Ann Richards would be proud.
Trigger warning: this death was horrific and brutal and cold blooded, in my opinion. The description is journalistic and, as a result, very upsetting.
Evon Young’s killers are pleading guilty to various charges which is a good thing that will help his family and the other communities he was a part of find closure in his death.
I don’t really understand any of it. I have been reading reports of these up close and personal, brutal, immolating murders for a decade now, and no part of it ever makes any sense to me. Who are these people and why do we even consider them human, still? I really don’t know. But I’m always newly horrified at how coldly, how brutally, these things can happen.
There are days when you cry, and days when you spit nails, but none of it makes any sense of this kind of crime. I don’t think I’m ever going to understand.
But I will say: this is why the world needs to get past their fear of trans people. It’s why all of us need to stop thinking of trans people’s birth genders as their “real” gender. It’s why denying trans women as women – whether that’s coming from a fundamentalist Christian or a radical feminist – isn’t ever just theoretical or political. These are the lives that are lost when we deny the truth of trans people’s experiences and reports of their own genders.
I am losing any tolerance I once had of any kind of transphobic “theories” of gender that deny a person’s humanity and their gender and Evon Young is why.
It’s embarrassing to hear that my fellow feminists are shaming trans women for their bodies. It breaks my heart, really. I’ve probably seen more trans women naked than the average person, and there’s nothing scary about their bodies.
They’re beautiful bodies, like all women’s bodies are.
Specifically speaking to the issue of sexual assault survivors: Especially in a queer/lesbian space, I find it incredibly dangerous to equate penises with sexual violence. This erases MUCH of the assault/abuse/violence that happens within lesbian communities. It also erases the women who experience that violence. As I mentioned in my initial reply, I am a sexual assault survivor myself. I feel completely ignored/unseen when trans women and sexual assault survivors are spoken of as though they’re mutually exclusive. I am the cross section of those identities. So, so, SO many trans women are. Do we not deserve healing?
How much more violence can we really do to trans women’s bodies at this point? Recognizing the deep ways we shame and blame trans women does not erase or eliminate anyone’s concern for women’s bodies.
This is a pretty amazing statement on domestic violence, post traumatic stress disorder, and respect for parents.
At 2:40 & 6:20 he’s especially astonishing.
Actress Cornelia Otis Skinner said, Woman’s virtue is man’s greatest invention. That phrase is both true and telling: everyday men and women both carry the heavy load and pay the cost for this retrograde notion of virtue. Female sexual agency remains a contentious subject that sparks fierce debate and displays of moral outrage, bigotry, and murderous violence. Our culture continues to punish women for their sexuality, from woman-on-woman slut shaming, to continuing attempts by local, state, and federal government agencies to limit access to effective family planning. Our country’s honor killings–ranging from the murder of abortion providers to the killing of a partner in a fit of jealous If-I-cant-have-you-then-nobody-can-have-you! rage–are almost always connected to women’s sexual autonomy and/or health.
I love Nina Hartley.
Cool photographer and mom Jaime Moore wasn’t pleased with the “princess makeovers” to be found all over the internets. She wanted to do something that would give her daughter power, pride, and agency, instead of, say, transforming her daughter into a sycophantic dependent. Nutty. So here’s what she came up with instead.
There are other portaits, with her daughter as Jane Goodall, Amelia Earheart, Coco Chanel, and of course, Susan B. Anthony.
Nine years later, three states had done so.
President Wilson started supporting the right in 1918.
In 1920, the US recognized suffrage for women. At that time, 9 states & 1 territory (Utah!) had given women the right to vote.
Nine years later, 10 states have done so.
President Obama started openly supporting it in 2012.
So then — when?
Sorry I haven’t been blogging as much as posting music, but I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately. Still, here are a few links to some stuff concerning transphobia being classified as hate speech, the London Irish Centre’s decision not to let RadFem 2013 happen in their space, the new news about MWMF’s re-instated “no trans need apply” policy, and some more commentary on said policy.
Slowly, people are starting to realize that trans people’s basic humanity is not negotiable.
… to finish off the week:
(I want her jacket.)
Or, as one Nadia from Brooklyn put it, “Do I really have to sign a petition telling women not to participate in an event that discriminates against women?”
C’mon, MWMF. Get on the right side of history already. You’re better than this.
Today, women have finally earned what it earned men to earn by the end of 2012. That is, it takes 15+ months for a woman to earn what a man makes in 12.
And you can post this on Facebook, as Senator Tammy Baldwin has, to remind people that this is a ridiculous situation.
& Here are a few amazing graphs proving that this income disparity is NOT about women having children.
So it turns out that Thomas Beatie is not being granted his divorce, for the worst possible reason: his marriage has been declared invalid, and a marriage that never existed can’t end in divorce.
This is one of the many reasons trans people need marriage equality: so that we do not have to exist in a this legally unclear environment where a judge can decide whether or not we were ever married, even if we were for 20 years, like Christie Lee Littleton was.
That said, Beatie’s case is a little different – not that it does him much good – in that what Beatie had or had not done to establish his identity as male at the time of the marriage was unclear:
“The decision here is not based on the conclusion that this case involves a same-sex marriage merely because one of the parties is a transsexual male, but instead, the decision is compelled by the fact that the parties failed to prove that (Thomas Beatie) was a transsexual male when they were issued their marriage license,” he wrote in Friday’s ruling.
What’s more interesting to me as a gender studies person is this detail:
Beatie is eager to end his marriage, but the couple’s divorce plans stalled last summer when Gerlach said he was unable to find legal authority defining a man as someone who can give birth.
precisely because it involves the definition of a “man” – which, as any good gender studies student knows, is a cultural construct in the first place. (So is male, but far fewer people seem to understand that sex, or biological gender, is also culturally constructed.) As a feminist, I’m particularly concerned when the ability or inability to bear children starts getting involved in definitions of who is or isn’t a woman or a man.
But same sex marriage would, at least in some way, prevent this kind of bullshit at least in part, as it wouldn’t matter if Beatie was or was not a man at the time of his marriage. The issue of whether he could be a man and also give birth to his own children is, effectively, a different issue altogether.
(Interestingly, Beatie lives in AZ, where he could also, very shortly, be facing the fact that he may be legally required to use the ladies’ room, depending on what it does or doesn’t say on his birth certificate.)
The Onion has saved me from having to say: fuck CNN & their coverage of the Steubenville verdict. (But do sign the petition, which has now collected 200k signatures, and which demands an apology for their rapist-sympathetic coverage.)
Just fuck the idiots who treat athletes as if they don’t have to be civilized. I hate the sports cult bullshit, hate it.
(That said, these two NFL guys spoke at the GLAAD awards about being allies to the LGBTQ communities, and I was impressed. My wife had a nice chat with Kluwe, too. More of this, please.)
“Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten,” Patrick Stewart said. “Every nine seconds.”
As if he weren’t cool enough already, it turns out he served as the host for the launch of “Ring The Bell,” a global campaign calling on one million men to make one million “concrete, actionable promises” to end violence against women.
“Violence against women is the single greatest human rights violation of our generation,” Stewart said.
“I became an expert,” Stewart said. “I knew exactly when to open a door and insert myself between my father’s fist and my mother’s body.”
He said his father was “an angry and unhappy man who was not able to control his emotions—or his hands.”
“The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured,” Stewart added. “She did not provoke my father—and even if she had, responding with violence is not an acceptable way with dealing with conflict.”
To his world where men promise to end violence against women: Make it so.
I was lucky enough to catch a screening of Jennifer Baumgardner’s new documentary It Was Rape. Eight women tell their stories about their experiences with sexual violence.
These experiences are so complicated, and even for these interviews you can hear all the women trying to make it less of a deal than it is and than it was. Why?
It’s entirely worth watching, but make sure you’re in an okay head space if you’re someone who has had this kind of experience – or even if you haven’t.
One of the women is told by one of her friends that “any time anyone has sex out of someone out of fear, it’s rape,” and that’s a good reminder, for everyone. And oh – this isn’t just for women. Men should watch this, too.
First, because of her awesome hair.
Second, because she’s written things like this:
Almost inevitably, other women chime in with things they dislike about their own bodies. Then it feels like an evening spent rolling around in self-loathing and if I wanted to do that, I’d go to a Coldplay show or something. (I kid, I kid. Mostly.)
The funny thing is that this is meant to make other people feel better about their bodies but can have the opposite effect. If our bodies are similar, for example, and you’re telling me how gross your thighs are, that’s going to make me wonder a) why I’ve been sitting there content with my thighs when they are obviously so flawed and b) what you think about my thighs that you haven’t been telling me.
Really, because it’s true. We teach each other how to hate ourselves in more detail-oriented ways every day.
If you ask me about my cholesterol, I will totally tell you, my friend! But then I need you to believe me, OK? And if I were dealing with high cholesterol and you said, “Hey, I hear that walking for half an hour a day can help with that, let’s go to the park!” then I would totally be on the trail with you because walking at the park for half an hour with a friend sounds awesome.
Since we all live in a “wellness” obsessed culture, may I also add that it’s really stupid to assume that fat people don’t exercise. My mom was on her feet her whole life; she was also overweight her whole life.
(And may I just say, while I’m on the topic, that “wellness” is a dumb-ass word. The word is “health”. There is no way to use “wellness” where “health” isn’t appropriate, and oh, health is a word, and wellness is not. Soon we’re going to start calling morals “goodnesses” as our intelligence as a species drops down to an IQ of 80.)
and also, this:
Special note to other big fat fatties: This is also not cool to say to your smaller fat friends. See above, re: identity politics. “Fat” is harder to define when it’s those liminal 12-16 sizes but come on. Let’s not be dicks either.
As someone who has seen everything from size 6 to size 14, I am very much in the liminal category. Of course I also don’t say dumb ass things like “god I’m so fat” to women who are bigger than me. Or smaller than me, really. I don’t think of myself as fat, for the record. The horror.
I’m going to add a couple of others: skinny ladies, do not imply that I only have this fantastic rack because I’m a size 12. The last time I lost 30 lbs I went *up* a cup size, not down one.
Also, do not look surprised when I mention having been a gym rat or being able to do 50 pushups. One of the reasons some of us are not skinny is because we’re muscular. (We often end up with higher BMIs as a result, though I’ve been spared that indignity, at least.)
This post brought to you by someone cranky from trying to drop a size, if you really need to know.
Chapters are needed for this upcoming book:
Women, Work, and the Web: How the Web Creates Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Book Publisher: Scarecrow Press
Co-editor: Carol SmallwoodCo-ed., Women on Poetry: Writing, Revising, Publishing and Teaching (McFarland, 2012) on Poets & Writers Magazine “List of Best Books for Writers.” Writing After Retirement: Tips by Successful Retired Writers forthcoming from Scarecrow Press.
Co-editor: Joan GelfandDevelopment Chair for the Women’s National Book Association, member of the National Book Critics Circle, Joan blogs regularly for the Huffington Post, teaches writing, and is an award winning author.
Seeking chapters of unpublished work from writers in the United States and Canada for an anthology. We are interested in such topicsas: Women Founding Companies Existing Only on the Web; Women Working on the Web With Young Children or Physical Disabilities; Woman’s Studies Resources and Curriculum Development Webmasters; Women as Founding Editors of Webzines and Blogs; Surveys/Interviews of Women on the Web.
Chapters of 3,000-4,000 words (up to 3 co-authors) on how the Internet has opened doors, leveled the playing field and provided new opportunities for women, are all welcome. Practical, how-to-do-it, anecdotal and innovative writing based on experience. We are interested in communicating how women make money on the Web, further their careers and the status of women. One complimentary copy per chapter, discount on additional orders.
Please e-mail two chapter topics each described in two sentences by March 28, 2013, along with a brief bio to firstname.lastname@example.org Please place INTERNET/Last Name on the subject line; if co-authored, paste bio sketches for each author.