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Sunday News Round-Up

December 19, 2010

First things first: the Senate voted on Saturday to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Hurray! The roll call vote for all of the Senators is here, reflecting the 65 votes for repeal and 35 votes against. The votes for repeal came almost exclusively from Democrats, with just eight Republicans voting yes. My own Senators, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander, were unsurprisingly among the Republicans who voted against repeal; I’m disappointed in them for voting their party and their prejudice to be on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of human rights and dignity.

The repeal will not become active for at least 60 days; HRC has a Pathway to Final Repeal document [PDF] that explains the necessary next steps, and warns service members about the interim:

The Human Rights Campaign issues this critical warning to service members: Repeal of DADT is not effective immediately and service members are still at risk of being discharged on the basis of their sexual orientation until certification occurs and 60 days have passed.

Also, as @polerin was clearly pointing out yesterday, the repeal of DADT does not protect trans service members, and passage of ENDA is still needed to protect trans workers everywhere. Trans Talk has a copy of a statement on this issue from the Transgender American Veterans Association.

Of course, the Senate also failed to pass the DREAM Act, which would have provided some avenues to education and citizenship for young immigrants brought here as children. I keep reading the “DREAM Act defeated” headlines as “DREAM Act deferred…”

In other news, Kate Harding has a completely amazing post, Some Shit I’m Sick of Hearing Regarding Rape and Assange. You really just need to read it if you have heard the commentary that Wikileaks’ Assange *just* didn’t use a condom, are tired of that commentary, or don’t yet understand what’s so problematic about that line of Assange defense. It’s a crash course in recognizing and combating rape apology.

Relatedly, Sady of Tiger Beatdown has had some internet drama related to Michael Moore’s reaction to the Assange situation and his minimizing comments related to the rape accusations – Sady has been demanding that rape victims’ stories not be thrown under the bus of Wikileaks worship. It involves a Keith Olbermann Twitter flounce. Thanks to Sady for tirelessly afflicting the powerful. Just go catch up over there. Kate Harding has also posted her support in Why I’m On Board With #mooreandme.

I just finished reading “Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity,” a collection of essays on passing, gender, race, and identity. Some of the essays are better than others, but the whole book is worth a read for an interesting meditation on dominant narratives, the ways in which so many individuals don’t perfectly fit our assumptions about who/what people are, and how we create and convey our identities along the way.

I have issues with this story and the reactions it has generated that probably need to be explored in a longer post. I never saw the “Is She A Hero Or A Danger?” language CNN purportedly used to discuss this woman who had a home VBAC after three cesareans (VBA3C); that’s not the headline now, but I think the answer is probably “neither,” and “these are the very cases against which we test our principles about what a woman can and cannot be compelled to do with her body for the sake of another person’s body.”

New sexually transmitted infection treatment guidelines are out from the CDC; they also include screening and prevention recommendations.

Renee at Womanist Musings shares a video about images of women in advertising.

Cara at The Curvature points to a local story I’d missed: Nashville Police Officers Charged With Domestic Violence Get to Keep Their Jobs. Ugh. This reminds me that I need to contact Nashville police to follow up on an incident of police action I witnessed/reported.

In other local news, the story of Coach Howe’s dismissal from Belmont University because of her sexual orientation made the New York Times. For ongoing coverage, the Belmont Vision student newspaper and Pith in the Wind (blog of the local alt-weekly) seem to be doing the best job.

At Feministe, Hospital saves woman’s life; is told by Catholic leadership not to do it again, Oops, I forgot to have babies!, and two posts related to the International Day to End Violence Against Sex WorkersIt’s not just violent clients who abuse sex workers, and Whore Stigma Makes No Sense.

RHRC is also hosting a series to explore and combat violence against sex workers.

Perhaps I’m entirely too skeptical, but I find it hard to buy this official story that the 36 LGBT books damaged with urine in a Harvard library were “accidentally” damaged by a staff member who just *happened* to spill a nearby open bottle of urine on said books. I’m a librarian, and a spilly/messy one at that, but this really strains my credulity.

As always, please check out Our Bodies Our Blog – this week we’ve been talking about genetic testing and privacy, and Avastin.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2010 2:13 pm

    Rachael-

    I would appreciate it if you read my blog, http://emilysvirtualrocket.blogspot.com. The blog is a virtual compendium of articles from newspapers, newsweeklies, and magazines, both popular and scholarly. The articles have a viewpoint toward transgender / transsexual news. If you like it, please put
    “Emily’s virtual rocket “under the title commonly called
    “Blogroll”. Thank you so much!

    Sincerely,

    ezs

  2. December 20, 2010 9:33 am

    Thanks for round up of things I should look at but don’t actually have to find myself. :-)

    I’m totally with your on the Harvard thing – a little too convenient that a clumsy librarian is the one to blame. Like the profession needs another ding against it, considering how little most people think of librarians these days. Although you may note that they actually refer to the person as “our own library personnel”, so it could be some poor hungover student worker, paraprofessional, librarian, or director. Even so, a little too pat of a explanation for my taste.

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