Big Orange Creep

Written by SK Ashby

(Cartoonist - Chris Britt)

In other news, Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R) has been arrested by the FBI following a two-year long investigation into bribery and money laundering.

The investigation included dinners and meetings between undercover federal agents and Householder and Clark where the men made incriminating statements about illegal activity and bribes.

The investigator said more arrests connected to the investigation are expected.

Meanwhile, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) says that while he believes Florida's public schools should reopen for full, in-person classes in the fall, his own grandchildren won't be going to class.

Expect to see a lot of this in the coming months. Rich families are going to keep their kids home or send them to private schools while families who have no choice will be the ones with infections.

Finally, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sent out a memo telling women's homeless shelters how to identify transgender women so they can deny them shelter.

In order to do this, HUD will allow shelter staff to take into account “factors such as height, the presence (but not the absence) of facial hair, the presence of an Adam’s apple, and other physical characteristics which, when considered together, are indicative of a person’s biological sex.”

In essence, the proposed rule encourages women’s-only shelter staff to use a visual appraisal of a woman’s appearance to judge whether that person is woman enough to use the facility.

If a shelter operator judges a homeless woman’s appearance to not fit what they believe is her assigned sex at birth, they would then be allowed to ask for proof of that person’s sex before housing her in the women’s facility.

I'm a transgender woman and you couldn't identify me just using these criteria. That goes for most transgender women. Not all of us have a visible Adam's apple or other attributes. Human bodies are complicated and do not always or even usually fit into neat categories. This is especially true for intersex people who have never outwardly appeared as their assigned gender because they were born with hormones pointed in the opposite direction.

No one should be denied shelter for any reason, of course, but using physical characteristics like this as a criteria means even some cis women who don't meet society's traditional beauty standards, or simply the standards of shelter employees, could be denied entry or embarrassed.

The purported or publicly stated idea here is to catch predatory, cis, straight men posing as women to gain access to women's shelters and do crimes, but there are no examples of that ever happening just as there are no examples of men posing as women just to use the bathroom (and no examples of transgender people assaulting anyone in a bathroom). It's a right wing fantasy used to justify legal discrimination, not a real threat.

The idea that predatory men may exploit the system to assault women completely discounts the possibility that women themselves can be predatory. I can say from personal experience that they can be.

We already have laws against assault no matter who does it.