From here to there

// 4 December 2008

US feminist bloggers and activists are organising a conference next year in DC, called Fem2.0.

I like their list of conference goals:

To harness the power of women on the Internet to promote women’s issues.

To create a forum – starting with the Fem2.0 website and continuing through the event – for women to discuss the issues that are of most concern to them today, and to encourage them to use the Internet to learn more, express their opinions about them and advocate for policies that benefit women and families.

To create an opportunity for a “meeting of minds” across generations and media platforms.

To unite women’s voices behind the issues that the vast majority of women support, such as education, healthcare, workplace fairness and economic security.

To position women’s issues and their advocates for the incoming administration.

To draw new audiences to women’s issues, especially those who are Internet-focused and can cross-pollinate to increase activism.

Expand the audience of women engaged in online media activity and activism.

Penny Red has written a must-read post, about how the mental health services “treated” her with creepy attempts to correct her gender presentation and sexuality:

When I was in a mental institution, a lot of otherwise well-meaning medical professionals conspired to screw up my gender identity pretty much permanently, for the best of reasons (they wanted to help me get better) and the worst (they believed that conforming to received ideas of ‘feminine’ behaviour was the best way for me to demonstrate a new, mentally healthy outlook).

Zoe at Shameless pulls together some information on “vulvodynia, severe and often debilitating pain at the opening of the vagina”. She says that after researching a piece on vulvodynia, she found out that relatives and friends had experienced the condition. She also makes this point:

Sadly, even when the condition is mentioned in the mainstream media, it will be misrepresented or trivialized. Magazines will say “if you’re having pain ‘down there’ talk to your doctor” – without mentioning that your doctor will frequently know less than you do.

Mirror’s Edge is absolutely the next game I’m going to play – Latoya at Racialicious has an interesting analysis, not of the game-play, but how the conversations about the game have gone. ‘Games’ I don’t intend to play include this.

Rhetorically Speaking hilariously charts the Daily Mail’s hyprocricy on its coverage of the Polish community. Sparked off by its coverage of Chris Moyles saying:

‘If you’re Polish you’re just very good at ironing…in my experience prostitutes make very good cleaners.’

Wow, yeah, Polish people are just naturally suited to domestic labour and prostitution.

PortlyDyke wrote another amazing post, this time on the subject of being in the closet.

Over at Bird of Paradox, Helen calls attention to a case where a doctor was let off without jail after sexually assaulting a trans woman.

Kay at The Gimp Parade highlights a case in which the family of a 16-year-old girl are still to be allowed to care for her, although they’ve been convicted of raping her.

And, finally, Sinclair asks what are your Identity Alignment Assumptions?

Comments From You

Hannah // Posted 4 December 2008 at 8:15 pm

“Kay at The Gimp Parade highlights a case in which the family of a 16-year-old girl are still to be allowed to care for her, although they’ve been convicted of raping her. ”

This news article was focussing on a Korean girl and her family, but this does happen in the UK too. I’m not going to use any specifics because I don’t want to get my mum into any trouble- but she is chairing a committee investigating the actions of the young (under-18) disability service in a county in the Midlands who have allowed a mentally-disabled young woman be continually sexually and physically abused in the care of her own family. A medical professional involved in the case has (reportedly) allowed incestual rape to go on because it “stopped her family raping boys” – IE, their raping of someone who was less able to understand prevented the family’s paedophilia. I don’t know the details of the case, just what my mum has told me (she’s understandably shaken by the investigation). Also- quite recently the story of another family in which incenstous rape was used (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/doctor-linked-to-british-fritzl-case-suspended-by-gmc-1041645.html) came to the press. I’m not trying to discount that it happens abroad, but think that we should also be aware that it happens here too. At the root of it, medical professionals and care services whose attitudes need serious revision. I know very well that these are huge, sprawling and difficult organisations to manage- but I can’t help thinking that a large part of the root of it misogyny.

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