What a load of Bollocks!

THE GENDER TRUST BLOG: What a load of Bollocks!

She’s done it – she’s dissolved Parliament… but not (sadly) in a swimming-pool of acid. The Queen did however give her assent to the Inequality Equality Bill today.

Whilst we welcome the greater protections this bill offers to trans people there’s still a devil in the detail. A devil who doesn’t want gay people, transvestites or trans school children to be protected. I think we’d all agree this was a missed opportunity, though I remain hopeful trans inclusions may be added in future.

I did write to my MP last year about this but apparently:

“No compelling case has been made to convince us we need to extend the scope of protection to cover the spectrum of people who fall within the term ‘gender variant’…. [regards] school children we believe that any bullying or harassment should be vigorously dealt with within the school disciplinary process”

Well, yes, all bullying should. But the government still deems it necessary to add protections to children from ethnic backgrounds. And regards a ‘compelling case’, what about the EHRC? They’re under the impression that trans people face:

”significant discrimination and disadvantage across all aspects of their lives, including personal relationships, at work and in access to goods and services.”

Well blow me down.

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Pink – it will all make sense later…

It’s enough to make you want to go out. Just as well somebody’s bothered putting on a few events for us…

First off there’s a GIRES workshop in Cambridge (8 May 2010) specifically designed to help cis people support a transgender family member, as well as handling any stress they may themselves be experiencing. Trans loved ones are welcome too.

Also stick TG2010 in your diary and get down to the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich this September for a great opportunity for professionals, individual, F2M or M2F alike to network and socialise at the annual conference.

Failing that you could sue your PCT for some boobs, though of course you’d have to actually feel safe enough to leave the house for that.

If you do stay in, don’t drink the tap-water before reading this Daily Mail feature on so-called ‘gender-bending’ chemicals. They’re obsessed. Every single week they run the same hysterical article on how the water’s turning everyone funny. I mean, did they miss the 80’s or something? Coke’s been sending people queer for years…

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It was the ice cubes… Leigh Bowery clearly had some of those dreadful gender-bending chemicals

Now does this sound familiar –

Q: “But why is pink for girls mummy?”
A: “It just is”

Mummy could have elaborated that:

  • Pink and blue are arbitrary
  • Everyone wants to know about the baby’s genitals so they can get the pronouns right, because…
  • People REALLY care about gender and wouldn’t want to offend a baby (though adults, it seems, are fair game)

Well, back in 1855 the New York Times reported on a “baby show” put on by P.T. Barnum, with “one hundred and odd babies” dressed in pinks, blues, and other colours seemingly without regard to gender. Indeed – for the first half of the 1800’s it was normal to dress babies in gender neutral clothing; mainly white.

Towards the end of the century however babies were becoming increasingly gendered. Colours took on new significance with blue – of course – being for girls. The Women’s Journal explained that “pink being a more decided and stronger colour, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

A 1905 Times article concurred, with DressMaker magazine also agreeing that pink was a close relative of bold, masculine red. Girly blue was seen as “the more dainty of the two colours” – perhaps due to the association of blue with depicitions of the Virgin Mary.

American Parents magazine still held this position as late as 1939, but somewhere during the war things changed. Indeed, homosexual men were assigned pink triangles in Nazi concentration camps and by 1959 the infant-wear buyer for one department store was telling the Times, “A mother will allow her girl to wear blue, but daddy will never permit his son to wear pink.”

Oh daddy!

But Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood, told the BBC:

“I am very worried about it [pink]. You can’t find girls over the age of three who aren’t obsessed with the colour. We are creating little fluffy pink princess, an image of girliness, that is very specific and which some girls don’t want to go along with, but due to overwhelming peer pressure, are having to conform to.”

She sounds positively pink doesn’t she?

Well she needn’t worry about Shiloh Pitt, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s 3 year old, as it looks like she’s begun a very early transition. According to reports she only answers to the name John – and the name certainly seems to suite her new boyish image. I say good luck to ‘em.

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Shiloh Pitt, who prefers the name John – and boyish clothing

And finally… here’s our first Irish winner of the STOP Award – Ian O’Doherty. I usually only give this shameful prize to British journalists but this pernicious opinion piece was so offensive I have overlooked issues of nationhood in order to confer shame trans-nationally. That’s how I do business.

Our NICE Award goes to Bird of Paradox for this blog on a Mexican trans woman who was beheaded this month.

Yes – they’re cutting our heads off now.

Paris Lees

(The views expressed within this blog are those of the author, and may not reflect those of the Gender Trust)

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