Name the Horror Movie

June 29, 2008

I yanked this pic off of Crooks and Liars – from an item about the McBushes McCains being too good to pay taxes.  Much more than the item itself, I think the pic says volumes – though nothing good.

Look past John ‘my Vietnam record matters but Kerry’s didn’t’ McBush McCain to Cindy McWhatever.

Is it wrong of me to be reminded of the old Doctor Who episodes about the Nestene Autons?


Another Exception That Proves the Rule

June 29, 2008

Every once in a while, Queer Channel Media actually has something that makes sense.  I feel an obligation to acknowledge such occurrences when they happen.

Most recently, Rebecca Armendariz mused about the recent re-introduction of the fraudulently-entitled ‘Marriage Protection Amendment’, which would put a gay marriage ban into the US Constitution.

Sens. Larry Craig and David Vitter have co-sponsored the re-introduced Marriage Protection Amendment….

[T]here’s nothing to really worry about as far as the outcome of this measure, which has been around since 2000. But really?

Really David Vitter? You are a known client of the late D.C. Madam. You slapped your wife, Wendy Baldwin Vitter, in the face by flushing your “sacred union” down the toilet.

And Larry Craig – is this your way of trying to prove to the country that you’re not gay? We’re not buying it.

When Queer Channel Media is right, its right.

It just doesn’t happen very often.


The Hearing

June 28, 2008

I haven’t written anything about ‘the hearing’ because I was on the road when it happened (not that I was contacted about testifying, of course; I guess those who know what’s best for us because they say they know what’s best for us don’t want someone testifying that trans people need protection from discrimination by those who know what’s best for us because they say they know what’s best for us even more than we need protection from discrimination by heterosexuals.)

Monica Roberts points out that there is apparently something else that those who know what’s best for us because they say they know what’s best for us had no interest in being visible at the hearing.

As usual, Monica’s dead on.


Its Marriage, Or Nuttin’

June 24, 2008

There’s a thread currently running over at Pam’s House Blend on the question of what Obama’s LGBT record “really” says.

My thought on the subject:

He co-sponsored a trans-inclusive civil rights bill in Illinois.

That’s enough for me.In 2008 – that should be enough for anyone.

And it should be.

I’m not saying that it is impossible that he could actually be lying about what he’ll actually do once he becomes president.

I am, however, saying that he’s the only major-party presidential nominee who has ever had a real pro-T record.

Of course, that’s not good enough for some.  In response to my post, QueerInSoCal quipped:

And yet

it isn’t. Not for me.

Something tells me that pro-gay marriage, but anti-T would be just fine ‘n dandeeeeee.

Clearly, if it ain’t marriage, it don’t count.  If there’s one mindset that will bless us with President McCain, that’s it. 


Bailey Brouhaha NWSA Panel Post-Mortem

June 21, 2008

Dateline: Cincinnati

Event: the 2008 National Women’s Studies Association Conference

At this moment: I’m a weeeeeeeeeeeeeee bit sleepy after a very eventful day here at the conference (and, for me, several days of researching prior to the conference.)  I crashed almost immediately afterward and now find myself awake at 3:15 AM (EDT).  To recap – here is why I find myself in WKRP-land (I’m still looking for the flying turkeys; do they only come out at Thanksgiving?) for the first time:

THE BAILEY BROUHAHA: COMMUNITY MEMBERS SPEAK OUT ON RESISTING TRANSPHOBIA AND SEXISM IN ACADEMIA AND BEYOND

The publication of J. Michael Bailey’s The Man Who Would be Queen provoked a fire storm of controversy upon its publication in 2003. The book, claiming to be based on “science,” outraged members of the transgender community, who quickly mobilized to expose the book and its transphobic content. The controversy was reignited in 2007 when Alice Dreger published a lengthy apologia in which she exonerated Bailey and castigated transwomen activists for attempting to “ruin” Bailey’s career. These papers examine the transphobic backlash caused by Bailey/Dreger and document the academic and activist projects of trans community members to speak truth to power.

Katrina C. Rose, University of Iowa 

Andrea Jean James, GenderMedia Foundation

 

Élise R. Hendrick, Cincinnati, OH 

Moderator: Joelle Ruby Ryan, Bowling Green State University  

A PDF of the paper I presented can be found here.  It is an update of the paper I first put together in the aftermath of Alice Dreger initially unleashing her indefensible defense of J. Michael Bailey

I’m guessing that Andrea James will have some thoughts of her own on how the panel went over at her website, so check there; she and Lynn Conway videotaped the panel – and I recorded the audio – for purposes of wide distribution so, in some form, it should be available on the Net relatively soon.  And, when the audio and/or video pops up, I’ll let what happened speak for itself.  Here, however, are a few random 3AM thoughts:

First: It was nice to meet folks like Andrea, Lynn, Joelle and Elise in person finally (also, Gordene MacKenzie was at the conference and, despite my having appeared on Gender Talk several times over the last decade, this was the first time I’d bumped into her in 3-D since the 1996 Texas T Party.)

Second: I was impressed at the amount of trans-specific and trans-related panels.  Of course, here are two panels that took place at the same time as our Bailey-Dreger panel:

RESISTING NORMATIVE AND EXCLUSIONARY HEGEMONIES IN THE LGBTQ MOVEMENT 

This roundtable explores the failure of some aspects of the LGBTQ movement to resist dominant hegemonies, which in some cases has resulted in the installation of queer hegemonies or homonormatives. Our speakers will address topics including welfare politics and the LGBT movement, the controversies surrounding the Human Rights Campaign’s exclusionary homonormativity, “sex positive” as form of resistance, LGBT politics and controversies in Cincinnati, the effect of the hetero/homonormative media on youth, a critique of heteronormativity in Jennifer Baumgardner’s Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics, and an exploration of the complexities of the marriage rights focus of the LGBT movement for anti-marriage individuals.

AND

STRATEGIES OF TRANSSEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER IDENTITY: A CROSS-DISCIPLINARY CONVERSATION 

This panel examines transgender and transsexual identity deployments in philosophical, literary, and legal contexts. Focusing on the intervention of trans-identities into hegemonic gender discourse conceals that these identities are strategically forged as a matter of life and survival. By examining presentations of identity in specific moments, this cross-disciplinary panel hopes to shift the focus from debating the subversiveness and political potential of identities to recognizing the strategic nature of identity in context.

 

Third: Dreger herself was in attendance (recall her efforts against our panel), setting forth her lame position earlier in the day Saturday as well as sitting in the audience at our panel.  She sat silent, but there was one rather curious trans-self-identified defender in the audience.  Once the audio and/or video is up, I’ll let what transpired speak for itself but, give that its getting close to 4 now, I’ll close by saying: You certainly don’t need to be a lawyer to talk intelligently about the Constitution and the law, but being able to utter the words “First Amendment” does not translate into having any clue about the actual scope of free-speech protections.


So What ‘Education’ Already Transpired?

June 19, 2008

From Bay Windows:

The House Committee on Education and Labor is tentatively scheduled to hold a hearing on employment discrimination against transgender people on June 26 — the first congressional hearing to focus primarily on transgender issues. The committee’s subcommittee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) will hear testimony on the issue.

Don’t start gettin’ yer hopes up.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), said the historic hearing will give Congress its first serious look at discrimination around gender identity and expression. She credited subcommittee chairman Rep. Robert Andrews (D-New Jersey) and Congressman Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) with pushing for the hearing.

“I think for years [Congress] thought about gender identity as sexual orientation’s little brother, and I think Congressman Andrews and Congressman Frank are right in wanting to focus more on transgender people,” said Keisling.

Mother Mara and St. Barney.

A winning combination the likes of McGovern and Shriver?

Well, the mix gets oilier.

Alison Herwitt, legislative director for HRC, said the hearing is designed to help educate Congress in the hopes of passing a fully inclusive ENDA bill next year.

The Scampaign?

Who’da thunk that the Scampaign would be in there trying to look like it gives a damn about whether trans people live or die?

“The hearing, while not on any piece of legislation, is part of the education process to move us forward,” said Herwitt.

Hmmmmm….

Why is it that whenever I see the word “education” in conjunction with the Scampaign and trans issues my stomach wants to crawl up out through my mouth, grab a pair of pinking shears and poke my eyes out?

Herwitt said a coalition of LGBT and civil rights organizations, including HRC, NCTE, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the ACLU and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, have been coordinating strategy for the hearing and have been meeting and talking regularly. She said HRC’s differences with those organizations over ENDA have not impeded that collaboration.

Gee Alison. howza ’bout apportioning percentages of usefulness among that lot?

And apportioning blame for the pain trans people suffer?

When asked to characterize the relationship between HRC and the other LGBT groups in preparing for the hearing Keisling responded, “I don’t think I would characterize it. I don’t think it’s particularly relevant to the hearing.”

That says volumes – not about the Scampaign (we already know what it really is), but about Mother Mara’s relevance…

to anything.

 


Be There or Be a…

June 18, 2008

Ah yes…

Remember this?

Four years later, the controversy over 2003’s The Man Who Would Be Queen by J. Michael Bailey, is still boiling over.  With an impressive CV and two documentary films to her credit, Joelle Ruby Ryan – a graduate student at Bowling Green University – recently became the first MTF-spectrum trans person to receive a prestigious Point Foundation Scholarship.  She inadvertently stumbled into the fray around Bailey’s book, when she posted a call for proposals on a women’s studies listserv.

Even before questions were raised about the Northwestern University psych professor’s research methods and alleged professional misconduct, The Man raised the ire of trans women by re-asserting Ray Blanchard’s theory that transsexual women are either “feminine homosexual males who want to be women” or they suffer from “autogynephilia: a sexual attraction to, and love of, the idea of oneself as a woman.”

Ryan (joellerubyryan.com), who identifies as a transgender woman and a genderqueer, pansexual trans-feminist, says Bailey’s taxonomies are “patently ridiculous. People don’t transition for sexual reasons – they transition because of their gender identity.” Furthermore, she argues, “His theories on male bisexuality (it does not exist), his endorsement of gay gene selection (eugenics) and his connection to Kenneth Zucker (who supports reparative therapy for gender-variant youth) [also] taint him as an enemy to [the LGBT] community.”

This summer the Bailey controversy resurfaced when intersex researcher/activist Alice Dreger (alicedreger.com) released a 62-page paper (to be published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior next year) defending Bailey and accusing several trans women of attempting to  “ruin” him. 

In that light, Ryan proposed a panel for 2008’s National Women Studies Association conference entitled “The Bailey Brouhaha: Community Members Speak Out on Resisting Transphobia and Sexism in Academia and Beyond.” “Trans people have repeatedly been silenced by powerful elites,” Ryan argues. “We’ve been endlessly researched and talked about by others. We’ve been objectified and gazed at like a butterfly pinned to a wall. [Now] we refuse to let others define us in ways that we know to be harmful, specious and destructive.”

After posting on an international women’s studies listserv, Ryan was surprised when Dreger responded, calling Ryan’s post “laden with factual errors and misrepresentations,” and, in reference to another post, noting, “I also appreciate your advising Joelle Ruby Ryan ‘that she was putting herself at risk…within a controversial field (trans issues) by tolerating tactics that breed fear and stifle academic freedom.’”

“I was floored to be so viciously attacked by,” Ryan says.  “Clearly, Dreger has used her considerable power as a tenured professor at a prestigious university, as a guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as her privilege as a middle-class, white, cisgendered woman to bear on someone with less cultural and institutional power than her.  Such actions are appalling and unethical and absolutely anathema to feminist principles.

Well, in the words of Lynn Conway: “In spite of Dreger’s best efforts to infringe on Joelle’s academic freedom, Joelle persisted and the panel will go on as planned.”

Why am I pointing all of this out?

Well, I was one of many (thousands?) who saw through Dreger’s assumption of the Dubya role to Bailey’s banal performance as Scooter Libby. 

Ryan extended an invitation to me to appear on that panel she was putting together and, despite the Dreger-Bailey pseudo-academic thuggery, the panel was accepted by the National Women’s Studies Association for its conference – which is this coming weekend in Cincinnati.  Some particulars:

The Bailey Brouhaha: Community Members Speak Out On Resisting Transphobia and Sexism in Academia And Beyond

 at

The National Women’s Studies Association Conference:

Cincinnati, Ohio

Saturday, June 21, 2008 : 3:45-5:00 PM

Millennium Hotel, North 200

A Ground-Breaking Panel Featuring:

 Joelle Ruby Ryan, American Culture Studies/Women’s Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio

 Katrina Rose, History Department, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa

 Andrea James, Deep Stealth Productions, Los Angeles, California

 Élise Hendrick, Independent Scholar, Cincinnati, Ohio

I encourage everyone to show up and hear for yourselves the caliber of woman that the Blanchard-Bailey-Dreger axis effectively claims does not exist.

You know…

Lil’ ol’ intelligent, non-gay-male, non-prostitute transsexual WOMEN such as myself.

Its gonna be good.  Dreger herself will be spewing her own nonsense earlier in the day.