France May Make Mental Violence a Crime

I seeing some really admirable steps taken in France to end mental abuse.  Of course removing GID from their version of the DSM really caused me to sit up and take notice.

In the late 1990s the APA issued a statement that the actions and suppositions of certain rogue psychiatrists were taking in promoting reparative therapy were creating a source of problems for gay and lesbian people.  That telling gay and lesbian folks they had a mental illness caused psychiatric problems.

When I saw this my inner anarchist went, “Wow! I’ve got to do something with this!”  So I did.  I rewrote the release to make it about transsexualism and put it out on the web.  Just to a few mailing lists.  I wanted to see how fast it would get around.  I later titled the electronic performance piece “If”.

I learned some thing.  Lots of folks are in a co-dependent relationship with an abuser.  That’s the only way I can describe the emotional response of those who cling to GID as a necessary thing in their lives.

It was never part of mine because I came out years before it was invented.  Sometime people insist I too must have had it but it is sort of like religion.  If you grow up a non-believer chaces are you won’t become one.  To me GID is like an abusive thug that messes with my friends.  I tell them to leave their abuser but they insist they need him (GID).

This is one of those world changing paradigm shifts in deal with abuse.

From the New York Times

2/26/2010

By STEVEN ERLANGER

PARIS — France’s National Assembly approved Thursday night a proposal to add “psychological violence” to a law intended to help victims of physical violence and abuse, despite doubts that the law is specific enough to have much impact.

The proposed law says that to “act or repeatedly say things that could damage the victim’s life conditions, affect his/her rights and his/her dignity or damage his/her physical or mental health” is punishable by a jail term of up to three years and a fine of up to 75,000 euros, or about $103,000. Carefully covering both genders, the law applies to behavior toward a wife, husband, partner or concubine.

Danielle Bousquet, a Socialist, and Guy Geoffroy, a member of the ruling center-right Union for a Popular Movement, wrote the draft law, supported by 30 other legislators. It received backing last November from the government and Prime Minister François Fillon, who called it “very significant progress.”

The new law, Mr. Fillon said, “will allow people to take into account the most insidious situations, which don’t leave a mark to the naked eye but can mutilate the victim’s inner self.” He called the issue “a great national cause,” and the government has started a series of commercials on television to sensitize viewers to conjugal violence, especially against women.

Ms. Bousquet, 64, said that psychological violence could be gradual. “In the beginning, there are only slight offenses, a husband who is a little too insistent and domineering with his wife, but then the husband’s ascendancy becomes more prominent and each time the victim strikes back, the tone changes and physical violence can set in,” she said in an interview together with Mr. Geoffroy.

“Fear isn’t something you can easily simulate,” she said. “It’s not hard to see whether a woman is terrified or not.”

Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/26/world/europe/26paris.html?em

Friday Night Fun and Culture

Gordon Brown Calls On America To Repeal DADT, Calls UK LGBT Soldiers ‘The Pride Of Our Country’

This came from Issues and Alibis mailing list

I believe its origin to be: (HT: Towleroad)

http://www.towleroad.com/2010/02/british-pm-stands-by-gays-speaks-out-on-dont-ask-dont-tell.html

“As conservatives in the United States try to argue that repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) would lead to all sorts of horrors like an increase in “body art,” natural disasters, and a reinstatement of the draft, British citizens are serving comfortably alongside openly gay men and women. Yesterday at a reception at Number 10 Downing Street to celebrate February’s LGBT History Month, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown underscored the country’s more progressive position:

Brown singled out the lesbians, gays and bisexuals from the Army, Navy and Air Force who attended the event in uniform.

He told them: “You are the pride of our country and we thank you very much. We know this debate continues in America today. I would say to people who still favour ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, look at our experience in Britain.”

Brown also hosted a reception for LGBT History Month last year, when he slammed California’s Prop. 8 as “unacceptable.”

A recent report by the Palm Center backed up Brown’s statements on gay men and women serving openly in the military. The study found that foreign militaries have been able to quickly and successfully integrate:

Other key conclusions of the new study are that preliminary findings that open gays do not disrupt military effectiveness hold over time, including in Britain, whose policy of non-discrimination marked its ten-year anniversary last month; that successful transitions did not involve creating separate facilities or distinct rules for gays or straights; and that the U.S. has a long tradition of turning to foreign armed forces as relevant sources of information about effective military policy.

Yesterday on the House floor, Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) read a letter from an active duty soldier in Afghanistan who had “learned that a fellow soldier was also gay, only after he was killed by an IED in Iraq.” The deceased soldier’s partner also “wrote the unit to say how much the victim had loved the military; how they were the only family he had ever known.”

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Britain – Sex-change surgery could be the victim of multi-million pound NHS cuts…

Willow has raised the specter of National Health Insurance  programs ceasing to fund SRS should those of us working to depathologize it succeed in getting GID removed from the DSM.

I honestly do not see that as the problem.  The same forces trying to defund SRS are the same forces trying to defund abortion.  They label SRS as caving into the delusions of mentally ill people.

I am far more concerned with the transfer of wealth upwards and the institution of “austerity measures” on the poor as outlined in Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine.

We are seeing an elimination of the middle classes and polarization into two classes rich and poor where the rich have everything and the poor have nothing.  In this case it is all too easy for those who already have one foot in lumpen prole status to slip fully into that class below the statuses defined as rich/middle/working class.

The privatization of everything would mean that there would be no public health or publicly funded education.

We have long been in a class war.  The problem is that most working class people are to drugged on sports, religion, trinkets, sex and violence to recognize how exploited they are.

[2010-02-26 WiganToday]

http://www.wigantoday.net/wigannews/NHS-savings-may-affect-couples.6107738.jp

Friday, 26th February 2010

NHS savings may affect couples

Couples waiting for IVF fertility treatment and patients hoping for sex-change surgery could be the victims of multi-million pound NHS cuts.

But Wigan health chiefs have sought to reassure patients that no job cut targets have been set.

It was revealed this week that trusts across Greater Manchester have been ordered to slash spending plans for the NHS by a massive £950m.

The need for savings is expected to affect “every aspect of health care”, bringing job cuts and changes to services.

It is understood that savings could be made through cuts in lifestyle services such as IVF, weight loss surgery and gender reassignment.

The “efficiency savings”, outlined in Greater Manchester’s Primary Care Trust board papers begin in April and must be made by 2014.

Bosses have been told to begin with a 30 per cent cut in management – prompting some PCTs to merge human resources, finance and other “backroom” services with neighbouring health trusts.

Ironically, Ashton, Leigh and Wigan PCT’s own chief executive, Peter Rowe, has been enlisted by the Government to identify areas where savings can be made across the country.

Regional health bosses have told Greater Manchester’s 10 primary care trusts – the organisations which fund all health care in their area – that they must save almost £1bn over the next four years.

But the Wigan PCT issued a statement today which was resolutely upbeat, and suggested that much of the savings could be made relatively painlessly by good housekeeping.

A spokesman said: “We have no definite picture of what will happen when the current three-year comprehensive spending review ends in March 2011. We are confident there will be no reduction in the NHS budget.”

Full statement in today’s (Friday) Wigan Evening Post …

“Lifestyle”

I cringe when ever I hear someone use the term “lifestyle” in connection with LGBT/T people.

It has such ultra right wing Christo-fascist connotations.  Like something an American Goebbels cooked up.

“Lifestyle” in one form of usage has the semiotic of a chosen pattern of consumption, or that is how it is marketed in everything from Vogue and Architectural Digest to Outdoor Life or Outside.

When I share a You Tube video on my weekly feature “Friday Night Fun and Culture”  am sharing a glimpse of my “lifestyle” and if you have been following them over the last few months they tell you something about me, or at the very least about the musical artists I like.

Omnivore, lacto-ova vegetarianism, vegan are lifestyle choices.  They reflect how one relates to food and may reflect a whole greater dimension of ethos including how one feels about animals.

While living frugally is not a lifestyle choice for those who live at the bottom of the socio-economic scale, there are those with disposable income who choose to opt out of the vast corporate driven consumption machine.  For those people simplifying life and living frugally is not a matter of necessity but of choice.

Ironically there is a gay/lesbian lifestyle, a rather well developed one at that,  which overlaps with the world of art and fashion.  One can go to G/L restaurants, watch G/L movies, go to theater featuring L/G performers, buy the out put of L/G artists goe on G/L cruses and live in certain parts of cities where gay men or lesbians cluster.

This is less a case for people with transgenderism and even far less a case for post-SRS women and men.  What do we have that constitutes a culture beyond books, blogs and conferences?

However, the Christo-Fascist right wing does not use lifestyle in the context of an actual life style but rather as a semiotic indicating a pervert who has chosen to be a pervert and who should be stoned to death rather than allowed to live as an equal to cis-gender/sex white heterosexual people.

It bothers me even more when the self proclaimed “classic transsexuals” pull the Christo-Fascist version of the semiotic out of their equally transsexual asses and use it to attack those  post-op transsexual women  who are bisexual or lesbian in their sexual orientation. The sound bite has long been that it was the doctors who required us to become heterosexual through surgery. But the real back story is that we took more shit from our heterosexual sisters in the 1970 than we did from the medical profession regarding our post-SRS sexual orientation.

Sexual orientation like transsexualism and transgenderism are not lifestyle choices.  A lifestyle choice when all are equal affordable is choosing to go on the Nation Magazine Cruise for Progressives vs Carnival Cruise for Families vs Olivia Cruise for lesbians.

There is one thing about the usage of that semiotic and how it is attached to people,  how you use it tells me if I want to be associated with you or not.