You know what the world needs more of?
Boxes of complementary confetti, delivered right to your doorstep!
You know what the world needs more of?
Boxes of complementary confetti, delivered right to your doorstep!
Union-busting Kevin O’Leary, former leadership hopeful for Canada’s Conservative party, dropped out of the race last week.
He was a latecomer when he officially jumped in to the race in January, joining an already crowded field of candidates, some of them eager to discredit the reality TV celebrity.
Even before he registered, rival Lisa Raitt, a former cabinet minister under Stephen Harper, lambasted O’Leary in a news conference, warning his Donald Trump-style tactics would divide the Conservative Party and ruin any chance of its return to power.
“If principled and pragmatic Conservatives don’t join together, we will see our party hijacked by the loudest voice in the room,” she warned.
(Somebody might want to warn Raitt that “principled Conservative” is an oxymoron.)
He also faced character attacks from outside the party, including a broadside by his former Dragon’s Den co-host Arlene Dickinson, who accused him of a “total lack of empathy” for Canadians who put their heart and soul on the line.
“Kevin is funny. I often enjoyed a glass of wine with him. He’s also intelligent and a savvy self-promoter,” she wrote in an opinion column for CBC News. “But at his core, he’s an opportunist. He doesn’t do anything that doesn’t offer a path to power, fame or fortune — and that should have us all afraid.”
The O’Leary campaign attracted much media attention, in part for gaffes along the way.
He faced an angry backlash for posting a video of himself shooting a handgun and other automatic weapons on his social media accounts on the same afternoon a public funeral service was underway for three of the six victims of the Quebec City mosque attack.
The posts were quickly pulled and his spokesperson apologized for the mistake, but damage was done. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called it “obviously crass, insensitive and exceedingly dumb.”
He faced more accusations of not being a serious contender when he took time off the campaign to peddle his own wines on an American home shopping channel.
Man, that sounds familiar.
O’Leary left the race Wednesday with a frank admission that he was bowing out and throwing his support behind former cabinet minister Maxime Bernier. He said it would be foolish, even selfish, to pursue the leadership knowing he does not have the path or probability of winning the next federal election.
Of course, Bernier, the new Conservative favourite, is still a total shitheel.
But at least one of our mini-Trumps is out. Still a few more to go though.
But apparently that’s the sole qualification for writing at LifeSiteNews.
Hey, you know what we haven’t done in a while? Tuned in to some bonafide Catholic hysterics occurring in the Province of Alberta. Behold the beauty that is LifeSiteNews’ totally unbiased coverage (or don’t, you might want to save your brain cells).
EDMONTON, Alberta, April 18, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Christian political action group and a parents group are responding to the controversy over a pro-life group comparing the Holocaust to abortion by accusing the New Democratic government of promoting unscientific and dangerous gender ideology.
Basically: Steve Weatherbe, the intrepid reporter on this scoop, is freely and literally admitting that the only thing Conservatives can do when presented with criticism is change the topic rather than defend their actions.
Off to a good start.
Trans communities often have something that resembles religion in my estimate–hormones. On the topic of testosterone and its masculinizing effects, Rosenberg criticized a This American Life episode featuring a trans man who justified his sexual objectification of women by citing testosterone as his excuse. Rosenberg notes (and rightly so) that misogyny is a learned behaviour and that there was no basis to connect a biochemical molecule to social norms about expressing sexual attraction.
As much as I would like to think otherwise, there’s no reason a trans person will be any better educated on the notions of biological essentialism or the Euro-colonial gender binary, so it follows that you will also find among trans women a range of anti-feminist or misogynist behaviours. Rosenberg’s article deals with the stereotypes associated with masculinity, and so I thought I would do the same for trans feminine folks and femininity–specifically the trope that we become emotionally fragile simply because we take estrogen.
With trans men, testosterone is often used to reinforce ideas of toxic masculinity, encouraging stereotypes about men as hypersexual, aggressive, angry, emotionally stunted beasts who want to hump everything they see. I see these narratives everywhere, from ‘activist’-leaning online forums to mainstream media.
If I go to a local trans feminine support group, I could ask each member to stand if they could answer “yes” to a few different questions. I could ask if anyone has been raped, and around two-thirds of the group will stand up. I could ask if anyone lost their jobs and has struggled in their careers, about a quarter. If they are on poor terms with their parents, about two-thirds. How many lost their marriages, maybe a third. Assaulted? Half. Victims of domestic violence? Half again. Harassed on the street? All of them. Most of the circle will have experienced two or more of these things.
These same ladies will insist, vociferously and from the bottom of their heart, that it’s the estrogen making them cry.
Don’t get me wrong, as a trans woman and someone who has the liberty and dumb luck to have the option of hormone replacements, I’m well aware of its effects. I felt that I had been gasping for air at high altitude for two decades before I transitioned, and just starting hormone replacements alone felt like I began to breathe for the first time in my life. But I am quite confident that my sudden inability to remain stoic had everything to do with surviving multiple assaults and a domestic abuse situation and nothing to do with a steroidal hormone, despite both occurring at the same time.
And let’s not forget the suffocating effect untreated gender dysphoria can have long before we figure any of this out. The oft-quoted 41% statistic referring to the rate of attempted suicides in trans Americans isn’t actually lifelong or spread out evenly–it’s mostly clustered around coming out and the planning thereof, usually settling to be no different than the general population as a person’s transition progresses. The closet is no place for a person, yet I see its effects seldom recognized by those crediting estrogen for their newfound emotions–something which usually begins shortly after coming out.
One thing I appreciate about Rae Rosenberg’s piece is that it reminds us that oppression is something you do, rather than something you are.
When trans men argue that they can’t be misogynist because they were socialized as women, it further erases that women can also reinforce and reproduce misogyny.
I would certainly say it is also misogyny–albeit of the internalized variety–for us trans feminine folks to look at the ruins around us and assume we’re emotional because of estrogen. I think this does a disservice to us all when we don’t recognize that anybody would be right in feeling a bit fragile in the circumstances I described above. We’ve earned our tears, estrogen be damned.
All this occurs alongside and in addition to our hormone replacements. I’m just not convinced causation has ever been teased out. It sounds far more likely that we are just reproducing the idea that expressing emotion is effeminate, rather than an ordinary adaptation to stress, something most of us are under a tremendous amount of. And while it is validating in the context of a support group, let’s not forget that it will just as easily be the justification of our dismissals by transmisogynistic people when we leave it.
Concern over the treatment of inmates is generally my litmus test for how thought-out someone is with the concept of social justice. They’re an incredibly easy group to demonize–hell, even being accused is all it takes for some juries to condemn some defendants–and once that work is done, otherwise knowledgeable people can fumble and overlook the human rights abuses. Often the temptation is to immediately think of the unrepentant serial criminals, especially the violent ones, rather than appreciating that a wide range of individuals are imprisoned for a wide range of activities, some of which have relatively low social cost.
Even so, I have objected to the mistreatment of high-profile murderers in my local prisons because I have good reason to believe it doesn’t stop there.
Susan Ashline, on behalf of an inmate named Jon Fontaine, posted Fontaine’s writings on his lawsuit against the prison that housed him. What’s quite remarkable is that Fontaine screencapped his former guards’ public Facebook postings, which actually helps him corroborate some of his accusations.
Over the past four years, I’ve communicated with a few dozen people by mail, most wanting to know what prison is like. I’d tell them if they’ve seen any “reality” shows about prison, New York prisons are nothing like that. There is no professionalism, no respect. I’d write them, “They literally put unconvicted criminals in charge and let them do anything they want. It’s legal organized crime.”
I’d go on and list all the things officers do, from singular assault to gang assault, murder, rape, planting weapons and drugs, selling weapons and drugs, extortion, and more.
Some believe me, some don’t.
If the public isn’t convinced by the criminal prosecutions now that the Office of Special Investigations was formed to replace the Inspector General’s Office (which was made up of former corrections officers);
If they’re not convinced by the federal charges brought by the US Attorney General’s Office, which stated brutality in New York’s prisons has reached critical levels;
If they’re not convinced by the tens of millions of dollars New York pays out each year to settle lawsuits brought by inmates;
Just look at the corrections officers’ own public statements. They’re playing their positions.
Many thanks to those officers for contributing to my credibility.
Read more about it here.
Anyone criticized by the Church is probably a decent person:
Camara was still a Catholic priest, and had his moments waffling back-and-forth on a number of positions where his theology wrestled with his morality. I only specifically respect his ability to identify an attempt at manipulation within human rights discourse–this idea that social problems can be solved is often met by opponents with changing the topic, rather than examining the specifics or entertaining the possibility that we’re on to something. Proles apologizing for Capitalism seem to me eager to dismiss the injustices of our stratified societies as inevitable rather than easily resolved by, say, eating the rich. (I’m only half-joking).
As ever, there are no heroes, and I could write about Camara’s less palatable positions another day. Today, we just celebrate this particular gem of snark.
What strikes me immediately is that they’re being organized by people who have been caught on film, rather unambiguously, assaulting people.
I mean the police were more than happy to arrest and charge 230 people on inauguration day with felony rioting for the actions of 4 identified vandals but they can’t pursue assault charges on the most open and closed case that could possibly be served on their desk?
A new fight-club “fraternity” of young white, pro-Trump men is being formed, its organizers claim, to defend free-speech rights by “Alt-Right” leaders and engage in street fighting.
Kyle Chapman, a California activist arrested earlier this month in a clash in Berkeley between anti-fascist protesters and pro-Trump demonstrators, announced this week he is forming the Fraternal Order of Alt Knights (cleverly called “FOAK).
Chapman, who uses the Internet meme “Based Stick Man,” says his new militant, highly-masculine group will be the “tactical defensive arm” of the Proud Boys, another group that shows up at pro-Trump rallies looking to rumble with counter-protesters.
“We don’t fear the fight. We are the fight,” Chapman said in a recent social media post announcing FOAK’s formation.
“I’m proud to announce that my newly created Fraternal Order of Alt-Knights will be partnering with Proud Boys,” Chapman said, with the “full-approval” of its founder, Gavin McInnes.
McInnes is a co-founder of Vice (although he and the magazine severed ties 10 years ago) and more recently has been a frequent guest on FOX News and a contributor for the racist site VDARE where he denigrated Muslims and called Asian Americans “slopes” and “riceballs.”
Now described as a “neo-masculine reactionary,” McInnes calls his Proud Boys a “pro-West fraternal organization.”
Others describe it as the military arm of the Alt-Right.
I’m sure law enforcement is on the case with just as much enthusiasm as the antifa crackdown, right? [Edit April 28, 2017: Scratch that. Those same defendants have all had an additional 7 felonies added to their charges. All 210 of them. Just a reminder–they connected 4 people to the actual acts of vandalism.]
Alberta Health Services recently announced that coverage of Mifegymiso, a 1st trimester abortifacient, will be provided as part of its provincial medicine.
The decision from Rachel Notley’s NDP government makes Alberta the second province in Canada to say that it will offer universal access to Mifegymiso, a two-drug medical abortion kit that received an important endorsement from an expert committee on Thursday.
“The Alberta government strongly supports women’s reproductive health options,” Tim Kulak, a spokesman for Alberta Health, said in response to questions from The Globe and Mail. “In light of the [Common Drug Review] Canadian Drug Expert Committee’s positive listing recommendation, Alberta will be taking steps to make this drug available free of charge to all women in Alberta who may need it.”
The province does not yet have a firm date for when public funding will take effect.
Other provincial governments canvassed by The Globe said they need more time to consider public funding for the medication, which became available in Canada in January, usually at a price of $300.
Right now, women have to pay that cost out-of-pocket unless they have a private health insurer that covers the drug.
Some provinces, including Manitoba and Ontario, said they would wait for the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA), which negotiates confidential deals on behalf of the provincial, territorial and federal public drug plans, to reach an agreement with Celopharma Inc., Mifegymiso’s Canadian distributor.
“This [pCPA] process will occur before we make a decision whether to add Mifegymiso to our provincial drug formulary,” a spokeswoman for the government of Manitoba said by e-mail.
Every province except New Brunswick – which earlier this month promised public funding for the abortion pill – has been saying for months that it would not move to cover Mifegymiso until the Common Drug Review, which advises the public drug plans on whether to cover new medications, weighed in.
The CDR’s expert committee released its final report on Thursday.
As first reported in The Globe, the document endorses public reimbursement for Mifegymiso because of its safe and effective record, and its cost competitiveness with surgical abortions.
“We’re delighted. [The report] really is good news,” said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, which represents abortion providers in Canada and the United States. “Now I think we really will see [Mifegymiso] expanding to the more rural areas and it can finally live up to its promise of increasing women’s access to very safe, effective abortion care.”
The only down side to good news is that there’s not much to add. Hurray!
At some point during my career of fact-checking the trans-antagonistic self indulgent wankery that passes for journalism these days, things started to blur together. I could play a game called “Who Said It: Transphobic Radical ‘Feminist’ or Catholic Priest?” when examining the statements and sometimes mix them up, their tangled logic and moralistic aggression seemingly borrowing from one another to the point of being difficult to tell apart. In this morass I began to notice a number of repeated rhetorical tricks frequently present in these anti-trans hit pieces, tricks which I’ve documented below. These rhetorical devices often obfuscate the increasingly-clear evidence to their hypothetical questions, which are themselves posed to give the impression of being unanswerable–so just go with your gut. You know, the gut that’s more willing to accept a conspiracy theory than some statistics.
And so, here we are, four red flags common in cissexist healthcare op-eds.
Dear mainstream media,
Trans people do not have access to the social capital, the legal mechanisms, or the institutional authority to turn our ideas into binding policy.
If you’re bent over gender policing, place the blame where it fucking belongs.
But I guess those articles don’t generate as many clicks.