Signal boosting: Consider the Tea Cosy nails relationship abuse


Aoife covers relationship abuse over on her blag at The Orbit and abso-fucking-lutley nails it:

You don’t want to. You don’t want this to be happening. You don’t want to believe that Bob- who you respect and like- could have done the things they’ve been accused of. Similarly, Alex has never shown signs of being manipulative or a liar before. You feel like you’ve been dragged into this circus against your will. So you decide to withhold judgement.

What effect does this have?

It strengthens Bob’s standing, and weakens Alex’s.

How does it do this?

Before Alex accused Bob, things were pretty great for everyone but them. Even if Bob was doing something abusive, it didn’t affect anyone but Alex. Everyone (except Alex), without knowing it, believed that Bob wasn’t abusing anyone. That’s the status quo.

When you claim the middle ground, what you’re really claiming is the status quo. You want things to be like they were before. Like it or not, the person who changed everything was Alex. Alex is the one who asked everyone to look at things differently. Alex demanded that we acknowledge that there’s an abuser in our midst.

And your middle ground? It’s not backed up by evidence. If Alex was as likely to be lying as telling the truth, it would make sense to withhold judgement. However, when it comes to rape or abuse accusations? While we don’t have exact numbers, it’s very likely that rates of false accusation lie somewhere somewhere between2% and 8%– although there’s a good argument to be madethateven those numbers are high. Even assuming them to be true, however, this leaves a 92-98% chance that Alex is telling the truth. Only somewhere between one Alex in twelve, or one Alex in fifty is making it up- at most.

Please go read. Her analysis is astute. I’m not happy to say I’ve lived her hypothetical example, but it feels good to know that some people get it, y’know?


Sizable minority of Canadians oppose Bill C-16


MetroNews collected not only some opinions on Bill C-16 and the concept of extending explicit protections to trans Canadians, but also the demographic data of the respondents. So who is actually against and in favour of the Bill?:

The poll found most Canadians to be in favour of the provisions included in the proposed legislation.

Three in four Canadians (74 per cent) agree with a provision in Bill C-16 that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity and gender expression, and 71 per cent are in favour of updating criminal laws to make it a hate crime when someone is targeted because of their gender identity and gender expression.

In addition, two thirds of Canadians (65 per cent) agree with extending hate speech laws to include the terms gender identity and gender expression.

So why is Metro more optimistic about the findings than I am? Simple: It all falls apart once you actually apply  those protections.

A majority of Canadians (55 per cent) think transgender Canadians should be allowed to use the public bathroom of their choice, while one third (32 per cent) believe their public bathroom use should be based exclusively on biological sex.

There’s a discrepancy here–26% of respondents were not in favour of adding explicit protections to trans Canadians, so if the respondents actually knew what the fuck they were talking about, we would expect close to the same amount opposing the use of appropriate facilities for trans folk. Yet it jumps up to 32% when you actually frame the issue as being about bathrooms. On the inverse, 74% of respondents agreed it was wrong to discriminate against trans folk, but you ask them about washrooms and the portion of supporters sinks to 55%. The bathroom question doesn’t add up to 100% because the rest answered in one of the ambivalent categories.

Now are there any differences by demographic response?

[Read more…]

The Canadian National Anthem is now gender neutral


…And no one (important) cares:

Bill C-210, which passed 219 to 79, proposes to switch just two words in the lyrics of “O Canada” — changing “in all thy sons command” to “in all of us command” in one verse. The simple substitution is meant to do away with the exclusively male phrasing in part of the song, but it’s also causing an uproar among some conservative members of Canada’s government.

Yes yes, we know the story. Fabric of society, insulting to our glorious history, yadda yadda yadda.

Conservative MP Peter Van Loan also accused the Liberals of trying to impose their worldview on Canadians.

Coming from the political party that only weeks ago updated their definition of marriage?

Tastes like irony.

Now if we can go about getting rid of that “God” business, I’ll be… well, slightly less apathetic. I frankly give zero shits about our anthem.


Topless women and arbitrary nudity laws


This is old hat but it came up on my feed, and I have some thoughts:

A B.C. woman who asserted her legal right to go topless said she was told to cover up by a police officer, and then wrongly told by two other officials that she had broken a law.

Susan Rowbottom said she was tanning topless with a friend last week on a beach in Kelowna, B.C., when a male RCMP officer approached her and told her “put your top on.”

She said she complied, but then asked, “Why? Is there a reason, a law or anything?”

The officer informed the women it was against a city ordinance, Rowbottom said.

When she called a police station, a female officer told her the same. When she called bylaw officials, the person who answered the phone also agreed going topless was illegal.

Finally, she got a call from a city clerk who she said correctly informed her “it’s perfectly legal.”

First of all, this is ridiculous. The police assert that they have discretion to enforce something that isn’t against the law? Who the fuck is training these officers?

If any of you need a demonstration of how arbitrary topless laws are, allow me to ask a very poignant question:

At what point, exactly, does it become illegal for trans women to go topless?

I’d really appreciate a rational explanation for these laws that didn’t amount to, “let’s literally police women’s bodies.”


Wednesday Addams was always my fav


Retrospect is 20/20, so they say, and I can certainly tell you why I identified with Wednesday as a young, highly gender confused child.

I revisited some of the more (relatively) recent Addams iterations and found that the Addams family from ’91 onwards snuck by as sex-positive kinky commentary. These concepts weren’t really in the public consciousness (sex-positivity is arguably still largely unknown) so the Addams family didn’t seem to ping anybody’s moral crisis radar. Or maybe they did? I was definitely too young to be paying attention to politics when this material was new.

Morticia and Gomez’s continuously passionate and loving relationship, despite the years of familiarity, is contrasted with the “typical” married couples who were often resentful and borderline abusive to one another. Gomez and Morticia are enthusiastically expressing their love and sexual desire for one another, and this is seen as contributing to their outsider status. Married couples were supposed to be spiteful, so obviously Morticia and Gomez were freaks if they actually behaved like people who routinely expressed affection and sexual desire for one another.

Morticia: “Last night you were unhinged. You were like some desperate howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again.

Mmmm yassss girl. Right there with you.

[Read more…]

Signal boosting: Middle Eastern feminist edition


Linda Sarsour hosts a political talkshow on Youtube, and keeps herself busy by getting so much (so frickin much) done on the ground. Her activism was galvanized by the 9/11 hysteria, as is probably the case with most intersectional Muslim feminists. I started paying attention to her for her opposition to Islamic conservatives by being able to engage in debate in Arabic, blasting them for their anti-black racism, among many other things. Her channel is by no means prolific, but she’s a little preoccupied doing the things. Just keep an eye out for her in the news and on Twitter!

Slay, Linda, slaaaay.


Alberta passes carbon tax


The Alberta government has announced that its proposal to implement carbon taxes has passed in Legislature:

The Alberta government passed its contentious carbon tax bill Tuesday but opposition MLAs decried the NDP’s unwillingness to accept amendments.

It was the final bill to pass as the spring session came to an end.

Premier Rachel Notley and house leader Brian Mason will speak about the bill and the session LIVE at 1 p.m.

The tax, which comes into effect Jan. 1, 2017, will be paid by Albertans through their home heating bills and at the gas pumps. Lower-income Albertans will start receiving rebates in January.

MLAs sat until 4:37 a.m Tuesday while the bill went through the committee of the whole. Only one of 21 amendments proposed by the opposition last night were passed.

Government MLAs defeated amendments that would have disclosed the amount of the carbon tax on fuel receipts, set performance measures to test the effectiveness of the tax, and provided exemptions or rebates to charities.

[Read more…]

The Transgender Debate Trope



Content Notice: Transphobia, angry invocation of t-word slur

Most of the time, when implementation of explicit rights for trans folk is “debated,” my face looks something like this:

Very sincere


This is because, like any issue that undergoes debate, there is often an opposing side that the media feels has to be represented to see the “full picture.” And while that is its own kind of stress when someone is representing patently falsifiable claims, it takes a higher toll on you when you are the topic of debate. The opponent isn’t merely representing misinformation, they are representing ideas and policies that actively antagonize your safety, and the whole “we have to represent the whole debate” neutrality business starts to feel a bit callous because the hosts are pretending there is any merit to Buddy McDoucheFace’s arguments. You’re supposed to sit silently while Buddy calls you a predator for being who you are. You’re supposed to give him his turn to speak. You’re supposed to be civil, when Buddy basically called for you to be institutionalized against your will, imprisoned for crimes you never committed. Buddy invokes Holocaust imagery to describe the way you should be treated, and you’re supposed to smile and remain calm in the presence of someone who just admitted they’d murder you in different circumstances.

Enter the Transgender Debate Trope.

[Read more…]

Signal boosting: Trans ally feminist edition


M. A. Melby was–possibly still is?–a regular commentator here at FtB, but also a contributor at Trans Advocate and a storify curator of online harassment and/or online stupidity. While I personally haven’t seen her in the comments section as of late, I do wonder if she still reads this. In the event she does encounter my blag: Hi! I appreciate your work from the bottom of my soul, and I hope you’re doing well.

Y’all should check her work out if you’re curious to see how bad the anti-trans harassment can get.