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Monday This & That: Open Thread

It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Emoticon: Autumn Sandeen, snarkily shifting her eyes right-to-left-to-right

Image: Bookworm Bob, the cartoon 'sockpuppet' of Autumn Sandeen'sSo, this is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob have been looking at since our last This & That post — which was all of Friday. Emoticon: Hello!

This is pretty much a trans edition of This & That, minus the Wiener Story of the Day:

• The Advancing Transgender Equality blog Traveling While Trans: Questions Remain With TSA’s New Software:

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released information on new software upgrades for their full-body scanners that could impact transgender people. Scanners will no longer explicitly show images of the person being scanned. Instead, a basic human figure will be shown highlighting areas of the body that may pose security risks. These software changes are being made over the coming months to scanners that use millimeter wave technology, currently a minority of the approximately 500 machines in the field. The TSA has not yet fully tested the software for the majority of machines that use backscatter technology, though it hopes to later this year.

Full-body scanners have provoked outcry from the transgender people because of how they “out” transgender people going through airport security, making travel dangerous. These software changes appear likely to reduce the risk of unwanted invasion of privacy; however, aspects of the new software are troubling. In particular, it’s not clear that the software updates will change the fact that transgender people are disproportionately selected for invasive pat-downs.

In this photo from the Los Angeles Times, the pink and blue buttons appear to be used to commence scanning for travelers. It appears that TSA officers need to select a pink or blue “scan” button based on their perception of a traveler’s gender. The new software may identify “anomalies” based on gender-atypical anatomy, rather than only targeting foreign objects. This may be a security trigger which would lead to an invasive pat-down, potentially embarrassing questions and in some cases, biased harassment. NCTE urges the TSA to provide greater clarity for the public on how the new scans work…

The blog is the National Center for Transgender Equality’s (NCTE’s) blog — there’s more in the blog entry found at the link.

Washington Blade‘s Emotions run high at vigil for slain trans woman:

More than 200 people turned out Saturday night, July 23, for a vigil to honor Lashai Mclean, a 23-year-old transgender woman who was shot to death three days earlier in Northeast Washington.

The event took place at the site where police say Mclean was gunned down about 4:30 a.m. near the corner of 61st and Dix Streets, N.E. Among those attending were Mclean’s mother and other grieving family members and relatives.

…Neighborhood residents and passersby looked on with interest as more than a dozen speakers, including D.C. Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander, condemned the murder and called on the community to speak out against violence targeting the transgender community.

“To the family and to the community, I want you to know that we are committed to making sure that justice is done, that this life that has touched many of us will be remembered and the life that she led will be remembered,” said Quander, whose duties include overseeing city law enforcement agencies.

“We will always be reminded that what happens to one happens to all of us,” he said. “Injustice to one is injustice to all of us and that in this society no intolerance will be accepted.” …

Gender Trender‘s Sheila Jeffreys: the McCarthyism of Transgender and the Sterilization of Transgender Children:

…I’ve been writing about how multiculturalism becomes multi-faithism and how there’s this requirement in multicultural society is to respect culture- which is of course completely impossible since all cultures are based upon the subordination of women and the creation of two different sexes and two different genders and the construction of oppression out of that. And that- if you walk in any street, just look at the way people are dressed , if you look at anything that’s going on the television, the extraordinary length to which the expression of women’s subordination and men’s domination go is immediately clear to you and that’s in major cities of the western world that I’m talking about. So of course the radical feminist critique is about overthrowing that deep, deeply cultural construction of women’s subordination. Its perhaps clearest on an everyday level, in what women are required to wear. The showing of their bodies: the short skirts, the shaved legs, the high-heeled shoes. The extraordinary lengths to which they have to go to punish and be cruel to their own bodies and be degraded in public places.

Now that’s very, very clearly about male domination as far as I can see. But it cannot be recognized. It simply cannot be recognized. So that, there’s a tremendous forgetfulness of the construction of what is these days is called “gender”. Of course I would call it “sexual oppression” I think is that is probably a more reasonable way of looking at it. And its strongest manifestation of course takes place in what’s called “transgenderism” which is a practice in which persons who do not adhere to the correctly gendered practices that have been placed upon the biological sex are considered to have something called Gender Identity Disorder and they’re expected to cross over into the other sex. Not criticize the gendered system as it exists, because that’s unthinkable but to make some kind of “journey” by mutilating their bodies and taking dangerous drugs for the rest of their lives in order to supposedly represent the opposite sex.

…So, the problem with transgenderism – which is obviously an expression of men’s sexual rights as well of course (it’s very much about the right to be sexually excited by female clothing, and subordination and so on). But it also comes out of the gendered system. And it means that in order to support transgenderism , genderhas to be supported. So the subordination of women has to be supported in order for transgenderism to be supported. Transgender as a phenomenon is the clearest possible indication of the strength of the structures of the male domination going on right now. Of course we know that in Iran homosexuals are routinely transgendered because they’re not allowed to be homosexuals…

Obviously in planning for my own upcoming surgery, I completely disagree with this point of view. To most trans people, the assertion that trans women are really men, and are transitioning to dominate other women, is offensive — especially when communicated by a radical lesbian feminist.

Montreal Gazette‘s blog Patent Pending blog entry Encounter With Transphobia:

Transphobes know not what they fear.

So sad. But honestly, if they are uptight about transitioned people, it is reasonable to assume they have other prejudices, too. And what woman — trans or not — would want to date a bigot?

Of course, all my readers know that transitioned women should never have to justify their existence to anyone — except for the shrinks who help us through the process. For anyone else to even question it is a form of discrimination, isn’t it. Because it is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, and it’s totally irrelevant.


Her piece is lamenting a bit on the difficulties of dating while trans.

• Our Wiener Story of the Day: Wish TV‘s :

Image: Wiener World, a restaurant in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Link To Pam's House Blend Tag 'Wieners'INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A new billboard going up Monday near Indianapolis Motor Speedway is warning people that hot dogs can cause cancer.

The billboard, sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has an image of hot dogs poking out of a cigarette pack. It says, “Warning: Hot dogs can wreck your health” and urges people to visit

As always, “The weenie tempts you!” — cancer and all!

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo! Emoticon: Dancing happy face character

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Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen