American Psychological Association links ‘masculinity ideology’ to homophobia, misogyny

From NBC News:

For the first time in its 127-year history, the APA has issued guidelines to help psychologists specifically address the issues of men and boys.

By Tim Fitzsimons
Jan. 8, 2019

For the first time in its 127-year history, the American Psychological Association has issued guidelines to help psychologists specifically address the issues of men and boys — and the 36-page document features a warning.

“Traditional masculinity ideology has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health,” the report warns.

The new “Guidelines for the Psychological Practice with Boys and Men” defines “masculinity ideology” as “a particular constellation of standards that have held sway over large segments of the population, including: anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.” The report also links this ideology to homophobia, bullying and sexual harassment.

The new guidelines, highlighted in this month’s issue of Monitor on Psychology, which is published by the APA, linked this ideology to a series of stark statistics: Men commit approximately 90 percent of all homicides in the U.S., they are far more likely than women to be arrested and charged with intimate partner violence in the U.S., and they are four times more likely than women to die of suicide worldwide.

Jared Skillings, a psychologist and the APA’s chief of professional practice, told NBC News these new guidelines are intended to educate mental health professionals about the unique issues facing this patient population. The APA published a similar report about girls and women in 2007 and is expected to publish an updated version this year.

“Masculinity ideology,” Skillings said, was important to highlight because it “represents a set of characteristics that are unhealthy for men — men who are sexist or violent or don’t take care of themselves.”

The report addresses the “power” and “privilege” that males have when compared to their female counterparts, but it notes that this privilege can be a psychological double-edged sword.

“Men who benefit from their social power are also confined by system-level policies and practices as well as individual-level psychological resources necessary to maintain male privilege,” the guidelines state. “Thus, male privilege often comes with a cost in the form of adherence to sexist ideologies designed to maintain male power that also restrict men’s ability to function adaptively.”

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It’s Time to Walk Away From the Women’s March

From Hadassah Magazine:

January 2019

Politics makes strange bedfellows, forcing us to ally ourselves with people whose views on other matters we do not share. How should we determine with whom to join hands and whom to reject? Some people have proposed a quantitative scale: If we agree on 75 percent of issues, then we can work together. I think our barometer must also be qualitative. Some differences are so beyond the pale that, even if I agree with most of your objectives, there is no room for compromise. I cannot join you. Such is the case with the current leadership of the national Women’s March.

Many Jewish women enthusiastically participated in the January 2017 marches, the largest of which happened in Washington, D.C., but also occurred in cities across the United States and the world. They came in droves with their pussy hats, baby strollers, walkers, mates, children, grandchildren and witty signs. But things have soured since then, not with the march’s objectives, but with its leadership.

In the months following the march, it became clear that one of its main organizers, Linda Sarsour, was a virulent opponent of Zionism, having tweeted back in 2012: “Nothing is creepier than Zionism.” Embracing the canard that Zionism is racism, she laid down a challenge to women who “call themselves Zionists” and want to participate in racial justice events. They must choose, she argued in more tweets: “We will not change who we are to make anybody feel comfortable. If you ain’t all in, then this ain’t the movement for you.” In other words, it’s either progressivism or Zionism.

Sarsour and some of her colleagues’ allegiance to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan is most disturbing. Sarsour and Tamika D. Mallory, one of the co-leaders of the Women’s March, kept silent when Farrakhan described “the powerful Jews” as “my enemy,” and “the mother and father of apartheid.” When Mallory was criticized for her failure to condemn Farrakhan’s statements, she tweeted: “If your leader does not have the same enemies as Jesus, they may not be THE leader! Study the Bible and u will find the similarities.” This reference to Jesus’ enemies (“the Jews”) had unmistakable antisemitic overtones.

In recent months, Farrakhan again has engaged in hateful rhetoric, declaring in a sermon that “Satanic Jews” have “infected the whole world with poison and deceit.” Denying he’s an antisemite, he said at another speech that he is “anti-termite.”

In the wake of these controversies, Women’s March leaders have belatedly issued statements insisting, “We will not tolerate anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia and we condemn these expressions of hatred in all forms.” While they have disassociated themselves from antisemitism in general, they did not explicitly condemn Farrakhan’s statements.

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Flag flown over state Capitol on Tuesday honored transgender Texans, Denton mom says

From The Dallas Morning News:

Lauren McGaughy, Texas Government Reporter
January 9, 2019

AUSTIN — The Texas flag flown over the state Capitol on Tuesday recognized the transgender men, women and children who live in the Lone Star State.

Amber Briggle, whose 10-year-old son, Max, is a transgender boy, said she won the flag in a silent auction at the League of Women Voters State Convention earlier this year. She requested the flag fly in honor of all transgender Texans either on Max’s birthday or on Tuesday, the first day of the 2019 legislative session.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, honored her request to fly the flag. Briggle, who lives in Denton and serves as the co-chairwoman of the Human Rights Campaign’s Parents for Transgender Equality National Council, said the flag-raising was meant to raise the visibility of trans people across Texas.

“Transgender people are valuable members of our communities, and loved by countless people around them. Flying this flag today in honor of them is just one way of recognizing this fact,” Briggle told The Dallas Morning News late Tuesday. “Discrimination is not a Texas value, and voters recognize that. Flying the flag today was a powerful reminder of this. And an amazing way to begin this new legislative session.”

Howard, in a text to The News, said it was common for Texans to ask state lawmakers to raise a flag in honor or recognition of special occasions, people and causes.

“My policy is to assist these requests so long as they are not discriminatory,” Howard said. “I was honored to help Amber do so in recognition of the inclusion of trans Texans and the fact that our representative government truly represents all Texans.”

Two years ago, Briggle’s family and thousands of other advocates for transgender rights flocked to the Texas Capitol in Austin to advocate against the bathroom bill, which would have restricted what restrooms and changing rooms transgender people could use. That bill failedthanks largely to opposition from Fortune 500 companies and other business interests.

This year, few expect the bathroom bill to be a priority once again. But LGBT activists say opposing this legislation, and anything else that may chip away at their rights, will remain a top priority. Briggle hopes her family can put the bathroom bill behind them.

“Let’s hope it’s a good sign for the rest of this year. I’m still tired from fighting in 2017,” she said.

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Coming Out as Trans Isn’t a Teenage Fad

From The New York Times:

Conservatives are inventing a “syndrome” to undermine young people’s transitions.

By Jennifer Finney Boylan
Jan. 8, 2019

At the end of the long weekend when my daughter came out as transgender, she headed back to her car with her girlfriend. I watched them from my apartment window as they packed up. My child looked up, and waved.

Then she drove off.

I closed the window. Tears rushed to my eyes. She’s saying goodbye, I thought. I’ll never see her again.

This, of course, turned out to be malarkey.

In the months to come I’d see her lots of times, and each time she seemed happier, and more herself.

[The Opinion section is now on Instagram. Follow us at @nytopinion.]

You’d think that as a transgender person myself, I’d have rolled right along with my daughter’s unveiling. You’d think that I’d have been able to show her even half the grace that my 80-year-old, Republican, evangelical mother had shown me, almost 20 years before.

In spite of everything I know about being trans, I still had lots of my own dreams tangled up in my daughter’s — formerly son’s — life. I loved that child exactly as they had been. The idea that this person was now going to be different made me think, at first, that something precious to me was being taken away.

If it was a struggle for me, I can only imagine how hard it is for other parents.

Unfortunately, what many other parents are receiving right now is not encouragement to find wisdom and understanding. What they are getting instead is a bogus new diagnosis — Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. The inventors of this spurious term claim that R.O.G.D. is not a real trans identity but the product of social pressure.

Abigail Shrier, writing in The Wall Street Journal, describes it as “social contagion.” She says that young people — many of them college-aged, and most of them born female-bodied — are embarking upon transition, with its surgeries and hormones and other accompanying challenges, in the same way a person might take up the ukulele.

Even the headline on that essay is an insult: “When Your Daughter Defies Biology.” An abundance of scientific research makes clear that gender variance is a fundamental truth of human biology, not some wacky dance craze.

Transgender people have not come up with the entirety of our existence solely to hurt Tucker Carlson’s feelings. We do not embark upon transition because it’s groovy. We are here because our hearts demand it.

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What Can Make a 911 Call a Felony? Fentanyl at the Scene

The Law Enforcement/Judicial Industry and the Prison Industrial Complex will do anything they can to keep the War on Drugs alive and ticking as more and more states legalize pot.

The Opioid Crisis is this year’s Crack Cocaine Crisis or this year’s Reefer Madness.

From The New York Times:

By Peter Andrey Smith<
Dec. 17, 2018

ALTON, N.H. — Eric Weil, a gregarious 50-year-old painter who lives in a wooded neighborhood hugging the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, never suspected he would face felony charges when he called 911 last August.

He had agreed to take in a friend’s son who was struggling with addiction, on the condition that no drugs be brought into his house. When Mr. Weil discovered a packet of white powder in the guest bedroom, he called 911. “Somebody’s messed up in my house,” he recalled saying. “He’s on drugs. I don’t know what he’s on. Can we get somebody here?”

When officers arrived, Mr. Weil tried to hand over the packet, but was told to drop it onto his gravel driveway. He did, but picked it up again out of concern, he later said, that his Yorkshire terrier, Schnoogabutch, or his free-range chickens would be exposed.

As he picked up the packet, some powder got on his index finger and he blew it off. The police later said that he blew “a large cloud” of the powder toward them, exposing one officer to fentanyl, an opioid whose use has driven up the number of overdose deaths nationwide to a record high.

Mr. Weil was charged with reckless conduct, something akin to waving a loaded gun in the air. Prosecutors argued that fentanyl was a deadly weapon.

As stories circulate of the lethality of powdered fentanyl and its cousin, carfentanil, similar cases have been brought in Maine, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Kentucky, with charges ranging from wanton endangerment to assault.

At least two people are serving sentences of up to three years. In the widely reported case of an Ohio officer who was said to have nearly died after brushing some fentanyl off his shirt, a man pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to 18 months. More than 10 other cases are pending.

Medical professionals say that the risks from accidental exposure to opioids, even potent ones, are actually very low. The prosecutions have been driven by fear, they say — not science. None of the incidents has caused a death, or even symptoms of opioid overdose, a review of the available evidence shows.

Even so, fear is rampant: there has been no shortage of warnings that unidentified powders can kill. A 2016 video by the Drug Enforcement Administration warned law enforcement that touching fentanyl or breathing in just a few airborne particles could be fatal.

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Sandy Stone on Living Among Lesbian Separatists as a Trans Woman in the 70s

Sandy and I ran into each other on several occasions during the 1970s Both at the NTCU and later when I was photographing Olivia performers for The Lesbian Tide.  While there were trans-women involved with the Second Wave/Lesbian Feminist Movement we were rather few and far between.  I was in Los Angeles while Sandy was in the Bay Area.

From Vice Broadly:

Before pioneering transgender studies in academia, Sandy Stone was a member of the legendary lesbian music collective Olivia Records—and the target of vitriol from early trans exclusive radical feminists.

by Zackary Drucker
Dec 19 2018

Deeply esoteric and decades ahead of her time, Allucquére Rosanne “Sandy” Stone, referred to more widely as Sandy Stone, has a unique tale of survival situated at the heart of 1970s radical lesbian feminism.

Throughout the 70s, Stone was part of the famous radical feminist music collective, Olivia Records. But her presence did not go unchallenged. She describes attending a community meeting only to be met with an angry swarm of trans exclusive radical feminists (TERFs) assembled for the sole purpose of expelling her from her own collective simply because she was assigned male at birth. TERFs posit that biological sex characteristics are immutable, that gender is determined by genitals at birth, and that trans women are gynephiliac fetishists invading women’s spaces with male privilege. Some women had traveled from across the country to participate in Stone’s public shaming and intended expulsion.

Not long before, in 1979, lesbian writer Janice Raymond had published The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male, which included an ad hominem attack on Stone, and which led to the town hall meeting on that red-letter day. As a response, in 1987, Stone effectively birthed the academic discipline of transgender studies by publishing her enduringly influential essay, The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto.

Sandy Stone is the original trans girl computer hacker. After building a computer in the early 1980s and teaching herself to code, she parlayed her years of experience as a music engineer into technology development and academia. Stone’s work as a writer, thinker, artist, and performer helped establish the genre of New Media art. And, over decades, she has inspired generations of irreverent trans women to fight transmisogyny unapologetically and bring new, unafraid forms of thinking and making into the world.

At 82 years old, Stone is the senior-most trans woman in this series. I was introduced to her by my (chosen) aunt, Kate Bornstein. Bornstein and Stone are kindred spirits, both trans pioneers unafraid of claiming outsider identities as freaks and heretics; both people who center dissension and nonconformity as sacred values.

ZACKARY DRUCKER: Maybe you can first tell me about your path to trans identity. Where were you in your life? When was it? What was the breadcrumb trail that you followed?

SANDY STONE: I was one of those very classic literature trans people. I realized there was something wrong when I was five years old, but at that time, which was the 1940s, there were little boys and there were little girls. There was no trans information out there whatsoever. The funny thing was, I thought of myself as a little girl. But I didn’t think of myself the way, apparently, other little girls that I knew thought of themselves as little girls. I’m binarizing this, because it was binarized at the time. The girls that I was hanging out with as a girl, in my fantasies, were climbing mountains and swimming rivers and hunting critters in the woods and meeting big animals and learning to get along with them. Strange adventure fantasies, which boys think of happening with boys, I thought of them as happening with girls.

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US court rules in favor of Trump policy on transgender military limits

From The Guardian UK:

Court handed president first legal victory on the issue, overturning decision by federal judge who blocked the policy

Fri 4 Jan 2019

A US court on Friday ruled in favor of a Trump administration policy barring certain transgender people from serving in the armed forces, handing the president his first legal victory on the issue after several defeats.

The US court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit overturned a decision by a federal judge in Washington DC that blocked the policy, saying it probably violates the constitutional rights of transgender recruits and service members.

Donald Trump announced in March that he would endorse a plan by the former defense secretary, Jim Mattis, to restrict the military service of transgender people diagnosed with a condition called gender dysphoria.

The appeals court victory is limited because other federal courts issued injunctions against the policy, which applied nationwide. The administration has asked the US supreme court to weigh in on the issue.

The supreme court is due to consider whether to hear three separate government appeals at its private conference on 11 January.

The various injunctions allowed transgender troops to join the ranks as of 1 January 2018.

“Today’s ruling is a devastating slap in the face to transgender service members who have proved their fitness to serve and their dedication to this country,” said Shannon Minter, legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, one of the groups challenging the policy.

The three-judge panel said in an unsigned opinion that district court judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly was wrong to conclude that the new restrictions were essentially the same as the original ban, which she had also blocked.

“It was clear error to say there was no significant change,” the judges wrote in the ruling.

The new plan, for example, “appears to permit some transgender individuals to serve in the military consistent with established military mental health, physical health and sex-based standards”, the court said.

The American Psychiatric Association defines gender dysphoria as a “clinically significant distress” due to a conflict between a person’s gender identity and their sex assigned at birth. Not all transgender people suffer from gender dysphoria, according to the association, which opposes a military ban.

The gender dysphoria restriction replaced an outright ban on transgender service members, which Trump announced in July 2017 on Twitter.

Trump’s move reversed Democratic former president Barack Obama’s policy of allowing transgender troops to serve openly and receive medical care to transition.