Why do so many Politians have a problem with defining what a woman is? I’m pretty sure that they would have no problem with defining what a man is.
So why do they stutter and stammer when they are asked to define ‘a woman’?
Well first of all they might like to remember that approximately 50% of the human race are born with XX chromosones, with female genitalia and the ability to incubate another generation.
Men are born with XY chromosones, with male genitalia and, apart from a one-off action, have little to do with furthering the survival of the human race.
And no amount of later intervention can change the XX and XY chromosones. We are what we are – however much the medical proffession changes our bodies.
These ‘politicians’ and mainly-male-trans-right activists might also like to recall that it isn’t until a feotus is 6 weeks old that the Y chromosone kicks in to turn a feotus into male…
… as one (male) genetisist I read said: “men are simple genetically modified women”.
What a devastating thought that must be to those males who for centuries have thought they are the ‘Kings of Creation’ and have treated women as second-class citizens.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t care if men want to live their lives as women or vice versa.
But I do mind if people with XY chromosones assert that they should be treated exactly the same as those of us with XX chromosones just because they ‘think’ they are female.
A lot of people ‘think’ they are aliens, or Napolean Bonaparte – how long will it be before we must all affirm their fantasies?
17 thoughts on “I know what I am”
Excellent post and so well written. But what is that bible stuff about woman being made from one of Adams’s rib bones? Or was something lost in translation.
Thanks papa for your kind words!
As I’m sure you are aware the Bible was written (and often re-written) by men. Men who had no idea what an X chromosone was – let alone a Y chromosone. We must forgive their ignorance – they did, after all, live a very long time ago!
As I understand it, there were quite a few matriarchal societies around some 3,000+ years ago. Indeed there is still a small matriarchal ethnic group surviving in China. Been there and seen it: a fascinating area.
Patriarchal societies needed to show that women are of a lower order than men thus ‘men came first’ and ‘women were created later’ – hence the story in the Bible.
Nonetheless, I find it interesting that Orthodox Judaism still traces descent through the female line. Is this a throw-back to a matriarchal past? Or just plain commen sense!
So no… nothing has been lost in translation, As far as cynical me is concerned, it’s just a very early attempt to put women in the place that many insecure men and societies wanted to put them.
I’m hopeful that the present attempt will fail – because most men in Western civilisations do not see women as a threat to their masculinity.
Boadicea, I never had a clue that you’re so wrapped up in the “trans rights” nonsense. Neither did I ever have any idea that you’re such an ardent feminist. Even though I suspect it’d be far safer to stay well clear, there are a couple of things to which I feel compelled to take exception.
First, this “trans” stuff is not all one-way. Indeed, one of the issues occupying our elected officials at the moment is whether those who have changed from men to women should be allowed to participate in women’s sports.
Second, men being in general larger and stronger than women, it usually falls to them to support the tribe by doing the hunting and defending stuff while the females stay closer to home and usually occupy themselves with the bearing and rearing of children, plus gathering. Yes, I’m well aware of your namesake’s accomplishments but, in the end, even she was defeated by men – largely, I think, because those Romans, having had much more military experience, had developed superior battle tactics and better equipment.
Personally, I don’t care whether a man wants to become a woman or a woman wants to become a man, so long as (a) they pay the medical expense themselves without relying on public funds, and (b) they keep it to themselves rather than insisting upon rubbing society’s nose in it. Ditto “(b)” for gays. What they do on their own time should be nobody’s business but their own. I for one don’t want to hear anything about it.
Lest you wonder, I’m a man and quite happy with being male. I have no wish at all to become female and am physically attracted only to women, not to men.
I do, however, treat women as equals, provided that they themselves are reasonably equal to me. Guano, how I miss Tina!!! Now she had a mind (“a heart of gold and a mouth like a sewer,” one of her friends once said of her) that was the equal of my own. Just as well that our respective opinions on various matters were generally in perfect alignment. I acknowledge that, not all humans being created equal, one individual may be weaker than another in some area or other. That’s fine with me, so long as said individual has at least one significant offsetting quality, such as having great skill in sex. Yes, sex! Is there anything wrong with that? Why, even the Pope has now said that sex is a “beautiful thing.”
The only issue some women might take with that is that, men being typically bigger and stronger than women, they might take advantage of that difference to force themselves upon women, holding them down or even tying them up while they do their thing.
Again, why not? Even I have a side that’s one of “them,” one of those dirty old perverts all young girls should be warned about, someone who preys upon helpless women – once I’ve got them good and helpless.
Suffice it to say for the purposes of this writing that anything to do with sex – preference, change, abortion and whatever else I can’t think of at the moment – has no place in politics and should be kept widely separated from it. I don’t think the double-X-ers are likely to disagree with me on that.
On another matter, which I’ll add here because I’m too lazy to start a whole new posting, I’ve received an e-mail from Tina’s oldest and closest friend back in Wales, telling me that her oldest son committed suicide last week. What a shock! As depressed as I may be at times, I can’t imagine doing such a thing any more than I can imagine changing genders. For once in my too-long life, words failed me and the only response I could muster was the typical B.S. about how my “thoughts and prayers are with her.”
On another other matter, I’m still here, at least for the time being. I’m staying well enough, eating properly but having some difficulty sleeping well. I have to stick around; someone needs to look after dear, sweet little Max. He’s curled up behind me now, sleeping as only dogs can sleep. (Cue: sigh of envy.)
Relief is at hand: I’ve finished this writing exercise, except to wish all Charioteers a Happy Easter, “chag Pesach sameach,” “Ramadan kareem” or whatever else applies.
“apart from a one-off action, have little to do with furthering the survival of the human race.”
Such nonsense is über feministic and barely worth replying to.
I’m very much with Cogitationator. People can do as they wish in private as long as they don’t ram it down our throats.
I suspect that we are passing through a phase which won’t last long. Trans nonsense, gay marriage, surrogacy, gay couple adoption etc. is all about adult rights, some weird as they may be. We are moving through a time, which started with the baby boomers, where free love, no fault divorce, do as you please lifestyle, is seriously now being shown to have done much damage to society.
Children have no rights. Parents decide whether they will have two dads, two mums, a single parent, or even no parent. Evidence is becoming increasingly available to show how much damage this is causing to children’s lives.
The trans nonsense,the gay nonsense. the do as you wish and to hell with the others nonsense, will all pass, but probably not in our lifetimes.
My father used to say, after the age of around 80, thst he didn’t unserstand the world any longer and maybe it was time to call it a day.
I had started going along that same route until Covid hit us, or should I say covid measures hit us. It was through the covid period that I realised for sure that the world is bonkers and the only thing for an older person to do is enjoy each day for what it is and ignore the rest.
So trans nonsense, climate nonsense, and all the other nonsense which is permanently being thrown at us, doesn’t interest me so much these days. I’m more interested in whether the sea is calm for a swim, the weather is fine, the cat is purring on my lap, and most of all that FOE (Bettina) is comfortable and happy.
Feminism indeed. Most feminists I have come across in my life are those who do the most damage to the feminist movement.
Oh! Dear! It seems I have been totally misunderstood!
The only way I’m ‘wrapped up in all that trans-rights nonsense’ is to rail against it!
I thought I’d made that quite clear when I said that no amount of ‘medical intervention’ can turn a man into a woman or vice versa…
As to allowing men (in frilly skirts or even thread-bare jeans) to compete in women’s sporting events, enter female changing rooms or use female conveniences – I’m still wondering just why anyone would even consider that to be right. The sooner these ‘inclusive’ idiots wake up to reality and how women feel – the better.
I’m no feminist. I certainly do expect to given the same respect as that accorded to men. I honestly think the biggest mistake ‘feminists’ made was to take the battle for ‘Equality’ into the male arena. They should have concentrated on the value of our differing skills. On that score, Gazoopi, I agree with your final sentence.
Cog: I found your comment ‘I do, however, treat women as equals, provided that they themselves are reasonably equal to me’ rather patronising…
… having been brought up to know that anything a man can do a women can do equally well, I will say that I, also, treat the opposite sex as equals – provided they are reasonably equal to me.
I do admit that men are better at dragging home a mammoth for lunch – but that skill hasn’t been necessary in our society for some millenia – anyone can nip round a supermarket!
Gazoopi: biologically my comment “apart from a one-off action, have little to do with furthering the survival of the human race.” is absolutely accurate. It’s great if the men hang around to help change the nappies – but as far as the ‘creation’ of another human being – my description is correct.
However I do absolutely agree with both of you on the matter of whatever and however one chooses to live ones life. Providing that it does no harm to anyone else – do your own thing. I really don’t need or want to know the details…
Boadicea: More likely I expressed myself poorly (I’m running way short of sleep) than that I misunderstood you. We’re definitely on the same side when it comes to that “trans rights” stuff, which is to say dead set against it.
One thing that especially irks me in what passes for society today is that all the gay and trans types want to wave their flags (or whatever) in public, expecting people to recognize (I can’t bring myself to say “admire”) them for what they are. The hell with that, say I, my tolerance begins and ends with letting them do as they please behind closed doors/windows.
You’re not a feminist, you say? Funny, you could’ve fooled me, given some of the things you said. But you, like all of us on here, should feel free to say what you think, provided that I can reserve the right to disagree.
I wasn’t being patronizing, just realistic. I invite you to take a good look at the women out there. From what I’ve seen, many if not most of those who aren’t just plain stupid are devious, deceitful and dishonest or, at the very least, shockingly impolite. I’m sure the same goes for many if not most of the men around, but I wouldn’t know and don’t care to learn about that. I’m not any of those things and so my wish to associate with those who are more or less equal to me in such respects may be understandable. In my own not-always-so-humble opinion, dogs, cats and possibly rabbits and parrots are better companions than many if not most of the so-called humans who are running around loose.
I will admit for the record that I do consider women to be superior to men in various ways, notably the rearing of such children as any “one-off actions” may produce. I stand in awe of the level of effort and commitment they dedicate to such – much greater than is provided by the average man. Oh, and women have on average a longer lifespan. Hopefully, you won’t force me to disparage my own gender any further than that.
Now, then, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to my fantasies or, if I’m lucky, catch a quick nap that might enable me to get through all the things I have to do this afternoon.
Boadicea: It is not only Orthodox Jews. Judaism as a whole bases Jewish identity on the mother’s lineage. That came as a result of always being on the defence. In a region where most societies trace the father’s lineage, inverting that and tracing the mother’s defeats the purpose of, ahem, involuntary copulation. However horrible the process of conception was, the child would be accepted by the community as one of its own. Forced copulation would, thus, result only in swelling the ranks of the aggrieved enemy. Strictly speaking, the ethnic identity has no cut-off point, so long as it comes from the mother’s line. That is why I’m considered Jewish under Jewish law. My maternal line is entirely Jewish, even though a convenient conversion for marriage in the 1920s meant that the minister could fudge the records, so the entire family could claim to be from an old Protestant family. That came in handy in 1930s-40s in Germany. In many First Nations societies, women were given control of the economy and food. That gave them the power to block many from acting. It also forced men to negotiate with women.
There is a vocal minority who have their noses put out of joint because of dating preferences. Most heterosexual men do not want to date a transwoman, pre-or-post-op because, well, the bits aren’t quite authentic. Likewise, few gay men want to date a transman for the same reason. It’s not hatred or fear, it just feels… Off. The parts aren’t real, they’re constructed. In order to maintain a semblance of masculinity/femininity, hormones and other medications must be taken in large quantities. Is this healthy? No. Not at all. On a personal level, I have no issue with people living their lives as they see fit. I see no point in bullying, harassing or tormenting people. But… If someone lived for decades as a man, went through puberty as a man, is 6’4″ and weighs 15 stone, then please, don’t try to enter a boxing ring with a woman or try to enter a swimming competition and pretend that it’s somehow evenly matched. Please don’t think that you, as someone who achieved womanhood or manhood through medical intervention and creative fiction, know what it’s like to be a woman or a man. You might understand the aesthetic elements of womanhood/manhood, but… Do you know what it feels like to have a period? What it feels like to give birth or be pregnant? What the unpleasant parts of femininity are? Do you know what it feels like to have awkward mornings with anatomy playing up? What it feels like to be in homosocial situations? Women behave differently with women than they do with men, men behave differently with men than they do with women. If you don’t grow up with that, what would you know?
Having spent the Easter weekend as a totally feminine grandmother with our three children and partners and four grandchildren, I’m a bit late in joining in. I totally agree with Boadicea – well I would, wouldn’t I? I also agree with Christopher’s last paragraph about the disgraceful idea of those who have grown up as males competing in womens’ sports. It is obviously very sad for athletes like the African runner born with a mixture of hormones to be forbidden from competing in female events, but that’s the luck or bad luck of the draw.
As for Sturgeon’s ludicrous Gender Recognition bill, I’m glad she’s gone. And I hope Useless follows suit shortly. There are so many reports of young people who have had their bodies changed by surgery and medication and have then come to regret it. You can’t stick breasts back on, or any other bits. And the idea of children of the age of 12 starting to take pills because they think they want to be other than what they were born is ludicrous. They may spend the rest of their lives damaged and sad.
Hi Cog. I enjoyed your invitation to ‘take a good look at the women out there’…
I originally ended my comment that ‘I, also, treat the opposite sex as equals – provided they are reasonably equal to me’ with ‘Alas! they are few and far between’… but decided not to be too provocative. We seem to be on the same wave-length coming from opposite directions!
Christopher: I thought that Judaism, as a whole, recognised descent as being through the female line, but wasn’t sure enough of my facts to say so. Your reasons for that being so make perfect sense.
Can I say, that I just loved the delicate way you addressed certain issues? It was delightful. I don’t know from personal experience – but it sounds so right!
In the last few days I have read part the diary kept by the latest ‘trans’ who is advertsing Nike products… his (I refuse to call him her) comments regarding how a woman thinks or behaves is an absolute insult to any female. It is a throw back to pre-historic times.
Sheona: I would have been very surprised had you not agreed with me!
The saddest thing about allowing children to make such life-changing decisions is that, whether they be male or female, none of the ‘treatments’ will ever allow them to live their lives as either male or female. There is no ‘may’ about it. That is a fact.
Boadicea: It’s an incredibly difficult subject to discuss. It’s not one I normally would bring up, but in this context, it had to be. Judaism emerged from a region that has always been violent and unstable. It’s also been extremely patriarchal for millennia. Judaism split the difference. Men and women kept their respective roles, but laws were formulated in such a way as to give women a degree of power and protection that was nearly unheard of. To begin with, the mother keeps the children. It is her lineage that counts, not the father’s. Secondly, if a man forces himself on a woman, then he is condemned for his life to suffer the consequences. This is controversial and often misunderstood. Forcing a man to marry a woman he violated does two things. The first is that her reputation is not ruined. Until very, very recently, unmarried pregnant women (unless they were widows) were social pariahs. It didn’t matter why it happened, just that it happened. The second is that men would be forced to think about long-term consequences. The wife and her family would most certainly despise and resent him. They would make his life as unpleasant, as hellish, as possible. They would, almost certainly, remind him every day of what he had done. He would never escape the consequences of his evil deeds. Let’s not forget that Judaism has a long history of powerful women.
“In many First Nations societies, women were given control of the economy and food. That gave them the power to block many from acting. It also forced men to negotiate with women.”
I think that one sentence sums it up. “They were given control.” By whom were they given it? By men of course. Women only have any rights, including the right to vote, because men have allowed them those rights. (And what a mess they have made of it! )Women stuggled for generations for the right to education, suffrage and host of other privileges. Men submitted to their demands, but as is so amply demonstrated in the Muslim world, Afghanistan in particular, they can reverse those decisions.
Likewise, any punishments, in whatever form meted out to those break the laws, rules and taboos of society, are enacted or at least enforced by men. So when Christopher says “men were forced to negotiate with women”, they were forced by other men to do so. Without the protection of men, those women would be vulnerable to the overwhelming physical superiority of those men who did not want to negotiate. When a man violates a woman, he is justifiably apprehended and punished, or at least he should be. But guess who does the apprehension and punishment. Other men of course.
The pen may be mightier than the sword, but only men have effective use of the pen and the sword.
With respect to the original post, I have to say I found it intellectually extremely weak; puerile in fact, (though perhaps that adjective would lead to an accusation of misoginy, given the Latin root of the word). I wont say that as a heterosexual male I was insulted by it; that would afford it too much credibility. Apart from the observations regarding transgenderism, it was pure nonsense. I am still wondering what ‘Politans’ and ‘genetisists’ are.
Even Boadicea’s subsequent comment, ” having been brought up to know that (a) anything a man can do a women can do equally well, I will say that (b) I, also, treat the opposite sex as equals – provided they are reasonably equal to me.”
What utter nonsense.
(a) No they can’t
(b) You are either being dishonest or you are lacking in common sense.
The role of men in society is to:
Provide, protect and procreate.
The role of women is to:
Cook, clean and copulate.
(Ok, you can add child-raising to that, but it did not sound so good.)
So do let’s stop pretending that men and women are equal. They are not. Each gender has its strengths and weaknesses. It is preposterous to demand that men treat women as equals. Society would collapse. In fact that is what is happening precisely because women are making those demands.
As for Judaism having a long history of “powerful women”, (goodness how I hate that expression), I wonder where Christopher finds evidence of that statement. I googled (actually binged) and found this.
Perhaps he is thinking of the Bible. Wikipedia says this:
“Compared to men, relatively few women are mentioned in the Bible by name and role. Those who are mentioned include the Matriarchs Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah; Miriam the prophetess; Deborah the Judge; Huldah the prophetess; Abigail, who married David; Rahab; and the Persian Jewish queen Esther. A common phenomenon in the Bible is the pivotal role that women take in subverting man-made power structures.”
That last sentence seems pretty accuarate to me about the role of women in the modern world. But, women such as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, are only famous for being the wives of their much more famous husbands. However, the first three “powerful women” who speang to my mind were Jezebel, Delilah and Salome. In any event the Hebrew Bible is almost entirely a work of fiction, especially the Torah.
More reading here.
Christopher, you should read the Controversy of Zion, by Douglas Reed. I think you would find it interesting and enlightening.
Your response made me chuckle – it would seem that some things never change and I find it quite amusing that, quite clearly, your attitude is just as male-orientated as it ever was.
So let’s look at your comment: ‘Women only have any rights, including the right to vote, because men have allowed them those rights’…
That is based on the assumption that in all societies ‘men are the only people with power’ and the only people who can ‘allow’ women any rights.
That may well be the way that men (like you) think is the natural order – but that is only because that is the way men (like you) have used brute force (overwhelming physical superiority of those men) to enforce the notion that ‘men are the only people with power’.
In case you haven’t noticed the world has changed from when only men could bring home a mammoth for lunch… we aren’t reliant on the skills of mammoth hunters any more or, for that matter, on ‘skills of the sword’.
As for ‘skills of the pen’ – perhaps you might care to check your spelling before critising mine -no spelling mistakes in my blog – but one in yours…
Yes, Sipu. I can do anything a man can do … the only thing I might not be physically capable of doing is something that needs ‘brute force’ – but I can pay someone else to do that. So it’s irrelevant.
Your comments regarding the roles of men v. women makes me suspect that you are, as you admitted to me, merely being controvertial for the sake of being controversial! So I really cannot take your comments seriously…
Sipu: For someone who received an education of the calibre you appear to have, some of your arguments are a bit of a letdown. Take, for example, your description of the Torah followed by your recommendation of Reed. The Torah is not to be taken literally. It is a book of historical allegories. Parts of it are true, parts of it are symbolic. The point of it is to think, to question, to debate, to get to a greater truth. It is not Jewish people who treat it as absolute, literal truth. Fundamentalist Christians are the ones who do that. In contrast, Reed can be considered a writer of fiction. Fascists are no less dishonest than Communists. I see no reason to take him any more seriously than any NKVD propagandist.
I would argue that women like Lady Judith Montefiore, Minna of Speyer, Gisella Perl, Glikl of Hamlen, Golda Meir, Rahel Bluwstein, etc. to be greats in their respective fields. All were Jewish women. I could spend more time on listing great Jewish women, but I doubt it’s worth the effort. I agree with Boadicea and will defer to her arguments.
Many thanks Christopher.
I read your comment (09/04) and spent some very interesting hours reading about women in the bible – but forgot to come back to let you know you had opened a new window for me – although I was quite surprised just how many I knew.
I was very interested in your comment about the point of the Torah being ‘to think, to question, to debate, to get to a greater truth’. That is what such texts should be, in my opinion.
I distrust all ‘fundamentalists’ – be they Christian, Jewish or Muslim, the Davidians from Waco and other such cults, Fascists, Communists, and any modern-day-activists who think there are simple solutions to complex questions…
… which brings me right back to the original purpose of this blog.
I don’t need, want or will accept that a tiny percentage of the population has the right to tell me that I have to accept their definition of a woman.
And I’m even more appalled that governments around the Western World – who support my right to reject fundamentalist religions, extremist political doctrines are not standing up for my right to determine that most basic feature of my identity – my sex/gender.
Christopher, I am not sure whether I should feel flattered by your remark concerning the calibre of my education. For your information, I never made it to university or any other form of tertiary education beyond the odd course here and there. In fact, I left school with only one, rather weak A Level, and that was in Biology! So, any erudition on my part, real or imagined, has been achieved through some form of intellectual osmosis. Of course, perhaps you were being ironic, in which case you now have at least one reason for the weakness of my arguments.
While on the subject of education, it was perhaps inevitable that in my youth, having failed to make it to university, I should have acquired something of an inferiority complex about my lack of a degree. But over the past couple of decades, I have increasingly come to the conclusion that academic achievement, excellence even, does not equate to intellectual ability or the capacity to think logically and I have concluded that except in rare situations, such as certain professions, academic qualifications are worth no more than the paper on which they are written. (A little bit of Churchillian pedantry for the sake of it!) Further, it has become abundantly clear that university education has been mis-sold to younger generations as a panacea for all the economic and social woes that that they might otherwise face in this wide, wicked world. (I can do alliteration too!) Instead, ‘Uni’, another expression I abhor, has become little more than a means to financially enslave those foolish enough to succumb to its siren call (cliches too) and render them little more than automatons, forever indentured to a ruthless and uncaring governmental authority, democratic in name only.
Moving on. I specifically stated that the Hebrew Bible was a work of fiction. However, I suggested it as a potential source of your contention that there were lots of ‘powerful women’ in Jewish history. The reality being that whether recounted in fact or fiction, compared to the achievements of Jewish men, those of women, barely amount to a hill of beans. (Cinematic allusions too.) What is more, Jewish tradition and culture, as you admitted above, have always been patriarchal, and to a large extent continue, especially in more orthodox communities, to place women in distinctly separate and largely inferior roles. So, I am afraid that I take your claim of Judaism having had a long history of powerful women as being nothing more than a bit of woke sycophancy designed to placate our chieftainess! It seems you were successful in that respect.
You maintain that parts of the Torah are true and parts are symbolic. The Torah is, of course, what the Christian Bible * considers to be the Pentateuch. Since the authorship of these 5 books, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, is traditionally credited to Moses, of whom there is little or no evidence that he actually existed, I doubt you will find a single serious biblical historian who would claim that any substantial part of it is true in a factual sense. It is almost entirely a work of fiction based on Judaic folk lore and customs that were codified in the 5th century BC to enable the Judaic priesthood to consolidate its control of the tribespeople. I would rephrase your comment – ‘bits of the Torah may be true, but the vast majority is fictional and exists for symbolic purposes’.
The fictional nature of the Torah is in itself understandable perhaps given the relatively primitive state of society at that time. However, what is so insidious is the Talmud, which is the everchanging law of God that has evolved over centuries, under the tyranny of the rabbinical priesthood and the pretext that it was shared with them by God through his prophets, including Moses, to adapt to the prevailing circumstances and held like some Damoclesian Sword over the faithful to prevent them from gaining religious and social independence. (Upon reflection, I am not sure that the Sword of Damocles is exactly the right metaphor, but I like it so it shall remain). The fear of being ostracised by the Judaic community is a strong one and such excommunication represents a very harsh punishment as Baruch Spinoza and, no doubt, many others who dared challenge the rabbinical authorities discovered.
Take Stephen Wise for example. “In December 1925, Wise delivered a sermon about Jesus the Jew, making the case that Jews should view Jesus “as a great moral and ethical teacher, a Jew of whom they might be proud because of his teachings.” This sermon caused an uproar among some Jewish institutions, culminating in an edict of condemnation against him by the Agudath Harabonim, the Union of Orthodox Rabbis. Because of the outcry, Wise resigned from his position as Chairman of the United Palestine Appeal.” Orthodox Rabbis Reiterate Demand for Wise’s Resignation in Second, Milder Resolution – Jewish Telegraphic Agency (jta.org)
Back to the women; we can at least agree that it would be pointless to further extol the achievements of various Jewish women, strong or otherwise.
As for Reed, it seems very clear, though I could be mistaken, that you know, or at least knew at the time you commented, nothing about him other than what you have read in Wikipedia or some similarly biased source. As an aside, I wonder if you are aware of the extent to which Wikipedia has been captured by leftist idealogues. I first came across this phenomenon during the Covid debacle when I realised that the entries of many so-called conspiracy theorists had padlock icons attached to them meaning that they could not be edited. Any individual who opposed mainstream propaganda was labelled as being a propagator of false information, usually from the extreme right and there was nothing anyone, other than a member of Wikipedia’s inner sanctum, could do to counter these claims. Reed does not have a padlock next to his entry, but he is long gone and forgotten, he died in 1976, and few people would know enough to provide alternative characterisations of him or his work. Suffice to say while his alleged antisemitism, (he differentiates between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, which he vociferously opposed) is openly referenced, no publication would ever dare present any form of argument that supported his true position that of decrying and warning against the combined threats of Communism and Zionism.
The fact of the matter is that he was a well-respected correspondent for The Times, based in Germany in the decade or so leading up to the war. He had himself fought in the Great War, not only having suffered first hand from its horror, but also having witnessed the disastrous Allied policies and their consequences that followed. He provided his editor with numerous warnings of the dangers posed by a resentful and resurgent Germany in general and by Hitler in particular. But these were ignored and so he left the paper to write independently. His first major work was ‘Insanity Fair’, published in 1938. A more prescient account of what was about to happen can hardly be imagined. His second book, Disgrace Abounding, was equally insightful.
As a result of these bestsellers and a couple more that followed, he became known around the world for the accuracy of his foresight. But, when he started to point fingers at those (not just the Jews by any stretch) who he believed were, to varying degrees, responsible for the disastrous situation in which the world found itself, he was banned by publishers, libraries book sellers and other institutions across the globe. He was, to use the current vernacular, cancelled, long before that word had gained the ubiquity it has today following the rise of social media and woke totalitarianism.
Reed was of course blackballed, if I am allowed to use that term, primarily because of the perceived antisemitic (though as I pointed out above he maintained he was anti-Zionist) views he expressed in some of his later books. His earlier books held no such ideas and he commented favourably on his Jewish acquaintances in Germany. But when he encountered the effects of Nazi persecution, he was forced to examine its causes in more detail.
Whether or not he was at all or even considerably antisemitic, I cannot possibly say, though I can concede that he may have ended up that way. However, clearly, he was outspokenly anti-Zionist.
I should point out that Reed makes a point of distinguishing between Sephardic and Askanazi Jews. The former, in recent centuries, having been far more inclined to integrate with the native populations of the countries in which they had settled and indeed consider themselves natives of those countries, as opposed to the latter who maintained their separate identities, perpetuated a reputation and a need for victimhood (as a means to control their communities and to prevent integration) and pushed for independent nationhood.
At the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, Theodor Herzl and his Ashkenazi Zionists dominated, though Zionism itself was a goal shared by a minority of Western Jews. It was not until the Holocaust that the idea became more widely accepted. But in the intervening years, Herzl’s successor Chaim Weizmann had inveigled his way into the influence of Balfour, Lloyd George and other senior British politicians. A Palestinian Homeland soon became a certainty, no matter what the cost.
It is at this point that many people would make the giant leap from equating anti-Jewish sentiment, in whatever shade it takes (antisemitic, anti-Zionist or anti-Israel), with justification for the Holocaust. I trust you will not make that ridiculous connection. A dog that barks incessantly may be intensely annoying to a neighbour, but that does not justify the neighbour’s slaying of the animal. It does, however, explain his dislike of the dog and his animosity towards its owner. Reed had first-hand experience of the Jewish community from which, in light of the hostility fostered by the Nazis, caused him to study their history in greater depth and in a more professional manner. He makes little secret of how his own antipathy came about, citing numerous first-hand examples of behaviour that to him seemed typically representative of a set or community, rather than idiosyncratic behaviour of individuals. His academic, if I can use that word, work is backed up by numerous verifiable references. While I do not doubt that some of his conclusions are false, and possibly even occasionally preposterous, much of what he says is evidently very true. At the very least, his work provides an alternative narrative, one that needs to be considered if only so that it can be proved to be incorrect. Given his track record of earlier material, I would argue that he deserves that recognition.
Even if Reed’s later writing can be proven to be so much nonsense, it does not justify his earlier work being removed from the Second World War’s literary canon (pun, if not intended, was at least recognised the moment it appeared on my computer screen). Those works were certainly recognised and respected at that time and should continue to be treated on their own merits, just as the recordings of a once great musician can still be enjoyed even though his skills have become greatly diminished in later years. Of course, some people refuse to play Wagner or any Russian composers. More fool they.
To compare the writing of Reed with NKVD propaganda is, to put it politely, so much pretentious twaddle. One can debate the strengths and weakness of his arguments but to maintain that he had an alternative agenda, one other than what he believed to be the truth simply does not ring true.
If you won’t read The Controversy of Zion, do at least read Insanity Fair and Disgrace Abounding. From a purely historical perspective you will find them interesting seeing as how they represent the contemporary writings of a foreign observer of your country at a momentous time in its history.
* As a nominal Christian, (I do not believe in God, but I do believe that the teachings of Christ were way ahead of many other religions and am thus loyal to that faith) I have, for many years, wondered about and objected to the fact that the Church gave such credence to the Old Testament by including it as part of the Bible. It is a dreadful representation of the supposed will of the God that Christians worship. To my way of thinking, Christianity rejects so much of the Hebrew teachings which preach utter destruction and revenge as opposed to love and forgiveness. The Old Testament excludes non-Jews while the New includes all people.
Nice try, although I am tempted to quote The Bard of Avon in The Tempest, “… words, full of sound and fury, signifying … nothing”. But I shall refrain from doing so. 😎
Ah, Smug Glasses! I was tempted to quote Donald Trump in his characterisation of Kaitlan Collins at the recent CNN ‘Town Hall’, but I resisted. However, I should thank you for alerting me to the fact that the lines that you did actually quote were from the Tempest. I had no idea. Not only that, but they were the work of The Bard of Avon no less who, I deduced, must be William Shakespeare. Who’d a thunk it? Cliches, smeeches!
What, you, Will?
While on the subject of Shakespeare, I am reminded of the words of Feste, ‘Better a witty fool than a foolish wit!
With that, I suggest you scamper off and don a pair of yellow stockings, cross gartered, a style befitting your character and possibly pleasing to your mistress.