Attacks on critical race theory, “gender ideology,” and basic science betray a desire to forbid children from thinking.

A lot of empty classroom chairs.
A lot of empty classroom chairs.
Pictured: All the young minds being endangered by “gender ideology.” Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

I spend a lot of time, these days, with a line by the poet Diane di Prima rattling around in my head. The line comes from her poem “Rant,” and it’s printed in all caps, three times, so you know she meant it:

THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST THE IMAGINATION

THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST THE IMAGINATION

THE ONLY WAR THAT MATTERS IS THE WAR AGAINST THE IMAGINATION

ALL OTHER WARS ARE SUBSUMED IN IT

Di Prima was a committed radical, writing in a time when “war” meant something, and this ethereal-sounding…


Ed and Lorraine Warren were frauds, reactionaries, and alleged sexual predators — why do these movies still portray them as heroes?

A Raggedy Ann doll. We have no way of knowing it’s not haunted.
A Raggedy Ann doll. We have no way of knowing it’s not haunted.
HORROR!!!!! Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

I’m going to tell you a horror story. You won’t recognize it. It’s about a woman who wrote poetry. She was a liberal, an agnostic, hated Nixon. She married a strict conservative Catholic who demanded that she convert. She had a kid, and then another kid, and then, somehow, she had five kids. She stopped writing poetry — no woman with five kids has time to daydream — and left the city for a house in the country that was big and cheap enough to hold them all. Then everything got worse.

Her husband had a terrible temper, and it…


Page is the focal point for everyone currently wrapping their heads around transmasculine bodies. Yikes.

I wish this item of clothing had never been invented. Photo by shane becker on Unsplash

Elliot Page has been publicly out as a trans person for less than six months now, and my psyche has already been permanently scarred by how we talk about his body.

Page’s visibility is inevitable. He’s the first transmasculine movie star. He’s put himself forward as an advocate. Trans guys, historically, suffer from lack of visibility, not an overabundance of it, and Page’s stardom provides a necessary counterweight.

Does this mean that it’s necessary or productive to spend an entire week litigating the same swimsuit photo? I’d argue that it does not. Then again, I’m clearly outvoted. …


Backlash to Harry’s new documentary is revealing our toxic standards around men and mental health.

A sign reading “IT’S INSIDE US ALL,” above a neon model of a brain. I am not convinced this sign is correct.
A sign reading “IT’S INSIDE US ALL,” above a neon model of a brain. I am not convinced this sign is correct.
No true man would admit so freely to having a brain. Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash

I don’t know how or why, but somehow, Prince Harry has reconciled me to the archetype of the Therapy Guy.

I’m not averse to therapy. My father was a violent man, and I’ve been going to various psychiatrists and psychologists since age three. I’m currently seeing a gender therapist who also specializes in developmental trauma and PTSD. I believe mental health stigma is real, and that it kills people.

Yet the figure of the Therapy Guy — the dude who is Open about his Feelings, He who Shares and Processes, the guy who is vulnerable all the time, with everyone…


The likely end of Roe v. Wade comes just as the organized anti-trans movement is revving up. It’s not a coincidence.

And also several of your other bans, I just couldn’t fit them all on one sign. Photo by Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

Every day, I wake up and curse myself for choosing a career that revolves around reading depressing headlines. This week, in particular, I was full up on despair before Wednesday morning. On Monday, the news broke that the Supreme Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban; given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, the case will likely be the end of Roe v. Wade. …


The great trans author’s final work — photos of hir home in upstate New York — helped me learn how to survive.

We get one (1) sunny day per year and this is the only known photo of it. Photo by Tom Dillon on Unsplash.

Upstate New York is a hard place. The landscape is imposing for a city person: Cold, and craggy, with huge, deeply forested hills and jagged rock cliffs that rise up around you the moment you drive out of the city center. It has a personality, and not always a nice personality, whipping sleet and freezing wind at your face for six or seven months on end, icing over the pavements until you can’t walk to the drugstore without breaking your leg. The land is old and tough and she’s been through some shit. She will not accommodate strangers. …


Conservative hysteria over gender-inclusive birth language reveals how hard they cling to outdated, sexist ideas of family.

A child, horrified by progress.
A child, horrified by progress.
If you type “gender neutral baby,” you get this. I admit that I cannot gender this child. Photo by Jenean Newcomb on Unsplash

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) didn’t intend to spend last week as a flashpoint for trans rights. The fact that she did comes down to two fatal words. The phrase came at the end of an impassioned, deeply personal speech about how medical racism caused her to give birth to one severely premature child and nearly miscarry another: “I am committed to doing the absolute most to protect Black mothers, to protect Black babies, to protect Black birthing people, and to save lives,” Bush concluded.

The conservative Internet lit up. “How incredibly insulting to call mothers ‘birthing people,’” tweeted anti-choice…


The world’s most visible trans woman has kicked off her gubernatorial campaign by demonizing trans women in sports. How do we call her out?

A microphone.
A microphone.
First of all, don’t hand her one of these. Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash

Quick: When you think back on the past half-decade of political campaigns, what do you miss? Is it pointless celebrity vanity campaigns? Irresponsible culture war fearmongering? Do you love having bitter arguments about Representation and Tokenism and how the press ought to cover a problematic female candidate?

Buckle up, friend: Caitlyn Jenner is running for Governor of California, and her first major policy recommendation is banning trans girls from sports.

“This is a question of fairness,” Jenner told a reporter from TMZ this weekend. “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It…


For the second time in its 93-year history, the Academy chucked its best statue at a lady. The world is forever changed.

Alas, only one of them gets free refills. Photo by Briona Baker on Unsplash.

Last night, at the 93rd Academy Awards, Nomadland director Chloé Zhao won the Academy Award for Best Director. This makes Zhao the first woman to win Best Director since Kathryn Bigelow took home the award for The Hurt Locker in 2010; Zhao is the first-ever woman of color to win the award.

Feminists have anticipated this day for years. (Specifically, eleven years. That’s how long it took for a second woman to win Best Director.) There is strength in numbers, and as powerful as Kathryn Bigelow might be, there were only so many things she could do alone. …


He’s a 393-foot-tall radioactive genderfluid lizard with a rage problem. He’s my role model.

A Godzilla sculpture made of… I’m going to say, beer cans.
A Godzilla sculpture made of… I’m going to say, beer cans.
I also thought I’d share this photo of my apartment. Neat, right? Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

A monster is a style of rage. Every monster kills people — if they didn’t, they’d just be mythical creatures — and most cause destruction. None of them precisely abides by the social contract. Your monster, the one that speaks to you, is about the kind of destruction you cause; it’s the clause of the contract you strike before you sign.

You can be a liar, a user, someone who seduces and discards, like a vampire or a siren. You can be a werewolf, perfectly nice until something sets you off. You can be a faerie, demanding people play by…

Jude Ellison S. Doyle

Author of “Trainwreck” (Melville House, ‘16) and “Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers” (Melville House, ‘19). Columns published far and wide across the Internet.

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