Latest newsletter #163 Click to read online

New York, New York

Babette Francis

I travel to New York once a year to attend the annual UN's session of Commission of the Status of Women (CSW). I stay in a modest hotel called The Pod. It is the cheapest one within walking distance of the UN, and it is aptly named because the rooms are so tiny that one feels esconced like a pea in a pod, the rooms being much smaller than a ship's cabin. But it is in a relatively safe area, even after dark, because there are a lot of police and UN security guards around as well as the security guards of the diplomatic missions located near by.

However, now I don't feel quite so safe in New York. The New York City Human Rights Law requires employers, landlords and all businesses and professionals to use an employee's, tenant's, customer's or client's preferred name, pronoun and title regardless of the individual's sex assigned at birth, anatomy, gender, medical history, appearance or the sex indicated on the individual's identification. You can be fined $US125,000 for not calling people 'ze' or 'hir,' if that's the pronoun they demand that you use, and $US250,000 for repeat or 'malicious violations' of the rules.

Well how do I refer to a bearded person wearing a frock? "Zir"? "Ze"? "Zim"? "Hir"? And how is "Hir" distinguished in speech from "Her"? Example of a violation of The Rules is "intentional or repeated refusal to use an individual's preferred name, pronoun or title, for example repeatedly calling a transgender woman "him" or "Mr" after "she" has made clear which pronouns and titles she uses".

One can avoid violations of the NYCHRL by creating a policy of asking everyone what their preferred gender pronoun is so as to allow all individuals to self-identify their names and genders. They should not be limited to the options for male and female only.

So New York can basically force us - on pain of massive legal liability - to say what they want us to say, whether or not we want to endorse the political message associated with that term, and whether or not we think it's a lie. We have to use "ze," a made-up word that carries obvious political connotations, endorsement of the "non-binary" view of gender. The New York law is requiring people to actually say words that convey a message of approval of the view that gender is a matter of self-perception rather than anatomy, and that were deliberately created to convey that message.

Obama's obsession with uni-gender bathrooms
While the world and the US face serious problems such as budget deficits, the terrorism of ISIS, bellicosity from North Korea, to name just a few, the Obama Administration is focussed on allowing adult men into women's bathrooms. (See "In Loo of Common Sense", page 5). The danger is not from the few transgender individuals who suffer from abnormalities such as XXY or XYY chromosomes, but from perverted XY men who want to expose themselves to females - or to look at females as they undress and shower.

However the Obama Administration is now faced with court challenges as officials from ll states filed the first major court challenge to its "guidance" about the civil rights of transgender students in public schools, testing both the scope of federal anti-discrimination law and the government's sweeping interpretation of it. Officials, in states from Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Wisconsin, brought the case in Federal District Court in Wichita Falls, Tex., and said that the Obama administration had "conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over common-sense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights." The lawsuit asked the court to block the federal government from "implementing, applying or enforcing the new rules, regulations and guidance interpretations."

"He [Obama] says he's going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy," Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas said. "Well in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the US." In Louisiana, Attorney General Jeff Landry said he worried that federal officials would "wreak further havoc on our schools," and he added that the administration's guidance "puts the safety and security of all of our children in jeopardy." And in Arizona, the superintendent of public instruction, Diane Douglas, said the federal government's approach was "insulting and, quite frankly, intolerable."


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