The Council Has Spoken: February 20, 2015

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners


Has Putin Declawed Pussy Riot?

Russian Punk band Pussy Riot has released it’s first English song, “I Can’t Breathe,” inspired by the death of illegal cigarette vendor Eric Garner in a chokehold courtesy of New York’s finest. So two years after the bandmembers spent time in Russian jail with Putin on the cover of this week’s Economist headlined “Putin’s War On The West”, less than a year after Putin’s annexing The Crimea and likely within weeks of his pulling an Anschluss in east Ukraine, as well as his covert support of pro-Russian separatists throughout Eastern Europe, Pussy Riot has come out with a song critical of NYPD for choking a citizen to death.

The Daily Beast makes a critical note of the group, “It certainly says something that the group, with all that is going on in Russia and the Ukraine at the moment, feels the need to make their voices heard on an issue that’s confined to our shores.” Huffington Post is kinder, writing “The video, shot in Russia, shows (Pussy Riot members) Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina wearing Russian riot police uniforms and being buried alive. ‘We were realizing that Russia is burying itself alive in terms of the rest of the world. Committing suicide. Daily,’ Pussy Riot told BuzzFeed News.”

But the fact remains the video is in English and it is about an event that happened within the United States. Americans will likely miss the subtexts within the song that Pussy Riot claims attack Putin’s regime, and the Kremlin will likely see the video as targeted at the US  not Russia due to its subject and language.

So has Putin declawed Pussy Riot? It seems likely.

Council Submissions: February 18, 2015

Council Submissions


Honorable Mentions


Non-Council Submissions


What ISIS Really Wants

No, not the Isis from Downton Abbey who likely expired this week between Lord and Lady Grantham. The ISIS that is making the 7th Century cool to kuffars.

Graeme Woods piece in The Atlantic lays out what makes the group tick, and more importantly, how it fits with all the other groups that make up what we call Islam. It’s a one-stop shop that explains the difference between your friend who is a Muslim (and doesn’t want to behead you) and the devotees of ISIS who do. It reduces the complexity of extremist Islam to non-Muslims, and suggest ways to deal with it. It’s one of the best pieces I’ve read that wasn’t penned by Bernard Lewis. Here’s a brief sample.

Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending that it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it. We’ll need to get acquainted with the Islamic State’s intellectual genealogy if we are to react in a way that will not strengthen it, but instead help it self-immolate in its own excessive zeal.

So do yourself a favor and read the entire thing.

Update: Evidently lots of people have read the entire thing. The article has really split liberals into the realistic “these guys are who they say they are” sect against the politically correct “ISIS is not Islamic” group as represented by Obama and his sycophants administration. Asra Nomani, a Muslim, writes in The Daily Beast in defense of Woods, “But we, as Muslims, recognize every word in the Islamic State’s theology from teachings, ideas and interpretations we’ve heard through our approximately 50 years on this earth, from the living room chatter of “couch jihadis,” as one FBI agent describes “wound collectors,” to sermons, Facebook posts and Twitter messages.” Her article is titled “Will It Take The End of the World For Obama To Recognize ISIS As ‘Islamic’?” and argues that we need to view ISIS for what it is: an Islamic death cult. The article itself is worth reading in its entirety too.

Fifty Shades of Pathetic

My teenage son is being forced by his girlfriend to see Fifty Shades of Grey. I suppose this is payback for him taking her to see American Sniper, a movie that’s much more his speed. Although he’s old enough to see Fifty Shades, I’d rather he didn’t because I have serious issues with the relationship portrayed in the movie, and I know that kids his age are still quite impressionable. When I was his age The Story of O was making the rounds of the art houses and I remember seeing it and finding deep revelations within the movie. I saw it multiple times and it did influence my thinking about relationships.

Unlike The Story of O, I haven’ t read the book Fifty Shades of Grey nor will I see the movie. I am past the age where sex touches upon every waking thought and with age, I hope, comes wisdom. Here is what I am telling my son about Fifty Shades of Grey.

Submission Is Not Empowering; It Is Abuse. One of the aspects of movies like O and Fifty Shades is that I find particularly troubling is the idea that being submissive to someone is somehow good for you. In the fantasies portrayed in these movies the protagonists become submissive to their partners and are toyed with and dominated. Through this state of submissiveness they end up learning  about themselves, becoming better, stronger people in the process.

Half a century of life has taught me this is bullshit. The submission portrayed in these movies would in real life be viewed as a form of psychological and sexual abuse that would result in war crimes if it were practiced on prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Everyone I know has suffered in relationships where they have been dominated by a partner at one time in their life, one who cut them off from family and friends, who controlled what they did, what they wore and even what they ate. This goes way beyond kinky sex, and although I’m not personally familiar with the BDSM community I do know people who are, and my understanding is such domination only occurs within the context of  the “dungeon” where it is limited and contained.  Samantha Field who happens to be a part of the BDSM community and sees the movie as abusive writes, “Fifty Shades of Grey does to its audience what Christian does to Ana and what my rapist did to me: it completely resets our expectations and what we believe to be acceptable… The danger in Fifty Shades of Grey is that it does what an abuser does: it makes us think that abuse is normal.”

At a time when young men are being viewed as potential rapists, the last thing I need my son to think is that his girlfriend really wants to be abused, or worse, think it’s normal for her to do the same to him. There are so many mixed messages in our culture, so many competing definitions of what it means to be a man or woman, that a story like Fifty Shades should be seen for what it is: a vehicle to make money by the author and movie studios, and one that will inevitably hurt people.

People are Fragile. It will take the people who suffer in these unhealthy relationships years, and sometimes even decades to recover. It’s almost like the people hurt by the their own personal Christian Greys are poisoned by them, and this poison takes a very long time to dissipate. Before they recover anyone they touch will have to deal with the poison left by the Christian Greys in one way or another. The loved one who come after will be forced to deal with the alcoholism and drug abuse that comes with the destroyed self-esteem. They will spend years, decades even (for the more persistent) rebuilding what their loved one’s Christian Grey did without care or thought long before. At the very least those with a basic level self-preservation will run – not walk – away from the victims of the likes of the Greys, fueling their own guilt.

A Real Man Empowers and has no need to dominate another in order to feel alive. Consider how pathetic it is for a billionaire like Christian Grey to feel compelled to dominate a young nobody like Anastasia Steele (Good grief I can’t believe I’m wasting words on characters named like those in a self-published romance novel.) What, doesn’t he have any flies to pull the wings off of or puppies to kick? In real life a man like Grey would easily become Carl Icahn’s bitch, and would inspire an entire generation of character assassins and short sellers the way Enron’s Ken Lay did.

A real man builds up his partner. Destroying is easy, construction is hard, but just as fleeting as an orgasm is, the love that is built through daily nurturing can endure a lifetime. Imagine if Grey was a real man who helped Steele become a fully actualized human being, helping her define and chase her own dreams. The book would have been completely different and likely wouldn’t have been a best seller.

Real Men are the ones who encourage their spouses to go back to school or to start their own businesses. Real Men are the ones who flood the mail with books from Amazon on the works of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Galen Rowell when their loved ones express an interest in landscape photography. They are the ones who make sure there is endless half and half in the fridge so their loved one’s never miss having their morning coffee the way they like it.

A Real Man encourages without needing his own encouragement because he finds fulfillment in his creation, whether that is his career or his family (hopefully the latter). A Real Man’s character is evident through the success of his creation. Is his partner better off than before in all ways? Are his children well-rounded individuals who can grow outside their father’s shadow? Can his business survive without him at the helm? The answers to these questions are what separate Real Men from poorly written contrivances like Christian Grey.

Don’t Learn How to Live Your Life from Movies.  Movies are created for one reason only: to make money. We watch them for one reason only: to be entertained. Movies can inspire just as good music and good books can, but most movies, music and books are created to pay bills and consumed to keep boredom at bay. As science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon once noted “ninety percent of everything is crap.” This is just as true for movies, so it’s likely that his saying will apply to Fifty Shades.

If you want to learn how to live your life, look around you. I learned faithfulness from my parents and from seeing the lives of my friends ripped apart by divorce. There have been times where I thought long and hard about the suffering I witnessed, and from the care expressed by my mother for my father, but in the end I made the right choice. There are all kinds of role models; Hollywood or whatever it produces should not be one of them.

Romance Novels Suck. Men watch porn, women read it. Back in the day I tried to read erotica like Anais Nin and of course Ann Rice, but it didn’t work for me. Writing about sex is like trying to photograph music. I just don’t think writing and sex go together. Maybe it’s because I write for a living, I don’t know.

I’m sure the author could have written a better book by reversing the roles. Why make Grey the dominant? Isn’t the power he wields being a billionaire enough? How much more interesting the story would have been had the relatively poor Steele been the Dominant, the one holding a billionaire’s heart in her cold steel hands (Get it? Ana Steele, steel hands? This is why I write systems requirements) . What would she do with that power? Perhaps she would only come to realize the power she held in a sequel, and then there would be the books exploring her own morality. See? The mommys get their porn, the studios and author get rich, and Fifty Shades has a better chance of beating Sturgeon’s Law. Everybody wins!

It’s a Fantasy. Just because a person might fantasize about being dominated by a man like Christian Grey doesn’t mean they want to be dominated. It’s a fantasy; it’s not real. Truth be told people often do not want fantasies to come true. It’s one thing for their imaginations to run rampant, it’s another thing to have an emotional vampire like Grey appear in their lives.

Oh well. Telling an 18 year old boy about porn is like explaining water to a duck. I’m sure he’ll figure it out on his own…

 

What If… Shirley MacLaine is Just an Idiot?

I’ve always liked Shirley MacLaine. I liked her in Billy Wilder’s movies opposite Jack Lemmon in The Apartment and Irma la Douce. I even watched her videos in the 1980s to understand my New Age girlfriends better, and enjoyed her scene stealing in recent Downton Abbey episodes. But the actress turned New Age flake has sparked controversy with her new book “What If…” in which she suggests those killed in the Holocaust were paying for the sins of their past lives. The Daily Mail quotes the passage, “What if most Holocaust victims were balancing their karma from ages before, when they were Roman soldiers putting Christians to death, the Crusaders who murdered millions in the name of Christianity, soldiers with Hannibal, or those who stormed across the Near East with Alexander? The energy of killing is endless and will be experienced by the killer and the killee.’”

MacLaine is a former Baptist and this view expressed is not much different from Baptist teaching which views our souls as steeped in Original Sin. No one born is truly innocent. It is also a form of Deuteronomic Dualism where the theological question “Why do innocents suffer?” is answered “Because they are not truly innocent.” In MacLaine’s view they are being punished for actions made in their past lives.

Let’s look at Shirley’s numbers.

It is estimated that the Holocaust killed somewhere between 5 and 17 million people, with most sources agreeing on 8 million deaths.

Ancient RomeA current obsession of mine... It turns out Rome was extremely tolerant of religions and it wasn’t until Nero’s reign that the Romans began persecuting them, and even then the evidence is for only a few cases (notably the martydom of St. Peter and St. Paul). After Nero it wasn’t until Domitian demanded Christians express religious fealty to him that they were persecuted again, and as under Nero the cases were sporadic. Trajan, Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius protected Christians, and although Septimius Severus had a few Christians killed, there is no systematic persecution documented by Roman sources until the middle of the Third Century with the rule of Decius and later Valerian, Diocletian and Maxentius who was defeated by Constantine, the emperor who converted to Christianity and made it the official religion of Rome. The Christian emperors after that and the church itself tended to play up the number of Christians killed by the previous regimes, but today the number of deaths is thought to be in the thousands, not tens of thousands and certainly not more than that.

Crusades – Most estimates put the number of murdered around a million.

Hannibal and Alexander likely killed in the tens of  thousands.

But how many ancients have blood on their hands,  enough to justify being reincarnated as a Jew or Gypsy in Eastern Europe in the 20th century?

Hannibal and Alexander fielded armies numbering in the tens of thousands. Assuming that each soldier killed 1 innocent person, and we’re looking at roughly 100,000 “killers”. Assuming the same 1:1 ratio between “killer and killee” to use MacLaine’s terms in the Roman Empire, and we’ll generously estimate 100,000 “killers” in Rome. Of course the Crusades were a busy time for killing, and although the number of soldiers fielded during the Crusades is likely in the tens of thousands we’ll keep that 1:1 ratio and grant a million killers to the Crusades.

Total killers for all the events mentioned by MacLaine? 1.2 million – and that assumes that every soldier took one life when it is much likely that only a fraction of that number actually killed innocents.

So where’s the missing 6.8 million – those who had killed in their prior lives and were reincarnated only to die as innocents during the Holocaust?

There were of course other genocides in the 20th century. The Armenian Genocide that killed 1.5 million. The Russian and Chinese civil wars killed upwards of 20 million. The famine that followed Mao’s Great Leap Forward is estimated to have killed 40 million. Civilian deaths in World War I and II: 150 million.

It’s not an issue of karma but of demographics. There were many more people around in the 20th centuries than there were in prior centuries, especially compared to the ancient world. There are simply too many innocents dying this century who could have been killers in prior centuries.

But the main problem with MacLaine’s argument isn’t the numbers, it’s the philosophical logic. It rationalizes, even justifies Evil. The innocent woman raped and murdered deserved it because she was a killer in a past life, for example. There’s no point in punishing her killer because he will be reborn as a woman and suffer the same fate in the future.

Worse, it rationalizes anything. The poor deserve their fate today because they were wealthy and greedy in their past lives. The disabled must have injured others sometime long ago or else they wouldn’t have been born damaged. The ugly? Beautiful narcissists in the past. The rich and powerful today? The lot must have been humble and meek to deserve their current stations. This is nothing more than the justification for the order of things used by the Church and nobility in the Middle Ages to support feudalism and the oppression of the peasantry just with an Eastern twist. It is also a naive view of Karma and a gross oversimplification of Buddhist philosophy, the Baptist Sunday school taught to 5 year olds in MacLaine’s hometown of Richmond Virginia compared to the subtle nuances found in the writings of Thomas Aquinas.

I don’t think MacLaine should be censored for her views. I believe she has the right to her opinions just as she has a right to her flaky religious beliefs. But I do think she should be mocked, because while she has a right to her opinion as a public figure she gets a lot more attention than my loony neighbor who believes the Rapture is coming any day now. MacLaine has a microphone whereas my elderly neighbor does not.

Shirley MacLaine is an actress and we need to stop believing actors and actresses to be better people than we are. An actor’s job is to speak other people’s words,  not to have opinions of his own that are somehow more informed or better than yours or mine. Actors and actresses were looked down upon by most cultures until recently, and the Ancient Chinese and Greeks would think we were nuts for caring what an actress had to say about anything. Perhaps this is another lesson the Ancients have to teach us.

The Council Has Spoken: February 13, 2015

Council Winners


Fifth place t with 1/3 vote –The RazorEvidently Marijuana is Legal in NC Because These Reviewers Are High

Fifth place t with 1/3 vote –Simply JewsBibi does DC and some US Jews get their panties in a bunch. Is there a case for that?

Non-Council Winners


Mom’s Facebook Post Attacking Anti-Vaxxers Goes Viral

A Canadian mom who suffered the loss of  her five year old and whose newborn may have been exposed to measles goes on a rampage in a Facebook post and the post goes viral. The Daily Mail provides the post in full, but here’s an excerpt.

You think you are protecting them by letting them eat their shovel full of dirt and reducing antibiotics and eating organic? You aren’t. As an unvaccinated person you are only protected by our good graces. WE LET YOU BE SO PRIVILEGED thanks to our willingness to vaccinate ourselves and our children.

You know what vaccines protect your children from? Pain. Suffering. Irreparable harm. Death.

Read the entire thing here.

Canadian moms. Don’t f**k with them.

Council Submissions: February 11, 2015

Council Submissions


Honorable Mentions


Non-Council Submissions


Evidently Marijuana is Legal in NC Because These Reviewers Are High

Hotel Indigo, Asheville NC

Another review of an Asheville hotel, and I’m beginning to think I’m the area’s fussiest visitor. Over 1,000 reviews and a near perfect 4.5 rating?

Are the other reviewers high? As a long-time resident of North Carolina let me assure you that the state has NOT legalized marijuana but you wouldn’t know it by the other reviews.

First let me state that I am not a well-heeled traveler. I am more Lonely Planet than Michelin, and have slept in some unique places like on the deck of a steamer on Lake Tanganyika and a foreigner’s flop-house in Seoul. While I may watch Downton Abbey I do not demand to be treated as if I lived in it. All I require is a clean island of calm at an affordable price. But the more I pay the more I expect and that’s where things go off the rails at Indigo.

First off let’s dispense with the pleasantries. Hotel Indigo is a very clean hotel that is centrally located in downtown Asheville. It is within walking distance of restaurants, shops and nightlife that make Asheville one of the South’s treasures. Its staff was courteous, helpful and friendly – and rates 5 stars on its own. Unlike the Megacorp Grove Park Inn parking is included in the hotel price, and if “weird Asheville” or the downtown business district is why you are there, you won’t have to deal with the roving packs of metermaids waiting to sprinkle your car with parking tickets. The hotel is very well maintained and it is one of the cleanest hotels I’ve stayed in.

So to summarize:
Pros: Location, Staff, Parking, Clean

Now let’s sharpen our claws and tear into this hotel. First off this hotel is often referred to as “chic”. To a person under 30 this may sound cool. Anyone over that age knows that what’s “chic” has a half-life measured in milliseconds. To put it bluntly the decor of this hotel is horrendous. I haven’t seen that much avocado green since my mother redecorated her home in 1973. All that was missing was harvest gold – likely a planned upgrade for 2016. I suppose the stretched blue spandex on the ceiling and the multicolored carpet in the hallways looks great when one is “tripping balls” but it just gave me a headache. A half-wall in our room was covered with a photograph made into wallpaper. At first I thought it was a forest canopy, then it became a head of broccoli. By the end of my stay I believe it was a close up of a piece of moss-covered wood, but mmmm broccoli – steamed covered with cheese sauce. I guess you have to be high to appreciate it – but don’t forget that marijuana is still illegal in North Carolina and smoking is also banned in the hotel. As are firearms, the hotel conspicuously displaying the “Victims Inside” signs at all entrances, and one must sign swearing to abide by the ban at check-in. I suppose prayer will be banned in 2016, and free speech soon after, followed by the rest of the Bill of Rights. Who are the owners of this hotel? The Chinese?

Victim Signs Posted at Hotel Indigo Entrances

Being centrally located is a double-edged sword (not banned at Hotel Indigo), but decent hotels know how to keep the sound at bay through heavy drapes, double-paned windows, and sound-deadening walls. We stayed on the side away from the highway, but it was quiet obvious when the city was waking up. Whatever the secret is for soundproofing, Hotel indigo doesn’t know it. I’m just glad Luck kept us away from the highway side since The Wife hates light and I hate sound so we both had restless nights in the room; I’m sure it would have been much worse by the highway.

The room was small, a feeling made worse by the large picture of broccoli on the corner wall and it lacked a refrigerator. Now this may not be a deal breaker for some, but for those like the Wife who travel to one of the craft beer capitals of the country, one needs a place to chill one’s Green Man or Highlander. Evidently the management believes fridges in rooms would harm their carbon footprints, forcing their guests to hurt their tastebuds by drinking warm stouts and craft ales.

Let’s get something straight. If you worry about global warming you shouldn’t stay in a hotel unless you walk or bicycle to your destination. Flying is up there with setting Smokey the Bear on fire when it comes to CO2 emissions. If you worry about such then stay home.

Which leads to the worst aspect of the stay: value. You can do much better at other hotels in the area. The Renaissance costs the same and has a bigger room, with walls that won’t give you the veggie munchies. It’s also centrally located and has no problem keeping the city sounds at bay. By the time you spend money on the upgrades at Indigo you could stay at the Haywood Park which has an even better location for business/weird Asheville, plus the amenities and luxury one expects for the price.

If you REALLY want a view, you shouldn’t be staying in downtown Asheville at all. The city is surrounded by mountains and you can do much better with hotels located on those. Even the cheap ones have better views than the most expensive downtown hotels.

Cons: Décor, Gun Control, Soundproofing/Lighting, Amenities, Fake Environmentalism (aka Greenwashing), Value

Booking Tips:
Do NOT book on the highway side of the hotel unless the sound of traffic lulls you to sleep. Also the higher up the better. For couples looking for a “romantic getaway”, avoid everything but the penthouses. Your ‘significant others’ will not be happy (as mine wasn’t).

Eco-friendliness:
If I want to camp, I’ll stay in a tent for free. If I’m paying $200 a night I expect a fridge in the room, lights that don’t make everyone look like Kermit the Frog, and hot water that arrives when I want it instead of next Tuesday.

The Council Has Spoken: February 6, 2015

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners


Council Submissions: February 4, 2015

Council Submissions


Honorable Mentions


Non-Council Submissions


Terf Wars

The New York Times had an interesting piece on transgender people at women’s colleges,  “When Women Become Men at Wellesley.” Women’s colleges like Wellesley are grappling with how to maintain their status as women’s colleges in an age when gender is no-longer binary and is decoupled from sex. As the trouble at Wellesley shows things aren’t easy for anyone in this hyper-politically correct atmosphere.

Brian O’Rourke who oversees enrollment at the college says “We had a national speaker on trans issues join us on campus about a year ago, and one of the things she suggested is that we stop referring to Mills as a women’s college, because that concept is exclusionary. In the auditorium, there was an audible gasp. We’ve had a lot of conversations about how to stress women’s leadership and women’s empowerment and at the same time, include people who may not identify as women. The answer is: We don’t know yet.”

An audible gasp! I’m surprised no one fainted especially among those of the fairer sex, which to be fair, is hard to discern at Wellesley these days.  Not to be outdone a student group at Mount Holyoke has banned the Vagina Monologues because it discriminated against “women without vaginas.” The group sent an email to students on campus stating, “At its core, the show offers an extremely narrow perspective on what it means to be a woman.” The Vagina Monologues were written by Eve Ensler in 1996 to “celebrate the vagina.” Two years later Ensler changed the purpose to stopping violence against women. No word on whether her intent was to exclude violence against women without vaginas.

Back in the Day a few of my friends and I decided to form a group “Female Athletes in Bondage” even though we weren’t female, we weren’t athletic and as far as I know, we weren’t in bondage. Nevertheless we claimed we were lesbians trapped inside male bodies for what reason I don’t recall. Back then we were just horny teenage boys attending an all-boys Catholic prep school, so creating a club with the word “female” in it was enough. But today… Our lives would have been completely different. We could use our little club to gain entrance to a woman’s college. Then again, perhaps it’s a good thing we were ahead of our times. I pretty much wasted my entire first year in college in a girl’s dorm room as it was without the support of the administration; I can imagine what trouble I would have gotten into had the college sanctioned my (ahem) “gender studies.”

As it turns out there is such a “thing” as lesbians who feel they are trapped inside the bodies of men. Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin, in Shyness & Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment (University Press of America, 1987) writes,

 

Specifically, a “male lesbian” is a heterosexual man who wishes that he had been born a woman, but who (even if he had been a woman) could only make love to another woman and never to a man. Unlike the transsexual, the “male lesbian” does not feel himself to be “a woman trapped inside the body of a man”. Moreover, none of the love-shy men studied for this research entertained any wishes or fantasies of any kind pertinent to the idea of obtaining a sex change operation. All wanted to keep their male genitalia; all wanted to remain as males. However, all deeply envied the perogatives of the female gender and truly believed that these perogatives fitted their own inborn temperaments far more harmoniously than the pattern of behavioral expectations to which males are required to adhere.

 

An internet search of the opposite, a gay man trapped in a woman’s body, finds a lot of speculation and anecdotal evidence supporting this concept although I didn’t see anything vaguely empirical. Still it’s clear from experience that gender identity is complex, and since it’s impossible for us to live life in a different body it is also impossible to imagine what life is like as a woman, a man, or anyone else for that matter. So to avoid offending people writers like Eve Ensler either have to include everyone born with vaginas (heterosexual women, lesbian women, gay men trapped in women’s bodies) and those without vaginas (transgendered women, lesbians trapped in men’s bodies), excluding only gay and heterosexual men – men who self-identify as the male gender. And yes, if my teenaged self were around today he would likely demand Ensler include members of the “Female Athletes in Bondage” in her monologues, because he was a bit of a sacred cow slayer and rouser of rabble (blame the Jesuits.) And by doing so Ensler would end up writing a worthless piece of pablum that would be even worse than the tripe she’s come up with in the Vagina Monologues.

You see, the bottom line is that whether or not a guy feels like a lesbian trapped in a man’s body, he’s going to keel over if someone kicks him in the nuts. Similarly a transgender woman will never know the misery of menstruation or the pain of natural childbirth no matter how many operations she has. She also will never know “the feminine experience” – an empty concept since it’s impossible to know what it means to be anyone but ourselves.

Feminists like Ensler get this, which is why they are being attacked as “TERFs“  – transphobic exclusionary radical feminists. Using Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals #12, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it,” feminists who believe that sex and gender cannot be altered through surgery and that biology is in fact destiny, are being defined by those who think otherwise and are determined to destroy those who disagree with them. And when feminists fight back they immediately play the victim card. Transgender woman Kelsie Brynn Jones writes, “Merely by taking a stand against them, I and others like myself have been subjected to threats against our personal safety, been bombarded with spam, pornography, and signed up to various mailing lists in an attempt to silence our voices.” And the same thing and worse is not happening to biologically born women?

Nonetheless some feminists are fighting back. Deep Green Resistance (DGR) is a group of radfems (the preferred term of radical feminists who support excluding the transgendered – any more terms and I’ll need a glossary at the bottom of this post similar to that at the back of Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange) that believes “a person born with male privilege can no more shed it through surgery than a white person can claim an African-American identity simply by darkening his or her skin,” writes Michelle Goldberg in the New Yorker. Good point. Michael Jackson’s skin treatments didn’t stop him from being a creepy pedophile. Paleofeminist Germaine Greer says it’s impossible for a man to understand what it’s like “to have a big smelly hairy vagina,” although BritFem Sheila Jeffreys points out the man-made vaginas owned by the transgendered “do not resemble vaginas… and cause serious smell issues for their owners.” Jim Goad writing at Taki’s Magazine notes “leftist intersectionality has devolved to the point where real women and fake women are arguing over whose vaginas smell worse.”

To a white person born of male privilege all this fighting is about as violent and meaningful as a catfight – a lot of hissing and spitting but very little damage. A dose of perspective is in order. Not more than a long plane ride away there are men throwing gay men off buildings and stoning to death those who survive.Women are being raped and forced into slavery. Adulteresses are stoned to death. A fellow Sunni Muslim was burned alive in a cage. What would the psychopaths at ISIS think about such screeching? I doubt female-to-male transgendered individuals would get a pass from such barbarity, nor would male-to-female transgendered avoid a long fall from a high place. As the lives of women slide slowly back into the Stone Age the privileged elite in the US creates acronyms and emails hate porn.

Me-0w!

 

The Council Has Spoken: January 30, 2015

Council Winners


Non-Council Winners


Council Submissions: January 28, 2015

Council Submissions


Honorable Mentions


Non-Council Submissions