gender

Mastering the Art of Letting Gender Go

Would you, as a father, wear a dress so that your 5-year-old son felt less embarrassed about doing so?

If you’ve been online at any point in the past few weeks, then you probably know that I’m referring to the German dad who did just that for his little boy. The kid preferred wearing dresses and skirts when they were living in the liberal big city, but started to feel uncomfortable after moving to a smaller, more religious, more conservative community. So when he started to consider opting out of his fashion choices, his father decided instead to encourage him to be himself – by donning the dresses, too.

Then there’s the more mixed (and, apparently, untrue) rumor that Jay-Z had decided to stop calling women “bitches” after his daughter was born. On the one hand, he would have been giving up an abominably sexist male behavior. On the other, it would ostensibly have been done to protect his little baby girl – a very gendered response.

Dear Ann Romney

Dear Ann Romney,


Hello! Recently you have been out in the public telling folks that you understand the struggles of women. Women in America that are not you.That you love the mother that has no choice but to work. Your quote does not seem any better in context. And yet, in your national tour, you still do not understand me.


You and me, we have some things in common. We are both women in America. We both suffer the indignities of living in a culture that is still short of valuing either of us as equals. We are both mothers in a culture that does not value the work of raising our young.

 

arvan's picture

Lady Vixion: T-Lables and Beyond

What does transgender mean. Opinion on the word Tranny. SOPA/PIPA

arvan's picture

Privilege within communities working to lessen privilege

Audre Lorde once spoke at a feminist conference, noting that she was the only black lesbian there and one of only two women of color.  She was pointing at privilege and exclusion within a group formed to remedy and address privilege and exclusion.  In this address, she pointed to the language and organizational structure adopted by feminists to address patriarchy was formed by patriarchy to reinforce patriarchy.  That language and organization are the "master's tools" she speaks of and her assessment is that by using them, privilege will not be eliminated, but instead renewed and sustained.  

That metaphor has resonated with me since the very first time I heard it.  I started blogging for a number of reasons, including identifying, owning and interrupting privilege.  I have come to some conclusions which I will share in this post, namely:

- Privilege is always happening, in everyone's life and in every group.

- I can only interrupt, acknowledge and impact my own privilege.  This seems to be true for us all.  It is also true for groups.

- Denial sustains and reinforces privilege and honesty creates an opportunity to interrupt privilege.

The very instant any group or community is formed or declared, exclusion and privilege are established and instituted.  

Exclusion: some people are in that group and some are not.  

Privilege: the group has leader(s) / former(s) / administrator(s) / public & private voice(s) in some form or another who agree to their ability to declare the identity of that group.  There is also privilege in the selection of new members to the group or the expulsion of current members.

This can be problematic for any group whose stated goal is to address or lessen privilege.  This is often a group whose members and lives are often largely defined by their experiences of having been excluded by privileged persons and groups.  How such an organization or group addresses its privilege and exclusion will impact how successful they are in their efforts to impact privilege elsewhere and as a group or individuals.

arvan's picture

the (snow)faces change but the (appropriated) song remains the same, and the crowd goes wild.

I was tripping over the many tumblr conversations about Hugo Schwyzer lately.  A good number of people articulated some solid points about him, as well as the many who stated their outrage and distrust of him.  Some folks take his writing as separate from his life and others will not grant this as valid.  From what I see, he's done some pretty shitty things.  Each one of those points is worth discussing, yet something else was gnawing at me in all of this and that's what I want to discuss now.

How did a cis-het white man get to be a voice for feminism?

I was asking myself why is Hugo Schwyzer, a cis-het-white-male, even a topic in conversations about feminism?  Why are we discussing his languaging of feminist concepts?  Put otherwise, how did we get a privileged face in front of conversations about the abuse of privilege, mouthing the words of the oppressed with people accepting, repeating, defending and challenging him on his merits to speak for those denied equality by the privileged class of which he is a member?  

The short answer is that it depends on the audience as to whether he is or is not.  So, who then is willing to accept the face of Hugo Schwyzer as a mouthpiece for feminist ideals?  Who indeed?  Privileged, white people - that's who.  

arvan's picture

wonderful transgender rights campaign ad from Argentina

(h/t blabbeando)

Directed by Juan Pablo Felix
Photography & Still Photography: Nicolás Fernández & Javier Fuentes
Production: Matías Romero
Sound: Susana Leunda

Alex Karydi's picture

Gender Identity and the Conflict Within

Gender. Identity. What does it all mean?
WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEO HERE

arvan's picture

Call for submissions: Anthology Of South Asian Queer Erotica

(h/t Gaysi)

Call for submissions: Anthology Of South Asian Queer Erotica [title forthcoming]
To be published by Tranquebar Press in 2012

The spaces for expressing queer concerns have increased across South Asia in the last decade. Much is being written about sexuality, rights and queer lives. Yet, in all of this, sex itself doesn’t get written about very much and there is a dearth of queer erotica from South Asia. Contemporary queer erotica with a South Asian focus would make these queer lives apparent in newer and compelling ways. This anthology is an attempt to present queer, sexual, regional literature that pleasures and satisfies. It is about queer sex lives, erotic experiences and passions. Queer in this anthology represents non-normative genders, sexualities, lives and perspectives. It aims to bring out voices that have been limited to smaller groups or never heard before.

What we want:

We want stories of queer love, lust and craving. Sex, however you may define it, should be a big part of the story. We want gender play, auto-eroticism, dark fantasies, monogamous and non-monogamous sex, stories of bondage, domination, sadism and masochism. We are looking for stories of deep passions, stories that complicate sex. We want stories of desire, fulfilled and unfulfilled. Stories that defy the gender binary. Stories of how you sexed up your aids and appliances. Stories on masturbation or the pleasures of paid sex. Stories of how you steamed up a bus ride, ended a clandestine affair or fucked with sex toys. Share with us stories that confront, redefine, dispute and reclaim what sex is. Let your stories queer erotica itself.
We invite you to write short stories with South Asian themes, characters and places reflected in them. We are looking for a wide expression of experiences across age, region, class, ability, gender and sexual identities. Stories can be fictional, semi-fictional and non-fiction, but we are not looking for academic or solely autobiographical writing on sexuality. Your stories will shatter the silences around queer erotic lives and encompass their diversities, so let us have them.

Who can write:

We want to foreground the queer voices of people living in or originally from South Asia. Queer includes but is not restricted to identities like lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex, hijra, kothi, questioning, genderqueer, genderfluid and pansexual. Authors do not necessarily have to identify with one or more of these identities but the stories they submit should reflect non-normative genders, sexualities, lives and perspectives.

How to submit:

- We are looking for short stories with a word limit of no less than 3000 words. We regret that we are unable to include poetry.
- All submissions should be in English. Translations from other languages are allowed as long as the author owns the rights to the translation as well.
- Please submit the story as an email attachment on a word document. Please include a title and word count.
- Do not include your name or any other identifiers in the word document. As we are using a blind submissions process, we will have to reject submissions that indicate the author’s identity in the body of the story.
- Authors will be informed whether their work is selected by mid-October. At that time, we will request you to provide a name under which you wish to be published and a short bio.
- All selected authors will receive a one-time payment. The copyright of the story will remain with the author.

The deadline for submission is 15th September 2011.

Send your stories to queerotic.stories@gmail.com

Now get writing about the kind of sex you have wanted to read about. And get us swooning!

About the editors:

Meenu is a queer feminist activist. She has been involved with issues of gender and sexuality through women’s rights organisations and autonomous collectives for the last six years. She lives in Delhi and is an avid reader of erotica.

Shruti is currently based in Bombay. In the last eight years, she has actively engaged with the women’s and queer movements in the country. Over the years, she has worked as a researcher, social worker and counsellor.

arvan's picture

Menstruation Machine

スプツニ子!/Sputniko! - Menstruation Machine, Takashi's Take

A new video by Sputniko! (http://sputniko.com/blog) I'm a female artist and the machine is not only for men, it can also be worn by women in future when menstruation might become something obsolete - I'm not suggesting when or by whom this machine would be used - after much research with reproductive scientists (which I write in my website) I know that the psychologies which people associate with menstruation is too complex to make the reason for using such a device so simple - this music video is just one example of many possibilities.

More Info Below
http://www.sputniko.com/works/sputniko/menstruation-machine

Syndicate content
Powered by Drupal, an open source content management system