Rease the National Organization for Women (NOW) statement in support of transsexuals.
WHEREAS, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has worked for the elimination of all forms of oppression in our society targeted at groups who are systematically mistreated; and
WHEREAS, the transgendered and transsexual communities confront oppression daily and are systematically mistreated because of artificial gender constructs in our society; and
WHEREAS, there is a lack of understanding and information on issues affecting transgendered and transsexual people; and
WHEREAS, one of NOW's goals is to eliminate all sex stereotypes including so-called gender roles; and
WHEREAS, NOW affirms and honors the right of people to self-identify;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that NOW and its sub-units encourage education and dialogue within NOW and other organizations on gender and sex stereotypes including those who are transgendered and transsexual people.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that NOW reaffirm its commitment to end all sex and gender stereotypes.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that we acknowledge that gender is a patriarchal social construct used to oppress women.
AFTER YEARS of debate and dialog, the National Organization for Women (NOW) has finally passed a resolution on transinclusion. The successful vote followed personal support by NOW President Patricia Ireland -- who had arranged for GenderPAC's Executive Director, Riki Anne Wilchins, to address NOW's National Board the preceding Thursday -- as well as to intensive consensus-building effort by NOW Lesbian Rights Coordinator, Kimberlee Ward, and NOW-NJ State President, Bear Atwood.
The measure was originally introduced and unanimously passed at NOW-NJ's State Conference in 1994, and then introduced at the 1995 National Conference in Columbus, OH.A dozen gender activists in Menace T-shirts showed up to get signatures on petitions supporting the measure. But, in spite of signatures by over half the attendees and apparently overwhelming support, the measure was tabled to the National Board, where it languished for the next 2 conventions.
The breakthrough was prompted by an invitation Ms. Atwood extended to activists from GenderPAC and other groups to address the State Coordinators Conference in San Francisco several months ago. As more State Presidents got behind the measure, Ms. Ireland asked activists to address the NOW National Board at the current conference.