FETAs and the denial of the existence of the social class “women.”

The Prime Directive

All radical analysis is by definition a systemic analysis. And systemic analysis heavily relies on the concept of social classes as a way to understand and articulate the effect of social policies, indoctrination, and moral principles. Some people associate the concept of social classes with Marxism, but everyone uses social classes as part of their argumentation, even right-wing fanatics (given how often they talk about the poor, immigrants, black people, and how they’re responsible for all sorts of social ills). So you’d think that arguments against the concept of social classes would be pretty self-defeating.

There are people, however, who have a vested interest in denying the existence of specific classes. The privileged always want to downplay their existence as a social class. Some take it a step further. Many transgender advocates have dedicated their energies to denying the existence of women as a class. This seems simply blind, as…

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

GenderTrender

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:

[ http://atlantaprogressivenews.com/2016/05/29/georgia-aclu-director-departs-over-transgender-litigation/

“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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What you didn’t know about North Carolina’s HB2

Professor Harold Lloyd thoroughly outlines each part of North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2 in The Huffington Post

By Harold Lloyd
The Huffington Post
May 17, 2016

Professor Harold Lloyd authored the following article, “McCrory’s House Bill 2: A Brief Outline of its Five ‘Parts’,” originally published in The Huffington Post on May 13, 2016.

When non-lawyers hear Pat McCrory’s claim that North Carolina’s House Bill 2 is just common sense while at the same time they hear the Department of Justice attacking part of it as illegal, I can understand how easy it is for such non-lawyers just to take the word of the political party they prefer. They probably aren’t sure where to look for the Bill and even if they know where to look they understandably might imagine the Bill has much too much legalese for them to tackle.

I want to take a minute to try to change this mindset by first noting that people can find the bill by clicking here. Pulling up the Bill shows it has five “Parts” (only one of which is about bathrooms). If you haven’t yet read the Bill, please click on the link and let’s take a little tour. Politicians like Pat McCrory are betting everything that you won’t.

Part I (pages 1-3): This is the so-called “Bathroom Bill” and makes up only the first Part of the five Parts of House Bill 2. It regulates bathroom usage around the concept of “biological sex” which it defines as “[t]he physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a persons’s birth certificate.” Oddly, this “Bathroom Part” of the Bill doesn’t provide any penalties for people who ignore it. I say “oddly” because this Bill was allegedly rushed through to prevent an imminent crisis of straight men putting on dresses to view women in women’s restrooms. How does it prevent this without teeth? It can’t. In fact, since gender is now determined by a birth certificate, can straight male predators get life-time peeping passes by getting their birth certificates changed where jurisdictions permit that? Let’s hope not. Assuming for the sake of argument that there was an imminent cross-dressing crisis, it’s hard to see this toothless Part I with its birth certificate twist as any fix. If it’s not any sort of fix of a real problem, Part I hardly seems worthy of expensive and potentially catastrophic litigation to defend.

Part II (page 3): This Part and the remaining parts of the Bill have unfortunately been largely ignored by the press. Let’s try to fix that now. Part II jumps from bathrooms and straight men putting on dresses to the totally unrelated subjects of restricting minimum wage increases and child labor protections. This Part prohibits local governments from regulating or imposing “any requirement upon an employer pertaining to compensation of employees, such as the wage levels of employees, hours of labor, payment earned wages, benefits, leave, or well-being of minors in the workforce.” On its face, this quoted language not only prevents local governments from setting a minimum wage. They’re even prohibited from taking care of child labor problems they might feel are specific problems in their locality. How can this change be a good thing?

Part III (pages 3-4): Here House Bill 2 continues its attack on workers. Before the Bill, North Carolina’s public policy was: “to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination or abridgment on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex or handicap by employers which regularly employ 15 or more employees.” After tweaking the old public policy protection against “sex” discrimination to discrimination based on “biological sex,” Part III then effectively guts all the public policy section by providing that it “does not create . . . a statutory or common law private right of action, and no person may bring any civil action based upon the public policy expressed herein.” In other words, there is no longer any state law claim for discrimination based on race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex (biological or otherwise) or handicap. What does this have to do with bathrooms? Nothing of course. Supporters of the Bill say this doesn’t matter because aggrieved employees can still go to federal court. Apart from the oddness of this coming from people who tend to see the federal government as oppressor rather than savior, the claim is just false. It does matter. First, taxpayers ought to have access to the state courts they fund. Second, federal court doesn’t provide the same remedies. Generally, discrimination claims must be filed within 180 days or they can’t proceed in federal court. Many employees who don’t know this or who can’t act that fast will be left without a remedy. Additionally, federal court can be more cumbersome and more expensive. Click here for a link to the EEOC website explaining this in more detail. How can this change be a good thing?

Part IV (pages 4-5): This is what lawyers call a “severability clause” and it’s a very important piece of House Bill 2. This provision provides that if any part of the bill falls, the rest will stand. The gamesmanship of House Bill 2 is no more evident than here. The business interests that pushed Parts II and III under the guise of Part I no doubt knew the problematic nature of Part I and wanted to assure that the limitations of Parts II and III would not fall if Part I falls. For the reasons given by the Department of Justice, it’s very likely that Part I will fall and we’ll be left with Parts II & III, the parts the lobbyists really wanted when the bill was passed. Of course, if Part I doesn’t fall, it’s still the toothless oddity I just described.

Part V (page 5): This part addresses the effective date of the Bill and raises interesting and troubling questions about claims existing or pending at the effective date. Those technical questions I’ll leave for others to address. I feel sorry for the injured workers who have or may have lost claims because of the language of Part V. (For an explanation of why McCrory’s Executive Order 93 doesn’t fix the Bill, please see my earlier piece here. )

Having gone through each of these five “Parts” of House Bill 2, it’s hard for me to see how a careful reading of House Bill 2 cannot deeply trouble all honest people from the most conservative to the most liberal. Since I haven’t seen much written about why conservatives should oppose House Bill 2, let me end with a few words about that. Conservatives champion truth and family. There is no championing truth in supporting a bill that only pretends to solve a bathroom crisis (apart from the further issue of pretending an imminent crisis exists in the first place). Furthermore, there is no championing of family in taking away the rights of localities to protect our minors in the workplace or in limiting flexibility for better minimum wages for our families. There is no championing of family in taking away their rights to sue an employer that has treated them wrongly because of the family member’s race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, or handicap whatever a conservative might think of other categories not included in the protections we used to have. I have seen many “conservatives” thank McCrory online for House Bill 2 because they say it supports God’s will. A Bill that takes away remedies for religious discrimination is not godly. It is ungodly.

Our final comments: clearly we at STC disagree that “Conservatives champion truth and family”. (Except where it comes to pushing the heterosexual, male-led family onto people, which clearly Conservatives do – but this doesn’t mean they look after families.) And we have previously covered why it is that laws which force facilities to accept men on the basis of their claim to be women are disadvantageous to women and girls.

Women still the scapegoats of male takeover of our spaces

From RAWSTORY:

aimee toms walmart.PNG

RAWSTORY reports that:

Danbury News Times reports that Toms was accosted by another woman while she was washing her hands in a Walmart bathroom in Danbury, Connecticut. Toms was wearing a baseball hat and she had very short hair because she recently donated her hair to a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.

She said that she was approached by a complete stranger in the bathroom and was told that “You’re disgusting!” and “You don’t belong here!” The 22-year-old Toms posted a video on Facebook talking about how the experience opened her eyes to the abuse that transgender people face every day.

….

Toms also linked her experience back to the current debate over whether transgender people should be allowed to use the public bathrooms of the gender that they identify with.

“No one was telling these people to be scared of transgender people before,” she said. “No one was telling them that they should be throwing people out of bathrooms. As if it wasn’t scary enough for transgender people to use the bathroom before.”

While this appears to be a new phenomenon for Toms, sadly, women without a feminine appearance (especially those with short hair or who might be socially ‘read’ as lesbians), experience this not infrequently. We have covered a few of these instances on this blog, but this mostly occurs due to social expectations being so sexist that women who do not make-up and groom stereotypically ‘prettily’ are treated suspiciously. In some cases, men have followed them in to the women’s restroom and, without bothering to stop and look at or talk with them, attacked them. Apparently being so intent on policing women’s gender-conformity, or their adherence to the mandates for females.

This misogynist treatment of women was not caused by “gender identity” laws, and there seems a strong case to believe that they are exacerbating the situation. That is, it is the proliferation of laws around the world and, especially, in the USA that ratify sexist myths as a way of viewing the sexes, that will cause more women to be treated with sexist suspicion. Given that increasingly, sex is conflated with sex stereotypes (we are told that those who have short hair are men and those with long hair are women), the trans lobby is effectively giving an additional free pass to misogynists to assume that their thought patterns are correct.

In addition, the ‘bathroom debates’ have seen new awareness of the incidence of male predation on women and girls in public restrooms, locker-rooms and fitting rooms. We have a population that is increasingly aware of matters it had a right to know about far earlier, but with a consciousness shaped by genderist ideas.  Previously, sexists who assumed short-haired women in public restrooms were men were more constrained by the knowledge that their presence there would be illegal, and that they might be misreading the situation. They now have far less reason to believe this.

Women will keep getting the blame for male predation, but not the required protection.

 

 

 

Discussing USA trans politics and allies

One anti-gender blog recently posted an anti-trans article by USA rightwing writer Dale O’Leary, first published here.

We repost a critical comment on why these rightwingers’ takes on the issue are an impediment rather than help in abolishing gender.

liberationislife on May 15, 2016 said:

In order for gender abolitionists to win this fight, we need to be discerning about who our potential allies are (and who they are not). And women who are publicly in favour of reinforcing women and girls as the sex class are not potential allies.

Some quick googling about Dale O’Leary reveals:

^ she is anti-abortion
^ she is anti-lesbian
^ she is in favour of compulsory heterosexuality
^ she is anti-feminist
^ she is in favour of father-right

Just one example:

dale-oleary-1

Although really, the weird anti-marxist mention and the drop-in of “political correctness” also make that clear. “Political correctness” being a rightwing dogwhistle that rose to prominence during the 1990s, being used to suggest that the oppressed (eg racialised people and women) were now in charge and were clamping down on individuals’ freedoms.  (Individuals being white men, since they don’t consider anyone else to really be people.)

Also it’s interesting that it’s a society which isn’t based on hierarchy that is considered to be most in need of using “propaganda” and to humiliate people the most.

And given that transgenderism is based on the conservative idea that people who appear to flout socially-prescribed sex roles are really the other sex – and is very neoliberal in advocating “choose your gender” (the profiteering of various industries from this being, of course quite incidental) – describing it as ‘marxist’ is understandable for conservatives. It allows them to sidestep and deflect responsibility for this immensely damaging phenomenon. Which someone like O’Leary would want to do, given her extremely homophobic, anti-female politics.

What is more perplexing is why gender abolitionists go along with this. Transsexualism and transgenderism have been pushed earliest by states with very homophobic regimes, and are now heavily pushed by surgical and pharmaceutical interests. Certainly, many self-described socialists have recently jumped on board this, but all this proves is their succumbing to conservatism. It doesn’t explain how transgenderism is inherently a “marxist” phenomenon. Especially given marxism’s focus on overthrowing the material bases of misery and oppression, in contrast to transgenderism’s neoliberal individualistic approach.

The law is right – as shown in Californian toilets

As those familiar with politics know, the strength of a piece of legislation comes partly from the ideological weight that laws set by the current state holds amongst the population.  Because we grow up being taught that the law signifies what is ethically correct, and because we learn to align ourselves with the powerful so as not to fall foul of them, we tend to assume even that laws which have not yet passed, but which our rulers seem imminently likely to pass, describe the way we should act.

It is arguable that where these laws give the male-born the right and social approval to access additional territory (even literally distributing their scent there), they will rush to do so. Even where (especially where?) these are spaces where the female-born require privacy.

California’s laws about single-occupant public, government and business restrooms are one such example. One page reader has advised us of  an experience she’s just had – note that those in her restaurant are acting as though Democratic Assemblyman Ting’s bill, which has not yet passed the Senate, has already been made law. Also note that the restrooms in question would not all be covered by this bill, which does not include multiple-occupant facilities.

“I was just at a restaurant in Stockton, CA. My female friend got up to escort her 10 year old daughter to the restroom. Someone commented that the girl was old enough she didn’t need an escort; then someone else pointed out that the restrooms were gender-neutral now. Oh, that’s understandable then, the first person replied.

Then the group started talking about gender neutral restrooms as if it were a good thing. A man commented that he went to the former women’s restroom to see what it was like, and it was cleaner.

I went to the restroom a short while later, I didn’t know which had been which. I opened a door, and a man was coming out. He apologized, and warned me that another man was inside. I waited, and the other man came out and I went in. It had been the women’s room and there were 2 stalls.

When I came out I took a peek at the former men’s room, it was a single restroom with a toilet (no stall) and a urinal.

It seemed like everyone was going along with it to be a good sport, and that people were curious, and at the same time embarrassed and uncomfortable. I especially noticed that they all agreed that a child should be escorted.”

 

 

Conservatives and bathrooms

Purple Sage

My friends are all sharing this video with comments about how it’s powerful and well done. As soon as I heard the dramatic piano music I knew it was made by conservatives. Lefties don’t use that type of dramatic piano music—it’s the kind that says OMG LOOK AT WHAT THESE HORRIBLE LIBERALS ARE DOING. There are a few good points made in the video, but I can’t help being bothered by who made it.

This video is made by the Alliance Defending Freedom. In addition to opposing men in women’s washrooms, they also oppose abortion and same-sex marriage. They want to defund Planned Parenthood and make abortion illegal. They think that heterosexual marriage is the foundation of society.

A couple of quotes from their web site:

“Over the past 24 years, a surging pro-life movement has forced the closure of 75% of surgical abortion businesses in America. That’s the good news. But over…

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Blog on The Bog

At Chelt Fems: Cheltenham-based feminist campaign & discussion group

By Tess Beck

index

Toilets seem to be a hot topic at the moment among transactivists, the religious right and radical feminists.  This is due in part to legislation introduced in North Carolina* making it illegal for people to use bathroom facilities that do not correspond to the sex recorded on their birth certificate.

This leads to the unedifying spectacle of Caitlyn Jenner (obnoxious Trump supporter) using the ladies’ at Trump Towers and making rapey jokes about it.

Video link

But even more worrying is this scene, where a woman is forcibly removed by police from a public bathroom, because she is judged not to look sufficiently feminine and she is not carrying ID on her to prove her sex.

Video link

Meanwhile, here in the UK there is no legislation about who can use male or female washroom or changing facilities.  In practice, most businesses recognise the discomfort users may suffer if they see someone of the opposite sex in their changing room or toilet, and will put up warning signs as appropriate when cleaning/ maintenance is being undertaken by a male or female operative, or even temporarily close the facilities.  We hope that all users, especially women, would have the confidence and means to report anyone using a public lavatory or changing rooms whose behaviour gave them cause for concern.

But public toilets have long been a feminist issue here, and not for the reasons the American controversies would have you believe.  Although public toilets for men were introduced for men in the 1820s, they were not introduced for women until several decades later.  Providing public toilets for women enabled respectable women to be present in public space, which is why it was controversial. Reforming organisations such as the Ladies Sanitary Association continued to campaign for better provision into the 1880s.

Now in the 21st century, there is still far less provision of public toilets for women than men.  This is despite recommendations that the ratio of provision should actually be 2:1 in favour of women, as it is in Japan.

w.c.http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmcomloc/636/636.pdf

Local authority cuts and concerns about the use of public toilets for anti-social and illegal activities have led to a decline in the number of public toilets across the UK.  The lack of availability of public toilets leads to certain groups of people not going out for fear of being caught short.  This particularly affects older people, people with disabilities and their carers, people with irritable bowel disorders, pregnant women, parents and carers of small children.  This leads to greater social isolation for these groups of people, who are mostly women.
Article continues

 

 

Bathroom Defenders

Important considerations here. Note that this piece does not cover all negative aspects of the former #HB2 (now North Carolina state law). We covered them in more detail earlier.

the big board

I’ve seen all kinds of nonsense in comment threads in some of the places I hang out. Folks somehow think that North Carolina’s recently passed HB 2 somehow requires that there be some kind of guards at restroom doors who will check either ID’s or undies. I don’t really think they believe this, but they do like to post rather silly images like this one:

1north2bcarolina

Let’s be serious, there are lots of things wrong with HB 2, but it’s not creating some kind of police state where public restrooms and locker rooms are concerned. In fact, I think the part of the law about public restrooms gets it just about right. I agree with HB 2 that multi person facilities should be divided by biological sex rather than gender identity. HB 2 also addresses concerns about the safety of transgender people. Any business or institution that wants to do so…

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Porn Site Bans North Carolina Users Due To State’s Anti-LGBT Laws

F&&&ing hilarious.  The male rights boycott movement against North Carolina’s new legislation (based on wanting trans males to get access to spaces where women and girls will be undressed, rather than on opposing NC’s shitty enabling of workplace discrimination) is interfering with male rights.

Given that women are worst affected by all this, we need to take our small pleasures where we can.

 

04/11/2016 03:05 pm ET

David Moye Reporter, The Huffington Post

xHamster

There’s a new kink in North Carolina’s LGBT controversy: A popular porn website is banning all computers from “The Tar Heel State.”

XHamster.com has been refusing to serve anyone from North Carolina since 12:30 p.m. EDT, Monday.

Instead, users with a North Carolina IP address are just seeing a black screen on their computer — no porn.

The extreme measures will stay in place until North Carolina repeals House Bill 2, a law passed on March 23 that effectively prevents cities and counties in the state from passing rules that protect LGBT rights.

XHamster.com spokesman, Mike Kulich, said the website believes in equality for everyone.

“We have spent the last 50 years fighting for equality for everyone and these laws are discriminatory which XHamster.com does not tolerate,” he said in an official statement sent to The Huffington Post. “Judging by the stats of what you North Carolinians watch, we feel this punishment is a severe one. We will not standby and pump revenue into a system that promotes this type of garbage. We respect all sexualities and embrace them.”

Kulich told HuffPost that the company’s statistics show that North Carolinians are more open-minded — at least about their porn — than laws like HB2 might suggest.

“Back in March, we had 400,000 hits for the term ‘Transsexual’ from North Carolina alone,” he said. “People from that state searched ‘Gay’ 319,907 times,” he added.

Kulich said the website plans to replace the black screen currently seen by North Carolina porn buffs with a petition demanding the repeal of the law.

“Hopefully, it will get as many signatures as the ‘transsexual’ searches,” he said.

XHamster joins a growing list of entertainers and companies who are refusing to do business in North Carolina, including Bruce Springsteen, who canceled his Sunday concert at the Greensboro Coliseum to protest the law.

Canceling the concert, he said, is “the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.”

Kulich said he believes denying porn is the logical next step.

“I think that porn has the power to do what Bruce Springsteen can’t,” he said.

XHamster may have good intentions by wanting to repeal HB2, but the company is contradicting itself by publicly supporting Donald Trump on its search page for “big cock,” which features a “Make America Great Again” ad that links to Trump’s website.

Trump has publicly said that, if elected, he’d consider appointing judges who would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, which would seem to contradict XHamster’s self-proclaimed, pro-equality ethos.

However, Kulich said the company doesn’t support all of Trump’s policies.

“We will continue to support equality regardless of who gets elected.”