gender

arvan's picture

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Twelfth Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

November 20, 2010

I really don't look forward to this day at all. 

I dread the emotional impact of realizing the toll in human lives that sexism and misogyny take out as measured in human lives. 

I don't want to think about people being killed because of their identity.

I cannot stand thinking about the lies, gloating, pride, vanity, bullying, cruelty and inhumanity behind each death blow.

I am angered by the willingess of juries and judges to allow murderers to go free because of "trans panic" or some other abominable story about why killing someone is acceptable because of the murderers ignorant, hate-filled judgments.

I feel helpless against the millions of deaf ears and thoughtless insults that it takes to bring about the change in law, religion, culture and family that is needed for human beings to be accepted as the gender they know themselves to be.

But, I am alive and I have the chance to help end all of this that I abhor and dread.  So, I do not forget and I do not remain silent, because silence is murder. 

So, I remember and I speak out and I ask that you do the same.

-arvan

Bekhsoos's picture

Jismi.net: A Campaign for Sexual & Bodily Rights in Lebanon

Jismi.net is dedicated to the annual “One Day, One Struggle” campaign, a unique effort to underscore the joint struggle against the violation of sexual and bodily rights in Muslim societies, which takes place on November 9. (The Arabic word “Jismi” means “My Body” in English.)

This year, the Lebanon-based groups NasawiyaHelem and Meem developed an online video campaign focusing on bodily autonomy and sexual rights of individuals.

The videos feature people of different ages, gender expressions, religious affiliations and professional fields talking about the various experiences they were subjected to in terms of sexual and bodily oppression and the ways they were able to overcome these imposed restrictions to achieve complete autonomy and independence in their sexual and bodily choices.

The campaign aims to fill the gap created in dealing with issues related to the body and sexuality, as they are always considered private matters and taboos that shouldn’t be discussed. In addition to them being an integral part of human rights, sexual and bodily rights are a political matter regulated by legislations, rules, institutions and the state, as well as inherited social and cultural restrictions which affect the individual’s relationship with their body and sexuality and reshapes it using oppressive measures, stripping the individual of their autonomy.

Last year, groups held a panel on sexuality at the American University of Beirut (AUB).

arvan's picture

Call for Submissions: Why Are Faggots So Afraid Of Faggots?

WHY ARE FAGGOTS SO AFRAID OF FAGGOTS?: flaming challenges to masculinity, objectification and the desire to conform

As back rooms are shut down to make way for wedding vows, and gay sexual culture becomes little more than straight-acting dudes hangin’ out, where are the possibilities for a defiant faggotry that challenges the assimilationist norms of a world that wants us dead? 

Masculine ideals have long reigned supreme in male sexual spaces, from the locker room to the tea room, the bars to the back alleys to the beaches.  But is there something more brutal and dehumanizing about the calculated hyperobjectification of the internet? How do we confront the limits of transaction sexuality, where scorn becomes “just a preference,” lack of respect is assumed, and lying is a given? How can we create something splendid and intimate from that universe of shaking and moaning and nervous glances turned inward now groaning?

I’m especially interested in essays about community-building experiments, public sexual cultures, faggots not socialized or presenting as male, cruising, HIV, consumerism, transfaggotry, polyamory, feminism, sexual safety and risk-taking, norms for faggots outside of the US, and gender transgression (of course).  I’m looking for essays that expose hierarchies of gender, age, race, nationality, class, body type, ability, sexuality and other identity categories instead of imposing fascistic definitions based on beauty myth consumer norms. That’s right, honey — I’m talking about interventions that are dangerous and lovely, just like you. 

The basics:

The official deadline has passed, but if you have something you think is urgently needed in the book, please contact Mattilda.

Send submissions to:

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore

537 Jones Street, #3152

San Francisco, CA 94102

(h/t iragray)

arvan's picture

Call for Submissions: Perverts Of Color

(h/t Sex in the Public Square)

pervert:

vb - to lead into deviant beliefs or behaviour; to corrupt.

n - a person who practises sexual perversion. 

person of color:

n - is a term used, primarily in the United States, to describe all people who are not white. The term is meant to be inclusive among non-white groups, emphasizing common experiences of racism. 'People of color' was introduced as a preferrable replacement to both non-white and minority, which are also inclusive, because it frames the subject positively; non-white defines people in terms of what they are not (white), and minority frequently carries a subordinate connotation.

Mission Statement

The Perverts of Color anthology is a collection of voices from people of color (POCs) who participate in alternative sexual and relationship practices which include but are not limited to: S&M, D/s, leather, kink, fetishism, polyamory, and swinging. “Pervert” is a term that society projects onto our bodies and our desires. We use “pervert” both to acknowledge the rejection and stereotyping we face, and to redefine the word on our own terms.

Our Intent

a) celebrate the experiences of US racial/ethnic minorities navigating alternative sexualities;

b) recover hidden histories and recognize the contributions of POCs to alternative sexuality rights and culture;

c) share stories about ways POCs have resisted dominant narratives about their sexuality; and

d) create possibilities for coalition and resistance for kinky POCs.

Call for Submissions

The voices of US racial minorities in alternative sexual communities are important but often unheard. If you are a POC who has been or is involved in the kink/poly community, the Perverts of Color anthology needs to hear your story.

Click here for writing prompts and ideas.

We are accepting non-fiction essays (1,500-5,000 words) related to the theme of the intersection of race and alternative sexual practices. New authors are welcome. Fiction, erotica, and poetry are not accepted. The Perverts of Color anthology is intended as a multi-ethnic, multi-racial collection, so we encourage all POCs to submit their stories. We invite POCs of all genders, ages, religions/spiritualities, sexual orientations and socio-economic backgrounds. Authors may use a pen name in order to maintain anonymity. All authors will keep the copyright to their submission, have a printed biography, and receive one copy of the completed book.

Now accepting submissions until December 15th 2010!

Contact Us

If you are interested, email us at pervertsofcolor@gmail.com with a one-paragraph summary of your essay (250 words maximum) and a short bio (250 words maximum). All submission summaries are due by December 15th at 12 midnight (Eastern Standard Time). We will contact authors individually to express interest in a complete submission.

What made you decide to create this anthology?

We are longtime kinksters, community members, and political types whose frustration with the racism experienced in the organized kink community - and with the kink-aversion in our other racial communities - got us thinking and talking to each other (and anyone who would listen) about the connections between our racial and sexual identities. This anthology is a way for us to start larger discussions on the topic with voices of all kinds.

Who are they?

Jaki is a genderqueer Black American Leather feminist with a passion for alternative sexuality and getting off. Jaki has begun a one-person campaign to promote "yo" as a gender neutral option because it is fun and original. Yo has always been interested in writing for the underdogs. This passion has lead to minority studies in many flavors which ultimately lead to the BDSM/Leather Community. Jaki sought a book about the intesection of race and radical sexuality and when it didn't exist, yo decided to create it.

Katie is a queer, biracial Korean American kinkster with experience in grassroots activism around racism and violence against women of color. She has been involved in the DC kink community since 2003 and has identified as polyamorous ever since she discovered a word for it in college.

arvan's picture

Islamic Legal Tradition and Feminism: Opening a New Dialogue

Author: Ziba Mir-Hosseini (via SKSW)

Publication Date: October, 2010

(This paper was presented at the IV International Congress on Islamic Feminism in Madrid, 21-24 October 2010)

I am delighted to be here, and I would like to thank the organizers, in particular Abdennur Prado, for inviting me to the Fourth Congress on Islamic Feminism. I am sorry that my co-panelist compatriot, Ms Fariba Alasvand, whose scholarship and writings I have been following from afar for some time, was not able to be here. I am grateful to Mr Joaquin Rodriguez for presenting her paper.

The term ‘Islamic Feminism’ gained currency in the 1990s as a label for a brand of feminist scholarship and activism that was associated with Islam and Muslims. I was among the first scholars to use the term to speak of a new gender consciousness that emerged in Iran in the early 1990s, a decade after the 1979 popular revolution that led to a merger of religious and political power in the country. There has since been much discussion and debate and a growing literature on ‘Islamic feminism’, to which I have contributed. Inevitably, there are diverging accounts of the nature of this phenomenon, and of its origins and development.[1] Here I want to revisit this term and offer some reflections on the heavy political baggage that comes with it—as well as with its component elements: ‘Islamic’ and ‘feminism’.

I have two objectives. First, I want to set the record straight and to explain the context in which I have used the term myself, and the kind of feminism that is involved. I shall reflect on the term in the light of developments in the intervening years, culminating in two events in 2009 that, I believe, show how far the debate has moved on, both globally and locally, namely, first, the launch of Musawah, a ‘Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family’, and secondly, the emergence of the Green Movement in Iran. Musawah, launched in Kuala Lumpur in February 2009, brings Islamic and human rights frameworks together to build an overlapping consensus among Muslim women from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and to push for legal reform.[2] The Green Movement in Iran started in June last year as a protest against a fraudulent presidential election, but it soon became a broader civil rights movement in which Iranian women have been the most prominent actors.[3]

arvan's picture

Call for Submissions: Here Come the Brides! The Brave New World of Lesbian Marriage

Call for Submissions: Here Come the Brides! The Brave New World of Lesbian Marriage (Seal Press, 2012)

2,000-4,000 words

Editors: Audrey Bilger and Michele Kort. Audrey Bilger is the Faculty Director of the Writing Center and Associate  Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College. Michele Kort is Senior Editor at Ms. magazine, a freelance writer, and author of three books (including Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro).

Same-sex marriage is obviously a hot topic these days, and we want to look specifically at the lesbian side of the equation. Given the secondary status of women throughout much of the globe, bonds between women—particularly intimate connections—can redefine the political landscape as well as the domestic realm. Anna and Eve don’t get as much press as Adam and Steve, but they’re potentially more threatening to the status quo.

Here Come the Brides will primarily cover legal marriages, but also lesbian commitment ceremonies in locales where the legal status of gay marriage is still up for grabs. We hope the book will be able to represent a diversity of points of view in terms of race, class, ethnicity and geography, and incorporate transgender perspectives. Although the book will be generally upbeat about lesbian marriage, we’d also like viewpoints from those who are opposed to either being married themselves or who have issues with the institution or the politics of same-sex marriage.

We’re looking for a variety of material: primarily first-person essays, but also secondhand observations, bridesmaid/mother-of-the-bride/etc. stories, and even analytical pieces (as long as they’re written in an accessible style). We’re open to graphic essays/cartoons as well, and we’re eager to see lesbian wedding ephemera: great photos, invitations, newspaper wedding announcements, vows, guest favors.

Needless to say, we’re looking for terrific writing—colorful, moving, funny, surprising, insightful. We can imagine essays that cover a lesbian marriage from soup to nuts, but we think it’s more likely, given the word limitation, that it might be best to focus on a certain aspect of lesbian marriage or of your particular wedding—at least as an organizing principle.

arvan's picture

What Will We Teach Our Sons About Rape?

Andrea Gibson performs, "Blue Blanket" from her album, Swarm 

arvan's picture

Undesired: A Short Film About Discarded Girls

India is a diverse country separated by class and caste. But all women confront the cultural pressure to bear a son.  This preference cuts through every social divide, from geography to economy.  No woman is exempt.

This preference originates from the belief that men make money while women, because of their expensive dowry costs, are a financial burden.  As a result, there is a near constant disregard for the lives of women and girls.  From birth until old age, women face a constant threat of violence and too frequently, death.

The numbers are staggering.  Since 1980, an estimated 40 million women are 'missing,' by way of abortion, neglect or murder. 7,000 female fetuses are aborted every day according to the U.N., aborted solely because they are girls.  One dowry death is reported every 77 minutes.  Countless others are never known.

The government has tried to intervene.  Dowry and sex selective abortions are illegal.  Yet both practices still thrive, in large part because of deep-rooted cultural prejudices.

Today, eighty percent of Indian states are now facing a shortage of women.  To compensate for this differential, young, unknowing women are bought from surrounding countries like Bangladesh and sold to young bachelors.  Not knowing a word of the language, these trafficked women now face the same kinds of violence as other Indian women.

Read more: Mothers of a Hundred Sons: India's Dying Daughters.

Links:
The Alexia Foundation
Visa Pour l'Image: Astrada's back with new chapter in ongoing project
Visa Pour l'Image: Interview with Walter Astrada
United Nations Development Programme: Power, Voice and Rights (pdf)
Disappearing Daughters: Action Aid & International Development Research Centre (pdf)
NYT: Missing: 50 Million Indian Girls
The Guardian: Women fight for life

arvan's picture

Sex Education Is A Political Act.

(This post is part of a blog carnival to raise awareness and funding for Scarleteen - the longest running fact-based sex education resource on the Intenet.)


(via withoutgods)

Sex Education is a political act. 

In terms of group politics - there are large groups of people who are fighting to prevent you from learning any facts about sex.  Facts that can effect your health, income, present, future, career, happiness, ability to have or enjoy sex, choice of sex partners and even the ability to have sex.

People get elected using by using sex to scare voters - queer sex, teen sex, unmarried sex, kinky sex, fun sex, sex of any kind.    Cultural practices and commonly held beliefs about sex punish or shame people for even discussing sex, much less teaching it to a classroom.

Organized religions and self-appointed 'holy men' claim to speak for their god in calling sex a sin.  Sex is a fact of mammalian evolution and humans are mammals.  That undisputable, proven fact is a direct challenge to the notion of sin and therefore a challenge to any religious or secular institution that believes that sex is a sin.

In the arena of personal politics - young people are dependent upon those who come before us to offer up the knowledge of previous generations - or they can withhold it.  As teens we struggle with asking the adults in our lives for information, guidance and the benefit of their experience on one hand, while on the other hand - we wish to assert our own judgment and choices. 

What you are told about sex is a political act. 

People who may or may not have your interests in mind spend a lot of time shaping the information you receive about sex because they want you to make decisions that favor them or their world view.  What is best for them may not be what is best for you.  The only way for you to make an informed decision is for you to have facts.

Kaberi Gayen's picture

Feminist Responses towards Fundamentalisms and Neo-liberal Economy

This is the final installment of a six-part series, orignally posted at e-Bangladesh.  

Last Episode

Discussion and Conclusion

Asian feminists’ problems are somehow different from that of western societies. The nature of their problem may be understood from an advertisement that Othman (2006) mentioned in the context of Malaysia. An advertisement (in Malay) on all local TV stations in 2003 portrayed a veiled beautiful Muslim Malay woman who in order to ‘please her husband’ groomed her hair with the shampoo being advertised. The advertisement never showed her unveiled head, only a frame of her husband supposedly admiring her beautiful recently shampooed hair! What could be a better metaphor than this advertisement to portray the combined attack of corporate capital and religious fundamentalism in one female body!

Throughout literature, the rise of religious fundamentalisms has been portrayed as the reaction to the failure of capitalist democracy. Mernissi (1989) argues that the spread of fundamentalism in the last two decades has stemmed from the political and social failures of the secular, authoritarian states of the post-colonial period, states that operate within the rules of the International Monetary Fund and the interests of the imperialist powers.  Again, feminism has been seen as the response to fundamentalism. Taking either side, i.e., fundamentalist side or corporate capital side, may prove to be fatal.

We need to consider that religious fundamentalisms are in rise in this region with help from rightist political parties in power who support unconditional foreign investment in most of the countries and women lack not only human capital but social capital too. Also their access to political power is limited though many countries of this region are headed by women with almost no impact on women’s life. This cast further insight that women’s participation in democratic process is important but more important is to understand what political agenda they are advocating for. A note of caution here is, almost all the renowned women leaders of this region are in politics by inheritance, either of their father’s or husband’s. They just carry out the patriarchal agenda set by the concerned political parties and do not want to loose their vote taking any pro-women action that might hostile the religious fundamentalism unless they have pressures from  foreign donor agencies.

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