The over/under-sexualization of gay men (and by gay men, I mean Rory O’Malley)
Do not read the transstuck tag unless you want to die out of sheer fucking rage.
“Bloo bloo bloo, it’s disrespectful to draw trans people having sex!! It’s disrespectful to draw pre-op/non-op trans bodies!! It’s disrespectful to reinterpret characters as trans!!”
I am going to put my fist in your face. I’m really sorry that your experience with being trans has been nothing but pain— genuinely, I am. But that’s not the place some of us are in. I already ran that gauntlet, alright? Now if you don’t fucking mind, I’m going to take my representation because I deserve it and it makes me happy.
Now stop speaking for me. And if you’re an “ally” and you’re blurting that bullshit, I don’t even know what the fuck you’re doing commenting to begin with.
Since yesterday was the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, here’s a round-up of some gender and sexuality related news for this year’s games, the good and the bad. Above is a Reuters photograph of Sarah Attar, a middle-distance runner, and one of the two Saudi Arabian women sent to this year’s Olympics, as she took part in the Parade of Nations yesterday. Here are more photos of Saudi Arabia’s female athletes at the opening ceremony.
- This is a pre-Olympics article from this June on Deadspin, but it’s a truly fabulous article. Marking the retirement of Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, Dvora Meyers looks at how critics and the public discuss female gymnast’s bodies in code. Unbelievably insightful and relevant to the coming weeks.
- This will be the fourth Olympics for Australian swimmer Liesel Jones, who first competed at age 14 and has since collected three gold medals, four silvers and a bronze and holds a number of world records. Some people, though, just want to take some page space to consider the important question of whether or not she’s gained weight.
- Clare Malone wrote yesterday at The American Prospect about female boxers, aesthetic femininity and our perceptions of women we see as competing in men’s sports. This is the first Olympics to feature women’s boxing.
- And, of course, there is the hormone question. Rebecca Jordan-Young and Katrina Karkazis wrote a mid-June op-ed for the New York Times decrying the IOC’s policies on sex verification, which will ban women with hyperandrogenism (naturally heightened levels of testosterone) from competition because it gives them an advantage deemed unfair. In the conversation had on Andrew Sullivan’s the Daily Dish, a number of points were brought up, including that other biological advantages, like Michael Phelps’ genetic disorder that gives him long limbs and hypermobile joints or other athletes who have unusually large aerobic capacities, are not treated in this way. (Oh, and remember Caster Semenya? She’s now reportedly receiving some sort of treatment that allows her to qualify under IOC hormone regulations and is being hailed as more “feminine.” Dear lord.) Check out Feministing’s mid-June post about policing femininity in sports and the Olympics.
- Quite disappointing news… Afghan female boxer Sadaf Rahimi was originally extended a wildcard invitation by the IOC despite not qualifying officially. The International Boxing Association, however, has decided that she cannot compete, citing concerns over her abilities in the ring. Check out some amazing photos of her, though. She’s still a trailblazer.
- Keelin Godsey also won’t be attending the games. He was hoping to be the first openly transgender competitor.
- In awesome things that have come out of the Olympics, though, the US managed to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Title XIV in true style by sending more female athletes than male to London, a first for us.
- It’s also a global first: the first time that all participating countries are sending women to compete in the Olympics. Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Qatar have ended their tradition of sending only males to compete.
- Saudi Arabia’s female judo competitor, Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani, is currently in negotiations to be able to compete in a hijab.
- Over at the Washington Post, Nadia Mohammed considers the pivotal roles played in 2012’s Olympic Games by Muslim women.
- And check out some pieces profiling women athletes… The Atlantic on 17-year-old US boxer Claressa Shields, AKA “T-Rex.” Buzzfeed profiles America’s strongest person, Sarah Robles, who lives in poverty and remains ignored by sponsors despite her weightlifting prowess. Vogue has an awkward profile of flyweight US boxer Marlen Esparza (Vogue is awkward, not Esparza), but her story is definitely worth a read.
(A loophole is to claim distant ancestry from whichever part of the world you want to talk about)
Maybe next time you want to make a post about how the only women you want to see on your TV screen are ones who are a flawless package of kindness, compassion, independence, self-respect, conventional beauty and grace or about how you refuse to watch a show about “white girl problems” (even though clearly you’ll watch a show about “white dude problems” because that’s virtually EVERY OTHER SHOW ON TV) or about how a bunch of girls with obscure artists for parents clearly got going in the TV industry through nepotism which in turn invalidates any and every good thing about their show DON’T FUCKING TAG IT WITH #GIRLS OR #LENA DUNHAM, OKAY ASSHOLES!
Some of us really appreciate a realistic portrayal of what it’s like to be flawed, clueless young woman thrust into the big world to fend for herself from a generation of overly-protective parents and economic decline.
Oh and just because you made it in New York without taking any money from your parents, that doesn’t mean everyone who can’t is a lazy, entitled idiot.
You’re free to not like the show, but I’m sick of seeing your asinine criticisms in the tag that I and everyone like me search to find gifs and screencaps and other fun things to celebrate the show.
And that’s all I have to say on the matter.
If I could say something to Gavin James Creel it would be this: that he is my hero, my inspiration and my vision. I admire him for his courage and his bravery and the fact that he fights for what he believes in and that he does what he loves to do. Whenever it seems like I can barely make it through the day, I listen to his music and take a deep breath and remind myself that I can get through. He gives me something to hold onto that’s something no one can take away from me and I can say truthfully that he is the only person I have ever called a hero.
I just felt like I had no one who believes in me. Except for one beautiful man and that one beautiful man got me through. He’s the reason I sing, so I’m going to continue to sing about him. I hope you’re listening, this is for you. If I could say something to my only hero, if I could sing you a song, this is for you Gavin.
Okay. Maybe I have more things to say about Girls. Mostly because other people keep saying things, and now I want another turn at the microphone.
I mostly just want to address other people’s complaints about the series, since my first post on the subject was pretty much a softball and, while I didn’t think the pilot was amazing, I thought it was good. And I have no original thoughts of my own, so it’s easier for me to play off of the thoughts of others.
White Girl Power
The show has a distinct lack of people of color. Yes. Agree. I could accept the four leads being white, but to accept that the people in their lives are all as white as driven snow? Bit of a stretch. I’m sure it’s not intentional, which is small consolation, but it is troubling.
They’re All Unlikable
First of all, I disagree. I liked Dunham’s Hannah quite a bit. Is she a bit spoiled? Yes. Is she a bit of a jerk sometimes? Yes. What’s the problem, exactly? We, as an Internet People, watch a nigh immeasurable amount of TV shows populated by complete assholes with few, if any, redemptive qualities. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The Larry Sanders Show, Community… I mean, Girls is no Seinfeld and Dunham is no Larry David, but structural similarities are there.
Secondly, it’s a comedy. In fact, it’s a comedy that specifically calls out the lead character (and other characters) for being selfish, spoiled, or cold. You know, that’s kind of our generation. Take a look at the smarter, funnier corners of Twitter, and you will see people talking about what inept assholes they are. Regardless of whether or not this is true, or right, that’s slowly becoming the comedy of our generation: “We’re pretty terrible a lot, but we’re kind of cute about it, hee hee?” We should be used to seeing unlikability used as a comedic asset.
They’re All Unrelatable
My life is so completely removed from the lives of these women, yet even I can find relatable aspects of their personalities. Hannah is artistically inclined, but practically inept. She makes poor choices romantically and sexually. She’s insecure but not overtly. Honestly, that sounds like a lot of people I know.
Is the money thing a dealbreaker for most people? Is that it? The characters are not particularly wealthy, but they do seem to be slightly more well-to-do than advertised. I’ve been unemployed so long that I can’t even remember my last paycheck, but I don’t really come to TV to find exact replicas of me. Would it be better for me personally if they were poorer and less spoiled? Yeah, it’s possible. Not a dealbreaker, though.
Admittedly, her friends are not entirely relatable at this point, but for me, this is The Lena Dunham Show. She’s the focal point, and I’m happy to keep it that way. Marnie is, to quote Drex, “a cold ass bitch” and not terribly likable, but my reaction to her was, “Oh, I guess she’s the asshole of the group; I’m probably not supposed to like her.” Which is likely inaccurate, but my point is, not everyone has to be likable or relatable.
I wasn’t even aware that this was a thing, until I saw this image.* Can anyone honestly tell me that, if these actresses had zero familial connections to the entertainment industry, you would find this show any more enjoyable than you already do? I mean, I know Bad Company’s drummer has a lot of pull in the TV industry, but either the show is good or the show is bad, and the way the cast and crew got involved is not relevant to me.
Unless you’re a pedophile, raper, murderer, or racist, I don’t care how you got into the position from which you’re entertaining me, as long as you’re entertaining me. If your daddy or your roommate helped get you where you are today, good for you. Now, go do good work.
Nobody has to like this show. I don’t care. It was all right. I’m not picking out curtains for us, but I’m sure we’ll meet again. I just feel like people’s criticisms are a bit on the flimsy side.
* Or is this just observational and not accusational? Maybe it’s not a thing? Whatever.
the illuminati is run by nebraskans
Wait, let me back up.
Hi, my name is Cara and I’m a 21 year old woman. Every 28 days, give or take, I have a period. And it fucking sucks. Today, was one of those where I take from the 28 day cycle. I wasn’t due for another period for at least a week, but considering that my period is pretty much permanently irregular, I get to wake up a lot of mornings in a pool of my own blood. Hmm. Lovely.
I then proceed to dump my sheets, my underwear, and my pajamas in my laundry room in a tub filled with cold water, with the hopes that this time I haven’t ruined them permanently.
What next? Well, a shower of course! To wipe off the smell of rotting blood from my body! Squeaky clean and towel fresh I have about a two minute window before the volcano of blood begins to erupt again from my vagina.
What will it be today? A piece of chlorinated toilet paper cardboard with a string that I get to shove up my hole wherein the blood will sit and rot until the next time I can shove another piece of chlorinated cardboard up the same hole? Or, a plastic lined toilet paper diaper attached to my underwear that causes rug burn to my vaginal area when I walk? Well the later requires less coordination, and it is early, so I guess I’ll be sitting in a period diaper today. The best ever.
Of course, I could always just get birth control, and lessen this whole shit. But 1) I can’t afford it 2) I can’t ask my dad to pay for it because, guess what? Just like the men who run my government, my father correlates birth control with sexual promiscuity! Thus, sitting on my rotting blood, undergoing severe cramps that have on more than one occasion caused me to black out, it is! (Not that birth control is such a walk in the park either, our bodies have to learn to deal with the hormones and other chemicals and consequences that birth control entails.)
Then, I get to go to class, where I have to pretend that I am not a leaky faucet of blood and tissue. I get to sit in Calculus, and if heaven forbid, I need an additional pad, I have to be discrete about it, so as not to offend the men’s gentle sensibilities to the fact that I am the one dropping tissues and blood from my body through my vagina.
I once asked a male to take me to the pharmacy so that I could pick up (GASP) pads, or as we like to call it “feminine products” (again, so as not to offend the gentlemen’s overly sensitive natures) and had him equate me talking about my period to him talking about his erections.
This is nothing like your fucking erection’s. I don’t derive any enjoyment from this. I can’t mentally control any ounce of this entire process. I can’t masturbate my problem away. My period does not end in orgasm.
It stays. For at least five days in my case. Draining blood out of my body. Causing me severe cramps, making me irritable -not because I’m uncomfortable (which mind you, would be reason enough) - but because my hormones are all over the place, bloating me up to two sizes larger than I normally am, I have to actively fight not to smell like a fish market, and on top of that, you want me to be hush-hush about this? Because it’s icky for you?
And this is not an attack on that one man, this is an attack on ALL MEN who on top of sitting on their throne of gender privilege want me to stay quiet and be content about the fact that five days out of every month I get to undergo this happiest of joys.
And then, these very same men have the audacity to get annoyed because we don’t want to listen to their bullshit complaining about traffic? Or whatever other meaningless story they happen to tell us while our bodies are actively fighting against us? Then we get to be the butt of their tired-ass jokes? Sorry, I am most certainly not sorry.
I repeat NO. I say women come out of the period closet and say, “You know what, this happens to me. Every. Fucking. Month. And it’s terrible. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY MORNING.” Because the truth is, if I live in a country where Viagra is covered by medical insurance, but birth control isn’t, I can no longer keep denying that I live in a country that is actively waging a war on women. And if I live in a country that is actively waging war on my sex, the least I am going to do is break patriarchal social propriety to inform anyone and everyone of the shit biological process I was BLESSED enough to be born into.
Hello, my name is Cara, I’m a 21 year old woman, and today I’m on my period. Let me fucking tell you about it.
IT JUST REALLY MAKES ME ANGRY HOW MANY HATEFUL MISOGYNISTIC COMMENTS ARE ON THAT VIDEO.
ESPECIALLY concerning Lena Dunham’s weight, of all things. And how the women of “Girls” all look “stupid” so it’s “true to life.” The cowardice of the internet disgusts me. Just goes to show how little we’ve progressed as a society with our painful insecurities towards female expression, especially concerning a woman whose body type (refreshingly) doesn’t conform to the Hollywood standard.
I JUST HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS.
and will write a longer rant when I don’t have a 5 page essay due at 5 pm.