Friday Night Fun and Culture

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Single-Sex Education Is Assailed in Report

More refuting of Cultural Feminism and male sexism.

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/education/23single.html

By
Published: September 22, 2011

Single-sex educationis ineffective, misguided and may actually increase gender stereotyping, a paper to be published Friday asserts.

The report, “The Pseudoscience of Single Sex Schooling,” to be published in Science magazine by eight social scientists who are founders of the nonprofit American Council for CoEducational Schooling, is likely to ignite a new round of debate and legal wrangling about the effects of single-sex education.

It asserts that “sex-segregated education is deeply misguided and often justified by weak, cherry-picked or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific evidence.”

But the strongest argument against single-sex education, the article said, is that it reduces boys’ and girls’ opportunities to work together, and reinforces sex stereotypes. “Boys who spend more time with other boys become increasingly aggressive,” the article said. “Similarly, girls who spend more time with other girls become more sex-typed.”

The authors are psychologists and neuroscientists from several universities who have researched and written on sex differences and sex roles. The Science article is not based on new research, but rather is a review of existing research and writing.

The lead author, Diane F. Halpern, is a past president of the American Psychological Association who holds a chair in psychology at Claremont McKenna College in California. She is an expert witness in litigation in which the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging single-sex classes — which have been suspended — at a school in Vermilion Parish, La.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/education/23single.html

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Transgender Borg Tell Post-Transsexual Women Who Do Not Embrace the TG Umbrella, “STFU!”

It appears the Transgender Borg have gotten tired of name calling or discover we don’t give a shit if they consider us elitists, separatists or “genital surgery essentialists.  They have learned we’ve grown immune to their Charlie Prince inspired trashing of our genitals.

Trying to terrify us all with the pile of martyrs is less effective when we observe that many of those martyrs are doing the most dangerous form of sex work imaginable, or were murdered when they were discovered to have penises and not actually be women.

Our phrase, “Men have penises, women have vaginas.” (and variations of that phrase) causes the Transgender Borg to react like the cinematic vampires in the Hammer Films of yore.  They writhe and scream in pain like those vampires when splashed with holy water.

As I have been investigating and reporting on the machinations of the anti-transsexual hate group that I have labeled the “Lesbian Klan” it has been impossible for me to avoid noting how much the Lesbian Klan has in common with the Transgender Borg (Note Transgender Inc. is often made up of transgender identified post-transsexual women and tends to be much more warm, squishy, Kumbyaa in how they relate to post-transsexuals.  After all they are professional placaters, who know where the donations come from and how it is bad policy to bite the hand that feeds.)

Both the Transgender Borg and the Lesbian Klan uses similar tactics.  In some ways Monica Roberts and BevJo Von Dohre hold virtually identical opinions regarding the validity of post-transsexual women and their bodies.  Both of them consider us mutilated men with inverted penis neo-coochies.

The only real difference is that BevJo Von Dohre uses this hateful description of our bodies as reason why we should be excluded from feminist and lesbian feminist circles while Monica Roberts uses it as an instrument of colonial oppression.

Another thing the Borg have in common with the Lesbian Klan is they want post-transsexual women, particularly post-transsexual feminist women who are lesbians to STFU and go away.

The Lesbian Klan had a way of intimidating main stream feminists and lesbians into not only denying post-transsexual women an opportunity to defend themselves without being subjected to lynch mob level of verbal and emotional abuse, but they purged anyone who spoke out against their bigotry.  The Transgender Borg do the same thing.  The Borg use the same name calling as well as ostracism of those in their ranks, who speak out against the verbal abuse of post-transsexual women  that the cultural feminists of the Lesbian Klan use.

Lately I have noticed a new tactic on the part of the Borg, which has been directed at me and others who have post-transsexual blogs.

They question why, if I am so post-transsexual I continue mentioning transsexualism at all.

Perhaps I would talk about the abuse of post-transsexual women less if we weren’t colonized and exploited by the Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc, or as abused by the cultural feminists of the Lesbian Klan.

But “Silence = Death” and I’ve always believed in speaking truth to power.

Trans-specific material runs to between ten and twenty percent of what I post to this Blog.  I would argue that the material I collate and recommend via teasers and links applies to all and not just post-transsexual women.  Being post-transsexual or for that matter pre-op or transgender doesn’t make one exempt from the Depression we are in, or mean that one will not need the Social Security or Medicare that is being threatened.

So I will not STFU.

Threats and bullying will not cause me to STFU.  Nor will sweet talk and offers of emotional bribes.

I will continue to say what I mean, and mean what I say.

Oh,  by the way I will also continue to grow and if I change my mind on any given topic I will admit to past mistakes.

Trashing: The Dark Side of Radical Movements of the Left

There is a bitter generalization that is shared by long time activists in the left wing/progressive movements that we don’t need enemies to destroy our movements.  We are given to ritualized cannibalism and the forming of circular firing squads which drive away dedicated people.

I’ve studied 20th century left wing movements in the US.  Particularly the Communist Party. Few people today realize how much energy the American Communists devoted to the African American Civil Rights Movement during the Pre-World War II Era.  The role of CP-USA in the development of the Farm Workers organizations has been erased.  The same is true regarding Anti-Corporate movements, the Women’s Movement and so on.

The only people who seem aware of the role of the American Communists and Socialists are those on the rabid right.  They use that knowledge to tar more recent movements for the above causes even though the American Communists were purged from those movements in the years after WW II.

But there was a time when both the Socialists and the CP were active political voices.  I saw a documentary about the Folk Music scene in Greenwich Village the other evening and the late Dave Van Ronk quipped about the fist fights at the San Remo every week end between the Trotskyites and the Stalinists.

While these movements were severely persecuted during the McCarthy Era what really tore them apart were the endless purges over perceived political incorrectness.  (See Jessica Mitford’s  A Fine Old Conflict  and Maurice Isserman/Dorothy Ray Healey  California Red: A Life in the American Communist Party)

The term “Political Correctness”  is not a recent right wing invention used to mock the Left.  People used it to describe the trashings meted out for deviations from “the party line”.  Often times these deviations from the party line were so minor and over such strange parsings of the targeted persons words as to seem absurd.

Add the extreme pressure from the outside in the form of the Red Scare to the internal trashings and purges over matters of political correctness and absurd minutia and people just deserted the movement.

In the period between about 1966 and 1970 I watched the rise and fall of SDS.  When I joined in 1966 there were a few thousand members.  Over the next couple of years that rose to over a hundred thousand members. Then the internal battles set in mostly between the Stalinists of Progressive Labor and the more anarchistic faction that became Weatherman.  Then it blew apart and Weatherman emerged with a few thousand supporters.

In Weatherman the same sort of trashings and internal battles over who was the most revolutionary, the purges for lacking political purity continued to fracture what was a small faction of the organization.

People would be picked out for harsh criticism/self-criticism sessions modeled on confrontational therapy.  Being subjected to these sessions was emotionally devastating.  Put together with all the police actions from without, the raids, the police committing murder (in the case of the Panthers) and pretty soon all that remained was a tiny core, while the rest of the movement dissolved.

The plain truth is that damned few people are willing to put their bodies on the line, devote a great deal of time, energy and commitment to a cause when other people involved in that cause are going to emotionally abuse and terrorize them.  There are too many other causes, or for that matter other ways for one to spend their life.

A movement is like a home, comrades are like family.  No one wants to live in an abusive family.  No one should be expected to put up with abuse for the sake of the movement.

Many women left the anti-war and African American Civil Rights movement as well as other movements because they were tired of the sexism within male dominated movements and because the leaders of the Second Wave insisted on total commitment.

Few of us looked around and saw just how many varieties of feminism were available out there.  We had come from radical movements and so radical feminism had to be the place for us.

We were in an even more precarious position if we were transsexual, because as transkids we had received our socialization as women, our lessons as to how to cope with being women vicariously through books, films and observation rather than from direct experience.  In short we were ill equipped to deal with some of the mind fuck games that were going on within the world of Second Wave radical feminism.

I think some of us, perhaps most of us have an idealized picture of womanhood/sisterhood that we start to lose after a few years both pre and post-op as we build of experience as women interacting with the world as women.

But most of us do not experience the ways in which girls bully other girls, or the games mean girls play to abuse other girls they have selected as victims.

When we moved into a place where sisterhood was supposed to be powerful and those games were supposed to be superseded by common purpose, we were pretty defenseless as well as lacking the developed sense of awareness that might have caused us to recognize those mean games when they arose.

Apparently WBTs were not alone.  Many of the early leaders of the Second Wave were ambushed and trashed the same way we were.

As post-transsexual women we have to deal with Transgender Borg historical revisionism telling us that the trashing was unique to transsexual women, most notably Sandy Stone and Beth Elliott.

What we need to do is place the trashing in context as well as look at the dynamics.  Reading Beth Elliott’s book as well as a recent encounter with BevJo Von Dohre caused me to see just how far some sociopaths will carry the dictum, “The personal is the political.”

BevJo has waged a 40 year campaign of stalking and abuse that has evolved into an ideology of inchoate rage and hatred directed towards transsexuals.  a contradictory polemic more hateful than something one would expect from the Taliban Christians of the ultra right wing.

That people with powerful voices like Robin Morgan, Mary Daly, Germaine Greer, Janice Raymond, Sheila Jeffreys and Julie Bindel have used their platforms to wage a bigoted hate campaign that would be clearly seen as such were it targeting another group with more power.  They have made the “transphobia” of feminism and lesbian feminism seem a majority opinion whenmuch of our experience in real life tells us it is far from universal.

After all where are the the voices of the women who tell us in private how courageous we are, how dedicated and hard working we are?

Perhaps they have seen so many other women in the feminist movement get trashed they are cowed into silence.

You see women with a history of transsexualism are not the only women who have been targeted for brutal trashings.

Among them Kate Millett, Shulamith Firestone, Gloria Steinem, and Susan Brownmiller.

What exactly is trashing?

Trashing is not legitimate discourse that recognizes the humanity of the person or class being trashed.

One can not argue logically against trashing as trashing is often times filled with completely contradictory arguments.

The woman being trashed can and will be subjected to accusations of incredibly vile crimes.  These accusations are invariably lies made up by the woman who instigated the trashing.

Any and all attempts to calm the woman instigating the trashing will be labeled as siding with the monster being trashed.  Defending a woman being trashed, particularly if that woman has a transsexual history is labeled a crime against all womankind.

One of the best pieces I ever read regarding “Trashing” is buy the highly respected feminist writer Jo Freeman. It can be found at several archival sites.  I’m pulling a few appropriate paragraphs from one.  The essay originally appeared in Ms Magazine: April 1976 issue, pp. 49-51, 92-98.

Trashing the Dark Side of Sisterhood

What is “trashing,” this colloquial term that expresses so much, yet explains so little? It is not disagreement; it is not conflict; it is not opposition. These are perfectly ordinary phenomena which, when engaged in mutually, honestly, and not excessively, are necessary to keep an organism or organization healthy and active. Trashing is a particularly vicious form of character assassination which amounts to psychological rape. It is manipulative, dishonest, and excessive. It is occasionally disguised by the rhetoric of honest conflict, or covered up by denying that any disapproval exists at all. But it is not done to expose disagreements or resolve differences. It is done to disparage and destroy.

The means vary. Trashing can be done privately or in a group situation; to one’s face or behind one’s back; through ostracism or open denunciation. The trasher may give you false reports of what (horrible things) others think of you; tell your friends false stories of what you think of them; interpret whatever you say or do in the most negative light; project unrealistic expectations on you so that when you fail to meet them, you become a “legitimate” target for anger; deny your perceptions of reality; or pretend you don’t exist at all. Trashing may even be thinly veiled by the newest group techniques of criticism/self-criticism, mediation, and therapy. Whatever methods are used, trashing involves a violation of one’s integrity, a declaration of one’s worthlessness, and an impugning of one’s motives In effect, what is attacked is not one’s actions, or one’s ideas, but one’s self.

This attack is accomplished by making you feel that your very existence is inimical to the Movement and that nothing can change this short of ceasing to exist. These feelings are reinforced when you are isolated from your friends as they become convinced that their association with-you is similarly inimical to the Movement and to themselves. Any support of you will taint them. Eventually all your colleagues join in a chorus of condemnation which cannot be silenced, and you are reduced to a mere parody of your previous self.

It took three trashings to convince me to drop out. Finally, at the end of 1969, I felt psychologically mangled to the point where I knew I couldn’t go on. Until then I interpreted my experiences as due to personality conflicts or political disagreements which I could rectify with time and effort. But the harder I tried, the worse things got, until I was finally forced to face the incomprehensible reality that the problem was not what I did, but what I was.

Read the complete essay at:  http://www.jofreeman.com/joreen/trashing.htm

Keep this essay in mind if you have been subject to trashing within  feminist circle or by certain radical feminists.

Bear in mind these same techniques are being used by certain members of both the Transgender Borg and Transgender Inc.

Remember the ironic usage of the term “Political Correctness” was not invented by the right wing, but rather by good left wing progressives and feminists fed up with bullshit.

The Fight-Back Plan

From Truth Dig: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_fight-back_plan_20110919/

By Eugene Robinson
Posted on Sep 19, 2011

“Class warfare!” scream the Republicans, in a voice usually reserved for phrases such as “Run for your lives!”

Spare us the histrionics. The GOP and its upper-crust patrons have been waging an undeclared but devastating war against middle-class, working-class and poor Americans for decades. Now they scream bloody murder at the notion that long-suffering victims might finally hit back.

President Barack Obama’s proposal to boost taxes for the wealthy by $1.5 trillion over the next decade is a good first step toward reforming a system in which billionaire hedge-fund executives are taxed at a lower rate than their chauffeurs and private chefs.

Republicans whine that since they oppose raising taxes on the rich—and control the House of Representatives, which can block such legislation—Obama’s proposal should be seen as political, not substantive. This is just a campaign initiative, they say, not a “serious” plan to address the nation’s financial and economic woes.

But that’s pure solipsism: Whatever does not fit the GOP’s worldview is, by definition, illegitimate. By this standard, Obama could only propose measures that are in the Republican Party’s platform—which obviously would defeat the purpose of being elected president as a progressive Democrat in the first place.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_fight-back_plan_20110919/

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Is the Near-Trillion-Dollar Student Loan Bubble About to Pop?

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/story/152477/is_the_near-trillion-dollar_student_loan_bubble_about_to_pop/

Student loans have been going up since the recession began–and now defaults are up too. Something has to be done, but what?

By Sarah Jaffe
September 21, 2011

“If you want to take a relation of violent extortion, sheer power, and turn it into something moral, and most of all, make it seem like the victims are to blame, you turn it into a relation of debt.” — Economic anthropologist David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Tarah Toney worked two full-time jobs to put herself through college, at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, and still has $75,000 in debt. She graduated in six years with a Bachelor’s in English and wanted to go on to teach high school.

“Right about the time I graduated, Texas severely cut funding to our education system—thanks, Perry–and school districts across the state stopped hiring and started firing. It became abundantly clear that there was no job for me in the Texas public school system,” she told me. “After two months of job searching I got a temporary position in a real estate office.”

She continued, “In August my post-graduation grace period was up and all of the payments on my student loans amount to $500/month. Adding that expense to my monthly bills puts me at $2,100 per month. If I don’t make my payments they will revoke my real estate license, which I need in order to do my job.”

Max Parker (not his real name) enrolled at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas to get a BA in economics and a BS in physics. His freshman year was great—his parents had saved some money to help pay the bills, and after that he was able to get “more generous” student loans. He took a job to help cover the fees and bills that his student loans wouldn’t cover, and worked about 35 hours a week during his sophomore year while taking 15 hours of classes—but found that his grades dropped with his workload.

“Part of the reason I thought to take on such a heavy load was the university’s newly (at the time) implemented policy of flat-rate tuition,” he explained. “This policy stated basically, no matter how many hours you enroll in (full time) for the semester, you will pay for 15. This means, you enroll in 12 hours or 20 hours, and you’ll pay for 15 hours either way. Being economically minded, I wanted to make the best decisions I could with the money I had been loaned, so I enrolled in 15 hours.”

He adjusted his course load, but in the spring of his junior year, a family emergency led him to withdraw midway through the semester, taking incompletes in his courses.

“I am 25 years old now, and shacking up in my parents’ guest bedroom,” he told me. “I have successfully made four payments on my student loans in the past three and a half years. I have over $48,000 dollars of student loan debt, and absolutely nothing to show for it. No degrees. No certificates. No qualifications. I have continued my education to the best of my ability since leaving A&M, but always at community colleges and always paying for everything out of pocket. As you can imagine, since I’m not ‘qualified’ for a decent paying job, my savings for school piles up very slowly, and then disappears when August and January roll around. I haven’t been back to school in about a year now, and I currently work at Subway, making sandwiches. I don’t make my loan payments.”

Continue reading at: http://www.alternet.org/story/152477/is_the_near-trillion-dollar_student_loan_bubble_about_to_pop/

Census: Recession Turning Young Adults Into Lost Generation

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/22/census-recession-young-adults_n_975476.html

HOPE YEN
09/22/11

WASHINGTON — Young adults are the recession’s lost generation.

In record numbers, they’re struggling to find work, shunning long-distance moves to live with mom and dad, delaying marriage and raising kids out of wedlock, if they’re becoming parents at all. The unemployment rate for them is the highest since World War II, and they risk living in poverty more than others – nearly 1 in 5.

New 2010 census data released Thursday show the wrenching impact of a recession that officially ended in mid-2009. There are missed opportunities and dim prospects for a generation of mostly 20-somethings and 30-somethings coming of age in a prolonged period of joblessness.

“We have a monster jobs problem, and young people are the biggest losers,” said Andrew Sum, an economist and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. He noted that for recent college graduates getting by on waitressing, bartending and odd jobs, they will have to compete with new graduates for entry-level career positions when the job market does improve.

“Their really high levels of underemployment and unemployment will haunt young people for at least another decade,” Sum said.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/22/census-recession-young-adults_n_975476.html

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When Will Wall Street Call for More Federal Spending?

From Robert Reich: http://robertreich.org/post/10525888192

By Robert Reich
Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped another 3 percent today as Wall Street metabolized the truth most Americans already know: We’re in a recession. The “double dip” has arrived.

Most Americans never really emerged from the Great Recession anyway.

We can get out of this recession but not via the Fed’s “quantitative easing” alone. When consumers can’t spend and businesses won’t spend without additional consumers, government must be the spender of last resort.

Juicing the economy back to health (notice I didn’t use the “s” word Republicans have now vilified) will require at least $700 billion in additional federal spending this year and next. (This number takes account of state and local government cutbacks as well as well as the current shortfall between current economic activity and the economy’s productive capacity at or near full employment.)

But this magnitude of additional spending isn’t feasible in the face of Tea Party Republican intransigence. Hell, Republicans won’t even spend additional money on flood and hurricane relief. The Tea Party obsession about the federal deficit and the size of the government is prevailing.

Not only is this obsession keeping millions of Americans out of work, it’s also starting to bring down the Street.

Continue reading at: http://robertreich.org/post/10525888192

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