Category Archives: LGBTIQ

Who gets to decide these things anyway?

Most of the internet will be rightly outraged at Dr New of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Florida International University and her “treatment” of pregnant women using “safe” (read dangerous with terrible side-effects) hormones in order to cure teh gay…  PZ Myers and Dan Savage have blogged about the pure evil that this whole thing is in relation to lying about the drug’s safety, ethics approval, experimenting on humans, etc.  I don’t want to go over that other than to say that if my mother had been convinced to take this drug when she was pregnant with me, I wouldn’t exist as I do now.  No more bisexual woman out to herd geek cats with the best of them.

What I want to consider here is the fact that someone came up with the idea that to be a “proper female” you shouldn’t “display an “abnormal” disinterest in babies, [not] want to play with girls’ toys or become mothers, and [not choose a] “career preferences” [which is] deemed too “masculine.”” (Quote taken from Dan’s blog and then amended)

Who gets to say which career paths are too “masculine”?  I thought, now that we’re in 2010 and have attempted as much as possible to win the whole equal pay in relation to employment that all career choices were open to women and none could really be defined as “too masculine”.  I know that there are career paths which are dominated by one gender with rare incursions (for want of a better word) by the opposite gender, such as childcare and nursing for women and truck driving and construction work for men.  Though I wouldn’t say that those career paths are actually gendered other than by history and the current status quo.

I do wonder what Dr New and her researchers deemed to be a masculine career preferences and why, in the age of enlightenment that we’re supposed to be in (as far as women’s alleged ability to access any job she’s qualified for) choosing a non-traditional job for women is a bad thing.  My biggest concern is that Dr New and her team are attempting to impose patriarchal ideals of womanhood and what is means to be a proper/successful woman without looking at the benefits that women have gained over the past century.  Without sitting down and asking themselves if the meaning of “man” and “woman” have changed in a positive way that benefits everyone, including any children they may choose to have. How much do they want women to regress?

Erasing diversity and introducing conformity in our population to fit some weird hetero-normative ideal of what it is to be a proper woman or a proper man lessens us all.  As a diverse population of straight, gay, lesbian, trans*, bisexual, intersex, queer and questioning individuals we all have strengths that compliment each other’s weaknesses.  As a diverse population with interests in different career paths, we keep the economy moving and bring different strengths to the workplace.

I want to see Dr New, and anyone else who thinks that using this drug to treat non-CAH female fetuses, disbarred from practising medicine and forced to attend diversity education before they can re-register.   Oh and the ethics departments who have allowed this human experimentation… same deal.

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My gender identity

I was asked recently about a statement I made where I indicated that I viewed myself as both male and female, and asked to expand on that further.  Thanks to my wonderful girlfriend who was happy to be the other half of my brain so I could put it all together in writing, I came up with the following:

I do see myself as parts of both.  I don’t think I fit neatly into society’s expectations of female, despite my female body.

On the gender continuum, I believe I sit in the middle… not fully female and not fully male.  I don’t tend to express this in appearance, but I think I express it in behavior.  I dress to look good, but I don’t dress “girly”… I don’t do makeup (unless absolutely called for), false nails, pink or bling… Though I do wear corsets, skirts, jewellery, lingerie etc.

I tend to relate easier to men than to women, I tend to bristle when someone refers to me as feminine, and that might be more political than identity, because I bristle the same way when someone calls me a “lady”.

As my girlfriend so succinctly put it, I am a human who happens to be female. I can choose to act feminine one day and masculine the next and nothing at all the third. That has no real bearing on anything I inherently am.

Is it problematic?  Rarely.  I don’t deal with much sexism because I am quite good at being deaf to it, or being sufficiently intimidating for it not to happen in the first place – that and surrounding myself with non-sexist people.  If someone attempts to impose their gender assumptions on me I tend to ignore them or tell them off – this happens more online than in person (the telling off).  Generally I don’t care what people think of me, unless they are quite close to me.  If some stranger wants to think X, then its not worth my energy educating and/or correcting them.

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The Gay Agenda!!!eleventy!!

From god hates protestors (
From: god hates protesters

Every time I hear about “the gay agenda” I want to scream.  My father-in-law, when I have to spend time with him, will often wax lyrical on this topic, particularly about how gay people are trying to convert others to being gay.

I’m not 100% sure why I woke up this morning thinking about how stupid the whole “gay agenda” and “gay conversion” thing is, but I did, and so I’m going to talk about it for a bit.

I was talking to my girlfriend the other day about the “traditional Desi dyke” and how single Desi dykes are scary because they’re out to convert the innocent straight girls.  Her comment was that this really showed a lack of understanding about heterosexuality.  That’s been at the back of my mind for the past few days, as well as the other crap that is generally percolating in my head at any given moment.

To suggest that gay, lesbian or bisexual people are out to convert people or that they have some sort of agenda indicates that those saying this believe that to be gay, lesbian or bisexual is just a choice, and that the choice is so attractive that people have to be warned against it by religion and other forms of societal disapproval.

Because let’s face it, being a second class citizen in Australia, not having the same rights as your straight brothers and sisters, is a very attractive choice.  Not being able to marry, adopt children from overseas, obtain reproductive assistance (in some states) and the like is so very attractive, clearly I must rush now and divorce my husband and enter a lesbian relationship.  In the US it is even worse.  Gay, lesbian and bisexual people can have access to their partners denied in hospital, face discrimination in the workplace, are unable to bring their non-US partners back with them to the US, etc.  Why would people choose to do this?  Because, as many lesbian, gay and bisexual people state, as science has begun to back up, and as society is actually leaning towards… there is no choice.  You are gay, lesbian or bisexual… you can’t change that and you should have the freedom to be yourself just like all those straight people do.

I do love the idea as well that the gay, lesbian and bisexual communities, made up of disparate people with different ideas, wants and needs apparently has some “agenda” that threatens all the straight people.  What agenda?  The agenda that they want to be treated like everyone else?  The agenda that they might want to marry their life partners like their straight cousins can?

Conservative Christians say that gay, lesbian or bisexual people marrying will ruin the sanctity of marriage, and that since god (who the gay, lesbian or bisexual people may or may not believe in) stated that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that is how it has always been done, we can’t possibly change things now… like how we couldn’t change slavery or the role of women.  Its not like marriage is “sacred” these days with the ability to marry complete strangers as long as each are man or woman, or beating your new bride and being arrested twice on your wedding night, or  the ability to divorce and remarry.

I think it is far more accurate to say that there is a religious straight agenda.  They’re the ones who claim that there is some sort of “gay agenda” and are the loudest at condemning gays, lesbians and bisexuals who want to marry their same sex partner or who want equal rights.  They’re the ones who claim that being gay, lesbian or bisexual is a choice and that you can be “converted” back to being straight.  Of course, they’re wrong.

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