Or: What’s with ‘the hostage video’?
Look what happened – first, we had a clear and refreshing statement, made by an adult women, voluntarily discussing ‘The Issue’ on a show she presumably volunteered to go on. She seems quite relaxed, and happy to chat on volatile issues like the US flag, and what a woman is…
If you don’t know any women who have the self-esteem and the intellectual sense to wish to be able to define themselves, you may need me to explain why this interview impressed so many women: those who are confident that a woman is not just ‘a human with boobs’ have been getting no end of flack from people who are suddenly so sure that ‘woman’ doesn’t really mean anything that matters. Such women were delighted to hear Gray’s confident assurance that “Being a little girl is a whole epic book, you know. You can’t have that just because you want to be a woman.”
The problem, of course, is that women are widely expected to deny their knowledge of what they are, in order to allow precedence to the belief that transwomenarewomen. So, Macy got a social media pile on for her pains.
At first, she seemed to deal logically with it…
…and then within a few days we got this, which some of our sex-based rights campaign women are calling ‘the hostage video’. She seems twittery, repetitive, and anxious to get certain magic phrases nailed (“I’ve learned a lot”, etc) …
Her eventual coughing up of “Woman is a vibe, you can be whatever you want” serves the purpose of completely wiping out all she’d said before, that implied growing up female matters at all.
So what happened there? In the Piers Morgan video, she did not sound like a person who hadn’t thought it through. Nor does she sound like someone who’s “learned a lot”, in the second. She sounds like someone who’s been leant on. “You can be whatever you want” is an exasperated phrase, to say with a protective shrug of the shoulders – it feels like, “whatever, I give in, shut up, leave me alone.”
That sinking feeling
In hindsight, I think I almost saw Macy’s defeat coming. You know how it is – you’re battling, you’re hoping, you’re praying but somewhere in your stomach, you are beginning to know the cause is lost. I felt it in the last days of campaigning for Labour in the 2019 general election campaign. I felt it when I was jubilantly writing a celebration piece about Bette Midler and Macy Gray speaking up for women.
To be more specific, I got the sinking feeling when listening more carefully to the Piers Morgan interview.
Listening to Macy and Piers, on her flag (which features on her all-important new album), “I thought people would like it.” (Macy), “I love the US flag, I have one on my office wall” ( Piers) …on racism – “I don’t understand racism” (Macy) “most people aren’t like that” (Piers). Both are skittering on the surface of the issues. Fancy living in the USA, and not having an inkling of where racism comes from (Macy), or how deeply serious a problem it is, particularly in the US (Piers).
I still suspect Bette Midler will be okay – she’s got strength of character, she’s got form…
…but what happened to Macy Gray? Surely you can’t be completely shot down, re-educated and transformed into an obedient robot in a few days by a Twitter pile on? Well maybe you can – I know some people think their lives have been ruined if they get a dog-pile on their time-line. Maybe some people don’t even know that rich people can order pile-ons by the yard, so it doesn’t even necessarily mean a lot of people are angry with you?
What happens to people, when they’re sucked into the mill, and come out the other end repeating the mantra, transwomenarewomen (TWAW)?
Is it the money?
We all know of women who’ve lost jobs, or political positions, or standing in certain circles, through a failure to quickly and humbly concede that TWAW. After the Macy Gray thing, some women even started comparing bank balances. Apparently Bett Midler, with a net worth of $250 mill, is probably a good bet (sorry – pun intended). Macy Gray on a mere $12 mill probably felt her career was threatened, whilst over this side of the pond, we’re sitting pretty, with JK Rowling weighing in at £820 mill, but how does that explain women like me, with no millions whatsoever, but with the self-awareness to risk all to bequeath to their daughters and grand daughters a world that recognises and respects women?
Is it about not having a future?
The UK is suffering a serious democracy failure, and for some time now it’s been fairly obvious that our government is going to go on allowing the super-rich to bleed the country until we’re all broke, so perhaps there’s not much to lose.
Same idea, different context: many British women were informed and inspired by Magdalen Berns, who fearlessly and fiercely took apart every twist and turn of the anti-women gender brigade – I don’t know when she first knew she had a probably undefeatable cancer, and therefore no future to be sabotaged but something sure made her an unstoppable warrior queen.
Or maybe it was just the order of events, and the women of the UK were the first group of women to have time to see what was happening elsewhere, before it started happening to us. Let’s try it the other way around. Why do so many women cave in to the TWAW thing…?
Is it a brain hack?
Eliza Mondegreen likens it to a computer hack. Here, she analyses the problem that our society has given all thinking women:
… and here, she describes what happens when a woman ‘gives in’ and agrees to say TWAW.
Is it mass hypnotism?
I thought it was more like mass hypnotism – I’d recently read a kids’ book that carries a classic example of (what people believe to be) the powers of the hypnotist – place your fingers on your temples, blink three times and say ‘TWAW’, and your mind shifts as instructed…
A worldwide case of mass hypnotism is pretty hard to believe – talk about conspiracy theories! But there’s always self-hypnosis, and ‘group-think’. I just spent five years as a Labour Party member. Party politics is a world so packed with Shibboleths and magic password slogans it’s not easy to know when you are thinking your own thoughts. We on the left were aware of the keywords that told you an event or article was ‘Blairite’, and best avoided. Those on the other side were aware of the ones that flagged up lefty groups, and similarly avoided our material. There are plenty of similar words and phrases that let the TWAW people know they are in the presence of people who know sex matters (or transphobic hate groups, as they generally call us).
The idea that something like hypnotism is in play is not so hard to believe when you know a wee bit about how the billionaire-run social media platforms amplify and embed whatever message the old mainstream media choose to plug. You don’t need to hypnotise everyone – working with ads and bots, you model certain ideas and behaviours, then you can lead the masses to say what you want said for you – “Take back control”, anyone?
Is it digital manipulation?
If you’d like to know more about how that works, without spending hours studying geeky things, you’re in luck – Simon Edge has written a relatively unbricklike, genuinely funny and appealing novel which along the way, explains how the technique works. Grab a copy, read it – it won’t hurt at all, and it shows you things it’s phenomenally useful to know…
Who knows? Experience tells me that human tides rarely have one simple cause, but literally as I started writing this blog, I applied Occam’s razor, and revealed to myself a simpler, more likely explanation than any of the above. Some people will do the daftest things in order to escape from an emotional confrontation…
The screaming girl
Something happened when I was in school – way back in the 1970s, long before wokism, snowflakism or the gender industry – One day, there was a disagreement – I can’t even remember what it was about now, but this girl said it was one way, and I said it was another, and she just went bonkers. It went on for hours, with her screaming and crying, and various people of various degrees of seniority trying to talk to her, or to me. Eventually, the Head Girl was drafted in. I was only 11 or 12. Head Girl was 17. She sat me down, and she said “look, okay, maybe you’re right, but anyway, why don’t you just say it’s that way, so she’ll calm down.”
It was supposed to be a Captain Sensible solution but it didn’t feel like that to me. I’m not sure I processed my feelings in detail at the time but, looking back now, this is what I think: it was a spat between 12-year-olds. I may well have been talking rubbish, I have no idea but, knowing what kind of kid I was, I would probably have listened if Head Girl had been reasoning with me, weighing up the rights and wrongs of the argument – but she wasn’t. I was angry because it seemed to me that no-one cared what the right answer was, they just wanted the noise to stop.
That dispirited me, and it’s why I hung on to my stance – but I was fed up with all the drama by then, so mumbled “ohalrightthen”. I was upset and de-energised. Somewhere inside, I was watching something important come tumbling down. I felt, and I still feel, that both screaming girl and myself would have come out of the situation stronger if I’d stood my ground, and she’d yelled herself to sleep or something. Maybe she would have woken up knowing that, after all, you do not die of being disagreed with.
Maybe a lot of British women have had experiences like that, I don’t know but it seems the UK is proving hard to hypnotise/hack/silence. I’m far from being the only one in this country who can’t easily bring themselves to talk rubbish on order, and it seems to me that that old story surfaced in my mind partly because some people have taken to calling groups like Woman’s Place UK the ‘Head Girls’ of the women’s movement.
If they are, they are clearly made of sterner stuff than the Head Girl in my memory. What is it about UK women?
So here’s another theory…
Anti-trans, or anti-Blyton?
My school wasn’t a posh, private school. It was a state school, formerly a somewhat stiff-necked girls’ grammar school. When I arrived, it was being dragged (kicking and screaming etc) into comprehensive form. The Headmistress (who we nick-named ‘Bunny’, after the incinerators in the loos) was trying hard to bring us up in the Blyton mold. We (in my generation at least, I don’t know when it started) were trying equally hard to be loud, vulgar, Blyton-free louts. In other words, I think my generation were reacting quite strongly against elitism, and had no time for the traditional British women’s stiff-upper lipped ‘keep it calm, keep it polite’ behaviour exhibited by that there Head Girl above. That could explain why it was mainly (not soley) my generation which included a significant number of girls who matured into women who were resistant to ‘diplomatic’ appeals to self-denying ‘politeness’, and said, “actually, no,” to “you must say TWAW,”, and we said “why?”, and we said “no they aren’t,” and, “what rights do you think transwomen don’t have?” and above all, we said “bloody hell, look what they’re doing to our kids!” And once you’ve seen that, and said that, you hold your ground.
The USA and Canada were, for some reason, completely floored by the TWAW trick, almost before anyone had realised it was happening, so perhaps there wasn’t any such reaction over there. Perhaps they were never Blytoned in the first place. Commentators in the States have looked across the pond in puzzlement and awe, and named our country TERF Island. Hooray for TERF island, home of the warriors who seek truth in order to save women’s rights, and to restore our girls’ faith in womanhood, and the right to be ‘out and proud’ gays or lesbians.
Hooray for the women who won’t give in. I’ve always loved my country, in a landscape-and-culture sort of way, never loved the flag, boiled cabbage, nationalism or the government. I even used to read Enid Blyton novels but you know, I did not, and do not, like the reality of private schools and the privileges of the rich – I especially do not approve of the privilege of having enough cash to buy social media pile-ons, and force the world to parrot your own preferred beliefs.
What is more, I know the women who founded WPUK and some of the other groups – I know the women who’ve been out on the streets campaigning for women’s rights and do you know what, they are all kinds of women, but especially, they are the warrior women – the ones who are used to sticking up for themselves, and their principles. A large proportion of them are trade union women, and the undauntable working class women who by their labours actually run this country. Now, at last, I have found something tangible to be proud of. Hooray for the women of TERF Island!
Another story comes to mind, so I’ll finish with this: when the average person hears the explosion, or the crash, and the alarms going off, and all the other hair-raising sounds of a disaster happening, they will rush onto the scene, full of fear and hoping they know how to help, and look around for casualties, and run straight to the one that’s screaming loudest, desperate to stop the ear-jangling misery.
When the professionals arrive though, they do almost the opposite. They look for those who are huddled motionless, and those sitting quiet, looking grim because they are probably the ones most in need of urgent attention. Let’s be like the paramedics. Let’s think this through, and aim to attend to everyone. Let’s not just think the disaster will be over if we can stop the noise, let’s find the actual problems, and solve them.
Let’s start with “bloody hell, look what they’re doing to our kids!”
NB Not many people are radical feminists, I am not a radical feminist – but their way of life is protected by law. Women have the right to associate and to organise exclusively as a sex-class, when they can demonstrate a need (so can men) — and they have a right to express their views. Furthermore, no radical feminists are ‘trans exclusionary’ – they are male exclusionary. You are welcome in their world, whatever your style of expression, so long as you are female and not afraid to say so — ‘TERF’ (trans exclusionary radical feminist) is a rubbish label but, the label ‘TERF Island’ is there, so I’ve discussed it.
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