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: (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: (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."

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November 2011

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