Big pharma, and people with penises

23 Jul

By now most of us know how Harry Potter creator JK Rowling responded to the phrase, “people who menstruate”.

I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?

Well guess what? Just yesterday I was scanning – as you do – the web pages of a Urology Centre, where I soon found myself reading about “people with penises”.

I’m sure we used to have a word for those too.


Here’s a hilarious example of the couldn’t-make-it-up absurdity. Thanks yet again to Dave Hansell for this gem:

It’s amazing what you can buy on the web. A friend drew my attention to a particularly stylish t-shirt on Amazon, featuring a rainbow flag and the slogan, “There are more than two genders”.

Naturally I tried to buy 37 of them. (Well you know this kind of thing could have become compulsory had Mrs Mordaunt got in.) All was well until I was asked to choose a ‘fit’. There were only two options: male or female.


Seriously though, Dave Hansell – who should be on a retainer for the volume of fascinating reads he puts my way – alerted me to one Toby Rogers, a senior figure in the US Presbyterian Church with an outstanding record on LGB and T rights. That last, alas, offers no protection from the vitriol of trans-militants the moment one voices a verboten  opinion, for instance that people with penises shouldn’t compete in people who menstruate’s sports:

Tess Crow declined to do so but I should get back to that Presbyterian writer, because here’s the thing. This churchgoing progressive has not only found himself at the sharp end of trans-warrior vitriol. He has thought long and hard about it, and come up with a surprisingly materialist and evidence-based answer to a question that saw me and a good few others underestimating the speed with which so ridiculous an agenda would gain ground.

How could so tiny a fraction, of a grouping itself a tiny fraction of society, effect so rapid a shift in mainstream orthodoxy? 

We do well here to reflect on the one hand on such as the Maya Forstater case; on the other, how hard every inch of ground gained by women’s, black, gay and disabled groups had to be fought for.

We also do well to ask a related question: how was this amazing success story able to display levels of slick professionalism, in both mass opinion formation and targeted lobbying, light years ahead of what its observable resources could account for? We have to assume, says Mr Rogers, an ally in the shape of the one party with both means and motive.

Big pharma.

And before we dismiss that as too far-fetched, consider the words of Cardiff based academic, Fabio Vighi, as cited in my post of two days ago on Covid in the age of crisis capitalism:

It is delusional to think governments, health authorities, and media act independently. Rather, what speaks through them is always economic-financial Power, the very Thing they want us to believe only exists for conspiracy theorists; as if it had suddenly died out like the dinosaurs, or mutated into philanthropy

But why don’t you be the judge of that? I give you Toby Rogers uncut.


Trans messaging is too sophisticated to be the work of a small sexual minority dealing with severe health issues

It appears to me that someone else is driving these messaging campaigns and the question is who?

I. Introduction

It brings me no joy to write this article. But I have a unique vantage point on a fiercely contested social issue and feel compelled to share what I know.

Before I go any further let me state unequivocally that I support LGBT equality. Everyone deserves respect, love, and kindness. Any bigotry in the comments will get deleted and possibly banned. In this article and the discussion that follows I aim to model the sort of adult conversation about a difficult topic that is rarely seen anymore. Please join me in elevating the discourse.

Here are my bona fides in connection with this issue:

I spent 10 years fighting for LGBT equality as the communications director for the moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I edited hundreds of speeches, sermons, and articles as well as the book Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality that became a Christian bestseller. When we began in 2000, marriage equality was polling below 20%. Over the course of a decade we changed so many hearts and minds that the denomination revised its Constitution to allow LGBT ordination and marriage. Thanks to our work, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approved LGBT equality before the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality and thus created political cover for the Supreme Court to do the right thing.

After the campaign was over I got a master of public policy degree (2010-2012) at UC Berkeley and went to Cambodia in 2012 where I taught Gender Studies in a private university in Phnom Penh. I taught the Genderbread Person v1 and I even taught sections of Judith Butler’s classic work, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, to Cambodian teens and young adults in my classes. It was fascinating and wonderful.

Suffice it to say, I have read, written, and thought a LOT about gender. I think gender studies is a helpful tool for understanding power and relationships and examining how societies are organized.

By 2012-2013 we had won across the board. Equal rights to marriage, employment, housing, and hospital visitation rights were becoming the law of the land in the U.S. and throughout the world. We had achieved bipartisan consensus even on the fiercely divided U.S. Supreme Court. We had science, logic, and reason on our side. It was settled law and settled science.

And then, somewhere around 2015, the movement went completely off the rails.

II. The very strange switch in messaging

For a century, progressives had fought to show that biological sex and gender were two different things. The argument was that sex is biological, given (and yes there was acknowledgement of the 0.02% to 1.7% of people who are intersex). Gender was/is seen as a social construct, theater, performative. Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique; Susan Faludi, Backlash; Anne Fausto Sterling, Sexing the Body; and Judith Butler, Gender Trouble all made the same point, sex is biological, gender is socially constructed. We won that argument in a rout.

But in the last few years, the argument shifted. Socially constructed gender now superseded biology. Everything was gender now. Biological sex itself was labelled a social construct …

Read the full piece by Toby Rogers …

* * *

13 Replies to “Big pharma, and people with penises

  1. Thanks for this article. I’m with you on your comments in response to tess crow. We used to socially exclude Lepers, even though we knew the disease wasn’t transmissable through ordinary contact, so now we turn on any easy scapegoat to feed our need to discriminate or blame our woes on. That said, I have normal reservations on transgender participation in non equality issues as you mentioned so I don’t understand why tess resorts to name calling as a means to positing her/his position.

    Struggling to comment because I broke my wrist and typing one handed is difficult, so I merely observe for the most part.

    BTW: what is terf? struggling to keep up with all the new acronyms – must be my age overtaking me.



    • Hi Susan. I’ve never broken a wrist but I imagine it’s highly disabling – body parts we take for granted have a way of forcefully demonstrating just how important they are to our everyday lives when – temporarily or, heaven forbid, for good – they cease to work properly. Here’s to your speedy recovery as a keybpard warrior!

      TERF means “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” – and has for several years been the go-to verbal missile for the militant end of trans-activism.

        • To be precise I self-Identify as 120 years of age.

          Both the DHSS and my former employer now owe me 58 years back pension (oh, and by the way, its your round!).

          On a more serious, but still age related, note:

          And, moving on (and back to frivolity just in case anyone misinterprets), I’m sure we will all be cheering on England’s “Cervix Haver’s” at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane tonight?

          It must be frying what passes for the brains of many involved, particularly throughout the TV and broadcasting “elites”. Having to constantly use a certain descriptive word when they have spent some years erasing and vitriolically cancelling anyone who dares to use it.

          Thinking about it, you could actually make a case for the severe cognitive dissonance involved to be described as “stonewalled.”

          But that’s just meself thinking out loud.

          • I self identify as from the Planet Zorg and there’s a mighty judgment coming, though I may be wrong …

            (Pinched from a Leonard Cohen song which opens: “my friends are gone, my hair is grey/I ache in the places where I used to play …”)

      • Thanks Dave, after 20 minutes of reading I still have no idea what the heck these people are trying to achieve. I don’t mind cross dressing males – it’s their party, but if a male, as we ancients know it to be, following the science (in this case biology) of some 20,000+ years, then my understanding of anatomy means that if they choose to keep their “tackle” the operative word being choose, than they are still biologically male. If they don’t want to give up their male bits, then why would they wish to be misinterpreted as female?

        I really don’t get where their thinking is coming from. So I guess that makes me a TERF.

        I can live with that. Which would make these Transgenders who aren’t actually anatomically or biologically female: CDWAD (cross dressers with a dick)
        The problem with incessant name calling ceases to have effect if you confront it. A friend of mine said once, just because I’m dark skinned I’m not black, but I am still a nigger and he winked at me and said “sticks and stones girl”. I’ve never forgotten it and he was right.

        Mind you I’ve forgotten how these non male males pretending to be females refer to themselves as….oopsie!

  2. Forgot about the post:

    How Trans Nazis Targeted A Jewish Anti-Zionist Candidate for Labour’s National Executive Committee with their demands for a Loyalty Oath

    Since when is the Mantra that a Transwoman is a Woman the Litmus Test for Who to Support on the Left?

    Firstly to avoid any misrepresentation my reference to ‘trans Nazis’ is to be taken in the same way as references to ‘food Nazis’ which the Urban Dictionary defines as someone ‘who insists on dictating what others should call themselves based upon their diets.’

    ‘Trans Nazis’ refers to those who insist that support for trans rights and opposition to discrimination isn’t enough. People must sign up to the whole baggage of gender ideology such as ‘a transwoman is a woman’ and self-identification even though both are by definition subjective.

    Both of these beliefs are and should be the subject of rational debate. A substantial section of feminists and the women’s movement object or have serious doubts about them because, to state the obvious, a transwoman is not a woman biologically, especially one with male genitalia. Merely saying that you are a woman doesn’t change your sex. Gender of course is fluid and can be anything you want it to be and is socially constructed. The question is why people want to identify as a gender which is opposite to the sex they were born into.

    Likewise the idea that self-identification alone is sufficient makes the definition of sex entirely subjective whereas differences in sex are a material reality. This is not to doubt gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia but the solution is not to pretend that the answer is to redefine someone with these conditions as being biologically of the opposite sex to that they were born into.

    Equally it is unlikely that a man would say they are a woman unless that was how they felt. However that should not be to ignore that there are men, however few is open to question, who will do so for opportunistic reasons such as gaining access to vulnerable women in for example rape crisis or domestic violence refuges. To say that all men in all circumstances who say they are women must be taken at face value is to discount the fact that some women have been raped by men claiming they are women in situations such as prisons.

    • ‘Trans Nazis’ refers to those who insist that support for trans rights and opposition to discrimination isn’t enough. People must sign up to the whole baggage of gender ideology such as ‘a transwoman is a woman’ and self-identification even though both are by definition subjective.

      Exactly. This is anecdotal and vague, but of a piece with the ‘logic’ you have highlighted. I have heard complaints from lesbians that unless they consent to having sex with such “women”, they are ipso facto TERFs. How did we get to this, and so quickly?

      I can’t say Toby Rogers is right: simply that he offers a plausible, and in its way well evidenced, answer to that question.

    • What the useful idiots who push this purity spiral line from the left – doing all the heavy lifting for what is in essence a Thatcherite and Randian concept (self ID) – seem to be oblivious of is that no matter where you go in human society there are always people who will take advantage to the point of kicking the arse out of something.

      Men being placed in female prisons to rape fellow inmates clearly fall into that category. Yes it buggers things up for a whole lot of people – including those with genuine problems. Unfortunately, those kind of issues are not recognised as problems and are swept under the carpet as outlier occurrences and defended on principle by so called left activists prepared for other people to die in a ditch to preserve that actual regressive principle.

      Demonstrating that they themselves are kicking the arse out of it to the detriment of everyone else.

      I am mindful that whilst you are now aware of the meaning of the slur “TERF” I have not provided any background to the other slur “SWERF'” – Sex Worker-Exclusionary Radical Feminist.

      This piece from Unherd back in 2019 provides some background as to why this is also problemematic.

      Unsurprisingly, Sophie Wilson, lost Rother Valley to the Tories in 2019.

  3. This latest piece from the retired section of the reality based community provides a insight into the territory we are rapidly approaching:

    In summary the SNP are introducing an innocuous ‘Code of Conduct’ for anyone wishing to ‘enjoy’ the right to campaign for Scottish Independence.

    No doubt an idea which will be enthusiastically taken up by a political party and other organisations/institutions near you.

    It surely cannot be too long before signing up and adhering to such Official Narratives becomes a precondition for employment; trade union membership; receipt of benefits (including pension); having a bank account; renting or owning a house; access to utility services; shopping; voting, access to money and resources; obtaining a bus pass/passport/
    birth certificate; health treatment; being allowed to marry; funeral services; education; being allowed to die for your Country; and being given permission to be born.

    Welcome to Hades.

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