Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ribbet, Rabbit

Ah, Thursday, and not, as my photo would have anyone believe, frosty, but raining again.
Chinese New Year - the Rabbit, not good for us Roosters apparently.
Teenagers were letting off fire-crackers over in the park before sundown yesterday. One of the dogwalkers met me as I was returning, her dog had been seriously terrorised the day before by the dog that looks like a meercat, she didn't like the sound of the firecrackers and scuttled away.
I had left it until the last moment to go to a meeting which was due to start at 17.30, bad move, there had been a big accident on the main road and everything was at a standstill.

A propos of very little, I've been trying to persevere with British Sea Power today - it's not doing it for me, I had to have a blast of Stone Roses as an antidote.

Yesterday, there was a most excellent post on Figleaf's blog, about male rape in prisons.
I had never thought about this as a serious issue, I must admit. The only time it is talked about is as a threat on TV shows, so it's easy to think it's just a fiction.
The U.S. Justice System is now taking it seriously and has produced a draft paper on reform. We wouldn't and don't tolerate other abuses in the corrections system, so why the hell would be tolerate this? It is the absolute anathema to human dignity. Figleaf himself makes some interesting points about this issue. For one, he sometimes sees comments on feminist posts about rape, complaining that men get raped too. He says that if each one of those commentators had at the same time complained to their congressperson, reform might have happened sooner. In fact, it is from a feminist initiative that this has now come to pass.
Even so, one of the commentators on the post itself, spews the usual vitriol. Feminists would not take on this issue if they didn't gain more out of it than men.
Well duh, almost by definition. Since women are the disadvantaged sex, it's virtually impossible to find an area where equality wouldn't improve things more for women than for men.
And this person is also over-looking the fact that, since feminist theory is based quite significantly on the terms 'feminine' and 'masculine' being culturally created and not referring to any natural phenomenon in the way that 'female' and 'male' are, men are benefited in general by feminists challenging these stereotypes. Many men suffer greatly from a culturally imposed ideal of what it means to be masculine.

Kevin sent me an article by a woman who highlights that sometimes, feminists seem to have a very white-middle-class-ableist-cis centred focus. And I have seen this criticism before, clearly if this is the experience of some, then it is going on and needs to be addressed. This particular writer calls us out over the 'forgotten' areas of Inclusive Language. I must admit, I hadn't thought about the expression 'to step up...' It is a very thorough look at the issues and the problems when people are exclusionary in their use of language. She also gives a list of all the nonsense people come out with when challenged.
She's spot on. Heard them all.


Sleepy said...

Sorry.. Lost me at 'cis gendered'...

Schneewittchen said...

Ok, but I thought you'd have some thoughts on British Sea Power. You are one of my musos.

Sleepy said...

Seriously, what is 'cis'??

Love Waving Flags and Stunde Null!!

Schneewittchen said...

Erk, sorry, I thought you meant, 'it was too up your own backside so I stopped reading,' kinda thing.

When I get back I'll check out those two tracks, there's something right at the beginning of the album that I have (which is not the most recent one) that promises great things, then for me, doesn't deliver.

Cisgender means that you identify with the sex you were born with. I guess it has become a word that is used more the more we challenge the ideas of culturally constructed gender.

Also, the captured internet rays at the Static aren't delivering my e-mail, so I didn't notice you'd asked until I thought, 'hmm..something is amiss, I'd better check webmail.' Sheesh, modern life is so rough.

Sleepy said...

Sorry, I'm being more than unusually thick I think...
But I am still none the wiser!
What other gender would I identify with?

Schneewittchen said...

You could be born female and yet identify as male, or as both genders, or as neither. Likewise you could be born male according to your sex chromosomes and identify as female etc.

Just as with sexuality, where we are told that 10% are sexually attracted to the same sex, but research shows that in reality, sexuality is more likely a sliding scale, and that, given an ideal world where there were no outside pressures to conform, it may be that ten per cent at each end of the scale are ONLY sexually attracted to same sex/opposite sex, so we are told that only a very few people do not identify with the sex they were born with, therefore it becomes normative to assume that almost everyone who is born female identifies as female.

Because we largely continue as a society to confuse 'female' with 'feminine', and yet 'feminine' is not something natural, it is socially constructed, so we continue to cloud issues of sex identification.

Sleepy said...

Thank you.
And this needs an acronym all of its own?

Schneewittchen said...

I....don't THINK it's an acronym, but to be honest I don't know. Cis is a term that has been used in 'proper' science for...well ever I guess. Easier than having to give the whole explanation, yes.