Thursday, October 11, 2007

ENDA benda

Sorry, Susan Stryker, Aravosis is right. According to him, ENDA can pass if transsexuals are taken off the protected list, but it's certain to fail if they stay on. Since Aravosis is exceedingly well-connected in Washington, and there's no other evidence that I know of whatsoever to evaluate ENDA's chances with GLBT rights vis-a-vis merely GLB rights, and since neither Stryker nor anyone else has contested his synopsis of the politicking going on right now, I'm going to assume his evaluation of ENDA's electoral chances is correct. Simply put, there are 2 schools of thought on this: 1 that says it's morally wrong to leave transsexuals hanging, and another that says you take what you can get now, and come back for the rest when you can get it. I belong to the second group.

I get the feeling that transsexuals' advocates are worried that a non-discrimination bill for them won't pass Congress at any point in the near future unless it's part of a larger bill that's less controversial, in this case a GLB non-discrimination bill. That is certainly a legitimate concern. My guess, however, is that transsexual employment rights will stand on its own eventually. It makes little sense to me, then, to keep discrimination of GLB's legal simply because you can't also get the T's yet.

But hey, what do I know?

Again, this all assumes that ENDA passes with GLB rights but fails when the T is added on. My position, admittedly, may also be colored by the fact that I found Stryker's article particularly sneering, patronizing, and sanctimonious. Yeah, we get it: you've got a Ph.D. There's no need to keep reminding us ignorant yokels what big, fancy words "you and your academic colleagues" come up with (and people wonder how conservative stereotypes of academics are perpetuated!). And what do you think really are the chances that someone who reads Salon and pays enough attention to GLBT issues to read this article and be able to compare to Aravosis' one hasn't ever heard the term "heteronormative" before?

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