Georgia ACLU Director resigns over the organization’s failure to balance transgender rights with women’s rights


Maya Dillard Smith, the head of the Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has stepped down, citing the legal non-profit’s deliberate disregard for the impact on the rights of women and girls caused by the “Gender Identity” platform of the transgender rights movement.

From the Atlanta Progressive News:


“In a statement she accused the ACLU of being “a special interest organization that promotes not all, but certain progressive rights.  In that way, it is a special interest organization not unlike the conservative right, which creates a hierarchy of rights based on who is funding the organization’s lobbying activities.”

Dillard Smith argues that transgender rights have “intersectionality with other competing rights, particularly the implications for women’s rights.”

“I have shared my personal experience of having taken my elementary school age daughters into a women’s restroom when shortly after three transgender young adults over six feet…

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Body Hair

Purple Sage

Watching the podcasts from The Wanted Project has been incredibly moving and inspiring. Seeing women who are going around with beards and mustaches, not because they took testosterone, but because they have grown naturally, has been really eye-opening. I’ve only seen about 3 or 4 women with beards in my life. (I have never been to Michfest, sadly, due to having no money.)

Women don’t have the same facial hair as men, ours seems to be a bit lighter and softer, but it’s there. Ever since my partner entered peri-menopause, she’s been growing a beard. One of my female friends also has a beard but I’ve never seen it because she keeps it shaved.

I have just a little dark hair on my upper lip and my chin. It causes me distress all the time. I’m not a butch—I do try to be somewhat androgynous but I look like a…

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Mom? Dad? Whichever. Trans men are giving birth, so stop with the sterilization of prepubescent kids already


Important request: Although the screen captures and YouTube videos discussed below are publicly available,  please respect the dignity of the family featured in this post.

There ought to be something worth pondering for pretty much everyone in this post–left, center, and right of the political spectrum;  gender critics, trans-identified people, parents, “gender specialists,” and anyone else who believes the issue of sterilizing prepubescent trans-identified kids is worth discussing with the nuance it deserves. We desperately need a society-wide conversation about this, something that is strangely lacking at the moment.

I’ll be featuring the Vlog of one young FtM named Sam (YouTube account name “MrSexyrexy8907”), who, like many of his generation, started as a gender-defiant lesbian who decided to medically transition. Note: In this post, I am choosing to refer to FtM Sam with male pronouns when I deem appropriate.

Sam began testosterone at age 20, had a bilateral mastectomy…

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Misogyny by numbers — language: a feminist guide

Many STC followers know of this brilliant blog, and the points in this article will very much ring true for those of us who’ve written on trans issues, and copped violent and threatening language in response.


Last week saw the launch of Reclaim the Internet, a campaign against online misogyny. Both the campaign and the (copious) media reports of it leaned heavily on research conducted by the think-tank Demos,  which investigated the use of the words ‘slut’ and ‘whore’ in tweets sent from UK-based accounts over a period of about three weeks earlier this year. The study identified 10,000 ‘explicitly aggressive and misogynistic tweets’ containing the target words, sent to 6500 different Twitter-users. It also found that only half these tweets were sent by men—or, as numerous media sources put it, that ‘half of all online abusers were women’.

So frequently and insistently was this statistic repeated, the message of the day almost became, ‘look, women are just as bad as men!’ Women like the journalist and feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, who were sought out for comment because of their experience of online abuse, got drawn into lengthy discussions about the misogyny of other women.

Of course, it isn’t news that some women call other women ‘sluts’ and ‘whores’ (or that women may be involved in the most serious forms of online abuse: one of the people prosecuted for sending death-threats to Criado-Perez was a woman). But ‘who sends abusive messages?’ is only one of the questions that need to be addressed in a discussion of online abuse. It’s also important to ask who the messages are typically addressed to and what effect they have, not just on their immediate recipient but on other members of the group that’s being targeted. But those questions weren’t addressed in this particular piece of research, and it was difficult to raise them when all the interviewers wanted to talk about was that ‘half of all abusers are women’ statistic.

These discussions reminded me of the way anti-feminists derail discussions of domestic violence with statistics supposedly showing that women are as likely to assault men as vice-versa. Feminists have challenged this claim by looking at the finer details of the data the figures are based on. They’ve pointed out, for instance, that female perpetrators are most commonly implicated in single incidents, whereas men are more likely to commit repeated assaults, and to do so as part of a larger pattern of coercive control. It’s also men who are overwhelmingly responsible for the most serious physical assaults, and for the great majority of so-called ‘intimate partner killings’.

Once you focus on the detail, it’s clear domestic violence isn’t an equal opportunity activity. Online misogyny probably isn’t either (especially if you focus on the kind that really does deserve to be called ‘abuse’—stalking, repeated threats to rape and kill, etc). But the Demos study didn’t capture any of the detail that would allow us to see what’s behind the numbers.

Article continues at Misogyny by numbers — language: a feminist guide

No Analysis Of Non-Binary On BBC Radio 4

Transgender Trend writes:

BBC Radio 4 continued with their one-sided and uncritical coverage of transgender issues on Monday evening (May 23rd) in failing to provide any analysis of the trend on ‘Beyond Binary,’ an episode, ironically, of the ‘Analysis’ series. The presenter admitted this from the start in a breezy statement which set the tone for the whole programme:

“This episode of Analysis won’t attempt to deconstruct gender, nor will it try to define exactly what gender is and where it comes from: what it will do is explore the concept of non-binary.”

With no definition of ‘gender,’ the concept of ‘non-binary’ can’t be understood either, which perhaps explains why the BBC chose to interview exclusively people who had transitioned from one ‘gender’ to the other in varying degrees, from the use of chest binders through to surgery, plus a cross-dresser. Rather than ‘non-binary’ we got ‘binary-affirming.’ If the BBC had defined their terms before making the programme, maybe they wouldn’t have made this mistake, but as it was, the show came across as a reverent and patronising celebration of a group of people who are clearly just as confused about the meaning of ‘gender’ as the BBC is.

Phil/Pippa, a cross-dresser who has ‘come out’ at work asserts himself as being either in ‘male mode’ or in ‘female mode’ and the presenter describes his female mode thus:

“Today Pips has long blonde hair and is dressed in a smart lacy frock, tights and court shoes, a beacon of immaculate corporate femininity.”

There are many women who would take issue with that definition of ‘corporate femininity’ as a regressive stereotype, but in any case, the length of your hair and the clothes you wear is not what makes you ‘female’ (which is a biological category).  Presenting this behaviour of a middle-aged man as somehow progressive and pushing boundaries is a lie we are telling to young people, whose confusion came across clearly in the interviews. One young man who has ‘transitioned to a woman’ but sees himself as ‘not-man, not-woman’ says: ‘as soon as I saw the term ‘non-binary’ it made sense.’

A sixteen-year-old who is chest-binding and plans to have a double mastectomy says:

“When I go out in a dress I want to see myself as a boy in a dress – that’s the kind of non-binary I see myself as having.”

Article continues here

The Pursuit of Oppression

My Only Path to Power

My ex’s life is sucking right now, if the things he’s doing and saying and the sadness and anger in his social media posts is is any indication. Despite the fact that hundreds of online trans friends and hipsters rally around him constantly with tales of how brave and beautiful he is, he has somehow decided that his life suckage is the result of oppression, and not the result of his spending every ounce of his time and energy hating himself and his body and pretending his sex organs are something other than what they are.

Oppression. It struck me recently that white MtFs who like women have managed to convince themselves not only that they’re a member of an oppressed class, but a member of three oppressed classes: women, queers, and transgender people.

They grew up in identical circumstances to those experienced by non-female, non-queer, non-transgender people, but fancy themselves victims…

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Indian Tribe Passes New Transgender Bathroom Policy — and Activist Group Is Left ‘Very Sad and Disappointed’


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Dave Urbanski reports that this decision by the Reservation (which we believe does not echo North Carolina’s pro-business provisions) “doesn’t sit well with ACLU Montana Executive Director Caitlin Borgmann”. Borgmann has commented even before having met with tribal leaders that if any subsequent meeting with them does not meet the liking of ACLU, “we will think about our options”. This ominous tone is echoed on the Facebook page of ACLU Montana, which also has attempted to drum up public outrage against the Reservation’s decision, before meeting with them to understand their reasoning.

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Fort Peck Councilman Ed Bauer has explained that “We don’t have trouble with [the May 2016 Obama administration directive] in regards to transgender or gay people. We just have a problem with male adults using bathrooms with young girls.”

Fort Peck Tribes website describes its history of brutal repression by the European invaders attempting to eradicate their culture in order to steal their land and impose their agenda.

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Read more about this history here.

Readers may also be interested in previous commentary here on the practice of transgender politics appropriating the “two spirit” phenomenon in some Native American cultures in order to support the demands of Western, late-capitalist trans politics.







On Being Halfway To …Not Seeing You In August (or the Loss of Michfest) by Marie Cartier

michfest2Normally—and I mean normally as in the past thirty-seven years of my life, this is the time of year when I start thinking about the upcoming Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival and the fact that I will be seeing friends of mine from around the world for our one ten-day excursion deep into “womyn’s land.” Where I will howl at the moon with thousands of women. Where I will stay up late around my favorite campfire –the DART fire pit—where the physically challenged folks camp and where I am unofficial DART support. One of my best friends at Fest is a fabulous moonshine maker from Appalachia. Every year we have a date in the back of night stage—where literally this past year 7,000 women were dancing and singing and listening to a world class concert/rock n’ roll show under the moonlight. Way in the back my friend H. and I toasted…

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Toward an End to Appropriation of Indigenous “Two Spirit” People in Trans Politics: the Relationship Between Third Gender Roles and Patriarchy


When I say that transgenderism is culture bound, don’t get me wrong: I think every gender role and presentation is, in fact, dependent on culture.  The entire idea of gender, the roles that are developed and called “gender,” are based on the sex binary.  That’s why almost always, when you see gender roles, even if there are more than two, you can bet money that it’s just a matter of reclassifying people who don’t fit into a culture’s otherwise rigidly defined sex roles.

Which brings us to the indigenous people of North America.

I have a special kind of rage for any white person who claims to identify as a “Two Spirit” person.  It’s like wearing a hipster headdress: it proclaims loud and clear that you’re a white person who likes to appropriate American Indian culture while having little or nothing to do with the culture you’re appropriating.


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Should we use personalized pronouns? — The Prime Directive

A big trend amongst the “genderqueer” and other supertrendy “gender is a performance” people is to push personalized pronouns. There are a great number of such pronouns, from the obvious “it” to “ze, “xe,” “thae,” and so on. There are also animal-themed pronouns, mythical-themed pronouns, royal-themed pronouns, and so on and so forth.

It’s easy to make fun of all this. Who speaks like this except a bunch of teenagers on tumblr who want to feel special? To have personalized pronouns is to force other people to remember your personal preferences. It’s an imposition on someone’s else attention and time. It’s a selfish demand on other people.

Now I know some people will argue that you should be respectful of others. I have no qualms with that proposition. I do think we should respect others. Political Correctness, for example, aims to respect others. We shouldn’t go around saying “bitch” or “nigger” because those words are established as demeaning or offensive words when used against women and black people (note that I said they were offensive, not that they offended people: whether anyone is offended or not is besides the point). We shouldn’t go around gratuitously demeaning people just because they are different from us. This is just common sense.

But where do pronouns factor into it? Obviously we can misgender as a way to demean someone: as telling a man that he is woman-like is the greatest insult one can utter, using feminine words or pronouns to a man can be seen as a provocation. Women can also be punished for their feminism or gender-rebellion by being called a man. This, however, rarely entails using the wrong pronouns, at least in my experience.

Calling a man a she or calling a woman a he can be an honest mistake (if one does not know that person and their personal appearance is ambiguous) or it can be a personal attack. But is it a personal attack to call someone the appropriate pronoun, because they demand that you use a different, made-up one?

Rest of article at Should we use personalized pronouns? — The Prime Directive