As a Lady who is more often than not publicly and loudly UnSubtle (why yes she speaks!) (when she is allowed to that is), I get my fair share of thoroughly silly people who will sprout the most ridiculous reasons for the most inane things. Last week I had to convince someone that I didn't kill people who disagreed with me, that I can talk about things beyond feminism without being entirely sarcastic and the fact that I am still capable of (perhaps?) making jokes despite 'cutting off my fallopian tubes in exchange to be let into the uber cool club of the world's humourless feminists'. Sometimes I just have to say, "I like puppies" and I'll still get some nincompoop call me a 'man-hater' as a sort of reflex to using as little common sense as possible. I am sure you know the type, the one who will cower the moment you give them your MedusaGlare for insinuating you can't be a feminist, simply because you are not lesbian or aren't as hairy as the yeti or have an inordinate liking for bras or so many inconsequential reasons. What actually struck me today when someone accused me of not being feminist or feminist enough because I'm not particularly fond of body hair -- call it the parting gift of colonisation if you will -- is how deeply Western this slur was.
Feminism as a concept isn't one that is inherently Western. Of course, the feminist cannon, where you can see Beauvoir, Mary Wollstonecraft, J. S. Mill and perhaps even Elizabeth Cady Stanton (conveniently excluding Sojourner Truth) dancing around or playing cards while (existentially!) pondering over The Woman Problem In Their Respective Time Zones is as Western as the concept of SystematicCulturalDomination LiberalHumanism itself and just as problematic. Contrary to popular myths, feminism did exist in other 'culture-less' places, even in the very heart of supposed darkness, even in places as far off as India. I remember hearing about Meera Bai as a part of cultural folktales growing up, who rejected her husband and worshiped the idol of Lord Krishna. Today, beneath the QueerLens, we can assert judging from her poetry that this was a conscious decision, involved full agency and choice. She addresses her husband's impotency in a 'religious' couplet to Krishna -- always under the larger umbrella of religious movements such as the Bhakti movement so as to escape harsher punishment -- even talks about his (small) penis and articulates the exact way she'd like to be loved. All of this addressed to a piece of stone -- her Krishna idol -- or to the ideal man of her dreams enters the realm of a Queer framework. Doesn't she fit, rather squarely the definition of a 'feminist' as we have today? Where she identifies the dominant ideology, subverts and perverts it by mixing erotica with religion. And she is a cannonised voice of sorts herself as she is seen as one of Krishna's most devout followers (no one mentions her sexual transgression though). What about those countless Meera Bai's who never recorded their thoughts, who never wrote or sang out loud? So because of lack of documentable proof, do we exclude those mutated muffles?
Asexuals are commonly defined as “a person who does not experience sexual attraction” and research estimates their prevalence at 1% of the population. Asexuality has been the subject of increasing media attention, with some high profile television and popular press coverage. This attention has stimulated academic interest in asexuality and considerable research is being conducted in a number of disciplines.
This volume will be an edited book focusing on all aspects of asexuality and the asexual community. It will collect cutting-edge research across all areas relating to this topic with the intention of constituting the foundational text for the burgeoning field of asexuality studies.
Papers are welcome from any discipline and on any topic relating to asexuality.
Possible topics include:
- Identifying as asexual - Experiences of living as asexual - Social history of the asexual community - Diversity within the asexual community - Asexuality and the Internet - Asexuality and romantic relationships - Asexuality and wider sexual culture - Medicalization of a/sexuality
This investigation is concerned with the relationship between the movement from one gender and/or sex to another. What sort of experiences does an individual who begins life birth-designated as a female, but becomes a male have? If a natal male (someone born a boy) becomes a cross-dresser, what psychological, if any, changes occur when he “crosses over”? What can trans folks, those people born into one sex but who sometimes or all the time live in the other, tell us about life on the other side?
These are just a few of the questions this project will address. The project will seek out trans people who have changed gender at some point in their lives after reaching maturity. If you think you are one of those people and are interested in being interviewed, please click on our Interview Me! page. (It has not been activated yet.) If you think you are not the right person for an interview or it is not convenient, you can still fill out our Tell a Story page. There you can share one or more experiences you have had in your current gender.
The web site has number of distinct parts. Here is a brief guide to them
* Brief Overview describes, in lay terms, the goals and outline of the project. If you are interested in our work, might be a good candidate for an interview, or are just curious, this page will help you. * Full Overview is, as the name implies, a thorough presentation of the project, complete with background, motivation, goals, and bibliography. * Interview Me! This page is the preamble to the questionnaire, and will help you decide if you can, ought, or want to be interviewed. * Questionnaire is the instrument created for this project. It is through the questionnaire that we ultimately decide who will be most useful for our purposes. * Tell a Story allows all trans persons and those connected to them to tell a tale about a cross-gender experience they have had. These are anecdotes that show how one can experience life from the other side, thereby gaining insight and understanding. All stories, serious and funny, are invited. * Links contains just a few web sites that are relevant to the project.
We need to find interview candidates for this project. The results will shed light on what it means to be trans, and how some people have experienced it. So, if you’re transsexual or a crossdresser, fill out our questionnaire and send it along. If we find you’re right for us and we can connect, then you get to talk about yourself for as long as you like! (OK. more like an hour.)
The questionnaire is short, and you might be right for TPI. If you click here you’ll open or download it. Then just fill it out and email it to us as an attachment at, email@example.com.
If that doesn’t work, copy it into an email and send that along. if that doesn’t work, print it out and send it to,
TPI Project c/o Miqqi Alicia Gilbert South 428 Ross York University 4700 Keele St. Toronto, ON M4K 1C9 CANADA
17 September 2010 – Top United Nations officials today appealed to all countries that criminalize people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity to reform such laws and to ensure the protection of basic human rights for all.
“No doubt deeply-rooted cultural sensitivities can be aroused when we talk about sexual orientation. Social attitudes run deep and take time to change. But cultural considerations should not stand in the way of basic human rights,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In a message to a panel discussion in Geneva on ending violence and criminal sanctions based on sexual orientation and gender identity, which was delivered by UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay, Mr. Ban noted that the responsibilities of the UN and the obligations of States are clear.
“No one, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. No one should be prosecuted for their ideas or beliefs. No one should be punished for exercising their right to freedom of expression.”
Faith of the Abomination is an independent documentary film created in Austin, TX about the experiences of a lesbian couple who went undercover as a heterosexual couple inside an Evangelical Organization.
Sometimes opportunities in life present themselves in strange ways. Sometimes these opportunities reveal truths unknown, courage unexplored, and betrayals unexpected.
Faith of the Abomination is the story of two Evangelical lesbian women who were promised inclusion in the church, only to be thwarted at every turn. Feeling lonely and frustrated, they decided to change their outside package and joined the Evangelical Organization as man and woman. They were accepted immediately and soon became members of the church's inner circle. However, what they found there strayed far from the teachings of Jesus...
The past few days have been emotionally as well as physically taxing, as I prepared for a seminar, re-wrote, re-edited and then wrote again my paper. Then deleted it and started all over again. A few years ago I had the nasty habit of never saving any of my writing, so I went along and got me an auto-saving program. Now all I need is a program that will swat my hand away every time I try to delete my writing. So you can understand, dear reader why I didn't want to open or even read any of my TrollMail. Turns out, had I opened it earlier I wouldn't be comatose in front of the computer screen, losing the battle against writer's block. Some days, the universe just provides you fodder, while on other days it spews slander all over you and your virtual space.
Questions like, "Must you use such harsh language, when you talk of your body or anyone else's body?" or another states "It's not proper for Indian women to talk of the body in such terms. You sound Western when you do write like this. Indian women don't and shouldn't talk of their private organs so blatantly. This isn't our culture". And I edited this one, because I distinctly remember my LadyBrain slammed itself shut after these lines. Forgive me for not reading any of her remaining eight e-mails for my eyes blurred over as soon as she started defining what "Indian women" should do or rather shouldn't do. And just as I start to write this, another e-mail scurries forward bearing the words, "What is the point of breaking up your body to show what you mean? Aren't you mutilating yourself, under the name of using poetic devices? Also, isn't this an extremely Western method of articulating ? Doesn't this stand against everything you supposedly believe in?". As I mentioned before, the Interwebes can smack any semblance of the Writer's Block right out of you, on a day like this.
By Aprille Muscara UNITED NATIONS, Sep 8, 2010 (IPS)- The U.N. Security Council is considering leveraging sanctions against the perpetrators of the mass rapes that occurred last month in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following a meeting held on the recent violence Tuesday.
"From the U.S. point of view, we will take up the mantle of leadership… in ensuring that the perpetrators of the violence are held accountable, including through our efforts in the sanctions committee – to add them to the list that exists and to ensure that they are sanctioned," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters after the meeting.
Over 500 rapes have now been confirmed in the North and South Kivu provinces since Jul. 30, with scores more unconfirmed and still others certainly unreported, according to the deputy head of the U.N. peacekeeping department, Atul Khare, who briefed the council during the meeting. Khare was dispatched to the DRC after reports of the recent violence in the country surfaced in the media two weeks ago.
Members of the Democratic Liberation Forces of Rwanda, known by their French acronym FDLR, and the Mai Mai Cheka rebel groups systematically gang raped over 242 women during a four-day raid of 13 villages in the North Kivu province beginning Jul. 30. According to MONUSCO, the U.N.'s peacekeeping force in the DRC, they are believed to have continued their pillaging spree after 75 subsequent rapes were confirmed in neighbouring areas.
And in South Kivu, over 214 rapes of men, women and children as young as seven years old have been confirmed, with reports of the systematic rape of every woman in the village of Kiluma yet to be corroborated, Khare said. Included in this figure are 10 rapes committed by the official Congolese armed forces, known as the FARDC.
The conceptual background relates to the eponymous book by Hannah Arendt who, back in the 1960's, argued that the condition of human existence, robbed of the traditional, transcendental, religious and moral standards employed to bridge the abyss between past and future, lost direction. Artists and theoreticians with various views, experiences, approaches, backgrounds and cultural milieu will challenge audiences between 8th and 17th October with their reflections and responses to the relationship between past and future that we confront today.
The events will be held at most various venues, such as Cankarjev Dom, the Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, the Old Power Station – Elektro Ljubljana, Škuc Gallery, Kinodovr, Glej Theatre, Ljubljana Dance Theatre, Grubar Palace, Tromostovje etc.
The following artists are participating in City of Women 2010:
Ditka Haberl, Marcella and The Forget me Nots, Hana Makhmalbaf, Andreja Rauch Podrzavnik, Lauren Newton & Joëlle Léandre, Helena Hunter, Eleanor Bauer, DakhaBrakha, Oreet Ashery, Perry Bard, Stefania Bonatelli, Katharina Hesse & Lara Day, Jessica Lagunas, Vesna Miličević, Nandipha Mntambo, Katarina Mootich, Maflohé Passedouet, Kira O'Reilly, Petra Reimann, Yvonne De Rosa, Judith Witteman, Meta Grgurevič, Miya Masaoka, Antonia Baehr, Nicole Beutler, Tanja Ostojić, Marina Gržinić & Aina Šmid, Ana Hoffner, Isa Rosenberger, Sophie Déraspe, Sonja Heiss, Mia Engberg, Shalimar Preuss, Charlotte Ginsborg, Birgitte Staermose, Manon de Boer, Stereo Total, HK 119, Guerrilla Girls on Tour, Nataša Živković, Katarina Stegnar
City of Women – Association for the promotion of women in culture Kersnikova 4, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Office: Metelkova 6, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia Telephone: +386 (0)1 438 15 80 Mobile: +386 (0) 40 816 448 E-mail: info(at)cityofwomen.org
Some 15 national representatives from 14 countries of APNSW Sex Workers Forum attended a four day workshop entitled the APNSW Human Rights Regional Sex Workers Forum in Kuala Lumpur from July 29, 30, 31 and Aug 1st. National representatives were selected by APNSW members in their respective country.
The national representative from Japan, Yukiko Kaname, although unable to attend, was able to participate live via skype/email and translated with the help of Marisa Ingleton (Australia, Scarlet Alliance).
The sex workers forum was developed to guide broad directions of APNSW in terms of policy and programme. The objectives for the workshop were:
· How to run APNSW and institute governance structured based on APNSW manual, which is a living document. In the coming days we will decide who will be chairperson and three sex workers reps to form the APNSW Programme and Policy Committee (PPC) who will assist the APNSW secretariat in decision making on behalf of the larger sex worker forum. The selected chair and Selvi from APNSW BOD automatically sits on the PPC. · Understand APNSW’s five year strategic plan (2009 – 2014) and what activities we can now tick off. · Explanation of the policy shift which has lead to APNSW has lead to new funding including a regional consultation to be held in October in Pattaya (2010) · Assessment to find out what communication tools we can work together. · Sharing of country Sex Work and HIV issues at the national level (via film/documenting activity) · To meet donor requirements of outputs