October 22, 2009 § Leave a comment
The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) just published this article with a VICTORY update on the struggle against the ‘Doctor’s Note,’ which required trans people seeking a name change to provide a note from a doctor, therapist, or social worker for “medical evidence.” While I should be (and am!) damn pissed this hasn’t been passed until now, this is really great news.
Thanks anyone who helped, keep loving, keep fighting!
August 25, 2009 § 3 Comments
Cannot will myself to sleep, amidst my summer of supposed ‘relaxation and teenage antics.’ In fact, though I have wordlessly skimped on Women’s Glib, I am just re-situating with a computer now, my old pixilated comrade.
My summer has required me to find so many different facets for talking about women’s liberation. Now close to 4 am, my sister’s contented sighs from her dreams just reaching my ears, I turn to you, Women’s Glib!
I entered summer a few months ago by crewing for an old sloop activist-with-a-banjo Pete Seeger had erected 40 years ago to teach water education while sailing the Hudson River. Boat hierarchies are some of the strictest political systems, and I, as an apprentice, was on the lowest rung. Above me was the deckhand, the bosun, (or the handy person), the engineer, the second mate, the chief mate, and the captain.
Old sailing lore told of boats sinking and crew getting scurvy as a result of women being on a boat, let alone crewing for one. Yet years later, on a boat modeled off of mid 1800s cargo ships, both apprentices, the education intern, one of the educators, the deckhand, the bosun, the second mate, the chief mate, AND one of the alternating captains were all female. And holy shit, these women could sail.
In the month I lived on the vessel, I labored along side them as we worked 15 hour days through thunderstorms, maneuvered off and onto docks, and used power tools I hadn’t even touched before. Not only was I nearly keeled over at their work ethic and assertiveness, but they were some of the most kind and healthiest people I’ve met. It is so refreshing to be able to shy away completely from glossy magazines and primping and preening. These girls ate very full meals (I should know, I cooked a few of them) and never once suggested doing anything for means of image control/manipulation. (We were, arguably, hauling up a 3000 pound mainsail a few times a day).
In fact, I was able to engage in a phenomenon that continued as a trend into my summer. I had never before realized how often I saw my own reflection, be it in mirrors or even the glass facades of New York buildings. On the boat there were none, (or perhaps a tiny one?) so that we were all consistently as beautiful as we felt. So often I should look ABSOLUTELY RADIANT, because my stomach and heart are both practically lifted to my throat, (which would obviously enable flying); yet when I look in the mirror I am greeted with a different face, neck and shoulders completely. There was no battle to compare how well I felt to the archetype ‘good looking white female’ that encroaches every space I’ve found, spitting gender binaries out at me from rooftop ads and conversations. It was so nice to just assume that the way I looked synched with the way I felt. Ultimate liberation for me at this point was living with kickass female role models, and having a shape-shifter body, where I became my feelings. Has that ever happened to you? If so, how? Oops, digression!
May 11, 2009 § Leave a comment
Jessica Valenti, an incredible author on dissecting gender binaries and current day feminism, is doing a reading at Bluestockings, (172 Allen st), this Sunday. This will be a great night, I hope to see some of you there!
Sunday, May 17th @ 7PM – Free
Reading: Jessica Valenti “The Purity Myth”
American culture is plagued with concerns about the sexual purity of young women. Please join Jessica Valenti in a reading and discussion of her new book “The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women,” in which she brings the full powers of her wit and intelligence to a critique of the problematic cultural appraisal of girls and women based on their sexual worth. Valenti is also the author of “Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman’s Guide to Why Feminism Matters” and “He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut…and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know.”
Bluestockings is my favorite place in New York. Here is their mission statement, taken from their website:
Bluestockings is a radical bookstore, fair trade cafe, and activist center in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Through words, art, food, activism, education, and community, we strive to create a space that welcomes and empowers all people. We actively support movements that challenge hierarchy and all systems of oppression, including but not limited to patriarchy, heterosexism, the gender binary, white supremacy and classism, within society as well as our own movements. We seek to make our space and resources available to such movements for meetings, events, and research. Additionally, we offer educational programming that promotes centered, strategic, and visionary thinking, towards the realization of a society that is infinitely creative, truly democratic, equitable, ecological, and free.