Well, maybe

The emails were written between 2016 and 2017 and included private messages from the mother of a nine-year-old. Her son, she said, had fully transitioned from girl to boy but was not coping — fighting fellow pupils, stealing from his parents and in emotional turmoil.

Maybe Mummy didn’t realise quite what boys are like…..

To insist upon this in all instances would be going too far but there is definitely an element out there of normal male/boy behaviour being described as aberrant, isn’t there?

If you’re going to get fired for a joke make it a good one

Lloyd’s of London insurance broker Guy Carpenter has suspended a senior executive after he sent a sexually explicit email to colleagues on his birthday.

In the email, senior vice-president James Conmy said: “There are doughnuts on Alf’s desk as it’s my birthday today. I hope people like Krispy Kremes – I know [female colleague] enjoys a glazed ring.”

The female colleague, whose identity has not been revealed, replied in an email: “This is absolutely totally unacceptable James. There are limits to ‘jokes’ you can send at work copying in all colleagues – this is extremely rude and offensive. Please note that this will be forwarded to HR — HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”


Although, to be honest, I’d rather expect someone who has risen to seniority in a Lloyd’s broker to have a thicker skin than that.

This will be misreported – or misunderstood

Sally Challen walks free: Abused wife who bludgeoned husband to death with hammer will not face jail

That’s not quite it, no.

A mother who bludgeoned her abusive husband to death in a hammer attack has revealed that she “still loves him” after walking free from court.

Georgina Challen, known as Sally, 65, said she killed 61-year-old Richard Challen in the kitchen of their Surrey home in August 2010 after decades of being coerced and humiliated by him. She had been in prison for almost a decade.

However, following a string of unprecedented legal wranglings at the country’s highest courts, Mrs Challen finally walked out of the Old Bailey as a free woman after Mr Justice Edis sentenced her to nine years and four months in jail – time she has already served in custody.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) today accepted her plea of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

The actual finding is a definite crime was committed – it wasn’t, for example, self defence. Further, she was guilty. And even that it was a pretty serious case of “manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility” as 9 years and 4 months for that is quite a lot, isn’t it?

One of the wilder demands in this and other such cases was that there was no crime at all. Yes, obviously, from the wilder shores of feminism but still.

The academy’s not left wing at all

Imperial College professor issues ‘grovelling apology’ for promoting articles questioning transgender lobby

Been reading Stormfront again?

In another tweet cited by the students, which Prof Buitendijk has since deleted, she shared what she described as “a good piece on gender self identification and women’s rights” from the Spectator in October 2018.

The Spectator, now off limits to British academics. No, there’s no left wing bias here at all.

How plural need we be here?

Transgender swimmers will be granted full access to Hampstead Heath’s ladies’ pond following a local authority ruling which has sparked protest from feminists and Orthodox Jewish women.

People who identify as transgender now have the right to bathe in the womens-only pond in London which is used by celebrities including the model, Kate Moss and actresses Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham-Carter.

Those who swim in ponds are a minority of course. And so are trans. So, our minority of a minority ends up as being how many people? Something we need to use plural for?

This aside from the manner of the description. Apparently all trans – at least the way they describe it women by source but now not, women by destination but not originally. Which is rather cake and eat it, isn’t it?

Dear Lord Above

Alexa, why does the brave new world of AI have all the sexism of the old one?
Yomi Adegoke

Because we’re dealing with human beings love. A sexually dimorphic species.

For years, we have looked forward to a future in which our lives are made easier by technology, but in it women (or rather, robots anthropomorphised as women) are still not free from the gender binary. And that is because real women aren’t either. It seems we envisage sexism even in society at its most advanced and progressive. We imagine our eventual overlords as male, but our helpers as aproned females – like the Jetsons’ maid, Rosie. A true technological utopia for women would be one where the future of AI isn’t female, but genderless, as all work should be.

We can – and we do – change the societal manifestations of that dimorphism. But eradicating it is only going to come when we’re a different species…..

How unlike feminists to ignore facts

This is just wondrous:

AI assistants with female voices are fuelling gender bias and reinforcing the patriarchy with submissive and coquettish responses to men, the UN has said.

Services such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri suggest that women are “docile helpers, available at the touch of a button or with a blunt voice command like ‘hey’”, the organisation said.

Feminists have previously criticised the technology companies for perpetuating Victorian stereotypes of women as subservient and men as masterful by casting digital assistants as female.

Now the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Unesco, has said in a report that the assistants “replicate patriarchal ideas”. “In many communities this reinforces commonly held gender biases that women are subservient and tolerant of poor treatment,” the authors wrote.

The female version of Siri in particular provided the illusion of “a heterosexual female, tolerant and occasionally inviting of male sexual advances and even harassment”. The report highlighted Siri’s response when told by a reporter: “You’re a slut.” On different occasions, the reply was: “I’d blush if I could,” “Well, I never!” and “Now, now.”

Such design was the result of tech companies’ “overwhelmingly male engineering teams”, the researchers said. They noted that there had been no mention in multiple testimonials of a man changing a female voice to male.

Among recommended changes is a requirement that digital assistants “announce” they are not human at the start of interactions with people. Tech companies should stop giving the assistants female voices by default and users should have a choice on sign-up, including a gender-neutral option, the team said.

We can write the rest of the whine on autopilot, can’t we? Except the next sentence is just delicious:

Siri has a male voice by default in the UK.

Women’s Equality Party manifesto

How does this work?

including truly shared parental leave with the same
rights for self-employed parents

Maternity and paternity leave are paid for – in the UK at least – 10% by the employer and 90% from national insurance contributions that the employer doesn’t hand over to HMRC. The self employed are their own employer and also pay very much lower NI in return for gaining fewer such rights and payments.

So, who pays that 10% if not the employer of the self-employed? And then, are NI rates upon the self-employed to rise to cover that maternity and paternity leave?

How, actually, does this work?

Cruel, but…

There’s a certain deliciousness to this from the comments:

Every time I hear Milano offer an opinion I offer a silent prayer that – for her sake – she manages to keep hers looks. Otherwise, she’s in deep shit.

Dennis the Peasant

Erm, yes?

The literature of Ancient Greece and Rome would seem to be unlikely territory for the latest battle in the culture wars.

But a US academic has warned that modern day misogynists and alt-right activists are looking to some of the most lauded classical texts as inspiration for their disturbing ideal of a patriarchy where women are kept firmly in check.

And while their source material may be thousands of years old, Donna Zuckerberg points out they are using 21st century social media to peddle age old notions of women as dominating, controlling and manipulative.

Ms Zuckerberg, whose brother Mark founded Facebook, one of the biggest social media platforms of all, says online misogynists and ‘incels’ (involuntarily celibate men) feel vindicated by writers such as Ovid, the Roman poet, and the satirist Juvenal.

The problem here being that of course we should consider the wisdom of the ancients. Whether we agree with it or not will depend upon our consideration, no?

Umm, it doesn’t love

Why does female armpit hair provoke such outrage and disgust?
Yomi Adegoke

It is indeed a cultural thing, in some to many places, that there shouldn’t be any. But disgust?

Seriously, can we at least try to maintain the details of the language, where possible mild distaste is understood as being different from disgust?

Life and career choices

Mandu Reid, the new leader of the Women’s Equality party (WEP), has spoken publicly about the impact of her abortion and why it compelled her to enter politics.

In an interview with the Observer, Reid said her decision to have a termination at 33 had not been “an easy choice” but one made because she “couldn’t balance being a single mother and hold on to my career aspirations”.

Reid, now 38, became the first black leader of a British political party last month. Now she also becomes the first to speak publicly about her decision to have an abortion.

“I always imagined myself as somebody who would have a busy, productive, fulfilling career and that I’d become a mother. I imagined those dual things existing and it was what I wanted,” she said. But, she recalled, after becoming pregnant while working for the mayor of London, she was unable to work out how she could have had the baby and continued in her career.

“I wasn’t properly together with the guy, he was quite a bit younger than me, and we had a lot of conversations about what to do,” she said. “It is strange to me, when I reflect on it now, that neither of us could imagine a scenario where I wasn’t the sole caregiver of the child and the main breadwinner.”

The solution being the vastly more progressive policies her party is pushing.

Or, as we might put it, all of us should pay more in taxes so that she can have all that she wants.

She added: “I crunched the numbers and realised at that point in time, I couldn’t balance being a single mother and hold on to my career aspirations. He was young, I couldn’t twist his arm and make him do this with me, so I had a termination. It wasn’t an easy choice.”

Given the inability to get one bloke to pay she wants all to.

Now this is trans-hate

Armenian MPs call for trans activist to be burned alive after historic speech

Not that the article gives us any examples of Armenian MPs calling for the bonfire. Still, can we agree that this is actually trans-hate. Trasnphobia even? And thus we’ve a benchmark.

Failing to use your desired pronoun might be impolite, might be many things, but it’s not hate by this standard, is it?

Good, a sense of proportion in these things would be helpful.

Nicely out in the open then

Rosemary Squires MBE, 90, found fame in the Fifties and Sixties as an international jazz, big band, cabaret and concert singer and recording artist.

She performed with big bands such as Ted Heath, Geraldo and Cyril Stapleton, the Max Harris and Kenny Baker jazz bands, and was a regular on the BBC Light Programme (now Radio 2) on Melody Time and Workers’ Playtime shows.

She starred in her own radio and television series, and appeared with Michael Bentine, Clive Dunn, Arthur Haynes, Ted Ray and Reg Varney. She also worked in America with Danny Kaye and Sammy Davis Jr.

OK, great career and all that. Best financial decision?

Rosemary Squires: ‘My best financial decision? Marrying a man with a police pension’

This feminism, so strong, eh?

Slightly puzzling idea

Companies should entertain their clients at women’s sports matches as often as they do at men’s to boost crowd numbers, Clare Balding has said.

The BAFTA-winning broadcaster also called for club owners to take more risks by putting on games in large venues and “promoting the hell out of it” or offering school children discounted tickets to fill the seats.

Speaking to The Telegraph as her new Channel 4 women’s sport show launches, Balding said she does not care if it gets a poor reception from viewers.

All of that seems to be an agreement that women’s sport just doesn’t attract the same crowds as men’s. That, left unforced, people just aren’t as interested in it.

And that can’t be true, can it? Not in this modern day.

Capitalism and Feminism

It’s always struck me as entirely weird that feminists tend to be lefties.

Play with those numbers how you wish. The startling decline in mothers weeping bitterly over white coffins happens as and about capitalism takes root in any particular time or place. No other economic system has ever managed to do this. Yes, we probably do think that women not burying their children is feminist. Thus capitalism is that most feminist economic system.

It must be hard being Julie Bindel

Why Andrea Dworkin is the radical, visionary feminist we need in our terrible times

Imagine desiring a cause to fire up the masses, lead the revolution. Imagine insisting upon being part of the cadre that leads that revolution.

Then imagine that no one’s very interested because you’re preaching revolution against the oppression of the patriarchy to the richest, freest, generation of women that have existed ever.

Must be terribly galling really.