Hey Harpies! Thanks for your patience while things have been slow around here. I had friends visiting weekend before last, and then several freelance writing projects that sucked up my time. So I had to take a week away from blogging. Hope y’all are doing well.
Here’s a good ole link list for your perusal.
In case you missed it, the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners were announced last week. Among them were Take Me There and When We Were Outlaws which I reviewed last fall. Congratulations to all involved!
The relationship between the trans community and the feminist one has been riddled with frustration, anger and accusations of exclusivity. Despite myriad challenges, however, there are those who feel that trans issues and feminist issues can co-exist and even that they naturally intersect. I recently conducted a roundtable with four trans feminist bloggers on this topic; here’s the first part of that discussion.
Idzie Desmarais @ I’m Unschooled, Yes I Can Write | Teens, Control, and the Nature of Love:
I feel like the way people talk about boundaries is the same way they talk about structure: as if both are these external things that are very important in creating “Disciplined,” “Educated,” and otherwise useful (aka “Productive”) human beings. Things that the good and responsible adults (parents, teachers, etc.) are supposed to construct and enforce.
Ozyfrantz @ The Good Men Project | Gender Imbalance in Sex Research:
I, along with Figleaf, think a lot of this is because we already think we know everything about male sexuality. Male sexuality is simple! All he needs is a warm hole and five minutes! Let’s talk about female sexuality, which is mysterious and complicated and strange! I mean, all the ladies are, like, different from each other. Some of them want one thing and others of them want another thing! Clearly we must do SCIENCE to find out what kinds of things ladypeople like, as this is no doubt far more interesting than what gentlemanpeople like.
Gail Collins @ The New York Review of Books | How Texas Inflicts Bad Textbooks On Us:
In 2010, the board launched itself into the equally contentious sea of the social studies curriculum, and the teacher-dominated team tasked with writing the standards was advised by a panel of “experts,” one of whom was a member of the Minutemen militia. Another had argued that only white people were responsible for advancing civil rights for minorities in America, since “only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.”
Ellen Oh @ Racialicious | Why The Pretty White Girl YA Book Cover Trend Needs To End:
Putting pretty white girls on all your book covers is the book equivalent of what all our fashion magazines do. An idealization of beauty that is unrealistic and dangerous to our youth. And it isn’t the right thing to do. Seeing a person of color grace the cover of a YA book is like spotting the Loch Ness Monster: you wonder if you’ve truly seen it and if you’ll ever see it again. How sad is that? To say that only pretty white girls can sell YA books is not a business model that publishers should approve of. And it’s not true. We need look no further than the gender-neutral and iconic covers for The Hunger Games and Twilight series to see the truth.
Rebecca @ You Ought to be Ashamed | Full Disclosure: Sexual Harassment in the Archives:
First, it’s worth pointing out that sexual harassment isn’t something that happens only to women. My boss made his (male) intern describe his sex life and promise not to rape his girlfriend more than a little. If that’s not harassment, I don’t know what is. It’s also not something that only men do–I found out later that a former (female) intern helped my boss write the disclosure form. So don’t assume that, because of your gender, you could never possibly be a victim or perpetrator of sexual harassment.
Matt Novak @ The Smithsonian Blog | Mechanical Matchmaking: The Science of Love in the 1920s (via Nursing Clio):
The sympathy test involves one of the partners watching the other go through something mildly traumatic, like having blood drawn. In the illustration below, the young woman watches her partner and if her muscular contractions and sudden inhalations “due to excitement” are wild enough, then she’s supposed to be sufficiently sympathetic to him as a partner.
Julie Z @ fbomb | An Interview With Michael Kimmel:
Well, I think as a gender studies axiom, the more homoerotic the male behavior the more overt and important the homophobia is as an overlay. When I went to some fraternities’ initiations, I couldn’t believe it. And I’ve given lectures about this, and when I read some of the passages about these initiation rituals, I say, “Now think about it. Imagine you’re an anthropologist from Mars and you come down here and this is your fieldwork site and now you have to go back to the Martian Anthropological Society and tell them what you found. So your first statement is: they’re all gay.” I mean, they’re running around grabbing each other’s penises, it’s unbelievable. So my axiom is this: the more obviously homoerotic, the more transparently homoerotic, the more you need this overlay of homophobia so that nobody can see what you’re actually doing.
E. J. Graff @ The American Prospect | How the Gay Rights Movement Won:
It takes chutzpah to try to sum up and define the LGBT movement while it’s still living, breathing, and feisty. Linda Hirshman, feminist cultural critic, philosophy professor, and former trial lawyer, has plenty of chutzpah. When last she splashed into the public discussion pool with her 2006 book, Get to Work, based on a provocative article in these pages, she was ordering young women to train for high-paying careers and refuse to “opt out” to raise children, lest they condemn themselves to irrelevance, risk poverty when their husbands leave, and hurt feminism overall. In Victory, Hirshman ambitiously aims to trace the LGBT movement’s history—focusing most often on the “g” for gay male—and to identify the factors that led us, as she puts it, to “change America for everyone.”
And finally (thanks to Hanna for the link!), one of the best damn apologies ever. Kim LaCapria / Jason Alexander @ Inquisitr | Jason Alexander’s Apology For Gay Joke is Like Basically a Primer on Both Apologies and Being Nice to Gay People:
And the worst part is – I should know better. My daily life is filled with gay men and women, both socially and professionally. I am profoundly aware of the challenges these friends of mine face and I have openly advocated on their behalf. Plus, in my own small way, I have lived some of their experience. Growing up in the ‘70’s in a town that revered it’s school sports and athletes, I was quite the outsider listening to my musical theater albums, studying voice and dance and spending all my free time on the stage. Many of the same taunts and jeers and attitudes leveled at young gay men and women were thrown at me and on occasion I too was met with violence or the threat of violence.
What have you been writing/reading in the past few weeks? Share away in comments!