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: (political)
A friend just posted a really good, thoughtful post on her blog about why the "I like it on [insert place]" Facebook phenomenon is problematic. In a nutshell:

But facebook status promotional campaigns such as this not only do little in terms of helping the cause. They actually illustrate, even as they perpetrate, at least three things that are very, very wrong with American society:
  • The gendering, reifying, and branding of disease;

  • The oversexualization (and consequently, the trivialization) of women's issues and bodies;

  • The disinterested, low-risk, low-engagement psuedo-activism made all too easy (and commonplace) by social media.

The last point (about pseudo-activism) in particular I think is important to understand.

And since I'm talking about breast cancer, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month always bothers me, I'll link to another post that I find helpful to think through these issues: Why I boycott Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The central paragraph that summarizes why I feel uncomfortable with awareness campaigns and the way that they have been taken over by corporations.
My highly critical view of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is along the lines of Samantha King’s, who, in her book Pink Ribbons, Inc., “traces how breast cancer has been transformed from a stigmatized disease and individual tragedy to a market-driven industry of survivorship.” King maintains that corporations, under the guise of philanthropy, “turn their formidable promotion machines on the curing of the disease while dwarfing public health prevention efforts and stifling the calls for investigation into why and how breast cancer affects such a vast number of people.” I couldn’t agree more.
greenie_breizh: (funny)


XD
greenie_breizh: (random3)
Like I was mentioning this morning, one of the kittens we're fostering, Chloe, has brain damage. She has cerebellar hypoplasia, which means she has very bad balance and coordination. She can't hold her head too well and she can't walk or move around much. She's the cutest thing though, sweet and playful and cuddly. She falls asleep on our laps all the time and likes to lie on her back and swat at whatever passes by.



I love that her nose is partly pink, partly black, and she's got adorable white markings on her chest, legs and face.

This is what she looks like when she tries to walk:


terra_placidusTerra did a post about the disease on her LJ (with a beautiful video of an adult cat who lives with CH). Basically Chloe's disability doesn't affect her life expectancy, but it also doesn't have a cure.

Baby Chloe is so sweet that we're all falling in love with her, and I think Terra and/or I are seriously considering keeping her.

And just for fun, a photo of Billy after his bath last night. )
greenie_breizh: (west wing)
"As AIDS activists stress, there are no "high-risk groups": only high-risk activities that anyone can engage in." (Power & Resistance 4th edition, by Les Samuelson, p.121)

Which sums up, in one sentence, why I think it's discriminatory and dangerous to screen gay men out of donating blood.

Looks like textbooks are still smarter than me. Dang!
greenie_breizh: (gay)
California is still struggling to pass same-sex marriage: the Californian Senate sends a bill to the governor's desk for him to sign into law. This is the second time the legislature tries to pass a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage, but the first time Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed the bill.

I find it incredible that Republicans would whine about "activist judges" and then when a same-sex marriage bill is validated through the legislative system, therefore representing the view of the people that the aformentioned activist judges are apparently so little aware of, they veto it. WTF. I find Schwazenegger is overall more liberal than some of his Republican fellows, and I'm really hoping he doesn't veto this second bill. And it would be huge, if he doesn't - the first time same-sex marriage is legalized in the US through the legislative process.


In other LGBT-related news, despite the fact that the American Red Cross (unlike the French Red Cross - consistent policy what?) and other blood groups have been criticizing the policy that stops gay/bisexual men from donating blood, the FDA has reasserted it would not change the policy. This policy means that any man coming in to donate blood is asked if he's had sex, even just once, with another man since 1977.

This policy, as far as I can tell, is common amongst blood-donation groups across the Western hemipshere. I've talked about it with a number of friends but apparently I've never mentioned it here. I'll just copy-paste my thoughts on this from what I told [livejournal.com profile] rabidmaiden (who just learned about this policy and was consequently pissed off), since I was pretty articulate there.

It's something that I've always been very angry about, because to stop gay men from donating blood on the premise that "men who have sex with men" as a group are more at risk is, simply put, discriminatory. "Sexual contact with another man" does not mean you're more likely to have contracted HIV. Anal penetration is the risky practice, and while it's obvious that it's a common practice amongst men who have sex with men, it does not define sexual contact. A woman who's been anally penetrated is taking just as many risks as a man - if not more, because I wouldn't be surprised to hear condom use for anal sex is more common amongst gay men than amongst their straight peers.

The assumption that all gay men have anal sex and therefore should be banned from donating blood might seem harmless because it's a correct assumption in the majority of cases. However, like many assumptions, it has unwanted consequences on our perceptions, and in this case, it's very telling of the way we compartmentalize sexuality. It's dangerous not only because it ignores that the ACTUAL risk is anal sex and not "gay sex", but also because it perpetuates the belief that "having sex with other men" is somehow fundamentally different from straight sexual intercourse. Sexual behaviors doesn't abide by boundaries... and to believe that a sexual orientation is linked to a specific sexual behavior allows us to continue to make gay men (and gay people) different because of what we fantasize happens in their bedroom. Newsflash - you never know what someone does in the bedroom until he or she has taken you there.
greenie_breizh: (clothesless)
And just when I thought I wouldn't want my son circumsied, apparently circumcision reduces the risk to be infected by AIDS. (An article on the topic in French here.)

The article from National Geographic is better since it provides more details on why : "The reason for the increased risk of infection, experts say, is because the foreskin of the penis is susceptible to scratches and tears during intercourse. In addition, the foreskin contains a high density of Langerhans cells, which are especially vulnerable to HIV."

And let's not be too quick to jump to conclusions : "Despite the encouraging new statistics, Auvert, the study leader, warns that his report is far from the final word. "It's too early to say male circumcision should be integrated in a plan to fight the spread of HIV,because the study has only been done in one place.""

Um, sorry for the guys who like their foreskin?


EDIT : Obviously that shouldn't be ANY sort of incentive not to wear a condom. And I'm very skeptical myself as to those results, but I was very intrigued by the findings.

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