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Hey folks, the woke internet is doing it’s best to deplatform and silence critical analysis and criticism of gender ideology.  Here’s the thing, if your ideology wasn’t shit to start with, it could withstand critique and still be coherent.  It isn’t, thus the censorship.

The following article was removed from publication on Medium. We present it unedited for readers to make up their own minds.

There’s a lot of chat around about pronouns right now. Specifically, ‘preferred’ pronouns. By which is usually meant, the pronouns a person would prefer other people to use when they are the subject being discussed by those people.

This is how I want you to talk about me’.

Almost without exception, the people who request, or demand, others talk about them using specific pronouns, are asking for pronouns associated with the opposite sex to their own.

A simple politeness. A courtesy.

I’ve heard many people tell me they don’t mind doing this, as a courtesy, although it takes some effort to keep up the mental gymnastics of perceiving one sex, but consistently using pronouns for the other. That’s a personal choice, and I respect the reasons why some people make it.

I’ve also heard many people declaring that anyone who won’t comply (usually directed at a woman) is obnoxious, mean, hostile, and unpleasant. ‘Misgendering’ is hate speech. They say.

But I refuse to use female pronouns for anyone male.
Because pronouns are like Rohypnol.

One of the biggest obstacles to halting the stampede over women’s rights is pronoun and preferred name ‘courtesy’. People severely underestimate the psychological impact to themselves, and to others, of compliance.

Pronouns are like Rohypnol to your brain’s defences.

You doubt this absurd claim I just made, obviously. You have the fortitude of mind to be uninfluenced by such trivia, and I have got this wrong. I understand. Bear with.

And try this quick experiment.

The cost of USING preferred pronouns yourself:

The Stroop Effect

Have you heard of the STROOP TEST?

It’s a well known “name that colour” psychological phenomenon. A quick and simple experiment where you have to say the colour of the words written in front of you. Simple as that. Except the speed and accuracy of your answers is heavily impacted by any incongruence between the colour you see, and the actual word itself.

Try it HERE, if you like fun interactive tests. It takes less than a minute to complete. Compare the difference in your times between part one and part two of the experiment.

You’ll find you have to consciously fight the conflict of input to your brain each and every time. And it leaves you confused, distracted, slower, frustrated and fatigued.

Forcing our brains to ignore the evidence of our eyes, to ignore a conflict between what we see and know to be true, and what we are expected to say, affects us.

USING preferred pronouns does the same. It alters your attention, your speed of processing, your automaticity. You may find it makes you anxious. You pay less heed to what you want to say, and more to what is expected of you. It slows you down, confuses you, makes you less reactive.
That’s not a good thing.

The cost of HEARING or READING preferred pronouns from others:

Experiment 2.

For a week, re-translate all the transgender articles and comments you find, back to sex-based pronouns, nouns and original names. Rewrite them back to the blunt truth and then read them again. Doing this exercise solely in your mind will do just fine, but editing on a screen is better.

Convert female pronouns back to male; use surnames instead of first names, and convert terms like transwoman back to just ‘man’.

Better yet, if you know the original name of the subject, use it, be it David, or Rhys, or Ashton, or Jonathan.

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, yes? It shouldn’t matter. No-one else will be hurt or affected by this private experiment. It’s entirely between you, and your own resilient mind.

(Try not to get banned from anywhere during this experiment)

Read your translated version again.

If those small acts of preferred pronoun compliance are truly meaningless concessions, (although, see above banning potential for contradictory evidence of import) given as a courtesy to others at no cost to you or to other women, then this private exercise will change nothing, cost nothing, affect no-one. You’ll walk away thinking, yep, as I thought, fuss about nothing.

After all, nothing *should* change, should it, simply with the alteration of pronouns and names? You already know the actual sex of the subject you’re reading about. Pronouns, male or female, add no incremental information. How can they in any way alter your perception, or influence you when you already know all the facts? They’re an irrelevance, the easiest concession to make. Not worth consideration, inconsequential. Right?

Cognitively, you should be immune to the effects of such linguistic cross-dressing. Pronouns are irrelevant, so you concede them easily, because they have no power to influence you, since you already see clearly. Yes?

[And you can confess here, it’s OK. You may already think that the minority of women who refuse to comply with pronouns are just awkward buggers, who can’t think strategically, don’t know when to let it go, probably are extremists. Do themselves no favours, damage their own ‘cause’, even. Unreasonable.]

But try the experiment. Translate pronouns and references back to male. Insert ‘dead-names’ or use surnames. (No-one will know but you) Read it a second time. And be honest with yourself.

Do you feel differently, on reading it this way?
Do you react differently?
How’s your anxiety?
Are you angrier?
Do you feel more scared?
Is your sense of injustice alerted?
What level have your natural defences armed to?

You may discover that, despite yourself, you have a viscerally different reaction to what is before your eyes.

Same story, same players, same core knowledge.

Different pronouns, different reaction.

Pronouns are like Rohypnol.

They dull your defences. They change your inhibitions. They’re meant to. You’ve had a lifetime’s experience learning to be alert to ‘him’ and relax to ‘her’. For good reason. This instinctive response keeps you safe. It’s not even a conscious thing. It’s like your hairs standing on end. Your subconscious brain is helping you not get eaten by the sabre tooth tiger that your eyes haven’t noticed yet.

Oscar probably didn’t intend the instinctive female response his words provoked

Incongruent pronouns also make your brain work much harder; not just when you are using them, but when you are receiving them as information. You are working constantly to keep that story straight in your head. Male or female? Which one, again? Concentrate harder. Ignore your instincts, ignore your reaction.

And that’s just you. You’re already aware of all the pertinent information, already alert, you know the score, no flies on you.

And you’re still affected emotionally and instinctively by incongruent pronouns, nouns, and names. Despite your efforts to be immune. You’re not immune to this effect. You can know perfectly the actual sex of a male person, and yet you will still react differently if someone calls them she instead of he.

So what then, is the impact on everyone who isn’t even aware yet, hasn’t fully comprehended yet what’s going on?

Pronouns are Rohypnol. They change our perception, lower our defences, make us react differently, alter the reality in front of us.

They’re meant to.
They numb us.
They confuse us.
They remove our instinctive safety responses.

They work.

If you do this experiment you may still decide to accept or use female pronouns for male people, perhaps a little wiser, but cognisant of their influence on you and others. That’s a choice you may make. At least now you understand that you may be voluntarily suppressing your own natural response. Your eyes are more open.

Maybe you’ll continue to mentally translate ‘preferred’ pronouns and names in your head back to reality, every time, as I do. We give ourselves the best chance to understand the reality of the situation before us. It becomes easier with practice. I want my instincts as intact as possible.

Maybe you shrug. You can live with this little phenomenon. Or it didn’t work for you, you don’t see it.

But please. Don’t judge so harshly those of us who refuse to submit, refuse to comply with preferred pronouns. There are good reasons why we might be doing that, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others.

Pronouns are Rohypnol.

I want to be alert. I want others to be alert. I want people to see the real picture, and I want those instinctive reactions that we feel when something is wrong, to be un-blunted, un-dulled by this cheap but effective psychological trick. I feel like I owe this to myself, and I absolutely owe it to other women.

And more than anything, I owe this to girls. I don’t want to play even the tiniest part in grooming them to disregard their natural protective instincts. Those instincts are there for a reason. To keep them safe. They need those instincts intact, and sharp.

And that’s why I won’t use preferred pronouns.

Using Rohypnol on others isn’t a courtesy.

Popular conception of Mind is still burdened, to a certain extent, with the cloak of Cartesian Dualism.  The notion that our brains are primarily computational/abstraction machines being transported around in a useful bags of flesh is strong heuristic model that, while providing clarity in many areas, often obfuscates our relationship with the environment, and how the environment shapes us.  Sally Davies writes eloquently about our conception of mind and how feminists can break the limitations that the current model imposes on society.

“While philosophers are inordinately fond of comparing humans to entities that are different to ‘us’ – zombies, bats, AIs, octopuses, aliens – they’ve been rather slower to show an interest in the complex lives of certain creatures who already live alongside ‘us’ day to day, who can walk and talk and describe their subjectivity, but who until recently have been shut out of the category of full and proper personhood. Feminist theory, concerned with the operation of patriarchy and the liberation of women, is a powerful tool for revealing the pernicious effects of setting women to the side – including how such exclusion might permit unexamined assumptions and questionable theories to persist.

In her classic text The Second Sex (1949), the French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir performed just such a move against the bedrock of Enlightenment philosophy, the knowing human subject. ‘Man is not a natural species: he is a historical idea,’ she said, paraphrasing her fellow philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The very idea of the Human is not some universal given, de Beauvoir claimed, but a byproduct of how societies have systematically degraded women:

The devaluation of woman represents a necessary stage in the history of humanity; for she derived her prestige not from her positive value but from man’s weakness; she incarnated disturbing natural mysteries: man escapes her grasp when he frees himself from nature.Woman, in other words, is humanity’s foil. She is the ‘Other’, bearing the brand of the not-quite-Human, which lets man point at her and whisper: We know what we are, because, thank god, we are not that.

Thus when de Beauvoir makes the oft-quoted point that ‘one is not born, but rather becomes, woman’, she is not just saying that women’s minds and selves are socially constructed. More trenchantly, she is arguing that women become women precisely so that men can become Human. While the Human has access to Cartesian qualities of reason, truth and clarity, the Other is linked to irrationality, emotion and vagueness; where the Human has civilisation and culture, the Other is aligned with nature and matter; and where the Human has a honed and powerful mind, the Other is at the mercy of the body. De Beauvoir writes:

Man vainly forgets that his anatomy also includes hormones and testicles. He grasps his body as a direct and normal link with the world that he believes he apprehends in all objectivity, whereas he considers the woman’s body an obstacle, a prison, burdened by everything that particularises it.The American philosopher Martha Nussbaum extends a version of de Beauvoir’s analysis in her bookPolitical Emotions (2013). Drawing on child and developmental psychology, Nussbaum says that the human condition is framed by an awareness of vulnerability on the one hand, and the desire to change and control our reality on the other. This inescapable bind creates a universal impulse towards narcissism and disgust, she says. We feel disgust at our own mortal and fleshly nature, and at any reminders of our finitude and fragility as creatures. So we subordinate others in order to project onto them all the qualities that we wish to deny in ourselves – that they are base, animal, Other – while we imagine ourselves as transcending to the realm of the mighty, truly Human.”

This is classic analysis of De Beauvoir and a great summary of how women are viewed in society. A different model of Mind, known as embodied cognition, suggests a different framework to view our interactions and behaviour in society.

“Computational thinking remains dominant within cognitive science and philosophy of mind. But new frontiers are opening up that view the body as something more than just a brain-carrying robot. In doing so, they have created the potential for alliances with feminist thinkers influenced by the likes of Fausto-Sterling. Within a broad church that can be called – not uncontentiously – embodied cognition, a growing number of psychologists, scientists and theorists are approaching mental life as something that is not just contingent on, but constituted by, the state of our bodies. In the place of a Cartesian computer, the mind becomes more like a clay pot thrown on a wheel, to use the philosopher Michael Kirchhoff’s metaphor. The wet clay spins on a rotating disk, shaping and reshaping itself under the potter’s hands, arms and muscles, which in turn respond to how the material is moving. The mind is moulded by forces operating both within it and upon it, but also linked up to the world and the body as a single, dynamic yet mostly stable system.

It takes only a small leap to see the political potential of embodied cognition for feminists seeking a path out of the quagmire of sex and gender – or indeed any other critical social theorists keen to overthrow falsely naturalised and unjust hierarchies. Embodied cognition allows us to recognise the agency of biology without ceding the significance of power or politics. In her essay ‘Throwing Like a Girl’ (1980), the American philosopher Iris Marion Young cites empirical research suggesting that women playing sport are more likely than men to perceive a ball to be coming at them, aggressively, rather than towards them; they also tend not to trust their bodies, and to experience their limbs as awkward encumbrances rather than tools to help them realise their aims. Drawing on the work of de Beauvoir, Young suggests that female bodily experience is often rooted ‘in the fact that feminine existence experiences the body as a mere thing – a fragile thing, which must be picked up and coaxed into movement, a thing that exists as looked at and acted upon.’ But Young denies that this state of affairs is in any way natural, or that it flows from something intrinsic to female biology; instead, she says, such feelings are byproducts of how women learn to live in their bodies. One therefore doesn’t need some essential definition of ‘female’ to accept that embodiment matters, and to see how it shapes and can be shaped by culture.”

Fascinating.  The pivot away from the computational model allows a more textured analysis of how deeply rooted patriarchal norms in society are.  More hopefully we can see that the roots of female oppression are not a clear cut case of strictly biological factors, but rather of social construction, and social constructs are not immutable products of nature and thus, can be changed.

These just excepts from a very meaty and interesting essay, I recommend going to Aeon Magazine and reading the whole article as it well worth your time.

 

We found this amazing letter on Mumsnet and approached the author for permission to share. It is powerful and needs to be heard.

To the woman who shrieked at me that I am a bigot and a terf and a hateful transphobe for defending women’s rights,

Ten, fifteen years from now, I ask you to remember me.

Remember me when you have your first baby and you’re referred to throughout your pregnancy as a birthing individual, a pregnant person, and it makes you feel kind of dehumanised and you wish they’d just call you a woman, a mother, because that’s what you are. But they’re not allowed, because it’s illegal to say only women can be pregnant and give birth.

Remember me when you give birth and you feel vulnerable and exposed and you really want a woman beside you who understands what you’re going through and instead your midwife is a six foot man with stubble in a dress and you know he isn’t a woman but you’re not allowed to object, even when you need to be examined and you just want a woman to do it but you know you can’t say anything because that would be hate speech, even though your body is screaming no.

Remember me when your elderly mother, who has lost her mind to dementia, goes into a care home and is told that her carer, Susan, is a woman, because you asked that she only be cared for by women. And even in her addled state of mind, she knows that Susan is a man, and you know Susan is a man, but you cannot object, and she has to allow Susan to perform her intimate care, because to object would be hate speech.

Remember me when your daughter comes home from school crying, the daughter who has spent the last five years training to be the best athlete in her class, her school, her district, she’s crying because Lucas in her class, one of the fastest boys, has decided he identifies as female for now and so is allowed to run in her race, and she knows it doesn’t matter how hard she trains, he will always beat her, and she can only ever hope for a silver medal now. Or bronze, if there is another Lucas.

Remember me when you go into a toilet late at night, perhaps in a bar, and there’s noone else around, and a guy walks in, he has a beard and is wearing jeans and a t shirt, and the way he looks at you seems off, and you feel afraid and unsettled and worried he might hurt you. But you can’t challenge him, because if you do he’ll say he’s a woman and has as much right as you do to be in this toilet, a place where many years ago you might have come to feel safe.

Remember me when you go for a promotion, for a board position at work that’s designated for a woman. You’ve put in the hours, you’ve worked so hard, you know you deserve it. And the position goes to Lola, who until last year was a 50 year old man. Lola will never do anything inconvenient like needing time off to have babies, or to deal with any health issues that you, a woman might face, like endometriosis, breast cancer, PND. Lola is a woman just like you, and your company are happy that they have fulfilled their quota of women members on the board.

Remember me when you read on the news that crime statistics for women committing rape and murder are on the increase, and now women carry out a much higher number of rapes and murders than they did when you were a teenager or a young woman. And you know that these ‘women’ are men and that the statistics are wrong, but to challenge this would be hate speech. Remember me too, when these women rapists are locked up with vulnerable women in female prisons and cannot escape, because to challenge the presence of the women rapists with penises in prison with them would be hate speech.

Remember me when your son comes home from school and says that he’s learned at school that you can change sex and that some girls have penises and some boys have vaginas and that his teacher said that because he likes playing with girls and dolls that maybe he is really a girl in the wrong body. And you think, no, you are just my wonderful, unique, son, and you were born in your own body. Remember me when a few months down the line the teacher calls you in and says she’s concerned that you are not validating your son’s identity and that she’s noticed you are still referring to him by the name you so carefully chose for him when he was born, and calling him a boy, when he is actually a girl, and that she doesn’t want to have to involve social services but she’s worried she might have to if you continue to misgender your son and deny his real identity. And you know that she will, because it’s happened before in a school near you, and you are afraid.

In this brave new world that you helped to create, look around for your transactivist friends, your lefty male allies, the ones you stood beside and yellled ‘terf, transphobe, bigot’ with, with you shouting the loudest, because you wanted to show what a good ally you were, how inclusive, how progressive. Where are they now? Why, they are where they always were. Benefitting from the patriarchy. Enjoying the new, improved version of it that you helped them to build by crushing the resistance from the women who spoke up for their rights. This has all cost them nothing; it has made the world a better, easier place for men. It has cost you and your sisters who campaigned with them for virtue cookies, everything.

And me? I’ll be where I’ve always been. Fighting for your rights. Fighting to undo the damage.

I’ll have your back, as I always have done.

by CR

Imagine being told you are not old enough or have reproduced enough yet to have a life saving procedure. Aaaaand then watching your husband ask for the very same thing and boom *it just gets done*. 2019 folks and this shit is still the standard.

From the Time article

“When asked about the sizable chunk of the population who thinks that equal pay is a non-issue, Patel suggests that it may come from a lack of first-hand experience.

“If you’re not living it,” he says, “maybe you’re blissfully unaware.”

Funny how that happens when the status quo happens to be your friend.

It is ever more apparent that Women need to fight this battle without the help of the dudely left, as usual they’ve done gone and made a mess of things.

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