July 28, 2014
Organization Intersex International: Transgender people using “brain sex” theories damage the Intersex community’s ability to organize
July 26, 2014
By Morgan Carpenter, new Director of Organization Intersex International Australia:
Intersex, brain differences, and the transgender tipping point
5 June 2014.
Over a decade ago, intersex and trans activist Raven Kaldera wrote that trans people seeking classification as intersex might be seeking legitimisation, as if a physical cause is necessary to obtain social or familial validation. He said that trans people using brain sex theories to claim intersex status were basing a political stance on unproven science and damaging the intersex community’s ability to organise.
We might hope that times have changed, with the amazing Laverne Cox appearing on the cover of Time magazine, as it declares The Transgender Tipping Point. This is great news (also, we can’t wait for the next series of Orange is the New Black) but, sadly, a high proportion of enquiries that we get at OII Australia, a national intersex organisation, are still from trans folk seeking biological validation for their identity.
Intersex is a term for innate physical differences in sex characteristics, known controversially to medicine as “Disorders of Sex Development” and historically as hermaphroditism. At least 30 or 40 genetic differences causing intersex traits are known to science. Intersex is not defined as a gender identity. Intersex people have all sorts of gender identities, just like trans and other people. Some intersex people have non-binary gender identities, just like some trans people, but most intersex people are men or women.
Correlations between brain sex differences and same sex attraction in men, and trans gender identities in women, have been widely reported over a long period of time – yet there’s still controversy even regarding the notion that men and women have different brains. Given the known biological basis of many intersex variations, much of the research on causes of homosexuality has been carried out on live foetuses and infants with intersex traits.
Late last year, a neuroscience study inspired headlines proclaiming, “hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are “better at map reading” (And why women are “better at remembering a conversation”)”. Cordelia Fine writing at The Conversation shows how the reporting and the study itself, of nearly 1,000 people, inflated very modest differences into something “tediously predictable“. In reality:
In an larger earlier study … the same research team compellingly demonstrated that the sex differences in the psychological skills they measured – executive control, memory, reasoning, spatial processing, sensorimotor skills, and social cognition – are almost all trivially small…
the social phenomenon of gender means that a person’s biological sex has a significant impact on the experiences (including social, material, physical, and mental) she or he encounters which will, in turn, leave neurological traces.
The more research that is conducted, the more clear is the evidence that brains are plastic. Differences are often over-stated, especially where results fit social preconceptions, but brain structures change according to circumstance and repeated activities.
Studies in recent years have found that a short eight-week mindfulness meditation program changed the brain structures of 16 participants, while other studies have found brain differences in active longer-term meditators. Scientific American has collected some good links.
More recently, a study in Israel has found that parenting rewires the male brain, particularly those of gay men: “the experience of hands-on parenting, with no female mother anywhere in the picture, can configure a caregiver’s brain in the same way that pregnancy and childbirth do“. In heterosexual men, brain differences were “proportional to the amount of time they spent with the baby“.
Laverne Cox said in that Time interview (via The Guardian):
If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is OK, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence … That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself.
It’s time for a bit more pride, and time for phone calls seeking validation based on brain sex to stop.
Biological validation doesn’t improve access or quality of healthcare. Testing for biological differences creates its own risks. Basing a human rights campaign on being “born that way“, or not being able to help being different is undeniably seductive, but we all deserve human rights whether we’re born a particular way or not. It shouldn’t depend on your genetics or your brain structure any more than your gender expression or what you choose to wear.
- Raven Kaldera (c.2000-2004) Dangerous Intersections
- Katy Steinmetz (29 May 2014) The Transgender Tipping Point in Time Magazine
- Simon LeVay (30 August 1991) A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men in Science 30 August 1991: Vol. 253 no. 5023 pp. 1034-1037. DOI: 10.1126/science.1887219
- OII Australia (29 April 2014) Submission on the ethics of genetic selection against intersex traits, includes material on research on the causes of homosexuality using foetuses and infants with intersex traits.
- Christie Nicholson (22 January 2011) Meditation Correlated with Structural Changes in the Brain in Scientific American
- Eileen Luders, Arthur W. Toga, Natasha Lepore and Christian Gaser (15 April 2009) The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter in Neuroimage, 15 April 2009; 45(3): 672–678. PMCID: PMC3184843, NIHMSID: NIHMS90659
- Scientific American (31 October 2013) Taking a Closer Look at How Meditation Improves Our Brains [Video], collected research on meditation and brain structure.
- Cordelia Fine (4 December 2013) New insights into gendered brain wiring, or a perfect case study in neurosexism? at The Conversation
- Elizabeth Norton (27 May 2014) Parenting Rewires the Male Brain, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
- Amanda Holpuch (30 May 2014) Laverne Cox heralds ‘transgender tipping point’ on cover of Time in The Guardian.
[Bolding by me. Images added by me.-GM]
July 15, 2014
*Breaking News* Lesbians stage protest of heterosexual male keynote speaker at London Dyke March 2014 , threatened with arrest
June 21, 2014
After weeks of online protest surrounding the controversial appointment of former LibDem Councilor Sarah Brown, a male transgender, as keynote speaker at the London Dyke March, a group of courageous lesbians staged an effective demonstration today at the march, raising awareness of how Dyke Marches worldwide have been aggressively colonized by “male lesbians”.
Many readers will recall former Councilor Brown as the male self-identified “polyamourous dyke with one male partner” who launched a public campaign to name the foul smelling drainage created by his surgically inverted penis (what he describes as “the smegma-like mixture of dead skin cells, gynaecological lube, stale urine (gives it its distinctive smell) and sweat that is sometimes present as a white residue on the end of a dilation stent when a post-operative trans woman withdraws the stent after dilating her neovagina.”) with the name of a prominent Lesbian Feminist anti-trafficking activist. Brown finally removed this disgusting campaign from his blog this spring, and responded to complaints by falsely claiming he had removed it “years ago”. I personally read the above quoted post on his blog at this link (http://auntysarah.livejournal.com/175926.html) on February 24 of this year.
While still an elected official, Councilor Brown made public posts on “The F Word” blog supporting the creation of legislation that would eliminate the rights of women to meet in women-only feminist political gatherings.
Brown, who calls himself “aunty sarah” next posted a series of ugly, misogynist, anti-gay and anti-feminist rants on his twitter account, the full details of which you can easily google, including statements that lesbian bodies are “off putting”, and “political lesbians must be sexually frustrated”, that he is a “better” lesbian than women because men “have longer fingers” (eww!), and telling lesbians to “suck my balls”. When the former Councilor failed to be re-elected this year (along with many others in the LibDem party) he claimed that “lesbian feminists” caused his political loss as well as a “nervous breakdown” by complaining about his grotesque and disgusting public comments. He violently warned that feminists might someday criticize a man “who has entirely the wrong kind of sense of humor failure”.
Sarah Brown’s outrageous behavior towards lesbians and feminists has a long and colorful history. Which is why women in the UK were stunned to discover that the organization of the London Dyke March had been fully taken over by the “male lesbians” that had been aggressively colonizing it for years, AND that they had invited Mr. “Suck My Balls” Brown to appear as this year’s Keynote Speaker! Insult to injury and all. There followed a flurry of online protest from women who were deeply offended, and alarmed that a purportedly lesbian event had become so thoroughly compromised. The male representatives of the now thoroughly male “Dyke March” responded to the outcry by banning all women from their Facebook page for “inferences that trans women are men”. Not only did the Dyke March ban women from discussion of the politics of elevating a male keynote speaker at a lesbian event, now the mere “inference” that transwomen are, well, “transwomen” (ie. male persons!) caused lesbians to be banned from a LESBIAN PROTEST MARCH ABOUT LESBIAN VISIBILITY. Wow!
It gets worse.
The male London Dyke March organizers then issued a statement informing the lesbians that the “male dykes” had engaged a “police liaison” that would arrest any lesbians who made political statements or spoke publicly against male leadership of the protest march for increasing lesbian visibility. Any lesbians who protested would be arrested and prosecuted for “discrimination” against men! Whew!
In this jackboot climate of male suppression of lesbian rights to gather, seek representation at LESBIAN events, and our right to protest the male erosion of LESBIAN VISIBILITY, under threat of ARREST, at a DYKE MARCH (!!!) it is surprising that any women showed up at all. But some did- and they risked the threat of harassment and ARREST by MALE AUTHORITIES and staged a kick-ass protest, complete with signs and informative literature for any other actual lesbians who showed up. KICK ASSSS! Great job LESBIAN WOMEN!
The following is excerpted from a related post at Sisterhood Is Powerful:
“In hindsight, the most powerful step taken by feminists towards liberation in the 60s-80s, was a recognition of the political power of women-only spaces. It began with CR groups. Groups of women recognised that men have made our traditional place in the home and away from societal decision-making. Over these decades, women fought men’s psychological warfare games aimed at stopping them meeting together in women-only spaces. Women were called ‘man-hater’ and ‘ugly’ and ‘lesbian’ (ha!). They steadfastly continued to pursue political goals in the interests of the female class within those spaces.
It always begins and ends with our own political spaces – only there can we think, dream and plan for a future with freedom. The concept of our own space to escape male supremacy was so successful that a whole women’s sector was built by radical (many were lesbian) feminists.
The idea that women could meet to make things better for all women was becoming so well-established that male supremacy found a way to attack, discredit and destroy it. What better way to do that than from an incredibly regressive ideology disguised as the new progressive way forward. We can’t possibly tell who is a man or who is a woman, the argument goes, (without a degrading look at those genitals down there and that’s unthinkable bigotry). We must, therefore, stop “policing” boundaries on gender lines. We must hold lesbian marches that are open to anyone who identifies any way they like, and we cannot have meetings where we ourselves define the boundaries unless men tell us it’s ok and we’re not “bigots” for our attempts to do so. In one short generation, women-only space is under attack again. As (some liberal etc) feminists are beginning to find out, the use of queer ideology in feminist spaces is a way to silence and control all women; not just those scapegoated for naming the way gender hierarchy oppresses women for the benefit of men.
On 21 June 2014 it feels fitting to dedicate this blog post to all the women who marched for their freedoms in 1908 in Hyde Park London, 106 years ago exactly. They believed that the right to vote would end their oppression. We now know it was barely even the beginning of our fight for liberation but it is entirely understandable that they risked so much to achieve that one main goal. It is also dedicated to UK radical lesbian feminists who cannot go on a ‘Dyke march’ around ‘visibility’ (oh the irony) in London today because men are more welcome than us and to the brave radical lesbian feminists who went anyway and demonstrated their concerns. #takebackdykemarch The two events falling on the same day is embedded in irony.”
Read more of that post here:
*Links to further related posts will be added here as they appear.
June 14, 2014
Originally posted on giagia:
On the 30th of July Laurie Penny is taking part in a discussion with Mary Beard entitled ‘Why Are We Afraid of Outspoken Women?’
From the Ancient Roman forum to Twitter, women have long had to fight for freedom of speech. In 2014, women are still fighting for this basic human right. Online abuse directed at women crosses all forums of the internet. Few women writers and campaigners have not had their views or arguments mocked online at some point. More worryingly, women online also regularly face abuse, harassment, intimidation and violent threats. The purpose of this abuse is to silence women and remove them from public debate.
Sadly, I am not immune to abuse, harassment or threats online (hint: I’m female). Because over the past several months I have talked about gender and biological sex, I have got all kinds of crap from trans activists and…
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The trans male and gay male and drag queen communities have been roiling for weeks over the issue of whether the gay community word “tranny” is an affectionate term with a long history, or a bigoted slur against transgender male “transwomen”. I frame this as an entirely male issue both because the female (F2T) trans community has largely adopted the “affectionate” usage of this term long ago, and also because the transgender politic is a male-centric men’s rights movement, and as such the female opinion is not addressed or given credence in any of the many dozens of articles and opinion pieces generated on this issue in recent months.
This recent iteration of the “Tranny” controversy stems from the use of the word by RuPaul, a gay black man and community icon with a long-running television show featuring female impersonators on the LOGO television network.
Arguably his biggest critic is a former contestant of that show, Carmen Carrera, a man previously featured on this blog when he “shushed” Katie Couric for asking if Carrera had undergone any surgical modification of his dick and balls (he hasn’t, as he intends to persuade an actual female to transform his sperm into a family for him and his gay male partner). Weeks after shaming the journalist and accusing her of asking overly invasive questions about his reproductive sex organs (which he claimed were too painful to answer), Carrera auctioned off photos of his penis for a high-profile HIV fundraiser. Hypocrisy.
This week Carmen Carrera is back in the gay press defending himself against recent revelations that exposed his own long personal usage of the word “Tranny”, referring to himself and others, during recorded public interviews and appearances.
What is interesting is what is not being reported.
Then again, that’s why you read GenderTrender, correct?
What is not being reported in any of these stories about Carrera’s opinion on what constitutes a slur, is his long public use of the word “Nigga” to refer to Black individuals. It’s not exactly a secret. Carrera has been calling blacks “Niggas” for years, and continues to do so. It is interesting that Carrera calls Gay Black men “bigots” for using the word “Tranny” to refer to themselves, as he (a non-black person) calls these men by the racist slur “Niggas”.
When Carrera refused to explain this outrageous contradiction and ignored requests for response by his followers on social media the fans began posting screen caps of his racist slurs by the dozen on his facebook page and in his twitter feed. Carrera finally responded to the furor on May 31 by deleting many of his racist tweets. He then claimed that the racist tweets were “fakes”. Unfortunately (for him) Carerra had failed to delete all of the “fake” tweets from his account, as they spanned over several years. In fact, some of them still remain. His followers became enraged by his blatant lie, and thousands of enraged commenters reacted to his falsified denial by verbalizing their complaints on his Facebook page.
Eventually Carrera deleted his implausible denial, along with many hundreds of the comments, banning hundreds from his page. As people continue to post comments of protest, he deletes them, and bans them from further comment.
Now, it is likely not a surprise to many that Carmen Carrera is demonstrably racist, a hypocrite, an unintelligent man, and a blatant liar whose opinion on any subject is of questionable credibility. What does surprise some is that the so-called “LGBT” (male) media has decided to white-wash these recent developments entirely from their reportage, even though they are all well aware of them.
Since mainstream LGBT outlets like The Advocate have refused to report on this matter in pieces on Carmen Carrera even as recently as today, I am posting some of Carrera’s many racist tweets- (that he has denied making!)- here, below the fold.
June 4, 2014
We’ve received some backlash regarding our recent ad in Bicycling Magazine–some people have wrongly concluded that Ryders is attacking transgender people.
This ad is not, in any way, an attack on transgender people. It’s simply showing two people who are attracted to one another, each with a secret that the other might want to know up front. The person on the left has a secret–he owns an abnormal quantity of cats. The person on the right has a secret–he is actually a man dressed as a woman. We were toying with some of the social constructs that have made gender roles appear as truths, in an attempt to bring some humour to the concept that seeing isn’t always believing.
It’s now been a full day since the first messages arrived in response to our ad in Bicycling and it’s clear that we have offended lots of people. It doesn’t matter what our intention was, the result was anything but humorous. This ad was clearly a failure.
We are sorry. We are sorry to those we have offended and we are sorry for spreading a hurtful message.
Thank you to everyone who messaged us. Without you we would have carried on with this advertisement, oblivious to the harm it was causing. We were ignorant and you have shown this to us.
We have pulled this ad from all of the publications in which it was to be printed in the coming weeks and months. Unfortunately, some have already been printed and distributed. Rest assured, this ad will never be distributed again.
We are also in the process of having it pulled from digital magazines and other web sites. For some sites, especially those of distributors outside of the US and Canada, this may take a few days before it’s entirely cleaned up but it is our top priority to completely remove this image.
Again, we are very sorry. We’ve learned a lot from this.
Originally posted on Privilege Denying Tranny:
In what world can a politician graphically describe a journalist being the crusty “smegma” inside of a m2t’s neo-vag, actively campaign to get said journalist ‘no platformed’ at speaking engagements, publicly state that he thinks men should flout the laws of the country he’s sworn to up hold as a politician in order to procure black market estrogen and not get called out for it? Well a S.C.A.M. of course!
Enter in the sucking black hole that is Sarah Brown. After a crushing defeat by the labor party in the UK’s recent election cycle, Brown has found himself out of a job. And what do men do when they loose? Lash out at anyone and everyone possible, while simultaneously building a case why they’re not responsible for their own actions.
“Aunty” Sarah has been constructing an argument that “Terfs” have been “hounding him” to have a nervous breakdown over the…
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May 17, 2014
“Transgender Warrior” Indi Edwards on his new campaign to censor the words “tranny” and “gay” as slurs in the Gay community. Or something. Edwards is best known for his previous campaign of violent death threats against Lesbians and Feminists.
Kentucky’s Atherton High School struggles to respond to female student complaints about male “transgender”
May 14, 2014
A male student’s claims that he “feels female” have erupted into controversy at a Kentucky High School after he is permitted to use the girl’s locker room and restrooms based on his self-reported “mental identity” as a female person. At least seven female students have made formal complaints to Atherton Principal Thomas Alberli, according to a report by Antoinette Konz of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
“Atherton High School is rethinking its discrimination policy in the wake of complaints that a transgender student was being allowed to use a girls’ bathroom and locker room.
Principal Thomas Aberli said the school’s site-based council will meet Thursday to discuss adding gender identity to its non-discrimination policy on the use of school space.
“I have a responsibility to ensure that all of our students and staff are treated fairly and justly,” Aberli said in an interview with The Courier-Journal Tuesday morning. “At the same time, I also have a responsibility to educate our community on an issue that many are not familiar with and inform them about the rights of transgender individuals.”
As of Tuesday, Aberli said he’s had “about a dozen phone calls from concerned parents” and has met with seven students who brought their concerns to him.
“Everyone has been cordial and respectful,” he said. “My perception is that our staff is very supportive of this and that the culture of our school reflects the diversity and differences of our population. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.”
Jefferson County Public Schools has a policy stating that harassment and discrimination because of an individual’s age, color, disability, marital or parental status, national origin, race, sex, sexual orientation, political opinion or affiliation or religion is prohibited — but it does not include gender identity, though the issue has been brought up in recent years.
The controversy comes nearly two weeks after the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights issued guidance under its Title IX programs extending federal civil-rights protections to transgender students. However, it doesn’t offer specific advice on the use of school facilities.
The issue was brought to Aberli’s attention about a month ago when the freshman student, who was born male but identifies as a female, asked for permission to use the school’s female facilities.
“We have two facilities for all female students to use,” Aberli said. “Initially, the student was allowed to use both facilities. However, in addressing concerns raised by parents and students, I wanted to respond to those concerns, so at this time, the student is only being allowed to use one of the two restrooms.”
A supporter and friend of the young man explains in the article:
“One of the big issues people are having is due to the fact (he) is bisexual and currently has a girlfriend, one (he) has been with since before coming out as being transgendered,” Lorenna said. “Some people believe (he) is lying about being transgendered as some sort of attempt to get closer to girls and to harass female students, which is far from the case. (He) is one of the sweetest, most genuinely wonderful girls I have ever met, and there is no reason for all of the hate and distrust (he) has received.”
The article quotes a representative of the Kentucky Fairness Campaign, Chris Hartman, who complains that the young man’s feelings are more important than those of female students who realize that sex segregation in areas of public nudity exist in order to facilitate full participation of women and girls in education and public life. Kentucky Fairness Campaign is best known for their gruesome graphic death threats issued by a representative against a lesbian feminist who objected to the sex-role stereotypes, which form the basis of legal “gender identities”. Kentucky Fairness believes that women are not human beings but a “feeling” that some men have.
From the Courier-Journal report:
“Hartman said he is concerned that the student is being allowed to use only one of the school’s female restrooms.
“On the surface, it doesn’t really make any sense,” he said. “If (he) is being allowed to use one restroom, why shouldn’t (he) be allowed to use both bathrooms?”
Louisville high school teacher Liz Palmer took to twitter calling her female students “bigots” against male feelings of “femaleness”.
In a bizarre turn, Atherton High School Principal Thomas Aberli has posted a SurveyMonkey poll requesting testimonials against the female students who complained, to be read at the next school board meeting. See below.
The WILY News report on the matter features a male transgender in an unfortunate wig calling himself Holly Knight, who cites laydeebrain science:
“There’s so much education now, we have medical, psychological, chemical, biological that there is in fact a separation that people can be born with a female brain, in her example, in a male body,” Knight said. [sic]
Here is the content of Atheron High School’s “objective” internet poll, (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Atherton-Gender-Identity )
which strangely, seems to be offline now:
Someone tell Katie Couric not to mention this: Carmen Carrera auctions off photos of his dick for AIDS fundraiser
May 13, 2014
Mere months after Katie Couric was roundly castigated by the male members* of the transgenderist lobby for asking a man who claims he is reproductively female about his reproductive sex biology, the man, Carmen Carrera – who “shushed” Couric on her own show, and raised his hand as if to block her query- is now auctioning off photos of his dick for the AIDS charity “LifeBall”.
Photos of Carmen Carrera’s dick below the fold. Just don’t mention it to Katie Couric. Or anyone. Anywhere. Ever. Because that would be transphobic. And you wouldn’t want to be that.