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Member since: Mon Aug 23, 2004, 10:18 PM
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Four ways trans people are changing the gender/tech debate

In most conversations of tech diversity, many point out the lack of women in the industry as a major problem — and rightfully so, considering that women continue to be outnumbered by their male counterparts in many sectors, especially women of color.
Unfortunately, these conversations favor cisgender women as the critical component of true gender diversity, leaving trans and gender-nonconforming people completely out of the equation.
Whether you know it or not, trans people are very present in tech and utilize the medium to insert themselves into larger discussions of gender and diversity. From making videos to making video games, here are four ways transgender people are expanding the concept of diversity in technology:
Empowering videos and hashtags
YouTube is filled with trans people of all ages, backgrounds, and geographical locations, sharing their stories of transition and have been since the birth of the site in 2005. With the advent of Twitter, trans people have a new way of connecting and thanks to author and award-winning activist Janet Mock, can do so using the Twitter hashtag #girlslikeus. Mock states that she created the hashtag for trans women that were “looking for role models, becoming role models, wanting to be heard and hoping to make a difference.”

Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2013/10/19/four-ways-trans-people-are-changing-the-gendertech-debate/#liAHX2FtT2ogR5PH.99

(The four ways in the article)

1) Empowering videos and hashtags

2) Personalized gaming

3)Collective hacking

4)Business ownership

Alleged Mo. rape victim's mom releases secret recordings

Melinda Coleman secretly recorded conversations with a county prosecutor in a rape case involving her daughter. She says they prove she cooperated with authorities.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Secret recordings made by the mother of an alleged victim in the Maryville, Mo., sexual assault case now headed to a special prosecutor seem to confirm her claims that she cooperated with authorities through the time when felony charges were dropped.

Mo. sex assault case expected to get fresh start

Melinda Coleman, the mother of a girl who says she was sexually assaulted in January 2012 by a then-17-year-old from a prominent Maryville family, provided the recordings to The Kansas City Star via email Thursday.

The recordings, she said, came from a conversation near the end of May 2012 with Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert L. Rice. She said they support her contention in a story in The Star on Sunday and other media appearances this week that she had willingly spoken with authorities until Rice dropped the two most serious felony charges in March 2012, two months after he'd filed them.

Rice could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

In announcing that he would request a special prosecutor in the case, Rice said in a news conference Wednesday that charges against the alleged perpetrator and another then-17-year-old had been dropped because "the witnesses never told me they were willing to cooperate and testify after they invoked their Fifth Amendment right in a deposition under oath."


Ariel Castro neighbour charged with murders and rapes

Seymour Avenue, Cleveland. Photograph: Scott Shaw/AP
Increased scrutiny of missing person cases in a Cleveland neighbourhood following the arrest of kidnapper Ariel Castro led to charges against a neighbour for the murders of two women in the 1990s, the FBI said on Friday.

Elias Acevedo, 49, was charged late on Thursday with the kidnapping, rape and murder of his 30-year-old neighbour, Pamela Pemberton, found strangled in 1994, and another woman believed to be Christina Adkins, a pregnant 18-year-old who disappeared in 1995. He also is charged with the rape of two young girls.

"Because the public became more aware and investigators were determined and relentless, people were re-interviewed and there was an increased interest in these missing person cases," FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said.

Acevedo, who lived on the same block as Castro, was arrested in June at his Seymour Avenue residence after police questioned Castro's neighbours and discovered that Acevedo was a convicted sex offender who had failed to report his current address.

Acevedo became a suspect in the Adkins and Pemberton murders after the FBI re-examined the disappearance of other missing women from the Seymour Avenue neighbourhood after Castro's arrest, according to a statement from the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office.


Dear Internet: Thanks for the Advice on Sex and Drinking.

Dear Internet: Thanks for the Advice on Sex and Drinking. It's Way Better than What We Get from Slate.
Are we starting to see a cultural shift in how our society thinks about rape? The huge online response to a Slate columnist who told women to avoid rape by not drinking suggests that it's starting to happen.
Here are a few of our favorite responses.

Jessica Valenti, writing for The Nation, brought in the broader context of rape culture: "When we make victims' choices the focus of rape prevention, we make the world a safer place for rapists ... You know why rapists attack rape women? Because they know the victim's community and law enforcement will be less likely to believe them."

Tyler Kingkade of the Huffington Post offered a male perspective. He wrote, "A woman should not have to fear that if she reaches a certain blood alcohol level, one of her friends, acquaintances or even boyfriend might sexually assault her."

If you’re in need of some comic relief, BuzzFeed responded to quotes from the article through a series of over-the-top reaction shots in the form of animated GIFs depicting the rapper Drake. The author added, "Women should be able to live in a world where they can drink to their heart's content without having to worry about being violently assaulted." We'll drink (multiple drinks) to that!
Amanda Hess, another contributing writer for Slate, had a few things to say: "We can prevent the most rapes on campus by putting our efforts toward finding and punishing those perpetrators, not by warning their huge number of potential victims to skip out on parties."

The Atlantic Wire's headline put it succinctly: "Slate Forgot That the One Common Factor in Rapes are Rapists."


Feminist Friday: Lectures Still Aren’t Magic

This recaps a lot of what has been already posted, but it's handy to have in one thread

This Week in Ladybits

Ugh. UGH. I know we talk about the massive, draconian efforts to restrict abortion in this section, a lot, but have we talked lately about the massive efforts to restrict birth control? Birth control. What freaking YEAR is this?

This week in particular, poor friendly birth control got dragged back into the debt ceiling fight as a faction of the GOP tried to force a “conscience clause” — an out for employers who don’t think ladies who work for them should be able to get naughty bad birth control covered by their insurance plans — into the Affordable Care Act in exchange for letting the federal government start functioning again.

The trend is even more alarming because so many of the loudest voices against birth control remain willfully ignorant about how it works. It’s really easy to stick to one hardcore position in an argument when you let the facts just bounce straight off your skull.

It might be time to be less polite about the fact that we have religious fanatics in elected offices, large and small. If you’re LGBT or female or any combination of those things, the words “Biblical law” should make you very jumpy.

And yes, abortion clinics are still shutting down. Take a look at Ohio.


**Want to help prevent domestic violence? Join our live Twitter chat with Jackson Katz

**Want to help prevent domestic violence? Join our live Twitter chat with Jackson Katz on Monday, October 21 at 3pm ET.**

In the US alone, one in four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime, and nearly three million men are victims of physical assaults.

Those are staggering figures, and TEDx speaker Jackson Katz is determined to make sure they change. The author, filmmaker (his latest film was just released yesterday!), gender violence prevention educator, and anti-sexism activist is a tough-looking former football player who became the first male to ever receive a women’s studies minor at University of Massachusetts Amherst (true story!), and now works with thousands of people — high school students, Marines, professional athletes, corporate leaders — to help them understand how to put gender violence in its place. That is, away completely.

We got tons of questions after his talk at TEDxFidiWomen last year (we’re still getting them, in fact!), so in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Jackson Katz will answer as many of your questions as he can.

Please join us on MONDAY, OCTOBER 21 at 3pm ET for a live Twitter chat with Jackson Katz. You can follow the conversation with the hashtag #TEDxChat, or check out the @TEDx feed.

We want your questions, your comments, your ideas — everything you’ve ever wanted to ask a male, anti-sexist, feminist activist about life, culture, and everything in between — so bring ‘em on. What do you want to ask?


Program Note: ABC’s 20/20 story on the manosphere will run this Friday

It’s here at last! After numerous delays, the 20/20 story looking at the manosphere — and the part it plays in the online harassment of women — will be running on ABC this Friday, October 18, at 10 PM EST. Among the featured participants: the always charming Paul Elam of A Voice for Men; Anita Sarkeesian, the much-harassed feminist video game critic; and Jaclyn Friedman, the ass-kicking founder of Women, Action & the Media.

Here’s a teaser story on the ABC website which suggests that the 20/20 piece isn’t exactly going to be a triumphant moment in the history of the Men’s Rights Movement.

Naturally, the comments section over there is already filled with A Voice for Menners crying foul and spouting nonsense.

EDIT: And stop by here Friday to live chat during the show! (Well, live comment, anyway.)


Fun Breast Cancer® Awareness™ Products That Can Cause Breast Cancer®

Breast Cancer®, the America's Sweetheart of deadly, disfiguring diseases that it is, inspires a deluge of pink junk for sale every October. Some of that pink junk, in addition to being ugly, cloying, and infantilizing, contains chemicals that have been linked to boobs full of tumors. No Awareness™ like the Awareness™ that comes with, uh, actually having Breast Cancer®, right? (swan dives onto subway tracks, directly in path of pink branded Breast Cancer® Awareness™ train.)

For years, Breast Cancer Action has valiantly stood up against pinkwashing, a term they coined to refer to insidious Breast Cancer® cause marketing that doesn't actually do anything but exploit people's good intentions to at best pad corporate pockets and at worst convince people to expose themselves to carcinogenic chemicals For The Cause. This year, BCAction is focusing its October campaign on pushing for more government regulation of carcinogenic products, and more testing of chemicals for consumer safety by updating the Toxic Substance Control Act, a law that hasn't been updated since 1976. Prevention! Sounds like a common-sense, helpful approach to fighting a disease that still affects millions of women in the US, right? EVERYONE WILL GO FOR THIS, RIGHT?!

Hahahahahahahhahahahahahahah (laughs ruefully until out of oxygen, takes deep breath)— No. Needless to say, BCAction is a bit of a David compared to the corporate and government Goliaths who stand to benefit from the free-for-all chemical status quo. Here are just a few of the dozens of exhausting examples of PINK products that hurt more than they help.

Susan G. Komen For The Cure caught flack when they marketed Promise Me perfume 2 years ago. Promise Me, in addition to smelling like aerosolized sadness, contained coumarin, toluene, galaxolide, and oxybenzone, each of which is classified as a harmful chemical. Once word spread on the carcinogenic Cancer Perfume, Komen promised to reformulate. They didn't, however, pull existing stock from stores.
Procter & Gamble and Walmart have formed an unholy union with the Cleaning for a Reason campaign, which markets pink limited edition Swiffer products. Swiffer cloths contain various chemicals that would be regulated under an updated TSCA.


"The result of feminism is that women have been reduced to being nothing but sex objects"

The Sunshiny One uses this as a starting point for a bizarre post purporting to show that “feminism has also reduced many women to being childless careerists who must purchase other women’s reproductive capabilities.”

But let’s forget about Mary for now and take a somewhat deeper look at this whole “feminism reduces women to sex objects” argument — which only makes sense if, like Just Saying, you define the worth of women as consisting only of 1) sex and 2) “housewifely duties” like cooking, cleaning, and bearing children.

If you simply ignore all of a woman’s other abilities and accomplishments, and basically her humanity, well, I suppose you could say that the worth of a woman with no interest in cooking, cleaning, or children was “reduced” to sex.

But what a strange way to look at the world, to base your judgement of a person’s worth on a small subset of human interests and abilities and to condemn them if they aren’t enthusiastic experts in these pursuits. You might as well go around dismissing everyone who’s not a proficient accordion player.

The other strange thing about Just Saying’s argument is that it doesn’t even make sense on its own terms; it requires a willful blindness as to how the world works these days. Women make up roughly half the workforce today. Yet babies are still being born and raised. Meals are still getting cooked. Homes are still getting cleaned. It may not always be a wife in a traditional marriage doing all the cooking and cleaning and baby-raising, but couples — and single parents — are making the arrangements they need to in order to get all these things done.


Why This Janet Mock Photo Is More Important Than You Think

My sis Janet Mock has been piling up the frequent flyer miles lately with recent trips from New York to the University of Louisville and The Ohio State University to talk about our issues. But it's the Ohio State trip that raised my eyebrows, especially after I saw her photo with the legendary bell hooks.


Janet was elated to discover the next day that Ms. hooks not only stayed up all night to read it, she was quoting passages from it during their discussion.
Last night, upon our first meeting, I gave bell my book Redefining Realness, and she surprised me at breakfast this AM by having read the entire book. She actually read passages to the audience! It was a transformative experience for both of us, as black women from different generations and experiences to share stories, insights and thoughts.

One of the things we African-American trans women have needed African American cis women to understand is that trans women are women. We are just as down for the cause of uplifting Black womanhood if just given the opportunity to do so. We have also needed cis Black women to understand that some of the issues we Black trans women face walking around in a Black female body are the same cultural and societal issues Black cis women face with the additional challenges of anti-trans discrimination and off the charts violence we have to deal with on top of it.

So yeah, that picture of Janet and bell hooks is a Big Fracking Deal. So are the Black Trans Revolution Will Not Be Televised (or blogged about) conversations Janet had with her once the just as important one during the OSU event was completed.

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