The GOP War on Women

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Maybe It’s Sexism Not Transphobia

I came out more than a half dozen years before “Transgender” was a word and a quarter century before the Transgender Borg created the idea that it was supposed to be some sort of shared collective identity.

This means I went through some 25 years before I ever heard of the term “transphobia”.

Coming out in Berkeley during the Cultural Revolution (1969) it never dawned on me that I should define the sudden change in the way I was treated specifically to my having come out as transsexual and to my having started living as a woman.

What I am trying to say is this:  The first few times I went to San Francisco to get information regarding a clinic to go to and my first visits to that clinic were a preview. I thought it was really neat to have the construction workers whooping and whistling at me.  Considering the abuse I had to put up with on occasion it was.  But then a friend pointed out that women had to put up with that shit everyday, everywhere they went and that I would get tired of the attention rather quickly.

They were right.

It cracks me up when I hear transsexual and transgender people say they never had male privilege.

I was an obvious transkid and I had it even when it seemed like the world around me automatically assumed I was a queen, a feminine gay boy if not a drag queen.

Much of male privilege is based on gender and gender is the team uniform you are handed based on what is between your legs.

It isn’t a binary black/white sort of thing.

Just the freedom I felt I had to leave home and travel across the country to live in the Haight Ashbury and later Berkeley where I came out is a sort of male privilege.

I know and acknowledge things like this just from the way the act of coming out restricted my sense of freedom.

I was fortunate enough to have women friends (natal female) who advised me and gave me support point out danger and tell me I shouldn’t go places by myself.

Just the idea that one can go places without being concerned about being attacked by strange men is a form of male privilege.

Not understanding the rules that women have to live by and acting accordingly means a lot of transsexual/transgender sisters get hurt.  The same as natal women who ignore those rules do.

There is a TDOR but there have also been mass murderers who prey on a certain class of women engaged in sex work and there is no DOR for them.

As a woman I have learned over the years that it is pointless for me to apply for many jobs.  Even professions.  All one has to do is look at those professions.  When one to five percent or so of the people in that field are women, the chance  of a woman finding working in that field is problematic.

So when someone who has worked in that field comes out as transsexual or transgender and can no longer find employment in that field, it might be sexism and not transphobia.  Even if they give the impression that it is transphobia.

Becoming female means that all the sexist bullshit that is laid upon women is now laid upon you. Even gender presentation leads to the assumption of a female body and the sexism that is the burden of all women becomes your burden too.

One of the things that accompanies transition is the loss of male privilege no matter how damaged by obviousness that male privilege was.

Julia Serano calls it misogyny, and misogyny it is. What I call sexism is less obvious than a form of hatred like misogyny.  It is the gendered set of expectations of ability.

The dismissal as light weight of creative and or intellectual endeavors.  The idea of “the right man for the job” that cause women to wonder what role the penis plays in performing that job.

That is the constant drone of sexism.

I was one of those rude Second Wave Feminists twenty years before the idea of “transgender as umbrella” or the word “transphobia” existed but sexism was sure alive and well..

New Israeli Law Bans Underweight Models In Ads, Undisclosed Airbrushing

From Huffington Post:

By Diaa Hadid and Daniella Cheslow

JERUSALEM — Told she was too fat to be a model, Danielle Segal shed a quarter of her weight and was hospitalized twice for malnutrition. Now that a new Israeli law prohibits the employment of underweight models, the 19-year-old must gain some of it back if she wants to work again.

Not that she was ever overweight. At 1.7 meters (5-feet-7), she weighed 53 kilograms (116 pounds) to begin with. Feeling pressure to become ever thinner, she dropped another 13 kilograms (29 pounds). The unnaturally skeletal girl weighed 40 kilograms (88 pounds) by then, or about as much as a robust pre-teen, and her health suffered.

The legislation passed Monday aims to put a stop to the extremes, and by extension ease the pressure on youngsters to emulate the skin-and-bones models, often resulting in dangerous eating disorders.

The new law poses a groundbreaking challenge to a fashion industry widely castigated for promoting anorexia and bulimia. Its sponsors say it could become an example for other countries grappling with the spread of the life-threatening disorders.

It’s especially important in Israel, which, like other countries, is obsessed by models, whose every utterance and dalliance is fodder for large pictures and racy stories in the nation’s newspapers. Supermodel Bar Refaeli is considered a national hero by many. She is not unnaturally thin.

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Komen in trouble, ’employee morale is in the toilet’

From Daily Kos:

Kaili Joy GrayFollow
Wed Mar 21, 2012

How do you take a powerful brand and completely destroy it in one fell swoop? Ask the people at Susan G. Komen for the Cure; they’ll tell you.

According to Laura Basset at Huffington Post, things are not going well for Komen, even since it decided to shoot itself in the foot by siding with anti-choice extremists—including the Catholic Church—who had been demanding that Komen stop funding breast cancer screening at Planned Parenthood.

And Komen has been paying the price for its disastrous mistake ever since:

Two top executives at Susan G. Komen for the Cure have announced their resignation, amid reports that the breast cancer charity is struggling to raise money and repair its reputation after its decision to defund Planned Parenthood and subsequent reversal. […]A Komen insider told HuffPost that “employee morale is in the toilet” since Komen leadership made the controversial decision to defund Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s most prominent women’s health and family planning organizations. The move was led by anti-abortion executive Karen Handel, then Komen’s senior vice president for public policy, who has since resigned.

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Factbox: Catholic sex abuse scandals in Europe

From Yahoo News:

Reuters –
Tue, Mar 20, 2012

(Reuters) – A new Vatican report on the sexual abuse of Irish children by Catholic clergy accused Ireland’s religious leaders of negligence and called for more reforms there to avoid a similarly “shameful” scandal in the future.

Here are some details of some major developments in the Roman Catholic Church abuse scandals in Europe in the last two years:


— November 30, 2011 – Cardinal Sean Brady, head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, agreed to a legal settlement over his role in administering an oath of secrecy to a teenage victim of clerical sexual abuse in 1975, the victim’s lawyer said.

— July 13, 2011 – The Catholic Church in Ireland concealed the sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, a decade after it introduced rules to protect minors, and the Vatican was complicit in the cover-up, a government report into the handling of sex abuse claims in the diocese of Cloyne, in County Cork, showed.

— May 31, 2010 – The Vatican named two cardinals and three archbishops from England, the United States and Canada to lead its inquiry into sexual abuse by clergy in Ireland.

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Chuck Winder, Idaho Lawmaker, Suggests Women Use Rape As Excuse For Abortions

From Huffington Post:


The sponsor of an Idaho mandatory ultrasound bill, state Sen. Chuck Winder, made some highly controversial comments Monday during his closing arguments, suggesting women might falsely use rape as an excuse to obtain an abortion.

Just before the Idaho’s Senate passed the bill, which requires woman to have an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies.

Winder, a Republican from Boise, responded to those concerns by raising the question of whether women understand when they have been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this,” Winder said on the Senate floor. “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.”

Women reported 84,767 “forcible rapes” in the United States in 2010, according to the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Report; the figure does not include statutory rape, incest or any other kind of rape that falls outside the FBI’s narrow definition of the crime.

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B*tches in Bookshops (based on Jay Z and Kanye West’s “N*ggas in Paris”)

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