Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The inherent unfairness in context-blind "fairness"

I was thinking about all the privileged groups that complain about the "special privileges" that marginalized groups get. Whether it's affirmative action, or trans people getting our own groups, or programs that focus on certain marginalized groups, or tax rates that increase a lot more for the rich... you always hear how UNFAIR it is... how this proves that society has bias for those groups and that white people, men, cis people, abled people, rich people etc are all oppressed...

A very popular sports analogy I've heard about feminism (and can be extrapolated to other marginalized groups) goes something like this:


for the first quarter, one side had to play with both hands tied behind their back and obviously the score got really lopsided... afterwards, they protest and the other side agrees that it's kind of unfair and lets them play with 1 hand free... the score is less lopsided but still really bad, especially combined with the first quarter... after the half, the other side agrees to allow them to play with both hands... after 3 quarters, the score is still really ridiculous... with resetting the score impossible, the losing side asks that they be given extra points to balance the previous quarters... the winning side says that they've been playing with both hands... how can it be unfair?

We all see what this is saying right? (I mean even if you disagree) That one side has been historically wronged, and those wrongs carry on because society doesn't reset just because the rules get changed. Even if for one quarter things are "equal", they hardly are equal in terms of the practical way they affect the people affected by these systems (and I only changed the metaphor to allow for one quarter where they're equal just to address the fallacy that even if we ARE equal (which we're not) it doesn't matter... usually the metaphor has us unequal going into the fourth quarter)

I'd like to change the analogy a bit to illustrate the issues with the complaints people (fundies, social conservatives, TERFs, MRAs, etc etc) have with things created to address societal inequities:

In the first quarter one team had to play with 3 players... in the 2nd quarter they had 4 players... in the 3rd, finally 5... they ask for a score change, and the winning team says "HEY THEY GOT TWO MORE PLAYERS AS THE GAME WENT ON!!! BIAS!!! WHY DO YOU CARE ABOUT THE OTHER TEAM SO MUCH!!??? WE WANT TWO MORE PLAYERS TOO!"

That, in essence, is why the complaints of "SPECIAL TREATMENT" fall flat. It isn't special treatment... it's merely moving towards fairness in a game that's been historically unfair, and has to be addressed MID GAME. In a vacuum, getting extra players is unfair, but in terms of the fact that you started with fewer players, it's not, and the game wasn't played in a vacuum, and neither is oppression.

And life isn't even a game, life is REAL, and life affects REAL PEOPLE, and so this is more important than just some numbers on a scoreboard, this is about REAL PEOPLE'S LIVES and it's all the more important we deal with historical and societal wrongs (and they're related... just as a game's score doesn't reset in between quarters, neither does society just because a generation has passed on.)

Like a team that's been on top and been trained/taught that they're on top, privileged groups don't even notice when the playing field is unfair because THAT'S THE WAY IT'S ALWAYS BEEN. Games are just always played 5-3, what's the big deal? So when that status quo is changed, it seems unfair. They don't see it as adding 2 players to make it 5 on 5, they just see it as adding 2 more players, much like opposition to affirmative action, or higher tax rates, always just point to it in vacuum: "but there's no quota for white people!" "but we get taxed at a higher percentage than poor people!" because to them oppression is the status quo. That's not really their fault, that's how society was taught to them to be, and to many people, that's just how society is. Even to marginalized groups, we're raised that that's just how things are too, it's just easier to finally see it when you're the one who is being negatively affected.

Marginalized groups don't want a rigged game, we just want a chance for our pick and rolls, 3 pointers and zone defenses to make or break us the same as the privileged groups too. The lie is that we don't want to lose, the truth is we just want a fair chance to lose.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A great response from Darksidecat to yet another privilege-denying white person

http://thedarksidecat.blogspot.ca/2012/04/how-not-to-fight-racism-response.html

This is a really great response from my friend Darksidecat to this ridiculous post. Basically, that article is just the usual "there's no such thing as white privilege!" BS, and uses a lot of the tired arguments against privilege in general ("only a few people really have power or wealth!" "where's my privilege? I'm not rich!" "what about poor white/cis/straight/male/queer/abled/etc people?") but it's especially annoying in the context of the Travyon Martin case. >:\

With zir permission I'm reproducing it here, but you should go to zir blog to comment, praise, or etc... also you should be following zir blog in general cuz zie is very smart and a good friend. :)

I especially love the ending, it's kick ass.

This is a response to this article http://socialistworker.org/blog/critical-reading/2012/04/05/how-not-fight-racism

Co-option, flagrant privilege, and denials of oppressive systems are not shows of solidarity. Solidarity is something that must be done with conscious listening to the needs and wants of the group at issue, and acting only in accordance with those. Suggesting that you are Trayvon as a white person is totally and absolutely missing the entire point. It isn’t solidarity, it’s reinforcing the problem. If you are white, Trayvon was not killed for the ways he may be like you or the white kids in your family, he was killed for the ways in which he is different. If you need to whiten him and deny that he was a black child, the very reason he was killed, in order to try to “empathize” or “sympathize” with him, then you are supporting the social systems which have led to his death and the deaths of uncounted other young black people and reinforcing the notion that the more black a person is, the less human they are.

Showing that you oppose the system that killed Trayvon Martin and Troy Davis absolutely requires showing that you have some fucking inkling of the fact that they were killed because they are not white like you. If that child and that man were white like you, they would not have been killed. So the fact that you give no pause to announcing that you are them is extremely indicative that you are not acting in solidarity, you are acting because you want to be seen as a ‘good white person’ not because you actually want to end racism.

“Isn’t it possible, even likely, that people protesting racism wearing these t-shirts actually oppose racism and don’t seek to justify it? If not, then everything we do is called into question as possibly its opposite; nothing we do matters, nothing we say or argue has any validity, but must be suspect as meaning its complete opposite.”

Except that is patently not the argument put forth in the video. If you cannot think of a single thing to do to oppose racism other than a clueless co-opting t-shirt, you really are not actively working to end racism. You are engaging in a strawman argument here, nowhere did the person in the video or almost anyone else ever present the argument you are attributing to her. Her argument was that this specific act, wearing an “I am Trayvon” t-shirt as a white person, reinforces the very racist systems and patterns of thought that lead to the murder in the first place. Suggesting that if a person says one type of ineffective or oppressive ‘activism’ is invalid then they believe any activism at all is invalid is a patently absurd argument.

“Racism, according to this thinking, is not the result of a ruling class’s need to structure oppression in order to gain profits and spread crappy ideas that divide the working class majority from itself.”

This is an extremely over-simplistic analysis of the way class systems work. Racism is a system designed to support the exploitation of black labor and black bodies (as well as the labor and bodies of other people of color) and to justify brutalities against them. It is not simply some post-hoc attempt to divide the working class, though systematically it is effective in doing so. Divisiveness is one of the means of perpetuation of the system, it is not the root goal. Oppressive social systems interact with each other in people in complex ways, your analysis erases the ways in which people face multiple forms of marginalization and oppression. There exists decades of scholarship on these matters from marginalized women around sexist oppression, bell hooks, Kimberle Krenshaw…do a bit of reading critical feminist race theory and black feminism.

“Third, according to her “white privilege” argument, there are no distinctions between whites in positions of power and the majority without.”

This is not what white privilege means, and there are libraries of scholarship on that matter. Are you being deliberately clueless, or are you just this grossly ignorant of critical race theory and black scholarship around racism?

“She refers to “the system,” but has no class outlook in which to analyze how the system works and in whose interests. Because if all white people benefit— which includes the majority of people on food stamps, on unemployment and living in poverty in the United States — then these benefits are rather illusory, aren’t they?”


This is flat out false. As a blond haired, blue eyed person who grew up in poverty and has done anti-racist education with poor white people, it is hard to even begin to say how wrong this statement is. Poor white people benefit materially from white privilege. Granted, not in the exact same ways as rich white people (again, see intersectionality). Poor white people find employment easier than their black low income peers. This is true even when the white person has a criminal record and the black person does not. Employment discrimination against black people is rampant at low wage levels as well, which feeds the extremely high unemployment rates in black communities. Poor white people find housing easier than their poor black peers, because housing discrimination against black people is rampant at all income levels. Poor black students are beaten and punished within the education system more than poor white students. Poor black people are murdered by the police more than poor white people. Poor black communities are over-policed and subject to police search polices more than poor white communities. Poor white students get MORE need based scholarships than poor black students, both by numbers and percentages. In every area of life, poor black people face additional discrimination on top of what poor white people face. And that’s not even getting into wider colonialist systematic benefits and damages.

All poor people get a lot of horrible things thrown at them, that’s indisputable, but black poor people and white poor people do not face the same social realities. Racism and racist oppression are very real in these communities. White poor people get advantages due to being white. They get preference in jobs, education, and housing over other poor people. It is a mistake to say that because poor white people would ultimately be better off if they were willing to trade advantages over poor people of color for class solidarity that poor white people do not materially benefit from white privilege and racist systems.


“This video reflects a politically confused way of talking about race as if it were simply about bad ideas in people’s heads and not conscious structures of oppression kept in place by the 1% in the interests of the 1%.”

This is a false dichotomy. There is no reason to think that these two types of racist thinking can’t and don’t coexist. Racism involves both intentional exploitation and complex systems of social relationships that influence thinking in often unconscious ways. Social systems of consciousness and understanding are deeply ingrained ways of knowing and perceiving the world, trained into us usually from birth. The way rich people look at poor people and perceive our lives is certainly not all about conscious decisions to fuck over poor people, though some of it is, it is about ways of thinking and knowing that they have been taught their entire lives. That all of us have been taught our entire lives. I am pretty sure that there was no conscious classism board that sat down and handed my mother a curriculum to use to ingrain in us the idea that we should see our lives as shameful because of being poor. Racism works in similar, though not always directly comparable, ways. BOTH explicit and implicit bias play a role, BOTH intentionally and unintentional discrimination and systems play a role.

And it’s just flat out racist to suggest that the problems of racism dividing poor communities are found in black people refusing to accept racism and not in white people refusing to not be racist. Which, for your information, is also the point that even the upperclass ‘talented tenth’ theorist Dubois was making:

“So long as the Southern white laborers could be induced to prefer poverty to equality with the Negro, just so long was a labor movement in the South made impossible.”


Then, as now, too many poor white people chose short term benefits over poor people of color rather than long term benefits of class unity. You are blaming the victims of racism, he is blaming the perpetrators. Denying racism and putting the burden on black people to swallow the racism of poor white people (who are not more racist per se than rich white people, but racist in ordinary amounts for white people, in other words, there’s plenty of racism) does not build class solidarity. In fact, it does the exact opposite. It trains us not to be critical about the ways in which different sections of poor communities interact. It trains us to be okay with watching brutality against certain sections of poor people. It trains us to not critique the ways in which these other oppressive systems are linked together. Rather than telling poor black people that they should not address racism against them or the ways in which racism harms their communities, building class solidarity would be building an understanding in white poor people that racism is a brutal oppressive system which they should neither tolerate nor participate in. If we want to search for leftist models of building anti-racist class solidarity, we would be better served to look for guidance to the work of another black man murdered by a racist system, Fred Hampton, of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense than we would be to look to the dismal failures of some early leftist unions on issues of racist policies around black and Asian workers.

Anyways, look, we could have a complex discussion about racialized classism, classist racism, intersectionality, and racial dynamics within poor communities, but this article is not showing even a passing familiarity with the basics of this discussion.

The only thing this article got right is that white people should not wear Zimmerman shirts, but not for the reasons you suggest, but rather because without further context, it might be assumed that a person wearing such a shirt was supportive of Zimmerman’s actions, rather than critiquing social relationships. However, as a friend of mine noted, you do not have to wear either shirt, you can just wear a regular shirt and participate in work around these issues. Again, seriously, if an erasing t-shirt is the only idea you can come up with for combating racism and showing solidarity around racist violence, you are already failing at both of those tasks.

“Perhaps the most telling thing about this “white privilege” argument is that many radicals have had their sights for justice set so low that it has come to be thought of as a privilege not to be gunned down in the night on a snack errand while wearing a hoodie because of the color of your skin. Isn’t that simply a human right?”

It shouldn’t be a privilege, just like healthcare shouldn’t be a privilege, but right now, it most certainly is. White people have the benefit over black people of not being murdered because of their race by our racist system. Welcome to reality.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yet another example of transphobic radfems covering themselves in glory e_e

http://throwing-shade-at-radscum.tumblr.com/post/21041014331/tw-transmisogyny-please-report-this-tumblr

This is disgusting >:\

Not that it surprises me since TERFs (Trans Excusionary Radical Feminists) have done this in the past... the TERF troll DirtyWhiteBoi's livejournal was basically all about mocking the appearance of trans women she found online, or pictures of surgery (along with posting real life information of trans women and trying to out them/get them fired/etc, a tactic MRAs seem very fond of too, they're both keeping great company there xD ) but the fact that they've done it before doesn't make it any better when they do it now. -_-

The TERFs seem particularly riled up lately... probably cuz of the "cotton ceiling" workshop in Toronto and that they think that trans women discussing transphobia in queer dating is the same as attempting to rape them. e_e (& this isn't a strawperson, they're the ones who are comparing it to rape)

Anyways, in short, this is a tumblr devoted to hating trans people (TW for massive transphobia) and they post and reblog pictures of trans people (femme ones who don't fit their idea of "passing" of course) to mock them, accuse them of being child-rapists, etc etc etc... in short they sound exactly like this guy xD



Bill C-389 is a danger to our children. If ‘gender identity’ is enshrined in the Criminal Code of Canada, any male at any time will be permitted in girls bathrooms, showers and change rooms as long as they have an “innate feeling” of being female,

Loading up for his next trip to the women’s restroom?

Who cares if he terrifies an eleven-year-old child or a recovering rape victim while he’s in there? Not him! He’s too busy having fun playing with gender.

Not good when you sound just like a hateful misogynist conservative fundie is it? Keeping good company there, TERFs xD (maybe I should call them CIS people, since they seem to regard that as a slur, and by slur we're using the radical feminist definition which means "prefix")

Imagine if this was posting pictures of fat women, or women in short skirts and mocking them, calling them sluts, etc etc... that wouldn't be very feminist would it? But apparently it's okay for these supposed "feminists" to bash trans women in the same ways, and using the same patriarchal ideas of what a woman should look like. (Also apparently nobody but cis women who appear to the TERFs as proper women should get to use rape crisis centres)

All women are equal, just some are more equal than others. And some are more assholeish than others. xD

As I said, they're keeping good company. McVety wants his transphobic ideas back.

Edit: Apparently the blog has been removed. o: Hurrah! (I feel awful for all the people they featured to make fun of :( )

Monday, April 09, 2012

I wish the newspapers would just shut up about Jenna Talackova at this point

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1158502--transgendered-miss-universe-contestant-initially-didn-t-tell-boyfriend-she-was-born-a-boy?bn=1

Headline: Transgendered Miss Universe contestant initially didn’t tell boyfriend she was born a boy

The rest of the article is basically a repeat of things we know... the entire article exists just to be a transphobic dogwhistle.

Dear newspapers: STOP HELPING!

FFS, SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT HER! If you are gonna be such shitty "allies", I'd rather you just never report about trans discrimination again. Otherwise, do it right.

This isn't even just the media not helping trans people, this is using this case to HURT trans people, because now we're reminding everybody about the "trans panic" fear again, and also yet again, telling everybody that trans people's bodies are their business. That they have some sort of RIGHT to know what's between my legs, or what my chromosomal make up is. And this narrative isn't just problematic, or bad reporting, this is DANGEROUS! >:\

My friend in another forum said this and I think it's so true it needs to be repeated:

Oh hey, guess what!

I didn't initially tell my boyfriend that I suffer from recurring depression!
I didn't initially tell my boyfriend that my last partner had been abusive!
I didn't initially tell my boyfriend that I'm bi!

Come to think of it, most of our first conversations were about office birthday cards and how the new coffee machine made much better coffee than the old coffee machine, so there were a lot of things I didn't initially tell my boyfriend, some more important to a potential partner, some less. Do I get to be in the papers? Oh wait, no, I'm cis, so the only really important revelation, the only revelation that has to be made ASAP so that nobody's "trapping" any poor cis straight boys and making them feel like they're some sort of QUEER or something, well, that one does not apply to me.

This. Makes. Me. So. Angry.

I just want to send all my affection and support to the trans* people here who have to deal with this bullshit every damn day.

EX-F-ING-ACTLY

And it's not even a big part of the article, the MEDIA is the one who decided to run with the narrative "SHE DIDN'T REVEAL INITIALLY" as if that's relevant. As I said, it's a f-ing transphobic dogwhistle >:|

And again, this is why this case and all the media attention around it is NOT HELPING TRANS PEOPLE, and it's not the groundbreaking amazing trans acceptance stories some cis allies desperately want to believe it is. If anything, it's reaffirming and promoting old and dangerous stereotypes. >:\

Why Jenna Talackova's "win" doesn't change very much at all

To start off this post I want to say that yes, a win's a win, and I WAS glad to see Jenna Talackova be allowed back into the Miss Universe Canada competition. BUT, that doesn't mean I'm okay with how the media covered this, is still covering this, what they DO NOT cover, and also, that supposed cis allies seem to think this is a win for trans people, rather than a win for Jenna Talackova, and that now people's eyes will be opened.

There are a few reasons why Jenna has gotten such broad support including across the Conservative spectrum that typically hates trans people (both Mike Stroebel of the Toronto Sun, and Bill O'Reilly of FOX supported her), and that's because she's white, conventionally beautiful, and is participating in a competition that reaffirms the idea of what women are important for. She's not just a pretty trans woman they find pleasing on their eyes, she's a pretty trans woman wanting to do an activity that all women should strive for.

The reporting around her further hammers home this point and why she's "useful" to the media and mainstream ideas/stereotypes of trans people.

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/03/jenna-talackova-a-true-heroine

This s a perfect example from Mike Strobel, who is your typical conservative asshat who hates everybody. She's the exception cuz he thinks she's beautiful, but everything else there is still total crap -_- He hasn't learned a thing.
I’m glad he let Jenna back in. It was smart, publicity-wise, and it’s the right thing to do. That girl is a girl.

I’ve been a pageant judge, including four years with Miss Universe. I know a girl when I see one.

What if a trans woman doesn't look like one to you? Also, if your idea of "a girl" is women who can compete in Miss Universe, that's a fucking problem too. The Conservatives supporting her isn't cuz they magically turned the corner on trans people, it's because this is a perfect narrative for them to keep trans people and all women in our place, and to reaffirm what makes somebody a good trans person and a good woman in general in our society >:\ As a good trans person, you can't just pass, you have to fit our society's ideas of femininity or masculinity, and our idea of femininity is being an object of desire for hetero men.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04/05/jenna-talackovas-journey-from-first-nation-to-miss-universe-contestant/

VANCOUVER — Even as a Grade 8 student at Vancouver’s Killarney secondary, Jenna Talackova’s femininity was apparent.

Talackova, now a Miss Universe Canada contestant, still classified as a boy back then, but the teenager’s mannerisms and appearance were that of a young woman. She had a slender frame and a blond bob; she hung around mostly with female friends.

She had changed her name from Walter to Page.

“It was very obvious,” said Teruko Walker, recalling her looks and behaviour when she was in her early teens.

“It wasn’t like she looked like a boy, but acted like a girl. She very much looked like a female,” said Walker, who was in Grade 11 at the high school at the time.


And here again, the idea that being trans is about naturally being "feminine" or "masculine". That gender identity is gender construction.

This is why I roll my eyes when people tell me what a great grand victory this is, how this has finally woken the mainstream public up! First off, she isn't the first passing trans woman to have made the news and gotten sympathy, so it's hardly a groundshaking event. She isn't even the first trans woman who has opened up a woman's competition to trans women (Lana Lawless and Renee Richards come to mind) so this is really no different, so it's not like this is the first time a trans woman has ever been allowed to compete with cis women.

Secondly, none of them are learning ANYTHING! If stuff like this is the takeaway from this issue, it does not help trans acceptance... all it does is play back into really stereotypical ideas of what being a man and being a woman means and goes right back into the traditional ways of diagnosing trans women... how femme are you? did you play with dolls? do you want to wear a dress? etc etc etc >:| You aren't really trans unless you're ultra femme.

Also... so cis women who hang out with boys, or aren't "feminine" aren't really women now? Should we doubt their identities? Doubt their cisnss?

It's bulls- and ridiculous.

But what bugs me most about this issue is:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/story/2012/01/06/sby-ywca-human-rights-complaint.html


In July, a trans woman in Sudbury called the YWCA women's shelter there and was rejected and asked about her surgical status. There's a Human Rights complaint pending right now (I don't talk much about this because I'm also involved in this case as part of my work)

ONE major news outlet carried, and that's the CBC, and there's been no follow up articles or major outcry, or cis allies speaking out, or articles written.

A beauty pageant refuses a trans woman and everybody including the conservative news sources report on it, support is overwhelming and columns are churning out every day in support including from conservative commenters who are usually transphobic... even after she's allowed back in the news stories keep flowing...

One is about a beauty pageant, one is about somebody's ability to stay alive...

One, almost everybody, including transphobic conservatives accepts as a woman trying to do womanly things... the other... nobody cares (at best) :\

Funny that the one people care about is the one with the woman who fits every standard of conventional female beauty trying to participate in something we associate super strong with femininity.

Besides the obvious problems with which cases of transphobia we care about in society, it also really hammers home how we define women in our society... if you're attractive to hetero men, then you're a woman... Jenna is a woman in the eyes of Bill O'Reilly and Mike Strobel because she's more attractive than 99% of the cis women they know... and because she's trying to pursue something they believe women should...

it's just... ugh :\

It's nice that the media and everybody cares about one case of trans discrimination, and I honestly mean that, it is better than nothing... but... in the same country, in the same space of time, there's an even more serious case of discrimination and... nothing... there isn't a storm of anger... there aren't newspaper columnists up in arms... in fact NOBODY seems to know until I tell them, not even fellow trans activists :\

The case is going to the Human Rights Commission of Ontario too, so it's not like the papers DON'T know (and the CBC picked it up initially), it's that they don't CARE. The person suing isn't sexy, she's not thin and beautiful, and this isn't about a beautiful woman trying to compete for our affections, this is a trans woman who desperately needed shelter... and silence.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Just a thought while being told yet again that I'm overreacting at cissexism

If cis people spent as much time fighting against transphobia as they spent telling us not to be offended by it, we'd have nothing to be offended by and everybody would be happy.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Angry about Jenna Talackova and trans discrimination? Don't make your caring a one time thing.

http://www.change.org/petitions/mayor-of-berlin-stop-the-institutionalization-of-a-11-year-old-transexual


I don't know if internet petitions do anything, but please, if you haven't signed this yet, do it. And if you have a blog and it's not totally off-topic, SAY SOMETHING. Get people talking. Get people angry. Just get people knowing that this is happening. :( I am really so scared for her and that she's lost her appeal and that she might actually get institutionalized just because she wants to be who she is. >:\

If the headline was "11 year old German girl to be locked up in a psychiatric hospital because father wants to force her to be a boy" there'd be outrage everywhere. Just because she's trans, it's different?

Sorry to mix my geeky side with my angry activist side but: "No! No different! Only different in your mind!"

Please, sign the petition, talk about this on your blog. Get angry! Help make this an internet meme (the mainstream news seems to pick up on internet memes these days, and the Western anglo media has been sadly quiet on this so far).

This is the most recent google-translated German article about the case if you want to use it in a post.

The part about putting her there because she's suicidal is BULLSHIT. She's only suicidal because you're threatening to de-transition her! I've gotten this bullshit myself, where psychiatrists and other transphobic cis people tell me that because I'm depressed and suicidal I can't be trusted to know who I am. Um no. I'm depressed and suicidal because controlling assholes like you are trying to tell me who I am! >:O

So many people cared about Jenna Talackova and being discriminated against by Miss Universe Canada lately. Please don't make this just a case of "I'll only care if she's a beautiful beauty contestant who passes as cis", please don't make your caring a one time thing! Write about this! Yell about this! This is more important than being allowed to participate in a beauty competition, this is a girl's LIFE! This is her mental well being!

And ultimately,

this is about her freedom.

Edit: There's an update to the original article (now added) that says the information in the original was incorrect, and that while the mother lost her appeal, the girl isn't to be committed, so that's good news. :)

Correction

On www.taz.de was under the heading "Alex is in psychiatry," read an article dated 23/03/2012 in the case of a transsexual child: "The transsexual Alex Kaminski * may be admitted to the psychiatric ward. This is the Berlin Court of Appeal ruled on Thursday. "This assertion is incorrect. It is true, rather, that the Court of Appeal, the appeal of the child's mother against a first instance decision of the Amtsgericht Schöneberg, with which they had unsuccessfully denied the retransfer of the health care of the child demanded.

It went on www.taz.de this: ". the child [...] may now be forcibly admitted to the Charité in Berlin" Apart from the fact that there is a lack of such a measure in an appropriate court order, the Charité Hospital in Berlin says this addition, she was not ready, the take the child to express wishes or against the express wishes of his mother. The child is not so forcibly admitted to the Charité in Berlin.

Was finally in the post to read the Taz: "In the Charité is about to get Alex his 'biological' sex close and 'geschlechtsatypisches behavior' 'stop' to said chief doctor Klaus Beier therapy." Insofar as a result of the impression results, the chief physician Klaus Beier had spoken to the specific case, this impression is false. The case described, in the taz he does not know.

Also this:

http://janefae.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/news-feed/

This view was supported by a nurse in the Youth Office – and, when Alex objected to having her gender questioned and, unwisely, may have expressed the view that she would rather die than grow up as a boy, led to an initial court ruling that she could be institutionalised.

Okay, so originally it seems like she was to be institutionalized because her dad wanted to de-transition her and she suggested she'd rather kill herself. -_- So that's where the newspapers picked it up that she would be institutionalized for being trans. (It's still all kinds of f-ed up like I said above. I'm sick of people using trans people's depression or suicidal thoughts as proof we're sick.)

The Charité has firmly rejected any suggestion that Klaus Beier, director of their institute for sexology and sexual medicine was advocating this approach: and they have gone so far as to warn that unless serious inaccuracies in German news reports are amended, they will take legal action.

In an official statement put out this evening, they stated:

“Prof. Beier has never commented on or proposed a therapy for “Alex”, neither advocating that Alex be encouraged towards more masculine behaviour, nor diagnosing Alex’ condition as induced by her mother.

“He has never met Alex, nor commented on the case: in the event that Alex was committed to the Charité she would not be seen by Prof. Beier but by the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy (DCAPPMP).”

They further add: “The DCAPPMP would not admit the child against the child´s or the mother’s expressed will – and the Charité would not accept a compulsory treatment. Moreover, it would not be possible to conduct a psychiatric assessment of the child without the child´s and the mother´s cooperation.”

This commentary raises the interesting question of whether, if other institutions take a similar line, it is even possible for the court’s ruling to be put into practice.

The court’s decision was soundly criticized by Alex’s lawyer, who called the decision “appalling”, adding that nowhere in literature is there support for the view “that transsexualism could be ‘induced’.

Okay, so the hospital has said that they wouldn't institutionalize her simply for being trans. Which is great news, but it's unclear about other hospitals. Also, if her mom no longer has custody and if her dad gets custody, would that change? The hospital said they would never admit her against her mother's wishes, but what if her guardian parent changes? :\ They did also say her wishes too, so I hope that's enough.

I also think it's really disgusting to be using your daughter being trans like this in a custody battle and claiming somebody "induced" her transsexuality >:O WTFH >:\\\\\\\

Neways, I'm still rly concerned about this, but at least it sounds like right now there isn't an imminent threat she'll be hospitalized. :)


YAY SUCCESS!!! :D Miss Universe Canada allows Jenna Talacknova to compete!

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1155638--miss-universe-canada-allows-transgendered-woman-to-enter-pageant-after-all?bn=1

Now cue the screaming and whining from the "SLIPPERRYYY SLOPPPEEE" transphobes xD

MUHAHAHAHA BE AFRAID!!! BE VERY AFRAIDDD!!!!

xD

Neways this is awesome :3 I needed a little good news, and I know this isn't the biggest fight by any means re: trans rights and discrimination, but I'll take it. :)

Monday, April 02, 2012

11 year old trans girl loses her appeal to not be committed :(

11 year old German trans girl loses her appeal to not be committed to a psychiatric hospital by her father to be "cured" of being trans

OH FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK :(

She (and her mother) lost her appeal to not be committed to the psychiatric hospital to be "fixed." I know google translate isn't perfect, but it sounds like opposing lawyer argued that because her mom took her to hospitals with gender identity specialists that it was bias in some way >:O Cuz we all know the only objective doctors are the ones who don't believe kids can be trans! >:|

UGH UGH UGH :(

This is horrible! :( I wish there was something more we could do outside of an internet petition! I'm so so so scared for her! This is SO DISGUSTING! This is essentially state-sanctioned torture, because they're going to use all kinds of methods to try to convince her to be who THEY want her to be >:\

UGH! >:O

I feel so helpless I want to scream right now :(

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Transphobia: your theory, my memories

http://takingsteps.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/fair.html

I know this is 3 years old, but I recently ran into it again, and it seems applicable to the current issues going on where transphobic radfems are running around screaming about trans people talking about discrimination we face, our lived experiences, or any idea that we might face problems they don't, or that we face problems they do too. -_-

On the face of it, I don't fully agree, but that's on a reading without understanding what exactly it feels like to grow up as a trans person. I know that a lot of cis people, especially cis people who don't fit gender presentation norms, will read it as saying that girls shouldn't be bullied, but boys should, and therefore what the OP is complaining about is that they should not have gotten that treatment.

Certainly, the transphobic rad fems reading this are doing that reading "BUT CIS GIRLS GET GENDER POLICED TOO!" But what cis people would be missing is that this isn't about "I was beaten up by boys because they thought I was a boy, and if I was a girl, I'd be safe" it's "I was beaten up by boys in specific ways that not only erased who I am, but also my gender identity... they beat me up/harassed and gender policed me in a way that boys get, and at least if I was beaten up/harassed and gender policed me in a way that girls get, I'd have at least my gender identity validated, and yes that might be small comfort for cis people, but it's an additional oppression for trans people."

Everybody that knows me, or has even casually read this blog, or Escher Girls, knows I CHAFE against sexism in our society, against gender expectations for women, against the narrow idea of body image, that I suffer from an eating disorder and severe body image issues, that I absorbed the same messages directed at women my entire life and I fight just as strongly against them (and all gendered messages, like most feminists.) But my lament for being bullied as a child doesn't mean that I think that if I was a cis girl I'd never have been bullied, or that I wouldn't get harassment, sexual assault, or worse... it doesn't mean I think one is better than the other, or that cis people don't face harassment, or it's okay for cis boys to get beaten up for crying, but not trans girls. -_- It means... at least it would have made some sense to me (something transphobic radfems, and MOST transphobes NEVER GET... I grew up absorbing every gendered msg for girls in society as meaning for me... just because people treated me as a boy doesn't mean that I thought msgs about pinkness for girls weren't for me... whether I chafed against them, or just subconsciously absorbed them, it's not different from cis girls) and not been erasing my identity, people smashing home who I wasn't AS WELL as trying to force me to conform to a certain personality/appearance :\

And honestly, I WAS A KID! You certainly can't blame children growing up in a gender binaried world for thinking "but I'm a girl! WHY SHOULD I DO/WEAR THIS? OTHER GIRLS DON'T HAVE TO!?" or "but I'm a boy! WHY SHOULD I DO/WEAR THIS!? OTHER BOYS DON'T HAVE TO!" It just ADDS to all the s- we all deal with in a gender policed world. This isn't saying anybody has it worse, or that girls don't get bullied, or anything. >:\ It's saying that, like other intersectional oppressions, this is ON TOP OF WHAT CIS PEOPLE EXPERIENCE. Nobody should get bullied, but our bullying didn't just hurt, it also wiped out our gender identity, it told us that we couldn't be the person we are to be AND we couldn't be the gender we are.

The other thing I want to say to the radfems on that thread is... sure, you can claim "we all get bullied" but you can't claim that you also got forced to be in a lockerroom of boys. Esp, since these radfems are always SO TERRIFIED of male bodies and penises... I want them to imagine how they felt... and then how *I* felt, as a 11 year old girl in a boys changeroom. I literally, LITERALLY, hid in a toilet stall every day until everybody was gone. If I was a cis girl, they'd be screaming for me to have my choice respected (I think everybody should have their choices respected) but I'm not... and nobody cared... and I have to live with those memories and how I felt EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for year after year until gym was optional for the rest of my life.

I'm the one who has to deal with what I went through as a child. Not them. Me. It's all hypothetical and theoretical to them. It's all ideological. To me, it's real. It happened. It can't unhappen.

The radfems on that thread... the ones speaking with such confidence about my life. They can only imagine it. I can remember it.