Response to Alice Dreger’s “How and Why To Take GID out of the DSM”

It is time to tell Alice Dreger to fuck off.  We do not want the advice of a Michael Bailey lackey.

Her opinion is forever tainted and marked by her relationship to people we view as child torturers, liars, frauds and bigots. Not to mention her Catholicism, a religion distinguished by its anti gay, lesbian, transsexual and transgender bigotry.  Indeed in the United States the Christo-Fascist Catholics have been a major force in denying equality to not only LGBT/T people but to women with their misogynistic stands on access to birth control and abortion.

There is a patronizing paternalism present whenever normborns take it upon themselves to tell TS/TG people what is in the best interests of TS/TG people.  In every statement of seeming support there is a subtext, a threatening undercurrent of do what we tell you, accept the degraded position of freak that we offer you or we will deny you medical treatment.

There is also a hegemonic erasure of history.  A pretending that transsexuals couldn’t get SRS prior to the psychiatric pseudo scientists invention of GID in 1979.  To do so they have to erase the existence of all of us who actually had SRS prior to the invention of GID.  In part this is easy because we were encouraged to STFU and disappear by both the “caring professionals” and social bigotry.  This allowed the lie that there was an extremely high level of maladjustment and suicide.

Alice Dreger describes herself as a “wizened gender rights advocate” yet endorses the reparative therapy of Zucker and Blanchard that abuses and tortures transkids.  How Catholic of her. Her support, no matter how tacit of reparative therapy is an endorsement of a genocidal violation of the human rights of transkids since it is aimed at the prevention of transsexuality.

Any claims that such treatment is meant to prevent the pain of an adulthood filled with abuse and pain is undercut by being part of an institution that prompts the denial of equal rights to not only LGBT/T people but to women.  Thus making her not only prosecutor but jury.  Now she expects us to accept her as defense attorney. I think not.

I like most TS/TG people have had to be my own defender as well as researcher since I came out in the 1960s due to the total ignorance and arrogance of normborns in the psych profession.  TS/TG people always knew more about being transsexual or transgender than did the normborn psychs.  But they refused to listen to us.  They demanded we conform to their misogynistic expectations and used slurs to enforce that conformity.

So Ms. Dreger… you are the oppressor.  It isn’t transsexuals and transgenders demanding the removal of GID from the DSM who should shut the fuck up, it is you who should STFU.

By the way Alice I understand both Walmart and Starbucks are hiring.  Have you considered a career in something appropriate for your talents ,such as the fast food industry?

How and Why to Take “Gender Identity Disorder” Out of the DSM
Human Bodies
Alice Dreger
, 06/22/2009

http://www.thehastingscenter.org/Bioethicsforum/Post.aspx?id=3602

How and Why to Take “Gender Identity Disorder” Out of the DSM
(Human Bodies) Permanent link
As a wizened gender rights advocate, I know better than to assume the
activists making the most noise are actually representative of “the
community” they insist they represent. So, while American transgender
activists have lately been fairly unified and very vocal about the
need to remove “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) from the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), I know that not all
trans people agree.

Medicalization is, after all, a complex experience. Even while being
labeled as “mentally disordered” can be a stigmatizing experience, it
is also the case that the inclusion of GID in the DSM has functioned
to provide financial and institutional support for medical, surgical,
and psychological care for some transgender people.

This is not true in most of the United States, but is true in more
progressive places around the world, like Canada and the Netherlands.
Having GID in the DSM may also, to some extent, legitimize the
transgender experience as a “real” one for people who think a
transgender person should just “get over” the feeling that the gender
label assigned to them was the wrong one.

This is why, when I talk to clinicians about taking GID out of the
DSM, the first thing they say to me is that taking it out will harm a
good number of transgender people. Some foreign clinicians add that it
is the individualistic and selfish American transgender activists who
are forcing their identity politics on transfolk all over the world.
Having GID in the DSM has, they claim, helped many of their patients
and clients, particularly transgender youth who benefit from medically
supervised reassignments during their puberties.

Yet critics of the “GID” category respond that, in fact, the DSM
inclusion of what amounts to their identities results in more harm
than good. They liken the inclusion of “GID” to the DSM’s former
inclusion of homosexuality, saying that it medicalizes them and treats
them as diseased rather than just different.

They point to evidence from history and other societies that, in
cultures that accommodate people who don’t fit the usual categories of
male or female, transgender people do fine without being labeled
“mentally disordered.” Some of the most persuasive evidence for this
comes from recent work in Samoa by my colleagues (and friends) Paul
Vasey and Nancy Bartlett.

In fact, in an article I consider key to understanding the issue,
Bartlett, Vasey, and William Bukowski noted a fundamental
contradiction in the DSM specifically where GID in childhood is
concerned. Partly because of the history of the de-medicalization of
homosexuality, the DSM specifically defines mental disorder as
constituting a dysfunction in the individual, not “deviant” behavior
nor a conflict between an individual and his or her society.

Yet the current DSM allows children who are merely notably gender
atypical in their family’s culture to be labeled as having a mental
disorder, even though in another society (say, Samoa), they might be
considered perfectly acceptable. That sure does look a lot like the
history of the de-medicalization of homosexuality.

Importantly, the increasingly nasty discourse surrounding the GID-DSM
question obscures points on which both sides do actually agree. Most
critics and most proponents of the “GID” inclusion want high-quality,
safe, individualized care for people who are transgender. Most also
want to see systems where such care is financed through public or
private insurance, particularly for those who cannot pay for it
themselves. Perhaps most significantly, almost all want to see
transgender people suffer less, not more, stigma and shame.

Thus the people arguing back and forth may disagree on the methods to
achieve these goals, but not on the goals themselves. That’s good
news.

So, what to do?

Keeping “GID” in the DSM is problematic for many reasons. At least in
this country, categorizing transgender people as “mentally disordered”
leaves them in a sort of never-neverland legislatively. In spite of
being labeled “mentally disordered,” trans people have been
specifically exempted from the Americans with Disabilities Act as a
protected group, and their medical care (including hormones and
surgeries) are not covered by most insurance systems, despite the fact
that studies have repeatedly shown well-screened transgender people
are better off psychologically and socially after hormonal and
surgical transition.

Meanwhile, a number of legislators have used the fact that transgender
counts as a “mental disorder” to exclude transgender people from
identity-based protective legislation available to gay, lesbian, and
bisexual people, so that transgender people are not protected in many
venues from housing and employment discrimination, and their murders
are not recognized as hate crimes, in spite of much evidence that
that’s exactly what they are.

So transgender Americans are seen as too sick to be protected, but not
too sick to be provided help! Now that’s a sick system.

On top of that, keeping “GID” in the DSM marks all transgender people
as mentally disordered, no matter how well they are functioning, no
matter how sensible they are about dealing with the challenges of
being transgender. As philosopher Jake Hale has pointed out, the way
the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
“standards of care” work, transgender people are treated as
incompetent until proven otherwise – quite the opposite of pretty much
all other humans.

One response to this is to say, well, if you have a male body and feel
you’re more of a female, then obviously you’re sick. But as an
historian, I can’t help but remember all the gay men who were told
loving men made them sick, nor can I forget all my feminist
foremothers who were told – when they demanded education, professions,
and voting rights–that they were mentally ill.

Yet I cringe at the idea of taking GID out of the DSM if what it means
is that gender atypical children, teenagers, and adults can’t get the
care they deserve. I also worry that simply changing over from “GID”
(a mental disorder) to “transgender identity” will oversimplify the
reality of genders. Many people may legitimately seek professional
health care for complicated (or at least atypical) gender identities
without really fitting the oversimplified media vision of
“transgender.”

So here is a proposed solution that I think should be seriously considered:

Remove “GID” from the DSM as a “mental disorder.” But add in the DSM
transgender feelings as a known possible cause of depression, anxiety,
sexual dysfunction, and so forth. (After all, sometimes being
transgender – like being a gay youth or a grieving widower – can lead
to depression, anxiety, and so forth.) And in those cases, where
evidence supports it, allow the treatment for those particular forms
of depression and anxiety to include hormone treatments and surgeries,
if the patient so wishes to follow those paths. After all, we have
lots of research that such treatments, almost without exception,
result in positive outcomes.

This DSM revision would cease the marking of all transgender people as
mentally disordered. It would simultaneously acknowledge that being
gender atypical is sometimes difficult, even in a society that accepts
it.

This approach would have the added benefit of stopping legislators
from having the medical profession’s accidental support in the denial
of legal protections to people with transgender identities. And it
might actually increase available funding for psychological, medical,
and surgical care for transgender people, because it would recognize
that sometimes the best treatment for depression that arises out of
being transgender is hormonal or surgical. Thus it would treat
transgender people the way postpartum women are treated; if depression
or anxiety or profound sexual dysfunction arises in conjunction with
that identity, then it is treated, with evidence-based care.

Making this move might also finally bring the medical system up to
speed with the fact that more and more people are opting for some
transgender-ish interventions, but not all. It would upend the
one-size-fits-all traditional treatment model of transgender, and
implicitly recognize that sometimes people very purposely want “top”
surgery without “bottom” surgery, and sometimes people very purposely
want a hormonal “sex” change without any surgery. It might even force
open recognition that what gets labeled a “transgender” experience
varies enormously, far more than you’d imagine if you’re only hearing
about transgender lives from the usual suspects in the mainstream
media.

Speaking of which, a postscript: As I was composing this, Chaz
(formerly Chastity) Bono announced his identity as a transman. When a
spokesperson hailed Bono’s “courageous decision to honor his true
identity,” I was struck by that too-typical language of the “true
identity,” and reminded again of how – though they often appear at
odds – the medical establishment and the transgender activist
community have long cooperated in speaking of transgender as if it is
simply a matter of establishing authenticity. The language of “true
selves” can be empowering, bonding, liberating, healing. But it can
also be alienating and isolating to those whose feelings are more
complex.

And regardless, it ought not be up to medicine to adjudicate who has a
true identity and who a false one. It seems to me much better, as I
have suggested here, for medical professionals to ask not, “Are you
real?” but instead, “Are you suffering? And if so, what evidence do we
have that we are the people who can help?”

Acknowledgements: The author thanks Lisa Lees, John Otto, Aron Sousa,
Paul Vasey, and a person wishing to remain anonymous for their
feedback on this essay and related ideas. Their kind help should not
be construed as endorsement of this essay.

Danish Conservatives Call for Burqa Ban

‘Not Islamic’

The immigration spokesman for Denmark’s Conservative Party is calling for a ban on the wearing of burqas in public. He says the garment was introduced by the Taliban and is “not Islamic at all.”

Denmark’s Conservative Party said this week it wants to introduce a ban on Muslim burqa or niqab dress codes which require women to completely cover their faces in public.

“We don’t want to see burqas in Denmark. We simply can’t accept that some of our citizens walk around with their faces covered,” Naser Khader, a Danish member of parliament of Syrian-Palestinian extraction who was recently appointed spokesman for integration issues for the Conservative Party, told the newspaper Jyllands-Posten.In comments published on Sunday, Khader said the burqa is un-Danish and oppressive towards women and should be completely banned. He and his party say that what people do in their own homes is their business, but as soon as they walk into the public domain, one should be able to see their faces.

Continue reading at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/0,1518,643490,00.html

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NY man gets 25 years for transgender hate Murder

(AP) – 3 hours agoSYRACUSE, N.Y. — An upstate New York man has been sentenced to the maximum 25 years in prison for the hate crime killing of a transgender woman.

Dwight DeLee was found guilty of manslaughter last month for shooting Lateisha (lah-TEE’-shuh) Green because of anti-gay bias. The 20-year-old construction laborer is just the second person in the nation convicted of a hate crime for killing a transgender victim. He was sentenced Tuesday in Syracuse by Judge William Walsh.

The 22-year-old Green was born male, but lived mostly as a female after age 16. She was killed outside a house party in November.

DeLee was acquitted of murder. The manslaughter conviction means he intended to injure, not kill, someone when he fired into a car where Green was sitting with her brother and a friend.

Concerned Women for America: Christo-Fascist Misogyny in Action

Founded in 1979 by Beverly LaHaye as a right wing front group to oppose feminism and promote the misogynistic values of the extreme Christo-Fascist religious right.

Tim Lahaye, her husband and author of the Armageddon as heavy metal schlock series of books described as the “Left Behind Series” was a co-founder of the Moral Majority.

In its early days CWA worked with the ugly harridan of the right, Phyllis Schlafly to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment that would have guaranteed women equality under the law.

With a budget of nearly $8.5 million,[i] the group claims 500,000 members whom it organizes to oppose not only women’s rights but LGBT/T rights.

Like most ultra right wing self proclaimed “Christian” groups the LaHaye Ministries predominate motive appears to many outside observers to be focused on the amassing of personal fortune a fraction of which they used to promote positions that are seen as misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic and Fascistic.

Interestingly enough many of their top figures are not women at all although they appear to set themselves up to speak for the interests of women.

Mike Rogers at Blog Active http://www.blogactive.com/ posted the following in 2004 regarding the CFO of CWA, Lee LaHaye.  “Considering that the Chief Financial Officer of Concerned Women for America, Lee LaHaye is himself an openly gay man, you have to wonder why they continue to bash gays. How bad can gays be if CWA trusts its $12 MILLION 2003 budget to Lee? Oh, If Lee’s name sounds familiar, it’s because Lee is the son of Beverly and Tim LaHaye, two of the most noted anti-gay characters in the country.[ii]

So, the latest Christo-Fascist emission from their fetid organization is not surprisingly from a man named Robert Knight and was published in Wing Nut Daily.  “Robert Knight is the former director of Concerned Women for America’s Culture and Family Institute. He is now the senior writer/correspondent for Coral Ridge Ministries and author of the new book “Fighting for America‘s Soul.”

This is where the ultra right is far better organized than the left.  While we are absorbed in calling each other names and claiming superiority or greater oppression than other groups with whom we should be uniting they have a multi-phase program that offers both a unity of talking points and a unity of action.

Massive spending and the federal power grab are driving the brave talk of dispatching the scoundrels and restoring constitutional government. I hope and pray that it happens.

But lost amid the outrage is the radical social agenda Obama, Pelosi, Kennedy and Reid are foisting on the nation with media complicity. If enacted, it will destroy any chance of restoring long-term fiscal sanity because it will sunder marriage and family, where self-governing, productive citizens are born and raised.

Obama has promised the sky to homosexual activists and the abortion lobby and has moved quickly toward that end. On July 16, the Senate voted for a “hate crimes” bill that will lay the foundation for crushing freedom of speech, religion and association with regard to sexual morality. The health care scheme is rife with opportunities for exotic entitlements like tax-funded abortion and even sex-change operations. A homosexual activist, Kevin Jennings, whose group promotes books to kids that contain graphic accounts of adults seducing teens, has been appointed head of the Department of Education’s “safe schools” program, which is like naming Ozzy Osbourne to be drug czar. And Obama says he wants to lift the military ban on open homosexuality and overturn the Defense of Marriage Act.

From: http://www.cwfa.org/articles/17520/CFI/family/index.htm

Sometimes, when I am listening to the name calling between various factions of people whose lives have been impacted by association with transprefixed words and they use transactivist as a slur. Instead of saying which particular point, they are in disagreement with and offering a differing analysis I feel as though I am listening to any one of a number of right wing Christo-fascists parroting a talking point.

We demand our activist be saints and in 100% agreement with us even when our own personal desires are highly idiosyncratic.  They on the other hand are a bunch of gay bashing homophobes who have gay men in positions of power.  In the film “Outrage” Mike Rogers exposed a number of closet case right-wingers who actively work against every piece of LGBT/T positive legislation, every piece of woman positive or socially progressive legislation and no one on the right says shit to them.

As long as they parrot the talking points.  And as I dig more I have discovered that all these organizations work together in a unity that I as a progressive can only envy.

They are organized bigots and they do not have our best interests in mind.  We ignore then and waste our time on in-group name calling and squabbling at our own risk.

The same people who attack hate crimes bills also attack among other things, equal rights for women, ENDA, Same Sex Marriage, Abortion, single payer National Health Insurance, the Employee’s Free Choice Act, Workers Rights, Environmental Protection.

They are racists who support the modern version of Jim Crow that I call Apartheid Nation/Prison Nation, Capital Punishment, Harsh Drug Laws, hegemonic wars of imperialist aggression, torture.  They have zero respect for people outside their Xian cults and think the imposition of Christian Sharia  would be a good thing.

We ignore this threat to our lives and freedom at our own risk.  Horizontal hostility is like arguing for separate box cars.

I watch Rachel Maddow and she has shown the connections between all these right wing groups and how they get corporate money.

But mostly I find it interesting how Concerned Women for America seems to have misogynistic men in so many of its leadership positions.

Is it because right wing women tend to be given over to Palinesque levels of intellect?


[i] http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-1025819.html

[ii] http://www.blogactive.com/2004/08/action-they-must-be-kidding-at.html

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I’m Back

We had a router crash that required a new cable modem from our ISP.  Of course nothing is available locally anymore so they drop shipped it.

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Put That Patriarchy Bashing Hammer Down Ladies We Are in the US!

From Feministing:

Put That Patriarchy Bashing Hammer Down Ladies We Are in the US!

A very common right-wing anti-feminist argument is that women in the United States need to STFU and be happy we have it as good as we do, because we could be in *insert so-and-so 3rd world barbaric country* where we would really be treated badly. It is the old one two, first asserting that women have nothing to fight for in the States so, “quit yer bitchin” and second, that we are better than other countries, less barbaric, more civilized, etc. It is an old and tired attack, but unfortunately, sometimes it works.


Continue reading at: http://www.feministing.com/archives/017194.html

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Evangelical group faces ’serious’ shortfall

Donations to the fascist group Focus on the Family are dropping like a stone.  Ever notice how many of these ultra right wing Christo-Fascist groups use family in their title?  Naomi Weisstein in 1967 described the “Kinder, Kirche, Küche”  (child, home, church) ideal role for women in Nazi Germany.

Hence many of us who watch things like this are not surprised when bigotry is hidden in language that claims to protect the family from every thing  including racial integration and same sex marriage.

Now they want to protect us from National Health Care.

In Texas when we are in polite company or at work and can’t call people fuckwits we say, “Bless their little hearts.”

Focus on the Family…  Why, bless their little hearts.

By The Associated Press
08.12.2009 9:07am EDT

(Denver) A “serious budget shortfall” at Focus on the Family has prompted the conservative Christian group to issue a special fundraising plea, and contributed to a decision to cede control of its contentious “Love Won Out” conferences about homosexuality to another religious organization, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Focus on the Family, founded by child psychologist James Dobson, is on pace to fall $6 million short of a $138 million budget for the fiscal year that began last October, spokesman Gary Schneeberger said.

Jim Daly, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based evangelical ministry, explained the challenges in a letter to approximately 800,000 donors.

“Right now we’re facing a serious budget shortfall that threatens our ability to reach out to parents, families and married couples who count on our help,” Daly wrote. “Income is down nearly $6 million from what we expected and planned for this year. I want to assure you that we’re committed to good stewardship AND living within our means, just as so many families are today.”

Continue reading at: http://www.365gay.com/news/evangelical-group-faces-serious-shortfall/

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Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs Enflame Scary Right-Wing Rage

From Alternet

By John V. Santore, Media Matters for America
Posted on August 11, 2009, Printed on August 11, 2009
http://www.alternet.org/story/141865/

It was an ugly week, and a telling one.

“Global warming is no different than health care, is no different than cap and trade,” Rush Limbaugh explained on Monday. “It is simply another branch of liberalism, statism, that is designed to expand government control over individuals and their liberty and their freedom and their income.”

“And if this plays out right … you can do some great damage, culturally, to liberalism,” he concluded.

The next five days showed how seriously the right wing is taking those words and how far it is willing to go to confuse and manipulate the public, and to capitalize on the ensuing fear and rage. The goals: the complete delegitimization of Obama and the wholesale destruction of the progressive movement he leads.

Continue reading at: http://www.alternet.org/media/141865/glenn_beck%2C_rush_limbaugh%2C_lou_dobbs_enflame_scary_right-wing_rage/

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No More Circular Firing Squads For Me

I’m looking at a country that has moved so far to the right I already consider it a corporatist neo-fascist state.

I’m an old hippie chick with an anarchist syndicalist streak.  I don’t want to be one of the corporate grays, servile and shuffling to the beat of mandatory conformity.

Over the years I’ve watched gay and lesbian as well as the rest of the initials go from representing freedom and liberation to becoming a demographic, marketed to and viewed as consumers of a safely rebellious product line.

I was there in the 1970s when Gay Liberation became Gay and Lesbian Liberation.  The vile Anita Bryant caused gays and lesbians to see the need to unite against a common enemy, the ultra right wing Christo-Fascist movement.  She put a face on hate and bigotry.  L/G folks made many of their social gains when they started acting together to stop the passage of hateful Anita Bryant bills all over the country.

We have had nearly 30 years of extreme right wing Corporate Fascist rule.

My withdrawing from the circular firing squad that those of us on the left so often feel compelled to form is due to my seeing a far greater threat to our being.

I’m watching racist right wing goons whipped into near lynch mob frenzy by the right wing media whores attack those who support the idea that all Americans should have access to government provided National Health care.

I have watched the Taliban Christians unite to deny equal rights to all LGBT/T people.  Those who would pass laws denying you equality and making your life far harder are often all too willing to take the next step.

Now Will Rogers said, “I don’t belong to an organized political party, I’m a Democrat.”  Too often the demand for our own special interests lead us to refusing to unite in common cause with others who might have their own pet causes.  The result is the inability to work together on anything.

The reality is I don’t have to love people to work for our mutual benefit.

Ayn Rand’s John Gault bullshit sucks.

I’m proud to be a left winger and as such I would rather fight the power than engage in horizontal hostility with other oppressed groups.  Calling transgenders names does not in any way improve my life or make me any closer to being one of the powerful who do the oppressing.

As Audre Lorde said “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.

Enough is enough.

The Attack on Autumn Sandeen by Porno Pete LaBarbera

I am not friends with Autumn Sandeen, indeed she banned me from posting on Pam’s House Blend so it surprises even me to find myself stepping up to defend her from and attack by the professional ultra right wing bigot Porno Pete LaBarbera and his thug brother Matt Barber.

You see Porno Pete is getting paid by the corporate right to get his panties in a twist about the idea that the US should have even the first step towards the same sort of National Health Care one finds in the rest of the industrialized world.  In the Ayn Randian world of, “me first, screw everyone else” health care should be a commodity affordable by only the white, straight, wealthy and privileged.

Since LGBT/T people are the new Jews in this rising Reich of hate the very idea that transsexual and transgender people are equally deserving of having their medical needs including SRS covered is treated as a reason for rejecting the entire idea of medical insurance for all Americans.

The frightening thing is that the ultra right in this country has been organizing lynch mobs that have been denying the rights of people to speak in favor of single payer insurance at town hall meetings organized by senators and congress people across this country.  Senators and Congress people have professional security people who protect them.

Autumn Sandeen does not.  One has to look only to the murder of Dr. Tiller earlier this year to see the danger faced when one individual private citizen is targeted as a scapegoat by the unhinged bigots who often have access to guns.  One has only to look at the murder statistics regarding  TS/TG people to see the danger this scapegoating is putting Autumn in.

Porno Pete has had a long running well documented war with Pam’s House Blend but the setting up of Autumn as a target is just plain wrong.

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/08/the-autumn-of-petes-discontent.html

http://americansfortruth.com/news/taxpayer-funded-tranny-care-obamacare-could-mandate-free-sex-change-surgeries.html

At the very least we might consider putting aside personal animosities and letting Autumn know that at least some of us see this personalized attack on her as seriously crossing the line.  It is one thing when we quibble over words even when we say nasty and mean stuff that trashes the validity of the lives of various TG or TS activists and quite another when the leader of violence prone Brownshirts of the far right target a TS or TG activist this way.

Women at Risk

From the New York Times

“I actually look good. I dress good, am clean-shaven, bathe, touch of cologne — yet 30 million women rejected me,” wrote George Sodini in a blog that he kept while preparing for this week’s shooting in a Pennsylvania gym in which he killed three women, wounded nine others and then killed himself.

We’ve seen this tragic ritual so often that it has the feel of a formula. A guy is filled with a seething rage toward women and has easy access to guns. The result: mass slaughter.

Back in the fall of 2006, a fiend invaded an Amish schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania, separated the girls from the boys, and then shot 10 of the girls, killing five.

I wrote, at the time, that there would have been thunderous outrage if someone had separated potential victims by race or religion and then shot, say, only the blacks, or only the whites, or only the Jews. But if you shoot only the girls or only the women — not so much of an uproar.

According to police accounts, Sodini walked into a dance-aerobics class of about 30 women who were being led by a pregnant instructor. He turned out the lights and opened fire. The instructor was among the wounded.

We have become so accustomed to living in a society saturated with misogyny that the barbaric treatment of women and girls has come to be more or less expected.

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/08/opinion/08herbert.html?_r=1

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Trying to be Respectable

My friend Sophia Siedlberg has a new blog which I am adding a link to on the Blogroll sidebar.  Sophie combines intellect and righteous anger in her writings.  She is absolutely fearless and never shies away from speaking truth to power.

http://sophiaofthescythes.wordpress.com

Sophia’s Cutting Anger, UK

August 4, 2009 by sophiaofthescythes

What am I so angry about? Well we could start with the ugly situation where someone spends their entire lives being told what they are, what they should be how bad they are, how they must be pitied. Intersex children face this from day one, it is not always at the hands of the parents either. Most of the trouble seems to come from those self appointed “Experts” who seek to tell the parents what to do, and how to raise their child. If (As is sometimes the case) mistakes are made then the parents and the child (Usually reaching adulthood by this
time) are looked down upon as people who bred a child the experts regard as “non compliant” and as bad parents.

So who would these self appointed experts be? Well they fall into two camps, the medical professionals with pet theories and the religious moralists who do not have a clue about the religious values they preach yet alone the situation they are dealing with.

There is a third group consisting of people from both camps I call the “NARTH-Clarke -Northwestern Axis”. Which sounds like something out of a Dan Brown Novel, and in some ways this would be an accurate description. This third group are not however some all powerful cult, but they are on the whole a mix of religious and medical “Experts” who seek to impose some theocratic model on people.

In the following blog entries they will simply be referred to as the “NCNA crowd”. Why are they such a problem for people like me who are more concerned about the ethical treatment of children with intersex conditions or variations? Well as I say these people want to control the discourse and the lives of any affected individual to a point that goes way beyond what most people would consider to be ethical boundaries. So who are these people, and why are they a problem?

Let’s start with NARTH. or the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. I think the title says it all really. NARTH is an organization that started life when homosexuality was removed from the DSM, the “mental health bible” in some circles. They have since mutated into an organization who’s main concern seems to be gender policing. They have taken what can only be described as an unhealthy interest in children, be that children who may grow up to be gay or lesbian, children who may grow up to be transsexual or
transgendered, and intersex children.

As a parent reading this you probably feel that this all seems a little strange, and you would be right in thinking that, how can a new born child with some clearly identifiable medical condition be classed as a sexual minority to be targeted by an organization like NARTH for “Reparative Therapy”? Well if you heard the doctor describe your child as a “Disorder of Sex(ual) Development” Guess where that came from, none other than a few people connected with NARTH and the other institutions I will mention.

The Clarke is a clinic in Toronto which has a “Gender Identity Disorder Clinic” currently run by one Dr. Kenneth Zucker, this “Clinic” is basically set up to use the techniques of “Reparative therapy” (As devised by NARTH) on children, mainly children who are regarded as transgendered or transsexual but Dr. Zucker has been known to use the self same approach with intersex children who were surgically “Sexed” and rejected it. The Northwestern is the university in Chicago where there can be found a number of people who conduct
“Research” into sex differentiation (Mainly with a focus on sexuality again), and they all tend to write in a journal known as the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

If as a parent you are still reading this and wondering why these experts are somehow lumping your child with what the experts describe as “Sexual disorder” well join the club. This is what we are all asking.

This is where being “Respectful” towards the “Experts” becomes very difficult, they have no idea about what you as a parent would be facing and no idea about how someone like me, an individual with an intersex condition feels about all this. All they want to do is treat the world like an untidy garden and make the garden tidy. But they have too much of an interest in things like weeding and pest control. And they regard those people they don’t like as weeds and pests.

The truth is these “Experts” have to be confronted, because as you will see they have no interest in the well being of the people they have decided are “Disordered” all they want to do is impose some social order that stamps on the rights of individual human beings and renders them non human. It is their very theatrical nature, this strange sounding clique of experts that sound like something from a Dan Brown novel that makes this situation so absurd and surreal.

The truth is most of us would just like to go and see the doctor when we are ill and follow our own beliefs as we see fit. there is nothing wrong with that simple request, it is no more unreasonable than having a newspaper delivered or eating a meal or going to work. To most of us that is what “normality” actually is, not some crusade against people (Mainly children) who do not live up to some bizarre ideal of the sort seen in fictional stories like Stepford Wives.

In a backhanded sort of way I am saying that we all need to preserve and protect the concept of normality, but from those who seek to impose a rigid ideology that they call “normality” but in truth is little more than a caricature of an ideal society of the sort we see in Stepford Wives.

Systematically brutalizing children on the off chance they may be different is abnormal, and this is actually a common theme with the NCNA crowd. They do not represent Judaeo Christian values, they represent a theocratic ideal that seeks to impose a caricature society and “Moral order” (Ask yourself: Since when was child abuse a moral order?).

I will be honest, yes I will be talking about other minority groups such as those in the LGBTT organizations who are also facing much of the wrath of the NCNA crowd. I don’t feel that it is that wrong to have some involvement in protecting their human rights, they were the people the NCNA crowd targeted first.

Like anyone else I actually do prefer to lead a normal life, but by a normal life, I mean a life where I can buy a newspaper, eat a meal, live in a house and exist as a viable human being instead of some zombie that was mutilated into that state by those who seek to impose their beliefs on us without and just cause. Look at most parents, all they really want to do is bring their children up as they see fit, doing the best they can. They do not need people like Dr. Joseph Nicolosi (Co founder of NARTH) telling them how to torment their child in order to make them lead zombie like lives in a zombie society. It is time there was some brutal honesty here, the NCNA crowd say they represent “Family Values” they don’t they represent an ideal of dictating to families, telling them what sort of children they can have and what they must do for some “Greater good” (Which often entails being stripped of their dignity, their basic human rights and living robotic lives that are essentially pointless).

People need to draw a line in the sand, if the theocratic want to lead their lives by such strict and meaningless rules and conventions, that is fine, but they do not have the right to impose the same on everyone else. In the US there was a good reason why religion and the state have been kept separate, it was to prevent people going on crusades like this and turning a democracy into a theocracy.

So yes it is relevant because these people the NARTH-Clarke-Northwestern-Axis make it relevant, they have turned health care, education and pretty much everything else into some
religious crusade. Politically they are not conservative, conservatives in the true sense don’t work like that, they are petty minded dictators using the conservative lobby as a means to impose an unworkable society.

http://sophiaofthescythes.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/trying-to-be-respectable/

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The Upside of having been Born Transsexual

Sometime when I read what some of the other women born with transsexualism have to say about their life experiences I wonder why we didn’t all just commit suicide and be done with it.

But the reality is more like the ying-yang symbol there is light as well as dark, joy as well as depression.

I will grant you that if your main ambition in life is to lead a life of dull boring conformity then having been born transsexual is kind of a curse.

But I for one can look at what my life would have been if I had been a normborn female in the exact same circumstances and say that life would have truly sucked.  You see I have a brother who is ten years younger than me.  He is pretty much a slacker and loser.  At 52 he never left home and still lives in the poverty stricken mountains of northern New York, in a village I not so fondly have nick named Butt Fuck Nowhereville.

It is a place the lucky, bright and bold escaped.  Being born different meant that as soon as I was aware of places like Greenwich Village, I wanted to escape there, because the in-bred macho assholes where I grew up made my life hell.

Places like that have a force of gravity that hold people who are conformist and normborn.  Conventional in every way and lacking in imagination they obey the rules, marrying their childhood sweet heart, working like slaves, popping out children because that is what they are told to do by the church that makes the rules and takes their hard earned money with the promise of paradise that never gets delivered on.  They vote Republican and think the queers are responsible for their having to work so hard for scraps.

Their biggest joy in life is having someone to look down upon be it the immigrant, the person of color or someone like me, the obvious transkid.

So I escaped first in books and movies.  I saw the power of unions and the civil rights movement.  I dug the beats and rock and roll.  I saw the artists as role models.  I read Camus, Genet, Baldwin, McCullers, Capote.  I knew something was happening somewhere else and being a transkid meant I would probably like it better there than in Butt Fuck Nowhereville.

I wanted to escape the grayness of conformity, the life governed by rules.  I wanted the anarchy of a life governed by existential choices.

Others had class privileges that helped them escape the gravity of that small town existence, I had being born transsexual, my innate differentness.

When I told my mother I had been living as a woman for a year and taking female hormones in preparatin for having a sex change operation she told me she had known I would do this from the time when I was a little kid and she also knew I would never find happiness in the small town where I grew up.

I didn’t just escape small towns I escaped small minded bigotry.  My motivation was in having been born different.

As a teenager at a time when there were not hundreds of books about transsexualism and transgenderism a serialized biography of April Ashley provided me with a role model as she too escaped her working class background for a far more exciting life than she would have had if she had been a normborn female.

Being different threw an element of anarchistic rebellion against the rules of convention into my life.  In order to exist I had to not only question authority but fight for my right to exist.

I am somewhat saddened when I see others born transsexual like me in many ways and yet unlike me in that they decide to become enforcers of the rules of conformity.

Who tell those who do not conform that they are more the enemy than those with the power to actually make the rules.

I’m an old woman now, I’ve seen most of my friends from my early days die hard deaths brought on by the hard lives mandated for them by a society that makes everything harder for those born non-conforming.  And yes, the self medication to smother the pain, the slow and not so slow suicides and occasional violent deaths serve as a reminder that society comes down hard on the non-conformists just as it does on the poor and people of color.

You will not hear me saying things like “gender euphoric” or “gender blessed” because the persecution that goes with being born trans tends to suck euphoria out and replace it with loneliness and adversity.

But because of being born trans I left home and became part of a Red/Black collective, fought for things I believed in, dared to take risks, slept with rock and roll guitar players and singers as well as more than a few movie stars.

I became a person in history with it not mattering how minor my role in that history was.

A participant and not a spectator.

Like the book title says, “Well behaved women seldom make history.”

I don’t feel a need to claim something that makes me different from my other sisters born with transsexualism because I can look around and see some very exceptional women who like me were born from the adversity that transsexualism brought into our lives.  It tested us and tempered us and I dare say if many of us thought about it and weren’t afraid of other sisters censuring us for saying so..  That many of us would admit it has made our lives far more interesting than the lives we might otherwise have had.

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A Shoutout to Questioning Tranphobia

I confess, I check out Questioning Transphobia several times a week depending on my work schedule.  I’ll be perfectly honest in saying that I often get irritated as all hell by the constant use of “cis” but if I over look that point of irritation I often find this blog makes some extremely important points.

Julia Serano’s book gave us an analysis that called transphobia for what it is, misogyny.  The sisters at Questioning Transphobia extends the dialogue.

I’m adding them as a side bar link.

INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION CHANGE EFFORTS WORK, SAYS APA

Amazing…  What are the chances of them doing this with GID?  Something they invented after delisting homosexuality.

Now we should demand they stop abusing transkids.

APA PRESS RELEASE
August 5, 2009
Contact: Kim Mills
(202) 336-6048 until Aug. 5
(416) 585-3800 – Aug. 5-9
INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION CHANGE EFFORTS WORK, SAYS APA

Practitioners Should Avoid Telling Clients They Can Change from Gay to Straight

TORONTO—The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution Wednesday stating that mental health professionals should avoid tellingclients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.

The “Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts” also advises that parents, guardians, young people and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services “that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth.”

The approval, by APA’s governing Council of Representatives, came at APA’s annual convention, during which a task force presented a report that in part examined the efficacy of so-called “reparative therapy,” or sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

“Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation,” said Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, chair of the task force. “Scientifically rigorous older studies in this area found that sexual orientation was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose. Contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates, recent research studies do not provide evidence of sexual orientation change as the research methods are inadequate to determine the effectiveness of these interventions.” Glassgold added: “At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects.

Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex.”

Based on this review, the task force recommended that mental health professionals avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts when providing assistance to people distressed about their own or others’ sexual orientation.

APA appointed the six-member Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation in 2007 to review and update APA’s 1997 resolution, “Appropriate therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation,” and to generate a report. APA was concerned about ongoing efforts to promote the notion that sexual orientation can be changed through psychotherapy or approaches that mischaracterize homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The task force examined the peer-reviewed journal articles in English from 1960 to 2007, which included 83 studies. Most of the studies were conducted before 1978, and only a few had been conducted in the last 10 years. The group also reviewed the recent literature on the psychology of sexual orientation.

“Unfortunately, much of the research in the area of sexual orientation change contains serious design flaws,” Glassgold said. “Few studies could be considered methodologically sound and none systematically evaluated potential harms.”

As to the issue of possible harm, the task force was unable to reach any conclusion regarding the efficacy or safety of any of the recent studies of SOCE: “There are no methodologically sound studies of recent SOCE that would enable the task force to make a definitive statement about whether or not recent SOCE is safe or harmful and for whom,” according to the report.

“Without such information, psychologists cannot predict the impact of these treatments and need to be very cautious, given that some qualitative research suggests the potential for harm,” Glassgold said. “Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome.”

As part of its report, the task force identified that some clients seeking to change their sexual orientation may be in distress because of a conflict between their sexual orientation and religious beliefs. The task force recommended that licensed mental health care providers treating such clients help them “explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation, reduce the stigma associated with homosexuality, respect the client’s religious beliefs, and consider possibilities for a religiously and spiritually meaningful and rewarding life.”

“In other words,” Glassgold said, “we recommend that psychologists be completely honest about the likelihood of sexual orientation change, and that they help clients explore their assumptions and goals with respect to both religion and sexuality.”

A copy of the task force report may be obtained from APA’s Public Affairs Office or at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/publications/therapeuticresponse.pdf

Members of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation:
Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, Rutgers University – Chair
Lee Beckstead, PhD
Jack Drescher, MD
Beverly Greene, PhD, St. John’s University
Robin Lin Miller, PhD, Michigan State University
Roger L. Worthington, PhD, University of Missouri
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the
United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators,
clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian
provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human
welfare.

Strengthening Anarchism’s Gender Analysis: Lessons From The Transfeminist Movement

From Infoshop

http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20090805101509108

Wednesday, August 05 2009 @ 10:20 AM CDT

Contributed by: Anonymous

Transfeminism developed out of a critique of the mainstream and radical feminist movements. The feminist movement has a history of internal hierarchies. There are many examples of women of color, working class women, lesbians and others speaking out against the tendency of the white, affluent- dominated women’s movement to silence them and overlook their needs. Instead of honoring these marginalized voices, the mainstream feminist movement has prioritized struggling for rights primarily in the interests of white affluent women. While the feminist movement as a whole has not resolved these hierarchal tendencies, various groups have continued to speak up regarding their own marginalization – in particular, transgendered women. The process of developing a broader understanding of systems of oppression and how they interact has advanced feminism and is key to building on the theory of anarchist feminism.Strengthening Anarchism’s Gender Analysis: Lessons From The Transfeminist Movement

by J. Rogue – Common Action, Workers Solidarity Alliance

Transfeminism developed out of a critique of the mainstream and radical feminist movements. The feminist movement has a history of internal hierarchies. There are many examples of women of color, working class women, lesbians and others speaking out against the tendency of the white, affluent- dominated women’s movement to silence them and overlook their needs. Instead of honoring these marginalized voices, the mainstream feminist movement has prioritized struggling for rights primarily in the interests of white affluent women. While the feminist movement as a whole has not resolved these hierarchal tendencies, various groups have continued to speak up regarding their own marginalization – in particular, transgendered women. The process of developing a broader understanding of systems of oppression and how they interact has advanced feminism and is key to building on the theory of anarchist feminism.

Transfeminism builds on the work that came out of the multiracial feminist movement, and in particular, the work of Black feminists. Frequently, when confronted with allegations of racism, classism, or homophobia, the women’s movement dismisses these issues as divisive. The more prominent voices promote the idea of a homogenous “universal female experience,” which, as it is based on commonality between women, theoretically promotes a sense of sisterhood. In reality, it means pruning the definition of “woman” and trying to fit all women into a mold reflecting the dominant demographic of the women’s movement: white, affluent, heterosexual, and non-disabled. This “policing” of identity, whether conscious or not, reinforces systems of oppression and exploitation. When women who do not fit this mold have challenged it, they have frequently been accused of being divisive and disloyal to the sisterhood. The hierarchy of womanhood created by the women’s movement reflects, in many ways, the dominant culture of racism, capitalism and heteronormativity.

Mainstream feminist organizing frequently tries to find the common ground shared by women, and therefore focuses on what the most vocal members decide are “women’s issues” – as if the female experience existed in vacuum outside of other forms of oppression and exploitation. However, using an intersectional approach to analyzing and organizing around oppression, as advocated by multiracial feminism and transfeminism, we can discuss these differences rather than dismiss them. The multiracial feminist movement developed this approach, which argues that one cannot address the position of women without also addressing their class, race, sexuality, ability, and all other aspects of their identity and experiences. Forms of oppression and exploitation do not exist separately. They are intimately related and reinforce each other, and so trying to address them singly (i.e. “sexism” divorced from racism, capitalism, etc) does not lead to a clear understanding of the patriarchal system. This is in accordance with the anarchist view that we must fight all forms of hierarchy, oppression, and exploitation simultaneously; abolishing capitalism and the state does not ensure that white supremacy and patriarchy will be somehow magically dismantled.

Tied to this assumption of a “universal female experience” is the idea that that if a woman surrounds herself with those that embody that “universal” woman, then she is safe from patriarchy and oppression. The concept of “women’s safe spaces” (being women-only) date back to the early lesbian feminist movement, which was largely comprised of white, middle-class women who prioritized addressing sexism over other forms of oppression. This notion that an all-women space is inherently safe not only discounts the intimate violence that can occur between women, but also ignores or de-prioritizes the other types of violence that women can experience; racism, poverty, incarceration and other forms of state, economic and social brutality.

The Transfeminist Manifesto states: “Transfeminism believes that we construct our own gender identities based on what feels genuine, comfortable and sincere to us as we live and relate to others within given social and cultural constraint. (1)” The notion that gender is a social construct is a key concept in transfeminism, and are also essential (no pun intended) to an anarchist approach to feminism. Transfeminism also criticizes the idea of a “universal female experience” and argues against the biologically essentialist view that one’s gender is defined by one’s genitalia. Other feminisms have embraced the essentialist argument, seeing the idea of “women’s unity” as being built off a sameness, some kind of core “woman-ness.” This definition of woman is generally reliant on what is between a person’s legs. Yet what specifically about the definition of woman is intrinsic to two X chromosomes? If it is defined as being in possession of a womb, does that mean women who have had hysterectomies are somehow less of a woman? Perhaps, if we reduce the definition of “woman” to the role of child-bearer. That seems rather antithetical to feminism. Gender roles have long been under scrutiny in radical communities. The idea that women are born to be mothers, are more sensitive and peaceful, are predisposed to wearing the color pink and all the other stereotypes out there are socially constructed, not biological. If the (repressive) gender role does not define what a woman is, and if the organs one is born with do not define gender either, the next logical step is to recognize that gender can only be defined by the individual, for themselves. While this concept may cause some to panic, that does not make it any less legitimate with regards to a person’s identity.

It is important to note that not all transgender people chose to physically transition, and that each person’s decision to do so or not is their own. The decision is highly personal and generally irrelevant to theoretical conceptions of gender. There are many reasons to physically change one’s body, from getting a haircut to taking hormones. Some reasons might be to feel more at ease in a world with strict definitions of male and female. Another is to look in the mirror and see on the outside (the popular understanding of) the gender one feels on the inside. Surely, for some, it is the belief that gender is defined by the physical construction of one’s genitalia. But rather than draw from speculation as to the motivations for the personal decisions of trans people (as if they where not vast and varied), it is more productive to note the challenge to the idea that biology is destiny.

Thus far, gender and feminist theory that includes trans experiences exists almost solely in academia. There are very few working class intellectuals in the field, and the academic language used is not particularly accessible to the average person. This is unfortunate, since the issues that transfeminism addresses affect all people. Capitalism, racism, the state, patriarchy and the medical field mediate the way everyone experiences gender. There is a significant amount of coercion employed by these institutions to police human experiences, which applies to everyone, trans and non-trans alike. Capitalism and the state play a very direct role in the experiences of trans people. Access to hormones and surgery, if desired, costs a significant amount of money, and people are often forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops in order to acquire them. Trans people are disproportionately likely to be members of the working and under classes. However, within the radical queer and transfeminist communities, while there may be discussions of class, they are generally framed around identity – arguing for “anti-classist” politics, but not necessarily anti-capitalist.

The concepts espoused by transfeminism help us understand gender, but there is a need for the theory to break out of academia and to develop praxis amongst the working class and social movements. This is not to say that there are no examples of transfeminist organizing, but rather that there needs to be an incorporation of transfeminist principles into broad based movements. Even gay and lesbian movements have a history of leaving trans people behind. For example, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act does not protect gender identity. Again we see a hierarchy of importance; the gay and lesbian movement compromises (throwing trans folks under the bus), rather than employing an inclusive strategy for liberation. There is frequently a sense of a “scarcity of liberation” within reformist social movements, the feeling that the possibilities for freedom are so limited that we must fight against other marginalized groups for a piece of the pie. This is in direct opposition to the concept of intersectionality, since it often requires people to betray one aspect of their identity in order to politically prioritize another. How can a person be expected to engage in a fight against gender oppression if it ignores or worsens their racial oppression? Where does one aspect of their identity and experiences end and another begin? Anarchism offers a possible society in which liberation is anything but scarce. It provides a theoretical framework that calls for an end to all hierarchies, and, as stated by Martha Ackelsberg, “It offers a perspective on the nature and process of social revolutionary transformation (e.g. the insistence that means must be consistent with ends, and that economic issues are critical, but not the only source of hierarchal power relations) that can be extremely valuable to/ for women’s emancipation. (2)”
Anarchists need to be developing working class theory that includes an awareness of the diversity of the working class. The anarchist movement can benefit from the development of a working class, anarchist approach to gender issues that incorporates the lessons of transfeminism and intersectionality. It is not so much a matter of asking anarchists to become active in the transfeminist movement as it is a need for anarchists to take a page from the Mujeres Libres and integrate the principles of (trans)feminism into our organizing within the working class and social movements. Continuing to develop contemporary anarchist theory of gender rooted in the working class requires a real and integrated understanding of transfeminism.

This article neglects to address another important concept: the idea that biological sex is somewhat socially constructed as well. Given the high prevalence of intersex folks, it is worth re-evaluating whether or not there are only two supposed biological sexes. This is a whole additional discussion, and one that would require a bit more research. Recommended sites for more information are http://www.isna.org and http://www.eminism.org.

Notes

1. The Transfeminist Manifesto by Emi Koyama (2000)

2. Lessons from the Free Women of Spain an interview with Martha Ackelsberg
by Geert Dhont (2004)

This article appears in the latest issue of the Northeastern Anarchist: http://www.nefac.net/en/node/2480

From: http://anarkismo.net/article/13970

Merkley introduces ENDA in Senate First time trans-inclusive bill considered in that chamber

From the Washington Blade

http://www.washblade.com/thelatest/thelatest.cfm?blog_id=26608

By CHRIS JOHNSON, Washington Blade
Aug 5 2009, 12:00 PM
UPDATED: Aug 5, 1:46 PM

An Oregon lawmaker made history Wednesday by introducing a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in the U.S. Senate, marking the first time ever that a trans-inclusive bill has been considered in that chamber of Congress.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, a first-term Democratic senator, told the Blade he’s sponsoring the legislation because “it stems from core conviction” about his belief in fairness and equality.

“For me, one of the huge issues that I’ve cared a lot about is equality under the law and fairness to all Americans, and this was just a core part of the way I view the world,” he said.

Merkley said he was designated as the lead sponsor of ENDA because he championed a similar non-discrimination bill in Oregon as a lawmaker in the state House, as well as legislation enacting domestic partnerships in Oregon.

As of Wednesday, Merkley had 37 co-sponsors to the legislation, including Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), according to a statement released by Merkley’s office.

Merkley is a member of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, which would hold hearings on the legislation and fine-tune the bill before it reaches the Senate floor. But whether the committee will hold hearings on the legislation, Merkley said, has “yet to be addressed.”

“That is certainly one of the things that I’ll be pursuing with Sen. Dodd and with Sen. Kennedy’s team,” Merkley said.

Allison Herwitt, the Human Rights Campaign’s legislative director, said HRC is hoping for hearings in the Senate, but doesn’t know whether they would occur in September or October.

While Kennedy was slated earlier to introduce the Senate version of ENDA this Congress, Merkley said he’s championing the legislation instead because Kennedy has not been as present on Capitol Hill as he had been in the past. Kennedy is battling brain cancer.

“Sen. Kennedy talked with his team, and felt that he wants to take key issues that he cares a lot about and pass the baton because he’s not as able to be here in person in the way that he would have been here a year ago,” Merkley said.

Merkley wouldn’t confirm that Kennedy’s illness prevented him for being the lead sponsor of the legislation.

On the House side, gay Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced a version of ENDA in June. HRC is expecting further activity on the bill in September when lawmakers return from their August recess.

Herwitt said she’s expecting the House Education & Labor Committee to hold hearings on the bill in September, followed by a markup later the same month. She said HRC is hoping for a floor vote in October.

“Barney has said numerous times that he wants to come back together in September, see where we are with the votes and hopefully be able to move the fully inclusive bill to the House floor,” she said.

Passing ENDA in the Senate, Merkley said, will require member-to-member conversations. Merkley said he’s uncertain about the timing for passing the bill or when a committee markup of the legislation or any floor vote could take place.

“I certainly am going to be having conversations with basically all my colleagues,” he said. “We want to get a complete a lay of the land and understand how close we are to the level of votes that we need.”

Asked how confident he was that ENDA would be enacted into law this Congress, Merkley replied: “Ask me that after I and my co-sponsors have the conversations with our colleagues, but I can’t evaluate it right now.”

Herwitt, however, said the chances are good that Congress will be able to pass ENDA this Congress.

“I think we’ve put to work the whole community to really educate our members, and obviously Barney and [Rep.] Tammy [Baldwin] and now [Rep. Jared] Polis have been having what arguably is the most important part of the education process, and that’s member-to-member conversations,” she said.

Merkley predicted that opponents of ENDA would challenge the bill’s gender identity provisions as it makes its way through the Senate.

“Given the past record in Capitol Hill conversation, I expect that that will be a point of contention,” he said. “It did not become a key point of discussion when I worked on these issues in Oregon, but I think given the history here, that will come up.”

Still, Merkley said there’s a “strong sense” among those supporting the legislation that “discrimination is simply wrong, and that gender identity discrimination is a key part of this area.”

“We shouldn’t be slicing and dicing different components of it,” he said.

Herwitt said she believes the bill’s gender identity provisions would remain intact as it makes its way through Congress.

“The members and the advocates are committed to moving this legislation when we have the votes to protect the full integrity of the legislation,” she said.

Merkley said the passage of hate crimes legislation as an amendment in the Senate “raises the possibility” of a similar path for ENDA, but he added that a decision on “what pathways might be feasible” wouldn’t be made until further discussion occurs.

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The Pseudo-Scientific Misogynistic Fundamentalist

If one has any doubt that much of psychiatry is little more than religious bullshit rewritten in pseudoscientific language that doubt can be cured by reading the bullshit from the sexist dickwad Satoshi Kanazawa.

Why do we give misogynistic pieces of shit like this any credence at all?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200908/why-modern-feminism-is-illogical-unnecessary-and-evil


A Look at the Hard Truths About Human Nature

August 2, 2009, Evolutionary Psychology

Why modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil

Feminism is the radical notion that women are men

Although it is not Susan Pinker’s intention in writing it, reading her excellent book The Sexual Paradox:  Troubled Boys, Gifted Girls and the Real Difference Between the Sexes cannot help but further reinforce my view that modern feminism in the 21st century is simultaneously illogical, unnecessary, and evil.

First, modern feminism is illogical because, as Pinker points out, it is based on the vanilla assumption that, but for lifelong gender socialization and pernicious patriarchy, men and women are on the whole identical.  An insurmountable body of evidence by now conclusively demonstrates that the vanilla assumption is false; men and women are inherently, fundamentally, and irreconcilably different.  Any political movement based on such a spectacularly incorrect assumption about human nature – that men and women are and should be identical – is doomed to failure.

How misogynisticaly Nazi is this?

To read more shit from this dick go to:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200908/why-modern-feminism-is-illogical-unnecessary-and-evil

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APA: Stop Ex-Gay Therapy

From the Advocate online

http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid103539.asp

By Michelle Garcia

The country’s leading authority on psychology is urging therapists not to tell clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or treatment.

Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, chair of the American Psychological Association’s task force on the matter, said there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.

“At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions,” Glassgold said in a statement on Wednesday. “Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted, or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex.”

A task force on so-called reparative therapy was started in 2007, to update the APA’s 1997 study on changing one’s sexual orientation. The task force examined 83 peer-reviewed journal articles ranging from 1960 to 2007. However, it was found that many studies had serious flaws, and few could even be considered “methodically sound, and none systematically evaluated potential harms.”

The APA suggested that since many undergo such therapy for religious reasons, some should consider switching churches, or celibacy.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, reacted with accolades to the news today.

“Homophobia, bias, and discrimination are what make it difficult for people to accept and be open about their sexual orientation,” he said. “We have to change hearts and minds, not our sexual orientation, and we are hopeful that the position of the APA helps to heal those who have been hurt by rejection and betrayal, and to foster greater awareness, skills, and knowledge among mental health professionals.”

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A Big Shout Out To Catkisser

Follow these links

Cathryn has never shied away from speaking truth to power and the last few postings over at her blog http://radicalbitch.wordpress.com/ have been RPG strength rounds of truth telling.

Bookmark her blog and read these:

http://radicalbitch.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/transgender-as-defamation-speaking-truth-to-trannys/

http://radicalbitch.wordpress.com/2009/08/02/if-you-want-to-learn-about-feminism-do-you-ask-a-drag-queen/

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