Sunday Funday Will Make Her Two Moms Proud at Smith College

Happy Sunday, cuddle buddies! How are your finals going? Got any Art History to study? Would you like any Beyonce with that?

Pablo Picasso, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”/Beyonce, “Single Ladies”

Pablo Picasso, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”/Beyonce, “Single Ladies”

I was having the worst week ever until Friday, when y’all put me over the edge of my SPARK fundraiser and someone else offered me my dream job. And it gets better for us all this Sunday as queer families gain respect, A$AP says he has our backs, and trans* ladies get the go-ahead to apply to Smith!

After all, it’s Sunday Funday! GET INTO IT.

For Queer Mamas

In Iowa, the state’s Supreme Court unanimously declared that Heather and Melissa Gartner, two lesbian moms from Des Moines, both be listed on their daughter’s birth certificate. (Emphasis mine:)

Heather and Melissa… married after the Iowa Supreme Court legalized marriage equality in 2009, but when their daughter was born later that year, DPH officials listed only Heather on the infant’s birth certificate, according to the Associated Press. The “father” line was left blank, and officials told the couple they would need to go through a second-parent adoption in order for both women to be listed on their daughter’s birth certificate.

The lawsuit filed by the Gartners and Lambda Legal argued that DHS deprived the child of the protections and benefits of having two legal parents present from birth, reports AP.

The court issued its ruling Friday, in a decision backed by all six justices who considered the case. Justice David Wiggins said the state was unable to come up with a “constitutionally adequate justification” for treating lesbian parents differently that heterosexual parents. 

Hopefully someone gives the lovely moms a special card for queer mamas from Strong Families this Mother’s Day.

Strong Families Mama's Day Cards

Trendsetters

Fran and Anna Simon were the first civil unionized homos of them all in Colorado, clocking in with their ~vows of everlasting love~ at 12:02 AM this past Wednesday.

Fran and Anna Simon's Gay Marriage in Colorado

Queering Sports

Homophobia is being removed from the field for foul play in the AFL, where players are speaking out against anti-gay slurs being used at games.

A$AP Rocky Thinks Gay People Pretty Ok

The trillest.

A$AP ASAP Rocky

Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky recently stopped by Washington D.C.’s WKYS 93.9fm radio station. During the interview he discussed his red lipstick controversy, touring with Rihanna and his opinion on Jason Collins, the NBA player who came out earlier this week.

The “Goldie” rapper and fashion muse said that he respects men who come out, as The Advocate pointed out.

“I respect men more for coming out,” he said. “They joke on Frank Ocean a lot, but at least he ain’t out here frontin.’” He went on to note, “I respect gay men who identify it and they out with it. I don’t have a problem with gay people at all.”

And if that isn’t enough, peep this quote from a March interview, now being re-linked everywhere:

“So now that I’m here and I’ve got a microphone in my hand and about 6,000 people watching me, I need to tell them how I feel. For instance, one big issue in hip-hop is the gay thing. It’s 2013, and it’s a shame that, to this day, that topic still gets people all excited. It’s crazy. And it makes me upset that this topic even matters when it comes to hip-hop, because it makes it seem like everybody in hip-hop is small-minded or stupid—and that’s not the case. We’ve got people like Jay-Z. We’ve got people like Kanye. We’ve got people like me. We’re all prime examples of people who don’t think like that. I treat everybody equal, and so I want to be sure that my listeners and my followers do the same if they’re gonna represent me. And if I’m gonna represent them, then I also want to do it in a good way.”

 

Trans* Chicks At Smith!

In September, Smith College will convene a committee to fix its fuck-ups w/r/t letting trans* women apply for admission at their university. And in the meantime, they’re allowing trans* women of all shapes, sizes, and FAFSA categories to apply.

530171_585478818129608_1476157465_n

The Shero Section

+ Tig Notaro is awesome. Duh.

tig notaro

+ Alexandria Law sees superheroes differently.

Law draws superheros based on costumes worn by little girls. Because young girls want to preserve the spirit of the superheroines but obviously can’t don exact replicas of their hypersexualized outfits, they have to find creative ways to reimagine the uniforms. In Law’s words:

One of the main reasons I like these girls’ costumes is because of how simple they are. Often times when artists want to re-design female superheroes to be less sex-objecty they end up changing a bunch of unnecessary stuff. It doesn’t have to be like that.

+ Ashley Kolodner knows the face of the LGBT movement very personally.

“GayFace” is a current collection of works by New York City photographer and artist Ashley Kolodner (pictured at left). Gay rights, as human rights, have long been thrown aside by American society. Sexuality cannot be defined as black and white for all. There are many LGBTQ people who do not identify with just one label. Queer culture is most often portrayed as radical, quirky, offbeat, even unserious or detrimental to social and familiar norms. The goal of this project is to break barriers that LGBTQ people have lived under. The purpose is to give them the voice they deserve and the power to speak their truth. This collection of works is done to portray the innovative, personal, and participatory face of the gay movement and American culture at large and in the home.

Ashley K, queer/open

Ashley K, queer/open

Doods Aren’t Funny

We knew this, right.

Oh, sure, there are men who truly make us laugh. None come to mind at the moment, but I know history has provided us with a few. Euripides was sort of a jokester. English poet John Donne got off a corker every once in a while. But in general, the male species’ sense of humor seldom rises above the enjoyment of watching one of their own take a swift shot to the testicles.

It makes sense. Men are genetically programmed to hunt and gather. It is they who must impregnate the herd and protect the collective. And so it’s only logical that their brains would need to possess lower humor standards in order to pass the hours entertainingly with their cohorts while stalking that night’s dinner or standing guard against the enemy. Imagine if they had to amuse their fellow warriors with jokes and banter that were actually funny. That impossibly high standard would leave them in such despair that they would become easy prey.

Puppies That Hate Work, Too

Or: story of your life.

this puppy hates work, everything is work for a puppy, even this

this puppy hates work, everything is work for a puppy, even this

Profile photo of Carmen

Carmen is the Feminism and Straddleverse Editor at Autostraddle, meaning she helps expand your mind and your queer girl clique. She's mother to the most adorable dog on Earth and hates paying more than one dollar for a good slice of pizza. At times, she self-identifies as "the baddest bitch." You should follow her on Twitter and Tumblr because it makes her feel good about herself when people do.

Carmen has written 583 articles for us.

30 Comments

  1. Thumb up 1

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    No reason to be surprised at Smith— it has always been ahead of the curve w/r/t gender identity and the women’s colleges debate, more so I would say than any other women’s college. It’s definitely a hotly debated issue, so it’s fabulous that Smith took the lead here.

    Now we just have to wait and see if other women’s colleges will follow suit. There are trans*men already on these campuses, but admitting trans*women was a point that kept coming because of the whole birth certificate issue.

    I’m anxious to see what’ll happen across the country.

    Carmen,
    As usual,
    Much love to you.

    Happy sunday funday!

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      To be more accurate, Smith isn’t really “taking the lead” here; they are, however, following the direction given to them by students & alumnae, which deserves big high fives.

      And as a Smith alum, I can’t say I’m shocked-surprised, because Smith usually/always gets around to doing the right thing eventually. But I am pleasantly surprised at the overall response – i.e. actually acknowledging that they fucked up, and doing so fairly quickly. My alma mater is the shit.

    • Thumb up 5

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      While I’m super stoked at the Smith decision – thank god for doing the right thing – that’s some pretty PR Spin-style thinking. I don’t think “ahead of the curve” really applies if you, you know, systematically reject a part of the female population and then in response to public outcry attempt to change a discriminatory policy.

      I’m really pleased though, and hope this means that Calliope Wong might have a chance of attending in the Fall.

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      What is it they’ve actually done so far that’s actually substantive? They’re allowing trans women to send in applications to their school? Wow, such a privilege. They have an exploratory committee? Who will comprise this committee… will their decision be binding? As far as I’m concerned, these are both PR moves in the face of a whole lot of negative publicity.

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        Well, I mean, Wellesley, Spelman, and a bunch of other women’s colleges are holding firm to their FAAB only policy, and a bunch of the others are keeping quiet so they don’t get called out. So, I’d still say it’s substantial what Smith is doing. They’re taking constructive criticism and doing something about it.
        But yeah, I think Smith has received the brunt of criticism about women’s colleges and trans women, as though there aren’t other high profile women’s colleges that only let FAAB people in.
        Idk.

        • Thumb up 3

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          Was the criticism justified? Yes. Period. Getting into discussions of why were the activists “picking” on Smith sounds really reactionary and, honestly, more like rhetoric from Fox News about how conservatism and religious institutions are being targeted.

          What’s changed is not Smith or any of these other schools. What’s evolved are non-trans social attitudes about trans people. These discussions have been going on in the trans community for a long time, but no one previously bothered to listen. Had this issue been talked about even 6-7 years ago no feminist or queer sites would even cover it and the school wouldn’t think it worth responding to. Even 4 years ago, an overwhelming number of cis women didn’t think trans women’s issues even came under the umbrella of women’s issues. That’s what’s changed. This is change from the outside in. I have little doubt Ms. Wong applied to Smith partly because they had a vaunted (and often self-promoted) reputation for progressiveness (among women’s colleges anyway) which places like Bryn Mawr, or Wellesley don’t have. Spelman, (or its male counterpart Morehouse) while it has an important history producing leaders in the Black community, has never had any kind of socially progressive rep towards any part of the LGBTQ community and that’s only recently starting to thaw. The Smith issue was focused there because of the increasing numbers of visible trans men on that campus which further pinpointed the inequity of the policy excluding trans women.

          I’m impressed with the Q&A Group at Smith and all the work they’ve done. Smith itself deserves no credit until they actually change their policy and we see it in action. PR isn’t change.

        • Thumb up 1

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          I never said Smith didn’t deserve the criticism it received and I did not say it was being picked on. Don’t put words in my mouth.
          What I DID say was that I think it’s a bit ridiculous to focus all of your fury on a school that is taking constructive criticism and doing something about it when there are plenty of other women’s colleges that are holding firm to their exclusionary policies. It just doesn’t make much sense to me.
          I will say that I think saying that Wellesley and other women’s colleges aren’t as progressive as Smith is factually inaccurate. Wellesley has produced the foremost female leaders in this country and around the world, more than Smith. So has Spellman. And both of them have outright expressed that they only want those assigned female at birth.

        • Thumb up 3

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          “I think it’s a bit ridiculous to focus all of your fury”

          Criticism of discriminatory policies does not equal “fury” but nice try attempting to make my statements seem more irrational, less justified and ridiculous.

          Producing leaders doesn’t equal “progressive.” I was referring to their acceptance of LGBTQ students and, yes, I think Smith has a more progressive rep on that matter. Back in 2011, Wellesley got a lot of criticism about a trans man student who the administration refused to permit to screen potential incoming students. The award winning multi-part documentary, TransGeneration (which was filmed in 2004/2005) following four trans college students including, Lucas, a trans man attending Smith. It gave trans issues much higher profile at that school than at the other ones you’ve mentioned (and evidently resulted in more trans man/transmasculine applicants to the school).

          Monica Roberts’ TransGriot blog has, for a number of years, criticized both Morehouse and Spelman for their trans exclusionary policies. Neither one of those schools has a good track record with supporting LGB students much less T. Just because you haven’t read those criticisms of the other schools doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

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          I’m a nitpicker. I just am. I freely admit that. In this case, I am also very defensive of women’s colleges because they get picked on. A lot. By everyone.
          I think you’ve just seen me nitpick on trans related articles because AS has had several lately and you read them. I do have an issue with people like Gina regularly speaking for/over POCs, so I’m always super defensive when she enters the conversation. I’ll also freely admit that. And I’m a defensive person in general. I like to rant. I like to talk through things.
          Idk.

        • Thumb up 3

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          I feel like “talking over” is exactly what’s going on here, though. Trans women have a legitimate complaint against every single trans-exclusionary women’s college. Maybe some more than others, but barely. We also have legitimate complaints against other social structures and institutions. Telling us which complaints to vocalize when is not your province. White people talking over POCs is a fucked up dynamic, but so is cis people talking over trans people, and both of these fucked up dynamics are extremely prevalent in every context. One of dares to mention that Smith has not done terribly much relative to what they should be doing anyway and tons of people rush to defend the place. I know trans women are not a priority in feminism, but Jesus Christ.

          Hopefully this situation explains why the whole conversation going on above bothers me so much.

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          Fury isn’t necessarily a bad thing. “Righteous fury” is a thing. Please don’t make assumptions about my intent.
          Also, yes, producing the huge majority of female leaders DOES make it progressive, because the fact that it takes a relatively small private school to produce the majority says A LOT about how far we still have to reach equality in education and the workforce. Wellesley has always been ahead of the curve in that regard, since its founding. Spellman is similar. Women’s colleges, pretty much across the board, are by default socially progressive as they churn out women in STEM and other male dominated fields, and are behind much of the feminist movement, whether quietly or loudly, and always have been.
          I have SEVERAL issues with Monica at TransGriot (some of the things she’s said about Latin@ and First Nations has been INCREDIBLY problematic and she has defended it when called out, for one.) so no, I no longer read her blog. Feministing had a good piece not too long ago fishing out the stances of various women’s colleges on the issues, though.

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          I’ve been watching this whole thing unfold for a while and I just want to know: what do you want trans women to say and do? I mean, I’m happy they budged at all, sure. But are we supposed to pat the Smith administration on the back for basically saying “we’ll consider thinking about making our admissions policy more humane”? All this talk about how progressive they and other institutions are otherwise, the historical context, and what the other women’s colleges are doing would NOT excuse or mitigate any other kind of discriminatory behavior, so what’s different?

          I feel like you always have so much to say about what trans women feel and where we direct our criticisms, and why do you, as a cis person, get to weigh in on those things? You ostensibly recognize that trans women are women, but then launch into vehement criticism of things like what trans-exclusionary colleges we complain about (and Smith isn’t the only one that gets flack, by the way, but it can’t seriously be my job to Google for you before you start talking about it), as though the former recognition excuses the latter condescending behavior. I feel like you see your actions as different from any other -isms, but I don’t think they are. If you saw someone belonging to another dominant group telling someone less privileged along that axis where to direct their anger (Say, a man telling a woman that using a general “he or she” instead of a general “he” is a pointless linguistic quibble and she should worry about wage inequality instead; or insert any similar ‘splaining in the context of class or race), I assume you’d notice this for the bullshit it is and call him out on it. How is what you’re doing here any different?

          I guess what I’m saying is: maybe the trans women who are replying to you, despite our white privilege and class privilege, are not the only ones in the conversation who need to check our privilege. If what we’re saying is wrong or problematic, it should obviously be nit-picked. But who we direct it at?

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          Sorry for getting angry. Sometimes I over-identify with others and just lose it. Plus it’s law school finals time. I didn’t say anything above that isn’t what I believe, but I normally wouldn’t use the tone I’ve taken to express these thoughts, so I apologize for being accusatory and confrontational. I’ll try to keep it in check until the finals period is over and my normal-person filter starts working again.

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      I’m not surprised either — my experience is that Smith will usually turn around and fix what it screwed up. I do think they have made a substantive change– Simmons is the only women’s college that had said it would admit trans* women (Spelman said they would review each application as they came, not sure exactly what that means other than there isn’t a policy of automatic exclusion…?). I’m all about telling Smith all the ways it is messed up– but I don’t think we can do that and then not support them when they start making changes, even if they are just initial steps.

  2. Thumb up 2

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    God, I love Tig Notaro. I hope to meet her in real life at least 3 times, and to tell her every time, “Excuse me, I hate to bother you, but I just have to tell you, I love your voice.”

    Ahem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st4opohRZ_A

    Also, is that couple from Colorado legally married or is it just a civil union? Because I thought they just got civil unions in Colorado but honestly I have no idea at this point. Which is good because it means that I can no longer completely keep track of how many states we’re gaining rights in, but still.

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    Uh, the championing of A$AP Rocky for saying he’s OK with men coming out kind of makes me sick, because of these lyrics in the first single I ever heard of his:

    ‘Turn a dyke bitch out, have her fu***ing boys, beast’
    This is the reason I do not listen to A$AP Rocky.

    It’s at the end of verse 1 and can be found here:
    http://rapgenius.com/A-ap-rocky-fuckin-problems-lyrics

    Now I’m a queer who still loves rap, and I love seeing rappers get behind the LGBT community. But in this case, it’s the G he’s comfortable with, not the LBT. Another case of the ‘lesbians-don’t-exist’ mentality. Please do not encourage this man.

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