Archive for the 'Reblog' Category

14
Jan
14

#NotYourTransStereotype, or “Kat Hacé writes beautifully on the perceptions of trans people.” (Reblog)

#notyourtransstereotype | Papier Haché.

Kat Haché is a recent addition to my list of favorite trans writers in the blogosphere these days. Her writing is brilliant, poignant and insightful. Plus, she’s also a grad student and a bit of a nerd, which pretty much put her stuff right the sweet spot here. I’m a little disappointed in myself that this is the first time I’ve reblogged her!

Her most recent (as of my writing today) is an absolutely perfect take down of so many of the perceptions and preoccupations the world has of trans people. This bit particularly hit home for me:

“I am not something to be ashamed of.  I am not the butt of your jokes.  I am beautiful, capable, intelligent, and not mentally deranged.  I do not look like a freak or exist to be gawked at, regardless of my attire.”

As per my goal of getting people to read lots of the brilliant stuff penned by the numerous talented trans writers now making their voices heard on the Net, I’m not going to say much other than the piece brought tears to my eyes, and that you REALLY should go read it. 🙂 Scoot!

 

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06
Jan
14

Queer Girls on the Autism Spectrum, or “Why it’s awesome to hear other’s discussing the unique challenges at the intersection of queer and ASD.”

Body as a Second Language: Navigating Queer Girl Culture on the Autism Spectrum | Autostraddle.

As I’ve mentioned a few times throughout this blog (including right here in the about section), I’m both queer and on the autism spectrum. And while I’ve certainly discussed both of these items extensively, I’ve always found it challenging to discuss how they can intersect. I’ve hunted around the blogosphere a bit over the last year or so for other queer folks on the spectrum, but while there seem to be a fair number of trans folks in the ASD world, queer women are a little less common, and there are even fewer (read: almost none) writing about how their experiences with autism and queer life interact.

So, I was both surprised and delighted to come across this wonderful (and quite comprehensive) piece from Emily Brooks on Autostraddle. I’m certainly not going to rob Emily of much-deserved page views by quoting large swaths of her article, but a few things really hit home for me (and gave me a sense of being not such an outlier). This bit in particularly feels like it came right from my own head:

Picking someone up not only requires recognizing flirtation in others and being aware of what signals you’re sending, but also the confidence to keep interacting after years of disappointment, combating the weight of past social failure. In some ways, I’ve got less practical knowledge than people half my age.

I hope a piece like this starts a dialogue on autism spectrum folks within the queer community and inspires more of us to share our stories and unique experiences, and perhaps helps some neurotypical folks gain some insight into the unique frustrations faces by queer autistic women.

 

 

04
Jan
14

CNN Writer Taken to Task for Transphobia, or “I like reblogging with alliteration. Also, Parker Molloy is awesome.”

CNN Features Massively Transphobic Article, I Write the Author | Park That Car.

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’re probably aware that AB1266 is pretty much the biggest news story about trans people in 2013. But, just in case you ARE one of under-igneous dwellers, it’s the bill signed in California in July that grants wide-reaching protection to transgender K-12 students, including access to bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams of their identified gender. (Somehow, I managed to completely miss blogging about it…SHAME on me!)

Not shockingly, the bill has been extraordinarily controversial, and it’s brought out some of the most vile and disgusting transphobia in the media that I’ve seen in quite some time. And of course, it’s gotten it’s very own religious-right-driven appeal referendum petition. Since the law went into effect on January 1, there’s been a resurgence of hate-and-misinformation filled op-eds through out the mainstream media. Richard Lucas at CNN penned this doozy piece of garbage, and it caught the attention of the brilliant Parker Marie Molloy from Park That Car, who absolutely took him to task for every single lie and piece of misinformation he spouted. Her piece is one of the best counterpoints to the BS about the “dangers” of trans protections that I’ve seen yet, and it’s definitely worth a read (and a share, if you’re feeling share-y!). And of course, feel free to vent your irritations at CNN for publishing this kind hateful screed.

27
Aug
13

SciFi Author Calls Out Troll, or “John Scalzi absolutely evisertes an idiot anti-feminist.”

To The Dudebro Who Thinks He’s Insulting Me by Calling Me a Feminist | Whatever.

This is one of those moments where I feel oh-so-proud to consider myself a member of the science fiction community. John Scalzi is an incredibly talented and quite successful science-fiction author, and he maintains one of the oldest (and most entertaining) individual blogs on the Internet. Having had the privilege of meeting him at a few conventions, I can also say that’s a pretty cool guy. He earned a huge extra chunk of respect and admiration from when when he posted about his support for trans people back in December of last year. (I mean, there’s a reason he’s on my blogroll!) Today, it appears Scalzi is on a roll again as he absolutely tears apart an idiot troll being snide about feminism.

For a little background, a while back, John challenged his twitter followers to raise $500 in a day for the Clarion Foundation. For this, John would post on his blog a photo of himself in a very lovely period Regency dress. His followers came through, and boom, we have John in a dress. End of story, for the time being.

Fast forward a bit, and some idiot decides to take said picture and caption with the words “This is what a feminist looks like” in a very sad, feeble attempt to insult either feminists or Mr Scalzi. In either case, John does a fantastic job publicly shaming and ridiculing said person in a way that only someone of Scalzi’s particular brand of snark can manage. I very much suggest you head over to his blog and read it for yourself.

Now, loyal readers, you might say “But what was John doing in that dress to begin with? Wasn’t he denigrating femininity by putting on a dress for money?” I’m going to go with no. If you go back and read the post, it’s done with utter respect. It was actually done in response to a request a Twitter user who challenged him to wear the dress. Feeling no challenge to his masculinity nor his heterosexuality, he seized upon the moment to raise for money for a favorite charity, and cheerfully complied. He indicated absolutely zero discomfort or humiliation with the experience. I think he handled the situation with appropriately and with dignity.

I do wish he had seized a little more on the point that the creator of the captioned image may have been looking to insult the entire of the feminist cause by ascribing the term to a picture of a man in a dress (in order words HURR HURR, FEMINISTS ARE SCARY BUTCH LESBIANS WHO LOOK LIKE DUDES). But then again, that’s such a tired cliche that it’s barely even worth mentioning, other than for the requisite eye-roll and sigh of derision.

In any case, I applaud Mr Scalzi for his publicly provided tongue lashing, and his very public proclamation of his feminist beliefs. I’ll definitely have to be sure to give him a hug for it the next time I see him at a convention. :

03
Jul
13

Game of Thrones- Explained, or “The best way I’ve heard for far to get people to understand one of the shows I’m obsessed with.”

Basic Instructions – Basic Instructions – How to Explain Game of Thrones.

I feel like things on T.N.F have been a little overly seriously lately, and maybe I need to lighten the mood a little. And really, I’ve been reglecting the “nerd” part of very title of this blog! So here’s a little gem from Scott Meyer over at Basic Instructions that has had me laughing my butt off.

I, myself, have found difficulty in explaining GoT to people who aren’t “in the know”, and I think Meyer really nailed it. Check out the rest of his stuff, too. It’s pretty amazing.

26
Jun
13

Commentary on the “Sugar Baby” culture, or “Sharing some fantastic snark and rage about some really sad garbage.” (Reblog)

Exposé on Miami’s ‘Sugar Baby’ Culture Is Most Depressing Thing Ever.

Erin Ryan over on Jezebel wrote a really good little piece about a recent exposé on the “sugar daddy/baby” culture in Miami. I don’t want to steal the thunder from her wonderful snark, so please read it. But the take-way is:

What really sucks about sugar baby relationships is that most of the arrangements don’t seem like they’re entered into freely; they’re a desperate response to a shitty set of circumstances — a lack of job opportunities, lack of job abilities, and last, but not least, the insanely high cost of college education.

 

That’s something all of us feminists can be sickened over.

 

25
Jun
13

The Problem with Being Plus, or “Chubby girls like feeling cute, too!” (Reblog)

We Want Cute Plus Size Clothes, and We Fucking Want Them Yesterday.

This blog post from Laura Beck over on Jezebel covers an area of near constant frustration for me. I’m not a tiny girl by any stretch, but I still want to wear clothes that me feel pretty and cute. That’s a really tall order from the fashion industry these days.

I’m with Laura on this…I don’t understand why companies aren’t diving into this market. The “average” female is now “plus-sized” (HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE?!), but few mainstream retailers carry a wide variety of attractive clothes for bigger girls. I think the first company to really focus on attractice, hip, and affordable clothes for human-sized (and shaped) women will make an absolute fortune.

We deserve this, ladies! We deserve clothes that fit us right, and still make us feel cute! Thin women are not somehow special, nor do they have any unique or exclusive claim to being beautiful. We are ALL beautiful, and it’s time we made the clothiers of the world take notice.

21
Jun
13

Geeks vs Nerds, or “Perhaps an end to this debate once and for all?”

The Difference Between A Geek And A Nerd [Infographic] | Popular Science.

So I have the word “nerd” right in the title of my blog, and that’s always been the term that I’ve preferred for my part of this nifty little subculture I inhabit. But I’ve never objected to be referred to as a geek, either. I just always felt like “nerd” fit me a lot better, and I’m not sure I can rightly tell you why.

The differences between nerds and geeks a topic of relatively frequent debate, and I think PopSci has given us a really good take on the matter (really, who better to trust on this subject than PopSci?). The basic idea is that “nerds” are more interested in ideas and geeks are more interested in tangible stuff. If a a career analogy helps, nerds appear to be more of the scientist/mathematician type, whereas geeks are more the IT/Coder/Computer people. I suppose that fits, as we tend to call people computer geeks more so than computer nerds.

For what it’s worth, I think I really fall easily into both catagories. I’m a published scientist, and actively pursing my PhD. And I like to write and talk about ideas about feminism, queer life, and all kinds of other stuff here on TNF. But I also love my gadgets, which is attested to by the piles of gear in my studio and the multitude of apple devices you’d find in my messenger bag. I still I think I lean a little more to the nerd end, but I suppose this blog could have just as reasonably been TransGeekFeminist (but that just doesn’t sound as good anyway!).

I don’t think this little post from PopSci is going be the final battleground in defining what it is to be a geek vs a nerd,  but it ranks among the best and most sensical ways to give clear identity to each term I’ve heard yet, if you’re into the that kind of thing. But geek or nerd, we’re still all the same community, and I think it’d do us all some good to remember that.

19
Jun
13

Being A Better Ally, or “She said it better than I could, so just go read it.” (Reblog)

Four Steps To Being A Better Trans Ally | Thought Catalog.

Rebecca Kling wrote a fantastic post for ThoughtCatalog about the simple ways that trans allies can be more effective. It’s just beautiful in its clarity and simplicity.

Read it, share it, live it!

18
Jun
13

Patton Oswalt’s Moment of Clarity on Rape Jokes or “How one comedian made my day by publically pulling his head out of his ass and admitting his own mistakes.”

Patton Oswalt | A CLOSED LETTER TO MYSELF ABOUT THIEVERY, HECKLING AND RAPE JOKES.

Let me start out by explaining that I’m a pretty ardent first amendment advocate. I believe it IS absolutely your right to publicly spout whatever vile bullshit you so choose (so long as it isn’t slanderous, etc). But I also believe just as strongly that it’s ABSOLUTELY my right (and responsibility, and perhaps even privilege at times) to call you out for your horseshit, dissect it for lies, half-truths, and failures in reason, and then hold you up for as much ridicule and public shaming as I can muster. Freedom of speech always has two edges. Rape jokes are very much the same for me. I will never argue that it should be illegal to make a rape joke, but you better believe I’ll be watching you like a hawk for a reason to verbally eviscerate you if the joke falls into sad, tired misogynist tropes of victim-blame and rapist-apologizing. Unfortunately, the stand-up community seems to heartily misunderstand a distaste of victim-blaming “humor” invoking rape topics as a desire to censor…and that’s just simply not the case. We’re just looking for a little congnizance, a glimmer of recognition of the problem at hand.

Cue today’s reblog from Patton Oswalt. I happen to think that Patton is a very funny and intelligent guy, and I believe we see eye-to-eye on lots of things. So when I stubbled across a lengthy blog post from him with “rape jokes” in the title, I was more than a little concerned that I’d be reading yet another length defense of rape humor, and more indictments of feminists as a bunch of folks out to push censorship onto humor. Happily, I was rather taken aback at what I read, and completely impressed by Patton’s very public missive about the realization he had made, and the enormous shift in his views on the matter. Even more impressive was level of responsibility he takes for his actions, and his admission of the mistakes he had made. While it’s a lengthy posting (Mr Oswalt makes my writing look concise by comparison), it’s absolutely worth a read. But I’d like to share the one bit that stood out to me, and absolutely made my day:

Let’s go backwards through those bullshit conclusions, shall we?  First off: no one is trying to make rape, as a subject, off-limits.  No one is talking about censorship.  In this past week of re-reading the blogs, going through the comment threads, and re-scrolling the Twitter arguments, I haven’t once found a single statement, feminist or otherwise, saying that rape shouldn’t be joked under any circumstance, regardless of context.  Not one example of this.

In fact, every viewpoint I’ve read on this, especially from feminists, is simply asking to kick upward, to think twice about who is the target of the punchline, and make sure it isn’t the victim.

Why, after all of my years of striving to write original material (and, at times, becoming annoyingly self-righteous about it) and struggling find new viewpoints or untried approaches to any subject, did I suddenly balk and protest when an articulate, intelligent and, at times, angry contingent of people were asking my to apply the same principles to the subject of rape?  Any edgy or taboo subject can become just as hackneyed as an acceptable or non-controversial one if the exact same approach is made every time.  But I wasn’t willing to hear that.

Thank you, Mr Oswalt. Your introspection and willingness to admit your mistakes in such a public manner have earned you a huge measure of my respect. I hope the rest of the stand-up community takes a cue from you.




A blog about nerdy things, feminist thoughts, and queer/trans life. It's full of rants, opinions, and personal stories. I don't claim to speak for absolutely anyone but myself. Read at your own risk.

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