Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday Reading List

"My Tits Are Real; So Is My Penis" by Rebecca. I like the internal debate being waged over whether to be out as a trans woman all the time, or if she can some days just be, just pass and not have to be on guard for the questions or comments (or violence) that may come. Me, I'm in support of having a day off, of having the ability to say, "I am not in the necessary place to fight this battle today", of having the ability to say, "This is not a safe space for me to have this discussion, to acknowledge my difference". Galina of Oh, You're a Feminist?! comes to this internal tension from a different perspective, and discusses her own decision to 'out' herself via her tattoos (as well as just ruminating about her tattoos) over at Female Impersonator.

Cacophonies ponders the Micro vs. Macro divide in talking about feminism and breaking down of privilege.

Echnide's post on Sleeping Beauty is one I like a lot, because I was fairly well obsessed with fairy tales as a kid. Not Hans Christian Anderson, because his were generally friggin' scary as all get out. But the Brothers Grimm fairy tales, those I loved.

Rape Culture 101 by Melissa McEwan, with a whole host of links, is one of the most comprehensive readings on exactly what Rape Culture is. Its definition isn't about feminists denying women agency, and it isn't about feminists making men the singular horrific thing in our universe. It isn't about all men being rapists; it isn't about all women being victims of rape. It is about a cultural norm surrounding sexual violence - and how we react to that sexual violence when it is presented to us. Some are more engrained in it than others; those people who love Tucker Max? More entrenched. Those of us who live on rom-coms and can get through most of them without retching (*waves*)? Pretty well entrenched. What's often missing from discussions like this is the balance between the agency of the individual and the influence of society/culture. The reason for that seems to be pretty clear to me; that break down is on an individual level, and can change rapidly depending upon the subject within the overall discussion. That discussion is about how the micro interacts with the macro, and that is - in many cases - a discussion that is deeply personal.

Schrödinger’s Rapist kind of follows the above. I like the idea of Schrödinger’s Rapist being how we discuss rape and how we talk to women about rape; I like the article linked a lot as well, even though it does have some problems. But I think that this is an implication often lost when discussing rape. When feminists talk about how every man is a potential rapist, there is an (oftentimes erroneous) implication that what feminists mean is that every man could rape you at any given moment and that no man is to be trusted not to rape. But I don't think that is the correct reading. The idea isn't that every man would rape given the chance or that every man has the potential to rape; it is that because women are often given the responsibility to prevent themselves from being raped, and because there are no helpful signs clearly labeling rapists (like, stickies that say "RAPIST: STAY AWAY!!"), then every man you meet may be the guy who rapes. It isn't that every guy is a rapist or has raped; it is that it is impossible to tell - like it is (theoretically) impossible to tell whether the cat in Schrödinger’s box is alive or dead. So, Schrödinger's Rapist is all about not being able to crack open that box.

Racialicious Loves OK Cupid... and Of OKCupid and Denials of Racism break down the data from the internet dating site and discuss what it means in terms of race and gender.

And, because the fall is my favorite season, Autumn is Beautiful (stolen from Coffee Shop Philosophy's Sunday Links).

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