WLRN Edition 16 Transcript
Episode 16: Money Behind the Transgender Movement and Impact on Lesbians
Transcribed by Natasha Y. B.
“Real Voice” by Thistle Pettersen:
But through the hallways of academia
And on the face of the moon
The footprints of conquest
Haven’t left us any room
To say what we think, or
To speak what we know
To hear different voices
At least a sound from below.
Sekhmet She OWL: Greetings, and welcome to the 16th edition podcast of Women’s Liberation Radio News. The team at WLRN produces a monthly radio broadcast to break the sound barrier women are blocked by under the status quo rule of men. This blocking of women’s discourse we see in all sectors of society, be they conservative, liberal, mainstream, progressive, or radical. The thread that runs through all of American politics is male dominance and entitlement in all spheres. This is Sekhmet She Owl.
Today’s podcast is about the impact of the transgender movement on the lesbian community, and the money behind the medicalized trans industry. WLRN was inspired to explore these topics after learning of the Left Forum Panel discussion scheduled to take place in New York City this past May, that was cancelled due to backlash from trans activists. We will hear from two of the main panelists, Jane Chotard and Taylor Fogarty, as well as feminist activist Mary Lou Singleton, who was ready to speak as a back-up panelist.
WLRN is proud to give these women a platform in light of Left Forum silencing them. Nile Pierce provides her commentary on the wealthy men at the head of our patriarchal society funding the trans movement via the pharmaceutical, medical, and non-profit industries.
But first, here are the WLRN headlines for this Thursday, August 3, 2017, as prepared and read by Jenna Di Quarto.
Three Tone Headline Chime
Jenna Di QUARTO: WoLF’s complaint in the case of the Women’s Liberation Front vs. the United States, a landmark case that argued for the right of girls and women to bodily privacy, was dismissed without objection from WoLF because the current US administration withdrew the Obama administration’s redefinition of sex to mean gender identity for Title IX purposes.
The Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Glouchester vs GG case, where a girl who “identifies as a trans boy” is demanding access to the boys’ restroom, and several boys have complained that her use of the boy’s restroom violates their right to privacy. WoLF filed a friend of the court brief in favor of granting certain that case, as well as an amicus brief on its merits, filed jointly with the Family Policy Alliance. However, after the administration withdrew the previous administration’s redefinition of sex to mean gender identity, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the fourth circuit for additional argument. Oral arguments in that case are scheduled for September 12th, 2017.
WoLF’s friend of the court briefs are part of the formal court record, and are available for consideration by the fourth circuit. The Women’s Liberation Front is the only Women’s Organization involved in the ongoing legal battles regarding gender identity that is specifically standing up for the rights of women and girls. To donate to the legal fund for these historic landmark cases, visit womensliberationfront.nationbuilder.com
Thistle Pettersen is moving forward with lawyer Michael Anderson, of Axley Law Firm in Madison Wisconsin to file a defamation lawsuit against the Wisconsin Network For Peace and Justice. WNPJ published a defaming statement about Ms. Pettersen on February 3rd of this year. Since the statement’s publication, Ms. Pettersen has had three scheduled performances cancelled due to trans activists’ complaints to local venues regarding Ms. Pettersen’s opinion of transgender politics, and suffered attacks on her employment due to campaigns to get her fired. To learn more about this lawsuit, and to contribute to the cause, please visit Thistle’s GoFundMe Page, listed under ‘Support Women’s Rights and Free Speech.’
On July 26th Donald Trump announced via a series of tweets that the US military would no longer allow transgender persons to serve “in any capacity.” Trump claims to have consulted with military personnel regarding the ban, but reports have indicated that the Pentagon was not prepared to issue such a mandate. Requests for clarification have been redirected to the White House, where they remain unanswered. At the White House’s daily press briefing, held later that day, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that the decision had been made following discussions with the administration’s national security team in the best interests of the military and “unit cohesion.”
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS (recording): The President’s expressed concerns since this Obama policy came into effect. He’s also voiced that this is a very expensive and disruptive policy, and based on consultation that he’s had with his national security team came to the conclusion that it erodes military readiness and unit cohesion, and made the decision based on that. The decision is a military decision, it’s not meant to be anything more than that. Obviously it’s a very difficult decision, it’s not a simple one, but the President feels that it’s the best one for the military.
DI QUARTO: While medical costs have been cited as partial motivation for the ban, a 2015 study from the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that for the approximately 1.5% of trans service members who would seek transition care, those costs are anywhere from 4.2 to 5.6 million dollars. Defence health agency data from 2014 indicates expenditures for erectile dysfunction prescriptions exceeded 84 million dollars. The sudden announcement from the President has been protested by people across the political spectrum. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, who has previously opposed gay marriage and is anti-choice, has expressed his support for transgender service members, saying “People who are transgender, they don’t choose to be transgender. They’re born that way, and why should we hold that against them? They’re human beings and we should be open to everybody.”
It’s worth noting that according to the army’s website female biology itself “impacts daily mission requirements, unit readiness, and morale.” So much for being born a certain way, faulting people for their realities, and being open to everybody.
As of July 31st, the Pentagon still had not received any formal guidance on the order. As such, and as per Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, the armed forces will continue to permit transgender people to serve openly until the Department of Defense receives “implementation guidance on the order.”
This past June the states of New York, Virginia, and Texas successfully passed legislation raising the age of consent to marriage to eighteen. In New York, a bill sponsored by Scarsdale assembly woman Amy Paulin and signed into law by governor Andrew Cuomo raises the legal age of marriage and requires parental and judicial consent for marriage involving seventeen-year-olds.
A bipartisan effort in Texas, a state with some of the highest rates of child marriage nationally, succeeded in passing bill 1705, which Governor Greg Abbott signed into legislation on June 15th. Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds can be married only if they are emancipated from their parents. Thanks to similar cooperation by Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel and Delegate Jennifer McClellan of Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a bill comparable to Texas’ bill 1705 that was effective as of June 30th.
Tahirih Justice Center, a group that advocates for immigrant women and girls, helped draft both bills. These developments are in stark contrast with similar legislative attempts to outlaw child marriage in New Jersey, where in May Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have blocked child marriages, citing religious freedom as the sticking point. Child marriage bills in New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Maryland are having a hard time getting traction, as those opposed feel that parental consent should be enough for minors to wed. In an op-ed to the Washington Post in February, Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained at Last and herself a child bride, is quoted saying “In my experience, parents who marry off their minor children often are motivated by cultural or religious traditions, a desire to control their child’s behavior or sexuality, money, a bride price or dowry, or immigration related reasons, for instance when a child sponsors a foreign spouse.”
In California, Senator Jerry Hill is currently trying to establish a minimum age of consent to marriage at eighteen but is coming against opposition from civil rights groups like the ACLU and the National Center for Youth Law, who argue “Any legislation to eliminate this core right must be based on concrete data and information that demonstrates this drastic step is the most effective and appropriate strategy to address the harms being alleged, and that there are not other less extreme options available.”
Not all states keep track of the rates of underage marriages within their borders. Child marriage bills have also been introduced in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and in Missouri the house passed a bill by Republican Representative Jean Evans that would allow seventeen-year-olds to get married with parental permission, but those younger would need judicial approval. The bill would also ban marriages if one partner is at least twenty-one years old and the other is younger than seventeen. It is unclear if Missouri Governor Eric Greitens will sign the bill into law.
On July 21st Texas senate bill 3 passed in an eight to one vote by the Senate State Affairs Committee. Bill 3, authored by Republican Senator Lois Kolkhorst and strongly supported by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick states that public bathroom use shall be based on one’s sex rather than their gender identity. It goes on to say “a political subdivision, including a public school district or an open enrollment charter school may not adopt or enforce an order, ordinance, policy or other measure to protect a class of persons from discrimination to the extent that the order, ordinance, policy, or other measure regulates 1) access to multiple occupancy restrooms, showers, or changing facilities or 2) participation in athletic activities.”
Kolkhorst opened the hearing by explaining the bill, discussing not only the issues of bodily privacy and safety, but also the equally as important matters of Title IX protections and athletic equity.
KOLKHORST (recording): SB3 is about finding a balance between the right to declare your gender and the right of a parent to protect their child. It’s about protecting over a thousand school districts from lawsuits on both sides of this issue. It’s about giving guidance to our UIL athletic programs to maintain the achievements earned in female athletics under Title IX. We have the duty to protect everyone, so the balance that we have to try to strike is delicate. I had my staff do some research, and since January just here in Texas there have been over five hundred stories written about this issue. Now, I asked my staff to count how many stories have been written about sexual assault on college campuses. One hundred, just over a hundred. And let me say this – one in four girls is sexually assaulted on our college campuses. And so the imbalance that I am seeing on these issues is something that I’m trying to give a voice to.
DI QUARTO: During the ten hour hearing, the Senate State Affairs Committee heard mostly oppositional testimony from trans people and their allies who focused almost exclusively on the facilities issue and emotional and psychological anguish of sex segregation, and said little to address the Title IX and athletics matters. The bill has also faced opposition from business and tourism organizations from around the state that fear the financial repercussions associated with such legislation. For example, losing performers for Austin’s South by Southwest Music Festival. House Speaker Joe Straus has remained opposed to any bill mandating sex segregated spaces, pointing to revenue losses in North Carolina resulting from boycotts of their House Bill 2.
The CEO of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau testified that Dallas has already lost forty million dollars simply because the legislature had taken up the bill. Senator Kolkhorst’s response to those concerns was that her proposed legislation put “daughters over dollars.”
Much of the hearing is available for viewing online, just google video search Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs July 21st.
Musical Interlude – “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac
SEKHMET SHE OWL: That was Little Lies by Fleetwood Mac. Next up, we’ll hear Mary Lou Singleton talk about the money behind the trans movement. Mary Lou is a lifelong women’s liberation activist whose background is predominantly in midwifery and women’s reproductive rights activism. Here is a portion of her interview.
SHE OWL: So, do you think the medicalization of gender became mainstream, acceptable practice, virtually overnight, it seems, just because all of these companies- these drug companies, and, and insurance companies and what have you, they just finally realized that they could profit off of this?
Mary Lou SINGLETON: No, I think that there are a handful of very wealthy men who are funding these pediatric gender clinics. The primary one being James Pritzker, who calls himself Jennifer Pritzker. He’s a heterosexual man, he’s a military man. He’s from the Pritzker family, which is one of the wealthiest families in the United States, and he decided late in life that he was actually a woman, after fathering many children and being married to at least one woman for, you know, I think he had at least one long marriage, I don’t know how many marriages he had. He now, like so many men who declare themselves women late in life, calls himself a lesbian. His two main focuses of his philanthropy, if you want to call it that, has been transition in the military, he’s poured billions into pushing transgenderism in the US military and then billions into funding pediatric gender transition clinics. So- what’s that saying, you know, we all know the Margaret Mead saying of never doubt that a small group of dedicated individuals can change the world blah blah blah. But I really think that we need to step back and recognize the reality of Capitalism and know, like, never doubt that a small group of incredibly wealthy men can change the world, indeed it may be the only thing that ever has.
So- this uh- he’s incredibly wealthy. And if you really start to look at the Pritzker family, this family is influencing so much in our culture right now. The Pritzker family was the primary financial backing of Barack Obama, they found him when he was still a grassroots activist, they turned him into a US Senator, they got him the spot, um, giving the speech at John Kerry’s nomination. I think that when people were watching that, during the, the Kerry Bush election, watching the convention it was pretty clear Kerry was going to lose and Obama was going to be the next big thing. The Pritzker family put a ton of money into creating Barack Obama as the President, and, you know the President of the United States serves the Empire, the head of the Empire, and this is a Capitalist Imperial family.
Um, Penny Pritzker was Obama’s first Commerce Secretary. The Pritzker family had enormous influence over the Obama administration. And, I feel like, you know, money talks, and the people who fund our government are the people running our government. So the Pritzker family is one to look at, especially James Jennifer Pritzker. He also, um, he has a foundation called the Tawani Foundation, and that funds the Palm Center, which is the organization that promotes transgenderism in the military and has done all these studies and policy briefs and, you know, billion dollar activism, if you want to call it that, on behalf of this wealthy man’s agenda. And then how this trickles down, you know, so, one- there’s also Jon Stryker. He is the heir to the Stryker Corporation, and the Stryker Corporations’ multibillion dollar business is very fascinating that they make artificial body parts.
SHE OWL: Hmm
SINGLETON: Where, I can see a connection between medicalizing gender and making artificial body parts. There- they are the cutting edge of 3D printing of organs, making robotic prosthetics, that’s the Stryker Corporation. Billions and billions of dollars. Jon Stryker is the heir of that, and his money goes into the Arcus Foundation. It’s a very interesting billion dollar foundation, um, that the two prongs, the two prongs of activism that Jon Stryker is interested in are – great ape preservation and LGBT, primarily trans promotion. Stryker foundation gave a fifty million dollar grant to promote transgenderism worldwide, and in non-western countries fifty million dollars will buy you a lot of… prosthetic, um, penis customers, you know? Fifty-fifty million dollars is a lot of money in the non-profit world.
So they’re promoting transgenderism outside of the western Anglo world, and also the Stryker foundation Arcus funds this group called the Pipeline Project. The Pipeline Project is to train LGBT people of color under the age of thirty as leaders to then go place in other organizations on the left. And how this has worked in my world is there’s a woman named Andrea Lucero who is a Latina birth activist, and I think she’s a lesbian- I don’t know what she calls herself now but she has a female partner, and I think they, she may call herself a man now or they’re non binary or something. She’s a- she’s a woman who’s given birth, she’s interested in home birth, she is a lawyer and she worked in a very high paying position at the Palm Institute which is, again, funded by Pritzker to promote transgenderism in the military, that was her job. She did a very good job at it, and she then got a pipeline fellowship through Jon Stryker’s family’s Arcus Foundation Pipeline Project. And from there she then became the executive council of the Midwives Alliance of North America and pushed through the erasure of the words ‘woman’ and ‘mother’ from all the language of birth in the midwifery world.
SHE OWL: So I knew about Pritzker and Stryker. Stryker, I believe, is actually a gay man. Um-
SINGLETON: Oh is he?
SHE OWL: I think he is, yeah
SINGLETON: Oh ok
SHE OWL: I’m pretty sure that I read that somewhere. That, to me, speaks to the fact that especially for gay men, who are very different from lesbians. Ultimately, you know, if you have money, you will put money above community. Despite the fact that Stryker himself is not trans, and, you know, you would think that maybe he would care about the ramifications of the trans movement on the gay community. I mean at the end of the day he’s just a rich guy who is interested in making as much money as he possibly can. So, I mean I guess this question probably sort of answers itself, but, you know, why do you think, and I mean the two men you mentioned, those are only a couple out of a handful, and I believe Soros now is actually investing in the trans movement too.
SINGLETON: And he’s – he also is funding a lot of the promotion of prostitution on the left. And, which is so interesting because you can’t have prostitution without gender, gender is the behavioral system that enforces male supremacy. So yeah, so Soros has put a ton of money into it. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, these guys who- all the money on the left comes through these men. If you get any grant funding on the left, at some point it’s coming through one of these guys, and they’re enforcing that all the grants come with the strings that you have to get on board with the gender agenda. That you have to change your language, that you have to promote genderism, that you have to erase women from the language of reproduction. And it’s really a lesson in people stepping back and understanding, like, the revolution will not be funded by a generous grant from the Gates Foundation. These men are controlling what gets done in the world of activism.
SHE OWL: Why do these ultra-rich men, who, you know, they’re going to be rich whether they fund the trans movement or not, they already have more money than any human being could spend in one lifetime. So, what- why do you think they’re doing this? Like, why do you think that they are funding this movement worldwide. Do you think that they’re – that they do have a motive that is not economic? Do you think they have political motive?
SINGLETON: Economics is politics, right?
SHE OWL: Yeah
SINGLETON: I don’t think we can separate the two. I think there are a lot of patriarchal capitalist aims served by promoting gender as real and biological sex not as real. We haven’t even talked yet about Martine Rothblatt, who is the CEO of a pharmaceutical company who calls himself a woman, is married to a woman named Bina but he also has a robot wife also named Bina. And his agenda is transhumanism, and that’s when things start getting really weird, when you think about, like, these men are very invested in tech, and very invested in, you know, this cyborg reality of merging people with technology. Um, and-well-you know-
I encourage people to really look this up, and look up the words of Martine Rothblatt, because if I say them people will think I’m a crazy tin-foil hat conspiracist, because it’s so far out there that he’s on record of saying, his agenda is we’re eventually going to live forever by uploading our consciousness into the internet, and that sentient artificial intelligent organisms are human. That he-you know, he’s going for personhood for machines, and that’s really interesting, and that the first step towards that, where there’s a ton of money in that kind of tech, the first step towards that, of you know, are machines human is to completely untether people from their biology. Like, if we can’t define what a woman is, how can we define what a human is. So that’s one agenda, is this transhumanist agenda.
There’s the population control agenda that, people really need to talk about this. Like, I- it was explained to me by one of my mentors Carol Downer who was one of the reproductive sovereignty activists, who, one of the women who invented menstrual extraction, very, you know, spent her whole life fighting for reproductive sovereignty, and very aware of the population control agenda of the liberal ruling class. And she explained that this, you know, you don’t have agreement in the ruling class about what the best way to manage the population is. And you’ve got the, these liberal men in our generation that’s like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, and they wanna, they have an understanding of the environment, and the ecological crisis, and they want to decrease the population.
And you see that. Gates pours a ton of money into birth control, birth control devices that women don’t have control over themselves, like implants and things like that, none of these men are interested in abortion on demand and without apology or true sovereignty for women. But they’re interested in birth control. And then on the right, you have these men- like the Koch Brothers who have this huge desperate population where people will work for five cents an hour, where it’s really easy to control desperate hungry people and get them to do what you want like fight in your wars, and work in your factories, and be poisoned by chemicals and not complain because otherwise your kids will starve.
So, Carol describes it as the carrot people and the stick people, among the ruling class. I do think we have to be honest about Soros, Buffett, Gates, and this population control agenda and coming into all the schools and promoting an ideology that results in the sterilization of children, is part of a population control agenda.
So there’s population control. There’s the destruction of class analysis with neoliberalism, that, this is-uh, you know it’s all about the individual, genderism is very much you know, my feelings are the most important thing my individual rights supersede you know, your right to understand material reality as something that exists. Like it’s very much promoting individualism which destroys any sense of class consciousness that you know that there is the ruling class, and that we are, you know, that we are different classes of people with different class consciousness and we should be organizing based on our-our class interest.
There’s also, on that line, you know the commodification of oppression. When, you know, oppression becomes an identity you can purchase. Like on the left, trans is like the most elevated of all the oppressed groups, even though from a material analysis transgender people are not materially oppressed. Do they suffer discrimination? Yes, you know, do they suffer rates of violence from men? Yes, but they’re not materially oppressed in the sense that no other group of people is mining them for resources, or land, or reproductive capacity. So this is, this elevation of this oppression identity as the most oppressed person ever- every movement has to center around protecting the transgender people, they are the most important people and the rights of that oppression identity are being promoted at every level. They are gaining rights, gaining rights, gaining rights, gaining visibility.
And at the same time, materially oppressed people are losing ground at just an incredibly rapid rate. All of the people capitalism has always exploited, all of the people that have been materially oppressed since the beginning of the United States, African Americans, Native Americans, recent immigrants, women, all of those people who are being mined for resources on the material plane are losing their rights. And this is a big distraction from what oppression really is. We’re seeing, like, oh oppression means people don’t like you, oppression means people don’t agree with your version of reality, oppression means disagreement. Versus oppression means you know, the government’s taken back the lands that they told you in the crappy treaty were yours, but now that they’ve found copper on it you’re losing it now, you know, indigenous people are losing rights everywhere. We, you know, this- the continual, brutal state crackdown on the black community, the violence that’s happening towards people of color, the hatred towards recent immigrants and the erosion of reproductive freedom for women are happening at – very terrifying speed. And this is a distraction from that.
So, the ruling class is benefiting from that. [Inaudible] explains to me that how transgenderism is being used to destroy civil rights in general. That all of civil rights law in the United States, whether it’s sex-based protections or race-based protections, are built on the legal concept of an immutable trait. Something you cannot change about yourself. And now that we’re destroying that with sex-based protections and saying actually people can change their sex, that destroys this legal concept of an immutable trait. And we’re seeing growing, you know, little blips of trans racialism popping up. Rachel Dolezal is the highest profile example of that, but you’re seeing more, like, oh this man is a trans Korean and he got all this plastic surgery or this woman’s turning herself into – this white woman is turning herself into a black woman. We’re starting to see little blips of that in the media, and trans racialism right now is where transgenderism was culturally in the 1990’s.
So you know, it’s very helpful to the ruling class to destroy civil rights protections and make oppression a commodity people can purchase rather than something, you know, that’s happening to a specific class of people based on something that group of people can’t change about themselves.
Musical Interlude: “Real Voice” by Thistle Pettersen
DI QUARTO: Next up we will hear an interview segment Sekhmet She Owl did with Jane Chotard and Taylor Fogarty about the impact of the trans movement on the lesbian community.
Sekhmet She OWL: Homophobia is a problem, like, and if homophobia is the motivation for these adults to make children transition then that is a problem that, you know, if you’re a gay man or a lesbian, you should be concerned about that.
Jane CHOTARD: I agree because, in this sense, I think that there are pressures on kids to transition. I think that the trans movement sort of feels like this is all coming from an innate gender that’s self-expressing it, you know. And therefore you’re allowing someone to be trans as opposed to making them trans. And of course I don’t agree with that concept-conception to begin with. Of what gender is and what is expressed. I also think that obviously if it didn’t, you know, what they’re essentially saying is it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, and I, the reason that I say that is because I do think that your relationship to your body is fundamental. It is a fundamental experience. And to be at odds with your body throughout the course of your life, because you have to take the hormones for the rest of your life.
SHE OWL: Right
CHOTARD: And you will be experiencing things like vaginal atrophy and pelvic problems, and, you know, all of these conditions
SHE OWL: And they don’t tell these children that
CHOTARD: A child cannot have a concept of that. You know, to begin with. And a child-a child doesn’t even know, well, you know, my gender nonconformity actually just may be an aspect of my sexuality and therefore I might be quite comfortable being lesbian or gay when I turn fifteen. They don’t have any options.
SHE OWL: Right
CHOTARD: You know, and the thing that’s interesting to me is that we as a culture, because we quote on quote don’t want to oversexualize our kids, yeah, we know about that, we talk to them about gender way before we will talk to them about sexuality. So their introduction to the concepts around gender nonconformity is all within the rubric of gender. And as I, you know, as I compare it to myself, when I grew up, those, my gender nonconformity was the first sign that perhaps I was a lesbian. And, today that would be considered the first sign would be that you are trans. And it would put me on the course to be at odds with my body, for the entire course of my life, without having any other options. And this is being set up for somebody who’s five years old. Who can’t even begin to fathom- not only cannot begin to fathom what they’re asking for, for themselves, but they don’t fully understand that they will never be the opposite sex. And I don’t even know that children are capable of fully understanding the limitations there are on that.
So I guess, you know, I would like to say as a lesbian, of course, being lesbian is a very valid lifestyle that has intrinsic value to the people that are lesbian and to our culture. I just find that tracking people one way or the other, at a young age is inappropriate. As a way of encouraging full development, as a person, as a psyche within a body, as a body that is functioning in concert with the psyche. I just don’t see child development being handled that way as being healthy. I wouldn’t have wanted somebody as, you know to come to me as a gender nonconforming child and say to me well you must lesbian. But we allow people to say that, to children, well you must be trans. I just find it totally inappropriate.
SHE OWL: So, just to clarify for our listeners, because I think that this is a really wide spread misconception about, you know, people who have, who are, who oppose the transitioning of children. The, you don’t have a – you don’t have a problem with the actual gender nonconformity that’s going on with the children, you have a problem with making that gender nonconformity into a full-blown transgender medicalized transition process.
SHE OWL: Correct, ok
CHOTARD: Because I would have a problem with anyone dictating what my gender nonconformity actually meant. For my entire life.
SHE OWL: Right, because I- I wanted to clarify that because there is this false dichotomy in the mainstream narrative when it comes to different attitudes towards transitioning. And they’ve set it up – they’ve set it up so where it seems like, well either you support transgenderism and transitioning, or you want to force people to perform a traditional gender role based on their sex, so that would mean men have to be masculine and women have to be feminine. And that’s the conservative attitude toward gender and that’s, you know, so people pretend that feminists and gender critical and gender abolitionist women and gender non-conforming gay men and lesbians who are like, you know, we don’t think you should be telling these little GNC kids that they’re trans. They want, they wanna make the world think that we want to force those kids to be traditionally gender conforming instead. And that’s not the case.
CHOTARD: No, not at all. Not at all the case. And you know I wouldn’t even consider it as a lesbian, trying to get the gender nonconforming kids to conform to stereotypes.
SHE OWL: So Taylor, this is a question for you, how is the trans movement changing the landscape of the lesbian community, in your experience, especially the young lesbian community.
Taylor FOGARTY: Well I think, you guys sort of spoke on this previously, it’s just, the amount of attention and affirmation and love that the trans community receives in the media and by the LGBT peers versus someone coming out as a lesbian, someone coming out as gay. I think that lesbian, gay are- being female is kind of outdated term, and they’re- because of the fact that they are sex exclusive. And that doesn’t even jive well with the trans ideology because, you know, to define a woman by her sex is not correct by trans logic. So, I think there’s a lot of lesbians that I know that are, you know, they don’t feel supported by the LGBT community because the trans rhetoric, doesn’t even bode well for any sort of sexuality. Even heterosexuality.
So I think that, in my experience there are lesbians that are feeling at war with this community that they’re supposed to be attached to, yet kind of goes against everything that defines their own sexuality. So I think there is kind of a bit of a, like, war between the LGB and the T, and, kind of- what you guys were saying about the transing of children and how gender nonconformity is immediately written off as trans, I mean, I do think that lesbians are disappearing. And that is a problem in itself but, I-I think there, [inaudible] outside of there not even being, you know, a community solely for lesbians, I think, that the LGBT community isn’t even a friendly space for lesbians anymore. You know they’re being told that their sexualities are not only outdated, but discriminatory because they’re defining woman by her sex.
Um, so, yeah I think it’s just all around bad, the treatment. I mean the treatment from heterosexuals is what it is, but this community that they’re supposed to find solace in is against them now, and goes against everything that they are, so, umm. Yeah, it’s-it’s very sad.
SHE OWL: How do you see young lesbians in particular responding to that? How do they, you know, how are they handling it? Are they- is there, like, I guess like what’s the ratio of lesbians who sort of capitulate to all of that anti-lesbian rhetoric versus the ones who resist it and dig their heels in and say no, this is who I am.
FOGARTY: I mean, unfortunately I think the ratio definitely leans towards people who are, kind of give into it because, I mean the rhetoric at least I see on twitter and social media is, like from the trans activists to lesbians is just like super aggressive, and, like, it’s almost like this- bullying tactics. So I see a lot of lesbians that are almost apologizing for being lesbians. The woman who wrote that Buzzfeed article calling lesbians outdated is a lesbian. So it’s like wildly frustrating, it’s just like what are you doing. It’s self-sabotaging your community. Uh, and so, you know, I’m surrounded by people who are resisting it but I know people that- they don’t want to resist it because they’re afraid of being seen as transphobic, or being seen as a bigot. So they’ll go on Twitter anonymously, or they’ll, you know, they-they don’t speak out because they don’t want the backlash. Even there’s some popular Youtubers nowadays that are kind of waking up to the madness, and getting chastised for it.
And I know I have been, you know. So it’s like why would anyone speak out against it. Uh, so yeah, I mean, I hope, you know, as more and more people kind of wake up to it and find the bravery to speak out, I-I hope that more people will kind of wake up to it. But again it is also the idea that social media and how, it can be just so one sided, and as long as you’re kind of surrounded by the same views, and reading the same media outlets like you’re not really even gonna to understand that there are people who aren’t against it.
And I know, in my experience like, I had a kind of like a, an uneasiness about the kind of trans movement and didn’t really have words for it until, like, I found the words for it and so I found people that were writing or speaking about it and it was kind of like, oh, like this is why this makes me mad. So I hope that there becomes more of that, the more, particularly lesbians, feel like they can relate, you know and stand up for themselves.
SHE OWL: Do you – do you see, especially in person in the New York area, or even just online, do you see younger lesbians sort of basically hiding the fact that they’re a lesbian? Kind of renouncing the term itself and in favor of queer to sort of, you know, like-
FOGARTY: Oh yeah.
SHE OWL: I guess, I guess the purpose of that would be so that you don’t attract interrogation from-
SHE OWL: From the trans-
FOGARTY: Oh, of course-
SHE OWL: Right
FOGARTY: No, totally, I mean I- more people I know identify as queer versus gay or lesbian. It’s definitely more prominent in lesbians, I mean I see gay men that are just much more comfortable calling themselves gay than lesbians are calling themselves lesbian. But, it is-it is I mean I don’t really know a lesbian that doesn’t call herself queer, so it’s like definitely, I think, to your point. It’s- [inaudible] now they’re just going to deny any sort of interrogation on like well what does that mean, like lesbian, are you excluding them – it’s just this whole fear of being exclusionary, which, being exclusionary is supposed to be what sexuality is, is excluding one sex or the other. So, for sure I think queer is definitely a kind of a blanket for that.
DI QUARTO: You are listening to WLRN brought to you by the totally excellent radical feminists at Women’s Liberation Radio News
NILE PIERCE: In his 1984 book, Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry, criminologist John Braithwaite elucidates several different types of crime perpetrated by corporations and their representatives. One look at the contents page spells it out: bribery, the safety testing of drugs, from negligence to fraud, unsafe manufacturing practices, anti-trust, the corporation as pusher, drug companies in the third world, fiddling, and strategies for controlling this kind of crime in the industry. He notes in the preface that when he began teaching some of this material back in 1979 he “found that students had an amorphous understanding of the subject as an incomprehensible evil perpetrated by the powerful.”
Over thirty five years later and it seems like not much has changed in that regard. Make the slightest suggestion that the pharmaceutical industry may be corrupt and as motivated by profit and watch eyes roll around you. Braithwaite’s study is important because it’s informed and grounded in empiricism. He conducted a series of several qualitative one-one-one interviews with people in the pharmaceutical industry, including but not limited to managers and executives of various companies. Here I will read an excerpt from Braithwaite’s book due its relevance to the topic under discussion in this broadcast.
“Generally speaking, the conditions for which a drug is recommended are called its indications, and the conditions for which it would be particularly dangerous to use the drug are its contraindications. Pharmaceutical companies naturally have an interest in expanding markets by promoting wide indications and limiting contraindications. Pharmaceutical companies even manage to invent new conditions as indications. Madison Avenue is able to respond creatively when the pharmaceutical company says here’s the cure – find the disease.
“An example of such creativity was the promotion of Lilly’s Aventyl for a new disease called behavioral drift. There is also the more basic strategy of defining indications, such as depression, as widely as possible. Dr. Richard Crout, Director of the FDA’s Bureau of Drugs, gives the example of a Pfizer videotape distributed to hospitals. The tape begins by asserting that 4 to 8 million of Americans suffer from depression, but later we are told that under a different definition of depression, that is – depression as the ‘absence of joy’ the figure would be much higher, upwards of 20 million. Crout concludes that Pfizer were attempting to create the impression that depression was ‘everywhere and being underdiagnosed’.”
Braithwaite’s point is twofold. First, that definitions and the words we use matter. They particularly matter for policy and insofar as things are affected by policy definitions also matter for profit. Second, that pharmaceutical companies work in tandem with advertising agencies and other media to get specific messages across to the general public in a veiled way, a process engineered to expand and ensure the ongoing accumulation of capital for those with vested interests in the firms in question, as well as their subsidiaries. Fast-forward to 2017 and the socio-cultural milieu we find ourselves in, enmeshed within frameworks of popular rhetoric, misogynist so-called feminisms and neoliberal thinking that rationalizes the vast reach of inhumane abuses currently taking shape right under our noses by a variety of supposedly law abiding institutions.
The top fourteen pharmaceutical companies each grossed over 20 billion US dollars in 2016 alone. And when compared with the last five or six years, annual profit appears to be increasing for many of them. It goes without saying, that once wealth of that magnitude is generated it must be maintained. Scott Gottlieb, the Trump administration’s choice to head the Food and Drug Administration, otherwise known as the FDA, a regulatory body that is theoretically neutral in its politics, is himself closely tied to the pharmaceutical industry. Now let us consider that the FDA, a regulation body meant to protect citizens from corporate crime, enjoys a budget of over five billion dollars per year. With its most senior representatives hailing from former appointments at Monsanto and other such corporations.
Gottlieb has already been involved in policy reviews and has hastened approvals for many of the drugs that may not have been studied thoroughly or long enough to know if they are truly safe. The Trump administration has hailed these kinds of actions as “making America great again” and has said that it looks forward to Gottlieb leading the FDA in order to begin “cutting the red tape” at the agency, and quickly approving thousands of drugs currently on hold for safety reasons. But let us remind ourselves that Gottlieb is not the only one. In fact, many former employees of large corporations such as Monsanto and Pfizer are now occupying seats in regulatory bodies like the FDA. Single individuals are not appointed to these positions based solely on their own merits or the glories of past performance. No, single individuals alone are not powerful enough for these kind of sweeping power grabs, but neocon networks, on the other hand are.
Indeed, they look after their own. Promoting the most malleable to the most influential positions in the interest of the neocon collective. And at the core of that collective’s interests and agenda is futures trading, personal wealth generation, and the maintenance and use of power. But how do these criminal networks work their magic? The simple answer is through shadow governing. For Janine Wedel, multiple stakeholders and neocon networks involved in shadow governing pursue policies in their own interest while reorganizing standard government processes, circumventing checks and balances, and reshaping institutions to concentrate and expand unaccountable state power. But teasing out the intricate processes of this kind of evil has already been done by many investigative reporters, academics, and other writers. The information is out there. George Soros is reported to be one of the biggest donors of funds to organizations that push the transgender movement via organizing media and policy. His Open Society Institute has given millions in donations over the years to organizations that push the trans agenda. He is also alleged to have holdings in about ten different pharmaceutical companies in the US and abroad. In 2010 Soros invested 40 million in Hong Kong based Siwan Pharmaceutical. He purchased 31,200 shares of Pfizer back in 2017. Two years prior he increased his holdings with Perrigo, an Irish drug company, as well as Allergan, in anticipation of that companies merger with Pfizer. Soros also invested in Teva Pharmaceuticals that year, but later sold most of his shares. Regardless of whether Soros sits on the boards or just owns stock, he clearly has interest in the success of the movement as per his monetary investment in the companies that are profiting from it.
But let’s keep it real – Soros is possibly the least of our worries. There are other more powerful men with wide reaching authority and resources who are also heavily invested in the success of the trans agenda. For example, Jennifer Pritzker, formerly known as James Nicholas Pritzker who is hailed as the world’s wealthiest transgender person, Pritzker is a billionaire from Chicago who has donated millions of dollars to promoting the trans agenda and has focused intensely on pushing that agenda on the very young. Surely we can begin to see now that the sudden explosion of the pro trans agenda everything these last several years has not been coincidental as much as liberals would like for us to believe it is. It is being pushed down our throats whether we like it or not because there is money to be made and powerful men to be pleased. What is not being stated in the current hoopla around the transgender phenomenon sweeping the world, is that this movement is being strategized and controlled without concern for the deleterious consequences it is currently having and will have on the very real lives of people and young children involved in these reprehensible hormone experimentation programs. So the answer to our original question of who is funding and controlling the transgender agenda is simple – powerful men with means.
The common denominator running through the entire pro-trans phenomenon on every level is men and their liberal handmaidens, and what they are doing is not just wrong, it is criminal. It is male pattern violence in action. It is harming society, women, children, and even other men. Perhaps the saddest casualties in all of this are the innocent kids. There is real physical and psychological harm being done to children who aren’t even old enough to know how to tie their own shoes in some cases, but are being told that they need hormone blockers because they want to wear clothes of a different gender. It harms women and girls because it’s taking away our safe spaces by obscuring the legal language and removing us from the equation of policy. Our rights are being trampled on. Children are being abused by the medical and pharmaceutical industries because there is money to be made. And that is apparently what matters at the end of the day for the very few who are gaining for this.
Music begins playing
DI QUARTO: That concludes WLRN 16th edition podcast for August 3rd 2017. Thanks for tuning in. This is Jenna Di Quarto signing off. If you’d like to get in touch with us please send us an email to email@example.com
PIERCE: WLRN would like to add new members to our all-volunteer powered media collective. If you’d like to join our team please visit our WordPress site and click on ‘volunteer for WLRN’ this is Nile Pierce. Thanks for tuning in.
SHE OWL: And I’m Sekhmet She Owl. Thanks to your donations we were able to get a stock of WLRN tee shirts for our staff, volunteers, and listener supporters. We only have six shirts left. If you’d like a WLRN tee shirt visit our website at wlrnmedia.wordpress.com and click on our tee shirt tab to let us know.
PETERSEN: Thanks for tuning in to WLRN. This is Thistle Petersen signing off for now. Next month’s edition will focus on women’s health and wellness. We always release our handcrafted podcasts the first Thursday of every month, so stay tuned for our September 7th release.
AMANDA: Thanks for staying tuned to collectively produced feminist radio here at WLRN. This is Amanda, signing off. Until next time, stay strong.
Musical Interlude:“Michigan” by Thistle Pettersen:
But how will we find our way out of this?
What is the antidote for the patriarchal kiss?
How will we find what needs to be shown?
And then after that
Where is home, tell me
Where is my home?
Cos gender hurts….