Friday, April 1, 2011

Can't the Family Action Council of Tennessee Get Its Own Fear-Mongering Material?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 8:33 AM

Over at Pam's House Blend, Alvin McEwen points out that the Family Action Council's efforts to rally the troops against Rep. McManus looks strikingly similar to an ad the Citizens for Good Policy of Gainesville, Florida ran in 2009.

The Tennessee ad:

The Florida ad:

Now, sure, we could view this as an indication that the Family Action Council can't be bothered to shoot its own video when it can just recycle the same old scary footage other groups have trotted out. But I think we have to ask ourselves — what if this is new video?!

I'm begging the next conservative busy-body group that is, for some reason, filming little girls going into the bathroom, when you see this dude, please, stop him.

On a more serious note, this ad is really vile. Transgender people are not the same as child molesters, which the Family Action Council damn well knows. And the truth is that transgender people are far more likely to be assaulted or harassed or made to feel uncomfortable in the bathroom than cisgender people ever will be.

You have to wonder — if the danger of having transgender women use the same bathroom as cisgender women is so high, why does the Family Action Council have to lie about it? If snorting asbestos gives you cancer, I don't try to dissuade you by saying, "Snorting asbestos will make your thumbs swell." I tell you the truth: that snorting asbestos can cause cancer. When you have to lie about your position, it makes me suspect your position is not actually that strong.

Also — and I know science is kind of a scary and forbidden topic of discussion in Tennessee — but that bill the Family Action Council is talking about? HB 600? It requires every level of government in the state to treat you like the gender your birth certificate says you are. And you can never change this.

What about intersex people? It used to be standard for medical professionals to see a baby with ambiguous genitalia and make a decision, sometimes without the parents' input even, that the baby was a boy or a girl and just start hacking away at "extraneous" genital materials. This resulted in some people who felt like they were boys having female genitalia and some people who felt like they were girls having male genitalia.

You can imagine how traumatic it would be to feel like a "Bill," but be called "Joan" only to discover that a doctor had cut off your balls and rearranged things because he thought your penis looked weird when you were born.

Are we really, as a state, saying to those people, "You can't ever fix what the doctors fucked up?"

Or what about kids now? It's becoming more widely accepted that you should NOT do surgery until the kid is old enough to say "I'm a boy" or "I'm a girl."

Okay, you say, well, we'll just genetically test everyone and see what they are at a chromosome level and that's what will go on the birth certificate. Again, I ask you to consider science.

Doctors often see infertile couples and discover that the woman, who experiences herself as a woman and who looks like a woman, is XY. And, though less common, not everyone is just XY or XX. One in 1000 men is XXY. People are XXYY, and many other variations. And while a lot of chromosomal variance can lead to noticeable health consequences, you can be XYY and not even know it.

So, if you're wed to the idea that there are only men and women and men have penises and women have vaginas and they've been that way since birth, you might not want to look too closely at actual people.

But if you are considering legislation that would mandate that there are only men and women, and men have penises and women have vaginas which they've all had since birth, it would behoove you to consider how this legislation would affect people for whom that is not true.

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