Laverne Cox launches media campaign in support of transwoman Synthia China Blast: convicted for the rape, murder and abuse of the corpse of thirteen-year-old Ebony Nicole Williams
August 22, 2014
Orange Is The New Black actor Laverne Cox launched a public campaign this week in support of a male incarcerated for the rape and murder of a thirteen-year-old girl and abuse of her corpse, because that man now considers himself to be “transgender”.
Cox uses the fame generated by recent acting success in an attempt to create sympathy for the convicted child-killer and his quest to medically feminate and be transferred to a female prison. “I want my voice to be heard, I want my dreams to matter, I want people to know who I am because tomorrow is not promised,” reads Cox.
Laverne Cox’s video has been widely promoted as “Laverne Cox Reads A Letter From A Transwoman Currently In Prison”, but this isn’t the first publicized “letter” from Synthia China Blast, born Luis Morales.
In 2004 Synthia China Blast emulated the New York Zodiac Killer Heriberto Seda, by sending a typewritten letter to the NY Daily News, titled “This is the voice of the Zodiac Killer’s Wife”. In the letter the sex-offender and child-killer expressed his desire to “become a woman” and “marry” the serial killer, who was serving his 235-year sentence in the same facility. “If I was a real woman I could bring about little future serial killers to terrorize NYC like my husband did. How [New Yorkers] would of loathed the Zodiac Children,” Blast wrote.
Out of all the causes in the entire world that could have been championed, the OITNB star Laverne Cox asks that you lend your support to a deranged, sadistic, life-extinguishing person who raped and murdered little Ebony Nicole Williams, then dumped her lifeless body off a highway underpass, later returning to burn her corpse.
Cox is joined in this action by the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a transgender organization that supports incarcerated males who are serving sentences for the rape, murder, and sexual exploitation of children. The organization encourages transgender youth to write to these men, including pedophile Lewis Stevens who represents the Sylvia Rivera Law Project as “Lennea Elizabeth Stevens” in a blog on their website. Stevens is incarcerated for possessing a collection of videos of children being raped. See a partial list of his collection here:
You can read more about the child-rapists, child-killers, and pedophiles that Laverne Cox and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project would like you to support at the following links:
“Ultra Violent” Transgender Teen “Jane Doe” transferred to male facility after assaulting another female victim
July 14, 2014
The transgender male Connecticut teen being called “Jane Doe” has been transferred to a juvenile male facility today after committing another assault on a teenage girl and a staffer on Saturday night in the all-female psychiatric facility where he had been housed.
Readers will recall that the young man, with a history of serial violence against women and girls, had been transferred in April from the custody of the Department of Children and Families to the Department of Corrections, and placed in a private cottage at an adult female prison facility because no juvenile female space was equipped to accommodate violent male offenders. Connecticut State Gender Identity laws prevented the male teen from being transferred to any one of the many appropriate juvenile units because the law makes a distinction between those male teens who may have special vulnerabilities or needs, are gay, are “feminine” or sex-role nonconforming, and those who believe they are “female brained” and identify themselves as transgender. Male teens who declare gender beliefs are offered special dispensation to be housed with juvenile females on the basis of that belief.
Connecticut state juvenile authorities began administering cross-sex female hormone treatments to the troubled young man at the age of 16 in an effort to make him appear more female.
Transgender and gay male activists rallied around the violent teen on the basis of their claim that incarcerated female minors should have no right to safety from his serial assaults. Demonstrations were held in multiple cities calling for the young man’s release back into a general population of potential female victims. Protesters urged authorities to disregard the safety of girls, claiming that the young man’s feelings of wishing he was female would be hurt if he was placed in an appropriate juvenile male facility -and that one violent male teen’s feelings were more important than the physical safety of female teens and staffers. Connecticut resident and gay male activist Harvey Fierstein wrote an OpEd published by the New York Times calling on authorities to prioritize “Jane Doe’s” feelings about his sexual identity over the rights of juvenile females to be incarcerated free from violent male assault. Male activists defended the youth by proposing that targeting women and girls for violence is a natural response for males who have survived abuse by other males. The teen’s previous assaults include multiple acts of battery against juvenile females, stabbing a female juvenile with a fork, breaking a female staffer’s jaw, blinding a female staffer by repeated kicks to the head, and smearing his feces.
Male activists set up “Justice for Jane” websites and mailing lists and an attractive, feminizing portrait was drawn up to represent the serial offender to the public.
As a result of this activism officials transferred the young man at the end of June to Middletown’s Child Psychiatric Institute -in one of its juvenile female units in deference to the teen’s desire to believe he is actually female.
In a development that should surprise no one, providing him with access to female victims has resulted in the violent assault of both a teenage girl and a female staffer in last night’s attack.
From reporter Josh Kovner at the Hartford Courant:
“7:28 p.m. EDT, July 13, 2014
The transgender youth who was imprisoned without charges because of her history of assaulting staff members in juvenile facilities has been accused of assaulting a worker and another youth at a juvenile treatment program in Middletown on Saturday night, child protection officials said Sunday.
State police are investigating the allegations, said Gary Kleeblatt, spokesman for the Department of Children and Families. The youth was moved Saturday night to a single room at the secure Connecticut Juvenile Training School.
The 16-year-old transgender girl had been shifted back to DCF care on June 20 after her transfer to York Correctional Institution for women in Niantic drew outrage from national civil rights advocates.”
“A brief statement from DCF said only that the youth, known in court filings as Jane Doe, “assaulted another youth and a staff member at the girls Pueblo Unit and also destroyed state property.”
The locked Pueblo unit is on the campus of the former Riverview Children’s Hospital in Middletown.
“State police have been notified, and we are confident they will take whatever action they deem is appropriate,” Kleeblatt said.
DCF had been awaiting approval of plans to place the youth in a juvenile treatment program in Massachusetts. It is not clear how the new assault allegations will affect those plans.
Romano said the Massachusetts option sounds to him like “a false promise.”
Initially, DCF opted not to place the youth in the Pueblo Unit, making the case that it had no programs to care for her.
Romano has said he wants to see her go to a foster family.”
The Courant quotes DCF Commissioner Joette Katz as stating that “agency staff searched “for a secure facility that would honor [his] gender identity.”
None of the news agencies have yet reported on the status of the injured female victims. Updates will be posted in the comments section below.
“Ultra-Violent Girl” used in testimony to justify new female juvenile locked-facility turns out to be male transgender
April 10, 2014
It turns out that Jill, the ultra-violent girl cited in testimony by DCF Commissioner Joette Katz in February 14th hearings regarding the need for a Connecticut facility for ultra-violent female juveniles is in fact a male transgender.
The 16 year old “girl” and “female” cited in multiple reports as an alleged serial violent batterer of women and girls across several foster care placements was revealed to be a male “transgender teen” yesterday when gay activist groups revealed he has since been remanded to an adult prison facility for evaluation and placement by the state.
In most recent charges, the male teen has been charged with biting a woman on the top of her head, kicking her repeatedly in the head arms and face, punching, assaulting, blinding a female caseworker, and breaking her jaw.
The young man has now been sent for evaluation to an adult (female!) prison for evaluation without charge, an extraordinary occurrence.
From the Hartford Courant:
“A transgender youth under the care of the Department of Children and Families has been transferred to an adult prison with no criminal charge pending — a rare action that has triggered strong opposition from the state child advocate’s office and the youth’s public defender.
The youth, 16, is a male who identifies as a female. The teen, with a history of committing assaults against staff members in various juvenile facilities, was ordered transferred to prison April 8. DCF had argued before a judge at a trial that it could not care for the youth at any of its programs, including the high-security Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown.
In court, DCF lawyers cited the statute, which permits such a transfer if DCF demonstrates that no suitable treatment program exists.
It is the first time in 14 years, that the statute has been used, and the first in more than 20 years that the youth in question was a ward of DCF. The agency deals with dozens of assaultive youths, including those who have been arrested multiple times in a matter of days for assaults against staff at the training school.
“This was nothing less than an extraordinary state action and is almost unprecedented,” said Child Advocate Sarah Eagan. “DCF is is this youth’s parent, and is obligated to fashion treatment and programming.”
The state public defender’s office is appealing the transfer. The youth is now at the York Correctional Institute for women in Niantic, but might be shifted to a male facility after an evaluation.
In a written statement, DCF Commissioner Joette Katz acknowledged the rarity of the action, and said DCF did not do this lightly. She said such a request would only be considered if the department felt it could not safely hold an assaultive youth at one of its programs.
”We work hard to serve youths with even the most complex needs, but in extreme cases …. it is incumbent upon us to take appropriate authorized measures,” Katz said in the statement.
On Feb. 14, Katz, while lobbying to open a secure treatment facility for girls in Middletown, brought up this youth’s story in testimony before the legislature’s appropriations committee. Katz didn’t name the youth, but said that a staff member was blinded and had her jaw broken in the assault. Katz said this youth would be appropriate for the locked program, which was the subject of opposition from advocates and some lawmakers. The allocation of $2.5 million was approved and the unit is now open on the campus of the former Riverview Hospital in Middletown.”
Read more about this breaking case at these links:
“Jill”, reported solely as female before today’s revelations : http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/girls_detention_center/
GenderTrender will be following developments in this case.
Finally a response from the Transgender Law Center’s Cecilia Chung after two days of death threats against lesbians and feminists in his twitter timeline. Killing women “is not helpful” at this time, in his estimation. Unbelievable.
Serial Killer suspect Douglas “Donna” Perry is back in Spokane after completing his Federal sentence on weapons charges. Perry faces triple murder charges for the slayings of Yolanda Sapp, Kathleen Brisbois and Nickie Lowe in 1990. He is still under investigation for other murders. According to court documents filed in January, a cellmate of Perry claimed he confessed to murdering a total of nine women who had been exploited by men into prostitution. He killed them because they had the ability to have children and were “wasting it being pond scum”. Tragically, ATF agents who pried open a sealed and painted-over closet in Perry’s home in 2012 while investigating weapons charges failed to inventory the boxes of women’s panties and other apparent “trophy items” kept by him there. You can read about this, about Perry’s long criminal history, and about the 24 year investigation which culminated in this week’s events at the previous GenderTrender post HERE, which contains news archives and information not available elsewhere. The boyfriend of one of Perry’s former cellmates posts comments at that link as well.
Douglas Perry was remanded to the Spokane County Jail but refused to appear in court to face triple homicide charges Monday. Survivors of the victims- family and loved ones who arranged time off work and traveled to the Spokane County courtroom were forced to wait until Tuesday when Perry finally consented to a four minute appearance rather than face a drag order. Bail was set at one million dollars. You can see partial video of Perry’s court appearance from KHQ News HERE.
According to court affidavit, Perry told investigators that his male persona committed the murders but his female persona was innocent. When asked why the murders stopped, Perry is quoted as saying “Douglas didn’t stop, Donna stopped it.” Perry is also recorded as stating that he believes medical gender treatments are a cure for violent men who despise women and torture-kill them. “There’s a great downturn in violence,” he says, adding that surgical sex change is “a permanent way to control violence.” Perry flew to Thailand in 2000, where he underwent castration and surgical inversion of his penis into a condom-shaped pouch meant to approximate a vagina.
Perry’s comments echo a common refrain seen on transgender support sites among men who undergo medical gender treatments seeking a dampening of anti-social sexual urges, sexual compulsivity, and illegal acts, as well as a “fresh start” or re-invention of a life trajectory gone awry.
Perry, now linked to the three murders by DNA, fingerprint, and other evidence, claims innocence due to gender re-invention. “I’m not going to admit I killed anybody, I didn’t. Donna has killed nobody,” and “I don’t know if Doug did or not, it was 20 years ago and I have no idea whether he did or did not,” he was quoted in the affidavit, dated January 14.
You can read the full affidavit in PDF form by clicking HERE.
There is evidence that Perry’s legal team wholeheartedly supports a transgenderist identity defense: their sole request of the court was that defendant’s criminal name Douglas be erased from all court documents and replaced by the name Donna. His legal team, headed by Anna Nordtvedt, claimed they had been unable to see Douglas previously because the legal team refused to submit that request using the name on his criminal record. That a defense team’s single priority during arraignment of a triple-murder suspect is the request that legal records be changed to reflect his “gendered” female name is a strong indicator that establishing a new legal persona for Perry is critical to his defense. One can think of no other rationale for submitting the bizarre and politicized claim that legal counsel was barred from seeing the defendant by the legal team’s own refusal to use the name on Douglas’s criminal record to arrange meetings with him. You can see counsel’s bizarre claim at the video link posted above.
Perry and counsel are scheduled for his next court appearance March 25.
Very Interesting. Lesbian Feminist attorney Elizabeth Hungerford -who authored the controversial “Letter to the UN Commission on Women on Gender Identity” with another lawyer now states that the original “is incomplete”. A “doctor’s note” is insufficient to protect women from males who wield “Gender Identity” for an “Improper Purpose”. Read more at the link.
Christopher “Jessica” Hambrook, serial rapist, sexually assaulted and terrorized women after being placed in Toronto area Women’s Shelters
February 16, 2014
Hambrook’s fate will be decided by a judge next week as the court determines whether “she” will be deemed a chronic dangerous offender, a designation which will allow “her” to be incarcerated indefinitely.
Meanwhile, transgender activists held a public protest today in Toronto demanding that individuals like Hambrook be incarcerated with women in female facilities on the basis that they believe themselves to be “psychologically female”.
Two months ago, Canadian transgender activists protested a memorial for murdered women because Vancouver Rape Relief, which organized the event, maintains a domestic violence and rape counseling service for women that does not place female victims with males.
A senior citizen confronted with a “trans woman” in a Toronto YMCA women’s locker room who forced her to view his erect penis, and asked her “do you come here often?”- was recently told by authorities that males have an “absolute” legal right to placement in public areas traditionally sex-segregated for female safety, under new legal “Gender Identity” statutes, which override former sex-based protections for women and girls.
The elimination of women-only services and spaces where women are particularly vulnerable, such as homeless shelters, prisons, hospital bed assignment, areas of public nudity (such as locker rooms), is the primary goal of the transgender political rights movement. Also included are women’s sports, women’s colleges, women’s conferences, private women-only music festivals, lesbian events, etc.
TORONTO – A convicted sexual predator who falsely claimed to be transgender and preyed on women at two Toronto shelters could be declared a dangerous offender this month.
Christopher Hambrook — who claimed to be a transgender woman named Jessica — has attacked four vulnerable females between the ages of five and 53 in Montreal and Toronto over the past 12 years.
Justice John McMahon will decide Feb. 26 whether to declare Hambrook a dangerous offender, which carries an indefinite prison sentence.
The prosecution is asserting Hambrook, a former stripper and escort from Quebec, simply cannot control his deviant sexual urges and that locking him up indefinitely is the best way to protect the public.
Hambrook, 37, pleaded guilty in February 2013 to two counts of sexual assault and one count of criminal harassment involving two women — a deaf and homeless Quebec woman and a Toronto survivor of domestic violence — while he was living at a Dundas St. W. shelter and the Fred Victor women’s shelter in January and February 2012.
All of the victims’ names are covered by a publication ban.
Psychiatric and court records portrayed Hambrook as “hypersexual” and a sexual predator.
He couldn’t control his deviant urges, inside or outside of jail, sharing his sick sexual fantasies and irritating other inmates during a four-year prison sentence served in Quebec and Kingston.
He told grandiose lies, saying he once had a relationship with socialite Paris Hilton, earned $350,000 as an exotic dancer and that his mom died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
A self-described “heart breaker,” Hambrook said he’s had more than 80 male sexual partners in his lifetime, including “johns” in his prostitute days and that other inmates “made advances to him rather than vice-versa,” court heard.
After moving to Toronto in 2009, he boasted that he’d received more than 800 e-mails from old Montreal friends “begging him to come home” for sex and shopping sprees.
His latest crimes revealed a continuing trend of exploiting the vulnerable — this time women living at shelters.
The first victim, a deaf and homeless woman from Quebec, checked into the Fred Victor shelter on Jan. 8, 2012. Hambrook had been staying there as “Jessica” since Dec. 23, 2011. She was soon terrorized by Hambrook’s unwanted advances.
Hambrook wrote notes to the woman in French and learned both were smokers. Then, his notes took a creepy turn.
“He asked her if she preferred men and if she wanted a sex change. She started to feel uncomfortable around ‘Jessica’ and was nervous about her behaviour,” said Crown attorney Danielle Carbonneau, reading an agreed statement of facts when Hambrook entered his guilty plea in February 2013.
Hambrook made several unwanted sexual advances toward the woman over the next two or three days. He tried to isolate her in various rooms and she kept rebuffing him as she felt he was stalking her, court heard.
Hambrook stopped her once, grabbed her hand and placed it on his crotch. She yanked her hand away and said, “No.” Hambrook started talking about her breasts and invited her to touch his “fake breasts (he had none).” She became scared and had trouble sleeping as his room was across the hall.
The next day while she was in the shower, she noticed he was peering through the gap between the door and its frame. Hambrook vanished as soon as he realized she spotted him, court heard.
The second victim sought refuge at a Dundas St. W. shelter on Feb. 11, 2012, after suffering serious domestic abuse, court heard.
She remained there two weeks. Hambrook — who told people he was a transgender woman — was admitted there at the same time and ended up being his victim’s roommate.
Hambrook was sitting on a third-floor balcony, smoking a cigarette, when the victim went outside for a smoke. He invited her to sit beside him. When she did, he placed his hand on the bench so the woman would sit on it. She rose quickly, asking him what he was doing and he replied, “It’s a bum warmer. It’s also a boob warmer.” Troubled by his comments, she went inside.
When the victim found Hambrook was one of her three roommates, she had trouble sleeping. On Feb. 12, she left the shelter, consumed some drugs and returned to sleep.
Early on Feb. 13, she awoke to discover Hambrook standing behind her in his underwear, attempting to sexually assault her.
The victim shouted at him, demanding to know what he was doing. Hambrook “simply covered his face with his hands, said “Oops!” and started giggling, according to Carbonneau.
The woman reported the assault to police and Hambrook has been in custody since. His DNA was found on her nightwear.
Shortly after his mother died in Montreal in February 2002, Hambrook committed the first of his sex crimes by sexually assaulted a family friend’s five-year-old daughter. While on bail waiting for courts to deal with charges laid for that crime, he targeted a 27-year-old mentally challenged woman, by sexually assaulting her in his home and forcing her to smoke a joint.
Hambrook received two years in jail for each of those crimes, for a total of four years.
“He had no empathy, no remorse or understanding of his victims of his offences,” Toronto psychiatrist Dr. Treena Wilkie said in her assessment.
In childhood, Hambrook was diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and never made it through high school.
Wilkie diagnosed him with an anti-social personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, determined he was dependent on alcohol and drugs and had multiple sexual deviancies. He was rated as a high risk to re-offend sexually.
Hambrook was earlier assessed as suffering from bisexual pedophilia and exhibitionism.
He blamed his heavy drug use or his victims for his Montreal crimes. He stated the five-year-oldm victoim’s mother “had the hots for him” but he rejected her. The mom fabricated the crime to spite him, said Hambrook, despite pleading guilty to the crimes.
He asserted the mentally-challenged woman consented to sex.
In his psychiatric assessment, Hambrook provided conflicting information on his gender identity issue. He lied that he had been receiving hormone treatment for many years and lied that he wanted to pursue a sex change. He admitted he only dressed intermittently in women’s clothing and wanted to remain a man and have a relationship with a woman.
Psychiatric reports concluded Hambrook is not transgender.
“Mr. Hambrook’s conduct inflicted severe psychological damage on both victims,” said Carbonneau. “(They) sought refuge at Toronto women’s shelters at difficult times in their lives. They thought that they would be safe there, but instead, they were further victimized by the accused.”
Gender Identity Laws allow “Transwoman” to exhibit his erect penis in Toronto YMCA women’s locker room
January 19, 2014
Yet another example of the “Colleen Francis” effect of Gender Identity laws and how they allow men to inflict sexual abuse on women and girls in locker rooms and other sex-segregated areas of public nudity. In this instance, a 70 year old woman described what happened to her in a question she sent to the advice column of her local newspaper, the Toronto Star:
“I am a senior woman. Recently, a “man” claiming to be transgender, who had not yet begun physical treatments, was permitted by our local Y to use the women’s locker room. There are no secure change rooms. The person they allowed in was not courteous and stared at me while I struggled out of a wet bathing suit. He was naked, had an erection and playfully asked ‘do you come here often?’ I understand that gender is no longer judged solely by genitalia, but does a brief contact with the duty manager mean that men not yet committed to gender reassignment are free to disrobe anywhere they choose?”
Did transgender activists respond with concern and address the fact that Gender Identity protections remove the rights of women to be free from male sexual abuse in public areas? No. Instead, they claimed that the sexual assault was a “false claim by right-wingers” and “a hoax”, the same way anti-feminist men blame rape victims by citing “false rape claims”. Did transactivists like Autumn Sandeen and Cristan Williams express an ounce of empathy or concern for the elderly woman abused by the “transwoman”? No they did not. They accused the woman of making a false claim, calling her a liar, for no other reason except that they would rather allow women and girls to be sexually abused than address the way Gender Identity laws eliminate rights and protections for women and girls.
Likewise, the advice columnist who responded to the woman’s letter advised her that Gender Identity laws allowed men “the absolute right” to exhibit their penises in women’s locker rooms, and that basically she should get used to it. He kind of waffled a bit on the erection part, deeming it “unacceptable” – but providing no clear measure to legally halt the behavior. And if erect penises are “unacceptable” but non-erect ones are “an absolute right” for strange men to inflict on women and girls in YMCA locker-rooms, then what about the partially erect? Is that “partially unacceptable”? Or an “absolute right”? The male advice columnist doesn’t explain. “You’re on your own, toots! Sucks being you!” the guy seems to say, like the transgender activists, assigning no value or concern to the female experience of male sexual assault. The issue raised by the woman’s question -namely that any man at any time can claim to be transgender to access the women’s change room to freely abuse women sexually, as was done to her, was poo-pooed and the victim was lectured on the importance of men’s sexual rights.
In fact, the whole matter was dropped, with the columnist hand-waving away female sexual assault and the transactivists doing the same (but calling the woman a liar as well) until transactivists began also claiming that the newspaper should not in future publish any sexual assault claims from any woman, ever, if the male perpetrator invokes a Gender Identity. The Toronto Star eventually decided that ongoing transactivist accusations that the victim falsified her claims reflected badly on the paper, having published them. So after two weeks of allowing transgender activists to rail heartlessly against a 70 year old victim of a sexual assault, the Star finally published a rebuttal today titled “Transgender Rights Letter No Hoax”.
Star editor Kathy English writes:
“I can tell you I have telephoned and talked to the North York woman whose name is on the email sent to Star ethics columnist Ken Gallinger in October. I have also confirmed that the YMCA of Greater Toronto received a similar letter from a former member in late fall. Last week, an executive of the organization contacted the same North York woman I talked with.
If this woman’s letter was a hoax perpetuated by organized forces opposed to transgender rights, as many in the transgender community through North America and beyond have declared with all certainty, then it is indeed a grand and elaborate one played on both the Star and the YMCA.
The woman would not agree to come forward publicly for this column. She spoke confidentially to me, in line with her expectation of confidentiality in the ethics column. “I am asking the Star to protect my privacy,” she said. “I would not rest easy if any group decided to approach me personally.”
She told me she is 70. She said the incident she described in her letter to Gallinger in which a naked “man” claiming to be a transgender woman behaved inappropriately happened “a couple of years ago” in the late afternoon in the women’s locker room of the Toronto Y on Sheppard Ave.
She said she shared her concerns with the Y manager at the time but felt she was not taken seriously. She said the branch manager contacted her in the fall after she sent her letter and she was again contacted by a senior executive of the Y following publication of the Star column.”
“She felt she was not taken seriously”. It is no surprise the victim is still seeking answers after the traumatizing sexual assault that has been ignored, dismissed, and “not taken seriously” again and again and again. By the YMCA. By transactivists. By the ethics advice columnist at the local newspaper, Ken Gallinger,who actually wrote an entire column today expressing his “deep resentment” that allowing women to report the sexual assaults that men commit MAY MAKE MEN LOOK BAD. Disgusting! Truly disgusting. It would not be surprising if the victim was still traumatized every time she stepped into a locker room to disrobe. It would not be surprising if she felt stressed by the prospect of her granddaughters using the locker room at the YMCA, or anywhere else where Gender Identity laws erase the rights of women and girls to privacy, including the right to be free from strange males forcing us to view their erections as they watch us struggle to change out of a wet bathing suit in a public locker room.
Since sexism no longer matters, plaintiffs try using “gender identity” to win relief from sexist injury
August 12, 2013
“I lean more towards the feminine spectrum, but I do ovulate between masculine and feminine. It just depends on the day, girl!” – B. Scott, explaining his gender suit.
There was a time when lawyers filed actions against individuals and organizations that discriminated against their clients based on sex. Some of these cases involved damages caused by institutions or officials who illegally discriminated via enforcement of sexist stereotypes. These cases were usually brought on behalf of women. Examples include women who were not promoted due to their failure to exhibit ritualized behaviors of submission not required of their male coworkers , women who were required to don sexualized uniforms and maintain specific, expensive (unpaid) time-consuming body grooming and face-painting regimes as a condition of workplace readiness not required of male co-workers.
These lawsuits were filed on the grounds that sex-stereotyping is discriminatory against women, and when institutionally or officially enforced, illegal.
The current age of profound political backlash against the rights of women has resulted in a reinvigoration of state, official and institutional codification of sexual stereotypes (“gender”) as a legally protected form of discrimination now framed as a personal belief or “faith”. As such, sex discrimination has been re-classified as a state-protected institutional and personal “value”.
The new form of sex-based discrimination has elevated the sex-stereotype to a protected legal category that eclipses sex itself. Claims of sex discrimination are now opposed by the new protected “right to believe in” sex discrimination. This new protected form of sex stereotyping is called “gender” or “gender identity”. The legal creation of “Gender Identity” is identical to the old form of discriminatory sex stereotyping except that it now protects and codifies the “right to stereotype” while providing limited recourse against sex discrimination to individuals that publicly, formally pledge belief in sex stereotypes. Examples include statutes which allow males to displace females in state education Title IX sports programs on the basis that the males believe themselves to possess thoughts, feelings, and behaviors sex-stereotyped as female.
What then will become of those claims formerly filed under now eliminated sex discrimination protections? Two recent actions provide us with a clue.
Fashion pundit and femme gay male internet personality B.Scott filed a 2.5 million dollar lawsuit against Viacom and the BET cable network last week after an incident which took place during his July appearance on the pre-show for the BET Awards. Scott claims he was pulled off the air and told his clothing did not adhere to the company’s sex-based dress policy. He states that he was forced to change outfits to one that BET producers deemed appropriate for males based on sex-stereotypes. These actions resulted in alleged damage to Scott’s reputation due to an interruption of his performance, wrongful termination, loss of income, and emotional distress due to the unlawful infliction of discriminatory wardrobe policies based on sex. However since sex-stereotyping is now a protected legal category Scott’s attorney recommended filing suit on the basis of “Gender Identity” discrimination. One problem: Scott has no record of ever making public pledge or testimony of a personal transgender belief or “identity”. On the contrary, Scott has always maintained a strong pride in himself as a flaming gay man. As part of his lawsuit, Scott was forced to make a public statement adopting a personal “gender identity” and proclaiming himself to be transgender.
“Over the years my love muffins and strangers alike have questioned me about my gender identity. What IS B. Scott? As a society we’ve been conditioned to believe that a person has to be ‘exactly’ this or ‘exactly’ that. Biologically, I am male — as my sex was determined at birth by my reproductive organs.
However, my spirit truly lies somewhere in between. It is that same spirit that has allowed me to become so comfortable in my skin, choose how I express myself, and contributes to how I live my day-to-day life.
Transgender is the state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one’s assigned sex (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex). [source]
It is by that definition that I accept and welcome the ‘transgender’ label with open arms.
It is also by that definition that BET and Viacom willingly and wrongfully discriminated against my gender identity during the 2013 BET Awards Pre-Show.”
B.Scott’s announcement did not sit well with many in the transgender community who disputed the authenticity of his newly declared protected gender beliefs. Longtime trans activist and Transgriot blogger Monica “Fishy” Roberts (who believes he is female and refers to his penis as a “six inch neo-clitoris”) tweeted “When B Scott starts taking hormones and calling himself Brittany (or another femme name starting with ‘B’) and declares he’s transitioning then I’ll consider him part of Team Trans.”
Roberts and others rightfully observe that Scott’s sudden public testimonial of his newly adopted Gender Identity beliefs appears insincere and mercenary. However unlike an individual who suddenly proclaims Judaism to access a protected legal right to compel an employer to give them the day off for Passover, the protected legal category of Gender Identity requires no evidence of authenticity. Duration of belief, performance of rituals, membership in a faith affinity group are objective criteria used to parse self-declared legally protected personal belief identities. Gender Identity requires no such objective criteria. Anyone can claim it at any time, even retroactively, purely on the basis of personal report of one’s feelings. Gender Identity offers legal protection to anyone who is willing to declare at any time that they:
- possess intellectual, psychological or behavioral characteristics which fail to conform to social stereotypes based on reproductive sex,
-believe such non-reproductive traits are inextricably caused by reproductive biology,
-draw the conclusion that reproductive biology itself is therefore not objectively observable.
This new protective legal status for “sex-deniers” has undermined, if not removed, the grounds for claims based on sex discrimination, or at least provided cover for the lack of political will to enforce anti-discrimination claims of women, who are overwhelmingly the victims of such sex discrimination. It is little wonder that femme gay man Scott decided not to pursue remedy via sex-discrimination suit although that is obviously what he was a victim of if his account of events is factual.
Instead of asserting his right to dress as he wished regardless of sex, Scott’s representatives found it more advantageous in this legal environment to argue that Scott’s right to wardrobe hinged on his self-concept of himself as reproductively (partially) female.
In Quebec last month, management consultant and butch lesbian Tommi Sojourner filed a Judicial complaint on the grounds of “Gender Identity” after an incident of apparent sex-based harassment that occurred in a bizarre courtroom exchange with a judge who insisted on referring to the claimant as male over and over and over again, even after correction by Sojourner and opposing counsel over a dozen times. Sojourner, who does not perform femininity, expressed that being repeatedly referred to as male – after multiple corrections- based on her failure to conform to female sex-stereotypes was insulting, sexist, and deliberately harassing. Further, she alleges that her case was not given an objective hearing due to judicial bias based on her sex-role nonconformity. This is sex discrimination. It is discriminatory for a judicial official to insist that a woman is actually a male due to the fact that she fails to conform to sex-based stereotypes of dress and behavior and it is harassment to continue to do so after being corrected more than a dozen times.
Sojourner’s claim rests on the fact that she is not transgendered. If she was a genderist she would have been well pleased by the judge’s repeated cross-sex identification of her, based on sex-stereotypical norms. Regardless, in the post-sex legal landscape where “sex-denial” is itself a protected category, her attorney thought it expeditious to utilize a Gender Identity claim vs. a sex discrimination case. By this erasure Sojourner was not discriminated against as a woman based on sex, or as a lesbian, but on the dis-acknowledgement of her own personal free-floating self-concept of herself as (like Scott) inhabiting “femaleness“.
If sex does not exist, sex discrimination does not exist. Class-action litigation based on sex does not exist.
With the elimination of the legal category of sex and the removal of sex-stereotyping as an actionable wrong, litigants have no choice but to seek protection under “Gender Identity” on the basis that formerly discriminatory (now protected) sex-stereotypes are being incorrectly applied to them based on personal testimony of their self-reported, objectively unobservable, sex reproductive “self-concept”.
This is legal political feminist backlash circa 2013.
August 2, 2013
CounterPunch WEEKEND EDITION AUGUST 2-4, 2013
There is No War
Sex is Not Gender
by ELIZABETH HUNGERFORD
Samantha Allen’s article, “Counterpunch and the War on Transgender People,” published in the Jacobin on July 10, 2013 and then republished on Salon the next day under the title “The hate group masquerading as feminists,” contains many emotionally-charged adjectives and strongly-worded assertions, but it is remarkably short on analysis and understanding. There is no war. As a gender critical feminist and an attorney, I have been analyzing the legal and medical conflation of gender with sex for years. The articles authored by Julian Vigo and published in CounterPunch last month are not “reactionary” or demonizing of trans people, as Jacobin’s editorial staff erroneously believes. Jacobin and Salon have both been used as proxies for hate speech against gender critical feminists and, unlike Counterpunch’s balanced ethos, neither publication acknowledges that Allen’s inaccurate article demands a response. The silencing of gender critical dissent has become so widespread that it has infected leftist and mainstream media outlets alike. As a result, I feel especially grateful to have the opportunity to answer Allen here.
By equating the speech of gender critical feminists with “bullying” and “contempt,” Allen materially misrepresents the positions taken by the women she references in her article. Allen actually calls for more people to recognize radical feminists as a hate group and then pointedly adopts the term Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist (TERF) to refer to them throughout the article. Make no mistake, this is a slur. TERF is not meant to be explanatory, but insulting. These characterizations are hyperbolic, misleading, and ultimately defamatory. They do nothing but escalate the vitriol and fail to advance the conversation in any way.
In fact, gender critical feminists raise very serious and legitimate concerns about essentializing gender roles as innate parts of ourselves. We also take issue with the construction of sex and gender as legally interchangeable. Further, gender critical feminists are as diverse a group of people as trans activists are. Vigo has never identified as a radical feminist, she is a queer theorist; and while a certain Internet user may appear to be “the chief TERF figurehead,” she is not my chief. What we all agree on, however, is that sex-based gender roles are oppressive social constructs– not natural states of being in need of protection and celebration– and that the well-documented threats of violence against women who defend women-only space are an abusive and unacceptable response to political disagreement.
Allen calls for radical thinkers to better “expose the flaws,” “dismantle,” and “repudiate” the gender critical arguments circulating in radical communities. In response, I’d like to radically deconstruct some of the allegations contained within Allen’s article– the one that Jacobin “stand[s] behind without reservation” and claims to be “so proud to publish.”
…if the anti-trans* rhetoric that has appeared on CounterPunch over the last two months were transposed onto gay or lesbian identity, leftists would instantly recognize it as homophobic. If Julian Vigo questioned the existence of “straight privilege” instead of the existence of “cisgender privilege,” she would be instantly shouted down by a chorus of gay-affirmative voices. If she posited that lesbians are “confused” in the same way that she argues that transgender folks “confuse sex with gender,” she would be shown the door at any leftist publication worth its salt.
There is no “anti-trans* rhetoric” in either article written by Vigo on CounterPunch. More importantly, this facile analogy brings no clarity to the discussion. Finding similarity between “straight privilege” and “cisgender privilege” evinces lack of understanding about the differences between sexual orientation and “gender identity.”
Heterosexual coupling requires both sexes by definition. “Straight privilege” therefore accrues to both men and women equally. “Cisgender privilege,” on the other hand, is a misnomer. Gender-conforming males are rewarded for masculine conformity. Masculine men are never oppressed on the basis of gender; or to say it another way: “cisgender” men are never oppressed on the basis of gender. The same does not hold true for women; it is the opposite. Women’s gender conformity does not protect us from oppression on the basis of gender. “Cisgendered” women are still routinely targeted for sexist treatment, harassment, and discrimination. The concept of “cisgender privilege” falsely posits men and women as social equals in regard to gendered oppression. It is an inaccurate explanation of how gender norms operate as a sex-based social hierarchy that devalues women. Talking about “cisgender privilege” simply does not make sense in the context of women’s relationship to gender and oppression.
Frankly, Allen seems to have missed the point of gender critical arguments entirely. Gay men and lesbians do not seek to define the essence and lived experience of another class of persons. By comparison, male-socialized transwomen wish to redefine the meaning of “woman” to include themselves. Gay and lesbian individuals do not demand that others suspend disbelief about the material reality of our bodies and lives. Nor do we claim homosexuality as a “condition” akin to a biological error that can or should be medically corrected. In fact, gays and lesbians fight to make social space for ourselves just the way we are. We fought to get homosexuality removed entirely from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and we have opposed “conversion therapy” because pathologizing the individual for harmless social non-conformity is abusive.
In stark contrast, many trans people believe that they were born into the “wrong” body for their “gender identity” and seek to medically alter their anatomical sex to correct this urgent problem. This is the entire reason for hormonal “therapy” and surgery. Logically speaking, one’s gender or sexuality can only be “wrong” if there is also a “right” way to be. Describing certain sexual orientations or gender expressions as “wrong” when they manifest in individuals with certain bodies or genitals is to normalize the heteronormative status quo as the “right” way of being. It is to come full circle; it is conservative.
These are important and significant points of divergence between the political goals of gay and lesbian people and those of self-defined trans people. Allen glosses over all of this, lazily claiming victimhood as the ultimate political cause without really analyzing what she is arguing. Transwomen are no more a special brand of “endangered species” than butch lesbians are.
Again, it seems that Allen has some serious misconceptions about gender critical analysis:
Just like cisgender women, some transgender women adopt stereotypical gender roles and some do not. To single transgender women out for the perpetuation of gender roles is a leap in logic that can only be explained by a deep-seated, visceral form of contempt.
Clearly, Allen hasn’t read much feminist theory. If she had, she’d know that stereotypical femininity is regarded by many feminists as a harmful social construct that no person should adopt, perform, celebrate, or identify with. The critique is not limited to transwomen; it is directed at females as well. In other words, it’s not all about you. The “contempt” Allen inappropriately personalizes is rooted in an extensive history of ideological critique. A purported explanation that begins with a false premise, as Allen’s does, is over before it even begins.
Next, I want to shed particular light on Allen’s claims about biology:
Penises are not inherently male just as vaginas are not inherently female. Our bodies are not objective pieces of matter that pre-exist the inscription of social meaning; rather, our “beliefs about gender” inform the very notion that a penis is a male sex organ.
Contrary to Allen’s scientific fantasy that a penis is not inherently male, bodies are not purely subjective. Genitals are material realities that shape our lived experiences and social roles. Gender critical feminists do not have a commitment to the naturalism of gendered social roles; but many trans people do. Instead of claiming that the prefabricated binary gender roles of “man” and “woman” are essential parts of ourselves—which again, is a conservative view– gender critical feminists believe that these social roles are harmful constructs that constitute dangerous justification for the on-going oppression and dehumanization of women.
Anne Fausto-Sterling’s work is often invoked by trans activists, including Allen, who wish to make an argument about the physical diversity of human bodies. The existence of intersex people is undeniably real; however, critiquing gender essentialism does not depend on being able to identify a perfectly delineated reproductive binary. The point is that the social categories of “man” and “woman” are a perfectly delineated binary. No one escapes. Gender critical feminists therefore deconstruct the powerful cultural and individual effects of being socialized from birth on the basis of genitals into a binary gender system that strictly enforces heteronormativity. Lived experiences, especially those that are constantly reinforced the way that gender roles are, have lifelong effects.
Finally, I’d like to address my own work. As co-author of the letter to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women referenced in Allen’s article, I am concerned that Allen has falsely represented the submission as an argument against– “yes, against”– legal protections for trans-identified individuals. A quick reading of the letter reveals that its specific purpose was to highlight the legal contradiction that occurs when “gender identity” is defined in such a way that it overrides or disregards sex as a legal category. The practical application of this new development, our primary concern, was that sex-based protections for females were therefore being eroded by the legislation.
This is clearly not a statement denying that trans people are discriminated against. It is a statement demanding concurrent recognition for the rights and needs of girls and women. Allowing the rights of one protected class– “gender identity”– to override those of another–”sex”– can and does cause conflicts.
File this one under “unintended consequences” for Lesbians, Gays, and Women’s Rights advocates living in Ontario. MPP Cheri DiNovo announced Friday that bill C-389, “Toby’s Act”, the 2012 bill she sponsored which intended to protect the rights of transgender persons, actually makes all same-sex gatherings illegal in the province. This will come as some surprise to many lesbians and gays who often exercise their rights to assemble freely in meetings, conferences, and social groups with other same-sex persons. In addition, DiNovo claims the right of Ontarian women to assemble in any same-sex gatherings: whether they be reproductive rights orgs, Islamic faith gatherings, or lesbian support groups- has been eliminated by her bill. She has appealed to the Ontario Human Rights Council to back up her legal position.
DiNovo made her announcement in response to male complaints surrounding a small group of feminists holding a female-only meeting in a Toronto art gallery. DiNovo characterized same-sex meetings as “reprehensible” and vowed to use Toby’s Act to eliminate and prosecute current and future same-sex gatherings of women or lesbians in the province. “I’m hoping that now under Toby’s law, this will be considered illegal.”
Somehow I doubt this was the intent of the women, lesbians and gays who supported DiNovo and the passage of Toby’s Act. Like Washington State’s Colleen Francis using that state’s non-discrimination act to exercise his “right” to expose his penis to schoolgirls in women’s locker rooms, Toby’s Act had the unintended consequence of eliminating the rights of women, gays, lesbians, muslims, feminists, to hold same-sex gatherings. Presumably this also eliminates the rights of transgender people to assemble in sex-segregated meetings, although DiNovo has not yet clarified that point. Planned Parenthood Toronto sponsored “Breaking Through The Cotton Ceiling” seminars for transgenders to strategize how to convince lesbians to accept sex with penises. The “cotton ceiling” in that case referred to the underwear of lesbians. These public meetings were restricted to male transgenders only.
Canada faces another set of unintended consequences with Bill C-279, the Federal Gender Identity Act, which is set for a vote in the next legislative session. This bill, like Toby’s Act, purports to eliminate discrimination based on “Gender Identity”, which is the right to identify with the social role of the opposite sex. Obviously this proposed new legal “sex-role” status is problematic for those – such as feminists and progressives- who believe stereotypes based on sex are antiquated, sexist, offensive, (not to mention they sanction inequality for women and girls). Many feel the government should not promote the belief that citizens should look/behave/think certain ways based on our reproductive sex (or our identification with the opposite sex). But what are the other, specific, legal consequences of Bill C-279, which like the erosion of women’s and gay rights to assemble caused by DiNovo’s Toby’s Act, might not become apparent until after the law is passed?
According to Senator Nancy Ruth, the first lesbian Senator in Canada, we already know what some of the unintended consequences of Bill C-279 will be. From the DailyExtra:
“Women and girls in Canada are not protected from hate speech under the Criminal Code, and this bill does not rectify that when it could,” Ruth said.
“For 35 years, across numerous bills, Parliament has told the girls and women of Canada that, despite alarming rates of violence against girls and women, violence that typically includes hate speech, they are not worthy of protection,” she explained.
“The omission is not an oversight. In 1985, the federally appointed Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution said that there was ‘ample evidence’ indicating women were the targets of hate material. The committee recommended that the Criminal Code hate laws be amended to extend protection to women, but no Parliament has done that. Why? I have spoken before in this chamber about this gap in the law,” she continued.
“This bill will privilege men who choose to become women over women who are born female,” Ruth said. “While I do not question the good intentions of the sponsor and the supporters of the bill, I simply do not understand how they could advance this bill without including all women. Passage of Bill C-279 will mean that only if a woman is born a man who later chooses to identify as a woman will she receive protection, but a woman born a woman will not receive the same protection.“
Senator Ruth has proposed an amendment to Bill C-279 which simply maintains “sex” as a protected status along with “gender identity”. This will prevent sex-based protections for women from being eliminated by Bill C-279, in the way that Toby’s Act inadvertently eliminated the legal rights of women and lesbians to free assembly.
Women of Canada must not lose human rights in order to protect the rights of transgender people, due to sloppy lawmaking. The battle to reclaim women’s human right to assemble- that DiNovo claims was lost by the passage of Toby’s Act- will now start its long winding legal trail towards correction, after the fact. With Bill C-279 we have an opportunity to correct an unintended consequence before it occurs, and we have a lesbian Senator making a stand for our rights, right now. Do not leave her standing alone. She needs your support on this issue. Please organize to support Senator Ruth’s amendment now. Create awareness of the issue among women’s groups and legislators. Write letters to the editor. Contact her office and ask what you can do to help.
Let us protect the rights of all Canadians. Including the rights of Women and Girls.
[bolding by me-GM]
State vs. Feds: California assembly rolls back Title IX protections for female athletes, codifies sex-stereotypes into state law
May 11, 2013
The California assembly approved a measure that upends federal equality protections for government-funded sports programs based on sex. Bill 1266, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, replaces female equality measures with a “gender” based sports program which allows athletes of either sex to compete in women’s sporting programs based on their willingness to conform to, and proclaim adherence to, stereotypical social norms which the California government legally redefines as the definition of female-“ness”, regardless of actual sex. In doing so the state removes sex-based equality protections for female athletes and replaces them with state-mandated guidelines for behaviors, feelings and stereotypes that the state defines as “female”, regardless of sex.
Ammiano believes that reproductively female persons are a disposable class, and as such require no government representation or protection, despite vast objective data showing overwhelming systemic discrimination and marginalization of females socially, economically, and legally. The assembly approved Ammiano’s replacement of female as a protected class with a newly created class defined as individuals of either sex who claim to possess what lawmakers define as “female feelings”. In accordance with this premise the assembly ruled that facilities such as urinals and locker rooms should be used by students based not on anatomy – but on their willingness to adhere to the sex-based stereotypes, which are illegal under federal law Title VII.
Assemblyman Phil Ting explained his vote for the measure by citing the sex-based social role change of his (apparently courageous) staffer Heather: “This courageous person is a part of a courageous community. … We have to do everything possible to make sure we are supportive of that and support their courage.” [sic]
The California Assembly also approved in tandem a measure that provides state secrecy in name changes if those changes involve social sex-role change, due to the “humiliating” nature of such name changes. According to bill 55-16, name changes including those of convicted felons can bypass normal channels as long as such changes are attached to a claimant’s self-reported change in social role.
Men who state they are willing to adopt a female social role will now have their name changes bypass regular procedures used by name change applicants, as such changes will not appear in any legal court record or in media ledgers. “…the measure’s provisions are similar to the privacy options available to domestic violence and sexual assault victims,” Reports the Sacramento Bee.
Both bills will now head to the Senate.