Did my views on trans women change?

First of all I don’t have a right to have a ‘view’ on another person’s existence. Secondly, woman are made. Gender is a construct imposed onto sexed bodies, through the expectation they will carry out unpaid labour because of their reproductive capacities, through gender faultlines marked out by violence and sexual violence. That is what upheld a traditional family structure that only ended in the last quarter of the last century. Trans women acutely vulnerable to that violence and disproportionately harmed by it, are women just by virtue of the fact their existence is shaped by that inequality.

However, the following is never feminism:

 

1 Treating women as objects in your identity and demanding they change their reality to suit your identity. Demanding women use a term you define to identify themselves as a subset of their own gender.

2- Demanding that gender inequality is not discussed because it is offensive to you.

3- Demanding that women do not discuss their reproductive capacities, their biology.

4-Demanding that women pretend gender inequality is not rooted in women’s reproductive capacities.

6- Telling women they can only discuss inequality they face without discussing the biology at the core of it.

6- Demanding women change their sexual orientation because you are entitled to have them treat your penis as a female organ.

7- Attacking women for expressing sexual autonomy because it is transphobic to not want dick.

8-Threatening women with violence, ending their career, and harassment if they discuss gender inequality as related to their biology.

9- Demanding women not be allowed to describe their sex, their biology, their lives, unless it fits with your identity.

10- Demanding women do not discuss male violence as a demarking line of gender divide.

11- Blaming women for male violence.

12 – demanding women lose the very limited protection from male violence they have to make you feel better.

13- demanding women’s perception alter to suit your reality and identity.

None of these things are new. They are as old as the hills. They are the hallmarks of abusive relatioships and the hallmarks of male control over women. They are misogyny. Hatred of women. That media feminism decided this was feminism is because media feminism is about the fringes of a misogynist elite media culture.

None of these things help trans women. All of these things are about making women invisible, denying them the language to discuss inequality they face and perpetuating gender inequality that is thousands of years deep so they will continue to be responsible for gendered labour and wont be able to discuss it.

Appropriating the language of feminism for misogyny is a problem. That is not about denying trans women anything. Trans women need the discussion of structural inequality that they face part of. Feminism is not about controlling the worlds women so they have to concentrate on managing your identity instead of the lives they face because of structural inequality imposed on them for being women. Women did not choose the things attributed to our gender, even if you value them. They are not an innate part of womanhood. If your identity is so fragile you need women to manage it for you, that is about you, not them. There is no female brain that meant women wanted to be subservient for years. There is the responsibilities that still fall disproportionately to women, there is economic inequality rooted in this, there is the reason feminism existed in the first place. Which has not gone away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Email to my daughters school. FAO Nicky Morgan

Hi, am writing this email to express concern over the curriculum for year 4. First of all I am acutely that this is not the schools choice and this about the Depatrment for Education and this is NOT a complaint about the school, or the teaching X gets, which is exceptional.(Mr.X especially has been an exceptional teacher).
She is being taught things she is too young for. She is being taught english language concepts that ares for year 6s and some is stuff I wasnt taught till high school, The same goes for some maths. She is being taught concepts that are not suitable for year 4. I know the school have no choice in this and cannot stress enough that this not a complaint about the school. But as a parent I wish it placed on record that I feel this is detrimental to children and that far from teaching them impressive things, it is creating a pressure which will make them feel like they ar efailing and are not bright enough to learn things they should not be learning at all. It is stealing from them.
I feel the most important part of her school eductaion at this level is to develop a love of learning and not to be able to recite things which are largely not that important and they have plenty of time to learn.
I am emailing so that my concerns are on record and so that if the school feel they need to object to this they have parental concern supporting that objection.
I have told xxx that some of this stuff she doesnt need to know yet, and not to worry if she does not get it. This is not to undermine the school but to make sure that as she gets older she retains a love of learning, which I feel is the most important thing she can get from her education.

Questions to ask people selling basic income

You will by now have noticed that basic income is the word on everyones lips. An economic proposition is only valid for as long as the context in which it was devised remains static and the British welfare system has had to deal with some seriously changed context. A system devised around a breadwinner/unpaid carer family model has had to adapt to the most significant reorganisation of human family relations in history, gender equality, the care economy emerged, disability rights happened,  the housing boom created by a debt based economy, an ageing population happened. Thee panicked responses to this by policy makers have resulted in some of the most seriously nasty welfare reform in its history. This is generating crises including the undeliverable Universal Credit that the Labour focused anti-cuts movement wouldnt let us discuss because they didnt want anyone discussing consensus on austerity or discussing solutions that dont include doing what they say,.noone really knows what to do right now. So the left are using Basic Income  as a euphemism for ‘I dont understand welfare, I don’t understand the labour market, I dont understand the economy’.

These are some questions to ask the white,  male, elite educated, politically connected, lefty trying to sell you basic income.

1- Housing Benefit as a system tied benefits to rent rates, first covering your entire rent, gradually reducing the number of properties available, and in 2010 slashing this with huge consequences to the bottom third of rents in your local area. Despite this it is tied to rents in your area. It is tied to the housing market and responds to it. And even though the housing market has malfunctioned is still more less holding after 70 years. Because it can respond to the housing market and is calculated according ot changing rents. How will a set rate basic income do this? Or will another benefits system be required for housing costs. When this is all over we need housing benefit system to do this to act as an early warning system for housing market overheating. How will UBI do this?

2- The motherhood pay penalty. The motherhood pay penalty is linked to the labour market, and changes constantly. Our benefits system currently responds to this by calculating tax credits according to wages, and then housing benefit being awarded if you cannot meet your housing costs. This is directly linked to a changing economy. How will your basic income model do this, given that amounts currently given to working and non working mothers for housing mean that a 25k benefit cap was deemed arbitrary and unfair by IDS himself and has seen challenges in courts.

3- Childcare. The UK has no state provided childcare, and our childcare is the most expensive in Europe. Rates can vary according to the town and provider, from a few pounds a day for after school clubs, to 700 -800 a month for private day nurseries(per child)When the Tories cut childcare allowances to 70% from 80% it pushed thousands of women out of work. How will UBI respond to childcare provided by a variable market?

4- The costs of disability are not related to employment they are about how much additional money you need to be mobile, to buy special goods, products, things which allow you to participate in the world. How will UBI respond to this? Will there be an additional benefits system?

5-Inequality. While mainstream welfare literature has focused on labour market activation, our benefits system provides information aboiut the extent of inequality and should correspond to race, gender and disability faultlines. Our benefit system has never had equality acts applied to it and so we have never used htis information but to get out of the current crises we will need to use this information. How will UBI record this?

6- Unemployment. We are supposed to use unemployment data to measure unemployment, The willingness of people to sign on once a fortnight allowed the most accurate measure of unemployment available. Conditionality is not essential to this, and has actually destroyed this tool but it needs to be restored. How will UBI measure unemployment?

7- The post work world where 100quid a week is a utopia. In a country with falling birth rates and an aged and rapidly ageing population, with a care economy that has emerged because this labour is no confined to the private family unit because women are independent economic actors, how do you propose this work will be done? How does a care economy guaranteed to expand constititute a post work world? Is this not part of the post work world or will gender equality just be rolled back? Basic income is always argued for by people who live in aw orld where all the work just happens around them, and they dont notice it. They are either not from a class who do this work, or are leaving a class who do this work via elite institutions and media, and the idea of a post work world is one where they dont do these jobs. They still need to be done. A two tier benefits system means we will be conscripted to do them.

8-Care work is done usually by low paid women who have to outsource their own care responsibilities to do this. See question about childcare.

9-Inequality. When you have your two tier benefits system with UBI costing a fortune and us still needing the above benefit system, how do you propose to solve the issue of inequality and unequal political voices. Left wing media and ‘radical’ activists didnt notice that austerity was entirely about the financialisation of institutoins concerned with social reproduction, the state taking control over peoples lives, about the economic centre postion and not them, and the transformation of our benefits system including a Universal Credit system that everyone knew was undeliverable in 2010. They actively prevented htis discussion and demosntrated they had maintained their culture entirely in the trade unions and press who were supposed to represent this economy. THis is a demonstration of unequal power relations. Left wing media are representative of the middle class who will receive UBI and have political weight to fight for UBI at the expense of thos on the bottom layer of the two tier benefits system. Who will lose.The people who already have no political voice because of a left wing media culture rooted in elite institutions. How do you propose your two tier benefits system does not end with those on the bottom tier being abused the way the undeserving of Beveridges world were abused?

10- How do you propose to pay for UBI, when we needto keep the above functions and what services will have to be dissolved to pay for it. Will it be the structural invisible services of care, child protection and benefits for inequality who took the brunt while said lefties had fun with austerity and made careers off it?

11- How will you be deciding a figure? What measure are you using to decider how much is enough to live on. Do you know anyone who can live on the 100quid a week or 74quid a week so far suggested? Because even people on the lowest single persons rate of JSA need housing benefit to live independently. How are you finding a figure that releases 64 million people from work when the median wage is 27grand a year? Who will live on this 100 a week, is it just the poorest? Could you live on 100quid?

12- Financial instability. We currently have issues with financial instability and our benefits system will turn outo be a key institution which stabilises our economy. Which is only going to increase in importance as we consider the ramifications of the increasingly important care economy. It fulfils this function because it is a natual reflection of the market economy and the ceiling of any cash transfer system will automatically reflect the lowest living wage, As seen by housing benefit bill(see question 1). How will UBI do this?

13- Tax credit claims are the only recordable measurable and quantifiable subsidy employers who pay no tax receive. Measurement of this is going to be quite important if we cant tax capiatl because revenue raising. How will UBI do this?

14- If you need an additional benefits system to fulfil the above functions, what specific problem in the UK benefits system does basic income solve?

15- how do you propose, if UBI is a goer(its not) to prevent the level of state control that a universal basic income would entail being used to abuse people. It took 70 years for social security to transform into labour market activation and abuse of those already covered by equality legislatoin You are saying 64 million peopke should be handed to state control.. What mechanism do you propose to prevent this happening when the entire country is under state control?

16- Self employed people. We have more and more self employed people, many with kids. They currently can claim tax credits and amounts change accordiing to fluctuating earnings. How does set rate UBI address this.

If you get past question 2, Ill be very surprised.

 

UBI is a euphemism for I dont understand welfare, I dont understand what happene dto our welfare system and I dont know any poor people and will never have to live on it. It is a regressive transfer of money from the poorest to the middle classes, from women to men, from those suffering race inequality to white people, from those with disabilities to the able bodied. Our last benefits system held out for 70 years before the context changed significantly enough round it that we need to replace it. How long will UBI last and how will it respond to changing economic and social circumstancesthat cannot be predicted? How long before a right wing think tank use the ideas of these pointless lefty dipshits to liquidate our welfare state for good? It doesnt cost money to stop using our benefits system to abuse people. It saves money. It doesnt cost money to simplify our benefits system it saves money. Only by assessing how social and economic context changed during its lifespan can you assess what is wrong with it and how to fix it. UBI is a way to avoid doing that and is dangerous nonsense that would be paid for by generations of people who are not connected to these lefty dipshits. for the next 70 years.

 

By the end of question 2 the answer will be we will have two benefits systems. All that happend with this one was that it was built around unemployed men and then it turned out not to be about unemployment at all. For 70 years those on the bottom tier were the undeserving. They want this recreated.

 

Adam Perkins: Welfare Trait

I just cited Adam Perkins in an essay. The essay was looking at the dramatic change in family structures and demographics in the twentieth century, and the crisis in institutions still bult around the unpaid carer, breadwinner family model of the pre-World War 2 period. The transformation of the family organisation in the twentieth century, combined with increased female economic independence, ageing populations, and falling fertility rates, is crucical to understanding the crisis across institutions concerned with social reproduction. It didn’t start with the welfare state, it started a long time before World War 2, but it was evident by the 1960s when divorce overtook widowhood as the reason for lone parenting.

This tension between changing demographics and institutional structures has been brought into relief since the financial crisis. Our social care crisis, our benefits crisis. Understanding inequality requires the syntheisis of many disciplines, economics, social policy, law, sociology, psychology, philosophy, psychiatry, child development, mediciine, education, disciplines across health, labour market studies, welfare state scholarship…the list is endless. Many established disciplines with long academic histories, contained in academics institutions all over the UK.

This essay was particularly concerned with the institutional structure of our benefits system and the impact of changing demographics and evolution of disciplines like social work. Social work itself is  not really an academic discipline, its a vocation which requires synthesis of other disciplines to inform decision making.

Anyway, we have a cyclical economy, and one of things that happens when institutional structures go into crisis as a result of changes as significant as the one we are in now, is that people reach out for pseudoscience to explain things that make them anxious. Lone parents make people anxious, because the traditional family form lasted for thousands of years and lone parents are the firstt visible manifestation of that change. With reference to our inequality crisis, we have to look beyond this at the intergenerational reciprocity implications of changing family forms, and really place that in an economic, social, and institutional context. Intergenerational ties become more significant as new stable family forms emerge as an evolution of the traditional nuclear family.

I cited Adam Perkins as an example of this pseudoscience, along with the ‘research’ Camilla Batmanghelidjh said she had that proved that brain deformation in children was directly linked to black mothers expressing sexual automomy. It harks back to similar pseudoscience in the Victorian age, with moral panic, imaginary orphans, and phrenology just a few examples. I think its very interesting that we grasp on to nonsense at times like this.

I let Adam know he had been cited. Its nice to let academics know when their work is being used. And he demanded ‘studies’. I tried not to laugh. A man who has placed his work at the intersection of so many disciplines, while clearly not expecting those disciplines to contextualise his work, whose use of stats is so dodgy that he needs a refresher course in quantitative analysis, and who misrepresented sources to create his book. A man who chose temporary media attention because his work doesn’t stand up to academic scrutiny, laughingly demanding people indulge work which defines ‘work resistant’ and ‘agreeable’ as scientific terms, demanding studies of what?

Anyway, i got into a discussion about how dangerous his work was. In normal circumstances, I would say that someone presenting faux scientific validity to arguments that support eugenics was dangerous. But I think we should put it into context. The institutional crisis we are in the middle of is reaching an interesting stage. IDS resigning has pierced a benefits blueprint that has existed for 70 years, and the media that underpinned this blueprint since Beveridge are dying. They moved into a chatroom and declared it their future. While the use of synthetic inequality modelling using public attitudes as an evidence base have provided the basis of economic and social policy modelling, Piketty’s methodology put an end to that and we are in a period of evolution from that way of doing things. Economics and Social policy are entering a new age of empiricism which is welcome.

Outside how interesting it is that as we reach the end of an inequality cycle, with institutional crisis at its core, that media are grasping onto pseudoscience reminiscent of the Victorian age, I don’t really think he is dangerous. He has just flushed his academic career down the toilet for media attention he could have got tweeting. His work exists at the intersection of many academic disciplines, and he can’t get it peer reviewed as a result. He has written an epitaph to his career that suggests the accusation of ‘welfare trait’ is a projection of his feelings about himself. I wish him luck, but outside citing him as an example of an interesting phenomena, I don’t really see how the nonsense he wrote is worthy of debate.

 

PS Adam- Social work is not a job for the agreeable. Its about assessing harm and being able to say to people they are harming their children to their faces, it requires a complete disregard for being liked. It does require the ability to synthesise disciplines, which is how I understand how many disciplines your work sits at the intersection of. You might want to familiarise yourself with those disciplines, if LSE ever rebook you, because many of them are contained there. Those academics are formidable and can spot nonsense a mile off.

PS Adam, I also worked at the jobcentre. Unemployment clearly scarred you, but really you should take a look at the research which exists on our labour market. It wasn’t your fault. Your next bout might be. If you want a copy of the essay I’ll send it to you.

 

 

 

 

Aaron Bastani and Left wing media cultures

It is no secret that this blog and my twitter feed has largely been used to deconstruct the culture who define themselves with the word left. First of all we need to define our terms. Left in this instance does not relate to an ideological perspective. It relates to a culture. A very very small culture I came into contact with when I was asked to speak at Oxford University. This cohort at Oxford produced Laurie Penny, Owen Jones, james Butler, and their wider social network is a very small social network who have developed hierarchies that can only exist because democracy has been absorbed by media. We are discussing the glass floor for posh kids. What the ones who are unqualified to do anything else do to get into media and politics. The Guardian, the New Statesman. A protective seal around the media and politics establishment.

Mostly these kids, and we are talking about young post adolescents in a period of identity formation, while they try to climb onto establishment hierarchies, live in a fantasy world. We are talking about the student societies, who in most universties are populated by people who can’t be arsed going to lectures and grow out of it. In these universities at the apex of class reproduction, structures have emerged in the pointless fringes of student politics, which allow them entry to the media and political system that has absorbed our democracy. So they don’t. See Seamus Milne. That small social network, no bigger than the group of friends you knew at university, expect to inherit the power of media and by virtue of Oxbridge and London University cushions they usually would. I know this because I now attend LSE and can see the structures that underpin this glass floor for posh kids. They are objects of ridicule in their world. The wolfie smith phase.

I was invited to Oxford to discuss austerity and the way it would target institutions concerned with social reproduction, the way it would target women. Mothers. Institutins like child protection, our benefits system, the NHS.This is the economy concerned with social reproduction. Raising kids, caring for old people, health, education. Mainly women working in it by the way.

I met these people and observed how our ‘new’ and old media and politics cultures are underpinned by social network firmly rooted in elite institutions that most people are barred from by cost or circumstance. I am very grateful to them for demonstrating this. Had I not met these people, and had the extraordinary experience of witnessing their culture prevent challenge to austerity while building careers off it, while watching my trade union demonstrate the cost of the preservation of left wing culture, at the expense of the most vulnerable people in the country, I would probably be calling myself a lefty still. Had I not witnessed them demand that their small social network be considered half the political spectrum in a country of 64 million people, I probably wouldnt have believed it. Poshest people I have ever met and mindbogglingly stupid, utterly deranged. Debate just infantile enough to fulfil the mainstream media’s requirement and to discredit challenge to the status quo.

What is important about this culture is the structure of the debate they sell. Because it is largely the preservation of fictions about what happened during deindustrialisation, the preservation of a distinct culture, they provide a barrier. They have preserved the memory of the old left to give them a political identity. A barrier that ensures the institutions hammered by austerity had no connection to media, to politics, and increasingly to activism. They live on fairy stories about old left exploits, they recite them in university bedrooms and unlike most student’radicals’ who grow out of it, they expect their delusions to be shared. The have retained the toxic masculinity of the old left, and combined it with an elitism uphed by a tiny social network, and are dangerous. James Butler, Adam Ramsay and their friends led sustained harassment of me because I discussed what happens in child protection teams during strikes. If the needs of child come first, then you pay into the strike fund and you put that child first, perhaps nominating someone to come out for you. This is the difference between institutions concerned with social reproduction, and industry affected by the long gone battles with Thatcher. The care labour that is involved in healthcare, social care, childrens services, cant ever cease, because vulnerable people get hurt. Your duty is to them, not to your employer, not to anyone else. Your colleagues know this and solidarity means supporting each other while putting those people first.

The elite Oxbridge left took their offline social network, online, and truly expected their infantile not very radical politics, to supercede discussion of austerity. As we see with novara media, and the careers of Owen Jones, Laurie Penny, and Aaron and James, they saw austerity as their opportunity and twitter as the digital environment where they would inherit media power over 64 million people. They truly believed the delusions that bind their culture, and having rarely mixed in a world where the idea of defining yourself with the word left is absurd, assumed they had the right to behave as they chose. Which I found out to my cost as I was targeted for weeks by elite students shouting scab, in an effort to teach me about a class solidarity that requires them inheriting media power by virtue of attendance at an elite institution. They truly believe you can inherit media power over 64million people via chatroom and you dont have to win an election to do so.

The reason I critiqued the role of the left in preventing discussion of austerity was this. We are at the end of an inequality cycle. Our economy is cyclical. The reason the climate we are in is reminiscent of the 30s is because our economy is cyclical and history doesnt repeat but it rhymes. I know my history and knew that one of the processes taht would have to happen was that the protective seal around a dead centre position would have to break. I knew this was the last days of the left.

I knew that recording how the left prevented challenge to austerity, how they operated as a protective seal around the media establishment, was important. Is important. Its going to be very important in future, once a new centre position is found. There is no danger, ever, of the left taking power. That is not their function. They are the electric fence to change, as they so kindly demonstrate. They confuse their identity and their function, because they need to carry out their function sincerely.

In addition to this critique of the way in which left wing cultures situated entirely in elite institutions prevented discussion of austerity, and exploited it to create new pathways to media, I developed a critique of the relationship between our social policy, inequality, and our economy. I was able to do this because they showed they were frightened of someone who didnt view their culture as a valid seal around democracy. I was able to do this because I have spent my life in the institutions targeted by austerity and I understand their history. I understand why toxic masculine leftism is not appropriate union leadership for institutions staffed by millions of women, who by definition are politically neutral. I know why inequality can’t be addressed on a left right axes. At LSE I have learned this is deep rooted and wound into conceptulisations of equality in legislation, in disciplines concerned with social policy and economics.

As a result of doing this my daughter was put at risk. Not once. Not twice. But repeatedly. Largely because people like Laurie Penny, James Butler, and the elite brats around them,dont know how to behave with accountability. Because they have never had to. Or expected to. Its a fun day out to put a mask on and beat up a policeman at a protest. They think its their right. Its the same entitlement that afflicts the Bullingdon club. The same use of social network to form identities which entitle you to something. Its not that they wont accept that a country of 64 million people, a modern democratic and developed state, don’t have to get into line behind them because they chose the word left at university, they can’t. And because largely they don’t have any connection with austerity beyond the belief that its their opportunity, and they perform the function of a seal around the establishment, its not possible for them to know the impact of what they do. A single mother with a five year old is ‘the poor’  in their world, and can be targeted in that way for falling outside what an object in their political identity should do. Its a class thing. An entitlement thing. Its acceptable to tafrget a mother and child because she behaved in a way that transgressed their social norms. The fringes of the establishment.

The reason I kept this record is not obsession, it has been useful that left wing elite cultures moved into a chatroom and declared it their future. The reason I did it and continue to do so, is that in about five, maybe ten years, I will need that record. Because we are in the middle of a very important period in history. And the record of the left seal breaking around the neo liberal centre position is important. My aim is the same as it was when I started. To find out why equality could just be rolled back for working class women. It turned out that understanding the left was important in undefrstanding how that could happen. That all the democratic mechanisms that are supposed to represent the millions of women fucked over austerity, are occupied by a tiny weeny weeny elite left culture. Its why Owen Jones can go to the top of PCS direct from Oxford and then claim to be the voice of Chavs. Its why we didnt discuss political consensus on the financialisation of institutions concerned with social reproduction. Its why the fake anti-cuts movement didnt understand the connection between our benefits system and equality.  The left can’t address an inequality and instability crisis because they see themselves as mediators for the oppressed. And will bite the oppressed if challenged. They dont understand market forces. They dont understand the institutions targeted by austerity. They only know the fairy stories that preserve them and dont know why they are electorally toxic.

Its not their fault. They are merely a reflection of a problem rooted deep in elite institutions.

Today Aaron was kind enough to demonstrate something for me. The cultural norm of pathologising dissent, of wanting power but not wishing to be accountable, and of defamation and resorting to behaving like a silly little boy, is just the social norm of a media class that are dying. Because Aaron doesn’t understand the economy, society, the institutions and lives impacted by austerity and because he desperately wants to be the new generation of commentariat, he was kind enough to demonstrate. So thanks Aaron. Keep practicing the pout and the bicep curls and am sure you’ll get invited to more media events. Only Aaron you need to read your history. There was never a chance of the left taking over. The left are just the protective seal around the establishment. The record of your culture disappearing and being ridiculous is important. Nothing you broadcast on Novara is.
I will continue to critique the breakdown of this small elite social network of friends, and you need to get over it. Noone is interested in being a lefty or being part of a dying media culture. Sorry. You want to be play at being media, you need to learn the word accountability. And tell your friends that targeting single mothers is not wise. The poor are educated these days.