jhameia: ME! (Default)
I ain't on Facebook, but I know a lot of you are.

CPAF stands for the Center for the Pacific Asian Family:
CPAF is the only organization that provides multilingual hotlines and emergency shelters serving Los Angeles County. They lost funding this year due to the recession and may have to shut down critical hotlines and shelters for the battered and abused women. Without the shelters, these victims will have nowhere to go. Currently, CPAF is in contention for $1 million dollars in the Chase Community Giving contest on Facebook after making the Top 100 out of half a million groups in round one. Vote for CPAF here.

Voting ends Jan 22, 9pm PST, which is in a few hours!

Via Racialicious
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
Yes it is!

Unfortunately, I was remiss and didn't make a blogpost about it. So, instead, I will give you a brief linkspam about it )

Heather Corinna tweeted:
On the Day To End Violence Against Sex Workers as a supportive move ask yourself how any of your words or actions might enable violence.

*waves little "YOU ARE NOT ALONE!" flag*

x-posted to the Acting Out Edition
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Woot! The 5th Asian Women Blog Carnival is taking submissions! Hosted by [livejournal.com profile] stephiepenguin, the theme is: Who I Am When I'm (not) With You.

Here's the submission post!
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
It's a Sunday linkfest! Sorry for taking so long. I faceplanted yesterday and scrapped my knee for the first time in years. Not only that, but my knee is still a bit swollen. If I leave it alone for a long time, when I start moving again, it's sore. Oh well.

Onto the linkfest!

Over at the Acting Out Edition, I angst about some fat issues (nothing new for you folks!), and wondered whether the Body Shop would ever produce an American [flower] scent. It's also a steampunking triple-threat this time! A discussion on saying "the point is", a thought on Orientalism, and... a post you've already seen before. Also a 101 on a complicated theory on the rise of patriarchy alongside the idea of transcendent gods.

I also did a bit of RaceFail reading, and this correlation between a queer person's troubles with a PoC's troubles struck me as sensitive.

Here's a post called, "Don't Be That Guy!" which articulates the main attitudes that lead to douchebag behaviour. I found it quite affirming.

So, sometime last year, there was a huge deal in the liberal blogosphere about the role of men in feminism. Penny Red talks about the main problem, from the women bloggers' POV, which apparently most men bloggers do not understand.

Tracey of Unapologetically Female articulates common themes in commentary wrt to Hollywood sexism. These things are a pattern, phew!

It's a wonderful week of wonderful guest posts at Feministe! My favs:

amandaw from three rivers fog on dissability and being respectful.

Queen Emily on the difficulty of filling out forms as a transgender person.

Not a guest blog, but Holly points out that a grandpa has an agenda, sending his grandson to harass a transgender girl by following her into the washroom and calling her 'faggot'. He argued that his grandson should have the right to use the girls' washroom, if the transgender girl was allowed to.

Continuing the theme of transphobia, apparently the term "cis" is hostile terminology. Follow the drama at Questioning Transphobia! My favourite quote:

"Oh my God. I don’t get this at all. I mean, for a start there’s the whole “cisgendered people are the majority and hardly an oppressed group whose self-identification is an important part of staking out their place in the world” and then there’s “what the hell is insulting about “cis”?”"

I don't understand what's insulting about 'cis' either. Complaining that using "cis" as an insult is as expressed in this pic by gudbuytjane:

Renee of Womanist Musings has some strong posts on patronizing behaviour towards disabled people and Lynndie England being unable to find a job. If you don't remember who Lynddie England is, she's the women who was pictured torturing Abu Ghraib prisoners.

A discussion on how abuse doesn't always manifest in physical violence, and sometimes in pregnancy. h/t to Cara of the Curvature.

Into the geek realm! An old article on Geek Social Fallacies. I definitely have some form of GSF4 and GSF5.
[livejournal.com profile] twice_immigrant has a very interesting thought on the Borg! In JournalFen, a big discussion on triggers, and on asking fanfic authours to put up a warning in case their fics featuring rape trigger someone. Apparently asking people to put up a trigger warning is damaging to their authourial integrity. Who knew.

On the Asian women carnival front, recently there was an intra-PoC discussion: colorblue responded to a carnival post, and there was dialogue between the two. oyceter felt the need to apologize in response to colorblue and here is the resultant discussion. It's hard to apologize the way these folks did (honestly, and being able to pinpoint what they're apologizing for) but it's a necessary lesson! In accordance to all this, ciderpress has refined further guidelines and articulated more clearly a vision for the carnival. A quote:

"We are not safe from each other. I think it is important to ensure we have communal space so that we have the ability to reach out and support rather than silence and suppress those among us who are particularly vulnerable. I think communal space is vital in dismantling privilege, our own as well as those of other people."

Very noble, very true, very hard for some people to swallow, but in the end, we can't cop out, even though it's so easy to ignore what's going on online, since we don't actually see or feel the hurt we inflict on others. My carnival is not affected by these new guidelines, but I'll do my best to follow them anyway. Call for submissions is still on!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
amandaw of three rivers fog has put out a call for submissions of stories by disabled people about sex. Contributions are preferrably anonymous to encourage more contributions, although video and audio contributions are welcome. She writes:

'I am working on a post about ableism in “liberated” sexual culture (including feminism, but not limited to it). And I really think there is no better way to illustrate this than with real words, real experience.

Do you have, or have you had, a disability (or, if you do not identify as disabled, do you have a condition which results in some sort of mental or physical impairment)? If so: Tell me about your experience in the bedroom.

Spread the word.

Cross-posted to the Acting Out Edition


Jun. 2nd, 2009 09:56 pm
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
I'll be hosting the next Asian Women Blog Carnival!! <3 Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] ciderpress for the opportunity!

Call for submissions will start next week, I hope ^^ I need to work on that post. The theme will be about the intersection between culture and sexism from Asian women's perspectives. I picked it because I want Asian women who don't live in North America to be able to discuss sexism in their own contexts, rather than from typically-white-women's perspectives.

So excited! *jigs*

For those of you who don't know what a blog carnival is, clickums. For me, it's an amazing way to get in touch with other perspectives and voices that may or may not be like mine.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
Each year, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (the “IDAHO”, as it is usually called), will see actions and initiatives take place in many countries and contexts and on many different issues.

All these activities and initiatives are a very strong signal to all, decisions makers, public opinion, civil rights movements, human rights defenders, etc. throughout the world that our fights for our Rights as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, intersex, etc… is vibrant!

The Day provides all different kind of actors with a very powerful opportunity to express their demands and to advocate for their case. Each year also, the IDAHO aims at using the extra public, political and media attention that it provides at all levels to highlight one specific aspect of the struggle for sexual rights.

This year, we chose to highlight the often neglected but important issue of Transphobia.

Here's the appeal for the rights of trans people all over the world in PDF format.

And here's where you can sign the appeal. This is an international initiative, so anybody can sign.

And yes, the chosen acronym, IDAHO, has an invisible T for Transphobia. I've said it before, transpeople tend to be the ones least thought of among the alternatives to the heterosexual norm. Even those identifying as homosexual will quite easily fall into the trap of discriminating, in some form or manner, or just plain insulting, denigrating, or dehumanizing, transfolks.

The issue of transphobia is a feminist issue. The bottomline of transphobia is a very subtle kind of misogyny, and even ciswomen will gladly participate in hatefulness against transwomen (just as women will gladly participate in hammering in patriarchal norms against other women). Let me outline it for you:

- Transgenderism itself is seen as an act of "transgressing", crossing between boundaries which many societies teach should not be crossed.

- These gender boundaries should not be crossed because
a) women should never aspire to be higher than what they are (i.e., men),
b) men should never aspire to be lower than what they are (i.e., women) and
c) it is notoriously difficult to socially control people who will not fit into neat little boxes and follow the rules of their own sandbox.

In order to maintain this social control, we are given the narrative that men are men and women are women (plus all accompanying myths, such as men are animals who cannot control themselves, or women are less capable of leadership positions, and to be something other than what you are is an act against God and thus, unnatural), with implicit social consequences if we do not follow prescribed rules of behaviour.

- Thus, when a woman wishes to transform into a man, it's quite understood why, because the Big Boys' Club gives one lots of perks, and she is despised for having a vagina and finagling her way in there.

On the flip side, when a man wishes to transform into a woman, he is despised by men because women are a lower lifeform, objects to be consumed, whereas men are active do-ers. He is also mistrusted by women who hold any man's wishes to enter the female realm as suspect.

You'll note that this reasoning, too, ties in with the reasoning behind homophobia:

- woman, passive vessel, bottom, lower.

- man, active agent, top, higher.

Keep in mind these other points:

- Sexually anxious people are neurotic about their position in society and easily manipulated. e.g. hypermasculine young men who're constantly trying to outdo each other with sexual exploits even at the cost of loving relationships with women.

- Sex is a commodity. See: common ideas of sexual purity (female virginity is a rose she gives to her husband on their wedding night), sluttiness (if she'll sleep with one guy, she'll obviously sleep with just anybody), marital exchange (you owe your partner sex when you're married to them, even if you don't want it).

- A woman, as passive vessel, submits to sex / takes it.
- A man, as an active agent, penetrates / invade / conquers.

(I know, you might think, "this is all very archaic", but your next-door neighbour / family members / friends / partner might believe this, shocking eh!)

So when a man consents to being penetrated, he takes the position of the woman in the relationship. And because our society has run so long on the idea that woman = inferior not-quite-human, any man who would submit to that is lesser than a man, and every man should reject being asked to submit to being penetrated.

In fact, a man should show his rejection to being the 'lower' by proving that he is the 'higher', more powerful agent within this interaction, and the best way to prove is by doling out violence.

Homophobia and transphobia are feminist issues, because their roots lie within the ever-pervasive misogyny that drive our society's interactions with gender.

And like misogyny, transphobia is pervasive - it lies in our inquisitiveness on any transgendered person's motives to change their sex, in our disregard for their opinions on gender. It lies in our willingness to express transgenderism as unnatural and wrong. It lies in our mistrust of transwomen and in our calling them "men" despite how they identify themselves, and in our insistence to call transfolk by their "real" names, identifying them by their biological sex rather than chosen gender, or using insulting words like "tranny", "fake", "liars".

The flip side of actively hating them is our objectification of them - finding them sooooo exciting because they're, like, totally two genders, and so daring, and so unnatural, and so different, so transgressive. Instead of seeing them as full human beings, they become our idols for the Other, the Difference that we want to participate in so we, too, can rebel against the Establishment. We project our desire to be different onto them, all the while ignoring their efforts to be normal human beings.

If we neither hate nor lurve them, then we dismiss them, think they're less important, or "too much" for mainstream society. We saw this when an LGBT group removed items from a Bill regarding transfolk, with the excuse that "if we put in transpeople's rights in there, this document will be rejected outright. Let's work on homosexual rights first. We can't ask for everything upfront."

Even when we try to support them, very often we're so damn busy trying to speak for them and advocate for them, we ignore their true needs which may be very different from what we think their needs are. A ciswoman can never speak for a transwoman, because being cis will NEVER amount to being trans, and being cis is having privilege over a transwoman. And when we are called out on our lack of awareness for their needs, we get defensive, resentful that they're not appreciative of our efforts, because dammit, we deserve that cookie for even giving a shit.

And then there're some of us who're just plain ambivalent about it, who just don't think about it, that trangender politics don't matter to anyone who's not trans. This is a logical fallacy. Transgender politics is about the right to be recognized as human, a right that everyone deserves. If you give one group that right but not another, it stops being a right.

We can't all be perfect, and I've used terms I never realized was transphobic before and been called out on it. Being called out on ignorance and privilege is not an attack nor a reason to stay silent when it comes to issues as important as human rights.

Today is International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

Other reading:
From Questioning Transphobia:
On Questioning Transphobia
How To Check Your Cis Privilege

From Shakesville:
Life As A Transwoman Ain't Easy by Guest Blogger GallingGalla
Take My Arm, My Love by PortlyDyke
There's No Good Way To Use "Fag" by Melissa McEwan

Little light's essay on fairness. A repost, sure, but good for the soul.

Excerpts of Beyond Inclusion, an essay by Cedar (you can get the whole essay with a donation! It's a 26-pager and still in progress, because transphobia still exists.)

Feel free to leave links you've got on the issue as well.

Cross-posted to the Acting Out Edition
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)

When I first heard about it, I thought, how does one blog against disablism? Being disabled isn't some grave injustice that can be fixed socially.

So I used my brain a bit harder and realized they were really talking about the troubles the disabled face, whether or not their disability is visible.

I suffer from mild depression, which in no way debilitates me nor affects my life adversely. However, if it did, I have no doubt I have upper-middle-class money privilege to back my ass up.

Other people shouldn't have to face the troubles they do, but still they do, because there just aren't enough resources for them. And there aren't enough resources for them because people without disabilities just don't care.

So some disabled people end up in poverty. In the streets, sometimes. And because some of them don't have visible disabilities, we pass by them and dismiss them as bums who should be getting a job.

I wasn't sure if I was going to blog today about this. Disability is not one of my issues. It's not my forte. I couldn't talk about it if I had to, not very well. There are so many problems even just discussing disability (and yes, words DO matter) that I was hesitant to write today in case I fucked up. The last thing I want is to unintentionally hurt an entire group of people.

I ran into a friend the other day. He suffers from muscular distrophy disorder and gets about in a motorized wheelchair. He's pretty happy with himself (and he has a wicked wheelchair). Right now I'm recalling the times I've talked to him about cool places to go and he can't go, because they're not accessible.

My able-bodied privilege has really only slapped me in the face once: a year or two ago, I was being my usual chirpy Municipal Liaison self for NaNoWriMo and our events are mostly held at Paperchase. It's a cafe above a magazine store of the same name. I got a private message asking if the cafe was wheelchair accessible. I said no, but if said member really wanted to attend, I was sure I could get some people to help.

That was a MORON MOVE, as I would discover later, because even though such a gesture was just my way of offering the member inclusion, it also highlighted the disability in a way that would inevitably have pointed out to hir's Different-ness.

I hesitate even to write about my depression, because it's so mild and really so little compared to the challenges that other people face.

Once, during the Very Angsty Time when I was arguing with my mother, I told her I was suffering from depression, and irritatedly, she demanded, "Is there something wrong with you? Do you need to see a psychiatrist??"

She said it to me in a way that told me that I should be ashamed to have depression, how dare I be different and have all these troubles and disturb others so.

I stared back at her and said, "YES."

She said nothing to me. She walked away.

Yet, even there, I was privileged. I have no doubt that if I had pressed the issue further, I would have gotten to see a psychiatrist. But I never pressed the issue. My parents were clearly uncomfortable with the idea that Something Was Wrong with this troublesome child they raised, and I was already feeling guilty for being such a fuck-up. My mum ignored my depression and dismissed me as being rebellious. My dad gave me pamphlets on depression to read, as if I didn't already know what it was I suffered from. He's gotten significantly better about this issue - somehow, as I grew older, I also grew braver to talk to him about my problems, because I'm not the only one in my family who has it: my brother does, and so does my mum. It affected the way we treated each other. And we didn't fix it because we were too scared to admit that there was Something Wrong with us. (OK, it still does affect us, but I'm not home much to get on anybody else's nerves, my brother works too-long hours, and my mum's in a better place in life now.)

And there's the crux of disablism - of the discrimination, silent or otherwise, of those folks who suffer from something or another, whether it be a chronic physical condition, or a mental illness: those of us who don't suffer from these problems ignore those who do, because those who do serve as an uncomfortable reminder that we, too, could potentially be in their place. Cara says this better than I do.

We could all be doing just a little bit more to be kinder and more helpful to those with disabilities. Even if it's as something as simple as not using words like "lame" or "retarded" to say something is bad. It could be as simple as realizing that living free of pain is a privilege many of us enjoy.

Or, if you have a lot of time and/or inclination to learn more about disability issues, check out the link roundup at Diary of a Goldfish. The articles are even divided into categories so you might be able to find something of interest there more easily.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] troubleinchina for giving me the impetus to write this.

Cross-posted to the Acting Out Edition
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
To celebrate the role of women in technology today has been named Ada Lovelace Day.

Augusta Ada Byron was born in 1815, the daughter of Lord Byron she is now known simply as Ada Lovelace. A skilled mathematician she wrote the world's first computer programmes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine.

Years ahead of her time she realised that the Analytical Engine "might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent."

She died, aged only 36, on 27th November 1852.


Happy Ada Lovelace Day to several of my f-listers and bloggers who I read, who are wonderful women that use modern technology to do great deeds like blog about issues, create wonderful art, or do outreach work! I'd list ya'll, but that would end up being an unfair (and mostly asinine) list.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Yup. It's being hosted on [livejournal.com profile] yennega by [livejournal.com profile] ciderpress. I've been a bit remiss on my reading but catching up.

Today is also International Women's Day.

And hopefully I will be writing something worth reading today.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
While I was staying with Cousin Cin, somehow, we had more conversations than last year. Of course, this wouldn't be much of a surprise, seeing that we were more familiar with each other, and I was staying for longer this time.

I had to rush to replace my NuvaRing because I forgot to take it out, AND I forgot that I was due for my period. (Idiotically enough, I had set my Singaore trip for the week I was supposed to have my period.) While on my way to replace it in the bathroom, I talked to Cousin Cin about it, and she was adamant that "she wouldn't do it, because her religion doesn't allow it."

What was nice about the conversation was her willingness to listen to me talk about it, and not tell me not to take it. It was nice. She gave me a Look, of course, but she didn't feel the need to take me to task, nor judge me, nor press me for reasons to take BC (besides which, my reasons are pretty darn mundane. I got no wild sex life, yo.)

A lot of people are anti-contraceptives because they think it gives people the freedom to have sex whenever they want. Then you have clowns masquerading as educators telling people that "having pre-marital sex is like juggling machetes".

And, well, if people want to have pre-marital sex, and they're having safe, sane, consensual sex, what is wrong with that?

Reasons to be Pro Choice under the Cut )

Anyways, this is a lame post, but it IS Blog For Choice day, so I wanted to make sure I said something. At the official Blog for Choice site, the topic for today is apparently:

What is your top pro-choice hope for President Obama and/or the new Congress?

And I gotta say,


Some posts on this already, better written than anything I can talk from a Feministing Community member, Planned Parenthood, Feministe, and RH Reality Check.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)

It's been five years. Man! I'm slow on the uptake... this is the first time I've gotten on the computer to write on LJ all day.

So. FIVE YEARS! I told a co-actress, and she said, "wow, that's longer than World War I!"

I can still remember getting into Feminism and Orientalism and reading Baghdad Burning for the first time. I read it online; I didn't buy the book. I read it at work and shouldn't have, because I nearly cried. When I got home, I cried openly.

Reading about it more and more, I honestly can't see a reason why we're in there. Remember what happened? Bush was like "We need to go into Afghanistan, ya'll, 'cos Osama's there" and they went. And they're still there, incidentally. Then suddenly it was like "Well, we gotta go to Iraq 'cos Saddam has WMDs!" and so they went, without really giving a clear explanation on how Iraq and Afghanistan were connected beyond a vague "Saddam probably paid Al-Qaeda to get in there!"

And now, exactly what's been accomplished? All the promises of a "free and democratic" Iraq, down the tubes. In Riverbend's blog, you can read how life changed so drastically - from equal access to education and employment, women's rights went down the shitter. Religious factions busted out in full bigotry, even between Shiite and Sunni. The poor became poorer and lived more dangerous lives. The rich left. Or got bought out. For all the atrocities Saddam was accused of, he ran a tight ship, and frankly, more people have died in the war since 2003 than in all the years of Saddam's regime.

I really don't have much else to say. Except, like so many others on the interwebs today - THE WAR NEEDS TO END.

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