Minorities, once again, being pushed out of universities

It probably won’t surprise anyone that the same institution employing an intellectually bankrupt conman has, under the guise of future “budget cuts,” pre-emptively laid off university staff that just so happen to specialize in services increasing access to campus for marginalized students. (emphasis added)

At the same time, as these actions are garnering the majority of headlines and attention, a dangerous change has also been taking place behind the scenes, at the university’s undergraduate student union (the UTSU). This organization supports many student-funded services — including the LGBTOUT, the Center for Women and Trans People, the Students for Barrier-Free Access, and the social and environmental justice group OPIRG-Toronto — that women and minorities rely upon for equal access to the post-secondary experience. And yet, of late, it has worked to systematically dismantle these services.

The story of how this has happened provides a case study in the nefarious, underground ways far-right ideology is infiltrating campuses.

Like many campus organizations, the UTSU has long been considered a progressive organization. But echoing a rightward shift happening more broadly, the current slate of elected officials ran on a decidedly conservative platform, revolving around reducing “overspending,” freezing fee increases, and helping students find jobs.

Now, using deceptively neutral-sounding language, these officials are pushing policy shifts that are threatening the services of marginalized students.

Under the guise of “student choice” over where fees go, for example, the UTSU tried in April to reduce requirements for defunding its student services. Officials posited that, out of 44,000 members, only 250 student signatures should be needed to initiate a defunding vote, a reduction in threshold of about 95%.

It is not difficult to imagine how policies like these could be exploited. While it’s challenging to get 5,000 students to come out against LGBT rights, getting 250 is relatively trivial and only requires a listserv announcement in any conservative network. Even if the subsequent vote fails, the petition can still be recycled year after year to strip resources from marginalized students: Campaigning to urge students to vote in support is expensive for service groups, and imposes an energy tax on marginalized students forced to defend their presence on campus.

I already pay a tax to defend my presence in everyday life. As much as I’d love to return to school, I won’t as long as it requires paying administrators to say I should be prepared to litigate my own value to bad faith shit-weasels.

Read more about how segregation is being revived under new labels here.


TERFs aren’t above the Nazi playbook either

The thing about TERFs is that, as a trans woman, I cannot play optics with them. Many TERF theories craft elaborate narratives that paint my mere existence as a threat–there is literally nothing I can do that won’t be perceived as violent for someone steeped in these narratives. So I am not even slightly surprised when we can be assaulted at a rally and the footage of a 60 year-old TERF dragging a wisp of a teenager across concrete is held up as evidence of “trans violence.” (Apparently it’s impolite to not pass-out when one is being choked).

Stavvers noticed the meta-strategy here: It’s a page from modern Nazis.

What I want to point out is the similarity in tactics between the transmisogynists’ narrative, and tactics deployed successfully by Nazis. Our current face of Nazism–the alt right, neo-Nazis, the far right, whatever your style guide demands you call them–rather like to play the victim. When Richard Spencer got punched (lol) the Nazis were very keen to whine about it. When anti-fascist protesters come out to defend their communities, the Nazis, and their chum Donald Trump, are falling over themselves to denounce violence “on both sides”. Centrists are always eager to back up these narratives, because they love a good middle ground almost as much as they love pretending they’re not enablers of fascism.

This, of course, serves a purpose. It drags discussion away from “Nazis are bad, how can we stop them?” to “punching is bad”. It has been a Nazi tactic since Nazis were invented; Hitler rather liked to claim that he and his were victims of unprovoked violence from the people they wanted wiped out.

Now, transmisogynistic bigots have rather a lot in common with Nazis already. They both share an unhealthy fascination with trans people’s genitalia, where trans people pee, concern trolling about safety, and a general desire to see trans people eliminated entirely. They have been known to work together on certain projects, in particular surrounding “bathroom bills”. It seems, in their cosy discussion groups about how to ban trans people from public life, the transmisogynistic bigots and the Nazis have also been exchanging tactics.

Read more here.


So the brownshirts are here

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.]


U of T offers forum for STILL WHINGING Jordan Peterson

We are entering into week five of Dr. Jordan Peterson’s infantile temper tantrum, the updates of which I’ve added to that link (there are now accusations of campus police inaction, two alleged assaults, more faculty and student groups calling him an asshole, more trans protesters doxxed and receiving death threats, and formal complaints against Dr. Peterson–you can read more on the original post), and the University of Toronto has decided that the chaos and violence erupting at his freeze peach rally egged on by Rebel Media and his alt-right brown shirts is best resolved with a “debate.” (emphasis mine)

Almost one month after psychology Professor Jordan Peterson published his first YouTube video decrying “Political correctness,” the university has agreed to host a debate including Peterson and another participant.

In a series of videos published on October 24, Peterson discussed the university’s response to his stance on gender identity. The first video decried the letter sent by Dean David Cameron and Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life Sioban Nelson on October 18, which urged Peterson to stop voicing that they called “unacceptable, emotionally disturbing and painful” comments on gender pronouns. The second –- a lengthy video clocking in at nearly thirty minutes – explained Peterson’s disagreement with the letter.In the third video Peterson stated that Cameron had agreed to provide a forum to discuss free speech in an academic manner.

In the video, Peterson lauded the university’s decision to “do the right thing,” saying that it was “unbelievably good news because it means the university has decided to uphold its position as an investigator into complex intellectual matters, and that we can discuss this like civilized human beings.”In an email to The Varsity, Media Relations Director Althea Blackburn-Evans confirmed that a forum would occur, but could not confirm details on how or when the forum would operate, as it is still in early planning stages. There is also no word on who will debate Peterson in the forum.Peterson called on his supporters to commend the university for their willingness to uphold free speech on campus, and encouraged them to send emails thanking the university for “their quick and forthright action.”Peterson could not be reached for further comment by press time.

So Peterson, who has given us ample evidence that he is willfully dedicated to blank fucking ignorance, feels entirely and perfectly qualified to debate my existence.

What is the purpose of this debate? Dr. Peterson has already demonstrated he will not change his mind. His opponent will not change his mind. Regardless of how well either side performs, Dr. Peterson’s free speech goonsquad is already convinced he is right, and trans people will undoubtedly rally around his opponent. Very few people witnessing this debate are going to have an honest interrogation over their own bullshit. All it serves is Peterson’s giant fucking ego in which this event–where people have been assaulted, doxxed, issued death threats and effectively had their education torpedoed because they can’t chance the death threats to return to campus–is still making this about free fucking speech!

Here’s the deal, beloved readers: I will cover the “debate” with Dr. Peterson, and the article will be called “Fact-checking Dr. Peterson.” I know it will be called that because at no point in this entire fucking episode of whinging, lip-pouting, and foot-stomping has Dr. Peterson substantiated his fuck mothering arguments!

I leave you with this comment from “Cerberus is working overtime at the outrage factory” left on PZ’s thread about Dr. Peterson

Seriously, you fucking whiny ass cis people. We’re expected to hold our piss all day long, best plan routes around all the unknown people who want to kill us, and suffer endless slurs anytime we walk outside and you cry your asses to sleep over maybe having to learn a handful of extra pronouns.

Grow. The. Fuck. Up.

Word, Cerberus.

Will someone have to die before Dr. Peterson is charged for public incitement?



Alt right rallies behind U of T prof who refutes his own argument

When you blow the dog whistles, the dogs will eventually come. Or, so tenured University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson will hopefully learn.

In doing the homework for this piece I scratched my head with around 40 windows open, most of which were articles uncritically framing the issue we’re about to explore as being a fundamental case of freedom of speech vs. censorship, because that’s the debate Dr. Peterson claims he wants to have. In every single one of these articles, a mob of anti “political correctness” commentators floods the article with anything ranging from blatantly incorrect statements as to how free speech works to openly advocating for violence against the protesters criticizing Dr. Peterson. One of the articles even predicted this effect weeks before it would swamp other websites. Al Donato over on the torontist wrote with seeming clairvoyance “Let’s be real. Writing this is a trap. There’s no winning when critiquing U of T professor Dr. Jordan Peterson plays into what he wants: proof that “political correctness” is something insidious and the “social justice warriors” are out to get him.

So since Peterson’s many proponents seem to think that any criticism of his argument constitutes a “mischaracterization,” and since we have about 4 week’s worth of evidence that you will swarm any article critical of him, I’ll start by getting one thing out of the way: My comments policy. Specifically:

So what gets you filtered?

  • Making a point refuted in the post you just opened.

Remember this when you’re railing against The Gods in the deplorables trash bin.

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Trump’s alt right goons prove how not threatening they are by issuing deluge of threats

Pretty much anyone would feel a bit touchy if it were suggested they were the scum of human society. Nobody likes being called that. When we’re talking about the alt right, a cluster of beliefs exhibiting anything from White Supremacy to anti-suffragist sentiments, it’s hard not to point out that they advocate for a lot of harm. Except a detailed description of the harm in question is a feature, and not a bug. They want to hurt you.

However, the alt right is uniquely predictable in that calling out alt right beliefs as being dangerous will inevitably result in you being doxxed and swarmed by rape and death threats, as if this proves how reasonable advocacy for the alt right cluster of beliefs is.

Cue a Canadian university where this is exactly what happened.

[Read more…]

Out Magazine glorifies fountain of shit-spewing, Milo Yiannopoulos

ThinkProgress has an open letter addressed to Out Magazine over its soft-ball profile of the alt right’s deep-fried-awful-battered-in-bullshit posterboy, Milo Yiannopoulos.

We are all painfully aware that gay, white, cisgender male narratives have too-long dominated queer media, including those of us who are ourselves gay, white, cisgender men. Just this week, we saw our sisters at AfterEllen.com have to cease editorial operations because a company decided that lesbians were not profitable enough — oblivious to how many bi and lesbian women found important community there. The excess of this narrow branding of the queer community results in erasure of all those who are not highlighted, an erasure that allows stereotypes, discrimination, and abuse to continue unabated against those invisible intersections.

The Out profile of Yiannopoulos represents the peak of this harm. Here is awhite supremacist whose entire career has been built on the attention he can get for himself through provocation. His attacks against women, people of color, Muslims,transgender people, and basically anybody who doesn’t like him are as malicious as they come, and he catalyzes his many “alt-right” followers to turn on any target he deems worthy of abuse. This puff piece — complete with a cutesy clown photoshoot — makes light of Yiannopoulos’s trolling while simultaneously providing him a pedestal to further extend his brand of hatred. Indeed, he does so in the profile itself, openly slurring the transgender community, which Out published without any apparent concern.

As members of the LGBT media, we believe we all must hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard. Many of us are members of the LGBT community ourselves, and we all develop content that serves the LGBT community either directly as an audience, or on its behalf by educating broader audiences about our politics and our cultures. We thus have an obligation, at a minimum, to ensure that what we publish — no matter how crass or sensationalized it may be — avoids fostering harm to queer people. Out failed in this regard.

Add my name to the list of signatories. Fucker couldn’t lose access to his internet fast enough. May every microphone he bloviate into break before he gets the chance to speak.


When festering pustules pop up on campus

Content Notice: White Supremacy

It’s no secret to woke Edmontonians that we have our own dregs from the bottom of the alt right barrel. Between PUAs scheduling meet ups to MRAs following women around who have the audacity to ignore them, with redneck hillbillies shouting racial epithets on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that we would eventually find signs of White Supremacy, especially since Trump’s bold campaign has been emboldening them.


Photo credit: Brett L.

They chose my university, the University of Alberta. Posted on the corkboard of Student’s Union announcements, a fellow local activist took a pic before the poster was taken down.

It probably tells you everything you need to know when a racist jumps to the conclusion that anti-racism efforts are inherently anti-white, as if PoCs are just waiting for the chance to leap into power and reignite the engine of discrimination. What exactly are they afraid of? Being treated as poorly as they treat black people?

So hey, I guess I just wanted a crystal clear example of how Edmonton’s got its own cancerous alt right growths.

The poster is anonymous, of course. Probably doesn’t want to be labelled a social pariah for being a shitstain of a human being.