Germaine Greer calls for punishment for rape to be reduced

Repeat after me, “Germaine Greer is not now, nor has she ever been any sort of Feminist, radical or otherwise.  Germaine Greer has been a life long attention whore and fraud.”  My opinion YMMV

BTW the Guardian provides the washed up publicity whore’s punch line:  Book coming out in…..

Rest assured I wouldn’t read her garbage if I were given it.

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/30/germaine-greer-calls-for-punishment-for-to-be-reduced

“Feminist academic” tells Hay festival that ‘most rape is just lazy, careless and insensitive’

Arts correspondent
Wed 30 May 2018

Germaine Greer has called for the lowering of punishment for rape and said society should not see it as a “spectacularly violent crime” but instead view it more as “lazy, careless and insensitive”.

She suggested that a fitting sentence for the offence might be 200 hours’ community service and perhaps an “r” tattoo on the rapist’s hand, arm or cheek.

Speaking at the Hay literary festival, the feminist academic argued that rape is rampant in society and the legal system cannot cope with it because it always comes down to the issue of consent, with the victims becoming little more than “bits of evidence”.

She said the system was not working and radical change was needed. “I want to turn the discourse about rape upside down. We are not getting anywhere approaching it down the tunnel of history,” she said.

“Most rapes don’t involve any injury whatsoever,” Greer said. “We are told that it is a sexually violent crime, an expert like Quentin Tarantino will tell us that when you use the word rape you’re talking about violence, a throwing them down… it is one of the most violent crimes in the world. Bullshit Tarantino.

“Most rape is just lazy, just careless, insensitive. Every time a man rolls over on his exhausted wife and insists on enjoying his conjugal rights he is raping her. It will never end up in a court of law.

“Instead of thinking of rape as a spectacularly violent crime, and some rapes are, think about it as non consensual … that is bad sex. Sex where there is no communication, no tenderness, no mention of love.”

Rape trials were foundering and not ending in convictions as lawyers argued over the issue of consent, she said. Why not believe the woman and lower the penalty?

“If we are going to say trust us, believe us, if we do say that our accusation should stand as evidence, then we do have to reduce the tariff for rape.”

Greer acknowledged her thesis would be controversial. “It is moments like these, I can hear the feminists screaming at me, ‘you’re trivialising rape!’

“Well I’ll tell you what … You might want to believe that the penis is a lethal weapon and that all women live in fear of that lethal weapon, well that’s bullshit. It’s not true. We don’t live in terror of the penis … A man can’t kill you with his penis.”

She said that, in cases of obviously violent rape, the courts should concentrate on the violence which should attract bigger sentences, rather than having long trials in which women are humiliated for long periods.

Greer is publishing her full argument on rape in a new book, coming out in Australia in September.

Continue reading at:  https://womenborntranssexual.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

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‘Gender ideology’: big, bogus and coming to a fear campaign near you

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/mar/30/gender-ideology-big-bogus-and-coming-to-a-fear-campaign-near-you

The phrase is neither a legitimate academic term, nor a political movement but conservatives use it to sell a false narrative and to justify discrimination


Fri 30 Mar 2018

Costa Rica goes to the polls this weekend for a presidential runoff election in which economic concerns have unexpectedly been overshadowed by a debate over gay marriage.

The current frontrunner – rightwing evangelical candidate Fabricio Alvarado – leapfrogged 12 rivals to win February’s first-round vote, largely thanks to his pledge to ignore an Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling which warned Costa Rica that it must guarantee same-sex couples equal rights to marriage.

What was even more remarkable than his sudden electoral surge was that Alvarado had managed to make the election in Central America’s most stable democracy hinge on an abstract – some would say specious – concept: “gender ideology”.

The phrase is neither a legitimate academic term, nor a political movement.

It is a theory drummed up by hard-right religious activists, who present it as a gay- and feminist-led movement out to upend the traditional family and the natural order of society. It’s a catchall phrase to sell a false narrative and justify discrimination against women and LGBT people. And it is winning elections.

The term first surfaced in the Vatican, in the mid-1990s, a time when sexual and reproductive rights were formally recognised by the UN, and when gender entered the lexicon of the global body. Gender equality was finally being protected and promoted by international legal obligations.

Advances in women’s rights threatened the Catholic church, which feared this would open the floodgates to abortion and promiscuous behaviour, and lead to the downfall of western civilisation.

By 1997 the notion of a “gender ideology” gained wider momentum with the publication of Dale O’Leary’s The Gender Agenda. This influential text – reportedly read by members of the Vatican – maintained that substituting the word “sex” with “gender”, in international spaces like the UN was part of a global feminist scheme to dissolve the family and remake society.

By the early 2000s, a transnational movement agitating against “gender ideology” was strengthening. And not just in Catholic Poland, Brazil and Ireland, but in reliably progressive countries like Germany and France.

One of the most remarkable deployments of gender ideology was during the 2016 Colombia peace referendum. After 52 years of civil war, Colombians were widely expected to vote for a peace accord. Yet in a stunning setback, voters rejected the deal by a narrow margin. It was Latin America’s Brexit moment.

One contributing factor was a fear campaign launched by peace opponents. They framed efforts to address gender-based violence and to ensure the political participation of women and LGBT people as the work of gender ideologues out to subvert the traditional family and Colombia’s Christian values.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/mar/30/gender-ideology-big-bogus-and-coming-to-a-fear-campaign-near-you

‘The Gig Economy’ Is the New Term for Serfdom

From Truth Dig:  https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-gig-economy-is-the-new-term-for-serfdom/

Chris Hedges
Mar 25, 2018

A 65-year-old New York City cab driver from Queens, Nicanor Ochisor, hanged himself in his garage March 16, saying in a note he left behind that the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft had made it impossible for him to make a living. It was the fourth suicide by a cab driver in New York in the last four months, including one Feb. 5 in which livery driver Douglas Schifter, 61, killed himself with a shotgun outside City Hall.

“Due to the huge numbers of cars available with desperate drivers trying to feed their families,” wrote Schifter, “they squeeze rates to below operating costs and force professionals like me out of business. They count their money and we are driven down into the streets we drive becoming homeless and hungry. I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be dead.” He said he had been working 100 to 120 hours a week for the past 14 years.

Schifter and Ochisor were two of the millions of victims of the new economy. Corporate capitalism is establishing a neofeudal serfdom in numerous occupations, a condition in which there are no labor laws, no minimum wage, no benefits, no job security and no regulations. Desperate and impoverished workers, forced to endure 16-hour days, are viciously pitted against each other. Uber drivers make about $13.25 an hour. In cities like Detroit this falls to $8.77. Travis Kalanick, the former CEO of Uber and one of the founders, has a net worth of $4.8 billion. Logan Green, the CEO of Lyft, has a net worth of $300 million.

The corporate elites, which have seized control of ruling institutions including the government and destroyed labor unions, are re-establishing the inhumane labor conditions that characterized the 19th and early 20th centuries. When workers at General Motors carried out a 44-day sit-down strike in 1936, many were living in shacks that lacked heating and indoor plumbing; they could be laid off for weeks without compensation, had no medical or retirement benefits and often were fired without explanation. When they turned 40 their employment could be terminated. The average wage was about $900 a year at a time when the government determined that a family of four needed a minimum of $1,600 to live above the poverty line.

The managers at General Motors relentlessly persecuted union organizers. The company spent $839,000 on detective work in 1934 to spy on union organizers and infiltrate union meetings. GM employed the white terrorist group the Black Legion—the police chief of Detroit was suspected of being a member—to threaten and physically assault labor activists and assassinate union leaders including George Marchuk and John Bielak, both shot to death.

The reign of the all-powerful capitalist class has returned with a vengeance. The job conditions of working men and women, thrust backward, will not improve until they regain the militancy and rebuild the popular organizations that seized power from the capitalists. There are some 13,000 licensed cabs in New York City and 40,000 livery or town cars. The drivers should, as farmers did in 2015 with tractors in Paris, shut down the center of the city. And drivers in other cities should do the same. This is the only language our corporate masters understand.

The ruling capitalists will be as vicious as they were in the past. Nothing enrages the rich more than having to part with a fraction of their obscene wealth. Consumed by greed, rendered numb to human suffering by a life of hedonism and extravagance, devoid of empathy, incapable of self-criticism or self-sacrifice, surrounded by sycophants and leeches who cater to their wishes, appetites and demands, able to use their wealth to ignore the law and destroy critics and opponents, they are among the most repugnant of the human species. Don’t be fooled by the elites’ skillful public relations campaigns—we are watching Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth is $64.1 billion, mount a massive propaganda effort against charges that he and Facebook are focused on exploiting and selling our personal information—or by the fawning news celebrities on corporate media who act as courtiers and apologists for the oligarchs. These people are the enemy.

Ochisor, a Romanian immigrant, owned a New York City taxi medallion. (Medallions were once coveted by cab drivers because having them allowed the drivers to own their own cabs or lease the cabs to other drivers.) Ochisor drove the night shift, lasting 10 to 12 hours. His wife drove the day shift. But after Uber and Lyft flooded the city with cars and underpaid drivers about three years ago, the couple could barely meet expenses. Ochisor’s home was about to go into foreclosure. His medallion, once worth $1.1 million, had plummeted in value to $180,000. The dramatic drop in the value of the medallion, which he had hoped to lease for $3,000 a month or sell to finance his retirement, wiped out his economic security. He faced financial ruin and poverty. And he was not alone.

Continue reading at:  https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-gig-economy-is-the-new-term-for-serfdom/

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Michelle Wolf performs stand-up routine at White House Correspondent’s dinner

All I have to say to Trump supporting  Republican special petal flower snowflakes is:  “Suck it up Buttercups, fuck your feelings.”

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Paul Ehrlich: ‘Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades’

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/22/collapse-civilisation-near-certain-decades-population-bomb-paul-ehrlich

Fifty years after the publication of his controversial book The Population Bomb, biologist Paul Ehrlich warns overpopulation and overconsumption are driving us over the edge

Damian Carrington
Thu 22 Mar 2018

A shattering collapse of civilisation is a “near certainty” in the next few decades due to humanity’s continuing destruction of the natural world that sustains all life on Earth, according to biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich.

In May, it will be 50 years since the eminent biologist published his most famous and controversial book, The Population Bomb. But Ehrlich remains as outspoken as ever.

The world’s optimum population is less than two billion people – 5.6 billion fewer than on the planet today, he argues, and there is an increasing toxification of the entire planet by synthetic chemicals that may be more dangerous to people and wildlife than climate change.

Ehrlich also says an unprecedented redistribution of wealth is needed to end the over-consumption of resources, but “the rich who now run the global system – that hold the annual ‘world destroyer’ meetings in Davos – are unlikely to let it happen”.

The Population Bomb, written with his wife Anne Ehrlich in 1968, predicted “hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death” in the 1970s – a fate that was avoided by the green revolution in intensive agriculture.

Many details and timings of events were wrong, Paul Ehrlich acknowledges today, but he says the book was correct overall.

“Population growth, along with over-consumption per capita, is driving civilisation over the edge: billions of people are now hungry or micronutrient malnourished, and climate disruption is killing people.”

Ehrlich has been at Stanford University since 1959 and is also president of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere, which works “to reduce the threat of a shattering collapse of civilisation”.

“It is a near certainty in the next few decades, and the risk is increasing continually as long as perpetual growth of the human enterprise remains the goal of economic and political systems,” he says. “As I’ve said many times, ‘perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell’.”

It is the combination of high population and high consumption by the rich that is destroying the natural world, he says. Research published by Ehrlich and colleagues in 2017 concluded that this is driving a sixth mass extinction of biodiversity, upon which civilisation depends for clean air, water and food.

The solutions are tough, he says. “To start, make modern contraception and back-up abortion available to all and give women full equal rights, pay and opportunities with men.

“I hope that would lead to a low enough total fertility rate that the needed shrinkage of population would follow. [But] it will take a very long time to humanely reduce total population to a size that is sustainable.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/22/collapse-civilisation-near-certain-decades-population-bomb-paul-ehrlich

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How Researchers Learned to Use Facebook ‘Likes’ to Sway Your Thinking

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/technology/facebook-cambridge-behavior-model.html

By and hGabriel J.X. Dance
March 20, 2018

Perhaps at some point in the past few years you’ve told Facebook that you like, say, Kim Kardashian West. When you hit the thumbs-up button on her page, you probably did it because you wanted to see the reality TV star’s posts in your news feed. Maybe you realized that marketers could target advertisements to you based on your interest in her.

What you probably missed is that researchers had figured out how to tie your interest in Ms. Kardashian West to certain personality traits, such as how extroverted you are (very), how conscientious (more than most) and how open-minded (only somewhat). And when your fondness for Ms. Kardashian West is combined with other interests you’ve indicated on Facebook, researchers believe their algorithms can predict the nuances of your political views with better accuracy than your loved ones.

As The New York Times reported on Saturday, that is what motivated the consulting firm Cambridge Analytica to collect data from more than 50 million Facebook users, without their consent, to build its own behavioral models to target potential voters in various political campaigns. The company has worked for a political action committee started by John R. Bolton, who served in the George W. Bush administration, as well as for President Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. “We find your voters and move them to action,” the firm boasts on its website.

Cambridge Analytica now says it has destroyed the user data it collected on Facebook. Raw data reviewed by The Times suggests the information, or copies of it, may still exist. In either case, specific user information was merely a means to an end, a building block in a far more ambitious construction: a behavioral model powerful enough to manipulate people’s activity and, potentially, sway elections.

The firm adapted its approach to personality modeling from studies conducted by researchers at Stanford University and the Psychometrics Center at the University of Cambridge. The studies relied on data collected by a Facebook app called myPersonality, a 100-question quiz developed by the Psychometrics Center that assessed a person’s openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism, traits commonly referred to in the academic community by the acronym Ocean.

Many respondents who took the quiz through the myPersonality app authorized it to gain access to their Facebook profile data, and information about their friend network — access that was allowed by the social network at the time. That allowed researchers to cross-reference the results of the quiz — numeric Ocean scores — with the users’ Facebook “likes,” and build a model from the correlations they found between the two. With that model, the researchers could often make precise guesses about subsequent users’ personalities using only a list of their likes, no 100-question quiz necessary.

One of the studies the Psychometrics Center produced, published in 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was built on the “likes” and Ocean scores of more than 70,000 respondents who took the myPersonality quiz on Facebook. It found that a person who liked the movie “Fight Club,” for example, was far more likely to be open to new experiences than a person who liked “American Idol,” according to a review of data provided to The Times by Michal Kosinski, an author of the 2015 study and a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/technology/facebook-cambridge-behavior-model.html

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Divorcing the Transgender Community

When we first started the idea of WBT (Women Born Transsexual) back at the end of 2000 we were denounced as traitors to “The Community” for daring to propose a few simple ideas:  1. Transsexual was something you were born with, a medical condition amenable to medical treatment.  2. That after transition we were women, not trans-women.  3. That there was never A Trans-community but rather many different trans-communities. 4. We did not accept the “Transgender Identity” and saw it as a trap that kept us from assimilating into post-op lives as ordinary women or men in the case of F to M people.

In short nearly 20 years ago we divorced ourselves from the “Transgender Community”.  Not from from caring about friends and or strangers who see the “Transgender Community” as a path to liberation but rather from the on-line political games of purity and proper thinking.

It has been one year shy of 50 years since I first started hormones and began transition.  It took only a couple of years after SRS to start leaving the community and moving to the lesbian feminist community.

People are surprised when they discover the same thing happening in their own lives, many of the most vocal activists of even ten years ago have found that life has given them new priorities.

The following article is by yet another woman who has discovered a life post-trans.

From Tablet Magazine:  http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/257446/divorcing-the-transgender-community

I thought I’d found a warm and supportive home, but being Jewish made that difficult

By Gretchen Rachel Hammond
March 13, 2018

“You’re a fucking kike!”

It was not a single thought expelled in one, rapid sentence, and the tone was so much more than mere hatred. It was maniacal rage that curled around each word and threw it down the speaker of my phone before pausing to pick up another. The last sharpened piece of flint was aimed directly at my head with relish.

I’m usually very good at come-backs. I am a movie fanatic. Rather than the occasional piece of annoyingly catchy music which shows up like a mosquito on a summer evening to persistently circle around one’s ear, my days tend to recall random pieces of screenplay that match how I’m feeling. Thus, I have a library of borrowed quotes for every occasion.

The caller did not immediately hang up. They were waiting for a response. Maybe something from Eric Bogosian?

“Tell me something. I’m curious. How do you dial a phone with a straitjacket on?”

Or Bob Clark?

“You aren’t even smart enough to be a good bigot!”

Either would have done. Anything would have done. Instead of just sitting there in thunder-stuck, ineffectual silence.

It was June 28, 2017, and I was an adult, but I might as well have been my 11-year-old, effeminate, half-Indian school-kid self again, reliving the day in 1981 when at least a half-dozen of my classmates at North Cestrian Grammar School in Manchester, England telegraphed their latest attack with “Paki Puff!”

It was their invitation for me to run. They liked it when I ran because it marked the beginning of the hunt and I was always the easiest prey to catch.

That morning, I didn’t manage to get out of my chair fast enough. So, they picked me up and sandwiched me between the wall and the heavy wooden classroom door. With their collective weight, they pressed against it until I could not move and then could not breath. I grew increasingly more faint; unaware of the blood streaming from my nose which bore the brunt of the first assault. If their look-out hadn’t suddenly yelled the name of an oncoming teacher, they would have killed me.

You would think, in 36 years, I might have learned something about fighting back.

But as I gripped the phone, my breath stopped in my throat. Any physical or mental defenses were useless.

I recognized the voice of my attacker—a transgender person who participated in a transgender liberation rally in Chicago that I had covered earlier in the year in my capacity as a reporter for the city’s LGBTQ newspaper.

Members of the transgender community filled the frozen streets of the Chicago loop that night to demand their civil rights and fight back against society’s bullies; something that had become a life goal since my school-days.

Now that I was the focus of their rancor, ‘paki’ had become ‘kike.’ The boys behind the door were members of my own community, and I didn’t know what the hell to do or feel about it.

For four years, I had watched the transgender community eat its own to the point where becoming dinner was accepted as an inherent risk of belonging to it. As the call continued, I didn’t feel like dinner so much as the scraps thrown down the garbage disposal.

“What did you say?” I finally whispered.

The invitation was accepted for the door to be pressed harder.

“Oh, you fuckin’ heard me. Your story was a lie and your bitch ass is finished as a reporter.”

“Why are you doing this?” I was beginning to shake. “It wasn’t a lie….and I know you…I….”

The voice was gone.

Continue reading at:  http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/257446/divorcing-the-transgender-community