Things I read this week that I found interesting

See above.

The Idea of Feminism Isn’t The Problem; The Current Manifestation Of “Mainstream Feminism” Is (Gradient Lair)- An absolutely must-read piece.

If You Masturbate To This, Then Your Children Will Be Next (nyebaron)- Excellent stuff on David Blunkett’s nonsense.

How to Be an Ally to Trans Women (Julia Serano)- An excerpt from her new book, which you should probably read.

When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink? (Jeanne Maglaty)- Fascinating article about the history of baby clothes.

Being bisexual and dating a trans person (Cis is not a dirty word)- Beautiful and heartfelt.

No one campaigns for back street abortions… (everyday whorephobia)- Deconstruction of a double standard within feminism.

We Won’t Kick Transphobia Out of Football with Rainbow Laces (Useful Nuisance)- A deconstruction of S’onewall’s latest crap.

And finally, here is Mads Mikkelsen near a cat, because apparently pictures of him holding one don’t exist and this breaks my heart a tiny bit.

Dear David Blunkett

Dear David Blunkett,

I was surprised and disturbed by your somewhat revisionist historical analysis. In case you’ve forgotten the speech you gave, these is the alarming sentiments you articulated:

“The Lib Dems in Glasgow debated this and decided they were against automatic protection unless people chose to over-ride it, in terms of pornography on the internet and the protection of children. I think they were wrong.

“I think we have a job in this country, in a civilised, free, open democracy, to protect ourselves from the most bestial activities and from dangers that would undermine a civilised nation.

“In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Berlin came as near as dammit to Sodom and Gomorrah. There was a disintegration of what you might call any kind of social order.

“People fed on that – they fed people’s fears of it. They encouraged their paranoia. They developed hate about people who had differences, who were minorities.

“There always has had to be some balance, in terms of the freedom of what we want to do, for ourselves and the mutual respect and the duty we owe to each other in a collective society. I think getting it right is the strength of a democracy.”

See, the thing is, David, I’m not convinced that Weimar was the worst era in modern German history. It was a pretty decent time to be queer, really; we were accepted. It also wasn’t too bad to be a woman: our sexual agency was accepted and abortion was actually legalised in some cases, almost a century ago! The music was cool: they embraced music like jazz. It was progressive, in short, and marginalised people were treated more like humans than the little bit of history that came later.

That little bit of history that came later, David, was Nazi Germany, the spectre you raise as a consequence of not treating marginalised people like shit. Those who were accepted in the Sodom and Gomorrah times suffered heavily under Nazi Germany. The queers were forced to wear pink triangles and herded into camps, murdered in droves by the state. The women were treated as breeding machines, nothing more than a means of reproduction. The rich art and culture made by people who were not white, once embraced, was now illegal, degenerate. It was a period of history which sucked absolutely enormously for basically everyone who was not a straight, cis, able-bodied white man.

For some reason, you think this was the responsibility of exactly the people who suffered the most. You know who else thought that? Hitler.

I am writing to you, David, to express concern because I am fairly sure that you have ripped a hole in the space-time continuum by twisting Godwin’s Law so much. I presume you’re decrying Nazism and saying it’s bad, while simultaneously using some rhetoric with a distinctly fascist flavour. Of course I’ll help out if some of the Sleeping Ones awaken and pass through the portal you have opened, but I’m a little annoyed that I have to, to be perfectly honest.

On the other hand, David, I’m grateful. What could I possibly be grateful for, when you are essentially blaming millions for their own genocide?

I am grateful, David, that you have laid bare the inherent authoritarianism in the moralistic attitude towards banning porn. I am relieved to see that you have managed to point out that ultimately this isn’t about porn itself, but it is far wider, and far more chilling. It is rooted in a hatred of all that is not straight, a rejection of sexual freedom for women. It reflects a disgust at the queer. You have demonstrated this with your words far more clearly than all of the commentary that comes from the marginalised.

So fuck you, and all who share your views. You frighten and sicken me, as do all who agree with you.

No love,


EDIT 02/10/13: I made Blunkett feel sad.

Bisexual adventures with stavvers

Today is Bi Visibility Day, the day of the year wherein we bisexuals stop pretending to be humans and reveal our true forms as soul-eating beings of shadow and vapour.

I’ll be honest. It irks me no end that awareness days have to exist on any issue. It pisses me off that a single day of the year is allocated to groups of humans to go “Hi, we exist, please don’t treat us like shit.” It bothers me that one day of the year is considered somehow adequate to cram in pointing out “hey, this is an enormous problem, let’s maybe do something to make this not a problem any more”. And yet this is a thing, and today is all about us bisexuals being visible.

From my first stirring of a weird little feeling in the pit of my tummy while watching The X-Files and wishing I could marry both Mulder and Scully right up to my first drunk snog with a girl at the first cool party I went to, I’d kind of assumed I was straight. Why wouldn’t I be? That was the thing most people were, right? I had not experienced some sort of weird magic lesbian transformation like Willow, ergo, I must have been straight.

Well, obviously I wasn’t, and I never had been, but the fact I fancied boys kind of complicated matters in a world where bisexuals–if they exist at all–are apparently all lascivious sex tanks, evil axe murderers, or a combination of both.

Yes. I had managed to grow up in a world where I was bombarded by media produced in a society which isn’t particularly keen on bisexuals.

I was the queerest person I knew very well, until I was quite far into my twenties. I’d met a few gay and lesbian people, maybe a bi person here or there, but for the most part I was the only one I really knew. I was presumed straight, of course. The times I mentioned I was actually bi, I saw eyebrows go up. I received demands for a complete inventory of all the sex I had had in my life, ever. I heard mutters that bi people were just doing it for the attention. I often stayed quiet about my sexual orientation unless I was drunk, because people were often dicks.

In an attempt to connect more with my lesbian side, I read The Well of Loneliness. As a bi femme, it did not make me feel particularly good about myself.

As I got more involved with feminism and the queer community, I discovered how worryingly prevalent biphobia is among gay and lesbian people. We’re in the closet, apparently. We’re ruining feminism forever by sometimes having sex with men. Basically, we’re all gross and icky and we should just make up our feeble little minds and become properly gay.

And because of this, once again, I wanted to shut the hell up about my sexual orientation; people were being dicks.

Sadly, the monosexuals still dominate discourse. Whether straight or gay, they’re there, yapping away. Most of the time, bi people are just ignored like a beige carpet. This is the best option in a society which operates under some rigidly oppressive power structures. And at worst, it’s utterly horrid. We get homophobic abuse from the straights. We get biphobic abuse from lesbians and gay people. It is a pincer manoeuvre, the discrimination we face.

I’ve internalised a lot of it, from both sides, and it’s been a long process unlearning all of it, believing that there’s nothing wrong with me or anyone else like me. I think I’m getting there.

And I’m fucking sick of it all.

Make up my mind? I’ve made up my mind, and I’m proud of who I am.

Pick a side? I’ve picked my side, and that side is a stand against biphobia.

Just come out? I am out against bigotry.

Doing it for the attention? You’re damn right that I’m going to keep screaming and shouting that I exist and maybe I pose a problem for your blinkered and tedious worldview.

I exist, and I will not be quiet.

Things I read this week that I found interesting

Hello internet. I read things.

Of privilege in progressive circles. (Dani)- Go and read this.

SWOU statement in response to mis-representations from the Nottingham conference (Sex Worker Open University)- Signal boosting this, because it’s important. Yesterday, sex workers were literally locked out of a feminist conference, and misinformation was spread. Please read their statement.

“Racists React To [thing]” posts are just passive white supremacy (4thletter!)- An explanation of the problematic aspects of a particular trope in lazy journalism.

Why #ibelieveher, and don’t believe rape suspects need anonymity. (That Pesky Feminist)- Shit that shouldn’t need saying, said well.

Don’t Blame the Victim: Freshers’ Week Sexism (quiteirregular)- Timely post on a problem that is most visible at certain times of the year.

Health is not an obligation (hlokaya)- Excellent piece on the nonsense spouted about health and weight. Content note for eating disorders and self harm.

How about no more misogyny,racism and outings? (everyday whorephobia)- Your necessary occasional reminder that there’s a lot more wrong with the Sun than the third page.

And finally, the winners of Astronomy Photographer of the Year. Pretty!

Why I signed the statement of trans-inclusive feminism and womanism

At the time of writing, 158 feminist and womanist individuals and organisations have signed a statement of trans-inclusive feminism, myself included. It is sad that such a thing needs to exist in 20-fucking-13, but it’s vital that we are vocal in our opposition to feminisms which decide to exclude women. I will quote my favourite part of the statement below.

By positing “woman” as a coherent, stable identity whose boundaries they are authorized to police, transphobic feminists reject the insights of intersectional analysis, subordinating all other identities to womanhood and all other oppressions to patriarchy.  They are refusing to acknowledge their own power and privilege.

It is so important to acknowledge that transphobic feminisms are not just wrong, but dangerously so, and this statement does just that. Please read the whole statement and share it as much as you can! We need to be vocal about the unacceptability of bigotry in feminism.

Feminism and control of other women

This week’s issue which is calling some premium-grade nonsense to fly forth from the mouths of feminists is the topic of banning face coverings, specifically the niqab. It is something which appeals to politicians, satisfying both their desire for racist policy and managing to get a bonus bit of giving themselves further reason to mass arrest protesters as a shitty little cherry on top. As always, there are hordes of feminists who are perfectly happy to deal with this as it manages to sate their appetite for controlling other women.

I don’t think I need to go into why getting the state to dictate what women may and may not wear is hardly a feminist position, and is simply a manifestation of a white saviour complex. Go and look at what Muslim feminists are saying about this; this is not my argument to make.

Among certain strains of feminism, we see a lot of attempts at controlling what other women do, wear and exist as.

We see it in Nadine Dorries, who calls herself a feminist while simultaneously craning her neck for the best viewing angle of our uteruses. She literally wants to control our reproductive freedom, and believes this stance to be a feminist stance.

We see it in the TERfs, the bigoted feminists who bully and harass trans women for existing, who spread lies and misinformation, who exclude and who try to deny access to treatment. They call themselves feminists, yet they are trying to control women’s bodies, to set themselves up as gatekeepers to womanhood through establishing a firm grasp on what a woman must be like.

We see it in a lot of high-profile campaigns calling for bans on this or that manifestation of sex work. Behind all of this is a desire to control what work is acceptable for women to do. We see it in the entire prohibitionist angle towards sex workers.

Am I saying these people are not feminists? No.

They are feminists. They are simply feminists who will ultimately do more harm than good.

See here’s the thing. It’s a little bit Captain Obvious to suggest that patriarchy places controls on women’s bodies and women’s behaviour. We know that this is terrible and bad and we rightly kick up a fuss about it. And yet to many women, the control imposed by certain strains of feminism is just as bad as these manifestations of patriarchal dominance. It is no different, aside from the perpetrators. And this is why we see so many marginalised women turning away from feminism: feminism just appears as rebranded patriarchy, rebranded control and coercion.

The feminists who want to control other women will defend their stance by saying that the women they are attempting to control need rescuing somehow, that this control is salvation. You will note that they are never trying to save themselves, only others who are somehow letting the side down by letting themselves be oppressed.

And yet this defence is much the same as the patronisingly sexist attitudes we face from men. We don’t know what’s good for us. We need someone to sort it out for us, someone who knows best. We are literally incapable of knowing what it is we need.

We reject it from men, and we must also reject these impositions of control from women.

If we want to help marginalised women to be liberated, our task is not to lead or to legislate, but to listen. We need to ask what help is required, rather than barging in like a carceral Leeroy Jenkins and making everything worse. It is support, not control, that will lead to freedom.

Things I read this week that I found interesting

This week, I have been mostly playing Pokemon. Still. I also read some things. Perhaps you will find them interesting. I did.

On The Male Privilege That I Totally Have. (Alien She)- A badass trans sister says some shit that really doesn’t need saying.

An open letter to the men of the world (Days Like Crazy Paving)- Blisteringly brilliant.

Victim blaming: the easy option? (Sarah Thomasin)- On a very common reaction to abuse.

How *not* to write a blog about sex work (Sometimes, its just a cigar)- A useful primer on pitfalls to avoid, with reference to a particularly terrible example.

12 Angry Men… Or a dozen confused folk? The weeks in 1998 that changed me forever. (gibbsgubbins)- An account of being on a jury, and how the writer doesn’t trust jury verdicts anymore.

The hypocrisy of calling for anonymity for rape defendants (sian and crooked rib)- Bookmark this for when that waahmbulance ride of an argument comes up.

Battles of Cable Street (Michael Richmond)- Contextualising the Tower Hamlets antifascist arrests.

Allies Who Are Not Allies (Eponymous Fliponymous)- A story about needing a towtruck, which articulates a problem neatly.

And finally, this is the finest tumblr ever, fulfilling all your definitely-not-misandrist needs.


Guest post: Our Lady of the Bodice Ripper


This is a guest post from Sian Lacey Taylder, a writer and PhD student.

In September 2006 I was raped in what might be called a classic ‘date rape’ scenario, in the living room of my own home. I was encouraged by a friend to go to the police and, four days after the event, I called the sexual assault unit. I can’t fault the response or attitude of the police; I had two female officers who supported me through the interminable period between crime and trial. As a male-to-female transsexual I expected to expose myself to all kinds if ridicule but I experienced none; quite the contrary, in fact.

To my surprise the CPS charged my assailant with rape but for various reasons the trial didn’t go ahead until March 2008, some eighteen months after the event. It was a difficult time – my coping strategies mostly involved alcohol and self-harm and I was discouraged from seeking counselling as anything said in those sessions could have been used as evidence.


But that limbo was as nothing when compared to the trial. You’ve probably seen dramatic recreations on the television, probably read accounts of the Le Vell trial; let me you, nothing can prepare you for having to stand in that witness box and listen to every aspect of your life torn to shreds.

Inevitably, the case against him soon became a case against me. I’d expected and prepared myself for the predictable questions, about my gender and why hadn’t I gone to the police immediately. What I hadn’t anticipated was the counsel for the defence playing me at my own game – and winning. I’m a writer, I deal in fiction, some of it darkly erotic but even I couldn’t have invented the narrative my assailant’s barrister delivered in Luton Crown Court. It went something along the lines that, in order to take revenge on the male sex, I’d spiked his drink, masturbated him then spread his semen in and around my own anus. Yes, it was that sort of rape.

It sounds more preposterous now than it did then. You’d have thought nobody in their right mind would have believed it but the defence had already softened the jury with a character assassination that also belongs in the realms of metafiction. They fell for it hook, line and sinker. What follows is an account of the experience written shortly after the trial came to an end, the rapist having been found not guilty. I’d taken a leaf out of the defence counsel’s book and dressed it up as a third person narrative; it’s part of a longer memoir cum autobiographical novel that still remains a work in progress.


That Siân Lacey Taylder has not always been Siân Lacey Taylder was always going to be a predictable line of attack for the inevitable character assassination. I can’t be bothered to surf the internet for cases similar to hers; when women like Siân Lacey Taylder haven’t only been victims of rape but have had the temerity to report it to the police. If it’s happened half-a-dozen times I’d be surprised. She’s not like other women; she should’ve had the strength and physical prowess to resist. Perhaps that’s what you’re thinking, too. And let’s face it, chances are that the members of the jury fell for it hook, line and sinker as well; I doubt whether any of them had encountered a woman like her before; I’ll lay pretty good odds that each and every one of them saw the stereotype and not the victim. Doesn’t matter how intelligent or articulate she is, at the end of the day she’s a freak who can be perjured with impunity.

Because that’s what happened: perjury and a litany of false accusations so manifestly untrue she was immediately flummoxed.

Now, I’m proud to call myself a cynic, the so-called British sense of fair play is a complete anathema to me, an oxymoron – a dangerous oxymoron indeed but Siân Lacey Taylder still possessed a residual modicum of faith in the English legal system, not least because the Hertfordshire constabulary had treated her with nothing but dignity and respect.

Possessed a residual modicum of faith in the English legal system. I use the preterit advisedly.

How much can I tell you of the tissue of lies Siân Lacey Taylder’s assailant concocted with the help of his defence barrister? Let’s just say that they turned the truth on its head and accused her … well, more or less accused her of committing an act of violation against her assailant – or as close as was physically possible given her circumstances. I’ll spare you the gory minutiae, according to the counsel for the defence Ms Lacey Taylder spiked the drink of the man who raped her and took advantage of his comatose state.

It was, they argued, a classic case of revenge on the whole of the male sex.

I’ll tell you something, it would have made for an intriguing plotline but no agent, publisher or self-respecting reader would have bought it. God only knows how the jury were taken in but you can’t legislate for ignorance can you?

But that’s not the half of it. The next thing she knows, Ms Lacey Taylder is having the content and subject matter of her website and novel quoted verbatim as evidence of her disturbed state of mind. Since when has a work of fiction purported to be factual and reliable account of events? It’s a fucking story, for God’s sake, you can’t use that in a court of law.

Apparently you can. Here are just a couple of the offending excerpts the counsel of the defence saw fit to quote as evidence; needless to say they were taken out of context and without reference to the genre.


They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but the devil and myself only know the rage she suffers when deprived of the bodily bliss I considered, quid pro quo, to be rightfully mine. Whether or not he cried out ‘Rebecca’ is irrelevant, he had denied me. He was about to slump into narcosis when I threw him to the floor and, while he was still cowering in disbelief, surreptitiously removed from his wallet from his trouser pocket. In lieu of what he conspicuously failed to deliver.


Thus Siân Lacey Taylder is a woman of easy virtue, shamelessly flaunting her depraved and dishonest sexuality. Not only that, but using it for her own insidious ends.


In that split second of freedom I seized the burning candle and, before he had chance to recoil, tipped its burning, molten wax like a pellucid lava over the cherry-red helmet of his oscillating penis. He screamed, quite naturally, but with a clamour that terrified me for I had no idea as to the sensitivity of that ironically tender and fragile organ. It reared up in agony, like a wounded beast, and I cackled with undisguised delight.


Thus Siân Lacey Taylder is a woman of perverted sexual fantasies that border on the dangerous. Her fiction is the product of a disturbed mind and should carry a public health warning. In fact, it might be a good idea if Siân Lacey Taylder herself carried a public health warning, a placard around her neck advising any male unfortunate enough to cross her that she suffers from phallophobia.

On account of her once possessing one herself. You don’t think the counsel for the defence let that one pass without comment, do you? Talk about a condemned woman. They might have well have cast the first stone there and then.


She approached her victim, eyes set firmly on the prize, the dagger so close to her lips that with one slip she might have punctured them and left a trickle of blood behind her. She would not have cared; the unholy scream that came forth would still have echoed around the room and pierced the hearts and the souls of all who stood within its range. She raised the blade and brought it plunging deep into the heart of the priest.


Thus Siân Lacey Taylder is revealed as a woman with an unhealthy obsession with knives – as opposed to a healthy obsession with knives? She has sworn an oath on the bible and feels compelled to confess that, yes, she did wave the knife at her assailant and that, yes, she does have an issue with self-harm. Who the fuck is she trying to kid?

It’s not that we can’t trust anything she says; we’re not quite accusing her of being a liar (well, in actual fact we clearly are accusing her of being a liar but we have to be a bit more subtle about it); what we’re saying is that as we can’t trust everything she says (notice the subtle difference?). Her evidence simply cannot be considered reliable.

Or, in common parlance: Not only is Ms Siân Lacey Taylder a grotesque and deviant specimen, she’s completely off her trolley and her narrative’s riddled with inconsistencies. Fuck me; the case shouldn’t have been allowed to come to court in the first place. Just think how much of the Great British public’s hard-earned taxes have been wasted on this charade, no wonder the country’s in state of parlous moral turpitude.

But here’s the icing on the fucking cake. The protagonist of Siân Lacey Taylder’s work in progress, as featured on her website – went by the name of Lucretia. That she was named after the Sisters of Mercy song rather than Ms Borgia cut no ice with the defence counsel who neglected, of course, to mention the difference in the spelling.

But neither did her my own lawyer. Poor Siân Lacey Taylder. She never stood a fucking chance. The trial lasted over a week but the rapist got off scot-free.

You don’t need me to tell you how she reacted. More broken furniture and blood smears on the floor; the police calling round the following morning to make sure she was okay.

Okay? Okay?!! For fuck’s sake, of course she wasn’t okay. Siân Lacey Taylder would never be the same again.

Worse than that, Siân Lacey Taylder would never be Siân Lacey Taylder again; she’s reached the beginning of the end.


Seven years after the rape, five years after the travesty of justice – I mean trial – and I’m still a very angry woman. What that bastard did destroyed my already fragile sense of identity and, in April 2009, precipitated a suicide attempt. When my support officers came to visit me the day the trial ended, to say goodbye, one of them hugged me and, in tears, told me she, too, had been a victim of rape. Then, over the years, as I began to open up, so many more women related similar experiences. That’s why the furore over the Le Vell acquittal angered me so much I had to turn off the radio; the immediate assumption that the poor girl had been lying and the predictable calls for accused rapists to be given the same anonymity as their victims. ‘They will blame the woman’; it started with Eve, it’s still the default mind-set.

As for me. If I’m ever diagnosed with a terminal disease and given a few months to live I know what I’m going to do; I’ve already planned it. It won’t be pretty but it will be effective.


The police and instrumentalising survivors

Content note: this post discusses rape 

On Saturday night I sat shivering outside a police station with a bag of cereal bars and a friendly smile, waiting for comrades to be released from police custody following their mass arrest for Standing While Antifascist. Police came and went from the station, and eventually a car rocked up full of plainclothes cops, one of whom I’m pretty sure I recognised from actions and so forth; a meat-headed hegemonically masculine fucker.

Unsurprisingly, comrades were vocally critical of the police, particularly as it was a day where more than 280 people had been arrested for Standing While Antifascist. The police were asked what good they thought they possibly served in their role of police officers.

And they went on the defensive with a tired old line I’ve heard a thousand times before. “Tell that to the rape victims [sic],” they said. “Tell them we’re not doing any good.”

I’m not sure why it hit me so hard this time, but I kind of shut down. Full anxiety, unable to form words bollocks. Basically, I knew I would either cry or hit one of those jowly-faced pricks, and neither option was particularly appealing as showing weakness in front of pigs is almost as bad as assaulting one directly outside a cop shop. And so my brain decided to temporarily BSoD.

And now I’m left thinking of what I should have said, what I would have said had I been able to.

I’m thinking of how perhaps I could have said that as a survivor myself I never wanted to go fucking near the police because who on earth would? I would not want their sausage fingers probing my recently-violated flesh, hands more suited to violence than to aid. I wouldn’t trust the sensitivity of that porcine pair in any of it.

I’m thinking of how perhaps I could have pointed out the numerous fuck-ups that the police as an institution have made. Losing evidence, dropping cases on purely arbitrary criteria, all adding to unnecessary additional trauma. I could have mentioned how their Sapphire unit seems to be under a near-perpetual state of reshuffle as yet another survivor is let down. I could have mentioned how they continue to pump out propaganda placing blame on the survivor rather than the perpetrator. I could have mentioned how when police officers rape, it is often treated as an internal matter, only misconduct, much like fudging some paperwork (although, often their fudged paperwork happens to help perpetrators). I could have mentioned how they deceive women into sex to collect information on them. I could have mentioned how all of these failings put together paint a picture that suggests they cannot possibly be so awful by accident. I could have asked them whether they think their all-round hideousness contributes to the fact that the vast majority of rapes go unreported.

I’m thinking of how perhaps I could have asked why they had decided to point at an area where they are mostly contributing to a culture of violence by their inaction, rather than their usual method of actively perpetrating violence; in particular on a night where they were holding hundreds of non-consenting people merely because they had Stood While Antifascist.

I’m thinking of how perhaps I could have said that it is utterly disgusting that they use rape survivors as human shields against criticism. We are people, not an abstract concept which helps the filth sleep at night, that allows them to pretend to themselves that they are somehow doing good. We are not a trump card to be played, nor are we a distraction from the utterly unjustifiable. It is vile to instrumentalise human beings, yet this is what the bastards do time and time again. And it is horrible to see this line trotted out, confirming suspicions that this is all the police think of survivors. A problem to be solved so they have a success story so they can deflect attention away from their own thoroughly inexcusable violences.

I said none of this, because I was scared and anxious and angry and upset through their behaviour. I said none of this because as a woman and a survivor, the presence of gigantic meaty men who position themselves as gatekeepers for justice makes me feel fundamentally unsafe. I said none of this because I do not think it would have swayed them at all: they are incapable of reason, and it was not worth my while.

Fellow feminists and survivors, never forget that the police are not our friends.

Things I read this week that I found interesting

Oh dear, I’m very tired and hating on the police right now. But aside from that, I read some things.

The Perils of Being Trans and Mental (Alien She)- Heartbreaking post on gatekeepers in medical care.

Labels on my soul: “feminist” (Days Like Crazy Paving)- Why Jay has decided to start calling herself a feminist.

Why I Stopped Being a Grammar Snob (Mary Rolf)- On the privilege in grammar snobbery.

Something Rotten at the Sausage Factory: How Wikipedia Embraced Transphobia for Chelsea Manning (Philip Sandifer)- Long read, but everything you need to know about transphobia among Wikipedia editors.

Can the White Girl Twerk? (Ayesha Siddiqi)- On white girls, appropriation and sexuality.

Fangirl Isn’t a Dirty Word (Deborah Stanish)- Smashing sexism in fandom.

Why I’m Never Going Back to Penny Arcade Expo (Rachel Edidin)- Unfortunately, the battle against geek sexism isn’t won yet.

An open letter to gaslighters on triggers, trauma, and women’s anger (The Fementalists)- Just amazing.

And finally, here is a cat politely but firmly communicating its boundaries. If you don’t like cats because you’re some sort of monster, here’s some adults recreating childhood photos.