“Some of the infants, children, and adults in whom shame remains the most available mediator of identity are the ones called (a related word) shy. (“Remember the fifties?” Lily Tomlin used to ask. “No one was gay in the fifties; they were just shy.”) Queer, I’d suggest, might usefully be thought of as referring in the first place to this group or an overlapping group of infants and children, those whose sense of identity is for some reason tuned most durably to the note of shame.
…[I]t has been too easy for the psychologists and the few psychoanalysts working on shame to write it back into the moralisms of the repressive hypothesis: “healthy” or “unhealthy,” shame can be seen as good because it preserves privacy and decency, bad because it colludes with self-repression or social repression. Clearly, neither of these valuations is what I’m getting at. I want to say that at least for certain (“queer”) people, shame is simply the first, and remains a permanent, structuring fact of identity: one that…has its own, powerfully productive and powerfully social metamorphic possibilities.”
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick,p. 63-65 “Shame, Theatricality, Queer Performativity” Touching Feeling
thanks for validating my shame, Eve!
5:19 pm • 4 April 2012 • 36 notes
||I'd punch a cop for you.
||I would throw my own feces at a cop for you.
3:06 pm • 11 November 2011 • 14 notes
identifying with Whiteness
and just to be clear
i will always always mock the act of identifying with whiteness.
In the same way that men who take critiques of patriarchy like personal attacks there are white people who take critiques of Whiteness as personal offenses. Whiteness is not simply “being white” or of Euro descent. It’s about protecting ideals of white as powerful, ideal, pure, and superior. So, this can manifest itself in anyone from a KKK member to someone who claims they’re anti-racist but subtly still believes things like “whites are nicer (smarter, cleaner, etc.) than blacks (or any non-Euro white group).”
And to identify with whiteness does not mean you have to be white. People of color can easily give in to the ideal of Whiteness by assimilating and identifying with the dominant racist capitalist patriarchal system. So, this isn’t an attack on white people. White people are just as responsible for combating Whiteness as men have a responsibility to use their privilege to combat patriarchy and work with feminists to dismantle it.
White people should re-mold what it means to be white. To take a stand against the privilege they hold because of the legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and racism and work alongside those who are seeking to end inequality.
i identified myself as a “white southerner” today in my african american studies class, and i spent the next hour trying to figure out if that was me appropriately owning my positionality as an outsider (my next sentence was: “and I have little-to-no background in AAS but I’m excited to learn” and that was all I said in my intro) or if it came across as the verbal equivalent of flying the confederate flag. i wasn’t the only white person in class but no one else felt the need to demarcate themselves as “white” like i did. looking like a white dude and assuming some/many of the privileges of white maleness makes this even more complicated than it would have anyway.
This is totally a thing that’s been bothering me, like I’m afraid that in trying to own up to my whiteness it will come off as identifying with it (and part of that is anxiety about how I can both own and combat white privilege). I’m speaking of situations in which it is relevant, like I would not announce that I’m white in every introduction, obvi, but in a classroom like this example or others where I might be asked to describe myself. It’s like…I want to avoid NOT stating my race because I don’t want to communicate my whiteness through saying nothing, thus reinforcing it as neutral/normal, and also like besttumblr describes, owning both my position as an outsider in certain contexts and an insider in others.
Don’t even get me started on my feelings about being read as a white boy and what that means.
9:03 pm • 7 September 2011 • 82 notes
Midwest Genderqueer: Chaz Bono & Trans in the Media: Hero or Zero?
Every community has its celebrities, and the hot ticket of the trans world right now seems to be Chaz Bono. I remember when Chaz came out, his requests for privacy, and the subsequent media hot messthat followed it. Since then Chaz has opened himself to the world with his book, his film, and community efforts like a trans focused discussion forum. All of this is awesome; visibility and community building is what we need, but what is the world doing with it?
The gender binary spins media inevitably puts on trans folk really irks me; especially when some of it comes from/is adopted by our own trans communities. When trans folk are discussed in media we see the same phrases over and over; “used to be,” “trapped,” “wrong,” “mistake,” “turn in to/become,” “new life.” And can I take a moment and ask: Does anyone say they had a sex change anymore? Even with elders in our community I’d say its at least 1-5 minority uses that expression. And yet no trans news story goes without talking about getting a “sex change” because it translates to a non-trans audience, and we all know that when we’re talking about trans issues it’s the non-trans people who matter most. I’m noticing a one trick trend in the media right now leaning towards a normalization of trans identity. Good thing right? But what does normal mean and what does it require? A big theme in the normalizing of trans is what gender identity disorder loves to call “cross gender interests” – or in familiar terms, “I only liked boy things” or “I always liked girl things.” Chaz Bono is a poster boy for this, mentioning it in every interview I’ve read or seen. Yes, interest in toys/stuff that is not culturally aligned to your assigned gender and sex is a reality for lots of trans folk, but for just as many trans folks it is not (I personally I liked both). AND it also many non-trans folks have the same “cross gender” interests, but they aren’t trans (herein lies the #1 issue with diagnosing gender identity disorder in children). Still, whether its in medical books or in magazines, this is promoted to be a requirement for trans identity. Is anyone else sick of the overused and hyper promoted stereotype that all trans people are heteronormatively aligned to whatever is “opposite” of their assigned gender and sex? All trans experiences vary. Many trans folk are more gender normative or binary in their experience and many are not. Both are valid, all are trans. The issue isn’t with gender normalcy existing, it is that if we focus only on gender normative folks we are not showing the whole picture, which means that someone is undoubtedly going to be overlooked. The impact of promoting the stereotype of gendered interests, therefore reinforcing gender binary standards for identity and behavior, lies in that once again we are creating hierarchal value systems based on normalcy while placing unrealistic expectations on humanity. That hurts everyone, binary or not, trans or not…
Please click through to read the rest. I totally agree with everything said in this post, especially the parts about re-enforcing the gender binary, and pathologizing those who don’t conform to it. That’s why I’m conflicted about Chaz Bono being a spokesperson for transfolks, because from the looks of these interviews some of the things that he’s saying are a little outdated/problematic.
Here’s the thing: Going through puberty in the public eye? You’re bound to say some dumb shit. Just look at Justin Bieber. I feel for Chaz, I do. In some ways he gets it right and in others he gets it very, very wrong. A lot of his taking points are hella problematic, as pointed out, and are an appeal to a non-trans audience that will actually set their understanding of trans-issues back. That said, I understand why he might rely on such rhetoric when his transition has been so public. (Except for the misogyny. Fuck that, bro.)
Here are all of the other things: It sucks that Chaz is what trans media representation looks like. It’s great that he doesn’t feel like bottom surgery is necessary for him. It sucks that a lot of transpeople cannot afford the gender-confirming surgeries that they do need. It’s great that he feels comfortable with himself and his body, and can now focus on other things. It sucks that transpeople are more likely to be homeless because of employment discrimination. It’s very nice that he has been able to transition. It sucks that lots of transfolks are vulnerable to violent confrontation because of their decisions to do so.
So the last thing is: I am in favor of pretty much anything that encourages dialogue. Even the problematic as shit dialogue. People have to start somewhere, and maybe we’ve had these somewheres already and it’s getting really old and people are dying and fuck everything. Trust me, it keeps me up at night, too. The media coverage of Chaz really illuminates that there’s a long way to go. Chaz Bono has some things to learn. Everybody has some things to learn.
12:57 pm • 12 May 2011 • 61 notes
Ummmmmm no. I can’t stand this kind of thinking.
Just because one of these things is used as a basis for a joke does not mean it is wrong to laugh at it. It’s about context and meaning, not knee-jerk reaction. Good comedy is intellectual, and is one of the best ways to examine ourselves as a culture, both the good and bad parts. To say that these things are off limits for comedy is to say that no comedian could ever use these topics as the basis for jokes that actually illuminate and help refute oppression and marginalization.
According to this graphic, the following people are bad people who were uneducated, stupid, and ignorant because they have used some of the above things as material for jokes:
(and many more)
I don’t know about you, but I would be excited to be as smart, clever, and insightful as any of those guys. Something tells me they are “aware” and “educated” enough to understand that comedy is incredibly powerful, and jokes about oppression are often the best springboard into pointing out inequality and injustice and the exact same oppression they are joking about. But what do they know. They need to FUCKING EDUCATE THEMSELVES obviously.
These are exactly the kind of things we need to be making jokes about. Comedy is a tool people, and a really great one when it comes to dismantling bullshit. I get what this poster is saying, jokes that make light of rape are not funny for example, but jokes that make us see the logical failings in rape culture are a) funny and b) USEFUL. Comedy totally has a place in political action. Because you know what? Educating yourself doesn’t get shit done overnight. None of these things can be overcome overnight. And using humor is a fucking great way to educate people, and it does so in a way that is not condescending and shitty. All this poster does is alienate people, mostly because it’s really poorly worded. (Note: Those who are alienated by being told rape jokes are not ok are shitty people. What I’m saying is the language in this poster is vague and therefore: sucks).
Ugh so many things I want to say about this. If anyone wants to talk about this message me, because it’s a major interest of mine but I don’t feel like writing a paper on tumblr.
(Source: lannistersroar, via attackshipsonfire-deactivated20)
10:13 pm • 29 September 2010 • 6,241 notes