Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Links round-up: art, language, medicine
Posted by Lashings of Ginger Beer Time
The Backbone Zone's 2012 campaign materials include a fantastic set of posters calling out sexist and heterosexist language - in a way designed to make you laugh, then make you think. They're bright, engaging, and beautiful.
"Your Veil is a Battleground examines the lives of young Iranians, with a strong focus on women. The project explores the 'veil' in the literal sense of the word, the Hijab, as well as the curtain that delicately separates public and private lives of Iranians." Adapted, very gently, from her bio: Kiana was born in Tehran in 1988; aged 17, she moved to Toronto, where she studied photography. Her art tells stories with a social message: focussing on young women, she works to document her culture - in Iran and abroad.
Greener Grazing crunches the numbers to explain why living on benefits is not an attractive prospect, despite all the rhetoric around 'benefit scrounging'.
Sex Scribbled on my Skin: body politics and sexuality, on intersectional experiences of being treated as sexual or asexual beings.
This week, there's been an awful lot of debate on the depathologisation of transsexualism - specifically, whether we as a community should be working to get Gender Identity Disorder removed from mental illness classifications. Against removal, we have for example transmedic, Zoe O'Connell and Sarah Brown [1|2], who argue that (a) the already-immense difficulty in accessing appropriate treatment will be worsened if we are not recognised as ill, and (b) that while being trans* isn't a mental illness, experiencing severe gender dysphoria is. On the other hand is the argument that one doesn't have to be ill to require medical assistance - parallels are being drawn with pregnancy - and that that's a better way to frame trans* issues: for more detail, see Consider the Tea Cosy, Jane Fae in HuffPo, and Maxwell Zachs in the Independent (please consider Zoe's concerns about the petition linked from Zachs' article when deciding whether to sign). Unfortunately, this second line of argument frequently veers into Othering people who identify as having mental illnesses. In summary: what's easy on an individual level turns really, really difficult the moment you try to generalise, and especially once you get bureaucracy involved.
The Offbeat Empire started a conversation on liberal bullying - specifically, on privilege-checking and language-policing as "sport", used to score points and show off how progressive the complainant is. The discussion has spread and become more nuanced: Boldly Go, Consider the Tea Cosy and CN Lester have all written essays on the same theme, taking explicit looks at problems in the original essay and at "the perfect ally", among other points.