Biology is unfair

It’s been a busy week here at Chez Ockham, so our usual pastime of laughing at the news has taken a back seat.

This did pop up on the radar however, from the keyboard of our favourite Australian feminist; Clementine Ford has spotted that childbirth is painful and risky.

As is her idiom, La Ford jumps around several topics never quite finishing a thought or driving to a conclusion. However, the column is worth a fisk in the context of the use (or lack thereof) of critical thinking;

July 1 to July 8 is Australian Birth Trauma Awareness Week, and it’s probably more relevant to you and any birth parents you know than you might think. According to the Australasian Birth Trauma Association, “one in three women identify their births as traumatic” and “one in four first-time mothers suffer major physical damage”.

Firstly; what is a “birth parent”?

This is probably another one of Clementine’s land grabs to redefine language; it is possible that, rather than using the universally-accepted noun, “mother”, she’s positing the idea that a transgender person who calls themselves male but has a uterus is not a female.

Ok, Clementine, you are free to use language as you see fit but we are also free to ignore your attempt to redefine the meaning of words we all previously understood.

Trauma and physical damage can occur regardless of what kind of birth you have, whether it’s vaginal or caesarean and with or without planned intervention. As part of Birth Trauma Awareness Week, the ABTA are asking women and birth parents to share their stories either in a recorded video or a written narrative. Survivors of birth trauma are also encouraged to use the hashtags “#ABTA2018” and “#yourstorymatters”.

This second hashtag is particularly powerful because birth trauma is all too often minimised or dismissed entirely as self-indulgent whining from women who are just looking for something to complain about. Scan the comments section of any online article discussing birth trauma (or women’s complaints with the birth system in general) and you’ll find significant numbers of people snapping that “these bloody women” just need to get on with things and stop “seeking attention.” “Birth isn’t hard! Women do it every day! Get over it!”

There’s a few things to unpack there….

Quite how “powerful” are hashtags do we think? Ask anyone who doesn’t live their life on Twitter (i.e. 95.6% of the global population) what #yourstorymatters means to them for a quick indication.

As for using the comments section of online news articles as any kind of information data point, well, best of luck. Seek and ye shall find (whatever extreme view it is you’re looking for).

People do indeed give birth every day. In Australia, we’re lucky that the maternal mortality rate associated with birth here is far lower than many other countries. But something being common isn’t the same as something being safe, and the fact remains that childbirth is still one of the most dangerous things a person can go through.

“People” give birth? Oh, we’re really trying to avoid saying “women” aren’t we? Desperately trying, in fact.

Apart from the elevated risk of post-birth incontinence (at my first maternal health appointment, I was handed a leaflet titled One in Three Women Wet Themselves After Birth), roughly half of all those who birth vaginally will experience some kind of pelvic organ prolapse in their lifetime.

Nature has indeed, made mammalian live birth a physically-intense and potentially damaging act. I blame the patriarchy of the bloody therapsids.

The use of forceps presents a particular risk for pelvic floor avulsion (when the pelvic muscle tears away from the bone, leading to irreversible damage), yet a lack of education around birth options and “what’s best” means it’s still often considered preferable to emergency caesarean intervention.

Foreceps’ deliveries account for less than 5% of all births in Australia. Presumably the medical profession don’t rush into this procedure without defensible reasons?

The lack of space available to those of us who’ve given birth to tell our stories honestly and without apology is significant. It’s been almost two years since I gave birth to my son, but it’s only been in recent months that I’ve started to process what we both experienced that day, having previously always spoken about it matter-of-factly.

Hands up those who believe Clementine Ford suffers a lack of space to air her opinions? You sir, at the back? Oh, you were scratching your head.

I knew that birth trauma was a reality for many women who had given birth, but I was lucky to have escaped it. I was induced, labour lasted 18 hours, he was born, we were fine. The End.

She said “women”! Fire the sub-editor!

Or so I thought.

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend about the kinds of scars (both physical and emotional) that are commonly accumulated during labour and childbirth. As I told her about my own experience, I suddenly began to cry. Huge, wracking sobs. I realised I had spent the first two years of my son’s life repressing trauma in order to protect us both, but it was, at last, finding its way to the surface.

Clementine might be describing post-natal depression. She might also be describing the symptoms of a pre-existing mental illness. Just putting that out there.

The truth is, the birth of my son was traumatic. It was traumatic for all the normal, common reasons birth is traumatic. The intense physical pain made worse by synthetic drugs designed to bring on labour, the fear and anxiety about the health of my baby as labour progressed, the impact of vaginal birth itself…

But it was traumatic too because a lot of shit went wrong in ways that were potentially life-threatening. As my son emerged, it was with a slick of meconium over him (a sign a baby is in distress during labour and has defecated in-utero). I was given the briefest of glimpses of him before they whisked him away to a resuscitation table to make sure he hadn’t inhaled any of the fecal matter, which can lead to an extremely serious case of meconium aspiration. Thankfully, he was fine – but as they brought him back to me to hold, it became apparent that I was not. My tired, worn out uterus had stopped contracting which meant I was continuing to bleed.

As I tried to hold a wriggling newborn on my chest, the midwife furiously palpated my stomach to try and stimulate contractions, but it had given up completely. I was told I’d need to spend the next few hours on a low dose of syntocinin (the drug used in inductions) to help prevent post-partum haemorrhage (one of the leading causes of maternal mortality). By the time I was able to properly hold my baby, it had been at least a few hours since he was born.

It’s all about me, I am the first woman in history to give birth. Why are you not more interested?

This is a common story. But as I said earlier, being common isn’t the same as being safe or risk-free. Heart surgery is also common, but no-one would tell someone to get over that. The feminised nature of pregnancy and childbirth is what establishes it as some kind of “niche” concern in a sexist, patriarchal world. Women are expected to swallow our trauma because, as we’re repeatedly told, “the only thing that matters is a healthy child”.

A guest appearance for duh patriarchy there. We were wondering when it would be our fault.

Australian Birth Trauma Week is about reclaiming control over the horrendous, traumatising narratives that often rest uneasily alongside the powerful, transformative love we feel for our children. We are allowed to tell those stories. Our stories matter.

Lovely. And what tangible actions are we taking to improve the situation other than hashtags that nobody is looking at (2 days after publishing, the most daily uses of that hashtag was 20)?

Bill’s Opinion

Global maternal mortality fell by half between 1995 and 2015. There is obviously much more to be done to improve on that situation but the trend is very promising.

However, evolution has handed humans, and mammals in general, a dangerous method of reproduction compared to other animals as a compromise which allows for the post-birth development of larger brains. Until duh patriarchy finds a way to improve on that, childbirth will incur risk.

Uber 1 – London’s Mayor 0

Uber has won its battle with London’s Socialist Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and can continue to provide great value services to Londoners.

As we pointed out earlier, the decision to terminate their licence was purely political and not underpinned by any factual basis.

Bill’s Opinion

It’s nice to see the rule of law still sometimes works in London.

Perhaps the London ratepayers should send the legal bill to Mr. Khan.

Give it a (stupid) name

The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, has named her newborn baby daughter – Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford. This organ wishes the first family of New Zealand very best wishes for their future health and happiness.

One does wonder at the choice of name for the wee bairn, however. Let’s unpack that, shall we?

The first name, Neve, is actually an anglicisation of the Gaelic name, “Naimh”, which is pronounced “Neeve”.

The next two names are Maori for “of love” and is the name of a hill near Ms. Arden’s home.

Then there’s Jacinda’s surname, Arden and her husband’s partner’s surname, Gayford.

Bill’s Opinion

If we were the sort of people who gave a damn about this type of thing, we could suggest that calling your daughter, “Neve Te Aroha” is #CulturalAppropriation of both Irish and Maori culture.

As for the thoroughly modern habit of not being married but double-barrelling the two parents’ surnames; has anyone stopped for one moment to think what the next generation will be called? When Neve Te Ahora has children, let’s say with a Mr. Ponsonby Smythe, will the progeny be cursed with having to fill out official forms with “Arden Gayford Ponsonby Smythe”?

Where does this all end?

In all aspects of their lives, the regressive left are ridiculous.

The swimsuit issue

Reading or watching the news this week will have enlightened you with the fact that the Miss World competition is dropping the swimsuit element of the pageant and will be focussing instead on the achievements and character of the contestants rather than physical appearance.

….which is not dissimilar to existing competitions in the real world such as university entrance exams, job interviews, and other merit-based selection processes.

“How very progressive”, I don’t hear you say.

Of course, the coverage of the news aligns with whichever agenda the news outlet prefers to push; the NY Times piece linked above, for example, makes great mention of the female majority on the organisation’s board.

Statistics that seem to be lacking, on the other hand, include the viewing figures of the current competition. Perhaps my research is flawed but it would seem that, in the USA, only 172,000 tuned in to the 2016 broadcast, which is probably only a few more people than the extended families and friends of the contestants.

This chimes with the anecdotal experience too; think about it, have you ever had a conversation with a family member, friend or acquaintance about the Miss World competition? If so, was it at a time before or after the original Dukes of Hazzard tv series was still in production?

Bill’s Opinion

News articles helpfully informing us of changes to the Miss World competition format are about as relevant to most people’s lives as a 3 hour documentary on the relative merits of the viscosity of engine oil.

As for the future of Miss World now that the diversity balance has been addressed on the board, time will tell. It would seem that the prime objective of the competition (bringing an acceptable level of soft porn and glamour to mainstream TV viewing) has been somewhat usurped and trumped by the vast range of porn available on the internet.

Whether or not the competition can re-launch itself as a merit-based competition where physical beauty isn’t a factor will be interesting to observe, given that’s how most of the rest of human endeavour is judged anyway.

Of course, now that looks don’t matter, it surely won’t be long before the gender requirements will be challenged and dropped and the various attention-seeking types will enter the competition. A prediction for the archives; by 2025 a transgender person will be lauded for winning Miss World.

What other subjects are men not allowed an opinion on?

The other gift that keeps on giving*, Clementine Ford, offered another couple of hundred words in Sydney’s Morning Herald last week. The subject was the Irish referendum which resulted in abortion being legalised for a more wider range of reasons than previously. To be more accurate, the column would have probably been just fifty words if one could filter out “misogyny“, “toxic masculinity” and “rape culture“, i.e. Clementine’s default reasons for anything she finds offensive in the world.

As always with La Ford’s ramblings, she links multiple subjects (the war in Syria, border disputes in Israel, etc.) with the point she’s trying to make (“abortion should be legal and free on demand“), but there were two sentences that leap out as indicative of the mental gymnastics that must be performed to maintain a level of certainty as rock solid as Clementine’s.

This is the first;

Abortion is an issue of reproductive health-care, not morality.

Wait, what?

A useful epistemological technique to test the truth of a position is to look at the very extremes to see if the statement still holds true. In this case, we could imagine a situation where a full-term pregnant woman requests a termination whilst the baby is in the birth canal and in the process of being born, let’s suppose for reasons of her mental well-being.

If La Ford’s statement is correct, the midwife would have no need to hesitate before, sorry for the mental image, suffocating the baby as its head emerged from the woman’s vagina. It’s doubtful anyone sane reading this would disagree that there’s a moral element to that decision.

If we can agree on that, La Ford’s statement might still be true if we can find a point between conception and birth that the termination of the foetus doesn’t require a morality question to be answered. Birth minus 1 week? 5 weeks? 10 weeks? It seems hard to find a reason or trigger for her no morality decision required position.

The second sentence that indicates a contortion of logic is this one;

Men who cannot get pregnant need to learn that their opinions on this issue are irrelevant.

There’s quite a lot going on in those 16 words, let’s unpack them shall we?

Men who cannot get pregnant“. At first that seems a tautology; of course no man can get pregnant so why add the extra 4 words? Unless…… she’s making a very subtle point that there are some men who can get pregnant; men who used to be women but are now, in La Ford’s mind, men. Being a man and carrying a foetus to full term are not mutually-exclusive in Clementine’s mind. Okaaaaay.

Those “men” who weren’t born with a uterus and the other physical requirements to conceive and give birth, i.e. the people we used to call “men” in those halcyon days when all of us understood the term,  aren’t allowed to express an opinion on abortion, according to Clementine, and if they were to express an opinion, it would be deemed irrelevant.

Bill’s Opinion

At the risk of wasting my time writing an opinion that will instantly be dismissed as irrelevant because of nature of my genitalia, I’m going to anyway.

Abortion is a highly-nuanced and difficult issue and one that many very intelligent people have struggled with over several decades in many jurisdictions. That La Ford feels so certain that it is not an issue of morality and that a male’s opinion on the subject is irrelevant says more about her intellectual dwarfism rather than the correctness of her opinion.

As for men being able to give birth, that’s simply a land grab of language to suit a Cultural Marxist agenda.

As Bertrand Russell eloquently put it;

Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves.

Of course, Russell’s opinion is not relevant to La Ford because, in all likelihood, he had a penis.

 

 

*Herpes is the original gift that keeps on giving.

Perhaps feminists should talk to Jerry Hall

My mother said it was simple to keep a man, you must be a maid in the living room, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. I said I’d hire the other two and take care of the bedroom bit.

Jerry Hall

Jerry was wildly off the mark with her infamous quote. No, what the world really needs can be summed up by this classic piece of critical thinking;

But until men are doing, on average, half of this daily work (housework) worldwide, and finding the joy and benefits in it, we will not achieve the full equality that women and girls deserve.

Hopefully that’s cleared things up for everyone.

Of course, there’s a few assumptions inferred in the article linked above, none of which are explicitly called out or tested with those annoying things we sometimes refer to as “facts”.

Assumption 1

Men and women are equally-suited to whatever task they decide they wish to undertake.

Whilst it’s true that there are many areas of human endeavour where women and men are able to perform at equivalent levels of competency, there are surely countless areas where this is patently untrue. Anything requiring physical strength, real-time mental assessment of a parabolic curve, endurance, etc., as evidenced by the difference in Olympic records.

Yes, there are some women who are stronger, faster, more skillful at judging parabolas than many men, but these are on the extremes of the female distribution. A difference of one standard deviation results in almost 100% of the best humans at those tasks being male.

Assumption 2

Men are lazy bastards lying on the sofa while their wives clean the house.

Perhaps the author, Gary Barker, is guilty of this but the majority of men are busy working, often in more physically-demanding and dangerous jobs than women.

Assumption 3

All or most women actually want men to do half of the child caring and housework.

Sure, there will be some women who want there to be a perfect split of domestic duties but anyone who has met other humans recently would also realise that most women would rather not get up on a ladder with a bag of tools and fix the roof or sit on the laundry floor with the washing machine in bits as they hunt a rogue sock stuck between the drum and the filter.

Assumption 4 

The gender pay gap is significant and is a result of duh patriarchy.

Oh Uber, not only are you destroying vested interests and rent-seekers in the taxi industry, but you’ve chucked a big rock in to the previously-placid lake of feminist logic.

Bill’s Opinion

Gary Burton, CEO of Promundo Global and author of the article linked above is either guilty of mendacity in his avoidance of the 4 elephants in the room OR he’s unable to think critically about a subject without allowing his inherent biases to intervene.

What inherent biases?

Well, Promundo’s business model requires that there is gender injustice for it to justify taking the begging bowl to a plethora of governmental bodies for its funding each year. Click that link and go to page 16 – Financials and look at the number of different United Nations’ agencies so generously handing out other people’s money for us to be lectured about our domestic choices.

Oh, and it should surprise nobody that Gary’s utter bollocks was published on the website of our friends the World Economic Forum.

Dear Gary, do your own fucking vacuuming, you Cultural Marxist.

When intelligence is trumped by gullibility.

Regular readers of this organ will have realised that our assertion is freedom to choose and follow (or not follow) a religion is a very important principle, with the only caveat that doing so doesn’t impact on others’ freedom to live.

Therefore, if one chooses to believe that your prophet visited the moon on the back of a winged horse, you are most welcome to. If, however, you also believe that you must slaughter non-believers, we’re going to disagree quite robustly.

It could be argued and has been by various parties that not believing in a creator is also an act of faith; proving a negative is a particularly difficult task after all.

There are those who feel that a belief in something for which you have little to no proof other than the word of a third party (i.e. the definition of “faith”) is a form of mental illness. There’s certainly an argument to be made there but, given that existential questions of creation are unlikely to be solved to a high degree of scientific proof and we’d need to solve the problem of infinite regression, we all live with that unresolved internal discussion. We generally function on a day to day basis however.

Some religious adherents clearly are suffering from a dangerous delusion though and are a danger to themselves and/or others. When your religious beliefs require you to act out the crucifixion on Easter weekend, self-flaggelate for Ashura, murder Cathars for having the wrong version of Christianity or fly planes into tower blocks, there’s clearly a problem of the mind that is impacting physical reality.

Consider then what mental illness might look like from an atheist regressive progressive point of view;

New York lawyer self-immolated in protest against climate change.

Full disclosure; I have no evidence of what David Buckel’s religious views were at the point of death but, given his acceptance of two of the key tenants of the Cultural Marxist agenda and the extremely rare instance of anyone only believing one or two of the dozen or so must-believe doctrines, we’re guessing he didn’t believe in a creator.

Chances are he probably said, “Oh God” or “Jesus fucking Christ” at some point quite soon after flicking the flint on the Zippo though.

Bill’s Opinion

Unless he was an extremely modest polymath, it’s a safe assumption that the gay and trans rights lawyer David Buckel did not have a full and detailed understanding behind the science of climate change.

Yet he’d fully-accepted the impending doom of climate change as a solid fact based only on the testimony of third parties, like an illiterate peasant in medieval Britain blindly following the village Priest’s encouragement to join the crusades to liberate Jerusalem from heathen rule.

Perhaps he was suffering from an underlying mental illness, but perhaps the religiosity of the climate change pantechnicon and its followers is indistinguishable from religion?

Either way, the outcome is that he’s toast.

The best women are men part 2

He is free to make the wrong choice, but not free to succeed with it. He is free to evade reality, he is free to unfocus his mind and stumble blindly down any road he pleases, but not free to avoid the abyss he refuses to see.

Ayn Rand

The above quote is often summarised as, “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.

Consider then, the logical and ethical knots the UK Useful Idiots Labour Party is currently tying itself into;

Hundreds of Women Plan Mass Resignation from Labour Over Trans Ruling

For decades now, the party has been running a policy of women-only shortlists to select candidates to fight parliamentary seats. This has resulted in their current ratio of MPs; 101:129 female to male.

Let’s pause for a moment to question again whether equality of outcome is really our preference compared to equality of opportunity. Exhibit A in our proposition that all women shortlists perhaps might not result in the most stunningly intellectual representative for the voters;

Unedifying viewing, isn’t it. Consider whether, in a purely merit-based system of democracy, Diane Abbott would have a) ever been elected as an MP in the first place, or b) been continuously re-elected since 1987.

But back to all “women” shortlists.

The progressive types at Labour HQ decided a few months ago that the definition of “women” included anyone who identified as a woman. Let’s just expand that a little; they don’t need to dress like a woman, have been living as a woman for any period of time, have any medical assessment to confirm their transgender status and certainly they do not have to even consider any kind of hormonal or gender reassignment procedures. Quite simply, if they say they are, they are.

What could possibly go wrong? No, seriously, what could possibly go wrong with redefining fundamental existential nouns with meanings that have been universally understood for the entire history of the species?

Bill’s Opinion

We’re back to the dilemma du jour; the desire to not hurt one group’s sensitivities is being rudely interrupted by, oh I don’t know, let’s call it reality.

The progressive view is that history will judge as dinosaurs those raising the fact that humans are dimorphic. The alternate to this future is, of course, that the progressives are illogical to the point where they can only be suffering from almost clinical levels of cognitive dissonance or are simply mendacious.

 

When Hollywood is your moral compass….

Consider the possibility you may be quite lost.

Clementine “the other gift that keeps on giving” Ford* has been given some more column space this week. It almost feels wrong to pick her thoughts to pieces as she makes it so easy for anyone with half an hour on Google and a semi-curious mind.

In fact, sometimes her arguments are so irrational, illogical, easily disproved and emotional that one wonders whether she’s Australia’s equivalent of Henry Root. If she isn’t a parody, what remains of the sub-editorship at the Sydney Morning Herald legacy press ™ should probably resign and find a profession in which they have some level of competence.

The word salad we’re amused by this week is here; the real problem with women in film.

As is her idiom, the argument meanders around a little, never quite lingering on a specific point long enough to find a kernel of fact or objective truth. Fortunately, we can complete the unfinished task for her.

The key issues she raises are the following;

  • Women are underrepresented in the big budget, blockbuster films.
  • When they are in these films, they are more likely to be scantily clad and not say much. They are certainly not going to be depicted as intellectuals in the STEM subjects.
  • Disney movies have started to use titles that don’t have female names such as “Princess” even when the lead character is a Princess.
  • The paying public prefer it that way. This is a bad thing.

Let’s be somewhat reductive for a moment and summarise what dear Clementine is (in the words of Cathy Newman) trying to say; “people prefer to watch films of which, for ideological reasons, I disapprove“.

Perhaps I’m guilty of building a strawman here, so let’s look at those key points again.

Imagine the negotiation between a couple with a disposable income large enough to allow them to pay a babysitter on Saturday night, head out for a bite to eat and catch a film at the cinema.

Let’s assume the wife is of La Ford’s Third Wave Feminism persuasion (statistically unlikely, by the way; only 23% of American women even identify as “feminist” and far fewer “radical“) and she would like to see the Oscar winning movie, A Fantastic Woman.

On the other hand, the husband has spent his working week risking his life in a blue collar job (males are privileged enough to suffer 93% of the deaths in the workplace), being hectored about the patriarchy and watching as Women In Leadership quotas are applied to the roles above him. His entire waking moments these days seems to consist of being blamed for all societal ills and told he is part of the problem due to three personal attributes completely beyond his control, namely; skin colour (white), gender (male) and sexuality (heterosexual).

It may be understandable if he chooses not to pay to watch a film about the dire life of a transgender man living in Santiago, Chile on his day off.

So they compromise and watch something with superheroes or a crime thriller.

La Ford’s issue with Disney films has a simple explanation too; in recent years, Disney has found that childrens’ films with female names in their titles don’t do so well. This can be tested as a hypothesis by taking the list here, sorting by gross revenue (adjusted for inflation) and rating. After the two 1950s classics, Cinderella and Snow White, the next female titled film is the still ambiguously-titled Beauty and the Beast at Position 15. Next is Pocahontas at Position 20 then Little Mermaid at 25.

Disney is a business. Calling a film “Princess Sparkle” sells fewer tickets. It’s almost as if, I dunno, a film branded as female is more attractive to half of the population than the other half.

Perhaps the claim that Hollywood sexualise female characters is the most amusing. Does this come as a surprise to anyone?

Since when has the entertainment industry not been about sexualising females? Read the lyrics of Coward’s Don’t put your daughter on the stage, Mrs. Worthington for a veiled reference as to the venality of the profession.

The British joke punchline, “…..said the actress to the bishop” hints at the perception of a continuum linking the professions of actress and whore.

The surprise is that anyone honestly believes Hollywood has any moral basis to its works and the industry has any incentive to depict women in ways that fit the narrative of Third Wave Feminists such as Clementine Ford.

Bill’s Opinion

A common mistake by those on the left is to confuse what they feel should be reality with what is actually the case.

People are voting with their wallets and this greatly disappoints Clementine Ford.

It gets worse however; the Oscars have been increasingly picking box office failures as their Best Film Winner.

Which may explain why the public have, in droves, stopped watching the Oscars ceremony.

They’re watching something but it isn’t the virtue signalling of the luvvies.

If Clementine Ford’s opinions were popular, she wouldn’t be writing unedited OpEds in a free to read legacy newspaper with declining readership and revenue.

To stay with the film references, The Sydney Morning Herald’s annual readership figures are one of the most rapidly declining series since the Police Academy sequels.

* Herpes is the original gift that keeps on giving. Draw your own conclusions.

“Not diverse enough”

Have a guess what today’s headline is describing. Go on, give it your best shot.

We’ll start you off with a few options;

  • An exclusive golf club with an outdated dress code,
  • A 200 year old London gentlemen’s club,
  • The executive team running a FTSE100 company,
  • The government cabinet of ministers,
  • The shadow government cabinet of ministers,
  • The board of a charity with somewhat “progressive” credentials,
  • The nominees for a prestigious movie awards event,
  • Henry, the mild mannered janitor?

Nope, it’s the awfully-right wing London Pride carnival.

A quick history lesson for the younger readers; London’s “Pride” was originally “Gay Pride”, and started in 1972 on the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York. The riots were a response to Police brutality during a raid on a gay bar and are seen as a key pivot point for gay rights.

Language and definitions are useful milestones on the journey here. From the Wiki page on the Stonewall Riots (emphasis added);

Very few establishments welcomed openly gay people in the 1950s and 1960s. Those that did were often bars, although bar owners and managers were rarely gay. At the time, the Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia. It catered to an assortment of patrons and was known to be popular among the poorest and most marginalized people in the gay community: drag queens, transgender people, effeminate young men, butch lesbians, male prostitutes, and homeless youth.

All of those groups in italics were comfortable enough to be grouped as “gay” for the purposes of the subsequent civil rights activism which resulted in discriminatory laws to be repealed. i.e. the LGBTQI movement of today would have just the one one letter, “G”, back then and the “LBTQ and I” folk would have willingly got right behind it.

Bill’s Opinion

What started out as a civil rights movement in the 1970s has been incredibly successful. When the gay rights movement is compared with other civil rights struggles (Blacks in the USA, Catholics in Northern Ireland, for example), it’s clear that the key goals of the movement have been achieved in a remarkably short time period.

When many individuals can agree on a common goal, they naturally self-identify within a group; that’s the “gay” part of gay pride, an individual’s sub-category of gayness is less important whilst the main shared goal is still being pursued.

Perhaps though, when the shared goal has been attained and the consensus can’t agree on a compelling replacement, the group will fracture back down to the individual level. At the lowest level of analysis, we are all ultimately sitting in our own unique subset at the intersection of a myriad of Venn Diagram circles. Finding critical common unaddressed needs, gripes and complaints across very diverse individuals is actually quite rare in most circumstances.

The current trend is for this fracturing of previously large groups into much more tightly-defined smaller groups, hence the continued proliferation of letters each year on the LBGTQI continuum.

This should be actively encouraged by any sane individual who loathes identity politics because the natural end of the road for this trend is that we are all considered a minority; the individual is the world’s smallest minority.