Is your son really gay, or is he just trying to get back at you for forgetting his birthday the past three years? Not sure how to get him to stop before your church group finds out? Amy Dickinson is on the case. (With advice you probably won’t like if you weren’t offended by those two questions.)
Shakuntala Devi, the Human Calculator (1929-2013) November 5, 2013
If you’re wondering who Google was honoring today on their search page, it was Shakuntala Devi, also known as India’s human calculator. In addition to being famous for her stunning mathematical ability, she also authored The World of Homosexuals, in which she wrote,
When we have arrived at a concept of morality and ethics in interpersonal relationships according to which the dignity of the human condition is respected, we would have ascended to a higher plane of morality in which only hatred is condemned, never love. Then we will have a saner and more healthy society and also a more enlightened sexual morality.
Corvino Responds To Providence College September 25, 2013
The Genderbread Person Redux – When Activism Gets Problematic September 21, 2013
[This post has been completely re-written, so if some of the earlier comments seem to be referring to things that aren't here, that's because they are. Thanks to Sam B for pointing out the plagiarism issue and to Rachel for helping me find the end of the article...because it's been just that kind of day for me.]
This weekend I stumbled onto the site It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, and found a graphic explaining the different aspects of sex, sexuality, and gender.
It turns out that site’s creator, Sam Killermann, plagiarized that graphic, and now has thrown a bunch of intellectual property stamps on it, and has even included it in a book he made. (Though you can get the book for free. But he has still made money off of all this.)
As awesome as it is to have people want to be cis straight while male allies, we have to as allies constantly keep vigilant that we are not blocking out the voices of the people we are trying to support with our own. Otherwise we are undermining the very project we are trying to help. And one thing you notice sort of quickly from Killermann’s projects is that you see a lot of him, and hear a lot of his voice but you don’t see or hear a lot of specific people that he is advocating for.
So again, here are some of their voices, specifically on his plagiarism. (Same link as above.)
And here is one of the earlier gingerbread persons:
Some parts of Killerman’s projects still have merit: the comment thread on this post has some good stuff in it. But I think legitimately, some people will not want to visit his websites.
As Laverne Cox said when this issue of plagiarism was brought to her attention,
“…those who lay the groundwork don’t often get the credit. The universe is trying to tell me something. We cannot silence the voices of those doing the hard work so that we can flourish.”
(Sorry I can’t find the exact tweet. This is also in the storify post linked above.)
That is, without respect for the people we are trying to support, our support is hollow.
From Cisnormativity (the Storify OP):
Without that respect, any work done in the name of social justice isn’t actually the practice of social justice. It’s erasure. It’s a tossing of the most marginal people from the bus of acceptance, enfranchisement, and citizenship. It’s the theft of lived experiences. It’s why intersectionally marginalized people along multiple axes still cannot reach so many of their dreams, their potentials, or their hopes .
Weddings and sentiments about same sex marriages unveiled February 19, 2013
The reason it got rejected was because Anne chose a picture of a same sex couple in her ad.
She wrote a letter to the editors and posted it on her blog (here) and this post went a bit viral and I wanted to write about it, and now that I have time to do that, I found that there’s an update!
Weddings Unveiled apologised on their blog (here) and will publish the advertisement after all. Jolly good.
I was surprised to read in the comments that people thought the picture was selected because of shock value.
Marriage Equality in the UK: Big Progress February 5, 2013
It’s passed the House of Commons by a huge majority. Now on to the House of Lords. Of course, philosopher Roger Scruton was on the wrong side of this one, with the argument that “gay marriage is homophobic”.
Note: this post has been updated in light of the excellent point made in the first comment!
A first for Ontario, a first for Canada January 27, 2013
First woman premier in Ontario, first openly gay premier in Canada! And the final two candidates for the post were both women.
A Snark-Filled Checklist for Sexuality Research December 17, 2012
Does anyone else get sort of bored reading articles on scientific research into sexuality? It seems like the scientists and journalists involved are…unimaginative (/unobservant). It’s like they all stick to the same weird checklist. Below, I try to recreate what I think that checklist is. Please feel free to add, comment, or correct (since I might slip into my own unwarranted assumptions on this.)
This project came into being after reading this article: “What We Know and Don’t Know About the Biology of Homosexuality.” It’s actually pretty decent as far as reporting on scientific research in general goes, but again I was just struck by all the suppositions and the weirdly narrow framework that seem to go into this sort of research and reporting.
A Checklist for Doing Scientific Research on Sexuality:
–Assuming that homosexuality is a variation of a heterosexual default: check
–Assuming that homosexuality is essentially just one sex taking on the other sex’s normal behavior/traits: check
(i.e. male homosexuality is when men are biologically feminized)
–Being completely ignorant of / uninterested in transsexuality and the sexuality of people who are transgender: check
–Pathologizing homosexuality even while acknowledging the arbritrariness of the concept “normal” in this context: check
–Linking genitals to sexual orientation as if there’s clearly a strong, un-contentious connection between the two: check
–Erasing the possibility of a coherent sexuality for people who are intersexed: check
–Erasing bisexuality, pansexuality, and asexuality as categories: check
–Talking about the evolutionary advantages or disadvantages of different sexualities as if that is automatically relevant to what our current social attitudes towards them should be: check
–Thinking about sexuality research by asking questions like, “What factors contribute to heterosexuality in humans?” or “Is there a straight gene?” or “Does our biology even support the notion of having a sexual orientation?”: uncheck
Has everyone run across research or reporting on sexuality that doesn’t make this laundry list of assumptions?
The best hate-filled speech you’ll ever hear October 20, 2012
Check out this pastor’s anti-gay speech, and please please keep listening to the end.
There’s also a description of the speech at the link.
Facebook Group for LGBTQ Philosophers October 2, 2012
Rebecca Kukla writes: “I just started a facebook group for LGBTQ-identified philosophers. It will only be cool if it has lots of members. Please get in touch if you’d like to join, and please have others – particularly grad students – friend me and let me know they are interested. It is a ‘secret group’ so no one can see it on your timeline. Anyone who self-identifies as a philosopher with a nonstandard or marginalized sexual or gender identity or orientation of any sort is welcome.”
It’s open to all philosophers, including students, but at the moment it’s not open to allies. If you’d like to join, find Rebecca on FB and send her a request!
Update: Apparently there’s more than one Rebecca Kukla on FB. She writes: “I list myself as at Georgetown, in Washington DC, and my facebook profile pic is a Hello Kitty version of Alex from Clockwork Orange.”