You’re Fired: Work It Doesn’t Work

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-renna/work-it-abc_b_1158021.html


Nationally recognized media relations expert and leader within the LGBT community
Posted: 12/19/11

Reposted with permission

After watching the pilot of ABC’s soon-to-air sitcom Work It, I think the first thing they should do is re-title this piece of crap. A better title, with all due deference to another very gay-friendly ABC franchise, may be Desperate Network.

The fact that the production companies behind this show, Bonanza Productions and Summer School Productions, are best known for The Vampire Diaries and science fiction shows, respectively, makes it clear they are not the best fit for this show. These folks should stick with vampires and aliens, which are more believable than any of the idiotic stereotypes and tired, sexist, racist, and transphobic caricatures in this program.

So what the hell was ABC thinking? After seeing the show for myself, the petitions by GLAAD, HRC, and others to get this program pulled make a lot of sense to me. What rubs salt in the wound is that this is ABC, which airs Modern Family and Desperate Housewives and recently included Chaz Bono on the wildly popular Dancing with the Stars, thus boosting the visibility of real transgender people more than we have ever seen on primetime television.

But here’s the issue: as usual, LGBT people (and yes, this show should offend the entire acronym) are only part of a long list of potentially allied minority groups that should be offended by this show. In fact, I would say that we have to get in line to be offended. Women, single parents, people out of work in this time of economic crisis, people of color, and more should all be cringing right now. As my dad used to say, these folks aren’t prejudiced; they make fun of everyone.

Here are some of my thoughts and some food for thought. I’d love to be a fly on the wall when HRC and GLAAD — and hopefully others — meet with ABC, partly because I would love to hear their defense of this, and also because you just know some of the folks involved in this, from creators to actors, are members of the populations who are rightly up in arms.

When you get right down to it, this is really about sexism, which, as I am fond of saying, merely provides the roots from which the flower of homophobia blooms. From that comes the following questions, and my answers. I’d love to hear more from you about your thoughts regarding these questions, which I asked myself as I watched.

Is this a transgender issue?

Yes. Sadly, we have very far to go to educate the public on trans issues. Far too many people still see transgender women as simply “men in dresses,” particularly those who transition later in life and do not “pass.” For them this show is downright dangerous. The recent promo ad depicting the two main characters hiking up their skirts while at urinals plays on the most base fear of the “bathroom issue” that we face constantly in the media, in court, and at the ballot box. ABC is better than this kind of inflammatory and degrading representation of a part of our community that is the target of so much discrimination and violence. Never mind the near-complete lack of protections for trans people in the workplace, a point that we as a community need to focus a lot more energy on, both nationally and locally.

Complete article at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cathy-renna/work-it-abc_b_1158021.html

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Daniel Ellsberg: Manning Won’t Get Fair Trial

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Iraq war us soldier throws his medals and stars!!! and quits

I missed this when it first came out last month.

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“Work It”

I haven’t weighed in yet on the new anti-trans hate propaganda “comedy” “Work It” because I was sort of hoping the storm of anger would kill it.

What I want to know is: “Where the fuck is GLAAD or HRC and all the other power national LGBT/T organizations?

I know it’s Christmas time and they have important parties to go to where they will press the flesh with the very important folks in the government while trying to convince them to throw LGBT/T folks a few crumbs.

The entire premise of this “comedy” is so fucked up on so many levels that I hardly know where to start.

First the premise is just as misogynistic now as it was when the Corporate Propaganda err Entertainment Industry foisted Tootsie upon us, with its premise that feminism had made men in the media an endangered species.  This when the reality is that women make up 50% of the people in the world and like men come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes and ages.  Further contrary to movie and TV image land women are pretty much equal to men in intelligence.

We aren’t all bimbos or lawyer/cops/doctors.  Real live people working all sorts of jobs.

Most of us don’t wear dresses to work or for that matter shoes that cost more than a week’s paycheck nor do we live in glamorous Manhattan apartments that in real life run to over a million dollars plus maintenance fees.

Let’s get to the basic premise of this particularly offensive piece of dog shit.

Unpack this in the face of reality.  There is a reason why TS/TG people who easily pass as members of the sex they become tend to keep their mouths shut about it at work.  There is a reason why those who have a harder time with the appearance and who have the money get FFS.

The reason being is that other than a few low paying jobs in the ghettos or continuing employment with companies that have enlightened policies regarding transsexual and transgender folks getting and keeping a job is really difficult.

Harder if you are pre-op and harder still if you are transgender.  Then you wind up having to negotiate things normborns take for granted like where you are going to get to pee.

Lately a lot of TS/TG folks have been putting a tremendous amount of energy into getting Employment Non-Discrimination measures passed on Federal, State and Local levels.

The Christo-Fascists and the ultra right wing are demonizing the idea of TS/TG people in the restroom and changing rooms.  This repulsive “comedy” is advertising itself with two muscularly legged men hoisting their skirts to pee in a urinal.

I can only assume it goes down hill from there.

With TS/TG people either newly in transition or not really passable having something like a 50% unemployment level and who knows what sort of under-employment level this show comes off as vile enough to merit the label of hate speech or hate propaganda.

For this reason I’m asking people to go to the following two sites and sign the petitions:

ABC Do Not Air the Sitcom “Work It”

‘Work It’ makes a mockery of transgender peoples struggles in the work place and empowers those with dormant transphobia to act on those urges with violence.
It reinforces the biased stereotypical misogynistic social constructs that transsexuals are not “real” people and therefore of no worth.

Currently the president of ABC Paul Lee takes no responsibilities for the damaging effects of “Work It” even as he acknowledges the reasons for the public outcry against it. In fact he
http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a333908/abc-president-paul-lee-i-make-no-excuses-for-work-it.html
laughs at our suffering even though as an intelligent man he undoubtly understands how “Work It” would contribute to transgender discrimination and murders.

Please ad your name to those who ask “Work It” not be aired.

Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies Thank you!
http://dallastaa.ning.com/events/tell-abc-not-to-air-work-it

ABC Work IT UPS The HATE With 1ST “Official” Picture: Men Peeing at urinals in dresses.
http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2011/12/abc-work-it-ups-hate-with-men-peeing-in.html

Tell ABC today: Programming should not mock transgender people!

ABC has announced that in January they will premiere a new comedy show “Work It,” featuring two men who dress as women to secure employment.

According to ABC, the show centers on two unemployed men who have “learned the hard way that the current recession is more of a ‘man-cession’ and their skills aren’t in high demand.” One finds out that a pharmaceuticals company is hiring sales reps, but only female sales reps. He goes to the interview dressed in heels, a skirt, and make-up and gets hired as a woman.

The premise of “Work It” reinforces false and damaging stereotypes about transgender people.

Send a message to ABC today. Let them know we can’t support programming that belittles and mocks those who do not adhere to society’s gender norms.

Letter to ABC

“Work It” Should Not Reinforce Damaging Stereotypes

Dear ABC,

I’m writing to express my concern about ABC’s upcoming comedy, “Work It,” which features two men dressing as women to secure employment.

Across the country, hundreds of thousands of transgender Americans face very real challenges in the workplace. In 34 states you can be fired for adhering to your gender identity. Many states also lack basic protections for gender identity in hate crime and youth bullying laws.

We have a shared responsibility to ensure the messages about gender identity we send to the public, and particularly youth, are positive ones. It is never appropriate to belittle or mock those who do not adhere to society’s gender norms or the struggles they face.

As an ABC viewer, I urge you not to air a show that reinforces negative and damaging stereotypes about transgender people.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]


Hate group, NOM, slams Ron Paul for not signing pledge against same-sex equality

From The Orlando Liberal Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/liberal-in-orlando/hate-group-nom-slams-ron-paul-for-not-signing-pledge-against-same-sex-equality

, Orlando Liberal Examiner
December 19, 2011

The fight over civil rights for same-sex couples has been a hot button political issue that has gained steam over the years. Whether it’s fighting for marriage equality or serving openly in the military, the LGBT community is doing whatever t it takes to get fair treatment. One of the leading anti-gay hate groups that is leading the charge against the civil-rights of the LGBT community is the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). NOM’s number one focus has been to stop all same-sex marriage, stop same-sex couples from adopting children and eliminate any rights that could be given to the LGBT community.

Like many other conservative groups, NOM has reached out to the current crop of Republican presidential candidates to sign the groups pledge. The pledge supports a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman as well as preventing same-sex couples from adopting children. Every candidate has signed the pledge except Ron Paul. Whether you agree with Ron Paul or not, there are times when he steps away from the party line and sticks to his ideology. Though Paul does recognize marriage as one man and one woman, he is against a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage because it would take power away from the states to legislate the issue locally. The president of NOM, Brian Brown, let his voice be heard and he didn’t have kind words for the libertarian Paul.
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Anti-Abortion Extremist Now Attacking Gay-Friendly Churches

From Southern Poverty Law Center:   http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/12/09/anti-abortion-extremist-now-attacking-gay-friendly-churches/

by Leah Nelson
December 9, 2011

The Rev. Donald Spitz has a message for gay-friendly churches, and the murder-endorsing anti-abortion crusader is not mincing words.

In E-mails sent in recent days to an unknown number of churches listed on GayChurch.org, he wrote: “To accept sexual deviancy as normal is a sin. You put your soul in danger of eternal damnation for welcoming unrepentant homosexuals into God’s house. You blaspheme the Name of God. Homosexuality should be criminalized. Homosexuals commit crimes against God, against nature, against the Holy Bible and against the human race.

“Because of your church, I now know why God wrote [in] Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

There’s good reason to think that Spitz, who routinely describes gay people as child molesters, “sex perverts” and “sodomites,” takes this verse literally. The Chesapeake, Va.-based minister is best known as the man behind the Army of God (AOG) website, which applauds the murderers of physicians, reproductive clinic workers, secretaries and escorts and lashes out against other perceived “enemies” such as the LGBT community.

Spitz is a signatory to the so-called “Defensive Action Statement,” which describes the murder of doctors who provide abortion as “justifiable,” a “godly action.” The AOG site celebrates as “heroes of the faith” the violent criminals who, saying they were called to their work directly by God, have carried out such actions. (There is no evidence to suggest that AOG is a formally structured group, rather than simply a concept, though many such criminals describe themselves as “members.”)

Continue reading at:   http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/12/09/anti-abortion-extremist-now-attacking-gay-friendly-churches/

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Occupy Group Faults Church, a Onetime Ally

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/nyregion/church-that-aided-wall-st-protesters-is-now-their-target.html?_r=1

By MATT FLEGENHEIMER
Published: December 16, 2011

For months, they were the best of neighbors: the slapdash champions of economic equality, putting down stakes in an outdoor plaza, and the venerable Episcopal parish next door, whose munificence helped sustain the growing protest.

But in the weeks since Occupy Wall Street was evicted from Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, relations between the demonstrators and Trinity Wall Street, a church barely one block from the New York Stock Exchange, have reached a crossroads.

The displaced occupiers had asked the church, one of the city’s largest landholders, to hand over a gravel lot, near Canal Street and Avenue of the Americas, for use as an alternate campsite and organizing hub. The church declined, calling the proposed encampment “wrong, unsafe, unhealthy and potentially injurious.”

And now the Occupy movement, after weeks of targeting big banks and large corporations, has chosen Trinity, one of the nation’s most prominent Episcopal parishes, as its latest antagonist.

“We need more; you have more,” one protester, Amin Husain, 36, told a Trinity official on Thursday, during an impromptu sidewalk exchange between clergy members and demonstrators. “We are coming to you for sanctuary.”

Trinity’s rector, the Rev. James H. Cooper, defended the church’s record of support for the protesters, including not only expressions of sympathy, but also meeting spaces, resting areas, pastoral services, electricity, bathrooms, even blankets and hot chocolate. But he said the church’s lot — called Duarte Square — was not an appropriate site for the protesters, noting that “there are no basic elements to sustain an encampment.”

Continue reading at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/17/nyregion/church-that-aided-wall-st-protesters-is-now-their-target.html?_r=1

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The assholocracy

From The Language Log: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3629

Filed by Geoffrey K. Pullum
December 13, 2011

Somewhat to my surprise, the Wall Street Journal didn’t merely report that “Donald Trump wants a say in who gets the nomination, so he’s hosting a presidential debate, holding out the prospect of his endorsement and threatening an independent run” (i.e., behaving like a kingmaker who expects to be honored and courted by the rival candidates); it even quoted candidate Jon Huntsman’s remarkably lewd comment about why he’s not going to attend the Trump “debate”: Huntsman said, “I’m not going to kiss his ring, and I’m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy.”

That vivid and rather gross remark reminded me of how right my extremely cool son Calvin is about the word he wants to see win the American Dialect Society’s Word of the Year contest. I had been talking to Calvin one day about the ghastly crew of obnoxious multi-millionaires who dominate the newspapers, and how they keep threatening to achieve success even in the political arena. Calvin pointed out to me both that we need a new political term for the concept of being ruled by such men, and that there already is such a term. We are living, he observed, in the age of the assholocracy.

He’s right, you know. This relatively new word is really useful. Even if we ignore the whole scandal of modern banking, and the rigged election in Russia, and all the scandals in Italy (by the man who The Economist dubbed “the man who screwed a whole country”), and all the disgusting behavior and political clout of of the Murdoch press empire, there is so much else. The contest for the Republican presidential nomination illustrates as well as any other arena.

Continue reading at:  http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=3629

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Discrimination against same-sex marriages cannot be tolerated in our society as a matter of law

From NJ.Com: http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2011/12/discrimination_against_same-se.html

By Robert Menendez
December 18, 2011

Since my vote in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act 15 years ago, like tens of millions of Americans, I have reflected deeply and frequently about this issue. During this time, I have engaged in discussions about the issue of marriage equality with friends, family members, colleagues and of course, the people I serve in New Jersey. I have heard and listened to many different views.

But for me, this comes down to an issue of fundamental fairness. For me, this comes down to the principles I learned as the child of immigrants and that I cherish as an American: that we believe in equality for all people under the law.

So today, I am announcing my support for the Respect for Marriage Act, which repeals DOMA and ensures that all lawfully married couples — including same-sex couples — receive the benefits of marriage under federal law.

Across our country, the attitudes of millions of Americans have changed on this issue and several states have acted to guarantee the freedom to marry to same-sex couples whose love for each other and life commitment to one another is no different from other couples.

These gay men and gay women defend our streets and our citizens as firefighters and police officers; they are small-business people who create jobs; they are teachers who prepare our children to compete in the future. And they are soldiers, Marines and sailors who have put their lives on the line for our country, fighting to protect our freedoms and to combat terrorists who threaten to attack us again.

For many years, these millions of committed couples have argued that the freedom to marry — their freedom to marry — is a core civil rights issue. I now believe they are right.

Continue reading at:   http://blog.nj.com/njv_guest_blog/2011/12/discrimination_against_same-se.html

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Hacker who betrayed Bradley Manning expresses regret over possible jail term

From The Guardian UK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/hacker-adrian-lamo-bradley-manning-wikileaks

Adrian Lamo says jail for WikiLeaks suspect would be a ‘lasting regret’ but stands by decision to give information to authorities

in New York
guardian.co.uk
, Thursday 15 December 2011

Adrian Lamo, the hacker who betrayed the alleged WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning to the US authorities, has said it would be to his “lasting regret” were the soldier to be given a lengthy custodial sentence.

Lamo, 30, dubbed the “world’s most hated hacker” for his role in passing information on Manning to military intelligence after the soldier befriended him on internet chat, said that he understood that Manning was an idealistic young man who believed he could change the world for the better and “who didn’t necessarily know what he was doing.

“I think about him every day. The decision was not one I decided to make, but was thrust upon me.”

Lamo’s comments come on the eve of the opening of a pre-trial hearing in the prosecution of Manning, who is charged with multiple counts of transferring state secrets to WikiLeaks including hundreds of thousands of US embassy cables. The hearing starts in Fort Meade, Maryland, on Friday amid exceptionally tight security.

Bradley Manning supporters hoping for an expression of remorse from Lamo ahead of the soldier’s prosecution will be disappointed, however. Despite the note of regret at a possible harsh sentence for Manning – the soldier faces a maximum punishment of life in custody with no chance of parole – Lamo said he continued to be convinced that he had done the necessary thing.

Continue reading at:   http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/15/hacker-adrian-lamo-bradley-manning-wikileaks

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Why the Odds Are Still Stacked Against Women in Hollywood

From The Hollywood Reporter:   http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/angelina-jolie-kristen-stewart-emma-watson-katheryn-bigelow-269694

by Kim Masters
12/9/2011
A handful of women run studios, win Oscars and influence TV, but across the board, the gains females had begun to make in the entertainment industry are leveling off.
Given the number of impressive women who wield power in film and television — many of whom are honored in this issue — surely women are making huge strides toward equality in Hollywood, right?

Wrong. Women still lag well behind men across the entertainment industry — and they lag stubbornly. Women are still well behind in terms of guild membership and pay for acting and writing. And those numbers haven’t really budged in recent years.

One lonely area where the gap has narrowed, according to the Writers Guild of America West, is in the median pay for writing in film. But that’s because men’s earnings are dropping while women are holding their ground or improving ever-so-slightly. Even so, the guys retain an edge: In 2009, the median annual pay in film was about $76,500 for men, compared with $62,500 for women. (Men did better in television that year, too, though the gap was narrower: $108,000 on average for men, as opposed to $98,600 for women.)

“It’s nowhere even close to being a level playing field,” says Martha Lauzen, executive director of the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. According to her research, women have only 16 percent of powerful behind-the-scenes jobs — writing, directing, editing and other influential positions. That’s actually down a point from the peak in 1998, 13 years ago.

Continue reading at:   http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/angelina-jolie-kristen-stewart-emma-watson-katheryn-bigelow-269694

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The Lowlights of 2011’s ‘War on Women’

From In These Times: http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12437/the_lowlights_of_2011s_war_on_women

With a new Congress in office, battles over reproductive healthcare access came back with a vengeance.

BY Sady Doyle
December 15, 2011

Early this year, in response to a wave of anti-choice and anti-reproductive health legislation, pro-choice advocates began talking about a new War On Women. In fact, it was a war on many people, and many things: Choice, contraceptive access, dignity, and common sense all ranked high on the list of targets. But as the year draws to a close, it’s worth considering a few of the most notable battles waged in the name of restricting people’s access to reproductive justice, and where we stand today.

The battle of rape redefinition

In January, John Boehner’s Congress indicated its highly practical, jobs-focused priorities by almost immediately introducing a bill to restrict abortion access: HR 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” This bill was related to jobs primarily in that it denied tax credits to businesses that provided insurance plans that covered abortions, and in fact, taxpayer funding for abortions was already restricted under the Hyde Amendment. HR3 would have narrowed the rape and incest exemptions within Hyde, applying them only to victims who had been “forcibly raped.” Nick Baumann at Mother Jones broke the news of the “forcible rape” language, and a wave of protest followed.

NICK BAUMANN, Mother Jones: What we saw in early 2011 was some of the same people who fought the culture war battles of the early 1990s refighting them on a new stage. Remember, the rape and incest exceptions to the Hyde Amendment were pushed through with social conservative support as part of their successful effort to avert a total repeal of the Hyde Amendment… Ever since then, social conservatives have been trying to narrow those exceptions. The “redefining rape” measure was part of that effort.

OUTCOME: The “forcible rape” language was removed, but HR3 itself passed the House. There was good news this week related to how the government defines rape, however: After pressure from feminist activists, the FBI is changing its own definition of rape, which was narrow, relied uncomfortably on the idea of force, and hadn’t been updated since 1929.

Continue reading at:   http://www.inthesetimes.com/article/12437/the_lowlights_of_2011s_war_on_women

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Walmart Edit Of Union Story On Internal News Wire Reveals Tactic That Could Spell Trouble

From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/walmart-union-internal-news-wire-huffington-post_n_1154097.html?ref=tw


12/16/11

Walmart is famously aggressive in protecting its public image, particularly when it comes to accusations that it’s treating its workers unfairly. Now, new evidence sheds light on how Walmart presents the corporate message to its 1.4 million employees.

A day after The Huffington Post published an article that examined a new effort to organize workers at the retail giant, Walmart posted an altered summary of the story on the company’s internal news wire that removed all criticism of its labor practices. Instead, Walmart’s version trumpeted the company’s “competitive pay and benefits” in an era of joblessness, by combining passages from different parts of the story, in order to deliver the message that employees won’t benefit from unionization. There was no indication that the article had been altered from its original form.

It’s not uncommon for companies to promote flattering media stories internally, but this is different, public relations experts say. When a company appears to intentionally mislead its employees about how it is viewed externally, the tactic can backfire.

Walmart, through a spokesperson, said there was nothing unusual about the company’s presentation of the article, which could be viewed alongside other news clips and important company information.

“We provide news of the day every day to our associates,” said Steven Restivo, Walmart’s senior director of community affairs. “We condense articles much in the same way any news editor would, by highlighting portions that are of interest to the audience that’s reading them.”

Continue reading at:   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/16/walmart-union-internal-news-wire-huffington-post_n_1154097.html?ref=tw

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