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A few recent governmental flip-flops on policies enshrining gender (the social stereotypes based on sex that ritualize male dominance and female subordination) illustrate the politics involved in passing such broad-sweeping yet ill-considered measures.
The first odd policy reversal was the decision in Nova Scotia, widely reported by CBC news and other sources, that the Health Ministry had decided not to fund radical cosmetic surgical procedures based on gender roles. From the CBC:
“After studying the issue, Health Minister David Wilson said in a letter last week that the province has decided not to fund the surgery.
“When we must decide which areas to fund, there are a number of items to consider. For example, what does the best available research tells us, and are we able to fund a service within our limited healthcare budget,” said Wilson.
“The department has given the matter of gender reassignment surgery considerable consideration and we went through a careful policy review, including extensive research and consultation with other jurisdictions.”
The CBC reported:
“Wilson said there’s a lack of high-quality research about the effectiveness and long-term outcomes of sex reassignment surgery.
He said the decision to deny coverage came after a careful policy review and is declining interviews until after he meets with NSRAP [Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project] on Wednesday.”
The very NEXT DAY the policy was reversed. From CTV Atlantic News:
“The Nova Scotia government says the province will soon fund gender reassignment surgery .
Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson said he came to the decision after reviewing the medical evidence and the policies of other provinces that fund this procedure.
“Based on the values and direction this government has taken on the issue, I am happy today to confirm funding for gender reassignment surgery,” said Wilson.
“Last November, the province enshrined transgender rights in legislation. We don’t permit others to discriminate against transgender people, and the funding of this surgery is an issue of dignity, and equality for transgender Nova Scotians.”
Wilson said he met with members of the LBGTI community about the decision on Wednesday.”
The other big recent flip-flop involved the sweeping change to school athletic programming in Nebraska. Following widely reported news that sex-based protections for female athletes were being eliminated state-wide and replaced with “sex-role” or “gender” guidelines, it turns out that no such policy was ever approved after all. From Nebraska Watchdog reporter Deena Winter:
LINCOLN – Turnabout, it seems, doesn’t always equal fair play.
The head of a Nebraska board that governs school activities said the board has not yet voted on a policy protecting the rights of transgender athletes, a statement that appears to contradict what she told national media outlets such as the New York Times and Deadspin.
The group’s executive director, Rhonda Blanford-Green, had said the Nebraska School Activities Association passed a policy in December outlining a process to allow transgender student-athletes to change teams.
She now says her board of directors did not vote on the policy, as reported, and will do so in August.
Nebraska Watchdog reported last week the NSAA passed the policy, which sets up procedures for schools if transgendered students want to participate on the team they identify with – if a male student identifies as a female and wants to play on the girls’ team, for example.
But a member of the NSAA’s board of directors – the entity that supposedly passed the policy – told Nebraska Watchdog on Monday the transgender policy was discussed at the December meeting, but wasn’t voted on.
“We did not take action,” said Bob Reznicek, superintendent of schools for Boys Town schools. “Our understanding was we were going to vote on it in the spring.”
Reznicek, who has served on the NSAA board for 13 years, said the board typically discusses a policy one month and votes on it the next. He said he got a brief email from Blanford-Green on Monday confirming there was no official vote taken, so a vote would be taken at the board’s Aug. 21 meeting.
That is contrary to what Blanford-Green told multiple reporters. But this story has been odd from the start.
Stories about Nebraska’s transgender policy first appeared in the national press while few people in Nebraska seemed to know anything about it, until Nebraska Watchdog’s report came out last week. The policy was nowhere to be found in NSAA agendas or meeting minutes, although the policy itself could be found online.
But that online post has since been removed and replaced with a message from Blanford-Green saying the policy will be on the board’s August agenda to “eliminate any confusion on the transparency of the association or myself to formally address procedures for transgender participation within our board procedures.”
After other Nebraska media followed up on our story late last week, Blanford-Green told a Lincoln Journal Star reporter she proposed the policy to the board in November because she wanted to get it in the books before she appeared at a national conference on transgender student participation in sports.
Then, she told the Omaha World-Herald although the policy is on the books, it doesn’t appear in meeting minutes and would come back for “another vote” July 11 “to ensure that it is placed on official meeting records.” That date apparently has since been pushed back to Aug. 21.
Reznicek tells a different story.
“Yes, we did discuss it, but no, we did not vote on it,” he said. “Whenever we take official action, it should be in our official minutes.”
Whether this is the first or second vote on the policy – which apparently is up for debate – does he think it will pass?
“I don’t want to speculate on that,” he said. “I don’t think anybody’s necessarily opposed to it.”
When asked why the vote wasn’t recorded in meeting minutes, Blanford-Green told Nebraska Watchdog via email she wasn’t sure. “There was a discussion and acceptance,” she wrote, and the situation “will be rectified.”
Asked about Reznicek’s statement that the policy had not yet been approved, Blanford-Green said, “You spoke with a board member and they have provided you with the answer. I don’t think an additional comment from me on a board member’s response is necessary.”
The other seven NSAA board members did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.
Saturday night in Florida, Fallon “Queen of Swords” Fox was at the height of “her” game as she knocked out opponent Ericka Newsome in 39 second bout with a knee to the face.
Now, he has been outed as a man and his licensure is under investigation.
Fallon, who, like many male transgenders, embarked on a new athletic career when he realized he could compete against females, failed to disclose his sex when he applied for his license to the Florida State Boxing Commission.
“Our department is currently investigating allegations pertaining to the information provided on [Fox's] application,” wrote Sandi Copes Poreda, Director of Communications for the DBPR, which oversees the Florida State Boxing Commission.
On her application, a copy of which was provided to SI.com, Fox stated that she held an MMA combatant’s license issued in 2013 by the California State Athletic Commission. However, CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster confirmed that Fox’s application for licensure was still under review, though the fighter and her manager, Brett Atchley, believed she had received notice of her licensure in the mail in late February. Licensure secured in other jurisdictions — particularly in a key state like California — can weigh heavily on a regulatory body’s review of a new applicant’s information.
In addition, Fox admits she did not disclose her transgender history, and presumably the pertaining medical documents that would have accompanied her Florida application, because she was not asked to”.
Officials dispute Fox’s claim that his license to fight in his upcoming scheduled April 20 match in California has been approved:
“Fox claims her CSAC-issued combatant’s license was mailed to her approximately two weeks ago, after she’d spoken with a CSAC representative via phone and submitted an application packet containing the required medical paperwork, as well as a detailed history of her transgender-related surgeries.
CSAC Executive Officer Foster said the state agency had only mailed Fox a receipt for the initial $60 application — the standard procedure for all athletes who file for licensure consideration. In addition, Foster said that Fox also applied for a national identification card with his office and that approval was also still pending. The card is a second requirement of athletes wishing to compete within most North American jurisdictions, as it connects the fighter’s records to a central database those commissions can collectively review. Fox stated she’d been granted the card in Florida. However, the DBPR said this second application was still pending.
“I think it’s imperative to remember that the Florida commission allowed this fight, not the California commission,” said Foster. “California merely received and is processing the application. We’re working on the necessary medical reviews. We simply have an application.”
Fox claims to have undergone some sort of transgender-related surgical procedure in 2006 and made his professional fighting debut against women athletes last year at the age of 37:
“For her pro debut in May 2012, Fox fought in Idaho for the King of the Cage promotion, which franchises its brand worldwide to multiple, non-affiliated promoters at any given time. Fox said the bout, which she won by first-round stoppage, took place on sovereign land, which is exempt from state oversight. Fox said she was only required to submit bloodwork and take a pregnancy test, and was unsure if she’d done so under the promotion itself or an overseeing body assigned by the Coeur D’Alene Native American Tribe. Fox’s three previous amateur bouts, all won by first-round submission, were held in Illinois, where she is a resident.”
An article on OutSports tells a confusing story about how his father somehow forced him- at the age of 27, to enter an anti-gay conversion therapy program:
“Ten years ago, Fox told her parents that she felt like she was born in the wrong body. Her mother rejected the news. Her father told her she was actually a confused gay man. Fox insisted that she wasn’t gay, and that she was mostly attracted to other women. Her father was unrelenting and put her in gay-conversion therapy. There she was treated by a gay-conversion therapist who tried to convince Fox that she was a gay man so that he could turn her into a straight man.”
OutSports has announced their intention to film a documentary about Fox, who they refer to as a “Female MMA Fighter”. If Fox was actually female, would they be rushing to create a documentary? Here is a preview:
GLAAD celebrates Women’s Junior College Basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig: because He’s a 6 foot 8, 230 pound, 50 year-old Man.
December 6, 2012
GLAAD celebrates a new LGBT hero on their website today: a heterosexual 50 year-old, six-foot-eight, 230lb man embarking on his women’s junior college basketball career after having his California birth certificate changed to “female” on November 30.
Five days ago Robert Ludwig was just a man with a dream. Since Friday, he has “become female”. Five days ago Robert was a past-his-prime male athlete. Today he is a “female” athlete embarking on a new career.
GLAAD (Gay and LESBIAN Alliance Against Defamation) champions the rights of middle-aged men to compete against 18 year-old female athletes in women’s sports, as long as those men have declared strong internalized beliefs in sex-based stereotypes.
GLAAD strongly supports the rights of 50 year old heterosexual men to live out their fantasies parlaying male musculature into careers in women’s sports thirty years past their prime: but only if those men voluntarily adopt the sex-based stereotypes that are enforced without consent upon females. This is because GLAAD believes such sex-based stereotypes actually make women female. GLAAD does not support title IX rights for female persons, because GLAAD does not believe the female sex exists. Further, GLAAD does not believe in the worldwide reality of sex-based oppression of females, and actively lobbies against the rights of females to organize, meet, and compete based on sex. Instead, GLAAD believes in sex-roles. Blue is for boys, Pink is for girls.
Ludwig goes on in the same article to dismiss a female player’s complaint that it is unfair that he is eligible to compete against her. He states: “They have been in this world 18 measly years. This 18 year old has not the slightest clue what life is about. It’s when they grow up. If that comment came from someone like you [male reporter Eric Prisbell] , that would sting and I would need to find a home for that comment.“
The twice divorced father is an 8 year Navy and Desert Storm veteran now working as a Genetic Systems Engineer at Roche Molecular Diagnostics in Silicone Valley. Robert takes 12 credits of online community college coursework in order to qualify for the team. From the Mission College website: “We have excellent transfer programs and general education courses that will promote your journey to four year institutions and prepare you for higher level learning whether it is the California State System, the University System or a Private University. We also have exemplary signature programs that help to prepare you for the workforce in many areas: Nursing, Fire Technology, Hospitality Management, and many others. Mission can provide classes that will catch you up in math, English, ESL or other areas that provide foundational skills to serve you in any future courses.”
GLAAD’s hero Gabrielle/ Robert John Ludwig played men’s college basketball 33 years ago. California Community College Athletic Association’s bylaws limit undergraduate athletes to two years of competition, but Robert’s time spent competing as a man was erased because it applied only to his male athletic career, not his “female” one.
What does the team coach think? From the Sillicone Valley Mercury News: