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Archive for March, 2010

Watch Your Language: “Celibacy,” “Sanctity of Life,” and Anti-Rape Conversation

Posted by pocochina on March 30, 2010

Absolutely nothing I am about to say should be construed as a defense of the actions of the Catholic Church here or abroad.  I am writing to clarify, not to excuse, defend, or render sympathetic – I think that all of those things are currently impossible.  But I do think that when good critics of conscience talk about the problems explicitly and purposefully caused by the Vatican, it’s important for us to understand that what conservative Catholics, including the *spits* Pope, mean when they use certain terms like “sanctity of life,” or what the cultural and religious context for the debate over celibacy is.  A post that I really recommend is Amanda Marcotte’s exploration of the Church and secular rape culture, which places the Church’s actions and official viewpoints in their rational sociopolitical context.  I think that’s important.  And I don’t think it’s important to engage with Church dogma in order to condemn church actions – as ever, I recommend Shakesville for some clear-eyed moral perspective on the issue.  But non-Catholic (by birth or practice) folks who are going to engage with the specifics of the Church’s reprehensible actions and defense of those actions should be aware of the ways the Church uses certain terms and language – not because it will win us any fans among pro-rape, anti-woman loyalists to the Church, but because it reveals the depth of the problem and allows for us to make the strongest possible good-faith arguments against the Church’s reprehensible actions of late, and allows us to draw the correct lines between facially disparate topics like the worldwide systemic abuse of children and the US-targeted anti-health-care strategizing.

Clearly, triggers below.

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rape culture and the drinking age – a feature, not a bug

Posted by pocochina on March 29, 2010

I know I’m far from the first person to criticize our national policies on mind-altering substances, particularly among social justice types, so I thoroughly doubt that anyone will disagree with my eventual conclusion on the issue.  What I would like to do is turn some dominant narratives on alcohol liberalization* a bit on their sides, to see the strong and powerful element of rape culture running through them.

Triggers below – read w/caution and self-care

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SHIT I HATE: Models as the Face of ED Survivorhood

Posted by pocochina on March 29, 2010

Let me be clear – I do not hate models who are suffering from eating disorders, have come out as ED sufferers or survivors, or who have turned to advocate for other sufferers.  That is a good thing to do, it comes from a place of kindness and intelligence, and it is an admirable use of privilege in order to help others.  Model moral behavior, you might even say.  However, I do not like the way the models’ narrative seems to be the dominant or even only story that is recognized in our wider media as the neatly-packaged beginning-to-end textbook case of an eating disorder.  I’m focusing on women here because women’s bodies are, overwhelmingly, the target of these narratives.  I’m also focusing on those women who have made it to tell their stories – though we know many will not make it, and we do not forget them.  I’m talking specifically about media portrayal of ED survivors.

Cut for potential ED triggers – remember your self-care, folks!

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reframing “sexual maturity”

Posted by pocochina on March 3, 2010

I’d like to challenge prevailing ideas of “sexual maturity” from a pro-PWD (and particular, people with invisible mental illness) perspective.  This is clearly an idea found within mainstream feminism, but I don’t think it’s really all that distinguishable from mainstream thought in general, so, you know, apply as necessary.  Overall, it is problematic because it defines women’s brains on what we do with our bodies, even if it does so in the spirit of fighting shame and stigma; it leaves out adults with developmental disabilities; and it’s harmful to teens with mental illness.  I’ll be concentrating on that last one because it’s closest to my knowledge and experience, but I’d love to hear in comments from folks who have opinions on the first two as well.

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