I am not a Subset

About a dozen years or so ago I listened to Kate Bornstein speak at a rally outside the UCLA Student Union.

It was for National Coming Out Day.

I carried my Transsexual Menace t-shirt in my day pack and put it on for the rally.

A young woman asked if I was transsexual or just wearing it to support transsexuals.

In the spirit of the day I told her I was and she responded with the standard, “I never would have known.”

I thought, “That’s pretty much the point.  I didn’t get surgery to be recognized as transsexual where ever I went.  I got surgery because I looked more like a girl than a boy and I wanted/needed to be female.”

Kate is funny.  Kate is a good speaker and all that.

But…

Kate started her, “I am not a man.  I am not a woman.’ schtick and I thought, that’s cool but that isn’t who I am.

If you want to get into things I am not, try the following:

I am not a gender variant.

I am not transgender.

I don’t need an umbrella.

I know about my history but it isn’t my present.

But most of all:

I AM NOT A SUBSET

I do not like being objectified and degraded into some sort of category by people who wish to exploit me by using post-transsexual people to disguise a political goal that might be impossible otherwise.

There are so many of these digs that lessen post-transsexual women.

And both the Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc wonder why we want a divorce or as Mercedes Allen said in her post on Bilerico “Decolonization.”

See:  http://www.bilerico.com/2011/06/why_the_umbrella_failed.php

It’s Time to End the Stigma Against Abortion Providers

From RH Reality Check: http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2011/06/16/stopping-stigma

by Katrina Anderson, Center for Reproductive Rights
June 17, 2011

A lucky misfire in a Madison, Wisconsin motel saved potentially scores of lives recently. Police arrived on the scene to find Ralph Lang armed with a .38 caliber gun and 35 bullets he intended to use to murder reproductive healthcare providers at Planned Parenthood affiliates in Madison, and then Milwaukee. Lang said his purpose was to “line them all up in a row, get a machine gun and mow them all down.”

Falling days before the second anniversary of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller’s assassination, Ralph’s Lang misfire should be greeted with more than just a sigh of relief. The murder of Dr. Tiller in 2009 sparked a short-lived, narrowly focused debate about the relationship between extremist rhetoric and violence: Did right-wing commentators like Bill O’Reilly, who said that anyone who didn’t stop Tiller would have “blood on their hands,” bear some responsibility in inciting the murder? Notably absent was an honest stock-taking of the government’s responsibility to nurture a culture of respect for providers and the rights they defend by setting concrete laws to protect their practice and their lives.

State legislatures have instead been busy in the last two years reinforcing stigma and discrimination against abortion providers. Over 50 abortion restrictions have passed in 2011 alone, by far the most in the past decade. The state of Kansas, for example, responded to Dr. Tiller’s murder by passing laws that increase the burden on doctors who provide abortions. An especially burdensome law that will go into effect July 1 is expected to drive at least one of Kansas’ three abortion clinics out of business. This law will require unannounced inspections of abortion clinics and impose onerous and arbitrary building and operations standards specifically for them. And Lang’s arrest came one week after Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee approved a bill to eliminate state family-planning grants to organizations that use separate funds to provide abortions. If signed into law, it will deprive Planned Parenthood of $1 million and severely restrict services to those clients living at or below the federal poverty level—nearly 40,000 women in 2009.

The impact of these laws is twofold. They are designed to block access to abortion by making it very difficult or impossible for doctors to continue to work and for women to obtain an abortion. But more insidiously, these laws increase stigma surrounding abortion by marginalizing abortion providers. The separate rules and enforcement regime for clinics has nothing to do with the level of risk of the procedure, and everything to do with harassing providers. The implicit message behind such legislation is that abortion providers are suspicious—even blameworthy—and in need of constant monitoring, while women seeking abortions need to be protected from their own decisions.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2011/06/16/stopping-stigma

 

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Tory MP Philip Davies: disabled people could work for less pay

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/17/tory-philip-davies-disabled-people-work

Shipley MP describes criticism of his remarks that disabled people could work for less than minimum wage as ‘leftwing hysteria’

Allegra Stratton, political correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Friday 17 June 2011

A Tory MP has sparked anger by suggesting that disabled people should work for less than the minimum wage to increase their chances of being taken on by employers.

Philip Davies told the Commons: “If an employer is looking at two candidates, one who has got disabilities and one who hasn’t, and they have got to pay them both the same rate, I invite you to guess which one the employer is more likely to take on.

“Given that some of those people with a learning disability clearly, by definition, cannot be as productive in their work as somebody who has not got a disability of that nature, then it was inevitable that, given the employer was going to have to pay them both the same, they were going to take on the person who was going to be more productive, less of a risk.

“My view is that for some people the national minimum wage may be more of a hindrance than a help.

“If those people who consider it is being a hindrance to them, and in my view that’s some of the most vulnerable people in society, if they feel that for a short period of time, taking a lower rate of pay to help them get on their first rung of the jobs ladder, if they judge that that is a good thing, I don’t see why we should be standing in their way.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jun/17/tory-philip-davies-disabled-people-work

 

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Friday Night Fun and Culture: KT Tunstall

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Why Should Post-Transsexual Women Bow to the Wishes of Transvestites?

One thing I noticed through the Trans-wars is how using the perfectly good trans-prefixed word, “transvestite” for men, straight or gay who cross dress on occasion but do not live full time in a cross gender role that is inconsistent with social expectations based on their current genitalia, will get me black listed from any forum that has chugged the Transgender Borg Collective’s Kool-Aid.

As a feminist, who happens to also be post-transsexual I then find myself bombarded with hate mail and slurs from all sorts of transvestite Men’s Rights Advocates.

As a good 1970s era post-transsexual lesbian feminist I spent a serious chunk of time in the Women’s Movement and the Lesbian Movement where I garnered a fairly solid analysis of the oppression of women at the hands of the patriarchy and how the patriarchy functions.  Hence my casting a jaundiced eye upon the entire ideology and ideological underpinnings of the Transgender Borg Collective.

I was one of those troublesome children, one of those born with an anarchist streak, who questioned authority by asking, “Why?”

One of those nagging questions has always been why the word “transvestite” is treated like the “n-word” and transvestites get to pick a label of choice from dozens of different euphemisms, while post-transsexual women are condemned for looking for a label that describes the reality of their lives, years after sex reassignment surgery.

I think the answer is obvious enough.  Transvestites are men with male privilege and therefore get to make the rules.  Saying we have our own ideas on these matters constitutes abuse, according to the transvestite branch of Men’s Rights Advocates Inc.

Reliance upon  transvestite ideology of the sort that grew out of Tri-Ess and other transvestite organizations, even when it has evolved through such organizations as IFGE, NTAC and others, is what makes it very difficult for many post-transsexual women and as I am discovering,  more than a few post-transsexual men, to support the social and political goals espoused by Transgender Inc. and the Transgender Borg Collective.

For me, and I can’t speak for others; the anger I feel towards the ideology of the “Transgender Umbrella” isn’t coming from a place of hating actual transgender people (who live 24/7/365).

No, the anger is at all the anti-transsexual bullshit and all the misogyny.

The ideology of the Transgender Borg Collective is privileged male transvestite, predominately white and relatively class privileged, although coming out as transgender is stepping onto the  mobility elevator and hitting the down button.

When I listen to the whining about ENDA I hear the whine of the privileged straight white male, who suddenly has become part of the under class.  But rather than look around, and realize there are all sorts of people of different races, classes, able-bodiedness etc who work for far less than they are worth, instead the newly out and proud “Transgender Warrior” presumes the new discrimination is a unique matter and not something shared by others who are also part of the under class for various reasons.  These fellow members of the under class are people who never had the contacts that the newly out as TG or TS person had. Now the newly out and proud TG discovers what it is like to not have phone calls returned, e-mail, voice-mail, or Tweet responded to. The sudden loss of privilege is a shock, but they just joined an entire class of people who never had that privilege.

It is very transvestite to assume that you are entitled to that straight white male level of privilege when you are no longer a straight white male.

Perhaps you should look around and realize lots of people do not have that privilege.  It isn’t all about you.

Thinking it is all about you is part of the sense of entitlement that goes with male privilege.

Mostly though, I am nearly as angry as many radical feminists regarding the reduction of women to a social construct of gender, through both the concept of identity trumping physical reality, and through the idea that performing gender makes someone a member of the sex commonly associated with that gender/sex role.

The sheer misogyny of that whole line of thinking leaves me sputtering.

Feminism is about women not having to adhere to some sort of stereotypical sex/gender role if that means limiting their lives.  All the focus on gender sounds as though it could be coming straight from Phyllis Schlafly.

I’ve read the literature.  I have encountered the patronizing bullshit from too many transvestites and more than a few people who are transgender, enough so that I recognize misogyny when I see it.

Has the “Bathroom Issue” ever really been about transsexual women or even full time transgender folks?  I mean even in what were according to some the “bad old days” people in treatment and on hormones could get carry letters or special ID cards. But oh the howls, mainly from the transvestite set about even this minimal act of accommodation.

The unhappiness with transvestite as a term has become extremely annoying.  Transvestites make post-transsexual women’s quest for a term that reflects our lives look minor in comparison to the proliferation of terms for transvestite.  One needs a daily internet feed to keep up on these new terms.

But post-op women are separatists for even coming up with a few terms, even insisting on transsexual instead of transgender.

I’m sick of transvestite objectification, the claims we are a bunch of elitists for wanting to not be part of the Transgender Borg Collective.

I’m tired of the ever shifting measure of who is really a woman that is imposed by the transvestite set.

The one that was mentioned yesterday about how for a transvestite or transgender person gender identity is enough.  Even gender performance is a requirement that one can be exempted from with some really flaky excuses.

But post-SRS women are supposed to have the right chromosomes when chromosomal tests are not used to assign sex at birth or even in the Olympics any more.  The ever shifting border as to what constitutes a woman that isn’t applied to penis people but only to post-SRS women with vaginas.

The very idea that transvestites get to be the arbiters of who is or is not a woman is both ludicrous and misogynistic.

The whole ideology according to Prince is oppressive to women.

As hard as it might be for those in the Transgender Borg Collective, who are caught up in that ideology and daisy-chain illogical thinking to understand this I did not get sex reassignment surgery to be a post-op transgender person.  Or even a post-op transsexual.

My role models were not transvestite or transgender people.  With few exceptions they weren’t other transsexuals.  My role models were ordinary men and women, some straight, some gay or lesbian.

Later I saw the sexism of some of the men I looked up to and that lessened my respect for them.  Yet…

What I don’t like is the feeling of being conned, that someone is running an abusive game on me.

Too often the relationship, particularly with the transvestite segment that seems to dominate the Transgender Borg Collective comes off as abusive.

Why would I want to be part of a community that uses me either for political gain or as some one they can treat as stupid and verbally/emotionally abuse?

Republicans Say: Tobacco, E-Coli, Salmonella, etc. Are Good For You

Profits for the rich are all that count.

Fuck you peasant.  It is better you die young that way we won’t need Social Security and Medicare.

The Republican Party represents only the Corporations and the Rich Elites.  The Democrats do too but not so much.  We, the people need a new Working People’s Party that represents the interests of all ordinary Americans.

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/15/245983/rehberg-cigarettes-for-children/

After Accepting $290,000 from Tobacco Industry, House Conservatives Push ‘Cigarettes For Children’ Amendment

By Guest Blogger on Jun 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) that would immunize the tobacco industry against many FDA regulations preventing them from making tobacco more addictive and marketing it to children.  According to a joint statement by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

[T]he amendment would curtail the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) authority to regulate the contents of tobacco products. It would severely limit the kind of evidence FDA could consider in regulating tobacco and other products and eliminate the FDA’s ability to stop tobacco companies from adding ingredients that make their products more attractive to children and minorities, or more addictive and more difficult to quit using. [...]

Among other things, the Rehberg amendment would restrict the FDA’s ability to regulate the use of menthol in cigarettes. The FDA’s Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee in March 2011 issued an exhaustive report that concluded menthol increases the number of kids who start to smoke and reduces the number of smokers who quit. … [And] the addition of menthol is just one example in the tobacco industry’s long history of designing their products to make them more attractive to children and minorities, or more addictive and difficult to quit using. … The tobacco companies add sugars, flavorings and other substances that make their products easier to use and attractive to children. While there may not be evidence that these additives increase the risk of cancer or other diseases, the FDA should be able to stop such actions that make cigarettes more appealing to children and increase the number of kids who smoke.

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/15/245983/rehberg-cigarettes-for-children/

From Think Progress:  http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/17/247461/house-gop-food-safety-self-polices/

House GOP Slashes Food Safety Funding Because ‘The Private Sector Self-Polices’

By Pat Garofalo
Jun 17, 2011

Last year, a bi-partisan majority in Congress approved a new food safety law, the first significant upgrade of the nation’s food safety system since 1938. The bill was so non-controversial that it was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate. But House Republicans have been threatening to defund the new lawthrough the appropriations process.

Following through on that threat, House Republicans approved a bill yesterday that would cut $87 million from the Food and Drug Administration, as well as $35 million from the USDA’s food safety and inspection service. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) explained that the House GOP is okay cutting food safety funding because the food industry “self-polices”:

“Do we believe that McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Safeway and Kraft Food and any brand name that you think of, that these people aren’t concerned about food safety?” Kingston said on the House floor. “The food supply in America is very safe because the private sector self-polices, because they have the highest motivation. They don’t want to be sued, they don’t want to go broke. They want their customers to be healthy and happy.”

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/17/247461/house-gop-food-safety-self-polices/

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House GOP urges delay in ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal certification

You can trust the Republicans to be the party of the rich, the corporations of racists, misogynists and homophobes.

From the Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/06/16/house-gop-urges-delay-in-dont-ask-repeal-certification/

By Chris Johnson
June 16, 2011

A group of 23 Republican members of the U.S. House wrote President Obama on Thursday asking him to hold off on certification of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal until Congress can review the Defense Department’s policy changes that would lead to open service.

“Given the necessity for congressional review, which has been limited to this point, we respectfully request that you refrain from transmitting certification until Congress has had sufficient time to review pending legislative matters of policy and law,” the letter states.

Leading the group of U.S. House members who signed the letter is Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), who amended pending defense budget legislation to expand the certification requirement needed for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and potentially disrupt the implementation of open service.

Others among the 23 signers of the letter are Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), chair of the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee, as well as Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), W. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.).

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/06/16/house-gop-urges-delay-in-dont-ask-repeal-certification/

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