(via thenewwomensmovement)

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I mean, we’ve all been rejected by people we’ve thought we were in love with. But the fact of the matter is that when a man flies off the handle at a woman for not responding positively to his advances, it’s because he’s in a society that tells men that women are there solely for their enjoyment.

stfusexists:

And it’s not okay.

(via lipsredasroses)

1036

womenaresociety:

What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?
The night before Susan and Rob allowed their son to go to preschool in a dress, they sent an e-mail to parents of his classmates. Alex, they wrote, “has been gender-fluid for as long as we can remember, and at the moment he is equally passionate about and identified with soccer players and princesses, superheroes and ballerinas (not to mention lava and unicorns, dinosaurs and glitter rainbows).” They explained that Alex had recently become inconsolable about his parents’ ban on wearing dresses beyond dress-up time. After consulting their pediatrician, a psychologist and parents of other gender-nonconforming children, they concluded that “the important thing was to teach him not to be ashamed of who he feels he is.” Thus, the purple-pink-and-yellow-striped dress he would be wearing that next morning. For good measure, their e-mail included a link to information on gender-variant children.
When Alex was 4, he pronounced himself “a boy and a girl,” but in the two years since, he has been fairly clear that he is simply a boy who sometimes likes to dress and play in conventionally feminine ways. Some days at home he wears dresses, paints his fingernails and plays with dolls; other days, he roughhouses, rams his toys together or pretends to be Spider-Man. Even his movements ricochet between parodies of gender: on days he puts on a dress, he is graceful, almost dancerlike, and his sentences rise in pitch at the end. On days he opts for only “boy” wear, he heads off with a little swagger. Of course, had Alex been a girl who sometimes dressed or played in boyish ways, no e-mail to parents would have been necessary; no one would raise an eyebrow at a girl who likes throwing a football or wearing a Spider-Man T-shirt.
There have always been people who defy gender norms. Late-19th-century medical literature described female “inverts” as appallingly straightforward, with a “dislike and sometimes incapacity for needlework” and “an inclination and taste for the sciences”; male inverts were “entirely averse to outdoor games.” By the mid-20th century, doctors were trying “corrective therapy” to extinguish atypical gender behaviors. The goal was preventing children from becoming gay or transgender, a term for those who feel they were born in the wrong body.
Many parents and clinicians now reject corrective therapy, making this the first generation to allow boys to openly play and dress (to varying degrees) in ways previously restricted to girls — to exist in what one psychologist called “that middle space” between traditional boyhood and traditional girlhood. These parents have drawn courage from a burgeoning Internet community of like-minded folk whose sons identify as boys but wear tiaras and tote unicorn backpacks. Even transgender people preserve the traditional binary gender division: born in one and belonging in the other. But the parents of boys in that middle space argue that gender is a spectrum rather than two opposing categories, neither of which any real man or woman precisely fits.
“It might make your world more tidy to have two neat and separate gender possibilities,” one North Carolina mother wrote last year on her blog, “but when you squish out the space between, you do not accurately represent lived reality. More than that, you’re trying to ‘squish out’ my kid.”
The impassioned author of that blog, Pink Is for Boys, is careful to conceal her son’s identity, as were the other parents interviewed for this article. As much as these parents want to nurture and defend what makes their children unique and happy, they also fear it will expose their sons to rejection. Some have switched schools, changed churches and even moved to try to shield their children. That tension between yielding to conformity or encouraging self-expression is felt by parents of any child who differs from the norm. But parents of so-called pink boys feel another layer of anxiety: given how central gender is to identity, they fear the wrong parenting decision could devastate their child’s social or emotional well-being. The fact that there is still substantial disagreement among prominent psychological professionals about whether to squelch unconventional behavior or support it makes those decisions even more wrenching.
*Click here to continue reading - I recommend reading the whole article

womenaresociety:

What’s So Bad About a Boy Who Wants to Wear a Dress?

The night before Susan and Rob allowed their son to go to preschool in a dress, they sent an e-mail to parents of his classmates. Alex, they wrote, “has been gender-fluid for as long as we can remember, and at the moment he is equally passionate about and identified with soccer players and princesses, superheroes and ballerinas (not to mention lava and unicorns, dinosaurs and glitter rainbows).” They explained that Alex had recently become inconsolable about his parents’ ban on wearing dresses beyond dress-up time. After consulting their pediatrician, a psychologist and parents of other gender-nonconforming children, they concluded that “the important thing was to teach him not to be ashamed of who he feels he is.” Thus, the purple-pink-and-yellow-striped dress he would be wearing that next morning. For good measure, their e-mail included a link to information on gender-variant children.

When Alex was 4, he pronounced himself “a boy and a girl,” but in the two years since, he has been fairly clear that he is simply a boy who sometimes likes to dress and play in conventionally feminine ways. Some days at home he wears dresses, paints his fingernails and plays with dolls; other days, he roughhouses, rams his toys together or pretends to be Spider-Man. Even his movements ricochet between parodies of gender: on days he puts on a dress, he is graceful, almost dancerlike, and his sentences rise in pitch at the end. On days he opts for only “boy” wear, he heads off with a little swagger. Of course, had Alex been a girl who sometimes dressed or played in boyish ways, no e-mail to parents would have been necessary; no one would raise an eyebrow at a girl who likes throwing a football or wearing a Spider-Man T-shirt.

There have always been people who defy gender norms. Late-19th-century medical literature described female “inverts” as appallingly straightforward, with a “dislike and sometimes incapacity for needlework” and “an inclination and taste for the sciences”; male inverts were “entirely averse to outdoor games.” By the mid-20th century, doctors were trying “corrective therapy” to extinguish atypical gender behaviors. The goal was preventing children from becoming gay or transgender, a term for those who feel they were born in the wrong body.

Many parents and clinicians now reject corrective therapy, making this the first generation to allow boys to openly play and dress (to varying degrees) in ways previously restricted to girls — to exist in what one psychologist called “that middle space” between traditional boyhood and traditional girlhood. These parents have drawn courage from a burgeoning Internet community of like-minded folk whose sons identify as boys but wear tiaras and tote unicorn backpacks. Even transgender people preserve the traditional binary gender division: born in one and belonging in the other. But the parents of boys in that middle space argue that gender is a spectrum rather than two opposing categories, neither of which any real man or woman precisely fits.

“It might make your world more tidy to have two neat and separate gender possibilities,” one North Carolina mother wrote last year on her blog, “but when you squish out the space between, you do not accurately represent lived reality. More than that, you’re trying to ‘squish out’ my kid.”

The impassioned author of that blog, Pink Is for Boys, is careful to conceal her son’s identity, as were the other parents interviewed for this article. As much as these parents want to nurture and defend what makes their children unique and happy, they also fear it will expose their sons to rejection. Some have switched schools, changed churches and even moved to try to shield their children. That tension between yielding to conformity or encouraging self-expression is felt by parents of any child who differs from the norm. But parents of so-called pink boys feel another layer of anxiety: given how central gender is to identity, they fear the wrong parenting decision could devastate their child’s social or emotional well-being. The fact that there is still substantial disagreement among prominent psychological professionals about whether to squelch unconventional behavior or support it makes those decisions even more wrenching.

*Click here to continue reading - I recommend reading the whole article

(via thenewwomensmovement)

548

Heroism has never had a gender: just tell that to Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, or any of the female soldiers who risk their lives daily in our military. But the “white knight in shining armor” narrative is gendered. And it keeps being repeated because it’s a feel-good story — when we desperately need one in the wake of a national tragedy — and it’s a familiar, comforting story. Our lives revolve around stories, especially ones we know (myths) which help us make sense of the senseless; we would all like to think there is some order in the universe…


…Matt McQuinn, Jonathan Blunk, and Alex Teves may well be true heroes who flung themselves in front of their girlfriends’ to save their lives. That’s beyond noble; it is the greatest sacrifice. But when we congratulate these individuals for their sacrifice, let’s congratulate them for being heroic people — not just heroic men.

The Soapbox: The Aurora Shooting & The Myth Of Men’s Obligation To Be Heroes - The Frisky (via becauseiamawoman)

(via rachel-duncan)

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“ Adults train kids to become sexually mature in a manner they approve of. We clap and laugh over all the little moments meant to prepare them for this; we give them gender appropriate toys that will prepare little boys for a manhood of tools and trucks and little girls for a womanhood of kitchens and babies, not to mention makeup and high heels. We take “kissing cousin” photos of little boys and girls mimicking grownup sexual behavior and proudly frame them or put them in our wallets to show strangers because children mimicking adult sexual behavior is adorable (so long as it’s the correct sexual behavior). We teach little boys that they’re not supposed to cry and we teach little girls to spend their lives wondering what men are thinking of them. The second the physical aspects of sexual maturity start sprouting, we organize social events to push them toward each other; first, the fumbling and terrifying middle school dances, then the process gets increasingly formal the closer the kids get to maturity: freshman dances, sophomore dances, proms and homecomings, all to push them toward that aisle, and the socially approved method of romantic love and baby-making. ”

Glee Season 2 Episode 6: Never Been Kissed | Tom & Lorenzo (via sociolab)

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)

501

“ Indeed, for girls the mom imperative is the central element of the broader heteronormative expectations of our culture. The authorized script for girls, as they mature into women, is that their best achievements in life inevitably will lie in the familial and domestic spheres. We are told over and over again by the Self-Appointed Obligatory Maternity Propaganda Brigade (SAOMPB) that, whatever else a woman may accomplish, her truest fulfillment derives from bearing and nurturing children. Such statements are incredibly demeaning: they denigrate any accomplishments a woman may value aside from reproduction, and restrict women’s sphere of meaningful activity to a purely biological realm. Interestingly, segments of the culture that normally exist in tension with one another, happily collude in the gauzy idealization of maternity. ”

lessons for girls: you don’t have to be a mom (via sociolab)

(via thefemcritique)

415

the-knight-of-papfeels:

zombieskully:

liziraphale:

  • The clothes you wear don’t determine your gender
  • The clothes you wear don’t determine your gender
  • The clothes you wear don’t determine your gender
  • The clothes you wear don’t determine your gender
  • The clothes you wear don’t determine your gender
  • The clothes you wear don’t determine your gender
  • The clothes you wear also don’t determine your sexual orientation
  • The only thing that clothes determine is whether or not you are naked.

(Source: braginskies, via sluteverxxx)

146080

“ rBrienne’s story is an adaptation of a traditionally male narrative, one that usually sidelines or victimises female characters. She swears fealty to a woman, as male knights swear to their liege lord, because she respects that woman’s strength, her bravery and her kindness. She goes on a quest to save the beautiful maiden, but not to marry her or benefit from the quest in any way, but to return her to her mother. Because she cares for Catelyn, and because it is the right thing to do. It is a story of a woman, rescuing a woman, for the sake of another woman. It is a rare story where the mother, the young girl and the shieldmaiden are all given equal weight and worth. Brienne, despite taking on many stereotypically male traits, is not “one of the boys” or in any way dismissive of her gender as a group. She does not fit into the role that society has assigned for her, but she does not disparage those who do. She uses her strength and her skill to respect and help other women in ways that most men in Westeros would never even think to attempt, because she understands, more than any other knight, that women are truly worth something as individuals. ”

“There Are No True Knights: Brienne of Tarth” via Feminist Fiction (via threesixfifteen)

In which I sob and cling to Brienne because I love her so mu-hu-hu-huch.

(via notcuddles)

(Source: tallandhomely, via fuckyeahwarriorwomen)

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Sex 101: Gender Identity

edinburghsexpression:

Welcome to the second post in our Sex 101 series, where we try & cover all the basics of sex & relationships! This post is going to be on the topic of gender identity, including trans* identities, intersexuality & how to be a good ally. If you’d like to see other posts in the series, including our first post on the subject of consent, you can find them here

If you’d like to suggest a topic for us to cover in Sex 101, or if you’d like to ask us a question about anything relating to sex or relationships then our ask box is always open.

This post has a trigger warning on it for discussion of issues surrounding gender identity including but not limited to transgenderism & intersexuality.

If you are questioning your gender identity & feel in need of support there are plenty of great organisations across the UK who can help, & you can find a list of them here.

Here are the questions:

What is gender identity?

Gender identity is the 100% personal & subjective experience that someone has of their own gender. 

So, it’s whether someone feels male or female?

Not really. Although some people may identify as male or female, man or woman, there are plenty of other gender identities out there, some of which are on the male-female spectrum, & some of which aren’t. All of these are 100% valid, & the gender binary is a really out-dated way of looking at gender, which can be really harmful towards people who identify as trans* as it basically erases them & their identities.

So it’s not the same as sex? Or orientation?

Again, no.

The word ‘sex’ is generally used to describe a variety of biological differences between males & females, such as genitalia, chromosomes, & hormone levels. However, just as with gender, it’s important to realise that sex is not a binary. The number of people who are intersex is very high, & intersexuality covers a wide range of conditions, for example atypical genitalia or hormone levels, or unusual chromosome combinations. Sex has nothing to do with gender. Someone can have a “vagina”, XX chromosomes, & high estrogen levels, & still be a man, & the same goes for women with “penises”, XY chromosomes, & high levels of testosterone.

Orientation refers to who someone is romantically & sexually attracted to. Again, this has nothing to do with gender, except in the sense that someone’s gender identity may influence what term they use to describe their orientation. For example, someone who identifies as female & who is attracted to other women might choose to describe their sexual orientation as homosexual, whereas if they were to identify as male, they could identify as heterosexual. Basically, people of all genders can be attracted to people of all genders.

What does cisgender mean?

Cisgender is usually used to describe someone who identifies with the sex & or gender that they were assigned at birth. So, if someone was assigned female at birth & currently identifies as female or a woman, they could be described as being cisgender.

What about transgender?

Transgender refers to someone who does not identify with the sex & or gender they were assigned at birth. However, it is generally used to describe someone who does identify with one of the two gender in the gender binary.

Is that the same as trans*?

Trans* is a more inclusive umbrella term, which can be used by people who identify as transgender, but also anyone who is gender variant or does not identify with the gender binary. This covers a wide range of gender identities, including but not limited to transsexual, genderqueer, non-binary, genderfluid, genderfuck, intersex, third gender, transvestite, cross-dressing, bi-gender, & agender. 

A lot of these gender identities may be new to people, & there are some terms which are used a lot in discussions about gender which people might not be sure about, so we’ve compiled a glossary of terms relating to gender identity which you can find here. We’ll be adding this to our glossary page, & if you have any suggestions for additions, feel free to message us. It’s important to remember that gender identity is an incredibly personal & fluid thing & while someone may identify using one or several of the terms below their experience may differ from the description given & that’s fine. These are only intended as guidelines.

What about the word tranny/she-male/hermaphrodite/he-she etc.?

All of these words have, in the past, been used in a derogatory way & have hurt many people. Because of this, you must be very careful how you use them. In some cases, these words have been reclaimed & that’s great but remember: you can only use them if you are part of the group which has been oppressed by the word, & while it’s ok to use them to describe yourself you should never apply them to anyone else, as they can still be hurtful.

How do I tell what gender someone is?

It’s not really any of your business how someone identifies - you don’t need to know & asking can be extremely insulting. If someone wants you to know what gender they identify as, they will let you know. Not prying is part of being a good ally.

A question that you may need to ask someone is about which pronouns they prefer, although remember that pronouns don’t always indicate gender. 

The best way to find out what pronouns someone prefers is simply to wait until they refer to themselves, & in the mean time just refer to them using neutral pronouns i.e. they & their.

If you are in a position where you need to know which pronouns someone prefers, first understand that it’s a very personal & sensitive issue, especially if they are attempting to present as one of the binary genders (this could suggest to them that they are not passing as the gender they wish to present as). They may also not be comfortable talking about their gender identity, either with you or in front of people, particularly if they are in a situation where doing so could put them in danger.

With that in mind, here’s a guide to opening up a dialogue with someone about their preferred pronouns:

  • Take them aside or wait until the two of you are out of ear shot of others.
  • Make it clear that they don’t have to answer if they are not comfortable doing so.
  • Politely ask “What are your preferred pronouns?”. This question has nothing to do with their sex, or even really their gender, so do not phrase the question in a way which makes it about those things.
  • Respect their answer (use their preferred pronoun at all times & if you make a mistake, apologise immediately), thank them, & move on. 

My friend or partner has just come out as trans*, what can I do to support them? How can I be a good trans* ally?

The short answer is: pretty much the same way you go about being a good friend or partner to anyone.

The longer answer is:

  • Be supportive - this means respecting them & the choices they make. Make sure they know you’re there for them & listen to what they have to say. Coming out as trans* & transitioning can be a tough time for a lot of people so they may be looking for someone they can depend on & talk through their problems with.
  • Part of being a good trans* ally is about educating yourself. There are tons of great resources online regarding trans* identities, & taking the time to educate yourself can take a lot of pressure off trans* people, especially if you’re close to them. Coming out can be tough enough without feeling like you have to explain yourself. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them but be sensitive & respect them if they don’t want to answer.
  • Take note of their preferred pronouns - for advice on how to ask, see above. You should also check when you should use these pronouns. Especially if the trans* person is your partner or close friend, it’s possible they have come out to you & not to others, so by checking when to use which pronouns you can avoid outing them. Outing someone is a terrible thing to do & can put people in danger. Never do it. Personal information given to you in confidence is not to be shared, & if you’re not sure whether someone knows or not, don’t share with them until you’ve had confirmation.
  • It’s understandable if you want to ask questions about the future, for example whether they plan on transitioning & if so how, but again, understand these are personal questions & ones they themselves may not know the answer to, so don’t pressure them.
  • More broadly, part of being a good trans* ally is challenging your own assumptions of gender, & working to break down the gender binary. You can do this by not assuming people’s gender, using gender neutral pronouns unless you know someone’s preferred ones, avoiding making links between gender & sexual orientation, & not defining things like clothing & hairstyles as masculine or feminine. 

So, remember, gender identity is 100% subjective, 100% personal & 100% none of your business. As with all things in life, be respectful, educate & challenge yourself & others, & be supportive.

If you have anything to add or any changes to suggest we’d love to hear them & you can send them here. Our glossary of gender terms is here & we’ll be adding them to our main glossary as soon as possible.

(via fuckyeahsexeducation)

138

“ the wounded child inside many males is a boy who, when he first spoke his truths, was silenced by paternal sadism, by a patriarchal world that did not want him to claim his true feelings. The wounded child inside many females is a girl who was taught from early childhood that she must become something other than herself, deny her true feelings, in order to attract and please others. When men and women punish each other for truth telling, we reinforce the notion that lies are better. To be loving we willingly hear the other’s truth, and most important, we affirm the value of truth telling. Lies may make people feel better, but they do not help them to know love. ”

bell hooksAll About Love: New Visions (via nadia-love)

(via anotherfeminist)

1005

“ Instead of trying to fictionalize gender, let’s talk about the moments in life when gender feels all too real. Because gender doesn’t feel like drag when you’re a young trans child begging your parents not to cut your hair or not to force you to wear that dress. And gender doesn’t feel like a performance when, for the first time in your life, you feel safe and empowered enough to express yourself in ways that resonate with you, rather than remaining closeted for the benefit of others. And gender doesn’t feel like a construct when you finally find that special person whose body, personality, identity, and energy feels like a perfect fit with yours. Let’s stop trying to deconstruct gender into nonexistence, and instead start celebrating it as inexplicable, varied, profound, and intricate. ”

Julia Serano  (via pussy-envy)

(Source: becomingkeltik, via rachel-duncan)

4324

(via becauseiamawoman)

473

More US women are in the workforce, but still do most of the household work

fuckyeahfeminists:

A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows what a lot of us already guessed (or knew!): women have a disproportionate share of the housework.

On an average day, 83 percent of women and 65 percent of men spent some time doing household activities such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or financial and other household management.

On the days that they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on such activities, while men spent 2.1 hours.

On an average day, 19 percent of men did housework–such as cleaning or doing laundry–compared with 48 percent of women. Forty percent of men did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 66 percent of women.

Compare this to the increasing number of women who not only are in the workforce, but also the primary source of income for their families. ThinkProgress writes,

In the last 25 years, the number of working women has grown by 44.2 percent, while 59.4 percent of working-age women are currently in the labor force. Sixty percent of women are the primary or co-bread winner for their household.

I think this is a hint as to why The Atlantic’s  “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” went viral. Many feel (and possibly fear?) the strain working within home and out.

via ThinkProgress

97

“ Women are socialized to make men feel good. We’re socialized to “let you down easy.” We’re not socialized to say a clear and direct “no.” We’re socialized to speak in hints and boost egos and let people save face. People who don’t respect the social contract (rapists, predators, assholes, pickup artists) are good at taking advantage of this. “No” is something we have to learn. “No” is something we have to earn. In fact, I’d argue that the ability to just say “no” to something, without further comment, apology, explanation, guilt, or thinking about it is one of the great rites of passage in growing up, and when you start saying it and saying it regularly the world often pushes back. And calls you names. ”

The art of “no.” « CaptainAwkward.com (via delascielo)

my life

(via smashedwordbrokenopen)

(via feministquotes)

36891

(via becauseiamawoman)

8234