jadedmusings: (Default)
First, go grab a tissue, or two or three. Second, click this link. Third, read/view the images and realize just how important marriage is to many people. Let the not-so-subtle realization dawn on you that these people couldn't legally marry the people they loved, have devoted several decades of their lives to until this past Tuesday.

Feel empowered and cheer for these people and remember that as recently as May, states like North Carolina voted to define marriage as solely being between one man and one woman. For every one of these couples pictured, so many more continue to be denied the right to be with their loved ones in the same way as their heterosexual counterparts. It's a disgrace that in 2012, Americans might be considered equally created, yet they are not treated equally.

We have so much more work to do to make marriage available to all who want to be married, but holy cow, what a way to finally start turning the tide.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
Look, I know you didn't think you were being offensive when you asked, "Why would anyone ever want to role-play a legitimate gay person in WoW?" But, dude, you were extremely offensive.

See, here's the thing, Blizzard is a bit behind the curve when it comes to making non-heterosexual characters, and most major video games of late do have at least one homosexual character. However, just because Blizzard hasn't yet given us any (officially) gay characters doesn't erase the fact that out of those millions of subscribers, there are some that are not straight. And being that many of us aren't 100% heterosexual, it means we'd kind of like to have characters who bear a closer resemblance to us. You get to live your day to day life with your wife and kids and never have to worry about whether or not your marriage is legally recongized in all 50 states, or whether or not you can visit your wife in the hospital should she fall ill. You don't have to worry if you hold hands with your wife in public about getting grief other than the eyeroll from your kids. If you pick up a movie, turn on the TV, or play a video game, chances are you're going to see someone who looks like you (in the sense they have romantic relationships with members of the opposite sex). For many of us, we don't get that luxury, and when we try to make characters like us via role-play or fanfic, we get asshats like you questioning why we need to gay up the joint.

And please, don't hide behind lore. While not officially stated as being a couple, there's some definite heat between Tholo Whitehoof and Anren Shadowseeker that's got nothing to do with the fires of the Molten Front, if you catch my drift. No, it's not official, but it's heavily implied. There's also hints at Koltira Deathweaver and Thassarian, and Asiric and Jaadar, so it's not like a player-made character being something other than heterosexual is completely out of left field. (Now if Blizz would just throw us a few women who happen to like other women...)

Furthermore, speaking as someone who's really big on lore compliance, that generally falls in the area of, "No, your Death Knight can't still be alive," and not, "No, Jimmy can't love Johnny." I mean, even if we didn't have in-game examples to look at, it's really kind of a dick move (heh-heh) to tell anyone who they can or can't love. Really, it makes you look like an asshole.

For the record, yes there were people in that chatroom who were not 100% heterosexual. It really speaks volumes that you were only going to apologize if someone in the room was gay. Again, when you're playing a game that has nine million players worldwide, chances are you're going to encounter someone different from you.

By the way, there is at least one positive thing I can say about our interaction. I know I can save myself the headache of role-playing with a homophobic asshat in the future by ignoring you.


The Player who Likes ALL THE GENDERS
jadedmusings: (Firefly - Women are awesome)
I'm not much into comics. I tried when I was younger and a tom boy, but there wasn't much out there for me, you know? Had I been a child when the internet took off, it might have turned out differently since I'd have access to a wider variety of entertainment and more information about how wide and varied comics can be and are.

Because I live under a rock as far as comics are concerned, I was only peripherally aware that DC was shaking things up and doing a huge reboot of its universe. Supposedly they were going to try and finally tap into that female audience they've never quite reached. The results, however, were...well, less than stellar as Andew Wheeler notes in "No More Mutants: 52 Problems."

We’ve known for a while that the cover to the Catwoman reboot has the character lying on her back barefoot with her legs in the air, baring her cleavage and pouring sparkling white droplets over her boobs. It’s very tasteful. It sets the tone. She’s a thief, you see, and that’s what thieves do; at the end of a long day of thieving they lie on a rooftop and throw diamonds away. Erotically.

But if you still haven’t understood what sort of book this is going to be, the first panel of the first page gives the mission statement. It is boobs. Bosoms. Breasts. The first panel is framed not on the protagonist’s face, but on her brassiered chest. Page two ends on a shot of her derriere. It’s an action shot. Men are unloading their guns on her derriere. On the third story page Catwoman smashes through a window with one boob hanging out of her costume. One might note that she also has a cat hanging out of a box, but there is nothing semiotically sordid about that, no sir.

And it only gets better from there.

This article is a must read for feminists, comic fans, and feminist comic fans. Mr. Wheeler nails so many points on the head and is, simply, spot-on about what's wrong with Catwoman.

But it’s the final five pages that cement this book’s place in comic history, as Catwoman aggressively turns a visit from the Batman into a bat-booty-call, thus reducing years of sexual tension into good old drunken Halloween sex.

Now, when it comes to transparent attempts to pander to the sexual fantasies of fanboys, this one looks unusually progressive. The woman is clearly in control of the situation and is using the willing male for her own satisfaction. This must be what nerds think feminism looks like. The scene is dressed up as female empowerment, but it’s not there for female readers.

It's all well and good for a woman to be in charge of her sexuality, and I love seeing a woman who is allowed to be sexual, but this isn't it. And when her being sexually empowered (supposedly) is shown as the only way to be a strong, independent woman, I have huge issues. I especially have issues if she's spending part of the comic with a breast hanging out or constantly flashing panties. Even being a bisexual woman, I know these books were not made for me and are not pandering to me.

Finally, it's the last two paragraphs that say pretty much everything that needs to be said:

But it’s not the sole responsibility of women to somehow get themselves hired so they can write books that their nieces might buy. Men – yes, even straight ones – will have to make an actual effort to establish that diverse landscape in which some of the female characters do wear pants for 20 whole pages. The problem DC has right now is that too many of their creators decided that their book was going to be the one targeted to that all-important horny adolescent boys niche, and someone else could deal with stuff like ‘women’. Somehow the reboot seems to have set DC back about twenty years.


Diversity doesn’t happen because you think it should. Diversity happens when you make it happen. DC has said several times that one of its aims with the reboot was “to diversify as much as possible”. The question we have to ask is, what stopped you?

All I can say is "Word."
jadedmusings: (ATLA - Chibi :D)
Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed yesterday and it was a Very Good Day(TM).

Warning: Have tissues handy!

First up, a gay soldier comes out to his father and records it live for YouTube.

"Everybody here knows, Dad. And it's all been great. Nobody's giving me any shit about it."

World War II veteran Melvin Dwork, pictured in his old uniform, was discharged from the Navy for being gay. Now his discharge has been changed from "undesirable" to "honorable" as a result of the DADT repeal.

There are several heartwarming pictures there, including a picture from Lt. Gary Ross's wedding (link follows).

Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal: Navy Lt. Gary Ross, Partner Dan Swezy Wed As Military's Gay Ban Formally Ends

DUXBURY, Vt. -- Just as the formal repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy took effect, Navy Lt. Gary Ross and his partner were married before a small group of family and friends.

The two men, who'd been together 11 years, decided to marry in Vermont in part because the state is in the Eastern time zone.

That way, they were able to recite their vows at the stroke of midnight - at the first possible moment after the ban ended.

And he wore his dress blues. BLUB!
jadedmusings: (Sherlock - Don't fuck with my Watson)
I knew Orson Scott Card was homophobic, that's not really news to anyone who has spent any length of time online. However, what did come as something of a shock was learning he had re-written Hamlet as a novella, which on its own isn't anything to get up in arms about. After all, I'm a huge fan of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, but Stoppard only tried to give us a humorous insight into two of the minor characters of Shakespeare's great tragedy. Card turned Hamlet's father into a gay pedophile.


From William Alexander's review of Hamlet's Father:

Here's the punch line: Old King Hamlet was an inadequate king because he was gay, an evil person because he was gay, and, ultimately, a demonic and ghostly father of lies who convinces young Hamlet to exact imaginary revenge on innocent people. The old king was actually murdered by Horatio, in revenge for molesting him as a young boy—along with Laertes, and Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern, thereby turning all of them gay. We learn that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are now "as fusty and peculiar as an old married couple. I pity the woman who tries to wed her way into that house."

Hamlet is damned for all the needless death he inflicts, and Dead Gay Dad will now do gay things to him for the rest of eternity: "Welcome to Hell, my beautiful son. At last we'll be together as I always longed for us to be."

And that is just the cherry on this particular shit sundae. Subterranean Press, after receiving a multitude of complaints, released a statement and essentially said, "Well, it's shocking this didn't cause such controversy the first time it was published." To that I say, bullshit. By virtue of gaining a wider audience, it was discovered whereas before it might have slipped under the radar by being part of an anthology, or by being printed for audiences more liable to parrot Card's belief of homosexuality as a Big Evil.

I'm only surprised he used a work of Shakespeare, who many theorize was either gay or bisexual, as his particular foil.

A good round up of links can be found the unfunnybusiness community on Journal Fen, including an article from the Guardian.

P.S.: Free speech arguments stop here. Yes, Card can say whatever the hell he wants, but that doesn't mean he's safe from thousands of people calling him out for being an asshole. He's not being arrested for his statements; he is being taken to task. There's a huge difference and if you can't see it, please spare me and others who read this your cluelessness.
jadedmusings: (NCIS - Gibbs Headslap)
Tracy Morgan is a pathetic homophobic misogynistic shitstain. Don't believe me? Here are some highlights from his June 3rd stand-up routine in Nashville, Tennessee:

-Mr. Morgan took it upon himself to mention about how he feels all this gay shit was crazy and that women are a gift from God and that “Born this Way” is bullshit, gay is a choice, and the reason he knows this is exactly because “God don’t make no mistakes” (referring to God not making someone gay cause that would be a mistake).

I always find it baffling how on one hand I hear that the Christian god is ultimately unknowable in the sense that we mortals (his supposed children/creations) are not privy to the rhyme or reason for his plans and yet so many are adamant that they know being gay is a choice. That god, who shapes everyone one and has a direct hand in every aspect of our life (i.e. "God never gives us more than we can handle." and "God has a plan for us all."), would never, ever, ever create someone who loves people of the same sex/gender.

-He said that there is no way a woman could love and have sexual desire for another woman, that’s just a woman pretending because she hates a fucking man. He took time to visit the bullshit of this bullying stuff and informed us that the gays needed to quit being pussies and not be whining about something as insignificant as bullying.

In other words all those lesbos just need a good dicking and I'm the man to do it. Why do some men get so angry that lesbians don't want anything to do with a penis? Could it be because men have this sense that they should be entitled to every pussy in their general vicinity? How vain do you have to be to take offense that there are women who have zero interest in you?

Also, the people who say bullying isn't a big deal or that it's insignificant are often the same people who were never bullied themselves. If they claim they were, it basically amounts to "I was called four-eyes once" because they wore glasses. They never had people try to harm them physically, or if they did, it was an isolated incident. They never had to go to school every day in fear of being harmed or harassed. Bullying is not insignificant, and I can definitely say that while my life would never be perfect, many aspects of it would have been a hell of a lot more positive without all the harassment and bullying I was subjected to.

-He mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little fuckers that bully them, not whine about it. He said if his son that was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death.

I know how his son feels. While my father never knew I was attracted to women (and my mother still doesn't know either), hearing him make homophobic remarks, outright stating that having a gay child was a horrifying nightmare to him, and disparaging gays and lesbians at every opportunity really harmed our relationship. And it made me terrified of who I was and scared of what he might do if he learned I wasn't 100% straight. It's one of several reasons I've never been in a relationship with another woman despite many attractions and a few crushes. I feared being punished unfairly for being myself and being disowned and tossed out on my ass.

Before you say it, I don't care if his son never hears this routine because of Mr. Morgan is willing to say this shit on stage in front of a crowded theater, he damn well is saying similar shit at home where his son can hear it. Even if he thinks his son isn't in the same room or doesn't hear it, trust me, he is aware of his father's feelings. It doesn't matter if his son is gay or straight, it matters that Mr. Morgan is flat-out saying "I'll only love you if you like girls." It matters that Mr. Morgan is using a public platform to preach hatred and violence against an already oppressed group of people for no other reason than he's afraid of people who are different.

Tracy then said he didn’t fucking care if he pissed off some gays, because if they can take a fucking dick up their ass… they can take a fucking joke.

Here's a clue: If your so-called jokes invoke the same rhetoric as people who advocate violence against glbtq or any oppressed minority and it's not satire, it's not a joke. You are on the same level as Fred Phelps and other homophobic asswipes. People aren't laughing, they're applauding and nodding their heads in agreement. You are telling them it's okay to kill someone because they are gay.

And before anyone goes "But what about free speech?" Sure, Morgan's got free speech, but the catch is so do I and so does every other American. He has every right to get up on stage and be an utter tool; however, everyone else has every right to respond and explain why he's being an utter tool, why his "jokes" are ultimately harmful, and basically tell him he's a horrible person who deserves the shaming he's getting.

Blah, blah, blah, yeah he's apologized, blah. Here's the line that gets to me: "I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others." Except when he does, like he did on June 3.
jadedmusings: (Supernatural - Sam & Dean WTF)
Courtesy of a "I can't hear the point flying over my head" post made in [livejournal.com profile] ffrantsrants. In her tirade against supposed homophobia (in which she completely ignored those offended by fetishization of homosexual relationships, or incest, or the use of underaged characters as valid reasons for not liking certain types of slash fanfic), she managed to produce this little gem:

And if you are one, it's high time you either came out of the closet, or realize that your religious beliefs are completely and utterly ridiculous and that any retard can tell you that the Universe was created by the Big Bang and Jesus was probably schizophrenic, and even if he was sane when he preached he preached that everyone should be treated as equals, NOT that Gays are sinful and will burn in hell.

I completely missed the use of retard in my first read-through because my eyes saw the Shizophrenic jab first, but I did produce this less-than-polite response that will probably never be read because I was comment 153 as of this posting:

...Jesus was probably schizophrenic, and even if he was sane when he preached he preached that everyone should be treated as equals, NOT that Gays are sinful and will burn in hell.

It's all well and good to try and bash a religion that's being used by certain people to take away rights/keep everyone from achieving equality (not exactly fair, but whatever), but you don't fucking need to use mental illness as an insult. You insult everyone who has a mental illness and/or anyone who loves someone with a mental illness. You can choose not to be a bigot, you can't choose to change your brain chemistry so your mental illness magically goes away. Fuck your ableism. More to the point, fuck you and this entire shitty missing-the-point post.

Go read up on fetishizing of homosexuality (and yes, that includes femslash too), or realize that a lot of popular slash involves incest (Sam/Dean, Fred/George, etc.), which understandably creeps a lot of people out. Also, some slash fiction centers around characters under the age of consent and even though they're fictional, it's a squick for some readers.

It's too fucking early for this bullshit.

Having mental illness =/= Being a bigoted asshole.
jadedmusings: (BtVS - Buffy does not approve)
I'm doing some research on WoW so I can develop a Horde character for role-play on Steamwheedle. Of particular interest to me at the moment are the Blood Elves and to that end I'm going through the wikis and the WoW forums to find out the general "rules" for role-playing Blood Elves. One thread on the forums provided a helpful link to a page detailing the history and story of Blood Elves. Toward the end were some helpful hints with the basic suggestions of "Don't be an emo kid," "Don't be a horndog," and "Don't be a Mary/Marty Sue/Stu."

And then I saw this:

Blood Elves are not homosexual either. Blizzard may of [sic] made the jokes seem homosexual in nature, but the blood elves still hold their overal [sic] straight ways.

*record scratch.* What?!

*pauses to let her eyebrows come back down from her hairline*

Sure, it's not outright saying, "You can't be a gay Blood Elf," but that seems to be a pretty sweeping statement. Obviously, I'm going to ignore this tidbit and let my Blood Elf be whatever she wants to be (I honestly don't know yet, much like I never know with most of my characters until someone sparks their interest...okay, okay, Selene was a hedonist long before I rolled the dice, but that's besides the point). However, it rankles me to see such a statement and makes me wonder why, in light of Blizzard even making jokes (not that jokes are necessarily a good thing), there was a need to say this. What's the problem?

Yes, I'm a noob to WoW, but I know homophobia when I spot it, no matter how "innocent" the posters' intentions may have been. (HINT: Intent is not magic.) I could look at the real world and say nearly every culture that ever existed has "held to their overall straight ways." We live in a heteronormative society which ignores the existence of other sexualities (or fetishizes them) and assumes heterosexuality is a given. It's stupid to think that just because there aren't loads of gay blood elves making out in the middle of Silvermoon City that there are absolutely no gay blood elves.

Stating that blood elves are only straight makes this statement about not being a horndog confusing: "Blood Elves are not sex addicts. This cannot be stated enough. Yes they do have sex, but from research into other elves of various sources, including tolkien's elves, they tend to keep their sexuality to themselves and their life long partiner." So if they keep their sexuality to themselves and don't talk to outsiders about it, how the hell do we know who's gay and who's straight? It'd seem more likely that, just like the real world, there's a mix of sexualities and it's more than a little stupid to try and minimize one or the other. I'd more likely believe that [alternate]sexualities exist, though the culture makes it difficult to love freely. (Then again, I play fantasy games as an escape from the real world and it'd be nice to pretend once, just once, there's some society out there in the Land of Make-Believe that just doesn't care who you fuck, or if you fuck at all, so long as it's all consensual.)

(Also, am I the only person who gets a little weary of seeing "But Tolkein elves do X!"? Yes, he's thought of as the "father" of modern fantasy, but he's scarcely the only source, and it seems to me that Tolkein elves are worlds apart from WoW's elves, or even Dungeon and Dragons elves. Yes, I've committed fantasy blasphemy.)

At any rate, that statement really caught me off-guard in a place where I didn't think a potential character's sexuality was even an issue, or rather, it shouldn't be an issue.

Okay, back to brainstorming for my Warlock.
jadedmusings: (Writing)
Read this post on bullying. Read it now.

They [Coy dogs] don't actually bite the prey all that much. A nip at the heels, a few ambitious leaps to worry shoulders, haunches, beefy necks. They don't have to. Once the blood starts running, all they have to do is keep the prey moving, moving, moving, until exhaustion and fear do their magic. It doesn't take long. The point will come where the prey doesn't have the strength to fight anymore. The hooves that should kick away, flinty hooves that can crush a skull, if the strength is there, do not have the strength. It's over, the coy dogs have won, and the end of the game is as much surrender as capture -- even fighting to the last, the prey's been run too hard, too long, to win.

That is what bullying is. Pure and simple, what we're seeing is humanity taking on that coy dog aspect. No one person has to do that much -- what's a comment? what's a shove? what's possessions trashed, families threatened, rumors started, video shared? It is the aggregate effect that kills, the preponderance of hate, delivered daily, hourly, inescapably. Animalistic behavior, the basics of human decency abandoned for the thrill of the chase, the toxic exhilaration of pursuit -- and above all, the embrace of the group, the knowledge that you have a place in the pack. You don't have to do so much, really. Take a turn in point position, if you've the stomach for it, but that's not even truly necessary. All you have to do is hiss little comments. Or laugh. Or look away and do nothing.

Someone in the comments argued that bullies "move on" or "get bored" (said comment has been redacted and commenter has apologized and listened to differing view points -- a virtual miracle when it comes to the Internet). The trouble is, as others pointed out, an individual bully might move on and/or get bored, but other bullies are always there to take hir place. To use [livejournal.com profile] cbpotts's analogy, once you've been marked/cut, there's no getting the scent of blood off you.

The few times I recall standing up to my tormentors, I was punished in some way. I was told I was rude, I was being unfair, or I was being emotional and there was no need to cry about whatever event set me off. The onus was on me to be nice, to be polite, and ever forgiving (that's what Jesus would do anyway). The one time the school administration did anything (when they pretty much had to or else I was going to file theft charges for money stolen from my wallet), the bullies' friends threatened me and acted like I was in the wrong for having my money stolen. One of those friends was the principal's own daughter.

Adults in my life, particularly my parents, told me they weren't adult issues and I should get over it. I was told, "It won't last forever," and it was hinted that maybe one day I'd look back on all this and laugh. Yes, nearly twelve years out of high school and I'm still waiting for the laughter.

The problem with telling children to wait it out or saying "it gets better" is that it never addresses what's happening right now in that child's life. It gives the bullies a sort of silent permission to continue bullying and tormenting without punishment because, hey, you won't always be a kid forever and we'll all grow up to be adults. Never mind that to a child facing down how ever many years are left of school filled with torture, death seems preferable. Speaking from experience, if you talked to sixteen year-old me, I'd flat-out tell you that my life was hopeless. Truth is, I'm only still here now because one day I couldn't remember the combination to my father's gun safe. I was fifteen years old then, starting my sophomore year of high school. What's even scarier is that I had been contemplating suicide since I was thirteen.

Thirteen. Young teens grappling with suicidal thoughts at thirteen, sixteen, or even eighteen should not be considered a normal part of childhood development. Yet, we almost treat it as such. We treat bullying as a given, that those unable to fight back, unable to keep from succombing to that desire to end it all are weak-willed and maybe deserved to die because they're cowards. And always, always we tell kids to get over it, that it'll get better, but there's very little done to address the bullies and tormentors. They almost always get off scot-free.

Being called a lesbian in a crowded cafeteria during a high school debate meet with students from schools around the state in a very conservative area of the country was terrifying, especially when it wasn't unusual to hear threats against people who were "different" than the norm. I was so scared rumors that I might be gay would fly out around my small town thanks to the jerks from my school. My very homophobic father might have caught wind of it, and if he'd believed it, I'm not sure I can say he would be terribly accepting. (He went to his grave never knowing I'm bisexual, nor does my mother know my sexuality if only because I present as straight given I'm in a heterosexual relationship currently.)

That's the reality for kids facing down bullying. And you don't always get over it as soon as you're out of high school. I'm better than I was, but I'll always bear the scars. I'll never forget being told I was worthless, that I should kill myself, that no one would ever want me or love me. I won't ever forget it because it still shocks me when I hear my boyfriend tell me he loves me. Tell me he cares. When others tell me I mean something to them.

Life did get better, but it took a very long time for that to happen. It's only now, at nearly thirty years old, that I can say things are better, that I'm happy. But just because I eventually turned out okay doesn't mean it's acceptable for children to continue tormenting other children. I didn't escape unscathed and I was one of the luckier ones all things considered.

Bullying is not okay and there needs to be accountability. It's as simple as that.
jadedmusings: (Default)
Ellen Degeneres gives an important message about bullying in the wake of several tragedies affecting LGBTQ teens.

H/t to Shakesville. Transcript available there too.
jadedmusings: (Default)

ETA: The [livejournal.com profile] rage_free post has more links available on this matter.

First, I'm going to link to the article on Jezebel and quote its title: Cornell Surgeon Used Vibrator to Stimulate 6-Year-Olds

Read it again. No, it's not a hoax or a joke, and no, this is not a report on something from the Victorian Era.
Alice Dreger and Ellen K. Feder from Bioethics Forum have unearthed a 2007 study in which a doctor from Cornell University defends the practice of surgically cutting girls' clitorises. Disturbing, but his follow-up treatment is even worse.

The paper in question appeared several years ago in the Journal of Urology. "Nerve Sparing Ventral Clitoroplasty: Analysis of Clitoral Sensitivity and Viability" by Jennifer Yang, Diane Felsen, and Dix P. Poppas described in dry clinical terms how Poppas believes he has developed a way to remove part of a girl's clitoris without damaging their ability to have sexual sensation. Though the practice sounds a lot like female genital mutilation (and in strictly literal terms, it is) Poppas is not cutting into their genitals to make women less sexually inclined - he's doing it because someone decided that their clitorises were too big. Usually, this someone is a physician. With the parents consent and at the physician's suggestion, Poppas cuts into the shaft of the clitoris and removes a section, without, he hopes, damaging the nerves.

The trouble with big clitorises is that, apparently, there is a link between large clitorises and lesbianism. What, precisely, constitutes a "large" clitoris, I have no idea, but it may very well be that the goal is to prevent young girls from becoming homosexual later in life. We'll conveniently ignore the fact that sexuality exists independent of one's body parts. As Dan Savage points out, there's also seemingly a correlation between larger penises and homosexuality in men; however, no one's yet suggested we shorten men's penises to prevent Teh Gay(TM).

Sickening, huh? Oh, but it gets worse. Way worse. How could it get worse, you ask between colorful metaphors? Like so:
At annual visits after the surgery, while a parent watches, Poppas touches the daughter’s surgically shortened clitoris with a cotton-tip applicator and/or with a “vibratory device,” and the girl is asked to report to Poppas how strongly she feels him touching her clitoris. Using the vibrator, he also touches her on her inner thigh, her labia minora, and the introitus of her vagina, asking her to report, on a scale of 0 (no sensation) to 5 (maximum), how strongly she feels the touch. Yang, Felsen, and Poppas also report a “capillary perfusion testing,” which means a physician or nurse pushes a finger nail on the girl’s clitoris to see if the blood goes away and comes back, a sign of healthy tissue. Poppas has indicated in this article and elsewhere that ideally he seeks to conduct annual exams with these girls. He intends to chart the development of their sexual sensation over time.

Words fail me. I feel so sick reading that, and all I can think is that those poor girls are going to have to struggle to overcome the psychological damage that has been dealt to them for the rest of their lives. Not only that, but they're expected to undergo these humilating "examinations" in front of their parents annually and all because one part of their body didn't fall under someone's definition of "normal" or "natural."

Why does this pervert -- and yes, I am going to call him a pervert -- still have his license? Why is he still allowed to perform these assaults (because that's what they are; not "procedures" or "examinations")? What the fuck were people at Cornell thinking when they allowed this to occur?

It's female genital mutilation and it's sexual abuse. There's no evidence to support the supposition that growing up with a large clitoris will cause a girl psychological harm, but there's plenty of evidence that Poppas's procedures will traumatize these girls.

If some surgeon went around asking if he could shorten the shaft of the penises of young boys, he'd be sent away. Yet, it's perfectly okay by Cornell University of a doctor does that to a girl's sexual organs. So tell me again how we're in a post-feminist era and we're all equal now. I'm waiting.

Hat-tip to [livejournal.com profile] ginmar.
jadedmusings: (Default)
The next time someone tells me that marriage is just a word and that civil unions/partnerships are just as good, I'm going to send them here.
Clay and his partner of 20 years, Harold, lived in California. Clay and Harold made diligent efforts to protect their legal rights, and had their legal paperwork in place—wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives, all naming each other. Harold was 88 years old and in frail medical condition, but still living at home with Clay, 77, who was in good health.

One evening, Harold fell down the front steps of their home and was taken to the hospital. Based on their medical directives alone, Clay should have been consulted in Harold’s care from the first moment. Tragically, county and health care workers instead refused to allow Clay to see Harold in the hospital. The county then ultimately went one step further by isolating the couple from each other, placing the men in separate nursing homes.

Ignoring Clay’s significant role in Harold’s life, the county continued to treat Harold like he had no family and went to court seeking the power to make financial decisions on his behalf. Outrageously, the county represented to the judge that Clay was merely Harold’s “roommate.” The court denied their efforts, but did grant the county limited access to one of Harold’s bank accounts to pay for his care. [Emphasis Mine]

And it only gets worse as you keep reading at the link.

Here are two men who loved one another and took steps they thought would ensure their rights would be protected in the event of accident or illness. They jumped through all the legal hoops they were told to jump through. However, due to their sexual orientation and their age, they were treated as nothing more than roommates and forced to live apart while one of them lay dying. More than that, they lost all their possessions, some of which I'm sure had far more sentimental value after spending twenty years together.

This is why the word marriage carries so much weight. This is why civil unions and/or domestic partnerships aren't good enough. That this happened in 2008 at a time when we're supposedly all more enlightened and tolerant also sheds an ugly light on how we treat other human beings, especially those who are not heterosexual and/or young.

Hat tip to various people on my f-list as this is making the rounds here and in the blogosphere. This link in particular is courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] brigidsblest.
jadedmusings: (Default)
I read Portly Dyke's letter to President-Elect Obama and I nearly had to grab a box of tissues. If ever a letter captured why Obama's selection of Rick Warren was such a blow to those who identify as LGBTQ, it's this.

A snippet:

When you hear the invocation that Pastor Warren is allowed to give, please listen with my ears.

I realize that this will be "your day" in many ways, and that you are straight, and Christian. I personally have no problem with you wanting to have a spiritual invocation that reflects your belief system - but if you hear prayers which invoke only "traditional" families, or only Christians, or which lean too heavily on any structure which contributes to institutionalized oppression of any sort -- I implore you to remember that you will be President of every citizen of this country, and to listen with the ears of those whose voices are rarely heard from the bully pulpit.

Go read, and have a tissue handy.

P.S.: According to the comments, she did, in fact, send this letter to the Obama transisition team. If you would like to do the same, you can find the contact info here. I think, if I can tonight, I'm going to work on my own letter.


jadedmusings: (Default)
Wrathful and Unrepentant Jade

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