So, so, stigmatising

President Donald Trump described a weekend of two mass shootings — one in El Paso, Texas, and the other in Dayton, Ohio — as a “mental illness problem.”

“We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment but when necessary involuntary confinement,” Trump said during a public address on Monday.
“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

Yet mental health experts, including representatives from the American Psychological Association, have called it “unfounded” to blame mass shootings on mental illness in place of considering other possible factors, such as hate, bigotry and access to assault weapons.
Calling every mass shooting a mental health problem is “inaccurate and it’s stigmatizing,” said Arthur Evans, chief executive officer of the American Psychological Association.

You know what? It might indeed be stigmatising. It’s even true that not every nutter pulls the trigger, but it’s still nutters pulling triggers, isn’t it.

Poor little dears

Pink lights that highlight children’s acne to disperse them from public places and anti-loitering sonic sirens only children can hear should be banned, says the children’s commissioner for England.

Anne Longfield told The Telegraph the devices were “cruel and demeaning” as it emerged that increasing numbers are being deployed by councils, businesses and residents to disperse groups of young children congregating in public.

They’re supposed to be cruel and demeaning Love.

I dunno about this menstrual leave thing

Let’s be clear: removing stigma around a normal bodily function should be celebrated. Proposals to end the tampon tax, distribution of free sanitary products, better education for boys as well as girls, and the introduction of menstrual leave are all positive moves towards ensuring women are not held back by their periods.

The thought that people should need leave for normal and predictable bodily functions might grate a little. As might also the idea that men won’t get such leave – further in creasing the work hours gap and thus the gender pay gap.

But rather more importantly, a century back we were all being told that women couldn’t possibly be doing the important jobs because their hormones sent them mad once a month. The entirety of society – eventually – shouting this idea down. Now, having got to the point of having access to all the important jobs the demand is that women go mad once a month therefore they should have extra time off?

Err, no. One or the other. Periods are just one of those mundane things that happen, everyone gets on with it. Or they’re special and in need of special treatment. Which is it?

This though is great fun:

Menstruation can, however, exacerbate incapacitating physical or mental health problems including endometriosis and depression; it can also be distressing or problematic for people with gender dysphoria.

So birds who think they’re blokes are pissed off by having periods? Who would have guessed? Nature’s such a bitch with this evidence stuff, ain’t she?

Cake and eating it

So, interesting case here. Guardian journalist transitions to being a man. Then has baby – apparently the sperm was used up 10 days after the documents confirming the gender change came through. Having gestated and given birth to the baby, she tries to register as the father. This is, obviously enough, denied.

Interview with The Guardian here.

The dad who gave birth: ‘Being pregnant doesn’t change me being a trans man’
Freddy McConnell with his son, Jack (not his real name). Photograph: Manuel Vázquez/The Guardian
Transitioning meant that Freddy McConnell finally felt comfortable in his skin. Then he began a quest to conceive and carry his own child

Freddy McConnell takes out his phone and shows me a film of his baby snoring contentedly. Jack is gorgeous, with blond hair, blue eyes and heavy eyelids, and McConnell is the classic doting dad – albeit more hands-on than most. It’s many months since he gave birth to Jack, an experience he describes as life-changing. He has also made an intimate and moving film about that experience, from the decision to have a baby, through pregnancy and the delivery. Everything is documented in close-up, including Jack’s arrival in a hospital birthing pool.

That last probably proving, in more detail than we might want to know, that she’s not the father.

But, you know, we’re liberals, no third party harm so whatever. And no, that the kid is going to have an odd parent while growing up isn’t enough. Oddity among parents isn’t enough of a third party harm.

Then:

A transgender man who is fighting to have his child be the first in the UK to legally not have a mother made a documentary showing his child’s face whilst arguing that his family needed court anonymity to protect them from harm.

Freddy McConnell, who was born a woman, launched a High Court battle against the Government earlier this year after the General Registrar Office (GRO) refused to register him as the “father” on his child’s birth certificate.

Mr McConnell and his child were previously protected by a court anonymity Order preventing the publication of their names’, location and the child’s gender – meaning they could only be referred to as “TT” and “YY” in media reports.

That is cake and eating it, isn’t it.

Shades of Swampy and the oil exchange

Was it the oil exchange? Or Liffe? Anyway, one day the Swampy crowd decided to do some direct action against the toffs of The City. Broke into one of the exchanges which had floor trading. Where they promptly got beaten up – they not realising that floor trading is rather the white sock crowed ‘oo kno’ ‘ow to ‘andle aggro.

Which brings is to vegans protesting at the meat counter:

Shoppers attack vegans at Sheffield meat market

Right on! The particular fun being this:

One market customer waved a placard at the camera saying: “Sorry we killed the cow . . . but it was eating your dinner.”

Better abolish the equality watchdog then

The increasing tendency for people to define themselves by their faith, gender, sexuality or race is undermining empathy among Britons, says the chair of the country’s equality watchdog.

David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, told the Observer that identity politics had been hugely important in advancing the civil rights of many groups. But he warned of a danger that “individual interests” were narrowing people’s views and diminishing their connection to wider society.

Simples, innit?

Amazing how few argue for more freedom

A Conservative peer has criticised the beauty industry, suggesting its “obsession with perfection” is fuelling social media abuse of people with disfigurements.

Minister for Equalities Baroness Williams of Trafford called for tougher regulation of websites so vulnerable people are not targeted by internet trolls.

So, before we had a mass media beauty industry with these impossible standards…..people with disfigurements never were abused, right? Elephant Man didn’t wear a sack over his head?

Ah….

They always have done, haven’t they?

Oxford University will offer places with lower grades to students from disadvantaged backgrounds for the first time in its 900 year history.

The radical scheme marks a “sea change” in the university’s admissions process. However it comes amid criticism from middle-class Oxford rejects and headteachers that private school students are being “squeezed out” by the University’s current diversity drive.

From 2020, 250 state-school students will receive free tuition and accommodation as part of a multi-million-pound recruitment bid for disadvantaged students.

However 50 students in the new intake – who will include refugees and young carers – will be eligible to receive offers “made on the basis of lower contextual A-level grades, rather than the university’s standard offers”.

Umm, isn’t it colleges who let people in? And offers have always been made upon more than just grades.

How else did the daughter of the Observer’s literary critic get in?

Gonna make modelling the kiddies stuff a bit difficult

Gucci owner pledges to stop using underage models

Slightly more seriously:

Gucci, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen are among the fashion houses that will no longer employ models under the age of 18

A 16 year old can bonk, abort, marry, to her heart’s content. But she’s too young to walk and wear clothes?

Maybe we’ve something a tad wrong with our assumptions about age here, eh?

Well, yes

I wonder if there’s some kind of explanation for the way in which Michael Phelps, who is a straight white man, was treated differently from Caster Semenya, who is a gay black woman. It’s a mystery!

Phelps is competing in an open category. Semenya in a limited one. Limited to those of a particular gender. A gender – or sex if you prefer – which she’s not really quite one of.

Isn’t there a blocking function?

A transgender lawyer is trying to stop a Catholic journalist sending tweets to her by seeking an anti-harrassment injunction through the High Court.

Stephanie Hayden, a commentator and activist who is legally female, alleges that Caroline Farrow sent her hundreds of tweets over the course of several days.

Mrs Farrow is a mother of five with strong religious views who has previously made headlines for a separate clash with the transgender community.

I know you can stop someone from seeing your tweets. Can’t you stop someone from sending to you?

Well, yes, and what is to be done?

Sharron Davies: Vladimir Putin could send his tenth best man to win a sack of medals as a woman
Sharron Davies has competed in an uneven field. She explains to Martyn Ziegler why she wants strict controls on transgender athletes.

Reality being that bit that doesn’t go away when you wake up. So, what’s the solution?

Well, either women’s sport continues to exist or there are some rules beyond self-declaration on what is a woman. And the societal answer is going to be?

Err, what?

The high rates of trans exclusion from potential dating pools are undoubtedly due in part to cisnormativity, cissexism, and transphobia — all of which lead to lack of knowledge about transgender people and their bodies, discomfort with these unknowns, and fear of being discriminated against by proxy of one’s romantic partner.

Wait a minute. Who we fancy getting our rocks off with is built into us from the get go. Yes? Gays are born not made?

Yet a continued preference for a woman – say – is cisnormativity, cissexism, if we choose that over some mildly sculpted simulacra?

It’s as if trans campaigners have absolutely no idea at all how sexual attraction works in human beings.

Sure, if all transwomen – have I got that the right way around, he definition is the destination, not source? – looked like Caroline Cossey there’d be a higher take up but anyone hand on heart want to say that is so?

Whut?

The first person in Britain to be charged with a transgender hate crime has warned that the police and courts are being used to stifle legitimate debate on the controversial topic.

Miranda Yardley, who was born a man but underwent gender realignment to become a woman, went on trial earlier this month after being accused of harassment by a transgender activist.

The 51-year-old accountant, who still identifies as male, was prosecuted after Helen Islan, the mother of a transgender child, accused him of “outing” her son by posting a picture of him on Twitter.

Reality is now a hate crime? Here’s a pic of someone trans, that’s a hate crime?

We don’t matey, we don’t

Avocad-NO: why does everyone hate the Shepard avocado?
Mel Campbell
The Shepard avocado is consistently smashed online – and hatred of the green menace intensifies as Hass avocados go out of season

99% of humanity has never heard of the difference and 99.9% don’t give a shit either.

Well, yes, so, what do we do?

Transgender men’s ability to access fertility treatment to have children should be reviewed by the Government, Britain’s most senior family court judge has said.

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, invited Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, to review fertility laws after hearing the case of a transgender man who was able to access a sperm donor 10 days after legally completing his gender transition.

The man, who was born a woman and is identified only as TT, became pregnant and has taken his case to the High Court to be registered as the “father” on the child’s birth certificate.

No problem whatsoever with he fertility clinic bit. Even fine with the NHS bit.

Father though, isn’t that rather confusing the two different concepts of sex and gender?

But this then takes us one step on. Are there in fact any good reasons why we do want to distinguish? Other than order, that’s just the ways things are and should be? Do, we, for example, trade genetic diseases through birth certificates? In a manner that would be cocked by this in a manner that sperm donation wouldn’t already cause?

That is, other than that the demand is ridiculous, what’s the argument against here?

Some still not getting it

Crisis loomed when global prices fell, production stagnated, the value of the currency dropped, and under Maduro, dependence on imports and retail monopolies meant shortages that hurt many. That responsibility lies with the government and the industrialist rightwing opposition.

Ho Yus. It’s the right wing, the industrialists, the wreckers, responsible again for the failure of socialism.

Oscar Guardiola-Rivera teaches human rights and philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London

Philosophy requires at least a working knowledge of logic, doesn’t it?

No, there is no comment section on this one, even The Guardian knows that won’t work.

Doesn’t leave much

A university society has provoked ridicule by asking comedians to sign a “safe space” contract, forbidding them from making jokes about class, race or sexuality.

Unicef on Campus at Soas, University of London, tried to book five comics to appear at an unpaid charity gig in January, but the invitation came with a “behavioural agreement form”.

It decreed that the comedy night would be a “safe space” and all topics discussed by performers must be “presented in a way that is respectful and kind”.

Seriously, in England, no jokes about class? And at SOAS fer the Lord’s sake? The entire curriculum is an extended whine about class and how those white bourgeoisie have been oppressing the masses.