All the reasons I won’t ever have a FB Page or Twitter

I’ve had a few people ask me whether I plan on opening a Twitter or Facebook page. The short answer is no, but I thought I’d provide the long answer.

1. Both platforms facilitate abuse, especially of minorities

Twitter is almost unmoderated. I think its well documented tolerance of abuse is thoroughly proven.

Facebook moderation actually goes a step farther and allows abusers to make bad faith reports, resulting in such absurd outcomes as a trans artist being banned for quoting the abuse directed at in her inbox while the people sending the abuse are left active.

Given that my fans include Jihadists, TERFs (sorry, “gender critical” dingleberries), fundagelicals, MRAsshats, libertarians, capitalists, and a smattering of transphobes from across all ideologies, I have every reason to believe increasing my access on social media would simply result in a torrent of abuse and major headaches as I try to clean up after automated moderation.

2. Neither serves a function I care for

Twitter’s 140 character limit abhors me, because it is next to impossible to have anything other than snarky quips. Don’t get me wrong, I love snark. But I can just snark here, where I am able to moderate comments, and couch it in actual arguments.

Again, I have little reason to start conversations on Facebook when I can just start them here.

3. People use either tool to share my posts anyway

Self explanatory. Sometimes people like my shit enough to post it on social media. Yeah I’d get shares faster if I posted directly to Facebook. But then there’s the whole “access to abuse” thing again. I’m okay building exposure slowly if it means not having to filter nattering TERFs all the time.

4. Trolls are annoying

On here, you have to sign up. Then your first comment has to be approved, and my bullshit detector is pretty good. Then if you get obnoxious, or if you ping my trolldar, all that effort you spent signing up is wasted when I ban you.

On Twitter and Facebook, a troll has their account open already. With more editorial control, the website itself is a bottleneck for abusers.

5. The rest of the network is my editorial control

Facebook and Twitter can pull the plug on my content. But their editorial control is based on generating traffic, rather than convincing arguments or anything resembling an ethical compass. FTB is based off a mission statement, which makes me more confident my material wouldn’t be arbitrarily challenged.

6. I have a contact email anyway

If someone wants to engage in a way that wouldn’t work in the comments, they can just email me instead. Again, gmail allows me to filter bad faith actors. But for now it is predominantly used by readers giving reasonable feedback, as well as my back-and-forth with other outlets as I try to sell some investigative work I’m sitting on.

So, yeah, that’s why I won’t be on other forms of social media.



Rosie DiManno: Anti-trans garbage chute

I wish I got paid as much as anti-trans pundits to discredit them as they get paid to invent shit to get outraged over. Sadly it seems Canada’s corporate media has identified that anti-trans sentiment sells better, and those of us who insist on high standards of evidence are relegated to “alternative media.”

The next hit piece to grace my feed is Rosie DiManno’s fabulously victim blaming article, “End of binary gender proves to be a passport confusion.” Insert usual disclaimer for all your predictable anti-trans codswallop.

Earlier this month, Tracy Ayre took her 16-year-old son to renew his passport at the Toronto office. She brought with her his birth certificate, health card with photo, student ID card, bank statement, expired passport and her obviously boy teenager.

I have to interrupt this story already as there is an important detail here. “She brought with her his birth certificate.” According to Service Ontario, the administration responsible for government ID, the birth certificate contains: (emphasis mine)

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Only in Canada: “Albertan takes Zamboni through Tim Hortons drive-thru”

Shit Albertans do:

Many Canadians have faced this predicament: “should I stop for Tim Hortons on my way home from work?” Sometimes, the quick warm-up is all you need to start the rest of your day.

But when most people consider the detour to Tim Hortons, they aren’t driving a Zamboni.

Jesse Myshak was at work in his shop in Stony Plain on Tuesday with his new ice-surfacing machine, which he bought to flood his rink in his backyard. He was working on it in the shop, and it was ready to be put to work at home.

There was only one problem — home was a couple kilometres away.

Luckily, there was a solution. “I figured I’d just drive it home,” Myshak told CBC News. After deciding to make the trek, the ball started rolling. “Guys at work were kind of laughing after I was driving home, [they said] to drive through Timmies and get a coffee,” Myshak said.

And that’s exactly what he did.

Myshak, on top of the uncovered Zamboni, moved at the speed of a crawl down the streets of Stony Plain, much to the delight of passersby. But the level of Canadiana increased tenfold when he crept his way into the Tim Hortons drive-thru.

“People started running out of the Tim Hortons,” he said, adding they were taking photos and videos of his unusual method of transportation.

He ordered a hot chocolate, and when he inched his way to the window, the Canadiana level went off the charts. “The lady in front of me actually bought the hot chocolate for me,” Myshak said. “The staff told me it was the most Canadian thing they’ve ever seen, so they all had a good chuckle.”

And, the cherry on top — the Zamboni was perfect height to receive his hot chocolate out the window.



Signal boosting: “you’re asking me to entertain an implausible claim with zero evidence”

Blaire White is an internet dumpster fire of transphobia, who has the dubious distinction of being the anti-trans lobbyists’ token trans woman. I will never fully wrap my head around why anyone would apologize for the systems that abused them, but that is precisely what White does: Identify a system that harms trans people, and tell her fans (who range from neo-Nazis to more commonly trans suspicious people looking for confirmation of their prejudice) that the damage is justifiable, regardless of whether or not she had the good fortune to avoid it.

A few months ago a reader sent me a link to one of her anti-trans videos and I never quite recovered from the migraine ensuing. Thankfully, Zinnia Jones was already on the case, disputing many of White’s misconceptions about transitioning protocols for transgender children and teenagers.

But, you know with internet dumpster fires, every so often someone likes the smell, and they decide to throw more fuel into the dumpster. Same reader, another link, this one more recent, another migraine, more swear words, and a brief existential crisis wondering if accurate information will ever out-perform the white noise continuously injected into trans health and rights discourse.

As ever, Zinnia Jones can be trusted to fact check specious claims when the topic is gender variance. Jones responds to the criticisms of National Geographic, who recently featured a young trans girl on the cover of a recent issue. As it turns out, Blaire White, not phased in the slightest in her running for brightest and smelliest dumpster fire, is advocating for the cyber-harassment the trans girl’s parents are receiving.

Jones writes:

If you’ll only read just enough to find something marginally compatible with what you already wanted to believe, if you can’t work up the effort to inform yourself in the slightest degree, but you’re still so passionate about this that you’ll accuse someone of “child abuse” on the basis of absolutely nothing, you have a problem. Yet you’re asking me to entertain an implausible claim with zero evidence, which also happens to have an impossible timeline?

The deceptive cry of “Somebody think of the children!” is one of the oldest weapons of prejudice, wielded against same-sex parents, parents in interracial marriages, and now, parents of trans kids. These baseless allegations of abuse pose a real threat. Groups like Trans Youth Family Allies advise parents to keep what’s called a “safe folder”: a file of medical records and statements from doctors, counselors, school faculty, and others, to ensure that the family will be protected in the event of false accusations.

This is a particularly insidious tactic, because it cloaks itself in feigned concern for children while actually calling for the mistreatment of those same children. A study published in Pediatrics in 2016 found that socially transitioned trans kids aged 3 to 12 who were supported by their families had low levels of depression and anxiety, comparable to their cisgender peers. For trans children, family support for their transition is healthy and good for them. Conversely, the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that respondents who were rejected by their families were more likely to have attempted suicide and more likely to have experienced homelessness. Another study also found that family rejection was associated with higher rates of substance abuse.

Allowing trans kids to live as their gender is the better choice for their healthy development, and denying their gender is known to be worse for them.

Yeah. Trying real hard not to get depressed that other trans people are helping transphobes spin outright fabrications in their quest to derail, derail, derail.

Jones tracks the timeline of the NatGeo family, debunks several claims advanced by White, makes a few cases as to how the reasoning itself is flawed even if the premises were accurate (they aren’t), and also provides a number of helpful links investigating the health and wellbeing of trans youth.

Read more here.


Thoughts on the ethics of disclosure and gender identity

Brynn Tannehill penned a piece for lgbtqnation on the ethics of disclosure for trans folk in dating, as in whether or not it meets some criteria of right or wrong to disclose (or not disclose) our status as transgender or our “gender history.” For the most part I agree with her arguments, and wanted to offer some additional thoughts.

By far the most predictable piece of white noise injected into the discourse is the claim of a cis person asserting they couldn’t date a trans person or find us attractive. The problem is… well, yes you could.

To clarify, there isn’t any consistent way to spot a trans person, because there isn’t any variance in our bodily characteristics that cisgender people don’t also have. Some women have hair loss. Some men have breasts. Some women are tall. Some men are short. The belief that trans people as a demographic can be identified upon sight is predicated in the belief that there is a certain way to “look trans.” This is how trans people have been using the washroom with you long before trans panic gained traction in 2014. Most of you never knew most of us were ever there, so we minded our business and left the loo like everyone else.

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Canada Primer p2: Canada, eh

Canada, aka Canuckistan, is a parliamentary representative democracy under a constitutional monarchy. Which is a really fancy way of saying we’re technically a monarchy, but the monarch’s influence on politics has been narrowly defined such that they have no real” power. All laws approved by the legislative body must be signed off by the monarch’s appointee, the Governor General.

We keep the Queen because she generates ~$50 million/year in tourist revenue, which is more than the allowance afforded to the Royal Family.

“Underneath” the monarchy is the legislative body with the real power. It is divided into two parts, the elected Parliament and the appointed Senate. Any law approved in Parliament has to also go through the Senate, at which point it is passed off to the Governor General. As both the Governor General and the Senate are appointed, rather than elected, they seldom oppose the direction of the Parliament. (If it sounds insane that two thirds of Canada’s legislative body is appointed, I agree!)

Parliament is elected with a similar First Past the Post system we discussed from the Alberta primer. The country is carved up into districts, also called ridings, and each riding corresponds to a seat in Parliament. A person who wins the riding is called a Member of Parliament (MP). Theoretically, it is the Governor General who selects the Prime Minister among the MPs, a person who “holds the confidence of Parliament.” In practice, it’s the party leader of the party that won the most seats that becomes Prime Minister.

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Dear Sarah Ditum: Scapegoating trans women is never the answer, either

I’m gettin’ real tired of tedious “gender critical” horseshit.

The latest flapping firehose to hit my feed on this topic is Sarah Ditum in a grating piece titled “Scapegoating feminists is never the answer.” Although Ditum links to a specific piece she is responding to–which is more than I can say of PBog–she also interjects a number of assertions important to her argument without citations, leaving me to guess at whatever the fuck she’s referring to.

Because if there’s anything a convincing argument should do, folks, it’s leave you guessing.

Content Notice for the usual trans-antagonistic garbage plus t-word reclamation.

The piece Ditum responds to isn’t a particularly strong argument either, “Trans respect, not transphobia.” And if I’m cheesed off at Ditum for the stunning lack of citations, I have to at least level the same criticism at this author, Emily Brothers. It is, in short, a post appealing to UK’s Labour Party to take up the mantle of Gender & Sexual minority rights as a portion of its labour empowerment mission. But today’s post isn’t really about the inadequacies of Brothers’ appeal to Labour*, it’s about Ditum’s hamfisted response to it.

Ditum begins:

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Happy Chanakwamasolstidealia

Death to the world! Cthulhu’s come:

Let Earth abhor this thing.

Let every mind prepare for doom,

As anguish and woe he’ll bring.


Up from the sea, R’lyeh did rise:

The cultists awestruck dumb.

With ancient rites so wretched and perverse,

Cthulhu’s time has come.


Death to the world! Cthulhu reigns.

The Great Old Ones Destroy

With wrath and doom, so cruel and foul,

Replete with obscene joy.


He rules the Earth with dreadful might,

And through our ghastly dreams

His twisting turning tentacles

Elicit from us maddened screams.

Cthulhu’s time has come.


Party safely n’ shit.


SANTA MUST BE REAL: Canadian fascist loses libel appeal

Ezra Levant of Rebel Media infamy has been found guilty of libel a few times. He’s basically Canada’s Milo Yiannopoulos, who tends to spend one half of his time with spit-flecked howling into microphones about free speech and the other half filing lawsuits against his critics. Were Mr. Levant a foreigner, I’m guessing he’d be denied entry into the country for his activities. His website hosts a proto-fascist, he has helped the Wildrose curate Albertan political performance artist Bernard the Roughneck, and held a number of anti carbon tax rallies which degenerated into misogynistic, homophobic hysterics. In short, he’s the eye of a shit hurricane.

Between 2008 and 2014 Levant has been bouncing back and forth over the defamation of a lawyer. In 2014 he was ruled against and ordered to pay $80,000 in damages for his many unsubstantiated claims. He went on to appeal.

Now, not only did Levant lose his appeal two days ago, but he has been ordered to pay the expenses of the second trial too–$160,000 in total.

It’s an xmas miracle. Thanks Santa. Couldn’t have given me a better gift.

For the second time this week: Eat shit, fascists.