Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Today's Battles

Over at the Bangor Daily News, on of all things, which toilet schoolkids should use.

Transgender issue draws controversy
On Monday the Maine Human Rights Commission may advise schools to allow transgender students to dress, play sports and choose bathrooms based on the gender they consider themselves to be, rather than the gender they were physically born.

Suffice it to say, it’s a bit controversial.

The commission argues that the proposed “guidance” it will offer Maine schools on the subject is nothing more than its interpretation of the Maine Human Rights Act and does not force schools to enact or follow its “suggestions.”
Jesus Wept. 321 comments and counting. Including some of mine.

This all comes from an unpleasant little incident of 3 years ago.

State rules in favor of young transgender. I commented there too.

From Dym Sum:
"The problem started in October 2007, when the child was in the 5th grade, and arrangements were made for her to use the girl’s bathroom. Soon thereafter, a boy who had been harassing her and calling her “faggot” starting following her into the bathroom to harass her further. (The disturbing aspect of this is that the boy had his grandfather’s blessing to bother her.) After the second incident, the boy was suspended, and removed from the girl’s classroom; the girl was, then, instructed that she needed to use a single-stall restroom on the other end of the school.

Around the same time that the girl’s parents filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission, the boy’s grandfather, Paul Melanson, filed his own complaint, indicating that his grandson was also being discriminated against, that the boy had as much a right to use that girl’s bathroom as the transgender girl did, under the public accommodation provision of the Maine Human Rights Act. (For the record, the boy is heterosexual with no question about his gender identity.)

The agency ruled in favor of the girl’s right to use the restroom that was appropriate to her gender identity. They also ruled that Melanson’s grandson was not discriminated against, that he never should have been in the girls’ restroom to begin with. “Minor Student 2 was disciplined because his biological sex is male and his gender identity is male and he used the girls’ bathroom,” the investigator’s report said."

And Now....

Panel defers on transgender rules for schools
AUGUSTA, Maine — After a contentious meeting Monday that drew angry outbursts from the crowd, the Maine Human Rights Commission postponed deciding whether to give advice to schools about how to accommodate transgender students.

The commission decided 4-1 against taking action on proposed guidelines so that it can get more public comment.
I commented there too. A selection:
On 3/2/10 at 7:42 AM, ZoeBrain wrote:

On 3/2/10 at 6:51 AM, savemaine wrote: so the 'rights' of a very very small percentage, are more important than the rights of the majority.


More important? No. As important? Yes, I think so. The idea of having a Constitution, and a Bill of Rights, is to ensure that no-one, anywhere, suffers from the tyranny of a persecuting majority. The great national agony of the 1860s brought that about at least, a principle paid for in blood.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal
.... as was said a hundred years before, but only put into practice at the point of a bayonet by the 20th Maine on Little Round Top.

Honesty - a sense of Integrity - compels me to give a disclaimer here. My objectivity has to be questionable. You see, I'm one of that "tiny, tiny minority" whose rights you see as so much less valuable than your own.

You have the power to oppress. That is unquestionable.That my mere existence causes you discomfort is also undeniable. I'm not real thrilled to have my particular genetic anomaly myself. And even if I were a great rhetorician, able to speak in the tongues of men and angels, I still would not have the right to tell you what to think. I do though have the right, and indeed the duty, to bring the facts to your attention. I think Col Joshua Chamberlain would agree.
It helps to know a little Military History, and the revered place the 20th Maine's epic battle under Chamberlain holds in Maine's iconography. Moving right along...
On 3/2/10 at 8:07 AM, ZoeBrain wrote:

On 3/2/10 at 7:08 AM, mainerep wrote:
Lets see how they like being with something strange in a locker room.

Referring to little girls and boys as "things", something not human, because of their anomalous anatomy.


On 3/2/10 at 7:11 AM, SonOfLiberty wrote:
We don't need these transgender freaks in our schools and around our children.

Even if these "freaks" are just children themselves.


On 3/2/10 at 5:29 AM, karenlite wrote
Is it sick to help a child along in school, to keep them safe by teaching tolerance and kindness?

But of course her comment was buried by separate thumbs down from the majority, those like mainerep and SonOfLiberty


On 3/2/10 at 6:51 AM, savemaine wrote:
the point here however is not about teaching our children 'tolerance and kindness' it's about making a decision that is right for the majority.

That's partially right: the choice is between teaching our children 'tolerance and kindness', or to teach them to be like the majority. To be like mainerep and SonOfLiberty.

That is your choice, and I don't have the right to tell you which of the two alternatives to choose. Just to point out that that *is* the choice you, as citizens of Maine, are making for your children here.

I'll survive no matter what you choose, my welfare is my own concern, not yours. Rather than thinking how it will affect me and those like me, I urge you to think only of how you'd like your own kids to grow up, the kind of people you'd like them to be. To be like karenlite, or SonOfLiberty. Then choose accordingly.
That's just a few of the posts. I think I'm making headway, the more calm and collected I appear, and the more sheer batsh1t hysterical others seem, the more credibility I have.

I just find it really difficult to credit that we're talking about where schoolkids go potty. "SonOfLiberty"... Jeez, with a name like that, what a wanker, to use the Australian vernacular. So far up himself he's coming out the other end.


Cynthia Lee said...

I just figured out how to whoop them at this bathroom BS.

HAve alot of transwomen and transmen start showing up to these meetings that the right wing fringe is involved in.

and get this ...do not make alot of discussion but we as a group use the bathrooms of our birth gender every time one of the oposition goes to the restroom.
Do not cause a scene or talk to them just act natural.
If they have to deal with what apears to be women in the mens room and men in the womens room they will see how stupid they are being.

Of course I would only sugest this tactic in well controlled areas like city hall mettings with a large enough contingent to provide for individule security.

Nicole said...

The time that I was "caught" in the womens bathroom at work by an ignorant conservative bigot, I was actually drying my hands on the pull-out hand-towel.

The things you get up to in a bathroom! Who'd have thought?

I wonder though Zoe, you say at the end how "I'll survive, no matter what", and many of us do. But it's because of this harassment, discrimination and vilification that in the end we become very street-wise, very hardened, thinking individuals instead of one of the sheeple like those that cause us all of that in the first place.

I sure don't wish this crap on anyone, but I'm also glad that I'm not one of them.

sumptos devil s advocate said...

""SonOfLiberty"... Jeez, with a name like that, what a wanker, to use the Australian vernacular. So far up himself he's coming out the other end. "

I know, you get that sort of person in the libertarian--equivalent to someone who is very liberal in Australia, the kind of person who wants the federal government in Australia to be back to what it was prior to World War II and overturn the gun ban the states all implemented together--movement in the states. I support the movement in general, but then you get people like that who want to include very un-libertarian ideas in with that.

sumptos devil s advocate said...

Regarding the boy following the MtF child into the girls' bathroom and the approval of that boy's grandfather, also bringing in the proposed legislation in Iowa to remove bullying/harassment protections for sexual orientation/gender identity, I remember listening to talk radio a few years ago in Alabama where they were discussing the controversy in Massachusetts in teaching sexual orientation and gender identity issues to children in schools and one of the callers to the station said that bullying was the way to discourage those children with variant sexual orientations and gender identities from continuing the way they were and to encourage them to conform to society's expectations: The caller, to the host's agreement, said that bullying serves a necessary function in society if it is for the purpose of enforcing social norms and values.