Friday, October 1, 2010

Links: Round 'em Up Cowgirls!

I haven't done one of these posts in a while. Basically because I'm a blabbermouth and prefer actually writing posts of my own. But here is some random stuff around the world wide web I've read recently.

Feel free to include links to stuff you've been reading, in the comments. Self-promotion is encouraged!

1) [TW: Dehumanization of transgender people] In Oklahoma, Brittney Novotny is running against homophobe Sally Kern. Ms. Novotny, an attorney, is also a transgender woman. While Ms. Kern chooses to refer to her opponent by male pronouns, one of Kern's supporters, chairman of the Oklahoma Conservative PAC Charlie Meadows, has called Novotny "a confused 'it.'" It's okay though, everyone, as Meadows explained:

"I could have used the word eunuch, but the word 'it' was not intended to be derogatory. It is simply intended to describe really what she is now."

Because people who change their gender are, by definition, "its"? They don't have a gender? Someone explain this to me like I'm a 5-year-old, because I'm not following the logic here.

2) Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has gained notoriety for launching a bizarre, exaggerated internet crusade against a gay college student who is the student assembly president at the University of Michigan. During his personal time, Shirvell runs a blog called "The Chris Armstrong Watch," which:

"...accuses the student of advancing a .radical homosexual agenda,. analyzes posts from the Facebook pages of Armstrong and his friends and overlays an image of Armstrong's face with a swastika-bedecked rainbow flag."

Michigan's Attorney General won't fire Shirvell, though, even though he admits that Shirvell is a "bully" and has demonstrated "immaturity" and a "lack of judgment." Because those characteristics aren't at all relevant to a position which allegedly protects the interests of Michigan and its citizens.

3) People often pass along "blogging material" to me. Sometimes I use it and other times, well, I just don't know quite what to do with it. This article, about Japanese men taking their "virtual girlfriends" on dates at actual hotels, is one of those times.

4) In Afghanistan, sons are more highly valued than daughters, given a son's ability to inherit family wealth and pass down that oh-so-valuable family's father's name. Because not having a son can be very stigmatizing and can limit the mobility of women, some families choose to dress their daughters as boys in order to grant their daughters more freedom and out of practical necessity.

These families' succesful performance of gender rebellion subverts the very reasons for keeping men and women separate. After all, if girls can perform boy-ness as effectively as a boy, how inherently different are boys and girls, really?

5) Geena Davis is the best. Not only because she's "kind of a dolly" and played one of my favorite movie characters ever, but because she also founded the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media which advocates for "the need for gender balance and varied portrayals of female and male characters into movies, TV, and other media aimed at children 11 and under."

6) Finally, I want to go in this.

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