What Part of the Idea of Inalienable Rights is so Hard to Grasp?

Inalienable Rights aren’t some sort of zero-sum game that means you have fewer rights if other people have the same rights as you.

I used to let myself get suckered into that Ayn Rand sort of game but as I’ve gotten back to my Sixties idealist roots I’ve started to see how shitty I was acting and how I was letting myself join a lynch mob attacking other groups that were equally or more oppressed.

Identity politics encourage that shitty sort of behavior towards people that aren’t part of  your tribe.

Hell people even encourage folks to deny others their inalienable rights based on the argument that, “they aren’t like us.”

It doesn’t matter whether the argument  they aren’t like us, is based on race, ethnicity, religion or a myriad of other factors including sex, sexuality or gender behavior.

We don’t really enumerate most things that are inalienable rights because we really like being able to discriminate, say we are better than those people over there, hell we murder millions in wars that leave millions of our own dead in order to perpetuate our entitlement and our “right” to deny others their equal rights.

The people who wrote our Declaration of Independence summed up some of those rights we describe inalienable: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The thing about these sort of rights is that they should belong to everyone, including people who are different from you or I.

It doesn’t mean you should have more rights than someone else simply because you have more money or are white and a Dominionist.  Inalienable rights means that both men and women have the same rights.  That gays and lesbians have the same rights as straights. That TS/TG and all those other labels have the same rights as people whose lives were never impacted by trans-prefixed words.

The late Utah Phillips used to say, Everyone is born with these rights and as soon as they are born people start taking them away and its up to you to fight to keep those rights that should belong to everyone.

I’ve spent my lifetime standing up for those rights, not just for myself but for others from other groups that I am not a part of.

That what the Left is about and I am an unabashed leftist. To be a leftist, to be a Progressive is to stand up for and defend the rights of everyone.

Steinbeck laid out what that means in Tom Joad’s soliloquy near the end of Grapes of Wrath.

I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be ever’-where – wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad – I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise, and livin’ in the houses they build – I’ll be there, too

It is bigotry to try to impose collective guilt upon an entire class of people based on the acts of individuals who may be members of that group.

It is a freaking war crime when an invading army uses collective punishment on a population for the acts of resistance committed by a few.

Yet every single time bigots want to justify their advocating for the denial of rights to an entire class of people they drag out the red herring of some member in that group having at some point and time having done something heinous.

The expected reaction to that heinous crime is supposed to be, “Oh that’s horrible. No one in that class of people should be allowed to go on breathing much less be entitled to the same rights I am.”

Well that works if no one questions the premise of imposing collective punishment for individual acts.

It also works if no one questions the general mendacity of bigots trying to stir others into joining them in their attacks upon the group targeted for bigotry.

Sometimes bigots will appeal to people’s vanity with the , “You and I are different, we are not like those people, we are different.

And different we may well be, but that does not justify the leap of logic required to reach the conclusion: Therefore we should deny others the same rights we consider our inalienable rights.

At one point we, Americans fought a war which divided families and nearly brought our nation to an end.

A large number of people in the southern part of our nation were conservatives who thought they were better than people from Africa, whom they treated as subhuman and owned as slaves.  While large numbers of progressive people in the North (who may in reality have not held very high opinions of those people from Africa) stood up and fought to expand those inalienable rights to those people who were enslaved.

It was a bloody bitter war and even today the struggle of people of African ancestry to obtain and maintain their inalienable rights continues.

On one side are the progressives who believe in expanding the category of inalienable rights and insuring that all have those rights, on the other side are the conservatives who wish to restrict the category of inalienable rights and deny those rights to people not like them.

To often I hear an argument from post-transsexuals that goes like this:  I had to struggle. No one gave me those things, we had to work for them.

Okay…  Nice going.  Instead of our having  suffered and worked to change those things leaving a heritage of expanded rights for others; we should leave things just the way they were, so that others have to put up with the same pain and difficulty as we did.  Except it was pretty easy to skate by with what we had back then.  You didn’t have to have official papers, undergo computerized background checks.

The moment I started questioning some of the bullshit put out by the HBS/classic transsexual clique I started seeing the epic fail of both their ethics and logic.

They are running on Focus on the Family/NOM/AFA logic and ethics, which are the ethics and logic of bigots.

The right to own other people, to control the lives of others, to support the discrimination against others is not an inalienable right because it denies inalienable rights to others.

It is nothing more than bigotry and is thus unethical and reactionary behavior.

This analysis of also applies to the self anointed “radical feminists.”

In Orwell’s Animal Farm, he pointed out this logic with the idea “all animals are equal except some are more equal than others.”

You betray your true colors when you trot out the Phyllis Schlafly bath room argument.  From that point on I know you can’t possibly be a progressive. Because the argument is bullshit.  The protecting women argument was used in a slightly different iteration of protecting white women, to deny black people equal access and enjoyment of their inalienable rights.

11 Responses to “What Part of the Idea of Inalienable Rights is so Hard to Grasp?”

  1. elizabeth1945 Says:

    Wow! Using the race card in defending the right of the transgendered of the world to pee, shower, and undress in any facility they feel they identify as on that particular day and claiming it is not a threat to women. Big difference.

    What women of color faced was racism based on color of skin which is relatively obvious and it was evil. The bathroom or facility issue is far more complex and does potentially present a potential danger to women and anyone that is blind to that has their head up their ass. Simply put, men do not have the right to equal access to female facilities unless they have changed sex and are anatomically correct.

    Bathrooms have always worked themselves out. In 99.99% of the cases nobody has an issue if a trans person uses a female bathroom but to deny women the right to deny access to someone they feel threatened by with laws that prevent women from even asking a question is not an inalienable right for men it is removal of an inalienable right from women.

    Funny how men seem to like to take rights from women and never give anything in return. Women are to blame for the whole problem. Sure we are.

    • Suzan Says:

      Using the bathroom red herring… How Phyllis Schlafly, how “radical feminist”, how irrelevant… What a crock… Perhaps we shouldn’t let Jews into the country clubs either after all we know how they abuse Christian Infants and all…

      I’m not part of the HBS bigot mob.

      It goes against how I was raised, it goes against my progressive yankee values.

      • Suzan Says:

        Gee Elizabeth does this mean you used the men’s room when you were pre-op. I certainly didn’t, hell I used the women’s room when I had to pee while on my day long trips across the bay to SF for my pre-hormone interview and to get my first months supply of hormones.

        But I guess we were different or at least you were because I’m a progressive old hippie woman and you.. Well you are special…

  2. catkisser Says:

    We were different. Today it is common to get a script for viagra along with the estrogen. You cannot make this stuff up. In NYC they automatically write the viagra script when you ask for the estrogen. I had trouble believing this myself when a woman who was pre-op told me about it. She was shocked beyond belief herself when it happened.

    • Suzan Says:

      I don’t doubt that I’ve seen the sex ads and wondered how the sex workers managed that one when they were pickled on hormones.

      But I still don’t buy the vilification of TGs and the way it resembles any other form of bigotry or the denial of equal rights.

      I don’t buy the Phyllis Schlafly/Cathy Brenna bullshit.

      In the end most of that crap comes off just like KKK/Aryan Nation or Protocols of the Elders of Zion and I don’t like the bigotry.

  3. tinagrrl Says:

    Hmmm — how did a discussion of “inalienable rights” so quickly degenerate into “the bathroom issue”?

    When I was pre-op, I made every attempt not to use the bathroom while out. In the event I had to go — I used the ladies room. It’s far better than using the mens room, and getting beat on. (I can just see the way it would have gone: Man – “lady, you’re in the wrong room”. Me – “well, no I’m not, you see…………………..”. Man – “you #*^$!&% FREAK – get out before I beat the living $#!+ out of you, etc., etc.”.)

    But beyond that — How often have any of you post-ops, who actually used the ladies room while pre-op, laid in wait for some unsuspecting natal-born-woman? How often did you seriously CONTEMPLATE rape?

    NOT ONCE you say? Well gee-whiz, why do you think the pre-ops of today are less ethical, less committed, less identified as women, than you were/are?

    Why do you bring up BATHROOMS when attempting to discuss a wide range of issues that include every aspect of human rights? Why do you want to add your voices to those attempting to DEHUMANIZE ALL members of the various trans communities?

    Anyone who knows me knows I oppose the “transgender borg”, the “transgender as umbrella” ideology with all my being. I also said – many years ago – “There’s no future being the ‘T’ in LGBT.”.

    That does NOT mean I follow the HBS, Classic Transsexual party line. Nor does it mean I oppose HUMAN RIGHTS for transgender individuals.

    Since transvestites have other identities. Since they usually spend most of their lives as (usually) MEN — there is no need to include transvestites, in any way, as “transgender”.

    Many Drag Queens have lives as gay men. Some actually spend more time in drag than anything else. Now the question arises — when does “drag” cease being “drag”?

    To those who are not aware of the fluidity of drag, queer, transgender, transsexual lives it may seem very confusing. Perhaps it is. That does not mean ALL these folks are not human.

    Always remember that. In addition, remember — those who would attack ANY of the different trans groups would most likely attack the trans, post-trans, WBT, etc., group YOU are a member of.

    Doesn’t mean you have to like them. Doesn’t mean you have to allow them to co-opt your identity, your REALITY. Doesn’t mean you have to agree with those who would deny you your hard fought self. Doesn’t mean you have to forgo your goal of being recognized as WOMEN, and not “transsexuals”. Doesn’t mean you have to allow yourself to be used as some sort of “shock troops” in some one else’s fight.

    It just means you have to recognize everyone’s right to be seen as a human being, with the same inalienable rights as you.

    To oppose LGBT organizations because they put (let us say) expanded marriage rights before a purely “trans” issue is both bigoted, AND COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. Why do that?

    If you do not see yourself as a member of any LGB and perhaps T coalition, why protest what they do? Why would you expect them to do what YOU want, when you constantly vilify them, protest them, and write against them? Does it make sense?

    For years I have said that too many of the various “trans”, “post-trans”, etc. folks have a very strong need to remain “special” — is that a part of it? Are all these different “trans wars”, all “the sisters of transsexual purity”, “radical-feminist-anti-transsexual”, “transgender as umbrella”, battles just a way to remain “special”? Are they just a way to build a constituency?

    Please stop to think. If this is your reason, or if you think you are being used by someone in their attempt to gain some sort of power — why do that? Why allow that? We have all come to far to fall prey to thoughtless bigotry.

  4. tinagrrl Says:

    Now, let us all assume you were pre-op and in a “drag bar” — which rest room would you use? Let us also assume there actually were some “natal women” in the bar, and they used the ladies room. Would you use the mens room?

    Remember, this is a drag bar where most of the men are “tranny chasers” — would you, as a pre-op use that men’s room?

    No!

    Well, why not? Oh wait, I know YOU would be afraid of being RAPED by one of the men.

    You are being treated like a woman. You are subject to the same societal restrictions as a woman. You are subject to the same fears as any other woman – with the addition of being seen as a “freak”.

    Now, tell again all about “the bathroom issue”. Tell me how it assumes EVERY pre-op, post-op, transgender, etc., person is a RAPIST. Tell me how it ignores TOTALLY the fact most rapes are done by men, as men.

    Now, tell me how many of the HBS, Classic Transsexual folks seem to agree with the rabid-right-wing-groups — when it comes to “the bathroom issue”.

    Look at what THEIR ideas are when it comes to being “post-transsexual”. Don’t they fall back on the chromosome, genetic — “once a man, always a man” mantra?

    How would all of you that had SRS 10, 20, 30, 40, years ago feel using THE MEN’S ROOM?

    Once again – just think about it.

    See, those rabid-right-wing-folks would NOT see YOU as “special”.

    • Suzan Says:

      All I know is that my positions are pretty much those of NOW, ACLU, People for the American Way and just about every other single progressive pro-woman organization out there.

      Isn’t it some sort of gut check when you find yourselves in agreement with Phyllis Schlafly and an army of Christo-Nazi right wing bigots?

      And their Internet Troll army of “radical feminists”?

      Shit if nothing else the Left Wing has much better music and much nicer people going for it.

      It’s not even like the Reich Wing treats their “radical feminist lesbians” like human beings for their trouble.

  5. elizabeth1945 Says:

    Schlafry? I have no idea who she is nor who Brennan is but if you would like to make this a personal assault on me then I would suggest you actually read what the comment was and then read what your partner Tina said. I never realized the transvestites were not part of the transgender crowd. When did Tina kick them out?

    Having a difference of opinion does not warrant your personal accusations against me. If you want it personal we can make it personal but I prefer not to. Think hard on that decision. The truth can be a bitch.

    • Suzan Says:

      Perhaps you live in a bubble and are ignorant as to who Phyllis Schlafly is. For you enlightenment she is the ugly right wing bat who headed the campaign that cost women the Equal Rights Amendment.

      Your personal opinion are what I find repulsive about you. I find the denigration of an entire class of people dehumanizing, just as I find racism and antisemitism among other things repulsive.

      When you parrot the same shit I hear from Focus on the Family, Tony Perkins, Pete LaBarbera and the rest of the right wing bigots who wrap themselves in the flag and carry Bibles, then one can only assume you embrace the values of those bigots.

      Lastly. You came here to voice you bigoted views. I did not come to your blog to bring my views to you.

  6. tinagrrl Says:

    “I never realized the transvestites were not part of the transgender crowd. When did Tina kick them out?”

    My point is that transvestites already have protections. They are (usually) men. There is no way their part time “gender identity” (a concept I do not believe in – since “gender” is a “social construct”, pure and simple.) will be protected. What I think might well be protected is their right to BE transvestites. That DOES NOT MEAN they will be George on Monday and Gladys on Tuesday. Their right to do damn well what they please on their own time will be protected.

    Always remember, here in the good old USA most employees can be fired for any reason, at any time. It is “at will” employment. As someone who has hired and fired — and worked within the constraints of a union contract — if someone was a detriment to the organization, THEY always made it possible to get rid of them. If they didn’t — then they did their job well enough to keep it. As long as I did my job, it was ALWAYS possible to be rid of folks who were a negative influence.

    As far as the bathroom issue — you know damn well it’s a non-issue. It always seems to come up when different groups are threatening to work together for common goals — then (somehow or other) voices attempting to sabotage the alliance show up — out of the ether, it seems. I’m always surprised by that.

    In any case — in the USA, our founding documents speak of “inalienable rights”. We speak of “equality”. We speak of freedom of thought, freedom of religion, etc.

    That actually means something. That says we have to look at everybody – even folks we do not like – and fight for their rights. When, or if, those same folks demand “superiority” — then you fight against them. That’s something we have been working toward since we were founded. The concept of Citizen has expanded. The need to own property to vote has been done away with. Women can vote — etc., etc., etc.

    So, I want equal rights for all.

    At the very same time — I fight against the “transgender as umbrella” ideology. I fight against the “we are all the same — it’s just a matter of degree” — ideology as well.

    Just because I reject the ideology of “transgender” does not mean I have to dehumanize transgender people.

    There is a difference.

    As far as the rights of heterosexual transvestites — they are men. They earn their living as men. They usually walk through the world as men. They are protected by male privilege. The only time they might be vulnerable is when they are “en femme” — they deserve protection — at the same time, those protections do not negate the rights of WOMEN, natal or post-transsexual.

    To discard people simply because you do not like them, that is BIGOTRY! Nothing more, nothing less.

    If we, you, I say the current direction of transgender rights impinges on the rights of women — then perhaps it’s time to suggest alternatives. Just damning all folks who are “transgender”, because you fear how transvestites just MIGHT act, maybe perhaps, who knows, is like throwing out babies, bathwater, pot, and table.

    Of course, forcing people who could have been allies in other campaigns underground, dehumanizing them, will only make them more radical, more militant.

    I don’t think that’s what any of us want.

    Before going all out on the fictitious “bathroom issue” — perhaps think a bit.


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