(Thanks as always to JL, who can't put her full name to this in case she gets the same treatment as Chelsea Cain or Laura Tanner in the stories below)
The Telegraph reported on a policy, common in UK universities, which demands that transgender students are “”positively represented” in all discussions. Many institutions have been quick to adopt such policies but academic staff have expressed concerns over what they call an ‘Orwellian’ curtailment of free expression and debate.
Professor Kathleen Stock, director of teaching at Sussex University History, Art History and Philosophy Department, said “Universities should have policies that protect employees and students from discrimination. But policies which say you must always ‘positively represent’ a group of people clearly overstep the boundary. These are not fit for purpose in allowing academics to explore issues responsibly”.
Something very on-brand for 2019 is that one of the few publications defending lesbians is The Daily Mail. They published a story concerning NHS-backed safe sex guidelines for lesbians. In a booklet produced by LGBT Youth Scotland called “Good Sex Is For Women Who Have Sex With Women”, the advice given is,“If either you or your partner has a penis, then you should always use a condom to avoid becoming pregnant”.
The article quotes veteran lesbian activist, Linda Bellos. “This guide is not only foolish but as far as I’m concerned, it’s downright dangerous and anti-lesbian.”
The Times ran a piece about the drag queen story time events (currently more prevalent in America but also starting to gain popularity in the UK). The article mentions a New York performance by Rev Yolanda, a drag artist who performs for toddlers and children to promote ‘gender diversity’. It quotes an 8 year old girl who was in attendance with her mother. “I liked it… She was spreading that you don’t have to be a girl to do boy things, you can be transgender.”
Best selling novelist and comic book writer, Chelsea Cain, received a barrage of abuse and criticism on social media, culminating in her deleting her Twitter account.
Chelsea created a comic called Man-Eaters which is published by Image Comics and illustrated by Elise McCall. In its narrative a genetic mutation causes menstruating women to become wild cat-like creatures to which the government responds with draconian policies. Its central character is an adolescent girl called Maude. Chelsea has specified that it is a coming of age story, exploring what it’s like to be female “In a culture that consistently reinforces the message that periods are shameful, that our bodies are shameful”.
The creation has attracted condemnation since it was first published last year with critics describing it as ‘transphobic’ for focusing on female biology. However, things escalated rapidly this week following a Twitter conversation between Chelsea and an online critic, Amelia Meman. According to her Linkedin bio, Meman is “A queer feminist advocate, educator and social worker” who has a BA in Gender Studies. She had tweeted Chelsea to critique the comic stating, “It is SO HEAVILY founded in bio essentialism and TERFness”.
Quotations from Meman’s Twitter critique directed at Chelsea Cain appeared in illustrations in the next volume of the comic, seemingly without permission. This then led to a Twitter ‘pile-on’ accusing Chelsea of transphobia and bigotry.
At first Chelsea defended her work and her intentions.
A few minutes later she tweeted again, trying to explain why she had written the comic; girls are ‘othered’ and shamed for having periods and she had wanted to create something to challenge this stigma and to help young girls feel more empowered about their bodies.
This did not appease the trans activists; the abuse and condemnation continued throughout the day with Chelsea’s tweets becoming increasingly apologetic and self-subjugating.
Finally, at the end of the day, Chelsea tweeted “Nothing I say can make it better… I will work really hard to make up for my mistakes. Sorry, again. For all of it”.
It seems that even this total subordination wasn’t acceptable and a few hours later Chelsea deleted her Twitter account. The response was predictable.
Feminist Current published an article by Tonje Gjevjon, a gender non-conforming lesbian. Tonje discusses the steep rise in numbers of young women who ‘identify’ as boys and the way in which young lesbians are being made to feel shame and self-loathing and ‘rushed’ into transition. She quotes Mika, a young detransitioned woman. “My generation of mainly young girls, who are just a bit different, who stand out from the typical female role, we’re a giant experiment. We’re guinea pigs.”
The article also describes the way young lesbians are coerced into accepting heterosexual men into their sexuality, organisations and spaces. “Today in ‘queer’ communities and on social media, lesbians are told that heterosexual men who identify as women are lesbians”, writes Tonje. “In supporting trans activism and in putting these men first, these organisations invalidate lesbianism as a sexual orientation and legitimise hate campaigns against us.”
Danielle Muscato tried to orchestrate having a woman’s social media account suspended after she made a comment on his Facebook post.
Posting a link to the woman’s Facebook account and a screenshot of the offending comment, Muscato added, “Hey #LGBT allies! Please help me report this harassment - A transphobe is calling me a man on my profile. Let’s get her account suspended…”
For the uninitiated, “Danielle” Muscato once worked for American Atheists as their PR Director. According to DM's own website DM is now “A civil rights activist, writer, debater, pundit, podcast host and transgender woman”. (Though DM's current profession is not made clear, DM's website does link to all DM's Paypal and Patreon accounts.)
Muscato frequently courts controversy online. After DM's parents took legal action to have DM removed from their home in 2016, DM posted a Youtube video from a room in a St Louis homeless women’s shelter.
On International Women’s Day DM posted on Twitter (in DM's profile picture at the time, DM was sporting a dark beard), “Some women have penises. If you’re bothered by this you can suck my dick”.
DM currently spends a lot of time on social media trying to permanently ban the accounts of gender critical women and feminist organisations.
On this occasion, it seems that Muscato had taken to Facebook to describe an incident at a medical appointment. The presence of a “Very masculine” person during a panic attack had caused DM distress and DM had demanded that all men leave the room. A Facebook user had commented on the irony of this situation & thus found herself the target of an orchestrated pile-on.
On the same day, Muscato was over on Twitter, asking people to report the Fair Play For Women fundraising page.
The Guardian carried a story regarding the frustration felt by female athletes over the International Olympic Committee’s policy on transgender inclusion.
Academic, Cathy Devine, surveyed 15 current and former Team GB athletes, most of whom chose to answer anonymously. All felt that the IOC’s guidelines regaring transgender athletes are unfair and require further research. 11 also felt that “It can never be fair for transgender athletes who have been through male puberty to compete in female sport”.
The man responsible for introducing underwear model, Munroe Bergdorf, to the NSPCC was at the centre of a controversy regarding his online activities. You may remember that Bergdorf was announced as the NSPCC’s first LGBTQ campaigner last week, only for the charity to then sever their ties with her almost immediately. This inevitably led to accusations of transphobia and suggestions that the charity had bowed to pressure from bigots.
Concern about Bergdorf’s suitability for the role had, however, been voiced due to her propensity to encourage vulnerable children to contact her in private and without their parents’ knowledge, contrary to every safeguarding policy employed and advised by children’s organisations and charities.
And possibly things like this, too.
And also this.
Back to James Makings, the NSPCC’s Celebrity & Talent Manager, the man who originally thought Munroe Bergdorf would make an appropriate ‘influencer’ for the country’s leading charity in the field of child safeguarding.
A conversation on Mumsnet revealed that Makings is a rubber fetishist who posts both photographs and videos of himself engaged in fetish / sexual activity online. It then transpired that Makings had uploaded a video in which he was wearing his rubber fetish gear and masturbating in the toilets whilst at work. At the NSPCC.
When this news reached social media, the women trying to point out the problematic issues involved were accused of homophobia and transphobia. Three Guardian journalists in particular were quick to vilify women raising concerns over Makings’ behaviour whilst simultaneously ignoring the whole ‘wanking in rubber at work & posting it online’ issue.
The NSPCC was also far more concerned with reporting the “bullies” drawing attention to this issue than with Making’s behaviour itself.
And so men have their every sexual proclivity prioritised and validated while women’s concerns over safeguarding are dismissed and derided.
This is grooming, and it's happening at a national and even global level.
Returning, briefly, to Danielle Muscato, Dr Alicia Hendley received a permanent ban from Twitter for using the phrase “Definitely not an act of male dominance” during an exchange with him.
Dr Hendley is a clinical psychologist, author and feminist writer.
This is Danielle Muscato.
Twitter account @WingsOverScotland, a website and social media site which provide comment on and analysis of Scottish politics, commented on forthcoming self-ID legislation in Scotland.
The site highlighted recent polls which suggest that the majority of Scottish people are opposed to the introduction of self-ID legislation.
The account went on to suggest that the issue has never been discussed with the full SNP MSP group but is being pushed through by the leadership.
Also on this day, Professor Kathleen Stock posted a story on Twitter about a US academic facing a witch-hunt and smear campaign. Laura Tanner, a teaching assistant and Feminist Studies PhD candidate at UC Santa Barbara, is being hounded and vilified for her views on gender and prostitution.
Students appear to be determined to smear her and her teaching.
Insults and thinly veiled threats of violence appeared on social media.
As did calls to get Laura fired from the university.