Guess what's vegan



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Musings on gender, sexuality, and the way things work






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Who is the voice of "racial entitlement?"

The Supreme Court is questioning the Voting Rights Act?!  The myth of the post-racist US is taking us in some dangerous and deluded directions if this is where we find ourselves.  I’d be amused at the irony in Scalia’s claim that the Voting Rights Act (passed to temper racial discrimination in voting laws) is a “perpetuation of racial entitlement” if I wasn’t so furious about his power to perpetuate inequality. Click the link for the full story on the Supreme Court’s latest effort to erode necessary progressive legislation.

A central provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 may be in peril, judging from tough questioning on Wednesday from the Supreme Court’s more conservative members.  

Justice Antonin Scalia called the provision, which requires nine states, mostly in the South, to get federal permission before changing voting procedures, a ‘perpetuation of racial entitlement.’ Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. asked a skeptical question about whether people in the South are more racist than those in the North. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked how much longer Alabama must live ‘under the trusteeship of the United States government.’

The court’s more liberal members, citing data and history, said Congress remained entitled to make the judgment that the provision was still needed in the covered jurisdictions.”

06:07 pm, by guesswhatsvegan

Reflecting back on the election

Can you believe that election day was just three weeks ago?A lot’s happened since then—the tragic state of affairs in Gaza, the tabloidized General Petraeus scandal, the scrambling in Congress to negotiate the budget before reachingthe fiscal cliff—but let’s not buy into the 24/7 news channel view of the world, which seems to hold short-term memory so shoddy that it rivals Dory from Finding Nemo.Let’s take some time to reflect on the campaign season, what passion it brought out of us, what community it mobilized, what commitments we made to get engaged in creating a more just world.Let’s also reflect on the conservative attacks on people of color, women, undocumented people, people in prison, and queer people throughout the campaign season, and think critically about what shape those attacks are taking, since they’re likely trends, not isolated incidents.COLORLINES blogger Akiba Solomon posted “Five Race and Gender Justice Lessons” the day after the election.Read her entire post here:http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/11/gender_justice_for_the_next_four_years.html.Below is an excerpted version:

 1.  The Republican-led war on abortion, Title X-funded reproductive health care and contraceptive access was—and still is—a war on poor women of color and their families.

The truth is, reproductive health rights and access are inherently raced and transcend gender because they affect a disproportionate number of people (not just girls and women) of color. We are less likely to have private insurance; less likely to be employed; more likely to be poor; more likely to die of HIV/AIDS and the list goes on.

It’s easy to get caught up in the political gamesmanship and the right-wing rhetoric of sex, sin, the sanctity of fetuses and the Christian roots of American government. But we must keep the people who actually use these sources of health care at the center. County by county, state by state, ideologically driven and misogynist lawmakers are chipping away at our access to it. A presidential election won’t make or break that fact. More of us need to woman/man up and fight for it.

2.  Political speech and policies that trivialize sexual violence against women are an assault on ourcollective safety and humanity.

White, male politicians such as Missouri’s failed U.S. senate candidate Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, Washington’s thwarted congressional candidate John “The Rape Thing” Koster, and Indiana’s U.S. senate washout Richard “God Intended It” Mourdock have given us clear evidence of the deep misogyny of the radical anti-choice movement. For people of color, this misogyny is compounded by race. From yesterday’s plantations where rape was literally used as an economic driver, to today’s Native American reservations whereone in three women will be raped in her lifetime to the routine rape of immigrant farmworkers and ICE detainees, we know that rape is one of many tools of oppression. This is not to suggest that individual rape survivors of color have a premium on pain. It is to say that structural racism and immigration status belong in anti-rape conversations, activism and storytelling.

3.  We should continue to counter narratives that assume that people of color are exceptionally homophobic and transphobic.

Although mainstream media still love a good POC’s vs. the gays story, we’ve been building on the real-life intersections between race and immigration status and LGBTQ issues including marriage equality.

4.  We need to stay engaged in state and local politics and policy.

Like the attacks on voting rights, teachers and organized labor, assaults on reproductive health rights often occurred on a state and local level. Of course national strategy is important, but… we exert the most influence in our own backyards

5.  We need to get some rest.

Maybe it’s just me, but between Hurricane Sandy and this election, it has been an intense seven days. That’s on top of the last four years of increasingly nasty politics. I’m thinking you’re probably tired, too. Movement people, allow yourself a little bit of rest…

04:00 pm, by guesswhatsvegan2 notes


On the theme of queer Bond, did anyone miss this video last year?  Daniel Craig dresses in drag for a PSA about gender equity.  There are some important critiques to be made, perhaps most centrally, the question of whether watching Craig’s gloomy face while he’s dressed as a woman actually mobilizes energy around women’s needs, or whether our focus becomes more about drag as a gag.  BUT, as I discuss in my previous post, anything that introduces sexual or gender uncertainty into personage of Bond, masculine archetype, holds some merit in my book.  And Daniel Craig has spoken out about Bond’s character being “a sexist pig,” so perhaps he’s trying to add some more nuance.  It’s important to have investment from all voices in our feminist struggle for gender justice, so Daniel Craig in a dress?  I’ll take it :)

04:00 pm, by guesswhatsvegan7 notes

A Queer Bond

Pop culture= cultural references so pervasive that you don’t need to actually experience the culture yourself to develop an opinion on it.  I have not seen the latest James Bond movieSkyfall, but, as tends to happen with queerness in pop culture, everyone I know has been asking my opinion on its homoerotics.  So what’s the issue at question?  SoSoGay can summarize:

Silva makes his entrance with a long walk across a warehouse floor, in a wonderfully shot scene where we watch him advance over chair-bound Bond’s shoulder. He delivers a curious monologue, which implies the two men are like rats who have eaten everyone else, and now must ‘eat each other’ – the innuendo of which is appreciated by the actors and the audience alike. Sitting down in front of Bond, he begins to unbutton 007′s shirt and caress his chest. As he implies his own homosexual experiences, he suggests Bond tries it himself, to which Bond teasingly replies, ‘What makes you think this is my first time?’. In the next scene, as Silva dares Bond to shoot a shot glass off a girl’s head, he says he will try too, and that whoever wins ‘gets to go on top’. These are the lines that have sparked mumbled giggles in cinemas, and brought delight to queer theorists everywhere.

http://sosogay.co.uk/2012/james-bond-the-spy-who-loved-men/

It’s certainly intriguing. The queerness of the villain is a recycled and homophobia trope, but Bond’s response is quite different from the norm.  Generally the homo aggressor villain would make an advance and the macho hero would receive such a rush from his threatened manhood that he would be able to burst free from his bondage/save the day/rescue the girl/insert cliche of choice. Instead, Bond allows sexual ambiguity to linger.

Some humdrum, uninspired questions float around whenever sexual ambiguity is introduced, as people are desperate to quell the larger implications sexual ambiguity has for our mode of classifying sexuality.  The questions circulating in this case are certainly diverse.  We’ve got the homosexual conspiracy theorist— Was this moment included because the writer is gay and looking to influence the audience? The hyper-macho— Was Bond trying to “top” the homo advance, gaining testosterone points by countering the pick-up line and fighting for team hetero, even though “fighting” meant participation in flirty boy banter?  (Very George Chauncey Gay New York, in which he writes about the 1920’s when men were associated with queerness if they were penetrated, but were considered “normal men” if they were the penetrator, regardless of partner)  Then there’s the identitarian flag waving— Is James Bond bisexual? 

I’m unmoved by these questions, though my answers would be, respectively: if every homo in Hollywood tried to convert the public, no straight movies would be made; let’s settle all future homo/hetero disagreements with flirty boy banter; and, I don’t think so, but he looks pretty kweer to me.  I’m less interested in claiming Bond as part of the rainbow clan (a la Dumbledore), and more interested in what it means for a mainstream film to introduce sexual ambiguity and never settle the question.  In past Bond movies, where the protagonist’s persona was so dependent on an impenetrable veneer of masculinity, his fight for freedom would have intensified at the mere suggestion of a homo joyride.  That sort of aversion to association is very similar to the homophobia in men’s refusal to go into locker rooms with gay men, or their discomfort being around gay men because they suspect that the gay men will develop sexual feelings for them.  Daniel Craig is not only unfazed by the villain’s queerness, but he reaches out to engage.  What does it mean for such a masculine archetype as James Bond to allow his sexuality to become questionable?  Though, in retrospect, his previous over-eager womanizing does appear to be an instant of “thou dost protest too much…” 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these musings stem entirely from hearsay, so I would be quite interested to know the thoughts of any queerbie who has actually seen the movie!  What do you think of Bond’s interactions with Silva?  How queer is their bond?

04:00 pm, by guesswhatsvegan1 note



I’m not surprised that this super helpful graphic is coming out of Fenway Health.  Anyone in Boston and looking for queer health care should check them out, as this center is devoted specifically to the health needs of LGBT folks.  And it’s got a warm spot in my heart since it’s where I started taking T :)
http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Fenway-Trans-Infographic-662x1024.png

I’m not surprised that this super helpful graphic is coming out of Fenway Health.  Anyone in Boston and looking for queer health care should check them out, as this center is devoted specifically to the health needs of LGBT folks.  And it’s got a warm spot in my heart since it’s where I started taking T :)

http://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Fenway-Trans-Infographic-662x1024.png

05:37 pm, by guesswhatsvegan2 notes



Inspiring

Inspiring

(Source: freesyria)




fuckyeahdykes:

butchesandbabies

Ohhhhhh, queers with babies— my heart melts

fuckyeahdykes:

butchesandbabies

Ohhhhhh, queers with babies— my heart melts

10:00 am, reblogged from FUCK YEAH DYKES by guesswhatsvegan7,310 notes

Mourning the loss of Twinkies? See who is really to blame

fuckyeahfeminists:

hint: it’s *NOT* the workers.

300% raise???? JFC.

The fact is that the responsibility lies with Hostess’ management and the vulture Wall Street private equity firm behind them, and yet the workers are the ones who will suffer the consequences of this shutdown.

Click through to read more details that has lead to the liquidation. The CEO and other executives will emerge just find (of course after giving themselves raises), but unfortunately, the workers won’t be so lucky.

03:43 am, reblogged from Fuck yeah, feminists! by guesswhatsvegan186 notes

revolt-revolt:

DESTROY ALL PRISON // Seattle, WA, USA // November 7, 2012
solidarity rally for grand jury resister Maddy Pfeiffer

revolt-revolt:

DESTROY ALL PRISON // Seattle, WA, USA // November 7, 2012

solidarity rally for grand jury resister Maddy Pfeiffer


Dear Romney: Rights are not gifts

Dear Mitt,

As it turns out, when you believe that the role of president is to serve the needs of 100% of the people who live in the U.S., you might develop programs and policies (like universal health care) to meet those people’s needs.  These programs are not excessive, ornamental gifts, not are they vote-grubbing political ploys.  Perhaps you are projecting from your own political history: promising exorbitant tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans certainly seems gift-like, and I can’t help but suspect that there was a liiiiiittle campaign strategy behind your liberal drag in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race and your radically revised conservative drag in this past presidential race.  Mitt, I can understand that you’re feeling a little gloomy after your resounding defeat.  After you’ve hidden in a fog of delusion that you actually understand and can connect to “the average American,” it must be surprising to discover that all Americans are not white, upper-class descendants of the political elite such as yourself.  I bet you’re even more disgruntled to discover that these people, so different from your imaginary vision of America, might still be empowered to vote and to elect someone with demonstrated commitment to their interests.  You speak as though the prosperity/security/survival of you, your family, and your friends is obviously important, but when other people demand those things, they become special interests.  I remember you were really grouchy about people feeling entitled to luxuries like… food and shelter.  But guess what Mitt?  You’re not the only one entitled to safety, health care, or bodily autonomy.  And when President Obama creates policies that provide those things, he is not giving gifts, he’s securing rights.

02:15 am, by guesswhatsvegan3 notes

Critique and coalition

This past week I spoke with a friend, let’s call her Ari, who was planning an action around women’s reproductive rights.  She envisioned setting up a table in front of a lingerie store and handing out vagina cupcakes, booklets discussing Conservative perspectives on women’s bodies and places to get involved locally in women’s activism, and questionnaires asking if people use birth control, know someone who has had an abortion, etc.  While discussing this project with her classmates, a queer friend who prefers “they” pronouns objected to the project on the grounds that it excludes trans folks and people who identify outside of binary gender.  Ari’s a strong trans ally, and she asked me to weigh in on her project. In the course of our discussion, I fine-tuned my thoughts about critique and coalition, so I wanted to share them here.

I think this is a great project— engaging, thought-provoking, and fun!  It’s also a project that is specifically addressing the threat right wingers post to women’s rights and fighting the shaming around abortion/birth control.  There are ways in which Ari could use language to focus on access to OBY/GYN care, abortion, birth control, which trans folks that don’t ID as women may use, rather than these things being exclusively women-used.  BUT, I think that the Right mobilizes very pointed anti-women language in their curtailing of these health services, and it can be important to respond with language that explicitly points out all the ways the Right demonizes women in order to justify anti-women policies. 

I also think that there is a difference between a specific action/project and the work we do overall.  In order to be clear and effective in our actions, we often need to be specific, and not every action we do will be directly relevant to everyone.  For instance, if the high school I work at were going to hire another teacher, I might originally advocate for someone with a specialty in LGBT issues, but then redirect my support to the person with an anti-racist specialty, since I ultimately want someone progressive hired and want to work in solidarity with the other staff members lobbying for that hire.  It’s important to engage in a variety of projects so that everyone gets a chance to be at the heart of an action, but sometimes we will not be at the heart of a project and it’s still important for us to engage and stand in solidarity.  So in the case of Ari’s project, I think that her friend raises a very valid point that this project may not directly address trans folks, but I don’t think that necessarily means she should change her project.  I think that what’s most important is that we’re building relationships with progressive folks and trying to bring our work together.  So the two of them may want to brainstorm and collaborate on the next project, but I don’t think that her commitment to gender justice/trans solidarity is undermined, because she wants to do a project that addresses injustices and misogyny specific to cisgender women. 

It’s important to be open to critique and to recognize the limits of our projects, but these limits should serve as an impetus to do more work, not to shut down the work we have.  The exception might be when there are projects that are flawed at the heart—they are based on false information, unrecognized paternalism, or a lack of connection to people’s needs, for example.  If the project perpetuates injustice, it’s just a bad project, it may be unsalvageable, and abandoning it may be the only option.  However, when a project does not address the experience of everyone, but grounds itself in its own specificity, this is a different thing.  The question then becomes whether the project claims to do more than it actually does.  When a project claims to be about “health justice” and only talks about access to hormones for transgender people who already have health care, food, and shelter, this project over-extends itself.  This is a project that needs to be radically revised so it names its own limited focus (and grapples with what it means to have a narrow focus), or expands its objectives and strategies to actually pursue “health justice.” 

Ari’s project addresses the specific ways misogyny operated in the Romney/Ryan campaign and the ways misogyny continues to operate in conservative attacks on access to abortion or birth control.  Her project engages in some thoughtful, progressive, necessary work, and names its specific focus.  The work has relevance for trans* folks, but we do not have to be the focus of the project to support it and benefit from its success.

When critiquing the activist work of others, I sometimes think of Minnie Bruce Pratt’s chapter in Yours in Struggle, when she calls for art “to carry us forward with some hope in the struggle, so that we do not become suicidal with self-criticism.”  So while I don’t think that marginalized folks should always have to be the educators, and while we’re sometimes sick and tired of being so nice to people who don’t think about our issues, I think that there’s something to be gained when we reach for solidarity.  We can find hope in the proliferation of progressive activist acts. We can find hope in creating coalitions, knowing that coalitional work means that our voices will not always be at the forefront, but that our shared efforts strengthen our ability to create a more just world in which we will all be better served.  When the people we know are our allies pursue work that directly addresses their specific needs, we need to step up and support them.  We need to have their back, just as they’ve had ours.

04:00 pm, by guesswhatsvegan2 notes



Why didn’t they make this sticker?

Why didn’t they make this sticker?

01:39 am, by guesswhatsvegan2 notes

We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.
Ben Sweetland

04:00 pm, by guesswhatsvegan1 note

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals deep inside us that something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust… Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
e. e. cummings

04:00 pm, by guesswhatsvegan1 note