The nose knows

The latest gender critical outrage: the Women’s March logo has 3 profiles, and one of them doesn’t look feminine enough. It must be a man, baby!

There are no women on planet Earth who have a face anything like the one on that alien creature on the left! As we all know, you can reliably determine the sex of an individual from the shape of their nose. Or something. It’s biology, man.

Oh, here’s a fun game! I found a page of cameo portraits of Victorian ladies, with lots of photos of Victorian…uh, women. I’m not sure anymore. According to the GCs, the British empire must have been built by brave men who kept a trans woman at home, since there are a lot of deviations from the dainty feminine ideal there.

They’re all quite lovely — these were intended to be flattering portraits of their subjects — but I’m sure the GCs could pull out their calipers and determine that the majority were men in wigs.

Also, biology would tell you that not only is there a tremendous amount of variation in human facial features, but human perception is finely tuned to recognize those variations.


  1. StevoR says

    Beauty and the ideal look of most (all?) body features has always been subjective and varies widely based on culture and period.

    FWIW. Cleopatra’s nose being a notorius example. See :

    ‘The nose of Cleopatra: had it been shorter, the face of the entire world would have been changed.’1 This famous aphorism of Pascal’s — all the more memorable for the pun it contains.

    Source :

    Plus :

    Cleopatra could finally show society that a woman with a big nose can win not just one but two handsome men’s hearts. And judging from everything we know about the queen – who possibly commissioned coin portraits of her side profile to make it look even bigger than it was (something no modern-day woman would ever do) – it’s exactly what she’d want from a film on her life.

    As well as :

    Back then a long nose symbolised strength of character and Pascal believed that without that, Cleopatra would have been unable to rule. If she hadn’t been Pharaoh, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony wouldn’t have clashed, and the Roman Empire wouldn’t have been terminally weakened. European history would have taken a different course.

    Source :

    Nose length and appearance being just one of the very many things that varies widely in subjective aesthetic appeal geographically & temporally among humans since .. pretty much as long as we’ve been around really.

  2. Susan Montgomery says

    So what are they bringing back after Phrenology? Trepanation or leeches?

  3. sophiab says

    So you need to add a bit of double chin and some fluff on the bottom of chin and upper lip and then it’s me!
    Huh, guess these boobs must be fake…

  4. mordred says

    They should’ve taken my face. Been told I totally look like a girl so many times when I was younger.

    Getting bald kinda changed that…

  5. robro says

    StevoR @ #1 — That last quote is odd. I don’t know what Pascal said or meant, but Julius Caesar and Mark Antony didn’t clash. Julius was dead long before Antony started his affair with Cleopatra VII Philopater. And it was the clash between Octavian and Antony/Cleopatra that actually ended the Roman republic and established Octavian as the “Augustus” and founder of the Roman empire.

  6. says

    As our book posits: “Beauty is in the mind of the beholder” And, I am getting very tired and angry at the absurd amount of bullshit being shovelled by those obsessed with ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ issues. There is a wide range of biological, mental and sociological ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ fluidity in humans. And, there are so many more important problems to discuss and remedy. I wish that people with tiny little minds would stop pretending the whole world is a binary issue.

  7. says

    While we’re at it, maybe we should dig up Cyrano de Bergerac and have a good look at his karyotype. Gotta protect men too, don’t we?

    And, there are so many more important problems to discuss and remedy.

    Which is precisely why so many reactionary noncompoops are screaming about sex and gender these days — on both sides of the Pond. None of this is a coincidence.

    PS: Who is that “Little Miss Fuck the TERFS?” hinted at in the lower-right corner of that screen-grab?

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Neither a general web search nor Urban Dictionary offers a version of “GCs” that fits the discussion here.

    Glasgow Coma Scale? Guilford County Schools? Good C*nts? Girl Scout Cookies?

    I suspect “Gender Critics”, but that so far shows up on zero searches.

    Can anybody provide a clue for those of us who slept late this morning?

  9. bcw bcw says

    Well, clearly the only way to resolve this is to replace the facial profiles in the logo with just profiles of boobs. That’ll strike a blow for women’s’ rights!

  10. Rich Woods says

    @bcw bcw #12:

    If you’re looking for sample profiles of boobs, I nominate Ben Shapiro, Mussolini and Donald Trump.

  11. Nemo says

    @Pierce #11:

    I was confused too, but Wikipedia has a relevant disambiguation page: — near the bottom — “Gender critical, alternate term for Trans-exclusionary radical feminism”. And following that link: ‘Trans-exclusionary radical feminists prefer the term “gender critical”, and consider the word “TERF” inaccurate or a slur.’

    The euphemism treadmill rolls on, I guess.

  12. whheydt says

    Shoulders too broad? They haven’t met my daughter… And if they try to claim she isn’t female, they can take it up with her son.

  13. imback says

    I’ve been following the Tour De France the last three weeks, and so GC to me means General Classification, that is the overall standings of the race, which today was effectively won by Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark (since tomorrow’s short last stage in Paris is mostly a formality, often involving drinking champagne while riding).

    But it seems GC here means Gender Critical, I guess as an alternative to TERF. This reminds me of the kind of terminology shifting that racists often deploy.

  14. fishy says

    My mother has an old polaroid of me in drag.
    My sister and her friend got the bright idea of doing a wedding party for the children’s parade that precedes the local summer celebration in my home town. I’m guessing it was about 1969. I was a ring bearer. It won first place. This is not surprising.
    Whenever this story came up it was a great deal of fun for my parents to tell me of the compliment they received about the pretty girl they had.

  15. cartomancer says


    Cleopatra VII is an unsafe one to use when talking about ancient beauty standards and ideals of feminine appearance. For a start, most of our literary information about her comes from Roman sources, and is redolent with the kind of misogyny and exoticism we would expect from upper-class male Romans. She was presented as an immoral barbarian seductress because that was the stereotype Romans had of female rulers from places in the Middle East, drawing on centuries of Hellenic portrayals from the Amazons to Medea to Zenobia to any number of Persian royal women.

    It seems unlikely, when all this is set aside, that Cleopatra was much interested in presenting an image of seductive femininity – quite the opposite, perhaps, given that both the Greek and Pharaonic traditions she inherited made out strong rulership as a male sphere of endeavour. Plutarch describes her as not strikingly beautiful but not ugly either, more notable for her charisma, charm and oratorical ability. The concerns of her officlal image-makers were more in the vein of presenting her as a competent monarch in the mould of her male predecessors. Admittedly, she did not, as Hatshepsut did, try to masculinise her appearance overly on coins, statues, etc. It seems more that she wanted to present an image of intellectual accomplishment and managerial ability, as well as (the perennial concern of monarchical image) dynastic legitimacy and piety. She was known to be the only one of the Ptolemaic pharaohs to have actually spoken Egyptian, for example, and to have been interested in securing foreign alliances for economic purposes. To what extent this portrayal drew on subtly masculinising imagery is an open question.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    Thanks to Nemo @ # 15 and imback @ # 17 for clarifications about “GC”.

    I have to agree that “TERF” is the wrong label for most transphobes, except the fraction who actually qualify as “Radical Feminists”. Can’t get too excited about “Gender Critical” either – haven’t we all said something uncomplimentary about other – and often our own – gender groups?

    When we mean “transphobe” (nothing more, nothing less), why not say “transphobe” (or “TP” for short)?

  17. says

    Jesus, it’s now 27 years or so since I first called out the anti-trans pseudo-feminists on policing femininity in just this way. Twenty-seven years. You think that the “feminist” gender crits could finish a single book about feminism in twenty-seven years.

    But nope. Still ignorant fucks pretending to care about women as a cover for hating trans people.

  18. Susan Montgomery says

    @21 What makes you think any of them have ever been playing fair? Or that this was ever about evidence or reason?

  19. Silentbob says

    @ 10 Raging Bee

    Who is that “Little Miss Fuck the TERFS?” hinted at in the lower-right corner of that screen-grab?

    It’s a fake Mr Men character in a tweet by Women’s March saying “stay mad”. Basically Women’s March telling TERFs to fuck off.

  20. StevoR says

    @19. cartomancer : Fair points there except as noted by the Drum source in my third link and here :

    It seems her coins gave a probly realistic portrait so we do know what she most likely looked like and how she wanted to be seen.

    @7. robro :

    “That last quote is odd. I don’t know what Pascal said or meant, but Julius Caesar and Mark Antony didn’t clash. Julius was dead long before Antony started his affair with Cleopatra VII Philopater. ”

    Yes. That’s correct and Cleopatra apparently had an intimate as well as political relationship with Julius Caesar himself as famously fictionalised by George Bernard Shaw :

    (& scroll down there too.)

    Although suggestions Cleopatra had herself smuggled out to Caesar inside a carpet are probly inaccurate :

    Anyhow, yes, you’re right there – good catch.

  21. John Morales says

    @19. cartomancer : Fair points there except as [blah]

    Don’t mind him, cartomancer. Like a puppy, he is.

  22. MichaelE says

    So, some woman’s nose isn’t “feminine” enough?

    This sounds like something that could, and real fast at that, translate into racist territory as well.

  23. chrislawson says

    So they prefer GC because TERF is “inaccurate or a slur” but are perfectly happy to apply far more inaccurate and perjorative labels to trans women.

  24. imback says

    @Pierce #20, I believe they are attempting to use critical as it is meant in Critical Race Theory, i.e. Merriam-Webster’s 1c definition: exercising or involving careful judgment or judicious evaluation. It does seem though that critical is overused and apt to misinterpretation. I believe it would be more descriptive for GC to stand for Gender Closeminded (or as a noun phrase Gender Closemindedness).

  25. Pierce R. Butler says

    imback @ # 29 – I agree entirely, and apologize for the looseness of that “uncomplimentary” @ my # 20.

    Yes, “critical” gets overworked these days, especially when terms like “analytical” might fill the same function and steer people away from attack mode. But apparently, for many that mode is the whole point of everything they have to say (especially the Gender Cops and Gender Cranks)…

  26. says

    The best part was somebody showing that vicious transphobe Claire Jones fits that manly man profile and then of course other transphobes quickly called her a man and evil t**** and she had to put her Twitter account on privte and no, I don’t have it in my to feel any sympathy for her being hounded by her own minions.

  27. says

    My favorite version of this “controversy” is the people who insist that one of the silhouettes has an Adam’s Apple, despite none of them having one visible. She insisted she could tell one of them had an Adam’s Apple that was “cropped out” to hide the fact that the silhouette is a trans woman. Here it is on Twitter:
    nitter (dot) it/TomNwainwright/status/1550794087221137410#m