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January 15, 2012
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January 16, 2012

Separatists and Fundamentalists

As some of you know some Separatists recently colluded in a bid to have the United Nations remove trans protections based upon gender identity and expression. Dana Lane Taylor, Cathy Brennan and Elizabeth Hungerford happily sent the following letter to the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women:

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This letter linked back (note the “xxii” citation) to Taylor’s site wherein she asserts that a number of sick fucks who like to hurt women would be somehow protected/encouraged by trans protections based upon gender identity and/or expression: ”When discussing laws that protect gender identity and expression, for public accommodations, it is crucial to use specific language.” She then goes on to warn the reader about the evils of “broad definitions of gender identity and/or expression.” As part of her warning, she lists a number of incidents wherein men (whose unrelated behavior could somehow/some way be tied to back to breaking some sort of gender stereotype) hurt women. For example,  Taylor cites the arrest of a peeping tom who was wearing panties on his head. How is this type of behavior allowed, encourage and/or protected by trans anti-discrimination protections based upon gender identity and/or expression? Conveniently for their argument, Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford never actually gets around to offering an evidence-based explanation.

Were any of these incidents – in any way – protected by trans non-discrimination policy? Nope; but Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford were obviously hoping the UN wouldn’t notice that fact. Did any of the sick fucks get away with abusing someone due to trans protections? Nope; but again, Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford were obviously hoping the UN wouldn’t notice that fact either. Did Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford offer ANY actual evidence to support their premise that trans protections = men abusing women and circumventing existing laws protecting people against abuse and exploitation? Nope; but, Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford were obviously hoping the UN wouldn’t notice that fact either.

Which brings me to the point of this post…

Is their any substantive difference between what Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford did (and continue to do) and what the The Liberty Council (a right-wing fundamentalist Christian organization) has recently been doing?

“This was a man, everyone recognized it’s a man, going into the women’s restroom. Now whether that person has good or ill intentions towards women, no one knows, but the fact of the matter is when you defy common sense and when it says ‘women’s fitting room’ and you allow people other than women in that fitting room, you’re just asking for trouble. This is just an absurd policy, this is the so-called LGBT sexual anarchist agenda gone awry, I mean this is the absurdity to which this agenda goes when you ultimately follow it to its logical conclusion… [women] may be watched by a peeping tom or even worse, sexually assaulted or raped.”

– Liberty Council’s Mat Staver on Crosstalk, discussing the firing of a Macy’s employee who refused to follow company policy on transgender customers.

Would Macy’s trans protections allow someone to circumvent laws protecting people from abuse and exploitation? Nope; but Mat Staver is hoping you wouldn’t notice that. Did the trans woman suffering possible androgen damage physically harm anyone? Nope; Staver is hoping you wouldn’t notice that. Was she caught trying to harm anyone? Nope; Staver is hoping you wouldn’t notice that.  Did Mat Staver offer ANY actual evidence to support his premise that trans protections = men abusing women and circumventing existing laws protecting people against abuse and exploitation? Just like Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford, the answer is, of course, a resounding NO!

Am I the only one who sees the similarity here?

But wait, there’s more! Building on Separatist/Fundamentalist mythos, the Liberty Council’s Faith & Freedom radio program now claims to know of someone (they couldn’t remember his name) who has some sort of job at Macy’s (they couldn’t remember exactly what he did) who absolutely, positively knows of a bunch of women (they didn’t say how many or where all of these incidents occurred) who were assaulted (or maybe it was raped) at Macy’s BECAUSE OF Macy’s trans protections:

Yes, and because – and only because – this unnamed man showed someone at Macy’s what amounts to Taylor’s website, he was fired.

Again… all I have to say to Dana Taylor, Cathy Brennan, Elizabeth Hungerford, Mat Staver, the Liberty Council or the Faith & Freedom show is:

How is the propaganda Taylor, Brennan and Hungerford spread substantively different than any of the following fundamentalist right-wingers when it comes to trans protections based upon gender identity and expression?

cross-posted from Ehipassiko

Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams
Cristan Williams is a trans historian and pioneer in addressing the practical needs of the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program, pioneered affordable healthcare for trans people in the Houston area, won the right for trans people to change their gender on Texas ID prior to surgery, started numerous trans social service programs and founded the Transgender Center as well as the Transgender Archives. Cristan is the editor at the social justice sites TransAdvocate.com and TheTERFs.com, is a long-term member and previous chair of the City of Houston HIV Prevention Planning Group.

15 Comments

  1. Joney Harper says:

    I am amazed Cathy that you would play in the right wing conservative fear mongering. Iwish Americans woudl grow up too. 99.99999% of the people, no matter whet their gender idenity or sexual orientation, use a public restroom for what it is suppose to be used for. I woudl not target any single group for inappropriate behaviour. Right now there is another right wing conservative questioning whether or not you are allowed to use the woman's room.Who knows what people like you are capable of.

  2. Keaira Finlay says:

    If supporting Trans right's doesn't suit your needs you'll toss them aside faster than you can say, "Whoopsy".
    Your comment about 'Gender identity is a fiction to override sex' says it all.

  3. Margaret Justine Elisabeth says:

    I'm always left puzzled by the idea of "irrational discrimination" which, naturally, leaves open the idea of rational discrimination and how anyone that ascribes to a view of equal rights for all humans can endorse a view of discrimination. of course, the actual evidence is always hard to come by so it's far easier to simply suggest and imply that somehow the existing laws are insufficient without offering any intersubjective evidence to support those claims.

  4. Larissa says:

    I would like to read it, Cathy.  I did not see a link to it in the article.  If it is something I could support I would be an advocate.  I must admit some of the article left me scratching my head and I would like to investigate more.  Most associations in people’s minds only know the Jerry Springer representation of us, which of course is a totally false characature.  Please post the link.

    Thanks.

  5. Cathy Brennan says:

    Larissa – Author writes a screed that misconstrues the legislation we support (which protects actual trans people) but I sound angry? Hello reversal. Have you even read the legislation we support? Maybe give it a whirl and stop relying on others to "think" for you.

  6. What these peope don't understand is that the true transsexual male to female cannot be a predator in the sense they are thinking. Once the testosterone blocker and estrogen start, urges associated with aggressive male on female behavior go away. It is chemical castration. The saddest part of this is that the medical establishment and the medical insurance industry have colluded to make it difficult, if not impossible, to transition physically. The Doctors have priced it out of the realm of reality and the insurance companies refuse to pay for it. To top that off, religious fundametalists such as Mat Staver and his group spread lies and misinformation about transgender people. They carry on a campaign of hate based on lack of information. It is easy to hate a group of people you do not know or understand. Maybe if they got to know me and Cristan they would realize the falicy of their arguments.

  7. Cathy Brennan says:

    Here's the bottom line. Sex matters. Gender identity is a fiction to override sex. I don't think you or anyone else should face irrational discrimination, and that includes females. I'm sorry you were "born in the wrong body." It's always something, though. Stop your vagina denying. Sex matters.

    • No, Cathy, gender identity is not a fiction. Your reply sounds very angry. Is it the transexual male to female who can no longer function in the male sense (or ever will be able to again) that is the cause of your anger or is it some testosterone laden jerk who has hurt you? Please do not take your anger out on people who are just trying to survive in a hostile world.

    • Cathy Brennan says:

      Hey Nicholas Zoe Kincaid, maybe learn to read the legislation I support, which recognizes and protects actual trans people. Best of luck, dearie.

    • Cathy Brennan says:

      Larissa "Is it the transexual male to female who can no longer function in the male sense (or ever will be able to again) that is the cause of your anger or is it some testosterone laden jerk who has hurt you" HAHAHAHAHA! OMG, no, it's actually because I know how to read and see how the overbroad bullshit your community is pushing is harmful to females. Go figure, a woman taking a position based on reasoned analysis. Hey, y'all should try that!

    • Nika Jewell says:

      Cathy Brennan, I urge you to honestly reexamine your cisgender privileges. By co-authoring and that letter to the UN Entity for GENDER Equality and the Empowerment of Women, you effectively deny transwomen their identity. Transwomen are women.

      "the overbroad bullshit your community is pushing is harmful to females." Transwomen ARE female and the term 'your community' is marginalizing.

      "Hey Nicholas Zoe Kincaid" is another denial of identity and using diminutives like 'dearie' is demeaning and appears to be designed to cause resentment and anger. You go on to insult Zoe's and then Larissa's intelligence with your 'learn to read' and 'I know how to read' comments. Zoe and Larissa are both clearly intelligent and knowledgeable on trans* issues.

      "I don't think you or anyone else should face irrational discrimination" Do you feel that transwomen should face rational discrimination? If you're not against all discrimination, you yourself are guilty of discrimination.

      You are not an advocate of trans* rights, you are just working your own agenda and devil take the hindmost. You may have some knowledge of trans issues, but do you truly understand them? After reasoned analysis, the answer is, 'no.'

      You deny transwomen their female status, or assign them to a lesser female status. You belittle, demean, and insult the intelligence of trans* people who present reasoned arguments that disagree with yours. You make marginalizing comments toward trans* people. Stick with radical feminism and GLB activism, at least you're honest there.

    • Cathy Brennan says:

      Nik please stop denying lesbian reality – we ARE gender variant. I am wholly uninterested in using LAW to affirm anyone's "IDENTITY."

    • Nika Jewell says:

      Cathy Brennan This is about civil rights, not gender identity affirmation. You've completely sidestepped the questions. Reexamine your cisgender privileges and stop lezsplaining.

    • Nika Jewell says:

      Cathy Brennan If lesbians ARE gender variant, by the letter you co-authored to the UN, they should be barred from female-only facilities. You can't have it both ways.

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