September 2017 State of the Gender Address

Heather McNamaraBy Heather McNamara

September has been a hell of a month here in the United States and abroad; if you survived it, count yourself lucky. That’s a good start. Most of the news roll I share here will be gender politics related, but it would be impossible to discuss any situation without taking into account the surreal volume of natural disasters to hit North America this month, so I will include those as well.

September 1

Hurricane Irma, named only two days prior to the start of September, had already strengthened to a category 2 storm. Between September 1 and its demise on September 16, it would strengthen to a category 5, devastating the U.S. Virgin Islands, Barbuda, Dominica, Puerto Rico, great swathes of Florida, and finally coastal Georgia and parts of South Carolina. The Gender Analysis team was right in the middle of Florida and while we certainly didn’t get the kind of devastation that coastal cities got, things got pretty intense around here.

September 3

Missouri transgender teen Ally Steinfeld is killed by her girlfriend and two others in what appears to be a hate-motivated crime. Her genitals were stabbed multiple times and her body burned.

September 6

Kate Millett, second-wave feminist voice and author of Sexual Politics, dies at age 82.

September 7

The first of several September earthquakes hits Mexico in Oaxaca, killing 98 and causing a tsunami.

September 14

Former CIA director Michael Morell resigns from Harvard University following the news that Chelsea Manning will be speaking there as a visiting fellow. His resignation letter states that he feels Manning to be a traitor and her actions endangered many.

September 15

Following public pressure after Morell’s resignation, Chelsea Manning is disinvited from a speaking engagement at Harvard. Manning and her former lawyer Chase Strangio accuse Harvard of being beholden to the CIA. While there’s little evidence of this, it bears mentioning that Harvard has had many controversial visiting fellows and apparently all of their flaws and histories were just fine as long as they were not transgender women.

September 18

Hurricane Maria, heretofore only a menacing tropical storm, intensifies from a tropical storm to category 5 in a span of 48 hours. This speed of intensification was nearly unprecedented and left Puerto Rico with very little chance to time to prepare before the storm struck, leaving the island with no power for possibly 6 months or longer.

September 19

The second earthquake to hit Mexico this month devastates Mexico City. Rescue and cleanup are ongoing as of this writing. So far, the death toll has reached 355.

September 20

Hillary Clinton’s book What Happened hits #1 on the New York Times bestseller list despite dozens of thinkpieces insisting nobody wanted to hear from her. Her book overtakes Bill O’Reilly’s fireplace kindling, Killing England, and this is frankly a thing of beauty.

September 24

Hillary Clinton takes to Twitter to urge Resident Trump to send the hospital ship USNS Comfort and other naval support to Puerto Rico immediately.

September 25

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) delivers the final death blow to the zombie healthcare bill’s second life as Graham-Cassidy. The bill would have left women everywhere with anemic or no coverage, and Collins felt it was irresponsible. As before, everyone hands all the credit to John McCain.

September 26

A full two days following Clinton’s suggestion, defense secretary Jim Mattis announces the USNS Comfort will be deployed to Puerto Rico. Trump excuses the delay of aid to Puerto Rico by explaining that it is surrounded by “big water”.

September 27

Hugh Hefner dies in his sleep and a whole country’s feminist population grits their teeth while hot takes about Hefner being a “feminist” because “sexual revolution” roll across their screens.

September 28

Missouri authorities decide that Ally Steinfeld’s murder was somehow not a hate crime – a sad, but not entirely surprising development.

September 29

Facing a possible cholera epidemic, San Juan Puerto Rico mayor Carmen Cruz says “We are dying, and you are killing us with the inefficiency and the bureaucracy,” and asks for more aid after FEMA and the generals overseeing the assistance in PR determined that 10,000 troops would be insufficient.

September 30

Russian plant Donald Trump tweets that Cruz is listening to “fake news” somehow and that everyone in Puerto Rico is doing a “great job” – oh and those lazy Latinxs in PR just want everything done for them. It’s so bad, even Kim K knows this is wrong.

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About Zinnia Jones

My work focuses on insights to be found across transgender sociology, public health, psychiatry, history of medicine, cognitive science, the social processes of science, transgender feminism, and human rights, taking an analytic approach that intersects these many perspectives and is guided by the lived experiences of transgender people. I live in Orlando with my family, and work mainly in technical writing.
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