Awww, did I offend you?

August 15, 2010 at 12:27 pm (Race)

If someone like Tasha Fierce says, “I HATE WHITE PEOPLE,” and you are a white person and fail to realize she’s not talking about you? Then you’re part of the problem.

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Update: Iowa officials respond regarding unfair bias of birth certificates.

May 14, 2010 at 3:59 am (Government, Iowa, Sexual Orientation) ()

A bit more information on Heather Lynn Martin Gartner and Melissa McCoy Gartner’s case (first blogged about here) can be found in this article. Here’s a snippet:

Newton said naming a lesbian couple as parents without a legal adoption could jeopardize the rights of a biological father.

Iowa birth certificate laws “expressly recognize the biological reality that women and men each play a distinct but equally necessary role in human reproduction and have corresponding rights, duties and obligations to their child,” according to a Department of Health letter sent to the Gartners’ attorneys. 1

1. “Gay couple sues over birth certificate.” The Des Moines Register. 14 May 2010. Online.

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Married lesbian couple sues Iowa officials over daughter’s birth certificate.

May 13, 2010 at 10:59 pm (Government, Iowa, Sexual Orientation) ()

Heather Lynn Martin Gartner and Melissa McCoy Gartner married each other in June 2009 after Iowa declared that same-sex marriage was legal. Their daughter, MacKenzie, who was carried to term by Heather, was born the following September.

Of course, the Iowa Department of Public Health gave them a birth certificate that listed only Heather as a parent.

The couple’s lawyer requested a birth certificate with both names, according to the lawsuit, but was rejected on grounds that the department would not place the name of a “non-birthing lesbian spouse” on the certificate unless Melissa adopted the child. 1

Read the full story here.

1. “Same-sex couple sues Iowa officials over birth certificate.” The Des Moines Register. 13 May 2010. Online.

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Must read.

May 10, 2010 at 11:35 pm (Links, Rape & Sexual Assault)

so this word ‘weakness’, it’s not working for me
by Seperis @ The Toy Box (a fandom/personal journal)
(Warning: deals with sexual assault.)

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Iowa lawmaker wants gays to pitch tents elsewhere.

May 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm (Government, Iowa, Sexual Orientation) ()

*snickers* While that’s probably what it comes down to, here’s the real story:

According to this article, Senator Merlin Bartz (do I even have to tell you he’s a Republican?) is pissed off because Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources is planning to allow married same-sex couples to apply for family camping permits. *gasp*

According to the Des Moines Register, “Family permits don’t lower rates but allow campers to put up more than one tent on a site.” 1

In sum: a silly straight guy with too much power has a problem with legally married gay couples being recognized as families by the government. ‘Cause privilege is only for them white heterosexuals, don’t ya know?

By the way, this is the same man who wanted our country recorders to deny marriage licenses to gay folk after the Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. 2

1. “Iowa lawmaker angered over gay camping plan.” The Des Moines Register: Iowa Politics Insider. 10 May 2010. Online.

2. Richardson, Valerie. “Main, N.H. new gay marriage front.” The Washington Times. 28 Apr 2009. Online.

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Must read.

April 21, 2010 at 2:06 am (Links, Race, Sexual Orientation)

1. Adoption Sometimes Gets All Fucked-Up, 101
by Harriet J @ Fugitivus

2. I’m not a feminist (and there is no but)
by Renee Martin @ The Guardian

and a few of the responses:

Ironically Ignoring Race In The Feminist Blogosphere
by Megan @ Jezebel (FAIL!)

Femme-fights: ‘feminists, womanists’ battle across racial lines
by Ope Bukola @ Zora&Alice (found here at Racialicious)

Feminists, womanists and safe spaces
by Tami @ What Tami Said

3. Clay and Harold: A Couple Forcibly Separated By Sonoma County
by Cara @ Feministe

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Kyriarchy: if you’ve never heard this term before, now is the time.

April 21, 2010 at 1:24 am (Feminist Jargon) (, )

Lisa posted an entry almost two years ago that I came across for the first time tonight (thanks to Tami‘s post here). It is called Accepting Kyriarchy, Not Apologies.

I had never come across the term kyriarchy before (and yes, I feel ridiculously behind). Here is how Lisa explains it:

Kyriarchy – a neologism coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza and derived from the Greek words for “lord” or “master” (kyrios) and “to rule or dominate” (archein) which seeks to redefine the analytic category of patriarchy in terms of multiplicative intersecting structures of domination…Kyriarchy is best theorized as a complex pyramidal system of intersecting multiplicative social structures of superordination and subordination, of ruling and oppression.

Patriarchy – Literally means the rule of the father and is generally understood within feminist discourses in a dualistic sense as asserting the domination of all men over all women in equal terms. The theoretical adequacy of patriarchy has been challenged because, for instance, black men to not have control over white wo/men and some women (slave/mistresses) have power over subaltern women and men (slaves).

– Glossary, Wisdom Ways, Orbis Books New York 2001

All I can say is: I love it. My vocabulary has been sorely lacking a word to describe power dynamics in this way. Many thanks to Lisa and Tami for educating me.

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Man’s body found with rope around neck; police do not suspect foul play.

April 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm (Iowa, Race) ()

Two teenagers found the body of Goddi Ishima, 34, of Des Moines while hunting for eggs in a wooded part of the park at 3301 Adams St. in Des Moines.

Police arrived about 10:20 a.m., where they found Ishima in a creek with a rope around his neck. The other end of the rope was hanging around a tree, police said 1

The article goes on to say that the rope “doesn’t necessarily indicate suicide” and that “the police do not suspect foul play.”

Now, I’m sorry, but the rope indicates something. And I haven’t heard of that many cases of individuals hanging themselves in public areas.

Was it a hate crime of some sort? I don’t know. But it worries me. I hope more details surface soon.

1. O’Neil, Tyler. “Des Moines police identify body found in park during egg hunt.” The Des Moines Register. 4 Apr 2010. Online.

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A pleasant surprise from Livejournal.

April 4, 2010 at 8:35 am (Race, Sexual Orientation) ()

So I logged onto Livejournal today to find this:

For those of you unfamiliar with LJ, this is a screencap of the Writer’s Block section on their main page. The purpose of this section is to ask a question (or sometimes multiple related questions) that will fuel journal entries. The text here reads as follows:

Do you stay in touch with your former romantic partners? Have most of your break-ups been amicable or messy?

Submitted By kas-i

It’s pretty typical fare. What’s interesting, though, is the photo that accompanies it. Here’s a close up:

Huh. Both of the people appear to be female.

It’s not possible to be certain, of course, but the style of hair and clothing suggest that yes, these are two women–in a photo that’s linked to a discussion of previous romantic partnerships. So, yeah. This photo is awesome for a couple of reasons:

1. It normalizes lesbian relationships.
2. …in a way that does not appear to be targeted at a male gaze.
3. It’s possible that it’s depicting an interracial relationship (that was my first impression, but it is difficult to tell).

To top it all off, this is on the main page of a site that gets who knows how many hits per day. (To give you some idea, though, nearly a million users updated within the last thirty days. And the number of people who respond to the Writer’s Block questions can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand.)

Anyway, I thought it was a pleasant surprise. Not a huge one, mind you–it doesn’t seem particularly out of character for LJ. But visibility is good thing, and I was glad to see it here.

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Cake Wrecks: hilarious (edible?) baked goods with a side of white cluelessness.

March 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm (Race, Sex & Gender, The Body) (, )

Cake Wrecks is one of my favorite sites to visit for a laugh, so you can imagine my disappointment when macon d of Stuff White People Do pointed out that there was some serious fail going on in the post called Shapely Cakes.

Apparently one of the things that white people do is assume that vanilla frosting is skin, whereas chocolate frosting is just chocolate frosting or maybe it’s just really tan skin but under no circumstances could anyone using chocolate frosting possibly be trying to depict a POC. Read macon d’s post for more.

The Shapely Cakes post has more than just race fail, though. There’s some body shaming going on as well as a bit of transphobia if you ask me.

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