In the song “Same Love,” Macklemore posits that sexual orientation is culturally constructed; being gay is being an artistically talented child. Since talented artists who are also heterosexual exist, does being artistic really make one gay? Does love being “same” essentialize a gay identity as well as a heterosexual one, and if so, where do bisexuals fit in (or is their love not the same)? Can those two loves be both different and “same”? As Macklemore, relieved, outs himself as straight, how can we believe him that his love is the same? How does he know what his love is the same as? The problem I’m trying to outline in this short analysis of a catchy pop song is that, though it is an attractive, if not politically efficacious idea, “love” is not the same for straight people as it is for gay people because gay love is political and straight love is assumed as a given, natural, and neutral thing. “Gay” love, or “same” love as it is referred to euphamistically in the song, has only recently been constructed in the US from outmoded forms of heterosexuality that are reminiscent of a ’50s style middle-class nuclear family-love. It has little to do with forms of love that have been previously associated with gay relationality: promiscuity, cruising, bath houses, back rooms, open relationships, thruples, alternative family formations, and any other type of relationship that is not monogamous, child-rearing, patriotic marriage. With this in mind, I think it’s fair to say that, within the political imaginary of the marriage-focused gay rights movement at present, heterosexuality has replaced homosexuality almost entirely. At the very least, we might start asking ourselves, when we exclaim “Legalize love!” “Love is love” or sing “Same Love,” who’s love are we talking about?
My currently-being-written thesis (via temporarilyeuropean)
the heternormcore gays
Black-figured plate, attributed to the painter Psiax
Made in Athens, Greece; from Vulci in Etruria (now in Lazio, Italy)
An archer blowing a trumpet
The archer on this plate wears a flapped and pointed cap, patterned trousers and a long-sleeved top. His costume is unusual, and is mostly Scythian in origin, as is the combined bow-case and quiver hanging from his waist. Scythian archers were employed as mercenaries in Athens from the mid-sixth century until 514 BC, when the Persian conquest of Thrace cut lines of communication and recruitment with Scythia. After this, Greek archers start to appear on vase paintings: they retain many elements of Scythian dress, but unlike the generally bearded Scythians, they are shown clean-shaven, as here. The trumpet this figure blows is thesalpinx, blown in battle.
This plate was painted by Psiax, who worked in both the conventional black-figure and the new red-figure techniques. The design, with the single black figure set on a plain clay background, looks like a translation into black-figure of a contemporary red-figure decorative scheme. Comparing it with a red-figure plate by the painter Epiktetos, which also shows a single archer, the opportunities offered by the newer technique are clear. The red-figure archer stands out more boldly against his black background; more varied and intricate patterns can be achieved because the details of his costume are painted rather than incised.
Source: British Museum
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Playing with transparencies earlier today.
Anonymous said: sex is biological??????????????? go open a biology textbook?????????????????? its not a social construct ur thinking of gender????????????
i hope the superabundance of question marks is an indication that you’re aware on some level of how utterly wrong you are.
[trigger warning: discussion of genitalia and internal organs]
first of all, when you say “sex” i assume you’re talking about what is called “biological sex”, “sexual dimorphism”, or “sexual difference.” specifically what you are trying to state or imply here is the material existence of two categories of bodies: male and female. i’m gonna guess you’re starting with chromosomes since that’s been considered the ‘most fundamental’ basis of sex by transmisogynists since at least 1979.
a sex chromosome is a particular-appearing blob that shows up on a karyotype, or a test involving dyeing and microscopically viewing chromosomes. chromosomes are little blobs of folded up goop that if you spooled it out long enough you would find to be a chain of DNA—which is to say a chain of base pairs (guanine and cytosine, adenine and thymine). what you’re also gonna find in there are histones that the chromatin (the material of somewhat spooled DNA) is wrapped around. In addition, you’re gonna find methylation, and all other sorts of little chemicals and particles in there because guess what? DNA is not a linear coding system. DNA codes in chunks—usually triplets that are usually read as certain amino acids, which then come together to form the building blocks of proteins. but the thing about triplet coding is that it can be very complex. so
can for example simultaneously code as
AGG CTT ATT AGG CTC ta
a GGC TTA TTA GGC TCT a
ag GCT TAT TAG GCT CTA
like just to give you an example. now there are signals indicating how that coding should start, but those signals can move around, or be turned on or off. that’s one of the things methylation is for—it can turn on or off the signals of where to start the coding chain. methylation for any given part of a DNA strand can be triggered by all sorts of things. one study found a linkage between rates of diabetes and levels of stress in the grandmothers of those with diabetes—i.e. the stress was linked to diabetes in the grandchildren. that’s just to give you some idea of the level of complexity of coding.
and the complexities continue at every level. the proteins that are formed by those DNA sequences may come together in different ways depending on the chemical composition of their environment. the DNA itself—a three-dimensional object in the same environment—may physically interact with the proteins or with itself. but also remember that we are talking about chemical goop subject to environmental conditions, which include all sorts of mutagens. sometimes shit just goes weird (not gonna say ‘wrong’ because that presumes that mutations are ‘bad’ which is bullshit given the necessity of mutation for genetic adaptability—also it means applying anthropocentric notions of functionality, of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ behavior, to goop) and AGG CTT ATT loses a letter and becomes AGC TTA tt (this is what’s called a frameshift mutation—you can also have other stuff like point mutations). also, things can just go weird when the DNA is being replicated—it’s not a perfect reading process, it’s a bunch of chemical reactions floating in goop. and it’s happening millions of times, so the likelihood that things will go wrong in various ways is high.
but even above the level of the DNA coding, on the level of the chromosomes, things are confusing. because the chromosomes come together out of more loosely distributed goop when the cell is splitting, and things can go wrong in that process—get misplaced, get shuffled over to the other side, etc. likewise, there’s a process called crossing-over that occurs at cell replication during metaphase (while the chromosomes are paired at the center of the cell prior to the nucleus dividing) where chromosomes just swap shit around for the heck of it. and it’s pretty random where this happens too, which can mean that important codes just get cut in half, or new codes get created.
all of which is leading to say that it’s incredibly unlikely to expect any sort of meaningful fifty-fifty split between “XX chromosomes” and “XY chromosomes”. which works with reality, because in reality we observe all kinds of variations, exactly as we would expect. now, what happens when there’s variation? for the most part, things just happen. it’s all just cells. they do their thing, make little organs, replicate so the organs get bigger and more specific, etc. so maybe now you can begin to see why expecting them to neatly behave in two sets of patterns is completely inaccurate? or why it is that in the real world we observe a wide range of human bodies rather than just XX Barbies and XY Kens? but even looking beyond that, what’s actually going on with the so-called reproductive system? well, some of these cells have the ability to generate gametes—sorta like half-cells—which can get together with other gametes to grow into another big blob of organs. that’s what fertilization and pregnancy is. that’s all that’s involved. generally speaking, one type of gametes will appear in the bodies of people whose cells tend to have goop that shows up a certain way on a karyotype, while another type of gametes will appear in the bodies of people whose cells tend to have goop that shows up a different way in a karyotype, with a whole lot of variation and possibilities for things to be disrupted. so why does that even matter to us? why am I sitting here at 4am on christmas night with a box of cheezits and a glass of wine answering shitty anons about this? [note: i wrote this a couple days ago and am only now posting it] because out of those general tendencies of bodies, people have constructed the notion of sex.
patriarchy, at its basis, is a system of economic exploitation that consists of one group of people being assigned to do work which is valued, and another group of people being assigned to do work which is not valued. this was mapped onto two general groupings of people, those who tended to have one type of gamete and those who tended to have another, and the ones who pushed the idea that their own work was valuable were ‘males’, ‘men’, etc, while those who were forced to be the object of exploitation and violence were ‘females’, ‘women’, etc. as part of the process of valuing male work, men constructed an explanation for the inequality that they claimed derived from the nature of physical reality. specifically, the notion of ‘sexual difference’, or the tendencies of people to produce different sorts of gametes. in order to better justify and value their exploitation of women, men constructed a whole notion of selfhood around this, an ideal which for them happened to be contained in the organ that most of them used to distribute the gametes. and in order to justify the violence that they were doing, they argued that there were naturally only two categories of people, grouped based on labor done/positions during sex/gamete production/etc (all these things were conflated and differently emphasized over time, helping to mystify the falsity of the distinction).
the notion that certain types of organs map to certain types of behavior, certain economic patterns, etc, is a product of a social system of oppression. it is NOT founded in any sort of ‘biological fact’ because first and foremost ‘biological fact’ does not exist. an organ is not a signifier except in the context of a socially constructed ‘biology’ which is specifically constructed as a justification of patriarchy. quite literally. i’ve worked with biologists (yeah, anon, turns out i may have in fact opened a biology textbook a few times in my life) and one thing i can say definitively is that like most scientists they don’t tend to think deeply about how the sorts of questions they ask and the ways they interpret data are structured by the world. at best they’ve taken a required bioethics class or two while an undergrad. so when they’re going to interpret mathematical data, they’re doing it in a way that already presumes the real question as answered. they find sexual dimorphism not because it’s in the results of their data but because it was assumed by the way they asked their questions—if you ask ‘which sex is better at math?’ you’re never going to find evidence that ‘sex’ is a meaningless construct. this is what a lot of ‘scientific truth’ is, in fact—the things that were already accepted when people went to ask more complicated questions, and which were only torn down, if ever, when all the answers to all the complicated questions continually revealed something which undermined the previous model (which, by the way, is happening right now with the notion of sex—that’s right, even patriarchal scientists are coming to an awareness of how utterly bullshit it is, albeit by the most roundabout way possible and still doing as much harm as they can on the way).
But what we can see from all this is that gender precedes sex. gender is a way of organizing the social sphere, and biological data is organized off of that. gender, in other words, is the fundamental category of sex under patriarchy. now, one might say that we live in a social world, that our subjectivities are socially constructed, and thus for us an organ is a signifier. this is of course true, but one has to recognize the socially constructed nature in order to realize first and foremost that we are not looking at a rigid system here. it is not simply a matter of saying that under biological reality a certain chromosome or a certain organ leads to a certain place within patriarchy, and likewise it is not simply a matter of saying that under social construction a certain chromosome or a certain organ leads to a certain place within patriarchy. if one is aware of the complexity involved in socially constituting what is basically a blob of goo (cells) that does or does not more goo (babies, people, etc) as belonging to a somehow binary and rigid category, one can more easily see how that social construction may at times slip, and result in a person who, for example, has one sort of organ, and yet has had their identity socially constructed within the category for a person with a “different” (within patriarchal notions of ‘sexual difference’) type of organ. in fact, one can only fail to recognize this if one begins from the disingenuous place of assuming a priori that the person in question is being deceptive or being deceived, rather than reporting reality as closely as it can be reported in this language. and the use of inversions of this language to report closer realities is an effort to redirect and gain control of biopower as it has enacted itself on us. it is no more or less legitimate than the language of patriarchy, except if one finds legitimacy either in supporting patriarchy (arguing for sex as ‘real’) or disrupting patriarchy.
what, then, is sex? it’s the way people talk about blobs of goop, and specifically the way that blobs of goop have been categorized into two types, in broad defiance of reality, for the express purpose of perpetuating the patriarchy.
so yes, sex is biological, in the sense that the terms of sex are coded into the discourse of ‘biology’, which is itself socially constructed by patriarchy.
sex is a social construct. this is my final fucking word on this shit.
do NOT bring this ignorant shit into my inbox again.
hahaha do you remember this sick own?
This crop top caused L@@KS which was enjoyable and annoying at the same time. Can’t say no to Garfield eating a sandwich and why should I? More pics and thoughts about the experience here.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT GAZA
(This was written by a friend who wishes to remain anonymous. Passing it on as it’s a very useful set of tips)
I have seen a lot of people in my life, myself included, going through hard times right now with the extreme escalation of colonial violence in Palestine. People are sad, angry, and praying. Many people are overwhelmed. Worried for our families. Many people in our communities are learning more about Palestine for the first time, and want to know ways to connect. It’s hard to know what to do from so far away, and easy to feel helpless when you don’t know what to do.
This list is for all of us, to recommit to the work we’ve been doing, to get grounded when this massacre has knocked us off our feet, and to get connected where we haven’t been before.
Please share with your communities!
1. BDS – BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, & SANCTIONS
Boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) is a movement that was called for by Palestinian civil society. It is a grassroots, nonviolent form of resistance that there are so many ways to participate in.
Here is the Palestinian Civil Society Call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions: http://www.bdsmovement.net/call
Get involved with (or start) a campaign for your university, workplace, union, etc. to pull out its investments in companies that are connected to Israeli human rights offenses.
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has led many successful divestment campaigns at universities across the country. http://sjpnational.org/
We Divest is a project of Jewish Voice for Peace, which has successfully pressured TIAA-CREF around its occupation investments. https://wedivest.org/
Here is a quick list of companies that profit from Israeli human rights offenses.
Consumer boycott is about individually deciding not to buy these products, but it’s also about popular education. Flyering to educate people about what’s behind this stuff. Encouraging local shops not to sell these products.
There are ongoing successful consumer boycott campaigns against SodaStream and Sabra Hummus, for example.
Cultural and Academic Boycott:
As artists and academics, it’s very important that we decolonize the way we produce our work, and don’t let it be used to normalize violent structures.
There is a set of guidelines for cultural and academic boycott from the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) that artists and academics can sign on to.
Academic boycott guidelines: http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1108
Cultural boycott guidelines: http://www.pacbi.org/etemplate.php?id=1047
If you are an Israeli citizen, you can also sign the Boycott from Within statement, and get involved with their work: http://www.boycottisrael.info/
An excellent resource, which can help you find information for whichever kind of BDS campaign you decide to get involved with, is the Who Profits? database: http://www.whoprofits.org/
Donating money is not an action that everyone can afford to get involved with, but if you have even a small amount to spare, here are some great places to donate to:
Middle East Children’s Alliance: http://www.mecaforpeace.org/
Palestinian Center for Human Rights: http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/
American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA): http://www.anera.org/
United Palestinian Appeal: http://www.helpupa.org/
3. PARTICIPATE IN LOCAL PROTESTS & VIGILS
Protests and vigils are a great way to make the Palestinian struggle visible in your city, and also to build community with other people who are feeling the same way you are.
If you go to a protest, come through with good friends that you can trust, and have a plan for what to do if police or counterprotestors escalate.
For organizers: Palestinian liberation is connected so intricately with all of our liberation. Reach out to members of other oppressed communities and build coalitions, feature their voices at your demonstration (for example, African, Latin@, and Indigenous activists). Keep racial, gender, and disability justice as the foundations of your work.
4. MAKE ART! & SUPPORT ARTISTS
This is giving us a whole lot of feelings, right?! Write/draw/paint/act/sing/print/dance it out! Bring attention to Gaza and Palestine within your artistic communities.
Endorse the USACBI statement, commit to its principles. Educate other artists you know about it, and encourage them to sign as well. http://www.usacbi.org/about/
Tell your story and tell it true. Be ethical and accountable in the way you handle the stories of others.
If you are not an artist: Help support Palestinian artists, and artists from other communities in struggle against Israeli apartheid. Donate, purchase work, host events, for example.
5. CHECK YOURSELF
Make sure that the information you have is accurate. Behind every single news story is a human being with a life as full as your own, and you owe it to them to get the facts straight. Do not re-post gory images of dead children on social media with no context—this is extremely disrespectful.
Below are a few (but not the only) reliable English-language news sources:
Al Jazeera English: http://www.aljazeera.com/
Ma’an News Agency: http://www.maannews.net/eng/
The Electronic Intifada: http://electronicintifada.net/
Palestinian Centre for Human Rights: http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/
Read and understand the BDS call, and its demands and guidelines, and do not present false information about it. This is very important, because oftentimes even people who are part of the Palestine solidarity movement can misunderstand the guidelines, and fall for Zionist misinformation about them. Read the calls for yourself and figure out how you can plug in. (see above for the guidelines)
Think about what your role is in this movement. Ask yourself some questions before you take action:
What is your relationship to Israeli apartheid historically, and the recent colonial violence?
What are you directly complicit in and what can you do to address that?
Who are you being accountable to?
Amplify the voices of, and support people who are more directly impacted than you. Step back when you need to and when you are told to.
Avoid false and oppressive binaries, like Arab/Jew. Remember that Israeli apartheid is a multi-layered system, and bring that understanding to your work.
Think about your social position in the country where you’re doing this work, and consistently check yourself on this, too. Again, keep racial, gender, and disability justice as the foundations of your work.
Don’t judge people for not being able to take part in the same forms of resistance as you.
6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF & EACH OTHER
Mourn the dead. Speak their names. Publicly and privately. Do rituals if this helps you.
Read/watch/listen to/share poems/music/film/art by Palestinian artists.
Make art. (even if you are not “an artist.”)
Write it out. (even if you are not “a writer.”)
Cook Palestinian food. Share it with your loved ones.
Take time and space to feel.
Lean on your friends and let them lean on you.
Tune out the news if you need to. (Keep the news on, if you need to be reassured by the steady flow of information.)
Don’t go to protests/demos/events alone.
Take alone time if you need it.
Turn to your faith if that helps you.
Stay committed to healing, and recognize healing as part of the work.
If you are close with them, stay in touch with your family and friends in Palestine.
Remember, it is not your responsibility to educate your oppressors!
Keep checking yourself.
Affirm life. Affirm life. Affirm life.
“We teach life, sir” by Rafeef Ziadah : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKucPh9xHtM
“What I Will” by Suheir Hammad : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFbE8RBhSDw