Speaking personally, I was only vaguely aware of The White Ribbon Foundation through seeing a poster in the kitchen area of an office in which I was recently working.
Some male colleagues had signed their names on the poster under statements pledging to not hit their partners and to speak up should they see someone they know committing domestic violence or abuse.
My reaction was to think it was a pointless exercise but also a good scam; trick and bully corporates into paying the White Ribbon “protection fee” to have a representative come in and give a day’s awareness and have the company name added to the online register of organisations that don’t encourage their staff to beat up their spouses.
Domestic violence and abuse is one of those unopposable causes isn’t it? “What, you don’t agree we shouldn’t beat women up? What kind of a monster are you?”.
I’m somewhat surprised therefore by the financial collapse of the charity. Prima facie, this was a business model that should have been simplicity itself to maintain and earn a good living from.
In recent years, the corporate world has become a target for charity shakedown operations of which the White Ribbon Foundation seems to have been one of the more obvious.
The model seems to work along the lines of;
Define a worthy cause and frame it in terms that are incapable of being opposed without risk of catastrophic publicity,
Offer corporate “training” at an inflated fee,
Request “donations” in return for being named as a partner/ally/supporter.
Rinse and repeat.
Examples I can think of operating right now include all our favourite subjects; climate change, LGBTQptanyangkipperbang, indigenous businesses, gender equity, etc.
The credit for the original idea seems to be due to the infamous American race-baiting politician, Jesse Jackson, as described in the book “Shakedown” (the customer reviews are entertaining).
One wonders whether Jackson has ever thought to claim royalties from the numerous copycat charities operating around the world these days? Perhaps that’s a level of chutzpah too far even for him.
Jenna Guillaume lives in Sydney and is paid to write articles such as this one, in which she takes around 300 words to explain to us that she has clicked the “unfollow” button next to an American reality TV star’s name on Twitter.
At the risk of encouraging this rubbish, a delve into her Twitter account allows us to speculate about the reasons why she’s a) unfollowed the Kardashians, and b) wrote about it.
The reason she unfollowed the reality TV people is because it was making her unhappy about her body. Faced with the choice of doing something tangible to lose about 30kg or to use her thumb once on a smart phone, Jenna selected the less strenuous option.
The reason she wrote about it is because she clearly has no other employable skill. Let’s face it, if you’re a freelance writer “formerly” of Buzzfeed (fuck, how shit do you have to be to be let go from Buzzfeed?), employment options aren’t going to be very forthcoming. Uber driving, maybe?
As fun as it might be to pick on Jenna and her psychological issues relating to being a wheezing land whale, that’s not what today’s subject is really about.
Perhaps Jenna is a symptom of a cultural malaise. We’ve become so successful as a society and culture that we can afford to carry passengers such as the otherwise useless, Jenna Guillaume.
On the one hand, it’s a sign of how far we’ve come that someone with so little of worth to offer can still carve a living writing about such vacuous subjects as reality TV and “body positivity”.
The flip side to this is an atrophying of the qualities and values that are likely to have been contributing factors to our wealth and civilisation.
In another time or place, someone like Jenna Guillaume would have found her struggle with “body positivity” a long way down the list of priorities of topics for concern. Not dying of an incurable disease, violence or, ironically, a paucity of calories would have been rather more pressing day to day issues.
Somewhere in Syria, a jihadist is reading Jenna’s twitter account and reinforcing his belief that his god truly is on his side not ours.
This follows on from the Sydney suburbs of Leichardt and Haberfield being renamed to “Little Italy”.
What a great idea and an utterly genius way to improve the social cohesion between various ethnicities living in the melting pot of Australia.
Let’s step through some versions of the possible logic behind this decision:
Everyone is envious of Chinatown having a name other than “the southern part of Sussex Street”, so we should let everyone else name their place accordingly, or
We love multiculturalism so much, although we can’t really explain what it means but it feels like it’s a warm and lovely version of that 1971 advert for Coca Cola, or
There’s a majority of a particular ethnic group in my constituency and this locks their vote in for me next election.
As with all political decisions, the implications of this are only considered when they directly impact the next election cycle.
More curious minds might ask whether naming areas of a city after the majority ethnic groups residing there is a sound long term strategy?
Where might this lead?
Slippery slope fallacies are to be avoided but, if we now have three areas named in such a way, there’s obviously some level of trend to be observed.
It’s not hard to imagine a situation in the near future where tensions are inflamed because of a perception that this is “our area” and a particular ethnicity isn’t welcome.
It probably happens already to a certain extent but now such an attitude has a perception of legitimacy through Council decree.
Where might this end? Here’s some suggestions for future naming changes:
Lakemba: Little Lebanon
Glebe: Big Lesbos
Mascot: Little Guangzhou
S’nives: Little Jo’burg
Point Piper: Little Taxation
Paramatta Road: Little Hope And Maintenance
Gosford: Little Dentistry
Mosman: Little Empathy On Sea
Canberra: Little Accountability
Bondi: The Irish and the Jewish communities will have to fight it out for naming rights. The clever money is betting Mossad will beat Continuity Backpackers by a cricket score.
As fun as this is, there’s a couple of versions of the future that could be reasonably envisioned. They are both probably unrealistic, but I suspect only one was ever in the minds of the people behind this push to rename suburbs:
It’s unclear precisely when the facts changed but, at some point during the previous decade, the received opinion in the group of people who know these things is that it is not possible to be racist if you are not white.
The “logic” behind this repurposing of language is that racism=power+evil, or some similar daft equation.
So, for example, if you’re a black man shouting abuse at “crackers” you aren’t racist as long as the subject of your opprobrium is richer or more powerful in some other way than you. Actually, even that doesn’t matter; you could be a rich black person abusing a poor white person and still not be racist because four generations ago people who looked like you were enslaved by people who looked like the other person.
So the other person is the racist by genetics or, if they aren’t related to a slave owner and you aren’t the descendant of slaves, osmosis.
I think I’ve got that about right. Please correct me in the comments if not.
Similarly, being sexist is a crime exclusively committed by people who are bad people. Put another way, if you are a good person, you cannot be sexist.
Sounds a bit of a circular argument? Let me offer a worked example:
Let’s say your name is Arwa and you are a good person. You write a column in the Guardian, a newspaper that only publishes the thoughts of good people. Let’s say the article is full of opinions that, if written by a man who isn’t a good person (but I repeat myself) would be considered highly sexist because it explicitly states a woman’s worth is directly proportional to her beauty and appearance.
Therefore the completely objective assessment of the article is that it can’t be sexist and YOU are the sexist for thinking it might be sexist.
I hope that clears things up for you all.
In completely unrelated news, here’s an excellent article by Arwa Mahdarwi that doesn’t at all malign another woman as a completely brainless bimbo who is manipulated like a rag doll by those around her.
It is possible Trump just felt like cutting her hair. But if the Trumps care about anything, it is image; I wouldn’t dismiss the idea that Trump’s new cut is an attempt to get us to take her politicking more seriously. Women’s hair, after all, is tangled up in traditional ideas of femininity. There is a reason so many female politicians sport a short style known as the political bob (pob): it is less “feminine”, which makes them seem more powerful. So be afraid, be very afraid: Trump’s new do may well signify that she has ramped up her political ambitions. God help us all if she goes brunette.
If it wasn’t for double standards, the woke brigade would have no standards at all.
Imagine if anyone else had written that Guardian article explaining why Ivanka Trump has no personal agency and is, in fact, a tabula rasa to be written on by the men in her life.
…..is a condition where a caregiver creates the appearance of health problems in another person, typically their child. This may include injuring the child or altering test samples. They then present the person as being sick or injured. This occurs without a specific benefit to the caregiver. Permanent injury or death of the child may occur.
A proud mum of one of Britain’s youngest transgender children said she ‘grieved’ letting her little boy go.
Luna Schofield, born biologically male, has identified as female since the age of three.
“Since the age of three”.
She said: “Luna was asking when she could be a girl soon after her third birthday. I brushed it off as a phase and told her to stop being silly.
Good option. My experience of and, as a consequence, advice for dealing with unreasonable or dangerous requests from three year children is to ignore them and, if they continue, misdirect. “Oh look, Peppa Pig is on TV”.
Is that what Jeneen did, perhaps?
Of course not.
“But she kept asking. My family felt she was too young to make the decision to be a girl, but I didn’t want to tell her how she felt and knew this wasn’t going away.”
Jeneen’s family sound sensible. Shame the genes were only partially shared with Jeneen.
It’s interesting to learn the job titles of the medical professionals consulted on this issue:
Social psychologist Dr David Canter said: “No one should be assigned the label transgender before puberty. If the child is unhappy then the reasons should be explored without assigning labels.”
Consultant psychiatrist and TV doc Raj Persaud added: “A careful medical assessment is needed to understand what is going on. Only then can decisions be reached.”
So psychologists and psychiatrists. It’s almost as if we’re dealing with, erm, I dunno, a mental problem.
It’s also interesting to observe that, just like Emma Salkild and Charlize Theron, the mother of this transgender child no longer has the father in her life.
One of the great things about bringing up my children with their mother is, when one of us has a questionable idea or is acting unreasonably, the other parent takes them to one side and quietly tells them to stop being so fucking stupid.
It’s an imperfect system but the evidence from our household and millions of examples throughout history is that it probably works better than the alternatives. Expecting a single parent to make good decisions 100% of the time seems unrealistic, yet that’s what is inevitably required to happen.
Without wishing to pretend to be a mind-reader, it would seem like there’s more than a hint of attention-seeking on the part of the mothers in these cases. In each of these examples of pre-pubescent “mermaids”, there’s a large streak of mental illness on display, but it’s probably not the child who is demonstrating it.
“Luna” is probably fucked up for life already.
It will be interesting to read the subsequent court cases in 15 years time as zhe joins the massive class action against the UK’s NHS. My commiserations in advance to UK taxpayers.
If you’ve been living under a rock, been busy, aren’t interested in Australian politics or, frankly (and ironically), have a life, you might not have heard there’s an abortion debate going on in New South Wales.
Obviously, the first casualty in this type of debate is the truth. For the record, the legal status quo looks like this (where New South Wales is in green):
Keep that in mind before we look at the reporting on this issue.
In summary, a pregnant woman can have an abortion in NSW for several reasons, often quoted by pro-abortion lobbyists as the most valid arguments for terminating an unborn child’s life.
The one reason for an abortion not allowed in NSW is as a method of contraception. There’s a couple of big howevers to that; the woman could drive across the state border to the Australian Capital Territory and access abortion on demand there or find a doctor who is willing to prescribe abortion for reasons of mental health.
In other words, abortion in NSW is safe, legal, rare and, wink wink, not to be allowed for contraception.
That isn’t acceptable in these modern times though. Abortion on demand is a woman’s “right”, according to, well, the usual people we find ourselves regularly observing with incredulity here.
As the NSW government tears itself inside out trying to change the law whilst not losing the slim parliamentary majority it has, cue hand-wringing articles in our favourite woke organs of record.
This one, for example, which lists lots of terrible events which might lead to the agonising decision of a woman to kill her unborn child…. all of which are legal already and aren’t under threat of being criminalised.
Then there’s this article, which also describes an agonising choice made by a pregnant woman that is, wait for it, also not under threat of being made illegal.
What I’ve yet to find (please correct me in the comments if you’ve seen it) is an article explaining the current legislation and what impact the proposed changes will have if passed. i.e. will the categories of valid reasons be increased or decreased, will the time limit be decreased or increased, will abortion be available to be used as a form of contraception?
As I’ve stated earlier, my opinion on abortion has hardened the further away in time I have become from being likely to benefit from it.
The reporting on the current debate is actually activism not journalism. Cases on the margins are being cited as arguments for the change in legislation without explanation that these are already allowed.
If you are pro-abortion, I would suggest that, if your view is without nuance that it is completely the right of the pregnant woman to decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy, you are practicing a form of self-delusion.
If you believe the media reporting on the issue is balanced and impartial, I’d further suggest you may have a form of cognitive or mental deficiency. Perhaps I’ve only seen the worst examples though, so do post links to balanced reporting if you know of any.
There is a moral choice to be made with regards to abortion, but it is not the one many lobbyists might think. The choice to take an otherwise viable human life by abortion is actually the final choice in a long series of choices. In chronological order, those are:
Abstain from having sex.
Abstain from having sex with someone you know you don’t want to be be with for the rest of your life.
If you wish to have sex with someone who isn’t an obvious life partner, diligentlyand responsibly use contraception. Be aware that there will still be a residual risk of pregnancy.
If an “accident” happens, carry the baby to term and decide whether you can cope with parenthood after it’s born.
Offer the child up for adoption to one of the desperate couples who can’t conceive naturally.
And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Consider this headline:
At first blush, one might be wondering whether there’s been some sort of breakthrough at a genetic level that enables conception without sperm.
But then, bear in mind the advice we gave on how to get to the truth of these mendacious transgender journalistic attempts at confusion; look at the picture.
If, instinctively, you thought “Christ, the woman in red looks really unshaggable and pathetic but, fuck me, the one holding the bottle looks like she fell out of the Ugly Tree and hit every branch face-first on the way down“, you’d be right. It’s a man.
Let’s fisk the various and several language-mangling crimes the ABC’s David Sciasci commits, shall we?
Rebecca and Isabelle Sutherland have known each other since they were children.
The couple, now in their late 20s, married and experienced the wonder of being new parents to their four-month-old son, Bailey.
Now would be a good time to tell us how two women conceived a baby, given the headline suggested it’s a medical breakthrough.
Isabelle had been increasingly troubled by information she was reluctant to share with her partner, causing Rebecca to fear the worst.
“I was worried because it was not long after we got engaged,” Rebecca said.
She was convinced Isabelle was having second thoughts about their engagement. She guessed her fiance could be about to leave her for someone else.
“I just cornered her on the couch and was like, ‘You’re going to tell me whatever’s going on’,” Rebecca said.
Isabelle explained: “We just kind of broke down and I said, ‘Look, I’m trans,’ and Bec said, ‘Oh, is that all?'”
Oh, ok. So Isabelle is a woman now but was a bloke and therefore baby Bailey was conceived via her female penis?
As you were, medical students; it’s the miracle of life but not a significant moment in scientific history.
There’s a punchline though:
Rebecca said her fiance’s revelation prompted her to make her own. “Oh, I guess I have to tell her I’m bi now. I was keeping it a secret.”
Of course, the previous definition of bi (as in “bisexual”) was that a person found people of either gender sexually-attractive.
Rebecca’s new proposed definition seems to be, “I find men attractive, even the one sitting next to me, wearing my Mum’s dress”. The article is silent on whether or not she finds women with vaginas sexually attractive or not.
Let’s learn about the process to make a baby in 2019, shall we?
“We were never quite sure if we were going to try for a child before I started medically transitioning, or use in vitro fertilisation after the fact,” Isabelle said.
She began freezing her sperm in case she went ahead with a gender transition.
“Ultimately, we decided, ‘You know what, we’ll just give it a try for a couple of months to see how it goes before I start hormones. Maybe something will happen, maybe it won’t, we’ll play it by ear’,” Isabelle said.
Rebecca was pregnant two weeks later.
Man and woman have sex. They fall pregnant. It’s a miracle!
The rest of the article goes on to describe, with a few complications, a process everyone on the planet has been through already. There is this unintentionally-hilarious quote though (emphasis mine):
The Sutherlands said there were times during the pregnancy, before they changed hospitals, when some medical staff seemed judgmental and “hung up” on Bailey having two biological mothers.
I think we can read between the lines that the two “mothers” met someone who didn’t go along with their demand to pander to their shared mental illness.
Finally, here’s a lie for our age:
They say the most common question they are asked is: “Who’s mum?” They answer: both of them.
Anyone who has ever met adult humans before and takes one look at the pair of them knows which one gave birth.
I’m willing to bet there are more people alive who have set foot on the surface of planet Mars than have ever been genuinely unsure which of this pair physically gave birth to Bailey.
Rebecca, who is writing a memoir, hopes telling her family’s story will help transgender parents be accepted and better understood, to the point where, one day, “no one bats an eyelid”.
Sorry Rebecca, it doesn’t matter how much you or anyone else force other people to pretend, “Isabelle” is always going to have facial features defined by the rather inconvenient biological fact that he is a man.
Granted, a man suffering what was previously defined under DSM5 as a mental illness, but still and always a man.
I’d previously not heard of this Sam Smith. Apparently, he isn’t the brewery that produces some of Yorkshire’s finest ale.
Sorry, they isn’t the brewery…..
No, wait. That doesn’t sound right.
They aren’t the brewery? But aren’t suggests plural, does that mean they have just been cloned?
This transgender stuff is very hard to follow without completely breaking every grammatical rule we previously held to be correct.
Imagine poor old Sam’s dilemma; if they were fifteen years older, they would have been able to claim victim status simply by being homosexual. In 2019 though, being gay isn’t enough, especially in the entertainment industry.
Now, to stand out from the crowd, one must make claim to being a footsoldier fighting on the frontline of gender politics and announce to the world one’s transgender bona fides.
Of course, this is the epitome of crybullying; “Call me by whatever pronoun I tell you to or you are a hateful bigot“
Because nothing says mentally-stable than a claim that a pronoun is the key to your happiness and personal well-being…..
For those who haven’t been exposed to the views and, such that it is, the career, of Caroline Criado-Perez before it might be worth a quick read of her Wikipedia page or a similar biography to form a view on her motivation. I won’t lead the witness by offering an opinion at this stage.
Caroline has written a book, Invisible Women, in which she details the myriad ways the world we find ourselves living in has been designed, not for women, but for men.
If we assumed she started the interview with the worst example, we will be unsurprised to learn it is in the serious area of medical treatment. Apparently, medical research has been traditionally performed on males far more frequently than females.
Around that same time I also found out that we don’t tend to involve female humans or animals or cells in medical trials, and the result of that is women have less effective treatment and more side effects.
I don’t have access to the data to confirm the underlying assertion of that paragraph but, for the purposes of today’s blog post, I don’t need to. I will accept it as fact; medical research has been performed far more frequently on males.
The question leaping to the front of curious minds then is, why?
Perhaps there are three categories of answer to that question;
Mendacity by the medical profession including, one assumes, the many female research professionals, and/or
Negligent or sloppy thinking by the researchers, and/or
Some other more defensible reason.
We can all agree that, if category (1) and (2) were the most significant reasons medical research was carried out on males rather than females, there is a major scientific issue to be resolved.
However, before we start condemning as bad actors the thousands of medical researchers responsible for the huge positive health advances we have all benefited from over the last hundred years or so, let’s check whether there might not be some significant reasons behind Caroline’s discovery.
Without thinking too hard or long on the subject, I can think of the following possible reasons why males featured more frequently in medical research;
From its commencement as a subject of study, medical research was performed on the cadavers of executed prisoners. Throughout human history, men have been executed at an incredibly greater rate than women. It’s still true today in countries where the death penalty exists, as this hilarious HuffPo article confirms (hilarious because it’s desperately trying to say women are less likely to be executed because of duh patriarchy).
It’s an uncomfortable fact but we currently benefit from the findings of medical research of coerced and involuntary subjects. This includes prisoners who have agreed to the research but also awful and torturous research such as that on victims of the Holocaust. In the case of prisoners, as with the cadavers of executed prisoners, the demographics skew massively towards men.
Until the 1960s, women could not control their menstruation cycle and had less reliable pregnancy testing facilities than today. They were therefore at far greater risk of being unknowingly pregnant during the early stages after conception. Unless the medical research is to be specifically on the effects on unborn children, many women would be excluded from participating.
Let’s assume Caroline is a good faith actor. She’s made a wonderful career from finding reasons to suggest women are victims in almost every aspect of modern life, generally to the benefit of men.
Incentives matter though. There is currently very little reason for Caroline to search for logical and sensible reasons for the outcomes she documents but, instead, leaps to the far easier conclusion of duh patriarchy.
As Upton Sinclair famously put it;
It is difficult to get a man woman to understand something, when his her salary depends on his her not understanding it.
Finally, just to confirm to us that the issues Caroline raises are grave and important, let her describe the awful problems women have experienced, by design, in the area of technology:
The category of smartphones is a massive bugbear of mine because I actually got RSI [repetitive strain injury] from an iPhone 6. And I now am stuck with an iPhone SE which I can’t upgrade. The only small phone they had, they discontinued, and it’s the only one that fits my hand. It’s incredibly frustrating. And then later when [Apple] introduced Siri, you could use it to find a viagra supplier but not an abortion clinic. So there’s all sorts of examples like that, where there’s not as much thought being put into, you know—female customers exist.
Caroline Criado-Perez truly is our generation’s Rosa Parks or Emily Davidson.
“Cultural appropriation” is an interesting compound noun and one which prompts vicarious offence in some and extreme annoyance or amusement in others. We can find a definition on the internets that suggests the following:
Cultural appropriation, at times also phrased cultural misappropriation, is the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from disadvantaged minority cultures.
In other words, it’s another branch of critical theory or cultural Marxism. How can we be sure? The emphasis on power. The second sentence in the definition tries to explain why the first sentence is problematic and reverts to an argument of power imbalance.
Without that qualifying sentence, most reasonable and sane people would never consider there was anything sinister about their enjoyment of tea as a refreshing beverage, cooking a spaghetti bolognaise for dinner or using duvets as bedding whilst wearing pyjamas.
A Google Ngram search shows cultural appropriation is a very modern sin:
There is amusement to be had when engaging those issuing accusations of cultural appropriation, however; ask them to describe the margins. By which we mean, a situation where one person uses a useful cultural invention of others and what would be considered over the line and cultural appropriation. Much hilarity often ensues.
Let’s show a worked example:
Bill is a white Englishman who very much enjoys Indian food (but we repeat ourselves). Not content with enjoying the cuisine in his local restaurant, he holidays in India and attends a cookery course to learn how to expertly blend the spices and other ingredients. Back home in London, he hosts a dinner party for some friends where he delights them with his newly acquired knowledge.
At risk of building a strawman, one suspects the cultural Marxists would suggest he’s innocent up until the point he invites the other gammons round to eat his culturally appropriated food.
The problems with this arise following just the slightest scratching of the surface.
Problem #2 – Several of the main ingredients of Indian cuisine only arrived with the Europeans. Chillies, potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower, for example.
The burning question then is surely, which culture is Bill appropriating?
Bangladeshi? Perhaps, but maybe only those ex-pats who set up restaurants in Britain.
Indian? Perhaps, but if the cuisine they taught him is the Anglo-Bangladeshi version, maybe they are guilty of some cultural appropriation too.
South American? The cultivation of chillies, potatoes and tomatoes was initiated in South America but by which South Americans? Not necessarily the ones whose descendants are currently living there.
It’s a bit tricky, isn’t it?
It’s almost as if the people who suggest cultural appropriation is a sin are bullies who use a claim of vicarious offence as their justification (more on this in a later post).
Perhaps they are mistakenly or even deliberately missing the incredible amount of good work cultural appropriation has done for you, me, them and everyone around us? My suspicion is that they have fallen into the mental trap of zero sum thinking. That is, they believe there is a finite supply of something, in this case “cultural good”, and therefore feel it is their duty to protect those who they perceive as being without power from having their ration stolen.
Of course, this is the racism and bigotry of low expectations. The people who are having their culture “appropriated” have no qualms about taking the best bits of everyone else’s culture such as effective medicine, power generation, water sanitation, iPhones, Game of Thrones streaming, etc. and they really don’t give a shit if someone in another country is cooking a strange facsimile of the food they eat.
Returning to the Sydney Morning Herald report on Lionel Shriver’s visit, it’s interesting to note the article finishes with an explanation that Lionel wasn’t the original first name she was given by her parents, and that she changed it when she was 15. I have a couple of questions on that;