It’s time for the media to change the record on trans healthcare

From Pink News:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/11/comment-its-time-for-the-media-to-change-the-record-on-trans-healthcare/

In a comment piece for PinkNews, Sarah Brown says the media needs to make substantial improvements in the way it covers health stories involving the trans community.

by
11 January 2013

Transgender healthcare is in the news again. It’s been widely known amongst trans people for some time, but on the 6th of January, Guardian journalist David Batty reported that the General Medical Council is investigating private trans healthcare specialist, Dr Richard Curtis. In his article, Batty paints a picture of misdiagnosis, patient regret, and inappropriate prescribing.

Those of us who follow this stuff might be forgiven for experiencing a sense of deja-vu. Dr Curtis took over the private practice of Russell Reid from 2005. In 2007, Dr Reid faced a General Medical council fitness to practice hearing which was reported on by no other than Guardian journalist, David Batty. In his reports, Batty spoke of misdiagnosis, patient regret, and inappropriate prescribing.

It’s entirely proper for the GMC to investigate allegations of misconduct, and for the press to report on it, but it’s difficult for trans people not to notice how terribly one-sided it all seems to be. The doctors who seem to end up in front of the GMC seem to be those ones who are generally well regarded by trans people, and who have a reputation for helping us when nobody else will.

Press reports concentrate on regrets about procedures which have satisfaction levels beyond the dreams of most other fields of medicine, where much larger regret rates are regarded as par for the course. They rigidly stick to a narrative about a dangerous procedure which gullible people are tricked into by reckless doctors and end up bitterly regretting.

The reality experienced by trans people ourselves is not recognisable from the press reports. In reality large numbers of us are used to being ignored, abused and ridiculed by doctors when we seek treatment. We are denied referrals, denied funding, denied prescriptions and humiliated by a medical establishment which many experience as institutionally transphobic.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/11/comment-its-time-for-the-media-to-change-the-record-on-trans-healthcare/

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Transition Deconstructed

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/transition-deconstructed_b_2460514.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


01/12/2013

Recently I read pieces on The Huffington Post that gave the viewpoints of two people: One is transgender and transitioned after getting married, and the other is her former spouse. Many of the themes were very familiar to me because of my own recent history. Married for almost 13 years. Three children. Feelings of hurt, anger and betrayal. Almost everyone who knew me was shocked when I came out, because of the extremely masculine persona I had carefully cultivated since I joined the Navy in 1993.

The comments section below the HuffPost piece about Chiristine Benvenuto is very long, with more than 750 comments. A number of themes in the comments section kept jumping out at me, over and over again. Many people observed that each piece only represented one side of the story, and that it was difficult to discern what really happened. As someone who has remained married through transition, I saw an opportunity for us to give a more unified perspective. After I drafted this article, Janis, my spouse, edited and added to what I wrote. She made sure it reflected her viewpoint accurately when answering the most frequent themes, questions and opinions expressed in the comments.

“Does the spouse/partner have a right to be angry?”

Yes. She is grieving for all the dreams of a future she once had. She is grieving for a person who no longer exists, or perhaps never did at all. She is grieving for the loss of a marriage, of a husband, of a father, and all the possibilities that went with it. Simple things are lost, too. Holding hands in public went from being a harmless sign of affection to an act of societal defiance. All this is a normal part of the grieving process, as are bargaining, denial and, hopefully in the end, acceptance.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brynn-tannehill/transition-deconstructed_b_2460514.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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The NRA Hates Gun Control Unless You Are A Black Panther

From Addicting Info:   http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/12/the-nra-hates-gun-control-unless-you-are-a-black-panther/

By
2013/01/12

We all know that there is a need for gun control now. With all of these tragic shootings happening, there is no doubt that something must be done. However, there is one large, moneyed, powerful organization that stands in the way: The National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA wants absolutely no gun control whatsoever, and currently views attempts to enact any restrictions on gun ownership and carrying weapons as an attack on the Second Amendment. However, this wasn’t always the case.

The NRA had a history of supporting gun control, with restrictions on gun ownership and concealed carrying, and there was none of this huge focus on the Second Amendment. However, in the 1970′s, the Black Panthers began to advocate for the right to bear arms, and the gun rights movement of today was born. Ironically enough, the gun-related rights that the Black Panthers fought for became the territory of a predominantly rural, conservative, white people.

During the Civil Rights era, the NRA lobbied in favor of gun control, particularly the Gun Control Act of 1968, which banned gun sales by mail and required licensing of arms dealers and owners. At that time, gun control was aimed at left-leaning groups; the Black Panther Party in particular. This all came to a head when the Panthers began their police patrols, where they would show up at the scenes of arrests to notify those being arrested of their Constitutional rights, and not bothering to conceal the weapons they were carrying. Presumably in response to this activity, California Legislator Don Mulford introduced a bill that would ban carrying weapons in public, even if they were displayed. The Panthers protested the bill, but on May 2, 1967 it was signed into law.

This effectively put a stop to the police patrolling activities of the Black Panthers. After that, the NRA had a huge change of heart, fearing that the government would take their guns away as well. They began to advocate and lobby for gun rights. What you see today is a result of paranoia and fear from a different era, and, well, likely quite a bit of racism.

Continue reading at:  http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/01/12/the-nra-hates-gun-control-unless-you-are-a-black-panther/

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Makers of Violent Video Games Marshal Support to Fend Off Regulation

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/us/politics/makers-of-violent-video-games-marshal-support-to-fend-off-regulation.html

By
Published: January 11, 2013

WASHINGTON — With the Newtown, Conn., massacre spurring concern over violent video games, makers of popular games like Call of Duty and Mortal Kombat are rallying Congressional support to try to fend off their biggest regulatory threat in two decades.

The $60 billion industry is facing intense political pressure from an unlikely alliance of critics who say that violent imagery in video games has contributed to a culture of violence. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. met with industry executives on Friday to discuss the concerns, highlighting the issue’s prominence.

No clear link has emerged between the Connecticut rampage and the gunman Adam Lanza’s interest in video games. Even so, the industry’s detractors want to see a federal study on the impact of violent gaming, as well as cigarette-style warning labels and other measures to curb the games’ graphic imagery.

“Connecticut has changed things,” Representative Frank R. Wolf, a Virginia Republican and a frequent critic of what he terms the shocking violence of games, said in an interview. “I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’re going to do something.”

Gun laws have been the Obama administration’s central focus in considering responses to the shootings. But a violent media culture is being scrutinized, too, alongside mental health laws and policies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/12/us/politics/makers-of-violent-video-games-marshal-support-to-fend-off-regulation.html

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The Delhi rape, Savile, Ohio – this violence will no longer be tolerated

From The Guardian UK:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/11/delhi-rape-savile-ohio-violence-tolerated

Extreme acts of sexual violence seem to be everywhere. In response, a worldwide day of action has been called


The Guardian, Friday 11 January 2013

There seems to be two types of risings on the planet right now. One is a sexual violence typhoon that is impacting most countries in the world. It’s been happening forever but, like climate change, it’s suddenly impossible to ignore. I first noticed more ominous waves during the US elections, the extreme and ignorant anti-women policies perpetrated by the Republicans. Then, like climate storms, floods and fires, specific extreme manifestations began to gain attention. A group of boys allegedly raping a girl in Steubenville, Ohio; a 14-year-old girl shot in the head for insisting girls have the right to learn in Pakistan; the gang rape and murder of a girl on a bus in Delhi; and in Britain the revelations that Jimmy Savile was able to abuse hundreds of girls over six decades, while British institutions from the BBC to Broadmoor turned a blind eye.

And, like the response to climate change, first there was an attempt at denial, then there is the blaming of the victim: a woman raped in Dubai fined after telling police she had been drinking; a priest in Italy telling women they are beaten because they don’t clean the house well and wear tight clothes; women in the US military raped by their comrades who then use that as proof that they never belonged there in the first place; raped girls in Rochdale being ignored by police and social workers because they were seen as damaged goods who were “making their own choices”. It goes on and on.

Like climate change, only the patriarchs with power seem to be blind to the magnitude of the horrors. As a matter of fact they are engineering it. There is a rape culture – a mindset that seems to have infected every aspect of our lives: the raping of the Earth through ecological destruction by the corporate powerful, pillaging resources for their own coffers with no concern for the Earth, or the indigenous peoples, or the notion of reciprocity; the rape of the poor through exploitation, land grabs, neglect; the rape of women’s bodies through physical violence and commodification, where a girl can be purchased for less than the cost of a mobile phone. The modelling and licensing of this rape culture is done by those protected by power and privilege – presidents, celebrities, sports stars, police officers, television executives, priests – with impunity.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/11/delhi-rape-savile-ohio-violence-tolerated

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Great Britain: Ranks of the Socialist Workers Party are split over handling of rape allegation

From The Independent:   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ranks-of-the-socialist-workers-party-are-split-over-handling-of-rape-allegation-8448429.html

Trotskyist group exonerated official because it doesn’t believe in ‘bourgeois court system’ to deliver justice

Friday 11 January 2013

The Socialist Workers Party was engulfed in crisis tonight over allegations that it set up a “socialist sharia court” to investigate rape allegations against a senior member instead of reporting them to the police.

The scandal, which has opened up deep splits within Britain’s largest far-left party, emerged this week when disaffected members leaked minutes of a controversial disciplinary meeting which exonerated the official accused of rape and sexual assault.

The furore has led to the expulsion of key members and multiple resignations.

Today Tom Walker, a journalist at the party’s paper, Socialist Worker, became the most prominent member to quit the party in disgust.

In a devastating critique published on the rival Communist Party of Great Britain’s website, Walker excoriated the SWP’s handling of the rape  accusations, alleging that the hearing as a “kangaroo court” and “amateur justice that was doomed from the start”.

Continue reading at:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ranks-of-the-socialist-workers-party-are-split-over-handling-of-rape-allegation-8448429.html

See Also:  The New Statesman:  What does the SWP’s way of dealing with sex assault allegations tell us about the left?

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Where Are The Women, President Obama?

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/where-are-the-women-president-obama/news/2013/01/12/58069

by Tanya Domi
on January 12, 2013

Things are shakin’ inside the Beltway and on many social media platforms as Democratic women are furious with the latest round of Obama cabinet appointments seemingly to be all white males.

Whatever happened to the old adage to “dance with the ones who brung you?”  Indeed, a two-digit gender gap among the voters is what delivered Barack Obama a victory in his historic re-election bid, but the President and his vetters appear to have forgotten those women voters, many, if not most, happened to be Democratic voters.

The optics are pretty bad:  in November just after the election, the White House allowed Ambassador Susan Rice to hang out in the wind, exposing her to a torrential downpour of Republican calculated attacks on her conduct and character for her appearance on the Sunday talk shows in defending the Administration’s explanation of the tragic events that took place in September in Benghazi, Libya. Rice used talking points prepared by the CIA, which Republicans charged was a word smithing cover-up and Rice should have known better than to use them (approved by at least three different agencies and the White House).  Ultimately, those attacks effectively tanked her anticipated nomination to become the next Secretary of State.

President Obama defended her on two different occasions, but as one foreign policy reporter explained to me, the White House handling of the Rice situation was “tepid” at best.

Continue reading at:   http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/where-are-the-women-president-obama/news/2013/01/12/58069

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