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Call for Papers: (re)Branding Feminism

(RE)BRANDING FEMINISM

A conference hosted by the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies (IGRS), Stewart House, 32 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5ND.
1st -2nd March 2011.

Call for Papers:

There has been a general recognition, if not acceptance, of many of feminism’s key concepts.  But does this mean that it has ceased to assert itself as a unique movement?  Indeed, should feminism be (re)branded in an age when all ideologies are subject to market forces?  And what should this rebranding consist of?

Two years on from the stimulating ‘Where are we now?  A workshop on women and heterosexuality’ hosted by the IGRS, this conference will address some of the issues raised then to question the place of feminism in the twenty-first century.  While there has been ambivalent press and general apathy towards those issues that once encouraged women to put the political into the personal, it is increasingly women themselves who think there is nothing more to discuss.  Why has there been a decline in the link between the personal and the ideological?  Do we need a different kind of feminism to meet the cultural, political and academic needs of a younger generation?

Topics might include but are not limited to:

• Are sisters doing it for themselves?


• Feminism on the frontline


• I can be a real bitch 


• Family romances


• Home-makers and career women 


• God was/is a woman


• Feminism and the sex industry


• Feminist renaissance 


• Feminism is bollocks


• Rebranding feminism


• Pub talk

Abstracts between 200-300 words that explore any aspect of (re)branding feminism are sought as are poster submissions of 200 - 300 words on any topic related to rebranding feminism. Submit poster ideas and abstracts in a word document or .pdf.

Please send abstracts and poster ideas to both Jean Owen (ojean27@yahoo.com) and Elisha Foust (elishafoust@googlemail.com) by 5pm 1 October 2010

arvan's picture

Trans Domestic Abuse Research Report Launched

Although there has been some research published looking specifically at same-sex domestic abuse and the prevalence rate of domestic abuse for lesbians, gay men and (to a lesser extent)bisexual people, there has been no published research focussed solely on transgender people’s experiences of domestic abuse in the UK. General research estimates that 73 percent of transgender people have experienced transphobic harassment1 and the Scottish Transgender Alliance found that 46 percent of transgender respondents to their ‘Transgender Experiences in Scotland’ survey had experienced transphobic abuse within a domestic relationship.

The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project is funded by the Scottish Government to raise awareness and improve service responses to LGBT people who experience domestic abuse. The project is managed by LGBT Youth Scotland and focuses on the experiences of people of all ages.  The project is supported by a reference group of members from the Scottish Government’s Violence Against Women team, Scottish Women’s Aid, Stonewall Scotland, Women’s Support Project, Open Road, Equality Network and Scottish Transgender Alliance.

The Scottish Transgender Alliance is funded by the Scottish Government to raise awareness and improve transgender equality, rights and inclusion. The Scottish Transgender Alliance is managed by the Equality Network.

The LGBT Domestic Abuse Project and the Scottish Transgender Alliance have undertaken this research to investigate the ways in which transgender people experience domestic abuse and to help determine the specific needs of the transgender community when accessing services which provide support and advice to those experiencing domestic abuse. An additional focus of the research was to explore some of the barriers faced by transgender people experiencing domestic abuse when accessing mainstream domestic abuse services.

arvan's picture

"I Fought for This, But Not Just to Be a Housewife"

By Dalia Acosta

HAVANA, Sep 3, 2010 (IPS) - Mavi Susel, the first transsexual in Cuba to undergo sex reassignment surgery, back in 1988, has found herself trapped in the traditionally assigned gender role of a housewife.

"She is a woman imprisoned in that gender role," Marilyn Solaya, the Cuban filmmaker who made the documentary "En el cuerpo equivocado" (In the Wrong Body), told the press.

The film, which premiered in mid-August in Cuba, was produced with the support of the second edition of DOCTV Latinoamérica, the first regional programme to foment production and television broadcasting of Latin American documentaries.

The pioneering co-production programme is an alliance between national broadcasting authorities, public TV stations and independent producers from 14 Latin American countries, which provided funds, took part in production and ensured the broadcasting of the documentaries on 18 public TV stations.

The story of Susel, who underwent gender reassignment surgery on May 22, 1988, goes beyond the "complex and, above all, necessary" issue of transsexualism, to explore "the construction of gender" and the prevalence of the traditional role of women in Cuba, Solaya said.

arvan's picture

"Wife"

I took my 8 y/o daughter recently to visit the grave of my grandmother and grandfather.  They're buried in a little cemetery in Batavia, IL called Resurrection.  My daughter said it was too bad that we didn't bring flowers and I agreed.  I'm not much of a cemetery visitor myself, but there is something about flowers.

We agreed to bring flowers next time.

It took us about 20 minutes to find the headstones, which was comedic in itself.  I was sort of embarrassed that I didn't know where the markers were.  I mean, I really did spend a lot of time with "Gramma" when she was alive.  I haven't visited her grave since the day she was buried, 9 years ago.

As I lined up an 8 y/0 child with me into a search party for two rocks in the ground with names Donald andJane, I thought that it's probably a lucky break for me that I am an atheist.  I figured that if I believed that I'd be facing the spirits of the dead in an afterlife, they would chew my ass out for never visiting their tombs or at least bringing flowers when I did finally swing by.  Not to mention spending my remaining living years stewing over the guilt for my misdeeds.

As it was, I just passed the time watching my daughter pick up shiny things as an offering for the graves of her ancestors.  I wondered if I was a poor example of how to respect ones ancestors, but that was just my old Catholic guilt training flaring up like some scar from a childhood trauma.  In reality, the way to respect my ancestors is to live a life of dignity and honesty; to live a life worth living.  That's what they did and that's the only thing Gramma would want me to do, if she were here.  It's all she ever wanted for me.

Clarisse Thorn's picture

[litquote] “Allowed to feel horny and fucked-up at the same time”

Originally posted at Clarisse Thorn: Pro-Sex Outreach, Open-Minded Feminism

I’ve had some wrenching personal decisions and transitions lately, and it put me in mind of other times in my life when I felt in flux. I love this quotation from Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, which I first took down when I was coming into my BDSM identity.

I wake up around dawn, and I have the same feeling I had the other night, the night I caught on about Laura and Ray: that I’ve got no ballast, nothing to weigh me down, and if I don’t hang on, I’ll just float away. I like Marie a lot, she’s funny and smart and pretty and talented, but who the hell is she? I don’t mean that philosophically. I just mean, I don’t know her from Eve, so what am I doing in her bed? Surely there’s a better, safer, more friendly place for me than this? But I know there isn’t, not at the moment, and that scares me rigid.

I get up, find my snazzy boxers and my T-shirt, go into the living room, fumble in my jacket pocket for my fags and sit in the dark smoking. After a little while Marie gets up, too, and sits down next to me.

“You sitting here wondering what you’re doing?”

“No. I’m just, you know ….”

“‘Cause that’s why I’m sitting here, if it helps.”

“I thought I’d woken you up.”

“I ain’t even been to sleep yet.”

“So you’ve been wondering for a lot longer than me. Worked anything out?”

“Bits. I’ve worked out that I was real lonely, and I went and jumped into bed with the first person who’d have me. And I’ve also worked out that I was lucky it was you, and not somebody mean, or boring, or crazy.”

“I’m not mean, anyway. And you wouldn’t have gone to bed with anyone who was any of those things.”

“I’m not so sure about that. I’ve had a bad week.”

“What’s happened?”

“Nothing’s happened. I’ve had a bad week in my head, is all.”

Before we slept together, there was at least some pretense that it was something we both wanted to do, that it was the healthy, strong beginning of an exciting new relationship. Now all the pretense seems to have gone, and we’re left to face the fact that we’re sitting here because we don’t know anybody else we could be sitting with.

“I don’t care if you’ve got the blues,” Marie says. “It’s OK. And I wasn’t fooled by you acting all cool about … what’s her name?”

“Laura.”

“Laura, right. But people are allowed to feel horny and fucked-up at the same time. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about it. I don’t. Why should we be denied basic human rights just because we’ve messed up our relationships?”

I’m beginning to feel more embarrassed about the conversation than about anything we’ve just done. Horny? They really use that word? Jesus. All my life I’ve wanted to go to bed with an American, and now I have, and I’m beginning to see why people don’t do it more often. Apart from Americans, that is, who probably go to bed with Americans all the time.

Why do I love it? I love it because it simultaneously acknowledges that sex can be awkward and weird and intersect with negative emotions, and then deftly points out that this isn’t a problem or argument against sexuality in itself.

Also, I can’t help noting that the only guys I’ve hooked up with who seriously used the word “horny” were British.

(This passage is from the book, not the movie. Alas, the movie version of this scene wasn’t nearly as good.)

arvan's picture

Call for Participants: Size Acceptance Survey

(h/t Kate Harding)

This looks good.  Contact Michaela directly, for details.  -arvan

Hi, my name is Michaela A. Null, and I am a doctoral student in Sociology at Purdue University. I am doing a study about the embodiment of size-accepting fat women, with attention to the ways in which gender, race, sexual orientation, and body size intersect.

I am currently looking for individuals who are interested in volunteering to participate in my study. If you are interested in volunteering to participate in an interview, I ask that take an electronic informational survey, which will take approximately 5 minutes. Please go here and complete the informational survey. After all survey data has been collected, participants will be selected for interviews, which will be conducted in-person, by phone, or via internet chat, and will last between an hour and an hour and a half.

Participation is voluntary and participants must be at least 18 years old.

This project has been approved by my university’s Institutional Review Board, which protects human subjects of research. I will provide confidentiality to all volunteers and participants will be referred to by a pseudonym in all research documents.

If you have any questions regarding this study, you can contact me at mnull@purdue.edu. For more information on me, you can access my university
profile here
. You can also contact Professor Eugene Jackson, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Purdue University, at jacksone@purdue.edu.

Sincerely,

Michaela A. Null, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology, Purdue University

arvan's picture

A wonderful video by ladyVixion about coming out trans to her father.

ladyVixion is one of my favorite vloggers.  She has made plenty of sassy, humorous and thoughtful work already.  In the middle of that, she told this honest, poignant and human piece about family, self, identity and dignity.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I came out to my father that I am Transexual - by ladyVixion:

Quiet Riot Girl's picture

Boy

arvan's picture

"Got Brainz?" - dualism, reductive materialism & free will

One of my favorite vloggers, ZOMGitsChriss, posted this last week.  She's got a keen mind and a wonderful sense of humor.  I first spotted her, debunking creationists a while back in The Origin of Stupidity.  She's done a lot of creationist bashing, which you can find on her youtube channel as well.  She participated in a nice piece on sex workers' rights and feminism, Making Sex Work.  She also started reviewing movies on another channel.  You can find her analysis of the latest Twilight film, here.  You can find her on twitter: @zomgitschriss.

This episode is a good review of how the mind works and exists as well as the conclusions people declare about consciouness.  As usual, her opinions are not disguised and her humorous touches do not disappoint.  She cycles through the basic points of the discussion of mind and brain, with examples of how they are explained by religion and science.  She also discusses the subject of free will, which is part and parcel with brain function and mind operations.  Enjoy.

 

arvan's picture

LGBT Centre of Mongolia's New Documentary

 

The Lies of Liberty (2010) is a new documentary, produced by the LGBT Centre of Mongolia.  It is a powerful series of interview with LGBTQ folks in Mongolia, telling in their own words, how they are treated. 

Part One:

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