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Dove’s One Beautiful Thought Will Have You Thinking Twice About Yourself

Dove is back with yet another ad campaign that has us reaching for our tissues and re-evaluating how we talk about body image.

This time around, Dove is asking that we share #OneBeautifulThought. As in, one positive feeling about our bodies, instead of the negativity we usually direct toward ourselves.

Watch the full commercial and see really how hurtful the things we tell ourselves can be. 

This week, lawmakers in Maryland passed a measure that makes it easier and cheaper for transgender people in the state to change the name and gender marker on their birth certificate. 

Under the new bill, trans people will only need to have a health care professional sign off that their sex assigned at birth does not reflect their true gender identity. Here’s what trans people in Maryland are currently up against:

Current Maryland law makes it difficult and expensive for transgender people to update their Maryland birth certificates, requiring them to receive a court order which indicates that they have had surgery, and even then only providing an amended document. However, the types of medical treatment transgender people receive vary greatly, and many people are not interested in particular types of medical intervention. Even among those for whom surgery is appropriate, many cannot receive it because it is not covered by their insurance, there may be no appropriate providers, or they have a medical condition that prevents them from undergoing these medical procedures. Nationally, only 1 in 5 transgender people (21%) have been able to update all their identification documents and records, including birth certificates, to reflect their appropriate name and gender.

There’s been so much bad news lately, so hearing about this is truly refreshing. Congratulations, Marylanders! 

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn

Socialized male speech dominance is a significant issue, not just in school.

“In fifth grade, I won the school courtesy prize. In other words, I won an award for being polite. My brother, on the other hand, was considered the class comedian. We were very typically socialized as a “young lady” and a “boy being a boy.” Globally, childhood politeness lessons are gender asymmetrical. We socialize girls to take turns, listen more carefully, not curse and resist interrupting in ways we do not expect boys to. Put another way, we generally teach girls subservient habits and boys to exercise dominance.

I routinely find myself in mixed-gender environments (life) where men interrupt me. Now that I’ve decided to try and keep track, just out of curiosity, it’s quite amazing how often it happens. It’s particularly pronounced when other men are around.

This irksome reality goes along with another — men who make no eye contact. For example, a waiter who only directs information and questions to men at a table, or the man last week who simply pretended I wasn’t part of a circle of five people (I was the only woman). We’d never met before and barely exchanged 10 words, so it couldn’t have been my not-so-shrinking-violet opinions.

These two ways of establishing dominance in conversation, frequently based on gender, go hand-in-hand with this last one: A woman, speaking clearly and out loud, can say something that no one appears to hear, only to have a man repeat it minutes, maybe seconds later, to accolades and group discussion.”

Read the full piece here

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Great article by Julie Zeilinger at Mic: One of the Biggest Reasons Harassment Persists on Social Media Is One We Never Talk About 

Diversity in tech has a direct impact on how harassment is regarded and how people think about free speech. “Bringing more women into the picture and focusing on their needs and experiences benefits everyone. It’s time these companies not only realize this, but back it with action. Only then can we dream of an Internet that’s not just “neutral,” but actually beneficial for all.” 

Geena Davis: ‘I just assumed sexism wasn’t present in what we show kids’

In family rated films and children’s television, just one in four speaking characters are female. Lottie O’Conor meets the Hollywood star on a mission to change this

“For me, and possibly the majority of my generation, Geena Davis will always be Thelma Dickinson, one half of the duo that many believed would kick the female Hollywood stereotype for good. I have no idea how many times my teenage self watched Thelma and Louise (we’re certainly into double figures) but I’m pretty sure I would never have guessed I would one day be sitting in a hotel in New York talking to Davis about gender inequality in film and TV.

We are here to talk about the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, founded by Davis to address the issues of gender imbalance and stereotyping in Hollywood, with a particular focus on children’s programming. She acknowledges that as an actress, she has been fortunate to get her “fair share” of interesting roles throughout her career, but that it’s impossible to ignore the fact that “there are fewer parts for women and less opportunity to do interesting and challenging things”.

“What I didn’t know until my daughter was a toddler,” she continues, “was that this holds true in what’s made for kids. I was horrified that there seemed to be far fewer female characters than male characters in what’s made for little kids in the 21st century. I just assumed that had been taken care of; been thought about; that that kind of sexism wasn’t present in what we’re showing to kids.

Her institute commissioned the largest piece of research ever on gender depictions in media. Spanning a 20-year period, it proved what Davis had feared: in family rated films and children’s television, for every one female speaking character there are three males, while female characters make up just 17% of crowd scenes.

“What are we saying to kids when the female characters are hyper-sexualised, narrowly stereotyped or not even there? The message clearly is girls are not as important as boys, women are not as important as men and they take this all in completely unconsciously.

“Popular media is constantly hammering home the message that women and girls are second-class citizens. All the efforts that we put in to try and erase it, all the important things that we must do to empower women and girls, are being undermined by this unconscious message that women and girls aren’t as valuable as men.”

Read the full piece here

In life, Farkhunda would have been an unlikely role model for empowering Afghanistan’s women.

Every day, she wore the head-to-toe black garment favored by conservative Muslim women. She studied at an Islamic religious school. She believed, her father said, that women should be educated in order to raise their children in a good way, manage their house and make their husbands happy.

In death, however, Farkhunda has become a champion for women’s rights and the rule of law.

i got a pretty obnoxious comment on deviant art on one of my old pictures of my duo redesign. for those of y’all who weren’t around for deus ex, the gf and i did some overhauling and redesigning of the gundam wing cast for fun a while back. deus ex duo identifies as male, but presents as a very pretty, tiny girl, both by natural appearance and his own enjoyment of pretty hair stuff, makeup, and relatively unisex clothing. in his culture, and in the language he grew up speaking, there is no assumption of gender until the individual discloses what it is; the language has entirely gender neutral pronouns, and it’s considered extremely rude and invasive to gender someone without their personal disclosure. basically, to him, and the society he comes from, physical appearance has absolutely no bearing on gender identity, and he likes to put flowers in his perfect pretty princess hair. 

the comment wasn’t even particularly clever. it was something like “yeah, i’m on team masculine, he never struck me as a ‘femboy’.” no commentary on the art, just a straight out “this interpretation, this presentation of Character as my idea of ‘female’, is incorrect.” it was for some reason very important to this stranger, who had no knowledge of me or my duo, that i understand how much they disapproved of my apparent feminizing of a fifteen year old anime character. the idea of this ostensibly male character presenting femme was that upsetting. 

so, in between working on my conference speech and doing other homework, i decided to draw my little murderbird, as pretty and feminine as i goddamn want him to be. as he IS. because honestly, if you have a problem with gender variance in canon characters, with trans headcanons or nonbinary headcanons or anything that ventures outside the “traditional” idea of what gender looks like, then you can just get the fuck out of my sandbox. 

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Let’s begin with the basics.

Cisbender: people whose identity matches their birth assigned gender
Transgender: people who do not identify as their birth assigned gender

Binary Gender - ignorance is not bliss

Transexual: the process of going from male-to-female, or vice versa. Historically, Trans referred to only this binary of Male and Female

Non-Binary Gender - Knowing Is Half the Battle

Trans*: Short for transgender and inclusive of non-binary identities

There Is a Spectrum
Females are feminine.
Males are masculine.
It’s a ‘rule’ we live by, but there are more possibilities.

Let’s face it: male or female, we are all still people. As people, we can be masculine or feminine regardless of the parts between our legs. The symbols we live by are useless when referring to the non-binary genders. Additionally, sexual orientation is not a function of gender.

Androgyne: Both masculine and feminine at the same time; middle of the spectrum; can be either or neither gender.

Gender Fluid: Spans the spectrum; can choose to be masculine, feminine, androgyne, or move through anything in between.

Third Gender/Genderqueer: Does not identify by the spectrum; the answer is very individualized; may be physically intersex. Typically defined as an umbrella term for all non-binary gender.

Agender/neutrois: Similar to genderqueer in complexity; distinctly genderless, preferring to be neither gender.

In Summary…

It’s best to treat the subject of non-binary gender with the same integrity as binary gender. Making assumptions may lead to conflict. This handy guide is only the tip of the iceberg, as the definitions are as fluid as the people. This merely serves as a foundation for discussion.