marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

As a straight, cis, white girl I'm indebted to the LGBTQIA community for my ability to continue Anti-AOL when it was just starting out, and when I didn't always know what to do with it or myself, if only because some members would drop in during my lowest moments and bolster my strength and my belief that I could do it. For that, I never thanked them properly or enough.

I don't know why they came to my blog when they did: I had no visible political or other affiliations that would attract them to my cause, discussed nothing related to theirs, and on my personal blog was quite open and public about being a girly girl (I have quirks - like how I write, not to mention how I think and how I can see the world - that make me believe I'm more androgyne than traditionally femme, but hey, that's another story, and it doesn't really matter, as I don't know if it attracted the LGBTQIA crowd to my blog, or not).

But because they came to me in numbers here and there over the years and lent me their support (emails, comments, linkbacks, information, online friendships) and were there for me in a way that, to this day, most straight people are not, my gratitude was total. I don't forget kindness, and they took the time to show it to me even at my lowest points, often when absolutely no one else would.

So, though I have no offline LGBTQIA friendships, thanks to a mostly sheltered life, and though I'm not one to bring up LGBTQIA issues very often, I have no reason not to, and often feel like I can and should do more. In the meantime, I'd like everyone to know that I will stand by the LGBTQIA community, that I consider all of you my friends and compatriots in every battle for justice and equality, and that because I believe women's rights are human rights, I don't think of what I go through as a woman without also thinking of every one of you who go through all of what we do and so much more.

In that spirit, I'd like to present a few things that have been bothering me - and am hoping I can stay more up to date in the future on sharing what's going on in the fight for LGBTQIA and women's rights.

Firstly, in the spirit of putting someone in charge of an agency who is known to hate it, and who wants to dismantle it - such as DeathStar Bannon (administrative state deconstructionist), Suer Polluter Pruitt (EPA disassembler) and Gun For Grizzly DeVos (public education destroyer) - now we have Bethany Kozma, an "anti-transgender activist" (gender equality gutter). I know nothing about her except her official title: "senior adviser for women's empowerment". My ass.

Anyone not empowering LGBTQIA is not empowering women. Period. I could go on about how fluid gender and sexual orientation are, not just for some but many of us, how dumb it is to make assumptions based on birth gender, current or desired appearance, admonitions in the Bible or from parents, teachers or communities, and the state-directed propaganda that is the purulence of Trump and his base, but I get why not being a scaredycat phobic bigot is in humanity's best interest, and I'm just preaching to the choir.

This regime does all it can to feed its ignorant base, as they have no quarter anywhere else, while the majority of us watch horrified as they undo the very tenets of treating each other with respect and kindness.

In the run-up to Trump's latest base-baiting, a GOP Congresswoman named Vicky Hartzler, "[f]resh off a committee hearing where she introduced (and withdrew) an amendment banning transgender people from serving in the military", was quoted as saying: "At a time when we should be focusing on the threats from North Korea, and Putin, and ISIS, we’re having to deal with a threat here at home — a domestic threat — of allowing transgenders [sic] in our service [...]".

As though filing and withdrawing her hate bill and spouting this horseshit was not enough, a month later Trump picked up where she left off by barring transgender from the military. Though he phrased his twit (yes, he actually tweeted an order) as though the ban went into effect immediately just because he'd twitted it, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (after Trump claimed he'd already consulted with them) denied having any knowledge of it. Then the military announced transgender individuals can still serve - at least for now - as they refuse to discharge anyone without an actual policy in place.

On the same day Trump issued his ban, the Justice Department, without invitation, jumped in on a private lawsuit to argue employers are allowed to fire people for being gay - threatening rights assumed under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act - and the regime appointed infamous anti-gay rights activist Sam Brownback as "international religious freedom" propagandist.

Today we have news (that I didn't know of until I searched Google for the links above) that The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) are representing five active duty transgender service members in the lawsuit Doe vs. Trump, aimed at ending Trump's ban because it's unconstitutional. I hope they prevail. If the ban is indeed unconstitutional, then there's no reason why they shouldn't.

In the meantime there are lessons here, going back to what kind of person Trump became in 2015 to play to his intolerant base. Because I'm a New Yorker and grew up hearing about Trump's antics, it irritates me when people say: "Oh, you should've known you can't trust Trump" on LGBTQIA issues. To us - to typical city and outer borough New Yorkers - it sounds kind of nuts, because we had him pegged years ago as the typical showy, pro-abortion liberal who hung out with gays and celebrities, as one does, so we might have thought he was merely putting on the "conservative" act. To fit in. To win.

While one can rest assured he's not pretending - because if it ever was an act, it's become all too real now, be it to play to his rotten base, for his own financial gain, to prevail in the 2020 race, to impress his beloved Putin with shows of similar "values", or whatever - after observing him in New York, many of us assumed he'd be just a little more bendy around the edges in respect to LGBTQIA issues than he's actually turned out to be.

Instead he's taken such a harsh stance against LGBTQIA that I have no doubt without Ivanka around to impress, things might be worse - LGBTQIA might be more routinely persecuted; the office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment might not exist; civil rights might be completely off the table by now, so...it's not going to be easy out there, and anyone with a more upbeat prediction than that is likely just kidding themselves.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

I'm so glad to see this dude go, there are no words. Except for these words, in order of the sheer, stereoscopic brightness of my outrage:

Let's not stereotype the stereotyping, now

First paragraph: "and [I] don’t endorse using stereotypes." Last paragraph - actually a bullet point (emphasis mine): "Spend more time on the many other types of biases besides stereotypes. Stereotypes are much more accurate and responsive to new information than the training suggests (I’m not advocating for using stereotypes, I [sic] just pointing out the factual inaccuracy of what’s said in the training).

So he doesn't endorse using stereotypes though they are sooooooo accurate aren't they for real so why aren't we using them to train Google employees, already? but hey, he's gotta be politically correct, so he denies in the face of all his carefully hand-crafted evidence to the contrary that they should be used to train people, or something.

You have to consider how insidiousness the creepy-crawly, "I'm not really picking your pocket so stop yelling at me to give your wallet back"-ness of him is, and I'm only up to the first offending snippets.

He thinks stereotypes are bang-on, perfect representations of everyone he thinks fits into one, so much so that they should be used, in his opinion, to teach Google employees how to do their jobs, which to his mind, all involve ceaseless stereotyping in order to succeed. Then he claims he would never "endorse" or "advocate" the use of stereotypes, but hey wait, he just did.

Don't alienate the aliens, now

Some bullet point, way in: "Alienating conservatives is both non-inclusive and generally bad business because conservatives tend to be higher in conscientiousness, which is require [SIC! Not proofreading your lousy manifesto is NOT a good example of "conscientiousness"!] for much of the drudgery and maintenance work characteristic of a mature company."

OK, where to start: Bart here has a lot to say about conservatives. He thinks they're more conscientious, a bullshit opinion which he's confused with "obedience to authoritarian dictatorships", which is "not hardly" the same thing, self-sic sic sic. The conscientiousness he so prizes is "self-reported" in most studies that have been done.

Conservatives also self-report being "less open", "less exploratory", and "less open to change"...they're crashing bores, in other words, who are literally (not just self-reported) afraid of everything.

Not the folks I'd want chatting me up at my next dinner party; maybe the ones I'd leave in the yard with "gun for grizzly" to calm dear old Betsy, cowering away inside.

Don't be evil? Heh...don't be "agreeable", now

Some paragraph, way in: "In addition to the Left’s affinity for those it sees as weak, humans are generally biased towards protecting females. As mentioned before, this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable [SIC!] than men. We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women..."

One sentence at a time: "humans are generally biased towards protecting females". Obviously he's not kept up with history, be it ancient (Viking women) or current (female Israeli soldiers; women serving in the US military and fighting for combat spots even as we speak).

"this likely evolved because males are biologically disposable and because women are generally more cooperative and areeable than men." Eh, uh...no. Women are "generally more cooperative and areeable" because historically speaking, if we aren't, we can be hurt emotionally, physically and economically or even killed just over not being "nice enough". But even given all that, I take offense at the idea that I should be agreeable just because I have parts the author doesn't and vice versa. It isn't part of my "just being me" job description, kthanksbai.

"We have extensive government and Google programs, fields of study, and legal and social norms to protect women"....OK, yeah, because? Because men have dominated every arena of public and private life since this country started, so having programs to "protect" us - like having programs to "protect" other vulnerable people - is necessary only because of the inborn privilege men have been inoculated with for hundreds of years to confer them with immunity from competition with us.


It goes on and on - for literally ten pages - but I think I've unloaded the worst of my wrath at this point. Knowing he was fired is the least it will take to smooth over the very real damage he's caused thousands of people with his tired, low-res, 100% recycled (tell me conservatives aren't going green!) claptrap. Don't miss the part where he co-opts our "safe spaces" by calling PC culture "psychologically unsafe" because conservatives are just big, soft, supermelty snowflakes, too!

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Oklahoma, for helping us gain at least four seats so far this year.

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

The choice that's always preferred over raising taxes: three overdose strikes and you're out. Also, layoffs. Because he'll take dead bodies and heartbroken families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and communities to any living bodies moping around without a job.

Are we talking a Republican saying this (party affiliation isn't mentioned, so I don't know, but a dig through any available voter records might be in order)? Sounds about right, in that case...

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

Not a good look for this increasingly banana republic administration.

I also don't think that's entirely what they're up to. What I think they're also doing is compiling a list of every registered non-Republican voter. Go figure what they might do with it. Germany made some lists back in the 30s, and look how that turned out.

And if you think I'm just being paranoid, I'll indicate, much like the governor of Mississippi already has, which bridge you might go visit. The Gulf is great this time of year, lemme tell you.

My only other advice (and it's sad for being so little, so late) besides get your birth certificates, passports, and naturalization papers in order: the banana republic is looking hard at dual enrollment - amongst many, many other things - so if you're dual (or triple, or quadruple, or whatever) enrolled (in other words, if you might be on the voter rolls in more than one state) you should probably do something about it.

It's very late to say so; I'm simply hoping Kobach and his minions can't check the voter rolls that fast. While I might recall from past things I've read on him that he has some sort of automated software to look through voter rolls with *(he does; more at bottom asterisk), there might be a window (likely not more than a few days) in which you can get un-enrolled where you need to. I don't know if it'll help (you might still get purged) but if you fix what you can now, it might be proved down the road that your voting rights should be restored.

People should keep a careful eye on what comes out of this. Look out for your own registration however you can.

And not to strike fear into everyone, but the banana republic's formally requested not just any publicly available voter information, but every last bit states can or will provide (and the Justice Department will be suing states that refuse to provide it). The information requested includes information that violates our privacy (party affiliation, voting history, military status, dual citizenship, felon status - some of this in violation of the 1974 federal Privacy Act) and risks our financial security (name, address, last four digits of Social Security number).

I've seen unsourced reports that the nature of Kobach's voter record's request (which is to be completed by email, btw!) can also force states that collect such information to pass along voter's phone numbers and email addresses, and that giving any voter information to the federal government makes the information a matter of public record, but I need to check into that a bit more.

*The NYTimes, at the link above, might be referring in error to the software as "Birth Link". The best-known version of Kobach's voter registration cross-checking system is the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, which Rolling Stone covered in-depth last August.