Transgender contestant to compete in Miss Universe pageant afterall

A transgender woman who has has been fighting for her right to internalize misogyny by competing in a beauty pageant has gotten what she wanted, reports CNN.  While she was initially disqualified by the organizers of Miss Universe Canada because she was not a “natural born woman” and because she had lied about having had sex-reassignment surgery, pageant organizers Monday reversed their decision and will now allow male-to-female transgender model Jenna Talackova to compete.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD, commended the pageant organizer’s decision.

The 61st annual Miss Universe Canada Pageant will be held in Toronto on May 19.

From the article:

Speaking to CNN Tuesday, [owner Donald] Trump said that according to the laws of Canada and the United States, Talackova should be allowed to enter the pageant.

‘So she will be entering the Miss Canada pageant, but we went strictly by the laws,’ he said.

[…]

Talackova was one of the 65 finalists selected to contend for the title of Miss Universe Canada and the honor of representing her country in the Miss Universe competition.

But organizers told her last month she could not compete because she lied about having undergone sexual reassignment surgery and did not meet requirements for the pageant.

At the time, the Miss Universe Organization said current rules state that all contestants must be a “naturally born female.”

In a 2010 interview in Thailand, where she was competing for Miss International Queen, a competition for transgender women, Talackova said she knew she was a girl at age 4. She said she started hormone therapy at age 14 and underwent sexual reassignment surgery at 19.

After Talackova’s disqualification, social media users flooded the Facebook page of Miss Universe Canada with comments criticizing the decision.

A petition started on the social change website Change.org garnered more than 41,000 signatures calling for organizers to reverse their ruling.

So let us take inventory here shall we?  41,000 people have been motivated to action, supporting a male-to-female transgender who wants to compete with real women over who is the most male-pleasing; said male-to-female transgender gets feminist attorney Gloria Allred to help him fight for his right to internalize misogyny and be the bestest male-pleaser; and GLAAD — an organization that supposedly represents lesbians’ interests but lately doesn’t even return lesbians’ phone calls  — commends the organizers’ decision to allow a male-to-female transgender to internalize misogyny because justice, just weeks after GLAAD also “worked closely with” and published the work of male-to-female transgender Monica Roberts, who heralded progressive political transgender “trailblazers” on GLAAD’s website even though Monica Roberts himself has threatened to “pimp slap” women; refers to women as “fish” and has made public, graphic death threats against a lesbian activist.

Does that sound about right?  I think so, except for one thing:

Men cannot internalize misogyny, any more than a white man can internalize racism.  Men externalize misogyny and use it to oppress women.  Men externalizing misogyny is the context we are working within here and everywhere.  And transwomen are not women, they are men.

So what we have here are a bunch of allegedly woman, lesbian and feminist-friendly activists getting their panties in a bunch over whether a man will be allowed to exercise his alleged right to externalize misogyny by competing in a beauty pageant; and conservative gender religionist pageant organizers who apparently believe very strongly that competing for the title of Bestest Man-Pleaser is a privilege reserved for natural-born women (and non-lying-liars) but who caved under global political pressure and social networking campaigning from other conservative gender-religionists, deciding to ignore their own rules and letting a man do his best imitation of a male-pleasing woman, afterall.

And as if that weren’t enough, the transgender contestant also appears to be competing in pageants — and is eligible to compete — as both a woman (in Miss Universe) and as a transgender woman (in Miss International Queen) when an actual woman would never be able to compete in both.  And yet he claims that he doesn’t want special treatment.  And that he just wants to compete [in ALL TEH PAJUNTS!!1!!1]

The punchline: this is all apparently supposed to be both progressive, and feminist.  Thanks for nothing everyone!  Love, actual feminists.

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Lesbian group issues press release condemning Toronto Planned Parenthood

Today, the Ad Hoc Coalition Against the Cotton Ceiling (the “Coalition”) issued a press release condemning Planned Parenthood, Toronto for its support of what the Coalition describes as a misogynistic, anti-woman, anti-lesbian sex workshop organized by transgender activists.  The workshop, called “Overcoming the Cotton Ceiling: Breaking Down Sexual Barriers for Queer Trans Women” is part of a larger “Pleasure and Possibilities” conference scheduled to take place on March 31, 2012 at the Toronto Sherbourne Health Centre.

The “Cotton Ceiling” workshop is open to men and male-to-female transgenders only, and will facilitate discussion regarding “the experiences queer trans women have with simultaneous social inclusion and sexual exclusion within the broader queer women’s communities. Basically, […] that cis queer women will be friends with us and talk day and night about trans rights and ending transmisogyny, but will still not consider us viable sexual partners.”

According to the program’s organizer, male-to-female transgender activist Morgan Page, the term “cotton ceiling” was first coined by male-to-female transgender porn star Drew Deveaux, and “is a reference to the ‘glass ceiling’ that second wave feminist identified in the workforce, wherein women could only advance so high in the workforce but could not break through into positions of power and authority. The cotton represents underwear, signifying sex.”

From the Coalition’s press release:

The Ad Hoc Coalition Against the Cotton Ceiling objects to any analogy between sex and the ‘glass ceiling’ as both politically and sexually inappropriate. Unlike women’s right to equal employment and professional credibility in the workplace, trans women are not entitled—individually or as a class— to have sex with ‘cis’ lesbians, as they call us.

‘Trans women’s access to lesbians as viable sexual partners should never be framed as a barrier to trans women’s sexual pleasure or to trans women’s equal participation in “queer women’s communities”,’ said Elizabeth Hungerford, a spokeswoman for the Coalition.

[…]

The Ad Hoc Coalition Against the Cotton Ceiling represents the 282 signers of the Petition asking PPT to reconsider the Cotton Ceiling workshop.  The Coalition rejects the notion put forth by PPT that the sexual orientation of lesbians towards other lesbians with female-born bodies harms queer trans women’s sexual health or well-being. We also reject the suggestion that some lesbians’ sexual boundaries exclude queer trans women from engaging as full members of LGBTQ communities. Sexual access is not an in-group entitlement; it is not required for community membership.

All branches of Planned Parenthood can serve their equality mandate without reinforcing the unreasonable expectation of some trans women that their community inclusion requires full sexual access to other community members—specifically singling out ‘cis’ lesbians to provide sexual validation. The idea that trans women are politically entitled to overcome a ‘Cotton Ceiling’ barrier maintained by ‘cis’ lesbians becomes particularly threatening when supported by the authority of an internationally renowned organization whose mission is to protect all women’s sexual and reproductive health.  Reference to any women’s cotton underwear as representative of a sexual or political barrier to be broken is sexually inappropriate and politically indefensible in this context.

The petition was started earlier this week, and appears to be still accepting signatures as of this printing.

Image from here.

Violent gender extremists attack feminist Germaine Greer, call it ‘glitterbombing’

GayExpress reports that the violent vigilantes known as “The Queer Avengers” have physically attacked feminist elder Germaine Greer in real life by “glitterboming” her, allegedly in retaliation for Greer speaking and writing about the effect of transpolitics on women and feminists.  Hmm, in real life violence in retaliation for lawful and non-violent speaking and writing.  That sounds about right!

According to GayExpress, “glitterbombing”

has gained prominence internationally as a way to highlight transphobia and queerphobia. A glitter bomb is a lightning fast protest where activists will approach a famous person and cover them in a shower of glitter. Republican politicians at rallies are a regular target.

Republican politicians may indeed be a regular target, but as we can see here, being targeted for glitterbomb attacks is not just for delusional homophobes and conservative gender religionists anymore!  (If it were, the Queer Avengers would have to seriously consider glitterbombing themselves).

No, it seems as though any disagreement with transpolitics whatsoever, for any reason, will make you a target for in real life violence by trans activist gender-extremists.  Even where you are a non-conservative non-Republican, speaking about feminism and advocating for the legal rights and full recognition of the humanity of girls and women around the world.

Now I ask you: why might that agenda in particular be at odds with the trans or “gender queer” agenda?

And what group of people seem almost (ALMOST!) genetically predisposed to committing violence against women, and perpetrating violence generally, including violent retaliation against people they don’t agree with, historically, cross-culturally, and around the world?

I’m waiting.

Image from here.

London smart-ad detects viewers’ sex, not gender

Yesterday, CNN.com reported that a new London-based advertising campaign utilizes facial-recognition technology to detect a viewer’s sex, then tailors its marketing message accordingly.  Unfortunately, CNN actually mistakenly asserts that the gadget detects a person’s gender (and doesn’t say sex) but upon reading further, it becomes obvious what they are really talking about.  And it’s not gender.

From the article:

[The] bus-stop ad […] uses HD cameras to take photos of people who stand in front of the advertisement and, importantly, who chose to have their gender detected. A computer program then “measures the distance between your features, such as the length of your nose or the length of your jawline,” Williams says, and uses that data to determine, with 90% accuracy, whether you’re a man or a woman.

See?  They aren’t using facial-recognition technology to determine how someone feels on the inside, and they aren’t using their technology to detect markers of gender, such as cosmetics, hairstyle or plastic surgery.  This advertising campaign utilizes facial-recognition technology to isolate and evaluate known sex-based differences in the facial characteristics of female-bodied persons and male-bodied persons, and they get it right some 90% of the time.  There’s a reason for that.

What’s really interesting is that an advertising firm, surely based on butt-loads of data and studies of human behavior and preferences over time, decided to tailor its message based on a person’s sex, and not their gender, obviously believing that sex (and not gender) was the better predictor of a person’s preferences, susceptibility, mutability, and future behavior.  When it could’ve easily added another step to the identification process to identify gender, such as “male face but wearing makeup equals female” and then giving that viewer the message tailored to women, and not the one tailored to men.  But it didn’t.  There’s probably a reason for that too.

Women who walk up to the billboard, which is located at a London bus stop and will be viewable for two weeks, are greeted with a 40-second film explaining the plight of women and girls in poor countries around the world, who often are denied eduction and opportunities that are afforded to men.

Men, however, get a cut-down version of the content. They can’t see the film, but they do get to see shocking statistics about the situation, like the fact that 75 million girls are denied education.

Clearly, based on shitloads of human trials and studies that all advertisers worth their salt use in creating advertising campaigns, this firm decided, in essence, that whatever else “gender” might mean to anyone else, for their purposes “gender” is synonymous with “sex.”  Probably because sex determines needs and wants in many instances (such as the need for tampons…or predicting who might actually be willing to spend a full 40 seconds of their lives seeing a short film about sex discrimination against girls and women) and in all other instances, sex is synonymous with gender in any and all ways that matter to an advertiser, such as identity, relateability, values, beliefs, desires, susceptibility, mutability, and predicting future behavior.

And this probably also indicates the industry’s belief that this is largely unconscious, and cannot be changed, even if you really really want to, and even if you *think* you feel like the opposite sex, or *think* you have somehow managed to discard the trappings of the gender-role assigned to you at birth, based on the sex you were born with.  You haven’t.  Not in any way that matters to an advertiser, anyway.

The bottom line appears to be this: there are millions to be made in advertising, and the advertising industry has determined, based on extensive studies, that how a person feels inside, or how they would self-identify if anyone asked, really isn’t that relevant afterall.  And that this is definitely (particularly?) true in the current instance, where the goal of the advertising campaign is to raise awareness of and generate outrage relating to the plight of girls and women, around the world, and how men continue to benefit at women’s expense.  Gee, I wonder why?