Attacking Those Who Do

Within the first half dozen posts I made when I started this Blog I started receiving snarky comments from someone because I spoke positively about Andrea James, someone I both like and highly respect.

In other places I have heard Lynn Conway described in a manner I deem both snarky and uncalled for.

Now I may not agree with a lot of people on every point and yet I can still respect them and appreciate what they are doing.

I have been a hard core activist since Carl Oglesby signed my SDS membership card in early 1966 and I was a movement sympathizer since I first saw the kids of SNCC sit down at the lunch counters.

This means I don’t just think of myself and act in a purely self serving manner.

This doesn’t mean I run around in a Transsexual Menace t-shirt, although I have if it served a purpose.  In point of fact I wore one while collecting signatures on letters to the California legislature  urging the passage and adding of protections for TG/TS people to the hate crimes laws.

Way back when in the early 1970s I helped run the NTCU.

Over the years I’ve listened to people say crap about how the only ones who are activist are those who don’t pass.  This has never been an issue with the majority of WBTs I have known who have been activist.

On the other hand I’ve been slammed by sisters who have envied me.  Sister who say things about not understanding why I am a lesbian when I was as cute as I was when I was young.

I am lesbian.  I was a member of the Women’s Building in LA and was on the staff of the Lesbian Tide as both a photographer and as a layout artist during the Transwars.

Over the last few years same sex marriage has become an important issue for many of us as many of us have same sex partners.  We have been told by the don’t rock the boat crowd that we should be devoting our energy to protecting their heterosexual marriages and not towards promoting marriage equality.

I’ve known sisters who are members of right wing and even racist, homophobic groups that would toss them out in a second if they knew that transsexual.  Yet I am supposed to go along even when these groups lay down the right wing Christo-Fascist lies about the bathrooms.

The same lies they used against the ERA.

I don’t think so.

I actually think I am pretty well grounded.  I accept that transsexual was something I was born and had an operation that would make my life easier as well as fit mind and body together better.

I don’t have a lot of delusions about society or the limitations of that operation.

Among other things I know…  Having laws that cover me and insure that I do not fall through the cracks are better for me than not having those laws.

See..  A couple of years after SRS I was raped and the crime wasn’t taken seriously because of my medical history.

Other times I’ve gone to lawyers regarding sexual harassment cases and have been told how I will be investigated and my history used against me.

Every sister who write a book or takes a stand using her own name gets sniped at.  Generally by people who use aliases.

Most often those throwing the rocks have done nothing to make life better for any sisters other than themselves.  I’ve even known some who have abused other WBTs in order tho throw suspicion off of themselves.

Now in spite of my being an argumentative difficult woman I can go to a conference and have people want to meet me and thank me for what I have done, even when I don’t see it as being all that much.

Now I don’t describe myself as a “classic transsexual”.  I don’t have the vaguest idea what that is and Transsexualism is as good a description for what I had to SRS to treat as anything that anyone who seems to want to distance themselves from it have come up with.

Some of the best friends I have had in this interesting life I’ve led have been transgender.  Never getting SRS for one reason or another..  Why should I judge them because there needs were different than mine?  Why would I throw them under the bus?

The same right wing Christer freaks that treat them as sub-human treat me that way too. Or would if they knew.

And as far as my ethics stand I’d rather side with the oppressed than with the oppressors.

I don’t want to be a token member in their club if it requires me to trash transgenders or for that matter people of color or any other group.

I figured out horizontal hostility is the master’s tool for keeping us all down and that there are times when the old Wobblie’s slogan, “An injury to one is an injury to all” is probably the position I feel most comfortable with.

So Donna Rose is okay in my book even if she uses only transgender where I would use transsexual and transgender.

In Political Sex Scandals, Guys Still Rule

From Women’s E-News

By Jane Marcellus – WeNews commentator

Editor’s Note: The following is a commentary. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily the views of Women’s Enews.

(WOMENSENEWS)–Has anybody else noticed that most news stories about politicians’ affairs aren’t really about women?

There are women in them, of course. There’s the Wronged Wife, who is often portrayed as a victim in stories that frame her in a domestic light, focusing on how she is “coping” and whether “she’ll stand by her man,” the Cheating Husband.

And then, of course, there’s the Other Woman, without whom there would be no story. We know her type: a bimbo, a jezebel, a . . . you know. We hear even less from her than from Wronged Wife, since we all know she is ( sotto voce here) “unstable.” We might see her photo–preferably a semi-nude shot taken in better days–shared with the press by a former boyfriend, now a happily-married tax attorney.

The dichotomy that Helen Benedict described over a decade ago in “Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes” is never more true than in stories about extramarital relationships.

A Man’s Story

Whether it’s Democrat or Republican, John Edwards or Mark Sanford, the story is really about the man–his powerful position, whether he can be trusted to do his job now, what explanation he owes The People, how unfortunate to lose such a promising figure, and so forth.

Other men, priding themselves on moral rectitude, call for his resignation. And often, they get it. The more power the politician has, the bigger the story–it’s a classic tragedy.

But what’s wrong with this picture?

It paints a world that seems stuck in 1952, when women weren’t on the Supreme Court or gaining seats in Congress or winning race car events. It’s a June Cleaver world, one before Betty Friedan brought awareness to it–although it never truly fit reality, truth be told.

In this world, those in government are still expected to have a photo of the wife and 2.4 kids on the desk and live according to all it implies. There are exceptions, of course, but in many areas of the country this is still the norm.

Such rigid coupleism means that both women and men get scripted into predictable and outdated roles, with women in the supporting cast. Judged against these norms, deception–while never good–is hardly surprising.

It’s often noted that in FDR’s or JFK’s day, politicians’ sex lives weren’t news at all. The mostly male press corps looked the other way and women, who had even less power in the workplace then, could do nothing about it.

Supposedly, 1970s feminism brought women the power to demand better treatment. Eventually, it also brought more awareness of sexual harassment and other abuses. So all this new, moralistic attention to these abuses could be considered a byproduct of women’s bigger stake in the power structure, one that says now it matters what happens to women.

Getting the Full Story

That’s not the whole story.

For one thing, divorce used to be harder to come by. You had to prove “grounds” to a judge, who could grant or deny. Since men were to be “providers,” there was also more talk about alimony–a more critical issue when women were expected to be men’s “dependents.”

We seem to forget that the word “divorce” was such a taboo; it was whispered the way “affair” is today. In such a world, I believe, men may have been more inclined to protect one another.

Now divorce is common, so it’s not only tolerated but expected of unhappy couples. What’s more, there is just enough awareness of male privilege to make it possible for men to look good if they expose their political enemies’ indiscretions with women.

As long as the press goes along with this script, honestly believing they’re doing good journalism, this won’t change.

Once leaked, it’s all scripted, with the confessional press conference (choreographed by an expert in crisis management) functioning as the closest thing we have to a public stoning–the single delicious moment when our palpable pleasure at watching someone else’s pain is at its salacious height. The truly refreshing thing about Sanford’s story was that he didn’t play into the script and spoke from his heart.

Paradoxically, if the press asked real questions, such as “Do you love her?” (meaning the Other Woman) or “Do you have sex with your wife?” it would seem embarrassingly invasive. Yet the press continues to play the tape on tired and tawdry stereotypes.

That’s not the answer.

Human experience–and human love–are far too nuanced for this.

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Ireland – Most LGBT pupils bullied in school – youth service… [2009-07-03 Irish Times]

Submitted by Andrea B.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Most gay pupils bullied in school – youth service


EDUCATION COMMITTEE: MOST LESBIAN, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) second-level students have suffered homophobic bullying, the Belong To youth service has told an Oireachtas Education Committee.

More than 20,000 post-primary students are lesbian, gay or bisexual, representing an average of two students in every classroom. A smaller number of students identify as transgender, according to Belong To.

Research involving over 1,100 LGBT participants, funded by the Health Service Executive (HSE), found that half were subject to verbal abuse in school because of their orientation, 40 per cent were verbally threatened by their peers, 34 per cent heard homophobic comments by staff and one-quarter were physically threatened by their peers. Sandra Gowran, director of education policy with the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen), said homophobic bullying was pervasive in schools, regardless of whether they had a particular religious ethos or whether they were co-educational or single sex.

“The bottom line is that these young people are not safe in our schools because of the extent of homophobic bullying,” she said.

Most young people became aware of their LGBT identity at around 12, but did not disclose it to another person until around 17.

“LGBT young people are part of every school . . . in Ireland yet they are largely invisible in any meaningful or positive way,” she said.

Research by the Department of Education found almost 80 per cent of teachers were aware of incidences of verbal homophobic bullying in their schools and 16 per cent were aware of physical assaults on LGBT students.-

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times–

© 2009

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