Month: August 2012

RIP Shulasmith Firestone

Posted by – August 31, 2012

Shulasmith Firestone, author of The Dialectic of Sex, has died at the age of 67. It’s an amazing piece of radical feminism, Freud meets Engels meets deBeauvoir.

“I’ve arranged the thingies into a pretty glass vase for now”

Posted by – August 30, 2012

Oh, wow. Bic made pens For Women. Women (and men, as far as we know) have completely lambasted them for doing so with these very, very clever reviews.

Father says not to ask questions because it might give me wrinkles, indeed.

Trans in Academia, Pt. 2

Posted by – August 29, 2012

Another good article by Rachel McKinnon about being trans in academia – this one more focused on the job market than on teaching per se.

Props to CHE for publishing these, too.

 

Trans United for Obama Congratulates Transgender Delegates

Posted by – August 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, August 28 – As Democrats from all over convene in Charlotte, NC to nominate Barack Obama for reelection as President, there will be at least 11 transgender people in official roles.

Delegates and Committee members are equally divided between male and female and, under the Democratic National Committee’s rules, should demographically reflect the Democratic electorate in each state. In 2008, each state was mandated to set a goal for LGBT delegates. Each State has their own procedure in electing and appointing delegates. The DNC Chair appoints 25 at-large Standing Committee members to each committee, including the 2 co-chairs and 4 vice chairs. Each jurisdiction also sends its allotted number of committee members.

In 2000, Jane Fee of Minnesota was the first transgender delegate to the Democratic National Convention. In 2004, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas sent transgender people in their delegation to Boston. In 2008, “gender identity” was included in the Democratic platform at the Denver National Convention and Arizona, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Texas sent delegates. Now, in 2012, we have our largest and most diverse contingent of openly transgender delegates.

In 2009, the DNC added “Gender Identity” as a characteristic of full inclusion within the party. The language of the 2012 Democratic Platform will be fully inclusive of transgender people’s civil rights.

The 2012 transgender Americans who are part of official DNC Convention are:

  1. Barbra Casbar Siperstein of New Jersey, Super Delegate (member of the Executive Committee of the DNC)
  2. Dana Beyer, M.D. of Maryland (Credentials Committee)
  3. Kylar William Broadus of Missouri (Platform Committee)
  4. Janice Covington of North Carolina (Delegate, 8th Cong. Dist.)
  5. Cris Land of Oregon (Delegate, 1st Cong. Dist)
  6. Daria Lynn Lohman of Arizona (Delegate Alternate for AZ)
  7. Marisa Richmond of Tennessee (At Large Delegate for TN)
  8. Diego Miguel Sanchez of Massachusetts (At Large Delegate for MA)
  9. Jamie Dianne Shiner of Wisconsin (Delegate, 8th Cong. Dist.)
  10. Melissa Sklarz of New York (Credentials Committee)
  11. Meghan Stabler of Texas (Delegate, 5th Cong. Dist.)

You can see all of their photos and statements at the delegates page of the Trans United for Obama website. More

Kinky Boots: The Musical

Posted by – August 27, 2012

The movie Kinky Boots is being made into a musical: music by Cyndi Lauper, book by Harvey Fierstein, direction & choreography by Jerry Mitchell.

It opens in Chicago in October, then in New York, on Broadway, in April 2013.

Wicked Ad

Posted by – August 25, 2012

Oh, you now I love this:

What I don’t like is that apparently American audiences have been deemed unready (unworthy?) as it’s not being shown here.

(h/t to the irreplaceable Diane Frank)

Still Vanilla

Posted by – August 24, 2012

Jezebel has compiled the 10 worst “BDSM” suggestions made by Cosmo, and, um, I’d like to know what exactly is kinky about sticking your finger in someone’s mouth & ordering him to suck it. Is it because you’re ordering and not asking, or suggesting coyly, or whatever non-kink version of a similar scenario Cosmo might recommend? Or is it somehow kinky just to penetrate your male partner & not the other way around? I don’t know. I have lost track of how tepid people have sex, and I thank my lucky stars for that.

Honestly, I’m not sure if it gives me a headache or amuses me greatly to think of the crazy awkward scenes happening in bedrooms across America because of those fifty shades of goofy. Just, um, make sure you have the key to the handcuffs FIRST, don’t draw blood, and um, maybe remember that most of us have day jobs we have to sit at desks to do. (Although a day of uncomfortable sitting can be a lovely reminder of what went on the night before.)

& Honestly, leave the utensils in the kitchen where they belong. Except the slatted spoons: those things really sting.

Seriously, try Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Rough Sex, instead.

Not a Drag Queen

Posted by – August 23, 2012

I wish when people wrote stories about gender they actually knew something about gender.

The new Barbie is what’s called a Faux Queen. Not a drag queen, not a crossdresser. She doesn’t have to be male-bodied to be a queen, nor does she have to be in order to be fabulous. She could, as well, be high femme.

Catholics Against Ryan

Posted by – August 21, 2012

From Maureen Dowd’s column this past week:

Even Catholic bishops, who had to be dragged toward compassion in the pedophilia scandal, were dismayed at how uncompassionate Ryan’s budget was.

Mitt Romney expects his running mate to help deliver the Catholic vote and smooth over any discomfort among Catholics about Mormonism. (This is the first major-party ticket to go Protestant-less.) Yet after Ryan claimed his budget was shaped by his faith, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops deemed it immoral.

“A just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons,” the bishops wrote in a letter to Congress.

The Jesuits were even more tart, with one group writing to Ryan that “Your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The nuns-on-the-bus also rapped the knuckles of the former altar boy who now takes his three kids to Mass. As Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice group Network, told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, it’s sad that a Catholic doesn’t understand that “we need to have each other’s backs. Only wealthy people can ever begin to pretend that they can live in a gated community all by themselves.”

Even Ryan’s former parish priest in Janesville weighed in. Father Stephen Umhoefer told the Center for Media and Democracy, “You can’t tell somebody that in 10 years your economic situation is going to be just wonderful because meanwhile your kids may starve to death.”

Oh, & um, Ayn Rand was an atheist. Can we get that news out to the Christian Right, please?

Who’s Poor? Women

Posted by – August 20, 2012

With all of this blather about financial bottom lines, I’d just like to point out a small fact: the majority of the poor people in this country are women. So any budget plan that cuts funding for the poor is cutting funding for women, especially single mothers with children.

It’s embarrassing that we have the largest gap in poverty rates between men & women in the Western world.

Here are some other useful facts the next time someone starts going on about budgets and bottom lines and how there’s no need for feminism:

  • 13% of women over the age of 65 are poor; only 6% of men that age are.
  • The poverty gap between women and men widens significantly between ages 18 and 24—20.6 percent of women are poor at that age, compared to 14.0 percent of men. The gap narrows, but never closes, throughout adult life, and it more than doubles during the elderly years.

Why? Not just because of the wage gap, which is still significant – 77 cents on the dollar these days – but also because

  • women provide far more unpaid care giving than men,
  • they are still responsible for most of the unpaid childcare,
  • women still get pregnant and lose jobs as a result, and finally,
  • women lose paid work days dealing with the sexual and other violence.

So how about we actually work on a plan that eliminates sexual violence against women to balance the fucking budget, instead?

(h/t to Dylan.)

Dex and DES

Posted by – August 19, 2012

A few years ago it looked likely that we’d discover a drug that might be taken prenatally by mothers whose children might have a high risk of CAH – in order to prevent it.

Since CAH is the only intersex condition that can necessitate medical treatment, and specifically might prevent an “adrenal crisis” that can be life threatening to a newborn with CAH – this development could have been a good thing.

Except that it’s off-label use it intended to prevent lesbians and tomboys. And career women. Depending on how exactly you’re going to define female masculinity.

It’s nice to see Slate finally reporting on it, despite the dumb-ass & sensationalist title of the article, & I’m hoping that means this question gets put to a much wider range of parents and potential parents.

Here’s the paper by Dreger, Feder and Tamar-Mattis.
Here’s a summation out of Northwestern.

WI Book Festival

Posted by – August 18, 2012

I’m going to be speaking at this year’s Wisconsin Book Festival in November with my friend and fellow artist Miriam Hall.

You can check out the schedule & the list of authors who will be speaking or reading.

And check out the book Trans-Kin that Miriam has a piece in. It just came out this week.

Octavia.

Posted by – August 17, 2012

& Here’s a short film about an African-American trans woman who’s been doing sex work on the streets of LA but who has been getting her act together to change her life in significant ways. Her name’s Octavia.

She just won Quest, a pageant for trans women. From the APAIT website:

QUEST: Woman of the Year takes place on Saturday, December 10, 2011, at 7:00pm. The event will be held at the David Henry Hwang Theatre at East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles CA 90012. QUEST: Woman of the Year is designed to encourage the empowerment of the often marginalized transgender community while celebrating uniqueness and diversity.

I’m sure they always need sponsors.

Savage Me

Posted by – August 16, 2012

My books received a lovely mention in Dan Savage’s Savage Love column this week, when a 23 year old woman wrote in confused by her boyfriend’s desire to be pegged, made-up and corseted. Tristan Taormino was the guest author, standing in for Dan on vacation. & I’m pleased as punch.

Queer Derby: Vagine Regime

Posted by – August 16, 2012

Always forward, never straight – how it is in roller derby.

Erica Tremblay is making a documentary about the queer subculture within roller derby, and she needs funds.

Cool.

Love Not Violence

Posted by – August 15, 2012

Well, this time it looks like (as in, it is alleged) someone who’s pissed off about Chick-Fil-A and the Family Research Council. Many, MANY, LGBTQ organizations have already condemned the man’s actions.

Don’t do it for me, asshole.

Love to the guard and the family of the guard, and yes, even for the folks whose politics at Family Research Council keep me a second class citizen, no matter what the motivation of the shooter was.

Voting While Trans: A Guide

Posted by – August 15, 2012

This is HUGE: a voter guide for all of us out there who could be impacted by the intersection of disenfranchisting Voter ID laws and gender markers, name changes, and state-issued ID.

DO read it, & share it. The goal of these Voter ID laws is to keep people on the margins from voting at all, so let’s get more trans people to the polls than ever before.

& DON’T tell me no one’s working for you. The list of amazing things the Obama presidency has done when it comes to trans rights & protections is too kick-ass to ignore.

The New New Deal

Posted by – August 15, 2012

This Slate article about Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a remarkable description of the kinds of programs and vision of Obama’s presidency. It’s really amazing stuff.

In the discussion about why the New Deal was popular and Obama’s Recovery Act wasn’t, the author notes:

FDR launched the New Deal after the U.S. had suffered through more than two years of depression under Hoover, while Obama launched the stimulus when the economy was nowhere near rock bottom. Everyone knew about the financial earthquake, but the economic tsunami hadn’t yet hit the shore.

That is, Obama passed the Act long before Americans were suffering the kind of devastating loss that they experienced in the Great Depression. Maybe you don’t have time for the book, but do read the article. It is one of the most clear explanations of what Obama is and has been up to as President. You can either vote for a guy who fires people when industry is suffering, or you can vote for a guy who tries to make sure people don’t starve if they lose their jobs = Not a tough call in my opinion.

Trans Obama Call

Posted by – August 14, 2012

Trans United for Obama has set up a national call for Obama supporters on August 20th. Find out more & sign up now.

Crossdressing Room

Posted by – August 14, 2012

What a great piece on identity, crossdressing, and the internet:


I grew up surrounded by the notion that bodies and identities come in 1:1 ratios: we get a body and an identity. But from as early as I remember, I had a body that did not line up flush with any single identity but instead slipped this way and that so that it lined up with Tori at one point, or the hard man of Cameroon at another, or any one of the many selves I’ve deployed throughout my life.

The discovery of the personal ad flipped a switch in the dark: the slippage I had experienced occurred not only on the side of body, but on the side of identity as well, so that Tori might slip from one body to another just as I slipped in and out of various presentations of identity. Once recognized, the logic struck me as obvious, a happy and symmetrical discovery.

I don’t mean to pretend that somehow, body and identity have been cleaved free from one another, or that we live in a world where body has no relevant bearing on identity and vice versa. After all, those pictures of Tori showed my arms, my face, my ears, that mole on the cheek next to my nose. Yet, somewhere in the hinterland of the internet, some other person had claimed one of my identities, an identity borne of my body, but one that transcended skin, muscle, hair, fat and bones, as she moved through online space, until she settled upon the imagined teenager, his body becoming hers, her voice speaking through his throat to the anonymous man on the other end of the phone.

Do take the time to read the whole of it. it is so nice to read something about the trans by someone who can really write.

(My thanks to Lea for the tip.)