Tag Archives: trans

News and links: Alison Redford elected, Nancy Riche dies, thoughts on raising a son for a trans man, and queer teens

  • Another death in the NDP party: Nancy Riche. “Her contributions to this province were many, in her roles as activist, feminist and champion of workers’ rights. She has left a substantial legacy that will never be forgotten.”
  • Great post on raising a son as a leftist, queer, gender revolutionary who is also a trans man.

Links: How to Address Sexual Violence, Feminism and Dating, and Being Better Allies

Combating sexual violence is a key part of the movement for social justice.

Why is it so important to remember these connections? Because it has a big impact on our tactics. Without understanding the broader connections, combatting sexual violence gets simplified into just educating women about safety when going out at night.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into telling young girls not to talk to strangers.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into telling women to dress more modestly.

Combating sexual violence gets simplified into relying on the criminal (in)justice system to protect us from violence.

Combating sexual violence is not simple, and its elimination is going to require a big picture strategy that takes into account all of the factors that contribute to its existence.

I had a friend who gave me a copy of Why Men Love Bitches by Sherry Argov. I was frustrated that an intelligent, independent woman was getting her advice from a book like that. There are also plenty of books written by men about dating for women. [Travis L. Stork’s] Don’t Be That Girl was probably the most appalling book I’ve ever read. Each chapter was a caricature of a woman – Busy Girl, Needy Girl, Whiny Girl – and advice on how not to be that girl, including, “Don’t talk about your job too much” and “Don’t ask when he’s going to call.” These dating books fall into a long tradition of men diagnosing women and their nervousness.

It glosses over substantial differences in experience in a way that can be hurtful, insulting and alienating.  After Prop 8 banned same-gender marriage in California, gay news magazine the Advocate published a cover story that declared that “gay is the new black.”  The problem is, this is frequently stated by white queer people.  And while white queer people have historically experienced hate crimes, police raids, and a whole lot more, we haven’t been lynched, been forced to sit at the back of the bus, or experienced the accumulation of oppression over generations on a single family or neighborhood.  Black/African-American communities have.  Intentional or not, claiming that “gay is the new black” is deeply disrespectful, and it’s often experienced as such.

Links: Trans Women + Feminism, Ethical Online Shopping, Canada’s Water Crisis, Pickup Artists, and Jack Layton

-On how beauty work, gender policing, and ideals apply to cis women in the same way, if slightly less harshly, as they do to trans women.

And yet. The act of striving towards “looking like a woman”, so fraught for cis women, is often turned against trans women, held up as an example of our unreality. It’s one of your classic double-binds: look more like the world expects you to look, if you ever want to have a chance of not having an assessment of your gender be public speculation on the morning subway ride–not to mention getting a job, having police/medical/social workers take you seriously, etc.–but if you do, you’ve somehow invalidated your gender anyway because you’re simply confirming the patriarchal expectations that we all know and love. (Confession: we don’t love them. At all.)

But I rarely see that get linked to the same double-bind all women find themselves in, except in Bindelesque refightings of the lipstick wars of past generations.

-A new online toolbar seeks to illuminate the ethics behind different online products so that shoppers know more when deciding to buy.

The best part is that the categories in the toolbar aren’t based on GoodGuide’s preferences, but your own. Once you download the toolbar, you set your own values filter, which can tell you how products are ranked on criteria including nutrition, energy efficiency, animal testing, and labor and human rights. It will let you know which products pass or fail your own standards.

-On Canada’s dismal record on protecting the safety of our water, not only for those living here, but for the larger environment as well.

Before contact with the Europeans, First Nations communities were able to rely on natural, local water sources. Now because of corporate interests from mining and logging, infrastructure needs to be built and/or maintained in order to filter the water before its use by First Nations. This is what water rights = human rights refers to.

According to two studies commissioned by Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan and released on July 15, 2011, it has been predicted that Ottawa will need to invest nearly $5 billion in First Nations water and sewage systems over the next 10 years. And that investment is just to keep the water safe for humans.

-A new study suggests that the women who are actually interested in “pick up artists” also hate women.

According to their research, pickup artist techniques are strongly linked to “men who have negative attitudes toward women and believe women are a threat to male dominance,” guys who get off on “putting women in their place.” As it turns out, women who respond positively to these attitudes tend to hate women, too. “Women who have negative attitudes about members of their own gender find men who treat them in a dominant way during courtship more desirable because it is consistent with their sexist ideology,” Hall and Canterberry found. Apparently both “men and women who believe women can be isolated and teased into sex have a low regard for women in general.”

-Rabble has a tonne of great stuff on Jack Layton, especially in their blog section, for those who want to read more about him.

News – Women in economics, Hatred towards trans people, Aboriginal children in provincial care

On the lack of women in the economics field.

At Canadian universities, only 8.3 per cent of full professors in economics are women – the lowest portion of any social science. That number is 10.7 per cent in the U.S. At the Bank of Canada, five of six members of the governing council are men while the Bank of England has no women on its monetary policy committee.

In Ottawa, no woman has ever risen higher than associate deputy minister at the Finance Department, the rung below the top bureaucratic job in the government’s premier ministry for economic policy. Louise Levonian, a Queen’s University graduate and a 15-year department veteran, is an associate deputy minister, sitting third on the depth chart behind Deputy Minister Michael Horgan, and Paul Rochon, who is Canada’s chief negotiator at the Group of Seven and the Group of 20. But of 16 senior policy positions at the department, only four are filled by women.

The scarcity is even more stark in the private sector.

On trans hatred as promoted by movies.

Repugnance is a common theme in the trans-people-as-jokes canon. But more prevalent is the element of deceit. Time and again in both comedic and dramatic films, transgender people are cast as deviant tricksters out to fool innocent victims into sleeping with them. This narrative plays upon two of America’s deepest fears: sexual vulnerability and humiliation. Not only is your sex partner “lying” about their gender, victims who “fall for it” are then forced to grapple with the embarrassment of being had, of being seen as gay. Men “tricked” into sleeping with another man are embarrassed by the threat to their masculinity. So much culture has taught us that transgender people aren’t just sexual aliens, they’re also predatory liars.

On (Aboriginal) child abuse and neglect in provincial care.

Revelations Wednesday that six children in provincial care died last year and 20 were hospitalized have critics demanding the removal of the secrecy around Alberta Children and Youth Services.

Opposition critics urged the Alberta government to act immediately to disclose what happened to the children, whose deaths and injuries were summed up in a few lines in the ministry’s annual report.

The deaths were double and the injuries more than triple the previous year when the government launched a review into the way children in care are managed.

Sixteen of the 20 injured children and five of the six dead were aboriginal.

Keep in mind that the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide has outlined taking children from one group and placing them with another is an act of genocide and thus the huge number of Aboriginal children who are placed in non-Aboriginal homes in Canada is already a problem – the poor care they face in care is of even greater concern.