Sunday, November 7, 2010

Calling All Bodiez and Brainz!

Just wanted to post some info on the next two Queer Sex Talks. The Talks are a series of discussions/workshops hosted by the Doomwood Feminist Artist Collective in an effort to create a sex-positive environment in which to discuss various issues pertaining to our community. Everyone is welcome, no matter your orientation or identity! We want the gayest, straightest, queerest, questioningist people out there to show up and get down with us.

The next Queer Sex Talk will be on Friday Nov. 12 at 6:00 at 4 Elmwood Ave. Emily will be facilitating a discussion about redefining what is sexy and why that is important. We'll be making use of Catharine MacKinnon's essay Sexuality, Pornography, and Method: "Pleasure Under Patriarchy". MacKinnon's essay provides an analysis of how what is considered "sexy" in our culture is established--by whom, by what means and to what ends. Her analysis will prove helpful to us in our group navigation, deconstruction, and personal re-definition of what is sexy. Email and I'll send you a PDF version of the article. If you have a chance to read, or at least skim, the article in preparation for the discussion, please do! If not, come anyway! Additionally, this discussion will set us up for...

The next next Queer Sex Talk, which will be held on Friday, December 3rd, at 6:00 at 4 Elmwood Ave.! I will be facilitating a discussion about queer pornography and how it is helping to create sex-positive culture. We'll be talking about feminism, sex-positivity, queer sexuality, creativity, and how they all tie together. We'll also be continuing the conversation from the previous meeting about redefining sexy, and discussing how queer porn is helping to re-define, or rather undefine and deconstruct what is considered "sexy" in our culture. If you'd like to get a bit of orientation to the way I've been thinking about this so far, check out the blog post I wrote for my feminist art class:


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Queer identity and cultural identity

So yesterday at the queer sex talk we discussed a lot having to do with identity and labeling. And while we all came to some kind of agreement about how the word Queer is something people can identify with because it encompasses the fluidity of their sexual identity and doesn't confine them. And today I was reading for school about challenges facing students with diverse cultural background and ethnicity in the classroom. It brought up the point of students who are immigrants or associate with a non-dominant ethnicity, religion, or culture often have a fluid sense of identity. Often students attempt to conform to the dominant culture in school so they fit in and do not isolate themselves, while at home they associate with the traditions and practices of their families and sometimes cultural communities.
I thought about this a lot last semester while I worked on a paper about Muslim Americans in the public school system. These students have to define and then redefine their identity in every situation. And these decisions are often very visible, for example the simple matter of how to dress. There are intense pressures on students from both their families and their peers in school.
The decisions these students make which affect their identity include sexuality, but also include choices about the language they speak, their religious practices, their social habits, the food they eat, the list goes on and on.
I just think it's incredible how many of our personal choices can affect the way other people view us and what labels are assigned to us.

I also read about how teachers should respectfully talk about LGBT issues in the classroom to reduce homophobia in the classroom... but in South Carolina that is pretty much ILLEGAL to do.

And I would really like to redesign this blog to make it prettier but I should probably do my homework.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Go to this!

My blog post about the intersection of feminism, art, and queer pornography.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I feel it coming...

Back to school...after the long semester off organizing, volunteering, fundraising, grant writing, bike riding, and traveling, I am back at ol' CofC, finishing College. It's interesting how being back in a space of academically savvy women who are challenging gender norms just lights a fire under my ass. I am in my capstone WGST class (awesome) with Micah, for one, which is really exciting. I am also taking a class that I don't actually need to graduate, called Studio Art Approaches to Third Wave Feminism. When I first saw that class listed, I freaked out, I figured that CofC had sent some sleuth-like character to stalk me and figure out what would lure me back in to the higher education system. "Ha-Ha!" the genderless reporter reports, "ve shall offer a course on feminist art, and ze helpless child shall be helpless and helplessly fall into our vell-laid trrrap!" And this is exactly what happened, and now I am in this class, which is, according to my professor, the ONLY EXPLICITLY FEMINIST ART CLASS BEING TAUGHT IN THE UNITED STATES.

Huh? Really? Oh, I guess I'm not that surprised, just disappointed as usual.

But seriously, how awesome is that? I am in a class with a group of women, all honors students, who for some reason or another decided to take the class. I'm a little anxious. I mean, feminist art is pretty much all me and most of my friends do! But most of the girls I'm in class with have barely considered how the two might be related, and many aren't familiar with feminism at all. I think I talk too much in class, and I'm afraid that I intimidate them, because I seem to have a pre-existing opinion and experience with all of this stuff. I want so bad for them to all realize that I don't really know anything more than they do about making feminist art. All they have to do is get the least bit excited, shed that initial layer of self-consciousness, and grab a marker or a guitar, or a camera, or a paintbrush, or some crazy object unbeknownst to life as we know it, and start emoting, expressing, telling.

We'll see. I shall report. I hope that some of my friends who do feminist art can come into the class as visitors coughGracieLizSeanRachaelcough.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meanwhile in Iceland

Johanna Sigurdardottir is the Prime Minister of Iceland.

Age of Testosterone comes to end in Iceland
excerpt: No one doubts that there is a gender revolution under way, and not just because Ms Sigurdardottir, 66, is the world's first openly gay Prime Minister. “If you crash the economy,” declared an irreverent Icelandic blogger, “the lesbians take over”.

After the Crash, Icelands Women Lead the Rescue
This article mentions a "Bjork fund" created by two Icelandic women running a large financial firm.

This is a quote from an interview with Sigurdardottir:

Your government is 50 per
cent female. Is equality important to your vision for Iceland?

Definitely! My long experience in politics tells me that egalitarian policies are the best way to unite and empower people, and are also a necessary counterweight to the sometimes dividing and detrimental influence of market forces. A society that does not use the intellectual power of its female population fully is not a wise society. Women are now the majority of students in the Icelandic universities, and 43 per cent of our MPs.
We have to use all our resources to bounce back from the recession and we expect women to take their full part in the new era. Most women are not as tainted by mistakes in the conduct of the economy as the male population, and now they deserve an opportunity. We are determined to achieve gender equality in the political sphere but, unfortunately, the corporate side is still lacking. This is odd, because international research shows that companies with a sound gender policy are better run and more profitable than male-dominated companies. We are prepared to introduce legislation that would actively encourage the private sector to adopt a wiser and more effective gender policy.
By the way, it's not a coincidence that the World Economic Forum recently ranked Iceland first in its annual, 134-country survey of gender equality, followed closely by Norway, Finland and Sweden. We would like to keep that position!

[end quote]

This is what horses look like in Iceland:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Midnight Mystery Ride

The Queers With Gears midnight mystery ride will leave from the Outer Space at 11:00 Friday night, right after The Queer Show. The ride will end at an undisclosed location. Yum. Dykes on bikes, fags on trikes, heteros on motos, queens on dream machines and that crazy queer kid on the unicycle, all are welcome!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

City Paper features QueerFest in the City Picks section!