Friday, October 30, 2009

Crying in the face of opposition

This post about emotions during arguments really struck a chord with me because I very rarely let my emotions show to people - something I've decided comes from a misogynistic culture that equates emotions with women and weakness.

However, I burst into tears over a discussion with my dad where he didn't believe rape could be used as a tool of war, especially in places like the Congo, and he thought it was stupid to talk about how materials use in cell phones and digital cameras contributes to the ongoing civil war there.

It could have been the fact that he was in town for my grad school graduation, I was moving away from all my friends and facing unemployment and the unknown, but honestly, he just came off as an asshole. He lacked in caring about my emotional investment in the issue to the point where I had to go into the bathroom and burst into tears. Twice. I infrequently display unhappy emotions to other people, much less cry more than two or three tears.

Anyway. That's just my story about facing an argument and coming off as emotional. Anybody else want to share?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Question of the Day: Dismantling gentrificiation as a white person

Here's a question that's been bugging me for awhile:

How do I, as a middle class, highly educated white person committed to dismantling white privilege, find, move and live into* a multicultural neighborhood without contributing to gentrification?

Any thoughts?

*I choose into deliberately because I want to live into the life of my neighborhood. I want to contribute to the well-being of my neighborhood and actively take part in events and my neighbor's lives.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Not all abortions are unwanted pregnancies

Renee's commentary on the ridiculous Judy the talking embryo from got me thinking about another type of choice often overlooked in the abortion debate. She writes, "Choice does not always end in abortion but it does mean that every child that is born is a wanted child."

In addition, not all abortions are unwanted pregnancies.

Sometimes women and families have to make the painful decision to terminate a pregnancy on medical grounds (both mother and child) when the child is very much wanted. Often, these women go to late term abortion clinics and in some states, force fed "Women's Right to Know" bullshit on how much pain a fetus can feel and shown pictures of a developing fetus.

What to know what I think women have a right to know? That they can make their own personal and medical decisions free from another person's judgment, especially during a terrible time such as terminating a pregnancy due to health reasons.

Just one more reason we need to keep reproductive rights safe, legal, and in my opinion, free from pro-life harassment.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ronald McSexy

Hey, let's use women's bodies to sexualize EVERYTHING, mmmkay?

Today: Ronald McDonald.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

It's a bit delayed, but here's a Sunday song in honor of Coming Out Day:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Question(s) of the Day

After comments on my National Coming Out Day post, I thought the topic of coming out could use another place for discussion.

So, Impersonators, are you out? Want to be out? As an ally, has someone come out to you? Want to share a story or discuss the pros and cons of being out? Let's try it.

A reminder that comments are moderated, so I'll make this as safe a space as I can for anyone interested in talking about this.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Female Impersonators Radio Hour - Today, 5pm!

Kate and I will be hosting the newest edition of the Female Impersonators Radio Hour today at 5pm Central time.

We'll be talking about Roman Polanski, "chick lit," and playing female-friendly music like Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, and more!

Tune in, and call us 309-341-7441.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Today is National Coming Out Day. Let's start some conversations about LGBT issues and rights, because talking is the beginning of understanding.
Hope you all have a great day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Guest Post: Inked - Ink, religion, and politics

This guest post was written by Galina of Oh, You're a Feminist?! . Galina is working towards her phd in clinical and community psychology, focusing on empowerment as prevention and discrimination's effects on mental health. For fun she likes to trail run with her dog, create jewelry, and travel.

I began wanting a tattoo and nose piercing when I was 12. My parents, conservative immigrant Jews, were very much opposed to both ideas. The tattoo they talked me out of by convincing me I wouldn't be able to be buried in a Jewish cemetery when I died. The nose ring was tougher. My mom used good old fashion guilt and scare tactics, "you'd be breaking my heart," "no one will take you seriously," "what will my friends think?" I decided then that I would obey my parents' wishes for a few years and if I still wanted the body art as an "adult" I would make the choice based on my person politics, not theirs.

Fast forward to college where I studied psychology and women's studies: I still wanted the tattoo AND the nose ring. I headed my mom’s advice on the nose ring, since I’d be applying to clinical psychology programs and they are traditionally conservative. My plan was to get in and effect massive change from the inside, studying social justice and progressive issues rarely examined in the field. The admission process includes an interview, and I didn’t want to give them any reason to exclude me. Little did I know I would end up at a very progressive program where social justice is a core value and I don’t have to pretend to be anyone else to scan my way in.

I wanted my first tattoo to be symbolic and meaningful not just to me but to my goals and values. I settled on an adaptation of Picasso’s dove, holding an olive branch in her mouth. She has a green eye to match my eyes. In Judaism, doves symbolize peace and love. According to the story of the Great Flood , Noah released a dove in order to see if it would find land. The dove came back carrying an olive branch in its mouth, indicating that there was dry land (and hope for a peaceful future) once again.

I spoke with my rabbi at the time about the antiquated notion of not being buried in a Jewish cemetery if I got a tattoo. She assured me that this would not be a problem in the congregations I was a part of (non-orthodox sects of Judaism) and that body art will not determine my relationship with G-d.

My second tattoo is a bit more political. It is an Audre Lorde quote that reads, “your silence won’t protect you.” This tattoo has provided me with many opportunities to educate others on who Audre Lorde is and her impact on the women’s movement and the world. I love when people ask me about what my tattoo says because that means I can start a conversation about women’s rights, privilege, and discrimination. I chose to put such a feminist imprint on my body for several reasons. Most obviously because of the vast impact feminism has had in my life. Also because of the common feminist phrase the “personal is political.” I find it much harder to “hide” my politics now that I have this tattoo, which keeps me honest and gives me ample chances to speak my mind.

In a purely aesthetic sense, I love the way tattoos look. I find them incredibly sexy and telling of people’s lives and stories. If I were (physically and psychologically) brave enough, I would get a much bigger piece in a much more visible place. Because just like what you wear and how you look does not define you, neither should your ink. But it should tell a story, because we’re all unique and deserve our voices heard (or seen as the case here).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Impossibly beautiful but in your face

How can I respond to this Facebook request from a high school friend in a thoughtful, constructive and feminist way?

Photoshop the Ugly out of your pictures

Hello all, I'm working on a project right now where I want to
show my skills retouching photos in Photoshop. I need some before photos so I
can make some lovely afters. So it would be awesome if you could send me photos
that you have that could use some free retouching. I'm looking for photos that

Acne, wrinkles, arm fat, tan lines, etc. that you would like

old photos that have dust spots, scratches, smudges, etc.
bad lighting
a sign or some small object removed

I could even do fun things like maybe add some bling to you,
add a new hair do, give you more muscle definition, put your face on a hot
ladies body, whatever you wish, just let me know.

I know this woman from high school and she was calling herself a feminist before I was. I know she works in graphic design, but how can I explain (in a context on Facebook) what exactly my issues are with her work? Any ideas, Impersonators?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Today, 5pm - Female Impersonators Radio Hour

Female Impersonators Radio Hour, today at 5pm Central Time.

Kate and I will be discussing current events from a feminist perspective and playing some good tunes.

Tune in and call us at 309-341-7441.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Attention Trolls: A quick definition

From the lovely comment moderation box on "Apologize." for your consideration:

Feminism: Advocates of censorship and thought control.

Rape means more than "Sex with a woman that didn't want it".

Shame that feminists refuse to acknowledge this, and instead try to make every single thing on earth solely about them.

Why... one might as well call it "What about teh wimmenz???"

Not. Everything. Is. About. You.

Rape has multiple meanings, look it up, please. Celebrating this moron makes you look foolish and ignorant.

Also, there's no such thing as rape culture. Pushing idiotic buzzwords just makes you look idiotic.

Thank you, Anonymous for your lovely, though-provoking comment.

I'll have to admit, you're right about one thing. Rape does mean more than "sex with a woman that didn't want" - I'll broaden the definition to "sex with a person that didn't want it". Because that's EXACTLY what rape is.

Unless, of course, you're refering to the less commonly used definition of rape as "an Old World herb (Brassica napus) of the mustard family grown as a forage crop and for its seeds which yield rapeseed oil and are a bird food" (M-W). I'm going to use my deductive reasoning skills here and guess that's not what you mean, or what the person who used rape originally intended. "I'm going to herb of the mustard family you in this video game"? Nope.

So when we refer to rape, it's talking about "sex with a person that didn't want it", FYI.

Impersonators, any other important things I'm forgetting about in our definition of rape?