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: (jewish revenge)
So the last time I wrote something here was last Friday.

Well, damn, I'm losing sight of this blogging thing! I used to be prolific, I used to be interesting, I used to be able to strong words and shove them out into the universe with little to no thought.

Glad those days are over!

That was only sarcastic to a certain extent. I'm way behind on my metas for H50, because I totally over estimated my ability to watch and then write cohesively about things. I'm still going to try and churn them out before September 24th, but it's gonna be hard work.

Add to that my general procrastination when it comes writing, not only because that is how I roll, but also because I'm so tired all the time. I'm happy with my job, especially because I'm getting better all the time, but well, it's time consuming and I don't actually have time to write on my breaks.

I'm lucky to have time to read on my breaks. Generally, I'm too sociable during work, so I end up having lunch with co-worker.

Goddamn fucking normality.

Especially when one of my co-workers pissed me off like you wouldn't believe. I'm honestly not sure why I even bother to take this shit to heart any more. There's only so much rage you can have towards people who are racist, but think they're not.

I get the appeal of the majority, believe me, I do. I have a whole lot of privilege in my life, I'd still rather not live in a country that's crumbling and hates every single one of us that doesn't align itself the paranoid schizoid behaviour of the neo-liberal war warmongering government.

There's also the issue that when you try and talk about social justice in the context of Palestinians, terror will always be brought up, because they're all terrorists and they're all out to kill the Jews, which... augh... I don't even know how to tackle that - because okay, I know people who died during the time that there were huge amounts of suicide bombing, my father was nearly shot in his store and my ex-girlfriend was in the range of missiles back in 2009.

That still doesn't mean we're on equal ground, or that we have any right to occupy their land, or that their human rights are forfeit, and I'm just sick of trying to keep humanising the situation to people who don't consider other people human.

The thing that my co-worker (with whom I had the political argument over lunch) is that she kept saying that things were bad "for the Jews" in other countries. Well, that's nice, what does that have to do with the fact that "the Jews" in Israel are racist and treat non-Jews (and Jews that look like African asylum seekers) like shit?

Not to mention about this crap of feeling a connection to the land? What? What is they metaphysical brain washing people have about "the land"? The land doesn't belong to us because it "feels" like it does!

Manifest Destiny Hebrew Style.

Er, yes, I think I'll go watch another episode of H50 and write that meta, shall I?
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: (jewish revenge)
We're not.

Organizers of the pro-Palestinian campaign said that more than 1,500 foreigners from at least 15 countries had planned to travel to Bethlehem in the West Bank for what they described as a week of peaceful activities in solidarity with the Palestinians.
[...]
Israel had provided the airlines with the names of hundreds of people whom the government said would face immediate deportation. Once notified, the airlines would bear the responsibility and cost of flying the passengers back to their point of departure.

By early Sunday afternoon, 17 suspected activists had been refused entry, the Interior Ministry said, among them 15 French nationals, a Portuguese and a Canadian.

[...]
Emphasis mine.

The article mentioned an official letter that came out of the Israeli Prime Minister's office that was given to activists who did manage to land and enter Israel.

The gist of it, that there are more worthy causes like in Syria, Gaza and Iran and they suggest they go help with the "real problem of the region".

Here is a copy of the letter* handed out to the activists.



Footnote:
*This letter is a work of satire, not written by me. Whoever wrote it, is a genius.

Old News

Mar. 30th, 2012 07:08 pm
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Despite focusing lately on things not relating to the occupation in a direct manner, I still access the media and am as big a News junkie as ever.

As some of you may or may not know, today is Land Day, which is a commemorative day marking the strikes and protests Palestinians held in 1967 after the state (Israel) appropriated privately held Palestinian land. Thousands of dunams were basically stolen from under the owners feet.

This appropriation is still happening today, obviously.

But Land Day is a big event and such there are more demonstrators and many more wounded.

It's been a while since I've been involved in anti-occupation politics as I am focusing on more organised LGBT activism and, well, my life, but I don't think one can really separate the issues, as they colour every fraction of my life one way or another.

For instance, what does it mean that Israel cut ties with the UN Human Rights Commission, because they dared open up a probe regarding the building of settlements in the West Bank.

Apropos land appropriation. If I cared one whit about Israel's image I'd say we shoot ourselves in the foot, but seriously, we commit flagrant human rights violations every day, all the time. I can't say I'm surprised the foreign ministry started talking about Al-Qaeda (your guess is as good as mine as to why) and about how it's the Palestinian Authority committing - wait for it - diplomatic terrorism on Israel.

Because the state terrorism Israel commits on a regular basis is really not a part of the discourse.

Speaking of state sanctioned terror, and another reason why the IDF is a hierarchical, masculine-supremacist, racist and patriarchal institution of the worst kind?

(Trigger Warning: Rape Culture, Encouragement Of Rape, Overt Racism): IDF Colonel-Rabbi implies Rape is Permitted in War.

If you read the body of the text (heed the trigger warnings, my god!) you will see that when they write "imply", they actually mean "clearly states" that raping female prisoners is not only permitted, but actually encouraged!

...even though fraternizing with a gentile woman is a very serious matter, it was permitted during wartime (under the specific terms) out of understanding for the hardship endured by the warriors. And since the success of the whole at war is our goal, the Torah permitted the individual to satisfy the evil urge...


As the author of the article writes, this is the face of the IDF of 2012.

The fact that this kind of religious doctrine is actually published by the IDF is telling. Mainly, they they really can't see anything beyond their weeping national erection.

Despite the above, or possibly because of the above, I must mention Adrienne Rich's passing.

Her writing has been an inspiration to me for many years, both her poetry and essays - all of which have been a great aid to me when it came to my own feminism, even if I didn't agree with everything she had to say (her gender essentialism was and is notorious, despite the way she leveraged it so beautifully in the political and theoretical spheres).

She was also a Jewish woman who spoke out against the Israeli occupation of Palestine and a supporter of BDS, which, you know, is special.

She also spoke of the role and the responsibility of the poet, the writer, the artist to be political and proactive and not shy away from social justice in their work.

Someone is Writing a Poem
...But most often someone writing a poem believes in, depends on, a delicate, vibrating range of difference, that an “I” can become a “we” without extinguishing others, that a partly common language exists to which strangers can bring their own heartbeat, memories, images. A language that itself has learned from the heartbeat, memories, images of strangers...


May her memory be blessed.
eumelia: (queer rage)
I'm part of an organisation that was boycotted in Seattle last week.

The Seattle LGBT Commision cancelled a planned evening with Israeli representative of the Association of Israeli LGBT Educational Organisations. Organisations which include IGY (Israeli Gay Youth), Tehila (Parents and Family of LGBT people) and Hoshen (Education and Change - the org I associate myself with).

It happened because a local Seattle activist made the case that by having an Israeli event, the Commission would be participating in pinkwashing - in which the use of LGBT rights are culture are appropriated and used to diminish the human right abuses and violations committed by Israel in upon Palestine and the Palestinian people.

The Seattle activist, Dean Spade (Facebook link) was not wrong. Due to the recent history of pinkwashing the Occupation, it would be safe to assume that any and all events regarding Israeli LGBT groups would perpetuate this stance.

The Queerty article rightly states:
Debate has raged both on Queerty and elsewhere about whether the Israeli government’s efforts to publicize the country’s gay-friendliness are a smokescreen to distract from its mistreatment of Palestinians.

And that’s a valid debate.

But the AILO participants are from nongovernmental groups who might very well have a problem with their leaders’ actions. Are anti-pinkwashers like Spade now saying that all gays from Israel should be silenced in the public arena, lest they accidentally encourage someone to visit their homeland?

Are we calling for the end of civil discourse and kicking Israel’s LGBT off the bus?
Emphasis by me

Yes, a great many of the people I know who volunteer for any number of these orgs oppose pinkwashing. Not everyone sees the cynical use of the Israeli government of the LGBT community as pinkwashing, because hey, things better in Israel than, say, Russia or Croatia.

But that isn't the point. Gay rights are human rights. To "brag" about one groups progression from marginalised and debased (which some of us still are, sad to say, because only a certain type of gay is actually "okay") while trampling on the rights of another group simply due to their ethnic, national and religious affiliation is beyond hypocritical and disgusting.

And no, LGBT Palestinians from the Occupied Territories do not actually "seek asylum" in Israel - seeing as Palestianian refugees are a class of their own according to the UN, practically all LGBT Palestinians who have fled the territories are illegal residents in Israel, subject to deportation back the Territories at any time - and seeing as heterosexual straight couples get no slack when it comes to "family reunification", you can bet same sex couples get zero tolerance.

It is telling that I know of no Arab LGBT volunteer in any of the AILO orgs, but I know of several Palestinian specific LGBT orgs that operate within Israel or have no specific base of operations.

Pinkwashing is heavily debated and is a hugely divisive subject within the Israeli LGBT community (whatever that may mean), it has been so since 2009 as far as I'm aware even though the discourse has existed for longer.

My own opinions are of the radical and liberationist kind. I do not think queer people need or should pander to straight society in order to be "accepted" or heaven forbid "tolerated". I've long come to the understanding that as a gay Jewish woman person there is no "true" place for me on this planet - not as long as religion, nationalism, patriarchy, racism, heteronormativity and homophobia prevail - but I know that doing nothing and just complaining about shit is a useless state of being.

So I joined a liberal org that panders to straight society. Being a role model for younger people is a privilege that I have the ability to leverage into a type of activism that may piss a lot of other radicals off, but has been proved to be effective in the long run.

And being a part of that org means that I participate in pinkwashing, just like being part of the local economy means that I participate in corruption and land appropriation. It is a double edged sword that I grip.

I don't know how much longer we can bleed into this blood sodden earth.
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: (master politician)
[Sexy!Roommate]: I need a pen, a pen that works that will make everything better.

Melody Pond: Do you want a sword instead?

[Sexy!Roommate]: I want a democracy!

Melody Pond: Tough luck, baby!

---

More on the above, later. Now, I'm out the door!
eumelia: (bollocks)
Hint: It isn’t a debate.

Trigger Warning: This post is about the narratives of dubious consent, non consent, rape, sexual assault, body autonomy (or lack thereof) in fanfiction and fandom, and what being triggered actually means.


Before I begin to dig into this issue, let me put one thing on the table; the only moral issue about sex between two or more adults is consent. Everything else is a matter of what floats your boat. My kink is not your kink and that’s okay – in fact, it’s great, because in fandom we share and learn and discuss these things to a greater degree of openness and detail that in the “real world”.

So, I read a fic. It is a good fic. It’s not perfect, but very few stories are. Much like life, I must say1.

It is a really good story, which, right off the bat, places the characters in a scenario known in fanfic as dub-con, a short hand of “dubious consent”.

Let me put something else on the table here. In real life, there is no such thing as “dubious consent”. Dub-con is a narrative device, it is a construct of point of view, we see and read the conflict of the person (say, Hermione of “Harry Potter”) whose autonomy has been breached and we know, along with Hermione, that she actually wants this happen, only she’s not sure about why, or how, or some other thing – she just knows, kind of, that she wants this other person (say Snape) to do what he is doing.

Alternately, we have Snape’s pov, he who breaches the aforementioned autonomy and magically (no pun intended) knows that this fine, that Hermione actually wants it. That this is sexy, even if Hermione says “stop” or “no” or says nothing at all.

I use this example from “Harry Potter”, because this type of narrative is so typical in this pairing it is practically a trope. But it is a narrative found in all genres and happenstances of fic, be it het or slash, hurt/comfort or fluff – it is there and frankly, I despair at having to actually talk about this.

In real life dubious consent can’t happen. It cannot. Not because we don’t often feel conflicted about doing something with another person in bed, or because there wasn’t enough communication and the sex ended up being more enjoyable for one of the partners over the other (or others).
It cannot happen in real life, because the narrative in our heads can’t be shared. We can’t know if our partner is conflicted, or not comfortable, unless they tell us. The opposite, of course, is the same.

Dubious consent alleges that Ianto (for instance) can and would fight against Jack’s advances and actions if he really wanted to, this is the context of Ianto being subordinate to Jack in the hierarchy of the “Torchwood” team and their age (putting it lightly). With that in mind, it is likely that this scenario wouldn’t actually be construed by fic authors as an issue of consent because it is happening between two men, in the case of slash.

Consent isn’t about Steve’s (for instance) physical ability to stop Danny from performing fellatio on him. Consent is about the fact that Danny doesn’t care to ask or wait for Steve to actually say what he feels about the idea of it happening at all.

That is the point. The disregard to one’s choice, one’s comfort and one’s own wants (and needs) when it comes to sex is endemic, because the idea that the onus is on the person whose will and autonomy is being violated is simply not true. In the fic I read, there was a clear description of someone wanting to say “No”, but didn’t get a chance to do so, due to the narrative dictating that the “No” or the “Wait a minute” didn’t count because the sex was just that good. Dubious consent hadn’t even been an option here, because this scenario was constructed in order for the inner conflict of “do I or don’t I want this” to be taken as a token resistance as opposed to assertion of free will.

This particular fic isn’t even the only time in “Hawaii Five-0” fandom that this sort of thing has happened. In the name of sexy, how many times have we read Steve or Danny say “wait” or “stop” and have the other guy say “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you” or “I know what you want/need” and continue to do what they were doing despite the “No”.

And yes, “wait”, “stop” or even non-responsiveness when action is taking place in sex is a big “NO”.

You cannot know why a person says “stop” or “wait” during sex unless you actually stop or wait. Possibly, this person has a cramp, or you’re digging your knee or elbow somewhere uncomfortable or maybe, you are doing something that is making your partner feel distressed and things need to change.

When you assume that Steve or Hermione can physically/magically prevent Danny or Snape from violating them, you are perpetuating rape culture2.

When you assume that knowing what a character is feeling or thinking when their free will is being disregarded by their sexual partner makes this disregard okay, and when you then normalize this behaviour in your fic, you are perpetuating rape culture.

And in the case in which there is clear non-consent going on when you assume that by removing the word “rape” from the fic magically fixes the disparity in power dynamics and that the violence perpetrated now isn’t sexual or gendered, you are perpetuating rape culture.

This is doubly so, when you don’t warn that these things actually exist in the fic!

It doesn’t make a difference what your intent was, I doubt authors are actively malicious, but when you have a character (major or minor) that is assaulted, whether “live”, or in a flashback or memory, or discussed, that is still a textual description of sexual and/or gendered violence. The assault, whether explicit violence, psychological coercion or disregard to another’s free will, choice and autonomy, is still written down and as such must be warned for, because the words you use are the same.

The thing is I don’t mind that dub-con exists in fic, as it is a fantasy narrative device and everyone has fantasies they wouldn’t want to actually happen in real life. This is why we have role playing and BDSM and actually talking to your partner(s) when it comes to making fantasies come true. In the name of full disclosure, I read fics that have dub-con, non-con and rape scenarios in them, because I like hurt/comfort and angst – I need to be warned for this, not because I have triggers, but because I need to know that these scenarios are going to be handled with the due respect and sensitivity that they deserve.

The respect and sensitivity should be awarded to the readers who do have triggers.

It is no secret that transformative art fandom (fanfic, fanvid, fanart and more) is made of a majority of women and/or female identified people and a significant amount of gender variant people, LGBT men and women, non-white people, disabled people and other social minorities who are all vulnerable to sexual violence, because our humanity and body autonomy is considered inconsequential.

The notion that a not insignificant part of your readership will have been through a traumatic experience concerning sexual consent, and sexually based and gendered violence, is not out there!

It is not only a courtesy to warn for this in your header, it will save someone from stumbling into a scenario that will make him or her feel less safe in their own lives, because their hobby and their creative community triggered their trauma.

But in the end, what I find distressing is that people do not recognise what they write for what it is, and in slash fiction it is particularly endemic, due to the fact that this happening between two men. Because rape culture dictates that between men consent isn’t an issue. Because rape culture dictates that men never say “no”. Because rape culture dictates that men can stop the coercion by virtue of being “strong” and physically powerful.

Dear readers, this is bullshit.

As a community of vulnerable people who often place characters we love in painful and violent scenarios that happen in real life to real people in a society that considers our trauma to be exaggerated at best and made up at worst, we have to consider the consequences of our actions and take care of each other.

One of the ways we do this is to know what it is we are writing and to warn accordingly.

Footnotes:
1) This post was triggered (no pun intended) by a particular fic and a discussion that followed, but it is not specifically about any one fic. This post is about a trend and a trope that is all too common in H50 fandom and in fandom as a whole, and I am using this fic as a way to exemplify and make clear my points.
Back to text.

2(For a clear and concise definition of what rape culture is I would refer you to Melissa McEwan’s post at Shakesville where she writes:
[…]Rape culture is encouraging male sexual aggression. Rape culture is regarding violence as sexy and sexuality as violent. Rape culture is treating rape as a compliment, as the unbridled passion stirred in a healthy man by a beautiful woman, making irresistible the urge to rip open her bodice or slam her against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, or pull her by her hair, or shove her onto a bed, or any one of a million other images of fight-fucking in movies and television shows and on the covers of romance novels that convey violent urges are inextricably linked with (straight) sexuality.[…]

Back to text.

Stigmata

Dec. 9th, 2010 01:26 am
eumelia: (queer rage)
Plural. Stigma
1. a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one's reputation.
[...]
6.
Archaic . a mark made by a branding iron on the skin of a criminal or slave.

One of the problems with discussing HIV/AIDS is that you always have to go to the history. The history of AIDS in the West is a pretty disgusting. The mistreatment of those infected with HIV in the United States and Great Britain is pretty well recorded - I personally like Simon Watney's book Imagine Hope: AIDS and Gay Identity as both a perspective and a critical reading of AIDS.
Because like it or not, HIV/AIDS has been a huge influence on queer culture, queer relationships and the way we conceptualise HIV/AIDS as a social phenomenon.

In my previous post I wrote about the frustration regarding the notion that those who are discriminated against bear the responsibility with regards to their "image", in other words, that gays (and lesbians and bisexuals and trans* people and queers in general) are partially themselves to blame when it comes to the stigma we are forced to live with.

My anger at that concept and the conceptualisation that we are deviant in essence because of our incompatibility with heteronormative gender-binary and male supremacist culture, has not waned - if anything, hearing the panel and discussion last night about the discriminatory paragraph that prevents gays and men who have/had sex with men (MSM) from donating blood, has strengthened my opinion regarding the wrongful notion of what HIV/AIDS means in the gay community in Israel.

Because you see, the QUILTBAG (let's be honest, the gay) Outreach Branch of the Israel AIDS Task Force (Hebrew) goes along with the letter coming out of the Ministry of Health and the Israeli Blood Bank guidelines (which go in accordance to the Red Cross, the FDA and the other US and Canadian blood donation organisations). The guidelines are Zero Tolerance to risk groups.

Now, I know, after 20 years and the migration of crisis (supposedly) Gays should not be regarded as a risk group - after all, HIV doesn't discriminate and statistics show that nearly half of HIV+ people are women.

I'd also add that in my locale - there is a sweeping ban (Zero Tolerance) with regards to people who have immigrated from Africa (meaning the major Ethiopian community living here can't donate blood) and drug users who use needle and snorting paraphernalia to consume the drugs.

The "dregs of society". Not much has changed in 20 years, right? The weakest and most disenfranchised members of society are also the most susceptible to disease and lack of treatment (not such a huge problem in Israel, as treatment for HIV is well funded due to our partial public health services).

However, HIV is a huge and growing problem within the Israeli gay (gay men and MSM) community. Whereas in the other groups that are prohibited from donating there is a stabilising trend (and even a reduction in infection), gays and MSM have risen steadily over the past eight years.

The disproportion between the percentage of HIV+ among gay men in accordance to their actual number in the general population is staggering.

In the last year, 140 new positives were identified through blood donations alone - all of them were from men who had had unsafe sex with other men.

in 2010, in a country with public health service, progressive legislation (via court precedences and not parliamentary bills, I have to say) regarding queer rights and banks on gay tourism, the statistics are truly horrific.
A 40% rise in less than ten years. Fucking hell.

The representative from the AIDS Task Force was adamant regarding the ban and acknowledged that while the language is discriminatory (there's no escaping that) gays and MSM in Israel create a higher risk of infection due to positive blood entering the blood bank - the HIV test in top of the market - reducing the detection window from three months to 11 days - still, he said, there are those who always want to skew the statistics and will come to donate 8 days after a careless encounter - the guy didn't show a whole lot of faith when it comes to humanity. I'm inclined to agree.

To me, the rise in positives in the gay community shows a failing in sex and health education and a lackadaisical attitude when it comes to practising safe sex - apparently there's also a syphilis epidemic rampaging through the Tel-Aviv gay community - oh, yeah, great sex tourist spot!

All of this. Everything. None of that has anything to do with the fact queers are maligned and discriminated against as a population within a hetronormative society.

The fact that HIV can be found in higher concentration among gays and MSM in Israel doesn't mean the discriminatory clause if legitimate - but opening up the form to interpretation as to what safe sex is (because let's face it, safe sec is not just putting on a rubber before tab a goes into slot b - reductive sex acts are reductive) is not something worth the public health risk.

Prior to last night I was sure that the clause also prevented gays and MSM from being insured by the blood bank should something happen and they would need a transfusion. You see in Israel - due to us being all social and shit - grant a year's worth of blood insurance with every donation (people who have donated 10 pints get life long insurance) - positive people can be insured, they can go and donate and mark the box that says "Not for Transfusion" and the blood is then either chucked or taken to be studied, but that person in insured.

This is something, I think, most people in Israel aren't aware of.

Now, what to do about the fact that in 2010 so HIV is back to being on a steep rise among gay men and MSM in Israel? Sex education has to be overhauled. Badly. This is not a gay issue, this is an overall social issue. But it is pertinent for gays and queers in general.
The definition of sex needs to be inclusive and not exclusive and needs to be spoken about in a candid way - sex is not a hunky dory activity, even if it is generally speaking fun - anyone can catch an STD. AIDS is stigmatised due to history, alas.

So, while my opinion regarding HIV/AIDS and the stigma attached to the disease due to homophobia has not changed, because Christ, how the fuck can one excuse homophobia in any way, shape and form. My opinion regarding the clause is that it's really the least of our problems. It is a minuscule issue when one looks at the statistics and you go "What the fuck?!".
The blood bank, rightfully, doesn't want to open itself up to risk.

The risk for a gay man to be infected is higher than a straight man or straight woman or a gay woman, simply because there are more gays and MSM who are positive - that's the issue. The blood donor clause is so far down on the list of concerns, I feel kind of silly that I've ever made a big deal out of it.
eumelia: (exterminate!)
Not because of the events themselves. One of the things I enjoy about facebook is seeing all the things I don't have time to do or I'm too lazy to attend fly by and be spoken about by those who did go and enjoy themselves.

I'm going to an events I found on Facebook this evening, hopefully accompanied by a friend, but also maybe not.

I'm going to listen to a panel at the Tel-Aviv LGBT Centre regarding the discriminatory paragraph on the blood donor's restriction guidelines. As with the rest of most Western countries in the world Israel also restricts gay men and men who have sex with men from donating blood due to being a "risk group" for HIV/AIDS.

So, I'll be going this evening to hear a panel on the subject. The speakers are going to be a representative from the QUILBAG outreach branch of the Israel AIDS task force, a researcher from an education and youth organisation movement and the chair of the MADA (the Red Star of David, our version of the Red Cross/Crescent) blood bank.

I'm looking forward to it, as a regular donor and queer person, it's one of my regular peeves that I talk about when discussing institutionalised homophobia and an issue I try to discuss with the blood technicians; most of the time they're like "we're just doing our job, we have no control over policy" which is fair, but irritating and sometimes I actually manage to have an interesting discussion with some of them (usually women technicians) and during one of those conversations I was told that the Israeli policy is part of a world wide policy recommended by the Red Cross - something I'd not known at the time (this was about three years ago, I think).

It's worth starting discussions with people who poke you with needles, I say.

In any event, yesterday, I posted the event on Facebook and put out a general request of "who's coming with me?".

The discussion that transpired irritated me to the level of KEY-BOARD-SMASH!!!!!!.

I'll spare you the details as they're not that important and interesting. Not to mention, they're in Hebrew. However, there was something that was written that made me double take and got my ears roaring.

There was agreement (total, I might add) that the restrictive paragraph was discriminatory and wrong, but the gay community (at this point we were talking about gay men specifically, because they're the group that's eschewed from being able to donate) contributes to its image.
Meaning?
That there is a culture of casual sex and one night stands in the gay community that isn't as widespread like in straight culture - casual sex and one night stands create a higher risk of infection.

My mind, it was blown. My blood, it was boiling.

I tried, really really hard to explain, why that kind of statement is homophobic and victim blaming. No dice and this discussion went on for hours on and off. It even went on to say that some women are to blame for sexism.

Fucking hell.

Now, the thing is, the person saying all that, I don't know 'em very well, but I like 'em and they like me as well and we're becoming friends and the discussion itself is interesting, but I'm finding it very hard to keep an even keel and cool head in light of this espousing of bullshit.

Hence the aforementioned KEY-BOARD-SMASH!!!!!!.

Facebook is stress causing in this case. I can tell you that if someone had said this crap to my face in person I'm pretty sure I would have thrown something heavy at that person's head.
And left the room with a door slam.
I'm dramatic that way (my officer's nick name for me during my Army service was Melodrama).

I know I haven't given y'all nearly enough info regarding what was actually said in the discussion for you to actually have an opinion on who was right, but honestly, I don't care.

I'm sick and tired of being in a position in which the basic humanity of individuals of a certain group needs to be proven as actually worth while, existent and ratified. Especially when I'm the company of so-called straight allies and friends - yeah, in case it wasn't obvious, the person I was commenting back and forth with is straight - there was another participant and their input didn't make want to, once again, KEY-BOARD-SMASH!!!!!!.

I think I'll go check if I have company this evening.
eumelia: (verbiage)
I started writing this last night, but I pretty much fell asleep at the key board. Such is the day of working both part-time jobs on the same day and then going straight to a Hannukah supper.

Happy Hannukah y'all!

Hey, it's been a while since I linksapmmed you regarding the Zeitgeist of Israeli News media.

Though thinking about it now, it can't really be that interesting to you, because I find myself not all that interested myself. I mean, do you really want to know that in a poll conducted, 62% of Israeli Jews believe that Arab citizens (supposedly of equal standing under the law) should have no say in foreign policy - which certainly helps with the referendum law (in which the decision to withdraw from the Golan Heights and/or East Jerusalem will be be made via referendum of the people, i.e. Us, i.e. 62% of us who think that 20% of the population should have no say in the matter) which passed the Knesset last week.

Good to know where the "majority" stands regarding the nature of "democracy".

In that same poll, 55% of Israeli Jews think the state has the right to "encourage" Arab citizens to immigrate, meaning, should there be a mass population transfer, most of us wouldn't think this was a crime against humanity (yeah, I'm going there, because forced migration and population transfer is a condition of genocide and I refuse to use the term "ethnic cleansing" as that has no legal standing under any judicial body).

But hey, things aren't so bad! only 25% of Israeli Jews would find that living next to a gay couple (originally homosexual couple, most likely they mean two men, as two women are hardly as threatening in the eyes of Machismo culture).
Yeah, we're so tolerated in the only democracy in the Middle-East that doesn't mind using us as a standard of liberal propaganda, so long as we bring tourists, we're okay, but you wouldn't want to actually live next to us.

Of course, not only Israeli Jews were polled and found increasingly intolerant - Palestinians with Israeli citizenship (originally Israeli Arabs) were also polled and wouldn't you know, they are even more intolerant! 70% of Palestinians with Israeli citizenship would rather not live to a gay couple.
But 48% wouldn't mind living next to foreign workers (compared to 39% of Israeli Jews who wouldn't tolerate foreign workers as neighbours).

This poll is unsurprising. For a number of reasons.
First, Queers are always disruptive of the solidarity of an already disenfranchised group - not that that's an excuse for homophobia, but the more traditional the society, the more intolerant it is of Queers. It's a thing that needs to be addressed.
Second, when you have committees that allow for residents to select their neighbours and favour ghettoization of population, well, I can't say I'm surprised that there is such a dehumanising factor in those we perceive as "Other".
And dude, there are so many "Others" in Israel, I have a hard time finding that can be construed as solidarity.

Knesset Memeber Nitzan Horowitz (of Meretz and only out gay MK) was interviewed regarding the poll mentioned above, in this interview he talks about the connection between racism and homophobia. He mainly talks about the larger political forces at work (various parties in the Knesset and movements outside the Knesset) and he also mentions socio-economic status as a huge factor of nurturing intolerance.
Intersectionality, hurrah.

Still, when he mentions the big picture, he doesn't mention the Occupation and the way the violence that permeates the interaction between every group (including gender, street harassment and domestic violence so high, that 20% of men incarcerated in Israeli prisons are there due to domestic violence) in Israel can be felt everywhere.

I think the Occupation as an ethical position this state holds, and the monetary and political resources allocated to keeping the status quo of the Occupation is taking it's toll on Israeli civil (such as it is) society - not to mention the disparity in standard of living among Jews and Arabs who live in the West Bank and the siege on Gaza.

Of course, according to our Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman (Oh, fascist pig one) blames the Arabs for the increase in racism.
I can't even begin to quote the garbage that is written.

As Horowitz rightly said in the interview:
There is a huge gap between the support avowed by the public and by public servants for democratic principles, and the way that support translates into daily behavior. This latest survey shows that the majority supports democracy, but in practice more and more racist, hurtful and discriminatory laws are being proposed.


That's the face Israel presents to the world.
eumelia: (bisexual fury)
Ever since I asked you peeps to tell me what you'd like to read from me, one subject has taken over my brain and I've been trying to articulate it for days in my mind.

It's a personal subject that involves an ongoing history and self-perception. Some of that history makes several people in my life look bad and me look even worse. But that's how the cookie crumbles I suppose.

The story of how I came out as queer (first as bisexual, though that word seriously does not suit me, but it's the only one I've got) is an ongoing project.

It is something, I assume, will continue to happen for the rest of my life.

When I was 15 and came out to some family members I thought that would be the end of it. Then one family member told me to be quiet about it and not mention it ever again (well, not in those words, but that's how it felt at the time). You'd think my monthly excursions to the local "Rocky Horror Picture Show" would be a clue - hell, I played Magenta a couple of times on stage and memorably, the Red Door (yeah, I was playfully accosted by the Eddie at the time... it was hilarious).

In any event, ten years ago, I thought that if I came out that's it. I'm done. Everyone would know and I'd never have to talk about it ever again.

God, I was so naive. Beyond naive. Effing clueless. Cut for length and some frank discussion of sex )

This ended up way more convoluted than I intended. Hopefully it made sense to you all. Questions and requests for clarification are welcome!
eumelia: (queer rage)
Something y'all should know about gay rights in my locale. The majority of them, if not all of them, have come to be due to judicial precedence and not actual Knesset (Parliamentary) bills.

All same sex adoptions rights are due to court room precedence. All spouse benefit packages awarded to one's same sex partner, due to court room precedence.

You get the picture.

Our rights exist, not because we are almost equal, but because the court sees fit that we are human enough for civil rights.

Why am I telling you this?

In a bout of unimaginable cruelty, apathy and down right ignorance, a Judge has declared that gay partners aren't couples under the inheritance law.
I can't even pick out quotes that manage to make sense of this story, so I'm putting the entire article under a cut as well as the rest if my post: here )
eumelia: (queer rage)
For the first time since Thursday I'm finally feeling normal. The 'rental units are still insisting I take some fever reducing meds, which yes, I know makes me sound 15 rather than 25, but you know what, they thought I was dying so I don't mind.

But yay! I'm finally compos mentis enough to write about things.

I was debating whether to write about the crap political situation. After all, what else is new?
So, sorry folks, for my opinion on the Piss Talks and what happened on the Jewish Flotilla... bad timing, will probably not happen. As well as an update on the alleged "rape by coercion" which is alleged, simply because apparently it was an actual rape of a previously victimised woman and what it says about the justice system, the media and the ability of victims to tell their story. I might update on that later on.

Speaking of victims.

I'm finding the sudden focus on queer teen suicide in the News to be odd and unsettling, beyond the teen suicide issue, which has always been unsettling, but the stark focus we're suddenly seeing coming out of the USA is particularly disturbing. What I'm trying to understand is, why? I mean, for those of us who look out for these stories, these incidences of bullying, cyber-bullying, violence and assault upon queer youth isn't rare... it's fucking ubiquities.
As someone else on my f-list mentioned, the media is framing this as another kind of "Shark Attack", that is, making the rare seem far more common than it actually is.

Teen suicide is ubiquitous. A higher than the over all median percentage of teen suicides can be found within the queer slice, the majority of them are boys (because boys have a better "success" rate than girls) and trans kids all over the spectrum.

Along with Dan Savage's (who I find personally unpalatable) It Gets Better project and the other campaigns popping up like We Got your Back (created because of Savage's, um, unpalatable history and character), older projects like The Trevor Project and locally speaking There is Some to Talk To (Hebrew page), which is a hot-line and not a suicide prevention project or even a general stay positive and alive project like the other ones are.

So yes, there are projects aimed at keeping queers alive.

Is this sudden interest by the US mainstream media into the tragic ends of gay kids a turn for the better, a reaction to the social changes that are being pushed by mainstream QUILTBAG activism - the fight for marriage and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

Meh. I say.

As I said, the US mainstream media covering these suicides are treating this as though there is this sudden surge or epidemic in queer teen suicides. Well, it's lovely how the media constructs message and narrative, isn't it.

Firstly, from what I've read, there doesn't seem to be any specific blame placed upon the fact that society, as a whole, treats gay people as pariahs. Formal rights or not, the heterosexual default and social imperative reign supreme, if we're not actively discriminated against, we're tolerated as perverts who should be happy with what we've got.

Secondly, the surprise and shock that we're supposed to feel at this horrible turn of events. Queer rights have come a long way in the past twenty years. Of this there is no doubt. But seriously, seriously not enough and things are less than stellar, especially considering what I've mentioned in my "Firstly". So, dead queers. What else is new? Oh, it's children, teens, won't someone think of them and save them? Well, seeing as their (usually) heterosexual peers are the ones bullying them to death, due to the fact that they haven't grasped the notion of tolerance (acceptance? Pfft!) and that bullying does not happen in a vacuum. Even if the specific bullying is a one time occurrence, the underlying cause of targeting a specific person because they are queer is a continuous and often tautological problem: social norms mark queers as targets for abuse who are abused because of social norms.

As for these suicide prevention, positive thinking, personal stories in order to encourage solidarity, those are good and have their place and I have a real admiration to you who are pushing them - despite my aversion from things Dan Savage - there's one thing I'm not seeing on the same level.

Outrage. Anger. Being fucking Pissed Off.

Yes, gay youth suicide is much more abstract than DADT and Marriage and AIDS and actual discrimination under the law. And I'm not sure there can be this kind of front of solidarity in the face of suicide - much like other Radical Queer struggles which seek to upturn the intersected hierarchies of oppression; the gender binary, the privilege of the couple, the marginalisation of BDSM - these struggles somehow appear much more abstract, because they've not been taken in mainstream activism.

All queer people suffer under *phobia, one way or another, not everyone commits suicide... that doesn't mean, the pain is less sharp or demeaning.
eumelia: (buggering)
I had a really frustrating discussion today.
It's felt very much of dismissal and prioritising the "struggle".

I dunno.

I mean, is the threat fascism in Israel (which is very real) more than the Homophobia inherent in this machismo and militaristic society?

Hearing the words "Homophobia is a prejudice found in every society and really, things are much better than they were 10 and even 15 years ago" is incredibly glib and frustrating to hear.
Especially considering who tends to be the victims of fascist, ethnocratic and theocratic governments.

Just a thought. Call me over sensitive, but I tend to find connections between rampant prejudice and jingoism.

It may not appear so, but the fact that in the same week I read about a family being treated as second class citizens at a national park because they're gay and the Tel-Aviv Police Department backing out on an expedition to Berlin regarding combating Homophobia related crime.
Who needs fucking "tolerance" when we have consumer surveys asking people if they'd mind travelling with Arabs on the future light rail in Jerusalem.

While I'm often an in-your-face aggressive Levantinit myself, this kind of unapologetic prejudice is just despicable. I suppose I should be greatful we're not even pretending. But then again, no one seems to be aware of this racism thing. You know, that we're racist.

Fuck it.

I'm pissed about a lot of things. It may not be good for my health, but it keeps me going. My outrage fatigue creeps up, but seriously, when I hear people say separate the issues deliberately and really I'm not a proponent of the whole "one struggle, one fight" ideal, it makes me wonder where the Left has gone wrong.

To prioritise "issues" according to some arbitrary criterion is irritating and frustrating and reminds me of the article that circulated a few weeks ago, Why Misogynists Make Great Informants: How Gender Violence on the Left Enables State Violence in Radical Movements:
The guys who said they would complete a task, didn’t do it, brushed off their compañeras’ demands for accountability, let those women take over the task, and when it was finished took all the credit for someone else’s hard work. The graduate student who hit his partner—and everyone knew he’d done it, but whenever anyone asked, people would just look ashamed and embarrassed and mumble, “It’s complicated.” The ones who constantly demeaned queer folks, even people they organized with. Especially the one who thought it would be a revolutionary act to “kill all these faggots, these niggas on the down low, who are fucking up our children, fucking up our homes, fucking up our world, and fucking up our lives!” The one who would shout you down in a meeting or tell you that you couldn’t be a feminist because you were too pretty. Or the one who thought homosexuality was a disease from Europe.

Yeah, that guy.

I'd really appreciate it, if we stopped shooting ourselves in the foot.

Just an idea.

I'm going to eat something. I'm starving.
eumelia: (diese religione)
Delibarete stupidity.
The Knesset is expected to look into the possibility that Israel Nature and Parks Authority guides at the Soreq Cave Nature Reserve are concealing the true age of the cavern's stalactites and the stalagmites so as not to offend the beliefs of Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox visitors.

A teacher who toured the Jerusalem-area cave on Sunday with first and second graders from a science-oriented school in the south said the guide told her students the formations were very old, but refused to say how old.

The stalactites and stalagmites are estimated by scientists to be around 300,000 years old. The guide said she was not allowed to give that figure so as not to conflict with the faith of those who believe the world is around 5,000 years old.

"I was shocked," the teacher said Monday. "We are a science school, not an ultra-Orthodox school. How can such information be concealed from pupils?"

I'll tell you how.

Fear.

For some obscure reason, people are afraid of religious people and institutions in this country. I'm not sure if it has always been this way, I know that I have always hated and resented the fact that religious institutions are funded by the tax payers cash and that we are forced to live by their demands.

Fear, because they riot in the street and demand freedom from democracy. Yes, that's right, the ultra-orthodox want to be free from democracy, but retain the rights and benefits and citizenship.

This is a fucking outrage.

We're afraid of offending the poor religious people's feelings?! For fuck's sake they're the ones who believe in magic!

And you know what offends me?

That facts, figures and opinions are stymied by people who are too closed minded, cowardly and deliberately ignorant to accept that their myths are exactly that.

Myths.
eumelia: (Default)
Congratulations America,

I'm glad you're joined the ranks of Britain, The Netherlands, Sweden and Israel (among other nations) who do not allow soldiers to be discriminated with regards to their sexuality.

Kudos, America. Kudos.

Throughout the years in which I've heard and listened to the truly demoralising state of queers in the American Armed Forces, I've always heard Israel being used as a prime example of how inclusive the IDF is to gay men and women.

I mean, there's no institutionalised discrimination like in the US (did I mention Kudos).

Because as Sen. Barney Frank is quoted saying:
"[that the IDF is] as effective a fighting force as has existed in modern times,” does not bar gay men or lesbians from service.

It is truly a mark of progression.

I'm cynical. And yes, I am using this as an opportunity to be critical of my own locale, because it irks me to see Israel venerated as an oasis of equality and democracy in the Middle East. Considering our neighbors, I find it quite offensive that we're bragging about how good "we" are to queers, when it should be fucking human decency!

The two worst insults you will hear among Israeli soldiers will be "Gay" or "Female", both of which allude to the same thing - "you're not man enough".
No insult is greater.
While there is no legal discrimination against gays in the army, and up until 1993 gays were not allowed to serve in the Intelligence services because they were prone to blackmail and up until that decision outed gays were told to tattle on other gay soldiers.

Things aren't bad.

Then again, Israel was always a little a head of the curve from the US when it came to gay rights. But then another again, why compare ourselves to an ocean away when just a leap to, say, Sweden, and we're put smack back among our neighbors.

But that's in Israel. If you're Jewish and served your country, you'll just be murdered once in a while, or told you're a disease by Members of Knesset. You won't be discriminated against.
Much.
You know, except when you want to donate blood, or have children.

Gay men, that is.

What's a Lesbian?

Bi and Trans... mythological fringe identities, at the very least.

My point? Oh, yeah, homosexuality is still used as blackmail material in the West Bank by the Shin-Bet (Israel's Security Agency, my friends and I like to call them the Stasistim) to get Palestinians to collaborate. And then they need to be given asylum in Israel for being gay.
I like how for security reasons the stratification of homophobia in the most disenfranchised population is encouraged.

It is truly a mark regression.

Once again America. Welcome to a fairer, more equal Army experience.
eumelia: (OTW)
Full disclosure: I am a reader of fan-fiction, an occasional writer and have aspirations to be a critical aca-fen.

Now, go forth and read what I have to say about All Of This.
(Screenshot of all three posts and the PS). h/t [personal profile] ciaan

The reason I went online all those years ago, more than a decade for sure, was because I was looking for people like me.

What do I mean, people like me?

Fans of the teevee show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. What I found was a sapling of what would be a giant red-wood tree of creativity, community and fun.

I wrote Buffy fanfic before I knew what fanfic was. Blatant self-inserts that I and my BFF at the time, who is also a Buffy fan, put in so that we could talk directly to the characters.
Her character was a manifestation of Energy who became human in search for love (i.e. Dawn).
My character was a vampire woman who was seriously into S/M (something else I had no idea existed at the time, I was sure I was inventing something) and enjoyed tormenting the male vampires and seducing young high school girls (i.e. Vamp Willow, also Faith sans the Vampire part, of course).

When both these characters did in fact actually manifest on the screen all those years later, when we were already in our late teens and little bit more aware of the world and all it's multitudes, we *squeed*. Lengthy )

Bottom line. You can dislike Fan-Fiction as much as you want. You can call it lazy, unoriginal, illegal (which is not the same as unethical!) or any other pejorative you can think of. That is your right, it is so easy not to read it.

Through fan-fic I discovered so much and so many comic books and more original fiction that I would probably have a much smaller book collection than I do. Three book shelves, stacked baby.

Don't tell me that fan-fiction is less meaningful that original-fiction.

Because it's wrong.

*Get the pun? Get it? :P
eumelia: (nice jewish girl)
Adalah has produced and released a video incorporating political Palestinian rap and hard facts regarding the (in)equality between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel (Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza and certain parts of East Jerusalem are not Israeli citizens).

Watch the video, it says it all and everything I can say is superfluous.

Targeted Citizen - English from Adalah on Vimeo.

Profile

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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