Has no member of NARAL ever seen an ultrasound?

FFS, you Ghouls:

Stacy McCain as already asked the relevant philosophical question:

Accepting for the sake of argument that humans are not continuously human from conception on through death, how DOES the fetus transition from non-human to human state? What magical chrysalis occurs, when the embryo goes from non-human to human status?

I’m not holding my breath for an answer. But I would like to wonder if none of these people have ever actually seen what a human fetus is capable of doing, even when very small? I was present at both the ultrasounds for my daughters, and I saw them wiggling and thumb-sucking and responding to stimuli. And they responded to stimuli from outside the womb, too. It’s like they’re ALIVE or something.

To say nothing of this, even more obvious response:

 

XOJane Writer Dates Republican. Hilarity Ensues.

The article itself is whatever. She establishes her progressive bona fides and then proceeds to marvel at the well-dressed, mannnerly Republican she’s planning on marrying. She closes practically begging to be forgiven:

When I talk like this, it’s obvious that there is still a part of me that is a little idealistic, that wants to save the world. But what’s wrong with wanting a little less hate in the world, and a little more love? Even for those that you disagree with.

But the comments. The comments are comedy GOLD.

First, this:

comedygold1

Spongebob-and-Patrick-Laughing-520x245

But it gets better:

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*snort*

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The rage! The butthurt! The hatred! You could make Sour Patch Kids with these grapes!

Does it ever become exhausting to have to spend so much energy coming up with so much disdain for things that have no effect on your life whatsoever?

I guess not.

 

Praise be: It’s F-f-f-friday! Linkfest for the Weekend

Casting around the Internets:

A pre-med student, asked as part of a class to comment on the Emma Sulkowicz affair, goes into full attack mode. She leaves it all on the field. Relevant quote:

If we don’t give colleges the power to put the accused on trial and convict criminals for murder, why do we give them the power to do so for cases of sexual assault?

Why, indeed? One might speculate that this has less to do with stopping a violent crime that is about 20% as common as it was in 1973, and more to do with enabling bureaucrats and their ideological water-carriers to attain power. If one were so inclined.

The Pope Calls Attacks on the state of Israel anti-Semitic.  Everyone who jumped up and down about Papa Francesco’s pronouncements on the climate has to pay attention to this too, right?

There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the state of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.

Catholicism is Jewish, and that’s a good thing.

Fancy-Schmancy old-school headphones from Master & Dynamic. Beautiful. WANT.

The headphones are made of steel and aluminum, and pair we tried out were gunmetal grey. The MW60s last about 15 hours on one charge, but they can still be used with an included cable if they die.

I don’t have $600 to drop on something like that, but man do I wish I did.

Can Donald Trump Destroy SNL? If you read this hand-wringing AV-Club article all the way through, you may miss it, but the message is there. Conservatives abandoned SNL long ago (I didn’t mind Tina Fey throwing daggers at Bush – she was mostly funny when she did so. But their cowardice in going after Obama, their pretense that nothing about him was risible, was pathetic). But if they lose their support among lefties, then that could mean something. Hey, if we play our cards right, they might destroy each other.

Mexico Just Got Excorcised. This is apparently a thing.

A few months ago Mexico, the second largest Catholic country, was exorcised of its demons in an unprecedented rite of exorcismo magno performed in secret in the city of San Luis Potosí.

This would seem to be at odds with the stricter rules for excorcism that Benedict enacted in 2009. But whatever works.

Happy weekend.

Everything’s a Problem is the Tumblr You Didn’t Know You Needed

For a long time, we were lost in the darkness. Unable to tell what was problematic, or, if we dared push past our privelege to consider if it was problematic, to know just how problematic it was.

Those. Days. Are. Over.

For example, of course you knew that Wonder Woman’s costume was Problematic. That’s a no-brainer. But could you in your wildest imagination have discerned that enjoying Potato Salad without consideration for it nonwhite origins is even MOAR Problematic?

Of course you did not, you foul hater you.

But now you can know. Listen. Absorb. Don’t Resist.

Authority, Misandry, and Mixing: A Few Links to Start the Week

First, a nice Mark Steyn obit on Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston makes a salient point:

But, if you’re a feminist or a gay or any of the other house pets in the Democrat menagerie, you might want to look at Rahm Emanuel’s pirouette, and Menino’s coziness with Islamic homophobia. These guys are about power, and right now your cause happens to coincide with their political advantage. But political winds shift. Once upon a time, Massachusetts burned witches. Now it grills chicken-sandwich homophobes. One day it’ll be something else. Already in Europe, in previously gay-friendly cities like Amsterdam, demographically surging Muslim populations have muted leftie politicians’ commitment to gay rights, feminism, and much else. It’s easy to cheer on the thugs when they’re thuggish in your name. What happens when Emanuel’s political needs change?

Then, Reason’s Cathy Young continues her look at GamerGate:

GamerGate has been attacked over anti-feminist comments made by some of the movement’s sympathizers, such as provocative British tech blogger and Breitbart.com writer Milo Yiannopoulos. But far less attention has been given to extreme views on the anti-GamerGate side. Take writer Samantha Allen, whose decision to stop writing about videogames, apparently because of GamerGate, has been lamented by Brianna Wu as the tragic loss of a valuable voice. (Update: Allen contacted me to say she gave up videogame writing because of a Twitter harassment campaign in June/July, several weeks before the existence of GamerGate as such, even though Wu’s Washington Post column names her as one of the women “lost” to GamerGate.) A few months ago, Allen posted(and later deleted) a diatribe  on her Tumblr blog that opened with this declaration:

i’m a misandrist. that means i hate men. i’m not a cute misandrist. i don’t have a fridge magnet that says, “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.” my loathing cannot be contained by a fridge magnet.

(It’s all downhill from there.)

Meanwhile, at Slate (no, really), Reihan Salam makes the case for slowing immigration down:

So if we want the Mexican and Bangladeshi immigrants of our time to fare as well as the Italian and Polish immigrants of yesteryear, we need to do two things. First, we need to spend a considerable amount of money to upgrade their skills and those of their children, as the world has grown less kind to those who make a living by the sweat of their brow. Because public money is scarce, this is a good reason to limit the influx of people who will need this kind of expensive, extensive support to become full participants in American society. Second, we need to recognize that a continual stream of immigration tends to keep minority ethnic groups culturally isolated, which is yet another reason to slow things down. No, this won’t suddenly mean that poor immigrants will become rich, and that well-heeled insiders will stop hoarding opportunities. But it will give us the time we need to knit America’s newcomers into our national community.

What connects these? Salam and Steyn point out that immigration can move faster than a society can handle it, and that can and will disrupt society. Young adds to Steyn’s warning to the left a troubling note: for some, to disrupt the society that gave them birth and abundance is a feature, not a bug. That they expect to remain in power afterwards makes them no stupider than Robespierre.

The Shaky Evidence of Gender Theory

Stacy McCain could be a accused of being a “feminism bore”, as often he seems to write about little else. But feminism, especially of the radical variety, merits the response. Today McCain takes a long look at Kate Millet, author of the 1970 radfem tome Sexual Politics. His main point, about Millet’s mental health and unhappiness, is of a piece with things he’s written before, but I’m more interested in the bad evidence for Gender Theory that Millet used.

The crux of gender feminism  is that there are no men and women, only “men” and “women” – social constructs that can and should be done away with in the interests of true equality. But upon what evidence does that claim rest? According to McCain, precious little, at least insofar as Sexual Politics is concerned:

Scientific advances have been quite unfortunate for Millett’s claim that “there is no differentiation between the sexes at birth,” in part because her citation for that claim is dependent on one of the greatest frauds in scientific history. On pages 30-31, she excerpts a quotation from a 1965 article “Psychosexual Differentation,” from a book entitled Sex Research, New Developments; in her bibliography, Millett references a 1957 book, The Psychologic Study of Man. The author of both of these works? Johns Hopkins University psychologist Dr. John Money, whose botched attempt to turn a boy into a girl (the notorious “John/Joan” experiment) failed spectacularly, ultimately resulting in the suicide of Dr. Money’s pathetic human guinea pig, David Reimer.

Dr. Money’s unethical (and perhaps criminal) methods of attempting to psychologically “condition” Reimer to be a girl were never successful; “Brenda” Reimer aggressively rejected the female identity that Dr. Money tried to impose. Yet Dr. Money, having trumpeted the “John/Joan” case as proof of his theories in the 1970s, misrepresented the case in his academic publications and in popular media. It took many years before another scientist, curious to know how Dr. Money’s patient had adjusted to adult womanhood, discovered the shocking truth behind Dr. Money’s fraudulent “research.” As a teenager, “Brenda” Reimer had decisively rejected “her” female identity, and sought treatment to become the man “she” had been born to be. David Reimer married a woman and, despite the loss of functional genitalia — castrated in infancy as part of Dr. Money’s “treatment” — he was by the 1990s an otherwise normal (that is, masculine) young man, albeit suffering from depression that finally resulted in his 2004 suicide.

This is startling, and not just because you find yourself wondering “Who the hell authorized the castration of an infant boy?” But because you would like to assume that basic ethics would prevented someone from making use of such experiments. But apparently one would be wrong.

Concurrently, Millet dismisses contrary evidence without having done the reading:

Millett, whose claim to expertise was . . . well, what? She got her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota and got a postgraduate degree in literature at Oxford University, then went to Japan where she taught English and married an avant-garde sculptor.
Here she was in 1970, however, presuming to accuse Dr. Lionel Tiger, a professor of anthropology, of misrepresenting the research of zoologist Konrad Lorenz, who won the Nobel Prize in 1973. If Tiger was guilty of misrepresenting Lorenz’s work, you might think that Lorenz himself would have made the accusation, which he never did. Anyone interested in the subject may consult Konrad Lorenz’s 1966 book On Aggression and Lionel Tiger’s 1968 book Men in Groups and decide for themselves whether the two authors were in accord.

Of course the answer to this is that science is a patriarchal construct. Which is a rhetorically effective device, as all the devices employed by conspiracy theorists and totalitarians tend to be.

Now, I’m betting that evidence for gender-theory – the nurture side of the equation, as it were – is more pronounced today than it was in 1970. But so is the counter-evidence. There’s more than enough scientific data on how boys and girls behave differently from birth to at least seriously question the notion that gender is a social construct. That there are divergences in gender behavior among men and women, no one denies. That there are social aspects to gender, no one denies. But the assumption that the cart is pushing the horse has never made sense to me.