NC Robo-Calls

I was recently in the running in a “Top Ten Female Bloggers” contest sponsored by, which, as it turns out, is the organization that seems to be behind some baffling robo-calls to voters in NC (amongst other places).

Now Women’s Voices is plunging North Carolina into the same confusion. State officials tell Facing South they are still receiving calls from frustrated and confused voters, wondering why “Lamont Williams” is offering to send them a “voter registration packet” after the deadline for mail-in registration for the primaries has passed.

In correspondence with North Carolina election officials, Women’s Voices founder and President Page Gardner merely said that the disruptive timing was an “unfortunate coincidence” — a strange alibi for a group with their level of resources and sophistication.

There are other questions about Women’s Voices’ outreach efforts. Although the group purports to be targeting “unmarried women,” their calls and mailings don’t fit the profile. Kevin Farmer in Durham, who first recorded the call, is a white male. Many of the recipients are African-American; Rev. Nelson Johnson, who is a married, male and African-American, reported that his house was called four times by the mysterious “Lamont Williams.”

Please let anyone you know in North Carolina that these robo-calls are probably illegal & contain misleading information. How much WVWV’s intent is to buck up Clinton’s chances in the primary remain to be seen, but in a state where something like 45% of the voters are African-American, sending voters confusing and wrong information is anti-democratic. If it’s intentional, then I’d call it racist, too.

White feminists, you’re really fucking up here.

(via Daily Kos).

29 of 53

Those poor young women of that Eldorado sect – more than half of them are pregnant or are mothers.

This case made me think of two things – the argument than trans women are the same as women raised female – which is obviously not true. That doesn’t mean that a gender variant kid wouldn’t have been treated worse by this sect – but a young MTF couldn’t have been used as a breeder, either. That doesn’t mean trans women are “less than.” Just that all kinds of women – trans & otherwise – face oppressions and discrimination specific to the type of women they are. Blurring difference doesn’t help us address these kinds of problems, imho.

The second thing it made me think of is an ongoing argument about Danica Patrick that’s been happening on the MHB Boards. The debate is about whether or not it’s messed up that a winning racecar driver – the 1st to win a significant race, from what I understand – isn’t somehow degrading herself by also posing suggestively on car hoods. (I think it is.) These young women of Eldorado remind me of that argument because it’s been thousands of years where women’s bodies have been used – to bear children, to bring pleasure (both physical & visual), to men with power. So the assertion that Danica Patrick is somehow blazing some new trail of “feminine empowerment” by taking her clothes off is like – um. yeah. no. Women have always done that to curry favor with the kind of assholes like the guys down in Eldorado, kings, senators, and drug lords, boyfriend and bubbas. And I just don’t see a woman doing that today as any different than it ever was.

(But I’m sure someone can jump up & tell me those women in Eldorado are somehow empowered by getting pregnant with the children of those fucknuts, too.)

Legal Marriage, Queer Relationship

The NYT did an article about the legal issues when you’re a heterosexual couple and one of you legally changes gender. I’ve been talking about the ramifications of this stuff for so long that I failed to notice for others it might be quite a surprise, and revelatory, but it is.

Interesting comments have come in from Cara at Feministe and a young trans woman who calls herself Critical Thinking Girl. As CTG points out, it is pretty tawdry – the usual before & after photos, etc. – and when she notes:

The tone of this article is clear – Fran is a put-upon woman, with an eccentric husband. The picture they chose is also curious as it has the trans woman in the relationship holding back her wife.

As many of my regular readers already know, one of the things that drives me batshit about the media in general is the way they choose rubes to write about, instead of speaking to activists or advocates who are prepared to deal with media, or who have become allied with LGBTQ people on the issue. For those of you who are interested, here’s a talk I gave at the Law School of Penn State Dickinson last year.

Because honestly, same sex marriage recognition would make life easier for all trans people in relationships – including CTG.

Oh – and to The Times – and everyone else: it’s “transition” not “sex change.”

Good as Barefoot

For those of you with foot or leg problems, get yourself a pair of MBTs. MBT stands for ‘Masai Barefoot Technology’ and they are amazing. As many of you know, I have one flat foot – which causes endless alignment problems for my entire spine, both shoulders, etc.

I borrowed my sister’s to get a feel for them after having them recommended by my favorite masseuse, and it was like I had no problems with my feet at all. They work your entire leg, straighten your posture, practically eliminate pain.

The only downside – and I know this might be a deal breaker for many of you – is that they only come in ugly, fugly, and not so ugly.

Still. You get some long flares & go about your day with no pain in your feet & give your legs a remarkable workout. & If you think I’m exaggerating, read the user comments for one model on Zappo’s. (This is the model I bought, though I found a pair on for $100 less, but you have to know your EUR size to be able to buy them there.)

Epic Fail

There’s an anti-McCain ad playing on TV that’s fine when you watch it. It works much like “The Word” does on Colbert, with McCain saying stuff about how jobs have been created while the text reads that 1.8 million jobs have been lost.

But since I’m often working with my back to the TV, often I just hear it, which defeats the whole plan. What you hear is John McCain talking positively of the Bush years with no commentary or criticism. So for all those people who turn their attention elsewhere during commercial breaks, all they hear is a pro-McCain ad.

How To Be an Ally

Over at Bilerico, “Guest blogger Rev. Ann Fontaine, of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming, keeps the blogs Green Lent and what the tide brings in and writes for Episcopal Cafe. She is the author of Streams of Mercy: a meditative commentary on the Bible.”

Here’s her “Code for Allies”:

  • We listen to those with whom we work without judging the perspectives, experiences, and feelings of the members of the marginalized group, even when the words feel accusatory towards us. These perspectives, experiences and feelings reveal what we do not know about those with whom we seek to become allies.
  • We seek to learn from those with whom we ally in order to educate ourselves and others about the culture and concerns of those with whom we are allied. We examine our fears of “the other. We recognize the interconnectedness of “isms” and other examples of individual and societal prejudice.
  • We understand the commonalities and the differences among the various expressions of prejudice and isolation of groups.
  • We identify and work to change our prejudicial beliefs and actions as well as to change the beliefs and actions of others, both individual and institutional.
  • We build relationships with other discredited, marginalized, oppressed, non-privileged groups.
  • We work for the equalizing and responsible use of power and authority.
  • We advocate for policies and activities that support those affected by injustice.
  • We use appropriate language.
  • We confront inappropriate language.
  • We ask questions rather than assume we know the answer.
  • We take risks.
  • We appreciate the efforts by members of our ally group to point out our mistakes.
  • We combat the harassment, discrimination, and physical assault that marginalized groups experience in our society by speaking out, by our presence and by working to change the systems that continue oppression and give one group privilege over another.
  • We appreciate the risks taken by our allies for their own freedom.
  • We recognize that groups need to work on their own and with others – even when that means we may be left out of the discussion and work.
  • We support other allies.
  • We act as allies with no conditions attached.

Now that’s a plateful, but do go read the whole post.

(via Lena, via Bilerico)


THURSDAY, APRIL 3 Oregon is in the national spotlight again—and it’s all thanks to our very own transgender pregnant man, Thomas Beatie. In fact, Thomas hit the big time today when she… sorry, he… made an appearance on Oprah! “It’s not a male or female desire to have a child,” Beatie sagely told the big O, “it’s a human desire.” Yeah, it’s probably not a good idea to put too fine of a point on it—especially since Beatie is only a “man” in the loosest sense of the word. While Beatie did take testosterone treatments, had her… sorry, his… breasts flattened into a more masculine shape, and took legal measures to call herself… sorry, himself… a man, she’s… sorry, he’s… still got all the female parts underneath—including the va-jay-jay and reproductive organs. So while we’re big fans of our pals in the trans community, Beatie calling herself… sorry, himself… a “man” is like a Potato Head adding a nose and mouth and asking people to call him “Mister.” Sorry! Is that “Ms. Potato Head”?

From The Portland Mercury, by Ann Romano. Emphasis theirs.

Mr. Fucking Potato Head? Is she kidding? What kind of dehumanizing bullshit is that? Okay, folks, start writing. There’s contact info on their site, but here, but here are three email addresses that might be useful. If anyone can find a direct email for Ms. Romano, do post it.


You might want to ask her, specifically, what “So while we’re big fans of our pals in the trans community” is supposed to mean in the context of this very fucked up article.

UPDATE 4/27: Romano apologized.

There is Nothing Like a…

… No, not a dame. (Or a Dane, for those of you who saw Betty’s performance with the Butch McCloud cast).

Rather, there is nothing like a resume for making you aware of what exactly you’ve been doing with your time. There are moments, reviewing and updating mine, that I want to put things in parentheses

  • 2008: survived Wisconsin winter
  • 2002: wrote unpublished novel
  • 2001 – 2008: played Sims for sanity’s sake
  • 1993 – 1997: traveled extensively through SE Asia
  • 1991 – still: worked on novel that I still can’t seem to get right

… stuff like that. It is interesting to see things drop off as time goes by – my job with NYPIRG in the early 90s is gone, as is my time working as an office assistant at CCNY. A long time ago my jobs at RKO Video and at my sister’s bakery disappeared.

Though sometimes, you know, I still want to mention that I was a paperboy: nothing like delivering papers to develop strong thighs and self-motivation. (I know you’re out there, fellow former paperboys! & If there are any female fellow paperboys, say hello!) I did come to suck at it because I developed a healthy fear of dogs. Amazing that I still went on to canvas door to door years later. It’s amazing what you can do to avoid the 9-5 grind.

No job yet.