Tyranny of Losers

As you know, I’m living in the UK with a French car, a BMW. My plan was to go back to Annecy at some point in the autumn and sell it quickly on one of the auction sites. The trouble is, the service light came on. Apparently it needed an oil change and nobody is going to buy a car with a service light on, or at least they’re not going to pay full market value for it. So I called the BMW dealership closest to me and asked if I could book it in (yes, I know the main dealers are expensive and honest Hank down the road can turn the service light off, etc.) They took down the VIN number and told me there was a safety recall on an engine component, and they might need the vehicle for a few days. I said I’d had the car in the main dealer in France a few months back and they’d not said anything, even though this recall is a couple of years old. So I said skip the faulty component, just change the oil. Ah, but this is Britain:

“We can’t do that, we are not allowed to release the car with a safety malfunction”. 

Not allowed by whom? Is there a law saying a garage cannot change the oil in a car with some alleged problem in part of the engine? No, it’s probably some policy imposed by BMW, or even the dealership, being presented as if they are words handed down by God himself. You see a lot of this in Britain, appeals to mysterious higher powers who have delegated their formidable authority to the person you’re dealing with. There’s nothing a British jobsworth likes more than pompously telling you something mundane is illegal, truth be damned.

I decided to take the car in anyway. I asked at the counter why the French BMW concession hadn’t told me about this recall. “Well, it was just a UK-wide recall,” I was told. “Then why does it affect my French car?” I asked. She had no answer for that. When the work was done I asked the same question to another clerk. He replied that “There were a lot of recalls, maybe they were too busy and so decided not to mention it?” Which seems odd for a problem which, according to these jobsworths, was so severe they simply couldn’t just change the oil and let me be on my merry way.

For some reason, I don’t think my experience with BMW was too far removed from this video, which shows a couple of thugs employed by the local government in Grimsby fining a pensioner for having a dog in a graveyard:

British people, in the main, like to follow the rules and cooperate with authority. The downside of this is that certain people, when given a smidgen of temporary authority, gleefully wield it against ordinary folk, and especially those who have little choice but to cooperate. You can be damned sure the fat fool in the video would stay well clear of a couple of chavs with a pitbull; they’d have slapped him silly and posted the video on Snapchat. You see this authoritarian, bullying attitude everywhere in Britain, especially at airports and anywhere else where jumped-up little wannabe Hitlers can cite a Blair-era law to justify their actions. I remember years ago being on a rubbish dump outside Worcester with the bloke who ran the place lecturing us on how interfering with a washing machine we found lying there was “breaking the law”. You can only imagine what these people would be like if given real power.

None of this happens in France. For a start, the local government wouldn’t hire thugs to harass pensioners for walking their dogs. Secondly, no Frenchman would take the job because they’d find the local bar wouldn’t serve them any more. Thirdly, the public wouldn’t cooperate. There’s no way you’d get a hundred euros out of Frenchwoman the way these two shook down the old lady in Grimsby for £100. They’d risk arrest and imprisonment before they’d cough up on the spot like that. One of the things I like about the French is their disdain for authority, particularly that wielded by the government. I’ve written before about the very different relationship the French police take towards the citizenry in comparison to their British counterparts (the gilets jaunes in big cities notwithstanding).

That’s not to say the French fonctionnaires aren’t the most frustrating people on the planet; a trip to the local prefecture would disabuse you of that notion within minutes. But their contempt for you is one of utter indifference: they don’t hate you, they simply don’t care. But in the UK the bureaucrats and petty officials take delight in lording it over people, as if they’re trying to make up for a lifetime of being a complete loser in every field.

There’s also no room for nuance. I expect the reason the recall never happened in France is because the Frenchmen who owned the dealerships realised they were going to have a load of irate BMW owners on their hands, demanding compensation and free courtesy cars. So they probably negotiated and persuaded BMW that maybe the issue wasn’t that bad after all. Whereas in Britain BMW would have called the UK dealerships who immediately accepted whatever they were told and decided they’d refuse to perform routine services on customers’ vehicles unless they agreed to surrender them for several days during which they’d have to hire a car at their own expense (as I did).

The French approach to things can drive you insane at times, but there are times when I grudgingly admire their intransigence. And few things make me feel more ashamed of my country than the combination of authoritarian bullying by British jobsworths and its craven acceptance by ordinary people.

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Workin’ on a building

This is a good article on the real world consequences of the ludicrous 2015 Modern Slavery Act which requires British companies to ensure there is no “exploitation” in its supply chains.

I’ve witnessed how British companies outsource this responsibility to local factory managers in Sri Lanka.

These local managers feel tremendous pressure to monitor their workforce, even beyond the shop floor, for fear of losing their contracts. And this leads to an excessive amount of surveillance, with devastating consequences for factory workers, most of whom are female.

[B]y recommending universal policies, the Modern Slavery Act fails to take into account how local suppliers around the world respond to it, even though the law effectively transfers to them the responsibility to keep the workforce free from modern slavery. It has led to a climate of suspicion and fear that exacerbates the already difficult lives of their workforce.

Like so much contemporary legislation, the Modern Slavery Act mainly exists to signal the virtues of the western professional middle-classes. 

I spent two summers speaking about the Modern Slavery Act to female factory workers in Sri Lanka’s free trade zones, which are industrial areas with a number of garment factories that supply many foreign companies. I found there is intense pressure on local managers to clean up their assembly lines in such a way that the western companies which hire them could not be accused of modern slavery. The pressure to appear “clean” results in an unhealthy working environment.

It also limits women’s freedom in a number of ways. For instance, a number of women I spoke to engaged in part-time sex work to make extra money outside of their factory jobs. This work was of their own choosing – and very different to the sexual trafficking or exploitation that the Modern Slavery Act is also designed to stop. But local managers feared it would be seen by Western auditors as exploitation and threaten their contracts. As one factory manager told me: “If we do not fire part-time sex workers, our factories can get blacklisted, and our orders will be cancelled.”

This was never about the victims. As this paragraph makes clear:

More disturbingly, intentionally or not, Article 54 makes global factory managers responsible for the leisure activities of their workers and, by extension, their moral conduct.

Which is a feature, not a bug. Be it environmental legislation or the Modern Slavery Act, the goal is to force ordinary people to behave in ways which meet the approval of city-dwelling noodle-armed men and women who buy wine by the box. As I’m fond of saying, these people would be better off going to church.

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Meet Markets

A reader sends me this interesting essay about dating apps and the modern sexual market place:

Dovetailing these concerns is an academic cottage industry on the “increased female unhappiness” of Western women. The theory here is that modern women are less satisfied than their grandmothers because they now delay childbearing to an advanced age while simultaneously holding down demanding jobs in the competitive globalized workplace. Arguably, however, the amount of “happiness” for women has not decreased, but merely been frontloaded to their early 20s when they are having copious sex before settling down for marriage with lesser men. The actual “redistribution of happiness” has been to the alpha males who secure more sexual pleasure in their 20s at the expense of betas who remain lonely until they later make terms with leftover women.

Go read the whole thing.

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Reaming, ‘riting, ‘rithmetic

Via a reader, this article:

The headteacher of Heavers Farm Primary School in South London suspended two 10-year-old Christian students after one of them asked for permission not to participate in an LGBT lesson during “Gay Pride Month.”

In the Middle East “respecting” Islam means participating fully in Ramadan or risking punishment. In British schools, “tolerance” for homosexuality means actively celebrating it.

The headteacher, Susan Papas, who obliged schoolchildren to participate in a “Gay Pride” parade last year, told the two children, who are both of African descent, they are “a disappointment to the school,” Christian Concern reported Monday.

Oh, they’re black. I’ve suddenly detected racism in Ms. Papa’s remarks.

On June 20, pupil Farrell Spence asked his teacher Alex Smith for permission not to take part in a lesson when Mr. Smith handed out LGBT material for coloring. The teacher denied the permission, insisting that the LGBT lesson was part of the curriculum.

This has nothing to do with tolerance and everything to do with indoctrination of the sort Section 28 was designed to prevent.

After class, Mr. Smith allegedly accused Farrell of using “homophobic language” and saying, “LGBT sucks and LGBT’s dumb,” which the child categorically denies.

Which is what children say about anything they don’t like.

The teacher asked Farrell where he was from and the boy responded that he was of “African Jamaican” heritage, and there “everybody is Christian and Catholic, so they don’t accept LGBT.”

If he’s capable of expressing himself like that perhaps he’s a little past colouring exercises? It would equally explain the reluctance of a 10-year old to take part as any in-built homophobia.

Later, head teacher Papas reportedly called in the two children and shouted at them: “How dare you? You are a disappointment to the school.”

Ms. Papas, whose daughter Attie is a lesbian and the School Manager, next put the children in separate rooms and scolded Kaysey: “How dare you say that you want to kill LGBT people?”

In other words, you have an LGBT political activist masquerading as a teacher and abusing their position to indoctrinate children.

Heavers Farmer Primary School educates 750 pupils in a multicultural and multi-religious borough of South London. Along with the School Manager, the Assistant Headteacher Robert Askey is also openly gay.

Uh-huh.

The mothers of the two children complained to the Principal Officer, citing school regulations that state it is unlawful to suspend a student for “a non-disciplinary reason.”

The parents insist their children did not make homophobic comments and have accused the headteacher of failing “to eliminate discrimination based on religion or belief.” They also cited the European Convention of Human Rights, saying it requires that schools respect the manner in which parents seek to raise their children in accordance with their Christian faith.

And we’re back to where we were with the Muslim parents in Birmingham a couple of months back. Now normally it would be easy to dismiss these Christian parents as bigots, but with they’re being African it’s not so easy. Who wins this hand of victimhood poker?.

This is not the first run-in the school and its headteacher has faced over LGBT activism.

In June 2018, the school organized a “Gay Pride” parade in its playground, posting rainbow flags around the school, and telling students to wear bright colors for the event.

Ms. Papas also invited parents to watch the “Proud to be Me!” parade and join in celebrating “the rainbow of things that make them and their family special.”

At that time, 14 Christian parents complained that Papas was “forcing a very aggressive LGBT agenda on to young children in a manner which abuses parental rights and victimises parents.”

Well yes, it’s run by political activists. Welcome to compulsory state education.

In response, Papas declared she was standing against homophobia: “We stand by our decision to celebrate national Pride Month by teaching British values.”

The subject matter may be different, but these values sound more Soviet than British.

Izoduwa Montague, the mother of one of the students and a Christian, refused to allow her four-year-old son to take part in the parade and complained to the Education Secretary that the school had embarked on “systematic proselytism of its young and vulnerable pupils.”

Which is exactly what opponents of teaching children this stuff in schools predicted would happen.

Montague says she felt “bullied” after she complained that her child was “forced to take part in an event that goes against our Christian beliefs,” and later transferred her child to a Catholic school.

Where I expect they received a better education.

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Epilogue

Remember this story?

This is the international lawyer filmed ranting at Air India staff on a Mumbai to London flight after she was refused alcohol – leaving other business class passengers holding hands in terror.

Simone O’Broin, 50, was arrested after she was caught on camera shouting abuse at male and female cabin crew and demanding another glass of wine.

Sadly, there’s a follow-up:

A human rights lawyer jailed for abusing Air India cabin crew after being refused alcohol on a business class flight is thought to have killed herself at Beachy Head days after being released from prison.

Simone Burns, 50, was sentenced to six months in April after racially abusing and spitting at stewards during a flight from Mumbai to London last year.

She was released from Bronzefield women’s prison on licence on May 20 and was found dead at the foot of cliffs in East Sussex 13 days later.

This is desperately sad, and no doubt the media will focus on this bit:

A friend, who did not want to be named, said her “world fell apart” after her conviction and she became a target for internet trolls after the four-minute clip of her inebriated rant went viral on social media.

Burns was diagnosed with skin cancer 18 years ago, a condition that required multiple biopsies and surgeries. At the time of her court appearance she was waiting to get a prosthetic nose.

She seems to have been a troubled woman for quite some time, with her illness leading to mental problems. I like to make fun of women who go off to “find themselves” in Zen retreats, dye their hair turquoise, hang around Burning Man, and take up polyamory but the serious point is that many of them are suffering from serious mental issues which have gone untreated. As we have discovered, these are not lifestyle choices but coping mechanisms. So whereas it might have been the jail sentence and media attention which pushed Burns over the edge, what she needed was intervention and professional help a lot earlier. Unfortunately, modern society – particularly third wave feminism – tends to dissuade women from admitting they have problems, and instead encourages them to engage in degenerate behaviour which only makes things worse.

Burns was 50 when she died. Most of the women I’ve written about are between 30 and 40. We really don’t know what anguish they’re storing up for themselves, but we’re going to find out one way or another.

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Where do you stand on Israel?

A week or so back Israel Folau, the Australian rugby player who’s been ostracised for exercising his religious freedom in a way which displeased the LGBTQ political lobby, decided to set up a Go Fund Me campaign ostensibly to help him with his legal fees. Now I don’t suppose Folau needs the money – he’s been a top-class professional athlete across three sports since he was 18 years old – but he might have done it to gauge how much support he had. Turns out it was quite a bit and the fund quickly passed five figures, leading the Sydney Morning Herald to abandon journalism for activism and ramp up the pressure to get the appeal shut down. After all, the last thing progressives want is for a designated wrongthinker to have an avenue of financial and moral support once the moral gavel has fallen.

Sure enough, once the inevitable mob had formed Go Fund Me dug around in their terms of service and discovered they reserve the right to yank any funding campaign on a whim, which they duly did. The smug grins of the SMH activists probably didn’t last long, though. Within hours the Australian Christian Lobby had set up an appeal which, when I looked this morning, had attracted over $1.9m dollars. That’s a lot of money, and I expect many donors aren’t even Christian but are seeing this as a way to signal their opposition to the increasingly restrictive speech codes being forced on Australians by their employers and with the full backing of politicians.

But the saga doesn’t end there. Via William of Ockham, the Sydney Morning Herald is now urging the government to intervene:

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has been asked to investigate the Australian Christian Lobby over its role in helping Israel Folau raise more than a million dollars for his legal fight against Rugby Australia (RA).

Asked by whom?

A number of complainants, however, have confirmed to the Herald that they have raised their concerns with the charities commission over the fundraising role played by the ACL.

So it’s basically another attempt to sabotage Folau’s ability to raise funds. For all we know there might be no more than two complaints, both originating from the offices of the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the ACNC, a charity must be able to show that the use of its funds furthers the charitable purpose in which it is registered, meaning the ACL would need to prove it is “advancing religion”, for example, by agreeing to help raise money for Folau’s individual purposes.

I’d say defending an outspoken Christian who is being persecuted for his religious beliefs is doing more to advance Christianity than the combined efforts of the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury over the past twenty years.

“We got legal advice on this before we went ahead with it,” [ACL’s managing director Martyn] Iles  said. “Israel Folau is not a member and our charitable purpose is to advocate for changes in law and public policy and the advancement of the Christian religion. This is a religious freedom issue which for law has implications for law and public policy.

Quite, which is why it’s attracted so much support:

“Over 15,000 people have donated and the average donation is about $100 and about 10 donors per minute. That’s pretty incredible stuff. There’s a lot of juice left in this.”

It’s as if a lot of people understand this is a lot bigger than what Folau thinks about homosexuals. Which brings me onto this story:

A disabled grandfather has been sacked by Asda for sharing an ‘anti-religion’ sketch by Billy Connolly on his Facebook page. Brian Leach, who had worked at the Asda store for five years in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was let go by the supermarket after a colleague complained the comments in the sketch were anti-Islamic.

Now Britain is not Australia, but the progressive mindset which dominates the ruling classes and the subsequent authoritarianism is much the same in both countries. We’ve arrived at a situation whereby expressing Christian beliefs on social media gets you fired while disrespecting Islam on social media also gets you fired. I don’t agree with other commentators who say blasphemy laws are being applied in the UK, this is something else. Far from being inconsistent, the two approaches are quite logical once you understand the objective of those in charge is to denounce, undermine, and ultimately destroy what was until recently the prevailing culture in the developed, Anglo-Saxon world. In practice, this means those who rule over us will pick and choose who can say what and when as they see fit, and deprive us of our livelihoods should we speak out of turn. For now, this means Christians cannot say anything mean about homosexuals and ordinary folk cannot say anything which might be perceived as a slight against Islam.

And you can be sure this won’t stop here. I expect Folau will soon find his bank withdrawing their services, sending him a curt letter that he has 14 days to find an alternative (having made sure the other Australian banks will also deny him). What then? Will his phone company cut him off because the Sydney Morning Herald is piling on the pressure, backed by various government bodies stuffed with vinegar-drinking cat-ladies and the sort of men who, when they were in school, told the teacher which kid drew the picture on the blackboard? Nobody should feel too sorry for Folau, but this is about much more than a multi-millionaire sportsman. What happens when they start coming for ordinary people, like a grandad who works in Asda for example? What happens when they come for you?

People, especially politicians, often get asked where they stand on Israel. I think that question may develop a second meaning, and one no less important than the original.

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Standing on the shoulders of giants

Want to promote diversity in your institution but don’t know how? Why not turn to Harvard Medical School for inspiration:

The walls were entirely bare. Thirty-one oil portraits of medical and scientific leaders that had made the room distinctive were gone. Images of Harvey Cushing, Soma Weiss, George Thorn, Eugene Braunwald — and other historic figures — had been removed.

Before:

After:

It seems the modern way to welcome women and minorities into organisations is to wipe the achievements of white men from the institutional memory and pretend they never existed. Not that the technique is new, of course:

Back to the article:

Unlike disputed portraits and statuary related to slavery and the Civil War, these men made contributions to medicine and research that stand up well to current scrutiny.

Yes but you don’t understand: they were white and male and therefore Nazis (probably).

Removing all the historic amphitheater portraits — leaving bare walls in their place for the past year — won’t advance diversity. What might? An array of art that reflects today’s rapidly changing physician leadership, while recognizing essential but less male-dominated health-related professions, such as nursing and social work.

Let’s not pander to minorities by removing portraits of exceptional white male physicians but instead we should include art depicting run-of-the-mill social workers. Yes, we wouldn’t want to pander now, would we?

Perhaps a rotating subset of older portraits displayed alongside newly commissioned works — with the reasons for the choices conveyed in historically informed commentary.

This man was a pioneer of brain surgery. This women is…well, a woman. And she’s brown.

Gender and ethnicity must cease being barriers to positions and recognition.

Is that the case now? Is there any minority or woman who you believe ought to have their portrait displayed alongside those which were removed, but was not due to their ethnicity or gender? If there was, I rather suspect you would have named them.

As that day approaches, public portraiture should be reconfigured to promote pride in institutional history, education about the difficult path to progress, and a welcoming environment for today’s diverse communities.

In other words, public portraiture should reflect participation not excellence. This doesn’t sound very much like progress.

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Pervaids

This story speaks volumes about what is wrong with modern Britain:

A charity supporting transgender children and young people has issued an apology after thousands of emails were made public online.

Mermaids UK said it was “deeply sorry” for what it called a “historical data breach” after it was first reported by the Sunday Times.

The paper claims the correspondence included “intimate details”, names and addresses, but the charity denies this.

Mermaids said it had taken immediate action and reported the breach.

We have a political lobby group masquerading as a charity which is granted access to young children in order to “support” them should they believe they are of the wrong sex and wish to transition. But that’s all fine, apparently: what’s not is they’ve mishandled people’s data. This is like prosecuting Al Capone for tax evasion while being quite happy with the murders and bootlegging.

If Britain was a serious country those who founded this “charity” would have been run out of town on a rail the very first time they brought the topic up. But it seems degeneracy is nowadays to be celebrated, and adults with an unhealthy obsession with sex and sexuality given access to children regardless of parents’ wishes. I mean:

Transgender and gender variant children and young people need support and understanding, and freedom to explore their gender identity whatever the outcome.

This is taking place 9 years after a supposedly conservative party took the reins of the nation. Everyone is focused on Brexit, but it’s quite obvious the country has far deeper problems than membership of the EU.

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The men on the slap ’em omnibus

Sometime last week a couple of foreign women on a London night bus encountered a group of young men who somehow worked out they were lesbians and demanded they kiss for their entertainment. When they refused, the youths beat them up. At least, that’s the story we were told. A few days later the youths were arrested, five of them between 15 and 18. We haven’t been given any names or descriptions, perhaps because they’re minors but probably because it might give people the wrong idea about London’s vibrancy. Naturally, progressives took to social media to denounce the attack and declare this is why corporations need to subject its employees and customers to a month of LGBT propaganda.

The story didn’t sit right with me from the beginning. As always, there is a lack of details. How did the encounter start? What was said? Where was the CCTV? What did the driver see? Were there other passengers? Then yesterday I read this:

Melania Geymonat, 28, and her American partner Chris, 29, said they were punched and robbed following an evening in West Hampstead, north west London, in the early hours of May 30.

Ms Geymonat, a doctor from Uruguay and a Ryanair flight attendant, said that the incident was primarily ‘an attack towards women, and then after homosexual women’, revealing that she was told to ‘get the hell out of the country’ by her friends after the incident.

In an interview with Channel 4 News she said the attackers firstly saw them as ‘sexual objects’ who were ‘there to entertain them’. Her partner Chris said that a gang of young men saw they were a couple – as they were holding hands – and demanded they kiss before attacking the pair.

When asked if she still feels safe in public, Chris said: ‘If anything I’m more confident in myself because I know I will stand up for myself.’

Chris also said the reason their attack had caught so much attention was that the picture was ‘very striking’, depicting ‘two white women who were tidily packaged into sympathetic victims’.

When the interviewer brought up that Boris Johnson seemed to be the most likely person to be the next Prime Minister, and referenced comments he had made in 2001 comparing homosexual marriage to ‘bestiality’, Chris said that the Tory frontrunner was not ‘fit to lead anything, much less the United Kingdom’.

A clip from the interview can be seen here; the photos in the Daily Mail show one of the women wearing some sort of anti-fascist t-shirt.

So here’s what I think happened. These two women are political activists, steeped in third-wave feminism and high on the fumes of the extremely dangerous narrative that women can go head-to-head with men and come out on top. They were on this bus when they encountered a bunch of feral thugs of the sort who plague British cities but remain untouchable thanks to the efforts of the same lefty do-gooders who encourage open displays of homosexual affection. These gangs roam the streets and public transport actively seeking trouble and an excuse for violence, and don’t target gay women any more than straight men. Every man who’s grown up in the UK has at least one story of a confrontation with a group of young men itching for a fight, and they learn to avoid these situations like the plague. I went to university in Manchester and students there soon learned when to cross the street, not make eye-contact, get off the bus, or stand near the driver. What you never, ever do is engage with these thugs.

I expect these women, being foreign, didn’t sense the danger. Maybe they believed Sadiq Khan’s tweets about London being a welcoming utopia where diversity is celebrated by all? So when these thugs first noticed them instead of getting up and leaving or moving closer to other passengers, they engaged, perhaps with some sassy feminist boilerplate while thinking feral British youths have some sort of code about smacking women around. Big mistake.

Of course, the blame lies wholly with the thugs and those who defend them, and it is disgraceful that two women should have to move seats or leave a bus because of violence and intimidation. Frankly, these people should be drowned in the Thames. However, some common sense would not have gone amiss. Unfortunately, modern feminism says women should not act sensibly and take basic precautions because bad men ought not to exist. And the fact they’ve been rather silent on exactly who attacked them, and followed it up with a stupid interview where they’ve leveraged their ordeal to make lame political points, shows they’ve not learned their lesson and likely never will. I’m reminded somewhat of this story:

A left-wing German politician who was raped by three migrant men in January in the city of Mannheim has admitted that she lied about their nationalities and falsely claimed they had spoken German because she was afraid of encouraging racism.

Having believed they can legislate their way to utopia, progressives are unable to navigate the world they’ve built for themselves.

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Pride Hailing App

In April last year I wrote a post about Uber hiring Bo Young Lee, an Asian lady who started her professional life as an Accenture consultant and thereafter spent 15 years working in diversity-related positions, in the new role of Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. I suspect she’s had a strong hand in this:

As an asexual, Vietnamese-American, Heather is a force to be reckoned with on and off the road. When she’s not driving, Heather spends her time pursuing an acting career with the interest in bringing stories of powerful women to light.

I think this Twitter user puts it best:

There’s a whole page of this stuff, with each employee carefully placed in their little sexual identity box in front of the corresponding flag (it seems this heads-up and subsequent post came just in the nick of time).

Simply by sharing her story with us, Heather is already inspiring others. “I think I’ve always identified as asexual. Even when I was little. Because my crushes on people are usually aesthetic attraction, attraction to people’s personality, kindness or intelligence. But never sexual,” Heather said.

Uber’s Diversity & Inclusion department have handpicked Heather for special mention because she’s discovered this thing called friendship.

Whether about her race or sexuality, Heather makes an effort to change the way we communicate. “I think we could alter the language we use in our conversations with others. Ask people questions in a way that doesn’t imply something.” With her family and friends by her side, Heather’s unique view is empowering so many others.

Her view about as unique as a portrait of the Kims in a North Korean army base.

From an early age, Dom knew she was different from her friends. And in some ways, that may have made coming out a little easier, because many of her friends and family had already been suspecting.

But does she refrain from cancelling your trip when you’ve been waiting 40 minutes and the app says she’s now just 2 minutes away?

“I’m what people think a lesbian would look like. But I can see how that diminishes and erases half of a community,” Dom explained.

“Explained” is a little generous here, I feel.

As opposed to the pink shades of the lesbian flag, Dom more closely identifies with the rainbow flag. “What I like about the flag, is that it’s not unique to one identity. It reminds us that everybody has been in a similar situation in the past, and knowing that sort of ties us together in a community,” she elaborated.

This sounds awfully conservative. Are we sure she’s not a Trump supporter?

Now living with her fiancée in San Francisco, Dom defines success as being comfortable with who you are and living your personal truth. “You can’t measure yourself or your success against anyone else. If you can do that, the people who love you will be there.”

In the days of traditional cabs you ran the risk of a driver who’d rant about blacks taking over and would take you from Tower Hill to Soho via Thurso. Nowadays, thanks to technology, you get an Uber driver who shares their high-school intersectional philosophy with you.

With support from the Uber community, Lana found the courage to come out a second time as transgender. “It always felt disingenuous to wave around the rainbow flag because it’s largely been controlled by the gay man. The trans flag was at first a rejection of that. I like seeing the trans flag with all of the other flags. It shows we’re evolving,” Lana explains.

They’re really taking this flag stuff seriously, aren’t they? How long before factional rivalries spill over and “capture the flag” games start?

Though challenging at times, Lana’s journey has made her the activist she is today and she now stands with immense Pride. As one of the first people to openly transition at Uber, Lana pioneered the updated community guidelines for transgender employees and allies.

So Bo Young Lee delegated the writing of HR guidelines governing workplace behaviour to a trans-activist employee? What could go wrong?

Originally from Jamaica, Francois is currently a model and Uber driver-partner in New York City. “A lot of LGBTQIA+ people drive for Uber in New York City because it’s so hard to find employment where you’re actually accepted for who you are,” Francois explained.

I suspect the “who you are” in this context is more about your skills, experience, and immigration status than your sexual preferences, but it’s a neat conflation.

Identifying as genderqueer, Francois has felt misunderstood in the past. “People don’t get that being Genderqueer isn’t about me being able to wear a skirt and a dress. I have to think about all the different nuances of myself; my masculinity and my femininity. It’s not about cross-dressing, it’s about expressing who I am,” Francois said.

Does anyone else detect the strong whiff of narcissism which is common to all these profiles?

Francois feels that the genderqueer community is often misunderstood, and he encourages people to stop being shy and start asking questions.

Here’s mine: don’t you think it’s a little sad that your entire identity is wrapped up in your sexual preferences to the exclusion of everything else?

With the freedom to explore, Jacob now identifies as polysexual. “I’m attracted to a deep personal bond, I want to get to know who someone is as a person before I’m with them,” he explains.

As opposed to the rest of society which presumably gets married following a one-night stand.

Today, Trevor feels more empowered to identify as non-binary. “Some days I present as male, some days I present as more female.” For Trevor, discovering the non-binary flag was liberating. It meant representation, validation, and a place within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Does it now? In unrelated news:

On an operating basis, Uber losses widened to over $1 billion in Q1, up from a loss of $478 million in 2018.

It underscored the central challenge the company faces: Like other big tech companies going public this year, Uber has no immediate path to making money in a fiercely competitive sector.

Uber’s stock sank immediately after it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on May 10, at the low end of its initial public offering range.

Now I’ve almost finished my MBA I think I can see the root cause of Uber’s financial difficulties: there is no polyamorous employee featured in their Pride page, and no polyamory flag. From now on I’m using Lyft, bigots!

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