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: (sean)
Sean is coming out to the public.

He told me a few weeks ago that he'd finally decided to do it, and I felt really happy for him that he felt like he could take that step. It's a pretty big, scary step to take for anyone who's been in the habit of keeping quiet for so long, and it's obvious from the article how liberating this is for him. I actually think the article is really great - very touching and honest, the writer did a great job.

So. I'm delighted for him. :) :)
greenie_breizh: (gay)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] darkspirited1 at SIGNAL BOOST: SAY YES TO GAY YA
This comes from an article by [livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija entitled, Say Yes to Gay YA.
(click the link for the full article)


Our novel Stranger has five viewpoint characters; one, Yuki Nakamura, is
gay and has a boyfriend. Yuki's romance, like the heterosexual ones in
the novel, involves nothing more explicit than kissing.

An agent from a major agency, one which represents a bestselling YA novel in the same genre as ours, called us.

The agent offered to sign us on the condition that we make the gay
character straight, or else remove his viewpoint and all references to
his sexual orientation.


This isn't about that specific agent; we'd gotten other rewrite requests before this one. Previous agents had also offered to take a second look if we did rewrites… including cutting the viewpoint of Yuki, the gay character.


It's time to stand up and demand change. Spread the word everywhere if you are just as angry and outraged by this.

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: (pop culture scholar nerd)
This post is wayyy overdue, and I'm sure I'm going to forget links because I've been accumulating so many. But life has been super busy! Allie was off work for the past couple of weeks so between that and the puppy, it's been hard to sit down and update. I really want to take the time to do it soon, though, I really like being able to go back and read what I was thinking at a given time, so I don't like when lots of things happen and I don't write them down.

Anyway, on to some links!

- The Larry King murder case goes to mistrial, which is so ludicrous and upsetting. I simply do not understand how a murderer can walk because people couldn't agree if what he did was manslaughter or murder - basically everybody understood that he killed someone but couldn't get their shit together to sentence him? What? Also: the defense's reasoning is so upsetting. First of all, it's blatant Gay Panic Defense, which I really thought we were done with; also, the killer snapped because he heard Larry say he wanted to be called Latisha? How the fuck does that count as anything near emotional trauma or whatever. Ugh.

- In happier news, Meet Jackie, A Transgender 10-Year-Old With Full Parental Support. The support that the family is showing this kid is really awesome and it's very moving to see how much they care for her and her future. Three notes: (1) Really, massive gender stereotypes in the video's introduction? People having expectations for what their baby is going to be like based on their apparent genitalia is so fucking ridiculous. (2) Gotta love how grandpa thinks that Jackie deciding to live as a girl was a decision, but her deciding to keep going as a boy would not have been one. Just because you're going with the status quo doesn't mean it's not an active process of making decisions, everyday and over time. (3) I find interesting how a lot of trans people, and I think especially trans kids, often feel like they have to emulate really stereotypical versions of feminity or masculinity. It's hard to tell how much of that is personal preference, and how much is the need to protect yourself from being accused of not being a 'real' girl (in this case).

- What Do You Mean When You Say You Want ‘Strong Female Characters’? On top of a very thoughtful and well-articulated post on the difficulties and contradictions of this idea of strong female characters, the comments are equally interesting and not maddening, which on the internet is, well, almost a miracle.

- Most of Tiger Beatdown would be worth linking to, to be honest, but Meet the Men of #reasonstobeatyourgirlfriendis funny, harsh, and excellent.


Also a bunch of links on The Playboy Club, which starting in a couple of weeks. I had pretty high hopes for the show, because I think there is great potential there to have a fascinating, critical and entertaining show about the sex industry, women, sex negative cultures, etc. And obviously I'm still waiting to see how it actually plays out when I watch it, but a number of articles have made me feel a lot less confident that the producers and creators can actually pull it off. Read for yourself:
- The Bizarre Pitch For 'The Playboy Club': It's All About Female Empowerment?
- Why is TV focusing on women of the prefeminist past? (It talks about the upcoming show on Pan Am, too.)
- Showing Off Your Boobs Is Not The Same As Female Empowerment, Anyone Telling You Different Is Trying To Sell You Something.
I haven't finished reading all these articles but they definitely raise some crucial questions about the way that feminism (or female empowerement, to make it sound less political and radical!) is often used in very particular ways, with very little critical thinking involved. I'm curious to see how it plays out on both shows - and I'm really hoping Sean's storyline, at least, is not totally mismanaged.

And to finish, on a completely different note, a colum about regulations and the food industry! Can Big Food Regulate Itself? Fat Chance.
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 [livejournal.com 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: (gay)
As I expected, this month before we leave for Europe is not going to be the most relaxing of times, but I wanted to take a couple of minutes to post some links and acknowledge that yesterday was IDAHO, International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I went to the breakfast organized every year by the queer community centre here in Vancouver, and it was pretty good overall - mostly one of the speakers was fabulous. She's a prof at SFU and spoke about her genderqueer son and the fact that we need to stop gender-policing our kids and crush their fluid potential; it was such a touching and compelling speech, I'm glad I went just for it.

Also, I like this comic strip and it's in French, which is a nice change! It comes from this post, even the comments are overall pretty good.

The NYTimes also published this opinion column the other day about why it's problematic to be in favour of same-sex marriages based on economic reasons. Nothing ground-breaking, but a solid and well-written piece, so, worth sharing!

I've finally picked up a book that Allie and I picked up pretty randomly while we were in Seattle, and that Allie just read and highly recommended, Annabel by Kathleen Winter. It's amazing. It's the story of a kid who is born intersex in Labrador, and the writing is fantastic. Allie and I both have issues with how some of the stuff is handled, but it's so worth reading no matter what. It also has this line that I love so much, when the kid is just a baby:

"[The baby] looked back at her the way [the baby] looked at all strangers, with a direct gaze that said, I have not been badly treated yet, and so even you are to be trusted."
greenie_breizh: (gay)
Deux adoptions à l'étranger par des couples homosexuels reconnues en France. (thanks to [livejournal.com profile] semisweetsoul for the info!)

Great news for these couples, and nother small step forward for the possible future recognition of LGBT/queer families, but it actually has fairly little impact for French same-sex couples who currently live and raise their family in France. The situation is growing increasingly ludicrous, as is the case for marriage, where LGB French citizens are actually at a disadvantage when compared to people in transnational situation. Ugh. Here is to more hoping that we finally start treating our LGBT/queer citizens the same as straight citizens and straight couples...
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 [livejournal.com 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: (political)
I don't even know where to start with what's been happening with public workers (especially teachers) in Wisconsin and other places (especially Ohio) in the United States lately, or with the unrelenting attacks by conservatives on Planned Parenthood and issues relating to women's health. I can't even link to that many articles because I've been almost avoiding reading too much about these issues because they make me so profoundly angry, frustrated and disappointed. But if you are interested in reading more, I can at least recommend this piece by Diane Ravitch on teachers in Wisconsin, and this piece by Rebecca Traister on cuts to Planned Parenthood. (This is also a helpful overview of the responses from pundits to the cuts over at Salon.) If you are in the U.S., I would also urge you to sign this Open Letter to Congress on behalf of Planned Parenthood, and to consider donating to them.

If I get started on all the implications of this conservative push, I will never stop, and I have other things to get to today, so I won't start. I will just say that these moments of U.S. history are the exact reason I do not admire the country and despise its tendency to think of itself as the Best Country of All Times; these moments also make me so, so glad I ended up not attending grad school in the U.S., because I hate the thought that the decision would have been read as, 'one more person really wants to move here because we're awesome!'. Canada is far from perfect, and France regularly does its share to make me ashamed they delivered me my passeport, too (and France also has a tendency to think of itselfsuper highly, which doesn't help). But this kind of bullshit reminds me of just how awful the rhetoric gets in the United States; it's so bad (and maybe more importantly, it's given so much visibility and credence) that it almost feels like a parody of what you can hear elsewhere in politics. Ugh ugh ugh. I wish I could hope that it's going to 'get better', but I feel like there's actually very little to indicate that it will. And the saddest thing, to me, as a French citizen, and as someone who may well end up a Canadian citizen? Both these governments think that emulating the U.S. blindly is a GREAT idea.

So anyway, as usual, this has ended up as more of a rant than I was hoping. >.> The worst part is I know I shouldn't even care or whatever, but I feel so angry and tired and disappointed on behalf of all of my awesome American friends who deserve better than this crap.

To finish on a more positive note, President Obama and his administration are apparently continuing to grow a spine! : the Justice Department will no longer defend DOMA against lawsuits challenging it as unconstitutional. This is great news, although with limited effects for now, obviously; but considering court cases challenging the constitutionality of DOMA are making their way through the court system right now, it's a huge step forward. It also sends a strong message in favor of marriage equality, which is also very important.

EDIT: I also recommend this Tiger Beatdown article by "Grizzili Fetus". Funny in that way that doesn't make you laugh really, because it's too right on target.
greenie_breizh: (political)
A few links before the weekend!

- A Guide: How Not To Say Stupid Stuff About Egypt: I haven't really commented about the situation in Egypt because, well, I haven't really had time to comment on much, but also because I'm feeling super careful with this whole thing. I feel wildly unqualified to make any kind of statement or claim because I know so little about the situation, and I refuse to believe it's as simple as some (especially American) pundits and journalists make it seem. But anyway, at least that guide was helpful, I thought.

- "#DearJohn: On Rape Culture and a Culture of Reproductive Violence": A fantastic post over at Tiger Beatdown in response to Republican efforts to limit access to abortion and redefine rape.
But we’ve been talking about “forcible rape,” right? And how fucked-up that construction is, how all rape is based on a lack of consent and “force,” in the sense that you get beaten up, is just an additional crime? Probably everybody reading this blog knows that a lot of people don’t understand that principle. And they don’t understand it because we live in rape culture; so much sexual violence is normalized, and accepted, that it’s invisible. We can’t understand that it’s rape unless we also see physical injury, or a knife, or a gun.


- Maybe more important, head over to Daily Kos and read this post, which deals with the less visible aspects of the bill that the 'forcible rape' bullshit was part of. The core of it is here: "You're meant to recoil in horror at that redefinition. And if the bill's proponents are lucky, you'll spend all your time doing that. Because then you'll miss out on the fact that H.R. 3 is also the killing blow capping 30 years of consistent losses on abortion restrictions."

- Nothing new to most of you/us, but always interesting: Physiological impacts of homophobia. I wonder if they only ask LGB youth who have been bullied, or if they spoke to straight-identified youth who have been targets of homophobia, too.

To finish with three more light-hearted links:
- Pick-up lines for feminists, a wonderful poem. My favorite stanza is, "where have you been / all my life? / hopefully fighting / against oppressive / patriarchal systems."
- Why you should always pay your webdesigner.
- Comic creator gets back at Christian organization which used an image of his to lobby against sexual minorities.
greenie_breizh: (bad day)
Dealing with banking while being an expat sucks SO MUCH, people, I can't even tell you. Or maybe my bank just really, really sucks; there's definitely good evidence for that.
greenie_breizh: (full of words)
I'm going to try this new thing where I post more regularly, which hopefully could mean fewer massive posts. (I'm sure it's not going to happen, but one can hope!) So, let's give this a go with only two links today. :)

- That's Not Twain, a NYTimes opinion piece on the new version of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn that's coming out next month, in which the word "nigger" has been changed to the word "slave". I won't go on forever, partly because the piece says it well enough on its own: "Substituting the word 'slave' makes it sound as though all the offense lies in the “n-word” and has nothing to do with the institution of slavery." I'm worried that this, to some extent, sanitizes the U.S.'s racist past (especially that of the South) and it will only encourage a re-envisioning of that past as not only incongruent with the present (racism was then, now we don't put that word in our books!) but also as really not that bad.

- Immigration Rules Tightened For Gay Couples in Canada. Again, the piece really says it all; this decision is problematic on so many levels, and clearly singles out a group with no actual rationale. If you're worried about marriages of convenience, believe me, most of them are probably straight marriages. Ugh. I feel like this partly comes from this stupid place that make people believe that if same-sex marriage is authorized, same-sex friends will start marrying everywhere. Re: ugh.

EDIT: Reading the actual policy, it sounds like all that CIC clarified is that if you were married OUTSIDE Canada, the marriage needs to be legal in the country you were married for it to be recognized in Canada and thus be the basis for your spouse to sponsor you. If you're married in Canada, you're good to go, even if one of you is from the UK, say. What is confusing about this "clarification" is that the only way you could have gotten married outside Canada is if you live somewhere where marriage is legal... I realize there are a few, localized instances where people were married even though the marriage wasn't legal (SF in the U.S. in 2004, Noël Mamère in France the same year) but that seems to be such a tiny number that it doesn't really qualify as a loophole, nor would it be a way to address a supposed spike in spousal applications, or marriages of convenience... so, I'm confused. If someone has a better idea what's going on, I'd love to hear it.
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!

Onwards:

- "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 [livejournal.com 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: (annoyed)
I am really fucking tired of people who express "concerns" over whether or not kids raised by same-sex parents will have their "psychic development" affected. Have we had enough time to figure it out, they say, blah blah BLAH.

1) Look it up, for fuck's sake. We've been studying this for DECADES, so if you're going to have an opinion about this and get offended when someone points out the very question comes from a heterosexist place: look it up. It's not that hard.

2) I hate, hate the normalization that comes with pseudo-psychoanalyst discourses. What the fuck is a normal psychic development, and why would kids with two moms or two dads be less likely to enjoy that? I really wish we would stop cajoling people who ask BS questions by telling them their questions is "legitimate" yet never challenging where the question even comes from. The way we cling to gender differentiation (and the fact that the "two sexes" are complementary) like it's more important than any other aspect of life makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

3) These kids would probably do a LOT BETTER without well-meaning douches to ask them (directly or indirectly, by making it an issue) if they're OK with their parents, if they don't think their family is weird, etc.

That was your mini rant for the day, there might be more (I'm listening to a radio show on homosexuality in France). Ugh, heterosexist attitudes. I'm really losing my patience over here, especially with "well-meaning people" (we all are - who the fuck claims they're proud homophobes anymore). Sorry for the anger, but sometimes, I really feel like I'm done being nice about this kind of shit.
greenie_breizh: (current crush)
It's kind of a weird feeling where different "lives" crash into each other, as they do sometimes. I'm in the midst of writing a paper and really focused on getting it done, so I wasn't really procrastinating but I checked LJ earlier and learned that Z and V have split up, which took me totally out of work zone for a moment. I don't have much to say, I don't know much about it anyway (my online life has taken a serious hit in the past year or so!), but it made me want to reiterate something I said last year when I was rambling about them as a couple.

As much as I hope that they continue to be happy together for a long time (as it seems to be what makes them happy), I think if they ever break up it won't diminish for one second what they had. It won't diminish their relationship, and it won't touch the way they smile at each other, look at each other, support each other, and love each other today. It won't make it any less beautiful or any less amazing. I wish we would think more about how the important thing is to be happy – to look back at a relationship, whether you're still in it or not, and be able to say, yeah, I was happy. I had an amazing time. How long it lasted, how many people were involved, what gender they were, what the rules were – that's not as important, or rather it's going to work differently for different people. But being happy, whatever that looks like for the people around us, I think maybe that's something we can strive for and hope for, and something that doesn't have to involuntarily reinforce dominant ideals of what happiness looks like.


I don't always look back at my own writing and think I had a good point, but on this one, I think maybe I did. The break-up (if indeed it is true and it lasts) sounds amicable, which I hope is true for both their sake, and I think as people who watch on, in this strange (and even more strangely, compelling) celebrity culture, the best thing we can do is recognize that they had something that looked beautiful, they had it for many years, and the fact that they no longer do doesn't diminish any of it.

This whole thing is making me want to write more, but I have to try and channel that into actual work. So that's all for now.
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: (Default)
One of these days I will have the time to write something about what's going on in my life, but for now I'll stick to more food for thought:

- Glee's Gay Suicide PSA: It got worse: This article perfectly summarizes why the episode left me with a very bitter taste. Ironically, Allie and I came home to watch that episode right after I'd given a lecture about sexuality and schooling and seriously, I could have used the episode as a perfect example of everything that we're doing wrong about homophobia in schools. Bah. (On a much nicer note, the lecture went awesome and I heard from a number of students that they really enjoyed it. I feel like it was the best one I've given so far.)

- On this topic, I have to link this wonderful blog post by a mom whose 5-year-old boy wanted to dress up as Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween. It's both heartening and maddening to read about the kind of stress a child has to go through when he disrupts gender expectations, but if I can be that great a mom one day, I'll be happy.

- Also, a bunch of people have started a Write Your Principal letter campaign, where basically you commit to sending letters to principals of schools that you've attended growing up, and letting them know that you expect them to do something about homophobia in their schools and to question the heteronormative school culture they might be perpetuating (OK, that last one may be mostly me, but it would be awesome if that was included). This is meant for the U.S. but I would encourage anyone who can to do this. People in schools need to realize that people care even after they graduate, and even when they don't have kids in the school system.

On a totally different note...

- As a follow-up to my last posts, I wanted to post a few links on why the Rally to Restore Sanity was, in some ways, extremely problematic. It's partly the ablism of the title, which is not even where I went first because I sometimes suck at noticing ablism (my own and society's)(thanks to [livejournal.com profile] lounalune for calling me out on it). More generally, I loved this post because it touched on almost everything I had in mind, as someone who very much loves Jon Stewart and his show and yet sometimes feels very ambivalent about it. I particularly love this section, in response to part of the speech that Jon gave at the end of the rally:
“So, why would we work together? Why would you reach across the aisle to a pumpkin assed forehead eyeball monster? If the picture of us were true, our inability to solve problems would actually be quite sane and reasonable. Why would you work with Marxists actively subverting our Constitution or racists and homophobes who see no one’s humanity but their own?”
Why indeed, Jon? Why indeed would you say such things about people on the right, making it impossible to work with them? Except, of course, that it’s not your rights being denied. It’s not you who can’t marry your girlfriend, who when you look down the road at your potential futures see the horror of not being able to protect your assets together, or even be by each other’s side at a hospital bed. It’s not you who have had to fight all your life to get your gender accepted, even grudgingly, as a legal reality, not you who will have whispers following you the rest of your life or who fears to publish things under your own name because it outs your entire life history. It’s not you who worry that you’re getting older and a woman in an industry that is not known for accepting women, not you who are worrying that if you get fired from your job you may never find another one like it.

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