An Explanation for the Disgustingly Lopsided Ratio of FTMs to MTFs Who Are Allowed to Earn a Living in the Gay Rights Industry

May 31, 2010

Of course, that’s not specifically what this item from Australia’s The Age is about – but its what anyone with any familiarity with the egregious history of discrimination against trans women by Gay, (St)Inc. (and who doesn’t have a status quo interest in Gay, (St)Inc., to protect), should come away from the item with.

MADELINE Heilman at New York University once conducted an experiment in which she told volunteers about a manager. Some were told, “Subordinates have often described Andrea as someone who is tough yet outgoing and personable. She is known to reward individual contributions and has worked hard to maximise employees’ creativity.”

Other volunteers were told, “Subordinates have often described James as someone who is tough yet outgoing and personable. He is known to reward individual contributions and has worked hard to maximise employees’ creativity.”

The only difference between what the groups were told was that some people thought they were hearing about a leader named Andrea while others thought they were hearing about a leader named James. Heilman asked her volunteers to estimate how likeable Andrea and James were as people. Three-quarters thought James was more likeable than Andrea.

Using a clever experimental design, Heilman also determined that four in five volunteers preferred to have James as their boss. Andrea seemed less likeable merely because she was a woman who happened to be a leader.

The existence of unconscious sexism can be scientifically proved in laboratory experiments. We know that unconscious sexism caused the laboratory volunteers in Heilman’s experiment to find Andrea the manager less likeable than James the manager, because two groups of volunteers, divided at random, reached different conclusions about the likeability of the managers. Since the only thing that varied between the groups was whether they were told the manager was named Andrea or James, we can confidently say the outcome was produced by that single difference.

Bias is much harder to demonstrate scientifically in real life, which may be why large numbers of people do not believe that sexism and other forms of prejudice still exist. Many people think we live in a “post-racial” and “post-sexist” world where egalitarian notions are the norm. Indeed, if you go by what people report, we do live in a bias-free world, because most people report feeling no prejudice whatsoever.

What would be remarkably instructive in real life would be if women in various professions could experience life as men, and vice versa. If the same person got treated differently, we would be sure sexism was at work, because the only thing that changed was the sex of the individual and not his or her skills, talent, knowledge, experience, or interests.

Enter Joan Roughgarden and Ben Barres.

Both are researchers at one of the premier academic institutions in the country; both are tenured professors. Both are transgendered people.

During the first year of Barbara’s residency, when she was an intern, she found herself clashing with the chief resident. “When you have to learn to do a spinal tap or do a line, at some point only one person can do the procedure. What I noticed is that every time a male resident would do the picking, he would pick a guy to do the procedure. I had to often say, ‘He did it last time. It is my turn this time.’ ”

But things changed in large and subtle ways after Barbara became Ben.

Ben once gave a presentation at the prestigious Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A friend relayed a comment made by someone in the audience who didn’t know Ben Barres and Barbara Barres were the same person: “Ben Barres gave a great seminar today, but, then, his work is much better than his sister’s.”

At the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, an outpost of the university about 150 kilometres from campus, Roughgarden ruffled feathers in the scientific establishment by arguing that a prominent theory that described the life cycle of marine animals was wrong. Where previous research had suggested that tide pools were involved in the transportation of certain larvae, Roughgarden reframed the issue and showed that the larger ocean played a significant role. The new theory got harsh reviews, but Roughgarden’s ideas were taken seriously. In short order, Roughgarden became a tenured professor, and a widely respected scientist and author.

Like Ben Barres, Roughgarden made her transition to Joan relatively late in life. Stanford proved tolerant, but very soon Joan started to feel that people were taking her ideas less seriously.

[I]n contrast to the response to her earlier theory about tide pools and marine animals, few scientists engaged with her [about a theory she developed after transitioning.] At a workshop at Loyola University, a scientist “lost it” and started screaming at her for being irresponsible. “I had never had experiences of anyone trying to coerce me in this physically intimidating way,” she said, as she compared the reactions to her work before and after she became a woman. “You really think this guy is really going to come over and hit you.”At a meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Minneapolis, Joan said, a prominent expert jumped up on the stage after her talk and started shouting at her. Once every month or two, she said, ”I will have some man shout at me, try to physically coerce me into stopping …When I was doing the marine ecology work, they did not try to physically intimidate me and say, ‘You have not read all the literature.’

“They would not assume they were smarter. The current crop of objectors assumes they are smarter.”

Joan is willing to acknowledge her theory might be wrong; that, after all, is the nature of science. But what she wants is to be proven wrong, rather than dismissed.

You want to really have some fun Joan?  Get a law degree and get licensed to practice law – and then try to get a substantively relevant (read: non-‘Associate Director of Diversity‘) job with a gay rights organization.  You’ll be able to re-calibrate the definition of “dismissed.”

What will be interesting to find out is whether Shankar Vedantam, the author of The Hidden Brain (from which the Age item is extracted), referenced Julia Serano’s Whipping Girl in his book.


Rationalization on the Hoof

May 29, 2010

From a comment at the aforementioned Bilerico post:

The incrementalism in ENDA in 2007 was fundamentally different from what we’re seeing right now:

1. There was no chance ENDA would be passed back then, but this deal seems like it’ll get through

2. The DADT bill doesn’t cut any classes of people out – it just delays/jeopardizes/waters down the end result

3. Is there anyone who’s actually come out against the DADT deal, instead of just saying that it’s bad? Most of what I’ve read has been in the “it’s not enough” category, not much “this is so bad I’m lobbying for it not to pass”

Anyway, yeah, but they’re getting what they asked for. Nothing better’s going to pass at the moment, and they’re looking for a victory. It seems like CAP was in the right place at the right time with the right increment.

Recall that the same person, presumably a non-Stachelbergist, earlier wrote:

I support a fully inclusive ENDA only (compromise and incrementalism are OK in terms of rights and provisions and language, but not entire classes of people)

A nice sentiment.

But lets parse the current one, eh?

The incrementalism in ENDA in 2007 was fundamentally different from what we’re seeing right now:

Uh…

No.

Different, strictly speaking?  Yes.  Fundamentally?  No.

1. There was no chance ENDA would be passed back then, but this deal seems like it’ll get through

Two things:

(1) The full Senate.

(2) To mean anything, ‘getting through’ has to include the administrative morass that the ‘repeal’ faces even after Obama’s signature.

Fail 1.

2. The DADT bill doesn’t cut any classes of people out – it just delays/jeopardizes/waters down the end result

Really?  So if this bill actually passes and actually yields the Pentagon Prance that will actually erase DADT, then transsexuals will actually be able to serve openly in the military – as they can in the British military?

I didn’t think so.

And beyond that, it leaves out the biggest class of all: All LGBTs who either don’t want or can’t, for myriad non-DADT reasons, have a career in the military.

Fail 2.

3. Is there anyone who’s actually come out against the DADT deal, instead of just saying that it’s bad? Most of what I’ve read has been in the “it’s not enough” category, not much “this is so bad I’m lobbying for it not to pass”

Who’s being spoken of here?  Congresscritters?  If so, then maybe.  If actual people are, then its ‘Fail 3’, as most of what I’m seeing is in the ‘Its a mirage’ category.

Of course, that’s essentially the analysis of the ENDA-that-we’re-actually-allowed-to-see (and where is that mark-up language, again?) that got me labeled ‘idiot’ by Gay, Inc.’s Chosen Fraudmistress-in-Chief.

Memo to the masses: Purple-n-yellow nose candy can never be stepped on enough to cut it down to non-toxic status.  You snort it even once, your brain is useless thereafter.

 

I rest my case. 

If you’ve ever accepted any ‘goodies’ from her, then, however much you may think that you’re sane, you’re not.


Stachelbergism: As Sick and Empty as Ever

May 28, 2010

Gee – if only a segment of the LGBT community had stood up and warned everyone else about what sort of diseased chicanery that Winnie Stachelberg is capable of.

Oh wait…

I think it was the T.

More specifically, it was that portion of the T that actually wants to see substantive progress.

I know, the term “substantive progress” should be a redundancy.  But, the term “Human Rights Campaign” shouldn’t be a self-contained lie.

From Bilerico:

John Aravosis of Americablog yesterday called out the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP).

As he notes, CAP has been on a rather public campaign to take credit for the entire Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell compromise that has much of the gay community in an uproar.

That compromise puts the power to nullify DADT into the hands of military leaders and the president six months or a year from now. It appears to be wildly unpopular in the gay community at large.

The Gay City News reported that the compromise had been drafted by CAP and circulated among legislators starting roughly two months ago, quoting Winnie Stachelberg.

Winnie Stachelberg, a former HRC employee and senior official at CAP, was instrumental in the “incrementalist” strategy that left transgender people out of ENDA for years, and stripped them out in 2007 once they managed to get in.

I note that Mr. Aravosis himself was fully in favor of incrementalism when it came to transgender people and ENDA in 2007.

So now we find out that Ms. Stachelberg, the ENDA incrementalist, left HRC, went to CAP, where she promptly applied her incrementalist strategies to DADT repeal.

The incrementalism shoe is on the other foot.

You remember Winnie the Shoe, don’t you?  I do now – because I did then.

Another transphobic hack with a history of ties to HRC comes out in favor of ‘incremental progress’.

This time, its Winnie Stachelberg – and, sadly, the Center for American Progress is giving her the space to shill for…well, you know:

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, H.R. 3685, introduced by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or fail to promote employees simply based on sexual orientation. Protections for the LGBT community exist in a patchwork of states due to the hard work of the LGBT community, but there are surprisingly no federal prohibitions on discriminating against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Surprisingly?

Yes, its a shame – but a surprise?

Well, its also no surprise that someone who spent a good bit of time shilling directly for HRC would continue to party like its 1999. You can take the hack out of HRC, but you can’t take the HRC out of the hack it would seem.

[T]he transgender community isn’t the only group that will likely be left out of this narrower version of the legislation, including employees of small businesses, employees of religious institutions, and gay and lesbian individuals in the armed forces. But this bill was built on compromise; it was never intended to be the whole package, and should therefore be seen as a first step.

Uhhhhhhhhhh……no.

The first step was, depending on your chronological scope, either (a) all of the transphobic, gay-only ENDAs from 1975-2006, or (b) 2007 HR 2015.

2015?

You have heard of that, Winnie?

The trans-inclusive ENDA?

[I]t is wrong to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But right now the votes to pass an inclusive bill are just not there.

2015?

The trans-inclusive ENDA, which, if there actually were not the votes for it, should not have been introduced in the first place?

But, it was introduced, no?

I believe we can and should make progress—one step, and one inch, at a time.

But, of course, she gets all 2.54 centimeters.

We get to continue competing for employment in situations in which someone like her can get to decide whether a trans person is actually the best candidate for the job.

What do you trust more? Her well-funded sincerity? Or trans activists’ hungry analysis of how ‘incremental progress’ is a lie?

Those of us who live in reality have always known that, ultimately, Aravosisism is as empty as NCTE’s concern for the lives of trans women not named Keisling.  And some of us have been pointing out for years what those who could would never admit: that ‘incremental progress’ was even more of a lie than the Republicans’ mid-1990s  ‘principled’ drive for term limits.  After all, there were at least one or two Republican elected officials who voluntarily limited themselves to 12 years in Congress because they genuinely desired to limit themselves to the constructs of mid-1990s ‘term limits’ theory (even though we all knew then, and some Republicans have since admitted, that there was no ‘principle’ behind term limits; it was just a scam to force popular Democrats out of office.)  But there never really seemed as though there would be the opportunity to show, via controlled experiment, precisely to what degree ENDA-related ‘incremental progress’ was a lie and to what degree those who were pushing its virtures were liars – or worse.

To answer the question posed by Bruce Springsteen thirty years ago: A dream isn’t necessarily a lie if it doesn’t come true, but someone who continues to tell you that its going to come true even after she knows that its not is…

well, you know….

Strangely, if the reports of Winnie the Shoe’s involvement in the emptiness of the DADT ‘compromise’ are true, at least she’s maintaining some consistency – even while simply having shifted from one fraud to another. 

Aravosis, however….

Now, as for those actually defending the ‘compromise’….

You say you really believe that DADT – the policy itself, not the 1993 Congressional act which the ‘compromise’ targets – is going to go away?  Put your money (yours, not a pile from some HRC slush fund) where your mouth is.  There’ s bound to be a Las Vegas betting line on it.


The Eternal Tenderization of Desperate Minds

May 28, 2010

Yes, you’re being tenderized.

How?

Crooks and Liars on the DADT ‘repeal’ bill:

The compromise is imperfect in some ways, but it IS action, and it DOES repeal a policy that should have never been put into effect at all, and moves our country toward being more human, more compassionate, and more equal.

Note the de facto cadence: Its imperfect, but it is still action.

…which is equal to…

Something is better than nothing.

…which is equal to…

Progress is always incremental….

DOH!

First off, even Crooks and Liars has been tenderized as to the substantive effect of the bill under consideration.  The bill won’t repeal the policy.  It simply un-hardwires the policy, removing it from the statute books and putting decisionmaking authority on the issue into the hands of the Pentagon.

But that’s how brain tenderization works (have we forgotten what sort of civil liberty-shredding that Americans were tenderized into being willing to accept by, say, noon on Sept. 12, 2001?).

Again – remember the cadence: Its imperfect, but it is still action.

…which is equal to…

Something is better than nothing.

…which is equal to…

Progress is always incremental….

And now remember ENDA.

The LGBT masses have already been tenderized into believing that the DADT ‘repeal’ bill actually is substantive change. 

Yes, if it does pass it will open the door for such change; but, by itself, it is not change.  A key is necessary to get into your house; but, by itself, the key is not shelter from the elements (don’t believe that?  try using a key – and nothing more  – to stay dry when next it rains.)

Assuming (and, yes, its a deluded assumption at this point) that the tenderized gay masses still have ENDA in their collective vocabulary, imagine what they’ll now be willing to accept as being…

what was the wording?

Ahh…

Imperfect, but still action.

…which is equal to…

Something that’s better than nothing.

…which is equal to…

Incremental progress.

And we all know what that means.

You all were afraid that we were headed back to 2007?

Ha!!!!!!!!!!

We’re on our way back to 1997!


Also While I Was Out…

May 27, 2010

A history lesson from Gwen Smith in the Bay Area Reporter:

In 1994, when I was a freshly out transgender woman still laying the groundwork for living full time in my preferred gender, I heard of a bill that was heading to the 103rd Congress. That bill was the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 1994. It never made it out of committee. That year, as the battle over ENDA started in earnest, I found myself in Houston, Texas on a hot, sweaty summer’s day, attending the Transgender Law Conference.

In one particularly contentious panel, a representative from an organization then known as the Human Rights Campaign Fund tried to quell rising anger about the lack of transgender protections in ENDA. Those assembled were told not to worry, that this was all a first step, and HRCF would not leave us behind. We were informed that Congress was simply not ready to deal with transgender issues, and the bill would not be able to muster enough votes if transgender rights were included. Indeed, this HRCF wonk suggested that if this non-inclusive ENDA was passed, they would come right behind to start work on an ENDA that would specifically protect transgender people – oh, and can they have a donation?

Funny how a ‘Fund’-ectomy changes so little, eh?

Oh…

And speaking of changing so little over the course of a decade and a half…

[Barney] Frank hasn’t been a fan of gender identity language in ENDA, often citing concerns about pre-operative transgender women in public restroom facilities. To quote Frank asking if he would include transgender people in ENDA back in 2000 – by way of transgender activist Miranda Stevens-Miller – “He got red in the face and started shouting, ‘Never.’ His problem was that until we could answer the question of ‘people with penises in [women’s] showers,’ there is no way that he would support it. The conversation got rather heated to say the least. And with Barney speaking very loudly and repeatedly about ‘penises in showers,’ we attracted a lot of attention in the restaurant.”Other activists, including Katrina C. Rose, have pointed all the way back to 1975, when Frank was still in local Boston politics fighting against transgender people in some of the area nightclubs. That was largely about prostitution, supposedly, not shared bathroom facilities.

Wow!

I do exist!

And, so does the analysis of even the ENDA language that us non-Chosen Ones have been allowed to see:

[Diego] Sanchez has let the community know that ENDA would not mean transgender people could not use the restroom at work, and that employers would need to make “reasonable accommodations for transgender/transitioning employees.” Further, employers could not force people to use the “wrong” bathroom, but that people in transition would not have the right to sue over the use of the “right” bathroom when it is occupied.

I’m not going to ascribe the next step of my analysis to Gwen, but I am going to repeat what led a certain Chosen One to decry this reality-based one as an ‘idiot’: Extermination.

Does that word include activities for which Zyklon-B is necessary?  Of course.  I, however, include economic extermination under the general umbrella of extermination.

What’s a key step toward the Zyklon-B-style extermination?  Being ‘othered.’  Then and there, the other-ing involved, among other things, the Enabling Act and sewn-on stars of David.

But don’t for one second believe that that is the only way than one can be ‘othered’.

What is a different form of othering?  Ensuring that never, under any circumstances, will trans people be fully transitioned in the eyes of federal employment discrimination law. 

If you begin transition on a job, that transition will never actually be complete – unless your employer degins it to be so.  If you’ve already transitioned and are outed – be it by some jerk who might have known you pre-transition or by a Social Security ‘no-match’ letter – then the built-in employer superiority (someone gets to define ‘reasonable’, and it won’t be you) kicks in and you will be officially regarded as in transition no matter how long ago you actually completed transition.

  • Nothing in this Act shall be construed to establish an unlawful employment practice based on actual or perceived gender identity due to the denial of access to shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen unclothed is unavoidable, provided that the employer provides reasonable access to adequate facilities that are not inconsistent with the employee’s gender identity as established with the employer at the time of employment or upon notification to the employer that the employee has undergone or is undergoing gender transition, whichever is later.
  • Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the construction of new or additional facilities.

Certain Chosen Ones are trotting around the country and flapping their overly-funded, never-voted-upon-by-those-who-they-claim-to-represent gums – reinforcing the illegitimate foundations of their fake legitimacyby attempting to tear down those who have refused to join the cult of the Chosen Ones.

They can trot, but they can’t hide from the reality of what they’re pushing.

Those two bullet-points are direct quotes from the current incarnation of ENDA – the HR 3017 that we excluded Non-Chosen ones are allowed to see.

And, as I’ve pointed out before (and pointing such out is apparently a capital offense to the B.O.s), that current incarnation is the ceiling, not the floor; its only going to get worse.

Would even M.T. – the wife whose womanhood was validated as clearly as it could be validated in the 1976 New Jersey case M.T. v. J.T. – be free from being ‘othered’ under even this as-good-as-its-gonna-get-but-rest-assured-that-its-actually-gonna-be-much-worse-if-it-ever-passes ENDA?

Those of us who live in reality – and whose brains haven’t been so thoroughly permeated with B.O. B.S. that we’ve lost the ability to read and comprehend plain (well, as close to it as Congress is going to get) English – know what the answer is.

And so do The Chosen Ones.

But they have a narrative to push and a constituency to placate.

And if you’re trans, neither you nor your life is actually a part of either – because if you were, The Chosen Ones wouldn’t be idiot-ing those who are pointing out that nothing has really changed over the last decade.

In 2000, Miranda Stevens-Miller wrote:

I found Barney [Frank] without a group of people around him, so I once again engaged him in conversation. “So,” I said, “does your support of transgender inclusion in the VAWA mean that you might be changing your mind about inclusion of gender-variant people in ENDA?” An innocent enough question, but you would have thought that I was threatening him with a loaded weapon. He got red in the face and started shouting, “Never.” His problem was that until we could answer the question of “people with penises in [women’s] showers,” there is no way that he would support it. The conversation got rather heated to say the least. And with Barney speaking very loudly and repeatedly about “penises in showers,” we attracted a lot of attention in the restaurant.There was no way to win this argument. In fact, it was déjà vu, recalling a similar conversation we had almost two years ago when Barney was in town for a meeting of the Stonewall Democrats. At that time, it was “men in women’s bathrooms.” I pointed out to him that while he was discussing urinary rights, I was talking about human rights and employment discrimination. His only come-back was, “What’s the matter? You too good to talk about bathrooms?”

This time I was using the argument that the shower issue is really an employee’s privacy matter that needed to be dealt with by the employer. Again I contrasted the right to privacy, with the right to hold a job and make a living without fear of discrimination. His only comeback this time was that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and that I should stop with all my rhetoric.

His adolescent preoccupation with genitals is one of the major stumbling blocks in getting federal legislation introduced to protect the gender variant people of America. With his fantasy of penises in showers, he is almost single-handedly holding back the tide of the national gender rights movement.

It was around this time that I suggested that since, clearly, St. Barney’s problem was with penises in women’s showers, then he and his highly-paid brethren should simply write ENDA so as so explicitly include post-ops under all circumstances and explicltly make genitals irrelevant in any situation where neither showers nor bathrooms would be involved.

Its now 2010 and that is what The Chosen Ones are, for all practical purposes, telling us that we have – even while insisting that the notion that there will be genital police is idiocy.

Why would you trust a bill that goes to so much trouble to ensure that you have no right to sue about the one issue that is most likely to interfere with your career if you’re a trans woman?

And why would you trust those who – from the safety of their own permanent employment in the gay rights industry – insist that there’s nothing to worry about even though it is clear that the bill is going to change and not possibly in trans people’s favor?

And, even if you were heretofore inclined to side with The Chosen Ones’ de facto claims that their critics’ ability to read amounts to paranoia, considering what has come to pass regarding the ‘compromise’ on DADT – fake legislation which, even if it passes, will not actually result in any change at all, much less any real change(all change being subject to nebulous policy determinations that will not happen until after the next election), but will allow the permanently-employed B.O. activist class to claim ‘success’ at the next black-tie fundraising dinner, and the dinner after that, and the dinner after that…. – why are you no longer willing to believe that a similarly-fake, non-substantive-at-best-elmininationist-at-worst final ENDA solution is what The Chosen Ones are willing to sign off on (or, as plenty of us suspect and have no real reason not to suspect, have already signed off on)?


This is Shocking…Why?

May 27, 2010

Slacktivist analyzes what’s going on with that paradox of political chicanery (claiming to be an ‘outsider’ while actually being yet another beneficiary of inherited political wealth), Rand Paul:

As William Faulkner wrote, “The past isn’t dead. It’s not even past.”

In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen a host of stories scrutinizing Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan due to her association with the late Justice Thurgood Marshall. Marshall was, Kagan’s critics say, an “activist judge” and a “liberal.”

Those critics are Republicans. Republicans, as everyone knows, are opposed in principle to “judicial activism.”

But what exactly do they mean by that? What they object to, specifically, is Marshall’s contention that the federal government has both the authority and the responsibility to ensure that the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution are enforced. That belief, Marshall’s Republican critics say, leads to an intrusive, too-powerful federal government that threatens states’ rights and private property rights.

The instructive spectacle of tea-party libertarian-ish Senate candidate Rand Paul arguing against anti-discrimination legislation provided another explicit case of this same conflict. Property rights, Paul insists, must outweigh intrusive, activist federal legislation against discrimination. And like his tea-party supporters, Rand Paul insists that his position is “constitutional” — that the Congress does not have power to enforce such laws.

The final sentence in the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments is this: “The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” But that doesn’t alter Paul’s stance because he doesn’t regard those amendments as wholly legitimate and he doesn’t regard most any legislation as appropriate.

The only difference between Little Lord Rand and the psycho-right  is that he’s in really, really plain sight.  There has always been an element in this nation that believes the Fourteenth Amendment does not actually exist.

And the scary reality is that that element actually encompasses most Republican elected officials.  However, they have learned to play the game of never actually ‘going there’ in public, even while setting the stage for ‘equal protection of the laws’ to be erased from our nation’s organic law (if Robert Bork was on the Supreme Court right now instead of Anthony Kennedy, the Fourteenth Amendment would already be dead; in your hearts, you all know that neither Scalia nor Thomas nor Roberts nor Alito believe that any human being has any rights, much less the right to ‘equal protection’.)

Here are some of the anti-14th-er screeds that one can find:

Now, I’ll only quote from the first of those (and the last dates back to the 1950s – though, remember, that’s the world in which Rand Paul’s brain lives, a world in which only ‘the market’ was necessary to sort out the problems created by American apartheid; the fact that ‘the market’ had not only not done so in the century following the Civil War but, in reality, had made things regressively worse, is immaterial because the only thing that matters to people like Rand Paul is the purity of the market’s theoretical essence and not the reality of real people’s lives):

THE 14th AMENDMENT IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL 

The purported 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution is and should be held to be ineffective, invalid, null, void and unconstitutional for the following reasons:

1. The Joint Resolution proposing said amendment was not submitted to or adopted by a Constitutional Congress per Article I, Section 3, and Article V of the U. S. Constitution.

2. The Joint Resolution was not submitted to the President for his approval as required by Article I, Section 7 of the U. S. Constitution.

3. The proposed 14th Amendment was rejected by more than one-fourth of all the States then in the Union, and it was never ratified by three-fourths of all the States in the Union as required by Article V of the U. S. Constitution.

Even some not-so-nutty people have wondered about how the status of the vanquished terrorist states of the south should be factored in, but I’ll just look at the presentment argument. 

Sorry, but it loses.

That applies to laws, not proposed amendments – which are covered in Article V:

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress….

But five is a key number for another reason too.

All that the property-rights-trump-human-rights crowd needs is five full-blooded fascists on the Supreme Court to completely erase the Fourteenth Amendment.

Right now, they have four.


Anything to Erase the T

May 26, 2010

From that paragon of trans authoritativeness, Andrew Sullivan:

Autumn Sandeen notes that Tiwonge Chimbalanga, who was given a 14 year sentence last week under Malawi’s anti-homosexuality law, identifies as a woman. Sandeen believes that “we can safely say that from past coverage by the LGBT press and LGBT blogosphere that this story would not have gained as much traction in LGBT media if this were considered a transgender or intersex story”. But Jim Burroway isn’t sure that either the gay or transgender label fits:

It turns out that in many traditional cultures, it may be more acceptable for women to take on what westerners perceive as “masculine” traits, and for men to take on what westerners would label more “feminine” traits. Which means that many of the external peripheral markers that we use to understand the contours of our masculinity or femininity become less important in many traditional cultures. But in these non-western cultures, gender roles — what men and women do as opposed to who they are — are considered much more important in defining what is a man and what is a woman. Against that realty, our understanding of gay/straight/transgender/whatever has only a passing relevance.

Sounds like a bunch of warmed-over ‘Gay American History’ from Jonathan Katz.  From one of the sources  Autumn cites in her post:

“Advocating for Transgender people’s rights in most African countries is problematic for us” says Robert Hamblin advocacy manager for SA Transgender organization Gender DynamiX. “Gender variant identities are not acknowledged and just about any sexual minority is called gay or homosexual. This is because a person is assigned a gender based on their genitals, despite how they self identify.”

“Gender variant identities are not acknowledged….”

Hell, Forget Africa.

That sounds like plenty of gay organizations – and self-professed scholars – here.

Moreover, if I understand the story as it has developed, Tiwonge Chimbalanga  is intersexed – which of course, where Thomas/Thomasine Hall was concerned, meant ‘perfectly formed male’ for Katz but also does not preclude IDing as trans (or gay) as well. 

Still, its the standard m.o.: Never pass up the opportunity to erase the T.