H/t @rachelmack and @ronobot.
When the media reacts with scorn, mockery, and derisiveness when someone widely considered to be a popular hero informs the public about her gender identity, that tells the trans community that their own assertion of their individual gender identity doesn’t matter: that they are invalid, can be overwritten. Their desire to be seen for who they really are can be ignored.
And, what is perhaps even more damaging, the media is sending a message to the millions of other people who lack an awareness of the difficulties faced by transgender individuals. And that message is: What transgender men and women want doesn’t matter. Go ahead and laugh.
But for 41 percent—and maybe more—of transgender individuals, it’s a short step from being laughed at to being bullied. A short step from being bullied to feeling suicidal. A short step from feeling suicidal to attempting suicide.
This is not a “slippery slope” argument. This is the reality for transgender men and women.
English Wikipedia’s entry on “Bradley Manning” is already redirecting to “Chelsea Manning.” If the Internet can get it right, journalists should not be lagging behind them. We should be leading the way.
Her name is Chelsea, and she’s a woman. It’s not complicated.
Res ipsa loquitur.
… as long as climate change continues to advance—it seems that nothing can stop that now—and we maintain a global food system perennially subject to volatile price spikes and exploitation from speculators, without reform, our world will be an increasingly restive one. Hunger is coming, and so are the riots.
Source: Vice Magazine
Note that the USTR is not criticizing Guatemala’s laws nor enforcement efforts as the government has complied with repeated U.S. demands to shift resources toward IP enforcement. Indeed, there is no obvious reason for inclusion on the Special 301 list other than an attempt to lobby a country that ranks 123rd worldwide in per capita GDP to spend even more money enforcing US intellectual property rights rather than on education, health care or infrastructure.
Julian Assange’s alleged crimes don’t even register on the metric that Pinochet established. But look at the British government’s fury when Ecuador took him in. Odd little contrast, isn’t it? Still think the international hue-and-cry is all about a couple of sexual assault charges?
Within Israel, politicians, academics, journalists and activists frequently describe the state’s treatment of Palestinians as apartheid. South Africans who lived through the apartheid era have also accused Israel of committing the same crimes, if not worse. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “If I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank could describe events in South Africa.” The Congress of South African Trade Unions and the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa both declared that Israel is practising apartheid in the Occupied Territories.
The takeaway: there’s a substantial body of opinion suggesting that the “apartheid” label is appropriate. If some people find that uncomfortable or odious … too bad.
Refusing to debate abortion rights isn’t censorship | #cdnpoli
There’s a lot of sound and fury, understandably, about Stephen Woodworth’s attempt to reignite the abortion debate.
It’s hard not to be struck, right off the bat, by the disingenuous bullshit surrounding it. Woodworth likes to characterize his initiative as an honest inquiry about when life begins. The Harper machine insists that Woodworth is acting on his own, and that this isn’t official government policy.
Yeah, right. This from an operation so obsessed with message control that backbenchers dare not even fart without clearing it with the the PMO.
And let’s be clear about what this is: it’s not a simple intellectual exercise or an attempt to update the state of scientific knowledge. It’s an assault on reproductive autonomy — a transparent and disingenuous attempt to reassert patriarchal control over women’s bodies and take away the freedom of choice that took decades to achieve.
To suggest that this “debate” isn’t welcome is not, as some misguided voices would argue, the same as advocating censorship. It’s an assertion that some debates are simply not worthy of consideration in public discourse.
It’s inconceivable that in 2012, we would even discuss whether women have the right to control their own bodies. That question was settled by the Supreme Court of Canada more than two decades ago. Do we really have to go through all that again? Are we really prepared to put the basic human rights of our fellow citizens in issue? Seriously?
Framing it as a matter of free inquiry and intellectual exchange allows its proponents to posture as reasonable people and dismiss their opponents as angry, irrational and hysterical. Condescending? Ya think? What next? Are we going to have calm, reasonable, mature debates about whether black people should have the same rights as white people, or whether LGBT people should have the same rights as straight folk?
No. And saying “we’re not going to debate about it” isn’t censorship. Woodworth and his hangers-on — so-cons, misogynists, fundies and assorted intellectual wankers — are welcome to have as many of their little debates as they like. Fill yer boots, boys.
Just not in the Parliament of Canada, let alone any forum that bills itself as “progressive.”
Israel’s occupation: Apartheid on Steroids | The Nation
What I witnessed in the West Bank—home to about 2.5 million Palestinians and 400,000 Israeli settlers—exceeded my worst expectations. While the world’s statesmen have dithered, Israel has created a system of apartheid on steroids, a horrifying prison with concrete walls as high as twenty-six feet, topped with body-ravaging coils of razor wire. Spaced along these walls are imposing guard towers that harbor bunkers from which trespassers can be shot by Israeli soldiers. From this physical segregation—one land for Israelis; another, unequal land for Palestinians—flows a torrent of misery, violence and human rights abuses. The West Bank suffers from acute shortages of water, housing, jobs and healthcare. Palestinian children are separated from their parents, denied access to hospitals and stoned and beaten by Jewish settlers. Human rights sanctioned by international law, including the right to health, the prohibition on transferring populations into occupied territories and equal treatment before the law are routinely violated.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, once said that Israel will be judged by how it treats the Arabs. This is a moral test Israel now resoundingly fails—a failure that threatens to undermine all of its accomplishments and, as is increasingly clear, its future.
Guess this makes Stephen Robert an anti-Semite, doesn’t it? And me, for linking to it?