A Pile of Bright and Shining Lies

Fifty years ago I was a member of Students For a Democratic Society.

In October of 1967 I left home. I was planning on leaving, but I was also planning on attending the October 21st anti-war rally in Washington DC and joining the march on the Pentagon.

You know the iconic picture of the young man sticking flowers in the barrels of the soldier’s rifles.

I was there.  I was part of a group of several thousand that gathered on the steps of the Pentagon that autumn night.

We smoked weed, drank wine, ate sandwiches and talked with other anti-war people from across the country.  We heard how Berkeley students and folks in the Bay Area had actually fought with the police during the demonstrations to shut down the Oakland Draft Center.

We had spent time the week before practicing non-violence and how to react when they came to arrest us for siting in.  Our response was to be the same as the draft resistors, “Hell No! We won’t go!”  Some burned their draft cards that cold night.  We talked about moving from protest to resistance.

At some point during the long cold night those making the arrests finally got to me, and asked if I would move voluntarily. I answered, “Hell no. I’ve been sitting here all night waiting to be arrested.”  They roughly dragged me to a bus and sent a bunch of us to a big building in Occoquan.  Dr. Spock was there and so was Norman Mailer and a lot of other people I knew only from stories in newspapers.

Afterwards I made my way west to the Haight Ashbury and wound up in a cadre called HADU which variously stood for Haight Anti-Draft Union and Haight Ashbury Defense Unit.

We encouraged desertion and had lots of men take us up on it.  That’s something that was left out of Ken Burns “History”.  Hippies and draftees, guys returning from Nam were all the same age.  We all listened to the same music, smoked the same dope, dropped the same acid.  And most hated the war.  If you were working class or a person of color you were draftable.  You didn’t get out on a technicality the way the rich Frat Boys did.

Being an anti-war hippie meant that it was your friends and high school classmates who were being drafted and who were coming home in body bags.  So when someone in a uniform showed up at Hippie Hill we got them stoned, asked them if they wanted to have dinner with us.  Hippie women would sleep with them.

A couple of years later after I had moved to Berkeley I joined the ranks of women with a deserter boyfriend, a guy named Jerry, a Marine who had done his tour of duty plus as there weren’t enough replacements.  Unlike other friends who had deserted he didn’t go to Canada.

Instead he was part of those who stayed and resisted.

When he was arrested I got him out.  Moved, hid him out.

All along we knew there was not one thing in Vietnam worth the life of one American soldier.

The South Vietnamese government was rotten to the core.  We knew that when the Buddhists monks burned themselves alive back in 1963, before JFK was killed.

Our government told us lie upon lie after lie.  News Paper, TV too told us all these bright and shining lies until Tet in 1968…  Then the cracks started to appear.

But we were young and dumb and couldn’t see how bad Nixon was and how he was the Donald Trump of his time full of lies and hypocrisy.

Yes I have watched part of the Ken Burns documentary.  The list of those who put up the money tells whose point of view you are getting.

There are a pile of books I could tell you to read.  Apocalypse Now! gets the absurdity of it all.

There is a wall in Washington that has nearly 60 thousand names of my contemporaries on it.

Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot!

We didn’t trust capitalism, were so eager for a war to stop Communism.  The men, and in those days they were virtually all men who made the decisions weren’t about to listen to an old wispy bearded Asian man (hell we called them “gooks” ) who used documents from our own revolution.

Now 50 years later we build factories there and import cheap clothing and shrimp/seafood from there.

As an old hippie woman I can’t help but think we could have gotten to the same place without all the death and destruction.

Nearly 60 thousand dead Americans and no one knows how many Asian people died for what was a bunch of bright and shining lies.

10 Things About Patriotism

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Liberal Redneck – Take a Knee, Y’all

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Ken Burns’ New Vietnam War Series Teaches a Flawed, Misleading Lesson

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/burns-wrong-lessons

The new film distorts what scholars, veterans and antiwar activists alike know about the war and its aftermath.

By Jerry Lembcke Public Books
September 19, 2017

When Karl Marlantes takes the screen during the new PBS film series The Vietnam War, he says coming home was nearly as traumatic as the war itself. Later, he describes being assaulted by protesters at the airport, invoking the image of spat-on Vietnam veterans, an image that Los Angeles Times editorial writer Michael McGough said in 2012 was based on a myth. An edifying myth, McGough called it, but still a myth.

With The Vietnam War, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have created a film that rehashes some old, tired tropes. In doing so, they distort what soldiers, veterans, and antiwar activists alike know about the war and its aftermath, especially inside the United States.

In their May 29 New York Times op-ed advertisement for the series, Burns and Novick give a lofty rationale for their film. Succumbing to another cliché, they claim it is about healing. But the discourse of healing misleads as much as it informs, presupposing a prewar America that was a seamless unity, where everyone got along. As sociologist Keith Beattie showed in his 1998 book The Scar That Binds: American Culture and the Vietnam War, that America was mythical. The real one was already torn by racism and McCarthyism, and frayed by modern technology. Domestic class conflict and racial and gender anxieties, too, continued right through the war, as the historian Milton Bates pointed out in his 1996 book The Wars We Took to Vietnam.

That fractured America was complicit in its going to war, not simply a passive victim of it. Burns and Novick intentionally exclude scholars like Beattie and Bates, however. “No historians or other expert talking heads” mar their film, they told the Times’s reviewer Jennifer Schuessler. “Instead,” Schuessler reports matter-of-factly, their “79 onscreen interviews give the ground-up view of the war from the mostly ordinary people who lived through it.”

Ground-up views are susceptible, especially after 40 years, to the very myths they are supposed to belie. Memories that are 40 years old are too influenced by movies, novels, newspapers, and television—or those dreaded historians—to count for documentation. Lawyers, judges, and courts concluded years ago that eyewitness accounts of crimes that are only hours old are unreliable—so, 40 years? Or 50? In the hands of filmmakers, however, such accounts are too easily and too often used as a veneer to manage viewer perceptions.1 Here Burns and Novick offer false equivalences, or “balance” in journalistic parlance. In promoting healing instead of the search for truth, The Vietnam War offers misleading comforts.

The contradictions of The Vietnam War pile up from the start. Its creators might claim a ground-up view—and the film does give us lot of grunt-level footage, like Marines in rice paddies and GIs jumping out of helicopters—but the prevailing interpretations of these scenes come from elites. Some of these notables would be better cast into confessional booths than onto PBS screens, too. For example, John Negroponte, a prominent interpreter in the film, used diplomatic appointments as cover for covert activities over a half-century of US-engineered (or –attempted) regime-change operations.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/burns-wrong-lessons

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We Will Not Stand for Trump | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ

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Neo-Nazis, the KKK, and White Supremacists Are Coming After All of Us

From The Rainbow Times:  http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/neo-nazis-kkk-white-supremacists-coming-us/

By: Deja Nicole Greenlaw
September 7, 2017

I wasn’t surprised when the KKK, white nationalists, and white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, but I was surprised to see Nazi flags flying among their midst. I was shocked that those who flew the Nazi flag were so open about it. The Nazi symbol, the swastika, is such an awful symbol that for someone to actually fly the Nazi flag today was out of the question, or so I thought. It was bad enough seeing the KKK and the white nationalists and supremacists at that protest but to add neo-Nazis to the mix was to add horror to an already deplorable protest. 

The neo-Nazis hold the same beliefs as the original Nazis. Their cardinal enemy is the Jewish people, but they also despise non-white, as well as LGBTQ folk. The Neo-Nazis are afraid that they are losing their place in society and the Jewish people, the non-white people, and the LGBTQ people are seen as taking away their rights and knocking them off their place in society. What is going on with these folks? How can they think like this? 

One reason that they may think like this is because many of them do not have the ability to think in a way that is nuanced. They can only see things in black and white rather than the more complex gray way. They lack integrative complexity when it comes to thinking. This was a finding from Alejandro Beutel who researches violent extremist ideologies. Beutel is a researcher studying countering violent extremism at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).  

Beutel’s findings show that the black and white thinking process can accept simplistic ideas such as the whites make up an Aryan race and that this race should hold privilege in the world. Of course, this is a ridiculous thought but unfortunately some people do buy into this ideology. This thinking places non-white and Jewish folk as enemies to the Neo-Nazis but how do LGBTQ folk fit in? LGBTQ folk are seen as abnormal to the neo-Nazis and that we should all go back into the closet. For instance, I recently saw on the internet, a KKK flyer which supported “bathroom bill” legislation. 

 So, what can we do to stop this kind of hideous, extremist thinking? Holding counter protests, like Charlottesville did, to bring more awareness to these terrible ideologies and letting everyone know that thy must not be tolerated. Other things you can do are to contact your legislators, let them know your feelings, and ask them what they will do to address these hateful ideas and actions. Keep abreast of any legislative bills coming up at town, state, or national levels and show your support or disapproval by lobbying your legislators. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reports that 100 anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced so far in 2017. You can also talk to friends and acquaintances and those folks who use social media, such as Facebook, to discuss their concerns about these ideologies.  

Continue reading at:  http://www.therainbowtimesmass.com/neo-nazis-kkk-white-supremacists-coming-us/

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GLAAD calls for increased and accurate media coverage of transgender murders

From GLAAD:  https://www.glaad.org/blog/glaad-calls-increased-and-accurate-media-coverage-transgender-murders

By Nick Adams, Director of Programs, Transgender Media
September 14, 2017

This page is updated regularly as new deaths are reported. Please see resources below on how to write stories about transgender people who have been victimized by crime, and additional resources for writing about the violence that affects transgender people, especially transgender women of color.

These are the 20 transgender people killed in 2017 — all are transgender people of color, with the exception of Gwynevere River Song:

  • Derricka Banner was killed on September 12 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was 26 years old.
  • Kashmire Redd was killed on September 4 in Gates, New York. He was 28 years old.
  • Kiwi Herring was killed on August 22 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was 30 years old.
  • Gwynevere River Song was killed on August 12 in Waxahachie, Texas. Gwynevere was 26 years old.
  • TeeTee Dangerfield was killed on July 31 in Atlanta, Georgia. She was 32 years old.
  • Ebony Morgan was killed on July 2 in Lynchburg, Virgina. She was 28 years old.
  • Ava Le’Ray Barrin was killed on June 25 in Athens, Georgia. She was 17 years old.
  • Josie Berrios (also known as Kendra Adams and Kimbella Rosé) was killed on June 13 in Ithaca, New York. She was 28 years old.
  • Kenne McFadden was found on April 9 in San Antonio, Texas, but due to misgendering by police and the media she was not identified as a transgender woman until June 6. She was 27 years old.
  • Sherrell Faulkner was attacked on November 30, 2016 and died on May 16, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was 46 years old.
  • Brenda Bostick was attacked on April 25 and died on May 4 in New York City. She was 59 years old. (There have been conflicting reports about the name this person used and their gender. It now seems clear that this person was assigned male at birth and lived at least part of her life as Brenda. Therefore we refer to her as Brenda and use female pronouns out of respect for that identity.)
  • Chay Reed killed on April 21 in Miami, Florida. She was 28 years old.
  • Alphonza Watson killed on March 22 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was 38 years old.
  • Jaquarrius Holland killed on February 19 in Monroe, Louisiana (identified as trans on February 28). She was 18 years old.
  • Ciara McElveen killed on February 27 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 21 years old.
  • Chyna Gibson killed on February 25 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 31 years old.
  • Keke Collier killed on February 21 in Englewood, Chicago. She was 24 years old.
  • JoJo Striker killed on February 8 in Toledo, Ohio. She was 23 years old.
  • Mesha Caldwell killed on January 4 in Canton, Mississippi. She was 41 years old.
  • Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow killed on January 1 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was 28 years old.

* Initial police reports from Fresno, California identified homicide victim Imer Alvarado as a transgender woman, but Alvarado’s friends say he identified as a gay man who occasionally dressed in drag. Police have not arrested a suspect nor revealed a motivation for the murder, which happened on May 17.

* Initial news reports from San Francisco, California identified homicide victim Anthony Torres, aka Bubbles, as a transgender activist, but Torres did not identify as transgender. Police have not arrested a suspect nor revealed a motivation for the murder, which happened on September 9.

* On September 16, Georgia Tech student Scout Schultz was killed by police while they were experiencing a mental health crisis. Schultz was 21-years old, and identified as non-binary, using they/them pronouns. On January 6, in Sharon, Pennsylvania, a 23-year-old transgender man named Sean Hake was also killed by police while Hake was attempting to harm himself. On February 4, 2016 in Mesa, Arizona, police shot and killed Kayden Clarke, a 24-year-old transgender man with Asperger syndrome, after Clarke’s friend asked the police to go to his apartment because she was afraid Clarke was suicidal. These tragic incidents speak to the need for more mental health resources for transgender people, and for more comprehensive training for police on how to respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis.

GLAAD is calling on the media to:

  • Report on the brutal violence perpetrated against transgender people, particularly transgender women of color. With violence against transgender people at an all-time high and rising, national media coverage is severely lacking. The media must do a better job of reporting these murders and bringing needed attention to a community under vicious and violent attack. In order for people to be aware of the horrific violence affecting the community, the public needs to know it is happening. The media has a responsibility to communicate about the deadly realities faced by transgender people.
  • Respect and use the lived identity, name, and pronoun of the victim. Report on each victim with dignity and respect, portraying them as a person, not just a statistic. Disregarding the victim’s gender identity and misgendering them in news reports adds further insult to injury, compounding the tragedy by invalidating who the victims were. GLAAD’s Doubly Victimized: Reporting on Transgender Victims of Crime offers clear guidelines for reporting respectfully on stories where transgender people have been victimized by crime. GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide also offers a glossary of terms, and best practices for fairly and accurately covering transgender stories.

As necessary, GLAAD reaches out to media outlets to correct incidents of irresponsible reporting where misgendering and victim-blaming occur. We also work with local communities and advocates, connecting them to journalists to confirm information about the victims. If you see a news story which misgenders a transgender victim and/or publishes details about their personal life irrelevant to their murder, contact us at transgender@glaad.org.

Background

Victims of anti-transgender violence are overwhelmingly transgender women of color, who live at the dangerous intersections of transphobia, racism, sexism, and criminalization which often lead to high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness. While some homicides have not yet been identified as hate crimes due to lack of information about the perpetrators or motives, the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports an alarming multi-year trend showing that transgender women experience a greater risk of death by hate violence than any other group.

2016 overtook 2015 as the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States. In 2016, 27 transgender people were killed in the United States and nearly all of the victims were transgender women of color. (The 27th victim was India Monroe, a Black transgender woman, who was found shot to death in Newport News, Virginia on December 21, 2016; however, because initial reporting misgendered and misidentified her using her birth name, her death was not known until January.) This number does not include transgender people whose deaths were not reported due to misgendering in police reports, news stories, and sometimes by the victim’s family.

Additional Resources:

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Stop talking right now about the threat of climate change. It’s here; it’s happening

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/11/threat-climate-change-hurricane-harvey-irma-droughts?CMP=fb_us

Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, flash fires, droughts: all of them tell us one thing – we need to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and fast


Monday 11 September 2017

For the sake of keeping things manageable, let’s confine the discussion to a single continent and a single week: North America over the last seven days.

In Houston they got down to the hard and unromantic work of recovery from what economists announced was probably the most expensive storm in US history, and which weather analysts confirmed was certainly the greatest rainfall event ever measured in the country – across much of its spread it was a once-in-25,000-years storm, meaning 12 times past the birth of Christ; in isolated spots it was a once-in-500,000-years storm, which means back when we lived in trees. Meanwhile, San Francisco not only beat its all-time high temperature record, it crushed it by 3F, which should be pretty much statistically impossible in a place with 150 years (that’s 55,000 days) of record-keeping.

That same hot weather broke records up and down the west coast, except in those places where a pall of smoke from immense forest fires kept the sun shaded – after a forest fire somehow managed to jump the mighty Columbia river from Oregon into Washington, residents of the Pacific Northwest reported that the ash was falling so thickly from the skies that it reminded them of the day Mount St Helens erupted in 1980.

That same heat, just a little farther inland, was causing a “flash drought” across the country’s wheat belt of North Dakota and Montana – the evaporation from record temperatures had shrivelled grain on the stalk to the point where some farmers weren’t bothering to harvest at all. In the Atlantic, of course, Irma was barrelling across the islands of the Caribbean (“It’s like someone with a lawnmower from the sky has gone over the island,” said one astounded resident of St Maarten). The storm, the first category five to hit Cuba in a hundred years, is currently battering the west coast of Florida after setting a record for the lowest barometric pressure ever measured in the Keys, and could easily break the 10-day-old record for economic catastrophe set by Harvey; it’s definitely changed the psychology of life in Florida for decades to come.

Oh, and while Irma spun, Hurricane Jose followed in its wake as a major hurricane, while in the Gulf of Mexico, Katia spun up into a frightening storm of her own, before crashing into the Mexican mainland almost directly across the peninsula from the spot where the strongest earthquake in 100 years had taken dozens of lives.

Leaving aside the earthquake, every one of these events jibes with what scientists and environmentalists have spent 30 fruitless years telling us to expect from global warming. (There’s actually fairly convincing evidence that climate change is triggering more seismic activity, but there’s no need to egg the pudding.)

That one long screed of news from one continent in one week (which could be written about many other continents and many other weeks – just check out the recent flooding in south Asia for instance) is a precise, pixelated portrait of a heating world. Because we have burned so much oil and gas and coal, we have put huge clouds of CO2 and methane in the air; because the structure of those molecules traps heat the planet has warmed; because the planet has warmed we can get heavier rainfalls, stronger winds, drier forests and fields. It’s not mysterious, not in any way. It’s not a run of bad luck. It’s not Donald Trump (though he’s obviously not helping). It’s not hellfire sent to punish us. It’s physics.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/11/threat-climate-change-hurricane-harvey-irma-droughts?CMP=fb_us

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When History’s Losers Write the Story

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/sunday-review/civil-war-statues-losers.html

By
Sept. 15, 2017

I visited a summer camp in western Russia in July 2015. Its theme was “military patriotism,” and it involved dozens of teenagers lounging around in tents, wrestling, carving wood and making garlands. They were also taking history classes. Joseph Stalin, the Soviet leader who killed millions of Soviet citizens, was remembered fondly.

“Whatever your view of Stalin, you can’t deny that he was a strong leader,” a counselor told me later over steaming bowls of cabbage soup. “Stalin won the war. He made it possible for us to go to space. You can’t just throw out a person like that from history.”

Russia has not faced the darker parts of its past, something I spent a lot of time thinking about as a correspondent there. But my own country has memory problems, too. Take the Civil War. Historians tell us it was fought over slavery. But an entirely different version unspooled last month at an Applebee’s in Delaware.

“It’s too simplified to say the war was over slavery,” said Jeffrey Plummer, head of a local chapter of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans. “That’s what’s been taught in the schools, but there’s more to it.”

Selective memory, it seems, is a global phenomenon. Think of Turkey and its blank spot where the Armenian genocide should be. Or Japan with its squeamishness about its aggression and mass murder in China. It starts as a basic human impulse to take the sting out of defeat or to avoid admitting some atrocity. But it’s also a way to help cope with a difficult present. And like a growth on a tree ring, it can keep the past off-kilter until some future generation is brave enough to right it.

“In most countries you are more likely to get evasion and nationalistic versions of history than tough grappling with the darker parts of your past, and the U.S. is no exception,” said Gary Bass, a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton.

In the United States, the Civil War remains “the most divisive and unresolved experience Americans have ever had,” according to David Blight, a historian at Yale. “The Civil War is like a sleeping dragon. If you poke it hard enough, it will raise its head and breathe fire.”

That is, in part, because the loser was allowed its own interpretation. The South, facing catastrophic loss of life and mass destruction on a European scale, wrote its own history of the war. It cast itself as an underdog overwhelmed by the North’s superior numbers, but whose cause — a noble fight for states’ rights — was just. The North looked the other way. Northern elites were more interested in re-establishing economic ties than in keeping their commitments to blacks’ constitutional rights. The political will to complete Reconstruction died.

“The whole notion of honoring the Confederacy and the sacrifice that your family made became part of what we taught in the schools,” said Charles Dew, a Williams College historian whose book “Apostles of Disunion” describes the white supremacist arguments that underpinned the South’s case for leaving the Union.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/15/sunday-review/civil-war-statues-losers.html

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We Are Asking the Court to Put an Immediate Stop to the President’s Anti-Trans Military Ban

From The ACLU:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/we-are-asking-court-put-immediate-stop-presidents-anti-trans

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project
September 14, 2017

Imagine serving your country for over a decade in the armed forces — many of those years hiding the truth of who you are, but still showing up each day to fight for something bigger than yourself.

You put yourself on the line.

You depend on your service for your benefits, for your survival, for the survival of your family.

You plan your entire life around your career.

After years of committed service, the government finally changes policy and you can serve proudly and openly. You can be who you are and continue to thrive in your work. You don’t have to hide under the mask of an inauthentic self.

Then, in an instant, after you rely on assurances that your livelihood and existence will be safe, your government turns on you — in a tweet from your commander in chief, you are told that you cannot serve “in any capacity”; you are told that because you are transgender, everything about who you are and what you have done is irrelevant because you are not wanted. The entire country watches as you are humiliated and demeaned, and everyone is sent a message that somehow you are unworthy of even basic decency because of who you are.

This is what happened to transgender individuals in the United States armed forces.

For years, transgender individuals were barred from open military service based on outdated and outright incorrect views about what it means to be transgender. In 2016, after years of study and careful analysis, that ban on service was lifted, and a new policy allowing transgender individuals to serve openly in the Armed Forces was implemented.

But after a tweet from President Trump on July 26 and a subsequent directive signed on August 25, the Department of Defense was instructed by the president to reverse course and again ban transgender individuals from openly serving in the military. The directive also included banning coverage for medically necessary medical procedures and beginning a process of subjecting currently serving individuals to separation just for being transgender.

Pensions are on the line. Medical care is being cancelled. Enlistments are prohibited. People’s entire lives and careers are disrupted.

Continue reading at:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/we-are-asking-court-put-immediate-stop-presidents-anti-trans

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Common Enemies, Common Causes: Queer People and the Labor Movement

From Infomore:  https://intomore.com/impact/common-enemies-common-causes-queer-people-and-the-labor-movement/

You might not think that Labor Day is a queer holiday, but queer people are a part of US labor movement history.

By: Mathew Rodriguez
Sep 4 2017

The labor rights movement in America is about economics. And the US fight for queer liberation is about civil rights and sexual liberation. But, while they may seem totally different on the outside, these movements do intersect. Queer women, men and trans people have all played a significant part in US labor rights history, and the fight for fair wages and benefits has often been a fight for better working standards for queer people.

To illuminate further just how much queer people were a part of the US workers rights’ movements, INTO spoke with Miriam Frank, author of Out in the Union: A Labor History of Queer America.

I’m very interested that you draw this parallel early in the book between states historically with anti-sodomy laws and states with anti-union laws. You point out that in 12 states that continued to have anti-sodomy laws until the 2003 Supreme Court case Lawrence v. Texas  — Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia — there are also present day anti-union or “right to work” laws. Beyond those both being conservative talking points, are there any ways these are related?

There is a heritage in the states that have right to work laws that also had sodomy statutes. There is a heritage of anti-liberal, anti-free — it is not obviously misogynistic but it is misogynistic.

The reason I wrote the book was to show how these two movements, which are very different — the gay movement is about a way of being sexual and the labor movement is about making a living. Unless you’re doing sex work, they aren’t really the same thing at all. They don’t really have the same reasons, they don’t have the same history, they don’t attack the same kinds of people, they don’t have organize the same way, they are not restricted by the same laws. But, because they have the same enemy — the hostile anti-gay, the anti-sex, anti-liberal laws Christian Right, you can define it anyway you want to — we have common enemies, and so we have common causes. My intention in the book was to show how that worked out in the process of working for a living and being out at your own workplace in the form of working a union.

Everyone believes there should be a union and they should negotiate with the boss and then they find out that the guy you’re working next to is trying to get domestic partner benefits in their union contract and this guy doesn’t think queers are good people. How does someone struggle with that? How does someone make an alliance with someone who isn’t exactly like them? The cause has to be a forethought.

So, you touch on a lot of different industries in the book, but you do say that a lot of unions learned from the teacher’s union. Would you say that was the earliest and most vociferous defenders of queer union members?

Yes, because a flashpoint, a shining point of homophobia, is “Those queer men are going to turn my little boy into a fag!” You know, the whole thing about pedophilia, that thing is a livewire issue today but the teachers unions have really pushed that back and have campaigned. They didn’t really want to. They started out wishing, “Just keep quiet and we won’t have any problems,” and then we did have problems. Again if you go to california and you go to proposition 6, the Briggs Initiative, which was a huge campaign in California in 1978, the briggs initiative was defeated by an amazing coalition of liberal coalitions. Not only unions, but liberal religious groups, the Girl Scouts, everyone got on the bandwagon and thy pushed back the hostile initiative. Six years later in Oregon, another group of people were trying to do the same thing. They kept running these bogus campaigns about pedophilia. The teachers’ union, having learned from the Briggs initiative said “it’s not going to happen.” And in fact in Oregon, in the state of Washington, in a lot of places where there were strong teachers union movements, that’s never went anywhere.

Continue reading at:  https://intomore.com/impact/common-enemies-common-causes-queer-people-and-the-labor-movement/

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Americans Are Confronting an Alarming Question: Are Many of Our Fellow Citizens ‘Nazis’?

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/magazine/americans-are-confronting-an-alarming-question-are-many-of-our-fellow-citizens-nazis.html

By

One morning in mid-August, Americans woke up in what felt, to some, like an altered country. The week’s most notable political event had begun with hundreds of Americans carrying torches while chanting “Sieg heil” and “Jews will not replace us.” White supremacist radicals like these had been active and energized throughout the presidential campaign, but much of their energy had been restricted to the internet. The rally in Charlottesville was markedly different. It confronted America with an unlikely question: Was it possible the nation was seeing a burgeoning political faction of … actual Nazis? People we should actually call Nazis?

“Nazi” is a remarkable example of the very different routes a word can take through the world. In this case, that word is the Latin name “Ignatius.” In Spanish, it followed a noble path: It became Ignacio, and then the nickname Nacho, and then — after a Mexican cook named Ignacio Anaya had a moment of inspiration — it became delicious, beloved nachos. In Bavaria, a much darker transformation took place. Ignatius became the common name Ignatz, or in its abbreviated form, Nazi. In the early 20th century, Bavarian peasants were frequent subjects of German mockery, and “Nazi” became the archetypal name for a comic figure: a bumbling, dimwitted yokel. “Just as Irish jokes always involve a man called Paddy,” the etymologist Mark Forsyth writes in his 2011 book “The Etymologicon,” “so Bavarian jokes always involved a peasant called Nazi.” When Adolf Hitler’s party emerged from Bavaria with a philosophy called “Nationalsozialismus,” two of that word’s syllables were quickly repurposed by Hitler’s cosmopolitan opponents. They started calling the new party Nazis — implying, to the Nazis’ great displeasure, that they were all backward rubes.

That original, taunting meaning of “Nazi” is now long gone, replaced forever by the image of history’s most despised regime. This is precisely why the word has resurfaced in American conversation, aimed at the white supremacist arm of the so-called alt-right: It is perhaps the single most potent condemnation in our language, a word that provides instant moral clarity. Not everyone, though, is entirely comfortable with this new usage. The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb finds “Nazi” insufficient as a label for American racists, because when we use it, he writes, “we summon the idea of the United States’ moral victories, and military ones” — references that make little sense when we’re talking about American-made moral failures. Lindsey E. Jones, a Ph.D. student of history in Charlottesville, tweeted that a long history of American racism is “conveniently erased” when figures like the white nationalist Richard Spencer are reduced to “Nazis.”

But if “Nazi” isn’t quite the right word for the fringe groups now attempting a takeover of national politics — if it’s sloppy and inexact and papers over just how widespread some of these bigotries are — then “Nazi” will, in a way, have returned to its roots. It began as a broad, imprecise and patronizing slur. Then it became a precise historical classification. (One that, you might argue, “conveniently erased” widespread anti-Semitism throughout Europe and America.) Now we find ourselves arguing over whether it can serve as a general epithet again — a name for a whole assortment of distasteful ideologies. Nearly 80 years after Kristallnacht, we are not exactly sure what a Nazi is, or should be.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/05/magazine/americans-are-confronting-an-alarming-question-are-many-of-our-fellow-citizens-nazis.html

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Sen. Gillibrand files amendment against Trump’s trans military ban

From The Washington Blade:  http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/09/11/sen-gillibrand-files-amendment-trump-trans-military-ban/

by Chris Johnson
September 11, 2017

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) filed an amendment Monday before the U.S. Senate that would undermine President Trump’s ban on transgender military service and could see a vote as soon as this week.

The two-page amendment, co-sponsored by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), was filed for consideration as part of the fiscal year 2018 defense authorization bill. The amendment was obtained late Monday by the Washington Blade.

Gillibrand said in a statement the amendment would honor transgender service members currently serving in the armed forces.

“Any individual who wants to join our military and meets the standards should be allowed to serve, period. Gender identity should have nothing to do with it,” Gillibrand said. “I am proud to work with Sen. Collins to introduce our bipartisan amendment to protect transgender members of our Armed Forces, and I will always fight for our brave transgender troops who put their lives on the line to protect our country.”

Both Gillibrand and Collins championed efforts in 2010 for legislative repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” They both were among the 45 senators who signed a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis urging him to resist Trump’s plan to bar transgender people from the U.S. military.

Collins, the lead Republican in efforts to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” also expressed support for transgender troops in a statement.

Our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” Collins said. “If individuals are willing to put on the uniform of our country, be deployed in war zones, and risk their lives for our freedoms, then we should be expressing our gratitude to them, not trying to exclude them from military service.”

The amendment, which responds to President Trump’s memo late last month directing the Pentagon to ban transgender people from the armed forces, consists of three parts.

Continue reading at:   http://www.washingtonblade.com/2017/09/11/sen-gillibrand-files-amendment-trump-trans-military-ban/

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‘The personal is the political’: Model Teddy Quinlivan reveals transgender identity

From CNN:  http://www.cnn.com/style/article/teddy-quinlivan-transgender-model/index.html

Clive Martin, CNN
13th September 2017

As the fashion industry bows to pressure to become more progressive with its casting choices, a new generation of models from all backgrounds, cultures, genders and sexualities has taken to the runways. The transgender community — for so long underrepresented in fashion — can today count several fashion superstars in its ranks, namely Gucci muse Hari Nef and fashion week stalwart Andreja Pejić.

Now, in a CNN Style exclusive, model Teddy Quinlivan is publicly disclosing her transgender identity for the very first time.

Quinlivan, 23, is a catwalk and campaign regular, having walked for the likes of Jeremy Scott, Carolina Herrera and Diane Von Furstenberg at this fall’s New York Fashion week alone. Since being discovered by Louis Vuitton’s creative director Nicolas Ghesquière in 2015, her career has been in the ascendant.

Speaking between New York Fashion Week shows, Quinlivan explains what inspired her to come out, during what appears to be a crucial time for transgender people.

‘Doing it for myself’

“I’ve decided to reveal my trans identity because of the political climate in the world right now — particularly in the United States,” Quinlivan said. “We made an amazing progression under the Obama administration, and since the new administration took office there’s been a kind of backlash.

“There’s been violence against transgender people — particularly transgender women of color — since before I even knew what transgender was. I just felt a great sense of urgency. I’m very fortunate to be in (a) position (that) I never really thought I would be. It’s really important to take advantage of a time like this.”

With her views on Trump and violence against the trans community, would Quinlivan say that her decision to come out is rooted in politics, or something more personal? “I think the personal is political,” she replied. “It’s political, but I’m also doing it for myself. I was ready to come out, but I think the times we live in elevated the sense of importance and urgency.”

Quinlivan accepts that her announcement may bring a backlash from less accepting corners of the internet — or even negative ramifications for her fashion career.

“I’m definitely a little bit nervous, because I’ve been presenting as cisgender (a person who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth) for so long,” she said. “Since I transitioned when I was 16, I’ve been living as a cis female … I was very lucky, because I won the genetic lottery — I looked a certain way and my voice hadn’t dropped. That privilege gave me a lot of confidence to walk down the street, date and (work) in the fashion industry, where people I would presume I was a ‘normal’ girl.

Complete article at:  http://www.cnn.com/style/article/teddy-quinlivan-transgender-model/index.html

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‘No Fascist USA!’: how hardcore punk fuels the Antifa movement

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/sep/09/no-fascist-usa-how-hardcore-punk-fuels-the-antifa-movement

The anti-fascist movement draws on punk’s political awareness and network for activism – and right now may be its most crucial moment

by
Saturday 9 September 2017

“No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA!”

When Green Day chanted the repurposed lyrics from Texan punk trailblazers MDC’s 1981 song Born to Die during the 2016 American Music Awards, it gave the burgeoning anti-Trump, anti-fascist movement the slogan it needed – and it would soon appear on placards, T-shirts and be chanted by protesters in their thousands in months to come.

It was a tiny piece of punk history writ large on American cultural life – but it only gave the merest hint of US hardcore punk’s influence on the current political landscape.

As political commentators struggle to nail down the exact nature of Antifa’s masked legions, they’ve overlooked one thing: Antifa has been critically influenced by hardcore punk for nearly four decades.

From the collectivist principles of anarchist punk bands such as Crass and Conflict, the political outrage of groups such as the Dead Kennedys, MDC and Discharge, Antifa draws on decades of protest, self-protection and informal networks under the auspices of a musical movement.

Mark Bray, author of The Antifa Handbook, says that “in many cases, the North American modern Antifa movement grew up as a way to defend the punk scene from the neo-Nazi skinhead movement, and the founders of the original Anti-Racist Action network in North America were anti-racist skinheads. The fascist/anti-fascist struggle was essentially a fight for control of the punk scene [during the 1980s], and that was true across of much of north America and in parts of Europe in this era.”

“There’s a huge overlap between radical left politics and the punk scene, and there’s a stereotype about dirty anarchists and punks, which is an oversimplification but grounded in a certain amount of truth.”

Drawing influence from anti-fascist groups in 1930s Germany, the UK-based Anti-Fascist Action formed in the late 70s in reaction the growing popularity of rightwing political parties such as the National Front and the British Movement. They would shut down extreme-right meetings at every opportunity, whether it be a march or a gathering in a room above a pub. Inspired by this, anti-racist skinheads in Minneapolis formed Anti-Racist Action, which soon gained traction in punk scenes across the US. Meanwhile, in New York, a movement called Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice sprung up.

The term “Antifa” was adopted by German antifascists in the 80s, accompanied by the twin-flag logo, which then spread around Europe, and finally pitched up in the US after being adopted by an anarchist collective in Portland, Oregon.

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/sep/09/no-fascist-usa-how-hardcore-punk-fuels-the-antifa-movement

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The Media Doesn’t Understand What Trump is Doing | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann

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Who Is Weaponizing Religious Liberty?

From People For The American Way:  http://www.pfaw.org/report/who-is-weaponizing-religious-liberty/

It Takes a Right-Wing Village to Turn a Cherished American Principle Into a Destructive Culture-War Weapon

In 2016, for the second year in a row, more than 100 anti-equality bills targeting LGBT people were introduced in state legislatures, many of them described as measures to protect religious liberty. This flood of anti-LGBT and “religious liberty” legislation is not the result of isolated local efforts. It is part of a larger campaign by Religious Right groups to resist and reverse advances toward equality for LGBT Americans by portraying equality as inherently incompatible with religious freedom. That effort began well before the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 marriage equality ruling, but it has kicked into overdrive since.

Religious Right organizations have long equated criticism with persecution, and portrayed legal and political defeats as attacks on Christianity and religious freedom. Efforts to frame opposition to reproductive choice and LGBT equality as religious liberty issues picked up steam with the issuing of the Manhattan Declaration in 2009. This manifesto, co-authored by right-wing Catholic intellectual Robert George, pledged that its signers would refuse to “bend” to “any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.” Since then, Religious Right groups, their allies at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and allied politicians have increasingly framed their opposition to marriage equality, nondiscrimination laws, reproductive choice, and the contraception coverage requirement under the Affordable Care Act as questions of religious liberty.

Included in the recent anti-equality wave are various types of legislation, including state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), modeled to different degrees on the federal law of the same name; so-called Government Nondiscrimination Acts (GNDAs), which do away with the federal RFRA’s balancing tests to give special legal protection to discrimination based on anti-equality religious beliefs; and anti-LGBT laws that don’t explicitly fly under the religious liberty banner, like bills barring transgender people from using the public bathrooms appropriate for their gender identity.

Some of those bills have been defeated, thanks to mobilization by equality advocates and their allies in progressive, religious, and business communities. Others have been approved by state legislatures but vetoed by governors, including Republican Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia and Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia. Still others have been signed into law, including Mississippi’s “religious liberty” law and North Carolina’s now notorious HB2, a law overturning local nondiscrimination ordinances and banning transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity. Inflammatory rhetoric about transgender people has fed an increasingly ugly climate in which states and localities are literally making it a crime for a transgender person to go to the bathroom.

All of these approaches are being promoted by a network of national Religious Right organizations that oppose legal recognition for the rights of LGBT people. These organizations are part of a larger infrastructure of colleges and law schools, think tanks, media outlets, and advocacy groups that has been built over the last few decades. They work together to promote the false and destructive idea that legal equality for LGBT Americans is incompatible with religious freedom for those who oppose it — just as early civil rights opponents claimed that eliminating enforced racial segregation was an attack on southern white Christians’ religious beliefs.

This network of anti-equality groups is engaged in a high-stakes effort to convince Americans that preserving religious liberty requires giving individuals and corporations the power to disobey laws that promote the common good and protect other constitutional principles like equal treatment under the law.

Together these organizations constitute a powerful cultural and political force that will not disappear after a few losses in the courtroom or at the ballot box. Indeed, in the wake of their marriage equality defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015, they have redoubled their efforts. They are eagerly creating folk heroes out of public officials and business owners who refuse to provide services to same-sex couples. And they are pushing Republican officials to enact legislation at federal as well as state levels that would further weaponize religious liberty, turning it from a shield meant to protect individual religious practice into a sword to be wielded against individuals and groups disfavored by Religious Right leaders.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pfaw.org/report/who-is-weaponizing-religious-liberty/

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Chelsea Manning: The Dystopia We Signed Up for

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/opinion/chelsea-manning-big-data-dystopia.html

By Chelsea Manning
Sept. 13, 2017

For seven years, I didn’t exist.

While incarcerated, I had no bank statements, no bills, no credit history. In our interconnected world of big data, I appeared to be no different than a deceased person. After I was released, that lack of information about me created a host of problems, from difficulty accessing bank accounts to trouble getting a driver’s license and renting an apartment.

In 2010, the iPhone was only three years old, and many people still didn’t see smartphones as the indispensable digital appendages they are today. Seven years later, virtually everything we do causes us to bleed digital information, putting us at the mercy of invisible algorithms that threaten to consume our freedom.

Information leakage can seem innocuous in some respects. After all, why worry when we have nothing to hide?

We file our taxes. We make phone calls. We send emails. Tax records are used to keep us honest. We agree to broadcast our location so we can check the weather on our smartphones. Records of our calls, texts and physical movements are filed away alongside our billing information. Perhaps that data is analyzed more covertly to make sure that we’re not terrorists — but only in the interest of national security, we’re assured.

Our faces and voices are recorded by surveillance cameras and other internet-connected sensors, some of which we now willingly put inside our homes. Every time we load a news article or page on a social media site, we expose ourselves to tracking code, allowing hundreds of unknown entities to monitor our shopping and online browsing habits. We agree to cryptic terms-of-service agreements that obscure the true nature and scope of these transactions.

According to a 2015 study from the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of American adults believe they’ve lost control over how their personal information is collected and used.

Just how much they’ve lost, however, is more than they likely suspect.

The real power of mass data collection lies in the hand-tailored algorithms capable of sifting, sorting and identifying patterns within the data itself. When enough information is collected over time, governments and corporations can use or abuse those patterns to predict future human behavior. Our data establishes a “pattern of life” from seemingly harmless digital residue like cellphone tower pings, credit card transactions and web browsing histories.

The consequences of our being subjected to constant algorithmic scrutiny are often unclear. For instance, artificial intelligence — Silicon Valley’s catchall term for deepthinking and deep-learning algorithms — is touted by tech companies as a path to the high-tech conveniences of the so-called internet of things. This includes digital home assistants, connected appliances and self-driving cars.

Simultaneously, algorithms are already analyzing social media habits, determining creditworthiness, deciding which job candidates get called in for an interview and judging whether criminal defendants should be released on bail. Other machine-learning systems use automated facial analysis to detect and track emotions, or claim the ability to predict whether someone will become a criminal based only on their facial features.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/13/opinion/chelsea-manning-big-data-dystopia.html

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We Are Taking Trump to Court to Stop His Illegal and Cruel Ban on Transgender Service Members

From The ACLU:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/we-are-taking-trump-court-stop-his-illegal-and-cruel-ban

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project
August 28, 2017

When President Trump took to Twitter on the morning of July 26 to issue a series of lies about transgender individuals serving in the United States armed forces and announce a ban on open transgender service, he disrupted the lives and careers of thousands of transgender troops.

His announcement came as a shock to almost everyone, including members of Congress, military experts, and the Secretary of Defense.

While he claimed to have consulted with his “Generals and military experts,” that was not the case. Instead, he allied himself with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council who dismissed the service of transgender individuals as the “social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation’s military.”

We hoped that the ill-advised ban would languish on the president’s Twitter feed, but unfortunately, he turned the tweets into a directive banning open transgender service on August 25.

The new directive bars enlistment by transgender individuals, prohibits coverage for certain critical medical procedures, and bans those currently in the military from serving, with the Secretary of Defense given discretion to determine how to carry out that ban.

Today, we and the ACLU of Maryland filed a lawsuit to challenge President Trump’s cruel policy on behalf of Petty Officer First Class Brock Stone, Staff Sergeant Kate Cole, Senior Airmen John Doe, Technical Sergeant Tommie Parker, Airman First Class Seven Ero George, and Petty Officer First Class Teagan Gilbert.

Our lawsuit argues that the ban violates the constitutional guarantees of equal protection and substantive due process by singling out transgender individuals for unequal and discriminatory treatment.

Every justification that the president has offered in support of the ban has already been thoroughly reviewed and debunked by the Department of Defense itself when it adopted a policy permitting military service by transgender individuals last year.

Stop Trump’s ban on transgender military service
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Military, medical and legal experts have concluded that allowing open service by transgender individuals, many of whom have been serving in silence for years, does not disrupt military readiness or unit cohesion and imposes negligible costs. By contrast, barring transgender individuals from joining the military and discharging those who are already serving is exceedingly costly and undermines national security and military readiness.

President Trump’s hateful and discriminatory agenda has nothing to do with military readiness. As Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a combat veteran, explains:

“When I was bleeding to death in my Black Hawk helicopter after I was shot down, I didn’t care if the American troops risking their lives to help save me were gay, straight, transgender, black, white or brown. All that mattered was they didn’t leave me behind. If you are willing to risk your life for our country and you can do the job, you should be able to serve—no matter your gender identity or sexual orientation. Anything else is not just discriminatory, it is disruptive to our military and it is counterproductive to our national security.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/transgender-rights/we-are-taking-trump-court-stop-his-illegal-and-cruel-ban

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Joy of unisex: the rise of gender-neutral clothing

Lately I’ve been seeing a bunch of macho men wearing “Tactical Kilts”, meaning kilts with lots of pockets.  I’d wear skirts more if they actually had useful pockets.  But casual clothes like parkas, sweats, shorts, t-shirts, flannel shirts, the stuff hippies and a lot of lesbians wear has tended towards the androgynous.

A lot of clothing takes on its gender from the wearer.

From The Guardian UK:  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/04/joy-unisex-gender-neutral-clothing-john-lewis

John Lewis’s decision to stop dividing children’s clothes by gender has sparked anger and delight. But it’s not just childrenswear that is increasingly non-binary – there’s a sartorial revolution for adults, too


Monday 4 September 2017

Is John Lewis at the frontline of modern gender politics? It has never seemed so before, but judging by the reaction to the department store’s announcement last week that its own-brand children’s clothes will no longer be divided by gender, some people clearly see the retailer as radical. There will now be no separate sections in the stores, nor such binary labels on the clothes themselves; instead, the labels will read “girls and boys” or “boys and girls”.

The conversation over whether clothing should be more gender-neutral does not just apply to childrenswear – over the past decade there has also been a marked rise in gender-neutral clothing for adults. Some high-end designers such as JW Anderson, Rick Owens and Rad Hourani have championed gender-neutral clothing, while a raft of smaller companies run by young designers, such as Rich Mnisi, are pushing the idea that men’s and women’s clothes should be obsolete categories. This approach has also filtered down to the high street – H&M and Zara have both created non-gendered ranges.

The British designer Katharine Hamnett has a long history of exploring non-gender-specific clothing, and her newly reissued collection features unisex shirts, sweatshirts and silk all-in-one suits. She says that, in the past, when women stepped on to more traditionally male sartorial territory – wearing military-inspired clothing, for instance – this “was about appropriating male power”. Now, she says, a move towards equality means women “may be feeling more comfortable with themselves”; in other words, they may have the freedom to wear what they like. (It is still far less common for men to seek out traditionally female clothing.)

Chloe Crowe, brand manager for Bethnals, a London-based unisex denim brand, says that when they have run pop-up shops, men and women in couples have come in and bought jeans that they can share. The company was launched in 2014 by Melissa Clement, a former senior denim buyer for Topshop, who borrowed her partner’s clothes a lot and wondered why men’s and women’s categories had to be different. The core styles of her brand – skinny, straight and relaxed – are cut the same for men and women. “It’s just clever pattern cutting,” says Crowe. “With denim, it can vary so much depending on your body shape. One woman is not going to [fit in] the same pair of jeans as another woman. I think it makes things a lot more simplistic, and it’s about the style and design rather than your sex.”

The growth of the brand follows more awareness and discussion around gender fluidity and what it means to reject the male/female binary. A study for the Fawcett Society last year found that 68% of young people believe gender is non-binary. “When Bethnals lauched, there wasn’t a lot [about gender],” says Crowe. “More brands have released gender-neutral clothing. It has filtered its way to the mass market. There seems to be a huge demand for it.”

“You don’t look at food and say it’s going to be eaten by a man or a woman, so why should it be any different for clothes?” says Tanmay Saxena, founder and designer of LaneFortyfive. The clothing Saxena designs is mostly bespoke tailoring, including shirts and waistcoats; about 60% of his customers are women. The clothes are the same styles for men and women, in the same fabrics, and while the shirts and smocks are cut the same, only the fit for trousers is slightly different.

He has been working on the label for about three years, but formally launched it last year. “I couldn’t find clothes that suited my own style. The basic idea was I would make something that I can wear but at the same time, it has to be irrespective of gender. That idea was always in my head.”

Continue reading at:  https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/04/joy-unisex-gender-neutral-clothing-john-lewis

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