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by Susan Jarvis Bryant

This is a word of encouragement to all those poets out there who use their art to get a grave point on current issues across. Never let those who criticize you shut you down. Never self-censor. To use a quote from Andrew Breitbart:

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Walk toward the fire. Don’t worry about what they call you. All those things are said against you because they want to stop you in your tracks. But if you keep going, you’re sending a message to people who are rooting for you, who are agreeing with you. The message is that they can do it, too.

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Recently I came across this scathing criticism from Michael Burch of Hypertexts on a poem I wrote on transgenderism being pushed on children. The stanza is slyly taken out of context. The ad hominem attack is brutal:

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“The Society of Classical Poets: The Keystone Scops” (thehypertexts.com)

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Mr. Burch can insult me all he likes—his spiteful denials will never detract from the fact that children are being abused in the name of healthcare. The victims of this barbaric experimentation are speaking out. Perhaps Mr. Burch should move beyond the mockingbird media to listen to them. The UK’s National Institute of Health has decided to shut down its only gender identity clinic (Tavistock Centre) for children on the grounds that “Using children as guinea pigs to promote a radical transgender agenda is physically and psychologically damaging to them, not only immediately, but also in the long term.” They are in the process of paying damages to all those irreversibly harmed by these procedures. I hope America follows Britain’s lead. I will not stop speaking the truth and I am grateful to Mr. Burch for getting my words to a wider audience.

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A Rebuttal to Michael Burch 

“We know thanks to brain science that some babies are
born with female brains in male bodies and vice versa.”  —Michael Burch 

 
“When falsehood can look so like the truth, who can
assure themselves of certain happiness?”  —Mary Shelley 

Burch whines I’ve got it wrong, so very wrong—
The “Science” says the evidence is strong.
At birth the brain contains the gender key—
Chromosomes won’t solve this mystery.
To mention DNA is now taboo.
A baby’s brain reveals the vital clue.

For every tomboy skinning knees in trees,
For every lad who twirls in heels with ease,
Crack a pack of magic hormone blockers—
Snub the flat-earth-flak from mindless mockers.
Let’s revive the dated stereotype
And laud the hyped-up, pigeonholing tripe.

Bring on the breast and genitalia slicing,
The skin-peeled-limb-and-phalloplasty icing
On toxic chunks of force-fed, half-baked cake
Dished out by villains hired for virtue’s sake.
A boy can be a girl, a girl a boy.
Hey presto! Boom! Shazam! Hurray! What joy!

This bloke of mega-wit who’s ultra-woke
Declares my take a knuckle-headed joke.
To set my feeble female mind at rest
His patriarchal spark spits out its best—
When children’s brains don’t match their body parts,
The snip-and-stitch-up crew cheer cheerless hearts.

I think Burch had a wink from Frankenstein
Who told him playing God turns out just fine.

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Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.


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65 Responses

  1. Mike Bryant

    Susan, IF you do have “it wrong, so very wrong,” then so do many eminent scientists including Christiane Nusslein-Volhard, a Nobel Prize-winning German developmental biologist.
    https://thenewamerican.com/nobel-prize-winning-german-biologist-multiple-genders-are-nonsense-and-unscientific/
    And here is the link to the interview in the original German:
    https://www.emma.de/artikel/viele-geschlechter-das-ist-unfug-339689

    The idea that there are male brains and female brains is wrong. Brains are, simply, brains. The neuroscience is in and it is settled. All brains are different but, brains are NOT gendered.
    Here, Neuroscientist Gina Rippon explains:

    https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2019/03/getting-away-from-the-idea-of-male-and-female-brains-would-actually-be-quite-helpful-interview-with-neuroscientist-gina-rippon/

    IF it were possible for a baby boy to be born with a girl’s brain, and vice versa, as some believe… it would make more sense for the butchers to transplant brains. This is where this evil leads:

    Brain Science Mandate

    Every baby born will have the test.
    It’s made by Pfizer and it is the best!
    We’ll just ignore the genitals, then draw
    And check the fluid from the brain, AHA!
    The males with female brains and vice versa
    Will soon be fixed right up and none the worser.
    We’ve got these nifty AI Surgeon Bots
    Who’ll simply chop and swap the heads of tots.

    It’s time to forget about all the surgical and drug interventions and understand that gender dysphoria is a mental disorder.
    Many demand that we “trust the Science!”
    What they really mean is we must trust the “experts” at the expense of our “life, liberty and happiness.”
    The disconnect with reality is costing children their childhoods and, way too often, their lives.
    So sad that money and power is more important than truth or science or anything else.

    Reply
    • Mike Bryant

      Matt Walsh has launched an investigation into the institutions that are mutilating children for profit. He said, “So, let’s review. Vanderbilt got into the gender transition game admittedly in large part because it is very financially profitable. They then threatened any staff members who objected, and enlisted a gang of trans activists to act as surveillance in order to force compliance.”

      https://thelibertydaily.substack.com/p/matt-walsh-blows-the-lid-off-vanderbilts

      Reply
  2. Joseph S. Salemi

    Burch is just a hillbilly jackass who is enraged that the SCP exists and is popular. He devotes so much attention to us that it’s clear we are an obsession for him.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe, maybe Mr. Burch would like to debate the issue instead of taking a stanza of my poetry out of context on an internet site that doesn’t allow those torn down to react… all to get his fashionable point across. I have a feeling I am a little too optimistic on that front. Debate appears to be out of the question for anyone who pushes the transgender agenda. There is no defense for mutilating minors. Mr. Burch, as a regular visitor to our popular site, please prove me wrong!

      Reply
      • Joseph S. Salemi

        I’ve dealt with Burch before, and debating with him is useless. He will simply use the opportunity to write at great length against you, and when you reply he will clip and censor your words and then call in all his buddies in the po-biz world to chime in behind him, like an obedient Greek chorus. Just ignore him. The fact that he went out of his way to attack your poem is a sign that you got under his skin.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        I don’t bother debating people like that because they keep changing what they debate so they can appear to themselves to win; they never fight fair.

        I’m just waiting for him to skewer me for “Elegy for the Child Never Conceived” and “A Modernization of ‘To His Coy Mistress.’” If he got all bent out of shape because you had the audacity to say we shouldn’t spay or neuter children like dogs, I can’t wait to read what he thinks of my work.

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Joe, you are right. I have already been torn down on the poetry scene in the UK and the US because of my forthright poetry on issues I feel strongly about – issues that don’t align with the fashionable “current thing”. I say, so what! Bring it on! If my words get under the likes of Michael Burch’s skin… I count that as a success. Hell, I left my job and gave up my wages over freedom of speech and the truth… poetry is my hobby not my job… what have I got to lose?!

      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Josh, I love your attitude… wield your words with boldness and never, ever let the likes of Michael Burch shut you down. He champions the mutilation of minors… his endorsement of your poetry is worthless. Thank you for your support!

      • Joshua C. Frank

        Yes… if he actually endorsed me, I’d wonder what I was doing wrong. I’m hoping for a good lambasting…

  3. Yael

    Good one Susan! You pack more poetic ability into one of your stanzas than your critics do in all their volumes.
    This reminds me of the 15th chapter of the gospel of John:
    “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
    If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
    Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
    But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
    Shabbat shalom to all.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Yael, thank you so very much for this. I thoroughly appreciate these perfect words. I will admit to quaking a little at going into linguistic battle, BUT all those children who are being brainwashed, drugged, and mutilated mean much more to me than my reputation in the field of poetry. I am thrilled Michael Burch has given me the opportunity to get my message to a wider audience. Shabbat shalom to you too, my friend!

      Reply
  4. Joshua C. Frank

    Another great one, Susan! The fact that the woke are attacking you verbally is a sign that you’re on the right track.

    I took a look at Burch’s so-called “poetry” on Poem Hunter—he can’t write worth a darn, I don’t know how he got so popular in the first place. The abysmal quality of modern “poetry” only proves the need for the SCP.

    The same guy claims that we’re a “vanity press,” when some of my poems have been rejected, or returned with a request for revision—plus, his site gives him all the space he wants to rant against us, so who’s using a vanity press? No, I think he spends all that time and energy ranting about us because he knows we’re right about poetry, about biological sex, etc., and is trying to make us wrong. Maybe if he spent that time improving his craft, he might write some poetry worth reading…

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Josh, thank you for this. Burch’s poetry has never grabbed me. I’m glad mine has grabbed him… the more publicity the immutable truth gets the better. I hope your comment will lead Mr. Burch to your pages… what an opportunity… a prime put-down on Hypertexts. I will wear my put down as a badge of honor!

      Reply
  5. Mary Gardner

    Susan, I am sorry you have to endure such spiteful criticisms from the misguided. You handle it well. Keep up the good fight.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Mary, thank you for your kind words. I used to get very upset at the criticisms, but that was because I was putting myself first… now, I see the broader picture. If my poetry can get one person to look beyond the propaganda we’re fed every night on the news and see the truth shining from the shadows – by “the shadows”, I mean those who are shut down and silenced, that makes me happy… and, it’s beautiful people like you who spur me on. I am most grateful to this admirable platform for allowing me the opportunity to get the truth out there.

      Reply
  6. Cheryl Corey

    So you’re a “preachy lunatic?” Preach on, woman. Preach on!
    I believe that true cases of gender dysphoria are rare and need to be treated with compassion, but the majority of those involved appear to be under some kind of mass psychosis, akin to the Salem witch trials. A brain is made of neural connections, synapses. Perhaps Mr. Burch is confusing the brain with the development of the mind? It’s disappointing to learn of his attack against you.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Cheryl, bless you! I’m gonna get preachier than ever!

      Like you, I believe the true cases of gender dysphoria must be treated with compassion and I am sure in most cases they have been. I am certain this “mass psychosis, akin to the Salem witch trials” is down to the propagandist push from the transgender movement paid by the corrupt government-funded insurance companies… follow the money. Cheryl – thank you!

      Reply
  7. Joshua C. Frank

    Oh, one more thing: I notice he advocates letting children decide what is best for themselves. What parent consults his child on how to raise him? I thought what was fun and what was good for me were one and the same! I would have eaten donuts and played Nintendo all day.

    Reply
  8. Russel Winick

    IF AT FIRST — NAH, FORGET IT

    He sought but failed to best her,
    Theoretically,
    Knowing not to even try
    It poetically.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Russel, I am smiling… thank you! And don’t stop giving us all your poetic gems of wit and wisdom. I love ’em!

      Reply
  9. Margaret Coats

    Susan, it is most perceptive to include “An Encouragement to Poets” in this post title. While Burch’s article is rather too long and repetitive to be worth reading, anyone who skims it can see that he attacks the entire Society of Classical Poets (ten individuals are named), and by extension any poet who might publish here, or indeed anyone who might read and comment on what is published. The piece is neither literary criticism nor satire, but an attack on poets and readers of poetry.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Margaret, thank you. You are quite right. And no SCP poet should be discouraged by Mr. Burch’s bitchy, hissy fits… perhaps he ought to get his noggin checked out… he might need to take the snip-and-stitch-up road to joy.

      Reply
  10. Sally Cook

    Susan, you should have seen the trouble he took to encourage every useful idiot available to jump on me for praising John Whitworth in comparison to Walt Whitman!
    The title of my poem was “What A Wit is Worth”; one of my first SCP submissions.
    By hammering away at me and my work, Mike Burch encouraged so many of those of his stripe, that of the huge number of negative responses there were but a handful of positive ones!
    I am sure it must have horrified poor Evan, who had recently interviewed me… What might I do next? But it put me in the right camp from the start. And good old Mike was right there, telling everyone where to go.
    And now, Susan – dare I say it – it’s your turn for a waltz with Michael.. Sorry to hear your brain is feminine.

    Reply
    • James Sale

      Congratulations Susan: you have now joined the elite of the elite poets on the SCP by being the subject of a MB hypertext. I am proud to say my own poems have been roundly rubbished in an incoherent and ineffective way by him – a mark of his envious thinking; as has the wonderful Evan’s and the great Joe Salemi’s. Joe of course destroyed all his arguments long ago and Sally is right to point you to her poem on Whitworth/Whitman where the issue came to a head. I was myself simply dumbfounded by his stupidity: he argued that Walt Whitman should not be criticised because he might have family members who might be upset. Leaving aside the fact that he was unmarried, homosexual, childless and lived some 150 years ago – as I say, leaving that aside – heck, aren’t we able to criticise contemporaries never mind the long dead? Welcome to the world of the Texas rattlesnake – I think that’s where he’s based: oh no!!! Not a neighbour of yours? Come back to Kent – we need you here Susan!!!

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        James, this is horrendous and hilarious… in fact, it’s insane! Just when I thought things in rattlesnake country couldn’t get any wilder… you know the rest. Kent… I’m tempted.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Sally, I’ve just cast my eye over the trouble Mr. Burch took to jump on you for holding John Whitworth’s poetry above Walt Whitman’s! I must say that having just read his scathing attacks on many SCP poets’ characters, I’m not surprised. I firmly believe Mr. Burch puts politics before poetry and it isn’t politically correct to choose Whitworth above Whitman in the literary hierarchy of those who think newborn baby’s brains and not their chromosomes declare their gender to the world. I wonder what happened to the other fifty-odd genders to choose from?! Waltzing isn’t much fun when your partner takes the dizzy-blonde female lead… if only science was this advanced when Mr. Burch was born.

      Reply
  11. Guy Warner

    “We have managed to exchange religious belief for a gullibility for anything that can masquerade as science.” –Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Never a truer word. A grave warning in these Godless days of insanity. Thank you for this spot-on quote, Guy!

      Reply
  12. Cynthia Erlandson

    Sorry to be late to the party, Susan; I just saw this — but wanted to add my cheers and gratitude to you. Your poem is excellent as poetry, which means both in technique and in truth. People who believe anyone can change his or her sex — or that children will be helped rather than harmed by trying such a horrendous thing — are either not living in reality, or are sadists. Thank you for alerting me to this charlatan.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Cynthia, thank you very much for your appreciation of my poetry, your support, and for being on the side of truth.

      Reply
  13. Brian Yapko

    Dear Susan, I can see I’m late getting to the party. Well, I second pretty much everything that everyone has said about the strengths and powerful message of your courageous poem as well as about the pusillanimous quality of soul that Mr. Burch displays in his snarky ab hominem attacks — attacks which flirt perilously with libel in his sneering discussion of poets and poetry that he dislikes. Oh, the smug mockery. Is he trying to become the poetry world’s version of Don Rickles — but without the skill? Oh, the obliviousness to his own shallow viewpoints which most of us had when we were 17, smoking weed and arguing with our neanderthal parents but which we eventually grew out of. It’s painful to see – not for you because you come out smelling like a rose. But to see someone claim the mantle of poet when he has such limited heart and yet is drunk on his own wokitude… I repeat myself. It’s painful to see.

    The way I see it, Susan, if you get through this life without making a few enemies or having people trash you, then you’re doing something wrong. People with something to say invite resentment. Absent that, you’re either too nice or you have no viewpoints that have actually been thought through or you’re just so bland that you can’t make a difference. You, Susan, actually make a difference. You have a strong moral compass and you have the talent and the will to advocate with rigorous intellectualism as well as considerable heart. I learn from you with each poem and you have made me reconsider many a position. You are brave and although there are people who you will rub the wrong way — too frigging bad for them. What’s the alternative? To try to please everybody? Do that and you end up standing for nothing. You, in contrast, stand for a great deal – things that are right and moral and wholesome and disciplined. You consistently demonstrate an adult, mature understanding of the world, human nature and the enemies that would attack those people who have eminently supportable positions on controversial subjects. Our world would be a much better place if there were more Susan Jarvis Bryants influencing things.

    As for the transgender issue, I’m also with you on that all the way. And I’m going to tell you why it’s 180 degrees different from being gay. Gay people have been around for thousands of years. Look at any Greek vase, Roman mural, the sculptures of Michelangelo or half of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Gay people generally do not contend that they have been plopped into the wrong body either by Nature or by a ludicrously careless God. Like them or not, they are what they are, they have always been here, and they don’t require all of the miracles of modern technology to give them their identity.

    In contrast, transgender people (them, they) are a new phenomenon who would not and could not exist without all of the modern technology apparatus that goes along with hormone therapy, puberty blockers, surgeries to remove penises and breasts and to create artificial body parts. If a cataclysm destroyed modern technology and we went back to the 19th Century or anything before it, 95% of transgender people wouldn’t even exist and those who still claimed that they did would find a way to live with the bodies that God actually gave them. I can certainly imagine that there are some people who have true gender dysphoria and that such people have existed in history. (The Roman emperor Elagabalus comes to mind.) But the numbers are vanishingly small. Let me repeat that – VANISHINGLY SMALL. For the modern world in the last 20 years to suddenly jump on the transgender bandwagon and claim that, oh I don’t know, 10% of the population has actually been plopped into the wrong body defies common sense, statistics, history and can only be promoted by atheists who either believe that there is no God at all; or by the faithless who think that God is exceedingly negligent in the dispensing of souls; or by those who are so drunk on compassion that they have decided that everyone should “follow their dreams” no matter how ridiculous those dreams are; or by some bizarre fifth column that thinks this is a great way to weaken Western culture. Could be all of the above. And yet we are supposed to tilt all of society – from athletic competitions to obstetrics to religious institutions to our very language – to accommodate a tiny minority of people? Ludicrous. Especially when it seems probable that the vast majority of them are simply psychiatric and/or easily suggestible people who have almost certainly been brainwashed into thinking that they are gender dysphoric. Especially when so many of them so obviously suffer from the same mass hysteria as caused teenage girls in Salem to cry “witch!” — many of whom no doubt sincerely believed the claim.

    You point these things out, Susan, with superb artistry. I’m sorry that some people are dismayed by arguments that are so supportably and objectively true, but people hate having their covers pulled. As for me, when the Emperor has no clothes, I intend to point that out. And I’m grateful and glad that you do too. Let the dogs bark. Just so long as you keep writing.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, a huge THANK YOU! What a tour de force of a comment that touches upon all I want to say in my poetry but haven’t quite managed to… just yet. The immutable truth is tough to hear, especially when one’s reputation and one’s wages or one’s poetry depends upon ignoring it… but, how can any sane mind ignore what you have just said… fearlessly and admirably? I agree with every passionate and eloquent word.

      I wanted to encourage poets with my post. I didn’t want them to be disheartened or hurt by scathing criticism that is likely to come about for penning independent views that don’t align with the “current thing.” Brian, your comment is a fine example of exactly how to deal with those who refuse to acknowledge the truth and trample on others for speaking it. Your sincerity burns and my heart is warmed by it. I am certain others feel the same. Brian, you are an inspiration – those dogs can bark all they like, I won’t put my pen down and I know you’ll join me in my poetic endeavors to keep the truth and free speech alive. With much gratitude!

      Reply
    • Margaret Coats

      Susan, I’m deliberately putting this right after Brian’s excellent summary of how transgenderism depends on both current technology and current attitudes. I agree with him, but there is one more fundamental issue that should be mentioned, namely, human fertility. Human beings can procreate, and receive the incomparable joys of that experience, only by exercising physical powers that belong to the sex genetically determined at conception. During the long course of human history, very many men and women with homosexual attractions have nevertheless had children, because these attractions do not disable healthy reproduction. Until recently, medical technology generally took the beneficial approach of helping men and women overcome physical obstacles to fertility. Whenever technology has aimed to thwart fertility, the means used have been, at the very least, recognized as presenting very serious moral and ethical questions.

      We need to recognize that transgender technology and attitudes represent a far-reaching program to sterilize human bodies and minds of both sexes. Psychosocial treatment, biochemical treatment, and surgical treatment work together to render human beings infertile. The choice to change sexual identity is offered at the cost of ever being able to choose the recognized human good of having children. Difficulties develop in every aspect of human personality, body and soul.
      This is done to immature individuals.

      Transgenderism is comprehensive sterilization, destroying or deforming significant potential for human happiness.

      Reply
      • Susan Jarvis Bryant

        Margaret, thank you very much for this. I am certain many have no idea just how damaging the transgender ideology is. Your clear explanation leaves no doubt that this type of “healthcare” is as far from “care” as one could possibly imagine. “Psychosocial treatment, biochemical treatment, and surgical treatment work together to render human beings infertile” says it all… which is why it’s so important we reject those “preferred pronouns” – the beginning of the drugs-and-scalpel road to misery.

      • Brian Yapko

        Margaret, I also want to thank you for this extremely insightful comment which spells out just how nefarious leftist thinking is. You’re absolutely right on all counts — but I’m particularly struck by your concerns concerning the inability to produce children. This is a form of mass sterilization which may actually cross into eugenics territory. And it is being foisted on our most innocent, our most incapable of mature reasoning, our most psychologically vulnerable. It’s almost as if leftist thinking is “Anything to cull the herd. Anything to keep ’em from reproducing.” As if there weren’t flesh and blood human beings at stake! The fall-out from these policies will be devastating. It already is.

  14. The Society

    Michael Burch would do himself a service by realizing that everything Susan Jarvis Bryant and the SCP are doing is in the service of POETRY and it would be wise of him to see the bigger picture instead of needlessly attacking people who are different (the irony is palpable here).

    Transgenderism, I think he and others will realize one day in the not too distant future, assuming they are still on this Earth, has some serious underlying problems and children should not ever under any circumstance receive gender reassignment surgery. Below is an excerpt of an article about someone who received such surgery as a child and has come to realize what an abomination this is.

    Evan Mantyk
    SCP Editor

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/ex-transgender-teen-recounts-horrifying-experience-of-transition-surgery_4694543.html?utm_source=ai&utm_medium=search

    Ex-Transgender Teen Recounts ‘Horrifying’ Experience of Transition, Surgery
    By Brad Jones

    Chloe Cole was 15 years old when she agreed to let a “gender-affirming” surgeon remove her healthy breasts—a life-altering decision she now deeply regrets.

    Her “brutal” transition from female to male was anything but the romanticized “gender journey” that transgender activists and medical professionals had portrayed, she told The Epoch Times.

    “It’s a little creepy to call it that,” she said.

    Cole, who is now 18, feels more like she’s just awoken from “a nightmare,” and she’s disappointed with the medical and school system that fast-tracked her to gender transition surgery.

    “I was convinced that it would make me happy, that it would make me whole as a person,” she said.

    Although she feels “let down” by most of the adults in her life, she doesn’t blame her parents for following the advice of school staff and medical professionals, who “affirmed” her desire for social transitioning, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery.

    Most of the medical professionals did nothing to question or dissuade her or her parents, she said.

    “They effectively guilted my parents into allowing them to do this. They gave them the whole, ‘Either, you’ll have a dead daughter or a live son,’ thing. They cited suicide rates,” she said. “There is just so much complacency on the part of educators—all the adults basically. I’m really upset over it. I feel a little bit angry. I wasn’t really allowed to just grow.”

    Her parents, though skeptical, trusted the medical professionals and eventually consented to their daughter’s desire for medical interventions, including surgery, which was covered by their health insurance policy.

    “It shouldn’t be put on adolescents to make these kinds of decisions at all,” she said.

    Transgenderism
    Transgenderism, while widely celebrated in popular culture and on social media in recent times, is a much more divisive issue than people may think, Cole said.

    Today, Cole is one of a growing number of young “detransitioners” who reject current trends in transgender ideology and oppose the “gender-affirming” model of care being pushed by progressive lawmakers at state and federal levels.

    She recently testified against California Senate Bill 107, proposed legislation authored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), that would shelter parents who consent to the use of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and gender transition surgery on their children from prosecution in other states that view such actions as child abuse.

    Reply
    • James Sale

      Great, great points Evan, and here is even simpler one: I myself just cannot understand how anybody can be so nonchalant about having an ‘operation’, especially when one’s direct physical health is not threatened? I mean I have cancer; 11 years ago I had two 5-hour operations in which 30% of my small intestines were removed. It was necessary – to save my life. But the scars of it, including the mental pain of going under the knife is with me forever. The cavalier attitude of ‘take some hormones’ and then ‘just have an operation’ (or two or three or …) just staggers me. It’s like seeing people – most of them young – who mentally live in a Peter Pan-world where realities are never really addressed. You only undergo surgery (given one or two extreme and relatively rare exceptions to this like fire scarring) when your life is at stake; to do otherwise is to devalue the value of your own life.

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you very much Evan and James. There is indeed a bigger picture and literature has always been a perfect medium to reflect upon and highlight atrocities in society, whether it’s Dickensian workhouses or Orwellian dystopian futures. Poets should have the right to express themselves through poetry without having their characters dragged through the social-media mud for thinking for themselves in an age when independent thought that doesn’t fit the force-fed narrative is frowned upon and acted upon. In Britain people are handcuffed and arrested for tweets. America is heading down that route and people like Michael Burch are helping the US on its wicked way to serfdom.

      James, you bring up a very valid point on the surgery front and your words of wisdom and personal experience should be a warning to all. Transgenderism is being sold as the path to eternal happiness. Many people who have gone through the procedure as minors (just as Evan has highlighted) are scarred both mentally and physically, and this procedure (even the damage done by hormone blockers) is NOT reversible. That’s exactly why those speaking the truth must be silenced… the money-making scam will be shut down if the public knew the truth. Michael Burch’s willful ignorance astounds and saddens me.

      Reply
  15. kate Farrell

    Well, Susan, Maybe Mr. Baruch would enjoy reading Dorothy L. Sayers’ writings exploring the choices people make between good and evil. The truths Real Artists point to may be startling, shattering, yet somehow, someway sound familiar.
    As Richard Rohr points out there is a major crisis of meaning in the West – a loss of hope. What we need is sacred psychology or mythology – deep and true enough to address questions of meaning and hope –
    Stay on the Heroic Journey. I am following the WAY- always under construction.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Kate, thank you very much for this thought-provoking comment with plenty of pointers to reading material that has turned my head. It seems there isn’t enough time in life to read all the books and write all the poems that are calling my name… but I will endeavor to do my best. The WAY is the only way to go… I’m right by your side.

      Reply
  16. ABB

    The nerds will rail to no avail. I notice that Burch tends to fall into confirmation bias, cherry-picking at verses he deems bad for political reasons and dismissing them without much analysis, while overlooking other fine examples of the poet’s work, like this amazing, structurally perfect piece I recently read by SJB in Snakeskin:

    https://www.snakeskinpoetry.co.uk

    Going to Burch’s Wikipedia page, the notification at the top indicates that it was obviously written by himself, or a follower of his:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_R._Burch

    While I have encountered some big egos in the poetry world in the short time I have been involved in it, this really takes the cake.

    The Hypertexts does have some good stuff on it. What confuses me is that Burch has published some really fine poems by Leo Yankevich and great selections from Salemi’s ‘Gallery of Ethopaths,’ but then turns around and badmouths them based on their SCP affiliations. The mention of the late Yankevich in this connection is particularly low. It says a lot about a person. Contrast this with Sally Cook’s commemorative poem of Yankevich on this site.

    The only SCP poet he does not totally drag into the mud is Anderson, who he says is “not a terrible poet,” but then describes him as a “journeyman,” without elaborating or giving examples.

    While he rants a lot about James Sale, I would submit that a canto of Sale’s epic contains more depth than the entire body of Burch’s work…although I do admit Burch’s poems are pleasing to read. I like them, they have nice imagery. They would go well beside a Thomas Kinkade painting, to which they are the literary equivalent.

    The Hypertexts has (according to his autobiographical Wiki page) received 9.8 million views since 2010. While I do not have exact stats on the SCP site, I know it’s traffic is significantly more than this. Evidence that Evan is doing more for poetry today than Burch…and there it is. The real reason for Burch’s ire. Why the SCP Wiki page “does not meet notability guidelines” would seem to not make sense, were the woke bias not evident.

    He also seems to think that, because of his collection of anti-religious poems, he is a bold controversialist:

    http://www.thehypertexts.com/Heresy%20Hearsay%20Poetry%20Vulgar%20Blasphemous.htm

    When, in fact, he just accepts all the same liberal secular pieties as every other mainstream wonk.

    I would imagine that after this poem you wrote, Susan, you will raise Burch’s ire enough that he will soon come up with a clever derogatory nickname for you. Perhaps you will merit your own essay. I envy you.

    Reply
    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Let me quote something from an e-mail that Leo Yankevich sent to me back in 2012: “Burch is nothing but a computer software salesman with pretentions to literature.”

      Reply
      • ABB

        Love this.

        According to his bio his pieces have been published over 8,000 times, and 73 YouTube videos have mentioned his work. Not sure exactly what kind of obsessive maniac keeps track of this sort of thing. Would seem that he either:
        1. Googles himself on a daily basis, or
        2. As a tech guy, has created a computer program that Googles him.
        Am guessing it is the latter, and that this same AI program also wrote his Wikipedia page, and all his poetry too.

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      ABB, I thoroughly appreciate your fine eye. Your observations on Mr. Burch make his vicious attacks on the SCP poets clearer to understand. Your closing paragraph is a hoot, and I am certain you will soon be seeing your derogatory nickname and scathing essay beaming from the front page of The Hypervexed website. The more I read about this noxious nitpicker the happier I am with the putdown… what a marvelous endorsement. Thank you very much, Andrew!

      Reply
      • ABB

        Ha, not sure if I am notable enough to warrant a personal attack, but we shall see. Perhaps we will appear in an essay-rant together. Something to look forward to in the holiday season.

  17. Amrita Valan

    I agree with you Susan. Absolutely, both on the points you made in the poem, and to have the courage to speak up. I read somewhere that “They only want to silence you because your voice has power.” Who makes these sort of major life changing game changing decisions for children at such an early age? Let them attain majority, experience the life they got allotted to them and make up their minds over time. This is not fast food. This is not wardrobe/costume change. This is in fact a little bit like Live Action Role Play, if you take things too far too fast, except then you can’t shrug off the role, end of day. I am glad I read your poem. I think I commented on it and shared it too.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Amrita, I thoroughly appreciate your comment. Thank you! The sad thing is many people believe they are alone in their views on just how destructive transgender ideology is. They’ve seen people lose their jobs over it, they’ve seen them publicly humiliated and banished from social media platforms and bullied into silence, until they begin questioning the reality of the situation. There is an insidious psychology behind this that infects society like a canker… all because those who know better question themselves and remain silent and in doing so get swept up in the magnitude of it all… before they know it, giving in to the preferred pronouns has led to sterilization and mutilation of huge numbers of children. I would like to thank you, Amrita, and everyone who has commented on this piece for speaking out and in doing so standing up for our children. Mr. Burch isn’t the only one entitled to an opinion, and just because we don’t agree with him, we shouldn’t be held up for public ridicule and shaming.

      Reply
  18. Mike Bryant

    Michael Burch has responded to Susan at TheHypervexed. Susan’s title was “Headcase” but was changed to make it easy for the highly excitable Mr. Burch to find it. She shouldn’t have worried because he apparently scans SCP obsessively.
    Mr. Burch conveniently skirts the issue, saying that because God does not measure up to Burch’s standards, all manner of childhood brainwashing, drugging and mutilation is just fine. Burch also will NOT own up to the fact that he has the “brain science” utterly WRONG. Let’s leave God out of the equation, Mr. Burch… you are an amoral, science-denying, hypocritical, narcissist.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Thank you for sharing this, Mike. Are there any surprises here? The shocker would have been if he had exhibited something resembling maturity, nuance in his thinking and some intellectual and spiritual depth greater than a chihuahua (no offense to chihuahuas intended.) Some people believe everything they think because they are, after all, them. Some people get angry when others are not appropriately worshipful. And some people are so invested in their narratives that they can’t be reached. It’s a waste of time and energy to even try. Like I said to Susan earlier, let the dogs bark. This is the time to triage: invest your energy and talent where it can actually make a difference.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Thanks, Brian. Susan is too busy to worry about the hyper-vexed Mr. Berk. However, I have given myself the title, Susan’s Bulldog. I have assigned myself the task of taking on Susan’s light work, and Mr. Berk is definitely a lightweight.
        You are right, Susan needn’t concern herself with the yapping of this teacup chihuahua.

  19. Adam Wasem

    There’s a saying, “If you’re catching flak, that means you’re over the target.” The unfortunate part is then you often have to deal with the dimwits. That their “critiques” are entirely comprised of regurgitated propaganda and fashionable nonsense we must accept as a given. It’s instructive, however, to note that Mr. Blurt’s laughably puerile rebuttal is taken even the slightest bit seriously, and thus provides a useful gauge for how far the state of critical discourse has sunk in this country. My deepest thanks to you, Susan, for wading into the fray and providing us that.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Adam. I thoroughly appreciate your words and I’m catching a sackful of flak on The Hyper-vexed site… there’s a whole page dedicated to: “the colossally uncaring Susan Jarvis Bryant” from someone who willfully overlooks the plight of children who have been irreparably harmed by “experts” who have cast aside real science to line their own pockets with blood money. Shame on him!

      Reply
      • Joshua C. Frank

        Wow, a whole page! Congratulations! Now I have a new goal with my poetry: to get my own page on Burch’s Index of Forbidden Poets! How did you do it?

  20. Mike Bryant

    Michael Burch has created an entire page just for Susan!
    Methinks he doth protest too much.

    I think Lurch was born with anencephaly… I feel his pain. I bet Susan feels his pain as well.

    Reply
    • Brian Yapko

      Oh, that poor, dear naive man who has never heard that children and the psychiatrically vulnerable are suggestible and easily manipulated. I have a dumb question: who does greater damage? Those who feed lies or those who tell the truth? Those who enable bad behavior or those who call it out? Those who say the Emperor has no clothes, or those who compliment him on his invisible ermine cape? Well, invisible ermine capes are a rare and valuable thing, so by all means let’s keep that fantasy going. And bless his compassionate, star-gazing little heart.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Brian, the ermine capes may be invisible, but the Ferraris are fire engine red and very easy to spot.

    • Yael

      Wow, what a breath-taking public display of thought projection and displacement of self onto another. And after he is done attacking Susan he accuses “God (if there is a God) and Nature” of mismanagement. It’s a little ironic that he questions the existence of God, but he doesn’t question the existence of Nature, while charging both with mismanagement and the wronging of children. I wonder what makes him so sure that children are “born with mismatched brains and genitals” and that surgically knifing their bodies and genitalia can correct this condition?
      Satan’s best trick has always been that of convincing people who think they are smarter than God that neither of them exists.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Yael, the lies are so apparent that only a great deal of money, idiocy and pure evil can keep them alive.

    • Mike Bryant

      Mike Burch wonders how Susan could believe there are “human perverts who long to butcher children for inexplicable reasons.”
      He then asks, “How is this not sheer lunacy, sheer insanity?”
      Because, oh mighty poet, the reasons are not inexplicable at all. The human perverts who feed our children lies, who encourage our children’s misconceptions, who connect our confused and abused children with other similarly misled waifs in online “support” groups, who drug our children with the same chemical castration drugs that are administered to sexual criminals, who provide “affirming” counseling to our kids, who schedule “top” surgery, “bottom” surgery, phalloplasty, vaginoplasty, and endless medical and psychological appointments and procedures… are making a damned KILLING on the confusion of children who aren’t even allowed to buy a pack of cigarettes.
      THAT IS THE REASON!!!!
      So, Mike Burch… go look at the houses these perverts live in, the cars they drive and their bank accounts and then tell me that the reasons are inexplicable.
      You might be able to do the mental gymnastics to accept all the ridiculous lies, but PLEASE… STOP insulting our intelligence.

      Reply
      • Joshua C. Frank

        Not to mention the other way in which children are being butchered: abortion! Plenty of industries make a killing (pun intended) with that too.

        As long as liberals believe in that, they don’t have a leg to stand on with any moral issue. How can they be against killing a few thousand people in the Ukraine when they support tens of millions of unborn babies being butchered worldwide every year?

  21. BDW

    Firstly, Ms. Bryant is in good company in riling up Mr. Burch in her poem in opposition to the “mutilation of minors”. She has gotten under his skin.

    And where is the compassion of Mr. Burch? It seems mainly reserved for quack doctors and supersillious “science”.

    Mr. Salemi is correct, Ms. Bryant has “hypervexed” the “charlatan”. Would that he could answer her, at least in lucid prose, if not iambic pentameters, or was Mr. Yankevich right?

    Finally, the Bryants have done a very good job in exposing many of these snake-oil salesmen. Would that Mr. Burch could see that.

    Reply
    • BDW

      Apparently spellcheckers have gotten rid of it; but, according to Beau Lecsi Werd, “supersillious” is/was a contextually understandable neologism. Supercilious was not the intended meaning.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Sorry Bruce, this spellchecker is always getting me in trouble!
        Fixed!

  22. Mike Bryant

    J.K. Rowling goes off on the ‘genderists’ and ‘pedophilia apologists’ and it’s a beautiful thing
    Posted at 7:48 pm on October 6, 2022 by Brett T.

    As Twitchy reported Wednesday, “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling said she’d be the first to sign a petition if the trans charity Mermaids wanted to take her to court for bad-mouthing them. Fox News has picked up on the Mermaids story:

    foxnews.com
    Trustee of transgender kids’ charity resigns after unearthed speech to group for ‘minor-attracted…
    The leader of a transgender kids’ charity in the UK resigned following the revelation he delivered a 2011 speech to a group that advocates services for “minor-attracted people.”
    6:05 PM · October 6, 2022

    Jon Brown reports:
    A trustee on the board of a U.K. charity for transgender children resigned Monday following an unearthed speech he had given to an organization that promotes services to people sexually attracted to minors.
    Dr. Jacob Breslow, who serves as associate professor of gender and sexuality at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), tendered his resignation to Mermaids, a nonprofit whose website says it “has been supporting transgender, nonbinary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families since 1995.”

    According to his website, Breslow’s research “brings together critical race, trans, feminist, queer, critical migration, and psychoanalytic theories to explore the role of childhood in shaping and challenging the disposability of young black life, the steadfastness of the gender binary, the queer life of children’s desires, and the precarious status of migrants.”
    In his 2011 presentation before the B4U-ACT symposium, titled “Sexual Alignment: Critiquing Sexual Orientation, The Pedophile, and the DSM V,” Breslow said in part, “Allowing for a form of non-diagnosable minor attraction is exciting, as it potentially creates a sexual or political identity by which activists, scholars and clinicians can begin to better understand Minor Attracted Persons.”
    “This understanding may displace the stigma, fear and abjection that is naturalized as being attached to Minor Attracted Persons and may alter the terms by which non-normative sexualities are known,” he continued.
    Slate has been trying to destigmatize “minor-attracted persons” since at least 2017, and asked again in 2019 if pedophilia is a crime to be punished, or is it just another sexual preference.

    Rowling said:
    “I note the genderists are now arguing that it doesn’t matter that a paedophilia apologist was a trustee of a trans children’s charity, because he was ‘only one’. You know, I thought things were pretty bad when you were arguing to put convicted rapists in women’s jails, when you shrugged off masked men roughing up lesbian protestors and tried to shout down detransitioners talking about what was done to them by ideologically-captured doctors. Women, gay people and vulnerable kids have suffered real harm and you? You cheered it all on.
    You still prefer wilful blindness and four word mantras to considering you might have got this badly wrong. You became part of an authoritarian, misogynist, homophobic movement and you didn’t even notice. Enjoy the sense of your own righteousness while you can. It won’t last.”
    – J. K. Rowling from Twitter

    – Andrew Doyle said:
    “Even now, when it is revealed that one of Mermaids’s trustees is an apologist for paedophilia, many of its supporters are doubling down. This is what is known as “belief perseverance”. “Belief perseverance” is when people are presented with evidence that disproves their views but, instead of revising their views accordingly, they hold fast.
    It explains a good deal of what is happening here.
    There is a lot at stake for those who have cheered on the Tavistock Clinic and groups like Mermaids. Many of the cheerleaders have encouraged the transitioning of children, sometimes their own.
    Many of these kids will have been autistic, or will have grown up to be gay.
    Even after the Cass report revealed that the Tavistock was unsafe for children, did any of its supporters admit they might have been wrong? Did any of them acknowledge that, for all their good intentions, they were endangering vulnerable children? Have any of the politicians who called for a ban on “trans conversion therapy” conceded that they had been hoodwinked by linguistic wordplay? That they were, in effect, supporting the “fixing” of kids who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes?
    For people to admit that they supported the sterilisation of children would be to face a terrible reality.
    Decent people have been captured by an ideology, and the result has been one of the biggest medical scandals of our time.
    Little wonder they prefer to double down.
    So while it becomes increasingly obvious that gender identity ideology is a reactionary force that represents a direct threat to the rights of women and gay people – and an outright denial of reality – there will be many who simply will not be able to admit the truth.
    There will be more denial and obfuscation.
    Mermaids and similar groups will continue to claim they’re the victims of “anti-trans” campaigns, and dismiss legitimate concerns as “hate”.
    These ideologues have invested too much in their fantasies to give up without a fight.”
    – Andrew Doyle from Twitter

    They’re both right. Performing double mastectomies on 16-year-old girls is a legitimate concern, but the Biden administration itself has come out against “conversion therapy” as harmful and gone all-in on gender-affirming care. But the Babylon Bee makes a joke about Rachel Levine and is permanently banned from Twitter. You can’t talk about it because you might expose the rickety frame holding it all up.

    Story by Brett T. On Twitchy

    Reply

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