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Transphobia Is Everywhere in Britain

LONDON — It must look odd to an outsider.

The race to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, after its traumatic defeat in December’s general election, has largely been conducted in the spirit of bury-the-hatchet pragmatism, to the point of tedium. The three candidates have promised, however sincerely, to maintain the general thrust of the party’s policy platform; divisions have mostly been a matter of tone, style and subtle implication. Rancor and controversy have been restrained among the candidates as well as the 500,000-strong membership. Except in one area: trans rights.

A contentious row began last month, when the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights announced itself with 12 pledges, which ranged from recognizing trans people’s oppression — at risk of hate crime and denied equal access to public services, health care, housing and employment — to supporting the expulsion of members who express transphobic views. Rebecca Long-Bailey, the candidate closest to Mr. Corbyn’s politics, and Lisa Nandy, the one farthest away, supported the campaign. The outcry was immediate: People started the hashtag #expelme on Twitter. Hecklers disrupted leadership hustings. And Tony Blair, a former leader and prime minister, warned of “the cul-de-sac of identity politics.”

To many, the sight of a center-left party failing to support trans rights without equivocation must be baffling — not least to American Democrats, whose party, divided in many ways, is firmly united in its support for trans and nonbinary people. But really, it’s no surprise. Transphobia, constantly amplified by the country’s mainstream media, is a respectable bigotry in Britain, shared by parts of the left as well as the right.

There are two main types of British transphobia. One, employed most frequently but not exclusively by right-wing men, rejects outright the idea that gender might not be determined only by biological traits identifiable at birth. This viewpoint can often be found in publications aligned with the Conservative Party, such as The Spectator, The Times and The Telegraph, all of which are looking for a new “culture war” to pursue now that the long, exhausting battle over Brexit has finally been resolved in favor of Leavers.

The other type, from a so-called radical feminist tradition, argues that trans women’s requests for gender recognition are incompatible with cis women’s rights to single-sex spaces. At its core, such an argument is not at odds with the first type — both rely on the conceit that trans and nonbinary people should not determine their own gender identities — but it is this second strain that is often expressed on the British left, from the communist Morning Star to the liberal New Statesman and The Guardian. Imported from American feminist circles during the 1970s, the argument is largely disowned in the United States. But it remains stubbornly persistent in Britain.

That is has done so owes much to the longevity of a generation of journalists who established themselves when the argument was orthodox. Many still hold influential roles as columnists or editors and have used their positions to keep the argument in the mainstream, while favoring a younger generation of writers who share their antipathy to trans people.

Younger trans and nonbinary people and their feminist allies have tried to shift the discussion onto the challenges we face in a transphobic society — with some success, especially in the early 2010s, when Trans Media Watch submitted a report to the Leveson inquiry into abuses of power by the British press. But that provoked an avalanche of commentary insisting that any discussion be returned to the intractable “debate” about whether trans and nonbinary identities (and especially those of trans women) were valid. Trans “activists” — anyone who questioned the terms of this “debate” — were characterized as an abusive mob and accused of silencing their critics, despite the fact that these critics could be heard advancing the same views in all major newspapers, every day, throughout the decade.

This counteroffensive reached its height in autumn 2018, as the Conservative government held consultations on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, which had been passed in 2004. In response to demands for the bill to allow self-determination of trans and nonbinary identities, The Guardian — which as the country’s only center-left broadsheet newspaper plays an outsize role in political debate — published an editorial that attempted to find a center ground. But to do so, it took its framing and talking points from organizations implacably opposed to trans rights, as the writer Jules Gleeson noted. Many British trans writers, including me, have since declined to contribute to The Guardian, repeating a pattern played out in the New Statesman several years earlier.

The reforms to the Gender Recognition Act were shelved, topping off a dispiriting few years: The Leveson inquiry changed nothing, and none of the recommendations in a 2016 parliamentary report on transgender equality were brought in. Effectively excluded from mainstream liberal-left discourse and despairing of the possibilities for change under any Conservative government, trans and nonbinary people turned back to Labour as the only political institution potentially able to change both the conversation and legislation. That seemed especially possible after the narrow electoral defeat in 2017 offered hope that the party could soon take power on a platform of social democratic reform — led by someone who offered vocal, unwavering support for trans rights.

But John McDonnell, Mr. Corbyn’s long-term ally, was far more equivocal. And Labour’s 2019 manifesto, mostly more radical than two years earlier, included just a few lines on trans issues and hedged its bets about single-sex spaces and gender recognition. Such division and ambivalence isn’t confined to an older, outgoing generation: Laura Pidcock, regarded as a potential successor to Mr. Corbyn until she lost her seat in December, recently caused consternation by calling for “the space to talk about sex and gender, without fear of being ‘no platformed.’”

The intervention did not go without challenge: Many of Labour’s younger, more left-leaning members rejected the suggestion that trans rights were up for debate. So does much of the left. But the party — and the center-left coalition it contains — is far from united. Keir Starmer, the overwhelming favorite to win the leadership race who has based his campaign around “unity” above all else, tellingly attempted to bridge the divide: He offered rhetorical support for trans and nonbinary people while declining to sign on to the pledges.

But in the face of Britain’s unreformed and unrepentantly hostile media, and the virulent transphobia it endlessly churns out, calls for unity won’t be enough. Mr. Starmer — and the Labour Party — will have to decide whose support is worth keeping, and pick a side.

Juliet Jacques is the author of “Trans: A Memoir.”

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Source: Opinion | Transphobia Is Everywhere in Britain

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This is a clip of Fox Fisher speaking to Ben Brown LIVE on BBC News about why there is an 81% increase in transgender hate crime being reported to the police in the UK. No one should be persecuted based on their gender identity or gender expression. Hostility towards trans people is on the ise in the UK and beyond. It’s not a surprise this is happening. It’s obvious from these numbers that the UK has a serious problem with transphobia that urgently needs addressing. This is partly facilitated through the media, which has been particularly hostile in the UK. Trans people are regularly framed as a danger or a threat to the wider population. Similar to the climate around Section 28, where gay people were seen as a threat This has a knock on effect on public perceptions and increases the chances of people taking violent action against trans people, particularly those who may be at the start of their transition are at risk, who may not or may never have ‘passing privilege’ or are gender non conforming. We should be creating a society where there is room for all of us regardless of our gender identity and expression. Thanks for watching! Check out our other social media accounts! twitter: @thefoxfisher and @uglastefania insta: @thefoxfisher and @uglastefania Also check out My Genderation! http://www.youtube.com/mygenderation http://www.mygenderation.com insta: @mygenderation twitter: @mygenderation

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Good Luck Finding True Love With No Drama – Fulfillment Takes Work

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Apparently, in the dating world, there’s now an epidemic of men specifying partners and relationships with “no drama”. “I understand that people want joy, laughter and happiness in their relationships,” wrote Laura Hilgers, in a New York Times essay on the phenomenon.

But the men who use such phrases, she argued, “want something that doesn’t exist: a problem-free partnership with someone who has no life experience. Are they looking for a woman who never gets angry or afraid or sad, who never worries about her family or struggles in her job?”

It’s hard to say, because “drama” is so vague. That makes it a worthy successor to the now rather 70s-sounding “issues”: a label capacious enough to include people with severe personality disorders – whom you might be forgiven for wishing to avoid – but also everyone who has displayed any human emotion other than upbeat good cheer. So, by demanding “no drama”, you get to characterise your fear of difficult emotions as a simple matter of self-care.

Of course you don’t want to date somebody with, you know, issues! (To be clear: if drama means emotional or physical abuse, you should definitely avoid it.) On the other hand, good luck finding a fulfilling relationship if you will only consider people with no issues.

If I have sympathy for these drama-avoidant men, though, I can sum it up in two words: internet dating. Romance, like much else these days, comes with the promise of infinite possibility: if this particular match doesn’t work out, there are countless fantastic alternatives on standby. The promise might not be real; maybe none of those astoundingly attractive women would date you.

But it’s the belief that counts – and in this environment, filtering out the prospect of being exposed to someone else’s emotional struggles makes a certain, rather soulless, kind of sense. Why choose a challenging experience if a fun one seems like an option? Sure, the challenging experience may ultimately prove more meaningful, but it’s still a big ask.

It’s a mild version of that phenomenon where people have a brush with death, through illness or accident, then say it was the most meaningful experience of their lives. Fair enough – but even so, few of us would choose that path if we thought we could skip it instead. The problem here is the collision of a timeless truth – that what we think we want isn’t always what’s best for us – with a modern one: the way the “convenience revolution” makes it so easy to get what we think we want.

Convenience plays funny tricks: “I prefer to brew my coffee,” writes the academic Tim Wu, “but Starbucks Instant is so convenient I hardly ever do what I ‘prefer’.” A decade or two ago, it didn’t matter so much if you couldn’t handle negative emotions in others; if you wanted a relationship at all, you would have to learn to cope.

These days, when it takes willpower just to go and meet a friend instead of staying at home watching Netflix, how much more willpower does it take to voluntarily submit to the risk of difficult feelings? You still should, since it’s the only way to fulfillment. But like many other things worth doing, it’s getting easier and easier not to do it.

 

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Source: Good luck finding true love with no drama – fulfilment takes work | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style | The Guardian

SHARING THE LAST AND FIRST OF THE YEAR – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

Share Your World 12-31-18 Writing this on the last day of the year to be published on the first of the new one, so it is the last and the first. May everyone’s New Year be full of joy, laughter, health, and hope! For the parents in the crowd: What would be the absolute worst name […]

via SHARING THE LAST AND FIRST OF THE YEAR – Marilyn Armstrong — Serendipity – Seeking Intelligent Life on Earth

The Highs & Lows of Testosterone – Randi Hutter Epstein

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Getting a high testosterone reading offers bragging rights for some men of a certain age and may explain in part the lure of testosterone supplements. But once you are within a normal range, does your level of testosterone, the male hormone touted to build energy, libido and confidence, really tell you that much? Probably not, experts say. Normal testosterone levels in men range from about 300 to 1,000 nanograms per deciliter of blood. Going from one number within the normal zone to another one may not pack much of a punch.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/27/well/live/testosterone-supplements-low-t-treatment-libido.html

 

 

 

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Why Are We All Having So Little Sex – Belinda Luscombe

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Matt, a 34-year-old data analyst from Texas, and his wife dated for seven years before getting married in 2013. When they didn’t live together, they had sex every time they saw each other. After they moved in, however, he says things changed. Their sex life became inconsistent. They’d have a really active week and then a month with nothing, or just one at-bat. It began to hurt their relationship. At one point early in their marriage, Matt’s wife got pregnant, but they weren’t sure the marriage was going to make it, so they terminated the pregnancy………

Read more: http://time.com/5297145/is-sex-dead/

 

 

 

 

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Hugs and kisses: The Health Impact of Affective Touch – Maria Cohut

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We seek affection, try to establish a connection, or attempt to communicate a need. Various cultures use touch in various ways to display tenderness or respect, and other non-human primates use it to create a connection and establish social hierarchies. Recently, however, some experts have expressed concern that Western societies are experiencing a moment of crisis,as physical touch becomes more strictly regulated and we are less and less likely to engage in social acts such as hugging…….

Read more: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323143.php

 

 

 

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30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself – Marc Chernoff

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Our previous article, 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself, was well received by most of our readers, but several of you suggested that we follow it up with a list of things to start doing.  In one reader’s words, “I would love to see you revisit each of these 30 principles, but instead of presenting us with a ‘to-don’t’ list, present us with a ‘to-do’ list that we all can start working on today, together.”  Some folks, such as readers Danny Head and Satori Agape, actually took it one step further and emailed us their own revised ‘to-do’ versions of the list…..

Read more: http://www.marcandangel.com/2011/12/18/30-things-to-start-doing-for-yourself

 

 

 

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How to Support a Partner Struggling with Depression – Eric Ravenscraft

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Being in a romantic relationship when one (or both) of you suffer from depression is a massive challenge. Depression can make your partner seem distant. They may feel like they’re a burden or close themselves off. None of that means your relationship is the problem. You two can tackle this together. Here’s how…..

Read more: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-support-a-partner-struggling-with-depression-1717700336

 

 

 

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Women’s Health & Wellness – Art & Science Of Self-Care 300+ Piece PLR Pack

In this 300+ Pieces Of Content you will get 5 Questions To Assess Your Level Of Self-Care Mind-Body Exercises That Promote Your Wellness, 9 Steps To Create Life Balance For Inner Peace And Mental Calm, Ladies: What Is Stopping You From Taking Care Of Yourselves Relaxation: The Ultimate Relief For Your Hectic Life Women’s Wellness: Finding Me Time Positive Self-Talk Helps Women Care For Themselves

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29 Hot Techniques That Will Improve Your Sex Life Immediately And Forever – Lorenzo Jensen III

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“When you’re riding a guy, don’t go up and down like a pogo unless your sitting straight up, you have to lean forward, rock your hips back and forth and if you go up, come down at a curve toward his hips, having a landing pad behind your booty gives you a push so you bounce rather than destroy your quads trying to ride him, it makes it easier when he has his legs bent rather than starfished out so his hips cup your butt. Ask him to just push up when you come down so you have extra bounce when you go up…….

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/lorenzo-jensen-iii/2017/02/29-hot-techniques-that-will-improve-your-sex-life-immediately-and-forever/

 

 

 

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