The boys are back and blissfully ignoring the announcement of the EU referendum (23rd June, stick it in your diary) and instead choosing to dive into the rest of the political and social wasteland that will be ignored by mainstream media for the next four months.
Jazza and Jimmy are back at it and this week discuss Germaine Greer publicly defending her comments that-trans women aren’t women.
Meanwhile Chinese president Xi Jinping just had a lovely time being entertained by Mr. Cameron and the Queen so that British projects can get investment from China. Surprisingly, Jimmy schools Jazza on his China knowledge.
Finally, who is Seumas Milne, Jeremy Corbyn’s new spin doctor? Does he hate the West? Does it matter? And what are the consequences for Corbyn’s Labour party?
One of the hardships social justice warriors face is the need to balance the competing sensitivities of each special interest group they claim to represent, many of which have more splinter factions than a Monty Python movie.
As such you have to feel for the New Statesman’s Glosswitch, who weighed into a pregnancy debate this week to preserve the victimhood of women while including non-women – a bid made difficult by the apparent adoption of the phrase “pregnant people”.
The backstory to this appears to be a dispute between two midwifery groups. Back in 2014 the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) changed its official language, replacing “women” and “mothers” with “pregnant people” and “birthing individuals”.
That’s a fair bit of violence to the English language, but given the medical trade often speaks unintelligibly it could well have been dismissed as an amusing curiosity. That was until Woman-Centered Midwifery (WCM) wrote an open letter in August of this year to protest the change.
The gist of WCM’s argument is that whilst a trans person might describe themselves as a man, their ability to give birth is indisputably female:
“We know as midwives that biological sex occurs at the level of our DNA and the gametes we produce, and is immutable. By embracing the idea that any human other than those in a class called women carry offspring to term, give birth to them and nurse them, we are prioritizing gender identity over biological reality.”
The reason this distinction matters (apparently) is because the ability to give birth is somehow central to women’s struggle against the patriarchy:
“The root of female oppression is derived from biology. Patriarchal systems arise out of male attempts to control female sexuality and reproduction. Female liberation from patriarchal oppression, including brutal and demeaning birth practices, cannot be achieved if we are forbidden from mentioning female biology.”
Unsurprisingly this letter went down lick a sack of shit with Trevor MacDonald, a transgender parent who has already given birth twice. In a Huffington Post blog MacDonald outlined his misgivings about the letter, claiming that “the open letter says that trans guys who give birth are not men; they are women because of their biology.” He went on:
“The above statement is highly offensive to trans individuals because it denies our gender. Also, it implies that the care provider decides the identity of the client, rather than listening to the client and forming a respectful relationship. It places a burden of conformity on all people who give birth.”
The response from feminists in that blog’s comment section quickly went nuclear. Jonah Mix weighed in on the side of WCM:
“If you are giving birth, you’re female. Jesus Christ, people. This is the most basic biology possible. You don’t birth a child with your ‘identity’. You birth a child with your body – and the trans movement is demolishing the ability of women to speak about the unique and meaningful nature of those bodies.”
Chante Shirelle Holsey was also rather appalled at being lumped in with the Neanderthal men:
“Wow, as a female born female I have a shared biological, physiological, physical, chemical, hormonal, chromosomal, reproductive reality with female born women who have survived girlhood. I do not enjoy being clumped in with males, often still possessing penises who have not shared on my biological reality. The erasure of the female born woman is what you are doing when you fail to acknowledge that only female born women travail in childbirth.”
And into this Glosswitch, who you might remember from the start of this post, attempted to argue that while including trans people in the pregnancy debate is important, it is important that gendered language is maintained so that feminists can continue to complain that opponents of abortion are trying to oppress women.
The fact most debate over abortion in Britain these days concerns viability and where “life” begins appears to have been lost on Witchy. But watching the, er, “intersectional community” engage in fratricide (Surely sorocide? – Ed) is certainly entertaining.
Bonus stupidity: Wendy Lev somehow pulls out a “misogynistic/transphobic” combo in the comments of MacDonald’s piece:
“It is not transphobic to know only females can get pregnant and give birth. Transmen are bio female. I do not deny their gender identity. Many themselves acknowledge they are bio female and always will be. It is in fact misogynistic to say it’s transphobic that females can give birth.”
Image Credit – Pregnancy, December 2013 by Tips Times
Mozilla is looking to fire a staffer who anonymously criticised “blue-haired nose-pierced asshole feminists” within the tech industry after the exit of a community organiser at the Firefox creator.
Christie Koehler, former community organiser, recently left the nonprofit after publicly criticising it on Twitter for its internal culture, particularly around the issue of workplace diversity, a sore point for the technology industry in recent years.
Maybe my next employer will have out queer folks and >1 PoC in leadership. Is that too much to ask?
— Christie Koehler (@christi3k) August 6, 2015
Oh oh and maybe they would *publicly* support their queer employees, not thinking it too controversial to do so. — Christie Koehler (@christi3k) August 6, 2015
In a Reddit thread discussing her exit the one “aoyiama”, who appears to be a Mozilla staffer, attacked the programmer and Silicon Valley’s interest in diversity.
“Frankly everyone was glad to see the back of Christie Koehler. She was batshit insane and permanently offended at everything,” they said.
“When she and the rest of her blue-haired nose-pierced asshole feminists are gone, the tech industry will breathe a sigh of relief.”
Elsewhere in the thread, aoyiama accused Koehler of being a “Social Justice bully” and claimed that “frankly people are sick of her divisive stupidity.”
Responding to this post, which was made on the Linux subreddit, Mozilla chief executive Chris Beard labelled the comments “hate speech”, and said the commenter would be fired “when” their identity was discovered.
The furore follows last year’s scandal over the appointment of Brendan Eich, whose brief tenure leading Mozilla ended over protests that he had supported Proposition 8, a Californian state amendment that blocked the advance of gay marriage in 2008.
Despite being gay and supporting gay marriage, Christie had actually backed Eich during the controversy, arguing that she did not see him “standing in the way” of gay, bisexual and transgender rights within Mozilla, and that he had even been an “ally in many areas”.
Criticism of tech’s male and white bias has ramped up in recent years, particularly after the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter published the demographics of their staff, which showed women and those not white or Asian underrepresented in proportion to the general population.
Image Credit – Firefox logo by Mozilla, with editing by the Right Dishonourable
Jazza is back from Russia! And in this episode he shed some light on the LGBT life in Moscow with the conversations he had with gay and homophobic Russians.
But not before Jazza & Jimmy discuss the Labour and Lib Dem leaderships. Why is Jazza not Tim Farron’s biggest fan? Why doesn’t Jimmy really care that the Telegraph newspaper wants to sabotage Labour? Find out in this week’s podcast.
And finally we talk about THAT Sun front page, with the Queen doing the Nazi salute as a 7 year old girl. Is it fair for them to publish it? Was the pun ‘Her Royal Heilness’ really that terrible?
Make sure you engage with us on social media. Talk to us on Twitter @RightDishonour.