Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Washington Times shills for the FRC again

SPRIGG: ENDA sanity? Law would require deference to the transgendered
Well yes, ENDA is eminently sane. And yes, it would require the same deference to the Transgendered as to Jews, Catholics, Blacks, Women.... which the Washington Times finds unacceptable. These people should know their place, after all.

The piece is written by Peter Sprigg... a senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council. You know the FRC. Co-founded by one Dr George Alan Rekers, the notorious hirer of rentboys to "lift his luggage".
In addition, there are many jobs for which personal appearance is a legitimate and relevant characteristic. Yet even Anne Lawrence, a male-to-female transgender who has written several academic papers on the issue, has admitted that many transgendered people do not make a convincing appearance in their chosen gender identity. It is simply inevitable that when they see a brawny 6' 2" man with broad shoulders, large hands, large feet, a protruding Adam's apple, facial stubble, and a deep voice wearing high heels, pantyhose and a skirt, many customers or clients may be put off. An employer should not be forced to ignore this risk.
The main complaint seems to be that ugliness should be a firing offence. Ugliness of appearance, anyway. Ugliness of the soul on the other hand seems to be a job requirement, at the FRC anyway.
By the way, this is already protected under Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act, so he's missed the boat there.
Particularly egregious mendacity is this statement:
The business community has failed to mobilize on a large scale against this intrusion into their right to set their own standards for employment, largely because most large, secular employers do not make a practice of inquiring into the sexual practices of their employees in the first place. There is no evidence that homosexuals have unusual difficulty in finding employment, nor that such laws on the local or state levels have improved their economic situation.
And of course, they quote McHugh's article "Surgical Sex".

My Reply - in two parts:
Ah, the Family Research Council. I notice they don't quote their main luminary and co-founder, Dr George Rekers, any more. You know, the guy who just spent a 10 day European Vacation getting genital massages from a nude masseur, a firm-bodied "luggage handler" he hired through Rentboy.com? But they do quote Dr McHugh, former Vatican advisor on sexual matters.

"McHugh…is the man whose report to the court in one case stated that a defendant’s harassing phone calls were not obscene - including the call that detailed a fantasy of a 4-year-old sex slave locked in a dog cage and fed human waste. At least eight men have been convicted of sexually abusing Maryland children while under treatment at the “sex disorders” clinic McHugh runs at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine - abuse the doctors did not report, citing client confidentiality. When Maryland law was changed to require that doctors report child molestation, the clinic fought it and advised patients on how to get around the law. The memo to patients suggested that molesters report their pedophilic activities to their lawyers, who could in turn tell staff; attorney-client privilege would then protect the molesters from being reported. This memo was fully approved by the boss - Dr. Paul McHugh…”

McHugh's article on Transsexuality was not in a medical or scientific journal, but an ultra-conservative Catholic religious one. Because as he admits in his book "Psychiatric Misadventures", before he first set foot in Johns Hopkins, he was determined on ideological grounds to shut the program down, regardless of evidence. He did manage to shut down the surgical department - Johns Hopkins now refers patients for surgery by better qualified specialists outside the hospital, and has done for the last 30 years. Surgery's the only effective treatment, you see. McHugh's article is widely quoted - because while there's literally hundreds of articles giving actual facts that contradict it, he's the only "reputable" scientist who holds this eccentric view.

Anne Lawrence was let go from her former profession of anaestheologist for grossly inappropriate misconduct, involving manipulation of an unconscious patient's genitalia.

These are the only people who share the opinion of the FRC. All professional organisations not founded or with such people on their board disagree.

It's interesting that Peter Sprigg admits to being bisexual. Because for him, hetero- or homo-sexuality is a choice, as he says in this article. He just assumes that everyone else is like that. Peter, it's not. Although you're not exactly Robinson Crusoe, for most people which sex they want to go to bed with is fixed. Usually the opposite sex, but not always.

Actually, the business community has to a great extent, mobilised. But in support, not against. As of September 2009, 434 (87%) of the Fortune 500 companies had implemented non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation, and 207 (41%) had policies that include gender identity. They didn't have to - but it hurt their bottom line not to.

Despite this, many other companies have not. "Bias in the Workplace: Consistent Evidence of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination" - published by the Williams Institute, and the only large-scale survey on the subject reported that "Studies conducted from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s revealed that 16% to 68% of LGB respondents reported experiencing employment discrimination at some point in their lives. Since the mid-1990s, an additional fifteen studies found that 15% to 43% of LGB respondents experienced discrimination in the workplace....When transgender individuals were surveyed separately, they reported similar or higher levels of employment discrimination. In six studies conducted between 1996 and 2006, 20% to 57% of transgender respondents reported having experienced employment discrimination at some point in their life. More specifically, 13%-56% were fired, 13%-47% were denied employment, 22%-31% were harassed, and 19% were denied a promotion based on their gender identity."

Needless to say, the FRCs policy of consistently lying like this in order to denigrate and deny human rights to Gays and Trans people has caused it to be classed by the SPLC as a Hate Group, along with the KKK and Aryan Nation, who use similar tactics against African Americans.
One thing I must mention. I think Dr Lawrence got a raw deal with her dismissal: I don't believe she did anything wrong in the slightest, but was a victim of Transphobia. Others disagree. While I think her analysis of the data is flawed to say the least (utter rubbish, to put it bluntly), her collection of that data is meticulous. She's painfully honest with herself, and in many ways someone who I admire. Just really, really utterly and hopelessly wrong. Her exchanges with Moser over Autogynephilia in Females rapidly descends into the worst excesses of Academic infighting too. But I digress.

Or maybe not. Because my post was also written with bile, not ink (OK, electrons... dipped in bile...) I too try to be honest with myself. And I pulled no punches, by my venomous sarcasm and attacking the messenger, not the message. I'm entirely too similar to Dr Lawrence in my virtues, and my faults - so this is not a response I'm particularly proud of. One that I should make public though, so people can see me, warts and all.

And the article is better than the Washington Times previous effort :
Subjecting kids to weirdos undermines standards of decency.

5 comments:

Boo said...

Um... you don't think performing an unauthorized examination of an unconscious patient's genitalia is wrong?

Zoe Brain said...

In the case where external signs indicated FGM and possible complications, a 1/2-second peel-back of the labia majora and look to discard that as a possibility, no, I don't.

Vernon Brechin said...

Some facts regarding the control of the new source should be known.

The Washington Times
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Washington_Times

Unification Church
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unification_Church

United Press International (UPI)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Press_International
See subtitle > UPI purchased by the Unification Church

Few people are aware of the political and cult religious agenda behind these news sources.

Vern Brechin

Anonymous said...

@Zoe: "unauthorized" and "unconscious" are rather important issues here. Although it is true that transphobia could well be involved, that doesn't excuse the medical judgment. As an anesthesiologist, that simply was not part of her protocol; pointing it out to the attending physician would have been the proper action.

Anne Lawrence has had a very serious fascination with vulvas; one might call it a fixation. The referenced incident may have been a lapse.

Boo said...

She wasn't the physician who would have needed to make that determination tho, she was just the anesthesiologist.

I work as a social worker in a nursing home. Trust me, if anyone got that familiar with a resident in a way that wasn't STRICTLY related to their job, they'd be s--t-canned immediately.