greenie_breizh: (home scattered across the world)
I really feel like I haven't given the Occupy movement enough attention here or even in life. Probably most of you will have read or seen the video of what happened at UC Davis with non-violent student protestors getting pepper-sprayed - this photo (and other versions of it) has been circulated around a lot, and you can see a video of the whole incident here. There's a lot of good articles that have been posted about OWS, but in the wake of the UC Davis incident, I particularly liked the analysis of Glenn Greenwald at Salon. I think he hits a particularly powerful note when he says that, "Rights are so much more effectively destroyed by bullying a citizenry out of wanting to exercise them than any other means." I would add that this is obviously more true of a democratic state, where people become attached to the idea of 'being free' and 'having rights'.

There's also this cool letter from someone in the Occupy Vancouver movement that I just shared with my Sociology 100 students: Why I Occupy. I like it most for the way that it handles the criticism that OWS doesn't have 'clear demands': "Many people wonder why we have not produced a list of demands yet. It is not necessary for Occupiers to come up with legislation or policy prescriptions. Many people have done excellent work drafting out how a fairer and more just society would function. [...] There is no political will to use these blueprints to benefit the people. Political will is mobilized to protect the wealthiest one per cent. We are generating that political will."


Ivan Coyote, who's nothing short of awesome, wrote a note on being yelled at for using the women's bathroom a couple of months ago, and recently wrote a follow-up note on this bathroom bullshit. Both these posts are really fantastic, and I really encourage you to read both. An excerpt from the end of the second post:
"I am sick of hearing that my safety is not as important as other women’s. I resent the implication that butches and trans women and men are never survivors of male violence themselves, and thus do not also need a safe place to pee, and the suggestion that we should somehow be segregated in our own bathrooms so we don’t bother the rest of you normal people, is simply fucked beyond belief.
I also want to state again, for what seems like the one millionth time, that single-stall, lockable, gender-neutral washrooms would solve all of our problems. I refuse to be divided and conquered on this issue. I will not allow myself to be placed in opposing corners of the ring when it comes to all of our safety. I call bullshit."

I've also had another piece from Feministing bookmarked for sharing forever that actually makes for a nice companion piece to the bathroom discussion: There are no safe spaces. The idea of 'accountable space' is one that very much appeals to me, although I'm sure it has its limits as well.


On a more shallow, but fun note, this interview of Joss Whedon by a high school student is really fantastic.

And to finish, the New York Times published recently a piece on my hometown, Rennes that made my heart ache with nostalgia and a longing to be back in Brittany.
greenie_breizh: (sean)
Aaaand a few links that have nothing to do with each other but they do have to do with what's on my mind these days! I'm a little frustrated that I'm not finding the time to comment on some of these really important things that are happening, but I'm still trying to balance everything in my life. :/

How to Be a Friend to Trans Folks Without Putting Your Foot in Your Mouth: A Short Guide for Cis People. These things are always good to go over, if only as a reminder, and I like the suggestions in this one. Which pronouns do you prefer? should be a much more common question :/

Vancouver's Insite drug injection clinic will stay open. This is a ridiculously important ruling for Canada, which ensures that harm reduction programs such as Insite have a chance to do their work, even with a Harper government.

by Lemony Snicket (at Occupy Writers). So much to say about the Occupy Mouvement, but for now, I'll keep it short with a few links. I like the Lemony one, and this one, which unpacks what's going on with one of the images against Occupy Wall Street: Don’t EVEN get me started, mythical bootstraps college student. Finally, I think this collection of photos of the 1% who stand with the 99% is full of very powerful acknowledgements of privilege and requests for more taxation, which I find overwhelming because it's so unlike anything we're used to hearing. Good for a lot of these young people to recognize they may have worked hard, but that's not all that got them where they are. I wish we would hear these people more, instead of politicians being afraid of even whispering about taxes.

On a TOTALLY DIFFERENT note, some fandom stuff because light-hearted is, occasionally, really great. :)

Out in every way, Sean Maher is happier than ever. So so happy to hear any article where Sean talks about how great the response to his coming out has been. This never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Jewel Staite talks Firefly, food, fun and Fillion. Just a very fun interview that reminded me of old times. :)

As it turns out, there's also now BIG NEWS, which is this website. Sean mentioned it yesterday and it was exciting enough but OMG Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion?! This is going to be the best thing ever. I can't wait to find out what part Sean plays, and to see some of the footage. This is so wonderful, and as far as I'm concerned, FAR more interesting than the Avengers movie. Whedon Shakespeare movie FTW. :D :D

Anyway, back to work, I have a midterm review to prep for, as I expect students will be flailing!

EDIT: Apparently Sean is going to be Don John, which at this point means little to me, so I need to go back to the play and check it out. :) :)
greenie_breizh: (gay)
I forgot yesterday that I had a bunch of French links I wanted to share!

First the website Vie de meuf; reading it is a great, unwelcome reminder of the kind of sexist crap that women still have to hear every day. A recent post about porn made me think that I would disagree on some things with the feminists who maintain the website, but it's a pretty cool resource regardless.

Second, I wanted to share a bunch of links on the recent changes made to the biology curriculum in France; it now vaguely integrates questions of sexual diversity. And it's been causing outrage amongst our conversative morally-righteous Christian right.
- L'homosexualité enseignée à l'école : une pilule qui passe mal
- Identité sexuelle: Copé soutient les 80 députés UMP
- Manuels scolaires : le mauvais procès des bon chic bon genre
There's repetitions over the three articles, but I wanted to link them all for my own reference. As a sidenote, one of the things that annoy me the most about these articles and this whole fake controversy is that people keep saying that the new textbooks were influenced by gender theory; even if it was true, it's been watered down to the point where it's not only almost impossible to recognize the influence of gender theory, but where gender theory would actually have TONS of issues with the way things are being formulated in the textbooks. But whatever.

Also I forgot yesterday this really interesting article on the sexualization of Casey Anthony, written by one of the bloggers from Tiger Beatdown. "Casey Anthony may have killed her daughter, Casey Anthony made out with a girl at a party–there is no connection between the two ideas. Unless, that is, you buy the idea that being sexual — impermissibly, 'shocking'-ly sexual! In public! With a girl, even! — makes you a monster. Or the idea that, for a woman, enjoying sex is a moral offense that can be fitted onto the same scale of human evil as murdering a toddler. If you buy that, the connection is perfectly clear."
greenie_breizh: (holding life still)
Sun is finally out. Probably only for a couple of days, but considering we had hail yesterday, I'll take even temporary nice weather! It's basically been February here since, well, February, and we're all really, really tired of it.

I just wanted to post a few links quickly; it's going to be a little all over the place but bear with me.

First, a really excellent analysis of sexist discourse in the French media following the whole DSK scandal. Les informulés d’une rhétorique sexiste. It's in French and I wish there was a translation available, because it's fantastically insightful, and not just for French culture.

Some of you may have heard about the story of parents in Toronto raising a 'genderless' kid. You can read the original story (complete with douchy neighbors, friends and family members! I always love the whole 'your kid will get bullied' argument because, y'know, if a kid gets bullied, the problem is not the kids who bully and the parents who teach their kids things that could lead them to be jerks to other kids). But you can also read this reflection on the piece from the Raising My Boychick blog, which is excellent. I only want to point out that while I think it's cool to assume your baby's gender is aligned with their biological sex (assuming that's straightforward) until your kid is old enough to tell you otherwise, it's important that you tell the kid that, directly or at least indirectly. Otherwise you might be the most open-minded parent who'd be totally cool with a trans or gender nonconforming kid, your kid might never know.

While we're on the topic of gender/sexuality, the New York Times recently ran a beautiful series on gay teenagers. The stories are touching, but what really drew me in is the photography. Wonderful and quiet photos.

Now for the unrelated to gender and sexuality stuff:

Allie started a food blog with her friend Katie, The Dough Also Rises - and you should all check it out, because they make really, really delicious food. With simple recipes! Which is always nice (I don't like overly fancy things that I could never reproduce/require ingredients I couldn't find if my life depended on it). Keep an eye out for the yam burrito. SO GOOD.

I may have mentioned (or not) that we're rewatching every Harry Potter movie in expectation for Deathly Hallows Part 2, and it's been great. Harry in the first movie is just the most adorable kid on earth, but it's so great to see all of them grow up. :) And then today [ profile] mieystrapurore posted this video, which is amazing. It's just beautifully made, with wonderful music, and it takes you through the whole journey that is the HP series. If you have any attachment to this story, you should watch it. Maybe several times.

And to finish on another pop culture note, I never even mentioned here that The Playboy Club has been picked up by NBC! SO EXCITED to see Sean in there; he's psyched about the storylines that writers have in mind for his character, which makes me even more excited to see it. Let's hope it doesn't get axed by like, episode 3, I'm going to be so upset if that happens. Unless they make a spinoff about Sean's storyline, I'd be down with that.
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
Instead of getting angry about nuclear power and ranting at all of you guys, for once, I'm just going to link to a note (in French) by Dominique Voynet that's particularly articulate, I think.

I also want to link to all these photos from the aftermath of the tsunami/earthquake in Japan; they're awesome and incredible (both in the original sense of the word), and incredibly moving. I also like photos because they make the reality of something like this more palpable to me, even though it remains hard to believe when you're safe and quiet in your corner of the world. Anyway; it's terrifying just how much damage natural catastrophes can do.

And to finish, a cool story from a mom about how she dealt with slut-shaming and her 10-year-old son. I love this because it's doing more than saying, slut-shaming is wrong! and it's actually giving parents (and non-parents) some tools for how to confront this kind of stuff when it happens. I think a lot of why we still don't react to gendered harassment (whether it comes out in the form of homophobia, sexism, or slut-shaming) is that we just aren't sure how to. It's cool to see how other people do it so we can, not necessarily reproduce it exactly, but learn from it. :) Also, a nice reminder that this is why you need to talk to kids about sexuality when they're pretty young, and you can't wait until they're older - these mechanisms are set in place very early on, and if you don't address it there, it's way harder to do anything about them later, once they're well-rooted into a broader system of being in the world.
greenie_breizh: (quote)
I've been accumulating links in my tabs again, so it's time to share. :) But first, since I'm going to re-post a bunch of links that [ profile] zombie_process posted, I'd like to direct you to the original post first.

First up - public employees!
- A Letter to Scott Walker from a Wisconsin Teacher, which touches upon tons of really good points and issues that have been raised since Wisconsion public employees started protesting. On this topic, I have been watching this whole thing unfold mostly through the eyes of my facebook friends (someone reposted this excellent note, for example), Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert, and the anti-teacher rhetoric is pissing me off. I just do not understand people who can't see the massive amount of work, dedication and energy that teaching (at ANY level) requires. More broadly, anti-public-employee rhetoric in general baffles me, but the anti-teacher stuff is particularly angering.

Always good - gender and race stuff!
- My son, the pink boy. It's both a reflection on raising a gender nonnormative boy and a rant against recent advice that Dr. Phil gave to a mom regarding her own gender nonnormative boy.
"Who's confused? My son knows exactly what he likes. When Sam was 4 and his male peers trick-or-treated as Batman and Spiderman and gorillas, Sam was a princess. At 5, he was a queen, regal and proud and full of the royal prowess that Disney offers all little girls. He liked feather boas and lip gloss and dancing. Did he think he was a girl? Nope. Was he confused about being a boy? Nope. Did he need to be taught what boys are supposed to like? Nope -- how boys are supposed to behave was abundantly clear from the trains and trucks we bought him before we realized he was a pink boy, the behavior of all the boys he knew, the messages on TV, and the judgments of all the Random Moms. He just liked what he liked, the way other kids did -- only his likes were different."

- Tomboy [article in French, video in French with English subtitle]An article and trailer/interview for what looks like is going to be a really fascinating movie about a girl taking on a boy identity for a summer. I can't wait to see it. I was a little uncomfortable about the director bringing in the notion of lying into it, but I like the way that the movie seems to approach the whole thing, from the perspective of the child's lived experience rather than trying to make a statement.

- A Bitch magazine article on race and this year's Oscars, in particular the (bland) tribute to Lena Horne. The author ends with a note that really strikes a chord:
"Lately, I’ve been reading how history has sanitized Rosa Parks by characterizing her as a sweet, apolitical lady who just happened to be too tired to give up her bus seat one day. In reality, Parks was a dedicated social activist prior to her arrest. She joined the civil rights movement, in part, to end sexual violence against black women. I’d hate to see history sanitize Lena Horne in the same way. Unfortunately, that prospect seemed likely during last night's ceremonies."

- A Salon article expressing disappointment about Natalie Portman would say on Sunday night that motherhood is 'the greatest role of her life'. Motherhood is one of those difficult topics, where it's hard to walk the line between embracing motherhood, respecting women who make the choice to be moms full-time, and still acknowledging that the concept of motherhood comes with very heavy string attached in our society. The problem (to me) is not that motherhood is necessarily problematic and oppressive, it's the way that people essentialize the experience and conflate it with 'real' womanhood. In short, when we continue to see and interpret motherhood as being the ultimate fulfillment in a woman's life that (1) tends to dismiss fatherhood, and reinforce the idea that it is less central to a man's life and (2) lessens the choices and lives of women who don't want to be mothers, or even just don't want to prioritize family above all else.

- Anyway, so I wanted to link to this other article which fronws upon the tendency in feminist-oriented circles to frown upon motherhood, and it's funny because I just don't see these two articles as fundamentally contradictory, in the end. (As a sidenote, I believe the author for this article is in a same-sex relationship, which very much can change how the dyanmics of motherhood play out.) I don't know. I want to believe there has to be a place for recognizing gendered dynamics and lamenting them, without necessarily throwing under the bus everything that's been traditionally considered feminine and womanly. In short, I want to be able to say motherhood as we understand it is problematic, without necessarily judging women who want to be mothers and want to prioritize this aspect of their life. Maybe I'm hoping for too much.

- Sort of in the same vein, but wildly more depressing, this article which responds to suggestions that Laura Logan (an American reporter who got assaulted while reporting from Egypt) should not have been sent to the field in the first place. Great great piece, both about the gendered and racialized aspects of this story.

And a miscellaneous link to finish.
- Falsehoods Programmers Believe About Names. It's, obviously, not just about names and programmers, but actually highlights assumptions that people make constantly, and not just about names, when you think about it. Anyway, this whole post resonates with me because my first name (of French origin) contains two accents but my Canadian university (reminder: Canada is officially a English-French bilingual country) still can't handle it and replaces the characters with ? whenever I log in, and in my university email. Super professional, let me tell you.
greenie_breizh: (quote)
I have a new apartment! Very excited about that, will update with more soon. But first I've let too much time go by again and I want to share a bunch of links. Today on the list: DADT ends! Dan Savage's readers are idiots! Shocking news: people with disabilities are the ones who know what's the best for them! La France se rend compte que la question du genre existe!


- "Sexuality doesn't matter on the battlefield"; this opinion piece by a U.S. soldier is a textbook example of the rhetoric around lifting Don't Ask Don't Tell, aka it states the obvious (sorry McCain). It's great for what it wants to do, and it gives me an excuse to say, DADT IS OVER. Yay, confettis, hugs, all that, I forgot to do it at the time because I was writing papers, I think. This IS a great step forward, and about time, and I'm REALLY glad Obama finally has something to show for himself in terms of LGB civil rights. But the truth is that it's a bit of a bittersweet victory to me because this whole DADT thing has (understandly and expectedly) gotten wrapped up in celebrating America's Greatness and the Greatness of its Military and that makes me cringe. I don't really want to spend hours going on about it, but essentially I hate displays of patriotism a-la-U.S and I'd rather the U.S. would stop sending soldiers abroad on "liberty missions" or whatever they're calling them these days. That said, just like I support same-sex marriage but still question its normalizing assumptions, I feel that I can have little to no sympathy for the institution of the military and still respect that some LGB people may disagree and want to be part of the army. So, in short: good for them.

- Not that people are really talking about it anymore, but I did want to link one more great post, this time by Kate Harding, about Assange's sexual assault charges.

- Two great posts by [ profile] chaoticidealism:
the first one on the importance of getting people involved in projects that are meant to benefit them. And don't assume that because you have people who walk with canes in the office that they can speak up for wheelchair users, this kind of thing. This reminds me of a piece published in the National Post recently about the crosswalk sound for visually-impaired people sounding too much like a bird, and it seemed like this was just "well-meaning" people with no visual impairments making noise about this; while actual visually-impaired people were like, "we don't care! just pick a uniform system so we don't get harmed!". So, FAIL. It comes down to the most basic advice, but one that always bears repeating: don't assume you know better and ask people to whom it actually matters. You're way more likely to fail by assuming you can anticipate someone else's needs than by asking the question, and having to ask doesn't make you an idiot, most of the time it actually makes you more respectful (and, in the case of creating infrastructure for people with disabilities, more successful).
The other post is just a really interesting reflection on what autism is about, and why thinking of it as a social disorder might not be entirely accurate. It was really informative and I recommend it to, well, anyone, because everyone could do with a little more knowledge on autism.

- I want to rant a lot about Dan Savage's latest post about asexuality and the profoundly dumb things that his readers are saying in the comments; both display a staggering lack of understanding of asexuality and knowledge about the asexual community. But I'll keep it short because I actually have work to do. First of all, OBVIOUSLY people should discuss their sexual expectations with future partners. I hate that this is made into an argument about asexuals v. sexuals; there are sexual people with low sex drives and that's cool, and there are asexual people who are willing to have sex, and that's cool too. "Asexual" is a useful and important identity that people can take up, and which might help them find a community and navigate a very sexualized world (I use the term broadly, meaning that most of us go around taking (hetero) sexual desire for granted). But it doesn't allow you to make generalizations about what asexual people are like or what they should do; it certainly doesn't allow you to pass judgment because CLEARLY being sexual is the best/most natural/whatever the fuck. I'm continually impressed (and discouraged) by queer people's capacity to be bigots when it comes to anything but their brand of sexual orientation. Ugh. Asexual people struggle enough with the idea of dating sexual people, and how to disclose their identity, when is the right time, etc; they don't need sexual people to make them feel extra guilty and stressed out. Instead we should think about how we can create (within our personal sphere of dating, but also within our community) supportive environments where people can communicate and negotiate their (sexual or non-sexual) needs without being blamed for their own desires.

- What the Fuck Has Obama Done So Far?, which is both a cool idea and interesting website (I only wish each item would link to a more comprehensive note on the particular achievement).

- En français! Un article assez intéressant de Télérama sur la question du genre en France. Il est grand temps que ça fasse question.
greenie_breizh: (political)
As promised, a bunch of links I've been meaning to share! The personal update might come soon-ish - I'm in the middle of writing my last paper of the term and hopefully I will be done before I head to France at the end of next week. Anyway, on today's menu: queer kids' lives still suck, queer kids are awesome, Canada could make great changes re: gender expression/identity in its legislation, and the Assange sexual assault thing is not so awesome.

- Parents Who Reject Gay Teens Hurt Teens’ Health: Seems pretty 'duh' to me and I'm sure pretty much anyone who knows anything about gay teens, but since we loooove the scientific evidence these days, I guess here it is?

- Study: Gay Teens More Likely to Be Punished: On a similar note, more evidence that it sucks to be a queer kid sometimes in our current society. I definitely do think this story has a lot to do with gender expression, btw, even though they didn't get into that much.

- On a more positive note, check out this video "Rethinking Gender and Sexuality" because it's awesome and pretty much everything I try to tell people, ever. Plus it's a nice reminder that queer youth are (obviously) not just helpless victims but often awesome, resilient, smart youth. :)

- Bill C-389 passed in House of Commons: Bill C-389 (Canada always comes up with the sexiest names for its legislation) is an Act that would amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to include gender identity and gender expression. Or: awesome. So let's hope it actually goes through, but this is already a great first step.

- On Assange and "sex by surprise": I don't know how many of you are following the Assange thing (I have to confess I'm not really) but I thought this was a particularly good and thoughtful article on the different perspectives that are at work here when looking at sexual assault: "Making the Assange story juicier blog-bait in the U.S. is the fact that we’re deeply wedded to the notion of rape as forcible; despite many of our best efforts, a consent-based framework for evaluating sexual assault is not yet widely accepted."

- On the same topic, this commentary over at Bitch Magazine is great as well. I particularly like the conclusion, "We can believe that Julian Assange is doing crucial work with Wikileaks while also allowing that he may be capable of violating a sexual partner’s trust and consent. We can believe that political opportunism is at play in Interpol’s pursuit of Assange without assuming that it’s a total frame-up."
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
I took advantage of the fact that Allie was in Canmore with her parents for a few days to finish my second draft of my thesis, which was nearly 50 pages shorter! Success! Hopefully, anyway. Now I'm waiting for substantive comments.

Anyway, I mostly wanted to share an article, Policing Female Masculinity: Much Ado About Rachel Maddow’s Yearbook Photo! We have a tendency to jump the gun and say that masculinity is more harshly regulated nowadays than femininity, and an article like this one reminds us that actually, norms of femininity are still very much in place.

Also, a question for the French (or French-savy!) folks out there: quelle est votre crêpe végétarienne traditionelle préférée?

EDIT: Also want to link to this article on people (including Sarah Palin, who's decided to become a spokesperson for the cause or something) who oppose the construction of a community centre and Islamic prayer space near Ground Zero (note the NEAR, it's not even at Ground Zero itself). Benevolent racism drives me nuts, and I hate how much the far-right thinks they alone know what the true "American" reaction should be to something like 9/11.
greenie_breizh: (ftw)
1 sleep until Allie gets back
starting new job July 5th
buying new bike tomorrow
Iceland postcard from Allie in French
cat napping with her head against my leg

Now some actual interesting links:

- Accepting Kyriarchy, Not Apologies. On why the term "kyriarchy" is more useful than "patriarchy" to understand patterns of dominance and oppression in our society.

- Rachel Maddow's BRILLIANT fake presidential address. I wish so, so much that Obama had said these things. "If you can't handle the risk, you will no longer take your chance with our fate to reap your rewards."

- Here's another fine mess by Roger Ebert, on the BP oil spill. I don't 100% agree on the idea that we need to go back to an earlier age - I think that usually grossly glamorizes what life was like then - but we do need to learn to use less. In a lot of ways, it's a lot like privilege - we can't expect to keep all our advantages, to be coddled, and we should get over that.

- A post on Hey Baby Hey, an online video game which, essentially, mimics what street harassment can feel like.
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
I am trying to get all the midterms out of the way by the end of this weekend so that next week I can focus on my thesis, and I'm doing pretty good, but some of the stuff I am writing so often that it's starting to drive me crazy.

In spite of that, I still like how concise and effective this definition is:

Gender stereotypes are widely held beliefs about the defining characteristics of masculinity and femininity. They are both descriptive (suggesting what group members are like) and prescriptive (specifying what group members ought to be like).

Only 20 or so to go!
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
So I was going to go to bed but then LJ decided to be a douche (again).

LJ is considering making gender a mandatory field when signing up. Not only that, but they would be removing the "unspecified" option, too. The log about this is here, but you can read more about this here.

I won't go into why this is offensive, discriminatory, enraging, appalling, I think you all know why. So please - send a signal to LJ that this is not acceptable. Send them feedback, comment on that log post (do both, it doesn't hurt), and change your gender to "unspecified" in your profile.

Your feedback doesn't have to be long. [ profile] tempore's "I find being forced to choose a gender to be offensive and discriminatory. Please reconsider an open option." is short and to the point. But please GIVE LJ FEEDBACK. They need to know that people do not agree with this change, and the only way they will know that is if we let them know.

Thanks [ profile] achtung_meggie for bringing this to my attention.

EDIT: As many of you know, LJ has clearly backed down from this decision, and sent this to everyone who contacted them with their concerns:

Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your concerns. We understand that gender is not binary, and intend to respect that understanding for our users.

At this time, the code you reference is not live on the site, and will not become so in the future. We know that you, and many other users, have serious concerns about any requirement to specify gender, so we'd like to take a moment to explain events and our position further.

The intention of this code was to change the sign-up process to include a field for the selection of gender; that the code would completely disable the "Unspecified" option at the same time was deemed unacceptable. While the code in question had gone to our beta (testing) server, it had not gone to our production server, and will not do so due to this problem. Furthermore, we'd like to clarify that code posted to the changelog community is not always final, as such code must then go through the beta testing process and can often be changed before actual implementation.

Additionally, some erroneous information has been spread regarding the potential public display of the gender field. We would like to clarify that gender is not currently publicly displayed on the profile, nor anywhere else on the site, and there are no plans to change this behavior.

LiveJournal Community Care Team

That this suggestion got this far without anyone from LJ itself going, "um, WTF, NO" is the part that still pisses me off, but I'm glad they're not going there. And I'm glad we raised our concerns, because maybe they'll be a little more careful in the future, and maybe, just MAYBE they could think about doing some diversity training with their programmers.
greenie_breizh: (badass women ftw)
A couple of months ago, my roommate introduced me to Sarah Haskins and Target Women, a little show that basically makes fun of media representations of women and how offensive they are. I liked it but I haven't had too much time to watch more. This morning I decided to give it a go with my breakfast and sure enough, I love it. Here is the one on cleaning:

If you liked that one, head over to and search for Sarah Haskins or Target Women - there's a lot more there. :D
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
From Making Meaning of Relationships: Young Women's Experiences and Understandings of Dating Violence by Donna Chung (2007, Violence Against Women 13:12):

The findings suggest there are two related and noteworthy differences between the current generation of young women and the previous generations. First, young women now expect and feel pressure to be in an equal relationship that can lead them to present their relationship in ways that mask inequality and abuse. Second, because they see themselves as having equality with men, there is no reason why they should stay with violent or abusive partners; therefore, if they are living with male violence it can be viewed as an individual failing.
Female victims of male violence are constructed in two ways through young women's explanations. On one hand, they are responsible for the violence because they have not made good decisions about the men they date and "choose" to stay with them. On the other hand, they are vulnerable to being victims because they have low self-esteem or another personal inadequacy, which is why they continue to stay in the relationship.
Both explanations place responsibility on the woman and do not question the man's use of violence or consider his capacity for change. The study shows the continuing dominance of individualistic explanations that conceal male power and a woman's vulnerability to male violence, and focus on her responsibility to stop the violence. [...] This leaves gendered power relations relatively intact because they are invisible within these individualized explanations.

There's more in there, about how intrinsic heterosexual dating is to the performance of femininity for teenage girls, but to me the crucial point that keeps coming up over and over again is the way in which discourses that individualize actions at the price of almost all other narratives unwittingly perpetuate broader, structural patterns of inequalities. There's obviously something profoundly discouraging about the way that new discourses around gender equality have actually work to create extra pressure for girls (and presumably boys, too) rather than modify the foundations of how heterosexual couples are socially expected to relate to each other. (Which of course does not mean all straight couples strictly conform to the scripts, that would be far too simplistic.)

As a sidenote, I would be curious to use Chun's interview guide to have similar conversations with teenage boys, and see how they frame their dating practices and relationships with girls, and their own experiences of "casual" dating violence.


Oct. 9th, 2009 08:52 am
greenie_breizh: (soci grad: painfully aware)
A thought from the first half of the Positive Space Workshop I attended this week at UBC:

Transsexual applies to people who think of themselves as fitting the gender binary. Aka I was born male/female, but I'm really the other one, and I am possibly taking steps so that people will recognize me as the gender that is not the one I was born with. (As a result, transgender, on top of being an umbrella term, becomes about people who have a more fluid conception of gender.)

It's not fact or truth, just a general working definition, since people are free to label themselves with the term that works best for them, obviously. But I'd never thought of it that way, and I think I like it. Thoughts?
greenie_breizh: (clothesless)
Vanessa Hudgens on the whole naked pics thing:

"It's just really unfortunate, and to this day people hate me for it, but it's not like I chose to put that out there in the world, you know? It's so aggravating and frustrating, and whenever anybody asks me, would I do nudity in a film, if I say that it's something I'm not comfortable with, they're like, 'Bullshit, you've already done it.' If anything it makes it more embarrassing, because that was a private thing. It's screwed up that someone screwed me over like that. At least some people are learning from my mistakes." (Source)

I can't stress enough how glad I am that she isn't apologizing all over the place. I've ranted enough about it previously, but I just wanted to say that. I'd actually love to have a calm, adult conversation with her about this whole scandal - and the assholes who are suggesting that having private photos leaked means you should have no problem displaying your body to the world. She seems to have a much more mature way of dealing with it now, which I can respect.


I feel for Caster Semenya - I am a woman with male chromosomes. An interesting Daily Mirror Chronicle by Sarah Graham that's a good overview of why it's not as easy as drawing a line between male and female. I continue to be appalled at the way just about everybody is dealing with Semenya, from the way people seem to think it's appropriate to discuss very personal medical info to the incapacity of grappling with the fact that even sex is a social construct. I haven't read too much, but I like that her family and friends in South Africa are not caring. So much for being the civilized, liberal one, Western culture, no?


Sinead's Hand: A cute video about same-sex marriage< from an Irish organization.

I've hit pretty much all my trademark topics so time to go watch Corbin Bleu on my TV. ;)
greenie_breizh: (language)
Deux liens intéressants que des amies m'ont envoyé (j'adore quand les gens font ça :) :

Sportives et homosexuelles: le grand tabou. Je ne suis pas vraiment l'actualité en France et encore moins l'activité du football mais que l'équipe de France de foot féminine soit passée à la trappe ne m'étonne pas vraiment... l'article fait des remarques très intéressantes sur la nécessité de s'hétérosexualiser pour devenir une figure acceptable, et ça ne fait pas de mal de se faire rappeler qu'Amélie Mauresmo aussi a dû subir ce genre de choses avant de faire son coming out officiel.

Les filles brillent en classe, les garçons aux concours. J'ai grincé des dents (tout comme dans l'article précédent) quand l'article commence à parler de la différence entre le cerveau d'une femme et celui d'un homme, mais heureusement l'auteur se rattrape bien en partant plus sur des questions de culture et de social. Je trouve fascinant qu'on considère que les épreuves de concours écrites sont une façon d'évaluer neutre (ici contrairement aux épreuves d'oral, potentiellement).
(A lire vite car comme tous les articles du Monde il sera bientôt accessible uniquement aux abonnés.)

This reminds me of yesterday when I was on the bus on my way to UBC. Two couples got on with young boys - the couples knew each other and the entire ride the two moms were looking after the kids, talking about the kids and preschool and all that, while the two dads were standing a few feet back, never had to really pay attention to what was going on with their sons while they discussed work and school. It's a snapshot but it struck me because both couples were really young and I'm sure they would describe themselves as progressive and I'm sure the dads help out and are there for their kids and all of that. But it was striking to me how naturally they were on this bus embodying a very traditional image of parenthood. We think our generation is past the whole gender divide. I think we're just not paying enough attention.
greenie_breizh: (gay)
Spanish Judge: Gay men not protected by domestic violence law. This is ridiculous and quite terrifying. Now, domestic value is a topic plagued with sexism and I do think there is a need to be particularly attentive to women in situation of heterosexual domestic abuse (I am particularly distrustful of claims that men and women can be equally violent not because I believe men are inherently more violent than women but because these claims typically ignore structural gendered inequalities). But to say that men are not protected by domestic violence laws is unbelievable and proof that the law has serious flaws. It seems like a pretty obvious thing to say that men that find themselves in abusive situations should be able to be protected by the law, so I'm glad at least the judge who said this also admitted that the law needs to be revised.

On the Don't Ask, Don't Tell ongoing story:
- Defense Secretary Gates still not ready to sign on to DADT repeal. I completely agree with Soltz when he says that it's a lie that this can't be done quickly. I'm not saying this can be done overnight but I really don't think it's all that complex - like he says, these people are already serving. It's just about not getting them kicked out. This is mostly a problem we're creating for ourselves, and when you get to the bottom of it, it's kind of scary what's behind it. And ridiculous. I mean, you're already showering with a gay guy and it's not killing you, there's no reason it'll kill you once you know he's gay and he's still not checking you out.
- White House: “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” under review. This is a slightly more encouraging article that suggests the White House is working on it. I'm very curious to see where it will go, and whether the Obama adminstration will keep its promise. I don't think it's the hardest to keep so I will be disappointed if they don't make an effort. Especially since they don't officially support same-sex marriage (for reasons of political viability or not, but the end result is the same) and they don't seem to be doing much about DOMA.

And that's it for tonight's information bulletin. :)

(Oh wait - the California Supreme Court might rule on Prop 8 today, but if it happens it'll probably get a post of its own. I just love to spam your f-lists!)
greenie_breizh: (quality tv: dollhouse)
First, a funny comic strip about Dollhouse being renewed.

And now more serious links:

- On the virginity fetish. Two really interesting points that caught my attention.
"She points the finger of blame back at conservatives and argues that it's the myth of virginity, not 'Girls Gone Wild', that's hurting this generation of young women. Those two competing influences have more in common than some might think: Both teach women that their most valuable commodity is their sexuality." Not only that, but it's a very specific kind of sexuality that's valued here: phallocentric sexuality, so implicit in the message is the idea that their heterosexuality is most valuable. Our obsession with virginity and what constitutes a virgin terrifies me with its implications and the fact that it's making teens have unsafe sex (whether oral or anal) in hopes of staying "pure". Not to mention the double-standard that exists, obviously, because we're much more concerned with women than men staying virgins.
"I don't believe in gray rape. [...] We can reframe sex as something that should be a collaborative, partnered event. And, if we redefine consent as not the absence of a “no” but a presence of a “yes,” then maybe we'll actually get somewhere." I don't know that I'd go as far as saying I don't believe in gray rape, but I do think we need to ask ourselves how on earth men can think they have consent when they don't. (Because yes, overwhelmingly, it's men raping women, especially "date rape" which is where the issue of consent is often understood as most blurry. But that applies beyond that specific hetero set-up anyway.) I love the idea of thinking of sex as requiring an (enthusiastic) yes rather than the absence of a no. It completely changes the dynamic. But for that we need to learn, and teach our kids (especially our girls) that sex is not something dirty, not something to be afraid of; something they don't need to have, or want (hi asexuals!), but if they do, it's great, and they should let their partner know and be informed and safe. Sex ed would look very different if we thought about sex differently, not solely as a vector of diseases.

- Michael Kimmel on Gender. The key quote is that video excerpt they have available is "privilege is invisible to those who have it" which I think is mostly true, but I think it's also more nuanced in the sense that it's often invisible to those who don't have it, too. When I see the level of heteronormative statements that can come from LGBT folks, or the kind of sexist reasoning that some women can have, I think it's useful to remember power doesn't work in a straight-forward manner. It's embedded in our belief systems and we often end up unwittingly reinforcing dominant patterns that don't benefit us. We can even be strongly invested in these patterns, to the point of experiencing internal homophobia or racism. But it remains easier for those in the majority/dominant group to think of themselves as universal, not to see their race/gender/sexuality/ability as a privilege whose benefits they reap (whether they want it or not).

- I also really want to do a more substantive post with the French comics for IDAHO, but I don't think I'll have time this morning.
greenie_breizh: (cute)
Puppy cuteness from here to start:

I am absolutely, absolutely dying of the cute watching videos of Knut, a baby polar bear from the Berlin Zoo who was raised by one of his keepers. The first video is lots of really adorable photos, but I think the best video is this one, where you see him being fed and falling asleep and basically just being a ball of fuzzy cuteness. Stuff like that kinda makes me wonder if I'm doing the right thing with my life. I think I could be happy just taking care of animals and making sure they grow up ok and just that they're well taken care of.

Makes me happy I'm seeing Glacier tomorrow :)


Less with the cute and more with the political,the Catholic Church and the Pope are being A-holes for Christmas by saying defending humanity against homosexuality and transgenderism is as important as saving the planet. Um, news flash, idiots: one leads to us DYING, the other one leads to the world changing (albeit, not to your liking) while we LIVE. Fucking morons. I love how no one asks them to justify why on earth it's so important to have clearly defined genders and why it's such a big deal to have blurry gender roles. Masculinity and feminity don't have anything to do with procreation, last time I checked.

In a less moronic move, California's state attorney general, Jerry Brown, has asked the CA Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8:

Proposition 8 must be invalidated because the amendment process cannot be used to extinguish fundamental constitutional rights without compelling justification," Brown's brief says. [...] Brown's brief acknowledged that the state is facing a constitutional crisis. Every branch of government--including the governor, a majority of state legislators, and the state's highest court--approves the rights of same-sex couples to marry, while a slim majority of voters have eliminated those rights. "We have a conflict between the amendment power (through voter initiatives) and the duty of the Supreme Court to protect minorities and safeguard liberty," Brown said.


Not with the cute or the political, but with the funny to finish:

Every Fanfic Ever Written! Excerpt:


CHARACTER: I'm straight!
CHARACTER OF OPPOSITE GENDER: What a coincidence! So am I!
(They have sex.)


greenie_breizh: (Default)

November 2011

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