Under the new Arizona statute, doctors and other medical professionals would face felony charges if they could be shown to have performed abortions for the purposes of helping parents select their offspring on the basis of gender or race.
The women having such abortions would not be penalized.
State legislators have said no such law exists anywhere else in the nation.
Backers of the measure said the ban is needed to put an end to sex- and race-related discrimination that exists in Arizona and throughout the nation. They insist the issue is about bias rather than any broader stance on abortion.
“Governor Brewer believes society has a responsibility to protect its most vulnerable — the unborn — and this legislation is consistent with her strong pro-life track record,” a spokesman said.
But opponents have maintained that while such abortions may be happening in other countries like China, no clear evidence can found of it occurring in Arizona.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America also said the measure may erode a woman’s rights, fearing that doctors for the first time would feel compelled to ask their patients the reasons for seeking an abortion.
Of course, after the child is born, if it is a color other than white it will be required to show the state paperwork proving it is legally allowed to be in the country.
If you have a local clinic that provides abortions, give them a call or send them a…
My local Planned Parenthood told me they always need more magazines for the waiting room. I’m loading up a box and bringing it over this afternoon.
Today is Abortion Provider Appreciation Day! Let your local abortion providers know how valuable a service they provide to the community, especially in the face of such strong resistance from those who’d rather women be incubators instead of people with choices.
Why do pro-life people WANT other people to be punished with a pregnancy?…
Consenting to sex is NOT consenting to pregnancy. I find it quite laughable that itsraininglocusts attempts to pull the “illogical” card on “tumblr feminists” when clearly, the lack of logic is most definitely on him (read: because the result of sexual intercourse is sometimes pregnancy, any time a woman consents to sex she is also consenting to pregnancy). And, after taking a look at itsraininglocusts' tumblr (a thorough waste of time; I don't recommend it), I can say with confidence that the attitudes of people like itsraininglocusts are precisely the reason feminism is still relevant. You, dear sir, are why we will not shut up.
I have had several run-ins with old, white men of late, and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s some sort of social phenomenon. It seems to me that there is a special breed; it’s certainly not every old, white man I talk to on turf, and there are angry women as well. But nearly every time I’ve had an interaction I had to mentally recover from, it has been with a white male above the age of 70.
This leads me to ask, “Why?” How have they become so angry that they would say such things and act the way they do? It’s as if there’s a switch in their heads, and I flip it when I knock on their doors. Ignorance collides with crotchety-ness; stubborn collides with just plain mean.
One of these incidents happened a couple of weeks ago. Granted, I did not handle myself entirely professionally. Sometimes I’m snarky, but like I’ve said before, I rarely curse on turf, and before this I had never cursed at a contact. But hell, I was justified. Imagine this: you’re me. You’ve been interacting with the public on the issue of rape for a year. You regularly come in contact with people who tell you horror stories (I was raped, my sister/mother/daughter/friend/cousin was raped, etc.). You hear things like, “the boy down the street sexually assaulted an entire group of six-year-olds at a sleepover” and “the man who raped me tried to cut my eyes out with scissors so I wouldn’t be able to recognize him in a line-up, and he’s walking free, still living in this neighborhood.” Then you walk up to Gentleman #1’s door (henceforth referred to as G1). Just one of the 80-100 doors you’ll knock on that night. You knock, and after a pause, he comes to the door. Well, he opens one door; there’s still a glass door in between you and him. He shakes his head, raises his hand to wave you away and yells, “I don’t want what you’re selling! Not interested!”
You yell back (yelling is necessary because of the glass door), “I’m not selling anything! I’m with the rape crisis center!”
G1 looks you square in the face and says, “Well, I haven’t raped anybody in a long time.”
You: “FUCK YOU.” You don’t plan to curse at the dude, it just comes out. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to his complete disregard for decency. You even point your finger at him when you say it, looking him in the eyes. You turn to leave before the situation takes anymore awful turns; it’s time to move on. But nope, he has other ideas. He violently swings open that pesky glass door and advances toward you, his hand reaching out to grab the back of your coat. You whirl around with your cat-like reflexes and point your finger right in his face:
"Don’t you dare touch me, or I’ll call the cops," you say through clenched teeth.
"I am a cop,” he says. He begins digging in his back pocket for his wallet, which he opens and apparently produces some sort of police identification. But you don’t even look at it. You continue to look him in the eyes, and you say:
"I don’t care who you are. You should be ashamed of yourself."
You walk away, and that marks the end of the interaction. Yes, this actually happened. No, I’m not proud of letting the situation escalate (I most definitely provoked him), but I do feel it was justified. Who the fuck says that? And double shame on him for being a cop (if he really is one) and saying shit like that. WTF.
I had a similar experience last week. This gentleman, G2, was equally as obnoxious. Perhaps he was also slightly losing it in his old age; he seemed of even less sound mind than the first fellow. Here’s how this interaction went (you’re me again):
You: *Knock, knock*
G2 comes to the door. Again, it’s the double-door situation: he opens the main one, but leaves glass in between you and him. He looks down at your clipboard and cuts off your cheerful “Hi! How’s it going?” with a wave of his hand (seems to be popular among the older generation) and a “Don’t bother me.” He begins to close his door and you realize that there’s no point in continuing to interact with him (you tried that last week), so you take an information sheet and begin to roll it up to put in his door handle. If anyone needs this info, it’s probably the people who want it the least. But, unlike most other similar cases, he stops closing his door and continues to stand there, staring at you while you prepare him an information sheet. This is uncomfortable, but you decide to ignore him and slip the rolled up sheet into the glass door handle anyway. G2 opens the glass door a smidgen and with a slightly more gruff tone says, “I said, don’t bother me!”
You: “I’m just leaving you some information.”
At that point he loses all control over his bitter old being, opens the door, stumbles out, yells something else (you’re already on your way down his sidewalk), rips the info sheet from his door, crumples it up, and throws it at your head. Yes, throws a wad of paper at your head.
You laugh (you can’t help it) and say, “Sir, you’re very immature for your age.”
He doesn’t know how to respond to this, so he just says, “You’d better get out of here right now.”
You tell him to have a good night and begin walking to the next house. As you’re walking away, he calls after you, “Stupid bitch!”
You laugh again (again, you can’t really help it. You realize that this is the only insult he can come up with on the spot, and it’s because he’s hated women all his life. His extreme, uncontrollable anger probably sprouted from the fact that you didn’t obey him the first time he said not to bother him… and then called him on his display of immaturity. Obey and accept is what women are supposed to do.) It’s completely dark out, so in walking away you discover that he has a fence around his yard (the only one in the neighborhood, go figure). You have two options: either you can change your course and go all the way around the fence, or you can hop it. The logical choice (you’d like to distance yourself from this angry fellow as soon as possible) is to hop the fence, and so you do. But this stirs in him even more uncontrollable anger, and he advances toward you, saying, “Get off my fence!” You laugh again (what else can you do, really?) Once safely over the fence and out of his crazy arthritic reach, you record the stat on your clipboard: contact: 1, info sheet: 1, donation: 0, crazy old asshole: 1. G2 mutters, “Stupid bitch” one more time before retreating to his dark cave of a house.
These two similar encounters beg the question, what makes some people so bitter, angry, and downright mean as they age? Is it the way they always were? Is there a feeling of lack of control (the world is changing, women are gaining rights and not taking shit anymore, and they’re increasingly too weak of mind and body to stop these changes?) Mark my words, it isn’t just elderly men who harbor misogyny, ignorance, and even meanness. But elderly men are the only people who’ve ever threatened me with violence on turf. Perhaps their lack of self-control comes partially from impending dementia; or perhaps they have lived mostly in a world where physical violence was considered an okay reaction to perturbation.
Tomorrow I will also be doing the Walk for Choice in my city. I’ll probably start off with this rally and move over to the WI worker solidarity rally later on. Please participate. We need to show Congress that it cannot trample our right to choose.
Check out Lisa Edelstein (who plays Cutty on the TV show House) in this poignant video.
As we well know, the Pence amendment (the amendment to cut off all federal funding for Planned Parenthood) passed the Congress. The bill is now on the Senate floor, and your senators will be voting on it within the week. I just called my senators and thanked them in advance for voting down the bill, and I urge all of you to do the same. We simply cannot allow the GOP to trample on our right to choose and our access to quality, low-cost health care.
Please call your senators RIGHT NOW. If you don’t know who they are, go here.
After seeing an ad for TwoOfUs.org on Hulu, I became curious as to what it was all about. A website dedicated to healthy relationships seemed like a really good idea. It turned out to be disappointing in the lack of depth of many of the articles, and even more so in the invisibility of same sex relationships. I wrote an email to the people in charge, and to my surprised, I received a (delayed) response. The conversation goes as follows:
To Whom It May Concern:
I saw an advertisement for the TwoOfUs.org website on Hulu.com, and I became curious. It seemed like a great idea: relationships are incredibly important to all people, but often difficult to maintain. I browsed the articles on the website, and I was impressed by the scope of topics. However, there is one glaring omission: same sex relationships.
I poked around the website to find articles relating to same sex couples, and came up with nothing. In the search box, I typed “same-sex,” “gay,” “lesbian,” “homosexual,” and a few variants on those terms. The search results? Nothing.
Despite fundamentalist Christian backlash, homosexuality is real and valid. We exist. And we have relationships: we date, we get engaged, we marry (in 5 states so far), and we have children. For a national organization that proposes to provide resources for people in relationships, the exclusion of gay people is inexcusable.
How can you make your current website more gay-friendly? Glad you asked. For one, you can include articles similar to ones like “Opposite Sex Friendships,” but written for gay couples. Obviously, opposite-sex friendships are not so much a problem in same sex relationships. I would suggest hiring a relationship counselor that specializes in same-sex couples. One website I suggest referencing is GayCouplesInstitute.org. Also, don’t assume in your articles that the person reading them is in a heterosexual relationship. Use neutral terms like “your partner” to refer to the other person in the relationship. Communication issues apply all kinds of relationships, including same sex ones.
Also, in the article, “Communicating with the Opposite Sex,” you present Gary Smalley’s interpretation of women vs. men talking. Women speak 25,000 words a day? I’m not sure I know any women like that. On the contrary, I do know some men… In any case, Smalley’s statistic is A) not backed by scientific evidence and B) sexist in its stereotype of women. Also, Smalley is not just any relationship counselor, but a Christian relationship counselor. IfTwoOfUs.org is a Christian website, please say so on your homepage. Don’t make me dig for that information. And by the way, many gays are also Christians.
I hope this helps you improve your website and your organization’s mission.
Thank you for your inquiry and ideas. I have interacted with our staff on implementing a number of your suggestions and we have updated the “Communicating with the Opposite Sex” article to better reflect the research or lack of on words used per day etc. The website has no religious affiliation whatsoever and we have sought to feature authors regardless of their religious background.
While we believe much of the material on our sites can be helpful to same-sex couples, as you have noted, the focus of our work and the research we cite is on heterosexual couples. While same-sex marriage has been legalized in some states it has not yet been instituted at the Federal level. As an organization that has received a grant from the Federal government we operate within specific, defined parameters. Our charge is to share constructive information with the general public about healthy marriages and relationships, and, when needed, provide an easy way for site visitors to find local marriage educators or counselors. That said I am seeking to implement more neutral terminology throughout the site.
Thank you again for your inquiry, suggestions and concerns.
Rich Batten | Project Manager | National Healthy Marriage Resource Center
Not many of us here on Tumblr remember when abortion was illegal here in the USA. We have been lucky enough to grow up after Roe V. Wade. We have been lucky enough to have the option of abortion available to us.
“A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.”—
Another night in the ol’ hometown. I have history of very mixed experiences there. Sometimes I’m proud of my fellow townspeople. Sometimes I want to press a button that drops the entire town off the face of the earth.
Hometown is an overwhelmingly white, conservative, and Christian place that I never felt I belonged in when I was growing up. I was raised in a religion-free household (thank God), but many of my friends went to church weekly. Youth groups were the thing to do. So I’m never surprised to see doors adorned with crosses and/or flowery signs on porches that say, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Bible Book 99:99 whatever it is). I’m not even taken aback when people mention God in our conversation at the door (although it’s always made me slightly uncomfortable). But this fellow tonight… well, he was special, for sure. I couldn’t tell if he really didn’t understand what I was talking about or if he was just so deeply buried in ultra-religious bullshit that he couldn’t distinguish his ass from Satan.
The interaction started off as many other turf interactions do, with him telling me how he “really appreciates what I’m doing” but won’t put his name on our list of supporters so we can get the grant funding we need to stay open. And I handle this like I do all the other instances: I re-explain the list of supporters; perhaps he thinks signing will obligate him to make a donation.
"No, I just rather not put my name on that. I’d rather not take a stance," he says.
I look at him. Clearly, the list of supporters is the least of the things he has misunderstood. ”Oh, this isn’t political. This is sexual assault. It happens to both parties,” I tell him. I try to say this jovially, with a little laugh at the end. But my eyebrows probably give away my mounting disgust.
Him: “Right, right. I just don’t have an opinion one way or the other on that, so I won’t put my name down.”
I stare him down. ”Can you explain that? What do you mean, you ‘don’t have an opinion’ about rape?”
And then he gets real crazy. Starts talking about the kingdom of God and Jesus and how there’s this big plan… He tells me to imagine a place where there is nothing bad like rape (he never says this word throughout our entire conversation, of course). I can tell where it’s going, so I start to tune out. I just nod my head a lot while I take out an information sheet. After unsuccessfully attempting to thrust it into his hands (he’s still babbling about God’s plan and moves away like it has the mark of the beast on it), I toss it on his doormat. He’s still talking. Now it’s something about how we humans are imperfect, and we do imperfect things, and sin, and punishment, and that’s why there’s rape.
I interrupt: “So, God lets rape happen to teach us a lesson?”
This stops him for a second. ”Well… no…”
And then there’s some more about this perfect place where no bad things happen and that’s our reward for believing what he believes… And I decide to tell him what I think. Ironically, it’s one of the only times I’ve cursed in front of a contact on turf:
"You know what I believe? There is no afterlife. This is it. And if we’re not actively seeking solutions to these problems, then we’re part of the violence and we’re not doing shit.”
And he starts to tell me that focusing my energy on things like activism will get me nowhere, spiritually. I think he goes on to say that I should focus my energy on the Lord or whatever, but I’ve completely tuned him out. I’m nodding enthusiastically and shouting “Really? Oh, my goodness! Tell me more!” as I’m quickly taking leave of his porch.
Seriously, now. WWJD? He would sign my goddamn supporter sheet, that’s what.
This man epitomizes for me what is wrong with overzealous religious people. Overzealous Christians, in particular, since those are the ones I’ve come in contact with most over the course of my lifetime. The ones that believe that there’s a paradise waiting for us after we die, and so do nothing to make the world around them a livable place. They’re usually white, reasonably well-off economically, and otherwise privileged as fuck. It’s not that he wouldn’t sign my clipboard. No, plenty of people don’t do that. It’s that he wouldn’t take a stance on whether or not rape is a bad thing because he truly believed that it was some kind of punishment for our sins of imperfection. He probably has never been raped.
Jesus was a pretty cool guy, and there is a lot in most religions I can get down with. Love thy neighbor, forgive, tell the truth, don’t kill people, fight for justice. Yes. The core of many religions is not the issue. But the Bible is full of allegories and quasi-historical moments that, when taken literally, can be dangerous. If the whole Bible were meant to be taken literally, we’d be stoning women to death in the streets for having affairs (mind you, they still do in some place in the world). Far be it from me to fancy myself a Bible scholar. But when someone uses religion as a reason not to opine about the morality of rape, I take issue. If anything, Christian morals should compel you to help stop sexual assault, to fight for social justice. That’s what Jesus would do. Hell, that’s what he DID.
Hometown, incidentally, is not far from a New Life megachurch. Buncha crazy kooks. Someone should quarantine them.
After that, I thought that’s how my night was going to go: not interested, rape joke, religious kook, not interested. Then Hometown began to show me some love (fitting, because it was Valentine’s Day). A man invited me in, thanked me for the work I do and told me what a wonderful organization I work for, and handed me a $500 check. Three people disclosed that a close family member had been sexually assaulted, thanked me for the work I was doing, and signed my clipboard (some of them wrote checks, too). One gave me a cupcake and let me play with his super-happy dog. I draw hearts on my clipboard every night to keep track of awesome people. After a while I couldn’t keep up, but I think I had drawn somewhere around 14 hearts by the time I was finished.
So, for every ridiculous person who thinks that rape is an apt punishment for Original Sin, there are at least five other people of sound mind who know that the work of a rape crisis center is necessary and laudable.
I raised over $1000 tonight. Best single night ever, for me. Thanks, Hometown.
I love today. I love the world, even though it’s fucked up. I love my cat. I love my parents. I love my friends. I love the interwebz. I love my job, even though it’s quite challenging at times. I love my home. I love sex. I love people who think like me. I love people who don’t. I love people who think. I love thinking. I love writing. I love my life. I love love. I love!
“These days, I strive to be a bitch, because not being one sucks. Not being a bitch means not having your voice heard. Not being a bitch means you agree with all the bullshit. Not being a bitch means you don’t appreciate all the other bitches who have come before you. Not being a bitch means since Eve ate that apple, we will forever have to pay for her bitchiness with complacence, obedience, acceptance, closed eyes, and open legs.”—Margaret Cho (via bayleighkay)
On turf, I see white privilege in action. Most of our staff is white. One of our staff is a black male. The other night the cops got called on us while we were canvassing a neighborhood (it happens from time to time). The cop found one of our canvassers first — a white woman. He asked her what she was doing, and when she said who she worked for, he chuckled and told her to have a good night. Then he found the other canvasser — the black man. He stopped him for a good ten minutes while he checked his ID and phoned in his information to the station. Obviously, he was clean. But the mere fact that these two interactions were so different bespeaks a deeply embedded racism. White girl canvassing a neighborhood at night? She’s just trying to do some good in the world. Black guy canvassing a neighborhood at night? That’s suspicious. It made me sick. The same male staff member was (falsely, obviously) accused of stealing someone’s porch decoration not too long ago, in the same town.
My white privilege allows me to knock on people’s doors in the dark and not have to worry (usually) that they’ll say anything more to me than “Why are you out this late alone?” Meanwhile, the people of color in our office have their intentions questioned. Gross.
[Note: This article appeared in the Baltimore Sun newspaper and was written by a Caucasian professor of journalism at the U of Texas. A followup piece can be found here. ]
Here’s what white privilege sounds like: I’m sitting in my University of Texas office, talking to a very bright and very conservative white student about affirmative action in college admissions, which he opposes and I support. The student says he wants a level playing field with no unearned advantages for anyone. I ask him whether he thinks that being white has advantages in the United States. Have either of us, I ask, ever benefited from being white in a world run mostly by white people? Yes, he concedes, there is something real and tangible we could call white privilege.
So, if we live in a world of white privilege – unearned white privilege - how does that affect your notion of a level playing field? I asked. He paused for a moment and said, “That really doesn’t matter.” That statement, I suggested to him, reveals the ultimate white privilege: The privilege to acknowledge that you have unearned privilege but to ignore what it means. That exchange led me to rethink the way I talk about race and racism with students. It drove home the importance of confronting the dirty secret that we white people carry around with us every day: in a world of white privilege, some of what we have is unearned. I think much of both the fear and anger that comes up around discussions of affirmative action has its roots in that secret. So these days, my goal is to talk open and honestly about white supremacy and white privilege.
White privilege, like any social phenomenon, is complex. In a white supremacist culture, all white people have privilege, whether or not they are overtly racist themselves. There are general patterns, but such privilege plays out differently depending on context and other aspects of one’s identity (in my case, being male gives me other kinds of privilege). Rather than try to tell others how white privilege has played out in their lives, I talk about how it has affected me.
I am as white as white gets in this country. I am of northern European heritage and I was raised in North Dakota, one of the whitest states in the country. I grew up in a virtually all-white world surrounded by racism, both personal and institutional. Because I didn’t live near a reservation, I didn’t even have exposure to the state’s only numerically significant nonwhite population, American Indians.
I have struggled to resist that racist training and the racism of my culture. I like to think I have changed, even though I routinely trip over the lingering effects of that internalized racism and the institutional racism around me. But no matter how much I “fix” myself, one thing never changes - I walk through the world with white privilege.
What does that mean? Perhaps most importantly, when I seek admission to a university, apply for a job, or hunt for an apartment, I don’t look threatening. Almost all of the people evaluating me look like me they are white. They see in me a reflection of themselves - and in a racist world, that is an advantage. I smile. I am white. I am one of them. I am not dangerous. Even when I voice critical opinions, I am cut some slack. After all, I’m white.
My flaws also are more easily forgiven because I am white. Some complain that affirmative action has meant the university is saddled with mediocre minority professors. I have no doubt there are minority faculty who are mediocre, though I don’t know very many. As Henry Louis Gates Jr. once pointed out, if affirmative action policies were in place for the next hundred years, it’s possible that at the end of that time the university could have as many mediocre minority professors as it has mediocre white professors. That isn’t meant as an insult to anyone, but it’s a simple observation that white privilege has meant that scores of second-rate white professors have slid through the system because their flaws were overlooked out of solidarity based on race, as well as on gender, class and ideology.
Some people resist the assertions that the United States is still a bitterly racist society and that the racism has real effects on real people. But white folks have long cut other white folks a break. I know, because I am one of them. I am not a genius - as I like to say, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I have been teaching full time for six years and I’ve published a reasonable amount of scholarship. Some of it is the unexceptional stuff one churns out to get tenure, and some of it, I would argue, is worth reading. I worked hard, and I like to think that I’m a fairly decent teacher. Every once in a while, I leave my office at the end of the day feeling like I really accomplished something. When I cash my pay check, I don’t feel guilty. But, all that said, I know I did not get where I am by merit alone. I benefited from among other things, white privilege. That doesn’t mean that I don’t deserve my job, or that if I weren’t white I would never have gotten the job. It means simply that all through my life, I have soaked up benefits for being white.
All my life I have been hired for jobs by white people. I was accepted for graduate school by white people. And I was hired for a teaching position by the predominantly white University of Texas, headed by a white president, in a college headed by a white dean and in a department with a white chairman that at the time had one nonwhite tenured professor. I have worked hard to get where I am, and I work hard to stay there. But to feel good about myself, and my work, I do not have to believe that “merit” as defined by white people in a white country, alone got me here. I can acknowledge that in addition to all that hard work, I got a significant boost from white privilege. At one time in my life, I would not have been able to say that, because I needed to believe that my success in life was due solely to my individual talent and effort. I saw myself as the heroic American, the rugged individualist. I was so deeply seduced by the culture’s mythology that I couldn’t see the fear that was binding me to those myths.
Like all white Americans, I was living with the fear that maybe I didn’t really deserve my success, that maybe luck and privilege had more to do with it than brains and hard work. I was afraid I wasn’t heroic or rugged, that I wasn’t special. I let go of some of that fear when I realized that, indeed, I wasn’t special, but that I was still me. What I do well, I still can take pride in, even when I know that the rules under which I work in are stacked to my benefit. Until we let go of the fiction that people have complete control over their fate - that we can will ourselves to be anything we choose - then we will live with that fear.
White privilege is not something I get to decide whether I want to keep. Every time I walk into a store at the same time as a black man and the security guard follows him and leaves me alone to shop, I am benefiting from white privilege. There is not space here to list all the ways in which white privilege plays out in our daily lives, but it is clear that I will carry this privilege with me until the day white supremacy is erased from this society.
Like many of my fellow recent grads, I am awesomely under-employed. And, like new workers, I have done what I can to make myself more appealing to potential employers. New clothes, different font and format for my cover letter, staring listlessly out of different coffee shop windows, anything that could convince an employer to give me a chance.
But one thing I’ve never done is pretend to be a dude. I’ll do a lot, but it would be impossible to feign masculinity. I’m a woman, and, excluding a brief period as a child where I would have killed for a quick and easy way to pee outside behind the bushes, I’ve never wanted to be anything else. So if someone told me that, in order to get a job, I should pretend to be something I’m not, that person would get a pointy-toed shoe in the bum.
Evidently, the ridiculousness of the scenario is lost when the job seeker in question is transgender. According to PinkNews, a trans woman in the U.K. was told by the government agency Jobcentre Plus, which advertises jobs for employers, among other activities, to look like a man, then maybe she could get a job.
Tina Cook is 54 years old and, according to her, has been living in the wrong body for 53 of those years. She is currently in the real-life phase of her transition to living as a woman, and going back to looking like a man could damage her progress.
The real problem with his situation is that the advice, while insensitive, doesn’t necessarily need to come from a place of bigotry, at least on the part of Jobcentre, although it could have. If the primary aim is to match people with jobs, this could have just been honest advice based on how people writ large view transgender individuals.
It’s easy to forget that, when it comes to sex, gender and sexual orientation, we don’t live in a world of binaries and opposites. And yet we have constructed a society in which those differences are integral. (The interesting case this past summer of South African runner Caster Semenya illustrates that wonderfully.) It’s a classic case of the world being fracked up, and innocent people feeling the effects.
Does this make the advice correct? Of course not. This goes much deeper than a work dress code. I would rather wear an Arctic Monkeys T-shirt and jeans to a job interview, but I don’t. But my status as an Arctic Monkeys fan does not go to one of the core elements of my personality. No one would ever tell a gay person to act more straight, or a black person to act more white, as Janett Scott of the trans charity the Beaumont Society pointed out.
The solution to this is not to encourage people to hide who they are. The more gay people came out of the closet, the more acceptable it became to be gay, and the more ludicrous old social norms and prejudices seemed. Employers need to be educated about what it means to be trans. Maybe then women like Tina won’t need to chose between having a job and living her life as the person she is, not as who everyone else wants her to be.
Let Jobcentre Plus know that it’s time to do some training and education on their end, to make sure that when trans job applicants walk in their doors, they’re treated with the respect they deserve.
For whom do you do your canvassing, and how can I get involved?
I don’t feel comfortable disclosing the name of the organization I work for, but it should be pretty easy to find :) I believe it’s the only rape crisis center in the country that has a canvassing department. And we’re always hiring!
Violence is not just physical (trigger warning for rape and intimate partner violence)
I had a wonderful interaction with a man the other night on turf. He answered the door when I knocked; it turned out he was there to take care of his elderly mother who had just left the hospital after surgery. He was probably in his late 40s or early 50s, with graying facial hair. He seemed very shy; he hardly looked me in the eye the entire time, and he had an accent I couldn’t place. The first thing he did was invite me in from the cold. Before he even took my clipboard, he began to tell me that where he lives (a small mountain town), rape happens much more than people like to admit. ”People stay in their houses in the winter, and there’s a lot of drinking and drugs. Everybody knows each other, so many times the women don’t go and tell anyone it happened,” he said. He tells me that a good friend of his is a nurse at the local hospital in his town, and she sees the things that people don’t report; we talk for a while about how important her work is to that community, about reasons for not telling anyone, about whether his town has a rape crisis center (he doesn’t think so).
He says, “I think violence is not just hitting a woman. It is the words, the drugs… she is hurt emotionally. You can have violence without hitting.”
Then he tells me that he had two roommates for a time, a man and a woman who were a couple. One night, the woman came running, crying, into his room. They both had been drinking, and the man had hit her. He tells me that she hid in his closet and wouldn’t come out. He didn’t let her partner into his room.
These are the kinds of interactions that renew my faith in people. There are people in this world—of all genders—who understand that rape is not a joke, that violence is not just hitting (read: the GOP’s recent stillborn push to redefine rape as “forcible” only), that sexual and intimate partner violence happens all around us all the time.
Each year, the abortion industry receives millions of our tax dollars to advance its destructive agenda. And, each year, more and more Americans demand that their hard-earned paychecks not fund the killing of preborn children, the wounding of their mothers, and the advancement of a culture of death in America. Last year alone Planned Parenthood Federation of America collected $363 million in taxpayer dollars.
And that’s not the only way the abortion lobby is funding its gruesome business.
Kristan Hawkins for Fox News
Services provided by Planned Parenthood include contraceptives, emergency contraceptives, breast, cervical and testicular cancer screening, pregnancy screenings, pregnancy counseling, testing and treatment for STDs, sexuality education, menopause treatment, abortions, vasectomies, and tubal ligations.
In 2008, abortion procedures accounted for 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services.
Abortion is not an industry, it’s practically a charity. I’ve read estimates suggesting doctors who perform abortions make around $60,000 to 70,000 a year. An abortion provider could’ve been a dermatologist and made around $300,000/yr, or even been an ob/gyn but not focused on abortion and made over $200,000/yr. Any doctor who goes into abortion is not doing it because it’s some lucrative ~industry~ where they’re going to get filthy rich and live a comfortable life. They’re not going to make very much and their life will be threatened on a daily basis by anti choicers (who call themselves pro lifers, hah). They’re doing it because they care about women and about protecting their right to choose and access to abortion.