Showing posts from April, 2009

Body Issues

Namely, my surprising lack of some when it comes to modesty.

cycads left me a comment on my first post on Skin Trouble about bathing in public spaces, and the resultant, usually inevitable, body-comparison that ensues.

I, surprisingly, have never really had this issue with public spaces. My only problem with them has been with other people (namely men) staring at me in that creepy-way that you just know objectifies you in ways you don't want to be. Within women-only spaces, though, this has never been a problem. For example, in my first year, Hurricane Juan hit Halifax, and the university residences didn't have any water beyond the 4th floor (and that was COLD water).

Girlfriends and I hit the showers of the gym. There were the communal showers (ten showerheads in a nice big room) and two private shower stalls. Now that I think about it, people with more "conventional" body types were the ones lining up for the private stalls, whereas the communal showers had women of a…

Andrare is in Jail; DeLee is next.

h/t to Transgriot

On June 11, Dwight DeLee will go to trial for the murder of Lateisha Green. He shot her on November 11 in Syracuse, New York. He also shot her brother, Mark Cannon, 19 and gay.

As usual, newspapers are failing to Get It Right by referring to Lateisha as "Moses Cannon".

The DeLee family is trying to drum up sympathy by stating that he was set up, introducing his previous crime record, and that "six members of the DeLee family is already in jail".

Whilst I understand that PoC often unfairly suffer police brutality and get the short end of the legal system stick quite regularly, evidence points to the fact that DeLee was homophobic and transphobic. And it looks to be that the "trans panic" defense will once again be used.

More [excellent] coverage from here.

Cross-posted to the Redux Edition

I Don't Miss High School: History Edition

In secondary school, we have two levels - Form 1 to Form 3, after which we take the PMR, and then Form 4 and 5, after which we take the SPM. I'll rant about the ridiculous examination thing in another edition.

In Form 4 History, we learnt about international stuff, European history, the French Revolution, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, and a couple other things to do with America.

In Form 5 History, we learnt about Malaya's tussles with the British colonials, Raja Brooke in Sarawak (OK, all things considered, he was okay), being invaded by the Japanese in WW II, the following war on Communists, and our Independence (plus the New Economic Plan which has since crashed and burned all around our ears).

A common complaint from my peers during Form 5 was: "History is SO BORING. I wish we were doing more world history like last year. That was FUN."

I've mentioned before that my grandfather was involved in WWII. He was a policeman during the war. After that he b…

Sometimes I Have Skin Trouble: Steampunk Edition

So, I love steampunk.

I love Victorian-inspired clothing to start with - the lush lace, the splurge-driven dresses, the elegant waistcoats, the delicate act of removing gloves, finger by finger, the corsets, the hats and feathers and veils. The wife of a photographer I shot with once showed me a coat made in that era - thick (broadcloth?) fabric handsewn and still looking none the worse for wear, with extra material at the small of the back for the bustle.

The problem with steampunk, though, is that it's pretty much white territory. I read Girl Genius, which in itself is a fabulous comic, and as much as I enjoy the sleek mecha of Robotech and Evangelion, the clunky robots, steam-powered with levers all over the cockpit, attract me more. The problem with Girl Genius is, although it does quite well on the PoC front, there are no real representative Asian characters (except for one doctor and his granddaughter). The only person in the comic with actual yellow skin that matches my own i…

Well, Fucking A.

The inimitable Renegade Evolution has released little details on her new porn flick:

And this is what I will say about the script and such that is almost done for the movie I am making:

Plot- Have one.
Men- diverse looking.
Women- Two of them. That's it.
Characters played by women- A federal agent/criminologist, an internationally wanted criminal. Neither are blonde.
Primary Setting- The warehouse from the Gun Photo Shoot.
I'm not one for porn, preferring text erotica (ok, ok, dirty stories and romance novels) myself, but I might just have to buy that flick.

Ally Issues

It's difficult for me, being an ally.

A friend recently told me how good it was to see me blogging about "gay and trans issues" even though they don't affect me. Ze's not the only one, either, since another friend, in a meme, said one of the things that reminded her of me was "transgender issues".

The only reason why I can see myself giving them this impression is that I wrote quite a bit on Angie Zapata's case. And even then, I didn't cover it as extensively as I could have. Partly because I didn't know what to say that wasn't already said. Partly because I tend to follow a lot of other things and I sort of rely on the blogs I read to give me the news I want.

I've only ever known one transgendered person in person. I don't know where she is now. We were never close, but we spoke when we encountered each other, and would move seats on the bus to sit together if we encountered each other there. One time we even walked together. She s…

Sometimes I Have Skin Trouble

I remember way back when, in Malaysia, I was, like many of my peers, quite convinced that race doesn't matter, that it's just another thing dividing people, and that I should ignore the colour of my skin and work on what's inside.

I mean, that's what every one with the faintest bit of moral fiber says, right? Beauty comes from within. Work hard and it will show. Bla bla bla.

So when I got to Canada, I was kinda pleased when I made friends fairly easily and one of them said, "when I see you, I don't see a Chinese."

Except that it didn't stop people from talking slowly to me as if I'm fresh off the boat, and expressing surprise when they found I could speak perfect English. Most people I know have asked me a variation of the following questions at least once:

"Where did you learn English?"
"How long have you been speaking English?"
"How is your English so good?"

Never mind that most ESL students are more aware of the grammatic…

What's In A Name?

Following up on the conversation I had with Mitchell Irons, I actually do have an issue with names, and with who calls me what.

I think names are important, and what other people call you by is also important. Every Chinese New Year, when my family went visiting, my dad would appraise me of who to call what - there're terms for the varying aunts and uncles, and differ by how far apart you are from them. How you call them immediately enables them to identify who you are, too.

Me, it's also weird like that.

People who've known me since I was a kid or from school call me by my Chinese name. A few call me by the middle character of my Chinese name.

Since I put my given name (middle and last character of my name) in the "first name" fields of any stupid Canadian form that asks for first and last names, most official places invariably end up calling me by that middle character too, which weirds me out.

Even as my official documents don't have my English name, most peopl…

Random Story Time

So I was chatting with my good friend Mitchell Irons about the topic of identity, wherein he asked me, "how do you introduce yourself?" particularly in light of my internetz handle and the fact that I have an Anglo-Saxon name attached to my Chinese name because I got really fucking sick of having people mispronounce my Chinese name and preferred to take on an English moniker so I wouldn't have people butcher it in my hearing.

Anyway, that's not the story I was gonna share today.

Mitchell writes about the French method of name introduction:

In French, we introduce ourselves to people by saying “Je m’appelle”. In our first French classes, we don’t learn that “Je m’appelle” is a reflexive construction of the verb “appeller,” which means “to call” as in “to describe.” Instead, we’re told that “Je m’appelle” means, “My name is.” And idiomaticlly, it does: it’s the phrase used in the same situations as “my name is” used in English. But take that constru…

Race in Cartoons

So I was moseying on to work this morning when I started hearing the theme song to 6teen in my head, and I was reminiscing on the time I used to have cable TV and I watched cartoons and the SciFi channel just about incessantly (okay, I also watched TLC).

6teen was an interesting show to me. The basic premise is that of six teens who hang out at a fancy lemonade stall one of them works at, and it follows their trials and travails as they figure out how to get by on their own, holding their jobs (or not) and how they work through their problems. It also happens to follow a very smart comedy formula, with multiple storyarcs within a single episode. The creators did a good job realizing that yes, a younger audience could indeed appreciate smart shows.

The characters, being cartoon characters in themselves, are not exactly what one might call nuanced, but the creators certainly did try to explore different aspects of their characters. Jen, for example, works in the sporting goods store. She …

Fun With Glow Magazine, May 2009

So, along with my Shoppers Optimum Card (oh yes, I love this thing), I also subscribed to Glow magazine. It's a lot more consumerist than the Malaysian Cleo magazine which I used to read when I was younger, top-heavy with stuff to buy, but I like knowing what's on the market for makeup.

The other thing I like to do with this? Is count how many PoC are in it. Oh yes. In a country that purports to be racially-diverse, and there are many promotional material actually feature people of colour? Just the other day I was struck by a pamphlet which had an Asian family right in the front. This was striking not because I'm also Asian, but because it's not exactly commonplace in fashion magazines. I cut Canada slack, but not too much.

Along the way, I'll also judge the articles and the images accompanying them and so on so forth. It'll be fun!

Front cover: white girl.
White (but possibly mixed)

LIPSTICK! Yeah, because we so want free lipstick f…

Problems With Marriage

I'm thinking by now that my parents have probably given up hope that my brother or myself will be married anytime soon - it's clear from my dating history that I'm in no hurry to settle down, and my brother has been looking but he's pretty sure he'll marry late himself.

We were sitting in the study room (yes, we have a study room in the house I grew up in - it used to be the balcony, actually, but we never really actually used it as a balcony, so we converted it into a room separated from the master bedroom by a glass door and curtain), I on my little laptop, and my brother on the family desktop, and he was chatting with his best friend.

I'm not sure what brought it up, but they were discussing marriage, and she was sure she was going to be single forever, and I quipped, "there's nothing wrong with that, anyway. Marriage as a historical institution isn't exactly the greatest."

My brother needed clarification, so I explained the basics - marriage…

I Act Out

This is the common term for us uppity women who speak out - against rape, against domestic violence, against injustice. It's perfectly okay for other people to talk about sluts, whores, and other derogatory slurs against women (or other oppressed groups) (with dramatic exclaimation points omg!!!), but if someone speaks up with the weight of their own experience, they get, as Cara from the Curvature did,

"There's no need to act out."

She was "acting out" because she was arguing heavily with someone who was showing heavy disrespect for women and who in the end said "well, what I said wasn't for serious anyway, haha! What're you being so serious for!"

Because, you know, it's not like rape is such a serious issue. It's perfectly okay to mimic people who think rape is hilarious in order to mock them without caring about triggering actual rape victims. And if you DO actually care about such things and speak out against mocking the issue, y…

Let's Start With A Prayer:

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, superficial relationships, so that you will live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you will work for justice, equity, and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and change their pain to joy.

And may God bless you with the foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world, so that you will do things which others tell you cannot be done.

I don't actually pray, but if I did, this would be the one I would use.