Thursday, March 31, 2016

I Laughed: A funny story from the other night....

I was out for an evening of drinks with a few friends in the local Couchsurfing group where I live.  They are a great group, completely accepting and respecting me as a transgender woman.  But what made me laugh was something I said shocked the cisgender women.  Then they started laughing.

We were talking about finding shoes that fit.  I wear a Euro45/US14 women's shoe, which is almost impossible to find here, and some of the ciswomen here are also fairly tall (over 170cm) and have the same problem.  We also ended up talking about heels, and they asked how I got used to walking in them.  I told them about some basic things I learnt that works well.

First thing to do is turn the pelvis so the rear points out more.  Then move the shoulders back, but don't stick out the chest.  The women nodded and agreed that was fairly normal posture.

I said that the next thing to do is walk heel to toe. Walk with the big toe (or even two toes) behind the other foot, as all women do.  The slight crossover adds a hip swing that women do naturally. 

Every one of them stood wide eyed, looking at me.  Then they started walking around and watching their own feet for the first time in their lives, never noticing that nearly every single one of them do that.  It was a hilarious moment, and we all got a laugh out of it.

Trust Mistrusted: Once again, "Corrupt Cop" is a redundancy

Newark city's "settlement" with the US's Department of Justice settles nothing.  It does not reimburse victims of police corruption, not does it hold corrupt cops accountable for their actions.

Unlike most cases of police corruption, there is direct evidence of their misconduct that could be used to convict them.  Every time corrupt cops filed false reports, they put their names on them.  The US's DOJ is not charging those corrupt cops, and by not doing so they are condoning further corruption.

In Settlement, Newark Agrees to a Series of Police Department Reforms

Federal officials announced on Wednesday that a sweeping settlement had been reached to reform the Newark Police Department after a three-year investigation uncovered a pattern of unconstitutional practices, including improper searches and stops and excessive use of force.

Opportunity Knocks: Will Washington DC grasp the chance to solve its problems?

The US is country obsessed with the cult of the car.  It is not "car culture", it is a car cult.  But now, thanks to the US's national unwillingness to pay for its failing infrastructure, there is an opportunity to break through the "brake lights matter" mentality of Americans. 

Washington D.C.'s metro transit system is in such dire need of repair that entire rail lines may need to be closed for six months to enact repairs.  Doomsayers with tunnel vision are calling this a "disaster", calling it "gridlock".  Instead, this is a chance for Washington to lead the way and become the first US city to promote and protect cycling as mass transit.  It is now the beginning of April, with six months of sunny weather ahead. 

If the city blocks off the rightmost lane on every major road with jersey barriers, cyclists could travel safely and quickly though the city in large numbers.  The number of motorized vehicles that could travel would be reduced, which would reduce air pollution and increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists alike.  Drives could be encouraged to start car pooling.  It would solve every traffic problem all at once with minimal cost.

Metro’s top officials warned Wednesday that the transit system is in such need of repair that they might shut down entire rail lines for as long as six months for maintenance, potentially snarling thousands of daily commutes and worsening congestion in the already traffic-clogged region.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

She Perseveres: A Mother's Strength In The Face Of Tragedy

Claire Wang, describing her daughter, her "Little Light Bulb":
"Fortunately, I had held you tightly and told you I loved you every day."

On Monday, March 28 2016, Claire Wang was watching her four year old daughter playing on her bicycle when the little girl fell over.  A man stopped by the little girl, and Wang mistakenly thought he was going to help her up.

Instead, the man grabbed the little girl and cut off her head with a knife in full view of her mother, who was powerless to do anything to stop the attack.  The attacker was quickly captured, but too late to save the little girl.

The crime has shocked Taiwan.  Mx. Wang was horrified, but her response to the tragedy has been amazing and strong, and one to admire and emulate.  The issue of ending "capital punishment" in Taiwan is being debated, but instead of seeking revenge against the killer, Mx. Wang has spoken out.  She has not and will not forgive him, but she has the will to speak against capital punishment and for greater help for the mentally ill.  (The murderer was a psychiatric patient who was inadequately treated and released from hospital.Some have accused the Taiwanese media of sensationalism, but it is Mx. Wang who voluntarily chose to talk to the media.

Sadly, one day after the murder of Mx. Wang's daughter, a policeman was stabbed in an unprovoked and unrelated attack in a metro rail station in Taipei.  It is unknown if the policeman's attacker was mentally ill.

These are now the second and third such attacks in recent years following the unprovoked murders on the Taipei subway in 2014 when Cheng Chieh murdered four people and injured several others.  Cheng had a history (from childhood to adulthood) of threatening violence against other people.

As horrific at these attacks with knives are, this shows yet again the need for gun control.  How many more people would have been killed if guns were as uncontrolled as freely available as in the US?  The "good guy with a gun" is a myth believed only by the ignorant.

My condolences and best wishes to Claire Wang and her husband.

We Exist: International Transgender Day of Visibility

Thursday March 31st is International Transgender Day of Visibility, a day for transgender people to celebrate our existence and say the fight for equal treatment isn't over yet.  Not when thousands of people have been murdered and governments and courts consent to the murders by silence and insufficient prosecution.

The right to marry isn't enough.  In many so-called "advanced countries", people can be denied recognition of their gender because they have not had genital surgery (Canada), because they have not been sterilized and denied the right to have children (France, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland), because they are denied the ability to change gender on birth records which are required for obtaining legal documents (USA).  And in less enlightened countries, it's much bleaker - murder, imprisonment, assault and other crimes are everyday occurrences.

Legal Aspects Of Transgenderism

Transgender Rights Map, 2014 (from Transgender Europe)

Governments predicate "policy" on requiring genital surgery before recognition.  This contradicts the medical profession (i.e. educated people who know the medical issues) who require transgender people live as their desired gender for years before hormones or surgery are approved.  Denial of basic rights and protections enables discrimination in employment and housing, which forces most transgender people into poverty, unable to get all but the most poorly paid jobs.  Such policy is either incompetently or intentionally written to drive people into poverty and make it impossible for them to transition.

Human rights are for humans, but governments have declared transgender people as "not human" and undeserving of the same protections as others simply because we do not fit the narrow and narrowminded gender binary.  Denying rights and legal protections to anyone is legalized discrimination, be it race, religion, ability or disability, sexual orientation, cisgender or transgender.

GLAAD: International Transgender Day Visibility

Transstudent (on facebook)

Transgender Europe

International Transgender Day Visibility (from Equality Michigan)

Pride Calgary's day of events, 2016 International Transgender Day Of Visibility

Transgender Michigan

Pride Source

Intransitive 101

What Is Intransitive?

In grammar, an intransitive verb is one that does not require or cannot take an object verb.  For example, the sentence "I exist" does not require defining my existence.  I am here.  I exist.

I am in transit.  To be in transit is to be moving from one place to another, and in the case of my own life, to be in transition from the cisgender I was assigned to the gender I am becoming.

What Is This Intransitive Blog?

This blog is a statement of facts and my view on various weighty issues, such as LGBTQIA people, human rights, social issues, environmentalism, politics, atheism and religion, and many others.  I will also sometimes delve into the frivolous and the (sometimes) less important like music, art, sports, games, computing and the like.

My policy on my own content and on comments by others is going to develop and change over time.  No one or thing comes up with a perfect policy right off the bat.  Internet companies change their "terms of service" frequently (usually, so they can misuse your personal information and profit from the content you created).  There is no reason an individual voicing opinions should be any more tied down to a policy written in the past.