Illinois: Antibullying Bill Rejected From Fears of Being Too Pro-Gay

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/society/education/2012/05/23/illinois-antibullying-bill-rejected-fears-being-too-progay

BY Michelle Garcia
May 23 2012

Illinois legislators rejected an antibullying bill after conservatives expressed fears that the proposed law was too “pro-homosexual.”

The initiative, which would have held school administrators more accountable for handling bullying incidents and preventing harassment, fell one vote short of passing in the state Senate on Tuesday, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

“There are some programs that are just against bullying in general,” Sen. Kyle McCarter said in the article. “Some of them tend to have an agenda of being pro-homosexual.”

Complete article at:  http://www.advocate.com/society/education/2012/05/23/illinois-antibullying-bill-rejected-fears-being-too-progay

Nearly 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted

From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/nearly-1-in-5-women-in-us-survey-report-sexual-assault.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=rape&st=cse#

By
Published: December 14, 2011

An exhaustive government survey of rape and domestic violence released on Wednesday affirmed that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and in some instances may be far more common than previously thought.

Nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and one in four reported having been beaten by an intimate partner. One in six women have been stalked, according to the report.

“That almost one in five women have been raped in their lifetime is very striking and, I think, will be surprising to a lot of people,” said Linda C. Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the survey.

“I don’t think we’ve really known that it was this prevalent in the population,” she said.

The study, called the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, was begun in 2010 with the support of the National Institute of Justice and the Department of Defense. The study, a continuing telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 16,507 adults, defines intimate partner and sexual violence broadly.

The surveyors elicited information on types of aggression not previously studied in national surveys, including sexual violence other than rape, psychological aggression, coercion and control of reproductive and sexual health.

They also gathered information about the physical and mental health of violence survivors.

Sexual violence affects women disproportionately, the researchers found. One-third of women said they had been victims of a rape, beating or stalking, or a combination of assaults.

Continue reading at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/nearly-1-in-5-women-in-us-survey-report-sexual-assault.html?_r=1&scp=4&sq=rape&st=cse#

Posted in Hate Crimes, Misogyny, Rape, Sexism, Sexual Assault, Violence. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Nearly 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted

Why is Facebook Protecting Pro Rape Language and Abuse of Women?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/sex/153406/why_is_facebook_protecting_pro_rape_language_and_abuse_of_women__/

Despite a campaign that included 180,000 signatures, Facebook continues to post pro-rape pages, showing, yet again, that they care about users so long as they’re profitable.

By Melissa Gira Grant
December 12, 2011

 Since August, tens of thousands of Internet activists have taken to social media to protest a social media giant — Facebook — for its apparent tolerance of user-created pages that make sexual violence into a punchline. The pages, with titles like “Riding your Girlfriend softly, Cause you dont [sic] want to wake her up” and “Kicking Sluts in the Vagina,” have been common to Facebook for some time, but campaigns against them began when a Facebook representative commented to the BBC on its decision not to remove that kind of content, stating, “Just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.” The pub analogy comment circulated among feminist activists on Facebook, and it was quoted widely on blogs, sparking a series of petitions that circulated for months, demanding the removal of the pages. When Facebook failed to respond, online activists organized a Twitter hashtag Day of Action, #notfunnyfacebook, to further pressure Facebook to enforce its own terms of service and hold its users accountable. Finally, following the Twitter action, Facebook elected to delete a few of the pages. It also allowed others to remain, so long as they were retitled as parodies.

The victory came as a half-hearted one for activists, who, with more than 180,000 signatures and hundreds of Twitter participants on their side, had not been able to call Facebook to account. New pro-rape pages are still being posted. One I just visited is called “That one slut you have always wanted to kick in the face.” After scrolling past three nearly identical wall announcements explaining how I could make easy money at home today (not involving, as I had first assumed, being “slutty”), I found a handful of nasty comments, all so poorly spelled it would be difficult for them to retain any air of menace. Then I recalled the anonymous person who scrawled “FAGETS” on the wall of a student organization I worked with in college. Then I saw what the page was really used for: with the “tag a user in this post” function, fans of the page could add the name of their intended target to their wall post, and that target would potentially see the post and the threat. It made me queasy.

If it was not clear before, we must understand now that Facebook wasn’t built for us — it was built for the profit of the very few. That Facebook is of value to the public as a communications platform is only important to Facebook insofar as it allows them to sell targeted advertising against our own speech. Its governing document, the Terms of Service, has been repeatedly applied unfairly and without accountability to its users, as its purpose is to legally protect Facebook from our conduct, not provide us with a free space, or even a safe space. Facebook needs to be only as minimally welcoming to us so as to ensure our return to use it again. And that we might use Facebook as a public square for activism? Not even in the business model.

Continue reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/sex/153406/why_is_facebook_protecting_pro_rape_language_and_abuse_of_women__/

Posted in Abuse, Equal Treatment, Feminist, Hate Crimes, Hate Speech, Misogyny, Murders, Rape. Tags: , . Comments Off on Why is Facebook Protecting Pro Rape Language and Abuse of Women?

Transphobia and mean streets

From The Milwaukee Wisconsin  Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/102662829.html

Reposted with permission

By Michael Munson And Loree Cook-Daniels

Sept. 11, 2010

On May 7, 2010, Chanel (Dana) Larkin, 26, was fatally shot in the head by Andrew Olaciregui, 28, who had met her on a Milwaukee street and asked her to engage in a sexual act. Olaciregui pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide in the case on Aug. 31, according to the state’s online court database. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

Although commercial sex work is a notoriously dangerous profession, it would be a mistake to dismiss this death so simply. For Larkin also belonged to another demographic group with an outrageously high early fatality rate: She was an African-American transgender woman.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) is a coalition of 40 U.S. nonprofits that work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of violence and police misconduct. In its 2009 Hate Crimes report, NCAVP documented 22 murders caused by anti-LGBT prejudice. Of those 22, half were transgender women.

Of the remainder, most were biologically male but dressed femininely with an unknown gender identity but who were dressed femininely or were otherwise gender non-conforming when they were killed, therefore making it likely that the vast majority of murder victims were gender variant.

Furthermore, 79% of the victims were people of color. Larkin’s murder may have been relatively unusual for Milwaukee, but it fits an alarming national pattern, down to its timing: Milwaukee’s 2010 PrideFest was June 11 to 13, barely four weeks after Larkin’s death. Nationally, 55% of 2009’s documented anti-LGBT murders took place in a 14-week period that includes most cities’ LGBT Pride celebrations, when LGBT people are most visible.

Larkin’s commercial sex work was likely related to both her race and her gender identity. African-Americans still face rampant racism, economic discrimination and educational neglect. A 2001 national study found that Wisconsin had the country’s lowest African-American high school graduation rate, at 40%. A 2005 study showed that the top three reasons for verbal or physical harassment in schools are appearance, sexual orientation and gender identity. Obviously, young African-American gender variant students are clearly at high risk of bullying or worse in schools and consequently are highly likely to leave school without graduating.

Like many of her peers, Larkin did not have a GED. She also had been unable to afford to legally change her name and ID. Therefore, even though she clearly looked female, whenever she applied for job and was asked for identification, she would have had to explain why it said she was male and had a different first name.

Employment discrimination against transgender people – while technically illegal in many places, including Milwaukee – is rampant. A recent national study of 6,450 transgender people found that 97% had been harassed or mistreated at work, and 47% had been fired, not hired, or denied a promotion because they were known to be transgender.

African-American transgender people were twice as likely to be unemployed (26%) as were other participants in this pre-recession survey. Since it doesn’t require a GED or ID, commercial sex work makes sense to many young African-American transwomen. Unless or until a client learns you are transgender. Then you’re at high risk of joining the NCAVP and Transgender Day of Remembrance murder victims lists.

Here, too, widespread social attitudes play a role. Many transwomen are killed during or right after sexual acts or sexual negotiations, by someone they’ve just met. The man may think, “If I had sex with a woman who turns out to have a penis or was born male, am I gay?” Some people’s homophobia is so strong that they apparently prefer to become a murderer rather than be thought of as gay. And so they “reclaim their manhood” by killing the person who “deceived” them.

Racism. Homophobia. Transphobia. Discrimination. Legal, financial and medical barriers to changing your name, ID, and/or your body to match who you are in the world. All of these contribute to the loss of vibrant people like Larkin, people who are valued and much-loved and who are active members of their communities.

At her funeral, dozens spoke of Chanel’s love, Chanel’s smile, Chanel’s humor, Chanel’s care. She was a leader in Sisters Helping Each Other Battle AIDS (SHEBA), a program of Diverse and Resilient, where she had been active for years. She took care of friends and community members. And now she is gone.

We need to work to make sure no more Chanels are lost to a fatal mix of prejudices. We need to root out homophobia and transphobia and racism wherever they exist so that people can be educated and employed in peace. We need to educate employers, protect schoolchildren, help people earn their GEDs and make it simpler for people to get ID that matches who they are.

Most of all, we need to care about people like Larkin as much as she cared about others.

Michael Munson is the executive director and Loree Cook-Daniels is the policy and program director for FORGE, a national transgender organization headquartered in Milwaukee.

Posted in Abuse, Hate Crimes, Murders, Racism, Social Justice. Comments Off on Transphobia and mean streets

Medical treatment carries possible side effect of limiting homosexuality

From The LA Times:  http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-adrenal-20100815,0,5576220.story

A prenatal pill for congenital adrenal hyperplasia to prevent ambiguous genitalia may reduce the chance that a female with the disorder will be gay. Critics call it engineering for sexual orientation.

By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times

August 15, 2010

Each year in the United States, perhaps a few dozen pregnant women learn they are carrying a fetus at risk for a rare disorder known as congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The condition causes an accumulation of male hormones and can, in females, lead to genitals so masculinized that it can be difficult at birth to determine the baby’s gender.

A hormonal treatment to prevent ambiguous genitalia can now be offered to women who may be carrying such infants. It’s not without health risks, but to its critics those are of small consequence compared with this notable side effect: The treatment might reduce the likelihood that a female with the condition will be homosexual. Further, it seems to increase the chances that she will have what are considered more feminine behavioral traits.

That such a treatment would ever be considered, even to prevent genital abnormalities, has outraged gay and lesbian groups, troubled some doctors and fueled bioethicists’ debate about the nature of human sexuality.

The treatment is a step toward “engineering in the womb for sexual orientation,” said Alice Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University and an outspoken opponent of the treatment.

The ability to chemically steer a child’s sexual orientation has become increasingly possible in recent years, with evidence building that homosexuality has biological roots and with advances in the treatment of babies in utero. Prenatal treatment for congenital adrenal hyperplasia is the first to test — unintentionally or not — that potential.

Continue reading at: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-adrenal-20100815,0,5576220.story

This CAH is a referred to as a rare disorder.  It seems as though the cure they are seeking is not for CAH but rather for lesbianism.  Never mind how this sounds like something cooked up by Dr. Mengele, why should lesbianism be something in need of a cure?

On digging deeper the little Mengeles doing this research seem very concerned about cranking out “feminine” girls who will grow up accepting their feminine lot in life.

This starts raising all sort of question regarding the ethic of the Mengeles proposing this.

Would they say support a medication that could prevent autism, a rather frequent birth disorder if it say had a side effect of causing a 100% likelihood of the infant being born gay or lesbian.

When living in a world where right wing religious fanatics wield so much power it is reasonable to not only question proposed treatments for the genocide of lesbians in utero but to ask if these same researchers might not have played a role in the spread of AIDS.

There I have said it…  Given voice to the paranoid conspiracy question my gay male friends and I first asked when the Dispensationalist/Dominionist Taliban Christians first came to power and nearly immediately gay men started dying left and right while the right wingers in power did next to nothing to deal with it.

Just Say No to Pre-Natal Genocide of LGBT/TQI People

Have transsexuals become easy targets?

From BBC News http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-10803570

10 August 2010 Last updated at 10:57 ET

Desert Religions Run Amok

Religion, all religion oppresses using ignorance and superstition to perpetuate cruelty upon cruelty.

Islamic extremists like those asserting Sharia Law and the Taliban are some of the worst of the worst.

I am going to quote from the following post on another blog:  http://momento24.com/en/2010/07/31/image-of-an-afghan-woman-shattered-the-world/

Trigger Warning!!! Do not click on this link if you are easily disturbed by photographs of Atrocities

Text from site:

The Time published in its cover a surprising and disturbing picture, a portrait of Aisha, a young Afghan woman of 18 years old, who was convicted by a Taliban commander to cut off her nose and ears for not following the rules of her community.

Aisha posed for the photo because she wants “the world to see the effect of the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan’s women, many of which resurfaced in recent years.”

The photograph is accompanied by a solid story by Baker Aryn about how “Afghan women have embraced the freedoms that have come from the defeat of the Taliban and how they fear a resurgence of them.”

The journalist from The Time said he “thought a lot about whether to put this picture on the cover of The Time. First, he wanted to make sure the safety of Aisha and to ensure that she understands why she would be at the cover. She knows that she may become a symbol of Afghan women who had had to pay for the Taliban’s repressive ideology.” It was also confirmed that she is being kept in a secret and protected place by armed guards and sponsored by the NGO Women for Women of Afghanistan. “

Continued at:  http://momento24.com/en/2010/07/31/image-of-an-afghan-woman-shattered-the-world/

By The Way…  It was St. Ronnie Reagan who armed the Taliban and helped them come to power.  Including initially supplying them with the Stinger missiles that are now shooting down our helicopters and killing our military personnel.

No gods, No masters

Posted in Hate Crimes, Human Rights, Islamo-Fascism, Poverty, Rape, Religion, Social Justice, Uncategorized. Comments Off on Desert Religions Run Amok