So I say we troll the fuck out of it.  Come on tumblrz, you’re good at this!

Gender reassignment is not funny. It’s not there for you to snigger at, or for you to make jokes about “would you like me to call you mister or miss?” And it is definitely NOT cool for you to be all “oh well it is difficult when you’re on the phone and they say they’re miss but you can hear they’re a man”.

NO.

You call a person by the name they give you, by the name they are comfortable with. It’s not up to you to feel uncomfortable, especially when you’re providing a service to that person. Get a grip, stop being a douche and have some respect. Jeez.

kateordie:

Bisexuality Comics Part 2! Reblog if you like it! Part 3 is up now!

My mum just gave Amy a magazine about Kate Middleton (why this exists is beyond me) and was saying “she’s pretty isn’t she, she’s a princess like you”. Criiinge. I just responded with “she’s not a princess, she’s a Godzilla”… I mean, this kid has been bombing around growling and tickling everyone all evening. Couldn’t be further from yr stereotypical posey princess!

The thing is I don’t think my mum even means it intentionally (none of us push pink or glitter on Amy, and most of her toys are pretty genderless). It’s just so ingrained that people come out with these things without thinking. Sigh.

Really interesting article.  Just don’t read the comments, they’re way too depressing for a supposedly leftist newspaper.

Feminism makes some men very scared, others very angry. Tom Martin, who is taking legal action against the London School of Economics, risks being seen as falling into both of these categories. A former student at the LSE Gender Institute, Martin claims he had the misfortune of being subject to a torrent of anti-male discrimination during his (very brief) time there, and has cited the Gender Equality Duty to support his case. The irony of attacking feminists by invoking a piece of legislation whose existence is largely down to the energy and commitment of feminist campaigners scarcely needs pointing out.

Martin alleges that the course material he studied during his six weeks at the LSE was systematically anti-male overlooked men’s issues, and ignored any research that contested a “women good, men bad” line of reasoning. Furthermore, Martin claims that the Gender Institute drummed into the students, with quasi-religious fervour, a simplistic view of women as victims and men as perpetrators. If his experience is anything to go by, any self-respecting male should steer well clear of such institutionalised misandry. Well, male readers, before you start cowering behind the sofa fearful of the castrating gender studies professor who’s about to get you, let me reassure you. Although I don’t know the specifics of Martin’s experience, I am a male academic active in gender studies, and was a researcher at the very institution that Martin is suing. And yet for me, as with many other male gender studies scholars and students, my academic engagement with feminism and gender issues has been nothing short of life-affirming.

Let’s get a few things straight. The dominant ideas, approaches and insights of the vast majority of academic disciplines are produced by, for and about men. This does not necessarily make them bad ideas, but it does mean that there are entrenched gender biases in most fields. In my own discipline – politics – the key undergraduate texts are overwhelmingly by and about men. And yet this is seen by most as unproblematic, as natural or inevitable.

Gender studies is an attempt to critique this entrenched male bias. As an emerging area of study, it remains small and lacks the financial and institutional clout of the bigger disciplines. It strikes me as utterly bemusing that one would want to direct one’s ire towards one of the few academic spaces in which the implications of biases that go largely unchallenged elsewhere are explored.

But let’s clear up a few further points. Firstly, the perception that gender studies is doctrinal and dogmatic is simply untrue. It is sceptical of traditional distinctions between fields of research, and is more dynamic, innovative and open to new perspectives than established disciplines. And far from sticking to a crude “women good, men bad” line, gender studies programmes encourage students to acknowledge the diversity of relations between men and women, the limitations of a victim-centred understanding of womanhood, and the complex ways in which gender intersects with race, class and sexuality. The development of this more holistic approach to gender analysis is one of the reasons why the name “gender studies” is now usually given preference over “women’s studies”, although the name of the field remains a controversial topic.

What is not in dispute, though, is the contribution to gender studies of current research into the changing nature of masculinity. Scholars such as Jeff Hearn, R W Connell, Keith Pringle, Michael Kimmel and Terrell Carver have all taken inspiration from feminism and women’s studies to analyse, for example, class and racial inequalities between men, the causes and consequences of male violence, the lived experience of different kinds of male sexuality, and the ways in which ideas of masculinity influence social and political thought. Although most gender studies scholars and students are women, the likes of Jeff Hearn and Michael Kimmel have paved the way for increasing numbers of men to contribute to academic gender studies, contributions that have been unambiguously welcomed. In this context, if a gender studies scholar were to put forward a crude “women good, men bad” analysis, it would never stand up to peer scrutiny.

Finally, gender studies courses are extremely friendly and supportive environments. In contrast to the stuffiness and conformity of many academic settings, gender studies students and scholars are tolerant, friendly, and enlightened in their attitudes to race, sexual orientation and transsexuality. Gender studies is invariably more sociable than other academic settings, and all kinds of people are welcome, so long as you are willing to engage with people and ideas in a considered and respectful manner. If you’re committed to combating discrimination and prejudice in academia, gender studies is an eccentrically misguided choice of target.

 robevanswritingaboutmusic replied to your post: robevanswritingaboutmusic replied to your post:…

What is it about them you’re finding problematic? I’m interested to know as most of the criticism I’ve seen has just been kind of missing the point and objecting to the name…

cocobyname replied to your post: robevanswritingaboutmusic replied to your post:…

Think of it as Voting Yes to AV. It’s problematic but its a step in the right direction. By not going its sending a message out that people arent interested in the debate.

This is a very good point.  I think the problems that strike me are the fact that it can seem quite exclusive, and a lot of it depends on how you’re viewing the Slutwalks.  If you’re seeing them as a way to reclaim the word ‘slut’ then that can make them exclusive, as there are a lot of women who can’t/won’t see any value in reclaiming the word, or for whom there is no point in reclaiming it.  If you’re seeing the march as more of a sort of “this happens to all women, slut is a stupid concept, there is no such thing when it comes to sexual violence” then I guess it is more inclusive, but it is still ignoring the fact that not all victims of rape are cisgender women.

I dunno.  Problems, but like Coco said, step in the right direction probably.

Men’s magazine forced to apologise to Andrej Pejic over inclusion in annual list – only to brand him a ‘thing’ online.

The readers of the US version of FHM this year voted to include Pejic, an Australian, at number 98 in its annual list of the 100 sexiest women for 2011.

However, Pejic, who came ahead of Lady Gaga and former Victoria’s Secret model Izabel Goulart in the poll, came in for some criticism in the accompanying profile on the FHM website.

Under the heading “Why we love Andrej Pejic”, the online profile referred to him as a “thing” and a “blonde gender bender” with aspirations to be a Victoria’s Secret Model, which made the writer want to reach for a “sick bucket”.

It went on to say that Pejic “is not the only one when it comes to supermodels that are not all they seem”, which was a “fashion trend we won’t be following”.

Awful. Yet another reason to hate lads’ mags.  Fuck you, FHM.

Something I’ve been thinking about for a long time is the gendering of babies, these strange little seemingly genderless creatures who are each unique but almost the same regardless of what lies between their legs.

When my cousin Amy was born last July, I knew it’d be difficult to find her things that weren’t pastel pink, but I didn’t realise just how difficult. (I should add that I don’t have anything against pink as such, but given that everyone else bought her stuff that made her look like a marshmallow, I wanted to give her a bit of variety.) I buy her bright colours, stripes and polka dots and t-shirts with giraffes wearing sunglasses (which, funnily enough, is from the boys’ section). Luckily, her parents have enough sense that they will dress her in whatever she’s given.

I’ve also definitely noticed the “pretty little girl”/”big strong boy” split. Amy is a very pretty baby, granted, but she’s also tough and strong as hell (crawling headfirst into the kitchen door? Didn’t bat an eyelid). I avoid gendered terms of affection as much as possible; rather than princess etc, I call her monkey or pickle or snotface. I praise her for her strength when she uses everything in sight as a climbing frame, or wants to go walking; I praise her for being clever when she learns something new. I’m rubbish at telling her off for anything (hey, I think spitting food is funny, even when it’s at me), but I know I’d be the same if she were a boy. I definitely don’t buy into this “little girls should be good but boys will be boys” crap.

I was talking to a woman in the train station the other week about this. She had her daughter with her, a beautiful blue-eyed bald 7-month-old dressed in blue striped dungarees and a white tee. She told me how folks often think her baby is a boy because of how she is dressed. “I don’t see the big deal, they’re just babies,” we both agreed.

I’m not really sure where this is going, but… I guess I just want to say, can we please stop pushing gender on our chidren before they’re even old enough to figure anything out for themselves?

A real woman always keeps her house clean and organized, the laundry basket is always empty. She’s always well dressed, hair done. She never swears and behaves gracefully in all situations and under all circumstances. She has more than enough patience to take care of her family, always has a smile on her lips and a kind word for everyone.  Post your status if you too suspect that you might be a man……….

*headdesk*

I’d like to direct y’all to check out the Bitches’ Guide to Etiquette, if you haven’t already.

When I went to scroll through the blog just now I realised they posted about this status earlier today; this is what they said:

Honestly, we are having a hard time understanding the purpose of this. Is this something that’s meant to show that women don’t act according to some master plan written by someone stuck in the 1950’s? Then why call them a man? Not that there is something wrong with being a man, but it seems to insinuate that not following these stupid guidelines makes you less of a woman. And may we just say…if anyone we know behaved like that all the time, we would be concerned.

Word.

After a weekend in which I had to (drunkenly) challenge a group of people for playing “list all the ‘black’ names you can think of”, I’ve just overheard a guy going on and on about how he “couldn’t stop gawping” (his words) at Pippa Middleton of Royal Wedding fame, and someone else respond with “awww, bless you”.

I don’t understand. Gawping is definitely not cute, it’s creepy/borderline sleazy, and suggests that whoever you’re gawping at is only there for that reason.

I hate the reaction I get for being “that person” and I hate being made to feel like I’m being overly sensitive for pointing out that this sort of shit bothers me, but…ughh. Maybe I should just go and live in a cave or something.

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