Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in SpainSpanish Politics
- In case you need them, details of the 9 days of protest so far.
- Not surprisingly, Brits are advised not to set foot in Barcelona. Except for adrenalin junkies, of course.
- Looking for a really expensive honey? Try this, from Castilla y León.
- If you want to know how Spain's Queen Letizia became the ultimate modern royal style icon, you'll have to buy a copy of todays' Daily Telegraph, unless this isn't behind their paywall.
- The Aussie in the Galician campo has been having the normal little experiences of life in Spain.
- A bizarre ban on Instagram. Fotos of Galician stew breach community guidelines on the publication of graphic violence, language that incites harassment, violence and bullying or sexual activity. Admittedly, if you're not Galician, the fotos might not look terribly appetising but all the same . . . One wonders how Instagram would react to fotos of percebes.
- Vigo is sure of snow this Xmas.
- The only thing that is clear is that there won't be a Brexit by the end of October.
- I am soooo looking forward to Ffart, the Musical. Probably already written and just waiting for the loon's departure from Crazy Camelot.
- Going to be shopping on line on Black Friday? Beware of this. They know where you live. Inter mucha alia.
- So, not only Dynamic Currency Exchange but also Dynamic Pricing. Both cons on the customer. A word to be wary of.
- Have we reached 'peak insanity'? See the article below.
- Catholic readers - if any - might like to know that their church now bans the scattering or even dividing of ashes. These must be buried in an urn, at an astronomical cost, in a small bit of earth. This is to 'retain the dignity of the [carbonised] mortal remains' and is definitely not another money-generating scheme for a church which need billions to fight abuse claims. Tough times.
This is the moment we reached peak gender insanity
“This cloakroom may be used by any person regardless of gender identity or expression,” reads a notice on the toilet door of the bar I’m in on Saturday night. This is designed to give me a hit of self-importance. I have choices, options, both in terms of who I am and how I decide to express that all-important self to the world: a world waiting with bated breath for me to tell them why I’m special.
And yet I don’t feel reassured by this open-minded toilet, because everyone in the bar is drunk, the corridor it’s situated in is dimly-lit – and the only other people queuing outside it are men. So instead what I feel is uneasy, undignified, un-safe.
I’m guessing younger women are getting used to the feeling of vulnerability I felt so acutely on Saturday night. Just as British schoolgirls are getting used to their Mao-esque, gender-neutral uniforms, and “holding it in” all day at school (with the risk of contracting infections): anything to avoid using the gender-neutral toilets.
That’s when they make it into school in the first place. According to a report published earlier this month, an increasing number are so ashamed and fearful of sharing cubicles with male pupils that they’re choosing to skip the loo altogether.
British brands, meanwhile, are getting used to being bullied by the trans lobby, with Procter & Gamble one of the first to capitulate, pulling their Flora ads from Mumsnet following accusations that the parenting website was transphobic. On Saturday, Always sanitary towels caved in, agreeing to remove the ‘Venus’ symbol from the wrapping after LGBT groups complained that not everyone who has periods identifies as a woman.
Which would almost be laughable – look how far we’ve come: fighting over ownership of sanitary towels! – if it weren’t for a more devastating capitulation the very next day. This time, it was the police, who were forced to reveal on Sunday that suspected and convicted rapists are now being logged as female when arrested, if that is how they choose to identify themselves.
In a statement, South Yorkshire Police admitted: “We will accept the details that an individual provides us and treat them according[ly].” While Thames Valley Police agreed that in a situation where a rapist is brought in “a male-born person self-identifying as female should be recorded as female on our source system”.
Got it. Never mind that the legal definition of rape involves non-consensual penetration with a penis, and that by denying the existence of that penis you’re denying the existence of the weaponry used to commit that crime. Never mind that, as Nicola Williams, director of Fair Play for Women, pointed out: “It would be highly offensive to a woman who was raped to have it written down that her attacker was a female.” We’re way too far gone for either common sense or logic.
I’ve always maintained in this column that children are the biggest victims of the gender fad, and avoided looking too closely at the impact on women because… well, because feminists were top of the victim-ometer for so long that I became like a parent who had tuned out the constant whining. And because when Radio 4’s Jane Garvey tried to shed some light on the famous feminist trans feud by hosting a series of debates last year, both sides came off so appallingly that I shut them out of my mind.
But this is an attack on women. And I don’t think the leading feminist campaigner, Julie Bindel, was exaggerating when she said on Sunday: “We’re now moving towards the total elimination of women’s biology.”
This isn’t about feminists, activists, sociologists and the deliberately impenetrable jargon they all choose to use in their very public duels. And it’s not about who gets to claim periods, with all their paraphernalia, either (but have them, please, along with stretch marks, the menopause, and the certainty that you’ve been ripped off by every MOT guy you’ve come across).
This is about fragile young girls still struggling to come to terms with their own changing bodies being forced into preposterous intimacy with boys. It’s about transgender athletes like Rachel McKinnon – who won the Masters Track Cycling World Championships on Saturday for the second year running – killing women’s sports.
It’s about the series of future crimes, assaults and intimidations that will have to happen before someone works out that having a load of drunk men and women using the same toilets in bars and clubs was Not A Smart Move. It’s about rapists being indulged and coddled by the police while their victims are effectively mocked.
And it’s about knowing when we’ve reached peak gender insanity. Please God, let this be it.