Points of Order: Gender Names, Harassment Claims, and Tang

Ok, forgive me, but it's soapbox time. There have been a few stories that have been irking me this week and now it's time to get them out of my head.

First up: She is not a he. You've undoubtedly heard all the sensationalist stories, like the BBC's Pregnant US man hails 'miracle', talking about how this "man" is pregnant. Ladies and Gentlemen, humans of transgender, this "man" is not a man. I'm sorry, but until they can change the XX to XY, this story is a lie, it is scientifically incorrect, and it should not be receiving the attention it has received. This woman did not even complete gender reassignment surgeries, so don't try and tell me that she is a he. Scientifically, it is not true, and no mass media blah blah blah will prove otherwise.

Second: preschoolers do not understand the concepts of sexuality OR harassment. In fact, many still don't have a full grasp on right and wrong. They certainly aren't experts in ethics and morality. So, tell me why it is that so many of them are getting punished or expelled for sexual harassment? Sexual harassment is a legal term, and one that is not rightly applied to children. Consider the following definition:

The basic definition of sexual harassment comes from the United Stated Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

And, lastly... it's all about the Tang. According to news reports, one of the key ingredients to be used by the alleged liquid terrorists in the UK was none other than Tang. I've not seen a response from any chemists on this yet, though Schneier is asking for an explanation. I still find the whole case patently ridiculous. Despite the recent expose in the UK demonstrating that it "can be done" (which was actually based on faulty science), there's not even hard evidence that the plane would have blown apart. The force required to blow out enough of the plane to result in a complete structural failure is significant, and it's been demonstrated that a hole, such as the size of a window, is not enough to do the damage. Maybe this concept is realistic over the Atlantic, mid-way through a flight, but it's completely unclear still if the explosive would even have been successful.

That being said, it does seem clear that these idiots did have bad things planned, and so the intent is very clear. The threat is perhaps questionable, but the intent, and thus the conspiracy, seems to have them dead to rights. Just to be clear on that.

I guess we should all be thankful that powdered fruit drinks weren't also banned from flights. *sigh* ;)

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This page contains a single entry by Ben Tomhave published on April 4, 2008 8:03 AM.

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