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When farce becomes horror

Posted on December 20, 2022 by

One of the most memorable lectures I had as an undergraduate student at university was on Eugene Ionesco’s play “Rhinoceros”, a defining work of the Theatre Of The Absurd genre. It is both a timeless and timely text, on a par with 1984 or The Crucible.

During the opening scene, the everyman protagonist Berenger sits having coffee with a friend. Midway through their conversation, a rhino charges past the café. Berenger is startled and concerned but his friend seems unperturbed, in denial that they even saw a rhinoceros.

Throughout the rest of the play, Berenger watches in incredulity and terror as, one by one, every person around him, colleagues and friends, transform into rhinoceroses, the cause seemingly being part-infection, part-capitulation.

In the final scene, he stands at his window looking out over the carnage, and in a moment of desperation, tries to force himself to transform into a rhinoceros. Despite his efforts, he is unable to and upon regaining his senses, vows in a hopeless frenzy that he will never capitulate.

The play is often read as an analogy for how fascism and Nazism spread throughout Europe in the early 20th century but truthfully, it resonates with almost any ‘ism’ or ideology – be it Thatcherism, Marxism or gender ideology. “Blind conformity makes dangerous fools of us all”, would be the layman’s analysis.

The first rhinos heralding the arrival of gender ideology in the mainstream happened in 2015, it is generally agreed. Stonewall had firmly fastened the “T” onto “LGB” and “Women’s Studies” had been cheerfully rebranded and redrafted as “Gender Studies”. “Intersectionality” was the big fourth-wave feminist buzzword.

I was at university at the time, in my third year, and remember exactly where I was when I glimpsed the animal: in a tutorial discussing Judith Butler’s “Gender Trouble”. I’m ashamed to say, my outlook was closer to Berenger’s friend than Berenger, although I did not deny the presence of the beast. My reaction was closer to: “Oh wow, a rhino! This is fascinating! Let’s study it rather than immediately call the authorities to have it removed from civil society”.

In my defence, I was 21, extremely precocious and still suffering from imposter syndrome at being accepted into an elite university. Critical theory, as espoused by Butler, is a gift to the intellectually insecure as it wraps very simplistic ideas in poncy, impenetrable academic language and allows you to deconstruct anything, regardless of complexity, into a neat hierarchy of oppressor/oppressed.

Moreover, the theory being taught to me was presented as inherently truthful, with little or no invitation to challenge it from the tutor. The rhino was stunning and brave, not aggressive, I was informed, and no more dangerous than a strapping grey unicorn.

In 2018 I had a considerably more uncomfortable brush with the gender rhino, one that frankly left me shaken. After graduating university, my first job was in a public library. Throughout the summer we held a reading challenge for primary school children and on the sign-up forms there were three options for gender: “Boy”, “Girl” or “Other”. It was advised we asked each individual child which box they preferred to be ticked.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, a kernel of sense began to stir but not enough for me to challenge it outright. No, the harm didn’t truly hit home until a little boy, aged about six, came to the desk with his Mum, clutching a batman toy. I filled in his details then came to the dreaded gender box. Uneasily, I tried to make a joke of it, lightly prompting: “And, um…you’re a boy, yes?”

I will never forget the look of shock and hurt on his face, the confusion as he looked down at himself as if trying to understand what was making me doubt his sex. His mother narrowed her eyes at me. (I’d have gone through me for a shortcut.)

You can scoff and sneer at my stupidity for ever having gone along with this nonsense in the first place, and maybe I deserve it, but gender ideology indoctrination runs deep for the young and idealistic, cloaked in the language of virtue and kindness.

Nonetheless, at that moment the hypnosis lifted, the spell (curse?) broke. It was as stark and harrowing as, well, a two-tonne horned beast rampaging towards me: This stuff makes no sense in the real world.

Over the next few years, I began to see more and more rhinos. Pronoun badges. Bizarre new discrimination policies at work that told me if I referred to someone as ‘she’ after they announced they were a man, even if they made absolutely no change to their physicality or general demeanour, I’d be committing a transgression on a par with calling someone a racial slur.

I watched as Professor Kathleen Stock was bullied from Sussex University by a small but lethally strong stampede, cheered on by rhinos in suits in the UCU. They wreaked havoc in bookshops, stamping and eating up any text that challenged their dogma to the point the books had to be hidden away lest they be trampled. They invaded academia, publishing, the arts, the corporate world, the police force, education – even nurseries.

But that wasn’t the most horrifying thing. The most horrifying thing was witnessing people in power who were not rhinos adorning horns and painting their faces grey in a bid to appease them.

The genius of Ionesco’s play is the titular animal. Consider all the other creatures he could have chosen and why they wouldn’t have worked the same way. A chimpanzee, for instance, would have been too complex; they are too closely related to humans, too intelligent, they arguably could be won over, even communicated with to some degree. A lion or tiger or other carnivorous animal wouldn’t work either, as they’d have too much of an understandable motive in attacking humans.

But a rhinoceros is dangerous by the sheer virtue of its size and clumsiness. Any violence it commits towards humans is not because it feels threatened or wants to feed but because it’s in a bad mood and because it can.

What’s more, a rhino doesn’t have to be on the attack to do a great deal of damage. Even the most well-intentioned pack of rhinos, waddling as carefully as they can through a building, will end up crushing toes, crumbling the walls, and knocking things over that can never be repaired, all while leaving an unbelievable amount of mess behind them for other unfortunate souls to clean at risk of their own safety.

Even baby rhinos are lethal. I know because I’ve witnessed their threat first hand. This week, I and around two hundred and fifty other women and men of all ages and backgrounds went to an Edinburgh University lecture hall in George Square in the expectation of watching a documentary about women’s rights.

A handful of “trans rights activists” showed up and barricaded the doors from the inside, repeating their fascistic little act when we tried to move to Old College. Meanwhile, security stood around as gormlessly as Vladimir and Estragon at the end of the first and second act of Waiting For Godot (I’m very much in love with this theme of absurdist theatre metaphors).

To cut a long and tiresome story short, the film screening was postponed. There were plenty of us and only ten or so of them (if that) but numbers are relative when faced with creatures of unhinged anger and destructive tendencies.

It would, after all, only take a single rhino to keep an entire neighbourhood of people hiding in their houses. Seven student rhinos against a crowd of two hundred and fifty is a no-brainer when all of senior management are also sporting tusks. And my goodness, populate half of Holyrood with rhinoceroses and it’s no wonder a country of five million has been bullied into silence and/or complicity.

Scotland is set to become one of the rhinoceros capitals of the world, if it’s not already. Our Supreme Leader Of The Scottish Nation, Nicola Sturgeon has metamorphosed in the last two years from looking unnervingly tusk-y to being one of the most enormous, snorting, bullying specimens of odd-toed ungulate one could imagine on this issue.

Ironically, despite her proud rhinoceros hide, she remains astonishingly thin-skinned, and has successfully overseen the trampling of anyone who has pleaded she listens to reason, from UN experts to fathers of disabled daughters who want to ensure their little girls have only female nurses bathe and change them.

Tomorrow, Sturgeon will preside over one of the most regressive, dangerous and frankly absurd pieces of legislation the modern world has ever seen. Last week, her government successfully managed to get the word ‘woman’ redefined from an adult human female to anyone to who has a piece of paper that says they are one.

Should obtaining this piece of paper involve a rigorous, measured process that takes psychological and criminal history into serious consideration and prioritises the safety of women and children, this would be permissible to the socially liberal. Alas though, the new GRA has shamelessly scrapped all safeguarding measures. For a man to legally become a woman now – and be entitled to access all female-only facilities, be it changing rooms or prisons, all he has to do is ‘live as’ a woman (whatever the hell that means) for three months followed by a three-month ‘reflection period’.

TRA-adjacent politicians have nowhere to hide with this now. They can no longer deny that sex-based rights will be grievously compromised and that predators and fetishists now have ease of access to women (and children’s) spaces, from bathrooms to sports teams. The only argument – and I use the term loosely – left is to paint concerned individuals as hysterics: no one’s going to abuse the system, bigot! So what’s it to you?

Let’s say for the sake of argument that’s true (it’s not), that no predator will use this red carpet policy to harm women or children (they will, in droves), why would you want to vote through legislation that hypothetically enables it regardless? Why would you risk such serious danger? The odds of being struck by lightning during a storm are very long but I’m not going to wave a metal golf club in the air at the sound of thunder.

Another stroke of genius in Ionesco’s choice of the rhinoceros as allegory for blind conformity is the sheer absurdity. It’s no comedy, yet there’s a laugh-out-loud element to the idea of this graceless tank of an animal accidentally taking over the world.

It would be hard not to giggle in shock if you did see one of these dinosaur-like yet bovine creatures rampage past your window on an average Tuesday, and you probably wouldn’t want to believe the sheer ridiculousness of what you’d just witnessed, and accept the danger you and others are potentially in now.

Such is the knee-jerk disbelief many have to the dangers of self-ID and gender ideology in general. No government, not even Holyrood, would wave through something this horrifically stupid, right? I don’t know what to tell you except the truth: they have. Start panicking.

Many, if by no means all, of the women and men I am allied with in this fight for women’s rights, child safeguarding and reality are middle-aged or elderly. They are motivated by their children, grandchildren or simply a memory of a time when there was some semblance of sanity and adherence to material reality.

I’m a little different. I’m 29 now and have not yet had my children. You can’t call me a reactionary because I came of age in this culture of clownery. I am not trying to save the future as much as carve out some hope there might be one worth bringing new people into.

Tomorrow, on the the 21st of December, when women in any meaningful definition are officially written out of legal existence in Scotland, much like Berenger I will be standing at my window, looking out at my city. Unlike Berenger though, I will not be trying to force myself into a rhinoceros form. I will simply be accepting and despairing.

There is some comfort, I suppose, in the knowledge that any number of us will be refusing to capitulate and readying to fight further. But once this law is passed, as the rhinoceroses are given the green light to storm the streets in glee, it’s going to take a hell of a lot more bravery to venture outside.


Nina Welsch is a writer who blogs regularly at her excellent Substack page It’s My Room, where the original version of this article appeared.

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68 to “When farce becomes horror”

  1. Andy Ellis says:

    A powerful piece of writing. I hope more people will take heart from Nina’s bravery and her passion and take a similar stand. Even if the TRA’s prevail in Holyrood tomorrow it is incumbent on all of us to say loudly and clearly: No pasaran!

  2. And Spouse says:

    Excellent Nina, what scares me is the 7 vs 250!
    It is incredulous to believe that even although many have spoken out against this, it is “rhinoing forward” (love the images you have created for us). But hey wait, What comes Next, after they realise their power?

  3. Andrew Gordon says:

    Pretty much sums up this total shit show !
    My wife constantly berating me for banging on about GRA bill is now in my face in utter disbelief at this moronic policy, she is making herself very politically aware from a zero base and the SNP who we have both voted for in the past will not be receiving our support in future.
    The poll you posted yesterday pretty much sums it up and the SNP sticking their heads in the sand and taking votes for granted may have to take a long hard look at themselves, but as we know that will never happen as they are so far up there own arses, male female and the cant make up my minds that this nonsense will prevail.

  4. John Main says:

    To cut a long and tiresome story short, the film screening was postponed. There were plenty of us and only ten or so of them (if that) but numbers are relative when faced with creatures of unhinged anger and destructive tendencies

    And there’s me thinking that half-a-dozen good old-fashioned men would have broken down the doors and taken the protesters apart.

    Plenty of eastern Europeans who can handle themselves still around in Scotland. Maybes we should sub-contract the manly stuff to them.

  5. Confused says:

    I suppose she gets some partial kudos for “waking up” but this rotten tree grew from rotten roots that are very deep.

    Needs an essay to explain it, canny be arsed tho. Let’s be practical. First of all, you cannot “work out something reasonable” with people who are insane, they don’t understand compromise and bargaining. Go hardcore –

    People with delusions, prone to violence are a danger to the public – this gets you “sectioned”, usually; most trannies need to be sent to Carstairs, which should be expanded as necessary. No more trans menace.

    It is quite easy to wrap this nonsense up; start a mass campaign for EVERYONE in Scotland to register as trans. Make the system unworkable. Make Scotland a country of 5 million trannies. Then the whining will start about who is a “real tranny” or not; and then they have to make up some rules, about what is “real” or not. But, but

    trans-trannies are trannies! – you bigoted scum …

    Also, every woman who sees a tranny in the bogs should call the cops and make a complaint of sexual assault; drown the legal system in 20000 sexual assault claims.

    You need to break the system to restore it to sanity.

  6. Willie John says:

    There is absolutely no chance that the Tory candidate in my constituency has any chance of being elected – so at the next election that is who I will vote for. That is NOT because I wish him to win but because it will reduce the weight of the votes that the SNP expect.

    The SNP should remember that Labour used to weigh their votes, but now will likely celebrate if they manage to keep just the one MP they’ve got.

    The only niggle I’ve got tho’ – is this her cunning plan?

  7. Liz says:

    The amendment to disallow convicted sexual predators and rapists to self ID has just been voted down, 59 to 64, I think.

    Think about that, those gender nutcases have voted to allow rapists to enter all female spaces, with NO safeguards.

    Just exactly how insane are they?

    This would never have happened without Nikla fucking Sturgeon pushing it through.

    I now want Holyrood shut down.
    This may be what was wanted all along but Holyrood is a hindrance to indy, they spend megabucks on crap, all those MSPS who voted for it, deserve to be on UC.

    After all they have no skills that anyone would want to employ.

    Rhinos have more smarts than that lot.

  8. George Ferguson says:

    @John Main 7:09pm
    That reminds me of an auld Scottish saying. “3 strong men can control a street” but if truth be told you have to let the process run it’s course. I haven’t lost faith in Scottish manhood. But it is definitely not unhinged anger that is the answer. We are a long way short of uncontrolled aggression. I expect GRRB to get struck down in the fullness of time. It’s a dogs breakfast of leglisation.

  9. Mr Jones says:

    Wonderful article.

    I think Nicola Sturgeon is the perfect example of what happens when someone who is not clever is given any authority.

    She has never lived in a foreign country or done any meaningful research. She speaks no foreign languages, has never written a book. She was sacked from the career which the state had paid her to pursue. She has never done any acts of kindness. There is nothing about her which deserves praise or applause. It is beyond me how she can be elected to any role above monitor in a primary-school classroom. Even as an adult, her intellectual level is that of a primary-school child, aged around 10-12. I am serious.

    I loved the suggestion by someone that you now say “I am post-pronoun” when asked for your pronouns. It confuses the woke and worries them that they are not up with the latest revolutionary trend and might be cancelled and subject to the “wrath of the mob” themselves…

  10. Ruby says:

    Liz says:

    This would never have happened without Nikla fucking Sturgeon pushing it through.

    Agree everything with ‘Nikla fucking Sturgeon’ is always extreme look how she got folk all worked up over MeToo.

  11. Stoker says:

    Great article, thank you Nina.

    You wrote, regarding Sturgeon:
    “…has successfully overseen the trampling of anyone who has pleaded she listens to reason,”

    Last night i started watching a Netflix documentary called ‘How To Become A Tyrant’. All the usual suspects are mentioned, Hitler, Amin, Pol Pot etc. I watched 3 episodes last night and tonight i’ll watch the other 3 episodes.

    I defy *anyone* to watch this docuseries and not see Sturgeon being represented in a lot of the tactics etc. One of the obvious major differences is that Sturgeon hasn’t killed anybody, yet, but there’s always more than one road to the same destination.

    All tyrants oversee the trampling and disposing of anyone and anything that stands between them and their personal agendas. I honestly couldn’t help but associate Sturgeon with a lot of it.

    Thanks again, Nina, very timely.

  12. Haud says:

    This whole thing is utterly madness, but we all know that on here.

    But I’d suggest the vast majority of the public simply have no idea and many perhaps don’t care.

    This shit happens because not enough people stand up and fight.

  13. Chas says:

    Do people still want Independence tomorrow with the SNP/Green perverts in charge?

  14. Lekraw says:

    A really good piece, very well put.
    I despair that this has managed to go this far, and that there is seemingly no stopping the Rhinos.

    The golf in the thunderstorm analogy is perfect.
    Even if the risk is small, you just wouldn’t do it. Reason tells you it would be a bad idea. But the difference here of course is that is your own safety. It’s the safety and rights of others, women and girls, that the Scottish Rhinos seemingly have no concern for. I just don’t understand it.

  15. Kenny says:

    We do need more men to stand up and be counted on this issue. It’s not right that women should have to bear the burden of this fight just because they’ll be the ones most harmed. This is an assault on reality, objectivity, rationality and even against democracy. The Scottish Government and its vassal groups have lied at every single stage and on every single aspect of this Bill. This is The Party asking you to deny the evidence of your own eyes and ears. If the can do this, there is nothing they can’t or won’t do. It requires opposition from every single one of us.

    By the way, there’s a rally at Holyrood at 1pm tomorrow. Joanna Cherry is speaking. If you CAN make it, DO. If you’ve ever cared about this issue, tomorrow you have to show it.

  16. JGedd says:

    Yes it seems ridiculous, at first, to contemplate a scenario in which 7 people with absurd beliefs can hold off 250. However, these less-than-magnificent 7 have the law at their back. To oppose them physically would be illegal. The 250 would face censure by the media and probably actual legal sanction. The legislation passed by Holyrood ensures that women are not protected and will have no right to protection.

    (Incidentally, the infamous meeting at which Nicola Sturgeon was ‘heckled’ by a woman speaking against her retrograde ‘reforms’, did Sturgeon not apparently concede that it WAS possible that predatory men could take advantage of their new privileges? That slip could count against her, surely, should this legislation be challenged one day in court? Though a Scottish court would probably accept a feeble defence of having mis-spoke or some woolly excuse she might put forward. This has truly become a country that has gone mad.)

    By the way, that article is a scathingly accurate demolition of this nonsensical situation. Excellent writing and it’s significant that no one who believes in the trans cult can write anything as intelligent and clear-sighted as a defence or rebuttal. They deal only in magical thinking and the theatre of the absurd.

  17. Big Jock says:

    Like the Germans allowed fascism to creep in , drip by drip in the 1930s.It didn’t just happen.

    Hitler removed rights bit by bit , and created in groups and out groups. The average German woke up in 1938 and realised what they had acquiesced to. By that time it was too late. They found themselves turning into Rhinos. The ones that refused were hunted down.

    The lunatics had taken over. A small band of power mad delusional freaks. Hitler himself being the biggest freak of them all.

    Bad things only happen when good people do nothing.

  18. Ruby says:

    George Ferguson says:
    20 December, 2022 at 7:32 pm
    I haven’t lost faith in Scottish manhood.

    Men haven’t been treated very well over the last 5/10 years here in Scotland. Maybe they are not inclined to help out woman.
    I wouldn’t blame them.

    Next thing in store for men is jury-less trials.

  19. Ruby says:

    Mr Jones says:
    20 December, 2022 at 7:32 pm

    She has never lived in a foreign country or done any meaningful research.

    Agreed she seems to me to be a totally inexperienced woman in every respect.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to find out she is still a virgin.

  20. Stoker says:

    “‘Shame on you’: Protesters rage as MSPs vote down gender reform amendment”

    “More than 60 LGBT+ groups wrote to MSPs urging them to back the Bill and reject amendments that would change the “core principles” of the legislation.”

    I wonder how many of those groups are actually Scottish or based in Scotland? The answer matters because if the vast majority are from other countries then it is further confirmation that Sturgeon values the opinions of others over the opinions of the Scottish electorate – the actual folk who live here. Also over the opinions of two-thirds of her own SNP voters/members?

  21. George Ferguson says:

    @Ruby 7:52pm
    I don’t think that is a prime mover of this legislation. We have an Executive that are living in a bunker. Unresponsive to their constituents and psychologically compromised by their own frames of reference. I have spoken a lot about the women in my life and the support I continue to give them. But now the men in my life are speaking to me about this legislation. None of them support it. But now is not the time to grab the pitchforks. Let the process play out unfortunately that will impact on our chances of Independence. This legislation will be struck down in the end. Controlled aggression from males in protection for their women is premature at this juncture.

  22. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Mr Jones at 7:32 pm.

    You typed,
    “I loved the suggestion by someone that you now say “I am post-pronoun” when asked for your pronouns. It confuses the woke and worries them that they are not up with the latest revolutionary trend and might be cancelled and subject to the “wrath of the mob” themselves…”

    What a great idea!
    I don’t make much use of my GETTR account but, at the moment, in my profile, I have “Pronouns not required. Nouns: Brian, Doon.”

    I’m gonna change it to “Pronouns: I am post-pronoun.”

    Maybe we should all do the same on Twitter, Gettr and so on?

  23. Willie says:

    We vote the SNP out. Every stinking filthy one of them.

    Only through the destruction and removal of these political scum will Scotland move forward.

    Get them gone!

  24. Big Jock says:

    I suppose the biggest question in all of this. Does anyone think that Scottish people, especially young Scots. Are happier than they were when I grew up in the 80s.

    I mean that in a spiritual mental Well being aspect. From what I know. Young people are totally confused, men feel like they are scapegoated and have to apologise for being born men. As a father all this he, she, something else. Is just complicating young people’s heads at primary school.

    When the midwife said to me it was a girl , when my daughter entered the world. There was no one with a form that had three sexes on it. The whole thing is mental.

  25. Republicofscotland says:

    Thank you for that Nina Welsch, you’re spot on with your article.

  26. Roger MARTIN says:

    From my reading, there are ‘animals’ of the Rhino type in the W.E.F. Nicola Sturgeon is associated with the W.E.F. through her membership of the Rockefeller Foundation.

  27. Derek says:

    “security stood around as gormlessly as Vladimir and Estragon”

    Well, it passed the time.

  28. President Xiden says:

    Sturgeon and her band of freaks and degenerates are a danger to every woman in Scotland. How the hell anyone not a true believer in this madness can vote for her is beyond me.

  29. Merganser says:

    The only hope of salvation from this madness appears to lie in the hands of the English Tories. Has that been Nicola’s game all along, just like the Supreme Court case, to establish that Scotland is unfit to rule itself? They must have a heck of a hold over her – and for some time.

  30. Black Joan says:

    Thank you for this, Nina, and special thanks for a truly memorable image of the increasingly ridiculous and duplicitous she/her who must be obeyed:

    ” Nicola Sturgeon has metamorphosed in the last two years from looking unnervingly tusk-y to being one of the most enormous, snorting, bullying specimens of odd-toed ungulate one could imagine on this issue.”

  31. crazycat says:

    @ Stoker at 8.02

    “More than 60 LGBT+ groups wrote to MSPs urging them to back the Bill and reject amendments that would change the “core principles” of the legislation.”

    I wonder how many of those groups are actually Scottish or based in Scotland?

    It would also be instructive to know the names of the people in those groups; I’m led to believe that the personnel of the Scottish groups only number about a dozen* separate individuals, all in the same bubble, appointing each other to every board/committee.

    *that figure might be incorrect, but the general observation that they all have multiple roles seems to be true.

  32. Anne Johnston says:

    This made me cry.
    The horror.

  33. Anne Johnston says:

    Thank you Nina…a profoundly frightening piece of writing that needed written.

  34. George Ferguson says:

    @Gregor 10:17pm
    And? These organisations represent the Scottish people? I thought that was the job of the Scottish Parliament to represent their constituents?

  35. Derek says:

    “Auld Reekie Roller Derby is a women’s flat track roller derby league based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Founded in 2008, ARRD was the first Scottish Women’s Flat Track Derby Association member.”

    (according to Wikipedia)

    They used to be ARRG; Auld Reekie Roller Girls. Don’t know when the name change happened, or why.

  36. Maxxmacc says:

    An incredibly powerful and well-written article. Tomorrow is indeed a day when the Candle of Scotland gets that bit dimmer.

    As I commented before, this is a worldwide trend which has been used to trick the Left and drive them down a dead-end. The SNP wokerati have fallen for it completely, and the leadership of the party are so intent on this issue it is frightening. Someone just needs to ask NS or SR what a woman is, and the resulting fudge will turn any sensible voter off independence for life.

    Down south the policy will rightly damage the Greens, Libs, and Labour. And in the States it will harm the Democrats who have also bought into a way of thinking which was ridiculed by Monty Python a generation ago. Maybe that’s where the idea came from in the first place!

  37. gregor says:

    @George Ferguson

    re. “…thought that was the job of the Scottish Parliament to represent their constituents?”

    A parliament (with integrity) recognises its duty and values its constituents.

  38. George Ferguson says:

    @Derek 10:46pm
    Organisations that have between 30 and 60 members? . The WRI can put more people in the field.

  39. Nina Welsch is a wonderfully articulate, smart young woman. I won’t say Nina is “astute” because as a normally observant human being should see that gender ideology in nonsense,

    Keep going, Nina!

  40. gregor says:

    Emeli Sandé (2022): Brighter Days:

    “…All of a sudden sun will start to shine on you
    Know you’ve been running but now it’s time for your breakthrough
    I’ll tell you something, it’s not all for nothing – it’s true…

    Though it seems distant, know the world will change to…”:

  41. Derek says:

    “George Ferguson says:
    20 December, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    @Derek 10:46pm
    Organisations that have between 30 and 60 members? . The WRI can put more people in the field.”

    Aye, but I’m idly curious as I’ve been involved with ARRG in the past.

  42. Tom says:

    there was a brilliant production of Rhinoceros at Edinburgh’s Lyceum during the Festival in 2017, and revived the following year. Anyone else remember seeing it?

    A couple of reviews here ..

  43. akenaton says:

    We get what we deserve and whining about how awful it is then doing nothing is infantile.
    We allowed GM to be pushed through without any publicity of the still horrific STD statistics or the social damage which has ensued. Now this mad denial of biological fact and its effect on women’s rights and the protection of young children from 6 years upwards. The worst however is yet to come, with the lowering of the age of sexual consent to “adolescents”, legally categorised as young people between 13 and 17 years, we introduce a paedophile’s charter, all via a SNP administration, an administration which was obviously flawed yet many on these pages supported until the cards were laid in front of them during the A S charade.
    We do get what we deserve but it is not too late to influence our rhino population by saying right out loud that we do not support independence at any cost and would rather stay in the Union than see our women’s rights attacked our children’s safety undermined and our society decimated for money and power.

  44. George Ferguson says:

    @Derek 11:35pm
    Which means exactly?. Are you saying these selective organisations have precedence over the Scottish people?. That’s how the SNP are pushing this legislation through. By ignoring the sensibilities of the Scottish people. Doomed to failure.

  45. Derek says:

    No, I’m curious as to the reasons for the name change.

    “women’s flat track roller derby”

  46. Lorna Campbell says:

    Such an apt analogy, Nina. Thank you. Women will need to regroup and work out how we are going to take down this legislation. It must be challenged, and I wouldn’t bank on Westminster doing it even though she is in breach of UK legislation and the devolved settlement. We need to get the names of all those, of all parties, who vote for this tomorrow. Gregor, above, has given the organisations that pushed this. Any women/women’s organisation in a position to winkle out the truth of who is working for whom or who has the resources to research this can be crowd-funded. Personally, I will never vote for the SNP again, and I will be campaigning at every opportunity for women to withdraw their vote from those who did this to us and transfer it to a party/candidate who will speak for us.

    Don’t wait for an election: let your MSP, if he/she voted for this, know that you will be withdrawing your vote and support. We could also print out large posters with all their names and party on them and stick them in prominent places all over the country. A lady in England, Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull and women who support her have been stickering women’s facilities for a while now. Like JKR, she is constantly harassed and threatened, and she has been assaulted by having water squirted over her. She didn’t know it was water. Similarly in America and Canada, women are starting to fight back, and, I believe, in Ireland, too, Germany, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia and everywhere else that this insanity has its grip. Our daughters and granddaughters, even though they might be captured by this madness right now, will thank us in the end for protecting them, just as we owe so much to the Suffragettes and Suffragists and latter-day feminists who fought for us.

  47. George Ferguson says:

    @Lorna Campbell 12:12pm
    I wouldn’t quote Gregor as a source of reference. And how about working with men to defeat the leglisation. You reference speaking about daughters and granddaughters. Swap places with me. But I will not take up arms it’s too early for that. We keep our powder dry and exhaust all legal avenues first.

  48. Cat-Sith says:

    @Ruby 7:52pm 20th Dec
    “Men haven’t been treated very well over the last 5/10 years here in Scotland. Maybe they are not inclined to help out woman.
    I wouldn’t blame them.”

    Ruby I have to admit I am someone who initially thought “finally radical feminists getting a taste of their own medicine.” when all this started.
    This was a hideous overgeneralisation and was powered by the actions of a very specific group.
    It took me a little while to look at the wider picture of what seemed to be going on, sorry this might turn into a bit of a ramble.

    10 or 12 years ago it seemed like certain branches of Canadian and American Feminism had been kicked up into a frenzy, it as around this time the great boogieman the MRA gained popularity as a term, that is something which did spread quickly across the sea much like TRA and TERF but it was the actions I found more important.
    What I saw in online discussions and from reporting of events across the pond was pretty much a practice run for tactics and actions used by TRAs 4 or 5 years later.
    Total black and white thinking, anyone asking questions was the enemy, anyone even thinking of looking at a topic brought up or even just similar to “the other side” was to be shunned and piled upon, but most importantly that the actions being taken were good, that they were the morally right side and taking this stand made them better people.

    You had situations like people protesting a talk about Male Suicide at the University of Toronto in 2012, attempting to form a barrier so people couldn’t enter the venue, the most infamous video being of a woman screaming “fucking scum” over and over in the face of a male student who was attending to try and get some insight into why his friend had killed himself.
    I believe the reasoning for this was because the guy doing the talk had written books critical of feminism and thus anything he had to say on any topic was hateful and needed to be shutdown. I have no idea if he was actively one of their MRA enemies or just someone talking about male issues at the wrong time.

    While this is just one example it is so similar to the kind of actions seen taken against anyone speaking about Women’s Rights recently.

    As for the motivations of those involved back then and now there were or are people making money off, or gaining notoriety and advancement in certain circles by, promoting these causes, people looking for any cause where they are being told they are the good guys and are morally right in the actions they take, and people scaremongered into believing if they don’t take action they will be in terrible danger.

  49. Wilson McBride says:

    This Trans mob seem to have a lot of little Englanders within their fold.

    Hearing lots of Transvestites English accents preaching to us dumb Scots.

    Watch out for a flood of English Trannies moving North after tomorrow.

    Deport the bastards back over the border.

  50. Willie says:

    MSPs last night rejected proposed changes to the SNP’s controversial gender bill which would have stopped convicted sex offenders from self-identifying as women.

    And how many voted against. Not just the SNP. Who else. Let’s name and identify those who would support sex beasts.

  51. highlander says:

    so when every male prisoner identifies as woman what are they going to do…..

  52. PacMan says:

    JGedd says: 20 December, 2022 at 7:46 pm

    (Incidentally, the infamous meeting at which Nicola Sturgeon was ‘heckled’ by a woman speaking against her retrograde ‘reforms’, did Sturgeon not apparently concede that it WAS possible that predatory men could take advantage of their new privileges? That slip could count against her, surely, should this legislation be challenged one day in court?

    She did say.

    Much of what I’m going to say today is about male violence against women because it is men who commit violence against women. In my long experience, most men who commit violence against women don’t feel the need to change gender to do that. Those who do, my argument is we should focus on them because they are men abusing a system to attack women. What we shouldn’t do is further stigmatise a group of women who are already too stigmatised.’

  53. Tim says:

    As another has said. Surely a journo can find and publish members of these pressure groups. Follow the money. Aside from that, it’s clear to me this is Sturgeons end. I feel sick Scotland has been used in this way. Scottish people don’t want it.

  54. Dorothy Devine says:

    May I offer my ‘heartfelt’ sympathy to all those SNP and Green MSPs who will lose their seats in the next election.

    I do hope each one of them has a pension portfolio fit to burst – ready for litigation.

    I consider those who vote this bill through without thought or amendment , to be a danger to women and girls – as the man said
    ‘ there is a special place in hell awaiting’

  55. gregor says:

    @George Ferguson

    re. “I wouldn’t quote Gregor as a source of reference”

    I’m sorry you have personal issues.

    I was quoting directly from the actual source, with links to the information, for public verification.

  56. Chris Darroch says:

    Just like independence…….We might find ourselves steeped in a context which causes us to maintain a larger emotional investment than is sensible. When I say, sensible, I mean that we may be over investing and wasting our time. I over invested in the Scottish independence cause. Before I sobered up a little and realised that being involved in politics, tends to generate two key emotions….practically constantly……That of anger and frustration. The more you know about politics…..the more you feel these. All the while, there was a more honest voice in the back seat of my mind…..telling me that my involvement was largely about avoiding the real difficulties in my own life and trying to achieve some form of surrogate satisfaction, as a distraction from those. Our minds are VERY adept at avoiding true effort.

    If you are being directly exposed to the outcomes of gender law in Scotland, then, for you, these issues manifest a rhino worth of importance.

    For those considering general infraction on women’s rights and identity; there is irritation and probably anger and frustration. For those who may be struggling with their sexual identity……it will probably be of great importance.

    For MOST people……..we know that these laws will make little to no valuable difference to the most dominant everyday practicalities of surviving and trying to thrive.

    The reality is….that a rhino set loose in a housing scheme….would cause little to no upheaval. And most folk would be wary at first, then find themselves driving round the grazing animal as they carry on with trying to survive or thrive. There really wouldn’t be some sort of great panic event.

    A flooding event would cause far more real problems. And flooding is something we have dealt with before and will have to do so, again.

    Intelligent people don’t require absurdity to animate any threat…. And I personally find that media genre pretentious and boring.

    In general then…..this whole issue is a storm in a teacup for the realities of the lives of most people……

    I can sympathise with both sides of this argument….because there are folk impacted either way.

    If we need to compare the degree of impact and then declare that the least impactful is the correct path…..then that is reasonable….but in reality, time always tells another truth….and the reality of moral valuation….seems to be that it is entirely relative and utilitarian.

    We can use up our time and effort… I did…..masturbating over general issue of what is right……Notionally attempting to contribute to righteousness and the movement towards what? A better human condition? Fairness? What do we actually achieve that has any useful impact? Impact on who? When? Useful over what timescale?

    When you truly….I mean truly….consider your involvement in anything…..Including politics…..You will have to default to an understanding that we act on personal emotional utility.

    Even if that involves caring about others…..We are emotionally programmed to care or not to care. Either way….we are programmed to do this by our nature/nurture happenstance.

    Consider this quandary, as a broad example of moral absurdity.

    All of the technological and social breakthroughs and advances we might care to promote as advancement and improvement……have quite naturally led to the massive increase in the human population and the, quite expected, demands on the planet.

    In simple terms….we have managed to improve the general living standards and the size of Earth’s population.

    This means that any disaster, such as flood, disease, pestilence, global warming……etc…..will affect that many more lives.

    We have achieved what…………..exactly? Created a larger potential for suffering on a larger scale…..right?

    Should we use the volume of suffering as our moral measure of success?

    Suffering how? Suffering when?

    When we factor in the larger scale….such as volume and time…..moral evaluation of anything becomes far more difficult to determine.

    When we remain with limited outlooks…..when we focus on our more local, more immediate physical and temporal position and expectation…..we can exercise our moral outrage without being hampered by the rhino or elephant of universal philosophy.

    In other words…. morality is a utility in fact……Serving our relatively present emotional needs…..whether that is being seen as a “good” person or whether that is seeking security or thrills….whatever……

    Investing in Scottish Independence or the Gender rights argument in Scotland, is, as much about our conceits and programming as seeking sex, or money, or possessions. Of course it is.

    Many of us accept that we are probably wasting our time; with most things we do. What is a best use of the time we have? Now….THAT is a question………..

  57. JockMcT says:

    Brilliant article, and from a real woman, go figure! I sense Patrick He/Whit Harvie is behind all of this, just what does he/whit the deeply mysoginistic little shit have on Sturgeon? We need a stampede for sure, and not of fkn Rhinos…Leave no Stonewall standing I say.

  58. JockMcT says:

    Chris Darroch, yeah fine, from a Man’s point of view. In your navel gazing, you miss the real point. For 50+ % of the population – i.e. the Women, this is a clear and present danger.!

  59. McDuff says:

    A thought provoking article and truly worrying.

  60. d.n. wade says:

    Excellent article – where is an Ionescu when you need one?
    Do these ideologues realise that they must, to be coherent, deny the Theory of Evolution?
    If a man transitioning needs to live as a woman for a few months, may I suggest they join the Ukrainian army, which has some 10 000 women in front line roles. This may give them a brisk course in reality, something they really seem to need.

  61. Wee Chid says:

    George Ferguson says:
    20 December, 2022 at 8:18 pm
    @Ruby 7:52pm
    ” Let the process play out unfortunately that will impact on our chances of Independence.”

    And the women who are harmed during this “playing out of the process”? Are they just collateral damage?

  62. Willie says:

    Ah good one Highlander.

    0That should What do we do when hordes of the makes in male prisons self certify and then demand, as a matter of right to be transferred to the woman’s prison.

    Chicks with dicks, the women’s prisons will be rocking. Bedlam, roll up, roll up.

  63. William Habib Steele says:

    Sturgeon has said that she cannot define what a woman is because it’s too complicated a subject. Yet she says she’s a feminist, and she knows that transwomen are women! Is she lying, or deluded, or has she some other cunning plan?

  64. Alex Pinkerton says:

    I remember watching the film version of Rhinoceros when I was about twelve. Even though it featured my two favourite comedy heroes (Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel), the sheer absurdity of it left me completely baffled.

    If only I’d known back then, that I was watching a documentary on things to come – things we’re now all living through.

    At any point now, I’m expecting Rod Serling to ring my door bell.

  65. MacCumhail says:

    As someone alluded to above in the comments, we need a full investigation into who the people in these organisations promoting this are. Who they are, who they are linked with and where their funding comes from. The funding is perhaps the most pertinent….follow the money as they say. For all of these organisations too.

  66. MacCumhail says:

    On another point, I can’t help but feel that Sturgeons goal is to turn people away from independence and destroy the movement.

    Which begs the question, if she’s not always been a plant, what the hell have her and hers been up to that is so bad that they could be persuaded to go down this route?

    Make no mistake, this has the grubby hands of the security services all over it whether or not Westminster steps in to repeal this act.

  67. Jane Bloggs says:

    The bigest disgrace for me is Elena Whitham. On record expressing her fears about GRR reform allowing male predators into women’s spaces on her Facebook a couple of years ago. Also had a piece in the local paper about “My Rape Hell” a few years back afer the opposing councillor in her then ward got a 2-page spread a week or two before. But as soon as she becomes an MSP and gets a ministerial wage, she suddenly forgets all her fears and votes it straight through. Happy to subject other women to what she went through now she’s on the gravy train. Absolute scum.

    I still have the Facebook screenshots of her comments if you’d like me to resend them!

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