One side — my side — starts with the foundational assumption that everyone, trans or not, is first and foremost to be treated as an individual, no more or less equally deserving of respect than any other individual, and then builds from there. Of course I understand how much sensitivity there is in the transgender community about, say, pronouns. I’m a gay man; I’m deeply embedded in the gay community. I even worked at a trans bar back in the day. But I don’t take it as religious doctrine that anyone who simply claims to be a transgender woman is one — I don’t believe in gender religion and I reserve the right to have my own beliefs about anyone — and I don’t take it as law that I have to abide anyone’s pronouns. I aim to be respectful, but it’s case-by-case, and I’m the judge.
A potpourri of articles
Trigger moments in human history awaken us to injustice and turn the tide of public perception. What happened in Waterloo, Iowa may not have been a watershed moment but as far as human folly, it was a doozy.
Between March and mid-April 2020, as the pandemic surged, managers at the Tyson Foods plant in Waterloo lay bets on how many employees would fall prey to COVID-19. This, while the brass told workers they had “a responsibility to keep working in order to ensure Americans don’t go hungry.”
Want to Stop A Pandemic? Stop Eating Animals.
The fight for free speech continues! We are in the process of revamping our newsletter, and going forward you can expect to see emails from us for each new article and podcast episode on the site, as well as updates about our Free Speech Fund and our Reclaiming the Left Dialogue.
We also want to mention that we are very excited to now have a regular writer on board at Plebity—Rozali Telbis, a brilliant and thoughtful young journalist whose pieces are a great antidote to the reactive, identity-obsessed corporate media.
Site updates – newsletter, free speech fund, reclaiming the left
There is currently a massive misunderstanding in society. For some people, I think this misunderstanding is intentional. It serves a very clear purpose. For others, it is a pure and simple misunderstanding. I think the only way to move forward is communication, honesty and compassion. The misunderstanding regards female rights and the transgender community.
I want to give you a little bit of a history of what I do and why:
I am the founder and CEO of Giggle, a social networking & social media app for females.
Why the Giggle App is for Females Only
A blog called Nullius in Verba could quite easily be about how brilliant and important science is. I am, amongst all the other hundred or so things I mentioned earlier (daughter, sister, student, friend, ex, dog-lover, prickly, undecided, uncertain…), a scientist. I became a scientist that day in the lecture hall, in the first term of my first year of university, the first time I heard the words nullius in verba. Thank you Horace. I love science – it’s a sharp, keen love, which I often feel stirring inside me and trying to come out at inconvenient moments. So, for lack of a more sophisticated expression, I have a horse in that race. Whichever career the older, perhaps slightly more certain version of myself chooses – and, in all honesty, I don’t think it will be in a laboratory – one of the things that I am, for better or worse, will always be a scientist. But this isn’t, after all, a blog about the brilliance and importance of science. It’s a blog about uncertainty. My uncertainty. And when I say “Nullius in verba,” I don’t mean quite the same thing as the scientist does.
Nullius in Verba – take no one’s word for it
Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth by Gitta Sereny is a psychological and historical profile of Albert Speer. Speer was Hitler’s architect and later, Minister of Armaments and War Production. At one point, he was groomed as Hitler’s successor. In the Nuremberg Trials he was one of the only Nazis to admit some responsibility for the war crimes of the Third Reich and to renounce Hitler. This admission saved his life and he was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth
Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close For Comfort by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons presents a thorough understanding of various manifestations of right wing populism in the United States. It traces the history of this socio-political movement from before the American Revolution until the year 2000. Berlet and Lyons go beyond caricatures to explore how right wing populism gains strength first by exploiting real economic, social, and political grievances, but then goes on to scapegoat perceived shadowy elitist puppet masters, typically Jewish bankers, ‘PC Police’, etc– and perceived ‘parasites’ from below–welfare recipients of color, recent immigrants, etc. The authors show that right wing populism is often an alliance between disaffected members of the elite and the working and middle class. These movements tend to emphasize their shared “whiteness” and sense of victimhood in order to bond together.
Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close For Comfort
Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild is a must-read for anyone interested in going beyond conventional political analysis and exploring the “deep story” worldviews that shape thinking on both the left and right of the political spectrum. Hochschild describes “deep stories” as emotional images that shapes the essence of a person’s worldview, and this book was her attempt to understand the deep story that forms the ideology of the right wing. Hochschild is a UC Berkeley sociologist who spent five years in Louisiana in an attempt to break through the “empathy walls” that divide the political spectrum in the US. She worked to overcome her own biases as a member of the left-leaning political spectrum by forming human connections with conservatives in Louisiana, many of whom were Tea Party activists.