.

Nonetheless, he had to run a compromise government for his first term, which resulted in the concession to his party’s core to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

His next term was with a small majority so without much of the horse-trading of the previous four years but the “damage” was done by then; the referendum was locked and loaded.

Although the Conservatives were originally the party who took Britain into the Common Market (the precursor to the EU) in 1973, the party had since grown to regret the move. Perhaps a clue being in the name “Common Market”; the original referendum sold the idea of a trading block, not the United States of Europe project that later emerged.

During the build up to the Brexit referendum, Cameron made much of his efforts to renegotiate the terms of membership with the EU. Brave talk was uttered about “red lines” and “no deal being better than a bad deal”. As any negotiator worth his coin knows, a BATNA is only any good if you’re prepared to actually accept it. The deals he brought back from Brussels were lip service and meaningless and he, like all of us, must have known this.

Yet, rather than follow the wishes of the core of his party and campaign to leave the EU, Cameron chose to campaign for the status quo. The problem being, of course, is there is never such a thing as the status quo, the day following a “Remain” vote there would have seen a massive increase in the “ever closer union” rhetoric from the EU. The voters knew this too.

Nevertheless, “Project Fear” was implemented in attempt to scare the voters away from the Brexit option. The stock market would crash, the pound would be toast, the crops would die in the fields, a swarm of radioactive locusts would eat newborn babies, etc.

None of which happened, as Cameron candidly admits in this “hot mic” recording.

Bill’s Opinion

Either David Cameron is a coward, refusing to make the hard decisions at every opportunity or he is a traitor, willing to sell his country to foreign interests contrary to the benefit of the British.

Over time, we may see the method of comparison for British Prime Ministers is reset to use the Cameron-Churchill scale.