Archive for the ‘gendaargh’ Category
I hadn't checked some RSS feeds in a while, which means I got a bumper load of photos of pretty people of nonspecific gender waiting for me. Below, the best of the I'll-be-in-my-bunk1 crop as selected by yours truly.
Bear in mind that some of the page titles have large rude words in them. The pictures are offbeat, but aren't NSFW in an explicit nudity sense.
1 Or whatever we asexuals do instead of going to our bunks. Seethe with enthralled jealousy, I suppose? Point and make speechless "ffdfsdfdsssdfsfsff" noises? Blog abou– oh, right.
- Punk metal finger-shiny thing
- I has a black bag
- fffffff CUMMERBUND
- I like to think this one is seconds away from robbing a petrol station at gunpoint
- I has silly floopy damp hair
- Pants. Er, blue pants.
- A vampire my dear why no ha ha um why would you say that?
- fffffsssfffff FRECKLES
- My shoulders, I padses dem
- ffffffff STRAY HAIR
- This one's rather clinical, but he(?)'s pretty.
- Brooding, I does it.
- ffffffff BIKER BABE. I can't even hate the ugly lip piercing.
- Is mah laundrymats finished?
Before anyone asks, I don't know what's with all these people looking so moody. I had to exclude a few quite nice photos because the subjects looked too miserable and it made me uncomfortable (autism-related I think: bad expressions spook me badly). Cheer up, emo photographers. :P
@Suitov: @spellingwitch2 I've had an even greater idea!1! It'll be called Last Trans Standing. The winner gets their gender reassignment paid for! #
@spellingwitch2: @suitov OMG. If they hear that they will probably take you up on it. That's more like a medical procedure though. #
@Suitov: @spellingwitch2 Yes it is, but don't worry, the challenges will be so humiliating that only the truly self-hating and shameless will win. #
@Suitov: @spellingwitch2 And to make sure we show no semblance of sensitivity, the presenter shall be a drag queen! I will elevator-pitch this now!1! #
This consititutes my official claim to this idea which is an AWESOME idea and this blog post is PROOF that I thought of it first! It is © FOR EVER and I want 50% royalties when it is made and subsequently inevitably voted the best telly format ever engendered.
1 So ttly awesome, in fact, that E! Online's own link to it doesn't work, or else I would supply it. A related page.
Meanwhile, UN to set up agency promoting women's rights. I hope the 'gender' part of the title doesn't apply only to women. We should always aim for no discrimination based on gender, not 'gender equality' between the two mainstream groups.
'Big budget' porn film shot in London hospital. Yes, apparently the offence is mainly over the fact that the film's budget was higher than the NHS's. Ditto occupational health standards. Zing.
Taiwan chocolate art exhibition. That 'jade' cabbage is beautiful. And the dice and mahjongg pieces, so cute! Exit through the gift shop… NOM.
Close encounters with giant harpy eagle of Venezuela, who very effectively sorts out a nasty ape that is trying to climb towards her nest. In the second clip, another young man stares out a different filthy ape and takes the mickey out of its walkie-talkie.
Dangerous dogs bill 'does not go far enough'. I disagree with the criticisms in the main…
Changes proposed include more emphasis on the owners' responsibility, attacks which take place on private property becoming a criminal offence, and legislation no longer being breed specific.
I don't fully understand the part about attacks occurring on private property (the interview clip seemed to suggest the opposite of what I understood from the article, and I haven't bothered to look up the details yet), but as for the other two changes mentioned, they're completely sensible. A person's race is never an excuse for criminal activity; childhood abuse and upbringing, on the other hand, certainly do shift the blame onto the family. Besides, you can't end up with a situation where you're forced towards genetically testing a litter of crossbreeds, and even ending up with brothers and sisters coming under different laws because of the exact proportion of Staffie in their blood.
The Bahá'ís just can't seem to catch a break. It looks likely that those in Iran (where, I will point out, their religion originated, unlike Islam!) are due further terrorisation and mob violence with the silent collusion of Ahmadinnerjacket's jackboot cronies.
The coalition government is sticking with Labour's Equality Act, apart from the bit about forcing employers to make public how much less they pay their women employees than men.
Inequality just isn't going away. The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor is widening, and somehow I don't quite trust the Tories to close it, even with their collective arm twisted by the yellow contingent.
"Do you think being a comic writer means you've not been taken seriously?" "I think that coming from a comics background has meant that I have never cared at all about being taken seriously. … I come from comics. That's not even the gutter: that's the drain that the gutter runs into."
Good Omens is still the best thing I've ever read from Gaiman. It was co-written with Terry Pratchett, with the result that both loopy writers bounced off each other magnificently, to glorious results. (The worldbuilding in American Gods and Anansi Boys was enjoyable too, but only because Pratchett's Small Gods – which, unlike Gaiman's books, I can find really scary – had burrowed into my brain during a formative stage.)
I never knew Gaiman's family members were Scientologists. That must help with horror writing.
Speaking of living in a controlled environment, how do you fancy life in a village where children are banned?
30% of children feel scared when they see adults drunk or drinking too much, – which I suppose makes me 30% child, because I know drinkers terrify me. I'm more disturbed by the proportion of children ("nearly half") for whom drinking to excess is a normal, non-frightening sight.
I'll cheerfully admit that I don't know who Justin Bieber is, but 4chan has sent him off to North Korea. Well done, /b/uddies. Can he stay there?
A quick Google at the time of posting doesn't find many other stories to confirm it, except this poor-quality, biased piece from the Christian Institute, which refers to Norrie as "he" and has overtones that make me very uncomfortable.
edit: 22 March: A rather annoying further development.
A buddy alerted me to this. Is this not the coolest and most fascinating thing evah?
A 43-year-old neuter called norrie mAy-welby (artistic capitalisation), living in Australia, has won the right to have hir gender written as "not specified" on all hir legal documents.
My journey to getting a 'sex not specified' legal document (The Scavenger) (note: refers to sex transition surgery in some detail)
I'm not all that enamoured of "zie" as a pronoun (although I find it more pleasing than the Spivak pronoun "ey", which I personally feel somehow lessens one), but if that's actually got legal recognition as the Tonic article suggests, go for it.
Sadly, Norrie had to undergo physical intervention (sex transition surgery that sie later realised hadn't been the right answer), followed by physical examination by 'medical experts', in order to be thus classified.
That doesn't seem right to me.
If a transman can be legally recognised as male and yet still be physically able to get pregnant (see Tom Beatie)1, why should neuters have to have themselves mutilated for recognition?
I've had some experience with the sex and gender therapies on offer in the UK, and even the 'top' (well, only) clinic in the country is entrenched in the binary, stereotypical male-female world. You want to be a man? Cut your hair. You want to be a woman? Wear a skirt and heels. You want to be neither? Well, figure out which one you are and then come back. Give us a break, love! This is the 21st century, but gender therapy feels like it's got one foot in the Victorian era.
Hopefully Norrie's achievement will be a starting point, not an endpoint. This kind of legal gender reassignment (or de-assignment) is not something to be done lightly or for frivolous reasons, but nor is it something that begins and ends with what physical bits you have.
Just as climbing trees and playing with trains does not make a woman any less womanly, or listening to Beyoncé and having Wonder Woman as a role model make a man any less manly.
And more recognition for gender identities outside the binary might just prevent the deep pain experienced by those poor folks who later regret their sex transition surgery.
1 edit: An Aus friend writes that in fact,
Trans men in Australia can't keep their fertility and change their ID sex. Hystos are essential here. All trans folks have to be sterilized to change their sex legally here [...bearing in mind that] most women can NOT get a hysto unless it is life-threatening, because it is seen as a "human rights abuse" here. So it's kinda screwed they demand it of transfolk.
That is screwed.
"I felt I'd test my hypothesis and I did that by getting my cat certified by a number of the most prominent lay hypnosis organisations in the United States. It was a frighteningly simple process."
Look at the picture of the cat, though. That's an intense expression – every bit as convincing as Derren Brown. And less trustworthy.
Uruguay approves sex change bill, jubilant blogger tries desperately not to type "You mean Uragay lol lol :D"
I don't celebrate Hallowe'en, but that Methodist minister has just caused me to drink some water as a proxy libation to Bau and Anubis (which I reasoned ought to count as Satan in his book). Self-important arsenoses like Rev Jonathan Campbell make Satanism look more attractive than do 19-year-old skinhead trick-or-treaters or noisy drunk people having fun.
I found a really interesting article on 'camp' (as an adjective) linked in the comments of someone else's journal. I finally put some time aside to read it:
My reactions follow, all jotted as I read. You should read the article and form your own opinions first.
Now, I don't care for 'camp' as a whole, so don't expect any coherent thoughts and opinions from me here. I probably would fit in in some ways with a 'queer' (hate that word) way of looking at things, though, so I'm definitely interested to read on…
"The more we study Art, the less we care for Nature."
- The Decay of Lying
An offhand quote that caught my eye. It could be in a nutshell why I don't like art (or, rather, why I think of myself as someone who doesn't like art. The other reason being school art lessons), and why I am less and less likely to like any individual artwork the more it deviates from the strictly realistic, or at least the methodically representational.
(Yes, even if it portrays something that doesn't exist, it could have the courtesy to look right.)
As a taste in persons, Camp responds particularly to the markedly attenuated and to the strongly exaggerated. The androgyne is certainly one of the great images of Camp sensibility. [...]
Allied to the Camp taste for the androgynous is something that seems quite different but isn't: a relish for the exaggeration of sexual characteristics and personality mannerisms.
What occasioned this post was a request made to me by a writing partner a long time ago. I declined the request. You'll see why. "Ten years later" is pushing the definition of a snappy comeback, but this post is really aimed at other guys who might have this idea.
John Boy, as we'll call him, had a male character. His Vision™ for his character, he'd decided one day, included two children whom the character would raise. His request: "Mutt, will you write a female character who'll have these children for him and then hand them over?"
As it happens, the idea of writing female pregnancy gets into some deep problems for me, and I never intend to do it. I don't recall that I'd mentioned this to John Boy in the past, so he gets a free pass in this instance on the insensitivity front.
However, when I told him I would never be comfortable writing a pregnant woman, his suggestion? "Maybe she's from a species where she has to breed in order to become a neuter." OK, so… forcing a transgendered character to breed in order to line des gender up with des sex? That was insensitive. Chaps, we're all pretty smart here. Let's all agree never to suggest this to a transgendered person, OK?
Anyhow, those are my personal issues and we'll lay them aside. Now here's the response I wish I'd given all those years ago, to help John Boy understand why asking any writer to make up a woman character, in order to give your man character instant children, is somewhat on the odd side.
Actually, John Boy, my personal horror at writing pregnancy is not my only problem with this suggestion. The main issue is that you want a female character whose entire purpose in life, at least from your point of view and your plot's, is to have children.
I hope even you wouldn't remain unmoved if someone in real life were to say a woman's only purpose is to be a mother… but that's what you're asking here. I have to admit, I expected better from you.
Consider also that your gay Marty Stu is going to have to force himself to sleep with this woman – or, more likely in your universe, use hand-wavey magical insemination, so that he doesn't even have to touch her – and then he will expect her to give up the children and never bother him again. This doesn't sound like an attractive offer to any self-respecting woman.
John Boy, your offer is rejected firmly and without prejudice, and I hope if you think about what I've said you'll realise why. My advice to you is to write a frog woman and have them spawn in a pond, or, preferably, rethink the plot idea that requires a woman to bear your character two children and then disappear.
We'll leave our imaginary ten-years-younger John Boy alone now. We just gave him a lot to think about. We're older and wiser, though, so here's another point for you to ponder…
Do you know what pregnancy does to a woman's body and hormones? I don't have much idea, for the obvious reason, but I know it's huge. To take one example that might cause a particular problem with this 'plot' idea, women don't always want to give up their children.
Sound obvious? But really, they don't always, even if they were OK with the idea beforehand. This is not because women are nuts. Your mother was a woman. Everyone's mother was a woman. And that's rather the point. We humans evolved to what we are because mothers have a strong bond with their weak, helpless spawn, who remain helpless for about 6 years and weak for at least 8 more. You don't put up with a burden like that unless you love it, and this is where your hormones, leaving nothing to chance, make sure you do. Sometimes they'll go wrong or a woman will feel able to overcome the effect, but that isn't predictable.
This is why you will read in magazines about women acting as surrogate mothers, who find themselves unable to give up children they've carried for another couple. Repeat, this is not because the woman is nuts, or a liar. Chances are she had every intention beforehand of carrying through with the agreement. I doubt she really wants to bring up, on her own, the child of a man who's in a relationship with someone else. Not even for the child support payments (seriously, no woman who is in touch with reality ever gets pregnant because she thinks it'll make her rich). But you can't always help whom you fall in love with.
Conclusion: women don't always oblige by breeding and then handing over their children, even if that's what your script says.
This post only is:
licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Attribution to Herm Baskerville with an optional link back to this page. (The author would prefer that you link to this post, in case de edits or improves it.)
I have been jumped upon by a Staffie on the tram. The Staffie should not, strictly speaking, have been on the tram in the first place, but I wasn't complaining. Any contact with dogs fairly sets me up for the day. I miss them a lot. Besides, he is a friendly Staffie and my trousers are now patched with dog slime. Good Dog. Annoying owners, though.
I think I eye people's dogs in a way that confuses the owners. They jerk the dog away or step off the pavement as if thinking I'm afraid of it, when in fact I'm conducting a leisurely exchange of looks with the dog oblivious to its walking assistant. Guess I should smile too, or say something to the owner. I'm not all that good at smiling to order, though; people occasionally seem to interpret them as angry grimaces or nervousness. And I'm worried people might
realisesomehow think I want to kidnap their dog. Honestly, relax, we don't have room at home!
Walking among real people reminds me of being a GCSE French student in France, where attempts to speak the language can be met a little rudely and you occasionally get the feeling they'd rather you didn't bother trying. Yaknow, at least in Germany I was generally spoken to politely and slowly, as if they were pleased I'd made the effort.
Therefore, I present to you Hellmutt's Eurospecies Law:
Humans are from France; dogs are from Germany.
Bill Bailey last night was awesome. Highly recommended. I particularly like his musical skits.
We ate at the Eighth Day before the show. I've been in there several times to buy stuff, but never gone to their restaurant. It's a simple and cheerful canteen-style affair, and they get mega points from me for… their toilets! It's something as simple as putting "Unisex" instead of "Disabled" on the third door, but it made me feel so welcome.
Possibly playing Arkham Horror round at someone's house tonight if we can work out how to get there. Hastur la vista, baby!
"…send me the power to bring them to their knees."
Is it more expected for females to use their sexuality to succeed, than it is for males to do the same?
Is it more acceptable?
I feel sympathy for Anke's hurt at all the crap the media would have us believe about female humans.
Without in any way implying the problem of females in the media is in any sense at all the same as that of males (yawn), it kinda puts me in mind of my Friday evening.
Which I actually spent playing pool in the bar with the guys from work. Yeah, seriously.
Well, one very rusty game and then I confined myself to cheering and heckling, because I can't remember if I'm left or right handed, but still. Fun.
I don't fit in with male people very well. I can yap about work and interesting things I read on the internet, but I don't feel like one of the guys. I'm standing with them in a shirt and slacks, not sitting with the skirt-wearers, but I'm drinking soft drinks instead of beer, and once the conversation turns to football, I start looking over my shoulder for an out. On this occasion I wandered off and got talking for a minute to a couple of other male colleagues, who remarked "Yeah, I think football is just a sort of safe topic for guys." Interesting way to think about it.
The thing is, while this was going on, the girls were passing round Heat Magazine and talking about boys — and that I consider a far worse waste of my time than listening to how Giggs is or isn't in the top ten players of all time.
No. The real thing is, I can fit in with more ease with females. I think women are just more accepting. I don't feel the same pressure to be 'one of the girls' that I do, around males, to be 'one of the lads'.
It's all in my head, anyway; if I didn't want to pretend I fit in for a little while, I wouldn't feel like a failure.
Anyway, for a while this all got me thinking a little unhappily about the whole beer and football thing that you seem to have to do if you want to be a proper bloke. Find the right males and you can substitute other things for beer and football, like Linux, Triumph Stags, bench presses or Quake, but… I don't know. I still feel the same pressure to prove myself. And ultimately, I can't. I don't care about anything normal people care about. Or are meant to care about. And my trigger finger reflex is shite, and I prefer Oblivion or Dungeon Keeper.
I guess that the media image of men is more of an exaggerated depiction, whereas the female… well, I've never been a proper woman either, so I wouldn't know. I wouldn't want to be the ideal media man. I'd just like to be the ideal media woman even less.
Creationism is superstitious nonsense. So are most religious beliefs. I live in the UK and am not a government employee, or indeed anyone with editorial responsibility, so either live with it or tell me my atheism is superstitious nonsense. Atheism1 is a treasured part of my identity too, but the law and I give you express permission to whinge about it all you want.
I don't know if this is the teacher's actual words being quoted, but if he truly said he had an "unequivocal belief that creationism is superstitious nonsense", how can that be attacked under the First Amendment?
If we're getting petty, this judge's ruling breaks the First A. Emphasis mine:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
So there. Anyway—I'm not particularly bothered by the finding represented by the headline.
The most interesting part for me is that most of the teacher's comments were protected. They include, in appropriate contexts, "when you put on your Jesus glasses, you can't see the truth", "conservatives don't want women to avoid pregnancies – that's interfering with God's work" and "[there's as much evidence that Jehovah created the world] as there is that there is a gigantic spaghetti monster living behind the moon who did it".
Those statements are now protected by law or precedent or something, which gives the good guys some kind of framework within which to work.
From Julian Baggini's answer:
The simplest and clearest motivation for taking animal welfare seriously is the recognition that pain is in and of itself a bad thing, and that to inflict significant amounts of it unnecessarily is wrong. Of course, until you cash out "significant" and "unnecessarily", the principle remains vague, but without these qualifications, the rule is a clearly nonsense.
From HE Baber's answer:
In fact there is no principled way to sort all and only humans into one moral category and everything else into another, so we face a moral dilemma. Either we hold that there is no objective criterion grounding moral consideration or we hold that when it comes to common practice we fall short.
They may post more responses; I'm not sure. Just those two at time of writing.
If I had a Retriever, I'd admit to kissing him or her good morning.
So here's a thought. When it comes to ethical choices regarding companion animals, if in any doubt, substitute "my infant child" for "my dog" and see how you feel about it then.
Following that principle, and if we allow (although I realise some (particularly in parts of the US?) don't) that debarking and declawing are not defensible, you won't find much that's morally taxing or lifestyle-inhibiting until we get to neutering. Because I wouldn't permit an infant child in my care to be sterilised, I'm forced to adopt the view that spaying and neutering companion animals is wrong. Putting that into practice, of course, as Baber points out, is difficult.
Our dogs weren't spayed, although Bracken had a hysterectomy in adulthood to cure a bad infection. Our male cat, however, is neutered. I do think if I ever own a cat I still would have it sterilised, albeit with qualms, but not a dog. Handling bitches in season is fine; we had doggy equivalents of panty pads for ours, and most people in suburbia these days don't let their entire males roam the streets. Males are easy to control, although that seems to have escaped my father, whose entire male Labrador regularly drags his bedding outdoors after meals and copulates with it.
I have seen neuters and spays performed on cats, and noted the enormous difference between the operation on a tom (literally 30 seconds. Slash, snip, snip, done) and the operation on a female (much longer and more invasive). For that reason alone, given that I would have a cat neutered, I would be much more likely to own a male cat than a female.
1 Actually, technically, that treasured part of my identity is better described as "intelligence" and "freethinking cynicism with a generous helping of Occam", because I don't define myself by negatives. Except perhaps that I'm not blond. And, of course, that I'm not the werewolf/saboteur/traitor/cylon.
If you think it's funny for a self-described neuter (-gendered individual) to be arguing about neutering, I agree.
Oh Buddha, not… effeminately-shaped eyebrows!!1onetynine11!!!
Children's Laureates choose best books of all time. Just William ++, Treasure Island of course, Harry Potter nowhere on the list.
Also, I want a Psammead. They're rewarding companions. Just don't get them wet
or feed them after midnight.
I spent a short while at the Backstage/Manchester FSF Ubuntu launch party, although I wasn't feeling very Jaunty and had to leave because of all the humans. Anyhow, I did manage to chat to a couple of people, including one metalhead (I spotted a rolled-up Sonata Arctica shirt he had tied around his waist – saaad!) who said he's played Bloodstock.
I'm pretty sure his band is these guys; I'm bad with band names, but remembered it was '04 he said he'd played so was able to look it up. (I'm bad with names too, but I think from the band photos it was Rick I met… yup, Twitter confirms it. I love the internet.)
So, anyway, fun as it was enthusing about Ayreon and Jørn Lande's voice (bastard, I'm still so jealous), somethng even better happened after the party, and it involved two drunken blondes.
Not like that.
I was meandering homewards as I do, alternately mulling over the Rick Cook I'd been reading on the tram and toying with my own magic system, when I saw two young ladies ahead, on the pavement, coming towards me. The pavements are narrow around my village; I checked behind me for cars and then shifted onto the road to let the girls pass, as I do.
As we passed, one, who had been squinting at me (as far as I noticed, given my habit of only ever looking at people peripherally), nudged the other and bellowed to her "Is that a man or a woman? Hey, is that a man or a woman?"
It's all right, I thought to myself, good job I've already passed them, she won't see the stupid grin on my face.
Behind me I heard the blonde turn back and once more shout "Is it a man or a woman?", aimed at me this time. I don't tend to talk to people who shout at me in the street, so I kept walking and grinning.
See, I can occasionally pass for my real gender.
I rather enjoyed that encounter, interactive as it wasn't, and it's quite set my mood up for the evening. It's a bit hard to explain this psychological boost to people who don't have to engage in subterfuge in order to be mistaken for what they really are, but trust me, it felt nice.
Oh, and I'm still going to install Linux Mint Real Soon Now. Help if I had a system that was not in bits enough to run it.
I met a workmate today whom I've only ever emailed and phoned, based as he is in London. He randomly brought me a box of Celebrations. Therefore I randomly spread this around, with the result that I, my colleagues and very probably my brothers thank him most kindly.
Given what I superficially know about it, I find Sapir-Whorf convincing, and not just because it sounds like Worf (the idea of linguistic relativity, for me, now being inextricably linked with having a head like a Cornish pasty and occasionally a bit of a Fu Manchu 'tache).
I think that's a large part of why I don't think political correctness is a bad thing. And why I like the idea gender-neutral pronouns and terminology a lot. For example, my mental image of "nurse" is still female-biased, and that sucks. And if I have to call someone "she", I'll start thinking of them as a female. I can't help it. I'm a human and hard-wired for English and we just don't have standard GNPs any more, and that sucks too!
Besides, the way I understand PC is basically as an attempt to be polite to people and make the human dimension of the world a bit nicer. That's why I tend to consider anyone who seriously argues against being nice to people mentally lazy at best and a closet (or not-so-closet) bigot at worst.
No matter how many whinges you find in the Daily Wail about someone's local primary school OMG BANNING CHRISTMAS, I'll never be sorry that it's no longer acceptable to call someone "boy" and "nigger" and stop him using the same drinking fountain as everyone else. Because WTF, people, can we get a side order of proportionality over here!
Mind, I'll defend to the inconvenience your right to say the word nigger, but when you don't get invited to many parties as a result of shouting it at strangers, I'll be very glad. I find good manners and social disapproval far more healthy means of control than legislation.
"Good manners gone mad" isn't quite as catchy for your red-masthead headline, is it? Quick, let's find Cllr Strawman and see if we can get a snap of him taking down fairy lights so's not to offend Muslims…
(edit, tomorrow: I note with little surprise that the "in popular culture" section of the S-W article is one big list of things I either have really enjoyed or mean to read someday (well, ok, the Rand is neither and Inheritance isn't all that special). I guess I'm not the only writerly person with whom the idea resonates.)