Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tattooed Ladies of the TLA

The Texas Library Association is putting out a calendar of their tattoed lady librarians to benefit the TLA's disaster relief fund--a lot of money is still needed to clean up after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Man, I want to get a tattoo at a library conference.

Also, isn't this quilt beautiful?  I think I will make it--it is relatively easy.

From here.

This Morning

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Below the Belt Raises the Question: Will you be a good parent?

Over at Below the Belt, some really great ideas were raised about parenting gender-variant kids.  It's something I think about a lot, particularly because I want to raise children.
"Raising children in this world is a battle when you start to see things from this angle. Most parents don’t realize what they’re in for until they have a gender-variant kid, because they effectively are pointed at and called on by parents, teachers, and the rest to provide an answer about how they feel about their kid’s actions on a daily basis: Oh, are you sending him to soccer practice with my boys? Does your daughter want to come over and play house with my girls? Look at him playing with all those girls – he’s going to be a heartbreaker!"
Go read the rest.

Alas the shoes dost no fit thy dainty feet!

Tapestry Humor--via El Si but I think it's from somewhere else first.

Homeland is Where the Heartland Is.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Sotomayor was backed by the Senate committee--on to the rest of the Senate!

via LA Times.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


A literary map of San Francisco
via SFGate

Friday, July 24, 2009


I swear, half of the Daily Mail stories are about weird and/or cute animals.  I love how there's a subtextual dialogue of "OMG WE CAN'T BELIEVE A BOYYYY LIKES THIS LITTLE HORSE."

I can't get pictures in right now, so make sure to go look, you'll be glad you did.

The Day after Theory Thursday Links and Opinions

Good morning, all--I just moved and was too tuckered out yesterday to really make any progress on anything writing or reading related. So here's what I was reading this morning...

  • The British Government released new tips for pregnant women to avoid H1N1 flu. Considering that I've been watching The Tudors on Netflix the past few days, H1N1 flu seems to be the new sweating sickness.
  • Questioning Transphobia reports about the Leticia King pre-trial hearings.
  • NPR has an interesting article up about the underground movement for women pastors in the Southern Baptist church. A bit from it:

    "Burleson says Jesus treated women as equals, and if Southern Baptists ignore his example, the denomination will shrivel. Burleson believes there's a quiet underground movement within the convention to rethink women's roles."

    Like the Church of Christ that I grew up in, Southern Baptist churches are very critical of women being pastors. In the Church of Christ, women are not allowed to serve the Lord's Supper, pray in front of adult men without their permission or during any large assembly, or even lead singing. Not that you can conflate the two denominations, but they have very similar principles.
  • Here's a round up of posts about Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s arrest. I want to add that Henry Louis Gates has been doing tireless work to bring American Black women writers into a very white scene. My thesis is on American women writers in the 19th century, Maria Susanna Cummins in particular, and without Henry Louis Gates we wouldn't have The Bondwoman's Narrative or Harriet Wilson's work--and she wrote the first African-American novel. To me he is an extremely important man without whom the field that I might enter would be even more blank--read "white" and "male." Obama comments on Gates's Arrest. BoingBoing's reporting on the ordeal. Jack and Jill Politics Link Round-Up. There is of course a ton more interesting reading out there than this.
  • And now for another round-up--this time on Harry Potter! I haven't seen the movie yet, but soon I will contribute my 8.00 to the millions they have already made. There is some great stuff out there about the movies and a few about the books, including: Less about Harry Potter and more about YA Lit--Racialicious had a great post awhile ago about "Writing what you know" and what that means in the extremely white world of YA literature. RaceWire Goes to the Movies: Harry Potter Edition. And the amazing Anusuya Sivaram's Racial Justice Guide to Viewing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Read the whole thing, but here are her bulleted points:

    "Themes of Racial Justice that appear in the 6th book specifically (and will hopefully come up in the movie):
    -The portrayal of terrorists/criminals. In the magical world of J.K. Rowling, Death Eaters, who are predominantly “purebloods” use terror tactics, as opposed to the pluralistic “Order of the Phoenix”, who don’t. In contrast, our mainstream media gives more airtime to terrorists and criminals who are people of color, rather than white domestic terrorists/criminals. It’s an interesting reversal that perhaps needs to be contextualized more, given the allegory. It’s also an interesting historical shift as well.

    -Structural racism. The Ministry of Magic’s regulations on magical species (Centaurs, House-Elves, etc) that prevent them from using magic is analogous to structural racism in our Muggle World. Though this only plays a small role in Book Six, it’s interesting to see the reversal that takes place—from campaigning against the societal position of House Elves and other magical creatures, Harry and his friends start rely on these creatures (Dobby, Kreacher, Firenze), and seem to espouse their subordination as long as they are treated benevolently.

    -Merit based achievement vs. Favoritism. This is especially important with the arrival of Professor Slughorn (the formation of the “Slug Club”, which rewards the privileged). Also the fact that Muggle-borns often have to work harder for everything than purebloods (Hermione Granger, though brilliant, simply doesn’t command universal respect like I think she should.), should be of some interest to us. This is also relevant under structural racism, as minorities (Muggle-born wizards) don’t have well-established avenues to recourse in the magical world (there’s limited infrastructure for Muggle-borns being introduced to the Magical world for the first time), and must rely on the benevolence of wizards. Harry’s status is also questioned—he’s just lucky, not talented, but reaps the benefits of his position, intentionally or not.

    -The origins of racism/discrimination. Tom Riddle (Lord Voldemort) and his origins are a major plotline in the novel. Rowling's theory of discrimination mainly discusses individual racism, while structural racism is what ARC concentrates on eliminating. Also, Rowling emphasizes love as a way to combat intolerance (Dumbledore says this is the reason why Harry isn't like Voldemort)--you can interpret this to mean pluralism is better than purity. Still, it’s important to recognize that while Rowling’s magical world is amazing (who DIDN’T want to go to Hogwarts when they read the books?), it’s still stratified, and faces the same problems of equity and pluralism that our world does."

I want to add some things about Harry Potter (book version) that I found troubling/intriguing. I think that Hermione's dedication to helping House-Elves riddled with the same struggles that many anti-racists fall into. She assumes she knows what House-Elves need, thinks that only removing the obvious issues they face will change everything for the better, and generally botches things up with her activism every day. On the other hand, Harry and Ron, who both don't like House-Elves being treated poorly, make fun of Hermione for being an activist and while they wouldn't call themselves racist they are oblivious to the oppression that House-Elves face.

Of course, I am concerned that Rowling decided to couch her racial arguments in magical allegory rather than actually having more than just token characters of color.

And finally--Cake Wrecks on Harry Potter!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tip: Don't Invade Gay Bars on the Anniversary of Stonewall

The Fort Worth mayor finally apologized for the the raid on Fort Worth gay bars on the night of the anniversary of Stonewall.  Read about it over at 365 Gay.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And Tango Makes Biased People Uncomfortable

via Unshelved
Gay penguins, of course, cause irreparable harm.

Maddow vs. Buchanan

Rachel Maddow basically proves that Pat Buchanan is super racist, in this case about Sotomayor.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Theory: The Jumbled Up Edition

Oh, Marlene...
Discuss! Drop your theorylicious links!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dear American Library Association

As someone who wants to be a librarian and who will attend future ALA conferences, it makes me nervous that you decided to bring someone who works for the David Horowitz Freedom Center for a roundtable titled "Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping."

Seriously folks? Not the best move.

Library Journal reports here and here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sotomayor, Cats, and Stuff

I love Sonia Sotomayor!
image via Shakesville and Associated Press

From Cute Overload: “Noah is a non-releasable, one-legged homing pigeon/rock dove that is in the rehab center. Noah kept going over to the bunny cage and looking in—even sleeping in front of the door to the cage.”

Idea Kitteh, ICHC

Oh, Judy B. Via Loltheorists. As my friend so brilliantly said, "LOLTHUSSER."

Some Quotes about the Word Cisgender

So the cisgender debacle continues to rage, and I wanted to quote two articles that I think really sum up the most cogent things to consider.

Monica over at TransGriot noted that: "Cisgender is a neutral term that doesn't have the negative accumulated baggage of being used to 'other' or used as a rallying cry by the Forces of Intolerance to oppress someone's human rights rights like trans has.

There are no people being made the butt of societal jokes because they are cisgender. There's no 'cisgender panic defense'. There's no one being denied a job because they are cisgender. There's no one being killed because of folks hating on you for being cisgender. There's no Cisgender Day Of Remembrance

Lisa over at Questioning Transphobia brought up that: "Cis is not targeted at gay white men, nor is it targeted at feminist women, nor is it targeted at any one particular demographic. Cis people are everywhere. At the most liberal interpretation (highest number of trans people, plus genderqueer and intersex people) I’m aware of, cis people make up ~480-495 out of every 500 people on Earth.

Cis is not an insult, it’s not a slur. It is, however, as much of an identity as trans is, even if most cis people never stop to think about the fact that they’re cis, that they just assume that being what they are (”I’m just a person, I’m not cis/white/het/able-bodied!”) is the normal way to be."

Some things that they both brought up, as well as some of my own thoughts, that I think are very very important points in this discussion:

  • Trans people came up with cis, and cis folks are uncomfortable with that because they don't like being labeled. I'd like to add that not being labeled is a privilege all its own, and the ability to choose to not accept a label is symptomatic of that privilege.
  • This really boils down to people not wanting to own up, in my opinion--not wanting to own up both to their cis privilege and to their transphobia.
  • Can someone please talk about how messed up the concept of "trans privilege" is in this context? Though maybe trans folks should get together and talk about what it could be in our community, too.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

another social construction example

Did you know that men’s shirts button left to right and women’s garments button right to left? This is a prime example of social construction. Havelock Ellis went so far to say in Women and Men that women were physically weak, and because of that needed help dressing, so their garments are harder to button if you’re right handed.

Why is this a good example? Well,

1) There is absolutely no good reason for women’s shirts to button differently from men.

2) The reasoning behind it, though slightly unknown and undecided, is typically believed to come from men using weapons more often than women. And men being “the hunter” and “defender” is not biologically determined but a construction on its own.

3) It has been used by sexologists and other theorists of the past to justify sexist thinking.

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About Me

I'm a young trans person living between two states, trying to make ends meet, both intellectually and monetarily.