eumelia: (killshot kono)
Trigger Warning: Homophobia, biphobia and general rage contained therein.


My anger had been building since Saturday to be perfectly honest, when I read a fic which decided to chuck caution to the wind, make up shit about gay culture and gay sex and made me realise how alienated I feel from my fandom in general. But that, really, is beside the point.

I've been pissed off the whole day. I honest to god felt as though my identity was being attacked.

Two columns I read this morning made me feel gutted and ripped.

I'm bisexual. I'm gay. I'm lesbian. I'm queer. I'm all the letters except the T in LGBT. These are things I have been for as long as I could articulate. I use each identity in different circumstances. This is a common thing, I suspect, presenting different things in different situations.

But this morning reading an account of a lesbian explaining herself to straight people in a Vagendamag column called Lesbian, a Lifestyle in which the writers gives a grocery list of the various "types" of queers for the comfort and benefit of straight readers, something which jarred me.

I'm not easily jarred.

The casual way in which she talks about the stereotypes, as though they are taxonomy of exotic animals and birds to be found in the scene, from flamboyant femmes to greedy bisexuals, all to tack make sure we're ticked off the list.

Oh, it's tongue in cheek and in vogue with talking about the commodification of identities, after all, we're not a community, we're merely consumers.

And still, in a feminist mag and column about gay women I expect to be spoken to, not spoken about and yeah, it was jarring.

I'm not an exhibit at the zoo to be spoken about to the curious spectators.

The second article that honest to god made me feel like shit for a better part of the day was this column from the HuffPo UK, titled: Bisexuality: Is It Fun, Non Committal or Just Plain Greedy?.
As you can probably imagine, it was like a bingo card of biphobic shit.

Greedy, check. Indecisive, check. Trendy, check. Half gay, check. Half straight check.

When I was 15 I was confused about a lot of things. One of the things I was quite sure of was that I was attracted to boys and to girl and to to people in drag.

When I was 20 and I'd gone through five years of telling the various members of my family, at different times and for various reasons, that I'm bisexual, I thought I was done. I thought, that's it, who else do I have to tell?

Everyone.

All the time.

I do not like assumptions made about me. I do not like it when my identity, when the word I do not like as a rule, but is the only one I have, is used against me. To be called lazy for not picking a "side"? To be called greedy because of the stupid stereotype that those attracted to more than one sex and gender are somehow incapable of fidelity?

There is no "side", I am not straight! I was never straight! There is no place for me in straight culture and society, not since I was 15, so anyone who wants to talk to me about "picking a side" regarding who I chose to have a relationship with can fuck off.

Two articles that made me feel like shit, written by members of a community I generally consider myself a part of. The former wrote to appease the curiosity and needs of straight readers and the latter decided to write a polemic in which he accused bisexual men and women of being lesser human being on the sexual level.

My god, this is what assimilation brings us, total invalidation and invisibility from those who now have the privilege to be "normal".

It's not easy, because there is a constant demand that I apologise for not being exactly what I'm expected to be.

I sick of being apologetic about existing in the manner that I do.

I'm not an exhibit at the fucking zoo.

Tumblr crosspost
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
To anyone and everyone who is (re)blogging or (re)posting or (re)tweeting pictures of dead or injured children (or anyone) connected to the current violence raging in Israel/Palestine, please stop.

Please stop spreading images of the worst time in someone's life.

Please stop spreading images of salacious violence.

Please stop spreading images of death that are used as propaganda.

Please stop enabling the callous and cynical use of pain and suffering.

Please stop enabling the media to be a source of death pornography.

The use of dead children to create sympathy says more about you, than about anything else.

I ask this, not because I am a sensitive and delicate flower who cannot abide the image of blood or of poor dead babies. No, it is because I despise the use of pain and suffering of real people as an attempt to manipulate my emotions.

I hope the worst time of your lives aren't used so callously.

"So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent- if not inappropriate- response."

Susan Sontag, "Regarding the Pain of Others"


Orginally posted on my tumblr. Twice.
eumelia: (bullshit)
So hey,

Did you guys hear about the Jewish-Israeli guy who created a seditious movie against Muslims, that was the groundwork for a murderous attack in Lybia.

Neither Jewish, nor Israeli, but a Copt Christian.

Jews are excellent scapegoats when it comes to spreading racist Islamophobic bullshit.

When you think about it, it's pretty clever, a Christian pretends to be Jewish in order to incite violence among Muslims, so that Jews get the blame.

Tell me again how religion brings people together?
eumelia: (valerie)
Another well known white man whose sexuality has been a source of speculation and assumption for years finally confirmed the "rumours".

I am impressed, because the decision to be unambiguous is not an easy one, especially when the ethics involved may not be exactly what we assume them to be.

When I saw the news that Anderson Cooper had decided to brush off any remaining ambiguity regarding his sexuality, I mentioned it the office. My place of work likes to be up to date and we are a very gay friendly company, in fact the team I work with has the same amount of women as well as men, and three out of the team of eight are queer.

I mentioned it and one of my co-workers said, "about time". This co-worker happens to be straight.

Of course, then, a whole discussion about being when gay people are ready to tell other people, and celebrities who might be "uncomfortable" with their sexuality and a whole slew of other rather trite notions regarding when and why gay celebrities chose to come out.

I'd like to stay on the notion of "about time". This phrasing implies, quite explicitly, that Anderson Cooper should have been out and loud a long time ago. I hadn't really thought about that, despite the fact that if you worked in media, or followed the media, or followed the speculation regarding gay celebrities for whatever reason (me, I like knowing who my people are), you knew who is gay and who isn't, up to a point.

Anderson Cooper decided to be explicit about his sexuality because, as he wrote in his email to Andrew Sullivan:
[...]I’ve begun to consider whether the unintended outcomes of maintaining my privacy outweigh personal and professional principle. It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something - something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.[...]
Emphasis mine.

Related, when Quinto came out (and I wrote about it on DW and LJ), he made it a moral issue. Which, personally, is my stance on it as well. I make it my business to make sure the people I interact with know who they are talking to. The assumption that I am straight, simply because it doesn't occur to other people that there not everyone is straight (also known as heterosexism), is one that I am confronted in practically every facet of my life.

When Cooper says the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something, he is talking about a requirement mandated by straight society.

To be out is an ethical stand point. But it isn't something LGBT people actually owe straight society to do.

Emily Emanuel of Tiger Beatdown writes about exactly this in a post titled: People in Glass Closets: Anderson Cooper and Straight Responses to Coming Out.

Emanuel discusses the little micro-aggressions well meaning liberals choose to condescend onto queer people when it comes to public people coming out of the closet.

You should read her whole post, but the one thing that resonated with me in this post and every time another celebrity "Casually Come Out" (I don't totally agree with everything that's written here, but that's a post for another day) is this:
[..]when heterosexuals ask, “why does Anderson Cooper have to come out as gay,” I reply: “because you do not have to come out as heterosexual.”

Heterosexuals do announce their sexuality in public, all the time, of course. Walking down the street holding hands, kissing their lover, wearing wedding rings, clothing and other aesthetic codes. But it is not a movement from unacknowledged to public, it has no risk or social consequences in itself. In his coming out letter, Cooper notes that he didn’t come out because a reporter’s private life shouldn’t matter. Indeed. But part of the point is, being heterosexual isn’t private – it’s public.


When I was younger I lived on the ambiguity, it made me feel safe, I had the privilege of it and I didn't consider it something I needed to do in order to have integrity.

My tune changed as I was burned and my rage coalesced.

Regardless I am no longer ambiguous and that's a choice I made. The fact that I have to make that choice, that it is a staple in the life of LGBT people at all, tells us the demand that is placed on us by straight society and the assumptions that are forced onto us.

The other side of the coin is the demand from LGBT people for ambiguous or speculated celebrities to be upfront about who they are in the name of an agenda to promote LGBT visibility, rights and companies who want to shown as inclusive. A legitimate desire, I am dying for more LGBT representation in the mainstream media.

Still, the demand comes from a place to maintain a binary of making sure and deciding who is In and who is Out. Inside and outside what, I couldn't say.

I think it is a big deal that these celebrities are choosing to be unambiguous. I think we should also start unpacking why it is white men who have successful careers within the mainstream media that are getting the attention. Jodi Foster and Wanda Sykes notwithstanding, why so few celebrity women are coming out in the same manner and why the whole phenomena is so overwhelmingly white.

#2 Entry of the Queer Bundle.
eumelia: (queer rage)
I just worked though my feelings regarding President Obama's statement of marriage equality in the United States by creating fanfic with another non-American fan.

I'm gay and she's straight and we were both... unimpressed. Probably for different reasons. Her country has had marriage equality for over a decade. I live in a country that has no civil marriage for anyone.

Look at that quote.

This is what President Obama said (Via The Atlantic Wire):
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,”


Now look at me.

President Obama has laid out in those few sentences what his opinion about marriage equality is about.

An opinion, that should have no bearing on the law.

No one's opinion should have any bearing on the nature of people's relationship.

Beyond that, he's making it a personal issue, as opposed to a social issue, reiterating the false dichotomy that what matters, is what matters to the people he knows and that the rest will have to find different solution.

When he says - "when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together," - he is giving us the baseline of decent gay people, of worthy gay people. Long term and monogamous who are productive members of society by being reproductive members of society.

And if they're not reproducing, they're out there killing people in far away lands - "when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone," - because now gay people can go out into the world, openly, and kill anyone in the name of Freedom, Liberty and Democracy.

That was sarcasm.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a cruel decree, and its repeal is a good thing (This is not sarcasm).

That doesn't make the draft a tool of progress for gay people. Being able to be visible is a necessary thing, and I don't begrudge that. However, the fact that the fight was focused on this repeal as though it would change the culture of homophobia inherent to an institution based on hierarchy and conservative notions of masculinity, kind of boggles me.

Taking the above into account and once again, marriage equality is placed out there as a prize the second class citizens of America need to aspire to.

I find that notion absolutely abhorrent.

People sexuality, their relationship style, their loyalty to the government and reproductive choices should not be a standard for their humanity.

And their humanity should not be equated with a state contract.

"I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married"

The President's personal opinion has no bearing, whatsoever, on the inherent humanity of gay people, who may or may not be in a relationship.

The fact that his personal opinion is favourable, but he states at the same time that it should be remain a state issue is extremely telling.

Ironically, Obama has been the best President with regards to Trans issues, which is saying something, considering the majority of marriage equality advocates shuffle trans people under the bus when it comes to pushing an agenda. I see it in the States and I see it in my own locale.

And that's why I've been saying gay people throughout.

There is no discussion of the humanity and dignity of bisexual people, or men and women and other genders I couldn't name who are in a relationship that may or may not be romantic. Or who aren't in a relationship at all. There is no discussion of kinship without marriage. There is no discussion of healthcare plans without a spouse. Why is there a moral imperative when it comes to children?

Bottom line.

Obama expressed his personal opinion that marriage is something gay people have to earn. By fighting, tooth and nail.

This is progress?
eumelia: (bullshit)
It feels like these things write themselves, honestly.

I read on twitter that the Livejournal com [livejournal.com profile] ontd posted a link to an article about what Famous Authors Have to Say About Fanfiction.

On the subject matter I can only go, oy; on which I will expand.

But the way I got to this article is interesting in it's own right. Fandom uses social media to interact with itself and with creators has made the audience, more than ever before, an active participant in the culture.

I don't think we've ever been passive consumers in any way; the whole "water cooler" concept that has been around for decades is proof of that. However, the fact that we have the option of really communicating with artists on a basic conversational level, thereby eliminating the class distinction between those who have access to creators of culture and those who do not (up to a point, just using a computer and the internet is class indicative) is something new.

Not to mention, the audience being creative and transformative in its own right.

We, as the audience, interact with art. It's a basic part of being human. Having, creating and interpreting culture.

Without an audience, the artists have no one to be bitches at.

When I read quotes from the likes of authors whom feel a kind of ownership over their characters because fanfic authors "steal them" and only the "original" authors have the "right" to abuse their characters (as JRR Martin put it) all I can do is sigh, regroup and remember that without me, as a reader, there would be no point to what they created. In an original fashion of course, because every author is never derivative.

I get that this is part of the whole "50 Shades of Grey" issue that seems to be plaguing the mainstream media.

The mainstream media doesn't know how to talk about active audience participation, transformative art (be if fic, art or vid) and it doesn't know how to talk about the fact that no work exists in a vacuum.

If there's something I've learnt in reading about "50 Shades of Grey", is that fandom is a culture and that being fannish is a way to participate in the world that not everyone gets, even if they are big geek or nerd or a reader of derivative fiction like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" or a watcher of shows like "Sherlock".

To read a book and want more than what the author wrote down is not a sign that we do not respect the author. The author, really, is irrelevant, because what we want is to interact with the words on the page. And it's not "the author is dead". They're not dead, but they are outside the work just like the audience.

What they meant and their intent is as optional as our own fannish head-canon.

Word of God is not canon. It exists outside the text, outside the show, behind the scenes.

As such, when articles like the one above writes:
While some authors support, or at least tolerate, the practice, others vehemently oppose it, citing monetary issues as well as feelings of personal violation and another sentiment that roughly translates to “if you were really creative, you’d make up your own characters.”


All I can say is, you do not own a work of art. You deserve to get paid for the work that you've done and I buy books and dvd's because I whole heartedly believe that creative work deserves to be recognised in a way that both credits and supports the creator, you do not have a say in the way I, my fellow fans or anyone else interprets your work, interacts with it or creates through it.

We are equal to you in our importance to the culture.

We also outnumber you.

[Entry #002]
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
Just because Israel doesn't automatically persecute gay men, lesbian women, bisexual people and trans people, mean that Israel is so bloody progressive when it comes to LGBT rights.

As regular readers know, I've been pretty vigilant about the way the LGBT community is being used as a way to cover up the disastrous human rights violations Israel commits on a daily basis, not only to the various ethnic minorities, but to LGBT people - a minority that crosses ethnic and religious "divides".

"Pinkwashing" isn't new, but it's getting a lot of news due to the fact that Israel's "re-branding" is, hah, failing.

Back in November, Sarah Schulman wrote an op-ed in the New York Times about this strategy that Israel uses, through its foreign ministry, its tourist industry - don't you know that Americans voted Tel Aviv as the best Gay city in the world! - and just plain flinging all those wonderful "rights" us queers have in the Holy land. Excuse me, I must go vomit.

Taking all that into account - the fact that there is this constant push and pull regarding Israel's image as a liberal oasis in a desert of religious conservatism - people seem to forget that all those "rights" lovingly bestowed onto the gay community (and yes, there is a big difference between the gay men and every other group put together in the alphabet soup of LGBT) are not presented accurately to the world, or more to the point to the United States.

A recent pinkwashing op-ed by a fellow by the name of Scott Piro wrote that:
Israel is the only Middle Eastern country where people are not persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

He then lays out the "facts" about Israeli LGBT life:
Israel has passed anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTs.

Formal laws, do not rights make. Not to mention that women still receive 75% of the average salary as opposed to men. Consider a two women house-hold, when both women work in what is considered a "second-salary slot".
I can't even begin to tell you how fucked transgender people are when it comes to labour, because no one will fucking hire them - trans people are not protected under anti-discrimination laws with regards to the work place - putting that T in LGBT, launders the reality of trans people in Israel, who I can safely say are the most fucked over group under the queer umbrella.
Unless they also happen to be Palestinian. More on that, in a bit.
And sure, businesses are not allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples or people who have a gender non-conforming appearance, but hey, if you're a religious institution you most certainly can!
That's just the tip, of course.

Israel Recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad.
No, Israel does not. It writes on the ID card "married" for couples who got married in a country where same-sex marriage is legal, because international law requires that there be equal status in all documents. The fact is, if you are same-sex couple and you got married in, say, Canada (like many of the wealthier gays and lesbians do), your status will be written, but not recognised and you have the same rights as a registered co-habitated or common-law married couple.

So, uh, you can scratch that off the list.

Israel has legalized LGBT adoption rights.
The supreme court allowed one lesbian couple to cross-adopt each other's biological children. It is a legal precedent, like most LGBT "rights" in Israel, as opposed to actual pro-active legislation.

Can this horse get any higher?

LGBT soldiers serve openly in all military branches, including special units; discrimination is prohibited.
Only Americans find this special. Seriously. Just because you had DADT for too fucking long (read, at all) doesn't mean that the fact that LGB (if you are a T and are out you will most likely be exempt from military service for reasons relating to mental health. Snack on that.) serve "openly" make the IDF in any way progressive. Considering the fact that the IDF is growing more religiously conservative as we speak and has rabbis telling soldiers to not hear a woman sing on pain of death, I can't see the fact that some boys and girls in certain units are out (you are not likely to be out in a cambat unit, as opposed to an intel unit, for instance) make the army liberal.

And in any event, why would we want to emulate a militaristic, hierarchical, masculine-supremacist, racist and patriarchal institution?

Same-sex couples have the same inheritance rights as heterosexual, married couples.
Wrong again. Inheritance rights for unmarried, common-law married or co-habitating couples relies on drawing up official papers and making your spouse your beneficiary, unlike heterosexual married couples, where it is automatic.

So you see folks. We may not be the worst, but really, when you compare us to actual Western countries (because we pretend to be one), we are not in the best shape. In other words, it's really easy to compare us to countries where things are really bad and come out looking quite good.

Also, of course, all this is related to Jewish LGB(T) people in Israel. The fact is, Israel uses the hard won fights the LGBT community has wrought throughout the years in order to cover up the fact that it violates international law and human rights in the West Bank, Gaza and in Israel proper - where is the help for Palestinian LGBT's in the West Bank and Gaza? There is a reason Israel based Palestinian queer groups like Aswat and Al-Qaws are critical of the mainstream and Jewish LGBT community for lapping up the fact that we are being used as a fig leaf for Israel's human rights violations.

Don't tell me Israel is a "queer oasis".
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
It occurred to me that my previous post was a whole lot of whine and cheese about a life, in which, I really don't have all that much to complain about.

(BIG WARNING:Graphic Pictures of Wounds and Violence)

I mean, why complain about a leaky toilet when the IDF shoots a protester at point blank with a grenade launcher, subsequently kills him and proceed to attack the funeral procession.

Don't talk to me about the most moral army in the world, 'kay?

Speaking of fallacious images. Did you know that Israel is the best place to be gay in the Middle East? No, really, it is.

We have rights, and parties, and freedom of expression and places in which we can gather safely!

Oh, wait.

Considering what happened in 2009 at the LGBT youth club and the fact that the people who come to the Tel-Aviv LGBT centre and the park in which it is situated are routinely assaulted, the whole, "it's goo to be gay in Israel" stance is more dissonant than ever before.

My age is showing, because what I consider a "gay park" is not what they mean in the article.

Especially when you consider the fact that pinkwashing as a propaganda tactic is at an all time low. At least, I hope my fellow siblings aren't as gullible as the Foreign Office would like to believe.

I've spoken about Pinkwashing before and last month the whole shebang was blown out of the water by Sarah Schulman who posted a brilliant op-ed in the New York Times titled Israel and 'Pinkwashing', in which she writes:
[...]
In 2005, with help from American marketing executives, the Israeli government began a marketing campaign, “Brand Israel,” aimed at men ages 18 to 34. The campaign, as reported by The Jewish Daily Forward, sought to depict Israel as “relevant and modern.” The government later expanded the marketing plan by harnessing the gay community to reposition its global image.
[...]
The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”


'nuff said, really.
eumelia: (master politician)
It's worse, because it is far more insidious than ever. You know the old saying about the frog in the boiling pot?

That's us.

It's been forever since I've had a good "bad news" round up. This platform has become something of an escape for me, you see, since the Summer in which thousands of people took to the streets protesting the current political, financial and social disparity in Israel - we forgot to take into account the underlying reason the current government has managed to shut us up and shut us out.

We are occupying another people and the Summer of so-called social change decided that that was too "political", not to do with "us" and not to do with the fact that the cost of living is practically unbearable within Israel. Because that's one thing and Israeli society is another.

Apartheid never seemed so clear.

Over the past few months, while we were resting on the laurels of actually being in the street and protesting the Men, the superficiality of (Jewish) women's equality has been steadily eroding.

Who is to blame? I mean, other than patriarchy. Of course.

Deepening religious extremism is one reason, I mean, when you have a Settler Rabbi telling soldiers should chose death rather than suffer a woman singing. You may go O_o at this little piece of News, but when you have more conservative interpretations to the Jewish adage "A woman's voice is Ervah" i.e. the sound of a woman's voice is pubic or sexual by it's very nature.

A woman is nothing but her sex, of course.

Speaking of voices, our freedom of speech has been basically been taken away, I can't tell you who you should boycott for fear of being sued for damages and now I can't call the Prime Minister, for example, a smug lying asshole, due to this abso-fucking-loutly spiffing amendment bill.

In which, and I quote the article linked above:
The bill represents an amendment to Israel's existing libel law, which would make it possible to sue a newspaper for libel, not only for commensurate compensation for any tangible damage caused by the publication, but for an additional sum of NIS 300,000 − without having to prove damages.

Emphasis mine.

Was there an emergency meeting of journalists? You bet there was.

Unsurprisingly, this bill coincides with the firing of one of Israel's few true watch dogs from public broadcasting Keren Neubach. As you can read in the link, the "reason" given? She "looks" bad on screen.
They're not even bothering any more.

Ditto on shutting down the Ramallah based radio station Palestinian-Israeli cooperative "Kol Ha'Shalom" (a play on words, as "Kol" is a Hebrew homophone for "voice" and "all").

Last night 2000 people rallied in protest of this bill.

2000. Yep, that many.

That really is the equivalent of crickets chirping.

The other bills that have been passing through the Knesset floor have been eroding civil society for years.

But wait. There's more.

The totalitarian nature of the Occupation is finally catching up with Israel proper. The non-violent demonstrations in the West Bank, exemplified by the recent Freedom Rider arrests (amazing pictures) shows the stark contrast of what is actually happening on the ground and the mindset of the average Israeli.

I mean, when the Prime Minister "shelves" the bill set out to persecute NGO's by limiting their funds, but his Foreign Minister goes ahead and does it anyway is, well, telling.

Add to that the fact that there is an all out political attack on the political science department of Negev's Ben-Gurion University, the alarm bells should be ringing off the walls.

Because when the Germans are telling the Israeli government: Um, excuse me, this is not very good and we're really sorry that we have to criticise you like this.

History repeats and really, the Germans would know.

In the meantime, my parents are watching commentary about a documentary about Steve Jobs and Apple.

I fucking hate the world.
eumelia: (mystique)
My whole life it's been thrown in my face.

As an accusation, more than anything. As a way to deflate my arguments, my words and my own feelings.

I'm over sensitive, so I'm looking to be offended.

I'm over sensitive, so I imagined the teasing, it was meant as a compliment.

I'm over sensitive, so the disparaging looks and gazes hurled at me were imagined, in my head, actually want it to happen just so I have something to complain about.

What does it actually mean, to be called out as "over sensitive"?

It has always, always been used as a way to silence me. It has always been a weapon to cut me at the knees and make sure I know my place - silent and weeping in the corner.

And it's not even being aware that the world is shit and that bad things happen due to disparity in power dynamics and gross social injustices.

This has been my life since I was a child.

And now, as an adult, and I swallow the lump in my throat because everything I say is coloured by this prism of sensitivity.

It is flung in my face too often and getting tips by those who silence me how to deal with the silencing is a small comfort - especially when I'm told they feel sorry that I take things so personally.

My over "sensitivity" fuelled rage wants to take a chair and throw it over someone's head, but social programming prevents me from going feral in a house of residence, or, you know at all.

It's just, you know, this week has had a few wins against the patriarchy, what with Israel's rapist (ex-)president going away for seven years and participating in an event protesting the marginalisation of women in Israel due to growing religious extremism, but reading about the news about Penn State in the United States and that getting into an argument about the position of women in public and the symptom of street harassment and how people do not get that this is all connected, it makes me bury my face in my hands and wail inside my head.

Yeah, if I'm sensitive, I fear how numb so many other people in my life are.

Being called over sensitive is equivalent to being called irrelevant. I am too sensitive to judge anything fairly or have an informed opinion about anything because it the speech of an hysterical woman.

I regret to say I left the conversation. I often do. It is difficult for me to handle the assault over my emotions and my perceptions, because when I fight back I will raise my voice and my abrasiveness will overtake and being of small statue and round face, I do not look like an informed and factual feminist woman, but more like an angry teenage girl with a grudge against the world.

My body dictates the perception.

This is how it has always been.

I'll just sit here and swallow the tears that make my eyes shine and my voice catch, because obviously, it is useless to speak for too long about that which has forced me to grow a skin that feels foreign to me.
eumelia: (resist!)
As you know I am currently jobless. The prospect of getting a job at the moment is daunting as the economy is particularly tanked and it has actually been convenient for me to have all this time on my hands in order to deal with the disaster of moving into an apartment that wasn't as good as [Sexy!Roommate] and I first thought.

Not all that glitters is gold as the saying goes.

The country is very likely to be going on general strike tomorrow, which I am totally for, as the only way to get the workers who are outsourced any rights is for the public and semi-public sectors to shut down the systems.

The amount of anti-strike sentiment is unsettling, considering the summer of "Social Justice" we supposedly had. It stops it touches you personally, huh. It also goes to show how out of touch so many people in this country are.

Yeah, I need the bus and the train, but the people who clean the buses and bus stations deserve a living wage.

The universities are also striking, so tomorrow [Sexy!Roommate] and I will clean the place up and hopefully get other shit done that doesn't require me to be attached to the phone.

I have had it up to here with the effing phone.

With luck, things will settle by mid-November and I'll be able to get a move on job finding wise and the apartment won't give me any more headaches.

Next up: I fucking hate religion.
eumelia: (music)
I recently acquired the new Florence + The Machine album Ceremonials. It is very good in my opinion.

But tell me friends, how do you know which if the contemporary artists and musicians you like are popular or not?

I don't watch MTV, my trawling through Youtube is sketchy at best and usually directed towards videos of cute cat or various political gatherings and suffice to say that Israel is so stuck in the 90's that the website selling tickets for the K's Choice tour crashed several times when it opened up for locals to buy (yes, I have a ticket, weehee!). Oh, and I don't follow the charts or the Grammy's unless it's research for something I'm writing that's set in a certain time frame (which means I'm more likely going to be looking at charts from the 60's or the 70's).

We are slightly dated, also the radio is an unreliable source of knowing which acts are popular or not in my opinion.

I'll be the first to admit that my taste in music is terribly banal and ordinary. I have a few bootlegs (that I digitised) of underground queer core songs, but I don't listen to those on a regular basis and I bought the bootlegs in order to support an anarchist collective as opposed to actually liking the music, so, yeah...

It's just that, I read this article about Florence + The Machine and the middle class apathy and I really couldn't figure out what this guy was talking about?

Am I utterly mixed in my genres? Since when is a remixed to death and multi voice track recording considered folk?

I'll admit that I'm slightly dated in my definitions (seeing as I'm an avid Joni Mitchell listener, as well as Joan Baez and Tracy Chapman), but um, am I missing something?

I mean, isn't Florence + The Machine more like Lady Gaga than, say, Suzanne Vega?
eumelia: (Default)
I'm watching the prisoner exchange happening now.

I didn't feel comfortable commenting on the story until I knew what would happen on the day itself.

I'm still waiting for something to go wrong.

But I'm just happy this saga is over, even though a new saga will begin.

My cynicism and abhorrence of my current administration disables me from feeling the euphoria I am supposed to in this moment.

More on that later, most likely.

Now, I am getting pissed off at pundits and idiotic narrow minded interpretations of the situation.

I hope the prisoners get some rest after everything.
eumelia: (diese religione)
It's probably significant that I'm writing a navel gazing religion thing post-Days of Awe and Yom Kippur, which this year failed to move me as in previous cycles.

It may have to do with the fact that my outside world stress exacerbated my inner world stress. I'll (very very probably, but nothing is signed yet and until then I'm not willing to say live or die) move out by the end of the month. It's going to be the first time living outside of my parents house other then those six months in the US where I lived with my sisters (and had zero expenses).

I don't have a job lined up yet and university is starting... about the same time I'm setting up shop with my room mate (thank god for her, I don't think I would have managed to do anything if it wasn't for her holding my hand throughout this whole thing).

Add to that a "mild" brain meltdown and it's been fucking peachy.

What's all that got to do with religion? Nothing, really, but it seems a good opportunity to talk about things.

Those of you who read me on a regular basis know that I'm atheist, but I also that being Jewish is an important part of my identity. It's a cultural thing, a history thing... a people thing.

Due to the aforementioned life changes I can't say I felt the liturgy flow over me like it usually does. Not even the best Cantor on earth (the only reason I emerge once a year for Yom Kippur to go to shul - Bar/Bat Mitvahs and baby namings don't count) got me feeling that sense of belonging and history I usually feel on Yom Kippur when I stand with the rest of my family and listen to the whole congregation sing the dirge about removing the promises and vows we made the previous year.

Maybe it was due to being stressed about the fact that I'm a sleep away from sighing a binding contract, or that I'm going heading on an entirely new path, one I was not utterly convinced I was going to be on this year.

I've mentioned the brain meltdown, yes?

Not to mention the fact that politically speaking being Jewish puts me squarely in the bad guy's shoes this time around, what with Muslim and Christian graves desecrated over the holy day weekend.

I'm sure "G-d" approved of that bullshit.

So yeah, my "people".

Not feeling the connection that much lately.

Then again, in a new development The courts approve the registration of "no religion" for author Yoram Kaniuk, which would be grand, if religion was actually stated on our ID cards as "religion". It's not, it is stated under nationality - oh, didn't you know that there's no such thing as an "Israeli" nationality. I think if there was, or if there had been, it would have solved a whole lot of things.

But you know, Jewish demographic panic and all that.

I'm bothered that this is what my Judaism is reduced to, and that it's controlled by a Rabbinical court that, well, hates the idea of me.

Ironically, my Jewishness if far more diaspora like than ever, and me? I was born here and I don't really want to leave - despite the fact that some of my closest friends are telling me to join them when they leave.

*clings*
eumelia: (queer rage)
It being the holiday season in my locale, it is a time of family and obligation.

Yesterday I was helping my mother arrange the place names for the seats, the name cards were a mess, so I quickly put all the couples and their children into smaller piles.

I was the only solo card.

Now, after an entire semester of studying the sociological aspect of singlehood and writing a 6000 word essay about the position of the single aunt in the extended-nuclear family for said course, you probably don't understand the feeling of sheer poignancy that came from seeing my name, alone, among the clumps of little families that make up my huge tribe.

I have no doubt that I'm not the only single person who has a family made up of couples and families and has felt this way. But I have been theorising about it, this position of mine in my family, the role I play of Dutiful Daughter, Doting Aunt (despite raising my voice a few times and having my cousin, a mother, come to make sure I haven't murdered her children) and Single Gay Relative.

I may be the only one who perceives myself this way. Who knows, maybe others do see me this way. Glass closet and all.

What has come to mind in my navel gazing about this, because I have been thinking about it the whole week, were the issues of "passing" and "flaunting" my sexuality in the context of my family.

My nuclear family are a paragon of harmony, support and TLC. Really, I couldn't have asked for a better family, really. My bitterness considering my coming out process and the crappy way I and [Southern!Girl] were treated when were together notwithstanding.

Being single and queer is easier than being queer in a relationship - man or woman. The invisibility I experience when I'm with a guy is painful because of the erasure of my identity and the culture I identify with. The all out double standard of being with a girl requires constant negotiation of what is appropriate or inappropriate behaviour in so many contexts.

It is sheer kismet that Spark In Darkness wrote about this very issue on his blog, where he writes about living your life through a filter:
Every question has to be passed through it, evasions and lies considered, examined and discarded or adapted. And damn if that isn't tiring, even now when I largely shut the filter down and try to answer without it – it still fires up and activates the closet instincts. Before when I nearly always used the filter it was even more draining – because everything someone said to me or I said back had to be run through the filter to ensure that the BIG DARK SECRET was hidden.

[...]that's before we get to simple things like the awful crime of kissing/touching and the dreadful decisions of whether it's ok to sit next to him or not – can we go out to dinner together or do we need to bring more people so it's not a date? Am I stood too close? Whose watching, who can see is anyone upset/angry/sitting on a cactus expression?

So, yeah, here's little ol' me “flaunting” my sexuality because not “flaunting” is a lot of work. I just don't have the energy not to flaunt.

I emphasised the last bit, because that pretty much hits the nail of the head. Sometimes, most of the time, we're asked to "tone it down", or stop making everything "about being QuILTBAG".

There are worse things that happen to gay people than being told by heteronormative society that we're disruptive and should shut up and suck it up, because you know, being beat up and murdered because you weren't quiet enough is worse than being escorted off a plane for kissing your partner.

But the incident with Leisha Hailey and the Southwest flight, brings to a head how careful we have to be in order to walk around unscathed.

I mean, if you read the statement from Southwest Airline following the incident, you can't help but cringe:
Initial reports indicate that we received several passenger complaints characterizing the behavior as excessive. Our crew, responsible for the comfort of all Customers on board, approached the passengers based solely on behavior and not gender. The conversation escalated to a level that was better resolved on the ground, as opposed to in flight. We regret any circumstance where a passenger does not have a positive experience on Southwest and we are ready to work directly with the passengers involved to offer our heartfelt apologies for falling short of their expectations.

All emphasis is mine. It would be mind boggling if it wasn't such a typical framing of "gay behaviour" in public.

First of all, the passenger complaints? Really? You know how many times I've complained about a child running up and down the isles of a plane? Are you going to remove that child and its parents?! Boy that would be grand!
Never happen of course, after all, a child running up and down the isles is "natural". As is, you know, kissing and holding hands between a man and woman.

Two women, well, that's "excessive". Because it disrupts the "family oriented" flight, of heterosexual and nuclear clumps of couples and their children.

And of course one must not make the customers uncomfortable, I mean, it's not like gay people pay for services, or use the same methods of transport as straight people. *snort* of course not, we have our own airlines, our own cities, our own laws and regulations, you know... in those "clubs". We'd never imagine doing that in public.

Existing, that is.

Of course, despite Southwest's hypocrisy, they are a well known airline that discriminates against its customers.

Dorothy Snarker who wrote about this earlier this week mentioned that Southwest is the airline that kicked Kevin Smith (Director of "Dogma" and "Chasing Amy") off a flight for being fat and Billy Joe Armstrong (Green Day front man) for dressing in baggy pants.

Obviously, Southwest feels very strongly about its well dressed, straight and thin customers. Everyone else just isn't up to par for this airline.

These are incidents that have happened to celebrities. Just ponder that one for a moment.

Reading about the above and planning out this post, well, it makes my own single status a thing of visibility and invisibility. I break the pattern of pairings in my family, but I am rendered silent because talking about wanting to date or going on dates is "flaunting" and "disruptive" and sometimes I just don't have the energy to deal with that.

It's giving into homophobia.

And the homophobia exhibited by Southwest, by accepting the underlying assumption that a kiss between two women is disturbing to customers, but being called disgusting by other people is just something we should suck up, is so entrenched in the culture, practically every culture on earth, that I sometimes despair at thinking I'll get to see or feel, fundamental change in my lifetime.
eumelia: (resist!)
A month ago when the civil unrest in Israel began and I put aside my cynicism in order to participate in the protests and demonstrations, I was irked to hear people (friends and not friends) say they hoped these demonstrations don't turn "political".

I was baffled.

Social justice is probably the most political standpoint in society at large. The demand that resources, the economy and legislation treat everyone fairly is without a doubt a hard political line.

But in Israel, "politics" doesn't mean the power dynamics between groups of people, or how one's identity creates intersections of privilege and disparity, oh no, politics is that dirty laundry best left to elected officials, you know, which dirty laundry I'm talking about.

Racism. Occupation. "Security".

One of my friends the other day accused me of not liking her as much, because she's Right Wing. I'm like, you're not Right Wing, you support economic justice and she's said, in more words but that's the gist, that I was being deliberately obtuse and that Right and Left in Israel don't mean what they mean in other places in the world.

It's true, Left in Israel means opposing the Occupation to the point of hating Israel and Right means that the only way for Israel to survive is for the Occupation to stand because then Israel will be on the brink of destruction.

Safe to say those are two extreme positions even without breaking down the facets of race, nationalism and trauma that are intertwined into both arguments.

The demonstrations against the high cost of living, the class disparity and the over-all economic injustice that swept through the nation did not touch on the subject of the Occupation. I felt that it should have, because so much of what creates the economic disparity in Israel has to do with building settlements in the West Bank, has to do with building the Separation Wall, has to do with troops out there culling non-violent protests and with pushing an Apartheid economy in the West Bank.

An unregulated cartel like economy thrives in conditions like an Occupation.

I don't know much about the economy, but I do know that.

So the Occupation and the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank were excluded from the discourse and activity to do with the social justice campaign the Tent Demonstrations started.

For good reason, Left and Right, such as they are conceived in Israel have to do with security, how Israeli Jewish bodies can be kept safe in the face of the big bad terrorists.

The government solution, bomb the shit out of civilians living under siege (because of Israel) and under social and religious oppression (because of Hamas), even though the People's Resistance Committee (PRC), who committed the co-ordinated attack, are not affiliated with Hamas, have nothing to do with the Hamas government and were all ID'd and killed by the IDF on the day of the attack.

And not to mention that the skirmishes that followed on the Egyptian border killed 5 Egyptian soldiers, after they had to deal with a suicide bomber of their own.

This, as they say, is a clusterfuck.

Beyond the diplomatic nightmare (Egypt has withdrawn its ambassador to Israel) and the "cease fire" between Israel and Hamas being thrown out the window.

Yes, beyond that, the Israeli paradigm that Security trumps society will be tested, and I fear that it will hold true, because we are nothing if not predictable. Our fear and trauma prevents us from seeing that war benefits very few (Israelis and Palestinians) and hurts the innocent more than anyone who actually perpetrates violence.

The Hebrew Leftists blogosphere is already talking about the end of the social justice demonstrations in light of the government's hawkish endeavours. I'm hoping the people have wised up a little, and notice that the government who sweated due to the fact that we know they used the economy against us, will have wised up and see that the government will exploit this renewed violent conflict in order to get back the control it had briefly lost on the citizens.

My response?

Resist and go back to the streets where we've been for the past month.
Resist and don't accept the idea that "security" demands social justice to be forfeited.

*V For Vendetta. What else?
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
I'm so much more upset about this than I thought I would be.

Two years after fatal shooting, Tel Aviv gay youth club faces closure.

It's pretty much a slap in the face from the municipality towards the LGBT community in Tel-Aviv.

They'll spend obscene amounts of money of a Pride Parade, in which more people from abroad participated than locals from outside of Tel-Aviv if reports are to be believed.

It was supposed to be a safe place for queer youth, it stopped being that and has since become a memorial and I'm so sad to see it go.

Goes to show what the most liberal city in Israel thinks of its gay youth.

Excuse me while I go cry a bit.
eumelia: (this small)
So, yeah.

This week has been insane, hasn't it, particularly this weekend, most of which I missed due to the fact that I am both lame and trying to wrap up my degree.

So I missed what is probably the most important demonstration of the last decade studying for a stupid exam. Plus I wasn't feeling 100% hopefully the fresh muggy air of morning helped clear my head in order to pass this thing.

The important demonstration is ostensibly about the fact that people can't afford to pay rent or buy a flat in this country, but really, it's about the fact that we're not getting paid enough money, that there is no regulation of practically any market and that the government hates us.

Bibi, will you please fuck off already!

And then there was Norway - which, amazingly enough, the local news didn't jump to the conclusion that it was, you know, brown people like the rest of the world. And man, isn't the world feeling that smart.

I'm sorry to be glib, but in the face of such a horrendous tragedy, my only choice is tell the world to get over itself and stop Strawman-ing groups of people that are easy to blame because they're a They, rather than Us - white people have caused more destruction and murder all over the world, than many other atrocities combined.

And yet, I don't see anyone blaming Whiteness and Christianity for this killing spree.

My heart goes out to the family of the victims in what must be the worst time of their lives.

Be strong, Norway.

I'll mention Amy Winhouse, because she shouldn't have gone. It's always sad when an artist as good as that leaves the world.

And last, but not least, on the fandom front, because mixing political and social disasters with fandom on this blog is so rare - I mainlined the first season of Hawaii Five-0 for which I blame [livejournal.com profile] verasteine, who showed me picscams of Scott Caan and told me about the subtext on a show that really shouldn't be all that good, but is actually really, really good. Character consistency! Who would have thunk it.

So, now I have an icon of Scott Cann being sarcastic.

The show itself leaves much to be desired in, um, plot. The plot, was, well, okay, it made the characters suffer which is fine.

Now I'm invested and I'm watching you CBS, do not fuck it up!

I'm resting, now, and I need to watch Torchwood - oh, man I need to write about Torchwood.

I have no time.
eumelia: (bollocks)
You know something, coming from a country in which the vast majority of men are circumcised, the whole debate seems a bit incongruous, but I understand and am personally in the opinion that male circumcision is an unnecessary procedure and would encourage parents to really think about whether this something they want to inflict on their male child.

I still don't think that people who do end up circumcising their male child are morally reprehensible, or that the baby is in real danger from such a procedure - any more than any other complication that can happen from a modern medical procedure.

It is a tradition I think is passée, but I understand why Jewish people feel it is a necessary one.

However, when intactivists chose to vilify a religious tradition be resorting to Antisemitic rhetoric and imagery I can't say I feel too compelled to root for your cause.

Because seriously, what is this shit?

An evilly grinning Jewish man in "traditional" Jewish markers of a Talit and a Shtreimel? A mohel (the guy who does the cutting) covered in blood? And an Aryan looking man defending the poor defenceless mother and baby from the Evil Jews out to main the baby?

California activists, this is a summary fuck you from a Jewish grrl who finds your tactics more than nauseating. I don't usually side with the Anti-Defamation League, but in this case they are not wrong.

And if anyone tries to compare male circumcision to female genital mutilation, know that you are only showing your ass and that comment will be frozen and you yourself may be banned from commenting on this journal.
eumelia: (media lies)
In case you didn't know.

Israel showed great restraint against the Syrian-Palestinian demonstrators who tried to go though the Northern border in a commemoration march of the Occupation of the West Bank since 1967. They showed this restrain by shooting live ammunition at them.
Lucky me, I got to see it on the News and begged the people in control of the remote to change the channel, they declined saying this was the first they'd heard about it. I'd read about it previously during the day and really didn't need to see live gunfire murdering people.

But I'm funny like that, I guess.

My association mechanism went to May 35th. But that's just me.

It doesn't help that various News channels claimed Israel was at war with Syria, which really was News to me, seeing as not having signed a peace treat doesn't mean we're attacking each other and playing the War games.

The IDF simply shot at people that neither Syria, nor Israel, consider to be worthwhile human beings. Palestinians on any side of any border really can't catch a break.

Also, Egtpy has not opened Rafah crossing.

It really must be June, if this shit is going on. Or, you know, any other day of the week. News thrives of conflict and disaster and this is probably not the worst thing to happen today.

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eumelia: (Default)
Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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