End of Month

To close out the month, a Buster Keaton montage set to Radiohead’s music:

Do watch till the end for a classic Buster moment.

Tucker Carlson: Not Condoning Gay Bashing

The Larry Craig story just keeps going. Tucker Carlson, after saying that he & a friend roughed up a man who hit on him in a DC public bathroom, now says he & his friend only held the man until security arrived. He explains:

“Let me be clear about an incident I referred to on MSNBC last night: In the mid-1980s, while I was a high school student, a man physically grabbed me in a men’s room in Washington, DC. I yelled, pulled away from him and ran out of the room. Twenty-five minutes later, a friend of mine and I returned to the men’s room. The man was still there, presumably waiting to do to someone else what he had done to me. My friend and I seized the man and held him until a security guard arrived.”

“Several bloggers have characterized this is a sort of gay bashing. That’s absurd, and an insult to anybody who has fought back against an unsolicited sexual attack. I wasn’t angry with the man because he was gay. I was angry because he assaulted me.”

Not condoning the use of violence against anyone, much less gay men in public bathrooms (or the ‘not gay men looking for gay sex’ types like Larry Craig, even), but I do think it’s different when you’re not being hit on but assaulted, or when you’re not a peer to the person hitting on you but a minor.

Not that any of that makes Tucker Carlson any less of a bonehead.

Friday Thoughts

Aeneas, in a moment of contemplation. This moment had to come before he & Aurora got into a kerfuffle, which left him with a torn ear, & her with an abscess in her paw. He went to the vet yesterday, where we found out he also has an irregular heartbeat, which sucks, & she goes tomorrow (when we find out she hates the vet more than having an abscess.)

Multiple cat homes come with occasional cat fights. & Of course cats are smart enough to have them when you’re not around.

At Long Last, They Have No Decency

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has determined that the families of the now presumed dead miners in Utah cannot have the UMWA represent them in the ongoing investigation of the case.

The real kicker is that MSHA has made this ruling despite the fact that miners & their families can choose their own representation in a case like this, but because – THE MINERS HAVE TO SIGN THE REQUEST.

This is not a punchline. This is the actual federal ruling when it comes to the families of these miners, since at the time of the cave-in, the mine was not union, so these men were not union members. Had they lived & were able to sign the request, then the UMW could represent them.

As a result, area miners are considering going union again.

Goodbye Hilly

In some small way, this explains why Hilly Krystal gave up fighting to keep CBGB open, despite his wish that the club survive him. On your way, Hilly, to that garage band bar in the sky.

R.I.P. Hilly Krystal, 1932 – 2007 (with his daughter Lisa in front of CBGB. Photo by Bob Gruen.)

Five Questions With… Marilyn Frank

Marilyn Frank has been sharing her story with wives at Fantasia Fair, IFGE and Tri-Ess seminars since 1982. She married her husband Len in 1954 and didn’t learn about the cross dressing until 1964, 10 years and 3 children later. At that time the only information available to her was Virginia Prince’s book The Transvestite and His Wife (now titled The Cross-dresser and His Wife) which she still finds to be one of the best books written.

1) First, Marilyn, I want to thank you on behalf of all the partners out there, for stepping up at a time when most of us weren’t even in high school yet. Without women like you & Peggy Rudd, the struggle to have partners’ issues recognized would be a lot more difficult. So what caused you to do the educating you did?

In the 1970’s I was a volunteer on a crisis intervention hot line in Morris County, NJ. When I became Director, I questioned some of the professionals in the group, who did not know much about cross dressing, but were able to assist me in finding people who did know. During this time we came upon Tri-Ess, and then in 1980 Len read the article in Playboy about Fantasia Fair and in 1981 we spent a few days at the Fair. I had many discussions with Ariadne Kane about the wives’ needs, and this brought Niela Miller to the Fair and that’s where my true education began. Since it had been a very lonely road not only for Len, but for me, I decided I would reach out to help others, so that’s when I started facilitating a wives group at our local Tri-Ess Chapter, which I did for for over 10 years. I also was instrumental in starting the wives’ program at the first IFGE Convention. My philosophy is that every time I help someone, I help myself. It’s true the marriage had its ups and downs where the cross dressing was concerned, but for us it was a small part of our overall marriage. We have always had good communication, enjoy many of the same things and do have a sense of humor (that helps).

Continue reading “Five Questions With… Marilyn Frank”

What Men Do

In the ‘astonishing, but not surprising’ category: CNN does a report on Iraqi women who have ended up prostituting themselves due to the war, asking sometimes as little as $8 a day. The point of course was to do a human interest story, or a feminist story, or a reality of war story, but some guy, dick in hand, instead wants to know if it’s true & how he can get in on the action. Another comments:

You are a fortunate man to find ass here in the IZ so quickly. I live here and it took me 4 months to get my connections. We have a PSD team contact who brings us these Iraqi cuties but dangerous it is.

Now that’s class. Don’t keep reading that message board if you’re an actual person with actual compassion, please.

There are days guys wonder why women hate them en masse. This is why, sensitive New Age guys. Please do something about these fuckwads & then get back to me about your problems.

(via The Cunning Realist.)

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say…

More occasionally than I’d prefer, I hear MTFs bemoaning the style faux-pas of their fellow trans women. Sometimes it’s the transitioning women commenting on a crossdresser’s appearance, & sometimes it’s the other way around. But you know, style is a very personal form of self-expression, and should be respected as such. A person may intend to look exactly like how they appear, & do not feel any need for anyone’s “help.” That, & you may not know what their reasons are for looking the way they do.

Some of you may know Trankila, who is a regular at events like FanFair & IFGE & who keeps her full beard when she crossdresses. People who don’t know her/her story just think she’s insane or has no sense of style. But the reality is that her wife loves her beard, & happens also to be specifically attracted to cross-gender presentation, Trankila keeps it even when she crossdresses. (Trankila & her wife talk about their experience with Trankila’s gender on an old GenderTalk show.) For the record, there are also women raised female who can grow their own beards, & who do.

Likewise with something like pantyhose: (1) plenty of people wear hose because they’ve say, made a deal with their wives not to shave during the summer or other times (or through the year, depending on the deal they’ve made, and (2) other people use hose to help tuck.

Having a mohawk makes me more suspicious of “style policing,” in general, but also, as a partner advocate, I’ve heard from too many wives who were comfortable with whatever deal they made with their partner, who then comes home from a conference where people told her not to wear necklines that covered her collarbone (which she was doing so as not to shave chest hair her wife loves) or not to wear hose in the spring/early fall (which she was wearing to keep her leg hair because there’s a family BBQ the next week), etc.

& Frankly, I’ve had my own feelings hurt so many times by people insulting what I’m wearing at these MTF conferences/events that I’m thinking of having t-shirts made up that say Being a Catty Bitch Does Not Make One a Woman. Grow yourself some manners, & if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone’s appearance, then STFU. (Okay, that’s not the way our mothers taught us that Golden Rule, but consider it updated for the internet generation.)

Ruining India’s Women

A recent working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) of India has posited that rural women in India, who tend not to be literate, learn a lot if they watch cable:

Women who were exposed to cable television over a 6- to 7-month period in India were less likely to report a preference for sons or complacency with domestic violence, and more likely to report autonomy in household decision-making, according to the working paper. In addition, more girls enrolled in school and fertility rates dropped.

But of course they’re talking about Indian television, not American, so let’s not send them Baywatch.