Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010 kicks off blogging carnival!
be my national day of action?

The second annual Memorial March to honour the estimated 2000 missing and murdered Indigenous women from Vancouver Island and all across Canada. The march will take place on Feb 14th on traditional territory of the Lekwungen, Esquimalt, and W'Sanec peoples. We march in solidarity with 10 other marches across the nation of Canada.

We will gather at Our Place (919 Pandora) at 11 am. At noon we will march down Pandora to Government and then down Government to Totem Park (this destination is not finalized!). There we will have speeches and provide lunch. We are asking people to wear red or regalia and bring drums, signs to honor/remember women, and nation flags. Everyone is welcome to participate.

PLEASE NOTE: This year we will have a MEMORIAL march much more like that in Vancouver - this will not be a protest. All activist-like events will take place the week prior to the event - please watch for updates.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

yes, i am foolishly falling for valentines day this year. hope you're all with your special someones. please remember to bask in the beauty of red roses, blue violets, and sweet sugars --- but maybe extend it to an all-year round kind of thing?

Friday, February 12, 2010

feminist bookstore episode #3

St. Vincent - "Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood"

k this is a pretty good
oh good lord yes

Everything In Time, Indeed: No Doubt Preps New Album

Just recently we nominated the Specials as our most popular candidate for Ska revival, but we’d like to toss another contender into the ring. If you count Everything in Time, their 2004 album of B-sides and rarities, and ignore Stefani’s solo career, No Doubt has yet to release an album of new material in six years. That all changes in 2010. Apparently, Stefani and the gang are hard at work and revisiting the 80s–because, let’s be honest, what dance musician isn’t these days? “The last few weeks, we’ve been listening to the worst of the ’80s, in the sense of bad but good” says Stefani. That said, it’s telling that they aren’t spinning the Specials (or even Reel Big Fish). That’ll seriously jeopardize their Ska crown. But No Doubt has bigger fish to fry. The band has already scraped some early work they’d done sans Stefani, but, according to her, it “doesn’t matter how we get there–we want to get there, we will, and we’re having fun doing it.” [Via Rolling Stone]
it seems as though this is high season for activism. remember friends:

(click to enlarge)
from kat.

light, courage, revolutionary love are my sweet valentines

luz calvo from the sex y corazon conference

“I come to you with my heart in my hand”

“Ni de aqui, ni de allá. We are a new creation.”

“Liberation theology: Church of the martyrs and the poor”

“Violence creates a division between us and them. Love, on the other hand, is rooted in the human capacity for cooperation, connection, and compassion.” (Jennette Rodriguez)

“To manifest love is the work of the spirit. We know what our ancestors suffered. We have chosen to remember rather than forget. That is why we are here together.” —Inés Hernández-Avila.

Yolanda Broyles—González is up next.

“UCLA feels very far from my kitchen table.” —YBG

“What is hermeneutics? The study of hermits that are also nudists.”(Big roar of laughter)

All panelists are supposed to discuss how Chela Sandoval’s “Hermeneutics of Love” influenced their own work.

“Always taking food to your neighbors, non-hierarchical gestures of love. Love as a practice.”

And, of course, Che, “The true revolutionary is guided by grand feelings of love.”

“Which authors have most defined the field: Moraga and Anzaldua. Because they don’t write from the academy, they connect to their readers. Their writing is not dried up.” Word.

from curate

Thursday, February 11, 2010

What does it mean for sexuality to be lived as oriented? What difference does it make what or who we are oriented toward in the very direction of our desire? If orientation is a matter of how we reside in space, then sexual orientation might also be a matter of residence, of how we inhabit spaces, and who or what we inhabit spaces with. After all, queer geographers have shown us how spaces are sexualized. If we foreground the concept of “orientation,” then we can retheorize this sexualization of space as well as the spatiality of sexual desire. What would it mean for queer studies if we were to pose the question of the orientation of sexual orientation as a phenomenological question?

Sara Ahmed (2006) “Orientations: Toward a Queer Phenomenology.” GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 12(4):543-574. (via beetx)


Alexander McQueen, RIP

February 11, 2010 11:22 am

The news that Alexander McQueen has killed himself is particularly devastating because it always felt to me like he’d be the last man standing. He was restless, but so pragmatic with it I assumed he had what it took to endure the extreme situations he placed himself in. He was also an arch romantic with a pessimistic streak. It produced some of the most beautiful, shocking images in the history of fashion, but it’s a state of mind that can lead to endless disappointments. The death of McQueen’s mother last week would have validated his pessimism. It would undoubtedly have taken away his most vital support. It’s awful to imagine him trying—and failing—to cope, and one can only hope that, if he was looking for peace, he found it. For everyone left behind, there will eventually be consolation, however scant right now, in a body of work whose power will never die.

Photo: Marcio Madeira

check: APA's current draft of their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). This was released on February 10, 2010. That was yesterday. This is just a reminder that transphobia is systemically perpetuated - as I type this I realize that my computer doesn't even recognize transphobia as a word. Though the DSM-V is still in its draft, it's still a clear picture how gender policing is blueprinted.

Gender Identity Disorder in Children

Gender Incongruence (in children) [1]

A. A marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender, of at least 6 months duration, as manifested by at least 6* of the following indicators (including A1): [2, 3, 4]

1. a strong desire to be of the other gender or an insistence that he or she is the other gender [5]

2. in boys, a strong preference for cross-dressing or simulating female attire; in girls, a strong preference for wearing only typical masculine clothing and a strong resistance to the wearing of typical feminine clothing [6]

3. a strong preference for cross-gender roles in make-believe or fantasy play [7]

4. a strong preference for the toys, games, or activities typical of the other gender [8]

5. a strong preference for playmates of the other gender [9]

6. in boys, a strong rejection of typically masculine toys, games, and activities and a strong avoidance of rough-and-tumble play; in girls, a strong rejection of typically feminine toys, games, and activities [10]

7. a strong dislike of one’s sexual anatomy [11]

8. a strong desire for the primary and/or secondary sex characteristics that match one’s experienced gender [12]

[13, 14, 15]


Transvestic Disorder

A. Over a period of at least six months, in a male, recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, sexual urges, or sexual behaviors involving cross‑dressing. [11]

B. The fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Male in the Philippines, but Female in Germany: The curious case of Jenny T. Ramsey

You may remember Sass Rogando Sasot’s moving speech at the UN, “Reclaiming the lucidity of our hearts”, which I linked to here in December last year. She’s now forwarded the following email with approval to repost, which I do.

It’s a more extreme (but not uncommon) illustration of what Sass calls one of the 21st century dilemmasfaced by many transsexual people the world over; that of the chasm that too often exists between our real lives and our legal documentation, and the impact this discrepancy can, and does, have on us.

As an aside, it’s worth noting that the situation was only addressed here in Britain six years ago with the passing into law of the Gender Recognition Act – and even then, the process of obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate is not the simple process that some people seem to think it is. Before 2004, in the eyes of the law, transsexual people in Britain simply did not exist. The character Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist may well have had a point when he said “the law is a [sic] ass — a idiot”; unfortunately it’s an ass with a powerful kick.

“You cannot renew your passport as you can’t have dual identity,” said a staff of the Philippine Embassy in Berlin to Jenny T. Ramsey. Jenny didn’t do anything illegal. She’s not pretending to be somebody else, deceptively living two lives. She just epitomizes two of the inconveniences of being a human of transsexual experience: 1) Having a legal sex that doesn’t match one’s actual, lived, and to be a bit scientific about it, neurological sex; and 2) Having a legal name that doesn’t match one’s actual, everyday name. But Jenny’s case is in an entirely different level. And I reckon that, given that there are just very few countries in the world that legally affirms the gender identity of transsexual people, this is one of the 21st century dilemmas of transsexual people: Jenny currently has two legal sexes and two legal names from two different countries.

Jenny is one of the four original founders of the Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines. Sometime in 2003, Jenny went to Germany to study; she lived in Erfurt with her German partner. In 2006, Jenny decided to undergo sex reassignment surgery in Thailand. During this time, transsexual people (at least, post-op transsexual women) have successfully petitioned local courts in the Philippines to legally change their sex and name. One of them even got married in a civil wedding in the Philippines. But unfortunately, in October 2007, the Supreme Court of the Philippines rendered a decision that this can no longer be done unless Philippines Congress passes a law that would allow such changes. This was known as the Mely Silverio Decision.

Because of the Silverio Decision, Jenny decided to file a petition to change her name and sex from male to female in a German court. She was represented by a top-notch lawyer in Germany. On 23 July 2008, Amskerich Ehrfurt granted Jenny’s petition. It was a groundbreaking case in Germany as Jenny was, as far as we know, the first non-German citizen to be able to change her legal sex and name in Germany. Sometime last year, another Filipino was able to change his legal sex and name in Germany, this time from female to male.

After more than five years of being together, on 2 April 2009, Jenny and her German boyfriend married. Afterwards, Jenny was granted a temporary residence permit with her female name on it. Then Jenny inquired with Ausländer Behorde (German immigration) about what would happen when she travels abroad: Would she use her Philippine passport, hence would travel as “male”? The immigration officers discussed this among themselves and provided this solution: They issued Jenny a Reiseausweis für Ausländer (Travel document for foreigners) bearing her female sex and name. According to, this passport is a temporary passport and is only issued in very exceptional cases.

On 28 January 2010, Jenny went to the Philippine Embassy in Berlin to renew her Philippine passport. To make sure that Jenny is not illegally staying in Germany, they asked her to show her visa. Jenny showed her temporary residence permit and Reiseausweis für Ausländer. The discrepancy between Jenny’s identity in her Philippine-issued documents and German-issued ones led to the confiscation of Jenny’s passport (though they told her that they are just getting it for “safekeeping”). They said they will raise this issue with the Department of Foreign Affairs of Manila (DFA) and wait for a decision. Given that it’s national election season in the Philippines, this will mean Jenny has to wait.

When in Rome, do what the Romans do – but which Rome?

But wait for what? What could be the possible decision of DFA? I can think of two possible scenarios: 1) DFA honors the change of legal sex and name of Jenny and issue her a Philippine passport bearing a female sex and name. Or 2) DFA doesn’t recognize the decision of the German court and issue Jenny a Philippine passport bearing a male sex and name. Because of the Silverio Decision, Scenario 2 is more probable to happen than Scenario 1. If Scenario 2 happened, I would like to ask the DFA a glaring WHY?

In July 2009, 67 Filipinos were arrested in Saudi Arabia for crossdressing. In reaction to this, Silvestro Bello, a cabinet secretary and top aide of the Philippine president, pulled the when-Rome-do-what-the-Romans-do card and was quoted saying, “When [Filipinos] enter their host country, they should know the culture of their host country.” Crossdressing is a crime in Saudi Arabia. The 67 Filipinos were sentenced to imprisonment and flogging but were pardoned and released.

Now, why am I bringing this up? Pardon my legal ignorance but it seems to me that the Philippines is more bent on honoring and respecting a ridiculous, dehumanizing law, such as the anti-crossdressing law of Arab countries than honoring and respecting a life-affirming legal procedure such as the legal change of sex and name that was granted to Jenny by a German Court.

Yes: It’s such a shame that it’s not Jenny’s mother country that has showed care, compassion, and consideration to her humanity. Well, this just proves that no matter how familiar a place is to you, sometimes it just don’t feel like home. Jenny now considers Germany as her home now as this is the country where she can live her real life, socially and legally. And to the Philippine Embassy in Berlin: It’s not Jenny’s fault that she currently has a dual identity: It’s the fault of the Philippine government as it refuses to recognize and affirm transsexual people’s reality.

During our phone conversation, Jenny and I were musing about what is her legal status now, given that her Philippine passport was confiscated (okay – was kept for “safekeeping”). She’s not yet a German citizen. The Philippine embassy won’t yet issue her a new passport as they don’t want her to have a dual identity. Is she currently a stateless person? A refugee? A possible asylum seeker? We don’t know. All we know is Jenny is willing to renounce her Philippine citizenship anytime.

After all, who needs a citizenship that doesn’t legally affirm your reality?


Curtsey to the TGEU listserv for the heads-up


from questioning transphobia

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

i somehow think that pedicab sort of sums up my life in quezon city.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sunny Feeds

i guess all my queen impersonations were pretty bang on.

going to good shows in manila makes me think that maybe i don't want to go home so quickly.
good band: pedicab

Designer sneakers aid migrants get across U.S. border

An Argentine artist received a grant to design shoes built to assist immigrants with making the dangerous trek across the U.S.-Mexico border.


SAN DIEGO - The high-top sneakers cost $215 at a San Diego boutique, but the designer is giving them away to migrants before they cross to this side of the U.S.-Mexico border. These are no ordinary shoes.

A compass and flashlight dangle from one shoelace. The pocket in the tongue is for money or pain relievers. A rough map of the border region is printed on a removable insole.

They are red, white and green, the colors of the Mexican flag. On the back ankle, a drawing of Mexico's patron saint of migrants.

On this side of the border, the shoes sit in art collections or the closets of well-heeled sneaker connoisseurs. On the other side, in Tijuana, it's a utilitarian affair: Immigrants-to-be are happy to have the sturdy, lightweight shoes for the hike -- or dash -- into the United States.

Their designer is Judi Werthein, an Argentine artist who moved to New York in 1997 -- legally, she notes.

On a recent evening in Tijuana, after giving away 50 pairs at a migrant shelter, Werthein waved the insole and pointed to Interstate 8, the main road between San Diego and Phoenix.

''This blue line is where you want to go,'' Werthein, 38, said in Spanish.

''Good luck! You're all very courageous,'' she told the cheering crowd of about 50 men huddled in a recreation room after dinner.

''God bless you!'' several cried back.

Werthein has concluded that shoes are a border crosser's most important garment.

''The main problem that people have when they're crossing is their feet,'' Werthein. ``If people are going to cross anyway, at least this will make it safer.''

Only 1,000 pairs of the Brinco sneakers (it means jump in Spanish) have been made -- in China, for $17 each. The shoes were introduced in August at inSite, an art exhibition in San Diego and Tijuana whose sponsors include nonprofit foundations and private collectors.

Benefactors put up $40,000 for the project; Werthein gets a $5,000 stipend, plus expenses.

Some say Werthein is encouraging illegal immigration -- but she rejects the criticism, saying people will cross with or without her shoes.

Eloisa Haudenschild, who displays a pair of the sneakers at her resplendent San Diego home, said the shoes portray an uncomfortable reality about the perils of crossing the border. ''It's a reality that we don't like to look at,'' she said. ``That's what an artist points out.''

Across the border, several curious migrants waiting for sunset along a cement river basin approached Werthein as she took white shoe boxes out of a sport utility vehicle. One man already wore a dirty pair of Brincos. Another, Felipe de Jesus Olivar Canto, slipped into a size 11 and said he would use them instead of his black leather shoes.

''These are much more comfortable for hiking,'' said Olivar Canto. He said he was heading for $6.75-an-hour work installing doors and windows in Santa Ana, about 90 miles north of border.

From there, Werthein went to Casa del Migrante, a Tijuana shelter that will receive a share of the proceeds from Brincos sold in the United States.

''Does it have a sensor to alert us to the Border Patrol?'' joked Javier Lopez, 33, who said he had a $10-an-hour job hanging drywall waiting for him in Denver.

To research the best design, over two years, Werthein interviewed shoe designers, migrants, aid workers, even an immigrant smuggler. She joined the Mexican government's Grupo Beta migrant-aid society on long border hikes. She heard from a Salvadoran woman in Tijuana who said she was kidnapped and raped by her smuggler.

Based on those interviews, she added a pocket -- migrants told her they were often robbed. She also added the flashlight -- many cross at night. Some get lost -- hence, the compass and map. ''If you get lost,'' she told the men at the shelter, ``just go north.''

In downtown San Diego, a boutique called Blends displays the shoes on a black pedestal. Werthein says Blends and Printed Matter, a store in Manhattan, have sold about 350 pairs.

''I wouldn't wear them and I wouldn't want my husband to wear them,'' said Blends browser Antonieta LaRussa, 28. ``But the cause is awesome. There's so much opposition to immigration. She's looking at it from the other side of the fence and asking why.''

from delete the border

"ubiquity of past time"
according to the ny times, we are apparently killing people because they suck at singing. the writer of the article fails to mention that the westernized filipino culture is run by miley cyrus and that horrible song from music and lyrics. this article is complete fodder (except for the "my way" killings. those are real) for the notion that those crazy global south citizens are in poverty because they're all in gangs with the bang bang! the author fails to provide debunking context to this violence (capital flight(economic instability) + imperialism + lack of human rights controlled by neo-liberalist global north = poverty = violence = if you're going to essentialize filipinos as violent people, please historicize).
Still, the odds of getting killed during karaoke may be higher in the Philippines, if only because of the ubiquity of the pastime. Social get-togethers invariably involve karaoke. Stand-alone karaoke machines can be found in the unlikeliest settings, including outdoors in rural areas where men can sometimes be seen singing early in the morning. And Filipinos, who pride themselves on their singing, may have a lower tolerance for bad singers.
i hate harper. i love onion rings.
to all women searching for antioppressive ngo work - which, due to stupid harper's uncouth moves, is underfunded and under paid - i give you the solidarity fist.

The Tyee — Harper's Attack on Women's Rights and Equality

"Other cuts were part of a one billion dollar assault on things that the Harper government didn't like -- cuts that were implemented in spite of the fact that his government had inherited a $13 billion surplus. Amongst the programs eliminated was the Court Challenges Program (CCP), one of the most effective and innovative programs in the world promoting and facilitating human rights. The CCP had, since 1978, provided funding for individuals challenging government legislation that was discriminatory. In short, it made constitutional rights, and rights under the Charter, accessible to ordinary people. Women were amongst its major beneficiaries. To ensure that it would not have to accept any outside, citizen-based advice on changing the law, Harper also eliminated the $4 million in funding for the Law Commission of Canada, formerly the Law Reform Commission.

"The government also closed 12 out of 16 regional offices of Status of Women Canada across the country, as well as eliminating the $1 million Status of Women Independent Research Fund. Changes were imposed to the criteria for funding for the Status of Women Canada's Women's Programme which precluded support for advocacy or lobbying for law reform. That meant that dozens of women-run NGOs would no longer receive funding because virtually all of them combined advocacy with the provision of services -- such as women's shelters advocating for an end to violence against women."

Monday, February 8, 2010

yo, wha? the runaways might have been a little younger than kristen stewart and the rest (aka dakota fanning) but.... anyway, next in line is a libertines biopic - 3 year old welches concentrated juice commercial actor casted on as pete doherty.

okay, this woman is a miracle.

this new open blog came out called the bikini kill archive where you post your first exposure to bikini kill was. i'm guessing lots of desperate online searching for feminist/queer communities because i think that's where i started out with them. i remember when i first heard kathleen hannah sing "wish i was him" i had some sort of new found muscle after, for the first time, a) hearing a woman sing in the "man's role" b) hearing the masculine narrator (which was sung originally by noise addict. ok, this is an even cuter video of a young 13 year old ben lee singing it) was presumably the voice of a man (actually a little teenage boy's), sing longingly about another dude and c) hearing the wonderful line "he thinks he can be a girl better than me" - which they switched from "he plays guitar much faster than me."

thus began the riot grrl phase. oh, the memories are flowing!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

how a web designer goes straight to hell
oh sweet baby jesus, how the world functions.

In Solidarity

The Miss G___ Project