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All links are equal, but I can't bring myself to quote Orwell today 
22nd-Aug-2007 11:37 am
On second thoughts, I think that perhaps not having any curatorial experience might make applying for a fairly senior curatorial role a bit silly. And I was stressing out too much trying to apply. Let's focus on my PhD, shall we?


Not in my journal. There's not a lot worth journalling about my PhD right now, except that finally it's going my way and stuff. Instead, I have some links from my fpage for you all.

rozk brings up the problems gays* and transfolk are facing in Iraq.

Most weeks, three or four people are hacked, stoned, burned or shot to death for being lesbian, gay, bi or trans. The highest Shia religious dignitary Sistani has again promulgated a fatwa calling for the execution of all non-repentant LGBT people - people talk of him as a liberal and in this degree he is - he allows people to repent on pain of death when most of his rivals would just kill. Contacted by the UN about this campaign of murder, the Iraqi government has refused to acknowledge that it is even a problem.
And on a lighter note, kadrin talks about the prejudice that atheists face. I miss the days when this wasn't a problem in the UK.

There's the people who will automatically assume I'm the same religion as them in conversation, and invoke that fellowship - typically against other religions, which of course must be beaten down. There's the Americans who will never, never, never vote for an atheist to be their President, because they just can't be trusted. There's the fact that the leaders of both major Australian political parties are racing to show who God loves more. There's the fact that we can choose for Siobhan a Catholic school, a nondenominational Christian school, or an unfunded hellhole where you're given a switchblade free with enrollment.

What it all comes down to is, I feel easier in my mind coming out as bisexual than I do coming out as an atheist.
It's an incredibly well written post, and laugh-out-loud funny in the right places.

*Again this footnote is here to express my frustration with language. I have historically been against lumping sexuality with gender identity, because I've always liked to think of them as different issues. However, recent introspections have made me realise that even if it has a separate cause, equality issues should no longer be treated separately. What affects one affects all, and the word 'queer' is just sitting there waiting to be used to apply broadly to minority sexualities and transvestitism / transexuality (also in my mind, different things). The trouble is, I fear promoting the falsehood that homosexuality is equivalent to transexuality** about as much as I fear that separation would give the impression that "trans issues are not my issues because I'm merely a sexual deviant", which is also not true, because it is my problem. I'm human.

**True story: a friend of mine who similarly dresses for comfort not looks, who doesn't wear make-up unless she's going out, who's bisexual and who gives about as much thought to traditional gender roles as I do, was asked by her NHS-prescribed therapist if she was FtM and had she considered Gender Reassignment Surgery? It made me so angry to realise she probably wouldn't have suggested this if Friend was thin with long blonde hair, yet dressed the same.
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22nd-Aug-2007 11:10 am (UTC)
I just don't get it. At all.
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22nd-Aug-2007 03:02 pm (UTC)
It's changing. I don't want to blame the Americans, but... I do, kinda. A few years ago this country would never have even considered that Catholicism made someone exempt from anti-discriminatory laws.
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22nd-Aug-2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
I can't get through one of her columns. She's that incomprehensible.
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22nd-Aug-2007 03:25 pm (UTC)
Reading it now, and yes, you very much have a point (also, I notice you were on WFA!)

The commenter sits from a position of privilege, saying that because he'snot offended, practices shouldn't change and everyone else should deal'.

I'm up to the point where he says this:

What troubles me is when some people (not necessarily the original poster) seem to think that the very fact of their being upset or offended has an inherent right to have their feelings appeased.

I just want to headdesk. Since when were customer complaints invalid?
22nd-Aug-2007 03:27 pm (UTC)
Pee Ess. Is TAD actually FP? If so, it's very much a potential gateway the comics fandom for the most likely audience, and therefore the industry would immensely benefit by making it accessable.
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22nd-Aug-2007 03:36 pm (UTC)
Nah, it was the implication of a) nationwide branches and b) a comics department within a wider shop.

I don't buy comics at FP because I like to support Gosh! as my local small comic shop, and London's FP has a supermarkety feel whiel Gosh! is friendyl comic store. But before I braved Gosh! (not repelled by femininity, but by geekphobia), I got my first Graphic Novels from FP. Because I was there anyway looking at Terry Pratchett models. It's just something that occured to me - small shops can be as unfriendly as they want, but the distributors should be paying more attention to the gateways if they want the market to grow.
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22nd-Aug-2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
It's not so much that. The oldlocation had the problem that the unfriendly comics section was ground floor, but away from the stairs and the merchandise.

Now, upstairs is toys only and downstairs - well, it's too well lit and sanitary. Like a buying books from WH Smiths instead of a local bookshop or even Waterstones. But you have to go downstairs for DVDs and that leads you right into the recent graphic novels. Layout wise, it's quite well done, it's just not got enough character.
22nd-Aug-2007 06:08 pm (UTC) - If we don't hang together...

I have a relative who identifies as FtM but never did anything about it, just living as a butch lesbian. She personally thinks all lesbians are FtM and all gays are MtF, which is a shocking attitude that I find difficult to swallow. One of my fears is certainly that if such an attitude became more prevalent you'd have plenty of destroyed lives as a result of people getting convinced of it unnecessarily. This process is not something entered into lightly...

Still, the queer connections are very important, and I'd encourage the incorporation of pretty much all ethically acceptable sexual subgroups in it--including the leather/BDSM and poly subcultures, which could easily face just as much prejudice--for the purpose of political leverage. There are not all that many transwomen, after all, and we're usually very poor. In fact, 50 - 70% of transwomen in five major cities in the USA (NYC, DC, Chi-town, SF, LA) who get tested for HIV are positive, a horrifying statistic by any measure of comprehension, and it's because economic circumstances often force us into prostitution where there's little or no power to insist on safe sex practices--you'd just lose customers, the same problem which blocks the introduction of safe sex practices among prostitutes in Africa. They'd beat you or go to someone else if you insisted on a condom.

Fortunately I will probably stare the abyss in the face like that myself, even though the situation may be a little unpleasant for the next few weeks, I'll at least have a place to stay and food to eat most likely. But I'm acutely aware of the fact that I'm willing to take some risks of confusion on the part of a few people and some negative associations in exchange for a bunch of Dual Income, No Kids gay couples donating large sums of money to causes which collectively help us just as much as them. On our own, we'd be utterly screwed.
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23rd-Aug-2007 06:07 am (UTC) - Re: I'm tired, so this may be a completely inappropriate response...

She thinks that lesbians are straight men forced to have sex with each other because they have physically female bodies, that they're both attracted to, whereas straight women are repulsed by them.

She accepts that other people have different opinions, and I don't think she counts bisexuals in this group, just the hard gays and lesbians.

Of course I don't fit into the paradigm at all, since I'm a bisexual transexual.

But she's very kind to me regardless, and I consider it as, individually and in a relative, a harmless eccentricity, but it is disturbing when looked at outside of that lens, thus why I chose to mention it.
23rd-Aug-2007 09:03 am (UTC) - Re: If we don't hang together...
The attitude that transsexuality and homo/bisexuality are equivalent isdangerous for exactly the reasons you say, and partly why, for examply, I never really felt comfortable with my LGB society becoming LGBT.

I have changed my mind now, and support incorporation and cross-campaigning. HOWEVER, I do not support trans rights because I'm queer and therefore identify with transfolk, but because I'm a person and think that equality should be universal.
23rd-Aug-2007 04:37 pm (UTC) - Re: If we don't hang together...

Which is very reasonable and enlightened, but humans like to form groups, and tend to support those groups over broader ideals more consistently. Unfortunately, we are a species where needing to appeal to such a mindset is often necessary.
23rd-Aug-2007 04:42 pm (UTC) - Re: If we don't hang together...
Err, that was me.
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