Transgender former soldier sues over ‘victimisation’

Depending on where you stand, Bridget Clinch is either a brave campaigner for a marginalised minority or a serial litigant stifling free speech — or possibly both.

The former Greens candidate and ex-military man, now living as a woman, has taken four anti-­discrimination complaints in two jurisdictions, accusing people of “mis­gendering” her or other transgender people. Her most recent litigation is against Canberra journalist and feminist Beth Rep. Ms Clinch claims Rep’s Facebook posts, referring to transgender women as males, are vilification.

Rep has been advised by her lawyers not to discuss the case, but has in Facebook posts accused Ms Clinch of bullying and “stalker ­behaviour”, including complaining to her employer, Radio 2CC.

Their initial legal skirmish, before the ACT Human Rights Commission, ended in July with Rep making an online apology for “any hurt I have caused Bridget and for any way I have vilified or victimised her”. However, Ms Clinch is now pursuing Rep for damages in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal, claiming the journalist’s subsequent Facebook posts and “likes” breach their settlement and constitute “victimisation”.

In Facebook posts, Rep has ­defended her actions, describing the initial complaint against her as “Orwellian … madness”, ­accusing Ms Clinch and the Greens of “making a mockery of real ­discrimination”.

In one post, she wrote: “How is calling someone a man vilification? I’m sure men would disagree. I used to get misgendered all the time when I had short hair.”

She said the anti-discrimination process was being used to “intimidate gender-critical women and police our thoughts”.

Source: Transgender former soldier sues over ‘victimisation’

The Season of the Witch – Max Dashu On Why We Sexualize, Trivialize, and Fear the Witch

There’s a large and complex cultural history about this. We are at the end of a long process of demonization of witches. Most people have heard of the witch hunts, but most people don’t know what that was about, what it was like, how long it went on.
People tend to get taught witches were devil worshipers, and that’s a demonization of these wise women. But actually what we’re seeing in that description is they are practicing land veneration, veneration of the water, similar to the belief ‘water is life.’
The witch is a counselor. The church didn’t want this because they wanted to have a religion centered around a patriarchal concept of god, and it did not take nature in. Nature-connected ceremonies were threatening, so they demonized the witch.
There’s an idea that everything has to be in the hands of this all-male priesthood, so anything else has to be illegitimate.
To get back to the theme of misogyny, witch persecution became a convenient way of suppressing female power. That’s still with us in the archetype in the witch — the powerful woman is a bad woman, the old woman is a bad woman . . .

Source: The Season of the Witch – Max Dashu On Why We Sexualize, Trivialize, and Fear the Witch – AfterEllen

Contraceptive implant surgically removed from thousands of women

Thousands of women have undergone invasive surgery to remove contraceptive implants that were designed to be permanent, according to research for the implant files.

The Essure implant, made by Bayer, was marketed as a “gentler” non-surgical alternative to traditional sterilisation methods, with women told the procedure could be carried out in a GP’s surgery in 15 minutes.

However, a Dutch surgeon who has carried out nearly 500 Essure removals described how the implant turned into a “calcified nail” inside the body and reported cases of devices having pierced through internal tissue and migrated into the abdomen.

Source: Contraceptive implant surgically removed from thousands of women | Society | The Guardian

Why Is Transgender Identity on the Rise Among Teens?

A new study of social contagion raises important clinical and ethical questions.

. . . all the culturally recognized incidences of pre-modern transgender individuals mentioned above involve natal males who transition to female.

As attested by current controversies, rates of transgender identity appear to be on the rise, particularly among young people. Increased social acceptance of a previously stigmatized condition likely plays a role in this process, but other findings are clearly puzzling: Transgender identity is now reported among young natal females at rates that clearly exceed all known statistics to date.

When extreme forms of distress and coping arise through novel social pressures and spread through implicit imitation, strange epidemics of “mass psychogenic illnesses” have been documented. These have extended to dancing plagues, possession epidemics on factory floors, fugue states, or epidemics of face-twitching. These conditions are described as “psychogenic” (originating in the mind) when no underlying physical cause can be determined. But the term “sociogenic,” which highlights the social context in which these conditions occur,  is a better description.

Tellingly, for our investigation, it is broadly recognized that females, perhaps due to their higher sensitivity to social cues on average, are overwhelmingly more prone to such phenomena.

Source: Why Is Transgender Identity on the Rise Among Teens? | Psychology Today

Federal Ban on Female Genital Mutilation Ruled Unconstitutional by Judge – The New York Times

More than two decades ago, Congress adopted a sweeping law that outlawed female genital mutilation, an ancient practice that 200 million women and girls around the world have undergone. But a federal court considering the first legal challenge to the statute found the law unconstitutional on Tuesday, greatly diminishing the chances of it being used by federal prosecutors around the country.

“As laudable as the prohibition of a particular type of abuse of girls may be,” he wrote, prosecutors failed to show that the federal government had the authority to bring the charges, and he noted that regulating practices like this is essentially a state responsibility. He rejected arguments that the law allowed for such a federal prosecution because Congress has a right to regulate commerce or health care or can enact laws to support international treaties that the United States has signed.

Source: Federal Ban on Female Genital Mutilation Ruled Unconstitutional by Judge – The New York Times

Home | Labia Library

When people say vagina, what they’€™re often talking about is actually the labia. Labia are the lips or folds of skin that sit on either side of the vaginal opening. You might call them flaps or lips. Whatever you call them, it’€™s worth knowing that labia are all different. Sometimes this isn’€™t obvious from what you see in magazines and pornography.

The Labia Library is about showing you that, just like any other part of the body, labia come in all shapes and sizes. They’re also really important in sex and they keep your vagina healthy.

Women’€™s Health Victoria has developed The Labia Library to bust a few common myths about how normal labia look. There’€™s also a photo gallery that shows you just how unique everyone’€™s labia are.

Source: Home | Labia Library

Australian Aid Review Uncovers Abuse in Sector

The peak body for Australian aid organisations –The Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) – commissioned the review following revelations Oxfam UK senior staff hired sex workers during the Haiti earthquake effort.

The 213 page report, released on Wednesday, surveyed close to 120 organisations and found out of the 76 incidents reported by organisations, there were 31 substantiated cases involving aid workers from 20 organisations.

It was also uncovered that most of the victims of misconduct from affected populations were children, and while the report said this could mean a reporting bias because of strong child protection reporting mechanisms, it demonstrated children were at risk.

One of the key recommendations included the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) setting up a mandatory sexual misconduct reporting scheme, which ACFID CEO Mark Purcell said would help them work toward a solution.

An ACNC spokesperson told Pro Bono News they welcomed the recommendation, but as it involved legislative change and additional resourcing, it was a matter for government consideration.

Source: Australian Aid Review Uncovers Abuse in Sector | PBA