What do you need to do your job? List them.
-an internet connection
-the ability to type quickly
-the ability to speak aloud
-a fully present mind (which seems to be missing today).
The list above is indicative of a lot of privileges - for instance, in most but not all situations, I'm able to choose the environment in which I work, and my education has afforded me the ability to do intellectual work. The assumption that I have a right to my privacy and my body always has and always will continue to function because of cis privilege and able-bodied privilege. If you're a cis person who is not in the sex industry, you and those in your working environment probably don't regard disclosure of the appearance and functioning of your genitals as a part of the list above.
Deprived of cis privilege, Kate Lynn Blatt was not eligible for such basic rights as privacy, dignity, and respect when she sought a job through the (apparently phallocentric in name and practice) Manpower employment agency.
When Blatt, who had previously found work through the company and had been fired for poor health, sought another job through the agency, she was told that her employment was dependent on more than just a W-2 or a piss test. Branch manager Irene Kudziela required a picture of her genitals and a letter from her surgeon recounting her private medical history before employment so that they could figure out what bathroom she needed to use.
This is just one of countless examples of how trans people are dehumanized wherever they go and whatever they try to do. Blatt's genitals are no more an issue in her work than they are in mine. She's assumed to be unable to navigate the business of changing her clothes and evacuating - to be unable to know what bathroom to use, like a child. A cis woman who is in a position of authority over her thinks that she has the right to know what Blatt's organs look like because of the constant dehumanization and othering of trans people perpetuated by cis supremacy.
Asking anyone for a picture of their genitals in any hiring situation is fucked up. Full stop. If Blatt were cis, it'd be fucked up. If she were a man, it's be fucked up. The fact that she is trans does not give anyone the right to inspect her genitals and verify her authenticity as a "real woman".
Blatt fought back, as she shouldn't have to do, as trans men and trans women are forced to do just to exist in the world:
Blatt, 28, told the Philadelphia Gay News that she found the request “disgusting,” refused to comply, and promptly filed a bias complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, saying she was dismissed wrongfully due to her gender identity and her disability -- she identified her disability as sexual dysphoria.“I was trying to work there in a dignified and private manner, but my dignity and privacy were constantly being violated,” she said.
Manpower's treatment of Blatt is utterly inexcusable. It's voyeurism, it's sexual harrassment, it's othering, it's stigmatizing, it's dehumanizing. It's transmisogynistic. It's fucking wrong in a million ways I can't even see or percieve because of my cis privilege (feel free to point them out).
Are you pissed? Good. Contact Manpower here and channel that anger.
Further reading at Feministe and Kynn's LJ (via voz).