Imagine being in a relationship in which you are treated like an equal, consciously and unconsciously, sexually, emotionally, socially, romantically, without being bound by gender expectations, without risk of pregnancy (or having your reproductive rights taken away from you), without feelings of inferiority, without being mistreated or neglected because men don’t understand your body and can’t be bothered to learn how to give you pleasure (or that you even deserve pleasure). Imagine having a reciprocating relationship with someone who knows how to touch you and how to talk to you, who will never abuse you or take away your consent. Imaging feeling powerful, safe, like the default rather than the specific or second-class. Imagine not requiring special handling by awkward, inconsiderate men who were never taught any better. Imagine being allowed to touch and enjoy and indulge without apprehension. Imagine being able to trust your partner. Imagine knowledge and understanding, someone who sees your depths and treats you the way you’d treat yourself if you hadn’t been told from birth that you weren’t worth it.
Girls aren’t “making them gay.”
Girls are fantasizing about being equal.
I have wondering about this in fandom for many years and reading this just made me tear up. I figured this was a big reason, but breaking it down to this extent made me so extremely sad. I realized a long time ago that even if I met the nicest guy in the world, I still have to battle all those things mentioned above. Just being friends is hard. I don’t have a happy history in this area like a lot of women and I have major trust issues with men and I wish somehow that wall could be broken down and we could all truly be seen as equal…as people with value. If you have all of the above with someone of the opposite sex then you are really lucky. See women are expected to give all those things listed above and settle for not getting them in return. I believe it’s a rare thing if you have it returned. Like I said, if I was with the nicest guy in the world I will always doubt myself, think he see’s me as different, talk to me different… Why? Because that’s our experience. This world raises us to believe we are worth absolutely nothing. The idea of being equal is one of our greatest fantasies.
It’s sad that it has to be a fantasy.
It’s totally sad.
But on the other hand, slash writers are some of the most empathetic people I know. And they’re great educators, too, probably in ways they might not expect. A good slash fanfiction writer can help women understand their desires and overcome some of those feelings of shame and worthlessness.
Think about how many girls have learned how to masturbate thanks to slash fanfiction.
Sometimes just knowing that we’re all reading and enjoying the stories is an immense comfort. People will tell you that slash is trash, that fangirls are desperate and pathetic, but ladies telling ladies that they’re allowed is a powerful thing.
Yeah, oh man. This is. Yeah, this is a lot. I especially feel the taboo surrounding female sexuality to the point that even though I’m Pretty Gay myself, I’m uncomfortable with my own sexuality (not as in orientation) and also dealing with the sexuality of other women. Like in some ways, I am always hesitant to appreciate sexiness in women because we are almost never shown female sexuality in a safe, respectful, and equal way and it still freaks me out.
This is such a great post. I was just having a conversation with my family today about the how the slash fandom introduced me to the notion that porn could be intense without having undertones of stalking or rape or female powerlessness. And I was generally thinking about how much slash has taught me about writing romance on equal terms where everyone is first and foremost a human being.
I think there are other reasons why slash is fun, and other social issues that drive it, but this one is just so important. Kudos to all the fine insights in this post.
As Israel’s assault on the besieged Palestinian population in Gaza approaches its third week, we continue to hear about the “disproportionate number” of women and children victims. This expression begs the question: what is a proportionate number of women and children killed in a genocide?
As Jadaliyya’s Maya Mikdashi asks in her op-ed titled “Can Palestinian men be victims?”, if a significant majority of the killed were adult men, would Israel’s crimes be lesser?
A different analysis of gendered violence is necessary: one that recognizes that no “proportions” are acceptable because all deaths should be mourned, while providing the tools for a differential understanding of the manifestations of violence.
The feminist network INCITE! Women and Trans People of Color Against Violence has always understood that state violence is both racialized and gendered. Zionism is a prime example of that; it is a racist ideology grounded in the privileging of one ethno-religious group over all others.
When a state views a population — its dispossessed, disenfranchised and occupied indigenous population — as a ”demographic threat,” that view is fundamentally both racist and gendered.
Racist population control relies specifically on violence against women. So it is not surprising that Mordechai Kedar, an Israeli military intelligence officer turned academic, would matter-of-factly suggest this week that “raping the wives and mothers of Palestinian combatants” would deter attacks by Hamas militants.
Similarly, Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked did not attempt to present the murder of Palestinian children and their mothers as unfortunate, disproportionate “collateral damage” — she openly called for it by asserting that Palestinian women must be killed too, because they give birth to “little snakes.”
This comment reflects an Israeli infrastructure designed to sustain high rates of miscarriages by blocking basic resources such as water and medical supplies, forcing women in labor to wait at military checkpoints on their way to a hospital, and generally creating inhumane and unlivable conditions for Palestinians.
This latest murderous attack on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has not only taken the lives of hundreds of Palestinians, but it has also increased miscarriages, pre-term labor and stillbirths.
Ethiopian-Israeli women, most of them Jewish, have also been subject to mandatory contraceptive injections without their consent.
Ending Zionism is a feminist and a reproductive justice issue.
Of course, gendered violence as a tool for settler-colonialism is not a new strategy; settler-colonialism, patriarchy and official hypocrisy usually go hand in hand.
Nineteenth-century France claimed to be liberating Algerian women even as it torched entire villages and towns. The proverbial colonial white man would have us believe that he was acting on the selfless impulse to save brown women from brown men, even as the colonial power he served impoverished entire countries.
Algerian women were certainly no better off as result of French colonialism; in fact, their circumstances deteriorated significantly.
The George W. Bush administration gave itself a pat on the back for supposedly liberating women in Afghanistan from the Taliban. Yet we see throughout history, and not just in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Algeria or Palestine, that wars have never liberated women and gender nonconforming people of color.
New Brand of Hypocrisy
Today, Israel has developed a new brand of this hypocrisy, as it claims that it is more civilized than the Palestinian people because it is supposedly a more “gay-friendly” country. This is pinkwashing, Israel’s attempt to distract from its ongoing human rights violations by pointing to its supposedly better gay rights record.
But that record, once again, is racist.
Any Jewish citizen of Israel can and must serve in the Israeli occupation forces, but these are the murderous forces engaging in the genocide of the Palestinian people.
Does it make for a more moral army if some of its killer soldiers are openly gay? Stop to think of who the purveyor of the greater violence is. Who is denying Palestinian women, children, gays, lesbians, trans people and straight men their most basic rights — freedom of movement, safety, shelter, food, a home, life? One has to acknowledge that the guilty party is “civilized” Israel, not Palestinian heteropatriarchy.
War — militarism — is a hyper-masculinist activity that glorifies and rewards all violence, including gendered violence, and a soldier trained in violence cannot put that violence aside when he or she gets home.
All of Israeli society is trained in violence. And violence is not a pair of combat boots one can leave at the door; violence becomes second nature (unless it was first nature, in which case it is further aggravated) and the entire community that engages in warfare is a more violent community — not just at the war front.
This is what we are witnessing today, as we have observed it again and again every time Israel escalates its assault on the Palestinian people.
As for Palestinians, there are no battlefronts, no “war zones.” All of historic Palestine is the battlefront as mobs of Israelis take to the streets in violent rampages.
This realization has always been at the very core of INCITE’s analysis. We understand that in situations of settler-colonialism, indigenous women, trans people and gender non-conforming people bear the brunt of a nexus of racism and sexism. We are engaging in a joint struggle, from India to the Arab world to South West Asia, to Africa and the Americas, for the dignity and full sovereignty of indigenous people.
This is why INCITE! endorsed, in 2010, the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and remains committed to the grassroots struggle against state-sponsored violence against the entire Palestinian people.
Nada Elia served on the Steering Collective of INCITE! Women and Trans People of Color Against Violence when it endorsed boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel and is currently serving on the organizing collective of the US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI).
HIV-1, the most common type of the virus that causes AIDS,has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims’ DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Now, a team of Temple University School of Medicine researchers has designed a way to snip out the integrated HIV-1 genes for good.
"This is one important step on the path toward a permanent cure for AIDS," says Kamel Khalili, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Temple. Khalili and his colleague, Wenhui Hu, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Temple, led the work which marks the first successful attempt to eliminate latent HIV-1 virus from human cells. "It’s an exciting discovery, but it’s not yet ready to go into the clinic. It’s a proof of concept that we’re moving in the right direction," added Dr. Khalili, who is also Director of the Center for Neurovirology and Director of the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at Temple.
In a study published July 21 by theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Khalili and colleagues detail how they created molecular tools to delete the HIV-1 proviral DNA. When deployed, a combination of a DNA-snipping enzyme called a nuclease and a targeting strand of RNA called a guide RNA (gRNA) hunt down the viral genome and excise the HIV-1 DNA. From there, the cell’s gene repair machinery takes over, soldering the loose ends of the genome back together — resulting in virus-free cells.
"Since HIV-1 is never cleared by the immune system, removal of the virus is required in order to cure the disease," says Khalili, whose research focuses on the neuropathogenesis of viral infections. The same technique could theoretically be used against a variety of viruses, he says.
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." .. (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
The notion that giving people access to sexual prevention tools will increase “promiscuity” isn’t contained to the gay community; this is also a widespread concern when it comes to the resources that women need to manage their sexual health. Specifically, critics claim that giving teen girls the HPV vaccine to prevent transmission of that sexually transmitted infection, as well as providing young women with ready access to birth control to prevent pregnancy, will ultimately spur them to make riskier sexual choices. Those myths have been debunked by several studies that, just like the latest research on Truvada, demonstrate those prevention methods aren’t actually linked to risky sex.
Nonetheless, this misguided attitude toward sexuality continues to pervade some of the health policies in this country. For instance, based on similar fears that teaching high schoolers about sex will lead them to have more sex, kids in the majority of states across the U.S. aren’t required to learn accurate information about birth control and STDs in their health classes. In fact, most American teens don’t receive formal sex education training until after they’ve already started having sex. And that brings us right back to the AIDS epidemic — because rates of HIV infection are the highest in the areas of the country where kids aren’t taught about it in school.
GUYS I JUST FOUND FIVE VERY DEHYDRATED FERAL KITTENS
I’ve already called around and none of the local rescues have any space. None of the vets will take them as surrenders. The shelter here euthanizes all kittens under four weeks old regardless of health; these guys are about three weeks old. They’re also sick (goopy eyes and nasal discharge), and I have exactly $17 to my name (which will buy one can of powdered formula, which will probably last about a week).
If you’re in the Modesto area of California or would be willing to make a drive and can foster kittens that need around-the-clock care, please get in contact with me. I can’t keep these kittens (I’m renting), and they also can’t go back outside. Their mom had them up on top of a plywood, metal, and glass mini-greenhouse, where they were baking to death - it’s going to be in the mid-nineties or higher all next week. One of them also nearly fell from six feet up, which would have been fatal (his crying was how I found them - he got stuck between the back of the greenhouse and the wall and was dangling).
If you can’t take them but want to help, you can also donate, which will buy formula and medicine while I continue to look for an appropriate foster situation, or signal boost this post.
For questions, send me an ask.
Donations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org (please note that this is not my primary email address, and therefor not a good way to contact me).
I have no idea what I’m going to do if I can’t find a foster home for these kittens, but I’m hoping that if I can buy some time I’ll be able to find a rescue or an individual foster situation.
Signal boost!!!! Please help in any way you can, Jesse does so much for cats and I know he’ll do anything he can to take care of these babies or find them homes or fosters.
George Bernard Shaw, born on this day in 1856, on marriage, the oppression of women, and the hypocrisy of monogamy