New women's pharmacy in Vancouver...excludes trans women.

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Boze
New women's pharmacy in Vancouver...excludes trans women.

Depressing that VWHC feels the need to make a point of specifically excluding trans women.

http://www.bilerico.com/2009/07/the_prerequisites_to_woman.php

Quote:
A women-only pharmacy -- according to reports, possibly the first of its kind in North America -- is opening in Vancouver on Tuesday. This pharmacy is designed to offer a comfortable, open environment, woman-specific information and non-judgmental counseling. They are also planning to add a "resource centre behind Lu's to get more health information from volunteers and peruse the library, which includes clipping files and Internet access.... a nurse practitioner .... a big couch at the back where visitors can join support groups for addictions and to stop smoking."

I'd love to applaud this, I really would. I know all too well the unpredictability of the biases of the person you seek medical information from, the inconsistent quality of that information, the questions about your body that you don't dare ask anyone, the denial of reliable information on medications, the way that the health system and society in general have medicalized women's bodies. But in the end, it doesn't matter whether I applaud or not: my business is not wanted. Lu's: A Pharmacy for Women very specifically caters only to "any woman who was born a woman."

 

Sigh. Don't even know what to say.

remind remind's picture

I do but I won't.

Michelle

I'm sorry to hear this.

I don't know why such a significant segment of the feminist movement can't seem to wrap their heads around their transphobia and overcome it.  I really don't.

RP.

How are they supposed to tell?

RosaL

Michelle wrote:

I'm sorry to hear this.

I don't know why such a significant segment of the feminist movement can't seem to wrap their heads around their transphobia and overcome it.  I really don't.

 

I reserve judgment. I've never heard anyone explain this in a way that didn't contradict my feminism. I'm not saying it's not possible - just that I've never heard such an explanation. (I remember a famous feminist - whose name I forget - saying, "If the shoe doesn't fit, why change the foot?")

On another topic, there seems to be a strong tendency around here to 'psychologize' what people say. It makes discussion impossible and I think it's disrespectful. If we're going to talk to each other and learn from each other, don't we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt and treat each other with respect? In other words, is it possible to discuss this on babble? I've often wondered about this whole transgender issue but I've been afraid to mention it because I feared it would be met with accusations of phobia and bigotry rather than genuine dialogue.

note: Michelle, I think you were probably talking about the people in Vancouver, not responding to remind. So I'm not saying you have done this. 

Ghislaine

Well Rosa L, I will dive in with [url=http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid23234.asp] this example [/url] from Vancouver, which is related:

 

Quote:

 

 

Suzanne Jay of Vancouver Rape Relief said she had not read the full appeals court decision but was pleased nonetheless. "The decision of the appeal court is a great victory," she told the Post . "It's confirmed our right to determine our membership."

In August 1995, Nixon was denied the chance to train and serve as a volunteer peer counselor for the nonprofit organization. They rejected her after discovering she had been born a man but in 1990 had undergone sex-reassignment surgery. Nixon filed a human-rights complaint, saying she'd been devastated and humiliated by the decision, and a British Columbia human rights tribunal found that she had been discriminated against, awarding her $7,500 in damages, at the time the highest amount ever awarded in such a case.

The society appealed, and British Columbia supreme court justice Robert Edwards found Nixon had not been discriminated against, setting aside the award. Nixon then appealed the ruling, but a three-member panel of the appeals court ruled that the society was protected in its discrimination by the so-called group-rights section of the code. (Advocate.com)

 

 

Do former men have a right to be rape counsellors?

Refuge Refuge's picture

Though I agree 100% that trans women are women is a societal context, identity, emotional etc I do have questions in regards to this. 

A transgendered woman is physically different than a non trans gendered woman (even if on the surface the body is physically the same it does not operate the same as a non trans gendered person's body).  If she is looking for information about her body, questions about her body and information on how medication would effect her body going to a women specific clinic that specialize in how that happens within women's bodies might not be the place to go. 

Anything non medical I can see as being ridiculous (I think she mentioned smoking support groups etc) but if you are actually talking about medical issues to do with the body a trans gendered body is different than a non trans gendered body.  It doesn't make it any less or more female than a person born with a female body but it does make it different.

Perhaps they should be fighting for a specialist who knows the medical issues with trans gendered women to be at the clinic so they can get a full range of services like every other women.

Michelle

That's true, RosaL, and I apologize for that remark.  I agree that it probably doesn't set a very welcoming tone for questions and discussion.

Caissa

This isuue is being discussed heatedly and respectfully at EnMasse.

Ghislaine

Caissa wrote:

This isuue is being discussed heatedly and respectfully at EnMasse.

You're right about that - thx Caissa. A few commenters there mentioned the Kimberly Nixon case that I linked to up above and most agreed with the decision. There was mixed feelings on this particular case.

In this case though, how would they even know if someone is a trannie or a "born" woman (aren't women born as girls)? Wouldn't cross-dressers make it in anyways? On the other side of the coin, one would assume that a lot of the services that women would want a woman-only space for (thinking of my personal feelings here) would be for emergency contraception, discussions of various birth control . These are things that a transexual woman would not need.  I am assuming that "born women" who had F to M sex changes are also excluded.

Sineed

I don't understand why a gender-specific pharmacy is needed at all, and I've been a pharmacist for 23 years.  Most of the clientele (excluding, say, people picking up an antibiotic for a child's ear infection), have medical problems that require sensitivity and respect for privacy and the confidentiality of medical records.  And that includes all genders.

Le T Le T's picture

Quote:

A transgendered woman is physically different than a non trans gendered woman (even if on the surface the body is physically the same it does not operate the same as a non trans gendered person's body).  If she is looking for information about her body, questions about her body and information on how medication would effect her body going to a women specific clinic that specialize in how that happens within women's bodies might not be the place to go.

 

And an older woman's body is different from a younger woman's body and a poor woman's different from a rich woman's. I think that you will find that at the root of all anti-trans arguments is a baseless assumption.

Feminism has historically been plagued with racism, classism and every other form of oppressive tendency that is cultivated in our colonial society (as are all social movements). This is just the latest chapter.

 

 

 

Tehanu

Hi everyone! [waves]

 

Just felt there needed to be a couple of cents thrown in, hope nobody minds.

 

Ghislaine wrote:
A few commenters there mentioned the Kimberly Nixon case that I linked to up above and most agreed with the decision.

Um, no, that's not really the case. Please don't mischaracterize that discussion! One person said she did. I said I was torn over that particular case but was totally opposed to the pharmacy excluding trans women, and I'll add I find it a total stretch to imagine a situation where it's remotely justified have a "women-born-women" space. The Vancouver Rape Relief case is a very unique example. And when push comes to shove, although I will say I can see arguments on both sides, I consider that overall VRR was in the wrong.

 

[url=http://enmasse.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12666&start=0]Here's[/url] the enMasse thread where we're debating the pharmacy policy, in case anyone's interested in seeing for themselves.

 

Quote:
In this case though, how would they even know if someone is a trannie or a "born" woman (aren't women born as girls)?

This is why I logged on. Just a head's up: "trannie" is considered by many, if not most trans people and allies to be offensive. I was kind of waiting for someone to mention this. Please, keep in mind that this language is hurtful.

Quote:
Wouldn't cross-dressers make it in anyways? On the other side of the coin, one would assume that a lot of the services that women would want a woman-only space for (thinking of my personal feelings here) would be for emergency contraception, discussions of various birth control . These are things that a transexual woman would not need.  I am assuming that "born women" who had F to M sex changes are also excluded.

You know what? Emergency contraception and various forms of birth control are non-issues for another group of women that has had mixed experiences with feminism: lesbians.

 

And I made that analogy when arguing that feminism needs to be inclusive. As feminists we do ourselves no favours, and in my opinion we fail to live up to our ideals, when we start drawing lines in the sand and shutting out other women. Particularly women who are particularly oppressed.

 

Anyway, see y'all!

Sineed

Hello Tehanu! (waves back)

Good points; I also disagree with excluding trans women.  But I also disagree with excluding men.

If the trouble with the other local pharmacies is that they were "hostile" places, surely many vulnerable people - women, men, transpeople - would benefit from a pharmacy that incorporates more caring values, looking after the whole person rather than just dispensing pills.

And hey; what if I dropped off my script for Tamiflu, and my case of swine flu subsequently took a turn for the worse - would my husband be prevented from picking up my script?

Just don't see the need for a gender-specific pharmacy.

And how would they know all their customers are "women born as women?"  Proof of double X chromosomal status, like the Olympics?

Michelle

Lovely to see you, Tehanu!  I agree with your whole post. :)  Well, except for the VRR part, which I don't feel torn over at all. 

Thanks for dropping in. :)

martin dufresne

FWIW, I agree with what seems to be Sineed's implicit point that the discussion around the right (or lack thereof) of women to exclude transsexuals (or transverstites or women-identified men) is really akin to those about excluding men, the one about women's right to define their space. I also agree with RosaL's point that in both cases, objections raised should not be reduced to accusations of defective psychology, e.g. -phobia.

Snert Snert's picture

I'm no expert in the field or anything, but it looks to me like this is really less about transphobia, or any other phobia, and more about the application of essentialist politics to a pharmacy.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Le T wrote:

Refuge wrote:
A transgendered woman is physically different than a non trans gendered woman (even if on the surface the body is physically the same it does not operate the same as a non trans gendered person's body).  If she is looking for information about her body, questions about her body and information on how medication would effect her body going to a women specific clinic that specialize in how that happens within women's bodies might not be the place to go.

And an older woman's body is different from a younger woman's body and a poor woman's different from a rich woman's. I think that you will find that at the root of all anti-trans arguments is a baseless assumption.

Feminism has historically been plagued with racism, classism and every other form of oppressive tendency that is cultivated in our colonial society (as are all social movements). This is just the latest chapter.

It was my impression that there would be questions directed to counsellors and medical personel in regards to medications affecting the body, questions about how someones body works specifically and general information about womens bodies that someone who specializes in womens bodies wouldn't be able to offer to someone who is transgendered because their bodies would react differently to medication (just as womens bodies react differently to mens, and likely women who are transgendered react differently to men as well), questions about the mechanics of their body (and the mechanics of a women who is transgendered is different) and general questions about women's bodies (which again would be different). 

When you  are talking about women who are of varied age or socioeconomic status you are talking about factors which effect the way a womans body works but if you are talking about a transgendered women you are not talking about factors which effect you are talking about a women that has a body that is different.  That doesn't make them more or less of a woman but it does make their bodies different.

Any services that are denyed outside of these services I think would be stupid and like I said, I believe that they should fight to get someone in there who can answer any questions that fall within the different mechanics of their bodies or questions they may have about their bodies so that they could still be served at the clinic but the reality is that the people at the clinic providing the services just may not have the answers to the questions right now. 

The reality is that if there are 2000 people who go to the clinic they have somewhere between 20 and 30 women attending that would be transgendered and would require specialized services for certain areas which is more than enough to bring in someone who specializes in any ways in which a women who is transgendered may need different answers.

Women who are transgendered are women first and foremost and deserve all services as a women recieves.  But just as a women who has had to suffer the horrors of genital mutilation (and I am sure that some women who are transgendered would likely say that having to grow up in a mans body is a horror) would need specialized services for some areas, some questions and some concerns but by no means all areas of their life because their bodies are physically different from other womens bodies.  Their questions about sexuality, urination issues etc would need different answers than someone who was able to escape genital mutilation.

I think by ignoring the differences people actually do these women a disservice because when people bring up the issues they don't have ready answers like well you need to have someone in your clinic who can service me if you can't answer my questions and you need to include this book, this book and this book so that your library can service my needs as well.  They deserve to be treated at the clinic just like every other women is treated at the clinic, their needs are different and this needs to be admitted to and addressed and any areas where their needs are the same as any other womens than it shouldn't be an issue.

Boze

Snert wrote:

I'm no expert in the field or anything, but it looks to me like this is really less about transphobia, or any other phobia, and more about the application of essentialist politics to a pharmacy.

Not transphobia??  Seriously?

 

If they weren't transphobic, why would they give a crap?  Denying trans people's identities is transphobia.  Either they're saying trans women aren't women (denying trans identities = transphobia) or they're saying that, yes they are women, but our pharmacy is for all women except them (cisgendered only space = transphobia).  They started a pharmacy for women, advertised as such, but then go out of their way to exclude just this one specific group of women that is such a small minority that you wonder why it could possibly matter enough to them.  It is as clear-cut a case of transphobia as any and I would think it would be obvious.  And no-one said anything about "defective psychology."  Let's call a spade a spade, it's prejudice stemming from ignorance.

 

Why not call it Lu's: a pharmacy for women-born-women?  Because that would draw attention to a policy they apparently would rather not have to defend.

 

[url=http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Transgender+community+protests+exclus... Sun article[/url]

 

Quote:
A group of activists planned to square-off in a battle of feminist ideologies in a protest today. However, there was one problem. The pharmacy had changed it's hours and was closed.

About 30 people from the feminist group dubbed the Femininjas gathered at the doors of Lu's Pharmacy because they claim Lu's discriminates against transgendered and transexual women.

"We've gathered here today to celebrate the opening of a women's pharmacy. However, there is a flaw: It's policies exclude trans-women," said Beth Marston, a spokeswoman for the Femininjas.

"They've magically changed their hours... Presumably they're not open because they knew we were coming," Marston said.

Caryn Duncan, executive director of the Vancouver Women's Health Collective, was unavailable when The Vancouver Sun attempted to contact her and the collective.

 

Sineed

They could have avoided all this silliness if they'd opened a pharmacy specializing in women's care, but not excluding anybody; kinda like the methadone-dispensing pharmacy where I used to work, that had a small number of customers who were not on methadone.

Speaking of gender-specific healthcare, men on the average have a life span that is five years shorter than women.  So it could be argued that it isn't women who need specialized care.

Unionist

Once you start segregating health care, you never know where to draw the lines.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

I have no idea what the process was behind opening this clinic, but I'm currently doing work with a client that provides community health care services to very specific communities and they are embarking on an expansion of their clinic into a specific area of health care needs. They've mandated the consultants to gather information in the community, including medical professionals, community workers, and the potential clients/patients themselves. We call it a needs assessment and any/all future funding will demand that there is a need for this service, via a thorough and well-done needs assessment process.

So. Assuming that this happened and the need for a separate service for women was established to a critical enough point to satisfy criteria of the Ministry of Health in BC, which is a safe assumption, I wlll now assume that neither questions were asked about including trans clients, nor were trans women or trans men asked about the creation of this clinic, and were thus excluded.

Such an exclusion is about transphobia.

If there was a deliberate non-inclusion of trans clients, for any number of reasons, this too is transphobia, and a pretty vile kind might I add.

[A note about terminology transphobia and homophobia. I hate these terms, as they are inaccurate and indicate a psychological state/evaluation when really these terms are used as the equivalents to "sexism" or "classism" or "ableism". Using them as in "You're being transphobic" is not to say "You are experiencing an irrational fear of transpeople" but rather "You're being offensive and exclusionary and hateful towards transpeople."]

Vancouver feminist organizations sadly do not have tons of credibility when it comes to trans issues. I understand that the situation of Kimberly Nixon v.VRR as far more complex than I once thought it to be, but nonetheless, assumptions were made about trans women, assumptions that remain intact. The most pervasive is the lie that there is this entity called "A Real Woman" and that trans women are not, and will never be, and can never be, "A Real Woman."

I've had my own struggles, personally and politically, with issues of transphobia and trans inclusion. It's a very challenging politic to understand on an intellectual level. So I do have compassion and understanding for those who see that it's just fine to include only "women-born women". I first heard that phrasing from the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, and there was a fierce debate at that time about their trans-exclusionary policies. I think this was back in the early 1990s? But I moved past it, and since trans folks' lives and health hang in the balance, it's a pretty vital piece that feminists, and others, need to get a handle on, PDQ.

Those are my Sunday morning thoughts.

P.S. HI TEHANU!!!! Smile

martin dufresne

"Women-only pharmacy to open in Vancouver" is a good summary presentation of the context in which the Women's Pharmacy was created by the Vancouver Women's Health Collective.

I would say that this context is that of violence against women, an especially specially heavy issue in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Indeed, the Women Against Violence Against Women organization will have an office in the back to offer support to patrons.

I read on the PAR-L list that the main opposition to the Women's Pharmacy came from men's rightists. You can get an idea of it in the Comments field following the linked article.

"...I'm once again amazed at the double standard here. God help us if someone tried to open a men only pharmacy - we'd never hear the end of it! Just curious - if a male pharmacist applied fora position there and was refused, would that be sexual harassment? If so, then this place fits the description of being discriminatory. and if it's discriminatory, is it legal?"

 

But could our own discussion be the PC version of that traditional, masculinist angry response to women or indeed anyone daring to assess needs and reserve some resources, however few, to women?

The ultra-liberal diktat in these matters is Unionist's implicit prohibition of any "segregation" in health care (What is the use of rhetoric if one can't let rip now and then, eh?), damn any substantive difference in needs. And yet, people born women and people born men do have different, specific needs. More to the point, almost all of them are differently situated in terms of an ingrained culture of privilege and misogyny.

It is understandable that this does play out in the form of harassment and intimidation of women trying to access pharmacy services in the Downtown Eastside. To claim otherwise if to prefer a cookie-cutter version of gender equality to a realistic one. It is to impose equal treatment of the inequally-situated.

It is in order to take action against a very real discrimination that some distinctions become necessary, indeed essential but in no way essentialist (as in "a woman is anyone who claims to be one"), with specific health services offered according to need for specific issues and safe space.

This is akin to women's shelters insisting on their right to a woman-only environment, one that has been recognized by society. Will Babble take a more men's-rights view of the matter?

Maysie also lets loose with some heavy rhetorical irony about "A Real Woman" - words not used by the women attempting to set up the WP, by the way, but who's counting?...

Yet, it's a fact that if distinct resources are acknowledged as justified, criteria become necessary. Otherwise any man will be entitled to crash the WP and claim he identifies as a woman and therefore should not be denied services. The definition of trangenderism can and often is that vague, dovetailing with the men's rightist contention - can we say cocksuredness - that men are entitled to any space - especially women's space - they want.

How far would we take a prohibition against women's choices and against specific resources, according to their own choices? I don't think such choices and distinctions are "vile" and I regret that smear.

We can lob around big words like "transphobia" or try and make "deliberate" a bad word, but please remember the context: Guys clamoring for universal access.

Under whatever guise.

 

Michelle

Uh, yeah.  Except transwomen aren't "guys".  And feminists who are opposed to transphobic policies like this don't have a problem with female-only spaces otherwise.  So, nice try, Martin.  Your attempt to smear feminists who oppose transphobia by linking them with men's rights activists doesn't hold up.  And it's pretty offensive, too, if you ask me.

martin dufresne

I said that men's opposition to the WP was the context. And I sure wish it weren't so, but any guy can call himself a "transwoman". How will women resist his move if you lose the right to choose?

Unionist

martin dufresne wrote:

The ultra-liberal diktat in these matters is Unionist's implicit prohibition of any "segregation" in health care (What is the use of rhetoric if one can't let rip now and then, eh?), damn any substantive difference in needs. And yet, people born women and people born men do have different, specific needs.

Women don't need separate pharmacies. Some women, in some locations, in some situations, may need a safe place for certain purposes - and that must be identified and provided. But should all women have a right to go live in women's shelters - irrespective of need? How about women-only apartment buildings; schools; hospitals; shopping malls?

No way, martin. We "ultra-liberals" believe in equality, in an end to all subordination and harassment and oppression and objectification, in being allies of women when they stand up and emancipate themselves. Segregation? Never.

martin dufresne

Actually, google "women's hospital" and you will find them in countries as diverse as Australia, the U.S., Ireland and - God forbid! - Canada.

Non-mixed schools also exist in most juridictions, for a number of reasons.

The "certain purposes" you allude to can and are regularly documented, even if they detract from an universalist view.

And when gay men claimed their right to a men-only appartment building for aging men in downtown Montreal's Gay Village, they got it along with govt funding and a giant billboard outside to advertise it.

Why the need to impose a one-gender-fits-all recipe anyway? If some women's choice when they "stand up and emancipate themselves" is to build a space of their own, I also support their right to that, especially in a world where they remain a political minority. I know this is not what you want to do, but it remains a well-worn masculinist reversal to try and paint them as exerting a form of discrimination when they make choices that take into account their specific needs - and the discrimination they themselves experience at the hands of men.

(This will be my last post here to avoid a dialogue between men in a feminim thread)

Unionist

Sorry, martin, it won't wash. Where needs of safety, security, privacy, etc. exist - they should be accommodated. But not this stuff. Otherwise we are treated to this shameful spectacle of trying to define who is a "born woman" and who is to be excluded for being trans. How deeply offensive. Women's hospitals? Schools? Sure, for the wealthy and the religious who like to treat women like commodities. They really provide a fine example of "protecting" women.

Boze

The really sad thing is, this pharmacy could have been especially helpful to trans women, more helpful for the average trans woman than the average cis woman, but for some reason decided very specifically to exclude trans women, without clarifying if it's because they think trans women are "guys" or because they think it will upset their cis patrons or...I don't know.  Confronted on the issue, they decide to make themselves unavailable for comment.

 

Is there really a problem of men claiming trans identity to infiltrate women-only spaces?  Like, does this ever happen, anywhere?

Maysie Maysie's picture

"Women" is not a universal category. "Women" encompasses a huge range of people.

As stated upthread, and sticking with the topic of women's health concerns and a woman-only pharmacy (an idea I support, by the way, not sure if that's clear) the health needs of: older women, women with specific health concerns, young mothers, young women in general, women who have health issues that have not been addressed in their lives for myriad reasons, pre- and post-menopausal women, poor women who may not have had access to quality and respectful health care, and more, are vastly different from each other.

This huge range of what it would mean to serve women's "pharmaceutical needs" is something I understand as very broad and wide. The inclusion of trans women or trans men (who were, in fact, born women) is not a stretch, for me, to include. Their percentage in the population is quite small, statistically, and the implication of inclusion is in fact huge, as Boze said.

And for the record, I need to state my general and overall dissatisfaction with the medical model, the psychiatric model, and the over-use of drugs and medication to "fix" what ails women (and men). 

Boze wrote:
Is there really a problem of men claiming trans identity to infiltrate women-only spaces? Like, does this ever happen, anywhere?

There surely is not such a problem.

Slumberjack

Boze wrote:
Is there really a problem of men claiming trans identity to infiltrate women-only spaces?  Like, does this ever happen, anywhere?

Try the college theme movies.

KeyStone

Just out of interest.

Why aren't transvestites allowed? Aren't they women born into male bodies?
Why should they be excluded? Why does the operation make such a difference?

I'm not really sure of the intention of the pharmacy.

Is it meant to specialize in women's needs such that there are specialists, and supplies that aren't often available in regular pharmacies? Or is it meant to create a safe haven where women don't have to worry about men? Does this mean that a man won't be able to come into the pharmacy to buy aspirin? Would it be alright if a man came into the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for his wife because she is too ill to come down? Or would he have to wait at the side door, for the pharmacist to deliver the medication to him? All in all, it's quite a curious concept.

Perhaps the only exception they will make is to allow men in late at night to mop the floors and empty the wastebaskets.
Now, that's progress!

Le T Le T's picture

This thread has really exposed some anti-trans sentiments on babble. I'm a bit shocked at what some people have posted. Obviously this is an area of great ignorance in this community (babble).

It would be great if people did some basic research to inform themselves before they posted. Here I'll get you started...

 

http://www.transalliancesociety.org/education.html

 

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thanks, Le T.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Unionist wrote:

 Women's hospitals? Schools? Sure, for the wealthy and the religious who like to treat women like commodities. They really provide a fine example of "protecting" women.

I went to the Women's College Hospital in Toronto before the amalgamation (haven't been there since it bacame independent again) but I am not wealthy, I am not religious and didn't feel or see anything past the normal chapel to go pray in and I did not feel like a commodity, in fact just the opposite, I felt very supported as a person and a woman.

Unionist

Refuge wrote:

I went to the Women's College Hospital in Toronto before the amalgamation (haven't been there since it bacame independent again) but I am not wealthy, I am not religious and didn't feel or see anything past the normal chapel to go pray in and I did not feel like a commodity, in fact just the opposite, I felt very supported as a person and a woman.

I think it's important to recall that the Women's College Hospital was established in 1883 "to offer medically trained women the opportunity to practice medicine at a time when their access to the profession was limited" - that is, as an "affirmative action" project at a time when medical faculties in Toronto were refusing to admit women. ([url=Source[/url]">http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/about/history.html][=red]Source...).

In 1961, the WCH started admitting male staff members where qualified women weren't available ([url=source[/url]">http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/about/history3.html][=red]sourc...).

As for its services, it seems quite clear that they are not exclusive to women:

Quote:
Physicians, staff and other health professionals in the WCH Mental Health Program treat, support and care for women and men who suffer from depression and other mental illnesses every day.

Quote:
“I’m thrilled to announce that WCH will house our very own Wellspring Centre,” said Kathy Lennox, former Vice President of Community and Ambulatory Care at WCH and a Wellspring Board Member.  “Wellspring is about helping people live with cancer. Its services – such as peer support, much-needed information and supportive programming – are available to women and men with cancer and those who care for them.”

Quote:
Women’s College Hospital Foundation launched its newchapter program this fall. Co-chaired by WCHF board members Gillian Riley and Ryan Wiley, the newchapter program gives women and men – professionals, entrepreneurs and those from all walks of life – an opportunity to make a meaningful difference in their community through networking and philanthropy.

[url=http://www.womenscollegehospital.ca/about/news.html]Source for the above quotes.[/url]

WCH pays principal attention to women's health needs and research, many of which are quite obviously fundamentally different from those of men. But it doesn't draw a sex (or gender) line through its staff or clients. That way, it doesn't need to decide whether to treat trans women as outsiders.

Refuge Refuge's picture

As for it's services there are quite a few that are exclusive to women.  They are in fact similar or the same as the services that the pharmacy / clinic will offer.

It does draw sex (or gender) line through it's clients for those services.

I am not sure where they stand on the women who are transgendered, I find information on the fact they offer services to people who are transgendered but not on how they impliment it.

martin dufresne

Isn't it significant that when women's organizations such as The Women's Health Collective and Women Against Violence Against Women exercise a right that is recognized by law and by jurisprudence, naysayers move to guilting and to defamation tactics to try and deprive them of that right? Only in the "progressive" community...? No they are joining in the public forum the men's rightists who also deny women's right to "non-inclusive" choices and space of their own.

Michelle

Once again, smearing feminists who are not transphobic by associating them with men's rights activists.

martin dufresne

I understand your point but I disagree. The association is real, both empirically and by the fact that this is about denyng women the right to only serve women in a patriarchal system.

OTOH, calling the WHC and WAVAW "transphobic" seems more of a smear to me, although I detest name-calling arguments.

Michelle

Well, in that case, if calling people who discriminate against trans people "transphobic" is a smear, then I guess calling men's right activists "sexist" is also a "smear".

RosaL

KeyStone wrote:

Just out of interest.

Why aren't transvestites allowed? Aren't they women born into male bodies?
Why should they be excluded? Why does the operation make such a difference?

 

This is what doesn't make sense to me: what is a woman except someone with a female body? What is a man except someone with a male body? I don't see how you can answer this without getting into stuff like, "women are more emotional and bad at math" or "women like to wear nail polish and high heels". I have asked myself if I'm a woman with a female body and the question makes no sense to me. I have a female body. That makes me a woman, I think, whatever my interests or lifestyle (and I am far from stereotypically "feminine"!) Any other answer seems to me to be dangerous to me as a woman.

If this is a really stupid question or offends people, I really am sorry. But I hope people will understand that it's an honest question and please provide some answers, without insulting me. I'll happily change my mind if someone can give me a good answer. 

martin dufresne

Michelle wrote: Well, in that case, if calling people who discriminate against trans people "transphobic" is a smear, then I guess calling men's right activists "sexist" is also a "smear".

 

Good point; yes, it might be. Not all men's rights activists are sexist.

For instance, I don't think opposing compulsory circumcision ora lack of gender-neutral parental leave is in itself sexist, although many sexists try to exploit those issues. Nor would be opposing the draft in a country where only men are drafted. Of course, most MRA's are sexist, misogynist, antifeminist... and often abusers too. But not all of them.

Similarly, I imagine that most women in WHC, WAVAW, Rape Relief and other groups that insist on women's space know and respect transsexuals. So suggesting they are somewhat "phobic" or even exerting "discrimination" because of the choice to reserve services to women is inaccurate IMO. At any rate, that case has neither been made in psychology nor in law. So it's just name-calling and not conducive to a resolution.

Le T Le T's picture

Quote:
I understand your point but I disagree. The association is real, both empirically and by the fact that this is about denyng women the right to only serve women in a patriarchal system.

Trans women are women Martin. You have now stated i think three times that you refuse to accept this. Check your head bro, you are transphobic and the way that you (as a man who enjoyes non-trans privilege I might add) define women stems from the patriarchal system that you spend so much time identifying in others' words and actions. MEN DO NOT IDENTIFY AS TRANS TO PENETRATE WOMENS' SPACES - there is not a sexist conspiracy going on. If you knew anything about what it is like to be trans in a patriarchal society that places extreme importance on an arbitrary gender binary you would know this.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Similarly, I imagine that most women in WHC, WAVAW, Rape Relief and other groups that insist on women's space know and respect transsexuals.

LOLZ.
"Some of my best friends are __________".
Quote:
So suggesting they are somewhat "phobic" or even exerting "discrimination" because of the choice to reserve services to women is inaccurate IMO.

Exactly. Just like heterosexuals who just want to reserve "marriage" for themselves. What's so wrong with that? Why are all sorts of people calling them homophobic for that? I'll bet some of their best friends are homosexuals!
 

martin dufresne

LOLZ. "Some of my best friends are __________".

I am so glad you can have a little bit of fun with a difficult issue.

But you well illustrate my point about the inappropriateness of a personal, pop-psychological reading such as labeling individuals "transphobic."

martin dufresne

"You have now stated i think three times that you refuse to accept this."

 

Uh... no, that's your extrapolation.

 

"MEN DO NOT IDENTIFY AS TRANS TO PENETRATE WOMENS' SPACES."

 

I have not made such an argument about intent either.

Snert Snert's picture

But martin, you seem to love getting inside people's heads and speculating on their motives.

Why the cold feet, suddenly?  Don't care to support bigotry?  Wish it could be renamed something less... ugly?

Maysie Maysie's picture

RosaL, thank you for your post. I'm going to try to answer it as best as I can.

Someone upthread used the term "cis-gendered".

Based on what you said at post #41, you are cis-gendered. Pronounced like the word "sis".

I am cis-gendered.

Cis-gendered means someone who has a connection between the gender/sex they were born with and their present gender identity. It was coined so that there wasn't a dichotomy between "trans gendered people" and "normally gendered people." We are all either cis-gendered or trans-gendered. 

Being cis-gendered means that you and I (just talking about you and I for now) even as we may not fit everything that we're told "a woman" must be/act/say, are women. I sure am not that feminine (high heels:eek. Makeup: never. I'll stop here.), as you also said you aren't.

But I identify as a woman, it's a part of my social, personal, sexual, emotional and I guess, psychological identity. Our society was built upon people having cis-gendered identities. Even if we fit into such genders "badly" such as very effeminate men, or very masculine women, we are still cis-gendered if we identify with the gender/sex we were born with.

I hope I'm explaining this okay. This is just off the top of my head, I'll try to find some links later.

So that said, I can barely understand what it's like to grow up and not fit the gender that a person was born into and socialized into. Little boys and girls are socialized very early, and very severely, into gender roles. Not just toys and books that are "okay" to play with/read depending on one's gender, but behaviour and actions, and as you mentioned, RosaL, certain subjects in school. Some of these behaviours/actions are rewarded, some aren't. The world is very cruel to anyone who doesn't fit, or try to fit, or who doesn't stifle their real selves to fit a gender model. (Does it go without saying that how one is seen in terms of gender is also related to one's class, ability, race and sexual orientation? Well, I've said it nevertheless.)

I've never had a struggle with gender identity. I've presented as "more masculine" and "more feminine" throughout my life (sometimes related to my sexual orientation, sometimes not). But my identity as "woman" hasn't changed. So again, I can barely understand what that's like. Not until I heard a transwoman describe her life that I realized my transphobic assumptions (for example, that she had experienced male privilege before she transitioned) were ignorant, misinformed and downright hurtful.

RosaL, I hope that answers some of your questions, and I want to thank you for your honesty in asking them.

RosaL

Maysie wrote:

RosaL, thank you for your post. I'm going to try to answer it as best as I can....

 

Thanks very much, Maysie. Smile I'm going to think about this before I post again (about this) and if you have any links, I'd like to read them. 

Maysie Maysie's picture

The absolute best book I can think of is Kate Bornstein's My Gender Workbook. I read it probably over 10 years ago now, and barely understand 1/4 of it, even though she uses very clear and accessible language and the book is set up with a series of quizzes and questions about gender that, because I'm cis-gendered, it never occurred to me to think about. There's privilege for ya. I try to re-read it every few years to see if I understand more than the last time.

Kate rocks. The book is something of a classic and I'm sure is available at used bookstore sites for not a lot of moola.

Here are the first few pages and the cover.

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