The Problem with Facebook

I meet a lot of lovely people as a result of writing two books, and I meet them via email, online, on social networking sites.

Recently on FB, I decided to restrict who I friended to people I’d met, people who I knew pretty well, people I’d worked with, went to school with, taught… you get the idea.

Some people have been upset that I de-friended them, & I’m very sorry they are.

Mostly I was tyring to protect my friend & family who often got friend requests from total strangers who “collect” friend on FB – usually for the sake of marketing something. Then someone told me about this ACLU quiz about FB’s Privacy Policy – or lack thereof – which everyone who uses FB should take.

I did make a point of asking people to move to my more public page on FB so that I could cut down on the spam, but left messaging available to anyone & everyone.

Honestly, I was about *this close* to eliminating my personal page altogether but decided to try out this compromise first. Sadly, I offended people who I didn’t mean to offend even for a second.

Apologies: navigating private & public is no easy task and surely requires someone far more graceful than me.

Brooklyn, Oct 7: Trans Hate Crimes Forum

Special Event – Transgender Hate Crimes: Victims, Their Families & Advocates Speak Out

Transgender people face pervasive discrimination, harassment and violence. Leslie Mora and Carmella Etienne—victims of hate crimes in two separate incidents in Queens—are witnesses to the violence that is perpetrated against people because of their gender identity or expression. In its most extreme form, such violence can turn deadly, as it did in the case of Lateisha Green, a young African American woman who was shot and killed, and whose death lead to New York State’s first hate crime trial and conviction stemming from the death of a transgender person. Continue reading “Brooklyn, Oct 7: Trans Hate Crimes Forum”

Stupid Tests

In an article detailing how some of Ms. Semenya’s people knew there might be something up about her gender, a CNN article blithely describes the history of gender testing:

The process of gender verification has undergone big changes since it was first introduced for international competition in the 1960s, the IAAF said.

The first mechanism involved “rather crude and perhaps humiliating physical examinations,” which soon gave way to mouth swabs to collect chromosomes.

There were too many uncertainties with mouth swabs, so the IAAF abandoned them in 1991 and the International Olympic Committee discontinued them in 2000.

A proper test has yet to be found, the IAAF said, and the current tests are considered a good interim solution.

Apparently it’s not at all a good interim solution, if an athlete that just won a race is now on suicide watch. Well done, assholes.

RIP Jim Carroll

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Damn, Jim Carroll died. I missed the news probably because he died on 9/11 this year, & that’s the day I avoid the news (because every clever media asshole thinks it’s a good idea to replay footage that still traumatizes me). Still, it’s fitting that this NYC icon died on 9/11, in a weird way; Jim Carroll might have died of a lot of things in his life – drugs, alcoholism, AIDS – but he didn’t. He made it to 60 & had a heart attack.

Wonky RSS?

I’m getting reports that my RSS feed has gone wonky again, except that it’s not wonky everywhere. So I’m wondering for those of you who are having problems, what your feed reader is. So far, this seems like it’s a Google RSS Reader problem.

Gendered Recession

& Here’s some classist bullshit from The NY Times. The question put to me by my friend who sent it:

“So, was working for women always a dog walking on its hind legs sort of thing? News: Upper class educated w choices have fewer than they’d like right now, but, don’t worry, their friends will hire them. What about the women who never had the choice and had to balance the job and the commute?”

Exactly. So for the record: this article is not about how the recession is affecting women. It’s about how it’s affecting a tiny tiny tiny privileged minority of women.