April 5, 2014

Alex Zampirri as featured on Swallows&Daggers.


Alex Zampirri as featured on Swallows&Daggers.

(via modifiedyouth)

6:00pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/Zv6yUy1CCitlz
Filed under: tattoos 
April 4, 2014

Anonymous asked: is genderqueer an appropriation of trans identity and experience?




for genderqueer to be an appropriation of trans experience, genderqueer people would have to be cis.  so, short answer:  no.

there is a larger issue here, and trans women talk about it with each other, but many of us are hesitant to speak publicly because we get shit on for standing up for ourselves.  for faab people, adopting he/his pronouns can be an act of subversive gender performance - which is not how i feel about being a woman.  there are plenty of faab people who adopt clothing, haircuts, and pronouns in limited capacities in their lives and who adopt trans as a description of themselves.

for me, i share being trans with trans dudes.  i share being a woman with cis women.  but i usually do not feel a sense of shared experience with faab genderqueer people, with a few exceptions.  i feel that i have much more in common with cis women.

i am not in a position to say who is trans and who isn’t, and i absolutely don’t want to be in that position.  however, i will say that when many genderqueer people describe their experience as transgender, they seem to mean something fundamentally different by the word ‘trans’ and the word ‘gender’.  i think its fine and good that there are a variety of trans experiences.  this is positive.  i respect genderqueer folks’ genders.

however, because we mean fundamentally different things by ‘trans’ and ‘gender’, our political and community goals & needs are often very different and sometimes opposed.  i believe that trans activism must center trans women of color or else it is fucked up.  if white genderqueer faab people use their positions of relative privilege to direct trans activism away from the interests of trans women of color, of trans folks of color in general, away from trans women, away from systemic violence, ect - then i think these folks are doing something fucked up by appropriating the hard experiences of trans women of color who primarily face the transphobic violence of our society.  this attitude and redirection of trans activism, the re-centering onto people who are not trans women is the major conflict that i have with faab genderqueer folks.  i think many trans women are frustrated by this and that frustration is sometimes voiced as calling out genderqueer folks for this appropriation.

there’s another thing going on here as well: the near-complete capture of the term “genderqueer” by female-assigned folks (largely white and expensively educated) to mean a specific, extremely limited range of their gender and style expressions.

when “genderqueer” was first being used (as far as i know) in the mid-1990s, it was a very broad umbrella term covering the whole space that we’d now refer to as “nonbinary”, as well as to some extent non-trans genderdeviant folks and trans folks who don’t have conventional gender expressions (butch trans women, fem trans men, etc - a zone we still don’t have good language for, except maybe by taking serano’s distinction between cissexual and cisgender more seriously).

"genderqueer" was very consciously created as a political project like "transgender" or "queer", aiming at bringing together a very mixed group of people, not on the basis of ‘shared identity’ but on the basis of an analysis of structural power. in this case, an analysis of the enforcement of binary gender, as something that specifically targets women and other folks who are seen as imperfect men, and that affects in specific ways folks who aren’t easily read into a conventional masculine man/feminine woman box.

and it’s worth saying: a lot of the folks doing that creating were trans women. just like with “transgender” and with “queer”.

but within ten years, the meaning of “genderqueer” had been narrowed down to where it usually is today: a very limited microidentity for female-assigned folks. if i remember right, rocco bulldagger has a nice account of that shift in an issue of Bleached Blonde Bimbos from years ago…

the effect, of course, was to marginalize male-assigned trans and genderdeviant folks, further valorize conventional masculinity within dyke communities, make it easier for folks in dyke communities to maintain a double standard for trans men and trans women (as ‘not *really* men’ and ‘not *really* women’), and to actively depoliticize the term.

( parenthetically: i’d argue that this is at heart just a particularly blatant version of a general problem with a shift in the 00s from an expansive, strategic identity[-with…] politics (rooted in women of color feminist/womanist work and in the GLF/STAR/ACT UP lineage) to a boundary-policing, purist identity[-as…] politics (rooted in cultural nationalist movements, niche-marketing & liberation marketing, and TERF lineages). )

alongside that, though, i think the elimination of “genderqueer” as a usable umbrella term has encouraged more male-assigned nonbinary trans and genderdeviant folks (nonbinary trans dykes, in particular) to identify ourselves more actively with trans women, and to insist that the category of ‘trans women’ be expansive enough to include us.

thank you for the historical perspective on this, i appreciate your words here.  it frustrates me that the group which has cornered ‘genderqueer’ is also seeking to corner ‘trans’ through a similar political strategy.

i think the distinction you make between political alliance politics and personal identity politics is important and instructive.  this is what i’m also trying to say:  on a personal level, i do not share identity with most faab genderqueer people.  on a political level, i often find myself in conflict with them as they claim authority over trans experiences that they so clearly lack any experience or knowledge about.  and again, i am speaking primarily of the “very limited microidentity for female-assigned folks.”

April 3, 2014

(Source: ratandboa, via femmewolfprince)

April 2, 2014


destroy mancrush/girlcrush and their silent no homos

(via miss-zarves)

April 1, 2014



i’m not a traditional witch

Kitchen witch

(via nicbravo-reblogs)

March 25, 2014
"Any theory that cannot be shared in everyday conversation cannot be used to educate the public."

— bell hooks (via riseabovethemadness)

(Source: warloq, via francesetherealgumm)

March 24, 2014



academics should strive to make academia (and especially theory) accessible to as many people as possible. what’s the point of creating knowledge if you make it hard to understand and therefore even harder to share??

it would be helpful first to get academics to stop thinking they are creating knowledge. academics in ivory towers pull knowledge from the bottom up and reframe/exploit until knowledge is top down. 

(via projectqueer)

March 23, 2014

(Source: mouthcrimes, via femmewolfprince)

March 22, 2014

(Source: fancymen, via youngfolksociety)

March 21, 2014


Friendship is not background noise to your love life!!!! Friends are not secondary characters in your romance plot!!!!

Fall in love with your friends! Treat them well! Treasure your friendships!

(via ohhsequin)

March 20, 2014

(Source: angelinaha, via transcatharsis)

March 19, 2014
"I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all."

Tom Nichols (via azspot)


'Expertise' as used here almost always requires the acceptance and approval of the Powers That Be - automatically excluding anyone who has knowledge that comes from experience (look, ‘expert’ and ‘experience’ have the same root for a reason), who can’t afford/has no access to traditional institutions through which ‘expertise’ is conferred, whose expertise conflicts with the agenda of those Powers, etc., etc.

The glory of Google and Wikipedia and everything like them is their ability to democratize knowledge. Furthermore, that is precisely what teachers want: to help people learn stuff, whether they normally would or not, whether it’s taught in schools or has been thrown aside for three months of test prep, whether it’s the area someone specializes in or is simply curious about… There’s no reason whatsoever that knowledge has to come from a ‘professional’ rather than some other source; that doesn’t make the knowledge any less potent, or any less true. 

There is no division between “students and teachers, knowers and wonderers”. I am a teacher; I am also a student, always, because no matter your knowledge, you can always learn more. ‘Knowers’ v. ‘wonderers’? Really? How do you think people come to know things in the first place? I’m definitely an ‘expert’ on a number of things—an institutionally certified expert, even!—but I still wonder about all those things. Besides, who determines what is ‘knowing’? Plenty of those things I have expertise in are *not* institutionally certified, and that makes my expertise not one whit less.

For instance: I know a shitload more about recovering from traumatic brain events than my neurologist. He knows all about how these things happen in the first place, all the ins and outs and mechanisms; however, when it comes to practical advice for what’s necessary to not continue to fuck yourself up in the weeks afterward, he learns a hell of a lot from me. He’s an MD/PhD, he’s about as ‘expert’ as you can get; but that’s nothing in the face of actual experience. In fact, the main reason I knew he was an infinitely better doctor than the other neurologists I’d seen is because he acknowledged how little he knew about the experience of, say, having your life force drained from you by anti-seizure medication. Despite his honest-to-Dog genius, he does not pretend to all-encompassing expertise, or treat his fount of knowledge as the only valid source - which makes him smarter and more ‘expert’ than anyone who thinks they know it all. 

And everyone knows that the only difference between professionals and laymen is that one gets paid for their achievements and the other doesn’t. It’s such a pathetic example, really: ‘laymen’ is a word created to distinguish the people who were not endorsed by the institutional Powers That Be in religious life; the Jesus Christ of the Bible was a layman, and as such was anathema to the institution. Now, we’ve all seen how much we should blindly trust and accept what the Church/etc. tells us, right?

Finally, that bit about “achievement in an area” is utterly nonsensical. Is ‘achievement’ supposed to stand in for ‘experience’—which, as already noted, is never accepted as institutionally valid in conferring ‘expertise’? Does ‘achievement’ mean an official document a la a diploma? How many of the world’s political leaders have degrees in management, policy, diplomacy, etc.? Have they ‘achieved’ less than those who have studied those topics in a fucking ivory tower? To reverse the question, there’s that old saw about how those who can’t do, teach. Now, I think that’s bullshit, because teaching is a fucking skill, and plenty of people who have incredible achievement in an area can’t go into a classroom and convey any of that in a useful way. By the same token, when those people *are* good teachers, do we keep them out of the classroom because their ‘expertise’ comes from experience rather than academic success? Never. 

This whole thing is bullshit. All those signal words—expertise, professional, layman, student, teacher, knower, wonderer, achievement—are deliberately misused, ignorant of their actual definitions and meanings, to make a faux-profound statement that has no purpose other than to bitch about how the Powers That Be are no longer as all-important in conferring expertise as they used to be.

You can be an expert without paying for it. That really pisses this person off.

(via aka14kgold)

"I worry that in an information-driven age of technological marvels, nobody will treat me like I’m a wizard-priest anymore."

(via blue-author)

I think this is becoming a sort of under-the-table war. And I’m not really exaggerating. For example, recently various academic groups and journals have been banning their members and editors from having blogs:

Academic blogging grew from the desire to compensate for people being unable to access academic scholarship,” Saideman told the Guardian. He said academic blogging has become a part of a professor’s job and that it is part of a movement to share scholarship with broader groups of people, including translating it into other languages.

One of his many critiques of the ISA’s proposal is that it further reduces the plurality of voices in scholarship, potentially affecting the number of minorities and women heard in academic discussions. If you’re telling people that the only way to be on editorial teams is by reducing your voice elsewhere, then that’s logically going to reduce the amount of voices out there,” Saideman said.

(via hailaphrodite)

(via howtobeterrell)

March 16, 2014

(Source: nicolaspujolph, via ohcardigan)

March 15, 2014




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