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

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

  • What If The Transgender Movement Evolved More Honestly?

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

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

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

  • Some Rape Victims Emerge Stronger, Not Permanently Debilitated

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

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

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

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

    Persephone Phoenix shares how women need to follow their own hero cycle. 'You go through hell and you triumph in the end. No one will rescue you: You have to rescue yourself. Here’s how I did it.' I am so pleased to introduce my friend Persephone Phoenix who has kindly allowed me to make her Grow Some Labia’s very first guest post. She prefers to remain anonymous to protect the innocent from the vengefully guilty. I met Persephone on another blogging platform years ago and we bonded over a similar power feminist value system—a tool of Da Patriarchy (dun dun DUNNNN!!!!) she’s ain’t :) We met once for dinner in Toronto before she moved to the States with her current (and, I hope, her last and lasting!) husband for his new job. What I love about her life is she was in an abusive marriage but she finally ‘grew some labia’ and said The hell with this! and LEFT! To be fair, she wasn’t in as grave a situation as other women trapped in marital hell so don’t take this as a ‘should’; that if you’re currently in a bad situation, you ‘should’ do the same. We don’t know what you ‘should’ do but we DO want you to understand that you have made and are making choices along the way. Persephone decided to leave. If you want to but you can’t, there’s help at the end of this article. I will shut up now and let Persephone tell her story, in her own way, including what she learned about taking back her power from an unworthy man. Part II concludes it on Saturday. When I was a high school English teacher, I taught a unit in grade ten English called “The Hero’s Journey.” The students read traditional myths, modern short stories, and viewed recent films, all through the lens of Joseph Campbell’s version of the hero cycle via Carl Jung. Versions of this symbolic system are used everywhere today, including in psychotherapy. It’s a popular theory that has become ubiquitous since Campbell published his seminal book in 1987.vgv Infographics of the cycle are all over the internet. Here’s one: It basically outlines how someone becomes a hero, or the best version of themselves. It’s as easy to apply this system to the ancient Greek myth of Theseus as it is to apply it to the story of Martin Luther King’s fight against racism in the 1960s (one year I showed the film Selma in my class). Fay Weldon’s 1983 novel The Life and Loves of a She-Devil, for example, noticeably follows the pattern. It’s one of the few feminist novels I read in the eighties that had the heroine take charge of her life once she realized her husband was an abusive dick. It may have even inspired me to leave my own oppressive dick of a husband. Anyone can apply the hero’s journey to their own life; you can easily cast your own struggles with adversity into a compelling story if you look at your life a certain way. There’s the rub; many young women today, coached by feminist theories, prefer to see themselves as victims of male aggression and oppression. Any pushback against this mentality is often seen as ‘blaming the victim.’ In so doing, they trap themselves needlessly in abusive relationships. The call to adventure: I meet a new man who is open to starting a family with me. I met my first husband at a restaurant where we both worked. We began dating. He was a recent immigrant, and he impressed me with his work ethic and discipline. He was also very handsome. He showed few hints of his fiery temper while he was courting me. If there were any serious red flags, I completely ignored them. He also said he wanted children, which was very important to me. Why the disaster happened in the first place, or how I accidentally crossed into the underworld or unknown world. I married this man at age 24. Our daughter was born when I was 25. Our relationship had developed quickly—too quickly. I was young and naive, and had also endured trauma from my abusive and neglectful parents. According to classic psychological parlance, I had unconsciously married my more negative parent— my mother. To be fair, my husband had also endured trauma; he was an immigrant from Iran who arrived in Canada as a refugee in the early ‘80s—right after the Iran/Iraq war. Not only was there a terrible war he could have been forced to fight in, he had also grown up in a violent, repressive society where women were routinely forced to wear the Muslim hijab or be subject to violence on the streets, and could also be beaten and killed for adultery. His father was an officer in the Iranian military and his younger brother was sent to the front to be cannon fodder (he miraculously survived). I will give him that pass—I know now that he was possibly more damaged than I was. I won’t give him a pass for how he treated me or our daughter- that’s on him. He was a narcissist who never engaged in any kind of self-reflection and his emotionally abusive treatment of me was not excusable. I got pregnant and also got started on my road of trials. The abuse started during my pregnancy. He felt stressed at having a baby in the first year of our marriage, so he felt justified in expressing all his spleen whenever the anxiety of responsibility hit him. He could be loving one minute and enraged the next. One time in about my seventh month, we were riding the elevator in our apartment building. We had been having a normal conversation when I said something like, “When the baby comes, we should…” He looked at me and said with fury, “I don’t want the baby!” I was floored; it was a little late in the game to be saying this when we had agreed that I would have the baby right after I showed him the pregnancy test. I thought it was settled. Turns out, no, he was actually pissed at me for being pregnant. Brimming with pregnancy hormones, I started crying. He got angry with me for crying. Bringing up baby or living in the belly of the whale This was the beginning of the abuse. After the baby was born, I spent most of my time isolated in our apartment while he worked six or seven days a week. I was caring for a newborn, with no experience and no help from my own mother who lived in a nearby city, and who was too absorbed in her own problems to care about mine. My wonderful sister stayed with me to help for a week, but she had her own baby and a life in a town two hours away. Even though I was overwhelmed with caring for a beautiful but colicky infant, I tried to do my share in our home. It was a losing battle. Sometimes I left the dishes unwashed (we had no dishwasher). He would take a picture of the messy kitchen, have the film developed, and shame me with the picture. The rest of my daughter’s infancy is a bit of a blur. He was rarely home. She didn’t sleep. One thing he would do was put her in her car seat at night when he got home from his restaurant shift and drive her around for miles until she finally fell asleep. This was helpful. Unfortunately, it was literally the only thing he did. He claimed he couldn’t change her diapers because the smell made him sick. Every time he ‘tried’ he would begin a dramatic retching performance so that I wouldn’t make him change her. I simply gave up trying to get him to contribute to her care beyond putting her to sleep at night. Oh, and I couldn’t help with that, because he actively prevented me from learning to drive. Making sure he diminished my light and our daughter’s light so we wouldn’t leave: sensing the abyss Our daughter transformed into an adorable little girl with curly dark brown hair and a mischievous laugh. She was literally hilarious. If I said something silly, she would say, “You’re fordicalos, Mommy!” (She meant ‘ridiculous’). She ‘wrote’ her own version of Cinderella when she was four. I would staple together pieces of paper into a book. She would illustrate the story with child-style pictures and then dictate the text that went with each picture: Cinderella lived with her two stepsisters. She was getting married the next day. "Or is it the day after that?,” she reminded to herself. For Christmas, she got a wedding dress and some shoes. She married the prince and the two stepsisters became the girl grand dukes. And they all lived happily ever after. The end. She had brilliantly re-conceived the original story so that no one was mean to anyone. That’s how innocent and good she was. And creative. What was his reaction to this story? “Not funny.” Much like Joe Dimaggio with Marilyn Monroe, he did his best to diminish her light so that she would not outshine him. My cooking was never good enough or a major challenge that tempted me with all kinds of fantasies of a future, healthy marriage: Magic flight. The only food he would eat was the Persian food his mother had made for him—about four different dishes. I bought a Persian cookbook and tried making some recipes. Everything was ‘disgusting’ and he would take one sniff and do the retching performance he did with the baby’s dirty diapers. I began to imagine a different kind of relationship. I admit that I got a little lost in fantasy. That said, I never even came close to cheating on him. Nevertheless, he sensed this, and developed some pretty paranoid behaviors. Once, at one of our daughter’s ballet recitals, I innocently looked around the auditorium to see if one of my friends was arriving, and he accused me of ‘looking for men.’ Oh, and during this period he actually engaged in several affairs. He was mean and demeaning to our daughter: Getting close to the nadir When she got a little pudgy from having pasta for lunch every day at daycare, he freaked out because she was making him look bad for being ‘fat.’ Later on, she developed a binge-eating disorder. She would take leftover food from the fridge and gorge on it, leaving the dirty dishes under her bed in shame. Then he would scream at her for it. He demanded that she massage his feet for him to honor him as a father like good Persian girls supposedly did in Iran. He abused me financially: The absolute nadir A lot of you might be thinking at this point, why didn’t I just leave him? I had a good job as a high school teacher (teachers in Canada are paid well and everyone is on the same salary grid no matter what school district they teach in). I had the financial means to hire a lawyer and set up my own household and a strong desire to leave, but I didn’t. Truth be told, I didn’t yet have the self-esteem I needed to make the break. I brought home a good salary (the equivalent of $100,000 per year in today’s money). How much was he contributing? I wouldn’t know because I was not allowed to know how much he made. When we briefly separated, he refused to pay child support. I became terrified of not being able to pay my bills, and I reluctantly moved back in with him. Honestly, I just didn’t have enough confidence in myself. I never had parents who talked to me about how to handle life. My upbringing was mostly them expressing hostility to me for my very existence. How I finally woke up: Consciousness expands. I developed health problems. A rheumatologist diagnosed me with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). He explained to me that some people are genetically predisposed to CFS, but do not develop the disease. Others do when they experience significant stress. He asked me about my childhood, my adolescence, and my young adulthood. What were they like? All stressful: Constant moves, eleven different schools, bullying, physical abuse, neglect, and one spectacular incident: A mass shooting at my high school when I was in grade nine. Add an abusive marriage to that list and you have a recipe for chronic disease. I knew I had to leave or I might actually not live long enough to see my daughter grow up. I left him for good: The apotheosis is on the horizon. I moved out of our beautiful marital home sometime after our fifteenth anniversary. It was basically my dream home. Growing up, and moving around so much, often to ugly suburban houses, helped me delusionally believe that a nice house would somehow make me happy despite anything that was going on in my life. No house, no matter how lovely, can make up for the ugliness of a life lived in fear and misery with someone who acts like he hates you. I still can’t believe how long it took me to realize this. I showed up at work the first day of the school year after I had moved out during summer break and started my new life. One of my colleagues remarked, “You look different. You look happier.” I had literally moved out two weeks before. I guess my whole demeanor and body language had changed in an instant. I felt free. I didn’t have to go home to my hostile, angry husband and our tension-filled house. He manipulated me into using his lawyer for our divorce: The refusal of the return. Despite my colleague’s observations, I was also so broken down before our legal separation, both the tiredness associated with CFS, and the lingering depression that I lived with throughout our marriage, that I allowed him to decide the terms of the divorce. I went to his lawyer’s office with him and signed a paper that stated I did not want to seek independent counsel. I had moved into an apartment in another house that we owned, not far from our marital home, so that our daughter could walk between the two homes. My (it turns out delusional) understanding was that I would get the second home (with two apartments, one of which I could rent out to help with mortgage payments), and he would keep the larger, fancier home that I didn’t want anyway, and didn’t feel I could afford to maintain. He had no intention of signing over that house to me. Or of giving me any kind of settlement. He had decided, living as he did in his own elaborate fantasy world, that somehow Sharia law would apply to our divorce, rather than Canadian law. When I finally demanded some actual paperwork for the property exchange, he told me he wouldn’t be giving me anything. He explained it by telling me I hadn’t actually contributed anything to the marriage. I reminded him that I had given him several thousand dollars a month for years to cover the mortgage and joint credit card bills. He dismissed that by saying, “All you did was make a few mortgage payments.” “The texture of the silence changed”: Revelation brings rebirth. I was utterly stunned. I walked back to ‘my’ house in a daze. I had completely screwed myself. I had signed a separation agreement that said nothing about a settlement. I thought that was the end. I would never own a house in our expensive city again. Not even a condo. And I had done it to myself. He could kick me out of the home I was living in any time he wanted to. For the first time, I got really, really angry instead of internalizing my anger and making myself sick. He phoned me not long after that and demanded that I pay half of our daughter’s first-year university expenses. We had started an education savings account when she was a baby. I knew how much was in that account. I told him to use that to pay for the year’s expenses and after that he could damn well pay for all her future years of education. I was giving him nothing. The fire had awakened. There is a scene in the novel The Life and Loves of a She-devil, where the heroine is sitting in her bathroom while her asshole husband is berating her through the door, explaining to her that he is entirely entitled to divorce her, take her children with him to live with his mistress, and to give her nothing, since she was supposedly nothing more than a worthless, unattractive hag. Fay Weldon deliciously captures the moment when Ruth, a woman almost completely lacking self-esteem, decides for once that she doesn’t have to accept her husband Bobbo’s low estimation of her worth: “On the other side of the door, the texture of the silence changed…” Bobbo waits for her acquiesce to his insane demands, and all he gets is silence. Uneasy, he leaves the house somehow sensing that his power over Ruth has been an illusion all along. If you have read the book or seen the movie, then you know that Ruth gets revenge on Bobbo by becoming attractive and rich, and essentially ruining his life the way he almost ruined hers. He thought he was going to be, in Orwellian terms, a jackboot stamping on [her] human face forever. He was wrong. As the great spiritual teacher Gary Zukav once said, “External power is an illusion.” People have power over us because we give it to them. When we stop believing in that power, it evaporates like Nikolai Ceaucescu’s hold over the Romanian people in 1989. My husband was also uneasy when the texture of the silence changed on the other side of our phone conversation. He protested when I refused to pay our girl’s education, knowing he had a lot more money than I did, despite his attempts to hide that from me. I told him, “I know that you know you can afford this and that I can’t since you ripped me off in our divorce settlement. And I’m not playing your game any longer.” Part II will be released on Saturday, April 6th. If you are in an abusive relationship and need help: If you are in IMMEDIATE danger, call 911, wherever you are in Canada and the United States. (NOTE: This doesn’t work in Nunavut and some rural parts of Ontario which still have no 911 service. We’re working to change that.) National Domestic Violence Hotline (United States) - 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). TEXT: 88788 (Text & Message rates may apply) Canada does not appear to have a national domestic abuse hotline. Not that I can find, anyway. There is a Crisis Text Line but I can’t get the website to load. For Canadian First Nations/Indigenous: 1-855-242-3310 Canadian Resources for LGBTQ - 1-855-687-1868 The iHeal app - “A free, private and secure app to help Canadian women who have experienced abuse from a current or past partner to find personalized ways to stay safe and be well.” 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!

  • A Dude-y Transactivist Demonstrates How Dangerously Dudeist The Trans Nuts Are

    NY Magazine's manly misogynist Andrew 'Andrea' Chu sees children as mere pawns and women as obstacles in the trans cult's weird, gender-bending games It’s never about the evidence. Or lack thereof. Andrew (Andrea) Chu, the NY Magazine book critic, and winner of a Pulitzer Prize short story whose lead ‘graph is about all the things one could stick up one’s ass (don’t ask, but if you must know….), has written a cover story for the periodical that makes me very glad I don’t subscribe (and not just because I’m not interested in DIY proctology). Chu, a trans-identified male, has written a delusional, very dude-ish, and occasionally downright creepy cover story called Why Trans Kids Have The Right To Change Their Biological Sex, which demonstrates how divorced (acrimoniously) from humanity the trans craze is. He doesn’t mention the WPATH Files; his story was published five days after its release so it may have already gone to press, or he deliberately ignored it. He’s defensive and dismissive and has that whole mansplaining vibe of a guy who’s been outside his wheelhouse ever since he slipped on his first Wonderbra. He argues about what I guess is a new human right we never knew we had—to change sex whenever the hell we want, at whatever the hell age we want. Damn the critics and those few brave scientists who say No, you’re assigned your sex at conception, not by the first doctor who sees your mini-wee-wee or wittle hoochy-cooch. Nadda mention of ‘gametes’ anywhere, which are the Ultimate Decider of how that shalt meander down one’s life’s journey. Gametes, in case you’ve forgotten your high school biology (don’t worry, I Googled so you don’t have to!), are an organism’s reproductive sex cells, X and Y, and you’ll probably at least remember from Mr. Hanson’s class that shit started When Eggy Met Spermy. Recall, please, that Eggy tosses an X, and Spermy tosses—something—and then it was a toss-up (ar ar!) as to what resulted until Birth Day, or with the ultrasound if you were born in the 1970s or beyond. I can’t find this sex-changing ‘human right’ anywhere in the U.S Constitution. Maybe I have a defective copy. I wonder how the Founding Fathers would react, say, if I travelled back in time and asked them about the right to change sex. The ‘right’ to gender reassignment Trans kids have this ‘right, Chu says, without the need for parental approval, and he puts words in their little mouths when he writes, “What trans kids are saying is this: The right to change sex that has been enjoyed for decades by their parents, friends, teachers, coaches, doctors, and representatives, especially if those people are white and affluent — this right belongs to them, too.” First of all, no, they’re not sophisticated enough to think that way, and two, the way Chu describes it you’d think all the adult role models in kids’ lives have been racing to the trans clinic for decades switching back and forth—Heather Has Two Mommies! No, Wait, Heather Had Two Mommies, But Now One Is A Daddy—No, Scratch that, Heather Has One Daddy and One Non-Binary Parent—Now Heather Has Two Non-Binary Genderqueer Parents—Now Heather Has A Perpetual Prescription for Prozac Because She Doesn’t Recognize Either Of Her Parents When They Walk Through The Door And The Other Day She Called 911 Because She Thought Some Strange Weird Guy In An Expensive Dress And A Beard Was There To Steal Their Car. In Chu’s world, children should be understood as ‘full members of society,’ and claims ‘it does not matter where it [the desire to transition] comes from.’ Perhaps in their zeal to ‘destigmatize’ mental illness, which is one of the many non-dysphoric explanations behind the rise in transgenderism, the illibs decided to deny it even exists. Rather a lot like their denial of the differences in male and female brains. So, when someone experiences psychiatric distress of some sort, we treat the body rather than the brain? Then, I assume, if someone walks into the clinic with cancer, which is happening already with girls put on ‘T’(estosterone), [p.23, WPATH Files] we will teach them to woo the cancer away with, I don’t know, psychotherapy? Crystals? Rebirthing? If you’ve ever dealt with a cult, or a conservative religion that closely resembles one, you know there is no such thing as questioning the Sacred Dogma. Evidence is for right- and left-wing whack jobs In Chu’s crazy transactivist world, which has gotten a lot crazier since the release of the WPATH Files, the massive collection of data, videos, screenshots of exchanged messages and discussions, and reliable citations isn’t enough to make the trans crowd take back what they’ve been saying for years (which no one expects they will), or rethink what they thought they knew, or at the very least, have the brains to STFU and hope everyone forgets about them when the world finally comes to realize what pseudoscientific and desperately harmful claptrap they’ve been promoting for years. Don’t expect the True Believers ever to acknowledge they were wrong. Chu’s abject denial of the evidence he acknowledges exists is breathtakingly Kool-Aidy. And OMG, the public is beginning to realize the jig is up! "First, it [an Atlantic article by Jesse Singal called When Children Say They’re Trans] took what was threatening to become a social issue, hence a question of rights, and turned it back into a medical issue, hence a question of evidence; it then quietly suggested that since the evidence was debatable, so were the rights. This tactic has been successful: The political center has moved significantly on trans issues." Chu even identifies his previously unrecognized allies of his customary right-wing and radical feminist adversaries: Liberals. Those of us on the left who aren’t wokenized and fight his authoritarian illiberalism. His real tragedy is evidence, or clear lack thereof, moving public opinion! But now the facts are firmer with the release of the WPATH Files, not to mention support from the lib-iest in Europe. Which is: Gender reassignment is all a load of crap and experts know they’re harming their patients and that many will come to regret their decisions. But as Chu notes later, “If we are to recognize the rights of trans kids, we will also have to accept that, like us, they have a right to the hazards of their own free will.” So they’re going to blame the high regret rates and ruined lives on the kids’ poor choices. How can children have the same free will as adults when youthful free agency only goes so far when you’re seven years old, eyeing the cookie jar, and your internal morality debate only rises to the level of How likely am I to get away with this? vs I should do what Mommy wants and stay out of the jar since I’m diabetic and that cookie could send me to go live with God! For men like Chu (and, as we shall eventually see, he absolutely thinks like and is very much a man), children have free will when it’s convenient for The Cause but I’m not so sure he wants empowered ten-year-olds driving down the highways by themselves. He adds, “This does not mean shooting testosterone into every toddler who looks at a football. But if children are too young to consent to puberty blockers, then they are definitely too young to consent to puberty, which is a drastic biological upheaval in its own right." WTF? Puberty is not something you 'consent' to! This is trans-narcissism writ large, fueled by the traditionally male medical arrogance that they can 'fix anything', including that which ain't broke. Puberty is a natural life transition that every human being who’s lucky enough to make it that far goes through; the ones that don’t rest in small coffins in cemeteries. If you want to talk about consent, name one human being who ever ‘consented’ to being born. Life’s a bitch and so’s the disembodied asshole who sentenced you to the life you got, with the parents you got, and if you don’t like it, tough shit. It’s just life, man, it ain’t easy, but people go on to have happy lives and the ones who fare best are the ones who don’t fight reality, unlike Chu who projects his own conscious decision to transition onto the “many opponents of trans rights who observe with horror that they too might have transitioned given the chance…” Has anyone in the last sixty years said that, ever? Because it’s been an option for that long, although most people had to pay for it themselves, they didn’t have woke health insurance covering sex-change operations, and Chu believes it should be covered under Medicaid for All. Funny how he and his fellow cosplayers fail to advocate for health insurance covering detransition, which is estimated in the WPATH Files as being as much as 27%. Chu further projects his personal fantasies onto teenage girls when he claims these theoretical jealous still-stuck-in-their-birth-bodies anti-trans-ers fight transitioners because “so intensely did they hate being teenage girls.” Speaking as a former teenage girl, I never hated it, just the bullying that comes with failing to be a stone cold fox. Speaking as a former little girl whose Depression-era mother tried to teach her how to be a ‘lady’ (spoiler alert, it didn’t ‘take’!) I remember being annoyed by needing to be this stupid thing when it was clear boys had more fun and more freedom. I never wanted to be a boy, I just wanted the same rights and freedoms they enjoyed—and I still do. At the same time as Mom tried to turn me into Grace Kelly, feminists were taunted by misogynists (in early ‘70s parlance, ‘male chauvinist pigs’) who asked them, “What do you want now, a penis?” No, just the rights and freedoms a penis symbolized. But in TransWorld, as in the medical profession which has embraced this new ‘human right’ so assiduously, if you don’t feel good, fix it. With a pill or some ‘T’ or some health-degrading lifetime drug-dependent surgery. Live for the now, fully rational and soon-to-be-sterilized nine-year-old for whom the prospect of babies are 10-20 years away! Who knows when you’ll change your mind, if you think you don’t want them? Famously child-aversive George Clooney changed his mind at 56, when he agreed to impregnate his wife. Future fertility, though, is something Andrew Chu sneers at, assuming that we’re all Elon Musks worried about repopulating the earth: “The specter of mass infertility [he acknowledges this] cannot be underestimated. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that the anti-trans movement is driven by a deep, unconscious dread that society will not have enough working female biology to support the deteriorating nuclear family — and, with it, the entire division of sex itself." Yeah, because with only eight billion people on the planet, the next pandemic could wipe us all out or something. And when did his enemy the liberals worry so much about the nuclear family? He claims, “Sex-altering care can indeed affect one’s fertility but not always irreversibly,” (actually it is pretty damn irreversible, although we can’t yet say exclusively), “(but it's happening a lot), and the trans population is still far too small to bring about that sort of demographic apocalypse." Um, what about those today who might want kids later, which, especially for women, happens around age 30? And for men, who can change their minds at any time? No thought to the individuals, the humans these decisions are affecting. This is all about preserving the precious narrative, with sneering condescension and disrespect at the lives that may be ruined by all of this. (Sudden thought: I wonder if Andrew-ea is secretly sorry s/he transitioned? Regrets, ‘ave you ‘ad a few-ah, Ands?) Where were all the trans kids before this? There's always so little discussion of real science in these trans-debates. Chu dismisses Lisa Littman’s heavily peer-reviewed seminal paper on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria as a ‘sham’, the customary dismissal with which transactivists wave their large hairy man-hands when a scientific paper fails to parrot their genderwoo quackery. Don’t ask, of course, Why all of a sudden has evolution gone off the rails? We evolved as a sexually dimorphic species to reproduce in a specific, immutable, irrevocable way; whether we do as individuals or not is beside the point; it's how we're designed. Intersex people are chromosomal anomalies and the primary reason why we must preserve the ability to receive sex reassignment surgery if warranted; for all others, after we've eliminated all likely non-dysphoric reasons for feeling this way. Mia Hughes, the journalist who wrote the WPATH Files report, suggests waiting until 25, when the brain is fully developed, but that's still dicey as women's biological clock often doesn’t ring until they’re closer to thirty. Sterile men may find it harder to marry or partner if they can't produce children. And as the WPATH Files have taught only those who hadn’t been paying attention, kids can't think far ahead enough to prepare for eventual non-traditional fertility, and may not yet be old enough to produce viable eggs or sperm. What we do know is that people considering transition often change their minds when they’re given the full story of what to expect. The WPATH Files tells the story of Dr. Az Hakeem who ran therapy groups at the Portland gender clinic in London twenty years ago. He introduced those who sought transition with regretful post-transitioners who shared why. The wannabes were excited and euphoric, until they met the post-trans group, which Dr. Hakeem described as “mourning, depression, and sadness.” And, “They realized they didn’t really feel that authentic in their transgender identity, so they were still feeling just as inauthentic, but just in a different body.” As a result, almost all the wannabes gave up their dream when they realized just how difficult post-operative life was, and how fantasy-based their expectations. The Dudest Dude Since ‘The Dude’ Andrew-ea Chu came to extreme transvestism (he’s had ‘bottom surgery’) not because he was ever gender dysphoric but via one of the most female-offensive avenues imaginable: Sissy porn. I’m not going to describe it. Click the link if you want to know more. This explains why his article is an exercise in resounding male cluelessness: He’s just another sexual fetishist. A cross-dresser as dude between his ears as he once was between his legs. There are people who try to understand the other sex and others who don’t. When I wrote for Medium I was frustrated by all the self-victimizing young ‘feminists’ who hadn’t the foggiest clue what it was like to be a man in today’s society and weren’t interested in learning. There are men who don’t know or care what the world is like for women, and don’t want to hear about it. Then there are men like Andrew Chu who, despite having declared themselves female, think they know what it’s like to be a woman and prove themselves laughably wrong whenever they open their mouths or set fingers to keyboard. Ye shall know them by their clumsy, klutzy inability to put themselves in someone else’s kitten heels, even for one tiny nanosecond. Chu accuses J.K. Rowling of “anxiously projecting her fears of sexual assault onto them [trans kids] from across the sea.” I don’t think she’s worried about kiddie rapists; she’s worried about the documented adult rapists in women’s clothing. But it doesn’t get dude-ier than this: “The TERF does not, after all, fear being assaulted by a Y chromosome in a women’s restroom. Her paranoid fantasy is of a large testosterone-fueled body wielding a penis — an organ to which, as [transactivist author Judith] Butler points out, the TERF attributes almost magical powers of violence." Only. A. Man. Could. Write. This. ‘Paranoid fantasy’. And not just any man. Only the sort of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, club wielding troglodyte who sees women as objects to be swept aside if they block men’s desires, and children as mere pawns in whatever weird-ass gender-bending game these jackoffs are playing. Only a man as large as Andrew Chu, who no one will ever try to rape because he clearly can fight back in a way a real woman can’t, fails to comprehend what it is to go through life always being minimally aware of the strange men around you, and hyper-aware if you’ve ever been critically assaulted. Only a man can write like this, for whom biological women are merely stumbling blocks to be removed, forcefully if necessary, so that entitled, narcissistic fetishists and misogynists can get whatever it is they want. For a fair number of them that’s autogynephilic male sexual pleasure, but I’ve seen enough to believe there are other reasons misogynist, dudier-than-The-Dude men might want to appropriate womanhood. There are political reasons. Pleasure reasons that may not involve autogynephilia per se: Simply forcing women to bend to your will, as they currently are permitted to do in what’s supposed to be the free Western world, or, more creepily, as one step closer to acceptance that if children have ‘free agency’, then they have the ‘right’ to decide with whom they want to have sex. This is where he’s going, whether he realizes it or not, when he argues children must be accepted as full members of society and it doesn’t matter why they want to transition. He's making an argument, in essence, that children are as logical and rational as adults and every wish of theirs should be respected. He's edging closer to, "Kids should be allowed to make their own decisions, period." The liberal media, with a few exceptions, is dragging its woke ass on acknowledging the release of the WPATH Files. So too, weirdly, is Fox News, and when I sent it to them I got a form email back saying they’d reach out if they want more details. So fuck ‘em. Tell your Congresscritters, especially the Republicans, that you demand a congressional investigation into WPATH and the medical profession at large. Canadians, we can do something similar since our Prime Minister is woke-as-fuck on trans rights over women’s rights. And if you haven’t already, download the WPATH Files and send it to any parent who’s considering or being railroaded into allowing their child to transition. The first step is stop with the pronouns. Now. It’s the only to way to fight back. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • What If New Hires Had To Take A "Snowflake Test" To Get The Job?

    Let's ponder a world in which woke social justice advocates experience limited employment opportunities because they can't pass the Grownups test. What??? These guys were targets of an unsuccessful cancelling campaign? They had my attention. Lately, with the post-October 7th woke watermelon kersplat and Donald Trump’s wall resonating even with some level-headed liberals, I’ve been wondering if it’s now possible to stand up to the left’s psychopathic cyberbullies, perhaps, even, if there might one day be a way to monetize it, make it work for you, a larval idea definitely still curled up in my mental honeycomb somewhere. Either option will require the balls or labia to handle it, and I don’t know what the successful recipe looks like. But here was a company in Connecticut, my old stomping grounds, in fact in the same town where I used to visit friends, melting the ‘flakes. Their website claims that self-appointed ‘social justice warriors’ slammed them on social media, calling them out for supporting ‘pigs and killers’. Bet you can guess who that means. Not surprisingly, this agency has a firm conservative mission statement and values. Surprisingly, it’s a marketing and PR agency. I say that because after nearly thirty years of visiting commercial and business websites, the folks who own and work for marketing agencies customarily don’t vote red in great numbers. What I’ll just call The Agency greets you with a pop-message on their home page: “We’re not staying silent any longer.” Interest piqued at Grow Some Labia—who were these Mad Men who challenged the Woke Swarm—and survived? I couldn’t find any details about the cancel mob’s alleged attack but the CEO did mention their pet programs for the police and military veterans. “If you don’t support our first responders, get out,” he says. Pretty sure there’s no DEI program at The Agency. Not sure how diverse it is either as it seems pretty white and he-man, although in one Fox interview they feature a black man he hired. I did note a few women. The most interesting thing about his agency is his ‘Snowflake Test’. It’s questions job applicants must answer to be considered, and he says it eliminates 60% who drop out before finishing. It’s not the SAT; it doesn’t take two or three hours. I’m guessing 15-20 minutes unless you’re a novelist. He says it’s not about political beliefs, but rather a mindset. He notes there are conservative snowflakes too (let’s remember, they’re responsible for about 40% of academic professor firings in the U.S.!) He’s okay with coming across as a ‘kooky nationalist’. He complains they were getting deluged with job applications, from people who couldn’t spell, didn’t know ‘you’re’ from ‘your’, and most of all were ridiculously entitled. They didn’t even know what The Agency did. Many made the common delusional Millennial/Zoomer assumption that coming out of school, they deserved to start at $100,000. When his Snowflake Test went viral, he was deluged with more job applicants—presumably those who thought they’d pass, or knew they’d pass if they’d found it on Da Internetz, and about 20,000 emails both for and against. Many CEOs expressed a wish to be able to require it for their own companies, but they ‘can’t’. In one YouTube video The CEO talks hard turkey to Millennials, of which he acknowledges he’s one himself. It’s peppered with quick glimpses of movie quotes from Braveheart, pro wrestling, Donald Trump and what I suspect is a scene from the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, a guy being burned alive in the desert while tied to a tree (in the original, which I’ve seen, he’s tied to a cactus). The CEO is fond of the green-screen background of hypermasculine alcoholic beverages—not a bottle of Merlot anywhere! One sees that background frequently in other videos. I know I could pass his Snowflake Test but I wouldn’t want to work for The Agency. I respect what they’re doing and I appreciate the CEO has his own solid values, not all of which I agree with—or perhaps to his extent—but he’s standing up to whiny weakass snowflakery and we remaining Real Liberals are fed up with them too. I won’t argue with his commitment to family, country and patriotism, values worth supporting if they don’t degenerate into rah-rah January 6th conspiratorial lunacy, but I’ll note that America’s biggest snowflake is on the right and angling to be president in between criminal trials. Conservative thought isn’t any more evil than is liberal thought; it’s all in how logical and rational it is and how it’s applied. People who think neither side has anything valuable to offer are dangerous extremists. Or just morons. The best of all possible worlds combines multiple good ideas from various political camps and leaves the crap behind. When I debate conservatives on the benefits of marriage and the need to return to it, I state up front: I agree, but gay marriage stays. It’s not up for debate. Homosexuality is real, and there’s no logical, rational reason to prohibit it; critics inevitably turn to the dictates of a holy book written by shepherds and smelly lunatics screaming to no one in the desert thousands of years ago the way one of their descendants screams on the street outside my apartment complex today. Although it’s unrecorded whether any of the Biblical prophets ever yelled, “I want to suck your dick! Why won’t you let me suck your dick?” Some of the CEO’s other videos depict himself and other staff members engaging in he-man Feats of Strength like training with Navy Seals. I wonder what The Agency’s workplace is like for women and whether sexual harassment is dealt with properly. Do they even have an HR manager? I don’t see one on their company LinkedIn profile. Are women expected to ‘suck it up’, and what happens if the CEO himself is the harasser? It’s the core weakness of HR: No authority above the man on top, who signs everyone else’s paycheck. Their tough-talking Joe Rogan suspiciously doesn’t ever want to hear anything about feelings, which are real and need to be respected even when one isn’t a snowflake. A review on GlassDoor notes that he likes to walk around ‘strapped’, I assume with a gun, not a dildo. Forty years ago I had a co-worker who brought a legal gun to the office every day and I didn’t care; today I’d care a fuckuva lot since right-wingers commit the bulk of mass shootings. What if it’s The Agency’s Dirty Harry who goes off the deep end? It seems the CEO himself is capable of getting butthurt. Another GlassDoor reviewer had this to say: From the CEO down, leadership is extremely toxic; luckily this company is still tiny, so with a change of leadership, the toxic culture could be easily amended. I also happened to notice in a previous post from the CEO which makes me a bit concerned even after leaving SPM "60% of our staff is actually not conservative". This would imply that there was some type of party tracking happening at my place of employment, which needless to say, is very unsettling. The CEO responded unconvincingly, accusing the poster of a fake review and threatening to sue for ‘slander’ (Pro tip, Rambo: Written falsehoods are ‘libel’, and this was an opinion on an opinion site). He offered no valid reasons for thinking it was fake, apart from claiming they’d had no one who only worked there for six months. A few other responses indicate that what triggers this guy is critical reviews. Snowflakes: Sometimes they’re red-white-and-blue! He sets off my own red flags; I’d rather have a beer with him than work for him, but I like his Snowflake Test and I’d love to see it more widely adopted in the corporate and especially the academic world. He’s the CEO many wish they were: The guy who’s not too pussy to stand up to spoiled snowflakes, who calls them out and doesn’t cave like a little bitch when a bunch of anonymous losers with grey heads or eighteen different Pride flags in their profile call for someone to get fired because someone ‘depersonalized’ them on X. I deliberately use misogynist language here: America’s CEOs are a manly bunch, but the quickest castration is by cancel campaign; I suspect the reason they issue written apologies after these events is because if they tried to speak, only dogs could hear their voices. Millennials, and now Zoomers, earned their reputation for snowflakery. The stereotype doesn’t fit all members of these generations, but many electrons have been spilled over the younger generations’ disinterest in working; Jody Foster complained about young work colleagues who can’t spell or express themselves properly in email and who don’t come in for work if ‘they’re not feeling it’ that morning. The Snowflake Test filters for grownups and ensures the HR manager’s time will mostly be spent hiring and managing the company insurance plan, rather than sorting out conflicts between adult children who suffered the cruelest microaggression this morning: Some racist asshole said he didn’t like black coffee! Or who get mad because the rest of the staff isn’t keeping up with their hourly pronoun changes. The Agency’s CEO makes some great points about the need to work, to come into the office on time, every morning, and you’re out the door if you can’t hack it; I’m reminded of a roommate I had thirty-seven years ago whose boss called her every morning to wake her up so she could make it to work on time; she was a waitress at Friendly’s and apparently she’d never heard of the ‘alarm clock’, which my boss would have fired me for if I didn’t have one. Snowflakes’ parents didn’t do their jobs raising their li’l chilluns to be good citizens, conscientious workers, or to be resilient to adversity; these modern Peter Pans are destined to be supported by their parents in perpetuity. The ‘Snowflake Test’ calls out the strong stench of corrupted ‘social justice’ that permeates DEI-infected corporate and academic North America to nag, harass, bully and hector employees who should only be expected to come in every day to do a job, whether it’s to reconcile the financial reports, build a new product, code the next killer app, book some demos, support the customers or manage the operations. ‘Social justice’ has no place in the workplace unless you work for a social justice non-profit; employers and employees otherwise are not there to save the world, but to make the shit you want, need, and buy. Part of what will make them successful is learning how to work with people they might not want to hang out with in the lunchroom, or even sit next to at the after-hours company gathering at a local waterhole. The Christian conservative and the feminist need to respect each other enough to keep their differences out of the office; the Black Lives Matter guy and the white Republican must do the same. And the whateverthefuck with the pink hair, the nose ring and the flag du jour on their desk needs to realize that most people don’t do bespoke pronouns but don’t much care how they dress or present themselves as long as they get their work done. Snowflake tests aren’t just for rah-rah conservatives like the red-office-in-a-blue-state Agency. They’re for all of us who simply want to come to work without a morning wasted on a Zoom call with a hateful bigot force-feeding us the latest Kendi-fueled innovations in anti-white racism and blindness to antisemitism. Of course, I realize replacing DEI with a Snowflake Test will put a lot of DEI ‘trainers’ out of work. I’m good with that. Hopefully their parents haven’t sold the family home and moved to Fort Lauderdale, but if they have, I hope they’ll have fun living in DeSantisworld. But don’t expect any ‘gay days’! Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • If You're 'Marginalized', Make Sure It's Not Because You're An Asshole

    Public hostility isn't always about what you look like, but what you've become Sometimes certain groups simply beg for the hostility and hatred. Like, you know, college students. The current backlash against elite colleges and their DEI enablers after the public flameouts of several university presidents blind to racist antisemitism demonstrates how university presidents, DEI consultants, and the Islamofascist students they pretend to teach are mostly racist assholes. And no one likes assholes no matter what they’re peddling, even when it’s putative civil rights, which no good liberal would reject. The cannier ones, however, reject the package when they perceive the hypocritical sins within. Black Lives Matter is Exhibit A. The vibrantly vintage hippie-ish disappointment looked exciting at birth. Every time a white cop shot a black guy, there was Black Lives Matter in front of the cameras uttering colorful catchphrases like the ‘new lynching’ and the ‘epidemic of white supremacy’ and the conveniently self-dehumanizing ‘black bodies’. But then we noticed how little BLM truly valued most black lives. Like whenever a mother grieved for her dead son murdered by another black man. A kid who might have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Where the fuck were they? BLM bought a house and stocked a recording studio with donations while black parents continued to bury black bodies planted six feet under by black hands holding guns. Later came the infamous tweet that launched a hundred thousand condemnations: BLM’s deplorable support for Hamas. They’ve had less to say about Tyre Nichols, the black man beaten to death by five black cops in January 2023. It’s still all white supremacy’s fault, sez BLM’s statement: “Although the media has spent a great amount of time drawing attention to the fact that the police officers are Black, as if that is important [italics mine], let us be clear: ALL police represent the interest of capitalism and impel state-sanctioned violence. Anyone who works within a system that perpetuates state-sanctioned violence is complicit in upholding white supremacy. Assimilation into a system that is anti-Black is one of the most dangerous weapons stemming from white supremacy.” Who knew black cops could be WHITE SUPREMACISTS? BLM’s falls in moral grace make it clear: Their growing unpopularity isn’t because they’re marginalized, but because they’re infested with racist assholes. If your moral compass is spinning like you’re standing at the North Pole, and you can publicly bully others, you ain’t marginalized. You have power. The tide of public opinion has turned, except on the Loony Left, not because the country is getting more racist but because it’s progressing away from it. Except for Black Lives Matter which flaunted its own commitment to racism on October 8th and has since morphed into a huge clusterfuck of We have met the racist enemy and he is us. The Marginalization Olympics It’s interesting they identify as strongly as they do with the Palestinians, another highly compromised victim group. Neither woke black antiracists nor Palestinians can move beyond their own historical trauma and focus on the present or the future. BLM and other woke SJWs, desperately ignorant of human history, fail to realize that while today’s Israeli Jews and their descendants deserve accusations of being imperialist, colonizing oppressors, the Palestinians and their ancestors deserve no less. Many of them got there via invasion in the 7th century under the banner of the new, deeply antisemitic Islamic religion to take, steal, and settle the land the then-contemporary Jews had lived on for thousands of years already. Along with today’s Palestinians’ ancestors. But BLM understands history the way a fundamentalist Christian understands earth science. They may have begun with the best of intentions but social movements, if not kept in check with proper internal controls, inevitably evolve towards extremism. Contrast them both with the Vietnamese, horribly bombed, burned, My Lai’d, tortured, and leveled by American forces in a war the oldest generations there can still remember, yet who largely bear no grudge against the U.S. today. Or consider how the Japanese moved beyond the Bombs. However you feel about the rightness or wrongness of Truman’s decision, what happened to two cities are pretty arguably the most violent attack on other human beings the world has ever witnessed. The Vietnamese and Japanese don't nurture grievance against the United States and declare perpetual war. If ever there were two countries given good reason to hate the United States, it’s these two. Yet they don’t. Meanwhile, BLM thinks they’re living one lost election away from white supremacist annihilation. Just try finding the words ‘Hamas’, ‘Israel’, and ‘October 7’ on the BLM website for months after the attacks. Nadda word. Today, those three words each return only one result: A call for an Israeli cease-fire. Of course. No call on Hamas for a cease-fire of violent attacks re their express genocide mandate against Jews, Israeli or not. People with properly-functioning moral compasses know Hamas deserves the hate they receive around the world because they’re assholes. What does that say about BLM? The company you keep, folks. There isn’t any data so far on where public opinion lies for the organization post-October 7, but two Republican senators want to rename Washington’s ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’, which received the name after the George Floyd protests. The senators blame BLM’s blatantly racist support for Palestinians, antisemitic rhetoric and celebration of Hamas’s violent slaughter. Seems pretty reasonable since BLM has little tolerance for statues of white historical figures linked to slavery or the Confederacy. If racists are bad, we shouldn’t commemorate them, right? Not sure how well-received that’s been by D.C.’s black mayor. Israeli news organization Haaretz posted their own open letter: Dear BLM Activists, We Also Can’t Breathe. The subtitle corrects BLM’s ignorant racist assumption: Let me tell you something about Israel, where most of the Jews are Brown people who came from the Arab countries and North Africa. The other side of Middle Eastern assholery What about Jews? I can hear some of you screaming from the sidelines. Yes, Israel started to look distinctly more asshole-ish about 25,000 Gazan lives ago. To whom I ask, How’s that last vote workin’ out for ya? Netanyahu? What the fuck were you thinking??? The George W. Bush of the Middle East, the ‘protector of Israel’, who left the southern border unprotected where Trouble with a capital T sailed in, literally. This buttmunch was already clearly a dangerous collaborator with Hamas before his re-election in 2022. And the Israelis bought it. Again. La plus ça change. Israeli Jews are hardly marginalized when they can destroy 24 times the number of people murdered on October 7th. An Israeli-fueled humanitarian crisis has engulfed Gaza as a fair chunk of the region is leveled and one-quarter of Gazans face chronic food insecurity. People are starving to death. Children in hospitals, so gaunt and elderly-looking from lack of food, if they were photographed in black and white could be mistaken for Nazi concentration camp victims. Israel, pissing off world leaders everywhere, prevents food from getting through, leading aid organizations to drop food supplies - not enough, but whatever they can manage - with parachutes from planes. The world is beginning to forget October 7 as, well, sorry, greater human suffering continues to unfold in Gaza. And speaking of genocide, this video—from t’other side, doesn’t help. Yes, it’s real, according to Snopes. Yeah—uh—genocide—it’s not just for Hamas anymore. “In another year there will be nothing there, and we will safely return to our homes. Within a year we will eliminate them all and then we will return to plough our fields.” Where are ‘they’ going, if you don’t mind my asking? Of course, the Gazans did vote for Hamas, who doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about the Pals. And didn’t they vote partly because they agree Jews must die? Gazans educate and indoctrinate their children to hate Jews and perpetuate their own cycle of violence, training the future terrorists Israel will one day bomb. And all for a history of pretty equivalent violence, oppression, and violation of each other’s right to exist that literally stretches back thousands of years. If you look at the full history of the people who today we call Israeli Jews and Palestinians, it’s hard to tell them apart under all that blood. The blood of their enemies. The Islamic world, which carefully cultivates its terrorist asshole image, can hardly call themselves marginalized with their long documented history of imperialism, colonialism, oppression of non-Muslims, a deplorable hate-on for Jews, and blowing things up. Their founder was a military commander. Christianity’s was a peacenik. Muslims can be individually victimized, and 35 were last year with hate crimes in Toronto. It’s not okay, but it’s also not okay to victimize others while you’re whining about your own victimhood, and somehow Muslims always jump to the front of the cameras whenever they’re given an excuse to ‘acceptably’ hate on Jews (‘Support’ for the Palestinians: The left’s dog whistle for antisemites). If you truly support Palestinians with no antisemitism, your beef is with Israel, the Israeli government in particular, and the people who voted for the politicians responsible for this. You don't attack every Jew on the planet - or a Jewish hospital in Canada - that’s antisemitism! Both sides are the oppressors, colonizers, and mass murderers they claim their adversaries to be. Muslims complain about ‘Islamophobia’, but is it always? Maybe it’s because too many are pretty infamously antisemitic and violence-supporting assholes. Verdict: You’re all assholes. The American right whines while acting like assholes too Conservative white Americans are more tolerant of white mass shooters, to whom they sympathetically attribute ‘mental health problems’ for their actions, yet are outraged and condemnatory when an LGBTQer or a Muslim shoots up a crowd. Is the woke left simply hysterical about Donald Trump, or is it because he’s the right’s biggest asshole? He supports Putin. He wants to be a dictator himself. He tried to steal an election and then juiced a massive riot which resulted in six deaths and the traumatization of the Capitol police. He stole highly classified documents and we don’t know who he showed them to. He doesn’t pay the people who work for him, the very sort who vote for him. Team MAGA works hard to be seen as assholes. Their butt buddies the Christian right, in historical hysterics over Bill Clinton’s consensual affair with an intern, overlook the rapey past of the right’s biggest man-whore, a guy who, in the immortal words of Bill Maher, is the only man who ever paid a porn star to SHUT her mouth. Try speaking about this with fragile righty snowflakes and you’ll receive the same condemnation and indignation as from the trans-nuts when you bring up the WPATH Files. Other fundamentalists are disliked because they’re homophobic, misogynist, religiously bigoted assholes. Being an asshole is almost a requirement for transactivists, bonus points if they want to kill TERFs. They demand with fundamentalist fervor the policing of public speech, and the ‘right’ to indoctrinate children into their toxic cult as they fight to keep the Bible-thumpers from doing the same. The Christian right and transactivists are stuffed with pseudo-marginalized people who are are entitled fundamentalist assholes. Which is why you’re finding transactivists, who only pretend to be liberal, in the right-wing asshole section. We can all be assholes, and some people and whole groups invite it by collectively acting like, talking like, and being assholes. The Second Amendment set claims liberals want to take their guns when in fact what we want is fewer guns in the hands of irresponsible assholes. So if you suffer from a martyr/persecution complex, piteously mewing that everyone hates you because they’re vile fascist Nazi bigots, or they’re woke snowflake gender-bending weirdoes, I offer some food for thought late at night when you’re lying in bed and can’t sleep: Maybe, just sayin’, the problem isn’t that you’re ‘marginalized’. Maybe it’s because you’re an asshole. 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!

  • Can 'Social Justice' Be Rehabilitated?

    Social justice is laudable. But privileged and luxury belief-laced extremism has turned to the same evils it claims to fight. Can it be saved? In the late ‘90s I was on the Internet Usenet forum, for those who’d chosen the no-kids life by choice. It was a great support forum, for awhile. Later I complained to my then-partner, “It’s gotten very anti-child. We’ve always had a few of those nutters there, but now even the reasonable ones sound extremist about kids, and put down expectant mothers. They don’t seem to understand that kids are human beings too.” ‘Stork parking’, the spaces reserved for pregnant women at shopping centers, had just become a thing and many asc’ers were outraged. “Unfortunately that seems to be the way of discussion forums,” he replied. “Eventually the extremists take over if users don’t moderate.” I left a.s.c the day a friend with children scrolled through and was appalled at the nastiness. Embarrassed to be seen in such company, I didn’t offer a farewell or a reason for departure; I simply stopped contributing. The natural gravitation toward extremism Liberal feminists have achieved many fantastic victories. Women’s education, Roe v Wade, Title IX, better if not yet equal pay. Men no longer have the right to rape their wives, arguing that ‘We’re married, she has to give it to me.’ Black civil rights progressed down a close similar path, and, thanks to progressive liberals, only in red states now is gay marriage considered a scandal and an offense against God. Now, most of the progress to de-marginalize further lies with individuals’ responsibility to step up and ‘do the work’ of improving and developing themselves, trying harder, asserting themselves more, refusing victimhood. It’s up to you, baby. But social justice needs new mountains to scale, and because of the last half-century’s successes, activists must climb higher to find new forms of ‘oppression’ they can fight. They have to exaggerate and catastrophize because on some level they know their current projects are fairly weak. Hence the rise of ‘microaggressions’ and ‘intersectionality’ to find ‘marginalizations’ people didn’t know they had, and who are too privileged or too young to know what real discrimination feels like. These ideas have come to be known as ‘luxury beliefs’, those you need to be wealthy and educated enough to support. Rob Henderson, the author of the newly-published Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family & Social Class, argues that luxury beliefs are the new status symbols, in an age where almost anyone can afford luxury goods, or cheaper knockoffs, or you can just steal them. They’re beliefs people higher up hold that benefit themselves, but harm the classes below them. Social justice activism tends toward extremism on the other side, too. Conservative activism has moved toward a cult of personality and MAGAism after getting much of what they wanted—an end to Roe, unfettered access to guns, the end of affirmative action and a more conservative Supreme Court friendly to rolling back other liberal successes. Activists and the ‘chattering classes’ demonize the opposition and compete for attention expressing ideas and opinions ever more extreme, just as my compatriots once did on a.s.c. How privileged do you have to be to think the protected speech of ‘misgendering’ is actually a crime, however much you support trans rights? Those who police and criminalize protected speech that offends their delicate sensitivities and succeed demonstrate just how marginalized they aren’t. That goes for those supporting ‘Don’t say gay’ Ronald DeSantis or insurrectionists pitching a tantrum because their side lost. These, too, are luxury beliefs. What once was called ‘wokeness’, a commitment to social justice and correcting inequities in the system, is now primarily a well-to-do luxury brand for the non-marginalized of all colors, fast-tracking toward the authoritarianism they claim to fight. Twenty-four hours after the October 7 attack, students at academic moron factories celebrated antisemitism and a vicious terrorist cult, when they would have better served genuine human rights by encouraging Palestinians to stop murdering gay and transfolk. Regressive Left feminists turn into good little Handmaids for the Patriarchy when sly sexual predators claim the fake-ass ‘gender dysphoria’. Woke social justice activists claim to fight homophobia while ‘trans-ing’ any kid unfortunate enough not to fit the rigid gender stereotypes they condemn the right for, and favor ‘de-colonizing’ everything except men in women’s bathrooms, changing rooms and prisons. But still… Wokeness, the extremism that once properly called itself progressive and liberal, is rooted in pre-civil rights black social justice and originally referred to staying aware of impending violence and systemic racism at a time when it was still unofficially okay to lynch a black man. After the Ferguson, Missouri riots in 2014, it elevated the meaning of awareness of dangerous cops, a caution important for white people too. Is it possible to be ‘woke’ and ‘not a fasch-hole? On another note I also wonder: How many conservatives are tired of their political beliefs and ideologies being twisted by a narcissistic psychopath and his mouth-breathing miscreants? I use the word ‘woke’ somewhat less as I realized it was offensive to people who are ‘woke’ but not crazy-ass extreme, including some of my friends. The most extreme, I expect, have defriended or unfollowed me by now and the rest ignore me. I’ve taken to referring to wokeness as ‘illiberal’ which makes a very important point that some so-called liberals aren’t. It does seem a shame, on some level, for ‘woke’ to have been misappropriated as badly as it has been. Or ‘colonized by white activists’, if you want to wokely honest. I’m not sure it’s as effective anymore as a term solely for black awareness when there’s less racism in America, regardless of what you’ve heard about the prevalence of ‘white supremacy’. There’s something to be said for being ‘woke’ to injustice, if only we could agree on what that is. Is injustice really some old white lady who said ‘Negro’ because she was young in an era when that was a perfectly polite way to refer to black people, or is it better focused on the practice of ‘carding’ by some police departments, randomly stopping people and demanding identification, asking questions, who are often disproportionately black? When did ‘woke’ become so weak? It’s not as though the world lacks for oppression to eliminate. A black President drew out bald-faced American racism on the right the way Hamas’s attack on Israel vomited the anti-Semites and whitey-haters on the left. Maybe social justice is just weary after fighting so hard for so many genuinely progressive projects and they want easier assignments like de-’whitewashing’ Hollywood. Somewhere along the way it became the problems it tried to solve, and refused to look within and ‘do the work’ it demands of others. Marginalized = sinless, apparently. How is Ibram X. Kendi prescribing black racism against white people not 100% bloody racist himself? He’s a non-starter for many liberals because he’s the problem he claims to want to solve. It strikes me that the next iteration of ‘antiracism’ in America—2.0—should be examining and coming to terms with anti-white racism, which sounds right-wing and ‘yabbut’ but genuine antiracists can see how unserious woke ‘antiracism’ really is because it supports racism. Yeah, we can see where that’s going. If there’s one thing you can count on with humanity, it’s to exploit others. Will Kendi eventually advocate for 400 years of white slavery to ‘atone’ for a past we turned our back on 160 years ago? Wait for it. Woke social justice craziness isn’t over yet. I suspect ‘social justice’ will get worse before it gets better, especially if the Republicans and their golden god prevail. (Where are the statue puller-downers when you need them?) Unless those wokes who haven’t yet given their brains over to the dark forces of extremism join other level-headed liberals to fight to take it back. ‘Woke’ can be rehabilitated only if enough level-headed liberals grow the labia and balls to do it, and make it clear that illiberals are hardly ‘woke’ to racism, sexism, and homophobia when they’re pushing it themselves. Woke social justice warriors don’t listen to the right, so they have to hear critiques from their own, which is risky. The ‘woke’ are famously intolerant of those who fail to hew strictly to social justice doctrine, but the times they are a-changin’, and it may soon become less socially acceptable to identify as ‘woke’ in 2024. DEI, one of the main engines of toxic wokeness, is under fire. Colleges and universities are slashing their DEI budgets and the legal system is examining whether it’s constitutional to demand pledges to political narratives like ‘antiracism’ to get or keep a job. It’s becoming clear that DEI, as it’s implemented today, is creating and encouraging racism and other bigotries rather than alleviating it. ‘Don’t Call Me Karen’ Doesn’t Go Over Well At Uber The DEI industry could save itself, I suspect, if it embraced a universal social justice commitment to reducing all racism and discrimination. Like if it told the full story of slavery rather than treating it as though Europeans singularly invented it in 1619. It would enjoin POC to examine themselves along with their white cohorts and ask themselves whether they’re treating white people unfairly (or men, or ‘cis-het’, or whatever). Because tribalism is universal, and racism is tribalism, and anyone who hasn’t lived all their life in a cave knows it’s not just restricted to white people. Or men. Or cis-het. I don’t think DEI will do that, though. Illiberal fundamentalism has seized the far-left soul and I already know from twenty-plus years of arguing with Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. that you can almost never change the fundamentalist mindset. Ibram X. Kendi said it and I believe it! A Man’s Suicide Started With A DEI Consultant’s ‘Antiracism’ Workshop We have to hold these people to account, just as we do the crazies on the MAGA side—demanding facts, evidence, and rational theories pertaining to others’ suspected motivations, not conspiracy theories and blanket ‘they hate us, they hate America, they hate democracy’ condemnations. That’s whether they’re on the right or left, or you are. Hold your own as accountable as you do the other side. I have a formerly progressive friend who, over pandemic lockdown, fell down the rabbit hole of left-wing conspiracies. He gets really, really mad when I challenge some of his crazier assertions. It’s QAnon crap for the left. We need to make more ‘illibs’ like him really really REALLY mad. I’ve begun by challenging the broader, wokenized definition of ‘white supremacy’. Systemic racism exists, but if we hadn’t made progress black people would still be using separate fountains, feared for ‘contaminating’ swimming pools and Clarence Thomas would have picked pubic hairs off his Coke can on a park bench rather than a law office. White supremacists are the KKK, not you or me or even the guy who cracks a racist joke. White supremacists are racists, but not all racists are white supremacists. What can you do to challenge social justice extremism, and bring ‘woke’ back to some semblance of normalcy, not to mention social justice? Or the crazies on Team MAGA? I do suspect Americans are getting fairly tired of both, since voters are famously switching sides for the forthcoming election and I honestly don’t think anyone has a clue which candidate will win. We in the Murky Middle are the new Silent Majority, although maybe with the decline of power on both sides, we won’t have to be afraid to speak up anymore. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a damn thing!

  • The Horrifying WPATH Files Documents Leak Details Appalling 'Gender Affirming Care' Malpractice

    We TERFs hate to say "I told you so," but--goddammit, people! Will you believe us gender critics NOW??? Transgender medicine is largely built on lies. It can be defined in three words: Conscious medical malpractice. One of the most ‘respected’ organizations (I’ve never understood why) supporting transgender medicine and ‘gender affirming’ healthcare is WPATH, the World Professional Association For Transgender Health. It was founded in 1979 and sought to create a network of ‘professionals’ specialized in treating transgender variance. A shocking leak of documents called The WPATH Files released early this week, compiles WPATH chat forum and email screen shots and Zoom videos in a new report with extensive documentation. Written by journalist Mia Hughes and released by Michael Shellenberger at Environmental Progress, it provides jaw-droppingly clear evidence WPATH’s ‘expertise’ is transactivist quackery despite a number of actual medical practitioners on staff. It’s about as ‘evidence-based’ as a Superman comic. It demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the scientific method, and proper research trials. It’s. Just. Horrifying! Michael Shellenberger, the activist who also brought us the Twitter Files, can be found on Substack along with a video he’s assembled of WPATH’s most horrifying Zoom hits. The full video is here. The WPATH Files PDF can be downloaded here: The WPATH Files: PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC SURGICAL AND HORMONAL EXPERIMENTS ON CHILDREN, ADOLESCENTS, AND VULNERABLE ADULTS WPATH has transformed itself into a leading ‘scientific’ authority on transgender health and medicine, particularly in the area of ‘gender-affirming’ care (GAC) of children. But The WPATH Files validate what both conservative and liberal gender-critical voices have been calling out the entire field for for years: That WPATH clinicians and healthcare providers know their GAC could or does cause incalculable harm to their patients, including children. They treat their patients with unproven methods for which there is little to no research; without knowing or much caring whether puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones lead to infertility, sterility, loss of orgasmic capability, brittle bones, cognitive impairment, and even death. They experiment: And they call it ‘medically necessary’ so insurance companies will pay for it. WPATH ignores the clear signs that some of these treatments are linked to cancer in their young patients, that many have psychological problems unrelated to their alleged ‘gender dysphoria’; and they even have embraced ‘nullification’ for those who want ‘non-binary’ genitals or who desire to get rid of their penis. Yes, these so-called ‘doctors’ discuss castrating even children. And some of them confess to having performed these surgeries in private chats captured by leakers who are probably in the Witness Protection Program now. And here’s a new one: Some of their patients want dual genitals: Both a penis and a vagina. Some WPATH ‘experts’ dismiss concerns about long-term outcomes, acknowledge that most children and teens are too young to understand and appreciate the potential future problems they might have, like not having children, a concept too far into the future for any of them to think, and whose reaction is often, “Oooh, babies, gross!” They acknowledge that even parents don’t have the medical understanding of what’s being done to their kids. They know these children and adults aren’t making informed decisions. That they can’t, given that the healthcare providers themselves don’t have enough data, or even any in some cases, to support it. WPATH knows. WPATH knows. THEY KNOW! Where’s the evidence? As a result, WPATH’s claims to provide ‘evidence-based care’ are a pack of lies. This will come as less of a surprise to those of us who’ve been following the slow-motion derailment of the Trans Train for years. Especially after the revelation last year that systematic evidence reviews out of the most liberal/progressive countries in Europe indicate there’s little to no scientific evidence to support the transgender industry’s claims that transitioning children immediately must occur to prevent them from committing suicide. The transgender suicide myth was addressed in a Finnish study just published in BMJ Mental Health (2024), Suicide Mortality Among Gender-Dysphoric Adolescents and Young Adults in Finland: The finding of low suicide rates and no evidence of benefits of gender reassignment continues to challenge the practice of youth transitions. In which was noted, “…the study found no convincing evidence that gender-referred youth have statistically significantly higher suicide rates as compared to the general population, after controlling for psychiatric needs.” [Italics mine] NewsNation scores highly for factualism and rated in ‘least biased’ category on Media Bias Fact Check Although we should note post-transition patients do have a high suicide rate, about which transactivists are strangely silent, so let’s understand that evidence indicates that the rate has to do with pre-existing psychological co-morbidities, which are routinely ignored and unexplored by transgender healthcare professionals [See: Tavistock scandal, England]. The lack of evidence that gender transition reduces the risk of suicide leads to hideously inverting the emotional blackmail with which GAC clinicians routinely terrorize resistant parents and caretakers: Would you rather have a dead daughter or a dead mutilated daughter? This report on WPATH’s gross medical negligence is merely the tip of the rainbow-hued iceberg. GAC gender woo has been problematic from its inception, especially when it focused on children. I have read the report; it’s 242 pages, 71 for the report and the rest the documenting screenshots and image captures of doctors speaking in direct contradiction to what they tell the public: What they don’t know, and must speculate on, as they confer with each other on the next experimental treatment for a patient. They make it clear they support and have performed surgeries on pre-teens and teens regardless of what the public is told about how that ‘almost never happens’. The report is well-written, in plain English, with a lot of highly-qualified footnotes if you want to get into the weeds. They speak of the detransitioners including those around age 32 who regret sacrificing their fertility, and if they could do it over again, would preserve eggs or sperm. One WPATH expert stated there’s a 27% regret rate. One professional acknowledges being ‘stumped’ by a 9-year-old grappling with ‘fertility’ issues. They discuss children and adults with intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia and homeless people; all are deemed worthy of consent to these life-altering, body-destroying practices. In defiance of their Hippocratic Oath to ‘take care that [the sick] suffer no hurt or damage’, they regularly advocate for a practice the very height of harm: mutilating and removing perfectly healthy tissue, because their uninformed, often clearly mentally disturbed and/or immature patients demand it. As I read with growing horror it occurred to me the only difference between these people and Nazi concentration camp doctors was consent. The male sexual fetishes and fantasies The horrors mount, one after the other. WPATH’s Standards of Care, most recently SOC8, removed the lowered age requirement to ‘avoid lawsuits’. In 2021, a systematic evidence review of the earlier SOC7 rated it as ‘low quality’ and ‘do not recommend’. SOC8 introduced advice for handling surgical ‘non-binary interventions’, part of the aforementioned ‘nullifications’ including castration. If you’re not familiar with the more horrifying male sexual fetishes out there, The WPATH Files document their discussion of a growing ‘Eunuch Community’ of men and the non-medical professional castrators they hire. It’s against the law, but so what if no one complains? The report mentions the ‘Eunuch Archives’, a website that caters to adult men who detail their child castration fantasies. WPATH doctors also debate the ethics (What? What are those?) of inducing lactation in an adult male who’s not interested in nursing a child, but just wants to experience it. Lactophilia, by the way, is a growing fetish among trans-identified men well-detailed in Canadian feminist Meghan Murphy’s recent amazing discussion with two other feminists about the horrifying implications for infants being suckled by suspiciously pedophilic men who are turned on by getting their nipples sucked. Ironically, the WPATH doctors’ discussion of the wannabe ‘chest feeder’ ends with the decision that this particular patient’s desire for induced lactation (yes, it can be done for males and they will produce breast milk) ends with the decision that it’s not ‘medically necessary’. This patient is the only one to whom they said ‘No’. Some of the WPATHologicals exhibit some discomfort at the realization that at least some of these desired surgeries are in service to male sexual fetishes, primarily autogynephilia which throws the whole ‘gender dysphoria’ explanation up for debate. It’s HORRIFYING! The whole time my brain kept screaming. “WHY? WHY? WHY?” I read this terrible report with my mouth hung open mouthing the words, “What the fuck? What the fuck? What the bloody fucking fuck?” One of the many aspects of the whole transgender craze I’ve found unfathomable is the abandonment of evidence-based science-backed healthcare by medical professionals. It’s like social justice aliens turned doctors and clinicians and therapists into Pod People. How could this happen in the 21st century? The WPATH Files’s section on the history of ‘pseudoscientific hormonal and surgical experiments on children and vulnerable adults,’ answers how this could happen. In fact, again. The medical profession has looooong had a weird obsession with fixing psychiatric illness experimentally by removing or damaging healthy tissue—especially genitals and reproductive organs. It begins with the infamous lobotomies of the mid-twentieth century, then backtracks to the ovariotomies of the 19th century, in which every psychological malady that affected ‘hysterical’ women were attributed to their ovaries, and, like transgender patients today, they begged doctors to remove theirs, which the doctors were happy to do. It wasn’t until doctors started removing healthy ovaries from female prisoners that the public began resisting. Not surprisingly, doctors who resisted ovariotomies were attacked for being ‘wanting in humanity’ and ‘guilty of criminal neglect of patients,’ not unlike those attacked for being ‘transphobic’ or hateful today. It’s like the medical profession never learns that psychiatric distress happens between the ears, not the legs or hips. Is it the money to be made? Do they really believe they’re saving the world? What I still don’t understand is how they can remove healthy flesh and think they’re helping rather than harming. But I guess if parents can resist asking the obvious question Where were all the trans kids when we were growing up? it’s not hard to shut your mind off from the part of the Hippocratic Oath that prohibits that. Transgender healthcare is patient-driven, not doctor- or evidence-driven, and for the underaged, it’s kid-driven. The WPATH professionals routinely talk about their ‘experiments’ with trying to help patients receive the results conforming to the body image they want, despite being told that while people can be ‘non-binary’, hormones are not, and that each one comes with a package of changes, not all of which may be desired. Outside criticisms of their work, when they discuss it, are dismissed as conservative transphobia and hysteria. If you’re wondering what the trans community’s reaction is to this report’s release, guess. Just guess. The left-wing media, at least at the time of this writing, is near-silent on the subject. Nothing so far from the New York Times, The Atlantic, the Toronto Star, the Huffington Post, NPR, MSNBC, CNN, the Daily Beast, the Intercept, Washington Post, Politico, Time, or Newsweek. Nada x 13. One exception this morning: The Guardian. The collusion and collaboration with a scientifically bankrupt medical practice spreads far and wide, a filthy web littered with money, discarded breasts, mutilated genitals and the misguided intentions of progressive social justice activists who believe quite passionately they’re on the ‘right side of history’ when in fact they must know, not too deep down, that history may well judge them harshly, but hopefully after they’re dead. WPATH is considered one of the primary, perhaps the primary go-to for reliable, consistent, reviewed, scientific and evidence-based policy and practice for treating people with ‘gender dysphoria’, a term invented in 2013. It is none of these things. It’s the big pile of poo the entire field of transgender healthcare is rooted in: Lies. Unapproved, unethical medical experiments. Low- or no-quality research. A complete disregard for the clear harms they’re doing to their patients and except for the wannabe ‘chest feeder’, an otherwise utter lack of ability to say no to any surgery consumers demand, no matter how outrageous or inhumane. Dear God and Goddess, what have we become? 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!

  • International Women's Day Event Cancelled After Cancelling Their Invited Speaker

    Almost-but-not-quite International Women's Day is 'inclusive' of all but one type of woman in Peterborough, Ontario Here’s what’s not happening in Peterborough, Ontario today for International Women’s Day 2024. The INSPIRE International Women’s Day Event, which promised to ‘Inspire Inclusion’, the theme of this year’s global event according to the main IWD website, had been scheduled for today, but was cancelled in February due to—non-inclusion. Or ‘postponed’ as they put it, which is a bit weird as who the hell is going to come to an International Women’s Day event after the actual commemorative day? By ‘postponed’ I expect they mean ‘cancelled until next year’. Seems some women are less welcome than others. INSPIRE rescinded the invitation to their scheduled keynote speaker, Leah Goldstein, who, as it turns out, has a ‘problematic’ past. Seems thirty years ago, when she was living in Israel, where she was raised after being born in Vancouver, she spent her military service in the IDF, the Israeli Defense Force. Goldstein served in training only, not combat. Before she moved back to Canada, she served as a police officer in the late ‘90s. So what does military service during the Yitzhak Rabin years have to do with Goldstein’s Israel-free keynote speech today? “In recognition of the current situation and the sensitivity of the conflict in the Middle East, the Board of INSPIRE will be changing our keynote speaker,” they told the media. Although Goldstein’s ethnicity is easy to guess by her name (she’s not married), one wonders if perhaps learning she’d served in the IDF was that left-wing dog whistle calling the anti-Semites to arms. It was, according to the National Post, “a small but growing and extremely vocal group”, who had a problem with Goldstein’s military service. It’s always a ‘small and extremely vocal group.’ ‘Social justice’ activists are like chihuahuas: The littlest ones make the most noise. Goldstein, presumably, was hired to speak at this event because of her accomplishments - she won a 4,800 km bicycle race in 2021, becoming the first woman to win the solo category of Race Across America, one of the longest in the world. She was also going to speak about becoming a 17-year old World Kickboxing Champion, along with “bravery, growth and overcoming sexism.” She sounds like a perfectly badass powerful motivated feminist chick, exactly the sort of role model one might want to promote on International Women’s Day. It takes some real labia to serve in the military and then move on to police service, and then to bike 3,000 miles across North America - and beat everyone else. But, the whiniest wokes yapped and scrapped, so INSPIRE caved like wimpy corporate CEOs and did what the chihuahua mob demanded. Inclusive, indeed. The festival’s organizer sparkies asked Goldstein to provide a statement about Israel prefacing her speech, although she hadn’t intended to address it at all or make it political. One wonders how much INSPIRE would have liked it if she had. Now INSPIRE may be investigated by the city’s DEI office, as has been asked by one of Peterborough’s city councillors. INSPIRE hadn’t asked Goldstein what she planned to speak about at the event, or to see a draft of her speech. But they wanted to make sure she held the woke-approved ‘correct’ irrelevant opinion, whether she intended to bring it up or not. I could perhaps see some concern about divisiveness if her speech touched upon the war—perhaps organizers might be concerned about a day devoted to inspiring and motivating women devolving into a crazy political free-for-all—but it doesn’t appear they asked to see her speech, or what she intended to speak about. According to the International Women’s Day website, under its call to commitment to ‘inspire inclusion’, it says, When women aren't present, we must ask: "If not, why not?" When women are discriminated against, we must call out poor practice. When the treatment of women is not equitable, we must take action. And we must do this each time, every time. What did INSPIRE do to respond to their failure to meet the standards for International Women’s Day 2024? They battened down their website and their Facebook page. I wonder how controversial INSPIRE’s keynote speech might have been had the speaker been a Palestinian woman describing getting bombed and displaced every day by the IDF, with nary a mention of Hamas or Gazan votes for. Would anyone have objected? At any rate, the Maneschevitz hit the fan once word got out about INSPIRE’s cancellation. The mass media got involved. Social media got involved. People flooded City Hall and INSPIRE, along with a few beleaguered unrelated women’s groups, with supportive comments, mostly for Goldstein rather than the wokemonsters of INSPIRE. As always, ‘progressives’ demonstrated their commitment to ‘inclusion’ stops at anyone with the ‘wrong’ political opinions or with ties to a group they don’t like. Maybe they should have invited instead a less controversial speaker—like a man pretending to be a woman, as the Hershey company did last year. You know, someone whose major life challenge is deciding which bathroom to pee in. There will be other rallies and events in Peterborough for International Women’s Day, but not for the Judaeophobic unINSPIREd. I hope they spend the day, rather, reflecting on just what ‘inclusion’ really means, and why ‘diversity’ never seems to include differing political ideas. Or why the hell someone’s military service decades ago matters. Or if it’s only with a military service they don’t like. Or why they felt the need to ask Leah Goldstein about her views on the war. Were they going to dictate the ‘statement’ they wanted her to make first? Would they have approached a Palestinian speaker this way, or, indeed, anyone other than a Jew? The whole thing just has a highly distasteful odor about it. The stench of antisemitism sandwiched within ‘progressive’ politics. Don’t judge the City of Peterborough from this sorry affair. It’s a lovely small town in the Kawarthas, a chain of lakes in south central Ontario. Peterborough is rustic and country and drop-dead gorgeous during the fall. Every town has its bad apples, and obnoxious, snappy little human chihuahuas. Hopefully they’re chastened at the demise of an event they themselves have wrought. Anyway, I hope you all have an awesome International Women’s Day! Go forth and be a badass, no matter what your politics! Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I know, it's two days late! 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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