Yeah, it takes this kind of courage to answer male privilege.
Have you had experience resisting the box or boxes people try to put you in?
How do trends such as fluidity, pansexuality, and gender queer ideas help society understand itself and become more accepting?
Make a video, write a poem, song, or an essay — or even create an original work of art — and express your thoughts. If we feature your contribution on the site, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you.
Have you ever been discriminated against or made to feel like an outcast because of your sexual beliefs, practices, or orientation? Are there certain cities or countries in which you feel more welcome to talk about or exercise your sexual freedom? If you felt like you didn’t fit in because of your sexuality, would you consider packing up and leaving the country of your birth, of your childhood? What can we do to help people who cannot move to a more progressive locale due to economic or other barriers? What concrete steps can we take as individuals and as a society to ensure sexual freedom for all people everywhere?
Let us know what you think. Make a video, write a poem, song, or an essay — or even create an original work of art — and express your thoughts on these topics. If we feature your contribution on the site, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you.
This amazing map, developed by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Organization, portrays, as of May 2012, the status of critical LGBT protections and persecutions world wide. We hope all people interested in international issues will examine it and understand where progress is being made and where horrible persecution and enforced neglect endure.
It is encouraging to see signs of great progress in areas of South America and most of Western Europe, where a modicum of equality is emerging, in spite of entrenched religious opposition by atheistic religionists deeply embedded in the pastoral hierarchies of these societies.
It is painful to see how pervasive persecution and ignorance continue unopposed and unabated throughout Asia, Africa, and North and Central America, omitting only Canada. This horror persists and advances in such economically advanced nations as the United States, Russia, and China.
At the same time, the atheist leadership of the false religions of fundamentalism—regardless of the mythological origins of their beliefs—have made it their worldwide business to oppose education, and anything else which would broaden people’s perspectives on the realities of living in a modernizing society.
Nowhere is this atheistic negation of the most basic tenets of the faith they claim to espouse more apparent than in the United States, where the bigoted leadership of christianist cults, who know nothing of the “Christ” they claim to extol, expend vast sums to export their hatred to the third world in hope of colonializing the minds of uninformed citizens while quietly seizing financial control of undeveloped natural resources for personal advantage.
There are seated U.S. Congressmen that hold allegiance to their egocentric interpretation of “god’s law” as supreme. They respect neither teachings of great world religions, nor the U.S. Constitution, which they once swore to uphold. Their behavior hovers on the border of treason. They encourage bizarre religious hysteria in client country populations, while personally profiting from abuse of their government position to influence U.S. Foreign Aid, taken from your tax dollars, into back-end income from third world development projects and exploitation of those countries’ rich natural resources.
Editor’s note: This is one of a series of position papers Dan Massey and I are creating and will soon index on our home page. They briefly explore the evolution of our points of view about a range of issues related to sex, gender, and racial freedom. Your feedback is always welcome.
Editor’s note: This post was written by one of our interns, Jamor Gaffney.
It was the summer before I began 5th grade when I got my first relaxer. I was curious, nervous, and unsure of whether I was making the right decision. Not because of what I now understand to be a deeply rooted, oppressive standard of beauty in this country, but simply because I didn’t know how my hair would turn out. The morning before I went into the hair salon, I wore an Afro; I walked around my neighborhood so everyone could see my hair, and they would surely see the “new and improved” Jamor once I returned from the salon.
I later arrived at the hair salon, sweating bullets as I sat in the chair. The stylist parted my rough, kinky Afro to base my scalp with grease to protect my skin; soon, I felt the cold, heavy relaxer on my head… there was no turning back now. A few minutes in, I noticed a tingling sensation on my scalp, then, a burn! I started tapping my foot against the floor to signal to someone that I was uncomfortable and was met with the response, “Beauty is pain, beauty is pain”.
Now, I knew I couldn’t say this out loud but I wanted to scream, “That makes no sense! Get this out of my head!”
The hair washing person eventually rescued me and the rest of this seemingly stupid process was fine. Seemingly stupid turned into genius because the finished product was in fact, a new and improved, Jamor. I had shiny, silky, straight, long hair… I never looked back.
Today, I am more conscious of the implications of the relaxer in the black community and I wonder if my mom and I made the right choice in having my hair chemically straightened. The new BET original television show “Reed Between the Lines” about a black family deemed “the new Cosby Show” has an episode that speaks to my questions about perming my hair at a young age. Kaci is a young teenage girl who wants to perm her hair because a boy she likes at school prefers her hair straight. Her mother Carla tries to talk her out of the decision, explaining the potential consequences of putting a perm in her hair. A conversation like this would have been very helpful for me when I was younger.
Black Hair, Still Tangled in Politics articulates my thoughts on my hair, and the ways that black women present themselves. For black women, myself included, their hair is a performance of both their race and their gender. How I present my hair to others is in many ways, a statement or declaration of my race and gender. I’m pressured to keep my hair long and straight by men, black men!
I find it disheartening that within my own racial community, I’m not comfortable enough to present my hair, as is, how it grows from my scalp, without being considered less beautiful. This stems back to the Great Migration when blacks moved from the South to the North looking for better job opportunities and an overall better way of life. There were pressures by both whites and Northern blacks for this new influx of people to appear elegant, polished, and classy and “taming” their hair was the first step to maintaining that appearance. Today, similar pressures are put on blacks to appear more professional and approachable. All of these adjectives are just indirect ways of telling me to try to look white and be friendly, and that the efforts I make toward doing so will impact my success.
What’s unprofessional about a black woman washing her natural hair and putting a little holding gel on it for work in the morning? Some white women do just that, and no one is uncomfortable or appalled. For a country with such racial diversity as America, it should be considered highly problematic that our standard of beauty is still so sourly, solely skewed toward whiteness. How is this affecting young black girls today? Based on how perming my own hair as a 5th grader changed my perspective on black hair, I can’t imagine other young girls not wanting to feel new and improved too.