Monday, July 10

Carnival of Bent Attractions

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingIt seems that the Eighth Edition of the Carnival of Bent Attractions was on Greek time. My apologies to all those who have been eagerly awaiting its arrival.

This month’s Carnival covers a variety of topics and features some great blogging. Many of the posts shared a common theme; namely, that the world is much more complex than we sometimes realize.


BiBi Cambridge of High-Grade Heroine opened my eyes to the sordid (OK, exciting) world of cruising using Bluetooth technology. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer eye contact and a coy smile.

Dawn of Queer¢ents gives us some good old fashioned common-sense pointers in “The 5 R’s of Saving Money.” I especially liked her last one, “Restore.” Anyone who’s ever enhaled the intoxicating fumes of paint stripper to… er… breathe new life into that perfect diamond in the rough that s/he found in a junk shop (or along the side of the road) will agree.

In “Sex, gender roles and gender identity,” Paul over at the force that through introduces us to Alice Dreger, whose intersex work focuses on the exceptions to the biological generalities of male and female. Dreger distinguishes between gender roles and gender identity, both of which, she argues, are in part based on biology. She reminds us that nature doesn’t care about our socially constructed categories. It seems that nature is no less messy than culture; and in the messy world of nature, not everyone fits neatly into one category.

Of course, some people belong in the idiot category, and Denise over at Musings on Life, Law, and Gender offers us just such a person who wrote to Dear Abby recalling how after dating a woman whom he subsequently discovered was an M to F transsexual, he wanted to “punch [her] out,” but wasn’t sure if that would be considered “hitting a girl.” Read the rest of Denise’s post to get Abby’s response.

In “To Be or Not To Be—Out,” Denise weighs the advantages of stealth vs. out for both transexuals and queers. Stealth (i.e. not coming out) may be safer and pose fewer risks, but without the visibility that can only be achieved by coming out, equality may prove elusive. At the same time, Denise is acutely aware that the choice between personal safety and social and political legitimacy is a difficult one. While she asks whether stealth is the result of internalized transphobia, she does not stand in judgment of those who ultimately choose stealth for their own safety.

Also on the subject of transphobia, “In Truce is Better,” Jay Sennett of jan sennett jaywalks points out that while white people need to hold each other accountable for our collective racism (in both the blogosphere and in the real world), so do we need to be mindful of the myriad of ways in which our words marginalize the transexual community. At the same time, one must find common ground even with those who don’t get it:

“The fact is that for social justice work to be truly liberatory we must find common ground even with people we might despise. We don’t get a free pass to only work with people who love us and like us—and towards whom we feel the same—100% of the time.”
Jay also draws our attention to his new publishing company, Homofactus Press, so be sure to check it out.

Speaking of people who don’t get it, to so-called liberals who ask the ridiculous and offensive question, “Is gay pride really necessary?” IrrationalPoint’s Soapbox gives us Gay Pride 101. It’s not about sex, IrrationalPoint explains. It’s about rights. And as for those idiots who ask, “Why do you need gay pride? We don’t have straight pride...,” IP reminds us:

“Straights don’t have Pride parades, but that's because you don’t need them—you have TV and billboards to proclaim your straight pride for you.”

“Lesbianism is not a vision of perfect power relation free heterosexuality,” argues Winter of Desperate Kingdoms in “On lesbianism and feminism.” She challenges the romantic view of lesbianism held by many heterosexual feminists and points out that the romanticization of lesbianism by mainstream feminists contributes to the marginalization of lesbians:

“What pisses me off most about the feminist appropriation and romanticization of lesbianism is the fact that lesbians have very real and serious problems which need to be addressed urgently.”
She looks ahead to a lesbian or queer feminism, or perhaps “a new kind of alliance with heterosexual feminism,” one in which lesbianism and the real-life experiences of lesbians are understood in their own terms, as opposed to being constructed as some kind of feminist utopia.

In “Reframing the Poly Debate,” Andrea Rubenstein asks how we can “fight against mandatory gender roles, heterosexism, racism, ablism, etc. and then go on believing that a romantic relationship can only exist between two people.” Although she was taught to believe that polygamy was wrong, that it was just “a bunch of old guys marrying underaged girls in Utah or the Middle East,” she later began to question “the supposed immorality of non-monogamy.” I think that same-sex marriage advocates—with their annoying emphasis on monogamy and social conformity—could learn a lot from her article.

I suspect that Andrew of Air Pollution would agree. While he supports efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States, he is uneasy with the heteronormativity and patriarchy associated with marriage as an institution. Moreover, in “On normalcy and marriage,” he offers a much-needed critique of the way in which the marriage equality movement has often made conformity its principle strategy for achieving legitimacy:

“Rather than proponents of gay marriage arguing that we want to be included in a stable, enduring instution so that we can share the American dream, we should be arguing and illustrating how, I believe, the expectations of marriage are restrictive for everyone. Marriage can remain an option for those who want it, but we have to work to make it only one option rather than THE option.”

Finally, Ron over at 2sides2ron lets us in on the new International Carnival of Posivities, offered as an international forum for those of us who are living with HIV/AIDS. For more information please visit the related blog.

Be sure and catch the Ninth Edition of the Carnival of Bent Attractions over at coaching4lesbians starting August 10.

5 Comments:

Blogger Ang-ang said...

I think that you are super cool!

1:16 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

This is great! Thanks so much for hosting!

11:31 AM  
Blogger DeniseUMLaw said...

Great edition! Thanks! :)

1:45 PM  
Anonymous BiBi Cambridge said...

Thank you very much for including my post. Sordid is just fine, although, like you I prefer the more traditional approach... ;)

BiBi x

12:13 PM  
Blogger Ron Hudson said...

Thanks for hosting...you did a great job!

12:07 PM  

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