poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, November 05, 2004

Companies Add Gender Identity to Anti- Bias Policies
By Amy Joyce
Washington Post Staff Writer

Citigroup Inc. already included the words sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy. The company has a gay employee resource group. It offers diversity training that includes sexual orientation, and it provides health insurance coverage to employees' same-sex partners. And now this year, the company specifically bans discrimination based on "gender identity and/or expression."

The new term covers not only gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) employees, and those who are transitioning from one sex to another, but also workers who might be chided for not acting male or female enough. In adopting it, Citigroup joins a growing number of corporations in expanding the reach of protections against discrimination related to sexual identity.

The recent growth of such provisions reflects both the persistence of gay rights groups seeking the protection and the conclusion of some companies that adopting the broader anti-discrimination policies is a good business decision and even a recruiting tool.

The first company to include gender identity or expression in its corporate policy was Lucent Technologies Inc. in 1997. In 2001, 10 companies included it, and to


Ruling made in case of gender identity

STEUBENVILLE - A Jefferson County common pleas court judge has ordered a male child must remain a male, despite the desire of the mother to diagnose her son as having gender identity disorder.

A Jefferson County woman and her ex-husband, who lives in Colliers, are involved in a custody battle for their 9-year-old son. At the heart of the custody case was the boy's desire to wear women's clothing, at least when he is with his mother.

The boy's mother had taken the child to a couple doctors, who diagnosed him with gender identity disorder. Then, the boy's father took him to different doctors, who did not diagnose him with the disorder.

GID is a disorder in which a male or female exhibits characteristics of, insists they are and enjoys the activities of the opposite sex. To be diagnosed with GID, a person must exhibit four of five main criteria listed by the Harry Benjamin Study, the benchmark of GID studies.


 Check out this EXIT POLL Graphic!


Why They Won

The first thing Democrats must try to grasp as they cast their eyes over the smoking ruins of the election is the continuing power of the culture wars. Thirty-six years ago, President Richard Nixon championed a noble "silent majority" while his vice president, Spiro Agnew, accused liberals of twisting the news. In nearly every election since, liberalism has been vilified as a flag-burning, treason-coddling, upper-class affectation. This year voters claimed to rank "values" as a more important issue than the economy and even the war in Iraq.

And yet, Democrats still have no coherent framework for confronting this chronic complaint, much less understanding it. Instead, they "triangulate," they accommodate, they declare themselves converts to the Republican religion of the market, they sign off on Nafta and welfare reform, they try to be more hawkish than the Republican militarists. And they lose. And they lose again. Meanwhile, out in Red America, the right-wing populist revolt continues apace, its fury at the "liberal elite" undiminished by the Democrats' conciliatory gestures or the passage of time.

Like many such movements, this long-running conservative revolt is rife with contradictions. It is an uprising of the common people whose long-term economic effect has been to shower riches upon the already wealthy and degrade the lives of the very people who are rising up. It is a reaction against mass culture that refuses to call into question the basic institutions of corporate America that make mass culture what it is. It is a revolution that plans to overthrow the aristocrats by cutting their taxes.


Caught in the wrong body

At the last moment, Alan Finch knew this wasn't right. His fantasy of becoming a woman was about to break into the reality of a sex-change operation in a Melbourne hospital when the 21-year-old coal miner's son finally realised he did not want it.

"It was like something came over me, where the whole world was screaming: this is wrong," Finch recalls. "Now you can imagine: I've got breast implants, I've been on hormones, I'm halfway there and I'm going into the theatre, and my heart's pounding. It's nearly leaping out of my chest and I'm being wheeled in and I'm looking around and I'm thinking, 'Oh ***, this is a big deal'.


Feedback needed to alter sex status

BUTTERWORTH: An in-depth study helped by feedback from the public will be taken into account before deciding if those who undergo sex-change operations can be allowed to alter their sex status in birth certificates and identity cards. 

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Tan Chai Ho said the Ipoh case where a court ruled it had no jurisdiction to do so was the first such case in the country and needed much study.  

“The National Registration Department rejected her application as there was no mistake in her birth certificate and identity card. There was also no provision under the Registration of Births and Deaths Act to change her gender,” he said. 

He added that such changes were allowed in Singapore and Australia. 


We have our work cut out for us
People's Weekly World

This is a deeply divided country. Out of some 114 million votes, George W. Bush garnered just over 3 million more than John Kerry. Bush will claim a mandate for his extremist agenda. Hell, he claimed a mandate when he grabbed the White House in 2000 by one Supreme Court justice vote. But the reality is at least half the country is against him.

We will not fully analyze the results here. Questions of what happened and how to move ahead will be the subject of discussion, probing and sober analysis for weeks to come. Certainly the right-wing control of so-called “moral” issues will have to figure large in the conversations.

All the new voters, the young people and especially the voters who waited in extraordinarily long lines to cast their ballots, should be congratulated. Determined to make sure “every vote counts,” many people waited hours, sometimes in the rain. Some reports said voters were still voting in the wee hours of the morning on Nov. 3 because the election apparatus couldn’t handle the turnout. Is this any way to handle elections? Voter suppression, dirty tricks and possible vote theft are major concerns. How can the GOP say it wants to promote democracy and free elections in Iraq and Afghanistan when it actively works to suppress the Black, Latino and minority vote here? Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice did not enforce hard-won voting rights but stood idly by while vigilantes intimidated voters. The two major “Election Protection” hotlines received 400,000 complaints. Why is it left up to grassroots organizations to enforce federal laws?


Wisconsin Considers Gay Marriage Ban
By Mick Trevey

Besides picking their president, there was another hotly contested issue on the ballot for many voters last Tuesday. It could soon be an issue here in Wisconsin, too.

Eleven states had constitutional amendments on the ballot that would limit marriage to the union of one man and one woman. More than 20 million people approved the amendments in all eleven states.

Some of those states also voted to ban civil unions and other legal protections for gays and lesbians.

The results of referendums in other states have gay rights activists in Wisconsin worried. The issue could be on Wisconsin's ballot as soon as April.


Votergate is the investigative documentary feature film uncovering the truth about new computer voting systems, which allow a few powerful corporations to record our votes in secret. But Votergate is not just a warning. The film strongly concludes that elections a


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