Tuesday 27 December 2011

The search for Dandini..

SebastiennePosted by Sebastienne

You may have noticed that things have been a little quieter than usual at Lashings HQ. Oh, sure, we've been posting here every Friday like clockwork, but when's the last time you got to see us do a little bit of feminist burlesque?

This is because we've been working on a SUPER-SEKRIT project of SUPER-SECRECY.

Ok, twist my arm why don't you - it's a panto!

Now, you might be suddenly struck with the urge to repress memories of people in ill-fitting fursuits, enforced heterosexuality, and misogynistic drag. But enough about your plans for New Year's Eve! Panto was once a transgressive mash-up of Comedia dell'Arte and Music Hall, and we want to reclaim a little bit of that boundary-bending anarchy.

So why are we spilling all our super-secrets? It's because we need your help! Due to a last-minute casting-clash, we're in need of a spare actor! You don't need to have any stage experience - commitment and enthusiasm are much more important. Ideally, we'd like to have met you before, or know someone you know, so we can feel a little bit secure. Does this sound like something you could do?

DANDINI: best friend of Princess Charlotte. She is a butch straight woman who is constantly getting read as gay. Ideally, should be able to swap clothes with Princess Charlotte (Annalytica) and be comfortable with both slapstick violence and kink. Can be played as a full-on Lord Flasheart impersonation if desired.

We need an actor who can:

- be available in London on the following dates: 28 January & 3 February
- be available in Oxford on the following dates: 14 January & 11 February
- be available in one of those cities at some point between now and 14 January. 30 December in Oxford would be amazing, but not essential.

We can offer to pay travel costs.

Spread the word!

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Here's hoping you're enjoying or at least surviving whatever you and your loved ones celebrate at this time of year. Have some links!

Video Of Little Girl Getting Pissed Off About Pink Toys

One of Lashings' most favouritest performers has made some of their tracks available online for your enjoyment. Listen to CN Lester's covers of I'm Your Man and Lilac Wine  - and if you want more, their EP is on Amazon and iTunes, and their album is out at the end of January!

No forced kisses for your kids - an article about helping children learn to set boundaries (and expect them to be respected!) at family gatherings.

Rape prevention posters telling women to be careful not to get raped. The post invites readers to complain to Hertfordshire Police, who produced the posters.

Friday 23 December 2011

Kitty Softpaws, Hollywood Gender Win, and Five Reasons Why Galatea's Hypothetical Children Will Be Allowed to Watch 'Puss in Boots'

GalateaPosted by Galatea

Following on the heels of Annalytica's post on the messages that we take in, consciously and unconsciously, from popular culture... I'm pleased to report a minor episode of mainstream Hollywood film gender-win, just in time for anyone who feels like taking in a film over the holidays!

I went to see the new 'Puss in Boots' film expecting not-a-great-deal in the way of positive political messages. As a pop culture and folklore/fairytale geek, I usually find films from the Shrek franchise juuuust clever and entertaining enough for me to put up with their fail -- but the fail is definitely there. The exploitation of stereotypes in the Shrek world is occasionally playful and parodic, but I find that it often steers too close to uncritical parroting of sexist, racist and fatphobic traits for me to be entirely comfortable with it (and I'll deliver my full critique of the politics of Shrek another day, boys and girls and everyone else).

The trailer, which focuses heavily on the figure of Puss himself and the action scenes, can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55gmAtakjJ4 -- and again, it doesn't promise much in the way of departure from what we've seen in previous Shrek outings. So while I like Puss, and enjoy listening to Antonio Banderas go 'Meow!' as much as the next gentleman-fancying person, I really wasn't expecting great things from this film. But what I got was...

Kitty Softpaws. Leaving aside the rather icky name (gratuitous pun on equally ickily-named James Bond character for the lose), what we have here is a mainstream Hollywood heroine who does the ass-kicking-female bit we've all seen from a hundred tedious action films... but takes it a bit further in some quite pleasing and interesting ways.


Tuesday 20 December 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

As always, feel free to share your own links, with trigger warnings as appropriate.

What do you want? Holly at the Pervocracy on knowing your own desires when socialised as female.
"Here I am all prepared to acknowledge and communicate my desires, and my desires are... uh... hm. I'm so used to putting the "no it's bad and selfish to want things" mental block between my desires and myself that I don't even know what's on the other side."

....and a response by Goblin:
It's not what but who: the problems of desire
"But because so much of the process of my growing up was essentially that of learning *not* to want, to put others’ needs or desires first, even now I can recognise that maybe my (being allowed to) have desires is a Good Thing, my relationship with my desires is stuck somewhere between ID (childlike, animal, raw) and superego (socioculturally mediated, the self in relation to others, what do they want or need) almost without passing through the coherence of ego first."

One teacher's approach to preventing gender bullying in a classroom

"As a class, we brainstormed a list of things that students thought were “OK” even though they might challenge society’s gender norms. Monica told us very matter-of-factly, “It’s OK for a girl to marry a girl,” and Jordan said, “My dad carries a purse and that’s OK!”"
I am so not sorry about my vagina, and other apologies we should retract
"I'm an apology addict. Most women I know are similarly afflicted. We think our value as females is dependent on being literally and figuratively pliable to the point of contortions that would make a pretzel or a porn star jealous. And in so doing, we not only devalue our actual important and genuine apologies ("I'm sorry I slept with your brother.") but posit ourselves as being ever in error, constantly over-speaking, overspending, over-laughing, over-crying, overeating, over-existing."

Friday 16 December 2011

You're reading too much into it

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

In case you hadn't noticed, we are rather fond of deconstructing popular media and culture. Whether it's beloved childhood films, television shows we love or shows we hate, advertisingporn, comics, or magazines - we care about the messages sent by popular culture.

This kind of deconstruction is premised on the idea that there are certain assumptions and messages that are conveyed through the mass media. We pick up ideas about how people are or should be, how relationships work, how certain kinds of people behave in certain kinds of situations, and what we can expect from ourselves and others. The media conveys ideas about what is normal and acceptable - and even what kind of people exist at all. We can accept these ideas unthinkingly, or we can examine them and challenge them and ask whether what we're seeing matches up to what we and others experience in our own lives. If it doesn't - does that mean there's something wrong with us, for not being "normal" - or that there's something wrong with the media, for not representing people like us? I would argue that the less time we spend deconstructing the popular media, the more likely we are to believe the former.

Anyone who spends any amount of time talking about these things comes up against the same arguments over and over, from people who don't think this kind of analysis is a worthwhile activity. Discussions about specific cultural messages become arguments about whether there are any messages, and whether it matters what they are. Here I'd like to address some of the most common ones.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

This week's round-up is a) late and b) short because Sebastienne went goth-clubbing. Sorry! If it's any consolation, the theme was "Dress to Kill" so she went as the SCUM Manifesto... anyhow, to the links!

George Monbiot - Unmasking the Press
"The corporate newspapers are the elite’s enforcers, misrepresenting the sources of oppression."
 Fat Heffalump - On “Leggings Are Not Pants and Other Values for Your Kids”
"I know it’s supposed to be a joke, ha ha, leggings are not pants is as important as the other issues, how funny.
Only it’s not funny.  It’s body policing.  It’s classist, ableist, judgemental bullshit wrapped up in a fluff piece for a highly visible online women’s magazine."
A Radical Transfeminist - Significant Othering: Attraction Down the Privilege Gradient
"All people who identify as unattracted to a marginalised group, such as transsexual people, fat people or minority-ethnic people, have a continuing duty to challenge this part of their sexual identity."

Friday 9 December 2011

Safe Spaces?


Posted by Sebastienne

Recently, I've seen some fab queer feminist performances. People like Better Strangers (queer. feminist. opera.) and CN Lester (epic queer singer-songwriter) have made me happy, thoughtful, and/or a little bit turned on. I could write blog posts about how awesome they are, but that's not what I'm doing today.

Today (and I hope Jessie, Clouds, and CN won't take this the wrong way..) I want to talk about how epically shit their venues were.

Now I'm not talking down from a position of perfection. I have played some atrocious gigs in my time and I know it's not always something that an artist has any control over. I know that a lot of the stuff I want to talk about is wrong with the gig scene, but I'm singling out these two recent gigs because they are fresh in my mind.

Tuesday 6 December 2011

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

A trans-themed links round-up this week:

Guide to safer sex for queer trans men NSFW

Words that are transphobic and why a handy guide. May be triggering.

Do you use boy words or girl words? Or the other words? On pronouns - a rather heart-warming story about children who Get It.

Kavindu "Kavi" Ade performing IT fantastic performance poem about transphobia. Triggering for sexual harassment, transphobia and gender dysphoria.

Captain Awkward: How Not To Talk To People Who Are Telling You Something Sad, aka a beginners' guide to derailing and how not to do it.
When someone is in the middle of telling you their bad news, the kindest, best thing you can do is to treat the other person like they are an expert -- in fact, the sole expert -- on their own experiences.

Friday 2 December 2011

Who needs sociopolitical equality when you have YOGHURT?

Posted by Goblin

So, the swimming pool was busy today and I retreated – uncharacteristically these days – to the gym. Because I am a skint student, my gym doesn’t boast its own continuous music channel, so I had to make do with my walkman and some unnamed terrestrial channel.

And, God help me, I started watching the adverts. Has anyone else ever noticed the sheer proportion of adverts that attempt to sell women products – usually food or domestic products – as emotional fulfilment? They’re all over the show. The two I’m going to talk about are very different – Mr Muscle bathroom and Rachel’s Organic Yoghurt.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Our favourite dieselpunk space folk cabaret band have put recordings of their last live performance online for your enjoyment: The Mechanisms on reverbnation

The devaluation of those with disabilities Contains triggers for ablism

Why one in four women is on psych meds (triggers for sexual assault and discussion of mental distress)

No cis guys - no thank you CN Lester on the experience of being included as a trans man in spaces and contexts where cis men would be excluded. (Triggers for transphobia)

Edited to add: Scottish Parliament Gay Marriage Consultation

Friday 25 November 2011

Academic round up

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Some conferences which may be of interest to academics and students in the fields of gender and sexuality.

"But...that doesn't happen, right?" [TW: Sexual harrassment/assault]

JenniPosted by Jenni

Since I started blogging about feminist and queer subjects, I've noticed there's one negative response I get more than most. It's not a complaint, or an insult regarding my stance, but rather, disbelief that I still think these things are important to discuss. And it's never in a malicious manner, but rather, genuine puzzlement as to why certain issues are still relevant.

My favourite examples are often to do with my comments regarding a film - "But why does it matter that the girl doesn't do anything? It's not about her!" (Gee, I dunno - maybe it's the fact that there aren't exactly many films about 'her' outside of romantic comedies?) or perhaps "Why does it matter that the gay character got killed? It wasn't because they were gay, duh!" (I'm not even going to explain why that one annoys me.)

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Events in London this weekend

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Another weekend full of exciting events:

Friday 25th November

Ah! Forget My Fate - A Complete History of Women in Opera (Abridged!)
Queer feminist opera by Better Strangers
10pm King's Head Theatre, Islington, London
Tickets here

Ah! Forget My Fate will take you on a musical journey. If that sounds cliché, bear with us: we begin in the late 17th century, with a bold two-woman adaptation of Dido and Aeneas; then soprani Claudia Guastella and Jessie Holder guide their audience through the dramatic and often disastrous fate of the operatic heroine; the sultry and salacious stylings of villainesses; the dubious dealings of witches and wenches; and the curious custom of dressing women as men.

Saturday 26th November

Feminist Library book sale
2.30pm at the FEMINIST LIBRARY, 5 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7XW (map)

On top of selling duplicates from the Feminist Library collection (so very valuable out of print feminist texts!) there will be a selection of non feminist books and knick knacks - and the good thing is that you are free to bring your own books and donate them to the library to sell on the day! All this plus the chance to visit the library and browse the collection, meet other amazing feminists and sample some of our delicious food.
The library is wheelchair accessible and the event is open to all.
After the event, we will take the library vintage red banner and join the Reclaim the Night march - why not join us?
You can RSVP on Facebook event; and use this to invite your friends! You can contact the library on admin@feministlibrary.co.uk or on Facebook; or by following @feministlibrary on Twitter.com

CN Lester at the Camden Enterprise
7:30 until 10:30
Singer, song-writer, pianist, trans activist, and all-round awesome person CN Lester is performing at the Camden Enterprise, "Channelling some more Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith - and some favourites from Ashes."

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Links, links, links, links...................

The Immediate Need for Emotional Justice An excellent article by Yolo Akili on working with the emotional impact of oppression in activist groups

Transgender Day of Remembrace videos:

by Ariel Silvera

by Maki Yamazaki (aka Doctor Carmilla)

by CN Lester

Friday 18 November 2011

What is a geek?

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

I (Annalytica) have recently been going to a course on C Programming. At the last session, the tutor began by talking about how people are often put off from learning about things like programming and maths and engineering, because of the stereotype that anyone interested in such things is a geek or a nerd.

He was keen to assure us that being interested in programming does not make you a geek, and urged us to challenge this idea, by pointing out that astronauts have engineering degrees and they're not geeks.

I found this interesting because I know so many people who proudly embrace the term "geek" as part of their identity. Instead of denying that they are geeks, they deny that "geek" is a bad thing to be. In fact, so many of my friends are self-described geeks that the idea that it might be something to be ashamed of struck me as surprising.

Still, in spite of having so many geeky friends, I've never really thought of myself as one. I was curious to explore what the word meant to those who do identify with it. The following is taken from a recent email conversation between some of the Lashers, on the topic of geekery.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Events this weekend

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

There are many things going on this weekend! How will you ever decide which to go to?


7:30pm: The Mechanisms
Port Mahon, Oxford
Once a year, the inhabitants of the lonely outpost of Spaceport Mahon, floating near-derelict in the Clement Asteroid Belt, tremble in anticipation: that notorious vessel AURORA and her band of troublesome MECHANISMS are approaching once again. Is this the time when they will finally destroy Spaceport Mahon in a blaze of anarchic fury? Or have they managed to calm Gunpowder Tim’s tendencies to arson? Only the brave, foolish, or those interested in dieselpunk cabaret spacefolk musical storytelling should dare to find out.

8pm: Film screening as part of Wadham Queerweek
Old Seminar Room, Wadham College, Oxford
XXY is a 2007 Argentine film written and directed by Lucía Puenzo. The film stars Ricardo Darín, Valeria Bertuccelli, Inés Efron and Martín Piroyansky. It tells the story of a 15-year-old intersex person, the way her family copes with her condition and the ultimate decision that she must eventually make as she finds her sexuality.


12 noon: Fawcett Day of Action
On average, women earn less, own less, and are more likely to work and retire in poverty than men. The government’s approach to cutting the deficit will widen the gap between women and men. On November 19th, join us on the ‘DON’T turn back time’ March in London or host your own ‘DON’T turn back time’ tea party to help us tell David Cameron:“DON’T TURN BACK TIME ON WOMEN’S EQUALITY!”

12 noon – march congregates at Temple tube, Victoria Embankment.
12.30 – march sets off down Embankment, across Horse Guards Avenue, down Whitehall past Downing Street.
13.30 – march finishes with a rally on King Charles Street.

12pm at Cornmarket, opposite St Michael.

6pm: Wadham Queerfest
Wadham College Gardens, Oxford
To mark the end of Wadham's annual QUEER WEEK, come and join us in the beautiful College Gardens for a night of live entertainment, cocktails, delicious food, fantabulous costumes and lots and lots of dancing.


7:15pm: Transgender Remembrance 
St Columba's United Reformed Church, Oxford (off Alfred St , near All Bar One)
A special meeting to remember members of the transgender community who have lost their lives as victims of abuse and hatred.

7:30pm: Discussion: Feminism and Pornography
Tanner Room, Linacre College, Oxford
Can there be such a thing as non-exploitative pornography? Does anti-porn mean anti-sex? How can campaigning around issues related to the "porn industry" be respuctful to those who work in it? Lashings' own Goblin in discussion with Matt McCormack-Evans of the Anti-Porn Men Project.

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Link roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Stewart Lee comments on Gervais-gate in the Guardian: Does comic 'bravery' go hand in hand with being offensive and stupid?

Fat Heffalump on physical activity while fat.

The Pervocracy: Why do you care what other people think?

Tiger Beatdown: But How Do You Know It's Sexist? The #MenCallMeThings Round-Up(Big TW for misogynist language)

Clarisse Thorn: A Unified Theory of Orgasm(At Alas, a Blog, since Clarisse's own site appears to be down)

[TW for racism, violence] Flavia @ Tiger Beatdown on police violence perpetuated on people protesting the Zwarte Piet tradition.

Friday 11 November 2011

I'm not coming for you in your sleep

SebastiennePosted by Sebastienne

[Trigger warning - this post contains discussions of sexual violence.]

So here I am, late to the party again - I want to talk about something that happened several weeks ago. And, as usual, I want to go off on a random tangent. So let's start with a few quick background paragraphs, then move onto my actual point.

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Lashings of links.

Trans etiquette 101  - a post about how and when to ask trans people questions about themselves

Gay is the word - a short video about the implications of using the word "gay" as an insult

A message to women from a man: you are not "crazy" If you can get past the rather patronising title (do women need a man to tell them this? Really?) the content of this article in the Huffington Post is actually very good.

Meet-up for poly women in London

Edited to add:
Paris Lees, of Trans Media Watch, writes about a new Channel 4 documentary on trans people. "My Transsexual Summer" starts tonight at 10pm.

Thursday 3 November 2011

Academic roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Information for students and academics in the fields of gender and sexuality.

Lecture: Hard, Bold, and Wicked: Masculinity and Liminality in Lewis and Tolkien.
7 November, 5:15
Seminar Room A of the English Faculty Building, Oxford University (directions)
Dr Anna Caughey, College Lecturer in Old and Middle English, Keble College
"In Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the boundaries between adult and child identities are at once blurred and reinforced. Childhood, and boyhood in particular, is presented as a state that can be both transcended and retreated to when necessary, while full physical/social adulthood is generally marginalised. Using Peter Hollindale’s theory of ‘childness’ as a base, this paper examines the ways in which both texts use their fantasy settings to provide younger readers with access to material that emphasises the capability and autonomy of child/child-substitute protagonists while privileging the state of childhood." 

Conference and call for papers: Lesbian Lives
Friday 17 – Saturday 18 February 2012
University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland
"The Lesbian Lives Conference is not just the world’s only annual academic conference in Lesbian Studies, it is now a large international event that draws speakers and participants from all continents and hosts the best-known as well as emerging scholars in the field. The conference gathers together academics, activists, performers and writers who do not otherwise have the opportunity to address such large audiences or to network across international and professional boundaries. It is also a forum for political organisation on the levels of both community activism and established international NGOs."

Symposium and call for papers: Going Underground? Gender and Subcultures
7th September 2012
University of Northumbria
"Research of girls and women’s subcultural productions and engagements from queer, feminist and transgender scholars (e.g. Jack Halberstam, Doreen Piano, Susan Driver, Elizabeth K Keenan, Mary Celeste Kearney and Kath Browne) carve out a new territory for understanding the ‘subcultural’. Given this reevaluation, it is timely to re-engage with how ‘subcultural’ genders (both femininities and masculinities) are represented in alternative society and discuss how far this can be politically subversive. For instance, the revival, nostalgia and popularity of rockabilly style, burlesque, roller derby, Slutwalks, Ladyfests, fanzine/blogging networks, Suicide Girls, Guerrilla Girls, riot grrrl and the participation of girls in underground music cultures all point to the need for an academic engagement with strategies of cultural resistance to dominant identities and norms."

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Things that have caught our attention on the interwebs this week.

Aoife O'Riordan on how Tim Minchin removed his foot from his mouth:
This Is How You Do It: words, privilege, and the stuff you don’t know.

Doctor Carmilla, our erstwhile tech goddess, has made her album Ageha available for download, for whatever price you can afford to pay.

Megan Christopher discusses asexual representations in pop culture

Gay pirates! AfterElton interviews Cosmo Jarvis about his song that tells the story of two pirates in love.

Postcard campaign about biphobia

Friday 28 October 2011

On the Sexualisation of Women in Fiction

JenniPosted by Jenni

Before I begin this post in earnest, I would like to draw your attention over here (warning: possibly NSFW (lots of drawings of women in not very much clothing at all): http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/09/22/starfire-catwoman-sex-superheroine/#ixzz1YifXb88y

Whilst, yes, it’s another post about comics (I just really like comics…) but it’s one of the clearest examples I’ve seen discussing the problems of sexualising women characters. If you don’t have time to read it (though I highly suggest you do!) skimming the pictures will help, since I will refer to the characters as examples throughout. The main thing I want to discuss in this post is simple – the difference between a woman acting in a sexual manner, and a writer/reader sexualising a woman problematically, and how this then plays into ‘real life’.

Just for those of you who might not be able to see the pictures, some quick descriptions of the type of image can be found at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Academic roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Information that may be of interest to students and academics in the fields of gender and sexuality.

Links round up

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

It's that time again. Enjoy our links, and as always, feel free to add your own! Shameless self-promotion is allowed, as long as your site is vaguely relevant to our interests.

Oxfordshire Reclaim the Night is this Friday: Facebook event

Welsh Women's Aid has recently launched a new website to promote events and campaigns taking place in Wales during the 16 Days of Activisim Against Gender Violence (25th November - 10th December): www.16dayswales.org.uk

Fawcett have called a day of action against the government's approach to cutting the deficit.

Awesome poster campaign from the University of Ohio raising awareness about the crapness of racist/appropriative party costumes: http://newwavefeminism.tumblr.com/post/11749947820/im-glad-everyone-likes-our-poster-campaign

[Triggers for rape culture, objectification and general creepiness]
Who says the Galatea myth is dead? The obnoxiously twee Olly Murs introduces a new generation to the joys of doll-like women who never answer back in his new music video.

A brilliant post about privilege within activist groups: Occupations, safe spaces and the privilege-denying left

It's Asexual Awareness Week!

Friday 21 October 2011

Dancing for the Eyes of Men (triggers for rape culture)

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

I wrote "Eyes of Men" to explore the conflict between being a feminist and being sexually attracted to women, in a culture where attraction to women is represented as something which is only experienced by men, and which almost always involves some degree of objectification.

The song is about becoming aware that the way I look at women is shaped by the way I see men looking at women, and the by way male perspectives on women are represented in fiction and the media. When objectification is frequently represented as an intrinsic part of sexual attraction, it is difficult to reconcile attraction with respect. As a queer feminist woman, this is an issue I struggle with, and one I wanted to explore. In the fight against the kyriarchy I believe it is important to examine the ways in which we internalise oppressive attitudes and ways of relating to others, and to become aware of how we are each complicit in perpetuating oppression. For me, exploring  how I personally have internalised objectifying ways of looking at women is part of the process of challenging the culture of objectification.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Don't be "That Guy"

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

If you're in Dublin and you're either a trans* ally wanting to learn how to support trans* people, or a trans* person wanting to share your experiences with allies, come to this event:

Don't be "That Guy": How to be a good trans ally

When:  Sunday, October 23 · 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Where:  Exchange Dublin, Exchange St. Upper,
Facebook event

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

Documentary about people born with ambiguous biological sex. This is only available online until the end of Tuesday 18th.

Linda Holmes at NPR: Congratulations, Television! You Are Even Worse At Masculinity Than You Are At Femininity -- this is a classic example of making an argument that patriarchy hurts men too, and making it in the appropriate place at the appropriate time.
I cannot help asking, even more than I usually do when I watch scripted comedies: Where, on television, are the men who both like football and remember birthdays? Where are the men who can have a highly insightful drink-and-talk with friends? Where are the men who are great dads, great husbands, great boyfriends?... Where are, in short, all the men I rely on in my day-to-day life?
Charlotte Cooper on synchronised swimming while fat.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Lashings show: 22nd October, EOCC, 7-11pm

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Just a reminder......if you're anywhere near Oxford next Saturday 22nd October, come to the East Oxford Community Centre at 7pm and see our show!

If you're not able to get to Oxford but know people who are, please tell them about it. It's going to be AWESOME.

That is all.

Friday 14 October 2011

Queer Studies Circle - This Saturday 15th

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Queer Studies Circle is a discussion group that meets once a fortnight during Oxford University term time. They have a facebook page here. This Saturday they are starting the term with the topic "What is Queer?" Here's what they have to say:

TIME: 8pm, Sat 15th October
PLACE: Lecture Room A, Magdalen College
DIRECTIONS: Enter Magdalen through the Porters' Lodge, then go through the archway on the left, and it's the first door on the left

Feminism is not a club you join

Posted by Sebastienne

Recently, feminists on Twitter have been carrying out a #DiversityAudit on the representation of women in British TV and radio, with a particular focus on comedy panel shows.

It has, perhaps not unexpectedly, revealed that TV and radio panel shows have a rather strong bias towards the representation of one particular gender - and it's not women! Thefword have published an overview of the findings - with the most representative of shows just nudging 1 in 3 female guests, and Mock The Week just about managing 1 in 7. And lest you think these figures aren't too saddening, take note - they refer only to guests on the shows. When you take into account regulars, like hosts and team captains, no show manages more than 17% women. That's 1 in 6.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Lesbian History meetings

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

The Oxford Lesbian History group meets in the Castle Tavern at 8pm on the last Tuesday of each month. They have a Facebook group at Oxford Lesbian History Group. Their upcoming talks are as follows:

Tuesday 25 October - Talk on Mary Benson (the wife of a 19th century Archbishop of Canterbury who left diaries full of her love for other women).

 Tuesday 22 November - Talk on Jane Addams (Nobel Peace Prize winner)

 Tuesday 13 December - Christmas Quiz

 Tuesday 24 January - Talk on women's diaries and letters - the practical and interpretative challenges of working with them

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

A muslim in the TARDIS! Woodturtle's analysis is sharp and spot-on, and I (Galatea) would like to add several million +1s to it.
... Imagine my absolute fan girl surprise when they introduced a Muslim character into a recent episode, “The God Complex.” For a few brief moments my heart soared with excitement at the very thought that there would be a Muslim in the TARDIS.
And then they promptly killed her off.
Philippa Willetts at The F Word discusses the stigmatisation of anti-depressants in
It's World Mental Health Day, so stop stigmatising my pills.

It's also National Coming Out day in the US.

So, we seem to be doing a lot of Dr Who links these days, but if they're all as awesome as this one I'm sure you won't mind. Tamsin Grieg and Helena Bonham-Carter as the Doctor and the Master

The typical visitor

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

Description of image:
The picture above is a screenshot from the admin pages of this website. The text reads:

Lashings of Ginger Beer Blog. Stats > Traffic Sources
4 Oct 2011 20:00 - 11 Oct 2011 19:00

Search Keywords
nala sex eyes 5
lion king nala sex look 3
nala lion king seductive look 3
nala sexy eyes the lion king 3
lion king nala sexy pose 2
lion king simba and nala sex 2
nala sex scene 2
nala's sex look 2
the lion king nala sex look 2
being bi and poly 1

I am well aware that by posting this I am probably increasing that kind of traffic, but I couldn't resist.

Public meeting: Women carrying Cameron’s cuts

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

Oxford Labour Party Women's Group have organised a public meeting on women and cuts.

Fiona Mactaggart MP,   Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
Sarah Hutchinson, Oxfordshire County Councillor and researcher
Caroline Raine, Unison organiser and local anti-cuts activist

Oxford Town Hall, With wheelchair access.

Thursday 10 th November, 2011 7.30pm.

income, employment and promotion, job losses, balancing work and family, pensions, care of yourself, your elderly relatives, your disabled children, part time study, children’s development, your retirement

Friday 7 October 2011

On feminism and submission [sexual assault triggers, possibly NSFW]

GoblinPosted by Goblin

I’m a feminist. Which is to say, I believe passionately in equality regardless of pretty much anything, and am frequently and uncomfortably outspoken about the numerous instances of misogyny, oppression, and sheer bloody impoliteness contemporary society all too often throws at us. Occasionally I have hour-long arguments with anyone from friends to virtual strangers because they tossed some casually gender-essentialist remark over their shoulders.
(Admittedly, I also have precisely no smalltalk, so almost any conversation with anyone is likely to head into more-or-less sociopolitical territory fairly early on, but I remain unconvinced this is entirely a bad thing.) I would fight for any human being’s right to opportunity, expression, ambition and fulfilment regardless of gender, race, sexuality, religious affiliation, or geographical situation (yes, this does get exhausting) and tend to find the deliberate abuse – or even exercise – of power in everyday life, particularly when this interacts negatively with various axes of privilege, pretty repellent, actually. Before I start enumerating my sexual proclivities in unwelcome detail, for ideological reasons which will hopefully become apparent, it's worth pointing out that I tend to fancy geeks, of any gender – people who have enough intelligence and individuality to question or bypass socially determined templates for success. FTR, in particular, anybody projecting the trappings of aggressive macho-linity leaves me completely cold.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Lashings show coming up!

Lashings of Ginger Beer
Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Lashings of Ginger Beer are very proud to be performing as part of the Oxford International Women's Festival Fringe. The Fringe Festival takes place over the weekend Fri 21st - Sun 23rd October.

We've got an epic setlist lined up for you, and some very exciting new support acts.

You can find out more about all the other awesome events taking place over the weekend here

Looking forward to seeing you lovely people there!

When: Saturday 22nd October, 7pm - 11pm

Where: East Oxford Community Centre, 44b Princes Street, Oxford OX4 1HU

Cost: £5

Accessibility: The venue has a gentle ramp up to the entrance. There are accessible toilets.
There will be plenty of seating. Please let us know if you have any particular accessibility needs - email feministburlesque@gmail.com

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

Campaign action this weekend: UK Uncut are organising a protest against the Health and Social Care bill, on Westminster Bridge this Sunday. Help stop the privatisation of the NHS.

An interesting and thoughtful take on misogyny and bulling in geek culture at geekfeminism.org. Do read the comments!

Christine 'The Princess' Smith, R.J. 'Riot Nrrd' Edwards and Samuel 'Rooster Tails' Orchard, three of Lashings' favourite webcomic artists, have formed an international anti-kyriarchy comics collective! Nerdy, queer, transpositive fun for all at The Unfactory!

Edited to add an extra link, because this one's really good:

Heroes, bumblers, abandoners, and patriarchs: Fatherhood on Doctor Who

Friday 30 September 2011

Tales from a rehearsal

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

The following events all happened at Lashings rehearsals, but not all at the same rehearsal.  I'm putting them together to give a flavour of what a Lashings rehearsal is like, for the curious.

It's Sunday evening. The Lashers are making ourselves comfortable in the activist resource centre where we rehearse. A handwritten poster proclaims that anarchism is about everyone taking responsibility for their surroundings. The clutter in the room suggests that this message hasn't been entirely taken to heart - but all of it, from flyers to camping equipment, tells a tale about the various activist and campaigning groups that use this space. It's like a sort of activist Room of Requirement. Whether we need a screen for changing behind between acts, a bell to ring during the sci fi skits, or glue to attach eyes to sock puppets, we can usually find it here. OK, our requirements are a bit different from those of most activist groups. But the room still manages to meet them.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

Issue 9 of BoLT magazine is out now! BoLT is a magazine for bisexual, lesbian and trans women in Ireland, and it is edited by our good friend Ariel Silvera, who is lovely.

A researcher seeks non-monogamous people in the UK, to interview them about their experiences

Sady Doyle at Tiger Beatdown has written a really thought-provoking post drawing parallels between her experiences of Catholicism and feminism, and discussing what happens when we get full of righteous anger but don't examine our own flaws.

Avery Dame on the media depiction of trans people

New Beautiful Things Come is an alternate universe X-Men fanfic which is utterly, utterly beautiful in the way it weaves disability, queerness and mutant powers into the fabric of the characters' lives, while remaining a story about totally believeable and likeable characters rather than about Issues. It also contains a delightful tip of the hat to Lashings.

Sunday 25 September 2011

CN Lester

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

One of the great things about performing with Lashings is getting to see all the other acts at the events we perform at. I'll admit, I'm not very proactive about seeking out gigs I might enjoy as an audience member, but when I get invited to an event as a performer, I get the bonus of having someone with similar tastes to mine having set up the event and chosen the acts.

Lashings have been fortunate enough to twice perform at the same event as the spectacularly talented CN Lester. CN is a singer, songwriter and pianist whose performances span an impressive range of musical genres, including opera, covers of artists such as Nina Simone and Leonard Cohen, and their own alternative music. They co-founded  En Travesti, a classical ensemble which explores gender representation, identity and ambiguity in opera, song and oratorio. They also write the blog "A Gentleman and a Scholar", which contains some really insightful writing on trans issues, amongst other things. Lashings loves CN Lester quite a lot.

I'm telling you about CN now because they have both a live performance and an album coming up very soon. En Travesti are presenting a mixed program of music from Monteverdi and Schütz on 29th September. All the details you need are here.

CN Lester's album Ashes is due to be released at the end of October. Based on their live performances, it promises to be heart-wrenchingly beautiful. By coincidence, it will also be my birthday in mid-November. Just saying.

Edited to add: Video! This is a montage of songs from CN's previous EP, available at http://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/cn-lester/id340929388

Friday 23 September 2011

Asexuality and Celibacy

JenniPosted by Jenni

I guess I should start with the main point of this post, and that’s:

Asexual people are physically capable of having sex. Seriously, you’d be amazed as to how many people doubt this. I’ve been asked whether being asexual means I look like a Barbie doll, y’know, ‘down there’. I don’t, but thanks for your concern, I guess? It’s got nothing to do with how I’m built, but rather, it just means I lack sexual attraction.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

Asexual Awareness Week Asexy Census: This census is for those who are asexual, demi or grey, to gather demographic information about the community to be used in future research.

[potentially NSFW, photos in a bra and skirt] Bevin over at the Queer Fat Femme Guide to Life posted a little while back about her body painting session and how it ties in with appreciating and caring for her body. Several of the Lashers like to paint other people or themselves, but somehow I had never made an explicit connection between decorating your body and loving it! (Plus the pics are just beautiful.)

NSFW Interesting article about the history of the medical profession's perception of 'fetishes'

Friday 16 September 2011

An Infinite Capacity for Love and Joy: Queer History, S/M and T.H. White


Posted by Anonymous Poster

Sometimes we find bits of our history in the most surprising places.

Have you ever heard of T.H. White? I won't be offended if you say no! On the other hand, it's quite likely that you've come across some of his work at some point, and just haven't registered his name. Anyone who is, like me, a fantasy nerd or obsessed with all things King-Arthur-related has probably come across his Arthurian series, The Once and Future King. You may also, if you misspent as much of your youth watching Disney films as most of Lashings did, have seen The Sword in the Stone, an animated version of the first and most-child-friendly of the books in the series.

[Description of image: A still from Disney's The Sword in the Stone. A very young King Arthur is shown about to draw a sword out of an anvil and stone]

Broadway and West End geeks may also have come across the 1960 musical Camelot, which is based on the more adult portion of White's work:

This clip is from a modern (2006) production, which seems to pick up on a lot of the themes I'm about to expand upon below. Also... hiiiii, Bobby Steggert :)

[Description of video: Mordred, King Arthur's illegitimate son, sings about how he enjoys being immoral while dancing around in a bondage outfit and a pair of high-heeled boots. Lyrics here.]

White wrote his four/five-novel cycle (there's a fifth volume which was never published during his lifetime) immediately before and during World War II. It tells the story of King Arthur, from his origins as an ignored and overshadowed orphan boy to the night before his death.

(What does all this have to do with kink? Don't worry, we'll get there eventually!)

Tuesday 13 September 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

Bitch magazine discusses American Apparel's search for the next XL top model, and the response of Nancy Upton, who is protesting against the meat-market aspects of the contest by entering pictures of herself posing as a roast pig, and covered in salad dressing (not in the same picture!) She also parodies fat girl stereotypes by eating in almost every picture. Her protest has had mixed responses, with some people thinking she is setting out to mock the other entrants (she's not). As Feministe puts it:
Because the hot big girl who knows she’s hot and decides to lay on a table like a roast pig is sending a message that goes beyond “another naked chick looking dead and like a piece of meat to be consumed by a male viewing audience.” The hot big girl who decides to lay on a table like a roast pig is also saying, “I see your insults and I raise you a very literal image of them that is simultaneously humorous and sexy and uncomfortable, and there are a lot of reactions to be had, but laughing at me is not one of them.” And God bless that girl, because that’s not an easy message to send.
Signal boosting: Wordpress refuses to do anything about a "hitlist" of trans women on a transmisogynist blog.

The Women's Budget Group and Platform 51 have produced a toolkit to support women who want to campaign and lobby locally. It is aimed at individuals and groups who may be campaigning from a marginalised position, or who lack experience of lobbying and developing effective campaign strategies.

Feminist analysis of My Little Pony, as it was and as it is now. It's worth adding to the points made in these articles that the new ponies are definitely skinnier than they used to be, in a way which makes them distinctly less pony-shaped.
Trigger warning: the first episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (which you'll probably want to watch after reading the second piece) features a couple of occasions when big hair is mocked.

Call for papers - Doctor Who and Race: an Anthology.

BadRepUK have a series on women and protest through history, all of which is brilliant, but the biggest how-did-I-not-know-that?! moment for me was reading about the suffragettes who knew Jujutsu.

Friday 9 September 2011

Can feminists be funny?

Sally OutenPosted by Sally Outen

OK, OK, here's one:
Q: What do you get if you cross, um, Silvio Berlusconi with... an accusation of sexism?
A: Silenced! Haha?

What? Not laughing? But... it's topical, nearly... and, and it's funny because it's true, right? Oh. Yeah. It's sad that it's true - that's the one. But at least it isn't as bad as all those how-many-women-does-it-take-to-screw-in-a-lightbulb jokes - the ones that, while still being rather sad, also manage to be, well, not actually true. Not really. They're just playing on popular stereotypes and being generally misogynistic*.

Or... oh... maybe I'm just one of those humourless feminists.

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

BBC Radio 4 have a program discussing some aspects of sex and gender in science fiction.

Sociological images asks whether facebook advertising is exploitative, and touches briefly on the fact that it targets its ads based on how you have listed your personal information. Our facebook sketch, for those of you who haven't seen it, explores specifically the way that facebook genders its ads based on assumptions of what men and women will be likely to buy.

By artist Nicole Lorenz: Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace!: A Body-Positive Coloring Book. It's going on the Lashers' Christmas list!

This has needed to be said so badly and for such a long time: You Can't Smash Patriarchy With Transphobia: It is time to end the tolerance of transphobia in radical feminist circles, argues Ray Filar @ thefword.co.uk

If we, as radical feminists, are for the idea that biology is not destiny, we cannot simultaneously hold the opinion that, "a trans-sexual 'woman' will always be a biological male" (or vice versa).