Facebook is gender and hetero-normative..

Today I was reading the article “Choose One” and it really got me thinking. On facebook, as well as almost all other social networking sites, assumptions are mad regarding sexuality and gender. The only options that you can be “interested in” are male and female. You can pick one, or both. What about neither? What about ALL genders? The gender options are limited to female and male, and you HAVE to select one. As Max Wilcox says, “I see no need for Facebook to know what is in my pants, but that’s what they ask everyone that signs up.” The world around us is increasingly accepting of a spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities, but Facebook is still sticking to outdated, problematic paradigms (Rutherford.) Its not only facebook, but applications, tests, and almost anything else you have to fill out. It has always made me uncomfortable seeing the two boxes, and having to choose one. I always wonder, why does it even matter? Why do they want to know? I know people who have restrained from getting ID’s and Driver’s licenses because of the gender factor they face when they do so. For some people, this issue might not affect them at all, but for others it is very emotionally stressful. It is just a reminder of how hetero and gender normative the majority of our society is, disregarding all other identities. I think this is something EVERYONE should care about. Just because you are cisgender and it doesn’t matter to you, this problem affects thousands of others on a daily basis. There is a quote on the Geurilla Feminism page that I think relates to this. “I support safe spaces. Because America is already a safe space for white, cisgender, middle class, heterosexual males, and I don’t fit under all those catergories. Because we may have a black president, but we are not post racism. Because you may have a Gay best friend, we are not post-Homophobia. Because everyone may be created equal, but that doesn’t mean everyone is treated equally. Because privilege exists. Ignoring the  fact makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.” This is a reminder that being an ally isn’t about comparing your oppression with my oppression, its not about comparing who has it harder. Just because you have been opressed, that doesn’t make you any less responsible for the  marginalization of others. We need to work together, because being an ally is about caring about the issues that affect us, and the ones that don’t, to. What do you think about this? Have you ever thought about gender and sexuality regarding social networking sites? Comment below and let me know!

If only the options could be like this:

Photo from facebook!

Thanks for reading! (:

Four African men school you on hollywood stereotypes

Today I was browsin’ around town on the internet world. I came across this sweet video on Colorlines. It is about stereotypes seen in the media about African men. I thought it was really interesting, so here it is!! BOOM!!

 

What do you think about this? Comment below and let me know!

Control a woman remote

When I saw this, I was outraged. I don’t know if this is serious, or a joke, but either way I find it extremely sexist, misogynist, and offensive. It suggests that men should be able to control women, which is just straight up sexist. It reinforces the stereotype that women are in a bad mood when they are on their period. HELLO?! EVERYONE is in a bad mood sometimes, so whats with the “turn off” PMS button? I think that the worst are the buttons stop “whining, nagging, and moaning”. This also reinforces the stereotype that women are whiny and that we don’t have the right to assert ourselves. If we ever have a complaint, we are “whining”. I also hate the give me “beer, sex, food.” This doesn’t only make women look bad, but it makes men look bad to. It ALSO reinforces the belief that all men are sexist assholes who want control over a woman. Gender and heteronormative, much? This remote reinforces RAPE CULTURE by having the buttons “say yes, say no, give me sex.” It makes it seem as if women should adapt to mens needs when it comes to sexuality. We can make our OWN choices regarding our sexuality and our bodies. “Cook, clean, leave”. Gender roles? I think so. This whole thing is very stereotypical and sexist and i hate it!

Photo from Google Images!

What do you think about this? Comment below and let me know!

No shave November! Or No shave forever…

No Shave November

This is a piece written by my amazing sister, Maddie!

 

“No Shave November” has long been a popular excuse for many male identified high school and college students to show off their abilities to grow facial hair, and compare levels of “manliness” with their peers. When I was in high school, there was a contest at the end of November during a lunch rally for young men to show off their mustaches and beards, and this past November, a bulletin board in my dormitory building was decorated with different styles of facial hair, and a sign up sheet for those daring to take the “no shave November” challenge. I have never been one to conform to gender norms as I am often loud, interrupt others during intense conversations, and frequently wear sweatpants to class (amongst other things), but since the sixth grade I have taken the time to meticulously shave my legs and underarms to what I thought to be smooth feminine perfection. For this reason I put my name on the list, and beginning November first I stopped shaving any part of my body for four weeks.

Due to the time it takes for body hair to grow, my experience during the first two weeks of November was nothing more or less than physically uncomfortable. During the third week, however, I became more and more self-conscious and found myself wearing increasingly feminine clothing, as to compensate for the fact that I was demonstrating usually “masculine” physical characteristics. This phenomenon highlights the concept addressed in the article “The Social Organization of Masculinity,” when it is said, “masculinity can only exist in contrast with femininity (p.68).” This point is further solidified when the author discusses how the words “masculine” and feminine imply something beyond sex characteristics, and imply a difference in, and classification of, gender (p.69).  Without previous notions of what it meant to be “feminine,” I would not have considered not shaving masculine. The construct of masculinity is further demonstrated by the fact that most men and women alike have the natural ability grow body hair. This shows that body hair does not equal maleness in any biological sense, and that the notion that body hair is not feminine is purely a construct.

During the fourth week of November, my body hair became very noticeable, and one of my male friends asked to compare underarms. Mine were far less hairy than his, and he seemed to be extremely pleased that I wasn’t more “manly” than he was. I found myself relieved in a sense as well, because this comparison reaffirmed my femininity. After this experience, however, I was forced to question: why is appearing feminine so important to me? Why would it be so wrong for me to have won the “hairy armpit” contest when it was a contest after all?

While this interaction was uncomfortable, it is unfortunately not surprising, as “male bodied” people have been told that they are inherently stronger, braver, more active, and ultimately more important by media, their families, cultures, and even medicine and science. The article “Egg and Sperm: A scientific Fairy Tale” by Emily Martin discusses the difference in word choice that is used to describe the egg and sperm during conception. Sperm, which are associated with men, are thought of to be “more productive” than eggs. Martin states: “ It is surely no accident that the ‘remarkable’ process of making sperm involves precisely what, in the medical view, menstruation does not: production of something deemed valuable” (p.10). Martin also cites words from medical texts like “velocity”, “propel”, “fuel”, and “penetrate” to describe male reproduction, while the same acclaimed textbooks will refer to the egg as helpless until “rescued” by a man’s sperm (p. 12). This is information is taught to young adults and teen-agers in health classes and sex education programs, and the vocabulary and medical inaccuracies teach males that everything about them, including their bodily fluids, are “better than” all that is female.

The reaction I received from my female identified friends regarding my body hair was either that of disgust, or in some cases admiration. It surprised me that so many people were afraid of their own bodies, and caused me to question why the removal of body hair was considered attractive in western culture in the first place, as the practice of shaving is not common around the world as was discussed in class. When one shaves their legs, under arms, and in the case of many women, genitalia, they appear more childlike and prepubescent. If a woman is considered girlish in the eyes of man, she is automatically devalued as a mature being.

Although I have since shaved, it was for reasons of physical discomfort rather than a fear of not being feminine. Participating in No Shave November helped me to realize that while I had previously believed that I did not conform to gender roles, my “femininity” was something I was incredibly defensive of. As pointed out in the article “The Social Organization of Masculinity,” the notion that men and woman are physically different and therefore are emotionally and mentally different as well could not be more false, as the construct this idea has created causes women to remove evidence of physical maturity. Emily Martin emphasized the construct by revealing the biased language and medial inaccuracies used to describe human reproduction. As learned in class, shaving is a practice culturally unique to the United States, and I wonder how globalization has spread this phenomenon to other cultures. To me, the growing body hair ended up reaffirming my femininity, because I was no longer trying to virtually emulate a prepubescent child. I am concerned for the women of the world who are being taught that this is the ultimate way to become feminine.

 

            References

Martin, E. The egg and the sperm: a fairy tale. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,1996

Connell. The social organization of masculinity.

Photo from Google Images! (:

RIP Humanity

Sometimes thats how i feel. That there is no hope and everything sucks. I know that as an activist, that is not a very good attitude to have, but sometimes people are so ignorant, and so disrespectful that I can’t even comprehend it. Yesterday, I watched the C’est La Vie video, and that made me super angry, and now this. What is the world coming to?

A woman who owns the page: Telling Women to smile is sexist on facebook, posted this:

“I want everyone to read something I just wrote to a person who identifies as a trans woman:

You can’t go outside without being harrassed? Why is that? Is that because of feminists or radical feminists or women in general? No. We’re not the ones harrassing you. Who is harrassing you? I bet it’s mostly men. Even to the extent that some women might look at you funny, it’s because of patriarchy and patriarchal social conditioning. More to the point, it’s because of misogyny. Under patriarchy, a man must not be “effeminate” because that wouldn’t be manly, and a woman must not be “masculine” because she doesn’t have the right to lay claim to male privilege.

I’m not the one who called you a sissy boy. Radical feminists are not the ones who called you a sissy boy. You must have us confused with somebody else. In fact, you seem to have radical feminism confused with patriarchy, and that is a major confusion indeed.

In some middle eastern countries like Iran, men who are gay and/or effeminate are actually being diagnosed as “transgendered” and FORCED into having sex reassignment surgery, because the fundamentalist Muslim clerics have decided that it’s OK to get a sex change but it’s not OK to be an effeminate man. And you’re letting them do the same thing to you here in the West. Only they didn’t have to force you. All they had to do was brainwash you.

You can’t go anywhere without being harrassed? You’re afraid for your safety? Well then, maybe now you really do know how it feels to be a woman. And considering the fact that this is what life is like for women under patriarchy, and that there have been *many* recorded cases of men, some who identify as trans and some who don’t, dressing up like women to perv on women in the women’s bathroom–that’s the reason why many women, both feminist and non-feminist, do not feel comfortable with biological males coming into the ladie’s room. And if you actually were a woman, then maybe you would have just the tiniest bit of respect for that.

If you’ve a problem with patriarchy, take it up with the patriarchy, NOT ME. Leave my territory alone.

I’d like to add:

And STOP calling me names like transphobe, cissexist, etc, etc. I was BORN a female, so have some sympathry for ME, for the love of fuck. And stay out of my bathroom. Have some respect. Use all that feminine femininity you claim to have to develop some things like empathy, compassion, and oh, I don’t know, respect for women maybe.”

Okay, so I somewhat understand her point. BUT, she is basically saying that trans women are not really women. And she calls herself a feminist? That is a horrible representation. Trans women don’t choose to be trans to creep on other women, they are trans because their body and mind do not match. Not recognizing someone’s gender identity and perceiving them as their biological sex is close-minded and disrespectful. I was shocked to read this, especially a feminist. Shes saying that she was BORN a woman, so women who weren’t born female-bodied are not real women? People make me so mad sometimes. This really gets to me, because I have friends that are trans women, and they are GIRLS. Maybe if people were more educated about gender identity, crap like this wouldn’t happen.

Any thoughts? Comment below!

Should Christian Women Wear Bikinis?

I find this extremely interesting. I feel like girls should be able to dress however they want and be viewed equally, but it is very interesting that these men have these thoughts subconconciously. Its so interesting that they seem to value the intelligence of women dressed modestly more than those who are showing more skin. What do you think about this? Comment below and let me know (:

Video from youtube (:

Men want to look good to!

According to recent studies, men are getting cosmetic surgery just as much as women are! According to George Roman, who owns a cosmetic surgery clinic, the men do it to look more young and fresh. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says that in 2010, the number of men getting botox went up by 9% in comparison to 2009. Usually when you think about cosmetic surgery, you think of a woman getting a boob job, or botox, or any other kind of surgery or treatment to make herself look “prettier” and “younger”. But now, men are doing it to. Now, men want to look younger as well. What are your views on this? Why do you think more men are beginning to get cosmetic surgeries and treatments? Comment below or e-mail me what you think about this. Thanks (: Image from: http://www.economist.com/node/21547268?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fwl%2Far%2FbeautyandthebeastsIN

$ 7500 REWARD

On new years eve, two men walking out of the wildcat who were suspected of being gay were attacked violentley by three white males, all with shaved heads. The Santa Barbara Police Department says that one victim ended up with a broken jaw and a head injury. With the information collected so far, it appears that the two men were attacked BECAUSE they were perceived as gay. The suspects muttered a homophobic slur during the attack. Crimes like this are called hate crimes, and they are horrible in every way (or any crime, for that matter.) Hates crimes will NOT be tolerated in our community. It is so upsetting to hear about something like this taking place. Out of all places, Santa Barbara doesn’t seem to be a place where an event like this would occur, but it did, and we need to do something about it! If you have ANY information, contact Detective Claytor at (805) 897-2346 for a reward of $ 7500. This is not the only way you can help, though! Be an ally to members of the LGBTQQA (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual) community. Educate your friends! A lot of people might think “I’m straight and cisgender, it doesn’t affect me, so it doesn’t matter”. But think about it. How would you feel if you were discriminated against, put down, and in this case, even ATTACKED, for something that is beyond your control. This is not just an issue of what happened on new years eve, but an issue of ignorance and homophobia. Homophobia is ingrained into our society. Growing up, most of learn that being with the opposite sex is whats “normal” and “right”. Even if we aren’t directly taught these things, we see it everywhere in the media. Something to think about is: If all sexualities and gender identities were shown in the media, would it still seem “different” to you? Don’t let yourself get brainwashed. Don’t agree with what everyone else thinks because its easier. Have your own voice. Is there really anything wrong with two people loving eachother? Do you think anyone really need to be put down for that? Next time you hear someone say something homophobic, think about that. If we all learn how to be accepting and caring towards one another, we can make our community stronger, and prevent crimes like this from happening!