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No topic in a liberal democratic society should be off the table for reasonable debate.  Yet here we are in 2022 with a seasoned educator being silenced and suspended for raising safeguarding concerns over ideological transgender literature being made available to children.  Don’t take my word for it.  See for yourself.

 

The studies regarding medical transition are not conclusive, yet here in select transgender children’s literature everything is a-fucking-okay.  This is an issue worth discussing in public and in great detail at the *very* least.

Canada’s National Post has run a story called No Dissent is Allowed:

“An Ontario school board is facing charges of censorship this week after shutting down a teacher’s presentation to the group, saying her comments about books on transgender issues violated the province’s human rights code

Carolyn Burjoski was discussing publications she said are available in the libraries of Kindergarten to grade six schools. She had begun to argue the books made it seem too simple and “cool” to medically transition to another gender when her presentation was cut short by the Waterloo Region District School Board’s chair.”

Ms. Burjoski’s presentation was about safeguarding children from potentially dangerous medical treatments.  Seems reasonable right?  (Wrong)

“Scott Piatkowski ruled she could not continue and the board eventually voted 5-4 to back up his decision. The fallout has continued since.

Though controversial and opposed by most transgender advocates, concerns have been voiced before — including by leading figures in the movement itself — that gender-dysphoric young people are sometimes pushed too aggressively into medical transition.

Piatkowski latertold a local CTV station , however, that Burjoski’s comments were actually transphobic and “questioned the right to exist” of trans people. Meanwhile, the organization took down its recording of the meeting — a regular, public session of elected officials — and had YouTube remove another copy of the video for alleged copyright infringement.”

Piatkowski and the Board have taken down the meeting off of youtube, fortunately the meeting recording has appeared elsewhere.

Go here and judge for yourself if *ANYTHING* Ms. Burjoksi says or presents is in the least bit ‘transphobic’ or in violation of the Canadian Human Rights Code (nothing is).

   Time Stamp Highlghts:

2:01 – Book called ‘Rick’ – That is about why Rick doesn’t think about naked girls.  He goes to a ‘rainbow club’ and identifies as ‘asexual’.  Counterpoint – Maybe Rick doesn’t have sexual feelings yet because Rick is a child.  Also a book that sexualizes and objectifies girls might not be appropriate reading for young girls (ed. or really *any* educational setting)

2:59 – The first warning from Piatkowski directed at Ms. Burjoski on the unfounded basis of her presentation somehow being against the Ontario Human Rights Code.

3:55 – Book called ‘Shane’ – The main character dismisses the very real consequences of being sterilized.  The book also makes medical transition seem like an easy cure to emotional and social distress. (ed. it most certainly is not).

4:16 – Ms. Burjoski shut down by Chair Piatkowski for alleged breach of Ontario Human Rights Code.

Watch the whole thing, but like any zoom meeting its disjointed and frustrating to watch especially when those who value critical analysis and freedom of speech are shut down.

A bit of a side bar for you, gentle reader to make the judgement for yourself of what the Ontario Human Right Code actually says and how it happens to be interpreted by Chair Piatkowski.  Here is a portion of the informal legal analysis by a Canadian lawyer justdad7 : 

“The Board refers to the Ontario Human Rights Code its own policies on human rights and equity and inclusion. There is also a policy on harassment.

There is nothing wrong with the board’s policies. They accurately reflect the requirements of the Human Rights Code and the case law interpreting it. The problem is the Board’s interpretation.

The Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination in the employment, housing and the provision of services on prohibited grounds of discrimination which include “race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability.”

It also prohibits harassment in employment or housing. Harassment “means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” The board’s human rights policy elaborates on this definition and explains that harassment consists of conduct directed at an individual such as insults, epithets, persistent teasing and offensive jokes based on a protected characteristic. Nothing in Ms. Burjoski’s presentation could possibly fit this definition.

The Ontario Code does not attempt to regulate speech in general. Section 13 prohibits publication of a “notice, sign, symbol or emblem” that indicates an expression to discriminate but it is subject to a proviso that it shall not interfere with freedom of expression.”

Yeah…  So it would seem that these ‘human rights violations’ are really just important and valid concerns with gender ideology that desperately need to be discussed in context of their application in Public Schools.

Also Ms. Burjoski was then summarily excommunicated from her staff and students for her heretical statements.

“And then the teacher was given what she calls a “stay-at-home order” and told not to communicate with colleagues or students, though she’s still being paid and is slated to retire soon. On Thursday, she says her union rep informed her the board had appointed an outside investigator to examine her actions.”

Yep.  Did you think that freedom of speech is a valued tenet of our society? Try speaking out against the gender-religion and see how far you get.  Suspended in Burjoski’s case for wanting to discuss the appropriateness of sexualizing children and child safeguarding against still largely experimental medical gender therapies.

In her first interview on the affair, Burjoski said she was “flabbergasted” by what happened at the meeting and Piatkowski’s remarks afterward

“I am not a transphobic person. It’s crazy that just because you ask a question, the first thing people do is call you that,” she said. “We do need to have a conversation about the intersection of biology and gender. We’re not having those conversations in our culture because, look what happened to me.”

She said the order to stay away from school was likely meant to make an example of her: “The message is clear: no dissent is allowed.

No ideology is above reproach and measured critique by members of a free and open society, yet here we are watching a teacher be excommunicated for questioning the transgender doctrine in the context of prioritizing the safety of children.

If you are not asking questions about what transgender ideology is and how it affects children (and society) it is time to start.  How many more people are we going to let be silenced in the name of transgender orthodoxy?  Thankfully Ms. Burjoski is not going quietly.  Support her legal fund as she fights not to be silenced for making valid criticisms of a potentially pernicious ideology.

  This ruling changes the environment.  This UK ruling states that gender critical beliefs are also protected beliefs under law in the the UK.  In other words, you can’t be fired from your job for stating the blindly obvious *FACT* that human beings cannot change their sex.  This is a huge victory for women, free speech, and of course Ms. Forstater. 

Thank you Ms. Forstater for having enough resilience and courage to stand up for women and their rights.  

From the BBC

“Ms Forstater, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, did not have her contract renewed at the think tank Center for Global Development (CGD) in March 2019, after posting a series of tweets questioning government plans – which were later scrapped – to let people declare their own gender.

She claimed she was discriminated against because of her beliefs, which include “that sex is immutable and not to be conflated with gender identity”.

In the initial tribunal employment judge James Tayler said that her approach was “not worthy of respect in a democratic society”.

He concluded that Ms Forstater was “absolutist” in her view and said she was not entitled to ignore the rights of a transgender person and the “enormous pain that can be caused by misgendering”.

But the Honourable Mr Justice Choudhury said her “gender-critical beliefs” did fall under the Equalities Act as they “did not seek to destroy the rights of trans persons”.

Ms Forstater said she was “delighted to have been vindicated” but CGD said the decision was a “step backwards for inclusivity and equality for all”.

In a video statement, Ms Forstater said: “I’m proud of the role I’ve played in clarifying the law and encouraging more people to speak up”.

 

 

Visit and support women’s rights at sex-matters.org

 

Let’s start of with Halifax Pride statement of desperately hurt feelings:

In recent weeks, Halifax Pride was made aware of a petition asking the Halifax Public Library to remove a newly acquired book that jeopardizes the safety of trans youth, through unsupported medical claims and the transphobic assertion that trans identities are a choice.

We want to thank the individuals who took the time to create and bring this petition to our attention. We recognize their work and emotional labour in holding their own discussions with the library.

We reached out to the library to understand their acquisition process and urge them to take corrective action to remove the book and review their Collection Development Policy. We hoped that they would understand that the book’s misleading health advice put local trans youth in immediate harm. We expected feedback from trans individuals and a queer community partner to result in further reflection and a new course of action.

Yesterday, representatives of the library communicated to members of our community, and to us, that they have decided to keep the book in their collection without further review of their policies.

Halifax Pride has decided to end our partnership with the Halifax Public Library, including events planned for the 2021 festival, and will refrain from booking library spaces until this issue is addressed with some combination of internal review, policy change, and training.

Halifax Public Library’s collection process is at odds with Halifax Pride’s commitment to protecting vulnerable members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We hope the Halifax Public Library will reconsider its stance and amend their policies to prioritize the health and safety of the public.

What is this evil tome that is ‘jepordizing the safety of trans youth’ (!?!?!?!??) you may ask?

Irreversible Damage by Abigail Shrier.

A quick Summary of Shrier’s work from Wikipedia:

‘Shrier states that she began to investigate adolescent-onset gender dysphoria after being contacted by the mother of a young adult with no apparent history of childhood gender dysphoria, who identified as transgender in college. She describes what she sees as difficulties facing teenagers who were assigned female at birth, whom she refers to throughout the book as “girls”isolation, online social dynamics, restrictive gender and sexuality labels, unwelcome physical changes and sexual attention. She profiles several teenagers who questioned their gender identities or came out as transgender while experiencing mental health or personal issues. She discusses Lisa Littman’s 2018 journal article on rapid onset gender dysphoria and the ensuing controversy and endorses its findings. She states that online trans influencers encourage questioning youth to identify as trans, experiment with breast binding and testosterone, and disown or lie to unsupportive family members.

Shrier criticizes transgender-related curricula and policies in schools. She describes parents distressed by their children’s transgender identification or transition. She critiques the gender-affirming model of care and profiles its critics: Kenneth Zucker, Ray Blanchard, J. Michael Bailey, Lisa Marchiano, and Paul McHugh. Shrier discusses trans activism and related controversies, including sex-specific privacy concerns; passing versus trans visibility; the role of celebrities in increasing trans acceptance; conflict between transgender people, and lesbians or radical feminists; transfeminine/male-to-female athletes competing in girls’ and women’s sports; the use of trans-inclusive language; intersectionality; and identity politics. She argues that medical interventions such as puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries include risks, and describes a transgender person who became disabled after a failed surgery. She also profiles detransitioned young women.’

Yes, so the faux-progressive authoritarian Left in Halifax is having a major fit about a book that shed’s some light on the gender magic they hold near and dear.  Now that you have a sketch of Shrier’s book, let’s break down Halifax Pride’s Official statement.

   “In recent weeks, Halifax Pride was made aware of a petition asking the Halifax Public Library to remove a newly acquired book that jeopardizes the safety of trans youth, through unsupported medical claims and the transphobic assertion that trans identities are a choice.”

Which unsupported medical claims are you referring to? The only unsupported claims I can see being made are the ones contained in your sentence.  Demonstrate where Shrier’s book is in fact a real and present danger to children.  If the case for being trans or attempting to trans children is rock solid it should a easy slam dunk to refute.  But it isn’t, so we are left to swirl in the mists of vague statements like ‘unsupported medical claims’ and the near ubiquitous injunction of ‘transphobia’.  Women speaking about their experiences, biological fact, and material reality have all been branded as ‘transphobic’ by the high priests of gender ideology.   It is the new heresy on the left and can, in most cases, be dismissed as vacuous bullshit.  

“We want to thank the individuals who took the time to create and bring this petition to our attention. We recognize their work and emotional labour in holding their own discussions with the library.”

A small group of nearly permanently offended individuals are now extra offended at the mere presence of a book in a public library that concretely refutes the gender orthodoxy they believe in.  This blasphemous work must not be seen by others as people must not be exposed to ideas and notions that are critical of the transgender religion.  Questioning the ideology is verboten, and dissent must be quashed before it can grow.  As you can clearly see, all the hallmarks of a condition/ideology that has a firm basis in reality…

“We reached out to the library to understand their acquisition process and urge them to take corrective action to remove the book and review their Collection Development Policy. We hoped that they would understand that the book’s misleading health advice put local trans youth in immediate harm. We expected feedback from trans individuals and a queer community partner to result in further reflection and a new course of action.”

Burn this book immediately!  And here are more unsupported claims to coerce and shame you (Halifax Public Library) to bow to our campaign and stop other members of the Public from reading these heretical books and ideas that contradict our version of reality.

Protecting adults from dangerous ideas and criticism of transgender ideology. Nothing says ‘progressive’ like a good book burning.

  “Halifax Pride has decided to end our partnership with the Halifax Public Library, including events planned for the 2021 festival, and will refrain from booking library spaces until this issue is addressed with some combination of internal review, policy change, and training.

Halifax Public Library’s collection process is at odds with Halifax Pride’s commitment to protecting vulnerable members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. We hope the Halifax Public Library will reconsider its stance and amend their policies to prioritize the health and safety of the public.”

We are taking our toys and going home in hopes that our tantrum will shame you into throwing the notions of free speech and the free exchange of ideas under the bus.  There is no protection going on here, just the creeping rise of censorious gender totalitarianism that seeks to throttle all dissent and criticism of an ideology that is harmful for females and children.  The Halifax library has rightly told the Halifax pride to fuck the hell off with their demands for censorship of criticism of their precious (and pernicious) ideology.

Well enough of that.  The hurt feelings brigade has registered another loss in trying to coerce a public institution to bend its knee to their bullshit ideology.  Score one for the good guys.  Thank you Halifax Public Library for defending free speech and the exchange of ideas in the public sphere.

I never thought that I would become politically homeless in my lifetime.  The tenets of class analysis, proletarian struggle, looking after the less fortunate in society seemed like a rock-solid bulwark to hold.

Lately though, the Left I see is rife with witchhunting, purity tests, and outright excommunication for heretical actions (and non-actions).  Disagreement is met with a extreme paucity of charity and hostility that at one time, was the sole domain of the fundamentally religious right.

I understand times change, but the illiberal Left today doesn’t resemble anything I ever signed up for.  So, the next step I suppose for me is the coming to terms with being more politically unmoored as time passes.

Obaid Omer shares a similar experience but his narrative speaks of a journey from the full embrace of Islamic religious values to a seeking solace in Liberal values of the West.  In his journey though he observes a chilling similarity between his religious roots and the new set of ‘liberal values’ (hence the title of this post the Fuaxgressive Left) that are flourishing today.

“But when I came back to Canada in 2014, I returned to a different country than the one I had left.

I had left a country that was proud of being the opposite of what bothered me about Islam, that was proud of a tradition of free inquiry and free speech, open debate and civil discourse. The Canada I returned to resembled the religion of my youth more than it did its opposite.

I left a culture that was steeped in a sentiment that could be summed up as, “I may disagree with what you say, but I respect your right to say it.” I returned to a culture summarized by, “I disagree with what you say, so shut up.”

Quashing debate and argument seems to be the name of the game these days, as certain opinions have been designated as unapproachable or ‘settled’ topics.  In a society that values the free exchange of ideas almost everything has to be on the table.  Odious free-speech must be protected along with the prosaically milquetoast free speech.

“The dam broke. Once they started calling it racist to criticize Islam, it was easy to shut the conversation down completely. The accusation meant the accused was morally beyond the pale, and thus completely dismissible. Words like micro-aggressions, trigger warnings, and safe spaces became mainstream. An emphasis on pervasive racism grew exponentially. To even question the extent to which racism was everywhere resulted in accusations of being a racist. Like with religious blasphemy codes, you can only talk about certain topics in specific ways.”

Ask your local MP what their definition of Woman is.  I’d be surprised if you got a response, because like discussing the extent of racism in society, trying to discuss female rights, boundaries, and safety has been designated a no-go zone by the gender reactionaries – the people that believe that men can become women simply by saying so.  Oppose their dictates and suffer the consequences: insults, threats, and if you happen to be a public figure the loss of your job or opportunities because the zealots get in touch with your employer.  Not very free-speechy I’m afraid.

I couldn’t help but notice there was an almost fundamentalist, faith-like aspect to these claims. It was as if in the years since I’d been gone, our society had decided to adopt the blasphemy codes of my youth. When I heard people asked to check their privilege or introspect the ways they have been racist, it sounded like the inner jihad that Muslims are supposed to perform to make sure they are on the correct path.

How did this happen? How did the religious tenets I had abandoned come to take over the liberal culture I had abandoned them for?”

When liberals lose sight of the basic principles of liberalism, this is what happens.    Yeah. The fauxgressive left is really big on the Rationalism or Individualism tenets anymore.

“And just as in Islam, there is a jockeying for who is the accurate representation of the faith, Sunnis or Shia, in the social justice camp, believers decide who the true representatives of each oppressed group are. Fall afoul of the right political view and you will be denounced; people throw around terms such as “political blackness” or “multi-racial whiteness.” Just as apostates from Islam are said to not have been real Muslims, detransitioners are told they were never really trans and Black people who speak out against the tenets of critical race theory are told they’re not really Black.

In Muslim countries, biology textbooks will censor evolution. Now, due to gender theory, biology is similarly coming into conflict with an ideology—and losing. A mixture of post-colonial theory and critical race theory is behind a push to disrupt texts, a call to decolonize the Western Canon and school curricula. Critical social justice ideologies are in direct conflict with Enlightenment values and the rigors of the scientific method, like Islam, and are thus a huge threat to liberalism—like Islam.”

Yep, it’s moving toward (or has already jumped ship from actual liberal values) batshite crazy inside the hallowed halls of so many of Canada’s institutions now.  The federal government, Universities, social institutions.  We should heed Omer’s warning:

“I have had the good fortune to meet and speak with many brave people in the fights against fundamental Islam and critical social justice. As I once did when speaking to Muslims, I keep hearing about the silent majority that is opposed to CSJ.

That silent majority needs to become vocal very quickly. We need more people to be brave enough to speak up and push back. The long march through the institutions is sprinting into the final lap, and it cannot be allowed to win. Take it from an ex-Muslim.”

 

 

You hate to see it, but again male entitlement and fragility win out over the concerns of women.  Apparently, this billboard is considered offensive and not allowed in the public sphere.

Of course women who continue to fight for their rights within Canadian society, are no strangers to small setbacks.  I sense this is only the beginning, as I imagine this billboard will be going up across Canada to raise awareness of how totalitarian the gender identity crowd is becoming.

 

Hey folks. Just got a threat from a transactivist on twitter about DWR.

Let’s hope they are full of bullshite and that wordpress isn’t craven.

I’ll keep you updated.

Arb

Cancel culture is the mirco level of what is happening in many parts of our online culture.  The macro: group dynamics, power dynamics, and class are what drive the process.  As critical thinkers and active citizens we need to be aware of both levels and how they interact and form the popular social currents in our society.

The most often suggested tonic to cancel culture is free speech.  I tend to agree with that proviso, but I would add that free speech is not enough to guarantee a social dynamic that is immune from the ravages of cancel culture.  Free speech must be coupled with a citizenry that has the wherewithal to think deeply about issues and be capable of frank analysis of the positions and arguments that they make, otherwise the utility of free speech becomes decidedly limited.

People have to be able to agree to listen to each other for free speech to work as we imagine it should.  Yelling at each other from ideological fortresses accomplishes nothing.

I would suggest that the ability to compromise is one of the key ingredients that is required to make a society that values liberty and freedom work.   There is a great deal of work to do in this regard as the barriers in place, as described by the JSTOR article, enumerates.  Overcoming cancel culture will involve not only improving our own critical faculties, but also helping others make that very same transition.

 

 

“Perhaps more than anything else, cancel culture will be seen as an intrinsic part of life lived publicly in this decade, with the downfall of powerful Hollywood producers, racist and sexist comedians, white supremacists, and clueless corporations left in its wake. Cancel culture, not unlike cyberbullying, has also had its more “innocent” victims, ordinary citizens who said the unacceptable thing in a public forum. Is the destructive power of cancel culture too much?

Many perceive this phenomenon of cancelling as a very new and scary thing that young people do, so much so that they’re ready to cancel the whole thing. Even Barack Obama weighed in on it recently, cautioning young people not to be overly critical and judgmental, as though the very idea of “cancelling” must always wrong and unreasonable, regardless of what is being criticized or how problematic it may be. Obama’s negative reactions to this kind of power being wielded by a groups that are relatively powerless, as an establishment figure (no matter how benevolently he presents himself), are perhaps not unusual.

The social psychologist John Drury shows that the discourse around crowds, collectives, and people power have historically been problematic and negative, revealing the class biases and political ideologies of those commentators who describe them. Communities and crowds out of step with societal norms are often presented as something to be feared, and this is something many of us internalize. Crowds are scary. Even as we speak, there’s civil unrest, protests, demonstrations, and strikes happening all around the world, for a myriad of different reasons, in a decade that began with the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street protests. These movements have not often been described in flattering terms.

The kind of language that’s used to talk about groups of people assembled together—or their collective actions seeking to change the status quo—often maligns communities as irrational, “mobs” or “rioters” with uncontrolled, invalid emotions, a kind of faceless contagion that presents a threat to civilized, law-abiding society and the ruling establishment. As Drury points out, this language systematically delegitimizes the aims of these collectives as being trivial, if not dangerous:

If the crowd is pathologized and criminalized, then its behaviour is not meaningful. There can therefore be no rational dialogue with it. Since the crowd is not part of the democratic process, it is legitimate and even necessary to suppress it with the full force of the state.

No one could argue that it’s pleasant to be at the bottom of a pile on, virtual or not. It’s true that people can band together for the wrong reasons, but, funnily enough, they can also band together for very good reasons. Cancelling someone, in terms of public shaming, or shunning, or just being criticized, is, again, nothing new, though it is arguably different in how quickly and severely it can happen online. The English professor Jodie Nicotra points out that such a thing has always been a part of community life and, in fact, a part of building and maintaining a community’s values. Whenever people have deviated from the norm, there have been public acts of shaming, from the scarlet letters or village stocks of Puritan life to the ritual public head shavings of thousands of French women who were suspected of fraternizing with German soldiers in World War II.

Cancel culture is, on the one hand, less severe than these acts of public shaming, because it is mostly linguistic and communicative. On the other hand, it can seem more extreme, because unlike these historical events of past shaming, it’s unconstrained by geographical space and can involve large numbers of people in what can become an unrelenting personal attack. And that certainly can have unintended repercussions. Because social media, especially Twitter, is loosely joined together by a network of weak ties, it actually makes it easier for new, especially negative information, such as rumors or criticisms or even fake news, to spread quickly. It’s not constrained by closely linked social circles where information eventually stops spreading after repeatedly being shared by multiple people.”

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