Tradwives rising, rising, rising…falling, falling, falling

I’m hoping that the right-wing troll economy is bottoming out. We’re living with the dregs of a few decades of far-right hyperbole generating wealth from rage clicks, but Alex Jones is being taken to the cleaners at last, Tucker Carlson has been banished from Fox News, Steve Bannon is going to jail — maybe people will start realizing that outrageous hate is only going to tap the wallets of a minority of bigots, and that has some downsides. Still, that’s a fruitful line of grift, since the subjects are all gullible and delusional.

The latest goofy grift is tradwives: women who put on dresses and makeup and go online with videos about how they really love staying at home, taking care of their man, cooking and cleaning and popping out babies (the babies are usually not in the videos — they’re catering to men who don’t want the tedium of dealing with actual children, that’s what women are for.) It seems there is a strong market among conservatives for subservient women who are content to be servile.

There is a contradiction in that, since why are these women, who are supposed to be quietly working in the kitchen and bedroom, using media to become popular with the public? No worries, conservatives have been soaking in that contradiction since the days of Phyllis Schlafly.

Is it possible, though, that they can go too far, breaking the illusion? Maybe not — the segment of the public that was unable to see through Andrew Tate’s bullshit may be impervious to reason — but one tradwife, Lilly Gaddis, recently pushed the limits by being too transparently trollish. Amanda Marcotte explains her breakthrough moment:

In the video, Gaddis is decked out in the standard tradwife gear of a cleavage-baring sundress and a cross necklace to justify the sexualized marketing. She is vaguely arranging food while providing a rant tailor-made to tickle the reactionary male brain. She accuses immigrants and Black women of being “gold-diggers,” while insisting Christian white girls like herself will love you, pathetic male viewer, solely for your masculine might, even if you are “broke.” She is going for maximum shock value, dropping not just the n-word, but other five-dollar curses that are clearly meant to to offer a transgressive thrill, coming from a young woman playing at being a more scantily clad June Cleaver.

Some people are trying to defend her by saying she accidentally dropped some racial slurs, but how do you do that by mistake? This was an intentional ploy, and she later confirmed it by arranging interviews on Alex Jones’ show and by promoting Nick Fuentes. Being one attractive women among many making Christmas cookies is not going to make you stand out; being the attractive woman making cookies while damning immigrants with racial epithets is distinctive. For now. The next Lilly Gaddis is going to have to up her game and do much worse.

This wannabe Christian influencer is so obviously out for attention, so it’s tempting to ignore this story in hopes of not letting her have it. Still, Gaddis is an important illustration of the vicious cycle of greed and far-right radicalism driven by the social media ecosystem. The field of strivers wishing to be America’s next top troll is growing faster than can be maintained by the existing audience of incels, white supremacists and other miscreants radicalized online. Becoming the next big thing means attracting the coin of the authoritarian realm: liberal outrage. Yet as liberals get numb to the constant barrage of fascist provocation, the trolls have no choice but to up the ante. So this is how we get a woman in an apron pretending to cook on TikTok while dropping the most notorious of racial slurs.

I’d like to think it can’t go much further before the whole grift disintegrates as a parody of itself, but there is a real segment of the populace that falls for “influencers” all the time, and by their nature seem to be stupid enough to favor far-right bigotry. It’s promising, though, that Lilly Gaddis was fired from her job and banned from Tik Tok, so maybe she’s going to flame out and fall back into the obscurity she deserves.

If only they hadn’t made that last comment

Honestly, I could have ignored this. It’s nothing but familiar anti-trans stupidity, inventing sharp distinctions out of blurry ones, pretending overlaps in morphology don’t exist. There’s just so much of it that I don’t have the will to address it all. But that last bit…I saw red.

Male skeletons literally have more ribs than female skeletons and many other differences. Did you go to an online college?

That is simply not true. Did you go to a bible college?

So that’s what they’re afraid of

People have this absurd fear that fraternizing with different kinds of people will radically transform them in every way.

If you think that, allow me to reassure you: I’ve been friends with and talking to gay and trans people for decades now, and I’m still heterosexual. I’ve just become a liberal, socialist-leaning, humanist-atheist who always votes for the political party with the more tolerant, progressive policies. Nothing to be afraid of there.

An entertaining debunking of evolutionary psychology

This video is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste, but I enjoyed it (what I’ve seen of it — it’s 3½ hours long! I don’t have time for the whole thing). Part of it because I agree wholeheartedly with its conclusion that evolutionary psychologists are a mob of pretentious wankers, but also the reason for the length is that münecat actually reads and summarizes more evo psych papers than I’ve ever read myself. Also, she frequently breaks to sing and dance.

If that’s to your taste, or if you just enjoy seeing Geoffrey Miller, David Buss, Jordan Peterson, etc., getting skewered, I recommend this video. Or if you already know that evo psych proponents are nothing but bullshit artists, you can skip it.

Making good things cool

The pressure is enormous. I’m a pretty conventional guy, but all the messaging from the world around me tells me that people like me are terrible, hypocritical, and lack all empathy.

Normie guy feels unsafe when people protest genocide, is relieved to see cops busting heads

I’m still cheering on the protesters, though, and despising the cops. This comic from Mattie Lubchansky is mainly persuading me that I’ll never wear a purple sweater vest.

Then there’s all these strangely hateful people trying to tell me that being LGBTQ is super-cool.

The LGBT flag is like the modern day Jolly Roger. It’s a declaration to the world that you stand against order, civilization, and goodness itself

Look, that tempts me, but the social contagion isn’t influencing me at all. I’m a confirmed, committed heterosexual who finds himself attracted to women, not men, and even if you promised me a whole pirate ship and a chest full of gold doubloons I wouldn’t be able to switch my sexual preferences.

I’m not changing my brain around, but I’m convinced by this kind of media that I should be supporting protesters and LGBT people. They’re the ones doing the sane, cool stuff.


If that isn’t enough ferocity for you, behold…the Gender Ideology Hydra!

It’s so good to live in a tolerant state

Aww, a heartwarming story before the weekend (when I’m going to be neck-deep in grading.) A Russian, Erik Beda, fled his country for good reason.

Erik Beda’s mere existence is practically a death sentence in Russia. He’s transgender, which is illegal and considered an act of terror in the country.

“There is a sense of despair and catastrophe,” Erik Beda, 36, said in an interview with MPR News senior producer Aleesa Kuznetsov. The two spoke in Russian. Being LGBTQ+ has long been socially unacceptable in Russia, and eventually became illegal.

“Younger people say they want to end their life,” he said of the law. “Their families don’t care about them, and now the government has turned against them.”

Guess where he ended up, after a horrific struggle and journey?

After his release from ICE custody, Erik Beda said he took a bus to a place full of makeshift tents. A nonprofit gave him food, asked if he needed to call anyone and said they would buy him a one-way plane ticket. They asked Erik Beda where he wanted to go. He said he wanted to go to Minnesota.

“It’s an obvious fact that Minnesota is a refuge for trans people, so we had no doubts that we had to go,” Erik Beda said.

Russian refugee Erik Beda poses for a photo outside the Twin Cities Pride offices in Minneapolis, a transgender pride flag draped around his shoulders, on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

As a cis man, it feels good to live in a place that at least tries to support the civil rights of all people. If you don’t live in such a place, I hope your state changes it’s laws and policies…and if they don’t, you’re welcome to move north.

Wokehammer?

I’ve never played Warmhammer, never owned any of the books or models, and I only just today learned something surprising.

Numerous Warhammer players are cancelling their subscriptions and announcing a boycott of Games Workshop after the company retconned their Adeptus Custodes faction to add females.

The surprise is that they never had feeeeemale characters in their game before? What?

Following this retcon and the subsequent gaslighting from Games Workshop, numerous hobbyists, enthusiasts, and former customers have cancelled their subscriptions to Games Workshop’s subscription service Warhammer+ and have pledged to boycott the company going forward.

On April 14th, X user GrimmDark1 shared a screenshot of him canceling his subscription. He wrote, “Kiss my a** GW. Not another penny.”

He explained why he canceled and why he’s boycotting in a subsequent post, ‘For those asking “wut happen?’ GW disrespected their lore by changing decades old lore of the Custodies only taking males from the highborn families of Terra to become Custodies to ‘Nah women can be Custodies now too, and they’ve totally always been a thing since the beginning! Even though they’ve never been mentioned in any codex or BL book before. We totally aren’t doing this for ESG money from Blackrock and Vanguard!’.”

Uh, OK. They need to realize that it’s a game, and it’s already got a complicated and twisty lore, so adding one more twist is nothing that radical. But great, sure, stop playing, no one is forcing you to play, and in particular, no one says you have to play the one faction tainted with the imaginary scent of pretend womankind. Gamers are weird, man.

Is this part of the article a joke? Or are these people this delusional?

This boycott of Games Workshop and Warhammer due to its obvious embrace of feminist ideology can only be seen as a good thing because it means less people will be subjected to future propaganda that Games Workshop will inject into its games, books, and TV shows. It also means the demoralization that comes along with this propaganda will be blunted.

This demoralization was noted by former KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov who warned about it back in the 1980s. He shared that this demoralization campaign employed psychological warfare techniques to “change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite an abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interests of defending themselves, their family, their community, and their country.”

He elaborated, “It’s a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and it’s divided in four basic stages. The first one being demoralization. It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years which requires to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy- exposed to the ideology of the enemy in other words Marxism, Leninism ideology is pumped into the soft heads of at least three generations of American students without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism. American patriotism.”

The proof is in the damnable pudding

There are many ways to assess the utility of a policy. One way is to simply ask who favors the policy. There are many known bad actors who wear their bigotry on their sleeve, so if you find them favoring something, there may be something wrong with it.

The anti-trans frenzy is peaking in England this week following the release of a much-anticipated review by Dr. Hillary Cass on transgender care. Many anticipated that the report would serve as a pretext to ban transgender care in England, and it appears to have been crafted to provide just such a rationale. Nations already enacting restrictive laws against transgender individuals will likely use it as justification for further discrimination. In the United States, far-right Christian nationalist groups, including Heritage Foundation (retweeted), Association of Christian Schools International, and the Alliance Defending Freedom, have cited it to support anti-trans legislation they are involved in drafting or lobbying. The Cass Review is an exercise in politics with predetermined conclusions, not science and medicine, and health authorities worldwide should reject its findings.

Uh-oh. Far-right conservative Christian groups in America are cheerleading for the Cass Report? But I thought England had embraced a “defanged” version of Christianity that would never harm gentle, diverse souls, and there they go, welcoming the rabid version of Protestantism that was supposed to only exist in the Colonies!

We can also ask whose opinions Dr Cass found worthy and interesting.

After a series of political attacks on transgender people and rising anti-trans sentiment in the country, the NHS commissioned a review and tapped Dr. Hillary Cass, a pediatrician whose list of follows on social media include extremist anti-trans sources such as Transgender Trend (which argues, as is obvious, that being transgender is a “trend”), the LGB Alliance (a LGB group that believes in “dropping the T,” or transgender people), and Graham Linehan (an anti-trans activist and comedian), along with many other noted anti-trans voices.

While collecting anecdotes about the harms that transgender care does, Dr Cass was unable to find any significant evidence of such care damaging patients. I would offer an anecdote of my own, about how anti-trans ideology does great harm, needing only to list Graham Linehan, a fanatic whose anti-trans fervor has destroyed his own family, wrecked his career, and demolished his reputation. Case closed.

To demonstrate the great damage that the report does to human beings, though, we only have to look at its immediate consequences. The Scotland health service is now taking away puberty blockers from their patients!

Scotland’s only clinic to offer treatment to gender-questioning young people has paused prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in light of last week’s publication of the Cass review.

The Sandyford clinic, based in Glasgow, which offers a range of services including emergency contraception, abortion and support for sexual assault victims as well as transgender healthcare, posted a service update online on Thursday morning.

It stated: “Referrals from the Sandyford sexual health services to paediatric endocrinology for the prescription of puberty suppressing hormones have been paused for any new patients assessed by our young person’s gender service.

“Patients aged 16 to 17 years old who have not been treated by paediatric endocrinology, but who are still seeking treatment for their gender incongruence, will no longer be prescribed gender-affirming hormone treatment until they are 18 years old.”

And puberty and sexual development are allowed to march onwards, compounding their effects and worsening the psychological conflicts these people already have, and requiring greater medical effort to roll them back years later. A cruel move.

America is watching, and eagerly anticipating making young people similarly miserable on this side of the Atlantic.

Two amendments

I’ve changed my mind on a couple of things since yesterday.

  1. Based on the impression I got from the play Copenhagen, I said that Heisenberg was head of the German nuclear program in WWII. I was wrong. A reader wrote in with the details:

    A lot of documents regarding the WWII German nuclear program have only been declassified and rediscovered in archives in recent years (much more recently than the well-known Farm Hall transcripts and the main Alsos reports). Based on these documents, Heisenberg was not the head of the program. The chief theoretical physicist in the program appears to have been Siegfried Flügge, who was brought to the United States after the war to help Edward Teller with a certain classified project. The chief administrative official for the program in its final years was SS General Hans Kammler, who was also taken in by the United States after the war, according to several declassified documents. However, the documents do show that Heisenberg was involved in more weapons-related wartime nuclear work than he was willing to publicly admit after the war.

    I certainly understand if this is too far beyond your range of interests, but if you are curious, please see:

    Revolutionary Innovation

    https://f5o.aea.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/01/GermanAtomicBomb2024-01-27.pdf

    I still don’t care for the character of Heisenberg in the play — just working with the Nazis makes him distasteful to me — but he wasn’t quite as bad as I thought.

  2. I was far too generous to the Cass Report. Reading the comments and digging deeper into the report, it’s clear that this was the neo-liberal version of trans care — that is, say just enough that you won’t be accused of hiding the obvious facts, but not enough to actually disturb the status quo. It’s appealing to the reactionary anti-trans crowd because they can pretend to be judicious, while not actually doing anything and allowing the bad people to continue their bad policies and bad behavior.

The only summary of the Cass Report that I need

I keep hearing from anti-trans activists that this major review of the literature on the efficacy of transgender treatments, the Cass Report, confirms their position, which I don’t understand. What I’ve read of the report isn’t very overwhelming at all. Rather than wading into almost 400 pages of text, though, I thought this succinct summary of the whole thing was very good.

A systematic review collects all the published research in an area and ranks the research based on how likely it is to be reliable. The weakest form of evidence are case reports, where a doctor formally writes up an anecdote about a patient. The strongest form of evidence are randomized controlled trials where patients are randomly assigned to some type of medication or intervention, or to no intervention, or to a placebo, and the groups are compared to see how an intervention compares to alternatives/no treatment/placebo. Systematic reviews of several interventions for trans youth were undertaken by the University of York including puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, social transition, and psychosocial support measures.

The results of each of the systematic reviews was to characterize the overall evidence as weak, which was the Report’s most significant finding and has been widely reported. When looking more granularly at the York papers, a pattern appears of some papers showing a psychological benefit of the intervention, a smaller number showing no change positive or negative, and no papers showing any psychological harm. For example, in the systematic review of the evidence on puberty blockers, several included studies suggested psychological benefits to treatment in a range of areas, while a smaller number of studies found no significant impact. This was summarized in both the papers and the Report as “weak evidence” but could also be accurately described as “weak evidence (in favor of treatment).”

That the evidence was weak is not an indictment of the report — by their nature, case reports are necessarily weak. The alternative is to do controlled experimentation on human children, which is going to be even more problematic! The weak evidence is what we have, and that evidence says that, for the sake of the children, we should be treating kids.

The report itself actively endorses the use of puberty blockers, as well as other treatments, in addition to further studies of their effects. However, it takes a very conservative position on when young people should be allowed to take them, and even discouraged social transitioning in young children.

A full programme of research should be established to look at the characteristics, interventions and outcomes of every young person presenting to the NHS gender services.
The puberty blocker trial previously announced by NHS England should be part of a programme of research which also evaluates outcomes of psychosocial interventions and masculinising/ feminising hormones.

So I don’t get it. Why are the trans haters treating this as a vindication of their position? What I’m seeing is a cautious, conservative review that is compelled by the evidence to give cautious, conservative recommendations in favor of some degree of treatment, and I don’t care how much Helen Lewis and The Atlantic strain to twist it into a condemnation of American policy.

As usual, expect the issue to continue to be unresolved as ideology is used to torment trans kids further.