Posts tagged gender.

Some men do the dinner dishes every night. That doesn’t make their wives free. On the contrary, it’s just one more thing she has to feel grateful to him for. He, in the power and glory of his maleness, condescended to do something for her. It will never mean more than that until the basic power relations are changed. As long as men are the superior caste and hold the political power in the class relationship between men and women, it will be a favor your lover is doing you, however imperiously you demand it. And beyond that one thing, nothing else need have changed.

Dana DensmoreIndependence from the Sexual Revolution

(via mehreenkasana)

fyeahlilbit2point0:

kateelliottsff:

auntada:

As a young slave girl, Susie King Taylor secretly learned to read and write. Her skills proved invaluable to the Union Army as they began to form regiments of African American soldiers. Hired by the 1st South Carolina Colored Volunteers as a laundress in 1862, her primary roles were to nurse to wounded soldiers and to teach those who could not read or write. Taylor served for more than three years, working alongside her husband, Edward King, a sergeant in the regiment.

Photo: Susie King Taylor, 1902, courtesy East Carolina University

Another amazing woman.

Also a classic example of why, when writers say they can’t “realistically” have women with agency in prominent roles in historically-based fantasy, it is clear they do not know what they are talking about. Because women are everywhere, doing things usually ignored by “mainstream” history.

And specifically, women of color.

(via fuckyeahfeminists)

Global Gender Gap Report 2012: The Best And Worst Countries For Women ›

fuckyeahfeminists:

You know how people like to say the US is the “best country in the world?” well, check this out….

The report ranks 135 countries (which collectively contain over 90 percent of the world’s population) based on 14 indicators used to measure the size of a nation’s gender gap in four key areas:
1. Economic participation and opportunity, which includes female labor force participation, wage equality and the percentage of women in high-ranking jobs.
2. Educational attainment, which looks at female literacy and how frequently women are enrolled in higher education.
3. Health and survival, which is measured by comparing female and male life expectancy and mortality rates.
4. Political empowerment, which examines the number of women holding political office as well as the number of female heads of state over the last 50 years.

Well, last year the US ranked #17. Guess where we are now? #22. We dropped FIVE SPOTS IN ONE YEAR. This is in SPITE of even more mainstream coverage of these so-called “women’s issues.”

Now imagine if Romney takes the White House. Politicians who want to take away the rights to our bodies (which is key to our economic success), call rape a “gift,” will run around being unchallenged. We will only go down in terms of gender equity. There is a lot of work to be done.

(via fuckyeahfeminists)

Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality, by Anne Fausto-Sterling [PDF] ›

nocardneeded:

Biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling sets out a developmental systems approach to gender, refusing false dichotomies of nature-nurture and biology-culture

(via becauseiamawoman)

#media  #sex  #gender  

littlebigdetails:

Facebook - The icon for marriages is automatically based on the genders of those involved.

/via Sam

scatx:

typeless:

Ibtihaj Muhammad

First African-American Muslim female fencer in the history of the Olymics represents the United States.

(via fuckyeahfeminists)

The prohibition against talking about menstruation—shh…that’s dirty; that’s gross; pretend it’s not going on; just clean it up—breeds a climate where corporations, like femcare companies and pharmaceutical companies, like the makers of Lybrel and Seasonique, can develop and market products of questionable safety. They can conveniently exploit women’s body shame and self-hatred. And we see this, by the way, when it comes to birthing, breastfeeding, birth control and health care in general. The medical industrial complex depends on our ignorance and discomfort with our bodies.

From an interview with Chris Bobel about her book New Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation. Cited by Lester Andrist in Sociological Cinema. Read the rest of Andrist’s article, which focuses on the portrayal of menstruation as a comical point of disgust in the film Superbad and as shameful in the film Carrie. (via zeezeescorner)

FYSE Edit: One note, is that actually birth control that enables you to skip periods aren’t dangerous in any way. The only reason why birth control was made for a week period was to keep you an a cycle your body was used to. It’s not necessary since you don’t ovulate and don’t build up the uterine lining that is shed during menstruation. There are also people that don’t like their periods, I’m one of them. My periods are painful and awful and they remind me that I can procreate and that my body is seen as female. It’s fine to not want to be reminded that you have a period but we need to be able to talk about bodily functions and be able to learn about them.

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)

The prohibition against talking about menstruation—shh…that’s dirty; that’s gross; pretend it’s not going on; just clean it up—breeds a climate where corporations, like femcare companies and pharmaceutical companies, like the makers of Lybrel and Seasonique, can develop and market products of questionable safety. They can conveniently exploit women’s body shame and self-hatred. And we see this, by the way, when it comes to birthing, breastfeeding, birth control and health care in general. The medical industrial complex depends on our ignorance and discomfort with our bodies.

From an interview with Chris Bobel about her book New Blood: Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation. Cited by Lester Andrist in Sociological Cinema. Read the rest of Andrist’s article, which focuses on the portrayal of menstruation as a comical point of disgust in the film Superbad and as shameful in the film Carrie. (via zeezeescorner)

FYSE Edit: One note, is that actually birth control that enables you to skip periods aren’t dangerous in any way. The only reason why birth control was made for a week period was to keep you an a cycle your body was used to. It’s not necessary since you don’t ovulate and don’t build up the uterine lining that is shed during menstruation. There are also people that don’t like their periods, I’m one of them. My periods are painful and awful and they remind me that I can procreate and that my body is seen as female. It’s fine to not want to be reminded that you have a period but we need to be able to talk about bodily functions and be able to learn about them.

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)

Cissexism, gender essentialism, and vaginas ›

fuckyeahsexeducation:

genderandsexualityawareness:

[Content warning: discussion of sex organs]

As most of our followers probably know, there’s been quite the hullabaloo in Michigan recently over one of our representative’s use of the word ‘vagina’ on the house floor. So much in fact, that Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues came up to the capitol on short notice to perform a rendition of the play. I was fortunate enough to have a free evening and a car, so I drove up to Lansing to watch the play and join in the protest.

When I arrived, the atmosphere was absolutely electric - I’ve never seen so many people wearing pink and displaying pride in their sex organs. There were signs everywhere - many of which were the standard, ‘Vagina. Can’t say it? Don’t legislate it!’ or ‘Banning vagina?!??!?!’, but I also found some that bothered me on a extremely personal level.

But before I get into that, I should offer a bit of background: I am a 21 year old transgender/transsexual girl (assigned male at birth) who’s been transitioning over the past year. I present and am usually read as female and still have my ‘original plumbing’. 

I had just walked onto the capitol lawn when I saw someone carrying a sign reading, ‘Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.’ I assume the sign carrier intended this to be a matter-of-fact statement on how sex organs are natural and not a big deal, but to me, those words hurt. That was the most overtly cissexist sign I saw, but there were plenty of others championing gender essentialism.

Gender essentialism is the notion that for someone to be a certain gender, there are certain traits that they must have. In this case, the vagina = woman = feminine trope was playing out in full force. 

Once the Monologues started, I realized that this pervasive essentialist atmosphere wasn’t going to go away. Stories about how women had discovered themselves through their vagina made me realize just how alienated I was from this community. I understand that vaginas are important to most women and an unfortunately taboo topic, but putting them at the center of one’s being is absolutely absurd and incredibly disrespectful to people whose sex organs might not line up with society’s expectations.

Am I less of a woman for not having a vagina? In Michigan and many other states, the gender marker on my driver’s license/birth certificate/other legal IDs can’t be changed until I’ve had an elective surgery that runs in the tens of thousands of dollars. Using the bathroom is nerve racking - I get harassed in the men’s room and can be charged with sexual assault if I’m read as male in the women’s room. If I were to go to prison, I’d probably be locked up with male prisoners. All of this because my genitalia isn’t what the government would like it to be.

So why do we place allow this gender essentialism to go unchecked?

  • It’s right 99% of the time.
    Trans* and intersex people make up a tiny fraction of the population - the majority of people in this world are cissexual and have probably never heard of, much less met, a real trans* person outside of maybe a pornographic context. Intersex conditions are nearly invisible - most people still use the outdated term ‘hermaphrodite’ and have no idea what conditions are actually in existence. 
  • It’s scary!  
    Quite a few people are genuinely freaked out by any perceived discontinuity between primary and secondary sexual characteristics (ie breasts & penis, flat chest & vagina). This is terrible and makes me disgusted to think about, but it’s an unfortunate reality. Luckily, though better and more comprehensive trans* education, this can be changed.
  • It’s easy.
    I know I’ve had to reteach myself to not take the outward appearance of a person as an indication of their gender. It takes conscious effort to not look at someone and think, ‘they have {breasts, long hair, short hair, wide shoulders, etc.} so they must be a man/woman’.
  • Cissexism is almost never challenged.
    How many times have you heard someone say, ‘That’s cissexist!’? Probably none, unless you’re friends with (or are) a transfeminist. Even in circles that are supposedly GSRM-friendly, cissexism and cis privilege often go unchecked. 
  • Anyone who could challenge essentialism is discouraged from doing so.
    One of the things most trans* people learn early on is that in order to receive proper treatment and respect, they need to blend in. The ‘gatekeepers’ of medically transitioning have long held a standard of femininity and masculinity that is unreasonable and outrageous for anyone to live up to, much less someone who desires to live between the gender binary. As such, many people are coerced into assimilating into traditional gender roles and presentation against their will. Kate Bornstein writes about this in great detail in hir book ‘Gender Outlaw’, which I heartily recommend.

What can you do to change this?

  • Don’t gender people based on their appearance.
    When you meet someone for the first time, ask them what pronouns they prefer. Worst case scenario, they get a bit of education about gender. Best case scenario, you make someone’s day because you didn’t assume they were cisgender.
  • Stop making essentialist comments.
    It’s great if you’re attracted to women with vaginas, but to go around saying ‘I’m lesbian because penises are gross,’ (something I’ve heard far too many times) is actively cissexist/essentialist. Try to reduce the amount of gender essentialist language in your vocabulary - you might be surprised how ingrained it is in our culture.
  • Get educated!
    Read some books, blogs, or journals on gender issues. Most modern writing will have commentary on essentialism even if it’s not from a transfeminist approach.
  • Educate others and call them out.
    Doing this is a great way to make sure that more people are aware of essentialism and its negative impact on society. Always be respectful and polite - it’s hard to educate someone while angry.

-Eva

This is SUCH a huge deal in the feminist community. Like calling it a “war on women” it’s not. YES people are attacking the female gender which includes trans women but they are trying to regulate what goes on in people’s uteruses. Not even all cis women have uteruses or are able to procreate! And there are those of us that can who are not women. These are FACTS we need to talk about in these conversations. Just because these horrible legislatures are ignoring the existence doesn’t mean we can, in fact it means we definitely shouldn’t because that would make us just as bad as them. BODY POLICING IS BAD IN EVERY WAY SHAPE OR FORM.

indielowercase:

amajor7:

“I identify as non-bunary, actually.”

<3

(via becauseiamawoman)

#puns  #gender  

When women of color, sex workers, rural women, young women, undocumented workers, transgender people or the otherwise marginalized lose their rights because they are implicitly assumed to be sluts, will we stand up for them too? ›

fuckyeahfeminists:

iamdrtiller:

Sarah Seltzer on Sandra Fluke and privilege

On Sandra Fluke & privilege

fuckyeahfeminists:

transfeminism:

Feds honor 66-year-old East Flatbush transgender woman: Victoria Cruz honored by Justice Dept.

Transgender advocate Victoria Cruz  was recently awarded a top honor by the Department of Justice for her  work helping victims escape abuse -- (Susan Watts/New York Daily News)

Transgender advocate Victoria Cruz was recently awarded a top honor by the Department of Justice for her work helping victims escape abuse.

The feds are watching one of Brooklyn’s toughest ladies.

East Flatbush resident Victoria Cruz, a transgender woman who has been “out” since grade school, is a Justice Department 2012 pick as one of the nation’s top crime fighters.

The 66-year-old Latina, known simply as “Vicki,” advises abuse victims from across the city based on lessons she learned surviving years of sexual and physical torment during an era when homophobia was rampant.

“I’ve survived many crimes; been there done that,” said Cruz, a senior domestic violence counselor New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Attorney General Eric Holder honored Cruz and 11 others as life savers Friday in the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington D.C.

They transformed “their own experiences into a positive force for sweeping change,” Holder said in a statement.

New Yorkers dominated the power list. Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, a Harlem based nonprofit helping teens escape the world of sex trafficking, was also cited; along with city Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro and Common Justice, an alternative to Brooklyn criminal court for low-risk criminals.

Still Cruz stood out. The feds said she “empowers her clients to stand up and speak for themselves.”

The Red Hook native was born brazen, never hiding her sexual identity growing up in the 1950’s as a boy.

“I always knew that I was different,” Cruz said. “When I was in middle school they would call me ‘queer.’ ‘Gay’ at the time meant a jovial person.”

Cruz, like many women, was drawn to abusive relationships.

She made headllines in 1997 while working at the Cobble Hill Nursing Home part of a welfare-to-work program when she accused a group of female nurses of groping her while screaming “anti-man” and “battyman,” gay bashing slurs used by West Indians. A criminal court judge found two nurses guilty of harassment and acquitted two others.

AVP then hired Cruz transforming the victim into an advocate.

“I am passionate about the work that I do,” Cruz said. “People are coming out at a younger age. And putting themselves at risk.

This award is making the invincible, visible.”

Q’d 4/29/12.

fuckyeahfeminists:

transfeminism:

Feds honor 66-year-old East Flatbush transgender woman: Victoria Cruz honored by Justice Dept.

Transgender advocate Victoria Cruz  was recently awarded a top honor by the Department of Justice for her  work helping victims escape abuse -- (Susan Watts/New York Daily News)

Transgender advocate Victoria Cruz was recently awarded a top honor by the Department of Justice for her work helping victims escape abuse.

The feds are watching one of Brooklyn’s toughest ladies.

East Flatbush resident Victoria Cruz, a transgender woman who has been “out” since grade school, is a Justice Department 2012 pick as one of the nation’s top crime fighters.

The 66-year-old Latina, known simply as “Vicki,” advises abuse victims from across the city based on lessons she learned surviving years of sexual and physical torment during an era when homophobia was rampant.

“I’ve survived many crimes; been there done that,” said Cruz, a senior domestic violence counselor New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Attorney General Eric Holder honored Cruz and 11 others as life savers Friday in the National Crime Victims’ Service Awards ceremony in Washington D.C.

They transformed “their own experiences into a positive force for sweeping change,” Holder said in a statement.

New Yorkers dominated the power list. Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, a Harlem based nonprofit helping teens escape the world of sex trafficking, was also cited; along with city Correction Commissioner Dora Schriro and Common Justice, an alternative to Brooklyn criminal court for low-risk criminals.

Still Cruz stood out. The feds said she “empowers her clients to stand up and speak for themselves.”

The Red Hook native was born brazen, never hiding her sexual identity growing up in the 1950’s as a boy.

“I always knew that I was different,” Cruz said. “When I was in middle school they would call me ‘queer.’ ‘Gay’ at the time meant a jovial person.”

Cruz, like many women, was drawn to abusive relationships.

She made headllines in 1997 while working at the Cobble Hill Nursing Home part of a welfare-to-work program when she accused a group of female nurses of groping her while screaming “anti-man” and “battyman,” gay bashing slurs used by West Indians. A criminal court judge found two nurses guilty of harassment and acquitted two others.

AVP then hired Cruz transforming the victim into an advocate.

“I am passionate about the work that I do,” Cruz said. “People are coming out at a younger age. And putting themselves at risk.

This award is making the invincible, visible.”