As requested, a photoset of casual Laverne Cox hanging out and dancing with us at our Spirit Day rally last October. She’s a great dancer and such an inspiration :)
Included in these photos are some of our youth advisory board, crushwitheyeliner and chaseisalwaystired!
Erving Goffman, from Stigma: Notes on the Management of Spoiled Identity (1963)
Erving Goffman (1922-1982), the highly influential Canadian Sociologist, categorises stigma as a sort of stain or mark upon which “the normals” (a term he uses cynically) project their fear of difference and tendency towards marginalisation and oppression.
He offers fascinating insight into the ways a stigmatised person or group handles their stigma, offering three possible choices:
1. Minstrelisation: where the marginalised person or group, usually one that has (or thinks it has) very little power or influence over others, over-conforms to the stereotypes more dominant groups have about them.
2. Normification: where the marginalised who have a little power tries to minimise the differences by which the dominant groups marginalise them, by focusing on perceived or actual similarities they might have with those who oppress and dominate them.
3. Militant Chauvinism: where the marginalised who have significantly more numbers and power might decide to actually maximise the differences between themselves and the dominant/oppressive groups. Militant Chauvinists don’t just celebrate and revel in their differences, they also tend to proclaim they are in fact better than the dominant groups.
Examples of all three of these approaches to stigmatised difference are easily found in the non-heterosexual world. When gay men “camp it up” in front of heterosexuals, they are in fact minstrelising. It can be seen as a form of self-preservation, as a way of turning potentially hostile situations into locations of comic-relief, where the dominant heterosexual group is affirmed in their dominance and their stereotypical assumptions about homosexual men to be correct and justified. A minstrelising gay male might joke in private that the heterosexuals think he is really like that, but in effect he is practice sing a form of self-effacement constituted by his insecurities and feelings of powerlessness.
Johnny Weir, denigrated for being a ‘minstrel’ during the 2014 Socchi Winter Olympics
By far the most common modern-day reaction to non-heterosexual stigmatisation is normalisation. Normalisation is the key element to LGBT pushes for gay marriage, open military service, and acceptance into all social and cultural institutions. By exaggerating the similarities non-heterosexuals share with heterosexuals, and by downplaying or even outright suppressing points of difference, the LGBT hopes to enter institutions formerly denied to them.
Normalisation: does it subvert or merely condone stigmatised marginalisation?
More common in the early 70’s (but still alive today) immediately after Stonewall and the first wave of gay liberation, was militant chauvinism. These non-heterosexuals are more easily identified as queer and tend to reject notions of conformity and normalisation in favour of the development of unique non-heterosexual culture. There is a focus on rejecting social institutions such as marriage altogether, rejection of military service and imperialistic wars of aggression, and the development of alternative relationship and social frameworks.
Aunt Ida, Queer Militant Chauvinist in Female Trouble by John Waters (1974)
The only significant difference between minstrelisation and militant chauvinism is the size and power of the group. Otherwise, they are both resisting the oppression of the dominant group by rejecting the standards and principles by which they are marginalised (by either making fun of it or aggressively challenging it). It is surprising that the 1970’s saw a strong push towards militant chauvisism as numbers in the liberation movement swelled, whereas today minstrelisation is once again being denigrated (as in the case of Johnny Weir) from within the community by normalising forces in the LGBT. Surely this highlights an ongoing trend away from feeling pride in their difference, towards an acceptance of the shame those who seek to stigmatise the non-heterosexual community hope they experience?
By contrast, those dealing with their non-heterosexual stigma via a process of normalisation are in fact accepting the criteria the dominant group uses to oppress them: they simply want to be accepted into the group too.
This is where the mainstream LGBT political agenda is least able to justify itself: by demanding inclusion into the social fabric of the dominant group and by not challenging its inherent oppressive function and tendency towards the marginalisation of difference, it condones and justifies it. It’s like saying “We don’t care what you do to other people, just as long as you don’t do it to us.”
Minstrelisers and militant chauvinists question and reject the very fabric of a society that would marginalise difference. Normalisers accept the processes by which stigma is assigned and maintained, and seek to enter into and be recognised by the institutions responsible for the oppression of the marginalised.
It would be timely to consider why a majority of non-heterosexuals today support the normalising trajectory of mainstream LGBT politics. It would be also very timely for non-heterosexuals to look at the limited successes of feminism and the civil rights movement in order to gain insight into how radical movements are absorbed into the mainstream, rendering them impotent and powerless.
Five decades after second wave feminism and the civil rights movement, women are not equal. In fact, many women reject the idea of feminism altogether, erroneously convinced that feminism means growing armpit hair, hating men, and being a lesbian. Women still earn less than men, are still discriminated against and exploited, despite all the normalising laws that have been passed to ensure their “equality”. Woman are still at high risk of domestic and/or sexual violence.
So too with the civil rights movement. Despite normalising laws, people of colour are still unequal in payment, education, and access to privileges. Whilst there is less overt racism today, systemic, institutionalised racism couples deployed alongside unconscious, invisible white privilegd ensures the stigmatised difference of people of colour is maintained.
Given these examples, it is difficult to see how the mainstream LGBT politcal agenda of “equality” will be any more successful in 50 years’ time. Absorption into the mainstream is certainly no guarantee of equality, with the feminist and civil rights movements providing ample evidence of this.
Minstrelisation and militant chauvinism offer the potential to reimagine social hierarchies and develop new ways of being where difference rather than sameness becomes foundational to human interactions. Despite regular attacks from LGBT normalisers who may feel threatened by the prospect that their heteronormative affectations could be undermined by the overturning of the oppressive function of mainstream society, radical and subversive tendencies will continue to remain a more valid and liberating method to reduce and eliminate stigmatised marginalisation.
Hello, Rainbow Hub comic lovers! First of all, my apologies for being absent for the past two weeks—I’ve been in the middle of a move! Just this past week, I began my graduate studies, which naturally has made life more than a little bit hectic. Due to this change in my life and schedule, the structure of my reviews will be shifting slightly from here on out, but we’ll still be talking about the comics you know and love from week to week.
This week, we’ll be taking a look at Ms. Marvel 7 and Storm 2, as well as some lightning-round reviews of Black Widow 9/The Punisher 9, Captain Marvel 6, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man 4, New Avengers 22, Original Sin 7, and She-Hulk 7 from the previous two weeks, as well as All-New X-Factor 12, Mighty Avengers 13, and New Avengers 23 from this week.
One of the world’s greatest tragedies is our violation of those who cannot tell us to stop. Thousands of animals are tested upon on in the name of medicine, cosmetics and science, living each day in agony so that we can heal our sick, look better, and progress without them. There is no greater disservice to animals than this. Some never see sunshine, only the artificial light that shines from chrome table tops and the light of a scalpel.
And another is this game.
Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei boldly journeyed from a WWII internment camp, to the helm of the starship Enterprise, to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband Brad on this star’s playful and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.Best known for playing Sulu on the original Star Trek TV series and six movies that followed, George Takei is unlikely social media royalty. Unofficially dubbed the King of Facebook, he counts over 5 million fans in his online empire — including Trekkies, Howard Stern listeners, and the LGBTQ community — who devour his quirky mix of kitten jokes, Star Trek references, heartfelt messages, and sci-fi/fantasy memes. An outspoken advocate for civil rights, Takei has used his unmistakable baritone in several satiric PSAs, including one in response to Tennessee’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill that encourages viewers to say, “It’s OK to be Takei.” His current projects include the musical Allegiance, drawn from his experience of growing up in Japanese American internment camps during World War II, and the recently published Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet.
Check out an interview with the film’s director and producer Jennifer Kroot here: http://bit.ly/1rqjka2 -JS
Wikipedia has blocked all computers from the House of Representatives from editing any of their content — because someone with an IP address from the House has been trolling the site with transphobic edits.
Since earlier this week, comments have been appearing misgendering Laverne Cox, using slurs on pages about trans people, changing the definition of gender identity disorder, and citing notorious asshole Gavin McInnes in descriptions of trans people and transphobia. Wikipedia editors were forced to intervene when the person (or people) continued to make edit after edit.
This is the third time THIS SUMMER the House has been blocked from Wikipedia for “disruptive editing” by anonymous users.
The person using the IP address responded — without revealing their identity — that the malicious edits were in fact “official business” endorsed by a member of the House. Their changes, they said, were intended to bring “fairness” to the discussion.
“There’s nothing illegal about editing Wikipedia to promote official business that has been explicitly authourized [sic] by the Representative,” the userwrote.
“When you have other Representatives trying to push for laws such as [the Employment Non-Discrimination Act],” the user continued, “or when you have the [European Union] using neocolonialist methods to impose transgenderism on the nation of Georgia through a visa agreement, it’s all the more important.” …
After this most recent banning, the outlawed anti-trans user wrote, “Blocked because I disagreed with the trans-lobby? These days, If I complain about a man using the womyn’s restroom then I’m cosidered transphobic and get called a TERF. This has been happening a lot lately here in the halls of Congress. If feeling uncomfortable about some creeper coming into the same bathroom as me is considered transphobic, then why is transphobia considered a bad thing? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Admin who banned this IP is trans. If she is a real woman, then she should should be following real Feminists like Julie Bindel, not sellouts to the trans lobby like Anita Sarkeesian. People need to understand that transgenderism is being promoted by the Patriarchy to diminish the experiences of real womyn.”
Our elected officials, my friends.
how is this real oh my god
one of the elected women is a confirmed TERF.
Hey look, once again the left manages to prove it hasn’t gotten over hating trans people. Good job, cisfeminists. I write cisfeminist as one word for the same reason your friends write trans women as one word.
Oh, hey, and remember when fakecisgirl said that TERFs (i.e. radical cisfeminists), weren’t important to public policy because they were marginalized within feminism so much? Guess there’s at least one in congress, and by cisfeminist metrics, we all know: Political power is directly proportionate to the number of people in congress who share your exact demographic characteristics.
So—evidently magnetic poetry makes the world turn ‘round and—Oh!—see those?Those are my eyes having rolled completely out of my head.
I may have extremely mixed feelings about this film, and that makes me very annoyed because I actually had semi-high hopes (re: it wouldn’t make me want to *headdesk* every 15 seconds) for What If.
Mostly because of Daniel Radcliffe (A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Horns, and Kill Your Darlings), who is one half of our incredibly awkward dual-focused narrative Wallace.
There are very few artists who have merged the sacred and the sensual in their music as well as Sinéad O’Connor has, and I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss, her second album since her 2012 reemergence How About I Be Me (And You Be You). I’m Not Bossy is full of songs about love, lust, desire, heartbreak, and triumph, and O’Connor’s magnificent voice is in full vigor throughout the album.