Transgender politician gets sued for “fraud”

Michelle Bruce–who won a City Council seat in Riverdale, Georgia four years ago–is being sued by her (losing) opponent for supposedly “misleading” voters by running as a woman. Talk about classy.

Three rivals ran against [Bruce] in the Nov. 6 election. She captured 312 votes, not enough to avoid a Dec. 4 runoff against the second-place finisher, Wayne Hall, who earned 202 votes.
The third-place finisher, Georgia Fuller, who collected 171 votes, filed a lawsuit claiming election fraud.
The complaint, identifying Ms. Bruce as “Michael Bruce,� says she misled voters by identifying herself as female. It asks a judge to rule the November election results invalid and order another general election.

You know, because Fuller is the arbiter of who is female and who isn’t. Ugh. Apparently, Riverdale tends to favor female candidates. Fuller’s lawyer, Michael King says, “It’s not just sour grapes. The people need to know whether the election is fair.â€? I’m sorry, what’s fairness got to do with it? Sounds more like trans hate than anything else to me.

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94 Comments

  1. Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Well, that’s embarrassing.

  2. Destra
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    This suit is silly.

  3. anomrabbit
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    I have a theologically-based question that someone here might be able to answer.
    If G-d created everything, wouldn’t that mean that G-d also created gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered, and intersexed people? Wouldn’t that mean that those people are just as loved by G-d as any others? And wouldn’t that mean that people who believe in G-d should treat GLBTQI people with the same love and respect?
    I’ve never understood why people who believe in religions that promote love and peace could be so hateful.

  4. Faerylore
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    KMP, I’m not sure but I think the website is having hiccups and that’s why it’s double posting so many of our comments… or not showing them at all. Or it could be my connect, I dunno…
    But yeah, I understood what you meant the first time, so I’m sorry I just repeated it all again, lol.
    And I concur EG, but instead of giving them a stand, can we put them in a box?
    Sorry anomrabbit, those thrice-damned queers was made by and for the devil. Hence all them horns. And the tail.
    And how did you get religion all mixed up with love and respect?
    (though I’ll admit to being slightly disillusioned by ancient and modern religion)

  5. kissmypineapple
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Anomrabbit, that’s exactly what it means. (My favorite part of India Arie’s “Video” was when she said “And I know my Creator didn’t make no mistakes on me.”)

  6. kissmypineapple
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Faerylore, I meant that as a thank you. :-)

  7. annajcook
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    anomrabbit,
    In response to your question about religion. I grew up in a very conservative, religious community in Michigan and went to a liberal arts college with strong religious ties. I knew (and know) many, many Christians who are committed to social justice and would say exactly what you have: that we are beautifully made by God and sexual orientation and sex/gender identity is all part of creation that we should embrace and nurture.
    However, for people who are conservative on the sexuality issues, there are a couple of problems with that line of thinking.
    The first is that many read the bible “literally” and there are a number of passages which do, on their face, appear to be condemnations of sexuality that’s outside the heteronorm. Sort of like the people who take injunctions against women speaking in church literally: that is, in fact, in the bible–if you want to cherry-pick and make the argument that way, you can.
    The other problem is that in a lot of conservative circles people think of sexual orientation as a behavior that can be changed. (And because of their biblical views, it’s a negative behavior that ought to be changed). I honestly don’t know how they think about intersex people . . . I don’t think I’ve ever heard conservatives talk about that–as opposed to transsexuality, which I think they would also argue is a behavior/mental illness. But in terms of sexual orientation, they equate it with other behaviors which one might desire, but are destructive personally and socially.
    The very religiously conservative father of a gay friend of mine, for example, thinks about homosexual desires as equivalent to masturbation–and he thinks individuals need to exercise self-control over those behaviors in order to sustain healthy, mutual (hetero) relationships.
    So for people who don’t believe in a literal reading of scripture OR that homosexuality is either a) a behavior and/or b) something bad, it’s very difficult to have a meaningful conversation about these issues with conservatives . . . because we’re often literally talking past one another!

  8. sgzax
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    “buffy, I’m not going to tolerate antitrans comments. consider this a warning.”
    “To say that those born with female parts are female is antitrans?”

    It absolutely is anti-trans, and it is hateful because it contributes to the atmosphere of non-acceptance that trans people have to live within every day. When a trans person visits a liberal blog they shouldn’t have to encounter the same kind of ignorance that they must deal with everywhere else. And if Jessica doesn’t want to harbor it, then woo hoo for Jessica.
    You (Buffy) seem to have an incomplete understanding of the difference between sex and gender and the fluidity of those categories. You should probably read some books before you spew your hatred and ignorance over people who have really dealt with enough already.

  9. Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    but because the lawsuit might bring this legal inconsistency to light, and thereby invalidate her candidacy.
    I’m not quite sure if I understand what you mean by “legal inconsistency”… is the inconsistency that only *some* people are allowed to choose their sex? If so, then I’d suggest the solution is to let anyone decide how they want to be legally defined. The effect of this, of course, is that sex will cease to have any legal significance. Huh, actually that sounds like not such a bad idea.
    I agree we are very far from that point but I’m not entirely sure we want to get to the point where gender is only as important as eye color. Our gender informs our experiences and our views, at least to some degree.
    But doesn’t our eye color also inform our experiences? For instance, there are actors with piercing blue eyes who get roles (and are rejected) in part because of the appearance of their eyes — actors with piercing blue eyes are more likely to be cast as villains because it is a noticeable trait that, although attractive, does not inspire trust for some reason. So I would argue that eye color *does* affect our lives and people’s perceptions of and reactions to us to some extent — so making sex carry about the same amount of import would actually still leave plenty of room for it to have an effect on our lives :)
    annajcook, you’re right that a lot of religious conservatives feel bound by a “literalist” interpretation of the Bible (this is a really imprecise term, though, because most of them actually *don’t* take the whole Bible literally — for instance, a lot of these same people are also the ones who will tell you that the book of Revelation contains prophecies told in parable or allegorical, rather than literal, form). However, the sincerely, *actually* compassionate conservative Christians really don’t care all that much about homosexuality. They think it’s probably a sin, but we’re all sinners, and it’s no worse than any other sin. An intellectually honest reading of the Bible compels the conclusion that the *worst* sins are greed, hatred, blasphemy/idolatry, and pride. Sadly, a lot of “literal Bible” Christians commit these sins on a regular basis. My mom is a conservative Christian who thinks homosexuality is probably sinful. Guess what? She really doesn’t care. She gets along with and genuinely likes my gay friends (she’s even met them for drinks/coffee even when I am not around), and I have never heard her make a judgmental comment. She even helped my sister move into her apartment, which she’s sharing with her boyfriend (and therefore living in sin). Compassionate, sensible Christians understand that who you have sex with, while it may have moral or spiritual implications, really is not the most important factor in how well you follow Christ. People can live lives that please God even if they aren’t angels in the bedroom. What a thought.

  10. annajcook
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Law Fairy,
    I agree with you that many Christians, even very conservative ones, aren’t fixated on the sexuality issue. I was specifically responding to anomrabbit’s question about why some Christians would have an issue with sexual orientation, etc.
    I’m glad you added your thoughts. I think we could all use the reminder that “Christian” does not always equal “hateful.”

  11. Posted November 30, 2007 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh, definitely, annajcook, I think we’re in agreement. My tendency on these issues sometimes is just to jump in an pontificate if I see a “buzzword” or two here or there ;)
    And I’m always happy to spread the word that we aren’t all hateful bigots (although I wouldn’t really call myself a “conservative Christian” anymore, the “Christian” part has definitely stuck. Incidentally, my gay priests are among the kindest, most spiritually evolved people I’ve ever met).

  12. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    As for Michelle Bruce, I feel for her. This whole lawsuit is ridiculous and it would be insane for it not to be thrown out… being a woman a political advantage? Suuure.
    However there is something else that bothers me, and that is the shutdown of any discussion regarding transsexuality that is not extremely supportive, or that somehow seems to question the change to the definition of gender in any way whatsoever.
    I agree that hateful comments warrant deletion but I don’t think that discussion on the issue itself should be shutdown as transphobic. The entire issue is a very divisive one amongst us feminists. I don’t deny the existence nor the rights of, nor the humanity of transpeople at all, and they are human and deserve to be loved just as the rest of us do. It just seems to me that there is this meme going around the feminist population here and elsewhere that has people wired to a knee-jerk reaction of “that person a.) doesn’t understand the trans movement or b.) does not agree that transwomen should be allowed in women’s only space or c.) is criticising an aspect of transsexuality or d.) knows nothing about the movement and is acting innocent but probing questions and therefore is a transphobic bigot from hell.” The majority of people who visit feministing are very open people. I wouldn’t write them, nor their curiousity, nor even their opinions as feminists off so quickly.
    The idiots persecuting Michelle Bruce for something so personal, for her gender/crossing over! Now *that* is bigotry :\

  13. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Oh I should add: I’m not condoning buffythewhite’s comments above, nor do I think they contribute to any sort of “discussion”. That was pure, hateful trolling (obviously)
    But I’ve seen conversation regarding transgender shut down elsewhere before, even when completely civil. Often completely innocent, though perhaps also ignorant, questions are responded to with a slew of “omg you transphobic bastard” responses. I just wanted to bring it up in case it happened here too. cheers ~ emmag

  14. EG
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Frankly, emmag, anybody who is opposed to allowing transwomen into women-only spaces is indeed being a bigot. They’re claiming that transwomen aren’t “real” women, as deserving of women’s safe spaces as cisgendered women. I’ve seen that argument advanced a number of times, and I’ve never seen it supported by anything other than “they’re not real women and they give me the creeps.”

  15. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    my first comment: asking* innocent questions, not acting D:

  16. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    EG: to write off a the feelings of a ciswoman who is nervous about allowing a person, even a woman-born-trans who is physically male into a women-born-women’s-only space, particularly when such a space may be reserved for rape victims or those who have been targeted by violent males, is equally bigoted.
    And we will obviously disagree on this.
    My point is that the feminist community is hugely divided on this very sensitive issue, and you can’t just silence people with whom you disagree by using the word “bigot”. These issues need* to be discussed further in order for us to get anywhere.

  17. SarahMC
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    I know what you are saying, emmag, but I’m not sure it’s possible to have a civil, open discussion with a person who mistakenly believes “those [god] gives vaginas to are female.” Vaginas are not the only physical characteristic “females” possess.
    BTW compared being intersex with “wearing a gorilla suit” to masquerade as a gorilla, as though there aren’t truly people born intersexed.

  18. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    SarahMC… I said above I wasn’t referring to buffythewhite
    (“Oh I should add: I’m not condoning buffythewhite’s comments above, nor do I think they contribute to any sort of “discussion”. That was pure, hateful trolling (obviously)”)

  19. Faerylore
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    KMP, lol, you’re welcome. :)
    Emmag I would like to believe that there is room enough in the world for everybody to have both their own space, and to be able to come together to celebrate what they have in common.
    In my opinion a lot of times, transpeople are excluded as a means to itself, and are prevented from celebrating openly with the rest of the community.
    That’s where I have the problem, sometimes when they (or any other Othered group) are excluded it is done so knowing that they don’t have anywhere else to go.
    Or it is done using the excuse of women who are afraid of ‘men’, when the space or whatever isn’t specifically for ciswomen who’ve been raped (I’m thinking of that one womens’ music festival). I have issues with such exclusionary tactics then.

  20. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    The thing to remember about the Michfest, Faerylore, is that it was in the minority; most women’s festivals welcome transpeople and that is obviously not a bad thing, but the problem is that when women’s-only groups or spaces are designated and needed (and when they are legitimately restricted to women who were physically born female), the outcry often ensues that they are bigoted against transwomen and often forces them to shut down.
    I think that there is almost unanimous support for transpeople within the feminist community (which is a good thing!), but not, as you say, within society in general. However a transwoman is not the same (I am speaking in the physical sense only, of course) as a woman-born-woman, and it’s unfortunate but true; which is what makes these discussions of exclusion/inclusion so sticky and complex and dangerous. I’m not even sure where I stand on all these points yet. But I don’t think being reactionary is the solution.

  21. annajcook
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Often completely innocent, though perhaps also ignorant, questions are responded to with a slew of “omg you transphobic bastard” responses.
    emmag, this echoes something I was fumbling to say earlier by talking about my grandma’s questions about transsexuality! As activists, I think it behooves us to remember that not everyone understands the permutations and language of gender identity issues. I managed to make it through a Women’s Studies major (!) at my Midwestern liberal arts college without ever encountering the word “cisgender,” for example (thanks Bitch magazine for introducing it to me in this past summer’s issue!).
    I know that there are legitimate reasons to be angry about the stereotypes, hatred, and violence surrounding sexual identity and sexual orientation–and that straight and cisgendered people (like myself) really do need to grapple with our unconscious privilege. Just like guys need to grapple with the unasked-for privilege that comes with being male. And I also realize that there are feminists who take a very gender-essentialist stand (or whatever we want to call it), like at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. So there’s a history of conflict here.
    But I really hope that, despite all of the reasons for distrust and animosity, that conversations don’t get shut down often, even when they begin in places of ignorance . . . because otherwise, we aren’t going to be able to have the sort of conversations that open minds and change the culture!

  22. EG
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I think that there is almost unanimous support for transpeople within the feminist community (which is a good thing!)
    That’s just not true. I wish it were, but it’s not. There is a history of violent ostracism within second-wave feminism, not only of transwomen, but of the women who love them, and those attitudes continue to the present day. UK mainstream press, including the left-leaning press, regularly runs screeds by transphobic feminists such as Julie Bindel and Sheila Jeffreys.
    Further, I’m not sure what rape has to do with whether or not transwomen are included in women-only events. A vanishingly small number of rapes are committed by transwomen. So what difference would their presence make? And I have no idea what you could mean by “equally bigoted.” It’s the anti-transwomen contingent that’s setting itself up as gatekeepers over who gets to be a woman.
    What it comes to is that I am opposed to groups that are organized around privilege. White-only, male-only, straight-only, cis-only–none of that is acceptable to me. We live in a society in which members of dominant groups are encouraged to think that they are the world. We don’t need more of that.

  23. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    EG: I’ve just found that on most blogs, there is a good deal acceptance towards transpeople. I guess I haven’t thought of the opinions of individual communists as voices of mainstream feminism.. but I suppose I can’t speak generalizations either, regarding what “mainstream feminism” is.
    Annajcook: “But I really hope that, despite all of the reasons for distrust and animosity, that conversations don’t get shut down often, even when they begin in places of ignorance . . . because otherwise, we aren’t going to be able to have the sort of conversations that open minds and change the culture!”
    Exactly… thanks for wording that better than I did :)

  24. traci_tsgirl
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    As an intersexual girl… or those of you that seem to hang onto old terms…. I would be a pseudohermaphrodite… I was born with a penis and ovaries…no testicles…. What does that make me, if I were the one who one this election? A freak? A boy? A girl? Does it really matter? I just wish that for one day, someone who wants to be so mean and hurt those like me and my sisters in the transgendered world… Maybe… just maybe, they could understand even a little… I live in Kansas, a very conservative bible belt state, and as you can imagine, before I could pass as a woman totally, I couldn’t tell anyone… Thankfully I have the support of my family… I don’t mean to get off topic here, but our society is so ignorant about us girls, and just what we go through, and the choices we have to make to even function as human beings…. I wouldn’t be here right now, if I couldn’t be me… Who would want to? I didn’t ask to be born the way I am, but I won’t complain about it either… I wouldn’t be the woman I am now, if not for the hardships, and even violence i have gone through… I just feel like this is nothing but sour grapes, as so many of you have said… but also ignorance… I just hang on to the hope…that some day…. :(

  25. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    WHOA
    what is wrong with my brain tonight xD
    columnists, not communists
    and “I can’t speak generalizations either, regarding what “mainstream feminism” is”: what I mean to say is, I was speaking for my experience with other feminists only and cannot speak, logically, for all
    so I was admitting that perhaps I am wrong on that point

  26. traci_tsgirl
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Whoooaaaa…. wait a minute… My screenname is traci_tsgirl, and wrote the message as follows…..
    “As an intersexual girl… or those of you that seem to hang onto old terms…. I would be a pseudohermaphrodite… I was born with a penis and ovaries…no testicles…. What does that make me, if I were the one who one this election? A freak? A boy? A girl? Does it really matter? I just wish that for one day, someone who wants to be so mean and hurt those like me and my sisters in the transgendered world… Maybe… just maybe, they could understand even a little… I live in Kansas, a very conservative bible belt state, and as you can imagine, before I could pass as a woman totally, I couldn’t tell anyone… Thankfully I have the support of my family… I don’t mean to get off topic here, but our society is so ignorant about us girls, and just what we go through, and the choices we have to make to even function as human beings…. I wouldn’t be here right now, if I couldn’t be me… Who would want to? I didn’t ask to be born the way I am, but I won’t complain about it either… I wouldn’t be the woman I am now, if not for the hardships, and even violence i have gone through… I just feel like this is nothing but sour grapes, as so many of you have said… but also ignorance… I just hang on to the hope…that some day…. :(
    It is showing me as someone else, by the screenname of “emmag”.. That is not me, so I don’t know what the deal is, but wanted to correct this.. And I did not write any of his or her messages on this forum, so please make note of that.. ty…. :)

  27. traci_tsgirl
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    The posts going by the screenname of “traci_tsgirl” are apparently from the person showing up as the screenname on my messages…. I would asssume its a woman, going by the name of “emmag” I have no issue with what her posts are, but that is not me… I wish I hadn’t said anything now….

  28. emmag
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    traci_tsgirl, I see your posts tagged correctly?
    maybe it’s a glitch on your browser? don’t worry about it :)

  29. SarahMC
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    traci_tsgirl, thanks for sharing your story :)

  30. traci_tsgirl
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    thank you Emma…I certainly meant no disrespect to your postings… Its just showing up as your name on my messages, and mine on yours… Thank you so much for your dear message..
    I am even seeing a message before yours, saying not to worry about my messages… and they are showing up from myself… lol nutty internet… Thanks sweetie :) And to the other poster, thank you as well :)

  31. Marissa
    Posted November 30, 2007 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your story traci_tsgirl. I am so glad that this site is providing a space to discuss all of these issues.

  32. anomrabbit
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the response, annajcook. I appreciate it.
    A friend of mine pointed something out to me, though: intersexed is not the same as transgendered.
    A few of you (way above) mentioned that Ms Bruce might be in some legal trouble if she checked the “wrong box” for the gender category on some legal forms.
    If Ms Bruce was “assigned” “female” when she was born, then she has considered herself to be “female” her entire life — there would never be a problem with her checking the “wrong box” (for “male”) on a legal document.

  33. anomrabbit
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Whoops, I meant “sex category”. Also, lots of tick marks in that comment :-)

  34. dananddanica
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s an interesting argument and I agree with a poster above, one neednt be 100% “pro” intersex in this debate while fleshing out ones own understanding of the issue.
    I discussed this last night with a few friends and while they are all understanding, there were quite a few people who were having a hard time working through some things. It may just be that the strict binary sex culture is so entrenched in our minds but the issue was, if you accept and legally codify “genders” outside of male and female, would there be only one other choice? Meaning would there be male, female, intersex or would their be several divisions within intersex? Moving past the idea of simple right and wrong and into the legal complexities of such an issue was quite befuddling to some of the group.
    It’s similar to an argument I’ve been having for years in regard to the hetero/homosexual debate. Should we just get rid of those two labels as human sexuality isnt contained simply in gay and straight but in a rainbow of sexual orientations? One can say that some people (1,5,10%, whichever study you like) are born gay but is sexual orientation truly fated? Meaning, and this is the argument that stuck in my craw but I really couldnt defeat it, if you took 100% of the people who at this moment in time described themselves as gay, would that same 100% describe themselves as gay in 1 month, 10 years? Its the problem with labels and defining people and groups by them.
    Lastly one could say get rid of the labels but that will simply never happen, especially as some people are proud to claim them. It is all terribly vexxing.

  35. dananddanica
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Law Fairy,
    I understand what your saying about the possible effects ones eye color could have on ones life but I do not believe it is nearly on the same level as ones sex.
    Personal experiences shade everything, you mentioned the movie star with blue eyes, I do not think that compares to different experience men and women have with their own bodies in total.
    I think if you were to add up all the things informed by your female body, a lot of them often forgotten about in day to day life, you will see what I’m getting at.
    People almost always either want to identify themselves by gender or frame their personal understanding of the world on it. Hopefully in 50 years that may be different. (50 is an average, might take 200 here in the states, 10 in the nordic countries)

  36. annajcook
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Meaning, and this is the argument that stuck in my craw but I really couldnt defeat it, if you took 100% of the people who at this moment in time described themselves as gay, would that same 100% describe themselves as gay in 1 month, 10 years? Its the problem with labels and defining people and groups by them.
    dananddanica, I think the argument might not stick in your craw so much if we thought about it in terms of people who identify as “heterosexual” today and where they are in ten years . . . I’ve been pretty hetero all my life, but who know if I might someday end up in a relationship with a woman?
    I, personally, prefer to use that example because it helps people avoid the trap of hetero=good/homo=bad thinking. It doesn’t raise the spectre the “ex-gay” movement. Saying I MIGHT find myself in love with or sexually attracted to a woman is way different than arguing I should TRY to develop romantic feelings exclusively for women because that’s BETTER than sexual/romantic feelings for men.
    The difference between exploring concepts of gender/orientation fluidity and the ex-gay movements conception of mutable sexual orientation, is that they’re saying one is RIGHT and the other is WRONG. Whereas you/we are just exploring the idea that categories are more permeable.
    Does that help at all?

  37. kissmypineapple
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Dananddanica, I think you might also be using “gender” and “sex” interchangeabley, which they are not. That might help with some of the confusion. Although, technically speaking, I don’t want either sex or gender to figure into my electoral decisions.

  38. dananddanica
    Posted December 1, 2007 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    pineapple,
    looking back at my post i did use them a bit haphazardly, sorry about that, quite a long day. I can understand you not wanting it to but I dont see how one can ever completely separate it from critical thinking decisions.
    Anna,
    That argument “stuck in my craw” because I couldnt readily counter it. You bring up a good step to that but still falls prey to the same argument, if we move away from the binary, what do we move to? not just in an idea sense but in a legal sense. The feedback is very helpful but I will still need some time to flesh out my thoughts not just on the ideas, but on their ramifications.

  39. Yanada
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    The complaint, identifying Ms. Bruce as “Michael Bruce,�
    Since Ms. Bruce’s legal name is and always has been Michelle (“I’ve always been Michelle,â€? she said.) then it would seem to me that she has no legal obligation to respond to the suit since she hasn’t been named as the defendant.

  40. J7Sue
    Posted December 2, 2007 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    “a transwoman is not the same (I am speaking in the physical sense only, of course) as a woman-born-woman, and it’s unfortunate but true; which is what makes these discussions of exclusion/inclusion so sticky and complex and dangerous”
    In what way? And if there were no such difference, what then? It seems to me that it’s only technology. 100 years ago sexchange surgery wasn’t available -
    Thought experiment. A transsexual girl has sex change surgery at 10, pre puberty, and takes hormones from then. Ok, she has no ovaries or womb, but presumably the “womyn born womyn” types don’t exclude everyone who has had a hysterectomy? What differences are there? And I don’t accept DNA either, no-one’s doing DNA swabs to decide.
    I have been a woman all my life. I’ve been disadvantaged by having to live a lot of it with a male body, and I see that as a particularly severe birth defect, reinforced by a lot of social bigotry. People like Germaine Greer and Julie Bindel have had their argument repeatedly eviscerated on the UK Guardian’s comment is free site, and we’re not hearing so much bigotry from them lately. What’s nice is that cissexual people on that blog – which is far from generally feminist – also disagree with Julie’s views, maybe because she’s just not logical.
    As to buffy – God made me a woman, but with a huge challenge to overcome – and I do have a vagina, so – according to you, I can get out of the gorilla suit?

  41. Posted December 3, 2007 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Am I missing something, or is the only way for the plaintiffs to win on this thing for a judge to declare that gender discrimination is legitimate in matters of public office?

  42. Posted December 3, 2007 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I should probably clarify. If someone is born a hermaphrodite, I think they should be allowed to check any freaking box they want. But if this lawsuit goes through, then any hermaphrodite who runs for office can be accused of lying for checking either box.
    Luckily, most of the laws regarding allegedly false official statements require the statement not only to be knowingly false but also material (i.e. of relevance to making the decision in question, in this case allowing an otherwise qualified person to run for public office).

  43. Posted December 4, 2007 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    In continuing to use the term myself, I was giving Ms. Bruce the benefit of the doubt. “Hermaphrodite” implies two fully formed, fully functioning sets of genitalia: “intersex” describes a single set that lies somewhere inbetween male and female, usually with an enlarged clitoris and vestigial testes.
    Actually, “hermaphrodite” is an obsolete (and rather offensive) term that has been replaced with “intersexed”. They are used interchangeably.

  44. Posted December 4, 2007 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    to write off a the feelings of a ciswoman who is nervous about allowing a person, even a woman-born-trans who is physically male into a women-born-women’s-only space, particularly when such a space may be reserved for rape victims or those who have been targeted by violent males, is equally bigoted.
    This is a rather odd statement, and could apply equally well to the exclusion of any group based on stereotypes. The same arguments, if one can call them that, have been used at various times to exclude gays and lesbians, anyone not white, and just about any Other you can name.
    It is particularly asinine when only trans women are singled out for this sort of discrimination. It’s quite odd that the Michigan Some Women’s Music Festival is perfectly happy to allow people in who are physically male, enjoy male privilege, and identify as male to participate, while excluding women to whom none of the above applies.
    There is no rational justification for this sort of thing. It is based purely on irrational prejudices and stereotypes; hence, “bigoted” is about the kindest thing one can say about it.

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