Is it time for another link round up? It’s time for another link round up.
Don’t feed the trolls! Time to boycott the media feminists (Stephanie Farnsworth)- A call to boycott people who thrive off of controversy.
Nicki Minaj reading Maya Angelou– Shiver-inducing magic.
You are exactly like all the others, whatever they say (Sam Ambreen)- Sam turns her fire on highly pervasive racism among people and the media.
Precariousness and Grievability—When Is Life Grievable? (Judith Butler)- An excerpt from a previous essay, well worth reading in light of recent events.
The Logic of Masculinist Protection: Reflections on the Current Security State (Iris Marion Young)- Again, this is an old essay, written in 2003, and it really, really shouldn’t still be so completely relevant.
After the Paris Attacks: 4 Questions We Need to Ask (James Butler)- These are all incredibly important questions.
Test (Robot Hugs)- Proposing a new metric for female character development: the fleshlight with a postit test.
Silenced! …. Permanently. (Natacha Kennedy)- Highlighting what silencing means for paid cis people like Greer versus trans woman like Vicky Thompson, and how the former category have blood on their hands.
And finally, my friend is in a lot of trouble. They’re young, black and queer and living with psychosis. They need a bit of money to make it through the next few months. I can vouch that they’re awesome and may be overstating the problem. Please consider donating or sharing.
Content warning: this post discusses transmisogyny, suicide, murder and prison
Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, and this year we are remembering 271 trans people who were murdered. Read the list of their names.
Of the victims, the overwhelming majority were trans women of colour. They were killed in brutal, vicious ways: stabbings, stonings, beheadings. We live in a violent world, and trans women of colour are more at risk of visceral violences than many others.
On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we mourn them, and each year we hope that the list will be shorter in the future.
The list only counts those who were directly murdered by the hand of another. This means that many other deaths are not counted: trans people are at a high risk of suicide, as well as HIV, addiction, and many other factors which cause one to die young, far far too young. It is perhaps not even possible to count these deaths.
One sticks out though. The day before TDoR, a news story broke. Vicky Thompson, a trans woman, was sent to a men’s prison. She had said she would kill herself if this happened. A week ago today, she was found dead in a men’s prison. Vicky Thompson’s death comes mere weeks after advocacy and action helped get Tara Hudson moved to a women’s prison. Vicky Thompson was just 21 years old.
The justice system have Vicky Thompson’s blood on her hands. Ministers Michael Gove and Andrew Selous have Vicky Thompson’s blood on their hands. The judges who sent Vicky Thompson to a men’s prison have her blood on their hands. Those who argue that a woman belongs in a men’s prison have Vicky Thompson’s blood on their hands.
Vicky Thompson’s death was as good as a murder. Vicky Thompson did not need to die. Vicky Thompson could have been easily saved, but there are too many who would rather see her dead than lift a finger to ensure that nobody ever dies like her again.
There is a culture of violence against trans women, and it is propped up and enacted by our government. Transphobia and transmisogyny demonstrably kill, and these bigoted, murderous views must die. It is not just words, just an opinion. Transphobic views kill, and they help the murderers get away with it.
Each Transgender Day of Remembrance, I boil with anger and sorrow. Even one death is too many, and trans women are killed in droves. The violence must end.
It’s that weekly round up time again!
The Gay Men Who Hate Women (Sean Faye)- Excellent analysis of the problem, with particular focus on how misogyny from gay men affects trans and queer women. Unsurprisingly, Sean got a lot of shit for this article. And so did women sharing the article. From gay men. Who are totes not misogynistic.
How to Write a “Political Correctness Run Amok” Article (Julia Serano)- Brilliant, witty piece on the whinings coming recently from the Greers and Bindels of the world.
Fascism (Tressie McMillan Cottom)- Examining the relationship between the media and activists, with focus on how Mizzou students were branded fascists for their suspicions.
The Fifteen Questions we work with (Undercover Research Group)- These are questions worth asking to check if there is an undercover cop in your midst.
People Don’t Hate Safe Spaces, They Hate The People They Protect (Miles Johnson)- This is an excellent article on the function of safer spaces and the reaction to them.
“We must unite globally against police brutality” Marcia Rigg on building an international coalition (Marcia Rigg)- The sister of a man killed by police states the need for global action.
Why our conversations about Paris have been broken from the start (Zoe Samudzi)- By far the best thing I’ve seen on the Paris attacks.
Volunteering At An Abortion Clinic Made Me Lose Patience With The Abortion Debate (Kaye Toal)- Why access to abortion is not a debate.
Autogynophilia pathologizes normal female behavior (Tobi Hill-Meyer)- Short critique of the transmisogynistic pseudoscience of autogynophilia.
Stalling Civil Rights: Conservative Sexual Thought has been in the Toilet Since the 1940s (Gillian Frank)- A short history of debates about who should (and should not) be allowed to access public toilets.
No such thing as straight women? The real danger behind this study. (Consider the Tea Cosy)- You probably saw the study, now here’s the takedown.
Relying on volunteering is more unfair than you think (Sasha)- Great piece on how relying on volunteering to assign tasks usually ends up with women doing the heavy lifting.
And finally, if you’re enjoying these posts and want to support me, please consider becoming a patron. It means a hell of a lot to me.
An evil stalks our white men, threatening them with seconds of mild awkwardness and the possibility they might have to think about others briefly. I am talking, of course, of trigger warnings. The usage of a short textual warning above content, equivalent to allergy or seizure warnings but relating to mental health, is new to these white men, just catching their attention.
It scares them. It scares them shitless. For many, it is hands down the biggest threat they are facing. And this cannot stand: this historically-cossetted group is finally encountering some adversity: imagine! They may have to think about other people’s feelings, something we have wrapped them in cotton wool to avoid. They may have to take thirty seconds of their time to type a short warning about what lies within an article… or even a book, fancy that! And worst of all–this is something we have tried for millennia to shield the poor souls from–people might, upon reading a trigger warning, choose not to immediately read what they have written.
This cannot stand. Nothing hurts white men’s feelings more than being able to blart their opinions everywhere while everyone smiles and nods. We have trained them into this, they know no different. They must be cushioned against this frightening change that has come upon them.
Of course, the little darlings are not completely defenceless. They have been bravely writing articles everywhere about how they are being censored, frequently getting paid to write about just how censored and silenced they are. They have been compiling “scientific” evidence: did you know “exposure therapy” works? It does, that’s why it’s used so often on chat shows like Maury! And, also, it shows up, like, all the time in films and fiction, where the character “faces their fears” and suddenly it’s no longer a problem. Science!
However, despite their best efforts, it isn’t enough. We are facing perhaps the biggest epidemic of Hurt White Man Feelings since Jeremy Clarkson got sacked. The warm duvets of blissful ignorance may be unwrapped, revealing that some people have experienced far worse than having to summarise content. This cannot be: white men’s problems are obviously the biggest problems.
And so, avoid trigger warnings. They may help survivors, and people with phobias, people with all manner of mental health problems, but let’s not forget the realest of real victims: white men who might have to do something. It is they who must be protected at all costs, because they never had to grow coping mechanisms like the rest of us.
It’s link round-up time again. Dig in!
MY NAME IS LEGION – The British Legion and the Control of Remembrance (Rod Tweedy)- It’s Remembrance Sunday so read this if you haven’t already.
Choosing Queer: I Was Not Born This Way, And That’s Ok. (Hari Ziyad)- Beautiful article on the choices the author made to be queer.
“Radical Self-Reliance” Is Killing People. (Kitty Stryker)- Deeply personal discussion as to how this trend is harmful.
Street Harassment in Nottingham: The Problems with Policing (Nottingham SOLFED)- A feminist critique of using police to deal with street harassment.
Why I Don’t F**k with Feminism, Even If It’s Intersectional (Jaime A. Swift)- How feminism has failed Black woman and how important Black women’s own organising and spaces are.
Fact check: study shows transition makes trans people suicidal (Cristan Williams)- Fact checking a favourite study that transphobic bigots love to trot out: the author thinks their interpretation of her findings is bollocks.
I Love Dick is one of the most important books about being a woman – no wonder it’s being dismissed (Dawn Foster)- This is a great article about one of my favourite books. You should read this, then read I Love Dick.
And finally, here’s a live stream of kittens, because you deserve it.
Content warning: this post discusses death and war
The Royal British Legion tweeted this image of a fundraising event. Look at it.
In the image, four children aged around twelve stand, holding gigantic plastic poppies. Three of the children wear t-shirts saying “Future Soldier”.
The poppy was once a symbol to remind us of the senseless massacre of millions upon millions of people in muddy fields far away from home. The poppy was supposed to say never again to the horrors of a spat between politicians murdering a generation. What it is now is a symbol of militarism, and standard used to recruit children to don a uniform and go off and get themselves killed. It means the opposite of what it is supposed to.
I admit I’d stopped wearing the red poppy about six or seven years ago. I am not sure if it was because my eyes opened to what it symbolises these days, or whether it was because the poppy itself had become twisted into a mark of jingoism. The trend certainly seems to have grown stronger in recent years.
Policing of wearing the poppy has grown absurd: public figures face attacks, all the way up to death threats, for not wearing one. There are fucking poppies all over everything, from buses, to a big fuckoff wearable poppy costume. GCHQ are taking a break from peeking at our internets and turning themselves into a humongous poppy, and looking a lot like budget Doctor Who villains in the process.
Meanwhile, opinion pieces glorifying the deaths in the First World War seem to be on the rise, with pundits and politicians alike acting as though it was anything other than a meaningless mass killing that fucked up the world for generations.
And now it all becomes clearer than ever. They want us to forget what happened and pretend–as they did a hundred years ago–as though wars are nothing more than a jolly good lark. They brainwash children: not to mourn, but to strive to emulate. I cannot stop looking at that picture. It makes my gorge rise. These are children, and yet in a few years’ time, if they follow the naive dream they are being steered towards, we could be seeing them shipped back in coffins.
Instead of the symbols, the reminders, we should focus on actually remembering. On remembering, one sees the brutal senselessness of this slaughter. With a symbol, it is all too easy to simply radicalise children into militarism.
I don’t really know how to finish them, so we’ll end with Wilfred Owen, who saw this coming almost a century ago.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
If there’s an afterlife, I imagine Owen is very, very angry right now.
MY NAME IS LEGION – The British Legion and the Control of Remembrance (Ron Tweedy)- An in-depth look at remembrance and the RBL, covering similar themes to this post, but far more extensively.
Content note: this post discusses rape
Today in “here’s a bloke who totally doesn’t understand how consent works” we have this chap, who was “falsely accused” of rape, and now makes recordings of consent before he has sex:
It has taken me a really long time to be intimate with another women and if and when that situation does arise I tend to ensure that I have recorded full consent before anything takes place.
I would ask questions like “What is your name? Are you comfortable in being here?” Just to make sure that I have proof that everything and anything that had happened, was fully consensual by both of us.
Yes. Seriously. That’s what he thinks is OK. And the BBC seem to have run his top tip completely uncritically. I shouldn’t have to explain why this is a bad idea and not actually seeking consent, but lest any young men try to imitate this, here’s why it’s absolutely not a decent way of seeking consent:
- Consent isn’t this magical switch which, when switched on, means you consent to absolutely everything that happens afterwards. It’s a process. It can be withdrawn at any point. So just because someone says “yes” at first doesn’t mean it’s going to be a “yes” all night, to absolutely everything that happens thereafter. It’s important to keep on checking, over and over.
- A recording can be coerced. Think about how most hostages say they are being “treated well”. Do you believe they are truly being treated well?
- A recording can be tricked. Is it going to cover absolutely anything? Probably not. This is probably just a general gesture of “consent” rather than what you are actually consenting to.
- Basically, the whole thing sounds like a rapist’s get out of jail free card. It misses how consent works in favour of legally covering bases. Knowledge that
Women, if a man whips out his phone and insists on recording your consent, I strongly urge you to run the fuck away. Maybe he is just a decent chap who doesn’t get it. But he is behaving like a predator by doing this. And he is behaving like a predator for wondering how he can avoid prosecution rather than being sure the person he is having sex with is enjoying it.
As an aside, it’s also worth avoiding men who say they were falsely accused of rape like the plague. Statistically, it’s more likely that they did it and got away with it.
For young men, consent isn’t actually difficult. It might result in you not getting laid exactly whenever you want. But what it does do is ensure you’re not a rapist. And isn’t that the most important thing in the world?
Hi everyone. I read things. Perhaps you may find them interesting?
Do You Know About Action T4? The Erasure Of Disabled People From The Holocaust Narrative, And Why It Matters Today (Granite and Sunlight)- This is a very important bit of history, and we must remember it.
How likely is an all-male speakers list, statistically speaking? A mathematician weighs in. (Lauren Bacon/Greg Martin)- This is a beautiful little bit of maths, and confirms what a lot of us suspected.
I am not here to inspire you. (stars & spirals)- Following a post that went viral, Becca examines being seen as an inspirational disabled person.
From #BlackLivesMatter to Anti-Austerity: Women of Colour and the Politics of Solidarity (Akwugo Emejulu)- What women of colour are doing, and how they are shut down in white-dominated spaces.
Black Girl Down… and Up (Prison Culture)- Concise piece on the violence Black girls face.
The Feynman Lectures on Physics, The Most Popular Physics Book Ever Written, Now Completely Online (Open Culture)- Free seminal physics, everyone!!!!!!
Why I call my son ‘he’, against my better judgement (Dorian Stripe)- On the difficulties of raising a child outside of societal obsession with assigned sex.
I don’t need fire safety talks (Barty Bantbrose)- A humorous take on the whole George Lawlor thing.
If Germaine Greer’s views were radical, this transgender woman wouldn’t have been sent to a men’s prison (Ella Griffiths)- Shit that shouldn’t need saying, said well.
And finally, even though it isn’t Halloween any more, have a bat cat.