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Everything posted by taegann

  1. Advocating for uni-sex bathrooms doesn't address the real issue. (*) In the context of segregated facilities, the question is what standard will be used to determine gender. It is incorrect to use the term "transsexual man" to refer to an anatomically male transsexual. The correct term is actually transsexual woman. The short-hand is MtF (Male-to-Female) in description of the anatomical change, but the prevailing gender is actual that being transitioned to, not from. Also, if you want the term "public" to refer to "government owned" in order to keep the issue focused on what an objective policy should be, I've no quarrel with that. But to claim that "respecting the interests of the majority" is a valid standard for anything is to concede the whole notion of objective rights. Allegedly respecting the allegedly interests of the majority is exactly why we have non-objective law, like taxes, regulations, and nationalized industries. You assert that there is no "right for a transsexual to use the women's room", but that is exactly the issue under discussion. Your assertion is just another way of saying that you don't recognize trans-women as women. If your position is the same as those expressed before in this thread, this is because you are using anatomy as the sole factor in your determination. (**) Rather than argue that anatomy alone is an inadequate standard, let me pause here. If we can't agree on this much, then there isn't any point in continuing. Is what I have so far acceptable? Rachel (*) I addressed uni-sex bathrooms obliquely when I characterized the resources devoted to restroom facilities as flimsy and inadequate. (**) The standard of "personal comfort" is non-objective as can be seen in such examples as when women who look like men (I know someone in this position - an XX woman who has strongly masculine facial and skeletal features) are "allowed" to use the women's restrooms and the complainants are invited to bear their discomfort in silence or themselves leave, and as when homosexuals are "permitted" to use the restroom of their anatomy. Obviously, neither group is "allowed" or "permitted" but are rather expected and even required to use the appropriate facilities. Discomfort with someones looks and discomfort with someones allegedly attitude (i.e. being attracted to members of the same sex), and even discomfort with someones alleged predilections are none of them standards superior to the standard of actual gender. And as for the matter of alleged predilections, it is a non-sequitor to invalidate the argument of presumption of innocence simply because I described its application in criminal cases. The principle is in fact applicable to all contexts. And in this case, it is unjust to presume that someones outward appearance or sexual orientation makes them a potential threat or even merely a source of discomfort.
  2. I'll admit right off the top that I only scanned the first page and the last two pages. But I didn't see anyone address the issue of presumption of innocence, so I'd like to. But let me preface my post by reiterating the argument that discussion of public facilities is nearly pointless. The tragedy of the commons isn't that everyone has a claim, but rather that no one has a legitimate claim. We can bicker over who gets access to "public" (read: unowned) resources until we are all blue in the face, but there is no reasonable solution because there is no way to properly introduce private property rights. That said, I think the arguments that anatomical men (of which pre-op transsexuals are members) boils down to the presumption of guilt on the part of RLT MtFs (translation: Male to Female trans-women undergoing their Real Life Test, a la Harry Benjamin SoC). Essentially, by saying that a gender-divided restroom facility exists to allow women secure peace-of-mind away from men is to presume that a class of people is guilty without actually having probable cause. Another way to say it, though, is that a man in the restroom can be presumed to be a suspicious character, which grants probable cause. The idea of presumption of innocence was put in place with the express recognition that our justice system prefers to err on the side of letting a few criminals free rather than curtailing the freedoms of innocent individuals. The plaintiff in a criminal case is bound to establish proof and the defendant, if he so pleases, may remain entire silent. If the case isn't made, then the defendant must be recognied as not-guilty and released. And in point of fact, our entire executive branch operates around this principle. The police must have warrants, signed by someone qualified to judge the merit of their allegations. They must observe actual crimes to act without a warrant. They must have probable cause to act on their suspicions of foul play, and these snap-judgment calls are subject to review by the courts. Why do I point all of this out? Because it is vital that we not punish the innocent, even if that means having to work harder to nail the true criminals. I personally find it grossly offensive to suggest a correlation between the transgendered and sexual predators. There is no basis for the comparison whatsoever. And as for the AMA designation of gender dysphoria as a psychological illness, this is highly debatable, just as was the similar designation by the AMA of homosexuality in past decades. In this forum, without definite references to reliable research into the true nature of non-normative sexual behavior and identification, is completely arbitrary to assert that homosexuals or the transgendered are confused, or traumatized, or in any other way psychologically deficient or aberrant. And the presumption that their use of facilities in accordance with their own identified gender and standards of care is suspicious, let alone guilty, is not only premature, but just plain out of line. In a just society, as a private property owner, whether you provide restroom facilities is your right, and you may dictate how they are used, but if you want to be rational about it, then you need to consider the entire context of the issue. This includes not only the essential purpose of separating the sexes for bladder and bowl relief (which in my opinion is a pander to the puritanical holdovers of this country), but also the implementation of the service. Observe that so-called public facilities are made from flimsy metals and plastics, vulnerable to even moderate vandalism. (I believe the absence of graffiti and other damage in a bathroom is a major clue to the gentility and etiquette of its patrons.) The stall pieces invariably have wide spaces between them, practically inviting anyone to peek through them. The separators stop short of the ceiling by several feet, allowing all but the shortest of people to stand on the toilet and look over. As for protection from predators, if a restroom has enough traffic, there is no way a predator could engage in anything but the most covert of observation, let alone an actual assault. And if a restroom has very little or no traffic, there is nothing preventing an individual from surreptitiously following a potential victim into a restroom and having his way with her. (Yes, I'll use the masculine for the predator and the feminine for the victim because statistically that's just the way it goes. But the facilities allow for any combination.) I think the whole problem is born of a massively non-objective social and justice system and that if private property rights were respected, police policy and procedure were properly established, and medical and "moral" legislation were just (read: essentially abolished), this would be a complete non-issue. And since this is not the case today, the best solution that can be imagined will be a highly compromised one, leaving everyone dissatisfied, as is the tendency of compromise. Rachel
  3. This is the book in question? http://www.amazon.com/How-Scots-Invented-M.../dp/0609809997/
  4. You are welcome. Not meaning to get off topic, but if you'll allow me to back up my assertion with a small bit of evidence, then I'll drop it: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...indpost&p=63695
  5. I have never posted here before, but I'd like to take a shot clarifying this idea. What D'kian said is true, but I'd like to elaborate on it, if I may. It is true that one of the main practical consequence to lying, cheating, and stealing is getting caught by others (and then suffering all of the consequences thereof). But there is another way that you can get caught. Actually, not merely "can" but "will". Men may not always catch you. But Nature will, every time. It is the nature of man's mind that is the key here. As Miss Rand stated on many occasions, to understand the principle you must first know what facts give rise to its need. Rights do not exist as a matter of convenience or even because they are the most efficient social organization. They arise as a necessary consequence of the way man must act in order to survive. In essence, in principle, if you fail to act on the principle of man's rights, then you are sabotaging your own life - here and now, whether any other men ever catch you. Your mind, your rational faculty, requires you to act on principle in order to live. I can't do more than summarize it here, but because the mind is an integrating tool, it necessarily operates to give you a wide range of knowledge at a moment's notice, at your fingertips. You have no means of automatically knowing the correct course of action in any given situation. You need principles. With principles, you can set a long range course of action and you can apply them to specific situations that you encounter, thus ensuring that you choose correctly, thus surviving. Without principles you act pragmatically, looking no further than the current situation, at this moment. You can't know whether to turn right or left because you have no knowledge of what lies on either fork. Ultimately you will die. And your mind doesn't function automatically, either. You need to focus it and constantly act to integrate all the new facts with which you are presented with all the other facts that you have encountered or discovered. You must choose to do so. To do this, to use your mind and to act on the conclusions you draw, you must remain free. Specifically, you must be allowed to observe and then to act on your observations. It is important to note that other animals have no such requirements. They do not integrate knowledge into principles. They do not need to choose to focus (indeed there is no such thing for them). They simply act on the range of the moment. They are presented with constantly new facts every moment of their lives. Granted that the brains of the more complex animals give them memories, but these are memories of specific concrete facts. Animals simply do not have minds, and therefor the concept of "principles" and "need for freedom of action" do not apply. Okay, given those facts, then you can probably see that you definitely need to work on keeping your senses open and your mind focused on what your senses give you (along with the conclusions you have reached and principles you've discovered). Now we have arrived at your question, the question of how to treat others. Given what we know about human nature, man's mind, now we can make short work of the question: If you seek to depend on the products of other men, and since those products are the products of men's minds, the extent to which you respect the nature (i.e. requirements) of those minds is the extent to which you will succeed. And the extent to which you fail to respect the requirements of the minds of others is the extent to which you will sabotage your own survival - for after all, as a man, you too must live by and act on principle. If you prey on a herd of wild beasts, you can thin their numbers and live comfortably. Man did this for ages. You can even do this as a principled, consistent strategy. The herd will simply keep on going, automatically, for ever, or at least as long as their environment supports them. (For, unlike Man, other animals cannot adapt their environments to their own needs.) But if you adopt a similar strategy and prey off of a group of men, even if you only "cull the herd", take a little property here, tell a white lie there, and even if you don't kill off the group, you are still acting to destroy *your means* of production. If other men are your means of production, and if other men require freedom to think and to act on their thoughts, then when you deny them that freedom (by taking the products of their actions, thereby thwarting their actions, thereby thwarting their thinking), you deny them their lives, and you disrupt your means of production. (Observe the consequences of all the different ways of violating rights, particularly organized crime and serial crime. The criminal cannot indefinitely sustain "production", and end up destroying his "means of production" - his prey. The proof of this lies ultimately in the test of reality, not in a mere deductive illustration.) Recognizing that you (and every other man) need political freedom is the principled (and only) way to survive. You need the rights of others and it is selfish to respect them. -Tae P.S. Not to nit-pick, but, FYI, Miss Rand made it clear that she disliked being addressed as "Ms".
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