A Mom Explains The Gender Binary Around Us

Happy belated mother’s day, y’all!

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The Mask You Live In 4/5 STARS

When men complain about the pressure to be tall and muscular, they’re right.  They’re absolutely right that they’re expected to be physically imposing.  At it’s worst, they’re expected to assert their power through violence.  And, underneath the posturing, they are forced to hide their feelings.

The Mask You Live In, available on Canadian Netflix, lays all of the ways we set boys up for failure out in the open.  Most of us are desensitized to the messages beaten into us, that we become blind.  Not just physically, but psychologically, by the way we talk, what we watch, and who we idolize.

A few criticisms I’d make is that it’s alluded that boys watching “bondage porn” are somehow more toxically masculine.  While porn is a problem in the ways it portrays sex, I don’t really agree with the insinuated evil of kink/BDSM.  I’d like to add that different ways of having sex are fine as long as they are consensual.  I wish they had had a sex educator in the documentary explain this point…

Overall, I agreed with the film’s main ideas.  It covered the causes and effects of Toxic Masculinity and the Demonization of Femininity.  The Mask You Live In made me very emotional in spots: I teared up, and I’m not one to cry during movies.  Most of the time, I was just nodding my head.

A Normal Lost Phone: 3.5/5 STARS

ANormalLostPhone

What do you know about Sam?  Are they a boy, a girl?  Are they cheating on their girlfriend?  Where did they go on the 18th of January? Where are they now?

One user on Game Jolt commented:

“really hits me like a rock, cried like a baby”

Contrary to my introduction, A Normal Lost Phone is not a murder-mystery.  It’s not terribly suspenseful, but it’s ending is very, very real.  Even though I am not in Sam’s exact situation, their struggle reminded me of myself.  The game is written very well.  The end text, supposedly written by the main character, is minimal, to the point, and believable.  The only real complaint I have is that, in the cellphone’s contacts, there are so many names that are absolutely pointless.  It clutters up a screen that shouldn’t be.

Play A Normal Lost Phone by Accidental Queens here (available in English, French, and Spanish!)

 


SPOILERS

I referred to Samantha during my description as “they” as I wanted her gender to remain ambiguous, as to not spoil the story.  I am aware that she is a woman.

The 30 Day Genderqueer Challenge

  30 days, 30 posts, and 30 opportunities to dig into who I am!  Every day I aim to answer these questions, in chronological order, as best I can.  The 30 Day Genderqueer Challenge is taken from the tumblr Genderqueer Identities.

The Questions:

1) Do you use any other terms to define or explain your gender?

2) How did you grow up with your gender?

3) What’s your favorite ways of upsetting gender roles / genderbending / genderfucking?

4) Name some queer heroes, influences, or crushes

5) Dysphoria and how you manage it

6) When did you realize you were Genderqueer?

7) What are your favorite physical features of yourself?

8) An unpopular or unsure opinion about the GSM community

9) What have you done or plan to do to socially transition? Pronouns, name, coming out, etc.

10) Are you taking any steps to physically transition?

11) Your first experience with a GSM organization or event

12) Discuss your relationship with the term transgender

13) How has your family taken it or how might they take it?

14) Are you part of the Gender and Sexuality Minority community?

15) How do you deal with gendered things? Clothes shopping, bathrooms, forms, etc.

16) Name some media you connect with queerly

17) How do you, or would you, deal with being misgendered?

18) How does your gender factor in to your future plans?

19) What terms in the cisgender, GSM, or trans* community are problematic?

20) Have you faced any problems or gone through any changes regarding religion?

21) How has your relationship with yourself been affected since you realized you were Genderqueer?

22) What is your sexual and romantic orientations? Are they affected by your gender?

23) Do you feel comfortable answering questions about your gender to friends? Acquaintances? Strangers?

24) How has your relationship with the cisgender people in your life changed?

25) Your first queer crush or relationship

26) Discuss how your clothes do or don’t reflect your gender

27) Write a poem about being Genderqueer. (if you struggle, try a haiku, acrostic poem with your name, or just a stream of conciousness paragraph)

28) Who are some people in your life, on or offline, who make your life better? Your relationship doesn’t have to be related to queerness.

29) Some positive Genderqueer experiences

30) What does Genderqueer mean to you?

Feedback Made to !ndigo About Dan Savage

Update: !ndigo responded within 24 hours.  Before registering my complaint, I scoured their website for any content guidelines: I found nothing.  !ndigo’s customer service response via email was very helpful, however:

“Stocking a certain book does not mean that we condone or promote its point of view, but having said that, there are three types of books that we will never sell:

 

  1. books/magazines that instruct how to build weapons of mass destruction
  2. child pornography
  3.   written material which has as its sole intent inciting people toward the annihilation of a particular group in society

 

Thank you again for your time and commitment to this, while I can appreciate your concerns regarding Mr. Savage the book does not violate our current guidelines regarding books we will not sell.”

And you know what? I totally agree with these guidelines.  I just wish they were available on their website, or, if they already are, the guidelines should be easier to find.


 

Remember when I wrote this? I registered my complaint via Indigo’s online feedback form.  I eagerly await their reply!Chapters Indigo Biphobia

Are There Real Wizards in Iowa?

Ted Cruz claims that Americans “overwhelming(sic) disagree” with same-sex marriage, and that polls claiming most are in favor of marriage equality are “skewed.” Ted Cruz knows this because, naturally, he’s a wizard and can read the thoughts of millions of Americans without breaking a sweat.  His magic powers are so great, that he knows better than to believe the results  of multiple polls. Polls such as this one and this one.

You’re a wizard, Teddy.

Very, Very Fabulous Femmes of Colour

www.qwearfashion.com/home/14-femmes-of-color-whose-style-we-adore

Alok Vaid-Menon has such good taste in shoes! Like, can we go shoe shopping together? I’d really like that…

I got Offended and Flustered in a Bookstore

I was bored, and at a shopping mall. I went into a Chapters, a huge bookstore chain in Canada.  I love to mill about in Chapters and peruse interesting books and seeing what’s popular.

I made my way to the back of the store, and in the tiny LGBTQIA(Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) section, my faith in humanity was struck down.  There was a clear spot on the shelf for Dan Savage‘s latest book, American Savage.  To make matters worse, it was obvious that the stack of books was once thicker, and now only one copy remained.  I can only assume this means that people are picking up American Savage, paying for it, and reading it.  I absolutely detest, straight to my core,(possibly too fervently) Dan Savage.  I believe that he should have been charged for hate speech a long time ago and that Indigo Books & Music Inc. should not sell his books.  I beg of you, !ndigo, to dispose of your stock of American Savage.  I plan on directly contacting the company later with my complaint.

“It is not crazy when you meet a bi person to wonder if they are really bi. It isn’t disrespectful. It is rational.” Dan Savage in an interview.

Many people don’t understand my beef with Dan Savage.  First off, he’s a loose cannon, making intolerant remarks often–he once said, “(GPC Candidate Carl Romanelli) should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”  It doesn’t matter who Romanelli is, I don’t want to support someone who speaks so violently.  Savage is well-known amongst writers as someone who bullies people who criticize him in columns and blogs(He patronizingly laments the “hordes of angry bisexuals” who send him mail).  Savage has a long-standing reputation of Bi Erasure(a form of Biphobia diminishing and denying Bisexuality): stating that bisexual men don’t exist, that gay people should not date bisexuals, and that bisexuals should only date other bisexuals(source).  He blames Biphobia on bisexuals not coming out of the closet to prove stereotypes wrong– when things would change drastically if people like him, with a large audience, would stop enforcing negative assumtions around bisexuality.  In the past he has also been critiqued for using the term “tranny,” which is generally considered a slur against trans people.  The worst part is that, as a well-liked figure, people believe his unfair statements.

Dan Savage has built his career on Shut Up Dan Savageinflammatory rants and crassly stated opinions via a popular sex and relationships advice column.  He entertains people, much like how we all love to hate Donald Trump bumble and rave about certain groups of people.  The difference is that Savage is perceived as a good role-model partly because of his activism and the It Gets Better Project.  Still, it’s not okay to spread harmful judgements about people he knows nothing about.  Bisexuals and their allies want to stop feeling rejected from the gay, lesbian, and trans community.  Their sexuality is valid, and I hope !ndigo and other bookstores can reflect that truth by refusing to provide a podium for hatred.

  Everyone needs to hold Dan Savage to account for his hurtful words.