You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2016.

Music is a generative expression of our thoughts and feelings.  A couple of weeks ago we featured the adagio from Bach’s BWV 974 – guess where he transcribed it from?  You guessed it gentle reader, this particular oboe concerto.  The video is cued to the adagio, but feel free to listen to the allegro and presto as well.

Being a pianist I’m a bit biased toward the transcription for keyboard, but the original work more than holds its own.


debate    The following is an exchange on tumblr between littlepumkinprincess and auntiewanda.  I have changed the formatting a bit for the sake of readability, but their words and ideas remain the same.  Many of the arguments that occur between gender critical feminists and trans-advocates play out in this exchange.  It is certainly not an exhaustive collection of all the point/counter-points that exist but rather it illustrates a cross-section of what many interactions happen to look like.  

Discussions of this nature tend to be controversial, so a reminder here to please be civil and respectful in the comment section.


  “I’m not advocating violence against TERF’s but I am saying y’all need to stop playing the victim when you’re named that because you treat transgender people like shit, you don’t need special treatment because people called you out on that.”

  The criteria for “treating like shit” seems to be “not agreeing with”.

  And by “not agreeing with” you mean misgendering them, mentally and physically abusing them, excluding them in feminism, denying them human rights.

  Okay, saying to a transwoman “I don’t agree you’re a woman” is physical abuse how? And also mental abuse how? Being upset at someone doesn’t automatically mean they’re mentally abusing you.

  I don’t exclude transgender people from feminism, I apply feminism to the concept the same way I do anything else, and it comes up sexist.

   Also how is not agreeing with someone that they are a thing they demonstrably aren’t a human rights issue? And why does it seem to be a double standard for transgender people? Or is Rachel Dolezal being mentally abused and denied human rights when people say she’s not what she claims?

   When you say a transwoman isn’t a woman this leads people to believe it’s a ‘man in disguise’ and they need to protect poor women from them! See: transgender bathroom issues. This is the same belief system that allows people to think that physical abuse is okay, and just because you’re not doing it yourself doesn’t mean you’re not advocating that system.

How is demanding equal rights for genders sexist? Seeing as they’re women, I don’t see how it’s sexist considering feminism is the equality of men and women.

Gender dysphoria has proven that trans people are what they say they are, so idk how you can even say demonstrably. It’s a human rights issue because they’re treated as lesser than: they’re getting murdered at large rates, for example. Rachel is not mentally ill, she does it to cheat a system that’s there to help people who need it. There’s no proven racial dysphoria. Transgender people are genuinely who they say they are. Not to mention many parents try to ‘fix’ it by forcing them to be who they don’t feel they are and it leads to depression and suicide. Even IF you don’t believe them why does that mean you get to treat them like shit? I’m just curious, like you seem to believe just because you don’t agree with their lifestyle means you get to treat them like that when they aren’t harming anyone by living that way. That’s the same shit pro lifers do.

> When you say a transwoman isn’t a woman this leads people to believe it’s a ‘man in disguise’ and they need to protect poor women from them! See: transgender bathroom issues.

  The issue with codifying use of “preferred” bathrooms, changing facilities etc. into law is more if the only criteria for a biologically male person to gain access to a female designated facility is for him to say “I am a woman” you’re exposing women to increased risk of predators.

 Such as in the Christopher Hambrook case where a serial rapist gained access to two women’s shelters for prolong periods of time and sexually assaulted two women (that we know of) and all he had to do was claim to be a transwoman and they could not legally turn him away.

 Plenty of transwomen who “just need to pee” already do so, are in and out of the women’s restroom with no issue. Why the hell should a legal loophole be created for predators to exploit?

> This is the same belief system that allows people to think that physical abuse is okay,

That’s a pretty big leap in logic there.

> How is demanding equal rights for genders sexist? Seeing as they’re women, I don’t see how it’s sexist considering feminism is the equality of men and women.

Transgender is a sexist concept in that it that operates on the belief that the socially constructed gender roles for the sexes are inherent to the sexes.

> Gender dysphoria has proven that trans people are what they say they are

How? People sincerely believe things that aren’t true all the time.

> so idk how you can even say demonstrably

It’s pretty easy to prove which sex someone is.

> Rachel is not mentally ill, she does it to cheat a system that’s there to help people who need it

   Rachel Dolezal claims she’s always felt like she’s black, ever since she was a child. She identifies as black, she says what she does isn’t blackface. She says whiteness doesn’t describe her. So is she mentally ill or is her identity authentic? I mean she managed to become head of a local NAACP branch before she was discovered to be transethnic.

> Not to mention many parents try to ‘fix’ it by forcing them to be who they don’t feel they are and it leads to depression and suicide.

  And many parents try to “fix” it by only allowing their children to play with or wear things stereotypically associated with the opposite sex after they take their kid to a therapist who tells them their kid is actually the opposite sex in their brain, which is something completely unproven.

> I’m just curious, like you seem to believe just because you don’t agree with their lifestyle means you get to treat them like that when they aren’t harming anyone by living that way.

  And what am I supposed to do? Lie about my viewpoint? Say “oh yes dear, you’re absolutely a woman, never mind you’re offending me with the stereotypical sexist ideas you have of what a woman even is.”

[Found on Not Your Safe Space]


The Feminist Current is a bastion of “not the fun kind” of feminist discourse – Meghan Murphy steps up with this bold article and describes the challenges that women face when fighting for the radical notion that feminism should centre women in its practice.


   “Women who challenge discourse around “gender identity” have been largely isolated on the front lines for the past decade. Liberal feminists and progressives have chosen identity politics over feminism many times over and this is no exception. Those who are not invested in women’s liberation are well aware that the power they seek cannot be gained from supporting the independent women’s movement, and most haven’t bothered to think hard enough about the roots of patriarchy to understand what it is we are fighting in the first place. But even many of those whose politics are otherwise rooted radical feminist principles have felt afraid to publicly question the dogma of gender identity discourse. We are only too aware that refusing to accept and parrot back commonly accepted mantras places you on the wrong end of a modern witch hunt.

I don’t deny that I felt afraid, for many years, to take a firm position on discourse surrounding gender identity and trans politics, despite my opinion that women-only space and organizing is central to the feminist movement and to supporting women recovering from male violence.

In fact, for many years, I wasn’t quite sure what my position was, and worried that speaking out against the naturalizing of sexist gender roles that has come hand in hand with support for what is called “trans rights” would distract from my fight against the sex industry and violence against women. Punishments for questioning trans politics include losing one’s job, censorship, blacklisting, being physically and otherwise threatened and attacked by transactivists, and social ostracization — all things that prevent women from speaking out. (I have suffered many of these punishments already, of course, for failing to toe the party line and for allying with women labelled “TERF” or “transphobic.”)

We live in a time wherein basic feminist ideas have become unspeakable, while anti-feminist slurs and smears are widely accepted and even celebrated by those who claim to be social justice activists and progressives.

Regardless of the risks, I cannot, in good faith, support the neoliberal, individualistic notion of “gender identity”  — not as a feminist who understands how patriarchy came to be and continues to prevail or as a leftist who understands how systems of power work. I do not wish to be silent in the face of regressive and anti-feminist discourse, because I know that my silence does not help empower other women to speak out. I do not wish to abandon my sisters who have already suffered immensely for speaking out.”

-Megan Murphy

   Go read the rest of this article at the Feminist Current, it is an important powerful work.

Insightful essays not your bag?  A window looking into current events as they happen, and not how the handlers say they happen a bit too much?  Then don’t subscribe to Tom’s Dispatch.

This excerpt from ‘Bombs Away’ by Tom Engelhardt

“1. Success and Failure: Without a hint of exaggeration, you could say that, at the cost of $400,000 to $500,000, al-Qaeda’s 9/11 air assault created Washington’s multi-trillion-dollar Global War on Terror.  With a microscopic hijacked air force and a single morning’s air campaign, that group provoked an administration already dreaming of global domination into launching a worldwide air war (with a significant ground component) that would turn the TOPSHOTS-SYRIA-CONFLICTGreater Middle East — then a relatively calm (if largely autocratic) region — into a morass of conflicts, failed or collapsed states, ruined cities, and refugees by the millions, in which extreme Islamic terror outfits now seem to sprout like so many mushrooms.  This, you might say, was the brilliance of Osama bin Laden.  Seldom has so little air power (or perhaps power of any sort) been leveraged quite so purposefully into such sweeping consequences.  It may represent the most successful use of strategic bombing — that is, air power aimed at the civilian population of, and morale in, an enemy country — in history.

On the other hand, with only a slight hint of exaggeration, you might also conclude that seldom has an air campaign without end (almost 15 years and still expanding at the cost of untold billions of dollars) proven quite so unsuccessful.  Put another way, you could perhaps conclude that, in these years, Washington has bombed and missiled a world of Islamist terror outfits into existence.

On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda was the most modest of forces with militant followers in perhaps the low thousands in Afghanistan and tiny numbers of scattered supporters elsewhere on the planet.  Now, there are al-Qaeda spin-offs and wannabe outfits, often thriving, from Pakistan to Yemen, Syria to North Africa, and of course the Islamic State (ISIS), that self-proclaimed “caliphate” of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, still holds a sizeable chunk of territory in Iraq and Syria while its “brand” has spread to groups from Afghanistan to Libya.

Minimally, the U.S. air campaign, which has certainly killed enough terror leaders, “lieutenants,” “militants,” and others over these years, has shown no ability to halt the process and arguably has ploughed remarkably fertile ground for it.  Yet in response to the next terror outrage (as in Libya recently), the bombs continue to fall.  It’s a curious record in the generally disappointing annals of air power and well worth considering in more detail.”


Watch as the mythology of gender is stripped away quickly and efficiently by AuntieWanda.

genderpyramid   It is evident that Auntie Wanda has thought a fair amount on gender and how it is constructed in society.

It’s [sex and gender] really not that esoteric:

A girl is a prepubescent to adolescent human female. A woman is a post-adolescent human female. A boy is a prepubescent to adolescent human male. A man is a post- adolescent human male.

Gender is the socially enforced prescribed behaviors and expectations people are pressured to follow based on which sex they are. It’s profoundly harmful and, especially for girls and women, oppressive.

“Gender identity” is therefore associating oneself with the oppressive gender roles of the opposite sex and determining that makes one the equivalent of the opposite sex (or in some way something other than the sex they are), which only reinforces the idea that gender roles are inherent to the sexes, which only furthers their oppressive use on the sexes.

That’s it really.


Can you explain it a little differently? I’m really tired and frustrated at the moment, please just make it a little more simple if that’s okay?


   “Okay, consider it this way: you’re born female, you’re a girl. You’re born male, you’re a boy. That in of itself is a neutral statement.

But in our society there are certain things expected of girls that aren’t expected of boys. We’re expected to be quieter, more agreeable, less capable, less competent, less intelligent than boys.

We’re expected to like makeup and fashion and princesses and we’re also treated as vain and frivolous and less worthy for liking these things.

If we like “boy” things that may be seen as quirky and charming for a while, but it’s still discouraged and we’re still expected to grow out of it.

We’re expected to be disinterested in science, engineering and technology, discouraged from purusing it if we are interested and treated as less competent if we make it our career in adulthood.

(Even though a scant few decades ago women primarily did the mathematical calculations for NASA and preformed the earliest computer programming. Because those things, like typing, were seen as jobs that were beneath men to do.)

We’re expected to be sexually appealing to every man on the street. This is the role given to us in most advertising, film and media by default.

We’re expected to grow up to be the helpers of men, to be their wives and girlfriends and the things they get sex from. To further their own needs and ambitions while having none of our own.

That’s gender. It’s sexist. And it sucks.”

[Source:Not Your Safe Space]

Surprise, yet another Cesspool on the interwebs!

Surprise, yet another Cesspool on the interwebs!

This post from the garrulous hodgepodge of turds known as ‘ihatesocialjusticewarrors’ manages to test the very boundaries of quantum physics – the stupid here is so super-dense that the Planck constant just may not apply. The original buffoonery can be found at The dumb is strong at this site, consider yourself warned. :)

“There is a widely held belief that feminism is a movement for equality between men and women. This is inaccurate and a misconception.”

Whaaat? These two sentences are true. Feminism is the movement to liberate women from the detrimental constraints of patriarchal society. Might we have common ground between DWR and ‘IHATESOCIALJUSTICEWARRIORS’?



Wait for it.

“Feminism is actually a form of sexism.”

And *boom* goes my head into the desk.

“Feminism views women as inherently inferior to men, no different than the traditional ‘sexists’ they are actively engaged in fighting against.”

Not. Even. Close.

Feminists are in the business of analyzing, deconstructing, and critiquing the patriarchal society that women are forced to live in. The goal of feminism is to eradicate the patriarchal superstructure that society is based upon; the very same patriarchy that damages both women and men.

Women are treated as inferiors in society because the patriarchal status quo, not because of any inherent inferiority.

Happy to clear that up for you.

“Feminism doesn’t encourage women to be as efficient as men, but rather they attempt to adjust policies to accommodate women. This isn’t equality. Instead it’s making the determination that being a woman is a handicap and special rules need to apply.”

What does being ‘efficient like a man’ look like? It looks like you are implying that men are the default normal setting in society and, that if women could just be more ‘man-like’ they would do better. Of course, the idea that default human = man, is the sorta of bullshit that feminists have been fighting against since the founding of the movement.

Adjusting policies? You mean supporting structural changes that move toward levelling the playing field? We certainly cannot have any of that.

The common thread running through so much of the feminist backlash is the wacky idea that equality is somehow achievable with the current state of affairs. The problem with this analysis (other than its made of certified grade A bullshit) is that it ignores the structural reality of society. Society is heavily tilted toward favouring men. How could it not be, as men are the primary architects of society, so why would they not craft it in their favour?

Axiomatically speaking, no egalitarian solution can be reached until patriarchy has been dismantled.

It is known that being female *is* a handicap in society. Females are not taken seriously, not given bodily autonomy, not paid as much, and for the most part relegated to the sex class to be objectified by the ‘default humans’ a.k.a men. Not exactly carnival fun times for the double XX caste.

“If feminists truly believed that women were equal to men, then there would be no motivation nor reason for them to implement, or to push to implement, special rules or adjust any of the policies that govern workforce requirements or productivity.”

Because not challenging the status quo will somehow fix the status quo…

1. Observe differential treatment on the basis of sex.
2. Do nothing about it.
3. …
4. Profit! – Sweet sweet egalitarianism for all!
C. *thud* *gasp* Need ASA stat, head sore from repeated desk impacts.

“Let’s face it, feminism is just a different form of sexism.”

Maybe in your imaginary world reverse racism(?) exists as well,  but back here in reality feminism really isn’t sexist, as it attempts to directly address sexism in society and fix said problem.

“It’s also misogynistic in that it attempts to put unrealistic demands onto average women and it denies the very nature of what a woman is and how nature designed her.”


Just *love* the biological essentialism to justify misogyny, so fresh, so original.

Aww f*ck, it is all about the fluff pink lady brains isn’t it? Along with the migrating wombs and bouts of hysteria – women had better just shuffle back to the kitchen before more male egos are hurt and privileges are threatened. It’s not patriarchy that is holding women back, but rather biology that makes females inferior…

*thud thud thud thud*

“Feminists hate women and want them to be men instead. There, somebody finally came out and just said what we were all thinking.🙂”

Feminists want to see the structures in society that mandate differential treatment based on body type erased. Feminists have no desire to become the oppressor class, rather they seek to redress the fundamental imbalances in society.

    And there you have it gentle readers, your dose of deconstructed ass-hat misogyny for the day.

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