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Nina Arsenault on life and, art

I read a cool interview with Nina Arsenault today that caused me to think, “You so rock” about her.  She reminds me of the queens I knew  when I was young, before the whole tragedy of AIDS and drugs wiped out a generation.

She doesn’t throw up a bunch of  gender babble to justify pursuing her own vision of herself.  Lost in all the gender babble and the discussions of oppression is the reality that changing your body to fit your image of yourself is a pursuit of happiness matter.  And if you get past the fact that transsexual and transgender people change their sex characteristics what we do has a great deal of similarity to how non-trans people pursue their dreams.

I should also issue a disclaimer that during my days as a model, photographer and general hanger on in the art scenes of the West Coast I often used the very Oscar Wilde/Andy Warhol Superstar phrase, “I am an artist and my life is my art.” precisely because I could see the performing of life in what I was doing.

Perhaps you have to be or have been a part of that sort of art scene to get it but it is more of a conscious awareness of something most people unconsciously do.

The Article is:
June 11, 2010

Sexy transsexual Nina Arsenault on life, art and her penis

By Jim Rankin
Staff Reporter

This won’t be a narrative about a girl trapped inside the body of an awkward boy from Beamsville, who went through 60 plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures to transform her body into Jessica Rabbit with a penis she remains rather attached to.

Nina Arsenault – whose critically-acclaimed autobiographical play, The Silicone Diaries, will brighten stages this fall and next year in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa – decided a while back that she was tired of others telling the story of her journey to “reclaim” her body.

Continue reading at: http://www.thestar.com/living/article/822008–sexy-transsexual-nina-arsenault-on-life-art-and-her-penis

Opinion: The fake feminism of Sarah Palin

From the Washington Post

Jessica Valenti is one of the founders of the blog Feministing, which has a permanent place in my read daily Blog Roll

By Jessica Valenti
Sunday, May 30, 2010

The fake feminism of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin sure is dropping the f-bomb a lot lately.

In a widely noted speech this month to the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion-rights group, Palin invoked the words “feminism” and “feminist” no less than a dozen times. She called for a “pro-woman sisterhood” and addressed the “sisters” in the audience. If it weren’t for the regular references to gun rights, you might have thought you were listening to Gloria Steinem.

If this rhetoric seems uncharacteristic of the former governor of Alaska, that’s because it is. When running for vice president in 2008, Palin flip-flopped on the feminist question, telling CBS’s Katie Couric that she is one, but later telling NBC’s Brian Williams, “I’m not going to label myself anything.”

Today, however, Palin is happily adopting the feminist label. She’s throwing support behind “mama grizzly” candidates, describing the large number of women in the “tea party” as evidence of a “mom awakening” and preaching girl power on her Facebook page.

It’s not a realization of the importance of women’s rights that’s inspired the change. It’s strategy. Palin’s sisterly speechifying is part of a larger conservative move to woo women by appropriating feminist language. Just as consumer culture tries to sell “Girls Gone Wild”-style sexism as “empowerment,” conservatives are trying to sell anti-women policies shrouded in pro-women rhetoric.

Several years ago, when antiabortion protesters realized that screaming “Murderer!” at women wasn’t winning hearts and minds, they launched more palatable campaigns claiming that abortion hurts women — their new protest signs read “Women Deserve Better.” (Not surprisingly, this message is much more effective than spitting invective at emotionally vulnerable women.)

When members of the conservative Independent Women’s Forum argue against efforts to address pay inequity, they say the salary gap is a result of women’s informed choices — motherhood, for example — and that claims of discrimination turn women into victims. Conservatives have realized that women respond to seemingly feminist arguments.

Continue reading at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/28/AR2010052802263.html