Debunking the Blank Slate

blank slate debunkedGender is innate and evolved; it is not the result of ‘socialisation’, as the blank slate ideology contests.  No serious scientist believes the blank slate hypothesis now, other than a few contrarians who allow their political beliefs to overshadow their rigour. The notion that gender — along with a raft of human behaviours — is ‘socialised’ has been completely, comprehensively and utterly debunked, for over 60 years.

Anyone who has experience of dealing with animals knows that male and female animals are very different, not just in the way that they look, but the way that they behave. In other words, they display innate gendered behavioural traits. Males tend to be more aggressive, females more nurturing.

This applies no less to humans.

 

Continue reading Debunking the Blank Slate

Wood in Traditional Building 2: Poplar and Pine

Timber poplar pine
Pic: Rod Fleming

Everyone will be familiar with the beautiful poplar trees that make valleys in Burgundy and elsewhere so charming to the eye. Poplar produces straight-grained timber of prodigious length. The wood is soft and easy to cut, and it holds nails very well. It resists splitting firmly because is has an interwoven grain, so it is tricky to plane well; better to use a power plane. But poplar is in any case best kept for rough work.

It has two big disadvantages; it can to warp severely as it dries, so great care must be taken in stacking; and insects just love it. Poplar should never be used unless it is treated or painted, or else the woodworm will have a field day. However, it is reasonably resistant to rot, and as long as it is used with care, is a useful timber. It is cheap and plentiful, light and easy to handle.

Unfortunately, poplar is usually grown individually, in long thin avenues, or as windbreaks along the edges of fields, and more rarely in plantations. Its presence in the beautiful valleys of central France is a great asset visually. However, this causes a problem when it is cut for timber.

french onion soup rod fleming

Continue reading Wood in Traditional Building 2: Poplar and Pine

Originally posted 2014-03-12 13:35:43.

Wood in Traditional Building 1: Oak

oak-framing
Pic: Rod Fleming

Wood is, along with stone and earth, one of the principal materials used in the construction of buildings, and particularly older buildings. The principal varieties used are oak, poplar and beech, known as hardwood in UK.  Spruces and pines(softwood in UK) are also much used, especially in new-build.  It is important to have some understanding of the nature of wood, its uses in the older house and some sympathy for its virtues as well as its limitations.

Wood is used in a wide variety of applications, and the most important of these are the support structure for floors; the roof timbers and associated work; and the interior finishing timber. Timber is also used in the construction of interior walls and in many areas in the construction of supporting walls.

There are three timbers commonly found in older buildings in France, namely oak, poplar and pine. Other timbers are often found as parts of outhouses and sheds.

french onion soup rod fleming
Continue reading Wood in Traditional Building 1: Oak

Originally posted 2014-02-18 12:54:42.

Is the New Gay Man a failed transsexual?

New Gay Man transFor many years now, the New Gay Man, speaking through activists from Jim Fouratt to Peter Tatchell have claimed that HomoSexual TransSexuals (HSTS) are a form of ‘failed gay man’. But is this true or even a reasonable position to take?

In a recent Twitter conversation a correspondent proposed an alteration to the conventional understanding that placed homosexual men as a subset of HSTS. In other words, she suggested that, far from transitioned HSTS being ‘failures’, all homosexuals are in fact also transsexual but for various reasons some repress or deny this.

It might seem surprising, but I had never considered this inversion, or the implications of it, but the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.

The-Warm-Pink-Jelly-Express-Train-Rod-Fleming

Continue reading Is the New Gay Man a failed transsexual?

Originally posted 2017-12-17 08:55:02.

Tele-series, ladyboys and love

tele-series white wedding
The dream of every ladyboy — the white wedding to the perfect Life Partner. Pic: Rod Fleming

March 2016. Jelly I are sharing a studio condo in Maybunga, in Pasig City, Metro Manila. Previously we were in a larger condo and things were much easier. Now the place is like a pressure-cooker.

As ever the television goes on after our morning sex session. This is when I usually try to work and it appears that Jelly has hearing difficulties.

The diet is monotonous. At noon, it’s Showtime, a variety revue hosted by Vice Ganda, a well-known gay performer. Needless to say, Jelly is mesmerised, smiling. There is nothing coming out of the television – even though the volume is full blast. It’s like an anaesthetic.

Curiously, I am reminded of Grampian Television’s ‘One o’Clock Gang’, hosted by Larry Marshall, that was the daily accompaniment to lunch when I was a child. It shows the depth of the penetration; that was 50 years ago and I can still see the faces of Marshall and Andy Stewart in flickering 405-line black and white.


Nothing has changed; The One o’Clock Gang has emigrated and transmogrified into ‘Eat Bulaga’ and ‘Showtime’. But Showtime has a trans anchor. It’s a killer selling point.

The real televisual clue to the lives of ladyboys, however, is in the ‘tele-series’.

The-Warm-Pink-Jelly-Express-Train-Rod-Fleming

Continue reading Tele-series, ladyboys and love

Originally posted 2017-09-11 19:54:09.

The Church of Hedonism

funeral
Funeral in Laoag

I’m going to become a Hedonist. No really, I am. Seriously. I am going to join the Church of Hedonism. Yup. Before this happens to me.

Of course, no such church actually exists, and most religions seem to be mainly concerned with stopping people having fun. But anyway. If there isn’t one, I think it’s time we started one.

I am rapidly approaching that watershed in life, the dawn of my seventh decade. I don’t have that much time to waste any more. I quick demographic of my parents’ families suggests that if I remain a non-smoker, keep the drink to a moderate level and eat reasonably healthy food, I have maybe another fifteen years of active life, and another five or so of winding down, before parting the mortal coil and becoming one with the Earth again.

That is not an awful lot of time. And I am beginning to resent every moment of it that is not spent, basically, having fun.

spring run rod fleming

Continue reading The Church of Hedonism

Originally posted 2013-10-23 03:08:02.

That Must Really Really Sting

gay male bonding
Bonding. Pic: Rod Fleming

A random and I must admit mischievous Google search—the masculine gay male is a fraud—really turned into an eye-opener for me.  I was just amazed how many men seem to have bought into this crap.

Masculine behaviour is no guide to sexual orientation, and never has been.  I spent nearly two decades as a very high level sports photographer, and if it taught me anything it was that sports—in particular contact field sports—while often considered the epitome of masculinity, are about the most strident expression of male homo-eroticism that exists in our culture. I have long since lost count of the number of times I have seen men cuddling, kissing, gazing into each other’s eyes, feeling each other up, rolling around on the ground, you fucking name it—all on a soccer pitch. And rugby? It’s worse. And that’s what goes on in public—let’s not mention what happens inside the dressing-rooms.

The-Warm-Pink-Jelly-Express-Train-Rod-Fleming

Continue reading That Must Really Really Sting

Originally posted 2013-10-19 23:47:37.

This Must Stop: Cruelty is evil

camel halal must stop
A camel being killed by ‘halal’

I am proud to be a European. Our culture has many faults, yet at the same time it has given the world so much. Science and democracy, equality under law and social inclusion simply would not exist without it. And across culture, art, science, engineering and technology, our culture remains a brilliant star, without which light, we would still be in the Dark Ages. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of that.

Despite this, I believed, for many years, that other cultures were equal.

But I was wrong. Culture is not a level playing field. The very qualities that define Western culture represent a system of morality, which allow us to judge other cultures. And we definitely should judge them.

Continue reading This Must Stop: Cruelty is evil

Originally posted 2013-10-11 11:44:54.

Transsexualism: A position statement

transsexualism-manilaMany people don’t quite understand my position on transsexualism, which is fair enough because I have never stated what that position might be. I have been asked why I talk so much about transsexualism here, in general writing  and on my YouTube Channel. So here we go.

My background is in photography and journalism. I had a scientific education but was always propelled towards practicality, so I studied things that could make money, like photography and journalism (duuh.)  I did consider reading English but then discovered that this was a pathway into academic insanity and it is not  a reliable route into journalism (if you want to be a journalist, study a subject of public interest, like politics, economics, law, medicine…not English. They all assume literacy and if you can’t write to the style of the New York Times, with a reading age of 13, you are too challenged to be a journo.)

I have always been interested in human sexuality, since the time I was at Art School. This was because there, I was exposed to a myriad of different ones. People today forget how open the culture, at least in Scotland, was in the 1980s. New Romance was the big thing, everybody wore mascara and it was rightly called the ‘gayest era ever.’

The-Warm-Pink-Jelly-Express-Train-Rod-Fleming

 

 

Continue reading Transsexualism: A position statement

Originally posted 2017-10-29 15:07:12.

Moser’s mischievous intervention.

mischievous mayhemIn 2009 Dr Charles Moser entered the discussion about Blanchard’s Typology of transsexualism. It is worth revisiting Moser because his mischievous intervention not only hindered the progress of the science of transsexualism, but damaged some people, while favouring others.

As you may know, Blanchard separates male-to-feminine (MtF) transsexuals into those attracted to their own sex from their earliest arousal, and those who are either not attracted to their own birth sex or who develop such an attraction, usually partially, in later life. These are called, using Blanchard’s terminology, ‘HomoSexual Transsexuals’ or HSTS and ‘Autogynephilic Transsexuals’ or AGPs. (We will later quote studies that call the latter ‘non-homosexual’.)


Blanchard’s underlying thesis is that both these forms of transsexualism are stimulated by male sex drive. MtF HSTS are, essentially, seen as extremely feminine homosexual males. This is relatively easy to understand and this type was formerly known as the ‘Primary’ or ‘True’ type. The other type is much more complex and shares an aetiology with fetishistic cross-dressing men. These individuals are romantically or sexually attracted to themselves, but as women.

The-Warm-Pink-Jelly-Express-Train-Rod-Fleming

Continue reading Moser’s mischievous intervention.

Originally posted 2017-09-10 12:28:09.

Non-Politically Correct Writing and Photography by Rod Fleming and Guests