The day after this week’s elections, the National Rifle Association got exactly what it wanted: a front-page New York Times
story about Colorado results that supposedly send “lawmakers across the country a warning about the political risks of voting for tougher gun laws.”
In These Time writes that the article, and many others like it, “came after the gun lobby mounted successful recall campaigns against two state legislators who, in the wake of mass shootings, voted for universal background checks, limits on the capacity of bullet magazines and restrictions on domestic abusers owning firearms.
“Despite the recalls being anomalously low-turnout affairs, the national media helped the gun lobby deliver a frightening message to politicians: Vote for modest gun control and face political death.
“For all that reductionism, though, there are more nuanced lessons from these elections. First and foremost, with statewide polls showing that most Coloradans support modest gun control and opposed the recall campaigns, the elections prove that in low-turnout situations, a relatively small group of pro-gun voters can still win the day.
“Additionally, with gun extremists issuing threats of violence against pro-gun-control legislators, Colorado Democrats stopped explaining why their gun legislation was so necessary. In light of that, the election results are a reminder that when politicians don’t stay on the message offensive, they quickly find themselves on the electoral defensive. This is especially the case when, as a Pew survey documented, voters who oppose gun control tend to be more motivated single-issue voters than those who support gun control. That intensity gap, of course, is the most significant story of the Colorado elections because it reveals how different people ascribe different meanings to the gun debate. Continue reading “Guns and freedom”
A researcher at the University of Colorado has presented new evidence
on how word pronunciation affects gender recognition among listeners.
While this may not be a great revelation to those who provide or receive speech training for gender reassignment, the story has significance in further documenting the social construction of gender identity.
The story appears on a noteworthy site called RedOrbit (see link below) on science and health. According to the study, “the style of a person’s speech may help listeners guess their gender just as much as the high or low pitch of their voice.” The researcher examined transgendered people during transition to figure out how humans associate gender categories with different characteristics of speech. Continue reading “Speech style and gender performance”
As public sentiment favoring marriage equality continues to grow, troubling realities persist for the transgender community. A new analysis in the state of Colorado points to striking patterns of employment discrimination, which the study links to poverty, homelessness, and limited health care access.
As reported today by Lindsay Miller in Edge, state-wide analysis of the National Transgender Discrimination Study finds that “transgender Coloradans still face serious obstacles in the form of discrimination that affects nearly every aspect of their lives, from workplace discrimination to unemployment to homelessness to health care inequalities.
The One Colorado Education Fund and the Gender Identity Center of Colorado released the state’s breakout data. See, “Transgender Coloradans Face Daunting Obstacles.” Continue reading “Troubling report on trans discrimination”