Joanne is a NOW leader from PA.
Originally published in The Newport News Times, July 22, 2016 edition, Page A8. This was a “letter to the editor” written in response to a Letter to the Editor written by Duke Rider and published in the News Times, July 13, 2016, Page A6. Credit for the “Response” should be given to Gilbert Schramm who authored this with only some minor editing by Nancy Mead
Once again Duke Rider has un-holstered his pen to make unsubstantiated allegations in a dubious cause. Once again we must object.
Rider calls title IX “a good law gone wrong.”
He notes that it is a 1972 federal law that “prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.” He adds that it is “intended to avoid the use of Federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs or activities.” So far, so good.
But then Rider goes all wrong.
He claims that “the growing sense is that some females will not feel safe sharing restrooms…causing them to feel sexually vulnerable.” He gives no evidence to support this claim. In fact, there are lengthy articles that show exactly the opposite.
He claims that “now parents are resorting to filing lawsuits.” Who, where, and why? Have any of these supposed lawsuits been judged to have merit? Have any been won?
Then (predictably) he brings in Obama as bogeyman and implies that he is “adding this law.” In fact, Obama neither created title IX nor did he add a law to it. His administration merely issued guidance on how they interpreted existing law. (And clearly, any discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status concerns sex and gender and must be considered in the enforcement of title IX.)
Rider then suggests that the practice of with-holding federal funding is “extortion” or “blackmail.” That’s absurd. In the 1980s, in response to extreme highway death tolls, the Feds passed seatbelt laws, speed limits, and required states to raise their drinking age. States that didn’t lost federal highway funding. This has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.
Finally, Rider says Oregon should reject federal education funds over this issue, “control our own destiny,” and “let Oregon run our Department of education.” Nonsense.
The Oregon Department of Education has raised no objection to Obama’s guidance, federal funding is a benefit to all students, and the President is simply doing the job we elected him to do.
Rider’s whole position reeks of a misinformed, divisive, bigoted politics.
Nancy Campbell Mead,
National Organization for Women (NOW) Board Member, Past President of Central Oregon Coast NOW
Newport News Times, July 17, 2016, Page A8
By Ineka Estabrook, Co-Chair, Oregon Central Coast PFLAG
Regarding Duke Rider’s fear of transgender people using the public bathroom matching their identity, (“Reducing a Sexually Hostile Environment?” July 13 edition) transgender people don’t use the bathroom for sexual purposes. They only want to use the facilities, the same as everyone else.
A journalist reporting one of these incidents in Colorado three years ago recanted his story after he was presented with the facts.
Men do not need to dress up like women to attack women in a restroom. They simply walk into the bathrooms and attack girls and women. There is already a law against attacking people in restrooms. If men are prepared to ignore that one, why should they bother to follow another?
“Potty police” laws are not intended to protect anyone. Instead, they are legislated to cause fear of others — in this case, trans- and gender-nonconforming people. Like many other restrictive laws, they are a solution looking for a problem and intended to justify hate crimes against trans people.
The crimes in bathrooms are against trans people, not by them. One fourth of the states have passed laws banning LGBT discrimination in public accommodations during the past decade with only one incident by a transgender person two months ago after new discriminatory laws fueled hatred throughout the nation.
Girls who don’t “feel safe” in sharing facilities with trans girls have been trained to feel this fear. Conservative media that spread myths about the dangers, and people who teach children to be afraid of trans people are creating the hostile environment.
As to the constitutionality of the policy providing bathroom access to transgender children, the 4th Circuit Court has already ruled that transgender students must be allowed to use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity. The courts will determine the policy from the U.S. Department of Education, not Mr. Rider.
Ineka Estabrook Newport
Lots of planning and hard work have gone into Central Oregon Coast NOW Foundation’s Earthquake Camp for middle school girls which will take place starting tomorrow, July 17, 2016 at Oregon Coast Community College, Lincoln City. Special thanks go to local geophysicist Kay Wyatt who is leading the camp and has been instrumental in its planning, the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and NW Natural for awarding substantial sums that made the camp possible, and to the members of the Central Oregon Coast NOW STEM Committee: Janice Eisele, Chair; Michele Walters, Kayleen Williams, Anne Sigleo, Jen Martin; and to community volunteers, Bonnie LaTendresse and Alexis Paul.
Only some of what the Earthquake Camp girls will get to take home with them, in addition to knowledge and enthusiasm, a seismometer, and the ability to contribute to family preparedness! :