Tuesday 28 June 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.

[TW for rape, violence, killing]

Via The Angry Black Woman: In 2008 a woman in Makkapurva, Uttar Pradesh, fought back against a man who attempted to rape her, beheading him. We don't hear a lot of mainstream coverage about stories such as this, and I think this commenter's points might suggest why:

Rapists should know about this story, the story of the woman in Bangladesh who cut off the penis of a man who tried to rape her, and the story of a woman in Spain who killed her daughter’s rapist by lighting him on fire... Before a rapist forces himself (although not all are men) on someone, he should remember that this person might be the woman in Lucknow or Bangladesh, or have a mother like the woman in Spain. They should be afraid of us, not us of them.

Practical Androgyny is a site devoted to the practicalities of ambiguous gender presentation within a binary gendered society.
"Practical Androgyny is a resource for both those who are comfortably androgynous but struggle with the pressures of the binary gender system, and for those who are gender dysphoric and wish to explore the possibilities of gender ambiguity. This site does not focus on the details of gender identity but on the practical aspects of living with, or obtaining, an appearance that defies gender classification."

[TW for fat hatred, body policing]

Dancer Ragen Chastain on The Trouble With Proving It: analysis of the ways in which body policers refuse to accept the good health and athleticism of a fat person, even when presented with documentary evidence to the contrary.

And there it was, staring me in the face. The truth. The reason that “proving it” will never work and the proof that I was wasting my time. Their core belief is that accomplishments only count if you’re thin, so since I’m fat no amount of proving it will ever be enough. Also, I realized that these are adults who resort to name calling and that I was spending a lot of my time trying to prove things to people for whom I have no respect.
Chastain also asks for readers who identify as fat and athletic to post their own videos and images in the comments.

Friday 24 June 2011

I’m queer and vanilla

Posted by Annalytica

In the Lashings version of “Hand in my Pocket”, we list some of the labels we use to describe ourselves which might be regarded as contradictory. We also invite the audience to share their own labels on the Board of Contradictions. The song and the board pretty much just put the labels out there, as a way of drawing people’s attention to the fact that yes, people who are both of those things do exist. Here on the blog I’d like to explore some of my own lines from that song in more detail - what do the labels mean to me, and why might people think they are contradictory, and how is it possible for those things to co-exist in one person? And why, when labels are associated with so many problematic stereotypes, are we so keen to use them?

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Call for Artists: Researching Feminist Futures

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

The organisers of a conference on feminist futures are seeking an Artist in Residence.

They say:

"This is a Call for Artists for the upcoming symposium Researching Feminist Futures organised by the University of Edinburgh's Graduate School of Social and Political Science.

Researching Feminist Futures will provide a space for creative discussions of feminism in academic practice. It is a two-day symposium scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd September and will be held at the University of Edinburgh.

As part of this two-day event we are seeking ‘Artists in Residence’ to work in the symposium Art Space, transforming a standard university seminar room into an exciting, challenging and stimulating creative space. This might involve: exhibiting your own previous work, documenting or creating art in response to the symposium, facilitating a collaborative, creative space for symposium participants, curating a gallery space of artists who explore feminist or gender-related issues in their work, something else wonderful of your own devising!

If you are interested in being an ‘Artist in Residence’ at Researching Feminist Futures please send a short (no more than 800 words) proposal detailing the nature of your work, your aims for the art space, time/space requirements as well as a short biography researchingfeministfutures@gmail.com.  

The deadline for applications is July 1st 2011.

For further information, please see our blog:  http://researchingfeministfutures.wordpress.com/
And webspace: http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/gender_and_politics/events/conference/researching_feminist_futures/"

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.

Clarisse Thorn on the pros and cons of the orientation model of sexuality as a means of defending/justifying BDSM:

A question that sometimes gets raised in BDSM contexts is: Is BDSM a “sexual orientation”? I’ve spent rather a lot of time thinking about this, and at this point, I believe the answer depends largely on the individual — yet at the same time, the answer stands a strong chance of being politicized into something that could limit individuals. And that scares me.

Megan Gedris (creator of Yu+Me Dream, Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space, and Meaty Yogurt) imagines how comics would look if male characters were objectified as much as female characters. With pictures.

Three-parent adoption in Oregon:
When..Judge Susan M. Svetkey signed the adoption papers today, she commented about how lucky the children were to have three loving parents, each of whom had different qualities that would help the children navigate their lives

Kenosha Robinson, a Black woman with albinism, talks about her experiences growing up:

My self-esteem is a work in progress. Sometimes, I'll be talking with a black friend, then look down at my skin and feel totally exposed, like, "I'm white and everyone can see it." But I'm becoming stronger and learning it's OK to just be Nosha, all 150 pounds of smile and laughter that I am. Still, seeing girls with beautiful caramel or chocolate skin sparks envy in me.

Friday 17 June 2011

On Comic Books (and X-Men: First Class)

JenniPosted by Jenni

On Women and Comic Books

[Spoilers for X-Men: First Class]

This post began life as a discussion of the problems with the new X-Men film from a female perspective, but I quickly realised my canon-love showed through a bit much. So here’s an attempt to convey why comics have the potential to be a potent tool to get new ideas through, and why the lack of development in this direction bothers me.

Tuesday 14 June 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.

Melissa at Shakesville delivers an impressive sporking of the horrific-looking forthcoming anti-choice film The Life Zone [TW for violence, kidnapping, forced birth, misogyny]:

Thank you, Dr. Exposition.... We now understand the colossally asinine premise of the film, in excruciating clarity. I don't want to say that the maker of this movie assumes his audience is very, very stupid, but the maker of this movie assumes his audience is very, very stupid.

Fatal Error, by Quinnae Moongazer - on the problematic idea that "transgender people of most any stripe are somehow acting contrarily to nature".

Arwyn at Raising my Boychick on the social model of disability:
The point is not that society must change in every conceivable way that would benefit me (though really, a few small changes is not too much to ask). Rather, the point is this: it is not until I step out of my home that my tendency toward migraines changes from something I deal with without much thought or bother to something that hinders my ability to go about my life.

Wesley Yang at New York magazine discusses various aspects of the Asian-American (largely male) experience post-Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Some elements of this story are quite disturbing, particularly re: one interviewee's experience with attempting to learn from 'pick up artists', so possible TW for misogyny -- it's still a very interesting piece though:

[Chua] had set out, she explained, to write a memoir that was “defiantly self-incriminating”—and the result was a messy jumble of conflicting impulses, part provocation, part self-critique. Western readers rode roughshod over this paradox and made of Chua a kind of Asian minstrel figure. But more than anything else, Battle Hymn is a very American project...

Monday 13 June 2011

Save the Equality Act!

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

The Coalition Government’s“Red Tape Challenge” website seeks feedback from members of the public to decide how best to make "efficiency savings" by cutting down on areas of work deemed too bureacratic.

Between the 9th and 30th of June, the focus is on the Equality Act. Yes, that would be the very recently passed legislation which protects individuals from discrimination and unfair treatment due to characteristics such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

They are asking the public to submit comments on whether current equality laws are “too bureaucratic and burdensome for the benefit they bring, whether they could be simplified or better implemented, or if you think they should be kept exactly as they are” in eight specific areas: Who is protected, Prohibited conduct, At work, Buying goods and using services, Specific sectors – in housing, at school or college, on transport, Positive action, Enforcing equality law and In the public sector.

Please visit this website and let the Government know if you value the Equality Act.

Friday 10 June 2011

Being bi & poly in LGB spaces


Posted by Sebastienne

Below is the text of the presentation I gave at a panel discussion for Oxford pride, "We are Family: LGBT Community in 2011". It's a bit more introductory-level than I'd usually blog here, but it seemed to raise some interesting talking-points so I thought I'd let the discussion carry on here if people were interested.

Tuesday 7 June 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.

Really thought-provoking post about racism and white privilege in feminist organisations. Like the song says, we know our class and ethnic make-up needs more diversity - but what are we doing about it?

Bird of Paradox on the proposed inclusion of "Transvestic Disorder" as a diagnostic category for the 5th Edition of The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. There is a petition to remove this category, which "needlessly stigmatizes people who engage in harmless gender-diverse behavior".

Material Woman, the first episode of A Show of Our Own, a new weekly podcast "by, for, and about women, and the issues that affect our lives". The inaugural episode considers "the impact of resources on women’s lives: money, time, a sense of self, or knowledge. Are some of these resources more important than others? How does a lack of knowledge, money, time, and self, affect women as individuals, and as a class?"

Friday 3 June 2011

Lashings Unplugged! Saturday 11th June

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

Lashings will be performing in Oxford in just over a week!

We will have live musical accompaniment courtesy of the highly talented Lashers
Doctor Carmilla and Florestan.

Where: East Oxford Community Centre (Cowley Rd).
The venue has a ramp to the entrance and accessible toilets. The performance takes place on the ground floor.

When: Saturday June 11, 8pm

Cost: £5

Join us for our very first all-acoustic gig, with new songs, new sketches and even more spurious Dalek impersonations! See the amazing Song of the Promiscuous Bisexuals with added flamenco guitar, laugh and cry as we explore the theory and practice of intersectionality using sock puppets, and learn exactly what goes into a Real Burlesque show.

Doors will be at 8pm, the venue is licenced and the bar will be open! £5 gets you all the Lashings your heart could possibly desire, plus support acts from special guests (watch this space for details!).

The ideal alternative after-party or just the perfect chaser to your Pride parade afternoon.
Sign up to the facebook event here.

My Gender Identity

Sally Outen
Posted by Sally Outen

“I totally accept that very young children can feel constrained in terms of their gender roles, and feel that the way they are expected to behave (dependent on being male or female) does not match how they would prefer to be. I felt like that growing up. I hated the idea that I was supposed to be feminine.”

Guess the writer? Yes, it's self-identified radical feminist Julie Bindel, whose views on trans issues don't seem to have moved on very much since her first article on the subject was published, in 2003. This is a fresh quote, from the Guardian's online Comment is Free section a week ago; the article itself was a discussion concerning the parents who have decided not to announce the sex of their newborn baby – and hey, personally I agree with a lot of what Bindel had to say there. Sadly, in the comments (yes, I know... Rule 1: Never Read The Comments), she was led to repeat her standard transsexualism-is-just-a-cultural-construction theory. (If you'd like the full context, the quote I've chosen was in direct response to a question about how she'd explain gender dysphoria in very young children.)

Now, the thing I find so impressive about this particular quote is that it's so nearly an example of the But That Happens To Me Too! method of derailing. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that it only fails to qualify for the reason that, for me at least, it spectacularly misinterprets what I actually feel in experiencing myself as trans.

In my first contribution to this blog, I made a case for why any one person's sexual or gender identity shouldn't be taken as an invalidation of any other person's sexual or gender identity. In this post, I'd like to talk about what my gender identity actually means to me, and why that doesn't have to stand in direct opposition to the aspiration that Bindel and many other radical feminists refer to as the abolition of gender.