A while back I mentioned a safe at Links Hall. A safe which has been there since the 1980s (at least!). A safe that has remained unopened for at least three decades. I’m still working on how to open the damn thing, but here are some pictures in the meantime.
I’m no stranger to opening my mouth and talking about Israel, even though I’m relatively ignorant about its history or its current situation. My biggest foray into Israel and its history were two posts last May, about Obama and Israel and whether or not Israel is an apartheid state. (Short summary: Obama said “borders” when Israel prefers “armistice lines,” and no, Israel isn’t an apartheid state, but not for lack of trying to subjugate the Palestinians.)
A little over a year later, my mom is dating someone who is vocally pro-Israel. I like him a lot, and we agree on lots of political issues, but we send pro- and anti-Israel emails back and forth every so often. Most recently, he said he’ll buy us each a copy of Side By Side: Parallel Histories of Israel-Palestine, so we can talk about it sometime. While we wait for the books to get here, though, he sent me this gem:
if you want to make it in this incipient debate, here’s some very strong amunition for your side. Join up with the Holocaust deniers, those who believe we use the blood of children in our matzos, and that we are all members of an international conspiracy to take over the world…for these are the beliefs of those who argue for the total recognition of the Palestinians and all of their arguments. Link: http://isracampus.org.il/third%20level%20pages/Editorial%20-%20Steven%20Plaut%20-%20The%20Pathology%20of%20Jewish%20Anti-Semitism.htm
My response is below.
Cross-posted with permission from http://www.ericaricardo.com/oz/. Copyright Erica Dreisbach.
Dorothy chooses Kansas over Oz
knowing what she knows about Kansas
knowing what she knows about Oz
she chooses Kansas over Oz
Oz is magical, and full of adventure
they don’t give a shit about her in Kansas
when she leaves Kansas
they have left her there to die
they have left her there to die.
well, we tried
open the cellar
go back inside Continue reading 'oz'»
I just sent this to my senators and rep. Feel free to use it to talk to yours.
I have lived in Illinois my entire life. I am almost always in agreement with your legislative viewpoints, and appreciate how accesible and responsive you are to your constituents. And so I ask you: Please raise my taxes.
I’m a freelancer. I make less than $20,000 a year. I work in the arts, with children, with colleges and universities, and receive most of my income as 1099. That means I feel the weight of my taxes directly – they aren’t split between myself and my employer. I have bills, rent, medical expenses. And yet, I want you to raise my taxes.
With all the talk of budget deficits, the worries about angering voters by even mentioning raising taxes, and obstinant insistance by the GOP to refuse to raise taxes, I want to make my voice heard, too. As an American, taxes are part of the responsibility I bear to pay for the government services I enjoy. When I fly to visit family in California, I want to know my planes are inspected by government officials, and airports protected by others. When I drink water, I want to know the tap water I enjoy in Chicago is held to the same basic standard as in Portland or New York. While I disagree with much of our current military policy, I am ready to help pay for the defense of the United States. Everyday I am aware of the countless ways in which government helps make my life easier and safer. And I want to help pay for it.
I’m ready to pay more, for a sane government hand in healthcare. I’m ready to pay more, for a substantial government hand in education. I’m ready to pay more for a government hand in highways, bridges, science research, space exploration, national security, and on and on and on.
Please, raise my taxes.
This is part one of a writing exercise about body mapping. Stay tuned for part two.
My fingers are a gateway to the world. Typers of words, feelers of skin, players of keys, graspers of all that is in reach. They are long and neither slender or fat, but finger-sized. They have hair between the first and second knuckles, between where they connect to my hand and where they bend. The hair has been hit by lasers, plucked by tweezers, shaved by blades, but still it grows back. Less and less with hormones and lasers and frustration, but still it grows.
The thumb on my right hand is larger than that on my left. My gym teacher slammed it in a door when I was in third or fourth grade. It was an accident, and he apologized, but still told me to stop crying when I went to the nurse’s office. I needed stitches under the nail, one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had.
When I hold my fingers up straight, palm out, the middle and ring fingers pop apart, as if in a permanent Vulcan greeting: Live long and prosper, forever. It’s kind of silly, and makes me incredibly self conscious. When I wave, I make sure to do so with fingers spread. When I hold my hand out, I either cup or spread my fingers to hide this physical quirk. It’s significantly more pronounced on my left hand, presumably because I broke those fingers flipping off my bike sophomore year of college. Ouch.
Cleaning out some old links once again…
Dreaming of Dresses: Transgender Books for Children – Anyone read any of these? I enjoyed Luna, but don’t think I’ve read the others.
The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women’s Clothing – Yes. Yes. One thousand times yes.
Requiem for a Dialogue – Lots of things, but particularly about femme and trans. A good read.
2012 Oscars and the Bechdel Test – Yes, I’m late. So sue me.
Why Mass Effect is the Most Important Science Fiction Universe of Our Generation – I’ve only played #1, so no spoilers please, but I did love it and this is an interesting article.
One Town’s War on Gay Teens – Great article from the Rolling Stone.
Looks so cool! I’ll be in Cali visiting family (and at a surgeon consult – eek!) but anyone in Chicago should check it out.
On behalf of SQS we are immeasurably pleased and excited to announce a joint event with the Center on Halsted called SEED: Self Education Empowerment and Defense. This wonderful workshop will take place in the John Baran Senior Center, at 5:30pm, on March 18th, 2012.
SEED is an empowering forty-five program designed for individuals of all ability, specifically for those who are trans*, queer, and/or female-identified. These communities are often the targets of physical and emotional harassment and violence. We will teach participants the skills to avoid these situations and stay safe and in control. A member from the Center’s Anti-Violence Project will speak about developing less violent and more affirming environments and relationships.
Our instructors are trans* identified individuals of color and this program will be offered in English and Spanish. Participants are encouraged to attend in comfortable clothes and be ready to transform! We are grateful for the opportunity to educate, empower, and advocate for these communities, which are too often underserved and underrepresented.
This workshop is free and open to all who wish to attend—allies included.
SQS is a fierce grassroots collective of trans* individuals and their allies from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. We are here to serve as a force of strength and empowerment to all—and to connect individuals to community resources. Meeting in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, we are dedicated to advocacy and celebrating the simple fact that we are who we are.
For more information, please contact Van Binfa at [email protected] Visit our web page at www.sqs-tec.tumblr.com. Please RSVP to June LaTrobe at [email protected] to ensure sufficient resources and materials.
Whaaaat? Rebecca is posting semi-regularly? I shall fall upon my fainting couch!
These have been sitting in a draft for a while, so some are a bit dated.
Being the Visible Femme – Thoughts from Autostraddle on how to be a out, visible, lesbian femme.
How to be a fan of problematic things – Amazing! A must read for fans of Lord of the Rings, anything Robert Heinlein wrote, 99% of comics out there, Orson Scott Card, or anything else that is both awesome and really problematic. The comments are also well-worth a read.
A 13-year-old hits a slam-dunk on why slut shaming is wrong – If you have a bad taste in your mouth after Taylor and the Girl Scout transgender thing, WATCH THIS VIDEO! She’s my hero.
Stuff cis people say to trans people – Part of the “Stuff ____ people say to ____ people” trend, but still hilarious. “So what’s your real name?”
Finally, I’ll be in Indianapolis tomorrow and Thursday, performing at Butler University. More info is at their website. Hope you can check it out if you’re in the area. Let me know if you’ll be there!
I was recently having a conversation with a number of artistic peers, discussing the impact of our personal and community histories on our art and artistic process. I don’t remember who the question was raised by, but the group consisted of a mix of racial/ethnic/gender/sexual identities, making for good conversation.
In general we all agreed that our various personal and community histories – of religion, race, ethnicity, language, geography, class, sexuality, gender, and so on and on and on and on – played a factor in how we approached creating art. While it was a great conversation, and fodder for more discussion, I’m less interested in that than in something which happened after.
During the conversation, I said, “It’s been interesting going from presenting as part of a strong, privileged group – white, heterosexual, male – to an oppressed group: queer, trans, female. I try to both be conscious of and artistically honor that oppression while being aware of the privilege I still do posses.”
Then, while giving someone a ride home – who identifies as black, female, lesbian – she turned to me and said, “Your comment really surprised me, since I don’t think of you as white.”
First, an update on my firing from last October. I had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency who makes sure employers are being all equal and such. I just got a letter from them saying that, because Neal Math and Science Academy hadn’t responded to the EEOC’s inquiry, the EEOC would be investigating the complaint themselves.
I talked to my lawyer, who said this isn’t great news – that would be if Neal decided to cooperate with the EEOC from the beginning. But it does mean that the EEOC hasn’t forgotten about my complaint, and hasn’t (yet) said it’s not under their jurrisdiction.
In other news, my dad sent me a Chicago Tribune article about Dr Schechter, a plastic surgeon in the Chicago suburbs who does gender reassignment surgery. This is very interesting to me, since the only folks I’d found doing surgery were decidedly not in the Chicago area. At the same time, the fact that I haven’t heard of this guy makes me hesitant – all the doctors I’ve been researching are well-established, with reviews online over at this site. The article also says Schecther works with the Drs Etner, who I’m not fans of.
Has anyone heard anything about him? Positive or negative?