Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bigoted Housepaint!

Taubmans Paints responds, Update at bottom of article!

Crossposted from equallovearmidale

I was in a Bunnings store in Sydney the other day looking at paint options for a room when i saw something that made my blood run cold. One of the paints on a large display of Taubmans Easy Coat Suede… a nice shade of pink (though in the photos it looks paler than it is to the eye) that is very close to a shade of nail polish i often wear…

Labeled PUNCH ME

We just had to get some photos of this appalling label and these that i’m posting were taken by my partner. Here is the top of the standing display it’s on showing the Taubmans name.

As if there aren’t enough problems with bigotry and violence and bullying of Intersex Transgender Bisexual Lesbian and gay people as it is. And for that matter violence against women. All of whom are at times associated with the colour pink.

When the Nazis who were trying to Exterminate Transgender sent Transgender and Gay people to the death camps they made them wear a pink triangle.

This clear distinct blatant association with a shade of pink and ‘asking for’ being subjected to violence is inexcusable in modern day Australia. That it’s on a public display is extremely disgraceful and disgusting.

With so many young ITBLG people attempting to take their own lives, with homophobic bullying such a serious problem, with so much violence against Transgender people that nearly half of them in a Queensland study had been victims of assault this is an extremely disturbing endorsement of violence, abuse and prejudice!

How the heck did this happen Taubmans? And what are you going to do about it?

Update: I was emailed about a response from Taubmans by Rebecca Dominguez who had sent them this

I just read the blog post:


You seriously have a colour of paint (that is pink) called “Punch Me”? What on earth were your marketing department thinking when they came up with that?

Way to go promoting misogyny, rape culture, homophobia, transphobia and violence against women, trans* and queer people.

An apology to women’s groups and queer groups would be a good idea, as well as sensitivity training.

I’ve been told (via another source) that “Punch” in this instance relates to the drink. But as “Me” follows the word “Punch” this doesn’t compute for me.

And they replied:

Hi Rebecca,

We acknowledge & understand your complaint. The name will be changed as soon as is possible.


Taubmans Paints

Monday, September 27, 2010

Busy Bats, when local is also national

Whew it's been a while since i posted here or at the Spectrum Cafe but it's not from want of being busy.

Australias recent election put several independents in the balance of power. They decided which of the two major parties would form government. For the next three years these Independants could be critical in every single piece of legislation at the federal level.

My local representative is one of them. And I'd already been raising Trans and Intersex issues with him via letters and emails over the last few years. Before the election several of us Trans Intersex Bi Lesbian and Gay locals were making the initial plans for a rally in town in November for the National Day of Action. When several local candidates had a public forum we raised our voices and made our issues a key part of discussion getting surprising support from almost all there and we later learned the only attending candidate whose response was dissapointing had his hands tied by his party who gagged even their GLBTI candidates from supporting marriage equality!

So what happens in my sleepy rural city could have a disproportionately large impact. And so this opportunity has been taking the greater share of my energies. Pretty exciting stuff. Anyone know of a place i can get a good cheap pink megaphone?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Batty Joins Spectrum Cafe

Hi all.

Thanks to one of those friends everyone needs, someone who doesn't just encourage you but gives you a good push when you need one, there's a cool new endeavor underway that I'm a part of.


We are trying to build a fully inclusive area for the whole spectrum, building bridges, raising visibility, busting myths, respectful yet in-depth discussion.. in many ways plugging what many have felt is a gap in the online world. Mission statement here: http://www.thespectrumcafe.com/?p=168

I'm not abandoning my cave here though :)

So i hope those who read here will take a look and it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Trans Beauty, Trans-Attraction, Transphobia and murder?

This is not the first time i've upset people with an idea. Though perhaps the actual idea is missunderstood this time. Hard to tell as my CFS has been making communication a little difficult.

The upset occured on a comment at facebook and it occurred again in a comment at Questioning Transphobia, the latter here: http://questioningtransphobia.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/i-hate-mtf-and-ftm/ though each in very different ways.

So lets consider what the idea actually is, and I'll see if i can get it across properly this time.

Lets start with some basics.

* some people are binary-gender transsexuals. They are strongly neurologically fixed in being male or female and where possible correct their bodies to match that.

* there's also non-binary transgender people including transsexuals and non-transsexuals, including Genderqueer and many crossdressers. We can worry about whether all bi-gender people should be considered non-binary or not another time.

* there are many people who are not transgender or transsexual i.e. are cisgender cissexuals, who nevertheless are attracted to Transgender people. There are also transgender people who are attracted to transgender people.

* just as society has in recent centuries been largely transphobic so too is attraction to Transgender been dissaproved of, taboo etc.

Ok. That's our starting point. Lets expand on that shall we?

* Some binary Transsexuals have argued that this attraction is bad. Pestering, unwanted, negative, missgendering and harmful. Because of course they do not want people attracted to them for charcateristics that they do not want and are trying to fix, they may find that extremely disstressing or offensive. Perfectly understandable.. for them.

* Non-binary people have extreme difficulty in getting and maintaining relationships with people who are not attracted to their being Trans. Many relationships end when a crossdresser comes out to or is found out by their partner. Some genderqueer people I know have found their degree of gender expression curtailed by what a partner deems acceptable.

Already we have the beginnings of an obvious potential, though still solvable, problem. Lets add further factors.

* Arguments from various sources including Feminists Binary Transsexuals and Psychiatrists have described the Trans-attracted as Gays in Denial, (including sometimes arguing that Transgender people are also Gays in Denial) based on the relationships between Trans-attracted people and Transgender people. The argument goes that the Trans-attracted is really interested in the male characteristics of male to female transgender people. This ignores a lot of different factors.

What factors does it ignore?

* Trans-attracted people may be female as well as male.

* Trans-attracted people may themselves be transgender or they may be cisgender or any other part of the sex and gender spectrum.

* Trans-attracted people may be attracted to people on any point of the sex and gender diverse spectrum. Even irrespective of whether usually they are attracted to the same or opposite cisgender cissexual sex.

* Trans-attracted people are attracted to Trans people because and not in spite of their being Transgender.

So we have one group that finds the trans-attracted a nuisance or worse quite upsetting because they do not want to be attractive for being perceived to be transgender. Understandable. We then have a group that needs the trans-attracted to find fulfilling relationships. Also Understandable. And we have that group attracted to what they are attracted to, a sense of Trans Beauty, Transgender as beautiful and desirable.

But is the problem just one of helping the Trans-attracted to the ones who want their attention and away from those who don't? No it's not so simple. We have other issues involved.

These include:

* Most Transgender people are deeply closseted. For fear of Transphobic persecution but also for fear of never finding someone who will be attracted to them once they are out.

* Most trans-attracted people are also afraid of the consequences of being outed.

* This closetting of Trans-attraction results in many of them visiting Trans sex workers or Trans pornography but not being willing to let family or friends know about their attraction and so are less likely to have a full open lasting relationship with an out Trans person.

* like all closetted repressed communities there are many other maladaptions and harmful coping methods and problematic issues withion the Trans-attracted community that need to be healled and overcome.

* The issues of the transgender sex industry and the sex industry in general are complicated in themselves, however they also have a bearing on the stigmatisation of the Trans-attracted amongst much of the community including amongst binary transsexuals, amongst other parts of the transgender community, amongst other parts of the sex industry and in the general community. This alone is a complex set of intersections of prejudices stereotypes and blamings.

So as long as the Trans-attracted are clossetted many trans people will also be closetted, the Trans sex industry will have a strong client-base who do not want others to know of their desires, many trans people will be alone and romanticly unfullfilled and many trans-attracted people will make do with cis people when they'd rather trans or will also remain alone.

What else?

* I suspect that as its been said that homophobia, including assaults and murder, often comes from the perpetrators issues with their own attraction to the same sex and after hearing about the frequency in transgender assault and murder cases that the perpetrator knew in advance the victim was trans but later claimed they just found out it seems to me that many cases may be Trans-attracted people unable to accept their own attraction and/or trying to prevent others from finding out about their relationships and the feared consequences of being discovered to be trans-attracted.

* This means that to end or reduce transphobic murder and assault and villification it is neccessary to reduce the stigma towards Trans-attraction.

* This means that all those who contribute to, support or fail to act against the stigmatisation of the trans-attracted are assisting in all the negative consequences of that stigma including the harm done to transgender people unable to find partners and if my suspician is correct also to some, maybe many of, the transphobic assaults and murders.

In that last one, and one perhaps that Lisa at QT may have missunderstood (and i may have misscomunicated) i am neither blaming trans people as the major causes of trans-attraction stigma but neither am i letting those amongst the trans population who have encouraged this prejudice off the hook for being prejudiced. Whether empowered and overprivileged or disempowered and underprivilieged everyone is responsible towards every human rights issue without exception as a basic mutual-obligation consequence of the idea of Equality and Human Rights. And every voice may have an impact even if only a tiny one within a limited minority community. Inaction also is a choice with consequences too. She called what i had said victim-blaming, but I never said that the victims of transphobic violence were those who were prejudiced against the trans-attracted. I'm sure some victims were supportive of trans-attraction.

If anything one might conclude from my argument that some peoples vocal trans-attraction prejudice might have got other transgender people than themselves killed by contributing to the hostility towards the trans-attracted in parts of the trans community and the hostility towards trans sex workers and erotic models in parts of the trans community and the lack of inclusion of such in attempts to undo prejudice. It is worth considering that the seperation of trans people from the trans-attracted is very different from the situations of the Gay and Lesbian communities. But even then the majority of trans-attraction prejudice will still come from mainstream society. All groups even majorities are made up of individuals, so no-one gets out of having some responsibility, but some are of course vastly more powerful and influential than others. The violent conforming peer-pressure of much of male society will clearly have a far greater impact on that. But that doesn't make it ok to hold such a prejudice or to support it or to by inaction allow the prejudice to continue unoppossed.

Those transsexuals who are not interested in the trans-attracted still have an Ethical and Moral obligation to not foster prejudice against them just like a hetero cis male may not want gay cis men to find him attractive and ask him out but should not foster homophobia etc. The issues of problematic behaviour amongst parts of the trans-attracted population should definatly be addressed.. like problems in any closetted and/or repressed population caused by the closeting and the stigma. Internalised trans-attraction-phobia as well as general ignorance about the sex and gender diverse community (attraction doesn't come with knowledge automatically after all) will of course lead to all manner of problems that its in the interest of the entire community to fix. Yes the main cause of trans-attraction prejudice has been cis society but we all have to act against it. Sure problematic behaviour of some trans-attracted people gives them all a bad name but what minority is that not true for?

We all need to address this just as we all need to work on all human right issues and prejudices.
Especially if this is a cause of some of the transphobic violence suffered by the sex and gender diverse community!

It's late so i have no time for refining or proper editing so lets see how that goes. Discussion of these ideas is very welcome. As always i'm willing to explain further my thoughts and to hear oppossing views. I'm happy to learn i'm wrong about things. The all important part is the why of being wrong or right as that leads to greater knowledge.

Monday, May 10, 2010

S&GD, bussinesses that profit from them, closets and responsability to the community

I've been making comments along these lines at various places from time to time but a recent post at Bilerico has prompted me to fight through the flu i've come down with to blog about this. The post in question is here

The Sex and Gender Diverse population is a very large minority. With estimates of 1 in 500 people Transsexual, 1 in 60 Intersex, 2%-10% of the population regular Crossdressers and who knows how many of the other facets of S&GD there are thats a big minority. Just the MtF crossdressers alone are a demographic large enough to swing elections in some countries if they voted together.

But they aren't voting together. Our community is nigh allergic to the word politics. Our rights depend on politics. We are discriminated against in legislation written by politicians. Where we have had increased decriminalisation and protection it has been through politics. We DEPEND upon politics!

Yet many forums outright ban discussion of politics. I've been banned from one crossdresser forum for 'political innuendo' lol. In truth this is a negligence towards the rights of S&GD people. We NEED to discuss politics where related to S&GD rights! We NEED to be political.

Even those in the closet have an obligation to the rest of the community. There is an obligation to the next S&GD generation to make the rights and social acceptance and Transphobia situation better for them than we have grown up with. Especially as many S&GD variations have been found or are suspected to have genetic components. This means that acting to improve the situation of the S&GD community is part of the FAMILY DUTY of each and every S&GD person! And of their families! Because regardless of whether the S&GD person has children themselves their family members will carry those genes.

Something the Crossdressers' Wives especially whose concerns (or predictions of their concerns) so often direct or limit much of the lives of crossdressers need to address. Their children may well be carrying an S&GD gene. And peoples Neices, Nephews, Cousins...

Because of that fact it totally changes the dynamic of family-based arguments about the closet. Many stay in the closet to protect their family but in fact thats condemning relatives and non-relatives alike to the same societal and internalised Transphobia that has so harmed our own and past generations. People usually will sacrifice much for the sake of their children... well as some of those children or grandchildren will also be S&GD so families must consider what they will decide about that, what they owe to those S&GD descendants and family.

Now if families or individuals choose to remain closeted for whatever reason that does not let them off the hook. The responsibility to family and non-family S&GD people remains. There's much a closeted person can still do. Donations of even petty amounts to S&GD charities and organisations make a real difference. How you decide your vote should still consider candidates and parties stance on S&GD issues. Being closeted is no excuse for any iota of Transphobic remarks, sure it may help dissuade people from thinking your S&GD but it's hurting others in the process and thats just not justifiable. Instead if your going to be closeted your still obligated to speak out against Transphobia and be pro-acceptance.

It's not just S&GD people and their families that have obligations though. As i mentioned already with forums and politics-bans failing the community there is also responisibility from websites and bussinesses to the community.

There's many bussinesses that profit from S&GD people. If your making money from S&GD people then you should be contributing to S&GD people. From specialist transformation-product stores to the sex industry to ordinary online clothing stores which i'm sure get a significant amount of crossdresser bussiness.

The site i was banned from for 'political innuendo' crossdressers.com i used to reach via the domain name crossdressing.com. Not the first time a site has multiple addresses, nothing unusual there. And when i discovered that crossdressing.com no longer went to that site i assumed they'd just sold off a spare domain name like other non-S&GD forums i've been on have done... but they deleted all discussion about them doing this!

There was even a thread where one wife was distraught at finding 'Date A Crossdresser' in her husbands internet history. Did a mod step in and tell her that the web address crossdressing.com that formally went to crossdressers.com was now that 'date a crossdresser' site? No. In fact when i posted this information to that thread it was deleted! The owners for what ever reason deciding to hide the change apparently more important than the marriages of people the site was allegedly there to support. Whether sold off or both sites having the same owner this is hardly an ideal way of handling that. Since then they have added an online store to crossdressers.com.

I think few have any illussions of the profiteers of the sex industry contributing much to the community outside of the services they provide for money. Though often individual sex workers have been some of those fighting for S&GD rights.

And we shouldn't consider that bussinesses making money from S&GD customers is neccessarily a bad thing. Economic power is a way a community can show it's strength and numbers and gain more acceptance in society. But it has to be done in the right way. Helping raise the success of S&GD artists and supporting products positively marketed to and engaging the S&GD community (even regarding sexual products of trans-attraction portrayed positively) and supporting companies which donate to equality orgs and charities are all positive but purely exploitative bussiness have not much value and may actually have a vested interest in maintaining the closet and transphobia.

There's others with a responsibility to the S&GD community.
For example i noticed a book for parents on school bullying the other day and flipped through it and to it's index. Any mention of Gay, Transgender, Intersex in the index or contents? Nope. Just sexual harassment. Yet the amount of homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools is a serious issue. Thats a bad omission. And for that matter was their any books in the bookstore on raising Gay children? Trans children? Intersex children? Nope of course not, just books on raising 'boys' and others on 'girls' by which of course they mean cisgender cissexual heterosexual boys and girls.

Omitting SS&GD where it's actually an important factor that should be addressed even if controvertial is irresponsible. And the general absence of S&GD books is again a problem. It's not just irresponsible to the customers who have need of such it's also irresponsible bussiness practice when there is going to be a growing market for it.

We need to address the responsibility we all have to the S&GD community. If we want things to change we must act to change them. If we would have liked it if others changed things for our benefit in the past then we need to do that for the next generation. Where we have benefited from the actions of past equality-fighters we need to pay that debt forward. We need to consider the legacy we leave to our children and our families and future generations. We need to demand of those that profit by us or claim to exist to support us that they contribute to the cause of equal rights and community building. We need to accept that no matter our ideology politics is an essential part of gaining equality which we must all stop avoiding and start addressing. We need to get those who choose the closet to still contribute. We need to demand the silence over S&GD cease and we get appropriatey addressed in all avenues.

Like other communities with internalised oppression issues and an equality struggle our community is pretty fractious and bitter. But we need to start building our understanding of personal power and responsibility. To consider our responsibility to the community and ourselves.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Redheads Human, Emo's not? And Law fails on racist government ads

Well looky here. The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Comission makes clear that the law doesn't count hate-speech that promotes prejudice against an inherited pigmentation characteristic (i.e. racism) as actionable discrimination....

But wait a moment, what was with that whole TRIAL and CONVICTION against Catch The Fire Ministeries anti-islamic comments?

You know, the one that had several religious groups claiming the Victorian law as a reason the nation shouldn't have a Human Rights Act?

So what happened? Are they applying the law differently for Red Haired people than for Islam? Or did they change the law to pander to whining Christians distraught that they may be held fairly and equally accountable for Slander and Libel and Villification against followers of another faith?

But only red hair AGAIN.

Apparrently while they consider it regretable that red haired people are the subjects of prejudice its so fine to hate members of the Emo culture that they don't warrant any mention. Apparently Red Haired people like my Aunt are Human but the Emo's in town are not.

The SHAME of this foul unethical and abhorent and cynical Human Rights Abuse, the subsequent ignoring of Emo and only recognising the effects on red haired people STAINS the state of Victoria, STAINS our national broadcaster the ABC and STAINS The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Comission.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ethics and Fighting for Rights and Running Support/Issues/Discussion Websites

I want this post to be the starting point of a major and vital discussion. I welcome ALL pertinent commentors (only spam advertising will be deleted by me). This is i believe one of the most pertinent possible conversations.

Where is the line between Ethical and Unethical tactics when engaged in fighting for ones rights and when engaged in running websites that will involve supporting sections of the community, specific issues and general discussion?

Thats not a minor subject and cannot be solved quickly. I welcome long comments, i welcome examples, i welcome bringing in connections to other areas or raising parallels that other sites would often consider off-topic or derails but which are all too often vital to a deep understanding and can cut right to the heart of an issue. I am totally happy for people to quote this, to have it cross-posted, to engage in conversations across other sites etc. Theres a lot in this and it covers a panoply of varying issues and needs and perspectives.

Now I'll give some of my current starting thoughts:

* I think that as philosophically the foundation of Human Rights including Civil and Political Rights is one of an assumption that all rights are enjoyed equally, and that as they are not enjoyed equally that anyone fighting for their own rights does indeed have an obligation towards fighting for the rights of others, supporting others fight for rights and to ensure that they fight for their own rights in such a way that it does not interfere with the rights of others (in general, there WILL be an exception which I'll get to shortly).

* I conclude based off this also that anyone currently enjoying their rights while others do not enjoy theirs have in essence borrowed upon the future enjoyment of all on those rights and as such do literally owe those currently unable to enjoy their rights.

* I see that Equal Rights requires as a responsibility all claimers of those rights to be obligated to respect the equal rights of all others as well as to fight to defend and also to ensure the equal rights of all others. That this requires some compromise of rights to practically ensure but should be kept to the minimum required to do so. That this then results in, if failed to do so, a loss of valid claim to ones own rights. That this loss should still be as minimal as possible with the goal of rectifying the problem. This is an important but complex part. It justifies a legal system for example, road rules and other laws where compromises on free action when behind the wheel of a deadly machine to the lives of others etc.

* That when the state and appropriate systems fail in it's duties to the equal rights of all then the minimum required amount of law-breaking to change that is ethical. Now lets not take this one too lightly, because it does go all the way up to killing. Before you dissmiss that thought lets remember that the legal and Ethical validity of many modern democratic rights-principled states are based upon this because revolution, civil war etc was validated by the citizens literally being prepared to die or kill in order to assert their equal rights. Now i'm so not suggesting we reccomend wheel-chair bound or transgender suicide bombers or violent revolutionaries but we must consider the ethics of every aspect of fighting for equality including the riots and bloodshed of past fights for equality. The degree of usefullness and practicality must be weighed regarding such actions.. so it's not so neatly Ethical to use violence as it can sometimes seem.

* Redressing inequalities become everyone's responsibility. That actually validates Affirmative Action for example so long as, and this bit is important, so long as it's still required and is applied relative to need.

* Rights-organisations and activists need to develop full Ethics Standards to ensure that they do not harm the rights of others in their fight and in proposed legislative reforms except where it fits the exceptions discussed above.

* Websites have a Duty-Of-Care to the members of forums, to commentors, to the community they are targeted at and serve. That this includes troublesome members/commentors who may act from triggers and inner pain and refelxive defencive aggression as well as the community they are trying to create a safe stable place for and that while difficult to balance these policies regarding moderation, temp-bans and bans need to consider the realities of mental illness, vulnerability to suicide and the like all too often ignored.

These are not set-in-stone but open for reasoned debate. It's good to discuss them, test them, consider them carefully. There are all sorts of practical considerations like how one might ensure that a small minority populations needs and voice are not drowned out by a larger one when the rights of both need to be considered in order to find the answer to achieving equality. Or how to ensure a community that has been past hurt by another community can still ensure that it considers the rights of that community are not harmed inappropriatly when attempting to get legislative reform. (good examples here involve conflicts between parts of the gay community and transgender community as well as conflicts between the Transsexual and Crossdresser communities).

So please, think about these issues. Think about the principles that underly them, what you feel about them and why, what makes the right thing right and the wrong thing wrong. Consider examples of this and practical considerations. Look for problems and for ways around them.

Lets make this the start of a broad inclusive cogent and consistent conversation that needs to consider all the issues of all involved. The begininng of a deep consideration of some of the most important, contentious and vital issues effecting much of todays society. One that relates to every activist, every official, every democratic represenative, every system, every forum message list and website. It's a big subject and it's time we got started on it.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Keep it Simple.. is sometimes stupid when it comes to sexism

There's been a very very interesting discussion over at Questioning Transphobia.


One that has revealed some of the stereotypes especially sex stereotypes not just outside the transgender community but also within feminism and inside the trans community too.

A very offensive thing has been said about Trans Men showing stereotypes and generalisations are alive and well.

And we have the very interesting phenomena of peoples reactions to my raising cis male rape victims of cis women.

I first learned of its existed because of a suicide, a teen killed himself after police laughed at him and told him he should have enjoyed it. You know who else laughed? Most of the people who talked about it! Someone was dead but it was funny cause they acted like such a girl by not wanting sex with an older woman and being upset and killing themself.

In the many years since then theres been the occassional rare mention in the media and other places of this sort of thing happening. Often met with outrage and anger by women that its even mentioned. Often met with disbelief from women that its even possible. In conversations i have mentioned the subject men will usually laugh at or condemn the victim for being weak useless stupid unmanly. While many women often disbelieve it at all because they cannot imagine that a woman could be string enough to rape a man and/or would want to and/or that the man or boy involved would object unless the woman was extremely unattractive others respond with sadistic glee happy that a man got a taste of his own medicine... but the victims aren't rapists raped back but innocents i might say... nope by being male they are guilty apparently.

See how much sex stereotypes of both men and women are involved?

Thing is i know cis male victims of both rape and attempted rape by women. Not just one but several. From one being tricked into getting drunk around someone he had no reason to think was unsafe through to one whose attacker used brute force and physical violence.

But of course we hear man or male and we usually think strong and powerful and conquering and desiring endless amounts of sex with anything that moves. And woman or female.. well i think you can guesss the rest. Despite many of us knowing exceptions to these, strong powerful aggressive women and weak soft gentle compliant men we still generalise back to these defaults to some extent. Feminism has undone a little of that... but not a lot.

Now cis male victims of cis females are far less common that the reverse. Not that we can get accurate figures because both rarely report an assault but its still likely to be true. But it happens enough that we should all know that it happens, that we should recognise what that means for our sex stereotypes. But the subject is too confronting, too taboo. The sex stereotypes too powerful and too beloved and too integral to the way we consider ourselves and each other... that we erase all exceptions.

Who has not felt the attacks and judgement for not fitting sex stereotypes? It doesn't matter that on average men have more muscular strength there's still many women who can out arm-wrestle many men. There are men with great reserve when it comes to sex and women who mark their conquests.

And the further you fall away from sex stereotypes the worse you get it.
Sexism does not just harm women it harms those men who don't fit the stereotype too.

Lisa at that link said "The whole fucking world exists to talk about cis men’s problems, Batty. " But thats NOT true. No if your reality goes totally against the grain of the sex stereotypes as the cis male victims of cis female sexual assault does then you dont count as a privileged male in the same way anymore. You are not the center of the world. You reality is a threat. There is not the place to discuss it, to get support and help coping with the aftermath let alone justice.

In the news right now is a woman arrested for sexually assaulting the elderly in my state. And news from spain about a horrific crime done by two ci-women agaunst a trans man.

In a discussion about safety from sexual predators every at-risk group no matter how much a minority they may be is a valid stakeholder. The erasure and taboo of cis male victims is caused by sexism, by the need to defend sex stereotypes. It does not erase the cis female victims to include cis males as a minority group of victims and cis females as a minority of perpetrators cause thats just a reality.

A reality that forces us to look harder at sexism to see it's complexity, its degrees of harm, its diverse effects. It makes us reasess our ideas of women when we acknowledge women can want to rape, murder, torture, destroy and value material possessions more than peoples lives it challenges our traditional idea of what consitutes a womans desires and behaviour. When we acknowledge they can be capable of doing that even to men it challenges our ideas of a womans power.

With the conflicts between parts of binary and non binary transgender, the conflicts between some trans women and trans men, the conflicts between feminism and transgender and the bathroom panic attacks on us from some political groups intending to ensure no equality for S&GD people and how sex stereotypes are so caught up in ALL of that then this form of sexism NEEDS to be addressed in our community.

And when a group so marginalised and erased that many have trouble accepting they exist at all yet common enough that I could know more than one in my life (and i don't have the biggest if social circles!) is considered by us taboo too because they happen to be connected to a priviliged class yet have no privilege in this regard.... no excluding discussion of victims of sexual assault like that is not ok. And the role of sexism in their marginalisation is too important to ignore.

Sexism is not simple. So we cannot afford to be simplistic about it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reforming the community label, complex issue but vital

Recently i found an article i missed that refers to something i wrote. http://oiiaustralia.com/oped-stop-erasing-intersex-acronyms/ Alas comments are closed on it so i cannot respond there to make clear my views on the terms S&GD, TG, GLBTI etc.

But it's well worth my discussing here in more depth.

Why do i support the term S&GD Sex and Gender Diversity?

Well i first encountered it in the HREOC community consultation with the community.

There were a number of people who find the term Transgender offensive if applied to them. Some are Intersex who see no relevance to the term to them. Some are Transsexuals who see their Gender as binary and fixed and the Trans term applying only to their anatomy. CisGender Transsexuals is a term that could rationally describe quite a few people.

There were also people who strove to have one or more groups kicked out of the consultation or have their input ignored because they feared that they and their demands would dominate the consultation. I was one of the targets of this from some transsexuals, and ironically it was the documentation issues of transsexuals that got the focus of the consultation over the objections of those like myself who called for Intersex Surgery issues to be the highest priority let alone my personal issue of anti-discrimination legislation inconsistency accross states especially related to non-gender-binary people.

The same human rights were being discussed in that consultation. Each groups issues had clear overlaps with others. And taken in isolation fixing the issues of one group could have deliterious effects on others of not done peoperly. It was absolutely essential that every group have a place at the table and non-adversarial understanding of the interplay between the systems involved and the rights of all is crucial.

A term was and is needed to show who had a stake in the discussion. S&GD was the term used.

If each group with a right to be there was listed it would be long and unwieldy. Lets list some shall we?

* Intersex
* Post-Op Transsexual
* Pre-Op Transsexual
* Non-Op Transsexual
* Transitioning Transsexual
* Woman Born Transsexual
* Person of Transsexual History
* Crossdresser
* Genderqueer
* Drag King
* Drag Queen
* Androgyne
* Female-to-male
* Male-to-female
* Sistagirl
* Bi-Gender

and thats just a taste, because there are lots of further identities, combinations as well as all the seperate Intersex medical catagories.

It's important not to erase these people. All have a right to be there in these kind of discussions and have their identity recognised and respected.

But we cannot practically list them all every time we write or speak. Not even just as Initials.

But Sex and Gender Diverse covers them all. Diversity of Sex, Diversity of Gender. It doesn't erase each identity that fits under the term. If we need or want to refer to any specific group or groups that fit under that rather than the whole lot it's easy enough to use any of the myriad terms but its impractical to list all of them every time.

Now there is objection in the article i link, a,ongst several, to changing GLBTIQ and varients to GLB(SGD)Q and that looks reasonable enough. After all it lengthens the term for starters and glues two together in their while leaving the others unchanged.

But I don't think thats right. I don't agree with GLB(SGD)Q

If we list every group identity label covered by sexuality we get a nightmarishly long list added to the ones of sex and of gender. We cannot list all those everytime we talk either.

We need a sane, sensible, practical and respectful inclusive way of talking about the community that doesn't involve taking one part of it and using it as a catch-all term for others. Gay is not ok to use for everyone. Nor Queer. Nor Transgender. Nor Intersex where despite evidence for some cross-sexed neurology in not just transsexuals but cissexual gays and lesbians its not part of their identities and the science is far from covering all yet.

So what answers are there?

I suggest that the shortest fairest term i have thus far seen is one that AFAIK i coined myself though its so simple and obvious i would not be surprised if others did before me: SS&GD.

Sexuality Sex and Gender Diversity.

Covering Diversity of Sexuality, of Sex, of Gender.

That term by definition, by having the D for Diversity, is intrinsicly inclusive.
Of course its up to those who use it to ensure we live up to that inclusivity and respect the individual identities that have a deserving place within it.

Its not about erasing any identity. Its about giving us a practical term that respects all identities. That respects those who are rarely if ever included in bite-sized acronyms and are regularly left out of things.

Now i'm not saying it's perfect. And I'm very much against the erasure of Intersex. I am totally in favour of putting Intersex issues right at the front of our priorities because some of them go through some of the worst stuff of us all.

It's suggested in the article that Intersex doesn't imediatly spring to mind with the term S&GD. Well i would think the problem there is peoples association. Diversity of Sex? It seems to me rationally that it would indeed cover Intersex amongst others. Yes new terms need to be explained to people, that can take time and effort, but that does not invalidate the usefullness or importance of such a term. Especially when current terms used are not fair on many and using Transgender, using GLB, GLBT, GLBTI, GLBTIQ.. they all leave people out or misscharacterise them. And often leave them out of things.

Crossdressers, Bi-gender, Genderqueer etc.. like Intersex there's no coverage for us in my state, we can legally be discriminated against (though with female-to-male transsexual with a medical condition making further surgery potentially life-threatening being denied proper legal recognition narrow definitions of Transgender under the law hurt plenty of people who should be covered already). But unlike gthe occassional I for Intersex I never see those intials in the acronym alphabet soup and CDs BGs and GQs et al are regularly left out or treated with direct hostility. The comments, mostly from transsexuals, against including people like me in the HREOC consultation spring to mind, including the radio comment when i was the only such person on the forum at the time. And they claimed we'd be making everything about us to their expense, yet i was advocating for TS and Intersex needs and they were trying to keep us out where my issue with anti-discrimination laws was a valid issue. There's a lot of groups fighting for their fair due of recognition representation and inclusion.

We need to change terminology to be fair, to be respectful and to be practical. We need to deal with the intolerances, bigotries, scapegoating and hate within our communities too. For those who hate being associated with groups they are prejudiced towards.. well SS&GD and the like puts us all rationally and fairly into the same basket and having to rub shoulders with others is usually a darn good way of overcoming prejudices.

It seems to me currently that SS&GD is the answer. But I'm very open to hearing other viewpoints.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ABC article discusses anti-red hair ad prejudice, ignores Emo!


An article on the prejudice road safety ads discussing red haired people BUT NOT EMO!

That in itself is an outrage and my complaints already emailed to the ABC.

But look at these MASSIVE revelations in the article.

Gone viral

Late last year, people with red hair were targeted by a joke on the TV
show South Park, which inspired an online campaign calling for a "kick a ginger"
day in the US.

There is little anyone can do to retrieve the Victorian Government ads
now they have spread online but the Government was hoping that was exactly what
would happen.

The campaign relies on being interesting enough to be spread by the
online community.
Roads Minister Tim Pallas says all of the ads were tested
by experts.

"The psychology advisory group were shown all the ads and those that
they believed were acceptable for the purposes of promulgation have been used,"
he said.

"There were many others that didn't make the cut, I can assure

The Minister's spokesman said the Government expected the ads to be
controversial and there were no plans to withdraw them.

Well looky here. They rejected heaps but kept the insulting villification they thought they could get away with! And a psychology advisery group let a RACIST ad villifying people for an inherited characteristic was let through? And an attack on a vulnerable often bullied and victimised minority subculture who have been the target of hate-attacks and even a violent riot overseas?

Thats an advisery group that NEEDS THEIR CREDENTIALS REMOVED! Whatever the term for malpractice amongst psychologists thats what we have here!

And the ads now cannot be retracted and were intended to be controvertial... They will echo through the net for who knows how long causing harm to people and spreading villification and prejudice not just in Victoria, not just Australia but worldwide!

They are deliberatly using prejudice to convey their message. Official government hate ads! Cynicaly at that. Exploitation of the prejudice that harms peoples lives!

How can Red Haired people and Emo people, all over the world, get justice when these videos could potentially outlive them? Sure thats not too likely but it is still possible. The government has no plans to withdraw the ads (which they can't anyway which was always their plan)? Despite using Racism and Prejudice to carry a message about not using mobile phones while driving?

To possibly save some people from car accidents the Victorian Government has decided to increase bullying, villification (in fact directly participate in villification), likely increase assaults and possibly even suicide of these target groups! Risking ruining the lives of some of the already persecuted in order to talk to the persecutors about not driving dangerously.

How about not bullying? Clearly the Victorian government is fine with bullying and its cost in suicides, drug use, mental health consequences and cost to the communtiy.

This is so not ok!

Not ok too is the ABC's ignoring Emo and only mentioning the prejudice against red haired people in that article. BOTH have valid reason to be upset ABC BOTH!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Government uses HATE ads to fight road toll

I'm am shocked and appalled.

That a state government would stoop to exploiting prejudices to create 'funny' viral ads to reach youth about road distraction dangers of using mobile phones is utterly shocking!

And also note they drew a line at some prejudices as one had combats a prejudice while others actually use the prejudice!

The Asian driver ad has a message that asian drivers can be good drivers...

But other ads say that every time you use a mobile phone while driving an emo is born, another that redheads, referred to by a derogatory term, have sex!

The 'humour' comes from the absurdness of the claim of course but that has no bearing of the fact that they are knowingly using clear prejudices.

Emos have enough villification already. Recent years have seen anti-emo riots in one country for goodness sake! And with the hate-murder and bashing of Goths in the U.K. the government think that tapping into a prejudice against a harmless subculture is ok?

And red hair is an inherited characteristic, making the ad about them having sex RACIST.

This is not ok. This is despicable and disgusting. And no 'its aimed at the young people' excuse covers the fact that one form of racism and hatred of subcultures are being exploited cynically by the government. Note that talking about anti-redhead prejudice isn't commonly considered racist and this prejudice is more commonly accepted so its something they'd think acceptable while they did the opposite on anti-asian prejudice where they'd get more of an outcry.

http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/yaunzpop/popup/?rn=16196868&cl=18874625 theres some vid of this, which i only hesitantly post as i do not wish to help them spread the 'virus' of HATE but should allow people to see the evidence for themselves.

The people responsible for this should be sacked. And face criminal charges for villification. Emo's and Redheads should SUE! And I hope they do in a massive class action.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Explaining Rights to Peter Stokes of the Salt Shakers

Two blogposts in one day is fairly unusual for me. Still rather than repeat myself too muck I'll just provide links to start with.

The discussion in question came when Peter Stokes of the Salt Shakers commented on discussions of Gay former Chief Justice of the High Court Michael Kiby's comments in recent times that the government should and eventually would apologise for it's wrongdoings to gay Australians and that the Church follow suite.

Quickly the discussion between Peter and I becomes one about nature, science and Human Rights.


I welcome comments here on this but please try and stay respectful and compassionate.

Is calling 'Tranny' an offensive word Offensive?

No thats not a joke. Or a defence of bigotry.

This is a VERY serious question.

One relating to Cultural Imperialism, to Class, to Transphobia between subsets of Transgender, to anti-sex-worker hate too.

The calls for Tranny to be considered a dirty word have been substantial. And they have some clear merit. Most of the time we encounter the word in the general media it's used as a derogatory word.

Its often condemned for being a word used with hate. A word used to un-gender or label third-gender binary identified transsexual women and women of transsexual history. A word that associates Transsexuals with the sex industry.

Wait a moment!
I know people who ARE third-Gender people! Intersex people who embrace being neither male nor female. Cissexual Genderqueer people. Bi-gender people.

I have been told by one commentor at Bilerico that the term originally referred to transvestites and so is offensive... wait a moment! I have friends who self-identify as transvestites! Their not fetishists either.

The use of the term to incorrectly call a binary-person non-binary is bad yes.. but being a non-binary person is not! Thats like saying Gay is an offensive word because some people call things that are bad Gay.

But trans is used substantially in the sex industry... hey! I have friends who've been in the sex industry! It's legal to be a sex worker in Australia. Those are real people with real feellings facing real prejudice and thats not ok either. To say all Transgender people are sex workers is wrong but to oppress and villify sex workers is also very very wrong.

Let me return to the term Transvestite. This is a bad word, connected to sex and the assumption that it is nothing more than a sexual fetish so the polite term is crossdresser right? No! As in the U.K. for example this is not such a demonised term. They both translate as the same thing anyway.. and for many the reason to reject Transvestite is the Trans bit. The association with Transsexual! There has been plenty of transphobic hate bettween transsexuals and crossdressers, between binary transsexuals and non binary transsexuals, between crossdressers who dont live full-time or modify their bodies and those who do either or both. And in some places and communities it's the word Crossdresser thats the dirty word connected with sexual fetish rather than internal gender identity.

And when i'm told Tranny is offensive because it started out as a shorthand for transvestite well that itself is offensive because there is nothing wrong with being a transvestite! Being mislabeled is wrong but objecting to a term for someone elses valid identity being used at all is also wrong. It'd be like a straight person sick of being called Gay wanting the word Gay banned as offensive. (And i'm sooo sick of a few het crossdressers whining about people thinking they are Gay and so making homophobic remarks!)

And it's not just some countries where the language use differs. Different places in a country, different social groups, different classes all may vary between which is the good term and which the bad. And often hatred of another part of S&GD people is part of the motivation.

And the bias against things sexual is often part of this. I've had Transsexuals tell me that Crossdressers are to blame for social stigma. I've had Crossdressers tell me that it's unconventional dressers that are at fault for dressing too sexy. I've seen non-binary Transsexuals blamed. Goth Crossdressers blamed. Drag blamed. Genderqueers blamed. Cos-players blamed. What a load of bovine manure.

And of course the sex industry gets blamed. Now of course there is massive exploitation issues in much of that industry. But there is also a large trans-attracted population in the world who are closetted too. They too are often derided for finding people attractive? Yes. And yes there are problems amongst many who are trans-attracted but then thats hardly surprising for a deeply clossetted population now isn't that? Sex workers are people. The people who visit sex workers are people. With feellings, desires, aspirations and fears. While it is a shamefull thing to find Trans attractive people will slink off in secret to purchase trans-erotica and to visit trans sex workers. Sex workers who are from under more than one part of the Sex and Gender Diverse umbrella.

Yes the constant assumption that Trans is all about having sex must be stopped but the villification of Trans sex workers and Trans-attracted people must also be stopped.

And the Internet is International. Not only that but American media in particular is spread worldwide filling TV and Cable and DVD stores worldwide. And so these cross-country language issues have serious consequences worldwide.

I have had a friend since my teens who is a transsexual. She always uses the term Tranny. She rarely ever says Transexual or Transgender. Thats been the case the whole time I've known her. And she's not the only Australian Transsexual that uses the term.

If a term is someones identity, like Tranny and like Gay then attacking the term itself as offensive is oppressing the people who validly have claim over the term. That doesn't mean the misuse of the term cannot or should not be condemned and decried. Of course they should be. Demanding the term only be used for those with a valid claim to it? In a non-offensive manner? Absolutely. But it's not ok to attack the term itself. Especially in ways that support the idea that being non-binary gender, being third sex, being a sex-worker, being gay, being transsexual, being a transvestite etc are themslves bad or wrong. That merely contributes to the oppression of those people.

That people, is clearly Transphobic.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bi-Gender and Identity Discrimination plus 2 Petitions

Wow the identity documents really have become a big isue lately.

The Sex Files Report lead SAGE (the gender one, there seems a couple GLBTI orgs by that name) and Bi-Gender activist norrie mAy Welby to strive to get NSW to give norrie sex-not-specified documentation.

They did. It then went public hitting headlines worldwide from International papers to the Colbert Report.

So of course the NSW Attorney General looked into it and declared that the department responsible couldn't actually provide a document not listing male or female and it's been cancelled.

Well I'll be writing to the Attorney General soon on these matters...

After all what are the effects of sex documentation markers? These are the things that have come up in conversation with people on this matter:

1.) Gathering statistics on the number of women in Australia. Which the Census does too.

2.) Telling Admin workers what honorific to use on letterheads if a name is potentially androgynous. Yep, no joke. Is it really worth harming Bi-Gender peoples human rights in order to put a sex-specific sexist title in front of peoples names?

3.) Daily enforcing gender expression on Sex and Gender Diverse people where if their gender expression doesn't match an officials assumptions of what a member of that sex should look like they suffer interferance of their human rights by:
A. Undue additional process to prove their identity
B. Denial of essential services
C. Allowing legal discrimination as gender expression is not covered in many states and territories including NSW
D. limiting their freedom of expression coercively in order to avoid these issues
E. Often coercively forcing surgery and loss of reproductive rights in order to obtain documentation to avoid these discriminations
F. Violating their human right of self-determination
4.) Segregating prisoners in jail so that men and women won't mix. This ignores that Intersex people are also imprisoned, that Transgender, Bi-Gender, other Sex and Gender Diverse people and people of all sexualities are also all imprisoned each of which raises all the same sort of problems of power, sex, vulnerability etc that mixing men and women does. Not only does this require the issues of S&GD issues in prisons be addressed regardless but why should non-prison people have to suffer in order to make prisons easier to run when sex markers need only exist for and in prisons if need be. Thats still not a reason not to allow undpecified documentstion in the general population!
While I'm at it there's two petitions people might want to be aware of. First one to remove the sexist and nonsensical Transvestic Fetishism from the DSM http://dsm.ifge.org/petition/ discussion of it here http://www.bilerico.com/2010/03/the_international_federation_for_gender.php

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Widespread Trauma and GLBTI/SS&GD conflicts

On an activism mailing list i'm on there was a recent fraccas.

I'm not saying which one and I'm not saying over what.. or at least not the surface whats that are all we usually see.

That conflict gave me an insight. One that should be obvious really but it's the kind that should be obvious but aren't that are usually the most important don't you find?

I've been in my share of battles between ideological positions, internecine conflicts over who is legitimatly this, who is harming who with this label or that term, who is throwing who under the bus and why. For a long time i just couldn't grasp the WHY of a lot of peoples views. Why some HBS supporters have tried so hard to hurt crossdressers. Why some crossdressers have been so homophobic or transphobic towards transsexuals. why so many Cisgender Gays and Lesbians have been so often prepared to leave transgender people out of legislation.

I thought for a time that some articles i read on Internalised Oppression would sufficiently explain this all.. but I was wrong.

I've been dealing with the subject of trauma recently. Dealling with some of my own experiences and those of people close to me. Not the first time but perhaps more successfully lately.

Notions of triggerring, of the explosive emotional distress that can come from something sometimes only reminscent of a traumatic event that need not conatin an iota of the actual threat or actual harm but need only have some reminder sufficient have been something i have become more aware of. It makes total sense, after all a mere waft of a scent can set most of us quite nostalgic and consumed with memories. But we often aren't used to considering the world that way so much so it's not always something we are conciosly mindful of. And of course it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to predict if something may be triggerring to someone even if we know a great deal about the trauma they have experienced because any sense may trigger the memories, feellings and reflexive responses.

We can try and avoid things when we know it'll be triggering for others. We can be there for them when it happens. We can try and hold back our normal emotional responses to their outbursts because we know that it's coming from hurt. And when we face triggerring issues of our own we can try and cope with them, try to not allow them to limit or define our lives, try and learn to defy the reflexes, the fears, the pains, the paralysis, the shrieking terror.

Well i realised that when many people are wronging each other it's coming from a place of hurt. It may be about rejection, lack of fair recognition, ostracism, violence, being sacrificed...
And many people will react to such hurt with their own triggerred reflexes. Hyper-sensitivity from raw exposed nerves, over-reactions because of similarities to past traumas.

Those who are thrown under the bus because another is so terrified of being hurt again or a hurt not ending are themselves likely to also be traumatised. Often associating an entire class with the wrong done them.

Now the internalised oppression i mentioned before is undoubttedly one of the larger sources of trauma. But more than that recognising that many people are traumatised by the discrimination they have faced and will act and react the way a traumatised person will is i think crucial to understanding and in dealing with the bickering and anger and hostility between so much of our myriad interconnected and interdependant communities.

Judging others has become so commonplace in our society especially online that most of the time we don't question it. We happily ban many people for being disruptive, uncaring as to what kind of hurt may be the true origin behind the disruptive behaviour. Yes the net is full of trolls. And the harm they have done to the way we deal with hurting fellow humans is immeasurable.

How callous we have become on one hand that we easilly dissmiss each other as bad, as just plain wrong, as the enemy.. or is it really at heart that they are wounded and that we are wounded, they their anger is a response to past trauma and our coldness to them is our own response to our own trauma?

And isn't this substantially the way many actually want the world to work? That through pain and trauma we will develop reflexive responses? Isn't that how authoritarian thinking works? And what is the motivation of an internet troll? Have we been to quick to dissmiss them as sub-human rather than to wonder what kind of inner pain would cause one person to try and hurt the feellings of others? Or lead someone suppossedly following a faith they believe in as right and true and honourable and all-powerful to descend to trickery deception missrepresentation and outright lies in order to prevent the equal rights of another human being they feel somehow threaten them?

As some studies seem to have confirmed the long held notion of some that most fervent homohobes are themselves to some extent GLB doesn't that really all make sense?

Many in exasperation condemn those who squabble and fight amongst our communities and indeed those fights do often slow our efforts for equality down. But sometimes they have solid valid comp,laints that need to be considered and acknowledged. And each persons reactions from pain can trigger others leading to cascades and avalanches of suffering, lashing out and conflict.

We need to try and learn about each others traumas, as people and groups, so we can try and avoid being unjust by accident or triggering each other. And we need to be patient with over-reactions and triggered pain and reflexive defencive reactions and not exacerbate situations.

And we need to remember people won't always be able to predict what might trigger someone. And if someone goes off i a big way about something that seems unimportant well they may be responding to past pain or they may see something clearly that you've been unaware of. Both are possible even at the same time.

Overcoming bigotry. bias and internalised oppression are not easy. But they are neccessary. And helping each other to do so is neccessary.

That means trying to hold our own reflexes and pain in check, trying to heal our own pain, to not take the seemingly easy and seemingly quick options of quitting of banning of excluding and of anger but instead fighting the disease of passing along pain and instead try the slow but most powerful long-term path of passing along healling.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Non Binary Gender, Absences and Appropriations

Two discussions well worth having.

This one on the erasure or allowed absence of non-binary non-transsexual parts of Transgender in the media is very important as the largest part of the Transgender Umbrella is the least seen.

While this one brings up claims of many people appropriating a Genderqueer identity and the effects of that on the community, a tricky problem indeed to take any side on with self-identification in the mix. And one in which i appear to have raised some controvertial ideas that some consider off topic, though i feel are getting to the actual heart of the matter.

Of note with my comments in the latter is the connected issue of how much the experiences of one group may be applicable to others in similar circumstances. While some imposing their experiences on everyone elses has been a problem in the past has the reaction to that gone so great as to cause massive loss of opportunities to learn from one another? Like has been raised in Science of recent times where Inter-disciplinary science has become invaluable in solving problems that sat building for ages through exclusivity and non-comunication between different fields?

Definatly some interesting conversations well worth having.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quick response to new APA draft on Transvestic Fetish

It's late and I've been busy and with bad symnptoms so this is brief though i've added comments on it at bilerico and Zoe's and at some crossdressing forums.

Here it is: http://www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/proposedrevision.aspx?rid=189

That its there at all is problem number 1.

There's lots wrong with it.

It still only lists Males. I know female-bodied crossdressers exist cause I'm dating one!

The rationale section makes clear that even a well adjusted happy crossdresser is still labelled as having not-normative sexual behaviour even if not having the disorder so long as they ever have sex when dressed.

And then there's the bit where they explain no longer having heterosexuality a criteria for diagnosis (emphasis added by me): "[11] The word “heterosexual” was removed because some transvestites interact sexually with other males, especially when cross-dressed, and may subjectively perceive themselves as bisexual."

Not may be bisexual, not may be homosexual. But may subjectively perceive themselves as bisexual.
Are they wrong about being bisexual? Seems to me something they'd know. Are they suggesting Bisexuality doesn't exist?

I'll discuss this at more length later as there's plenty more but I'll mention this as it will also annoy the HBS crew who always demand that CDs have no conection to TSs and don't suffer gender dysporia: "Other transvestites, whom Blanchard (1989) has called autogynephiles, are most aroused by the thought or image of themselves as women. As a practical matter, the autogynephilic type seems to have a higher risk of developing gender dysphoria. This was confirmed in a secondary data analysis reported by Blanchard (2009c). The results of that analysis clearly suggested that the addition of the proposed specifiers to the diagnosis of Transvestic Disorder could provide clinically meaningful information as well as data useful for research."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Could Bigotry be a mental Illness or is that an Ableist suggestion?

Well in some comments at Questioning Transphobia i've upset a lot of people by supporting the idea that the bigotry of homophobia and transphobia are likely mental ilnesses. Caused by strongly unconciously supressing ones own homosexuality transgenderness or trans-attraction.

I had reached that conclusion because I'd read of studies that over 80% of those strongly homophobic had themselves strong sexual arousal to homoerotic imagery.

Now i was told this is ablist. Indeed perhaps i have made ablist assumptipons. Everyone does tend to accrue some logical fallacies from society so some degree of such is unsurprising and I'm happy to confront challenge and defeat any such i may not realise i have.

On the other hand it's also possible that my conclusion is correct but people understandably do not wish to in any way share a catagory with such people and wish to avoid any taint-by-association from the strongly bigoted being given an umbrella label that also applies to them. I can understand that, the thought that the murderers of Trans people might themselves be members of our own community that lash out from self hate is an unpleasant one in the extreme to me too. Though the DNA evidence on the vibrater in the Angie Zapata trial in that case at least does seem suggestive of this.

The idea of course goes into several hotly contested areas, aside from the emotional aspects, such as what constitutes a mental illness, what influences exist on behaviour, what responsibility people can have for their behaviour if/when we are all not purely reasoning beings 100% of the time which of course throws into chaos a great deal of our legal system which operates under the assumption that we are all 100% under total reasoning calm control of our every action.

One of the issues that seems to be involved is one of behaviour. To suggest that behaviour may be influenced by mental illness seems from my understanding of the comments in response to mine to be considered ablist. I certainly can understand the fear caused by past practices of institutionalisation and abuse of human rights by loss of personal agency that might fuel this. Suffering regular varying severity cognitive impairment myself caused by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome though i can certainly say that my behaviour personally does seem to be effected by my symptoms both in reflexive unconsciouis actions as well as in varying degrees of ability to reason which cn result in very different choices made under similar circumstances just with the variable of severity and type of cognitive symptoms. Something that I find the experience of profoundly distressing.

It seems to me however that to dissmiss effects on behaviour that can result from symptoms or likely ractions to symptoms of disability is itself problematically ablist.

That a dangerous all-or-nothing thinking may be involved and that attempts to avoid the stigmatisation of people with varied cognition as dangerous and needing to be removed from self control may also result in unfairly abandoning people who have behavioural effects a a consequence of their condition to rot in prisons blamed for the effects of their illness or diversity and blamed for the societies failure to cope with the possibility that individuals, all individuals I might add not just those with mental illness or neurologically diverse etc, are not wholly 24/7 in total control of their every act. If there are important shades of grey there the danger could exist that the efforts to avoid stigma and injustice for some if the shades of grey are not acknowledged and considered could result in stigma and injustice for others.

However i'm well aware i could be totally wrong about this. I may in fact have been making very ablist assumptions and therefore reaching warped and incorrect conclusions from the available data. Additionally the available data i have could be critically incomplete or plain incorrect in the first place.

So then the question is what is in error in this and why is it? Is it ablist to consider that unconsciously repressed homosexuality leading to homophobia would be a psychological illness? Is it ablist to consider that mental illnesses and other cognitiove variation could effect behaviour? Or conversely is it ablist to hold people responsible for the effects on their behaviour which may stem from such?

I have no desire to oppress disabled people, being one myself, nor the mentally ill or neurologically diverse. But that doesn't mean i cannot be disasterously wrong either.

Friday, January 15, 2010

We need better Human Rights Education

Time and time again i fnd myself explaining to people the principles behind what makes rights rights.

They are pretty simple in the main.

Total sole ownership of the self.
Informed consent required to interact with the selves of others.
Responsibilities to those unable to consent.
The social contract that forms the society we all benefit from which we are all responsible to.

All our rights stem from fairly simple principles. Which need to be consistent and not arbitrary.

Alas as usual plenty of people haven't the faintest ideas as is evidenced in this discussion I'm involved in here at Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters

Plenty of people are making arguments about rights without the faintest understanding, resulting in frequent human rights abuses.

We need far better education for the community about the principles that makes something a right or a human rights abuse.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Transphobia on TV, general life stuff etc.

Well Channel Ten played the Transphobic episode of The Cleveland Show here in Australia last night. Which i discovered channel surfing after realising the beautiful people wasn't on.


Thank goodness for Batman Arkham Asylum as some anger-release. Though i have to be careful I don't spend too much energy on gaming. I'm still trying to rest as much as I can to slow the holiday crash and start picking up. I wish i could get the brainfog clear enough as I really want to find an avenue for contributing positively to things some more.

There's a discussion going on about transphobia and the media actually at Questioning Transphobia finding ways to improve media coverage of transgender people both in quality and quantity is important i think to maximising the gains of recent years.

Sigh and if having insomnia while feelling exhausted and still being plenty cranky about Channel Ten and missing my girl/boyfriend being close at hand weren't bad enough I can't find my nail file and I think I left my lovely purple nail polish at Mum's place.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dying Transgender Children and Youth.. Beyond Blue starts to do something!

As i mentioned in past posts like this there are a lot of people with blood on their hands in Australia.. the blood of Transgender children, Bisexual children, Lesbian children, Gay children, teens and youth.

Murdered by negligence. By ignoring the horrifically high stats of attempted suicide for these groups.

According to this report Beyond Blue is improving on it's handling of the issue. Will they go far enough? Will they commit the resources proportional to the high rate in figures on their own site? (Oh.. but of course those figures left off Transgender and Intersex didn't it.)

Well of the stats I've seen Trans is the worst suffering group. (Anyone got stats for Intersex suicide?) so surely rationally we should see the efforts proportional to risk... but will we see that? Will we see beyondblue ads on rural local tv about preventing the suicide of closeted transgender kids, of bi-questioning kids? Will we see them as much or more than the ads we see of preventing suicide of farmers? Because the attempted suicide rate of TQBLG Youth in australia is shockingly high and demands not one iota less than the resources appropriate to the degree of the problem!

Lets see how serious this is. Lets see if Beyond Blue start actually acting to save these childrens lives or if they continue to MURDER THEM BY NEGLIGENT INACTION!

When will we see real action? When will we see advertising in the general media to reach the rural closeted and scared and depressed and anxious Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay teens? To get them to help before they try and die? To provide effective programs to rural doctors and to rural families and rural schools to stop the slaughter?

Well I'm waiting to see... but while everyone's waiting more children are DYING! So please do remember that when considering just how much the " ‘x’ dollars over ‘x’ period of time" Beyond Blue is comitting to this will be.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Post-holiday recovery begins

It's been a busy few weeks filled with travel and family.

Yesterday i had to farewell my girl/boy-friend flying back to the big city which is hard on us both to return to the distance thing.

Still we had a lot of fun. Getting to let my hair down at the Warner Brothers Movieworld themepark and getting our pics taken with Batman while both crossdressed was particularly moving for me, I'd wanted a pic with Batman since i was a kid.

But all this comes at a price. Muscle and joint pain, neausea, mental blanks, memory problems, exhaustion, dizzyness.. all symptoms substantially increasing. And possible returns of ones that had faded like red-fades and daylong headaches etc.

I'll have to do everything more slowly with more rest periods in between. Just like the last time and the time before that. Even with getting Tai chi in on the good days for my joints and muscles and painting more of my Tyranid army i'll be keeping up on things online and posting my thoughts.. even if they may be more rambling and less well articulated even than usual due to the more severe 'brain fog'.