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  • A Transman's Valuable, Empathetic Insights For Women On Being A Man

    Max Wolf Valerio digs into male behavior, values and disconnects with women, with a lot of help from 'T' (Testosterone) There aren’t many sex transition stories I trust. Today’s switchers lack honesty, possessing zero understanding or self-awareness as to why they did it . I favor stories from folks who transitioned before trans-fashionability. Dana Bevan’s The Transsexual Scientist convincingly writes she never felt right in her boy’s body, although she was romantically attracted to girls. She was born in 1948. I read Max Wolf Valerio’s ( née Anita) book The Testosterone Files: My Hormonal and Social Transformation from FEMALE to MALE. Valerio, who appears to have been genuinely gender dysphoric as a child and did not outgrow it, offers a poetic twist and sense of humour about himself lacking in today’s woketrans. Max began in the ‘80s, when sex change was less common, and F2M quite rare. Apart from his weird lesbian politics as a gay woman, there’s no kill-the-TERFs hate since America hadn’t yet gone idiocratic over immutable sex differences. I’m always curious what it’s like on The Other Side. What can he teach me and other women—and men!—about experiencing manhood as a biological woman? I spent a lot of time underlining text on the subway and trying not to laugh out loud sometimes, especially learning that men can’t smell their own strongly-scented pee very well because of testosterone. ‘T’ is the focus, as you might guess, and Valerio describes an awful lot of time in front of mirrors scrutinizing his face and body for T-induced changes. What a diff’rence a male makes! Valerio hails from a time when biological science wasn’t a social just-us clusterfuck. He writes extensively about T’s biological and hormonal changes, and its impact on his behavior. “I feel more confident, expansive, cocky. It’s a pounding-on-the-chest kind of feeling, a swagger, a strut. Testosterone is an androgen, an up, pure raucous power.” He begins to grok risk-taking, boys turning wild tricks on skateboards, weaving in and out of traffic, jumping curbs. Testosterone is energy, something he says non-trans men never understand because they’ve never lived under the influence of estrogen. They have nothing to compare it to. Hey, there’s a reason why women’s health and car insurance is lower in those states that don’t prohibit gender-based insurance discrimination. And what about estrogen for wannabe women? Valerio cites transwomen who say they cry now more than once or twice a year. How they weren’t prepared for the influx of emotions, their greater concern for others. Estrogen, one transwoman reported, made her feel more ‘relaxed’ and likened it to a ‘tranquilizer’. Hey dyke, you’re hot! Valerio notes how his perception of women seem ‘softer’, ‘rounder’, ‘prettier’ after T. Their facial ‘edges’ become ‘smooth, sweet surfaces’. Even women with skin issues look more glow-y. Their voices are higher and more melodic, and, “I never realized how musical women’s voices are! Notes are sprinkled inside the words. I listen in wonder. Entranced.” Wow. I’m clearly missing the music in my girlfriends’ voices. I will listen more. Even butch lesbians become more ‘womanly’ than when he was Anita. Their feminine qualities become ‘painfully apparent’ and he wonders, Can it be I’m beginning to perceive women as men do? As even plain or average-looking women become more feminine to Valerio, it becomes more difficult to communicate. “These women speak in another language, although they are moving their lips in a familiar way. I recognize the words, yet can’t quite grasp the meaning. An essential dimension has become hidden.” He doesn’t understand female conversation the way he used to. Which leads me to wonder whether men aren’t as unconcernedly clueless as women think, or whether hormonally, they honestly can’t understand us the way we’d like them to. Which leads to another obvious question: If testosterone truly ‘clouds’ men’s minds in certain ways to understanding women, what is estrogen doing to blind us to them? I don’t know that T is necessarily the culprit; this is Valerio’s individual experience. I question whether all these changes are T-induced, or whether he subconsciously conforms to culture (“This is how men act”). I’ve noticed over the decades that some men are better at understanding the female perspective than others; an old boyfriend from nearly forty years ago was particularly good at it, and asked questions no other man asked like, “What is it like to have a period? What is it like for a woman to have sex?” Try explaining colors to a blind person! Which I’ve done. It led me to ask what it was like to have a penis, and what it felt like to have sex. Men and women will never understand much about the other sex’s sexual experience, but it’s a beneficial exercise to try. Valerio lost his dyke detection, which he says men lack overall, even when she’s dressed very dykily and looks quite masculine. Men, he feels, perceive the femaleness in women regardless of how they identify or present themselves. His F2M friend Will reported the same: He had a harder time recognizing dykes, and they both felt like they’re losing their gaydar. Before transition, reports Will, “…20% of the women looked attractive, and now 80% of them do.” So. Guys chase skirts because they’re attracted to nearly everybody! Including dykes. Oi! While Valerio discovers a new-found love of heavy metal, thrash rock, hardcore metal and rap, he finds relief from his female mood swings, with emotions ‘not as close to the surface.’ (I have to admit: That must be nice!) The “little-known secret of female to male sex change,” he explains, is that the default human condition in the womb is everyone starts out female. It’s why, he explains, “..it’s so much easier to pick things up from there.” I’ve noticed (mostly from YouTube) that F2Ms seem much more convincing and ‘passable’ than many M2Fs. A thin man with delicate bone structure (a ‘prettyboy’), can often ‘pass’, but otherwise, most ‘transwomen’ look like chicks in drag. Valerio identifies, indirectly, one of women’s most damaging psychological weaknesses: Caring so much what other people think. Valerio sought validation more for his maleness before he transitioned. He loved when people commented that his voice sounded deep, but once it deepened further with T, he no longer cared what people thought of his female voice. Oh, if only we could care (a little) less what others think! Consider how women censor themselves around their friends, don’t assert themselves, stress out about something said either by herself or someone else. Guys don’t worry about this stuff, and they get over it. One doesn’t need to shoot T for that, it’s something you can work on, but it may be more hormonally based than we think. What’s for dinner? Valerio’s sex drive kicks in big-time with T. He understands the need for just ‘getting off’ without having a relationship. He understands when Tom Snyder interviews Camille Paglia and says “Women didn’t understand what sex was to men.” He called it “food”. Maybe I should ask that aforementioned ex-boyfriend about this, since we’re still friends and in fact were texting the other day. ‘Food’? Like, you have to have it to survive? Valerio doesn’t explain why it makes sense to him so I Googled it. The best explanation I found was a Reddit thread in which it was put in the context of a relationship. Sex feeds the relationship the way food feeds the body. But, I’m not really sure that’s what Snyder meant. The fraught homophobia of the men’s room The public restroom chapter was why I had such a hard time not laughing on the subway. It’s so much easier to take a pee in the ladies’! We lack that ‘nervous homophobia’, “a nearly palpable tension that precludes more than a minimum amount of socializing.” So I guess guys aren’t shooting the breeze while they’re shoulder-to-shoulder aiming for the urinal cakes. Valerio says men also take a lot of time in the bathroom sometimes, they just spend it alone. In the stall. Okay, no news here if you’ve ever lived with a male but in public restrooms too? Whatever they’re doing, he says—Reading? Jerking off?—they’re “…taking their own sweet time with their pants down below their knees.” He wonders if the guy is dead from an overdose or a heart attack, or still hasn’t come. Even the graffiti is different. Women might scrawl helpful advice for each other—’ARNOLD IS A GREAT FUCK, KURT’S DICK IS HUGE’ (I’ve only ever seen warnings on who’s allegedly an asshole) but he notes that women’s bathroom graffiti is mostly political (yes)—dialogues between squatters on twelve-stepping, battered women and lesbianism. What do guys write about while they’re Bombing The Bowl? “COME HERE SATURDAY NIGHT, GET HARD, GET SUCKED. TOM LOVES BIG DICKS UP THE ASSHOLE. I LIKE TO SUCK OFF STRAIGHT MARRIED MEN, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH BIG FEET AND TIGHT BUNS” [Are they really that specific?] with a phone number. Next to the mirror, there’s a dick drawing spurting droplets. Geez, no wonder there’s an aura of homophobia in the men’s, and that’s before you even get to the gay club. If that sounds like an inner sanctum to the way men really behave in a female-free environment, just wait til you get to the gropefest chapter on the Church of Saint Priapus, which ain’t yer granddaddy’s church (or maybe it was and you never knew!) It’s a strictly no-women-allowed space to get groped and sucked off through a ‘glory hole’ in absolute anonymity. Men touch each other, squeeze together, grab, yank, twist, whatever they can. Two strangers approach each other, stop, look into each other’s eyes and jack off together. Some are just there to watch. Not a lot of talking, not a lot of noise. Just men standing around with their family jewels exposed, waiting to see what happens. Most women have no clue how this works and most would not like to be in a room with other women masturbating together or eating a random, anonymous vagina through a hole in the wall, although I’m sure there are exceptions. By and large, it’s just not what turns women on. Saint Priapus, Valerio reports, is raw, tense male sexuality unchained. It’s the most extreme male realm. They don’t have to tone themselves down or act a certain way to get jacked off, blown or laid. They objectify each other (objectification, Valerio reports, comes with the T) and are ‘cruising with an abandonment that borders on cruelty—a lustful, cruel rooting out of desired body parts.” The differences between male and female sexuality are no starker than at The Church. There’s no equivalent ‘glory hole’ at even the craziest lesbian sex clubs for anonymous licking, although there’s talk of safe sex techniques. At Saint Priapus, the only safe sex is a prohibition against anal at the height of the AIDS crisis. There’s more talk and sharing at lesbian sex clubs. Emphasis on ‘fairness, safety, and civility’. Other themes Valerio explores over-judgemental feminism and the fact that some women ‘do seem to be trying to spoil the party sometimes’ with too much analysis, too many rules, over-exaggerated accusations of sexual harassment and abuse, and demands for male accountability. I don’t agree with him on his inclusion of feminine emphasis on the ‘c-word’, commitment—after all, we want what we want and should hold out for it, but I can certainly appreciate his point of view on crazy-ass feminism. I don’t like those chicks either! He notes how much more authority he’s automatically gifted for being male. He’s offered managerial positions without any experience which never happened as a woman. He notes the affection in male kidding around, which to women looks more insulting or abusive than it is. More uncomfortably, he writes with understanding, if not condoning, of rape and why some men might be prone to committing it. He describes a female coworker he’s attracted to, explores the aggression with which he wants to just take her. “I want to fuck her so bad, grab her and throw her down on the floor and fuck her so hard so strong…I have to stop and take stock. This feeling is different in intensity from anything I’d known before in its pleading for release.” He doesn’t justify rape, but expresses understanding in why some guys ‘lose it’ sometimes. And wonders why men don’t more often. “Rape and plunder. Take.” It’s uncomfortable to read, to think that perhaps some men really do feel sexual urges that strong. I’m more inclined to listen to an ex-female like Valerio than a biological man here; you never know when men are justifying it to themselves. After all, doesn’t that define the history of rape as a criminal act? Men blaming the woman, how’s she’s dressed, knowing she ‘really wants it,’ is playing hard to get, and hey, don’t all women have rape fantasies? Lesbian Anita was immersed enough in misandrist lesbian politics to know that rape is a violent sex act that can never be condoned. But it’s a bit frightening to believe that the urge to fuck another human being is so strong that some are willing to act upon it, especially with the tacit understanding that feminist culture collaborates to protect rapists from accountability. One more interesting tidbit about being a man we don’t understand: As we complain about having to move through life constantly aware of the potential for male violence against us, the weaker sex, we are mostly unaware that men live the same way too. Man-on-man violence is just as quotidian as casual male-on-female violence. Men threaten to kick Valerio’s ass if he gives them the finger or bumps into the wrong guy at the wrong time. He had zero awareness of this before he became a man. He says he’s been “mugged, punched in the face, and threatened on more than a few occasions. I’ve had to learn a new code of conduct,” but also describes chasing a guy for blocks for impatiently hanging up a pay phone Valerio was on since, apparently, the other guy needed to use it. I will never fully understand what makes men tick but I feel a little less ignorant, and more empathetic. I’ve always known they don’t have it as easy as misandrist feminists imagine; the haters on both sides don’t understand we’re all just struggling to wake up alive the next morning. I want to be less judgemental and more sympathetic to my counterpart humans; I wish and hope men will do the same for us. My perception, especially from online dating, is that men never seem to learn or desire to understand women better; please feel free to debunk me in the comments! I would love to be proven wrong about this. The Testosterone Files is a wicked good read without the politics, female-hate or the incessant narcissism one finds in modern transfolk. Loved it. Recommend it! Did you like this post? Do you want to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter  Grow Some Labia  so you never miss a damn thing! There are also podcasts  of more recent articles there too!

  • Deja Vu Tradwives: Here We Go Again

    Putting men first has failed for women over and over again, and tradwifery remakes those same mistakes. But so has feminism. Where's the happy medium? Modern-day feminism is still such an adolescent girl, forever trying on new roles and identities, seeking the one that works. She tries on her mom’s clothes. Then her sister’s. Then maybe her brother’s. She twists in the mirror, dissatisfied today with a look she’s adored for months. But it doesn’t work now and she’s looking for something new. What do boys think? Does it matter what boys think? Of course it matters what boys think! But it doesn’t! It matters more what girls think! It’s— What no one tells you when you’re young—because even your parents aren’t really old enough to understand this themselves—is that what doesn’t work and hasn’t several times over just doesn’t friggin’ work. Capiche? When I was young, I wasn’t much interested in marriage or children. I decided I’d rather play the field with my wandering eye. Later, when I wanted to settle down (but not breed), marriage was falling out of favor. So was not breeding. Where were all the men women complained about who didn’t want children? Could you give me some phone numbers? Today, romance is dead, pornography glorifies violence against women in a way Larry Flynt only ever flirted with, everyone is glued to their phones with loneliness, and young people aren’t even having sex. Ergo, ‘traditional marriage’ is making a comeback. Fifteen years ago, whiny and perennially victimized ‘feminist’ Jessica Valenti, still living in 1965, worried her pretty little head over America’s ‘obsession’ with female sexual attractiveness and purity in The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women. Which makes me wonder what her social circle looks like because I’m not sure if I even know any virgins, but if I do, they’re probably under thirty. Now women are trying to figure out what went so hideously wrong. Conservatives blame feminism. Religious folk blame a turn away from God. Feminists blame unevolved men, conservatives, and religionistas clinging to their sacred privilege and patriarchy. Others blame the Internet, social media algorithms, ubiquitous phones, the pandemic, divisive politics and Zoom. I think there’s a whole lot of right in all of it. Here come the ‘tradwives’ with the usual liberal hand-wringing over Creeping Conservatism and a dialing-back of women’s rights. This too, again, Brute? Periodically, human society regresses when the world becomes too crazy to understand. Maybe things were better ‘back then’, with rose-colored reverse hindsight. Remember when things were easier? And they were. Sometimes. Today, other things are easier. Like being skilled enough and financially stable enough to escape a bad and/or abusive marriage. I can’t completely blame some women for wondering whether perhaps fulfillment comes from letting someone else make the decisions. For committing themselves to home and hearth, to raising new human beings. I actually respect and appreciate people who accept that awesome responsibility. Every human life truly is precious. In my perfect world, only people who really wanted kids and had put a lot of thought into it would make new humans. No one would be forced to squeeze out a human life they never wanted, which wouldn’t happen if we had lots of cheap, reliable ways to prevent conception. But still. Here we go with this shit again. The magic recipe Sixty years into yer grandma’s feminism, we’re re-examining the free love world the hippie counterculture wrought. In hindsight, it may not have been as good for women as it initially looked. Or maybe it was a good idea, but got waylaid and sideswiped by technology, and male sexual interests (as always). In 2024, women dominate college campuses and populate corporate boardrooms. Men have lost some ground in these areas, and it’s not all feminism’s fault. Many men have fallen down and refused to get up. To try harder. Study harder. Do we need affirmative action for underachieving men now? The Feminine Mystique described the malaise the so-called Happy Housewife felt, even as she guiltily thought she shouldn’t. Why did the neighbourhood kaffeeklatsching include more and more vodka in the pitcher of screwdrivers as the months and years wore on? And why did they pop so many ‘Mother’s little helpers’ as they condemned Today’s Kids for indulging in hipster drugs? We still haven’t found the magic mating recipe, but we’re making progress, and both feminism and yes, the Tradwife Phenomenon will help to better refine and evolve a life we can all aspire to and live with. Because tradwifery isn’t all bad but it still re-makes some classic mistakes. I for one am grateful the Counterculture gifted me with more career opportunities than I had in 1969. I don’t feel I chose wrongly. I regret not being able to find a man I could be happily childless with, nor today a man whose life isn’t over. Regrets, Oy’ve ‘ad a few-ah! All things considered, I haven’t had a bad life, and I’ve begun keeping a mental list I call The Best Stories Of Anyone In The Nursing Home, to remind myself of the things I’ve done, the people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, the things I’ve experienced, the funny stories I have to tell, the things I learned how to do and the lessons I’ve learned. To remind myself I didn’t live a wasted life. All things considered, I have much to be grateful for. But romance, for me, has been largely unsuccessful, and I can’t fault Tradwives for giving conservative marriage a go again, nor do I know that it necessarily heralds the Republic of Gideon. Nothing ever remains the same. Today’s women are better educated, more confident and raised in a different time and place, but they’re opening themselves up to risks generations of women simply don’t think through: The Fifties’ Happy Homemakers were sometimes physically abused by their husbands and had no recourse to get out. Society frowned on divorce, families told her to tough it out, religious leaders told her it was God’s will she stay with her abuser, and how was she going to support three kids on her own? She couldn’t even own a credit card without her husband’s signature! And what was she going to do, stock shelves? Work the cash register? And who would take care of the kids? I suspect many of today’s Tradwives aren’t quite as helpless as all the TikTok complainers seem, but it’s never a good idea to give that much power to men. Even good men can abuse power, just as good women can do the same. I understand the desire to turn your pretty, well-toned back on the corporate rat race, as I watch the expressions of TikTok’s scrubbed women in 1956 Better Homes & Gardens- reminiscent dresses, earrings, and Mrs. Cleaver hair embracing values that sound less frighteningly right-wing and more common-sense and mature. I do not complain about my husband to anyone who will listen. I protect my husband’s heart by not broadcasting his shortcomings. Out of mutual respect we keep our disagreements and spats in the family, in public we are a united front. Divorce is not an option or threatened. There really is something about doing things the way our ancestors did. It kind of puts your heart back into this thing we call life. (Isn’t that what Martha Stewart does? Make everything from scratch?) And is making your husband a customized owl cookie such a terrible way to show him you love him? I found these expressions in a TikTok compilation about tradwives. There’s plenty in there to disagree with—too much Christian ‘submission’, especially the cringey black woman extolling these ‘virtues’ to her white husband. But maybe I’m being too political. Conservative Christians, like feminists, seek to improve upon practices, ideas, and values that clearly don’t work, but too often focus only on what we want. Conservative Christianity is patriarchal, feminism matriarchal. Tradwifery should expect more from men than it does, as feminists should from women, yet neither do. There’s a downside, of course One former tradwife never considered how much her good life in million-dollar homes rested on her marriage. She worked in the family business with money that went into her husband’s bank account—not a joint one, and she had no bank account of her own. When he divorced her 25 years later, she lived in her car and made $44/day as a teacher’s assistant. “I have no retirement, I have no savings, no education, no resume.” She wonders why she never had “a fucking backup plan.” Gee, who could have seen this coming? (Feminism, are you there? It’s me, Sister Margaret!) It’s the age-old dilemma that challenges Tradwives past and present, consensual and not: If you have no education, no skills, and no resume, you’re sentenced to low-paying jobs and no future. Or a shit marriage. You might get lucky like Nicole Brown Simpson (for awhile) and get a good settlement from your celebrity husband, or you might get nothing. It’s never a good plan to allow a man to take complete care of you and be especially aware of ‘ submission’. It gives him carte blanche to screw you if it all goes—pardon the sexist expression, ladies—tits up. Another video revealing the downside to Tradwifery warns, “You’ll never see tradwives in their forties advocating for this life.” Another warns, “A man is not a plan,” and notes that “…your finances should not depend on someone being in love with you.” Another realizes her tradwife life was dependent on how pretty she remained and good at her housewifery. Some spoke of losing their identities and ability to make decisions or even knowing what they themselves liked. When you bought toothpaste you thought of the brand your husband liked; you made the dinners your husband preferred; his identity, even his name, was yours. It reminded me of the mothers we used to make fun of when I was in the old Usenet forum alt.support .childfree; the mothers who would show up and try to turn us away from our selfish, childfree ways, or combat the child-haters (and we did have some). When you’re extolling the joys of being a mom and giving your life to raising another’s, maybe it’s not the best image to post under the address “ amysmom@aol.com .” One lady counsels wannabe Tradwives, “I think freedom and autonomy and confidence are more important than making my kids think that having a mom and dad in their home is what makes a home perfect.” So why can’t I wholeheartedly condemn the Tradwife phenomenon? I think we should take a ‘salad bar’ approach to life: Take what works and leave the rest. It may be one-sided still, but the TikTok women making a real commitment to preserving their marriage and not running for the divorce court at the first sign of minor domestic strife are a complete one-eighty from the stomach-churning, loathsome new fad for wannabe ex-non-Tradwives: Women dumping their husbands and families on a whim when they get bored with marriage and want to sleep with boy toys and travel and do all the things they didn’t do before. Not women who are escaping hellish abuse or controlling men or life in a tin shack in the Ozarks. Entitled, privileged, and deeply narcissistic young women seemingly feel their husbands aren’t human beings with feelings but mere accessories, along with the children they’d have carried around in their oversized purse like chihuahuas if they could have. This is what the social-media-induced narcissism of the modern age has wrought: Women ‘empowered’ to be exactly like a stomach-churning Mad Man of yore—one who dumps her family to trade her hubs in a for a younger model (or three) and to gallivant around without a care, leaving a familial wreck in her wake. (Fuck ‘em! Let men know what it’s like, amirite my faithful followers???) Can’t there be a happier medium somewhere? One in which the TradHusband is as beholden to cleaving unto his Tradwife as the Empowered Mom throwing herself a Divorce Party to celebrate her reclaimed single freedom? Might she rethink her position before she books the banquet room and consider the other human beings she’s destroying? Both movements demonstrate exactly how ugly and narcissistic life is when one sex or the other has so much power. Funny how TradHusbands don’t declare on TikTok their commitment to not divorce their wives when they’re more drudge-y than the girl they married. I support women’s empowerment and the ability to leave a bad marriage if she truly has to, if he doesn’t want to work on it or think it’s his God-given right to beat her into submission, whether he believes in God or not. But it’s a complete abrogation of responsibility and ‘adulting’ to just dump everyone and leave it all in your ex-husband’s lap, no different than when a man does it! Equality means women must hold themselves to the same high standards they demand of men. And to demand of men what they demand from us. What we once derisively called a ‘sperm donor’ we must apply to an equally execrable ‘egg donor’. I see some real, laudable values in the Tradwife movement, as I see them in genuinely empowered feminism. Pure Tradwifery really doesn’t work for women and never has, and updating it to include more lifetime commitment for a Tradhusband will remove the Trad from marriage and home life. But it’s not all just about me me me me me and what I want. For thousands of years that’s the world men set up for themselves, with women objectified as sex toys, wives and mothers. Her job was to perpetuate his seed and raise them so he could go off and live his life as he wanted. It sucked for women, and it still does. But the ‘empowered divorcee’ movement looks every bit as hatefully misandrist as ‘patriarchy’ looks hatefully misogynist. There’s a happy medium somewhere, but it won’t be truly ‘traditional’. Nor 100% feminist. We need to explore this ‘marriage’ of values more. Did you like this post? Do you want to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter  Grow Some Labia  so you never miss a damn thing! There are also podcasts of more recent articles there too!

  • What Would A 'Christian' Pride Month Look Like, After June's?

    What if the Western world was forced to 'celebrate' Christian Supremacy for a month after having shoved Rainbow Supremacy down everyone's throats? “Would you like to donate two dollars to Pride?” asked the store cashier last Saturday. “No thank you,” I replied. In times past, I donated. This time I didn’t. It’s no longer a worthy cause. Not going to the ‘gayborhood’ to celebrate and enjoy the drag-queenier-than-thou. Not going to the Parade. Not flying the flag. I’m done with this public virtue-signalling circle jerk of enforced Rainbow Supremacy. Marginalized my ass. Live how you want to live, but don’t yank it in my bathroom, guys. Pride events around North America are experiencing more backlash than ever. MSNBC talked to a Pride reporter about Pride flags slashed, graffiti sprayed on LGBTQ-friendly church walls, and other acts of vandalism attributed to ‘right-wing backlash’. Um, how do they know it’s specifically ‘right-wing’? Have all the perpetrators been arrested and their politics accounted for? The interviewer didn’t ask, and the reporter didn’t say. If there’s a ‘backlash’, why? DO NOT ASK. And why is tearing down a Pride flag ‘vandalism’, but a statue is ‘protest’? As the King of Siam would say, “Is a puzzlement.” How is it these reporters remain so blithely unaware of how much growing dislike for Pride there is on the left, with whom it has lost its former popular goodwill? News to these bozos. Remaining as ignorant about the entire Pride movement as they can be without induced coma is their raison d’etre. What would Christian Pride Month look like? USA Today reports that brands this year are pulling back on Pride displays and merch as they claim they’re targeted by ‘conservative groups’ who boycotted their businesses and for once, it seems to have worked. I’m more inclined to believe they’ve correctly identified ‘conservative groups’, because they’re engaging in lawful protest, unlike Pride flag destroyers who run ‘n’ hide since they’re breaking vandalism laws. No one seems to ask why there was a kerfuffle last year over a Hershey bar promo for International Women’s Day featuring a biological man who looks vaguely like a woman. At least no journalistic investigation beyond, Transphobia is the only explanation. You’re hard-pressed to find any gay people featured in Pride promos anymore. Fabulous dudes and even hot lesbians are out. Trans-identified men—far less trans-identified women—are the Pride stars now. No one asked whether the anti-woke backlash against trans-identified man and social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney was all right-wing or whether the public in general is fed up with woke values and fake women constantly shoved down their throats. Including plenty of liberals. How come I know liberals and left-leaners sick of transactivist extremism but the left-wing media doesn’t even know we exist? Then again, when I search for ‘WPATH Files’ and ‘Cass Review’ on MSNBC I find nothing, so maybe I expect too much journalistic integrity from people who know everything they need to know about trans from their Gender Studies classes at Columbia University. USA Today has nothing on the WPATH Files but does at least mention the Cass Review in a few articles. Transactivism ignores and cancels those who dare to challenge and criticize the erasure of biological women and gay people, and especially critics of the ‘progressive’ conversion of gay kids to more socially ‘acceptable’ heterosexuality. Pride groups shut down free speech and get people they don’t like fired . They’ve pushed their ideology into public education and woe to any parent who dares to protest. Left-wing do-gooders will take your children if you don’t get in line and goose-step the new step for a movement so awash in bright reassuring colours you could be blinded on a sunny day or wonder who slipped the Yellow Sunshine into your morning coffee. Spiked calls the ‘unbearable annoyingness of Pride’ ‘flag-shagging’. So I wonder as we wrap up yet another Pride Month: What if the next month was ‘Christian Pride Month’, was mostly organized by fanatical fundamentalist Christians, and whose support was as socially enforced as June’s Pride Month? Libraries would feature ‘Christian month’ book displays including works by C. S. Lewis, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, St. Augustine, the Left Behind series and actress Lisa Whelchel’s (‘Blair’ from The Facts of Life ) parental help books on how you can abuse your children in the most Christian manner possible. Books by Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Carl Sagan, Christopher Hitchens and Michael Shermer would be banned. National brands would include the fish logo on all their products as an easy way to virtue-signal allyship with Jesus-believers without having to do anything actually Christian, like give money to the poor or orphans. Attention hound Jesus supporters and their allies would flamboyantly dress like Jesus, Mary, Joseph, random disciples, Catholic saints, Crusaders and the most famous Christian in America, Donald Trump. Cities around the world would celebrate with Christian Pride Parades in which local companies would be pressured to provide gaudy floats depicting famous Bible stories. Like Kiddie Jesus teaching the rabbis, the Last Supper, the Passion, the Resurrection, Mary being informed she was gonna have to do some ‘splainin’ soon to her fiance, the deaths of the Apostles, St. Paul experiencing a Keanu Reeves moment on the road to Damascus (“Whhhoooooaaaa!!!! Look at that, like, flaming Cross, man!), John the Baptist’s head on a platter with lots and lots of dripping fake blood, and some really awesome wicked cool Revelation floats best viewed on three tabs of acid or a couple of ‘shrooms. Children would learn incessantly about Jesus and Christianity in all public schools and be constantly asked, “Are you sure you’re a Muslim or a Hindu? Many people are born into the wrong religion and you can change it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your religion; if you feel sad or depressed it’s not because you’re dealing with a lot of stress or your grandmother died; it’s because you were meant to be a Christian! You can change it right now! Look at my Genesisbread Man!” Any parent who disagreed with extreme Christian indoctrination and identified it as a sick, toxic cult would have their children forcibly removed and protected from their Christophobia because everyone knows that children, once they know they’re the wrong religion and need to transition to the right one, will commit suicide in a day and a half if you stop them, or even try to talk to them about it. Groups purporting to ‘help’ and ‘protect’ children would secretly mail them things they wanted that their parents had forbidden—crosses, Bibles, Communion wafers, swords of vengeance, Wal-Mart Biblical action figures , Jesus and Mary butt plugs . All right-thinking inclusive people would uncritically support this because children were essentially little adults who knew what was best for them, and the parents’ job was to get out of the way and let Little Moishe Brother Ezekiel become the pint-sized Bible-thumper he knew he was truly born to be. It’s not his fault his family is a bunch of liberal whackos and hate jobs who accept their gay cousin and teach their kids to hate doctrines like love and tolerance and the health benefits of quinoa. Churches everywhere will report hundreds, even thousands of children all applying to change their religion as soon as possible. Social media would be rampant with Christian ‘Warriors of God’ canceling and issuing rape and crucifixion threats to anyone who dared critique them. They’d seek to have liberals arrested, jailed, or at least banned from X for the ‘hate crime’ of pointing out there’s no evidence of God or for speaking out in favor of abortion and helping the poor. Anonymous young Christian losers with no jobs and no future would excavate the social media posts of anyone trying to accomplish anything seeking RATs (Radical Atheist Terrorists) damaging children with their scurrilous lessons that people can live moral lives without religion. Famously Christophobic Massachusetts would pass a ‘Don’t Say J’ law after the horror of Walt Disney’s annual Jesus Days inviting all those who love Jesus, warning Christophobes that this might not be the best weekend to take little Ahmed or little Parvati there, who might be subjected to blatant Christian love right there in front of Cinderella’s Chapel. Critics of Christian Pride Month would be denounced as Christophobic Nazarenis with crosses and fish spray-painted on their houses at night. Christian activists would attack any non-Christian trying to speak at a library or a hotel conference room and try to shut it all down, arguing that Christophobic hate speech was not protected by the Constitution. Christian activists would demand the right to be allowed into places formerly forbidden to Christians for safety purposes—synagogues, mosques, temples, Native reserves and reservations. Christian Pride Parade critics would complain about how gorier and kinkier the floats with Jesus’s suffering had become. I kid, but we’ve seen this before The cultiness and Orwellian Thought Police authoritarianism we condemn on the ‘woke’ social just-us left is the same we saw forty-three years ago with the election of Ronald Reagan and the rise of the so-called Religious Right, with one key exception: The Christian Right never attained the level of power and governmental infiltration the Regressive Left has achieved. It wasn’t for lack of trying, and the Right came damn close. Reagan’s election unleashed America’s right-wing kooks. I’m not sure if there’s a specific person or event that unleashed America’s left-wing kooks more recently, but theories are welcome in the comments. Conservative Christians in the ‘80s organized and strategized how to infiltrate the new, Christian-friendly government. They began, sensibly, bottom-up rather than top-down. They got elected to boring political positions no one cared about: City councillors and school boards. The ‘textbook wars’ began with a Texas couple named Mel and Norma Gabler, who sought to ‘cleanse’ America’s textbooks of anything they considered anti-family, anti-God or anti-American. They abhorred any teaching that contradicted conservative values or Christian mythologies. They hated evolution. Conservative Christians began chipping away at the eight-year-old Roe v. Wade decision. They wrote angry letters to the editor denouncing liberal values and accusing their critics of hating God, America and the family, which, admittedly, looks somewhat less insane today as the Queer movement has explicitly stated it has no use for the nuclear family anymore and campus protesters hate on the capitalism that privileged them enough to go to college and bite the hands that fed and raised them. The Christian Right always hated sex—mostly for females. Their lopsided calls for more sexual morality and purity forced us liberals to keep reminding them it takes two to make a baby, and if a woman is having sex she shouldn’t be, shouldn’t the man she’s having it with be rebuked as well? “Yeah, that’s wrong too,” they’d say and return to fulminating about wicked temptresses and Jezebels. Wayward dicks never bothered them as much as inviting vaginas. Because sexual morality was always the woman’s fault or responsibility, just as it is today in the Middle East and many other parts of the world. They never even stressed much when Christian Republican dicks found their ways into male mouths and anuses, which they frequently did , especially with Religious Right politicians. What men did with their penis was of no business for women, as far as they were concerned. The Christian Right worked their way slowly and patiently to the top echelons of political power, taking control first of the Republican Party and then Congress. Déjà vu. We’ve seen the rise of one fun-demented-list cult seizing the hearts and minds of Americans and now we’re seeing it again—from the other side. If today’s Christian Right is perturbed by the success of the woke social just-us cult, they wrote the vision and playbook themselves. Although Canada has never seen a religious right-wing authoritarian takeover attempt like the U.S. once did, we’re now seeing the rise in left-wing authoritarianism exemplified by our formerly feminist and liberal Prime Minister and his allies who are more concerned about ‘protecting’ trans people (men) from the mostly exaggerated stories of violence against transpeople than they are about protecting women from transactivist violence and hate speech, which is far more common. Karma has come back to bite conservative extremism in the ass. This is on you, Christies. It makes for strange bedfellows, as liberals like me ally with them on preventing ‘gender-affirming’ sex change operations for kids. We can’t otherwise stand them, knowing they share many common values with their hated enemies the far left— hatred of Jews and women , cult indoctrination in the schools, and shoving their values down everyone’s throats. And they all want women to stop saying No to penises. These are the people who got rid of Roe v. Wade and will sexually shackle our vaginas if given one-tenth of an opportunity. Shag the dog According to The Free Press, sex therapists are now advocating for the right to have sex with animals, even acknowledging that animals can’t consent to anything, but if we’re hunting them, breeding them, corralling them, murdering them with anal electroshock and eating them, what the hell, let’s fuck ‘em too! Don’t ‘yuck someone’s area of interest,’ sez one eloquent X guru. Now, I’m not so sure I even want to see the Rainbow Mafia’s Pride Month anymore. Call me when you’ve exorcised all the heterosexual straight dudes taking advantage of your movement to normalize their sexual fetishes. And if you want to fight the Rainbow Supremacists, the Old State Saloon in Idaho is featuring June as “Heterosexual Awesomeness Month.” They’ve got merch in case you want to rub it in everyone’s faces that you’re straight, and Hetero Male Monday in which you get a free pint if you’re a heterosexual male dressed as a straight, heterosexual male. Could I get a free beer at the Saloon if I came in dressed as a straight, heterosexual male? How do they know the men dressed as straight, heterosexual males are actually girly-fuckers, and not butch gay men (is there a lie detector test?) Well anyway if you liked this post, and wanted 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! There are also podcasts of more recent articles there too!

  • P. Diddy's Misogyny And Misogynoir Are The Red Flags His Victims Ignore

    What part of Diddy's, rap and hip hop artists' disrespect and hatred for women as objects and 'hos' lead them not to *expect* partner abuse? Oh my, will you look at that. Rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs assaulted his girlfriend in a motel hall back in 2016. Warning: It’s graphic! Combs assaults and kicks then-girlfriend Cassie Ventura and proceeds to drag her out of view caveman-style. Way to go perpetuating ugly stereotypes about Neanderthal black men, Diddster! Ventura sued him in 2023, alleging years of abuse. Her story is as stock as everyone else’s by a popular celebrity: Young, dumb and full of—naivete. Inexperience allows the man to control her. Marilyn Manson thrived on clueless young women. “She Is Willing To Do Whatever It Takes To Be With Me” Naivete doesn’t explain everything. There’s a cost benefit analysis factoring into a woman’s decision to tolerate abuse by anyone, and especially the status that accompanies being the ‘bitch’ of a glamorous celebrity. Given popular music’s bloody, black-and-blue history, it’s clearly the price you pay to be with him. As noted by Manson. Kat Rosenfield  has penned an interesting analysis defending violent rap lyric s and other misogynist content against charges that it allegedly promotes and encourages real-world violence. She correctly argues that many artists write about violence without ever murdering anyone, unlike the female author who murdered her husband  after writing an essay on how to murder your husband. Not everyone who raps, sings, writes, or creates violent content is necessarily an abuser or killer in progress, as Rosenfield notes, but what she doesn’t address is that which amounts to red flags. In other words, are the violent, abusive words coming from the heart or as commentary? I support Rosenfield’s contention that violent content shouldn’t be censored. Wannabe authoritarians invariably use it to justify censorship, including against non-violent expression, as exemplified by the woke left who claim alleged group harm as an excuse to ban critical content and pushback it doesn’t like . What bothers me far more about Sean Combs, other rappers and hip hop artists accused or convicted of domestic violence, is why, as I’ve wondered so many times before, women, and particularly black women, are so willing to enter relationships with these guys. Do they not listen to their albums? Watch their videos? Do they not grasp the misogyny and gross disrespect for women that saturates  gangster rap and hip-hop? Do they not notice how much black women are mistreated, hypersexualized, and objectified by these artists in their videos? Most especially, the criminal records of so many popular artists, the rap sheets longer than their discographies, the bodies piled in cemeteries from real-life rap battles and rival eliminations? Mom Dukes cryin', baby moms full of grief How she gonna tell her son his daddy is deceased? Now she got beef with them bitches up the street All because I used to creep with her girlfriend Sharese She knows, I keep the hoes, from nation, to nation On every radio station, Goodfellas in rotation, uh -Diddy, What Ya Gonna Do Red flags, red flags, red flags, ladies! What part of ‘Don’t get involved with men who hate women’ don’t you understand? “See, we date 'em like we hate 'em, See 'em like we don't need 'em Treat 'em like we beat 'em, And never give up freedom” The World Is Filled - Diddy & the Notorious B.I.G. And what about Diddy himself? Or Puffball Daddy, P Diddley, or whatever the hell he calls himself now? Did he offer any kind of clue that he might be the kind of guy who would beat and kick a woman in a hallway? Could anyone have possibly seen this coming? I mean apart from his loooooong history of violence against women stretching back to his college days? Combs has quite a checkered history. Since Cassie Ventura’s lawsuit, three other women have come forward similarly alleging abuse and revenge porn. His home was raided by Homeland Security in March investigating for alleged sex trafficking. He’s been charged with assaulting a record label manager and several others over the decades; he was implicated in a gunfire incident in Manhattan in 1999; a 2024 lawsuit alleges Combs drugged and sexually assaulted a music producer and forced him to have sex with sex workers; and that he paid to cover up a story of his son Christian allegedly assaulting a woman on his yacht. And ex- classmates at Howard University  allege then-student Combs publicly beat his girlfriend with a belt. If only his victims had had some sort of clue. Violent content is a massive flapping red flag The difference is in how the artist ultimately treats the violent acts they depict. How serious do we think they are? The Dixie Chicks song Goodbye Earl  is a funny, clever video I simply can’t take seriously as a violent call to action against abusive husbands. It’s obviously a silly revenge fantasy that clearly would not likely go down so successfully in real-life. Like it didn’t for the essayist who actually murdered her husband. Also, I have no reason to believe the Dixie Chicks ever supported actual violence against men. Just as I don’t suspect Anthony Hopkins or Christian Bale of being serial killers. The red flag is whether the content subtly expresses suggestion such behavior is okay. Or that the artist supports it. And therein lies the problem for Combs, R Kelly, and others who sing or rap boastfully about violence against women and others without any sort of moral signal that this isn’t poetic license, but what they believe and have internalized. Especially when one is dragging a woman through a hallway like Alley Oop. Beat yo ho Where does this misogynoir come from? Black women suffer a higher domestic violence rate than other women. The National Center for Domestic Violence reports that 45% of black women  experience intimate partner violence, sexual violence, or stalking in their lifetimes. IPV is also responsible for over half of domestic homicides for black women. Hispanic and white women follow , in that order. Other research shows that black women under 30 are three times more likely to experience IPV than those between 30-40. And those living in poverty are three times more likely to experience it. (45%? Seriously, black sisters? 45%???) Power imbalance marks one of the primary elements of an abusive relationship, and it’s never so stark as when one is a rich celebrity and the other is not. Evolutionarily, women are hypergamous, attracted to men with power and wealth. The survival strategy evolved for ensuring a man with sufficient resources to care for the woman and her children. The trade-off was he could do whatever he wanted, with whoever he wanted, and in some cultures keep multiple wives and mistresses to spread his seed (and the use of his resources to the detriment of the children of his other wives). It was a workable strategy for thousands of years, however lopsided and unfair, but we live in the 21st century now where women have more resources and opportunities than ever, as exemplified, for better or for worse, by single women getting pregnant in a clinic and raising the child by herself. I keep warning women that the traditional “I want to marry a rich man,” strategy comes as a matched set with a very steep price, potentially having to tolerate abuse and infidelity just as in days of yore. Not all rich men are abusive, nor may they have begun their journey to fame by being abusive, but money, celebrity, and entourages unwilling to tell them no can turn a nice guy into a narcissistic asshole. Wanting to marry a wealthy man was Nicole Brown Simpson’s biggest mistake. It’s the same mistake Cassie Ventura and so many other naive young black girls make, starstruck by a powerful, popular, rich man like Sean Diddy Combs, or his fellow IPV thugs NBA Youngboy, Dr. Dre, G Herbo, Bow Wow, Tekashi 6ix9ine, XXXTentacion, Flavor Flav, The Game, Chris Brown, Bobby Brown, Tone Loc, and countless other rap and hip hop artists who plainly treat violence against women as socially acceptable, and prove it by beating and kicking their own. Hip hop has a very long and firmly entrenched history  of normalized violence against women, and any woman who gets involved with one of these artists, whether he’s got an IPV rap sheet yet or not, is absolutely forewarned.  Proceed at your own risk! Sure, there’s the long, equally misogynist genre of rock and roll and even non-rock music. Remember Tom Jones’s Delilah?  It’s a paean to partner homicide when a woman rejects someone for another man, cruelly. (Pro tip for women keen on avoiding getting murdered: Don’t laugh in the man’s face when he confronts you with your infidelity.) The song is also a sad commentary on a man caught in a toxic relationship with a woman he knows ‘is no good for me,’ and is unfaithful, yet he feels trapped by his love for her. (He allowed her to mistreat him.) Delilah didn’t deserve to die the way she did but she was no tragic victim. And it’s right that the man is led off in handcuffs, when he could have resolved to simply find a better woman for him than, well, frankly, a heartless ho. Black women often don’t report IPV crimes for many of the same reasons other women don’t, and for a few of their own: Like that there are already plenty of black men in a racist prison system, not always justifiably, and they don’t want to exacerbate the problem. Okay but—until black men are held responsible for their crimes against women, just like in any other demographic group—they will continue to hit, stalk, rape, and abuse with impunity until 45% of black women decide to force them to stop. Fairly or unfairly, it’s always the victims who must drive change. The Misogynoir That Dares Not Speak Its Name One mostly-overlooked factor in the misogynist crimes black men commit against black women is historical African pre-transatlantic slave trade IPV. Domestic abuse advocates and woke social just-us warriors like to emphasize the breakup of African families during the slave days, but that argument is holding less water with each passing day. As it turns out, post-Civil War, American black families stayed together more, were fairly conservative, and many mens had only one baby mama—his wife. What changed for the worse for the American black family was, ironically, the 1960s and the civil rights era, which denigrated traditional ‘square, Establishment’ married life and set up a world of ‘free love’ where men of all races could tomcat around as much as they wanted. While it also released female sexuality, sleeping around was more frowned upon for women and the traditional, historical, Establishment slut-shaming ensued, nor was it what many really wanted anyway. Africa’s no picnic for wives today; studies on modern African IPV are sparse as they only began in the mid-’90s but so far they indicate a helluva lot more domestic violence than we’ve got in North America, complicated by the fact that many African women live in rural parts of their country where they’re subject to traditional African law which accepts the ‘natural’ subordination of women. This is the part of the world that, so far, holds the distinction of having invented female genital mutilation first. And several African countries can’t seem to shake the human slave trade lucre. Ancient pre-slave trade tribal customs and treatment of women snap at modern-day African women’s heels like hungry dogs. Traditional (and hardly uniquely African) practices include the idea that women are property and subject to her husband’s rule. Bride price—dowries—are paid, often with cows. Anything that issues from her womb after the marriage is his personal property. And when he dies, in some areas the widow is passed on to the brother to join his  harem. The idea of ‘respect’ for a wife is unknown in some places. All these uber-patriarchal ideas and practices have been part of the African female experience for thousands of years, and even though they were ‘invented’ or adopted elsewhere, many parts of Africa have yet to prohibit them as most of the West and some of the East has. Top Ten best African countries   for women in 2024  (Business Insider Africa) While the transatlantic slave trade negatively impacted black lives and families, it’s harder to treat it as the sole legacy with the knowledge that African-American families were much stronger between the liberation of slaves and the start of the mid-century civil rights movement. (If you think I’m wrong please feel free to state why in the comments!) Statista  reports that, “In 2022, there were about 4.15 million Black families in the United States with a single mother. This is an increase from 1990 levels, when there were about 3.4 million Black families with a single mother.” Here are some little-known facts about black families during the violent Jim Crow years: Black America had the highest marriage rate of any racial group and, as Thomas Sowell has pointed out, the largest decline of black poverty. It came to a halt, he says, and ironically, with the War On Poverty. ( Source : Hoover Institution, Not Buying It: Glenn Loury, Ian Rowe, And Robert Woodson Debunk Myths About The Black Experience In America). Since then, black marriage and commitment to family has declined considerably, and not only for black families. Marriage and fertility rates have dropped overall for decades in North America. We Westerners are neither marrying nor breeding. So I don’t intend to paint African-Americans as uniquely uncommitted to historical, traditional families, but where does misogynist, misogynoir rap and hip hop artists get it from? It doesn’t negate the fact that black women as much as any other vagina-bearing human (or whatever the hell they’re calling us this week over at Trans Central) have to decide for themselves whether they will allow  their man to hit them and also maybe kind of sort of pay attention to the kind of content he consumes or produces? I’ve already counseled women to avoid what should be the glaringly obvious: Publicly misogynist men like Andrew Tate . Just imagine how judgemental the world would be if white supremacists had black female groupies who were just dying to have sex with men who hate them! So why did Cassie Ventura endure years of abuse from Diddy? Why do any black women tolerate this shit? Taking charge of your personal safety is women’s—is everyone’s —responsibility, and they must now share the active collaboration it takes to return again and again for more abuse. This ain’t 1965. This ain’t 1865. This ain’t 1619, nor any era before that. It’s 2024, ladies, and we can’t achieve true equality until we take responsibility for ourselves, our lives, and our families, by Just Saying No to abusive men. Let someone else agree to take his shit. Yeah, even guys with amazing lives like Sean Combs. Especially guys like Sean Combs! It takes two to tango, as my mother was fond of saying: One person to abuse, and the other to agree to it. She said that back in the 1960s, folks, and she never  identified as a feminist. She hated  ‘women’s libbers’ even as she was the most influential feminist I’ve ever known. She’s the reason why Grow Some Labia exists today. So yeah, black ladies, you can Just Say No to abuse too. If you don’t want to listen to an old white Karen like me, how about Oprah Winfrey ? 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!

  • 'Saving Normal' Describes How Trans-Mania Evolved, Before It Started

    Big Pharma and doctors will literally say and do anything commercialist propaganda tells them to. La plus ça change. Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharms, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life, by psychiatrist and DSM (Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) contributor Dr. Allen Frances, was published in 2013, during the infancy of the social media-induced transgender mania we see today. Therefore, transgenderism isn’t mentioned at all, but it’s interesting that he didn’t think to include it in Chapter 6, Fads of the Future, in which he predicts the next targets of overdiagnosing, overtreating medical doctors and Big Pharma drug peddlers. He thought to include mood dysregulation disorder, formerly known as ‘tantrums’ in small children, neurocognitive mental disorder, formerly known as ‘normal slight mental decline in people who age’, ‘binge-eating disorder’, formerly known as ‘overeating’, adult ADHD (real, but overdiagnosed) and major depressive disorder, formerly known as ‘customary grief’. By 2013, the early signs of transgenderism had been around since the late oughts, but maybe he didn’t spend enough time on the Internet to notice that Tumblr was pioneering all the goofy labels to describe every maladaptive ‘gender difference’ unemployed, unemployable, infantilized young people could imagine. Frances argues that psychiatry is guilty of over-medicalizing, over-diagnosing, and over-treating what are often normal life stresses and problems for which they slap on some silly-ass label (perhaps there’s a coterie of unemployed psychiatrists on Tumblr?) to sell treatments and drugs to people who don’t actually need them. He argues for a return to recognizing that certain stresses and unpleasant feelings are perfectly normal and don’t require specialized treatment. He laments how psychiatric profession abuses have fueled the over-negativity of certain anti-psychiatry groups. He defends his profession when warranted, but the book is about all the crazes psychiatry has fueled over the years, and a pill-popping society trained for addiction with promised, but rarely delivered, quick fixes. He recounts the mental illness fads of years and centuries past: the ‘neurasthenia’ fad of the late 19th and early 20th century (vaguely, ‘weak nerves’, which served to ‘explain’ everything wrong with female complaints about anything), hysteria/conversion disorder from the same time period, the ‘70s and ‘80s MPD fad (Multiple Personality Disorder, which psychiatry now regards as bullshit) and the late 20th-century child sex abuse scandal witch hunts (unfounded ritual abuse allegations such as the McMartin Daycare and the Wee Care Nursery School cases, and overall ‘Satanic Panic’). The public was willing and ready to jump on any fad promoted by doctors eager to make a name for themselves and to make a quick buck from neurotics. Saving Normal describes the rise of Big Pharma and how it gained the power to medicalize anything negative a human being could feel. First they lobbied to change laws allowing them to market drugs directly to consumers, then by doubling the life of their patents by making only minor changes, like by tinkering with existing compounds a bit, to create a slightly different but patent-friendly drug to extend monopoly protection. When they needed a new market, the medicalization of children germinated. Primarily for behavioral issues. Frances says Big Pharma’s claims to putting billions into research is mostly bogus; where they put their dollars is marketing and lobbying for friendly changes to the existent laws prohibiting them from untethered profit-making. Gender critics will recognize the blueprint: Buying politicians; hijacking the medical profession to influence or pressure “doctors, patients, scientists, journals, professional associations, consumer advocacy groups, pharmacists, insurance companies, politicians, bureaucrats and administrators.” That certainly answers the question so many gender critics have asked: How did so many institutions get hijacked by the transgender revenue-driven complex? It happened before most of us had ever even met a so-called ‘transgender’ person. ‘Gender dysphoria’ is the new autism, ADHD and ‘aging as a disease’. As I read about the ways Big Pharma and the medical profession have vastly overblown the very real diagnosis ADHD, I considered how gender doctors are handling puberty as though it was some sort of mental disease. Normal life milestones are not ‘conditions’ to be treated. I remembered something my doctor said to me twenty years ago when I worried I might be hitting early menopause. “Don’t worry,” he said, “when the time comes we’ll be ready to treat you.” What had concerned me was that I was approaching forty and misunderstanding the normal signs of aging as something amiss. I came to realize his comment offended me. Why did menopause need to be ‘treated’, unless one was having very severe and life-impacting symptoms? I bought a book, instead about how to treat menopausal symptoms naturally through herbal and other natural products. As it turned out, I never needed it; I got lucky and my eventual menopause (perfectly on schedule) was remarkably easy. This is why I’m concerned about the mania to ‘trans’ kids who have to ‘put off’ puberty or they’ll ‘become suicidal’. Puberty, like menopause, is a perfectly natural physiological milestone; it doesn’t usually need to be ‘treated’ although it certainly requires plenty of guidance as it’s not an easy time for anyone. Puberty marks the end of childhood and a permanent push into adulthood, whether it’s welcome or not, and I suspect a lot of kids are agreeing to the highly damaging puberty blockers simply because they don’t want to grow up. Dr. Frances warns about paraphilias, which will one day contribute heavily to the transgender craze, as ‘a minefield of unintended consequences’. While he contributed to the DSM-IV, his concern was that the section on paraphilias (primarily male), was poorly worded and ‘allowed the widespread unconstitutional abuse of involuntary psychiatric hospitalization’. Since publication of his book, he has little to say about the transgender craze, which of course begs the question of whether he’s afraid of subjecting his family to physical threats by hateful transactivists. Can you blame him? For pete’s sake, science mag Nature is doubling down on trans pseudoscience, terrified of new research scientists are supposed to pursue, it’s their friggin’ job, but the woke social justice kiddies who manage Nature are afraid certain scientific inquiry might ‘pathologize’ and ‘harm’ the trans community. Read: Shed further light on uncomfortable truths that will permanently halt the Trans Train at the Zanyville station. Researchers are looking for a biological basis for trans-identity, and what if—they don’t find one? Interesting how terrified Team Trans is of exploring this theory, since a positive link would be very much in transactivists’ best interests if they could argue ‘incontrovertibly’ that ‘people are born trans’. It would be a mega-boon to the medical industry which is making untold billions off butchering children in service to The Boardroom. Team Greed is setting their financial futures for life: Creating permanent dependent patients of all ages with treatments and required supplements, never mind that one day said patients may find they can no longer pay for it themselves if Republicans take over and stop forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for genderwoo delusions. It will be too easy to argue that most of these people were born into perfectly healthy bodies, and made the decision to butcher themselves and render their bodies largely broken. I do wish Dr. Frances would speak out on this issue but he’s at retirement age and perhaps he’s hoping for a nice quiet life which he and his wife will never have if they have to field death threats and other harassment by speaking out on a subject backed by real science. Another issue Saving Normal acknowledges that bears directly on the transgender craze is how historically doctors have often ignored or not even bothered to explore the psychological problems or conditions a presenting patient may have, often in service to the fad du jour. He describes Mindy, a young woman during the Hippie Sixties who was institutionalized and treated for the then-faddish schizophrenia by a young doctor who only realized after she was discharged that her problem wasn’t schizophrenia, but the street drug abuse quite common at the time. Mindy was put through hospital hell with some similarity to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Dr. Frances admits that the young doctor prone to all-the-other-doctors-are-diagnosing-schizophrenia-so-it-must-be-cool was himself. Mindy didn’t have a childhood filled with trauma, but she turned into the moody, self-conscious, self-critical teenager many children do. Her problems with drug abuse stemmed from what appears to be the normal challenges of adolescence, and an ‘overpowering’ mother. If she wasn’t traumatized before, she was after she got drunk or high and passed out in stairwells only to find filthy toughs shoving their hands down her pants. “She taught me,” Frances writes, “to look for what’s fundamentally normal in people, not just what appears to be sick.” Frances decries how quickly doctors are willing to shove pills at their patients rather than take any time to explore issues in their lives. Is a doctor’s job only to do something, however quick-fix or piecemeal, to make someone feel better, or should it also include telling someone what they’re feeling is normal and that it will pass? Could G.P.s, I myself wonder, be better-trained in recognizing the difference between genuine psychiatric problems versus people who simply don’t know how to handle their emotional responses? Instead of trying to ‘treat’ puberty with blockers and other often permanently harmful snake oil, why not recommend resources for children to explore to ensure they’re not making a very bad decision from which there are no do-overs? Not likely something doctors are willing to do when TransPharma is selling and indoctrinating them to uncritically treat ‘gender dysphoria’ with pills and blockers and here, have some free samples! Give them to your young patients and tell them to come back for a prescription! Just repeat the hoary lie, “They’ll commit suicide, like, yesterday, if you don’t!” Saving Normal was published eleven years ago but proves itself as trenchantly critical of the newer transgender psychiatric fad as any previous ones. It’s well worth a read if you want to understand how the medical professions, both physical and psychiatric, were so easily hijacked by one of the most scientifically bankrupt medical crazes in centuries. The mentally ill were often treated with torture and execution in times past but at least the ancients could argue they didn’t know demons didn’t exist or that the human brain is the most complex creation ever. We moderns in the 21st century have reams of data from the Scientific Revolution and the lessons of the same mistakes made over and over and over again. And yet we fall for it Every. Single. Time. The medical and psychiatric professions weren’t so much ‘hijacked’ by transactivism as guided down a familiar path, and each new fad cements the process of uncritical thinking further. Fads come and go, but the psychiatric community abides by over-treatment and misdiagnosis forever. The real crime, as Frances notes, is that when ‘normal’ is pathologized, people who don’t need help receive treatment that harms rather than helps, and those who need psychiatric help the most don’t receive it. I think of the crazy indigent guy wildly accusing my friend of following him around every Toronto subway station a few years ago when he saw us talking. He turned threatening and I was scared for both of us as he is exactly the sort of person who’s not getting the help he desperately needs. Meanwhile, around the city, countless children and confused young adults are being ‘transitioned’ by medical professionals who vow to ‘do no harm’, but do— aided, encouraged, and pressured by large pharmaceutical companies whose prime directive is not to explore pre-existing psychological co-morbidities and address them, but to make quicker, ever-more insane profits. According to a new research study, the sex reassignment surgery market is expected to grow from $2.90B in 2022 to $6.3B in 2030. I wouldn’t invest just yet, though, if you’re a human psychopath seeking to strike it big in the stock market no matter how; the WPATH Files, the Cass Review, and the dialing-back of transgender medicine in Europe points very strongly toward a North American Day of Reckoning, always behind the rest of the Western world. It’s highly questionable just how lucrative this industry will be in a few more years, especially if there’s a Republican takeover in the U.S. in November. I predict bad times ahead for the transgender industrial complex. I don’t think transgenderism is going away entirely, nor do I think it should; I’ve argued in the past it can be undertaken for various good reasons, including even genuine but, I suspect, exceedingly rare gender dysphoria. Right now I’m reading a fascinating book by a trans-identified woman on what it’s like to become a man. (Expect an article eventually). He apparently is a quite passable man but ironically, still writes like a woman. So far, it’s not rah-rah-transgender-I-hate-TERFs, mostly because he transitioned before today’s trans-fashionistas were born. In fact, I chose to read it because it’s not political; I’m hoping for some interesting insights into the neuroscientific and cultural differences between men and women from someone who’s played both sides of the field. What I want to see tamed like a wild horse is the deeply dysfunctional, horribly harmful transgender medical industry, which has ruined so many lives already, and split up so many families, and often on the taxpayer’s dime. Let the delusionals pay for it themselves. Although honestly, a good shrink, an honest one still in possession of their critical thinking skills, divorced from the ‘woke social justice’ madness with which so many have already been infected, would be a better investment. I’d be more willing, as a taxpayer, to pay for 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. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • Bears vs Strange Men: Which Would *You* Rather Meet In The Woods?

    A viral TikTok meme demonstrates how skewed female beliefs about strange men have become. What's really worse? Rape or getting eaten alive? A friend pointed me toward a viral TikTok meme in which someone asked seven women which they’d rather encounter in the woods: A bear or a strange man. “Six out of seven picked the bear,” she said. I pondered the question myself. “What kind of a bear?” I asked. She shrugged. “Just a bear.” “Well, I think it depends on the bear,” I replied. “If it’s a brown or black one, I’ll take the bear, I guess. But if it’s a grizzly or a polar bear, I’ll take the man. Even if he’s a Hell’s Angel!” On further pondering I found even more personal nuance. If I’m in Canada I’ll take the strange man over even a black or brown bear, but if the man is a Hell’s Angel I’ll take the bear. If I’m in the United States, where strange men number over 150 million, I’ll take these relatively non-aggressive bears. Grizzlies or polar bears, though? I’ll take the man, every single time. Even if he’s wearing a hockey mask, with a tuft of brown hair flapping over the top, and carrying a bloody head. I don’t know if the TikToker spoke to any Canadian women, and whether they were more afraid of Canadian men than bears. I’m definitely more afraid of bears. When I took car trips with a photographer friend to Algonquin Park, north of Toronto, while he gassed up I’d flip through a book he had in the inside door pocket about how to avoid bear attacks. Algonquin Park is likely the only place I might ever encounter a bear, nice black or brown ones, and believe me, I’m no bleeding-heart woke guilt-ridden white liberal reverse bear racist. It’s because blacks and browns are relatively non-aggressive. They don’t like noise, so if you encounter one and yell a lot or bang pots together, they’ll go away. Black and brown bears don’t want any shit. Just don’t run away; then you’re prey. Grizzlies, on the other hand? You don’t want to mess with them! We don’t have them in eastern Canada. They’re found primarily in the western and far northern parts. Grizzlies are aggressive, powerful and up to 10 feet tall standing on their hind legs. They prefer a solitary life including other animals, and they do not appreciate surprise visits by humans, however accidental. And therein lies the essential element of why I will always pick the strange man over the bear. Unless I’m in 1976’s Eaten Alive!, the man isn’t going to eat me alive. On the other hand, a bear isn’t going to rape me, nor are they heavily armed. Which is why I’d choose the black or brown bear in the U.S., but the man over the grizzly. Call me crazy, but rape is survivable, and getting shot to death is an easier, quicker death than screaming off this mortal coil as someone’s lunch. In Canada, if it’s a polar bear, and I make it a point never to go anywhere near the North Pole, I’ll take the man, including the Hell’s Angel or Michael Myers (the serial killer, not the comedian, although I’d choose the comedian over any bear every single time, and then invite him to my campsite for a beer or three, eh, to thank him for not being a polar bear!) For me, it’s nuanced. For other women, not so much. The original TikTok inspired copycats, with women all over the world weighing in and sounding more afraid of their own species than the one that has yet to put one of their own kind on the moon. One woman was triggered by a man asking the question, saying with a bear you know what you’re getting. “But not all men are like that,” he points out which upsets her a little. Um, and you know what you’re getting with a generic bear, sister? I do. I vote her More Likely To Get Eaten By A Bear Than Raped. I suppose a woman who’s had a few, or a lot, of bad experiences with Those Kind Of Men will be warier of men than bears. I, on the other hand, have had no truly bad experiences with men, and zero bad experiences with wild bears. That’s because I’ve never encountered one. In Ontario, I know what to do if I don’t have bear spray or pots and pans: Stand still, head down a bit like you would with a strange, threatening dog (“I’m no danger to you, I’m submissive!”), and then sloooooowwwwwwlllly walk backwards. I know if a bear stands on his hind legs but isn’t growling or otherwise acting threatening, he’s just curious, and walking backward slowly will likely result in no blood shed. What would I do if I was really in that situation? I’d like to think I wouldn’t panic and do something stupid, but you never know until you’re eyeballing a bear who’s eyeballing you back with no cage between you. At least I know our Ontario bears aren’t out to kill me, if I loudly signal, “I DON’T WANT ANY SHIT FROM YOU AND IF YOU GET THE EFF AWAY FROM ME I’LL STOP BANGING THESE POTS!” So what would I do if I encountered a strange man? Freak out, scream, threaten to call 911 if he doesn’t immediately exit my time zone, threaten to #MeToo him on X? I’d do what I’d do if a strange bear were to encounter me: Scan him for signs of danger. Does he look like a big threatening sort? Does he look like he lives here in the woods and smells like he hasn’t bathed since the 1960s? Or is he carrying a camera, a rifle, a bow and arrow, or holding out a birdseed-laden hand to feed the Canada grey jays? I honestly think I’d be more concerned if I was in the U.S., where men are better-armed and—crazier. But all things considered, I don’t regard strange men nearly as threatening as wild animals, and I wonder about women who do. Obviously, they’ve never been toe to paw with a live, wild bear. Here’s why I mostly fear bears rather than men: I can reason with a man. I can try and make friends with a man. Even if he’s a scary, dangerous man, I learned a lesson a long, long time ago: People have a harder time killing someone they know and like. When I was a teenager, hijacking planes for political purposes was a very common threat for traveling Americans. Sometimes it was terrorists, or prisoners on the lam, who wanted the plane to divert to Cuba for asylum. I remember reading about a Middle Eastern terrorist who’d taken control of a plane and, I forget the details as it was over forty years ago, but I think he was on the tarmac and had released everyone except one guy he used for negotiation. If the negotiations failed, he would kill the guy. The hostage began talking to the terrorist during the long stretches of nothing happening. The hostage got him talking about things like his family and his home and what he wanted in life. And the hostage talked about the same: His own family, how much he loved them, what he did for a living, what he liked to do for fun. They shared stories. They had laughs together. The terrorist released the hostage and, as I recall, capitulated to the authorities. He didn’t want to kill someone he’d come to know as a fellow human being much like himself and who had become likeable: Not just some stranger whose life meant nothing to him and whatever noble cause he thought he was fighting. If it’s possible to negotiate your relationship with a terrorist, you can do it with others too. There’s no guarantee it will work. But it’s worth a try. It’s harder to hurt or kill people we’ve come to like. How are you going to make friends with a bear? Also, some encounters with scary-seeming men aren’t so scary if you don’t act scared. (Hmmmm….just like many bears!) Once at a bus stop a large, muscular, scary-looking black man approached to wait too. And he was scary-looking. Mean-looking. Tough. I’d call it ‘the face that sank a thousand ships’. He started a conversation and I remembered the guy with the terrorist. I went into Canadian mode: I showed no fear, I engaged back and we had a really nice conversation. He offered me some of his sandwich and I declined, having just had lunch. He was such a nice man! Until we got on the bus and he started a fight with others, which I feared might get physical, but it didn’t and he left me alone. My first impression was correct, but so was my first response. I showed no fear, and one on one, we had a very nice interaction. By the way, I don’t remember others provoking this loud, threatening multi-dispute. I was like, What the fuck??? What just happened here??? The man was a grizzly bear, someone who thought others wanted trouble even when they didn’t. Hyper-aggressive and God only knows what he’ll do next. What if encountered a Hell’s Angel in the woods? I’d pray to Goddess none of his compatriots were around, and, knowing a little about biker gangs from my reading—one on gangs in Canada, and Hunter S. Thompson’s book about the Hell’s Angels—I’d do what I did with the bus stop grizzly bear: Do my best to show no fear, engage him in conversation, treat him like a normal human being, and do my best not to trigger him. I don’t know if it would work or not, but an ex-biker I used to know said if you treat bikers like equals they’ll most likely respond better. If a Hell’s Angel and I encountered a grizzly bear in the wilds of British Columbia, I’ll bet we’d band together in an instant for the literal fight of our lives. The only thing that binds humans together faster than humor is survival. And geez, ladies. If you’ve never encountered a wild bear, you have no idea what you’re up against. Or not. 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!

  • "Hey, Where Are You From?" Must Become Socially Acceptable Again

    Screw the social just-us warriors. Where you hail from is as much a part of your genuine 'identity' as which pronouns du jour you appropriate! Newton Crosby: Where are you from, anyway? Ben Jabituya: Bakersfield, originally. Newton Crosby: No, I mean your ancestors. Ben Jabituya: Oh, them. Pittsburgh. — Short Circuit, 1986 movie “Where you from?” I asked the dude with the accent who’d just shown up. “Me and Dennis are from the U.S.!” I was in Montreal a few weeks ago, at the Mont Royal drumming scene where a bunch of hippie Montrealers gather every Sunday afternoon to whack the skins into the evening, with a dance pit for anyone stupid enough to dance in 27C weather. (I’m stupid enough.) I hung out out with a vendor named Dennis from Miami (Hey! I’m from Orlando!) and we chatted for like an hour and a half before this other guy showed up. Without pitching a hissy fit about microaggressive marginalization, he simply answered. “Columbia!” I cried. “I understand it’s a great place to retire. A friend of mine is learning Spanish for it.” Antiracist pro tip: When you ask someone where they’re from, find something good to say about their country, no matter how politically unpopular. “Saudi Arabia! Birthplace of the famous Caliph Haroun al-Rashid!” “Russia! Home of Vladimir Nabokov, who wrote one of the most beautifully-written books ever!” “Sudan! The Kingdom of Kush!” [Dear Goddess don’t let him ask me what I know about the Kingdom of Kush, which I think is like weed or something!] And if you don’t know anything about the person’s country, just smile and go, “Wakanda! Awesome!” and then Google it later. There’s definitely a wrong way and many better ways to ask the Unquestionable, with bad reasons and good reasons for asking, too. A painfully funny lesson on how not to ask people where they’re from. Also, it’s pretty obnoxious to just walk up to someone and ask them. An underway conversation is better. But damn, is this a funny (if slightly immature) way to handle it! Every American I told I was moving to Toronto informed me how marvelously wonderfully multicultural, diverse, and cosmopolitan the city is. I got tired of hearing about it. But it’s one of Toronto’s biggest appeals: It’s not perfect, but diverse people get along here better than Americans. I like to joke that if I wanted to be a racist it would be difficult because then I’d have to hang out with ‘my own kind’, and I didn’t know enough white people to do that. We’re the New York City of Canada, with just about every culture imaginable with over 140 languages spoken. When you’re more relaxed about differences they become less noticeable, less important, and we come together rather than self-segregate. We no longer walk on eggshells worrying about saying or doing the wrong thing. Or worse yet, engage in embarrassing virtue-signaling. “Thank God my laundry detergent isn’t racist!” But wait, yes it is! It promotes segregation! The ‘woke’ deem it racist to ask where people come from, but it’s racist to hierarchize people by their skin color, religion, ethnicity or culture as the wokenazis do every damn day, arbitrarily assigning ‘oppression’ and ‘victimhood’ status, the way right-wing identitarians hierarchize people by assigning biological inferiority. Where you’re from is as intrinsic to your personality and existence and identity as what you do for a living. As I’m fond of saying, you can take the American out of America but you can never take America out of the American. One’s birth country is a part of us that binds us forever to the mother country the way you can never truly deny your birth family no matter how much you cut them out of your life. Unless you emigrate to a foreign country as a very young child, I don’t know that you ever feel ‘truly’ part of your adopted culture. Some people don’t like talking about their culture, and some do. “It’s not my job to educate you,” some sneer, and they’re right. But others love talking about their culture and will happily answer questions and ask questions of yours, too. They’re the ones you’ll make friends with. We’ll bring about racial equity before the ‘woke’ ever will. Despite the woke. Mutual education brings us to greater comfort, then to laughing together, comparing our cultures, and there’s no greater bond than shared humor. Not racist humor, shared humor over the silliness inherent in all cultures. Human beings: When we look at ourselves a certain way, and especially if we’ve had a few beers and squint a little, we’re a hilarious species! This is actually what woke social justice warriors fear: That we will come together and lose our fear of each other and those silly-ass differences. They thrive on difference and perceived threat, just like the far right. They merely differ on who to hate. SJWs hate white people, and ‘whitenize’ others in their ever-devolving and increasingly racist view of humanity. Jews are the new white people despite being not uniformly white; Asians are getting whiteneized as a consequence of being too successful. The social just-us warriors (because they only want justice for themselves, not for all) derive their racism from lack of skin color, as the far right derives it from darker shades. I’m coming to associate racist political extremism with mental illness, not because political ideology is crazy, but because political extremism is almost always expressed as a sublimated reaction or resistance to something else entirely. Jonathan Haidt’s new book The Anxious Generation speaks of how the people reporting the highest degree of mental health problems are young liberal, progressive women, which begs various questions: Is liberalism a mental illness or are people with mental illness encouraged to express their unrelated, pre-existing, sublimated anger via ‘social justice’ causes? Or do various political ideologies work well enough until others take good ideas too far and turn them into bad ideas? It’s very chicken-or-egg. I can make as much of an argument for MAGA as an expression of mental illness as I can for wokeness. Like, supporting limited but intelligent immigration is fine until it turns into a fearful Well some Muslims commit terrorist attacks so we need to ban ALL Muslims, or, Guns are needed for protection of family and property, and THERE’S NO GREATER THREAT TO EITHER THAN—EVERYONE! And, the George Floyd riots were bad but January 6th was just a fractious Capitol Hill tour! Hang the black guys, free the white ones, especially that gay cutie in the fur and horns! Why we need to ask The Question a lot more Asking people where they’re from is how interesting conversations start. One of the first things I did in Canada was to join social group MeetIn Toronto to make new friends. The others were there for the same reason. One of the first questions we asked, because like 90% of the people there hadn’t been born in Toronto, and a fair chunk of us not in Canada either was, “Where are you from? Oh really? How long have you been here?” Or I’d start chatting with someone at the bus stop or in the mall and I’d share I’m from the U.S. Sometimes they’d share where they were from, sometimes I’d ask, usually if they had an accent. Once another immigrant and I share where we’re from, we start laughing about what a pain in the ass moving to Canada is, and ask about each other’s citizenship. One Egyptian guy asked me which policy I liked better: American assimilation or Canadian multiculturalism. We had a really interesting exchange about it. The hysterics from the social just-us set is all for fear that somewhere in North America, there are two or three people who are super-racist and only want to know where you’re from so they can ruin your day by micro-aggressing you or something. According to the Harvard Business Review, (yeah, we should totally take anything Harvard says about racism seriously!), asking where someone is from—are you ready for this?—quickly turns into a microaggression and “…reduces someone’s identity to a social group, a city, or a culture, and that can trigger feelings of alienation. Microaggressions can also reinforce differences and magnify unequal power structures.” As opposed to, say, reducing someone’s identity to skin color, sexual or gender preference, quantified bloodline blend to identify distasteful white blood, and other social just-us reinforced differences correlating to woke construct power rankings? It’s an assumed microaggression to ask someone where they’re from, but not for their pronouns or for their students to stand on the campus green and call for the elimination of another group of people they don’t like before the first body on the side they’re on falls, which absolutely positively does NOT NOT NOT reduce someone’s identity to an imagined group color or political position. But what if you’re white? It’s dicier to ask The Question. I understand why. There truly can be an uglier, racist assumption that if you’re not white, you’re not ‘really’ a Canadian or an American. My reason for asking is to connect with my fellow immigrants. We all have a story to tell as to how we came to Canada. Or America. It can be a microaggression, for sure, and I understand how it can alienate or offend others. I don’t like, either, the sort of anti-immigrant rants that are just about how “My neighborhood doesn’t look like me anymore.” I’m not an obvious immigrant with my skin color or my accent, so my response is usually something like an icy, “I’m an immigrant. So bite me!” There are good ways to ask The Question, even when you’re white. How about a big smile and offering where you’re from first? As soon as you react positively to whatever the other person responds, the conversation never goes awry. And it can be beneficial, too. An Indian woman I got friendly with on the train ride home shared an Uber with me since it turned out we were headed for the same neighborhood. I asked the driver where he was from after we chatted for a few minutes. “I’m from the United States, she’s from India,” I volunteered. “Where are you from? Oh, Jordan? Wow, that’s awesome, have you ever been to the ruins of Petra? It’s on my bucket list to visit before I die!” The driver was happy to share more about his culture and asked me to connect with him on LinkedIn so he could offer advice whenever I decided to go. And, he was a business marketing major who had trouble finding a job, and I know freelance agencies where he might get that critical experience everyone wants before they hire you. So it’s a good thing I asked, and that we chatted. Knowing he was an immigrant gave both my new Indian friend and I some perspective on how challenging it can be to get a real job when you’re an immigrant. I ran into discrimination when I first moved to Canada too, as an American. Canadians can be weird. I had the same conversation with another Indian Lyft driver just last week. He needs help finding a job, too. Immigrants always need help finding a job here, since I moved here nineteen years ago. La plus ça change. I’ll bet he’s glad I asked Da Question. He asked for even more advice. The woke left is the other half of our ugly racial division problem. Those of us who are non-hardcore on either side of the political divide can reach out to our fellow humans and bond with them. We have to reject the political extremisms that ruin our countries. We have to fight ugly identity politics. The blinders have fallen; everyone’s side has a wing of Deplorables. Not everyone can afford to travel to other countries and experience different cultures. So let’s ask questions. We can tear down woke-constructed barriers and learn to be less afraid of each other by learning about other parts of the world whether we ever go there or not. It’s Not Your Job To Educate Others, But Do It Anyway The ‘woke’ are psychologically damaged people forever seeking channels for their outrage. It’s one thing to fight racism, and another to be disappointed when you can’t find it. Social just-us has a vested interest in never ‘achieving victory’, even when they have: If they acknowledge we’ve won a lot of major battles, if they admit America and Canada aren’t as segregated and hateful as they once were, what have they got to live for? Here’s one suggestion: How about climate change, which affects everyone, regardless of social condition? The world leader recently abandoned it to become an antisemitic Regressive Left Hamas groupie. Believe me, climate change will keep any SJWs out of trouble for a good century or more. Tell me where you’re from in the comments! But only if you feel comfortable. Hey, I might be able to help you find a job….! 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!

  • Women & Power: Would We Be As Good Running The World As We Think?

    Or would we find whole new ways to screw it up? I’ve been on a WKRP in Cincinnati kick lately. A running gag of the late 70s, early 80s TV show was badly-dressed skanky sales manager Herb Tarlek, who chased beautiful receptionist Jennifer Marlowe around the office. Today, such nonsense wouldn’t be tolerated but forty-five years ago office sexual harassment was quite the norm. I myself worked with a Herb Tarlek in radio, except he was the news director. I got to pondering female power poorly wielded after one episode which offered a twist: Program director Andy Travis finds himself romantically targeted by evil station owner Mrs. Carlson, mother of the station manager. Mrs. Carlson is played to diabolical, whiskey-voiced perfection by the late showgirl and movie actress Carol Bruce. The episode is so good I watched it again the following night to more closely scrutinize the dynamics between the two, not to mention their acting. Gary Sandy (Andy) was phenomenal. I don’t know much about reverse professional sexual harassment, but having experienced the usual kind myself, Sandy nailed it. It starts with news director Les Nessman spreading the rumor Andy is dating Mrs. Carlson; he insists they’re not, but something is off in the way he responds. If it’s just business, as he only sort of insists, he’d be a lot more relaxed and forthcoming. But his answers are tight and uncomfortable; something is wrong. It unfolds he’s been meeting with her, hat extended, for money to buy a new transmitter. Somehow or other she finagles him into going out to dinner and plies him with martinis at her mansion. Events spiral out of control the way they often do for women. Andy’s in his thirties but he’s little better than a twenty-something female ingenue with Mrs. Carlson, a much older woman with a penchant for cruelty who enjoys being seen in public with an attractive man with ‘good hair’ and ‘good teeth’. Andy reminded me of me in my early twenties, dealing with my own Herb Tarlek (a married boss), and another married co-worker with whom I slid into a weird situation because I was too young and naive to realize that young single women simply can’t ‘be friends’ with an older married man. I was also harassed more seriously by a boss outside of radio. Just imagine being in the car when he puts his hand on your leg and wants to know if you’re available for dinner sometime. And oh, his wife is the president of the company. The dynamics between an increasingly uncomfortable Andy and Mrs. Carlson are quite similar to how it unfolds for women. It never got as critical for me as it did for Andy but I particularly watched his reactions as Mrs. Carlson preyed on him, cat-and-mouse. With his facial expressions and stony, sometimes downcast eyes, I recognized the mild paralysis when you’re entirely out of your element with someone who holds power over you. I recognized a man who mistook an older woman’s early predations for ‘doing business’, as Herb Tarlek the sales manager did—wining and dining his clients. Except Mrs. Carlson was footing the date bills while grooming Andy to be her lover, and when she grasps his arm at one point while her son is in the room and tight-grinned commands Andy to “Please drop back later this evening,” the live studio audience audibly gasps. I’ll bet a lot of women felt the same chill I did. I never was in quite that kind of a cobra clutch but I might have been had my Herb Tarlek not gotten fired the same week I was hired. The boss in the car ended our shared rides when he tried to kiss me as he dropped me off in the parking lot for my car. Mrs. Carlson knows exactly what she’s doing, the way the supremely entitled Mad Men were, the way Demi Moore’s character did while sexually harassing Michael Douglas’s character and then filing a false sexual harassment claim against him post-rejection in 1994’s Disclosure, based on a true story. As Douglas’s lawyer observes to Moore’s character: “Ms. Johnson, the only thing you have proven is that a woman in power can be every bit as abusive as a man!” Twelve years after an AIDS joke about South Africa launched the era of ‘cancel culture’, women have proven conclusively that when women dominate, the blood still flows, if more figuratively. I’ve watched the evolution of women in politics and the workplace for over forty years, particularly on the Web. We really have come a long way, baby. The early corporate Web was pretty Wonder Bread and phallocratic, but then (white) female faces infiltrated website leadership links—stereotypically clustered in traditionally female corporate HR, communications and marketing. Then the male faces got darker. Then they got a little more chicky. And even darker-chicky. Now I see more female presidents, CEOs and CFOs. A ton of women run their own businesses, often in female-traditional companies—cosmetics, wellness and healthcare, marketing agencies. But female faces lead technology, manufacturing and automotive too (we did lean in, Sheryl Sandberg!) In politics, I experienced the same headrush many feminists did during the 2018 Blue Wave, a mega-backlash against the Pussygrabber-Elect. I was exhilarated to see the new Squad, led by a Hispanic New York bartender, all of whom I now excoriate for being Cheerleaders for the Trans-Patriarchy. I’m not sure what glimpse of female power robotic Hillary Clinton offered, given how intensely self-protective she was, never giving Republicans the tongue-lashing or fifty they deserved. I expect her handlers told her it would kill her chances. The road not taken. Cancel culture, exemplifed by the current yay-for-Hamas campus ‘protests’ (against what, exactly, free speech? Peace? Anti-Islamofascism?) offers a preview. It’s Mean Girls female, and female aggression centers on relationship and isolation. Mean girls remove a rival or a friend with ostracism who has fallen out of favour, turning her into a social pariah. Boys and men don’t understand because they don’t work that way. Relationships are extremely important to females, and we’ll do anything, including subordinating our own desires, to preserve relationships. I was reminded of this in the WKRP episode in which shy journalism graduate Bailey Quarters applies for the news director assistant job, which threatens and angers chauvinist Les Nessman; rather than standing up to him, she backs down, saying she doesn’t want the job, inviting Andy’s wrath as he ‘went to bat’ for her with Mr. Carlson. I bet a black man would have fought harder in a similar situation, because men are more inclined to stick up for what they want. It’s a huge psychological weakness for women to care so much about relationships. It harms our ability to negotiate with men and gives power to nastier women who seek to destroy rivals’ lives and reputations. A world in which women ruled would likely result in fewer wars, but a higher suicide rate. I do believe men and women in integrated power offer us the best of all possible worlds. I truly believe we both have unique, sex-based gifts, talents, and thought processes that complement each other. Men’s resourcefulness, courage, logical thinking, motivation and competitive drive to win has driven human civilization for thousands of years; their huge mistake was in subordinating the other half of the human race and wasting their incredible brain power. Women’s penchant for compassion, grace, solidarity, courtesy, consideration, empathy, and helping others to ‘save face’ are talents men should cultivate more. A strictly stereotypical male existence, as exemplified by ‘men’s rights’ activist Andrew Tate and the cardboard wannabe NFT action hero Donald Trump are toxic and harmful to men. It’s landed one in jail and the only reason the other probably won’t be is because he’s an ex-President, and maybe the next one. Ostracizing others from the morally bankrupt fundamentalist ‘social justice’ religion is nothing less than a traditionalist medieval witch hunt wielded by females as feline as the description ‘catty’ suggests—evil creatures prone to torturing weaker ones for fun just like their animal counterparts. I shudder to think of what a Matriarchy would look like. When women began ‘invading’ male workspaces in the WKRP era, books counseled them on how to be more like men: Games Your Mother Never Taught You was a bestseller. I remember it advised women to have suits tailored with inside pockets so they didn’t need to carry around a purse. They were also counseled to communicate like men, to speak in sports and war metaphors. “We’re going to hit a home run with this account!” “Let’s get to the war room and create a battle plan!” If you wanted to succeed in business, be more like men. It was good advice for the times, but this ain’t 1985 anymore. According to Statistics Canada, women’s participation in the workforce is 61% with 9.6 million women employed in Canada in September 2023. And according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “57.4 percent of all [U.S.] women participated in the labor force,” in 2019. Women are far under-represented as CEOs and I’m not sure we’ll ever achieve equity because many women do value family and relationships over business success. While some men are threatened by societal ‘feminization’, I think we still need more feminine values, not less. But not to the exclusion of male values and perspectives. Men just get shit done in a way women often can’t—we haven’t learned yet. Women in corporate power can certainly abuse it. What’s interesting about the dynamics of abuse is how remarkably similar they look. I don’t know if men set the evolutionary standards for abuse, but I have a sneaking suspicion it’s more of a human neuro-structure. What I do know from growing up female is the politics of personal destruction on the relationship level are all-too-familiar in cancel culture, with a similar desire to destroy. Narcissism plays a huge role in power abuse, and research on sex differences reveals not much narcissistic sex difference. Men tend to score a little higher but not appreciably; we ladies can admit shamefacedly that we’ve at least achieved equity there. Victims, male or female, react remarkably similarly: They’re afraid to report abuse, they’re not sure what they did wrong. Men on the business end of sexual harassment find themselves without the lengthy history of female shared experience to guide them. Women are quick to blame the victim just as men are: At one point Mrs. Carlson tells her son, when he confronts her about Andy, “All of this is in Mr. Travis’s head.” In the real world one New York law firm speaks specifically to men being harassed by women. “…There are a growing number of cases arising out of men reporting that they have been sexually harassed by women. Sexual harassment of men by women is actionable in New York City. You should not be embarrassed to come forward. Sexual harassment often arises out of the abuse of power rather than sexual desire.” Sound familiar, ladies? When I ponder women in power, one thing I’ve maintained since college is: Humans suck, universally. I genuinely mean it. No humans are more bigoted than any other; it’s a tribalist conceit that ‘we’ are better than ‘they’. We’re not. October 7th has unleashed the hate and bigotry the left has always harbored just as Charlottesville unleashed it on the right. The campus protests across North America show a preponderance of women; a Washington Times opinion writer notes that college campuses are more female than they were decades ago; male students predominated in the ‘60s and ‘70s because there were fewer women; now the tables have flipped. And female protesters have demonstrated they can meet men head-to-head in calling for the genocide of others and in old-school right-wing-style antisemitism. The writer also speculates that Hamas finds it easy to emotionally manipulate women with particularly strategic social media promotions that the Jews are child-killers. Granted some children have died in the ongoing war but the death toll numbers, which come primarily from Hamas, a/k/a ‘Gazan health authorities’, keep insisting that one-third of the dead are children; and ‘child’ also includes young terrorists or anyone else Hamas deems useful to include. And the overall numbers have been revised down by others who aren’t ‘Gazan health authorities’. Who knew? Women can be trained as terrorists just as good commonplace men were once trained to run German death camps. If the campus protests aren’t brought under control, women may well lead actual pogroms. Women have become abusers, terrorist promoters, and terrorism deniers in the wake of October 7th. We still have a long way to go, baby. One day I may write my sort of response to The Handmaid’s Tale, in which women run the world in the future to the detriment of men, whom they’ve learned to control. It’s been rattling around my brain for thirty years; maybe that will become my post-retirement project. In the meantime, I keep remembering Nancy Pelosi, who dominated Donald Trump for four years and was ready to attack domestic terrorists with her killer stilletto heels on January 6th. At age 80. I want to be Nancy, not Hillary, when I grow up! Now that’s the future of female power. 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!

  • I Want To Slap The Next Lib Who Tells Me To Vote Against Women

    How dare woke liberals ask me to vote against my own interests to keep Washington Trump-free. I am Woman, hear me tell them all to go to hell! Nikki Haley nailed it in January. It remains to be seen whether either party will have the balls and labia to follow through on her observation. "Most Americans do not want a rematch between Biden and Trump," Haley told a crowd of supporters before she dropped out of the presidential race. "The first party to retire its 80-year-old candidate is going to be the one who wins this election." I agree. Except I don’t think either party will. Last year I wrote about how I won’t vote for Biden this time. I’m voting independent. Or something. I don’t know who will ultimately be on the ballot from my home state of Connecticut, but if it’s just Trump or Biden I won’t vote in the presidential race. I want to encourage other liberals—true liberals, not ‘woke’ anti-progressives—to do the same. Of course, the Kool-Aid drinkers and those liberals who don’t think as much about politics as they used to are mad at me. I get the same tired petulant reply: “If you don’t vote for Biden it’s a vote for Trump!” I recently mixed it up with an old friend who said this, then he cut the phone conversation short. He said he had things to do. He never has ‘things to do’. He’s retired, so he has even less things to do than he did a year ago, when he always had time to talk because all I ever interrupted was book-reading or movie-watching. I tell my fellow liberals what I’m going to do in order to make them think. Thinking is as out of fashion in some circles on the left as it is for some on the right. “Women are half the country, Dennis,” I said. “Joe Biden’s pro-trans positions are extremely anti-feminist, and being pro-Roe isn’t good enough anymore. Women need more than just a return to abortion access. We need our remaining rights and safety preserved and defended, and the Democrats are no longer willing to do that. Even the female Congresswomen are anti-feminist, despite ‘identifying’ as feminists.” This is a word we need to use more with ideologues who claim to be something they’re not. ‘Identify’. I’ve begun to use it in relation to the Religious Right. There’s no way to be a Christian and a Trump supporter. I mean seriously, who would Jesus vote for? That guy? ‘Identifying,’ used with the right inflection, communicates to the other person their talk is cheap. “I understand, you identify as a Christian,” I say. Walk the walk, baby. That goes for everyone. Especially so-called ‘liberal’ ‘progressive’ ‘feminists’. My friend isn’t super-‘woke’, but he’s begun showing the political fatigue I find sets in as we approach our golden years. I couldn’t understand why, when Mom was my age, she grew less interested in politics. She just stopped caring. I get it now. Mostly I’m tired of being expected to save the world from Donald Trump by people on the left who expect women to take one for the team, once again, and throw each other under the bus by electing the guy who supports men who claim to be women and work to hurt us every bit as much as the right and its handmaids. You want me to vote Democrat? Give me a candidate with the balls or labia to stand up to the woke-mad authoritarians in The Squad, and other illiberals that have commandeered the soul of the party via the misogynist, homophobic, deeply traditionalist trans movement. I’ll vote for the brainworm-addled conspiracy-loving cheap Bobby Kennedy knockoff or whatever other dimwit is on my ballot before I’ll vote for Trump or Grandpa ‘I Do Everything My Woke Staff Members Tell Me To Do’ Biden. I am Woman, hear me tell ‘libs’ to go to hell I’ve had quite enough of the left’s misogyny. Biden’s latest blow against women’s rights makes me want to bitch-slap any liberal who dutifully mouths, “If you don’t vote for Biden it’s a vote for Trump!” Biden’s new rules around Title IX mandate that it’s okay to discriminate against women and girls, who should just STFU about their ‘rights’ and ‘safety’. Title IX bans sex discrimination at all federally-funded institutions, which wasn’t much of a problem until Idiot America swallowed the notion that humans can magically change into the opposite sex pretty much by verbal fiat. (Please note: I now identify as an 18-year-old 85-lb drop-dead gorgeous supermodel. My pronouns are ‘Hot Stuff’, ‘Venus’ and ‘O Babelicious One’. Please send all panting, desperate marriage proposals to superbabegrowsomelabia@gmail.com!) As customary for the Woke Brigade, Title IX, as of August 1st, will prioritize the ‘rights’ of trans-identified men’s over women’s. When it says you can’t discriminate against someone on the basis of ‘gender identity’, it means you can’t stop fully male-equipped cross-dressing men from using sex-segregated facilities. Suck it, bitches! Several Republican states are suing. Guess what Donald Trump promises to do if he’s re-elected? Roll back Biden’s Title IX protections for ‘transgender’ students. I approve. There’s nothing Trump can say or do to induce me to vote for him, but I’ll cheer for him when he deserves it. And if he rolls back ‘gender-affirming’ care for children and teens, all the better. Children shouldn’t be ‘transitioning’. They should be learning language skills, geography, social studies, math, and above all , history and SCIENCE. Not CRT oppressor-oppression nonsense and genderwoo fetishism. Suck it, Democrats! I’m fed up with ‘progressive’ obsession with ‘trans rights’. I’m all for everyone’s rights insofar as they don’t put anyone’s lives and safety in danger. Transwomen are men. Trans rights are men’s rights. We’ve historically not allowed men in women’s bathrooms and changing rooms because women are exceedingly vulnerable when they’ve got their pants down or their clothes off and men have historically attacked women in such circumstances. Just ask Third World women who have to relieve themselves in the bushes at night. It increases their risk of getting raped, because guess who’s waiting for them. Stall walls aren’t enough to keep women and girls safe, either. No, boys. Males need to stay out of women’s private areas. If gay men can use the men’s facilities, so can trans-identified men. Telling women who’ve suffered sexual trauma by men to simply put their concerns aside because sexual predation in such places ‘almost never happens’, even though it does, more than they admit, is the very height of traditional male arrogance, and any female fauxminist who supports him should be shamed from one end of X to the other. Here’s A Running List Why ‘Transwomen’ Don’t Belong In Women’s Spaces Howzabout ‘transwomen’ ‘reframe’ their self-conception to think about the rights, needs, and feelings of others before themselves? Which is a consummately female way to think. Take notes, boyz. You’ve got a lot to learn. Why is it always women who are expected to accommodate men? According to The Free Press, the breastfeeding support group La Leche League now accepts any male who identifies as ‘female’ or ‘non-binary’ whether they’re breastfeeding or not. (And yes, men can now, with a lot of medical help.) Women are now forced to pull out a breast in front of strange men at meetings. This is on you, Democrats, progressives, and wokies. This is why women like me, not to mention many liberal men, aren’t going to vote for your Alpha Male this November. You’ve allowed the trans movement, primarily sexual fetishist men, to erode women’s right to say no to men. That’s why we don’t trust ‘progressives’ to keep the pedophiles away. We know pervs will eventually get the progs to offer up their own kid in service to what will one day be defined as a ‘sexual identity’ and that children have the ‘right’ to be violated by primarily teenage or adult human males. Claims that sexual predation incidents in women’s private spaces are ‘right-wing propaganda’ are actually left-wing propaganda. The far-left ‘progressives’ simply won’t acknowledge, and probably never will, how grievously wrong they are about ‘sex changing’ and how easily manipulated they are by clever men. Title IX doesn’t address male participation on female sports teams, but the Biden administration has made it very clear it supports it. You have to be blindingly stupid to not see how this is an attempt to destroy women’s sports. What girl or woman will even bother trying to compete if she’s guaranteed a loss against some cross-dresser on her team? Or worse, risks serious injury by some big galoot in a wig? These aren’t trivial, silly-ass ‘culture war’ concerns. Prioritizing ‘trans rights’ that men haven’t had since pre-Second Wave feminism is a huge step toward further eroding women’s personal autonomy and bodily integrity, in lockstep with progressives’ new allies on the far right. The right has near-eradicated women’s access to safe abortions. Even if she’s raped. What certain men want is more important than what women want, and deep in some male brains is the ancient notion, encoded in the Bible, that a fetus is the father’s property. As it turns out, the left’s misogynists aren’t much different and have now been empowered by the trans movement to join forces to further erase female agency. In the end, many men will band together non-politically in service to male sexual pleasure—the importance of which they can all agree on. Which is that women should service penises, however men want. Period. Just like it was in the ‘good ol’ days’ the right longs for. And is simply more vocal about. I’m done, kids. I’m sixty years old and I stopped feeling compassion for Americans two Presidents ago. And these are my people. My birth country. But goddammit, people, women are the most marginalized people ever: Enslaved, dominated, and used at sexual will for 12,000 years. Those of us who aren’t ‘woke’ are tired of it. We’re exhausted. And in the twentieth century we made some real advances. We were always resisted by conservatives but now so-called ‘liberal’, ‘feminist’ men and their dizzy female allies have joined them. I’m not voting for Trump, but I’m not voting for Biden, and if Trump wins, BLAME YOURSELVES FIRST. YOU did this. Suck it, bitches. And c’mere. Hold your face still for just a moment. 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!

  • 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!

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