An Inclusive Litany


Kentucky gynecologist Harold Crall had to surrender his medical license in 1994 after having what he called "inappropriate contact with the female patients." The licensing board later let him resume practicing medicine, but only if he worked in the state corrections department and never saw another female patient.

Crall is now suing his insurance company for $8,700 a month because, he says, he is a sex addict. While the American Psychological Association does not yet recognize sexual addiction as a legitimate disorder, Crall's psychiatrist says, "There is no question in my mind, as with all addictions, a sexual addiction is a disease with genetic predisposition."


Napster, Inc., sued a souvenir apparel company for trademark infringement for allegedly selling T-shirts and other items bearing its logo without its consent.


In London, one of the artworks being considered for this year's prestigious Turner Prize is Tomoko Takahashi's "Load of Old Rubbish," which consists of a load of old rubbish. The piece is said to remind the artist of "the trauma of taking her driving test."

The Canadian National Post, December 22, 2000:
Frosty the Snowman, though nurturing with children and susceptible to mild spells, reinforces gender stereotypes and male domination of life outside the home, a British academic says.

Tricia Cusack, an art historian with the University of Birmingham who studies popular imagery, says British and North American culture represent snowmen as larger, older male figures whose place is outside the home, often in public places such as parks and schoolyards.

As such, they are relics of life before the sexual revolution, Ms. Cusack argues, as they are cast in contrast to the image of females as mothers and domestic providers.

"The snowman is, of course, white and invariably male," Ms. Cusack told BBC Radio in a special program earlier this week.

"[His] ritual location in the semi-public space of garden or field imaginatively reinforces a spatial social system, marking women's proper sphere as the domestic-private and men's as the commercial-public.

"It presents an image, however jocular, of a masculine control of public space."

Ms. Cusack's assessment stems from a paper she wrote on snowmen two years ago in which she explored their historical and social meaning through the ages.

The piece, published in New Formations, a journal of popular culture, concluded that the typical snowman—with his hat, scarf and jolly countenance—is a festival figure representing carnal enjoyment.

"Like Father Christmas, he is round, fat and smiling, suggesting overindulgence," she says. "The classic carnival figure is a fat, lusty eater and drinker."

Those qualities also conjure notions of a well-fed, dominating, patriarchal male, she says.

The notion of snowmen as social icons first struck Ms. Cusack while she was shopping for Christmas cards, many of which bore images of the rotund, happy, distinctively male snowmen.

"I wanted to investigate why this figure was always depicted as male and what it was supposed to represent at Christmas time." ...


The German Cartel Office ordered Wal-Mart and two German competitors to raise prices because other stores might otherwise not be able to match them. The relevant law was enacted in 1933, eight months after Adolph Hitler came to power, and was designed to protect small shopkeepers against the spread of large, often Jewish-owned, department stores.

[Ed.: In June, 2001, Germany abolished another Hitler-era law that limited store discounts and banned "buy two, get one free" offers.]

A Fresno, California, elementary school principal asked his choir director not to allow the secular song "Jingle Bells" as part of "winter" recitals for fear of offending the school's non-Christians.

In Newport Beach, California, parents had to take down the colored lights they used to decorate Mariners Elementary School, after other parents threatened to sue.

In an effort to "practice diversity," the city of Eugene, Oregon, banned Christmas trees from public spaces.

And a school principal in Cobb County, Georgia, told teachers to avoid even uttering the word "Christmas."

From a reader survey in the spring issue of Transgender Tapestry magazine:
I am:

male to female
female to male
helping professional

And I consider myself a:

third (4th, etc.) gendered
nongendered person
intersexed person
I do not consider myself transgendered
I'm not sure whether I'm transgendered
pre-operative transsexual
postoperative transsexual
nonoperative transsexual

My sexual orientation is:

gay man

I am attracted to (check all that apply):

women when I present myself as a woman
men when I present myself as a woman
men when I present myself as a man
women when I present myself as a man
the individual, regardless of their gender

In Michigan, a decision by the Marquette school board to stop using the image of a Native American as the symbol of its sports teams resulted in a large protest led by Native Americans.


According to the new sexual misconduct code at Columbia University, alleged violators are not allowed to confront their accuser or obtain witnesses on their own behalf. They are not allowed to hear hostile witnesses, cross-examine witnesses, or hear testimony from the accuser. They are not allowed to call into question the mental state of the accuser. Nor are they allowed to have an attorney present, and outside the courtroom they are enjoined from discussing the case.

Writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, a group of pediatricians and neurologists conclude that Winnie-the-Pooh probably suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder as well as obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and should be put on a low-dose regimen of Ritalin as soon as possible. According to the article, Pooh and his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood exhibit a variety of disorders described in the American Psychiatric Association's authoritative Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Piglet has an anxiety disorder whose symptoms include blushing and stammering, and he should be taking anti-panic medication such as paroxetine. Eeyore suffers from "chronic dysthymia" and should be taking an antidepressant such as fluoxetine. Owl is "obviously bright, but dyslexic." Tigger is hyperactive and shows a "recurrent pattern of risk-taking behaviors," like clambering tall trees and eating haycorns and thistles, though the authors disagree on whether he needs a stimulant or a sedative. And while Christopher Robin does not yet have a diagnosable condition other than that he lacks parental supervision and talks to animals, his haircut and clothes illustrated in the Milne books lead the doctors to believe there may be "possible future gender identity issues."

While the article is no doubt tongue-in-cheek, its authors insist there's a serious underlying point. "These characters manifest some pretty significant disorder patterns," says principal author Sarah Shea, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "Sadly, the forest is not, in fact, a place of enchantment, but rather one of disenchantment, where neurodevelopmental and psychosocial problems go unrecognized and untreated."


From a review of Robert Service's new biography of Lenin in the Washington Post Book World, October 15, 2000:
Service also treats the key question of Lenin and violence in superficial fashion. Service is shocked by Lenin's belief in the use of state-administered mass violence to achieve political ends. Do only totalitarian dictators believe this? No: The most admired 20th-century political leaders—Churchill, say, or Roosevelt—not only believed the same thing but are celebrated for it. What is the difference between them and Lenin? Mainly this: He believed in the legitimacy of class war while they believed in the legitimacy of national war. For a political end such as the defeat of Nazism or Imperial Japan, most of us accept mass violence and the death of innocent people as a justified means.

Monterey Peninsula College professor David Clemens proposed a new course, "English 38—More or Less Human? A Study of Literature, Technology, and Human Nature." Students enrolled in the course would read contemporary classics such as A Clockwork Orange, Brave New World, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? They would watch movies such as The Manchurian Candidate, Blade Runner, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, all the while pondering the question: What is a human being and what isn't?

However, the Curriculum Advisory Committee quickly rejected the course proposal because it violated Item 14 of the college's Course Proposal Outline, which requires that all new courses "include a description of how course topics are treated to develop a knowledge and understanding of race, class, and gender issues." In particular, Professor Clemens was told by Pat Lilley, chairwoman of the committee, that he wasn't using his course in a way that would expose the habits of "sexist males."

Andrew Sullivan in the Sunday Times of London, November 11, 2000:
The great divides that have left the whole nation in limbo

The election shows how America is split between town and country, man and woman, black and white.

If you can, cast your mind back to what India looked like before Pakistan and Bangladesh split off. A vast subcontinent, overwhelmingly Hindu, was framed by a Muslim necklace.

Now look at the current electoral map of the United States. It's a vast continent, overwhelmingly conservative, with a liberal fringe up and down the Pacific Coast, sprawling along the Canadian border with a blob around Chicago, and then on to the northeast corridor and further south to Florida's easternmost shore.

If last week's election proved anything, it is that America is currently two nations, as culturally and politically alien as they are geographically distinct. You have the coasts and the heartland, cities and countryside, elites and masses, men and women. In each pair, one means Republican, the other means Democrat.

Sullivan again, writing for a different audience, on a different continent, in the New York Times, November 26, 2000:
Two Nations, Undivided

If you take a look at that remarkable postelection map, in which all of George W. Bush's states are red, and all of Al Gore's states are blue, you would be forgiven for thinking that we live in essentially two nations. A friend recalled the map of pre-independence India: a vast, red Hindu subcontinent adorned with a Muslim necklace in the regions that would shortly become Pakistan and Bangladesh.... The professional political classes' careers were at stake, but many others saw it as a bitter fight over not very much.... The distinctions between the major candidates were, on a cosmic level, trivial... It's easier, of course, to put them into neat, little boxes: red and blue, right and left, heartland and coasts. But if this election showed anything, it is that the political need for this simplicity is almost proportional to its disappearance in our lives.

Sullivan, back in the Sunday Times of London, the same day:
Gore plots next step in 'legal coup'

This endgame is enough to make any fair-minded person realise that Gore is a danger to the country and the constitution. He is beginning to make Richard Nixon look magnanimous and Bill Clinton look honest. I once believed that he was a good man, of serious purpose and honest intent. That belief is no longer tenable.

He is a coldly ambitious man who is prepared to hold the country hostage to this trauma indefinitely and destroy his party's slow march back to the centre of American politics in the process.

We should all be praying that he does not make it to the White House.

Again, Sullivan, the next day in the New Republic:

So relax and enjoy. As I write, I still don't know who will be president-elect. But you know what? It doesn't matter that much. The differences are now so small that it will matter little who walks away with the Oval Office.


After four violent incidents (one fatal) erupted at a football game at California State University in Sacramento, controversy erupted because one of the alleged perpetrators pictured in the school newspaper, in a dangerous choke hold while resisting arrest, was Latin American. As a result, Latino students stole 3,000 copies of the State Hornet, used them to barricade the paper's editorial offices, then presented a list of nonnegotiable demands, including a permanent ban on publication of any material depicting minority members in a negative light.

Throughout this uproar, university president Donald Gerth remained silent, even when the editorial offices received numerous bomb threats and death threats. But a month later, when the ethnic studies department received a bomb threat, he wheeled into action, calling out the campus police, contacting the FBI, and sending out a stern campus-wide letter condemning the threat and demanding tolerance.


After President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa refused to distribute AZT to pregnant women last year because he didn't believe the HIV virus caused AIDS, a South African newspaper polled all 27 of members of his cabinet, only one of whom said that HIV causes AIDS.

This August, the country's health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, forwarded an anonymous memo to various officials, addressed to all African health ministers, that claimed AIDS was being intentionally spread among Africans by Western nations through smallpox vaccines. She also forwarded material cited by the memo, a chapter from a book by William Cooper called Behold a Pale Horse, that claims involvement in the conspiracy by extraterrestrials and the Illuminati.

[Ed.: The following June, several AIDS- and African-advocacy groups called for the dismissal of Andrew Natsios, the new head of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Natsios delivered a speech in which he suggested that administering AIDS treatment programs in Africa would be particularly difficult because of a feeble health infrastructure and because many Africans didn't have the clocks or watches necessary to tell when to take medication at specific times in the day. It may be difficult to evaluate those concerns, but note another story, reported on "60 Minutes," of a rape epidemic in South Africa, partly fueled by a belief that you can cure AIDS by having sex with a virgin.]

The prestigious San Francisco Ballet School has been charged with violating San Francisco's new city law against size discrimination after it rejected an eight-year-old girl it deemed too large to meet its criteria for slender dancers who are likely to go on to become professionals.


When the American Kennel Club warned that certain dogs were "not good" for children, Carl Holder of the Dachshund Club of America responded: "To say that all these dogs are 'this' and these dogs are 'that,' that's racism, canine racism."

[Ed.: Nicholas Dodman, author of Dogs Behaving Badly, says dogs that bite small children aren't necessarily vicious, but may suffer from "interspecies dyslexia," an inability to distinguish genuine threats.]

The Washington Post, December 7, 2000:
Bill Clinton says he would have been tempted to run for president again if the Constitution would have let him. And, he says, he would have won....

He adds that, as life expectancy rises, there may be a reason to change the 22nd Amendment, which limits presidents to two four-year terms.


The London Daily Telegraph reports the discovery that neo-Nazis have been infiltrating the European animal rights movement, apparently motivated by Adolph Hitler's well-known vegetarianism and opposition to animal testing.

Oberlin College will now offer credit for a course called "The Life and Times of Drew Barrymore." The weekly course is available through the Experimental College, a student-run department whose past offerings have included the study of the soap opera "Days of Our Lives," the "Art and Science of Home Brewing," and "Whiskey Appreciation."


Rather than spending thousands complying with the new Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, many websites have adapted by removing content intended for young children.

Following pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Park Service agreed to dismantle a popular 66-year-old memorial in California's Mojave Desert to local veterans of World War I, because the memorial is in the shape of a cross.

The questionable results of the presidential election could not hold a candle to the even more dubious Senate election in Missouri, where the incumbent Republican John Ashcroft conceded to his Democratic challenger, Mel Carnahan, even though the latter had died long before Election Day. Not for nothing is Missouri known as the "Show-Me State."

[Ed.: In St. Louis, a petition was filed requesting extra time at polling stations, on behalf of a man who supposedly complained he couldn't vote due to long lines, but who in fact was also dead.]

Following the election, ABC News reported that its poll showed "at least 57 percent favor a quick end to the impasse." But "at the same time a majority says the most important thing is not speed, but accuracy." A CBS poll from the same day showed that "pressure is building for the resolution of this election without end." But CNN reported that its poll showed that "the American public is not overly concerned about the situation and, in fact, is becoming less concerned as time goes on." A Gallup poll showed that the public favored including hand-counted tallies in the final tally, by 23 points. But, "perhaps a little paradoxically," an equally large percentage also said a machine recount is more accurate than a hand count.

"This is a replay of Selma, Alabama, all over again," said Jesse Jackson of the election in Florida, an extension of the "blood of blacks and Jews" spilled in 1965. Jackson repeatedly claimed blacks were discouraged from voting, and that elderly Jews ("Holocaust survivors") who may have been confused by their punch-hole ballots were targeted for "disenfranchisement," even in Democrat-run counties that had a strong interest in their votes, and who had approved the design of the ballots, ostensibly to make the print easier for senior citizens to read. "Something systematic was at work here," said Jackson. "It was large and systematic."

After cataloguing such statements, New York Times reporter Lynette Holloway wrote: "Mr. Jackson has been careful not to be inflammatory, which may be one reason the Democratic National Committee has changed its mind about his involvement."

[Ed.: Jackson also told Fox News that Bush "would preside but not govern because he took this [election] by Nazi tactics." Lewis Myers, Jackson's attorney, said his comparison of Bush to Nazis had been "taken out of context." Donna Brazile, Al Gore's campaign manager, told the press that "in disproportionately black areas, people faced dogs, guns, and were required to have three forms of ID." While this statement has no basis in fact, the NAACP's National Voter Fund ran ads during the campaign on black radio stations, making a similar claim that "There are many ways intimidation was, and still is, used to keep African Americans from voting. Mobs, guns and Jim Crow. Ropes, dogs, lies and hoses." The NAACP also ran a provocative television ad in the midst of the campaign that showed a pickup truck dragging a chain, and that accused Governor Bush of having "killed" James Byrd "all over again" for having opposed a change to the state's hate crimes law following his murder.

Jesse Jackson has been known to draw may other parallels with Selma, by the way. Chocolat, a romantic comedy about a woman who, by making delicious candies, liberates a repressed French village from the moralistic tyranny of its conservative mayor, was "as dramatic as November 7," Jackson told the New York Times. "[It] is really about us going to Birmingham to get the right to vote."

To be fair, Jackson may have been starting to lose it. He soon admitting to impregnating an aide and lying about it, at the same time he counseled President Clinton on his own sex scandal. He also apparently used his organization's tax-exempt funds to relocate the woman and bestow her with a questionable six-figure salary. As a result of the scandal, Jackson promised to remove himself from public life for a period of soul-searching and family healing, which lasted a little less than three days. The aide, Karin Stanford, later sued him over support payments and visitation.

There is now also considerable evidence that Jackson engaged in a pattern of extortion against large corporations, discontinuing public protests over alleged racial bias after they agreed to contribute to his organization. At a press conference, he lashed out at critics who were now scrutinizing some of his more questionable financial dealings: "These groups—they were against us marching for public accommodations. They were against us marching for the right to vote. They were against us marching for open housing. They were against us fighting to free Mandela in South Africa.... They are fundamentally extremist, right-wing groups."]

From, the website of filmmaker Michael Moore, November 10, 2000:
South Florida has perhaps the largest population of Holocaust survivors outside of Israel and New York. Is it just me, or do these good people, all of whom have suffered enough in their lives, deserve not only our respect, but our commitment to see that their vote is counted? To many of you, World War II and the Holocaust probably seems like ancient history. The truth is, there are tens of thousands of people who lived through that horror, escaped the ovens, and are now living out their final years in South Florida....

Sixty-two years ago... the Holocaust began in full force on what was called Kristallnacht. The German government sent goon squads throughout the country to trash and burn the homes, stores and temples of its Jewish citizens. Seven years and 6 million slaughtered lives later, the Jewish people of Europe were virtually extinct. A few survived. I will not allow those who survived to come here to this "land of the free" be abused again. They are our fellow citizens in our great democracy, and their voice, if I have anything to say about it, will never be snuffed out.

[Ed.: An NPR reporter tried a similar approach, following the election, when interviewing a group of elderly Polish men who had escaped the Holocaust: "Does it make you disappointed in America to see what's happening? ... When you came to this country, you were coming seeking freedom, seeking democracy.... Is this democracy that we're seeing now?" But the men resisted making such a parallel. "Is here the best," said one.]

Robin Givhan in the Washington Post, November 18, 2000:
University of Massachusetts history professor Kathy Peiss once noted that when women first gained easy access to makeup, it was used as a powerful tool to define and create a public face. Indeed, there is a genre of women who would never consider leaving their homes without putting on their face. (A sub-genre of them even wear makeup to the gym.) It was only after World War II that cosmetics were seen as suspect, as the enemy. Now, "cosmetics are like lightning rods for people's animus," Peiss said. The American public doesn't like falsehoods, and [Florida Secretary of State Katherine] Harris is clearly presenting herself in a fake manner.

One of the reasons Harris is so easy to mock is because she, to be honest, seems to have applied her makeup with a trowel. At this moment that so desperately needs diplomacy, understatement and calm, one wonders how this Republican woman, who can't even use restraint when she's wielding a mascara wand, will manage to use it and make sound decisions in this game of partisan one-upmanship.

Besides, she looks bad—not by the hand of God but by her own. She took fashion—which speaks in riddles, hyperbole and half-truths—at its word, imbibing all of those references to the '70s and '80s, taking styling cues from Versace ads in which models are made up as if by a mortician's assistant, believing the magazines when they said that blue eye shadow was back. She failed to think for herself. Why should anyone trust her?

...and Margery Eagan in the Boston Herald, November 16, 2000:

Most likely, however, [Harris] will be remembered for looking just ghastly Tuesday night. At least by Wednesday her appearance seemed almost—if not quite—transformed.

Like Dr. Richard Sharpe, the transvestite and alleged wife killer. Or Marilyn Manson. Or Dustin Hoffman as Tootsie. Or Cruella DeVil. Or Leona Helmsley on Halloween.

Those were just a few of the comparisons made early yesterday to Harris, who appeared to have piled on 10 tons of mascara, four pounds of lipstick and day-glo blue eye shadow (and what was the deal with the neck?) for her grand moment before every TV camera in the free world.

Much as one would like to blame such nasty lookism on The Evil Patriarchy, I must admit it occurred to me instantly how old and hard she appeared. (Is she really just 43?)

It occurred even to those of us who hope such things are beside the point....

[Ed.: In many of her columns, Ms. Eagan complains that women are unfairly judged by their appearance.]