Warning to Goddess-Worshiping Women in SoCal: The Goddess Temple of Orange County is Actively Transmisogynist

[TW: transmisogyny, misgendering/third-gendering, biological essentialism]*

Via The Wild Hunt's weekly Unleash The Hounds linkspam post, I found this blog entry by Tracie Welser, a pagan woman in Southern California, about her experience with transmisogyny at the Goddess Temple of Orange County.  The short version is, at a women-only service honoring Cybele - which gives this story an extra layer of fuckery, as several Hellenismos friends of mine have pointed out that Cybele had one of the most famous orders of trans priestesses in history** - the Temple's "Presiding Priestess" Ava (I don't see how that's different from High Priestess, but in comments to the linked post she disavowed that title, so I will respect her expressed identity, which is a damn sight more than she is willing to do for trans women) made a series of comments about "the truth of womanhood" that referred to trans women as "mutilated", "not truly women" and "denying the truth of who they are".  According to Tracie, who was at the service in question, it was spoken dogmatically by a person in a position of spiritual authority, and members were then asked to "meditate on this unreality [of trans-ness versus cis-ness]".  This was not a dialogue.  This was dogma.

So, with Tracie's permission, I am sharing this information for the benefit of any pagan female readers I have who are in that area, or who may be there at some point.  The Goddess Temple of Orange County is NOT a safe space for trans women or their allies.  It is headed by a 2nd-waver who defines womanhood by the possession of a uterus (apparently, even if you have had yours removed, if you were born with one, she considers you to have an "etheric womb", which begs the question of why she doesn't consider trans women to have the same sort of "etheric womb"...).

If you want to head over to Tracie's post and jump into the conversation, be warned that Ava has showed up in comments and is defending her bigotry with the usual litany of bullshit (which she asked me to post on here when I commented to ask Tracie if she would mind me blogging about this, lolno).

*I swear to fucking god I almost feel like I could TW for "2nd-wave bullshit" at this point, and it would be pretty easily understood.  Although it might be unclear as to whether I'm referring to their cis-supremacy or their racism, so...maybe not.

**Much like the fact that it was a rite to Lilith that was the site of transmisogynistic exclusion at PantheaCon 2011, which...just read this fantastic post about the absurdity of holding a trans-exclusionary ritual to Lilith in particular.  

Some Parallels Should Never Be Drawn. Ever.

Presented without comment: a snapshot of my Google Reader this morning, as I was going through catching up on everything I'd missed over the weekend:

[image description: A screenshot of Google Reader's interface, with two items displaying one right after the other, both from the same source blog, their headlines circled in red.  The first item's headline reads "Catholic Church In Sudan Torched By Several Hundred Muslims", and is a story about geopolitical tensions between mostly-Muslim Sudan and mostly-Christian South Sudan resulting in a destroyed church.  The second item's headline reads "National Catholic Prayer Breakfast Speakers Focus On Religious Liberty", and is a story about Catholic speakers at a prayer breakfast "drawing parallels" between violent persecution of Christians in other regions of the world and the recent refusal of various government entities in the U.S. to continue to accommodate and fund religiously-motivated  discrimination by Catholic institutions.]


Dick, Pussy, Cunt, and "Die Cis Scum": Why Some Insults Are More Equal Than Others

I see this issue make the rounds occasionally, on tumblr, on twitter, on feminist blogs, and it bugs the crap out of me.  Usually because it's someone trying to discredit or deflect requests that people not use misogynist insults like "pussy" and "cunt" by saying "well if that's bad then why aren't you asking people to stop using "dick" as an insult, too?!?"  Which is manifest horseshit on several levels.

Firstly, many of the feminists/progressives I know actually *do* frown on all genitalia-related insults.  I know plenty of feminists who don't use pussy, cunt, or dick as insulting terms.  Quite often, the person at whom the "But what about dick?" (henceforth BWAD) argument is being directed falls into this category already, and the person trying to defend their use of misogynist slurs just hasn't bothered to ask before making arguments based on their assumption.  Moral of the story: ask before you base your whole argument on an assumption.

Secondly, context fucking matters.  When the use of insults based on genitalia is taking place in a culture that systematically values maleness and denigrates femaleness, using slurs based on the penis (which our culture associates exclusively with masculinity) does not have the same damaging impact that slurs based on the vulva (which our culture associates exclusively with femininity) do.  Using "dick" as an insult does not contribute to longstanding, systemic oppression of men, because such oppression simply does not exist.  For the same reason that naked dude pictures are not the same as naked lady pictures, "dick" as an insult doesn't do the same kind of cumulative cultural damage that "pussy" and "cunt" do as insults.

Thirdly, are you (where "you" = someone who has asked or is asking BWAD) seriously trying to say that "dick" as an insult is of the same level of severity and carries the same connotation as "pussy" and "cunt"?  Really?  I'm sorry, are you some kind of pandimensional being speaking to me from an alternate universe?  Because that's really the only explanation I can think of for trying to treat all three insults equally.

"Dick" as an insult ranges from mild to moderate intensity depending on the tone of the speaker, and simply means mean or rude, perhaps overly pushy or aggressive.  "Pussy" is also mild to moderate, but has a more specific connotation of cowardice and weakness, and going simply on personal observation, a man will be far more offended/upset if you call him a pussy than if you call him a dick.  Especially considering that masculinity is actually *supposed* to be aggressive and, to a point, abrasive in this culture, "dick" can be the sort of insult that signals you're doing something to be proud of, in a fucked-up sort of way.  "Dick" is still an insult, but it's the sort of insult that leaves one's all-important Masculinity Cred intact.  "Pussy", on the other hand, is deliberately calculated to cut deeper by undermining said Masculinity Cred.

And then, of course, there's "cunt".  One of the Big Bads of the insult dictionary.  Widely acknowledged as the worst thing you can call a woman - or, really, anyone.  One of the very few cuss words that is still unacceptable among most people, even people who regularly pepper their (our, cause I'm totally one of them, in case you couldn't tell) speech with "fuck".  The one you pull out when you really want to make your point that you have an epic amount of disdain and hate for someone - usually a woman.

One of these things is not like the other ones...

[TW: implied/verbal violence against trans* people]

This is actually an old draft that's been kicking around the Unfinished Thoughts black hole for awhile now, until this post on tumblr revived it the other day.  Because it basically expresses the same context-free viewpoint that makes the BWAD argument specious, and I just could not let it go without comment, especially given it dovetailed rather well with an already-mostly-written post.  Behold:
Two identical Venn diagrams stacked on top of each other, with blue and red circles and overlapping purple section.  Text used to read (it doesn't show up against this background, sorry) "If this is okay" over the first diagram, where the circles are labeled "cis" and "scum" and the overlap "cis scum", then "Then so is this" over the second, where the circles are labeled "trans" and "scum" and the overlap is "trans scum"
For those who don't know the "die cis scum" history, it's a phrase that many in the trans community on tumblr have taken to use as a rallying cry/pushback against ciscentric culture that literally kills a whole fucking lot of trans people.  I'm not going to lie, the phrase makes me mildly uncomfortable, but I absolutely understand where it's coming from and am not going to begrudge anyone their anger against a vastly more powerful group that stands a much-higher-than-is-comfortable chance of killing them, because it's not my place to police people's expressions of anger against oppression.  It was said in a moment of frustration and anger, got picked up by a lot of people, and became A Thing, with the inevitable result of a whole lot of cis people having very hurt fee-fees over it.  A backlash developed, with far too many cis people saying that Die Cis Scum makes the trans* people who use it "just as bad" as the cis people who murder and abuse trans* people.  (O rly?  Just as bad?  You have an...interesting morality scale.)  The response from many trans* people has been "It doesn't say "die cis people".  It says "die cis scum".  Are you cis, but not scum?  Then you're safe, now shut up."  Of course, backlashing cis people couldn't let it rest there.  Hence, this graphic.

Apparently, there are a whole lot of people in this world who have never heard of context before.

Following the same logic, and for the same reason, as the argument against comparing "dick" to "pussy" or "cunt" as insults, "die cis scum" and "die trans scum" are not insults that carry the same social weight.  One is an oppressed group basically shouting "fuck you" up at their oppressors, while both groups know full well they don't have the power to do much harm.  The other is the group in power, shouting "fuck you" back down the ladder as they continue to kick the people below them in the face.  They are not equivalent.  They are not equal.  Just because they use the same syntactic structure does not mean they are expressing the same kind of sentiment, because the power differential changes things.

Or, to quote an acquaintance of mine on tumblr: When we say "die cis scum", you have your feelings hurt.  When you say "die trans scum", we literally end up dead.



PSA: Rape Culture

[Crossposted from my tumblr]

Dear everyone,

When someone says you are doing something that is perpetuating or upholding or contributing in some way to "rape culture"?  Here is a list of things they are not doing:
  • Accusing you of being a rapist
  • Comparing you to a rapist
  • Saying you don't think rape is bad
  • Saying you don't care about rape victims
  • Claiming that your actions will literally cause someone to go out and rape
If you think being accused of upholding rape culture means any of these things, you are wrong, and it is because you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what rape culture means.  Here is what they are actually saying:
Your words and/or actions are in some way participating in the creation and maintenance of a social climate in which consent is minimized and/or mocked, the bodies of all people who are not men are considered public property/disposable commodities, the boundaries of people who are not men are routinely violated in ways large and small, people who are not men are actively discouraged from having and holding firm on personal boundaries via negative social feedback ("bitch", "frigid", etc), and an ever-shifting and -increasing set of required behaviors are shoveled onto people who are not men in order to prevent themselves from being raped, and if they are raped it is presumed to be because they failed in some way to meet every single one of the required behaviors and therefore they are at fault.
Or, to put it more concisely, your behavior is contributing to a cultural phenomenon that hurts and even kills a lot of people.  This is a Bad Thing.  You don't want to contribute to something that harms people, do you?

Nobody is saying, or even attempting to imply, that you are singlehandedly responsible for this social climate.  Your actions or words may be small enough that you think they are insignificant in the grander scheme of things.  But that's how these things work - a million, billion small actions, jokes, words, tropes, media depictions all act together to form a wider social climate, in much the same way that an avalanche is made of billions of individual snowflakes and a sand beach is made of billions of individual grains of sand.  Your contribution may be something as small as a lip gloss with a rape joke for a name.  Your contribution may be as eyeroll-worthy as some creeper running a public opinion poll to try to manipulate his ex into taking him back.  The size of your personal action is not the point.  The point is that you are, in some small way, contributing to the creation and maintenance of this toxic culture that really fucks people's shit up, and we are going to need you to stop doing that now, for our own safety and for the safety of others.

No, stopping you from doing your one little thing won't magically erase rape culture.  We know that.  But that's how such huge things are dismantled.  One tiny bit at a time.

This public service announcement brought to you by defensive jerks Not Getting It.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.


If you're going to lecture me on my lifestyle, you could at least use facts.

There is this image set that makes its way around tumblr every so often, generally being thoroughly debunked (which may not speak to tumblerites as a whole, but simply that I follow some very quality people), comparing the price of a fast-food meal for four people to how many! groceries! you! could! buy! for the same amount.  The prices they cite are unrealistic to the point of ridiculous, and the whole thing has that finger-wagging, paternalistic tone to it, as if poor people are just children who don't understand how to food and need to be taught so they can Make Proper Choices.  So it annoys the crap out of me every time it goes around, but I usually just reblog it with ranting of my own appended and let it go.  But this time, I saw the whole set go by - I'd only ever seen one or sometimes two of the fast-food meal ones before.  The whole series, I discovered, also includes shamey comparisons between types of grocery-store food, frozen/processed versus fresh ingredients, produce, and meat.  And that pushed me over the edge.  It's not enough that they misrepresent fast food eating on a budget (because no, nobody buys the fucking whopper meals when you're eating cheap, okay?  You buy four burgers off the dollar menu.  Or you go to Taco Hell and get a dozen tacos for $10.  When the point is to eat cheap, you eat fucking cheap, not the overpriced meals.), vastly underprice a basket of groceries, and say SEE YOU SHOULD DO THIS INSTEAD.  Now, even if you're shopping at the grocery store instead of getting fast food, you will still be judged, this time on exactly *what* you're getting!

So I decided on a whim to see what their grocery lists would actually cost if I tried to live by them.  I wrote down what all was on these lists, and today I went to the store and pretend-shopped for all of it.

For context:  I live in a smallish town on the outskirts of the Bay Area, California.  This is widely (and correctly) regarded as a really fucking expensive place to live.  The particular town I live in is a middle-to-upper-middle-class old-white-people town that sits cheek-to-jowl beside one of the poorest primarily-PoC towns in the area.  I don't shop at expensive grocery stores, however.  This is not Whole Foods or something.  I do my grocery shopping at Raley's, which is a midrange grocery chain common in this region.  (I might have done this experiment at the Safeway that's also nearby, as Safeway is generally considered to be the more bargain grocery store, but I have found over time that I spend about the same at both for the same amount of food, and often actually save better at Raley's, so.  Also I know the Raley's better and it would have taken me much longer to do this at Safeway.  What?  My time is valuable, y'all.)  So we are looking at prices at a mid-range grocery store in a middle-class area of a region that has a very high cost of living.  These grocery lists may actually cost closer to what the graphics quote them at in other regions - they feel less inaccurate to me when I consider what that would have cost when I was living and buying groceries in Tennessee, although I still think they're vastly underpricing the meat and produce.

With all that said, here are the comparisons; in the lists, their price is listed first, with my price following in parentheses; when my price includes a range, it encompasses the cheapest store-brand price or sale price, up to the brand name or non-sale price:

Image 1: Four Burger King Whopper meals ($21.76) versus this grocery list:
  • 1 box Morningstar Farms meatless burgers, $2.98 ($5.29)
  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef, $2.98 ($5.49)
  • 16 oz cashews, $4.18 ($7.99-11.96)
  • 1 lb strawberries, $1.67 ($2.50-4.99)
  • 10 lbs potatoes, $2.97 ($5)
  • 1 gallon 100% orange juice, $3.26 ($3.88)
  • 1 lb bag frozen vegetables mix, $0.98 ($2.00)
  • 1 bunch broccoli, $1.58 ($1.99)
  • 1 lb bag dry pinto beans, $1.08 ($1.69)
Their total, $21.68.  My total, $37.83-42.29.  Literally as much as two times as much as they're claiming!  It's not a perfect one-to-one comparison: my grocery store doesn't carry Morningstar, so I used the price for an equivalent box of Gardenburgers; the highest lean percentage beef they had was 93%, not 96%; and there were no 16-oz jars of cashews - my price range reflects, at the low end, a 16-oz bag of almonds (which tend to be cheaper than cashews, judging by equivalent packages of the two at other sizes), and at the high end, 2 8-oz jars of store-brand cashews.  Strawberries were on sale today, 2 for $5, but are normally $5 per one-pound package.

Image 2: A large pepperoni pizza from Domino's with an order of breadsticks ($19.98) versus this grocery list:
  • 1.25 lbs sweet Italian turkey sausage, $3.82 ($5.49)
  • 1 lb frozen tilapia filets, $3.98 ($4.99)
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey, $1.98 ($3.98-5.49)
  • 1 16-oz jar Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter, $2.38 ($3.89)
  • 1 box (40 bags) green tea, $2.58 ($3.79)
  • 1 lb bag dry lentils, $0.94 ($1.59)
  • 1 box Kashi Heart to Heart crackers, $2.98 ($2.99-3.79)
Their total, $18.66.  My total, $26.72-29.03.  Not as dramatic as the first one, but still definitely not in the under-$20 range.  My store didn't have frozen tilapia filets, so I substituted a 10-oz bag of frozen flounder, which was the cheapest of the frozen fish filets.  The Kashi crackers were on sale this week.

Image 3: An 8-piece KFC fried chicken meal bucket, with four biscuits and two sides ($19.61) versus this grocery list:
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts (fresh, not frozen), $1.96 ($6.49-9)
  • 10 lbs potatoes, $2.97 ($5)
  • 8 ears of corn, $2.00 ($4-12)
  • 1 lb of peaches, $0.98 ($2.99)
  • 1 gallon skim milk, $2.00 ($2.79-3.29)
  • 1 lb 96% lean ground beef, $2.98 ($5.49)
  • 32 oz tub Yoplait fat-free yogurt, $2.27 ($3.59)
  • 18 oz rolled oats, $1.18 ($1.98)
  • 2 lbs frozen sweet peas, $1.98 ($5)
  • 1 lb dry kidney beans, $1.22 ($1.99)
Their total, $19.54.  My total, $40.92-47.82.  More than twice as much, this time.  There are a few interesting disparities in this list, too.  The chicken breasts at my grocery store were available either in 1-lb packages for $6.49 per pound (ouch), or in a "family size" package for $1.88 per pound, but with a total price ranging from $8-10.  The corn was even worse, because the options were prepackaged four-ear-packs for $6 per pack, or the pick-and-choose selection, which was only $0.99 (per pound or per ear, it wasn't clear), but which was really gross-looking and meager (I'm not even sure there were eight ears available, total, and most of them were off-color and had chunks of corn missing from them) because it's very much not in season.

Image 4: A box of TGI Friday's jalapeno poppers and a bag of breaded cheese sticks ($10.76), versus the following grocery list:
  • 1 box Morningstar meatless burgers, $2.98 ($5.29)
  • 1 lb dry pinto beans, $1.08 ($1.69)
  • 1 lb dry kidney beans, $1.22 ($1.99)
  • 1 lb brown rice, $0.72 ($1.35
  • 2 cans Hunt's no-salt diced tomatoes, $1.84 ($3.90)
  • 18 oz jar Jif Natural Peanut Butter, $2.18 ($3.89)
  • 4 ears of corn, $1 ($2-6)
Their total, $11.02.  My total, $20.11-24.11.  I also discovered that their price estimate for the two frozen food items was about a dollar higher than I'd have paid for those same things here.  Which is...interesting, given that everything else has been more expensive for me than their graphics claim.

Image 5: A box of Delimex frozen chicken taquitos ($6.87), versus the following grocery list:
  • 1 loaf Brownberry (Oroweat) 100% whole wheat bread, $2.50 ($3-4.99)
  • 1 lb chicken breasts, $0.98 ($6.49)
  • 1 lb baby carrots, $1.44 ($1.58)
  • 1 lb bananas, $0.47 ($0.68)
  • 4 ears of corn, $1 ($2-6)
Their price, $6.39.  My price, $19.74.  I substituted Oroweat bread for Brownberry, because I recognized the packaging as it's the brand I normally buy; Brownberry must be the brand name in another region (why do companies do that, anyway? Dreyer's ice cream here has another name I've forgotten out in TN, Carls Jr. is Hardee's.  I've never understood why).  It's definitely not the budget bread, anyway - it's usually $5 a loaf, but you can catch it on sale for $3 or sometimes 2-for-$5.  Again, I found that their price for the "bad" food was actually higher than what I found; at my grocery store, Delimex brand taquitos were only $4.99, and the off-brand was $3.99.

Image 6:  A bag of Ore-Ida brand "golden crinkle" frozen french fries ($5.44), versus the following grocery list:

  • 1 lb frozen mixed vegetables, $0.98 ($2)
  • 10 lbs potatoes, $2.97 ($5)
  • 1 lb bananas, $0.47 ($0.68)
  • 1 box whole-wheat spaghetti, $0.88 ($1.69)
Their price, $5.30.  My price, $9.37.  Again, their price for the "bad" food was higher than what I found; I could buy a bag of Ore-Ida fries, same size as the one pictured, for only $3.50.

Image 7:  A 1-lb bag of Twizzlers ($1.68) versus a 6-oz bag of dried cranberries ($1.68).  I found the Twizzlers for $2.69, and the dried cranberries were either $2.59 for a 5-oz package of Ocean Spray, or $2.87 for a 6-oz bag of store-brand.  So they were still pretty close to equivalent, although I'll point out that you're getting less than half the total amount of product for the same price if you go with the "healthy" equivalent (which speaks to the sad state of food politics in this country), so if you're looking to get a tasty snack that will last you the whole week without running out, fuck it, Twizzlers it is.

Conclusion:  Their price comparisons may be accurate, if you are shopping at Walmart for all your groceries (Great Value is Walmart's store brand), and if all produce is magically always in season, and if you live in a region where the cost of living is this low.  But when you have to tack that many conditions on to make your admonition, which is addressed to the general public without any of these qualifiers, halfway believable, maybe you shouldn't be trying to generalize quite that far.

This is especially true when you're making a comparison between the price of fast food, which remains relatively constant across regions (those prices for BK and KFC ring pretty true to what I'd be paying if I bought the same stuff - maybe a few dollars cheaper, but not much), to the price of grocery store food, which is much more variable.  Under one particular set of circumstances, buying the listed groceries might actually be cheaper than buying the listed fast food meals.  But what about everyone else?  And it's in especially poor taste to chirp "No excuses!" when you put these images on your blog, without taking into account the variation in human circumstance that may make this completely implausible for a huge chunk of your audience.

And then there are all the other criticisms to be made of this approach...

1:  There are no cooking necessities included in these lists.  Not at all.  No butter, no oils, no spices, no vinegars, no cornstarch or dressings or heavy cream or flour or any of the things people use to make raw food taste *good* when it's done cooking.  Even if someone does shop off these lists, unless your kitchen is pre-stocked with accessories (which are fucking expensive to get started with, those little bottles of spices are at least $5 a pop, which adds up fast when you want a basic variety of things like garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, thyme, rosemary, seasoned salt, etc.), anything you make from these ingredients is going to taste like shit because you had no way of adding flavor to them or enhancing their natural flavor.

2:  Can we talk about how much more time and effort is involved in cooking?  Especially when you're talking about things like dry beans and lentils and raw whole potatoes!  Beans and lentils have to be soaked, often overnight, and then cooked for hours on end to make them soft enough to eat.  Potatoes have to be washed, peeled, cut up, boiled, and then mashed (for mashed potatoes), washed and cut up and coated with spices and oil and roasted (for roasted, and the kind of bulk potatoes you can get cheaply don't really turn out well that way), or put in the oven for like a fucking hour to make baked potatoes.  Take those frozen crinkle fries, for example - they are the same price or less than a big-ass bag of potatoes, and you can pop them in the oven for fifteen minutes and have hot food ready to eat, where raw potatoes will take you *at least* half an hour to render suitable for consumption - and that's half an hour of actively working on them, peeling and cutting and such, while the fries you can just spread on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven to bake while you work on making your main dish.  If you are a person with a busy life - like, say, someone who works multiple jobs or has children to care for or both, and who would be the kind of person who would need to shop most cheaply in the first place - time and effort are major factors in what kinds of food are viable for you.  Sometimes you just need to throw food at your family and fall into bed, which is a situation which does not lend itself to peeling potatoes and soaking beans and cutting up chicken (and then doing all the resulting dishes, which I've always found to be the more time-consuming, exhausting, and annoying part of "real" cooking).

3:  Produce goes bad quickly.  If you use a lot of produce in your cooking, you will need to go to the store several times a week to get fresh stuff.  If you work multiple jobs, or have to take public transit to go shopping, for example, that would be a gigantic pain in the ass and frankly not worth it when combined with the amount of extra effort raw ingredients require before being able to eat.

4:  I want to know on what planet the maker of these graphics is buying their meat.  Because I have NEVER, not even on the best sales in the cheapest area I've ever lived, seen fresh chicken breasts for under a dollar a pound.  Thighs, maybe.  Not breasts.

5:  What about people with food aversions?  Either for sensory reasons (many autistic people, for example, have strong sensory aversions to certain foods, to the point where trying to eat or even handle them will make them throw up) or simply because a certain food tastes gross to you.  Bananas make several appearances here, because they're reliably the cheapest fruit you can get, and they're reasonably good for you.  However, I hate bananas with a flaming passion.  I bought some this week, actually, because Ozz has been having muscle cramps and bananas are high in potassium, which helps with that.  I forced myself to eat one on the logic that I could probably use the vitamins too, and the other three of the bunch of four are turning brown on my counter as I type this, because neither of us likes them.  Peppers and onions often appear on "healthy on a budget" types of grocery/meal lists, because they're very flavorful and can be used to impart that flavor into a wide variety of dishes.  Problem being, I can't eat anything that's got peppers in it, because the taste disgusts me so badly.  I would never buy baby carrots or nuts if I were trying to stock my mom's house with snacks, because she's allergic.

People are different, is what I'm trying to say here, and many "cheap and healthy" foods are not an option for a lot of people.  Finger-wagging graphics pitting "good" food choices versus "bad" food choices are ridiculous for about eight billion reasons, but they all pretty much begin and end with "You have completely failed to take into account the lived realities of people who are not you."

Of course, this is not something the makers of these graphics want to consider, because having to consider the actual facts would mean that there is no pithy oversimplification that looks good on a poster that they can use to shame people into doing what they think is Right and Good.  And where would the diet/food-policing industry be without their pithy oversimplifications?*

*In the dust bin of history where they belong, that's where, and good riddance.


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