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. 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 discussion of it here

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.