Go Dan Go!

Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:54 am
lobolance: (Default)
I am a Dan Savage fan; the savagelovecast is the best keep-me-awake podcast out there. As a sex advice columnist, Dan is BDSM savvy (for the vanilla world). To me, his advice around trans stuff has been a bit hit and miss. Today's column is all hit (save for the weird little not-trans thing at the end). It's aimed at trans guys who have sex with cisgender men, which is also a wonderful thing to see.

I've been surprised by a few trans positive things lately, hopeful stuff. I like it.
lobolance: (Default)
Cool article. Aimed at a general readership.
lobolance: (Default)
Last night I was part of a panel on sexuality and teenagers at a high-school in San Mateo. It's clearly a progressive school; they have presentations every month for parents involved in the school, they have a GSA and Safe Spaces, etc. Typically, 50-60 parents attend the meetings. Last night maybe 20 showed up. And we were talking about sex! What can be more interesting than that?

It was somewhat interesting, having the panel focused on parent's issues. A presenter from a teen sex education group was part of the panel; she was really good, and her organization sounded wonderful. I was really impressed about how she could provoke questions and conversations, without actually suggesting people 'should' believe this or that about anything; she was providing ways for parents to express their own values.

There was also a psychologist on the panel. She did a PowerPoint presentation. ;-) She had some good tips; I also saw some conflicts, and I 'heard' an assumption that sexual behavior is bad. At one point I was talking about how I knew some schools did not permit a wanted GSA club to start; she said that was illegal. Well, yes it is, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I had a sense from a few folks of self-congratulating... it was odd, the school clearly does have some excellent policies, but reminders of local suicides didn't seem to really get them to hear more was needed in some core ways.

The panel was also kinda dull... I think due to the light attendance; unlike in a typical class or college education panel, the people attending mostly seemed a lot more constrained. I suspect due to fear of embarrassment in front of others. Who knows.

The teen sex educator (wish I'd gotten the group name! hmm, I could call the organizer) talked about a documentary around gender, which sounded really good: Straightlaced. The trailer looks great. Here are a couple links:
http://features.outinamerica.com/2009/02/11/straightlaced/
http://groundspark.org/our-films-and-campaigns/straightlaced

I am feeling drawn towards finding someway to do 'this' for real. No idea where to start. Wondering if I should offer something for free, on top of doing these panels... Wondering.
lobolance: (Default)
snagged from kingwyatt's tweet

lobolance: (not thinking)
http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_5974381

The SJ Merc reports that a whopping 89% of parents support comprehensive sex ed, across political/religious boundaries. It also talks about how scientific studies report how much more effective comprehensive education is compared to federally-mandated abstinence/sex-in-marriage education.

I am struck by how, nonetheless, the article spends at least three paragraphs (at least they're far down in the article) reporting on uber-religion-conservative views, in little interviews. I grok showing both sides of a story. I also note that the calm reporting of science isn't nearly as exciting a read as a little frothing at the mouth. Yet frothing at the mouth on the science side would look really silly (of course, it also looks silly on the religious side).

Anyhow, I wonder if these little interviews don't sorta fan the flames of fervor, just by paying paragraphs of attention to them. That might be in service of getting people to read the paper, but not to the news itself. Interesting to consider.  
lobolance: (Default)
Oddly, I find myself remaining slightly disturbed by the film *<http://www.barnyardmovie.com/>Barnyard*. I watched it this past weekend. It's a basic kids animated film about growing up and assuming responsibility. It had a few moments which made me laugh out loud, and was otherwise pretty standard American "shrug" kids fare.

The story revolves around a barnyard full of talking, upright walking (when the farmer is away) animals. The protagonist is a young... cow/bull/steer/something. And therein lies the rub. All of the kine were shown with udders; distinct, rubbery, right there in front when they're on their hind legs udders. ??

The protagonist and his dad have these things. They do not have horns, let alone any hint of genitalia (not that there'd be much; I am reminded as contrast of a delightful French film - *The Triplets of Belleville* - about a bicycle racer, his grandma, singing old ladies, and an old fat dog, who was clearly yet unobtrusively male; very nicely done). One distinct bull is shown (a nonplayer character, so to speak :-) ); he is big and thick necked and has a ring in his nose. All of the rest of the male cattle are entirely soft (eg, necks slim to body size), horn-less, and with udders.

I found it disturbing, on a number of levels. I think it's irresponsible to represent animals (and by connotation, people) to kids that way; reality is what it is. Kids aren't stupid, they know about sex and gender, and at that level, it's disrespectful of and possibly confusing (to the very young) to them. I totally appreciate gender-fuck, but I don't think that's what the movie-makers had in mind here.

Instead, it's all about irrational adult fears, not about the world as it is. It reminds me of how human male genitalia is by definition obscene (talking movies here), but female isn't (tho I'm pretty sure that's frontal view only). So maybe this is another incidence of reverse sexism? IMO, being male isn't a thing to hide (whether we're talking genitalia, horns, beards, strength, size, whatever - tho I do also enjoy that male redtails are smaller than female ones; diversity rocks).

I guess we need the French style of cow animation.

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