Category Archives: gender & sexuality

rape in bosnia… a must read

After many years of working for V-Day, i can never forget the look on Eve’s face back in 1998 when she told us about her visits to Bosnian refuge camps. There were six of us, all students, all determined to carry on the V-Day spirit and the second-hand look of incomprehension, horror and loss still sticks in my head, particularly since it came from one of the most vibrant and passionate women i’ve ever met.

This morning, through the blog world, i was given a pointer to “a cradle of inhumanity”. It’s a heartbreaking feature story, echoing the pain that i always saw in second-hand form from Eve. The struggle of women who give birth to children after having been raped. The inequalities of being raped as a systematic tactic of war… not being recognized as a victim, not being given any level of economic or social support. The inequalities, the pain.

It’s hard to hear about this level of pain second-hand. I cannot imagine having a child that way. I cannot imagine the horrors that these women go through. But i can read, i can listen and i can try to make it never happen again.

I ask you to do the same.

gay marriage in Massachusetts

Last week, Massachusetts’ highest court declared the state’s ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional and demanded that the state change its laws. The CNN article on the topic is fascinating, revealing the underlying tensions.

– Is marriage about children?
– Do the courts have the responsibility to protect marginalized populations?
– Why are men far more afraid of gay culture than women?

Why do people in power feel so motivated by inequality that they are determined to make a constitutional amendment to protect their way of life? I’m fascinated by the fears that this issue strikes in straight folks… what on earth is the big deal? It’s funny because we live in a country that likes to preach certain rhetoric but not really defend it.

Equality for all! (When could women vote? What about blacks?) Tolerance! Separation of church and state!

[Read the full report]

Continue reading

stone butch blues

For the last year or so, Stone Butch Blues has been out of print. This has made me utterly frustrated since it’s one of the few books that i constantly buy for others to read. I went to hear Leslie Feinberg (the author) speak once and she said that the purpose of SBB was to communicate gender theory through life experience. The story is so poignant, revealing all of the emotions that one feels when experience gender confusion.

I still remember the night that i read it. I was in undergrad and working for the summer. I felt really ill so i went home early from work to sleep. I picked up SBB. Every hour or so i had to put it down because i was crying so intensely, but i could never put it down for long. I watched the sun rise the next morning as i finished the story, forever moved.

Anyhow, i just got an email message from Leslie Feinberg:

I’m happy to announce that a new edition of Stone Butch Blues is being published by Alyson. The book will be available in stores by spring 2004. Copies may be in the warehouse as early as November 2003.

The distributor is Consortium. Their phone number is (800) 283-3572. The ISBN for Stone Butch Blues is 1-55583-853-7.

It’s a must read.

V-Day deals with trans issues

When i first got involved in V-Day in 1998, i was determined to make it as trans-friendly as possible. Violence against women hits the trans community so very hard. So many murders, so much violence. Before i was even staff at V-Day, i helped make the organization trans-friendly by clarifying what we meant when we say that all actresses must be women. We explicitly tell organizers that V-Day does not define someone’s gender identity and that they must include anyone who identifies as and lives their lives as women.

Over the years, i’ve watched as more and more transwomen have participated in V-Days in a variety of ways. I watched women come into their own through V-Day, find that female bond and really understand what it means to be a woman. And this year, Eve is going to take the trans issue even more seriously. Not only is she going to write a trans monologue, but V-Day is working directly with Calpernia Addams to create a trans-focused V-Day. Yippee!

trans-friendly bush??

Why do i firmly believe that there’s no way that this really happened:

President Bush seems pretty unfazed by different orientations. At his recent Yale reunion, among the classmates he greeted at the White House was one Yalie who had changed from a man to a woman.

According to news reports, the president did not blink and warmly greeted the alum, saying: “Now you’ve come back as yourself.”

Continue reading