Feminism again

Sex can and should be amazingly fun, not something to fear. Of course parents should warn young people that sex can end in pregnancy, unwanted infections, heartbreak and emotional pain.

That’s a pretty good reverse ferret, the very next sentence.

Feminism and fertility

Given the general feminist insistence about fertility – the insistence on discussing it for a start, then the control of it by none other and no other than the woman concerned – we’ve something of a right to expect feminists to acknowledge fertility in all areas of life. Yet, as we know, that’s exactly what they don’t do:

At least this (smallish age gap) counts as a novelty. Usually, we nosy types find the larger age gaps intriguing. Some such relationships defy the odds and work. Others look unhealthy, especially if one party is not just younger, but also young, period – too young for them to have much hope of real agency in their relationship. Then there’s that other kind of age gap, with the freaky gendered socioeconomic dimension – where snagging a much younger woman becomes as much a signifier of male success as a mansion or a Porsche. Here, the younger woman is less a human being than a male acquisition or achievement. I always wondered why some men were forever moaning nastily about gold-diggers.

It finally dawned that perhaps it’s because they are intoxicated with this idea of womankind confirming their financial success. “Look, everybody, I’m so successful, I’m being played by gold-diggers!” There lies the essential tragedy of the money-obsessed – it even contaminates their sexual and emotional life.

You know, fertility? That thing that women lose in their 40s?

No, there’s no justice or righteousness here, just experience. We’re descended from people who found fertile women shaggable. Those who didn’t didn’t leave descendants. And thus it’s rather built into us to prefer fertile women as shags.

Which does leave us still with the question. Given all that feminist attention paid to fertility why is it they fail to understand it?

What’s the price for a men’s game at Wembley?

The projected record-breaking attendance for a women’s football match in ­Britain should inspire fans to come regularly and encourage girls to believe they can play at international level, the England manager Phil Neville said on Friday.

More than 86,500 tickets have been sold for England’s showpiece friendly against Germany at Wembley on Saturday, close to the stadium’s 90,000 ­capacity.

OK, great. Tickets are £10 and £1 for kiddies.

What’s the price for a men’s game at the same stadium?

Actually, an interesting question here. What’s the cost of using the stadium for a day? Does the ticket income here even cover that? If it’s all kiddies’ tickets probably not, if all adult then maybe…..

Dear Lord, the idiocy here

First things first: virginity doesn’t exist

Well, actually, it does. It’s the state of not having had penetrative vaginal sex as yet.

Whether it’s important or not is entirely another matter. But it does exist.

and there’s no way to test it. Hymens can be broken by things other than penises. Some girls are born without hymens. Many women and girls who have never had penetrative vaginal sex nonetheless lack an intact hymen; some women who have had penetrative vaginal sex see their hymens remain intact.

All of that’s true. And yet none of it changes the falsity of the first assertion.

Of course, the entire concept of virginity is misogynistic: men aren’t valued for their sexual inexperience, there’s no male virginity test, and male sexual desire and experience are considered both normal and appropriate. It’s also just plain stupid, logically and conceptually. If a woman has sex exclusively with women and has 500 partners in her life, is she still a virgin? Why is a woman who has anal but not vaginal sex a technical virgin, but a man who has only had anal sex with men not one? A woman could ostensibly have a long and active career as a porn star and still be a virgin, so long as the vaginal sex was the one act she would not engage in. Is a woman still a virgin if she’s penetrated with a sex toy but not a human penis?

What fun with the hypotheticals.

And yet it has been something our forbears placed great importance upon. Why so for all those thousands and thousands of years? The absence of contraception of course.

A bloke is going to spend the majority of his life’s work in supporting his family. The aim and purpose of the entire idea of life itself is to be raising part copies of one’s own DNA. Thus the treasure of his labour should be spent upon his children, not those of the bloke next door or the wife’s first boyfriend.

Thus the importance placed upon the woman’s chastity. One useful signifier of which is her virginity.

This isn’t complicated and it may not be all that relevant these days. But knowing how we got to where we are is useful.

But then that’s asking a woman to be logical, isn’t it?

This will be fun now

All children will be able to receive whole genome sequencing at birth, under ambitions laid out by the Health Secretary.

Matt Hancock said that in future, the tests would be routinely offered, alongside standard checks on newborns, in order to map out the risk of genetic diseases, and offer “predictive, personalised” care.

Allow that to spread for a few years and we’ll get a very good handle on the misallocation of fatherhood over the population. Something that appears to be distinctly higher than most believe.

Won’t that be fun?

Self partnered

We have another word to describe this:

First came ‘conscious uncoupling’, a description of divorce that was introduced to the world by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Now comes a new celebrity term for singledom. Emma Watson has announced that she is not single: she is “self-partnered”.

The 29-year-old actress told Vogue magazine that the pressure to have a husband and a baby by the time she turns 30 had left her feeling anxious, but she has now come to terms with it.

“I was like, ‘Why does everyone make such a big fuss about turning 30? This is not a big deal…’ Cut to 29, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I feel so stressed and anxious.

“And I realise it’s because there is suddenly this bloody influx of subliminal messaging around. If you have not built a home, if you do not have a husband, if you do not have a baby, and you are turning 30, and you’re not in some incredibly secure, stable place in your career, or you’re still figuring things out… There’s just this incredible amount of anxiety.”

She went on: “I never believed the whole ‘I’m happy single’ spiel. I was like, ‘This is totally spiel.’ It took me a long time, but I’m very happy [being single]. I call it being self-partnered.”

“Spinster”.

Or, as the Kiwi bird put it some years back. “Buy a cat and a vibrator. Hey, it works for me!”

This isn’t actually true

It’s everywhere. Comedy gigs, TV shows, newspapers. A constant drumbeat of trans people are this, trans people are that, trans people aren’t really people.

That last part.

We all entirely agree that trans people are indeed people. God’s Special Little Snowflakes, just as with every other one of us, the emphasis on the us part of it. The quibbles are at a slightly more granular level of detail than that.

Rather missing the point about the entertainment industry

Clare Balding has claimed the BBC should reveal how much it pays stars per hour, as she called on the corporation to be more transparent.

The presenter said the current policy of only disclosing salaries stood in the way of true pay equality between men and women as it masked how many hours were put in to earn it.

A large chunk of the cash is about the who is doing it, not the what is being done nor for how long. Beyonce would receive more for opening a supermarket than Ru Paul would.

Shrug.

Umm, why Honey?

I was sitting on my couch and wrote a quick tweet:

“Almost every woman I know has taken nudes at sometime in her life. As more women under 40 run for office, we are going to have to figure out how to stand together and say it’s the leaking of them, not the taking of them, that is shameful.”

The tweet got 1,000 likes quickly. The next day it had 34,000. I watched people in the comments tell the stories about how nude photos had been used against them. I watched many people, mostly men, repeatedly blame women for sharing nudes, instead of blaming the people who leaked them.

Why is it the passing on, rather than the act itself, which is the thing to be condemned?

Sure, I can think of reasons too but I’d like to have it explained to me, your explanation. After all, most young men have got drunk and made a more than inappropriate pass at some point in their teenage years. Yet this is taken as proof perfect that one may not be a Supreme Court justice.

No, I don’t say that a drunken pass is the same as a naked selfie. Rather, I say that both are common behaviours and why should one be disqualifying, the other not?

Oh, BTW, Katie Hill hasn’t resigned because of nudies. But because she was screwing someone who worked for her – abuse of power.

Umm, really?

Samira Ahmed has cited the length of time female presenters need to spend in the make-up chair as part of her equal pay dispute with the BBC.

In a landmark case against the corporation, Ahmed is arguing that she deserves to be paid the same rate for presenting Newswatch as Jeremy Vine received for hosting Points of View, as the programmes are so similar.

Different people doing different jobs should be paid the same amount of money?

Oh, really?

Considerable scientific evidence has emerged demonstrating a durable biological element underlying gender identity.

Is this your point or our?

You can understand their frustration. In the current climate, solid, peer-reviewed science by people who know this field inside out is being ignored in favour of the thinky thoughts of yummy mummies, religious fundamentalists and far-right trolls who claim “facts don’t care about your feelings” while yelling the latter over the former, who claim to be “silenced” by “extremists” while silencing the very people who know the subject inside out.

The problem is not a lack of data. The problem is the same as with the anti-vaccination movement. The media is platforming scaremongering over science, feelings over facts and extremists over experts.

You want to be ruled by experts? So, a carbon tax it is then. Plus unilateral free trade, vicious free market capitalism topped off by a minimal welfare state – Singapore – and so on.

Or would you prefer that democracy thing?

This isn’t gay

The study does not provide an indication of what kind of ghost people like me (assigned male at birth but now transitioning, attracted to feminine people and therefore a slightly harder-to-label kind of gay)

Someone male enough to father children isn’t just assigned male at birth. They are, physically, male. And then still being attracted to female types doesn’t really become gay, does it?

You mean they’re supporting the law of the land Gary?

But the core goal is the same: legal protection for people who want to discriminate against, and refuse to provide healthcare for, LGBT+ people and women who need or have had abortions.

Not only are we all – righteously – free to discriminate it’s also true that the NHS itself agrees that nurses don’t have to partake in abortions if they have an objection to doing so.

So the claim of the evil of these people seems to be that they’re supporting the current law.

And?

Ain’t this grand?

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has ruled against Canadian transgender activist Jessica Yaniv in a case stemming from a complaint Yaniv filed against multiple female beauticians who refused to wax Yaniv’s male genitalia.

“Self-identification does not erase physiological reality,” said Jay Cameron, a lawyer for the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, which represented the beauticians. “Our clients do not offer the service requested. No woman should be compelled to touch male genitals against her will, irrespective of how the owner of the genitals identifies.”

So, that’s the lawyer. Here’s the court:

Yaniv is being ordered to pay $2,000 to three of the accused women, one of whom was forced out of business due to the case.

Excellent.

So here’s a great suggestion for women’s footie

The announcement that viewing figures for the Women’s World Cup hit 1.12 billion is hugely impressive and raises vital questions about how we measure the success of the women’s game versus the men’s.

If you put to one side the massive exception of the USA women’s national team generating more income than their male counterparts yet being paid less (which hints at this being more ideological than financial), then the argument against equal World Cup prize money and funding is that, generally, the men’s game generates more income that the women’s. Except this is never quantified. Because sponsorship rights and broadcast rights (which make up the majority of money generated) for both the men’s and women’s premier competitions are bundled and sold together, it is impossible.

The assumption is that these big-money deals are sold overwhelmingly on the basis of the men’s World Cup. But this can only ever be an assumption when rights are bundled together. (Uefa, meanwhile, has unbundled the rights for its women’s competitions – the European Championship and Champions League.)

However, if you look at the $30m (£23m) prize pot for the 2019 Women’s World Cup (double what it was for the 2015 edition) and the $400m prize pot for the 2018 men’s World Cup, it is clear that we are putting separate values on the two competitions. Somewhere it has been decided that the women’s tournament is worth 7.5% of the men’s.

Why begin with the 1.12 billion viewers of the Women’s World Cup in this context? Because it offers a concrete measurement of the interest in the women’s competition that we can compare to the men’s. The 2018 men’s World Cup pulled in a huge 3.572 billion viewers. The figure for the Women’s World Cup is 31% of the number that watched the men’s.

So, in the absence of unbundled rights, why do we not use that figure to determine the women’s share? Why do we instead get another token “doubling” of the prize pot or investments when the numbers are so low?

Hey, we’re all for quantification around here. So, let’s unbundle the rights and see what they sell for. We then have what amount of money the women’s game actually creates and that can be used to pay for the women’s game.

As a guide, well, what is the price difference between the men’s and women’s UEFA broadcasting rights?

Seriously Honey, get a grip

Duchess of Sussex: I’m struggling to ‘thrive and feel happy’ in the royal family

It’s a duty you’re performing there…..

The Duchess of Sussex has spoken of the unbearable pressure of life in the spotlight as a member of the Royal Family, saying it is no longer enough for her to “just survive” it.

The Duchess, who has a five-month-old son, said it is essential for her to “thrive” and “feel happy”, warning that simply enduring with unwanted scrutiny is “not the point of life”.

Privilege does come with the occasional down side you know?

A thing about trans athletes

As I understand it, anyone who transitions knows that they’re going to have to give up a number of things. But the results of transitioning are going to be worth it.

Hmm. OK. So, that’s like every other choice any of us makes in life then. Opportunity costs are, after all, real.

So, perhaps everyone just has to put up with the fact that transitioning means no more competitive sport for you.

??

Well boo hoo

The Duchess of Sussex has spoken of the “really challenging” time of being a new mother in the spotlight, saying “it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes”.

The Duchess, who appears emotional on screen, said pregnancy is a “really vulnerable” time, adding not many people had asked after her wellbeing.

In an on-camera interview for an ITV documentary about the Sussex’s tour to Africa, she conceded it had been a “struggle”.

One of the most privileged women in the world wants to tell us how hard it all is.

Bollocks love.