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