Central African Republic – Religious Warfare

“If you are not gone by 8 o’clock tomorrow morning we will come back and shoot you and burn down the mission, You are making this a religious war”

This was the threat made by about a dozen armed fighters from the Muslim faction who rolled up to the Catholic mission in their technical. There were hundreds in the mission who sought refuge on humanitarian grounds.

Leave or die. [Read more…]

Trans Phobia

I rarely talk about transphobia and the hijra I used to work with. Well that’s mainly because we don’t work together any more the last I saw of them was a while ago.

But sometimes while poking around the net you do find some absolutely horrendous things.

“I would like to pass out something that shows people what is going on in the rest of the country. Massachusetts and California have passed laws relating to calling a student, irrespective of his biological gender, letting him perform as the gender he thinks he is, or she is. I just want to emphasize: not in this district. Not until the plumbing’s changed. There would have to be castration in order to pass something like that around here.”

This is from Katherine Svenson, a Colorado school board member.

Look the words we use are important too. A lot of people reported this as “Svenson wants to castrate trans people before they use the bathroom” which is simply untrue. Svenson is a bigot but her bigotry is not fixed or solved by being incorrect.

No, what she is trying to imply in her own mutliated understanding of what it is to be trans is that the only way she will accept trans utilising the loo is post-surgery. And definitely not the people who made it sound like she going to castrate trans people the way we used to castrate sheep.

Yes this was a thing and no it’s not recommended you do it this way unless you want a kick in the face.

No it’s still bigotted and part of the “won’t someone think of the children” but we should hold ourselves to the truth because the truth is stupider than the stuff we make up.

There is a train of thought of the right wing and religious fundie when it comes to the trans people and bathrooms.

They think the acceptance of transexuals into the bathrooms of “choice” will lead to a sordid world where young men pretend to be women solely to spy on women in bathrooms. To which I say that the fundies really don’t know young boys and this seems like too much work to look at naked women when we have access to the Internet and all the depths of nudity that entails to the average teenager. Doing all this seems like too much effort especially considering the level of torment the trans people face.

But trans people are all perverts! They clearly are men who like to dress as women! That’s another common fallacy. Transvestites are different. Look, some men don’t think clothes define your gender and so wear women’s clothes. Big Whoop. It takes all sorts to make the circus we live in. The fact we distinguish our clothes SOLELY based on gender is laughable! Many gay men have corrected me when I said that they are just as promiscuous as straight people by explaining to me that gay men were always ostracised for what they are and so didn’t really have any issues with promiscuity. So I will retract my old stance. Maybe trans people are like that too. But who cares. I have written safe anal sex advice here and I know I am not exactly vanilla in my tastes (More like 99 flake). To the fundie the idea of letting trans into the bathroom will turn the bathroom into their idea of what “cottaging” looks like. AKA a bathroom filled wall to wall with an orgy of sex.

If we let trans women into the women’s room they will look at women peeing. In the fundie world F2M trans people don’t exist after all. Because women are never perverts… No let us assume this is an enlightened fundie who knows about F2M. He may be a transphobe but he is no sexist! Trans people will spy on women/men peeing and get some sort of pleasure out of it. Well I don’t know about you but most men in the men’s room are rather surreptitious about peeing even at urinals. We all know what we got. We aren’t comparing lengths and we go to great effort to shield ourselves from prying eyes to the point that we have unwritten rules such as standing as far apart from each other as possible when using the urinals. And honestly? This fear is as old as time, we feared that homosexuals were going to molest us all in our bathrooms but turns out gay men generally use bathrooms for the same things we straight men do. The whole “women’s” bathrooms is even more puzzling since I know women’s rooms have stalls and I figure women lock them when they use them.

Again the fundies assume the mere presence of trans people would turn the loo into a den of iniquity. Drug dealers will move in, and people will start snorting the crushed ashes of Rush Limbaugh’s speeches or whatever it is they snort these days. There will be glory holes galore and no one will be able to use the bathroom without being peeked on  or stumbling on cottaging.

Trans people just want to go to the bathroom without having to declare to all and sundry what they are. I mean the problem here is how the fuck are you going to enforce the rule? I am a bloody doctor and even I take a few seconds to realise if a person is trans. I have a trans friend (Hola Nadia! Waves) who sounds and looks female and I wouldn’t have known she was trans unless she  bared her throat (Adams apple or the surgery to reduce it) or stood up straight (the male body has some tell tale differences. One of them is the carrying angle. When you semi-flex your arm you will notice your arm bends “outwards”. In women it is more because of women’s body shape. There are a few signs like this that surgery doesn’t change) or spoke without the voice training.

Basically? She looks like an attractive lady who is much younger than she actually is.

And you think the Bathroom police are going to catch her out? What are they going to listen while she pees? Either this person is trans or is peeing from a great height! SUMMON THE TOILET COPS! Would these be called Porcelains instead of Coppers?

Again the same issue with F2M trans.. They can simply use the stall.

No the legislation or rules to ban trans from basically using what bathrooms they like are solely designed to harass the few trans who MAY get caught out or who are reported by those who know their status.

It’s just so ridiculous. Pragmatically it’s a waste of time. Socially it’s a waste of time and it’s forcing trans people to out themselves to simply use the bathroom and economically it is a gigantic waste of time. There is absolutely no argument for this that isn’t scare mongering or just out and out stupid.

I have this expression on my face too when I hear the right wing say this

I use public restrooms to pee and maybe wash my face. Most of the time it’s a pretty harrowing experience since it’s India and people take a very lax attitude to plumbing and hygiene. Even in the UK I have the same attitude and most people I know tend to not linger around the place.

Trans people do not wish to be noticed for being trans. They spend their entire transition changing to be like the gender that they wish and need to be. It is a simple case of privacy. We owe them the basic right to not be bothered while they wish to use  the loo.

The ideas pushed by the fundies about trans people and indeed the GLBT in bathrooms boils down to the fears that are created by the dialogue. It’s simple.

Let people use the loo in peace. I don’t want to be interrupted by some stranger in a uniform (or not) demanding to check the contents of my boxers when I fly. Why do you think I would think  it’s acceptable for that to be the case when someone else uses the bathroom?

Joseph Kony May Face Justice

The Central African Republic is currently negotiating the terms of Joseph Kony who was the leader of the Christian Militia group called the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Wishing to forge a “Christian Uganda” based on the 10 commandments, he and his LRA waged a brutal civil war which helped destabilise the region.

He is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of rape, mutilation and murder of civilians, as well as forcibly recruiting children to serve as soldiers and sex slaves. It is estimate that the conflict cost the lives of a million people by either massacre or deaths due to destabilisation.

One of the prior conditions for his surrender involved ICC amnesty but no one was willing to give it to him as the crimes were too great.

This is a step forward. Kony must face justice, it won’t bring back his victims or help the child soldiers he created but it will help show the world that there are crimes and that there is a procedure where such super villains can be prosecuted.

And if anyone says “There are no Christian Terrorists” remember Joseph Kony.

Only an Idea

It may come as no surprise to my readers that I do have a more robust approach to social justice than many of the people who belong to A+ and this means that I don’t agree with them.

Well amusingly when voicing my disagreement with them I was beset by anti-FTBers. Who gleefully pointed out that I would be kicked out of FTB for voicing something that is alleged to “go against the grain”.

They suggested that I would “move to Patheos” and even gleefully regarded me on the same scale as Thunderfoot. I am afraid they are wrong.

So I went and had a look around Patheos and boy did I come up swinging with this piece. And this article by Father Dwight Longenecker lead me on to another. So let’s start with what’s wrong with his more recent argument. [Read more…]

The Moral Majority

In every nation there exists something called the “moral majority”. It’s a self identified group of holier than thou activists who believe  that they are so wholesome and good that their way of life is the only way of life to follow. These people are usually self identified as religious, either right wingers or identify as libertarians (primarily because real society forces on us a series of rules that prevent the kind of dickishness that the moral majority dream that they could apply to the rest of us.). A good example of the fight for morality is the Moral Majority Alliance in the USA which includes such stellar organisations as the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and Liberty Alliance. It boggles the mind as a foreigner that such associations can name themselves such while being anti family and anti liberty.
For example the Liberty Alliance actively campaigns against Hate Speech Laws. The rules that protected black people from racists also helps protect homosexuals from… well people in the Liberty Alliance. They actively campaign against laws protecting against discrimination, because freedom means freedom to be a giant bigot. They think that the bible gives them the right to define what marriage is, preventing gays from getting their marriages recognised. They think that gay people should not mention their personal lives in the military solely because of who they chose to have sex with.

The Devil is in the Soup

Lou Landrum is the executive director of Spartanburg Soup Kitchen and I fear she has doesn’t realise what the word “charity” means.

You see charity, “real” charity isn’t done under the narrow band of faith but it is open to all to both partake and participate. Charity if discriminatory is not charity but a farce. It means that the purpose of charity is lost.

Charity doesn’t exist for you to feel good about yourself. To feel holier than thou. It exists to do a job. The job comes first. In this case? Feeding the homeless of Spartanburg.  [Read more…]

Evilution II – Caveman Boogaloo

Bryan Fischer joins the three pronged attack on Evilution where he has four points that disprove evolution and thus prove Governor Rick Perry as awesome and on the ball, not a backward hick with no knowledge of science.

Bryan Fischer is normally a hate filled sorry excuse for a human being whose crusade to deny homosexuals basic rights is well known. But here he dabbles his feet in the murky waters of creationism to defend Rick Perry which just is pathetic. He parrots out old hackneyed defences of creationism that simply don’t even stand up to the mildest of scrutiny.