From the NCTE press release regarding Amanda Simpson’s appointment:

For thirty years, she has worked in the aerospace
and defense industry, most recently serving as Deputy
Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon
Missile Systems in Tucson, Arizona. She holds degrees in
physics, engineering and business administration along with
an extensive flight background. She is a certified flight instructor and test pilot with 20 years of experience.

Now, I don’t have the specifics of Ms. Simpson’s job, but from what I’ve been able to gather from the Department of Commerce’s website and other news sources, the Bureau of Industry and Security monitors “dual use” exports. “Dual use” implies exactly what you think it does. Lots of technological innovations that can be used for scientific purposes (like generating nuclear power) can also be used for military applications (like building atomic bombs). Some of those items (a list is available on the website) are blacklisted for export.

Ms. Simpson’s job is as a technical advisor. Given her experience in missile systems at Raytheon, it sounds like she’s a really good fit for analyzing the export of various technologies, assessing the capacity to which those goods could be used by foreign agents to make missiles, and whether that’s a sufficient reason to block the export of said technology. It sounds complicated, and I’m sure that Ms. Simpson’s job will be challenging, but (and let me be *very* clear) her status as a transgender person has absolutely nothing to do with whether she can do her job.

For all the individuals that would criticize her expertise, experience or qualifications, I’d like you to find one person that you’d put up in her place for the same position. Here is some of the information on obtaining non-career Presidential appointments for some of the jobs, and a direct link to the application. Please, encourage all those overqualified and overlooked individuals to apply. We want the best people involved in our national security, don’t we? So what is that I’m trying to say?

I’m saying I have *absolute* faith in Ms. Simpson’s qualifications and abilities to fulfill her duties. I would put her up against *anyone* else in this country without a second’s hesitation. But because she’s transgender, suddenly she’s unqualified for the job, she’s a token tranny in the Obama “white hut”, we have license to make fun of her and call her “it”, misgender her, and treat her like shit? I guarantee that if it were Mr. Simpson applying for the job, no one would have batted an eye. So, everyone, let me introduce you to transmisogyny.

No one deserves to be treated the way that Ms. Simpson is being treated. That people may disagree with the choices she’s made in her life is their right as citizens of this country, and while her role in the public eye necessitates dealing with criticism, I think criticism of her gender identity is entirely inappropriate. Do you get criticized at your job, being told that you can’t handle a promotion because you’re male? Or because you’re too militantly straight? How about if you look too stereotypically masculine? Better yet, do you actually think that your appearance has much at all to do with how you perform your job?

Does Ms. Simpson’s history as a trans woman make her mentally unstable or unfit for her job or the security clearances that she needs and possesses? The FBI apparently doesn’t think so. And neither do any of the other professionals that have worked with her and evaluated her. That she had an impressive enough résumé and recommendations to get a job at that level of government is impressive, and is the reason she got the job. I don’t think I could have pulled the same thing off, and I write well enough to sucker a lot of people (well, I think it’s a lot of people) into reading this dreck I call a blog (daily humility checklist: self-effacing comment…. check).

Ms. Simpson’s appointment is an incredibly positive thing for trans people– she’s broken through a glass ceiling here, showing that trans people can be accomplished and professional and secure good jobs. I’m glad that she wasn’t an appointee related to trans-inclusive policies: then she would have been the token tranny on a larger panel of LGBT people*. As of right now, she’s just the most qualified woman for the job. Prove me wrong.

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* I’m not saying she’d be unqualified for that position either, merely that being on a panel of LGBT people would more likely be a numbers game, and allegations of quota filling might make a bit more sense, but not much. Simpson’s experience with the NCTE makes me pretty confident that she’d be awesome as a policy maker, too.

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