Monday, January 28, 2019

Gender activists want to BAN beloved 1982 British children's book Dear Zoo for being 'SEXIST' because all the animals are male

Gender activists are campaigning to ban children's lift-the-flap book Dear Zoo - because all the animals are male.

Rod Campbell's 1982 book tells the story of a young boy who writes to a zoo to ask them to send him a pet.

He then receives a series of animals including a snake, a monkey and a 'too tall' giraffe before being given a 'perfect' puppy.

But campaign group Let Toys Be Toys have now claimed the story is 'biased' - because all the animals involved are male, the Sun reported.

Jess Day, of the campaign, said: 'All the animals are male. It’s biased. Parents must demand better.'

Others have claimed the book needs a 'modern-day re-write' or to be taken off shelves entirely.

But some, including father-of-two Reuben Williams, don't see a problem with the picture book - which has sold some eight million copies worldwide. He said: 'It's a classic and a best-seller for a reason. 'There's no issue unless you make one.'

The Dear Zoo and Friends website describes the story, designed for three to five year olds, as 'a must have for every child's bookshelf'.

It says: 'Young children will love lifting the flaps to discover the animals the zoo has sent - a monkey, a lion and even an elephant! 'But will they ever manage to send the perfect pet?'

The popular story has inspired a series of spin-off tales and gifts, including pocket editions and a Dear Zoo live show.


Ben Shapiro Warns: ‘We Should Take It Seriously When the Left Says That They Don’t Like Religion’

On his daily Facebook Live and YouTube video podcast “The  Ben Shapiro Show” Thursday, host and Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Wire Ben Shapiro warned that “we should take it seriously when the left says that they don’t like religion,” suggesting that the left is using current cultural norms and the law to target Christianity and Judaism in favor of a collective, secular ethic.

“And we should take it seriously when the left says that they don’t like religion,” warned Ben Shapiro. “Because they mean it – they mean it.”

Ben Shapiro’s remarks stem from recent attacks from the left against Karen Pence for her religious views and from a recent Washington Post piece that suggests that “Western Civilization” is a racist term titled “Steve King says he was just defending ‘Western Civilization.’ That’s racist, too.”

Below is a transcript of Ben Shapiro’s comments from his show Thursday:

“And we should take it seriously when the left says that they don’t like religion.  Because they mean it – they mean it.

“By the way, they don’t like Western Civilization either, the term “Western Civilization.” There’s an actual op-ed in The Washington Post today by David Perry and Matthew Gabriele suggesting that the term “Western Civilization” is itself racist. So, they say that because Steve King once used the term “Western Civilization”, “Western Civilization” –  like, the term – is racist, which means that we have to ban the term “Western Civilization” or at least pretend that Western Civilization no longer holds.

“The truth is that a lot of the objections to Christianity and Judeo-Christian values and Western Civilization are built on a Marxist premise that America and Western Civilized countries are inherently racist, sexist, bigoted, homophobic and must be torn out by the roots.

“So, Christianity has to go because it’s bigoted. Even though Christianity, by the way— The Christian world is the basis for all the rights and freedoms that you enjoy today. I don’t care whether you are secular. I don’t care whether you are religious. We live in a world defined by the Judeo-Christian ethic. That’s what made the west different from every other place on planet earth and to pretend that that ethic was completely thrown out with the Enlightenment and what the Enlightenment was about was saying, ‘Churches are wrong. We’re just not going to do church anymore.” That is to ignore the fact that virtually every value that we hold dear is rooted in Judeo-Christian tradition.

“The most important sentence ever written in the history of humanity is that man is made in God’s image. It is the beginning and end point of virtually all moral arguments. That is an argument that is made by the Judeo-Christian religion. The argument for personal liberty, that you have inherent rights, the argument that virtue matters so that we can have freedom, all of this, arises in Western Civilization defined by these values.

“So, if you wanted to do away with those values, if you wanted the collective to be more important than the individual, the best way to do it would be to attack Christianity and Judaism at their roots, would be to attack religion and tear those away.

“And again, the ironic part of this is that this is the least threatening time for theocracy in world history, at least from the Judeo-Christian side. And we’re being treated as though Karen Pence is the true threat to liberty – Karen Pence – not the Democrats who are attempting to stop judges from being appointed to the bench based on their membership in the Knights of Columbus.”


Facebook doesn't really believe in free speech. What they believe in (and actively practice) is censorship

It’s a new year, but Americans are fighting a battle as old as the nation itself. It’s the battle to preserve our free speech and for the first time we’re losing — badly.

The new front lines of this fight are on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram and others.

2.5 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s apps, making it probably the most important social media platform. Unfortunately, its employees, from the CEO on down, don’t really believe in free speech. They believe in and actively practice censorship on a scale almost unimaginable a few years ago.

Facebook’s embattled founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and its Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg seem determined to make the situation worse. After declaring to Congress their commitment to neutrality, they made end-of-year pronouncements that both promised more censorship, and appeased the far left by vowing to involve them with “new products, features and policies.”

Facebook is now openly antagonistic toward the right. Posts aren’t just blocked by humans who decide what they do or don’t like; they are blocked by computer programs designed by humans to ensure liberal sensibilities are not offended. The New York Times says the company is monitoring “billions of posts per day in over 100 languages.” That makes what Facebook is doing almost impossible to track, until it’s too late.

The Times described a global network with more than 15,000 employees assessing content based on rulebooks more than 1,400 pages long. The rules secretly designate groups as hate organizations and are so specific they even ban certain emoji use. Hate speech mandates alone run “200 jargon-filled, head-spinning pages,” wrote The Times.

The result is chaos. There’s no consistency in what Facebook bans or doesn’t ban — except that conservatives suffer. Pro-life, pro-gun and pro-Trump content all run afoul of Facebook’s eager hate speech censors. Just days before the annual March for Life, Facebook blocked advertising for the new pro-life movie "Roe v. Wade."

Around the Fourth of July, Facebook censored a post for “hate speech.” It was the text of the Declaration of Independence.

Conservatives like Samaritan’s Purse head Franklin Graham have been targeted, as well. Graham was suspended recently for a comment he made two years ago. Facebook later apologized.

This is commonplace for conservatives. The company bans, blocks or suspends and then later apologizes … sometimes.

The radical left has no such worries. Smash Racism DC, the Antifa group that targeted Fox host Tucker Carlson’s home and threatened his wife, is still on the site. So is Splinternews, which posted the personal cell phone number of Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller. Even reprehensible anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan has a Facebook page with more than 1.1 million followers.

Facebook is escalating the problem. In November, Zuckerberg announced a new “Blueprint for Content Governance.” He wrote like he believes in free speech, saying, “The world is better…when traditional gatekeepers like governments and media companies don't control what ideas can be expressed.”

But Facebook does.

Two paragraphs later he asked, “What should be the limits to what people can express?” Then he said the site was instituting more content controls that would limit what you see “even if it doesn't actually violate our standards.” That's called shadow banning content.

Sandberg followed with an endorsement of the liberal “civil rights audit” of Facebook that included an ACLU executive and 90 left-wing groups. She called it one of her “top priorities for 2019.” That audit revealed Facebook had worked so closely with the left that it allowed “several civil rights organizations engaged in the civil rights audit to visit [the company’s] election war room.”

The report Sandberg endorsed commits Facebook to work with these left-wing groups on “content moderation,” elections, and the Orwellian-sounding idea of creating a “civil rights accountability infrastructure.”

It also expressed the need for “greater employee diversity.” When liberals say “diversity,” they mean hiring more liberals from approved special interest groups.

Facebook also engaged the law firm Covington & Burling under former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona to audit how Facebook treats conservatives. In theory, that report will get equal attention. But in practice, it won’t. It will detail the complaints conservatives have, and Facebook will throw it away. How can it do otherwise? Sandberg has publicly committed to supporting radical left-wing groups — against conservatives.

The company has committed a great deal to the left, including “addressing censorship and harmful and potentially discriminating content on the platform.” That is a direct threat against the conservative movement.

The Media Research Center, along with more than 40 other organizations and tens of millions of supporters in our Free Speech Alliance, has called for just the opposite. We put out four demands that should be endorsed by anyone truly committed to having “a platform for all ideas,” as Zuckerberg stated: 1. more transparency 2. more clarity on hate speech rules 3. an equal seat at the table for conservatives 4. embracing the First Amendment as a model for allowable speech.

Those four demands are firmly in line with America’s foundational principles of free speech. Does Facebook believe in them? Conservatives are concluding that it doesn’t. According to a McLaughlin & Associates poll, one-third (32 percent) of self-described conservatives have left or are considering leaving Facebook.

I was in the room when Zuckerberg told a gathering of conservative leaders that if Facebook’s commitment to be the platform for all ideas was not maintained, its business plan would fail. He was right.


Feminists should learn from John Howard: it’s a matter of personal choice

Janet Albrechtsen uses some Australian examples to highlight the Fascist nature of feminism. John Howard was a long-running conservative Prime Minister of Australia who still speaks out occasionally:

How galling it must be for feminists that John Howard understands modern women better than many of them do. How exasperating for them that his feminism is far more liberating for, and respectful of, women than theirs.

A few years ago, during a National Press Club address, the former prime minister suggested that a 50-50 representation of men and women in politics is utopian planning. It is not grounded in reality, he observed. In the real world, women make choices. And many choose children over a demanding career in politics. This week, Kelly O’Dwyer proved Howard’s point. Her decision to resign for deeply personal family reasons is not a defeat for women. It is a celebration of women’s choices.

The usual band of women went wild over Howard’s straightforward remark that many women choose not to go into politics for sensible reasons. It’s a killer on family life. It takes parents away from children. And many women choose not to go down that path.

How dare he suggest women might not want to aspire to a political career in numbers equal to men? What would he know? He’s plain wrong, they said back then.

And they keep saying it. Last month, in a puff piece for The Australian Women’s Weekly, former Liberal MP Julia Banks took aim at what she called “Howard-era” thinking about women and work. It’s entrenched, she insisted.

The warrior for “gender equality” who deserted the Liberal party took a swipe at Prime Minister Scott Morrison as a traditional man, a religious man whose mentor is Howard. Then she took aim at women who make different choices to hers, women who are stay-at-home mums.

“Now I don’t have an issue with stay-at-home mums,” she said. “But I do in the sense that I believe all women should be, if not at some period in their life, they should ­ensure their financial independence … and not to be dependent on anyone.”

If you think stay-at-home mums have made the wrong choice, it’s an easy leap to demand that women and men fill up parliament in equal numbers. But notice the glaring gaps in the claim by women such as Banks that a 50-50 representation in parliament is a matter of fairness?

The first, and fatal, flaw is that these faux feminists are not interested in women’s choices. Fuelled by arrogance and paternalism, they imagine that all women must choose as they do, that women will want to go in politics in equal numbers to men. Ergo, if women choose anything else, it must be a coerced choice made under the weight of structural biases, patriarchal demands.

When O’Dwyer announced her intention to leave politics at the next election, she spoke from the heart about missing special times with her children “and how many more I will miss” if she stayed. The cabinet minister said she was no longer willing to consistently miss seeing her children in the morning or at night. “They clearly want to spend more time with me too.”

Sadly, O’Dwyer felt the need to satisfy the band of feminist ideologues that ignore the beauty of women’s choices. You don’t need to choose between family and public life, she said.

But her actions spoke louder. Sacrifices are made in any career, more so in those that involve long hours away from family. After a decade in Canberra, O’Dwyer chose family over politics.

Her decision mirrors that of many women who have come or will come to the same conclusion, only sooner than she did. There is no right or wrong here, only a deeply personal decision. What is wrong is an ideology that demeans the choices women make.

I made a similar decision when a very senior Liberal suggested a nice seat in federal politics for me. My children were on the cusp of teenage years, a time when I wanted to be around them more often than not. It’s when kids think they don’t need you that maybe they do. Scheduling quality time made no sense to me, so I chose quantity and that meant saying no to politics. Working from home didn’t guarantee a bump-free ride for them or for me. But my choice to work from home to raise children will always be, for me at least, life’s greatest privilege in all its messy and demanding, frustrating and rewarding glory.

Not every woman can stay at home with their children. Money and other matters can get in the way. But when that choice exists, it should be respected and celebrated, not dismissed as part of some kind of “entrenched” patriarchy. Maybe when we celebrate caring for children, more men will embrace it too.

Alas, women who wear a feminist label on their sleeve have a nasty knack for deriding the choices of other women. Union leader Sally McManus accused O’Dwyer of “throwing in the towel”. No empathy there for O’Dwyer’s very personal reasons for leaving politics. No celebration of a woman’s desire to spend more time with her children. What a cold world McManus inhabits.

Banks has planted her red flag with the same band of ideologues. She deserves credit for winning a seat, but in the end, she was a poor fit for politics. Her feminism is not an empowering one, sitting at odds with a liberalism based on respecting individual freedom over the ­arrogance of central planners like her.

Along with Labor’s Emma Husar, Banks’s feminism is framed by gender tantrums. When women stop blaming men for their own misfortune, mistakes and misdeeds, perhaps feminism will come of age.

The siren call for 50 per cent female representation in parliament is central planning nonsense. The reality of women’s preferences suggests that a 30 per cent target is closer to the mark. Anything more exposes the second killer flaw in the “fairness” argument — it relies on discrimination in favour of women.

It is no coincidence that those who push hardest for a 50 per cent target or quota that does not reflect the full gamut of women’s choices are usually those who most need the additional 20 per cent to make it in politics.

It’s even worse in the corporate world, where the incompetence issue is more pronounced. That’s not to say there are no incompetent men in business and politics. Plenty of men need to be moved on. But to set up a system that demands promotion for those in the red zone of incompetence is a sign of how gender ideology is making the political arena, and business, dumber for a political cause.

The “gender equality” ideologues understand the golden skirts phenomenon only too well. In business, generous targets and quotas that promote the incompetent drive up the economic value of the scarce number of competent women. The incompetent love quotas because they’re in with a chance; the competent love them too because it inflates their economic value. They are swamped with offers. In politics, the neat pay-off is not so much about more money, but greater power.

Howard’s understanding of women isn’t rocket science. His feminism is not stubborn ideology. It is based on celebrating the beauty of women’s choices, something that should be the core of modern feminism.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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