That a zygote is human does not imply that it is a person

Yeah, well, it’s Quillette. Steve Jacobs Asked Thousands of Biologists When Life Begins. The Answer Wasn’t Popular. He doesn’t understand why, even though this was the subject of his doctoral thesis, and his own obtuse inability to recognize that he was asking a bad and misleading question is his problem.

Let’s cut to his shocking result.

I reported that both a majority of pro-choice Americans (53%) and a majority of pro-life Americans (54%) would support a comprehensive policy compromise that provides entitlements to pregnant women, improves the adoption process for parents, permits abortion in extreme circumstances, and restricts elective abortion after the first trimester. However, members of the media were mostly interested in my finding that 96% of the 5,577 biologists who responded to me affirmed the view that a human life begins at fertilization.

It was the reporting of this view—that human zygotes, embryos, and fetuses are biological humans—that created such a strong backlash.

It wasn’t a backlash. It was a reasonable response to a provocative and misleading question. I notice a significant omission in his list of “zygotes, embryos, and fetuses” as biological humans (what the heck is a non-biological human, by the way?): why doesn’t he mention gametes? If you ask a biologist whether sperm and ova can be classified as “biologically human”, he’d get the same answer: YES. The taxonomic status of gametes is a non-issue here in any discussion of abortion.

The person who brought this article to my attention was all wrapped up in this idea that a fertilized zygote is human, as if that somehow magically conferred a privileged, protected status on it; when I mention that HEK293 cells, a common line of cultured cells derived from human embryonic kidney, are also classified as “human”, it was remarkable how quickly his brain fritzed out and he refused to even consider that as relevant. If you’re going to try to borrow the authority of biologists to justify a position you’ve already made up in your mind to be absolutely true, though, you’ve got to at least listen to what a biologist actually says.

Instead, he presented this Quillette article to show that biologists agree with him.

Wrong. It’s a crude and biased study designed to elicit a specific answer to an ambiguous question. All it is is a survey, built around the premise that determining when “human life begins” will have some power to resolve the debate around abortion. It doesn’t. It’s enlightening to see the authors description of his protocol, though.

I led discussions between pro-choice and pro-life law students. Little progress was made because both sides were caught up with the factual question of when life begins.

And right there is the problem. That isn’t the truth. Anti-choice proponents bring up the question of when life begins as an obfuscating tactic — that’s why little progress was made. Talk to pro-choice people, and you won’t find them arguing that we need to find the magic moment when an embryo becomes “human”, the instant when abortion becomes unethical. The “question of when life begins” isn’t a sharp-edged factual question, and when someone pretends that it is, they’re just looking for a blunt instrument to shut down the conversation. That this author thinks this is a fair and important question exposes his anti-choice bias, which he’s going to propagate throughout his “study”. His entire conclusion is based on the ambiguity of the words he uses, interpreted to fit his preconceptions!

So his first quest is to find who the authorities are.

I surveyed thousands of Americans using Amazon’s MTurk service. I found that most Americans believe that the question of “when life begins” is an important aspect of the U.S. abortion debate (82%); that most believe Americans deserve to know when a human’s life begins in order to give informed consent to abortion procedures (76%); and that most Americans believe a human’s life is worthy of legal protection once it begins (93%). Respondents also were asked: “Which group is most qualified to answer the question, ‘When does a human’s life begin?’” They were presented with several options—biologists, philosophers, religious leaders, Supreme Court Justices and voters. Eighty percent selected biologists, and the majority explained that they chose biologists because they view them as objective experts in the study of life.

Nice to know I’m regarded (in a general sense) as an impartial expert. Not nice to realize that’s only so he can distort my opinion to fit his conclusion. So let’s look at his unsurprising results.

As the usable responses began to come in, I found that 5,337 biologists (96%) affirmed that a human’s life begins at fertilization, with 240 (4%) rejecting that view. The majority of the sample identified as liberal (89%), pro-choice (85%) and non-religious (63%). In the case of Americans who expressed party preference, the majority identified as Democrats (92%).

The 96% are correct in a limited and specific sense. This is a retrospective opinion. If you asked me when I came into existence as an individual, I’d probably say the same thing, that the earliest moment the unique genetic combination that led to me was generated at fertilization. That does not imply that the zygote was me — it was going to take months of development to produce baby me, and then it was going to take years of learning to produce a functioning human being. But not every zygote is going to develop and grow; not every zygote is viable; the entirety of human nature is not inserted into a single cell at the instant of fertilization. He is intentionally compressing the whole loaded complexity of a human life into a single cell, and that is not true. I’m a biologist, we’ve already established that I am the expert, so you have to believe me.

His entire argument relies on the fuzziness of the terms “human” and “life”. We use “human” as both a label for a genetic lineage and for a complex being with rights and a role in society, and Jacobs loves to intentionally flip-flop between those definitions. When I say a zygote is “human”, I’m saying something about its parentage, but not about its cognitive abilities or contribution to culture. He wants to pretend biologists are saying the latter when they’re actually saying the former.

The 4% who reject his assertion are interesting: I suspect that they’re the ones who saw the trap coming. And, oh, it was a trap.

After getting the general answer he wanted, the trap was sprung, and his questionnaire then mentions that the survey “relates to the controversial public debate surrounding abortion.” And then the 96% realized how they’d been had and reacted appropriately.

Unfortunately, that did not stop some academics from being angered by the very idea of being asked about the ontogenetic starting point of a human’s life. Some of the e-mails I received included notes such as:

  • “Is this a studied fund by Trump and ku klux klan?”
  • “Sure hope YOU aren’t a f^%$#ing christian!!”
  • “This is some stupid right to life thing…YUCK I believe in RIGHT TO CHOICE!!!!!!!”
  • “The actual purpose of this ‘survey’ became very clear. I will do my best to disseminate this info to make sure that none of my naïve colleagues fall into this trap.”
  • “Sorry this looks like its more a religious survey to be used to misinterpret by radicals to advertise about the beginning of life and not a survey about what faculty know about biology. Your advisor can contact me.”
  • “I did respond to and fill in the survey, but am concerned about the tenor of the questions. It seemed like a thinly-disguised effort to make biologists take a stand on issues that could be used to advocate for or against abortion.”
  • “The relevant biological issues are obvious and have nothing to do with when life begins. That is a nonsense position created by the antiabortion fanatics. You have accepted the premise of a fanatic group of lunatics. The relevant issues are the health cost carrying an embryo to term can impose on a woman’s body, the cost they impose on having future children, and the cost that raising a child imposes on a woman’s financial status.”

Some of those responses are clearly just pissed off people annoyed at the dishonesty of the survey. Others clearly get to the heart of the problem. “its more a religious survey to be used to misinterpret by radicals to advertise about the beginning of life and not a survey about what faculty know about biology”…exactly. “The relevant biological issues are obvious and have nothing to do with when life begins. That is a nonsense position created by the antiabortion fanatics. You have accepted the premise of a fanatic group of lunatics.” Yes! He willingly accepted the faulty premise of a derailing tactic used by anti-choice zealots, and designed a survey to reinforce the claim that their red herring is the most important question to be settled. It’s not.

He’s going to completely ignore the fact that a majority of his trusted authorites are pro-choice and that they can recognize the rhetorical games he’s playing to misinterpret their position to be in support of his implied claim that personhood is generated at the instant of fertilization. It’s a terrible, biased article and a bad study that’s only going to be appreciatd by propaganda outlets like The Daily Wire, The College Fix, Breitbart, One America News, and the Patriarchy Research Council — all sources that he brags about featuring his work. And now Quillette. Has he considered the idea that who finds his work useful is telling?

Also telling is that he flat out admits his preconceptions.

I have concluded that one of the biggest reasons the abortion debate can’t be bridged is mistrust. I think this is primarily due to the stakes being so high for both sides. One side sees abortion rights as critical to gender equality, while the other sees abortion as an epic human rights tragedy—as over a billion humans have died in abortions since the year 2000.

Meanwhile, uncountable trillions of human cells have been cut out and discarded in cancer surgeries. Every gall bladder operation destroys precious human cells. When you heedlessly stub your toe, you have personally murdered millions of human cells.

Try this. Rephrase his statement to read “over a billion people have died in abortions since the year 2000″. Does that sound true to you? That’s what he wants to imply, but if you ran that by the 5,577 biologists he surveyed, I promise you that the majority would say that that is false.

Arguments are closed, I’m not going to argue with anyone about trans rights

There’s a lot in this video about hypocrisy in the secular community that I can relate to. It’s a good summary of the recent Deep Rift, prompted by the way certain members of the Atheist Community of Austin rallied behind a vocal transphobe, ejected the more progressive members in their ranks, and then took over the organization. One of the more rational people who spoke out against that transphobe goes by the name Essence of Thought, and they’ve been targeted for all kinds of shenanigans.

One of the more outrageous events was when a person they had blocked started urging her followers to dun EoT with demands that they pay attention to her…and when they responded, immediately accused EoT of harassing her. I got attempts to drag me into that; I had quietly blocked several of the more vocal haters myself, and I suddenly was getting all kinds of messages from other people, saying “Why did you block X and Y? You should unblock them!”

No. Just no. When I block people on social media, it’s because of what they say to me, or what I’ve witnessed them saying to other people. That X and Y were nice to you doesn’t invalidate the behavior I’ve seen that makes them undesirable to me. Don’t order people to respond to the assholes they’ve cut out of their media to make the experience more pleasant; you don’t get to tell me how to manage my feed. You especially don’t give me instructions in order to enable unpleasant people to harass others.

I don’t know Rachel Oates. I haven’t watched her videos or followed her on social media. She may be intelligent and informative on many topics, and she may be perfectly pleasant to you, but her activity in this episode tells me I don’t want to get tangled up in her machinations, especially where they involve her support for ugly transphobic people. I’ve pre-emptively blocked her, too.

I suspect I will now receive all kinds of messages telling me how nice and smart she is, and how unfair I am to not listen to her side of the story. Don’t. I don’t care. There are millions of people out there who aren’t entangled in anti-trans bigotry, and I’d rather be friends with them. I’m going to take EoT’s side in this saga, and have seen enough evidence of the behavior of the other side that I’d rather not be associated with them further.

Trans rights are human rights. There’s no nuance necessary in that statement, and I don’t need to hear from people trying to nibble around the edges with “but…” or “except…” stories.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the people who wrote abortion laws had to know some biology?

Here we go again. In Ohio, Republicans are trying to pass a law requiring that ectopic pregnancies be surgically reimplanted into the uterus. This is not medically possible. An ectopic pregnancy is a crisis that requires surgical intervention, and this law would require that a doctor who tried to save a woman’s life would be charged with murder.

In Pennsylvania, they want to require a birth certificate be issued and a formal burial be carried out for any fertilized egg that fails to implant. Most failures to implant are not even noted by women or doctors — it’s just another menstrual period. This is another law that cannot practically be implemented, and is just another hurdle added to the trauma of spontaneous abortions, or additional expense for planned abortions.

I am getting the impression that regressive conservatives are desperately trying to exploit this moment of ascendance before a progressive rebound slaps them back into the teeming, hellish pit of hatred they come from.

I wouldn’t want to be a man this fragile

Look at him. He’s afraid of Mr Rogers.

Somebody needs to inform this guy that Marion Morrison, aka John Wayne, was a posturing draft-dodger, a cheerleader for the House Un-American Activities Committee, and he said this in 1971:

With a lot of blacks, there’s quite a bit of resentment along with their dissent, and possibly rightfully so. But we can’t all of a sudden get down on our knees and turn everything over to the leadership of the blacks. I believe in white supremacy until the blacks are educated to a point of responsibility. I don’t believe in giving authority and positions of leadership and judgment to irresponsible people.

… I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from the Indians. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.

But then, that probably makes him even more attractive to the creatures at the Daily Wire.

I’m not as nice as Mr Rogers, but I’m not as dull and reactionary as John Wayne. I don’t believe in settling conflicts with guns, but I also think we have to resist fascism vigorously. Can I just be who I am, without someone telling me I have to conform to one of two different molds? Men are not all the same. Neither are women.

Professor Lying Liar lying

A business professor, Eric Rasmusen, tweeted something offensive and stupid.

Eric Rasmusen tweeted a line from an article Nov. 7 titled “Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably,” which read, “Geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low agreeableness and moderately low conscientiousness.”

He can do that. Employment is not contingent on holding only good opinions and not being an asshole, so he’s not threatened with firing for it, although some people would like to. The university administration has made arrangements so students can avoid taking classes with him, which could eventually lead to trouble for him — if he has non-existent effectiveness as a teacher, that could end up as a dismissal. Not being able to do the job you’re hired for is grounds for being let go, and a conservative business professor ought to encourage that.

What annoys me, though, is his dishonest excuse. I don’t believe this at all:

Rasmusen has taught business economics and public policy in the Kelley School of Business since 1992. He said he shared the tweet because a quote in the article stood out to him.

“I don’t know the contents of the article,” Rasmusen said. “It was just the one part that I thought was interesting and worth keeping note of.”

Rasmusen said he was surprised his tweet received backlash.

“It seems strange to me because I didn’t say anything myself — I just quoted something,” he said.

Oh, he was just quoting someone else. He wasn’t expressing odious, ignorant ideas, he was just echoing an odious, ignorant idea, which makes it OK, because it means he has a handy scapegoat.


“To show students that they need not fear bias in grading, the university is condemning a dissident professor, requiring him to use blind grading, and allowing students to opt out of his class,” he said in the email. “This, it is claimed, will make students relaxed and feel able to express their political views without fear of retribution. Having seen the university crack down on the one outspoken conservative professor, students will feel more comfortable in expressing their views while at Indiana University — that is, they will know what to expect if they speak freely in the classes of the 999 liberal professors. Of course, IU is not discouraging bias, but encouraging it, even requiring it, as a condition of teaching. There are views you’re not supposed to express, even outside of class, and heaven help the student whose professor checks his twitter account before issuing grades.”

You don’t get to simultaneously claim that you are a dissident conservative martyr and that what you said was not your opinion and therefore innocuous. That’s not how any of this works.

Add to that fact that his other tweets and his blog apparently show that he really does believe women are inferior and should be subservient, and I don’t think that flashing the “quote” card is as effective a shield as he believes.

And now, a word from the Illinois Patriarchy Institute

These guys are always flooding my mailbox with their hand-wringing screeds about the gays and the trans and the non-god-fearing Americans, and lately they’ve been particularly wound up. Why? Because Chick-fil-A Betrays Principles and Faithful Customers. If you can’t trust a soulless giant capitalist chicken-killing and meat-processing restaurant to bash the gays, what are you going to do?

In a stunning act of betrayal, Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation, the Chick-fil-A Foundation, has announced it will no longer donate to the Salvation Army, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), or Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH). Though Chick-fil-A has not publicly acknowledged the reason for its betrayal, everyone knows what it is. Chick-fil-A is attempting to curry favor with the “LGBTQ+” community that is shredding our social fabric. This policy shift constitutes a cowardly betrayal of Chick-fil-A’s Christian ethos and its Christian customers who have stood by Chick-fil-A through all its trials at the hands of legions of supporters of sexual deviance. #LoveofMoney

Broods of vipers identifying as apostles of justice, equality, tolerance, diversity, inclusivity, and compassion have been protesting and maligning Chick-fil-A since 2012 when Dan Truett Cathy, chairman and chief executive officer, made some public statements in an interview with the Baptist Press supporting true marriage and opposing the legal recognition of homosexual unions as marriages. After homosexuals got wind of Cathy’s theologically orthodox and unremarkable statements, some part of hell broke loose and raged against Chick-fil-A. Fortunately for Cathy and Chick-fil-A, Christians turned out en masse all across the country to show their support with their time and money for Cathy’s stand for truth.

Wow. I haven’t been called a brood of vipers in days, and usually it’s by angry atheists on an anti-SJW crusade. It’s good to see a Christian organization returning to its roots and its heritage of hatred, and the True Meaning of the words of the Bible.

They should have waited, though. Don’t you worry, Chick-fil-A still hates those non-Christian sexual deviants!

Chick-fil-A says it will now focus its charitable efforts in three areas: education, homelessness, and hunger. But when asked more specifically, it did not go so far as to say that it will no longer donate to organizations that oppose LGBTQ rights.

“No organization will be excluded from future consideration–faith-based or non-faith-based,” Chick-fil-A President and COO Tim Tassopoulos said in a statement to VICE.

See? The door is still open for a policy of bigotry. You just have to cater to their desire for dollars, as Jesus would expect you to do. This change is only motivated by money, as they see all those potential customers walking by their doors on the way to Popeye’s Chicken. That’s really all this is, a cautious ploy to expand their customer base in the face of competition.

Despite attempts to move away from politics, the company has been unable to shake its homophobic reputation. Just last month, Chick-fil-A was forced to close its very first location in the U.K. after only eight days following protests and pressure from groups promoting LGBTQ rights.

Disclosure: I can’t claim to have boycotted Chick-fil-A, because I’ve never eaten there, never been tempted even before they revealed their bigotry. And now I don’t eat there because of the vegetarian thing.

I have eaten at Popeye’s, decades ago, and it was really good. I guess if I had to break down and eat a dead bird, I’d prefer to go there anyway, no matter what openly Christian Chick-fil-A said to make amends. Although I really doubt that Popeye’s management is full of secularists and atheists.

Every day is International Men’s Day

But today, 19 November 2019, is the day with the label. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do today, since I’m already stuffed so full of manliness that it’s oozing out of my ears*, but I do know one thing not to do: don’t search for “manly” with safe search turned off.

*Near as I can tell, manliness is the expression of hair in strange places.

Virginity is a scam

This guy I never heard of before, T.I., is now famous in my head for one thing: being a revolting control freak.

Rapper and actor T.I. said in a podcast interview that aired Tuesday that he goes to the gynecologist every year with his daughter to “check her hymen” and make sure it’s “still intact.”

In an interview with Nazanin Mandi and Nadia Moham on Ladies Like Us, T.I. talked about his parenting style, among other topics. When asked about whether he’s had the “sex talk” with his daughters, he pointed to his approach with his eldest daughter, 18-year-old Deyjah Harris, who’s in her first year of college.

“Not only have we had the conversation — we have yearly trips to the gynecologist to check her hymen,” T.I. said. “Yes, I go with her.”

He then mentioned that after her 16th birthday party, he “put a sticky note on the door: ‘Gyno. Tomorrow. 9:30.'”

“So we’ll go and sit down and the doctor comes and talk, and the doctor’s maintaining a high level of professionalism,” T.I. said. “He’s like, ‘You know, sir, I have to, in order to share information’ — I’m like, ‘Deyjah, they want you to sign this so we can share information. Is there anything you would not want me to know? See, Doc? Ain’t no problem.'”

T.I. also noted that he was informed the hymen can be broken in ways other than through sexual penetration. “And so then they come and say, ‘Well, I just want you to know that there are other ways besides sex that the hymen can be broken like bike riding, athletics, horseback riding, and just other forms of athletic physical activity,'” he said. “So I say, ‘Look, Doc, she don’t ride no horses, she don’t ride no bike, she don’t play no sports. Just check the hymen, please, and give me back my results expeditiously.'”

Then he added, “I will say, as of her 18th birthday, her hymen is still intact.”

Why does he care? What would he do if the doctor came back and said her hymen was broken? A child is not your possession to be controlled — kids are independent human beings whose lives are a process of moving away from you. A 16 year old or an 18 year old may not be fully adult yet, but they are not your servants, either.

And virginity…does he have any sons? Would he be as controlling over them as he is with his daughters? The worth of his children does not lie in a wisp of a membrane, and he is fucked up in the head to think it is.

There is also something wrong with his story. I have responsibilities to maintain the privacy of young people, too: my students’ grades, for instance, are confidential, and it doesn’t matter if their parents are paying their tuition or not, I do not give them away. I’ve had parents show up in my office with their son, and tell me he has given me permission to tell them how he is doing, and I’ve said, “I’ll talk it over with him privately, and he can choose to reveal it to you.” That’s the only way I would handle it.

Doctors have even more serious privacy concerns. I find it hard to believe a responsible doctor would fold over an obnoxious parent, and more likely would just tell the ass what he wanted to hear. His daughter’s vagina is hers, not his.

I hope this is the last I ever hear of T.I.

Weinstein “cancelled”, right

Tom Stiglich /

Harvey Weinstein was allowed to attend an event for young performers at the Downtime Bar in Manhattan by the event organizer, Alexandra Laliberte. He showed up with an entourage — disgraced rapists still get to have an entourage if they’re rich enough, I guess. Some women in the audience and on stage were horrified at the monster in their midst, and called him out.

One comedian, Kelly Bachman, called him out in her act onstage, referring to him as “the elephant in the room” and “Freddy Krueger.”

“I didn’t know we had to bring our own Mace and rape whistles to Actor’s Hour,” said Bachman in a video posted to Instagram.

Some audience members, ostensibly men, then started booing. “Shut up,” said one person.

“This kills at group therapy for rape survivors,” replied Bachman, who noted she herself was a rape survivor. Bachman said “fuck you” to Weinstein before continuing with her set.

She wasn’t alone.

“So many women have suffered so greatly because of their experiences with this man, and there were no repercussions,” they said. “And, in fact, he was being supported — and the community meant to uplift emerging actors and emerging artists was not only complicit but directly responsible for their silencing.”

Stuckless said they felt paralyzed by fear but knew they needed to say something because they “couldn’t imagine walking out of the room and him still feeling safe to go in and laugh with the community he was responsible for terrorizing for so many years.”

When intermission began, Stuckless decided to confront Weinstein.

“Tell me — what’s your name?” they asked Weinstein in a video obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Weinstein placed his elbows on the table while another man next to him was heard speaking to Stuckless. They said the man accompanying Weinstein told them it was none of their business and that they had no right to ask.

“Nobody is going to say anything?” screamed Stuckless in a video their friend filmed and later posted to Facebook. “Nobody is really going to say anything?,” they continued, pointing a finger toward Weinstein.

Stuckless was then asked to leave the venue.

“I’ll get out of here, that’s fine, I am happy to leave, but nobody is going to say anything?” they continued. “I’m going to stand four feet from a fucking rapist, and no one is going to say anything?”

And more!

Moments after Stuckless confronted Weinstein, so did Amber Rollo, a 31-year-old comedian who had attended the show to support her friend, Bachman.

“She’s right,” Rollo told Weinstein, she recalled. “You’re a fucking monster. What are you doing out here? Fuck you.”

Rollo said one of the men accompanying Weinstein called her a “cunt” in response, while another woman at Weinstein’s table guided her outside. Rollo said she was disappointed that Weinstein was welcomed at the event and that those who questioned his presence were booed or removed from the venue.

Those three women, Kelly Bachman, Zoe Stuckless, and Amber Rollo deserve praise for standing up and speaking out. Instead, though, two of them were thrown out, and Weinstein was allowed to squat there, toadlike, and be supported by his sycophants. I’m also disturbed by the majority of attendees who did not speak out. One little thing stands out to me.

“This guy was leading me out the stairs, just repeating ‘due process, due process’ to me,” said Stuckless, who asked the man if he worked at the bar. He did not respond.

This irrelevant bit of legalese has become a mantra among horrible people. You do not need “due process” to detest an exploiter and harasser. The state needs due process if it is going to deprive an individual of liberty or property, but neither of those were at issue here — these were women using their free speech (one of those rights that the Right loves so much, except when it is inconvenient to them) to express their assessment of the available evidence that Harvey Weinstein is a crude rapist thug, and that this issue has not been formally tried in a court of law doesn’t make it any less true. That the wealth and influence Weinstein used to do harm also shelters him from legal action does not protect him from the informed judgement of society, it just means he isn’t in jail where he belongs, stripped of his power. That would require “due process”. No one needs “due process” to shun a rapist.

Oh, and speaking of free speech…

Alexandra Laliberte, the organizer of Actor’s Hour, told BuzzFeed News it was the second time Weinstein had turned up to one of her events. Laliberte added that she doesn’t have a security team, and rather than turn Weinstein away, she thought the community could address him.

“I welcome all walks of life into my space,” she said.

When asked why she allowed Weinstein to attend an event specifically intended to support and encourage young actors when he has been accused of sexually assaulting and harassing dozens of them, Laliberte told BuzzFeed News: “I protect them by freedom of speech.”

“Comedians made fun of him,” said the 26-year-old actor. “This one lady stood up and screamed at him. People walked out, which was fantastic.”

Right. Except your version of “free speech” allows you to physically evict people exercising that right from your space if they criticize a media influencer you’re trying to flatter, while a man calling a woman a “cunt” was allowed to remain. This principle of free speech is a tough one to maintain, and in reality always requires compromises, but Laliberte just outright broke it.

By the way, I wouldn’t dignify “rapist abuser” and “predatory pariah” with the phrase “walks of life”.