More anseriform foolishness than is absolutely necessary.

As pretty much every person in the United States has noted, there are problems with the health care legislation under consideration in Congress. The bills assume women are aquaria, and that people who don’t have insurance are lazy jerks who need to be punished (and here I am, thinking that being denied a basic human right is punishment enough). Minor issues.

However, the Senate Democrats have given me yet another reason for outrage. Under their bill, elective cosmetic medical procedures will be subject to a 5% tax.
Here, in a nutshell, are my main objections:
1) Women and transsexual men are the primary market for elective cosmetic medical procedures.
2) The people who get to decide what medical procedures are “elective” and “cosmetic” are typically cissexual men.
I understand the rationale for this tax. Democrats don’t have the spine to make good people pay taxes. Why collect taxes from hard working folks who eek out a living speculating on real estate. If anything, they deserve a hug– it must have been hard laying off all those people. Can’t we just make the cast of The Hills pay for everything? Those folks are so annoying– especially the superficial women. I suppose I should applaud the Democrats’ creativity. Normally I’d expect them to raise taxes on cigarettes and Taco Bell, but they’ve found an even better target for their hatred than smokers and fat people.
I’m sure the Democrats counted on this being a non-controversial item. After all, only rich snotty women have elective cosmetic medical procedures. Except, as I alluded to above, there’s a rich history of considering women’s health issues to be tangential, even cosmetic, compared to real health problems.
I know I’m supposed to be placated by the fact that there’s an exemption to the proposed tax for people who really truly need it. But again, who decides what is medically necessary? And where have I heard that term before? Oh, right… every time someone denies healthcare to transsexual people.
It’s not enough that I already pay through the teeth for insurance that doesn’t cover most of my medical bills. Never mind my eminent bankruptcy, due in part to the cost of past “elective cosmetic” medical procedures. And forget the fact that I’ve spent a great deal of time in the past several years trying to figure out how to pull tens of thousands of dollars out of thin air. And the fact that these medical bills aren’t tax exempt, like “normal” medical bills for “normal” people. I’m sure I can always just pick up another job to pay the extra tax, just like I did that one time– er, until I got fired for not having already completed the medical procedures I was trying to save for. But still, better to tax people like me than to make hard working, decent, normal people pay taxes. Thank guys, it means a lot. I’d write you a large check for your next campaign, but, well, you know.
As it turns out, someone over at one of those big blogs for normal feminist women was on the case, too. Apparently this isn’t such a big deal, as lots of commenters noted that real feminists wouldn’t ever have this kinda of icky surgery. Apparently this tax is downright progressive. At least the author has confirmed that she really wasn’t considering trans people when she wrote the thread. Also, people with disabilities are icky.
Blogroll revised.

Originally posted at Duck, Duck, Gay Duck the First.

From Blue Jersey, Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ), chairman of the Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) subcommittee of the House committee on Education and Labor, talks about the future of ENDA.

What’s striking about this conversation are the same four things that have been coming up seemingly everywhere:

1) Politicians don’t think very highly of trans people (certainly, not highly enough of them to take a chance by publicly supporting transsexual Americans’ right to not be fired for being trans).

2) It seems clear that ENDA won’t become law this year, but politicians still feel the need to remove trans people from the legislation, to gain some sort of “moral victory” in the form of getting legislation to the floor of the Senate. (Indeed, given that the Democratic leadership says that it’ll come back for trans people shortly, such a “victory” hardly seems to be paving the way).

3) Civil rights laws never protect everyone, so why start now? (Zuh?)

4) Trans people really need to educate people, and show that they’ve got a coalition behind them, if we’re going to included them. (Which strikes me as odd, given that’s pretty much what’s unfolded the past week).

Originally published at Forked Tongue and a Dirty House