"And in the last fifteen years queer theory has harnessed the repetitive, unpredictable energy of currents, waves, and foam to smash and wash into bits many I’s — from the gendered self to the sexed body, from heterocentric feminist speech to homonormative gay discourse. In this field where groundlessness is celebrated, writers also explicitly or implicitly rely on metaphors of fluidity, which provide an undercurrent for expanding formulations of gender and sexual mobility. Judith Butler’s praise of the resistant power of drag’s fluid genders and sexualities in the pivotal Gender Trouble is echoed by many a queer theoretical text: “Perpetual displacement constitutes a fluidity of identities that suggests an openness to resignification and recontextualization; parodic proliferation deprives hegemonic culture and its critics of the right to claim naturalized or essentialist gender identities.” 29 This proliferation multiplies the genders and sexualities explored by queer theory beyond women and men, gay and straight. They soon include, as Eve Sedgwick puts it, “pushy femmes, radical faeries, fantasists, drags, clones, leather folk, ladies in tuxedoes, feminist women or feminist men, masturbators, bulldaggers, divas, Snap! queens, butch bottoms, storytellers, transsexuals, aunties, wannabes.” 30 No deviant is a desert isle here, but part of an archipelago rushed together by a common sea of queerness.
Does this queer sea have a color, though? As the cascading, un-color-coded sentences of Butler and Sedgwick suggest, in the early 1990s prominent queer theorists denaturalized conventional gender and sexuality while renaturalizing global northernness and unmarked whiteness, initially unreferenced as if they were as neutral as fresh water. In both theorists’ early genderscapes, the bodies and selves rendered fluid are first and foremost gendered and sexualized, only faintly marked by other locations — only secondarily racialized, nationalized, classed. When Butler acknowledges that codes of (presumably white) racial purity undergird the gender norms disturbed in her initial consideration of “fluidity of identities,” she does so belatedly and between parentheses (as part of a long list of clarifications to her discussion of drag in the 1999 preface to Gender Trouble). 31 Sedgwick’s list, somewhat differently, momentarily parts the waves of queer theory’s uncommented whiteness as race fades in subtly with the African American – associated terms bulldagger and Snap! queen. Not only is this faint racialization limited to the black-white landscape of the contemporary global north, keeping terms like mahu, mati, tomboy, tongzhi unlistable, but the particularities of this possible racialization remain as unspecified as the color of the leather favored by “leather folk” or the jacket cut of the “ladies in tuxedoes.” The list’s sheer heterogeneity sweeps the bulldagger’s racial particularities into the same washing currents as the butch bottom’s sexual particularities.
These queer theorists are innovative, rigorous scholars whose work focuses on a predominantly white global north but who do — often in introductions— acknowledge how racialization intersects the construction and deconstruction of ossified genders and sexualities. Shortly after her list in Tendencies’ introduction, Sedgwick contends that “a lot of the most exciting recent work around ‘queer’ spins the term outward along dimensions that can’t be subsumed under gender and sexuality at all: the ways that race, ethnicity, postcolonial nationality criss-cross with these and other identity-constituting, identity-fracturing discourses.” 32 This is not her work in a text that goes on to deftly engage Jane Austen and Sigmund Freud, but she does gesture toward the importance of “other” scholars taking it up. Similarly, in the preface to the tenth anniversary edition of Gender Trouble, Butler remarks that “racial presumptions invariably underwrite the discourse on gender in ways that need to be made explicit” and concedes that if she rewrote the book she would include a discussion of racialized sexuality. In thinking through performativity and race, she suggests that “the question to ask is not whether the theory of performativity is transposable onto race, but what happens to the theory when it tries to come to grips with race.” 33 But of course there is not just one question to ask of the meeting point between Butler’s theory and race, and those I would pose would be different still. Namely, what happens when queer theories start with explicit formulations of racialized sexuality and sexualized race, rather than add them in after theories like performativity have already been elaborated? How does this change in point of departure change the tidal pattern of queer theory? How might it shift the field’s dominant metaphors, decentering performativity’s stages and unearthing other topoi?"

Black Atlantic, Queer Atlanic: Queer Imaginings of the Middle Passage by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley

The entire piece is great and I encourage anyone who can find it to read it!

Dear cis people who say “I go by [my assigned pronouns] but anything’s okay!”

pinebark:

Please stop. You’re not helping.

I know it must seem like a very progressive thing to do and that it’s coming from a desire to be seen as an ally, but I need you to know that it’s totally fine to tell me that your preferred pronouns are your assigned ones. It won’t make me think less of you, and it doesn’t help me to know that you’re “okay” with any pronouns. Let’s face it — getting misgendered probably isn’t a daily concern for you, and when you casually tell me that any pronouns are “fine”, it comes off as an attempt to claim a connection with me where none exists.

Just tell me what you prefer, and that’s what I’ll call you! And if you want me to know you’re working in allyship with me, then show it — don’t try to tell me.

(via grrlyman)

456 notes

Ten Misconceptions about Intersex

tranzfat:

By Curtis E. Hinkle, Founder, Organisation Intersex International

And Hida Viloria, Human Rights Spokesperson, Organisation Intersex International

1. Intersex means that a person has both sets of genitalia. (False)
This is probably one of the most common misconceptions about intersex. Intersex often has nothing to do with the genitalia of the person, much less having two sets. There are intersex people with a penis and a vaginal opening. However, there are no documented cases of a person being born with fully developed male and female genitalia. The vast majority of intersex people have genitalia that look pretty typically male or female with a small minority having atypical genitalia. In fact, the quaint, pseudoscientific term‚ “true hermaphrodite” (which refers someone with ovarian and testicular tissue), can refer to a person with totally typical male or female genitalia.

2. 1 in 2000 infants is born intersex. (False)
This is one of the most common statistics given. It would be more accurate to state simply that in hospitals with gender assignment teams, 1 in 2000 infants is born with genitalia that are so atypical that the attending physician requests the help of the specialists in the team to assign a sex. Most hospitals in the world have no gender assignment teams and most intersex people have typical genitalia. One should be careful to note that even in the majority of births with atypical genitalia, the doctor does not request any assistance from a gender assignment team even if one is available. Therefore, one can readily see that this figure gives the impression that intersex is very, very rare. It isn’t!

There are so many different intersex conditions that it is very hard to give a statistic at this time. A more accurate estimate is given by Sharon Preves, Ph.D., author of Intersex and Identity: The Contested Self, who has researched the topic of intersex very thoroughly. According to Preves, “The frequency could be as high as four percent.”

3. When an intersex child is born, they cannot be left to grow up as is, but rather “something must be done.” (False)
There are very few instances when a child’s intersex variation poses health risks that require immediate medical attention. Rather, intersex people, like all people, have health issues. For example, being a female is not in and of itself a health problem but there are health problems specific to females. 

In the majority of cases where there are no health risks involved, we have witnessed that it is more beneficial to the intersex child to be allowed to grow up with their body intact. Preserving their bodies’ integrity allows intersex children to develop their own sense of sex and gender identity without the risk of irreparable damage to the formation of this identity. The child can be raised with a provisional sex assignment of male or female and left to decide for themselves, as all other humans are given the right to do, if this sex feels right for them later on, and/or if they wish to make any cosmetic changes to their body to align it with their sense of self. Attempting to make these decisions for infants and children, while perhaps well intentioned, is playing a game of speculation with another person’s life.

4. Intersex is about homosexuality. (False)
The underlying reasons for pathologizing intersexuality and suggesting treatments which are often barbaric are most likely a result of homophobia. However, there is nothing about intersexuality per se that would cause one to state that intersexuality and homosexuality are the same issue or that they are directly related. There quite possibly are links but the physiological reasons are not fully understood at this time. What is important to understand is that many people with intersex conditions, just as those without them, sometimes identify as gay or lesbian. Similarly, many intersex adults find the issue of homosexuality irrelevant to our perception of ourselves. More and more intersex people are comfortable with an intersex gender identity which we feel is more accurate in describing how we perceive ourselves. The socially constructed model of eroticism offered up by many cultures which divides people into homosexual and heterosexual erases our identity. Even bisexuality further perpetuates the idea of only two genders by the use of the prefix “bi‚” which means‚ “both.” There are people who are primarily attracted to androgynous people, to “masculine ” women or “feminine” men. And most important of all, what is the opposite sex of an intersex person?

5. Disorders of Sex Development, or DSD, is the preferred term for intersex. (False)
All members of the Organisation Intersex International (OII), the largest intersex organization in the world, reject the label Disorders of Sex Development (or DSD) for the simple reason that we are not disordered, but different, and we refuse to accept medical language and views which pathologize us. The fact that some intersex individuals choose to use this term to describe themselves, just as some homosexuals view their homosexuality as a disease to be cured, does not discount the fact that the label is inaccurate and stigmatizing to the community as a whole.

6. Intersex is not about gender. (False)
To many intersex people, gender is the main issue. In many countries around the world, there are no early surgeries to “treat” intersex bodies. These people’s main issues are often based on not being able to fit into either gender or growing up with a body incompatible with the gender in which they were raised.

The very theories used to support mutilating intersex bodies both surgically and hormonally are based on notions of gender which have been proved to be unreliable. According to the theories often espoused by followers of Dr. John Money, gender is not innate to the individual. We have no proof of this. We do have quite a bit of proof to the contrary. 

Intersex is not just about our bodies but also about how we perceive ourselves within those bodies and gender identity is a crucial part of everyone’s identity. To erase the importance of gender to the individual intersex person is to reduce that person to only the physical aspects of their body, neglecting the more important part of the equation, their own perception of that body and themselves, as opposed to how others perceive them.

7. Intersex is part of the transgender movement. (False)
No. Whereas individuals who are intersexed might identify as transgender, the opposite is not true. Most people who are part of the transgender movement are not intersexed. To include intersex under the umbrella term ‚ “transgender,” overlooks our specific needs which often are medical reform, legal issues concerning which gender we are, health issues specific to intersexed bodies and more importantly, the fact that most intersexed people are not trans. Many are perfectly happy with being men or women and more and more of us are quite happy being intergender and find the notion of trans totally foreign to our identity because we are rejecting binary gender altogether and the prefix‚ “trans,” just like the prefix “bi‚” mentioned earlier, keeps the binary well intact.

8. The intersex movement is an identity movement like other GLBT movements. (False)
Not exactly. The Organisation Intersex International campaigns for full Human Rights for all people born with intersex variations, some of whom do not claim “intersex” as an identity. Our diverse community includes people who identify as intersex males, intersex females, intersex, males, females, or sometimes, also, transgender.

9. Most intersex people were assigned female. (False)
Many intersex conditions in infants assigned male are often overlooked and the parents are simply told there is some work necessary for proper urination or that a testicle has not descended, etc. In addition, in many parts of the world intersex people are assigned male if at all possible because it is deemed more socially desirable to be male. When one reads about all the various intersex conditions, one realizes that a person born with an intersex condition is just as likely to be assigned male as female.

10. Intersexuality is a condition which can be cured. (False)
Surgical “normalization” of intersex bodies is an attempt, like eugenics, to remove differences which some people have decided are undesirable, and it often creates problems which were previously non-existent. To view intersex variations as conditions which can be cured justifies the barbaric medical practices we are often subjected to, such as genital surgeries and/or hormones which may be contrary to our own core identity, and psychological treatments for not wishing to comply.

(Source: oiiusa.org, via awfulbunny)

"In any case, if we buy into categories of sexual orientation based solely on gender-heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual-we’re cheating ourselves of a searching examination of our real sexual preferences. In the same fashion, by subscribing to the categories based solely on the male/female binary, we cheat ourselves of a searching examination of our real gender identity."

Kate Bornstein, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us

"Then there’s gender attribution, whereby we look at somebody and say, “that’s a man,” or “that’s a woman.” And this is important because the way we percieve another’s gender affects the way we relate to that person. Gender attribution is the sneaky one. It’s the one we do all the time without thinking about it; kinda like driving a sixteen-wheeler down a crowded highway… without thinking about it.
In this culture, gender attribution, like gender assignment, is phallo-centric. That is, one is male until perceived otherwise. According to a study by Kessler and McKenna, one can extrapolate that it would take the presence of roughly four female cues to outweigh the presence of one male cue: one is assumed male until proven otherwise. That’s one reason why many women today get “sirred” whereas very few men get called “ma’am.”"

Kate Bornstein, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of US

"Is the determination of one another’s gender a “social responsibility”?
Do we have the legal or moral right to decide and assign our own genders?
Or does that right belong to the state, the church, and the medical profession?
If gender is clarification, can we afford to throw away the very basic right to classify ourselves?"

Kate Bornstein, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us

15 notes

where dem loud ass White Feminists now that…

strugglingtobeheard:

Charlie Sheen has been given another TV show. And a Fiat commercial. Both of which he flaunts his blatant disrespect of women by asking in the fiat commercial, what do i get for good behavior? (inferring to his house arrest) to the model he is pressed on. And then in his new TV show, which i forget the name of, something about men, bullshit. He says, EVERYBODY DESERVES A 24TH CHANCE. UHHH… WHAT?!?! 

i find it amusing that all these whiny white feminist women came out to condemn chris brown getting invited to perform in the grammy’s and then actually win a grammy. i wasn’t too pleased either. however, we should be hearing this outrage about other well known woman abusers and disrespecters as well. and charlie sheen is white male privileged misogyny at it’s finest. this man shoots a woman and gets millions of dollars after and then continues to be misogynistic and now he has a new TV show, mum is the word. white feminists colluding with white male privilege and power again. and let me be clear, WHITE WOMEN DON’T EVEN GET 24 CHANCES. if a public figure white woman made the types of mistakes that charlie sheen did, the times she did, it would not be rewarded with more spotlight. nope. even someone like paris hilton, who has the money and power to have many things cleaned up behind the scenes, still faces a type of gendered ridicule for behaviors white men with money and some w/o have long gotten away with.

so again, where is this White Feminist rage? they are quick to cry about a black man making wealth and money and being in the spotlight after their involvement in misogyny and abuse. but white men, it’s totally cool i guess. your silence is complacency equals tacit consent in this case cause you know what, your mind and your priorities speak volumes. no word on charlie. plenty of rage for chris. i am not giving chris any pass, at all. but i just see what this is and it’s racist as fuck.

(via ethiopienne)

"Would I rather embarrass someone by correcting them when they use the wrong pronoun, or remain silent and take the rage out on myself? Why am I more comfortable correcting someone on a stage in front of a crowd than I am when I’m having a conversation with just a friend or two? Should I write my pronoun on my forehead? Attach it as a signature to all of my emails? If people are still calling me “she”, do I still want to be their friend? Are they going to accuse me of over-reacting? Am I ready to lose friends over this? Why do people refuse to use my chosen pronoun when they know my story? Are they worried they might sound silly when they say it, that they might have to explain it to their friends who might not yet understand? Do they think I’m making this up just to make their lives more complicated? Do they think they don’t need to change their language because they knew me “back when I was still a girl”?"

Am I Genderqueer Enough?

This is what runs through my head during every interaction with friends.

(via andythenerd)

(via locomotives)

701 notes

Beyond Coming Out: Political Engagement Across Queer Communities

"[S]imply telling people we are queer, or being queer in a public context, is not the only or even the most important way for us to be politically engaged. The idea that it is is born from political perspectives in which queerness stands alone, and is not navigated alongside economic, racial, geographic or cultural oppression. Not only might there be other ways of challenging our communities than just by coming out to them, there may be more revolutionary and transformative methods to employ, ones which can incorporate a wider range of voices and struggles, and which don’t merely depend on individual identification to promote change. We can agree that there are many more ways to fight unjust systems than simply coming out.”

(Source: heavenrants)

When do boys meet girls?

ethiopienne:

vagabondaesthetics:

I was talking to one my homies and she was talking about how she no longer finds Dave Chappelle funny because she believes misogyny permeates through far too many of the sketches that involve women. I can’t really offer any sort of rebuttal to that because I haven’t watched the series in years and the only ones that come to mind pretty much exclude women except for the one when he is in the car dancing to some music and the woman with him titty pops out.

Then she started listening the stereotypes women get like they’re difficult, angry, nuts, and so on and so forth. Essentially, men don’t understand women as people. So, I sat on that for a couple a seconds. What I came up with is that it is to be expected. Men’s lives don’t intersect with women until a nigga wants to fuck. And I say nigga because and not because I’m black or to be crass, but put out the crassness of the conversation and the desired relationship with women. As young boys we are never encouraged, and often shunned if we do, to delve into the world that has been constructed as girl/women. You are not supposed to watch shows for girls, listen to music for girls, play with girls’ toys, read books for girls and pretty much anything that is marketed/divisible into boy and girl. None of the material we’re given as boys really even includes girls except in the tomboy role.

And the tomboy role is an interesting function. That is when girls are allowed, there are still hurdles and restricts considering she is still a girl, to interact with boys among boy society. There is always some pushback among the boy fraternity, but she will have interaction with boys on boy level. Far more than the inverse at least. While there are mountains of positive things to be said about girls being tomboys, from a male perspective this is problematic to me on some level because the interaction is only taking place in his territory (for the majority of the time at least).

Now for girls it is interesting to me because straight (OUT OF THE DUNGEONS OF RAP) of the womb they are pretty much forced to interact with the boy world in every facet of their life. Firstly, all things that they consume will pretty much be in lesser quantity than the boys. And even within the little that they get exclusively targeted to them there will pretty much always be substantial male influence/characters permeating throughout the entirety to it. Shit, there are times with stories that take place in an entire female border school/university and with just a single male character he dominates the narrative. So, with parse amount they do receive they still get healthy (err…) doses of boyhood. In addition to that they’re encouraged to play with boys and consume our media alongside us. Women’s lives are intertwined with both masculinity and femininity since they are toddlers. It would seem contradictory to say that men’s lives aren’t, but we have to keep in mind that men only meet women in childhood and adolescence on their ground. No budges.

Now we get to a nigga wants to fuck stage. Fucking clueless as all hell. This may feel like a tangent, but I believe it bares mentioning. Lets sit back and think how many men actually know what a period is. Right? Right? This is one of the most basic things that can happen to women, but it is not understand by men beyond bad stand-up, terrible stereotypes on TV, and signifying that now that particular woman is able to get pregnant. I think that is one of our greatest examples of our profound ignorance of women. A simple biological necessity in order to make sure that the planet continues to have your species is barely understood beyond the most tenuous grasps of the basics. Where was I again? Okay yes, a nigga wants to fuck and we’re clueless. We’ve had zero training or preparation for this. Shit we haven’t even learned that you’re fellow fucking human beings yet! Jesus, we’re fucked. Sort of. Well not sort of, it’s a no. Women kind of just accept our ignorance because of one of our favorite phrases “boys will be boys.”

I know a positive example of a woman that are usually in boys lives in the mother. I would say it’s a good point. I would, but I won’t. Why? Well because mothers are not women to their sons. Mothers to sons barely exist on the same plain as human beings. They are God damn heavenly perfect figures. Which is why men who love their mothers (live, breathe, and die for them) can still give zero fucks about the treatment of other women in the world including how he treats women. I believe that regardless of how much a girl may love her daddy, there will almost certainly be a certain point and time in relationship when she starts seeing his as both a man and father (or even just a men who happens to be her father).

I feel like now I should answer my question prompted in the title. I honestly can’t say when because I think a significant percentage (I am neither optimistic or pessimistic right now so I would say majority or major minority) simply do not. That’s not to say these men secretly hate the women they are married to, have kids with, and stay married with their entire lives. Nope. Still love. That’s all possible. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he recognizes their humanity. It doesn’t mean he has any grasp on the totality of women as people. It’s just, I don’t know. Feels like an extremely basic thing you know?

Then again I’m still working on myself with deconstruction within my mind and my views on women aren’t always awash in completely picture perfect views of women as people. Doesn’t matter whether I fucking loved the Powerpuff Girls growing up or that I had more female friends than male friends in schooling or that most of the characters I emphasize with in film are women or that I love or 15 million other things, they are still there regardless. It’s a long process that shouldn’t be a long process. I’m still ashamed of myself for it.

Bolded for emphasis.

This is obviously very binarist but I think it brings up a lot of really, really good points.

(via ethiopienne)

I wrote this op-ed about the cisgender exploitation of transgender children for LGBTQ Nation!

quelola:

mattachinereview:

It’s potentially really triggering, because it is about upsetting topics, but I am very happy with how it turned out.

Amazing piece! Read if you can.

There was an article I read a while ago about a mom who raised her child gender neutral for 5 years and it briefly mentioned how people who insist on knowing which is basically asking “what’s in your kids pants” and it creeped me out and this kinda helped me realize some of the reasons why.

(Source: francesetherealgumm)


Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco’s explore the notions of gender, race, sex, ethnicity, colonialism, and assimilation in their art performances.

Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco’s explore the notions of gender, race, sex, ethnicity, colonialism, and assimilation in their art performances.

(Source: sinidentidades)

"You should hide behind that fan Karl Lagerfeld, shame on you, for calling Adele “a little bit fat.” Who are you? What is the point of saying that? What are you trying to prove? Why are you trying to cut a bitch down? Shame shame shame.

When you say we are fat, you murder our grace, and we’ve already lost so much to begin with. We’ve already lost everything, except weight. That we gain steadily, along with self-hatred, and all you are doing is adding to our burden, pressing down on the scale with the long toe of your fine, elegantly tasseled loafer…

You consider yourself to be the authority on style, as you are supposedly style personified but what good is style when you have no class? What good is style when you have no humanity? What good is style when you make us want to kill ourselves?

We are dying, Karl. Lots of us are already dead."

Margaret Cho to Karl Lagerfeld, regarding his comments about Adele. View the post here.

(via cognitivedissonance)

(via cognitivedissonance)