Aug 232010
 

A lot of people have been posting and re-posting and discussing this Newsweek article, which talks about a person in Australia, who was the first person in that country, if not in the world, to be issues a certificate without either an F or M for their sex (sometimes referred to as gender, which is usually an incorrect statement, as sex often does not line up with gender). Of course, as in many things surrounding queer issues in government, this huge milestone was then taken back a few days later, as the government decided that this was just not ok.

Why does the M or F on our birth certificates, IDs, etc matter so much? Presentation of gender is a huge spectrum, an explosion of gender even, and when we require that M or F, not only are we stifling people who do not identify in such a binary, but what are we achieving?

For example, I know many people with an F on the ID who present in a gender queer, or even stereotypical masculine way. Now not only does this F hurt them as they have to get their ID checked every damn time they use a credit card, and get heckled at the airport or when they get pulled over, but what purpose does the F serve? I mean, let’s say we’re looking for a criminal, and all we have to go on is that they have an F on their ID. What does that even mean? Given the diversity of gender presentation, how does that help us to find someone?

Now, I don’t think we should get rid of gender as a society. Many people have done much exploration of their gender identity; find someone who identifies as a faggy boi, or a stone butch, or a high femme, and get in a conversation with them about their gender. Talk about how they discovered it, why it is important to them, how it fits in with their other identities. Gender can be an important part of who we are.

However, the M or F on our IDs and certificates is not our gender. It has only to do with the genitals we had at birth, and the SEX (not gender) that the doctor assigned us given what we had. It doesn’t take into account our identities, our presentations, etc.

So I don’t propose life without gender. I LOVE my gender and its complexities. I love my partner’s gender. I love reading about gender, and talking about gender. I love gender. But I do suggest the removal of sex from IDs, as I see no reason for it to exist, and so many reasons for it not to.

-Shanna

Jun 052010
 

This is win. It is so much win.

That said, I really prefer the term marriage equality over same sex marriage or gay marriage. Why? Because not everyone who wants the ability to marry identifies as gay (lesbian, queer, bi, or a couple with a trans person who now identifies as straight), and unless you’re checking chromosomes, you don’t really know if people are the same sex.

All of this said, I love love love this picture, and think it makes a brilliant point, both for marriage equality, and hopefully eventual gender/sex equality, that our country has still yet to practice.

Plus, I love me some animal macros in the morning.

-Shanna

Apr 212010
 

I’ve been seeing this video pop up on various blogs and social networking sites all week, but I just now had the time to watch it.

And I cried. A lot. It hit so close to home, to my experiences, to my partners (past and present), to my invisibility, to my having to repeatedly out myself, to everything that I have been, am and will be as a Femme (minus the 5 inch heels, thanks to the arthritis and surgeries). I cried because everything he had to say is so true, so real, and because no one has ever said that out loud where I could hear it.

So thank you Ivan Coyote, who I don’t know, for warming the cockles of this little Femme’s heart, for loving my gender, and for supporting all of us. Thank you.

Feb 182010
 

I don’t know what is is about this week, but lots of people have been talking about some of the ‘nilla hate that goes on in the kink community.  First, there was Lee Harrington to who mentioned on twitter that vanilla is a valid and delicious flavor (both in food and sex).  Then Mollena got up on her rockin’ soap box, and wrote this excellent post on anti-vanilla bigotry.

This has always been something that bothers me, and it is not specific only to the kink community.  Marginalized groups and minorities have started to become bigots towards the “traditional” and the majority.

Example A: Lesbians/dykes who tell straight identified women that they “just haven’t come out yet” or who joke about converting them to be dykes.  Yes, lots of people haven’t come out yet, but not all straight women are lesbians. No matter how much we want it to be. And it is offensive to tell a person that their orientation isn’t valid; and that goes for straight, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual, etc.

Example B: People who are poly/non-monogamous telling other people that ALL of monogamy is a social contruct, and that everyone is really inately non-monogamous and that monogamous people are doing it wrong.  Just because one group has to struggle in being outside the norms of society (being non-monogamous), and it works perfectly for them does not mean that it is not ok to be the norm. Acceptance for ALL methods of relationships please.

Example C: Partially from Mollena, partially from my experience; kinky people/those in the BDSM community who use vanilla like a perjorative term.  “God, we were being all pervy and then this vanila person made us stop doing our thing” or “They SAY they’re vanilla, but they just don’t know what they’re missing.”  Some people are not kinky. AND THAT IS OK. They have fun, exciting, arousing, satisfying awesome sex with no kink. And I know people who are kinky as heck, and have really bad sex (according to them).  Ergo, fabulous sex is not based on how kinky you are.  So we do we pretend that there is something wrong with not being kinky?

Then even within communities, we create levels of how kinky we are. I’ve been told by some people that I’m extra super kinky because I like to do fire play and light people up.  I’ve been told by other people that I’m really not kinky because I don’t identify as a top/bottom, Mistress/submissive, and I choose not to live the lifestyle 24/7  or have power based relationships. So I’m either really kinky or really not kinky. How come I can’t *just* be kinky with out putting levels on it?

In understand that there is an inate need to make our wants/needs/identities/kinks the best, especially if we’ve been oppressed as a community. However, the answer it NOT to do it by telling others that they are wrong. That just perpetuates the binary and is stupid. The end.