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16 December 2012

2012 and other things

I have been quiet for the last two weeks.  I notice that in December 2011 I did 7 posts before starting on my year-end review.  However not this year.  The year-end review is almost done and will start appearing in a few days.   It does become impossible to complete as there are so many trans-related events.  I have recorded many of the events, but I cannot pretend to have all of them.  As usual readers are invited to add whatever I missed.

 I have been plagued this year by various people or organizations attempting to paste adverts on my blog by mis-using the comments feature.  It will usually be an anodyne comment that has no relevance to the post in question and then a link to something even less germane: a dress shop, a flower shop, a car dealership, vaginal tightness, tooth whitening (this in Turkish), etc.  I cannot imagine why these people think that I would release such an advert, and even more why do they want to attract my readers, most of whom live in different cities and countries.

There were several major steps forward in 2012. The most outstanding is the new Gender Identity Law in Argentina.  This is probably the best in the world now.  

The US has been making several significant improvements but quietly.  Nothing that will add up to the equivalent of a gender identity law, but the ruling that "provisions in the Affordable Care Act prohibiting sex discrimination in health insurance do apply to transgender people"  means that the damage that Janice Raymond inflicted, by giving insurance companies an excuse to discriminate, has finally been reversed - after 33 years of US persons being denied health care, and in some cases dying.

The EU also passed several motions and declarations, continuing past policies.  The unisex insurance rates which come into effect next week will be interesting to see.  The major reason for this is not to solve problems for trans persons, but it does eliminate excuses that have been used to deny life insurance to trans persons.  On the other hand EU members, mainly Hungary and Lithuania, have been passing anti-GLBT legislation, so far with impunity.

The growing practice in Indian states of having a separate welfare board for the trans community is an interesting development.  With advocacy for third gender status, the south Asian countries are developing solutions different from those in Europe and the Americas.

The England and Wales New Prison Guidelines, whereby trans women prisoners are located in women's facilities if they have a Gender Recognition Certificate and neither their current genitals nor their birth gender is relevant, has now been in practice for over 12 months without any scandals at all.  And of course the series of stories in the Daily Mail, appalled that trans convicts were escaping prison because of the problem of where to put them, has ceased.

This year saw the third Olympics since the Stockholm Consensus.  While it feels churlish to point out the lack of success of trans athletes, the bright side is that any reasonable person will now admit that prior androgenization of a person's hormone system does not result in any enduring advantage in sports.

In the laity vote re female bishops in the Church of England, there was a block of women who voted against.  They were organized by Susie Leafe, who self-describes as a radical feminist.  There has been very little comment by other radical feminists about this branch of their movement.

The Rice, Friberg & Gavrilets paper, "Homosexuality as a Consequence of Epigenetically Canalized Sexual Development", is getting a lot of attention.  I have seen other supposed explanations of trans or gay come and go.  However it will be interesting to see what other scientists do with it, whether they can replicate it, and how soon their model will be applied to trans people.

With regard to equal marriage, the most intriguing development was the Mexican supreme court striking down of the Oaxaca law, that denied same-sex marriage, as discriminatory in that it violates the American Convention on Human Rights.  The US and Canada are the most prominent of the American countries that have not ratified the Convention, but most of the others have, and so will the ruling have international ramifications?    (Canada decided not to ratify because it would seem to be incompatible with its abortion law; there is no way that the US could ratify it while continuing capital punishment).

The big negative of course is the ever-increasing murder count.  This is awful even if we attribute the increases to better reporting.  The worst statistics are from Brazil, Mexico, the US and Turkey, but there are several Asian and African countries where statistics are not available and where it is a realistic supposition that the situation is very bad.  

Special mention needs to be made of Iraq, the country where the US and Nato spent a $1 trillion and killed almost 1.5 million to install a new government that is in effect conducting a pogrom against gays, lesbians, trans and emos.  The government authorities arrest GLBT persons and then hand them over to the militias who murder them.  Despite Iraq's military and cultural alignment with Iran, it has not adopted Iran's policy of state supported gender changes.


Camille Paglia complained this year that some trans people have become"rigidly ideological".  That of course is not new.  However let us note some recent egregious examples of actions by trans persons that lack politeness or common sense or both.

Colleen Francis, who is legally female, has created an understandable fuss at Evergreen College, Washington State, by using the sauna in the women's section of the gymnasium and exposing her privates.  She seems to be unacquainted with the notion that a lady does not expose a penis, even if she is attached to it.

Joy Ladin and Christine Benvenuto were once an heterosexual couple.  Following Jay's transition and the breakup of their marriage, both have written an account of the events, and both have been published.  The two books each reflect the differing perspectives of the two.  For historians and lovers of literature this is fascinating, and one expects a future PhD thesis doing a close comparison of the two accounts. However the attempts to censor Benvenuto in her local paper and a public presentation, for the sin of not writing her own book from her ex-husband's perspective, are reprehensible.  Ironically they are counter-productive in that they will almost certainly increase the sales of Benvenuto's book.  Trans people have been censored for centuries.  Increased censorship is not in out interest.

There is an increasing rift between drag performers and trans women.  As many of the former later become the latter this is unfortunate at least.  Here is a good essay on the topic.

Ashley Love in American imperialist mode condemned Nepali trans persons for advocating for third gender status.


Joy Ladin said...

Hi - thanks for noting the pairing of my and my ex's memoirs about my transition. I have one correction: despite internet rumors to the contrary, I haven't been involved in any censorship efforts. There was a peaceful protest against the transphobic content of my ex's book at her book launch; I heard about it after the event. There was no attempt to stop the local press from covering my ex's book, though I have tried (in vain) to get the paper to take down the nasty transphobic comments that attack me personally on the website. One of my ex's blog posts, on kveller, was taken down, but that was because of a protest by other kveller writers and various Jewish leaders who felt that the combination of personal assault and transphobia in her essay made it inappropriate for a Jewish parenting website. That movement wasn't led by trans people, and again, I wasn't involved in it. I agree with you - censorship is bad, even of hate speech. Joy Ladin

Zagria said...

"Hate speech", "transphobic" --I haven't seen anything in the quotes from Christine that I would designate with such strong terms. Obviously she is upset at losing a husband, and we should cut her some slack rather than being scandalized at her word choice, and her attempts to express her emotions.

I have read the Kveller article (reprinted here). It is paranoid to consider that to be transphobic. The real transphobes, e.g. at Gendertrender are now using the censorship for their own ends.

And you posted a thank you to the editor for taking it down. Why did you not defend your ex-wife's right to express herself?

Elizabeth said...

Of please Ms Ladin hand your line of crap to someone who believes your lies and fabrications. Those were your friends and they were encouraged by you and there is nothing hateful or transphobic in Christine's book. I have read both your memoir and Christine's and Christine's rings truthful while yours is the fabrication of a delusional mind.

Did you not say:

"Most literature on transsexuality implies that there is a moral obligation for others to recognize the supremacy of the transsexual’s needs.

in an interview which is delusional and completely untrue. No woman wants to marry someone like you. It is every women and mothers worst nightmare. Most transsexuals that are married try and be considerate to their wives knowing the impossible situation they are in. Some wives stay with their husbands but most end in divorce. I have been there and I know what is done by someone like you.

If you were not for the censorship why did you write a note to the editor thanking them for censoring her? Whether you like it or not you were her husband and you were a he when you were married to her and she did convert to Orthodox Jew for you which I certainly doubt she would have done if you told her you were transsexual and a cross-dresser which are mutually exclusive because to an MTF it is not cross-dressing but correct gender expression for the sex identity they hold.

You also told you wife you would suddenly die if you could not live as a woman. Funny how that happened after 45 years.

I usually am interested in your blog Zagria because you keep a good history of the situation but Colleen Francis is NOT legally female just to keep the record straight. because she has F on a driver's license does not make her female.

Censorship is a fundamentally wrong concept in this country. It is defies our Constitution and Bill of Rights and other than making open threats of violence must be tolerated. Mein Kampf is still ijn print and not censored as is Marx and other radicals. Joy Ladin is upset with his former wife because his former wife had the nerve to stand up to him and in standing up to him pointing out the flaws and lies in his self aggrandizing narrative.

I suggest you Google Joy Ladin and read some of the things he has said about his wife and some of the claims he has made about himself. For a while there I thought it was the second coming of Abraham.

MonseyJew said...

Respectfully or disrespectful I beg to differ with Ms. Ladin, as I personally received the initial "call to arms" telling people to write to Kveller and trash CB's at Ms Ladins behest. Which Ms. Ladin of course knew about. And thanked them for doing. So that dog don't hunt. When I said hey this is a problem--I was attacked and threatened and called names. And yes I reported all of it to the authorities and named names. And yes I documented it also by fowarding it .

So Ms. Ladin, you most certainly were involved. By Jewish leaders--you mean your friends. You wrote a book and said what you wanted, in your words. Now Ms Benevunto can do the same. Censorship is a road you do not want to go down.That you dare imagine that you have the right to censor or silence anyone is the height of the arrogance, the delusion and misogyny. If I were you, and obviously I am not, I would stop attempting to silence, censor and slander Ms Benventuo and stop having your friends do it also. But I doubt you will because I see a pathology here. I happen to think you are just an abusive ex-husband, not some champion of tolerance or inclusion or of anything else. You claim you were scared by hateful speech well I got some really good examples of misogynistic prose from the people you had write to Kveller--disgusting, vicious and hating. Here's a reality check:
1. The keveller essay was not hate speech, at most it was disrespectful but the need to dramatize and exaggerate is so crucial to hold the rather flimsy narrative together--it was just not your narrative. 2. If people want to read something that is their right and nobody needs your input on that.

The entire project is based on you assertion the victim status as a platform to bully. You are the brave and noble, scared bla bla bla--people are not stupid. Your friends want to believe you that's fine, maybe that's what friends are for. But the real reason you don't want this book read is because it makes you look horrible and it is very believable based on your behavior in calling for censorship. Save the transphobia (which I personally find an offensive manipulative word) for the next construction worker that calls you buddy, and stop lying, manipulation and being a full blown misogynist. Because I will tell you the truth. I think if anyone is in danger--it sure isn't you. How many women are killed a year by ex-husbands--3 a day. As a closing statement I have received numerous messages from M2T women and they are outraged by your behavior and your manipulations to silence your ex-wife. So So your friends are not doing you any favors by encouraging your patterns of abuse and control. Which is exactly what this is. You don't get to silence anyone--you do not have that right. Now in order for me to protect myself from you who I do see as dangerous I will say if a single one of your friends or you threaten me, or calls me any name or attempt to sabotage me-in any percieved way(and even if you think I don't know I will know) -every girl at Stern College will be reading "Sex Changes" And that is something I can make happen in about 60 seconds. As an exercise in Tshuvah you really should write (and not all about you) an apology to Ms Beneventuo and to every other person you hurt with your little stroll down Macarthy lane.