Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Links round-up

Lashings of Ginger Bee Timer
Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time

Founding member of Lashings, Annalytica, is giving her first solo stand-up performance since leaving the collective - 29th January in Soho, at the Progressive Women Funny Fundraiser. If you love the thoughtfulness and humour she brought to Lashings, now’s your chance to see her again! 

Gendered Intelligence are conducting on a survey on trans youth and employment - if you’re a young UK-based trans person, please help them by filling it in.

Lawrence Allen analysises the visibility of bi women in pop, and what it means for the feminist and LGBT movements. (Content warning: Chaz Bono is briefly implicitly framed as a masculine woman rather than a trans man.)

Some of us have just noticed Love Is Respect - an awareness and resources website for issues of abuse and domestic violence.

Black Feminists Manchester on racism within white feminist spaces - this is crucially important reading.

Gyzym writes this amazing article on Beauty and the Beast, Liking Problematic Things, Love Actually, rape culture, what we learn without realising it - and what we’re teaching kids without realising it.

Over at Delirium’s Library, there’s an incisive discussion of Stephen Moffat, the various incarnations of Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett!), and what the appearance of lesbian couple Vastra and Jenny in the recent Doctor Who Christmas special might really indicate in Moffat’s world of ‘escapist bachelor fantasy’.

And on the topic of Doctor Who, kyriarchy, and the past, Sharon P at Rude Girl Mag muses on Martha Jones, time travel, and oppression.
“Fuck going back in time; that shit’s for the birds. I’ll be over here in the future, where black women can be space pirates and battle commanders and save the world.”

Sophie Mayer interviews queer feminist hero Alison Bechdel - artist, writer, origin of the famed ‘Bechdel test’, and all-round inspiring human being.

This is article is from 2007, but it’s been making the rounds on Tumblr lately - content warnings for ableism (including the word ‘retarded’ used uncritically), and descriptions of medical abuse andneglect. Anne McDonald challenges the ‘Pillow Angel’ case - where the growth (and sexual development) girl with disabilities was arrested through medical intervention - from the perspective of someone who was once considered to be just as much of a ‘lost cause’.

It’s been a long and frantic week for trans coverage in the media - beginning with the journalistic crucifying of trans doctor and gender clinic practitioner Dr Richard Curtis (based on complaints from some patients regretting transition). Some of the trans community responded with the twitter hashtag #TransDocFail, detailing the routine discrimination they faced at the hands of medical professionals.
(Our own kaberett talks here about why they’re not reading #TransDocFail - because they’ve got their plate full dealing with their own - which is coming up to its third birthday!)

But trans issues really hit the news at the tail of the week, when Suzanne Moore described the ideal body - unnattainable by ‘women’ - as that of ‘a Brazilian transsexual’, and after criticism from various transfolk and allies online, left Twitter. The Observer saw fit to print a vitriolic, slur-filled and unutterably transphobic ‘defence’ of Moore by self-proclaimed ‘feminist’ shock-jock Julie Burchill (SERIOUS trigger warnings for transphobic language, which is quoted in many of the below links). Below are some of the reactions, in the press and on the blogosphere:
Roz Kaveney @ The Guardian - ‘Julie Burchill has ended up bullying the trans community’
Jane Fae @ The Independent - ‘Burchill's attack follows the same pattern - trans stories are only of interest if we star as villains’
Paris Lees @ DIVA - ‘An open letter to Suzanne Moore’
Ruth Pearce @ Lesbilicious - ‘Transphobia in The Guardian: no excuse for hate speech’
Christine Burns @ Plain Sense - ‘Mending fences’
Quinnae @ Nuclear Unicorn - ‘Unguarded and Poorly Observed: A Response to Julie Burchill’
Brooke Magnanti @ The Telegraph - ‘We don't need Suzanne Moore and Julie Burchill to police the borders of womanhood’
NUS Women’s Campaign’s official statement

After mass outcry, a petition, and a great many letters to the editor of The Observer - Sebastienne’s open letter is here  - a number of things happened. The Observer apologised; Moore returned to Twitter and apologised; The Observer removed the original Burchill article (and all the long, articulate comments taking her to task); The Independent ran an article pooh-poohing its removal in the name of ‘free speech’; The Telegraph reprinted it; and the trollish backlash begins. We’re pretty sure this summary (written the night before) will be out of date by the time this round-up gets published!

… after all that, trans readers would be forgiven for feeling very drained indeed. (We know that some of the trans Lashers are.) So, to end this round-up, here’s a lovely article from Autostraddle about ‘radical self care’ for trans people - 25 Things I Do To Make My Body Dysphoria Feel Smaller and Quieter.

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