something that came to my attention

boys can be into boy bands

boys can be into One Direction

boys can be into 5 Seconds of Summer

boys can be into girls bands

boys can be into Little Mix

boys can be into Fifth Harmony

boys can be into female artists

boys can be into Nicki Minaj

boys can be into Taylor Swift

boys can be into Marina and the Diamonds

boys can be into Lana Del Rey

some boys like pop

some boys like rap

YOUR GENDER/SEXUALITY DOES NOT DETERMINE WHAT MUSIC YOU ENJOY

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

2

What does it say about men and their relationships with other men that sexual aggression is often seen as a way to bond? What does it say about men’s desire to belong that so many guys don’t intervene even if they feel like what’s going on around them is totally wrong? Is the routine sexism we see coming out of many fraternities right now an aberration, or is it just a particularly grotesque expression of how men are taught to feel about and treat women? And if that’s the case, what are we supposed to do about it?

A top researcher on masculinity tells Salon what’s wrong with the idea of “real men” — and how to change it

STEPPING STONES:
AN ODE TO GENDER AND SEXUALITY IN THREE PARTS

I.

When you’re little, shoeless,
you want to play with dirt
in dirt. Through hair. Filthy
fingernails. You don’t mind.

You get dolls. Your brother gets
trucks and trains and turtles –
most of those are more fun –
make noise – move on their own.
Your toys are pink.
Even though you like green
and orange.

Pretty soon you’re not allowed
to get dirty anymore.

Pretty soon you’re supposed to be
pretty.

You get plastic make up
to practice.
You get plastic high heels and
princess dresses so you can
practice with those too.

You are a princess.

***

Five slits to skin a Channel Cat
Two along its spine
Two behind the gills
One the length of its belly.

One pair of Needle Nose
And elbow grease.

Skin tears off easy as cornhusk
Hangs from the pliers
A raw shroud
Body bag black
Piles on the Funny Pages
Like a sheet.

Fingers petite enough
To pick pennies from floor vents
Shovel warm guts
From severed belly.

Watch the fish mouth contract
Gills flap
Failing
Eyes black
A particle of yourself in them
Tail pounding newspaper
Into wrinkles.

“Fish don’t have no feeling,” the man says.

You must believe
Leave your childhood on paper
In a poorly lit garage
Hands capillary red
Too cold to make a fist.

II.

Wait long enough to wear
real make up.

Don’t grow boobs first – but
try not to be the last one either.

No matter what – people will stare.

You’ll probably like boys way sooner
than the boys will like girls.

Wait for them to make the first move.

When they do, don’t act on it.
You’ll turn slut far faster than his
hero reputation will be marred.

Your brother’s allowed out until eleven.
You aren’t allowed out at all.

Cross your legs.

***

Sixteen years old
Sharing sheets
With claw machine memorabilia
Grimacing animals
Smelling of fair food.

She’s nervous
Not wet.

You’re scared
Half flaccid.

Dick must be big
Must not hurt her
Must not cum too quickly

must be gentle
Must exert power
Exhibit passion
Make her feel special
Must make magic the first time
Must be flawless
Pristine.

Her friends will hear everything
Your person spewed through phone earpieces
Into voice mailboxes

You will equate to the distance
Between two fingertips.

It’s less than both of you anticipated
It’s all your fault.

You leave your boyhood in a black room
Under the gaze of cotton creatures
That will never fail her.

III.

Don’t complain about being oppressed!
You were liberated in the 60s.
Your foremothers burned their bras so you could
buy the lacey expensive ones from
Victoria’s Secret.

You’re allowed to wear jeans.
You’re equal.

Selling yourself for sex isn’t
prostitution. It’s liberating.

You’re a nagging, house-wife,
soccer-mom bitch.

You’re a crazy, feminist,
liberal bitch.

No matter what – you’re a bitch.

***

Expectations of the Man:

Be something nothing else can be
A bearer of burdens only God could shoulder
Burdens of God and of man.

In public it’s called fucking
No matter what it means personally.

There is no personal
You are not affected.

You are expected to throw a good punch
And if not
You are expected to take one.

To be noble you walk away from a fight
Never back down from a challenge.

A man should throw a punch for his mother
For his woman
Should eat and rest only after his family has.

Expect to starve
To rest very little.

Be expected to die on foreign soil
To die for other countries
To die for your country.

Be expected to die.

You are a fool to fix problems with force
You are weak if you cannot fix problems with your fist.

Be expected to fail often
Never speak of it.

Expect ridicule if you speak of feelings
Expect condemnation if you don’t.

Expect to be judged.

You’ll not fear death.
It is familiar to you
Becomes comfortable
While still having
A box of toys.

The making of a man.

—  poem by husband & wife, Mitch + Angel James, published on Words Dance.

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. 

thedayileftthewomb if I was under pressure to follow the same mentality as an enormous group of whites on tumblr like you are with an enormous group of blacks on tumblr, the only common tie being SKIN COLOR, I’d lose my fucking mind.
“Hey she has the same skin tone as me. She must know what it’s like to live with the exact same experiences despite the fact we don’t live close to each other, live in different neighborhoods, cities, climate, different wealth, and friendships.”
OH WAIT IT DOESNT WORK LIKE THAT AT ALL.
It’s exactly what radical feminists do to women. “If you’re a woman you must think as we do”
It’s fucking toxic. Seriously, thousands of years of praise to you for being so strong. You’re honestly amazing.