Elsewhere (313)

Jonathan Kay on woke mysticism and the latest must-have identity niche:  

[O]ne of the main themes of the 32-page document is that the task of defining the Two-Spirit concept is (quite literally) beyond the powers of Western language and epistemology. And in any case, the category is almost completely open-ended: The act of proclaiming oneself Two-Spirited could be a statement about one’s gender, or sexual orientation, or both, or neither. Or 2S can be a statement about one’s politics, spirituality, or simply one’s desire to present as “anti-colonial.” […]

While the authors of the report were careful to source their work to Indigenous writers and interviewees, it’s interesting to note that all of the listed societal roles attributed to ancient Two-Spirited people align uncannily with the avant-garde outlook of a white 2022-era environmentalist who’s embraced intersectional conceptions of gender… We are told no fewer than nine times, for instance, that the authors are following an “anti-oppressive” approach. Colonialism is denounced more than a dozen times, including in its “heteronormative” (three times) variant.

Needless to say, the whole thing is a bit of a two-legged stool and, shall we say, not entirely consonant with anthropological evidence.

Libby Emmons on cheated female athletes and transgender overreach:

Continue reading "Elsewhere (313)" »

Womenfolk, Know Your Place

And in sports news:

An adult biological male who identifies as a woman edged out a 13-year-old girl to take first place in a women’s skateboarding contest held in New York Saturday.

Sometimes reality is a little too on-the-nose.

Update, via the comments, where Melofon adds,

Ben Shapiro’s Daily Wire takes a brave stand in favour of ... the tradition and competitive integrity of the sport of women’s skateboarding. Opening itself up to the (correct) rebuttal that it has no interest in skateboarding or women in skateboarding, and is only covering it to pick on the tranny.

Well, I doubt that ladies’ skateboarding is a regular topic of conversation at the Daily Wire, or among its readers, but the particulars of the sport are not the thing that’s most interesting. There is a wider context, of which the above is very much part. I would guess that readers are more likely to be interested in the pretence that unwell men can become women, seemingly by dint of wishing, and are therefore to be admitted, unopposed, into women’s sports and women’s intimate spaces. The Daily Wire’s readers may even regard this trend, correctly, as pretentious, unrealistic, and unhappy in its implications.

To register this phenomenon - and its wide and rapid spread - as noteworthy is rather more than, as Melofon puts it, picking on the tranny.

More details of the skateboarding saga can be found here.

Readers will note that several wins by dysmorphic men have occurred in women’s skateboarding, and that female players who aren’t entirely happy with this arrangement find themselves assailed by trans activists for daring to complain. Again, the issue isn’t ladies’ skateboarding as such, but rather the ongoing and widespread efforts to normalise something that’s quite odd, one might say surreal, and often unjust.

If another example is required, one that shows, quite vividly, just how awry things can get…

Continue reading "Womenfolk, Know Your Place" »

Elsewhere (310)

Ben Sixsmith on the blurring of identity and mental illness: 

Of course, it is good to understand the choices people make. But is it always necessary to respect those choices? Some people who have sought out castration claim to be much happier and calmer for it. Yet auto-castration is well-known to be a sign of chronic paranoid schizophrenia. One study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine suggested that in others, the desire to castrate themselves was correlated with “abuse sustained during childhood, including parental threats of castration” and “religious condemnation of sexuality,” among other things. Would anyone insist that there are not healthier means of dealing with such traumas?

Leor Sapir on transgender swimmer Lia Thomas - and when politeness becomes unhinged: 

The Human Rights Campaign warns that “contrasting transgender people with ‘real’ or ‘biological’ men and women is a false comparison” that “can contribute to the inaccurate perception that transgender people are being deceptive or less than equal, when, in fact, they are being authentic and courageous.” This is a strawman wrapped in a non sequitur. Critics of gender self-identification do not argue that people like Thomas are “being deceptive,” but rather that they are themselves deceived. HRC’s use of “authentic” here really means “sincere”: transgender women are being sincere, not deceptive, when they say they have a strong inner sense of being a woman. But that sincerity is irrelevant unless one first assumes that what makes a belief true is the fact that it is sincerely held, rather than its correspondence to objective reality.

Emil Kirkegaard on mental health and political leanings: 

Back in May 2020, I published a paper provocatively titled Mental Illness and the Left. It was based on the common observation (stereotype!) that conservatives seem less prone to mental illness… Since my study was published, replications have come out. The fact that this replicates is not at all surprising because the samples were very large, representative, and results not p-hacked and with tiny p values. Here’s an overview of recent replications…

Statistical chomping ensues. And I’ll leave these items here for no reason whatsoever.

Continue reading "Elsewhere (310)" »

Rhetorical Wheelies

Cyclists and the cycling industry must come to terms with the reality that cycling is a powerful narrator in the power of whiteness that feeds anti-Blackness.

Via Instapundit, news from the frontier of woke sports, where “the power of whiteness within cycling” is, we’re assured, a thing that exists:

It’s time for cycling to think beyond white fragility, white privilege, implicit bias, and microaggressions, and begin to think about its root cause. Cycling must reject interventions that continue to individualise anti-Black racism, and work to break down the structures that allow whiteness to retain power in the sport.

As is the custom, assertions soon pile high, albeit unsteadily, and questions are begged at a rate of knots. The “system of privileges and advantages afforded to white people” is denounced more than once, along with “the whiteness of cycling,” though, as so often, the particulars remain unobvious and unconvincing. Apparently, “white privilege” is a phenomenon to be taken as a given, always and everywhere, and in which we must believe. For instance,

In late September, many in the sport turned a blind eye when it came to light that world-champion Chloe Dygert ‘liked’ several racist and transphobic tweets. 

I’m unfamiliar with Ms Dygert or her views, but the sole, supposedly damning, example of her “transphobia” is her liking of the statement “Men who identify as women are not actually women.” This does not strike me as phobic, or scandalous, or indeed inaccurate. And for a female athlete to prefer competing against other women, i.e., fairly, should not be controversial - in a sane world. As for alleged racism, the only evidence provided is the liking of a tweet that says, “White privilege doesn’t exist; good choice privilege does.” But even to dispute woke conspiracy theories is, it turns outs, itself proof of racism and a basis for “disgust,” which seems enormously convenient, for the accuser, and must save a lot of time. And so, this liking of a tweet is framed as,

an expression of the violent normality of anti-Black racism in the world.

Which is in no way hyperbolical or ludicrous, obviously.

Continue reading "Rhetorical Wheelies" »

Elsewhere (289)

Via Darleen, Mary Hudson on the dirty secrets of ‘progressive’ public education:

There was an ethos of hostile resistance. Those who wanted to learn were prevented from doing so. Anyone who “cooperated with the system” was bullied. No homework was done. Students said they couldn’t do it because if textbooks were found in their backpacks, the offending students would be beaten up… I tried everything imaginable to overcome student resistance. Nothing worked. At one point I rearranged the seating to enable the students who wanted to engage to come to the front of the classroom. The principal was informed, and I was reprimanded. This was “discriminatory.” 

Somewhat related, this, this, and the third item here

Jonah Goldberg on the immorality of “social justice”: 

Among the myriad problems with this worldview is that individual circumstances are boiled away… Vast abstract categories of human beings are swept up into notions of collective guilt — or victimhood… Traditionally, a person is only supposed to be responsible for the wrongs he or she committed against a specific person. If Person A does something terrible entirely unbeknownst to Person B, it is unjust to hold Person B accountable solely because of the colour of his skin. It’s even more grotesque to hold Person B accountable for the things done by Person A if Person A lived 300 years ago.

Andy Meek on a modern vice: 

Robocallers and spam callers are getting quite good at masking their identity. They do this partly by “spoofing” local numbers, making it seem like a legitimate local number is calling to increase the likelihood that you’ll answer. That’s the reason, according to [caller-ID app] Hiya, that around 9 percent of spam calls a month actually get answered by phone owners even though they don’t recognise the number calling. Nine percent might not sound like much, until you consider the fact that 26.3 billion robocalls were made to American phones in 2018. That’s up 46 percent from 2017’s total of 18 billion.

And via Ace, some news from the world of powerlifting, an activity we don’t often cover here:

Continue reading "Elsewhere (289)" »

Big Ambitions

For those who missed it in the comments:

While fat activism has disrupted many dominant discourses that causally contribute to negative judgments about fat bodies, it has not yet penetrated the realm of competitive bodybuilding. 

Savour that sentence. Let it roll around your mind.

According to its author, Richard Baldwin, fat bodybuilding should be a thing that exists. Specifically, “a fat-inclusive politicised performance… embedded within bodybuilding,” in which the “assumptions” and standards of the sport would be “destabilised,” with the result that “everyone” can be “taken seriously,” regardless of their girth and athleticism. Competitors, we’re told, would “showcase fat through poses… that display fat in a body-positive way,” while wearing whatever commodious garments are deemed to enhance the, um, aesthetics of their gyrations. And hey, showcasing fat is what sport’s all about. 

It takes time to make a fat body. It takes even more time to make a politicised fat body. This is precisely the message fat bodybuilding should convey: the fat body is a body built by time and work and deserves to be respected.

These are the dizzy heights of Fat Studies scholarship.  

Unlike Mr Baldwin, I make no claim to being “dedicated to fighting oppression and promoting social justice,” but actually, it occurs to me that a fat body, by which the author seems to mean an ostentatiously obese one, is quite easy to arrive at, as it generally involves the abandonment of self-denial, succumbing to temptation by default, and a tendency to shun any avoidable exertion. Basically, torpidity and a lack of care. A point somewhat underlined by the unremarkable fact that the number of fat people exceeds by orders of magnitude the number of bodybuilders.

Via Darleen

Quick, Men. To The Escape Pods

“We want to destroy the Conservative government. We want to bring down the Patriarchy.”

And if this doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will

In the UK, women and femme-identifying people have come under sustained attack by the Conservative government… But Phoebe Patey-Ferguson and Anna Smith didn’t want to give in to hopelessness. Instead, they decided to wrestle each other in their shared art studio in east London.

Chunky tattooed ladies channelling their inner umbrage. Part fetish, part psychodrama, part delusional politics - feminist fight club is apparently a thing now:

“Most of the spaces we perform in are queer spaces so often people haven’t been able to really allow themselves to feel the anger and rage that they do feel,” [says Patey-Ferguson]. “So often they are thankful to us for the space that we can feel that together… You don’t feel like you are locked in your room staring at the internet alone. There is a kind of empowerment in that, because if we express that together, there is a possibility of change.”

For these terribly radical ladies and “femme-identified” beings, fighting each other ineptly and accidentally cracking each other’s ribs - while screaming “Fuck you, Theresa May!” - is “a mode of resistance.”

And yes, there is video

Elsewhere (197)

Joshua Yasmeh on the travails of attempting to speak on a left-leaning campus: 

Ben Shapiro spoke to the students at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, which purports to be a “Christian, liberal arts college.” Unfortunately, there was nothing “Christian” or “liberal” about the administration’s decision to censor all video coverage of Shapiro’s speech. Luckily, the ever-resourceful Shapiro decided go full MacGyver, evading the Orwellian police and streaming a live broadcast via Periscope with his own selfie stick.

The video, selfie stick and all, can be viewed here

Dave Huber on the public’s general preference for men’s sporting events over women’s: 

If you’re a sports fan (like me) who likes to watch the very best athletes engaged in the highest level of competition, then Daniela Brighenti’s article in the Yale Daily News won’t make a lot of sense to you. Desiring to watch the best sporting events, you see, is merely a “societal (and cultural) bias” against women.

And further to this farcical episode, the arrest of serial vandal and race-baiter Denzel McDonald has apparently caused uproar and searing mental trauma across campus, or at least among other pernicious little clowns in the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Afro-American Studies:

“We will be walking out of our classrooms to stand in solidarity with him and to organise against the anti-Black racism that has plagued our campus historically and contemporarily,” organisers state on Facebook. “We will be delivering our demands to the Chancellor and UWPD and need student support. We have to let them know that there are consequences for perpetuating white supremacy.”

Because when the police calmly and politely arrest a thug who’s wanted for threatening behaviour and 11 counts of vandalism, causing thousands of dollars of damage - specifically, by spraying deranged anti-white racist graffiti on campus walls – then this arrest somehow constitutes “white supremacy.” And the real victims here, apparently, are professors of Afro-American Studies - who, along with their students, are supposedly experiencing “a version of post-traumatic stress syndrome” and “a mental health crisis as serious as those following campus shootings or natural disasters.” 

Continue reading "Elsewhere (197)" »

An Art Critic Speaks

The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones has been busy enthusing about the new mascot for Partick Thistle Football Club, created by Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley. The mascot, funded privately and described by Mr Jones as the creation of “a tough and honest artist” and “art at its best,” can be seen and studied here, no doubt at great length. However, in championing Mr Shrigley’s handiwork, the Guardian’s art critic inadvertently makes an argument for ending taxpayer subsidy of so-called “public” art: 

Populism and good art are incompatible… Good artists… don’t please crowds… That is why most public art in modern Britain is awful… Good artists cannot and will not provide what the public wants. They need to be edgy, challenging, otherwise they will become sell-outs.

Note Mr Jones’ unironic use of the word edgy

An example of Mr Jones’ idea of that rare thing - great, edgy public art – i.e., paid for coercively by extorting the taxpayer, in this case to the tune of £95,000 - can be found here. Mr Jones described said object as “a very elegant work… redemptive, joyous, liberating.”

Elsewhere (134)

Gay Patriot ponders the twilight of The Patriarchy

It’s interesting that the feminists chose Chicago for their “Smash the Patriarchy” message, because nowhere has the Patriarchy been more successfully smashed than in the inner cities. Households led by fathers have become exceedingly rare, single women raise families without husbands, and very few people participate in capitalist enterprises; the inner cities have become radical feminist utopia. How’s that working out for them?

Eric S Raymond does some impolite maths

That 2% [of the U.S. population, i.e., black males aged 15-24] is responsible for almost 52% of U.S. homicides. Or, to put it differently, by these figures a young black or “mixed” male is roughly 26 times more likely to be a homicidal threat than a random person outside that category – older or younger blacks, whites, Hispanics, females, whatever… 26 times more likely. That’s a lot. It means that even given very forgiving assumptions about differential rates of conviction and other factors, we probably still have a difference in propensity to homicide (and other violent crimes for which its rates are an index, including rape, armed robbery, and hot burglary) of around 20:1. Any cop who treated members of a group with a factor 20 greater threat level than population baseline “equally” would be crazy. 

A long discussion ensues.

And Robert Stacy McCain probes the deep feminist philosophy of Ms Emma Watson

Emma Watson is the actress most famous for her part in the Harry Potter movies. More recently, she has become “Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women,” a job that evidently requires her to say silly feminist stuff on Twitter, e.g.: “Gender equality not only liberates women but also men from prescribed gender stereotypes.” Ri-iiight. Because what guys really need is to be liberated from “prescribed gender stereotypes.” All the hot babes like Emma Watson are crazy for guys who don’t fit “prescribed gender stereotypes,” right? So you will probably be surprised to learn that Emma Watson is dating a bald scrawny impoverished poet  the biggest jock at an elite university:

The 23-year-old former Harry Potter film star has recently begun dating a fellow Oxford University student named Matthew Janney… Janney, 21, is not only a student at the prestigious institution, he is also a star rugby player for their varsity team. Despite his prized athletic skills, Janney has also been recognised for something else: his looks. According to the report, the college student was named “Oxford’s most eligible bachelor” and “best looking player” by the university’s rugby team’s official Twitter account.

In other words, an Alpha male, the epitome of “prescribed gender stereotypes” from which Emma Watson says we need to be liberated.

As usual, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments.

Elsewhere (129)

Theodore Dalrymple on the values and inversions of the British underclass:  

Certainly the notions of dependence and independence have changed. I remember a population that was terrified of falling into dependence on the state, because such dependence, apart from being unpleasant in itself, signified personal failure and humiliation. But there has been an astonishing gestalt switch in my lifetime. Independence has now come to mean independence of the people to whom one is related and dependence on the state.

Mothers would say to me that they were pleased to be independent, by which they meant independent of the fathers of their children — usually more than one — who in general were violent swine. Of course, the mothers knew them to be violent swine before they had children by them, but the question of whether a man would be a suitable father is no longer a question because there are no fathers: At best, though often also at worst, there are only stepfathers. The state would provide. In the new dispensation the state, as well as television, is father to the child.

See also this, especially the last two paragraphs. 

Ed Driscoll quotes Daniel Henninger: 

The IRS tea-party audit story isn’t Watergate; it’s worse than Watergate. The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable.

See also Roger Kimball on de-unionising the IRS. Paul Caron’s exhaustive archive covering the scandal is of course still growing

And somewhat related to thisChristina Hoff Sommers on sporting gender quotas and law gone bad: 

Because of pressure from women’s groups like the National Women’s Law Centre and the Women’s Sports Foundation, Title IX evolved into a rigid quota regime that dictates equal participation in sports by both sexes regardless of interest… Schools are cutting back on male teams and creating new women’s teams, not because of demand, but because they are afraid of a federal investigation. [Feminist advocates] have persuaded courts that if there are fewer women than men on college varsity teams the only explanation is discrimination. [But] the evidence that women taken as a group are less interested than men in competitive sports is overwhelming.  

As always, feel free to share your own links and snippets in the comments. It’s what these posts are for.