December 12, 2012
Fascinating essay by Hampshire College professors Alan Goodman and Margaret Cerullo explaining how women use gender to oppress men. No, really! Cerullo was quoted in the article they reference stating that she had not even read memoirist Christine Benvenuto’s book, yet she was calling for it to be banned, as she feared it might hurt men’s feelings!
As part of the Hampshire College book-burning campaign Goodman and Cerullo explain here how women are socially dominant over men, and oppress men by critiquing sex-roles.
Also, women who refer to their ex-husband’s behavior as “creepy” or “ugly” or “greasy” are committing hate speech and their writing should be censored and banned.
Is there something funny in the water at Hampshire College? Or perhaps a time machine casting women back into the dark ages? And look how they throw the little “feminism” thing onto the end! Read professor Goodman and Cerullo’s Daily Hampshire Gazette editorial and judge for yourself. Enjoy!
Alan Goodman & Margaret Cerullo: Coverage invites transgender phobia
By ALAN H. GOODMAN and MARGARET CERULLO
Monday, December 10, 2012
AMHERST — The Gazette’s Dec. 8 front-page story titled “Pain of sex change” explores a memoir written by a local author who describes the pain of watching her former spouse undergo a sex change. By posting a large color photo of the author, the Gazette suggests that the “pain” to be explored is the author’s alone.
The Gazette leaves the reader without much insight into the reality of the former spouse who clearly underwent a brave, painful and now public transition in the Valley where she and her children also reside.
Lines from the book “Sex Changes,” by Christine Benvenuto, convey moments of compassion for “Tracey” her former spouse, now a trans-gender woman. Yet there are many instances in which the memoir drips with disrespect and prejudice. Although Tracey transitioned to female over eight years ago, the memoirist refers to her to as “he.” Benvenuto writes, “There is something slightly creepy and more than slightly sad about a man in women’s clothes.” She peppers the memoir with descriptions of Tracey as “creepy, greasy, disgusting, and ugly.”
The Gazette never poses the question: What counts for hate speech? Benvenuto maintains that her memoir is simply “her story about a painful divorce” —not about trans people.
Yet the memoir’s title and the Gazette’s headline focus on Tracey’s transition about sex change. Had the memoir been about a marriage coming undone in a more banal way (infidelity, domestic abuse, alcoholism, falling out of love), the book’s title and anticipated content wouldn’t be much of a sensationalist draw.
Moreover, the author trivializes critiques of her depiction of Tracey as “politically correct.” During the Reagan-Bush years, politicians and pundits deployed the patronizing trope of “P.C.” to discredit nearly any critique of racism or sexism. Might it not be put to rest in 2012?
Consider a white author describing an African-American former spouse as, “creepy, dark, and disgusting to behold,” specifically because they were African-American.
What if a heterosexual author described a spouse who came out as gay as a source of “creepy” revulsion — again, due to their sexual orientation? Today, we would regard such texts as racist and homophobic. Must we wait 20 years to see Benvenuto’s depiction as transphobic?
Can a member of a dominant group (straight, white, cis-gendered) write off the political implications of their own hateful language as being merely “personal” — particularly when they insert this language into the public domain in the form of a memoir or media interviews?
Being transgender is neither a mid-life crisis (as described in the book), nor a mental illness, nor a choice for those who feel life unlivable in what feels to be the wrong gender.
Children of trans people, and society in general, deserve stories in which authors present their pain and anger about family members’ transitions in ways that convey respect and compassion for the people they write about.
The stakes are high. In addition to facing rejection from family and community, 95 percent of transgender people report harassment on the job and in public generally.
Moreover, everyday instances of exclusion translate into exponentially high rates of exposure to violence, depression, murder, and suicide. For many trans women, passing as female by changing dress, voice, hair and skin are central to protecting their own mental health and physical safety.
If trans women like Tracey cannot “pass” by wearing “women’s clothing” (found creepy and sad by the author) they are at risk of becoming a target of verbal, physical and sexual assault.
We do not question the rights of individuals to tell their painful personal narratives about what happens when a family member is transgender.
But as feminists taught us since the 1960s, often, the personal is political. Personal hate, when made so public, is hate speech.
Alan H. Goodman is a professor of anthropology at Hampshire College, where Margaret Cerullo is a professor of sociology. In addition to its authors, this commentary was endorsed by Chaia Heller, Visiting Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, Mount Holyoke College; Jamie Theophilos, Mount Holyoke College Class of 2013; Abby Marsh, Hampshire College Class of 2015; Kaeleigh Terrill, University of Massachusetts Amherst Class of 2013; Parks Dunlap, Smith College Class of 2013; Debra Bercuvitz; Kris Thomson; Rabbi Raquel S. Kosovske and Rabbi David Seidenberg.
August 15, 2012
Better watch this one quick. This 2009 video archive of the 16×9 news program featuring the John Fulton case was only uploaded yesterday but trans are already trying to censor it and prevent it from being viewed- by reporting it to YouTube as “promoting hatred and violence” (!) :
Fulton was the owner of an Ontario women-only gym (which had only one open shower and change area) who was dragged before the Ontario Human Rights Commission three years ago by man with a penis, Lisa MacDonald- who insisted it was his human right to parade his dick into the open women’s shower. Fulton lost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees before MacDonald suddenly dropped his complaint. Since the Commission could not rule on the withdrawn complaint, Fulton had no resolution and no way to recoup his legal fees.
Case against John Fulton
In 2006, a transgendered woman (now known as Lisa MacDonald) visited Downtown Health Club for Women in St. Catharines, Ontario and asked owner John Fulton for Membership. MacDonald explained that she was actually a pre-operative Male-to-Female transsexual who was in the process of undergoing as sex-change operation, but for the time being, still possessed male gentalia. Fulton explained his concern that with only one change room and shower room in the club, admitting this individual would have meant allowing a man to observe the other patrons—all female—in various stages of undress. Approximately one week later, the individual filed a human rights complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) alleging discrimination.
Fulton, and his lawyer Andrew Roman, argued that the Ontario Human Rights Code specifically permits facilities to serve a single sex on the grounds of public decency, and ordains that such restrictions do not constitute illegal discrimination. They also argued that that admitting the complainant would violate the rights of club members to freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Fulton also questioned how he was supposed to distinguish the applicant from a voyeur or an exhibitionist.
Fulton stated that he received calls from his members threatening to quit if the transgendered individual was allowed to join before the sex-change operation was completed. Fulton also claimed that the OHRC told him he had to let the transgendered individual use the women’s facilities but refused to provide him with a clear answer on what his rights and the rights of his female clients were in this situation. Fulton also stated he never denied membership to the applicant and that she was welcome to use club once the sex-change operation was completed.
The case was scheduled for a hearing in late 2009. However, the individual then withdrew the complaint without explanation. As a result, Fulton was left with legal bills of roughly $150,000 and argued that he had been wrongly accused of being a discriminatory without being given a chance to respond. The Tribunal refused to compensate Fulton for any costs, stating that it lacked the authority to do so. In an interview with the St. Catharines Standard, Fulton stated that “They put me through hell for three years and at the 11th hour, they dropped it. There really was no resolution … and my costs with this are huge.”
In declining to provide award any costs to Fulton, The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario’s Alternate Chair Kaye Joachim wrote that:
- the HRTO had no authority to award costs;
- no costs against could be awarded against the complainant because Alternate Chair Joachim ruled that there was no abuse the complaint process;
- the complainant had “raised important and novel questions about the scope of the Code and its application to transgendered individuals.”;
- Fulton and his lawyers “may have caused unnecessary legal costs by raising spurious preliminary issues,” including constitutional arguments that were later dropped;
- Fulton party’s request that MacDonald produce her entire medical history was, in part, “completely irrelevant to the issues raised in the application.
Fulton’s lawyer, Andrew Roman disargeed with Joachim’s comments, adding that “I’ll be taking steps to deal with that…The way the tribunal is set up now, the complainant is rewarded for taking a risk-free grab at a big bag of money. Roman claimed that at the mediation stage, the “typical payoff” is often around $20,000 and that if a person “can’t work out a settlement at mediation, you go to a hearing and have to pay many times that.” Fulton also claimed that the Commission pushed him to pay MacDonald, stating that “They told me that I had to pay her legal fees, write a letter of apology admitting guilt and I could make it go away,” but he refused, stating that ” I didn’t know what to do and I wanted … a tribunal decision. I’m stubborn.” He also stated that “They’re picking on the wrong guy. The OHRC needs to be rejigged … before other people end up being in a situation where they feel like they’re being extorted.”
Karen Selick, the litigation director for the Canadian Constitution Foundation which supported Mr. Fulton, sharply criticized the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) and the process by which it handles complaints, writing in the National Post that:
“For complainants, the process is virtually risk-free. It costs them nothing to file a complaint, and the tribunal mediator will help explain the shakedown. If they want some legal help filing their complaint, they can get it gratis, at the taxpayer-funded Human Rights Legal Support Centre. And they never have to risk paying costs, no matter how ill-conceived or unjustified their complaint was. Heads, the complainant wins; tails, the accused loses.”
In February 2009, Afroze Edwards, a spokeswoman for the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) expressed support for the applicant, arguing that:
“The [Ontario Human Rights] code does not distinguish between transsexuals who are at different stages of transition.. I think the important thing to remember there is how they identify themselves; what their sense is, that they are living as a man or living as a woman. Regardless of whether they’re preop or postop, it’s their lived gender that’s important.”
Interestingly, Kristen Worley- a male athlete and genderist who occupies a female slot in women’s cyclist rankings despite his male body – is interviewed in the program and comes out AGAINST the rights of males to inflict their penises on females in gym showers and change rooms.
Like I said: Watch it while you can!