November 14, 2012

Brilliant, incisive legal analysis of the issues involved in the Colleen Francis Evergreen College case, Washington State statutes and the problem with “Gender Identity” protections overriding sex-based legal protections for Women. Also applies to the Robert/Michelle Kosilek case. Must read.

Sex matters.

Popular progressive political discourse, fueled by the sloppy legal strategy of LGBT organizations, insists that adding “gender identity” to existing anti-discrimination statutes by legislative amendment is an urgent and necessary legal protection for transgendered and other gender non-conforming people. In fact, however, judicial interpretation of Sex discrimination law already prohibits gender-related sex-stereotyping. More than being benignly redundant, the current legislative strategy actually creates a big problem: it defines and positions “gender identity” as a new protected legal class that overrides Sex as a preexisting protected legal class. In practice, these classes come to clash in Sex-segregated spaces when a single individual’s “gender identity” is prioritized over every other person’s physical and legal Sex. I will discuss a particular example of this situation below.

Sex, as a legal category, is important in its own right. Whereas Sex is the necessary legal foundation for the protection and maintenance of women’s reproductive freedoms, “gender identity” is…

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18 Responses to “”

  1. Marie-France Lesage Says:

    Brilliant. Now how do we hammer our way through the debauched carelessness, ridiculous denial and lazy, lazy, lazy thinking to change the farking laws in Washington State?!?

    This case makes it crystal clear that we CAN NOT rely on the current interpreters of the law to perform one of the most fundamental duties of adult human beings: protect our young and innocent from predators.

    (You’d think we as a species would have learned THAT lesson a million years ago, but no.)

    If we cannot trust adults in positions of power to leverage the current laws to protect girls and women from creatures like Francis, then we’ll have to FORCE them to protect girls and women by fixing the law. Where do we start?

    Are we really going to have to rely on right-wing church groups to get this done?

    • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

      They’ve taken away our ability to protect ourselves with legislation that erases us. They haven’t taken our voices. They can’t take our voices. When confronted with a naked penis in supposedly safe space, I will scream and not stop. Perhaps we all need to start screaming. I will stand unafraid and scream to push back my terror.

  2. EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

    The Colleen Francis case caught me by surprise. I read everything I could find on the case from all angles. And my concern is that Colleen is not truly a pre-op transsexual but a man who is cross-dressing to obtain sexual gratification among unclothed women. And the fact that in Washington state and Colorado these practices cannot be stopped is horrifying. My state, Maryland, is about to enact a gender identity law. I reviewed it with care, and it appears that the definition of gender is relegated to appearance alone. Now, I could argue that in a space where everyone is naked, that the appearance of a transgender intact male is male and not female and therefore should not be allowed. But it seems like that argument may get overridden. And in restroom spaces, allowing men (not pre-op transsexuals about to become women) in dresses into female areas simply because they are in female clothing appears to be allowed by this law.

    So, I went to the transgender sites to see their arguments. And their argument is that there is no danger from transgender male-to-female people in female bathrooms and locker rooms because transgenders are not violent and there have been no rapes associated with them. I googled that. And what I found are about 30 incidents this year of men putting on women’s clothing and entering women’s spaces in order to commit crimes ranging from exposure of genitals (deliberate sexual exposure, not accidental) to outright rape. That shook me up.

    Unlike many of the women actually talking about this issue, I am not a feminist, a lesbian, or a right-wing religious. I am simply a heterosexual soccer mom who has always enthusiastically supported gay rights for my friends. We have family that have come out. I have friends and coworkers that are gay. And it shook me to the core to find that I have slammed up against a wall that makes me feel like I am on the side of discrimination. There’s evidently a line in the sand that I won’t allow crossed. Intact males naked in women’s spaces is that line. Especially when those males appear to be challenging opinion and trying to provoke shock and fear among the biological women that they are around. That’s not civil rights –that’s someone’s sexual fantasy play and the legislature appears to be too stupid to know the difference.

    I think the answer lies in NOT defining sex as gender. Instead, if you are a true transsexual and not just a poser putting on the gear to get a thrill, you should have to have a bit higher line to cross than just “appearance” to claim womanhood. Low dosage estrogen therapy alone should not allow you the designation of “Female” on your driver’s license. The bar should be much higher, and I’m still in the process of evaluating where that line should reasonably be.

    • Marie-France Lesage Says:

      “And it shook me to the core to find that I have slammed up against a wall that makes me feel like I am on the side of discrimination. There’s evidently a line in the sand that I won’t allow crossed. Intact males naked in women’s spaces is that line.”

      Yes! EXACTLY. You have my complete empathy — and for the record, health self-preservation isn’t discrimination. It’s healthy self-preservation!!!

      In fact, all rational, sane, compassionate people should have the same bright line in their minds:

      1) Males stalk, sexually assault and rape females; therefore
      2) Females need safe and private spaces where males are not allowed to enter; therefore
      3) Any new protections for trans-whatever males MUST NOT endanger women and their children by thoughtlessly, lazily throwing the door open to women’s safe and private spaces to any and all males who simply CHOOSE to put on female garb in order to gain entry.

      Google Richard Speck. He’s not the only murderer of females who enjoyed putting on women’s clothing and taking female hormones!

      We need EVERYONE around us to be watching out for males entering women’s safe and private spaces. EVERYONE nearby should be well-trained to be keeping a watchful eye on dudes near the women’s room — whether at a state park, a highway rest station or your local Y. No one should be brainwashed into thinking, “Huh, that 6’4″ very male-looking middle-aged person in bad drag who just entered the women’s locker room must be a harmless transsexual. I shouldn’t make a scene.” For women’s and children’s safety we NEED them to be thinking, “Why did that huge dude just into the women’s locker room? I need to notify someone immediately!”

    • moose Says:

      (‘Gay’ and ‘trans’ have nothing to do with one another- most people here (and most lesbians I know and some gay men) do not think that T belongs grouped with LGB)

      • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

        It’s become popular, it seems. I am struck by the video of the young girl, who having come to term with being gay, is now coming to terms with being trans. We used to call that ‘butch lesbian’ and she’ll have a wider community with the lesbians than if she mutilates herself in the name of some idea that she can fit into a ‘normal’ gender. And, honestly, a ‘male lesbian’ is a cross-dressing man. Period.

    • Ashland Avenue Says:

      Equal, that was beautifully put. Also, even though I am a lesbian, I approach this issue not from that angle but rather from the angle of a woman. Women – all born women, whether straight, lesbian, conservative, or liberal – should not have to deal with men in women’s private spaces. This is not discrimination. Do not feel bad for even a moment. This is women overcoming our differences to protect each other from the predatory behavior of men.

    • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

      You know, I’ve spent my third sleepless night in a row on this subject. It’s really really bothering me. Our legislature will fatuously sign a bill like HB 235 into law because it’s promoting ‘civil rights’. And HB 235 (which failed to pass last year), classifies gender as the following: ” ‘Gender Identity’ means a gender-related identity or appearance of an individual regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.” (They struck out the wording “gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior” to just “gender-related identity or appearance”. Why? )

      Joseline Pena-Melnyk, who sponsored HB 235 last year, is one of the most supportive delegates in our legislature. She’s always answered my questions when I was in her district. Most of the time she answered them personally. She does care. She isn’t one of the career politicians. Obviously, she is trying to address a wrong and the fact that transgenders are beaten up is a tragedy. Isn’t that already covered by our current laws, though? I don’t think allowing access to female restrooms and locker rooms is going to decrease violence on transgenders. But it will most certainly increase violence on our females and young children.

      Maryland just voted in referendum for Question 6. Unlike this Gender Identity bill, the law for gay marriage was very well thought out. It allowed for exclusions for religious sensibility. It passed with a 52% yes to 48% no vote. That’s not a walloping majority –we barely squeaked it through. Had the exclusions for religious sensibility not been in the bill, it would not have passed.

      Colleen Francis may have done me the biggest favor in the world with his (that’s NOT a her!) delusion that he’s the Rosa Parks of transgenderism. The act got noticed. And now the straights are questioning. I have always believed that the Maryland LBGT community had the best interests at heart. I believed that they wouldn’t lie. I have been trusting their word on the subject of transgenderism as expert opinion. I have been naive. Transgender rights *will* trample feminine rights. I have the right to go into a public locker room and not have a penis paraded in my face or on open display. I have the right to question suspicious men in female restrooms. I have the right to protect my own safety and the safety of my child from predation in spaces where women go to unclothe.

      Now the questions that I have are how to frame the argument and how to rally the masses? I haven’t been politically active since I fought for HIV care in the late 1980’s. The Maryland LBGT movement seems to have been hijacked by the transgender movement. I’m a swim team mom. That’s how I found the Colleen Francis story. I didn’t see it covered on the mainstream media.

      • Adrian Says:

        Part of the problem from where I sit is that among all the discussion of transgendered people (both M2T and F2T) getting beat up and murdered (and yes, it happens) there isn’t much attention paid to WHO is doing the beating up and killing.

        It’s MEN who are doing it, at least in the vast majority of cases. Men who think they’ve been “tricked” when someone they think is a woman turns out to be a man, men who are just outraged by the idea of a fellow man being a “sissy” or “gayer than gay,” or men who are upset to find an “uppity woman who needs to be shown her place” in some assumed to be all male group. The people who are benefiting from sexism and the sex hierarchy that places men over women (patriarchy) police that boundary with violence.

        We do need more tolerance for “gender-bending” behavior, without the need to proclaim to be the sex you’re not. So a man should be okay to wear a dress or stand with the S-curves or whatever it is, and still use the men’s room without fear of violence. It is not okay to be violent against them.

        But those with the power to make that happen, the power to stop the murder and violence against transgendered people, are MEN. The upset needs to be focused in that direction, rather than being laid at the feet of women for not letting those victimized men take refuge in the women’s room all the time. But those men are powerful, and so far too often no one confronts them – it’s easier to just take over the women’s area, and push the women farther down the scale. All the yelling about how supposedly the language of “cis-women” pointing out that trans women are male is causing them to be murdered is completely missing the point, in my opinion. They need to confront those doing the murdering.

      • mizknowitall Says:

        @ Equal Rights and Protection, Adrian.
        Your questioning is dead on the money! Trans(gendered) was created on the back of transsexual for this very reason. This btw was told to MKIA by the horrid little man who actually coined the term! It was hoped by him and later by all the legions of men in dresses who have taken up that banner. That by conflation of hetrosexual transvestites with those pitiful few who want nothing more than to simply be fully one sex or the other. That the public could be fooled into thinking that the men in dresses are also kinda sorta like transsexuals too! They are not! Nothing could possibly be further from the truth! There never has been nor will there ever be a pre-operative transsexual who would have or could have done anything close to what Mr Francis did! How could there? They hate their bodies and they hate “that part” most of all! The very idea of taking “that thing” you would sell your soul to be shed of and showing it to anyone is beyond abhorrent! So much so that repeatedly slamming ones hand in a car door would be preferable!

        But they are few, the “trans” are legion, and until someone other than those few who’s narratives they have appropriated calls them on it. The men in dresses are going to keep on doing what men always do! Take anything and everything they want! Including women’s spaces!

      • EqualRightsAndProtection Says:

        I was incorrect to state before that Maryland HB 235 does not provide an exclusion for religious organizations. It does. However, it still equates gender identity to appearance. There needs to be a stronger test than just appearance. Given that there are evidently some doctors who will sign a gender identity pass to sex-segregated space based on low dosage estrogen (sure, you’re a woman now. Just show this paper to the Dept of Motor Vehicles to change your driver’s license), I think we need to set the bar at full SRS. At least to sex-segregated spaces.

        For the employment/housing clauses, appearance might be a good enough test. But where people are unclothed, there’s got to be a much stronger, brighter line.

        I think it shows that there needs to be a lot more thought on this than just giving all as Washington state and Colorado have done.

  3. weirdward Says:

    (‘Gay’ and ‘trans’ have nothing to do with one another- most people here (and most lesbians I know and some gay men) do not think that T belongs grouped with LGB)

    Yep. I find that the ones who are pushing hardest for the T to be included are ‘queers’ who primarily/exclusively date people of the opposite sex but who feel they have a right to be under the LGBT umberella because they see themselves as sexual deviants in some way.

    This is something I’ve always found really offensive. Being a lesbian and being attracted to women is completely normal to me – it’s not something I’ve ever seen as deviant or abnormal, and I certainly don’t have relationships with women purely to get some weird kick out of doing something forbidden.

    Politically and ideologically I have zero in common with some pansexual queer woman who gets her rocks off by having sex with be-pensied people upside down on a train going 100 miles per hour whilst watching surround-sound porn or whatever.

    • Adrian Says:

      Oh HECK yes. Just look at the endless parade of blogs from F2T people who proudly proclaim how they’re not just trans* but they’re GAY TOO (so they win at all of the “I’m more marginalized than you are and so I’m free to rage at you and you can’t complain about it because that’s tone policing” competitions which seem to be endlessly running).

      A person born a girl, who wants to dress femme, who dates the be-penised, but who somehow “identifies as a man” gets some sort of cachet from not being, well, just another ordinary heterosexual woman, y’know? They get to be “queer” which in the circles they are moving in is now a badge of honor, because yeah it’s “out there” and “transgressive.” Often this is happening along with fetishization of various parts of stereotypical gay culture. Camp, and all that sort of thing, including a lot of the misogyny that goes along with parts of that too.

      • weirdward Says:

        In addition, the male-attracted girl/woman who identifies as a man has the added bonus of a ‘legitimate’ excuse to pursue gay men, which is really just a new and rather disturbing evolution of the old fag hag deal.

        It works the other way too, with the straight women who date the M2Ts getting to claim they’re lesbian, and better than us ‘transphobic’ lesbians who still keep rejecting the trans because…ya know, they’re men and lesbians aren’t attracted to men.

        Then added into the mix you have self-hating lesbians who transition and subsequently behave like misogynistic a-holes towards other women and lesbians and no one is allowed to say anything because that is them ‘expressing their gender identity’.

        Yeah, the appropriation and fetishization of various aspects of gay culture from the ‘queer’ (straight) crowd is really creepy. If heterosexual culture sucks so much, then change it. Don’t steal ours!

  4. Marie-France Lesage Says:

    “Now the questions that I have are how to frame the argument and how to rally the masses?”

    We have to consistently, insistently, intelligently hack away at the LIE that cross-dressing men pose no threat to women or children in women’s locker rooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms, etc.

    IT’S A LIE.

    There has been case after case after case of male predators using drag to gain entry to women’s (formerly) safe and private spaces and then sexually photographing, flashing, sexually abusing and/or raping women and kids.

    Don’t let them get away with spreading the myth of The Harmless Trans. It’s simply NOT TRUE that cross-dressing men pose no threat. They pose a tremendous threat when they invade women’s space.

    No born male has any business being in female-only space, especially if there is any chance of unattended female minors being present. None.

    By that I mean, it’s bad enough for cross-dressing men to invade (for example) the women’s room at a bar — where only adults will be present. But to parade naked in a freaking locker room with little girls in the room?! NO F’ING WAY. That is straight up child sexual abuse.

    I had nightmares for YEARS after some disgusting dude flashed me when I was ten. If I could have found him when I was an adult, I would have beaten him with a baseball bat to within an inch of his life for what he did to my sense of freedom, safety and self-confidence in the world. What he did was PURE EVIL. Any man like him is likewise pure evil, I don’t give a damn if he calls himself Priscilla or Blanche or whatever-the-fark. He needs to keep it in his pants and STAY AWAY from little girls.

  5. mizknowitall Says:

    I want to applaud Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford for drafting this, and to GallusMag for helping to spread it! Their legal opinion is indeed that very clear and clean line in the sand vis-a-vie trans “privileges” which sooner than later, must be implemented for the sake of women everywhere! Because what constitutes not only the value of a woman, but even the factors which make her female are being eroded from all sides! With this, the wholesale re-write of female to nothing more than a “gender expression” being perhaps the most devilish of them all! For it is being done with what seems like the best of intents, when as we see in action, it is nothing of the kind! This re-write is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and it must be stopped!


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