Tempest In The Wi Spa: A Case Study In Mass-Gaslighting

“If you are concerned with other people’s genitals, that is a *you* problem.”

Girl And Wheat

As if we could have one conversation that doesn’t somehow come back to your dick!

So concludes a response to women’s discomfort with men in our spaces. This was the first justification I saw trotted out in the aftermath of the Wi Spa viral video. Since then, the narrative has hopped from victim-blaming to saying the incident was staged, and finally to insisting OP made the whole thing up!

The latest coverage in the Los Angeles Blade wants to be conclusive: “Anonymous sources within the LAPD tell the Blade they have been unable to find any corroborating evidence that there was a transgender person present on that day.”

“Treatment at the Spa is by appointment only, and a source at the Spa told the Blade there’s no record of any of its usual transgender clients on its appointments guest list on the day in question.” 

But I hear so many of them pass so well! Maybe no one noticed, right? 

“Cubaangel’s Instagram account is almost exclusively Christian memes, which begs the question why she chose to go to a spa well known for being LGBTQ friendly.” This doesn’t neccessarily follow. Some people cite their Christian faith as their motivation for being more tolerant – imagine, following Jesus’ example! And this woman lives in LA, not exactly a conservative town.

But her religion and her failure to film inside a nude sauna means we can disregard the whole thing. “No transgender person can be seen, and no other witnesses have come forward to confirm the allegations made.”

To obscure the very similar and more detailed story another woman wrote in 2018, the Blade throws the link to her complaint in here: “It’s also not the first time Wi Spa has been targeted for catering to transgender people.” 

Let’s see what ‘catering to trans people’ meant in 2018.

“I would give this place five stars a week ago but…. Last night I had the most disturbing experience in the women’s locker room.

“Upon checking in, the clerk advised us that “there was a transgender male in the women’s locker room” … Ok… No problem, I’m not the type to discriminate people, but once in the women’s area, I saw the mentioned “transgender” individual naked in all his glory, and he still had a male organ hanging there…ok…no fuzz… That surgery is very expensive

“Anyways, so I go on my routine and I get to the shower room, he was almost next to me showering too when I start to overhear hearing the conversation that he is having with a lady that was also in the shower area.

“I clearly heard him say that he has had sex with probably one hundred women and that he was looking for a female girlfriend to share his time with…. He also mentioned that he uses cocaine and LSD to “relax” … Ok…not my business what he uses to relax…”

This woman wrote this in a Tripadvisor review, and doesn’t mention informing the police. The man in her story acts totally inappropriately, but his behavior just triggers the No True Trans subroutine in her programming.

Haunted Bed

I feel a presence watching me!

“But hey, a transgender person does not act like a guy around women nor they state how much they like women nor how much they like having sex with them! This guy is Not transgender, he seems to be just a “pervie” and given his accent he is from another country, Europe I believe.”

Oh yeah, those dirty Europeans, amirite? American snobbery aside, this man’s bad manners are what qualifies him as male in her eyes.

“I heard from other ladies there that he goes there quite often.” They must feel like the luckiest ladies in LA!

“I have nothing against gay people or transgender etc. but every gay guy I know uses the men’s locker rooms when in the spa.” Most female impersonators are straight, just twisted.

“Management said that according to the Law there was nothing they could do.” And this is where we find ourselves in 2021. “Yes, they can reserve their right to provide services to anyone, that’s not against the law. They can deny entrance to this person based on his behavior, not on his gender.”

How exactly this Picasso portrait of the Marquis du Sade doesn’t get him the boot I can’t quite wrap my head around. Our intrepid author has a hard time with it, too.

“I enjoy going to the Wi Spa and it is not fair to me or other women to be put in this position where you basically have to leave the Spa because you feel uncomfortable in such situation. I wouldn’t have minded the situation at all if that guy was really transgender, but obviously he is not.” Because transgender people are all delicate flowers!

But isn’t gatekeeping transphobic?

“I’m concerned about my safety and the safety of other women in the spa.” TERF! “Like I said, I wouldn’t have minded if he was really truly transgender, and preferably without that wig he took off to wash…

Oh for fuck’s sake. That man had no right to make those women watch that.

“This is a call to the owners of the Spa to protect their valued customers, thank you.” They have apparently less than zero interest in doing this.

And the Blade has no interest in objectivity: “After the alleged, unconfirmed incident, Wi Spa was deluged with 1-star Yelp! and Trip Advisor reviews.” Oh, the humanity! This writer takes great pains to downplay any possibility of such a thing having ever happened, anywhere, ever.

But if this is what qualifies as ‘catering to transgender people,’ it’s obvious why women are upset!

Unfortunately for us, since white nationalists are also angry about the trans movement for their own reasons, no woman has any reasonable objection, ever. “The video quickly made the rounds in far-right, and Trans-Exclusionary Feminist (TERF) sites. Anti-trans ‘feminist’ websites like Mumsnet, Ovarit, and Spinster were sharing content by far-right provocateurs known for disinformation, like Ian Miles Cheong, by June 27th.”

The shoutout is nice (complete with links!) but I spend probably too much time on Ovarit and ‘TERF’ Twitter and have no idea who this person is.

However, a few prominent feminists have been getting chummy with the right, home to fundamentalists of every flavor. In a game with only two teams, falling out with liberals doesn’t make flirting with conservatives suddenly a good idea.

Eve

He says he’ll keep me warm!

Because those people are still nuts! When a suspect in the latest incident was floated, the worst elements took aim: “She received multiple death threats and harassment, including a picture of a masked man brandishing an assault weapon threatening to shoot her.”

And this is where hanging with conservatives comes back haunt us. The picture and accompanying caption are terrifying, a lot like things I have received from self-appointed TERF-hunters. The line between Mainline Republican and Conservative Nutjob has been washed away in wave after wave of corruption and pandering. Is this who we want to be seen with??

“All of this fits into an emerging pattern of the alt-right, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorists,” Woa, where did this come from? I have dug into how they connect the dots from radical feminists to white supremacists, but the logic is strained and this reference comes out of nowhere.

And our Blade writer runs with it. “Violent far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the religious right, and anti-trans ‘feminists’ are collaborating and coordinating as they share the same media streams.”

As evidence for this, the Blade links to a Dame Magazine articleThe Far-Right And Anti-Trans Movements: An Unholy Alliance. This in-no-way-clickbait title heads a pile of interesting data points, such as, “violent white nationalists are separate from, but adjacent to, the Christian right.” I think we’ve all seen enough evidence in the past year’s news cycles that they are two sides of the same coin. They’ve been pretty blatant about it for a while now.

Then there’s this chestnut: “At the 2017 Values Voters Summit hosted by the Family Research Council, Meg Kilgannon outlined the religious right’s plan to co-opt anti-trans feminist groups, and use their feminist-sounding language to seem more secular while hiding the true motivation behind their animus.”

This is an unflattering paraphrase of a mutual agreement. But has it ever occurred to us that the religious right are not coming into this blind? Those who tend the flame of Colonialism are not the simple folk they present themselves as.

Considering how anti-religion radical feminism is, and its absence from pretty much all radfem spaces, it doesn’t seem like this has had much internal, practical effect. But when the opposition stubbornly refuses to look into things, optics become vital to communication.

Back to the LA Blade: “Rhetoric against transgender people in popular right-wing media like Fox News has grown both more frequent, and more extreme. In April, Tucker Carlson (who serves as a gateway to the far right) declared that transgender people are a threat to the “perpetuation of the species.”

Tucker Carlson’s populist gibberish is only a gateway to anything if you pretend he’s not heir to the Schwann’s Frozen Foods fortune. And it’s recently come out that he’s a well-known source for dirt on his colleagues, apparently an open secret among reporters.

Wink

Snitches get stitches, right Tucker?

Most of the radfems I know are leftists, and not the kind of person who watches Fox News.

But the LA Blade quotes Dr. Joe Mulhall, head of research at the UK’s anti-extremist watchdog group Hope Not Hate, “If you talk about trans issues it opens the doors to the mainstream.”

Who knew you could run a watchdog group from under a rock? Fox may have the best ratings in cable news, but that’s the penthouse of a burning building.

Feminists appearing on right-wing platforms to defend women’s existence only to be undermined and reinterpreted shows how the left has abandoned us. These days, speaking up against anything Trans is the fastest way to lose your job, your friends and even family members.

Still, Dr. Joe insists, “The far-right are saying things they know will be echoed in the comment pages of the right-wing press.”

Plenty of things in this situation are still confusing, not least of which is this comment. Since when is there a right-wing press? What happened to the liberal media??

Rich governments, Amazon, The New York Times, The LA Blade, the World Health Organization, The Olympics, GLAAD, libraries and school boards and the stuffy old BBC are all behind this. Still, they see enemies everywhere.

Regardless of right or left, things are moving forward quickly: “Flyers are circulating online advertising a second protest against Wi Spa on July 17th. “

Hey, that’s today! Police are mobilizing to prevent a repeat of last time, and I’m still not convinced that the first protest wasn’t a TERF trap.

But we can all look forward to continuing unbiased coverage in the LA Blade: Robert Lansing is a pseudonym for a long-time investigative trans researcher and writer-journalist.” 

I have my own biases, of course, but sharing a sex phenotype with half the planet is not a mental illness. Biases born of material reality are stubborn things. They don’t stop being true just because you don’t like them.

Such as women’s objection to males in our private spaces.

“It does not matter AT ALL if the person peeing next to you is doing so with a penis. If you are concerned with other people’s genitals, that is a *you* problem.” How we wish this were true! Right ladies?

Dreamy Seamstress

If only the world were perfect!

It would be wonderful not to worry whether any men were around. To just go about our business and pay them no mind. What bliss!

But of course, we’d have to be ignorant of all of human history. How men decided their penis was a weapon and wielded it to terrible effect. How they systematically raped us, locked us up as broodmares, and killed many who disobeyed.

Ignorant of how, to this day, night jogging is not a good idea. How the leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder. How ‘rough sex’ is a common defense for it.

To suddenly insist that an uninvited penis is not a flashing neon warning sign is to deny the entire history of civilization. And the most ambitious gaslighting play of all time.

Women Are Not Men!

What is Woman?

Vacation

Somehow, they always seem to know when it counts…

After centuries of having this question answered for us, we have struggled to rise to the opportunity of defining ourselves. It’s become an individual project, each woman left to figure it out alone because the thing we all have in common is portrayed as our greatest weakness.

The primordial origins of what it is to be female have been weaponized against us so effectively that we are terrified of them. To even suggest that the potential to gestate offspring is fundamental to femaleness is controversial, and feminism has traditionally been about exploring all the other things women can do.

The legacy we inherited is strangely silent on the subject of motherhood. Implying pregnancy is a uniquely female problem automatically puts people in mind of conservative family cults. ‘Is a childless woman somehow less of a woman?’ comes the perennial question.

Of course not! Biology may not be destiny, but it is our common starting point. Our hypothetical ability to bear children is understood by those around us from the very beginning. It is the wellspring of the endless conditioning we all face.

Our assumed reproductive capacity is the rationale for misogyny. It is the foundation of the patriarchy we are fighting every day!

Feminism’s unwillingness to directly address this fact is its fatal flaw.

Radical feminism is supposed to be about getting to the root of female oppression. Yet, somehow, it’s unpopular to point out that the root of women’s oppression is our unique childbearing abilities. Men simply can’t do this, and they’re still fuming over it! 

A pregnant woman is a vulnerable woman, a new mother even moreso. Creating the next generation takes a lot out of you, and our male companions have taken disgusting advantage of this process.

But never mind suggesting we should be controlling that conversation. Maybe after we get parity in the Fortune 500.

I understand the gutwrenching, involuntary internal scream in response to, ‘Do you think you might settle down?…’ On top of the social suffocation that is Parenthood, kids have only become less affordable since people started asking me that. I get how plenty of other Pushing-40s have passed that off-ramp and not looked back.

But if we are really so enlightened, if we have cast aside the shroud of ignorance and revealed Woman as just as capable and intelligent as any man, we should be able to look honestly at who she is. Where we come from will always be part of who we are.

Little Girl Makeup

Someday, I’m getting out of this dump!

Maybe think of motherhood as women’s hometown. Some of us are happy there and stay there our whole lives, others leave early and never look back. Some of us yo-yo for decades before making up our minds.

At 20, I was a Leaver. I was way too focused on being a nervous wreck to worry about family planning. I probably should have, but I’ve always been determined not to be resentful of my son.

We are responsible for making choices, and I would never force motherhood on anyone who didn’t want it. It’s fucking hard! And if your heart’s not in it, please don’t bother.

But whether or not we realize our reproductive potential is strangely beside the point.

The very existence of that potential – our Hypothetical Motherhood – has been enough to justify thousands of years and millions of lives. Have a baby, don’t have a baby – I look forward to celebrating our freedom of choice when all women share it.

Sadly, that’s not looking likely anytime soon. Women’s liberation, our personal bodily autonomy, is out of fashion in the Western democracies. We’re being brushed aside, yet again, in favor of the latest iteration of Male Supremacy. Quelle suprise.

And we’re letting it happen because we’re too afraid to face who we are. Better to be erased from law and history than admit what a female is.

Men have no problem confronting their maleness, they assume it’s just how things are! They turn the thermostat down and get up and leave without a word, frustrated by the suggestion of alternatives. Men have written endlessly about what it’s like to be a man. They have expressed every possible permutation in loving detail, indulged in their darkest thoughts without a shred of shame.

The ‘male gaze’ is everywhere, many young girls absorb it and internalize it. I know I did. Again, we are isolated, separated into body parts and spread across camera angles.

What is Woman? Is it any wonder we don’t know?? Men feel perfectly entitled to their maleness, our intimate companions spread their hairy flatulence across the couch without a care in the world! The confidence of a mediocre white man truly is something to behold.

Patch Him Up

Don’t worry, you’ll get him next time!

But all the gender-bending going on has me imagining a different kind of swap – What if masculine traits made you look less intelligent, less competent? Why is a deep voice perceived as authoritative instead of dopey? Why is it what a fat bitch and not what a hairy neanderthal?

Because our social narrative says so. Being female is not a weakness, and birthing children sure as hell isn’t.

Women have had to be extremely adaptable in ways that men haven’t, and now our ability to go-along and get-along has been turned on us, too. We have been tricked into exchanging too much of ourselves for admission to a world that already belonged to us.

Soon they’ll be taking reproduction from us, too, and women will become the Neanderthals – A forgotten branch of humanity that contributed nothing of much importance.

We need to return to our roots if we want to nurture womanhood, but we’re too afraid to go there. The core of Women’s Liberation should be freedom to be womenand we don’t even know what that means! It cannot be simply to have a job, and not a penis. We are losing because we don’t know what we’re fighting for.

Women are not men. We have a different starting point that results in a different spin on life. If ‘woman is not a feeling,’ what is she?

It’s discouraging and not a little embarrassing that Feminism has no answer for these questions. Woman as adult human female is a bit circular, really, because what is female?

‘Of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs.’ I hate to get essentialist, but I am not the one who brought the conversation to this granular level. We didn’t ask for this role, but let’s give it all we got!

Women are the sex class that can produce offspring. We have to figure out what that means for our future, or let patriarchy decide for us. Again.

Women Out In The Cold: Hey Ohio, You Decent?

As much as I hate to admit it, I grew up in Ohio.

Classy Dame

A classy dame like me? Weird, I know!

For a long time people called it America’s Weathervane. A hub of midwestern culture, Ohio picked the President every election from 1960 until this last one.

Despite my six years in Tennessee, I watched with great interest as  State Representative Jena Powell spoke before the Ohio Legislature in defense of women’s rights. She’s a Republican, of course. Representative Powell may not be the best feminist spokesperson, but the aggressive, frightening reaction she triggered made my blood run cold.

She was given the floor to introduce an amendment called the Save Women’s Sports Act, “a fairness issue for women to be able to achieve their dreams in athletics in our state, and is crucial to preserving women’s rights and the integrity of women and girl’s sports.”

As she talks about the girls losing out on opportunities across the country, the first objection is heard from the room: “Point of order!”

Before she finishes her sentence, someone begins banging loudly, could be a book on a table.

“This amendment will require schools that are part of the OHSAA – “

More shouting, each word punctuated with another thunderous bang, “Point! Of! Order!”

” – to designate separate teams – “

The shouting and banging become continuous, making Jena fight for every word.

” – for the biological sex. No school inters…” She only pauses briefly, long enough to shoot a withering look at whoever is interrupting her. “No school interscholastic conference or organization – “

The banging continues, but I guess he needed to catch his breath.

” – that regulates interscholastics shall permit biological males – “

The banging quickens, the same voice braying over it now in short, wordless bursts.

” – participate on an athletic team or in athletic competitions designated only for biological female participants.”

The howling carries on, there’s some shuffling and maybe one or two others begin banging on tables. Eventually, the Chairman is forced to stop her and address the issue.

Grownups Were Talking

The grownups were talking, darling! What is it??

The video isn’t very long and cuts off before we learn more. What was the Point of Order?? I need to know!

Extra info is scarce but, according to the local ABC affiliate, Representative Powell tacked her amendment onto a bill that had already passed the State Senate. Their bill was aimed at giving college athletes the right to profit from schools’ use of their likeness.

Jena’s amendment looks a bit out of place, but her own bill has been stalled in committee. And time is running short.

ABC says the Ohio Senate went around her the very next night, attaching the college profit scheme as an amendment to an unrelated bill. I guess they can’t be mad at her for that! But shouldn’t legislators be expected to show relevance like lawyers do? This kind of agenda-juggling erodes a lot of confidence in government.

And the sound of the baboon-level freakout coming from the State Representative off-camera is harrowing for a couple of reasons. The mental image is conjured up of a red face, gnashing teeth, books and papers flung here and there as you listen to them thrash around.

Aside from the unhinged nature of this performance, it’s even scarier if this is coming from the so-called ‘liberal’ party. All because a woman spoke up to defend our rights!

We know we can’t depend on conservatives to stand firm for women outside of our right to do Girly Things. Their moral panic working in our favor for once doesn’t mean they will suddenly support our bodily autonomy.

Chasing A Fantasy

Hey Judy, how you been? Still chasing that fantasy, I see!

The fight over abortion and birth control is still raging, and Ohio is one of the worst offenders. Abortion is illegal in Ohio before many women even know they’re pregnant, thanks to the infamous Heartbeat Bill.

Representative Powell might want to ask them about that, too.

Because with Dems completely beholden to gender activism and few progressives in sight, being a woman is a pretty embattled position at the moment.

We’re going to visit family in Ohio over the July 4th holiday. It’s been a while, the kids are in for a treat. I’m nervous for lots of reasons, but that’s nothing new. It’s strange to be going home and leaving it at the same time.

Beyond politics, life goes on. A lot has changed in the last six years, but some things never do. As the culture war imitates the Summer weather, checking in with a few of them is sounding better all the time.

Feminists On Fox: Suicide By Optics

There’s been a lot of discussion in Radfem spaces about whether cooperating with conservatives is a good idea.

Leopard

What? He’s tame!

Plenty of writers and activists have stepped up to remind us why conservatives don’t make good allies. Just because Sky Daddy agrees the sky is blue and talks real sweet, doesn’t mean we need to go back to him. He’ll only hit us again sooner or later.

But with such a complete media blackout, with social platforms banning us for nonsense like ‘misgendering,’ it’s not hard to understand why some feminists choose to take advantage of the few opportunities on offer to get the word out.

It’s easy to see how I ran across a Christian News article on Ovarit this morning about a little girl standing up to her school system, that devolved into her mother talking about Jesus.

Most of us are well aware that Jesus is not our friend. Regardless of presentation, anyone who preaches absolute life roles is not a feminist. But it’s getting lonely in Leftland lately, and conservatives are the only ones even calling women by name anymore.

Defection is possible because each side has a point, in its own way. But each side is getting too much mileage out of demonizing the other to ever admit this, making real answers impossible. Any admission of nuance is cast as ideological creep, asking questions risks slipping into no-man’s land.

But this pressure to conform tends to have the opposite effect, of course. The forbidden fruit looks even sweeter, and eating it makes you a rebel. You’re halfway to being a Revolutionary / Rugged Individualist already, depending on your perspective.

Most feminists traditionally thought of ourselves as liberals. But our leaders have abandoned us, and our organizations have shunned us. A few people here and there of various liberal pedigrees are peeling off and ‘leaving the left.’

Lesbian YouTuber Arielle Scarcella is a great example of the ideological creep that can happen when, instead of questioning things, someone just goes looking for alternative answers. Defection doesn’t solve anything, because the same problems exist across the political spectrum.

Read To Sleep

All this heavy thinking really takes it out of me!

Conservatives believe women are private property, liberals believe women are public property, remember? Misogyny is always recognizable, regardless of the motivation behind it.

But feminists have been arguing with conservatives and winning for a long time. They feel familiar, even safe, in a weird way. The old values have been defanged by modernity. Jesus might not be our friend, but he’s mellowed a lot with age.

We know that church attendance has been dropping for decades, and conservatives have needed to invoke all kinds of tricks to stay relevant. We can talk to The Heritage Foundation or Tucker Carlson, confident in our ability to walk away whenever we want.

The thing is, it doesn’t matter if walking in was our fatal mistake.

Too often, the truth just doesn’t matter. You know how humankind has been writing the same story over and over and over, about how the Good People win the day just by Doing What’s Right? I wonder if that’s our favorite fantasy because that’s almost never how it really works out.

Barbarella2

Being the Good Guy means I’m bullet proof, right??

We’re naive if we think we can simply walk in, present our rational arguments, and win most people over that way. Optics are everything because they’re what we use to bring the picture into focus. Most people in the US are either looking through a red lens or a blue lens.

If you’re sitting across from Tucker Carlson, you will be seen through that red lens. Conservatives will mostly agree with you anyway, and liberals will ignore you out of habit.

Which is fine by the Trans Lobby, by the way. They are happy to have us all corralled in one corner where they can disgrace us all at the same time.

Accepting the conservative invitation is climbing aboard a sinking ship. Unless we’re talking about legislation that supports women and girls, it’s nothing but a photo-op for those looking to slander us.

And it’s working! I think the comparison of feminists to Nazis was metaphorical at first, Nazi was a byword for fascist for a minute there. Rush Limbaugh first used ‘Feminazi’ back in the last century, deftly condensing decades and centuries of resentment toward bossy, uppity women into a metaphor for the ages.

But it was a long time before the comparison became literal. Even Limbaugh wasn’t that absurd.

I laughed it off at first, but things have turned darker these past few years and Nazis aren’t metaphorical anymore. Anxiety is cranked up to 11 and loyalties are being questioned.

Add in generalized economic stress, and most people are too busy to look very deeply into much, and too tired to absorb it anyway. All most people are going to see is the Radfem sitting next to Tucker Carlson, in the clip their favorite YouTuber is smirking at.

No Way

Don’t make me come out there and see what’s making all that noise!

More people are finally waking up to just how upside-down most conservative, old-school ‘family’ values really are. Associating ourselves with them in a social setting implies agreement. Once upon a time, feminists would be on Fox News scowling over the latest challenge to abortion access. Now that they’re the only ones who will have us, we feel pressure to behave ourselves.

It’s not just that we’re talking to them, we’re being nice to them. On camera!

And when the new world sweeps away the last traces of the old, the New Religion will be only too happy to push Women’s Liberation into the past right along with it. A quirk of early Modern History. A quaint movement based upon outdated understandings of things, for a group of people we don’t recognize anymore.

It won’t matter how many of us are Marxists or lesbians. It won’t matter what the true history of women is or how hard we worked to escape it. Because history is written by the winners, and the old ways are on their way out, one way or the other.

Flirting with conservatism is helping to discredit feminism. Failing to address this sacrifices our integrity for short-term visibility. It’s participating in our own smear campaign. It’s handing live ammunition to our enemies.

I don’t think we should sacrifice feminism for views.

The Libfem Reckoning Is Coming #MarionMillar

If Marion Millar’s case were getting any real press coverage, feminists of every shade would be spazzing out over it.

One young Englishwoman stumbled upon it, and her conscience demanded she say something… Even if her understanding of politics obscured exactly what.

Galatea

I’m just gonna sit down right here and have a good, hard think!

The Authentic Observer is my new favorite YouTube channel. YouTube has pretty much become my TV, I’ve somehow even managed to recreate my middle school viewing habits of bouncing between The History Channel, VH1 and A&E.

The Authentic Observer focuses on literature and culture. Galatea – TAO‘s young writer, director, editor, costume designer and star – gave herself burnout at the end of last year birthing a Halloween video that is truly a work of art. Her posts have been pared down and less frequent since then.

[Edit: I meant to link the Halloween video, but it’s disappeared. She mentioned worrying about the follow-ups she promised, but I hope she reconsiders and puts this one back up. It really struck me, and I’m just glad I watched it twice!]

So, no way I was gonna miss her latest video, what’s happened to free speech? The lack of capitalization shows the flare of a passionate imperative.

Libfem Freakout

“I feel compelled to talk about this. I normally script my videos, this is very unscripted. I’m not gonna really edit it, either.”  She devotes the first 1:26 to apologizing for the video, “I just felt like I wanted to talk about this, and kind of wanted to talk about it now.”

“So, I just heard about this case, and I found it incredibly shocking.” The emphatic urge to speak up pushed Galatea to hit record, even though she’s not sure what she wants to say. Making it public is a small but passionate act of defiance.

“I kind of feel like it should be all over the news in this country, and it’s not. And I also have a suspicion that this is gonna be really controversial, um, which… I mean it might not be, but I feel like it probably will be, which is something that I would find very confusing.

“I don’t think this necessarily should be controversial.” Perhaps the lack of coverage is part of what gives her this impression?

At the 2:00 mark, she finally feels safe enough to tell us what’s going on. “Marion Millar … she’s facing, potentially, up to two years in prison, for tweets.

“And I’ll talk about the content of the tweets, which, like, I just wanna make it clear as well, this video’s not really about the tweets and whether or not I agree with them, or whether or not, you know…”  women are full human beings, and all that.

“I feel like that is kind of irrelevant to this, to be honest.” I mean, yeah, it definitely should be.

Galatea sure seems to wish Marion’s words didn’t mean anything. She also seems to understand on some level what this is really about, but every time she’s about to turn that corner she stops and redirects herself.

“I just feel that, unless you are directly threatening someone, or directly calling for violence, um… you shouldn’t be facing prison time for tweets, however offensive they are. I’m sorry if that’s controversial, I don’t think that used to be controversial.” Not old enough to remember the Before Time, relying on the accounts of others is the Twentysomething’s dirty secret.

The benefit of being a little older is, I know that Galatea is correct.

Counting Cards

I’ve been counting cards this whole time, hon!

“I don’t know why, it seems to be over the last few years, that it’s become a dirty word to be for free speech. And people seem to project… If you support free speech, people are accusing people of that being a dog whistle for the Alt-Right.

“If you support free speech, that’s just you saying you want to hate people and you’re, like, an anti-liberal. Which I find really ridiculous.”

Right again. I wonder if the question of Why will inspire her to do further research.

Because she dances very close to the flame here,Why is the Left giving free speech away? It just doesn’t really compute in my brain.” Because they’re about as Leftist as I am English; Probably somewhere back in the mists of time, but it’s been so long they have forgotten what any of it means.

“Why are you giving it to the Alt-Right? Surely that should be a fundamental liberal right.Neoliberalism is just an update of Classical Liberalism from the 18th century, when ordinary citizens amassing their own wealth was a new thing.

Freedom of speech was a dangerous idea that the Free Market found to be unprofitable a long time ago. Discrediting it would leave us with only official sources for information. That’s the bedrock of authoritarianism in all its forms.

And Marion Millar’s case lights up this black hole of modern liberal hypocrisy. “From what I understand, she’s been charged for a lot of different tweets, most of the tweets relate to the trans movement.”

Galatea describes Marion’s photo of the Suffragette ribbon. “As I said before, the question of whether that’s offensive is kind of irrelevant. And whether or not she’s being horrible to trans people…” This would be the part that’s actually irrelevant.

“Again, I’m not saying people can’t be criticized for things like that,” Galatea is careful to let us know she is a nice girl, because she doesn’t want her society to reject her, too.

Old Dress

Oh shit, this old dress fits great! But I could never wear it anywhere…

“But to face up to two years in prison…” She trails off into fragments, unable to complete this thought. “It’s implied in the tweet, anyway… for when did people tweeting implied things… I just think it’s… yeah.”

“I’m really shocked,” at the idea that the ribbon looks like a noose. “I think that’s a bit of a stretch. It is… possible… that that is… is what the message was… I really doubt it, though.”

Galatea tries to square the circle, but she can see the pieces don’t fit. Even still, she feels the need to couch a very straightforward objection in opinion: “I think that’s kind of a loose interpretation, which I think is a dangerous way to interpret the law.

“I know there’s more tweets, but… and the point being, again, I really wanna clarify, I really wanna make this clear – Whether or not her tweets were offensive is kind of beside the point.” Generally, yes. But Galatea can’t address it anyway, because she really, really wants us to know that she’s not badmouthing the trans movement. 

“I just happen to think that, in a free society, people have a right to be offensive.” The blunt truth of this causes a small short-circuit, and she redirects herself again.

She has the right to be offensive, but she’s not comfortable using it. Or, maybe her society isn’t free.

“The other thing is, do trans people want this? I can’t imagine that they do!” Who do you think has been brow-beating the authorities to interpret the law this way? Two words: Mermaids and Stonewall. 

“I mean, maybe some trans people do, but… I don’t know. I could be wrong, but I can’t imagine that… I mean, they all have different opinions on this, most likely, and taking offense at that’s a different thing, but I can’t imagine…

“Would most trans people want someone to go to prison for tweeting out offensive things? That’s not to say that they can’t find it hugely offensive and criticize her for it, but…” this has gone too far. 

Her eyes go blank for a second or two, then she comes right back to the nitty-gritty of it: “The mother of two young autistic children is facing two years in prison because she tweeted an image of a suffragette women – “

I triple-checked this Freudian slip. She meant to say ‘ribbon,’ of course, but I have to wonder if this isn’t the true subject of her rant peeking through.

Adjustment

Lemme adjust this, it’s coming in a little too clear!

” – and is criticizing trans people… whatever your opinions are on that…” She rallies herself a bit and the next words come out strong, How is that grounds for prison? What is going on in Scotland??” 

Galatea tells us the point of her video is the linked petition to change the statute. But she already reminded us that interpretation is 9/10 of the law.

She seems to go through all five stages of grief trying to absorb the facts of the case. Her mind races and her mouth struggles to keep up. “I’m really getting worked up about this … It’s just tyrannical. You can’t convict people for free speech.

“I just don’t see how it can be anything other than… like, it’s just tyrannical.” Preach! “I think it’s just tyrannical and authoritarian.” Galatea is very sharp. The younger half of my generation fill me with hope.

“Would most trans people, in the case of Marion Millar, want her to go to prison?” Another excellent question. You’d think the media would be tripping over themselves to sell ad time for this one.

Unless, of course, the answer to Galatea’s question is a bit politically incorrect. “I think it’s kind of doing them and their movement a disservice, by painting them as authoritarian.” Yeah. Funny, that.

“If you don’t support people’s right to be offensive, then you don’t support free speech.” And someone who doesn’t support free speech is not someone who should be in charge of anything. I thought we all agreed on this a long time ago, too, Galatea.

She is totally flabbergasted. This young woman is in utter disbelief how her country, which glorifies the ‘law and order’ they brought to the world, has come to this. And she didn’t see it coming.

Liberal feminism as a whole is speeding down this same dead-end road. This confrontation of ideas is being delayed by the so-called ‘thought leaders’ on the so-called ‘left,’ who can only repackage tired mantras so many times before they wear through.

As pushback has grown, gender activism has shed layers of subtlety. When ‘TERF’ started losing its punch, the rhetoric was stepped up to accusations of white supremacy. Because TERFs are Nazis, right?

But those layers also shrouded it and protected it from the harsh glare of logic.

Who’s Driving This Train?

“The so-called ‘gender critical’ movement is a radical anti-trans movement with ties to far-right organizations like the Heritage Foundation. Indeed, it is a hate group that (predictably enough) engages in precisely the kind of anti-Semitic conspiracy theorizing that one associates with QAnon, probably the closest US equivalent to the UK GCs”

So wrote Grace Lavery this week, one of the few besides Galatea commenting on the Scottish Government’s startling test of our freedoms. Lavery is a TIM married to a TIF called Daniel. And, if that weren’t enough reality-bending, Daniel took Grace’s name, pronouns be damned.

An Associate English Professor at UC Berkley, Lavery is credited as, “the most followed transgender scholar in the world on social media.” Lavery is also English, originally from Birmingham. In his UC Berkley professional statement, he says, “My work in trans feminist studies is focused on the belief that transition works; that it is truly possible to change sex.” A strange focus for someone listed as specializing in Victorian literature and culture!

The Thought Leader continues, “I have been involved in anti-cop politics for a long time, and do not support the arrest.” Such a relief!

“Indeed, I imagine that most trans people I know are equally opposed to the use of the police state to apparently safeguard our interests.” Not gonna bother to actually ask them, though? Other people’s opinions don’t seem to interest him much.

But I’m sure his dedication to the cause is why he wrote this post, demanding The Guardian pull one of the only mainstream sources on Marion Millar’s case. That’ll teach those cops!

No comment from Grace on whether he supports prison time for Tweets.

Did You Proofread

Honey, did you proofread this??

I can’t know how well Galatea is acquainted with Grace’s musings, but these ideas have seeped into just about every corner of mainstream culture on both sides of the pond following a direct effort by busybody academics just like him.

And Miller’s case spotlights the elephant in the ladies’ room – Not only has trans rights hijacked both feminism and the gay rights movement, women remain the only underprivileged group without specific government protections in many countries.

Attack a black man because he’s black? That’s a Hate Crime. Beat up a kid just for being gay? That’s a Hate Crime.

Hurt a woman just for being a woman at the wrong place at the wrong time? Oh, they’re having a domestic. Best stay out of it, I’m sure they’ll settle it between themselves.

In the US, it’s technically illegal to discriminate against someone because of their sex. Or, at least, it was until a few months ago. But the Equal Rights Amendment has been languishing for over 40 years.

The only case to invoke sexism in recent memory was a fellow who felt his employer forbidding him to wear dresses was discrimination.

Women are often treated as lesser in our daily lives, but it’s seldom been taken seriously by the law. #MeToo exists because we need a political movement to say, ‘Don’t rape us!’ 

How many do you suppose #MeToo missed? If us Mean Old Feminists had our way, a lot of what many consider normal male behavior would suddenly be criminalized. The enforcement logistics alone would be mind-boggling.

And who polices the police? My confidence in them is not exactly surging lately.

House Of Lies

We live in a house of lies!

Galatea resists falling into this dark place. Her focus on the ‘right to offend’ isn’t wrong, but even the best law is subject to interpretation.

She compares Millar’s case to a conviction from a few years ago, where a man taught his girlfriend’s dog to do a Nazi salute to upset her. Details are few, but the bare fact of women’s rights being compared to Nazis in official precedent tells the tale.

Why we consider certain things offensive needs to be discussed!

Libfems are quickly running out of time to decide whether TWAW, or if Radfems have a point. The question will have to be asked, ‘Do I really support prison for tweets?’

New battle lines are going to be drawn. ‘Be Kind’ just isn’t cutting it anymore, and young women like Galatea are going to have to reckon with their conscience after all.

Trans People Are Mentally Ill (It’s The Comorbidities, Silly!)

I am done mincing words.

Truth Coming Out Of The Well

Liar! Liar! Pants on fire! …Hey, those are mine!!

Comorbidity sounds really heavy, but it’s just a psychology term referring to someone dealing with more than one mental issue at the same time.

Psychologists have noticed some enduring patterns. It’s very common for someone to deal with, say, depression and anxiety together. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 7% of the US will suffer through a major depressive episode at some point.

There’s reason to believe it’s much higher than this. Besides life being hella depressing sometimes, the stigma surrounding mental and emotional struggles keeps many people from talking to anyone about them.

And it’s usually difficult to tease out what causes what. Depression and anxiety go together particularly well, functioning almost as a negative continuum between action and inaction.

I bring all this up to point out that mental illness also has some predictable effects on someone’s life.

Depression and anxiety both shorten your life because they change how you choose to live it. Depressed people are more likely to smoke and drink, so they have higher rates of stuff like alcoholism and cancer, too.

Whenever I hear about how trans people have a ‘very high incidence’ of things like suicide, poor health outcomes and violence (for varying definitions of ‘violence,’ I assume…) I find myself yelling at my screen, “Yes, that’s because they’re mentally ill!”

Everything seems to be en pointe lately, I can’t seem to get away from it. This week at church, Father Mike’s thesis was, “Crazy people are just like the rest of us, only moreso.” This got a good chuckle from the assembled group, but I found it to be a dangerous oversimplification.

He prefaced his speech – Sorry, sermon – by saying he first encountered ‘real crazy’ his first year in seminary. Which I guess is why he finds such glibness amusing.

Some of us had adventures in the Land of Make-Believe a lot earlier. Some of us went against our will, not out of the kindness of our heart. Some of us have been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and burnt it.

Some of us recognize this stuff when we see it as well as we recognize our own family.

Kowch No Turning Back 08

There’s no place like home!

A video celebrating what’s become of Ellen Page made the rounds last week, and I couldn’t get through it. Hearing her talk about finally being comfortable in her body – only after having prominent parts of it removed – broke my heart.

Only finding happiness under the scalpel is mental illness, end of. That is not up for discussion. Anyone saying anything else is selling something. Find me proof the euphoria doesn’t wear off, that it’s not an addictive rabbit hole.

We all understand that people like Catman and the Human Barbie are both a little sideways, but they’re not hurting anyone. They’re not insisting laws recognize their right to live in a zoo, or to lay naked on the floor of little girls’ bedroom closets.

That’s the problem here. The Human Barbie is not going to sue you if she overhears you tell someone she isn’t the real Barbie.

Because she makes no claim to that. Even the Human Barbie knows that would be absurd.

Trans people suffer high rates of all kinds of bad outcomes because they are mentally ill. They lack the wherewithal to properly care for themselves. And they often do encounter prejudice in their daily lives, stemming from the stigma surrounding mental illness.

It’s all fairly run-of-the-mill stuff. Their need to be seen as a new, unique brand of creature just looks pretty damn narcissistic. Narcissism has a very high comorbidity with depression, because life never seems to quite live up to their bloated expectations.

I am sick of being told how vital it is that trans people get ‘affirming’ care. Because no, it isn’t. I’m sick of hearing how dysphoria that persists beyond puberty is a sign of real transness. (Gatekeep much??) This is exactly the opposite of my experience.

Dysphoria beyond puberty is a symptom of unhealed trauma, full stop. Healing is scary because we have to go to the dark places, but the only way out is through. How arrogant to suggest anyone is exempt from learning hard lessons in life!

Can't Even

Seriously y’all, I just can’t even anymore!

It’s been a rough couple of weeks. Marion Millar has been charged with two counts of ‘Malicious Communication’ for tweeting about women’s rights, which is so Orwellian they ought to make him an honorary Scottish citizen. Hubs has been cranky and the kids are all home from school, again.

But I couldn’t let this go any longer. All the droplets condensed into a downpour in my mind and it overflowed onto my keyboard.

Trans people are mentally ill. Indulging them in their parallel ideations serves no one but those looking to profit off of them.

I’ve learned not to be upset when someone accuses me of hating trans people, but sometimes it bites back at me in the form of a stubborn lump in my throat because nothing could be further from the truth. Sometimes loving someone means telling them a hard truth or two.

I can’t affirm someone’s destructive delusion, no matter how many authorities they may invoke. I won’t be beating about the bush on this point anymore, I have seen too many mastectomy scars. For all of the women who I love, I have to rise to the occasion.

It Really Is About Cuttlefish!

Science has been kinda dodgy lately. Foundational psychological studies are defying replication. Sexed brains don’t exist, then they do, then they don’t.

Mal87783

I mean, there’s men’s and women’s hands, but it’s not like that!

But today, science really came through for me.

If you’ve been fighting in the TERF wars for a few years, you’ll remember the infamous cuttlefish comparison. I came in on the end of it, but the basic idea was that sex is a spectrum because some animals can switch their sex in certain conditions.

The very idea of switching sex seems to imply that it’s not a spectrum, but let’s move on.

This example has gained more traction as an emblem of TRA silliness than as a serious argument. I still giggle at the occasional reference, the bespoke specificity of the deceptively-spelled totem is an evergreen nugget of absurdity for me.

I don’t know if cuttlefish really change sex, but the mating strategy of so-called Beta Males had my jaw on the floor. Then I laughed for a solid minute.

Writing for The Ethologist, Julia Henning uses a personal anecdote to introduce us to ‘The Sneaky Fucker Strategy’:

“You’ll have to excuse my language because ‘sneaky f**ker’ is the actual, legitimate, honest to goodness, scientific term coined by John Maynard Smith to describe subordinate, beta or low-status males who opportunistically mate with females while the dominant or alpha males are otherwise occupied.” 

She censors the f-bombs, but I’m just not that classy.

“Also known as Kleptogamy or sneaky copulation, this mating strategy is observed in many species, often with elaborate deployment.

This is the funniest thing I have read in a very long time.

“One such species is the giant cuttlefish. This species takes the cake for flawless and creative execution of a sneaky f**ker strategy.”

I definitely have an ex or two who’d give them a run for their money!

“Male cuttlefish are much larger than their female counterparts and display a darker, more vivid pattern on their backs. During the cuttlefish’s mass annual mating, hundreds of thousands of cuttlefish come together to find a mate.”

Sounds like every single day in human life.

“Males display their size and power and, if a female is interested, she will draw in her tentacles. This triggers the male to guard her underneath his body. If a smaller male was to try to access her, the larger male would attack and send the smaller male packing.

“To avoid this, some small males have developed a cunning ploy. Thanks to sacs of pigment on their skin capable of producing different patterns, cuttlefish are masters of camouflage.

Like some other species I know…

Tea With Chad

You are the most beautiful woman in the world, and I would never do anything to besmirch your honor… Give us a kiss!

“The small male uses this advantage to change the pattern on his back, mimicking that of a female. As he approaches, he reinforces the ploy by drawing his tentacles in, triggering the dominant male to hide him under his body where the female is waiting.”

So he presents himself as female to gain access to actual females. Where have I heard that before?

“Once the small male has mated with the female, he casually heads off, appearing to any males as just another picky female looking for a mate.” In human terms, this would probably be called assault. Miss Cuttlefish didn’t invite the Sneaky Fucker in!

The farcical parallels go on and on – “Some researchers have reported seeing this ploy used skilfully while males are searching for a mate. Swimming lower than the larger males but above the females, the small males display a female pattern on their back where the larger males can see it and ignore the smaller male as a threat.

“But below they show a different story, displaying a male pattern on their belly where the females can see. Thanks to this clever use of colour, they can go undisturbed by the larger males and still advertise their interest to the females.” 

‘Interest’ is a relative term. Sometimes men’s methods of showing their ‘interest’ veer directly into creep territory. These cuttlecreeps are presenting as female to other males, meanwhile showing the females their true colors! The metaphor could not be more perfect, just not quite how they intended.

Ms. Henning’s article is nearly a year old, and I can only guess if she saw it like this.

She brings us home with a few generalizations that just deepen the analogy, “It is worth noting that the sneaky f**ker strategy only occurs in species where mate selection is restricted, usually due to female monopolisation by a male or group of males,” Like patriarchal cultures giving powerful men harems?

“…Mate guarding,” AKA marriage!

“…Hierarchies or because sexual behaviour outside of the ‘system’ is punished.” Check, and check.

Funny Papers

Transwomen might be cuttlefish, after all!

But like a true skeptic, Ms. Henning leaves herself wiggle room, “While we may see similarities between these acts and our own, it would be a mistake to think that the two are the same. My wingman was sneaky that’s for sure, but the cuttlefish are the real sneaky f**kers.”

I have met some human males with pretty elaborate mating strategies. Humans in general are definitely not above employing deception to get laid!

This may not be the hottest topic, but let me know if you thought this was as funny as I did. Ms. Henning has accidentally hewn a priceless comedic gem that invites us to question how our animal nature informs our human actions.

Working on something a little different for next week in support of a couple things happening in the wider world. Meanwhile, I’ll be finding ways to slip cuttlefish back into the conversation…

Quick Take: Liberal Lies

Made the mistake this morning of clicking on The Humanist Report. 

Peekaboo

What are they doing out there??

I knew it was going to piss me off, the headline was Stephen King Says JK Rowling “Canceled” Him For Supporting Trans Women. I do my best to keep track of narratives on all sides. They usually take a couple of minutes to warm up to the bullshit.

But Mike Figueredo goes right for it. “So, by now, I think it’s abundantly clear, since author JK Rowling has made it known every opportunity she had, that she hates trans women. Okay, we get it!”

NO YOU DON’T. I actually read her essay and as many tweets on the subject as I can find, so I can say with some authority that SHE NEVER SAID THAT.

Or anything remotely approaching it. That essay was eloquent and sad, mostly about her experiences and how they inform her perspective. I’ve slept since then, but I want to say that she never even mentions trans people by name.

But Mike is determined to demonstrate his ignorance. “But how obsessed she is with hating trans people, truly, I didn’t know the depths of her bigotry. She’s out of her mind.”

Ooh, man calls woman crazy for saying things he doesn’t understand! Great analysis! Much smart!

“And if you don’t agree with her, and also think that trans people are some sort of sub-species, then she doesn’t want to be associated with you.”

Who said they’re a sub-species? But if you see women as a costume men can wear, maybe she’s right to stay away!

Then he summarized how, last year, JK deleted a tweet praising Stephen King and unfollowed him, after he came out and said, “Yes, trans women are women.”

“‘Jo canceled me,’ King told the Daily Beast. ‘She sorta blocked me and all that.'”

Knowing what I do of Stephen King, I think he’s being facetious here. I’m sure he knows being blocked by one person on one platform hardly counts as being ‘canceled.’ Not so sure about Mike, though.

“We have differing opinions,” King continued, “That’s life.” Not sure why Mr. King cares so much about it. Not sure why he decided to talk about it, or why Mike only just heard about it. 

But he seems pretty upset over a deleted tweet. “I did not know she was that obsessed with trans people. That’s bizarre.” 

Really, Mike? What strikes me as bizarre is that anyone is still talking about this. It feels like grasping at straws to slander JK Rowling. It’s especially weird considering how well things are going for them. They have governments of several large, rich countries on their side at this point. The World Health Organization and the United Nations have bent the knee.

But that’s not good enough. One woman stubbornly dissented six months ago!

“That’s really weird – If somebody else doesn’t support your bigoted view about trans women, you actually block them on social media.”

Cold Water

Boy, have I got a bucket of cold water for you!

Weird, is it?? Tell that to my sister. My oldest friend. Your side are the ones who started that, and I have personally declined to follow suit.

It looks to me like she did it in despair. Stephen King had said some supportive things, and I can imagine she was delighted to have backup from another big name in her field.

But that’s not why he was there, and I can almost hear the disappointed, ‘oh, screw you too!’ as she hit the Block button.

Mike isn’t happy with King’s agree-to-disagree attitude, “Stephen King is too nice here. Some things aren’t a matter of opinion.” He compares viewing trans women as potential predators with climate change denial and people who pretend systemic racism isn’t a thing. 

“Reality does not support their claims. Trans women are women, period.” No proof is offered, of course. 

Because, no, material reality says they’re men. That’s why we’re arguing about it. That’s why they’re called Trans women.

“I can’t stand her.” You don’t say! “But I’m glad he shared this because it truly speaks to how deranged this individual is.” Yeah, because deleting a tweet and blocking someone is just sooooo out there! 

“JK Rowling, leave trans people alone!” She didn’t even say anything to anyone!

The rest of the video is Mike ranting that trans people are here to stay, and how about you just be a good person and accept them?

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I’m sorry you and all media liberals have forgotten the scientific method, but I haven’t. You provided absolutely nothing to back up the claim that trans women are women, and I can find all kinds of evidence to the contrary.

Not that Mike cares. He’s obviously having way too much fun calling a woman he doesn’t know ugly names. Awfully traditional of you there, Mike.

 

Bathrooms Are Separatism

Control over men’s physical access to us is the very essence of women’s liberation.

Redhead With A Gun

No means no, goddam it!

Which is what they’re taking from us right now. The spectacle of Trans Rights is a shiny distraction from the erosion of our rights, but it’s such a compelling one because it goes right to the heart of the matter.

It literally hits us where we live!

A US federal judge recently ruled against a religious school’s petition for exemption from co-ed everything. She agreed with the Housing Authority attorney that irreparable harm couldn’t be established. That the Biden memorandum “does not specifically address the kinds of issues the college has raised here – showers, or bathrooms.”

The college is not going to leave it there, and if Trump’s conservative SCOTUS puts a dent in Trans Rights I may die from irony. Just think – The knee-jerk conservative rejection of change might actually work in our favor for once!

But a lot of us are having trouble articulating why our privacy is so precious. Separatism is a very important component of women’s liberation, and I’m starting to get pretty frustrated with the pageant where the most extreme version gets trotted out and shot down, over and over.

Frankly, this being such a taboo, misunderstood topic that we have to frame wanting space to ourselves as a political philosophy demonstrates to me how totally brainwashed we all are! The stereotype of extremists abandoning all males forever is what keeps this vital point out of the conversation.

Many women want nothing to do with men and who can blame them? But they don’t speak for all of us, and the mainstream embrace of this straw woman keeps us reenacting the same scene forever.

Spectral Pianist

Her spirit keeps reappearing, as if she’s trying to tell us something!

I learned a ton about this recently, and I was embarrassingly surprised to find out that separatism is just maintaining strong boundaries around female-only spaces.

Putting ourselves first doesn’t mean we don’t care about anyone else. It’s only natural that we need to focus some energy on ourselves to further our interests! What does it say that we need to put it like this, and wring our hands over it so much??

Women-only spaces should proliferate and if someone wants to dedicate herself to that as a lifestyle, I don’t see why it’s much different than going all-in on any other philosophy. I adore women-only spaces and like being able to go home to my 50%-male family.

Because that’s my part that life has given me to play. But how are we ever going to hash out a modern agenda for women’s liberation if we can’t get a moment’s peace?

The Right-Wing Radicalization of Young Girls

Something wicked is brewing in conservative America.

Gust

That’s a cold wind blowing in!

The same culture wars that birthed incels have impacted the girls who won’t date them just as much.

Our refusal to draw mothering into the fold leaves a lot of girls feeling conflicted. Feminism fails them as long as it ignores the more nuanced questions of many women’s lives. 

Jen at Fundie Fridays knows a lot about it, “The misogyny on Caitlin’s channel is rampant and direct. She often uses the same talking points as incels when expressing her worldview.”

Using Mrs. Midwest as her pampered example, Jen walks us through Complementarianism -You know, how God made men and women different to complement each other. But of course, in practice this is just plain old submission in fancy clothes.

After laying down the basics, Jen kinda glosses over a lot of what Caitlin says. She describes domesticity as, “acknowledging that women are superior to men in regards to maintaining the home.” Oops, that almost sounds empowering!

Jen lays out classic gender roles with a scoff, because obviously cleaning isn’t genetic. All women do not have a desire to be feminine.

But what if you do? It’s pretty sexist to say that all femininity is patriarchal garbage, isn’t it? It has to be feminism’s job to figure out where they stop and we begin, but Feminist Theory isn’t interested in this.

Gender is a social construct, but it’s based on observations. I think the science really is more complicated, in the interplay of temperament, sex, genetics, and choice.

And, well, some girls are girls. And they’re not wrong.

Sewing Doll Clothes

Sewing is a valuable skill!

I guess Jen doesn’t see this as a serious line of thought, as she lets Caitlin speak for herself: “Our culture really celebrates masculine traits when they’re seen in women …  So, it feels like, in order to be a good woman, you have to be really masculine.”

Embracing womanhood used to be a lefty thing. Libfems having outlawed all such talk for having TERFy vibes, where do we expect these women to go?

“But what do those women do, those women like me? I don’t wanna be a Boss Babe, I don’t wanna be ‘grinding.’ I wanna be a wife, a mother, run a household.

“What does a woman like that do, when she feels so marginalized? Where does she go?”

Cue Mr. Crabs playing a tiny violin. Stay classy, Jen.

But Caitlin reminds us of the Hero’s Journey, Professor Joseph Campbel’s famous archetypical adventure story. Boy does a thing, becomes a man. He’s often rewarded with a woman for his trouble, you know the drill. We’ve all seen it a thousand times.

I have been bored with it for years. As a 37-year-old mom in a sharply blended family, no one is telling my story. I’m lead to believe no one else is interested, and we’re all too busy, anyway.

Jen doesn’t address any of this. Instead, she shows off a blush pallet.

She chooses purple because she’s “The Purple Bitch.”

Cut back to Caitlin pretending to hold up angel wings for improved posture. 

Jen works pretty hard to make Caitlin look silly, which is weird because Caitlin doesn’t need the help. But it does a good job distracting from what she’s saying.

After having described the masculinization of women, Jen paraphrases Caitlin saying society treats women like breeding cattle. 

She’s careful to point out that it’s fundamentalists who do this, but then lets Caitlin say that women should be free to choose a life as a homemaker or in the workforce. “And both things are honorable, because we truly support all women.”

“Yep, you just described feminism, Caitlin.”

“I don’t know where that got mixed up, but I think ‘all women’ includes homemakers.” Caitlin emphasizes this logical flourish with a self-satisfied snicker. 

Jen is clearly annoyed by this, really laying it all out: “You know what, Caitlin? I’ll do you one even better – Feminists believe in equality for everyone!”

Oh boy, here we go. 

“That includes sex workers” Ooh, edgy! “Transgender folx, people who are incarcerated, neurodivergent friends, people without homes, those with disabilities, intersex and non-binary people, any member of the Alphabet Mafia, immigrants, those who get abortions, people with addictions, asylum seekers…”

Madame Painter

Hold still, it’s hard to get all that in the picture!

That sure is a mighty long list of random stuff. I think I even saw a women’s issue in there!

Jen is spelling out for us how feminism has become a garbage fire of social movements. Of course we believe in equality! But feminism is concerned with the issues facing females!

…Oh, wow, I am tired of saying that…

“And, believe it or not, people we disagree with also deserve rights.” This is the surreal moment where liberal feminism reminds me of my born-again Aunt. Then, after a little feminist history, she accuses Caitlin of “talking out of her ass.”

“Feminist theory is an actual thing that you can study. It’s not just a fucking buzzword for you to throw around.” Academic feminist theory turns lesbian separatists into gender ideologues. Why should we turn to it for answers?

Please don’t misunderstand me – I’m not siding with Conservative Barbie. The ‘tradition’ she represents is that White Colonialism we’re all still scarred from.

The incels were easy pickings for the Alt-Right. Racist ideology gave them an explanation and a direction for their rage. And both groups share a love of a mythical past.

But wanting kids someday doesn’t have to mean a return to Traditional Values.

It’s a cruel trick to frame women’s reproductive urge in terms of caveman ethics. “By taking the Red Pill and rejecting social justice and progress, [they think] they’re accepting a harsh truth – that the people of the US need a structure that was in place before any social progress was made.”

Leave the modern lie and accept the truth about life‘ would be much harder to sell if libfems weren’t lying to them!

Right in the middle of it all, Jen has her hubby give us a vocabulary lesson.

He looks quite a bit like my husband, actually, and he does a decent job making his granular material entertaining. He’s not condescending, but I could not let the irony go by without commenting on it!…

When Jen takes back over, she brings home the Tradwives’ number one message: “Women are stressed in their jobs and their education because their real destiny is to be a homemaker.

Maybe if feminism didn’t reject its own past every generation like Mom’s hand-me-downs, young women like Caitlin would know we’ve heard this line before.

“This is particularly dangerous coming from someone like her.” Because Caitlin is a Role Model.

Jen reads us a couple worrying fan letters from young women. She tells us we need to be mindful of the radicalization of young girls online, as well as boys.

“And it’s worthy

to examine why young girls might find her message so appealing.”

More than worthy, it’s urgent! The last ten years showed us what soaking up this kind of subtext-heavy indoctrination can do.

But Jen only takes us halfway.

“Perhaps they feel special being coveted by white men like that. Being told that they will save the world by having beautiful white babies”

TRADITIONAL WHITE FEMININITY IS LITERALLY AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR WHITE SUPREMACY.

Wink

Get rich enough, and you could have your very own pasty, uptight prima donna!

I could have sworn everyone knew this! White women are precious commodities on the world market. White men have made it their mission to protect us from all the mudbloods, remember?

You simply cannot traffic in one without bumping into the other!

There’s a retro fashion community on YouTube full of creative, off-kilter people. Many of them are seamstresses or costume designers. All of them boldly wear what they like, fashion be damned.

The community has a motto: Vintage style, not vintage values.

These adorable history buffs feel the need to distinguish themselves from fascists in their opening line because there’s a lot of confusion out there. ‘Tradition’ was the name fascism went by for a long time. 

‘Traditional womanhood’ can be seen in Nazi propaganda movies. ‘Traditional womanhood’ is a mother for the war machine.

But this itself is a corruption of the mothering experience. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it!

Jen isn’t interested in where babies come from. “A lot of these women believe they have been cheated out of the … homemaker life,” she says with disdain. 

But we have been! Womanhood Classic is out of production. The old fallback of housewife, the role we have avoided and scorned, isn’t even an option anymore. In this economy, no family can sustain itself on just one income. 

Things are bleak out there for young women, and everyone is lying to them! People on both sides do it all the time, glossing over anything interesting in favor of poking fun at their opponent’s flaws.

Shallow negativity on both sides makes a logical decision impossible. So we go with our gut, which is easily lead. And it hits inexperienced and distracted young people even harder.

Each side is telling us the other is the problem. But the real villain – Capital – doesn’t want to be called out, and it owns everything! Feminism has always been a favorite scapegoat, despite women doing the lioness’ share of the shopping.

Jen does quote a really good New York Times article, “Tradwives also point to the ways that the half-finished work of the sexual revolution has brought about not just male but also female discontents.” But she doesn’t go anywhere with this.

Instead, she leaps right back into that weird, suppressed Pick-Me attitude liberal feminists have when they’re enforcing The Rules, “Gosh, if only incels could figure out that the real Red Pill is realizing that gender is a social construct and that chaos is the general order of the universe.”

I still don’t understand why gender being a social construct means we should completely reorder society around it. 

Thankfully, the Times continues, “[Conservatism] is a lie, of course. Modesty has never been a safeguard against degradation or rape.”

But even the New York Times won’t tell you that Jen is lying, too. After all, who is welcoming to the feminine woman? Bimbo TikTok??

Caitlin’s emotional expression of feminine homelessness is the note of truth the whole rotten symphony is tuned to. Alienation is what drives young men to extremes, and women aren’t that different.

Ball Gown

I know this isn’t appropriate for a Zoom call, and I don’t care anymore!

And many of us do want these things! Liberal feminism dismisses feminine women as brainwashed. I definitely got the message growing up that any girly tendencies were embarrassing. 

As adults, we are pitied if we don’t have our own income. The media talks about Career Women, but mothers just tell you to keep a job.

But not everyone wants to run with the boys. Tradwives offer many young girls something that speaks to a part of them that feminism has ignored forever.

The idea that housework is work should be a powerful feminist ideal! I stumbled into a traditional lifestyle, and have enjoyed it much more than I ever expected.

Feminism should be reaching out to these young women. They will need us when they start to see who they’re dealing with: “At present, these shared dissatisfactions haven’t helped the alt-right recruit significant numbers of women because, quite simply, the men cannot keep their seething misogyny in check.”

Jen is right to pick on Caitlin. She and people like her are painting a rosy picture over some truly horrific things. They are directly informing the future of our culture. We need to confront this ideology where we find it, just as much as Trans Rights. 

Motherhood is the original feminist tool. It’s time to reach out to the girly girls.