Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dear Governor McCrory (On HB2)

Dear Governor McCrory,

I am writing to express my frustration that you are still upholding HB2 as having a positive impact on the state of North Carolina. I thought maybe you and the GA would finally back down when the economic impact hit--but even after PayPal, the NBA, multiple smaller events including concerts by well-known artists, other states limiting all official state business with NC and now the NCAA have pulled their business away from North Carolina, not to mention the effects on the tourist industry and small businesses... You have still not backed down. You are still supporting a heterosexist, transphobic, classist, racist law and further alienating more and more of the citizens of North Carolina and the rest of the country.

And! You saying that the federal government is acting outside of their power in challenging HB2 is just ridiculous. The whole point of HB2 is overreach over local government!

HB2 can't even be enforced when it comes to the bathroom part... We can't spare law enforcement to bother with checking birth certificates in every bathroom in the state. Nor would it make any sense to hire security guards. And despite what you and the GA seem to imagine, you can't actually tell someone's gender based solely on what they look like. We've been taught that but it's not true. It's one thing to be ignorant because no one's ever taught you differently. But you have no excuse at this point. You are willfully defending discrimination, claiming that you are looking out for the people of North Carolina. This shouldn't, but might, come as a shock to you--you don't get to choose who lives here. 

You are further marginalizing people that are already some of the most marginalized in our society. You are pathologizing gender nonconformity. You have made a "solution" for a problem that doesn't exist.

See, one of the oft repeated justifications of Hate Bill 2 is that it is meant to protect women from sexual assault. Sexual violence is a VERY real problem that is pervasive and incredibly damaging. It does happen in bathrooms sometimes. You know who gets assaulted a lot in public restrooms? Trans and gender nonconforming people. You know who is usually doing the assaulting? Straight, cis-gender men. 

Cis-gender women are indeed sometimes assaulted in restrooms, but here's the thing--HB2 is not going to have any effect on that. Why? Because perpetrators of sexual violence that might be looking for someone to prey on are not going to change their behavior. HB2 does not create an invisible barrier for anyone walking into a restroom. Perpetrators of sexual violence seek out victims in vulnerable situations. A person alone in the restroom, where no one will witness the perpetrator going in--fits the bill. 

But as I mentioned previously, we are not going to have bathroom police at every public bathroom--so is a perpetrator really going to change their mind about following a victim into the restroom based on the sign outside the door? How does that even make logical sense? You are selling the illusion of safety. HB2 is not protecting anyone from sexual assault. Realistically, it could very well increase assaults, because you are sanctioning discrimination. You are telling the bigots of North Carolina that they have the right to know anyone's genitalia and then police where they use the bathroom. When did our genitalia become information we are required to make public? HB2 encourages vigilante justice in one of the most private matters there is--using the restroom.

I know you think you're right. I know how big a deal it is to admit being wrong. I suspect you think this will help you win re-election (of course, had the discriminating voting laws remained in effect, that might even have been true). 

But you are on the wrong side of history. Already in the last six months, HB2 has brought on lasting damage to the state. We will not forget that you led this fight. (Nor will we forget all the other damage you've done to NC, but I don't have time for that in this letter.) Historically, you will be remembered as the governor of North Carolina that cared more about being "right" and maintaining your bigotry than providing a safe and equitable environment for the people of your state.

Is that really what you want your legacy to be?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Good Girls

In no particular order and no attribution to who said these things to me or in my hearing, here are some things I was taught about good girls:

Good girls don't have sex until they're married.

Good girls don't wear tight clothing, short skirts or low cut shirts. Good girls don't show too much skin.

Good girls don't sit with their legs open.

Good girls eat their greens so they will grow Barbie doll hair.

Good girls don't hang upside down from trees or monkey bars so you can see their underwear.

Good girls are polite and say things like, yes ma'am, no ma'am, yes sir, no sir, please and thank you.

Good girls don't talk back.

Good girls are nice.

Good girls don't walk alone at night. 

Good girls go to church.

Good girls follow the rules and keep quiet.

Good girls are pretty but only because they don't put effort into it.

Good girls are patient.

Good girls keep secrets.

Good girls aim to please.

Good girls will get married and have children.

Good girls want to get married and have children.

Good girls respect authority.

Good girls do what they're told.

Good girls get the highest grades.

Good girls don't stay out too late.

Good girls dont make trouble.

Good girls don't have a problem doing the right thing. They're good. They do what's expected of them.

Good girls don't let their bra straps show. Good girls never go out in public without a bra on.

Good girls dress feminine.

Good girls don't laugh at fart jokes. Or crude jokes.

Good girls don't curse.

Good girls are only friends with other good girls.

Good girls use proper grammar.

Good girls know that if a boy picks on you, it's just because he likes you.

Good girls play hard to get.

Good girls aren't physically violent.

Good girls don't get into arguments.

Good girls know how to and like to cook.

Good girls don't cheat.

Good girls call their grandparents.

Good girls don't laugh too loud.

Good girls don't complain.

Good girls don't get in arguments with their parents.

Good girls don't spit.

Good girls are princesses.

Good girls aren't aggressive.

Good girls don't brag about themselves.

Good girls don't drink or do drugs.

Good girls conform to conventional beauty standards.

Good girls don't kiss and tell.

Good girls don't have one night stands.

Good girls don't even like sex.

Good girls aim to please.

And if someone has sex with another person without consent, that may be called rape, but only if you're a good girl. If you're not, it wasn't rape, it was just sex.