more thoughts on corporate grandstanding and bathroom laws
April 26, 2016
I just read another article about how some corporation or other is punishing North Carolina for its recent transmisogynist bathroom law. Or maybe it was an article about a corporation being threatened with boycotts for saying that trans women can use the women’s restrooms within their stores. Can’t remember which but both amount to much the same.
Beyond what I’ve already said about why people should worry about corporations having enough power and leverage to force governments to change, another thought occurred to me about these corporations and how you know that this is all about publicity and not about any deep concern for trans people.
Since I like picking on paypal (bc they’ve fucked over a few of my friends), let’s examine them. They aren’t expanding into NC because of this law. Which suggests that they have some, idk, belief that ‘lgbt’ ppl are human. Which includes trans women of colour.
Consider a trans woman of colour who, despite trying everything humanly possible, cannot find a mainstream job. No one will hire her. Not to serve coffee, not for anything. So, as happens to many a trans woman of colour, she ends up doing sex work. As a member of the underground economy issues like banking and payments can be difficult to manage.
These systematic exclusions are perhaps most visible in the payments industry. Nearly every crowdfunding site and payments processor explicitly forbids transactions pertaining to adult content or services. Many freeze accounts and reverse payments if they’re suspected to belong to sex workers.
Huh. How interesting. So paypal while it publicly performs in the public theatre as a support corporation for ~lgbt~ people also happily targets some of the most vulnerable people within the community.
But. Note above how I mention that often (but not always) sex work isn’t a first choice career for many people. As such, I’d like to know exactly how many trans women of colour paypal actually employs. I’d be willing to bet that they do not have even a single one (at least one who isn’t stealth).
Perhaps this is too narrow. Does paypal have any out trans people working for them? Of any race and gender?
Makes you wonder, eh?
How much more of a meaningful impact it would be if paypal did open their whatever in NC and purposefully did community outreach to train and employ trans people in the state? While giving them benefits, a harassment free workplace, and the ability to pee in the restroom of choice?
Employment discrimination has been a perennial item on the list of things that trans people need dealth with immediately. The lack of employment options and opportunities for trans people is one of the chief sources of misery within the community. Super interesting how you don’t see a single corporation participating in the public theatre actually doing anything at all to support trans people in the way that we need.
And even if paypal weren’t going to try and employ trans people, they could – at the very least – stop targetting sex workers. That’d be a nice start towards going beyond empty gestures and publicity stunts.