bcholmes: mad, in a coma, or back in time? (i had an accident)

some chick says
thank you for saying all the things I never do
I say
the thanks I get is to take all the shit for you
it's nice that you listen
it'd be nicer if you joined in

So, as it happens, I find myself following two conversations that have no direct relationship with one another, but which seem to be echoing each other in interesting ways. My Privilege Looks Like This: I've Been Staying Silent in the Conversation )

bcholmes: (seeing the world after april)

I've seen a few references to the article about the decline of feminism in Italy.

I thought this post on the topic was quite poignant:

"Today, Italy has the lowest percentage of working women in Europe. Only 2 percent of top management positions are held by women — that's even behind Kuwait — and only 17 percent of the members of parliament are women — less than in Rwanda and Burundi."

The author is trying to demonstrate how feminism in Italy has fallen on hard times, with incredibly low participation of women in politics and low representation in positions of power in corporations. It was going well and good until I reached the part where I guess I, as the reader, am supposed to be shocked that a civilized, developed country like Italy has fewer female politicians than *gasp* Rwanda!? Except Rwanda has the most female members of parliament in the world, with 56% its legislative seats held by women, and Burundi's not doing too bad either, with about 30% of its parliamentary seats held by women. Every European country is behind Rwanda in that regard. And surprise! The US is even lower than Italy!

bcholmes: I was just a brain in a jar (brain thoughts)

I find it curious that African-American women are all lazy unwed welfare-cheating baby-making machines and African-American men are all violent drug-abusing absentee fathers RIGHT UNTIL they are standing in the way of gay rights, at which point they become socially conservative homophobes who can't see past their religious family values. If you're going to scapegoat people of color for all the world's problems, at least make your stereotypes consistent, ya know?

"Open letter to white activists"

The whole article is good reading.


Nov. 8th, 2008 03:02 pm
bcholmes: (gender)

In 1994, when Ontario was debating the merits of same-sex marriage, I was working with a Toronto-area trans group. I spent a lot of time working on the group's periodical. Every few months, I'd go through a bunch of news articles that had been sent out through a trans news email list, and I'd précis the various stories into one-paragraph summaries. These summaries would be printed in the sidebar of the first several pages of the mag.

This particular trans group was mostly dominated by upper-middle-class self-identified crossdressers, and many of the articles were about vacuous things like make-up and clothing, but I was always very pleased with the summarized blurbs about trans issues from around the world. Even though we weren't American, we had good coverage of American issues like DOMA and ENDA as well as tragic events such as the Brandon Teena murder, and the avoidable death of Tyra Hunter.

It was also the year of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and I recall a lot of the unfortunate conflicts between trans communities and the organizers of the Stonewall anniversary committee. I recall sitting down, one day, to summarize for my group's trans magazine, how one of the anniversary committee's organizers had gotten fed up and finally announced that the trans community was trying to ride on the coattails of the gay and lesbian liberation movement by inserting themselves into Stonewall anniversary events.

Of course, my view on Stonewall differed quite a bit. While Wikipedia suggests that the riots are "frequently cited as the first instance in American history when gays and lesbians fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted homosexuals," for me, it was the story about how genderqueer people kick-started the LGBT movement. If anything, I felt, middle-class gays and lesbians were riding the coattails of genderqueer people. I acknowledge that I think it's a bit simplistic to suggest that it was us transfolk, alone, who made it happen, but sometimes that's the way I view it.

Around about then, I started to acknowledge two people, Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson (the 'P.' stands for 'Pay it no mind'), as two of my heroes. Two years earlier, while doing my news article summarization job, I'd had to type up the story of how Marsha P. Johnson was found dead in the river, and although there was some reason to suspect foul play, the cops weren't gonna look into it. These, of course, were members of the same police force that Marsha P. Johnson helped to barricade in the Stonewall Inn in 1969.

I accept that this is a simplistic worldview, but some days I genuinely believe that Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson created the modern LGBT movement together. And they're two of my heroes.

Marsha P. Johnson was an African-American trans woman. And part of me is glad that she didn't have to see this.

bcholmes: (politics)

I've been thinking about this for a little while now.

Mr Steven W. Mahoney (Mississauga West): What some of us who are opposed to this bill find difficult to accept is the lecturing that seems to go on, that if you're opposed to the bill, you're somehow opposed to democracy, that if you're opposed -- you take a comment about this member's remarks when it was the Attorney General who first raised the spectre of South Africa having something to do with this vote. It was not this member; it was the sponsor of this legislation. I just have had it up to here with being called a racist or a bigot because I cannot accept the fact that a spouse is a member of the same sex. That is my right; indeed, my responsibility. I can handle it full well, Mr Minister, without a problem. I just don't agree with it.

I think I have a right, I indeed have an obligation on the part of the people who I represent and on the part of my family to speak from my heart and speak my mind on this issue. I reject any attempt by members of this government to try to muzzle people or try to intimidate us and try to paint this as some kind of a human rights issue. I don't see it in that light. I have a right not to see it in that light if that is my choice and that is my view.

— Ontario Legislature's Hansard for June 9th, 1994.

This was a comment made by a member of the Liberal opposition during Rae's same-sex marriage bill, Bill C-167. I remember watching this debate on television and when Mr. Mahoney said that he was tired of being called a bigot, I thought: you just don't get it, do you?

3rd-party leader, Mike Harris instructed his party to oppose the bill (that was my first hate-on for Harris). The Liberal opposition originally offered to support the bill, but backed out and made it a free vote. Premier Rae also made the bill a free vote for his party (one of my biggest disappointments in Rae).

Mahoney ultimately went into federal politics, as a member of Chrétien's government, but during some re-organization of ridings, he lost the Liberal candidacy to Carolyn Parrish (who was later expelled from the party).

bcholmes: I’m covered in bees! (bee sea)

Blaming people of color for Prop. 8 passing in California is racist. So cut it the fuck out. Ditto for veiling your racism with "this is because of turnout for Obama" or "you know how conservative those immigrants can be."

[livejournal.com profile] sparkymonster states one of those things that I wanted to believe was obvious, but which apparently is not.

Edit: Here's another good response to the "let's blame the brown people" phenomenon.

Edit the second: Here's a statistical analysis of a white election.

Edit the third: Daily Kos has a good analysis, too!


bcholmes: (Default)
BC Holmes

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