Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Sometimes when I check the stats for this blog to see which sites are referring people here, I find a URL for the stats page of somebody else's blog - usually one that has appeared on the links roundup - and I wonder if clicking on it will lead to an endless recursion of links back and forth. Enjoy this week's roundup!

This is chord-striking: Hugo Schwyzer on self-deprecating jokes as a means of defusing feminist anger. I've seen this done by quite a few men, sometimes without any conscious intent to perpetuate oppression. TW for misogyny in some of the comments.

But one thing I remember from my own college days that I see played out over and over again is this male habit of making nervous jokes about being attacked by feminists. In my undergrad days, I often prefaced a comment by saying "I know I’ll catch hell for this". I’ve seen male students do as they did today and pretend to run; I’ve seen them deliberately sit near the door, and I once had one young man make an elaborate show (I kid you not) of putting on a football helmet before speaking up!
... There’s a conscious purpose to this sort of behavior. Joking about getting beaten up (or putting on the football helmet) sends a message to young women in the classroom: "Tone it down. Take care of the men and their feelings. Don’t scare them off, because too much impassioned feminism is scary for guys."
The always-awesome Marianne Kirby on 'passing' in terms of class, and the invisibilisation of working-class people's experiences:

When people look at me (and my extensive wardrobe) I’m pretty easily pegged as solidly middle class. I wear a really good dress made of middle-class acceptability, middle-of-the-road class identity. I work an office job in an urban area. I travel for work and recreation. I own a computer and a smart phone. My income puts me in this bracket, as do my actions, my education, my interests, and my expectations for what I should be able to accomplish.
But sometimes I think I am only passing as middle class.

OK, so I shouldn't have been watching YouTube videos at work, but I didn't expect to end up in tears in front of the whole office! This clip from a US TV show, about bystanders in a Texas diner responding to homophobic abuse, is just so completely joyful that I couldn't help myself.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Dates for your diary

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

There are loads of events going on for Oxford Pride - check out their website at http://www.oxfordpride.org.uk/

Some other upcoming events that might be of interest.......

Oxford Queer Studies Circle - TONIGHT

What: Discussion group. The topic this week is ''The Velvet Rage: Queerness & Mental Health''

When:Saturday, May 28th, 7 pm

Where: the Turl Pub (next to Jesus College)

Cost: Free

Find out more

Reading group and discussion on the politics of Slutwalk

What: Meeting to discuss various critiques of Slutwalk and to consider how and/or if an intersectional feminist politics can be made visible on the day of the march.

When: Wednesday, June 1 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm

Where: Bishopsgate Institute, London E1 (opposite Liverpool St station)

Cost: Free

Find out more

Friday, 27 May 2011

Asexuality and the Queer Community

AnnalyticaPosted by Annalytica

NB: This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on annalytica.dreamwidth.org. This post contains discussion of oppression and abuse which is not detailed but may be triggering.

As Jenni mentioned in her post on Tuesday, there has been a lot of debate in some corners of the internet about whether asexuals are queer, and much of that has centred around whether they are oppressed enough to deserve the label.

 When Jenni posted a piece on her personal blog explaining why, as a hetero-romantic asexual, she identifies as queer and participates in queer communities, she came under attack, including being told that she is straight. Some people have argued that, in referring to the fact that she has been welcomed into other queer spaces, such as Lashings, she is speaking on behalf of queer people, and thereby abusing her so-called straight privilege. So, I'm using this post to speak on behalf of myself, as a queer person who recognises Jenni as queer and welcomes her into this community.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Erasure and Identity

JenniPosted by Jenni

This post began life as a discussion of the ‘I’m-more-oppressed-than-you’ game. There’s been a spate of posts on various sites recently discussing whether asexuals have a ‘claim’ to the queer community, and one argument is that we aren’t oppressed in the same way. Rather than argue this out, I’d much rather share with you my experiences of one particular kind of oppression, one I’m sure many of you are familiar with – erasure.

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

Oxford Save Our Services are protesting against NHS reforms in Cornmarket on Saturday 28th May

A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gendered words in job adverts may influence the gender balance of applicants.

Athene Donald, one of the winners of the UKRC's Women of Outstanding Achievement Awards, discusses the impact of displaying portraits of outstanding women within science, engineering and technology. The portraits are displayed on the Guardian website

[TW for discussion of rape]

Thomas from YES MEANS YES discusses conversation analysis, and debunks the myth that rape victims are 'misunderstood' by their attackers and/or are to be blamed for 'not saying "no" forcefully enough'. He cites studies that have examined the fact that English speakers in general are socialised to say 'no' in indirect or 'polite' ways, and that both men and women understand this as a social convention -- but also that women in particular are socially penalised for expressing a direct 'no':

That means that they are “communicating in ways which are usually understood to mean refusal in other contexts and it is not the adequacy of their communication that should be questioned, but rather their male partners’ claims not to understand[.]”

Feminist Frequency's series Tropes vs. Women examines the trope of the Evil Demon Seductress

Friday, 20 May 2011

"Bad Science" and bad science.


Posted by Sebastienne

Ben Goldacre - columnist, GP, empiricist hero of the secular left - published a column in the Guardian this Saturday: "How can you tell if a policy is working? Run a trial". In it, he lambasts UK politicians for their lack of interest in the effectiveness of the policies they propose. And he's right, as far as it goes; policies with intuitive appeal are much more likely to be accepted than policies which just happen to be effective. We might think we can increase the intuitive appeal of tried-and-tested policies by educating people (the MPs who will vote, and the public who will later vote on them) on the evidence; but I don't know if anyone has actually run a trial on this approach, so we'd better not rely on it.

There is a real problem here. It is not a trivial proposition, to convince people that their intuitions are not to be trusted - but it's an important goal that anti-oppression activists and pro-science empiricists share, although we rarely acknowledge it.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Dates for your diary

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Below are some upcoming events we thought might interest Lashers. If you know of any other relevant events, please post details in the comments.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Job opportunity: researching queer-identifying religious young people

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Newcastle University is advertising for a full-time Research Assistant/Associate to work on a project called "Making space for queer-identifying religious young people." The closing date is 1st June.

From their website:
"This is a case-study exploration of Christianity and sexuality in young people’s lives, investigating the everyday practices, experiences and identities of queer (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) young people involved in the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in the UK. The post is aimed at those with strong research experience, with a background in in-depth interviewing. We anticipate that the post will appeal to Sociologists who have recently completed their PhD, but encourage applications also from researchers in related social sciences with appropriate research expertise.

Informal enquiries can be made to Dr Yvette Taylor: Yvette.Taylor@newcastle.ac.uk .

This is a full-time post tenable for up to 18 months from September 2011."

For more information, see the full job details here

Academic Roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

The following events may be of interest to academics as well as activists and professionals in the fields of gender and sexuality.

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

“But I’m Otherwise In Compliance With Your Bigoted Cultural Norms!”

A fascinating post about intersectionality and the use of images of "acceptable" marginalised people in campaigning

The Temptation to Play "Good Fatty" is an interesting piece on the way fat people are required to defend their health status. Contains discussions of body image, PTSD, and triggers.

Miranda of Bad Reputation reviews a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid

Jane Laplain writes about her experience of body shame from a trans perspective (contains triggers for transphobia and body image):
"Whatever body shame we do have, the thinking goes, surely revolves around the fact that we simply aren't "woman enough" physically and so we spend every waking moment trying to obtain that "woman enough" body. Piece by piece.
It's practically unheard of that a trans woman could feel anything other than gratitude for the ways in which she actually "meets or exceeds" expectations for what women are "supposed" to look like. 
In other words, we can't possibly experience plain old misogyny, sexist oppression, and the inevitable internalized shame issues that come with having a readably feminine body.

Well, we can.

We do.

I do."

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Feminism and Men

Dear Readers,

Apologies for the lateness of this post - there have been some technical problems with the Blogger site over the past few days.

However, we hope you'll find it was worth the wait for this post by our newest guest blogger.
Lashings x

Feminism and Men

by Guest Blogger Dan

I’ve been trying to write something on my involvement with feminism for the last three and a half years or so. And, no matter where I start, I always end up at the question of what men can or should do in a feminist political space.

Fairly essential to feminism for all its diversity, is the acknowledgment of a patriarchal society in which women are oppressed. And men have no small hand in the creation and perpetuation of this inequality and oppression. For any man to accept some of these basic ideas is to instantly be forced to answer some difficult questions. If I am indeed a man, what has my role been in oppressing others through my unconscious excercise of male privileges? What are those privileges? What does that culpability then say about my character, my perception of myself – and further down the line, about the very formulation of my identity and my relationships with others?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Links roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

BoLT is the magazine for bisexual, lesbian and trans women in Ireland. We met BoLT's wonderful co-editor Ariel Silvera while in Dublin and we highly recommend it.

The UK Government is consulting on their proposals to develop new methods of engaging with women, to ensure an effective dialogue about the key issues of concern to women of all ages and backgrounds in the UK today. You can access the consultation document here and you can respond to the consultation questions online here. The consultation runs until 10 June 2011.

Arwyn at Raising My Boychick defends gender-neutral parenting in response to a piece by Lisa Belkin at the New York Times.

XKCD on women scientists

Friday, 6 May 2011

Lashings in Dublin!

GalateaPosted by Galatea

Gratuitous Photo Post today, as the greater proportion of the Lashings bloggers are currently frolicking around Dublin, spreading love and joy and lashings of queerness wherever they go.

What am I talking about? From Monday 2nd - Saturday 7th May, Lashings is at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. I was lucky enough to be able to go for the first two days, and it was a wonderful time! We met so many friendly, politically-enaged and generally awesome burlesquers and queerfolk (and got to re-meet the gorgeous and seriously talented Emily Aoibheann whose acquaintaince we made in Oxford last year), had lovely audiences and saw some amazing LGBTQ theatre.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Links Roundup

Lashings of Ginger BeerPosted by Lashings of Ginger Beer

Welcome to the weekly Lashings links round up! Feel free to add your own links in the comments, with a brief description and trigger warnings if appropriate.

The Make it Better project has been launched by LGBT youth in response to It Gets Better to help LGBT youth and their allies make their schools safer *now*.

Fannie discusses the conflation of sexuality and gender

Leah Jane at The Quixotic Autistic describes being a sexual person in a relationship with an asexual person.

Why you should vote "Yes to AV" on Thursday 5th May if you are eligible to vote in the referendum - in the form of kittens (YouTube video) and in the form of beer (image).