Concern over trans people competing in chess is misplaced

Thank you to Kira Storm for taking the time to share her perspective. I had heard passing reference to the policy change of FIDE (the International Chess Federation), but knowing nothing about that world, I didn't have any context.

I especially appreciate her raising the double standard in the decision around trans women versus trans men - stripping prizes won by trans men when they were living as girls or women does seem punitive indeed (just cruelty for its own sake, I guess).

I don't have any lived experience as a person transitioning, but my gut tells me that anytime we worry that people will change their gender identity in hopes of winning some competition or another, that's a misplaced fear.

Being trans in this world is so heavily penalized as to be dangerous. I genuinely doubt that anyone would enter into the danger and hate which transfolk face to win a coveted trophy.

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A valuable lesson in civility

You published a statement from the Aug. 23 Putney Selectboard meeting by Chair Aileen Chute. I can't think of a better example of a highly competent leader in local government explaining to people that their behavior cannot change the way town policies work. By simply reading her statement, I...

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A pink hammer to the patriarchy

A mom and a teen son reflect on the multiple messages of Barbie on the big screen. It’s so much more than a story about a doll.

No filters, no makeup, no pink, no costumes - just an impromptu trip to see the Barbie movie. It almost felt like we were breaking some unspoken rule based on all the fanfare I've seen, but we both needed to know what the hubbub was and had a rare...

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‘My empathy tank hath run dry’

About 2,000 tailgaters ago, I wrote a commentary about tailgating. I was open to thinking that tailgaters' ideas about tailgating could be something altogether different from mine. After all, they're looking at my rear end while I'm looking for their front end. I likened tailgaters to flocks of birds dancing in three-dimensional high-speed harmony and warned that all it takes is one tailgater - bird or human, with a sprained wing or cardiac arrest - to throw an entire system...

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Democrats have had opportunities to affect housing since Reagan era

Nancy Braus seeks to blame Ronald Reagan for the current housing situation, from unaffordability to lack of options. Haven't we had some Democratic party presidents since Reagan? Haven't Democrats had control of the House and Senate at times since Reagan was president? Don't Democrats run any states, or cities, where, presumably, they have "fixed" the housing problem? In Vermont, the Democratic Party has complete control of the Legislature, yet Vermont has the second-highest homeless population per capita, second only to...

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Brattleboro: Admit huge mistake of dropping Rescue Inc.

I ask our new town manager to carefully investigate our EMS situation and, after making an informed decision, to speak with all Selectboard members, encouraging them to vote yes to bringing back Rescue Inc. I encourage the Selectboard to make amends for the secret decision of the previous town manager to sack Rescue Inc. by signing a new contract with Rescue Inc. The cost of enhancing our fire department to include EMS services is irresponsibly expensive. Admit you made a...

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Can I help?

Southeast Vermont is a place full of well-intentioned, compassionate people. The officially sanctioned infrastructure here for helping vulnerable individuals and families is impressive. But outside of the accepted conduits for helping - like volunteering and donating to government recognized nonprofits - how are we each empowered (or not) to make the change we want to see in our community? It can be easy to let the government and nonprofits be in control and set the tone of the conversation, but...

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Republicans calling anti-racists racist is dishonest

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy recently characterized U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley as being like a modern-day grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Of course, she took offense to this, but it's more offensive to the American people. Ramaswamy's message was confusing. The KKK is still very much with us and has been joined by many other hate groups which have a strong influence in today's Republican Party. The KKK is dedicated to maintaining the supremacy of white people who...

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