Posted: January 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Tags: emotions, privilege, thoughts
There is a trope among some people I know that suggests that individuals are solely responsible for how they react to something. This is not a trope I subscribe to. Let me explain with an example:
Person A and Person B are in a relationship (could be intimate, could just be friends – they’re close). Person A says something hurtful/cruel to Person B. Person B becomes upset at what Person A just said.
Now the trope suggests that Person B has the option to choose not to be upset, and if Person B becomes upset, then that is their choice. So if a partner of yours has broken up with you and you’re sad and angry about that, then that is a conscious decision you’ve made to be sad and angry. You could choose to be happy, or even neutral about it. Clearly there are some people who would be happy when a relationship ends, but could they also choose to be sad and angry?
Posted: January 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Tags: body, cis, exclusion, Feminism, genderqueer, trans*
Just need to close some tabs, and share some awesome writing by s.e. smith, and another equally awesome author.
The Lorax at Liar, Lunatic, or Lorax writes, “I am Cissexist” (trigger warning for discussion of transphobia and suicide):
There are 40 babies being born today that will find themselves in hell. And it will happen again tomorrow. And the next day. And forever.
I am cissexist when I am not angry about this. When I am choosing my words carefully so as not to offend anyone. I am cissexist when I think I am doing some good by talking, writing, telling others how it is and how it should be. I am cissexist when I start talking and stop listening.
s. e. smith writes “Beyond the Binary: But What Does It All Mean? I Don’t Get It!“:
What does it mean, I want to ask cis people, to be a cis woman, or a cis man? What does it mean? How do you know that you are a woman, or a man? Is it a conscious choice? Do you wake up in the morning every day and decide to do that? How do you express your gender? What things do you do or not do as markers to signal your gender to the world? What does ‘woman’ mean to you? People have also been grappling with these questions for a long time, in larger discussions about masculinity and femininity, in discussions, for example, about cis women who are challenged on their gender because they’re too butch.
People want a smooth, flawless, easy definition of what it means to be genderqueer, but I look at cis women who have never encountered challenges about their gender and have never stopped to think about what it means to them to be a cis woman, and defy people to come up with a single neat definition of what it means to be a cis woman. Is it how someone looks? Dresses? Behaves? Is it about chromosomes and phenotype and endocrinology? Is it about reproductive capability? What is it? How do people define ‘woman’? Many of these questions sound offensive and intrusive and ridiculous because they are, and I use them illustratively to demonstrate how some nonbinary trans people feel in discussions where cis people are trying to ‘get’ their gender.
s. e. smith writes “Fat-Positive Shopping Is More Than Garments“, a post that should be compulsory reading for anyone who sells plus sized clothes:
Clothes shopping while fat can be an exercise in frustration. Many stores don’t stock larger sizes at all, or if they do, they offer a narrow range, like 14-18. Those clothes may still fit poorly, or don’t mesh with the taste of the dresser, because they’re designed in the belief that all fat bodies are the same and that all fat people want to cover their bodies in shame and misery. Some stores only offer larger sizes online, for fear of having actual fat people in their storefront, which would of course upset the other customers. Finding environments that don’t just sell a wider range of sizes but actively welcome the people who wear them is rare and such spaces are to be treasured.
What was offered at Re/Dress wasn’t just a chance to buy awesome vintage clothes in a range of sizes meant for fat bodies. It was also an environment to be yourself in. It was an environment where fat bodies weren’t things that needed to be hidden and minimized and controlled, but could be celebrated and embraced.
Posted: January 27, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Tags: comments, spam, WTF
I can’t approve this spam comment because I don’t want to pass traffic through to the spam blog, but I thought I’d share because its funny
Thank you to your words of purpose even though this information is likely to placed some sort of damper around the selling associated with tinfoil hats.
Posted: January 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Tags: chocolate, food blog, tasty
Bananas are affordable and plentiful again and I’ve now had my fill so I’m likely to have a couple of them start to turn, the perfect time for them to be turned into muffins or cakes. This recipe is adapted from one I found on Recipe Source. It is enough to make 12 muffins and neatly doubles if required
Posted: January 21, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Tags: exclusion, identity, lgbtiq
Last weekend I went to Melbourne’s Midsumma Carnival to volunteer at my work’s stand for a couple of hours. The weather was lovely, the people were fantastic and I had a really great time. Just one thing bothered me, and it’s the thing that always bothers me, because language is a powerful thing. Let me be very clear
Gay and Lesbian do not equal LGBTIQ. Gay does not equal LGBTIQ. Lesbian does not equal LGBTIQ.
Posted: January 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Tags: body, fat, Feminism, gender roles, identity, lgbtiq, sex
From the new and awesome blog Queereka, “Sunday School Salutations” which is soon (probably already has) launched a sex advice column and is seeking questions:
The most instructive answer I got was “your first column must contain at least two (2) hymen jokes.” However, this answer is mostly useful because it is pretty bad advice, at least as regards the goal of this column and this blog. I mean, not to get all RAWR HETEROSEXISM on my friend (who was, of course, making a joke), but one of the goals I have for Sunday School in the first place is to tear down the dominant narrative about sex. Raise your hands, dear readers: did your first sexual experience involve hymen rupture?
Yeah, mine didn’t, either.
The Huff Post lists some very interesting tech failures at marketing products to women, noting that women are already big consumers of electronics.
On Monday HSN announced the results of a survey by the international research firm Parks Associates that asked 2,000 adults about purchases they wanted to make before 2012. The results showed women outstripped men in their interest in owning electronics, with 18 percent of women planning on buying a tablet before 2012 (compared to 15 percent of men), 20 percent of women wanted a laptop (only 14 percent of men did) and 20 percent of women planning on purchasing smartphones — compared to 17 percent of men, Mashable reports.
The MailOnline has an interesting piece on the BMI of models and how they would be ranked as anorexic. This article is NSFW – there is nude “plus” size model posing with a “straight” model.
Tesseral Harmonics reblogs (it’s Tumblr, I’m not sure how it works really) on ““Bisexual” is not oppressive, can we talk about biphobia and straight privilege? and other thoughts on bisexuality”:
It’s a big problem that people who are bisexually identified (or engage in bisexual behavior) are dismissed and mocked by gay/queer/lesbian people. I honestly don’t think I need to spell out an explanation of why it’s important for spaces that call themselves “queer” or “LGBT” to be inclusive. In short, anyone who is bi (in name or behavior) is still queer and may need support as a queer person. Biphobia also makes it difficult for anyone who is gay-identified and experiencing sexual fluidity (Lisa Diamond’s research on sexual fluidity (pdf) is super interesting, btw). It also means that gay people who are in “straight” relationships for whatever reasons (family and religion are two examples) are dismissed by the queer community. Biphobia is part of a culture of identity-policing, where if you don’t adhere closely enough to the requirements delineated by the official bureau of gayness you’re out of the club.
Posted: January 18, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Tags: abortion, body, Feminism, science, study
I’ve been following the MTR debate with some interest. I had planned to write a blog post about how she’s not my kind of feminist, and I may yet do, but a statistic she quoted today in an article with Mamamia caught my eye.
6. How do you resolve the apparent divide between being pro-life and a feminist?
A growing number of feminists are questioning abortion as safe, simple and risk free. Research is also indicating that women have significant negative mental health outcomes after abortions. The UK Royal College of Psychiatrists has published a meta-analysis in the British Journal of Psychiatry finding that women who undergo abortions are 81% more likely to experience subsequent mental health problems. (Substance abuse increased 340%, suicidal behaviour by 155%).
I looked at those statistics and boggled, because when I last looked at Wikipedia regarding mental health and abortion the information suggested that there was no correlation between negative health outcomes and abortion. I went and tracked down what I could find of the British Journal of Psychiatry article. Sadly I found it was behind a paywall, so I went and looked at what other people had said regarding the article, the methods used, and the author of the piece. It was an interesting read. To start off, I’ll quote the Results section of the abstract:
Women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81% increased risk of mental health problems, and nearly 10% of the incidence of mental health problems* (my own asterisk) was shown to be attributable to abortion. The strongest subgroup estimates of increased risk occurred when abortion was compared with term pregnancy and when the outcomes pertained to substance use and suicidal behaviour.
Posted: January 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Tags: Language, lgbtiq, media, racism, WTF
Two articles in today’s Age (online) were so jaw-droppingly bad I thought I’d draw everyone’s attention to them. The first is an article sourced from AFP, and appears to have been just been pasted in without any consideration of the AWFUL language included.
The article is titled, “Outrage as naked women dance for tourists in ‘human zoo‘”, seems just from the title, to be an article on tourism exploiting women – and then you read further in, not too much further in, just the first paragraph:
Rights campaigners and politicians have condemned a video showing women from a protected and primitive tribe dancing for tourists in exchange for food on India’s far-flung Andaman Islands.
Primitive? Primitive? According to who? Is there any way that sentence could be any more racist? The women are part of the Jarawa people, an group of people indigenous to the Andaman Islands. How hard is that to say versus “primitive”?
The second article is titled, “Court in same sex tennis furore” is in relation to Margaret Court and her issues with an equal marriage protest/action at the Australian Open. Hoyden About Town blogged very nicely about the issue here.
Part way through the article…
Court, a 24-times grand slam singles champion and a pastor at the Victory Life Centre church in Perth, has long opposed same-sex marriage but sparked a fierce backlash from retired women’s champions Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, both homosexuals, when she reiterated her views in a Western Australian newspaper recently.
“both homosexuals”????? I don’t know how Martina Navratilove and Billie Jean King actually identify, but the correct terms most commonly used to describe women in same sex relationships, are lesbian or bisexual. The term homosexual has a negative history from being classed as a mental disorder. Steve Williams has a great blog on the issue here.
To my mind, the word “homosexual” has a very clinical cadence to it, and the emotions it seems to invoke appear to stem from the not too distant past when homosexuality was still thought of as an affliction and a mental disorder. There’s also an inherently androcentric core to the word “homosexual.” Of course, it can be used to refer to both gay and lesbian people, but I’d wager that the word “homosexual” is mostly used in reference to gay men, especially when utilized by social and religious conservatives. Moreover, it probably carries notions of sex and, by extension, anal sex or sodomy, which is usually one of the central pillars of disgust threaded throughout most prejudiced material.
Posted: January 2, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Tags: bisexuality, lgbtiq, personal identity, polyamory, privilege
I have discussed this on my poly blog (which will one day be migrated to here) before, that it is rare to have a negative experience when I out myself as either poly or queer these days. Now there are many reasons for that, some of which are internal and some external (white, middle class, cis-female, able bodied privilege ahoy). Oh and the fact that I get to choose my audience also plays a large part. It is rare that I am outed and feel that I have to justify myself and my choices – though that happens from time to time.
There is a big difference in power between telling someone something in an environment in which you are comfortable and have an expectation of the reaction and having someone else tell someone with the potential for accusation, interrogation and a negative reaction, not to mention real and actual harm. I don’t go around telling people I know who will react badly because I don’t want to waste the energy on ameliorating that reaction and any relationships that may be impacted. Though sometimes I am tempted to be evil and tell people so they go away and leave me alone – sadly those situations are usually ones where my parents would be impacted instead of me and I don’t think that’s fair on them.
Posted: January 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Tags: garden, things i have learnt
Last year (how odd to say that now) one of my partners (Scott) and I landscaped the back yard (finally) and built a vegetable garden from raised garden beds. We’re situated on an old flood plain, so our soil is clay – which although full of nutrients, isn’t the best soil for growing vegetables in necessarily, so is great for going squelch, squelch, squelch in when wet – so we covered that which doesn’t have raised garden beds with mulch to avoid tracking more mud into the house.
I joined Diggers, a gardening group which gives free seeds to members twice a year, and who specialise in heirloom seeds and plant varieties to ensure diversity in foodstock. I also joined because I love the idea of growing things that seem odd like Purple Dragon carrots, or striped eggplants.
I have learnt a whole lot of things while gardening and I want to share them so that when it comes to setting up the gardens next year, I don’t forget the lessons – and hey you might enjoy it too.