It’s the ERA or the Gender Nazis: You Can’t Have Both

Wonkette has a new article up about a trans person who was banned from giving a lecture on the history of unconventional genders and the people who express them. It happened in Montana just a few day ago, and was justified by the county officials who nixed the lecture by a recently passed anti-drag ban.

Weirdly, I said this would happen, oh, 27 years ago when there were no anti-drag bans. And I said non trans people, especially cis women, would be targeted for harassment in bathrooms and other gender segregated spaces under laws both then-extant and also laws proposed by some who wanted to address the need for trans access to sanitary facilities while continuing to write legal limits on gendered bathroom access into the criminal code.

And lo, and behold! There’s not only this lecture banned, but 22 or 23 years ago I was blocked from entering a building to deliver my own lecture, on the basis that I was a “feminazi” and “kiddie rapist”, and don’t forget the armed proud boys showing up to drag story hours. And we must remember not only the recent incident with cops on video harassing and removing a queer tomboy/skater type from a women’s restroom, but also too many incidents to name with people I know, cis and trans and others, being thrown out of restrooms on the basis of gender. People you know, likely too.

I say this to point out that the gender nazi is going to gender nazi, and while we have a hope of getting this law thrown out, these laws were never a prerequisite for hatred and harassment.

I’ve seen many, many years of complacency on these issues when I thought more effort and more argument were required. I get it, not everyone’s priorities are my priorities. And not everyone believed the apocalyptic trans girl b/c how could things really get this bad?

But we’re here and we’re fighting now. I simply want to make the point that it can’t just be about arguing the 1st or the 14th in court. Our response has to be everywhere, unrestricted by time, place and manner.

As I have said before,

If we win the right to speak, or to vote, or to employment, or to public access, or to equality, or to life, but only so long as we agree to be sufficiently conventional in our gender, not one of us, cis or trans, has won a single damn thing.

That life is life in Gilead, with different numbers of people happy on different days based on the ever-shifting gender norms of whoever holds power. Too many people have been content to live in Gilead because for much of the last 35 years the people with power have had slowly but continuously expanding definitions of acceptable femininity and masculinity.

I hope we are not too late in realizing that accepting gendered limits to our rights, even if we are comfortable with the current application of those limits to ourselves, is the acceptance of a governmental right to police out clothing, our language, our professions, our families, our lives.

We have never been safe from this policing, even if many of us have felt safe. It is stunning when one considers the number and breadth of the rights we have accepted as conditioned on acceptable gender. At its core, the issue is this: any right that may be frustrated or denied or revoked based on gender is a fundamentally insecure right. Since at the moment in the United States there is no right that is secure in this way, everyone living, working, or visiting the US exists under a very robust, manly sword hanging by a very dainty, feminine thread.

Nothing less than passage and ratification and public acceptance of the ERA can secure our rights. The power of government to police gender must be removed from its hands entirely, because it has proved it cannot use that power safely.

I want each and every one of us to see how trans people are treated and to think, “Yep, that’s how they would treat me.” Because they will. Because they can. Yes, I and other trans people are at the focal point of the gender nazi’s lens of hatred. But just because you’re not trans doesn’t make you remotely safe. They are fighting for the right to make anyone an untermensch  if they do not like your gender, but not because they want to gain it. Rather because they still have it and feel it slipping away. They do not want to lose this power. They do not want equality with the untermenschen.

And if their reactionary project is successful, if they reinscribe a government right to police gender for unacceptable deviance, there will be nothing left to do but kneel with a young pastor Niemoller, pray, and wait your turn.



Live Coverage of MN Protests for BLM Mon April 12: Shots fired

I’m obviously not in MN, but there’s quite a lot to see in the live coverage provided by Unicorn Riot.

Less than 5 minutes ago there was audible gunfire. The reporter was speculating that it was coming from protesters shooting bullets into the air. Obviously that’s very dangerous, since the bullets won’t reach escape velocity. I’m not entirely clear why the reporter thought it was protesters, but I’m assuming it’s because they have a general sense of distance and direction. Here’s hoping this shit doesn’t escalate further.

ETA: I thought I might add multiple updates to this as more info came in, but the protests were almost over when this happened. Everyone has gone home for the night and from where Unicorn Riot was filming there was simply no way to get any more info about the shooter, not even whether or not they were arrested. Because things ended so quickly after I wrote this post (maybe 10-15 minutes, tops) there’s simply nothing of substance to add, but I thought I had to at least write “nothing else happened” here lest the dangerous cliffhanger become needlessly alarming over the long hours of the night.

I’m not going to head to Minnesota like I went to Portland, but I’ll keep an eye on Unicorn Riot’s channel & make posts if I notice something important.

Boston PD Are Rapist Scumbags

So it has come out that Boston PD protected a pedophile rapist, and Boston officers then voted that scumbag their union president.

Now retired, the scumbag has been arrested for raping the daughter of one of his previous victims. The daughter. 25 years later.

What is the Boston PD response to this? Apparently they’re fighting like hell to prevent any records of the previous investigations from coming to light.

So it comes to this: if they aren’t able to pin this coverup, this complicity, this conspiracy on specific Boston officers, then obviously the only proper response for the general public is to treat ALL Boston officers as if they are actively supporting rapists who wear badges. How many of the cops are actual rapists and how many just support giving rapists the authority to command respect, to command obedience, to preside over the interests of police officers as union president, and even to, it nauseates me to say, even to investigate the rape of children. He literally questioned child victims of other rapists, and the police officers above him allowed that. They gave him the power to do that. They specifically assigned him to do that task.

So this is the choice you’ve given  us, motherrapists. Either you clean house, or the whole house is dirty. You even had decades to watch what happened to the Catholic church and learned nothing, did nothing. And the job of a cop isn’t forgiveness; it isn’t grace. Even in 1995 you Boston PD scumbags didn’t have the same excuse as the Catholic church had, as completely unacceptable as that excuse may have been.

You in the Boston PD must be treated socially as if scumbags guilty of conspiracy to rape children, one and all, unless and until you become an organization that doesn’t give these foul gifts to rapists.

This isn’t overreaction. This isn’t emotion. This is the position we are in. This is the position you Boston PD scumbags have put us in: we know that SOME of you are supporting rape, but we don’t know WHICH of you are supporting rape. We have to protect ourselves, and that means that until we have some certainty not just that some of you are innocent, but which exact persons are innocent and why, we simply cannot trust you with power.

Eat shit, Boston PD. Each one of you eat a copper cauldron of shit.



Terrorism with fire

A Prelude: The Peace & Friendship Treaty of 1752.

It is agreed that the said Tribe of Indians shall not be hindered from, but have free liberty of Hunting & Fishing as usual: and that if they shall think a Truckhouse needful at the River Chibenaccadie or any other place of their resort, they shall have the same built and proper Merchandize lodged therein, to be Exchanged for what the Indians shall have to dispose of, and that in the mean time the said Indians shall have free liberty to bring for Sale to Halifax or any other Settlement within this Province, Skins, feathers, fowl, fish or any other thing they shall have to sell, where they shall have liberty to dispose thereof to the best Advantage.

Just over 20 years ago I was in Canada for a human rights conference and the two main stories surrounding the conference were the abuse of political dissidents by China and then-current attacks on M’kmaw/Mi’kmaq peoples attempting to make a living by hunting, fishing and harvesting according to the rights set out by treaty with the Canadian government. Those rights included the right to a modest living (I believe the court’s language was “moderate”, but I’ll have to check on that) from harvesting lobsters.

Immediately white commercial lobstererers took issue. The white lobster harvesters had dramatically overfished the local waters, and with highly restricted seasons and catch, they saw respecting treaty rights as a threat to their ability to survive.

…And, yes, it was. It still is.

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The Story of July 21: Three offensives

You’ve likely already read the thread I posted about the personal experience of being exposed to tear gas, how your body responds, how your mind panics. But of course that doesn’t tell people much about what actually happened – the narrative that one might get in a newspaper. This post is more about that: the story of late July 21st and the earliest bit of July 22nd and the rally that happened in front of the Federal Services Building [Correction:] Justice Center and the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in downtown Portland.

The nightly protests themselves are a sort of jamboree. There are people who take it upon themselves to be leaders. They speak and initiate chanting. But they’re mostly limited to use of bullhorns, which simply aren’t loud enough to reach the whole crowd. So if you don’t work your way to the front, it takes you several rounds of a chant before you can pick it up – except the obvious and most frequent chant, “Black Lives Matter”. That one gets started a lot.

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The chaos of tear gas

Okay, folks.

This is 2:42 seconds of a critical time in last night’s protests, taken around 11:30pm Pacific time on the night of July 21st in front of the Hatfield courthouse. My BFF and I are in the front rank, the only people in front of us are a couple of press people who walk briefly in front of us. You won’t see it, but about halfway through someone with a shield comes up and kneels in front of me to protect me (though I didn’t want it or ask for it). I didn’t tell the shield carrier to buzz off and find someone who actually wanted protection, but if this is ever you, please ask permission before you actually touch someone’s body. My shield carrier actually grabbed my arthritic knees in what they thought was a reassuring gesture just before the tear gas was fired. Don’t be that person, okay? Okay.

Now the video:

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Loving Day

Well, I missed it by two days, but let’s do this anyway: Fifty-one years ago on Tuesday, a mere 99 years, 11 months and 3 days after we passed a constitutional amendment requiring states to stop with the racial discrimination already, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that yes, Virginia, there are limits to constitutional violations and stop Freuding persecuting the Lovings already, okay?

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Lycée Arago Arrests Reminiscent of Rampant Illegality in Trump Inauguration Arrests & Prosecutions

Nearing a year and a half ago now protestors in DC demonstrating against Trump’s inauguration were subjected to mass arrest, in many cases without probable cause. The treatment they received was shameful and illegal (though it is unlikely that any court will ever punish the officers involved), and the prosecutions that followed have been worse. The occupation of a high school in Paris, France on the 22nd of May (coincident with a larger protest march nearby) is now granting the French legal establishment to fuck things up just as badly as we have in the US.

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