Mark Hamill caves to woke pressure after supporting JK Rowling and Maya Forstater
So just why are so many people standing with Maya? That’s what Mark Hamill would like to know. He saw JK Rowling’s now infamous tweet, tagged, #IStandWithMaya, and added his own little like. For that, he was called out by a fan who absolutely does not stand with Maya.
Hamill backtracked instantly.
He didn’t realize that thinking a woman should not lose her job for believing women are more than fictional creatures conjured up out of ponytails, makeup, and a yen to be submissive, was actually transphobic.
So what is #IStandWithMaya all about, and why are so many notables standing up for Maya Forstater, and for women who believe that biological sex exists?
This is the tweet that started it all.
In September 2018, Maya Forstater hit “peak trans.” After careful consideration, research, digging into the issue, and spending a lifetime advocating for women’s causes, fairness, inclusion, and compassion, Forstater could no longer stand behind the idea that men who transition gender, either socially or surgically, are actually women.
Forstater, who had been a tax researcher at the London Centre for Global Development, wrote on Medium that she “…started by viewing the issue as a straightforward matter of compassion, inclusion and social progress. People should be free to live their life without discrimination or harassment. Vulnerable minorities should be protected… At the same time,” she goes on to say, “I have never believed that women are people who share a common innate sense of ‘gender identity’. Women are people born with female bodies. Womanhood does not depend on dressing, acting or thinking in a feminine way.”
All good so far. Forstater had co-founded a group in 2012 called Let Toys Be Toys, which advocated for toy and advertising companies to stop “boxing” children according to gendered roles and preferences, but to open up STEM based educational toys to girls. She marched in London’s Women’s March. She wore a pink, pussy hat, and was surprised when that turned out to be non inclusive of non-vagina owners. But it was when she saw footage of the attack by trans activists on Maria MacLachlan, a woman in her 60’s, in 2017 that she started to take notice.
Forstater writes that “This attack was celebrated by ‘trans rights activists’ on social media, and by organisations such as Action for Trans Health, who argued that beating up this woman was a legitimate part of their struggle because she was a ‘TERF.” She started to dig deeper, to find out just how this movement affected and re-classed women. The Gender Recognition Act was being fast-tracked through UK legislative bodies, fueled by consultations with LGBT groups, heavy on the T. Women and women’s groups were not consulted, instead, the GRA was pushed ahead under the banner of inclusion and compassion.
The upshot of the GRA was the concept of self-ID, wherein a person could change their sex simply by saying so, thereby earning access to sex based protections for that group, covering everything from bathrooms to political quotas. Though many women found this to be a problem, no one listened. Women started leaving the Labour party over it, but they were dismissed as bigots.
In was in September 2018 that Forstater found she could no longer stay silent, and she dipped her toes in the gender critical waters with a 4 tweet thread on Twitter. These were not viral tweets, they didn’t take the internet by storm, at time of writing they still have barely double digit likes. So she kept going. She wanted to have this discussion. She believed it was her right, as a woman, to raise concerns about the GRA, which would make anyone who said they were a woman, a woman.
A conversation began to pop over the sometimes trans gender CEO Pips Bunce, who wears femme clothes some days, masc clothes other days, and was counted among the Top 100 Female Executives that year.
It was after this series of tweets, wherein Fostater posited that “Women are adult human females. It is not about gender identity, or gender expression or medical treatment,” and said “I don’t know what the ‘feeling of being a woman’ is. If ‘woman’ is defined as someone who has this feeling I don’t fit the criteria!” When she was contacted by HR at the Centre for Global Development. In the end, she was told that she had used “offensive and exclusionary” language, and that her “appointment as a Visiting Fellow at CGD would not be renewed, even though [she] was named in a successful funding proposal for a two-year research project…”
Forstater wasn’t the first woman to suffer professional consequences from speaking up for women’s rights. And she wasn’t the last. But she took her employers to court, to hold them accountable for her termination. She crowdfunded her legal team’s legal fees, and caught the attention of gender critical feminists around the globe.
That case was heard, and the verdict came down that Maya Forstater’s belief that women are adult human females and men are not is a legitimately fireable offense. Forstater lost, with a court saying that it’s not okay to think men are not women.
The suit was brought to the Employment Tribunals under the Equality Act of 2010, and Forstater’s claim was that she had been discriminated against based on belief. The Judgement states that “The Claimant [Forstater] contends … that sex is immutable, whatever a person’s stated gender identity or gender expression. The Claimant contends that her gender critical views are a philosophical belief and that she has been subject to direct discrimination because of them…”
Forstater claimed that her belief in the absence of the essential nature of gender is a philosophical belief that deserves protection under the Equality Act, just as a trans advocate’s belief in the existence of innate gender is protected.
The Judgement goes through all of Forstater’s gender critical tweets, and expert witnesses were called. The Employment Judge, MJ Tayler, states in the decision: “I conclude from… the totality of the evidence, that the Claimant is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
Believing that men and women are different, and stating that fact, is “not worthy of respect,” per Taylor. It’s hard to even read that without screwing up your face in confusion and perplexity.
Taylor goes on to reference “decision of the Supreme Court in Lee v Ashers that persons should not be compelled to express a message with which they profoundly disagreed unless justification is shown.”
Taylor believes that this is the justification: “The Claimant could generally avoid the huge offense caused by calling a trans woman a man without having to refer to her as a woman, as it is often not necessary to refer to a person sex at all. However, where it is, I consider requiring the Claimant to refer to a trans woman as a woman is justified to avoid harassment of that person.”
The judge actually states that Forstater should be compelled to speak according to government dictates because otherwise it would not be nice. Forstater’s right to not say something is trumped by someone else’s right to force her to say it.
Taylor writes: “I do not accept that there is a failure to engage with the importance of the Claimant’s qualified right to freedom of expression, as it is legitimate to exclude a belief that necessarily harms the rights of others through refusal to accept the full effect of a Gender Recognition Certificate or causing harassment to trans women by insisting they are menand trans men by insisting they are women.
While Forstater is making a claim against the Gender Recognition Act, the judge uses the Gender Recognition Act to say that the claim against it is invalid.
Taylor goes on to say that “Believing that a trans woman is a woman does not conflictith… the Gender Recognition Act, or involve harassment. It does not face the same issue of incompatibility with human dignity and fundamental rights of others as the lack of that belief does because that lack of belief necessarily involves the view that trans women are men. It is also a slight of hand to suggest that the Claimant merely does not hold the belief that transwomen are women. She positively believes that they are men; and will say so whenever she wishes. Put either as a belief or lack of belief … she does not have the protected characteristic of philosophical belief.”
If this all seems absurd, that’s because it is. If believing one thing is a philosophical belief, then believing the opposite must also be a philosophical belief. If a person is making a claim that a law is unlawful, that same unlawful law cannot be the basis for the law being lawful. This entire judgement reads like an indictment in Kafka’s The Trial, when K is brought up on charges, but never quite told what they are. Except in this case, the lie is Forstater’s own body, and fiction is truth.
The smack of absurdity in the face of rational reasonableness is why so many people are standing with Maya. The trans advocate’s ask for compassion and kindness, the desire for preferred pronouns, to be treated as the sex they choose to portray, all made basic sense. Women were like, “yeah, okay, you want to use the fitting room, and we can’t tell the difference, and everyone’s basically discreet, sure, be comfy, you do you.”
But where the entire trans ideology began to fall apart is when women were redefined in the context of trans, by being called cis. Or when laws began to appear that legally required women to use preferred pronouns, under threat of arrest or interrogation. Or when women were told that men with penises and beards were actually women. Or when those spaces where women are most vulnerable—prisons, crisis centers, bathrooms, hospitals—-were opened to men who said they are women. Or when women started being fired for stating their belief that biological sex is an actual real thing.
And now, when a Judge can state that a grown woman who believes men and women are different is able to be lawfully fired for that, while at the same time protections are rolling in for trans people who claim the opposite, we have truly walked into the realm of absolute batshit craziness.
No matter what Mark Hamill thinks, or how he’d like to appease his fans, men and women exist, and they are different. Everyone who knows that stands with Maya. To do anything else would mean you believe your own body is a lie. #IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill
The New York Times endorsement of both Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar for president has been lauded and critiqued, but no take is quite as inane and Lauren Duca’s. Writing for The Independent, Duca takes an essential tack linking womanhood with virtuosity, love, nurturing, and maternal values. These are what Duca believes we need in the highest office, and apparently qualities which are the purview of women at large.
Duca believes that women will bring “unconditional love” to the conference table. She thinks women have less greed and avarice, and that while “the divine feminine is beyond that binary, best understood as the force of nurturing,” gender is a social construct.
It’s surprising that both of these views can exist concurrently within one cohesive ethos. Gender isn’t real, apparently, because it’s made up by society to sell us prescribed notions for what men and women are, but femininity brings with it a form of divinity that is localized within women and those who believe they are women, even though womanhood isn’t really anything specific. Are we all clear? No?
Duca opines: “America, as it stands, is not even pretending to be a free country. We are living in an oligarchy structured by the hierarchy of the white, supremacist patriarchy, and this is where toxic masculinity has led us.”
How can a person of such privilege, who gets to write for fancy platforms, teach adjunct classes, and traipse around the world on tour for a book that doesn’t even sell any copies, claim that America is not a free country? How can a person who has benefited so greatly precisely because of her status as an identitarian grievance monger make the assertion that we live in a white supramacist oligarchy? Isn’t this all getting a little old?
Under the guise of elevating women, Duca puts them right back in their place. Probably she thinks she’s lifting women up by saying that they can achieve world peace and stop World War 3 before it’s begun in a way that men, with their penchant toward toxicity, haven’t been able to do. If men aren’t better suited to office on the basis of their sex, then neither are women. Sex isn’t a characteristic upon which votes should be based.
If a woman were elected on the basis of her sex, and she didn’t magically fix all the social ills with one SCOTUS nom and a few passes of her magical bill signing pen under the light of the full moon in the Rose Garden, how could the US ever justify electing another? Women are fallible, not magical. Y’know, just like other people.
Women are people, with aspirations, faults, wishes, wills, and a drive to succeed. To count them as anything other does their humanity a disservice. Duca writes: “I think it makes a difference if the person at the helm of this transformation is a woman, because of the lessons learned by anyone who has a female perspective on our crisis of toxic masculinity.”
But that doesn’t actually mean anything.
Duca, of course, has been a longtime culture warrior on the woke side—a true believer who has offered up hot take after hot take espousing the most incoherent of woke talking points like “Sean Spicer’s Emmys Cameo Wasn’t a Joke—It’s Dangerous,” or “Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America.”
Duca then had her own turn in the barrel, when her entire NYU class revolted because she was not woke enough. Apparently she hasn’t learned the lessons that you can never be woke enough, and that the woke will devour themselves in the end.
Counselling your child against serious health risks of changing gender not 'family violence': BC court ruling
Lawyer John Carpay is President of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF.ca), which intervened in the BC Court of Appeal in the case of AB v. CD.
In the case of AB v. CD, the BC Court of Appeal has allowed a 15-year-old female-born minor to continue receiving puberty blockers and testosterone, which will likely lead to the irreversible destruction of the minor’s sexual function and fertility.
The Court has deemed AB to be sufficiently mature to consent to the risks of taking testosterone, about which the BC Children’s Hospital has warned: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, decreased good cholesterol (HDL), increased bad cholesterol (LDL), emotional change (anger and irritability), and vaginal abrasions and tears.
The Hospital warns that the body sometimes converts testosterone to estrogen, which may increase the risks of ovarian, breast, cervical and uterine cancer. The Hospital states that the long-term effects of testosterone and puberty blockers on younger adolescents are unknown, and that the safety of testosterone is not fully understood. Girls who take puberty blockers and testosterone will develop into adults who may look and sound like men, but lack male genitalia. Even after gender re-assignment surgery, as adults they will not be able to father children. Nor will they likely be able to get pregnant and bear children, with natural female sexual maturity having been prevented. CD, who is the father of AB, is devastated.
Neither the lower courts nor the Court of Appeal have grappled with the compelling evidence showing that gender identity confusion usually goes away by itself. The vast majority of boys and girls revert to identifying with their natal sex by the time they are 18, if they are allowed to go through puberty naturally and receive appropriate encouragement and support to embrace biological reality. With psychological counseling instead of hormones and drugs, the success rate ranges from 70 percent to 90 percent, depending on which of the many studies that one relies on. This has been demonstrated by Dr. Kenneth Zucker and Dr. Susan Bradley, who ran the Child Youth and Family Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) in Toronto from 1981 to 2015, successfully treating hundreds of children struggling with gender dysphoria.
The courts have also failed to take heed of a 2011 Swedish study of 324 sex-reassigned persons (191 male-to-females, 133 female-to-males), which shows that the long-term outcome of such treatments resulted in life-long psychological trauma and increased chance of suicide. Even in a progressive and socially liberal country, the suicide rate in these patients was 19 times higher than the general population, as these individuals passed through a post-treatment period of relative happiness but then began to experience significant morbidity and regret. Across the world, a growing number of transgender adults are warning that gender re-assignment surgery has brought them inexorable misery.
Without delving into these concerns, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that deference must be given to healthcare professionals, whose decisions made under the BC Infants Act about whether minors are able to consent to particular treatments, and whether those treatments are in their best interests, are only reviewable by the courts in very limited ways. Yet many of these health practitioners are on an affirmation-only bandwagon, or are afraid to speak out against it. This ensures that many young teens are moved along a path toward transition as soon as they step into a “gender identity clinic.” Parents with serious concerns about social contagion, or other mental health concerns prompting their child’s sudden desire to transition, will find little comfort in this ruling. Hopefully a future case will put evidence of these concerns before the courts.
The small silver lining on this very dark cloud has come by way of this Court now modifying the lower court rulings that drastically restricted CD’s parental rights and his freedom of expression.
Justice Gregory Bowden of the BC Supreme Court issued an Order that CD could not attempt to persuade his female-born child to pursue any treatment other than puberty blockers and testosterone. Justice Bowden further ordered CD not to address his child by the child’s birth name, or to refer to his female-born child as “she” or “her” in any conversation with anyone. Justice Bowden went on to declare that violating these draconian measures would constitute “family violence” under BC’s Family Law Act.
The BC Court of Appeal overturned this order in part, ruling that “there was insufficient evidence in the unique circumstances here to ground a finding of family violence—that is, emotional or psychological abuse—as defined in the Family Law Act.” The Appeal Court added that Justice Bowden “raising the issue of family violence in the context of this case caused the parties to become increasingly polarized in their positions, thus exacerbating the conflict and raising the stakes in the litigation. We see none of this to be in AB’s best interests.”
The father is now once again entitled to communicate his views about the risks and dangers of AB’s current treatment to AB. The Appeal Court noted that AB is a mature minor with capacity to make medical treatment decisions, and this capacity “includes the ability to listen to opposing views.” AB’s capacity to consent does not remove all parental involvement from medical decisions: “Parents can be involved in the process of explanation, instruction and advice leading to the obtaining of the informed consent of the child. They should be involved as part of that process wherever possible.”
Regarding CD’s freedom of expression, the Appeal Court noted that “the values underlying the right to freedom of expression include finding the truth through the open exchange of ideas, which extends to protecting minority beliefs that the majority regard as wrong or false.” However, the Court also ruled that the father’s right to express his opinion publicly and to share AB’s private information to third parties “may properly be subject to constraints aimed at preventing harm to AB. The Court will not restrict “CD’s right to express his opinion in his private communications with family, close friends and close advisors, provided none of these individuals is part of or connected with the media or any public forum, and provided CD obtain assurances from those with whom he shares information or views that they will not share that information with others.”
While AB continues to receive testosterone injections, this Appeal Court ruling at least shows greater respect for freedom of expression and for parental rights than did the lower courts. But it’s a small victory in the overall context of this sad case.
The word “woke” has been bandied around in progressive circles since the early 2010s. Ironically, “woke” has become a pejorative term used to denigrate those who signal their virtue without doing much to advance any progressive cause. Woke individuals are, as the rule (that I just invented) goes, more concerned with making themselves look good and using their platform (or building a platform) to abuse others under the guise of combating social injustice.
None of this has, of course, gone unnoticed by the woke progressives who use the term without any sense of irony whatsoever. In an op-ed for the Guardian, writer Steve Rose opines that the word “woke” has been “weaponized by the right.” But whose fault is that, exactly? It’s certainly not the fault of those tired of being moralized and lectured to that they might repurpose the term to mock those who engage in cancel campaigns against any celebrity or public figure guilty of perceived unwokeness.
Citing the Merriam-Webster, Rose says that the term “woke” refers to anyone “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues (especially issues of racial and social justice).” And much like the term “political correctness,” the term has come to mean the opposite of what it means—or so he claims.
But is that truly the case? Those who elevate themselves through wokeness have little interest in combating social injustices and simply use it as a shield for their own bigotry, and to shut down dissenting opinions. Their wokeness, if it exists at all, is performative.
This isn’t to say that one can simply go about spouting racist, anti-Semitic, or otherwise bigoted remarks without pushback from any decent and reasonable person. Decent and reasonable people don’t care about being “woke.” “Woke” individuals, as it were, cultivate their entire personalities around the fight for social justice without much to show for it besides preening at everyone else on Twitter.
Wokeness has become a social status symbol more than anything else, and the “Right,” or the “unwoke,” or whatever you want to call us continue to be reasonable people while rubbing our lack of wokeness in the face of those who rally around the hollow symbol.
Case in point: Guardian writer, Steve Rose, attacks actor Laurence Fox for—you guessed it, unwokeness. He writes:
“Laurence Fox nailed his colours to the latter mast this weekend, doubling down on his defence of the privileged white male on last week’s Question Time to a Sunday Times article under the banner ‘Why I won’t date ‘woke’ women’. Toby Young piled in, applauding how Fox was ‘terrorising the Wokerati’, while the Sun last weekend branded Harry and Meghan ‘the oppressive King and Queen of Woke’.”
Rose argues that rather than simply rejecting the concept of wokeness, detractors of the term, like Fox, only criticize wokeness as “way of claiming victim status for yourself rather than acknowledging that more deserving others hold that status. It has gone from a virtue signal to dog whistle.”
On the contrary, any individual who makes claims to wokeness isn’t so much of a victim as they are a participant in the race for social status. Being unwoke doesn’t give you an entry pass into a separate league of oppression.
Laurence Fox has been outspoken in his lack of wokeness, simply speaking his mind and saying it like it is with no regard for how supposedly offensive it is to not be mindful to those who hold wokeness up as a virtue in and of itself. He isn’t claiming to be a victim—like any decent and reasonable person, he’s rejecting victimhood entirely. And it’s working.
MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who twice broke an opponent’s skull to win a match, has been called the bravest athlete in history. Fox, a male to female transgender athlete, destroyed Erika Newsome in a Coral Gables, FL, MMA fight during which she “secured a grip on Newsome’s head… With her hands gripping the back of Newsome’s skull, she delivered a massive knee, bringing her leg up while pulling her opponent’s head down. The blow landed on Newsome’s chin and dropped her, unconscious, face-first on the mat.” That was Newsome’s last pro fight.
But to Outsports, a male-bodied person beating a female bodied person unconscious constitutes bravery. Not only has Fox beat up women in the ring, won every match but one, but has weathered online attacks from the likes of Joe Rogan. I think we can all agree that getting back online after Joe Rogan has knocked you down is far braver than facing another male-bodied of your own muscle mass and size in a fight.
Fox also beat Tamikka Brents, giving her a concussion and breaking 7 orbital bones. But that’s super brave, too, taking an unfair, male-bodied advantage and using it to give female-bodied opponents brain injuries.
Vice defended Fox, saying “Fallon was born with a peen. No one’s perfect. I throw away too much salad. She was raised as a dude, as I am told is traditional in Ohio for babies born with outwardly expressive genitalia. But that peen never did sit right with her and, since 2008, she has been a woman in mind, body, and soul.” Brents was not told that Fox was trans before the fight.
“I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night,” Brents said, recounting her experience fighting Fox. “I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right… I still disagree with Fox fighting. Any other job or career I say have a go at it, but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair.” Vice said this was just “whining.”
There has been much debate over what makes a woman, since the early poets all the way up to Vice Magazine. While the consensus used to be that they were mystical, mysterious, coquettish beings who ruined men with their wily charms, beings to be possessed, owned, sold, and abused, the women’s suffrage movement and the fight for women’s rights came along and vanquished the old ideas, claiming instead that women were just people, people with female bodies.
Thanks to the trans movement we can get back to the original notion that to be a woman is to possess a special kind of soul that makes you want to be oppressed, beaten, bloodied, and cared for. Ah, progress.
There is no consensus among sporting organizations as to what gives a man enough of a disadvantage to compete against women. The International Olympic Committee says that a male needs to suppress testosterone to be at or below 10 nanomules per litre of blood for a period of one year prior to competition. Females who take testosterone would need years of hormones to get up to that.
Muscle mass does not substantially decrease with hormone treatment. Eradication of genitals does not diminish bone density. There are no cohesive Federal laws in the US to determine what makes a male eligible to compete against women, and while males have won women’s championships, female-bodied athletes have not risen to the upper levels of male competition.
Speaking to Outsports, Fox says “My teammates had no idea I was trans. They recognized my endurance, my strength, my ability to cut weight in the same category as cisgender women. There was no idea in their minds that I didn’t belong. They weren’t thinking, ‘oh my God, she’s going to kill somebody.’” That Fox can pass as a woman doesn’t negate her male advantages, nothing can.
Fox was outed against her will, which led to her induction into the LGBT Sports Hall Of Fame. This is where Fox’s bravery came into play. When the UFC and MMA promoters like Invicta declined to let her compete against women, Fox determined to keep beating up women anyway. Time will tell if MMA gives her another chance.