My coming out: The lingering intersex taboo

Montreal Gazette

Intersex. Few people have heard of the term, and those who have often confuse it with a «third» gender identity or with the mythical figure of the hermaphrodite, presuming we possess both typically defined female and male genitals.

This is not exactly the case. To explain who we are we need new words, or new framings of bodies and identities. But for people to understand intersex as living truths and not as disincarnated concepts, we must speak them with our own voices while carefully clearing a path between euphemisms which threaten to pull us back into the silence of a taboo that feeds human rights violations committed against us, and a direct language which can be twisted around into voyeurism and suffused with other meaning.

Put plainly, either we are objectified and mistreated by medicine which has most successfully erased us from public consciousness, or we will be subjected to…

View original post 3,623 more words

Rape Culture – Cover Your Eyes

While you were sleeping

Girl crying - WordPress Cover your eyes

Rape culture is when I was six, and my brother punched my two front teeth out. Instead of reprimanding him, my mother said “Stefanie, what did you do to provoke him?” When my only defense was my mother whispering in my ear, “Honey, ignore him. Don’t rile him up. He just wants a reaction.” As if it was my sole purpose, the reason six-year-old me existed, was to not rile up my brother. It’s starts when we’re six, and ends when we grow up assuming the natural state of a man is a predator, and I must walk on eggshells, as to not “rile him up.” Right, mom?

Rape culture is when through casual dinner conversation, my father says that women who get raped are asking for it. He says, “I see them on the streets of New York City, with their short skirts and heavy makeup. Asking for it.”…

View original post 1,034 more words

Dan Savage Offers Bi Women to Straight Dudes

“Here I thought Pride started with three trans women of color [Stormé DeLarverie, Sylvia R. Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson] who’d had enough and started the Stonewall Riots. I thought Pride was about demanding our right to live, not about teaching straight people how to be more quirky.”

Angie's Anti-Theistic Thoughts

Now that I got your attention with a click bait headline (sorry!) let’s talk about Savage. He’s probably best known for his column of terrible advice and his campaign to turn a politician’s name into a product of sodomy. Savage has a history of bi erasure, asexual erasure,  transphobia, transmisogyny, general misogyny, and ableism.  He’s also a popular and successful gay man so he gets invited to do things like be a Grand Marshal of NYC Pride. 

image

So when I saw that Dan Savage had written out advice for straight guys wanting to attend Pride marches, I knew it was gonna be bad. I just didn’t know it was gonna be this bad.

“Don’t eat the pussy at Pride, it’s not for you…unless it’s bi pussy, in which case, go crazy.”

My how charming. I wonder if Savage will pay the women he’s selling to shitty allies. Somehow I think…

View original post 172 more words

The Subtle Racism of “Post-Racial” Activism

Mattias Lehman

My bus is all but parked, its frame quivering and growling as the engine idles. I look up from my book at the packed seats around me: an array of glowing white faces in the dark of night. Two white faces talk across the aisle a few rows in front of me, one pale to the point of translucence, the other light tan with soft undertones of yellow. I hear the word “Ferguson” as teeth peek out from behind pink lips stretched into a grin. I can’t imagine what there is to grin about.

Cold air swirls around my ankles and sneaks up my coat; a shiver follows it up my spine. The bus doors are still open and the bus driver is standing at the front of the bus. How long have we been parked here while I sat engrossed in the words of Simon R. Green? I slide…

View original post 2,378 more words

Protected: Indigenous feminism by a white liberal passing as Native American

Very important article. We share different wounds from colonialism and different traditions but this is a crucial part of shared history which is not spoken about. h/t Lauren Chief Elk

Unsettling America

By Andrea Smith, Unsettling Ourselves

We often hear the mantra in indigenous communities that Native women aren’t feminists. Supposedly, feminism is not needed because Native women were treated with respect prior to colonization. Thus, any Native woman who calls herself a feminist is often condemned as being “white.”

However, when I started interviewing Native women organizers as part of a research project, I was surprised by how many community-based activists were describing themselves as “feminists without apology.” They were arguing that feminism is actually an indigenous concept that has been co-opted by white women.

The fact that Native societies were egalitarian 500 years ago is not stopping women from being hit or abused now. For instance, in my years of anti-violence organizing, I would hear, “We can’t worry about domestic violence; we must worry about survival issues first.” But since Native women are the women most likely to be killed…

View original post 1,364 more words

Dear “Old White People” – No, I don’t “work” here

I’ve had similar experiences with white folks in South Africa, white people (age 30+) with kids or not. Their tone often changes a lot when they’ve realised their mistake, not because they’re apologetic but I’d guess they look down on POCs and more so on POCs working in certain sectors. I greet store employees as I would any stranger I’m trying to speak to in a public space, these white people have often not greeted me while mistaking me for an employee! And these people have strange thinking – I’m always with a walking stick (I’m yet to see an employee of these places using one – these tend to be jobs where one walks a lot) and they’re always sighted people (who were just reading product labels on shelves).

You're Entitled To Be Wrong

PSEUDO DISCLAIMER: The following post is about the author’s retail experiences with “old white people” who have mistaken her for being a store employee. For the record, the author isn’t stating that all “old white people” assume – erroneously or otherwise –  that ‘shoppers of color’ are retail store clerks. Furthermore, the author’s blog post is not meant to disparage those hard-working individuals who are employed by retail and/or restaurant establishments. We at ‘You’re Entitled To Be Wrong’ do not discriminate against people based on age, race, sex, gender, class, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. We only have it out for those individuals who make stereotypical assumptions because they’re culturally lazy and myopic.

Shoppers carrying bags cross Broadway near Macy's in New York (Photo: Jeremy Bales-Bloomberg News, August 9, 2008) Shoppers carrying bags cross Broadway near Macy’s in New York (Photo/Jeremy Bales-Bloomberg News, August 9, 2008)

I’m not much of a shopper. The best thing to happen to me when it comes to shopping is the…

View original post 850 more words

Because I Always Thought Zines Were Some White Anarchist Shit: Thoughts on the Commodified Fuckery of Mainstream Media and the Assumptions of What’s Radical

A very important piece I found via Google Search. Author’s “What are we waiting for?” reminds me of when I spoke out on a similar issue with trusted folks, they said the anarchist quietly promoting white privilege and oppressing (me) or downplaying POCs is needed in their respective circles, they couldn’t overtly say something against him. More about this soon.

Opine Season

Chaun Webster Chaun Webster

That’s right, I said what many of us in communities of color who are aware of zines have been thinking for quite some time; it’s some white anarchist shit! Zines, for those who are not in the know, are usually an inexpensive production of print media that can be quite elegant but are often alternative of the cut, paste and copy sort.

They are often seen as a radical space for knowledge production that is subversively undermining the dominant modality of media production.  Zines and zinesters, however, rarely hear the critique of people of color (POC) communities surrounding the assumed maleness and whiteness of this form of media making. Not only is it that those organizing the conferences, at the tables, and of the class privileged positions to own mechanisms of production are too often white and male, it is furthermore that the content of those zines are…

View original post 585 more words

Anti-Colonial Anarchism vs Decolonization

Decolonisation is diverse, as our histories and contexts. This is one example.

Awakening the Horse People

anticolonialvsdecolonization

Many forms of resistance to colonialism and empire are necessary and important, and this poster should not be interpreted as dissuading those forms of solidarity and resistance. Nor should anti-colonial consciousness and decolonization be thought of as mutually exclusive forms of action.  They often co-exist as “named” movements side by side. This poster seeks to point out that they may not be equivalent, and there are some critical differences between the two.

View original post 131 more words

Endometriosis siblings and others,

It’s endometriosis awareness month and day, today also marks my 11th surgery-free year. No longer calling yesterday my lap-nniversary (a horrible word for a horrible thing) but today marks my life since my only ‘lap’ (but with chronic illness, allergies to chemicals and foods, and while edging closer to the next laparoscopy?)

My body remembers March before I do. Other times, I think of my illness as of building damage that I maintain, something that left many and varied scars but that is only a threat with no harm being done actively. Luckily I’m still without Endo complaints, with pain only like before but it’s huge and more scary this year, because of my present circumstances. It is scary because I have a new illness which makes it risky for me to use hospitals (perhaps even potentially lethal currently, I can’t measure the risks) or any health or other service, so I’ll have to somehow keep avoiding surgery. In Endo support groups, others seem to be having surgery often, medical cover anticipated I would often need one and I knew a woman with the same history of endom who had 5 surgical ops in 7-8 years.

It’s not that tragic, a car accident could put me in a similar situation but this is an additional threat with all the potential flipping side effects. The last side effects: my long list of allergies to so much including chlorine, other changes I won’t publish and perhaps psychological issues other than the ones post-surgery. Under ‘normal’ circumstances it is not fatal but who doesn’t want to avoid surgery so I’ll share this blog and comments (albeit I’m not sure how to view whole comments) for information on alternative medicine. In my unique case, I may be alive today only thanks to overcoming some skepticism, trying all I could, hard work on the treatment and some level of trust towards the doctor.

We can never stress enough on how important it is for gynaecologists to respect patients (usually for respectful treatment with explanations, try an endocrinologist not a gyne). When I was healthy other than for endometriosis and sequels, on allopathic treatment that was failing and I wished for a hysterectomy that would perhaps eradicate the illness, I saw a few gynae in private healthcare in a quite affluent suburb near my student suburb in Capetown. No one would agree to a prospective hysterectomy even at my next endometrioma, for the same reason permanent birth control is refused to females of certain ages. At 22-23, “I was too young to make the decision” that I do not want to use my uterus. I didn’t want children biologically, I came to this decision more firmly post-surgery before my diagnosis, from the severe pain (aggravated by the lack of help by a lazy and verbally abusive night staff at an expensive private hospital which I had paid upfront, actually payment was a condition of admission in any hospital – in public ones bc I was a foreigner). A doctor compared my uterus to a healthy limb that could not be removed, and said the same for that of the endo sister I mentioned: she had had her rectum replaced with metal plates and suffered a lot daily as a result but surgeon would not remove her ovaries/uterus upon her request before surgery because she was yet to have a child biologically. There are many full orphanages, furthermore struggling with funds in that country! Motherhood, by the way, is a job. If you choose it or aspire to it, great!

“Does anyone else find it odd that our society expects 14-year-old kids to know what jobs they will want for the rest of their lives, but doesn’t believe an adult woman when she says she doesn’t want to be a mother?” (an unattributed quote on FB via tumblr)

More education and privilege than her, and perhaps luck too helped me find a way to avoid surgery. Today I’m sharing this online and reportedly only 8% of South Africans have internet access, the most affluent 8%. I’m in Mauritius where the alternative treatment I use for this illness is not available (well, there is 1 practitioner who, I was told, molested a young female patient so there’s no practitioner as far as I’m concerned) and customs officers said I can’t receive such medication by post for whatever reason. So, it’s me commenting on Gwenn’s blog about the 6-monthly $5 treatment, it’s actually 9-monthly (I counted properly with limited stock) and costs even cheaper if you buy 50ml or more. Getting on the long-term effective homeopathic treatment took a lot of trial-and-error, changing, or changing doctors. That was the costly part but surely less than a year on the pill for me. Some good hearts out there see patients pro-bono, some may give advice online and no prescription required to order meds or buy them from a pharmacy if you’re lucky to be in such a part of the world.

Among diet changes Gwenn and I mentioned, dairy is surely the most significant culprit because dairy contains estrogen. There have been adverts and claims about pain-reducing effects of dairy but that’s because of the casomorphine which also makes it addictive.

Painkillers, magnesium and magnesium salts (these were my preferred choice) work better with no harm.

Nutritionfacts.org is a good place to research the other foods for brief technical information linked to inflammation or other hormone-related illnesses.

Marching virtually today, for #endometriosis with my siblings, and sisters 💛 💛