Victory for Transgender Woman at University of Arkansas

I know there are no doubt some Transsexual Sisters of Purity out there who will mouth the radical right/radical feminist party line about how wrong it is for “men” to use the lady’s room.  Conveniently failing to mention what restroom they used as pre-ops.

I won’t do that.  I started using the women’s room when I had to pee as soon as I started going out in public during the process of getting on hormones.

I didn’t make a scene of it.  didn’t hang around primping.  I just went in, peed, washed my hands and left.

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2012/05/25/doj-and-transgender-woman-claim-victory-bathroom-battle-university

Jennifer Braly scores a win.

BY Neal Broverman
May 25 2012

After the Department of Justice applied pressure, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith will now allow a transgender woman to use women’s restrooms.

Jennifer Braly has been fighting for the right to use women’s facilities at UA. Braly, 38, was a guest lecturer at the university as well as a student; she says she was banned from lecturing because she challenged UA’s bathroom policy.

The school is now allowing Braly to use the facilities, but only after the Department of Justice sent a letter to the school. Read more here, but be warned that the article continuously refers to Braly’s anatomy.

From Inside Higher Ed:  http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/25/arkansas-fort-smith-transgender-student-wins-access-womens-restrooms

Restroom Choice

Mitch Smith
May 25, 2012

The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith is changing its policy regarding restroom use by transgender people after a student complained to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Jennifer Braly, a 38-year-old UAFS junior who is a transgender woman, was upset after being instructed to use only gender-neutral restrooms on campus. Braly had used women’s restrooms and gender-neutral restrooms until another student complained.

Braly is again allowed to use women’s restrooms, said R. Mark Horn, a vice chancellor. He said that the decision was made this spring after the Justice Department sent a letter to the university system’s lawyers. The university wouldn’t make that letter available, citing federal privacy laws. Justice Department spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa confirmed that a letter had been sent informing the university of the complaint, but Hinojosa said the letter did not direct the university to take any specific action. Hinojosa wouldn’t say whether an investigation is ongoing. A conservative blog, the first national outlet to report on the issue, accused the Obama administration of forcing the issue.

Read more: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/05/25/arkansas-fort-smith-transgender-student-wins-access-womens-restrooms

For the Radical Right/Radical feminist take on this one can go to the Right Wing Extremist Blog Townhallhttp://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmccullough/2012/05/27/the_bully_administration

The Bully Administration

Kevin McCullough
May 27, 2012

What was the great injustice that the University of Arkansas Fort Smith was committing?

They had refused to allow a 38-year-old male student to use any and all female facilities on campus. So per the communication from the administration, Eric Holder, Barack Obama and company, and acting on the hopes the DOJ would play nice, they caved.

And now the 38-year-old anatomically male student, who goes by the name Jennifer Braly, and refers to himself as a “transgender” (instead of transvestite) has been given campus wide permission to enter any and all female facilities.

Since the university had initially denied the access, I’m sure you’re pondering how the DOJ got mixed up in this to begin with. According to Mark Horn, the Vice President of university relations it was pretty simple.

Complete article at:  http://townhall.com/columnists/kevinmccullough/2012/05/27/the_bully_administration

The Guild : Do You Wanna Date My Avatar

Radical feminists are acting like a cult

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/25/radical-feminism-trans-radfem2012

The banning of trans people from RadFem2012 is just one of the disturbing aspects of this monolithic conference


guardian.co.uk, Friday 25 May 2012

Twitter has been flooded with controversy for the last week about the RadFem2012 conference, currently booked into the Conway Hall, which announced its membership as restricted to “women born women and living as women” (it originally said “biological women”, but that got changed after much mockery). This disturbed the trans community, which it is meant to exclude, but also those feminists who regard trans-exclusion as something other than radical.

To be clear, I know no trans women, still less trans men, who want to spend time in a space organized by people who slander us. However, one of the main speakers at the conference is Sheila Jeffreys, who has a forthcoming book critiquing trans medical care. In much of her earlier writing (see, for example, page 71 of this journal), she calls for “transsexualism” to be declared a human rights violation and then surgery banned by international law, so it’s fairly clear that we have an interest in the debate. What Jeffreys proposes has, of course, other implications for all women – the Vatican would love to make similar declarations about reproductive freedom.

There is also, more importantly, the question of whether what Jeffreys and her supporters say about trans people constitutes hate speech. As of two days ago, the Conway Hall expressed their concerns about the legality of trans exclusion, and about hate speech, to the conference organisers.

One of the problems with the Internet is that it is possible for people to lock themselves further and further into a restricted mind set where they hear no other voices. On the other hand, it makes it possible for those with a strong stomach to overturn every stone and find out just what people are saying and thinking. It’s clear that Jeffreys and her supporters are very hurt and disappointed that so many younger women don’t agree with her – Jeffreys blames the corrupting influence of post-modernism and queer theory; “trans-critical” lawyer Cath Brennan – who uses Twitter to deride trans people’s experiences and mock non-trans feminists who are their allies – is also a RadFem2012 attendee.

Complete article with comments at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/25/radical-feminism-trans-radfem2012

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A Little Saturday Night Pop Music

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Tales of the Waria: Inside Indonesia’s Third-Gender Community

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-huang/tales-of-the-waria-indonesia_b_1546629.html


05/26/2012

This past March the Associated Press broke an unexpected story concerning Barack Obama’s childhood in Indonesia. Apparently, as a young boy growing up in Jakarta, Obama’s care had been entrusted to a transgender woman named Evie. American readers were shocked. What were the chances of the president having a transgender nanny — and in Indonesia, of all places? Having worked closely with the transgender community in Indonesia for the past several years, I can say: actually, not that bad.

In Indonesia biological men who believe that they are born with the souls of women are known as “warias.” The term is a melding of two Indonesian words: “wanita” (“woman”) and “pria” (“man”). As a group, warias are diverse, encompassing what we in America might call cross-dressers, transsexuals, drag queens, and effeminate gay men. What unites them is an irrepressible feminine spirit.

I first learned about warias in 2005, when I saw a newspaper photograph of a gorgeous waria who had won a beauty contest in Jakarta. I knew about the “ladyboys” of Thailand, but I had no idea that transgender people could live so openly in Indonesia, a country with the world’s largest Muslim population. Like many Americans I had this notion of Islam as being oppressive and particularly unforgiving toward sexual minorities. How could a community of warias possibly exist?

Three years later my curiosity as a filmmaker got the better of me. I took some Indonesian language classes and traveled to Indonesia to experience the lives of warias firsthand. Under the counsel of Dr. Tom Boellstorff, an anthropologist with 20 years of field experience working with the queer community in Indonesia, I landed in Makassar, a coastal city in eastern Indonesia known for both its strong Muslim faith and historic openness toward transgender individuals.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kathy-huang/tales-of-the-waria-indonesia_b_1546629.html

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Baby Gender Trouble

From The Nation:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/168055/baby-gender-trouble

Salamishah Tillet
on May 24, 2012

“Do you know what the gender is?” is the question people most frequently ask expecting parents, including me. Usually, I give the conventional response: “No, we are waiting to be surprised.” But occasionally I offer up one of my two real answers, “We don’t know the sex or the gender” or “I don’t really believe in gender anyway.”

Eyebrows are raised. And then a series of explanations follow.

Sometimes I go into a long monologue, à la feminist philosopher Judith Butler, about gender being a fiction, consisting of two opposite categories and a series of staged acts that we tacitly agree to “perform, produce, and sustain.” On the most basic level, why is blue is the agreed upon costume color for boys, while pink is the color for girls?

Butler’s groundbreaking 1990 book, Gender Trouble, goes on to argue that we preserve the performance in order to maintain a fantasy of order, rules and normalcy. To break away from these two categories, to actually understand gender, as it really is—unstable, complicated, and multiple—risks harsh social punishments.

It is hard for most people to separate sex from gender. Sex refers to the biological differences, the presence of XX-female or XY-male chromosomes. (Even this is not a hard-set rule, as the Intersex Society of North America reminds us, about one in 1,500 to one in 2,000 babies is born each year with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definition of female or male.)

Gender, on the other hand, is neither biological or chromosomal but social and cultural. The traits we associate with “being a boy” or “acting like a girl” have no grounding in science, but we assume they are natural and normal. For example, in the emotional spectrum, an excessive emotionality from girl children means dolls and princess clothing and hyper-aggression from boy children translates into trucks and knights.

Complete article at:  http://www.thenation.com/blog/168055/baby-gender-trouble

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Gender Dysphoria

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