September 21, 2016
The Department of Housing and Urban Development joined other Obama agencies Tuesday in ruling that ‘Gender Identity’ determines reproductive biology and overrides Title IX sex-based protections for women and girls in homeless shelters. The department defines Gender Identity as “the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth and regardless of the person’s perceived gender identity.” [p70]
The ruling allows any male to access female sleeping quarters, showers, and restrooms on the basis of self-declared ‘Gender Identity’. Questioning such a declaration on any basis is ruled as discriminatory and women’s rational need for privacy and safety from male violence is dismissed as “unsubstantiated fears” [p52].
The rule explicitly forbids requesting evidence of a “transition”, including duration, consistency, or sincerity of belief in declared ‘Gender Identity’. There is no provision to address men who may assert ‘Gender Identity’ for an improper purpose:
“HUD also revises paragraph (b) to add a provision that the policies and procedures must ensure that individuals are not subjected to intrusive questioning or asked to provide anatomical information or documentary, physical, or medical evidence of the individual’s gender identity.”[p13]
HUD disregards with a handwave the rationale for protection of female privacy and safety against male violence behind the Congress’s Title IX provision for sex-segregation in areas of public nudity:
“Contrary to the public comment that suggests what Congress’s intent was in creating single-sex facilities, HUD does not opine on Congress’s intent behind permitting single-sex facilities, but does make clear in this rule that, for purposes of determining placement in a single-sex facility, placement should be made consistent with an individual’s gender identity. This rule does not attempt to interpret or define sex.” [p30]
Yet the HUD ruling does re-define legal sex -as a characteristic on par with sex-stereotypes of “appearance, behavior, expression”- falling under the newly invented federal category of “Perceived Gender Identity”:
“Perceived gender identity means the gender with which a person is perceived to identify based on that person’s appearance, behavior, expression, other gender related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth or identified in documents.” [p70]
The ruling itself re-defines ‘sex’ as a component of ‘Perceived Gender Identity’ but the agency also defines ‘Gender Identity’ as a “component of sex’ in its response to public comment:
“In response to the comment with regard to this rule’s impact on a “legal sex category,” this rule does not provide a definition of “woman” or “sex.” In this rule, HUD notes that gender identity—and whether a person identifies with their sex assigned at birth or not—is a component of sex.” [p45]
HUD cites the Title IX re-interpretation of other Obama appointed agencies (which call for the elimination of sex as a protected category) as precedent for Tuesday’s ruling, making no mention of the current legal challenges to this very interpretation by 23 states and various private litigants:
“Consistent with the approach taken by other Federal agencies, HUD has determined that the most appropriate way for shelter staff to determine an individual’s gender identity for purposes of a placement decision is to rely on the individual’s self-identification of gender identity.” [p39]
HUD cites various internet surveys as evidence that males with ‘Gender Identities’ are at greater risk of harassment and violence than women and girls. Therefore HUD rules that women and girls must be forced by the state to sacrifice their own safety and absorb the risk from males who prefer sleeping and bathing among women. HUD addresses the safety concerns of individuals with ‘Gender Identities’ extensively, including those who ‘identify as’ having no reproductive biology at all:
“In circumstances where an individual does not identify as male or female and such information is relevant to placement and accommodation, the individual should be asked the gender with which the individual most closely identifies. In these circumstances, the individual is in the best position to specify the more appropriate gender-based placement as well as the placement that is most likely to be the safest for the individual—either placement with males or placement with females.” [p48]
Yet HUD completely disregards voluminous FBI, CDC, and other forensic documentation of epidemic sex-based violence against women committed by males as “beyond the scope” of the ruling, wrapping up their dismissal with a version of the classic ‘but women rape too!’:
“HUD’s rule requires that individuals be accommodated in accordance with their gender identity. It is beyond the scope of this rule to detail methods for best serving victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking. However, as discussed earlier, this final rule requires that providers must take nondiscriminatory steps that may be necessary and appropriate to address privacy concerns raised by all residents or occupants. HUD notes that both victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and other VAWA crimes include persons who are transgender or gender nonconforming individuals and persons who are not”. [p58]
HUD fully expects violence, (which it calls “physical harassment”) to occur between homeless women and the males placed in female sleeping and bathing areas as a result of this ruling:
“If some occupants initially present concerns about transgender or gender nonconforming occupants to project staff and managers, staff should treat those concerns as opportunities to educate and refocus the occupants. HUD recognizes that, even then, conflicts may persist and complaints may escalate to verbal or physical harassment. In these situations, providers should have policies and procedures in place to support residents and staff in addressing and resolving conflicts that escalate to harassment.”[p17]
Strangely, although statistics show that female stranger violence against males is an infinitesimal probability compared to the reverse, the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is, yet again, solely concerned with the former- the issue of women’s protection from male violence being “beyond the scope” of the Obama administration’s mandate to eliminate sex-based protections for women.
Read the full HUD decision here:
September 17, 2016
Meet Julia Cushion, your new Westminster UK ‘Outreach and Engagement Officer’ for Parliament’s Department of Information. She can’t tell you what she thinks about politics, except that she thinks Lesbians and Feminists are “awful people” for wanting representation in policy that effects us. Good Luck Westminster lesbians and feminists!
Your ‘Outreach and Engagement Officer’ thinks you – and every feminist ally with concerns about over-broad “Gender Identity” statutes, the legal codification of sex stereotypes, the elimination of lesbian rights to lesbian spaces, and the medicalization of gender non-compliance in children (among other issues) are “awful people”. She wants you to know it so I’m reblogging her post here. Do make a note of it.
Link to events she describes in her post : http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/trans-people-uk-government/#gs.hUn59Ik
*UPDATE- Gosh. Officer Cushion appears to have taken her post offline.
I find this interesting. In her post of September 2, Ms. Julia Cushion describes her new position as Outreach and Engagement Officer for Westminster. She explains that a condition of her Parliamentary service is that she must remain apolitical. See screencap here:
Yet on September 17, she writes a post describing the brilliant lesbian and Women’s Rights activists, authors, and educators who spoke at the Women’s Equality forum, including the renowned Lesbian Feminist author and professor Sheila Jeffreys, as “awful people” because Ms. Julia Cushion is against lesbian and women’s rights to representation.
Not only are lesbian and feminist politics “awful” to Ms. Cushion, but we are “awful people” entirely. See Julia Cushion’s relevant statements here:
Now, I’m not going to call Julia Cushion an “awful person” for sharing her homophobic and misogynist views. Clearly she is a completely uninformed about the issues as she admits herself. She knows nothing about transgender people, lesbians or feminism.
That someone so completely clueless might lunge clumsily and publicly in defense of a politics they’ve never deeply considered is not unique.
What I find interesting is that Ms. Cushion believes that lesbian and feminist concerns are so maligned that publicly bashing lesbians and feminists as “awful people” is a position safe to take- even for an individual whose government position is conditioned on impartiality. The hatred of lesbians and feminists expressed by Ms. Cushion- not just politically, but as people, is remarkable.
September 14, 2016
For the last six years London’s Science Museum has been indoctrinating children into the false pseudoscience of “Brain Sex” via an exhibit designed by transgender activists called “Boy or Girl?” The exhibit was dually funded by the UK government and drug company GlaxoSmithKlein.
According to the website of transgender lobbying youth group Gendered Intelligence the creation of the exhibit was overseen by Dr. Jay Stewart, whose doctorate was awarded in art by Goldsmiths College. Stewart is a testosterone-injecting woman who identifies as transgender.
From the Gendered Intelligence website:
“Dr. Jay Stewart
Jay is co-founder of Gendered Intelligence and chairs the Board of Directors. Jay carries out and oversees the main activities that take place across the organisation. Recently Jay has lead on the projects: ‘What makes your gender? Hacking into the Science Museum’ – a £10,000 project funded by Heritage Lottery Fund with the Science Museum, London – and ‘GI’s Anatomy: a life drawing project for trans and intersex people’ – a £30,000 project funded by the Welcome Trust carried out in collaboration with Central School of Speech & Drama, London Drawing and the Gender Identity Development Service, Tavistock Clinic, NHS Trust. Jay also delivers much of the youth group sessions and is a mentor.”
The ‘Boy or Girl?’ exhibit at the Science Museum taught visitors falsehoods about the science behind sex-stereotypes, claiming traditions of ‘gender’ which privilege males and subordinate females through social rituals of male domination and female submission are ‘hard wired’ in the brain. The museum also presented displays of pharmacology and sex-based prosthetics (breast implants, silicone penises) to children as examples of medical interventions to help them conform to stereotypes of gender.
Included in the exhibit is a ghastly ‘test’ that children can take to determine if they have ‘Pink’ female brains or ‘Blue’ male brains. You can take the test here:
Feminists have criticized the display for years but recent complaints from the feminist parent’s groups FourthWaveNow and TransgenderTrend have succeeded in raising public awareness widely on the issue.
Today the ScienceMuseum announced it would finally take steps to modify the anti-scientific and offensive exhibit.
Excerpted from the ScienceMuseum blog post “A question of sex, gender and how to keep museums up to date” By Alex Tyrrell | 14 September 2016:
“In the past week many of these questions and challenges have been playing on my mind, following a lively discussion on social media about an exhibit on the science of sex and gender in our Who Am I? gallery, which explores the wealth of scientific ideas that inform our understanding of human identity.
I worked on Who Am I? when it was last refreshed back in 2010 and the aim at the time was to present the cutting-edge scientific knowledge of the day on what makes us us, me me and you you. I headed up a team of researchers (we call them Content Developers) who spent many months scouring scientific journals and interviewing countless inspiring researchers from around the world. We also worked with a vast network of eminent geneticists, neuroscientists, psychologists and other experts to create the gallery.
Scientific accuracy is vital to the Museum – our reputation depends on it – and we put in place rigorous processes to ensure we get things right, from expert advisory boards who look at the broad messages in an exhibition, to subject specialists who are invited to scrutinise every word we write.
It is now six years since Who am I? was updated – and much of the research featured in the gallery is a decade older. The exhibit in the gallery that has recently received attention on Twitter is titled Boy or Girl? It features stories, objects and research including studies into sexual preference and behaviour, tests to see the sex of an unborn baby, and a section looking at gender identity and the evidence for biological differences between the sexes.
The thinking behind Who am I? – and the sex and gender display in particular – was to communicate the latest research clearly and accurately, but we also believe that featuring contributions from other viewpoints and disciplines is essential when examining a question as complex and profoundly personal as ‘who am I?’.
With this in mind, we chose to include work from numerous artists (including, most famously, Antony Gormley’s Iron Baby) and stories from a range of people who are personally involved in the issues covered. In the sections of Who am I? that examine gender and sex, for instance, we collaborated with a transgender person – ‘Alex’ – whose experiences feature in one of the gallery exhibits.
Some of the comments we have received question the accuracy of the science in the exhibition – and the words and images we chose to explain it. Words such as ‘hardwired’, for instance, which feature on several labels, are today especially and understandably controversial when used in combination with ideas like gender.
Other concerns have been raised about an interactive game in the gallery that explores the male and female brain. Specifically, the game presents studies scientists have carried out to investigate if there are small differences on average in the way that men and women complete certain tasks, largely based around the recognition of abstract shapes and patterns. This game – which dates back 16 years to the gallery’s inception – was designed to be tongue in cheek and provocative (think silly voices akin to a Pathé news reel) and visitors are invited to take some of the real tests that scientists used, scoring male or female ‘brain points’ on a ‘sex-o-meter’ that is coloured pink and blue.
As a Museum we always attempt to present ideas in different ways – labels and objects but also games, animations and ‘interactives’ – and in this case the artistic licence taken in the year 2000 to create a provocative exhibit appears outdated. Certainly from preliminary work looking at the latest scientific evidence, the ideas presented are now in question.
Social attitudes also change. We have received responses from visitors who are concerned about how we feature transgender issues, which are now very much more in the public consciousness than they were back in 2010, let alone the year 2000.
The idea of Who am I? was always to raise questions. We present issues in ways that provoke debate, however we would never want to compromise the accuracy of the content on display.
Of course we would like to keep all of our galleries and exhibitions up-to-date, but with many thousands of objects on show and finite resources and time this is not always possible.
However, with an issue of such scientific and cultural importance as this we have decided it is essential that we look again at the exhibit. We are now talking to leading experts in neuroscience and clinical psychology to consider whether the latest scientific evidence warrants making changes to our exhibit.
Science moves fast, and while it isn’t always possible for us to keep up, on some issues it is essential that we quicken our pace to make sure we haven’t been left behind.
Watch this space for further details.”
Read the full post here:
[Actual screencap of Science Museum test administered to youth]
September 6, 2016
In honor of Cher’s incoherent streak of anti-feminist and anti-lesbian “TERF” tweets over the last 24 hours I am having this lovely needlepoint pattern stitched onto a pillow to rest on the divan in my sitting room:
That is all.🙂
August 10, 2016
I was once a sweet trans advocate. Now I am an evil TERF. This video explains why.
Women should colonize transwomanhood, cause why the hell not?
November 8, 2014
If “transwomen are women- end of the discussion” then the inverse is true and women are transwomen and women can lay claim to the transgender male experience and speak for and as transwomen. Why should transwomen exclude women from transwomanhood, this is cissexist and wrong.
There is no shared transwomen experience, to say that transwomen are males that have altered their body with hormones and surgery isn’t true as that ignores the transwomen who choose not to alter their bodies. To say that transwomen are males that choose a feminine appearance ignores the transwomen who are butch lesbians and are misgendered by ignorant cis people and called straight men.
The only thing that makes a transwoman a transwoman is that one identifies as a transwoman. To say that one must be assigned male at birth (AMAB) to be…
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Something that’s been lost (and by lost I mean ignored) in the Great Transgender Bathroom Debate of 2016 is the number of women who “identify as male” but balk at subjecting themselves to the risk of sexual assault and violence involved in using male facilities where they are vulnerable as female-bodied-persons disrobing in proximity to actual men. You know, men, those individuals with penises: the kind single-handedly responsible for perpetrating nearly all crimes of rape, sadism, and bloody mayhem in every human society in recorded history since the beginning of time. Those guys.
Passing as male may be swell when it comes to walking home at night, improving your queer dating pool bonafides and saving money on haircuts but when it comes to pulling your pants down around strange men, not so much.
North Carolina’s HB2 which legally regulates single-sex facilities may drive a stake in the fantasy heart of men who wish to use women’s facilities as validation of their gender feels and to avoid other dudes side-eying them over their wardrobe choices, breast implants and bad wigs, but to some FEMALE transgenders – women who “identify as male”- it’s a bit of saving grace.
Unlike the high profile “transmale” bathroom hoaxers who apparently felt forced to fabricate mensroom hate crimes to save face around their desire to continue using female restrooms, women like male-identified North Carolina resident Charlie Comaro seem quietly relieved by the legal mandate to use facilities based on sex, not gender.
“It’s literally against the law for me to use the men’s room, and it’s also risky. Even though I’m more than a year on testosterone—I’m getting facial hair, my hair has receded a little—I still don’t always pass as male,” she reports to MotherJones.com.
Heterosexual female Sawyer DeVuyst, who “identifes as” a gay man and produces a transgender selfie blog project documenting her body hair growth on testosterone describes the discomfort of changing tampons in the men’s restroom to Mic.com:
“You’re in a men’s room and somebody hears you rustling a paper in the stall because you’re changing a tampon — that outs you,” she relays.
Sawyer has signed on as a model for the BoyShort model of SheThinx menstruation underwear, which function as washable blood diapers for women.
“They say, like, “stars, they’re just like us!” but also, trans people, they’re just like us,” Sawyer helpfully informs fellow bleeders on their website.
For every widely promoted media story featuring hormonal moon-faced women with Amish beards who demand a spot at the table of men, there’s an equal undercurrent of male-identified females like UK food blogger Jack Munroe whose medical transformation away from womanhood is defined by harm reduction from male abuse: “The aim is to be able “to pass for a young man on public transport,” She explains succinctly.
The utter absence of female “transmen” garnering various Man of the Year Awards, Father of the Year Awards, and Sports Illustrated and Vanity Fair covers like their male sisters, and the failure of testosterone-injecting females to sweep any male sporting championship, ever, as transwomen do in female events with regularity, is duly noted. Sex matters, and women can’t identify their way out of –or into- the legacy of male violence and the eugenics resulting from generations of inbred ultraviolent male rapists.
Los Angeles Santee High School eliminated their second floor fifteen-stall female restroom, opening it up to males, after a male-identifying female student “transman” was humiliated by a janitor who momentarily “gendered” her as her “desired gender”. The student, Yasmin “Alonzo” Hernadez is a “transman” who “identifies as” male. According to the LATimes, she began demanding male pronouns and adopted a traditionally male name a year before, and wished to be perceived as male. As a result, a custodial worker accidentally perceived her as her desired gender and pointed out that she was entering the girl’s restroom. The janitor immediately corrected herself and apologized when she realized Alonzo was not actually male, but Alonzo was humiliated at having to explain that although “male” in identity she preferred female facilities due to the risk of harm to herself as a female person from actual males.
“A High School Janitor Wouldn’t Let Him Use The Bathroom. So He Started a Movement” read the headline on Fusion.net.
“When he’s out of school and in public, he uses men’s restrooms. But at school—when he absolutely has to use a facility—he continues to use the girls’ restroom because he says he does not want to make anyone uncomfortable. He said he also was concerned about being harassed,” Fusion reports.
The female restroom was changed to a unisex facility to accomodate males. Male facilities remained unaffected and retained the same number of male restrooms.
“As a Transgender Man, Choosing Which Bathroom to Use Can Be Agony“, writes Jake Damien.
“I do not enjoy using men’s bathrooms.
As a transgender man, I am not supposed to admit this. I am supposed to proclaim that I finally “feel at home,” and that I will fight for my right to access them. And I will! But the truth is, I don’t feel safe in them—nor do I prefer them to women’s rooms.
The thing is, I never felt wrong in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms; I felt wrong in my own skin. Growing up, I remember so many instances of what medical gatekeepers call “gender dysphoria”—of feeling like I was trapped in a mismatched body. After a childhood of being the only little girl playing on all-boys soccer and baseball teams, in middle school, I was ripped away from my social and athletic communities and told I was no longer allowed to play with the guys. I can still feel the sadness and confusion of that loss.”
She goes on to suggest that, like Santee High, women should sacrifice hard won female single-sex facilities and open them to men, so that women like her can continue to use them while identifying as male:
“I use the men’s bathroom now mostly because I am perceived as a threat in the women’s room. But I’ve come to believe that a long-term solution is not to make transgender people choose between two gendered bathrooms, but to make all bathrooms gender neutral.”
She describes the danger she experiences as a woman in male facilities, an experience she hopes all women will opt into by forgoing, like herself, female single-sex facilities:
“Every time I enter a male locker room, I brace for what may be around the corner. Frequently, if men in the locker room see my body as I change or as walk into the showers, they follow me. In a few horrific cases, men have pulled back my shower curtain to “better see” me, or worse, pushed their genitals at me.
In these spaces, I seem to spark a unique and terrifying mix of sexual objectification and male-to-male aggressiveness. The men’s locker room is a place where I have accidentally, and unwillingly, become a Rorschach test of people’s sexuality, open-mindedness, and ideas on masculinity. And it’s not a fun place to be.”