May 30, 2006

Joke.

Got this one as an "email forward". w00t.

After a long night of making love, he notices a photo of another man - on her nightstand by the bed. He begins to worry. "Is this your husband?" he nervously asks.

"No, silly," she replies, snuggling up to him.

"Your boyfriend, then?" he continues.

"No, not at all," she says, nibbling away at his ear.

"Is it your dad or your brother?" he inquires, hoping to be reassured.

"No, no, no!!!" she answers.

"Well, who in the hell is he, then?" he demands.

"That's me before the surgery."

Yeah, yeah, we all saw it coming.

May 29, 2006

This is my "oh, for pity's sake" face.

Is it just me, or has "femme" become a handy repository for all the misogynistic stereotypes that used to be unapologetically associated with women in general?

Seriously - what progressive queer woman (or, hell, what progressive, period) these days would say something like "Woman are silly, incompetent, and high-maintenance. They display an utter inability to get out the door without spending hours on their exceptionally long and poofy hair, a single-minded desire to spend all their free time shopping and being pedicured, and the passionate conviction that making the first move is simply not in the natural order of things"? None, right? Because it's not PC, and more importantly, it's pretty clearly not true. This, by now, is Something We Know.

But apparently we haven't figured out how to stop trotting those stereotypes out altogether - we've just started applying them to femmes instead. [I'm talking specifically about girl-femmes here, although it strikes me that boy-femmes carry a lot of the same stereotypes.] Take, for example, the quiz that inspired me to make this post: For Lesbians - Where Do You Fall On The Butch-Femme Continuum? Like most online quizzes, it's pretty easy to tell which responses are meant to lead to which results - and it's pretty easy to tell what the quiz author thinks of femmes:

Strut your sexy self over to the nearest mirror. What's your current hair style (or closest to)?
  • Long and styled just right... which took forever, by the way.
  • Long or medium length, cut nice but without too many products.
  • Kind of short, but still feminine.
  • Medium length, tied up in a pony tail.
  • Long in the front, short in the back.
  • Short in the front, long in the back (mullet).
  • Crew-cut.
or this one -
Your special someone is taking you to a surprise locale for your one month anniversery. Where do you secretly hope you're going?
  • Dinner and dancing at a romantic 5 star restaraunt.
  • Moonlit walk on the beach.
  • My favorite amusement park.
  • Actually, I'd prefer to do the planning and would wine and dine her at the most romantic restaraunt in town, then take her home to test drive my new *toy* from Good Vibrations
  • I'd prefer it be casual. I mean, why make a fuss over just one month, but I'll go along with whatever since I know it's important to *her*.
  • Dinner at our favorite restaraunt and a movie we've been dying to see.
  • Ugh!... Can't we just order take out and go straight to the sack?
or this all-time favorite:
God, I wish I was...
  • Barbie.
  • Britney Spears.
  • Cyndi Lauper.
  • Angelina Jolie.
  • Ellen Degeneres.
  • Annika Sorenstam.
  • Simon Cowell.
I mean, please - Britney frickin' Spears?

But since a femme is supposed to be the archetype of womanhood distilled to a potent ultrafeminine brew, she must somehow embody all the bad (or dumb and inaccurate) things we used to think about women. It's just a question of recycling stereotypes here, not examining or dismantling them. And if this is the way we [as a community] think about what we've constructed as some sort of mythic "essential femininity," then we really haven't come very far in our ability to accurately construe and value femininity as a whole.

What's a ponytailed, too-poor-for-five-stars, sex-and-takeout-loving, snarky-Brit-wannabe femme to do?

I'll note that this isn't just about the quiz - I had to stop reading The Femme Mystique when I overdosed on pieces like "A Femme Shops While Her Butch Drops." I was about to throw the book across the room, and it wasn't my copy, so I figured I should put it down gently and walk away.

Also, just for fun, other problems I had with the quiz:

  • The "butch-femme continuum" goes from "high femme" to "stone butch," with "stone butch" being the butchiest category. None of the questions, however, address what might differentiate an ordinary very-butch person from a stone butch - nothing about how you feel about touch, whether you belive 'tis better to give than to receive, etc. Instead, if you sport a crew cut, play Nintendo, and scratch your crotch in public, "ou are a stone-butch... even some men aren't as masculine as you. On a scale of 1-10, one being femme and ten being butch, you'd be a TEN!" Mmmmkay.
  • No gentleman butches? Excuse me? None of the sweet, hot, butch-ID'ed people I have the great good fortune to know would be caught dead scratching their crotches and burping in front of new acquaintances anyway. It doesn't make you more butch to do these things, it makes you (at best) a different kind of butch, and (at worst) rude. And revealing personal information about your ex isn't about gender, it's about manners and ethics.
  • Apparently no place for femmes who aren't complete subs/bottoms, either. Which is a shame, 'cause I like organizing anniversary celebrations and being the pursuer sometimes.
  • I'm starting to think gender isn't a spectrum, or a continuum, or whatever similar metaphor you might feel like using. It's not a neat, flowing progression from one point (usually masculine) to another (usually feminine) - not everything fits onto the number-line of gender, and I'm uncomfortable thinking of anywhere as an endpoint. Maybe gender's a scatterplot. In which case, the whole premise of the quiz is flawed anyway.
But hell. Maybe I'd understand the quiz better if I were a lesbian. ;c)

The Country's Youngest Transgender Child?

"Nicole's 10-year-old sister, Angela, explains that for a while, having her younger brother turn into a younger sister was difficult.

'When I was younger, I thought that it was just a stage,' she says. But now the most annoying part is that Nicole steals Angela's clothes. 'But I guess that's what having a sister is like, because I've never had a sister.'

As for Nicole's interactions with the outside world, Angela is used to answering questions.

'It's kind of strange,' she says, 'because my friends always call it a he, and I'm like, 'No, it's a she,' and it's kind of hard. Everyone always goes up to me and goes, 'That's a boy, right?' and I go, 'No, it's my sister,' and they go, 'Oh.''"

My friend Julia recently published this article about a transgender child in Florida. The title of the article is a little heavy-handed, but on the whole I think the piece is interesting and sensitively done.

May 27, 2006

I am ninja

I planted a copy of Trannys Talk Back in one of the waiting rooms at UHS this week. (Yes, the 4th floor mental health waiting room...) I was all stealthy and quiet about it. Unfortunately, I had to leave before I got to watch anyone pick it up. Does anyone know if it's still there?

May 24, 2006



Queer Liberation Not Assimilation at pride.

Apparently organizations are thinking of signing on. I read about it at queertoday.com. Do people know more about it? Go to queertoday.com for more information. Quench should all show up or something. I would be up for it. Do others want to join? We could distribute quench things.

May 23, 2006

How white (and other kinds of) privilege saved my day

Sorry this is long. It is about only 50 minutes of my day the other day (I’m posting it late because I didn’t have internet access before). If anyone knows how to cut part of this off of the front page, please tell me.

This morning, I had a flight out of town at 715 am. Last night, I checked to make sure that the T did, in fact open at 530 am. It did. It was 220 am – I had just turned in a paper by email. I set an alarm for 5:10. I am not sure how I thought that would get me to the T by 530, but I had slept only 4-6 hours per night for the past three nights and I don’t think I was thinking clearly. From my house, it takes about 15 minutes to walk to the T, and from there 40-60 minutes to get to the airport. Oh, and I hadn’t packed yet. I planned to do that in the morning (okay, maybe technically it already was morning, but you know what I mean).

Next thing I know, I roll over and it seems lighter than it should be outside. I check the clock on my phone and it’s 626. SHIT. I jump out of bed. I can’t decide whether I need to be calling my airline to reschedule or giving this a shot. I think about the fact that I am taking a connecting flight that connects to a different airline – and that I bought the two tickets separately. It was much cheaper that way, but it was going to be hard to convince both airlines to change me for free, and even harder to be sure that the times they moved me to still allowed for my connection. SHIT. I knew I had to at least try to make a run for it.

If I was going to make it, I couldn’t take the T. Even if I were ALREADY AT the T stop, I couldn’t have made my flight. I thought about whether to try to catch a cab on the street or to call, and realized that since I still needed to pack, I should call a cab, so that I could pack while it was coming. I called an independent cab company that is basically just this dude who drives a minivan around and has his cell phone number listed as the cab company number. But I didn’t know that at the time, it was just the first cab company whose number I came across. I asked if it would take long for a cab to come – he told me he could leave right away. I didn’t know exactly how long that meant, but I was desperate and he sounded confident. He seemed eager for my business and responded well to my request and was on his way. (white privilege, class privilege because of my neighborhood). In the meantime, I packed my bags and freaked out because I hadn’t taken money out in a week because I had just been writing papers non-stop. Was I going to have to ask the cab to stop at an ATM? But then I might have to pay a fee, and what if the cab wouldn’t take me if I had no cash? And that stopping time might be the difference between making and missing my flight.

Then, I remembered that in my sock drawer, I had a recently received engagement card from my grandmother that had just enough cash in it (class privilege, heterosexual privilege). I ran and got it, and went outside to the main street where I waited for the cab. I got in at 740, and we headed for the airport.

I have no idea how we made it to the airport but we somehow made it there at 705. after paying for the cab (class privilege), I went into the terminal. I swiped my card to pick up my boarding pass from one of those machines (class privilege, American citizenship privilege, matching legal name/gender on all my legal stuff privilege). It said it required my confirmation code. This sucked because I didn’t know that information or have it with me. I signaled for help from the two people behind the desk. I told them I didn’t know my confirmation number. They laughed and said it was okay, and that I must have had a bad morning. They didn’t assume that I was lying, committing fraud, or stupid (race privilege).

At first they couldn’t check me in. one of the two of them was clearly a trainee and the other was watching her work. “The flight is closed,” she said. “Then open it, he said.” “But it takes off in ten minutes.” “She looks like she can make it. We’ll just tell her to run.” (privilege of not having a visible disability, appearing young). He taught her how to open the flight back up just for me and they politely thanked me, told me to have a great day and thanked me for choosing their airline. They said they hoped I chose their airline again and remained a valued customer. (race, class privilege). I ran to security. There was no line, and there were two people working. The reason that there was no line is that the only flight going out of the terminal that early in the morning was taking of at 7:15 am and it was already 7:07. I handed my ID over to the person who checks ID and went to the conveyor belt. As I took my laptop out of my bag, I could hear the two people at security arguing about who would have to pat me down if I set off the detector – the male one or the female one? I took off my belt and shoes and even removed all of the change from my pockets, hoping that I didn’t forget something and set off the metal detector. I didn’t want them to actually have to decide. “it’s a man.” “no, it’s a woman.” “no, it’s a boy.” “I wonder how old it is.” I was careful not to make eye contact or speak – that would have given them more things to clock me with. I let them argue, felt great relief when the metal detector remained silent, and then walked away as quickly as possible. I felt a little bad for causing them to begin their day with a fight.

When I got to the gate, a flight attendant was waiting for me – she said she was amazed how late they had let me through, and how quickly I had arrived. She asked me if I had a bad morning and I told her that I had had a horrible week finishing up my school work. She did not assume I was late or irresponsible because of my race or upbringing – she assumed this was a one-time thing related to some sort of a bad day.

Nearly everyone who helped me make this particular day work out appeared to be from a racial or ethnic group that is oppressed in the US. All were likely to be less financially privileged than I am, based on their professions. This was just fifty minutes – less than an hour – of one day for one person in a sea of days that white upper-middle class people like me obtain “good luck” and “speed” directly from the people less privileged than myself who helped me.

How have you experienced privilege of some kind today? I think it would be great if people started posting and commenting more about privilege. We post a lot about awkward things or about the way that oppression affects our lives. Let’s write about privilege, too.

May 21, 2006

The Dangers of Queer Activism on the Net

The danger of queer activism on the net is that you often stumble onto gay male hookup sites. Usually, I just sigh and move on, but this time I had to say something to someone - and why not everyone?

What I have to say is: migod this man has a huge cock.

BTW this is his personals ad:

Education: Bachelors
Favorite Music: Classical, Jazz
Like to do: TV, Travel, Shopping, Dancing
Like to read: Magazines, Poetry
Favorite Pet: sex
Religion: Muslim
Gender: Single
Age: Between 18 and 40
Country: Egypt
Marital Status: Single
About my match: i hope my match be from cairo and have a place and age not more than 40
Oh, and if you have a penchant, here's a link to the site: Gay Arab dot com.

Out and proud and invisible.

http://telaviv.craigslist.org/w4w/

:(

For quenchistas with whom I'm not personally acquainted: Present location of yours truly? In and about the Holyland. Present romantic status of yours truly? See above link.

From my travel journal: "I’ve seen three possibly lesbian couples in the past twenty-four hours. It’s sorta kinda impossible to tell who’s gay here; essentially all of the men in Tel Aviv are metrosexual, and short spiked hair on women is everywhere, too. Most army girls look butch or sporty-lez. My long-suffering gaydar has taken one look at Tel Aviv and simply given up."

Israeli GLBT folk exist, for sure - Tel Aviv is practically the San Francisco of the Middle East. But Israeli queers simply don't fit into any mold my American eyes can readily distinguish.

Any thoughts? Comments are open.

May 20, 2006

Everybody's pregnant now!

According to a front-page article in Tuesday's Washington Post, new Federal guidelines recommend:

all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon. Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control.
No, you are not high on crack. If you're between puberty and menopause and are even hypothetically capable of becoming pregnant, the Federal government is going to tell you and your health care providers what to do in order to protect the GOD-GIVEN RIGHTS OF THE UNCONCEIVED.
Experts acknowledge that women with no plans to get pregnant in the near future may resist preconception care. "We know that women -- unless you're actively planning [a pregnancy], . . . she doesn't want to talk about it," [report co-author Janis] Biermann said.
Um, maybe people don't "want to talk about" prenatal care because they actually have no intention of giving birth to a child any time soon. The Post article explains the need for "preconception care" by comparing the U.S.'s infant mortality rate to that of other developed countries:
The U.S. infant mortality rate is higher than those of most other industrialized nations -- it's three times that of Japan and 2.5 times those of Norway, Finland and Iceland
Hmmm ... now, I'm just gonna take a wild stab in the dark here, but might that have something to do with the fact that those countries all have universal health care?

Check out this Salon.com response while I go disembowel myself with a rusty spoon.

May 18, 2006

In Which Lucy Caldwell Gets Smacked Down, Booyah.


Oh, dearie me! Our old friend Lucy Caldwell is in big trouble! As it turns out, her most recent editorial (about how charities are useless and corrupt) contained MAJOR factual errors. Major as in everything she said was totally wrong. Not that that's new. But this time, she fucked up indisputable facts. Which, you know, is kind of a thing when you write for The Only Morning Daily In Cambridge aka The Only College Newspaper With Its Own Printing Press aka The Oldest College Daily In The Country.

So yeah, inside sources say the editorial board is really fucking pissed. This shit does not make them look good.

Check out the correction they printed (emphasis mine... ooo, busted!):

The May 15, 2006 op-ed, “Corrupt Charities,” incorrectly stated the percentage of donations to several charities that goes towards the people and programs that the charities exist to serve. According to Charity Navigator, a non-profit organization that reviews charitable groups, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation spends 76.2 percent of money on its causes, not 13 percent. The Greenpeace Fund spends 78.8 percent on its causes, not 18 percent. The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation spends 75.1 percent, not 18 percent. Charity Navigator does, however, rate the efficiency of Greenpeace and March of Dimes as deserving only two stars, which signifies that it “needs improvement.” The Komen Foundation received a three-star “good” rating.

These significant mistakes occurred because the writer did not correctly read the information on the organizations listed on Charity Navigator’s website. Though Crimson policy is that all pieces must be fact-checked by an editor, the editor of this piece also misread the numbers.

The Crimson will investigate how the writer, the editor of the piece, and two proofers missed the factual inaccuracies, and will move to ensure that existing fact-checking policies are strictly followed so that similar errors will not happen in the future.

Yeah, karma sure is a bitch, isn't it Lucy?

Update: Looks like this was just not really a good day for facts over at 14 Plympton St.

May 17, 2006

Read Carefully.

What can I say, it's a good day for me!

PS THANK YOU!

May 16, 2006

An Open Thread

Hi everyone,

I am posting an open thread. Please, comment, even if you never have before!

What would you like to see more of on quench? What do you like? What do you not like?

What should we be talking about right now? What's on your mind? What's in the news?

Feel free to start a conversation about anything!

money money money

We got our money!

Quench would like to take this opportunity to thank the generous organizations that have helped cover our costs, the Harvard Undergraduate Counsel and the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Caucus Open Gate Foundation. They rock.

May 15, 2006

Sad Time.

Ok. Quench got a search for the following tonite:

14 May, Sun, 16:21:49 MSN Search: if you was on your preiod and you kiss a boy will you get pregnant
I am soooooooooooooooooo sad right now.

Okay, here's the answer: no. Kisses do not create pregnancy, whether you are bleeding or not.

Also, can we now please vote for sex education?

Some of our best friends...

Are being trash talked by MassResistance, one of those Article 8 type of things.

They did a run down of Youth Pride, which went off fabulously this weekend according to everyone I know, evne though it did rain.

Here is what they say of the fabulous Grace, head of BAGLY and all that is good.

For his weekend's festivities, Governor's Commission is teaming with BAGLY (Boston Alliance of Gay and Lesbian and Transgender Youth), a "youth" organization which is run by a man dressed as women and specializes in coaching kids to cross-dress and "feel" they're the opposite sex, and to eventually consider medical operations to "change" themselves.
For some reason, I am positive that Grace does not identify as a "man dressed as women." First of all, she is a woman. Secondly, it would be impressive if any one person could dress as "women." How do you dress as more than one person? It at least makes me feel good that MassResistance / MassI'mObsessedWithLGBTFolksAndIJustLoveBeingAJerk has as bad grammar as I do.

Also, a simple Google search cold have told them that they missed out the Bisexuals in Boston Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (BAGLY).

And then, no they didn't, they talked shit about Gunner.

hardcore transsexual activist Gunner Scott, who runs a website with bizarre "trans" chatrooms, will be receiving an award for her/his (?) "courage". (We're not making this up.) The website is www.gendercrash.com -- this is where the "commission" wants kids to go.
I mean, at least they got right that he is a hard core trans/genderqueer activist. That is absolutely true. And I am glad he got an award for his courage. That is hot. His pronouns are used appropriately in dozens of articles written about him in various newspapers, and could be found on Google. Or on gendercrash.com which they obviously were able to find. [obviously, not that they care]

They also do some investigation that is supposed be all undercover-like and prove tha in fact BAGLY supports Youth Pride. No shit, sherlock.

Then, they also blogged about Gunner, who is wearing a fabulous shirt in the picture they show.

I need to stop reading this shit. It is gross.

UPDATE:

Clearly, I did not read enough before. In response to a comment by Mark Snyder about the corporate take-over of pride (in fact, his comment is so good that I will copy it below:

QueerToday.com Thursday, May 11, 2006

Queer Liberation Not Assimilation! Pride '06

Are you sick of the corporate take-over of queer pride? Sick of the conformity? Sick of war, racism, and injustice? Are you eady to stand up for the transgender and queer youth communities? Let's create a lively proud and queer anti-war, anti-racist, pro-immigrant, anti-assimilation, anti-corporate presence in boston's pride parade. There's no pride in war and occupation. There's no pride in assimilation! Open planning meeting Thursday, May 18th at 6:30PM at the office of the Stonewall Warriors in Jamaica Plain at 284 Armory Street. It's time to take back pride!
posted by Mark D. Snyder

AMann on MassResistance said:
Ringleader Mark is upset about many things, most curiously "the corporate take-over of queer pride"! What he doesn't seem to get is that he wouldn't have any platform except through the extravagant support from corporate America.

Some companies are just plain scared of lawsuits, so cave to every possible request from radical homosexuals. They curry favor in the homosexual community by throwing enormous donations to their radical groups. Then there are wealthy and multimillionaire GLBT business people who give to GLBT groups.

I thought maybe some people are just good people and support people's gender and sexuality self-determination, rather than just being afraid of lawsuits. Do these guys think that someone will sue companies for not donating to/supporting pride? I am no economist but that seems unlikely and impossible.

I have also never heard of people "caving" to "requests." I mean, request and demand are different, as are solicitation for a donation and threatening to sue.

Still, though, this planning meeting on May 18th sounds cool because this group sounds cool. I will be out of town. Are there Bostonians who will be here who could go and report back?

One more unrelated thing,

Look whose picture I found on their website?

May 14, 2006

UC joins growing list of governments that endorse stalking

In February, the UC generously agreed to fund part of Quench issues 5 and 6. I fronted the money we’d been promised, we printed the ish, and then I filed a completed project form. A month went by and no fat reimbursement check appeared in my mail, so I decided to follow up.

From: quench
To: Jane Fang

Hello,

I filed a completed project form for UC grant #831 (to Quench, for issues 5 & 6) on 4/15/06. I was wondering when I would get the reimbursement check. The grant was for $700 and that's a lot of money for me to front out of pocket for this long. Any idea how much longer I need to expect to wait?

Thank you for your help.

I got a response:
From: Jane Fang
To: quench, Lori Adelman, Raymond Palmer

Hi,

Thanks for your email. I am no longer the Finance Committee chair this semester but I have forwarded your email to this semester's chair, Lori Adelman, and this semester's Reconciliation Chair, Ray Palmer. They should be able to answer your inquiry. Please do not hesitate if you have anything else!

Take care,

Jane

I was confused. Incidentally, the UC Website sucks monkey balls (large ones).
From: quench
To: Jane Fang, Lori Adelman, Raymond Palmer

I'm sorry about that, Jane. The UC Website still lists you as FiCom chair; that's why I was confused.

Raymond Palmer takes over:
From: Raymond Palmer
To: quench, Blake Kurisu, Lori Adelman

Hey,

So sorry. Your grant has been selected for an audit and James [last name withheld] should have contacted you for an audit where you give him your receipts and he gives you your check. I would advise you to call him and harrass him as he has been quite delinquent with audits recently.

Ray

Whoa, wait. The UC screwed up, therefore I need to go “harrass” (sic) some random guy? If he’s been “quite delinquent with audits recently,” shouldn’t you be knocking his ass back into line, pronto? Why are you sending me to do it?

Well, whatever. I can jump through some more hoops; I just want that money. But it’s not that easy: the guy is unlisted.

From: quench
To: Raymond Palmer, Blake Kurisu, Lori Adelman

Ok, what's his phone number? It's not on facebook, I already checked, and no one answered his room phone. Maybe you could track him down and have him get in contact with me? My phone number is ###.###.####, and I check email often.

This is the point where it gets totally ricockulous and I start to despair:
From: Raymond Palmer
To: quench

Hey,

I don't have his number... maybe lori adelman has it (she's been cc'ed) Other advice is to stalk him... wait outside his room or talk to his roommates. He's been doing this to MANY people... and I want to apologize!

WHAT? I am so confused now. Here are a few of the questions I have:

Did the UC really just tell me to both STALK and HAR-RASS someone in order to get the money they already promised me?

…and what do this kid’s roommates have to do with anything?

Why am I being sent in circles, and why did it take a month (and me following up) to be told that I needed to give receipts to someone?

WHERE IS MY MONEY?

UPDATE: We have just learned that this "James [last name withheld]" character has been Missing In Action for the past two weeks (see comments). Do your part to help the UC locate their fallen comrade! If you see this man:

Please contact your local UC reps immediately. That is, if you can find them.

UPDATE AGAIN (5/15/06 11:44am): Lori Adelman has taken control of the situation! All is not lost.

smart shirts

Smart shirts.

Nanotechnology transmitting info about your heartrate. Interesting applications.

May 13, 2006

Listen to this!

I linked to pictures of a campus rally a while ago, but I wanted to update you with a new and exciting way that one activist recorded the rally.

Since then, Shirley made this fabulous recording. Listen to it.

What do you all think?

It sounds pretty inspiring to me. I don't know how people do these artistic things but I like the way it changes tones and themes throughout.

Hopefully, Raine or Katie Loncke or icarus (people who I know know something about art) or someone else can say something more intelligent than I just did.

May 12, 2006

I know it's uncouth

... but I'm going to link to a post on another site that I wrote. Because it's freaking disturbing and unsettling news. linky.

When McSweeney's Attacks

Find your own pose!

I am a pinching koala and tree!Pinching Koala and Tree Traits and Tendencies

Pinching Koala and Tree couples experience a kind of super symbiosis that other sorts of couples (especially vegan couples) only dream of. The harmony that comes from this kind of pairing would be revolting if it weren’t so inspirational, which is why Pinching Koalas and Trees are often surrounded by friends and would-be friends, and their schedules are often booked months in advance.

Comfort Zone

Pinching Koala and Tree is one of the Wind sleepers poses. Other Wind poses you might explore include Softserve Swirl and Fireman's Carry.

Note

Koalas make for excellent lawyers and flea market bargainers, thanks to their characteristic tenaciousness.

May 11, 2006

HIV testing for everyone? good? bad?

So the CDC has reccomended that HIV testing become a standard part of a physical or emergency room visit. It could be opted out of, but there would be no specific consent form for the HIV test.

This article says, "Standardizing HIV testing should reduce the stigma as well as transmission, CDC officials said."

There are logistical issues, like that right now, you have to have councilling when you pick up HIV test results.

If you are HIV positive, you can't get a green card or citizenship without certain very specific family, economic, and employment status, so this could be a problem if people do not understand that. Currently, HIV testing is already involved in citizenship applications, so it seems thsi would most affect folks looking to get a visa or green card, particularly if they don't know this or are unsure about how to opt out of testing.

I keep hearing about this announcement but have heard surprisingly little reaction. What do people think of this reccomendation? Would it destigmatize HIV? Would it screw people over? Would it help more people to know their status? What do you think?

a discussion worth following

Over at Cambridge Common, there is a discussion about inclusion of minorities and women in student groups and what can be done. Check it out. Say some stuff.

May 10, 2006

by the numbers

I should be writing a paper. Instead, I'm posting stats to Quench. Oops.

Anyway. The Quench Facebook group has 100 members, and my photo of naked legs has 411 views.

*shrug* I thought it was cool.

May 08, 2006

Lesbians' Brains Are Like Men's . . . Kinda, Sorta

A study from the National Academy of Sciences shows that lesbian’s brains react to pheromones in a similar way to those of heterosexual men. An earlier study also found that gay men’s brains reacted to pheromones in the same way that women’s brains do.

I read the first gay male study, and it has some serious flaws that made me a little skeptical.

If true, then it adds to the notion that homosexuality has a physical, biological basis.

Click here for the link to the CNN article.

May 07, 2006

Porn for the rest of us

It's my first post, so I'll make it a good one.

You all should be able to appreciate this porn website I recently found advertised in a great magazine known as Bitch. So this porn is made without professional models (i.e. with normal people of many ethnicities, shapes and sizes). And they also don't separate anything by gender.

It looks pretty awesome to me... too bad it isn't free. Here's an excerpt from their mission page:

A Note About Gender

No Fauxx has no "boy" and "girl" categories, and for a reason. We believe that, for many people, genitals have nothing to do with gender or gender expression. We do have many trans and genderqueer models, and we ask that you respect them by referring to them by their preferred pronouns ("he", "she", or "ze" are the most common, and it will be specified in the model's bio) if you're blessed with the chance to interact with them on our message boards or through other means. If there are ANY reports of abuse or disrespect to ANY model for ANY reason, action will be taken to remove you from the message boards, and if necessary, the site.

Bear, bluestockings, and BDSM

Two funny stories from this past week:

- I was tabling for an upcoming performance of S. Bear Bergman's "Clearly Marked." Part of this tabling involved making nametag labels like "GEEK," "GLITTERFAG," "WANTS TO BE A PRIEST," etc. I also had a bunch of blank tags available so people could make their own.

A friend stopped by as I was talking to a girl I didn't know very well. My friend browsed through the labels I'd already set out, and, as she's a very kinky bottom girl, I grinningly picked out the label marked "HEAVY TOP" and waved it at her, saying, "too bad I don't have the counterpart for some of these."

The girl I didn't know lit up with a bright, totally innocent smile and said, "I know what the opposite of that one is! It would be PEAR-SHAPED!"

::blink::

Yeah, we weren't going to disillusion her. She made herself a label that said "BLUESTOCKING." I'm certainly not one to challenge the way she self-identifies...

- In related news, the girl I was co-tabling with told us the story of the day she learned what "BDSM" meant. Apparently, she had joined a friend at a burlesque show. Thinking she'd dress up a little for the event, she put on a fishnet dress and a collar. This of course garnered comments along the line of, "whose are you?" and "whom do I have to ask if I want to play with you later?" She was completely confused.

Then, a forty-something couple came over and invited her to a BDSM event they were hosting later that month. She declined, not because she had any idea at that point what the term meant (she had to ask someone later), but because, as she put it, "anything a couple might ask me to do while I was wearing that outfit, it couldn't be good."


Oh, my. Someone (not queer) who didn't know the kinky meaning of "top" and someone else (queer) who until recently didn't even know what "BDSM" meant. Corset and heels obsessions aside, I'd always considered myself to be among the more innocent people in any given groups. When did I become the Repository of Carnality??

May 05, 2006

Iraqi police 'killed 14-year-old boy for being homosexual'

Sorry to sober everyone up after the good news from Princeton.

Human rights groups have condemned the "barbaric" murder of a 14-year-old boy, who, according to witnesses, was shot on his doorstep by Iraqi police for the apparent crime of being gay.

May 04, 2006

Princeton votes to protect gender identity and expression!

On Monday, the CPUC (Council of the Princeton University Community) voted to add gender identity to the "Respect for Others" passage in Rights, Rules, Responsibilities. In addition, they also modified the "Respect for Others" passage to include the "expression" of all the identities included therein. Also, earlier this semester, the Office of the Provost modified the University's Equal Opportunity Policy and Nondiscrimination Statement to include gender identity. Students, staff, and faculty have been working on this issue for several years, and we are proud that the University has added this very important language.
Article from The Daily Princetonian here.

May 03, 2006

HRCF does some soul-baring.

"I watch porn after I get up, before class, between classes, after dinner, and before I go to sleep."

Man, those Christians are AWESOME at writing e-mail teasers. And for that they get a shout out. They're screening a movie about the "harvard soul" on Friday at 7. Apparently the Harvard soul is fed by porn. Porn in the mornin', porn in the evenin', porn at suppertime...

May 02, 2006

Stephen Harper Eats Babies

This one's for you, em zilch:

Tue May 2, 2006 04:03 PM ET
By Stefanie Kranjec

TORONTO (Reuters) - A mocking announcement about Canada's prime minister, "Stephen Harper Eats Babies," was flashed on electronic advertising signs on Toronto area commuter trains for several days, and technicians were still scrambling on Tuesday to get the signs fixed.

"Stephen Harper Eats Babies. Stephen Harper Eats Babies. Stephen Harper Eats Babies," started to appear every three seconds across some LED screens late last week. The signs usually carry transit updates and advertising spots.

"It appears that this was a case of electronic vandalism," said Stephanie Sorensen, corporate communications and media specialist for the GO Transit commuter system. "We assume it was a hacker. We haven't identified the person who did this but we're working closely with the contractor who runs the signs to fix the problem."

Screens on GO Trains have been shut down since Monday. Sorensen said she expects they will remain off line for a few more days until password-protected technology is installed to protect them from computer hackers.

"We regret that it happened and we're sorry if anybody was offended, including the prime minister," Sorensen said.

GO Transit carries 47 million passengers every year on its network of buses and trains in the Toronto region.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Almost as good as shoving pregnant lesbians tits-first into a woodchipper, wouldn't you say?

(yeah, this is almost completely void of content. so is Stephen Harper's mom.)

oh, snap

Thanks to RedIvy for the tip:

It seems that The Harvard Crimson is now providing the world at large with the opportunity to comment on and respond to their incredibly dumb editorials, right there on their website. (Yeah, I'm picking on Lucy Caldwell. What? Read her shit; I think I'm justified here. And let me be clear: I'm not singling her out for being conservative. I'm singling her out for being stupid.)

Have fun, kids!

FYI, there appears to be some kind of cowardly moderator screening process enabled right now. Hopefully the Crimson will get some guts and disable that someday. Still, I'm gleefully happy that they've adopted this more interactive format. There's a lot of potential here for blog-comments-like flamewar drama on thecrimson.com... I am so psyched.