Seriously tho. Why *should* she be asked to smile?
Asking a woman to smile is to make her more approachable. It’s to make you feel more comfortable - not her. I, personally, have zero fucks to give about being approachable to strange men on the street. Women are not here to entertain and please random folks.
Asking me to smile is akin to asking me to jump. Um. For what?
There’s this weird responsibility placed on women to be happy and lady-like and pleasant all of the time. It rids us of being able to express our own range of human emotions.
No one is asking for men and women to not interact with each other. That’s silly. This project is asking for women to be interacted with as if they have agency over their own bodies.
Creator of the Stop Telling Women To Smile project.
First, there is no naturalized gendered body. All of our bodies are modified with regard to gender, whether we seek out surgery or take hormones or not. All of us engage in or have engaged in processes of gender body modification (diets, shaving, exercise regimes, clothing choices, vitamins, birth control. etc) that alter our bodies,Great quote from Dean Spade’s essay “Dress to Kill, Fight to Win” from a few years ago. When checking to source, I stumbled on this good discussion of the article by Mimi Thi Nguyen at Racialicious.
just as we’ve all been subjected to gender related processes that altered our bodies (being fed differently because of our gender, being given or denied proper medical care because of our gender, using dangerous products that are on the market only because of their relationship to gender norms, etc). The isolating of only some of these processes for critique, while ignoring others, is a classic exercise in domination. To see trans body alteration as participating and furthering binary gender, to put trans people’s gender practices under a microscope while maintaining blindness to more familiar and traditional, but no less active and important gender practices of non-trans people, is exactly what the transphobic medical establishment has always done.
This Thanksgiving Day is also the last day of Native American Heritage Month, and gatherings nationwide will memorialize a meal that prefaced the destruction of indigenous food systems in North America by those struggling newcomers. While many American tables will be decorated with the “Indian corn” that comes out of its holiday storage space to provide a festive touch, across the country, a growing number of Native people are working to “decolonize” their diets.
Good article on what the Euro-American colonization meant for the food culture in North America and how Native Americans are now “decolonizing” their food culture, in part as reaction to health issues in the communities.
Also a recommended read between or instead of turkey dinners: This interview with Sherman Alexie Bitch Magazine published today: "Thanksgiving is a story of survival."
Feministing has an update on the ‘OB/GYNs may only treat women’ story: Now the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology says physicians may still treat men, but the problem for trans*/gender non-conforming folks probably still persists.
Obstetrician-gynecologist are mainly treating (cis)women and are often also called “women’s doctors” (In German, “Frauenarzt_in is the more common, colloquial word.) In a surprising and confusing move, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology has decided to cement the later term: The board apparently ruled that U.S. American OB/GYN may only treat women. Otherwise physicians lose their mandatory board certiification.
This really makes no sense.
As this New York Times explains, the order for example affects OB/GYNS treating (cis)men with a form of anal cancer also caused by the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV.) This type of cancer is rare, HIV positive men are among the most likely to be affected. HPV, of course, is best known as a cause for cervical cancer. U.S. OB/GYNs, doctors experienced in screening for this, can now no longer give (cis)men this preventive care, as the treatment is specifically ruled out by the Board. I can think of other preventive care methods OB/GYNs might be specifically capable to perform for men, including mammographies.
The reason given in the NYT piece is indeed “dogmatic:”
Dr. Larry C. Gilstrap, the group’s executive director, said the specialty of obstetrics and gynecology was specifically designed to treat problems of the female reproductive tract and was “restricted to taking care of women.” Of the 24 medical specialties recognized in the United States, he said, it is the only one that is gender-specific, and it has been that way since 1935.
Apparently it is a problem that OB/GYN physicians now branch out to other health care services to make money. One could argue it would make more sense to increase monitoring of the health care doctors provide instead of narrowing the group of patients to one half of a gender binary that isn’t supported by reality anyway, but exclaiming “women only” is cheaper for the Board. There probably are weird insurance issues, too.
Further, Verónica at feministing points out that this directive puts the health care for trans* men, trans* women, and other non-binary, gender non-conforming people at risk. It’s already extremely difficult for these groups to find adequate health care, making it harder with a ridiculous, reactionary order is downright cruel. I can only agree with Verónica’s conclusion:
There is no good reason why any physician should be barred from providing services they are qualified to provide. This decree is arbitrary, discriminatory, unnecessary, and dangerous to trans and gender non-conforming communities.
(I wonder if the Board will soon start claiming that the uterus wanders again.)
Every time I hear a NFL commentator complain that there is no way of stopping a player because tackles in the head area are now penalized, I imagine an entire commonwealth of rugby players erupt into raucous laughter.
Mark Yakich answered the question “what is a poem?” for the Atlantic:
When we come across a poem—any poem—our first assumption should not be to prejudice it as a thing of beauty, but simply as a thing. The linguists and theorists tells us that language is all metaphor in the first place. The word “apple” has no inherent link with that bright red, edible object on my desk right now. But the intricacies of signifiers and signifieds fade from view after college. Because of its special status—set apart in a magazine or a book, all that white space pressing upon it—a poem still has the ability to surprise, if only for a moment which is outside all the real and virtual, the aural and digital chatter that envelopes it, and us.
I highly recommend the essay. Not sure if I agree on all points, but it is excellent grease for the machine, prey for the wild animal.