The most important book I have read about use of media and public relations to manipulate public opinion is Toxic Sludge Is Good for You. If you are not familiar with this book, trust me, it is worth the read. Essentially, the book details how powerful interests manipulate the media to get you to smoke cigarettes even though they kill you, get unhealthy cosmetic surgery, and support fracking. It’s about how to Jedi Mind Trick a populace into thinking porn is awesome, women are objects, and Real Women have penises.
The Transgender Movement has done a remarkable job to convincing you that Toxic Sludge is Good for You. They’ve done an amazing job in 20 years, by coattailing on the movement for gay and lesbian rights and spinning a woman’s reticence to share private intimate space like a locker room with a man with a penis as bigoted and hateful. In Maryland, the latest Toxic Sludge we are being force-fed comes in the form of Senate Bill 449, the Fairness for All Marylanders (Except Women) Act.
Here is the Toxic Sludge: “GENDER IDENTITY” MEANS A GENDER–RELATED IDENTITY, APPEARANCE, EXPRESSION, OR BEHAVIOR OF AN INDIVIDUAL REGARDLESS OF THE INDIVIDUAL’S ASSIGNED SEX AT BIRTH.”
Mmmmmmm, that’s some tasty circular definition!
Many of us have talked ad nauseum for years about how this definition is sexist and anti-feminist. Indeed, I and others have personally communicated our concerns to anti-feminist activists Dana Beyer and Sharon Brackett, as well as Senator Rich Madaleno, for years. However, these transwomen and men chose to ignore the input of Feminist activists, deciding instead to brand Women as bigots for our resistance to the idea that gender – an oppressive social construct – is in any way connected to one’s sex.
Funnily enough, I have heard from multiple sources that Transgender Advocates now have to offer an amendment to accommodate concerns around sex-segregated facilities – because, it turns out, Women aren’t bigots for not wanting to undress in front of bepenised people at the gym.
If you live in Maryland and are inclined, the Senate Judicial Proceedings will hear testimony on this bill on Tuesday, February 26. Tell your Senator that you don’t have a gender, and demanding “equality” for a fictional class of humans at the expense of an oppressed group (hello Women) is wrong.
Just Say No To Gender!
Or eat the Toxic Sludge.
Reblogged this on Women of the Patriarchy and commented:
“If you live in Maryland and are inclined, the Senate Judicial Proceedings will hear testimony on this bill on Tuesday, February 26. Tell your Senator that you don’t have a gender, and demanding “equality” for a fictional class of humans at the expense of an oppressed group (hello Women) is wrong.”
Begin forwarded message:
Date: February 22, 2013, 2:31:15 PM EST
Subject: Important update from the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality Steering Committee
Dear friends in the transgender and allied community in Maryland,
Momentum is building to pass SB 449, the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, this session, and we have an unprecedented chance to succeed. The Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality was formed with a commitment to transparency with the greater trans and gender non-conforming community. That’s why our first steps last year were to hold listening sessions across the state to hear from the community about what was most important to you in advancing trans rights in Maryland.
Now, with that spirit, we are writing to keep you informed of the latest developments and some incredibly tough decisions we must make, and welcome your thoughts at a Community Briefing and Meeting this Sunday at 8pm at First Unitarian Church in Baltimore.
Input from the community at listening sessions and consistently over the past few years has been resounding support for only a comprehensive anti-discrimination bill that covers employment, housing, credit and places of public accommodation. MCTE has not wavered in our commitment to see this become a reality. Once it passes, we know that the danger of having the law repealed through the referendum process (a statewide vote) is very real, and it is irresponsible to consider the bill without considering how we would have to defend it against a referendum effort.
This is the hard part. With these priorities in mind – a comprehensive bill and defending it at the ballot box – we must consider an amendment that would directly challenge any attempt by our opposition to spin the law as allowing “dangerous predators” into restrooms, while at the same time also protecting our community from discrimination and harassment.
As much as it pains us to even have to respond to our opposition’s lies and scare tactics, we believe that we have formed bill language that meets both these goals. A proposed amendment would allow places of public accommodation to request evidence (not “proof”) of a person’s gender identity if they suspect the person is seeking access to a sex-segregated facility for an unlawful purpose (i.e. to commit a crime). In short, the person asking would have to show that they suspected the person entering the bathroom is doing so to break the law. In addition, what would constitute “evidence” is not restricted to documents such as IDs or medical paperwork. Evidence could also include personal statements, photos, or witness accounts. We are optimistic that this language and the way regulations would be written would not sanction the arbitrary harassment of trans people. However, it would give us legislative language to point to when opponents attempt to say the bill would let violent offenders into bathrooms.
We cannot overstate how much we dislike having to consider this amendment. But we believe it is in our community’s interest to do whatever we can to protect this law at the ballot without compromising its, or our, integrity.
Full and transparent community input is critical to this process, so we hope you will join us this Sunday at 8pm at First Unitarian Church, Charles and Franklin Streets, Baltimore. If there is enough interest from those who can’t make it, we will try to schedule a conference call the following evening as well, so that as many people as possible can express your opinions. If you are interested in a call on Monday evening, email us at email@example.com.
We hope to see you Sunday evening and look forward to speaking with you about how we can proceed as a community in these challenging times. The meeting is off the record for press (transgender-identified members of the press, please contact us in advance).
If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steering Committee of the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality
(Donna Cartwright, Jenna Fischetti, Kellen Leech, Vann Michael Millhouse, David Olson, Keith Thirion, Owen Smith/Carrie Evans)
P.S. Remember that the bill hearing is on Tuesday, February 26th at 1pm and we want tons of folks to show up in Annapolis to be a visible support system for the bill.
From: Angela Maloney
Date: February 22, 2013, 1:51:19 PM EST
Subject: Follow-up to my open letter
Dear Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality, Trans Community, and Allies:
I understand that two issues have come up as a result of my open letter from yesterday that I feel compelled to address. We have made a lot of progress toward achieving an anti-discrimination bill this year. We stand on the cusp of success, and I hope that reactions to the proposed amendment I described in my open letter will not destroy that progress.
First, I understand that people have been contacting legislators to voice their opposition to the Fairness for All Marylanders Act. The Act in its current form is a really good bill and it is consistent with the transgender protection laws around the country. It should be embraced. If we support the cause of transgender rights in Maryland, then we need to be voicing our unqualified, strong support for the bill as written, with no amendments. I repeat what I said in my open letter: I urge everyone to contact their legislators and urge them to SUPPORT the bill “as is” without amendments.
I still believe that the amendment I described in my open letter is a problem. But it is not yet a part of the bill. That is why we should SUPPORT the bill as written. If we want equality, we want this bill. We just don’t want to make any ill conceived changes.
I understand that the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality has decided to hold a community town hall meeting at First Unitarian Church in Baltimore on this Sunday, February 24, at 8 p.m. First Unitarian Church is located at 1 West Hamilton Street in Baltimore, Maryland. This is a chance to make your voices heard about this amendment and to discuss the pros and cons of it as a community. I urge you to take the opportunity to show up and discuss it. You can ask questions of the people who think the amendment is a good idea, you can look at the exact language, and I will be there so you can ask questions of me too. Then you decide and we will proceed with one voice, knowing the will of the community and standing together. I too shall stand with whatever the community decides, for together we are strong.
So I repeat: I encourage people to urge their legislators to SUPPORT the bill as it stands today. Let them know we love it and we thank them for being behind it as is.
Second, I understand that there have been threats of physical violence against some of the individuals affiliated with the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality. I know we are a wounded community whose passions run high. I know that because I too am profoundly wounded. I do the work I do–a trans support group, community advocacy, advocacy through the courts–because I know those wounds and I know the pain. I live with them daily.
But I also know that violence and threats of violence are not our answer. We advance as a community because through our actions and our words we persuade and we show that transgender people are, above all, people. We win through the persuasiveness of our arguments and by showing the truth of what is done to us and how it is wrong. But we win by standing together. We can disagree among ourselves, but let no one divide us against ourselves. Please let these threats end today. Let’s show up on Sunday and TALK.
Subject: MCTE Update: Important joint statement from Angela Maloney and MCTE’s Steering Committee
Please see below the joint statement from Angela Maloney and the steering committee. Look forward to seeing many of you at the community meeting at 8pm this evening at First Unitarian Church in Baltimore.
Dear Community Members,
We are jointly communicating with you because we want you to know that the communications of the past two days no longer reflect the present situation. We have reconciled our differences in the interest of moving forward together for the community and have agreed to the following joint statement:
– The situation that caused Angela to send her email to MCTE and the trans and allied communities and Donna to send her response to MCTE has changed.
– Angela, Donna and the full MCTE Steering Committee formally withdraw any hurtful or accusatory words in those e-mails.
– We all agree to move forward with a community discussion of both the pros and cons of pursuing an amendment, and if so, its content. We do not want our community to bog down on questions of process, and we will abide by the community’s informed consensus.
– We want everyone to realize that, although we may strongly disagree with how to move forward with the bill and any potential amendment, all of us are acting in good faith for the good of the community as we see it.
We have joint asks for the community:
1. Please come to the meeting at 8 p.m. this evening (Sunday, Feb. 24) where we can discuss the merits of the amendment (at the First Unitarian Church, Charles and Franklin Streets, Baltimore).
2. Please invite others to come – trans people and allies are welcome.
3. Please suspend efforts for or against the amendment until we can come together to discuss how to proceed this evening.
4. After the meeting this evening, let us all stand together as a unified community.
5. Please do not escalate this situation through e-mail or social media.
Angie and the MCTE Steering Committee
[…] The Transgender group active in Maryland went BALLISTIC over the removal of Gender Identity, despite the fact that they could not articulate clearly the need for this language at the hearing (remember, I was there and no, it was not pretty). This was my first time around with violent Transgender activists. Harassing telephone calls and cross-dressing men accosting me in bars became routine. It seems that nothing has changed on that front, as this year, people affiliated with MCTE experienced threats of physical violence for, apparently, their willingness to amend the bill …. […]