Not Sure of This…

Here’s the first in my new promised series of posts featuring links to articles about issues that affect the communities I care about but don’t feel at this time I can effectively blog about… I really need to think of a good title for this series (any suggestions? Comment!) because that explanation is awfully wordy.

For starters: How Many Letter Does it Take to Kill a Movement?

“Many know the old tune sung by Ella Fitzgerald that goes “you say either, I say eye-ther, you say neither, I say n-eye-ther. Either, eye-ther, neither, n-eye-ther, let’s call the whole thing off.” That sums up my feeling about the struggle to name our community. You say GLBT, I say LGBT, you say LGBTQ, I say GLBTQA, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, let’s call the whole thing off.

I have been involved in “community” politics almost all of my adult life. I have watched our community go from being the gay community to the gay and lesbian community to the gay, lesbian and bisexual community to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to the new variants which have added questioning (Q), allies (A) and pansexual (P). Unbelievably, there are several other initialisms that purport to represent “our” community. It is not only frustrating but politically damaging. Is it asking too much for us to agree on what we would like to be called?”

Also: “Five Axioms about Gender and Bodies” on Questioning Transphobia really got me thinking this week about the language I use on this blog and in life.*

“2.  Genitals do not of themselves determine gender

A penis is not inherently male, a vagina is not inherently female.  If she has one, a trans women’s penis is female.  Similarly, if he has one, a trans man’s vagina is male.  Therefore, “female genitals” do not automatically exclude a penis, and automatically include a vagina.   Though penis = male, vagina = female are often codified into law which determine a whole host of things from access to shelters to housing in prison, this is the cause of much oppression of trans people, because cissexist meanings have material social effects.”

[…]

“I am a woman, therefore *every* part of me is female. My penis doesn’t get exempted from that.

Otherwise you begin with a process of splitting the body into “male” and “female” parts that negates trans identifications. Because any remainder in a cissexist world posits us as liars.

Besides, how would that work? Oh, my estrogen level’s closer to average cis levels, so uh.. my skin’s two-thirds female?”**

Obama Brushes off LBGTQ Folks from Deeply Problematic

“The White House is having a reception to commemorate the Stonewall riots 40 years ago. Awesome, right? Totes! Except that they’ve done nothing to promote or publicize the event, and it’s apparently a party? Is it appropriate to celebrate hate crimes when they haven’t been extinguished?”

WOC are not Welcome to Sell L’Oriel Products at Womanist Musings. I, for one, am done buying L’Oreal Products until meaningful change is made.

“L’Oreal has been careful to cultivate a multi-racial image to the public while participating in discrimination in its internal hiring process.  When you consider the lightening of Beyoncee’s image, it is not hard to believe that they would engage in practices that exclude women of color.

SOS Racisme, an anti-racist campaign group in France  filed the case against the cosmetic giant.  L’Oreal used an all whites sales staff to promote its Fructis shampoo products.”

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I’m not quite sure yet how I feel about this list – it seems too arbitrary and dismissive to  me to simply post links each week and call it inclusion, my aim of course is to eventually be able to write decent articles myself on these issues but, in the meantime, I’m not sure this is the best solution. Still, after the post I made last week I know I have to do something. Anyone have a better suggestion? Help!

Please don’t be hesitant to add your voice, in the comments or via guest post,  to help me make this blog a more inclusive space!

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*I’ve regrettably been more quite about the trans movement than any other, not because I don’t care and don’t want to be an ally but because my privilege as a cisgendered individual is the one aspect of myself that I have only recently begun questioning and I don’t feel that I am at a point where I have learned enough 101-level information about the trans movement to really make any kind of insightful contribution to the dialogue. (Although if anyone is interested in a compilation of 101-level definitions and questions that all cisgendered allies should know I’d be more than happy to compile as I learn – that much I can contribute.)

** This second part is from the comments

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