In the "there's actually a word for that" category, we have:ghost wordfictitious entrymondegreenkadigan
aka placeholder namecharactonym or aptronym
The first four are responsible for so much
of my literary sense of humor. My love for the last is responsible for why I name my characters the way I do.
aka the smell of raingeosmin
aka the chemical responsible for the smell of turned earth
On the gender/feminism side, we have:The performance of masculinity.
Educator Charlie Glickman discusses how our society teaches us that "being a man" is something you do
, and not something you are
, and thus, one's manly status is called into question every time he does something not inside the "acting like a man box."
It's a wonderful dissection of how privilege works together with rigid gender roles to create great pressure on men to conform. It's an excellent overview of the issue that never dissolves into a whiny WATM pity-party, yet still explores the destructive impact of sexist gender roles on men:
There's a difference between having understanding and compassion for the men who are trapped in the Box and cutting them slack. After all, it isn't as if the dude in the Box is giving any slack to women, queers, transgender or genderqueer folks, or for that matter, heterosexual cisgender men who refuse to pretend to be Real Men. And cutting men slack is another way of coddling them instead of helping them learn to let go of the Box and discover the freedom that comes from being who you are. Having compassion without coddling people is fierce. It’s powerful. And it requires the ability to hold onto both the fact that the Box hurts us all and that it gives heterosexual cisgender men privilege.
And it does hold those with privilege accountable for their actions. That line about not coddling them? Spot. On.
The redoubtable Hanne Blank on Real Women
A short and powerful piece, ideal for linking and distributing. Send it to people you think would benefit from it. Maybe print out a copy and give it to your therapist for possible distribution to other patients? I plan to. Make sure it's read, and please read it.
Then go and read her followup, Why wouldn't I?
, about accepting transgendered and intersexed women as real women. Damn fucking right.
The only measure of gender that matters to me is what a person identifies as. All the rest is frosting on the cake. I don't see why respecting that is so hard for people when it costs them nothing.
And finally, some really good BDSM-related links I ran across this week:I'm gonna need you to fight me on this: how violent sex helped ease my PTSD.
Mac McClelland may not identify as kinky, but I think this is deeply relevant to our interests. Kink is often framed as something that we do because we are damaged. It's important to fight that viewpoint, both because it's not true, but because it's equally important to point out that even if we are
damaged, what we do is still meaningful to us, and like any other thing we need, that helps us, it has great power to make us whole. Whether we are damaged or not, we are entitled to whatever healing we can find that does not harm another person, and we should be respected.Safewords are dangerous.
An older piece, but one I was only recently linked to. It's bound to be controversial, but it echoes feelings I've had ever since I started dipping my toe into playing with other people. The core of it is "A special safeword doesn't keep you safe!" and that is absolutely true. My own safeword is "stop" or "safeword." My way doesn't need to be everyone's way, because not everyone wants to play like I do (for example, someone who enjoys being able to say "stop" or "don't" or "no" during a scene, without bringing the scene to an end, a safeword is the perfect thing), but this is still an important issue that needs to be addressed within the specific context of each relationship and each scene.
Last, we have A field guide to Creepy Dom
, a rather unflinching and uncompromising look at abusive behavior patterns in BDSM culture. Good stuff, though Asher says he has never liked the piece, and I can see that it does have a few problems.