A leaked, proposed Trump administration rule change in the Department of Health and Human Services would erase trans people from federal civil rights protections, by narrowly defining "sex" and gender as male or female, unchangeable, and based on genitalia at birth. "Any dispute about one's sex would have to be clarified using genetic testing."

Trans People Say They #WontBeErased As Trump Administration Mulls Defining 'Sex'(NPR)

#WontBeErased: Trans Activists To Rally Against Trump (Joe.My.God.)

George Godwyn wrote, on Facebook, that he found that Trump supporters

...had worked out a very simple solution to the problem of transgender people and the norms involving public restrooms.

They wanted transgender people to die.

[...] "Stop being", essentially. A lot of other people answered “they should stay home”, maintaining the status quo [...] but mostly death or some sort of violence was the preferred option. Comment after comment, they should die, fuck them, stay-at-home, don’t use the bathroom, I’ll kill them if I catch them in the bathroom with my daughter, they should die, they should die, they should die. [...]

I haven’t heard people talking about the Health and Human Services attack on trans rights all that much, so far, and I’m a little surprised, because we should all be clear about something. The changes they are making don’t mean a little inconvenience for a few trans people.

They mean death. It’s that simple. It’s going to mean withdrawal, seclusion, humiliation, violence and death.

Think about the Trump supporters I described, think about the thousands of comments I just told you about. Now think about the reinforcement this sort of decision makes for their worst instincts, think about a trans man, presenting as a man, being forced to use the ladies room in some Podunk, red state, Trump voting shithole. [...] Or the teenage trans girl having to share a bathroom with the testosterone jacked 17-year-old jocks at the high school? And what do you suppose happens to the trans girl forced onto a man’s prison block?

Humiliation, violence, rape, suicide, and murder. Death. Trans rights are a matter of life and death, in a very real, very palpable way. The definitions change, and people die. The rules change, and people die. The laws change, and people die. Immediately.

(Ellipses, bolding, and typo corrections mine. This is just an excerpt; I'll post the full text in a reply to this discussion -- and if anyone has the Facebook link, I'll include it here; thanks!)

Talking about this with Ruth, she pointed out that the proposal to erase trans people from civil rights protections is putting hundreds of thousands of Americans in mortal danger, just to change the subject:

"The GOP is deliberately unleashing a wave of murder from the most base and disturbed members of its following, using them as a distraction from their unprecedented corruption and sell out to Russia.

They have no moral defense, so they throw a flaming bomb.

We should be clear, these murderous followers are being used as tools."

(Image by Ruth, based on https://www.stockphotos.ro/bloody-windshield-image6328853.html )

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Replies to This Discussion

Glad to hear that! Cis folks like me take for granted being taken for our correct gender.

And it'll probably be easier for your wife to change her library card than her driver's license or other government documents. (I know countries and US states vary tremendously on this.)

She gets a new passport probably in this year, the rest of the paperwork should be rather easy...

Maybe I'm being reductionist here just a bit, but it sure looks to me as though the Republicans want to take what has become an extremely complex issue, being sex and gender and sexuality, and represent it as a two-position switch: On / Off, Male / Female, Penis / Vagina.  I can just hear them saying, "This is too complex!  We can't deal with it!"

The problem is that we've known this kind of simplistic point of view was wrong from back in the days when Alfred Kinsey was doing his first studies.  It's not that they can't deal with it; it's that They Don't Want To, in part because it's too much work, but also because they think their holy book proscribes such behavior and people.  It's too far a departure from the "safe" scenarios of Donna Reed and Father Knows Best, and they don't want to play.  This is creating a cognitive dissonance of a different sort, one which they're not used to and apparently can't cope with, which is why you get the calls for the deaths of trans people which Grinning Cat cited in George Godwyn's Facebook post.

The public coming-out of trans people is a big deal, and yeah, it's going to be a fight, a big, ugly, dangerous fight ... that we HAVE to win.

That's the sort of thing fundie xians do.

...it's going to be a fight... that we HAVE to win.

Amen! ("What he said! I believe it!" No gods needed.)

I also see a connection to the Dominator Culture need to place everyone within the social hierarchy, demanding that we each be clearly, simply, immutably male or female. No relinquishing or newly claiming male privilege. And that comes complete with the "straight and narrow" boxes defining and circumscribing how "real" men and boys, "real" women and girls, are supposed to look and act and think and feel and love and lust.

Man with a light switch in his bare chest, set to GAY, with a therapist's finger about to flip the switch to NOT GAY. Caption: THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS.Not unrelated: the binary idea of "Gay or Straight" -- again, as if sexuality were a two-position switch, that perhaps some therapist could change if it's in the "wrong" position. Some of us know firsthand that some people are attracted both to similar genders to our own and to dissimilar ones -- and that there's nothing wrong with that!

Sowing division and hate appears to be a common tactic from both our enemy state and our own government. For example, Russia created a fake video purporting to be a feminist pouring bleach on a manspreading guy, to incite rage against US feminists.

Fake viral ‘manspreading’ video points to new tactic in Russian dis...

Inciting hate crime against a minority has been a political tactic of the powerful at least since the Civil War -- Divide & Conquer. But current relentless assaults from the right wing and GOP against immigrants, Jews, nonwhites, Muslims, and sexual minorities is a whole new level.

I'd read months ago of a theory that Russia, the US, and Saudi Arabia planned a global alliance for fossil fuel domination. If the US has this common interest with Russia, doesn't that make them an ally? Not with all of us, only with the fossil-fuel embedded elite. Destruction of Democracy here accommodates an emergent police state to keep citizens down, similar to Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The only sensible explanation, to me, of our own administration sowing hatred and division just as our enemy does is to promote fossil fuel industry control, petrostate-alliance control.

How else to guarantee continued fossil fuel dominance, while everyone feels its tangible consequences get worse and worse over the next decade, while the realization sets in that our home planet will kill us all?

In short, fossil fuel elites have common cause to maintain power through escalating hatred and force. Genocide is profitable in the short term. Deciding the fate of the entire planet and species must be quite a rush for that handful of elite men. 

In his book Dark Star Rising, Gary Lachman outlines the parallels between the ways in which Putin and his "postmodern Rasputin" Alexander Dugin consciously utilized techniques of intentional chaos to rise to power at the opening of the 21st century and some parallels with Trump's techniques today.

  • In 2000 a landslide victory made Putin Russia's second president. One of the first things he did in office was to seize control of the national television, press, and other media outlets. The era of post-truth and alternative fact Surkov-style had begun. From then until 2013, when he retired from frontline politics, Surkov the political technologist ran the country as "a wonderful postmodern theatre," full of "experiments with old and new political models." What Surkov mastered was the use of a democratic and liberal vocabulary in the service of a totalitarian government. His aim was to create a "postmodern dictatorship that uses the language and institutions of democratic capitalsm for authoritarian ends."

Content warning: the book is written from a sort of occultist point of view that will be offensive to materialists. Nevertheless imho it's as good an explanation as any.

Interesting. Use of a democratic and liberal vocabulary in the service of a totalitarian government is one of the things the GOP does, in addition to using the language of racism and hatred. "Reform" is always the opposite of reform. 

"Reform" is a vector quantity. It has both amplitude and direction. That direction depends on who is doing the reforming and what is being reformed. For us, reform is a process to move forward. For them, the motion is back.

Reform is roughly equivalent to change. The problem is, as the saying goes, all progress is change, but not all change is progress.

I don't think it's coincidence that Ruth's illustration makes me think of Kristallnacht.

"First they came for the Jews..." (Martin Niemöller)

"'History never repeats itself but it rhymes,' said Mark Twain". (John Robert Colombo, in his poem "A Said Poem")

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