jhameia: ME! (Default)
Hopefully after a nap:


OK, to reiterate:

1) Bigots are dangerous. When allowed to talk free, they make other bigots bolder. To the point where they are dangerous to people they are bigoted towards.

3) Attitudes are dangerous because they provide justification for action later on.

3) This is not a "OMG HYPERBOLE" screed. Why the fuck do we fight sexist, racist language if it didn't lead to sexist, racist actions?

4) When such bigotry is announced present in particular people, they make folks to whom the bigotry is aimed at feel unsafe. When they feel unsafe, and thus unwelcome, they don't feel free to join the party and speak their mind.

5) We are left with bigots talking free and people who shouldn't be scared too scared to talk.


1) E Moon is a bigot towards Muslims.

2) Muslims already have a lot of bigotry in their daily lives.

3) E Moon's presence will exacerbate any lack of safety they already feel.

4) At a convention meant to be as inclusive and welcoming, to traditionally marginalized peoples, no less.

And sooo... the best way to handle this is to honour E Moon.

IDE, ya'll. IDE. The solution is so fucking self-evident that it boggles to even discuss this. It boggles that the WisCon concom thinks that having more panels and stuff will outweigh EMoon's presence. It boggles, because yes, this is great, having panels on Islam and Muslims! We really need to hear their voices!

Except, with E Moon there, how many people do you think will willingly sign up for these panels, knowing there's someone there who thinks they're not worthy of being part of the social fabric? And since birds of a fucking feather flock together, how can Muslims trust that non-Muslims aren't bigots?

Not to mention, we SHOULD be having such panels ANYWAY, whether E Moon is being honoured or not. And we don't NEED E Moon there to "start a dialogue". Why should Muslims even have to start a dialog with someone who thinks they don't count? And with E Moon there, how many Muslims are going to feel safe attending, feel safe contributing their valuable voices?

Because WisCon is still honouring E Moon, and so these panels, which should be awesome and fun and shiny, feel like a sop to the angry masses.


To be honest I didn't even really register that E Moon was GoH. I knew Nisi was, and E Moon was easily disregarded as "someone who ought to be neat since she's WisCon's GoH" but obviously not as important. So I'm gonna say, I'm still going to go to WisCon (assuming I can get the monies) and when I get there, I am going to have a damned fine time mingling with Internetz people who have beautiful brilliant minds, and I am walking out when E Moon gives her GoH speech.

But of course.... I can afford to do so. E Moon's not hating on me. And I got a bucketload of outrage that there's a whole group of people who can't.

[livejournal.com profile] hotcoffeems has a great response here.
jhameia: (RAEG!)
I'm sorry to have to say this, but if you're going to write a review about Evelyn Evelyn and dismiss the criticism from the people who are facing the oppression that our horrendously ablist culture is bringing up as being "too angry", you're missing the point of feminism, which is, you know, at its very base, anti-oppression. And after days and tens of comments of people pointing out to you how accessibility issues are very real and have effects on lives of actual people, you know, much like how sexism has very real effects on women, which is what feminism addresses, you do not get to say this:

I’d say you’re all more than welcome to come and kick my ass, but I’m afraid my house isn’t wheelchair accessible.

Saying this to people who identify as PWD? This is schoolyard bullying. This is pushing a person smaller than you down to the ground. This is not levity. As a lover of humour, I am deeply insulted and incensed you even call this levity. How dare you? Throwing sand into a person's eyes and laughing is not levity.

It is cruelty.

I'm stumped that the mod of a site called Feminist Review has the gall to allow such a cruel person run rampant. But after all the shit that has broken out in the feminist blogosphere recently, I'm not surprised. Feminists are not free from the sociopathic conditioning that the larger kyriarchal culture breeds in us. This is just another bit in a long line of evidence.

So... this post doesn't actually have a point after I refused to engage in that thread after the mod's first response to me (which amounted to, "oh, but we want to have a dialogue! we just can't make people hold back, that wouldn't be fair! which really means I won't be holding people accountable for playing into oppression!") but I just wanted to say to the FWDs who've been fighting the good fight, you are awesome. And I am so sorry you had to even fight.
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
It's Ada Lovelace Day! Dedicated to those amazing women making headway in the various fields of technology, which before our wonderful post-modern age was consider to be a male-only field, and is still in many ways uneven playing ground!

I'll be updating this post throughout the day with links related to Ada Lovelace Day, and feel free to drop your own links here!

To start, Sydney Padua's amazing 2D Goggles contribution! That single-panel pun kills me. She also has a more professional post, in which she shares this rejection letter from Disney in 1938, part of which reads:
“Women do not do any of the creative work in connection with preparing the cartoons for the screen, as this work is done entirely by young men."

FWD has an amazing link roundup of Women Who Invented Stuff Relevant to the Interests of Some People With Disabilities.

A profile of Caroline Herschel, who discovered a whackload of comets and stars, at Hawksmoor Bazaar.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
Before coming to Canada, I had very little inkling of the Montreal Massacre, of December 6, 1989.

Because I know some of you are not Canadians and thus would not have had the same exposure to this incident as my Canadian friends are, the plain facts, boiled down as I understand them, are this:

On December 6, 1989, a man walked into a classroom of 60 at the l'École Polytechnique. He had a gun. Many bullets. He told the class to separate into men on one side, women on the other. He said, "I only want women." Once this was done, he asked the men to leave. Then he started shooting the women, shouting, "You're all feminists." He killed 14 of them. He injured several more students, both men and women. Then he killed himself. In his suicide note, he exhorted others to finish the job, blaming feminism for his problems.

This was an engineering class. The young women were 23. That's just two years younger than I am now. They were looking forward to careers in engineering, which was, and still is, a male-dominated field.

The killer had applied to get into the engineering degree the year before and failed. He blamed feminism for robbing him of his rightful place - after all, if women hadn't been given the chance, they wouldn't have taken his place. It is, of course, a situation that is several layers of Fucked Up.

Because it's just emotionally exhausting to talk about it some more right now, I have links for you:

What Was The Impact of the Montreal Massacre?

CKA News

[livejournal.com profile] audrawilliams shares with us a speech.

CTV Toronto

Montreal Gazette

City TV



CBC News

Julia Coles shares how she remembers.

CBC Archives containing video and radio clips covering the event in 1989.
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! (Default)

Anti-Racism: What Went Wrong? (Namely, too many white people took over. Oh irony!)

Columbus, Go Home!

PhDork fisks this "feminine-ist" article

A timeline of Geocities services. Epic.

The Pornography of Non-Rejection, or, why the fuck is Twilight so goddamn popular?

Ten Webcomics You Should Read and more recommended in the comments!

In Defense of using the term "Douchebag" as an insult, because you know, women aren't allowed to choose insults we use.

John Cho goodness. John Cho totes gives my Asian brothers hotness cred <345678

What is "authentic" Americcanness?

Ian McKellen on religious bigotry, out actors, and his epitaph.

Shakers of Shakeville had varying but great conversations on the Nova Scotian forms

Cripchick warns allies about the term "professionalism".

This just in: Family Friendly Workplace Politics Enhance Competitiveness. NO REALLY?

Adorable little video on the fall of empires

Horrible advice given to a woman who got ditched by her husband after she decided to keep her baby conceived when she was raped by her boss. Because, you know, men are assholes, apparently. Hugo Schwyzer, M. LeBlanc, Amanda Hess and Amanda Marcotte weigh in.

Here's a random academic sentence generator! Still Life with Cat has a an interesting take on what it does.

How Not To Be An Asshole, by the Czech

A quote on the loss of 'membership' to a group once you start speaking out against its -isms.

Zuzka on some academic chick who excludes feminists even though feminism is what gave said woman the right to belong in academia in the first goddamn place.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
I have a TON of links for you this weekend, dear readers!

First, a great deal of abuse has been hurled at Lou Jing, a Shanghai girl who participated in a reality show, Let's Go! Oriental Angels -- because she is half-black and it shows. ChinaGeeks (which I think I'll have to add to my blogroll) has a discussion on the appalling racism Lou Jing faced. Here is a video interview with Lou Jing. Thank goodness for transcripts. (h/t [livejournal.com profile] jolantru for tweeting)

Harper's "Canada Has No History of Colonialism" Fail
Recently, at the G20 summit, Canadian PM Stephen Harper went on record talking about how wonderful Canada is, how other countries would like to be Canada, and also, Canada "has no history of colonialism". D: Whut? Canada's history is based on colonialism. Shit, some Canadian institutions still run on old colonial practices. Click for the Racialicious open thread on this fail.

"Straight Allies Bitching about Oppression of New Lambda Awards Restrictions" Fail
Yes, there is an award given out for fiction featuring GLBTQ characters and issues. I never knew this until recently. Anyway, restrictions were suddenly imposed on this year's Lamba Literary Foundation award - only authours identifying as GLBTQ could win them. Now, this came somewhere in the middle of the whole thing so understandably, it was upsetting. But how upsetting is this to straight "allies"? Upsetting enough to compare the new restrictions to lynching, segregation, hate crimes, et al. Here's a further explanation on why this kerfuffle is made of Fail. For further reactions, please check out this linkspam

The "Free Roman Polanski" Fail
Surely you must have heard about this by now, but allow me to summarize for those who haven't. In 1977, Roman Polanski, famous Hollywood director, during the filming of Chinatown, asked a 13-year-old girl to come over to a friend's house for a photoshoot. During which time, he plied her with champagne, fed her a quaalude, then proceeded to rape her over her protestations. He was arrested, pled guilty to the charges of rape, spent 40-odd days in jail, and then fled America before he was sentenced. Due to stupid international laws regarding criminals and stuff, he couldn't be arrested in France where he's been in all this while. Recently, at a film festival in Switzerland - one country which said would extridite him if he got there - he was arrested. Huge outcry followed, with a lot of Fail, with some nonsensical bullshit defending Polanski like Whoopi Goldberg's "it's rape, but it's not rape-rape." (This, in particular, burned, because I'm a huge fan of Goldberg's. A petition to free Polanski was drawn up with big-name Hollywood actors signing it.

So, here're transcripts from the 1977 guilty plea, Polanski's own reaction over the media circus surrounding his arrest, which clearly demonstrates his lack of remorse, and a link to Google Books on further lack of remorse from Polanski.

Here's an editorial on the whole affair. Melissa McEwan nicely encapsulates the whole things at Comment Is Free on why the outcry from Hollywood is telling of the rape culture perpetuated. Kate Harding has a reminder for them: Polanski raped a child. There was a movie-documentary made about Polanski's arrest, which has been pointed out to be unashamed rape apologia. One of the lawyers interviewd for the movie has admitted to lying on camera. His reason? He was told it would air in France, not America. Polanski also had promised to pay $500k to his victim in a 1993 settlement, but never did.

The response has been RAEG-ful: here is a list of people who have signed the petition to free Polanski. Names included: Natalie Portman, Tilda Swinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Monica Belucci, Terry Gilliam, Guillermo del Toro. Here's a link listing people who're on record saying they don't support Polanski. Their awesome names include: Luc Besson, Neil Gaiman, Lisa Kudrow, Bill Maher (wtf?) and Jay Smooth. And of course, Eve Ensler. Chris Rock, as misogynistic as some of his acts can be, can still be coherent about the fact that this act was rape. Filmmaker Allison Anders, who I'd never heard of until now, has a guest-post on how art is not enough to justify Polanski's crime.

From the blogosphere? little light has a little puzzle activity time over at Feministe for people unconvinced that Polanski should be charged for rape. Lauren tackles the "GET OVER IT" sentiment - namely, how we can't "just get over it". Jennifer Kesler of the Hathor Legacy reminds is that the point of this trial is to judge his actions, not whether he was an amazing artist. She also has something to say about the "it's rape, but not rape-rape" nonsense. Talullah Mankiller tackles Roman Polanski's claim that his victim looked older than she was (but he knew she was still 13, just a couple of weeks away from 14, as if that makes a difference, and still raped her anyway).

When the victim came out saying she wanted to put it to rest, all of Polanski's defenders started co-opting her words. Melissa McEwan points out, his defenders are pretending to give a shit about the victim when all they want to do is protect the rapist. Finally, an article from Kate Harding comparing the reactions to Dakota Fanning's involvement in a rape scene in the movie Hounddog, for which she, her parents and the filmmaker were shamed for depicting a young girl on the big screen in a sexual assault scene -- and how suddenly, when Polanski actually, physically raped a child, everyone comes to Polanski's defense:

In many cases, there's overlap between two of the most common defenses of him: "He only pled guilty to sex with a minor, not non-consensual sex," and "We should listen to what the victim says -- she doesn't want him prosecuted!" We should listen to what the victim says now, as a 45-year-old woman, when it fits with the narrative that Polanski's already suffered enough and shouldn't endure further indignities. But what about listening to what the victim said then, at 13? What about listening to her testimony that she said no, that she asked him to stop, as he raped her orally, vaginally and anally? Some people are making very curious arguments about when, exactly, it's important to listen to the victim.

And when I consider that alongside people's refusal to listen to what Dakota Fanning said at 13 about her decision to play the lead in "Hounddog," her reasons for doing it, her distinct lack of traumatization, and her pride in providing a voice for actual victims, I can only conclude that as a society, we're just not much interested in listening to 13-year-old girls' thoughts on what they do with their own bodies, and what's done to them.

It really rings true, what Melissa McEwan wrote and I'll paraphrase here: there's only one Roman Polanski, and thirteen-year-old girls are a dime a dozen.
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
It's back to a relatively normal schedule of writing for me! The Acting Out Edition will be back with the Asian Women Blog Carnival and then it's back to my regular rambling.

From Racialicious earlier this week, California apologizes to Chinese-Americans, for their abominable treatment when building those railways, way back when. Bit late, but better late then never, eh? And Obama depicted as the Joker. Which is almost as heinous as Obama depicted as Hitler.

Linked from Racialicious is an article from Stuff White People Do (which is different from Stuff White People Like) which illustrates a subtle kind of discrimination that even the most well-meaning white people do not notice. This is closely to what is now termed "micro-aggression", wherein a marginalized person feels discriminated against, but they can't overtly point out and say "this is -ist" without sounding "oversensitive".

Laurendhel of Hoyden about Town bring a disturbing, but all-too-often ignored perspective to the euthanasia debate. It should be obvious, but clearly it is not.

Melissa McEwan of Shakesville clearly states for many of us why it's the men we love the most who hurt us the most.

And now, for something completely different: the recordings of one Stephen McGreevy, who recorded "electromagnetic emissions in the very-low-frequency band caused by massive discharges and their after-effects in lightning storms and by the solar wind buffeting the earth's magnetic field, visible as Aurora Borealis and Australis". The entire album can be found here.

In the same vein, here's how Jupiter sounds like, as recorded by NASA's Voyager:

I also found this on Hoyden About Town, where TigTog noted she got it from Colin Mochrie's FB, the latter of who introduced this with "This is what you can do if you apply yourself":

Finally, a delicate sand animation performance which tells a story and comments on war. I've seen such sand animations before, but they're usually just clever. This one moved me to tears:
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
I'm finally awake! It is 11.43am and I went to bed sometime around 3. Had a good time at Tribeca. More on this in a bit.

Because I did not do a link roundup last week, I shall endeavour to post more this week. Some of these, if you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen, but not all of you are on Twitter, so.

So, today's round-up from Racialicious!
Two articles on the Racialigious series: atlasien's introduction to her series on Buddhism and AlexFlipe's article on religion in the Philipines, particularly animism
What's wrong with the new promo poster of the Prince of Persia? Jehanzab Dar will tell you if you can't figure it out within five seconds of seeing it.
Joseph Shahadi's report on the first Asian American Comic Con and Latoya's report on Otakon! (What? This is the intersection of race and pop culture. We get to be a nerdy as much as we want!!)
A discussion on the Japanese saying, "the nail that sticks up will get hammered down."

Recently, Liar by Justine Larbastier came out. The cover of the US edition though? Looks nothing like the protagonist. Authouress has something to say about that herself. This is just another incident in a long line of racist assumptions by publishers (or anyone in the entertainment industry) assuming that if there isn't a white person to sell the product, no one will buy it. Neesha Meminger has more. [livejournal.com profile] moniquill posted this article about talking about stereotypes in YA books in [livejournal.com profile] foc_u. My favourite line, which is quoted from yet another essay: “The social stigma attached to candid discussions of racial themes creates a silence preventing explicit talk about race, and this silence leads to further, subtle segregation—even within multiethnic, otherwise harmonious classrooms.”

Heather Corinna has an article at RHReality Check on how easy it isn't for girls these days.

Gender Across Borders tweeted about A Call To Men, which is much like Men Can Stop Rape, except the latter is more youth-oriented, while the former is more general for men of all ages. I think it's absolutely wonderful to see men calling out other men to take a stand against violence against women.

GAB also tweeted (or re-tweeted) an article about EA Videogames creating a contest which objectifies women (WE GET IT GUYS, YOU HATE US GIRLS PLAYING YOUR VIDEO GAMES).

Talulah Mankiller has a Public Service Annoucement about geese.

Cara of The Curvature participated in Blogathon 2009. Great stuff there! She blogged a whole gamut on violence against women from same-sex partner to racism to transphobia to child abuse to sex worker abuse to women raping men to victim-blaming.

[livejournal.com profile] divabat, who I guess I "converted" into thinking about race relations deeply in the uber-academic high-level sense which involves big words and deep, deep concepts, has a really interesting take on the process of "Other-ing". Normally, it's seen as a process of psychologically labelling others as "different". In her view, it's the exclusion of peoples from a specific space. Other writings of her of interest are her puzzlement over the typical body shapes in burlesque, which is supposed to be asphere in which performers push the envelope, not reinforce body ideals, her dealing with derailing, and her IBARW entry on the RaceFail happening in burlesque.

Speaking of IBARW, which stands for International Blog Against Racism Week, you should check it out. It ran from last Sunday to this Sunday, while I had my head in the ground. The links are drawn from their Delicious account, and it looks wonderfully epic.

And lastly, the new Miss England is black!

Because I have no Acting Out edition links for you, I will post video previews of the comic book Secret Identities: An Asian American Superhero Anthology instead.

Clickums! )

jhameia: ME! (Default)
Salon Broadsheet has an article called "I Sunk Your Abortion Ship!"

As founder of the Dutch group Women on Waves, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts has faced more than her share of tough challenges. You see, her organization operated a ship called the Aurora, which docked off the shore of countries where abortion is illegal and invited women on board to terminate their pregnancies. Women on Waves was able to skirt national abortion bans by docking in international waters, where boats are subject to the laws of their home countries. Of course, Gomperts has faced everything from legal battles to death threats. When she arrived in Portugal in 2004, the government greeted her with a fleet of warships.

She's like a fucking REAL LIFE PIRATE VIGILANTE! Man, the lengths that people will go to prevent women from taking ownership of their own bodies. Warships? Wouldn't all that money be better spent on education programs and free birth control for all?

Tiara: ...WOW
I have heard about this abortion boat
but I never really realised it was real
me: ....
the Abortion Boat
Tiara: ha, sorry
me: That is BEGGING to be made into a novel
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Not much to link to this week - I've been avoiding the internetz at large and I have a canker sore. I think I got it because it was really cold one night and I bit on my tongue while chattering my teeth.

So! On to the Linkfest:

I mentioned earlier this week the Vancouver Women's Health Collective opening a women-only pharmacy which excludes transwomen. For good measure, I shall re-link to a critique of it by Queen Emily, of Questioning Transphobia, currently guest-blogging at Feministe, in case you missed it. [livejournal.com profile] gudbuytjane writes more on this.

amandaw points out how easily journalism makes a press release about rapists put the blame on the victims.

Fuck Politeness disses people who diss Harry Potter. I don't like HP myself, but my goodness, some people take their dislikes to the severe extremities.

"No" is not a mixed signal! The mind boggles at why we have to keep saying this.

[livejournal.com profile] kiwi_grrl asks the question: why isn't the media paying anymore attention to Iran? Also, to people who think the hijab is oppressive, do the women in the pictures look oppressed to you?

Here are 66 panels from old DC comics which illustrate reasons why chicks cry.

At Racialicious, I was piqued by the discussion that Sandip Roy's essay on cultural artifacts created, and [livejournal.com profile] divabat has an essay up on being a PoC in the burlesque scene, which is not so very different from being a PoC on the steampunk scene, except with more drama.

Now that my linkfest is done, I shall return to tending my canker sore.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
Not Victorian capitals but there you have it.

The Vancouver Women's Health Collective opened a new women-only clinic.

Sounds good so far! What's wrong with this?

The pharmacy doesn't serve all women, that's what's wrong. You see, apparently, to be a woman, you have to have been born a woman, lived your whole life as a woman, had specifically woman problems, and who the hell knows what else is essential to being a woman. Mercedes Allen gives a nice rundown on the pre-requisites of being a woman.

Queen Emily, guest-blogging at Feministe, takes on this issue, and rightly points out that there is no solid reasoning to exclude transwomen from receiving services at this women-only clinic. I also highly recommend reading the comments, as Holly within them point out the classism inherent in the reasoning as well.

More from [livejournal.com profile] gudbuytjane

What a great idea, a women-only pharmacy!

Too bad it had to be tarnished with transphobia, and it had to start off excluding the most marginalized subset of women.

"That Guy"

Jun. 7th, 2009 10:42 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] cereta has a post up which asks:

There is a point in discussions of rape, when the discussion turns from the particular to the systemic, when the idea that, for example, many cultures have a value system that makes men believe they are fundamentally entitled to women's bodies (or time or attention, but mostly bodies), when the exceptionism starts to come out. Say it with me, now: not all men are like that.


And I am sure that you, Guy Who Is Reading This, is That Guy. You're the guy who would never rape a girl passed out on your bed (who, for that matter, knows that such an act would be rape), or the woman in the village your battalion/troop/whatever is overrunning. You're the guy who wouldn't do such a thing even when his buddies were heckling him, telling him he's a fag and a pussy if he doesn't. Even more, you're the guy who would stop his frat brother from raping that girl, and get her home. You're the guy who would stop his comrades, or at least report them.

And to lose the sarcasm for a minute, I'm sure some of you are. Lord knows, I believe that of most of the men I am close to. Or at least, I desperately want to.

Now, here's my question: where the fuck are you?

Emphasis mine. She also said:

Why aren't there more stories of "the guy who got me home when I was seriously drunk and my boyfriend wasn't looking out for me"? And even if the women are too embarrassed to tell them, don't tell me that if this were a common occurrence, that we wouldn't hear a dozen of them every time a Haidl, Nachreiner and Spann appeared in the news?

Basically, where are the stories of guys who weren't entitled dicks? Who actually do look out for their female friends?

Anyways, go read the whole thing, it's amazing. The comments are SO worthwhile too. It's so heartwarming (and heartbreaking) to see women's stories of the times when men in their lives have been true allies. Given the rape statistics out there, we need Those Guys to come out of the woodwork and be more vocal, and provide role models for other men everywhere who don't think the issue of rape affects them.
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! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
This week, I wrote about being the only Steampunk of colour in an entire roomful of Steampunks. It was kind of awkward. Also, I bitched about the disavowal of Malaysian history by many of my peers. Then, I talked about a possible theory on why I have very little trouble getting naked in communal showers. And an Acting Out Edition of My Grooming Habits, previously discussed here.

In other news, did you know that condoms don't protect you from STDS because of tiny little holes, pre-marital sex leads to suicide, and LGBT people don't exist? This is all part of the curricula for a "holistic approach to healthy lifestyle choices"! Cara has the goss.

Also, here's how to find out if you have the flu. On a somewhat related note, hot guys in flu masks.

There's also a new-ish website/blog about: Modern Hooker. She does comics, too. h/t figleaf

At Shakesville, Melissa McEwan, QCOFM, makes it clear, once again, why it's not enough to "not be racist" when one has privilege too. Caitiecat takes on the ridiculous gendering of tech products like laptops.

Also, here's Dolly Parton on The View, talking about the new 9 to 5 Musical that she wrote the songs to!!!!

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! (Totes Me!)
So I finally started the Acting Out edition of this blog. Anybody who's interested in following it can add http://jhameia.blogspot.com/ to their blogrolls. For those of you who're just interested in a buncha things I wrote this week:

- Problems with Marriage
- Critiquing Glow magazine, May 2009. I get Glow magazine because I signed up for it with my Shoppers Optimum card, and I kinda like it.
- Race in Cartoons
- Random Story about my oldest teddy bear.
- Name issues, which tie in with language issues.
- One of my race issues. More as I go along.
- My ally issues.

Some of them will be recurring themes as I roll along. I has much issues.

And because I like to share, here are some other links:

From Shakesville

Guest blog series on Avatar: The Last Airbender! Parts one, two, three, and four.

Smart articulate guest post by a sophomore in high school (really!) about a run-in with Truth Crusaders and why we cannot take our current rights for granted.

Brief discussion about daddy-daughter dances and how easily they are turned skeevy in today's prevalence of "purity balls".

From Feministe:

piny talks about re-transitioning here and here (from what I understand, and my reading comprehension skills are failing me slightly these days, she transitioned into being a male, didn't want to remain male for whatever reason, and re-transitioned back). She also talks about non-trans people making trans jokes, and why that fucking sucks, particularly since they're often made by people who identify as progressive liberals. Look, if you're not gay or lesbian, words like "fag" and "dyke" are NOT yours to reclaim. If you're not trans, words like "tranny" are NOT yours to throw around for your amusement. These are words that have historically been used by those outside those groups to put down those within said groups. And no, "it's a fucking joke" doesn't matter. It still fucking hurts. So stop it. Comments like that are what continue to alienate LGBTQ folks from so-called safe, liberal, progressive spaces.

This follows up on the boycott of Feministe by transfolk who got sick and tired of cis privilege running rampant. The goss is here. I give kudos to Cara for acknowledging the fuck-up that goes on, but then, the forgiveness isn't mine to extend, not being trans myself.

At Pandagon, Amanda Marcotte discusses getting married while being feminist. Namely, how difficult it is. OK, Amanda Marcotte writes a fuckton and I wonder how much time she has on her hands to write that fuckton, just about everyday. I mean, shit.

Hugo Schwyzer (yes, I finally started reading him again) takes on how current standards means a man finds his best - and only - friend in his wife. There are problems with Dude Nation, ya'll.

[livejournal.com profile] miz_evolution wrote a fab and thought-provoking piece on objectification - there's being sexually objectified that's part and parcel of being a sex worker, and then there's being turned into an object for pity by anti-pornographers.

At figleaf's, well, this post made me laugh today. He also made a great post on the language newspapers have been using for a recent spate of mass killings (men killing their whole families for whatever reason).

At Racialicious:

Latoya Peterson highlights some quotes which reveal just how really fucking racist Hollywood is behind the screens.

Tami wrote about the "problem" with First Lady Michelle Obama. Mainly, that white people can't box her into neat little stereotypes of black women. Also, because her down-to-earth fashion tastes ignore the larger fashion designers. You know. Those haute couture types. Who're also white.

Jehanzab Dar wrote about reconciling with his Pakistani identity. I totally understand where he's coming from.

Trigger Warning: Fiqah's post on the helplessness of watching other women being abused.

Wendi Muse writes about the fashion industry. And the people who write up articles about fashion shows. Who have privilege issues. AFRICA IS A CONTINENT, NOT A COUNTRY. FFS.

And a little review on Secret Identities, an anthology of short comics starring Asian-American superheroes! I'm kinda psyched.
jhameia: ME! (Call To Arms)
So the jury was expected to deliver a verdict on Allen Andrare's murder of Angie Zapata.

They only deliberated for two hours.

Thirty-two-year-old Allen Andrade is charged with murder and a bias-motivated crime in the death of 18-year-old Angie Zapata.

From the #justiceforangie Twitter:
At 4:00 PM MDT, Allen will be sentenced to mandatory life without parole. #zapata

I feel so relieved.

And yet, Cara makes a damned fine point: "When a woman is dead and nothing can bring her back, I don't think there is such a thing as 'justice' anymore".

And, I'm sad, that Angie had to die, just to keep someone as dangerous as Andrare off the streets. Also, I'm glad, because people recognize she didn't have to die, and are acknowledging it in the verdict, that she was human and had the right to live, and that was stolen from her.

It's not a happy feeling, but any long shot.

He got life.

That doesn't cancel out the fact that for Angie's family and friends, they have lost someone dear. And that a young woman was killed.


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