arvan's picture

Farah Malhass: Female Bodybuilder...from Jordan

"You are somebody when you stop being nobody"

I just read about Farah Malhass, a cis-female bodybuilder in the country of Jordan.  Yes, that Jordan.  The Jordan of  "honor killing", misogynist religious intolerance and many more culturally accepted forms of oppression to women.

Farah is one bad-ass human. 

She can bench press more than you, has awesome tattoos, wears whatever she wants, flexes her muscles and her boobs and she's taking her desire to compete as a bodybuilder to an international competition in Toronto, this September.

Farah is a sitting target for Jordan's hardliners, not least of all because her body is covered in tattoos: a bare-breasted angel is depicted on her upper thighs, angel wings cover her back, and edgy statements are branded across her arms.

"You are somebody when you stop being nobody," reads one. "Only the one who hurts you can heal your pain," reads another. [GulfNews]

Oh, and when she's not busting egos at the gym, Farah works at the International Organisation for Migration, assisting Iraqi immigrants who deal with relocation and the scars of torture and bloodshed.

Farah is a shining, perfect example of  the creativity, beauty, strength and limitless possiblity of individual expression that is in every one of us.  She is a glaring example of what is available to us all if we claim our own identity and declare it to the world.  She is also a great big "fuck you" to oppression, bullying and misogyny.  For that last point, she receives no end of discouraging remarks.  For the first point, she gets this writer's wholehearted approval, support and praise.

Rock on with your bad self, Farah!

- arvan

arvan's picture

Call for Zine Submissions: *Transitive*

All trans people, trans allies, trans lovers: send us your work, your thoughts, your stories!

The Trans Inclusion Group of The Centre for Women and Trans People at U of T will be publishing a zine focusing on trans people, trans issues, and transitions. We invite you to submit your stories (fiction or non), essays, poetry, photos, comics, art, reviews, manifestos, or anything else you want to submit for inclusion in Transitive.

Possible topics include: identity, the body, transition/not transitioning, community, safety, allies/being an ally, activism, support, love/sexuality, or whatever you want to relate to trans-ness.

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT: Submissions must be received by May 15th, 2010 (by midnight, for email submissions).

arvan's picture

Call for Submissions The Carnival of Kinky Feminists

(h/t quietriot girl)

Mission Statement

“To create a space that’s friendly and safe for feminists and kinky people to share their views.   To promote respectful dialogue across the range of feminisms and kinky lifestyles and activities.   To maintain a spirit of tolerance and acceptance on the basis that “Your Kink Is Not My Kink, And That’s OK”, and “Your Feminism Is not My Feminism, And That’s OK”.


All Posts/Carnival links to other blogs to be labelled for content so people know what they’re clicking onto and can choose to avoid content that may squick or trigger them.

For posts posted on this site this will be done before a cut. Links to carnival submissions off site followed with list of labels, for example:

  • Mr Jobby writes about his diet (scat, nutrition)
  • or Grabmeoffthestreet writes about takedown play (consensual non-consent, public covert play, rough handling, contracts)

these are made up examples…

Content (posts, links or comments) that are:

  • Sexist: discriminatory on the basis of gender and/ or that promote stereotyping of social roles based on gender.
  • Homophobic/ Biphobic: expressing, fear, contempt or antipathy for or advocating discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals.
  • Transphobic/ Transmisogynist: discrimination against transgender and transsexual persons based on their expression of their internal gender identity
  • Racist: hatred, intolerance, expressions of contempt towards other races
  • Ableist: discrimination or predjudice against people with disabilities
  • Classist: bias based on social or economic class
  • And any other kind of bullshit essentialist stereotyping, such as ‘Twue Typing” or “one true Waying”
arvan's picture

Young Arab Feminist Network hopes to build dialogue with older generations, non-feminists

By Heba El-Sherif / Daily News Egypt

CAIRO: When historians and political analysts first discussed a clash of civilizations, they were referring to a conflict that would arise due to cultural and religious differences in the post-Cold War years. In the world of feminism, however, such clash is born from a difference in age.

In the Arab world, young feminists are finding it hard to carve a space for themselves among an older, more experienced generation of female activists.

Last week, 20 participants from across seven Arab countries came to Cairo for a four-day meeting to kick off the first Young Arab Feminist Network (YAFN), an initiative fueled by a determination to seek gender equality, and a desire to “be taken seriously,” according to one Egyptian founder, Engy Ghozlan.

Ghozlan, who worked with several women’s organizations, recalls a recurrent conversation that, to her, describes the clash between old and young feminists in Egypt.

“This is what they tell us: ‘Where have you been in 1987 when I was doing this and that?’”   “Well I wasn’t here,” she quickly replies, “but now I’m here and I have something to say.”

James Turnbull's picture

Korean Gender Reader: April 19th 2010


( Source )

1. “Why I want to be a whore”

Never being interested in gisaeng (기생) previously, I am now intrigued after reading this unorthodox perspective on them at Curiosity Killed the Eccentric Yoruba, with a special emphasis on the 2006 drama Hwang Jin-i (황진이) above. A quick excerpt:

While I do not believe that courtesans largely lived happy lives, I do believe that they were the freest and most independent women in those patriarchal societies. I remember my friend reading me an essay she had written which she called ‘Why I want to be a whore’. She had written that essay for a Latin class she took and the context was ancient Rome. According to my friend the only profession that ensured a woman’s freedom and independence was to be prostitution and I am pretty sure she meant the art of the courtesan.

Anybody know how I can watch Hwang Jin-i with English and/or Korean subtitles?

arvan's picture

Turkish court refuses to ban Gay rights groups

"Homosexuals are free to found associations like all other people." Judge Mursel Ermis

ANKARA (AFP) A Turkish court Friday rejected a demand to ban a group campaigning for gay rights, marking another victory for the fledgling movement in the mainly Muslim country, Anatolia new agency reported.

"Homosexuals are free to found associations like all other people," judge Mursel Ermis said as he announced the ruling at a court in the western city of Izmir, Anatolia reported.

The dissolution of the association, Siyah Pembe Ucgen (Black Pink Triangle), was sought by the Izmir governor's office on grounds its statute was in breach of "Turkish family structure and general morality."

Turkey's two leading homosexual groups have been targeted in similar cases initiated by government authorities.

Last year, the Appeals Court quashed a ruling to dissolve Lambda Istanbul, and in 2005 prosecutors threw out an application to outlaw the Ankara-based KAOS-GL.

Same-sex relationships have never been criminalized in EU-hopeful Turkey as elsewhere in the Muslim world, but there are no laws protecting homosexual rights and prejudice against gays and lesbians remains strong in daily life.

Family affairs minister Selma Aliye Kavaf sparked a wave of criticism in March when she described homosexuality as a "biological disorder, a disease" that should be cured.

Annabelle River's picture

On having been the "man" everyone warned me about

It's been a couple months since Teen Vogue columnist Jessica Simmons wrote her much-linked post "Is Hooking Up Good for Girls?" about how casual sex apparently disempowers women, because apparently it leaves us pining in agony for men to commit to us.  And Kate Harding has already written the great rebuttal:

...[I]f we teach all kids that there's a wide range of potentially healthy sexual and emotional relationships, and the only real trick (granted, it's a doozy) is finding partners who are enthusiastic about the same things you want, then there's room for a lot more people to pursue something personally satisfying at no one else's expense...

To which Rabbit White wisely added that the first step is (surprise!) honest communication.  But as I'm reading these feminist defenses of casual sex, I'm also wondering: Where in this discussion are all the men who have romantically pined for the women who mostly wanted to get laid?  They do, in fact, exist, and I can't possibly be the only straight cis woman who has struggled with the guilt of having dated them.

And before I write on behalf of Straight Cis Women Who Mostly Want to Get Laid, I should disclose that I haven't had much casual sex in the last five years.  In my mid-twenties, I honestly prefer sex with a genuine emotional connection, with people who already know my quirks and vice versa, and I haven't felt the temptation or the energy for seducing casual partners.  Filling out Heather Corinna's casual-sex survey was, for me, a nostalgic walk through memories from my late teens.  At the time, I even considered myself a virgin, because I still oddly believed that oral sex "doesn't count."

arvan's picture

Call for Submissions: Trans Artist/Performers and Filmmakers

Attention all Trans Artist/Performers and FILMMAKERS!

Transgiving is looking for trans Film makers to submit their film work to be shown at the next Transgiving Film festival on August 28th 2010!

Their film festival last year was a huge success and had a packed theater, so they have decided to continue the Transgiving Film Festival. But they need your help!

They are currently looking for new films to be shown at the next film festival.  They are looking for all kinds of different films!

Are you interested?

CLICK HERE to go to the submission page!

While you are here, check out the video from last years film festival's Q & A panel:

arvan's picture

Special Bondage & Burlesque Performance Art Show at Leather Archives & Museum

In the GAG Contemporary Fetish Gallery at the Leather Archives & Museum.

Special Bondage & Burlesque Performance Art Show


Cherries Jubalie & Leon Von Monkey Fetish

Stage Door Johnies

Faustina Von Fetish

Bizarre Sally

Stormy Night


Mr. Phoenix

Girlie Q

Katerina D'Arkham

Ms. Dana

Ellie Noise

Candy XXX and others

Drink tickets available, ID required for purchase. 21 and over please.

Leon Grossman’s erotic art photography is being featured in his first one-man show at the GAG Gallery at the Leather Archives & Museum beginning April 30, 2010 and running through July.  Leon’s works feature many local performance artists and reflect his skill at rope craft turning bondage into beauty.

Opening night:


April 30th from 7pm to 11pm there will be a gala with live burlesque & bondage performers to celebrate the art in the photography turned to life.  The main performance begins at 9pm.  DJ Christian Catastrophe will be spinning tracks. Suggested donation to the opening night gala is $10 and there will be tickets for the cash bar available to those 21 years and older.

Artists Biography:

Leon, originally a native of Oklahoma, began experimenting with photography while attending the University of Oklahoma. He moved to Chicago in 1998 and became a part of the pansexual BDSM community shortly thereafter. He is well known for his leadership and activism in the Chicago BDSM community and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Leather Archives & Museum.

arvan's picture

The Internet of Living Things

Andrew Hessel reasons that Synthetic Biology will be the next big IT industry. 

In his remarkable talk Andrew talks about the parallels between IT and biology.  Andrew lectures Synthetic Biology at the Singularity University (SU), an interdisciplinary university whose mission is to prepare leaders for accelerating technological change.  He is a co-founder of the Pink Army Cooperative - open-source biotechnology addressing cancer.

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