Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Petition alert: gender non-discrimination clause

QPAC (Yale's Queer Political Action Committee) has been campaigning to expand Yale's Non-Discrimination Policy to include protection of "gender identity and gender expression."

Its members are currently gathering petition signatures to present to the administration, demonstrating support from across the Yale community for this action. The petition is now available online here.

Sign up and spread the word; QPAC's goal is 1000 signatures by Wed April 5th. There is also a rally planned on Wednesday, April 5th at 5pm on Beinecke Plaza.


Michael said...

Excuse my lack of refinement, but what exactly is gender expression, and what is to prevent this new expanded policy from being horriby taken advantage of?

Michael said...

PS: For God's sake please comment on the Duke story. I think it's really lame to be worried about how coaches' wives are perceived when something of the Duke story's magnitude is occurring.

laura said...

Michael, I think your comments on this post are less than constructive. Especially the second one. Chill out, please. Della and Sabrina can't always post on current events immediately (they're as busy as you are), and I know for a fact that one about Duke is in the works. Also, there have been tons of posts about rape at Yale in the past few months, and both of them OBVIOUSLY care deeply about the issue. It's illogical, petty and just plain hostile to imply otherwise.

In the same way, I agree that the gender expression thing is shady, and would like some comments on it, but why don't you say what YOU think instead of just hammering at them to comment?

I usually like what you have to say on this blog, but your tone here is lacking in class.

Maggie said...

For those who don't know, the latest update on the "Duke incident" Michael is referring to is reported here (for the record, Michael, you can also post links and information in this section...that's actually the point).
The Yale Herald blog has commentary from the media angle, and there is an analysis here you may find interesting.

broad recognition is working to get commentary directly from Duke's campus on the issue, so stay tuned.

lay off said...

Not everyone has the intimate knowledge of sociological terms to understand what's going on in this blog. If I try to say something without being informed I'll just be stupid. But apparently asking makes me classless.

As for the Duke thing, it's a big deal. It's a huge deal. I was disappointed I read it on instead of this blog. But I thank Della and Sabrina for the links.

Maggie said...

I think Laura was referring to your antagonistic choice of words ("For God's sake" and "it's really lame"), rather than the content of your comments as "classless." The first question is legitimate, but lacks a constructive tone. What are the "horrible" ways in which this could be "taken advantage of"?

This blog is not a platform for us to tell Yale how to be "feminist" (as we have said repeatedly we do not represent all of feminism, nor do we represent all feminists at Yale), and it is not meant to devolve into a hostile round of Q+A. The purpose is to critique and raise issues in the institution and the community, which can then be discussed - among readers and bloggers alike. Our hope is that readers will recognize this, support this goal, and act accordingly.

Hugh said...

Gender Identity refers to an individual's deeply held psychological identification as male, female, both or neither. Gender Expression refers to the external characteristics and behaviors that are socially defined as either feminine or masculine.

A lack of awareness of these issues at Yale doesn't stem from being refined or well-educated; rather, there is ignorance throughout the community, because there are not that many people at Yale with different gender identities or expressions. That is partly a result of larger social stigmas on this issue, combined with the difficulty the college environment creates for trans individuals. But it's also a clear result of the Yale administration's failure to address trans needs on campus in any significant way - and this inaction is only enhanced by the perception that it does not effect a significant portion of Yale students. It is, sadly, a vicious cycle.

But a crucial and achievable first step in alleviating ignorance and intolerance and addressing trans needs here is expanding Yale's non-discrimination policy to include gender identity & gender expression.

Expanding the non-discrimination policy to include gender identity expression means three key things:
1. Those who encounter discrimination based on their gender identity or expression will have institutional and legal recourse for their grievances to be heard.
2. Yale can begin to re-examine their policies to create an environment more friendly and accomodating for trans students, which will help enable those who are trans to be open about their gender identity
3. Yale will be on record as seeing gender identity/expression as sites of discrimination that need to be addressed - something with cultural implications both at Yale and beyond.

It's time to show Yale that we care about this
critical issue that affects the personal lives and decisions of Yale's students, faculty, and staff. Please sign the petition today at, forward the link to all your friends, and come out to the rally at 5pm on Wednesday.

Now is the moment to make our voices heard.

jacob said...

Here are some not-so-horrible ways the expanded non-discrimination policy could be taken advantage of:
-Transgender employees could share discrimination concerns with their managers without worrying about losing their jobs.
-Instead of being pressured to take a medical single, transgender students could be housed in suites with their friends just like everyone else.
-A trans student who faces harassment in the classroom could hold the offending instructor accountable.

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