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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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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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11 Lies You’ve Been Told About Sex – MentalFloss

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When it comes to sex, there’s so much misinformation floating around that it’s hard to know what—and what not—to believe. Here are the cold hard facts about 11 lies you’ve been told about sex. A woman can break her hymen by having sex—or by doing gymnastics, horseback riding, or performing any number of other physical activities. Or, she could have been born without one. Women can also have an intact hymen and still be sexually active. The thin, flexible membrane reveals nothing about a woman’s virginity; in fact, experts say its importance is little more than a social construct…..

 

Read more: http://mentalfloss.com/article/68815/11-lies-youve-been-believing-about-sex

 

 

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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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Sexually Active Older People More Likely To Have Better Memory, Study Finds – Sabrina Barr

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Sexually active people over the age of 50 are more likely to have a better memory, a study has claimed. Drawing pictures of past experiences and eating turmeric once a day have been said to have a beneficial impact on one’s cognitive abilities.

According to a recent study published in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, engaging in regular sexual activity in middle age could also be linked to an improved memory.

Mark Allen, a lecturer in the school of psychology at the University of Wollongong in Australia, carried out research on 6,016 individuals, all of which were over the age of 50.

The data, which was collected by the English Longitudinal Study of Aging in 2012 and 2014, questioned 2,672 men and 3,344 women on a number of aspects of their lives including their health, diet and sexual activity.

The participants also completed an episodic memory test in 2012 and 2014, with Allen able to compare the results from both.

Allen came to the conclusion that while all of the adults across the board exhibited signs of memory loss, those in more sexual and intimate relationships were able to perform better at the memory tests.

This demonstrates that in the short term, frequent sex could have a positive effect on memory retention.

However, the notion that increased sexual activity can slow down the decline of memory in the long run was unfounded.

“These findings build on experimental research that has found sexual activity enhances episodic memory in non-human animals,” the study stated in conclusion.

“Further research using longer time frames and alternative measures of cognitive decline is recommended.”

In 2016, a study conducted by a team from McGill University in Canada claimed that women who have more sex have better memories.

The researchers found a correlation between the growth of the hippocampus, the area of the brain the controls emotions, memory and the nervous system, and sex.

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