TV & Radio
2006年 02月 6日 月曜日 19:12 JST
［キャンベラ ６日 ロイター］ オーストラリアのトニー・アボット保健相は、今週議会で投票が行われる人工中絶薬RU-486の使用問題について、同薬の使用規制が撤廃された場合、気軽な中絶がまかりとおる可能性が出てくるとの懸念を示した。６日付の日刊紙オーストラリアンが報じた。同相は保守派のカトリック教徒で中絶には反対の立場。
Australia to debate abortion drug
Tuesday, February 7, 2006 Posted: 0020 GMT (0820 HKT)
CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Scrapping Australia's effective ban on an abortion drug could open the way for risky backyard miscarriages, Health Minister Tony Abbott said as debate heats up ahead of a free parliamentary vote on the issue this week.
At present, if a doctor wants to prescribe abortion drug RU-486 in Australia, the application must first be approved by the health minister -- currently the conservative, Catholic, anti-abortion Abbott -- then assessed by the government's regulatory body the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
But four female politicians, from the Liberal/National coalition government, main opposition Labor and the minority Democrats, have put aside party politics and jointly introduced a private members bill to remove the need for ministerial approval.
Parliament, which sits on Tuesday for the first time in 2006, is due to hold a free vote on Thursday, with RU-486 advocates arguing that approval should rest with health experts, while critics say an elected, accountable official should be in charge.
Abbott wrote in the daily newspaper The Australian on Monday of his concerns that Australian women using RU-486 would lack adequate medical supervision and that an Internet-based black market could be created.
"The problem is backyard miscarriages if unscrupulous doctors prescribe these drugs for desperate women," said Abbott, adding that he had yet to receive any applications to prescribe RU-486.
"I would want to be confident the rules surrounding the use of the drug would not be readily flouted (as has reportedly been the case with the morning-after pill, dispensed to girls as young as 13 without any counselling, thanks to a bureaucratic change)."
RU-486, also known as Mifeprex or mifepristone, grabbed the spotlight last year after a government backbencher asked for a review of the drug's effective ban because women in remote and rural areas had difficulty accessing surgical abortions.
RU-486, developed in France in the 1980s, is used for terminating a pregnancy of up to 49 days.
Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia says RU-486 is already available in 35 countries, including Britain, France, the United States, Sweden, Greece, Spain and New Zealand, and has been used by more than 21 million women worldwide.
"It is not appropriate that the availability of any drug should rest on the decision of a single individual," the independent national body said in its submission to a parliamentary inquiry on the issue.
Labor health spokeswoman Julia Gillard said Abbott's comments were cheap and inflammatory, adding that she believed the use of RU-486 should be left to the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
"We trust those experts to deal with cancer medication, we trust those experts to deal with depression medication, we trust them to deal with dangerous pain-killing medication, we can trust them to deal with RU-486," Gillard told reporters.
Australians against RU-486 not only want responsibility for the drug to remain with the health minister, but for it never to be approved because of their concerns that it is unsafe. A survey of 500 women by the pressure group found that 60 percent were opposed to RU-486.
The pill's maker, Danco Laboratories LLC, announced last July that five women who had taken RU-486 had died from bacterial infections since its introduction in America five years ago. As a result, Congress has been called on to halt sales of the pill.
A woman who had an abortion 30 years ago, Anne Sherston, on Monday made an emotional plea at the parliamentary inquiry hearing for RU-486 to remain a ministerial responsibility.
"RU-486 is not like taking an aspirin for a headache. It is taking human life," she said.
Debate on the issue is expected to be heated and with many politicians yet to publicly take a position on the issue, it is unclear which way parliament will vote.
性同一性障害で全国連絡会 特例法の要件削除求め活動 (共同 2006/02/08)
Registry change nixed for transsexual who begot pair
The Japan Times: Feb. 7, 2006
GIFU (Kyodo) A family court in Gifu Prefecture has rejected a request filed by a male-to-female transsexual to officially register her as a woman, because she fathered two sons before the sex change.
Atsuko Mizuno, 44, said Monday the Gifu Family Court rejected in a Jan. 16 decision her request on grounds that the law only allows people diagnosed with gender identity disorder to register their sex change if they do not have children.
The law, implemented in July 2004, is based on the reasoning that children would be confused if a parent with such a disorder seeks to officially register a gender change.
Mizuno filed the request at the family court on Dec. 24. This was the first attempt by a parent to change the registered gender, a group supporting her said.
"I want to prove that it is the legislation and the family court ruling that are making things confusing," said Mizuno, who has two sons, aged 12 and 14.
Mizuno was diagnosed with the disorder in 2001 and changed his registered name to Atsuko -- a female name -- after undergoing a sex-change operation abroad.
Under the law, people diagnosed by at least two doctors as having a different psychological makeup from their biological sex can apply to change their registered sex.
They must also be aged 20 or above and unmarried, have no children, and no longer be capable of sexual reproduction following a sex-change operation.
The Japan Times: Feb. 7, 2006
(C) All rights reserved
Japanese court rejects transsexual's request to change registered gender(Updated 04:03 p.m.)
A Japanese court rejected a male-to-female transsexual's request to change her officially registered sex because she already has two children who were born before the operation, a news report said Monday.
The Gifu prefecture (state) family court on Jan. 16 turned down a sex change registration request filed by Atsuko Mizuno, 44, Kyodo News agency reported Mizuno as saying. Gifu is located 274 kilometers (171 miles) west of Tokyo.
Mizuno said the court denied the request because the 2004 law permitting changing one's registered sex stipulates that the individual must be unmarried with no children, Kyodo reported.
Family court officials declined to comment on the report, citing privacy concerns.
The 2004 law allows people to change their registered sex if they've had a sex-change operation and have been diagnosed by at least two doctors as having gender-identity disorder.
Applicants must be aged 20 or older, unmarried with no children and not be able to reproduce.
The rationale for including the stipulation regarding children is that children would be confused should a parent change his or her registered sex, according to the home page of a transgender support group that Mizuno co-leads.
Mizuno filed the request because she wanted to demonstrate "that it is the legislation and the family court ruling that are making things confusing," she said according to Kyodo.
Mizuno was married and had two children before being diagnosed with a gender identity disorder in 2001 and undergoing a sex-change operation, the agency said.
Mizuno and the children's mother are divorced, the report added.
A Japanese court granted a transsexual's sex change registration request for the first time in July 2004, shortly after the new law was implemented.
80% of gay and bisexuals back Simon Hughes for leader
Despite claims of hypocrisy from gay rights groups, almost 80% (79.7%) of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community have selected that Simon Hughes as their choice for Liberal Democrat leader.
88% of the readers of PinkNews.co.uk , the UK’s most visited gay news provider said that allegations of hypocrisy levelled at Mr Hughes should not affect his chances of securing the leadership.
Chris Huhne gained 17.3% of the vote with front-runner Sir Menzies Campbell receiving just 3%.
Benjamin Cohen, editor of PinkNews.co.uk said that Simon Hughes’s support is not surprising: “Even though you may be able to claim that Simon Hughes was wrong not to have come clean about his bisexuality, I don’t believe that you can label him as a hypocrite.
“As an MP over the past 23 years he consistently supported gay rights, campaigning for equalisation in the age of consent, the scrapping of section 28 and the introduction of Civil Partnerships.
“He never stooped to the level of other closeted MPs who masked their own sexuality with blatant homophobia within the House of Commons.
“The fact that Peter Tatchell told PinkNews.co.uk that he backed Simon Hughes for leader demonstrates that the LGBT community has moved on considerably since the 1983 Bermondsey by-election.”
You must quote PinkNews.co.uk as the source of the research.
Survey conducted over 4th February to residents in the UK (excluding Northern Ireland) balanced by residence and sexuality.
Photo Credit: Greg Kadel/harper Perennial Photo
Cross-Dressing for Beginners
A pair of books in which the authors try on another gender for size.
Reviewed by Lily Burana
Sunday, February 5, 2006; BW09 - Washington Post
I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS
By Josh Kilmer-Purcell
HarperPerennial. 308 pp. Paperback, $13.95
One Woman's Journey into Manhood -- and Back Again
By Norah Vincent
Viking. 290 pp. $24.95
It's the truth in drag. So states the disclaimer at the start of Josh Kilmer- Purcell's I Am Not Myself These Days. In the so, so serious realm of gender identity and politics, more than a dash of humor is necessary. Necessary, too, are originality and the ability to wrangle the beast of experience into a story that is both intimate and universal. It's no easy feat, as shown in Kilmer-Purcell's memoir and in Norah Vincent's Self-Made Man , two books that aim to illustrate the pleasures and perils of wandering beyond the gender lines.
I Am Not Myself These Days chronicles the now clean-living ad exec's life in New York's mid-1990s after-hours underworld. By day, Kilmer-Purcell worked as an advertising art director, but come midnight he styled himself as a statuesque drag queen named Aqua (trademarks: 22" corset, sky-high heels and clear lucite ersatz breasts with goldfish swimming inside). Kilmer-Purcell used his party-dame persona to Kevlar-coat his sense of self. "When I finally came out, the first thing I wanted to get rid of was fear," he writes. "You got a problem with queers? Tough, get a load of me in this dress. You think sex is bad? Watch me tackle four guys at once. "
But the foundation of his glam fortress gets rocked when he meets Jack, a beautiful young hustler with whom he falls in love. Jack invites Josh/Aqua to move into his all-white penthouse apartment, but their romantic idyll immediately begins to unravel. Once Jack fires up the crack pipe, the story becomes repetitive -- multiple drag shows, multiple vodkas, multiple nights where Jack is called out for yet another job, his pager interrupting their domestic tranquility like the ping of an egg timer: Duty calls. Jack's drug habit escalates, and he frequently disappears for days at a time, leaving Josh/Aqua bereft and isolated. "The truth is," he writes, "there's no movie of the week about a drunk drag queen and a crackhead hooker in love. . . . It's not the kind of thing people would care about. . . . Who's the good guy? Who's the bad guy? Aren't they both bad? If they didn't get what they deserved by the first commercial, it'd be on to the breast cancer movie." It's an oddly self-pitying, self-centered statement -- one of many peppering the book. Whoever said that being acceptable for prime time dulled the pain of heartbreak? Even Miss Americas get dumped, and God knows we've seen enough glittering mainstream superstars get swept into the arms of addiction.
While I Am Not Myself These Days doesn't plumb the great queer-love depths or broaden to any kind of universal scope, it features plenty of dishy anecdotes and moments of tragi-camp delight. A favorite: "I don't care what Butterball.com says, the hardest part about cooking the perfect Thanksgiving dinner is avoiding the splinters of broken crack pipes that collect in the crevices of the kitchen floor." Not quite enough to bust the Me-bubble, but it keeps the pages turning.
Rather than pursue drag as an after-hours pastime, Norah Vincent made it a grand experiment in how the other half lives. In Self-Made Man , the former L.A. Times columnist chronicles her 18 months spent as "Ned," her male persona. Armed with painstakingly constructed fake facial hair, situationally appropriate man-drag, prosthetic genitalia and her own strong facial features, Vincent visits five different states, each time setting out to experience a different facet of la vie d'homme . She joins a bowling league, works as a door-to-door salesman, enters both a monastery and an Iron John spirituality group, dives into the dating pool and even subjects herself to the chthonic hoopla of strip clubs.
Vincent tries gamely to pass as an "everyman," but it's not just her true gender that trips her up. At times, she doesn't have enough physical toughness to blend into the "real guy" milieu; at other times, her class prejudice rears its over-educated head. One priceless example, when intending to compliment the wit of one of her bowling buddies: "This was the kind of thing that came out of his mouth out of nowhere and it used to make me wonder what he might have done with himself if he'd gone to college instead of joining the army at seventeen." Do dunce caps come only in camouflage, and have no idiots ever bounced forth from the hallowed halls of academe? To Vincent's credit, she's man -- er, woman -- enough to cop to her elitism throughout the book.
Vincent is most provocative and original when limning the ugliness of the gender divide. Her observations on her experiences in the dating trenches are eye-opening, to say the least. On the frustration of being at the mercy of the caprices of straight women, she writes, "Dating women as a man was a lesson in female power, and it made me, of all things, into a momentary misogynist. . . . I saw my own sex from the other side, and I disliked women, irrationally for a while because of it ."
While the side effects of Vincent's experiment are fascinating (including what happens when she reveals herself to be female and the negative impact on her psyche), it is her field reporting from Planet Guy that holds the most novelty. Self-Made Man will make many women think twice about coveting male "privilege" and make any man feel grateful that his gender burden is better understood. But not every nugget Vincent mines is gold. At book's end, she observes that as a man, "somebody is always evaluating your manhood. . . . You're not allowed to be a complete human being. Instead you get to be a coached jumble of stoic poses. You get to be what's expected of you." That is an insight on par with "sky: blue" or "oxygen: necessary to sustain human life." At times, this book is a bracing slap in the face of every simpleton who thinks that being a white male guarantees a life of ease and comfort; at others, it's an exercise in uncovering the obvious.
Transforming yourself through gender manipulation, whether done as occasional escapism or full-time immersion, remains a radical act. Typically, we define who we are from the inside out. But people who tinker with gender -- the clothes, the postures, the roles -- reinvent themselves from the outside in. Reading about these experiences can be enlivening, titillating and, at times, educational. But sometimes, when the writing gets too self-referential and the observations too pat, these tales of gender-bending can be -- dare I say it? -- a drag. ·
Lily Burana is the author of "Strip City: A Stripper's Farewell Journey Across America." Her first novel, "Try," will be published later this year.