Much hilarity and brilliant analysis have been made about Prince Harry’s comments in the September issue of British Vogue, which was guest-edited by his wife Meghan Markle, in an interview he did with primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. When a member of the British Royal Family—who’s not expected to voice political opinions—dives in headfirst by placing himself firmly on the woke left with his take on the idea of unconscious bias, and alluding to the idea that most—or all?—people are racist, it does raise eyebrows.
Harry, the rebellious second-born child, who’s obviously not just smitten with Meghan’s personality but her liberal views as well, said:
“It’s the same as unconscious bias—something which so many people don’t understand, why they feel the way they do. Despite the fact that if you go up to someone and say, ‘What you’ve just said, or the way that you’ve behaved, is racist.’ I’m not saying that you’re a racist, I’m just saying that your unconscious bias is proving that, because of the way you were brought up, the environment you’ve been brought up in, suggests that you have this point of view—unconscious point of view—where naturally you will look at someone in a different way. And that is the point at which people start to have to understand.”
Douglas Murray responded in his brilliant article titled “Meghan and Harry are playing a dangerous game” that there are of course many natural biases that people possess—nobody would claim that humans are immune to the culture they live in. But Harry wasn’t talking about the bias to favour attractive people for jobs or life partners, or how women have a bias towards choosing financially well-to-do men—Meghan, who edited the September issue, could be an example of that (although Harry may also possess other good qualities, and Vogue may have let her edit the magazine even she didn’t look as glamorous). No, he elegantly skipped those, it was the bias that he had overcome, by marrying a bi-racial woman (Meghan’s mother is African-American), that he wanted to show up as an example of how modern, tolerant, unbiased an all-round GOOD person he is.
The rest of the interview, in a highly political issue of Vogue that features New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and (yet another) fawning portrait of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, mostly reads like a textbook exercise in saying all the right things about the environment and conservation. Most of it is well-trodden ground which everyone can agree with, lest they are a die-hard capitalist with no regard for future generations. As such, it’s not the most exciting or surprising interview, although Goodall, who is well known for her work on chimpanzees, is no doubt an inspirational character with many achievements under her belt.
But then Harry reveals his politically correct attitude to children among the millennials. “Two, maximum!” is his stance on how many offspring he wants to have. Why would Harry signal his own personal virtue in deciding to only have two children? He is yet again imposing his own views – tied in with his woke politics—onto the British public, whom he is to serve, not be a moral leader of—and we get the sense that Harry thinks he knows best, just as he does on the other subjects he’s talking about.
It could well be that the readers of Vogue are of the exact same ilk, but he should have been aware that the interview would be read by more than Vogue’s usual demographics. There’s something very tedious about a highly privileged Prince, paid for by the taxpayers, telling people how to best lead their lives. It’s moralism on a par with that of the aforementioned vegan, non-flying world traveller Greta Thunberg, who happened to be able to catch a ride on the yacht belonging to the Grimaldi family of Monaco because she wanted to travel to the US without flying, and it’s an elitist form of virtue signalling that brags rather than makes any real difference, whether we are talking about climate change or simply conserving the earth’s resources.
In fact, Harry may even be wrong. His green guilt may be heartfelt, but is his and Meghan’s choice to limit themselves to two offspring anything to be so pious about? In the UK, and most of Europe, the number of children per woman has slumped to 1.7. Around 20% of human beings don’t have children, so logically, if each family limits itself to two kids, then the world population is certain to decline. Although, if we take Harry’s words seriously, that may not be such a bad thing.
Harry seems to take the view that humans are mainly a source of evil— even teaching children to hate: “You can only be taught to hate” he claims (as if negative emotions are solely a result of nurture rather than nature), being “good at destruction” and claiming that humans are selfish: “We are the one species on this planet that seems to think that this place belongs to us, and only us.” He is of course entitled to his view, but it’s a rather gloomy and sad one for a young, privileged man, and shows a disdain for humanity. And the result of a declining population doesn’t spell good news for those who are left.
Population growth is a motor of economic growth. If Harry and Meghan get their way, economies are set to decline. This has the cost of putting greater pressure on younger generations to pay for the care of older generations. If we look to Japan, this has been the story there, and it’s not good news for the younger generation Harry says he cares so much about. The Japanese government has had to increase the pension age, and people have been driven into poverty. Similar labour shortages in countries like Austria, Germany, Sweden and Spain will depress the European Union’s economic growth by 0.4% from 2000 to 2025, and thereafter increasing to 0.9%, according to the OECD.
Harry’s statement is part of a wider sentiment that claims humans are a cancer on the planet. This anti-humanism is exemplified by the “BirthStrikers” – the women who refuse to have children until climate change is stopped—and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the rising star of the US Democrats, who pondered whether it was “OK to still have children?” It is also echoed by the UN, whose Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released a report that linked population growth and planetary disaster, and Paul Ehrlich, a Stanford University biologist who has been warning of the dangers of overpopulation since he wrote his bestseller The Population Bomb in 1968. His original view was that the earth could only sustain 500 million people, a figure that was surpassed a long time ago. Despite his failed predictions, people still take his message seriously.
Not all environmentalists take this dim view of procreation, however. According to Chelsea Follett, writing in Quillette, the so-called Enlightenment Environmentalists, most notably Dr. Steven Pinker, recognize that humans are capable of creating resources rather than just depleting them. Innovations such as nuclear power can reduce emissions, and food resources can and have increased thanks to new technology. And to paraphrase Jordan Peterson: it isn’t obvious that having fewer people will produce smarter solutions—on the contrary; more brains help our chances of coming up with more sustainable solutions.
If Prince Harry and Meghan, whose stance feminism and other social issues are well known by now—wish to continue to impose their sanctimonious, liberal views, it’s a break with royal tradition that could ultimately sow discontent about the monarchy altogether. If unelected representatives, paid for by the British citizens of all political persuasions, have a role to play, it is surely not to further their personal views, but to act as unifiers in a world that could do with a little less politicization and polarization. Ironically, those who will agree the most with the young couple’s politics will be those who oppose the monarchy altogether. It may be wise for Meghan and Harry to show a little more appreciation for their privileges before lecturing to the people they are meant to represent.
Gender reveal parties have been all the rage among millennial parents. Since they began trending in 2008, they have spread like wildfire. Literally. The fad was started by Jenna Karvunidis, a blogger and self-described “DIY’er and feminist mom of all lady babies.” She concocted the party as a way to celebrate the conception of her first child, which was a hard journey for her and her husband, as she’d suffered several miscarriages along the way. Now that her firstborn is presenting along the gender spectrum, Karvunidis has regrets about creating a cultural trend that focuses so much on the sex of a child in utero.
Back in the old days, moms and dads wouldn’t know the sex of their babies until birth. There were neither ultrasounds nor sonograms that showed what was happening inside the womb. Once this tech came about, it was possible to see how the baby was doing. A side result of that in utero vision was that, if the baby was facing the right way, their penis or lack thereof would be visible. When parents learn about the gender of their babies, they are learning what sex organs the baby has. This is not entirely irrelevant information.
In spelling out her regrets, Karvunidis asks “who cares what gender the baby is?” The thing is there’s nothing shallow about wanting to know what sex your baby is, or then having an interest in what it is. Lots of people care, and they care because it is the first thing you know about your child. Before personality emerges, before eye colour is fixed, before musical talent is revealed, biological sex is known.
Biological sex is more than mere whim open for debate as soon as a child discerns that the grass is greener on the other side of the gender divide, it is a medical designation. The sex organs of a child are relevant to their health and give an indication of what they may be in for down the road.
As soon as pregnancy takes hold, a mom begins to think about the timeline for their child. Will they be healthy? What kind of stuff will they be into? Will they learn to fly planes or play pianos or travel or study? Will they want children of their own? There is another future to consider other than your own, and while biological sex is not determinative of opportunity, each has opportunities the other does not. Girls can grow up to be mothers, men fathers, these are different roles, and ignoring that fact is more regressive than acknowledging it.
Karvunidis writes of her impulse to gender reveal:
“I did at the time because we didn’t live in 2019 and didn’t know what we know now—that assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what’s between their legs.
PLOT TWIST: the world’s first gender-reveal party baby is a girl who wears suits!”
While the gender reveal party is incredibly annoying on social media, Karvunidis reasons for now eschewing it are even more annoying. Gender is not assigned at birth, instead, biological sex is ascertained by looking at a baby’s sex organs. This is how we know the difference between the male and female of the species.
Knowing a person’s biological sex is absolutely not a judgement on “their potential and talents.” This is what feminists of the late 20th century were saying all along. Women and men have potential and talents that are not determined by their being female or male. How did we land at a place where we assume that if we know a child’s biological sex that will tell us something about them other than their biological sex, the medical and health implications of same? The designations of male and female are about a person’s potential reproductive life. When a girl is born, she carries within her all the eggs she will ever have. When mothers carry girls in utero, they are also carrying their grandchildren. How is this irrelevant?
That Karvunidis’ daughter likes to wear suits is not a plot twist. Vaginas are not anathema to trousers and jackets. We live in 2019, how do we not know that already?
This impulse to declare biological sex irrelevant is not progressive, but regressive. There is an assumption that if we know biological sex, or name it, then we are making judgements about the capability of those with that sex. That is not the answer. The answer is to consider biological sex as a component of an individual, that is determinative of their reproductive potential, but not of their standing in society or their preference for how they choose to live. The flip side of saying that girls are on the gender spectrum because they like to wear suits is that the normal way to be a girl is to wear dresses and dream of housewifery. We know how stupid that is.
People are buying into progressive language about the gender spectrum without realizing that this vocabulary actually entrenches gender stereotypes instead of liberating them.
On one of the bloodiest weekends in recent American history, a reported white supremacist gunman took 20 lives in an El Paso Wal-Mart. Only 13 hours later, a reported Antifa sympathizer in Dayton, Ohio killed his sister and her boyfriend as well as seven others at a popular nightspot, though his personal motivation is still unclear. These two young men who seemingly followed opposing ideologies both saw mass violence and death as the solution.
This kind of violence doesn’t stem from either an exclusively left or right perspective, but from an undercurrent of tribalism in our society that can cause young people to feel worthless and hopeless. When people feel isolated, they reach out desperately for somewhere to belong.
Over the same weekend as this numbing violence, the young socialists of America gathered in Atlanta for an annual convention. They bickerered about the gendered use of the word “guys” and how clapping is too triggering and must be replaced by jazz hands. The live streams for the four-day event are a tragicomic, yet stunningly accurate depiction of the self-parody that has become the American left. These ideologues are eating themselves alive, while completely ignoring the effect their divisive language is having on society at large.
However, divisive language is not the sole purview of the left. The right has its fair share of alienating talking points. Fox News anchors miss the mark when they spout off about the dangerous video games pose in radicalizing those like the young El Paso gunman. Xenophobic, identitarian, anti-immigration language doesn’t help either. It’s almost as if there are bad actors on both sides.
While the left blames “white supremacy” for the problem, and the right thinks that a permissive culture that advocates for violence is at fault, often refusing to acknowledge the problem of white supremacists, neither is looking at the issues that are truly tearing us apart. At the root of both the vile scourge of actual white supremacists and the fevered Antifa activist’s dream that everyone who disagrees with them is a white supremacist is the desire to categoize and group people. To put it more simply—identity politics.
Tribalism is a substantial threat to the peaceful fabric of North American life. It leads to censorship, panic, and conspiratorial thinking. We have abandoned our commonality in favour of elucidating and entrenching our differences. We point fingers and otherize, telling those different from us exactly why those differences make whatever our group is better than whatever their group is. When we box and package ourselves, we make it easier to be divided. We assemble according to shared characteristics, and bond over how different our group is from other groups. It isn’t long before groups take pride in those aspects of self that they all share, and it isn’t long after that pride in shared characteristics within the group morph into feelings of group superiority over others.
White supremacists subscribe to identity politics. They use the prevalence of cultural tribalism to be culturally tribal themselves. The left uses identity politics to unify the members of a group, and then to ascertain, identify, or invent commonalities among groups of groups. This is why the left has the appearance of being comprised of groups of groups, while the right appears to be a solid voting block. Media ideologues vie for control of the narrative, pitting labels of white supremacy against armchair diagnoses of mental illness while real life bodies pile up.
People who murder innocents do it for the same purpose: to terrorize a community and instill fear. That’s what these men were doing. Despite reasons given, whether the manifesto of the El Paso shooter, or whatever reasons we may never know from the Dayton shooter, they picked up weapons with the intent of mass murder because they felt this was the only way to assert power. It goes without saying that these were horrible, terrorist acts. But the fact is that they keep happening, with young people radicalizing on both the right and the left.
Is it likely that a boorish, politically incorrect president or hyper-realistic video games or heavy metal music (to invoke a previous social panic) are to blame for the violence of young rebels without a legitimate cause? It seems more likely that the identity politics that dictates ideological safety and group identity as more important than individual freedom and equality under the law has played a major factor.
Identity politics on the left and the right has become so insidious that people of all races, genders, orientations, and religions are afraid to find commonality. We know culture is polarized, but doesn’t have to be that way between individuals.
When people receive the message from culture at large that they’re worthless, whether for reasons of race, immigration status, or gender, how do we expect them to react? Are they just supposed to take it?
While pundits and pontificators have been quick to blame the recent violence on everything from gun laws to Trump to video games, the lowest of the low have used the recent tragedies as cudgels in order to score cheap political points. Violent tragedies like this predate any of the supposed causes that the talking heads put forward.
Every time this happens the response is the same. Calls for things to change, for gun control, more mental health education or access to care, impeaching Trump, twirl on, media. At the memorial for the victims in Dayton, the crowd chanted “do something!” That is a desperate call. What no one says is that this is definitely going to happen again.
We could clamp down on everything, but until young people feel valued by a society that seems more willing to throw them under the bus, this problem of radicalized, ostracized youth will keep getting worse.
We need to face facts. Mass violence has been around longer than Donald Trump, video games, rock music, guns, and all of the other purported causes. But the one thing that’s been around as long as mass violence is tribalism. And let’s be loud and clear about it: identity politics is tribalism. We need to understand that our differences do not make us better or worse than anyone else. If we want to live in a safer and more civil society, tribalism, on the left and right, needs to end.
A PhD student at the University of Huddersfield has found himself the subject of a formal investigation after a complaint was filed against him for “transphobia.”
Jonathan Best, who researches and teaches in the music department, broke the news on his personal Twitter, ending an extended social media break to inform his followers and friends of his situation.
Best states the letter of complaint he shared “originated with a student” but “looked like it had gone through a member of staff who submitted it” on the student’s behalf.
The letter reads that the student feared victimization and wished to remain anonymous for that reason, alleging that Best “is in direct conflict with [the University’s] social media conduct policy.” At one point, the student refers the University to Best’s social media and Medium accounts to identify more transphobia, stating “I could not go through much more without harming my own mental health.”
In its conclusion, the letter lists statistics on the drop out rates and violence perpetrated against transgender University students, asserting “we can’t treat these views as just a difference of opinion.”
In complaint file documents verified by The Post Millennial, the complainant includes several screenshots of tweets originating from Best’s personal Twitter account. The tweets are captioned with the complainant’s own interpretation of their transphobic intent.
The tweets included range from general criticism of what Best calls “trans ideology” to praise for and Graham Linehan. Linehan, the co-writer of British comedy series Father Ted, has become an outspoken critic of gender self-identification, and has voiced concern over the early transitioning of young children. In the complaint submitted to the University, the complainant alleges Linehan is a “vocally transphobic individual” with whom Best “positively associates and agree[s] with.”
The complainant also includes screenshots of articles Best has written on Medium, a self-publishing platform. The articles discuss many issues ranging from Best’s own experiences as an HIV positive gay man in the changing LGBT community, to concerns about misogyny and male self-identification in women’s spaces.
Best confirmed he is not currently on any academic penalty or suspension while the investigation is underway, also noting that this is the first complaint that has ever been filed against him.
“I have done nothing deserving of censure from the University whatever!” Best says, adding he believes he has not violated the social media conduct policy. “By any reasonable interpretation of [the policies], no. But it depends on how they are interpreted.”
The University of Huddersfield has extensive policies which appear to guide student and staff social media conduct. As Best is a PhD researcher, his complaint still falls under an allegation of being in violation of the student’s policy. In section 3.2, the policy claims that the University can take disciplinary action against students even for personal views posted to their personal social media accounts. In 3.4, students are warned against disrespecting people’s “feelings,” and that “care should be taken to avoid language which may be deemed offensive to others.”
Huddersfield also has a Trans Student Equality Policy, which outlines nine different forms of investigable discrimination and victimization against transgender students, ranging from “belittling comments” to “displaying or circulating transphobic images and literature.”
At the end of the document, transphobia is defined loosely as “A fear or dislike of transgender people.”
Best takes issue with the vagueness of the policies, stating “If non-belief in the concept of gender identity is deemed transphobic—as it is by the UK Charity Stonewall—then there is a problem with the equality policy infringing my right to free thought and expression.” He continues, “I am not transphobic, and I consider the accusation that I am to be defamatory and lacking any reasonable evidence.”
Best is expected to appear before an investigations committee on Friday, August 9th.
“I do support the University’s policy of investigating all complaints, and I will fully cooperate,” he says, “Hopefully common sense will prevail, and the complaint will be dismissed.”
The University of Huddersfield was contacted by The Post Millennial and has not responded by the time of publication.
Self-described “LGBTQ advocate” and trans woman Jessica Yaniv was to present Monday night at Township of Langley Council on the need for an LGBTQ “all-bodies” swim where no parents are present; however, Council voted to postpone Yaniv’s delegation until September.
Yaniv’s delegation request to appear before council stated she was asking for:
“Permission for LGBTQ2S+ organizations to be allowed to host an ‘All-Bodies Swim’ at TOL [Township of Langley] civic pools…for people aged 12+ where these events will be restricted to LGBTQ2S and individuals will be permitted to be topless (at their leisure), in compliance with the laws of Canada and where parents and caretakers will be prohibited from attending these events as it’s considered safe and inclusive.”
Notably, Yaniv requests that 12 be set as the minimum age for participation in the ‘all-bodies’ swim, but does not give an upper age limit. She also specifically notes that toplessness should be allowed and that parents should be banned from attending.
The previously scheduled “all-bodies” swim in Langley City was cancelled due to social media backlash after the event stated that attendees were only required to wear bottoms, leading some to deduce that this could end up being a topless pool party involving individuals ages 12-24.
Yaniv has presented to Council on ten separate occasions since the beginning of this year, usually on LGBTQ issues. On her April 15th appearance, Yaniv advocated for free tampons and pads to be placed in female, male, and gender-neutral washrooms in the Township of Langley.
On her May 27th appearance, Yaniv requested the creation of a local LGBTQ school program where youth can learn about how to take hormones to change their gender. During that delegation, Yaniv wore a tiara, pageant dress, and cleavage enhancers that were seemingly left visible on purpose.
It is somewhat peculiar that Yaniv would choose to present on a topic involving the bodies of young people, given that Yaniv appears to have solicited advice about approaching preteen girls in leaked Facebook message screenshots.
Yaniv asked questions such as “is it weird to ask a 10-12 year old girl for a pad? Or a tampon? … should I give her one and instruct her on how to use it?” and “If there’s like 30 girls in the change room, how many of them would you say are out there changing freely with their vaginas and tits out?”
Yaniv has denied that she sent the messages seen in the screenshots.
Yaniv has also filed 16 complaints with the BC Human Rights Tribunal against female estheticians who declined to provide her with waxing services, including genital waxing.
Many of the female estheticians Yaniv filed complaints against are immigrants and have English as a second language. Yaniv has also advocated for random immigration checks in a heavily Sikh area of Surrey, British Columbia.
The BC Human Rights Tribunal decision on Yaniv’s waxing cases will be made in September, the same month in which the Township of Langley has postponed Yaniv’s “all-bodies” swim delegation until.
The Post Millennial has reached out to the Township of Langley Council for comment but has received no response from the councillors.