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is increasingly accepting of a spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities, but Facebook is still sticking to outdated, problematic paradigms (Rutherford.)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! (:

How to be an ally if you are a person with privilege

Stop and ask yourself things like:

  • What does it mean to be white/heterosexual/male/cisgender/upper class (etc) in this situation?
  • Would I be listened to if I didn’t hold this privilege?
  • Is this an oppurtunity for everyone, or is this an oppurtunity ONLY given to me for any reason?
  • Notice: How people of different abilities, people of color, LGBT people, non-cisgender people, middle-class and working class people, people of size, etc, are promoted, seen, treated, and talked about.
  • Am I stepping into a situation where someone is not being listened to because of their gender, identity, race, sexuality, etc. Am I making sure everyone is getting the same chance to express their opinions?
  • Am I interupting an offensive joke made towards a target group?

These are just a few things you can ask yourself to make sure you are actively being an ally to people who are different than you, and not abusing your power as a privilege group member.

To get more information on this topic, here are some great resources:

What do you think it means to be an ally? Comment below and let me know!

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!

How we notice it-Sexism

First of all, what is sexism? Sexism  is a system of advantage based on sex and reinforced and maintained through a complex system of gender role conditioning that privileges males and targets females. The cultural, institutional, and individual beliefs and practices that privilege men, subordinate women, and denigrate women-identified values, roles, and femininity in general.

At the camp I went to, CLI, which focused on issues of oppression, we talked about how we see sexism play out.

How sexism plays out at school

  • In PE, usually the teachers split up the boys and the girls to play against eachother, and they assume the guys will always be better. This is sexist, not to mention it leaves out folks of other various gender identities.
  • The whistling and degrading comments in the halls we hear at schools, generally targetted towards female-identified people.

How sexism plays out in the community

  • Girls feeling unsafe outside of their home. I have personal expirience with this, once I was followed home by a man in a truck.
  • Men getting more job oppurtunity.
  • Whistling, degrading comments, and harassment towards women and trans folks.

How sexism plays out at CLI (The camp i went to)

  • Men saying comments about women’s bodies.
  • Derogatory terms like “bitch” and “slut” are used.

What YOU can do to stop sexism, in small ways:

  • When you hear someone say a word like “bitch” or “slut” tell them it is offensive! If you want more information, watch my video “Bitches and Sluts, etc”.
  • Try your best to cut sexist language out of your vocabulary.
  • Stop saying “you guys” and say “you all”!
  • Don’t listen to music that reinforces sexist beliefs.
  • If you hear someone talking about a woman, or someone of another gender identity in a degrading way, explain to them why its wrong and tell them to stop.

If you have any expiriences with sexism, e-mail me or comment below! Thanks (:

Photo from: http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS393US394&q=sexism&safe=strict&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=QrlHT7X7I5CBsgKVqejrCA&biw=1280&bih=899&sei=RLlHT__CH9GAsgKknYDrCA