hello internet. its been a while since we last just talked, ya know — without a specific topic or a title with a colon in it — so i thought it was time for another random-ass link parade post i’ve decided to call intermissions, for whatever reason. and besides, due to my insomnia or dsps or just poor choices or whatever the fuck, until yesterday, i was pretty much up for three days straight. (*okay full disclosure: i slept for like 5 hours after the first 42. still a new personal record.) anyway. thats given me time to look at a lot of messed up shit on the internet. and there’s a lot of it. and it’s kinda feelin like we’ve
slipped back are stuck at about a half century ago, where black people are still being legally murdered and queer people are being overtly equated with pedophiles. and so, dear reader, i wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of my findings in this more informal setting.
lets start with alaska, shall we?
ad transcript: “Carol runs a daycare center in anchorage. But if proposition 5 passes, it will be illegal for carol to refuse a job to a transvestite who wants to work with toddlers. If she hires him, she risks losing customers. And if she refuses, she can be fined or imprisoned. Anchorage is already a tolerant city. Vote no on Proposition 5.”
yup. because even the idea that a gender-variant person (especially one who is male-assigned) would want to work with children is shocking, threatening –even to this baby! poor, poor carol. what’s a transphobe to do these days??
it’s no surprise that the opponents of proposition 5, an ordinance to include gay, lesbian, and transgender people in anchorage’s already existing anti-discrimination law, chose to depict the most stereotyped, caricatured image of a male-assigned gender-variant person they could. in the ad, they refer to this person as a transvestite and accurately use male pronouns (presumably to emphasize the supposed incongruity and unnaturalness of the applicant’s appearance). it seems like the people behind the ad are well aware of the difference between a transvestite and a trans woman, but are counting on the public to conflate them both with this image. after all, both are male-assigned expressions of femininity, and everyone knows that’s just perverse. disgusting. who cares what the specifics are.
the ad doesn’t stop there. it more than just implies that trans women and cross-dressers are sexual predators just waiting to abuse children –with this image, it straight up says it. apparently, all we’re waiting for is to be given “special rights” and then it’s a green light for molestation. the whole campaign is eerily similar to this widely used video from 1961, warning boys of the “homosexual threat.” seriously, watch that shit.
the ad pulls out some fucked-up orwellian double-think to close its hate-mongering message. “anchorage is a already a tolerant city. vote no on proposition 5.” whew! check off that diversity box!
while sadly, it appears that on tuesday, anchorage voters rejected prop 5, it also seems likely that some shady shit went down with the vote, and the aclu is demanding an independent review.
whipping up public sentiment against trans people (trans women, in particular — woo team trans-misogyny and heteropatriarchy!) based on the implication that we’re pedophiles is not isolated to alaska or the 1960s. in february, protesters of an anti-trans discrimination bill in baltimore county lined the streets of the their county councilor’s office, with at least one woman using her daughter to hold up a sign (clearly written by the child herself) reading, “Why won’t you protect me? KEEP THE MEN OUT OF MY BATHROOM.” that bill, thankfully, did pass — restroom protection intact.
transphobia is, of course, not relegated to our shores alone: did you know that 17 european countries force trans sterilization? niether did i, or a lot of people, apparently. from mother jones, “People rightly flipped out… over the news that Swedish parliament would not be repealing a barbaric law that forces sterilization on trans people seeking to change their gender on legal documents… Considering how shocking people find Sweden’s law, it’s worth pointing out the country is 1 of 17 in Europe (shown in red below) that require trans people to have a surgical procedure that results in sterilization before legal gender change is made to their identification…”
back in the states, the GOP circus continues, with the again inevitable nominee romney coming under fire for his unfortunate — and substantial — financial ties to the National Organization for Marriage (you can guess what they do), after confidential documents were made public by a federal court investigating NOM’s activities in maine. the 2008 internal documents detail NOM’s divide-and-conquer strategy for getting california’s infamous gay marriage-banning prop 8 passed, stating, “The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key democratic constituencies.” it is being speculated — and with good reason — that as a high-value donor to NOM, romney was aware of the organizations blatantly fucked up tactics.
meanwhile, last holdout santorum –i’m not even counting gingrich anymore–almost forgets to filter.
One more reason not to go see the lorax movie emerges, as the film attempts to reach unprecedented levels of irony by commercially partnering with monsanto (fucking monsanto!), in addition to over 70 other promotional partnerships — which is why shit like this now appears in our sidebars.
what else we got? oh yeah… dharun ravi, the college student who secretly broadcast his roommate, tyler clementi, kissing another man. clementi soon jumped to his death from the george washington bridge. last month, ravi was found guilty on 15 charges ranging from invasion of privacy to tampering with evidence, and sentenced to ten years in prison. ten years. i’m all for decrying homophobia, but what the fuck good is locking up this kid for a decade gonna do?
“I can’t justify Ravi’s decision to invade his roommate’s privacy, especially not at a moment in which he would be extremely vulnerable. I also cannot justify Ravi’s decision to mess with evidence, even though I suspect he did so out of fear. But I also don’t think that either of these actions deserve 10 years of jail time or deportation (two of the options given to the judge). I don’t think that’s justice…
I’m also sick and tired of people saying that this will teach kids an important lesson. Simply put, it won’t. No teen that I know identifies their punking and pranking of their friends and classmates as bullying, let alone bias intimidation. Sending Ravi to jail will do nothing to end bullying. Yet, it lets people feel like it will and that makes me really sad. There’s a lot to be done in this realm and this does nothing to help those who are suffering every day.”
—danah boyd, quoted on racilicious
one last important read: i know we’ve all probably read a lot — or written some ourselves — on trayvon martin, but this little post by Aurin Squire is a must. the author reflects on what happened to martin and his own experience Walking While Black, and manages to say so much with such economy of words. i really like this piece.
of course there is more. there is always more. more thoughts on the hunger games and its “unisex” appeal, katniss’ general badassery and a mainstream film with a female lead breaking pre-sale records in addition to a $155 million opening weekend, not to mention how sick i am of fucking love triangles in YA fiction (did Collins think it wouldn’t work without a bit of twi-puke thrown in? umm but seriously, TEAM GALE!). but after all the depressing shit, and enough talk on HG already, i want to leave you with this: gay dolphins. seriously. not only are they fuckin smart but they’re also hella gay. that link also features a slide show of other examples of queerness in the animal world, all fantastic.
and that about does it for me right now. i gotta go get back to not meeting my body’s basic need for sleep and other unhealthy patterns. or something. good talk, internet.