Roundup 18mar10

Recent groaners events in no particular order:

1) If you’re a pair of starlets who are touched by the plight of male-to-female transsexuals in prison, what do you do?

Star in a “fact-based drama/comedy that would have them playing men,” of course. K-11 is a movie in development about a section of prison in Los Angeles where prisoners who would be endangered by being kept in general population are held.  To be fair, it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be weighted toward the comedy, but repeated comments like Nikki Reed’s (following) don’t give a lot of hope that the filmmakers, writers and stars “get it:”

“It’s a challenge,” she laughed, looking forward to the shoot. “I mean, I am playing a man.”


We desperately need trans voices telling trans stories.


2) Hate group Mass Resistance decided to live up to their reputation by staking out First Night, an event held by a New England support group, and filming people entering elevators and washrooms in the fearmongering “Men in Skirts Use Women’s Restroom at Mass. Marriott Hotel.”  C.L. Minou dissects the invasive frightumentary complete with inciteful commentary:

The video is a primer on how to do trans hate. First, mock everyone’s appearance, including, bizarrely, their height… Second, show a bunch of perfectly ordinary activities that are now made sick and disgusting because they are being done by people…who might not look like the gender they were assigned at birth. Third, flog the old bathroom libel with its breathless “threat” that evil awful men will invade the sanctity of the Ladies’ Room… Oh and fourth: What About the Children…?

Of course, trans protections have existed in legislation in various parts of North America since 1995, and have yet to result in a bathroom assault by someone who is actually (*ta-ta-ta-daa!*) trans.

Meanwhile, I’d bet the folks at Mass Resistance who have no problem recording and displaying people who may be stealth for all to see would not be so keen on the invasion of their own privacy, even though they’d have far less to lose.

Repeat: *groan*


3) After reports that norrie mAy Welby obtained documentation that classified hir as ‘sex not specific,’ the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages canceled the change due to pressure from the New South Wales Greens Attorney-General.

The support group SAGE (Sex and Gender Education) says in issuing Norrie with the document, New South Wales was complying with 2009 recommendations made by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

A person’s whole identity vetoed arbitrarily.

Repeat: *groan*


4) The Kinsey Institute and Indiana University conducted a survey, “Misclassification bias: diversity in conceptualisations about having ‘had sex,'” in which they asked participants what, in their opinion, counts as sex.  11 Points compiles several things that people surveyed said didn’t count as “sex” – including giving and receiving oral sex (29% and 27.1% respectively), anal sex with a condom (18%) and just plain penile-vaginal sex (5.2% … or 6.7% if he wears a condom).

Essentially, this is saying that, if you went up to 20 people and asked them, “Does having sex count as having sex?”, one of the 20 would say “Nope.”

Why do I get the feeling that a greater percentage of the general public would consider a gay kiss to be “sex” than, well, sex?


5) In Canadian news, the Stephen Harper government decided not to include contraception in its initiative to improve the health of mothers in poor countries.  Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon made it clear that family planning will not be included at all in the “signature” initiative announced at the G8 summit last June.

“This is really playing to the base in tractor-loads rather than with shovels,” said Katherine McDonald, executive director of Action Canada for Population and Development.  “I’m very concerned that they’re equating family planning with abortion.”

… which of course will also not be offered.  But hey, maybe we’re mistaken.  Maybe you really can overcome starvation and poverty by further enabling overpopulation.

Repeat: *groan*


6) Abercrombie & Fitch is facing criticism and a lawsuit for banishing Riam Dean to working in the stockroom because her prosthetic arm didn’t suit the “look” that they wanted their employees to have.  A&F already paid out a number of lawsuits, including a $2.2 million settlement to employees who had been forced to buy and wear its clothes while on the job.

I wonder if their policies are trans inclusive.


7) And finally, the worst-kept secret of the Republicans’ funding of the “non-partisan” Tea Party movement still remains largely unknown by the faithful, despite actually printing “Paid for by the Republican National Committee” and then covering it up with bad stickers.

More of a yawn than a groan, that one.


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