Aug. 28th, 2015

Gah! I just heard a woman interviewed and taking calls on Brian Lehrer who was so wrong and offensive in some of what she was saying on transgender issues that it will make it impossible for many people to hear the much needed things she was saying about gender in general, and the real ways that should inform those who are advocates for transgender rights and recognition.

The vast majority of people ultimately behave how the believe the word thinks they will behave. When that just doesn't work, some people take radical steps to change what the world expects. It is true that the vast majority of gender dichotomization in behavior is due to social construction. It is true that we need to reduce social pressure to conform to those roles. That should be a uniting premise on which old-line feminists and trans folks should be able to agree, rather than a pissing match where each group tries to see who can more effectively cry foul at the other.
10 years ago, we (that is, the US, the world, and specifically the Gulf Coast and especially New Orleans) suffered a great tragedy. But it also marked a low point in our political culture.

Since 1980, for a quarter century, we had been giving government power to those who claimed government was the problem, that whatever it did, didn't work. And those politicians who claimed that had been doing their best to see that it was true. By cutting budgets. By promoting those who were cynical like themselves. By demoralizing their workforce in countless ways.

I think Katrina was a major turning point. Where we as a country realized that we do need the government to do things well, and we therefore need it to be led by people committed to that notion.

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