Whitney Houston: “Just Another Dead Drug Addict”

As you’ve all undoubtedly heard by now, pop star Whitney Houston passed away on Saturday in Beverly Hills, likely as a result of a drug overdose.

When I heard this news, I braced myself for the inevitable. I knew exactly what I was about to be subjected to, because it happens every time a celebrity dies as a result of an ongoing addiction. I was going to hear, over and over and over, variations of “just another dead junkie”, “yeah, I saw it coming”, “she deserved it, brought it on herself”, “hard to feel sympathy for someone like that”, “threw her whole life away”, etc.

Happens every time. [Read more...]

Preserving Choice: Lupron And The Medical Ethics Of Treating Transgender Children

Over the past year or so, there’s been a curious and sudden surge of awareness in the general public consciousness about the issue of transgender children. While their existence is something that has been going on for… well… forever, and the trans community has certainly been aware of the likely fact that gender identity is typically developed very early in life (even if not always precisely articulated and negotiated until later) and have been aware of the issues related to it, it seems that it wasn’t until 2011 that it was all that discussed or considered in the general imagination.

Yet now we’re beginning to find it in the news. The actual, mainstream news. There was Storm, the child in Ontario who was not openly assigned a gender by hir parents, the story of the identical twins Nicole and Jonas in Boston, one a trans girl and the other a cis boy, and the issue of Bobby Montoya, a young trans girl, being included in a Colorado Girl Scout troop. Last week a 10-year-old trans girl from England who has faced significant exploitation, dehumanization and misgendering by the media (I wonder which paper, possibly beginning with the word “Daily” and ending in the word “Mail”, may have been involved?), appeared with trans media activist Paris Lees on BBC Breakfast. I found out about this through the shower of horribly transphobic tweets that followed. And recently there’s been a controversy surrounding a father in Berlin’s efforts to have his 11 year old transgender daughter involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital so as to ensure that she cannot follow through on her wish to prevent a masculinizing puberty (and ideally, in his view, “cure” her and have her somehow become a typical cisgender boy).

There’s a very key thing to remember: prevention. [Read more...]

MRA Gets Around

So I managed to get two posts done before crashing last night. That’s not bad, right? It’s not the full three, sure, but now I’m freed up to talk about the absolutely batshit rant I woke up to find circulating around the blogowebz. I’m a little behind on this compared to my FTB colleagues, on account of time zones and the human physiological need for sleep and other inconveniences, but I’ll take a go anyway.

Last night TJ Kinkaid, known more popularly as The Amazing Atheist, went on some kind of incredibly vicious tirade on reddit, deliberately trying to provoke a trigger response in a redditor who’d expressed once having been a victim of rape. This was apparently all motivated by his disagreement with the use of trigger warnings on the internet (almost as stupid and useless as NSFW, amirite!?) and how incredibly angry he was that the dogmatic, intolerant feminazis were trying to “control sexuality” and ruining atheism and blah blah blah we’ve heard this all before. Though usually without the same horrifically violent, degrading, hateful exploitation of rape and trauma to “make a point”. Various wonderful rebuttals to his arguments are currently scattered all over the FTB today, so I’d mostly just like to direct you there. I don’t much feel like retreading ground that has already thoroughly been covered. And landscaped. And set up with a little garden.

Instead I’m going to tell you about something kind of spooky. [Read more...]