News and Miscellany

Photo Credit: Elephantjournal.com

Connecticut threw women under the bus this May. Gender Identity Watch, 9/7.

Nepal’s Menstrual Exiles. Al Jazeera, web documentary.

Los Angeles midwives aim to end racial disparities at birth. Al Jazeera, 9/5.

Everything You Know About ‘Sex Work’ is Wrong | Mickey Z. Interview with Rachel Moran. World News Trust, September 6.

Navajo teenager stands up about genocide Indian Country Today Media Network.

Black Queer Feminist Erased From History. Salon, February 18.

The girls aiming to change Africa: young activists speak out. The Guardian, September 1.

Stanford historian says falsified medieval history helped create feminism. Stanford News/History News Network, August 24.

Men who buy sex have much in common with sexually coercive men. UCLA Newsroom, August 31.

Training Midwives to Save Expectant Mothers in Chiapas. NY times, September 1.

Pornography celebrates pedophilia

Purple Sage

Warning: this post contains upsetting content regarding the porn industry.

The most popular theme in pornography is “teen.” The teen genre features 18 year old girls who are supposedly virgins and being deflowered by older, more experienced men, and pseudo-child pornography where the 18 year old is made to appear younger and has to act out an incest or molestation theme.

In Gail Dines’ book Pornland, she has a chapter called Children–the Final Taboo where she describes the connection between the sexualization of underage girls in popular culture, the pseudo-child porn genre and actual child porn. Dines begins by describing several fashion and magazine images that appeared in the last few decades that sexualize teenage girls and pose them as if for a porn shoot.

Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus, age 16, Elle magazine

French Vogue French Vogue magazine 2011

French Vogue Magazine

“As pop culture begins to look more and more pornographic, the…

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The Way Trans Activists “Argue” with “TERFS” *Trigger Warning*

Choices, Choices

Rebecca Mott

Written in memory of Denise Marshall, RIP.

A slogan of the pro-sex trade lobby is that – prostitution can be chosen freely.

That is a lie – and could only be said by those who gain from the status quo of prostitution.

All choices made by the prostituted are the trapped bird who if made free faces an electric fence.

All choices made during being prostituted are made with punters, sex trade profiteers and their allies pulling their strings.

The concept of having full chosen for the prostituted is a dream trodden into mud.

Every time, I heard or read of the so-called contented and empowered prostitute, I want to dig deeper.

Like, the original Happy Hooker who as a child was in a concentration camp, and witnessed the horrors including women force into prostitution in the false hope of survival.

Or the romantic view of temple whore – which…

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Falling through the branches of the Ladybrain Tree

glosswatch

Years ago, back when New Labour were desperately trying to justify the invasion of Iraq, I remember the arguments being compared to a monkey falling from a tree. He clings to one branch (WMDs), but that branch breaks, so then he grasps on to the next (humanitarian principles). The branches keep on breaking but he keeps on believing that this one, the one in his hand right now, will hold firm. Crash, crash, crash. He does not learn from experience because it is not in his interests to learn. It is in his interests to cling on for as long as possible.

I’m reminded of this whenever the topic of male and female brains arises.

The belief that male and female brains are inherently different has been around for thousands of years. The same cannot be said for any proof. We know that there is another possible reason — perceived reproductive…

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Gender Queer

By the inimitable Ali Buttkicker Bee!

Listen Here

image

Well I can look like a man, behave just like a man
But claim I have no privilege, just because I can
So open up your space for us and don’t be making any fuss
Cos we all should be welcome here,
Can’t you see I’m gender queer?

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

I might wear a shirt and tie and have a neck beard and a penis
But I’m not a man you bigot, I have no feels of he-ness
Put your trust in gender, gender means no harm
So let us in, there is no spin
And remember to keep calm

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

All of us know we’re men dear, though some of us say we’re aren’t
We can be whatever we want now, don’t you say that we can’t
Some days I will be a lady, some days I will be a man
If I want I will be a unicorn
Just because I can

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

We’ll let a few women in and they can be genderqueer too
But not too many cos we want control, of the crazy genderqueer crew
But they’ll buy the madness we sell, and hook line and sinker they’ll fall
They’ll lap it all up like a cat with the cream
And come whenever we call

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

If this sounds like the same old story, It may be that that’s what it is
But we don’t much care what you think now and who this crap damages
As long as we get our fun dear and things carry on much the same
We keep our privilege, wouldn’t want to change that
So we’ll keep making the rules of the game

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck
Don’t be surprised if it acts like a duck.

Is there a ‘state of emergency’ around trans murders in the US?

Open Letter to MANA

Please email womancenteredmidwifery@gmail.com to sign-on to this open letter:

Open Letter to the Midwives Alliance of North America regarding the recent revisions to the organization’s standing Core Competencies Document:

August 20, 2015

Dear Midwives Alliance of North America Board of Directors and MANA Membership:

We are writing in response to your revisions of the MANA Core Competencies. MANA’s attempts at inclusivity are commendable in today’s complex world. We are concerned, however, by accelerating trends in our culture to deny material biological reality and further disconnect ourselves from nature, and the ways in which the revisions may support these trends. Midwives have long practiced the precautionary principle, counseling against the adoption of technologies and theories that have not been proven safe or beneficial to mothers and babies, and by extension, the entire human community. We respectfully ask the MANA board to reverse the 2014 revisions and consider the ways in which the attempted changes may have harmful implications for women.

Full letter at link here.

The “Equality Act” Hurts Women

Recent Events at Orwell Correctional Institution

By Vliet Tiptree

Something is afoot at the Orwell Correctional Institution. There are stirrings at this large venerable penistentiary, which seems as old as the oceans which border it on both sides.

The prisoners are restless. The Warden and the guards know something is coming and have been especially vigilant removing suspected troublemakers to Solitary lately.

Orwell is a minimum-security prison. The prisoners are non-violent and receive more privileges than at other places in the System. This means they need a firm guiding hand, as prisoners given an inch will try to take a mile.

Orwell is one of only a few minimum-security facilities worldwide. There are plenty of maximum-security prisons elsewhere, some quite strict. The prisoners in those places are seldom heard from. They communicate only through lacy slots in their iron doors. No need for books in those places – the prisoners weren’t allowed to learn to read, as they were bound for prison anyway and literacy is a known risk factor for breakouts. Even in their yards these prisoners have to be robed and veiled, or the guards will attack them. Rickets is a common result as their skin is never exposed to sunlight. Yes, the Wardens at these places elsewhere run a tight ship. If their prisoners act up they may get the rest of their lips sewn shut.

Orwell is leagues more progressive than these places, and the prisoners are lucky to be there.

. . . . . . . . . .

The prisoners at OCI have all committed the same felony – Alive While Female. AWF charges always result in convictions and a life sentence.

The guards are almost all men, though they are assisted in day-to-day work by the Trustys, cooperative prisoners who can be relied upon to watch prisoners from within their cells for a few extra dollars or a pat on the head.

The prisoners are almost all women, though a few oddball guards have “gone native” and entered cells voluntarily. But this isn’t about that.

Prisoners daydream about getting out someday. But that would require a lot of expensive legal help – they’d have to go to the Supreme Court of Wardens – and the prisoners aren’t paid for most of their work. The hours are 24/7 and their bodies, minds, and souls are appropriated for this work, which the guards consider far too soul-deadening to do themselves. The prisoners take care of the guards and children, clean dirty things like toilets and floors, prepare huge amounts of pizza and steak and mancheeze and curry every night, and must serve the guards in uncomfortable costumes in which their surgically-altered secondary sexual characteristics must be fully displayed and frequently squeezed. Their main prison job is Sexual Access. They do get occasional tips and pats and few days off for childbirth, and, as the guards constantly remind them, their food and shelter is provided for free so they have it easy, actually.

Even though OCI inmates are treated more leniently than at many other prisons, OCI has ongoing disciplinary problems. Occasionally prisoners try to escape, but they are promptly catcalled back through the gates by off-duty guards. They are allowed to read, though they do complain that books at the prison library are extremely boring as they are all written by guards so that prisoners appear only as inanimate costumed objects in them, and also that the prisoners in the books are often unhappy, but unlike in real prison life, can be made madly happy simply by receiving another pat on the head. They also complain that in these books the worldwide Prison System is never mentioned. These rather over-privileged prisoners can be ungrateful, not understanding their luck in being kept safe and protected from marauding guards from stricter prisons.

To keep prisoners on track, TVs are kept on night and day, or loudspeakers play pop music, and each and every speech and song repeats the same two words over and over: PUT OUT…PUT OUT. Prisoners become pliant and amenable to Sexual Access after a few decades of this.

Prisoners can become Trustys by fraternizing with the guards – the quickest route to Trusty status is to fraternize with a Hefner, a male decades older than they – but as the prisoner passes the age of 45 (or younger at places like Malibu Surf Facility) she is likely to be demobilized and revert to plain Prisoner status. Most prisoners end up fraternizing, not just to become a Trusty, but also to avoid being called an Elle and correctively raped.

A small population of prisoners escape fraternization by pretending they have seen a ghost. They are transferred to a pleasant walled facility with candles and incense. There, they do the same work as prisoners and also have to do a lot of chanting and marry a ghost, but are permitted to remain celibate.

Life is not all Easy Street for the minimum-security inmates at Orwell. There are regular riots, started by the guards, not the prisoners. The guards build up some steam, egg each other on, break into the ammo shed, and start shooting at each other and the prisoners. Though the guards start the riots and the prisoners are injured and killed in special predictable unfortunate ways during these riots, the prisoners are later blamed for the riots, because of the Special Prison Rule of Proxy Violence , which means prisoners are responsible whenever guards get crazy..

. . . . . . . . . .

A century ago at Orwell, some of the prisoners came to the conclusion that they had done nothing to justify their imprisonment. They began remonstrating with the guards, marching around with signs, and fasting. The guards ignored them at first, but finally the Warden had to do something, so he awarded the prisoners an extra cookie ration, which the prisoners of course had to bake themselves. The prisoners wrote about these events and secreted their writings under the bathroom sinks, where guards never look.

Forty years later, the same thing happened again. A new generation of prisoners began making noises about freedom and justice, but this time the Warden was ready with a million excuses. First and foremost, he responded in scholarly tones, no one could even remember when there hadn’t been prisons and guards and prisoners. The Prison System must be natural. After all, would the Prison System have lasted so long, and occur so universally, if it wasn’t the best possible evolutionary result?

Furthermore, the prisoners enjoyed prison life; they would sometimes laugh and sing and dance a jig in blackface as they washed the rags and scrubbed the floors; they could even become Trustys and receive some respect. Also, prisoners were known to be too fragile to live outside the walls, and they were too weak, what with all their childbearing and some sort of bizarre interest in Nature, to handle guarding and engage in rioting and exploitation of the Earth.

To put a capper on it, there was the rule of nature that only guards could live outside the prison. As a token of his empathy, however, the Warden awarded the prisoners another extra cookie ration, which the prisoners declined, as they knew by now that the guards would sneak in at midnight and eat the cookies.

. . . . . . . . . .

Even with all this historical lack of success, the Orwell prisoners are protesting again. This time they have prepared legal, epistemological, ontological, normative, empirical, statistical, ethological, anthropological, historical, and novel arguments, not to mention that they have a whale of a lot of surveillance video showing dispositively that all their arrests were illegal and that their status is intolerably unjust and unheard of in the annals of humanity.

The guards refer their complaint to the Warden. A few empathetic words are spoken. The prisoners await a full apology, the gates swinging open, release papers, a final end to their imprisonment. They smile hopefully and put away the turkey and pickles, the ghee, the fire-sticks, the dirty clothes and the toilet rags and the pushup bras. They know their cause is just and only one rational response is possible.

The next day, a long long limo pulls up at the gates. The Governor is escorted into the Warden’s office and a meeting behind closed doors ensues. The guards are then brought into the guards’ gym and another closed meeting is held. Muffled noises are heard, but the prisoners can’t make out the words.

The prisoners bite their nails, bate their breath, begin packing the few possessions that belong solely to them into their pillowcases.

They are called into the yard. The guards, standing behind the Warden and the Governor, appear serious, grave even. The Governor moves in front, stroking his starred-and-striped tie.

The prisoners nudge each other, eyes alight. A historic announcement is coming!

The band strikes up a new tune, one that seems vaguely familiar. The Governor raises his hands like a conductor and the guards open their mouths and white balloons are released overhead. In perfect unison the guards begin to sing the song they have been rehearsing, with a refrain which will ring in the prisoners’ ears long after they are herded back to their cells and the doors clang shut for another generation: BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ?!”

 

The End

________________________________________________________________

Alternate Ending in a Parallel Just World

The Governor smiles for his photo op, then gets into his limo. He settles back on the cream-colored leather, takes a deep breath, and flashes back to what he saw for an instant as he faced the prisoners and the chorus was sung.

Their faces scared him. He shrugs mentally, fastens his seat belt. “Get me out of here,” he tells the driver. The key turns in the ignition. And boom, without ado the Governor and his limo are transformed into a more suitable form of energy, becoming a cloud of excited molecules in a storm of heat and light. The gates of Orwell open wide and forever; cheering is heard; and the Governor always was just hot air.

Reprinted with permission from FeminismXX.

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