3 Happy Things for Yesterday

by - Friday, May 30, 2014

1. "It's Oh so Quiet"- Does Bjork ever get old? Not only does this song remind me of the best drag performance I have seen live, it also just makes me feel like whatever I am doing is part of a musical. Yesterday, that was pulling up the giant mass of weeds that took over the backyard while we were busy being idiots not knowing the difference between a good plant and an evil villain. Lucky for me, Bjork was available to power me through. It felt like the vines might come to life.

from http://colorlines.com/archives/2014/05/laverne_cox_makes_history_on_the_cover_of_time.html
2. Laverne Cox on the cover of Time- This woman is just amazing, and her interview in the magazine is as smart and insightful as the other press she has been doing. I find it fascinating that after the backlash of her not making the influential list, they quickly gave her another issue. Having her cover and the Beyonce cover so close together also begs for some comparison in how they are represented. She gives a brief explanation of what everyone should know about transpeople, and I think it is rather beautfiul:

"There’s not just one trans story. There’s not just one trans experience. And I think what they need to understand is that not everybody who is born feels that their gender identity is in alignment with what they’re assigned at birth, based on their genitalia. If someone needs to express their gender in a way that is different, that is okay, and they should not be denied healthcare. They should not be bullied. They don’t deserve to be victims of violence. … That’s what people need to understand, that it’s okay and that if you are uncomfortable with it, then you need to look at yourself."

The online version of the article (you can find it here) also features a clip of Cox speaking to a 6 year old who is transgendered, and the incredible sweetness of the moment goes to show how freaking hard it is to be a very small person who doesn't identify with the gender they were born with. You know it is a tough road, but the transwomen I know all transitioned as adults, I imagine partially because it took that long to find the support they needed. It makes me hopeful that small children can own that identity and have their parents support them enough to bring them to talk to an adult who understands what they are going through (rather than a shrink to try to deprogram, like Cox went through). It just makes me hopeful. Also, excited for the second season of Orange is the New Black.

3. Arthur Chu's article "Your Princess is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds"- Any essay written by a nerd that can stop mid-way to ask- "What the fuck is wrong with us?" is bound to get attention, but Chu's argument, his willingness to admit his own complacency in the issue, and his insider view of the narrative that plays over and over again where the nerd gets the girl way to hot for them through everything from "nice guy persistence" to rape is on point and worth the read. What he is describing is why I HATE Big Bang Theory. It is also why I HATE superhero and James Bond movies, where women are mostly there to be a prize at the end for beating the bad guy. And that's it. And since we aren't ever represented as actual people, it sets up a culture where men can be shocked that there is no way to turn a no into a yes. Because they are sure that is how the story goes, but that story removes the subjectivity who always has a choice. Chu also depicts this well, recounting some of the worst of this trend which is constant and in 90% of films that come out recently (Seth Rogen's disdain about the suggestion his movies tell the same narrative was ridiculous) but is especially targeted in "nerd culture."

This is my favorite excerpt from the article, but go read it, for real:

"We are not the lovable nerdy protagonist who’s lovable because he’s the protagonist. We’re not guaranteed to get laid by the hot chick of our dreams as long as we work hard enough at it. There isn’t a team of writers or a studio audience pulling for us to triumph by “getting the girl” in the end. And when our clever ruses and schemes to “get girls” fail, it’s not because the girls are too stupid or too bitchy or too shallow to play by those unwritten rules we’ve absorbed.
It’s because other people’s bodies and other people’s love are not something that can be taken nor even something that can be earned—they can be given freely, by choice, or not.
We need to get that. Really, really grok that, if our half of the species ever going to be worth a damn. Not getting that means that there will always be some percent of us who will be rapists, and abusers, and killers. And it means that the rest of us will always, on some fundamental level, be stupid and wrong when it comes to trying to understand the women we claim to love."

You can read the article here.

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