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Category Archives: Queer Issues
First off, I’d like to give a fangirl squee to Feministe’s newest blogger, piny. I have loved piny ever since I came across him in comments on Alas and Feministe, and I considered asking him to blog here more than once (if I had gotten to know him better, I may have snapped him up before Feministe did). I still may see if I can convince him to guest blog on occasion. So, from one of your fans, congrats on the new position, piny!
Today I found an article where he fisks a transphobic letter to the editor from a San Fran magazine. He said read the article, so I did. Then I read the letter responding to it. Between my hacking and sputtering, I found myself making connections between one issue addressed in the article and the subtext of the letter: the link between transphobia and sexism. Continue reading
In commemoration of the launch of the Carnival of Bent Attractions (which features a post from yours truly, much to my surprise), I’ve added a new link grouping in my Blogs section for Carnivals. Right now I have the Carnival … Continue reading
Apparently thereâ€™s been a lot of discussion on Ariel Levyâ€™s Female Chauvinist Pigs in the blogsphere, but Iâ€™m not really here to discuss that. What I want to talk about is Amandaâ€™s post, Getting approval (which discusses the girls-kissing-girls part of the raunch culture), and my own experiences with it.
First things first: I am bisexual (or pansexual, more accurately). For years and years and years various things kept me closeted to myself and to those around me, but I finally came out sometime in 2003/2004. It was hard for me, especially since I was met with some scepticism from loved ones. My mother believed that people were â€œgay, straight, or lyingâ€ (to borrow from that hideously stupid study done a while back) and a friend said that I had to be mistaken, that I was confusing love/lust for â€œappreciationâ€ of the female body. It didnâ€™t help matters that Iâ€™ve only had one real sexual experience with a girl, especially since neither of us had any interest in pursuing anything outside of that one encounter.
So what does my personal story have to do with the pressure for straight girls to kiss each other? More than I care to admit, but admit I will. Continue reading
For all my talk about not tarring and feathering those feminists (you know, the ones not like us), I must confess that there is one type of feminist that constantly gets under my skin. The transphobic one. Ye gods I wish I could go to all those who think that transgendered people don’t deserve a place in feminism because they aren’t â€œreal womenâ€ (whatever that means) and say to them, â€œYou! Out of my feminism!â€ I guess a part of it is because in order to believe what they do about the transgendered population, they must first believe in gender essentialism â€“ an ideal not compatible with liberation, as one poster on the feminist LJ pointed out.
But are my exclusionary tactics any different than those who try to tar â€œradicalâ€ feminists with the same brush? Who cry to their critics, â€œI’m not that kind of feminist, don’t blame me!â€? I’m not sure. The so-called â€œradicalâ€ feminists’ biggest problem is that the media has chosen them to caricature, while the transphobic feminists try to exclude transwomen (and transmen) in a very real way. Of course, I have said in the past that not all feminists hold 100% feminist values. I know that, despite my best efforts, I still hold some anti-feminist values. Continue reading
For so long I’ve wanted a good way to articulate the battle feminists wage over gender. Too often we are accused of wanting to make everyone “the same” (aka. “like men”), but that’s neither possible nor, in my opinion, a helpful discourse in any way. People are not the same. Period. It has very little to do with the sex that they are born into and a whole lot to do with their individual traits, which are influenced but not dictated by primary and secondary sex characteristics. Thus far, I’ve used the terms “cult of masculinity” and “cult of femininity” as shorthand for society mandated gender roles, but they reference more the specific traits seen as “essential” to either gender and less the reality of what forcing people to follow these strict gender binaries really is.
Enter a comment on a mostly unrelated post on the feminist LJ community [emphasis mine]:
There are feminists who believe that the way to solve sexism is to do away with gender, but i think a more practical, interesting, and diversity-friendly approach is just to make gender voluntary or democratic, as opposed to the rigid “caste system” we have now, where your gender is determined by a doctor at birth and is seen thereafter as eternally immutable.[From Not a REAL FEMINIST!!!, comment by sophiaserpentia]
From Gender and Computing:
According to Ph.D. student Robb Willer, men have a tendency to change their opinion if they are told that their opinion ‘is feminine’. Men who were told that they had given ‘feminine’ answers to a test “changed their opinion to be more homophobic, stronger support for the Irak war and a tendency to buy gas-hungry SUVs.” (And for the ‘feminine’ readers, that’s a Sports Utility Vehicle.) Women, on the other hand, did not have the same tendency to change their opinion, neither if they were described as feminine nor masculine.
If this study is accurate (I was unable to find more information on it to verify the testing methods and sample sizes) then this represents yet another confirmation that the fight for equality has thus far only succeeded in allowing women to “rise” to the position of men without actually elevating “womanhood” up to be on equal ground as “manhood”. Continue reading
A new form of contraceptive (microbicides) is under development, one that looks like it might be able to strike a serious blow against the epidemic of STDs, HIV in particular. It comes in the form of cream, gel, or capsule … Continue reading
Over at reappropriate, I was half responsible for hijacking one of Jenn’s threads, The Sexism of Father’s Day, with a lively debate on gender roles and choice. I highly recommend reading through the post itself, as well as all the comments, because there is a lot of interesting discussion on all sides.
phillyjay drew me into the debate when he said:
I just don’t think it so bad if men and women live up to their gender roles.
I responded with:
I would just like to say this outright: there is nothing wrong with people choosing what is best for them, whether it fits in the accepted gender roles or not, what the problem is that society in many ways forces it on us.
And, really, that sums up what I think is one of feminism’s biggest points: people should have the right, and opportunity, to choose to do what’s right for them. Now, there are obvious limits; my ability to choose ends when it impedes someone else’s life. Debates within and outside of the feminist community arise because that division is not a simple line to draw, but, at the root of it all, the feminist ideal is that of choice. Continue reading
I recently stumbled across a post from Danny from adventures in cultural politics about a debate he and David from Lawyers, Guns and Money called Feminist men respond. The subject of “male feminists”/”pro-feminist men” is one that I consider to be a cause of mine, so my attempt at commentary blossomed into a full-blown article. Continue reading