The New York City Department of Education has adopted guidelines “to help schools ensure a safe learning environment free of discrimination and harassment, and to promote the educational and social integration of transgender students.” The guidelines provide that students should be addressed by school staff by the name and pronoun corresponding to their gender identity that is consistently asserted at school. Additionally, transgender students are to be provided the same opportunities to participate in physical education as are all other students. Generally, students should be permitted to participate in physical education and sports in accordance with the student’s gender identity that is consistently asserted at school.
With regard to locker rooms and bathrooms, “(t)he use of restrooms and locker rooms by transgender students requires schools to consider numerous factors, including, but not limited to: the transgender student’s preference; protecting student privacy; maximizing social integration of the transgender student; minimizing stigmatization of the student; ensuring equal opportunity to participate; the student’s age; and protecting the safety of the students involved. A transgender student who expresses a need or desire for increased privacy should be provided with reasonable alternative arrangements. Reasonable alternative arrangements may include the use of a private area, or a separate changing schedule, or use of a single stall restroom. Any alternative arrangement should be provided in a way that protects the student’s ability to keep his or her transgender status confidential. A transgender student should not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.”
These guidelines have no statement about the rights of girls to be free from male-bodied people in sex-segregated spaces.
The Southern Poverty Law Center continues to diminish its reputation by labeling faith-based organizations as “hate groups” for such organizations’ opposition to homosexuality. The Southern Poverty Law Center claims it adds these groups to its list for “propagating known falsehoods debunked by science,” but given that religious belief is not in fact grounded in science, many observers are incredulous about this explanation. The more likely explanation is the GLBT people tend to be liberal, and liberals donate money to the organization. Unfortunately, SPLC seems to be suffering from mission drift as it veers further away from its core issue of fighting white supremacy.
The rise of “hate crimes” and “hate speech” as tools used by GLBT activists began in earnest when Matthew Shepard was murdered in 1998. Activists began a 11-year campaign to pass hate crimes legislation to add a sentencing enhancement for crime motivated by gay bias. Now, GLBT activists routinely accuse anyone who disagrees with them of being a hate group, a tactic used unsuccessfully by Men’s Rights Activists against Gender Identity Watch because we reject that “gender” is innate, that acting out sex stereotypes turns a man into a woman and that human biology is just a social construct.
Importantly, academics have started noticing this trend towards labeling all non-GLBT Movement-approved speech as “hate speech,” including Professor George Yancey of the University of North Texas. Professor Yancey has written an interesting journal article, “Watching the Watchers: The Neglect of Academic Analysis of Progressive Groups” in which he describes SPLC’s “liberal” bias. From the Christian Post:
All the groups listed on Hatewatch, with the exception of black separatists, Yancey notes, are either political or religious conservatives. Yancey believes this is because SPLC is a liberal organization and it is using subjective criteria to choose which groups belong on the list.
“The subjective nature of the criteria for determining a hate group provides a conceptual structure more vulnerable to social bias than an objective criteria applying to groups across a wide political, cultural, and religious spectrum,” he wrote.
According to SPLC, a hate group has “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
Using this standard, Yancey says, there should be some liberal and anti-Christian groups on the list as well. To illustrate, Yancey compares the Military Religious Freedom Foundation to FRC.
According to SPLC, Yancey explains, FRC is a hate group because it intentionally makes hateful and untrue statements about the LGBT community, which can lead to violence even though FRC does not engage in violent actions. (Yancey noted the irony that while SPLC does not cite any examples of FRC-inspired violence, SPLC’s Hatewatch actually did incite violence in the case of Floyd Corkins.) To support this contention, SPLC notes that FRC reports on studies showing that the child molestation rate is higher among gays and same-sex parenting harms children, and quotes FRC President Tony Perkins saying that LGBT activists seek to “persuade kids that homosexuality is okay and actually to recruit them into that lifestyle.”
If this is the standard for labeling an organization a hate group, Yancey says, then the anti-Christian MRFF should also be on the list.
In a Huffington Post blog, Michael Weinstein, founder of MRFF, claimed that Christians will be responsible for ushering in “a blood-drenched, draconian era of persecutions, naturalistic militarism and superstitious theocracy.” And Weinstein has written books claiming that Christians are willing to use mass murder to bring about their goals.
“In these few comments Weinstein has violated some of the same norms SPLC used to designate FRC as a hate group. Weinstein is promoting a myth of Christian violence not substantiated by previous research and has attributed motives to conservative Christians that he cannot document,” Yancey contends.
Yancey does not argue that MRFF should be on Hatewatch, or that FRC should be off Hatewatch. Rather, he argues that if Hatewatch is to be an objective source for labeling hate groups, both groups should either be on the list or off the list.
Perhaps it might be more productive, however, to simply stop labeling people as promoting “hate speech” simply because we disagree with their ideas, or their ideas make us feel bad. Perhaps it might be more productive, in fact, to debate actual issues.
Perhaps we, as Gay and Lesbian people, might actually learn to understand that “diversity” means “diversity of opinion,” and that others were not placed on this earth to affirm our lives. Our movement should prevail because it is a movement for social justice, not because we bully our opponents into submission.
Bonnie J. Mann is a professor and paid feminist at the University of Oregon who has written a condescending open letter to Lierre Keith. The letter makes no mention of the extreme violence faced by Keith and others who have the audacity to say out loud that transwomen are men.
Tomi Boone Finkle is suing Howard County, Maryland for the county’s refusal to allow her to volunteer to ride with a new mounted patrol unit she says she helped Howard County police create. Finkle, represented by Matthew August LeFande, is seeking a place on the mounted auxiliary unit and unspecified compensation for her attorney’s fees. The county argues that Finkle cannot sue for job discrimination because a voluntary position is not employment. The Maryland Commission on Human Rights dismissed Finkle’s claim last year, but not on the question of whether she was a victim of discrimination. The commission’s deputy director wrote in September the case had been closed “for lack of jurisdiction over this matter because there is no established employee/employer relationship.”
The county also argued there’s no evidence anyone knew Finkle was transgender. But in court filings, Finkle questioned whether “any other reasonably sentient person” wouldn’t have known she was transgender, given that she’s 6-foot-3-inch tall, weighs 220 pounds and is broad-shouldered.
Howard County has moved to dismiss. That motion is pending.
A 15-year-old transgender boy, who is biologically female, reported being attacked and sexually assaulted at the same Hercules school where a male who “identifies as a girl” was involved in a fight four months ago, police said. The latest incident – which is being investigated as a hate crime – was reported at Hercules Middle/High School on Refugio Valley Road about 11 a.m. by a transgender student who identifies as male, said Hercules police Detective Connie Van Putten. The student said he was leaving the boys’ bathroom when in a building on the high school part of campus when he was confronted by three male juveniles, Van Putten said. The three pushed him into the bathroom’s disabled stall, where they physically and sexually assaulted him, police said. The student’s parents were notified, and he was taken to a hospital, Van Putten said. Police were interviewing witnesses and had not identified suspects.
These are incidents of male violence against females, regardless of how they identify. These incidents also highlight, of course, why women want space away from males, regardless of how they identity.
Steve Friess is a white man who wrote a racist opinion column for Time Magazine about Jared Leto’s portrayal of a gender nonconforming gay man who died of AIDS in the 1980s. Transgender activists have claimed offense at Leto’s portrayal of Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club for a number of reasons, including the fact that a “transgender woman” should have played the role. Criticism by transgender activists ignores the fact that in the 1980s, Rayon would not have identified as transgender at all. Transgender activists and their liberal supporters also ignore the fact that transgender women are male.
Friess adds fuel to this fire by falsely analogizing the “plight” of trans representation in film to that of African-Americans. Friess is like many white liberals who engage in false analogy without any awareness of how ahistorical it is to compare systemic racial oppression – institutionalized in the United States first through slavery and then through Jim Crow laws that actively subjugated Black people – to the “inability” of men to express their “true gender” or use the ladies’ restroom. He also ignores that fact that under white supremacy, Black people behaved in “stereotypical” ways for survival – that is, they wanted to avoid being raped by white men and murdered by white people. This is very different than a “transgender woman” acting in stereotypical feminine ways. Indeed, for transgender women, they are not seen as “women” unless they engage in stereotypical “feminine” behavior. Further, a male actor like Jared Leto can do this just as well as a “transgender woman” because the reality is, is that they are all male.