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The Old Hack

Political Discussion Thread (READ FIRST POST)

479 posts in this topic

> TA transwoman who is 6' 2" and has a five o'clock shadow and an Adam's apple is not going to be able to use the women's room in peace.

Such a person is in a pickle either way, it seems.

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57 minutes ago, Drachefly said:

> TA transwoman who is 6' 2" and has a five o'clock shadow and an Adam's apple is not going to be able to use the women's room in peace.

Such a person is in a pickle either way, it seems.

Which is why she needs it spelled out, in the law, that it's illegal to harrass her.  Because there are always people who think they're allowed to do anything that's not expressly illegal, and who will refuse to see the "other" as a human being with rights unless they are forced to.  If the bigots don't want to share a bathroom with someone who's trans, then they can be the ones to hold it to the point of pain or try to find another bathroom to use.

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The thing to think about is, preventing trans people from using the restrooms of the gender they identify as, is a shortsighted solution to a much larger problem.

Perverts exist, that we can all agree on, could there be perverts trying to pass themselves off as trans to sneak peeks, probably. It is just as likely though that there are perverts among gay and lesbian people as well, so do we keep gay men from using the men's room and lesbians from using the women's room? Do we force separate adult's and children's restrooms? I've heard cases of children doing perverted acts with other children so how do we prevent that?

Seems like instead of making a buttload of laws, public restrooms should just be 1 toilet and only 1 occupant at a time and see how people feel about having to line up around the block waiting to go.

Edit: What I'm trying to say is, this is convenience over safety, it's impossible to have both because people are crazy. The best we can do is just let people use them, and deal with those that actually act in a perverted manner accordingly.

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As it does not solve anything, it is, by definition, not a solution.

Can I just say something? The whole "dangerous pervert" angle is a red herring, and we have to dispense with it. Even the hypothetical you've presented - "could there be... probably" - is ridiculous. Not one person is going to attempt to pass themselves off as trans to gain access to other people in a restroom. It requires a lot of effort to present, and presentation will make you visible or notable, either because you do not pass, or because you perform femininity/masculinity to a prototypical level to pass. There are probably hundreds of ways to sneak a peek, and not one of them is going to be more difficult, nor expose the hypothetical pervert to greater risk of discovery and/or violence.

The whole legal push against transfolk is not about public safety. It won't improve the safety of any restroom occupant. It does not address the incidents that do occur in restrooms. All it seeks to do, and all it does in real terms, is make a subset of the population more vulnerable.

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1 hour ago, banneret said:

As it does not solve anything, it is, by definition, not a solution.

Can I just say something? The whole "dangerous pervert" angle is a red herring, and we have to dispense with it. Even the hypothetical you've presented - "could there be... probably" - is ridiculous. Not one person is going to attempt to pass themselves off as trans to gain access to other people in a restroom. It requires a lot of effort to present, and presentation will make you visible or notable, either because you do not pass, or because you perform femininity/masculinity to a prototypical level to pass. There are probably hundreds of ways to sneak a peek, and not one of them is going to be more difficult, nor expose the hypothetical pervert to greater risk of discovery and/or violence.

The whole legal push against transfolk is not about public safety. It won't improve the safety of any restroom occupant. It does not address the incidents that do occur in restrooms. All it seeks to do, and all it does in real terms, is make a subset of the population more vulnerable.

I had already said that this whole thing wasn't actually about safety, but because certain people didn't like the idea of sharing restrooms with people who didn't fit their views as normal, but they can't just say "I don't want to share because I'm better than they are" so they come up with the reasoning that it's in everyone's best interest due to safety. And yes that does end up putting those being targeted at higher risk of harassment because it uses fearmongering to get people's attention.

But if lawmakers are going to push this issue, they must not stop at trans, they have to include gays, adults vs children, etc, and where do you draw the line? Basically the one true solution is to get rid of multi stall public restrooms altogether and force people to wait in line, because there is no way you can have true safety in a public restroom that accommodates multiple people at a time, because there's certainly no way people are going to allow security cameras in there.

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Well, like I said, it's just 100% naked transphobia with no other justification, so the only real acceptable solution is for them to bugger off and leave trans people alone instead of senselessly persecuting them.

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On 2/23/2017 at 1:54 PM, banneret said:

As it does not solve anything, it is, by definition, not a solution.

Can I just say something? The whole "dangerous pervert" angle is a red herring, and we have to dispense with it. Even the hypothetical you've presented - "could there be... probably" - is ridiculous. Not one person is going to attempt to pass themselves off as trans to gain access to other people in a restroom. It requires a lot of effort to present, and presentation will make you visible or notable, either because you do not pass, or because you perform femininity/masculinity to a prototypical level to pass. There are probably hundreds of ways to sneak a peek, and not one of them is going to be more difficult, nor expose the hypothetical pervert to greater risk of discovery and/or violence.

The whole legal push against transfolk is not about public safety. It won't improve the safety of any restroom occupant. It does not address the incidents that do occur in restrooms. All it seeks to do, and all it does in real terms, is make a subset of the population more vulnerable.

Not one person? Try again; here's at least three, arguably four, plus two taking advantage of "gender-neutral" multi-person facilities (which, per the article, are no longer gender-neutral in direct response to the incident): http://www.dailywire.com/news/5190/5-times-transgender-men-abused-women-and-children-amanda-prestigiacomo#exit-modal

Personally, as a matter of respect for other people I would not use a multi-person public restroom that doesn't match my presentation. Further, if the restroom doesn't match my physical anatomy, I'm also going to make sure I use a stall with a door that closes. And yes, I'm slightly genderfluid.

But apparently, if I want to protect the civil rights of transgender people, women, and children from transgression by perverts, or if I want the federal government to restrict itself to areas where the Constitution gives the federal government some authority, the only possible explanation for my position is that I'm transphobic and don't want the government protecting civil rights.

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The guy who went into the women's lockerroom wearing board shorts clearly *wasn't* trying to pretend to be transgender, and thus shouldn't be on that list.  The facility had every right to show him the door or call the cops.

There are laws against videotaping and spying on and all the other misbehavior, whether it's committed by a man or a woman, cis or trans.  How may incidents of men pulling that same kind of crap in men's rooms can you find if you look for it?  Men spying on or videotaping boys changing in the men's lockerroom, for example.  Kids need to be protected in both cases, and I'm betting the latter is a lot more common.

Personally, I rather like the "companion restrooms" that you can often find situated in between the men's and women's rooms, for opposite-sex parent-child pairs or handicapped people with an assistant of the opposite sex.  I've also seen more than one bathroom where each individual stall had a real door and its own sink (this was twenty or more years ago, mind), and having that set-up in the handicapped stall seemed to be standard in Florida on my recent visit.  It wouldn't cost any more to build two rows of alternating sink and toilet than to build one row of sinks and another row of toilets.  Why have anyone share a bathroom with anyone else who doesn't want to?  And hey, if every bathroom were individual, then we would no longer have a long line in the women's room while the men's room has stalls sitting empty.  Maybe men would have to wait a few minutes for a chance to pee for a change, poor babies. ;-)

 

(Note: I have yet to find a synonym for "handicapped" that everyone seems to agree to for more than five minutes, and I use that term mostly because, in chess, for example, a player is given a handicap when they'd be kicking everyone else's butts easily if they weren't.  That's the term I'd prefer if I qualified.  No offense is intended.)

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Just now, CritterKeeper said:

he guy who went into the women's lockerroom wearing board shorts clearly *wasn't* trying to pretend to be transgender, and thus shouldn't be on that list.  The facility had every right to show him the door or call the cops.

I'd also say that the incident of the two male students caught recording females in a gender neutral shower at the University of Toronto doesn't count either as there was no mention of the males claiming to be transgender, they were just exploiting the ability to be in the same shower facilities as females. So one can argue that having gender neutral facilities is not the same as allowing people use facilities for the gender they identify as.

But this is basically a case of "all it takes is one bad apple to ruin it for everyone". You have cases of cis gender males taking advantage of gender neutral or policies favouring transgender people and it's the transgender people that essentially get punished for it by making it seem like they are the bad guys(or girls) rather than the cis gender pervs.

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6 hours ago, Don Edwards said:

But apparently, if I want to protect the civil rights of transgender people, women, and children from transgression by perverts, or if I want the federal government to restrict itself to areas where the Constitution gives the federal government some authority, the only possible explanation for my position is that I'm transphobic and don't want the government protecting civil rights.

It doesn't mean you're transphobic. It just means you are valuing the rights of transphobic people to persecute trans people above the rights of trans people to not be victims of persecution. Either that or you just have no idea what you're talking about and are holding a position based on misinformation. Or both, I guess. They're not mutually exclusive.

The Constitution explicitly allows the federal government to intervene to protect civil rights. You may have heard of something called the 14th Amendment. It is part of the Constitution.

And by the way, I don't know if you realized this, but you are implying here that trans people are more likely to be perverts, which is actually very offensive.

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That article is a mess as written, I'm loathe to engage with it at all, since it primarily cites previous articles from the same site and is a collection of five incidents that it presents as "'transgender' men" abusing restroom occupants, where only one of the five involves an offender identifying as trans in their incident. The first case is man, who makes no effort to identify as a woman, attempting to excuse his entry by suggesting it is enabled by the law, which it is not. The third and fourth cases are men using drag to gain access, which has been happening for decades. The fifth is men taking photographs of women in a neutral bathroom, which is not substantively different from them doing it in a women's bathroom, or taking photos of men in a men's bathroom, both of which have been happening for decades.

The second case, it doesn't seem - having followed the article trail through several different deeply partisan sites - like the offender genuinely identifies as trans, nor that he made any effort to present as a woman. It isn't the same sort of opportunism as the first case, because some authority did give him access when he made a claim. There isn't a lot of information out there, beyond the fact that he is mentally ill and was already a convicted sex offender.

So, there is that one, I shouldn't have been absolutist. Beyond that, the fact that this article can be presented as five cases of "'transgender' men" abusing restroom occupants, and read as "at least three, arguably four" is very telling. Every single one of these incidents was perpetrated by straight, cis men against women, and that is the only common element. One offender claimed identity to gain access, one offender attempted to invoke the law as a defense, and the remainder did things they could - and probably would - have done regardless of the law. When all is said and done, which of these cases could have been avoided by removing restroom protections for transfolk? Not one.

While the article is not persuasive, I do understand what you are getting at, Don Edwards, and I do not think you are transphobic. I apologize if I inadvertently gave you that impression, I am merely frustrated with the red herring, and in fact I was responding to Scotty. Personally, I would prefer neutral, single and double (for diaper stations) occupant restrooms with actual doors and locks. Moving over to that standard could actually have an impact on restroom comfort and safety.

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IMO, the one who claimed identity is the only one that has any basis whatsoever to be described as either transgender or cis claiming to be transgender for the sake of malfeasance. The others did not claim to be female or transgender at all when pressed. I don't want to go into the "No True Scotsman" fallacy by trying to judge who is transgender and who is not, but I am quite sure that somebody who shows no other signs besides dressing up is not transgender.

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But you think if perverted men with no respect for others are willing to dress as women in order to get into a women's restroom and harass or assault people, they won't be willing to falsely claim to be transgender or genderfluid in order to protect themselves from expulsion or prosecution?

At least let's make them work at it a LITTLE bit. Not walk in there in men's clothes and full beards, harass women, and then claim "oh, I'm feeling female right now and suddenly turn into oppressed victims that need protection from our evil society. When you let that happen, you aren't protecting human rights - you're REMOVING protections of human rights.

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How? How are you removing rights? Heck, how is it even a problem if a cis woman pretends to be trans so she can use the men's room while minding her own business and not disturbing anyone?

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The Moderator: I am sorry but I am locking this thread for the time being. This has nothing to do with the posters here; you have all large and by done your best to stay within the limits I have imposed. Rather, it is because I am currently in a state of stress that makes it very hard for me to function as even-handedly here as a good moderator should.

This is, in part, due to current affairs in my homeland. I do not wish to go into details but I loathe our current government with a burning passion and I do not think much better of the opposition. Even just looking at the Danish newspapers makes me want to hit things. I need to spend some time to re-center and I apologise for that.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding.

~tOH.

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The Moderator: I am reopening the thread in part because I feel better able to handle it and in part because I feel it provides an important and needed outlet for the posters here. As always, I request of posters to be extra careful in respecting the forum posting rules when posting here. Thank you.

~tOH.

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4 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

Ah, but see, that is the brilliance of mental institutions here in Denmark! Short term, long term, it is all the same to them -- once a person has been decided to be a risk, strapped to the gurney they go, and off into the paradise of drugs that make all those worrying things like thought and imagination and life go away!

Not to put too fine of a point on it, that is one of the major issues with the single payer medical system.

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On 5/16/2017 at 11:28 AM, mlooney said:

Not to put too fine of a point on it, that is one of the major issues with the single payer medical system.

Why should single payer be any worse than corporate-run?  At least profit motive isn't a factor if it's government-run.  As long as you don't have the opposing party sabotaging the system deliberately, like with the post office lately.....

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5 hours ago, CritterKeeper said:

Why should single payer be any worse than corporate-run?  At least profit motive isn't a factor if it's government-run.  As long as you don't have the opposing party sabotaging the system deliberately, like with the post office lately.....

Once again briefly suspending my own rule against posting here...

In the Danish system, the mentally ill -- especially the severely mentally ill -- are subject to constant and merciless funding cutbacks. It is very expensive to treat certain of these patients because of the high requirements in support staff, environments and security. Underfunded and understaffed facilities find themselves so stressed by the demands of these patients that it becomes 'simpler' to drug them into insensibility or to keep them constantly confined/strapped to stretchers. Some patients have been kept immobile on stretchers for weeks or even months at a time. Inhumane? Monstrous? In my personal opinion, yes.

Worse than corporate-run? I do not know. All that I know is that merely getting a single-payer system will not solve the problem. And so all I can do is sit and lament that it is so easy to strip a person of their humanity, and think 'There but for the grace of God...'

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Someone I know has a brother with Huntington's, which causes both physical and mental deterioration.  She's spent a fair bit of time wondering whether he's happier now, with his brain deteriorated enough to not be interested in the world very much, or whether he's still in there and it's just the interface with the world that's malfunctioning.  Either way, medications that make him less anxious and upset seem like a mercy.

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32 minutes ago, CritterKeeper said:

Someone I know has a brother with Huntington's, which causes both physical and mental deterioration.  She's spent a fair bit of time wondering whether he's happier now, with his brain deteriorated enough to not be interested in the world very much, or whether he's still in there and it's just the interface with the world that's malfunctioning.  Either way, medications that make him less anxious and upset seem like a mercy.

I am not against medications. In fact, precisely applied medication given to me with my consent has turned my life around for the better. It is when medication is used as a means to bludgeon an ill person into unthinking passivity because it makes them easier to handle that I start to twitch.

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I have been reading multiple recent stories about Trump's proposed FY18 budget, such as this one. A section of each story that disturbs me involves proposed deep cuts and/or restrictions on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Quoting from the linked article (emphasis added by me):

Quote

“There’s a certain philosophy wrapped up in the budget and that is — we are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs,” White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, one of the budget’s chief architects, told reporters on Monday. “We’re not going to measure our success by how much money we spend, but by how many people we actually help.”

Mulvaney rejected accusations that Trump’s budget unfairly targets the poor, arguing instead that it amounts to a broad rethink of the country’s welfare system.
“We need folks to work. We need people to go to work. If you’re on food stamps, and you're able-bodied, we need you to go to work. If you’re on disability insurance and you're not supposed to be, we need you to work,” he added. “There’s a dignity to work, and there’s a necessity to work.”

Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman and founding member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, has long sought dramatic cuts to Medicaid and other programs.

Mulvaney said the budget does not touch “mainline” or “core” Social Security, but it does cut Social Security’s disability insurance. The White House is also leaning on anti-fraud programs to save billions of dollars in Medicare.

Also:

Quote

Trump would also slash $72 billion by tightening the rules for programs for people with disabilities — programs that Trump’s advisers have described as riddled with fraud and abuse. A federal watchdog, however, found last year that 17 anti-fraud programs already exist.

This is highly troubling. I am no longer able to maintain a steady job of any kind due to my maladies, injuries, and various disabilities, but who's to say that some bureaucrat won't come in and arbitrarily decide that the bar for SSDI access should be raised, based on Lord knows what kind of study they want to quote? If I lose my SSDI, my family will be in bad shape.

I am not represented by any lawmaker of my own party, and it's not for a lack of my voting for one. I fear that this may be implemented with no one to advocate for me. Granted, it's a Presidential budget proposal and likely will not look anything like what gets passed in the end. However, the seeds of the idea have now been planted. How do I keep someone from wanting to water them?

I hope this doesn't violate thread rules, which I did go back and read before I posted.

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3 hours ago, ProfessorTomoe said:

I hope this doesn't violate thread rules, which I did go back and read before I posted.

The Moderator: It does not. There is no rule against expressing concern about how policies may potentially affect one's life.

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15 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

The Moderator: It does not. There is no rule against expressing concern about how policies may potentially affect one's life.

Thank you for the ruling, because I have just learned from Mrs. Prof that her retirement account is in jeopardy as well in the same budget. Neither of us voted for candidates who support these policies, and the candidates who support Trump won the elections in our area. Therefore, neither of us have a sympathetic ear on Capitol Hill. We are both very much concerned now.

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Here's a story that discusses what the budget would do to government retirees. The relevant part is quoted below (emphasis mine):
 

Quote

Specifically, the budget calls for:

  • An increase in employee contributions by 1 percent each year for the next six years,
  • An elimination of the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for current and future Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) participants,
  • Cutting the COLA by 0.5 percent for Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) participants of what the typical formula currently allows.

The Washington Post first reported these specific changes to the federal retirement system, which include other proposals, such as basing future retirement benefits on the average of an employee’s highest five years of salary. Currently, retirement benefits are based on an employee’s length of service, salary and highest three-year average salary.

According to an e-mail Mrs. Prof sent me:

Quote

Of course, the overall computation from high-3 to high-5 is, as always, being floated around. It looks like now is the time to jump ship. A change to high-3/high-5 would cost us around $125 - $200 a month in retirement. Doesn’t sound like a ton, but over the life of my expected pension? It would be huge.

Now you can see why this new budget has us doubly worried. They're going from high-3 to high-5, dropping length of service, and cutting cost-of-living adjustments for people in her retirement plan (the CSRS). The change from high-3 to high-5 would result in a lower overall average upon which they'd base the calculation of her monthly benefits.

Our futures are not so bright around the ProfessorTomoe household. We are not wearing shades.

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