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An important tonic to anti material discourse.  Plus, a cute cat in the video.

 

“If your feelings are not based in fact, then they are not valid.”

 

First 6 minutes are great.  Kinda rambles in the middle though.

 

See the entire list here.

3 – JK Rowling

JK Rowling is almost certainly the greatest writer of English children’s fiction of her generation, and a remarkable humanitarian. It turns out she writes exhilaratingly powerful prose too.

In a blog about the transgender debate, she offended many people. Offence is the price of free speech. Those offended felt she was questioning their identity and even attacking their human rights, which they argue is a form of discrimination or hate speech.

I take absolutely no view whatsoever on the issues that she raises.

I do take an issue on abuse and trolling, and Rowling has achieved the inglorious honour of topping many a league table for those. The deluge of hatred that she faced before writing this blog made it brave, and it was nothing compared to what came after. Talking about bravery, so too, by the way, was Suzanne Moore’s engrossing, long, personal essay for Unherd on why she left the Guardian.

We should all applaud bravery in writers – even those with whom we disagree. And Rowling’s essay contained moments of both real beauty and piercing honesty, as when she revealed that she is a survivor of domestic abuse and sexual assault.

What the judges – that is, the voices in my head – most admired about the writing was the plain English. It is an interesting fact about rhetoric that if you want people to understand something, plain, mono-syllabic words are usually your best bet: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”.

Or think of the final line from Enoch Powell’s most notorious speech: “All I know is that to see, and not to speak, would be the great betrayal.”

I’m not endorsing the argument; but the rhetorical power of that line comes from the fact that there are 16 words, the first 15 of which have one syllable, and the last of which has three.

Compare it with this line in Rowling’s essay: “So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe.”

The rhetorical power from those two sentences derives partly from the plainness of the English. Only “women” (twice) and “natal” contain more than one syllable.

If you’re ever editing copy that seems verbose, go through it and think about cutting syllables while conveying the same meaning. Plain English has power. JK Rowling gets that.

Nice to see a Hillary Clinton speaking up and addressing the fact that transgender ideology needs to be examined and debated in regards to how it affects women.

 

“To repeat, Hillary Clinton – that’s Hillary ‘basket of deplorables’ Clinton – has quite carefully and deliberately said that women have ‘legitimate’ concerns about transgender issues and those concerns should be recognized.

There are those, in the UK and US, who refuse to accept that questions and critical thinking about this issue are legitimate, and who refuse to acknowledge that those concerns are felt across the political spectrum. Even though the organized campaigns to raise those issues, especially A Woman’s Place UK, are mainly driven by women on the traditional left of the Labour party, there are trans rights activists and progressive campaigners who persist in claiming that this is all a confection of the wicked right.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the fact that Hillary Clinton is among those who say there are indeed legitimate questions here will quieten those claims, and maybe even prompt more people to start listening.

Or perhaps Clinton will simply be treated like all those other women who have dared to question transgender orthodoxy and find herself consigned to the ‘wrong side of history’ with the other witches and heretics.”

Time to examine trans ideology and what it means in society, the sooner the better.

I’m fairly new on Twitter but have already had the displeasure of witnessing the fury of faux-progressive backlash against feminism and feminists attempting to speak their mind in public places… in Canada.  Canada??  The easy going, live and let live notions we like to believe in the more sensible regions of Canada seem to dissipate in our larger cities.  Queer rights activists and trans activists have mounted a vigorous assault not on the arguments of gender critical feminists, but rather their character, the venues that host said feminists, and a rather hyperbolic set of straw assertions/mantras that serve as conversational dead ends/thought terminating cliches.

This is not the left that I grew up with, nor do I intend to ever associate with.  These individuals seem to believe that their individualistic solutions to systemic social problems will somehow win the day.  Not gonna happen.

The comparison between the regressive left and religious is worthy of examination.  James Bloodworth makes the comparison in his essay on Unherd.

“But politics as religion invariably comes with a cost. There is, naturally, a constant hunt for heretics. Public denunciations followed by ‘cancellations’ are de rigueur. Rigid adherence to doctrine is celebrated, while those who err are pompously told that they are on the “wrong side of history”. Political spats focus on the moral character of a person rather than the content of their arguments. Public arguments in which, as Swift phrases it, “identity leftists spend a great deal of time expending venom… at fellow leftists with whom they have some minor disagreements” are ubiquitous on Twitter and other social media.

All of this takes the Left further into the echo chamber, away from the people it is supposed to represent. Attitudes which are held by the vast majority of Britons — that there should be some upper limit on immigration, that sex differences exist, that gender isn’t entirely a social construct — are enough to get a person ‘cancelled’ by today’s hobbyist Left. Moreover, the slippery equation of words — or even thoughts — with violence creates a censorious climate where activists feel justified in hounding people from public life completely.”

See the transactivists haranguing women and trying to disrupt two public (in Toronto and Vancouver respectively) gatherings that featured Meghan Murphy and other feminist speakers was solid proof for me of the parallel.

 

When the topic of post modernism comes up, I always brace for the onslaught of adherents who sorta miss the point of what PoMo thought is all about.  It’s been so long since I’ve dealt with an actual post modern argument, and not just people who want to replace authoritarian definitions with their own authoritarian definitions.

So perhaps we are arguing against a pale imitation of what a post modern argument actually looks like, because at least in this explanation of PoMo theory, it doesn’t sound as beyond the pale.

 

So, when postmodern folks claim subjectivity it is not that they are saying nothing, it is that they are acknowledging both their own flaws and the need for constant interrogation of the facts laid out before us. The idea that one must come to a conclusion in order to find truth is actually the definition of fascism. If a dictionary must appear in its final form, who says the human race must not also? And how would such a society deal with change—specifically that of cultural migration and economic unease.

So, hopefully, this at least establishes the urgent need to abandon the very concept of objective truth. Objective truth is anti-democratic. There is no such thing as an unbiased statement that has not been shaped by elements of power or hierarchy. There is no such thing as a random statement, and there is no such thing as a true statement. In fact, a random statement and a true statement amount to the same thing, and it is only by connecting them that we can give meaning to either.

I can hear the grumbles now. Saying truth is the same as randomness is actually saying nothing! Really? Then why on earth react to it at all? If this statement really said nothing, wouldn’t a more adequate response be: ‘what do you think?’ or even, just in case ‘can you speak up?’ No, but truth, in how we arrive at its exact conclusions, can only retain any meaning if we acknowledge how arbitrary it is to get to that exact spot of perfection. It is only then that we can begin to unpack the biases that got us to that spot, which of course aren’t random at all, and link throughout history, sociology, geography, physics and biology. It is only after we unmask the assumption that is in authority that we can dethrone it and restore democracy.

Now, there is nothing true about democracy either. Each person operates within their own distance from the truth but at least, to borrow Marx, implies ownership of the production of truth, rather than the blind following of it. Does such a philosophy naturally imply the free market, rather than Marxism? Not necessarily. The distribution of goods, the control over the means of production, those sorts of things are not the same as ideas, let alone people. It could be very possible to have a centralized form of economics that thrived for diverse ideas and people. In fact, such a neutral form of economics—pure in its democracy and lack of discrimination—would imply absolute blindness to differences and a replacement of this hierarchy of difference with universal human rights. That doesn’t mean that each difference wouldn’t get a say, it is to say that each would have a right, no matter their say.

It is fairly obvious that an economy that has no such tools to guarantee human rights would naturally create hierarchies to (re) order distribution and create profits. The idea that one must have an objective idea of truth to reject neoliberalism implies that the neoliberalism was a cultural, not an economic counter-revolution. This seems to apply a backward order of operations. Even though the neoliberal has assaulted the cultural and the personal, it a truly perplexing leap for Marxists to make the claim that as soon as the economic theory of their “objective” choice falls out of favor, we suddenly are not talking about economics anymore, but culture that drives the economy. Just dead wrong.

The goal of the lie of objective truth is to establish power for a certain group of people, so that they can therefore profit from and exploit the people whose truth does not fit the proper definition of normality. That’s why Foucalt saw prisons so clearly. What is a prison? And who decides it?

A handy guide to prepare yourself for the onerous task of handling the inevitable arguments that crop up when men and their blue-haired handmaidens make their bullshit arguments.

 

 

  • Narcissism is prevalent here. Same rules as always with narcissists. Do not get embroiled in discussion of their identity, their identity is not relevant to you and outside making clear you do not see yourself reflected in their identity it serves no function but to prevent discussion.
  • All accusations are admissions. This is a very reliable compass. They will attribute their own motivations and actions to you because their identity is the only thing they can see and they can only see you as a reflection or threat to it. They are accusing themselves. Let them. Loudly.
  • Take every word at face value. Do not get dragged into debating it. They say women’s consent doesn’t matter? Take it at face value. They say they have the right to redefine lesbian to include them and they have pushed women to assert their sexual boundaries by misgendering? They are telling you they cannot recognise consent, boundaries, or female sexuality. This is an admission. Not a debate.
  • Do not treat a boundary as a negotiation. It is not/. You set the boundary and when they breach it, gaslighting, coercion, threats, you are receiving an admission of how far they will go to cross your boundaries. Take this at face value.
  • Do not be derailed from key points or boundaries, and use all admissions made. They will try to derail from the thing that injures them. Usually the reality of their identity and the threat you pose to it. Stick to their behaviour. The words they have used. Do not get embroiled in discussion of their identity. A narcissists identity is always the hill they will die. Accept when they tell you they cannot separate their identity from your reality.
  • You do not have to debate being a woman. You are one. Your biology, the inequality you lived, the knowledge you have that came from this. You do not need to debate whether you are a woman. Or their definition of woman. Outside being clear you do not see yourself reflected in them, you do not need to debate this. They do.
  • When you are discussing systems and laws that evolved over 70 years to protect women and girls you do not need to centre their identity in that discussion. It is irrelevant to that discussion. Those systems were fought for and created by women you don’t know, they did that so you don’t have to. You do not need to have arguments that are already done and are reflected in equality legislation.
  • Do not have arguments you don’t need to have. It is ridiculous to use failure to validate males as an insult. It is ridiculous to treat ‘you didn’t think of males when you thought about inequality so you are a TERF’ as valid. You don’t need to defend the right of women to self assembly without male supervision, it is yours already, they need to explain why they think it should end. If hearing about their male biology is offensive, that is not your fault. They are male. That cannot be altered. You are not required to repeat things you know to be untrue because of the threat of violence and coercion. You are not required to be ‘inclusive’ and ‘nice’ at a cost of your own safety and rights. EVER.
  • Do not defend yourself from accusations which are not accusations. It is not an accusation or a crime to refuse to ignore abusive behaviour, it is not an accusation that you didn’t orbit a males identity and validate him.
  • Misgendering and transphobia are insults designed to give men the right to abuse women and claim they are being oppressed. Nonsense. Stick to literal meanings, neither of this things is violent, neither metaphorical or literal and neither of these things warrant a violent response.
  • Remember what you are responsible for. You are not responsible for managing their well being, not responsible for their threats of violence, not responsible for harm they do themselves or threaten to do themselves to control a situation. You are entitled to boundaries, to define yourself, and anyone threatened by this is telling you something.
  • Remember abusive behaviour is well understood. It is always a problem. It is legally and socially unacceptable to subordinate women with abusive behaviour. Nothing in the word trans changes this and any trans women suggesting it does is telling you ‘she’ is an abusive male.

 

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