Emma Goldman: A Real Radical Feminist

“I demand the independence of woman, her right to support herself; to live for herself; to love whomever she pleases, or as many as she pleases. I demand freedom for both sexes, freedom of action, freedom in love and freedom in motherhood.”
Emma Goldman

Emma Goldman was an anarchist, writer, agitator, and public speaker.

She was a radical feminist who would disavow the label.

She believed in free love and equality between the sexes.

Radical feminists of today do not believe in equality between the sexes if anything they believe in chromosomal level essential differences between the sexes that mean women will never be the equals of men.

Which is why I’ll take the writings of Emma Goldman any day over the writings of any of the modern self proclaimed “radical feminists.”

You know the ones who ignore Engels:  The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State


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Massachusetts Toothless Transgender Law Goes Into Force Sunday

I’m kind of an incrementalist.  I try to see the positive in any legislation that either protects oppressed minority groups or offers them tools to make their lives easier.

I see any sort of trans-inclusive ENDA sort of legislation as positive and tend to see a different set of short comings than those seen by my friend, Kelli who lives on the other end of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

We have different concerns based on where we are at in life and how society relates to us.

I might be concerned about discrimination that arises when ever a company runs even a hundred dollar back ground check for anything above an entry level position.  Kelli points out to me that many other sister and I suspect a few brothers as well are having to deal with bathroom issues, even in those entry level positions.

While I tend to believe in get what you can get and come back asking for more others believe in one big push to get everything or at least most of what you want in one big effort.

I can see the rationale behind either approach.  It is hard to maintain activist group cohesion for multi-year efforts.  At the same time we are living through an extremely reactionary era and struggles tend to be prolonged.

Here’s Kelli’s take on the Massachusetts Law:

From Planet Transgender:  http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/06/massachusetts-toothless-transgender-law.html

By Kelli Busey
June 30, 2012

Reposted with permission

Fail. Caved. Gave up. All these terms come to mind when considering the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights law that does not protect transgender peoples right to be in public places. Why would I condemn a law many see as a step forward? Because on the ground, unemployed or in the workplace, this law means squat.

Perception is 99% of social Conscript. The haters won. Sure they aren’t celebrating openly, we are still alive after all.

Point to consider. In September of last year I was hired to work in a warehouse in a small Texas town. Its a huge state of the art electronics distributor, a place you might assume to have enlightened people employed.

The second day I was there I learned of a rumor that I was seen using the men’s room. The next thing I knew I was being questioned by HR as to whether hiring me had been a good idea. It’s been a uphill battle since then with myself continually having to be on the defensive, essentially fighting for my life.

Employment revolves around public accommodations. Without a job having housing or credit protections doesn’t mean mean jack shit.

No high falutin’ lawyer came to my defense even if they could have. But there are Lawyers who defend the Transgender Equal Rights In Massachusetts: Likely Broader Than You Think.

I am not a lawyer but the reality for Massachusetts transgender people in Public Accommodations is this. The public now knows for some reason unlike any minority before you, you were judged unworthy, unequal and untrusted enough not to be thought of as fully human. Not to be granted the same dignity.

I’d rather die than live a life so judged.

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Trans Americans enjoy robust bias protections

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/06/28/trans-americans-enjoy-robust-bias-protections/

By Dana Beyer
June 28, 2012

We are now two months since the landmark EEOC decision expanding the definition of “sex discrimination” under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. These are federal protections, which cover all Americans, from Montana to Maryland to Mississippi. As a result, the trans community is also covered under President Johnson’s Executive Order #11246 from 1965, protecting all federal contract employees from discrimination.

We are also a little more than six months from the historic 11th Circuit Court of Appeals decision making transgender persons a protected class under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution. While this formally only covers Alabama, Florida and Georgia, it is part of a growing trend, and the likelihood that another Circuit will move to the right of Judge William Pryor of Alabama is very slim. So for all intents and purposes, short of a Supreme Court decision, which may never occur, all Americans are now constitutionally protected from discrimination on the basis of trans status and gender non-conformity.

Of course, nothing is written in stone; everything in life is subject to change. Even the stones containing the Ten Commandments were reported to have been smashed. Even the U.S. Supreme Court reverses itself from time to time. We minorities know full well that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. There is always work to do, but now is the time to celebrate and educate.

Unfortunately, some LGBT organizations continue to obfuscate these momentous changes, even going so far as to foment fear in the trans community. Our job today is to increase awareness of the changes and educate the community about their rights and the process now in place to protect those rights. Instead, one national organization recently stated that there is no clear federal law protecting trans persons, and went on to say that “in 34 states, people can be fired just because they’re transgender — reasons completely unrelated to their work!”

Worse, a Maryland LGBT organization, while promoting a “listening tour,” brazenly stated, “trans people in Maryland can still be fired from a job, denied a place to live, and refused service in a restaurant because of who they are.” That’s simply not accurate. Those trans persons who live in Baltimore City and County, and Howard and Montgomery Counties, are fully protected by city and county laws against discrimination. And that same April EEOC decision now protects those persons at the federal level, and expands protections throughout the state.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/06/28/trans-americans-enjoy-robust-bias-protections/

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Pride, Protest & Sexual Politics at the 20th Annual Dyke March

It seems there was a clash last weekend at Boston’s Dyke March between a TS/TG contingent and the radfem SCUM.

Now I haven’t taken part in a Dyke March since I left Los Angeles, but the one thing I remember about them in the 1990s was that TS/TG lesbian sisters were welcome to take part as Dyke March was trans-inclusive.

From the Edge Boston:  http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=local&sc2=reviews&sc3=&id=134547

by Winnie McCroy
Wednesday Jun 27, 2012

Visible Trans Contingent Joins March; Infighting Ensues

A new, very visible contingent in this year’s march was The Hole-y Army, a group of about 75 gender-variant and genderqueer people, marching under the banner of “Gender > Genitals,” promoting gender inclusion for all women-identified people.

“We wanted to do a project for trans inclusion, gender queers, MTF butches and FTM femmes, no matter what gender we are and what we want to present to the world, anyone can self-define as a dyke,” said organizer Coral Short. “Some of my friends didn’t feel welcome at the Dyke March, and were asked, ’Do you belong here?’ But everyone belongs: part-time dykes, ’used to be a dyke.’ The Dyke March numbers were going down, and so we wanted to bring in the whole family.”

With their colorful outfits, assorted “holes” on sticks, choreographed dance moves and prepared chants, The Hole-y Army added a lot of excitement to the Dyke March. But according to numerous participants, a dust-up between a lesbian activist and some of the members of The Hole-y Army has marred an otherwise unifying event.

According to reports, Baltimore lawyer Cathy Brennan was walking past Dyke March organizer Ida Hammer when Hammer tapped her on the shoulder, flanked by about a dozen trans activists.

“I had no idea who Hammer was, but she said that she knew who I was and wanted me to know this march was for all women,” said Brennan. “I said, ’Yes, I know it’s an inclusive space and I respect that, and that women have the ability to decide what their space should be.’ That seemed to flummox her; I think she was looking for an apology or a fight, I’m not sure.”

Brennan has been vocal on her blog about her opposition to transpeople who “pressure lesbians to transition, or to identify as sexually open to trans women, or be labeled bigots.”

Brennan said that she feared a confrontation, and asked the group to move away from where some young children were playing. She moved to a bench and sat down, and was surrounded by activists, one of whom got so close, Brennan asked whether the individual would like to sit in her lap.

“They are saying I sexually harassed them, but I said, ’You stepped to me, and I’m harassing you?’” Brennan told EDGE. “It lasted a very long time — at least an hour — and during this time people were crowding my space, and I didn’t feel I could leave easily. I’ve been an activist for 20 years, done counter-demos against racist skinheads and KKK people and never felt as physically unsafe as I did at that moment.”

Hammer left soon after the conversation began, and Wolfe stressed that the remainder of the people involved were not representative of Dyke March organizers.

“I think that transpeople telling lesbians who we need to find desirable is just like a man telling us all we need is a good dick,” said Brennan. “If you substitute your values for my values as a dyke, you’re going to have problems.”

Another march committee organizer, Juniper, was among those that approached Brennan. “People went to speak with her because she has a long history of outing transwomen, and people went to speak to her about making transwomen feel unsafe,” said Juniper. “She was saying horrible things to transwomen, and some walked away crying; she was calling transwomen not female, and that was really hurtful.”

One observer heard Brennan tell queer activists that while they may self-identify as “women” they were not “female.” She added that she was appalled by what she saw as a condescending tone activists took toward Brennan. She also took issue with the physical threats made against Brennan.

“They paint themselves as all rainbows and hearts and want to love everyone, but they think everyone who values a space for women who were born female hates transwomen and is ignorant,” said the observer. “They approach you as if you are a bigot; there’s no agree to disagree happening. And these physical threats are a whole different degree of insanity to me.”

Kurland said that infighting amongst the LGBT community is unfortunate, and while the Dyke March has always been a place for emerging ideas about gender and sexuality to be expressed, “at the same time, I think there has to be a kind of respectful intention that while we fight to ensure that our ideas are expressed, we also allow others to express their ideas.”

Complete article at:  http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=local&sc2=reviews&sc3=&id=134547

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George Lakoff: How Right-Wingers Scam People Into Buying Their Toxic Philosophy

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/books/156057/george_lakoff%3A_how_right-wingers_scam_people_into_buying_their_toxic_philosophy_/

Here is what progressives can learn from right-wing messaging.

By Joshua Holland
June 29, 2012

Progressives often find themselves explaining the details of their preferred policies, and arguing that they would maximize the common good if enacted. Conservatives, on the other hand, tend to eschew the fine print to embrace sweeping, moral narratives to back their positions. For the Right, debates over concrete public policies are often framed as contests between good and evil, freedom and tyranny; that’s how, for example, conservatives can transform a modest 3 percent tax hike on the wealthiest Americans into pernicious “class warfare” and an intolerable example of “socialism.”

Call it a “rationality trap.” For years, George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist at the University of California Berkeley, has argued that these tendencies put progressives at a huge disadvantage in our political discourse because the human brain simply doesn’t process information in coolly analytical terms. Rather, people judge ideas against a larger moral framework, and by offering policy analysis rather than morality tales, liberals go to bat for their policies two strikes down in the count.

Lakoff and co-author Elisabeth Wehling discuss how these dynamics play out every day in American political debates in his new book, The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic. He appeared on this week’s AlterNet Radio Hour; below is a lightly edited transcript of the discussion (you can listen to the whole show here).

Joshua Holland: George, in the book you talk about what you call “moral frames.” Can you give us a quick definition of what that is and how it plays out in our discourse?

George Lakoff: Yes. All politics is moral at the base. Any political leader who gives you some sort of prescription of what to do does it because he says it’s right, not because he says it’s wrong or doesn’t matter. Everybody thinks it’s right.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/books/156057/george_lakoff%3A_how_right-wingers_scam_people_into_buying_their_toxic_philosophy_/

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Mitt Romney and the New Gilded Age

From Robert Reich:  http://robertreich.org/post/26229451132

By Robert Reich
Saturday, June 30, 2012

The election of 2012 raises two perplexing questions. The first is how the GOP could put up someone for president who so brazenly epitomizes the excesses of casino capitalism that have nearly destroyed the economy and overwhelmed our democracy. The second is why the Democrats have failed to point this out.

The White House has criticized Mitt Romney for his years at the helm of Bain Capital, pointing to a deal that led to the bankruptcy of GS Technologies, a Bain investment in Kansas City that went belly up in 2001 at the cost of 750 jobs. But the White House hasn’t connected Romney’s Bain to the larger scourge of casino capitalism. Not surprisingly, its criticism has quickly degenerated into a “he said, she said” feud over what proportion of the companies that Bain bought and loaded up with debt subsequently went broke (it’s about 20 percent), and how many people lost their jobs relative to how many jobs were added because of Bain’s financial maneuvers (that depends on when you start and stop the clock). And it has invited a Republican countercharge that the administration gambled away taxpayer money on its own bad bet, the Solyndra solar panel company.

But the real issue here isn’t Bain’s betting record. It’s that Romney’s Bain is part of the same system as Jamie Dimon’s JPMorgan Chase, Jon Corzine’s MF Global and Lloyd Blankfein’s Goldman Sachs—a system that has turned much of the economy into a betting parlor that nearly imploded in 2008, destroying millions of jobs and devastating household incomes. The winners in this system are top Wall Street executives and traders, private-equity managers and hedge-fund moguls, 
and the losers are most of the rest of us. The system is largely responsible for the greatest concentration of the nation’s income and wealth at the very top since the Gilded Age of the nineteenth century, with the richest 400 Americans owning as much as the bottom 150 million put together. And these multimillionaires and billionaires are now actively buying the 2012 election—and with it, American democracy.

Continue reading at:  http://robertreich.org/post/26229451132

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Atheist Acceptability on the Rise in America

From Psychology Today:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201206/atheist-acceptability-the-rise-in-america

More than half would now vote for a nonbeliever.

by David Niose
June 28, 2012

The good news for nonbelievers is that, for the first time ever, more than half the American population would vote for a qualified, open atheist for president.  A recent Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans would not consider a candidate’s atheismto be a disqualification for holding the nation’s highest office.

This shows remarkable progress, a nine-point increase from 2007 and 36 points higher than the 18 percent acceptability figure that nonbelievers received when the question was first asked in 1958. Clearly, seculars are making huge strides in gaining acceptance. If the trend continues, we can expect that other open nonbelievers may soon join Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) as elected lawmakers in the nation’s capital.

The bad news, however, is that atheists still rank lowest among the groups listed. Muslims (58 percent), gays and lesbians (68 percent) and Mormons (80 percent) all ranked higher. While no fair and rational observer would suggest that membership in any of those groups should disqualify a candidate for office, to secular activists it is nevertheless troubling that nonbelievers still occupy the cellar of American public opinion.

Obviously, atheists and humanists have a long way to go to remove the stigma that the public and media irrationally attach to religious skepticism. But since secularity is quite prevalent among young Americans, where recent numbers show that religious affiliation and belief are very low among those under 30, it is reasonable to believe that the vilification of the atheism will diminish over time.

Continue reading at:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201206/atheist-acceptability-the-rise-in-america

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