Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Apologies, as a prelude to amends, if possible.

To brownfemipower, among others, at least for...not helping, let's say. And I was already thinking similar things wrt the "swarming" business. Still thinking. Not the main point here.

The main point here is: no women, trans or cis, are getting served by NOWHC at all since December, because there simply isn't the support.


It continues to be horribly fucking unfair that so many people have no access to health care or so many other necessary services at all; and that regardless of what happens with NOWHC, trans women continue to be among the most disenfranchised even among the disenfranchised. And yes, more people need to be aware that trans women are women too and need access to womens' services; and that first of all, services need to exist and be available in the damn first place, and we -all- need to care that this is the case.

Maybe there's actually something productive I can do to help. I'd like to.

ETA: Holly has more commentary.

Quote of the day, 6/30/09

“We begin to confront the thingness of objects when they stop working for us: when the drill breaks, when the car stalls, when the windows get filthy, when their flow within the circuits of production and distribution, consumption and exhibition, has been arrested, however momentarily. The story of objects asserting themselves as things, then, is the story of a changed relation to the human subject and thus the story of how the thing really names less an object than a particular subject-object relation. And, yet, the word things holds within it a more audacious ambiguity.”

--Bill Brown, “Thing Theory”

via verbal privilege

this explains so much. frex, why I scream at my printer when the ink cartridge conks out on me the night before the paper is due. it's DEFYING me! bastard!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Pride, yo.

I shall probably be celebrating by doing late papers, slouching about & popping Rolaids, but y'all don't worry about me, I'll just sit here in the dark...

no, seriously, I don't like crowds. Dyke March yesterday were awesome, tho'. I do love living here...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hey. Here's a wacky notion about "public health care:"

If you're a government official and against "public health care?" As in, the government paying for the public's health care? Then go off the fucking grid and stop accepting our tax money for YOUR health care, you miserable son of a bitch. Bootstraps away, eh? -You- pay for a fucking chronic illness or catastrophe out of pocket. No donations, no insurance, nothing beyond your basic salary. Go on, it'll be funny.

And no, at this point most Americans aren't too stupid to understand we're getting screwed over.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Slice o' life on wry

So, after having eaten at the little table, I go to pay for my sammich at the deli. Counterman who made said sammich rings me up. As he does so, sez:

"Did you hear that woman behind you? Sorry you had to hear that."

I go, "no," truthfully, was engrossed in my book. Had vague recollection of irritating noise somewhere. Why?

"She was just..." the man searches, clearly embarrassed..."vulgar."

I go, "o'rly? How so?" (I have to ask).

He seems more embarrassed. "Just...very vulgar, the things she was saying. She just -assumed-, I guess...you know, because I work behind the cash register? that I'm...homosexual. Like I'd know or care what she was talking about...she just assumed"

I look at him.

A note: we are in, not only San Francisco, but essentially on Main Gay Street in Gayville, San Francisco. And the guy is...well...okay, one doesn't want to stereotype, no; but, well, "being behind a cash register" isn't the stereotype I would've thought of. And, I doubt the woman (whose laughter and a few snatches of her bawdy repartee are sort of coming back to me now, as in a dream recollection, although still v. vague about content) was thinking of that, as such, either.

Oh well. "Homosexual." Bless. One doesn't quite know what to say.

He seems anxious to please. "Your sandwich...did I make it okay?"

I smile. "It was fine. Great. No worries." One tries to reassure in whatever way one can...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"When I say I want to talk about you, I don't mean I'm actually INTERESTED in what YOU have to say for yourself," part infinity-four

This edition, a slight twist on other versions of this wank, at least for this blog: a feminist who has decided that not only is sex a -positive- thing, it's positively -mandatory.- Whether you actually want it or not.

Clarissa explains it all for us:


A recent post at Feministing illustrates the point I was trying to make about tolerance that sometimes turns into a parody of itself.

The post responds to a message from somebody who feels asexual and finds anybody's touch "absolutely repulsive. The thought of sex makes me gag a bit." The response that the author of the message gets to her post takes the idea of political correctnes to the extreme that is even a little scary. The main idea of the response is "Asexual people of the world, unite!" Don't worry about beinng asexual, it says. You can always get together with other asexual people, date them, and form yet another neat identity group.

This attitude does not come exclusively out of the desire to show the world how tolerant and accepting one is. It is also the result of a deeply Puritanical view of sex, which refuses to see human sexuality on terms of a physiological process. If anybody found the idea of eating or sleeping (also physiological processes) "absolutely repulsive", we wouldn't be as likely to dismiss this problem with a lot of well-meaning but ultimately empty words. Nobody would (at least for now, I think) suggest to form an identity group around this problem.

Another problem that the response to this post brings to light, is the deep-seated fear that many Americans feel towards psychology as a field of knowledge. While several people suggested that the author of the post look for hormonal causes of her asexuality, nobody mentioned that it might be helpful for her to search for psychological causes.

a) "Political correctness"=pretty much automatic fail already. Sure enough:

b) "I'm all for 'tolerance,' but when it comes to something I'm too lazy to learn about and/or still want to make fun of/wax superior over, that's going -too far.-"

c) "For instance, the very idea that people might want to have meaningful relationships without sex, and that that might be about -their happiness- and have -nothing to do with me-, rather than about forcing poor put upon me to be "tolerant" of yet another "identity group."

d) "Blah blah blah one size fits all boilerplate which certainly has something to it but still doesn't have anything to do with this person whom I don't know -here- lecturecakes blah."

e) Glad you mentioned psychology. I happen to be training in psychology. And the first thing you learn in -my- school, at least, is you meet people where they're at. I.e., you don't try to "fix" them according to -your- standards of what would make -you- happy before even learning the first thing about -that other person who isn't you.- Those would be the second and third things as well, actually.

f) Also, armchair diagnosis over the Internets, while a fun party trick (I've done it myself): really not for the sake of the actual person being "helped," you know, so much as for the gratification of the person making the diagnosis and/or third party observers. Pretty much that would be always.

So, okay, so a bunch of people argue with her, many self-ID'd asexuals. And I was -going- to go over and throw in my tuppeny, but quickly realize I actually couldn't say the whole "you are not the center of the universe! no, really! p.s. this ain't feminism (or sex positive either, for that matter)" any more clearly than a number of other commenters already.

And then, to confirm my suspicion that anything I had to say over there would be both redundant and unheard, at the very bottom:

Clarissa said...
For those who feel the need to participate without reading what was said previously, I repeat: this discussion is closed.

I'm always ready to discuss anything with calm, reasonable, and polite people (such as pretzelboy, Allison, and more recently Erbs).

Those, however, who come to repeat things that have been discussed 100 times, or those who are so enraged with the fact that somebody somewhere dared to have an opinion do not interest me as interlocutors. Coming here to scream "batshit," "SILLY" and "LEARN" in capital letters is not, in my opinion, an acceptable way to engage in a discussion. I don't even want to imagine what would make people want to seek out blogs of those with differing opinions and to engage in such public fits of hysteria. Curiously, these are always the same people who scream "tolerance above all".

If there are still people who fail to understand that for me this is not about the asexual community, I can't help you.

Once again: the discussion is closed until the participants start behaving in a way I find more acceptable.

Oh, cupcake.

Putting everything else aside (woo, tone argument for the epic fail! "Cut his mike!" "I can spout ignorant offensive bullshit as though from the Papal office and then ignore any counterarguments that don't suit me if I want! IT'S JUST MY OPINION!" is that a universal BINGO card I see before me?):

Friend, if -you- can't understand how calling a post "asexuality" and then proclaiming, quite truthfully apparently, that "for me this is not about the asexual community" might just be a wee tiny bit fucked up...well, I can't help you either.

And aren't you glad you -asked- for my -help- and thinky thoughts?

--Especially wrt this, now I notice:

As to you parallel with homosexuality, I still fail to see how it applies. As I said, sexuality is a physiological process, like sleeping or eating. depriving yourself of sleep will be detrimental to your health. This is my firm belief and I have a right to it. Since gay and lesbian people do not deprive themselves of sex, there is no reason to believe that they might suffer detrimental effects of sexual deprivation.I find that trying to bring homosexuality into the discussion of sexless lives is nothing but a tactic aimed at diverting the conversation from the actual topic.

Oh where to begin.

Yes, sex is important to -most- people, and being "deprived" (i.e. "unable to obtain something you want and need, not something other people think you want and need) can seriously fuck up your emotional health and eat away the rest of your life. Been there, done that, got the scratchy hairshirt. Yes, I believe that sex-negative culture has had a lot of deleterious effects, individually and structurally. Yes, I even think Wilhelm Reich was onto something (at least some somethings).

And yet: no, actually, the individual -doesn't- need sex like sleeping or especially eating: if you don't eat, you're gonna die. As in, literally and physically, in a relatively short amount of time. This is not how sex works. That's not a "belief;" that's a fact. Unless you are some other species that I am not aware of.

And, I for one also really do not appreciate the implications of "deprive -themselves-" from what sure looks like a blandly oblivious heteronormative perspective; there's a lot to say about the ways in which internalized as well as externalized homophobia can cause "deprivation" and "detrimental effects"--see above re: unable to obtain something you want and need--but I for one sure wouldn't have found that sort of smug tone implying there was yet something -else- wrong with me remotely helpful, ever. One gets quite enough of that all around.

ETA: and yeah, as someone else noted, the whole "sex is a natural biological process" business is a wee tad 'normative itself. and annoying.

veyz. yeah, I can't actually get into all of the ways this irks right now. more later. maybe.

ETA: it crystallized a bit more:

Re the parallel with the queer umbrella sexualities and why it's a relevant parallel: most of us have direct experience with having been pathologized and disprespected for our sexuality (yes, "sexuality" includes "lack thereof," in fact) even when said sexuality is in fact none of anyone else's business, isn't harming anyone else, and in fact the people who say or imply they're lecturing us/attempting a "cure" "for our own good" clearly do -not- have our best interests in mind, but rather their own agenda.

Anyway, really, the definitive comment was made on an earlier (and equally headdesky) post at feministing some time back:

UnHingedHips said:

Dear Woman Doing Something: I am a feminist and want women to be able to make their own choices. However, YOU are too (young/old/poor/x/y/z)and I think your choice to (have babies/not have babies/sail around the world/a/b/c) while being so (young/old/poor/x/y/z) is reprehensible and you should be loudly condemned for daring to do something like *that*, even though it has no impact on my life.

I hope you see the error of your ways.

~Another Woman

ETA again: Just for the record's sake, here's one of those other commenters from over there.

Shain Neumeier said...
To both Clarissa and Anonymous 5:40 a.m.,

I think the main problem I have with all of this is that people who are not me are trying to tell me what I and people like me should be and disguising it as what we "are" and are refusing to accept, or what we should want by saying it's what any functional person would really like. It's unfair, and frankly condescending, to say about people that the puritanical patriarchy has brainwashed them into not wanting sex (I find this a bit antithetical to feminism anyways - isn't it the belief that women ARE smart and capable enough to make their own decisions about their bodies?), or that they're immature and will grow out of it. If someone happens to eventually want or at least like sex, or if the benefits of having it outweigh the costs for them at some point for whatever reason, then great. But at the point that someone is coming out as asexual, I can think of no way in which it helps anybody, you or them, to invalidate the conclusion they've come to about themselves.

As far as the argument that sex is good and even necessary for one - If I may, I'll accept, but revise, the food comparison. I would say that asexuality is a little like having an aversion to a food that most people like and/or that's very good for people. Would life be better for someone who couldn't stand the smell of bananas or the texture of salad if they could eat these foods without throwing up? Maybe. But if, as things are, they get sick if they try to eat these foods, the health benefits might not be worth the costs of trying to learn to like them. So let them use their multivitamins or whatever other compensatory measures to make up for any lost nutrients, or choose to do nothing at all. It's no one's business to tell them what they need or should want in case like this.

Likewise, maybe it's true that one gets headaches and irritability from not having sex. But you know what? I'd rather stock up on ibuprofen and get some hobbies that allow me to vent my anger in a productive way than let someone do things to my body that I'm uncomfortable with. I can imagine that someone will want to jump on me for that description of sex, but that's how I see it. I'm simply uncomfortable with invasive physical contact, as I am with a number of other sensory experiences, and sex falls under the category of invasive physical contact. I get emotional fulfillment from others through a lot of things, like watching movies, making up stories and having good debate, but sex just isn't conducive to trust or love in my mind. This is abnormal, but, as it does not interfere with my day-to-day or overall functioning, it's not by definition disordered. Such is the case with many asexuals, whether or not they're repulsed by sexual contact as I am. So who is anyone else to tell us that we should be otherwise?

If I'm unhappy or unhealthy because I'm not having sex, I'll see an actual psychologist or doctor about it, and work something out that makes me better without making me uncomfortable. All I want - and, I think, what most "aces" want - from people who are not being paid for medical advice is acceptance and the belief that we are capable enough to define ourselves as makes sense to us.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Memes that need to be killed with fire (first of a possible ongoing series):

Today, (probably not saying this for the first time or the last here), as per thejadedhippy's example (Rainn Wilson in this case, I guess):

"O hai! I seem to have offended some people! Oh, look, lots and lots of people, now! All kinds of people! Many of them in groups considered marginalized! Some so marginalized I heretofore barely even tweaked their existence, except as a punchline! People are talking loudly and waving their hands in my general direction with angry faces! I am OFFENSIVE. Offensive means SPECIAL. I must be doing something right.

(Please note that the hoary phrase "politically correct" does not even need to be introduced at this juncture).

Basically, besides acting as a convenient cover for good ol' fashioned bigotry much of the time, this attitude is the American (among others, but especially) ideal of Bold Individualism** reduced and distilled until its most striking resemblance is to a puddle of dog piss on the carpet.

"Look! I marked my territory! Woof woof woof! Oh--people waving and making shouty noises. I think I might have done something Bad. Unfortunately I can't remember -why- it was bad, and they're still shouting. Meanwhile: hey, attention! Maybe bad is -good-! I don't like people being mad at me, but gosh, I -like- attention! Woof! Hey, they're shouting some more! This is kind of fun! BARK! BARK BARK BARK WOOF WOOF..."

Meanwhile, of course, the increasingly exasperated Wavy Shouty People alternate between ignoring, indulging, trying reward-discipline behavior and simply striking out with a rolled up newspaper when sufficiently aggravated.

No, I don't have any better ideas at this juncture either, I'm afraid. It'd be nice if non-canine people whose brains in reality probably -aren't- really the size of a walnut would stop acting that way, is all I know. Eh.

I mean, it's not that I don't even get the temptation to just, well, be an asshole. It's fun! It's easy! And it's the Amurrican Way!

What it -isn't- is particularly difficult or even entertaining most of the time. Most people aren't Lenny Bruce or even Dennis Leary. They're just, well? Assholes. We've all got 'em. Not uncommon, the asshole.

**I probably use this quote way too much, but:

But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

--Carl Sagan

Substitute "iconoclast" for "genius" and you pretty much have the mentality.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Donate to Trans Women Homesteaders

Lost home due to foreclosure (o brave new economy), starting new life on substistence farm. send money and/or leftover seed packets from your garden:

Alyssa and Crystal C.
PO Box 231
Richmond, ME 04357

Or to my PayPal, if you actually have money.

see voz_latina for more details.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Harold Bloom IS my sister!

From everything I've read, from the anecdotes that I've heard, from the fanvids I've watched, from the dreams I've had, especially those that involve my going back to school and/or losing teeth, Harold Bloom is an intellectual who cares deeply about maintaining standards. He is one of the few people in academia that has the courage to say that JK Rowling is cliched, and that is a message that benefits all writers, including JK Rowling, because it gives her something to strive for. It does not surprise me that there are many so-called writers unable to respect the integrity of their Structure. It does not surprise me that there are many academics who are unable to hear what Harold has to say when being against the decay of everything good and pure about the Canon and Civilization is called ""pompous" and "reactionary" and "chode-esque." When people who read Harry Potter can only defend themselves by saying "well, at least it's better than 'Twilight.'" When four out of five absinthe-addled penguins can write better than Stephanie Meyer with one flipper tied behind their backs. As if there is any logic in that. As if Twilight is "literature." As if penguins would even drink absinthe if it weren't for the international cartels flooding Antarctica with the stuff. It is saddening but not surprising.

Anyway, I think we've all had our say here. I am not interested in continuing this conversation. In fact, I'm not even interested in starting a conversation. I don't care to be "deconstructed" by the posties, thank you VERY much. This conversation is over. Over! LALALALALALALALALALALA ---beeeeeeeeep--

Someone please call CPS on Rob Williams and Arnie State.

Tried several times to sufficiently convey my revulsion for these people in the headline and failed, sorry

Basically, these shitbag radio talk show hosts--what, redundant, you say? No, wait: really, here's a lower place:

Even by the flexible moral, ethical, and professional standards of American talk radio, the May 28th segment of KRXQ 98.5 FM Sacramento's Rob, Arnie, & Dawn in the Morning radio talk show makes for a sickening half-hour of ugliness and cruelty. For once, the focus was not LGBT adults, but minors. The hosts, Rob Williams and Arnie States, devoted the segment in question to a vicious diatribe against transgender children, some as young as five, focusing in particular on the case of one Omaha family raising a gender dysphoric child, and their decision to support her transition from male to female.

Williams and States took turns referring to gender dysphoric children as "idiots" and "freaks," who were just out "for attention" and had "a mental disorder that just needs to somehow be gotten out of them," either by verbal abuse on the part of the parents, or even shock therapy.

"Allowing transgenders to exist, pretty soon it becomes normal to fall in love with the animals," they said.

For his part, States bragged that if his own son were to ever dare put on a pair of high heels, States would beat his son with one of his own shoes. He urged parents whose own little boys expressed a desire to wear a dress to verbally abuse and degrade them as a viable response. "Because you know what? Boys don't wear high heel shoes. And in my house, they definitely don't wear high heels.

"I'm going to go, 'You know what? You're a little idiot! You little dumbass!'" States sneered, adding later, "I look forward to when [the transgender children] go out into society and society beats them down. And they wind up in therapy."

Or dead.

In light of the well-publicized suicides this year of the two boys who took their own lives because of bullying and harassment for "acting gay" (which, in the argot of modern North American teenagers, often refers to acting in a way considered unmasculine by their peers) the stunning lack of moral sensibility on the part of States and Williams is breathtaking. But it also points to the increasingly degraded landscape of talk radio.

No fucking shit.

GLAAD put out an action alert (via Autumn at Pam's House Blend):

TAKE ACTION: Demand that KRXQ Radio Hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States Apologize for Encouraging Violence Against Transgender Children


Cindi Creager
Director of National News
(646) 871-8019

Richard Ferraro
Director of Public Relations
(646) 871-8011

Please contact KRXQ management in Sacramento, California, where the show is produced and demand that radio show hosts Rob Williams and Arnie States publicly apologize. Call on KRXQ to hold Williams and States accountable for their remarks and establish clear standards to ensure their media platform will not be used to condone or promote violence against any parts of the communities they serve.

John Geary
Vice President & General Manager
(916) 339-4209

Arnie States
On Air Personality
(916) 334-7777

Rob Williams
On Air Personality
(916) 334-7777

Please forward this link to any of your friends and others who may also wish to take action. When contacting KRXQ, please ensure that your emails and phone calls are civil and respectful and do not engage in the kind of name-calling or abusive behavior.

Apparently, as of yesterday, the station offered an apology, and there was to be something by the hosts tonight, although not finding it online and not really interested in hearing what they have to say. Personally, I think hosts this fucking hateful shouldn't have a public platform to spew from, period. I'm sorry for States' own kid. Even sorrier and angrier that listeners soak up this shit and take it out quite fucking literally on the bodies and spirits of trans people. -Children.- Christ Jesus forbid someone by their very -existence- force it into these orcs' stunted consciousness that they don't run the fucking universe. And yeah, I'm beyond sick of all of these toxic throwbacks clogging up the airwaves and the public square.

Some people are starting to put together a boycott of the station's sponsors. From a commenter at Pam's:

The whole list of advertisers can be found here. [direct links to each advertiser including contact info therein]

Here's some of the big ones:

Home Depot
Griffin & Reed Eyecare
Pro City Mortgage
sonic burger
Tobacco Republic
State Farm Insurance
Carl's Jr.
Wells Fargo Bank
Guitar Center
Mc Donalds
Red Bull
Bank of America
The Sleep Train
Verizon Wireless
UC Davis Health Care System
Washington Mutual

Like I said, personally I think the fuckers should get gone from the airwaves. Obviously not the only one who thinks an "apology" and $3.50 will get you a nice latte at Starfucks, basically. It might or might not be worth continuing to contact the station owners/management themselves; your call. I can't imagine writing anything that would be remotely useful to the actual hosts.

Also, Monica of Transgriot notes:

And if that doesn't get their attention, for those of you in the Sacramento, CA metro area, you can lodge protests when their FCC broadcast license comes up for renewal.

Update: So far, Snapple, Sonic & Chipotle have pulled advertising from KRXQ.

Monday, June 01, 2009

And yet: Why Satire Is Dead Part #blazoon.

THESE people are, apparently, completely serious. No, really. "The Young Cons." From Dartmouth*. Word to your, uh, alma mater, yo. -clap- ...pause... -clap.-

From their blog:


Stirring up much debate is the verse in the Young Con Anthem:

“Three thing taught me conservative love,
Jesus, Ronald Reagan plus Atlas Shrugged”

This comment is similar to other responses we've received from the video. Yes, we know that Ayn Rand was an atheist, however, she preached the power of the individual and personal responsibility just as Jesus and Martin Luther King Jr.

...I understand why you believe Jesus' values to be liberal.. "he was weak on defense (turn the other cheek), big on social programs (give to the poor), harsh on the wealthy (nearly impossible for the rich man to enter heaven), soft on punishment (he who is without sin, cast the first stone), and pro-taxes (render unto Caesar what is his)" 1

However, Jesus does not ask government to make these commitments. Rather, he requests each individual... to choose out of their free will, from their heart, and because they want to... give up the possessions which they have and "follow Him." The message we receive from Jesus is that people should “give up” their possessions. He did not urge the government to make this commitment.

Supply Side Jesus approves of this message:

The ceiling cats, however, are merely confused. As are the Great Old Ones, Flying Spaghetti Monster, Moses -and- his Burning Bush, baby Jesus, pre-teen Jesus, Jesus H. Christ (third listed in the phone book), Joseph the Carpenter from Brooklyn Heights, nine out of ten dentists, and, well, just a bunch of other people.

*am I the only one who now automatically thinks "Slytherin" every time she sees "Dartmouth?" For several reasons?

pre-emptive ETA: no, I didn't actually make it to the end, either. Shiny nickel to anyone who can. Maybe something awesome happens. Maybe.

Sex With Ducks: The Music Video

"It's a feeling I can't name/When sex with ducks and gay marriage are one and the same..."