Sex and gender at work, in bed, and on the street

Archive for March 2011

Whitman-Walker Clinic remembers Elizabeth Taylor

March 23, 2011 - 01:30 PM
0 Comments
Elizabeth Taylor at an HIV/AIDS fundraiser in 1993 (Photo: Associated Press)

This morning, Hollywood star, gay icon, and HIV/AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor died at the age of 79. Local mourners may want to pay their respects at the Whitman-Walker Clinic's main facility, the Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, located at 1701 14th St. NW. “Elizabeth Taylor was the first major Hollywood star to take up the banner of HIV/AIDS activism,” the clinic's executive director, Don Blanchon, said in a statement. “At a time when most Americans thought of HIV/AIDS as something that didn’t affect them, her commitment to the issue and considerable star power helped to take the fight against HIV/AIDS right into the mainstream of American society. Her dedication to raising money along with awareness has helped to save countless lives both by helping to treat people living with the virus and by preventing new infections.” Whitman-Walker named the facility after Taylor in 1993; Taylor attended the dedication.

Continue Reading

Tags:

How many sex partners is too many?: The week in college sex

March 23, 2011 - 11:45 AM
0 Comments

AIN'T NOTHIN' BUT A NUMBER: American University sex columnists Tara Culp-Ressler and Ryan Carter count the notches on campus bedposts: “In general, numbers don’t really matter to me since I am not a hugely jealous person,” one senior man told the duo. “I know I’m not Neil Armstrong, first to walk on the moon and plant the flag. The moon landing was no less monumental for Buzz Aldrin because he was second. No need to fret about the past.” But other students advocated for A STRICT ACCOUNTING: “It can be too high after a point. Maybe 10? I mean, I’m only 20 years old, so that high of a number would probably point to a lot of sexual partners in a short amount of time"; “If I meet you and you tell me you’ve slept with 15 dudes, I’m probably not taking you home tonight"; "When someone has been with so many partners, it’s hard to distinguish yourself as ‘special’ to them if they’re willing to do that with so many people . . . You start to feel like just a number.” Um, precisely!

AFTER THE JUMP: Hate crime at GW not shocking; repulsive babies descend on Georgetown; fabulous hugs at UMD:

Continue Reading

Tags:

Highly respectful anti-gay person launches book tour in D.C.

March 23, 2011 - 09:30 AM
6 Comments

Today at noon, Dr. Michael Brown will hit the National Press Club to promote his 700-page history of the LGBT movement, "A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been." Brown is hawking the book as "so controversial that no major publisher was willing to touch it"—for Brown's take-down of "pro-gay" forces is so well-researched and mild-mannered that it threatens to dismantle the gay lobby once and for all!

"Those looking for a right-wing diatribe based on unreliable, second-hand sources will have to look elsewhere, as will those looking for an angry, mean-spirited screed," Brown writes in the preface to the book. "In fact, in the pages that follow, the reason there is no anger or hatred in my words is because there is no anger or hatred in my heart . . . It is the purpose of this book to see how we got to this point in history, to examine some of the main lines of pro-gay thought, to consider the impact of gay activism on our society, and to ask the question: Where is the current trajectory taking us?"

Continue Reading

Tags:

Wear a rape joke for $11.99 (plus shipping): Your sex and gender morning roundup

March 23, 2011 - 09:00 AM
5 Comments

"FUNNY" T-SHIRT reading "I can run faster horny than you can scared!" "hilariously" available in women's sizes.

APPLE has agreed to dump the iPhone app dedicated to "ex-gay" reparative therapy.

AFTER THE JUMP: parsing the increased abortion restrictions in Virginia; Prince George's county's record on women; what if every person living and working in D.C. knew her HIV status?

Continue Reading

Tags:

D.C. police e-mails concerned with bad press, trans rights

March 22, 2011 - 02:30 PM
1 Comments

In July of 2007, police arrested Virginia Grace Soto for missing a court date. Then, judging by what they called her "masculine features," police wrongfully determined that Soto was a post-operative trans woman, detained her in a male facility over her objections, and forced her to sleep and shower with men.

The incident inspired a media and activist outcry, forcing the D.C. government to publicly address how any woman—trans or otherwise—could come to be housed with men against her will. Since Soto's arrest, the District has taken steps to improve procedures for gender variant people entering the city's gender binary criminal justice system. In October 2007, D.C. police adopted a general order designed to eliminate discriminatory police interactions with trans people, outlawing the use of degrading language, inappropriate pronouns, and gender identity profiling in the force. And in 2009, the D.C. Department of Corrections followed suit by instituting some marginal improvements in the way it identifies, houses, and treats trans detainees.

Despite the paperwork, the city's trans activists continue to gather anecdotal evidence that police officers and corrections officials don't always conform to their progressive guidelines.

Continue Reading

Tags:

Johns Hopkins 'hot girls' refuse to have sex, make eye contact with student newspaper columnist

March 22, 2011 - 11:00 AM
0 Comments
Arrogance! (Photo: Associated Press)

Johns Hopkins University student Mike McKenna is sick and tired of the arrogant "attitude" that "hot girls" on campus display toward guys like him . . . guys who pen open letters in the school newspaper detailing their disdain for attractive women who will not have sex with them. Sounds like a promising new premise from the student paper that brought us those stellar investigations of how academically successful women are destroying their boyfriends and "fat chicks" are ruining binge drinking. Looks like we've covered just about every possible woman at Hopkins by now! Let's take a tour through McKenna's thought process:

WOMEN AT HOPKINS ARE  UNATTRACTIVE: "There are a few popular theories about why the hottest Hopkins girls develop such an attitude, and I think it's time to finally set the record straight. The basic premise of the theories is that, because there are so few attractive and socially active women here, those possessing both qualities are in such high demand they develop an air of superiority and can get away with it."

Continue Reading

Tags:

Manly men under the knife: Your sex and gender morning roundup

March 22, 2011 - 09:00 AM
4 Comments
Men increasingly willing to go places like this (Photo: TBD Staff)

PLASTIC SURGERY procedures among men remain on the rise. AMONG THE MANLIEST OF PROCEDURES: liposuction; ear surgery; breast reduction; eyelid surgery; laser hair removal. The Good Men Project gently ridicules the idea—furthered by plastic surgeons, naturally—that "even manly men are having work done." As much as that assertion is a marketing ploy employed to trick men into spending as much money on needless cosmetic procedures as do women, the "manly" thing actually makes a lot of sense to me. If you identify as highly masculine, you're more likely to invest in maintaining that image by whatever means necessary. Even if it means briefly feminizing yourself by dipping into a plastic surgeon's office.

AFTER THE JUMP: On Lady Gaga, race, and vegan childless women:

Continue Reading

Tags:

Why book Charlie Sheen?

March 21, 2011 - 03:00 PM
4 Comments
Sheen trashes hotel rooms, lives (Photo: Associated Press)

Charlie Sheen is a recently unemployed sitcom actor with a history of substance abuse who has been accused of inflicting the following acts of violence against women in his life: a gunshot wound (1990); a blow to the head (1994); a throw to the floor (1996); death threats (2006); a knife to the throat (2009); a hotel-room rampage (2011); and a threatened beheading (2011). Following his termination from his $1.2 million-an-episode gig on CBS' Two and a Half Men, Sheen has capitalized off his public meltdown by launching a thousand Internet memes devoted to unhinged assertions of his own virility (get your "Tiger Blood" T-shirt for $19.95). 

Continue Reading

Tags:

When anti-gay hate crimes happen to straight people

March 21, 2011 - 12:15 PM
1 Comments

Last week, 18-year-old New Yorker Anthony Collao became the latest victim of anti-gay violence in America. In the middle of a Queens house party hosted by a couple of gay men, a group of attackers reportedly stormed the place, shouted anti-gay epithets, marked the walls with slurs, then chased Collao down and beat him to death.

Collao was straight. To the GLAA Forum's Charlie Watson, that means that his death will resonate throughout the mainstream media in a way that a similar crime against a gay person would not.

"While anti-gay violence is run of the mill, mistaken attacks on straight people are often considered newsworthy because of the 'man bites dog' aspect of the crime," Watson writes. "Plus the media likes to note when there are innocent victims of crime (as opposed to crimes against gay people)."

 

Continue Reading

Tags:

Pot misogyny: Your sex and gender morning roundup

March 21, 2011 - 09:00 AM
0 Comments
Let's sexualize this! (Photo: Associated Press)

POT MISOGYNY: "Though High Times is run by a number of women at the top, the magazine is a boy's club, edited primarily by men," writes CelebStoner's Steve Bloom in his defense of the website's boycott of the Marijuana Policy Project's Playboy Mansion fundraiser. "High Times caters to a predominately male readership. That's why the magazine has featured photo spreads of Playmates, Penthouse Pets and porn stars. It's a men's magazine first, and the editors and bosses know how to play to their crowd. . . . I'm not a prude, I just don't think it's appropriate to fill up a pot magazine with images strictly for male readers, essentially turning off the female base. The few women on the staff would occasionally suggest that a sexy guy should be on the cover. Never happened. I'd regularly hear from women in the movement who'd distanced themselves from the magazine because of the racy content."

RELATED: The NORML Women's Alliance.

AFTER THE JUMP: Queer women (not) on TV; analyzing race in the wake of a rape; Fukushima vs. Charlie Sheen:

Continue Reading

Tags:

Miss D.C. pageant seeks morally fit, non-pregnant, cisgender woman to represent city

March 18, 2011 - 01:15 PM
0 Comments
The Miss America pageant (Photo: Associated Press)

It's Miss D.C. pageant time again—that special time of year when the District of Columbia surveys a selection of morally upright (but sexy!) women under the age of 24 and chooses but one to represent its citizens for the following year, based on olde tyme measures of a woman's worth (also, a bikini contest). Behold, the basest of requirements to seize the crown: "A contestant must be born female," and "A contestant must have never been married," and "A contestant must have never performed any act or engaged in any activity or employment that is or could reasonably be characterized as dishonest, immoral, or indecent," and my personal favorite:

Continue Reading

Tags:

Virginia seeks to enact strict abortion regulations in 2012

March 18, 2011 - 12:00 PM
2 Comments
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (Photo: Associated Press)

Last month, Virginia legislators voted to pass legislation that would impose stricter regulations on the state's abortion clinics. Currently, 17 of the 21 abortion providers in Virginia fall short of the precise, hospital-style structural demands that typically result from laws like these. Four Virginia Planned Parenthood locations recently renovated their facilities in anticipation of the regulatory tightening. Once the regulations are set, the remainder of the state's providers will be forced to invest in similar time-consuming and costly structural changes in order to continue to serve patients—or face closure.

The regulatory burden could severely restrict women's abortion access in Virginia, on a temporary or permanent basis. The move could also present increased financial barriers to women seeking abortions if clinics raise the price of the procedure to defray renovation costs.

When will Virginia women begin to see these increased restrictions? The Virginia Board of Health has agreed on a tentative timeline for the regulatory roll-out:

Continue Reading

Tags:

19th century feminism, today: Your sex and gender morning roundup

March 18, 2011 - 09:00 AM
0 Comments
Remember when women couldn't do this? Let's base our feminism on that. (Photo: Associated Press)

LET'S GO BACK TO THE GOOD OLD DAYS of feminism: The 19th century. Anti-abortion rights members of the House of Representatives celebrate Women's History Month with these choice words: “Abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women”; “The original feminists were, indeed, against abortion. These women believed that there was power in motherhood and in choosing life"; “So I am proud to stand here today, like my sisters before me–like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, like Susan B. Anthony and, yes, like Alice Paul–and say, enough’s enough. Women’s rights are women’s rights, and if a woman has rights, those rights are the child’s rights because everybody has the right to life.”

AFTER THE JUMP: Hate gays? There's an app for that. Trans activists rally to receive basic city services in Maryland. And women are more likely than men to live in poverty:

Continue Reading

Tags:

Equality Maryland instructs LGBTs on how to disagree

March 17, 2011 - 12:30 PM
3 Comments
Trouble under the rainbow (Photo: Associated Press)

Maryland's 2011 legislative session kicked off with high hopes for LGBT rights, with the introduction of a same-sex marriage bill to equalize unions in the state and an anti-discrimination initiative that would extend equal rights in housing, employment and public accommodations to trans people. But LGBT advocates in the state and around the country have splintered on how to succeed on both fronts.

A quick primer: After failing to lock in sufficient votes in the Maryland House of Delegates, some LGBT groups encouraged legislators to cancel the vote on the marriage issue, effectively killing the bill in the hopes of resurrecting the effort next year; other activists characterized the move as "strategic blunder of monstrous proportions.” And after legislators stripped the trans discrimination bill of its public accommodations language in an attempt to garner mainstream support of the legislation, LGBT groups split over whether to support the compromised language. ''Transsexual and transgender people should represent themselves, not gay and lesbian organizations,'' Trans Maryland announced in its bid to oppose the compromised trans bill. ''We are taking back our voice.''

Continue Reading

Tags:

Ivy Leagues, ROTC, and anti-trans discrimination

March 17, 2011 - 10:15 AM
1 Comments
Trans veteran Autumn Sandeen joins gay soldiers in fighting to repeal DADT. (Photo: Associated Press)

Last week, the Washington Postcongratulated Harvard University for allowing the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) back on campus for the first time since the Vietnam War. Harvard agreed to reinstate ROTC after Congress moved to lift the ban on gay servicemembers in December.

I agree with the Post that civilian institutions should make efforts to be fully inclusive to members of the U.S. military. But the idea that an academic institution's only conceivable conflicts with the U.S. military are (a) Vietnam and (b) anti-gay discrimination is ridiculous.

For one: this is a good time to remember that the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal effort left trans servicemembers in the dust. Trans people are still barred from military service, which absolutely presents a conflict for Harvard: The school includes gender identity in its non-discrimination policy. "All members of our community, including those who are transgender, have a right to be treated with dignity and respect, and to participate fully in the life of the University," the policy reads. I realize that schools are in a tough spot here: With federal laws threatening to pull funding from schools, barring ROTC on campus could end up denying a whole host of academic opportunities for all students (including LGBT ones). All the more reason the U.S. military ought to fully lift the ban on LGBT soldiers.

Continue Reading

Tags:

Skip the mansion: Your sex and gender morning roundup

March 17, 2011 - 09:00 AM
0 Comments
Will she go home or haunt or dreams forever? (Photo: Associated Press)

CELEB STONER (which makes its way into this S&G roundup but once in a blue moon) encourages marijuana reform supports to boycott the Marijuana Policy Project's upcoming fundraiser at the Playboy Mansion: "CelebStoner strongly discourages the marijuana community from supporting this event. With last year's disturbing revelations about Kampia's poor behavior towards women and his admitted 'hypersexual' problem, the Playboy Mansion is the last place where the MPP should be staging an event. This choice of venue is grossly insensitive to woman working in the cannabis movement and related businesses. We ask that the MPP move the event to an more acceptable location. Until then, the boycott is on."

AFTER THE JUMP: The White House stays mum on bullying; homophobes in the House; will Palin run?

Continue Reading

Tags:

Shorter advice columns: Advice for snoops, conspiracy theorists, and mah-jongg players

March 16, 2011 - 02:40 PM
0 Comments
The week's advice, from break-ups to dog poop. (Photo: Associated Press)

Truncating the week's advice columns:

If you are an older woman who lost your part-time job two years ago under mysterious circumstances and have only recently become computer literate enough to discover that another woman is running a pornographic website under your name, you might as well report the coincidence to human resources but shouldn't expect the clarification to win you your job back. [Ask Amy]

Breakups suck, always. You must confront the man you are making out with about why he is uninterested in having sex with you. [Miss Information]

Continue Reading

Tags:

D.C. safety audit assesses streets for women, LGBTs

March 16, 2011 - 10:45 AM
1 Comments

Next week, Holla Back DC! and Stop Street Harassment will team up to stage D.C.'s first city-wide safety audit. The audit, which coincides with the First Annual International Anti-Street Harassment Day, is targeted at making city streets safer for "women and LGBTQ folks."

So on March 20 and 23, 80 volunteers will canvas two neighborhoods in each District ward by both day and night to determine whether "women and LGBTQ folks can navigate the public spaces of D.C. freely without fear." In a two-hour study, District locales will be rated on a constellation of factors: the gender breakdown of residents out-and-about; the presence of graffiti, trash, or offensive advertisements, and their effect on perceived safety; the accessibility of public services, from pedestrian signals to pay phones; the safety of nearby bus and Metro stops; any incidents of harassment observed on the walk or recorded in the past; the auditors' comfort level with local businesses, community organizations, and the area's police presence; and interviews with local residents using public space.

Volunteers are encouraged to sign up to audit their own neighborhoods; organizers are specifically seeking volunteers from Wards 7 and 8.

Continue Reading

Tags:

Ex-gays reject Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way': Your sex and gender morning roundup

March 16, 2011 - 09:00 AM
0 Comments
Lady Gaga alienates former homosexuals (Photo: Associated Press)

EX-GAYS critique Lady Gaga's "Born This Way": "Lady Gaga’s latest single 'Born This Way' has been heralded as the anthem for homosexuals struggling to be at peace with their sexuality. Its 'just be who you are' message is seemingly one of validation and liberation from self-doubt," Christian Today reports. "But Jeff Johnston, a gender and homosexuality analyst for US ministry Focus on the Family, believes the song takes away any hope of meaningful transformation and betterment." Johnston, who says he relied on God's "grace to overcome same-sex attraction," called the song “bad theology" and added, "When I was a young adult, this message would have taken away any sense of hope."

BONUS QUOTE:
"Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson, who noted that Lady Gaga wrote the song in 10 minutes, commented, 'We shouldn’t expect too much nuance and thoughtfulness from someone best-known for wearing meat as a dress and making an obscene gesture at a Mets game.'”

AFTER THE JUMP: Bisexuality on prime time; advice columns ruin lives; a Real World lawsuit shines a light on consent law:

Continue Reading

Tags:

Marijuana Policy Project returns to Playboy Mansion

March 15, 2011 - 02:20 PM
2 Comments
Outside the mansion (Photo: Associated Press)

Last year, the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project suffered a public relations implosion over the aired sexual obsessions of longtime executive director Rob Kampia. Kampia—who stood accused of layering office banter with discussions of "breast massage" and "boning," and vigorously pursuing inappropriate sexual relationships with subordinates—took a three month leave of absence from the marijuana reform organization in January of 2010 to pursue therapy. “I just think I’m hypersexualized,” Kampia explained at the time.

Continue Reading

Tags: