National NOW Times >> Spring, 2001 >> Article
Let's Talk about Gender
By Gina Reiss
Questions of gender are central
to the feminist transformation of society. From a woman’s right to a safe
and fair workplace to her daughter’s right to enroll in and excel at
“boys’ sports.” From a lesbian’s right to be free from verbal harassment
for looking “too butch” to the right of “Boys Don’t Cry” hero Brandon
Teena to be protected from rape, assault and murder for living as a man.
The struggle against gender-based oppression is important to us
To help bring together all those who have a common stake in
gender rights -- feminists, gays and lesbians, transgender people, and
youth -- GenderPAC is hosting, and NOW is co-sponsoring, the 1st National
Conference on Gender, May 18th-20th in Washington DC. As president of NOW,
Patricia Ireland will give a keynote address on Friday at the opening of
“Many people still refer to GenderPAC as a
‘transgender group.’ Yet GenderPAC is not the political arm of the
transgender movement, the transgender arm of the gay movement, or even the
gender arm of the feminist movement,” says Riki Wilchins, executive
director of the organization. “GenderPAC is the national organization
dedicated to ensuring all individuals’ civil right to express their gender
free from stereotypes, discrimination and violence.”
Conference on Gender will feature three days of politics and strategy on
topics including gender law, job discrimination and hate crimes,
re-connecting gender, race and class, the new edge of gender in cinema,
gender and feminism, and the special issues of queer and transgender youth
The National Conference on Gender will be followed by
GenderPAC’s 6th National Gender Lobby Day on May 21st, when hundreds of
gender activists from around the country converge on Capitol Hill to
educate Congress members and their staffs on issues like gender rights,
job discrimination and hate crimes.
Five Good Reasons YOU
Belong at the 1st National Conference on Gender
• Brandon Teena:
played by Oscar-winner Hilary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry” and shot and
stabbed to death for living as a man.
• Darlene Jespersen: fired by
Harrah’s Casino -- her employer of 21 years -- when she refused to comply
with a new dress code requiring her to wear makeup and “feminine
• Jonlee R.: An 8-year-old shamed and humiliated by his
schoolmates because he’s sweet, sensitive and not “macho” enough.
Apasha Blocker: A college heptathlon star assaulted by four security
guards after she exited a women’s bathroom. One shouted “Can’t you
• Aurora Lipscomb: born Zachary and taken from her
family by the County Sheriff in Franklin, Ohio after her parents allowed
her to call herself Aurora and wear a dress to school.
out more, visit GenderPAC’s
website, call 202.462.6610, or email NCG@gpac.org.
members will receive 10% off their registration