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  • Cryptomania Exemplifies How Much We Want To Believe Stupid Things

    It's hard to stop stupidity when it pays off so handsomely. But political stupidity's glad-handing harms people who weren't dumb enough to invest in it themselves. Value is a weird, inscrutable thing. I wouldn’t pay $25 to hang a Picasso painting, genuine or imitation, in my living room, unless I could sell it. His work doesn’t move me and I don’t understand his alleged ‘genius’. I’m not sure why anyone would pay me millions for it. Another value thing I don’t understand is paying $65 for a rusted metal helicopter missing a rubber nose because someone thinks it’s worth it to have an old toy he’s never going to play with again. Why are such things valued? Why do some pay so much for Picassos and 1972 Christmas stocking schwag of arbitrary ‘value’, just because someone somewhere says it’s worth X? I recently read the Zeke Faux book Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering Fall. It’s a short, well-narrated journey through another value thing I don’t understand (and I’ll bet you don’t either). It doesn’t get too deep into the boring aspects of cryptocurrency, which are about as comprehensible as the dog’s breakfasts of bad investments that impelled the Great Financial Collapse of the late ‘00s. Thingies called bitcoins (some more honestly called shitcoins) were said to possess X value: Customarily, $1 USD for no particular reason. Then they rose in value for some weird reasons, and they didn’t revolutionize the world the way the crypto bros promised. They weren’t easier to use than a credit card, normal retailers and services wanted cash/credit/debit, they was insecure as fuck, and marketing/huckstering blahblahblah. The investosuckers made money for awhile, sometimes lots, but didn’t realize it’s a house of cards; unless you know when to get out, and gamblers rarely do, it gonna go bye-bye. I kept wondering why investors who weren’t crypto bros weren’t asking the obvious questions. About value. How much it was worth. About whether there was any there there. Cryptocurrency, to be truly legit, requires all the ‘evils’ it promised to ‘liberate’ us from: Traditional currency, financial regulation, and (they don’t say this out loud), something actually backing it. Because here we are, a year after its collapse, its fuzzy-haired baby-faced crypto god Sam Bankman-Fried sentenced to 25 years, and investors’ billions wiped out overnight. And all over claimed/perceived value. Where people chose to place their faith about currencies and NFTs, which are those works of digital ‘art’ others claimed were valuable. It’s all fake money, but so what? Bankman-Fried bought a real condo complex for hundreds of millions in the Bahamas. I love to ask obvious questions others don’t, which the crypto crazies didn’t. Like, Should I be investing in something that’s not regulated? Why should I trust this? How are digital coins seemingly mined out of thin air valuable? Are they really worth a dollar? How do I know this company is honest with no financial reporting? If they claim it’s backed by some other currency or entity somewhere, how do I know? And, Why are these NFT cartoons of ugly apes worth more than an original Picasso? But mostly, Should I trust a guy selling blorps? Faux quotes comedian John Oliver who described exactly how sheer crypto-bullshit worked for one crypto king: “One blorp is always worth one dollar. And the reason I can guarantee that is I’ll sell as many fleezels [to back it] as it takes to make that happen. Also, I make the fleezels.” Long story short, after a blorps cash-run and with fleezels as liquid as Monopoly money, apart from being non-existent, the price of each blorpcoin fell to $.00001834. (Maybe Trump should have asked a Blorpcoiner for help in Georgia.) Too bad investors in that crypto king’s scheme didn’t ask those glaringly obvious questions. We’ve seen this all before, with the dot-com craze, the subprime mortgage crisis and the Great Financial Collapse. Why didn’t those now-crypto-losers question all that value? Why didn’t they wonder what they were really getting into? And why do they get so mad when the rest of us point it out? They’re embarrassed to be revealed as duplicitous in their self-con. They know it, deep down, but they can’t admit it, especially when others point it out, which is why they cling so relentlessly to their scam and blame everyone and everything but themselves. Their narcissistic self-image is off the charts, and there is nothing else so precious to any of us. Humans have always been easily scammed and many will buy anything that boosts their egos, whether it’s to getrichquick or get the ‘beautiful girl’ in Singapore declaring her love for someone to whom she’s flogging the latest blorp who, if the marks were thinking critically, would wonder, What does she see in me? And, Is that actually a man pretending to be a gorgeous woman to scam me? People who didn’t ask the hard questions about crypto’s true value mostly got royally screwed. That’s the gotcha when you believe too guilelessly. I actually had zero interest in cryptocurrency before reading this book, and I still do. Why did I put it on my Christmas list? Part of it was the human schadenfreude, the feeling of superiority for not being as stupid as all those dumbass testosterone-fueled young people, but it was also a further attempt to understand why we humans are so relentlessly, single-mindedly stupid sometimes. Why we believe what we want to believe and ignore the risks and problems. I’m reminded of it as I monitor the Matrix-style slow-mo karate kick to, for example, transgender ideology. The world is sleeping now, while the left-wing media surreptitiously cleans a shit-ton of egg off its face, privately debating in boardrooms how they’ll spin for their readers what we now know about the scientific bankruptcy and near-psychopathic adherence to Sacred Transactivist Dogma they’ve been uncritically pushing at the behest of their activist-driven kiddie reporters. How could the New York Times be so stupid??? To persistently believe stupid things, you have to be committed to your inflated self-image—in this case, as Good Liberals being all inclusive and shit, but thou shalt swear fealty to the authoritarian mandrake that has rooted itself in the illiberal soul. The New York Times is discovering the perils of hiring woke social justice kiddies out of America’s most elite antisemitism factories as they struggle to tell the truth, as journalists are supposed to do, about the documented evidence for sexual violence committed by Hamas and Gazans on October 7th. All the news that’s fit to print, indeed. It’s the same question I asked over and over again, over forty years ago, as I watched an earlier iteration of another insane dogma unfold in the United States beginning with the ouster of Jimmy Carter as President, replaced with the kind, daddyish, Great Communicating Revelation-loving Ronald Reagan. Like a sandworm in Dune, the Religious Reich erupted from the ground, spraying the same childish fundamentalist zeal we see in today’s equally self-infantilizing woke warriors. How could anyone believe in a Christianity this stupid? I wondered as a college student, raised on more liberal, mainstream Lutheranism. I interned at a Christian TV station which intersected with my major and for two summers I suffered induced cognitive dissonance in Christianity that eventually led to my apostasy. It wasn’t that Christianity itself was stupid, it was that the fundies’ version was so goddamn brain-dead I was like, You have to have the intelligence of Christ’s donkey to believe this crap. Fundamentalist Christians believe mindlessly in a clearly man-made religious ideology that appeals to their superiority complex, and promises them that anyone who criticizes or mocks their consummate moral and intellectual hypocrisy they will one day look down upon from Heaven and laugh at all those morons now shrieking eternally in agony. Don’t ask the obvious questions like, Why would a loving God horrendously punish people for a lifetime He assigned them to and maybe gave them a really crappy starting point, and maybe a damaged brain, and how is their life entirely their fault? Why are you worshipping such a psychopath? Maybe Lucifer had the right idea? Or just, If I’m this much of a sick fuck who laughs at people being tortured, what makes me so sure I’m worthy of Heaven? Is there a Holy Mainframe on a cloud somewhere and God’s programmers run your life through it and assign value to the number and severity of sins you’ve committed and say, “You, Joe SixPack, got a score of 832 so we sentence you to 6,500 years of hellfire before you can come into heaven, and you, Adolf Hitler, get 8.5 million years because you were one seriously fucked-up puppy, but after that, if your sins have been properly expurgated, we’ll let you into Heaven”? Cults: The open-license framework was laid down first by religions. You can see the cultiness in the bitcoiners who believe in something to which has been assigned arbitrary, opaque value—something they don’t understand. Bitcoins, like Picassos and old toys, possess value because someone says they do, rather than actual value: You can’t eat bitcoins, paintings or toys but you can arguably sell them for more than they’re worth and feed your family. Until someone decides they’re no longer worth anything. People believe in value that clearly isn’t there, if they want to believe, no matter how ludicrous. If there’s enough of potential payoff, like a community-supported self-image feeding you the powerful ego drug we’re right and they’re wrong, our guy is good and theirs is bad, they won’t ask the obvious questions. Crypto investors who tried to pull out too late lost everything; progressive parents are waking up to the fact that their naive belief in gender-affirming ‘experts’ may render their ‘trans’ offspring sterile and themselves without grandchildren. Because they didn’t ask the obvious questions. Trump’s Christian fan club almost certainly isn’t asking, But what about when dictators turn on their allies? Can you really trust a guy with ninety-one criminal charges? And has this guy ever even asked, ‘What would Jesus do’? History recalls countless scams for which the gullible failed to ask the obvious questions about true value: Nigerian princes, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi schemes, 17th-century Tulipmania - now, TrumpCon, BidenCon, TransCon and the ongoing CryptoCon. Why, in the 17th century, should Dutch flowers suddenly be worth so much, why do people today give an alleged billionaire money, even before he started publicly begging like a TV evangelist, why do parents not question why they themselves never knew a single ‘trans kid’ growing up? Why can’t liberals see Biden doesn’t understand how transactivism has harmed so many women and children? Why doesn’t the mainstream press write more about whatever the fuck is clearly wrong with Trump’s incoherent mouth and brain? The payoff for willful ignorance isn’t always money. Partisan voters who remain as mindlessly loyal as a faithful doggo ignore mountains of pretty damning evidence because they want to believe their own absurdities as much as transkid parents and crypto investors to preserve their precious self-image of being smart and competent and most importantly not wrong. Their houses of cards will fall, too. Delusional investments—whether financial, political or personal—demonstrate how easy it is to get taken when you shut your eyes, when you guilelessly buy into the hype, when you suffer from FOMO, when everyone around you is doing or believing it so it must be cool. Crypto investors believed themselves much smarter than the rest of us (and some were, although most weren’t). Transgender and MAGA True Believers can’t vote intelligently when they believe in pseudoscience, debunked narratives, and the evidence of their own lying eyes. When they shut their ears and yell la-la-la when someone asks those obvious questions. As I read Number Go Up, I kept laughing, “This is so stupid! How could anyone ever buy into this crapola, much less with money? How can this ugly ape picture be worth millions? How can anyone believe fake money can properly back fake money? Why isn’t this regulated? How can anyone be this stupid???” I say the same, with less laughter, when I listen to idiots uncritically accept the claims of transactivists, or Trump’s or Biden’s defenders, or DEI initiatives, or the next silly-ass investment dupe. I mean, come on, seriously, folks? Where the hell are their brains?? Crypto culties hurt mostly themselves, but political culties hurt us all. I don’t know how we can evolve as a society if we can’t ask ourselves the glaringly obvious questions. Especially when it could land us in jail. Or on the business end of a malignant narcissist’s vengeance. Or a fuzzy old grandpa’s cluelessness. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • Bitch: When I Was The Abuser (Part II)

    It takes two for an abusive relationship. Because an abuser can't abuse a person who isn't there. This is Part II. Bitch: When I Was The Abuser (Part I) is right here. I remember the men I mistreated. Like Boring Bob and Jimmy, both from Great Expectations, which turned out to be a bust. Boring Bob was twelve years older than I, but he was kind of cute and had a good job. Unfortunately, we had little in common. His hobby was the stock market. His musical tastes were stuck in the 1970s with Neil Diamond and the Beatles. I liked Blink 182, Green Day and Three Doors Down. “You sound like my nephews,” he harrumphed. I had a three-date rule before giving up on a guy. I kindly told Bob it wasn’t going to work. He made a fuss and pleaded for a fourth date so I went, but he wasn’t any more interesting. I broke it off. He kept calling and eventually he talked me into one last date. Once more, with feelin’. Or not. I said no, firmly. The calls continued, about once a month, and he was getting on my nerves. How pathetic of him to be such a nag! I should have gotten caller ID, or told him to STOP CALLING ME, DAMMIT! but I’d dug several feet farther down my hole. My anger turned into a game to see how much crap he’d take before he gave up. He’d signed up to be my Abuse Toy. It felt good to hurt someone the way others had hurt me. He was so willing to take all my crap. He’d call, I’d insult him. I called him pathetic. I told him he was a loser. I began taunting him with other men. “I’m fucking around,” I bragged. “Well, okay,” he’d say, sounding disappointed. “If—that’s what you want. I mean, I can settle for that if that’s what you want.” “Including other men?” “Well—yeah.” I was a decade away from Please, guys, don’t be this guy! Never let a woman treat you this way! “Seriously, man? You’d be willing to be part of my harem?” “It’s not what I want but—okay.” “Can we get together soon?” he asked. “I’m leaving Wednesday for England,” I told him. “To see my friend Gareth. We’ve had an affair already and now it’s my turn to visit. I’m going to have wild sex with him!” I can’t imagine why anyone would still want to date someone that toxic. “I’m never going to fuck you,” I’d tell him. Bob wanted love, and I enjoyed being cruel. He let me. It doesn’t excuse me in the slightest, but guys—it takes two to tango. I ended it eventually, not because I felt bad about what I’d done but because I realized this is how one can potentially create a stalker. I called Great Expectations and asked them to get him off my ass. They called later to confirm they’d threatened to cancel his membership if he called me again. And he ranted about how I hadn’t given him a chance— Another guy from GE was Jimmy. He brayed like a donkey when he talked. He wasn’t very attractive. But he was a nice guy. I feel even more guilt about him than I do for Bob, and I feel like a scumbag about Bob. Jimmy didn’t agree to become my abuse toy, and in fact I admire him for telling me to go fuck myself. He took me out for dinner—by this time I was callously using Great Expectations for free dinners since I despaired of ever finding anyone in the year I’d paid for—and he didn’t make a good impression. He was a former military sniper who was proud of all the men he’d killed. Now, I understand war is ugly, but bragging about kills was pretty inappropriate first-date conversation, and the first sign Jimmy possessed little common sense, which repeated itself on a memorable second date ending with me ditching him. I received an angry phone call later in which we agreed to get together and talk things out, but then I came home to another angry voice mail telling me, I forget exactly how, to go fuck myself. Good on you, Jimmy. You took back your power. You refused my shit. Years later, Jimmy went nuts. If you’ve ever read American Sniper you know how crazy that life is. In fact, the author was himself killed by a Marine with PTSD at a shooting range. I often wondered whether the author might have gone crazy himself later. It’s not natural for humans to kill, although they can be taught. I looked for Jimmy online after finishing the book and found his strange obituary, which didn’t mention his military service. I learned that a few years prior, he was arrested a few times, once for shoplifting in a grocery store in a trench coat with ammo in the pockets and guns in his car. It doesn’t look like he was planning a mass shooting that day, and perhaps not at all. But they sent him to a famous New England psychiatric hospital. I suspect he committed suicide but I can’t confirm it. I probably didn’t have anything to do with it, but I can’t swear I didn’t contribute in my own brief way. I’d wanted to apologize to him and Bob, years later, after I moved to Canada, but a male friend talked me out of it. He said I’d just re-traumatize them, that I should let it go. I wish I hadn’t listened. Bob died just a few years ago, and doesn’t appear ever to have married. I wish I’d apologized to both of them. There were others, too, who put up with my short-term anger. Like the gorgeous-but-stupid guy I intended to use for sex who turned out to be semi-impotent from alcoholism and was only interested in beer and rock ‘n’ roll. I remember leaving him sitting on his bed naked, looking dejected, and telling him the alcohol was making him a limp dick. Looking back, it’s a wonder sometimes I didn’t get murdered. My anger made me reckless. Sometimes it was expressed not by cruelty to others but simply not being honest with them. I once dated two guys. I knew they assumed I was seeing no one else and had they asked I would have been honest, but they didn’t so I said nothing. They would surely have been angry and hurt had they known I was sleeping with them both. They each gave me flowers. When one came over I hid the other’s flowers in the closet; then I’d switch them for the other guy. They never found out, ergo never got hurt. But it doesn’t exonerate me. It wasn’t right. What a piece of work I was. My mother didn’t raise me this way. Maybe there are a lot of angry women in the world who train some guys to expect crazy and bad treatment from women. It’s why I have sympathy for abused men, too. I know what bitches women can be. I was one. When I abused Bob, I took a sick pleasure in it. I unloaded a lot of baggage and garbage he hadn’t earned. And he was a good guy. We would never have been happy together but I wonder if bad women like me ruined him forever for marriage. Instead of trying to get me to fall in love with him—which was never going to happen, not even if I was less insane—he should have been finding a woman worthy of him. He had a good heart. He was adult and responsible, but not good at identifying serious headcases. There were women who could have shared his enthusiasm for playing the stock market, who perhaps he could have happily taught. Jimmy would never have made for a good partner or husband, dying mysteriously five years after me. I knew when he bragged about killing 59 people, that he might well turn violent some day. My dates with him served as the opening chapter in a dark fantasy novel I wrote years later, Tales From The Anonymous Divorced Witchbabe. The angry, entitled main character was, not surprisingly, partially based on myself, with an offline dating service I called Nickleby’s. Some of the main character’s dating woes were based on a few other men I met through Great Expectations and whom I treat with more sympathy in the novel than I did in real life. The Canadian guy who was willing to shag a racist I’ll call him Inconnu, the French word for ‘unknown’. I don’t remember his name. He was a Canadian immigrant, like myself, except from a country with a well-earned reputation for aggressive horndogginess. I don’t want to slam his home country, so we’ll call it Ecuarico, which was the name of the fake country of an exiled South American dictator who briefly invades Gilligan’s Island. I met Inconnu at a party and I’d implemented a new rule for Toronto men: Don’t talk to or engage with guys from Ecuarico. They greatly lacked social and romantic skills and this guy was so aggressive I actually Googled the next morning, ‘Why are Ecuarican guys so…” and before I could type the last word the dropdown showed me other popular endings to this question. Which ended in ‘aggressive’, ‘horny’, ‘persistent’, etc. The complaints about Ecuarican guys were global. The country itself has a very bad reputation for the way it treats women. By the time Inconnu arrived I’d had a few drinks. I get chattier and friendlier when I drink, so even though I thought, “Don’t talk to the Ecuarican guy! Don’t talk to the Ecuarican guy!” I did anyway. We had a few conversations and when I was ready to leave he said, “Oh, are you going home? So am I. Why don’t we ride on the subway together?” “Sure!” I said. So of course, we hadn’t finished the five-minute walk to the subway when he asked, “What kind of guys do you like to date?” I was past Peak Angry Bitch period, so I didn’t say what I wanted to say—“Anyone except Ecuarican guys!” which I would have a few years previously, but it explains how things went down afterward. We were both pretty drunk and his persistence activated Bitch Mode. I fended off his advances (all verbal) until politeness ran out. “No, I’m not going out with you. Stop asking.” I should have said, “Knock it off right now or I’m going to sit over there and read my e-book!” But he’d just agreed to become my Abuse Toy. I think I had a fleeting memory of Boring Bob. The more he persisted, the nastier I got. I abused him, I insulted him, but no matter what I said, he still wanted to fuck date me. And of course I lost all respect for him. It turned into a game once again. How much shit will he take before he gives up? He was so persistent I got racist. I eschew racism in all its forms but I wanted to see if he was so pathetic he’d want sex with someone who treated him like an inferior. This is one of the most shameful things I’ve ever done. But I remind you: Remember George Costanza in Seinfeld wanting to fuck the hot Nazi white supremacist chick? I remembered, that night. “Listen,” I told him, “I don’t fuck Ecuarican guys. I NEVER fuck Ecuarican guys. You’re all disgusting. You’re horny as fuck. And you guys are mad for blonde white women, aren’t you! You’ll do anything to fuck us, won’t you!” The main reason I’d decided not to talk to or engage with Ecuarican guys is because of their own racist fetishization of white women, and especially blonde white women. They’re famous for it. They’re not the only men who do it, there’s a whole part of the world I could name that also fetishizes blonde white women—as I was to learn from my Googling the following morning, because porn is primarily Western-produced which means many of the actresses are blonde white women. “I never fuck brown penises. (Not true. I’d already had one or two.) You are never, ever, in a million years, going to plug your tiny little brown Ecuarican penis into me. This is one blonde #$%^& you are never going to see, much less touch!” I forget what else I said—it was late at night so there was no one else in our car—but I kept insulting his country, his penis size and his manhood, and still, still, still—he wanted to fuck me, no matter what I said. He was a thousand times more pathetic than Boring Bob. Not to mention an embarrassing stereotype. It was a long trip home. I’d expected he’d get off somewhere before me but he didn’t; he lived in my neighborhood. He insisted on walking me to my building. It sure wasn’t out of any sense of honor or concern for my safety. “Why are you being so racist?” he asked. “Because you’re a pathetic loser and I wanted to see how much of my crap you’d take. You’re such a loser you’re willing to fuck a racist. For fuck’s sake, get some self-esteem!” He walked away. Jim McCoy believes emotional and psychological abuse are worse than physical. Bones and flesh heal. Brains and souls, not so easily. I had legitimate grievances about treatment by men, but none who were abusive. Rude, inconsiderate, insensitive, sometimes dumber than dirt, but not a single one worthy of my treatment. Single men still remain relentlessly clueless about women while drowning in an ocean of information about them, which is why I don’t date anymore. Not out of a sense of anger or hostility; I’m just tired of cluelessness. I’m romantically exhausted. I keep telling myself I’m done with it but then a few years later I’m back online trying again, hoping once again for love (that’s all there is; have I mentioned that?). I joined various F2F groups before the pandemic but most guys were too young and others showed no interest. Granted, Canadian men are extremely passive. Trauma always remains with us. You can move beyond it with meditation, therapy, cathartic art, or whatever, and change your life. Then one day something triggers you and your brain snaps back to 1992 and you’re yelling at some ancient asshole while your current partner stares at you in disbelief wondering where the hell this is coming from. It’s part of the reason why I wrote an article last year pondering the people I’ve hurt, and wanting to apologize—forty years later. What I crucify myself for is how I handled myself. I can genuinely argue ‘I didn’t know what I didn’t know’, like how online dating was a Sears catalog that commoditizes human beings. Or that just as Jerry was tossing me overboard, far more people were availing themselves of free online porn, that soulless algorithms fed their customers endless wank gratification, including more extreme and violent porn and even kiddie porn. Young girls and young women watched it and taught them that a woman’s place was to be a slut and do whatever filthy thing a man wanted. I didn’t know, when I re-entered the dating scene in the early 2000s, just how stacked the deck was against me. And everyone else too, including men. I didn’t know that Buddhist psychology wasn’t all a bunch of shit. What I blame myself for is choosing to dig my own hole and even flirt with evil one dark night. What I’m responsible for is becoming a horrible person, at least for a time. It wasn’t all my fault. It wasn’t all their fault. I feel obligated to mention again, my mother didn’t raise me this way. So don’t blame her, or my father. They raised me to a be a good person. I even bought that silly Rules book about playing your grandma’s games to snag a man. “Well I tried honesty and consideration,” I told myself. “And that didn’t work. So let’s try deception and games. Isn’t doing the same thing over and over again the definition of insanity?” I was right, and it was. Honesty and consideration really had failed. But I still knew better. I always knew better, however I rationalized. When I tell women to stop letting him treat you like that, to grow some labia, reclaim your power and don’t be the victim, I fucking mean it. I’ve never tolerated bad treatment from men, but some have tolerated it from me. I am 100% responsible for myself, but you can’t abuse a person who isn’t there. Don’t be that guy! As Jim McCoy eloquently put it. Not to mention a retired abusive bitch. Don’t Be The Victim - My Substack anti-abuse articles Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • Bitch: When I Was The Abuser (Part I)

    When I say, 'Don't LET anyone treat you like that,' or 'Don't BE the victim,' I speak from personal experience. As a temporary ex-abuser. This is a tough one to write. I’ve been nagging myself for years. Since I published Jim McCoy’s guest post about his abusive ex-wife recently, I remember my cringe. For decades I’ve encouraged women to assert themselves and not tolerate male abuse. I encourage them and others to reclaim their power, and how to avoid abusive people, but I’ve never admitted my own story as an abusive bitch. It was temporary, and only in short-term dating. Amber Heard I wasn’t, but I’m still responsible for a time when my mouth and poisoned soul were a real Love Canal. It’s time for me to own it. I always say don’t tolerate abuse (and if you do, you are). Because I can state quite personally: Abusers know what they’re doing and give people whatever they’ll take. I would know. The label fit me for about twelve years. It’s time for admit what I was on the other side of abuse. Never the victim. Certain guys let me mistreat them. Listen up: The more of my shit they took the less respect I had for them. Remember that, always. I want you to understand, if you’ve ever been in a physically, emotionally, psychologically or verbally abusive relationship that abusers lose respect for you every time you come back for more. And coming back gives them permission. ‘Bitch’ is my two-part story of a time in my life when I mistreated men out of a sense of bitterness and romantic entitlement. I want people to know they should never put up with bad treatment from others, just as I encourage women not to tolerate it from men. Part I is how I got that way. Part II, about my abuse, will run on Saturday. The backstory In 2000, the man I was living with for years dumped me out of the blue. Jerry walked in one day and said, “We have to talk.” He punted me back into a dating scene that had changed while I’d been gone. People met online, (as in fact Jerry and I had, before it was cool), with early singles sites. Dating fatigue set in quite early when all you did was flip through photos, picking out the cute ones, then getting ignored. As opposed to, say, meeting with people at social events and talking to them. A great personality can make an average-looking person more attractive. What I also didn’t understand, tragically, was the new rise of easily-accessible Internet porn which was warping mostly male brains about human sexuality and keeping them at home rather than meeting real women. (Now it’s warping everyone’s brains.) Relentless rejection and rudeness spiralled me into a deep depression. I cried a lot. I raged at Jerry. After getting blown off, ignored, or treated insensitively by men online I wanted to meet (would it kill them to just message back, thanks, but no thanks?), my rage spread. After enough mannerless, insensitive treatment I thought, “Okay fine. If you don’t have to be nice, neither do I. If my feelings aren’t important, neither are yours.” I stopped treating men with consideration, and blamed it on them. I wonder who they learned it from. Chicken or egg, n’est-ce pas? My doctor put me on Prozac, then Zoloft. But drugs need to be augmented with therapy which I couldn’t afford. So I stopped taking them. I woke up in the morning not wanting to get out of bed. Or in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep—until shortly before I had to get up for work. In my black hole, I was obsessed with angry, self-abusive thoughts. You suck! You’re ugly! You’re fat! No one will ever love you again! You’re terrible! How can any man ever love you??? “Why is it okay for you to talk to yourself this way,” I’d ask, “when you’d bitch-slap anyone you heard saying these things to another human being?” During my more lucid moments, I realized: You’re digging your own goddamn hole. The farther you dig, the longer it will take to climb out of it. And you know you will. But right now, you’re making it worse. So I picked up my shovel and went back to work. One night I got blown off by some dork from an offline dating service I’d joined, Great Expectations, which I called Gray Expectorations. This guy was barely worth my time but I was desperate. I called him a few times and I got blown off by his mother. In a way my own mother had once blown off a high school suitor for me. Telling me he wasn’t there every time I called with her familiar ‘lying mom’ voice. I was humiliated that I’d sunk so low as to put all my expectations on a guy I would never have given a glance to three years prior. This exemplar of mediocrity snapped me. I became consumed by an uncontrollable black rage the last time I hung up. FINE, fuck it! Fuck you all! I hate men! I hate all of them! I’m going to get you all! I’m going to DESTROY you! I’m going to make you pay for what you’ve done to me! For what you’ve made me!” Sound familiar? Sound like the whiny-ass cry of every abusive male who blames a woman or all women for everything wrong with their lives? Incels? The manosphere? The Red Pillers? No, I don’t need to change, YOU need to change!!! Entitled much, girlfriend? Drunk off my ass, I called an English gamer friend who was up at all hours. “I think I’m about to do something bad, Gareth,” I told him. “Wot’s that?” I described a ludicrous plan to turn into this super-hot chick who would make men fall in love with me and then blow them off, because I would have no heart left. I wanted to hurt men, to destroy them, a mass-Miss Haversham. I didn’t care my future targets were innocent men who’d never done anything to me. They weren’t really innocent, I reasoned. They’d surely been assholes to other women, because that’s what men did. They had no souls, no real feelings, except in their dicks. They were penis-bots, life support systems for their dick. They couldn’t feel love. They only faked it to get dick service. Gee, I didn’t sound too much like the blanket-generalizing losers of what would later become the ‘manosphere’. Fortunately, Gareth was too sweet and kind and loved me too much to do what any reasonable man would have done, hung up on my loathsome, self-pitying misandry. Before he could even respond I took another breath and pointed out all the ridiculous holes in my own silly-ass plan. I wasn’t a super-hot chick. I didn’t have the self-discipline to lose weight. If I believed I could turn myself into a super-hot chick I would have done it by now, but I didn’t because I didn’t believe I could. (Twenty years later: I wish I’d tried harder.) I was too old to be one anyway, at 39. Also, I grudgingly acknowledged men could love and did have feelings. “Gareth,” I blubbered, “I feel like I’m about to make a conscious choice to give myself to evil. I almost did this a half hour ago. Then I wavered. I felt really close, like I was at the edge of a very narrow chasm and that all I had to do was take one small step to give men what they deserve. But then I stopped. I had this very weird strong feeling that if I did, there was no going back. And that I would render myself permanently unlovable. Somewhere, I feel like there’s always hope.” It wasn’t the alcohol talking. I had a strong fear I still recall that I was about to make a huge mistake from which there was no turning back. Maybe I’d revile evil one day but my soul would be irrevocably damaged by having given myself to it. Tainted. Ruined. The way we imagined raped or seduced Victorian women were forever ruined, except I really would be. That a part of my sick soul would wither and die, like an irrecoverable wasted limb. We talked for hours. About the evil in all of us. Of the white people in old photographs I’d been Googling gathering around for a ‘party’ - a lynching of a black man. The celebrations. The people who looked just like me, albeit historically dressed. About finding the pictures of Emmett Till’s corpse in a coffin in an old magazine story and wondering how adult men could torture a child like that. I talked about the ‘good little Germans’ who followed Hitler. The camp guards who told themselves Jews were sub-human, but not so much that they minded pulling the pretty ones out of the death queues to be their sexual servants. The civilians who smelled something cooking if they lived near certain camps and pretended it was, uh, neighbors making dinner. How I didn’t want to be like that. Like them. Gareth talked me back from the chasm. When I sobered up I didn’t want to give myself to evil. I still think I dodged a real bullet that night. In retrospect, while men really had been inconsiderate clods, I came to understand that I myself suffered from a crippling sense of romantic entitlement, as became clear several years later when George Sodini, an angry incel who hadn’t had sex in years, shot up a women’s fitness center in Los Angeles. His online manifesto detailed all his grievances against the women who’d remained immune to what he thought were his many charms. Weirdly, it wasn’t just wanting sex; he wanted connection, to be loved, to have a girlfriend. Underneath many incels’ obsessive focus on sex with a Stacy lies a genuine extremely human desire to be loved. My fascination with his story was a weird sort of kinship. He was, in a certain sense, a brother-in-arms. I didn’t condone Sodini, but I understood him. I sympathized with him. I still do. Love really is all there is. He was a scumbag, for sure, but he forced me to acknowledge I had become a scumbag too. When I analyzed Sodini’s sexual entitlement, I found myself—but entitled to the easy access to men I’d had when I was younger. Sex is harder for men to come by; romantic love harder for women. Men had fallen into my lap, without my effort. When I was young, I was a pretty belly dancer, which definitely gave me cachet, like being the head cheerleader. But now I was no longer a dumb kid, and it turned out, guys my age really were more interested in younger women, especially ones who wanted children, which I didn’t. Here’s another incel-style mistake I made: Blaming men for wanting something that didn’t align with my own desires. It takes awhile to find a man who’s willing to cut himself off from this normal human desire for children, and I got a tubal ligation at thirty-nine. Many men say they don’t want children, or they don’t care, but they can change their minds, in their forties, fifties, even their senior years. Never say never when you’re a man. Men and women think and plan their lives in different ways, because we are different, physically and psychologically. We don’t always synchronize with what the other sex wants. We have a biological clock; they don’t. There are fewer real-world consequences for male tomcatting. It’s not always humanity’s artificially created ‘patriarchy’, it’s God’s or evolution’s plan to perpetuate life. It’s not fair, but it’s humanity’s reality. I had moved to Canada, where I was less isolated and had made many new friends. Getting older had calmed me down a bit, and as I moved through menopause I wondered whether hormonal changes were responsible. I still was in a bad place, but I suffered fewer dark depressive episodes and the type of cycling thoughts that trouble angry, depressed people: Men are stupid. Men are awful. I really hate men. They only think of themselves. I hate them! I really hate them! I can’t imagine how I could ever love one! A few years later I found Buddhist psychology via Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of A Buddha. The first time I read it, it pissed me off. Compassion talk really pissed me off. Why the hell should I have compassion for a sex that felt no compassion for me, or women, period? The second time I read it I was simply nonplussed. Meh. I should get rid of this thing, eh? I didn’t know it yet, but that reaction demonstrated progress. Then one day I cleaned out my bookshelves and put Radical Acceptance on the pile bound for the thrift store. Then I picked it up. I was depressed again, but over unemployment, not men. I didn’t even think about them much anymore, or write about how much I hated them in my journal. I only hated myself. “Once more with feelin’,” I told myself. “And if it sucks I’ll put it back on the pile.” I laid down on the couch and started reading. Then I got up to grab a Kleenex. Then I got up to grab a pen. And I started underlining. Half an hour later, my Kleenex was soaked, and Radical Acceptance was lying on my coffee table. Don’t Be The Victim - My past articles on avoiding and not tolerating abuse Part II will publish on Tuesday, and will detail how I emotionally abused men that passed briefly through my life. I knew what I was doing and I have only myself to blame. Just because some people are assholes didn’t mean I had the right to become one. Don’t be like I was. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • If Kids Can't Handle Approaching Puberty, We Have Frankly Fucked Them All Up

    Hostility to children's genitals and human sexuality has never been 'only a right-wing thing'. I remember wanting to hit puberty, to stop being a little girl. Breasts! Yes! A gorgeous body like I saw on The Love Boat! Boys falling all over themselves for me! And nothing, nothing said ‘I’m a woman now’ like that magical moment (which I was afraid would never come) of getting my first menstrual period. My best friend Vera and I, in eighth grade, read Judy Blume’s classic YA novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and laughed at the four friends in the book who cocked their elbows, pulling their arms back and forward again, all the while chanting We must! We must! We must increase our bust! While Vera and I never did that (she didn’t need to), we did, I confess, keep Boy Books, just like the four girls, with lists of Cute Boys we liked. Puberty turned out to be a bit of a letdown, although I spent less time waiting for my period than for cleavage. After a half-dozen or so grody time-of-the-months I spent the next forty years wishing menopause would hurry up and get on with it. Vera already had boobs when I met her, at thirteen, and my body wasn’t cooperating with the whole Love Boat love goddess thing (an affinity for sugary snacks and an aversion to exercise apart from bike riding might have played a considerable role). Also, there was acne, oily hair, dorky glasses, braces for a few years, a complete ignorance of makeup and a careless approach to fashion. But at least I had Become A Woman, finally. Okay, puberty ain’t actually fun. Maybe it is for the girls who turned into cheerleaders and future Love Boat goddesses, but I remember Rachel, unquestionably the most beautiful girl in our grade. She was a tall blonde ‘fox’ with blue eyes and the body and mature-looking face of a 21-year-old woman. At fourteen. I used to envy her, but years later, I wondered what her life was like as a young teen trapped in a beautiful woman’s body. Oh, the slavering old perverts! The unsolicited, embarrassing comments! The surreptitious feels by filthy old men with no filters in the late ‘70s when Second Wave feminism was adolescent itself and girls hadn’t yet learned that boys and men didn’t have unfettered right to their bodies. I knew puberty wasn’t a joy for boys either, as Judy Blume’s book, Then Again, Maybe I Won’t makes clear. It’s about a 13-year-old boy who falls in with a kid who shoplifts, drinks, makes prank phone calls and reads inappropriate adult fiction. He develops an attraction to his friend’s beautiful older sister and spies on her while she dresses and undresses, since she doesn’t close the blinds. The book alerted me to just what kind of stress boys are under as they never know when they’re going to pop a boner, even when they’re in a supremely sexually unstimulating environment, like math class—and just as they get called to do a math problem at the board in front of everyone—with a boner! Blume’s male character and many of her female characters deal with masturbation, probably the first YA novelist to do so. I remember my male counterparts in school who failed to mature into Love Boat-worthy male shuffleboard and pool gods, whose height didn’t meet exacting female standards, who were pudgy and dorky and probably wondered if they’d ever get laid. One teen was losing his hair at sixteen. By the ten-year reunion he was a billiard ball. Even a mega-dork like me wouldn’t have dated them, had they even asked. Puberty isn’t easy. I remember. But it’s still the first major life change we humans endure, with more to come, and who the hell wants to be a kid their entire life, right? We spend our childhoods wishing we were older so we could do things we weren’t currently allowed to do, and puberty is the first promise that you’re not going to be a kid forever, beholden to your parents’ dictates, that you won’t be ordered around for the rest of your life, that one day you’ll be able to eat nothing but desserts for lunch if you want, stay up late and watch Johnny Carson and Saturday Night Live, and this shitty school thing will eventually come to an end. No one trained us to believe puberty was a nightmare. Books, ABC After School Specials, TV sitcoms and movies depicted kids navigating a difficult phase of their lives, but no one questioned it. We read teen fiction to try and understand better what was happening to us and what to expect. No character seemed entitled to live a life they couldn’t. What we all hoped for, and not all of us achieved, was to be as ridiculously gorgeous as TV kids and Love Boat guest stars. No one committed suicide if they fell short. So why are kids and adults so terrified of puberty today, and so in denial of the reality of being human, that they’re joining a body modification cult to change their bodies into something they’re not, starting with puberty blockers because the cool kids on YouTube say it’s the best thing ever, and assure them they were born in the wrong body even though their parents are like no you’re fucking not, and their older brother thinks they’re a complete idiot? How have mostly ‘progressive’ adults managed to fuck up the most important job in the world—raising new human beings—so badly that they’re willing to let their kids self-mutilate? They share more concern when their daughters cut themselves. How have so many come to believe it’s okay to steal children from their parents if they don’t go along with gender insanity? At what point did so-called responsible educators, administrators, and teachers decide that it was more important for kids to ‘figure out’ whether they were really boys and girls or not instead of, say, learning about the founding of America? Or multiplying fractions? Or learning how to compose a coherent essay in their native language? Or teaching them the truth - that you’re assigned your immutable sex at conception? As Jonathan Haidt notes in the research he did for his new book The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing An Epidemic of Mental Illness, the mental health of girls from progressive/liberal families sank quickly and much further than any other group of kids, including their brothers. His research makes it clear that liberal, progressive girls lead the whole Gen Z mental health crisis phenomenon. It’s they who have embraced the most the whole ‘born in the wrong body’ article of faith purporting to explain everything wrong with their lives. The Gen Z mental health crisis is horrifyingly evident. Today the number of young girls identifying as trans in the UK has increased 4,000% according to one British study. And that’s on an island with 20% the population of the United States. (Real) boys aren’t left out, either. The number of ‘transgender’ children overall has doubled since social media introduced it to a generation of mobile-addicted kids, and Pod Parents automatically do what their Pod People medical professionals urge them to, put their children on puberty blockers which may sterilize them among many other unpleasant and probably permanent side effects. Never mind the lack of evidence behind the alleged suicide rate for kids who are set parental boundaries. What is this incomprehensible fear of puberty we find on the progressive left? How come kids in previous generations didn’t off themselves every time their parents said no? In a recent interview with gender researcher Eliza Mondegreen, she notes that gender transitioning may be a way of avoiding growing up. “You come to a point in life where some kind of transformation is being asked of you and there's this diversion from whatever kind of growing up or changing that you need to do into trans. You see it with kids who are having trouble navigating puberty and moving into adulthood. You see it with college students who aren't sure what they want to do when they grow up and maybe it's really scary but if they're trans now they have this road map and also this excuse to not hit the other milestones that they might be afraid of because they're trans and how could you expect them to.” It’s Peter Pan and the Lost TransBoys. How badly have we fucked up growing up when kids feel the need to go on puberty blockers not because they’re actually ‘trans’, but because, to twist Socrates, the examined life isn’t worth living? What if they had to confront their genuine mental health challenges rather than the problem everyone has, if they’re lucky enough not to have died within the first thirteen years of their lives? Since when did adulthood become something to be ‘cured’? Maybe it’s just the seemingly universal human fear of our own sexuality, probably the only species that spends as much time obsessing about our genitals and everyone else’s. Hostility to children’s private parts is hardly anything new; Jews and Muslims have mutilated little boys’ genitals for centuries under the guise of religious practice; the Catholic Church famously castrated young boys to preserve their high voices, then demanded they not marry because it would be a ‘sin’; marriage was, they instructed, strictly for making babies, and since the castrati couldn’t, they shouldn’t avail themselves of female love and companionship. Tough shit, kids. Only human beings live in terror of children masturbating, even though ultrasound shows that even fetuses play with themselves. It didn’t stop the medievals and the Victorians from devising contraptions right out of a torture chamber to stop children and horny adults from, it was believed, driving themselves mad with ‘self-abuse’ and maybe even growing hairy palms. (Has that ever happened?) I began wondering about the liberal hostility to female sexuality (no, it’s not just a right-wing thing) and the mania to 'trans' willing young girls (just like the 19th-century oviarectomies performed on women to treat every neurosis they had, as detailed in a brief history section of flagrant medical profession patient abuse in the WPATH Files). Any liberal still in control of their pre-frontal cortex recognizes the rise of misogyny on the left expressed through the trans movement. The TERF Is A Slur website catalogues the violent transmisogyny of heterosexual fetishists still battling the scourge of feminist opposition while Let Women Speak and other rallies are characterized by violent trans-identified male aggression and physical assault. It’s quite clear that the fuss about violence against so-called trans or queer people isn’t always as ‘transphobic’ as advertised, as emerging details in the Nex Benedict suicide demonstrate. Transactivists have engaged in far more violence against women than anyone has against them, which is not to say that anti-trans violence and murders don’t happen, because they do. But it points to a hidden agenda within the largely heterosexual trans movement to force women to bend, ultimately, to male desires. Especially sexual. Which is where most of this ‘trans’ stuff is coming from. The medical profession and parents aren’t the only ones hostile to human sexuality, nor are the major world religions. Certain parts of Africa have been viciously taking a knife to female genitals for thousands of years, completely excising any part that could deliver sexual pleasure and obsessively sewing up vaginas to keep girls ‘pure’ for their husbands. Human hostility to sexuality is nothing new, it’s non-partisan and universal. I see in the liberal progressive transgender denial of puberty—which they’ve been told also often denies a lifetime of sexual pleasure with butchered genitals—that exact same traditional, conservative hostility. Conservatives didn’t invent fear of sexuality, they’ve just historically hid it less. The so-called liberal ‘hippie generation’ wasn’t much different from their anti-sex ‘Establishment’ foes; a friend who used to be a Yippie told me of how ostensibly, everyone could practice ‘free love’ but it was much easier for men because women were already trained to be accepting and submissive; when a woman chose multiple partners she was ‘punished’ with passive-aggressive behavior by The Main Boyfriend designed to discourage her from relations with other men. It became easier to just let him do what he wanted and suffer silently. “We were ‘smashing monogamy!” she said. “Sounds to me like you were preserving the Establishment,” I replied. The UK government’s Cass Report is out now and adds further fuel to the growing transgender medicine dumpster fire. In particular it goes after puberty blockers, which we’re instructed by the trans movement and their medical professional lapdogs are absolutely necessary to keep kids from killing themselves. Never mind how much that’s been debunked; Thou Shalt Not Question Holy Sacred Writ. What’s certainly being taken more seriously is the emerging evidence that children and young adults are ‘transitioning’ for many different bad reasons, almost none of them actual ‘gender dysphoria’. What needs to be discussed more—in sealed vaults if necessary to keep out violent disruptive transactivists—is the ongoing adult obsession with children’s genitals and the willingness to allow them to agree to medical mutilation without any hard evidence that it relieves emotional distress. And why puberty became a ‘problem’ to be fixed rather than a perfectly normal life transition handled by humans for millions of years, which is now believed to cause suicide if it’s not immediately halted. Adults have seriously fucked up childhood, rendered their children permanent consumers for the medical profession, sterilized many of them (who needs Roe anymore?) and ruined their ability to enjoy sex. Not to mention establish unquestionably that hostility to inconvenient science is not only a ‘right-wing thing’. This is on us, the so-called ‘responsible adults’. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • The Yin & Yang Of Banana Slug Wang And Other Trans Animals Totally Unlike You

    Animals aren't always as 'trans' as advertised, and although clownfish change sex, they can also breathe underwater, which you--also can't. We share this glorious planet with God’s or Darwin’s gorgeous array of creatures, at least the ones who haven’t been exterminated by overeager hunters or who are in the process of dying off from the effects of global warming (Great Barrier Reef, we hardly knew ye!). The biological miracle of life on earth includes some fun facts you may not know: We human beans share our DNA with just about every other plant, animal, and even the mold in your fridge. For example, we share 99% of our DNA with each other. That’s right, ‘those people’ you hate are almost exactly like you! Obsessively intolerant to genetic variation much? We share 90% of our DNA with kitty kats and 84% with our faithful doggos, which kind of calls into question why they’re a hair farther away from us than our nonplussed cats. Check this out: We share 60% of our DNA with bananas—bananas!—and only 44% with honeybees, which have some semblance of a brain, even though they’re light-years from putting the first honeybee trans-butterfly into a Bud Light commercial. We share the same amount of DNA with bananas as we do with fruit flies so that explains that. Even the fungus among us are more closely related at nearly 50%. That’s right, mushrooms are closer to animals and people, genetically, than honeybees and plants. There’s something for vegetarians and vegans to contemplate as they order the stuffed mushroom caps appetizer. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you need to be kinder to the mold in your fridge as you clean it off with a hyper-sanitized sponge and twelve rubber gloves, or that weird pink stuff that grows in your bathtub. But it does mean one thing: Just because we share some ATGCs (adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine, the DNA compounds) with other life-forms doesn’t mean we are or can change into the only other opposite sex there is. The one that you’re not. The Transformers we ain’t. Fellow power feminist and sophomoric silliness-seeking subscriber Persephone Phoenix pointed me toward another delightfully transphobic article about the trans-ness—or not—of other life forms, from Quillette. From Banana Slugs To Human Beings, There Are Just Two Sexes. Go read it. It’s hilarious. Remember to come back here when you’re done. If you do, I promise you some red-hot super-sexy gastropodous (yes, that’s a real word!) porn action in a True-Life Adventure you ain’t never seen from Walt Disney! Go ahead. I’ll wait. Anyway. Now that you know more about sequential hermaphroditism than you ever cared to know, let’s talk about the lies and misinformation spread by people with an absolute holy terror of being what they were born to be: Human males or females. Specifically, reality-phobic transactivists. They love to argue that because some creatures change sex, it means we can too. They use clownfish as a primary example because—please take notes, there will be a quiz later—clownfish are customarily born male and only change female when the other guys need one. I’m not sure how this works - whether they send around an email asking for volunteers or whether only one fish transsexualizes and they all jump upon her in a massive orange and white fishy gang bang, but clownfish do in fact qualify as transsexual animals because they can change from one sex to another without checking into a gender identity clinic. If human males could change their gonads from testes to ovaries like clownfish, their balls would somehow rise into their hips to become ovaries and I guess their ding-dong would somehow widen, blossom outward, and develop some way for the baby to emerge victorious, clutching its little endlessly striped Pride flag. But no human male has ever done this. Clownfish can do it, but humans can’t. Clownfish can also breathe underwater, which humans can’t do either. Just sayin’. Jellyfish also qualify as transsexuals, because they not only change sex, but they can be two different types of hermaphrodites at the same time! (Frankly, I think that’s just showing off and shaming the clownfish.) Not only are these pulsating blobs able to change sex, but they’re also ‘simultaneous’ hermies because they can display both sexual characteristics at the same time. But they have no brain whatsoever. Which, now that I think about it, indicates they have more in common with transactivists than I initially gave them credit for. Point to you, TERF-haters! Oysters are also part of the be-what-you-want-to-be sex-changers, and just to be disgusting, they are the bukkake champions of the animal world. Even worse, it’s self-bukkake! They spray a cloud of sperm into the water which then impregnates them. So when you tell an oyster to go fuck itself, it probably will. The black sea bass sex changes in reverse order: They begin their lives as females and then later turn male if they watch enough Jeffrey Marsh videos or hang out on TikTok a lot. And then there’s one of my favorite transsexual animals: The extremely broad-minded American slipper limpet, which is a very common critter up and down the U.S. eastern seaboard. Empty slipper shells look like slippers, hence the name, and I can tell you from my adolescence they make for lovely ring-y beach mobiles. They’re also the most orgiastic sluts in all of Earthlandia as they pile on top of each other and hump away—or whatever it is that slipper limpets do when they’re in the throes of love—and they actually shag through the shells, because this is how the whole crazy fucked up sex life of slipper limpets gets. If a slipper limpet is clinging to a rock somewhere all sad and lonely, he turns into a chick, sends out a ‘come fuck me’ signal to the other limpets, and they all pile on top of her and they shag the shit out of her! And they all fertilize her! Like seriously, the paternity suit must be a nightmare. How the hell four of five guys piled one on top of the other manage to impregnate the lone female at the bottom of the orgy pile is beyond me, but I’ll bet human males reading this right now are simultaneously grossed out and turned on by this sexual scenario that we can also add to the list of ‘Things Transsexual Animals Can Do That You Can’t’. The Quillette article points out that many animals in the original article by a gay rights organization on eighteen alleged trans animals aren’t in fact trans at all, just kinda queer-ish. Some definitely resemble transactivists in that they’ll fake being the opposite sex to try and get laid. Count among them the ruff, a Eurasian wading bird, for pulling shit like that. There are a few other genuinely transsexual animals mentioned, but it’s important to note the species that are missing—like all mammals and primates. Not a single one of us hair- or fur-bearers change sex, not even with a team of surgeons and a boatload of cross-sex hormones. Look, a real transsexual can change sex and still get pregnant or get someone pregnant (especially one extremely exhausted female limpet). In the end, there are indeed several animals or creatures who can change sex but we’re not any of them. Just as some animals can breathe underwater or fly and we can’t do either of those things without scuba tanks or airplanes. Flying from Hartford to Dallas-Fort Worth doesn’t make you a bird any more than not being able to change sex, as your cat or dog or budgie can’t do, makes them human. So stop it with the faux biology already, chilluns. And if you’ve made it this far learning about weird sex-switching practices in the animal kingdom, you deserve that promised slug porn! I wrote this many years ago for a creative writing group and it’s since been recycled more often than a Marvel Comics franchise. I’ll be honest, banana slugs don’t really qualify as sex-changers either except in the case of a particularly unfortunate circumstance. But you know what? If you can impregnate someone while dangling from a snot rope three feet above the ground, which is how most of them get down over the ground.,I for one will happily gender you as ‘it’, or ‘they’ for the rest of your life! WARNING: The following is NSFW. It contains graphic, gratuitous, brutally frank descriptions of superhot slug sex! You’ve been warned. “Hey baby, you ever do it in the air?” “Uh, is there any other way?” I asked. I joined the Yard High Club last year. “We could do it on a rock wall,” it said. Well, that would be a new one for me. Last year, the first time I ever mated, my mate and I did it suspended from a slime thread about sixteen inches long. While a rock wall had an air of kinky novelty about it, I wanted to stick to what I knew. Look, this is only my second time reproducing ever, you know? I’ve probably got four more good shags left in me assuming I’m not eaten by a bird or used as fish bait. I’m a banana slug, and hey, it’s spring. Lovely, glorious spring, warm and moist and hardly any birds around because their migration systems have been totally hosed by global warming for the last several years. “What’s your name?” I asked it. It was the hottest slug I’d seen in a year. Long, Chiquita yellow, and covered in slime, just the way I like ‘em. “Leslie,” it said. “And yours?” “Chris,” I replied. We’re hermaphroditic, although occasionally some of us are turned into females. Which won’t happen to me because I’m very careful where I stick my thing when mating. I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I am extremely well-endowed for a banana slug. My mighty mandingo is nearly half my total body length. Well okay, so is everyone else’s, unless they’ve been apophollated, which happens if you get stuck in someone’s orifice. Whoever isn’t stuck gnaws off the pathetic pudd of the one who is. That’s how you get chickified. So we slimed around each other for a bit, doing a size check on each other’s tunnel o’ love, then began our mating dance, waving our colossal love cannons in the air above our heads, which you can do when your penis is located there. We circled each other for hours, then dangled from a long strand of snotty-looking slime, swaying in the gentle breezes as we writhed around each other and engaged in a mutual yellow squirmy shag-a-thon. I came, it came. It was great. It was beautiful. I quivered from the sheer glory of the miracle of mutual reproduction. Leslie pulled out of me. “Okay, it was nice bumping slimies with you,” it said. “I’d like to stick around and chat, maybe share a plate of fungi or dog poop, but I gotta run. If I hurry home I can just catch Stephen Colbert. So can you please disengage?” “Can I what?” “Can you unfasten yourself please?” “Huh?” “WILL YOU TAKE YOUR DICK OUT OF MY — what the hell do we call these other things anyway?” “I don’t know,” I said, “but okay. Sorry, didn’t mean to keep you.” I pulled. And tugged. And yanked. “What’s the matter?” Leslie asked. Oh no. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. 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  • It's the 54th Anniversary of the Campus Protest Kent State Shootings

    Campus life in 2024 looks a lot like 1970, and you know things have gotten crazy when the left has me cheering for Lauren Boebert. Note: I should have published this on May 4th but I forgot. My apologies! It was 54 years ago today that the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four student protesters and wounded nine at a then-unknown small state university in northeast Ohio. Exactly one month later, on June 4th, the folk rock hippie band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released Ohio, enshrining the event in pop culture with its defiant opening guitar riff and lyrics. “Tin soldiers and Nixon coming/We’re finally on our own/This summer I hear the drumming/Four dead in O-hi-o!” The shootings put the college town on the map and ensured that anyone who graduated after 1970 for at least twenty years after answered the question, “So where did you go to school?” with “Kent State University, and no I wasn’t there during the shootings.” Because they’d always ask. The deaths shocked America, although no one paid attention to an unprecedented second campus shooting exactly two weeks later in Mississippi, when police opened fire on student protesters at Jackson State University, killing two students and injuring twelve. But the Jackson State kids were black, so no one noticed. This includes Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, who, exactly one month later, did not release a song that began, “Two dead in Mis-sis-sippi!” I’ve often wondered what it must have been like to be a teenager or young adult back then; I was still learning to read. I’ve read the literature on the ‘60s, watched the movies, bought the old LPs (then downloaded them a decade later). I even was a bit of a ‘displaced’ hippie myself, a visceral response to the perfectly-coiffed, preppy-dressed, Young Republican vibe of the newly-inaugurated Reagan era. I’ve imagined how bugspit insane it must have been to grow up when, if you were a young man whose father lacked the wealth and connections to get you out of your draft notice siren call, you were forced to make a tough decision, if you were unwilling to fight: Face jail as a conscientious objector, flee to Canada or go kill people in a foreign land against whom you had no personal grudge. Because you were forced by your own government for reasons no one could clearly articulate. Campus unrest fifty-four years ago embraced also civil rights; especially in the South where the Klan still ran rogue and killed any ‘uppity n—ers’ that got in the way of conserving the dying Ol’ South. Other causes embraced free speech, the environment, or ‘ecology’ as it was called back then, and students’ rights. I keep thinking about Kent State and Jackson State as today’s college campuses, especially at elite universities, erupt in protests primarily about, once again, an unpopular war in another far-off land, but that no one in this hemisphere is forced to fight. Today’s college students seem far less sympathetic than the ones I read about and studied. For pete’s sake, I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be cheering on Lauren ‘Jack-Off Queen’ Boebert trying to speak amid student shoutdowns. Free Palestine? Free speech, you student bitches! The protesters understand far less about that part of the world than their grandparents regarding Vietnam. Many can name neither the river nor the sea in their favorite genocide chant. I don’t remember reading that the student protesters of yore called for the elimination of entire groups of people, although Yippie Jerry Rubin spoke at Kent State a few weeks before the shootings and urged kids to ‘kill your parents’, as the first part of the ‘Yippie program’. “They are the first oppressors,” he added. It was a remarkably callous and wildly irresponsible remark nine months after the brutal Manson murders. Thankfully, no one took his advice. I wonder if some might take it as a call to action today. Student protesters have devolved from uncritically supporting Gaza to openly cheering for Hamas, a fundamentalist Muslim terrorist group that would kill every last one of them as filthy infidels, with especial torment for Team Rainbow. Student protesters are almost never exclusively non-violent, educated, free-speech-loving little angels. They have much in common with their spoiled, entitled antecedents and descendants. The protesters of yore deplatformed campus speakers as far back as 1825 when Thomas Jefferson had to face pissed-off students at the University of Virginia rioting for the right to goof off and to resist what they considered overly strict academia. Spoiled scions of the merchant rich, these pioneering protest brats’ first noble cause was to fight for their right to paaaaarty. A century and a half later, Kent State protesters were as ‘woke’, entitled, and fractious as in Jefferson’s day. A signed nailed to a tree in 1970 asked, ‘Why is the ROTC building still standing?’ A day later, it wasn’t—it was burned to the ground. And down in Mississippi, the students at Jackson State were throwing rocks at passing cars driven by white people, further inflamed by a rumor that Charles Evers, brother to a recently slain black civil rights activist by the Ku Klux Klan, had been murdered along with his wife (they weren’t). And then someone outside the school set fire to a dump truck. As disgusted as I am by today’s kids—who do have a right to protest, even if I don’t always agree with them (and sometimes I do)—I’m worried about when the bodies will fall. Maybe it will be the National Guard, if they’re called in, or the police. Or maybe it will be a mass shooting by ‘outside agitators’, or ‘external sources’ as they’re called now. Today’s campus protests, as in 1970, are a moral clusterfuck of good and bad values, right and wrong action. FIRE—the Foundation for Individual Rights and Education—kind of the new ACLU—helpfully spells out for campus protesters what they have the legal right to do and not do. What constitutes free speech and what doesn’t. FIRE statement on campus violence and arrests Violence truly begets violence, and today’s Columbia University is rather a lot like yer grandmother’s. Back in 1968 students occupied Hamilton Hall at Columbia, which also hosted a ‘Gym Crow’ protest over a segregated gymnasium. On Tuesday, police entered an occupied Hamilton Hall again and arrested dozens of the geographically-challenged. Hardcore university liberalism got a boost in the 1960s. According to Steven Mintz, writing for Inside Higher Ed, post-war federally enacted student loan and grant programs, with a special emphasis on making education available to the economically disadvantaged, increased college enrollments 45% from 1945 to 1960, and doubled them by 1970. College was also a good way to defer going to Vietnam. What distinguishes today’s campus protesters from their grandparents is how blatantly anti-Israeli and antisemitic they were from Day 1—34,000 Gazan lives ago, on October 8. Student America’s response to Hamas’s attack was immediate. The Israeli dead literally weren’t even cold before impromptu protests began around the country, encouraged heavily by Palestinian and other Muslim students. Young people who would never have tolerated rocks and abuse lobbed at black people told to ‘Go back to Africa, n-word!’ felt perfectly comfortable, and no, not hypocritical at all, chanting the famous geographic genocidal call to action. It’s why I’ve never taken any of them seriously. No, not even 34,000 lives later, with Israel smelling about as bad as Hamas and a seeming fuck-you-all, we’ll do what we want, you’ll hate us no matter what, so fuck it, you want genocide, THIS is genocide, bitches! I can’t even read about the Gazan War anymore. My sympathy for Israel has mostly evaporated. There’s simply no justification for the carnage, even though I shed no tears for dead Hamassholes. The terrorist group can’t be rehabilitated. But even so, as antisemitic and hateful as I find the protesters, as mindlessly psycho as so many on the Jewish left and right have become, as understandable as I find those Jewish protesters who morally sympathize with suffering imperfect humans, I flip the bird to those who align themselves with people who hate them and only tolerate their presence because they’re ‘good little Jews’, towing the ‘correct’ party narrative. I don’t want to see these kids die. They’re young, dumb, and full of rum, to put it politely. We’re all dumbasses of one sort of another when we know everything. But even dumbass young people shouldn’t die when they have their entire lives otherwise to pull their heads out of their asses and move forward through life hopefully wiser, more experienced, more circumspect. My concern is not that the police or a military response will bump them off (although that’s a possibility in the event of a Trump victory this November), but that some right-wing MAGA moron will mow them down. College campuses are full of large, tall buildings, ideal for snipers. Charles Whitman, the original mass shooter, popped off people on the street from a high tower at the University of Texas in 1966 after killing his mother and wife with knives (shades of Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza). Lee Harvey Oswald famously assassinated a president from the top of the Texas Book Depository in Dallas. Most recently, in 2017, Stephen Paddock fired down on a music festival in Las Vegas from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel, killing 60 and wounding over 400. That’s what I think about: Tall buildings on college campuses where well-armed, militia-trained, right-wing MAGA morons can rain hot death from above. It would make Kent State and Jackson State look like a slow day in Detroit. Not all of today’s protests are violent, nor is all the aggressive police response justified. When kids and cops come together, civil rights are violated and laws are broken on both sides. Nothing has changed since the ‘60s, there. But what we didn’t have then was the established history of mass shootings, with a heavy percentage enacted by right-wing loners. Back in 1966, Charles Whitman was a fluke. Today he’s why one might buy a Kevlar jacket in the campus bookstore. I can’t speak for the descendants at Jackson State, but if you went to Kent State in the wake of 1970 you never escaped the taint of what happened. The reminders were everywhere. The May 4th Task Force, created to keep alive the memory of the four dead students and the nine wounded, permeated the campus, especially as the May 4th anniversary approached. I lived in the Prentice Hall dormitory, where protester Jeffrey Miller died in our parking lot. Later, I used to drink hairy buffalo and smoke weed and hash with my college dude neighbors. Miller had lived and partied there fifteen years earlier. When I lived off-campus, two of my roommates were in the May 4th Task Force and one of the wounded survivors, who shall remain nameless, used to call and argue with Betsy. He’d been shot in the arm. There are two versions of how that happened: One, he says as he was ducking behind a tree his arm swung out and he got hit. Two, others say he hid behind the tree and stuck his arm out, hoping to take a hit. I’m not sure which to believe, but he was the go-to guy for the media every year as May 4 approached. I considered him an attention-seeking media whore. Only God knows, I guess. Today what happened at two colleges fifty-four years ago seems small potatoes considering the reality students live with now: Campus mass shootings by lone wolves who have no friends, have never had a girlfriend, and leave angry manifestos in their rooms or on the Internet. Virginia Tech must thumb its nose at Kent State’s and Jackson State’s petty-ass casualties; VT counts 33 victims in 2007. Today’s public schools do the same; entire classrooms of small children have died at Sandy Hook and Uvalde. I think today’s anti-Israel protesters are a lot more racist than they admit, but I support their right to shoot their stupid mouths off in public about subjects they know nothing about. Free speech is for morons as well as intellectuals. It’s for your Nazis and our Nazis. What’s a shame is so few in today’s media are holding today’s college students accountable for the hateful, misogynist, homophobic, and genocidal terrorism promulgated by Hamas. Oppressors vs oppressed? How can you tell the diff? Today’s Palestinians and Jews have literally been fighting each other for thousands of years in a war that’s been going on so long its germination is chronicled (lopsidedly) in a semi-historical document called the Bible. From the river to the sea. I hope everyone remains safe, regardless of moral purity. Young people are both brilliant and dumbass. No parent should have to send their child off to school, whether five or eighteen, and receive them back in a body bag. Whether it’s the government, the police, or some asshole with a grudge against the world, free speech is free speech, folks. It includes the right to asshole speech. But it doesn’t include the right to be violent or promote it against others. Jews have the right to live and walk freely, too. Which they don’t. Anywhere. Our fashionably kaffiyeh-clad friends conveniently forget that. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. 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  • "Don't Be Like Me"--One Man's Escape From Abuse (Guest Post by Jim McCoy)

    Acceptance of reality means understanding you were abused. It can happen to men too. It's not funny or cute. And God help us all, it is NOT 'offensive' for men to speak out. I am so pleased to offer Grow Some Labia’s first guest post on domestic abuse - as suffered by a man. Jim McCoy, ‘The Conservative Historian’ and Jimbo’s Awesome Science Fiction & Fantasy Review decided to do this under his real name instead of anonymously because he wants other men to know they’re not alone, and that there’s help and support. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 4 men have experienced physical assault by a female partner. While Jim describes emotional and psychological abuse, he told me in email Nicole hit him twice. There is, as for women, a lot of shame surrounding being a victim of domestic violence, but it’s often compounded for men because it’s not taken as seriously. Certain feminists can be surprisingly (or perhaps not) unsympathetic to a man who complains of the very treatment they’d condemn him for. I am reminded of the social media ‘team-selection’ that occurred during the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp trial, and the reason why I haven’t written about it yet is because I haven’t yet figured out what the hell happened with these two violent headcases, although I wrote on my website blog about how similar Amber Heard’s words to Depp during therapy sessions sounded remarkably like a man’s. It was originally published elsewhere before the trial. What’s good for the gander is good for the goose. If we take domestic violence against women seriously we MUST take it seriously for men too. It’s not funny, cute, or, as Jim told me in email, ‘offensive’, according to some women who don’t want to acknowledge women can be abusers too or think abuse sympathy is a zero-sum game. It’s true that men abuse far more than women (although they may be abused more than we think when they’re silent), but talking about it doesn’t take away from the pain and suffering of women. Gay and lesbian domestic abuse is just as awful, and lesbian domestic violence happens far more often than we know as well. And while the numbers of transfolk killed every year are grossly exaggerated by transactivists, the majority of those who really are murdered are about 75% domestic violence casualties. THIS HAS TO STOP. Jim, take it away! It shouldn't take a funeral to make a person forgive someone, but it did for me. It was so hard to give up the anger and the hate. I was so used to being angry at Nicole that I didn't know how to function without being mad every time I thought of her. When you're divorced and she has your kids it's hard not to think of them. I was just so frustrated with her on a regular basis. It wasn’t because there was something wrong with me. It was more the fact that I married her mother along with her and that Nicole never seemed to care about my opinion on anything. Oh, Nicole would ask about everything but she never took anything I said seriously. My marriage ended over four words: Exaggerating. Nicole liked to scream this one at me every time I pointed out a problem. It didn't matter what it was. If I pointed out that she wouldn't take a day away from her mother to work on her marriage, I was exaggerating. If I pointed out that she mistreated my family and I got chewed because of it I was exaggerating. And the one to top them all: “Your dad wasn't forty-two when he passed. You’re exaggerating.” Dramatic. “You won't divorce me. You're just being dramatic.” “You didn't mean that. You're just being dramatic.” “I never told your sister she couldn't bring her kids to my house. You're just being dramatic.” Sarcastic. “No, Nicole. I don't want to spend all weekend with your mother.” “Stop being sarcastic.” “No, I really think we should wait on getting a car like we agreed to instead of buying a twenty-five thousand dollar car to avoid a two-hundred dollar brake job.” “You're just being sarcastic.” FUNNY. This one gets me more than the rest combined. Disagree with Nicole on anything? You’re funny. “No, Nicole, I don't want your mother to come over here every morning to get Riley ready for school.” Funny! “No. I'm not going to cancel my birthday party because my wife decided she wants to do dinner the day of the party after telling me she had other plans.” Funny! On and on. If it wasn't what she wanted to hear, she found a way to belittle it.. She would get mad when I wouldn't talk to her but why bother? She wasn't going to listen. It got to the point that I was considering offing myself to make it stop. She saved my life when she threw me out. I was that close. I don't know when or how, but it was coming. Looking back on it, suicide would have been a revenge killing. Nicole needed my help with the kids and she wanted the little bit of income I brought in. If I had offed myself she wouldn't have gotten it. I got the same effect from divorcing her, but I've never been a big fan of that. It was by far the better choice, but it wasn't my first instinct. I honestly believe that Nicole would scream “Exaggerating!” if she saw that. I needed a wife that took what I was saying seriously, I didn't have one. Then there was the fact that Nicole was attached to her mother at the hip. I don't get it. What I do know is that the only day of the year I could regularly count on seeing my wife without her mother was on our anniversary. There was never a day when I could count on seeing my wife and kids without Nicole's mother. Not. One. Single. Day. A. Year. Nicole's mother would threaten to not eat if we didn't come over every night for dinner. Nicole cooperated with the emotional blackmail. Seriously though, it was impossible to enjoy anything with Nicole's mother around. I’m told that was probably my fault because I was the one who didn’t want her around. Not a single dinner out. We had one dinner at home without Nicole's mother. My oldest daughter, just days away from her sixth birthday, remarked that she had never had dinner at home with just Mommy and Daddy before and how nice it was. It had never been like this until after I was engaged to Nicole. We went out with her parents sometimes, sure, but that's how it's supposed to work. Then when we were engaged, Nicole's parents split up. Oddly enough, Nicole's father moved out the day after the check to pay for the reception cleared his checking account. I'm told he did it on his own with no prompting from his wife. I needed a wife who would take some time away from other people to spend with just her husband and her kids. I didn't have one. I remember the day my grandmother passed. I was at work. I knew it was coming, but it was a new job and I didn't have any time off yet. I had talked to my mom on the way into the building. I knew what was about to happen and that it would probably be that day, but attendance points, right? Anyway, my mom called me to let me know. She was worried about me, but my wife? I called her. “Hey hun, my grandma just died.” “I'm sorry for your loss. I need to go. I have to talk to my boss.”“I just told you my grandma died. I need you here.”“I need to talk to my boss. I'll see you when I get home.” I was pissed. It got worse when my Aunt Janice passed and Nicole refused to answer her phone because she was at a baby shower and then screamed at me. I was bothering her. Then she refused to go to the funeral. Seriously. Two of the worst days of my life and my “wife” couldn't be bothered with them. It's not like she was there for the good times either. She didn’t come to my thirtieth birthday party. She showed up for my college graduation but she told me that I should be making everyone congratulate her instead of me. The exact words that came out of her mouth were, “I earned this.” Then she got pissy with me at my graduation party for the same reason. So basically, she was there but not for me. She was there for herself so that she could receive the congratulations. I needed a wife who showed up for things. I didn't have one. And forget about my health. If I missed work because my IBS was flaring, I was trash. My gout flared up one week and the grass didn't get cut on my day off. I got screamed at. Another time I had a gout flare and it was three days before she found out about it. Why? Why tell her? I had a job I hated for most of my marriage. I literally had to pull off of the road to puke a couple of times on my way in because I hated that place so much. What mattered though, was the schedule. I could stay home to be with the kids while Nicole was at work. I dealt with it. Any time I mentioned it though she would run around the house screaming “How do you think I feel?” at the top of her lungs. After that would come a lecture about some horrible crime I had committed in the past. Never mind what I was dealing with. I needed a wife who cared how I was doing, both physically and mentally. I didn't have one. Nicole knew I didn't want to be around her mother. She knew if she asked me if I wanted to do something with her mother I'd say no. She started asking me if I'd do something with just her and the kids and I always said yes. There was nothing I wanted worse than time with just the wife and kids when I was married. Then she'd wait a day or so and tell me her mother was coming too. The first time it happened I figured it was just a coincidence. The second time I was less convinced. By the tenth I was damn sure I was being lied to. I called her out for lying to me. She told me that she wasn't lying, that she had said that because she knew I didn't want to do things with her mother. I got fed up with it. The most common time she would do this would be on weekends. I got off early from work on Saturday and Sunday and she would ask me if I wanted to do dinner with just her and the kids on both nights. I'd say yes. Then she'd call or text me to tell me to meet her at her mom's house. Not this time. I got up for work one Saturday. I wrote a note. “I'm not going to your mother's house for dinner tonight.” I didn't do a ‘Dear Nicole,’ I didn't sign it ‘Love, Jim.’ I just wrote the words ‘I'm not going to your mother's house for dinner tonight.’ and folded the piece of paper in half, stuck it in my flip phone and left the whole mess on her purse. I knew she'd find it there. When I got home from work that day, I found a piece of paper stuck to the door. “We went to my mom's house for dinner. Meet us there.” Oddly enough, it was folded but the open side faced out. I pulled it off the door and flipped it over. My note was on the back. I took it into the house. Then I went to Applebees for dinner. She later told me she hadn't seen that note. I was supposed to believe that somehow, she ended up writing her note on the same piece of paper I had left mine on without seeing the note. I needed a wife who was honest with me. I didn't have one. Then one day, matters came to a head. Cecilia’s baptism was the day before. It should have been a good day, but my mother-in-law involved herself in an argument. That was nothing new. An argument with Nicole meant an argument with her mother. I needed a wife that could keep problems in our marriage between us. I didn't have one. Nicole came home from her mother's one night. I had planned to talk to her. She threw a fit because I argued with her mother. I let her wear herself out. She wasn't going to let me speak if I didn't. Eventually it ended. “I'm done with your mother. I will go over there on holidays because she's your family but I'm not going over there every day anymore. If you want to stay married you won't either.” Her response was what I expected. “I'm going to my mother's every day after work. If you want to see me or the girls you will too.” Yep, typical Nicole. I asked her to fix a problem. She refused to do so. We screamed at each other. She went to bed alone. I lay down on the couch and thought about my marriage to that point. I realized a few things I needed a wife who took what I said seriously. I needed a wife who would take some time away from other people to spend with her family. I needed a wife who showed up for things. I needed a wife who cared how I was doing. I needed a wife who was honest with me. I needed a wife that could keep problems in our marriage between us. I had none of the above. At the end of the day, I needed a wife and I didn't have one. But what was I going to do about it? I didn't want to leave my kids. The only reason I haven’t opened a vein was because I didn't want them to have to grow up with no father. I didn't want to see them have to live in a house without their father either. I knew if I left I'd be at Nicole’s mercy as far as when I got to see them. I knew this though: I was done. I couldn't bring myself to sleep next to this woman anymore. I was not going to her mother's house anymore. I was done beating my head against the wall. This couldn’t continue. I spent the next six months sleeping on the couch. With the exception of when we were trying to conceive Riley, sex had never been a frequent thing in that marriage. It's not like I was missing out on anything. I acted like Nicole had for her entire marriage: I did what I wanted when I wanted. I watched football with the guys. I read books. I played games. I was single again and all I had to do was the chores: Dishes, laundry, lawn mowing, taking the trash out, etc. It was months before Nicole even caught on that I hadn't come to bed. I brought it up. She was screaming at me about something and told me not to try having sex with her that night. I asked her when the last time I had come to bed was. She stopped screaming and ran into her room. The look on her face was epic. Six months later we actually hit Splitsville. I had lied to her about some stuff related to school. I was in graduate school. I had a couple of classes where I had taken incompletes because I couldn't write with my marriage falling apart around me. I told Nicole that my grades hadn't posted yet. She was too smart to believe me. I came home from school one night. I went into Riley's room so I could kiss my hand and touch her forehead with it. She wasn't there. I went into Sealy's room to do the same thing. She wasn't there either. Nicole called for me to come downstairs. She had hacked my email and saw where I had communicated with a professor about a new due date. She didn't tell me where my kids were. We got into a big fight because of what I had done. For the record, she had every right to be upset. The screaming match was epic. I was in the wrong here, but I couldn't take it anymore. I was just done. I took my wedding ring off and spiked it on the kitchen table. She went into her room. I went in to try to talk to her. She told me to leave her alone. She was shocked when I walked out of the room. I fell asleep on the couch. I was exhausted. The next day when I woke up, she was gone. At the time I figured she was at work, but now I wonder if she had been to see a divorce lawyer. She sat down and explained to me that she didn't want me living with her while we ‘went through this.’ She was careful not to mention what ‘this’ was. She told me I needed to leave. She would talk to me about when I could see my kids after I was gone. Then she left. I moved out a few days later. I filed for divorce a month later. I called her four times. When she didn't answer the last time I left a voicemail telling her what I had done. She inboxed me on Facebook an hour or two later and told me I was a joke. Here’s the thing: If I found myself in the same position again, I’d leave. Eleven times out of ten. It took the word of a Friend of the Court referee before it occurred to me that what I had been through had been abuse. Movies, TV, and the newspaper all told me that men were the abusers. I was a man, so there’s no way I could be the victim here, right? Even then I didn’t really take it to heart. It’s been echoed by two psychologists since though, and they’re the experts. And fellas, if you’re out there, know this: It can happen to you. Don’t let a woman abuse you simply because you’ve been told it can’t happen. It happened to me. And know this: There are those out there who will shame you for telling your story. I have been told that I am offensive for stating that I was abused and for divorcing a woman. I am putting this out there with my name on it because someone needs to. I hate the phrase ‘raising awareness’ but I guess that’s what I’m doing here. Do it anyway. Don’t make it easy on the woman who abuses someone else. Your brothers need you. Speak out. Stand up. Stop hiding what you’ve been through to protect your abuser. She’s not worth it. Don’t let your kids grow up thinking abuse is normal. They deserve better. And dammit, MEN, be there for your brothers. I can almost guarantee that you know a man who is dealing with an abusive wife. Let him talk. Sympathize with him. And, by all that you hold sacred, don’t dog the guy for putting up with it. Thank you, Brandon ‘Monk’ Thompson and family for offering to take me out of my situation. I should have gone with you that day. And understand this: If you are a man and you are stuck in this situation GET THE FUCK OUT!!!! Go somewhere safe. If you can take your kids with you, do so. You matter, even if she acts like you don’t. If you are being emotionally, verbally, psychologically, or physically abused by a female domestic partner, there is help. It’s sparse compared to that for women but it’s a start, and you can find other men in your situation you can network with. HelpGuide.org - Help for men who are being abused MenLiving - This is a support group for connecting men to live more intentionally and consciously. It doesn’t seem to raise any red flags for misogyny - in other words, it’s not the wrong kind of ‘men’s rights’ group although I’m sure they do discuss rights men have. It includes trans-identified females too. They describe themselves as “…regular guys – genuine, open and aware and we’d love to hang out with you.” Reach Out Recovery - Their ‘When The Men Are Abused’ link details the basics of male abuse, offers ‘Eric’s’ story as an example, and has some great resource links at the end Domestic Violence Against Men: No Laughing Matter - Psychology Today The National Domestic Abuse Hotline, 1-800-799-7233 (1-800-799-SAFE) is for everyone, not just women. You will not be judged if you call it. If she’s physically violent, it’s critical you get out while you can, and consider your children as well - who will she take out her hostilities on when you’re not there anymore? There is help. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • What Both Women & Men Can Learn From The Sordid Andrew Huberman Affair(s)

    He was good at playing women, but he offers further lessons on red flag recognition, as well as a helpful lesson for single men who don't want to be. Neuroscientist and body hacking guru Andrew Huberman would never turn my head if I passed him on the street, with or without the shirt. I’m an early Gen-Xer not into super-muscular men, or much into tattoos. But I can understand his appeal. Huberman plays female psychology well. Calling him a master would be a stretch, but he’s effective at tapping into and expressing the female-friendly warm jargon and feelings of psychology and therapy. He’s particularly skilled at something many men are not, however well-meaning: He makes women feel heard and understood. Utilized for the good, many men unblessed with good looks, wealth or celebrity like Huberman could find themselves more popular with women than they realize. And women who analyze how he effectively played so many women at once can better psychologically arm themselves against such games in the future. On the surface, and even when you drill down below the so-called Andrew Huberman scandal, there doesn’t seem to be much there there, to misquote Gertrude Stein. So this Huberman guy is a player? Who dated six women at once? He was a cad and a bounder? No news here! Furthermore, plenty of women have done and continue to do the same. They’d surely be slut-shamed in a way Huberman is not but so what; frankly, he’s just a boring old manslut, and I’m not afraid to slut-shame men, not that they care. (Ladies: Why do we?) I examined the Huberman affair to see if there was anything to his story; his body-hacking didn’t interest me much, nor did the allegations that his supplements and behavioral hacks weren’t as rooted in science as claimed; once again, nothing new under the sun. Nothing that hasn’t already been lobbed at other philter-floggers like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and probably most of the overpriced elixirs you can buy at your local earthy crunchy hippie store. Usually, when some guy emerges as the newest X-trend for dirtball behavior, I examine less the man than the women drawn to him. It’s my ‘post-mortem’ to explore how women can better arm themselves against manipulative males. I don’t do it in reverse mostly because I think I just don’t see it. We miss what isn’t happening to us, whether it’s getting followed in a store by a rent-a-cop or marrying Johnny Depp’s Amber Turd. Maybe we don’t hear about female malfeasance if women are better at covering up affairs. Or don’t try to juggle half a dozen at once. I’m not sure. Folks are welcome to reach out to me about some ladyho they think is mistreating men and I’ll listen. I do find some lessons both sexes can learn from Les Affaires Huberman. What can men learn? Huberman was great, on the surface, at expressing emotional intimacy. What he wasn’t so great at was genuine emotional intimacy. I’m reminded of a scene in the 1988 movie Casual Sex in which singles resort dirtball Vinny, ‘The Vin Man’, an annoying on-the-make misogynist Italian-American from New Jersey (played, appropriately, by Andrew Dice Clay) takes a shine to Stacy, one of the main characters, but later falls in love with her. He’s faced with a conundrum: How to get her to fall in love back? “Be sensitive,” one of his friends counsels. “Chicks love sensitivity in a man.” Later, Vinnie is reading a book: How To Pretend To Be Sensitive. That was Andrew Huberman’s greatest skill. When his harem began to unravel, he didn’t lie or deny it. He would text “I hear you, I understand you, I want to work this through with you.” He also self-applied the warm fuzzies: He’d talk about ‘repairing’ himself and ‘healthy merging’. Apparently his merging was taking longer than expected because he’d been in therapy since high school and it didn’t seem to have taught him much beyond how to pretend to be sensitive. He also confessed to one lover about regularly lying to the therapist, and laughing about it. For all his obsessive focus on body-hacking ‘down to the cellular level,’ Huberman didn’t appear to put much real effort into managing his emotions. He wasn’t always good at it. His press agent, hired to parrot whatever Huberman put in front of him, claimed he was ‘very much in control of his emotions’. He wasn’t, but more in a bit. When he was with a woman, he was there. His focus was on her. He treated her like she was the only woman in his universe. He even planned children with one (which his pressbot denies but didn’t explain why, then, Randy Andy was injecting her with IVF treatments). When he was away—and he was, a lot, as a busy entrepreneur and rising celebrity which provided convenient cover for his pudenda-chasing—Huberman maintained his relationships with warm texts and phone calls. They bought it all. Men faking emotional intimacy is nothing new; a whole book was written about it by journalist Neil Strauss twenty years ago called The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read on female psychology. But here’s what how-to-con-women manuals—they’re legion—don’t tell men. How to have a mature relationship when the easy sex wears thin. Not more sex, but better sex; maybe to one committed woman and a family. Not all men (or women) grow tired of promiscuity; but several did in Strauss’s book including himself. He now refutes pickup culture and is happily married with a family. But he was already a well-rounded, well-traveled journalist who’d written for Playboy, Esquire, and Rolling Stone, and he possessed a higher level of maturity. One of his compatriots was a guy who only wanted to get married but wasn’t good with women; pickup artistry landed him a wife, but he didn’t know how to be in a relationship and his marriage failed. Strauss’s friend Mystery suffered a nervous breakdown when sex was no longer fulfilling, yet he couldn’t connect with a woman through any means other than sex. I say this not to beat up on men but to observe: They don’t know what they don’t know. It’s easier, for sure, to con women with faux emotional intimacy than to be emotionally intimate, but in the hands of a man who actually is emotionally intimate, it can be powerful mojo. I think of Don, a fellow I worked with many years ago in Connecticut. He onboarded me and another new hire for the sales department, also a woman. He was 35 and looked like Wally from the Dilbert comic, which wasn’t yet widely syndicated. Don was a helluva nice guy: Warm, sensitive, and a great onboarder. He had a girlfriend he loved a lot whom I met once at an office party: She wasn’t very pretty, and introverted in the way plain women used to invisibility often are. But Don doted on her. Linda, my fellow new hire, commented to me the following Monday, when we were alone, “I hope Don’s girlfriend appreciates what she’s got. He’s a wonderful guy. Don’t tell him this, but I’m kind of attracted to him.” “So am I,” I confessed. It made me think about all the men women overlook until they get to know them, and how surprisingly attractive they become once they do, if they have something else to offer. Like a great personality or sense of humor and a genuine ability to be emotionally intimate. They’re far more powerful than human beings realize. It works in reverse, too. My attraction to Don shouldn’t have surprised me. I’d fallen in love with a guy in college who looked like another cartoon character, known at that time only to those who bought Quaker Oats: Waldo, the branding icon who eventually became a ‘90s sensation as the most sought-after man in America. Jim wasn’t a ho, he was a super-nerd, and I was his first girlfriend. He was genuinely warm, kind and sensitive. The ones who aren’t so good with women, who look like Wally or Waldo, might want to treat—but sincerely—one special woman the way Andrew Huberman treated each woman. It takes a little longer with no immediate chemistry but she’ll be quite surprised when it kicks in. “He’s so not normally my type!” What can women learn? Perhaps the biggest challenge women face in sorting out the players and abusers from the ‘good guys’ is an inability to recognize red flags, and to excuse them when someone points them out. Huberman appears to have been better than many at juggling as many as six women at once, but what no mortal man can pull off is effective time management, not unless he’s got Hermione’s time-turner device. The biggest red flag was Huberman’s ‘flakiness’, as many described it, his countless silent disappearances and last-minute cancellations. And when he was with friends he was, as one described, ‘buzzing’ and ‘anxious’. No wonder. He went to a cabin in a park one weekend with a friend and disappeared for a day and a half without explanation, leaving the man alone with his dog. He would go silent for awhile with friends, explaining he was traveling. Rising celebrity was an effective cover for all the traveling he didn’t do for work. And when he finally texted, it was something designed to melt any woman’s squooshy innards. Another red flag was the way he talked about ‘ex-girlfriends’, some of which were less ex- than others. He’d describe them as ‘stalkers’, ‘alcoholics’, and ‘compulsive liars’. He said one ripped away part of her own scalp yanking on her hair; another supposedly tried to trick him with some dead baby story. I learned a few years ago—and hadn’t ever thought of this myself—that if a guy has a lot of ‘crazy exes’ the problem may not be them but him. (And that goes for women with crazy exes too). Does he have bad taste in women? Does he attract nutbars? Celebrities usually do but they don’t necessarily get involved with them. There’s an alternative explanation: He’s lying. Which Huberman appears to have done because when his harem began doing Ladies Who Lunch, they found each other to be vibrant, engaging, and not crazy in the slightest. Huberman’s pressbot denies he’s abusive, but one of his girlfriends exhibited the classic signs of an emotional abuse victim. According to NY Magazine’s The Intelligencer, the pseudonymed Sarah ‘felt herself getting smaller, constantly appeasing.’ This is because the allegedly even-keeled Huberman was prone to flying into rages about her past lovers and choices and even her children from before she met him. He became furious at times with the other men she’d been with and the children she’d had with one of them. He compared his relationship to her as like ‘bobbing for apples in feces’. He’d psychoanalyze her when she hadn’t asked for it, going on about her eleven years of ‘subsconcious drives’ creating ‘nearly impossible hurdles’ for them. The problem, clearly, was his and not hers, but she found herself describing herself as ‘selfish, childish and confused,’ and, pathetically, in an obvious reach for nurturing, ‘needing his protection’. She’s the one he injected with IVF while he was off screwing other women, sometimes on the same day. She’s the one he gave HPV to because they were having unprotected sex, as were the others. Because he led them to believe they were the only ones in his life. There are those who practice ‘open’ relationships or ‘polyamory’, and those come with rules. When one multi-shagger leads others to believe they’re the one and only, it’s cheating. Huberman may have been less New Age-fuzzy on modern relationships than advertised; he allegedly expressed to some women that he wished for a woman who was submissive, whom he could slap on the ass in public, who ‘would be crawling on the floor for him,’ when he got home. (With his ding-dong still damp from someone else?) Guess what response the pressbot gave to that story. I can’t get as outraged about Andrew Huberman as others; apart from being a celebrity, he’s an otherwise run-of-the-mill slimeball. I’m impressed with his admittedly superficial ability to express tenderness and seeming love; it’s depressing, actually, to know that it can be hard to tell the difference between someone who honestly loves you and someone who’s just playing you. But there’s nothing new under the sun there, and women can be just as devious. We can, however, learn from Huberman’s mistakes, and from his women, not all of whom, I suspect, failed to recognize red flags. There may not have been any. They didn’t know until someone reached out to them on Instagram or they found the texts on his phone. Huberman wasn’t a master player, but he was better than many. We ladies can learn from his girlfriends’ mistakes, many of which could be explained away as the hazards of fame. What men who would like to have a real girlfriend can learn from Huberman is the way he treated each woman, apart from the one he clearly emotionally abused. Do that, with genuine warmth, love, and sincerity, and she’ll be eating out of your hand. Unless she’s legitimately crazy, and some women are. Upon which, I will counsel these men the way I do women who complain about bad men: Find someone who is worthy of you. You deserve better. What Women Can Learn From Studying Pickup Artists What Can We Learn From This Woman’s Abusive Relationship? (about red flags) Do You Have A Thing For Abusers? Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • What If The Transgender Movement Evolved More Honestly?

    If it promoted a more experiential 'under the skin' empathy for others, rather than misogyny and abuse, many of us would become allies and supporters. I guess I can’t blame those who accuse me of being ‘anti-trans’ even as I still reject ‘transphobia’: I spend a lot of time critiquing and complaining about transactivism. I forget sometimes that most transgender people really are living how they want without a lot of self-serving performative drama. I think about how if my 21-year-old self was transported somehow to a modern-day college campus. I might be surprised at initially how at-home I felt among people who looked like my peers. Colorful hair, pierced appendages, androgynous clothing, crazy haircuts—it would all seem so typically ‘80s until I read the protest signs and wondered, “What the hell is a cis? What does heteronormative even mean?” Then I’d talk to them and realize they weren’t like the punk rockers, New Wavers, and other clashing-colors cultures I knew. I’d find young people more abrasive. More psychologically fragile. Unable or unwilling to relax. Emotionally destroyed by the flimsiest inconveniences. And why the hell did they ask me what my pronouns were? Wasn’t it immediately obvious? When I look at today’s LGBTQ with tabula rasa eyes, I see a genuinely promising social experiment unfolding, before you look below the surface. The Boomers pulled straight sex out of the bedroom, and Gen X pulled gay sex out of the closet. Millennials, and now Gen Z, say gender identity is a fluid spectrum and we may not be as straightforward male or female as we believe. Apart from our immutable sex gametes, they may be right. I came to understand a long time ago that sexual preference was a spectrum, and maybe gender preference is too. That said, I don’t think it comes naturally to many in a sexually dimorphic, ‘cis-heteronormative’ world; and perhaps only to the intellectually provocative. ‘Gender fluidity’ is likely more social media-induced and adopted than natural, but that doesn’t make it useless. I mean, some people are bisexual, right? Some are bi-ish but more gayish or straightish than others. Myself, I was and remain a pretty firmly straight chick, but I always thought bisexuals, the red-headed stepchildren of the gay rights movement who made many uncomfortable on both sides because they couldn’t commit, seemed silly to me because who cares? What skin is it off of any of our noses? All we need is love, right? Bisexuals struck me as folks who had seen, in the immortal words of Joni Mitchell, both sides now. But 2024 isn’t 1984, and today’s gender-benders aren’t as intellectually honest as their forebears, or as educated as their outrageous tuition fees indicate. It’s less about authenticity than untended mental health issues and malign sexual predation. And politics. It’s a shame, because gender-bending and gender-questioning are such rich, provocative undertakings. Why do we believe we are who we are? How much of what we think makes us ‘male’ or female’ is conditioning, how much is biology? What if we became ‘non-binary’? What would it feel like to be the birth sex you’re not? What is it really like to be a woman? To be a man? What does that mean? Perhaps it would have been a more healthily productive exploratory journey with the values and mindset of 1984 in which you lived as you wanted but didn’t expect everyone to validate your every emotional whim. If today’s genderfluid crowd ditched largely self-imposed narcissistic victimhood and were more open to new ideas that didn’t conform to some established narrative, especially a misogynist one rooted in pornography and the ever-present sexualization, objectification, and fetishization of women, I think it would be cool to hang out with them. With people who’d gone a step further in challenging and smashing gender norms, without all the dictatorial pronoun-policing, with whom you could ask questions without being called a fascist or a bigot. How Pornography Forged The Trans Movement - Spiked What if these social experiments in thinking outside the gender box were oriented toward what the world looks like from others’ eyes? Not just your own? When I was a kid I remember reading a short story in a kiddie magazine called The Under-The-Skin-Game, about a father who teaches his son to put himself ‘under someone else’s skin’ and imagine what is must be like to be them, in their circumstances. It was an early exercise in teaching kids to think outside their customary self-obsession. I think that’s where gender-questioning and especially transgenderism could still help people discover themselves as part of a larger humanity. Instead of focusing on themselves so obsessively, they could challenge everyone’s natural narcissism and enlighten the rest of us not inclined to personally explore. I’ve watched videos by transwomen and transmen who offer exactly the sort of helpful observations from ‘t’other side’ that those of us who stay in our birth sexes can’t know. Of course, when you weren’t born into the sex you chose you can never completely understand the AF/MACs (Assigned Female/Male At Conception), but switchers still offer a valuable and worthy perspective. The deeply dysfunctional transgender movement evolved, unfortunately, out of unaddressed mental and emotional distress in young people, with a big boost from pornography, and grew into a backlash against feminism. It germinated in what historians may one day characterize as the Age of Hate, poisoned by bipartisan toxic identity ideologies, but nurtured by a ‘progressive’ illiberal environment of authoritarianism, hijacked by political and sexual opportunists. Transgenderism, in its purest form, offers us another natural extension of intellectual and spiritual inquiry we might embrace as another way to experience, quite literally, being in someone else’s skin—transracialism. But identity politics is much more tolerant of crossing sex than it is of crossing race, and it’s clear that on the left, to paraphrase one of John Lennon’s now more-offensive lines, “women are the new[ish] N-words.” The only thing less acceptable than being white, to illiberal eyes, is being a woman who stands up to demanding men. Transracialism offers transgender-similar under-the-skin lessons, but in reality Rachel Dolezal is still badbadbad for trying to be black. I sometimes wonder if she’d be more acceptable as a transracialist if she was a guy (it’s certainly over-represented by white women). Transracialism is easier and less long-term dangerous than full transsexualism, which offers its adherents lifelong health problems, permanent dependence on hormones, and medications to keep them somewhat pain-free and alive. Nor does race-switching sterilize you or prevent you from ever enjoying sex. We Accept Transgenderism. Are We Ready For Transracialism? With growing awareness that transgenderism is driven much more by pornography, sexual fetishism, politics, and mental health problems than by ‘gender dysphoria’, perhaps it can be reinvented to embrace a more educational and socially healthy pursuit: Learning what it actually feels like to be someone you’re not. It makes no sense to argue that white people going Black Like Me is ‘white supremacy’ but that men appropriating womanhood isn’t ‘male supremacy’. I’m not being provocative; I’m serious. There’s literally no difference between the two crossover ideas, and I’d rather regard both as educational opportunities instead of petty supremacy spats. I have a book I got for Christmas called The Testosterone Files: My Hormonal and Social Transformation from Female to Male by Max Wolf Valerio. I’m interested in what it was like for a woman to become a man. I will never take a walk on the guy side myself, nor am I interested in personally crossing the race line, but I’m interested in others who do. It’s a great failing of the transgender movement so far that it got hijacked, like pretty much damn near everything, by opportunists who aren’t the slightest bit interested in understanding the female perspective, but instead seem hell-bent on rolling back women’s rights and grooming the intellectually malleable to return to granting male sexual demands to women’s and children’s bodies and spaces. Rather a lot like the right is doing now. First they came for your womb, now they’re coming for your birth control. Transition and Apostasy: A Wife’s Perspective - Quillette Gender Ideology And Child Abuse Apologism: The Undeniable Links - by trans-identified man Julie Bindel, who draws a clearer line between the gender ideology movement and those trying to normalize and remove the stigma from pedophilia If only transactivists were using transgenderism to enlighten rather than oppress. Perhaps it’s time for a Trans Anti-Transactivist Rebellion by transfolk and their allies tired of non-woke everybody assuming they’re assholes because they’re trans or non-binary. I recently watched a video of the opening minutes of the hilarious (and horrifyingly prescient) movie Idiocracy. In 2006, we thought it was a searing critique of the right. We were only half-correct. It’s aged frighteningly well. When I remove transgenderism from its backdrop of misogyny, gay-conversion and kiddie cult recruitment, I see an adult’s iteration of the under-the-skin game. Experiencing, rather than just imagining, what it’s like to be someone else—the whole basis of make-believe—reduces our preoccupations with ourselves. Psychologists say it’s around the third year when children begin to understand that other people’s feelings may not be their own. That maybe Darla doesn’t like playing house or maybe she just doesn’t want to right now. It’s nothing to get mad about. Make believe isn’t something we necessarily outgrow, either. We have fan cosplay; furrydom; Mardi Gras; Halloween; and historical re-creation societies like the one I was in for over ten years as fifteenth-century French noblewoman Lady Gisele du Pont Avignon and later, Ayesha the Belly Dancer. I never believed I was Gisele/Ayesha, but I did grow as a modern woman via belly dancing and weekend make-believe. It was a healthy approach during my own identity formation years, and I developed more assertiveness, challenged traditionalist views of female beauty (I was a zaftig, rather than rail-thin, dancer), and taught other women, often ex-high school wallflowers like myself, watching them blossom and grow and feel the same sense of female power and confidence I felt, when I first began learning in 1987. I will be a bigger supporter of transgenderism and its sister transracialism, if it evolves to get under others’ skin—more beneficially. I think it can be helpful if it’s not so sourpussed, drop-dead serious, harmful to children, homophobic and disrespectful of women. And it needs to be a lot more honest. Like about medical transitioning, which brings very real risks, and others may not be fully mature enough to make that decision until well past the most stringent age of consent—twenty-five, when our adult brains finish developing, or even into our thirties when some finally realize they want children. I would like to see healthier, less invasive ways of exploring gender and race. The Black Like Me author took vitiligo medication to darken his skin, exposing himself to serious health risks. He suffered none, and contrary to an urban legend, didn’t die from contracting skin cancer from his epidermal experiment. There are always risks to transitioning, and no genuine backsies after genital surgery. Once your fully-functioning genitals are transitioned and less sexually responsive, changing them back just makes matters worse. Meghan Murphy expressed something in her recent article,I’m a TERF, You’re a TERF, We’re all TERFsthat resonated with me:We’re not anti-trans; we’re anti-trans agenda/ideology/ activism; we’re anti-everything the activists force upon us. That sums it up perfectly. I don’t care whether people are trans or how they got that way as long as they’re happy, which clearly a fair chunk of them are not, regardless of what they say. It’s clear from the growing detransition movement that trans-ness doesn’t always last forever; for many it’s a phase; for others it’s something they internalize. Both are okay. But we need better backsies. In order to evolve, perhaps a healthier starting point for LGBTQ and transgenderism is to first and foremost embrace the authenticity it rejected many years ago: It’s okay to be you from birth. To be male or female, gay or straight, bisexual or genderfluid. Others don’t have to validate you by joining the club, they just have to accept you for what you are. Be respectful of others and their concerns; don’t push yourself where you’re not wanted and where you don’t belong. And stop blaming JK Rowling for the hate your transactivists have brought down upon all of you. You let the dogs in. Why Are Women Not Protected By New Hate Crime Law? - BBC If I’m being honest, I don’t want transgenderism to disappear. I think there’s a firm, socially adaptive, educational place for it, along with transracialism. Although I’m genderpeaceful with myself, I’m interested in an honest education in genderfluidity and androgyny, without the ugly identity politics, violent male hatred and insistence on adherence to logically problematic ideologies. Just an honest assessment as to what it all means. I think we could all learn something from it, if only our teachers weren’t such clear headcases themselves. That’s where I see it, anyway. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • We Are The New Silent Majority. And We're Tired Of Extremists' Shit

    MAGA agitators and woke 'social justice' warriors make up, together, about 33% of political thought in the United States. So why is the 66% so afraid of them? It was U.S. President Richard Nixon who first popularized the phrase ‘the Silent Majority’. He enjoined the nation in November 1969, “And so tonight—to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans—I ask for your support." Who was the ‘silent majority’ to whom he referred? He meant those who weren’t counted among what might have been considered ‘wokes’ of the day. ‘Middle America’ remained silent but didn’t agree with the counterculture, the war protesters, the radicals, the women’s libbers, the highly vocal and smoke-enveloped, psychedelic visible shroomheads of the day. The phrase has long been popular with conservatives. Ronald Reagan appropriated it in his various political gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, as did New Yorkers Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg in the ‘90s, along with Christian fundamentalist televangelists Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell. The tacit assumption was always: We’re not like those filthy liberal hippies! Regardless of the decade. America’s blindness was in thinking that all of the right was included in ‘middle America’. The John Birch Society, Christian Crusade, and the McCarthyists were no more representative of the Silent Majority than the Yippies, Gloria Steinem or the Black Panthers. Middle America was a lot fuzzier back then. Americans couldn’t agree on much, but apart from the long-haired freaks and relentlessly buzz-cutted anti-Commie crazies, we did at least support the essentials of democracy and respected the Constitution, even if we didn’t always like Supreme Court rulings. At the end of the day, we could usually still shake hands. Thanksgivings still had to be mediated or prepped with what was verboten. “Don’t mention FDR in front of Grandpa!” Mom might counsel the kids, not that any of them had any clue what that crusty old fart in a wheelchair had done. “Please, don’t get him started on the New Deal!” “The war is off-limits, do you understand?” Dad might sternly inform his teenagers. “Uncle Bob and Aunt Edith have been warned too. They support it as much as you don’t, but what your mother and I support is a conflict-free family occasion, and anyone who violates this gets sent to the kitchen to finish dinner!” It’s time to redefine The Silent Majority in 2024, which no longer, and never truly has been, about who holds conservative values and who doesn’t. The far left, then and now, have always been among the loudest voices, but today the far right is just as noisy. In order for there to be a ‘Middle America’ there must be two sides. In the DisUnited States of the 21st century, ‘Middle America’ is now those of us who can’t stand either fanatical extreme. The Hidden Tribes of America is a 2018 report I found awhile back and have referred to from time to time. It’s the brainchild of More In Common, a non-partisan organization that “does not endorse, support, or affiliate with any political candidates, political campaigns, or organizations,” and states they exist to advance the common good. Hidden Tribes examines the levels of polarization in the United States and divides Americans into seven groups or ‘tribes’. The more vocal and extreme elements, or ‘wings’, bookend the rest of us, the ‘Exhausted Majority’, which sounds like a pretty apt description of how I and many others I know feel about what passes for political discourse in the country. The left ‘wing’ are the Progressive Activists, what might be better described as the ‘woke’, although Common Ground never mentions that word. They’re defined as the social media addicts concerned about diversity, equity and inclusion. They comprise about 8% of political thought. The right ‘wing’, by their definition, is larger - including the ‘Traditional Conservatives’ (19%) with what we would call the MAGAs at 6%. That leaves the remaining four Exhausted Majority tribes as Moderates, Politically Disengaged, Passive Liberals, and Traditional Liberals. Interestingly, they include no conservatives inside the EM. I disagree with excluding the Traditional Conservatives. The report was published in 2018 which might explain the discrepancy. Polarization has happened swiftly in the last 10-15 years and six can mean a big difference. Conservatives aren’t as monolithic as they might once have been, and I know plenty who are as fed up as those of us on the Level Left. I suspect the report could use some tweaking as we face a federal election over which hangs a giant question mark with two deeply unpopular, elderly candidates, and the only people who love them are, it seems, those who think the other side is Evil Personified. Two reasons why I think more conservatives are part of the Exhausted Majority than the right Hidden Tribes ‘wing’ in 2018: The Political Homeless - Many liberals and conservatives, including me, are abandoning their party because it no longer represents their interests. But they still regard the other party with the same distaste they’ve long held for it. They don’t know who they’re going to vote for, and maybe they’ll suck it up, hold their nose, and vote for Our Grandpa, or maybe they’ll just say fuck it and vote for an independent, even if it’s a crazy conspiracist they know can never win. It’ll be more of a protest vote. The Reshufflers - They’re the side-switchers who will vote for the other side’s candidate if they think that party better represents their interests. It includes Republicans turning Democrat and vice versa. It includes blacks and Latinos who will not so reliably vote Democrat this time, along with Never Trumpers and those who voted for him before but are now thoroughly disgusted with ninety-one federal charges. I think this election with be a real nail-biter except for those of us who won’t be happy with either outcome. Let’s take a quick look at the rest of those Exhausted Majority Hidden Tribes: “Traditional Liberals (11%) tend to be cautious, rational, and idealistic. They value tolerance and compromise. They place great faith in institutions. Passive Liberals (15%) tend to feel isolated from their communities. They are insecure in their beliefs and try to avoid political conversations. They have a fatalistic view of politics and feel that the circumstances of their lives are beyond their control. The Politically Disengaged (26%) are untrusting, suspicious about external threats, conspiratorially minded, and pessimistic about progress. They tend to be patriotic yet detached from politics. Moderates (15%) are engaged in their communities, well informed, and civic-minded. Their faith is often an important part of their lives. They shy away from extremism of any sort.” This is a nice little sandwich of people who still care on either side along with those who are too fed up to give a shit. I strongly suspect it’s the Traditional Conservatives who are the right wing’s wild cards on their side. Some of them seem to be as fed up with polarization as those of us on the liberal but not radical left. According to a Pew Research Center poll, “65% [of Americans] say they always or often feel exhausted when thinking about politics.” Seventy-eight percent say there’s too little focus on the issues facing the country, and 28% of the public had a negative view of both political parties. (Sept 2023) A few years ago, I met an early example at a political meetup in which I got into a friendly debate with a conservative who, like me, didn’t approve of violence. But he felt the left was as violent as the right and I disagreed, saying they might be eventually, but not yet. I now think I was wrong-ish. This guy talked about the then-recent CHOP protest in Washington state - a Capitol Hill Occupied Protest neighborhood shutdown in Seattle which was declared an unlawful occupation, in protest of the George Floyd killing. It was a minor protest but two people were nevertheless shot; one died. But January 6th it wasn’t, and the occupation didn’t last long. He also argued that the post-Floyd Minneapolis protests qualified and I again disagreed; however I simply wasn’t paying attention at the time. The killing was so depressing I avoided most discussion of it, compounded by the new lockdown world and my unemployment benefits having just run out. If I ever meet that guy again I want to tell him I was wrong. The Minneapolis riots and other Floyd-related ones pointed to more violent radicalization on the left, and now, in the post-October 7th era, college campuses are beginning to resemble mini-January 6ths. The CHOP protests were small potatoes and received more conservative fear than they deserved, but the Floyd riots were worse than I’d realized. Even the G20 riots and protests we had in Toronto in 2010 paled in comparison, although looking at the history of Gx protests, the signs have been there for decades that the left has the capacity to be violent. Again. Like it was in the 60s and 70s in the U.S. But here’s the thing: We in the Exhausted Majority (including, in my opinion, many Traditional Conservatives) are becoming a threat to others. I’ve just seen the first shot across the bow that illiberal ‘progressive’ activists are beginning to psychologically disengage from the notion that they themselves are ‘liberal’. Andrew/Andrea Chu, the really dude-y transactivist, sneers at liberals and blames us for being ‘the most insidious source of the anti-trans movement in this [the U.S.] country’. It’s the first shot across the bow I’ve seen of a ‘woke’ social justice activist showing hostility to (and fear of) liberals. I wonder how many others on the Illiberal Left have begun to regard us Traditional Liberals as The Enemy. It means we could find ourselves on the receiving end of their violence. WPATH Files (liberal!) activist Michael Shellenberger told a British interviewer on YouTube that he’s increased the security around his property in anticipation of violent harassment by transactivists. He expects he’ll likely get doxxed. It’s not good news the far left is beginning to match the far right’s violence record, but it is that they may be detaching from the rest of us. For one thing, it makes them more honest about who and who isn’t a liberal. For another, if we’re The Enemy of the far left, just as RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) are The Bogeymen for the far-right’s True Believers, it opens up new avenues for the two less radical Majorities to come together and cooperate to resist and defeat the forces of authoritarianism in our respective extremist wings. As a woman, I know that authoritarianism is never good for us and children. As someone who’s been politically active for over forty years, I see that the problem with the far left is they can’t say no to anything, and the problem with the far right is they say no to everything. It’s why I won’t support the Democrats this November. I know Trump is bad for women and children although he’ll probably hit the brakes on trans nonsense, especially transitioning naive children, but I also won’t support a candidate who supports the misogynist and homophobic trans movement, as does Biden. I know I can work with at least some conservatives, and I believe some are coming to realize they can work with some liberals—we’re not all crazy antisemitic wokenazis. I encourage you to read The Hidden Tribes report, or at least skim the (somewhat lengthy) summary on their website. Maybe take the 8-minute quiz to see in which tribe you fit! (I scored as I expected: Traditional Liberal.) We are the new Silent Majority. But our day may be coming to speak up and drown out the voices of creeping authoritarianism. We’re biding our time. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • Some Rape Victims Emerge Stronger, Not Permanently Debilitated

    There, rape activists. We said it. Some decide NOT to let this ugly event define them. Too bad feminist theory teaches women little of value re recovery. I feel vindicated to read someone else say it. Not all women are destroyed by the trauma of rape. Eagle-eyed Grow Some Labia subscriber and Patriarchy bitch-slapper herself Persephone Phoenix sent me a fantastic article by Larissa Phillips on Quillette whose brutal, frank description of her rape by two undocumented North African migrants in Florence, Italy thirty-one years ago is framed within the context of her prior history of feminist perma-victimhood indoctrination, and how little it served her when Da Patriarchy dragged her into a park one dark night. She fought back, sustaining heavy injuries. She says resisting contributed to her recovery and she quotes two researchers in a 1985 report about avoiding rape who note that “[O]ne of the most important functions of physical resistance is to keep women from feeling depressed even if they have been raped.” That’s the first time I’ve ever read or heard that! Fighting back is risky, for sure. Women have been murdered or permanently mutilated for their efforts. But some have successfully fought off their rapist, and Phillips, at least, is less depressed knowing she did what she could to stop the rapes. She condemns the feminist weakness-worshipping literature that teaches women to give up their power and thereby make themselves easier pickins for predatory males. Who knew that, if you fought back and survived, that it might actually contribute to your recovery? Phillips made the fatal decision one night to walk the two miles to her home in Florence when she missed the last bus and turned down an offer for a ride from friends who weren’t ready to leave the bar just yet. Two men dragged her into the park and did the dirty deed. Phillips’s screams prompted at least one person nearby to call the cops and report a possible rape in progress. Then she went home, and consciously showered off all the evidence except for her swollen and bleeding face. She had no intention of reporting it, of course; feminist gospel teaches women to just compliantly accept it. You’ll never get a conviction and he’ll get off scot-free. Rapists Who Get Off Easy Don’t Get Off Scot-Free Just one ‘problem’: Her boyfriend, Enzo, ‘unfamiliar with the feminist literature on rape,’ disagreed and pushed her to report it to the police. As it turned out, when the police finally showed up, they informed them that two men matching the description of her attackers had just been arrested for crashing a stolen car. Both were apprehended. And guess what, they fit the description of a recent past attempted rape victim too. Long story short, the feminist rape stories Phillips had been inculcated with were still right about some things, but ultimately wrong about everything else. Her treatment at the hospital by all-male doctors was, as predicted, further traumatizing; they were professional but it was invasive and humiliating. She watched from her room as her rapists were wheeled on gurneys down the hall. The nurses ‘snapped’ at her when she refused the pelvic exam, having had quite enough. They told her she’d wreck the investigation. Enzo got her to go along with it, recognizing what a mistake she was making. He promised to hold her hand throughout it, and he did. Then, months later, guess what happened. Despite all the failure prophecies by defeatist feminist rape activists, Phillips and her fellow victim got a conviction. What inspired Phillips to write her article was reading Celeste Marcus’s recent story in Liberties magazine and her public takedown of her alleged rapist, writer Yascha Mounk. How To Not Report A Rape And Compromise Your Own Credibility When You Do Phillips disagrees with the medieval-style justice meted out by Marcus to her accused when she alleged to The Atlantic editor, where Mounk was a writer, that they ‘had a rapist’ writing for them. So of course they severed ties with him. In our savage, disintegrating democracy, an accuser can get someone fired on an unproven allegation. Unlike E. Jean Carroll, Marcus has no proof; she preserved no physical evidence of the alleged rape, and unlike a woman in Tampa last year, she never filed a report. So, like, it’s he-said-she-said. Mounk denies it. Because Phillips reported the incident, she and the woman the two men had attempted to rape days earlier cooperated to put them in jail. Despite believing they’d never get a conviction, which is what Phillips’s female lawyer predicted. But they did. Phillips said, “Even if they had been acquitted despite my best efforts, the fact that I had pursued them to the furthest extent possible using the most effective tools available was important to me.” Fatalist feminism Had Phillips listened to Gender Studies weak-asses rather than her boyfriend, these two pricks might well have raped again. ‘Feminist’ literature collaborates with rape culture by preaching the article of faith that women won’t be believed, that there’s no point in reporting a rape because the process will be hell and they’ll likely never get a conviction. What they don’t tell women is that without a report, the rape never gets investigated, the rapist doesn’t get arrested, which also results, shockingly, in no conviction. What they also don’t point out is that the rapist is now free to do it again, knowing feminist theory has got his back. Phillips quotes Marcus’s Liberties article: “I don’t know a single woman whose rapist was punished by police. I don’t know anyone who does. Do you?” Well, no, I don’t. That’s because out of all the rape stories I’ve heard from the women themselves, I don’t remember any of them saying they reported it. I wonder how many others got raped because of that failure. I wonder how many of these women themselves got raped because someone else didn’t report. Phillips decided to report and, controversially, she points out, to emerge stronger than before. That’s verboten to many of today’s ‘progressives’. Feminist rape credo teaches that a victim’s job is to be traumatized, which is to be expected, but forever. She must be strong, but only in a vulnerable, victimized way. She can share her story and rail about The Patriarchy with other victims and women but she must never, ever, suggest that women can fight back or otherwise defend themselves. She must never note how women often fail to take personal responsibility to protect themselves, as Phillips did not, by not carrying pepper spray, or not walking home late at night because she believed Florence was fairly ‘safe’. Some places are, until someone gets assaulted or murdered. Permanently identifying with victimhood harms women by teaching them to comply with rape and to heal later, but not too much. Don’t emerge too strong, too smart, more accountable than thou for her own personal safety which might result in other victims realizing they maybe unconsciously collaborated as well, but who’d rather not learn from it and make better choices next time. Or warn others not to make those same mistakes. Phillips bears physical scars from her ordeal of which she’s proud; they’re badges of honor that she’s a survivor, that she fought back, that she refused to just lie down and submissively take it. She cites holding her attackers accountable as critical to her recovery. She chides the childish magical thinking from writer Roxane Gay, herself a victim of childhood rape, who refused female agency and personal responsibility at a conference by saying, “All of these problems could be solved by men learning not to rape.” Good luck with that, little lady. There are roughly four billion men in the world. Let us know how that works out for you. Grow Some Labia! is a reader-supported publication. I lean left, but not so far my brains fall out. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber. When not to fight back Not all women could, or, Goddess help us all, ‘should’ respond the way Phillips did. There are times when it’s good not to fight back. Her attackers persuaded her to stop struggling and screaming when they held what she believed was a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her if she didn’t stop. They also threw her onto her belly and threatened to rape her anally if she didn’t comply. She complied. As I would have. As I expect a lot of women would have. Some women don’t have it in them to fight back, and we can’t fault them for that. You never know what you’re going to do in that situation unless you are. There are three immediate options available: Flight, fight, or freeze. Many of us, not just women, freeze in immediately dangerous situations. A military veteran has described to me how he and his fellow recruits were trained trained trained trained TRAINED to just respond how they were trained to many different dangers and they practiced until it became second nature to them. “Don’t think, just react!” We civilians don’t have that training, which is why self-defense classes aren’t necessarily the best protection against physical assault. Unless you’ve practiced it until it flows from your largest vein into your tiniest capillaries, you may very well freeze when shit gets real. It’s a quick way to die on the battlefield. It’s also a very good way to not die when you’re being raped. But women need to know that fighting back is a real potential option. Even when it doesn’t stop anything. Who knows; maybe something from that self-defense class will come to mind. Phillips notes from the 1985 anti-rape report Stopping Rape: Successful Survival Strategies, that the best ways to avoid rape are, from best to worst: Flight; screaming; fighting back; verbal reasoning; environmental intervention; no strategy. The most successful at stopping a rape were those who used more than one. It doesn’t always work, but the report notes that of women they interviewed about their rapes or attempted rapes, six—nearly half—of those who fought back with another strategy avoided rape. Physical force plus one or more techniques increase a woman’s chance of avoiding a rape. None of the women who used three or four strategies in addition to fighting back were raped. This report was published in 1985. Thirty-nine years later, what have modern feminists learned? Nothing; they promote the same submission from forty years ago, when we had a lot less research on how to avoid rape. If I sound harsh or insensitive, it’s because I’m very, very fed up with hearing the same goddamn stories over and over again for four decades and nobody ever learns anything new or valuable they can offer others. She Is Willing To Do Whatever It Takes To Be With Me Feminism today teaches women self-infantilization. To identify with vulnerability, not strength; with fear, not determination. I was raped. I am permanently ruined. I am hopelessly damaged. I am helpless against animalistic male sexual urges. Phillips reframed her experience when she discovered other women had been through far greater hell than she. She read, like a moth to the flame, of the horrors visited upon Bosnian and Muslim women as the Serbian army ripped through the civilian population during the Balkan Wars. The gang rapes of young girls, children. She realized she was a sexually mature adult when she got raped, and it was one time. By ‘only’ two men. She wasn’t raped or gang raped long-term, sometimes in front of her family or children. She wasn’t intentionally impregnated by her rapists and held hostage until she’d given birth to a Serbian child. She wasn’t permanently maimed, murdered, or forced to marry her rapist. She wasn’t reviled by her family and friends; they all supported her. She wasn’t blamed and murdered for her rape. Phillips observes that she made some mistakes that night. She got a weird feeling about the guy that had gotten out of the car to take a wiz on a tree and what she initially believed was a wife or girlfriend in the car. She had a strong desire to cross the street but she didn’t; why? Because the man was dark-skinned and she didn’t want to look like a racist. That’s another massive failure of progressivism’s ‘social justice’: Turning racism into the worst crime imaginable. This played into how Phillips unconsciously collaborated with her rapists. She didn’t want to be that white woman who crossed the street when she saw a black man. How convenient for any dark-skinned men who want to rape with impunity. She cited Gavin de Becker’s classic book The Gift of Fear which notes we’re better at sensing danger than we realize, and that when our hackles go up, when we can feel our heart, that’s the time to get the fuck out of there. In fact, in the beginning of the book de Becker cites a rape victim who got a weird feeling about the guy but ignored it, because up until then the stranger seemed okay. The next few hours were hell. The seeds for Grow Some Labia were planted the day I got into a strange guy’s car I’d met for coffee despite my feeling it wasn’t a good idea. He drove me into a dark basement. I got out, mostly because he wasn’t heavily committed to rape. Larissa Phillips decided to get on with her life, her loves and her interests, including classical art which she now realized was ‘saturated with rapes’. Her parents, divorced, supported her, and her father brought her books, including one by controversial feminist Camille Paglia. At first she disliked Paglia’s views on sexuality and rape, but she resonated with her views that women needed to be responsible for themselves, that it wasn’t, as feminists believed, ‘society’ that caused men to rape, but which kept more of them from raping. I’ve read several books by Paglia. Her essays and critiques she wrote in the ‘80s and ‘90s were spot-on refreshingly honest, real, and actionable. “Today, I am dismayed by my initial reluctance to report my rape and grateful that I was with someone who cared enough about my interests to talk me into doing so. The thought that I almost chose to treat the assault as something less than a serious crime worthy of judicial oversight is chilling to me,” Phillips writes. It’s something for all of us to think about. Women can be raped at any age, including in their nineties. Phillips, like me, regards women like Celeste Marcus as unserious about wanting to stop rape. I make no judgement on Marcus’s claims; I don’t know what happened, but I know she doesn’t look as credible as E. Jean Carroll who claimed to have a stained dress with which her accused, Donald Trump, could have exonerated himself by providing a current DNA sample. But he refused. Hmmm. If nothing else, when you’re raped, preserve the evidence! It takes seconds to remove the offensive garment—which you’re never going to want to wear again anyway—and safekeep it in a plastic bag. If archaeologists can extract DNA from a thousands-year-old skeleton or corpse, it can exonerate—or not—an accused rapist weeks or months or decades later. And if he refuses—well then, who’s the most likely rape liar? The one who says he did it or the one who refuses to prove he didn’t? Rape ends when WOMEN decide it ends. Not until. Sorry, Roxane Gay. I’m interested in hearing and writing men’s and transfolk’s stories about rape and sexual assault. I know it happens and it can traumatizing for them because people can take it less seriously than women’s stories. Anonymity is okay. Drop me a message at growsomelabia at gmail dot com. Don’t send a written story; let’s discuss it first. And don't forget to subscribe to my Grow Some Labia newsletter on Substack!

  • How I Grew a Pair (Of Labia) And Left An Abusive Marriage: Guest Post, Part II

    Persephone Phoenix reveals how she grew the labia to leave her abusive partner, and encourages others to do the same If you missed Part I of Persephone’s awesome story, it’s right here. Go ahead, we’ll wait! Don’t miss her excellent advice for others stuck in bad relationships (especially the part about ‘bad feminist theory’) at the end of this one, either! He had an absolute fit. He drove over to my house, used his key to come in and started yelling at me. He kicked a side table across my living room. I calmly picked up the phone and called 911. I told the operator my husband was attacking me. I told him to get out. He went downstairs and meekly sat on the porch waiting for the police. They talked to him and told him to go home and get some anger management training. They made sure I was okay and left. I installed a deadbolt on the front door. He called me the next day and cried like a whiny little bitch, saying “I can’t believe you called the police on me.” So much for his big, macho, Iranian male power. I hired my own lawyer: new attitudes, beliefs, behaviors emerge. After we were divorced, I found a lawyer who specialized in unfair separation agreements. He was appalled by what I had agreed to. He sent me a summary of an even more extreme case that he had won for a woman with a scheming husband who made my asshole look like the sweet Tom Hanks character in Forrest Gump. He got her a substantial settlement after the fact. My wonderful lawyer immediately sent a letter to my ex-husband. He, in turn, hired himself a shark lawyer who countered with threats and outrageous demands. My lawyer countered that with some simple observations about Canadian law. And that was that. I got my fair share of the fancy house that had considerably increased in value in a hot real estate market. It turns out the other house was half owned by his business partner, so he couldn’t have given it to me in the first place. But I got a share of its value as well. He turned our daughter against me: Luckily, it was too late to turn back. By the time I came to my senses and demanded compensation from my ex-husband, our daughter was about 19. And he was not about to let things go. He was pissed that I was asking for his hard-earned money. Unfortunately, she still lived with him. Even when she was 15 and I lived down the street from her, she decided to blame me for the divorce, and refused to spend much time at my house. Now that she was in university, she wanted her own apartment, so he provided her with that--which gave him more opportunities for badmouthing me. At one point, she phoned me and asked, “Why are you trying to take all of Daddy’s money?” (My settlement was a tiny fraction of his net worth). When I tried to explain to her how marriage law works in the civilized world, she angrily shouted at me, “I don’t want to hear about it!” In true narcissist fashion, her father had love-bombed and manipulated her to see me as the enemy. The estrangement from my daughter lasted a few years. We still saw and spoke to each other regularly, but there was tension that never fully dissipated. She resented me for reinventing myself, for losing weight and being happy about it, for dating, for getting remarried, for moving temporarily out of town. She was very, very jealous of my new boyfriend whom I met after my second husband died suddenly and whom I eventually married. At least she was proud of me for learning to drive! (I finally got my license in my late 40s). He disowned our daughter—his only child: a new nadir for him, not me. It seemed like I would always be the second-best parent to my daughter. Daddy gave her a free apartment with a marble kitchen and bathroom right across the street from the home she had grown up in. I lived miles out of town on a farm and she had to take the train to visit me. Horrifyingly, she was raped when she was 25. She didn’t even tell me. She also didn’t tell her father fearing that he might actually kill the guy or have him murdered by the Persian mafia (I honestly wouldn’t put either of those things past him—he was physically violent with males who thwarted him and had hinted darkly at connections to the mob). But I was about to become a heroine to my daughter. My ex developed knee problems. In exchange for the fabulous apartment, he had basically enslaved his daughter (as he had tried and failed to do with me). He required her to come over to his house regularly to do things like scoop the cat litter for his cat. He insisted that she work at his cafés for less than minimum wage, despite her university degree and knowing her desire to work in the tech industry. I worried about her career, because she was nearing thirty and had only worked in restaurants and coffee houses. I stepped in. I arranged for an internship in New York City with my boyfriend’s brother-in-law. I gave her enough money to rent a shared apartment and live in Brooklyn for three months. Her dad was pissed. He had lost his little servant. When she came back, he demanded that she manage his main café while he recovered from surgery. She was sick of the abuse and control and refused. After that, she was dead to him. She still lived in his apartment and he began harassing her by sending over his submissive Asian girlfriend with messages like, “You have three weeks to vacate the premises.” He stiffed her for the final electric bill of over $400.00 even though he knew she had literally no money. She couch-surfed for a few weeks, got a menial job, and moved into a truly awful shared apartment with a stranger. But at least she was free of her father. She no longer needed me to rescue her; she got started on her own hero journey. My daughter eventually achieved incredible career success all on her own: the hero cycle continues. She is now a software designer making a competitive salary. Five years after her father disowned her, she no longer needs him. She lives in  her own cute apartment with an adorable rescue cat. Oh, and we are now best friends. I got some therapy: Almost at the return threshold. Before I could have a successful relationship with my ill-fated second husband (he died two-and-a-half years after our wedding), and finally with my new, utterly perfect husband, I had to get some counseling. There were leftover issues from my childhood that were preventing me from relating in a healthy way with men. I dated fruitlessly for several years trying to heal my wounds: Getting over that return threshold is hard. I could probably write a book about the losers I dated before I found any kind of committed relationship. There was the drunk, the player, commitment-phobe, and also the many married men who reached out to me on dating sites looking for a little action on the side (these ones I knew enough to refuse). My second husband was not perfect, but he made me feel loved and desired. I was amazed that someone could actually be crazy about me; that had never happened before. When he died suddenly in front of me one morning, I was devastated. I thought we would live out our lives on his farm. We were only together for two-and-a-half years. I met my new husband at age fifty: my reward arrives. Less than a year after my second husband died, I met my true husband. He was younger and handsome, and…Jewish!  (I have always had a religious bent and had become fascinated by Judaism at an early age). I could not believe my luck. A few years after we got together, I converted to Judaism. We have a blissful relationship: The ultimate boon. I could write a whole other article about how happy I am in my marriage. I will try not to gush too much, but this man is amazing! We have been together over a decade and married for a couple of years. He does almost all of the housework (I do most of the cooking and grocery shopping). He loves my cooking (even better than his wonderful mom’s!). He encourages me to buy things I need (instead of, like my ex, yelling at me in stores if I dared to buy clothes while he loaded up his shopping basket with whatever attire he felt like). He praises me to others (instead of complaining about me to whoever would listen, often right in front of me). The best thing about being with him is the constant, delightful two-way conversational flow (my ex-husband thought I talked too much; he once held up my teaching license, which had just arrived in the mail and declared scornfully: “License to talk!”). In short, we are best friends. Even spending time basically 24-7 during the pandemic lockdown did not lead to fights or irritation. No, our relationship is not conflict free—that would be impossible. But any fleeting arguments are usually over and forgotten about within minutes. He likes it when I drive. He compliments me and thanks me constantly. And I do the same for him. We both love classical music, take music lessons, and joyously attend concerts together (My ex-husband explained to me that classical music is “for snobs”). We agree on life goals. I would move anywhere for him (we recently moved from Canada to the United States). He has to work, while I am retired, so I don’t mind being flexible. In short, we have as ideal a relationship as possible given that we are both homo sapiens, the most problematic and aggressive species on the earth. Final reflections: The master-mistress of two worlds. Yes, life with my husband, with my daughter, and even with my ex-stepson (my late husband had a teenage son when I met him and we are still close. He is now married to a lovely woman and they have two adorable tiny humans, one of whom is old enough to call me “Gamma”), is more or less my dream life. But that is not the point of my story. My advice to women (and men) in abusive relationships, is to stop accepting treatment you don’t deserve. Women especially, do not rely on feminist theory about how the patriarchy is making you powerless and spend your time complaining to your girlfriends about how bad your partner is and how much he is victimizing you (I did this to a horrifying degree). It does no good and simply reinforces your victim status. Victims don’t become heroes. And please, please, don’t wait around for someone to rescue you. Get some self esteem, even if you had two narcissistic, abusive parents like I did. Find a good therapist. And don’t wait until your 40s to do that. Try to realize your real value. It’s too easy to fall down the proverbial rabbit hole with an abusive partner, too easy to accept his or her negative evaluation of you that only serves their dark purpose to keep you entrapped. Don’t be naive about human nature; people usually don’t change when they have power. When you stay with an abuser, you give him permission to abuse you and any children you might have. Don’t let that happen. Do not make excuses for an abusive partner. It doesn’t matter what his mommy or daddy did to him. Your sympathy will only embolden him. If you have a good job and are financially stable, get out! If you don’t, bide your time and get away when you can. If you procrastinate like I did, don’t get down on yourself. It’s never too late to leave. I have a friend who put up with his abusive wife until his 60s. He always told me it was too late for him. She died and he immediately met the love of his life. So leave. Maybe you want a better relationship, or maybe you want to be alone because dating in the 2020s is an absolute shitshow. That’s okay too. Live your best life. Don’t let anyone stop you. Be the hero that lives inside you. I want to hear from other women, and men, and transfolk who've gotten out of bad relationships. What did you learn about yourself? What made you think differently about who you were letting into your life and why you let them stay? Drop me a line from the contact form in my main menu! And in the meantime, did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

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