The Washington Times Publishes Blatantly Transphobic Editorial.

I really think when newspapers publish editorials they should pick ones that have more solid logic than, well, blatant transphobia. Reading Lara sends in this garbage published at the Washington Times,

ENDA purports to “prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.” Clever politically correct wording aside, this is a direct attack on common sense. On some matters, it is good to be discriminating. It is right to discriminate between honesty and dishonesty, between politeness and impoliteness, between right and wrong. And it assuredly is right to be discriminating in choosing who teaches our children. ENDA would make it impossible for a non-church-based charter school, for instance, to remove from the classroom a “she-male” who insists on exposing her pupils to her unnatural transformation.

I suppose making some really legitimate arguments about how laws like ENDA are needed to counteract years of transphobia and homophobia in the workplace or how discrimination is nearly a universal experience for transgender folks just nonsensical in the face of someone that uses words like “she-male,” but seriously, ENDA is only one step in the right direction.
Lisa Mottet writes at Roll Call,

A 2007 meta-analysis by the Williams Institute of 50 studies of job discrimination against LGBT people found regular evidence of bias in the workplace. LGBT people reported various discriminatory behaviors, including overt discrimination (up to 68 percent in the surveys), firing or denial of employment (up to 17 percent), denial of promotion or negative performance evaluation (up to 28 percent) and even verbal or physical violence (up to 41 percent).
For transgender workers specifically, widespread bias makes their quest for jobs even more bleak. Preliminary data from a forthcoming, groundbreaking survey on discrimination against transgender people in the U.S. from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality shows that discrimination in employment is a nearly universal experience. Ninety-seven percent of our sample (approximately 6,500 transgender people) report being mistreated or harassed at work. Almost half (47 percent) lost their jobs, were denied a promotion or denied a job as a direct result of being a transgender individual.

But hey, what’s a little lot of evidence in the face of sweeping generalizations based on ignorance and hatred?
Passing or protesting laws in an effort to “protect our children,” are often misguided efforts that don’t really look at how youth actually interact or deal with different communities or types of people or what youth actually need (think abstinence, drug war, etc etc etc). They are generally a front for parents to air their homophobic, transphobic and often racist ideas of community to a media and political landscape that often buy their bogus ideas of “family values” even when it flies in the face of real common sense, logic and evidence. As someone who taught in public schools for 5 years, kids are able to navigate diverse and new situations without fear and hatred as long as it is facilitated. If all they are fed is fear and hatred than that is what they will see and it is what they will reproduce.
Sounds like these children need protection from their parents myopic worldview more than anything else. The only discrimination I see necessary here should be on behalf of the editors at the Washington Times on what is legitimate political commentary verses ignorant blathering.

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9 Comments

  1. pokemontaco.wordpress.com
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I would really like to see some of these mythical children whose fragile little minds would be irrevocably shattered by being exposed to a trans teacher.
    I suspect they don’t exist. Children are more adaptable than adults anyway.

  2. Michelle J
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    “ENDA would make it impossible for a non-church-based charter school, for instance, to remove from the classroom a “she-male” who insists on exposing her pupils to her unnatural transformation.”
    Aside from the ignorant use of “she-male” what really jumps out at me is the “insists on exposing”. You mean insisting on gainful employment at their chosen profession? A profession that has nothing to do with their gender identification or sexual orientation? How dare they !!
    Wow….just… wow.

  3. daveNYC
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Consider the source, it’s the freeking Moonie Times.
    They can’t go out of business quickly enough for me.

  4. Dawn.
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    The Washington Times should be ashamed of themselves because that is some seriously Anita Bryant style bigotry. That willfully ignorant rant doesn’t even come close to journalism. Has anyone at the WT even read the AP Stylebook? Disgusting.

  5. Abi_normal
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I am saddened whenever I read stories like this. Social conservatives seem to reserve their most uncharitable thoughts for transgendered people.
    About the Washington Times: yes, that’s our local conservative rag. I am noticing a pattern, though: I can think of a few markets like this one where a high-quality liberal(ish) paper coexists with a relatively low-quality conservative paper (not counting advert-supported). I wonder why.

  6. Allegra
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this is ridiculous! I can’t believe the author used words like “unnatural.” Disgusting. Also, what really jumps out at me is the blatantly fallacious argument about “discrimination.” I remember in Critical Thinking 101 (seriously), learning about the equivocation fallacy with an example almost exactly like this– the author confused definitions of “discrimination.” “But we discriminate when we choose a mate, when we choose our friends,” etc. That’s not the way we’re defining “discrimination” when we say things like “discrimination in the workplace.”

  7. dilemma
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    In fairness, a lot of trans people also reserve our most uncharitable thoughts for social conservatives.

  8. daveNYC
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    You’re missing the point of the ‘insists on exposing’ line. That phrase is in there to imply that the teacher will be walking around pantsless. I mean, when was the last time you read about someone exposing themselves to little kids that didn’t involve some sort of sex offender? The author is pretty obviously using that phrase and the link it will bring up in peoples’ minds to imply that transgender people are perverts who will be corrupting little boys and girls.

  9. makomk
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Social conservatives seem to reserve their most uncharitable thoughts for transgendered people.
    Not just them – some influential feminists do the same. Possibly the most famous transphobic opinion pieces here in the UK were those published in the left-wing Guardian a couple of years ago and written by a well-known feminist called Julie Bindel. So far, they have neither apologized for doing so nor allowed a response, and Bindel is still writes for them regularly.
    (The main reason they’re really well-known is that Stonewall went and shortlisted her for their journalism award, proving yet again the gay community is no friend either. This isn’t the most recent example of transphobia in the Guardian – that’s this article by Germaine Greer. The other papers are generally better.)
    Thankfully, her influence with the government is mainly in the area of sex trafficking and prostitution and doesn’t extend to trans people’s rights, or they wouldn’t have any! (This isn’t hyperbole; track down her pieces on the topic and see for yourself.)

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