Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Japanese Gay and Lesbian Current Events

This article discusses the state of gay rights in Japan and how they might change in future (allegedly due to US influence, interestingly enough).  It's very brief, but it's an interesting look into a country where I hadn't ever considered the state of gay rights.

Any thoughts on this, or perhaps thoughts about the current state of gay rights in other countries (especially ones that don't get mentioned as often)?

Anti-Gay Parents, Openly Gay Children

I found this article today:

Beau Miller is openly gay and a gay activist (HIV-positive as well) who is son of Texas state lawmaker Rick Miller, who has just filed a bill to roll back antidiscrimination ordinances in Texas.  The article (very briefly) discusses how both men reconcile this conflict.  I thought it was interesting.  Any thoughts?

Amazing Article About Scripps in the HuffPo!!

Super relevant to the discussions/readings we had around women's colleges:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"Hijabs, Lipstick and Tattoos: Dress and Grooming Policies"

My dad helps run the King County Labor and Employment Law Conference and he sent me some information regarding this workshop! It's really relevant to what I was talking about in class yesterday re: expression in the workplace. The workshop is also co-run by Matt Wood, from the Transgender Law Center. There's a lot of interesting stuff in the presentation and supporting documents, but I can't figure out how to attach them to this post :( Anyway, here's an interesting case I took from one of the supporting documents while I try and figure it out:
Hunter v. United Parcel Serv., 697 F.3d 697 (8th Cir. 2012)
(plaintiff, born female, identified as male since childhood but had not undergone any surgical procedures related to gender reassignment; he applied for job using his female birth name and came to the interview with his breasts bound, with a short haircut, and wearing clothing purchased from a men’s department, but did not tell the interviewer that he identified as male or transgender; affirming summary judgment for the employer on sex discrimination non-hire claim, court held that there was no evidence that the prospective employer knew that he was transgender or perceived him to be so, and therefore, he could not establish a prima facie case of sex discrimination).

Monday, May 4, 2015

Activist and queer theory perspectives on "pinkwashing" and "pinkwatching"

If anyone is curious to learn more about pinkwashing in light of our discussion today, here are some resources. 

1. This NYT op-ed from 2011 offers a good overview of how the strategy is deployed in Israel, Western Europe, and the U.S.: 

"What makes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies so susceptible to pinkwashing — and its corollary, the tendency among some white gay people to privilege their racial and religious the emotional legacy of homophobia.... Increasing gay rights have caused some people of good will to mistakenly judge how advanced a country is by how it responds to homosexuality."

2. Pinkwatching Israel is an organization committed to "creating a global movement to promote queer-powered calls against pinkwashing and pushing the Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment Campaign against Israel to the forefront of the global queer movement."

Here's their website:

3. Queer theorist, Jasbir Puar, has written a lot on pinkwashing as it relates to what she calls "homonationalism," the idea "that the right to, or quality of sovereignty is now evaluated by how a nation treats its homosexuals." In this critique of pinkwatching, the activist response to pinkwashing, in the United States, she argues that "both pinkwashing and pinkwatching speak the language of homonationalism. One does so in the name of Israel, the other does so in the name of Palestine. In addition, both are strategies directed and redirected through the same power centers and towards the same intended audience: Euro-American gays. We would like to end by drawing attention to the fact that Israel/Palestine are not the only arenas where pinkwashing occurs. A deeper critique of pinkwashing and of homonationalism more broadly must take into account the ways that it is used in settler colonies such as the United States and Israel in addition to the ways that homonationalism is intimately connected to practices of power and empire on the international stage."

4. Finally, here's an article by Maya Mikdashi that critiques Hillary Clinton's "gay rights as human rights" speech that we read for class in the context of pinkwashing.

"In her speech Secretary Clinton was, perhaps unknowingly, reproducing this generative alienation between political and human rights. She emphasized that LGBTQs everywhere had the same rights to love and have sex with whomever they choose as partners, and to do so safely. In making this statement, she reiterated a central tenet of what Jasbir Puar names homonationalism: the idea that LGBTQs the world over experience, practice, and are motivated by the same desires.... Secretary Clinton suggested that queers everywhere, whether white or black, male or female or transgendered, soldier or civilian, rich or poor, Palestinian or Israeli, can be comprehended and interpellated through the same rights framework. But the content of what she she calls “gay rights” is informed by the experiences and histories of (namely white gay male) queers in the United States, and thus there is an emphasis on visibility and identity politics and an elision of the class and political struggles that animate the lives of the majority of the third world's heterosexual and homosexual populations. Thus detached from its locality, “gay rights” can travel internationally not only as a vehicle for normative homo-nationalism, but as a vehicle for neoliberal ways of producing politics and subjects more broadly."

Where My Girls At: Meet Two of Ferguson's Black Queer Activists

I am little late on posting this... but here is a really interesting perspective on the violence in Ferguson/Baltimore.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

"8": the play

The play "8" draws on court testimony to give an account of the 2010 Proposition 8 trial in California.  It features an all-star cast!  Watch it here.