Monday, November 19, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
The Trans community is justifiably outraged by Barney Frank et al.'s decision to drop trans protection from ENDA. * Certainly, the trans community is the smallest, most vulnerable, most legally at-risk component of the LGBTQ community, and includes those most at risk of being fired for their identity. Many in the trans community are accusing the Dems, HRC, and the gay community of selling them downriver.
I share the dismay, but I've admitted that Barney Frank, one of the smartest people in DC, can count votes. If he says the votes aren't there, they're not there. So reluctantly, I agree with his plan to push for ENDA this year, watch it vetoed, pass it when W's gone, then work to add gender protections ASAP. It's not ideal. Politics is not ideal. Politics is ugly compromises. And despite pretty words about inalienable rights, the only rights we have are those we win by majority vote.
What dismays me particularly is the vitriol expressed by many trans folks toward the rest of our community over ENDA. It's classic: a civil rights movement cracking with internal division as its diverse membership fights for crumbs, and our real enemies watch laughing. In particular, many trans folks have discounted the "We'll try to add GENDA later" strategy as pure bullshit by duplicitous gays who don't give a rat's ass about trans rights. (Which admittedly, may be HRC's motivation. But it's not mine.)
Having been accused of selling my bros & sisters downriver to extend my own civil rights, I could invoke the standard cliches ("But I attend the Trans Day of Rememberance!" "But I'm gender-variant myself!") Instead, I offer a deal:
I'll support trans-exclusive ENDA, because I think it's the best compromise we'll get this year. My trans bros & sisters will refrain from automatically assuming this makes me trans-phobic. And I will volunteer 20 hrs of community service to help educate the public & Congress about the need for trans-inclusive anti-discrimination laws, so that we can pass trans-inclusive ENDA as soon as possible.
* Which only added Trans protections recently; earlier versions of the bill did not have it.
A gal takes chage at Havad. Inaugural comments here, via lesboprof.
Dr. Gilpin Faust is a welcome relief from the ignorant arrogance of Larry Summers. Early opinions are that she understands the increasingly dominant role that scientific research plays at Harvard, which is good news for astronomy.
Saturday, November 3, 2007
The astro-blogs I regularly read (Bad Astronomy, Cosmic Variance, Steinn Sigurðsson's) are signed, and I've met most of the authors at conferences. The science-gal and academic-gal blogs I read are pseudonymous, and I don't know their authors.*
Partly a seniority-linked selection effect. But not just. The untenured worry blogging may be held against them. And based on experience at previous institutions, I worry that any discussion of the problems of academia, and how to solve them, will be interpreted as "whining" or weakness.
Perhaps when I'm not working 16 hr days on proposals, I'll start a discussion about the right to speak -- who feels entitled to be heard, who has to shout over the din, and who still speaks behind a curtain. And what that does to those of us who just want to talk science, in a normal voice.
* Except for the fabulous Bitch Ph.D.
Friday, November 2, 2007
The American Astronomical Society website is down. Replaced by a domain-name-squatting default website. Not that anyone would be needing to check the job register this time of year. Or at this time of morning. Sigh.
(Title changed from "AAS, pay yer domain name dues!" to avoid confusion.)