Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's time for a Bill Of Rights in Australia, for A Fair Go For ALL!

Finally Australia is contemplating the notion of doing something on the Human Rights issue.

It's well overdue.

Trouble is though it's a 'community consultation'. Which is often a good way for the majority to enshrine their prejudices rather than a way to ensure a cogent and uncontradictory set of principles get recognised.

So if were going to get a binding bill of rights rather than a decorative one, if were going to get one fully compliant with the now 60 year old U.n. charter and with the Yogyakarta Principles we're going to have to work at it.

The arguments in favour are logical. Equality for all, no exceptions. Thats fair.

Trouble is many people aren't logical thinkers but emotional ones so we need to make the call in an emotive one. One that carries the message in a way more Australians can easilly understand.

"A fair go for all!"

"Equal Rights for ALL Australians!"

Hows those for some catchy slogans? They tell the truth, they touch the heart and the mind.

There will be many who just want a decorative bill. There will be those who want rights for themselves but not for others. We could waste time debating the justifications for why Gay people should be able to marry too, why transgender people need many inequalities fixed in many laws in many states.

Or when they try and say "But gay marriage...." we shout back at the top of our lungs " A Fair Go For ALL!" and they start saying "But bathrooms...." we shout back at the top of our lungs " A Fair Go For ALL!" and when they say "God says..." we shout back at the top of our lungs " A Fair Go For ALL!".

And if we ever need to go any further than that all we have to do to counter any of their arguments is say "(they) dont believe in a fair go for all. They want rights for them but not rights for everyone else. We say A Fair Go For ALL!"

Too long we have argued with considered reason and the enemies of equality have argued with fear and emotion. Well it's time to fight that with reasoned emotion and reasonable fear!

Because people can and would and should be suspicious and fearful of anyone who'd oppose the notion of a fair go for all. And any justification they make will sound like what it is, weasel words!

Well thats what we need to demand. All bound up in one simple statement.

We shout back at the top of our lungs " A Fair Go For ALL!"

Monday, December 1, 2008

Letting the Heart get a few words in

It feels like hilly country, the road I'm travelling within my chest.

Plenty of steep hills, sudden descents, unexpected turns and the like.
And things come in bursts with long falt sttais of dull monotony in between.

It's been an interesting time. I've come out to a number more people directly and I've made things blatantly obvious in my 'gradual acclimatisation' plan with some others.

I've had plenty of compliments on my increased gender non conformity in public which is encouraging and by several reactions the sex appeal of androgyny has not gone even though it is not 'fashionable'. I'll definately wear my purple lipstick more often.

But despite this encouragement and the acceptance from friends there is still plenty of troubles. There are the remnants of old fears that still remain, some still yet to be conciously discovered. There are the deep wounds left from my past relationship. There are the fears that have been borne by that become reflexive.

And it's all well and good when someone while drunk tells me they like me because I'm weird, but i remember hearing that before till suddenly one of my weirdnesses was 'not normal' (despite that weirdness being far more ethical than many of their 'normalities') so I fear.

So sure, my ex GF wants me back but how soon would it be before i'm considered too 'not normal' again? How can I measure the degree of improvement she claims over her issues that made things impossible? And sure there are some others who clearly find me attractive but again the fear is strong.

And while I have friends I like, friends I respect, few of those friendships are at that deep rich emotional support-system relating level of friendship and opening up emotionally too much can be the kiss-of-death to far to many friendships. And the fear of losing those friendships can often stop me from trying beyond a minor level. And people who are not disabled will often have little idea just how much time energy and effort goes into building and maintaining friendships.

And it's a host of issues, not just my broad gender expression or my disability (though in many ways thats the worst one) but all the many insecurities and too-often validated concerns that build up.

And then theres just the huge horrible problem that comes with having no main outlet. No work and no study is a horrible torture. But worse is knowing that I am not currently capable of either without setting myself into a downard spiral of deterioration. But going for days without face-to-face human contact every week is just horrific. And it's not like I'm capable of throwing myself into my writing or art either. I'm barely able to keep up with basic housework and enough entertainment and net activity to keep me reasonably sane while struggling to reserve enough capacity to more frequently get out and get more social interaction.

I want to do things. To make a contribution to the world. I see so many apathetic folk and wonder how they can manage to squander so much in such banality.

Oh if only there was a cure or treatment for this curse that has had me living my life dragging against locked brakes for half my existence... there is so much of life i want to sink my claws and teeth into.

Nevertheless, I am frequently caught up in hope too. Chance circumstances fall in my favour as much as they do against me lately. There is much to appreciate and look forward to.

As I unlock more of the feellings I'd set aside, held back and locked away each requires developing skills and understanding. As I find more acceptance for my gender variation that too has waves of emotional reactions, and rational logical pondering too as much insight is gained, unknown hypocracies noticed to amend and new data thet requires the review and often changing of long held opinions.

And while that can be painful, it's good in the long term, like the pain that comes from stretching a tense muscle so that it relaxes.

So slowly it's a matter of finding ways to get through the periodic days of sorrow anger and tears (more chocolate definately helps. Now where's that polyphenol enriched chocolate that CFS study tantalised me with damit!) and hopefully some new Hammer vampire DVDs and some anime will help. And ways to try and build the social and emotional bonds needed to break this horrid isolation that goes hand-in-hand with CFS.

And at the end of this blogpost I'm smiling as I touch up my purple lipstick, enjoying the rattle of the bells on my anklet and looking forward to the future.

Ethics and Crossdressing

Hmmm... well this was the begining post of a thread at a crossdressing website in the MtF section.

For whatever reason (they didn't give me any) the powers that be there deleted the thread so I'm bringing the discussion over here. Had I written it for this blog I would have tried to angle it a little differently to be a little more inclusive (for the great FtM blokes who drop by here every so often at least). So here restored to existence by the power of the cut-and-paste backup is my attempt to begin an examination, debate and discussion of the Ethical issues of and relating to Crossdressing.

(oh and the thread that got locked was because someone tried to consider as a comparison crossdressing and infant-fetish as compulsions)

The Ethical and Moral issues of Crossdressing


I'm posting this to try and discuss the importan Ethical and Moral Issues relating directly to crossdressing.

I don't want this thread to get locked up like a recent one was so please lets try and keep this discussion sensible, rational and calm. That way we can discuss the big problematic issues for CDs and CDing as well as address the criticisms of us from others.

It will be a long post but that is important and it should be an interesting discussion.

Firstly let me raise a basic argument for the validity of crossdressing and then we can discuss whether the argument holds up and issues with various common dilemmas that face crossdressers from secrecy to obtaining clothes to the closet to relationship issues.

Is crossdressing Ethical?

Crossdressing does not neccessarily involve interacting with the bodies of others. Whenever you interact with anothers body you generally require informed consent for it to be ethical.

Murder, assault, rape etc are acts without consent or expressly against a stated denial of consent. Children and animals cannot give informed consent to sexual acts.

If crossdressing is done for a purely sexual activity and involves anyone else then yes, informed consent is required. Non-sexual crossdressing does not require it. Sexual crossdressing done by ones self does not require consent.

In some things consent is assumed where it is not strictly stated otherwise. This is rare and dangerous. Yet in medicine, like performing life-saving resusitation, transfusions and emergency surgery informed consent is assumed
unless there are clear instructions otherwise like 'do not resuscitate' or 'no transfusions' medic alert jewlery or tattoos or the like.

Thus far crossdressing is Ethical.


This should be considered in several ways. There is harm to rights/freedoms, physical harm, unethical emotional/psychological harm and bizarrely enough till it's explained there is ethical emotional harm.

The consent issue is caused where freedom of action meets freedom of choice over ones own body. Freedom of speech is (debatably) considered constrained by deliberate attempts to cause physical harm. Yelling 'fire' in a crowded theatre is a common example. Telling lies about someone to harm their reputation impacting their social, political and economic well being is another. From this we get laws against libel, slander, perjury etc.

This is a big one. Many people see CDing as a deliberate lie/deception for the purpose of causing harm to social systems or to enable voyuerism or make sexual assault more practically possible, of women by getting access to 'safe spaces' and of men by tricking them into uninformed consent, where they consent to sex with a woman but not a TG woman.

Yet this is not the intention of crossdressers. Nor is it intrinsicly the consequence of it. So while this explains many peoples fear of crossdressing it is a myth not a reality (or its a possibility not a neccessary actuallity, so only if done for that intent would it be unethical) and crossdressing remains ethical.

Crossdressing interferes with no other freedoms directly. People who do not wish to see crossdressers are as free to look away as people who do not wish to see women in the workplace or black people not in chains or gay people kissing and holding hands in public.

Public harassment for example causes harm. It is done deliberatly with the intent to cause suffering or irrespective of the persons desire to look away. This can be difficult for people to grasp exactly. Essentially it is not the expression that is the true cause of the harm, it is the removal of a persons capacity to escape it. Bailing someone up on the bus for example. So long as they can turn thier head and look away or walk away from the speech through the loud-hailer then free expression which is upsetting is not unethical.

Certainly some people can find the views and appearance of others causes them emotional disstress. Literally any thing at all someone wears or says or does can trigger a disstress reaction in someone. There can be found no fair way of accomadating such distresss at others reactions to otherwise ethical expression/views/behaviour as it is easy to have two people each equally distressed at the other. The disstress of two racists of opposing races at the presence of the other is one example. Opposing religious fundamentalists another.

As such, if something is otherwise ethical yet someone finds that emotionally distresing it would not be right to curtail that, the disstress may well be real, but to have others comply to alleviate that disstress would itself be a great wrong! We can feel sorry for the disstressed person, try to help them overcome their disstress and of course enable them to withdraw as much as practical from the source of their disstress but only voluntarily and only to a point.

Example: A racist gets upset everytime they see someone not of their race. On the street, serving in stores, holding positions of authority. Just these people being present and alive may well cause them geunine profound real emotional disstress and pain. Yet it would be wrong to kill those people or to lock them up or expel them for the benefit of alleviating the persons disstress. We can try and help them cope wih the presence of other races, give them counselling and information to overcome their disstress. Thus ethical behaviour and ethical freedoms trump emotional disstress at anothers fair use of their freedoms.

Thus even if it upsets people crossdressing remains ethical while preventing crossdressing is unethical.

Now that gets really dicey for many when the person getting disstressed is a close friend or family member!

Ah but what about indirect consequences of harm?

Example. CD goes out. CD gets recognised. CD's family member suffers embarassment and loss of social standing etc.

Lets try this one for comparison:

Example. Young white woman goes on a public date with a black man in an area with a degree of racism. Is recognised. Womans family suffers embarassment and loss of social standing etc.

Both of these acts were done with no intention of those being the consequences. Those consequences only exist because of the unethical acts of others. Even if those people knew that such consequences were likely are they responsible for the consequences?

That involves determining whether it is right to suffer the consequences of others unethical behaviour by not conforming to that situation or whether it is right to go along with unethical groups by surrendering to their threats to avoid the consequences upon others.

Now thats just an argument for crossdressing by itself being ethical. Not crossdressing in secret or wearing clothes of others without asking or hiding ones crossdressing from ones partner. There are heaps of these sorts of things discussed here every day. Discussing these at a deeper level of ethics and morality may help everyone understand, cope with, consider and decide about these major issues.

Does anyone have issue with the points I've raised? Have views on the Ethics of other issues that face crossdressers?

Remember morality and ethics can be distinctly different and their are different schools of thought in each.

And this bit is really important.
Try not to just say that you think or feel something is right or wrong! This is about deeper truths than just feelings or unconsidered or unconcious or instinctive or reflex opinions.You must try and explain why your view is right or the view your criticising is wrong.

Hopefully we can all learn from such a discussion, hopefully we can all be challenged by such a disscussion and maybe even have our views on things changed by such a discussion.